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(Bill Plaschke, Jeanne Zelasko, Mike Butts, Joe Collins, and Jack Salvatore)
Potpourri of Today's News
(October 6, 1998) A month ago I heard Huggie Boy promoting Humble Harves arrival at KRLA. I called Harve immediately to congratulate him and he said, "Whered you hear that." I told him of Huggie Boys remark and he said New York hadnt approved it yet. A month later, Gary Lycans lead item in his weekly radio column in the OC Register yesterday asked the question, "Will Humble would be returning to KRLA?" If so, it would be Harves fourth visit to KRLA. He started in the Southland at KBLA in 1965 and has also worked at KHJ, KIQQ, KUTE, KRTH, KCBS and KZLA Saturday night around 6:30, a KRTH listener won over $5,600 in the High-Low contest KLSX pd Jack Silver emailed about activities at his FM Talk station: "I am amazed at how many people are confused with Jonathon Brandmeier doing voiceover work for ABC/TV...while being on the air at two CBS radio stations, KLSX here in L.A. and WCKG in Chicago. Voiceover work is something that JB has done before. In the past, he did the NBC Must-See v/o's. Brandmeier has always been a bright star when it comes to industry people driving to work...and hearing his voice. It would be rare that any major player would have a contract that would limit outside voice work. We love the fact that our midday host is heard on network TV...as well as on every radio station that runs the creative. By the way, Johnny Bs live broadcast at the House of Blues on Friday [10/2] was one of the tightest productions I've seen in L.A. in a long time. It's time for this town to get hip to JB...and quit talking about the small market bullshit like pd's resigning or weak ass morning show wanna be's. Oh yeah, and Tom Leykis live in front of 1,000 fans in Hermosa Beach on Friday afternoon was red hot too. Talk radio has never been this hot...Tom is on the cutting edge. You must check out his live show from the NAB in Seattle on 10/15 at Planet Hollywood. I'd like to see John and Ken's lame ass host a live show like Leykis." Speaking of Tom Leykis, Jerry Seinfeld was being saluted at the Beverly Hills Museum of TV & Radio last night and mentioned Tom. Tom was shocked: "My jaw dropped to the floor when Jerry Seinfeld mentioned me in a joke about the Museum. Later, I met up with him and he said that when he lived here in L.A., he was a regular listener. No matter how long I live in L.A., I will never cease to be amazed when I hear something like that." Listen for Tom to tell about the encounter this afternoon on KLSX Rod Lurie is the only Talk show host who devotes his show exclusively to movies, a fact that seems strange for a town that makes movies. He is at KABC on Saturday afternoons. This past weekend he praised Siskel & Ebert as "Both being extremely articulate and Ebert particularly, who still writes lengthy reviews, is probably one of the three or four best columnists in the United States." Rod said their "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down" feature, however, is "about as silly as it comes." Speaking of movie reviews, do you remember the local reviewer who said, "On a scale of one to ten, ten being best "? It was Gary Franklin, who first gained fame in Southern California radio as a reporter for all-News KFWB reporting from "Car 98." For 40 years he has been in the business of electronic journalism as a network news writer/producer, news director, reporter and critic. His passion in life is photography. Over the years his black and white photo work has been frequently displayed at various one-man shows throughout the Southland. Gary has over 120,000 photos in his archives. He is writing an autobiographical novel complete with his own photo illustrations titled Son of Frankenstein. His mothers maiden name was Frankenstein. Tomorrow, Gary gives us his perspective on the state of Southern California radio. It is a must-read! KIEV Morning Magazine host Larry Marino talked with Gary Owens this morning about Gene Autry. Gary Owens said: "I worked for Gene for 20 years. One thing well always remember about him, is that despite the fact he was worth millions and millions of dollars, he would always take the time to chat with anybody. We had conversations in the hallways, at Anaheim Stadium and just wherever we would happen to be." KROQ spent the weekend giving out tickets to a December Depeche Mode concert at the Anaheim Pond. A big winner wins a helicopter ride to the Pond, a private backstage dressing room, and "seats" to watch the entire concert from on stage, and finally a limo for the ride home Ira David Sternberg worked at KWIZ and KOST in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In the late 1970s Ira moved to Las Vegas where he worked as a writer, editor and public relations consultant. He created the character "Larry Las Vegas" and was frequently heard on KGIL with "Sweet Dick" Whittington and KABCs Ken & Bob show. For over a decade Ira was PR director for the Tropicana Hotel. He now writes the Las Vegas Notebook, a prep service for Nevada media outlets. One of Iras Notebook contributions this week: "Mike Tyson doesn't want his psychiatric report released to the public. He's afraid it would show he talked the doctor's ear off."
We Get Email
***** Five Stars for Gene Autry
"I still have the autographed album Gene Autry gave each of us at Christmas. The first time he saw me walking down the halls at KMPC he went to the news director and said: Is that Hippy working here? I had hair down to my shoulders. I was KMPC and KTLA's first Orange County Bureau Chief at about the time he started the Angels. One of my jobs was to get with CHP Sgt. Johnnie Braun every now and then and drive Gene home to Melody Ranch. He sometimes took a drink or two. He was one of the rare "Flying Sgts" of WWII, those select few who were given flight training but not commissioned officers. Herb Green, who later became his personal pilot and life-long friend [and founder of the KMPC Air Force] was also a Flying Sgt. There is a great story about the time he took a power mower and cut a swatch from the fireplace across the living room and out the front door on wife Ida's brand new, four-inch pile shag rug. I liked him. Andy Park"
** "Just a recollection of Gene Autry, who died today [10/2]. I was working the Democratic Convention for Mutual Radio in 1960 when I spotted Autry in the entrance hall of the L.A. Sports Arena, whipped out my tape recorder, and interviewed him for a few minutes. Our chat completed, I thanked him and started to walk away.
Can I ask you a favor? Autry said to me. I notice you've got a badge that allows you onto the convention floor. The guards here won't let me in, so I was wondering if you could walk over to the Texas delegation and tell Sam Rayburn that I'm out here.
Of course, I said. I made my way to the Texas
delegation, found Rayburn and gave him the message.
They won't let Gene Autry in? he said with disbelief. Where is he?
I led Rayburn out to the entrance hall and found Autry who
was cooling his heels patiently. Rayburn greeted him as an
old friend, put an arm around him and began to walk him in.
But a guard still tried to prevent Autry from entering. I watched as the guard and Rayburn -- probably the most famous Speaker of the House in history -- engaged in heated conversation. The guard then pulled out a walky-talky, apparently to check with a superior. I saw him check Rayburn's badge, relay the info to whomever he was talking to and then stand back to allow them in. It made a better story than my interview." Lew Irwin email@example.com
** "A few years ago I started writing a paper about The Seventeen Most Interesting Men I Have Known. Interestingly many of them were in broadcasting. Many of the men were mentors to me, whether they knew it or not.
There was Richard Tuck, the man who gave me my first job in broadcasting when I was sixteen years old, and Jack Lee and George Cameron and George Duncan and John Kluge--also broadcasters-- and then there was Gene Autry.
Richard Tuck gave me my first job in broadcasting; Gene gave
me my last. That job lasted nearly seventeen years. In a way,
Gene and I got out of the business together.
As I looked over my paper of the seventeen most interesting men, I realized that I had not finished with my thoughts about Gene.
After a few paragraphs I said that it too early to know and express my feelings about Gene since I am still working for him. Interestingly, while Gene was my last boss, I knew of him long before any of the other men I hold in such high esteem. I also worked for him longer than any other men in broadcasting.
The last word I wrote where, while I love and care for Gene, I feel that some more time has to pass before I can express, clearly, my true feeling of respect and admiration for the man as I am still working for him.
The day of his passing was just three days after his 91st birthday, and on the 57th anniversary of his wifes Jackies birth....Gene passed.I still dont have the words to express my feelings and love for the man.
When I left Metromedia to go to work for Gene, George Duncan said to me that, when he got into radio, the most respected broadcast groups were Golden West Broadcasters [Genes company] and Cap Cities.
In the 50s, 60s and early 70s, Golden West was one of the
best because Gene hired good people like Loyd Sigmon
and Bob Reynolds and gave them the freedom
Like many people I have know in the public spotlight, Gene was an introvert. He had a good 'feeling' about things. And he had the patience to stay with something -- or somebody--- long enough for it to develop and prove itself.
It was often said by Jackie Autry and by Pat Watkousky,
Genes former long-time secretary that Gene should be
given three days to think his decision over before you acted
on it. That is, he would say, 'yes' or 'no' to your request,
not wanting to hurt your feelings, but he might possibly
change his mind after he had thought it over for a couple of
I kept their advice in mind during the years I worked with Gene. It served me well.
The one exception to the three-day rule was when I told Gene of my plans to hire Jim Healy for KMPC. We were in Genes suite at an Angel game. [Much of my business with Gene and Jackie was conducted at Angel games.]
Without hesitation Gene said, Yep. Thats a damn good idea. I called and hired Healy before the game was over. Gene never had any second thoughts.
I was a fan of Gene Autry, forty years before I went to work for him. In my small Italy, Texas, I sat on the front porch of my grandparents home and listened to Melody Ranch on KRLD, the CBS station in Dallas.
I didnt know it, but Gene was teaching me formats. His
show always opened with an up-tempo song, then
fifteen-minutes into the show, he would do his drama with Pat
Buttram and members of the Cass County Boys. Then,
following the drama and a commercial for Wrigleys
Chewing Gum, he did a final song before his closing theme...Back
In The Saddle Again.
I first saw Gene Autry ---in the movies-- when I was a lonely boy, raised by his grandparents in a small Texas town in the 40s. There was one theater, the Elk, and it always played Genes movies on Saturdays.
Above all, Gene was a gentleman, and a gentle man, who gave and received great loyalty." Bill Ward (former gm at Autry stations)
** "Returned late Thursday night from 30-day visit to Europe, planning to sleep in Friday morning. I got a call from KFWB telling me of Gene Autry's passing and asking for an interview. I worked for the Cowboy for 21 years, he was like my Dad, one of the most, Honorable men I've ever known. He was not only the Chairman of The Board, he was also a great friend. He'd stick his head in the studio and say your sounding great and he meant it, he was also a KMPC listener. It's been a Sad Day, the loss of the Cowboy." - Roger Carroll" (KMPC personality for 20+ years)
** Alan Harvey Remembered
"I was working as a news assistant at KPOL in 1970 and Alan Harvey always did the NOON cast, which was a 15-minute affair in those days. I'll never forget Alan - I think I remember his as about 5'4" and slightly 'overweight' zooommmmmmmmming down the hall at 11:59:38 a.m. with a stack of carts half as tall as he was, so he could have the most up-to-date soundbites for his cast [the news assistants would dub carts at KPOL - no engineers for that task]. He was a swell guy and great to work it." Norm Garr
** Short Oldies List
"I never realized how limited a playlist KRTH has until my cable system starting offering an audio service. My wife and I listen to the 'golden oldies' channel and we keep saying Gee, KRTH doesn't play this one either. or I haven't heard that in 20 years. But then I'm 55 and out of KRTH's main demographic." - John Unrath, Seal Beach.
** Oldies Pirate Station?
"If anyone can help me it's you. While tuning around the AM dial, I stumbled upon this weird oldies station at 1660. What the hell is it? The jock [Robert W. Chenault] never gave call letters nor place of origin. I don't think it's a pirate station. Who in his right mind would program oldies on a pirate station? Anyway, if you know about this please pass along the info. Thanks." - Ken Levine
** Park Visits Beach
Beach Rogers retired from KNX earlier this week. Andy Park remembers:
"It was a quiet weekend morning and I was in San Diego covering the Pueblo Trial of Lloyd Pete Bucher. A source from within the court martial came to me and told me a preliminary vote had been held to acquit him. I called Beach with the story and he couldn't find anyone in management to authorize putting it on the air. But, in keeping with KFWB policy, a reporter's word was never doubted. We broke the story nationally. It created such a furor the Secretary of the Navy himself ordered the vote rescinded and convicted Bucher but pardoned him. Beach caught hell....but he never wavered. I never forgot that. I caught a little hell myself. I just sent Beach the following:
Subj: Not just the voice.....
....but the integrity of news has always marked you in my mind. I, of course, know better than most that you always stood behind the troops. When even the Secretary of the Navy was issuing orders to reverse a verdict in secret, you never tried to shift any of the heat to the guy who told you the story was right. I met Pete Bucher in later years and he told me he had heard of the initial Pueblo vote on KFWB when you put me on the air. He said his Navy lawyer told him Washington will never let it stand. But he always felt vindicated that he was not, in fact, the only man in Naval History to surrender his ship under fire. But he never passed the buck either, even though the ELINT officer was in charge. What memories flowed at the reunion. I hope and pray your career has been a satisfaction to you; it has certainly been a credit to you,.... and your family and friends should be proud. I know I've always been a better man for knowing you. Now get back to work and start doing some voice-overs and documentaries!" - Andy Park
"Any idea where Mark Mendoza, formerly fill-in dj and production assistant on KLOS, ended up? His on-air time ended soon after format adjustments and Disney took over Capital Cities in 1996. If you or anyone else knows his whereabouts, please e-mail me at KARMA6728@aol.com Thanks. Kristen Manriquez, Broadcasting Student, LA Valley College"
** Cheesy Berger
"My students at Fullerton College came in this week and said I had gotten a mention on your site. I was initially worried no news is good news after all but when I saw it was for my Sunday night traffic-reporting fling, I relaxed. Thanks so much. Your site is so much fun to read, it's an honor just to be mentioned in a small capacity. I was actually just filling in Sunday night normally do Saturday morning news from 5 - 12:30 for KFI. Thanks again! Keep up the great work!" - Ed Berger
** Anthony Schermerhorn
"Don, a really good friend is leaving L.A. His name is Ted Anthony Schermerhorn. He started off in radio as we all did, as a listener, then about 7 years ago he decided to intern and muscled his way into the position of engineer for the syndicated portion of the KLOS morning program. During his stay, he also was responsible for creating ALL of the Best of/Past moments for the Mark & Brian program and was involved in many of the morning radio bits including performing as a Laker Girl during a Laker Game as part of a lost football bet. Anthony will be moving to Seattle where he will be the producer of the Morning Show for KZOK's Robin & Maynard. Anthony will be missed by quite a few people and hopefully will be remembered as one of the hardest working employees behind the scenes at one of L.A.'s morning radio programs. Seattle by the way, is slowly becoming what is known in a few inner circles as KLOS North." Bill McDermott"
** "Anthony was a huge Mark & Brian fan [when he was a youngster in elementary school!] and was willing to do ANYTHING to get into radio. It's so refreshing to see young people get excited about radio and give it their all to make it in the biz! One of my favorite moments with Anthony is when he was featured in Cosmopolitan as one of the eligible men of the year...an admirer named D. Crabtree [D for Dave!] wrote him a long, suggestive letter. After several months of Mark & Brian putting D. Crabtree on the air with Anthony [and trying -unsuccessfully- to fix them up] they flew D. out to LA for the football punishments. Anthony's punishment was to have a lapdance by D. Crabtree...it was one of the funniest things ever!" Pam Baker (former Mark & Brian producer)
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