Saturday, March 16, 2024

Radio History: March 17

Kate Smith
➦In 1931...Kate Smith started to become 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 (1937–45). 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 its own right in 1940.

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

Phil Baker
➦In 1933...Phil Baker was heard on network radio for the first time when The Armour Jester was heard on the old NBC Blue network. Baker rapidly rose to the top of the radio ratings, and was quizmaster on the original $64 Question (Take It Or Leave It).

➦In 1935...Major changes on KSO Clarinda, Iowa as it gained a sister station in Des Moines, KRNT. To accommodate the new station, KSO moved to 1430 kc, a frequency previously used by KWCR, Cedar Rapids.  KWCR moved to Des Moines and given to KSO-AM call-sign.

Starting in 1925, KSO was authorized to operate from Clarinda, Iowa, on October 7, 1925.  The owner of the station was the A.A. Berry Seed Company. KSO was assigned the frequency of 241.8 meters (1240 kc) with a power of 500 watts. A used 500 watt Western Electric Transmitter was acquired from WHO, Des Moines. The first KSO broadcast was on November 2, 1925. The station used the slogan, "Keep Serving Others".

In 1927 KSO was moved to 1320 kc. Then, in the great revision of frequency assignments which occurred on November 11, 1928, KSO moved to 1380 with 1,000 watts power, but it had to share the frequency with WKBH, LaCrosse, Wisconsin. On January 18, 1929, KSO was ordered to reduce power to 500 watts; then, the share time order ended on February 28, 1931.

Iowa Broadcasting Co. entered into KSO's history in 1931 when it purchased the station from the Barry Seed Co. Iowa Broadcasting had been formed by Gardner and Mike Cowles, the newspaper publishing brothers who owned the Des Moines Register and Tribune, Minneapolis Star, and Look magazine. The sale from Barry Seed Co. to Iowa Broadcasting occurred on June 26, 1931.

For about a year KSO remained in Clarinda under Iowa Broadcasting ownership. One June 4, 1932, authority was received to suspend operations until October 1, 1932. The FRC granted permission in September 1932 for Iowa Broadcasting to move KSO to Des Moines. KSO returned to the air with studios and transmitter at the Register and Tribune building in downtown Des Moines on November 5.1932, but with a reduced power. KSO was now authorized to use 100 watts.

Note: On-Air Signs for KRNT and KSO

On September 11, 1989, the KSO call letters were retired.

Today, 1460 is owned by iHeartMedia. In early 2001, the call letters were changed to KXNO, and 1460 became an all sports station, featuring the Fox Sports Network.

Fred Allen
➦In 1956...John Florence Sullivan aka Fred Allen died from a heart attack (Born - May 31, 1894). The Fred Allen Show radio (1932–1949) made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the Golden Age of American radio.

His best-remembered gag was his long-running mock feud with friend and fellow comedian Jack Benny, but it was only part of his appeal; radio historian John Dunning (in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio) wrote that Allen was radio's most admired comedian and most frequently censored. A master ad libber, Allen often tangled with his network's executives (and often barbed them on the air over the battles) while developing routines whose style and substance influenced fellow comic talents, including Groucho Marx, Stan Freberg, Henry Morgan and Johnny Carson; his avowed fans also included President Franklin D. Roosevelt, humorist James Thurber, and novelists William Faulkner, John Steinbeck and Herman Wouk (who began his career writing for Allen).

Allen's first taste of radio came when he and his wife appeared on a Chicago station's program, WLS Showboat.

Allen was honored with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for contributions to television and radio.

➦In 1965...Quentin Reynolds died from cancer at age 62 (Born - April 11, 1902).   He was a journalist and World War II war correspondent.  He also was a narrator on several radio & TV programs about World War 2.

➦In 1978…"American Hot Wax" debuted in theaters.  It's the fictionalized account of the early days of disc jockey Alan Freed and is considered to be one of the best rock 'n' roll movies of all time.  It featured appearances and performances by Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Tim McIntire played Freed. Fran Drescher, Jay Leno, Laraine Newman, and Jeff Altman were also in the cast.

➦In 2004...Radio, TV Personality J.J. Jackson died from an apparent heart attack (Born - April 8, 1941).  He was one of MTV's five original VJs (along with Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn). In his appearances on MTV, Jackson often went by and introduced himself as "Triple J".

JJ Jackson
Jackson first gained prominence while working at WBCN in Boston in the late 1960s, then at KLOS in Los Angeles for ten years. Jackson was one of the first DJs to introduce Americans to The Who and Led Zeppelin. In 1976, he was featured in a voice-only performance as a DJ of the fictional KGYS radio in the movie Car Wash. He was a music reporter for KABC-TV when he was tapped as one of MTV's original "fab five." As a VJ, Jackson hosted the long-awaited and much anticipated "unmasking" of KISS. He was one of the few African Americans to DJ an "album rock" radio station.

After five years at MTV, Jackson returned to Los Angeles radio, first at KROQ-FM in 1987, then as program director of modern rock/alternative station KEDG The Edge until May 1989. He later returned to KLOS, and hosted the afternoon shift at smooth jazz station KTWV "The Wave" for one year.  He also hosted Westwood One Radio Network's nationally syndicated radio show The Beatle Years from 1995 until his death.

➦In 2015…Veteran radio personality Jack Wood aka Charlie Brown died after a stroke at the age of 80.  Woods (left), who in 1962 and using the name "Charlie Brown" was a founding member of the popular Charlie & Harrigan morning show (with his first on-air partner Ron 'Irving Harrigan' Chapman, succeeded in 1966 by Paul Menard).

Charlie & Harrigan were first paired in 1966 at KLIF/Dallas before moving on to ratings success in Cleveland, Houston, and both KFMB and KCBQ in San Diego, where the duo invented “reconstructed syndication,” a way to spread their local success to more than 40 affiliates in both large and small markets across the country. Using specially tailored audiotapes delivered via UPS that included time checks, weather, and local information and references, listeners in every single city were sure that Charlie & Harrigan were just down the street.

John Sebastian is 80

  • Singer-songwriter John Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful is 80. 
  • Percussionist Harold Brown of War is 78. 
  • Actor Patrick Duffy is 75. 
  • Actor Kurt Russell is 73. 
  • Country singer Susie Allanson is 72. 
  • Actor Lesley-Anne Down is 70. 
  • Actor Mark Boone Junior (“Sons of Anarchy”) is 69. 
  • Country singer Paul Overstreet is 69. 
  • Actor Gary Sinise is 69. 
  • Actor Christian Clemenson (“CSI: Miami”) is 66. 
  • Actor Arye Gross (“Castle”) is 64. 
  • Actor Vicki Lewis (“NewsRadio”) is 64. 
  • Actor Casey Siemaszko (“NYPD Blue”) is 63. 
  • Actor Rob Lowe is 60. 
  • Singer Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins is 57. 
  • Actor Mathew St. Patrick (“Six Feet Under”) is 56. 
  • Actor Yanic Truesdale (“Gilmore Girls”) is 55. 
  • Bassist Melissa Auf der Maur (Smashing Pumpkins, Hole) is 52. 
  • Drummer Caroline Corr of The Corrs is 51. 
  • Actor Amelia Heinle (“The Young and the Restless,” “All My Children”) is 51. 
  • Singer Keifer Thompson of Thompson Square is 51. 
  • Actor Marisa Coughlan (“Boston Legal,” ″Freddy Got Fingered”) is 50. 
  • Rapper Swifty of D12 is 49. 
  • “The NFL on CBS” reporter Tracy Wolfson is 49. 
  • Actor Natalie Zea (“Justified,” “Dirty Sexy Money”) is 49. 
  • Actor Brittany Daniel (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) is 48. 
  • Singer-TV personality Tamar Braxton (“Braxton Family Values”) is 47. 
  • Bassist Geoff Sprung of Old Dominion is 46. 
  • Reggaeton singer Nicky Jam is 43. 
  • TV personality Rob Kardashian (“Keeping Up With The Kardashians”) is 37. 
  • Singer Hozier is 34. 
  • Actor Eliza Hope Bennett (“Nanny McPhee”) is 32. 
  • Actor John Boyega (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) is 32. 
  • Actor Flynn Morrison (“Last Man Standing”) is 19.
  • In 461..Saint Patrick, Patron saint of Ireland, dies in Saul (according to legend)
  • In 1993..Helen Hayes, Actress (Caesar & Cleopatra, Happy Birthday), and 1st female EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award winner), dies of congestive heart failure at 92
  • In 2002..Pat Weaver, American broadcast executive (b. 1908)
  • In 2020..Lyle Waggoner, American actor (The Carol Burnett Show; Wonder Woman), dies from cancer at 84

Philly Radio: Street Talk ..Is Mike Missanelli Returning to The Fanatic?

WPEN 97.5 The Fanatic announced a lineup shake-up on Friday that will see Andrew Salciunas move to mornings and former Daily News writer Bob Cooney shift to middays.

But, The Philly Inquirer reports, what was left unsaid is whether former Fanatic host Mike Missanelli would be returning.

Rumors have been swirling in sports radio circles the past few days about the return of Missanelli, once the station’s biggest star whose sudden exit from his afternoon show in 2022 after 15 years shocked listeners.

“Mike’s name has come up. He’s a great talent, and we’ll just have to wait and see what happens,” new program director Scott Masteller told The Inquirer. “A lot of people are interested in the radio station right now. So I’ll leave it at that.”

Mike Missanelli
Since leaving the station, Missanelli has hosted a podcast for BetRivers and been part of JAKIB Media’s Eagles postgame show, alongside former Eagles linebacker Seth Joyner, former Fanatic host Marc Farzetta, and Kayla Santiago.

His return would be as surprising as his exit, especially after accusing Fanatic management of lying about the terms of his departure.

Missanelli claimed he decided to walk away during contract negotiations after discovering The Fanatic already had a show featuring Tyrone Johnson, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Ricky Bottalico, Hunter Brody, and Jen Scordo under contract. Brody was laid off by The Fanatic back in July and is currently a fill-in host at WIP.

The lineup changes are the first shake-up under Masteller, who took over in January facing the need to fill a hole in programming vacated by Anthony Gargano, who was suspended and ultimately terminated over his involvement with new sports outlet PHLY.

Salciunas moving to the mornings is the biggest move. Masteller said Salciunas will become the show’s “facilitator” and lead content discussion. That will free up current morning show host John Kincade, who replaced Farzetta at the station in 2021, to react to big stories and offer his opinion.

Here’s what The Fanatic’s new lineup will look like, beginning Monday:

  • Mornings, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Andrew Salciunas and John Kincade, with Connor Thomas producing
  • Middays, 10 a.m. to noon: Bob Cooney, with Ray Dunne assisting
  • Afternoons, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.: The Best Show Ever? with Tyrone Johnson, Ricky Bottalico and Jenn Scordo
  • Evenings, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Pat Egan, when the station isn’t airing Sixers, Flyers, or Union games
  • Weekends, 9 a.m. to noon: Bill Colarulo
The decision to move Salciunas to mornings shifts Bob Cooney to middays as host from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and puts his fellow "John Kincade Show" co-host Pat Egan in the host's chair for Philly Sports Tonight.

The Fanatic's "The Best Show Ever?" afternoon drive show, which replaced Missanelli from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., will remain unchanged with hosts Tyrone Johnson, Ricky Bottalico and Jennifer Scordo.

TikTok..Gaining Ground As A News Source

The U-S House passed a bill on Wednesday requiring Chinese owner ByteDance to sell the platform or see TikTok face a total ban in the US. The bill now moves to The Senate for consideration.

While the legislation still faces plenty more hurdles before it becomes law, that hasn’t stopped global discourse regarding the future of the popular social media escalating, with an onslaught of phone calls overwhelming Capitol Hill offices and US investors poising themselves to buy the app should it be divested from its parent company. 

Although concerns about privacy and national security are the main driving forces behind the bill, larger questions about the role TikTok plays in the lives of the estimated one-third of Americans who use the app are now being thrust into the spotlight. 

It seems that many TikTok users have moved on from filming themselves dancing to music clips — in fact, only a little over half have ever posted a video — and are increasingly using it to stay informed: surveys conducted by Pew Research found that last year, 43% of TikTok’s users regularly turned to the app to get their news, up 21% from 2020, as more traditional information sources like Facebook fell out of favor.

Sports TV Streamer Gets A Leader

Former Apple executive Pete Distad will be the CEO of the sports streaming joint venture formed by Walt Disney, Warner Bros Discovery, and Fox Corp, the media companies said on Friday.

Distad worked at the iPhone maker for about a decade and led teams that launched the Apple TV and the MLS Season Pass. He was also part of the team that launched Hulu, where he spent six years.

Pete Distad
He will now assume oversight of all aspects, including overall strategy, distribution and marketing, of the yet-to-be-named sports streaming platform by the media firms.

Distad will report to the joint venture's board, which will include representatives selected by each of the three companies.

The plans for the sports-centric service, which is hoping to get younger viewers, were announced last month.

Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said earlier in March the venture, set to be launched this fall, expects to have 5 million subscribers in its first five years.

The addressable market for the venture is expected to be between 50 million and 60 million, Murdoch had said, adding he does not have any concerns about regulatory hurdles about the venture.

New York's Population Has Shrunk The Most Of All States

Even as the Covid years recede further in the collective rearview mirror, it seems that many New Yorkers are still running back the pandemic play of ditching the city that never sleeps to set up life elsewhere. Last year, NYC lost a further 78,000 citizens, taking the net population decrease to over 546,000 since April 2020. 

Data from the Census Bureau shows that the declines haven’t just been contained to the 5 boroughs either: New York posted the largest drop of any state over the last 3 years, down 2.7% since 2020 to 19.6 million. That slide in citizenship makes it the biggest loser over the period by some distance, with second-place Illinois losing just 1.9% of its population and Louisiana & California shedding 1.7% and 1.4%, respectively. 

Changes of state

The story playing out across the US more broadly, however, is much different. 60% of American counties posted annual population gains rather than losses in 2023, according to Census data published Thursday, up from 52% the year before. 

That trend has seriously translated in states like Idaho, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas, where citizen headcounts have grown 4.3% to 6.2% since 2020, as fewer deaths and a return to pre-pandemic immigration levels saw the US population tick up by 1.6 million last year.

Atlanta Metro Area Now 6th Largest

Atlanta Traffic

The Atlanta metropolitan area has leapfrogged both Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia to become the nation’s sixth-largest metropolitan region, according to newly released population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

AJC.COM reports the population in Atlanta’s 29-county region increased a little more than 1% to 6.3 million between 2022 and 2023, gaining nearly 69,000 residents. D.C. and Philly also grew, but not as fast as Atlanta.

While not the fastest-growing metro area in the country, the Atlanta metro — formally known as the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metropolitan statistical area — had the third-largest total population increase in the country between 2022 and 2023, the Census data shows. Only the Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth metros added more total residents.

The new census figures continue a trend for Atlanta. Last year’s data noted that metro Atlanta in 2022 had outgrown the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan area in Florida. At that time, Georgia also surpassed 11 million residents statewide for the first time.

It wasn’t just major cities in Georgia that saw significant growth. The Census Bureau tracks growth in what it calls micropolitan statistical areas, which are typically smaller cities with populations of more than 10,000 residents in areas with less than 50,000 population.

The Jefferson micropolitan area, which encompasses all of Jackson County northeast of Atlanta, was the fastest-growing micropolitan area in the entire country, the Census said. The area, which in recent years has landed major economic development projects including the SK Battery Atlanta facility, added about 4,600 residents since 2022.

Audacy's SVP/Digital Content To Exit The Company

Tim Clarke, the Senior Vice President of Digital Audio Content at Audacy, is set to leave the company at the end of his current contract. 

Clarke joined Audacy in 2021 after a successful career at Cox Media Group, where he rose through the ranks to become the Vice President of Audience and Content. 

Tim Clarke
Initially joining Audacy as the Senior Vice President and Market Manager in Boston, he later transitioned to his current role with the company. His contract with Audacy concludes at the end of this month. 

In a memo to staff, Chief Digital Officer J.D. Crowley informed employees that Clarke’s position would not be filled as part of the company’s efforts to streamline and integrate its organization. Instead, Clarke’s teams will be absorbed into various other teams, including Product, Marketing, and Programming, based on their respective job functions12.

Audacy is currently emerging from a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, and this organizational realignment is part of their strategy moving forward. Clarke’s departure marks a significant change within the company, and his contributions will be remembered as Audacy continues to evolve in the digital audio landscape.

This is not the first executive departure for Audacy throughout its restructuring process. VP of News Bill Smee left in February. There have been additions staff shifts occurring from the local level up to format captains, as well as layoffs in its podcasting department.

The FCC Has Released A Budgetary Request For Fiscal Year

The FCC’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2025 includes a 14.8% increase in regulatory fee authority, amounting to $448,075,0001. 

This is a significant rise from the FY 2024 level of $390,192,000. The request also includes a $139,000,000 budget authority for the Spectrum Auctions program. 

The FCC is urging Congress to renew its authority to conduct auctions, which expired last year. The Commission’s spectrum auctions have generated over $233.5 billion while costing less than $2.5 billion. 

The FCC aims to maintain a staffing level of 1,600 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) to meet its mission demands in FY 20255. The Enforcement Bureau and Media Bureau are also expected to see budget increases, with staffing levels remaining constant.

The full request and the FCC’s discussion of its goals for FY 2025 are available here

Just Call Him Don 'the Prima Donna' Lemon

Don Lemon demanded the sun, the moon and the stars from the SpaceX boss – before being unceremoniously dumped this week, The NY Post is reporting.

The ex-CNN anchor sent over an astronomical wish list to Elon Musk during contract talks to host a show on the billionaire’s social media platform X – including a free Tesla Cybertruck, a $5 million upfront payment on top of an $8 million salary, an equity stake in the multibillion-dollar company, and the right to approve any changes in X policy as it relates to news content, according to a document reviewed by The Post.

Lemon — who was expected to air an interview with Musk for next week’s debut episode on X — had also demanded a private jet flight to Las Vegas, a suite for him and his fiance, and that the company pay for their day drinking and massages, a source with knowledge of the situation said.

Musk agreed to do the interview with Lemon despite the fact that he was aware of some of Lemon’s outlandish demands, sources told The Post.

Lemon was fired hours after the one-on-one sit-down, with Musk calling the anchor “dull” and “underwhelming.”

The one-and-half hour grilling included testy exchanges about Musk’s political leanings, his past drug use and the site’s content moderation policy. It is scheduled to run on YouTube next week.

Lemon claimed on Wednesday that he was jettisoned by X because Musk reneged on his “free speech” pledge.

“You Better You Bet Countdown To Tip-Off” Returns To Audacy Stations

Audacy announced the return of “You Better You Bet Countdown to Tip-Off,” a four-episode series of special men’s college basketball tournament programming. 

The series will air on March 17, March 23, March 30 and April 6 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET on 90 Audacy stations nationwide, including select leading sports brands like WEEI (WEEI-FM/AM) in Boston, 670 The Score (WSCR-AM) in Chicago and WFAN (WFAN-FM/AM) in New York, as well as BetQL Network, Audacy’s network of sports betting content heard across its broadcast portfolio and digital platforms, and BetQL Network HD affiliates.

Led by Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley, co-hosts of You Better You Bet – the No. 1 sports betting podcast in the U.S – “BetQL Countdown to Tip-Off” will serve as breakdowns of the men’s college basketball tournament, featuring a mix of sports betting insight. The show will also welcome talent from across Audacy’s portfolio of sports stations.

The show on March 17 marks the first time the show will air on Selection Sunday.

BetQL Network is a live, linear digital channel that distributes approximately 100 hours of original weekly content on 80 stations nationwide, the Audacy and BetQL digital platforms and YouTube. The network, which is also the current home of the popular shows BetQL Daily, You Better You Bet, The Daily Tip and BetMGM Tonight can be consumed on numerous digital on-demand platforms, Audacy-owned and operated broadcast stations around the country and other network broadcast affiliates. The BetQL Network is available nationwide via the Audacy mobile app and website, over 10,000 home and auto-connected devices and

Townsquare Reports Revenue Drops For 4Q, Year

Reporting its operating results for the fourth quarter of 2023 and for the full year of 2023, Townsquare Media has posted Q4 net revenue of $114.8 million, down 4.6% from the same period in 2022. For the quarter it reports a net loss of $1.9 million. 

Net revenue for the full year of 2023 was $454.2 million, a decrease of 1.9% from the full year of 2022. Townsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson says,  “Despite the lack of tailwinds at our back in 2023, I am very pleased with how the Townsquare team navigated the progressively challenging economic landscape. We outperformed competitors and gained market share due to our local focus and our digital platform. I believe that our performance over the past several years has demonstrated the efficacy of our Digital First Local Media strategy, and validated our focus on local markets outside of the Top 50 U.S. cities, reinvigorating my confidence in our business model and our path moving forward.” 

The Company announced today that its Board of Directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.1975 per share. The dividend will be payable on May 1, 2024 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on April 5, 2024. 

NYC Radio: Personality Jim Kerr Celebrates 50-Year Milestone

iHeartMedia' WAXQ/Q104.3 is set to celebrate Jim Kerr's 50 years on the air with a week-long celebration. It kicks off with the annual Jim Kerr Irish Breakfast live broadcast on March 16 and culminates with a special Jim Kerr Rock & Roll Morning Show broadcast on March 22, live from the top of the Empire State Building.

According to his Radio Hall of Fame bio, all it took was a 2nd grade field trip to WWJ, Detroit for Jim Kerr to know what he wanted to do with his life. He began his career at age 14 in Ypsilanti, Michigan and has been on the air ever since. At 21, he became New York’s youngest morning show host at WPLJ. Kerr is now recognized as the longest running morning radio personality in NYC history.

Kerr adds: "50 years waking up New York? (New Jersey too!) How did that happen? It seems like I arrived here yesterday. (the actual date was March 18, 1974).

R.I.P.: David Anderson, Longtime Austin Radio Personality

David Anderson (1951-2024)
David Anderson, a longtime Austin radio personality who specialized in news and sports, died of cancer Tuesday at Gracy Woods Nursing Center. He was 73. according to The Austin American-Statesman.

Besides appearing on radio and television for more than 40 years, Anderson served frequently as an emcee at parades, banquets and charity events.

"He was so much of a great humanitarian," said Michele Golden, who met Anderson while she was interning at KOKE FM. They remained friends for 40 years. "He helped people with their careers, jobs and any way he could in life over the years. He donated his time to so many organizations. He had such a huge heart and will be greatly missed by so many people." 

Born Jan. 15, 1951, he graduated in 1973 with a degree in radio, television and film from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.

Anderson was recruited to deliver the morning news on air in Austin during the late 1970s. Bob Cole, owner and morning host of the revived KOKE FM, said hiring Anderson for that role was one of his proudest moments.

Over the years, Anderson worked at station after station as they changed ownerships, formats and personality lineups. One of his last jobs was at Sun Radio.

One of the high points of Anderson's career was KEY 103's "Morning Show," which he hosted with Jarrott and Cathy Conley Swofford from 1983 to 1991.

"He was an extremely talented writer and a naturally funny guy," Swofford said. "David Anderson was the tallest member of the team, but never short on talent, wit and humility. He loved to volunteer for Austin nonprofits. He was especially fond of chili cook-offs, beauty pageants and Austin's annual Spamarama."

Radio History: March 16

Mercedes McCamdridge
➦In 1916
...Mercedes McCambridge born (Died at age 87 - March 2, 2004). She was an American actress of radio, stage, film, and television. Orson Welles called her "the world's greatest living radio actress."She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for All the King's Men (1949) and was nominated in the same category for Giant (1956). She also provided the voice of Pazuzu (the demon) in The Exorcist (1973)

She had lead roles in many of his Mercury Theatre broadcasts in the 1930’s while starring on Broadway.  She guested on numerous radio dramas (Lights Out, Inner Sanctum, Studio One, Bulldog Drummond, Ford Theatre, Gang Busters, Abie’s Irish Rose, etc.) and had lead roles in both East and West Coast originations of I Love a Mystery. 

Later she had a healthy career in TV, and won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for All the King’s Men.

Print Ad 1944
➦In 1922...WKY AM, Oklahoma City, OK signed-on.

"5XT" became the 87th licensed station in the United States on March 16, 1922. It was owned by the Oklahoma Radio Shop (Earl C. Hull & H.S. Richards). The station was assigned the WKY call letters and began broadcasting weekdays from noon to 1:00 P.M. and from 7:30 to 9:30 P.M. On Sundays, WKY was on the air from 3 to 4 P.M. and 7:30 to 9:30 P.M.

On November 1922, WKY announced a "silent night" policy, meaning the station would broadcast only four, and later three nights a week. This was so listeners could have a chance to tune into other stations in neighboring states.

Richards and Hull struggled to keep WKY on the air. In late 1925, Richards left the radio business, but Hull continued to keep WKY on the air by selling shares of the station to radio dealers in Oklahoma City. The dealers paid Hull a small salary to keep the station broadcasting; however they decided the financial drain had become too much. In 1928, WKY was purchased by the Oklahoma Publishing Company, publishers of the Daily Oklahoman for the hefty sum of $5,000 (over $63,000 in 2010 dollars).

The formal opening of the new WKY was set for November 11, 1928, but the station went on the air several days earlier to carry the presidential election returns as Herbert Hoover won in a Republican landslide.

By the following year, WKY was attempting to operate like the powerhouse stations in the east. Aside from the programming from NBC, everything broadcast by WKY originated locally.

In 1958, WKY became the second Top-40 formatted station in Oklahoma City, behind KOCY, (now KEBC). During the 1960s and 70's WKY fended off serious challenges from 50,000 watt rival KOMA 1520 AM.

Although KOMA was very famous outside Oklahoma City, due to its large nighttime signal (like WABC in New York), WKY was usually the ratings leader in the city itself (as WMCA won New York City ratings books from 1963–1966); WKY continued to top many Arbitron ratings sweeps into the 1970s.

Ironically, WKY mainstays during that time—Danny Williams, Ronnie Kaye and Fred Hendrickson—would go on to become "KOMA Good Guys" when the station flipped from a standards to an oldies format.

Today, WKY is owned by Cumulus and simulcasts it's sister station WWLS.

➦In 1926...Joseph Levitch aka Jerry Lewis was born (Died – August 20, 2017). He was a comedian, actor, singer, director, producer, screenwriter and humanitarian, whose career spanned eight decades and was nicknamed "The King of Comedy". He was known for his partnership with Dean Martin as the groundbreaking act of Martin and Lewis.

Lewis went on to star in, write, produce and direct many motion pictures, such as The Delicate Delinquent, The Sad Sack, Rock-A-Bye Baby, The Geisha Boy, Don't Give Up The Ship, Visit to a Small Planet, Cinderfella, The Bellboy, The Ladies' Man, The Errand Boy, It's Only Money, The Nutty Professor, Who's Minding the Store?, The Patsy, The Disorderly Orderly and The Family Jewels. He would also appear in concert stages, nightclubs, music recordings and television.

Martin & Lewis
Outside of his career, Lewis supported fundraising for muscular dystrophy research, during 60 years as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and 44 years hosting The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon every Labor Day weekend. In 1977, he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work.

Lewis initially gained attention as part of a double act with singer Dean Martin, who served as straight man to Lewis' zany antics as the Martin and Lewis comedy team. They were different from other duo acts of the time because they played to each other and had ad-libbed improvisational segments within their planned routines.

After forming in 1946, they quickly rose to national prominence, first with their popular nightclub act, then as stars of The Martin and Lewis Show on the radio NBC Red Network.  The two made appearances on early live television on their June 20, 1948 debut broadcast on Toast of the Town (later renamed as The Ed Sullivan Show on September 25, 1955) on CBS. This was followed on October 3, 1948, by an appearance on NBC's Welcome Aboard.

In 1950, Martin and Lewis signed with NBC to be one of a series of weekly rotating hosts of The Colgate Comedy Hour, a live Sunday evening broadcast. Lewis, writer for the team's nightclub act, hired Norman Lear and Ed Simmons as regular writers for their Comedy Hour material.  Their Comedy Hour shows consisted of stand-up dialogue, song and dance from their nightclub act and movies, backed by Dick Stabile's big band, slapstick and satirical sketch comedy, Martin's solo songs, and Lewis' solo pantomimes or physical numbers.

As one of the most successful performers in show business, with worldwide box office receipts of his films in excess of $800 million, Lewis received global acclaim for his unique ability and style with both comedy and drama. As part of Martin and Lewis and as a solo actor, he was voted Hollywood's top box-office draw from 1951 to 1965, in later years as the sole comedian.

➦In 1927...Richard "Dick" Beals was born (Died at age 85 – May 29, 2012). He was an American actor and voice actor, who performed many voices in his career, which spanned the period from the early 1950s into the 21st century. Beals specialized in doing the voices of young boys, although he was also hired to voice young female children.

Perhaps his most recognizable characterization was the voice of the stop-motion animation figure called "Speedy Alka-Seltzer", featured in television commercials for more than 50

Dick Beals
Beals was born in Detroit, Michigan, and graduated in 1949 from Michigan State University (MSU), where he majored in radio broadcasting and puppetry. He covered intramural sports and performed in weekly radio dramas for the campus radio station WKAR.

In January 1949, as a senior at MSU, Beals got a call to do a radio commercial for WXYZ, Detroit. After the show, the director asked him to be on call for all the children's voices as well as those of small, talking animals on all three network radio shows produced by WXYZ - The Lone Ranger, Green Hornet and Challenge of the Yukon.

In 1952, after performing in an episode of The Green Hornet, WXYZ station manager Jack McCarthy referred Beals to Forrest Owen of Wade Advertising. Owen showed Beals a rendering of a proposed product spokesman for their client, Alka-Seltzer and had him record a voice audition. Four months later, Beals was notified that he had been selected as the voice for Speedy Alka-Seltzer as well as the voice of Sticky, the Vaseline mascot.

Beals moved to Los Angeles where he continued making commercials as Speedy Alka-Seltzer and also provided voices for other commercials, such as Alka-Seltzer, Oscar Mayer, the Campbell Soup Kids, and Bob's Big Boy. Beals recorded his first Speedy Alka-Seltzer television commercial in 1953, doing a total of 225 in his career.

➦In 1929...WHP-AM, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania signed-on.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Philly Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic Launching New Morning Show

Starting Monday, March 18th, listeners to WPEN-FM 97.5 The Fanatic will hear a new morning show airing from 6 to 10 am every weekday. 

Featuring John Kincade and Andrew Salciunas as the hosts, and Connor Thomas as the producer and update anchor. The show will “bring a new fresh approach to sports media with a major emphasis on covering breaking sports news as it happens.”

“I am truly excited to pair John and Andrew for a new sports show that will reflect the energy and passion of the Philadelphia sports fan,” said station Program Director Scott Masteller.

John Kincade returned to Philly in 2021. Since then, he has served as the morning show host on the station. Before that, Kincade spent two decades hosting “Buck and Kincade” on Atlanta radio. But his heart was still always in his hometown, Philadelphia.

Now he is joined by Andrew Salciunas, who has worked at the station for over 10 years. Andrew started as an intern. From there he was hired as an associate producer, and eventually as the full-time producer from 10 am to 2 pm. Since September, he has hosted in that same time slot. Now he makes the moves to mornings to join John Kincade.

Connor Thomas meanwhile has been hosting Philly Sports Tonight. He first joined 97.5 The Fantic as an associate producer in 2020. Now he goes from the p.m. shift to the a.m., to produce Kincade and Salciunas.

Bob Cooney moves to the Mid-Days time slot, with Pat Egan taking over for Connor as host of Philly Sports Tonight.

đź“»You can listen to the show on the radio at 97.5 FM, listen to them on the Fanatic app, or watch the show on the Fanatic YouTube page.

Study: AM Radio Is Indispensable Even To Younger Demos

A new study of U.S. car owners/lessees reveals that, as the importance of the vehicle as a third space grows, U.S. consumers are highly valuing in-vehicle entertainment, especially if personalized and comprehensive; that AM radio is indispensable to most, and video increases the likelihood to buy a particular vehicle.

This report, commissioned by DTS, Inc., presents the findings of a survey conducted by Censuswide among 1015 U.S. Consumers who currently own or lease a vehicle (17+). The survey was fielded between 09.29.2023 - 10.03.2023. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

While today’s dashboards are often a mirror of the consumer’s cell phone, 56% of today’s car owners reject that, saying they want much more from their in-cabin entertainment experience than  just a cell phone on wheels.

They want it to “be personalized to their entertainment preferences, offer the highest quality audio experiences, make all content easily discoverable, adjust the in-cabin environment (seat position, temperature, etc.) to their comfort and wellness preferences, incorporate safety technology that sends alerts (e.g., distracted/drowsy driving) and constantly update to meet digital advances and  evolving needs.” And these results are especially compelling among younger consumers, with well  over 2/3rds of those aged 25-34 (71%) and two-thirds of those aged 35-44 (66%) agreeing with this  vision of the dashboard.

So, it is not surprising that the vast majority (65%) of consumers surveyed – and around 80% of those 44 and under – say in-vehicle entertainment is important to them.

Of those who say the in-vehicle entertainment is very important or important, having a broad range of content (local radio, streaming, podcasts, audio books, etc.) is key, with 81% saying that this is important or extremely important. 

An equal number (80%) say that accessing relevant, easily ‘discoverable’ content (i.e., recommended in the dashboard) without looking for it, such as local radio, streaming, podcasts, audio books, etc., is important or extremely important. And nearly as many, 75%, indicated that content being personalized, i.e. suggested content that recognizes individual preferences or past choices, is important or extremely important. 

Enhancing that content with rich visual/textual information (i.e. album cover images, biographical info) about the artist and song listened to is important or extremely important to over 3 in 5 (63%),  while being able to continue listening to a radio station digitally when the vehicle has gone out of broadcast range is important or extremely important to the vast majority – 82%.

AM Radio Is Essential – Especially to Younger Consumers

Consumers, overall, agree (60%) that AM radio, which offers emergency/weather disaster updates, local content, community news, sports, and live, real-time traffic reports, is an indispensable part  of their vehicle’s dashboard. Interestingly, it is most important  to those 17 – 44 than to those  45 and over.

Here's The Story Behind Blood Hands Button Worn By Lefty Celebs

Billie Eilish and Mark Ruffalo sported Red Hand buttons at Oscars

The Israeli government and other critics are calling out celebrities wearing what they believe is a Palestinian "symbol of bloodlust" that was canonized in its culture from a bloody lynching almost 25 years ago.

Singer Billie Eilish, her brother Finneas and Mark Ruffalo were among the many stars calling for a cease-fire in the Middle East who sported a pin with a red hand symbol at the Oscars on Sunday evening. 

In October 2000, two IDF reservists, Yossi Avrahami and Vadim Nurzhitz, were lynched by a massive mob in Ramallah, West Bank, after they made a wrong turn in the Palestinian Authority-controlled region. After rumors spread about their whereabouts at a police station, around 1,000 Palestinians gathered around the station. 

One particular image from the carnage became infamous when one of the killers, Aziz Salha, waved his bloodied hands to the crowd from the police station's window after dozens broke in. 

According to the Times of Israel, Salha later explained that the Palestinians present were "in a craze to see blood." As he waved his hands, the Palestinian mob cheered: "Allahu Akbar," which means "God is great" in Arabic. 

The mob then threw the bodies out of the station and desecrated them.

FCC Takes Action On Junk CableTV Fees

 Cable and satellite-TV providers will need to make sure bills and ads clearly display a total price for video subscribers, including extra fees that can amount to hundreds of dollars a year, under a rule adopted Thursday by the FCC.

“No one likes surprises on their bill,” Democratic FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. “The advertised price for a service should be the price you pay when your bill arrives. It shouldn’t include a bunch of unexpected junk fees.”

Bloomberg reports consumer charges have become an increasing focus under the administration of President Joe Biden as he seeks re-election. His administration introduced a bundle of cost-cutting measures on March 5, including capping late fees for credit card borrowers and limits on cable charges by landlords.

The FCC rule adopted Thursday at a meeting in Washington would require cable and satellite providers to clearly state the total cost, including fees for TV station signals and regional sports programming, as a prominent, single line item.

Charges such as a broadcast TV fee, regional sports fees and set-top box rentals add $37 to a consumer’s monthly bill, or as much as one-third of the total, the advocacy groups Consumer Reports and Public Knowledge told the FCC.

Cable providers called the FCC rule unnecessary, arguing that consumers already have full information about fees. Because broadcast fees and regional sports costs vary, it would be technically challenging and costly to target advertising to each market, according to a filing by the NCTA, the Internet & Television Association that includes Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc.

For the FCC, the proposal is the latest in its price transparency initiative. In November, the agency voted to require broadband providers to display easily understood labels about the cost, speed and data allowances of their internet services. The agency also has proposed prohibiting pay-TV operators from imposing a fee for early termination of a service contract, saying such charges can restrict consumer choice.

TikTok Creators Lobbying Congress

Facing a possible ban in the United States, TikTok has scrambled to deploy perhaps its most powerful weapon: its creators.

The NY Times reports the hugely popular video service began recruiting dozens of creators at the end of last week, asking them to travel to Washington to fight a bill being debated in Congress. Under the proposal, TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, would need to sell the app or it would be blocked in the United States.

Many of the creators have met with lawmakers and posted videos about their opposition to the bill with the hashtag #KeepTikTok, often with the irreverent humor the app is known for.

“So old white people boomers we call Congress-people are trying to ban TikTok, and I’m not having it,” Giovanna González, a TikTok creator better known as @TheFirstGenMentor, posted in a video on Tuesday, with the U.S. Capitol visible in the distance behind her.

So far, the efforts have not panned out. The House passed the bill Wednesday with broad bipartisan support. But it may face an uphill battle in the Senate, where TikTok creators are already setting their sights.

Unlike traditional lobbyists, the creators were not paid to support TikTok. However, the company covered their transportation, lodging and meals, including a festive dinner at the Bazaar by José Andrés, a restaurant in the Waldorf Astoria hotel.

The creators said they were speaking for themselves, and posted personal and often emotional videos about what the app meant to them. The arrangement was similar last year when TikTok brought creators to Washington to defend the app as Shou Chew, TikTok’s chief executive, testified before Congress.

TikTok Popularity Has Soared

by Felix Richter, Statista 

On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would force TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to sell the popular social media platform in order to cut any ties between TikTok, its current parent company and the Chinese government. The bill, officially called “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act”, alleges that TikTok is at least indirectly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, allowing the latter to “surveil and influence the American public” and thus poses “an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security.”

The bill essentially says that ByteDance must sell TikTok or at least the U.S. arm of it to a company that has no ties to a “foreign adversary” within six months. If that is not the case, it would be unlawful for app stores and web hosting companies to distribute the app in the United States. But there are a lot of hurdles left to clear: Aside from the fact that the bill still faces a long legislative process and is widely considered unlikely to pass the Senate, it would be hard to find a buyer for what is one of the most popular social media platforms in the U.S. and globally. Paradoxically, the few companies that could afford to buy TikTok would likely be banned from doing so. Meta for example, already under antitrust scrutiny for its social media dominance, would never be allowed by the FTC to acquire another hugely popular social media platform.

Infographic: Will TikTok Be Banned in the United States? | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

In recent years, TikTok has surged in popularity in the U.S. and across the globe, captivating users with easily consumable content. With its innovative short-form video format, TikTok has become a cultural phenomenon, influencing trends in music, dance, comedy and beyond. Its algorithm-driven content recommendation system has proven highly effective in keeping users engaged, inspiring other social media platforms to turn lean heavily into algorithm recommendations as well (hello Instagram!).

According to Statista Consumer Insights, 4 in 10 U.S. adults aged 18 to 64 regularly used TikTok in 2023, making it the fourth most popular social media platform in the U.S., trailing only Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. That’s up from just 14 percent in 2020, showing how quickly TikTok has established itself as a key player in the social media landscape following its launch arrival in the United States in 2018. As our chart shows, the app is particularly popular among younger users with almost 60 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds using it regularly. It is also the most popular social media platform for U.S. teens according to another recent survey, which is why some lawmakers fear it could be used by the CCP to “indoctrinate” the American youth.

Tampa Radio: KC Lands PM Drive At Country WQYK

Beasley Media Group announces Kevin “KC” Cummings (aka “Stiffy”), has been named as the new Afternoon Drive Personality from 3 p.m.- 8 p.m. on 99.5 WQYK-FM in Tampa Bay. He began his new position on Monday, March 4, 2024.

KC Cummings
He most recently worked part-time on the station. Previously, KC was formerly known as “Stiffy” on Beasley’s WiLD 94.1.

“It so exciting to be able to bring back a great talent and reimagine that person in a new way,” said Vice President and Market Manager Ron deCastro. “Adding KC to the top country station in Tampa brings his creativity to new listeners.”

“After a comprehensive nationwide search and meeting some great talent, we realized that the best person for the job was right here in our building,” said station Program Director Rick Thomas. “KC Lives and breathes the contemporary country lifestyle. He has a local and authentic presentation and will be a great asset to our 99.5 QYK team.”

“I’m glad to be back with Beasley and very excited to begin my country journey,” said KC.

S-I Print Edition Ending...Then Again, Maybe Not

It appears there’s some uncertainty regarding the future of Sports Illustrated’s print edition. 

Reports suggest that The Arena Group, which operates Sports Illustrated, has informed employees that the print magazine will end after the May issue1. However, this seems to contradict statements from Authentic Brands Group, the owner of Sports Illustrated, which has indicated a desire to continue the print edition. 

The situation is still developing, and it’s unclear how it will ultimately resolve.

On Thursday, Sports Illustrated employees were told during a meeting that the magazine would cease publishing its print edition after its May issue, according to Steve Janisse, a spokesman for Manoj Bhargava, the businessman whose handpicked leadership team effectively operates the publication. But that message runs counter to what SI’s owner, Authentic Brands Group, has said about looking for a way to ensure that the magazine endures in print, reports The NY Times

The NY Post reports the move comes as Bhargava, the 5-hour Energy founder and Arena’s largest shareholder, seeks to renegotiate the three years left on the original 10-year, $150 million deal with Authentic owner Jamie Salter.