The most comprehensive listing of 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People, spanning the last 61 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.
Enjoy!   
  
A\B\C\D\E\F\G\H\I\J\K\L\M\N\O\P\Q\R\S\T-Z/W 

   

(Howard Hoffman, World Famous Tom Murphy, The Real Don Steele, Jackie DeShannon, Del Shannon, Charlie Tuna, Jimi Fox, and Marie Osmond)


People Magazine gave the 2017 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball concert a double truck lay-out. KIIS was mentioned in the circle, getting some national attention.
By contrast, the review offered by the concert in the LA Times was not very kind. Their reviewer claimed that the Jingle Ball performers were merely going through the motions, and they were only appearing because they want to be on good terms with the iHeart stations for continued airplay of their music


Greg Edwards Celebrates a Half Century in the Radio Industry 

(December 13, 2017) Congratulations to Greg Edwards, who celebrates 50 years in the radio industry this week. “Early on I was told one day that I would have to grow up and get a real job. I tried to never look back and just keep moving ahead. I was once interviewed by a newspaper and the headline was ‘Young Man in a Hurry,’” Greg wrote. He spent his time in California working in Lemoore, Fresno, Bakersfield, San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Merced, Stockton and San Francisco.

“I have had the privilege of also popping up on tv. My original tv appearances in Fresno were on The Webster Webfoot Show, and Princess Morning Starboth on KJEO-47 when I was age 6 or 7. I loved it because I got out of school early.”

In other news: Dave Beasing recently had the sad duty of signing off 100.3 The Sound after a 9-1/2 year run, divested as part of Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio. The award-winning programmer and consultant is now busy opening his new on-demand audio company ... Sad to hear about the passing of Bruce Brown, who did as much for bringing surfing to the world as the Beach Boys. His Endless Summer is a classic ... San Diego legend Gary Allyn is having some tough times. Two weeks ago he lost his wife, Sophia. Then last week, Gary lost his home in the Lilac fire. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family … A bright spot for this smoky week in Santa Barbara, Lisa Osborn (ex-KFI, among other stations) is being recognized by the Association for Women in Communication/Santa Barbara as Member of the Year ... Thanks to C. Cousteau for helping find some MIA LARP in the Where Are They Now section. She's got an eagle eye ... Every time I hear a Bobby Darin song, I can't help but think of Kevin Spacey. Kevin starred in the movie about Bobby Darin, Beyond the Sea.


I Feel Confused

An essay by Charlie Van Dyke 

(December 12, 2017) I feel confused. I am the step-dad of two beautiful women and you have a lovely daughter yourself. I also have a talented wife who is a gynecologic surgeon and feminist. I would never want any woman to have unwanted sexual contact forced on them. Still, I find the current rush of accusations going back decades about behavior that includes an unwanted kiss to be concerning and confusing.

I get that we are no longer in the "free love" culture. But even back then, it was understood that any contact would be consensual. Radio was a playground for many back in the day. It seems that was the same in movies, politics, and many industries.

Repeating...no woman should be forced to endure anything to which she does not agree. And I get that these days, there seem to be new rules on flirtation. Still, going back decades and making claims about an unwanted kiss or rude/suggestive comment leaves me confused.

Back to my opening statement: no person should be forced or intimidated into unwanted sexual contact. But is this not getting a little beyond reasonable? "She said, he said" without confirmation is destroying some lives.

If a real offense has happened, the consequences follow the action and are a result of behavior. If it was simply rude or inappropriate, perhaps a sincere apology might be adequate as long as the behavior is not repeated. Or maybe we are finally facing an abusive culture that is long over-due for correction.

Reaction to News About Steve Edwards Was Swift 

(December 12, 2017) When news broke yesterday that Steve Edwards had left KTTV Fox 11 under the veil of sexual allegations, I reached out to Steve. He did respond. Steve thanked me and said, "More later."

Melody Rogers, a decades-long friend and co-host with Steve on Two on the Town emailed: "I just heard this and it is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard. Steve Edwards is one of the finest men, make that people, I know and I worked with him, as you know, for four years traveling all over the world together. He was and is such an incredible friend in every way. Never in all my years of knowing Steve, and actually that goes back to 1976 in Chicago, have I ever seen, heard or experienced anything but a kind and caring man with a great sense of humor and probably one of the smartest people I know. He always took the time to listen to me and help me with any problems I ever had. Yes, he was like a therapist in many ways. He gave me a great sense of perspective. He always played the devil's advocate. I refuse to believe that this is true! Look up integrity in Webster's Dictionary and next to it you will see Steve Edwards' name. One of the finest! Don, I know in my heart this is not true."

Mary Beth Garber, former president of the Southern California Broadcasters Association, wrote: "I am totally flabbergasted over the news about Steve Edwards. I worked with him at KABC/KMPC in the mid-90s, right before he went to Good Day LA. He was a gentleman who showed everyone respect. I cannot imagine what could have prompted those allegations."

Greg Hardison worked with Steve at KABC. He wrote: "From what I saw, I believe any of those allegations against him are just so much bullshit.  I completely agree with Jillian Barberie. I saw Steve interact with plenty of females, without the slightest hint of impropriety. He was one of the few at the station, for whom I had too much respect to even tell a dirty joke, or to use my usual profane retinue of casual chitchat. Steve was the consummate pro, with whom to work. Knowing what I do, I find it impossible to believe Steve is guilty, or even capable of abusing his position toward any form of "harassment."
  
 

Veteran TV Morning Host Steve Edwards Fired  

(December 11, 2017) KTTV 11’s Steve Edwards has been fired from the Fox O&O, according to FTVLive. The site said Edwards was fired after sexual harassment allegations were made against him.

Edwards has been a fixture on LA television for decades and co-Anchor of KTTV's morning newscast since April of 1995.

An emotional Jillian Barberie said Steve Edwards "was like a father figure to me...I have no family in this country...I had two marriages, seven years each, I was with him for 20." The former Good Day L.A. co-host and current KABC afternoon personality offered her recollections of Edwards. "In all the years I worked with him -- nothing," said Barberie, regarding any acts of impropriety.

She said she talked to Edwards, "he was doing fine," as well as reaching out to former tv partner Dorothy Lucey, who was also "in total shock."

John Phillips, co-host of KABC's "The Drive Home" program, said the news about Edwards "hit him in the gut with a 2 x 4." He said his contacts with Edwards were always cordial, and that Phillips was surprised as anyone. Barbarie recalled Edwards originally studied to be a psychiatrist, "so he'd hear about my marriages, my divorces, he heard everything...he was there when both of my babies were born." "I spoke out against anyone -- democrat, republican, red, blue," regarding the current media storm of sexual harassment allegations, said Barberie. "But it's different when it's someone you love, someone you've been with for 20 years."

Edwards stint on morning LA tv goes back to the 80's when he was anchor of KABC/TV's AM Los Angeles (1984-91), KCBS-TV's Two On The Town (1978-84) and The Steve Edwards Show (1978-81).  He also had a long stint on KABC radio.

LARP Traffic Reporters Featured in NY Times Story 

(December 11, 2017) The New York Times covered our LARP traffic reporters in an article entitled, Where There’s Smoke, There Are the Traffic Reporters of Los Angeles. Some highlights:

Unlike a pileup or a road closed for construction, the blazes are also a breaking news event, throwing traffic reporters into the same mix as their news anchor counterparts, said Sioux-z Jessup, a traffic anchor. “What’s really challenging is that there are so many fires burning right now, and I am trying to get the most accurate information to the most amount of people,” Ms. Jessup said.

Along with street closings and alternate routes, she said, she has spent days posting tips on Twitter, like the safest kind of gas mask to wear. “You want to give them the evacuation centers, and the school closures, and the wind conditions,” she said. “I’m trying to provide anything that they need.”

The conditions have introduced tremendous reporting challenges. The buffeting winds of up to 60 miles per hour that have fed the fire have grounded some traffic aircraft. Only the hardiest helicopters (more expensive ones usually operated by television stations) can withstand the current air conditions, said Desmond Shaw, who reports for both radio and tv. It has been too dangerous to fly the Cessna he reports from for KNX 1070 radio since the fires ignited.
Like many of his colleagues, he must cover the story from the ground this time. “I definitely feel kind of hamstrung or helpless,” he said. “My city is burning and people are trying to get out of town and I wish I could be up above that helping people out.” Instead, he and other reporters work the phones, monitoring reports from the state Department of Transportation and Cal Fire. The news feeds flickering on viewers’ screens across the state — stark pictures of amber flames licking across mansions, horse farms and highways — belie what the reporters went through to capture them, Mr. Shaw said. “The shot is steady, but you’re not seeing the chopper getting knocked around because of the stability controls the camera has,” Mr. Shaw said. “Meanwhile you’re getting knocked around by turbulence like crazy.”

Los Angeles is a city of gridlock. But the fires, which have consumed more than 100,000 acres and are still raging, create an entirely different traffic scenario. “You can Google and look in Hollywood and see these are the closures for the Oscars,” said Ginger Chan, a KTLA traffic anchor. “The difference is it’s fluid, it’s changing, the wind can shift, it can pick up.” Ms. Chan said officials from the Los Angeles Police Department had warned reporters on Wednesday that app-based GPS risked taking drivers into fire-affected areas.

“For people who are not familiar, they are kind of trusting this blindly,” said Ms. Chan, who is married to Mark Kono (photo with family), the traffic pilot. “You’re running into a situation that will change on a dime, and then it’s putting you in areas that could be danger zones.” On Thursday afternoon, Ms. Chan was picking up her twin 3-year-old children at school after a workday that began at 1:30 a.m., extended hours for round-the-clock fire coverage.

Few of the city’s veteran traffic reporters said they had ever dealt with so many simultaneous fires. “It’s indescribable,” said Scott Burt, an airborne traffic reporter for the radio station KNX 1070 News Radio. “I have seen this before, to a certain degree, but not probably this extreme.” The work is taxing, but rewarding, he said. “That’s what I’m here for, to help people,” Mr. Burt added. “And who doesn’t at work like a good challenge?”

Sunday Nostalgia - 10 Years Ago Today

 “It’s Time to Call ‘em Like We See ‘em!” 

(December 10, 2007) Gil Stratton is an icon in Southern California radio, tv and movies. He’s a true renaissance man whose contributions to the industry included three successful careers: actor in radio dramas, actor in the movies and a Broadway actor. He also served in the military, as a B-17 Bombardier in WWII. For a decade Gil worked as a baseball umpire. His lasting spirit came on the sports front as a sports anchor on tv and radio. KNBC/KFWB sports anchor Bill Seward sat with Gil recently to see him call ‘em as he saw ‘em.

“When I was a kid I loved getting the mail from the mailman,” remembered Gil. “I was named a junior and I would see something for Gil Stratton in the mail and of course I opened it. My father said I was not Gil Stratton, I was Gil Stratton, Jr. ‘And don’t open my mail.’ It was that way until I was about to open on Broadway and they asked me how I wanted to be billed as Gil Stratton or Gil Stratton, Jr. I said bill me as Gil Stratton, Jr. I did it really just to show my father and then it just kinda stuck. Particularly after World War II where I primarily made my living as a radio actor the junior part would lead to what part I played on the show. They would read all the parts and if there was a kid’s role and they saw junior they would pick me and it stayed with me all that time.” 

Gil grew up in Brooklyn and Garden City, Long Island, spending his time equally between the two cities. “My dad was in the printing ink business. He manufactured printer’s ink.” Gil remembers his father receiving a holiday or birthday card and spitting on his fingers and then rubbing the ink on the card and invariably say, “cheap ink on this one.” 

A long-time sports fan, in 1940, Gil saw 77 home games at Ebbets Field. “Somebody in our apartment had a pass and all it cost me was a ten-cent tax plus a nickel each way on the subway. In 1941, the Dodgers won their first pennant in 25 years. I saw the only game that the Dodgers won in the 41 World Series. They beat the Yankees 3 – 2 in Yankee Stadium in Game 2 on October the 2nd,” said Gil. 

Acting came easy to Gil. He was in all the school plays. “It was something I did easily and I guess fairly well because I was busy doing those things,” Gil reminisced. “I used to do summer stock in the Brighton Theatre, which is right near the start of Coney Island. It was a legitimate theatre and a girl I went to high school with had gone on to the American Academy. She was in Brother Rat and I went down to see her. I had spent a year in military school, so I had the uniform on. Saw the matinee and went to dinner with the whole cast and we can back and they thought it would great idea to put me on stage because I was in uniform, just like they were on stage. That was probably my real stage debut.” 

The following summer he was offered a role in Atlantic City for $5 a week. His parents drove him down and he got a room in the YMCA for $2.75 a week. “I used to go out on the boardwalk and get a nickel’s worth of Jujubees to kill my appetite.” 

Another time he got an upgraded role when an actor failed to show up on time and Gil knew the part and stepped in. 

The big acting break for Gil came in 1939 when he was offered a featured role in the George Abbot production of Life With Father with June Allyson and Nancy Walker. This was his Broadway debut. “There was nothing like it. I was 17 and going to high school and I had my hair dyed red every two weeks. They would touch it up and it was a god-awful color that they tried to match with another kid in the play who had natural red hair and it turned out to be flaming red hair. On the subway at 11:15 at night, it probably looked a little funny, but nobody ever bothered me so it worked out okay.” 

Gil played on Broadway as one of the leads in Life With Father. Two years later Gil had the lead in Best Foot Forward. “This led to a contract with MGM and I headed West, young man. World War II had started and when I got there I had to go to my draft board because we were going out of town for a production in Chicago and you couldn’t leave the state without going to the draft board. This was August and I asked what they thought and they said I would be carrying a gun by the first of October.” (Gil in Girl Crazy)

Standing in front of the draft board building with some other guys, Gil was asked if he knew about the Air Cadets. “It is the Air Force and if you could qualify for it for bombardiers and things like that and pass the written and physical there is no place to put the guys right now so you can stay out longer, so that’s why I did it. I opened at the Airliner Theatre in Chicago and after passing the exams, they asked if they could swear me in on stage after a matinee. A Major came down and swore me in. I got the call the following March but we hadn’t finished filming yet and I got a deferment until July, so it was almost a year from the time I signed up before I went in.” 

“I ended up flying in B-17s and one night we were on a night training navigation mission over Little Rock, Arkansas when they lost two engines on the right side and we were losing altitude over the Ozarks Mountains and the pilot said, ‘Okay, boys, prepare to bail out.’ I snapped on my parachute and I was the first one out. It was kinda like the big hill on a big roller coaster. I jumped, pulled the handle on the rip chord, and nothing happened. I later learned there was a three-second delay between pulling the handle and the parachute opening. It feels like a lot more than three seconds when you’re looking at it and nothing is happening.” 

Gil was discharged from the Air Force on October 5, 1945. “The thing you wanted more than anything else was a civilian suit. The first job I got was in Chicago. The William Morris Agency was my agency at the time and they thought of me primarily as a Broadway actor. I got involved in a radio show and shortly after joining them they moved it to the West Coast. I really wanted to come back to Hollywood any way I could and that worked out great.” 

From 1946 to 1954, Gil made his living primarily as a radio actor. “I was on Lux Radio Theatre 29 times. Meet Corliss Archer, the Life of Riley and on and on. I was Margie’s boyfriend on My Little Margie with Gale Storm and Charlie Farrell. I was a regular on Junior Miss and then we did a television show called, That’s My Boy, which had been a movie with Martin & Lewis. I played the Jerry Lewis part. Everything was fine for the first 13 weeks and then we went up against George Gobel. After 13 more weeks nobody ever heard of us again.” 

Beginning in 1954 and up until the late 1990s, Gil fulfilled the final third of an incredible three-career life. “I was a sports announcer, mostly at CBS,” recalled Gil. He was doing My Little Margie and went to visit his friend Tom Harmon who anchored a coupled of the tv sportscasts. Tom mentioned that he was going to be leaving the late news at Channel 2. His wife had put her foot down and told Tom that he had to choose between the two newscasts. I told him that’s what I wanted to do since I was eight years old. He told about an audition and when I showed up about half of the guys on the Rams team were auditioning along with most of the sports writers in town. I got the job.” 

Busy with his radio acting, Gil was also a professional baseball umpire for ten years beginning in 1947. “I spent five years in Class C baseball; so I did pay my dues. I finally ended up in the Pacific Coast League. I could have done that as a career.” 

When Gil joined KNXT/Channel 2 the tv news had revolving anchors. “We called them the Bum of the Week. The first one was a cowboy actor and he couldn’t even pronounce President Roosevelt, so he was on his way out. Even Bill Stout was an anchor for awhile and he hated it. It was kind of different and it finally shook down around 1960 with The Big News. It became the all-time biggest television news shows in history. We used to get 21 – 23 ratings on that show.” (Gil interviewing Jim Brown)

Gil explained the enormous success of The Big News. “NBC was very weak. They had Jack Latham. ABC had nothing. And the chemistry with all of us all worked.” The Big News consisted of Jerry Dunphy, Bill Keene, Ralph Storey, Maury Green and Gil. “If anybody was watching the news in those days, they were watching Channel 2. It has never been the same since they fired all of us, which was one of the great decisions. You can’t believe how great it is when you are #1. Everybody is happy. Everybody is singing.” 

About five years after joining KNXT/Channel 2, he started doing sports broadcasting on KNX. “It happened when George Nicholaw took over as general manager. He was smart enough to recognize the pull and success of The Big News and its people. He proceeded to put all of us from tv on radio. Bill Keene and I used to the sports and weather together and we kind of kidded each other as we went along. More people came up to us and said they enjoyed what we did on radio, more so than on television.” 

Did Gil enjoy radio or tv more? “Television was meant for me,” Gil responded without pausing. “It was that kind of medium. Having been an actor I was loose in front of the camera. I don’t mean that as conceit, it is just kind of like I am. On the radio you are reading everything word for word. When I was a radio actor it was the best job I ever had. I can’t think of anything easier. That was the best job we ever had. The Lux Radio Theatre paid $133. That was scale. That was a lot of money back in those days.” 

The sports scene in L.A. helped glorify the period for Gil’s reporting. “Remember John McKay was winning the college football championships at USC. John Wooden was winning the college basketball championships at UCLA. The Lakers were winning. The Dodgers were winning. There were 50,000 people on a Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita. This was the sports capital of the world, without a doubt. And it is no longer.” 

Gil carries a money clip with a Rams helmet embedded on it, which reminds him of a special time when he was part of the Rams broadcasts. “The Rams were an institution. They came out here from Cleveland in 1946. It was a big deal. We had two of the greatest quarterbacks in football – Bob Waterfield and Van Brocklin. Other players like Elroy Hirsch on the end. Ollie Matson came later. He was in a deal for 11 men. There was also Tank Younger and Jon Arnett. It was wonderful. I can remember 100,000 people in the Coliseum for the Chicago Bears games. It was a great rivalry. Everyone was a fan. I was fortunate to be their play-by-play on television for a few years and I certainly enjoyed it.” 

He thinks the market may be better off not having an NFL team. “If you like football and you want to see all the games it is better now because there are no blackouts. When you have a team, certain games get blacked out and it’s usually just the one you wanted to see.” 

Gil doesn’t enjoy football much these days. “It’s too slow. Back in the Woody Hayes days at Ohio State it was three yards and a cloud of dust. Three yards and a cloud of dust.” 

Today Gil has become a soccer fan and in particular he follows the Chelsea team from England. “When you watch those guys they go for 90 minutes with no timeouts and the action never stops. To me they are in so much more superb condition than any football player will ever be. And they get knocked around with no padding, too. Soccer is just so much more of a skillful game. It is a beautiful game.” (Gil at a recent Southern California Sports Broadcasters luncheon)

Gil grew up in Brooklyn, so when word came that the Brooklyn Dodgers were headed for L.A., it piqued Gil’s interest. Before it was officially announced about the Dodgers were coming across the country, he got a tip from a very reliable source that they were not coming and so he reported it on his Channel 2 sportscast. He so believed his source that he said he would jump off the Santa Monica Pier if indeed the Dodgers did leave Brooklyn for L.A. He did jump off the pier with all the tv cameras capturing the moment. Was he hurt? “It was just a high jump off the pier into the Pacific Ocean, that was all.” 


Email Saturday, 12.9.17 

** Drop Commercials During Major Fire Coverage?

“Yes on all counts. Considering that one fire alone has affected hundreds of thousands of people  in Ventura, shut major freeways down and cost lives [human and animals], KNX should follow the lead of NBC4, CBS2, and ABC7 and run commercial free at least during drive time in the morning and evening. Since they are the only game in town doing all-News, they should take the lead on this issue. It was a mark of the seriousness of the five fires burning on Tuesday and Wednesday that even JACK/fm had traffic reports! Thanks for highlighting this!” – Julie T. Byers, Arcadia

** KNX During Fire  

KNX dropped their sports reports today, Tuesday the 5th, during the breakout of fires, including the Ventura blazes. Sports anchor Randy Kerdoon wasn’t off the air, instead, he was part of the station's wall-to-wall fire coverage listing the school closures and other fire related bits of helpful information. KNX also pre-empted the CBS news at the top of the hour, at least during morning drive time.  

Why do many of the KNX morning drive anchors say ‘this morning’ so much? Most people know its morning...we just woke up and the sun is rising in the east...so why do they say ‘we take you live this morning to the scene and KNX reporter’ or ‘and this morning it's 56 degrees in Yorba Linda.’  

Good to hear this week Christmas themed commercials from In 'n Out Burgers on LAOldies.com. I know In 'n Out is privately owned by a Christian family and that they have a Bible verse from the Book of John on the bottom inside rim of their paper cups. It is refreshing to hear a heartfelt and mature commercial by a company touting their beliefs in God and Jesus Christ along with their food. And I admire them for advertising on Saul Levine's Oldies stations at 1260AM and 105.1 HD2. In 'n Out will get my business when I have a hankerin' for a hamburger.” - Steve Nieto, Yorba Linda
** Dave Hull’s Wife

“I just read the Dave Hull article about his wife and congestive heart failure. Having been there myself [9.5.14] I can understand his concern.

I woke up in my Toluca Lake apartment unable to catch my breath. I went back to sleep [finally] and two hours later – another attack. I drove myself to Kaiser’s Sunset hospital that morning and they checked me in right away. Oh yeah, I had my last cigarette on the way to the hospital. It would have been my mother's 91st birthday-so I figured it was a pretty pertinent message. 

Truthfully the doctors told me that CHF isn’t a death sentence. Your heart doesn’t really fail, it’s just weaker than it should be. One of the chambers of my ticker wasn’t fully functional. I’m on medicine now – feel pretty darn good and hope the same happens for Dave’s wife. I will be on PBS SoCal and KPBS fm/TV this month as well as the ol’ morning show on ‘Sunny 98.1.’" – Dave Mason
** Saturday Night Fever

"Oh, whotta’ soundtrack. Night Fever, Stayin’ AliveMore Than a WomanHow Deep is Your Love and Yvonne Elliman’s If I Can’t Have You all hit the top spot from the movie and LP. And now on with the countdown.” – Mike Butts

** More Disco

“Note to Upland’s Steve Dugan:  Disco Saturday Night is back on KSUR-1260 AM from 7 p.m. until a bit past midnight every Saturday night. You can listen on their stream at LAOldies.com which is best, but it’s also on fm at KKGO 105.1 HD 2.

Fred Missman spins the disco and gives tribute nods to Rick Diego, who was a big part of KBIG’s Disco Saturday Night show from a few years ago. By the way: A current KNX news anchor, Rob Archer [who now does a fantastic job during various fill-in slots on 1070], once hosted DSN on KBig 104. Tune in KSUR on Saturday nights. You won't be disappointed.” – Steve Nieto, Yorba Linda
** Bill Brown Memory

“So sad to hear of Bill Brown’s passing. Bill was a very young bright newsman. He did the news on my show at 710/KMPC.” – Roger Carroll

** LARP Walker

“When I saw the 1110/KRLA photo this week, I remembered when Rhett Hamilton Walker worked at KSEE in Santa Maria, before Dave Conley, who I met through you. Yadda-yadda.” – Joe Collins

** LARadio.com

“Great column today, Don. One of your all-time best, in my opinion ... comprehensive, lots of first-person reports, and Tom Haule's perspective was very enlightening.” – K.M. Richards

LARPs in the Fire

 

(December 8, 2017) Fast-moving fires and slow-moving freeways dominated our Southern California experiences this week. Mine started the other morning with a voice mail waiting for me from my youngest son, Tyler. He lives in the Ventura area and wanted me to know he was okay but was ready to head east. He’s still on stand-by, though the wind shifting has been kind to him.

Roger Nadel, former general manager at all-News KFWB, lost power for about five hours late Monday night. “And even though we’re maybe seven miles from where homes were lost in the hills of Ventura, we could easily see the flames from our house in Channel Islands Harbor Tuesday morning. The winds have been up and down, but when they are up it’s pretty amazing and nothing is secure. Wednesday, the smoke was thick enough to cut with a knife all around Oxnard / Pt. Hueneme. We saw more people wearing masks than I’ve ever seen. But when the wind picked back up Wednesday night, it blew a lot of the smoke away. We know people who lost everything, so sad. This has served as a great reminder of the value of live and local programming. People need us now more than they realize. Unfortunately, a couple of local radio stations were knocked off the air (KFYV/fm and KCAQ/fm).  We’re safe.”

The Insane Darrell Wayne lives in Ventura. “We evacuated. We’re three days without power, boiling water before use, smoke and ash, flames within 1500 ft., sober, all is well.”

 

Beau Weaver, veteran of 93/KHJ, K-EARTH, and longtime voice of Entertainment Tonight, lives in Ojai. “We just got word that the house on our Lane made it through the night, though homes behind us did not. When the fires in the foothills behind us got down to lower elevation they were out of the wind flow, and they became backfires. It’s not over yet. Fires are still brining in the Ojai Valley. Winds are calm, but expected to return in force. We are near Summerland, and will continue north as the fires follow us. Grateful for being spared another day, as we speak to other evacuees who have lost everything that would not fit in their cars. But we have each other, and the awareness to stay in the present moment,” wrote Beau on his Facebook page.

I asked a rhetorical question yesterday: “When the Southland is in flames, freeways closed in both directions, smoke clogging the air, should our only all-News station embrace all-News and dump commercials? At least during morning drive?”

I asked KNX program director Ken Charles if there were some guidelines on when or if commercials would be dropped during a major news event. He was unable to respond because the new Entercom has yet to establish a policy. Local television ran much of their coverage free of commercials.

Tom Haule (photo) offered a compelling perspective on major breaking stories. He spent over 30 years anchoring the news at KNX.

"It seems to me to be a deceptively simple question with a complex set of reasons to say ‘”No.” 

The foundation of your question seems to imply that commercials interfere with the presentation of vital information.  In my experience, that has rarely been the case.  There have been times when we have decreased or eliminated our commercial load due to breaking and compelling events, but only after we eliminated other programming elements of questionable relevance to the situation.  Stations run self-promoting marketing messages that tell the listener how good they are – if you are at your peak or performance, drop those first. Stations also run formatted tease segments typically with top headlines every 15 minutes read over music. Here again, if there is only one top story, just keep doing it and the listener will catch on quickly.  Features will also go, as will sports and even business updates or can be shortened to 15 seconds. This is not to disrespect the hard work of the sports and financial reporters. I have had these situations come up and have always enjoyed their understanding and cooperation.

The Thomas Fire broke out around 11 o’clock at night. People began evacuations around 1 in the morning and continued through about 4 in the morning. By the time morning drive got underway, the essential and compelling need for immediate information had already passed.  Yes, this is a major story and yes, tens of thousands of people want to know about it, but a two-minute break will not cost lives or property.

The fire at Hanson Dam broke out later in the morning and missed most of morning drive on Tuesday.  The fire in Santa Clarita broke out in the afternoon. The Getty fire broke out at the beginning of morning drive and while spectacular – and involving very wealthy people with expensive homes – the fire had more of an impact on traffic. Still, I think it would have merited a reduced commercial load more than the others, given its timing and location.

But still, you have to ask yourself, “What else to we have?”  If you want me to pull the commercial load, you had better have some compelling and time-sensitive information to pass along.  Keep in mind that the station is already running and expanding its traffic reports every ten minutes, with break-in updates as needed.  Is it better programming to repeat the same thing over and over until something else comes along? 

Honestly, I am no fan of commercials. I applaud the new owner, Entercom, coming out with a plan to reduce commercial loads. But commercials do serve a function. A two-minute break gives the anchors time to confer with the producers and assignment editors to update the plan of programming. Who’s next and where are they?  I’ve had hundreds of such rushed conferences to keep us on track during breaking news. You also have to keep in mind that the station has made an agreement with sponsors to carry their messages. Some may not want to be associated with a disaster and they will make that known. Others might see the value of getting their message across to an audience that is three to five times what they expected.  It is a good business practice to tell the customer that when the value of what they buy increases they can’t have it? And insurance companies always rush to get their outreach to customers on the air as soon as possible. These are commercials that tell victims where to go to make a claim and get the help that they need.

Finally, you included a clue to the answer in your question when you cited “our only all-News station.”  Even with the commercial load, the station is the only source for people who have had to run to their cars to evacuate and find shelter.  Television doesn’t reach them.  The Internet has limited reach for them.  The radio station can run commercials and still get the vital information out in a timely manner. That is the job of the anchors, editors and producers. If the commercials go, eventually so will they.

That said, I was able to watch television coverage from my home in Las Vegas. It was commercial free.

"The fire came close but hit Casitas Springs and not Oak View," emailed former KFWBer John Brooks. "Just lucky. Fires still visible Thursday night on the back side of Red mountain where the KHAY tower is and along the ridge below White Ledge peak. I even did some freebie reports for KNX and KABC." 

"So many people complaining about the lack of fire news that they need reminds me of the golden days of radio news reporters who would blanket a disaster with relevant and accurate info. I spent a lot of time on Facebook these last few days trying to kill erroneous tid bits such as the Nordhoff evacuation center was closing. [It wasn’t.] And Johnny Cash’s house in Casitas Springs burned down. [It didn’t]." (Photos of John Brooks in KFWB fire gear)

Tomorrow, Email Saturday will feature more fire news

Mother/Daughter Tiff? 

(December 7, 2017) The Hollywood Reporter wondered out loud if Gloria Allred and her daughter Lisa Bloom are estranged. The trade publication asks if they spent Thanksgiving together. "You'd need a subpoena and search warrant to find out," guessed the Rambling Reporter Chris Gardner. They were on the opposite sides of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in October. Lisa briefly repped Weinstein while her mother repped several of his alleged victims. Gloria publicly dissed her daughter in the process. "Bloom declined to comment when THR asked where she ate turkey on November 25, while Allred danced around the subject like an uncooperative witness." Gloria added, "We'll always be together. All issues will be resolved."

In other news: A longtime L.A. engineer is looking to get rid of a set of remote broadcast equipment that he will never use again. It is an Adtran 128k ISDN DSU and two (2) CCS CDQ-1000 codecs, with data cables. Codec audio I/O is standard XLR. He used these extensively for local and network hifi news installations, and they were awesome for sports backhauls. This system can connect to ISDN, or be used on a dedicated 56K/64K data circuit for a fraction of what an 8K analog circuit cost (when you could still get one). Let me know at db@thevine.net if you can use this equipment.

When the Southland is in flames, freeways closed in both directions, smoke clogging the air, should our only all-News station embrace all-News and dump commercials? At least during morning drive?

Hear Ache 

  (December 6, 2017) Mehgan Reyes (l) has been reporting on traffic for almost two decades. Yesterday the smoke from all the Southland fires created a terrible sky of smoke. She wore the appropriate face mask while reporting from Chopper4 ... Former KNX/KFWB newsman Bob McCormick is making huge improvements from his recent back surgery. "I'm still keeping the cane handy but the lower back pain is already 80% gone. The wound is still sore but my surgeon just told me it’s healed and I started driving a bit yesterday. No bending, twisting, etc. for a long time. I will be using a grabber and squatting to pick up what I drop on the floor," emailed Bob. He is planning on spending the holidays in Dallas. "My wife Ellen has been a trooper for the past two weeks. We’re very lucky." ... The new Entercom has been busy changing formats around the country (not in L.A.). I was reminded of a quote from Michael O’Shea - three things you can count on: Death, taxes and format changes … Good wishes to KRLA’s Brian Whitman. The 45-year-old morning man missed work earlier this week. “It started at about 1 a.m. with intense calf cramps that woke me up (sorta crying) writhing in pain. My feet seized next, my neck is getting into the act and a brief stomach cramp that briefly felt like an organ got turned over. Then the hands and the fingers freeze with noticeable pain,” wrote Brian on his Facebook page … Dave Hull, formerly with the original KRLA at 11-10, rushed his wonderful wife Jeanette to the hospital with congestive heart failure. Dave has been the great caregiver as she is still in the hospital … Angie Fitzsimmons, who worked morning drive with Carson Daly at AMP Radio, has departed Entercom … Former KFIer Sam Botta had heart surgery recently and it was successful. “I'm in excruciating pain, but they're finally getting me up to walk short distances,” wrote Sam.  
 

Radio Reunion

(December 5, 2017) Jeffrey Leonard has done it again. Twice a year he invites a number of LARP who once toiled in LARadio to gather and share stories. This past Saturday, 60 guests showed up at Fuddrucker's in Burbank for lunch and to share radio stories.

"Everyone had a great time," emailed Jeffrey. "It has become so popular, I've had to make it an 'invitation only' event. Don't want the fire department to come in and shut us down. Fuddruckers is so gracious to us. They are the best, and the burgers are delicious." (Left: Leonard, KBLAer's Douglas Brown and Carson Schrieber; Center: Former K-EARTH personalities Bruce Chandler and Jim Carson; Right: Shadoe Stevens and founder/creator of the KRLA Credibility Gap, Lew Irwin)


Hear Ache 

(December 4, 2017) KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest made TMZ news this weekend. Ryan was walking his black lab Georgia on Saturday around Beverly Hills when he either got tangled up in the leash or just plain stumbled. His dog Georgia looked startled but was unhurt. TMZ said that Seacrest was in L.A. for the Jingle Ball iHeart concert which he MC'd. “He flies coast-to-coast a lot ... he has to be in NYC during the week to host Live with Kelly Ripa. He'll be flying even more when American Idol fires up next month. It will be shot in L.A.,” reports TMZ.

Speaking of KIIS, John Ivey is promoted by iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group to the new position of president of CHR programming strategy.  He will oversee the company’s CHR and rhythmic CHR brand formats.

Warren Cereghino, assignment editor at Fox 11, wants to make a correction in the bio on one of the most famous LARP, Francis Gary Powers. Powers, the Southern California “Big Red Skywatch” pilot was shot down over Russia on a reconnaissance mission during the Summit Conference in Paris in 1960. In an unprecedented move, the United States traded spies with the Soviet Union.

Gary came home in exchange for master spy Rudolf Abel in 1962. When he grew weary of test piloting, Frank moved with his wife and two children to Studio City around 1970, and tried out as the backup pilot for Col. Bruce Payne on KGIL. He commented at the time of his promotion: "The higher you get, the greater the sense of detachment. It's indescribable, but it's the detachment.

"While leafing through your extraordinarily complete roster of LA radio folks, I came across several with whom I've worked during my years in tv news,” wrote Warren. “He was our on-air helicopter pilot/reporter and as fine a colleague as I ever had during my 18 years at KNBC. I was on vacation up at Lake Tahoe when one of my boys was watching a Sacramento station newscast and hollered at me about ‘Gary Powers.’ He then told me of his fatal crash.” Cerreghino said Powers didn’t crash while reporting traffic. “I was told by the executive producer that Frank and his cameraman had been out in Ventura County covering a brush fire and ran out of fuel enroute back to the hangar at Burbank Airport. I have always been grateful that I was not the one on the desk who had to deal with it that day. “

Sunday Nostalgia - 4 Years Ago Today 


Paul Crouch, the Face of Trinity Broadcasting, Dies

(December 3, 2013) Paul Crouch and his wife Jan were the founders and face of the Trinity Broadcasting Network. They were called the “First couple of the Christian Network.” Paul died November 30, at the age of 79. Though many of the obituaries cite his work in establishing one of the largest religious tv networks, Paul first spent time working on the local radio airwaves.

Born On March 30, 1934, in St. Joseph, Missouri, he spent part of his early childhood in Egypt. His father was a missionary with the Assemblies of God. Paul was 7 when his father died.

While a student at Central Bible College and Seminary in Springfield, Missouri, he built a small campus radio station. Apparently it was this early experience with the campus station that gave him the idea about spreading the gospel electronically. In 1962, he and his wife Jan moved to Southern California.

In 1962, Paul and his wife Jan moved to Southern California. He was the manager of KREL from 1965-71. During that time, Paul helped complete the application to increase the power of the Corona radio station to 5,000 watts, and he would eventually become a minority owner of the station. He then moved to KHOF/fm (“House of Faith”) and became the station’s general manager. During his tenure at the radio station, Paul helped fortify KHOF/fm and helped establish KHOF/tv  Channel 30 on the air from San Bernardino, reaching many parts of the Los Angeles market. In the beginning, it was back to back tapes of preachers before local programming was added. After a brief partnership with Jim Bakker, Paul and Jan leased time on KLXA/tv for the newly founded Trinity Broadcasting Network. Eventually, TBN purchased the station and changed the call letters of Channel 40 to KTBN, the station serving as the flagship for the network. His goal was to build the most-watched religious network by purchasing more stations and utilizing satellite technology. Despite the numerous bumps in the road, he will be remembered for being an early pioneer in using radio and television to spread the Word.


Email Saturday, 12.2.17 

** Commercial Glut

“Amen to the glut of commercials [aka the ‘Kars4Kids’ sludge] on radio. Unfortunately KNX [for example] is guilty of so many interruptions, it's almost unlistenable.  And don't get me started on the iHeart radio ad nauseam!  

Sad fact of the Matt Lauer bombshell and other sexual harassment/workplace issue-stuff like articles of impeachment, the spate of hit-and-run injuries/deaths, missiles being shot off by North Korea, etc., is going unreported or buried on the back page or last few minutes of the news. Sigh.

Now you know why I listen to both channels airing Christmas Music a majority of the time.” - Julie T. Byers, Arcadia

** Garman’s Journey

“One heck of a story about this very special man named Ralph Garman. JUST WOW.” – Stan White, Seattle

** Entercom Lay-offs

“How many employees of the newly merged company will be fired in order for David Field to make 100 million dollars in cuts? Was Ralph Garman the first?” - Bob Koontz, TMC Media 

** Stupid Move

"Letting Ralph Garman go from the Kevin & Bean show is one of the stupidest corporate radio decisions ever. Those Entercom geniuses probably weren’t even aware of how important and valuable Ralph was to the program, and never bothered to find out. My wife and I became regular listeners to Kevin & Bean about 15 years ago. A major reason for that was Ralph. We’re saddened and outraged over his dismissal. It was all I could do to to keep my wife from grabbing a torch and pitchfork, and joining the angry mob headed for the station.

I’ve been in this business a long time and I’ve never heard anyone more talented, funnier, quicker and more consistently creative than Ralph Garman." - Dick McGarvin

** They Could Stop the Music

“Thanks to Don Elliot for remembering that I told him to ‘turn the headphones down!’ although I don’t remember it. I remember him as being very talented.

Re Bruce Jenner and Can’t Stop the Music: back around 1980 I was the announcer for the first New Orleans Supercross and was then tapped to be the color man for Jenner for the NBC broadcast of the race. I’d met him before when we were both riding dirt bikes at Saddleback Park. I asked him about the movie and he said ‘Well, somebody figured out they could stop the music!’ I laughed.” – Larry Huffman

** Disco Fever

 “Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever soundtrack did what ONLY The Beatles did before them--having 5 top songs on the charts at once. I loved that stuff.” - Mike Butts, former morning man at KIQQ (K-100)

** Niche Programming

"Your comments about getting your Disco fix on Channel 54 on SiriusXM jogged my memory that KGIL [now KSUR 1260 AM], tried an all-Beatles format in the mid-90s. Unfortunately, the signal wasn’t strong in the San Gabriel Valley where I lived, so listening to it was a hit or a miss. And of course, KBIG had Disco Saturday Night for years. I guess that kind of niche programming is rapidly disappearing.” - Steve Dugan, Upland

** Bill Brown Interviewed Manson … I Didn’t

Bill Brown was one of the first newsmen I met when I started at KFWB after the big change to all-News in 1968, and I always looked forward to running into him in the field during those very tumultuous days. He was with KHJ/Boss Radio, a station more notable for its music and its jocks. But, Bill was determined that his station excelled at its news product.

Bill Brown was a thorough pro, he had great news sense and was a fierce competitor. But, he had a great sense of humor and went out of his way to help a new kid on the street, yours truly, who was just getting to know his way around LA. Radio News became a tight-knit fraternity back then. Our paths crossed frequently on a great variety of stories. I never interviewed Charles Manson, but Bill did, and that was quite a coup. I considered Bill a good friend and colleague, and even though our paths have not crossed in many years, I truly mourn his passing.” - Mike Botula


(December 1, 2017) Ed. Note: I was shocked as Kevin & Bean when Ralph Garman was let go yesterday after 18 years with the KROQ morning show.
When Ralph hit my radar in the early 2000s, I became an enormous fan. We had a chance to sit down for lunch in Farmer's Market a dozen years ago.
I thought it might be appropriate to re-post the two columns on Ralph and let you take a peak into a very creative, talented, and nice guy.


Ralph Climbs the Kevin and Bean Stalk 

(January 11, 2005) Every summer when I post the Top 10 Best LARP of the Year, I facetiously announce that all the rest of the LARP tied for 11th. No sense hurting anyone’s feelings. But this past year there really was an 11th. Every Spring, 50 active LARP are asked to vote for the Best on-air and off-air radio people. It truly is peers voting for peers. They probably know and appreciate talent better than anyone. This past year Ralph Garman was runner-up, or as Billboard might have called it once, he was bubbling under the Top 10.

For almost seven years, Ralph has been an integral part of the highly successful Kevin & Bean morning show at KROQ. But a career in radio was never on his radar screen while growing up in a Philadelphia suburb. His father worked the central part of the East Coast for the distribution arm of Paramount Pictures, which meant that he booked the Paramount films into the best theatres to maximize return. On vacations, the family would stop in Hollywood and while his father was talking business with his Paramount sales bosses, young Ralph was on a golf cart getting a tour of the studio, stopping at sound stages like Happy Days to meet the cast. “I was star struck,” remembered Ralph during lunch at Du-Pars at Farmer’s Market, close to his newly-purchased home at La Brea and Melrose. 

“From the time I was a kid I was putting on shows in the basement. When our family gathered at Thanksgiving and other holidays, I put on a show,” said Ralph. As soon as he had a chance to do organized shows, he became active in school productions, musicals and community theatre. He graduated from LaSalle University in Philadelphia in 1986 with a communication arts degree, which was basically film, radio, and tv. “I wanted an overview of the industry, but it was always acting that I wanted to do.” 

Ralph constantly had his eye on Hollywood but was determined to get a Screen Actors Guild card before moving West to pursue his dream. He was taking classes at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia with an older actor whose wife was a casting agent. She had just received her biggest assignment, to cast a local production for an ABC Afterschool Special, which was being filmed locally. The production started without a key cast member, the captain of the football team. One evening the casting director was lamenting to her husband (the older actor in Ralph’s acting class) that she was up against a massive deadline to find this missing actor and her husband suggested Ralph. Ralph went in and tested for the director during a lunch break and was hired. He started a 2-week production, which resulted in SAG membership.  

Well, it was time to strike while the iron was hot. He loaded up his car, tucked away his newly-acquired SAG card, and headed West. He knew no one in L.A. He was blindly following a dream. Ralph arrived on Valentines Day 1987 and his love affair with Hollywood was about to begin. 

His first night was at the Dunes Motel on Sunset Blvd. The next morning he bought a map and figured since many of the studios were in the San Fernando Valley he would go to Glendale and then work himself in to be as close as he could for auditions. The first apartment he looked at, a little studio, seemed to fill the bill and the landlord took an out of state check for the deposit and first month’s rent and he now had roots. 

Now what? He needed a job first and got one as a waiter at Churchill’s in Glendale, not far from where he lived. (The restaurant is no longer there.) He had about two months before the ABC Afternoon Special was set to air. Ralph sent 50 headshot/resumes to agents. “I knew it would be more impressive if there was going to be something on the air.” Ten agents agreed to meet with him and Dick Lovell took him on. “I don’t even know if he is still in the business,” said Ralph. 

“Dick sent me out to read for a new sitcom, You Can’t Take It With You, which was based on the old Moss Hart play. This was Harry Morgan’s third tv project since the end of MASH. In the audition waiting room I recognized all the faces and was intimidated. But I went in and got the role of the boyfriend of Harry’s granddaughter. My first audition in Hollywood and I got the gig. I thought this is going to be a piece of cake. If this is the way this town works, I’ll have my own series in six months. Needless to say it was few and far between after that,” recalled Ralph. 

Ralph took acting classes. He started to make his way with more auditions, mostly waiting tables and bartending. “It all started to form when I decided to stop taking classes and join a theatre company. There was an open call for a sketch and comedy group, located on Lankershim. The Acme Theatre Group was a small troupe hoping to become a Groundlings-type group. They wanted to create Saturday Night Live-type actors. They were looking to add actors,” he said. 

Ralph was trained mostly in drama and musicals and he didn’t know about his comedic talents. “Comedy never really dawned on me, certainly not professionally, but I knew joining the theatre group was better than classes. I wanted to be more interactive with the audience.” 

It turned out to be great training for Ralph. “You got to write your sketches and material. You were competing with others to get your sketches in the weekend show. You were honing your material and working with other actors/waiters. It was great discipline.” 

The Acme Theatre Group was where he met Adam Carolla. Adam was in the A group that performed Friday and Saturday nights. Ralph, as a newcomer, was in the B group that performed on Sundays. But they became fast friends. “At the time Adam was hanging drywall and was a boxing instructor,” recalled Ralph. 

During this time with Acme, Ralph started bartending in LaCrescenta and eventually worked at The Barkley (owned by LARP legend Roger Barkley) in LaCanada. “Roger was a great guy and so nice to me. They treated bartenders and waiters like family. I lost contact with him before he passed away. Now, with my job at KROQ, I wish I’d had the chance to pick his brain about radio. Whotta’ genius!” 

While Ralph was bartending at the LaCrescenta restaurant, the owner needed to rent his plush house with a swimming pool for a specified amount of time and needed to rent it to someone he knew. Ralph moved in and rented the other rooms to Adam and Courtland Cox, who was also at Acme and went on to be Kevin & Bean’s producer.  

During this time everyone was struggling to make ends meet. “Adam was a big fan of Kevin & Bean, but I never got to hear them because I got home late from bartending and didn’t get up until noon. He thought that Jimmy Kimmel, ‘the sports guy,’ was very funny. Jimmy was participating in a promotional boxing match with Michael the Maintenance Man [another morning show character] in a charity event billed as ‘The Bleeda from Reseda.’ Being a boxing instructor, Adam volunteered to help train Kimmel. Turns out they hit it off when Jimmy realized how funny Adam was.” 

Adam started to participate as Mr. Birchum, a new character on the Kevin & Bean show. “Adam would get up at six in the morning and call in from our LaCanada home. He had all these power tools on the living room floor and he would turn them on during the bit for sound effects while he’s talking with Kevin & Bean. Meanwhile, I’m trying to sleep because I was rolling in at three in the morning. I woke up every morning to the sound of band saws that he was using as part of his bit being Mr. Birchum,” said Ralph. 

Even with all the living room ruckus going on each morning with Adam on the Kevin & Bean morning show, Ralph was still focused on acting. There was no interest in radio even though he went on a couple of KROQ promotional events like the famous singles parties and Acoustic Christmas concerts.  

At the Acme, Ralph had moved his interest into doing impressions, which were never part of his professional life until he got into sketch comedy. To be on Saturday Night Live it seemed to be a prerequisite. “To carve out a niche at Acme, I became the impressions guy because I knew I had a knack for it,” related Ralph.  

Jimmy Kimmel came to the Acme to see Ralph, who was doing a sketch as Adam West of Batman fame. Ralph borrowed a page from the Rodney King trial. The set-up for the sketch was a Gotham City courtroom where Batman and Robin were on trial for beating up The Joker. The beating had been caught on tape. The jury was watching a re-run of the beating over and over and over and over again complete with sound effects from the original Batman tv show complete with POW! BANG! and ZAP! Adam and Jimmy loved the sketch. 

About this time Jimmy and Adam came up with the idea for The Man Show. The show was originally picked up by ABC and they told KROQ that they could no longer participate on a regular basis on the morning show. “Kevin & Bean had come to lean on Jimmy,” remembered Ralph. “They asked Jimmy if they knew anyone he could recommend to fill in until they found a permanent replacement. He recommended me. When Jimmy came to me and asked how I would like to work in radio. I told him to forget it that I wasn’t a radio guy. I remember telling him, ‘I’m not a dj and I don’t know anything about it and I have no interest.’ Radio to me was spinning music, intros and outros, time and temp. I didn’t need to be a dj. I didn’t realize the possibilities. I was pretty narrow-minded in terms of what I thought I would be doing. Stupidly I said no.”

And Ralph said no a second time. Tomorrow, we continue this amazing journey on how Ralph got to the popular KROQ morning show. Once Ralph said yes everything went into jeopardy because the ABC deal for The Man Show fell through and Jimmy returned to KROQ. Ralph discusses those early days when he was paid $100 a day for his bits, and the concerns that pd Kevin Weatherly had about him. In tomorrow's edition, Weatherly candidly gives his observations on the early days with Ralph and his chances of making it. Ralph talks about hosting Spike TV's Joe Schmo Show and his recent role in the new Al Pacino film.  

Ralph Garman’s Odyssey, Part 2. Ralph Garman has been an active part of the KROQ Kevin & Bean morning show for almost seven years. Yesterday, we detailed his acting dream while growing up in Pennsylvania. After receiving his SAG card for his work in the Philadelphia-produced ABC Afterschool Special, Kevin headed to Hollywood. He met Adam Carolla in the Acme Theatre Group. While hanging drywall and being a boxing instructor, Adam ended up being a trainer for a boxing promotion on the Kevin & Bean Show. During the promotion Adam met "sports guy" Jimmy Kimmel and they became fast friends. Together they developed The Man Show for ABC and gave notice to leave KROQ. KROQ pd Kevin Weatherly asked if there was an interim comedian who could come in while they searched for a permanent replacement. Jimmy recommended Ralph. Ralph said no.

Jimmy pushed Ralph to reconsider. He said it was a good opportunity. Adam got into it with Ralph and asked how much he was making as a bartender. “’It’s kicking your ass and you’re tired all the time,’ Adam told his roommate. ‘Do a couple of bits a day and make some extra money. It’ll be a good straight job for extra money and you’ll do it for a couple of months.’ He also said that I’d be closer to the entertainment business than I was.” 

Adam had already been promoted to Loveline, the nightly sexually oriented syndicated show with Dr. Drew Pinsky. “So a guy I knew who went from hanging drywall to making a pretty good piece of change and thought maybe there’s some money to make, if nothing else. They talked me into it,” Ralph said. 

As soon as Ralph accepted the Kevin & Bean radio assignment, the ABC deal for The Man Show fell apart. It had to be re-pitched. “Their start-up got pushed back six months before Comedy Central signed up, so I had Jimmy hanging around for six months before he left and I was going to be on my own. I got a chance to work next to Jimmy, which was invaluable in terms of learning how the operation worked and how to pitch an idea to Kevin & Bean and work with these guys – figure out their political and emotional temperature with the show. Also the nuts and bolts of the operation. By the time Jimmy left, I felt much more comfortable than I would have without the transition with Jimmy. 

Ralph felt that Kevin & Bean were not sold on him by any stretch of the imagination. “They only took me on the faith of Jimmy and Adam. I had never done anything in live radio before – ever.” Ralph did do some produced comedy bits for the Cutler Comedy Network (later Premiere Radio Networks). Kevin & Bean were nervous. “And the program director Kevin Weatherly was certainly very nervous because he comes from a long line of hiring people that he knows from Phoenix and other stations. You really had to have some chops to work for Kevin. Since I had no radio experience, I made him very nervous.” 

Ralph thought his start was rocky at best. “Weatherly was concerned about introducing another voice without anyone knowing who he was and how he as going to fit in.” At first, Ralph was called the “new guy” but everyone felt that was too vague for the audience to relate to and so the “entertainment guy” was born. Originally he was going to be the movie reviewer who never went to the movies. His reports would be based on trailers and press material. 

“Regarding Ralph, I don't think there was reluctance regarding his talent,” wrote KROQ pd Weatherly. “We just wanted to integrate him into the show in a natural way, without forcing him. Jimmy had just left the Kevin & Bean show, so Ralph had big shoes to fill. Also, Ralph didn't have any real radio experience, which, in hindsight, turned out to be a positive. Regardless of someone's talent, when you introduce a new player to an established morning show, you are never quite sure how the chemistry will be and how their role will evolve on-air. Ralph is an unbelievable and very funny talent. He is a HUGE contributor to the daily content of the Kevin & Bean show and a big part of their success,” enthused Weatherly. 

When did the evolution from a start in 1998 really kick in? When did Ralph know when he was going to be part of this historic morning team? “I think they knew it before I did. I was still treating it as temporary. They paid me $100 a day and allowed me to work as many days as I wanted. I worked every day. Other than the daily fee, there was no agreement with KROQ for the first year. Eventually, KROQ came around and offered me a contract,” declared Ralph.  

Ralph remembered an early April Fool’s joke that seemed to please Kevin & Bean. Ralph played Thom York from Radiohead. “Bean was making insensitive comments about a lazy eye and there was a big fight. Bean broke Thom’s jaw in the fake brawl and was due to perform that night. Kevin & Bean announced that they couldn’t perform and they built this elaborate April Fool’s joke. They laughed really hard and they thought it was a strong bit. I started to believe there was potential there.” 

Another bit that helped solidify Ralph’s participation was when the Beverly Hills City Council was going to outlaw lap dancing and require dancers to be six feet from the patrons. There was an open town hall meeting and Ralph went down and read a speech about how Benjamin Franklin was a ladies’ man and the founding fathers died so we could have lap dancing. He brought a tape of the patriotic speech and he turned it into a produced piece that got a huge response.  

Thinking he would be on the morning show for a few months has turned into almost seven years. “It became larger than life,” said an amazed Ralph about the quick passage of time. “Acting fell by the wayside as I did radio more and more. Initially there was so much to learn and I was trying so hard to carve out a niche for myself. I really wanted to become invaluable. Prepping for the show cut into audition time plus it limits what kind of roles you can take, plus I was on shaky ground until cementing my role on the show.” So he put his acting career on hold…at least until a couple of years later. 

“Creating new characters for the show became a full-time job,” related Ralph. “I never lost the love for acting, but here was an opportunity to showcase a certain amount of versatility with comedy and stuff.” Ralph figured that the morning show would showcase his talent with entertainment executives on their way to the studios and figured while they were stuck in traffic they would be exposed to his comedy. “I started to recognize that after Jimmy was successful with The Man Show, it could be a vehicle to get there. I worked hard and came in with original characters: Roland the sci-fiction geek, and LoQueesha, an older black woman who reviews reality tv shows.” 

Ralph said there has been no negative feedback to the LoQueesha character. “I think people respond to the fact that she’s a very strong woman and she puts Kevin & Bean in their place all the time. She’s never the butt of the joke or played as the dummy. She’s strong and sharp-tongued. She just tells it like it is. She still gets letters and email sent to the station, which is the ultimate compliment,” revealed Ralph. “They think she is a real person.” 

How has the Kevin & Bean Show evolved since Ralph joined the cast? “I think I’m just as big a part of the show as Lisa May who’s been there for the entire run,” responded Ralph. “The perspective of the show has shifted from Kevin & Bean to more of a community group. Even if I’m not in character or in a segment, I might be in on an interview. I might participate on-air with Kevin & Bean. Bringing Lisa into the studio opened up the possibility of more shared time for everybody.” 

Kevin & Bean are both married so Ralph brought a free spirit bachelor to the morning show and the core audience of young men. “I was dating and having sex and talking about it on the air. I was the swinger – the man about town drinking and gambling and that seemed to strike a chord with our young male audience. Before I got there they had none of that stuff going on. I think it added to the color of the show. And that’s when Sex U started.” Ralph was disappointed that Infinity decided to drop the show following the fall-out after the Janet Jackson incident and resultant FCC mood about clamping down on “obscenity.” Ralph was real proud of the five-year run for Sex U. “We were able to get important information to our core 18-25 year-olds.” 

Ralph had a long-running relationship with porn star Ginger Lynn, which provided much content on the morning show. This Spring, he’s set to marry an IT executive with Sony Pictures. “She’s in the entertainment business, but not a performer. One in the family is enough.” 

Who is Ralph closer to, Kevin or Bean? After a long pause, Ralph responded: “Bean and I are closer in personality and temperament. Bean is a little eclectic and he’s a little out there. He’s got his own passion. I’m hung-up on tv’s Batman and have a collection of memorabilia and toys. Bean is crazy about the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. We have a similar passion for old tv shows, old movies. Bean’s an encyclopedia of popular music. It is insane what he knows. If we were roommates, he’d probably lock his door and not spend much time coming out.” Ralph said that Kevin is much more the social guy. “He goes to Vegas and he likes to party. He’s a lot of fun. I’m like the bastard child of the two of them.” 

Bean had some warm thoughts about Ralph: “The finest compliment I can give Ralph is that I have been absent from the show since the first of the year and thanks to Ralph’s contributions I would guess that most of our listeners do not even know I am gone. He is able to not only do his job magnificently but mine too. He’s the best.”

Acting doors have opened for Ralph during his years on the morning show. Mark Tinker, executive producer of NYPD Blue, is a big Kevin & Bean fan. He got tired of listening to Ralph complain about his failed acting career. Mark invited him to audition and ended up making him a uniformed cop that has appeared in a couple of episodes each season for the past six years.  

For the past two seasons, Ralph has hosted Joe Schmo on Spike TV. He took his vacation each year in the Spring so he could tape the fake reality show. In the second season of Joe Schmo, Ralph had to disguise himself to escape detection from those who might recognize him from season one. He dyed his hair blonde and put in false teeth to create an overbite and became the smarmy Derek Newcastle, a pompous but randy British reality show host.

His biggest acting break came a few months ago. Ralph spent a month in Vancouver shooting a principle role in the new Al Pacino/Matthew McConaughey film, Two For the Money. Universal Pictures is releasing the film this Fall. 

As far as the future, Ralph doesn’t know. He does know that he wouldn’t make a lateral move to another sidekick role at another station. When sister station Arrow 93 was looking for a new morning show, he jokingly volunteered his services. Then there was talk that Johnny B was being considered. “I told Kevin that I could be Ralphie G and I could just walk down the hall and you wouldn’t have to fly Brandmeier in from Chicago. Didn’t work.” 

Ralph is very appreciative of the role Kevin & Bean have played in his life. “I can’t thank them enough for allowing themselves to get out of their own way to share the spotlight that just makes the show better,” offered Ralph. “There’s no envy, no jealousy. They’re not afraid to give up the spotlight. They’re very generous with their time on the air. They are smart in making the show successful. They don’t let their egos get in the way. There is a trust level. I go to them with an idea. They say 6:10 is open. I tell them to save it for me and they don’t ask. More often than not I’m not going to sink them. If I’m getting them to laugh, chances are someone in their car is laughing. I feel comfortable with the show.” 

Ralph knows how his career has fallen into place with many fortuitous events, but he had advice for others. “Sometimes you get locked up inside yourself and then you close yourself off to other opportunities that come your way. Don’t put blinders on and miss out. Stay open because you never know where those opportunities might take you.”  

And Ralph Garman’s journey has been enhanced by luck, coincidental opportunities and much talent. Watch his star!



Ralph Garman Leaves KROQ's Kevin & Bean Show 

(November 30, 2017) A tweet from the official Kevin & Bean show announced this morning, "As you just heard on-air, we're sad to report that @RalphGarman has announced that today is his last day as part of the Kevin & Bean morning show. We’re grateful for all he has done for us and our program, and wish him all the best." No official word from the new Entercom.  Kevin Ryder tweeted: "It's a day we hoped would never come. This sucks, but we're EXTREMELY grateful for the 18 yrs he gave us...he carried us :)"  Director Kevin Smith tweeted: "After giving them 20 years of laughs loyalty & his life, @kroq just shit-canned my Babble brother @RalphGarman because of budget cuts. But worse? They won’t let Ralph say WHY he’s fired on @kevinandbean today!" 

In other news: Cumulus (locally the owners of KLOS and KABC) has filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 reorganization. Cumulus said it "expects all operations, programming, and sales to continue as normal throughout this restructuring process" … ESPN is eliminating 150 studio and production employees, cuts that do not include on-air talent. In a fairly convoluted press release, it was announced the positions eliminated as ESPN “redirects resources” to what the company considers newer growth areas, including ESPN+, their direct-to-consumer service debuting this spring, and a new digital SportsCenter on Snapchat … A national radio mainstay, Garrison Keillor, host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” has been fired by Minnesota Public Radio due to claims of “improper behavior” … Back by popular demand, Coast to Coast AM’s charity album Holiday Magic Coast Style has been re-released for the holidays. Benefitting various veterans hospitals across the U.S., the CD features traditional holiday songs and poems performed by fan-favorite guests of the nationally syndicated radio program. Coast to Coast AM host George Noory also performs a special rendition of O Come All Ye Faithful … KJLH’s Steve Harvey Morning Show, along with Premiere Networks, gave away more than 8,000 turkeys as part of their Annual Turkey Give.  Affiliates of the top-rated syndicated morning, heard nationwide on 100 stations, have given away nearly 60,000 turkeys since 2009.  

KBIG #1 in Just-Released PPM 

(November 29, 2017) Another ratings period and once again KBIG is #1 in the just released November '17 Nielsen PPM with listeners 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid. As 100.3/The Sound aired the longest goodbye before the format/ownership flip, KSWD came in a solid 12th. KLOS came in 18th. KLAC had a huge jump moving from 1.0 - 1.7. The World Series march and Vin Scully last season helped propel big increase for AM570.

1. KBIG (Hot AC) 6.4 - 5.9
2. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.5 - 4.8
3. KOST (AC) 4.5 - 4.4
    KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.5 - 4.4
5. KTWV (the WAVE) 4.3 - 4.2
6. KFI (Talk) 3.9 - 4.1
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.6 - 3.6
8. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.2 - 3.2
    KLVE Spanish Contemporary) 3.6 - 3.2
    KNX (News) 3.2 - 3.2
11. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 3.0-3.1
12. KSWD (The Sound) 2.2 - 2.8
13. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.9 - 2.7
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.7
15. KKGO (Country) 2.6 - 2.5
      KRRL (Urban) 3.4 - 2.5
      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.2 - 2.5
18. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.6 - 2.4
       KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.3 - 2.4
       KROQ (Alternative) 2.6 - 2.4
21. KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.2 - 2.2
22. KPCC (News/Talk) 1.9 - 1.9
23. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.8
       KXOS (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 1.8
25. KLAC (Sports) 1.0 - 1.7

Sound GSM Finds a New Home

(November 29, 2017) Mary Lea Wagner (l) joins Bonneville as general sales manager for KOIT and KMVQ in San Francisco. Wagner will oversee all sales for the two stations. Most recently, Wagner was gsm for 100.3/The Sound (KSWD). Her experience also includes management of the CBS Radio National Sales office in San Francisco as well as the VP of Sales for Cox owned television stations in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In other news: Matt Lauer, host of the Today Show, was fired last night over "inappropriate sexual behavior" ...  A second NPR news exec is out after claims of sexual harassment ... Will the actions of LARP ever be revealed? ... Former KFI Talker Sam Botta was admitted into the hospital this week. “They're repairing damage to my heart caused by the hit and run driver. Oliver (my service dog) chills here in the room after working so hard to help me out,” Sam wrote on his Facebook page … KFI’s Aron Bender announced that he will be taking a leave from the Tim Conway Show. “My wife (MY WIFE!!) has stage 2 breast cancer, with surgery this week” … Tom Hoffarth reports that Vin Scully hopes to celebrate his 90th birthday today “very, very quietly” even after speaking at the Jackie Robinson statue dedication at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl earlier in the day ... Letty B, middays at KIIS, got a new dog for the holidays ... After several days in the CCU, Allan Lee is home from Long Beach Memorial Hospital. Turns out he has atrial flutter, similar to atrial fibrillation, which many people live with no issues ... Sisanie, co-host of the KIIS morning show announced that she is pregnant.

“Consumers hate advertising and they are running away from advertising in droves,” proclaimed NBC chairman, Bob Greenblatt, during an industry event this week.  “We have to figure out a way to make those interruptions a lot more palatable, a lot more entertaining, a lot more relational, or they’re going to keep going. And going and going and going.”  I read that yesterday and shouted, 'Amen.' Recently, I heard a “Kars for Kids” commercial eight times in a two-hour period on the stream of an LA radio station. Disgraceful.

Bill Brown Found 

  (November 28, 2017) It takes a village to update LARP in the Where Are They Now section of this website. Ray Randolph wrote recently that former KMPC and KHJ newsman Bill Brown died March 25, 2016, at the age of 76, after battling Alzheimer’s Disease.

Born on August 17, 1939, Bill was the youngest newsman at KMPC before being at the launch of “Boss Radio” KHJ. He got started in radio in his hometown of Paris, Illinois while a junior in high school. Bill went to Indiana State and worked for two Terre Haute stations. In 1960, Bill followed his brother who was in aerospace to Southern California, attendeding the Don Martin Broadcasting School. The school had a placement service, and Bill was hired as an apprentice to work the Angeles baseball games. “The biggest thrill of my life is when I flipped the switch for my first newscast at KMPC. My adrenaline pumped for the next three years.”
Bill and his wife purchased a station in Lexington and eventually returned to Paris, Illinois, where he managed a station for years. Bill designed a custom weather service on the Internet. His L.A. career included working for KABC television. Among his most memorable news experiences was covering the Charles Manson trial, where he actually got a personal interview with Manson.

In other news: A few of you were surprised that Steve Dahl was bold-faced (indicating he is a LARP) in my disco story yesterday. Steve’s career success is certainly associated with Chicago radio but he did spend some time in the seventies at KPPC and KKDJ … Stan White was part of our marketing team on Can’t Stop the Music. “I recall the night when we were in San Fran at a warehouse for some filming. You guys set me up with this dancer and I was supposed to kiss her. I did,” remembered Stan. “I came back to the table and you guys were laughing out of control. Why? It was a gay dancer dressed in costume as a young woman.” … In an interview with The Coloradoan, ESPN Radio host Mike Golic said he was angry and disappointed his 18-year show with Mike Greenberg came to an end. “I had no clue. Zero. When I went into see the bosses, I thought it was to talk about the next deal since our contracts were ending.” Yesterday, Golic launched a new show with Trey Wingo on ESPN Radio.  
 


The Night Disco Died ... or Didn't 

(November 27, 2017) I shamelessly admit to languishing in the pulsating beat of disco music in the mid-70s. Forgotten names like Hot Chocolate, Alicia Bridges and Anita Ward may be gone but I could Boogie Oogie Oogie until I just couldn’t oogie boogie no more. It was just the way I liked it.

With virtually no LA radio station offering a steady diet of Gloria Gaynor and Vickie Sue Robinson, let alone an appetizer or two of Donna Summer, I have turned to Studio 54 channel on SiriusXM for my disco fix. And now Native New Yorker by Odyssey is in heavy rotation. There you are, lost in the shadows, searching for someone to set you free from New York City.

You can imagine my surprise when the current issue of The New Yorker devoted a full page to celebrate the height of the disco era. And the best part, I learned that every week in New York, there is a Native New Yorker night at a local club.

While in the marketing department at Columbia Pictures, I had the pleasure of working on Thank God It’s Friday with the famed P.T. Barnum record character Neil Bogart. Casablanca shipped 35 million albums to record stores pre-movie release. I’m told there are still 10-15 million in a warehouse somewhere in the San Fernando Valley. And then the ultimate disco movie, Can’t Stop the Music, produced by Allan Carr (Grease-fame) and starring disco favorites Bruce Jenner, Valerie Perrin and Steve Guttenberg. Oh, yes, it was loosely based on the story of the Village People. But the timing was bad. Steve Dahl turned the center field of Comiskey Park into a disco inferno, just days before the still-born release of the movie. Disco is dead, except when the doors of Studio 54 open on SiriusXM. Until you just can’t oogie boogie no more. (Thanks to The New Yorker for the artwork. You can read about 24-year-old Steve Dahl's disco demolition by clicking Steve's name)


Sunday Nostalgia - 7 Years Ago Today

Call of Duty for Traffic Reporter Thom Tran 

(November 26, 2010)  Thom Tran is building a comedy career, appearing just last weekend at the Hollywood Improv. But it is no laughing matter how Thom and his family arrived in the United States as boat people from Vietnam. It was no laughing matter when a bullet struck Tran in the head only days after arriving in Iraq for his tour of duty as a Communications Sergeant for a unit under the US Army's Special Operations Command. But it is comedy that saves his sanity today.

Thom's name and voice might be familiar to you, hearing him deliver traffic reports on KNX, K-EARTH and KCAL in the Inland Empire for the past couple of years.

This summer, his family celebrated 30 years in the United States. Thom's father got out of a POW camp in 1978 and two years later brought his family to Buffalo, under the sponsorship of a Catholic church. "After my father escaped from a POW camp, a fine group of people from a Catholic parish in Buffalo sponsored our family. They wanted to bring over a family with a lot of kids and that's what we had - it was my dad, my mom [who was pregnant with my younger sister], my older brother, my older sister, and my cousin. They put us up in housing and tried to get jobs for my family. My father drives a truck for a construction company and my mother, who became a school teacher and taught English as a second language, just passed away in March," said Thom by phone yesterday.

Thom was 16 months old when he arrived in the States. For a while they stayed with some of the parish families but most of his time was living in the Buffalo projects in a part of town called Black Rock, until his parents went to school and got degrees and better jobs, which then took them to the Buffalo suburbs.

Thom spent a total of eight years in the US Army, headquartered primarily out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina and as a reservist. "It was March 2003. I got into Iraq on a Sunday; there was a Special Forces team that just rescued Jessica Lynch, the Private who was taken captive in the early days of the war. That team was leaving the area and turning over operations to my unit. They took us out on a reconnaissance mission and we ended up in a fire fight my fourth day. I ended up with a 7.62 mm round [typical caliber for an AK -47] in the back of my skull. They put 4 staples in my head and sent me back to work the next day."

Knowing the generosity of the Catholic Church in bringing his family over from Vietnam and participating in their housing, did that make Thom religious? "I wish I could say that it did. My time in the Army has skewed how I look at religion. It was too many years of people trying to kill me for the sake of their God and their religion. It made me bitter toward religion in general."

In 2004, Tran returned to his home in Buffalo to finish his education, work at Metro Networks and begin a career in comedy, primarily to ease the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Tran got involved with his high school radio station at 16 and worked as an Alternative-Rock DJ later on. When he went into the military, his secret desire was to become the next Adrian Cronauer (the character Robin Williams played in Good Morning, Vietnam).

Two years ago the PTSD was creating some dark days for him. "When I came to L.A. two years ago it was to clear my head," Tran said. "I started to do stand-up comedy to clear my head and focus on something else. Comedy became my career and radio became the backseat and my part-time job, thanks to Terry Edwards at Metro Networks/LA. Turns out I love everyone I work with."

In 2008, Tran returned to Iraq to do stand-up comedy for a few weeks. “Going back was one of the most gratifying things I’ve ever done. I remember being a soldier and seeing those USO shows, like the time we saw Bruce Willis and Blues Band in Kuwait when I was first there, but I really didn’t appreciate it so much until I actually was the guy doing the performing. Soldiers who knew I had been there as one of their own were so grateful, but I was even more grateful that I got a chance to go over there and be with those guys. I missed the Army. I always thought if I couldn’t lead them charging up a hill, I wanted to do what I could for them. If that meant telling jokes, I knew it was important to go back and tell jokes.” 

When I asked Tran if the PTSD has eased or gone away he laughed. “I talk to vets who jumped into Normandy and Omaha Beach and they say they still deal with it every day. I’m still dealing with it. I had a chaplain say that I shouldn’t look beyond the next five minutes some days. For the first year after coming home I didn’t laugh. Sometimes I can’t even go day to day. I’m lucky enough to have a support system here in radio and my job as a military consultant to talk with about any issues, but I have good days and then some really bad days.”

This is not a great season for Tran. “I notice that I’ve really been on edge lately and very irritable. Two weeks before I came home from Iraq, my roommate was killed on December 19. In less than a month it will be seven years. I go home every year for Christmas and spend December 19 with him at his grave. This time of year is not a good time of year for me. I go home for my family, but I really go home for him. Turns out he was from Buffalo but we didn’t know each other before he joined my unit. He was a good soldier. I almost made it my entire deployment without losing anyone and the one I lose turns out to be my roommate. So this time of year is bad.” 

Tran has been a military consultant on a number of tv projects and video games (Activision); in fact, he’s on the poster for the just-released Call of Duty: Black Ops. “Now I’m part of the biggest entertainment launch in history. I was part of the trailer for the video game with Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel. I’ve seen pictures of me as a kid with nothing on my feet except flip-flops standing in front of the projects in Buffalo and now my poster hangs in Times Square. Where else in the world could we do this except in America? 


Email Saturday, 11.25.17

** The Sound Was Something Wonderful

“I was reading the 'love letters' that program director Dave Beasing sent to the staff at The Sound as this amazing station wound to a close. They were wonderful. The station was incredible. It was a station that I so longed to be a part of, but sadly that never happened. Incredible talents, incredible music. Dave was my pd when 100.3 was KXEZ back in the mid- 90s. He was the one who brought me to the station and was one of the best pds of my career. What's his secret? He hires talent and lets them be talent. He listens and doesn't dictate. He creates alongside his staff. He managed to make the last month or so of The Sound something wonderful and that was not an easy task. 

I know how hard it must have been. I worked for several months on the air at a station where, for most of the staff, we knew the death knell was about to sound. It was horrible. No one tried to mitigate the dark cloud that hung over those studios. It just got bigger and darker every day.

And we got sadder. While nothing can make the end of a wonderful station before its time any less of a heartbreak, Dave managed to do it in a way that makes me think the staff must have been smiling through their tears on that last day... just as many of the listeners were. I know. I listened with one of my broadcasting classes to those closing moments...and there were plenty of smiles and tears to go around.

Dave Beasing, one class act!” – Tammy Trujillowww.TheRealTammyTrujillo.com

** Return of The Sound

“I was thinking about Alan Oda’s half-hearted hope that The Sound would find a new home. And if the history of the Los Angeles market holds true, he’s wise not to hope very hard.

February 14, 1987: KMET signs off. Many opined that ‘94.7 The Wave’ will never last. Thirty years later, no one has tried to resurrect the old Progressive Rock format while KTWV, having reinvented itself a few times, is still with us.

May 12, 1989: KEDG (the former KMPC/fm) gives way to a soft rock format. J.J. Jackson made the rounds of the other fm’s in the market trying to find a new home for ‘The Edge,’ but his efforts were in vain.

December 28, 1992: KQLZ's run of ‘Pirate Radio,’ a so-called ‘Rock 40’ format, ends just short of its fourth anniversary. The last two years had been a more traditional AOR, before it gives way to a more Alternative/New Wave format which itself only lasts about three months before an Easy Listening format replaces it.

February 15, 1995: KNAC, after nine years of Hard Rock that had followed several years of a New Wave/Alternative format similar to KROQ, is replaced with a Spanish language music format. The metal fans swear someone will pick up the gauntlet, but the format only lives on as an Internet stream, as ‘Que Buena’ is still at 105.5 [and added a simulcast on 94.3 since].

February 4, 1997: KSCA ends about three years of an "adult album alternative" format.  Many say they should have just brought KEDG back on 101.9, nonetheless KSCA lasts less than three years, also going Spanish language on February 4, 1997. Again, the street buzz is that it would reappear. It's been more than a dozen years, and the only thing close now is KCSN at Cal State Northridge.

And all of the above precede the AOR years of KWST [‘K-West’] on 105.9 from 1975 to 1981 and the original KNX/fm on 93.1 from 1971 to 1983. 

Of all the above, only KSCA (as KACD/KBCD on 103.1) and KNX/fm made comebacks, but neither lasted even three years.

The odds are against The Sound reappearing, unless Cumulus abandons whatever that is they’re doing at KLOS in favor of recreating it on 95.5, but I don’t give them credit for having the intelligence to understand that The Sound’s audience was more like a family than a bunch of radio listeners. But then, so was the Mighty Met, the Edge, and Channel 103.1, and no one reunited those families either.

I’m sure a lot of people are hoping Educational Media Foundation will fail with their new acquisition, seeing it as nothing better than losing stations to hip hop and Spanish language music. In the long run, everyone’s anger and disappointment will subside, until the next beloved format leaves the airwave.

The real problem is that we are too big a market for anything but huge audience grabber formats to survive here. There’s no room for families any more ... and no, Mike Novak, I don't mean ‘families’ the way you do.” – K.M. Richards

** KABC Headlines

“We learn something new every day. For example, with the Al Franken/Leeann Tweeden story, I was stunned to learn KABC is still on the air.” – Ken Davis

** Archived Radio News

“A total shot in the dark here. I’m working on a documentary about a stolen Ferrari Dino that turned up buried in some guy’s backyard in South LA back in 1978. It made a lot of local press at the time.

Is there a chance in hell that any of the local news radio broadcasts from February 8th, 1978 or thereabouts were archived? Did any stations or anyone you know of keep archival recordings of their broadcasts back then? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

We’re already working with UCLA and so on for the video/film archival side. Local newsradio however is a different story.” – Matt Lewis, matt@project26.org

** Mentoring

“You asked recently about mentoring. I had the good fortune along my way to have GIANTS on the team. As I am and was a plodder I only now in my ninth decade recognize the enormity of simple things done for me at important times. I call it to attention now for the current plodders who in their modest ways not aware of giants around who help. OTHERS who have more confidence in your effort than you do. Plodders tend to know less than mentors.

My giants were Gordon McLendon and Bill Weaver. Gordon because he had his station-owner’s eye on Los Angeles. Weaver, who held a Houston contract on me and claimed he ‘lost it.’ Mentors known or unknown tie their star to your path. Helping.” – Elliot Field 


(November 24, 2017) In 2000, we asked LARP to recount the circumstancces with being hired or fired.

Joe McDonnell, KFWB sports broadcaster, answers today’s question:

My job at KFWB came about in a rather interesting manner. It was about a year ago, and I had been fired from KXTA and was getting ready to start working weekends at KABC. I heard that Dave Cooke - who was pd at KABC during my first go-round there - had been hired at KFWB. Dave had been great to me when I worked for him, so I emailed congratulations. He emailed back a thank you, and that pretty much was that. Or so I thought.

A few weeks later, Dave emailed me again, asking me if I had ever thought about working in the all-news format. Well, I really hadn't - at least in that decade - and I emailed that back to him. Well, Dave didn't give up and asked me to come in and meet with him. That was fine, because it had been a few years since I'd seen him. Well, we met and he basically told me that he thought I'd be great in the KFWB format, and that I should at least give it a one-day trial to see if I'd like it. I really wasn't all that interested, because in my mind I couldn't see me doing anything other than a talk show. But, I decided to take Dave up on his offer, and I actually enjoyed it much more that I ever thought I would. But I still wasn't ready to give up talk radio for all-news radio.

So, after Dave made me an offer to do afternoons at KFWB, I kept putting off making a decision. Finally, he caught me on my cell phone one afternoon and said, "Look, Joe. We want you over here. You'd be perfect for this format and the plans I have for this station." I told him I'd call him back that afternoon with an answer. I then called one of my most trusted advisors - the esteemed Doug Krikorian - and told him about my dilemma. It took him about 15 seconds to tell me what an idiot I'd be if I turned down the opportunity to work for a great station like KFWB. Then I called my MOST trusted advisor - my dad, and he said the same thing. So I thought about it some more, came to the same conclusion, and it was off to KFWB - one of the best decisions I almost never made.

**

Chuck Southcott, pd of Music of Your Life, answers today’s question:

I have two stories for you. The first concerns my being hired, while the second concerns someone I hired. I was hired (at age 22) for my first full-time disc-jockey job in Los Angeles by Rick Buckley (now of Buckley Broadcasting - owners of WOR, NY) then the Program Director of KGIL. I was hired over the fellow who had been doing summer relief for the station. The guy I beat out for the job was a very nice man who even said he really thought he'd be better off as a sportscaster, since he had a doctorate in Phys Ed. While I gleefully charted my chosen course for stardom at KGIL, he took a crack at sportscasting. Yes, Dick Enberg did all right!

In 1990, while I was program director of KMPC, I heard Gene Autry's old sidekick Pat Buttram (also of Green Acres fame) guesting with Mark & Brian. I had always been a fan of Pat's, especially delivering great comedy on the dais at various roasts, but I noticed Pat not only held his own with the young duo, he was hipper and funnier than both of them, on their own show! That prompted me to ask Bill Ward, my gm if he'd consider taking on Buttram for a daily piece on KMPC. Pat wound up guesting daily between 8 and 9 a.m. with Robert W. Morgan, and that hour rivaled the Jim Healy hour as the highest rated hourly figure during the three years he appeared on the station.

**

KFI’s production guru, Don Elliot, responds to today’s question:

In my wild and crazy days with Shadoe Stevens at KROQ, I yearned to work, for some reason, at KEZY! Mark (whisper-"Anaheim") Denis was pd, and I was getting little or no reaction, so I went into the studio with a pack of something from Golden, Colorado, and cut a blue tape to send him. Even left in the out - takes.

It got a reaction but I was cautioned not to do "that stuff" on the air. I was hired for overnights (where, of course, I never did do any of "that stuff"). Had the time of my life. The staff we had at the time was Paul Freeman, Mark Denis, Larry "Turn the headphones down!" Huffman, (to whom I'm indebted to this day for still having all my hearing intact), and Mike "turn the headphones up" Wagner. Hey Mike, need anybody in Paris? I've got a tape the French would LOVE! Ernie (Anderson) would think it was tame! Respect-fully, (if I have any left). Don Elliot

**

Art Kevin was part of the news landscape in the Southland from 1959 to 1978, working at KEZY, KFAC, KFI, KHJ and KMPC. Art shares a fascinating story to answer today’s question.

I immediately fixed on the late Andy West whom I hired to work in the Boss radio newsroom at KHJ. At one period, Andy was one of my key field reporters. He was wonderful on routine assignments. He'd send back covering audio clips ASAP and always managed a "live" drop-in way ahead of the rest of the competition. Andy was also quick to rush off to breaking news events. Sometimes he'd even arrive well before LAPD at a developing crime scene only to be pinned down by gunfire. During Watts-1 I shall never forget Andy and fellow reporter Roger Aldi coming back to the station with a blown out windshield in their mobile unit. For the next hour or so they (laughingly yet) picked out glass from their not yet receding hairlines! But Andy had a vicious enemy out there that began to gnaw at his manifold abilities. It was alcohol. I learned much later that Andy drank heavily to relieve persistent pain, the result of a massive head injury.

One night Andy crashed a KHJ mobile unit into the concrete wall that separated the KHJ parking lot from the Desilu studios. Management gave me no choice but to relieve him of his duties. The year was 1968. As the California primary got into high gear I got a call from Mutual radio news in Washington. They needed a stringer to cover RFK through primary night. I pushed Andy's name real hard. Then I called him and made him promise he'd lay off any alcohol. I knew he needed the work and the income and that his promise was his word. And so it came that Andrew (Andy) West was the only reporter in that anteroom at the Ambassador Hotel, tape recorder running, when Sirhan Sirhan opened fire. Andy helped wrestle Sirhan to the ground and all the while provided a running commentary on what mayhem was erupting all around him. It was one of the greatest pieces of audiotape I'd ever heard of a breaking news event. Later, pd Ron Jacobs would tell me, "Art, I think that was the one story that Andy West was always fated to cover...to be there for that moment in history." 


Thanksgiving Hear Ache
(November 22, 2017) Mark Levin has a few, new surprises for his new FOX News Channel program, Life, Liberty & Levin, set to debut in February and air Sunday nights … KLAA’s Roger Lodge has been upped me for another year to continue The SportsLodge in afternoon drive. He will also continue hosting the Angel pregame show and doing play-by-play fill-in from time to time … Most of the Della Reese obits praise her work in Touched By an Angel, but I remember her first big hit fondly, And That Reminds Me. In the midst of the new rock ‘n roll on Top 40 radio, the song was kind of haunting … Cumulus Media stock (owners of KABC and KLOS in LA) has been delisted by NASDAQ. Stock traded below the required $1 per share mark for the past month … KFI has set a date for the annual #PastaThon to benefit Caterina's Club people. It takes place on Friday, December 8. Bill Handel begins the broadcast day live from Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove.


Hear Ache 

(November 21, 2017) Last week, the LA Times devoted almost a half-page to the Helen Borgers obituary. It was a VERY nice send-off who they described as having “a booming voice and an easy laugh.” The story provided details about her radio career began. “Almost 40 years ago, Helen was doing volunteer work at K-JAZZ, (then known as KLON), while studying literature at Cal State Long Beach. Her brother Ken Borgers was program director at the station and one day he asked her one day to fill in for a deejay who was ill. The deejay never returned, and she never left.” One day in June, without warning, Helen was let go from K-JAZZ for budgetary reasons. She described it as “a bolt out of the blue,” when Helen was let go for budgetary reasons.

In other news: “We are done apologizing about radio,” said David Field, ceo of the new Entercom. “(It’s) America’s #1 reach medium, which is massively undervalued.” Within 24 hours of taking over the CBS stations, Field took great pride in making three major format changes within the Top 5 markets, though nothing in L.A. Wonder how many people from those three stations lost their jobs as a result of the changes? … Didja hear that most of the L.A. Angels owned KLAA let go of most of their sales staff? … Larry Wachs left the latest incarnation of “The Regular Guys” at WFOM-Atlanta … Versatile BJ Dahl has moved from CBS Radio t0 television. "A 16-year old me began my career as a promo kid, eventually producing a morning show, directing promotions, having an on-air shift and running a digital department," Dahl wrote. "It’s been a great and surreal adventure and it comes to a close. Now, I finally get to focus all my time and energy in ONE brand. One company - CBS Television. One office instead of three. I’ve graduated. Here’s to the past and the future to come!" ... Warm prayers and thoughts to Bob McCormick who goes in for spinal fusion surgery today. He’s suffered a lifetime with excruciating pain. Can’t wait to hear the good news that he will soon be pain free.

Pope is Hot in the Mix 
(November 20, 2017) Former KGGI morning host Jeff Pope has exited Mix 106-San Jose after three plus years. But it didn’t take long for the talented morning man to find a new home. “I got one hellava sweet deal to come back to the IE and do mornings for All-Pro Broadcasting’s Hot 103.9 in San Bernardino and simulcasted on 101.3 The Mix in Temecula,” emailed Jeff.

“Ironically, I started doing their news and traffic in the 90s – and twice they ask me to leave Metro Networks and be their morning guy, but their offers weren’t any good. They tried again right before I left for San Jose. This time, they called with an amazing offer the day after I was let go. So my unemployment lasted 24 hours. And they are owned by NFL Hall-of-Farmer Willie Davis, not a damn corporation that’s millions in debt looking to cut salary. That’s the main reason I said YES.”

Jeff starts next Monday. They are already in escrow on a house in Riverside! “This is after we were outbid on three different homes up in the Bay Area - including one month before I got let go.”


Sunday Nostalgia - 13 Years Ago Today 

Howard Stern: the King of All Marketing 

(November 19, 2004) Say what you will about Howard Stern, there is no denying he is arguably the most prolific one-man marketing machine. He is able to create headlines and ratings without spending a penny. Yesterday, surrounded by strippers and cheered by thousands of fans, Howard launched his campaign to promote his switch to Satellite radio at a rally where he handed out free boom boxes and satellite subscriptions.  

"Down with the FCC!" Howard told his fans. "They have ruined commercial broadcasting." The fans agreed, screaming "Howard rules!" His supporters spilled into the streets surrounding Manhattan's Union Square, stopping noontime traffic throughout the neighborhood.  

Across the square on Fifth Avenue, the culture war took on another slant, with fans of the rival satellite radio XM staging their own rally, hoisting placards touting the shock jock antics of its "Opie & Anthony" radio team. Stern has hinted on his morning program that his January 2006 start date at Sirius could be pushed up. His current employer, Infinity Broadcasting, has ordered Stern to cut back on his on-air references to his move. But Stern said, "Once you start listening to [Satellite], it's like crack," Stern said to cheers. "You will be addicted."  

Stern personally handed out a free Sirius boom box to the first 500 fans, while he had another 20,000 redeemable certificates for free radios. The equipment allows listeners, for $12.95 a month, to receive 120 channels of commercial-free music, sports, news, talk, entertainment and traffic. The certificates must be redeemed online by Wednesday, and the redeemers must sign on for a year of Sirius - which would leave them just short of Stern's January 2006 debut.

Later in the day he appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman to promote Sirius as a Christmas gift and to encourage everyone to join him in his new venture with Sirius. No jokes. No gimmicks. It was all about the FCC and the role the organization played in forcing him to leave his "empire" and join the new technology. Letterman gave up three segments to allow Howard to pitch, pitch, and pitch Sirius. This was Howard's 14th appearance on the Letterman tv show.

Sirius lost $169.4 million in the third quarter, but said it was on track to sign up 1 million subscribers by year's end. Competitor XM Satellite Radio has 2.1 million subscribers.

But the signing of Stern and his apparent willingness to tub-thump the service before his contract begins could boost subscribers faster than originally projected.

Karmazin Gets Sirius. Sirius Satellite Radio announced yesterday (bulletin sent to subscribers) that Mel Karmazin would be joining the company as ceo. This reunites Karmazin with Howard Stern. Howard has been vocal over the years about the enormous support he received from Mel during their time together at Infinity. 

Satellite Reaction. “So what do you do about Howard Stern if you're Viacom?” asked KABC’s Dan Avey. “He is now doing your morning show in some 80+ markets, spending much of his air time promoting the fact he is moving to Sirius Satellite on January 1, 2006. Sirius is delighted, of course. It has committed to paying Stern 100 million dollars per year. It now has 700,000 subscribers, and says it must recruit one million more subscribers to pay for Stern. Howard's Viacom show is invaluable free promotion.” 

What to do? “If I'm Viacom, I take Stern off the air - pay him - like KIIS is paying Rick Dees - but take him off the air. This gives Sirius two equally bad courses of action to choose from. One, assuming Stern can buy himself out of his Viacom contract, Sirius puts him on the air immediately. The problem, of course, is that may bankrupt the company.  Sirius does not now have: a) 100 million dollars a year to pay Stern, or b) the one million new subscribers needed to raise that money.” 

Avey continued: “Sirius's second choice would be to wait for Howard until 2006. That may be worse. Thirteen months from now, his listeners may have gone elsewhere. To replace Stern's absence from Viacom stations, Sirius might have to buy air time and print space to keep Howard's memory [and demand for him] alive. By the way, how many listeners in the Los Angeles market are going to pony up the hundreds of dollars for the hardware, plus the monthly fee and whatever extra fee that will be charged for Howard? [Opie and Anthony cost an extra $1.99 per month] 10,000?  25,000? That's pretty far short of one million.”   


Ryan Seacrest Denies Behaving “Inappropriately” To E! Stylist 

(November 18, 2017) As more and more allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct emerge in Hollywood, KIIS' Ryan Seacrest took the preemptive move of denying acting badly before an accusation went public, according to a story at Deadline.com. “Recently, someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News, came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her,” said the past and future American Idol host Friday. “If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry.”

E! is investigating the allegations internally, the outlet says. The anonymous accuser wanted a “substantial amount of money to keep quiet,” a source close to the situation tells Deadline. Weary of the implications of guilt baked into acquiescing to such a financial demand, Seacrest refused and decided to go public, we hear.

“I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result,” the Live With Kelly and Ryan co-host went on to say in his statement. “I treat all my colleagues with kindness, dignity, and understanding, as this is a principle that’s core to who I am. Throughout my 25 years in the entertainment industry, the majority of my co-workers have been women, and I’ve endeavored to foster a positive work environment of mutual respect and courtesy, as that’s how I believe it should be. I’m distraught that anyone or any situation would call that into question. I’m proud of my workplace reputation, and believe my track record will speak for itself. I’m an advocate for women. I will continue to support their voices,” he concluded.

Seacrest hosted E! News from 2006-2012. Seacrest’s response lands just less than five months before the ABC version of Idol is set to debut March 11.

Art Laboe Marshall for East LA Christmas Parade

(November 18, 2017) Broadcast and music pioneer, Art Laboe, is is the Legendary Marshall for the 2017 East Los Angeles Christmas Parade, which takes place tomorrow on Whittier Boulevard in Whittier. “East LA has always held a special place in my heart, ever since doing dance and show events in El Monte from the 1950s through 1970s.  And it's an honor to be taking a cruise down Whittier Boulevard as the 2017 East Los Angeles Christmas Parade Legendary Marshal. I'm excited to see the people of East LA and our listeners and the joy on their faces as we usher in the holidays and Santa!" said Art.

The parade will include spectacular floats, lowriders, marching bands, horse squads, folklorico groups and celebrity guests including the Grand Marshall Oscar De La Hoya, Celebrity Marshal Danny Trejo, East LA favorites and Chicano Soul Legends Thee Midniters, talent from Telemundo and ABC7 and Cece Valencia from 93.5 KDAY.

Art and 93.5 KDAY are scheduled to present the Chicano Soul Legends concert featuring East LA legends Thee Midniters with Little Willie G, Tierra and many more on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 at Honda Center Anaheim and Art hosts a 2nd Annual Latin Jam concert on January 20th, 2018 at Spa Resort Casino Palm Springs.

Email Saturday, 11.18.17 

** Beasing Man of the Hour

“Thanks for continuing to be the heart, soul, and ‘watering hole’ for L.A. Radio.

To Dave Beasing:  You are the man of the hour. Your testimonial to all that graced The Sound over the years was heartfelt and selfless. You put it together, kept it together, and in the competitive radio world of Southern California, that is truly an amazing feat.  Some would have launched a giant F…U to the sale of the station and dismantled the whole thing as you were walking out the door. You did the exact opposite. You made the last month or so a real Love Letter to the fans, to the staff, and also to all who worked for you over the years.

Continued success to you and the entire crew, who made for a great radio station.” – Jeff Gonzer

** The Sound Was Our Friend

“Even with the industry’s downward spiral in recent years, the last few weeks have proven that radio can still be a powerful force in uniting a community. It seems everywhere I go, people of all political persuasions are lamenting the loss of 100.3/The Sound.  Of course, part of that is because this became perhaps the longest goodbye in the history of L.A. Radio, but it’s something more.

Yes, it’s sad that a station that became our ‘friend’ is leaving us. But it’s refreshing to know that radio still has the power to be a positive force in bringing us together, and can be so much more than a faceless corporate money machine.” – Ken Davis                                                                                   

** Sound Music Front and Center

“Thank you for the lovely article about The Sound and their untimely exit from LA Radio. While I didn't always like when they tried to go for style over substance [Larry Morgan and Sheri Donovan, Mark Thompson, etc.] the music was always front and center. My sister in particular is very upset about losing The Sound to a ‘Christian’ station. We both understand about it being a business and also what is going on with the current political climate, but it doesn’t make it easier.

Thanks for always making it about who makes our radio waves matter, and have a great holiday!” - Julie T. Byers, Arcadia

** Jazz Dj

“Sad to learn of Helen Borges’ passing. Loved her enthusiasm.” – Don Graham

** Borges Passing

“Although I never listened to Helen Borges, I admire her thirst for knowledge and desire to share it with others. The Magic of Radio. Helen had been challenged with health issues for years but kept on giving. 

I would like to share with you all something I have learned from trying times. Pray for everyone! I find it especially healing to pray for those who appear to be against you. It's a win-win.  All this because Helen passed. God Bless her and RIP.” – Pat Paraquat Kelley

** Scully Scolded

“I have to question what we as a nation have become, when someone is not allowed to express his opinion without being viciously attacked for it. When that person is Vin Scully, and the attackers are alleged sports fans, I begin to feel ashamed of being an American.

Vin, like every citizen of our [once-great]) nation, has every right to express himself. I happen to disagree with him, but it is a polite disagreement, and I am certain he would respect my right to politely disagree with him.

How low must we sink before we can respect ourselves again?” - K.M. Richards

** GO Birthday

“Thanks for running the picture of Gary Lycan in your column. Saturday would have been his birthday.” – David Schwartz

** Franken Woes

Al Franken should have stuck to his gay character, Stuart Smalley. Then he could have groped Kevin Spacey and everyone would be happy.’ – Bob Scott 

** Times They Are A-Changin'

"God, it’s awful to watch our industry as we knew it die.  Ugh.” – Rich Brother Robbin


KABC Morning co-Host Says Al Franken Groped Her

(November 17, 2017) Leeann Tweeden, KABC morning co-anchor with Doug McIntyre, posted on the KABC website that Senator and former KTLK (1150AM) Talk show host Al Franken kissed and groped her without her consent.

"Franken had written some skits for the show and brought props and costumes to go along with them,” Leeann wrote. “Like many USO shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience. As a tv host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHMMaxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.

"When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd. Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, “Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.”

"He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable. He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.  I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time. I walked away.
"All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth. I felt disgusted and violated. At the time I didn’t want to cause trouble. We were in the middle of a war zone, it was the first show of our Holiday tour, I was a professional, and I could take care of myself. It wasn’t until I was back in the US and looking through the CD of photos we were given by the photographer that I saw that he groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep. I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.

How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny? I’m no longer afraid. I’m still angry at what Al Franken did to me. I want the days of silence to be over forever."

Franken, who has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, almost immediately released an apology to the Tweeden. After initially apologizing without fully acknowledging all of her accusations, he then released another lengthier, more contrite statement that contested nothing.

 

Fan of 100.3/The Sound

Essay by Alan Oda, senior correspondent at LARadio           

(November 16, 2017) As The Sound prepares to hang up the headphones, I join the many mourning the loss of “Southern California’s Classic Rock.” There are many stations playing good tunes, yet The Sound was different. The music was the soundtrack of my formative years, which likely biases my affection for their playlist. But I found I could leave my radio on 100.3, even sitting through (the relatively short) commercial blocks, and it wasn’t just the records (wow, that word dates me) they played.

To many, the repeated lament about the “old days” of radio is likely tiresome. Millennials don’t have fan clubs for their favorite radio djs – heck, besides morning talent (and even then) I wonder if a millennial can name a current dj? Still, there are those of us still alive who grew up with ourfm receivers (what a novelty it was to have an AM and FM radio in your car back then) and not only enjoyed the music, but the friends behind the microphones and turntables who entertained us.

When the late, lamented KMET disappeared from the L.A. airwaves in 1987, listeners mourned, really mourned its passing. It wasn’t just the eclectic mix of tunes, it was the djs who did more than read liner cards. They shared stories, gave glimpses of their own life journeys, even offering words of comfort when the outside world was getting a bit crazy.     

Then came The Sound. Our friends on the radio were back! Dave Beasing put together a ridiculously amazing lineup – Andy Chanley, Uncle Joe Benson, Cynthia Fox, Rita Wilde – heck, this was a station where Mimi (the Flower Child) Chen and Mary Price were weekenders. Add Gina Grad, Tony Scott, Tina Mica and Steve Hoffman and you had a powerhouse of personalities all under one fm roof.

It would be truly wonderful if The Sound – or something like it – could find another Los Angeles radio home. I’ve already mentioned I’ll miss the music. That being said, my bigger, personal void will be saying goodbye to the live and local veteran djs – the people who made The Sound such a special place on the radio – on a station programmed exclusively for Southern California listeners. We’ll never hear this lineup of talent together again on L.A radio. The cold reality is the current direction of the business precludes this possibility.

Since I’m not a psychic, I hope I’m wrong. I would truly be happy to offer a future retraction.

 I mentioned many listeners still have great affection for KMET, even three decades later. The Sound now joins the “Mighty Met” as one of the best L.A. radio had to offer. Even so, it’s unfortunate I now have to refer to 100.3/The Sound in the past tense. 



End of The Sound

(November 15, 2017) For almost a decade, 100.3/The Sound captured the imagination of a dedicated fan base. KSWD was alone with its own take on Classic Rock music and an eclectic group of personalities to take us along on the ride. 

The station ends its run tomorrow, making way for a format dedicated to Christian music. Before the Sound ends its run, this morning, Dave Beasing, the ringmaster, sends a love letter to the staff (on and off-air) and to you.


Love Letters to The Sound Air Staff

by Dave Beasing, Program Director at 100.3/The Sound

Let’s go left-to-right in the photo backstage at the Greek, surrounding Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham...

Dear Cynthia Fox: You’ve ably carried on the musical tradition of KMET, that’s a given. But more importantly, you’re the keeper of KMET’s conscience. You care deeply about people, fairness, and our community.  Southern California is a better place because of you.

Dear Gina Grad: You are the best “sidekick” in radio. (No offense, Robin Quivers.) Your greatest talent is making other people’s talents shine. You contribute so much to a conversation without derailing it. And that laugh! Who wouldn’t sound funny with you sitting next to them?

Dear Katie Thompson: Your dad helped you get the job, but you kept it on your own. Listeners love seeing the world through your eyes, so please continue to just be yourself. Your wide-eyed wonder will take you far.


   

Sean McNamara, Emily "Emo" Morenz, Jeffrey McAndrew, Trey Livingston, Tim Meikle, Ernie Rodriguez 
(Sound crew members not pictured: Amanda Acevedo, Charles Conoly) 

Dear Rita Wilde: What an amazing career you’ve had so far. From the greenest kids in the business to the biggest rock stars, to know you is to love you. Because we know you love us back.

Dear Joe Benson: Let’s set the record straight, Joe.  It wasn’t your idea to be introduced as “America’s favorite classic rock DJ” on the 10 at 10, that was me.  If anyone’s ego is hurt by that, tough.  I’ve learned that what sets air personalities of your stature apart isn’t just talent.  It’s sweat and persistence.  You work as hard today as at any time in your career.  The Sound was honored to borrow the “Uncle Joe” brand for a short time.  My goal was always to return it better than we found it. 

(photo: Uncle Joe Benson, Cynthia Fox, Mimi Chen, Mark Thompson, and Rita Wilde)

Dear Andy Chanley: When you were mobbed by fans as you arrived at the “Mark In The Morning” anniversary show at the Saban Theatre, that was the moment I realized: Others we’d hired had become stars earlier in their careers, whereas you’d become a true star on The Sound. You earned it. 

Dear Mimi Chen: Your “Peace, Love & Sunday Mornings” show was #1 6+ in Nielsen for a time, but that’s not what matters in the long run. Thanks to your positive outlook on life, your musical inspiration, your smile, and your courage to share your fight with cancer...  you saved lives. 

Dear Sam Farmer: In the LA Times, you’re an amazing sports writer. Turns out you can tell a story just as well without typing it first. I look forward to more fascinating conversations, and I won’t mind a bit if we’re momentarily interrupted by a text from Roger Goodell or John Madden.

(photo: Tony Scott)




(Chris Santoyo, promotions director and producer Mike Sherry consult with Joe Benson, Todd Donoho, and Andy Chanley posing with fans)

Dear Mike Sherry: The audience knows you as “Mike TV” or “Producer Mikey.”  But I think of you as a program director’s dream. It’s amazing enough that you got everything on that daily “to do” list done, but you did it all so well. 

Dear Steve Hoffman: You sounded great. For me personally, your biggest contribution was when I was tired and frustrated. As a former program director who had left the business except on weekends, you frequently reminded me that The Sound is, as you put, “my happy place.” No one seems to love working in radio more than the people who don’t anymore. Thank you for helping me appreciate every day.

Dear Tina Mica: Could you come in right now, be here in an hour? You never said, “No.” You’ve always appreciated and maximized every opportunity, and you’ve grown so much. You also were our ambassador to the community, making so many friendships by booking and hosting our public affairs programming with empathy and sincerity.

Photo: Dr. Demento and Rita Wilde


Not pictured in the group photo because they were back at the station at the time...

Dear Tony Scott: People who’d worked with you before said you’re an extremely talented, affable, creative, coachable dj. They way undersold you. Wherever you land next, I will encourage students of radio to listen and take notes. You share fascinating (partially truthful) behind-the-scenes stories using theater-of-the-mind, and you make every shift sound totally “in the moment.” 

Dear Mary Price: No one is more conscientious about executing your program director’s vision – to the letter. What listeners hear is truly you, one of the nicest people in the world.

Dear Josh Fleeger: The official “programming assistant” job description didn’t include being on air. But it happened for a reason. You never asked for the spotlight, but your hilarious way of looking at life was just too good for us to keep to ourselves.

Dear previous air staff: Sorry you got away. To avoid leaving anybody out and keep from abusing this invitation, I’m not mentioning you by name. But you know who you are, and I sincerely hope we keep in touch. I respect and appreciate you.

Dear salespeople: No! We’re not doing the stupid promotion your client requested, but we’ll come up with something they’ll like even better. Thank you for believing me when I said that.

Dear promotions staff: When I made controversial decisions, you were on the front lines, taking the abuse. Then again, our listeners were passionate and wonderful – and usually understanding. I’m glad I got to know some of you, but – unfortunately – we didn’t always have long conversations. I chalk that up to shyness – mine. Despite the low hourly wage, you cared a lot, and I did notice. Thank you.

Dear social/video people: You did as much to keep The Sound alive as any dj. I’m proud that we found a modern way to market radio, one that few others have yet to discover. 

I’ll write personal notes to many others, including Greg Solk and Peter Burton who gave me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but there’s one last very public love letter I must send...

Dear Sound listeners: I have mostly stayed off the air until recently. I didn’t care if you remembered my name, but I realized I just had to tell you: There is absolutely nothing anyone could ever do that would mean more than what you’ve done for me. You accepted a piece of my heart, and I am grateful.



The Mark In the Morning team: “Mike TV” Sherry, Gina Grad, Katie “Chick on the Street” Thompson, Mark Thompson, Andy Chanley, Jackie Delgado, Daniel Mizrahi; Mary Price, and KMET reunion on The Sound... Ace Young, Jeff Gonzer, Sound pd Dave Beasing, Cynthia Fox, Jim Ladd;
 Larry Morgan
and Sheri Donovan celebrating Freddy Mercury day




                             Entercom Take-Over Disrupts Neighbors to the South

(San Diego from Chris Carmichael: Entercom takes over two stations and spins one off in the market this week. KSON will move from 97.1 FM to 103.7 FM. The Country station will be placed on a signal that reaches North County San Diego. The main reason is that KSOQ 92.1 FM that relays KSON's format, willl become part of the satellite-delivered EMF stations. 

KEGY-FM, known as "Energy" will adopt 97.3 as their new home. Meanwhile, the San Diego Padres' current home of 94/9, KBZT's future as an alternative rocker, is called into question. The numbers have not aligned well for the station since the Padres have been on board. Entercom may turn this into sports outlet. The radio dial changes are expected once the deal closes on CBS Radio. KyXy 96.5 FM and 103.7 KEZY will join KSON, KBZT, and 98.1 KXSN in a new facility near the iHeart cluster. Nearby will be NBC own KNSD and Telemundo, making Granite Ridge a broadcast home for a majority of TV and radio outlets.  Joe Nelson will have complete details at
http://SanDiegoRadio.org.


                                                                                                      Scully Scolded
 

(November 14, 2017) Vin Scully, who turns 90 at the end of the month, said something to get himself into hot water. According to the New York Post, Vin “had the audacity to protest the protesters. He thus was condemned as an ‘Old Retired White Man’ on a popular, but reckless, often dishonest and vulgar sports website featuring cheap-shot artists who make snap, no-research bad guesses to mischaracterize and defame.”

At a symposium, Scully calmly answered a question about NFL take-a-knee national anthem protests. He said he’s so upset by them, he’ll never watch another NFL game. Scully: “I am so disappointed. I used to love, during the fall and winter, to watch the NFL on Sunday. And it’s not that I’m some great patriot. I was in the [World War II] Navy for a year — didn’t go anywhere, didn’t do anything. But I have overwhelming respect and admiration for anyone who puts on a uniform and goes to war. So the only thing I can do in my little way is not to preach. I will never watch another NFL game.”

In speaking his mind and interpretation rather than avoid the risk — he became an immediate target to be tainted or branded a “racist.”

In other news, former KFWB news anchor Penny Griego starts a new job today. She is Media Relations Specialist at L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the country, serving 2-million members in L.A. County.

Helen Borgers, Jazz Radio Personality, Dies 

(November 13, 2017) Helen Borgers, a decades-long mainstay in LA Jazz radio, died at high noon on Sunday. Here is the Facebook passage from the family.

'Helen, the woman who inspired and enriched the lives of thousands of people in art, literature, music, theatre and so much more, who followed her passion in spite of what anyone thought, took her last breath today, at high noon, after a long, brave fight with the many health issues she faced. We will soon share more information about a celebration of Helen's life. Thank you to everyone who has loved her, supported her, and been there for her during her life. With Love and Light, The Family'

A personal message from Dave Grudt: “I knew Helen well for nearly 35 years from our days at KLON on the campus at CSULB. Along with her brother Ken, I worked side-by-side with both of them in the programming department. I have so many wonderful memories of this special one-of-kind woman. She could so easily make me laugh.... and boy did she have the laugh that could be heard now.... all the way to the angels! I was fortunate to be there at the end. A truly unique experience.”


Field of Dreams

 
(November 13, 2017) David Field will be a name often mentioned in the coming year. It is Field who orchestrated the merger of his company, Entercom, with CBS Radio. The takeover will take place sometime this week.

Over the weekend, Field gathered 135 membership of the new Entercom leadership team in Chicago. “World class team!” tweeted Field. “Ready to launch. So fired up!!!”

There will be some things to clean up this week. When Entercom takes over, perhaps on Friday, their station in L.A., 100.3/The Sound will be taken over by Educational Media Foundation. “K-Love” is the new moniker for contemporary Christian music radio programming.

Before the week is out, LARadio readers will experience a history of the last decade, at 100.3 by the one person who has experienced it all.

Meanwhile, in a related Tweet, Chuck Hayes has been a listener to fm since the '70s at WSUB in Groton, Connecticut. He has loved the on-air freedom afforded the personalities at The Sound, knowing the end was near. “Your last three weeks may have been the greatest run of music in the history of radio,” wrote Hayes.


Sunday Nostalgia - 19 Years Ago Today
(November 12, 1998) The meltdown at KRLA started yesterday at 10 a.m. Southern California’s longest running commercial radio format (39 years) will be no longer by the end of the month. The dismantling process started at the end of Huggie Boy’s show at 10 a.m. when he signed off. KRLA has been jockless ever since. Many readers express their sorrow at KRLA’s demise at this Web site on Saturday…The press conference yesterday at the Museum of TV & Radio announcing that former KABC veteran Michael Jackson is joining a new Talk line-up at KRLA had a chilling effect on Michael’s PR people. According to a Museum executive, not one tv station covered the event. Why? For one thing, it was old news. With the speed of news being transmitted over the Internet, what more could Michael add that was newsworthy? They waited too long. But more important, CBS, which owns KRLA, is on a synergy kick. TV actors on CBS shows with no marquee value are being forced as guests on local CBS radio stations. Why wasn’t KCBS/Channel 2 covering this event and giving some publicity to this format change? Very strange. GM Bob Moore must be screaming…With Michael Jackson’s departure from KABC, the weekend line-up at KABC has adjusted. The late afternoon popular computer show has now moved into the Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. slot. When computer show host Marc Cohen met Gloria Allred, she commented. "You’re much less nerdy than I thought you would be." Now, is that a compliment, Marc?…Sam Rubin, former LARP at KNX, KMPC and KTZN, has been suspended from his entertainment reporting on KTLA/Channel 5 Morning Show. According to the Times, "he failed to heed repeated warnings concerning his practice of making on-air jokes and comments about station executives and management decisions."…Ellen at the SCBA is looking for Craig T. Ashwood who is supposed to have worked in Los Angeles radio. Do you know him or his whereabouts?…You know you’re a dj if people who ride in your car exclaim, "How in the hell do you listen to the radio that loud!"…Paul Crosswhite, morning man at "the Wave," reports that Hulk Hogan is considering running for office following the success of Jesse Ventura, the Minnesota wrestler who just won his bid for governor. Paul and KTWV news director and morning sidekick Sandy Kelley certainly make the mornings smooth and informative. There is enough Kenny G to go around. Sandy is planning an April 18, 1999, wedding. She emailed: "Even though it's a second wedding for both of us, neither of us had a formal wedding before and that's what we're planning. We're keeping it small and intimate but still there are a lot of details to be ironed out." Sandy is a big animal lover and has trained and shown Golden Retrievers for a number of years…Beginning next week, you will read what song is associated with Los Angeles Radio People’s first kiss. It’s a hoot and I think you will find many surprises about your favorite personalities. The answers are charming and in some cases, revealing. You can read a sneak preview of the responses this morning in Steve Harvey’s tasty column in the LA TimesChuck Madden was one of the casualties on the KABC morning show recently. Last weekend he was helping out with sports at KNX…KABC pd Drew Hayes was a "screener" for Larry Elder yesterday afternoon…Remember "Banana Joe" Montione at KHJ, KUTE or KIIS? He’s the new morning man at "Magic 102"-Dallas…KABC’s Stephanie Miller commented on OJ Simpson’s dilemma that he may have another custody hearing. Stephanie thinks he’s just trying to get in the papers again. "He’s up for that role in Pinocchio, isn’t he?" she asked…Former gm at KIBB/KCMG, Bob Visotcky is headed to Denver for similar duties for five stations...At 8 this morning, I will be a guest with Larry Marino on KIEV’s "Morning Magazine."


Email Saturday

** Radio Missing

“Recently I had occasion to be stuck in Yucca Valley on a job. I say stuck because there was a multi fatality accident on 29 Palms Hwy, and traffic did not move for hours. I saw no less than 8 ambulances on the shoulder driving past me. And would you believe not one radio station had anything about it?” – Bill Schwarz

** Executive Promotions in LARadio

“Wow - it's like the early nineties. People moving and shaking.” – Keri Tombazian

** KABC Towers

“I’m including three different links for views of Tower 2 coming down. This was at the end of February: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEPMNJDRyWc ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxp8-Qpg0cc; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHLPI6xWSY4.  Thanks.” – Tim Ahern

Hear Ache

(November 10, 2017) The FCC has formally approved the merger of Entercom and CBS Radio, another giant step closer to the creation of the radio industry's second largest company. The merger combines Entercom's 127 stations with CBS Radio's 117 stations ... Charlie Van Dyke (photo w/ wife Ingrid) has been tapped to be the imaging voice of the new 100.3 when The Sound flips to K-LOVE, a contemporary Christian music format, sometime next week. Additionally, Charlie will be the voice of the entire Educational Media Foundation, which includes hundreds of stations and translators ... Lisa Bowman is all set for her first book signing on Sunday. It will be held at Nan Rae's Art Studio in Burbank, from 2-5 p.m. There will be valet parking. If someone is interested, they can email her at LBowman9@gmail.com for details. Her book is entitled, Shattered Peacock, and is an historical novel taking place during and after the fall of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1979. Her pen name is Lisa Di Vita ... Mark Wallengren kicks off the KOST Christmas music for the holidays this afternoon at 5 p.m. For 16 years, KOST has benefitted from the early holiday jump on 24/7 Christmas programming ... SAG-AFTRA will host a members-only panel discussion next week about sexual harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry. The panel will be led by attorney Gloria Allred … Gil Perez, part of the production team at iHeartMedia, was let go yesterday … Pasadena station KPCC 89.3 is one of four public radio stations benefiting from a $1.5 million grant given by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to American Public Media (APM), to lead a new investigative journalism initiative … Alfred Liggins, ceo of Urban One, complains that the industry “has one player that’s so big, they’re able to advantage themselves over smaller players.” Assume it is iHeartMedia. Liggins wants a more level playing field … David Gaines was looking for KPPC airchecks. After our posting, he claims to have unearthed some decent archival recordings of djs from that era. He is still looking for more. You can reach him at: dscgaines@gmail.com … On March 17, 2018, KFI’s George Noory will be among the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame’s 2018 class of inductees … KDAY presents “Kings of The West" featuring Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Cypress Hill on Friday, December 1 at the Microsoft Theater, located in L.A. LIVE.



Archives 4th Quarter 2017: Stern worth $1/2 billion; traffic LARPS honored; empty spaces at KABC/KLOS; fire threatens radio towers; LARPs caught in Northern California firestorm; K-LOVE versus EMF; Stern appears with Kimmel; unthinkable happens to Delilah a second time; three faces of Nicci Ross; LARPs at Las Vegas massacre; KNX wins Edward R. Murrow award; Passing Parade includes Joe Reiling, Bob Eatman; Greg Ashlock promoted to President at iHeart; Jim Duncan exits iHeart; Jeff Federman returns to CBS/LA cluster that is now Entercom; Kiplinger says announcing one of the worst jobs; KBIG dominates ratings; Is Bill Handle in trouble? Jeff Baugh involved in SigAlert; Charley Steiner complaints; Countdown until The Sound shuts down
  

 

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About the Publisher of LARadio.com, Don Barrett

As publisher of LARadio.com, Don Barrett chronicles radio news and lists 6,000 people in Los Angeles who work or have worked in radio in the past 50 years. Barrett is a historian of contemporary Los Angeles radio history and author of Los Angeles Radio People, published in 1994. He published a second volume of the book a year later, along with the launch of a daily website column.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Last modified: December 14, 2017