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Radio

Regis Philbin Set for More Bing Crosby Christmas Radio

RegisPhilbinIt’s been 36 years since Bing Crosby passed away in Madrid, Spain. But his memory shines bright each holiday season, with extra help this Christmas from lifelong fan Regis Philbin.

Philbin credits Crosby as his idol and greatest inspiration growing up, leading to an eventual opportunity to sing for the superstar on The Joey Bishop Show. There’s no better person to be in the middle of Sirius XM’s Bing Crosby Christmas Radio (Channel 111), which will re-up December 20 at 12:00 pm ET and air through noon December 26. From today’s announcement:

The channel will feature vintage Bing Crosby holiday radio programs from 1942-1962 and two new specials: SiriusXM’s Crosby Christmas Town Hall, an intimate Q & A hosted by Philbin with Crosby’s wife Kathryn, son Harry and a select group of listeners, and a music show on which Kathryn will share memories and the stories behind her favorite Bing Christmas songs.

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Barbra Streisand Asks Australian Reporter: ‘Are There Kangaroos Popping Around There?’

“I love the way you talk… It’s such a great accent.” That’s how Barbra Streisand begins a 1964 interview in her Funny Girl dressing room at the Windsor Garden Theatre on Broadway with the late Australian radio reporter Binny Lum, who passed away last year at age 97.

Thanks to Australia’s National Film & Sound Archive, that conversation and many other Lum celeb chats can now be accessed over the Internet. The institute has lovingly archived the work of Lum, who hosted an afternoon show on Melbourne’s 3XY. Per the institute, here’s how Lum in her memoirs framed the Streisand conversation:

I guess Barbra looked fairly basic, in slacks and a sloppy joe top, but her personality was a different thing. She had a disarming, down-to-earth naturalness which the Americans might call “kooky”…

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Eminem Raps About Social Media

Rapper-reporter Sway Calloway has known Eminem since the 1990s, a fact that helped lend an extra layer of comfort to the pair’s Sirius XM Town Hall chat. The conversation premiered Tuesday on the Shade 45 channel and will repeat through the week and into the weekend.

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At one point, Calloway asked Eminem how – just like the rest of us – he deals with Twitter heckling. The rapper’s answer:

“I really try not to pay attention. Put it this way, I want to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s going on, so I don’t want to be ignorant in that sense. But at the same time, I can’t pay attention to what everyone is saying.”

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WOR 710 to be New Flagship Radio Station of the Mets

WOR logo GAttention fans of the New York Metropolitans, we have some news: The team has found a new radio home. Clear Channel and the Mets have struck a deal to make WOR-AM 710 the new radio station for those lovable losers.

The Mets had been searching for a radio deal since WFAN announced it was dropping them for the Yankees next season.

“We look at this investment not only as an opportunity to establish WOR as a destination to a broader audience, but to also to drive further awareness and growth of the Mets through our unique multi-platform capabilities and programming — radio, digital, outdoor and live events,” said John Hogan, chairman and CEO of Clear Channel, in a statement.

The Clear Channel deal is good for five years. The over/under on number of Mets World Series wins during that time is set at two.

Colin Cowherd Bangs a Drum Few Other Sports Journalists Are Willing to Touch

ColinCowherdPicAnd for that, we applaud him. The ESPN Radio host is not arguing this morning, and before, that World Series MVP David Ortiz was for-sure on some sort of PED cocktail. He’s just saying that given Ortiz’s past and insane batting average against a young corps of St. Louis flame throwers, he is naturally “suspicious.”

Cowherd’s stance is notable for an historic reason as well. In the wake of the original baseball steroids scandal, many sports journalists bemoaned the fact that their heads had been in the sand. Some might have known a little bit more than others, but essentially all were complicit.

The ESPN host discussed this latest opinion with intelligence and qualified guests. Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy told Cowherd that he had the same basic conversation with Ortiz in May about the specter of performance-enhancing drugs, about which he wrote.

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Grover’s Mill, New Jersey Celebrates 75th Martian Anniversary

The geographical infamy associated with the Mercury Theatre‘s 1938 radio broadcast “The War of the Worlds” was a happy accident. Per an article this week by Joyce J. Persico in the Times of Trenton, radio play writer Howard Koch closed his eyes and randomly pointed a pencil at a map of New Jersey. Today, Grover’s Mill is often referred to by the larger designation of West Windsor Township.

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The broadcast fooled listeners on October 30, but the 75th anniversary celebrations start this weekend with various activities in Grover’s Mill. Among them, this Saturday-Sunday event at a location owned by former councilman Franc Gambatese and his wife, whose business is dedicated basically to the memory of that historic program:

On October 26 and 27 at 8 p.m., the Grover’s Mill Coffee House & Roastery will host a live recreation of the 1938 Welles radio program hosted by Michael Jarmus. On October 30 at 8 p.m., there will be a discussion of “War of the Worlds” by a panel of historians. All events are free, people in costume are welcome, but seating is limited.

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Central New York Radio Stations Get Sick Jump on Christmas

In recent years, various radio stations across the country have started blasting wall-to-wall Christmas music around Thanksgiving or,  in some select cases, as early as the beginning of November. But they’ve got nothing on 95.3 FM in Syracuse.

HollyFMPer a report by Post-Standard entertainment reporter Geoff Herbert, 95.3 FM and Oswego sister station 103.9 FM switched over the weekend to the Yuletide format. The regularly scheduled Christian programming (Love Radio/WVOA-FM) has been temporarily bumped down the dial to 87.7 FM:

The new station is called Holly-FM, promising a mix of “your favorite contemporary and traditional holiday songs.”

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Page Six Editor Gives NPR the 300 Sandwiches Update

By FishbowlNY’s calculations, the bread-and-butter courtship of a certain lucky guy by Page Six senior editor Stephanie Smith will be completed – assuming no holiday breaks – on January 29, 2014. Just in time for a logical, return Valentine’s Day gift.

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By then, also, who knows how many media appearances Smith will have logged. Not quite 300, like the number of daily sandwiches she is famously making for her boyfriend. But certainly in the dozens, if she so chooses.

This week, Smith dropped by NPR’s NYC studios to connect with Tell Me More host Michel Martin. Responding to the Internet criticism aimed at her engagement-ring efforts, Smith urged critics to actually read her blog posts. If they do, she suggested, they’ll understand the spirit of it all:

“It’s not just a girl making all this food to earn a man’s love. This is a journey between the two of us as we continue on towards engagement. And I don’t think I’m less of a woman or a hard-charging career woman because I want to do something nice for my boyfriend.”

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RadioLab Learns All About NYC’s ‘Poop Train’

The inquisitive minds at RadioLab this week got to the bottom of New York City sewage treatment. We’re talking 1.3 billion gallons (or seven billion pounds) of daily material that must be managed.

Up until 1986, West Side sewage was simply dumped, untreated into the Hudson River. There were also boats that would cart out loads 103 miles into the ocean and throw it all overboard. Today, the treated sewage is destined for landfill, but per the report by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, there was also another interim solution spearheaded by NYC “sludge salesman” Mike Sharp:

“And this is how the New York City poop train began. A couple of days before Earth Day 1992, several thousand tons of New York City sludge left the Big Apple, headed for Lamar, Colorado. Sixteen hundred miles away…”

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Just For Laughs Comedy Festival Grabs the SiriusXM Microphone

JustForLaughsLogoCoinciding with the 30th anniversary year of Montreal’s annual Just For Laughs comedy festival, SiriusXM is tomorrow launching a new channel that will tap archived and future material from the now international year-round event. It’s a great idea for a 24/7 Sirius channel; you can find it starting Thursday at #403.

From today’s announcement:

“We are thrilled to expand our audiences with this exciting new opportunity with SiriusXM,” said Bruce Hills, COO, Just For Laughs. “We couldn’t be happier that audiences across North America will finally get a chance to hear some incredible comedy from our vast library over the last 30 years.”

You’re not kidding. This is the best thing to happen to stand-up comedy since the podcast. Another wrinkle is that Greg Giraldo, Richard Jeni and other stand-ups who are sadly no longer with us can shine anew. There’s no way their Just For Laughs routines could be properly broadcast on terrestrial radio.

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