Saturday, June 8, 2024

Radio History: June 9


➦In 1900...Fred Waring born (Died  – July 29, 1984). He was a musician, bandleader, and radio and television personality, sometimes referred to as "America's Singing Master" and "The Man Who Taught America How to Sing". He was also a promoter, financial backer and eponym of the Waring Blendor, the first modern electric blender on the market.

From 1923 until late 1932, "Waring's Pennsylvanians" were among Victor Records' best-selling bands. In late 1932, Waring abruptly quit recording, although his band continued to perform on radio. In 1933, "You Gotta Be a Football Hero" was performed on radio to great acclaim. His 1930 recording of "Love for Sale" by Cole Porter is one of the only period versions of this popular song.

The Fred Waring Show was heard on radio in various forms from 1933 to 1957.

Les Paul with wife Mary Ford
➦In 1915...Lester William Polsfuss Born (Died at age 94 – August 12, 2009), He was  known as Les Paul and was a jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, and his techniques served as inspiration for the Gibson Les Paul. Paul taught himself how to play guitar, and while he is mainly known for jazz and popular music, he had an early career in country music. He is credited with many recording innovations. Although he was not the first to use the technique, his early experiments with overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention.

His innovative talents extended into his playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many guitarists of the present day. He recorded with his wife, the singer and guitarist Mary Ford, in the 1950s, and they sold millions of records.

Among his many honors, Paul is one of a handful of artists with a permanent, stand-alone exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is prominently named by the music museum on its website as an "architect" and a "key inductee" with Sam Phillips and Alan Freed. Les Paul is the only person to be included in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Early ins hie career he played or conducted bands that performed  on KMOX in St. Louis and WBBM and WLS in Chicago.

➦In 1934…Edwin Howard Armstrong conducted first successful field test of FM radio at Alpine, NJ.

In 1934, Armstrong began working for RCA at the request of the president of RCA, David Sarnoff. Sarnoff and Armstrong first met at a boxing match involving Jack Dempsey in 1920. At the time Sarnoff was a young executive with an interest in new technologies, including radio broadcasting.

In the early 1920s Armstrong drove off with Sarnoff's secretary, Marion MacInnes, in a French sports car. Armstrong and MacInnes were married in 1923.  While Sarnoff was understandably impressed with Armstrong's FM system, he also understood that it was not compatible with his own AM empire. Sarnoff came to regard FM as a threat and refused to support it any further.

From May 1934 until October 1935, Armstrong conducted the first large scale field tests of his FM radio technology from a laboratory constructed by RCA on the 85th floor of the Empire State Building. An antenna attached to the spire of the building fired radio waves at receivers about 80 miles away.  However, RCA had its eye on television broadcasting, and chose not to buy the patents for the FM technology.  A June 17, 1936, presentation at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) headquarters made headlines nationwide. He played a jazz record over conventional AM radio, then switched to an FM broadcast. "[I]f the audience of 50 engineers had shut their eyes they would have believed the jazz band was in the same room. There were no extraneous sounds," noted one reporter. He added that several engineers described the invention "as one of the most important radio developments since the first earphone crystal sets were introduced."

In 1937, Armstrong financed construction of the first FM radio station, W2XMN, a 40 kilowatt broadcaster in Alpine, New Jersey. The signal (at 42.8 MHz) could be heard clearly 100 miles away, despite the use of less power than an AM radio station.

➦In 1996...Jack Lacy, a New York radio personality and disk jockey who was heard on 1010WINS from the late 1940's through 1965, died. He was 79 and had lived in Spain since 1989.

Lacy was a contemporary of such veterans of the airwaves as Murray (the K) Kaufman and Bruce (Cousin Brucie) Morrow. His "Listen to Lacy" program on WINS treated his audience to "easy listening" music and live interviews. He left WINS when it changed to all news in 1965, after which he worked for stations in Baltimore and Los Angeles.

Anyone who lived in the New York tri-state area in the 1950s and early 60s will remember the great Jack Lacy. His breezy, casual disc jockey style kept listeners locked down to 1010 WINS Radio for hours on end. He would sell laundry soap with the same smooth flair as he announced the latest hit record. Lacy's eighteen year gig with WINS began in 1947 playing out the end of the swing era and transitioning to 50s pop. As the evolving sound of radio turned to rock & roll, his fish out of water personality really gave permission for a maturing audience to enjoy the new beat.

➦In 2004...The FCC agreed to a record $1.75 million settlement with Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) to resolve indecency complaints against Howard Stern and other radio personalities.

The controversy surrounding the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show, aired live on February 1, 2004, led to the government's crackdown on indecency in radio and television following a surge in audience complaints. The situation prompted tighter control over content by station managers which made Stern feel "dead" creatively.

After Clear Channel Communications and Viacom were fined for content the FCC deemed indecent; the situation culminated on October 6, 2004, when Stern announced the signing of a five-year deal with Sirius Satellite Radio, a subscription-based satellite radio service exempt from the FCC's broadcast regulations, starting in 2006. It is a move that has been regarded as the start of "a new era of radio." Stern's final live show on terrestrial airwaves aired on December 16, 2005.

Michael J Fox is 63

  • Sports commentator Dick Vitale is 85. 
  • Guitarist Mick Box of Uriah Heep is 77. 
  • Film composer James Newton Howard is 73. 
  • Actor Michael J. Fox is 63. 
  • Actor Johnny Depp is 61. 
  • Actor Gloria Reuben (“The Agency,” ″ER”) is 60. 
  • Singer-actor Tamela Mann (“Meet The Browns,” ″Medea” films) is 58. 
  • Bassist Dean Dinning of Toad the Wet Sprocket is 57. 
  • Bassist Dean Felber of Hootie and the Blowfish is 57. 
  • Musician Ed Simons of the Chemical Brothers is 54. 
  • Actor Keesha Sharp (“Lethal Weapon”) is 51. 
  • Singer Jamie Dailey of Dailey and Vincent is 49. 
  • Actor Michaela Conlin (“Bones”) is 46. 
  • Actor Natalie Portman is 43. 
  • Actor Mae Whitman (“Parenthood,” ″Arrested Development”) is 36. 
  • Actor Lucien Laviscount (“Scream Queens”) is 32.
  • In 1995..Frank Chacksfield, English, pianist, arranger and orchestra leader, dies at 81
  • In 2017..Adam West [William West Anderson], American actor (Batman, Last Precinct), dies from leukemia at 88

Pat Sajak Says Farewell

Pat Sajak has said goodbye to "Wheel of Fortune" fans, thanking the TV audience "for allowing me into your lives" for 41 seasons as host of the syndicated game show.

In a poignant video ending Friday's season finale, Sajak's final spin of the wheel, he spoke directly to the TV audience.

"Well, the time has come to say goodbye," he said. "It's been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade. And I've always felt that privilege came with the responsibility to keep this daily half-hour a safe place for family fun. No social issues, no politics, nothing embarrassing, I hope. Just a game."

USA Today reports Sajak said that "Wheel of Fortune," with its global reach, became more than a game. The game show became an event "where families came together along with friends and neighbors and entire generations," Sajak said. "What an honor to have played even a small part in all of that. Thank you for allowing me into your lives."

On June 6, his longtime co-host Vanna White gave a tearful farewell to Sajak with her own video, saying, "I love you, Pat." White will continue on "Wheel of Fortune." In September, Ryan Seacrest will take over as host.

During his farewell, Sajak thanked the "Wheel of Fortune" crew, which includes his daughter Maggie Sajak, who works as the show's social correspondent. Sajak ended the speech by thanking his four-decade show partner, White, whom he called "my professional other half."

Chicago Radio: 89WLS-AM Fires Cochran

In a surprising move, WLS-AM radio has abruptly canceled “The Steve Cochran Show,” along with “The Closing Bell” and “PM Chicago.”

The decision will reduce local programming by over half and replace it with syndicated conservative talk shows during the election season. 

Steve Cochran, a mainstay in Chicago radio for decades, will be replaced by another local host, Ramblin’ Ray Stevens, who is considered more conservative than Cochran. 

The changes also mean job losses for veteran Chicago radio personalities Andrea Darlas and Jane Clauss. The station’s shift toward more conservative programming aligns with a broader trend in the local radio market, where cost-cutting measures have affected other stations as well.

The big picture: Stevens is widely considered more conservative than Cochran.

"The Big 89 is leaning into the right side of talk with Matt Walsh and Michael Knowles replacing The Closing Bell and PM Chicago," WLS program director Stephanie Tichenor wrote in Friday's email.

The station, owned by Cumulus Media, already airs syndicated conservative shows hosted by Ben Shapiro and Mark Levin.

Context: Cochran has been a mainstay in Chicago radio for decades, with prior highly-rated morning and afternoon shows at WGN Radio.

The cuts are part of a cost-cutting trend in the local radio market. Both WBEZ and WBBM have recently laid off staff and cut back on local programming.

By the numbers: In last month's radio ratings, WLS had a 0.9 rating, good for 27th place in the market.

WI Radio: Otis, Katie & Nick To Debut New WKSZ Morning Show

Three well-known Northeast Wisconsin radio personalities will officially be on the air together next week.

Fox11 News reports reports Katie Schurk and Nick Vitrano are set to join Otis Day for their first WKSZ 95.9 KISS FM morning show on Monday. The pair left WIXXThe pair left WIXX in December, but due to a non-compete clause, they were unable to start their new jobs right away.

Schurk and Vitrano said they are eager to reconnect with listeners across Northeast Wisconsin.

"I just can't wait to get back to doing something that I love, with people that I love. We can not thank everyone enough for the support through these frustrating 6 months, but it's go time," Schurk said in a news release. "It's time to laugh with each other again, and we've got a lot of things to cover from these last six months off air. Monday morning at 5am cannot come soon enough."

Vitrano added, "I'm a grab bag of adjectives - excited, ecstatic, thrilled, elated, giddy. It's kind of ironic, actually - I feel like there isn't much left to be said. It's just time to go, and I can't wait!"

Day, who has hosted the morning show solo while awaiting the addition of Schurk and Vitrano, said he's been waiting for this day for a long time.

Work isn't work when your friends are with you. I can't wait for my friends to finally be free. I, along with most of NE Wisconsin, have been waiting for this day for 6 long months. The wait is over. The fun starts soon! Let's go!

KISS FM Mornings with Otis, Katie & Nick can be heard weekdays from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The last eight months have been a wild ride for morning radio listeners in Northeast Wisconsin.

In early October, Jim Murphy -- who hosted Murphy in the Morning for 32 years -- announced he planned to retire on Nov. 28. Two days later, longtime WIXX host Otis Day was revealed as the new host of 95.9 KISS FM's morning slot. His hiring came just over two weeks after KISS FM abruptly canceled “The Jake and Tanner Show."

On Dec. 8, Murphy in the Morning co-hosts Vitrano and Schurk departed WIXX after more than two decades. Chris Carson was hired to fill WIXX's vacant morning show slot in mid-December, but was let go about a month later.

A few days into January, KISS FM announced Vitrano and Schurk would join Day for 95.9's morning show. However, the pair had to wait out a non-compete clause and could not be on the air until it was resolved or expired.

NAB Urges FCC To Reconsider Staffer's Data

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filed a Petition for Partial Reconsideration with The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the public release of employee demographic data from radio and television stations. Here’s what’s happening:

Background: The FCC is reinstating the mandatory collection of diversity data (known as Form 395-B) after a 20-year pause. This data includes information on gender, race, ethnicity, and job function for each station employee.

NAB’s Concerns: Free Speech and Equal Protection: The NAB argues that publicly disclosing this data on a station-specific basis violates both the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment.

Harassment Concerns: Non-binary employees may face harassment due to the FCC’s decision to include this information in online public files.

Statutory Authority: The NAB questions the FCC’s authority to regulate equal employment opportunity practices of radio stations.

NAB’s Petition: The NAB believes that making this data public is subject to strict scrutiny and that the FCC hasn’t demonstrated a compelling interest in doing so.

Journalists At NY Times, Reuters Upset With Union Costs

There’s a conflict brewing between journalists at the New York Times, Reuters, and other newsrooms and the NewsGuild of New York. 

Here are the key points:

Organizing Costs and Leadership Criticism: Some unionized journalists are unhappy with the NewsGuild’s organizing costs and the outspoken left-leaning criticism of journalism by some of its leaders. The Reuters NewsGuild unit chair, Tim McLaughlin, expressed concern about the union’s fiscal responsibility and its shift toward activism rather than focusing on journalists’ interests. McLaughlin emphasized that the Guild should prioritize journalists’ needs over political activism.

Debate Over Dues and Political Topics: The conflict extends to dues. Guild members are currently voting on whether to make permanent an increase in the share of their salaries that union members pay each year. Additionally, there’s an ongoing debate within the Guild about how to address political topics. The war in Gaza has been a point of contention. Some Guild staff members have criticized The New York Times’ coverage of the war, leading to tensions between Guild supporters and members of the Independent Caucus, a coalition of reporters from various news outlets.

Controversial Social Media Post: Nastaran Mohit, a high-profile Guild organizer, made a controversial post on social media, referring to “Zionist butchers.” The post sparked further debate and raised concerns about the Guild’s credibility and its handling of political issues.

The clash involves financial matters, political speech, and differing views on journalistic priorities. It’s a complex situation that reflects broader tensions within media unions.

Alex Jones to Sell InfoWars to Pay $1.5 Billion Debt

Alex Jones, facing a massive debt owed in defamation judgments for lies he spread about the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, told his Infowars listeners on Friday that he has no assets other than money he can make from selling nutritional supplements and continuing to broadcast.

The products “are worthless if I don’t promote them. Our listeners will never buy them from you if I’m gone, no matter how much they love them,” Jones said. “And the rest of the story is I will not sell out or be compromised to stay on the air here and be a puppet.”

Jones tantrum
NBC News reports Jones lashed out at various institutions — the FBI, the CIA, the Democratic Party and the news media — as he claimed he was being unfairly attacked, and was being shut down and silenced.

His comments come after he asked a judge for permission to convert his bankruptcy filing into a Chapter 7 liquidation so that he can sell off his assets to help pay for the $1.5 billion owed to the families of Sandy Hook victims who sued him.

Jones’ attorneys wrote in a court filing Wednesday that “there is no reasonable prospect of a successful reorganization” of his debts. Liquidation of his assets could mean Jones would have to sell his media company, Free Speech Systems, which is also seeking bankruptcy protection.

The plaintiffs also want the company to be liquidated, as they want to see how Jones can fulfill his financial obligations to them, they said in an emergency motion filed this week. A motion hearing was scheduled for next week to review the case.

Jones said Friday on his show that he does not want to work with the chief restructuring officer appointed by the bankruptcy court to oversee his company if that person remains during the liquidation process.

Spotify Stock Ends Week On An Up Note

Spotify’s stock price rose 3.9% this week after the company’s announcement of a U.S. price increase on Monday (June 3) sent the stock on a roller-coaster ride. Billboard reports shares rose to a new 52-week high of $331.08 on Wednesday — its highest point since Feb. 25, 2021 — before closing at $308.11 on Friday (June 7). 

After raising subscription prices in the United States and many other major markets in July 2023, Spotify further hiked rates in the United Kingdom and Australia in May. 

The additional U.S. price increase, which goes into effect in July, will raise individual rates to $11.99 per month and family plans to $19.99 per month. 

The higher prices will help Spotify cover the costs of bundling music with limited free streaming of audiobooks. The streamer is giving its customers plenty of options, though. 

A music-only tier has been introduced in the United Kingdom that costs 10.99 pounds ($13.99) per month, compared to 11.99 pounds ($15.26) per month for the music-and-audiobook option. Two-person Duo plans and student plans also offer discounts to the standard individual plan.

Portland OR Radio: KWJJ Hosts Hometown Hero Benefit Concert

99.5 The Wolf’s (KWJJ-FM) Nick and Kristen will present a Hometown Hero Benefit Concert, hosted by The Ponderosa, at The Ponderosa Lounge & Grill in Portland on Tuesday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m. PT. 

The event will feature performances by national Country star and former first responder Frank Ray and local firefighters from Fifth Alarm Band’s False Alarm Duo.

All proceeds will go to the family of Gresham firefighter Spencer Tejedas, who suffered burns on an estimated 45% of his body from rushing to the rescue into a duplex fire with the belief that a child was inside.

Tickets are on sale now for only $15. For more information, please click here.

99.5 The Wolf’s Hometown Hero Benefit Concert is a part of Audacy’s commitment to making a meaningful difference at scale. Audacy uses its reach and personal connection with listeners to advance causes that promote strong mental health and build sound communities.

šŸ“»Listeners can tune in to 99.5 The Wolf (KWJJ-FM) in Portland on air and nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station on social media via X, Facebook and Instagram.

R.I.P.: Phil Michael, Morning Host At WMBS Uniontown, PA

Phil Michael
Phil Michael, the morning host at WMBS-AM 590 in Uniontown, has died following an auto accident last month. The station announced the news in a statement//

“It is with great sadness that we report WMBS talk show host Phil Michael passed away this morning as the result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident on Friday, May 3rd," the statement read. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Michael Family, including his wife Tricia, son Noah and stepson Ben.”

According to his station biography, Michael, 51, was a Uniontown native. He graduated from California University of Pennsylvania (now PennWest University) with a bachelor's degree in education and received a master's degree in business administration from Waynesburg University.

Michael served on the Uniontown City Council for 7 years, before moving to South Union Township, where he resided with his family.

Radio History: June 8

➦In 1947...Lassie debuted on ABC radio. It was a 15-minute radio juvenile adventure program. It was broadcast on ABC from June 8, 1947 until May 30, 1948, and on NBC from June 5, 1948, until May 27, 1950.

➦In 1967...The Beatles thematic album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' quickly climbed to number one after being released just a week earlier. It was their 8th studio album and spent 15 weeks at number one in the U-S.  In the U-K,  the album went to #1 after just one week, where it remained for an incredible 27 weeks. It was the first album to print the lyrics on the sleeve.

It was lauded by critics for its innovations in production, songwriting and graphic design, for bridging a cultural divide between popular music and high art, and for providing a musical representation of its generation and the contemporary counterculture. It won four Grammy Awards in 1968, including Album of the Year, the first rock LP to receive this honor.

➤In 1988...Billboard Blast From The Past....

➦In 2011…Former Detroit Tigers outfielder and broadcaster Jim Northrup died of complications from Alzheimer's disease at age 71.

Chuck Negron is 82

  • Actor James Darren is 88. 
  • Singer Nancy Sinatra is 84. 
  • Singer Chuck Negron (Three Dog Night) is 82. 
  • Singer Boz Scaggs is 80. 
  • Actor Kathy Baker (“Picket Fences”) is 74. 
  • Actor Sonia Braga is 74. 
  • Singer Bonnie Tyler is 73. 
  • Actor Griffin Dunne is 69. 
  • “Dilbert” cartoonist Scott Adams is 67. 
  • Actor-director Keenan Ivory Wayans is 66. 
  • Singer Mick Hucknall of Simply Red is 64. 
  • Keyboardist Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran is 62. 
  • Singer Doris Pearson of Five Star is 58. 
  • Actor Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife,” ″ER”) is 57. 
  • Actor Dan Futterman (“Judging Amy”) is 57. 
  • Actor David Sutcliffe (“Private Practice,” “Gilmore Girls”) is 55. 
  • Actor Kent Faulcon (“Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse”) is 54. 
  • Singer Nicci Gilbert of Brownstone is 54. 
  • Actor Kelli Williams (“The Practice”) is 54. 
  • Actor Mark Feuerstein (“West Wing,” ″Good Morning, Miami”) is 53. 
  • Guitarist Mike Scheuchzer of MercyMe is 49. 
  • Actor Eion Bailey (“Once Upon A Time”) is 48. 
  • Rapper Ye (formerly Kanye West) is 47. 
  • TV personality Maria Menounos is 46. 
  • Singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson is 46. 
  • Guitarist Derek Trucks (Allman Brother Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band) is 45. 
  • Singer Alex Band of The Calling is 43. 
  • Fiddler Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek is 43. 
  • Actor Torrey DeVitto (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 40.
  • In 1982..Satchel Paige, American Baseball HOF pitcher (6 x Negro League, 2 x MLB All Star; World Series 1948 Cleveland Indians), dies of a heart attack at 75
  • In 2001..Nathaniel Rochester, American computer scientist (chief architect of the IBM 701), dies at 82
  • In 2010..Crispian St. Peters [Robin Peter Smith], British pop singer (The Pied Piper; No No No), dies at 71
  • In 2020..2020 Bonnie Pointer, American pop and R&B singer (The Pointer Sisters - "Jump"; "I'm So Excited"), dies at 69
  • In 2023..Pat Robertson, American Baptist televangelist (700 Club), media mogul (CBN), and politician (Presidential candidate-R-1989), dies at 93

Friday, June 7, 2024

TV Ratings: Trump Verdict Boosted Cable News

The conclusion of former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial—which saw the jury return a historic guilty verdict—proved to be a ratings boost for all three cable news networks. Fox News, MSNBC and CNN posted week-to-week gains, with both CNN and MSNBC experiencing double-digit lifts during primetime and total day in both measured categories.

Fox News topped its rivals when the verdict was handed down on Thursday during the 5 p.m. ET hour, registering over 4.7 million viewers and 665,000 in the advertiser-coveted Adults 25-54 demo. It also ranked first in the 4:45-6 p.m. window when with an average of 4.4 million total viewers and 610,000 demo viewers.

According to TV Newser, Nielsen live plus same-day data for the week showed FNC averaging 2.126 million total viewers and 226,000 A25-54 viewers during primetime. Compared to the week prior, the network was up by +6% in both measured categories. For total day, Fox News averaged 1.381 million total viewers and 161,000 demo viewers for another matched set of 6% gains.

Among all basic cable networks, Fox News moved one spot up to No. 2 in total primetime viewers and remained in fourth place in the primetime demo. In total day, the network held onto the top spot in total viewers and the No. 3 position in the demo.

MSNBC’s primetime lineup averaged 1.492 million total viewers and 157,000 viewers in the A25-54 demo. That’s a big week-to-week jump in both measured categories, rising +37% and +52%, respectively. MSNBC continued to hold fourth place among the cable networks in total primetime viewers and jumped from 15th to eighth place in the demo. During total day, it was the No. 2 network in total viewers and moved from ninth to sixth place in the demo.

CNN averaged 625,000 total viewers and 114,000 A25-54 viewers in the demo during primetime. While the network finished behind its rivals overall, it also saw double-digit gains with a +30% jump in total viewers a +25% bump in the demo compared to the previous week. CNN moved up three spots to seventh place in total primetime viewers and rose from 19th to 17th place in the demo. For total day, it once again ranked fifth in total viewers and moved from 11th to ninth place in the demo.

Fox had nine out of the 15 most-watched cable news shows of the week, led by The Five (3.363 million viewers at 5 p.m. ET). MSNBC took the remaining six spots, led by Deadline: White House with Nicole Wallace (2.357 million viewers at 5 p.m. ET).

The Five also took the top spot in the Adults 25-54 demo (327,000 at 5 p.m ET). Fox News had 10 of the top 15 cable news shows in the demo overall, with MSNBC’s All in with Chris Hayes (268,000 viewers at 8 p.m. ET) coming in sixth place.

Pat Sajak Final Show: Vanna White Bids Farewell

Vanna White bid a tearful farewell in Thursday's episode to her "Wheel of Fortune" co-host Pat Sajak.

White, 67, taped an emotional message played in front of Sajak, 77, and the "Wheel of Fortune" audience, which airs Thursday, one night before Sajak's final broadcast as host after a 41-year partnership.

"I can't believe tomorrow is our last show together," White said, managing a smile in the video. "I don't know how to put into words what these last 41 years have meant to me. But I'm going to try. Eight thousand episodes went by like that."

White praised Sajak for helping her overcome the stage fright she endured when starting the show, her first TV job.

"You made me feel so comfortable, so confident," said White, who has gone onto global "Wheel of Fortune" stardom. "You made me who I am. You really did."

"As this chapter comes to an end, I know you'll still be close by," said White. "You're like a brother to me, and I consider you a true lifelong friend who I will always adore. I love you, Pat."

'Oh my," Sajak said watching the video from the "Wheel of Fortune" set next to White. The two embraced on the stage.

USA Toda reports White will continue as co-host and letter-turner on "Wheel of Fortune" in Season 42 with new host Ryan Seacrest. Sajak will give his own farewell speech in Friday's final episode.

Report: WaPo Publisher Tried To Kill Stories About Him

The Washington Post has written twice this spring about allegations that have cropped up in British court proceedings involving its new publisher and CEO, Will Lewis. In both instances Lewis pushed his newsroom chief hard not to run the story.

NPR reports, citing several people at the newspaper, then-Executive Editor Sally Buzbee emerged rattled from both discussions in March and in May. Lewis’ efforts were first reported by the New York Times. The second Post article in May, which was thorough and detailed, ran just days before Lewis announced his priorities for the paper, which is financially troubled.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for Lewis denied the publisher had pressured his editor, saying, "That is not true. That is not what happened."

Buzbee did not recuse herself from the stories, which were overseen by Managing Editor Matea Gold, and drew upon reporters from three desks. Lewis did not block the story from running. He unexpectedly announced Buzbee’s departure on Sunday night, about three-and-a-half weeks after the longer story ran, along with a restructuring of the newsroom’s leadership structure.

Will Lewis
It is not the first time that Lewis has engaged in intense efforts to head off coverage about him in ways that many U.S. journalists would consider deeply inappropriate.

In December, David Folkenflik at NPR writes, the first comprehensive piece based on new documents cited in a London courtroom alleging that Lewis had helped cover up a scandal involving widespread criminal practices at media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloids. (Lewis has previously denied the allegations.)

At that time, Lewis had just been named publisher and CEO by Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, but had not yet started. In several conversations, Lewis repeatedly — and heatedly —offered to give Folkenflik an exclusive interview about the Post’s future, as long as he dropped the story about the allegations.

At that time, the same spokesperson, who works directly for Lewis from the U.K. and has advised him since his days at the Wall Street Journal, confirmed that an explicit offer was on the table: drop the story, get the interview.

NPR published the story nonetheless. On Thursday, the spokesperson declined comment about that offer.

Podcast Radio Signs Deal with Local Radio Networks

In an exciting new partnership, Podcast Radio, the innovative radio format known for adapting popular podcast content for the radio audience, with KMG, have signed a deal with Local Radio Networks (LRN), marking LRN’s first foray into all-talk formats. This collaboration will make Podcast Radio’s unique spoken word format available through the LRN delivery platform, allowing it to be ingested directly into each affiliates automation system.

Gerry Edwards, CEO of Podcast Radio, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership: “We are beyond excited to be partnering with LRN. Our respective teams have engaged like kindred spirits in the sharing of tech and platform advancements. We cannot wait to hear Podcast Radio brands executing on the LRN platform that will allow stations an unparalleled degree of programming flexibility that is simply not common in the Talk syndication industry.”

Podcast Radio, established in the UK and now a global player in the radio market, brings an innovative approach to traditional radio by featuring a curated selection of podcasts in a format designed to appeal to both existing podcast enthusiasts and traditional radio audiences. This partnership is expected to enhance the listening options for LRN’s audience, providing engaging, high- quality talk content available both 24/7 and throughout the schedule as dayparts.

WSJ Reporter Defends Biden 'Signs of Slipping' Story

Reporter Siobhan Hughes recently faced criticism after The Wall Street Journal this week published an article titled “Behind Closed Doors, Biden Shows Signs of Slipping.” The piece recounted President Joe Biden’s performance in private meetings and suggested that he exhibited both good and bad moments. 

Here are the key points from Hughes’ defense:

Balanced Perspective: Hughes clarified that the article aimed to present a balanced perspective. It highlighted both positive and negative aspects of Biden’s behavior behind closed doors.

Quotes from Republicans: The article included quotes from Republicans, such as former Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who stated that Biden was “not the same person” as he was as vice president. Hughes explained that this was part of their reporting and encouraged readers to consider the context.

McCarthy’s Motivation: Hughes acknowledged that McCarthy’s comments might have been tactical, given the need to work with President Biden during a critical time for the country (e.g., debt default risk).

Encouraging Readers: Hughes urged readers to read the article before forming conclusions. She emphasized looking at the facts rather than getting caught up in political biases.

In summary, Siobhan Hughes defended the article’s integrity and encouraged thoughtful engagement with the content.

O’Reilly Auto Parts Recognized as Radio Marketer of the Year

Winners of the 2024 Radio Mercury Awards were announced Thursday evening at the 33rd annual awards presentation held at SONY Hall in New York as well as live streamed, courtesy of Hubbard Radio. 

This year’s Best of Show award was presented to Highdive for their “Got Your Nose” radio commercial for their client, Airheads.

“No surprise, the Radio Mercury Awards continues to be where the best in radio and audio creativity is discovered. As a long-time entrant, sometimes winner, and forever fan, it’s been an honor to serve as chief judge,” said Mitch Bennett, executive creative director of new audio-focused creative agency Guesthouse Audio. “As final-round judges, we laughed, debated, and were inspired that 129 years after Marconi invented this thing, radio can still delight and surprise us.”

“I have been an active fan of the Radio Mercury Awards throughout my broadcasting career, and having the opportunity to experience the judging process reinforced my belief in the awards’ importance in radio and advertising today,” said Mike Hulvey, president and chief executive officer of RAB and the chair for the Radio Creative Fund. “The awards competition truly helps us propel our medium forward.”

Mark Simone and Hugo Sanchez

On behalf of the radio industry, this year’s Radio Marketer of the Year Award was presented to O’Reilly Auto Parts. New York’s WOR on-air talent Mark Simone bestowed the award to Hugo Sanchez, vice president, marketing & advertising, O’Reilly Auto Parts. Hulvey noted, “O’Reilly Auto Parts is a longtime and committed partner of the radio industry, and we are delighted to honor them with this fitting recognition, especially as they are celebrating 25 years of their iconic ‘OH OH OH O’REIIIILYYYY AUTO PARTS… OWW’ jingle.”

The ceremony included the following on-air personalities as the event’s presenters: Mike Adam from NEW 102.7 in New York City, Errol Barnett from CBS News, Maxwell from 100.3 Z100, iHeartMedia, Mark Simone from WOR 710, iHeartMedia and Shelley Wade, NEW 102.7, Audacy.

This year’s sponsors included dedicated sponsors Audio Milkshake and Beasley Media Group; livestream sponsor Hubbard Radio; participating sponsors Bonneville International, CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One, Katz Radio Group, Sound+Fury and Xperi; friends of the Radio Mercury Awards sponsors Audacy, CBS News Radio, Connoisseur Media, Cromwell Media, iHeartMedia, Media Monitors, Mr. Master, Neuhoff Media, Nielsen, Skyview Networks, Triton Digital, Townsquare Media, vCreative, World Wide Wadio and Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group. Radio Mercury Awards Donor sponsors include Benztown and Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co.

To listen to all of the winners, go to

6/7 WAKE-UP CALL: Hallie Biden Gives Emotional Testimony

NY Post Graphic 6/7/24

In wrenching testimony at his gun-charges trial, Hunter Biden’s sister-in-law described finding his weapon and drug paraphernalia. Hallie Biden said that, one morning in October 2018, she cleaned out his truck as he slept, matter-of-factly describing the discovery of the gun. Hallie, who began a romantic relationship with Hunter following the death of his brother, Beau Biden, opened a personal window into the turmoil Hunter’s addiction caused within the Biden family. On cross-examination, Hallie said she had never actually seen Hunter smoke crack around this time. Prosecutors have charged him with lying on a federal form he filled out to purchase the gun. Hunter has pleaded not guilty.

šŸ ŠDetails about Hunter Biden’s relationship with a 24-year-old stripper, his need for crack cocaine every 20 minutes and how his spiraling addiction torpedoed his first marriage were on full display for the jury as it considers the first son’s three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018. "He would want to smoke the second he woke up," Biden's ex-girlfriend, Zoe Kestan, testified Wednesday. She met Biden when she worked at a gentleman’s club in New York City when she was 24 and he was 48. The court heard continued testimony from FBI special agent Erika Jensen Wednesday and from Biden’s ex-wife Kathleen Buhle, Kestan and gun shop employee Gordon Cleveland, as prosecutors worked to prove to the jury Biden lied about his drug addiction when he filled out a federal form to buy a Colt revolver gun in 2018. 

➤FBI..NO EVIDENCE OF TAMPERING HUNTER'S LAPTOP: FBI agent Erika Jensen said on the stand during Hunter Biden’s trial Wednesday that she had not seen any evidence of tampering with the data on his infamous laptop. Hunter Biden’s legal team has sought to cast doubt on the authenticity of data on the laptop, which their client abandoned at a Delaware repair shop in April 2019, while prosecutors have introduced the laptop’s contents as evidence in their case against Hunter Biden. In prior court filings, Special Counsel David Weiss called their criticism of the laptop’s authenticity a “conspiracy theory with no supporting evidence.”

➤BIDEN DOJ OFFICIAL TOOK PAY CUT TO WORK ON TRUMP CASE: The Department of Justice official who left the Biden administration to work for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Donald Trump took a small pay cut to make the move, records suggest. Matthew Colangelo was the third-highest official at the DOJ, earning an annual salary of $183,100. He now earns a reduced salary of $180,000 a year, the city’s salary database shows. His move from the prestigious post in Washington D.C. to a lower position in a district attorney office in New York has raised eyebrows from critics who say it is evidence that Biden’s administration had a hand in prosecuting Trump.

➤HAMAS DEMANDS PERMANENT CEASE-FIRE GUARANTEE: Hamas’s leader in Gaza told Arab negotiators that he would accept a peace deal only if Israel commits to a permanent cease-fire. Yahya Sinwar affirmed the U.S.-designated terrorist group’s position in his first response to President Biden’s proposal to end the war. Sinwar’s reaction came as the Israeli military struck a U.N. school turned shelter in Gaza. Palestinian officials said at least 40 people were killed, including 14 children and nine women. Israel said the airstrike targeted three classrooms where 20 to 30 militants were hiding, including members of a unit that had participated in the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel. The military listed nine dead militants.

Sactown Radio: Paul Marshall Gets Wake-Up Duty At 98 Rock

Audacy welcomes Paul Marshall as morning drive host of 98 Rock (KRXQ-FM) in Sacramento. “The Paul Marshall Show” will air on weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT beginning June 24.

“We are excited to welcome Paul Marshall back to 98 Rock,” said Stacey Kauffman, Regional Vice President, Audacy Sacramento. “His deep connection to the Sacramento community and his previous success at our station will make him a welcomed addition to our weekday lineup. We look forward to seeing the energy and enthusiasm he will bring to our listeners once again.”

Paul Marshall
“I am humbled by the opportunity to rejoin 98 Rock,” said Marshall. “Huge thanks to the Audacy brain trust that deemed me the guy for the gig, namely Jeff Sottolano, Dave Richards, Vince Richards and Stacey Kauffman. I look forward to working alongside a great group led by Aaron Roberts. I’m stoked to get back to Sac!”

This marks Marshall’s second stint at 98 Rock. He previously served as Music Director and afternoon drive host from 2001 to 2004. Other career on-air stops include then-107.3 WAAF and WBCN-FM in Boston, KQRC-FM in Kansas City, and KDKB-FM and KSLX-FM in Phoenix. Marshall has also served as Monday Night Football postgame analyst for KXTV in Sacramento. He has been named Music Director of the Year by R&R Communications, FMQB and Album Network.

šŸ“»Listeners can tune in to 98 Rock (KRXQ-FM) in Sacramento on-air and nationwide on the Audacy app and website. Fans can also connect with the station via X, Facebook and Instagram.

Chicago Radio: Union Files Complaint Against Chicago Public Media

The local unit of SAG-AFTRA, which represents more than 60 employees at WBEZ, has filed an unfair labor practices complaint against Chicago Public Media in the wake of layoffs and buyouts thinning the ranks at the NPR station.

The Chicago Tribune reports the charges at the National Labor Relations Board allege the nonprofit parent company of WBEZ and the Chicago-Sun-Times “failed and refused to provide information demanded by the union” regarding an employee headcount and financial data.

The unfair labor practices complaint is the first filed against Chicago Public Media by the union since it began representing WBEZ employees more than a decade ago. It preceded an annual board meeting Monday shifted from in-person to chat-disabled Zoom, thwarting an opportunity for union members to voice their concerns about cutbacks at the radio station.

“We have been asking and asking for a dialogue, and for a chance to work together on some of the issues that we face at WBEZ,” said Mary Dixon, host of “Morning Edition” on WBEZ and a member of the union’s labor management council. ”It just is so disappointing to have that annual meeting moved online. To me, that’s not what public media should be about.”

There has been significant uncertainty at Chicago Public Media in recent months, beginning with the December announcement that CEO Matt Moog would be stepping down two years after combining WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times under the same nonprofit banner.

Despite a launch backed by $61 million in philanthropic support, declining revenue has been putting the potentially groundbreaking media model through an increasingly stressful financial test, forcing cost-saving measures to keep operating losses in check.

In April, Chicago Public Media announced the decision to dramatically scale back WBEZ’s podcasting unit, eliminate its urban alternative radio platform Vocalo and lay off 14 employees across the station and newspaper.

Detroit Radio: Jade Springart Promoted to PD At WRIF

Beasley Media Group announces 101 WRIF-FM Program Director Jade Springart has been promoted to Director of Rock Programming at the company’s Detroit-based radio cluster. In her new role, Springart will add legendary Classic Rock station 94.7 WCSX-FM to her programming duties. She will begin her new position immediately.

Springart has been with the station for the past 17 years. She started working at the WRIF-FM as a promotions intern, served as Assistant Program Director, Music Director, and Midday Host at the station before being named Program Director in August 2021.

Jade Springgart
In addition, Springart will continue to be heard on WRIF weekdays from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.     

“Jade is the perfect choice to lead our rock programming in the Motor City,” said Chief Operating Officer Brian Beasley. “Her commitment, dedication and drive for the rock format is exactly what we need to take both stations to the next level and beyond.”

“I am thrilled to be able to hand the 94.7 WCSX reigns over to someone as knowledgeable, capable and passionate as Jade,” said Vice President and Market Manager Patti Taylor. “Her drive, along with her acute attention to all the right details, makes Jade the exact person we need to take the iconic WCSX through this time of evolution and growth.  As Program Director of WRIF and now WCSX, I am excited to see what Jade has in store for Detroit’s rock fans!”

“I am honored to take on the role of program director for 94.7 WCSX,” said Springart. “As a born and raised Detroiter, I grew up listening to 94.7 and can honestly say this station played a huge part in influencing my love for rock n’ roll (along with my mom who had this station on every morning while taking me to school). I’m excited to work with some of the best talent in the industry and continue the success of the brand and call I can’t thank the Beasley’s enough for their continued support and for entrusting me to guide both WRIF and WCSX!”

Rick Ball Named New TV Voice for NHL Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks have announced that Rick Ball has been named the club’s next television play-by-play announcer. Ball will join color analyst Darren Pang in the Blackhawks broadcast booth for the 2024-25 season, the team’s first on the forthcoming Chicago Sports Network, the new television home of the Blackhawks.

Ball, 57, joins the Blackhawks after spending the previous 10 seasons as the television play-by-play voice of the Calgary Flames on Sportsnet. During that time, Ball has also served as play-by-play announcer for Hockey Night in Canada’s national broadcasts, a role he began in 2011 before being named the program’s lead Western play-by-play announcer in 2013.

“We are delighted to have Rick join the Blackhawks broadcast booth alongside Darren Pang as we begin this exciting new chapter in Blackhawks television with our new broadcast venture, Chicago Sports Network,” said President of Business Operations Jaime Faulkner. “An established voice in the hockey world, Rick brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our broadcasts. Coupled with Darren’s exceptional energy and expertise, we believe we are providing Blackhawks fans with the best in-home watching experience in the NHL.

“We would also like to thank Chris Vosters for his time as play-by-play announcer, and we look forward to continuing discussions surrounding opportunities with our new network. Chris is a phenomenal broadcaster with a big career ahead of him, and we are excited for him to continue to showcase his immense talent through his content with Stadium as well as his broadcasting work with other national, multi-sport entities,” added Faulkner.

D-C Radio: WTEM To Air WNBA Mystics

The Washington Mystics and Audacy announced Thursday a partnership to broadcast live Mystics games on The Team 980 (WTEM-AM), the new Mystics flagship station, throughout the 2024 WNBA season.

The broadcast schedule begins with the team’s game at Capital One Arena against the Chicago Sky on Thursday, June 6 at 7 PM ET and will run through the conclusion of the regular season in the fall.

The broadcasts will feature a simulcast live audio feed from Monumental Sports Network’s (MNMT) television broadcast (including the halftime report) and fans will be able to hear all 25 of the Mystics’ remaining regular season games available on the network this season. 

While most radio broadcasts will air on The Team 980, select games will air on 106.7 The Fan (WJFK-FM) and The Bet Washington (WJFK-AM), and all games will be streamed locally on the Audacy app. 

“We are delighted to broaden our relationship with Audacy and continue to drive the fast-paced growth of women’s basketball in the DMV region,” said Zach Leonsis, President of Media & New Enterprises at Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE). “We have seen incredible television viewership for the Mystics during the first weeks of the season and we’re thrilled to offer our fans another way to tune into our games.” 

Philly Radio: Sportsradio WIP Headed to London

SportsRadio 94WIP, the flagship station of the Philadelphia Phillies, is heading to London to broadcast Major League Baseball’s London Series as the Phillies take on the New York Mets June 8 and 9.

To celebrate the weekend, “The WIP Morning Show” will also broadcast two live shows from Passyunk Avenue, London’s Philadelphia-themed bar, on Friday, June 7 and Monday, June 11 in partnership with Phans of Philly. The broadcasts, which will air both days starting at 11:00 a.m. local London time (6:00 a.m. ET), will welcome surprise guests as the station celebrates the hometown Phillies, including former Phillies players and World Series champions Cole Hamels and Matt Stairs.

Morning Show Live Broadcast locations:
  • Friday, June 7: Passyunk Avenue Waterloo Location, 22 Leake Street, Leake Street Arches, London SE1 7NN.
  • Monday, June 10: Passyunk Avenue Battersea, Embassy Gardens, 7 New Union Square, Nine Elms, London SW11 7DN
Owned and operated by former South Philadelphia natives, Passyunk Avenue is regarded as the premier location for Philly fans to socialize and support the team while in England. Passyunk Avenue will have a series of great events all week including tailgates, bus tours and local Philly foods.

Phans of Philly is the Official Travel Partner of SportsRadio 94WIP and the Philadelphia Eagles Radio Network.

Radio History: June 7

Martin & Lewis
➦In 1917...singer/comedian/actor Dean Martin was born in Steubenville Ohio.

He was one of the most famous music artists in the 1950s and 1960s. Playboy magazine later called Martin “the coolest man who ever lived.” He & Jerry Lewis began as a team in movies & on NBC radio in the late ’40’s, and did TV together in the early 50’s, but split in 1956.  He became a big TV star with NBC’s Dean Martin Show (1965-74) and his Celebrity Roasts (’73-’84.)

He succumbed to lung cancer Christmas Day 1995 at age 78.

➦In 1932..WLW 700 AM Cincinnati was authorized to experiment with a power of 500,000 watts at 700 khz.  In January 1934, WLW began broadcasting with 500,000 watts after midnight under the experimental call sign W8XO. In April 1934 the station was authorized to operate at 500,000 watts during regular hours using the WLW call letters. On May 2, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ceremonially pressed the same golden telegraph key that Wilson had used to open the Panama Canal, officially launching WLW's 500-kilowatt signal.

As the first station in the world to broadcast at this strength, WLW received numerous complaints from around the United States and Canada that it was interfering with other stations, most notably from CFRB, then on 690 kHz, in Toronto, Ontario. In December 1934, WLW was instructed to cut back to 50 kilowatts at night until it had eliminated the interference. The station began construction of two shorter towers 1850 feet southwest from the main tower in order to create a directional antenna, which successfully reduced the signal broadcast towards Canada. With these antenna towers in place, full-time broadcasting at 500 kilowatts resumed in early 1935. However, WLW was continuing to operate under special temporary authority that had to be renewed every six months; each renewal brought complaints about interference, and undue domination of the market, by such a high-power station.

After complaints of signal interference and years of controversy the extra power was rescinded in 1939.

➦In NBC radio summer replacement show The Adventures of Topper aired for the first time. Roland Young reprised his title role from the 1937 movie of the same name. Eight years later the program would move to TV with a different cast and become a big hit.

➦In 1955...NBC radio presented The Lux Radio Theatre for the final time. The program had aired for 21 years, most of them on CBS.

➦In 1959…KLX-AM, Oakland, California changed its call letters to KEWB-AM (now KNEW 960 AM).

➦In 1965... KNX 1070 AM personality Bob Crane told his L-A audience he was leaving the show to star in a new TV series “Hogan’s Heroes.” Crane said he had been considering offers for years.