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Cumulus Media warns talk radio hosts about content

NEW YORK — The ownership group for several talk radio hosts across the country, including syndicated figures like Mark Levin and Dan Bongino, says its personalities need to tone things down or face firing.

Cumulus Media content chief Brian Philips sent an email to managers Wednesday, the day of the U.S. Capitol riot, saying the company had to help induce calm.


“There will be no dog whistles about ‘stolen elections,’ ‘civil wars’ or any other language that infers violent public disobedience is warranted, ever,” said the memo, first reported by Inside Music Media.

The memo said Cumulus would not tolerate any suggestion by its on-air personalities that the presidential election is not over.

“Please inform your staffs that we have ZERO TOLERANCE for any suggestion otherwise,” Philips said in the memo.

Cumulus owns 416 radio stations in 86 markets across the country, along with the syndication arm Westwood One.

Ford to close Brazil manufacturing plants

SAO PAULO — Ford Motor said on Monday it will close three plants in Brazil and stop producing automobiles in the South American country. The company said in a statement it will cease production immediately at the factories “as the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies persistent industry idle capacity and slow sales that have resulted in years of significant losses.” The automaker also said it will keep its South America headquarters, product development center and proving grounds in Brazil.

Ford claims 2 Vehicle of the Year awards

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co.’s new electric Mustang Mach E is the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, and the company’s F-150 pickup won truck honors from a group of auto journalists.

Hyundai’s Elantra compact car took Car of the Year as all three awards were announced during a Monday webcast.

About 50 automotive journalists serve as judges, for the three awards, which are announced every January. They’re chosen from dozens of candidates and must be new or substantially changed. Automakers often use the awards in advertising.

The judges evaluate finalists on value, innovation, design, performance, safety, technology and driver satisfaction. The selection process started last summer.

Utility of the Year finalists included the Mach E as well as the Genesis GV80 and the Land Rover Defender. Pickup finalists included the F-150 as well as the Jeep Gladiator Mojave and Ram 1500 TRX.

In addition to the Elantra, car finalists included the Genesis G80 and the Nissan Sentra.

Uganda: Facebook ‘interfering’ in polls

KAMPALA, Uganda — A Ugandan official accused Facebook of meddling in the country’s upcoming election after several accounts linked to President Yoweri Museveni’s campaign were removed for alleged inauthentic behavior. Presidential spokesman Don Wanyama told The Associated Press that Facebook’s action was evidence of what Ugandan authorities see as outside support of Bobi Wine, the leading opposition candidate in presidential elections scheduled for Thursday. In a statement, Facebook said it removed a network of accounts and pages that used fake accounts to manage pages, comment on other people’s content, impersonate users, re-share posts in groups to make them appear more popular than they were. Facebook said it blocked that network ahead of Uganda’s elections.

LONDON — The maker of Dr. Martens boots, the chunky-soled footwear favored by celebrities like Rihanna and Kristen Stewart, plans to sell shares to the public as the existing owners seek to profit from growth of the iconic brand. Dr. Martens Ltd. said Monday that current investors plan to sell at least 25% of their stake in an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange.

Carnival expects 2021 loss; 2022 looks strong

NEW YORK — Carnival Corp. says its 2022 cruise bookings are running ahead of 2019 numbers, a sign that guests will return once the pandemic has eased. Carnival halted sailings in March 2020 after numerous ships reported coronavirus outbreaks on board. The company expects to resume a limited amount of cruising in Europe later this month. It has paused U.S. sailings through March 31. The company says it also expects to report a loss its 2021 fiscal year, which ends in November.

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