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Conway, Jr, Producer Suspended from KFI Show Over Skit

Media Action Network for Asian Americans actively complained to station management over May 3rd skit

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Tim Conway, Jr, and his executive producer have been sidelined after a skit from earlier in the month with racial overtones that prompted complaint from the Asian-American community.

Conway and Serron Bellio were suspended by iHeartRadio after the Media Action Network for Asian Americans applied pressure to the owner of KFI.

The two issued apologies Friday tied to the May 3rd skit that lasted five minutes, with Conway interviewing Bello, who was impersonating longtime LA-market radio personality Vic “The Brick” Jacobs’ wife, Yuko Sakamoto. The bit included variations of “Hiya!” “Heeyah!” “Heeyo!” and Bello using a stereotypically-mocking Asian accent.

As Deadline reported, Sakamoto doesn’t speak with an accent.

“On May 3rd during our show, I did an impression in which I perpetuated stereotypes of Asian Americans, only adding to an already difficult time for many,” Bellio said. “I want to sincerely apologize for my actions that have offended and hurt listeners & anyone in the Asian American/Pacific Islander community. I am deeply sorry that my failed attempt at humor was insensitive and I feel horrible about that. My words tonight will never convey the shame that I’m feeling because of my actions and I just – I really want to apologize.”

Conway added, “We believe it’s important to take this time to recognize the issue of hate crimes against Asians that have significantly increased over the last few months. In fact, these crimes have doubled in the last month. And over the last year and a half, Asian Americans across this country including in our very own Southland communities, have endured despicable and sickening acts of hate & violence, fearing for their safety and the safety of their families.”

The two will be off the remainder of this week before returning to air on Tuesday, June 1st. Mark Thompson and Wayne Resnick are filling in for Conway this week.

News Radio

WBZ Radio Celebrates 100 Years of Broadcasting

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WBZ

The century mark.

WBZ Radio commemorated 100 years worth of broadcasting on Sept. 19, 2021.

The heritage station out of Boston was the first recipient of a commercial broadcasting license in the United States. Per CBS Boston, the station’s first broadcasts featured live theatre, farm talk and sewing lessons.

Yes, sewing lessons.

One of the numerous forms of celebration for the monumental anniversary included a personalized note from President Joe Biden.

“Radio has long been an important aspect of American life — narrating the triumphs and tragedies that have defined America as well as the day-to-day news that keeps listeners engaged with their communities,” Biden wrote via WBZ News Radio. “Over the decades, radio stations like WBZ NewsRadio have been on the forefront of journalism, providing entertainment and valuable information to people who tune in throughout the day.”

CBS Boston continued with their timeline of memorable moments in WBZ history, including a mention of a time during the 1930’s when a promotion called for bringing a live lion into the studio. The wild animal broke through a glass window and injured several people.

Throughout the years, WBZ has featured live news coverage of every major American event, including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, terrorists attacks, multiple wars and natural disasters.

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News Radio

Marketron Cyber Attack Creates Radio Industry Disruptions

“A Russian criminal organization called BlackMatter has created a big mess for Marketron.”

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A Russian criminal organization called BlackMatter has created a big mess for Marketron. The company alerted radio partners via email that it had been the victim of a cyber attack, creating nationwide problems for the company’s customers.

In a note to radio clients, CEO Jim Howard said the company made recent investments to separate backup and disaster recovery in different physical and network environments. In doing so, “zero trust” access management policy was created, and was supposed to provide new security detection and recovery tools.  The attackers though still found a way to overcome the company’s modifications. Marketron has yet to determine how the hackers exploited their network.

Howard apologized for the issue and acknowledged that the company is communicating with both BlackMatter and the FBI. Marketron says they are working on the issue and hoping to restore systems as quickly as possible. Once everything is back to normal they’ll provide an update to client stations.

Marketron is a leading provider of enterprise revenue and profitability management solutions for the media industry. They supply revenue generation and management solutions, ad tech and mobile advertising platforms, and an array of digital audience engagement tools to help drive new growth opportunities. Given their large footprint in the radio industry, it’s safe to say a number of groups and stations will be affected today.

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Union Successfully Negotiates Contract With NPR Affiliate WHYY-FM

Representatives from The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) said the deal raises salaries and provides other benefits associated with the union.

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WHYY

A union representing 160,000 journalists, radio personalities, and other media types, has successfully negotiated a contract with Philadelphia-based NPR affiliate WHYY-FM, the station announced on its Twitter account. 

Representatives from The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) said the deal raises salaries and provides other benefits associated with the union.

“After a long negotiation process, SAG-AFTRA members finally have a solid first agreement with WHYY that implements vital benefits and pay increases,” said SAG-AFTRA national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. “I congratulate our negotiating team as well as our amazing WHYY members on their new contract.” 

Union members at WHYY negotiated for two years before reaching a deal. Members held a rally in July when negotiations began to drag on. The unit won its union election 70 to 1 on October 30, 2019. 

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