(Don Graham celebrating with Kool and the Gang achieving #1, Paul Drew,
Tom Gelardi, Big Jim Edwards,
Danny Bonaduce, David Cassidy, and Xavier Hermosillo)
Thanks for the Ride, Don Imus
(January 23, 2018) “Imus is everyone’s bitch.”
Howard Stern used to rag on Don Imus a lot
during their decades together on New York radio, and in the world of
syndication. Imus will not be the last man standing. He announced
yesterday that he was stepping down from Cumulus’ WABC.
No one knows for sure who made the decision, but the fact is his plane will land sometime at the end of March. Imus’ contract was slated to end in December, but the syndicator of his show, Cumulus Media, filed for bankruptcy last year. The company decided to move on from Imus sooner rather than pay him millions of dollars to finish out the year, the I-Man explained. "They have a responsibility, as far as the bankruptcy, to try to cut costs, to save money and figure out a way to make the thing work," Imus told listeners Monday.
I liked Don Imus as a radio performer. If you didn’t, that’s okay. I liked him because he was a great story teller. After all, isn’t that what wonderful radio is all about? But he never was successful in LA. There were a number of syndication deals (KLAC, KGIL to name a couple), but he never gained any local traction. In 1972, he sat in for Hudson & Landry at KGBS during their vacation.
As he marks the remaining days, critics and feature writers will opine about his legacy. Perhaps it will start with his racist and sexist remarks. You can hear it here. He later called his comments “reprehensible.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=20&v=ui1jPNDWArM
Or maybe he will be remembered for the Imus Ranch for kids with
cancer, located about 50 miles southwest of Santa Fe. For a decade,
he broadcast from the ranch every summer. Imus frequently had some
of the dying kids appear on his show, talking about the incredible
experience of living and feeling like a “cowboy.”
Back in 2000, Don suffered a serious fall from a horse at his ranch. Broken bones and punctured lungs took a toll on his breathing. The altitude eventually played havoc with Imus’ respiratory system, so he put the ranch up for sale. The family now lives in Brenham, Texas, halfway between Houston and Austin.
Or maybe Imus will be best remembered for establishing a pioneering sports talk format. Jeff Smulyan (former owner of KPWR) attempted to put sports on 24 / 7 on WFAN-New York back in the 80s. It was a bust until Imus joined the station, about a year into the new format. Smulyan successfully sold WFAN a few years later for $75 million. Imus wasn’t sold that putting his WNBC show on WFAN would work. At the end of his first shift, he said, “It’s 10. This ends the entertainment part of today’s programming. For the next 20 hours, you will hear mindless drivel by idiots talking about sports.”
Time has not been kind to Don. His years of cocaine abuse has taken
a toll. He always looked his age. Ten years ago, Imus was diagnosed
with Stage II pancreatic cancer, which he opted to treat with eating
a heavy intake of Habanero peppers.
Don Imus was his own man. Perhaps Howard Stern did Imus a favor over the years by constantly berating him, which may have caused listeners to tune in to hear what all the fuss was about.
From shock jock (he was on air while Stern was still in school), Imus made the transition from music jock to controversial talk show host. If an author wanted to sell his / her book, an appearance on the Imus show helped immensely. And he had a who’s who guest list who appeared on his radio show that for many years simulcast on cable tv including MSNBC and the FOX Business Channel.
Thanks for the ride, Don.
New Alt 98.7 Program Director
(January 22, 2018) Lisa Worden (l) spent a couple
of decades at CBS/LA, specifically at KROQ as assistant program
director and music director. She demonstrates there is life after
KROQ. Lisa has joined KYSR as program director, while continuing in
her corporate capacity as Alternative Rock Brand Manager for
iHeartMedia’s national programming group. In 2003, Worden spent two
years as the pd for WHFS/fm in Washington, DC before returning to
KROQ in 2005. Former Alt 98.7 pd, Mike Kaplan, is
headed to New York, according to tasty newsletter, Ramp.
Ever since Chuck Blore wrote his essay a couple of weeks ago, Blore stories abound. Don Elliot remembers when Chuck was trying to jump up the next rung, to be known in advertising, Stan Freberg was the top of the list, A-number one, king of the hill. “So Chuck took out an ad in the trades with a very interesting way to position himself. It read: “If you can’t get Chuck Blore to do your ads, call Stan Freberg.” In another magazine run, Chuck did an ad with a special page mounted so that the corner protruded past the other pages and out of the side. Inside, the text read, “For ads that stick out, call Chuck Blore.” Don marvels how Chuck’s ads are better than most of what’s available today.
Joe Collins wrote to say that he is friends with Reb Foster on Facebook. The former KRLA/1110 jock is now living in Amarillo. “In the fall of 1963, on a Friday afternoon while cruising in my ’54 Ford, I heard Rebel play the Dovells, You Can't Sit Down,” remembers Joe. “I still remember exactly where I was when I heard it. It was on Grand Avenue, heading out towards Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, about 3:30 in the afternoon. I still have a vivid memory of it. The song JUMPED out of my car speaker.”
Nostalgia Sunday - 15 Years Ago
Ryan Seacrest Being Groomed for KIIS Mornings?
KYSR’s Ryan Seacrest has been named “the continuing guest host” on
the hugely popular KIIS/fm “Rick Dees in the
Morning Show.” The announcement came in a press release announcing that Ryan
had signed a new three-year contract with Clear Channel. CC senior vp Charlie
Rahilly said that the arrangement with Ryan “gives us the opportunity to
share a talented radio personality with more audiences. Rick Dees certainly
earns and deserves vacation time, and our listeners deserve a top quality
morning show even when Rick takes a break.” In the press release, Charlie
emphasized that, with Ryan being the “continuing guest host,” the KIIS
morning show will be live and local virtually every weekday of the year. In
recent years, when Rick was on holiday (6-8 weeks a year), the morning show was
voicetracked with Rick and sidekick Ellen K live.
press release poses all sorts of questions and, after
repeated requests from Clear Channel executives for clarification, no one
responded. Questions that come to mind
Ryan Seacrest is red-hot (Think hosting duties on: American Idol,
Revenge, FOX's New Year's show). There is no hotter music personality in
radio today. Clear Channel was very smart to lock him in for three more years.
This contract was signed last October, as reported at LARadio.
Why did Clear Channel wait until now to announce the signing?
Is there a radio precedent to send out a press release announcing a
permanent guest host? Television did it with Jay Leno as a permanent guest host
for Johnny Carson.
Is Rick Dees considering retiring at the end of his contract next year?
Is Clear Channel paving the way to replace Rick Dees with Ryan Seacrest?
Will Ryan’s involvement with KIIS during Rick’s vacation take away
from “Star” mornings with Jamie White & Danny Bonaduce?
Will Ellen K partner with Ryan during Rick’s vacations or will
Ryan’s current partner Lisa Foxx join Ryan on KIIS?
7. Even though Rick is a cash cow for Clear Channel, is the company anxious to reduce costs?
Will CC announce a "continuing guest host" for Ryan on KYSR when he is
the "continuing guest host" for Rick on KIIS?
shall be revealed…
Email Saturday, 1.20.18
** Living Today
“I go along with your column in today’s LARadio, in particular the last part of the column where you talk about living each day to the fullest. I just want to say that by publishing the column, you attain your goal every day by spotlighting the people that worked in LARadio over the years, you fulfill that promise. Keep it up, this is what you were meant to do.” –Barry Wildman, Fountain Valley
** A Day at a Time
“A sad but well written story yesterday — and I agree with you — make each day matter!” – Mark Alyn
** Covering the Industry
“I support you 101% about your coverage of celebrations of life, reports of death, reports of new babies to LARP families, changes in life situations and jobs, and everything to do with the industry.
I have enjoyed the salutes you have done about the achievements of many others in the group. You have been a catalyst and of great assistance to feeding and filling in the gaps that one needs to acquire an objective, healthy overview to this crazy business. Also, you’ve been very helpful with the decision-making process for us to help overcome career obstacles along our crazy way. There’s no better teacher than the experience of others, which you have shared – except of course, the mistakes of our own which teaches us volumes. You have spared us a lot of that pain with your sharing.
You have my vote for continuing to do so with the best industry publication on the planet.” – Don Elliot
** Morning Side of the Mountain
“Your ‘Morning side of the mountain’ piece was so touching. And sad. And inspiring. Thank you.” – Mary Beth Garber
** Living Life
“Your comments are moving and obviously deeply felt. Thanks for adding some valuable perspective for this old guy.” – Larry Boxer
** Make Today Count
“My heart just breaks over so much loss in Montecito. Thank you for the beautiful and inspiring words in your column today, reminding us that tomorrow is not a given and to make today count. So glad that you and Cherie are safe.” – Lara Scott
** LARP Available
“I ran into comedian Joey Medina (l) today. When I was working for Clear Channel with George Lopez and Sinbad, Joey Medina was the morning man on Latino 96.3. In a way, we were competitors.
As we talked, Joey, who does stand-up across the country, is also a comedy writer on a tv show. He told me he misses doing radio like crazy. He said his time on LARadio airwaves was the most fun he ever had.
In my opinion, the LARadio industry should talk to Joey Medina. He’s a pro and funny as hell. ‘Power 106,’ for example, which targets the Latino demo, should give him some serious consideration. I know the Meruelo Group owns ‘Power’ now, and they’re missing a great bet. Then again, so is everyone else. This dude is quick witted and a radio veteran.
This has nothing to do with me, but I saw his passion today, and I was hoping that you would include Joey in one of your daily columns.” – Jeff Schimmel
** Where is the Rebel?
“Great website! Thank you tons and tons for your efforts in keeping the memories of LARadio alive.
After brief stints in Top 40 Radio in 64/65 in Lake Tahoe and Honolulu I made it to LA and opted for the music business side of the street, eventually, after [adventures of an under-assistant west coast record promo man] – and many, many nights at Martoni’s watching Johnny Bond at work – I wound up as an agent with APA.
Reb Foster and I met along the way and we eventually, in 67/68, teamed up as roommates for a while. Bob Dayton was a friend as well.
I left the business and LA in the early 70s and have been living at Lake Tahoe for past 40+ years. Unfortunately, I’ve lost tract of The Rebel and I was hoping you might be aware of his current status. And if he’s still with us. I recently caught a clip of a Texas tv interview/story with Dennis around 2014 or so, but the reporter is no longer with the station. Any news or hearsay you might want to pass on would be appreciated.
Thanks again for the history.” – Brian H. Williams, Lake Tahoe, NV
** KNX News
“First of all, I’m a little late on this, but I am so glad you are back writing LARadio.com!
Speaking of KNX, I totally agree with what Jared Kliger commented on regarding the commercial added to the national CBS News hourly updates, however, there are two additional items that are also just as irritating!
1. KNX is regularly preempting the hourly update in favor of a local story. I certainly would support that if we had an earthquake or major story that was breaking worthy of usurping the CBS hourly update, because it significantly affected the entire market. But this morning, they eliminated the 8 a.m. CBS national news because of the story about the couple accused of shackling their 13 children in filthy conditions in Perris. The story broke yesterday and as tragic as it is, one could argue that it certainly could be the lead local story; however, was it worth dropping the CBS Hourly update? I realize that KNX is positioning themselves as a local news operation, but does that mean the listeners should be deprived of a brief summary of national and international news that may be of interest to listeners wanting to know what happened overnight?
2. KNX for some time now, regularly cuts the CBS News on the hour down from a 5-minute block with a national commercial to 3-minutes. There are often 2 or 3 other brief National and International updates after the short commercial that are also of interest to local listeners that are regularly lost.
One of the reasons the newscasts that I was responsible for at KTLA for so many years were successful was people knew when they tuned in they would get the ‘full meal.’ We were positioned as a hyper local news broadcast, however, we were always flexible to lead with a national or international story if it was merited.
Again, great to have you and your website back!” – Jeff Wald
** KABC Programming
"I just finished the biography of Ken Minyard. As a longtime listener of KABC, I'd like to make the following recommendations. Currently, the ratings stink – lowest ever, I believe.
I think KABC has a better product than KFI. I think Cumulus should move KABC over to 95.5/fm to get younger listeners. And they have GOT TO get rid of the all-infomercial weekends. Right now the station is ‘live’ only from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. That has to change.
Here's my suggestion to SAVE KABC. Move the format to fm. Keep Frosty, Heidi, & Frank in morning drive 6-9am. Then from 9-noon place Jillian Barberie and John Phillips. Keep Dr. Drew and his partner-of-the week noon to 3. Put Doug McIntyre 3-6 p.m. Move Peter Tilden from 6 to 9 p.m. Bring back Mr. KABC, Mark Germain from 9-midnight. Then midnight to 6, if they can afford a LIVE host, I recommend Randy Wang or if not, they can run the very unlistenable to me Red Eye Radio coming out of (gulp) Texas. KLOS is a dying dinosaur. If Cumulus HAS to have infomercials to pay for everything, then flip 790AM to all-infomercials, all-brokered, like KCAA does in the Inland Empire.
I ask Drew Hayes, who I met at a remote and I believe DOES listen, to consider these suggestions. What do they have to lose? In my book, KFI is stale and ready to be taken down. Mr. Hayes, please think about this.” – Bill Earl, 147kxoa.com, author, Dream-House (KRLA/1110 history book)
** Blore Magic
“Chuck Blore, was the guy who created the ‘magic’ that, for me, has not been surpassed in radio. When I was in my early teens, and would listen to KFWB in Los Angeles and KEWB in Oakland, the ‘magic’ that the jingles, and imaging created was true ‘theatre of the mind.’ When I'd listen closely to the personalities on Channel 98 and Channel 91, it really was true, ‘when the mic went on....the curtain went up.’
I spent seven years working with some of the best in the business in my years in San Francisco at KFRC [1966 thru ’73], and yet, the Drake format created a more ‘edited’ form of magic. I’m grateful that I grew up in the years that I did, being exposed to some of the best radio that ever existed on the planet, KFWB, KRLA from Los Angeles and KEWB in Oakland. Thank you Chuck for your valued contribution.” – Joe Collins, Fresno
** More Blore
“Chuck Blore is absolutely correct. But it is now impossible to happen or implement his ideas. Expansion and supposed growth of many broadcast companies was fed by overwhelming debt and then the perfect storm hit. Debt, the economy and the Internet provided tremendous loss of operating cash. Companies have fired thousands of employees [hello iHeart, Cumulus and others]. Inept ownership and management who manage by the numbers have exacerbated the problems.
In my opinion, the game has been over for many years. Times have changed and there is no going back. Some of us were in the industry during the best of times. Great memories!” – Bob Fox
|(January 19, 2018) Edwin Hawkins died this week in Pleasanton at the age of 74, of pancreatic cancer. “In its weekly reviews of new 45-rpm singles releases, a springtime 1969 issue of Billboard forecast this SF Bay area recording of Oh Happy Day to be "...an out-and-out smash," wrote Bill Kingman. “Ultimately, it achieved position #4 nationally on Billboard's Hot 100. It was produced by Paul Anka.’ Click the album cover to hear when a gospel song could go so high on the charts ... Yesterday, we included a story on how Salem (KRLA/870 AM) was handling the use of the word “shithole.” "CNN is extremely comfortable with the use of sh**hole, so expect a seamless transition for usage of the descriptor in their coverage of the Perris prisoners,” emailed Bill Seward. And Don Elliot sent a note that Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters trade group said: “We’re confident the news exemption that absolved broadcasters of indecency fines in the past will apply in this case, as well.” Elliot thinks what the FCC seems to be saying is it’s OK to report it in a quote but you cross the line once you begin to politicize it and use it (“shit hole“) to make a statement, in this case, against the speaker ... The PR spinners at Cumulus call the controversial changes on-air at KGO-San Francisco “the next generation of Talk Show programming” ... Barry Funkhouser left iHeartRadio and is now at Tunein, working as a producer for MSNBC at their Venice studios and also Mt Wilson FM. “I’m now I'm trying to find work in film,” emailed Funk. “I have been writing a screenplay loosely about radio and am working as a PA in film production to learn how it’s done and someday in 4 years join the union and become a 2nd AD. I have done 5 PA jobs in the world of film so far. If you know anyone who is looking for help in that world, I would love to talk to them.” Funk has a Comrex Bric Link that he would like to sell. If you’re interested, contact him at email@example.com ... Jared Kliger wrote last Saturday about the use of sponsorship tags, under the heading of 'everything old is new again,' David Grudt found two examples of sponsorship tags at the top of CBS Radio newscasts in the 1960's. 1. @ 6:16 'Chevrolet spotlights the news' 4/17/60 and 2. General Motors sponsors the news' 7/20/69 ... Rod Bersen retired from the LAPD 25 years ago this week.|
What Do You Do With 'Shithole'?
(January 18, 2018) What to do with airing the word
“shithole” on terrestrial radio? Salem Radio Network senior VP (KRLA),
Phil Boyce says: “The word ‘shit’ is one of the
FCC-banned words and our hosts should never use it, no matter if the
president did or didn’t. My morning guy in Los Angeles, Brian
Whitman, will be using the word ‘BLANK hole.’ We want our shows
to be safe for the whole family. No need to have listeners turn off the
radio because kids are in the car.”
In other news: Dave Gyurina (photo) worked at the all-Traffic station KKTR in the late 1990s and for a number of local traffic services. Dave had quadruple bypass heart surgery just before this Christmas. “It was totally unexpected,” Dave posted on his Facebook page. “I am starting to feel much better and my head is finally beginning to clear. Looking a little scruffy this picture is during my walk yesterday (38 minutes unassisted).” … Irma Blanco left her morning gig at KOLA-Inland Empire. Said she wanted to spend more time with her family … Doc Wynter is the new evp of Urban and Hip-Hop programming for iHeartMedia … Former KFI Talk host Maria Sanchez was accepted as a Ph.D. student in Psychology with an emphasis in Media Psychology at Fielding Graduate University. “I am thrilled and terrified! It is said that if your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough. I learned that with Pepperdine and here I go again,” wrote Maria ... Brad "Martini" Chambers is now working on Plan Z to keep his tasty website, Martini in the Morning, operating. "Whether we're able to 'deliver' depends on how many people subscribe. When I talk about the future, I don't say 'IF' Plan Z works, I say 'WHEN' Plan Z works! After giving up everything for 11 years, from downsizing to burning through my family's savings and retirement, I can't imagine any outcome short of success," emailed Brad. Click Martini in the Morning to help out.
KGO-San Francisco Shuffles Programming Impacting Two LARPs
(January 17, 2018) KGO-San Francisco stirred up its
programming last week and a couple of LARPs are involved. Ronn
Owens, a longtime midday fixture at KGO, has relinquished his
42-year program but will continue with the Cumulus Media talk
news/talker as host of a new short-form commentary feature, the “Ronn
Owens Report.” Owens told San Francisco Gate that he hopes “to
be a 2018 version of Paul Harvey and Andy Rooney” with his 8-minute
commentary feature, which he says is a win-win situation for both he and
“They get the credibility of still having me, and it helps me because ‘Ronn Owens KGO Radio’ gets me a better table than just ‘Ronn Owens.’” If you remember in 1998 it was decided to simulcast the midday Ronn Owens show with KABC. It never seemed to work and ended a year later.
Owens departure of his midday show makes way for the addition of Dr. Drew Pinsky. The last two hours of Pinsky’s KABC program (1 p.m. – 3 p.m.) will be simulcast on KGO. There is no word if Pinsky will alter his program to accommodate his new audience in the Bay Area. The big advantage with a two-station simulcast in the same state, there are issues that impact both areas.
With this simulcast, the cast of Dr. Drew’s program changed. As of this week, Mike Catherwood has exited the station and Lauren Sivan is acting as sidekick. She was a co-host on KABC a few years ago with Leo Terrell and most recently on Fox11.
KCRW Storyteller Joe Frank Dies at 79
(January 16, 2018) Joe Frank, a decades-long
contributor to KCRW (230 shows), died January 15, at the age of 79. The
LA Times called Joe "the most innovative radio dramatist in Los
Angeles." His radio plays, Work in Progress, In the Dark,
Somewhere Out There, and The Other Side, all aired on
KCRW. Joe became a storytelling legend of public radio. Jennifer
Ferro, KCRW general manager, described Joe as an audio artist
who called Santa Monica’s KCRW his home. “There was and is no one like
him – a storyteller who used audio to create a world that you fell into
and often had no idea where you were when you were in it. I'm grateful I
had the chance to work for him and was able to see how a genius works.”
“The great radio artist of our time has passed away,” wrote Harry Shearer. “You will never hear anybody smarter, darker, funnier than Joe Frank.”
Joe Langermann was born in 1939 in Strasbourg, France, to a Viennese mother and Polish father who were in flight from the Nazis. He was raised in New York, where he spent much of his childhood recovering from leg operations to correct clubfeet. He attended the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop and was later by a private school in Manhattan.
His radio career started in 1977, hosting a comedy show on Pacifica’s WBAI-New York. Joe started with NPR in 1978 as the weekend host of All Things Considered. During this period, Joe did a number of shows for NPR Playhouse before joining KCRW, in 1986. His show Joe Frank: A Work in Progress was broadcast on the NPR network. He is the author of The Queen of Puerto Rico and Other Stories, short stories based on his radio work. A Guggenheim Fellow, Joe was also the recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award, two major Armstrong Awards, two Gold Awards from the International Radio Festival in New York, and two Corporation for Public Broadcasting Radio Program Awards.
His wife, Michal Story, posted Joe’s passing on Facebook. He had been battling cancer for the last several years. A GoFundMe page to help Joe with his medical expenses raised $124,000. Services are pending.
San Diego Broadcaster C.S. Keys Dies
|(January 16, 2018)
Longtime San Diego sportscaster/weather reporter C.S. Keys
died January 13 at age 54.
Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Keys earned degrees in English and journalism at North Carolina Central University and began his career as a sports reporter and anchor at WTVD-Channel 11 in Durham, North Carolina. He later worked as a weather reporter and talk show host at WGAL-Channel 8 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After stints as a weatherman at KDKA-Channel 2 and WPXI-Channel 2 in Pittsburgh, Keys moved to San Diego in 2000 and spent four years at KUSI-Channel 18 before joining XETV-Channel 6 as a sports anchor, weather reporter and host of That Sunday Sports Show.
Most recently he was executive producer and host of The C.S. Keys Pregame Sports Show on 1090 XEPRS. He also hosted a podcast at wsradio.com and established the Kids With Athletes For Education Foundation to help needy youth in San Diego. (Story by Steve Thompson)
Keith Jackson's Death Made Front-page News in Main and Sports Sections
|(January 16, 2018) Over
the weekend, subscribers to LARadio received a bulletin that the
broadcasting sports giant and longtime Rose Bowl play-by-play announcer,
Keith Jackson, had died at the age of 89. The LA
Times had three stories on Jackson. Author Chris Erskine had some
wonderful descriptions of Keith:
“All I can think is Dick Enberg has a drinking pal.”
“Keith Jackson was like a big slab of country ham.”
“He lived for 50 years in the same Sherman Oaks house.”
“He graced his remarkable voice, which he used like Rembrandt’s brush.”
“His calls were melodious, up and down the scale never losing the clippity-clop of his Southern upbringing.”
“Jackson was truly great.”
“Covered everything – rowing, baseball, boat races and Olympic games.”
“Jackson belongs on a list of greats of the game.”
Vin Scully said of Jackson: “It might have been the result of his time in the Marines, but despite his old country boy technique, he had a quiet dignity about him.”
In Bed with Broadcasting
|(January 15, 2018) Ken Davis
began his career as a small-town radio dj during his college years. He
eventually became active in Southern California television. Little did
he know he would later find himself face-to-face with a notorious serial
killer in the middle of the night; be nearly shot by a world-famous
music producer; or unexpectedly come across the lifeless body of a
legendary Hollywood bombshell. Along the way, he hung out with everyone
from Barack Obama to Walter Cronkite to Sting.
Ken has written a fascinating book from an upfront and personal perspective. Broadcasting is his mistress and he shares his experiences with such a diversity of celebrities. Readers get a backstage pass to many classic tv programs, including: The CBS Evening News, EXTRA, PBS NewsHour, and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
This Thursday night Ken will be hosting a book signing at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena. “Hettie Lynne Hurtes is going to introduce me and several other names (some famous/some not) in the book are going to be there. Sadly, many are no longer with us and Phil Spector turned down my invitation :-),” quipped Ken.
The event begins at 7 p.m. with a talk and Q&A, followed by a book signing. A fun read and the Thursday event will have many voices and faces that you will recognize.
On the Morning Side of the Mountain
|(January 15, 2018)
A LARP recently canceled her subscription because she said she was
reading too many stories about death, and she was finding it depressing.
When we started LARadio.com 22 years ago, the mission of the site was to
shine a spotlight on the people of the Los Angeles airwaves. This meant
feature stories of those who had passed during the previous year. Why
not provide one last salute to those who entertained us, no matter if it
was a well-known morning star or the obscure all-nighter. My feeling was
– and still is – that he or she deserves the recognition. After all, if
not here, then where?
Over my two decades with the site, I’ve attended dozens of ‘Celebration of Life” services. I belong to a 12-Step program where far too many die earlier than they should. I’ve spoken at my share of funerals. And my wife Cherie is very active in hospice work. None of us is immune from death. I’m closer to 80 than I am to 70. I know that being on the twilight side of the hill means it’s now reality to live each day as jammed-packed as possible.
The mudslides in Montecito really affected me. A few years ago, Cherie broke her wrist in a hiking accident. We visited on a few occasions with Dr. Mark Montgomery, one of the leading orthopedic hand surgeons in the area. He died in the mudslides, along with his 22-year-old daughter Caroline. She died in her brother’s arms. Dr. Montgomery’s wife, son, and another daughter survived.
When Cherie and I got married five years ago, we moved into her house
which was on the cusp of Santa Barbara and Montecito. I loved living
there, albeit I love living wherever I am. During my early career, I
lived in six cities in six years, as I moved to larger markets before
eventually returning to L.A. to run a radio station. I lived in Valencia for 35 years.
I never felt a true connection to the places I physically lived. Instead, it was more about the memories of what happened in my life while I resided in the neighborhood.
A little while ago, Cherie and I decided to move in to an “our” house further up the Central Coast. We sold her house last year. The real estate agent representing the buyer was another mudslide victim. Had we still lived there, we would have had to evacuate three times in 30 days.
The ranch where we held our wedding dinner has been destroyed. And our meeting facility for the 12-Step meetings has also been washed away.
We hear all the time we should live life to the fullest and jam-pack everything you can into a day at a time. You never know what life and Mother Nature have in store. Sometimes we get so consumed with the daily flotsam and minutiae of life, we forget to live life itself. Tony Bennett said he never sang a song that didn’t matter. It’s a high standard, but with my remaining days, I would like each day to matter.
Nostalgia Sunday - 14 Years Ago Today
John Ziegler’s Long and Windy
Road to KFI
(January 14, 2004)
John Ziegler’s long and
windy road to KFI is filled with the twists and turns of a nomad
radio gypsy without Mapquest. In retrospect it makes no sense, but
when you are between jobs, the next assignment always looks
promising. John is the new live and local talk show host at 10 p.m.
He’s 36, white, male, with no kids.
John was born in 1967
in Heidelberg, Germany, but he’s an American citizen because his
father was in the military. Growing up in
Philadelphia, he fell in love with sports broadcasting, so he
went to Georgetown University and majored in government, “which is
a great way to prepare for life if you want to spend it unemployed.
And I’ve done plenty of that,” said John.
He graduated in 1987
and worked in a couple of off-air tv jobs before landing an on-air
position in Steubenville, Ohio. “If you look closely on the map,
you’ll see it right under the armpit of the universe,” John told
his audience Monday night. “It was the 150th market. I
was making $12,400 and signing autographs. I could have been on food
stamps but I was allegedly a local celebrity.”
After writing a book
on high school football in Ohio, John was offered a tv job in
Raleigh. “Huge mistake. It was 1995 and the beginning of OJ. “I
made a joke about OJ’s lack of innocence. A black columnist ripped
me for being allegedly a racist.” John got fired and then the
black columnist wrote a column blaming the station for firing him
and attempting to be politically correct.
He wanted out of tv
and sports and decided to take his controversial nature to Talk
radio. “I went to the most pathetic radio station in North Carolina. When we got a phone call, it
was a miracle.” He was off to Raleigh and then FM Talk in
Nashville where he got fired for using the “N” word.
John realized he was
between a rock and a hard place and got a Talk radio job at WHAS-Louisville.
“And then it all blew apart in just over a year.” John said he
briefly dated a tv host in Louisville who was really bad on the air,
but pretty good off the show. Her show ended up getting cancelled.
John had a radio segment called “Ask John Anything.” He promised
to be 100% honest with no BS. The day she got fired, callers were
asking whether her boobs were real, why
she wore slacks and never skirts (she didn’t wear
underwear) and whether she was a lady or a slut (easy to get in the
ballpark, but hard to get home). “I thought nothing of it but it
was the beginning of a series of events, ending up in my ouster.”
How did he get to KFI?
While negotiating his departure from WHAS, he was being courted by
KFI. The irony? Both are owned by Clear Channel. “How bizarre and
how unpredictable is that?” asked John.
John Ziegler is on KFI
weeknights from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. followed by George Noory’s
Coast to Coast.
** KNX Making News
“I know you're not publishing many letters these days, but I wanted to share my thoughts about CBS Radio’s decision to put sponsor tags at each end of their three-minute hourly news updates. They may only take 10 or 15 seconds out of the three minutes, but I find it really annoying.
For all the ads we hear on KNX throughout the hour, I was always grateful for the three minute updates on the latest national and local news during the day, or five minutes during off-peak hours. Having no sponsor mentions during that window gave some credibility to the news. I know that business is business, but I just wanted to share my thoughts.” - Jared Kliger
** Entertainment Coverage
“As radio struggles to retain audience and advertising revenue, let me offer this enlightening case study as to how opportunities for compelling programming are being missed: Sunday was the Golden Globes. Yet in this entertainment obsessed town, there was nary a spot to find Golden Globes info on-air during the 7p hour when the show’s primary awards are announced. Rather than 60 Minutes, KNX was airing a stale rebroadcast of Friday’s ‘KNX In Depth,’ which was discussing the ‘next day’s’ Rams game even though by Sunday we already knew the sad result of that game. KRLA was airing yet another conservative Trump supporter monologue, KABC had a taped delayed ‘Money Talk,’ KFI’s Mo Kelley was just slightly acknowledging the show, and KEIB was not covering the Golden Globes at all.
And to think, it was just 5 short years ago when KFWB was still making efforts to own the entertainment buzz on radio in this town, sending Ross Crystal and others to cover all the major awards shows. Now, even KNX can’t seem to be bothered to provide the entertainment news this DMA is so obsessed with wanting to know immediately as it happens.” – David Alpern, Long Beach
** Blore’s Essay
“Chuck Blore is as insightful as he always has been with his clear and concise primer to creating the radio equivalent of ‘must see TV.’ Styles change, but a pair of pants is still a pair of pants. Likewise, what compels listenership has never changed. Chuck’s philosophy is as relevant today as it was when I sat slack-jawed, listening to him at the radio conventions in the 1980s. I still don’t know how he used to cue himself to begin his lip-synch to the recorded first few sentences of his speech. That was an unforgettable ice-breaking attention-getter. Hell, I remember it a generation later.
To my mind, in just a few tight paragraphs Chuck shared more knowledge than a roomful of smoke from Kent Burkhardt’s pipe or the reams of research data I’ve waded through from any of a cadre of consultants. Thanks to Chuck for his brilliance, and to you Don, for always starting the morning with the faces and news of some our family of radio friends.’ – Randy West
** More Blore
“I LOVED the Chuck Blore piece. He is not only a forward thinker but one of the few common sense voices in the world today. Radio people are, understandably distracted by everything digital these days, not unlike the way we were distracted by 8-tracks, cassettes, vinyl, MTV, movies, and television. Careers have been made and broken by concerns over the ‘next’ medium to take ears away from radio.
Chuck invented music radio, the kind that was refined by others like Bill Drake, Mel Hall and Rick Thomas. If everyone felt the same way in our business, things would be MUCH different than they are now. I’m just sayin’” – Dave Mason
** Blore Redux
“The principles Chuck Blore highlights are about how to succeed in radio but his ideas about talent and the need for relevance, the need to be compelling, interesting and liked are equally important to success in any medium that lays its wares at the feet of the ultimate arbiter...THE AUDIENCE. No matter what you call what we do in radio, it’s intimate, personal and, needs honesty and professionalism because the audience can see fraud a mile away but will trust and celebrate someone they get a chance to know and like over time. Chuck’s essay reveals some of the reasons he has gained legendary status in broadcasting.” – Larry Van Nuys
** Discovered LARadio
“Great website. Having fun looking up my favorites and all the jocks I worked with. I checked out Bill Wade, as I didn’t know where he went after leaving KGB in San Diego. I attended his school of radio and Television in San Diego in 1965. Not sure when the school was started, but I believe I was one of his first students. He and newsman Tom Shaffer ran the school together. Bill was a great teacher.” – Bob Ames, Murrieta (KOGO in the 70’s), (KCBQ in the 80’s), (KGTV10 in the 80’s & 90’s)
** Game Show Cover Story
“Our mutual friend, David Schwartz [who sees all and knows all at GSN] gave me the heads-up that I will be on the premiere episode of the series Cover Story this Sunday, January 14. The show, highlighting the Press Your Luck game show scandal, will air at 7 p.m. and again at 10 p.m. I hope you’ll be able to see it. I’m told I have a few of Fred Wostbrock’s mannerisms, which is an extreme compliment as I was doing this show in his memory.” – Shelley Herman, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ0iRYdhvgI
** Entravision Shuffle
“Word reaches me that Entravision has flipped KDLD-Santa Monica and KDLE- Newport Beach (103.1) and KLYY-Riverside (97.5) from the Spanish variety hits format ‘Jose’ to its long-running regional Mexican ‘Radio Tricolor’ programming. This is the latest in what has been many format changes for the 103.1 pair since they first began simulcasting back around 1990. They have been A/C ‘K-Surf/K-Ocean,’ Alternative new wave ‘MARS/fm,’ ‘Jazz FM,’ A/C ‘CD 103.1,’ dance ‘Groove Radio,’ adult Alternative ‘Channel 103.1,’, dance ‘KDL,’ alternative ‘Indie 103.1,’ and regional Mexican ‘El Gato’ before the flip to ‘Jose.’
That's 11 formats in a little less than three decades. The Jose afternoon drive ‘LMShow,’ rebranded ‘Los Metiches,’ moves to Tricolor as the morning show. It appears to be a wholesale cancellation of the Jose format/ The remaining stations on the format, in Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Stockton-Modesto, El Paso, Monterey-Salinas, Palm Springs, El Centro and the Rio Grande Valley have been flipped to Entravision’s Spanish soft Oldies ‘Suavecita’ format, which was launched on the 107.1 trimulcast (KSSE/KSSD/KSSC) a little over a year ago as a replacement for ‘Estrella.’” – K.M. Richards
** Eatman Tribute
“Thanks for the very beautiful tribute to my friend and friend to radio, Bob Eatman.” – Howard Lapides
** Turnbull’s Passing
“I had no idea that Barry Turnbull had passed. It really saddened me. Barry and I worked together when we both did weekend mornings at KNX. I always admired not only his delivery, but his masterful understanding of sports. Beyond that, I felt he truly loved radio and appreciated the chance he was given to stand on that big stage. Later, he spoke often on social media about the pride he took from being in master control for the Dodger and Angel radio broadcasts in Ventura County. I always felt he never got the recognition he so richly deserved. It reminds me to tell the people who I admire and respect how much a part they've played in my professional and personal life while I can. RIP Barry.” – Larry Van Nuys
** Passing Parade of 2017
“Masterful compendium of bios from those lost in 2017. Time is the only commodity that can't be negotiated.” – Randy West
“Thanks for that Last Look, Don. Appreciate it.” – Larry Huffman
“Very nice tribute to the class of 2017”– Mike Butts
“Thank you for a wonderful and heartfelt remembrance of those in the industry who made radio and ‘the theatre of the mind’ work. Here’s hoping 2018 is a happier and more peaceful year and that radio continues to be a medium both accountable to and entertaining for everyone.” – Julie Byers
** Cal State Long Beach
“Thank you for your story on our Cal State Long Beach student radio station! The attention is much appreciated.” – Danny Lemos, Student Media Coordinator/ASI, www.22westmedia.com
** Life in Music Radio
"I loved J. J. Johnson’s You Tube book trailer for Aircheck: Life in Music Radio. Enjoyed the photos and the story he tells in his own voice and what he says about how most people who listen to radio don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. I hope his book’s a big success." - Anita Garner
New Voice at KFI
(January 12, 2017)
Beginning this weekend, Ohio born Mary Kate Gaffney
joins the overnights at KFI. She studied Public Relations and Journalism
at the University of Cincinnati. Following graduation, Mary Kate was
hired as an entertainment reporter in Los Angeles at SpinMedia. She
later moved to more traditional reporting, working for FOX19 and later
an ABC affiliate in Cincinnati. Before moving back to Los Angeles, Mary
Kate was in Phoenix launching and hosting FOX News' first digital show.
Discovering a knack for public speaking and telling stories, Mary Kate
was hired as a news anchor for iHeartRadio. She had previously hosted on
her local iHeartRadio station in Cincinnati, 700WLW.
In other news: At KCAL-Riverside, SBR Broadcasting cut four on-air personalities, including morning drive cast members James “Jimbo” Smith and Tiffany Angelo, as well as morning show producer Steven Kono. All-nighter Michael “Stu Man” Stewart was also let go. “The ownership decided they just couldn’t keep operating KCAL with such high expenses. All of the people we had to let go are like family to me,” said Jeffrey Parke, gm at KCAL. “This has been really tough, to say the least.” KCAL pd and afternoon host Daryl Norsell said the cuts at the longtime rock station “took us by surprise, especially when the station is seeing some of the best ratings success we’ve had in years.” … Dominique DiPrima joins the syndicated Michael Baisden Show (heard in over 50 markets, but not yet in LA). The Emmy-winning DiPrima is best known as the host of the popular daily news and public affairs show Front Page on KJLH. In addition to being a co-host she will also take on the role of senior producer. She will continue on KJLH … Condolences to KCBS 2’s Greg Mills on the passing of his father … Chris Patyk, formerly with Star 98.7, has joined KBZT- San Diego as pd … Radio/TV station owner and cable/streaming content producer Kevin Adell offered Tavis Smiley a haven, after Smiley shakes off being cut by PBS and Public Radio International following allegations of sexual misconduct with staffers. His road to redemption takes him into inspirational territory via The Word Network, thus avoiding current events … Mimi Chen has joined KCSN for her Sunday morning program, Peace, Love and Sundays … “It’s official, I’m going to Dallas,” wrote Freddy Rivera, former KIIS late night jock. “Joining the iHeartMedia team in Dallas as afternoon host and APD on 102.9 NOW! I’m actually writing this from my hotel room in Dallas now as I look for a place to live.” … Congratulations to KFI’s John & Ken on their 30th anniversary on the air together.
New AMP Radio Morning Show
(January 11, 2017)
After the departure of Carson Daly last July, AMP Radio
(KAMP) will fill the vacant morning drive slot with Edgar Sotelo
and Brian Moote. The duo begin next month, according to
pd Chris Ebbott. Edgar comes from sister AMP/New York,
WBMP. When Rick Thomas, former pd at KRTH, joined
AMP/New York, he was the one who discovered Edgar in Dallas while he was
broadcasting in Spanish. “Yes, I’m very proud of Edgar. He is a great
guy and very funny,” said Rick. “I miss him a lot but happy for him to
be the newest LARP.”
Edgar was born in Mexico and grew up in LA with his brother, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, who was a big star with Univision. Edgar is happy to return to LA. On Instagram, he posted, “I serve God, love all, spread joy and eats. Blessed to be a husband, father, hijo, and creator of positive content.” In an on-line interview he said “when I feel it, I speak Spanish.” With the huge Hispanic population in the Southland, Edgar should be the perfect bi-lingual morning host.
Brian Moote, Sotelo’s partner, was previously part of the syndicated Bert Show that was based at WWWQ (Q100)-Atlanta. “I can't wait to meet the AMP RADIO morning family," Moote said in the official press release. Moote is also a stand-up comic who is a native of Southern California. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Moote just wants to return to the West Coast where he lived for many years. His brother Patrick, an actor and writer, resides in L.A. and his mom lives in Seattle. “That’s where I need to be,” Moote said. “As much as it hurts to leave this (Atlanta) family, I realize I just can’t leave the people who depend on me and love me on that side of the country.”
As for Edgar’s brother Eddie, it’ll be interesting to hear the two brothers, one in English, the other in Spanish. Known by his nickname “Piolin” (“Tweety Bird”), Eddie Piolin worked afternoons at Sirius XM for just over a year after leaving Univision’s KSCA amidst charges of harassment which Eddie Sotelo disputed. “El Show de Piolin” is now syndicated on 40 stations by Entravision, heard locally on KSSE (“La Suavecita 107.1”).
A concept by Chuck Blore .
*W.G.A.W. Registration # 27403
What follows here is an unfamiliar, seldom used approach to radio, it’s called ... entertainment. Radio as an entertainment medium ... pretty wild idea, huh?
If it’s really interesting, if it makes you smile, or makes you laugh, makes you think, or makes you curse, or nod your head, or makes you say, “I’ll be damned,” that, by this definition, is entertainment. Thus Entertainment Radio.
Here is radio that knows its audience and knows its value to that audience, expressing in everything we do and say, a consistent connection with people in search of something better, presented at their convenience, in their language, on their playing field.
The beauty of what we’re talking about – this interesting stuff, this stuff that’s relevant to our audience, this stuff that matters – is irresistible and it’s everywhere. All we gotta do is funnel it through to them continuously, relentlessly, unremittingly in an entertaining manner.
So, who is the you it matters to? Not Corporate Management or even the station GM, and it’s not the PD. It is the audience. What matters to them is all that matters. The stuff that creates an affirmative emotional response from the listener. It’s what's fascinating, compelling, relevant, or just interesting. Tight little circle, eh?
Okay, but to fill up 24 hours a day with this quality of entertainment is impossible. So then – and this may be the most revolutionary part of it all – we are not concerned with 24 hours. People listen to weekday radio from an average of 29 minutes to two hours a day. But they listen habitually ... that is, if they listen to a given station from 7:30 to 9:00 today, they will, in all probability, do the same tomorrow, and the next day. Also, much of the “two hour” listening is done in cars going to and from work, an hour in the morning, an hour afternoons. Ergo, we can cover all our bases and all our listeners, for all of those 24 hours, with two programs, each two-and-a-half-hours in length. One for mornings, one for afternoons. We need only create 5 hours a day, rotated and repeated to cover the entire 24. What every listener will hear is fresh, original material. All of this has been worked out in much greater detail and some other things are needed, but the 5 hours instead of 24 works! Anything more is superfluous and unnecessary.
Now, considering all of that...Consider this ...
All on-air personalities are likable, intelligent, charismatic people who are obviously in love with what they are a part of. Everything we do is eventually presented to the audience, by the on air people. What they do and say how they do and say it is essential to the success of this concept. While most of what is unique to the local radio station will be well thought out, well written and much of it, pre-produced, a great deal of it will be done live. That which is done live can be our greatest strength if it measures up to the demands of being “fascinating,” compelling, relevant or amusing. All of this requires an immense amount of preparation and hard work by the presenters but the rewards are inestimable.
Obviously, what’s happening in the world matters. Probably every third or fourth segment is news- or headline-oriented. This is complimented, several times each day, with a positioning promise, such as, it is our job to try, with all the resources at our command:
· To provide the basic news and information that intelligent individuals require to live here.
· To provide a platform to ensure that perceptive people looking for information that matters to them can have as a source that will deliver that information with consistency and with accuracy.
Entertainment, relevance, amusement, fascination, stuff that matters, what’s going on here. Not some of the time, all of the time.
It'll be great ... and just think, we’ve only scratched the surface.
O'Malley Was a Star
(January 9, 2018) Paul O'Malley
(l), former Star 98.7 station manager in the late 1990s and early 2000s,
is joining Saga Communications Charleston cluster as general manager. In
addition to his time in LA, Paul is a 27-plus year radio veteran, most
recently serving as svp of programming for Westwood One.
In other news, congratulations to Cal State Long Beach’s 22 West Radio (formerly KBeach Radio). The Great Value Colleges website puts 22 West Radio at No. 2 in its rankings of 30 Amazing College Radio Stations, a list based on what the stations offer and their dedication to the students and culture. “We are the only local radio station that provides hands-on experience for students,” 22 West Radio general manager Ennovy Bowman said. “No matter what skills you may or may not have to start, when you become a part of our station, you leave with the skill necessary to perform in a professional environment.” 22 West Radio can be heard at kbeach.org and in Southern California at 88.1/fm HD3 ... George Noory celebrates his 15-year anniversary as host of Coast to Coast AM, heard locally on KFI. Noory became the full-time host of the popular radio program, which reaches nearly three million weekly listeners on more than 600 radio stations, in January 2003. The broadcasting milestone comes on the heels of Noory’s renewed long-term contract with Premiere last year. “I’m so excited about starting year 16 with my same, amazing staff, dedicated advertisers and, of course, our faithful listeners worldwide,” said Noory.
The Passing Parade of 2017
Bob Elder, January 19 (68)
Bob was involved in Orange County radio at KEZY and KORG in the 1980s and early '90s.
He ended up in sports management.
Jack Vincent, January 29 (99)
Jack was a San Diego veteran dj during the Top 40 era (notably at KCBQ). “He was known as one of the ‘KCBQ Good Guys’ along with Happy Hare and Don Howard,” said his lifelong friend and fellow dj Shotgun Tom Kelly. “They were like local celebrities, they made a lot of public appearances. They were there when Elvis came to town.”
February 12 (89)
Mike was the only announcer in radio and tv to serve as both the voice of the USC Trojans in football and basketball, and he later became the voice of the UCLA Bruins for both sports. He was also well known for his play-by-play work on NCAA football and basketball.
February 23 (66)
Alan was hired by Fox ceo Roger Ailes to co-host Hannity & Colmes, the two hosts offering their right-left (respectively) perspectives to the issues of the day. The program lasted through 2008, with Hannity soon going it alone on his now solo-titled show. Colmes was the author of 2003’s Red, White & Liberal: How Left is Right and Right is Wrong.
He was heard on KTLK and KGIL in the 2000s.
John Harlan, February 27 (91)
John was the past president of Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters. He was one of the founding members of PPB and one of the biggest supporters of the organization. He worked on numerous television projects for over 40 years, particularly game and variety shows. Perhaps his best-known work was for the Bob Hope specials aired on NBC during the 1960s through the 1990s. Among game show fanciers, his most memorable outings were the versions of Name That Tune produced between 1974 and 1985.
Chuck Van Horne,
May 15 (69)
Chuck was bitten by the radio “bug” while serving overseas with the U.S. Air Force. When he left the military, Chuck enrolled in the Don Martin School of Radio and Television Arts and Sciences in Hollywood.
He started his first radio job on November 12, 1972. In less than two years Chuck had worked at KTOT-Big Bear, KICO-Calexico, KPTL-Carson City, KTHO-So. Lake Tahoe and KONE-Reno. A network of radio friends began to pay off for Chuck with assignments at KDES-Palm Springs, KSTN-Stockton, KSOM-Ontario, KFXM and KUDO-San Bernardino/Riverside.
June 3 (87)
Jimmy was a Boston Red Sox Hall Of Famer and KABC Talk show host back in 1965.
Elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2010, Piersall still holds the club record for most hits in a nine-inning game. His lifetime career batting average was .272. He was regarded as one of the best defensive players of his era, even ahead of several Hall of Famers including Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays.
Piersall suffered a nervous breakdown in 1952 and courageously battled mental health illness throughout his career. His autobiography, Fear Strikes Out, was published in 1955 and made into a movie in 1957, advancing awareness of mental health issues.
July 10 (74)
Beginning in 1970, Bill was on KGIL, KABC, and KNJO.
An Army “brat” whose youth was spent globe-trotting with his U.S. Army parents, Bill’s entire broadcasting career was in LA. He began as a news reporter at KGIL, became nd and eventually took over morning drive when Sweet Dick Whittington left the station after a long and successful run.
Bill spent ten years as reporter and anchor on KTTV/Channel 11. During his decade at KABC, he worked as regular fill-in (with Eric Tracy) for the popular morning team, Ken Minyard and Bob Arthur. He also teamed with Wink Martindale for an afternoon drive program.
August 16 (80)
A two-time University of Notre Dame men's basketball All-American, Notre Dame All-Century Team member, Notre Dame Ring of Honor inductee and 1959 Notre Dame graduate worked at KGFJ, KABC, and KKJZ. .
Hawkins was the first African-American to earn All-America honors as a student-athlete at Notre Dame. Drafted in the first round (third overall pick) by the Minneapolis Lakers, Hawkins played 10 years in the National Basketball Association with Minneapolis, the Cincinnati Royals and the Los Angeles Lakers.
After his playing career, he worked in radio and television and served as the vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2012, Hawkins authored a book on poetry entitled Life's Reflections: Poetry for the People.
August 24 (69)
Jay was the morning man at KPWR in the late '80s and early '90s. He was the co-star of the hit movie Mr. Holland's Opus.
Before joining KPWR, Jay did a number of tv shows, including Love Boat and Spencer for Hire, as well as dinner theater.
Jay's later tv carreer includes Mork & Mindy, Cheers, Almost Grown, Murphy Brown, Family Ties, The Golden Girls, Love & War and others. He won an Emmy. Jay was nominated for Billboard's Top 40 Radio Air Personality of 1993.
August 20 (91)
Jerry was a lot of things to a lot of different people. Frenchmen found his movies to be masterpieces. Some found his comedy slapsticky and funny. For a decade he was unequally paired with singer Dean Martin. He became a mainstay on Labor Day tv as he served as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethons for 44 years.
In the early '60s, he owned KVFM (94.3) in the Valley.
Don Bishop, September 10 (69)
In the mid-70s, Don was a jock at KIQQ, KMGX and Westwood One. .
Before broadcasting at “K-100,” Don worked in Utah, Washington and Chicago. Don also worked at the Bright AC format at Westwood One for many years.
Barry Turnbull, October 3 (61)
Longtime sports broadcaster and Golden Mike recipient, Barry was known in Los Angeles as a part-timer with Shadow and MetroBroadcasting, heard on all-News KFWB and KNX. He had a long run with KVEN / KHAY-Ventura as the station’s sports director and hosting weekend call-in shows, along with a time at KVTA. Barry was awarded a Golden Mike in 1992 for his KVEN sports commentary.
When he was interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People, Barry offered some thoughts about sports broadcasting. “There is no question that Vin Scully is the voice of Southern California baseball. But as a broadcast team, there was none better than Dick Enberg and Don Drysdale in the 70s on KMPC. They made an Angel team that was especially bad on the field still fun to listen to regardless."
September 18 (67)
Steven was a veteran from KWIZ and KABC. His wife, voiceover artist and former news and traffic reporter Tammy Schroeder wrote: “I've tried to find the right words to post on Steve's Facebook page for three days now. Steve's battle with brain cancer was tough to say the least, yet he never once complained or said ‘Why me?’ He lived every moment to the fullest and he cherished every day he was able to spend with his 4 children and 11 grandchildren. When I asked him why he never complained, he laughed and said it wouldn't change anything so why make everyone else miserable.”
Steve was unable to speak since July 26th because of how the cancer affected the speech part of his brain. “One of the last things I heard him say was ‘Lord! Please take care of my children!’ And that says it all,” said Tammy.
Joe Reiling, October 7 (65)
Joe was a familiar voice for four decades at KLOS, KMET, KNX/fm, and KLSX. He has been alternatively described as jovial, sweet and an all-round good guy.
Joe's jock and rock programming past prepared him well for his tenure when, in 1992, he became the programming, voicing, artist interviewing and producer of inflight entertainment for over 30 airlines. He began this part of his career with AEI Inflight. Joe then moved to Inflight Productions USA as a vp in June of 2000. Working for the airlines is somewhat prophetic, for Joe since he was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, the birthplace of aviation.
October 9 (84)
John specialized in engineering work in the aerospace industry for many years then moved full-time into the broadcast industry. He was Chief Engineer for KKGO-FM for close to 50 years and consulting engineer for many other radio stations. He also designed and built his own FM station in Yucca Valley, KROR-FM.
He also was the on-air host for many years of "Heartfelt Music" on KPFK-FM and prior to that, on KCBH-FM, the first FM station in the Los Angeles area.
November 12 (60)
Helen was a decades-long mainstay in LA Jazz radio and inspired and enriched the lives of thousands of people in art, literature, music, and theatre.
A personal message from Dave Grudt: “I knew Helen well for nearly 35 years from our days at KLON on the campus at CSULB. Along with her brother Ken, I worked side-by-side with both of them in the programming department. I have so many wonderful memories of this special one-of-kind woman. She could so easily make me laugh.... and boy did she have the laugh that could be heard now.... all the way to the angels! I was fortunate to be there at the end. A truly unique experience.”
December 19 (63)
Born and raised in L.A., as a youngster Cliff was fascinated with listening to his transistor radio. “I would be up in the middle of the night listening to the radio and I loved KHJ. When I was a real small kid, they had KRLA and my mom used to listen to KFWB and KGFJ. It’s funny that KFWB used the same jingle they used when they were a Top 40 station. I loved that style of radio with Robert W. Morgan, The Real Don Steele, Sam Riddle and all those legends.”
Cliff was like many LARP who grew up DXing in their bedroom at night attempting to find stations in Denver and even KOA-Oklahoma City. “I used to announce everything I could find - checker games, and pick-up basketball games at school, I just liked to announce. I listened to Chick Hearn and Dick Lane. I guess I grew up in the golden age of broadcasters – Dick Enberg was doing UCLA games, Vin Scully with the Dodgers. Everywhere you turned there were great radio people and I was really influenced by them all.”
December 21 (82)
Dick was a versatile sportscaster known in Southern California as the longtime voice of the Rams, Angels, and UCLA, plus known nationally for his years covering Wimbledon and other major events for NBC and CBS Sports.
The Michigan native was a football quarterback, basketball center, and baseball pitcher while a student at Central Michigan University, where he started his work as a broadcaster at WCEN, where he was a dj and play-by-play announcer. While at Indiana, Enberg broadcast Indiana Hoosiers football and basketball.
He was admired for his preparation and his enthusiasm, with his signature “Oh my!” quickly identifying him on the air. He also was the host of several game shows, most notably the syndicated Sports Challenge. Enberg was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“If there was a Mount Rushmore of L.A. sports announcers, Dick Enberg is on it with Chick Hearn, Vin Scully and Bob Miller,” tweeted Lakers radio broadcaster John Ireland.
December 27 (91)
Hilly was a true pioneer in Talk Radio. Before moving to Los Angeles, Hilly was on the air in San Francisco for a number of years, hosting highly-rated talk shows on KGO, KCBS and KNEW, as well as a television talk show on KTVU. He spent close to two decades at KABC, KFI, and KMPC.
In the late 1970s, Hilly demonstrated the power of talk radio advocacy. "There was a lot of talk about tax relief for property owners and Proposition 13 was born as the Jarvis-Gann Initiative. The problem was they weren't talking to each other and it looked like it might fail." Hilly surreptitiously brought them together along with L.A. County Tax Assessor Phil Watson. "I locked the studio doors while they worked out their differences on-air!" The result was a huge vote for Prop 13. Hilly was also an author, writing on book on the talk radio profession entitled But That’s Not What I Called About.
In 1984, Hilly retired from radio and purchased a large housewares store in Santa Cruz. A year later he started a series of weekend radio shows on KGO-San Francisco that ran until 1992. In 2016, Hilly was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame as a “Pioneer/Living Legend”.
Andy, Julie, Mark, Dave, Gina, Mimi, Uncle Joe, Sean, Emo, Jeffrey,
Trey, Tim, Ernie, Amanda, Katie, Charles, Cynthia, Chris, Mike, Todd,
Jackie, Daniel, Mary, Greg, Peter, Josh, Tina, Tony, Rita, Steve, Sam
November 15 (9)
For almost a decade, 100.3/The Sound captured the imagination of a dedicated fan base.
KSWD was alone with its own take on Classic Rock music and an eclectic group of personalities to take us along on the ride.
The station ended its run November 15, making way for a format dedicated to Christian music.
Nostalgia Sunday - 4 Years Ago Today
Aircheck: Life in Music Radio
by KDAY veteran J.J. Johnson
by KDAY veteran J.J. Johnson
That was his start. On January 6, 1968 at the age of 17 he went on-air at WABQ-Cleveland under the name "Jimmy O'Jaye." In the summer of 1969 he moved on to KYOK-Houston, replacing Walt "Baby" Love, who'd moved on to Top 40 KILT.
In early 1971 he moved to WGRT-Chicago. Four short months later, he then moved on to San Francisco's legendary KFRC, where consultant Bill Drake and pd Paul Drew gave him the name "J.J." Johnson. It was at KFRC where Drew taught him the mechanics of radio programming.
In the late summer of 1973, he took the pd position at KFRC/fm, which ran an automated Oldies format. It was mid-June of 1974 when Jim Maddox hired J.J., starting his 17-year association with KDAY. In addition, he simultaneously did a year-long, once-per-week stint at the L.A. MOR giant, KMPC. He was KDAY's pd twice and won virtually every industry and community award, including two Billboard Awards and a Black Radio Exclusive award, among others.
J.J. voiced most of the Motown network specials during the 1980s beginning with the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Motown 25, one of the all-time great tv music specials. His was the last voice heard on 1580 / KDAY upon sign-off in 1991. In 1992 he became the JAMS editor at HITS magazine, where he remained for two years.
J.J. has two main mentors; his first pd, Mike Payne, and the aforementioned Paul Drew. He entered radio syndication in 1982 when he co-hosted, with singer Lou Rawls, the 24-hour radio special The Music of Black America.
In the mid-1980s he hosted Westwood One's bi-weekly Budweiser Concert Hour and Fresh Traxx. He spent a year-and-a-half as host of Bullitt Productions’ Highlights. In the early 1990s he produced – via Too Lunar Productions, the company he started with partner Gary Jackson – Countdown/Countdown, hosted by his former morning partner Russ Parr. He became segment narrator of Paramount's Real TV with Ahmad Rashad in mid-2000.
Add J.J.’s book to your radio collection and you won’t be disappointed. Check out his unique video trailer at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRfuiMXQAbU&feature=em-upload_owner
Archives 3rd Quarter 2017: KBIG big in the ratings; Open Email to KLOS
PD; Entercom shuts down The Sound; Art Laboe
celebrates 74 consecutive years on the radio; KNX shuffles shifts; Top
20 AOR stations of all-time; 2 non-coms go Triple A; Fake news at AMP
radio; Book on Nancy Cole; Ellen K
makes list of Inspirer women in radio; 1,000 apply for morning drive at
AMP Radio; Gene Sandbloom exits KROQ; Alan Oda
digs Japan; Outlaw Radio - Animal House for grown-ups who haven't grown
up; Art Astor car collection auction; Idol producer on including
Seacrest in reboot; Carson Dal out at AMP Radio; Lisa Bloom publishes
Shattered Peacock; KN wins Edward R. Murrow award; Charles Pyne
reported sexual harassment case; Summer reading; KROQ GM to Santa Monica
Mayor; Passing Parade includes: Helen Borgers,
Steve Gonzalez, Barry Turnbull, Don
Bishop, Jay Thomas, Tommy Hawkins,
and Bill Smith
Archives 4th Quarter 2017: Stern worth $1/2 billion; traffic LARPS honored; empty spaces at KABC/KLOS; fire threatens radio towers; LARPs caught in Northern California firestorm; K-LOVE versus EMF; Stern appears with Kimmel; unthinkable happens to Delilah a second time; three faces of Nicci Ross; LARPs at Las Vegas massacre; KNX wins Edward R. Murrow award; Passing Parade includes Joe Reiling, Bob Eatman, Helen Borgers, Cliff Winston; Hilly Rose; Greg Ashlock promoted to President at iHeart; Jim Duncan exits iHeart; Jeff Federman returns to CBS/LA cluster that is now Entercom; Kiplinger says announcing one of the worst jobs; KBIG dominates ratings; Is Bill Handle in trouble? Jeff Baugh involved in SigAlert; Charley Steiner complaints; Countdown until The Sound shuts down; essay on The Sound; Love letters to Sound staff; Field of Dreams; Scully scolded; KABC's Tweeden claims Al Franken groped her; Laboe marshall of Xmas parade; Seacrest denies behaving "Inappropriately"; Pope moves from San Jose to Inland Empire; Night disco died; Jingle Ball reviewed; Steve Edwards departs Fox morning show; Bill Brown found; Ralph Garman fired from CBS after almost two decades on Kevin & Bean Show; radio reunion; Allred/Bloom tiff?; LARP traffic people mentioned in NY Times story; massive firestorm; Tammy Trujillo writes broadcast textbook; Top stories of 2017 by Alan Oda; Scott St. James' challenges; Memories of Chickenman
Archives 1st Quarter 2018
Al Michaels broadccasts from home for the first time; Norm Pattiz to step down; At first whispers, and then a roar
About the Publisher of LARadio.com, Don Barrett
As publisher of LARadio.com, Don Barrett chronicles radio news and lists 6,000 people in Los Angeles who work or have worked in radio in the past 50 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. 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.