Saturday, May 18, 2024

Radio History: May 19

➦In 1922..WGN Radio signed-on as WDAP. It was granted the sequentially issued call letters WDAP to Mid West Radio Central, Inc. in Chicago. The corporation was headed by Thorne Donnelley and Elliott Jenkins.

WDAP was originally located at the Wrigley Building. The studios were moved to the Drake Hotel the following July. In mid-1923 ownership was transferred to the Board of Trade, and the next year the Whitestone Company, managers of the Drake Hotel, took control.

The Chicago Tribune purchased WDAP, and on June 1, 1924, renamed it WGN. The call letters came from "World's Greatest Newspaper", a slogan used since 1911.

Elliott Jenkins, left, and Thorne Donnelly, right, are the original owners of WDAP, the predecessor to WGN radio. Jenkins and Donnelly are at their transmitter in the Wrigley Building in 1922. This 50 watt transmitter was built up from component parts by station engineers and was moved over to the Drake Hotel at the latter part of 1922.

The pioneering WDAP shifted its studios to two handball courts atop the Drake Hotel in July 1922 after a sudden violent storm destroyed its inaugural antenna, with pieces “picked up in all directions for weeks,” Jenkins wrote in a 1923 edition of Radio Broadcast. The station gained some early listeners, including Chicago Tribune publisher Col. Robert McCormick, who wrote to his mother, “you cannot help being thrilled at the little box that picks sounds from the air,” according to a WGN history published by the station in 1961.

Early programming was noted for its creativity and innovation. It included live music, political debates, comedy routines, and some of radio's first sporting event broadcasts, including the 1924 Indianapolis 500, and a live broadcast of the 1925 Scopes Trial from Dayton, Tennessee. In 1926, WGN broadcast Sam & Henry, a daily serial with comic elements created and performed by Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll. After a dispute with the station in 1927, Gosden and Correll took the program's concept and announcer Bill Hay across town to WMAQ and created the first syndicated radio show, Amos 'n' Andy.

A perennial ratings powerhouse, WGN Radio had double-digit audience shares and millions of regular listeners from the 1960s through the 1980s, when Wally Phillips, Bob Collins, Roy Leonard and other legendary broadcasters ruled the airwaves. In the spring of 1986, as Phillips was ceding the morning show to Collins after nearly 20 years, he still had a 15.7 audience share, nearly double the nearest competitor.

Today, the station is the only radio station in the Nexstar portfolio.

➦In 1926...inventor Thomas Edison spoke at a dinner for the National Electric Light Association in Atlantic City, NJ. Reportedly, when asked to speak into the microphone, he said, “I don’t know what to say. This is the first time I ever spoke into one of these things … Good night.”

Alan Freed

➦In 1960
...On this day in 1960, the man who coined the term, "Rock And Roll", Alan Freed, along with Mel Leeds and 7 other NYC disc-jockeys were accused of taking payola.

The others included: Peter Tripp of WMGM, Hal Jackson of WLIB, Tommy (Dr. Jive) Smalls of WWRL and Jack Walker, ex-WOV.

Peter Tripp was immediately fired from his popular late afternoon air shift at WMGM.

After departing from 1010 WINS, Freed for a time was employed in New York by WABC 770 AM around 1958, about two years before it evolved into one of America's great Top 40 stations by launching its "Musicradio" format.

At this time, WABC (unlike Top40 WINS) was more of a full-service station which began implementing some music programming elements.

Freed was fired in 1959 by WABC during a dispute where he refused to sign a statement certifying that he had never accepted payola.

➦In 1994....Humorist Henry Morgan died at age 79 from lung cancer (Born - Henry Lerner Van Ost Jr.).  He first became familiar to radio audiences in the 1930s and 1940s as a barbed but often self-deprecating satirist; in the 1950s and later, he was a regular and cantankerous panelist on the game show I've Got a Secret as well as other game and talk shows. Morgan was a second cousin of Broadway lyricist and librettist Alan Jay Lerner.

He began his radio career as a page at New York City station WMCA in 1932, after which he held a number of obscure radio jobs, including announcing. In 1940, he was offered a daily 15-minute series on Mutual Broadcasting System's flagship station, WOR. This show was a 15-minute comedy,[which he opened almost invariably with "Good evening, anybody; here's Morgan."  He also was a personality for WOR, WNBC and WNEW-AM.

In his memoir, Here's Morgan (1994), he wrote that he devised that introduction as a dig at popular singer Kate Smith, who "...started her show with a condescending, 'Hello, everybody.' I, on the other hand, was happy if anybody listened in."

Morgan targeted his sponsors freely. One early sponsor had been Adler Shoe Stores, which came close to canceling its account after Morgan started making references to "Old Man Adler" on the air; the chain changed its mind after it was learned business spiked upward, with many new patrons asking to meet Old Man Adler. Morgan had to read an Adler commercial heralding the new fall line of colors; Morgan thought the colors were dreadful, and said he wouldn't wear them to a dogfight, but perhaps the listeners would like them. Old Man Adler demanded a retraction on the air. Morgan obliged: "I would wear them to a dogfight." Morgan later recalled with bemusement, "It made him happy."

Later, he moved to ABC in a half-hour weekly format that allowed Morgan more room to develop and expand his topical, often ad-libbed satires, hitting popular magazines, soap operas, schools, the BBC, baseball, summer resorts, government snooping, and landlords.

He continued to target sponsors whose advertising copy rankled him, and those barbs didn't always sit well with his new sponsors, either. He is alleged to have said of his sponsor's Oh Henry! candy bar (after exhorting listeners to try one), "Eat two, and your teeth will fall out."

Life Savers candy, another early Morgan sponsor, dropped him after he accused them of fraud for what amounted to hiding the holes in the famous life saver ring-shaped sweets.

Morgan had his fans and his professional admirers, including authors Robert Benchley and James Thurber, fellow radio humorists Fred Allen, Jack Benny, and Fanny Brice, future Today Show host Dave Garroway, and Red Skelton.

Bob Liddle
➦In 2010…Longtime Seattle radio personality Bob Liddle, with more than 50 years on the air in the Pacific Northwest died at age 88.

Liddle spent much of his nearly 60-year radio career announcing, spinning big-band records, hosting easy-listening shows and reading the news on Seattle's KIXI 880 AM. He is perhaps best known for his years hosting KIXI's "Sunday Brunch."

But in his long career he also worked as the station's program director and often hosted New Year's Eve "Tuxedo Junction" celebrations at the downtown Seattle Westin Hotel.

➦In 2016...Newly retired TV newsman and 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer died at age 84. During his lengthy career he brought the horrors of the Vietnam War into American living rooms in the 1960s, and was a mainstay of the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” for almost five decades.

David Hartman is 89

  • TV personality David Hartman is 89. 
  • Actor James Fox is 85. 
  • Actor Nancy Kwan is 85. 
  • Musician Pete Townshend is 79. 
  • Singer-actor-model Grace Jones is 73. 
  • Drummer Phil Rudd AC/DC is 70. 
  • Actor Steven Ford is 68. 
  • Actor Toni Lewis (“Homicide,” ″Oz”) is 64. 
  • Guitarist Iain Harvie of Del Amitri is 62. 
  • Actor Polly Walker (film’s “John Carter,” TV’s “Bridgerton”) is 58. 
  • Actor Jason Gray-Stanford (“Monk”) is 54. 
  • Gospel singer Israel Houghton is 53. 
  • Singer Jenny Berggren of Ace of Base is 52. 
  • TV personality Kim Zolciak Biermann (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”) is 46. 
  • Singer Shooter Jennings is 45. 
  • Comedian Michael Che (“Saturday Night Live”) is 41. 
  • Guitarist Tim McTague of Underoath is 41. 
  • Guitarist James Richardson of MGMT is 41. 
  • Actor Eric Lloyd (“The Santa Clause”) is 38. 
  • Singer Sam Smith is 32. 
  • Actor Nolan Lyons (“Boardwalk Empire”) is 23.
  • In 1994..Henry Morgan, American comedian and TV panelist (I've Got a Secret; Arena), dies of lung cancer at 79
  • In 1994..Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, American 1st lady (1961-63), dies of cancer at 64
  • In 2004..Tony Randall [Leonard Rosenberg], Actor (The Odd Couple), dies aged 84
  • In 2016..Morley Safer, Canadian-American TV newscaster (60 Minutes), dies at 84

Nashville Radio: WSM-AM Promotes Eryn Cooper, Lexi Carter

WSM 650 AM, the legendary radio flagship of the Grand Ole Opry, is shaking up its lineup with two exciting new shows. Starting Monday, May 20, listeners can tune in to these fresh additions:

On Air with Eryn: Hosted by Eryn Cooper, this show takes over the afternoon drive slot from 3 to 7 p.m. Eryn will keep you updated on all things Nashville while serving up the best in country music. Expect exclusive interviews and the latest entertainment news from Music City.

Eryn Cooper, who spent the last six months as the producer for WSM Radio’s flagship show, Coffee, Country & Cody, will also host The Opry Warm Up Show. In this role, she sets the stage for unforgettable evenings of history-making performances at the Opry. Eryn previews the artists set to perform and honors Opry Members past and present.

Eryn shares her excitement: “I’m absolutely over the moon to take this next step with WSM. This is an opportunity to carry on the prestigious history of country music’s most famed platform and combine it with the stories of the genre’s newest faces. Country music is meant to make folks feel at home, and I intend to make you feel that way every day during On Air with Eryn.”

Late Nights with Lexi: Hosted by Lexi Carter, this show keeps listeners company overnight from midnight to 5 a.m. Lexi curates a nostalgic mix of classic country from the '80s, '90s, and 2000s.

Lexi started at WSM Radio as a producer for Nashville Today and quickly rose to host the afternoon drive show. She currently serves as Music Director for WSM Radio, Opry Nashville, and Route 650.

Lexi shares her enthusiasm: “Late Nights with Lexi is not just a radio show; it is a platform for celebrating the rich tapestry of country music and the Grand Ole Opry while connecting with a new audience in the overnight hours.”

🎧You can catch both shows on WSM Radio, either on-air at 650 AM or online via the WSM Radio website, the WSM Radio mobile app, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more.

IL-WI Radio: New Round of Cuts At Alpha Media

Alpha Media made another round of cuts at its clusters surrounding Chicago, affecting several stations. Here are some notable changes:

WXLC (102.3) in Waukegan, IL:

  • Wes McKane, the morning host, and Frank Wright, the PD/midday host, have both announced their departures.
  • McKane, who joined WXLC in January 2019, previously hosted mornings at 103.7 Kiss-FM (WXSS) and 99.1 The Mix (WMYX) in Milwaukee.
  • Wright had been with WXLC since 2002 and rose to Content Director in January 2019.
  • DJ Clinto departs afternoons at Star 105.5 (WZSR) in Woodstock, IL.

95.9 The River (WERV-FM) in Aurora, IL:

  • Mitch Michaels, a veteran rock talent, exits. Michaels has been a fixture in Chicago and its suburbs since 1971, with stints at various stations.
  • His departure marks a significant change for the classic rock station.

95 WIIL Rock (WIIL) in Union Grove, WI:

  • Stino Cirigliano, the morning co-host, is out. She returned to WIIL in August 2021 after serving as afternoon host from 2018 to 2020.
  • Cirigliano has also hosted at other stations, including 100.3 The X (KQXR) in Boise and 96 K-Rock (WRXK) in Fort Myers.

Star 96.7 (WSSR) in Joliet, IL:

  • Antone Koris, APD/MD/afternoon host, departs. Koris had moved to WSSR from sister station 98.3 WCCQ last June.
  • His experience also includes working at other Chicago stations.

Q-Rock 100.7 (WRXQ) in Coal City/Joliet, IL:

  • Dawn Avello, who hosted afternoons, leaves. She had been with the station since 2011 and has worked at other stations as well.

News/Talk 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI:

  • Morning co-host Bill Lawrence and 3-5pm host Lou Rugani depart.
  • The syndicated show Markley, Van Camp & Robbins replaces Rugani’s slot.

These changes come amid a broader shift in the radio industry.

Rudy Giuliani Starts New Show on X

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani thanked those who have supported his new show amid a recent shake-up, which involved him getting fired from his radio show on WABC in New York City.

Giuliani's recent firing occurred when John Catsimatidis, the owner of WABC, fired the former mayor due to his repeated claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. Giuliani, who worked as an attorney for Trump during his presidency, has since brought his show onto X, where he thanked his listeners for their support in the wake of his firing.

“I've never compromised my integrity for money, and I never will, no matter the consequences,” Giuliani posted. “There's too much at stake. We have a country to save.”

As of Thursday, Giuliani has released four episodes of his show on X, with his latest one discussing the recently announced debates between Trump and President Joe Biden. Giuliani described the scheduled date, June 27, for the first presidential debate as an “interesting tactic,” and predicted that it will be "a tryout" to see how Biden performs against Trump before the Democratic National Convention in August.

On X, Giuliani claimed that he never promised not to talk about the 2020 election, claiming that it was “the number one topic I discussed on air.” He also accused Catsimatidis of “caving to pressure from the Democrat Party machine.”

On Tuesday, Giuliani shared the phone number and email address to WABC on X, and asked social media users to call the station to see if it supports free speech after he was fired. 

Catsimatidis had filled in for Giuliani’s show on Sunday, during which he described the fallout between him and the former mayor as “very tragic.” He also explained that Giuliani was given “three strikes” not to talk about whether or not the 2020 election results were legitimate, and that Giuliani’s behavior made it “hard not to terminate him.”

Comcast Forced MSNBC To Change Coverage Focus Of Hamas Attacks

Ayman Mohyeldin, Ali Velshi, and Mehdi Hasan

Comcast, the corporate parent of MSNBC, intervened during the network’s coverage of the deadly October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas to address the network’s rampant criticism of Israel. 

During that time, MSNBC anchors Ayman Mohyeldin, Mehdi Hasan, and Ali Velshi interviewed guests who suggested that the Hamas cross-border invasion, which resulted in the deaths of around 1,200 Israelis, including women and children, was due to “failed policies” by the US and Israel.

Michael Cavanaugh
Comcast’s president, Michael Cavanagh, expressed his concerns to Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, which includes MSNBC. In response, Conde instructed MSNBC to focus on facts and give less weight to opinions and commentary. Subsequently, the network experienced lineup changes, and anchors Mohyeldin, Hasan, and Velshi were reportedly sidelined. Hasan, who frequently criticized Israel, left MSNBC in January after his show was canceled.

Despite its partisan, anti-Donald Trump coverage, MSNBC faced a decline in viewership following the attacks. The head of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, even questioned the network’s coverage, asking, "Who’s writing your scripts? Hamas?"

MSNBC anchors Mohyeldin, Hasan and Velshi, who are all Muslim, interviewed guests who suggested the shocking Hamas cross-border invasion — which slaughtered around 1,200 Israelis, including women and children — was the result of “failed policies” by the US and Israel.

The tenor of MSNBC’s coverage that Saturday morning prompted Comcast president Michael Cavanagh to convey his concerns to Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, the division that includes MSNBC, NBC News and CNBC, according to the New York Times.

The NBCUniversal News boss then issued a directive to his subordinates at MSNBC to focus on the facts and give less weight to opinions and commentary, the Times reported.

Weeks later, Mohyeldin, Hasan and Velshi were reportedly sidelined. MSNBC denied the claim that they silenced the three, saying the lineup changes were “coincidental.”

Hasan, who frequently criticized Israel in his commentary, left MSNBC in January — weeks after his show was canceled.

NFL Fans Not Happy With Games On Netflix

The National Football League (NFL) this entered into a groundbreaking agreement with streaming giant Netflix to live-stream two games exclusively on Christmas Day. However, not all NFL fans are thrilled about this development. According to a survey conducted by, an online entertainment and gaming website, here are the key findings:

Disapproval: 59% of the 3,000 survey respondents expressed disapproval of the fact that they will need a Netflix subscription to live-stream the Week 17 regular games. These games feature the Kansas City Chiefs facing off against the Pittsburgh Steelers at 1 p.m. EST, and the Baltimore Ravens taking on the Houston Texans at 4:30 p.m. EST.

Cost Concerns: Among the naysayers, nearly 40% cited the cost of a Netflix subscription as a drawback. Additionally, approximately 36% of respondents mentioned that they do not currently have a subscription to the service.

Streaming Quality: Interestingly, 66% of respondents had no worries about the streaming quality of the games. Despite this, an overwhelming 76.5% stated that they would not subscribe to Netflix specifically to watch these NFL games.

Preferred Platforms: While some respondents favored watching NFL games on traditional platforms such as CBS (preferred by 24.5%) or cable pay-TV operators (preferred by 23.6%), nearly 57% still indicated that they would watch the Christmas Day games on Netflix.

The NFL’s collaboration with Netflix has sparked both interest and skepticism among fans.

Randy Travis Releases New Song With AI Help

Country music legend Randy Travis, who’s largely been unable to speak or sing since a devastating stroke in 2013, is crooning again with help from artificial intelligence.

Despite suffering a massive stroke in 2013 that severely impaired his ability to speak or sing, he has now released a new song titled “Where That Came From” using the power of artificial intelligence (AI).

Randy Travis’s voice has always resonated like fine whisky, captivating listeners since his debut album, “Storms of Life,” in 1986. His producer, Kyle Lehning, humorously recalls that they initially hoped to sell 40,000 copies but ended up selling a staggering four million. Travis’s voice became an integral part of Warner Music Nashville’s success 1.

However, fate dealt a harsh blow in 2013 when Travis suffered a massive stroke. Given just a 2% chance of survival, he faced paralysis and damage to the brain area controlling speech and language. Music, which had always been his heart and soul, seemed lost forever.

In his absence, AI-generated fakes of Travis’s voice proliferated online, but they lacked authenticity. Determined to give Randy Travis his voice back, Warner Music embarked on an ambitious project. They started by extracting 42 of Travis’s original vocal tracks from the vault, including hits like “1982.” Then, they stripped away the music, leaving only the raw vocal recordings. The missing half of the recipe came from a “surrogate” voice, provided by country music singer James DuPre.

Nearly 44M Traveling for Unofficial Start of Summer

AAA projects 43.8 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the Memorial Day holiday travel period*. This year’s total number of travelers is a 4% increase over last year and comes close to matching 2005’s record of 44 million Memorial Day travelers. 

“We haven’t seen Memorial Day weekend travel numbers like these in almost 20 years,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. “We’re projecting an additional one million travelers this holiday weekend compared to 2019, which not only means we’re exceeding pre-pandemic levels but also signals a very busy summer travel season ahead.”  

Road trips are expected to set a record. AAA projects 38.4 million people will travel by car over Memorial Day weekend, the highest number for that holiday since AAA began tracking in 2000. The number of drivers this year is up 4% compared to last year and 1.9% higher than in 2019. Traveling by car is appealing for many people because of the convenience and flexibility it provides. AAA car rental partner Hertz says Orlando, Denver, Atlanta, Boston and Las Vegas are the cities displaying the highest rental demand, with the busiest pick-up days projected to be Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24. 

This Memorial Day weekend drivers can expect similar gas prices as last year when the national average was roughly $3.57.  Pump prices rose this spring but have held somewhat steady in recent weeks. Prices may creep higher as the summer driving season gets underway. The wildcard remains the cost of oil, and unlike last year, there are now two wars – in the Middle East and Ukraine – that could roil the oil market. 

Airports are bracing for a spike in travelers. AAA expects 3.51 million air travelers this holiday weekend, an increase of 4.8% over last year and 9% jump compared to 2019. This will be the most crowded Memorial Day weekend at airports since 2005, when 3.64 million flew for the holiday as the travel industry finally rebounded post 9/11. This Memorial Day weekend, air ticket prices are comparable to last year. AAA booking data shows a 1% to 2% increase in prices for domestic flights. Several factors play into how much travelers pay for airfare, including destination, number of stops, and fare class. For example, passengers who book nonstop flights with seat selection and carry-on bags included will likely pay more than those who select basic economy with a layover. 

Nearly two million people are expected to travel by other modes of transportation, including buses, cruises, and trains. AAA projects 1.9 million people will take these other modes of transportation, an increase of 5.6% compared to last year. “This category took the biggest hit during the pandemic with fewer people taking public transportation or not cruising at all,” Twidale said. “Now – five years later – we’re back to 2019 numbers. Travel demand has been soaring, and long holiday weekends create the perfect windows for getaways.” 

Top Destinations 

This Memorial Day weekend, travelers are seeking theme parks and entertainment venues in Orlando, New York, Las Vegas, and Southern California. Seattle, Anchorage, and Vancouver rank high because of the popularity of Alaska cruises this time of year. Florida beaches and cruise ports will also be packed. European cities dominate the international list. The top 10 domestic and international destinations below are based on AAA booking data. 

DOJ Expected To Sue Ticketmaster

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is gearing up to file an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation, the world’s largest live entertainment organization and owner of Ticketmaster, according to Billboard

Here’s what you need to know about this legal dispute:

Investigation Background: The DOJ has been conducting a two-and-a-half-year investigation into Live Nation’s business practices. The focus of the lawsuit centers around Ticketmaster’s exclusive venue contracts for its ticketing services.

Exclusive Venue Contracts: Ticketmaster’s use of exclusive contracts with venues has drawn scrutiny. These contracts grant Ticketmaster a dominant position in the market, particularly in the top 100 highest-grossing theaters, arenas, and stadiums in North America. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee, has raised concerns about Ticketmaster’s 70-80% market share in these venues. She believes that exclusive contracts allow Ticketmaster to lock up market share.

Ticket Prices and Fees:  The DOJ is also expected to argue that Live Nation has abused its power in the concert business to drive up ticket prices over the last decade. Additional fees, which can add as much as 30% to ticket prices, have been a point of contention. While artists set their ticket prices, Ticketmaster contends that only a small percentage of the fees collected above face value goes to the ticketing company.

Merger and Monopoly: Interestingly, the lawsuit is related to “specific business practices at Live Nation” rather than the legality of the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger. While ending the merger and splitting the company may not be on the table, the government could propose other penalties if it deems Live Nation’s practices monopolistic.

The DOJ’s lawsuit aims to address concerns about exclusive contracts, ticket prices, and market dominance within the live entertainment industry.

Podcasting's Influence Growing Among Executives

A new Podchaser study sheds light on how business executives allocate their precious time between podcasts and major news websites. Let’s dive into the findings:

Podcast Engagement: Senior executives are actively engaging with podcasts, dedicating an average of 37 minutes to listening. These podcasts are popular within their circles and cover diverse topics. Notable titles include The Prof G Pod, Pivot, This Week in Startups, Homing In, and Fore Play.

News Websites: In contrast, executives spend significantly less time on major news websites. For instance:

  • Less than two minutes per viewing session.
  • CNBC: Less than three minutes.
  • Wall Street Journal: Less than three minutes.
  • Approximately three and a half minutes.

Podcast Reach: The total monthly reach of podcasts popular among senior executives is nearly 28.7 million. These podcasts predominantly attract young males, with 84% male listenership and 94% falling within the Millennial age bracket.

Popular Genres: The most popular podcast genre among executives is Business, accounting for 27% of their listening time. Technology (14%) and News (12%) follow closely.

Guest-Driven Format: Nearly 80% of podcasts favored by the C-suite crowd frequently feature guests. This format enhances engagement and provides valuable insights.

Beyond Work: Executives also explore genres like Health & Fitness and Society & Culture, each with a 7% share of listening. These genres offer creative opportunities for brand advertisers.

Services No Longer Required: Which Jobs Are Most at Risk?

by Felix Richter,

Long before the emergence of ChatGPT and other AI tools threatening to take over our jobs, technological advancements have altered the way people work, making some occupations disappear, while others emerged. Did you know, for example, that people used to work as living alarm clocks before actual alarm clocks became a thing? “Knocker uppers”, as they were called, would walk around in industrial England, wielding a long stick with which they’d tap on workers’ doors to wake them in time for their shifts. There also used to be “computers” long before the arrival of personal computers. They were persons performing mathematical calculations, a service that is no longer required today.

So which jobs might be next? Each year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes its Occupational Employment Projections - a report that's looking at the U.S. labor market as a whole for the next 10 years, projecting changes in employment by occupation and revealing which jobs are most at risk from automation or other technological and societal shifts. In its latest edition covering the 2022-2032 period, the BLS identified four occupational groups that are projected to lose jobs over the next decade: office and administrative support occupations, production occupations and sales and related occupations as well as occupations in farming, fishing and forestry.

Infographic: Services No Longer Required: Which Jobs Are Most at Risk? | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

As the chart shows, cashiers, who are at risk of being replaced by self-checkout, are projected to see the biggest drop in employment over the next decade with 348,100 fewer jobs in 2032 than in 2022. Other jobs high on the list are secretaries, office clerks and customer service representatives, with each of these occupations expected to see employment decline by more than 150,000 jobs until 2032. When looking at relative employment changes, word processors and typists (-39 percent) and watch and clock repairers (-30 percent) are most at risk of losing their jobs, with other relatively rare occupations also high on the list.

Michael Irvin Won’t Be Charged Over Hotel Incident

Former Cowboys wide receiver and NFL TV  Analyst Michael Irvin won’t face any criminal charges related to an allegation Allen police received months ago, as officials closed the case upon discovering no basis to continue exploring the matter, a police spokesperson said Friday.

The Dallas Morning News reports Irvin’s connection to an Allen police investigation became public in January when Pro Football Talk first reported it. The NBC-partnered media outlet did not include any details beyond there being an “allegation.” An Allen police official confirmed an early-stage investigation was underway that involved Irvin without releasing any additional information.

It is atypical for someone to be publicly tied to an investigation without charges being filed or disclosure of basic details surrounding the inquiry. Levi McCathern, Irvin’s attorney, was unable to clear up the situation at the time.

“Michael hasn’t done anything wrong, so not even sure what an investigation could be about,” he said in a Jan. 11 text message to The Dallas Morning News.

McCathern initially told PFT there is “absolutely no truth” to the accusation, predicting it would develop into “much ado about nothing.”

In February 2023, NFL Media suspended Irvin indefinitely after a Marriott employee in Phoenix accused him of making a sexually lewd comment, unwanted physical contact on her arms, and saying he’d find her later in the work week during a hotel lobby conversation. The accusation did not escalate to involve Phoenix police.

In response, Irvin sued Marriott International and six other parties, including a Jane Doe, for defamation and tortious interference in a business relationship after Marriott contacted the league regarding the interaction at Renaissance Phoenix Downtown. Irvin was staying at the property at the time. He reached a lawsuit settlement in September and was reinstated.

On Sept. 10, he returned to broadcast on the NFL Network. His contract was not renewed in May as part of a larger broadcast-personnel reshuffling at NFL Media.

Radio History: May 18

Meredith Wilson (far left) and band at KPO Studios, San Francisco

Meredith Wilson
➦In 1902...Composer/bandleader/radio personality Meredith Willson was born in Mason City, Iowa.

Besides his celebrity as the creator of the Broadway smash, ‘Music Man.’ Willson was a giant in radio.

In San Francisco, Willson was concert director for radio station KFRC, and then as a musical director for the NBC radio network in Hollywood. His on-air radio debut came on KFRC in 1928 on Blue Monday Jamboree.

His work in films included composing the score for Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940) (Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score), and arranging music for the score of William Wyler's The Little Foxes (1941) (Academy Award nomination for Best Music Score of a Dramatic Picture).

During World War II, he worked for the United States' Armed Forces Radio Service. His work with the AFRS teamed him with George Burns, Gracie Allen and Bill Goodwin. He would work with all three as the bandleader, and a regular character, on the Burns and Allen radio program. He played a shy man, always trying to get advice on women. His character was ditsy as well, basically a male version of Gracie Allen's character.

He suffered heart failure and died June 15, 1984 at age 82.

➦In 1934...‘The Hour of Charm’ debuted, beginning an intermittent 14-year run on the CBS and NBC radio networks.  The musical half-hour featured Phil Spitalny and his All-Girl Orchestra.

➦In’s espionage adventure drama 'Counterspy' premiered on the Blue Network/ABC. The 30-minute show with the distinctive theme (Love of Three Oranges) would last on radio for 15 years, including runs in the 1950s on NBC and Mutual.

➦In 1966...there was a Top 40 battle in Denver between KIMN 950 AM and KBTR 710.

Listeners were tuning in to hear Gary Todd, Robert E. Lee, Jim O’Brien, Chuck Buell, Hal Moore, JayMack, Johnny Presley, George Michael.

KEWB Playlist - circa 1960
➦In 1966...KEWB 910 AM San Francisco switched from Top40 to easy listening. The station was probably anticipating the arrival of Drake-formatted KFRC 610 AM.  KEWB switched its call letters to KNEW and mimicked sister station WNEW in NYC.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Podcasts: Attracting An Ever-Growing And Highly Engaged Audience

Podcasts have established themselves as a mainstream media platform, attracting an ever-growing and highly engaged audience, as highlighted in The Podcast Consumer 2024 report by Edison Research.

On May 16, Megan Lazovick, Vice President at Edison Research, presented insights in a webinar, offering benchmark data on weekly and monthly U.S. podcast consumption. The presentation focused on foundational research findings in the podcast space and emphasized the targeted appeal and increasing influence of podcasts.

Key points for advertisers to know about podcast listeners:
  • More people than ever are listening to podcasts: 67% of the 12+ population has ever listened to a podcast; 47% of the 12+ population are monthly podcast listeners and 34% are weekly listeners.
  • Listeners are spending more time than ever with podcasts: In 2014, out of the daily time spent listening to all audio by those age 13+, 2% was spent with podcasts. In 2024, that number more than quadrupled and podcasts now account for 11% of daily time with audio. Twenty-three percent of weekly podcast listeners spend 10 hours or more listening to the medium each week.
  • Podcasts reach all generations: 29% of kids age 6-12, 59% of those age 12-34, 55% of those age 35-54, and 27% of those age 55+ are monthly podcast listeners.
  • Podcasts listeners are diverse and increasingly female: 48% of Black Americans and 43% of Latino Americans are monthly podcast listeners. The number of U.S. women listening to podcasts has hit a new high as 45% of women are monthly podcast listeners and 32% are weekly podcast listeners.
  • Podcasts listeners are a highly coveted audience for advertisers as they are affluent and educated: 56% of monthly podcast listeners have an annual household income of more than $75K, compared to 48% of the U.S. population, and 49% of monthly podcast listeners are college educated compared to 44% of the U.S. population.
  • Podcasts reach receptive audiences: 46% of weekly podcast listeners have purchased a product or service as a result of hearing an ad on a podcast. The podcasting industry has the metrics to help advertisers match with consumers.
Lazovick said, “Every element in this report has been chosen with a single goal in mind: to support and advance the podcast industry. Because great content, and the creators behind it, need to be supported. Today’s insights, alongside industry metrics, are valuable tools for anyone looking connect with their audiences more effectively.”

ACM Entertainer Of Year Is Lainey Wilson

Winners have been announced for the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards. 16-time ACM Award-winning entertainment icon, Reba McEntire, hosted the two-hour commercial-free concert event, which streamed live for an international audience across 240+ countries and territories exclusively on Prime Video and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch from the world headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
During the live broadcast, McEntire also enthusiastically announced her return as host for the monumental 60th ACM Awards, taking place in 2025.

The Academy’s highest honor, Entertainer of the Year, was awarded to Lainey Wilson. Chris Stapleton led the night in total wins with four awards, followed by Lainey Wilson with three wins, and Luke Combs and Jordan Davis with two wins. The show celebrated Country Music’s biggest stars and emerging talent and featured 18 show-stopping performances from 19 artists, along with exclusive collaborations and unexpected moments that captivated fans worldwide.

Fans can relive all of the excitement of the 59th ACM Awards with the full rebroadcast now available to watch on Prime Video, and starting tomorrow, Friday, May 17 at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT, on the Amazon Music App and for free on Amazon Freevee. Amazon Music is also streaming the Official ACM Awards playlist, which features a curated selection of music from tonight’s winners. Listen on the Amazon Music app HERE.

Winner Highlights of the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards:
  • This is Lainey Wilson’s first win for ACM Entertainer of the Year, and her win qualifies her for the coveted ACM Triple Crown Award, celebrating artists who have won New Female/Male Artist/Duo or Group of the Year, Female/Male Artist/Duo/Group of the Year, and Entertainer of the Year. Lainey Wilson is the first woman to achieve the ACM Triple Crown Award in three years (2021 ACM New Female Artist of the Year, 2022 & 2023 Female Artist of the Year, and 2023 Entertainer of the Year) and the first artist since The Chicks (1998-2000). Her three wins tonight brings her ACM Awards count to 10.
  • Chris Stapleton was the most awarded artist of the evening with four wins, including his eighth win for ACM Album of the Year, four as an artist and four as a producer, making him the artist with the most wins in the category (passing George Strait with seven wins). His win for ACM Male Artist of the Year brings his total in the category to four. Stapleton’s win for ACM Artist-Songwriter of the Year marks his first win in the category. His four wins bring his ACM Awards count to 20.
  • Old Dominion’s win for ACM Group of the Year marks their seventh consecutive win in the category, tying Rascal Flatts for the most consecutive wins in the category. Their win tonight brings Old Dominion’s ACM Awards count to nine.
  • Megan Moroney, Nate Smith, and Tigirlily Gold secured their first ACM Awards wins for their respective wins in the three New Artist categories, along with Jordan Davis who took home his first two ACM Awards with an Artist and Songwriter credit on the ACM Song of the Year, “Next Thing You Know.”

Boston Radio: Expect Morning Guy Talk+Sports On WZLX

As Rich Shertenlieb launches his new show on 100.7 WZLX “Boston’s Classic Rock,” his co-hosts who you’ve probably heard on sports radio and seen on sports TV channels have been announced.

Shertenlieb, who was a longtime morning host on 98.5 The Sports Hub before his split last year, will be debuting “The Rich Shertenlieb Show” on WZLX this Monday, May 20.

The Boston Herald reports he’ll be bringing with him a cast of characters from the sports media world, iHeartMedia Boston revealed on Thursday. Shertenlieb will be joined by Michael Hurley, who recently left WBZ Boston after a long run covering sports there.

There will be a rotating cast of co-hosts, including: Ted Johnson, three-time Super Bowl champion with the Pats who has been filling in on 98.5 and appearing on NBC Sports Boston; Charlotte Wilder, formerly with Fox Sports, ESPN and Sports Illustrated who’s now on the Dan Le Batard Show; and Mike Giardi, an NFL Network alum who’s now a writer at Boston Sports Journal and appears on NBC Sports Boston.

Kenny Young, who joined the WZLX family in 1997 and became producer of the morning show in 2020, will be the producer of Shertenlieb’s show.

Hot Mix Unveils New “Hot Mix Classic Hits” Format On WSHE

Benztown, a global leader in radio imaging, voiceover, programming, podcasting and jingles, announces that Hot Mix, America’s most trusted Mix show, has debuted a new four-hour weekly mix show, Hot Mix Classic Hits. 

The new programming has debuted at its first affiliate, Chicago’s WSHE-FM, a Hubbard Broadcasting station. WSHE-FM, now branded as Throwback 100.3, can be heard at:

Hot Mix Classic Hits is the fourth version of Hot Mix syndicated mix programming to be released, following Mainstream (CHR), Crossover (Rhythmic), and 2K to Today (mix of both throwback and current hits). The new professionally programmed and mixed Classic Hits format features smash hits from artists including Britney Spears, Green Day, Spice Girls, Beyonce’, Justin Timberlake, Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Blink-182, Pink, and more.

Hot Mix Classic Hits brings the party to Classic Hits fans with a mix of favorites from the 90s and 2000s, with daily mixes available for any drive or weekend block. Hot Mix Classic Hits is customizable for any daypart, with local commercial and station ID breaks. The professionally programmed and mixed syndicated show is white labeled for station branding and hosting and is available now for cash or barter through Benztown.

Jimmy Steal
Jimmy Steal, Vice President, Brand & Content, Hubbard Broadcasting Chicago, said: “Hot Mix has become an awesome partner for us in every way. Their level of customization for our Saturday Nite Throwback show has been unparalleled! The show sounds great on The New Throwback 100.3, and we couldn’t have done it without them.”

Darin Taoka, Program Director, Hot Mix Classic Hits, commented: “I’m absolutely thrilled with the launch of the new Hot Mix Classis Hits Mix! Coming out of the box with Chicago’s WSHE Throwback 100.3 is huge! Many thanks to Jimmy Steal and Rick Hall. This Hot Mix Classic Hits Mix is exactly what Throwback and Classic Hits stations have been looking for to pump up their nights, drives, and more!”.

Bias Perceptions Causing Angst At NPR

NPR (National Public Radio) has introduced a new layer of editing called the Backstop, which has sparked both curiosity and concern among its employees. Let’s delve into the details:

The Backstop: The NY Times reports a new initiative consists of six senior editors who will review all of NPR’s journalism before it is released. Essentially, they act as a final checkpoint to ensure the highest standards of quality and accuracy. However, not everyone within NPR is thrilled about this development.

Anonymity and Funding: Michel Martin, a prominent host of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” raised an important question during an editorial meeting: Who is funding this new editing layer? The identity of the anonymous funder remains undisclosed, leading to speculation and unease among staff members. Edith Chapin, NPR’s chief content officer, declined to provide specifics but assured the editorial staff that it wouldn’t be surprising to them.

Context: NPR faced accusations of having a liberal bias in its coverage, particularly after an essay by Uri Berliner (then a senior editor at NPR) was published in The Free Press. Berliner argued that progressive politics had influenced NPR’s journalism. While many staff members refuted his claims, conservative critics seized upon them, prompting Republican members of Congress to request NPR’s chief executive to testify on bias allegations.

Employee Reactions: The announcement of the Backstop triggered mixed reactions. Some employees view it as an unnecessary bottleneck that could slow down NPR’s reporting process. Others worry that it might be perceived as a defensive response to Berliner’s essay, a premise Edith Chapin has rejected.

Additional Changes: Alongside the Backstop, NPR is implementing other changes, including periodic staff reviews of its ethics handbook, an expanded standards and practices team, off-the-record editorial briefings with newsmakers, and a content analysis of its journalism.

5/17 WAKE-UP CALL: 4 Dead After Powerful Storms Rip Houston

A storm system that threatened to produce torrential rainfall over East Texas spawned severe thunderstorms in the nation’s fourth-largest city Thursday, causing at least four fatalities and leaving more than 1 million customers without power. The local National Weather Service office issued several Tornado Warnings for the Houston metro but by the time the storms cleared, it was strong winds that are believed to have caused most of the damage. Winds estimated to be in excess of 70 mph toppled trees, blew out windows of high-rise buildings and caused transmission towers holding power lines to crumble.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office encouraged everyone to stay off the roads as trees blocked streets, with power outages climbing above 800,000 in the Houston metro. reported nearby counties also were dealing with outages, sending the state’s tally to well over 1 million customers.

Houston Mayor John Whitmire said at least four people were killed by the storm and state resources were being requested to help with the recovery. Officials said several of the casualties were the result of falling trees during winds that likely reached over 100 mph.

➤EVEN CNN KNOWS COHEN LIES: CNN’s Anderson Cooper left stunned by Trump's attorney's cross examination of Michael Cohen: "It was incredible... lawyers want to build a box around the witness & slam it shut--that's what Todd Blanche did to Cohen... it was an extraordinary cross... Cohen was cornered in... a lie"

➤SCOTUS REJECTS CONSUMER CHALLENGE: The Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge that could have dismantled the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In a 7-2 ruling, the justices found that Congress had the authority to insulate the agency’s funding stream from political interference. The CFPB has standing power to draw funds from the Fed up to a congressionally set cap, but the payday-loan industry argued that Congress must pass specific spending bills rather than provide a funding mechanism. An industry lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The Dodd-Frank law established the CFPB to avoid a replay of the 2008-09 financial crisis.

➤'MEAN GIRLS' BICKER AT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) traded barbs with Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jasmine Crockett during a train wreck of a House Oversight Committee hearing Thursday night in which the lawmakers took turns body-shaming each other. The hearing on whether to move forward with a contempt resolution against Attorney General Merrick Garland spiraled out of control after Greene brought up the daughter of the Manhattan judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial and then commented on the physical appearances of Crockett (D-Texas). “I’d like to know if any of the Democrats on this committee are employing Judge [Juan] Merchan’s daughter,” Greene asked. 

Crockett demanded that Greene explain “what that has to do with Merrick Garland,” and asked the Republican firebrand, “Do you know what we’re here for?”

➤HARVARD UNRESPONSIVE TO ANTISEMITISM: Harvard was unresponsive to antisemitism, according to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The school didn’t investigate and discipline student complaints, ignored an advisory group’s recommendations and failed to curtail antisemitism within pro-Palestinian protests, a report from the committee found. Harvard said that it has increased the police presence at Jewish gathering places, made clear that violations of protest and dissent policies will be subject to disciplinary processes, and established two working groups to recommend ways to nurture open inquiry. Harvard called the committee’s report “disappointing.” The House panel’s investigation began months after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel, which sparked the war in Gaza.

CNN Plans To Move Beyond Political Content

Mark Thompson, the CEO of CNN, this week shared exciting plans with advertisers during its Advertising Week Upfront presentation regarding the network’s strategy. Here are the key points:

Expanding Beyond Politics: CNN aims to broaden its coverage beyond politics. Thompson emphasized that news isn’t limited to political topics.

According to Deadline, the network plans to create new branded verticals across various areas, including:

  • Business and Tech: These topics will be part of CNN’s expanded coverage.
  • Climate and Weather: CNN will delve into climate-related news.
  • Health, Wellness, and Longevity: Expect coverage in these areas as well.
  • These new verticals will be available on TV, apps, and other platforms.

Name, Logo Released for ESPN, Fox, WBD Sports Stream

The joint sports streaming service created by ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery now has an official name: Venu Sports. Let me share some details about this exciting platform:

What Is Venu Sports?: Venu Sports is an innovative streaming platform that brings together the collective portfolios of sports networks from ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery. It will include content from all major professional sports leagues and college sports, providing fans with a comprehensive sports experience.

Texas Broadcasters Challenge FCC Over Staffer Data

The Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB) finds itself in the spotlight as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reinstated a rule requiring local radio and TV broadcasters to collect detailed information on the gender, race, and ethnicity of all employees. This rule also mandates that stations post this information online within their public FCC file, which includes the station’s physical location1. 

Let’s dive into the details:

Rule Reinstatement: The FCC has revived the Annual Employment Report and Form 395-B, which applies to both commercial and non-commercial radio and television stations with five or more employees in a “station employment unit.” It also extends to cable and satellite TV services. The previous version of this data collection practice was suspended over 20 years ago due to concerns that the FCC was using it to penalize stations for failing to meet racial or gender quotas in their workforce.

Data Collection: While employee names are not reported or posted, stations are now required to provide aggregate information on the gender, race, and ethnicity of their employees. The form classifies employees into ten job categories, including executives, professionals, technicians, sales workers, and more. Additionally, the FCC will add a mechanism to account for those who identify as gender non-binary.

Reporting Frequency: Stations must submit this report annually by September 30, based on data from one payroll period between July and September. The Media Bureau will announce filing procedures once the Office of Management and Budget approves the updated form.

Fox Nation To Stream Special: 'Vietnam: Footsteps of My Father'

FOX Nation will debut Vietnam: Footsteps of my Father with Harris Faulkner today, Thursday, May 16. Throughout the limited series, Faulkner retraces her father, Lt. Col. Bobby Harris' footsteps through Vietnam where he served two tours of duty as an Army Combat pilot during the war. Featuring lessons of bravery, faith and perseverance, the program will provide an in-depth look at the war through the lens of historians, veterans and family members.

In commenting on the special, Faulkner said, “The Vietnam War was such a pivotal moment in our nation’s history, and it is both an honor and privilege to view the war through the footsteps of my father. I am so grateful for the opportunity to journey to Vietnam and look forward to sharing this remarkable story with our viewers.”

Vietnam: Footsteps of My Father with Harris Faulkner details the events that unfolded nearly 50 years ago during the Vietnam War. Faulkner learns the role her father played while serving in the Army. The special takes viewers to consequential locations, including the Saigon River, the Cu Chi tunnels in Viet Cong and Da Nang. The series will also present recordings of her father discussing close calls during the war. Additionally, Faulkner interviews military historian Brian DeToy, retired U.S. Army Lt. Cols. Nick Edinger and Bob Anckaitis, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper and family members, uncles Timothy Lane Jr. and Ronnie Lane, among others.