Saturday, January 13, 2024

Radio History: January 14

William Bendix
➦In William Bendix was born in New York City.  Identified as one of the “most cherished” actors in the history of radio, Bendix starred in “The Life of Riley” on NBC Radio from 1944-51, and the TV version from 1953-58. He also had an impressive big screen resume. He died from lobar pneumonia Dec 14, 1964 at age 58.

➦In 1907...Dr. Lee DeForest patented the Audion tube. De Forest is generally thought of as the "Father of Radio". The Audion tube allowed amplification which made Radio transmission more practical for voice and music.

The Audion was the fastest electronic switching element of the time, and was later used in early digital electronics (such as computers). The triode was vital in the development of transcontinental telephone communications, radio, and radar until the 1948 invention of the transistor.

➦In 1927…Jack Benny married Sadye Marks. Five years later, Marks started playing Mary Livingstone, a character on Benny's radio show, and became so identified with the part that she legally changed her name to Mary Livingstone.

➦In 1939..."Honolulu Bound", was heard for the first time on CBS radio. Phil Baker and the Andrews Sisters were featured on the show.

➦In 1955...disc jockey Alan Freed held his first Rock `n’ Roll Party stage show in New York. Acts included the Clovers, Fats Domino and the Drifters.

➦In 1957...Hollywood Star Humphrey Bogart, who co-starred with his wife Lauren Bacall in the wildly successful syndicated radio show “Bold Venture,” died from esophagus cancer at age 57.

➦In 1973...Elvis Presley drew the largest audience for a single TV show to that time — an estimated one billion viewers in 40 countries. “Elvis – Aloha From Hawaii”, a live, worldwide concert from Honolulu International Center Arena (later known as the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena). Performed at 12:30 a.m. Hawaiian Time, it was beamed live via Globecam Satellite to Australia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, South Vietnam and other countries, and was seen on a delayed basis in approximately 30 European countries. The first North American airing was April 4th on NBC-TV. The show was also released as a two-record album, and became one of Elvis’s top-selling LPs.

➦In 1981... the FCC freed radio stations to air as many commercials an hour as they wish.

NFL: Winter Weather Is a Game Changer


NFL In 'Advanced Talks' To Buy Equity Stake in ESPN

ESPN and the NFL are close to a blockbuster partnership that would give the league a stake in the network and the network control of the league’s media operations.

The New York Post reported late Friday that the NFL and ESPN are in advanced talks on a strategic partnership under which the NFL would acquire a stake in ESPN and ESPN would assume control of NFL Media, including NFL Network and RedZone. A deal would satisfy needs for both sides; Disney has been seeking investors for ESPN and the NFL a partner to take control of its media operation.

Per the Post report, a deal could still be months away, but talks have reached the point that both the owners and players association are being kept informed.

In return for the league’s equity stake, according to the Post, ESPN would take control of NFL Media, the entity that owns the league’s production unit, NFL Films, and the league’s cable channels — the NFL Network and RedZone, and NFL+, the recently launched streaming service that enables subscribers to watch games and other related content on mobile devices.

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger previously mentioned the possibility of finding an equity partner for ESPN, which while still profitable faces a challenging future as pay TV cord-cutting threatens the subscription revenue that has made it one of the most successful media businesses in history.

The LA Times reports ESPN has long been the most expensive part of the pay TV bundle, currently getting close to $9 per subscriber. It is now in 73 million homes, down from 98.5 million in 2013.

While the pay TV universe is shrinking, media rights fees are escalating as deep-pocketed tech companies such as Amazon and Apple are vying for properties to add to their streaming services.

One question that will need to be addressed is the reaction of the NFL’s other media partners, NBC, CBS, Amazon, YouTube and Fox, which along with Disney are committed to pay the league more than $100 billion over the next 10 years

Disney’s package includes “Monday Night Football,” which aired on both ABC and ESPN this past season, and two Super Bowls.

ESPN, which could make itself available to noncable homes with a direct-to-consumer streaming service as soon as next year, has tried to find ways to make itself more appealing to younger consumers who are forgoing pay TV subscriptions.

Sports Media Watch reports the potential deal would mark a new frontier in the sports-media symbiosis. For as much as ESPN pays for NFL rights, the league and network are still separate entities. That will no longer be the case once this deal is done.

The NFL partnership would be just the latest transformation for ESPN, which last year announced a deal with Penn Entertainment to launch an ESPN-branded sportsbook and intends next year to launch a direct-to-subscriber feed of its linear channels. (The Post report hinted that ESPN could well move up the date for its direct-to-subscriber move to as soon as this year.) As the company has shed subscribers, it has become increasingly willing to make compromises that would have once been unlikely, if not unthinkable.

Fox News Stops Running MyPillow Commercials

Fox News is no longer running commercials from the MyPillow company, saying founder Mike Lindell owes money for time he’s bought, Bloomberg is reporting.

“As soon as their account is paid, we would be happy to accept their advertising,”  a FOX News spokesperson said Friday in a statement.

Lindell hasn’t paid for spots since August of last year, according to a person familiar with the network’s business. The ads stopped running last month.

Lindell, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, told former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in an online interview Friday that the network dropped the ads because he’s hosting a program with former Fox anchor Lou Dobbs on his Lindell TV channel.

He said he has spent between $500 million and $1 billion advertising with Fox.

MyPillow was once among the top advertisers on the network, but more recently accounted for less than 1% of revenue for the Fox News Media unit, which includes the flagship cable channel and related outlets, the person said.

Lindell said late last year that he had “lost everything, every dime,” fighting defamation suits brought against him over claims the 2020 presidential election was rigged.

In an interview with Bloomberg News on Friday, Lindell said he’s been buying about $1 million a week in ads on Fox News and that the network’s decision to drop him came without warning.

Judge Orders Trump To Pay NY Times $400,000

A New York judge on Friday ordered Donald Trump to pay The New York Times and three of its reporters nearly $400,000 to cover their legal costs for a lawsuit filed by the former president that was dismissed last year.

Trump sued the Times and the reporters over a 2018 investigation into his finances and taxes that was based in part on confidential tax records. The resulting series of articles won a Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in American journalism, in the category of explanatory reporting.

Among those articles was one titled, “Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches from His Father.”

Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha, in a statement to CNBC, said the order for legal costs issued in Manhattan Supreme Court “shows that the state’s newly amended anti-SLAPP statute can be a powerful force for protecting press freedom.”   SLAPP is an acronym for “strategic lawsuit against public participation.”

Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba in a statement to NBC News said, “We are disappointed that the NY Times is no longer in this matter.” Habba also told NBC that “we look forward to proceeding with our claims” in the lawsuit against Mary Trump, the estranged niece of the former president.

Fox News Channel To Air Shows Live from Iowa

FOX News Channel’s (FNC) FOX & Friends (weekdays, 6-9 AM/ET) will be hosted live from Iowa on January 14, 15 and 16 to provide special coverage before and after the 2024 Iowa Caucuses. 

FOX & Friends co-host Lawrence Jones will be on location to speak with diner patrons in Sioux City, Cedar Rapids and Ankeny Iowa to discuss the top issues as Iowans cast their ballots in the 2024 Iowa Caucuses.

FOX & Friends is FNC’s flagship morning franchise featuring co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, Brian Kilmeade and Lawrence Jones. Every weekday morning from 6-9 AM/ET, the show highlights the latest in news, weather, sports and entertainment with a casual and spontaneous discourse and is the most watched morning program in cable news.

But wait, there's more...

FOX News will also present a special primetime edition of The Faulkner Focus entitled The Faulkner Focus: Iowa In Focus on Sunday, January 14th at 10 PM/ET. 

Hosted by Harris Faulkner, the one-hour airing will preview the Iowa caucuses and highlight Iowa’s state of play ahead of the 2024 presidential race. Throughout the program, Faulkner will be joined by Governor Kim Reynolds (R-IA) and Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) as well as a panel of six Iowa voters to discuss the issues they feel most impacted by, their overall thoughts about the current presidential candidates and the direction of the country. 

 Following the panel discussion, FNC congressional correspondent Aishah Hasnie will provide the historical background behind the Iowa caucuses. The special will also feature a signature political panel including, FOX & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth, FNC contributors Ben Domenech and Tammy Bruce, alongside former Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives T.W. Shannon. 

What This Country Needs: 'A Leader With Fresh Legs'

In FOX News’ inaugural “Gutfeld! Town-Less Hall-Less Extravaganza,” on last evening’s Gutfeld! (weekdays, 10 PM/ET), host Greg Gutfeld spoke with 2024 Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. 

Ramaswamy joined the program live from a gas station in Iowa saying, “I’m, by the way, talking to you from a gas station in Western Iowa in the middle of a blizzard where we pulled over, so just to provide some context here where we are.” 

Gutfeld joked with Ramaswamy and asked for a 2 liter bottle of Fanta and later said, “I’m just wondering if the people that are working there think that you’re crazy. Who’s the guy in aisle six running for president?”

During the interview, Gutfeld asked viewers' questions including whether or not Ramaswamy would agree to the VP position, how he would improve the U.S. education system and how he would make the military “un-woke.”

Ramawamy ended the interview telling the hosts it was the “best town hall ever.”

Portland OR Radio: Tim Richards Named PD At Country KUPL

Alpha Media is pleased to announce the appointment of Tim Richards, founder of Tim Richards Media, as the new Content Director for the legendary Country KUPL-FM in Portland, Oregon. 

This strategic move is a testament to Alpha Media’s commitment to strengthening its leadership in the industry and enhancing the listener experience.

Tim Richards, with a proven track record in consulting and developing targeted marketing strategies, brings his expertise to KUPL-FM. 

“I am profoundly grateful to Robert Dove, Phil Becker, and the entire team at Alpha Media for this incredible opportunity,” said Richards. “KUPL is an iconic brand in a world-class city, and our collective mission is to amplify its reach and impact. We aim to deepen our connection with our fans and the artists they admire, both in Portland and the broader Country music community.”

Toronto Radio: Josie Dye Joins CHUM 104.5 For New Afternoon Drive

As announced live this morning during MARILYN DENIS & JAMAR on iHeartRadio Canada’s CHUM 104.5, Josie Dye joins the station’s lineup as afternoon drive host beginning Monday, Jan. 15.

THE JOSIE DYE SHOW airs weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. ET on CHUM 104.5 in the GTHA, and for listeners across Canada via audio live stream on and the iHeartRadio Canada app

THE JOSIE DYE SHOW features the music listeners love to hear on CHUM 104.5, along with Dye’s signature personality and daily perspectives on what’s happening around the world and in the GTHA. 

Josie Dye
“CHUM 104.5 has always been my radio dream job,” said Dye. “I’m incredibly excited to join the team and explore this next chapter in my life!” 

“I’ve been a fan of Josie’s for years, and am thrilled she is joining the legendary on-air lineup at CHUM 104.5,” said Heidi Baiden, Program Director, CHUM 104.5. “She is a creative, energetic host who is beloved by listeners, and I know they will enjoy engaging with her as she plays Toronto’s Best Music and shares her love of the city.” 

An award-winning radio and TV host, Josie Dye is familiar to audiences across Canada. With more than 20 years as a Toronto radio host, and eight seasons as co-host of OH SO COSMO on W Network, Dye is well-known for her passion for music and the Canadian arts community as a whole. 

Dye lives in Toronto with her husband and their two young boys, one of whom was diagnosed with a rare condition – Sotos Syndrome. Dye lends her voice to raising awareness at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and has become an advocate for rare diseases. 

In addition to her new role on CHUM 104.5, Dye continues to host a podcast with THE SOCIAL’s Cynthia Loyst, CYNTHIA AND JOSIE’S UNMENTIONABLES, available on the iHeartRadio Canada app and currently in its second season. All iHeartRadio Canada stations are available across Canada via live stream on and the iHeartRadio Canada app. iHeartRadio Canada stations are also connected through Alexa, Siri, and Google Home smart speakers.

Former CNN Pundit Angela Rye Accuses Chris Cuomo of Harassment

Political commentator Angela Rye came forward with a stunning sexual harassment allegation against her former CNN colleague Chris Cuomo, whom she claimed called her "tinsel crotch" via text. 

On the first installment of her "Native Land Pod" podcast, Rye began by addressing her "disappearance" from CNN after several years at the network.

She said her exit was more "impactful" on her than she initially believed, recalling how she was told by CNN in January 2021 her contract was not being renewed due to a shift in focus on COVID rather than politics, something she knew was "a lie" since "two Black women were hired for half my current contributor rate right after."

Fox News Digital reports the went on to tell a story she said she had "suppressed for three years."

"Just 10 days prior to receiving that call on Jan. 21, the darling of the network and one of the most influential hosts during Jeff Zucker's tenure was texting me about a segment idea he had for his primetime show," Rye said. "Chris Cuomo was suddenly excited about a prominent regular role for me where I would check the left. Truthfully, I had my doubts on the genuine nature of this idea… Cuomo came up with this particular segment idea after a text exchange that went woefully wrong." 

"It all began on New Year's Day when I posted a picture of myself looking forward to the new year in a gold-sequined bikini on Instagram. Cuomo screenshot the image and said, ‘Happy New Year, tinsel crotch,’" Rye told listeners. "Stunned, I read and reread the message a dozen times, trying to understand. If I somehow brought this on myself since whatever you post on social is fair game, right? I teared up… I felt like the safest place I had on a show on CNN had been compromised."

Universal Music Group To Lay Off Some Employees

Universal Music Group will lay off some employees in 2024, a company spokesperson said on Friday, making the world's largest record label the latest to join a wave of layoffs this year.

Universal Music Group may cut hundreds of jobs in the first quarter, mostly in its recorded music division, Bloomberg News reported earlier in the day.

UMG did not comment on the exact number of jobs it may be cutting.

As of 2022, the company recorded nearly 10,000 employees globally, as stated in that year's annual report

Lucian Grainge
Walt Disney's Pixar Animation Studios is also set to cut jobs as the studio has completed production on some shows and now has more staff than it needs, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

UMG's focus has been on building its direct-to-customer and e-commerce operations in the past few years, chief executive Lucian Grainge said in an internal memo seen by Reuters on Friday.

"In 2024, as we in A&R and artist development, we will further evolve our organizational structure to create efficiencies in other areas of the business," CEO Grainge added.

Grainge has been trumpeting UMG's attempts to improve the economics of streaming and promote the responsible use of artificial intelligence.

The company's third-quarter revenue, fueled by artist Taylor Swift's popularity, grew about 3.3% year-on-year and nearly 10% in constant currency.

The Long-Delayed Emmys Air Monday

Six months after the nominations for the 75th Emmy Awards were announced, the Television Academy is finally ready to celebrate the best of the 2022-23 television season this Monday evening.

The L-A Times reports hit shows such as “The Last of Us,” “The Bear” and “The White Lotus” have already notched a few early wins at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, held earlier this month. Actors Nick Offerman and Storm Reid were recognized for their guest roles on HBO’s “The Last of Us,” which also took home wins for picture editing, main title design, prosthetic makeup, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects. “The Bear” and “White Lotus,” meanwhile, won the awards for casting in a comedy series and casting in a drama series, respectively, among others.

When are the Emmys and why are they being held in January?

The 75th Emmy Awards will be held on Jan. 15 at the Peacock Theater at L.A. Live. The three-hour live telecast will kick off at 5 p.m. Pacific on Fox (and will be available the next day on Hulu).

Originally scheduled for September — when the ceremony is traditionally held — the Emmy Awards were postponed amid the historic dual Hollywood strikes by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA that brought the industry to a halt.

The writers had already been on strike for two months when the Emmy nominations were announced in July. The actors walked out shortly after. Rather than proceed with no writers to write the show or presenters to hand out awards, Fox chose to push the event until after both labor disputes were resolvedt

89% Of U.S. Households Now Have Streaming Video Services

The international market research and consulting firm’s Consumer Electronics Dashboard, an ongoing service that visualizes the most important metrics for consumer electronics (CE) devices in the home, also notes that for the first time, smartphone ownership surpassed TV ownership, with 90% of households reporting ownership of a smartphone compared to 88% with a TV.

“Smartphones are ubiquitous now, and connected consumer electronics such as wireless earbuds, tablets, and smart TVs are commonplace,” said Sarah Lee, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. “Today, these devices are essential for entertainment purposes and daily personal communications, which can include school, work, and family. This necessity drives continued purchases, as every year CE companies roll out innovative and advanced models that drive the consumer desire to upgrade.”

Parks Associates recently released its list of industry trends for 2023. The firm reports that 92% of US households have fixed or wireless internet service at home. Among these US internet households:
  • 66% have a smart TV
  • 42% have at least one smart home device
  • 31% have a security system
  • 39% have a smart watch
  • 89% have a streaming video service
The research finds consumer spending demonstrates remarkable resilience. After a brief pause early in 2023, consumers’ enthusiasm for consumer electronics products rebounded at the end of the year. Purchase intentions for popular entertainment devices such as gaming consoles, streaming media players, and VR headsets have increased compared to 2022 and now resemble 2021 levels, which was the height of the pandemic.

“Economic conditions and fear of a recession previously stalled purchases of CE categories,” Lee said. “But higher intentions to purchase are likely a reflection of prolonged delayed gratification, the end-of-year holiday season, enticing retail promotions, and hope for continued economic improvement in 2024.”

Parks Associates’ Consumer Insight Dashboards present survey-based consumer research that tracks movement of foundational market metrics, such as product or service adoption, household spending intentions, churn, and key tracking metrics on leading industry players.

Radio History: January 13

➦In 1905..."Scientific America" published an advertisement for the "Telimco", a device guaranteed to received signals for as far as one mile. It cost $7.50.

The Telimco system included a battery-operated spark transmitter, shown on the left, plus a tapping-coherer receiver, also battery operated, shown on the right. (The use of a spark transmitter and tapping-coherer receiver meant it could only be used to send and receive telegraphic dots-and-dashes, and not full audio.) This small ad--which measured just 2-1/4 inches wide by 1-1/8 inches high (60 by 28 millimeters)--appeared on the back pages of the magazine, mixed in with the advertisements for sundry offering by numerous other small firms. It is generally believed that this was the first-ever advertisement run by a company selling complete radio systems to the general public.

The Telimco brand name was a contraction of The Electro Importing Co. In addition to Telimco Wireless Telegraph Outfits, you could also buy Telimco Experimental X-Ray Outfits, Telimco-meters, Telimphones, etc.

➦In 1910...Opera was first aired during an experimental broadcast, courtesy of the New York Metropolitan Opera.

The first public radio broadcast consisted of performances of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci. Riccardo Martin performed as Turridu, Emmy Destinn as Santuzza, and Enrico Caruso as Canio. The conductor was Egisto Tango. This wireless radio transmission event of the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso of a concert from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City is regarded as the birth of public radio broadcasting.

The New York Times reported on January 14, 1910,

"Opera broadcast in part from the stage of the New York City Metropolitan Opera Company was heard on January 13, 1910, when Enrico Caruso and Emmy Destinn sang arias from Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, which were "trapped and magnified by the dictograph directly from the stage and borne by wireless Hertzian waves over the turbulent waters of the sea to transcontinental and coastwise ships and over the mountainous peaks and undulating valleys of the country." The microphone was connected by telephone wire to the laboratory of Dr. Lee De Forest. ”

The few radio receivers able to pick up this first-ever "outside broadcast" were those at the De Forest Radio Laboratory, on board ships in New York Harbor, in large hotels on Times Square and at New York city locations where members of the press were stationed at receiving sets. Public receivers with earphones had been set up in several well-advertised locations throughout New York City. There were members of the press stationed at various receiving sets throughout the city and the general public was invited to listen to the broadcast.

The experiment was considered mostly unsuccessful.  The microphones of the day were of poor quality and couldn't pick up most of the singing done on stage. Only off-stage singers singing directly into a microphone could be heard clearly. The New York Times reported the next day that static and interference kept the homeless song waves from finding themselves.

➦In 1913...producer/host Ralph Edwards was born near Merino Colorado.  Best known as producer/host of TV’s This is Your Life, he came to prominence as the host of radio’s zany Truth or Consequences, a game show which ran for 38 years on radio & TV.  As producer he brought to the airwaves TV’s The People’s Court, still on the air 25 years later.  He died of congestive heart failure Nov. 25 1997 at age 84.

➦In Steve Dunne was born in Northampton Mass. He succeeded Howard Duff on radio as the star of The Adventures of Sam Spade.  On TV he starred in the series Professional Father & The Brothers Brannigan, and appeared repeatedly on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Brady Bunch, The Millionaire & Lux Video Theatre.  He died Sept. 2 1977 at age 59.

➦In 1922...WHA 970 AM in Madison, Wisconsin began broadcasting.

Book available from Amazon
WHA's history dates back to 1914 when Professor Edward Bennett started using the call sign 9XM. A year later, the call sign was transferred to the University of Wisconsin and used for many experiments in the physics department. Professor Earle M. Terry managed many of these tests, and he eventually decided that the station should start making regular weather broadcasts. From December 4, 1916 onward, the station transmitted regular reports in Morse code.

While most early radio stations in the United States were shut down when the country entered World War I, 9XM's early transmissions were considered important enough to continue, spending much of the war broadcasting weather information to ships sailing on the Great Lakes.

Regularly scheduled audio broadcasts began in February 1920. A six-day-per-week schedule began on January 3, 1921, notable for the introduction of the first radio broadcast of a weather forecast. The station received its WHA call sign on January 13, 1922.

➦In 1928… Ernst F. W. Alexanderson gave the first public demonstration of television at Schenectady NY, using a perforated scanning disk and high-frequency neon lamps.The first public demonstration of television was given by Ernst F. W. Alexanderson.

➦In 1934...a comedy-variety hit of early radio The Al Pearce Show debuted on NBC Blue, after 5 successful years on KFRC San Francisco.

➦In 1958...St. Louis radio station KWK (now KXFN 1380 AM) declared Rock n’ Roll dead. After giving their rock records a final play, the station staff broke them.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Trump Trounces GOP Debate

Fox News’s live town hall event with Donald Trump on Wednesday night nabbed 4.3 million average viewers, according to The Wrap citing early data from Nielsen Media Research. 

The one-hour program which aired from 9-10 p.m. ET, competing directly with CNN’s Republican presidential debate, drew 553,000 average viewers in the key 25-54 demographic.

The town hall was moderated by Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum. The live event was the most-watched program on linear TV on Wednesday night. 

The program competed directly with the first hour of CNN’s Republican debate with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, moderated by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. 

CNN’s debate drew an average of 2.58 million viewers for the first hour of the debate and 479,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic. However, the network’s debate grew its audience in the demo hour-to-hour. 

For the whole debate program, which lasted two hours, CNN scored 2.53 million total viewers and 509,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic. 

Fox News Media Presents Live Coverage of Iowa Caucuses

FOX News Media (FNM) will provide extensive live analysis and reporting ahead of the Iowa caucuses beginning on Thursday, January 11 and leading up to special coverage the day of the caucuses on Monday, January 15.

FNC will present nearly all of its live programming from Des Moines, Iowa. On Thursday, January 11 and Friday, January 12, Martha MacCallum, executive editor and anchor of The Story (weekdays, 3 PM/ET) will host her program from Iowa. 

On Saturday, Neil Cavuto’s CAVUTO Live will also be broadcast live from the Hawkeye state. On the eve of the caucus, Sunday, January 14th, FNC will present special editions of FOX & Friends Weekend (weekends, 6-10 AM/ET), FOX News Sunday with Shannon Bream (Sundays, check your local listings), America’s Newsroom (12-2 PM/ET) The Story with Martha MacCallum (3 PM/ET), Your World with Neil Cavuto (4 PM/ET) and Special Report with Bret Baier (6 PM/ET). 

Later that evening, Harris Faulkner will anchor a special edition of The Faulkner Focus: Iowa in Focus at 10 PM/ET which will include guest commentary from Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA). Additionally, a panel of Iowa voters will discuss the candidate they’re supporting and the most pressing issues that will determine their decision on caucus day.

Kicking off the Iowa Caucuses Monday , FOX News’ signature morning program FOX & Friends (6-9 AM/ET) will be live from Des Moines, followed by America’s Newsroom (weekdays, 9-11 AM/ET), The Story, Your World with Neil Cavuto (weekdays, 4 PM/ET), The Five (weekdays, 5 PM/ET), Special Report with Bret Baier (weekdays, 6 PM/ET), The Ingraham Angle (weekdays, 7 PM/ET) and Hannity (weekdays, 9 PM/ET).

Additionally, FOX Business’ CAVUTO: Coast to Coast (weekdays, 12 PM/ET) will broadcast live from Iowa. Contributions will be made by The Five co-host Jessica Tarlov, Sunday Night in America host Trey Gowdy, FNC senior political analyst Juan Williams, FOX News Radio’s Guy Benson and FNC contributors Charlie Hurt, Katie Pavlich and Marc Thiessen.

At 10 PM, FNC will present a live two hour special titled Democracy 2024: Iowa Caucuses co-anchored by Special Report’s Bret Baier and The Story’s Martha MacCallum with additional insight and analysis from senior political analyst Brit Hume, America’s Newsroom co-anchor Dana Perino and The Five co-host Harold Ford Jr.

The Rolling Stones To Release Live Album

The Rolling Stones released Hackney Diamonds in 2023, their first full-length of original material in well over a decade, to rave reviews and a positive reception on charts all around the world. Just a few months after that win, the band is about to give fans more of what they want: music from one of the biggest groups of all time.

Forbes reports the rock band has announced a new album, The Rolling Stones Live at the Wiltern. As its name suggests, the full-length is a recording of the Rolling Stones's concert at the famed Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. The legendary musicians recorded the set back in November 2002–more than two decades ago—but soon it will finally be available to fans everywhere.

The Rolling Stones Live at the Wiltern is coming to stores on March 8. It will arrive less than six months after Hackney Diamonds dropped on October 20, which proved that the band still had the ability to create fantastic original music–something they hadn't done in quite some time.

The Rolling Stones played to a tiny crowd–under 2,000 people–at the Wiltern Theatre concert in 2002. The show was in the middle of their massive Licks World Tour, which spanned 120 performances between 2002 and 2003. At the time, the group was promoting their 40 Licks compilation, celebrating their four decades in the music industry.

The new album–the latest in a long line of live releases from the Rolling Stones–will feature 20 tracks, including a bevy of well-known hits from the rockers. The Rolling Stones Live at the Wiltern includes such beloved tracks as "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Honky Tonk Women," and "Start Me Up" among many others.

SiriusXM Radio: Price Plans Unveiled

SiriusXM now has four main plans from which to choose. Three include satellite service for car radios and streaming devices; one is streaming-only. According to, not every plan has the same content and features. However, all the plans feature the first three months for just $1.
Here’s how everything shakes out:

  • Platinum ($24 a month): More than 425 channels included, with ad-free music, and all the available categories of channels, including exclusive podcasts and in-studio video.
  • Music & Entertainment ($19 a month): More than 400 channels, with some ad-free music and some channels from the News & Issues, Comedy, and Sports categories. You also get all the podcasts but only some of the in-studio videos.
  • Music Showcase ($14 a month): More than 100 channels, some ad-free music, some channels from News & Issues and Talk & Entertainment, and some exclusive in-studio videos.
  • All Access ($10 a month): This one’s new as of the changes implemented in late 2023, and it’s only for streaming devices. (As in, everywhere but your car.) But you get the full breadth of content and features available on those devices.
And that’s not all! Beyond these four main subscription options, SiriusXM offers many other a la carte and station bundles.

MI Radio: Public Radio Changes Name To Michigan Public

Michigan Radio, the state’s largest NPR news outlet, is rebranding and changing its name to Michigan Public. The rebrand reflects the station’s goal of meeting people where they are: on the radio, online, on mobile devices, on-demand, and in-person at events.

“As we continue in our efforts to grow our audience and be even more relevant in the digital news environment, we can’t just maintain the status quo,” said Executive Director Wendy Turner. “Although broadcast radio remains an essential part of our service, the biggest opportunities to grow and diversify our audience are on digital platforms, and our branding will reflect that.”

The new name concisely captures two of the defining traits of the organization. First, as a Michigan based news provider, focused on being a catalyst for clear information, meaningful storytelling and human connection to help facilitate the rich conversation of our state. And also as a non-commercial, public media news service. The content Michigan Public provides is free and available to everyone, and not hidden behind a paywall.

In addition to the name change, the organization is introducing a new logo. The flowing lines of the logo represent the fluidity of thought, conversation, and sound. The logo’s gradient of four colors; light green, dark green, blue and purple, represent the four brand pillars of Michigan Public: Information, Connection, Inspiration and Participation.

VT Radio: Squier Family Sells Radio Group

Weeks after the passing of Vermont Hall of Fame broadcaster Ken Squier, the Squier family said on Thursday that they sold WDEV in Waterbury and the rest of the Radio Vermont Group.

The Radio Vermont Group has announced the sale of its radio assets WDEV AM 550 and FM 96.1; WLVB FM 93.9; WCVT FM 101.7; W243AT-FM 96.5; W252CU-FM 98.3; and W273AM-FM 102.5 to Mermel & McLain Management LLC of Manchester, Vermont. The radio stations broadcast to Central Vermont, Burlington, and most of the NEK.

The sale was announced to employees this morning. Ashley Jane Squier joined GM Steve Cormier, Myers Mermel, and Scott Milne to publicly announce the transition live on WDEV at 12:35PM today.

Ashley Jane Squier of the Radio Vermont Group said, “While these past couple months have been a sad time for our family, we are gratified to have found Vermonters to step up and continue the rich tradition of our treasured radio stations. During the last months of his life, my father Ken Squier was involved in our search for a buyer who would continue the independent radio legacy our family has built at WDEV and its sister stations for over 92 years. Beginning with my grandfather Lloyd Squier in 1931, the Squier family has been honored to serve Vermonters’ families and communities. We now feel confident that the stations will be in good hands to hold true to their legacy.”

Myers Mermel of Mermel & McLain Management LLC said, “We are thankful to the Squier family for their years of dedication to Vermont and to community radio. WDEV is the leading News/Talk/Sports station, and its community format builds social trust across our community. It keeps Vermont, and all its people, knit together. We look forward to continuing and enhancing community radio at WDEV with the same emphasis on even-handed reporting and commentary — as well as humor — which has been its hallmark.”

Mermel most recently was president of the conservative think tank Ethan Allen Institute and previously was a Republican candidate for US Senate. Scott Milne is the president of Milne Travel and has been a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor and governor.

1/12 WAKE-UP CALL: U-S, UK Jets Attack Sites In Yemen

U.S. warplanes, ships and submarines along with British fighters attacked sites in Yemen Thursday associated with Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who have been firing dozens of drones and missiles into Red Sea shipping lanes.

The strikes represent a significant escalation of the U.S. involvement in Middle East fighting amid Israel’s war in Gaza. They followed the 27th Houthi attack since late November earlier Thursday. In recent weeks, the Pentagon has also attacked Iranian-backed militants in Iraq and Syria who have targeted U.S. troops there with rocket attacks. 

"Today, at my direction, U.S. military forces — together with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands — successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways," President Joe Biden said late Thursday.

The president said the response of the international community to the Houthi attacks has been "united and resolute." The governments of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom issued a statement shortly after the U.S.-led air strikes, pledging solidarity alongside the U.S. The Biden administration has sought to contain fighting in the Middle East to Gaza, but Iranian-backed groups throughout the region have increased their attacks.

➤IRAN SEIZES OIL TANKER:  Iran said it seized an oil tanker linked to a U.S. sanctions dispute. The incident off the coast of Oman came as Secretary of State Antony Blinken finished a weeklong tour of the region aimed at cooling tensions amid the Israel-Hamas war. Iran-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen have repeatedly targeted commercial ships in the Red Sea, in retaliation for Israeli actions in Gaza. Meanwhile, the Middle East braced today for U.S.-led coalition strikes on Houthi positions, after the rebels defied an ultimatum to halt its Red Sea attacks. Iran’s ship seizure raises concerns about threats to shipping spreading to the Persian Gulf, another key trade route.

➤INFLATION FELL, PAYCHECKS GREW IN '23, BUT.... Inflation fell by nearly half and paychecks grew in 2023, but tripped at the finish line. The consumer-price index increased 3.4% in December from a year earlier, according to Labor Department data released today, highlighting lingering pressures that suggest inflation isn’t fully tamed. December’s acceleration from November’s 3.1% advance is still down from a 6.5% rise at the end of 2022. Inflation-adjusted wages rose 0.8% last year, a reversal after two full-year declines and a better gain than the year before the pandemic began. The rapid cooling of price increases has raised hopes of a soft landing, where inflation can be tamed without a surge in unemployment or a recession. U.S. stocks finished roughly flat after the December data disappointed some investors.

Hunter Biden
➤HUNTER SMIRKS 'NOT GUILTY':  Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty Thursday in Los Angeles to federal charges he failed to pay income taxes, the latest development in legal entanglements that have made him the focus of a Republican attack machine aimed at his father, President Joe Biden. The not guilty plea follows a failed effort in July to reach a deal with prosecutors on tax and gun charges. Hunter Biden has been charged in Delaware with lying about his drug addiction when he bought a gun. He pleaded not guilty to three federal weapons charges in October. The cases are significant because they could influence this year’s presidential campaign, as President Joe Biden seeks reelection. Congressional Republicans have criticized the Justice Department's investigation and the plea agreement negotiated by special counsel David Weiss as a "sweetheart deal," which U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika ultimately rejected.

Radio's Status as Media Powerhouse Endures

As the new year starts Katz Media provide a fresh look at the media landscape, analyzing the latest Audience Insights data from Nielsen. This data from 3rd Quarter 2023 highlights radio's continued relevance in consumer's lives, even as media behaviors evolve.


As in all previous analyses from Nielsen, radio earns the title of #1 media platform in America, ahead of all other measured media, both digital and linear. Over 214 million adults tune in to radio each week, delivering 84% of the adult population. Radio's high reach extends across age breaks, holding the top spot among A50-64 (89%) and A35-49 (tied for 1st at 86%), and 2nd place for both A18-34 (77%) and A65+ (85%).

Adults 18+


Smartphone app/web is radio's nearest competitor for the top position among all age breaks except A65+. This digital platform encompasses video-based, social networking, and streaming audio app/web users within its audience, meaning consumers of AM/FM's digital content are represented under this umbrella.

Television, the other traditional media on the list, comes in -30.5M below radio for A18+, with its percent reach hitting as low as 50% of A18-34 to as high as 90% of A65+. And a relevant reminder for those of us whose jobs involve sitting at computer every day: more people in every age break listen to the radio than use the internet on a computer. That works out to +56M more A18+ each week engaging with radio than using the internet on a computer.

Nielsen's Audience Insights data serves as a valuable media "report card," informing marketers and industry insiders that radio continues to hold a prominent place in the media landscape. Consumers of all ages engage with AM/FM content, even as their behaviors trend towards digital options.

Report: ESPN Schemed To Obtain Emmy Statuettes

ESPN reportedly made up fake names for Emmy Awards in order to obtain statuettes for on-air talent who were ineligible to receive awards, only for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), which oversees the Emmys, to foil the scheme, according to The Athletic.

ESPN had operated the scheme since 2010 by submitting the names of fake individuals (with the same initials as their stars) under the guise of “associate producers,” re-engraving the statuettes and then delivering them to their on-air personalities, per the report.

The NY Post reports the scheme helped secure hardware for the on-air talent behind the success of “College GameDay.”

The hosts were not eligible to be honored for a best show award until 2023 because there are separate categories for individual awards.

“Some members of our team were clearly wrong in submitting certain names that may go back to 1997 in Emmy categories where they were not eligible for recognition or statuettes. This was a misguided attempt to recognize on-air individuals who were important members of our production team,” ESPN said in a statement to The Post.

“Once currentges leadership was made aware, we apologized to NATAS for violating guidelines and worked closely with them to completely overhaul our submission process to safeguard against anything like this happening again.”

Stars such as Lee Corso (fake name: “Lee Clark”), Kirk Herbstreit (“Kirk Henry”), Chris Fowler (“Chris Fulton”), Desmond Howard (“Dirk Howard”), Tom Rinaldi (“Tim Richard”) and Samantha Ponder (“Steven Ponder”) were among those to receive the ill-gotten Emmys.

The report additionally suggests Erin Andrews might have received an Emmy through the scheme (“Erik Andrews” was the name on the credit list), and highlights a photo of “SportsCenter” anchor Linda Cohn showing off Emmy statuettes that she would have been ineligible to receive.

“You have to remember that those personalities are so important, and they have egos,” a person involved in the ESPN Emmy submission process in recent years told The Athletic.

The report noted “there was no evidence” the on-air talent was in on the scheme or aware the Emmys were obtained through subterfuge.

ESPN’s punishment included the returning of the trophies, a one-year ban from the Emmys for senior leadership, along with two individuals, ESPN executive Craig Lazarus and former ESPN employee and “College GameDay executive Lee Fitting, being named ineligible for future Emmys.

Boston Radio: 98.5 Has Picked Up Jim Murray's Option

Jim Murray

The third chair on “Felger and Mazz” will continue to be heard on the most popular sports talk radio show in the region, the host confirmed on Wednesday.

The Boston Herald reports Jim Murray, also known as “Big Jim,” was asked if his contract was being renewed at 98.5 The Sports Hub, which is run by Beasley Media Group.

“I have an option that they’re picking up — was what they’ve told me — next month,” Murray said during the Facebook Live “Off Air Show.”  

“So I’m at least here for the next year,” he added. Mike Felger then asked Murray if he had been “sweating that out.”

“No, I wasn’t… maybe a little,” he said before they both laughed. “It’s a volatile business, people. It’s a volatile business.”

Audacy, which owns WEEI and other Boston radio stations, recently filed for bankruptcy, as the company’s leader blamed a “perfect storm” of financial challenges. Audacy filed for prepackaged Chapter 11 proceedings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

“I hate that news,” Felger said about the Audacy bankruptcy. “Jesus! No! We can’t have bankruptcies.”

“Every radio company. Like, now it’s Audacy. iHeart, you know, Cumulus. All those have had to all go bankrupt, right, and come out the other side,” he added. “I hope the Beasley’s are in better shape. I feel like they are. I don’t know the business like I should. Like the business. The big macro-business. The debt loads and all that stuff that Audacy couldn’t do.”

“Obviously, we don’t want to lose you,” Felger said. “Like a nice, long meaty long-term contract.”

A couple of months ago, Murray was floated as a top candidate for the 98.5 morning show, but he quickly shot down the speculation, saying he was “100% not interested” in the role.

Philly TV: FCC Urged To Renew Local Fox Station’s TV License

Fox Corp.’s effort to protect its Philadelphia TV station from license revocation has received some new local political support.

According to, Pennsylvania State Rep. Morgan Cephas sent a brief letter calling on the FCC to renew the station’s license, which is being challenged over 2020 election reporting that aired on Fox News Channel and Fox stations around the country.

The challenge to Fox 29’s license began last summer. Although Fox has asked for prompt renewal, the FCC has not acted.

Cephas, writing in her role as Chair of the Philadelphia House Delegation, said Fox 29 was an essential source of local news that the city cannot afford to lose.  “We ask that the FCC does right by Philadelphians and grants Fox 29 its broadcast license renewal,” Cephas’ letter said.

Cephas, a state representative since 2017, stressed that Fox 29 has been on the scene for decades in getting out the local news. “Whether it's your preferred channel or not, Fox 29 has shined a light on all Philadelphia's challenges and successes,” the lawmaker said. “Fox 29 has and continues to remain both an important part of our daily routine and an essential source of information.”

She added that a strong local news outlet like Fox 29 was important given the decline in the local newspaper industry. “As elected officials, ensuring our constituents continue to have access to good local journalism is vital,” she said.

Fox opponents want Fox 29's license pulled after Fox paid $787.5 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged that false reporting by Fox News Channel defamed Dominion Voting Systems by saying the company’s vote-counting system was rigged against President Donald Trump.

Several prominent individuals taking part in the license challenge include: Preston Padden, a senior Fox official in the 1990s; former Republican FCC Chairman FCC chairman Alfred Sikes; former Democratic FCC Commssioner Ervin Duggan; and former Weekly Standard editor and Fox News contributor Bill Kristol.

Fox News Channel is a cable channel, not a licensed TV station. Padden has said Fox News Channel is relevant because its election coverage falsehoods were also broadcast on Fox TV stations via the program Fox News Sunday.

NBC News Rifs Hit Double Digits

NBC News was undergoing a series of layoffs across the division on Thursday, impacting what was described as a double digit number of employees in its workforce.

Citing a source familiar with the plans Deadline reports the number of those laid off would be in the 50 to 100 range out of several thousand employees. NBC News and MSNBC had a workforce of about 3,500 employees as of 2023. Those who are impacted will receive 60 days of notice before their employment ends, with a severance package and outplacement services.

The job cutbacks are the latest to hit a media outlet, with other organizations taking more severe action to trim their staffs. CNN cut hundreds of employees in 2022, while NPR last year trimmed about 10% of its workforce. The Washington Post recently offered buyouts that saw the departure of many well known journalists as it sought to cut its staff by 240.

The NBC News layoffs were described by a source as a move to focus on areas of priority and invest in areas of ongoing growth.