The most comprehensive listing of 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People, spanning the last 62 years, is now available just by clicking on your favorite personality. 
The listings provide a colorful snapshot of where they came from, where and when they worked, and what they’re doing now. 


(Mike (Ray) Dunaway, Shirley Strawberry, Carla Ferrell, Lori Kelman, and Doug Stephan)

Bill's Biz is Hardly a Dud

(October 19, 2018) Dudley's Records Vintage Vinyl is located in Torrance and owned by KTWV personality Bill Dudley. His specialty store just celebrated its first anniversary. Bill sells hundreds of records, CDs, cassettes, posters, T-shirts, and other music related merchandise. “Hard to believe, but we just celebrated our one-year anniversary of the new Dudley’s Records, my seventh and final location,” emailed Bill. “We had a HUGE sale with a big turnout of our new and regular customers. The Beach Reporter newspaper gave us a nice shout out.” More info at: … Doug Stephan celebrates 30th Anniversary as an independent syndicated host. His program, continually running for the past three decades, was heard on LARadio on various stations over the decades, most recently on KFWB. It began as a morning show titled “Good Day” in a basement studio at WCKY-Cincinnati. “I think for the first few months, I was talking to myself, and now after all these years, I have spoken to millions of listeners…how many…who really knows?  Plus being on over 1,400 stations in the collective over the years, I am humbled by the support of so many station managers and program directors.” … Ever wonder what happened to the Satellite Sisters who had a show on KABC in 2005? ... As part of their ongoing support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Shirley Strawberry and Carla Ferrell of the KJLH Steve Harvey Morning Show joined more than 4,000 participants in the 2018 Sista Strut Breast Cancer Walk in Chicago this past weekend … Brad Pomerance yearns to be a game show host. “I am hosting TRIVIA for King Trivia at Billingsley’s Restaurant in L.A.,” Brad posted … Gary Spears, retired from radio broadcasting one year ago, moved to Florida, and takes occasional requests for voiceover work … Vin Scully could have wished us all a very pleasant good afternoon, on national television. The invitation came from Joe Buck, the lead announcer for Fox Sports. “It would be an honor to get up, take the headset off, sterilize it and hand it to Vin,” Buck told The Times. Vin respectfully declined: “I don’t want to just take a bow…Those fellows have been broadcasting all year. I don’t want to get into their spotlight in any way, shape, or form. I think they’re doing a wonderful job” … Chaka Khan, the one-time jock at B-100 (KIBB 100.3/fm), will be the grand marshal of the 2019 Rose Parade. As a singer, her hits include I’m Every WomanI Feel for You, and Tell Me Something Good.

Slim Pickens 

(October 18, 2018) One of treats of chronicling the 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People (LARP) is to learn something special about them and share it with you. Since this project started in the early 1990s, we think we are up to date with everyone but clearly know that is not the case. It only takes an email to update yourself or someone you know.

While picking around some research material, we learned about the passing of Hal Pickens. Hal had quite a time in LARadio, working during the 60s at Channel 98/KFWB, KBLA, and KDAY. He died July 19, 2010 after a lengthy illness. He was 73.

Although his made-for-radio voice had never uttered the thought outright, Hal always knew in his heart that he was born to be an entertainer, according to his obit in the Tulsa World. The nuns at his school corroborated his belief. His career aptitude test results had confirmed as much. It wasn't until Pickens, as an Oklahoma State University engineering student, filled in one night for an absent disc jockey at the campus radio station that his future course was set. Pickens felt right at home in front of a mike. And with his natural charm and quick wit, he was soon on his way to radio stardom.

By the mid-1960s, the rising radio personality would find himself spinning the latest pop hits for millions of listeners, including work in the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles and New York City, winning wide acclaim in the process. For his work at KFWB in 1965, Pickens was named Billboard magazine’s Air Personality of the Year. He would spend nearly 30 years in the industry.

Pickens eventually moved back to Oklahoma and made his home in Tulsa, where he worked in local radio until retiring in the 1980s. Harold L. "Hal" Pickens Jr., worked for both Tulsa’s KAKC and KWEN as he ended his career. “He loved connecting with people,” Barbara Pickens said of her husband. “And the spontaneity of radio really appealed to him.” She first heard his voice over the airwaves when he was working in New York. “It wasn’t real deep but it was perfect. He had a sexy voice and he knew how to use it,” Barbara said with a laugh.

Pickens, who also wrote music and built his own recording studio, would go on to produce and write songs for Jimmy Holiday, the r&b singer and songwriter. In 1964, he booked and emceed The Beatles’ San Diego show during their famous first trip to the U.S. “He said The Beatles were just perfect gentlemen,” said Barbara. “He did the Rolling Stones not long after that. He said they were thugs.” While emceeing a New Year’s Eve show in Santa Clara in 1971, Pickens was running up some stairs when the steps collapsed. He broke an ankle and shattered both knees. But he finished the show before seeking medical attention, his wife said. From face-to-face interviews with famous stars to skydiving and driving race cars for radio promotional stunts, Pickens loved every aspect of the business. Said Barbara Pickens: “Even in Hal’s last days, he was talking about how much he missed doing radio.”

KNX/fm is Back ... Sorta 
(October 17, 2018) KNX/fm is making a return engagement, thanks to the Internet. “I've been working closely with James Cole whose father Bob Cole was vp of CBS from 1969 to 1983. Bob helped create ‘The Mellow Sound’ that launched in January 1973. James provided me with over 100 jingles from KNX/fm. They are all playing now,” emailed Dale Berg. Nice if they could get back their tasty features like “The Odyssey File.” Berg is hoping that this station will generate listeners as much, or more than what he’s experiencing with his Smooth Jazz Station, The Oasis. Click the artwork to listen.

Hear Ache. KFSH’s Delilah was a guest on ABC’s Good Morning America this week to promote the release of her latest book, One Heart at A Time. She will stop by Megyn Kelly TODAY, plus she’s currently featured on the cover of Women’s World Magazine and Guideposts magazine … Former Top 40 jock Jack Hayes looked like he was not going to make it there for a while. “But I fooled them,” emailed Hayes. “I got pneumonia in June and the antibiotics turned it into c-diff (clostridium difficile colitis) which I wouldn’t wish on anybody. Have been in the hospital five times since but mostly OK since August 23. Got my fingers crossed” … Love “Temptations Tuesday” on Sirius Soultown, Channel 49 … Neil Ross is out promoting his book, Vocal Recall. “Just made an appearance plugging my book on Ken Levine’s podcast, Hollywood and Levine. I was so long-winded he ended up turning it into two podcasts. Part one is available now at It’s #93 titled ‘The Man who Killed Jim Morrison.’ You’ll have to listen to find out why” … Lon Helton, former pd at KHJ, just won CMA Broadcast Personality of the Year for his “Country Countdown USA” … KJLH’s Steve Harvey was among the honorees at the Merge Gala Awards at the 10th annual Merge Summit in Los Angeles. 

I'm Dressed, You're Not

(October 16, 2018) Johnny Gunn had a great radio career, with stops at KEZY, KBIG, KNJO, and KGIL. Proving that LARPs come in shapes, sizes, and colors, Johnny provides a first for us as he reveals all in a new book. He boasts to be very blessed. He lives in a “dream world of 37 shades of green jungle of giant trees and flowers at the Motion Picture Country House, at the edge of LA.” His present story in a moment.

Johnny started his broadcast career in 1947 in the then-territory of Alaska. After programming KENO-Las Vegas in 1967. Johnny won the world championship Sheriff’s Rodeo Mule races for three years. In the mid-1970s he was producing commercial spots. At the San Fernando Big Band station, KGIL, Johnny worked evenings and was the pd.

Born in Buffalo, Johnn spent all his school years in Akron, Ohio. “It was at Akron University where I got shot in the ass with show business. I moved to Seattle, auditioned at every station in the Northwest and got my first job in 1947 at KFQD-Anchorage. I worked my way down the coast with stops in Juneau, Ketchikan, Tacoma, Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego and then the Southland.” Johnny’s still married to his first wife Jo-Ann. He retired to Morro Bay in 1992 and was writing Our First 103 Moves. Now for Johnny’s story today:
 “Somebody up there likes me.” Paul Newman, as Rocky Graziano, said it in the movie which also served as the title. “I’m hereby adopting the line because I’ve been blessed with so much. I had a 92nd birthday, a 67th wedding anniversary, continued good health and I finished my book, which was published a few months ago.

At the Motion Picture Home, I have an independent cottage and Jo-Ann resides 172 steps away at the Alzheimer’s facility. We spend the last half of every day together. Yes, she still knows me, is still my favorite conversationalist, has a great sense of humor, we chat, have dinner together, wheelchair around the acreage, I tuck her in for the night, read to her and sneak back to my digs when she goes to sleep. It doesn’t hurt, and one forgets all details of what happened from ten minutes to ten or fifteen years back. Jo-Ann was diagnosed more than 10 years ago, by comparison Peter Falk died in six months.

Right after the war we moved “out west.” It took two months of looking before we ended up in Seattle. Seattle is not “rainy.” It’s misty. And sunshiney. And beautiful. I got married there and we had Gloria there. Gloria recently retired from Mary Tyler Moore as Post Production Supervisor. We all lost our beloved middle one, Emily, to cancer in 2013. We left Seattle twice for Alaska, once for Anchorage before I knew Jo-Ann, and once for Ketchikan and Juneau when Gloria was 2 years old. Both times for Radio station employment. Back to Seattle for a couple years and then Las Vegas in the 50’s. That was Las Vegas at its best. Every big-city mob owned a casino, New York – Desert Inn and Riviera, Bugsy Siegal, The Flamingo, Meyer Lansky, The Sahara.  Brunches and celebrity shows were unbelievably cheap, before the city with its burgeoning population and big-city behavior gradually took the town over. The prices went up and the bad guys disappeared.

We moved to San Diego and L.A. and more radio. We’ve had a fun-life, including being divorced for four years because of a misunderstanding (noun). We misunderstood (verb) each other. We finally wised up and talked and got remarried. (It’s in the book). So, why did I write a book called, I’m Dressed, You’re Not? 

I’ve had a good reason: Since I was five years old, secretly ‘dressed up’ in my mother’s clothes. The word, cross-dresser is in the book a lot, the word transvestite, not a whole bunch.  I also admit to “daddy.” Good husband for 67 years and 3-time grampa, a lovable, old curmudgeon. Cross-dressers don’t want to be organized or identified. You couldn’t get one to march in a parade. They don’t want to be recognized or divorced, fired or even glanced askance at. Don’t want their wives or kids to find out. It isn’t fun. But it is. But it isn’t. That’s where I was when I told my wife about it. She had a tough time for a while and finally told her “best friend,” our daughter. Nobody got mad or disappointed at anybody. Isn’t it amazing how intelligent people can be. I’ve lectured on the subject to hundreds of college classes, for every Cal State. and U. of Cal’s. this century and last. Crimany! I wish I could have made this shorter. It happens. (Photo: Gunn with Tom Patterson)

You can reach out to John at: You can buy his book I’m Dressed, You’re Not at:

Winner, Wimmer, Winner 

(October 15, 2018) Rocio Rivera is getting more and more exposure doing the news at KFI. Next weekend, she’ll be taking over the weekend shift of Julie Slater (Julie’s leaving the station to pursue voiceover).

Rocio was born and raised in Los Angeles, graduating from Cal State Northridge with a degree in journalism. She started her broadcast career in a small town in Southeastern Colorado in 2011. “I found her [she found me] while she was working in Lamar, Colorado,” emailed KFI news director Chris Little. “I told her to stay there and work on her delivery, with my help, but she decided to move back to LA. I kept working with her and put her on overnight.” Rocio has been with KFI since 2015. 

She’s also now a fill-in host for KCRW in the LA and Santa Barbara market during middays, Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
Roger Wimmer Passes. “Far too many people play a major role behind the scenes of local LARadio and are rarely recognized for their efforts,” emailed Jhani Kaye. “Although most may not know his name, Roger Wimmer was one of those pivotable broadcasters who helped shape the radio landscape in Los Angeles. He was one of the two researchers of Cox Radio when the decision was made to launch KOST 103 in 1982. Every KOST auditorium music test was conducted under his watchful eye.

His insights were amazing. He helped sculpt the talk radio format for KFI, which took on powerhouse KABC and won the talk radio war. And he helped revive K-Earth 101 and make it #1 again in Los Angeles beginning with my tenure in 2006.”

Jhani continued: “Roger had been courageously fighting cancer for the past 4 years. He passed Saturday, October 13. He held a PhD. in mass media research and worked for many groups throughout his lengthy career. He was president and co-founder of Paragon Research and The Eagle Group, and also became president of Surrey Research. Few in radio probably realize that he co-authored the text book used at most colleges to introduce students to Mass Media Research, a book that has been printed in more than a dozen different languages around the world. Besides radio, Roger helped guide the programming for network television and cable TV. He turned 69 this past July.”

LARP Availability. “I’M WILLING TO WORK FOR FREE!” That offer from Jeff Schimmel, comedy writer/producer, leaped off the email page in 2000. “Right now, I’m collecting paychecks because Radio One, Inc. bought out the remaining year of my contract with KKBT. Aside from my tv and film credits, I created all the characters and comedy bits for Big Boy’s morning show on ‘Power 106.’ I also wrote the BEAT’s morning show with Ed Lover and Dr. Dre, then sat in for them on the air until Steve Harvey arrived.”

Although Jeff is currently writing and producing a tv show and teaching screenwriting classes around the country, he recently told me the most fun he ever had in the workplace was during his time in L.A. radio – and he’s ready to do it again. Jeff isn’t making his ‘work for free’ offer this time, because he doesn’t have to. Within the last few weeks, Jeff put the word out, and as a result he’s already evaluating a number of offers. His heart is in radio and he would be perfect for another programming opportunity. He’s funny, talented, and ready for his next mission. Jeff achieved tremendous success at multiple L.A. stations by bringing his writing / producing skills from tv and film to radio, and simultaneously provided next level content to stations in New York, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco, Denver and San Diego. Perhaps an L.A. radio decision-maker is at a crossroads and can provide an opportunity to let Jeff take a morning show to new heights or perhaps give an existing radio station a new coat of paint. You can reach Jeff through his website:

Nostalgia Sunday - 12 Years Ago Today

LARPs: If you could spend One More Day (inspired by Mitch Albom's book) with someone in your life who has died, what would you do and say? This question was posed in October 2006 and solicited this response from Jon Badeaux, who has since passed:

This is the easiest question you've ever posed, Don. I would like to have one more day with The Real Don Steele

Since the moment I learned of his death, I've really missed him. I had lived in Seattle for a couple of years and hadn't spoken with him since I was in Los Angeles. I can't even remember if I mentioned I was thinking of making the move to the Pacific Northwest. 

Back in the late 60s and much of the 70s, Don and I worked together every day. My day usually started at 9 a.m. when I walked into the KHJ on-air control room and said good morning to "Fail Safe," also known as Walt Radke, Robert W. Morgan's engineer.  From 9 to noon I was at the controls with the likes of Sam Riddle, Scotty Brink, a brief stint with Johnny Williams, Bill Wade, Charlie Tuna, Charlie Van Dyke and a few others who held that time slot. At noon I would go back into the news editing room and work with a wonderful friend, Roger Aldi. By 1:30, lunch time was rolling around and I usually had my first words with Don. He'd walk in and say it was time to run next door to Nickodell's to grab a burger.

It was probably not apparent to anyone who listened to the show - or anyone radio insider -- but Don and I prepared quite a few things that we'd do that afternoon. Of course, most of what we did was spontaneous and always surprised us both.

By 2:45, I was coming back into the on-air control room to get everything ready. I pulled all the carts for the first hour or two and set up the aircheck reel. Virtually every hour I was with him, The Real Don Steele was taped. I didn't have the luxury of scoping the aircheck as it was being recorded so I'd spend much of that night after work pressing fast-forward on my reel-to-reel machine at home.

When 3:00 came, Bill Drake announced, "And now, ladies and gentlemen... the Real Don Steele!"  It was the moment all hell broke loose.  And it stayed insane for the next three hours.

Many people may not remember that in those days there was one commercial after almost every song.  With an average runtime of 2:38, that didn't give us much time to line up what we were going to do next. There were times Don would say, "After the next song starts, I'm going to do the intro. Have Tina Delgado standing by if it fits."  Sometimes I'd tell him, 'I'm going to do an overlap [starting the song before or during the logo] so you won't have any time [to talk].' 

My favorite overlap was always coming out of the weather. The weather was sponsored by Thrifty Drug Stores. They had a 10-second jingle that came at the end of the forecast. That was followed by the ‘93/KHJ Golden’ logo, into an oldie. There were some in particular by Creedence Clearwater Revival...that had a long fade in. I would actually start the song as Don was ending the weather. It would run under his voice, under the Thrifty jingle, under the logo and hit the post right after, '...Goldennnn.'

Then there was Jackie Wilson's Baby Workout. It started with, ‘Hey you!’ followed by a pause and then the band started playing would start it in the middle of the logo. ‘93/KHJ [Hey you!] Golden’ [Band starts].

These things would be easy to do with today’s tools but it was all live, all done with carts and 45s back then. I'm not sure how many things I used to do just to have fun and how much I did to see the smile on Don's face. 

On Friday nights, his sign-offs were legendary. The song was You Can't Sit Down by Phil Upchurch, although several other songs were used from time to time. As the sign-off song started, Don went into his crazy routine. ‘End of the mo for The Real Don Steele show.’ That was followed by some insane banter that led to the rhyming of names, all ending in a long A sound. ‘Francis Faye, Marvin Gaye, Alvino Rey....’ Usually the last thing he said didn't rhyme but was hysterical. And, frequently, the sure-fire, ‘Tina Delgado is alive, ALIVE!’ Then he'd scream, ‘Byeeeee’ and I'd fade him out. I had to let him know no one could hear him any more by waving his hands, otherwise I figured he'd pass out.

The amazing thing during the daily three hours is how much time we spent actually talking about everything in our lives. We never had more than about a minute to talk at any one time. Yet, through the course of the afternoon, we had a full and complete conversation. I knew when he had personal problems, he always knew of mine. All our conversations were on an intercom that anyone in the building with half a technical mind could monitor. We didn't care. 

It was amazing how close the engineer and the jocks were able to become. It happened with every team. The intimacy was amazing. 

At some point in time I took over the production department and turned Don over to a new engineer. We still found time to get together and keep a very close friendship alive. The two of us couldn't have been more different, yet we were almost like twins. 

When Don left KHJ, we spoke by phone on a regular basis. We did that for years. I still knew all of his joys and pains as he knew mine.

It wasn't until the day I learned of his death that it occurred to me we hadn't spoken in a couple of years. To make matters worse, I knew how to reach him, but I figured he had no idea where to find me. 

And that's why I would like to spend one more day with him. I want him to know that he died on one of the saddest days of my life. I want him to know how much our friendship meant to me. I want him to know that if I could live my entire life over again, I would change nothing... just to be able to spend that time with him again. (Click Don's artwork for a Friday sign-off)

Email Saturday, 10.13.2018

** B**wjobs

 “Trust me Don, if you’re a prude then so am I.” – Larry Huffman

** Thompson Bio

“Very nice story on Gary Thompson. And Kerri Kasem is so pretty. Also loved the cartoon :)” – Mike Butts

** Happy Trails

“Thanks for the feature on Roy Rogers this morning. Those auction prices were really astounding!

I had the fortune to meet Roy Rogers once when I was a teenager. My brother and I were delivering furniture from our family business to a home out in Apple Valley. Having never seen the Roy Rogers Museum, my brother suggested that we drop by for a quick look. We obviously arrived at just the right moment. Standing outside in the parking lot that afternoon was Roy Rogers himself. We said hello and a twenty-minute conversation ensued, discussing everything from Trigger to the entertainment business. Not another soul was even around at the time. It was just the three of us talking, uninterrupted by any other Roy Rogers fans. Having grown-up watching Roy Rogers and Dale Evans as youngsters, my brother and I walked away with broad smiles. I can’t help but wonder what ever happened to my original Roy Rogers lunch box from elementary school. What would that gem be worth today?” – Ted Ziegenbusch

** Rogers Link

“My mom once worked as Roy Rogers' secretary. This was in the early 1950’s. She always told me that Roy and Dale were really nice, unassuming people. I remember her telling me that one of her jobs was to sign 8x10s of Roy on Trigger, ‘Happy trails, Roy Rogers.’ Roy also used to sign the pictures, but mom probably signed most of them :) My mom is still around. She’s 99 now and living in a board and care home.” – Larry Levy

** Another Roy Rogers Museum

“You mentioned Roy Rogers had a museum in Branson, but the first Roy Rogers museum was actually in Apple Valley it was there until maybe the 80’s. When I was a kid, my parents owned property near there and we would stop there. At least one time I remember when Roy was there.” – Bob Koontz

** Potpourri

“You made me cry again! That listing of Roy Rogers’ memorabilia brought back so many memories. I knew his stuff would sell but wow! I grew up with Roy and Gene and Sky King and you’re right, they all made our lives better. From Sheriff John to Engineer Bill and Chucko and Bozo and Zolar, So Cal kids had it good growing up here.

I loved the analysis of Valentine on MY/fm. He can be funny without being mean. It’s a relief knowing people can leave the show on with or without kids present. I’m not a prude either but Heidi, Frosty and Frank have not gotten better with age. I’d rather even listen to ‘Ryan’s Roses’ on KIIS [now THAT would be a column].” – Julie T. Byers

** Carroll’s 90th BD

“Happy belateds, and many happy returns to Roger Carroll! We had some great phone chats during my days at KABC, decades ago. I was proud to be his ‘inside man,’ keeping him up to date on the goings-on at 790. [Guess that made me a ‘leaker.’] Also, was Dale Evans’ horse Buttermilk still alive? Or did they auction off the taxidermic version?” – Greg Hardison 

** 1971 Ratings

"You showed the morning ratings for the summer of 1971 today. Ken Minyard was not at KABC in 1971. I believe he arrived in 1973 from Minneapolis and started in the evenings before being moved to mornings. 

First he was paired with a news writer, John Babcock, and then Bob Arthur. Although I was not the regular morning engineer, I believe I was the engineer for one of the first broadcasts Ken and John did together." - Jerry Barber

** More '71 Ratings

"Relative to the 1971 12+ ratings posted Thursday, I’m thinking that the three month summer of ’71 AFTRA strike at KFWB might have had at least some impact. Substitute anchors and reporters, including a number of buffoons, could have sent some people to other stations. And back then an organized labor action might actually have stirred some sympathy resulting in a little listener attrition. Back then I think—don’t know, think—WB was generally ahead of KNX’s standing in the ratings." - Ed Pyle, Prescott, Arizona

Don Elliot Reports from 2018 NAB/RAB Radio Show

(October 12, 2018) Production whiz Don Elliot has done it all. He’s been on-air, program director, production, and station ownership. He attended the recent 2018 NAB/RAB Radio Show in Orlando. He shares some thoughts about the convention.

Don said there were only 2100 attendees. “Columnist Tom Taylor was even quoted as saying he couldn’t figure out why everybody was so happy,” he offered. “I suppose it depends on why you attended. Let me shed some light. It’s true that this certainly was not the largest attendance on record, however, it was in fact composed of a lot of doers.”

Don puts people in two different categories, those who see the glass half full, and those who see the glass half-empty. An engineer tells you that the container is larger than it needs to be.

He said there was a lot of emphasis on teaching the audience how to use the new devices like Alexa to find your station. “A panel on this sought input from the crowd to help facilitate the problems and confusion from a dictated command and to minimize errors in accomplishing this task,” said Don.

Another topic Don observed was the “connected car,” and on-the-floor demos brought it to life. “But it’s pretty easy to be all dressed up and no place to go,” Don emphasized. “You may have a good signal, you may be streaming, you may be doing podcasts, but remember, technology is great yet if the content isn’t there, today there are waaay too many choices and you won’t hold the audience.”

Don’s eye was on production resources. He said if you dug around at the show, you could find it. Don also had other conversations while at the NAB / RAB meeting. Elliot wrote a technical piece for a trade publication, but the highlight of his time in Orlando was interviewing Dave “Chachi” Denes, former pd of KBIG and founder of production house, Benztown. "We pride ourselves on figuring out custom solutions for our clients and that’s why we work with programs such as Sunday Night Slow Jams, Hot Mix and Todd N’ Tyler,” Chachi told Don.

“These shows give stations the opportunity to air the highest quality programming without giving up locality because the hosts work hard to be involved with every affiliate’s listeners and sales teams. I’m probably most proud of rebounding after being laid off by Clear Channel in 2009. At the time I was crushed and lost. It’s much of a blur now but I remember the sadness. I look back and now realize it was professionally the best thing that could have happened to me because it afforded me the opportunity to team up with amazing partners and we got to build Benztown.”
Hardly FM. In the summer of 1971, the 12+ morning drive numbers in Southern California.

1. KABC 8.2 (Ken Minyard)
2. KNX 8.0
3. KFWB 7.2
4. KFI 6.9 (Lohman & Barkley)
5. KMPC 6.6 (Dick Whittinghill)
6. KHJ 5.4 (Charlie Tuna)
7. KPOL-AM 4.3
8. KLAC 3.7 (Dick Haynes)
9. KRLA 3.2 (“World Famous” Tom Murphy)
10. KOST 2.8

KOST was the only FM station to make the Top 10. KHJ had a 23.0 in teens in AM drive, followed by KRLA with a 14.0.

Hear Ache 

(October 11, 2018) KFI’s Kris Ankarlo is starting a new podcast. His first episode is catching up on the complex history of propositions in the state of California. Not only is Kris a wonderful storyteller, he spent four years as a tour manager for Contiki Tours, organizing and executing excursions for groups of 50 guests at a time. Click the artwork to get propositioned … Ever wonder how talent gets evaluated? George Johns and Bob Christy analyze MY/fm morning man Valentine. When you read the blog, you will think you are sitting in at a jock review meeting. Bob Christy begins: “I listened like a listener this morning at 6:20. I poured my third cup of coffee, turned on the radio and the first thing I heard was Valentine having a long conversation with a woman trapped in an unhappy marriage. Valentine let her talk, she got into what a nice and good man her husband is, but she just isn’t in love with him. Valentine got too close to being an amateur psychologist, but he didn’t push it. He didn’t make fun of her predicament. Valentine ended it nicely, and I came away thinking “Wow, he isn’t an asshole!” Good start.” Read the blog and the exchange here … Kenny D worked for Cal Shields when he was at KACE in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Kenny checked in to update his activities. After working behind the scenes at KABC and KRLA, he’s now the night jock for an Internet station, ... Over the weekend, Roger Carroll celebrated his 90th birthday with family and friends at the Long Beach Yacht Club ... Since 2016, Sheri Donovan, veteran of Arrow 93, KROQ, and KSWD (100.3/The Sound), has been a realtor at Pinnacle Estate Properties in Woodland Hills.
If you are under 50, the following will mean nothing to you. It is all about growing up in a different time, when we all watched cowboy Roy Rogers on tv. He had a museum in Branson, Missouri. Roy said if the museum ever operates at a loss, close it and sell the contents. Well the doors have closed forever and the contents of the museum were sold at a public auction. Some items sold:

Roy's 1964 Bonneville (Pontiac) sold for $254,500. (It was expected to sell between $100 – 150,000).
His script book from the January 14,1953 episode of This Is Your Life sold for $10,000 (above expected $800 – $1,000).  
Trigger's saddle and bridle sold for $386,500 (above expected $100 – $150,000).  
The Bible they used at the dinner table every night sold for $8,750.  
Nellybelle (the Jeep) sold for $116,500 (above expected $20 – 30,000).
A Republic Productions Poster bearing many autographs of the people that played in Roy’s movies sold for $11,875.
Dale’s horse, Buttermilk sold below the pre-sale estimate for $25,000. (below expected $30 – 40,000).
Dale's parade saddle sold for $104,500 (above expected $20 – 30,000).
Trigger (stuffed) sold for $266,500 (expected $100 – 200,000).

So, it's good-bye to Roy and Dale, Gene and Hoppy (Hop-a-long Cassidy), the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Farewell to Sky King (and Penny) and Superman and (Dragnet) Sgt Friday. Thanks to Capt. Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, and Capt. Noah and all those people whose lives touched ours, and made them better.

Gary Thompson Was at the Right Place at the Right Time

(October 10, 2018) Gary Thompson was heard on KLIT, KYSR, KLAC and KSWD (100.3/The Sound) throughout much of the 1990s. The Sound was his most recent stop. We recently had a chance to catch up with Gary, who took us through his eclectic career.

“It's been WAY more luck and ‘right place, right time,’ than talent. In early 1990, I was an electrical engineer in the aerospace industry, working at Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo, studying for my Masters. Within a year and a half, somehow, I was doing afternoon radio in Los Angeles (K-Lite), throwing out the first pitch at an Angels game, and working just studios away from two of my radio idols, Robert W. Morgan and Jim Healy (KMPC).

“In that year and a half after leaving the defense industry, there were four stations, three of which had less than perfect outcomes. The fourth location, Transtar, was a REALLY great place that would be my home several more times over the years. It’s where I met Dan McKay, who left Transtar to program K-Lite and ask me to come along for afternoons. Right place, right time.

Gary detailed how he was part of a tv show talking about radio. “While at K-Lite, I was on an episode of 48 Hours about ‘contest pigs.’ It was pretty widely watched, and that opened a door at Star 98.7 with Bob Kaake, vp/programming at Viacom. Literally the day after K-Lite let me know they were moving in a different direction, [read: letting me go].”

Gary’s next gig was at KYSR. “I went to 98.7. In the next six years I did imaging, mornings, middays and afternoons. “LUCKY! Although I did develop a LITTLE talent, thanks to Kaake, and pd’s Greg DunkinDave BeasingRandy Lane and Angela Perelli.

He described how he arrived in Southland. “Born in Milwaukee, raised in the suburb of Menomonee Falls, undergraduate engineering degree in Dallas, then high-tailed it to California, Manhattan Beach, thanks to Hughes Aircraft. From 1984-91, I was designing and maintaining equipment and procedures that tested lasers and thermal imaging systems used in tanks and aircraft.”

Gary ended up being on-air and director of programming for Westwood One from 1999 – 2007. He went to Dallas later in 2007 to program The Bone (KDBN 93.3/fm). He returned a year later to Westwood One. In 2015, he was the founder of ImagingThing, an imaging company for radio stations and podcasts. You can check out his website at

Hear Ache

(October 9, 2018) One of the biggest tv and radio personalities in the Southland, Wink Martindale, will be up close and personal this Saturday morning and you’re invited to attend. Wink will tell stories of his amazing career as a tv game show host of hits including Tic Tac Dough, High RollersGambitDebt, and Trivial Pursuit. His radio years include KFWB, 1110/KRLA, KGIL and KMPC. You can ask him about his friendship with Elvis, or the inspiration behind his hit record, Deck of Cards. If you’re looking for an autograph, Wink will sign his book Winking at Life. The event is this Saturday morning at the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys. Send a check for $20 to PPB, PO Box 8673, Calabasas, CA 91372. Deadline is today. To pay by credit card, leave a message at 323.466.2121 and you’ll get a call back ... AMP Radio is ramping up its on-air sound with two new additions. DJ Vice will be hosting “DJ Vice in the Mix,” heard weekdays from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. In addition, Krystal Bee joins the station’s weekend lineup. “As someone who was born and raised in Los Angeles, it is an honor to be a part of the ‘97.1 Amp Radio’ family,” said Vice. “This mix is so fulfilling to do for my city, and hopefully, I can ease the pain of our listeners as they sit in L.A. traffic.” Krystal spent the past six years at Power 106 … In looking through the LARadio archives in 1998 for our Sunday feature, I found a piece where I was scolded by JJ Michaels (traffic lady for The Real Don Steele from 1992 – 1995) for a comment I made: "I was amused by your attitude toward ‘Star's’ morning crew's [Jamie, Frosty & Frank] reference to ‘blow job’ being (something) unacceptable to mention on the radio. For what it's worth, in my opinion too many Americans are prudes. Our founding fathers stepped off the Mayflower many moons ago and I think it’s time for people like you to loosen up. Come on Don…step off the Mayflower and lighten up." Twenty years later, I’m still a prude. Sorry … Remember Brian Beirne, for almost 30 years the dj known as Mr. Rock ‘n Roll at K-EARTH? Brian will appear with Vince Daniels at KMET, 1490 AM (Banning / Inland Empire) this Friday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. to share about the role music has played in his life. You can ask him anything live on Friday morning or send questions in advance by email. Vince has a website with all the contact info, Should be a lot of fun Friday morning. If you can't pick up the signal, you can listen at:

"There's a Train on Someone's Front Lawn"

(October 8, 2018) Imagine you are a traffic reporter in Southern California and you hear this cackle from the LAPD dispatcher: “Someone is reporting that there is a ‘train on their front lawn.’ Well, that’s what happened to Jeff Baugh, one of the premiere airborne reporters. “You can bet the farm that got my attention,” declares Jeff, in a new book he has co-authored with Mary Baron Walker titled Stick With Us & We’ll Get You There.

Jeff takes us into his world of covering the massive local freeway system for the past 30 years. The Chatsworth train derailing is just one of the major events Jeff details in this fascinating book that couples his birds-eye view with a licensed clinical social worker observing from sea level. The two authors provide survival techniques and ways to cope with getting caught in the terrible traffic jams.

Since 1986 when he started at all-News KFWB, he has also reported at KNX before his current gig providing traffic coverage from the KFI-Eye-In-The Sky. Once upon time, the dance-disco-deejay at Carlos & Charlie’s on the Sunset Strip has become the go-to-guy for airborne reporting. Jeff doesn’t just tell you that a freeway is clogged, he offers solutions for alternate routes.

When he arrived in L.A. in the late 1970s, Jeff found it strange there was such a lack of public transportation. Growing up back east, he was offered above ground light rail, the trolley, subways and buses to get to school. “I’m told that turn-of-the-century Los Angeles did have lots of light rail but falling in love with freeways, cars, cheap gasoline, suburban housing and the freedom of instant gratification when it came to travel put public transportation on the back burner for a long time,” wrote Jeff.

Jeff provides a history of SigAlerts. You’ll also recognize many LARP in the book – Ken Jeffries, Jack Popejoy, Rhonda Kramer, Judy Ford, "Uncle Joe" Benson, and Pete Demetriou.

His Top 10 traffic incidents will take you right into belly of the storm. Even if you were not living here when these events took place, his storytelling will make you will feel like you are a first-hand witness experiencing them for the first time. You will visualize the start of 1992 Los Angeles riot when Jeff was overhead at Florence and Vermont when hell erupted and as he details the following 70 hours. “Violence grew and before it was over fifty-eight people were dead and approximately two thousand injured,” wrote co-author Baron in this fascinating interactive book. Jeff added: “I remember using this phrase as I described what I was seeing, ‘From the air this looks like a cigarette hole in a napkin that very quickly is burning out in all directions.’ The words just tumbled out of my mouth.”

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the book. The combination of an event being reported in the air as situations unfold as well as learning how to cope with traffic fatigue, anxiety and frustration on the ground is a first. Jeff’s stories also includes the crane collapse in the Cahuenga Pass, suicide on a major transition, the Northridge Earthquake, and Carmageddon. He was also in the air covering the OJ Simpson Bronco “chase.” Jeff’s coverage of the Chatsworth train tragedy earned him a Golden Mike by the Radio and Television News Association.

Assuming you travel the complex freeway system in Southern California, we highly recommend you order a copy of Stick With Us & We’ll Get You There at Amazon. You will undoubtedly listen to airborne reporting with a whole, new appreciation. Click the artwork for a link to the order form.

Archives 4th Quarter 2018: Classic win for K-EARTH; Ellen K doubles down; Rachel Maddow profile; Imus lawsuit thrown out

Archives 3rd Quarter 2018: Anniversary of AT 40; Passing Parade: Ed Schultz, Johnny Morris, Fred Beaton, Dave Zorn; New Role for Kelli Gates; Art Laboe is One-of-a-Kind; Savage as Supreme; Vic the Brick is Feelin' You; Rita Pardue a thing of Senior beauty; Marcellus Wiley jumps team; Doug Dunlap has the keys to happiness; Highest paid LARP; Martoni LARP Noms; Former KIIS GM retires; Sad Sage Sylvester story; Carlucci, voice of Russia World Cup Games; Is there a Smart Radio? Springsteen on KMET; Is podcasting for you?; Rick Dees slated for Yucapia station; Time for a Southern California Radio Hall of Fame; National Radio Day; Big Boy makes unwanted news; Judging Amy Lewis; Jim Rome lookig for LARadio home' K-SURF adds morning personality; What keeps Kevin LeGrett up at night? Alex Cohen moving to new Specrum; Silver celebration at NBC Sports Radio; Jo Jo Wright takes his KIIS show to Beijing; Paxton Quigley, armed and strong with a new radio show; Mt. Rushmore of sports; Neil Ross pens new book; Highest paid radio people; Looney looks to add game show host to eclectic career; Burt Reynolds apologizes with a twinkle; Traffic reports won't be so Rosie (Wedel); Voice of Trojan basketball headed for Thunder; the night Elvira spent with Elvis

Archives 2nd Quarter 2018: Michael Benner's new book; Brian Beirne in concert; KNX celebrates 50 years; Uncle Joe to Townsquare; Amp says Yes to Yesi; Click and Clack to automotive Hall of Fame; When is an Oldie Not an Oldie? Passing Parade - Mark Morris, Bill Watson, Dex Allen, Dick Orkin, Bill Jenkins, Don Bustany, Arnie McClatchey, Mark Morris, Roger Collins, Art Bell, Mike Walker, Frank Bresee, Warren Duffy, John Mack Flanagan; 3 LA stations in revenue Top 10; NAB nominations and voting; Kimmel in People; Ted Leitner diagnosed with cancer; PPM re-issue issue; Lady LARPs of Grace; Dick Biondi out of WLS after six decades; 6-minute commercial load too much; Purely Personal with son's graduation and daughter's marriage; Len Chandler songs for Credibility Gap; Alfonzo Ortiz @KNX; THR award to Harvey; Stern cut and he's not happy; 2 LARPs on Time list of 2018 Most Influential; Ladd is back and Tribe thrilled; Larry Gifford diagnosed with Parkinson's; Is Savage being set-up; Walker needed for pd; Good Time Steve Mitchell to Georgia HOF;  LARPs nominated for HOF; Marriage of Alexandra Barrett; Lyon Queen; David Viscott king of psych Talker; Debunking myths of a dj; New day for Sue Fruend; Adam Carolla is driven to buy; Is the Bloom off the rose?; Paul Newman's cars; One of a Kind LARPs Series with Jim Ladd, Jim Healy; K-EARTH's Locks of Love excellent promotion; Good Day LA crew reunites at KABC; Baseball ratings; Jersey Boys interruption; Rita Wilde interview; LARPs inducted into Radio Hall of Fame

About the Publisher of, Don Barrett

As publisher of, Don Barrett chronicles radio news and lists 6,000 people in Los Angeles who work or have worked in radio in the past 60+ years. Barrett is a historian of contemporary Los Angeles radio history and author of Los Angeles Radio People, published in 1994. He published a second volume of the book a year later, along with the launch of a daily website column.

In 2013, he started as the radio columnist for the Orange County Register.

Barrett's Southern California roots (Santa Monica) include a bachelor's degree from Chapman University (Man of the Year, 1964). He also earned a master's in psychology. He spent 10 years in radio working as a disc jockey, program director and general manager (W4-Detroit and WDRQ-Detroit).

He launched KIQQ (K-100) Los Angeles in the early 1970s.

In the mid-1970s Don joined the motion picture business, working as a marketing executive at Columbia, Universal, and MGM/UA. Barrett was part of the marketing team that released E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Back to the Future, Thelma and Louise, Rocky and James Bond movies.

He also represented a number of films at the Cannes Film Festival.

He was the first recipient of TALKERS Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award. Don has been honored with an honorary Golden Mike and Special Recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists. 

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Last modified: October 19, 2018