The most comprehensive listing of 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People, spanning the last 60 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.

(Diane Thompson, Andy Ludlum, Johnny Wendell, Jack Hayes, and Maryanne Caruso)

Hear Ache 

(February 22, 2017) Bruce Chandler calls it “the great radio mystery.” Jennifer Jones Lee (l) joined the KFI morning show as the news lady last year but she has been off the air more than on. “She got back Monday and not a word was said about how long she was gone (a few months) or why- just ‘welcome back.’ So weird," emailed Bruce. "She sounds great. I like her on air. Maybe she had to take care of an ailing parent? Who knows?” … Dave Williams and Anita Garner have relaunched their site, and made an adjustment to the format to fit mobile devices. Both are such fun reads … Seen any good movies in 2016? Academy Award time comes up this weekend. Which of the nine nominated films do you think will win? Send your choice to me at and put your pick in the subject line. No prizes. I struggled with my Oscar vote this year. Lotsa B and B+ movies. But one movie was almost perfect and it got my vote … Dan Prince of El Centro saw the photo of Johnny Otis and remembered that  he had a show on XERB, the "Mighty 1090" in the mid/late sixties. “Same guy that recorded Willie and the Hand Jive,” wrote Prince. “Wolfman Jack was on XERB as well during this period.” … Ryan Seacrest's Beverly Hills home suffered from a fire over the weekend. TMZ reports there was, "some heavy damage," done to the $50 million structure … The dementia challenges facing David Cassidy  brought up a familiar name, Danny Bonaduce. The fellow Patridge Family player offered his support. Over the years, Cassidy has also been a supporter of Bonaduce's, especially when Danny was going through a very dark period. Danny has been doing mornings at KZOK-Seattle since 2011. I checked the KZOK website this morning and you can watch the morning show. He's still a great communicator. Remember his running battles with co-stars Jamie White at Star 98.7 and Adam Carolla at KLSX?

KNX Makes Huge Jump in January '17 Ratings 

(February 21, 2017) KOST narrowly held on to the #1 spot in the just-released January '17 PPM ratings. The AC station came down five points from its lofty position when it was playing Christmas music. The big ratings story, however, was a full-point jump for all-News KNX, moving from 2.7 to 3.7 in the 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid ratings.

Go Country KKGO experimented with early playing of Christmas music for the first time. "Our holiday programming was a huge success," emailed Saul Levine, owner of KKGO. "Country formats are hurt most of all formats by all-holiday programming. Each year we took a huge hit with audience dropping during that period. Our cume during December 2016, at just under 2 million, was the highest cume ever achieved by a Country station in the USA since PPM was adopted in 2008. We are evaluating our plans for 2017." Saul added: "KKGO just celebrated its tenth year as a Country station. We proved KZLA wrong that LA would not support a Country station. Almost every month, KKGO has the highest cume of any Country in the USA."

1. KOST (AC) 10.7 - 5.2

2. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.7 - 5.1

3. KTWV (the WAVE) 4.7 - 5.0

4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.6 - 4.5

5. KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.1 - 4.3

6. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.6 - 3.8

7. KNX (News) 2.7 - 3.7

8. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.2 - 3.5

      KFI (Talk) 3.1 - 3.5

10. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 3.2 - 3.2

11. KRRL (Urban) 2.9 - 3.1

12. KYSR (Alternative) 2.8 - 3.0

13. KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.7 - 2.9

14. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.9 - 2.6

15. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.0 - 2.4

       KXOS (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 2.4

17. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.9 - 2.3

      KSWD (Classic Rock) 1.9 - 2.3

19. KKGO (Country) 2.8 - 2.2

20. KXOL (Spanish AC) 1.8 - 2.1

21. KPCC (News/Talk) 1.5 - 2.0

       KROQ (Alternative) 1.8 - 2.0

23. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 1.9

24. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.5 - 1.8

25. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.5 - 1.7

26. KCRW (Variety) 1.3 - 1.4

27. KUSC (Classical) 1.2 - 1.2

28. KRLA (Talk) 0.8 - 1.1

29. KSPN (Sports) 1.0 - 1.0

       KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.0 - 1.0

31. KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 1.0  - 0.9

32. KABC (Talk) 0.6 - 0.7

       KEIB (Talk) 0.6 - 0.7

       KLAC (Sports) 0.7 - 0.7

35. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.7 - 0.6

       KKJZ (Jazz) 0.6 - 0.6

       KWKW (Spanish Sports) 0.4 - 0.6 

Found Natalie Urias and Turk Stevens Living in Vegas 

(February 21, 2017) Over our 20 years with LARadio, we have tracked those you have listened to on Southern California radio. From time to time, we update and introduce you to someone behind the scenes. Today two stories and who better to tell you about Natalie Urias and her husband Turk Stevens than their friend, KOST’s  Ted Ziegenbusch.

Both Natalie and Turk worked at Premiere Radio. She has two young children and is now living near Las Vegas. After seven productive years with Premiere Radio, Natalie still keeps her hands in marketing/promotions and PR. But  being a full-time mom is Natalie’s first call. Turk was the sports update, anchor and color commentator for Premiere. He spent 25 years on various networks, including Fox Sports, Sporting News Radio, and NBC Sports. Besides his national work, Turk was even the voice of the Macon Whoopie Hockey team. As Natalie puts it, Turk was the Whoopie’s Chick Hearn, “but not nearly as famous!” Turk was also a staple on the Big Ben Maller Show on Fox for many years. To reiterate, Natalie’s biggest thrill nowadays is her family. That, and the fact that she often works out at the same gym with Britney Spears.

As I recall, Natalie was Delilah’s right-hand assistant back in the 1990s. She would often accompany Delilah on publicity and business tours. Natalie was also the only Love Songs producer at KOST that would stay late (often well past midnight) and help me produce the second-half of the KOST Love Songs Show. Before the days of email, Natalie would help edit the hundreds of listener letters that we received weekly, in addition to so many other tasks that helped me tremendously. Natalie accompanied me on our many remotes, the best of which were Disneyland Main Street as well as our weekends at The Rio in Las Vegas. Doing a call-in show while the Disneyland Parade or the Mardi Gras Parade marched past the KOST microphone was a real challenge, with or without a producer. However, Natalie made the effort and the journey much more fun. I still miss her delightfully cheerful attitude and willingness to take on any assignment.

Mr. Pop Culture

(February 20, 2017) In June 1965, Bob Crane, the popular morning personality on KNX- 1070 in Los Angeles, tells his audience he’s leaving the show to star in a new television series Hogan’s Heroes. Crane says he hopes to leave by mid- summer. “I’m not going to make a big deal out of it. I’m just going to say it’s been nice, we’ve all made money and good-bye. Crane says he’s been considering offers for years. Most recently, he co-starred on The Donna Reed Show while still doing mornings on KNX. In September, KNX staffers Mel Baldwin and George Walsh are the station’s interim morning personalities until Rege Cordic arrives from Pittsburgh to replace Bob Crane. Rege has contractual obligations with KDKA until the end of the year.

This story is part of Gary West's 50,000-page tribute to modern pop culture. His site is a great resource plus Gary makes a great guest. He gave the Internet its first "week in history" destination back in 1999 with Here's a look at the site via the waybackmachine and 1999 (Click Here). Gary has contributed to the media with his own syndicated newspaper articles during the 1990's. His "this week in pop culture history" was a contributor to the History Channel and their version of the genre. Mr. Pop also echoed into such shows such as, Behind The Hits, gameshow Jeopardy and other MTV/VH1 shows and countless radio shows.  Gary West can be contacted at 

Size Matters

(February 19, 2017) Sometimes one can determine the importance of a person during their lifetime by the amount of space devoted to the obituary in the LA Times. With such a wealth of distinguished people who die in the Southland each day, the Times devoted a half-page to sports broadcaster, Mike Walden.

From the Times' obit:

"Walden's time intersected with another legendary USC broadcaster, Tom Kelly, when Kelly began calling the university's games on television.

USC's current play-by-play broadcaster, Pete Arbogast, said Walden's style of calling a game represented a 'younger and hipper' era. Walen bestowed nicknames on players and veered away from the more staid style of previous generations.'

'He's talking to college kids, basically, and younger with the parlance that he was using,' Arbogast said. 'I really enjoyed listening to him.'"

Steve Thompson sent along this: Bizarre was a sketch comedy series hosted by John Byner which aired on CTV and Showtime from 1980 to 1986. In several sketches, Bob Einstein portrayed Super Dave Osborne, an incompetent stunt man, and Walden was his interviewer. Several of the sketches can be seen at  

9 Years Ago

The Birth of the Mellow Sound at KNX/fm
by Steve Marshall

(February 2008) One of the great pleasures in radio is something that has not been accorded very many people...the opportunity to create a format that has never been done before. It was my honor to have been in that very fortunate position throughout much of the ‘70s when KNX/fm in Los Angeles became the birthplace of something that is now generically referred to as “soft rock.” Back then, we just called it “The Mellow Sound.” We didn’t like the phrase “soft rock.”

For one thing, the word “soft” is often used to denote some kind of deficiency. We also never used the word “rock,” even though we played plenty of it. We thought of ourselves as rock for people who thought they didn’t like rock. 

I wanted to write this to set the record straight about the birth of “The Mellow Sound.”  

A frequently used flyer for ads, sales brochure covers, and promotional items featured two Victorian homes on Carroll Street with the 30-year-old skyline of downtown Los Angeles in the background. Copy on poster:

"The Feeling of LA.

There's a feeling, an attitude at KNX/fm that's mirrored in our music. A special blend we call Mellow Rock. With thought provoking special features and news.

The sound is Southern California's own. And there's not another like it - anywhere. KNX/fm. Rocking L.A. the Mellow Way

During that growth period in the ‘70s, I got most of the credit for the creation of the format. The real truth is it was an amalgam of the hard work and boundless imaginations of a number of extremely talented people. 

My employment with KNX/fm began because of a long-standing association with its first program director, Rodger Layng, a friendship that dated all the way back to college. When I got out of the navy in 1966 and decided I wanted to break into radio, Rodger was the person responsible for making it happen, greasing the wheels for me to work weekends playing jazz at KBIG/fm. 

Not long after that, Gordon McLendon was throwing out his unsuccessful all-classified ads station K-ADS and launching KOST on 103.5 and Rodger brought me into that operation as part of the original announcing staff. [As a side note, McLendon had a national program director we answered to ... some wet-behind-the-ears kid by the name of Don Barrett). 

By September of 1970 after spending a few years apart, Rodger decided it was time for us to work together again. I was babysitting automation equipment and a transmitter for KJOI on a mountaintop in Coldwater Canyon. Rodger called and told me that CBS had finally allocated some money to develop its fm properties. KNX/fm had, for a number of years, been on the air with something called “The Young Sound.” The entire station had consisted of two reel-to-reel tape decks and a rotating cart machine in the engineer’s coat closet of KNX 1070. It played a bland assortment of rock covers...that is, when the engineers remembered to change the tapes. Often, the air went stone cold dead for minutes or longer until an alarm would summon an engineer who resented being pulled away from what he was doing in order to service a station that no one listened to. 

Rodger had been hired by KNX/fm’s new general manager, Neil Rockoff, to put yet another elevator music format into place in Los Angeles. [You can tell from my use of that term that so-called “beautiful music” was not my personal favorite ... then or now]. However, the station’s studio wasn’t ready and the automation equipment hadn’t been delivered as yet. So Rockoff entrusted Rodger with creating an interim format ... something to bridge “The Young Sound” with the musical wallpaper that was yet to come. This was purely a holding action until the real station would be in place several months hence. 

Rodger hired me as music director and on-air talent and KNX veteran Mel Baldwin to do some voice tracking to augment what Rodger and I were doing. Mark Bragg was brought in as public affairs director. 

We all went out for beers one evening and talked about what to do for this temporary place-holder of a format. Rodger said, “We’ve all done Beautiful music. We know how it works ... how it depends on flow and tempo sequencing. I’d like to do the same with contemporary music.” For lack of a better term, he called it “pretty rock.” Rodger and I started listening to music and assembling a hodge-podge playlist of folk [Joan Baez, Gordon Lightfoot], MOR [Barry Manilow, Barbra Streisand] a smattering of elevator music instrumentals [Percy Faith, Mantovani] and some people who was just coming onto the scene with a newer and, yes, “softer” approach to rock; people like James Taylor, Cat Stevens and Carole King. (Photo: Steve Marshall in the 1970s)

I mentioned to Rodger that one of the biggest drawbacks to elevator music was that it tended to recede into the background. I was afraid if our playlist was too melodic, we risked doing the same thing. I never understood why advertisers would spend their money on a station that people weren’t really listening to. I suggested that we salt the music liberally with foreground features that would command people’s attention. We began to write little vignettes, some comic, others informational, to drop into the middle of commercial clusters. 

Rodger came up with a radically different clock, throwing out the standard beautiful music four-breaks-per-hour on the quarter hour approach and structuring breaks at the top of the hour as well as the :20 and the :40, thus being in music for much of the hour when other stations were breaking for commercials. At that point, the bare bones of what would become The Mellow Sound were in place, even if we were still broadcasting from that engineer’s coat closet. 

Neil Rockoff liked what he heard and took the unusual step of buying some billboards to promote a format that was only supposed to be temporary. What happened after that was that people started to listen; not in great numbers and not for very long at a time, but we were being sampled and people were liking what they heard. (Outdoor campaign for KNX/fm)

Shortly thereafter, Rockoff was hired to manage a station in Chicago and left Los Angeles. Robert Nelson, veteran promotions director for what was then KNXT/Channel 2, got the general manager’s chair and brought in former USC football great Hal Bedsole as sales manager. By this time the studios were ready and the automation equipment in place and on the air, running fitfully and somewhat unreliably.  


(Copy on flyer:

In LA, it's 93 every morning

Morning, noon, and night.
LA listens to KNX/fm.
The music is mellow rock.
The news is no joke.
And the features are thought provoking.
KNX/fm. The sound is Southern California's own.
And there's not another sound
like it - anywhere.


Rodger Layng and I were functioning as a team by then and practically finishing each others sentences. We went together to Bob Nelson and pitched the idea of staying with what we were doing. We really felt we were onto something and the Arbitron numbers backed us up. Bob turned out to be one of the most supportive general managers in the history of the medium. He not only gave us the green light to continue with what we were doing, but got Hal Bedsole to agree to limit the station’s commercial load to nine minutes an hour. That meant three minutes in each of our three clusters and never being out of music for more than a few minutes at a time. The idea was to keep the commercial inventory steady but raise the rates as the numbers went up. It worked.  

At this point, CBS corporate took notice of the ratings increase at KNX/fm and rewarded Rodger with the general managemanship of KCBS/fm in San Francisco. I was then promoted to program director and started looking for my own staff of people to populate this strange new format.  

I had one rule of thumb... no one could sound like an announcer. They had to appeal to the listeners as conversational human beings. The audio environment was everything. I was relieved when Hal Bedsole agreed with my insistence that we would not air any spot that screamed at the listeners or otherwise violated our very identifiable sound.  Also, I was grateful that Bob Nelson believed, as I did, that we shouldn’t try to buy our audience with contest money. We both knew that kind of an audience is just as easily purchased by someone else waving a bigger check. 

My first staff find was Tom McKay, who replaced me as music director. Tom had worked in rock ‘n’ roll formats and had shoulder length hair and a very mellow disposition. He was, in fact, the person who suggested during his employment interview that we call our format “The Mellow Sound.” 

For news director, I found the inimitable Christopher Ames, a veteran of the news departments of KHJ and KRLA. Before he cut his audition tape, I gave him only one direction: don’t read the news, just tell it to me. He got it instantly. His strong writing skills and smooth voice fit perfectly with what we were doing. Mark Bragg left around that time to go into business for himself, syndicating a radio show for former California governor Ronald Reagan (whatever happened to him?).  Chris Ames absorbed Mark’s public affairs duties as well. 

In keeping with the idea of high profile features, I tried to hire Lew Irwin, who was then best known for his Earth News reports. I was a big fan of those and found myself stopping whatever I was doing when Earth News came on the air. That’s just what I wanted for KNX/fm. But Lew was in business for himself and not enamored of the idea of working for anyone else. So I turned to someone with whom I had worked at KJOI, Paul Crosswhite. Paul was an extremely talented and likeable guy who had started at KJOI when he was a mere 17 years old and was only 19 when I brought him into KNX/fm. In addition to doing news, Paul was charged with creating something with the high-interest quotient of Earth News, but I told him he had to do it in only 60 second hunks. He took to the task immediately, but it was Tom McKay (whom you remember had christened “The Mellow Sound”) who came up with the name for Paul’s feature. He said it should reflect an audio odyssey through contemporary America. There was a film out around the time called The Odessa File. Tom merely flipped it in his mind into “The Odyssey File.”  

To augment that very popular feature, Chris Ames brought public affairs out of the Sunday night ghetto, cutting up the compelling interviews he did into engaging sound bites, then packaging them into a one-minute top-of-the-hour feature called “60 Seconds.” We also wanted a feature that focused on entertainment, since Los Angeles was and is a company town. For that, I found a smooth voiced young woman named Dara Shulkin and rechristened her Dara Welles (I was a big Orson Welles fan). Dara did hard news, but also produced an entertainment news feature and pioneered a new approach to film reviewing that consisted of interviewing audience members as they left the theater, including their sound bites and reporting on what percentage of them liked it and disliked it.  

For a decade, KNX/fm was the darling favorite of the radio landscape. Though never a huge ratings finisher.

(Copy at bottom of poster from 1987:

There's a feeling, an attitude at KNX/fm that's mirrored in our music. A special blend we call Quality Rock. The best album rock from the 70's to the present. The sound is Southern California's own. KNX/fm Continuous Quality Rock.

 I began working with Tom McKay to refine the playlist, throw out the last of the elevator music, get rid of the MOR and really turn KNX/fm into an AOR station, but one that still steered clear of hard rock and heavy metal. In addition to adhering to the enduring radio principal of playing familiar music, we also dared to venture out and break new songs and showcase new artists, people you couldn’t hear on any other station because no one knew who they were. That was “The Mellow Sound” at its purest.  

There was one other behind-the-scenes character who played a huge, albeit silent role in the success of KNX/fm. His name is Bob Cole, a former jazz musician who served on the corporate level in New York as Vice President of the CBS FM Group. Bob reported to the head of CBS Radio, an austere, impeccably dressed man named Sam Cook Digges. Digges, you see, hated rock music in any form. It had been his idea originally to turn KNX/fm into an elevator music station. Bob Cole achieved his heroic status in this story by simply letting Sam Cook Digges think KNX/fm was indeed a “beautiful music” station. He literally spent years hiding our true format from Digges, accompanying him whenever he was in Los Angeles and making certain that he didn’t turn his radio dial to 93.1. 

In the late ‘70s, KNX/fm went through a number of personnel changes with Bob Madigan replacing Paul Crosswhite on ‘The Odyssey File’ and bringing his own distinctive approach to it, Joanne Ehrhart stepping into Dara Welles’ shoes as entertainment reporter, and Tom McKay giving over his music director spot to Michael Sheehy. Michael further revolutionized the playlist by determining in what key each song began and ended so that the tunes could be woven together even more seamlessly. Michael ultimately succeeded me as program director and put his own stamp on KNX/fm. (Pictured: KNX/fm Bob Nelson)

When Michael became pd, he hired the gifted Robert David Hall to succeed him as music director and replace my voice on the air. Dave proved to be multi-talented as an air voice at KNX/fm, then later as a gainfully employed commercial voice over artist. Today, he can be seen as coroner Dr. Al Robbins on the immensely popular CBS series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

That decade in the ‘70s remains among the best memories of my professional life. I have often reflected that KNX/fm couldn’t happen today. In fact, it’s a miracle that it even happened then. It was born in an era when decisions in radio depended heavily on research, yet we never conducted one focus group while I was at CBS. We did it by the seat of our pants, certain that, if we loved it, others would too. 

I left in March of 1979, having achieved everything I had ever dreamed of and more in radio. It was time to reinvent myself and I did so by joining the writing staff of WKRP In Cincinnati. But I still kept a car radio button on 93.1. 

Thanks to Steve Marshall (l) for taking us into the enormous success of “The Mellow Sound.”

Doug Brown sent along a collection of iconic jingles ...

Hear Ache 

  (February 17, 2017) While the future of 100.3/The Sound has yet to be determined (owner Entercom is merging with CBS Radio, the new company will have to sell one of the fm stations because it will be one over the FCC limit of ownership, “Uncle Joe” Benson (photo) has signed a new multi-year agreement. He works weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Joe is the best known and most loved classic rock dj in Los Angeles,” said Dave Beasing, pd of 100.3/The Sound. “The reason is simple. He’s literally written the book on Classic Rock, and he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.” ... In 2015, Erin V worked morning drive sports at KFI with Bill Handel. She left in the spring of 2016 and Erin moved to Detroit because her mom was ailing. Yesterday she was on-air auditioning in morning drive at KRLA/The Morning Answer for an open slot. She's on again this morning ... Speaking of KRLA, Brian Whitman revealed that his friend's father is buried right next to Carl Karcher, founder of Carl's Jr. ... Matt Damon was asked if he had any advice for Jimmy Kimmel on hosting the Academy Awards: "Evidently, he said that he doesn't care at all who wins as long as I lose. I tried to get on his Oscar show last year. I mean, I was nominated; he still didn't let me on. Somebody asked me, 'Do you want him to do bad?' I just want him to live up to my extremely low expectations." ... Reader John Nielsen heard that Perry Como was in the hospital with burned hands. He tried to catch a falling star ... Versatile news anchor Debra Mark has a VO newscast gig on Criminal Minds. Great hustle ... Howard Stern doesn't get much publicity these days but TMZ is reporting that Stern is being sued by a woman who claims that her personal and tax information were broadcast on Stern's radio show two years ago. The complaint alleges "outrageous violation" of her privacy has resulted in difficulty finding employment, anxiety, loss of sleep and irregular eating patterns ... Checking with hockey legend Bob Miller following his recent mild stroke: "I'm feeling better and resting at home." ... Lost another singer, this time on the morning of the Grammy Awards. Al Jarreau, with such a sweet voice, was a seven-time Grammy Award winner. He was 76.

Sports Voice Mike Walden Dies

(February 16, 2017) Mike Walden, a prominent voice in sports broadcasting in Southern California for over 30 years, died Sunday, February 12, from complications of a stroke. He was 89.  There will be a celebration of his life on March 18 at 11 a.m. at Braemar Country Club (4001 Reseda Blvd., Tarzana 91356).

He’s 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’s also well known for his play-by-play work on NCAA football and basketball, including tennis telecasts for the Prime Ticket Network (now Fox Sports West). Mike has done seven Rose Bowl games and called major league baseball for the Dodgers, Cardinals and Braves.

In addition to his work in sports, Mike served as sidekick (“on-scene” reporter) for the Super Dave Osborne tv comedy specials originally broadcast on Showtime. He was always introduced by studio audience members with the words: "Take it away, Mike Walden." Walden would often say "Get that thing out of here!" after a failed stunt using dangerous machinery.

He was born in 1931 and grew up in Springfield, graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in journalism. While in school, Mike worked on the Illinois Sports Network. After serving in the Air Force, he spent 10 years in Milwaukee broadcasting Wisconsin football and basketball, the Green Bay Packers and Braves. From Milwaukee he went to CBS radio in Chicago. In 1966, Mike started as the play-by-play voice for  USC on KNX.

In 1970, he became sports director at KFI. He has won four Golden Mike awards, an L.A. Press Club award and has served five terms as president of the Southern California Sports Broadcasting Association. 

Hot Hits Back in the Day

(February 16, 2017) "Reading this memo made my brain go into hyper drive and rethink if I could have ever hung with a format like this," emailed LARP veteran Bruce Chandler. "I may have gone into another line of work. Thought you'd be interested in reading this memo from Mike Joseph, programming consultant for WHYT in Detroit, and later for many of the fm stations in the CBS Radio chain, including KKHR (formerly KNX/fm) in Los Angeles back in the 1980s. He introduced many of the Top 40 formatics back in the sixties, including WABC when they first went Top 40 in 1960, and later created the 'Hot Hits' format that was introduced at the aforementioned CBS stations across the country in the 1980s, and duplicated by many others. If you think Bill Drake was strict at KHJ and other RKO stations, read this memo."

New Incarnation of KRLA's Morning Answer

(February 15, 2017) Jennifer Horn (pictured with Rick Perry and Brian Whitman) is now officially part of the KRLA Morning Answer, according to Chuck Tyler, director of programming for the Salem/LA stations. She is paired with Brian Whitman. The morning show has had some recent upheaval with former co-hosts Ben Shapiro and Elisha Krauss "moving on to do other things." Tyler said he is recruiting (and trying out people this and next week) for the Ben Shapiro spot. 

"The Morning Answer with Brian and Jen is sounding great" emailed Phil Boyce, svp/Spoken Word format for the Salem Media Group. "It's fun and informative, and has great chemistry between the hosts.  

Former KNX Newslady Uncovers New Career

(February 14, 2017) Brooke Binkowski, a KNX reporter from 2006-07 and KPPC from 2007-12, is managing editor with the myth-busting website, Over the years, so many LARP have had to change careers from radio because of the ever-changing climate of jobs shrinking, and has chronicled the career trajectory for many of those who found themselves unemployed due to budget cutbacks and format changes.

This time, the LA Times has profiled the journey of Binkowski. Brooke was a freelance journalist who had worked with CNN, KPBS, Southern California Public radio, CBS Radio, as well as KNX. In the Times' bylined story by Gary Warth, he writes: "Binkowski said the last couple of years have seen a shift on the Internet from viral videos about busty women, puppies and aliens to fake news, propaganda and racist stories created by sites seeking a quick buck from the gullible public."

Brooke sifts through 1,500 daily emails responding to a myriad of questions. She assigns a team of four staff reporters and two contract writers to look into the ones that are the subject of most inquiries. Some are easily solved and traced to hoax or humor sites. Others can take days or even weeks to track down.

AMP's Carson Daly Wins Pebble Beach Pro-Am 

(February 13, 2017) Carson Daly, with his pro golfing partner Ken Duke, won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament. After it was over, Carson jumped on plane and got back to New York to celebrate with his Today Show colleagues. "I played golf in the 80s before golf was very cool," Carson told Matt Lauer and Sheinelle Jones. "It was how I built my relationship with my stepfather on the golf course where he taught me all the great life lessons through the game of golf."

Carson said he played the Pro-Am before and the goal was always just to make the cut. "Winning it has been so surreal."

How Do You Listen to Music? 

(February 13, 2017) The CBS Sunday Morning spent a number of segments devoted to last night's Grammy Awards show. In one of their bumpers they had an interesting poll from CBS News. Radio was still the #1 way people listen to music.

KOST morning host Ellen K was the announcer for the show and did a great job, as well KIIS' Ryan Secrest who intro'ed a couple of segments.

Email Saturday, 2.11
** Sonny Geraci Dies
"Thank you for this. I love Precious & Few and didn't know it was the same singer on Time Won't Let Me. We play both tunes on the east coast radio stations that I'm on! Good show prep." - Lisa Osborn

** Dutton's a Destination
"I remember Dutton's all too well. The NoHo store was near the same intersection as my dentist, which took a little of the pain off of those visits. Dutton's NoHo was where I bought my copies of both editions of Los Angeles Radio People, and it is also where I attended a book signing and panel discussion when Gary Owens released his book on how to go about pursuing a voiceover career, How to Make a Million Dollars with Your Voice (Or Lose Your Tonsils Trying). I believe you organized that event as well, Don, if my memory is correct.  

At that event, I also met the late Steve Landesburg and Rovert Donner, both of whom were pleased to hear that I knew them from their stand-up comedy gigs and not just for their television work.  

As for my copy of Gary's book, he dutifully inscribed it 'To K.M., Happy Krelbs, Gary Owens.' A perfect." - K.M. Richards

** Voiceover Help
"I clicked a link from your posting and discovered a MOST educational article by Don Elliot (photo with Vanessa Gilbert). Wish I had seen this when it was first published in 2003 - it would have saved me a bunch of headaches. Thanks for all you do." - Laura Brodian Freas Beraha

**Elliot Comment on VO
"It's been kind of a reality check and I hope none of you become deterred [pun intended]. Let's see, maybe we could say that we hope this brings the pie in the sky a little closer to the ground so you can partake! Or, far-fetched as it sounds, if you want to walk on water, just know where the rocks are. Get some coaching, make a new demo, and be persistent." - Don Elliot

  ** KFAC Clarifications
"While you were away, your site featured a list of several facts about Los Angeles radio. I would like to post a correction about one item from that list, regarding KFAC-AM (1931-1989; has been KWKW (AM) since January 18, 1989). It said that for many years, the transmitter for KFAC-AM (1300 kHz. in 1931, moved to 1330-AM on March 29, 1941) was on top of the Auburn-Cord automobile dealership on Wilshire Blvd. at Mariposa Avenue. 

While the towers on top of the car dealership that housed KFAC (in the Penthouse) had the letters KFAC on them, they were 'dummy' antenna towers, only for looks and to advertise the station to drivers and pedestrians in the area. The KFAC antenna and 1,000 watt transmitter was located at 18th and La Cienega Streets from 1932 to 1947, on part of the property that was the Adohr Dairy Farm. In 1947, a new two-tower directional antenna and transmitter was in use at 3725 Chesapeake Avenue. [Early FCC files showed the cite as Rodeo Road and Santa Barbara Ave., now Martin Luther King Blvd.] 

The new transmitter power was 5,000 watts day and 1,000 watts night, and was later incresed again to 5 kw day and night. Two years earlier, Errett Lobban Cord purchased his first radio station, KFVD-Culver City from the MacWhinnie Electric Company of San Pedro.  The daytime-Limited Time station was located on the Hal Roach movie studio lot from March of 1929 to 1932. The first license said the owner was the Auburn-Fuller Company, which Cord invested in during 1928. But, the station's license was soon changed tro show the owner was the Los Angeles Broadcasting Company, a new wholly owned subsidiary of the Auburn-Fuller Company.  
  When E.L.Cord purchased Christian radio station KTBI from the Bible Institute of Los Angeles in 1931, the transmitter and antenna was on top of their building at 536 South Hope Street in Los Angeles.   Cord changed the calls to KFAC to reflect the new owners, Fuller-Auburn-Cord. Fuller was O.R. "Ollie" Fuller, who held the Auburn auto distributorship in L.A., from 1923 to 1932, when it was taken over by E.L. Cord. KFAC remained inside the Bible Institute on South Hope Street, while the new Auburn-Cord dealership and studios for KFAC and KFVD (now KTNQ-1020) were constructed at 3443 Wilshire Blvd. The new radio studios were inside a specially constructed penthouse on the top of the car dealership. 

Meanwhile, due to the Depression, the Auburn-Fuller Company went bankrupt in 1932 and its assets were acquired by E.L. Cord. In 1953, KFAC moved to new studios and offices at 5773 Wilshire Blvd. in Prudential Square. Owner E.L. Cord sold KFAC AM and FM in 1962, 31 years after putting the station on the air. I've sent along some photos of the towers on top of the Cord auto dealership building and former KFAC studio site, and one can see why people thought the towers were the actual transmitter site. After all that writing, I forgot to include the fact that E.L. Cord sold daytime-only KFVD in 1936, and by 1938, KFVD moved from the KFAC Wilshire Blvd. site  to studios at 338 South Western Avenue. The station remained there for some 40 years, through the years as KFVD, KPOP, KGBS and KTNQ." - Jim Hilliker, Monterey

** Privileged to Work in LARadio
"I have been privileged to work in radio in Los Angeles for many years. I have had the pleasure to work with some of the most talented people in the history of our wonderful business. And I believe strongly that all of us owe you a debt of gratitude for doing the great job you have done and continue to do with

Obviously our business has changed over the years, and you have been there every step of the way. For all the fans of L.A. radio and for those of us who have been lucky enough to work in the industry, I thank you for all your hard work and dedication to keeping radio alive here in the City of Angels.

And I don't want to forget Alan Oda who does a terrific job as well.  Keep up the great work!" - Geoff Witcher

Wendy Williams Conquered the Daytime TV Talk Wars

(February 10, 2017) Wendy Williams was on KDAY in 2007 and 2008. She left radio when she was given a 6-week tryout for a syndicated tv show. It worked and audiences love the audacious host who is willing to say almost anything. As of the last week in December, 1.7 million people tune in to The Wendy Williams Show. Her show was renewed through 2020. She was profiled in a full-page this month in Fortune. Some highlights:

"Born and raised in New Jersey. Her parents are academics with three master's degrees between them. Wendy has written seven book. They aren't typical celebrity pabulum. Instead, she writes fiction. Her latest is a romance novel.

Wendy has a Home Shopping Network clothing line that has grown 75% year over year in gross sales.

Her charity, the Hunter Foundation, helps families affected by drug addiction, which she once struggled with."

Hear Ache

(February 9, 2017) In the early 1960s, NBC and CBS owned the tv ratings. One columnist said if you were trying to hide SLA fugitive Patty Hearst, just put her on ABC. Nobody would find her. ABC changed its approach and started presenting alternative programming that went after the young demographics. Dick Clark's American Bandstand was part of the strategy. How did it happen? A fascinating read. Click Clark artwork ... Aretha Franklin told a Detroit tv station that she plans to quit making music after the release of her new album, produced by Steve Wonder, later this year. Guess we have to give her some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. She also said she would drastically cut back on performing ... Remember Scott and Casey at KFI a decade ago? They have since split. Casey Bartholomew is the new pd at WFSX-Ft. Myers, Florida ... Jim Rome was on with KROQ Kevin & Bean this morning. They chat weekly. They said the parade in Boston for the Patriots looked like Ferris Bueller's day off. Jim's been doing a national show since 1996.  He will remain with CBS Sports Radio for the foreseeable future. He's signed a new contract. Unfortunately his syndicated show does not appear on a terrestrial LA station. You have to have HD or listen on the Internet. “This is a huge day for the show,” said Rome. “CBS RADIO is an unbelievable place, everything I had hoped it would be and more. There have been so many exciting changes in the industry and I’m as motivated as ever to capitalize on them with CBS Sports Radio, our affiliates and sponsors, and our business partners at Westwood One." ... Steve Harvey is moving his base of operations from Atlanta to Los Angeles. His tv show is moving from Chicago to L.A. Many more opportunities for guests. Wonder how or if it will affect his show on KJLH? ... Batman super fan, KROQ's Ralph Garman, has a role in the new Lego Batman movie ... New Entercom/CBS ceo/chair David Field wrote on his Twitter page: "Another terrific day visiting the excellent teams in Los Angeles and San Diego. Five down, 21 to go!" ... Singer Sonny Geraci of The Outsiders (Time Won't Let Me) and Climax (Precious and Few) has died at age 69. He'd been ill for quite a few years.

Dutton's Heart and Soul Dies 

(February 8, 2017) In the early 1990s I wrote my first book, Los Angeles Radio People, kind of the precursor to the Internet version. I sent the book to 17 publishers. All turned it down. I resisted self-publishing because I thought it was vanity press and that's where you went if you couldn't get a "legitimate" publisher.

Someone turned me on to the works of Dan Poynter, self-publishing guru, who wrote over 130 books. His manual gave me the insight to self-publishing and my first book sold all 5,000 printed books (2nd edition sold 10,000). When you self-publish, the Crown Books and Barnes &  Nobles won't carry your books.

At the time of my self-publishing journey, I placed my book in 22 independent bookstores around the Southland. My second store I approached was Dutton's in North Hollywood on Laurel Canyon. Dave and his brother Doug (ran Brentwood store on San Vicente) sold over 100 of my books. We had events, book signings, and readings. Dave encouraged my efforts and offered advice and made phone calls on my behalf.

I was sad to read that Dave died last month. His store had closed years earlier but the special relationship with Dutton's will always be part of the success of LARadio.

Leeann Tweeden Joins Doug McIntyre at KABC

(February 7, 2017) Leeann Tweeden is joining McIntyre in the Morning, as news anchor. She most recently co-hosted LA Today with Fred Roggin on KLAC. She is a frequent social and political commentator on tv shows including: Hannity, Dr. Drew, Red Eye, and Good Day L.A.

"I’m thrilled Leeann Tweeden is joining us on McIntyre in the Morning," said KABC's Doug McIntyre. "Leann will bring a different vibe to the show, smart, funny, patriotic and all that good girlie stuff I am sadly lacking.” 

Tweeden was formerly co-host of UFC Tonight on FOX SPORTS, was co-anchor of Good Day L.A. and developed a national profile as a cast member of FSN’s The Best Damn Sports Show Period. She was also host of NBC’s National Heads-Up Poker Championship and the popular late night show, Poker After Dark.  

Drew Hayes, operations director, KABC, said: “We are delighted to have Leeann sign on as the newest addition to the KABC on-air team. She is not only a bright, high energy, and plugged-in broadcaster, she brings a broad reservoir of life experiences. Leeann is a perfect fit for McIntyre in the Morning.”  

“I am so happy to be joining KABC and McIntyre in the Morning," said Leeann. "Sitting with Doug McIntyre and getting to be a part of his crew for five hours every day is going to be an adventure. I’ve been a sportscaster for much of my career, but I love politics and have deep attachments to our military-- and I'm a mom of two small kids. I'm ready for anything!”        

Using CBS Call Letters

(February 6, 2017) Entercom can use the “WCBS” and “KCBS” calls for the next 20 years, according to a story at NOW newletter. Tom Taylor writes at his tasty website: "So it keeps those important brands in New York (news WCBS/880, classic hits WCBS-FM/101.1), Los Angeles (variety hits 93.1 “Jack FM” KCBS-FM) and San Francisco (news KCBS/740). The agreement also covers “certain station call letters and brands.” Presumably that includes places with co-owned radio/TV properties like Boston (news/talk WBZ at 1130 and “Sports Hub 98.5” WBZ-FM), Chicago (news WBBM at 780 and rhythmic “B96” WBBM-FM) and Philadelphia (news KYW at 1060). Entercom’s allowed to continue using “CBS Radio,” but only for 12 months after the closing. It gains the use of “CBS Sports Radio” and associated trademarks. (We’ll see how David Field and his team feel about the CBS Sports Radio partnership created by CBS and previous Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey – and we might eventually learn how new Cumulus boss Mary Berner likes the deal.)"

Hear Ache, 2.6
(February 6, 2017) Even though the deal to merger CBS Radio with Entercom is months off, the CBS/LA staff will get a chance to meet with their new ceo/chairman David Field (l) and his lieutenants, along with CBS brass, tomorrow. Joining Field Tuesday morning at the Wilshire Blvd and Venice locations will be Weezie Kramer, Scott Herman, and Pat Paxton. All employees are invited to an 8 a.m. Town Hall meeting, followed by a meeting with department heads and tours of both locations ... KOST morning super star Ellen K will be the announcer on the 59th Annual Grammy Awards broadcast next Sunday ... Former Pittsburgh Steeler QB Terry Bradshaw left his radio gig at XTRA Sports 1150 (KXTA) 17 years ago, right  after the Super Bowl. Watching him yesterday, he's really ballooned into a big boy. LARP Chris Myers did a FANTASTIC job of getting through the crush of people on the field to get the first interview with Tom Brady after the Super Bowl win ... In the current issue of Los Angeles Magazine, a reader wonders if Wally George and Dr. Gene Scott were brothers? "The conservative talk show host  and the preacher both yelled at tv viewers in the 1980s and '90s and had sunshine-bright hair, but they were not related. George died in 2003; Scott, in 2005. UHF hasn't been the same since." ... Can't wait for the new book by KNX airborne reporter Jeff Baugh, titled Stick With Us and We'll Get You There. Just when you thought you knew what was going on in our freeway system, Jeff and his co-writer Mary Walker Baron rip back the curtain and take us behind-the-scenes with a completely new perspective on our daily commute ... Rick Thomas, former pd at K-EARTH, is the new om at the Cox cluster in Tampa/St. Petersburg … Want a reminder of how tough the voiceover world is? Check out this link ... Bobby Freeman died at age 76. Remember The Swim and Do You Want to Dance?

San Diego Veteran Dies at 99

 (February 5, 2017) Jack Vincent, a San Diego veteran dj during the  Top 40 era (notably at KCBQ), died January 29, at 99. Karen Pearlman wrote Vincent's obit for the San Diego Union Tribune.

Jack told friends that when he was in his mid-30s, he was ready for a career change. He’d had a four-year stint as a U.S. Marine, helped lay concrete for the building of Hoover Dam and labored many years working heavy construction. So, looking for a job that didn’t involve hours of physical labor, he began a foray into work in AM radio. And while he sat in chairs for the rest of his career, he actively made a lifetime of memories for himself and the listening public as a disc jockey.

“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.”

Born on November 7, 1917 in Youngstown, Ohio, as John Vincent Oatsdean, he dropped out of high school in 10th grade and joined the U.S. Marines in 1942. Discharged from the military in July 1946, he settled in Southern California. During his tenure in construction, Mr. Vincent was also part of the building of Boulder Dam, also known as Hoover Dam, in Nevada.

Upon deciding on that fateful career change, he attended a radio broadcasting school in Hollywood and found a job in the early 1950s working at KXO-AM in El Centro. He then moved on to KFXM-AM San Bernardino. In 1955, he was hired by Lee Bartell at KCBQ AM Radio as an announcer broadcasting from what is now known as the Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon Boulevard. When KCBQ upped its transmission to 50,000 watts in 1958, Mr. Vincent began broadcasting an all-night show from what was once the station’s transmitter site, located on Mission Gorge Road in Santee.

Email Saturday, 2.4 

** CBS Merger
"The pending demise of CBS Radio led to some reminiscing about my years in radio over lunch.

A Chicago song came on and that led to some discussion of elevator music. I recalled how one time I actually played a song for the elevators in the city of Chicago. I worked at WFYR/fm. The station was using a sub carrier to stream elevator music to local hotels and office buildings. After a 90-day turn off notice, the chief engineer had me go into a studio, flip some switches to make it hot on the sub carrier and read an announcement that all programming is coming to an end.

I did as instructed and then punctuated it all by playing a song by Screamin' Jay Hawkins called Constipation Blues. We got a lot of calls from irate hotel managers in the morning. But the engineer though it was hysterical and nothing ever came of it." - Tom Haule
** What New Entercom May Look Like
"We should also probably take into account that in two other California markets -- San Francisco (#4) and San Diego (#17) -- there will need to be some divestitures to stay under the market ownership cap. And there are a lot of markets in the Midwest where Entercom is under the caps but will acquire no new stations from CBS. I expect some horse trading. And then there is the ripple effect of Entercom surrendering the KDND license in Sacramento to make that legal mess go away. Could that end up being a 'sale without profit' rather than an outright going silent? And does that have any effect on whatever dealings happen on the other side of the Diablo Mountains in S.F.? I agree with you that this is going to get interesting." - K.M. Richards
** Birdcage Yarn
"What a great yarn by Jim Hilliker.

Thanks for rekindling my remembrance of the old Birdcage at Knotts and making my Saturday morning so bright after being so glum when I finished reading the Times at breakfast." - Bill Mann, South Pasadena
** Passing Parade
"I was sorry to hear of the passing of Messrs. Bob Coburn and Bob Elder. I worked very briefly with B.C. at KZLA when John Sebastian was pd [thanks for the big break] and worked with Elder at KEZY and KDOC TV.

Time is moving way too fast.” – Bob Harvey

** Power to Elder
"Bob Elder just started doing a sports show on our stations and was excited to be back on the radio. I first met him at KEZY AM/FM-Anaheim  when I was pd there back in the 80's. When I moved over to KIK/fm in the 90's, I hired him there too! Bob wanted to pay me back, so he got me a job as the stadium announcer at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim when he was working for the Ducks and the Bullfrogs! [Many thanks, Bob]. I always loved Bob as a person, his on air work and his work ethics! Bob was handsome, with movie star good looks and he was truly an all American guy! Many will miss you Bob! RIP Job well done!" – Craig Powers
** Three Amigos
"Here's a photo I snapped at the Southern California Sports Broadcasters luncheon. I was at the next table and sitting just a few feet away from the three most influential L.A. Dodgers in the city's history. It was literally a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity of Vin Scully, Peter O'Malley and Tommy Lasorda. WOW." -  Bruce Chandler
** Chris Little, Harvey Levin, Steve Gregory
"As I glanced at the headlines when popped-up, my eyes picked up 'Chris Little, Harvey Levin, Steve Gregory' as 'Little Harvey Levin.'

I did one of those 'wait a minute…that can’t be right…' and went back to double-check, then chuckled over the eye-faux pas.  Hope it made you chuckle a little [no pun intended….] too.  

Thanks for keeping up your immeasurably invaluable site, Don." - Andrew Schermerhorn

What Will the New Entercom Sound Like in Los Angeles?

(February 3, 2017) With yesterday’s announcement that Entercom would take over the CBS stations as early as this summer, speculation has already started on what the Los Angeles landscape will sound like. First of all, not to have CBS radio is a true passage of time after more than a century of tiffany programming and management.

The following thoughts are based on nothing more than the facts as we understand them - today.

Taking on the existing CBS/LA stations and adding its LA station (KSWD, The Sound/100.3fm), Entercom is one over the FCC limit of stations they can own. They will have to sell one of the fm stations. Which one will go?

KROQ was the biggest biller of the CBS/LA cluster in 2016. KTWV was the lowest. The Sound was below any of the CBS stations. You might think, based strictly on revenue, that The Sound will be sold off.

But are there other considerations?

What if you need operating revenue? Maybe selling one of the better performing stations will result in a big return for operating capital.

CBS Sports is missing in LA. It is currently heard on the KCBS (JACK/fm) HD-2 channel, but HD is not generally considered a viable outlet, with limited listenership. Changing JACK/fm to a Sports/Music station makes sense from the standpoint of the correct attitude the station already has. Could be a double winner.

Is it time for an FM Sports station in LA? The Sound aired the LA Rams broadcasts this past season, and Entercom seems to be very interested in sports based on their California commitment in other markets. Specifically, in San Francisco, there’s KGMZ / The Game 95.7 (Oakland Raiders, the Oakland Athletics and the Golden State Warriors) and in San Diego, KBZT (Padres home).

An FM Sports station would also give Jim Rome a permanent home in LA, a great anchor for an all-Sports station.

Assuming CBS programming genius Kevin Weatherly stays when Entercom takes over, it seems improbable that he would keep two stations that fit into the Classic Rock fold – JACK/fm and The Sound. This format conflict might be the impetus to drop one of them or change a format. If The Sound changes format or is sold, score big win for KLOS.

And what about signal strength? As the marketplace keeps expanding into the suburbs, could the new Entercom contemplate moving KROQ to a stronger signal and maybe sell the weakest signal? Despite the competitive Alternative format from iHeart’s ALT 98-7 (KYSR), KROQ performs exceptionally well in the revenue department because of its heritage status. Maybe it is time to upgrade the signal.

Lotsa options. Will Entercom want to bring in its own management team or will they retain the existing CBS/LA structure? Corporately there is undoubtedly much duplication, so there will initial cost savings as jobs are consolidated or eliminated.

This will be fun to watch.

Entercom Will Become 2nd Biggest Radio Group 

(February 2, 2017) CBS Corporation and Entercom are set to merge CBS Radio with Entercom in a tax-free merger. The transaction will create a preeminent radio platform, with a nationwide footprint of 244 stations, including 23 of the top 25 U.S. markets, as well as digital capabilities and a growing events platform. In Los Angeles, Entercom owns  KSWD (100.3/The Sound).

“This agreement is great for shareholders and achieves our previously stated objectives by separating our radio business in the best possible way,” said Leslie Moonves, chairman/ceo, CBS Corporation. “Entercom is a superbly run company, and together with CBS Radio’s powerful brands and remarkable people, we are creating an organization that will be even better positioned to succeed in this rapidly evolving media landscape.” David J. Field, president and ceo of Entercom, who will lead the combined company, said, “These two great companies, with their impressive histories, complementary assets, and premier content and brands, are a perfect strategic and cultural fit, enabling us to deliver local connection on a national scale and drive accelerated growth. We look forward to welcoming our talented new colleagues at CBS Radio, and we have the utmost respect for their significant contributions to the industry.”

Andre Fernandez, who will continue as president and ceo of CBS Radio through the closing of the transaction, said, “I couldn’t be more proud of the CBS Radio team and all of the exciting breaking news, live events, and business initiatives happening every day across the country. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for us as we join with an organization with an equally deep tradition in radio broadcasting. The opportunities for the new company are enormous – thanks to our combined collection of industry-leading stations and brands.”

The merger will create a leading local media and entertainment company with strong, complementary assets on a national scale, including: A leading sports platform with the rights to broadcast 45 pro sports teams, including the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, the New England Patriots, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Golden State Warriors, and 100+ popular local sports talk shows, including the most-listened-to sports talk station in the country, as well as the CBS Sports Radio Network, which is made up of 300 affiliated radio stations across the country Leadership in news and news/talk format, with some of the most-listened-to news and talk radio stations nationwide, including 1010 WINS in NY, KNX in LA, and WBBM in Chicago, a diverse array of music and entertainment formats (in LA: K-EARTH, AMP Radio, KTWV [the WAVE], KCBS [JACK/fm], and KROQ), a leading creator of more than 4,500 live original events per year, from music festivals and large shows to intimate performances with big-name artists, a growing portfolio of digital content that expands reach and engagement by local on-air talent through original programming and social media.

The combined companies’ pro forma revenue on a trailing 12 months basis was approximately $1.7 billion – which would make it the second-largest radio station owner in the U.S.  The combination of CBS Corporation’s radio business with Entercom will be effected through a “Reverse Morris Trust” transaction, which is expected to be tax-free to CBS and its shareholders. As part of the transaction, CBS shareholders will have the opportunity to exchange all, some, or none of their CBS shares for CBS Radio shares.

How Will Jimmy Kimmel Do Hosting the Oscars?

(February 2, 2017) Jimmy Kimmel, formerly with KROQ, is set to emcee the Oscars.'s Peter Bart and Mike Fleming, Jr., argue how well he will do:

BART: Kimmel admits to a case of nerves, but he should take comfort in these realities: His show won’t be a ratings hit no matter how smart and funny he is. The slate of nominations has put a lid on his TV audience. It’s also eliminated the need to recycle any diversity jokes. F In his usual display of Kimmel candor, he acknowledges that “I don’t think a lot of people will have seen the nominated movies,” hence the proverbial Oscar ratings issue.
FLEMING: I think Kimmel is the right guy at the right time and that under his skillful steering this could be the most memorable Oscars in a long time. This might be the most politically charged Oscarcast since the Vietnam War raged and Brando sent Native American civil rights activist Sasheem Littlefeather to accept his Best Actor trophy for The Godfather. Kimmel isn’t Carson, but he might be better this year as a referee to balance pictures with polemics. Even though La La Land has all those Oscar noms, the overriding presence will be President Trump, who has a full month to further inflame the Hollywood elite.
BART: From Kimmel’s standpoint, jokes about Manchester By the Sea are not only difficult to shape but may go over the heads of most of the audience. Rogue One humor may be tempting but irrelevant. The Wall St Journal last week computed that the nine nominated features had grossed an average of $52 million domestic – good numbers for the indie world, but not for the mainstream Hollywood that tv viewers think they’re buying into. Over the past ten years only a few big hits (in studio terms) have appeared on the nomination list – Toy Story 3, Gravity and The Martian.
FLEMING: The purpose of the Oscars is to reward quality and excellence, and there’s a fine crop of pictures here, and many more good ones that didn’t make the cut. Maybe more people will be moved to discover Moonlight or Manchester By The Sea, or Viggo’s performance in Captain Fantastic. To pander and try to nominate to anticipate a viewing audience, you might as well turn the Oscars into the People’s Choice Awards or MTV Movie Awards.

Alex Cohen New Morning Edition Host

(February 1, 2017) Later this month, KPCC's Take Two co-host Alex Cohen is moving to mornings as the station's local Morning Edition host. With Cohen's move, Take Two will continue as a one-hour show with A Martinez continuing as host. Larry Mantle's Air Talk will move up an hour to 10 a.m. - noon; and Fresh Air will add an airing at noon. "With so much happening locally, nationally and globally, we wanted Alex to be the first voice our audience hears in the morning," said Melanie Sill, vp of content. 

Alex was born in New York City but her parents moved her out to L.A. when she was just a toddler. She had big dreams of becoming an actress - dreams that compelled her to leave L.A. and attend a performing arts high school in northern Michigan. She went on to study theater and religious studies at Brown University. Upon graduating, Alex realized a thesis in 13th century Zen Buddhism may not have been the best way to get a job.

She spent years traveling the country and working various jobs, including as a parade float designer. Eventually she spent a few years teaching English in Japan before deciding she wanted to go into journalism. Alex attended UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism where she learned the craft of radio. She went on to work at NPR in Washington, DC as a producer and director. Then she came back to California where she worked at NPR affiliate KQED in San Francisco.

Alex then decided to have a turn in front of the mic - so she moved back to Southern California to be KQED's LA Bureau Chief. She was stationed in the downtown offices of the public radio show Marketplace where she was approached to guest host on a new show called Weekend America. She fell in love with the host seat and went on to co-host NPR's Day to Day, All Things Considered on LA's leading public radio station KPCC and KPCC's most highly-rated local program Take Two. In two weeks, she takes the helm as KPCC's Morning Edition host.

Miller in "Excellent Spirits" 
(January 31, 2017) Bob Miller is to the LA Kings hockey what Chick Hearn was to the LA Lakers and Vin Scully was to the Dodgers. So when Ted Sobel posted yesterday  that he had spoken with Bob and reported that he was in "excellent spirits," we all let out a collective sigh of relief.

The LA Times story will get you up to date with Bob suffering a mild stroke over the weekend. Sobel said that Bob was still undergoing tests. "So far so good with everything and he's the same ol Bob that we all know as we had some great laughs," said Ted. "Bob says thanks to everyone for their well wishes."

Two Amigos!
(January 30, 21017) KABC morning man Doug McIntyre hosted comedy icon Steve Martin for four nights earlier this month, as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series. Doug and Steve performed  to sold out audiences at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, the Redondo Beach Center for the Performing Art in Redondo Beach, the Thousand Oaks Civic Art Plaza in Thousand Oaks, and the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena.

McIntyre has previously hosted Monty Python/Faulty Towers star, John Cleese, Betty White, Ron Howard and Robert Redford among others.

Email Saturday, 1.28
** Elder in Great Form
"Damn! Bob Koontz just told me. I only did ONE show with Bob Elder on KEZY. They hired me for morning drive, changed the format that day, and I was gone. Shortest stint on a station possible.

I liked the guy and was around when he hit bottom. I saw him next to a dumpster and my friend and I gave him money. I am sure he just drank it up. It was tough to see but I ran into him years later and he seemed to be back in great form.

Thanks for posting the info, take care." - Mike (Raphone) Ritto


** Go Gargle With Razor Blades
"Your photo today of Joe Pyne hosting a weekday game show on NBC-TV in 1966 called Showdown got me thinking. My late-wife's oldest cousin Judy is probably one of the few people in Southern California who actually remember this short-lived game show, because she was picked to be a contestant on that program. I learned all of this from some phone conversations I had with her last summer. At the time, Judy Glidewell [now Mrs. Judy Neilson of Huntington Beach] was 19 and worked at The Birdcage Theater inside Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. She usually played the calliope before the daily melodrama shows. Judy was a talented piano player and was part of a dance band, the Montebello Silvertones. Their band won the Battle of the Bands at the Hollywood Bowl in 1963 in the 'Dance Band' category. Later, she played piano for a University of Redlands classmate of hers who sang beautifully. Her name was Karen Philipp. Judy accompanied Karen on piano in 1966 again at the Battle of the Bands, and Karen won in her division. Karen Philipp later sang with Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66.

While working at The Birdcage Theater in 1966 and '67, a co-worker of Judy's was Steve Martin from Garden Grove, who was two years older than she was. Judy said some of the people she worked with, including Steve, were chosen to get on The Dating Game on ABC, hosted by Jim Lange. But, Judy said for some reason, she did not get chosen for that program, even though she came in 3rd place that year in the Miss La Mirada beauty contest.

Among the judges of the contest that evening were singer Chris Montez and KFI radio personality Geoff Edwards. Judy told me that another group of tv talent scouts talked to her one day at Knott's, and chose her to compete on a new game show hosted by Joe Pyne, Showdown. She and her other two team members did not win that day on Showdown but Judy recalls that Joe Pyne was friendly and asked her and the other two young women questions about themselves, where they work, etc., and she won a couple of consolation prizes, but I forgot what she told me she won.  

During the  past 15 or 20 years, my mother-in-law, Judy's Aunt June, would often ask my wife Laura, 'What was the name of that game show Judy was on in 1966?' Now we know it was called Showdown, but it lasted only  a few months. It was replaced on NBC by Hollywood Squares, which became a huge hit. Judy went on to play piano professionally around Orange County night spots, including the Marriott Hotel in Anaheim for a decade or so.   She even dated movie composer Jerry Goldsmith for a while in the late-'60s, but that's another story.  So, that's how this long ago game show hosted by Joe Pyne 51 years ago became known in my wife's family for many years." - Jim Hilliker, Monterey


** RockitRadio
"I just discovered that the LARadio site has been reactivated. I guess I shoulda known that you wouldn't totally retire the site. 

I'm still doing 'The Memory Lane Show' on - now in its 18th year on that site. You might also be interested in knowing that is rebroadcasting Billy Vera's old KCRW programs from the late 80's/early 90's. Stay well my friend." - Lane Quigley
** LaLa Memory
"What a kick to see the Rialto Theatre of my 1950s South Pasadena childhood depicted on the screen in today's highly-touted La La Land. I once learned how to be a projectionist there! 

Although closed since 2007, the Rialto lately is garnering much new attention." -  Bill Kingman, Lake Tahoe


** Into the Diamond Mine
"Yes, alive and glad to see you are too. I was looking around and in a strange way, is there any other, our friend Dave Diamond (l) came to mind. I worked with him at KiiS1150AM back in the days when Chuck Blore and Ted Atkins created what we all thought was a really cool radio station. Dave and I were good friends for many years in LA even after I moved to Washington DC and he went to Cincinnati. So sorry to see he passed away in 2014 but what a great guy he was and in a way he reminded me so much of you with your creativity, vision and loyalty. But I’m glad you’re publishing LA radio news.

I was sharing a story of interesting job interviews/crazy job interviews we’ve all been through in radio and I remember working the overnight weekend shift on W4 in Detroit when YOU called and asked that I come by for breakfast to talk about doing the morning show there. That’s all I remember except that I’m sure we lost the connection on the phone as my hand was perspiring so, that sweat was dripping onto the console!

Anyway, you opened a lot of doors for me with that action and life is great. I am still doing radio. I was apd and music director for years in Pittsburgh at WDSY-FM(Y108 CBS) and still employed by CBS, now doing a talk show on KDKA AM. That kinda brings me to Dave. I don’t want to continue the belief that talk radio is owned by conservatives and while yes, we sure do talk politics I also like to share some culture and cool memories from a guy that’s been in major market radio  for 40 some years. And people are liking it. So, checking on Dave and hearing some of the radio greats that you provide and also, obviously the web has provided I find it all inspiring. As far as talk radio goes my gosh, Michael Jackson, Larry King, Dr. David Viscott [remember] and so many others were talkers but they were cool, cultured and entertaining.  

Anyway, I’ve gone off the track here but it’s so good to see your smiling face I the picture on your site and maybe one time we can have breakfast when my hands aren’t sweating so I can say thank you again! I get out to LA a lot since I’m on the board of SAG AFTRA’s broadcast steering committee and I’ve also been working a lot as an actor in films, tv and theatre. [Doing a play now]. You’re a good man Don Barrett, stay in touch, (I use the air name I’ve had since 1971 in Cleveland—Stoney Richards) as will I and I hope to see you down the road or least on the steps of the Diamond Mine!" - Stoney….(Chuck) Richards
** BCing You
"I was at the wonderful service for Bob Coburn in Malibu and learned from Rita Wilde that you were back at it again! Can't tell you how great it is to 'read all about it' once again!  I had just spent the last hour looking over the last 2016 year with LARP to get caught up and then check my email and there you are with this! 

Life feels better once again...except of course the passing of my radio pal Bob...we spent many years at KLOS working weekends where our shifts were 'back to back' and feel so lucky to have had all those studio 'off mic' conversations with him." - Denise Westwood

Hear Ache, 1.27 

(January 27, 2017) Wonder where the “new” Chargers will end up for a radio broadcast home? We hear it might be an iHeart fm station. And is it a coincidence that Big Boy (KRRL/ iHeart) was seen wearing a Chargers jersey at a recent station event? … With the release of the holiday PPM ratings showing KOST #1 and morning lady Ellen K #1 in all demographics, the program director Michael LaCrosse is jettisoned to some unknown position within iHeart while John Peake heads north on I-5 from San Diego to Los Angeles to take over KOST and KBIG (MY/fm). Peake served as regional svp of programming for iHeartMedia's San Diego/Riverside region … NBC Sportscaster Al Michaels, KNBC Weathercaster Fritz Coleman, and KCBS/KCAL investigative reporter David Goldstein will be special honorees at the 67th Annual Golden Mike Awards, presented by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California … Michael Baisden, urban radio personality, is back in the radio and syndication business. He was on KDAY and V-100 when he did LARadio. No word if Michael will have a Southern California  station in his latest incarnation ...  Howard University’s School of Communications is now named for Cathy Hughes, former owner of KKBT. At a special presentation, Radio One ceo Alfred Liggins, her son and business partner, noted that working with his mother is a “true partnership.” … Has Rich Lieberman given up his 415 Media blog? News about San Francisco entertainment seems to have gone dark and Rich didn’t respond when we reached out … Earlier this month radio pro Al Peterson ended his spoken-word publishing efforts at his NTS MediaOnline Today and NTS MediaOnline Monthly. In a press release, Peterson said, “After serving as the News/Talk/Sports editor for 10 years at the top industry newspaper Radio & Records, to then creating NTS MediaOnline and building it into a reliable hub for news, information and conversation about talk radio for the last decade, it just feels right to start a new chapter in my life – one where I’m not waking before sunrise to a blank page and a daily deadline.”  … As has been customary for the last several years, the network carrying the Super Bowl gets a Super Bowl Sunday interview with the President. This year, with the game being played on FOX, Bill O’Reilly, former KABC Talker, will interview President Trump … A nice note from Don Jennett about Willie B (photo) of Ten-Q fame. “Willie is the morning host and pd of KUBA (AM 1600, FM 98.1), right up here in my back yard [I live in Penn Valley, work in Yuba City],” emailed Don. “Willie sounds great!” … Comedian Jay Mohr, formerly midday host at KLAC, has ended his sports syndication deal with Fox Sports … John Ziegler, ex-KFI Talker, has given up his attempt at doing a syndicated weekend show.

Orange County Personality Bob Elder Dies

ELDER, Bob: KEZY, 1986-90; KORG, 1991-92. Bob hosted a sports Talk show on KORG and was on KDOC/TV's Sports on the Go, which was nationally syndicated on Golf Journal TV. Bob passed away on January 19, 2017. He was in Las Vegas discussing some sports programming with a radio network and had a heart attack while sleeping. He was 68.

After management with the Anaheim Bullfrogs, Orange County Flyers, Yuma Scorpions and Maui Na Koa Ikaika Baseball Club, Bob retired on a ranch east of Eugene, Oregon in 2015.

Bob fought and overcame some personal demons. The LA Times presented a poignant story about his journey. Click Bob's photo for more.

Morning Drive Ratings

(January 26, 2017) The stunning success of KOST playing Christmas music for better than a month has propelled morning star Ellen K to #1 across all demographics. Alt 98-7's (KYSR) Woody Show demonstrates it is no fluke as the ensemble ranks #2 in the 18-34 demographics.

In 12+, Carson Daly at AMP Radio came in at 20th, while Kevin & Bean (KROQ) are 10th. Frosty, Heidi & Frank (KLOS) are 14th, Big Boy (KRRL) is 15th, and Steve Harvey (KJLH) is 21st.
Persons 12+

1. Ellen K (KOST)
2. Valentine (KBIG)
3. Bill Handel (KFI)
4. Pat Prescott (KTWV)
El Bueno, La Mala, y El Feo (KSCA)
Persons 18-34

1. Ellen K (KOST)
2. The Woody Show (KYSR)
3. El Raton (KCEL)
 El Show del Mandril (KXOS)
5.  Omar y Argelia (KLVE)

Persons 25-54

1. Ellen K (KOST)
2. Valentine (KBIG)
3. El Show del Mandril (KXOS)
El Bueno, La Mala, y El Feo (KSCA)
     Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)

27-Year KNX Veteran Exits 

(January 25, 2017) After 27 years reporting from San Diego for KNX, Tom Reopelle is no longer with the CBS all-news outlet. "It's been a great run at a great station," said Reopelle. For more than a quarter century, Tom covered every major regional story, including devastating wildfires, the Trump University lawsuit, plus news from the Marines at Camp Pendelton and the Navy bases throughout the city. He also covered events from the border. For his on-air work, Tom has received awards from the Los Angeles and San Diego Press Clubs, and recognition from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California.

Born in 1947 in Phoenix, Tom's family moved to the San Diego suburb of National City when he was three-years-old. "During my teen years, I listened to the radio all the time and thought this might be a good way to make a living," Tom recounted. After attending San Diego State University, he went looking for a job at a station.

"My first job was in El Centro as a dj. Over the years, I developed a keener interest in news." Tom relocated to Georgia, working as a tv reporter and anchor, where he "became convinced that covering the news would be a big part of my life." Once Tom returned to San Diego, he worked locally at KOGO, XTRA, KSDO, and KFMB before joining KNX.

Big Present for KOST Kristmas Ratings  

(January 24, 2017) The early playing of Christmas music continues to be a winning formula for KOST. In the Holiday '16 survey released today, KOST doubled the ratings of the next two stations combined. Even though KOST was strong with a 10.7, it was down from last year when the AC station had a 12.3 share. One explanation of the year-to-year drop might have been the fact that the survey covered five weeks instead of four the year before.

Country KKGO took a gamble with early all-Christmas (and not only Country Christmas), which seems to have paid off with a jump from 2.1 to 2.8.

In the top 10, KBIG (MY/fm) and K-EARTH took significant drops. Talk station KFI fell, as did all-News KNX, which came in 15th.
Holiday '16 PPM Persons 6+ Mon-Sun, 6A-12Mid

1. KOST (AC) 6.4 - 10.7
2. KBIG (MY/fm) 5.6 - 4.7
    KTWV (Wave) 4.9 - 4.7
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.4 - 4.6
5. KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.8 - 4.1
6. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 4.0 - 3.6
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.7 - 3.2
    KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 3.3 - 3.2
    KSCA (Regional Mexican) 3.1 - 3.2
10. KFI (Talk)  3.8 - 3.1
11. KAMP (Top 40/M) 3.0 - 2.9
      KRRL (Urban) 2.6 - 2.9
13. KKGO (Country) 2.1 - 2.8
      KYSR (Alternative) 3.4 - 2.8
15. KNX (News) 3.1 - 2.7
      KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.5 - 2.7
17. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.0 - 2.1
      KXOS (Regional Mexican) 2.0 - 2.1
19. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.2 - 2.0
20. KJLH (Urban AC) 2.0 - 1.9
      KSWD (Classic Rock) 2.2 - 1.9
22. KROQ (Alternative) 1.9 - 1.8
      KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.1 - 1.8
24. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.6 - 1.5
      KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.5 - 1.5
      KPCC (News/Talk) 1.6 - 1.5
27. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.2 - 1.4
28. KCRW (Variety) 1.4 - 1.3
29. KUSC (Classical 1.3 - 1.2
30. KSPN (Sports) 1.3 - 1.0
      KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 0.5 - 1.0
      KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 1.3 - 1.0
33. KRLA (Talk) 0.9 - 0.8
34. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.7
      KLAC (Sports) 0.9 - 0.7
36. KABC (Talk) 0.8 - 0.6
      KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.6
      KKJZ (Jazz) 0.8 - 0.6

La La Land in the Land of LARP

(January 24, 2017) This morning, La La Land officially became the love story of movie magic by receiving more Oscar nominations than any other film in 2016. Everyone loves a love story and LARadio is no exception. Earlier this month, two LARPs, Ronnie Loaiza (you heard her on KFI news reports) and Rob Archer (you hear him on KNX news reports), got married.

They met in 2008 in the KFI newsroom. “I knew who he was by the sound of his voice because I used to listen to him when I lived in San Diego and worked at KOGO,” remembered Ronnie. “I asked him a question and I don't remember if he answered it but ... he did talk, and talk, and talk. I asked him a few more questions about what he was talking about. I followed him to an edit bay and back out to the newsroom listening to him and thought well he doesn't even know me – he sure does talk a lot.”

Careers shifted over the years. And their personal lives were right to become friends in 2012. “He asked me if I have a wanted to go see a movie or matinee. I thought ‘I love matinees!’"

Friends became lovers and the two got married with the romantic backdrop of the Griffith Park Observatory. Like the stars of La La Land, may Ronnie and Rob dance their way into eternity.

Final Tribute to Iconic LARP - Bob Coburn 

(January 23, 21017) Last Saturday, friends, family and colleagues paid their last respects to veteran Rock personality -Bob Coburn. Former KLOS pd and current 100.3/The Sound personality Rita Wilde shared some thoughts:

"He was a rock star to me. He was so eloquent on the radio, perfectly blending music with succinct quotes or quips. He was a fantastic interviewer; he knew perfectly how to ask a question and follow it up. A perfect storyteller, never going too long and always ending with a poignant fact or a laugh. He was a musical historian who taught me about the genealogy of rock and roll and how much of it was borrowed from the blues. He knew politics and sports and was completely comfortable interviewing anyone from Paul McCartney to Bill Clinton to a listener; making sure each was challenged yet comfortable. He was a mentor to me. He believed in me more than I believed in myself. I observed and listened and knew there wasn't a better role model for what I wanted to do. I love you BC. Always have and always will."

Floral arrangements were sent from George Thorogood, Metallica, KISS (Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley), Def Leppard, Sammy Hagar, STYX, Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo.

Thanks to Rita for the photos and coverage of the event.

Various representatives from record labels (national rock promotion people including Electra Records, Columbia Records, Virgin Records) attend. "It was a wonderful service attended by friends from all walks of life. Many former KLOS switchboarders were there, a true testament to the impact that Bob had on everyone," said Rita. 

Friends of Bob Coburn

(Gary Moore, John Menchaca, Tony Scott, Laurie Nickoloff, CW West, Frazer Smith, John Menchaca, Mark Sobel, Rita Wilde, and Tom Morell) 


(Gregg Journigan, Gary Moore, Keith Cunningham, Pam Edwards, Paul Rappaport, Steve Downes, Stew Herrera, Rita Wilde, Denise Westwood and Frazer Smith
Coburn family: Dallas, Lynette, Jesika and Juliette; Steve Downes and Michael Benner)

LARP Connection to the Next Train to London

(January 22, 2017) Last weekend, Lou Simon featured early Rock songs with announcers on his Sunday night SiriusXM show. Don Elliot wasn't mentioned for his airport voice on the 1967 one-hit wonder, Next Plane to London. When it was recorded Don was pd at KBLA (Don went on to an illustrious career at KIIS, 1971-72; KROQ, 1972; KEZY, 1973; KIQQ, 1974; KKDJ, 1975; KIIS, 1975-86; KFI/KOST, 1994-2002). How did Don get that gig with the group, The Rose Garden?

"I was with Diana DeRose [band named after, obviously] The Rose Garden, with Charlie Underwood, engineer/owner of Nashville West next-door to KHJ when I was visiting Sam Riddle one day," emailed Elliot. "I was working with Charlie Green and Brian Stone due to a relationship with Sonny and Cher, which is a totally awesome other story as well. They had written these lines for Sam and for some reason Sam did not want to do it. When it came time to drop in the airport announcer bit, Charlie Green was producing, he wanted me to do it. For some reason, they thought they were going to be out of luck because the studio reverb chamber had gone up in smoke. I suggested rolling the boom with the Telefunken microphone on it into the very echoey sounding men's room down the hall and I would stand enough of a distance from it to generate the reverb you hear on the record. Simplest is best, and this was real true acoustic 'reverb.' It was a blast to do and now you have… 'The rest of the story.'" (Click the artwork)

Why Digital Hasn’t Killed The Radio Star

by Alison Weissbrot


Print is dying. TV is changing. But in the face of digital competition, advertising spend on good old AM/FM radio remains strong.

As the no. 1 reach medium in the US, radio reaches 93% of the population, according to Nielsen. Adults average 16 minutes with Pandora and 7 minutes with Spotify daily, compared with 2 hours on broadcast radio, according to Edison Research’s Share of Ear, a quarterly study of consumer audio habits.

For advertisers, radio is a $17 billion market that reaches consumers en masse, on the go, with local and timely offers. Given that 86% of Americans drive to work and broadcast radio accounts for 70% of in-car listenership, radio still holds the deepest penetration of the audio market, Edison reported. Digital audio streaming, by contrast, is a $1 billion market, with more than half of listening done at home.

“Of all of the listening that’s done in the car, radio really owns that space,” said Diana Anderson, SVP of network audio activation at Carat. “We spend about 85% on terrestrial AM/FM radio and 15% at the high end on digital audio.”

Advertisers also continue to see a high return on investment with radio, Anderson said, at an average of 6 to 1.

Despite radio’s success story, digital is still transforming the broadcast experience, as radio dabbles in programmatic buying and 360-degree digital marketing strategies to stay relevant.

Programmatic Push

Radio buying is becoming more targeted and efficient.

Last year, programmatic radio platform Jelli hooked up with broadcast giant iHeartMedia to create a programmatic private marketplace (PMP) for its 858 network stations. Advertisers can buy iHeartMedia’s broadcast inventory – and its quarter of a billion listeners – through Jelli’s demand-side platform.

iHeartMedia targets users with “Smart Audio Audiences,” which are segments fueled by data from its digital assets, including a streaming app, an artist-focused radio station and an on-demand streaming service.

“We’ve built out a platform to deal with the fact that people are buying audiences,” said Brian Kaminsky, president of programmatic and data operations at iHeartMedia. “We took digital assets and said, ‘This is a great proxy for our broadcast listeners, a great panel we can use to understand radio in a more sophisticated way.’”

Better targeting could shift more money to broadcast radio, which has remained relatively flat over the past few years, said Mike Doherty, CEO of Jelli. More than half of spend through Jelli last year came from budgets that shifted from other mediums, including digital.

Carat’s Anderson isn’t so sure. While programmatic radio is exciting, it doesn’t yet have enough scale to significantly increase spend, she said; iHeartMedia and Jelli are the only platforms with programmatic capabilities. Mainstream DSPs, such as The Trade Desk and AppNexus, have programmatic audio buying capabilities for digital, but not broadcast.

Programmatic also lacks the ability to buy on local stations, often most popular with listeners.

“As far as data, there’s not enough scale right now to do very data-driven buys,” Anderson said. “We’re hoping there will be a lot more scale on a local level by the end of Q2.”

Programmatic can’t scale until more broadcast networks open their inventory to exchanges. But networks like mid-size broadcast company Entercom fear programmatic will compromise the local listening experience.

“The hard part is aggregating very specific station data and making assumptions nationally,” said Ruth Gaviria, CMO at Entercom. “We don’t want to be in a situation where a consumer is served the same ad five times.”

Digital Support

Programmatic is still taking off, but most broadcasters have by now begun using digital platforms as extensions of the radio experience.

Entercom, for example, created websites for each of its 120 broadcast stations, where users can engage with DJs and talk show hosts through video and social feeds to drive deeper connections with programming. Entercom also launched digital streams of content broadcasted on each of its radio stations. For Kansas City’s The Buzz 95.6 FM, the added streaming component doubled station listenership.

“The listener desires to continue to listen in a traditional manner, have a personal connection with that on-air personality, listen to curated and local experiences in real time and get a mobile, digital experience that complements it,” Gaviria said.

Westwood One, owned by broadcast radio giant Cumulus Media, sees radio budgets diversifying to support these digital executions, said its chief insights officer, Pierre Bouvard.

“The digital piece is growing pretty dramatically,” he said. “Growth isn’t as much as it used to be on AM/FM [radio], as advertisers spend more on the digital stuff that AM/FM has to sell.”

For iHeartMedia, digital data informs more targeted broadcast media plans, Kaminsky said.

“We’ve used data to create a set of insights into how our broadcast users behave, which you can only get from a digital platform,” he said. “We take our digital information on registered users and device IDs, match that up to their social profiles, layer third-party data sets and model that back onto the stations that drove people to the digital platforms in the first place.”

The Auto Wrench

Broadcast radio has remained strong, largely thanks to in-car listenership. Although cars are becoming smarter and more connected, Jelli’s Doherty doesn’t see that as a threat – at least not yet.

“We just haven’t made it easy enough yet for your average consumer to use streaming in a way that they need to use radio,” he said, referring to issues like Wi-Fi spottiness in the car. “But that will happen.”

Streaming audio owns 12% of overall time spent listening to audio, according to Edison. And in-car streaming will inevitably grow, but it currently lacks radio’s local component that keeps listeners tuning in for their favorite shows, Bouvard said.

“A local radio station gives you traffic, sports, weather, great music, funny DJs and talks about your town,” he said. “Spotify has these robotic music playlists, which are awesome, but there’s no one telling you what happened at the Giants game last night."

Email Friday, 1.20

  ** KABC Observations

"It's good to see that continues in whatever frequency of posting that can be managed. Happy New Year to you and family. Just this note to let you know Christina Kelley is on as news person recently on Doug McIntyre in the Morning.  So good to hear her voice, sounding as fresh and bright as ever. I guess Rob Marinko either had a day off or KABC still not sure of who is going to replace Terri-Rae Elmer. Her release was a surprise to me as I liked hearing her voice, delivery and views, although I see Facebook postings from those who did not like here there.

I like KABC since they take callers input very freely, while KFI makes call-in a rarity and the hosts, especially John & Ken go off on misinterpreted positions, a good thing I guess for them.

Keeping this short, just want to say with all the development in L.A., sad to see the KABC/KLOS station property sold off, to be replaced by another of the big construction projects. Peter Tilden said that sometimes is seemed like it took up to 20 minutes to get out of the driveway onto La Cienega. Can't imagine what development will do to improve anything. I suppose Cumulus is in definite need to tighten purse strings as KABC joins with other stations taking roost in regular office buildings. That old site was truly impressive and the station i.d. unmistakable, just too bad ratings spiraled down. Always miss that touch that the Michael Jackson Show delivered; lots of class and respectability there. That's enough." - Robert Guevara, Eagle Rock  

** Loved Oda's Look Back at 2016 Radio

"Thanks so much to Alan Oda for his GREAT 2016 recap of LARadio! Soooo much happened on soooo many levels last year it was a pleasure  to have him cover it.

Great to still have publishing with Alan and the one-and-only Don Barrett  providing updates and backgrounders." - Alan F. Ross
** Cuba Trip

"Congratulations Don, once again you have saved for us fans, thank you.

Hope you will share with us your experiences in Cuba, that certainly is the trip of a lifetime especially when you think how few Americans have visited there over the last 50 years." - Michael Wick

Hear Ache

(January 19, 2017) KPCC's Rita Pardue celebrates a decade with the news/talk station. "Wow! 10 years flew by! LOVE being a voice actor! With much gratitude and joy!" said Rita. "Jeremiah 29:11 - It was a good plan and still is. Thank you, Lord, for the blessings and guidance in my life. More adventures on the way." ... Diehard Dallas Cowboys fan, JoJo Wright, didn't slit his wrists last weekend with the tough loss. The KIIS nighttimer is optimistic about the new quarterback to usher in a new dynasty ... For those of you complaining about the lack of local radio news and gossip, Richard Wagoner and Mike Stark have teamed up weekly to dispense the latest news and gossip. New podcast appears this morning. They'll be talking about, Rams ratings, Ken Levine's new podcast premiere and new HD radio hardware. Listen at: ... Ron Stone, president/ceo of the  Adams Radio Group says what many have told me: “We ended the year of 2016 flat, which seems like the new norm" ... Wonder how the complaint filed by Art Bell and his wife Airyn Ruiz Bell against Michael Savage for defamation, defamation per se, false light invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress is coming along? ... Mike Halloran, former KROQer in the 80s has exited 91X-San Diego. He returned to 91X five years ago and was upped to pd two years ago ... Speaking of exiting, Rick Thomas (KRTH/KTWV, 2013-14), departs AMP Radio-New York ... KLAC has dropped Leeann Tweeden. She was hired to work middays with Bill Reiter in 2014 ... Hudson Hott has joined KYSR (Alt 98-7) for part-time/swing. She is voicetracking Sunday afternoons from her home base at KUCD (Star 101.9)-Honolulu ... San Diego Chargers move to Los Angeles has already caused much consternation. Jim Rome reports that 25 local moving companies have refused to move the belongings of the team. At Magic 92.5, Jagger & Kristi are putting local tattoo parlor owners with former Charger fans to modify or cover up their Chargers tattoos ... What did you do New Year's Eve? Bunch of LARP joined Joey Reynolds at KABC for a fun broadcast that you can watch at:

Cos He Could 

(January 18, 2017) Attorney Gloria Allred and former KABC talk show host from 1993 to 2002, was part of a recent Vanity Fair story on Bill Cosby's legal woes over charges of drugging and sexually assaulting women in the past.

Over the years we've gotten to know Gloria. The nationally known attorney and active feminist was born in Philadelphia, earning her B.A. with honors in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her M.A. from New York University and her JD cum laude from Loyola University School of Law in Los Angeles. Gloria has won countless honors from numerous organizations for her civil rights work on behalf of women and minorities and is well-known for her pioneering legal work in the area of women's rights. She was a regular commentator on KABC/Channel 7 Eyewitness News. She received three Emmy nominations for her television broadcasts. Gloria has a daughter, Lisa Bloom, who is also an attorney and a permanent legal analyst with NBC and appears frequently on the Today Show. Lisa has also hosted a weekend talk show at KABC. But there was something about Gloria that was new news to me.

In the story by Mark Seal, he revealed that one by one women had been relating encounters with Cosby:

"In the midst of this outpouring came Gloria Allred, who, in her mid-20s, had been raped by a Mexican doctor at gunpoint in Mexico. The Cosby case was the one she had been working for her entire career: a famous serial sexual offender with what she calls an 'unprecedented' number of victims."

Hear Ache

(January 17, 2017) Ben Shapiro is leaving the morning show at KRLA. This makes an opening at the conservative talker ... Speaking of conservative talkers, Laura Ingraham (KPLS, 2002-03; KRLA, 2003-08; KGIL, 2008-09; KFWB, 2009-12) is eyeing a Senate run in Virginia and a challenge to Hillary Clinton's running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, according to a number of sources. Her backers have begun buying website domains for Ingraham to use should she decide to move forward. It includes:,, and ... Apparently ESPN is moving ahead with plans to move Mike Greenberg from the ESPN Radio morning show he’s co-hosted with Mike Golic (KMAX, 1995-96; KWNK, 1996; KXTA, 2000-01; KMPC, 2001-03) since 1998 and place him at the helm of the new morning show on cable TV’s ESPN ... Ken Levine has started a weekly podcast, which he says will be an irreverent look at show business and life.  "I’m calling it HOLLYWOOD & LEVINE and here’s the link they can go to:" If it is as much fun as his blog, it will be a hoot ... iHeart coming up with huge retention bonuses for top execs.

Frosty, Heidi & Frank Add Nights 

(January 16, 2017) KLOS has struggled to find the right combination for the morning show starting with Heidi Hamilton and Frank Kramer a few years ago, while Frosty Stilwell dipped his toe into Talk radio in San Francisco. Last year, the Classic Rock station reunited the successful threesome by adding Frosty in order to capture some magic from the Triplets very successful run following Howard Stern at KLSX (now AMP/Radio) for over a decade.

KLOS has now developed "The Frosty, Heidi & Frank Night Shift," according to a story at The "new" show will air Monday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., which might give some momentum to the next morning's live show. The new show will feature a mix of “best of” material from earlier in the morning as well as new content never before heard from the show.


2016 News

Compiled and Written by Don Barrett

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 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. 

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