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

(Travis Rodgers, Bob Agnew, Nina Davalos, The Insane Darrell Wayne, Alice Cooper, Mark Maurer, Tiffany Brazil, and Jim Carson)  

Sunday Nostalgia - 8 Years Ago

Best LARP of 2010

Best On-Air


#10 - KABC's Doug McIntyre; #9 - KKGO's Shawn Parr; #8 - KFI's Tim Conway, Jr.; #7 - KROQ's Kevin & Bean

#6 - KLOS' Mark & Brian; #5 - K-EARTH's Shotgun Tom Kelly; #4 - KIIS' Ryan Seacrest; #3 - KFI's Bill Handel

#2 - KABC's Vin Scully; #1 - KFI's John & Ken

Best Off-Air

#10 - KFWB/KNX's Andy Ludlum; #9 - KFI's Ray Lopez; #8 - Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters' Saul Levine; #7 (tie) - Clear Channel's Greg Ashlock and CBS' Ed Krampf

#6 - Citadel's Bob Moore; #5 - KIIS' John Ivey; #4 - AMP/JACK/KROQ's Kevin Weatherly; #3 - David G. Hall

#2 - KFI's Robin Bertolucci; #1 - KRTH/KTWV's Jhani Kaye

Email Saturday, 5.19.18 
** ‘Ol Weather Eyes

“Going through crates of my dad’s [Jim Hawthorne] career, I came across some artifacts of early 60’s KFWB and a couple of copies of the Fabulous Forty Survey for March 12, 1960 and December 1, 1961.  

Besides listing the hottest eclectic records of the period –  Percy Faith’s Theme From a Summer Place, Henry Mancini’s Moon River and James Darren’s Goodbye Cruel World – the covers identify some of  the Seven Swingin’ Gentlemen at KFWB for each period and how they changed in only 9 months during the disc jockey strike.

My older son Zak (38) asked me why they’d publish something like that every week.” – Darr Hawthorne
 ** My Mom’s Day

“Thank you for the beautiful and honest remembrance of your mother. You spelled out the good and the bad of being a caretaker, yet the only way we can truly know our parent is in the best care available. My mom was herself, though almost non-verbal until 3 days before she died at 92. The day after my birthday. At home and she waited for me to bring my sister home from the doctor before she went to sleep. Happy Mother’s Day to both our mothers. And thank you for the post.” – Julie Byers

** More Me Mom

“I loved your story about your mom and seeing the classic picture of them both. I will always remember the times I was at their house and visiting with your mom.” – Mike Butts

** Harvey a Showman

“A great read on Steve Harvey, Don. Thanks for those excerpts. I was just visiting Steve and his game show family at Universal over the weekend. He’s got Stage 1 for his talk show and Stage 29 for Family Feud. He’s a dynamo of energy in front of the cameras. Feud tapes four shows a day, day after day, often 5 days a week. He’s obviously fully invested in delivering the best possible show with maximum laughs, as he is regularly offering second takes and alternate reactive jokes. He clowns, kids, cajoles and teases each episode’s families for well over an hour, brief stop downs included, giving the show’s editors the makings for a spectacular 22 minutes for each syndicated half-hour.

During breaks, he’s non-stop chatting with the audience. It’s only between shows that he recharges quietly with a cigar. Whether you like the show’s edgy content or not, there’s no denying he’s a real showman. He says his only regret is that his fame keeps him from coming and going at will in public places. Just when you think he’s going to say that he wishes it was different, he confesses that he’ll be glad to remain hostage to the massive paychecks.” – Randy West

** Watson’s Journey

Bill Watson was also pd at KIQQ from December of ’73 until mid-’75 and served as interim pd of KHJ for a few months in between Ted Atkins and Paul Drew in 1972.” – Mike Hagerty (thanks to Bill Earl for artwork)

** Poll Joke

“Thanks for the piece on Bill Watson. I met Watson for the first time when I was a young 12-year-old. He invited me over to the radio station so I could share the news of a telephone survey that I had just completed, showing KMEN as the overwhelming market leader. Watson even asked me inside the KMEN control room and put me on his popular afternoon show ‘live’ to read the results.

Everything was going well until he turned to me and said, ‘Ted, go ahead and tell us all about this poll that you’ve taken.’ Being a youngster, I had no idea what he meant by the term poll. So, for a moment there, I thought he was accusing me of stealing a pole from the KMEN parking lot. Seriously, I was so naive. But, that day opened the door to a long relationship at KMEN, my very first radio home. Bill also gave me one of his rare ‘Bill Watson Spike Awards,’ given out as a token of thanks for a special achievement. As the legend goes, Watson spent some time in the railroad industry and had a trunk full of old railroad spikes. What a novel promotion. That very spike is still in my treasured box of radio memorabilia.” – Ted Ziegenbusch 

** Heavenly Meet

"I heard Bill Watson stories from Lyle Kilgore for many years. In fact, Bill was instrumental in bringing him from San Bernardino to KHJ ... and the rest, as they say, is history. When my daughter Paige and I went with Lyle to the Route 66 reunion organized by the amazing Chuck Street, there was the legend himself, Bill Watson, sporting dark sunglasses and a cool leather jacked. 'Who is that?' asked our then teenaged daughter.

Watson had sauntered directly over to where Lyle was seated. 'He looks like some big time promoter or director or something,' said Paige. She was most impressed.

I know Lyle and Bill Watson have reconnected in heaven and, who knows, they may be cooking something up with Bill Mouzis, Don Steele, and Robert W. Morgan. I'd like to think so." - Eva Kilgore

** Bar Meeting

“Great article on Bill Watson. His name was quite revered back in the Bill Drake days. I don't remember the name of the restaurant/bar in the Valley where I just by happenstance met Bill Drake one night. He was by himself and having a good time, and I was just blown away that on the stool next to me was one of the most respected guys in radio.” – Mike Butts

Hear Ache

(May 18, 2018) Michael Benner is one of those thinkers who has shared his wisdom over the years at KLOS and KLSX. We worked together in Detroit, and I have attended his wisdom events over the years.

He has written a new book. Michael describes his book:

“Fearless Intelligence as expanded awareness, the insight and understanding that become apparent in peaceful, loving states of mind. As the intelligence of fearlessness, awareness is serene, innate wisdom. It is goodness, truth and beauty — the magical elixir and essence of Life. This book also contains personal skills to develop self-awareness, self-worth and self-realization. Plus, it includes social skills to enhance empathy, compassion, respect and trust of others."
Airborne Attack. Former traffic lady Radene Marie Cook had a heart attack last Sunday, May 13th. “It was VERY surprising and I actually have to thank Ms. Rosie O’Donnell for doing a comedy special after her heart attack that listed the different symptoms for women in this acronym: ‘H.E.P.P.P=Heat. Exhaustion. Pain. Pale. Puke.’

One artery was clogged and through ABSOLUTE MEDICAL MIRACLES, in a snap of time, I had a stint put in that cleared the blockage thru a tiny pin hole in my femoral artery. I’m home a day later feeling very well, just a bit tired,” wrote Radene on her Facebook page.
Morris Services. There will be a memorial service for Mark Morris this Saturday (5.19) at 10 a.m. at the Loyola High School Chapel, 1901 Venice Blvd.

A lunch/wake will follow at Guelaguetza Restaurant, 3014 W. Olympic Blvd. (Morris pictured with John Newton)
Ratings Hic-Cup. When one PPM individual is disqualified, it may affect additional members of that household, maybe four or five individuals. When Nielsen announced that they had removed four homes for April ’18, it was a big deal.

Saul Levine was not happy. “It is always distressing when our measurement providers report errors in their service. I can only hope these negative events can be avoided. I believe the radio industry needs a second robust measuring service. We once had Pulse Vs. ARB.”
GoFundMe. After readers read the David G. Hall piece on Alfonzo Ortiz, many wondered if there was anything that could be done to help the family.

Elaine Perkins at KNX alerted me to a GoFundMe page for the Ortiz family. KNX employees have been very generous, and Elaine said they were going to do a second round. Click Alfonzo’s photo to learn more. 
Final Hear AcheBob Koontz, long-time Gene Autry exec, has joined Lucas Oil/MAVTV (Motorsports Network) … Bill O’Reilly is in talks with Newsmax TV to get back on television in his old 8 p.m. timeslot … Cumulus settles its multi-million dollar dispute with Michael Baisden (formerly with KKBT/KRBV, 2006-07). With a settlement agreement, both parties can move on as Cumulus deals with bankruptcy … Salem Communications in Glendale is looking for a board op for their four stations at $13 an hour … Keith Naftaly, former pd at KKBT (The BEAT), has been elevated to President, A&R, RCA Records, based in New York.

Just Follow the Money
by Alan Oda, senior LARP correspondent

(May 17, 2018) To borrow the well-used cliche, “all bets are off.” On Monday the Supreme Court voted 6 – 3 to strike down a 1992 federal law which largely prohibited most states from allowing wagering on sporting events. The ruling now makes it legal for individual states to decide whether or not to allow sports gambling. Nevada is no longer the only state that can attract bettors. But the question is whether California is ready to cash in.

“The Supreme Court ruling is simply common sense. There are (already) multiple ways to bet on games online,” said KLAC’s Fred Roggin. “By allowing states to regulate it, it also allows states to profit (including California).”

KSPN midday host John Ireland believes sports betting is already pervasive. “Think of it this way: Most people bet. Now that it’s legal, they’ll soon be able to bet legally any time,” said Ireland. “It has a chance to create millions for all parties involved.”

Ireland believes the ruling will have profound impact on the business of sports. “This sports betting decision has the potential to change the sports we watch forever. Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said today that the value of professional sports franchises will essentially double.”

“I think NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been really smart with this. He predicted it might happen, he’s staying ahead of it, and he has his league poised to be a partner in whatever happens. I think most other leagues will follow suit,” said Ireland. Most of the “cord-cutting” (dropping cable / satellite television) skews largely toward younger viewers who appear to be indifferent, or at least less enthusiastic, about following sports. By offering the opportunity to bet on local teams, both professional and college, it can spark new interest.

By contrast, KNX sports anchor Randy Kerdoon thinks sports wagering will start as a novelty to younger fans. “If they are sports fans and would be betting anyway, I’d say they would be more involved, but those who aren’t the betting type might try it, but overall the interest will fade.” Further, Kerdoon said there will be new places to bet, yet traditional venues will persist. “I think it will be big for the Indian Casinos, not sure if we’ll see a Vegas like facility in Commerce, or any other location. And there is only one Las Vegas.”

There is also the possibility of wagering taking all sorts of creative turns. “I did have this vision of someone, going to a Dodger game and getting their peanuts, Dodger dog and a drink along with laying down a prop bet in the 7th inning. Will Take Me Out to the Ball Game be over or under time wise,” asked Kerdoon.

Bill Watson, Major Player at Drake/Chenault, Dies at 88


(May 16, 2018)  Bill Watson, who achieved major success in the world of radio broadcasting, has died. He was 88. Watson passed away in a San Diego hospital Tuesday evening, May 15. His death occurred as a result of pneumonia and emphysema related health issues.

Watson was raised in the San Fernando Valley. After his discharge from the U.S. Air Force in the mid 1950's Watson attended the Don Martin School of Broadcasting in Hollywood with help from the G.I. Bill. Shortly thereafter, he began his professional radio career in the Sacramento area. At that time, rock 'n roll was exploding into American Pop culture. Bill enjoyed almost immediate success as a disc jockey and hosted a local tv show for teens. The show was modeled after Dick Clark's American Bandstand. Eventually, the super self-confident Watson had a falling out with the radio station's management. He quit and headed South to Los Angeles in search of a disc jockey job there.

Watson hoped to land a position at the dominant Top 40 radio station KFWB. Unfortunately there were no openings at the station at that time. While in L.A. he visited a friend who was employed at KDAY.  It was in the hallway there that Watson met a young hyper-active radio executive by the name of Ron Jacobs. Jacobs invited Watson to lunch at a Hollywood restaurant which was frequented by record promoters and out-of-work disc jockeys. Ron Jacobs had previously enjoyed major success as a disc jockey and program director at Honolulu radio station KPOI. The parent company of KPOI had recently purchased two radio stations on the mainland.  One in San Bernardino and the other in Fresno. Jacobs was looking for talented disc jockeys to staff the two stations. (Photo: Watson, The Real Don Steele, Bill Drake)
As Watson tells the story "Jacobs was talking a mile a minute" and trying to convince Bill to join the staff at the San Bernardino station KMEN. KMEN was situated in a cow pasture there and was not generating any ratings (there were no listeners). Before the lunch was over Jacobs had convinced Watson to accept a position as afternoon drive disc jockey. And for a little extra money he would serve as the program director too.  

Turns out that Watson was a natural leader and excellent program director. Within six months KMEN went from Last to First in the Inland Empire radio ratings. At the peak of Watson's tenure KMEN generated 70 shares which meant that 70% of the people listening to the radio were tuned into KMEN 1290. Watson was instrumental in bringing the Rolling Stones to San Bernardino's Swing Auditorium for their first performance on American soil. He very skillfully established the perfect pitch for the on-air presentation at KMEN and rode the wave of the Surf sound and the British Invasion.  And he established himself and his fellow disc jockeys as celebrities in the region.

After 4 years at KMEN Watson left and became a programming consultant for other radio stations. Within a short time Bill Watson teamed up with the legendary radio programmer Bill Drake. Drake and his partner Gene Chenault had been given the task of turning around the radio stations owned by RKO General. Those stations included 93 KHJ in Los Angeles, KFRC in San Francisco, WRKO in Boston, and WOR/fm in New York City. Other stations under their direction included KGB in San Diego, CKLW in Detroit/Windsor, Ontario and KYNO in Fresno.  
Together Watson and Drake worked their programming magic on these radio stations creating the "Boss Radio Format." Within a short time all of the stations enjoyed top ratings too. Later Watson was instrumental in producing the national version of the "The History of Rock and Roll," "The History of Country Music," and several other syndicated radio specials.     

Towards the end of his broadcast career Watson was program director at K-100 FM and KMPC 710. He guided KMPC to the number 4 position in the Los Angeles ratings in a market where 86 stations could be heard on the dial. It was the last music formatted AM station in town to reach the Top 10 in listener ratings. Radio broadcaster Mark Denis once said "Bill Watson was a great manager of talent!"  Former radio personality "Huckleberry" Chuck Clemans said "Watson was a darned good radio executive. It was a pleasure to work for him!" Newsman and tv anchor Jim Mitchell said "Bill Watson knew how to connect with a radio audience. He was a communicator!"

Kevin Gershan, producer at Entertainment Tonight worked for Watson for a time. Gershan said "Watson was a very important influence during an exciting era of radio!"  (Photo: Watson speaking at Bill Drake's memorial in December 2008)

KOST 103 FM personality Ted Ziegenbusch grew up listening to Watson on KMEN. Eventually they met and Watson was very encouraging. Ted Says "Bill was an inspiration! He was clearly a visionary genius! And he was a really cool guy!" And legendary broadcaster Wink Martindale said "When I was with Gene Autry's flagship station KMPC, Bill was the program director. I can truthfully say that in the many decades that I worked in broadcasting Bill was among the most creative and talented people that I had the good fortune to work with!"     

During his retirement Bill Watson lived in Laughlin, Palm Springs, San Diego, and Rosarito Beach, Mexico. He was a life-long football fan with an allegiance to the Rams and San Diego Chargers. Bill is survived by his son Bill Jr., daughter Kellie, and several grandchildren, Bill's wife Jody passed away in the 1990's.     

No word yet on a Celebration of Life event. (Bill Watson's obituary by Commander Chuck Street)

Mr. Rock N' Roll Serves Up Dinner and Stories


(May 16, 2018) When Brian Beirne entertained us for almost 30 years at K-EARTH, you always knew he would tell us great stories about the pioneers of rock ‘n roll. Even though Brian’s time with the former Oldies station came to end in late 2004, there will be a rare opportunity to again hear the stories of Brian's life as a rock ‘n roll dj. Tomorrow night, Brian will appear at the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre in Claremont and share the intimate details and personal stories of the artists you know and love along with the history and evolution of pop & rock 'n roll. “They're all here in this truly entertaining presentation from Elvis to Elton,” said Brian. 

Brian’s legacy includes being Don Imus's newsman and straight man in Sacramento and Cleveland. Brian has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But music is what makes Brian tick. “I cook dinner to music. And it is a means of relaxation.” At one stage, Brian had 40,000 records, everything from Hank Williams to Glenn Miller. For a while he collected rare records. “Then I would do a run on a label. I also have a huge Elvis Presley collection,” said Brian.
When he started at KRTH, much of the music in the beginning was from his collection. 
Brian got into the radio business because of the music. “My father took me into a radio station when I was ten. The announcer told me about his job and then he said you can take some of the records home.” That was the selling point for Brian. He was playing guitar and piano at home. Some got into radio to meet girls and get rich, but Brian’s interest was music. 

In the late 1980s, Brian decided he wanted to do something on his own - Be his own boss. “I wanted to produce a giant Oldies Show, ala the Alan Freed days with 10-15 acts, which no one had done since then. There weren’t many venues on the West Coast to see Oldies performers. The shows were mostly in the Midwest, South and East. Our exposure to these artists originally was American Bandstand.”   

“I wanted to find the Fleetwoods who you never got to see. It was a labor of love for me over the years, especially finding people who had not worked in years and some were down on their luck,” said Brian. “We restarted their careers, which was a thrilling moment for me.” 

Sonny Knight’s Confidential is one of Brian’s all-time favorite songs. “Sonny left in 1965 and headed for Hawaii. He had not been back in the States since then. He worried if anyone would want to hear those songs. Turned out he got two standing ovations and I thought I would never see Sonny Knight do Confidential,” said Brian. 

Ed Townsend had a big hit in 1958 called For Your Love and then went on to record producing including Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On. “A dear man,” Brian remembered Ed. “Ed was living in a flea bag hotel and not in good shape. I knew him from my days in Chicago. He said he would have to quit drinking if he was going to perform. From July to October, Townsend stayed sober and he called every day to check in. He was just magnificent.” Ed ended up returning to music producing. 

“I was never in it for the money,” said Brian. “It was something I could give back for all my years in this wonderful business.” Every year for twelve years, Brian flew in the performers, picked them up in a limo, and put them up in hotel. All of the Legends of Rock N' Roll concerts were held at the Greek Theatre. 

Over 110 performers were reunited for Brian’s concerts. He never once had a no-show, but he did have a couple of close calls. The Shirelles missed their flight from San Jose, got the next flight out, changed clothes in the limo and got to the Greek just as the second to last act was ending. And Fontella Bass (Rescue Me) doesn’t fly and she took the train from Oklahoma. The train was delayed on the way but made it just in the knick of time.  

Brian remembers putting together the Penguins (Earth Angel) and restarting the careers of Tony Allen (Nite Owl) and Richard Berry (Louie, Louie). “These were all good people. Even those who had a bad reputation, turned out to be the sweetest people in the world,” enthused Brian. 

Today Brian continues to produce shows for corporate and private parties as well as large and small venues. He plans another major concert in Southern California in the near future. 

Brian, who was born in San Mateo in 1946, spent much of his youth in Oregon, where he got his start as a broadcaster on KBZY-Salem. Brian described his early radio job in Oregon: "It was a real mom and pop operation. It was great training ground because you got to do everything. You read the news, you did your show and you had other duties. We even had to feed the cows out in back and water the lawn." He went on to work in Sacramento, KFRC-San Francisco, Cleveland and Chicago. His first record in his collection was Goodnight Irene, by Gordon Jenkins and the Weavers. “I keep some at home, some are in vaults, but none are ignored." A self-described Hopalong Cassidy fan, Brian attends the “Hoppy” festival each year in Cambridge, Ohio. 

If you love the beginnings of rock ‘n roll, join Brian tomorrow night in Claremont

Alfonzo Ortiz at KNX
by David G Hall

(May 15, 2018) This is the story of an uncommon partnership between a traffic manager and a program director. This is the story of how I knew Alfonso Ortiz. Bear with the sausage-making here, it will be worth It.

When I was programming KNX, I was on a mission to make the station really stand apart in breaking news coverage. I was fascinated by how after some minor earthquake under Vernon or Inglewood late one evening a huge number of People Meters came to KNX only to quickly disappear. Also, for years I had strongly disliked the way a spoken word station traditionally covered breaking news: a relatively short amount of time without commercials, followed by an unlistenable hour or two when a host or anchor or board op is cramming in as many spots as possible to make-good the missed spots.

So, I went to Alfonso, who was doing KNX’s traffic scheduling, and told him I wanted to come up with an alternative clock that adds back commercials intelligently so after breaking news we could switch clocks and put the spots back without cramming them in. He encouraged me to work on the clocks, but then essentially interviewed me about what I really wanted to have happen. He took notes.
A few days later I went back to Alfonso with my clocks. It was a big step beyond the normal cramming. And then Alfonso then came back to me, and explained how since our meeting he had been thinking about what I really needed, and my alternative clocks were important but would take too long. He explained that he had gone through most of the clients at KNX, looking at who had long term or broadly rotating contracts, so they could be made-good over time, and how many, like car dealers, need their spots to run by Friday or they are lost and gone forever. He explained that when we go into “wall to wall” coverage, he could go through the list quickly and take out the spots with longer contracts to create even more space for immediate make-goods. We might be able to make-good one commercial free hour in three hours.

I was grateful and excited, and pleasantly surprised that he was so willing to help us on the programing side even though It would mean a lot more work for him. Then he came back again, low key and cool, as was his way, and said he had kept thinking about my goal and had yet another idea. He had looked at the network contracts (CBS, Westwood, etc) and saw that their dayparts were longer than ours, meaning a “morning drive” network spot could actually be made-good in part of our midday where there was less pressure and still be in compliance. Also, network spots could be made-good over weeks instead of hours or days.    

He had come back with a brilliant idea: why not come back from commercial free coverage and still not play network spots? That way we could open up twice as much time to make-good local spots in each hour, and he could make-good the network spots over the following weeks. We could make up one hour of commercial free breaking news coverage in just a little over 2 hours this way. It would be a tremendous amount of work for him, above what he already did. But he felt strongly that this would work.

Later that summer, we put all of this to the test. California had the worst fire season on record. Over a million acres were burned, 23 people were killed, and 20,000 firefighters were out on those lines, all at essentially the same time. At KNX, Alfonso and I put our little plan to work, and we went more than 48 hours commercial free. When all was back to normal, we had not lost a spot.

Over my career I have worked with some amazing traffic people, and I have the utmost respect for what they have to do: if they do their job well, no one notices or comments. But since millions of dollars of revenue pass through their systems, one little mistake becomes a big deal. But Alfonso was different. It wasn’t just that the pd and the traffic guy had a good relationship. It wasn’t just that we had an alliance that served both of our departments.  We had a real partnership, for which he had to work much harder than normal to help our little news radio sound its best, stand apart, assume a bigger role in the community, and yet remain a business all the while.   

This week, as his family and friends and fellow KNXers mourn the death and celebrate the life of Alfonso Ortiz, people are telling their stories about him. This is mine.

KOST At the Top

(May 14, 2018) The April '18 Nielsen ratings arrived with a startling announcement.

“The integrity of our data is a top priority. Effective with the April monthly currency data (March 29 - April 25) Nielsen removed four homes from the Los Angeles PPM panel. An internal review determined that these homes did not meet our compliance and data integrity standards. In addition, we conducted an analysis of data from October 2017 to March 2018 and we have determined that the data for these months will be reissued. Therefore, we will publish revised Audio data for these months in Los Angeles starting with March Monthly data on Tuesday, May 22, at Noon Local Time.”

We will keep track with the changes, if any, with affected monthlies.

For April, KOST solidified its top spot inching above sister station runner-up, KBIG. The start of the Dodger season has helped KLAC make a significant jump to tie with KSPN. Talker KRLA edges out KEIB and doubles KABC. Here are the Top 40 stations: 

1. KOST (AC) 5.9 - 6.0

2. KBIG (MY/fm) 5. 7 - 5.7

3. KRTH (Classic Hits)5.0 - 4.8

     KTWV (the WAVE) 4.7 - 4.8

5. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.7 - 4.5

6. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.8 - 4.4

7. KFI (Talk) 4.2 - 4.1

8. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.6 - 3.7

9. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.8 - 3.0

10. KRRL (Urban) 2.4 - 2.8

      KYSR (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.8 

12. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.8 - 2.7

13. KNX (News) 3.2 - 2.6

       KPCC (News/Talk) 2.7 - 2.6

       KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.3 - 2.6

16. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.9 - 2.5

      KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.4 - 2.5

      KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.6 - 2.5

19. KROQ (Alternative) 2.2 - 2.3

20. KKGO (Country) 2.0 - 2.2

      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.3 - 2.2

22. KXOS (Regional Mexican) 2.2 - 2.0

23. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.9 - 1.7

      KJLH (Urban AC) 1.6 - 1.7

25. KCRW (Variety) 1.7 - 1.5

26. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.4 - 1.4

      KUSC (Classical) 1.6 - 1.4

28. KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.2 - 1.2

29. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.0 - 1.0

       KRLA (Talk) 1.1 - 1.0

31. KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 0.8 - 0.9

       KLAC (Sports) 0.5 - 0.9

      KSPN (Sports) 1.0 - 0.9

34. KEIB (Talk) 0.9 - 0.8

35. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.5 - 0.7

      KKJZ (Jazz) 0.8 - 0.7

      KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.9 - 0.7

38. KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.7 - 0.6

39. KABC (Talk) 0.5 - 0.5

       KSUR (Oldies) 0.4 - 0.5

THR Award to Steve Harvey 

(May 14, 2018) Steve Harvey, mornings at KJLH, was awarded The Hollywood Reporter’s “Unscripted TV Player of the Year.” The trade publication dedicated four full-pages to the versatile performer who is the only person in Hollywood starring on shows on three of the big four broadcast networks. The programs include game shows Big Shots and its spinoff Forever Young on NBC, ABC’s Celebrity Family Feud, Family Feud(averages more than 10 million viewers daily), and Showtime at the Apollo on Fox. From all his efforts, Harvey made a reported $42.5 million last year. Highlights:

THR: What’s the show where you feel most yourself?
SH: Showtime at the Apollo. That was the first place I was on national tv, as a stand-up, and I eventually became the longest-running host. Nothing would make me walk away from the Apollo.

THR: When people are so easily offended now, does it make comedy harder?
SH: That’s the one hesitancy I have with going back to stand-up. I’m in a sponsor-driven business, and they keep moving the line of political correctness. It keeps getting closer and closer to where you can’t open your mouth negatively. Throw away freedom of speech. That’s out the window now.

THR: Are there any game shows left to be rebooted.
SH: They’ve pretty much exhausted these old properties. After they saw what Family Feud did, everybody went out and got ahold of their old stuff. They gotta find something new, something where everybody can play along at home. That’s what makes Family Feud so good. What’s your favorite color? ‘Dark blue!’ Bing!”

THR: What’s the five-year plan?
SH: I’m gonna have the biggest television production company in Hollywood. I’m gonna be producing more hits than any production company in the industry. And I’m gonna own a huge organic food business. I’m going to help people reshape the way they eat. A doctor told me, ‘Steve, what you eat in your 40s we will diagnose in your 50s. What we diagnose in your 50s, we will treat you for in your 60s. Whatever we’re treating you for in your 60s, we will bury you for in your 70s.’ It changed the way I ate.”

Sunday Nostalgia

My Mother's Day


My mom passed away on Christmas Eve 2003. In 1970 she was diagnosed (as it turned out mis-diagnosed) with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). It is a crappy disease. (Okay, all diseases are crappy.) But ALS is a particularly debilitating disease because it methodically disengages the sufferer, paralyzing the body limb by limb while keeping the patient’s mental agility intact.   

My then-15 and 16-year-olds only knew their grandmother as someone confined to a bed. As an only child, my charge was to be a parent to my own kids and also to my parents. For the previous 10 years, my days started with changing her diapers and my evenings ended with changing her diapers.    

But there were vibrant times before this crappy disease began its slow journey to rob the body of all vital functions. My mom introduced me to the beach and the ocean, and I've carried on a love affair with both ever since.  

My parents moved from Boston to Hollywood (503 Sycamore Street) when I was three months old. My mom and I traveled by bus to the beach at Santa Monica. You can imagine the delight for my mom who grew up in the snow of New York and was in Kirk Douglas’ graduating class at St. Lawrence University. We eventually convinced my father that we should move to Santa Monica and I went to John Muir Elementary, John Adams Junior High, and Santa Monica High School, a mere four blocks from the beach. (Photo of my mother and father in 1943 preparing for the drive to the beach)

I was running a radio station in Detroit in 1970 when my parents came for a Christmas visit. I received a call from my father warning me that mother’s foot was dragging and please don’t mention it to her. Hardly a unique request from a family that would have denied the presence of an elephant in the living room. It was the beginning of the physical deterioration of her body.   

On Sundays her home was filled with flowers. Mother was confined to a wheelchair before she was bedridden, but every Sunday, our home was still filled with flowers. A member of the Santa Monica Presbyterian Church would bring flowers from that morning’s service. The flowers were really an excuse for a visit. The visitor would always leave our home in better spirits. That’s just the way my mom was.   

Even in her last days, the nurses and attendants at her convalescent home, plagued by their own personal challenges, would visit my mom just to get cheered up.   

Ruth Barrett’s ashes were scattered off the coast of Santa Monica. For decades she has been unable to sit on the beach or wade in the ocean, jumping over the endless parade of waves while giggling and laughing.   

As she took her last breath on Christmas Eve, this crappy disease finally won its battle. But she will be the eventual victor; finally at peace in the ocean she so loved.   

Email Saturday, 5.12.18 

** Miss Dex Allen

“I’m so sad to hear about Dex Allen! I repped KGGI/KMEN in the 80s when he owned it. He was a straight-up guy who understood every aspect of a radio station and was a pleasure to sell for and work with. Radio will miss him.” – Mary Beth Garber

** Dex’s Midnight Runner

Dex Allen also owned KOWL (AM) and KRLT (FM) at Lake Tahoe under his Commonwealth Broadcasting in the 1990s. He made frequent trips to Tahoe to visit his stations where I worked.” – Bill Kingman

** Dex Got It

“I am very sorry to learn of Dex Allen's passing. I worked with him at KCBQ. He was a very nice man and as you mentioned, what a unique person to go from on air personality to ownership. He got it.” – Mike Butts

** Met with Dex

“I was saddened to hear of Dex Allen’s passing. In the early 1980s, a mutual friend of ours lined up a quick meeting between me, Dex and radio consultant Jerry Clifton. Dex needed a new pd for his KGGI/KMEN combo and I was a former K/men programmer myself. In the end, I chose instead to stay with my on-air position at KOST in Los Angeles. However, I remember Dex being quite genuine, jovial and I had the distinct impression that he would be a great guy to work for in the radio business. My condolences to his family and friends.” – Ted Ziegenbusch

** Concert Connection

“I’m very sorry to hear about Dex AllenLee Bartell tried to get us together to do concerts back in the sixties but I just couldn’t do it. We started to do the Beach Boys but we had different ideas about the business.” – Jack Hayes
** #1 With a Bullet

“One of the most memorable calls I ever received on the K-EARTH 101 request line:
Me: ‘Good evening, K-EARTH 101 this is Keri’
Him: ‘Keri, my name is Don Bustany and I’d like to invite you to be the first female dj to guest host on Casey Kasem’s American Top 40.’
Me: ‘Ha Ha; very funny.’

Lo these decades later, I count him in my top two of the kindest producer / directors. What a sweet soul. Fly to Heaven.” – Keri Tombazian
** Six-Month Mother

“My mother, Florence Laverne, raised four children alone for six months a year, all my young life. My dad was an officer in the US Navy and spent 6 months every year on a submarine patrolling the Pacific Ocean.

She grew up in Chicago with her Greek family that was notorious for a different kind of ‘family’ business. Not wanting to have anything to do with that life, she moved to San Diego where she met and married my father, Joe. We had a very happy family with love and humor being the focal point. She told us to always follow our hearts and make people laugh. She never talked much about her family.

As I grew older I asked about our family’s ethnicity. This became one of her favorite jokes: She told my sisters, Barbara & Jill, and me & my brother, Bobby, that we were half French and half Greek. Her famous punchline was: ‘So, that makes you a freak!’

Love and miss you mom. Thanks for making me the funny loving ‘freak’ I became. Your proud son.” – Jimmy Duncan
** Mother’s Day Stories

“I loved the flashback on Mother’s Day. Loved Geno Michellini’s story about taking his mom to see Greg Kihn. Geno looks like he could be one of the Gibbs brothers.” – Bob Koontz
** High Flying Baugh

“Happy Mom’s Day to my fave gal. Became a pilot in ’39 and I truly believe her spirit flies with me every day! Happy Mother’s Day to all moms.” – Jeff Baugh
** Stern Cut

“Thank you for the funny article about Howard Stern being edited [that’s like Claude Rains being shocked there was gambling at Rick’s!] Then again, HBO isn’t known for original thinking. It’s cable, so why edit him?

I wish I could see this, but we don’t get HBO and anyway, the one act I wanted to see inducted was the Moody Blues. They were part of my growing up.” – Julie Byers

** Stern’s Endless Rants

“I find Howard Stern’s faux anger amusing. I stopped listening to him two years ago when the show became so far removed from its original beginnings and from the things that made his show so popular. He turned ultra PC and renamed his whack packers with less offensive names. He abandoned most of his controversial bits and skits even though they were hilarious. He cut his live show down from 5 days to 4 days to now 3 days a week and then the endless week-long vacations [by comparison, Rush Limbaugh still works Xmas week]. Stern clearly doesn’t want to do his show. His endless rantings about being tired, his increasing impatience with callers and the fluff interviews with the same dozen celebrities became unlistenable, particularly since you have to pay for his content. I honestly haven’t missed it one bit. But now to hear his anger at being censored is hypocritical. That’s exactly what he has done to his show. He’s censored all of the element of his show that were funny and made him the success he became.” – Steve Chang, Venice

** KABC Winner

“I went down to KABC today to pick up some Paul Simon tickets and thought you’d enjoy this montage hanging in the lobby. Ran into Drew Hayes while I was there. John Phillips was pacing in the parking lot doing a phone interview when I arrived. Hope the station will do better [and I have my opinions on that].

Thanks for keeping up your column.” – Andrew Schermerhorn
** Distractions

"I agree with your assessment of the $1,000 giveaways by both KNX and KFI. It's totally distracting and to lump it in with other radio station giveaways, it's unsafe to encourage folks [many of whom are driving] to text while they may be behind the wheel. 

I know there are plenty who are not driving and could safely enter the contest, but there are those stupid people who get tempted by the station's offer of $$ that they'll text when they shouldn't.

When KFI introduces their 'KF-I in the sky' traffic segment, is the traffic reporter sitting at a desk somewhere with his microphone and a computer screen/scanner and is NOT in the aircraft? When KNX states that their freeway reports are being delivered by the person in the air, the reporter is actually in the air. It seems to me that KFI isn't being so honest with their listeners.

A familiar voice from the past seems to have joined KNX: Nathan Roberts is on-air again as a studio story reporter.

Thanks Don for all your hard work and funnies at the top of your daily page. Many of them have made it to my funny file in my computer." - Steve Nieto, Yorba Linda
** Response to Michael Harrison

“Radio didn’t choose to ‘program stringently bordered “categories” to one-dimensional listeners.’ That decision was made for us, by the listeners, by the advertising agencies, by radio being first and foremost a business. As I have explained to numerous people who have tried to convince me that listeners should be in charge, not the programmers, listeners are not radio’s customers. They are radio’s product, because their listening is what we sell to the advertisers. The programmer’s job is to attract as many of those listeners as possible in whatever saleable demographic the station wants to sell advertising for.

Radio became more homogenized – and yes, Michael, I agree with your use of the word ‘embarrassment’ - when Madison Avenue decided there’s no profit in marketing to over-55s. The acts he lists as MIA from playlists don’t appeal to the audience the advertising community wants.

In a nutshell, that’s why Oldies stations don’t exist in the big markets. Unless you are 100% local sales and have the staff to make an older audience attractive to the local businesses, you can't get the ad bucks. The bills have to be paid, after all. That last point is why our market’s Oldies station is on Saul Levine’s KSUR. He can afford to pay the bills without much ad revenue because of his success with KKGO [and also because, having owned the latter outright since he put it on the air in 1959, he has absolutely zero debt service]. But Entercom, iHeart, Cumulus? Not going to happen.” – K.M. Richards
** Potpourri

“I was very sorry to learn about the passing of Mark Morris. Over the years he was both a very good radio announcer and an outstanding ‘behind the scenes’ radio programmer. I still remember the various stints he had as a radio announcer, traffic reporter, and disc jockey at both on AM 1260 and K-JAZZ. Like John Regan, he was with 1260 for a number of years, both when it was playing Oldies and Adult Standards. While he was on the staff at 1260AM, I had opportunity to talk with him at least two or three times over the telephone. He was always very pleasant. In more recent years we kept in contact via Facebook. Mark Morris will be sorely missed!

On a completely different subject:  You posed the question two weeks ago in your column concerning what constitutes an Oldie. I think it was Art Laboe who coined the term “ ‘Oldies but Goodies’ back in the 60s to refer to rock’n’roll songs that were recorded (and played on the radio) during the late 50s and early 60s. I think many jocks (including Bruce Morrow [Cousin Brucie]) today that tend to apply the term ‘Oldies’ to songs that were on the hit charts in the 50s, 60s and early 70s.  And there are a few jocks that simply refer to all pop songs prior to mid-50s as ‘golden Oldies.’ I guess the word ‘Oldie’ is a relative term.

I continue to read and enjoy your LARadio column. And, I would like to know where I can send in a check to financially support it.” – Carl Spring, West LA

I Use to Love You Honey, 'Til You Spent All My Money - Fats Domino

(May 11, 2018) Seeing the bonuses paid to help retain iHeart radio execs once again reminds me I was just a worker amongst workers. I never had a parachute offer (golden or brown), nor a big payout while I worked or before I retired. It’s especially tough to think of all of the decent and talented people who worked for the (Lowry) Mays * family and Bob Pittman during the last decade. These people dedicated themselves to the radio industry they loved, only to be shoved off a moving train ... Jim Carson’s story about Archie Bell and his hit song Tighten Up prompted Bill Seward to write, “Archie Bell was also the older brother of College Football Hall of Famer Ricky Bell of USC.” Well, there you go … Mike Joseph died last month, at the age of 90. His name might not mean much to the radio listener, but if you listened to one the Mike Joseph-consulted stations, you learned quickly what heavy rotation meant. He created the “Hot Hits” format. On his Top 40 stations, he would turn over the music to the point where every hour you would hear the Top 5 songs. Mike gave a new definition to heavy hits rotation. His stations were mostly in the East, although heard on the West Coast at KITS San Francisco ... I’ve always found it strange – and perhaps a bit desperate – to have cash contesting at an all-News station. Aren’t they above the P.T. Barnum hucksterism of offering $1,000 (mind you, for a national contest) before or after stories of genocide in Syria and the interruption of traffic reports detailing a SigAlert on the 405 caused by a truck overturning on the 405, dumping its load of the bonus money being shipped to Robert Pittman and Mary Berner ... A piece published at CNNMoney states Salem Media Group execs have pressured their talk show hosts to be supportive of President Trump is getting a lot of attention. Duh. The CNNMoney piece was sent to subscribers yesterday (you can sign up to receive these mailings by writing me … Tomorrow, some fun Email Saturday contributions ... On Monday, April '18 ratings ... Eclectic broadcaster Randy West was just nominated for the Board of Directors at Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters. He’ll be great for the organization! His energy level is contagious.

*In 2003 Mays testified before the US Senate that the deregulation of the telecommunications industry had not hurt the public. However, in an interview that same year with Fortune Magazine, he remarked, "We're not in the business of providing news and information. We're not in the business of providing well-researched music. We're simply in the business of selling our customers products." Mckibben, Bill (07). Deep Economy. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. p. 132.

Hear Ache 

(May 10, 2018) KFI’s John & Ken were mentioned in an LA Times editorial yesterday. “Senator Josh Newman hadn’t been in the job six months when conservative talk radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou … started focusing on Newman as the weak link in the Democrats’ chain of power.” … Sorry to hear that has folded … Condolences to Hal Smith, veteran of KLAC in the mid-70s, on the passing of his wife, Sue. “But her spirit and the memories live on.” … Steven Pailet posted on Facebook that his buddy CJ Newton lost his job at KSPN after 10 years. “If anyone is looking for a good production / imaging manager, 20 years of experience, CJ Newton is your guy. He can be reached at 323.649.4553. Email - …Mike Kaplan, former pd at KYSR (Alt 98.7), has joined Entercom as pd of WBMP (Alt 92.3)-New York … Didja know that Archie Bell of the Drells was drafted into the army, and began serving in Vietnam when he was shot in the leg? While in the army hospital, Tighten Up shot to #1 in the Pop and R&B charts. He had a tough time convincing the hospital staff that it was him who recorded the song just before he was drafted. This narrative was told by former longtime K-EARTH personality Jim Carson.

LARP: The month of May celebrates Mother’s Day.
 Do you have a special story about your mom?

(from 2009)

Geno Michellini (former KLOS personality): When I was at KOME-San Jose about 1979, my mom came out to visit me from Colorado. I was living in Santa Cruz at the time. I remember that my old pal Greg Kihn was playing at a club in Santa Cruz and we went to the show. She had never been to a rock concert before, but she was my mom and I thought, she might as well see the 'real me.' 

Now you have to remember, those who can, what the times were like then. Here I am, in my bell bottoms and long hair with my mom, a sixty something year old lady at a concert. Plus, it was Santa Cruz [lots of, let’s say, natural ‘products’ around] with a lot of ‘smiling faces’ and happy people. So here I am with my mom and friends rocking out. 

She’s in her mom clothes and drinking her Seven and Seven standing there down front boppin’ along. Certain herbs being passed back and forth, and yes, I inhaled. She didn’t seem to mind so I thought everything was ‘cool’ when this young lady came up and offered one to her. Mom smiled and declined and then looked at me and giggled. The girl looked at me then at my mom and said, ‘Is this your mom?’ I responded positively. She went on, ‘I just think this is so cool that you can go rocking with your mom. She is so adorable. And she lets you smoke dope too!  Wow!’  To which my mom interjects, ‘I do not!'

I was a bit confused as I’d just passed one on a minute before that. She looked at her and declared, ‘I’ve NEVER seen my son smoke that reefer stuff.’  Then she giggled again and said, ‘Every time he puts one to his lips I close my eyes. Like I said I’ve never seen him do it.’ The girl hugged my mom, got a tear in her eye, and said something about my being the luckiest guy in the world.  It was a side of my mom I didn't know existed.   

The kicker to the story was that about a week after my mom flew back to Colorado I was looking for a Greg Kihn album to listen to and couldn’t find ‘any.’ By chance I called my mom up and asked her if she knew anything about it. Her response, ‘Yes, I may have packed a couple of  your Greg Kihn albums in my suitcase. Every time I listen to one darlin’ I think of you.’ And every time I hear Greg Kihn I remember that night. 

A couple of my mom's favorite sayings, she may have originated them, ‘A cheap thrill is STILL a thrill’ and ‘If you didn’t make a mess, you didn’t have a good time.’    

The enclosed picture was taken on the ‘KOME PARTY KRUISE ON THE BAY-'79,’ that same trip. We did a lot of  ‘wild and crazy’ promotions back then. I took mom along on all of them. She ‘really’ got to know her son. I wasn’t sure how she’d respond, but I thought it was better to see what was going on in my life than to try and be something I wasn’t. As luck turned out, ‘There’s a reason I am the way I am.’ It was standing next to me in the picture. I lost her three and a half years ago. Her name was LaVerne and I thank her for what she gave me. Because of her spunk and joy in living I have had a great life. I love you mom. 

p.s. Note the shirt and pants. Back then ‘it worked.’  

Leslie Marshall: I grew up pretty poor. My dad was a struggling jazz musician and my mom was a part-time nurse so she could be home with us when my brothers and I were in school.  

When I was 15, I was dating a guy a year older than me, a junior in my high school and he asked me to go to the junior/senior prom. I didn’t have any prom dresses. We really couldn’t afford one, especially the one I fell in love with in the store window at the mall.   

One day I came home from school and my mom had a box for me. In it was the white prom dress I had loved in the window at the mall. When I asked how she got it for me, she told me she had run across some good luck. I found out later in life that my mother actually sold her own clothes to a consignment shop and some jewelry she had to buy me that dress. I guess you could say I know my mom would give me the shirt off her back because she has. She’s incredible.  

Bob Morgan: My mom, how could there be a less selfish person born on this planet? I was an only child and as far back as I can remember, both my parents doted on me all the time. They spoiled me rotten and I was the apple of their eyes.  

My mom was an Oklahoma native. Born in Connerville, raised in Ada, she was by nature a giving woman all her life. But it hit me the hardest just moments before she passed away. Every time I would visit her when she lived on her own after dad died, her first words to me were always, ‘can I get you something, do you need anything?’ 

 When she got to the point where she could no longer live alone, I moved her in with me and my daughter. Even then, the first thing she'd say when she woke up in the mornings was, ‘can I get you and Becki something? You want some coffee and toast?’ 

Her little lungs failed for the last time a week before her 90th birthday in 1998. In the emergency room the doctor told me they could incibate her but she would be on a breathing machine for whatever time she had left and I had to make a decision. The most difficult a son had to make in his life. The doctor removed the breathing machine and told me it would just be a matter of minutes. I stayed by her bed and an hour and a half later, she was still fighting. The doctor could not imagine why. My pastors were with me and one of them, a wonderful 70 year old man told me ‘she won't go until you tell her it’s okay to leave.’  

I leaned over and whispered in her ear, ‘I'll be fine, Pastor Sherm is here with me. Becki and I will be okay. You go on and I’ll meet you later.’ 

She grinned and moments later took her last breath. I’m not the brightest bulb on the marquee, but I know there's a lot more in this world than we know about. But one thing I do know is that moms are special and you only get one shot. My one shot was Louise Oliver (Rogers) Morgan. It’s only my humble opinion, but she was my Superstar! 

Chuck Blore: It happened when I was about ten years old or whatever age it is when your mother first asks, “Chuckie. What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“What?  Mom, I’m ten years old.”  I had never given the slightest thought to what I wanted to be, that is if you don’t count wanting to be a cowboy and/or Tarzan.

At ten years old you don’t really have much of a past but my future was about to be sealed.  I swear to God that moment was traumatic and my memory of it, indelible.  I was sweeping leaves off the porch of our house in East Los Angeles.  The radio was on and old-time-deejay Al Jarvis was on it. Al sounded like he was having a pretty nice time and suddenly I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. So, I looked at my mother with my best ‘I’m very serious’ expression, I pushed my ten year old voice down as far as it would go and said, “I want to talk on the radio.”

My Mother was a kind and gentle lady and I’m certain what she did then was meant to protect her little boy from being cruelly buffeted about by an unkind society.  She took both my hands into hers and in the gentlest possible voice said, “Chuckie.  People like us don’t do that.”

Whoa! Something snapped inside my young little soul and I swore to myself, “I am not people like us. I am me!  And me is gonna talk on the radio!” From that moment on, talking on the radio was everything life was about.

See?  I owe everything to my mom.


Don Elliot: It is fitting timing that my mom's influence on me would arise from my memories today,  just after my recent surgery at Cedars-Sinai and only hours before Mother’s Day. It will be a true Thanksgiving Day for ME on Sunday, first, the appreciation for my great healthcare, and secondly, that my mother is alive, well, comfortable and quite healthy at 90. She takes only one pill a day – a blood pressure med! Now that’s what I call great. 

A wonderful early memory of her, and the influence she had on formation of my career choice, happened at age 10 on my first trip to The Big Apple. She had a family friend named Rudy Eisell, a VP at Radio City Music Hall. After a lunch at Sardi’s, he took me on a trip to the Foley stages during the radio broadcasts and showed me how the sound effects were made live during the shows.

The most impressive was a wooden rack of clothespins lined up on swiveling wires that could be lifted and lowered on any surface and any angle. One could simulate sounds of the feet of marching men and control the speed and intensity right there in the Foley pit during the show.

He then followed that up with a Spike Jones concert (famous for his live sounds blending of anything from trash barrels to cement mixers), and damn, I’ve been hooked for LIFE! If it’s sound or music, it’s my life. 

Remember the old expression –  “How about THAT... ya learn something’ new every day?” 

Whenever I would “learn something new,” my mother would then footnote my comment with, “No, you just didn’t know it before.” 

Here she is, shown teaching a spinning wheel technique to her students at the Kansas City Weavers Guild, where she is a member to this day. Keep on keepin’ on, mom, and Happy Mother’s Day from your little radio wire head brat! 


Wink Martindale: Perhaps like many of your readers, my story will ring a bell. I grew up in a small house in Jackson, Tennessee. No modern-day shower, just a tub for which hot water had to be heated on the wood stove. One bathroom for six people. We didn't have a lot of the material things we take for granted today. 

As Mother’s Day approached last week, I was re-reading a letter from my late mom, dated May 12, 1979 – a letter in which she reminded me, “We may not have enjoyed some of the things others had, but your dad and I always saw to it there were good meals on the table, and you never went naked!” 

How we turn out as adults, in my view, is reflected by how we were raised as children. In our God-fearing home, the appreciation of my mom can be traced to one seminal moment. It was a fall evening. I was seven or eight years old, and had flat-out lied to her about having taken some grapes from our neighborhood grocery store without paying for them. She took me out to the back yard, stripped a “switch” from our monumental Weeping Willow tree and proceeded to give me the whipping of my young life. I never forgot that night. I never took what didn’t belong to me again. And the event cemented a loving relationship with mom that I have carried with me for life.  

Sad to say, but true, in today’s world, a child might take his/her mom to court for teaching such a lesson. 

How many can relate to these words as you remember YOUR Mom and perhaps make you silently weep in sorry or joy?This is titled “No Charge.” 

My sister’s little boy came into the kitchen one evenin’ while she was fixin’ supper. And he handed her a little piece of paper he’d been writin’ on. And after wipin’ her hands on her apron, she took it in her hands and read it. This is what it said. 

For mowin’ the yard, 5 dollars.  For makin’ up my own bed this week, 1 dollar. For goin’ to the store, 50 cents. And playin’ with little brother while you went shoppin’, 25 cents. Takin’ out the trash, 1 dollar. And for getting’ a good report card, 5 dollars. And for rakin’ the yard, 2 dollars. Total owed, $14.75. 

Well, she looked at him standin' there ... and a thousand memories flashed through her mind. So she picked up the pen, turned the paper over, and this is what she wrote. 

For the 9 months I carried you growin’ inside me, no charge. For the nights I sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you, no charge. For the time and the tears and the cost through the years, there is no charge. For advice and the knowledge and the cost of your cottage, no charge. For the toys, food and clothes, and for wipin’ your nose, there’s no charge son. And when you add it all up, the full cost of my love, is … No Charge.   

Howard Stern Cut and He's Not Happy 

(May 8, 2018) Howard Stern was upset. No, he was pissed. Listening to his almost half-hour rant yesterday on his SiriusXM show was clearly from someone who has made a career out of being edited and not liking it. For decades it was the FCC, or his program directors telling him he couldn’t do something or another.

Earlier last month, Stern was in Cleveland to introduce Jon Bon Jovi into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He didn’t want to go, but Rock Hall Foundation co-founder Jann Wenner and Azoff MSG Entertainment ceo Irving Azoff wanted him there so much that they flew him to Cleveland on a private jet so the travel-wary radio veteran could attend the event.

“They wanted me there...ya got me there, now fucking air my fucking speech ya fucking kooks!” he shouted in mock anger, as he recalled the event. Stern’s comments were edited for the HBO broadcast, which was the source of his ire.

“I really crafted my words, I wanted to make people laugh. I wanted to have a good time,” Stern said at the top of Monday morning’s Howard 100 show, adding that he was careful not to say anything unkind about any of the band members in what was an otherwise very irreverent, heartfelt speech. “I really crafted the some editor could determine if I was funny in places? They were probably like, ‘Hey, that’s a funny joke, but we gotta cut somewhere.’ No you don’t have to cut somewhere!"
“Who is the fucking genius who decided to cut me talking about the women [guitarist] Richie Sambora banged?,” he asked, likening the Hall of Fame speech edits to his early days in radio when program directors insisted on having a heavy hand in slicing up his shows to his eternal consternation. “I want to know the comedy genius...I’ve sat in on these sessions. It’s kind of like, ‘Yeah, cut that!’ It’s like a butcher shop. ‘Cut the fat off!’ It’s like, ‘Yeah, well we gotta cut something.’ No, you don’t! If something's good, you don’t cut it!"

Stern said that he would have been okay with the edits, had producers come to him beforehand with an agreement that he would have approval on cuts. “You can’t fly me to fucking Cleveland and ask me to make a speech and then edit the shit out of me,” he said, pointing out how some bits came off confusingly due to set-ups that were trimmed.

“I wasn’t there talking about my career. I spent a lot of time on that and they spent three minutes deciding what should be in and out...They completely...gutted me. Like a rotting fish, which I am. That’s how I feel inside.”

Following the HBO airing, Stern said he was bummed out all weekend over the end result, detailing a call to his longtime agent Don Buchwald, who agreed that his star client had every reason to be upset about the results. (Some story excerpts and photo are from Billboard Magazine)

KNX Celebrates 50 Years of All News

(May 7, 2018) KNX is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a news outlet in Southern California. More than 1.5 million people tune in to KNX 1070 News Radio every week for its comprehensive coverage of local, national and international news in addition to its trademark traffic and weather updates every 10 minutes on the 5s, according to an Entercom press release. “Since 1968 we have seen nine presidents, six governors, and six mayors,” said KNX director of programming, Ken Charles. “Through it all, KNX has been that one consistent source for integrity, trust, and credibility.”  (Photo: Frank Mottek, Julie Chin, Ken Charles, LA Mayor Gil Garcetti, Charles Feldman, and Dick Helton)

ABC has ordered a second season of hit singing competition series American Idol, with host Ryan Seacrest and judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie set to return. The show, once the biggest show on television during its heyday on Fox, has not been a runaway ratings hit in its return, but enough traction for a renewal … Congratulations to Rick Dees on becoming a grandfather. Her name is AvaMae, AM Dees, prompting some to suggest that Kevin Dees go for a girl next time and name her FM Dees … John Peake was named Station Programmer of the Year (KBIG/KOST) at the AllAccess Worldwide Radio Summit. “In reality, this is a testament to the talented and hard-working team that surrounds me every day,” said Peake. Randy Lane won Domestic Consultant award … Walt Sabo, aka Walter Sterling, has reached 50 stations for his Sunday night syndication talker “Sterling on Sunday.” Nothing in LA yet … There was a real dust-up between the Padres and their flagship station in San Diego, KWFN (The Fan). The best coverage over who controls content is offeredby a story published in the San Diego Union Tribune
 ... Cumulus ceo Mary Berner banked $3.8 million in bonuses last year … Over the weekend, KOST’s Mark Wallengren celebrated 30 years of marriage. Congratulations!

Dex Allen, Rare Personality Who Went from DJ to Ownership, Dies 

(May 6, 2018) Dex Allen, dj, radio executive (programming and sales), owner and most recently president/ceo of Pacific Start Communications, has died. He was 74.

Dex was best known for spearheading the “underground” movement at KPRI-San Diego. In the late 1960s, he drove to Southern California every weekend to work as a jock at KDAY (1969-70). Eventually he became general manager of several stations in San Diego. Dex made one of those rare journeys from dj to station owner.

Born Claude Turner in Ventura, Dex graduated from John Burroughs High School in Burbank and the University of Denver. His career can almost be broken down into decades. During the '60s Dex was a dj at KBLA, KTLN-Denver, KQV-Pittsburgh, KOL-Seattle, and KCBQ-San Diego. In the '70s he moved into radio sales and gm positions in San Diego. By the 1980s he was ready for station ownership. He created Commonwealth Broadcasting and KGGI/KMEN was his first purchase. He went on to own KROY-Sacramento, KMZQ-Las Vegas, KRST/KRZY/KOLT-Albuquerque and KYJT/KTTI/KBLU-Yuma.

"It was a cornucopia of who’s who in voiceover and broadcasting.
A most fitting event for the master of the spoken word, Dick Orkin.
Held at the SAG-AFTRA screening room on Sunday afternoon." - Jhani Kaye

Sunday Nostalgia - 12 Years Ago Today

An Open Memo to Phil Hendrie 

(May 6, 2006)  

Memo to: Phil Hendrie
From: Don Barrett 

It is indeed a sad day to know that you are leaving radio for the lure of television. You aren’t the first to make the move. Many other LARP made it successfully on a national basis. You have a tail wind of talent in front of you. Bob Eubanks, the KRLA Top 40 jock who brought the Beatles to Southern California, was the long-time host of the enormously popular Newlywed Game.   

Wink Martindale dovetailed high profile radio jobs at KHJ, KFWB, KRLA, and KMPC into a series of game show hosting that numbers well over 20.

As far as drama, one only has to follow David Hall’s journey from KNX/fm to pd at KKHR to coroner on the enormously successful original CSI. In a sitcom success, KNX morning man Bob Crane starred in Hogan's Heroes.

We have followed your journey with the mercurial attempts with network pilots and then reveled in your success when NBC green lighted the sitcom that debuted earlier this year, Teachers. Network and production execs have convinced you that your future rests in television. We’ve heard you on animated projects like King of the Hill and Futurama

But we will miss you. It’s not just you that we’ll miss, but all of your alter egos. Will Bobbie Dooley ever leave her gated community? And what about your on-going feud with Combover Boy, aka Tom Leykis. Hopefully you will find a public home for Doug Dannger, Vernon Dozier, Ted Bell, RC Collins and Margaret Gray. 

When you weren’t talking with one of your character friends you were very self-revealing about the elections, the war and your marriage difficulties. We shared your wedding to radio royalty, Maria Sanchez, and you became an instant father to four. Your 1997 marriage on the Queen Mary was officiated by Bill Handel and broadcast live on KFI. During the last year you have shared the difficulties in your marriage and eventual separation. 

We met on the phone in 1993 when you were working in Florida. I was working on the first edition of Los Angeles Radio People. You described your show, but I never understood it until you returned to the Southland. You left that first conversation with the declaration: “I’m doing one of the most creative talk shows in America, featuring character voices and interactive improv comedy. If you hear anyone else doing it, they stole it from me.” 

In 1996 you returned to KFI and gads, it was like a firestorm of publicity, buzz and fascination. If indeed there was anything like water cooler talk, you would have dominated the conversation. It was not only the fascination of how you could talk to yourself but it was the choice of topics that seemed like they were pulled right out of the headlines of the day’s news. Daily you were on your game for many years. 

Celebrities lined up to get a prized invitation to watch you work. You shared your “secrets” at the Museum of TV & Radio in front of a SRO audience. At industry conventions you were the star. Your peer group gathered around you like you were a rock star.  

You and I don’t communicate. In the beginning you praised my work, but something happened. You requested or maybe it was demanded that I never mention your name again at Request denied. You would have missed out on all the 1st place finishes in the yearly peer voting for the Best LARP of the Year. You would have missed out on all the stories and email that praised your work.  

When KFI decided to set you loose and you moved over to KLAC and your syndicated show bounced between LA Lakers games, it seemed like all the energy had been sucked out of you. The show never seemed the same. Instead of consistency, the show would spurt. Too many repeats and Best Of shows were aired. But even when you phoned it in, it was unique programming. But it was time to move on. You’ve done it all.  

You have nothing more to prove. Your place in LARadio history is secure - make that the entire radio industry. You have forever made an indelible mark as one of the truly innovative, creative, and brilliant radio minds. When you were on your game, you were the best. There will simply be no one like you - ever again. 

With sadness, the LA radio community sheds a tear for its loss, but we will get to watch you on a much bigger canvas. Once all your energy is directed toward the eye in the tube, watch out. There’s nothing to suggest that you won’t be an enormous success in the second half of your life. 

And I’ll never look at the aluminum foil on my baked potato again without thinking of Ted Bell’s Steak House in Beverly Hills.  

Email Saturday, 5.5.18

** 70s Never Sounded Old

“Talk about thought-provoking. The ‘Oldie not an Oldie’ question really made me think. To me, an Oldie is from the 50's and 60's. Of course, growing up in the 60's I listened to everything from Big Band to Marty Robbins and the Monkees. And it helped to have KMPC on the dial along with Boss Radio, KFWB and KRLA. So, the 70's never sounded old to me. Now when you listen to K-EARTH, I don't think they play anything [other than a Beatle song or Led Zeppelin] from the 60's or 70's. 

I think maybe we had it better, as far as diversity. From recitation songs to ‘flying records’ to Broadway/Movie soundtracks, as long as it was good or even interesting, Top 40 played it.  Even now, JACK/fm will slip in the album version of One Night In Bangkok next to Foster the People or Def Leppard - that's a mix! 

Hopefully the Clear Channels and iHeart Radios will allow space in their stations for crossover talent/music that has that relevance or hook. And stop eating their own just to eliminate competition.” – Julie Byers

** When Is an Oldie Not an Oldie?

“Answer:  When radio started to believe that its mission was to program stringently bordered ‘categories’ to one-dimensional listeners instead of ‘music, memories, emotions,’ ‘information/history” and “entertainment” to complex human beings. The lack of such artists as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, countless Motown acts and so many more from today’s terrestrial radio consciousness is an embarrassment.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a devote futurist. But if you don’t know where you are coming from, it sure limits your understanding of the road ahead.” – Michael Harrison, TALKERS

** Real Oldies

“I really enjoyed reading Monday’s column on the Oldies. When I was in my teens, Oldies meant songs from the 1930's and 40's. The Big Band era and songs popular during World War II were not mentioned in your missive. I was not around during that time, but I do remember songs such as In the Mood or Tuxedo Junction by Glenn Miller. Other big bands included Count Basie and Artie Shaw. Since I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I still remember KSFO and KNBR playing the Oldies I mentioned above. Do very many people remember Frank Dill or Don Sherwood?

I believe that your discussion on what makes an Oldie an Oldie is valid. If my parents were still around, they may have a different point of view about what constitutes an Oldie.

Keep up the good work. If you ever get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!” – Sterrett Harper, Burbank

** Joe Benson’s New Assignment

“Yes, we are all fans of Uncle Joe.” – Karen Martin

** Florence & Normandy

“YEAAA for Joe Benson! Hope it includes NHRA coverage. I'll be banging down his door.

Quick story about our Uncle Joe. Joe and his much better half Jan, are along for the ride and afternoon shift in the KFWB Jet Copter 98, Wayne Richardson at the controls, me in the reporter’s seat left front with Jan and Joe in the back, ALL of us in tears listening to an Uncle Joe story about a rock and roll legend interview and we're not 50 feet off the ground just leaving Van Nuys airport.

The date is 29, April 1992. In about 15 minutes the mood in our world changes dramatically. Wayne has us positioned just North east of Florence and Normandy, all hell is breaking loose, I'm reporting on everything I can see. We hear someone in an LAPD airship say on a frequency that we all can hear, ‘you know I think were being fired at from the ground!’

A second later Joe taps me on the shoulder and with his very best straight-faced smile with raised eyebrows says, ‘maybe you guys could take Jan and I back to Van Nuys Airport.’ Joe tells that story every time we meet up at some racetrack with embellishments, I will never repeat.

Love you Joe, I hope you land exactly where you want to be with a pant load of $$$$$$$$. Long time listener and Gear Head buddy.” - Jeff Baugh

** Townsquare’s Newest

“Congratulations Joe Benson! Wishing you all the best at your new gig.” – Phil Harvey

** KFAC Ad

“That KFAC ad with the nude woman in a mink threw me for a loop. I don’t recall seeing it before, and I’ve got to think that pd Carl Princi, who was one of the classiest guys I ever met [he was the first radio person I met, when I was 7, and sparked my desire to become a broadcaster], must have had issues with it. There’s got to be a story there.

 Your brief story on the Tappet brothers jogged my memory of one of the shows I syndicated in the mid-80s, The Auto Report, hosted by John Dinkle, then the editor of Road and Track, and wonderfully co-hosted by Bruce Chandler, who I had met in the early 70s when he was at KMEN. Bruce later tipped me off to an opening at Transtar, where I spent the next 23 years. What a treat working with him and with Dinkle, who had been a frequent guest of Michael Jackson on KABC before joining our show.” - Larry (Jack) Boxer

** Sad at Mark Morris Passing

“I knew Mark Morris and we were friends. I was impressed by his gentlemanliness and valued his friendship.

I am shocked and appalled at the news of his untimely death. He shall surely be missed.” - Laura Brodian Freas Beraha

** Best Employee

Mark Morris was one of the best employees l have ever had. Always calm. I often quote him about not letting obstacles get in the way. Go around. He is missed.” – Saul Levine

** Genial Personality

“Sorry to learn of Mark Morris’ passing. I always enjoyed seeing and talking with him during my promotional visits to KACE and KKJZ. His genial personality and enthusiasm was truly an asset to his radio shows.” – Don Graham

** Morris Nice Guy

“Saddened to hear of the passing of Mark Morris. One of the nicest guys I ever worked with. RIP Mark. One of the good guys.” - Rob Frazier

** Morris Professional

“Sad to hear of Mark Morris’ passing. He was one of the best guys I ever worked with. He was so professional at his craft.

An excellent radio dj and production guy. He was always in a good mood and no task was too great for him. He always got the job done. But most especially his kindness toward others. I never heard him speak an unkind word about anyone. He had that great smile and laugh that I’ll miss. The heavens are brighter with him.” – Dominick Garcia

Classic Uncle Joe Lands at Townsquare

(May 4, 2018) Uncle Joe Benson, veteran of KLOS twice for over 15 years, KLSX, ‘Arrow 93’ (KCBS), and most recently 100.3/The Sound, has landed a nighttime syndicated program for Townsquare’s weeknight “Ultimate Classic Rock.” He will be able to do the show, heard on 60 stations, from his home. “I’ll be saving 2-2.5 hours traffic each day,” said Uncle Joe.

Joe had a long tenure as host of Westwood One’s weekly “Off the Record” and many of his interviews, stories and videos will be part of “Ultimate Classic Rock” program. “I know all the elements. I know all the songs. I can tell my stories I’ve been doing for years. I’ll be able to do the features I’ve done for years. There will probably be a 10@10, a story on ‘this day in history’ and various other features that will allow me to tell stories,” Joe said by phone yesterday.

Growing up in the Midwest, Joe would frequently just go out to his garage with his buddies and hang out. He took that same concept in chatting with some of the biggest names in the music business. “We opened up Uncle Joe’s Garage and started shooting videos during the interviews. At least 5,000 people view the interviews each week, some weeks as many as 80,000. I just love having fun with people.”

It was a matter of great timing for Joe and his boss, Kurt Johnson (a big dj in the 70s and early 80s), at Townsquare. “It took a couple of months to sort out the situation with Entercom and CBS and Townsquare was looking to make a change with the ‘Ultimate Classic Rock’ program. I already knew how to do syndication since ‘Off the Record’ has been going for twenty years.”
The AOR legend proudly talked about his kids. His daughter is graduating from the University of the Pacific. “She’s a performance bassoonist and going for her Master’s in Toronto. My son is an extraordinary guitarist and this summer his band will be on tour. He’s extraordinary. Steve Miller has been his mentor. Just to see the talent in the two kids, I wish my dad was around to see it.”

In 1968, Joe started working for a small station in Dubuque. After stops in Milwaukee and Cleveland, he joined KLOS in October 1980. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of great people.” In January 1995, the "Classic Rock" station, KLSX, hired Joe to reprise his popular Sunday night show, as well as do fill-in.

In summer 1996 he returned to KLOS to host "7th Day," and by January 1997 was working afternoon drive. In August 1997, Joe took the morning shift at "Arrow 93," featuring more of his 'stories' to compliment the music intensive Classic Rock format. Over the years, he has written several volumes of discographies, Uncle Joe's Record Guides.

Joe, a racecar enthusiast and driver, has also been covering motor sports on-air since 1986, and has been announcing at the California Speedway since its inception in 1997. “The sport I enjoy the most, I can participate in it a little bit. That’s pretty fun.”

In other news: Peter Bowen, former DOS for CBS/LA, has taken on the Director of Sports assignment at Entercom/Chicago. Bowen was most recently vp/market manager of the Cumulus/Chicago cluster until September 2017 … Ben Shapiro, formerly mornings at Salem’s KRLA, is launching a second Ben Shapiro podcast, a Sunday new long-form interview series. The idea behind the Sunday series is to provide more in-depth interviews, while not disrupting the fast-paced daily news format of the weekday show. Shapiro is also a nationally-syndicated columnist since age 17, and a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School … Ken Minyard, longtime morning man at KABC, has some striking thoughts about radio that he shared on Facebook: “I just listened to a couple of commercial radio stations this morning for the 1st time in years. It's easy to see why terrestrial radio is dying. If you are accustomed to listening to satellite radio or podcasts or any of the other Internet options it is almost impossible to tolerate the avalanche of commercials fired at you. Back when I was in the game it was just as bad but listeners didn't have the choices they have today. The path forward is pretty bleak. Today’s radio is just as outdated as 8-track tapes, imo.”

Mark Morris, LARP Veteran for 30 Years, Dies

(May 3, 2018) Mark Morris, a beloved local broadcaster, died yesterday of a ruptured fistula. He had been on kidney dialysis for a few years. Most recently Mark had a show at He was thought to be in his 50s, according to Johnny St. John Newton, who gave Mark his first job in 1988 at KKLA. “Mark was a gentleman,” said Johnny by phone this morning, while fighting back tears. “He was first class all the way. He was very, very professional in his job.”

The native Los Angeleno grew up near Baldwin Park. He got the radio bug while working on Loyola Marymount University's college station, KXLU, where he was general manager for two years. During his tenure as manager, the staff won back-to-back awards as Radio Station of the Year. With a sparkle in his voice, he proclaimed his school the “Marines of God.” Mark did morning drive news and production at KKLA, then moving to SI Communications between 1988 and 1990.

Mark was also part of the morning drive team at KACE during its “Quiet Storm” period. While at KLSX in the mid 90’s, he was the host and producer of a syndicated NAC show “Night Songs” that was heard on over 20 stations.

His radio resume was deep. In addition to the above named stations he was a producer at Alan Beck’s Underground Oldies Show; production director at 1110/KRLA working with Huggy BoyArt Laboe, and Mucho Morales; production director at AM 1100 KFAX; production director at Salem/San Francisco; air talent at Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters; production director at Oldies 1260; morning show host at K-JAZZ; production director at Mega 100 (which became Hot 92.3/fm); production director at Comedy World; and director of production at KLSX 97.1 FM.

“I last spoke to Mark on April 10th,” emailed Mike Johnson, operations director at K-JAZZ. “He seemed in good spirits, and we had talked about meeting one day soon for lunch and going to a Dodger game. He was a great man and a true professional. I will miss him.”

AMP Says Yes to Yesi 

(May 3, 2018) I met Yesi Ortiz, former middayer at Power 106 and now at the same slot at AMP Radio, at an SCBA function at Disneyland. Her energy was undeniable as she met guests from the theme park and signed autographs. She has an incredible personal life, raising six adopted kids. 

LA Weekly published a 2015 story about Yesi by Rebecca Haithcoat. Here are some highlights:

As a child, Yesi Ortiz was so shy that she would opt for an F rather than speak in front of the class. “I always felt like I was an outsider. I used to talk to myself — I still do!” says the petite, bubbly Ortiz, bursting into laughter and wrapping her hands around a steaming cup of spiced apple tea one brisk evening. But her most impressive title might be “Mom.”

In addition to her duties on air, she juggles being an adoptive mother to six kids. “I’m very successful because of the drama in my life,” says Ortiz. Her lips are curved into a perma-smile. “There’s no time to have a pity party.”

Born in San Clemente to Mexican immigrants who spoke little English and divorced when she was a baby, Ortiz had difficulty making friends. The town was predominantly white, yet she was one of a handful of Latinos taking ESL classes. To make blending in trickier, Ortiz and her mother, stepfather and sister all lived in a single room they rented in someone’s apartment.
Adrift after graduating high school in the late 1990s, Ortiz was listening to Power 106 and heard a commercial advertising the Academy of Radio and Television Broadcasting. She and her mother had a stormy relationship, but watching her mom learn English by singing along to the radio was its one sunny spot. So she signed up, and in less than six months had landed a gig as the “Latin Diva” at a new station in Las Vegas.

Her career was taking off, but there was trouble at home. Six of her sister’s children had been taken into foster care. Ortiz found a radio job in San Diego, but the station was located in Tijuana. Having spent a good chunk of her savings on hiring a lawyer to fight for the kids, she moved into a cheap apartment in TJ and survived on peanut butter–and-jelly sandwiches. Her perseverance paid off — within two years, she had become the 25-year-old foster mother of three boys and three girls, all of whom she later adopted.

She has appeared on the popular VH1 show Love & Hip-Hop, but the fame hasn’t gone to her head — her kids are a built-in equalizer. “They don’t care that I was just on air with J.Lo,” Ortiz says, hopping into her mom van. “They just want to know what’s for dinner.” Read the entire story by clicking Yesi's photo provided by Ryan Orange.

Two LARPs on the TIME 100 Most Influential

TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people is a designation of individuals whose time, in our estimation, is now. The TIME 100 isn’t a measure of power, though many on the list wield it. Nor is it a collection of milestones accumulated. As our staff considers candidates, we often find ourselves wowed by those with stunning lifetime achievements. But editorial director Dan Macsai, maestro of the TIME 100, brings us back to the key question: Was this their year?
(by Dick Durbin) Jimmy Kimmel is a funny man, and he makes a living telling jokes about people like me. Washington never fails to give him plenty of material. But my favorite Jimmy moment was a serious monologue with only a few laughs. Last year, Jimmy told America the story of his infant son Billy, who was born with a congenital heart condition, and the extraordinary care that saved his life. And then Jimmy looked into the camera and told all of us in Washington to get real about health insurance and make sure every baby Billy had a fighting chance. Night after night he sparred with the politicians who tried to take health insurance from millions of Americans. In the end we stopped them with one vote in the Senate and one great comedian on late-night TV. Thanks, Jimmy.

Durbin is a U.S. Senator from Illinois and the Democratic whip
(by Newt Gingrich) Sean Hannity has a remarkable impact between three hours of radio and an hour of TV every day. His fans listen to him and learn from him. One of his biggest fans is President Donald Trump, who routinely watches the TV show and talks with Sean as a fellow New Yorker. Hannity played a major role in helping Trump get the nomination and win the general election. Sean is both a principled conservative and a ferocious opponent of the left and the deep state. He has made and is making a difference.

Gingrich is a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

"Click and Clack" Headed to Automotive Hall of Fame

(May 1, 2018) “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers” are voted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Even though first-run versions of the show ended with Tom Magliozzi’s death in 2012, they are still heard in reruns.

Tom and his brother Ray Magliozzi were running a D-I-Y garage in the Boston area when they started to drop by Boston’s not-for-profit News/Talk WBUR “to offer their advice and their self-deprecating humor,” said Hemmings Motor News. That was in 1977. They later began guesting with Susan Stamberg on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, which led in 1987 to their own hour-long Car Talk show on National Public Radio.
In other news: Now live across the country and airing one night a week, ABC’s American Idol won its two-hour slot, hitting its best numbers since its premiere … Heidi Harris, formerly mornings at Salem’s KRLA, returns to Las Vegas radio at KMZQ (670 AM “The Right Talk for Las Vegas”) … Here’s hoping for a quick recovery for Charlie Van Dyke. He was admitted to an Arizona hospital with pneumonia. Later in the day, there was concern Charlie may have had atrial fibrillation. “I’ve got a team of doctors, some with differing opinions, so they are getting together to sort it out,” Charlie said by phone yesterday.

AMP Radio (KAMP) has a new middayer, Yesi Ortiz, who comes over after a decades-long run at Power 106. Born and raised in Orange County, she commuted every weekend during college to Las Vegas to get her start in radio. She is part of the Style Network’s “Latina Modern Mom” initiative, which targets Hispanic moms between 18 and 49 years old with new programming and makeovers of existing shows. Yesi also hosted a reality show called, Single With 7.

Rob Marinko, closely associated with KABC for years, is moving to Winter Park, Florida, near Orlando. “Besides the obvious economics, we simply feel lost here in California,” wrote Rob on his Facebook page. “This is not an ad campaign for Florida as it has its own unique challenges. We feel our views and quaint law-abiding nature is not represented by anyone in power here. It’s not all about the politics and feeling generally unwelcome until tax time. We will have more time to spend out of our cars and doing stuff we enjoy. As you get older, you find that’s a big deal. Farewell Cali! We knew ye too well.”

Hear Ache. Jim Duncan set for knee surgery in June, while Saul Levine had successful knee surgery recently … Jimmy Kimmel will be adding his voice to an ABC pilot, Man of the House … Rachel L. welcomed Bean back to the KROQ morning show yesterday on Twitter. “Thanks for being so open and candid about your struggles with mental health. It’s very inspiring. I’m glad that you were willing to put up with our annoying questioning and got some help.” Bean was appreciative of the “many, many, many” listeners who reached out. “Onward and upward!”

When Is An Oldie Not an Oldie? The Answer ... Maybe


(April 30, 2018) While preparing this column on “what defines an Oldie,” I had SiriusXM on my radio. Their 60s channel was counting down the big hits of January 1960. A shorthand look at the 50s would probably include Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Fats Domino , while the 60s split between the Beach Boys, The Beatles and Motown. And then there was everything in between.

Included in the January 1960 countdown was Scarlett Ribbons by the Browns, Uh Oh, Part Two by the Nutty Squirrels, and the Village of St. Bernadette by Andy Williams. Would you consider any of these three songs hits representative of the era? Hardly, but there they were in the Top 20 of that chart.

Trying to answer the question of when an Oldie was no longer considered Oldies is prompted by an earlier question from Rich Brother Robbin, proprietor of RichBroRadio on the Internet. His site plays primarily the hits from the 50s and 60s. He asked if the cutoff for the Top 40 era is earlier or even later?

Gary Lane thinks the cutoff year was 1963. “You know it's kind of funny, Tom ClayPat Michaels and I were talking about this years ago at KWIZ in Santa Ana,” emailed Gary.

Dodger Steve believes a true Oldie stands the test of time and can get people moving and grooving whenever and where it’s played. The Disco era signaled the end of Oldies for Bob Scott. “If I had to pick a year, I would say 1973.”

“My short answer is that there is no answer,” emailed Lane Quigley, longtime host on “Music is in a constant state of evolution. Even on those rare occasions when there seemed to be a ‘big bang’ (e.g. Beatles / Rock Around The Clock), that music evolved from all that came before.”

Quigley continued: “You will recall that when I was doing my Memory Lane Show on KUSC in the 70’s, we played ‘pre-Beatle Oldies.’ That was a convenient delineation of the end of the first era of rock & roll, mainly because it seemed to generate interest in music to a younger audience than what came before. It was probably the last such clear delineation. Over time, I think the term Oldies has come to represent Rock music through the end of the 60’s. Most folks will always think the music of their school years was the best, but the term ‘Oldie’ does not generally seem to be applied to music from the 70’s and beyond.”

“I think that the British invasion, and influence from bands like the Grass Roots, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Credence Clearwater, etc., all contributed to making some of the late 50’s and early 60’s music sound really old,” emailed Craig Roberts. “Many of those 60’s songs played well up to the mid 70’s, then of course the ‘New Wave’ sound of the 80’s made those records sound old.  Time marches on, and so does music.”

“First, while as a convenience I keep my favorite Oldies 50s-and-60s in a single sub-directory,in reality I consider 1968 as an end of Oldies,” wrote Chime Hart of Sherman Oaks.

“The music of ‘69 was much less enjoyable, especially among slower records, along with Progressive Rock invading. While there are some songs from each year which I enjoy, it does seem to go in cycles. Just as a lull in 1960, 1970 was not so good, but 1961 and 1971 had lots of material I purchased. As for early Oldies stations, my friend up in Oakland says KWIZ went Oldies on January 7, 1965.”

Personally, I’m a big fan of 50s and 60s music because it is in my wheelhouse when I went to school. Memories are usually associated with a period of first-discoveries in relationships. When Rich first posed the question, I thought back to 1968. I was national program director for Gordon McLendon, based in Dallas. We were invited to an Iron Butterfly concert. After 15 minutes of In Gadda Da Vida, I turned to my wife and said, “The music has now passed me by.”

Thanks to those who participated. Rock on …

My buddy with the blast furnace energy, Rich Brother Robbin, gets the last word: My view is that “Top 40” and “Oldies” are different formats. Top 40 is the 40 most popular songs as determined by the best research we could get on any given week. Oldies is totally different from Top 40 and is far more subjective.  

When the Oldies format really caught fire in the mid-70’s through early 80’s, we literally threw in the kitchen sink. For example, we played El Paso by Marty Robbins (“hey, it was number one for the entire year in 1960”) or even more odd, Bobby Vinton’s There I’ve Said it Again, a chart-topper in 1964 that eclipsed a whole gob of super-smash Beatles songs just because it was number one.  We quickly discovered the MOR, Country, and fringy novelty stuff didn’t synergize with the rest of the playlist of pop hits and artists.

We realized playing Oldies was more about the sonic compatibility of songs versus their chart position. Should There I Said it Again get more airplay than I Want to Hold Your Hand just because the former charted higher the year of release? Of course not. We discovered it was more about “fit,” though what “fits” and “doesn’t fit” is subjective.

We learned stations which kept the music poppin’, offering three or four up-tempo tunes for every ballad or “slower” song, got better and better audiences. Music research entered into programming, then there was good ol’ Bill (“less songs, bigger hits more often”) Drake making changes at KRTH, cutting the playlist to 300 – 400 selections, and the ratings soared. Instead of old, stodgy numbers or silly Country bullshit, Oldies stations playing more up-tempo songs and knock-your-head off ballads like the Righteous Brothers had greater success.

So, am guessin’ my answer to the question is it’s about music from an era that match sonically. The real question is which songs fit together. Starting from Elvis, there’s the Beatles, Beach Boys, Everly Brothers, Chuck Berry, good ol’ American pop from the late 50’s and 60’s, Motown, more of the British Invasion, and so on, probably through a year or two after the Beatles’ break-up in 1969.

In the end, the Oldies format is the Oldies format, but it’s jus not that black-and-white. We have mainstream Oldies, mellow Oldies, rock Oldies, poppy wimpy Oldies, sickening or romantic (depending on your disposition and gender) sappy ballads, and on and on. They’re ALL Oldies!

So Oldies is like ice cream. We all know what it is, but the hook is coming up with the most popular flavors for the folks livin’ around your particular ice cream stand!

Archives 3rd Quarter 2017: KBIG big in the ratings; Open Email to KLOS PD; Entercom shuts down The Sound; Art Laboe celebrates 74 consecutive years on the radio; KNX shuffles shifts; Top 20 AOR stations of all-time; 2 non-coms go Triple A; Fake news at AMP radio; Book on Nancy Cole; Ellen K makes list of Inspirer women in radio; 1,000 apply for morning drive at AMP Radio; Gene Sandbloom exits KROQ; Alan Oda digs Japan; Outlaw Radio - Animal House for grown-ups who haven't grown up; Art Astor car collection auction; Idol producer on including Seacrest in reboot; Carson Dal out at AMP Radio; Lisa Bloom publishes Shattered Peacock; KN wins Edward R. Murrow award; Charles Pyne reported sexual harassment case; Summer reading; KROQ GM to Santa Monica Mayor; Passing Parade includes: Helen Borgers, Steve Gonzalez, Barry Turnbull, Don Bishop, Jay Thomas, Tommy Hawkins, and Bill Smith

Archives 4th Quarter 2017: Stern worth $1/2 billion; traffic LARPS honored; empty spaces at KABC/KLOS; fire threatens radio towers; LARPs caught in Northern California firestorm; K-LOVE versus EMF; Stern appears with Kimmel; unthinkable happens to Delilah a second time; three faces of Nicci Ross; LARPs at Las Vegas massacre; KNX wins Edward R. Murrow award; Passing Parade includes Joe Reiling, Bob Eatman, Helen Borgers, Cliff Winston; Hilly Rose; Greg Ashlock promoted to President at iHeart; Jim Duncan exits iHeart; Jeff Federman returns to CBS/LA cluster that is now Entercom; Kiplinger says announcing one of the worst jobs; KBIG dominates ratings; Is Bill Handle in trouble? Jeff Baugh involved in SigAlert; Charley Steiner complaints; Countdown until The Sound shuts down; essay on The Sound; Love letters to Sound staff; Field of Dreams; Scully scolded; KABC's Tweeden claims Al Franken groped her; Laboe marshall of Xmas parade; Seacrest denies behaving "Inappropriately"; Pope moves from San Jose to Inland Empire; Night disco died; Jingle Ball reviewed; Steve Edwards departs Fox morning show; Bill Brown found; Ralph Garman fired from CBS after almost two decades on Kevin & Bean Show; radio reunion; Allred/Bloom tiff?; LARP traffic people mentioned in NY Times story; massive firestorm; Tammy Trujillo writes broadcast textbook; Top stories of 2017 by Alan Oda; Scott St. James' challenges; Memories of Chickenman

Archives 1st Quarter 2018
Al Michaels
broadccasts from home for the first time; Norm Pattiz to step down; At first whispers, and then a roar; Passing Parade of 2017; Paul O'Malley heads to Charleston cluster; Chuck Blore essay; new AMP morning team; latest KFI news anchor, Mary Kate Gaffney; In Bed with Broadcasting; Morning Side of the Mountain - personal stories of Montecito mudslides; Keith Jackson's death makes front page in two LA Times sections; KGO ready to simulast KABC personality; Passing Parade: Jack Sweeney, Bill Lally, Paul Cassidy, Jon Badeaux, Lyle Kilgore, Joe Frank; Lisa Worden new ALT 98.7 PD; Thanks for the ride, Don Imus; KOST holiday ratings on top; Lauren Sivan joins KABC middays; Ellen K to announce Grammy broadcast'; The Real Don Steele voted Best LARP of All-Time; Billy Bush repairing his career and life; KABC wins Golden Mikes; Reel Radio founder needs help; Rob Frazier's new gig takes him East; Corbin Carson joins KFI News; Chelsea Briggs joins AMP morning show; LARadio readers listen to KFI and Tim Conway, Jr.; Val Maki and Janet Brainin out at Power 106; Gary Owens with a story for the ages; Ryan Seacrest tells it like it is; Behind scenes at KOST, Cumulus uses outdoor to promote Dahl; Gloria Allred's Netflix docu; Craig Fiegener new to KNX news; 80-year-old LARP sues 77-year-old LARP; Michael Harrison chats with Trump; New mornings at Power 106; LARP memories of Billy Graham; busy JoJo; is podcasting worth it? Ryan Seacrest woes; iHeart in deep financial trouble, files for bankruptcy; Mary Beth Garber's new career; Carson Daly has high anxiety; A Noble journey; Bill Handel rushed to hospital; Rich Brother Robbin is an Oldie and a Goodie; Andy Chanley to 88.5/fm; Sun sets on Don Imus Show;

Archives 2nd Quarter 2018
Passing Parade: John Mack Flanagan, Mike Walker, Don Pitts, Art Bell, Roger Collins; Who got The Sound listeners? Last originator of American Top 40 dies; Jim Ladd alive and well and will return to Sirius after months off; Twitter storm over Bean's tweet; Three LA Radio Stations on List of Top 10 Billers in 2017; I Am Not a Victim - Larry Gifford; Is Savage Being Set-up?; Channels 11/13 history; Paraquat's GoFundMe page; When is an Oldie no longer an Oldie;

About the Publisher of, Don Barrett

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

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

Barrett's Southern California roots (Santa Monica) include a bachelor's degree from Chapman University. 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: May 19, 2018