The most comprehensive listing of 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People, spanning the last 58 years, is now available just by clicking on your favorite personality. The listings provide a colorful snapshot of where they came from, where and when they worked, and what they’re doing now. Enjoy!   

A\B\C\D\E\F\G\H\I\J\K\L\M\N\O\P\Q\R\S\T-Z/W   

   

(Boomer Servantez ['92], Casey Kasem ['64], Mike Sakellarides, John Brooks, Dick Enberg, Ringo, and Nicole Sandler) 


Mr. KABC Exits KABC 

(February 13, 2007) Marc Germain, better known as Mr. KABC for the past decade at KABC, has exited the talk station. There’s network pressure to carry a second hour of Mark Levin, currently heard from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., which would have pushed the highly successful Mr. KABC Show to 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., according to a source close to the contract negotiations.

“I came to the difficult decision to leave because of family considerations,” Mr. K said by phone yesterday. “With two youngsters, the new proposed hours just didn’t work for our family. I am not yet 40 years old and I have a long career ahead of me. I have been a ratings and revenue winner working evenings at KABC and I have nothing but warm thoughts about the station and hopes for their continued success.”  

KABC issued this statement: “The Mr. KABC program will no longer be broadcast on TalkRadio 790 KABC. KABC Radio and  Marc Germain [a.k.a. Mr. KABC]  were unable to come to terms on a new contract despite on-going efforts on both sides to do so. KABC Radio is grateful to Mr. KABC for his years of service and to his listeners for their support. Changes like this are never easy. KABC Radio thanks Mr. KABC and wishes him well.” 

George Green, Mr. K’s representative was asked to comment: “He was extremely successful from a ratings point of view and was very popular with a large group of local advertisers who had enjoyed a great deal of success advertising in his program,” emailed George. “Marc is leaving the station with no hard feelings. These things happen in radio. And life goes on for all parties.  Marc plans to stay in radio and I will do everything I can to make that possible,” concluded Green.  

In the Fall ’06 Arbitron, Mr. KABC was #1 midnight to 1 a.m. and #2 10 p.m. to midnight. 

Hear Ache. Didja know that Roy Laughlin, head of the Magic Broadcasting cluster with KDAY, was almost killed about 10 years ago when he was on vacation with his wife in Spain? He got knocked off a motorcycle and had bad injuries to his head and face, which resulted in plastic surgery … Jerry Clark used to be a fan of "early radio" – getting up early to listen to Don Imus. “I guess you would say now that I cannot pick up his program on the radio that I am a fan of ‘early television,’ as I get up at 3 a.m. to ‘listen’ to the I-Man on MSNBC.” … KFI's Bill Handel read an email from a listener this morning praising the morning team. The emailer wrote that the only person she does not miss is Ken Gallacher. "I'm glad his weekend show is gone. He was a crashing bore," wrote the listener. Bill responded with: "Pretty close to reality there, don't you think?" ... Diana Steele is taking her HOT 92 Jamz morning show to the Coffee Bean in Anaheim tomorrow morning for a special Valentine's Day special ...

...In the Harrison/Progressive radio story that was sent to LARadio subscribers yesterday, Shadoe Stevens wrote to correct the author of the LA Citybeat piece that Ed Schultz broadcasts out of NORTH Dakota, not SOUTH Dakota. “Those of us from North Dakota have to stick together,” emailed Shadoe … KFI’s Art Bell is going to be a daddy again. New wife, Airyn Ruiz Bell, is expecting this summer ... V-100 got lucky yesterday. Mary J. Blige was a big winner at the Sunday Grammy Awards. The first tv spot I see Monday morning in one of the news programs was for V-100 that featured Mary J. Blige as one of its key artists.

Nightly LARP Headlines. As a subscriber to LARadio.com, you get the headlines the night before. Many times you react to the headlines. Andrew Schermerhorn saw the Mr. KABC exiting KABC headline and couldn’t believe it. “Sounds like a publicity stunt,” wrote Andrew. “He has the highest ratings in his slot, I think.”  

Randy West read the headline: “Didja know that Roy Laughlin was almost killed 10 years ago?” and quipped: “By an employee, no doubt.” 

Times Editor Loves Radio. Gary Metzker, deputy editor for news at the LA Times, has been a long-time supporter of LARadio.com. “I've been here at the Times for 22 years and was a part of 4 Pulitzer Prize winning Metro teams [Northridge earthquake, Rodney King riots, North Hollywood bank shootout and the San Diego fires],” recalled Gary. “I've been working at newspapers since I was 16 in Wilmington, Delaware and I absolutely love radio. I worked in a record store when I was 15 and wrote letters to all the big radio stations around the country to get their weekly radio surveys so I could post in our record store. And I remember on Monday nights hovered by my Sony radio listening to Steve Hunter do the big 30 countdown on CKLW [Detroit].” 

From ZZ to Top. Tony Scott featured ZZ Top Sunday afternoon on ‘Seventh Day’ at KLOS. “This is one of my favorite rock ‘n roll stories,” started Tony. “How Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons walked up to bass man Dusty Hill and introduced themselves at a Texas bar in May of ’69. They liked Dusty’s bass playing and they were off in the shadows watching him. They needed a bass player. They walked up to him after the set and introduced themselves. Before Dusty could return the greeting he passes out drunk, upon which Frank turns to Billy and says, ‘he’s our man.” Thirty seven years later they’re still drinking buddies and band mates.”

Overheard.

  • “Was Dreamgirls too black for the Hollywood community to nominate it as Best Picture?” (Matt Drudge, KFI)

  • “I’m loving American Idol.” (Jason Bowers, KYSR)

  • Rush Limbaugh again has said something stupid. Now he says it’s a joke. When is he going to shut up when it comes to football, which he knows nothing about?” (Dave Smith, KMPC 1540/The Ticket)

  • "Villaraigosa has claimed that the reason he's not wearing his wedding ring is he lost weight and he hasn't had time to get it resized, which I think is a huge, whopping lie." (John Kobylt, John & Ken, KFI)

  • "Carrie Underwood debuted a new song at the Grammys: 'Jesus Take the Wheel ... and Run Over the Dixie Chicks!'" (Gary Bryan, K-EARTH)

Living Single with Garver. Gary Garver, Hollywood’s go-to guy for Howard Stern for many years, is launching a new show on the Internet called ‘Living Single with Gary Garver.’ It is set to air on Friday nights from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. You can listen live next Friday at www.primetimeuncensored.com.

CBS Is a Riot. Synergies between company divisions and platforms have met with mixed results. CBS Corporation thinks they have the put together a winner with the creation of a new cross-platform unit that bridges its radio, Internet, outdoor and television sales operations. CBS RIOT will combine the assets of CBS Radio’s 147 stations, CBS Interactive’s local Websites, CBS Outdoor’s millions of billboards and display faces, and the 39 owned and operated CBS Television Stations to give advertisers unsurpassed reach on a local scale. The company also announced an inaugural multi-million dollar deal with Dodge Ram. 

LARP Rewind: February 13, 1934. Through a special hook-up from the White House, President Roosevelt pushes the button that puts "New York's newest radio station", WNEW, on the air. The station was the result of a merger of two Newark stations, WAAM and WHBI that had shared time at 1250 kHz. In 1941, WNEW moved to 1280, then to 1130. Personalities included Martin Block, Gene Rayburn, Ted Brown, Jim Lowe, Art Ford, Jay Lawrence, Dick Summer, Julius LaRosa, Chuck Daugherty, William B. Williams, and Al "Jazzbeaux" Collins. A music format lasted through 1992. Today the station is business-news WBBR.  

Born on February 13: Tennessee Ernie Ford (1919), Boudleaux Bryant (1920), Gene Ames (Ames Bros., 1925), Jim McReynolds (Jim & Jesse, 1927), Dorothy McGuire (McGuire Sisters, 1930), Kim Novak (1933), Carol Lynley (1942), Peter Tork (Monkees, 1942), Stockard Channing (1944), Jerry Springer (1944), King Floyd (1945), Peter Gabriel (1950), David Naughton (1952), Mena Suvari (1979). 

Number one songs on February 13: I Had The Craziest Dream by Harry James (1943), Without You by Nilsson (1972), Blinded By The Light by Manfred Mann's Earth Band (1977), Angel Of Mine by Monica (1999), How You Remind Me by Nickelback (2002). 

LARPs: Before and After

Left is Right. Nancy Plum (left in left photo and right in right photo) and Birdie Bush (right in left photo and left in right photo) met at the Santa Clarita Loew's Hotel last night to talk about earlier radio days. Nancy is in town from Atlanta. The photo of long-time friends on the left was taken in the 1980s compared to today on the right. Nancy flew Delta Airlines and was thrilled to hear Lara Scott (KFSH) on one of the in-flight channels. "She sounded great!" enthused Nancy. Birdie is a real estate agent in Valencia and does a weekly show on KHTS.

Ames Commentary. Christopher Ames airs commentary daily on KFWB. From Friday:

A pretty terrific person died yesterday. I'm Christopher Ames with today's comment. 

Anna Nicole Smith, 39 years old, the topless dancer, Playboy Playmate, almost rich widow and model of celebrity died yesterday in South Florida.  But she's not the subject of this report.  Manuel Ruiz, 20 years old, of Federalsburg, Maryland died yesterday.  This report is about him. And it's about 19 year old Terryl Hill of Shelby Township, Michigan. He died yesterday too. And it concerns Gilbert Minares Jr., 31 years old, of El Paso, Texas. Also dead yesterday. And a woman named Iqlas Abdul Hussein of Sadr City, Iraq. She was 20; she died yesterday too. I have more... more names, more nameless... whose lives ended yesterday in Iraq.  But I don't have time to recite them.  For one thing, the list is too long. And for another, we have to get back to covering Anna Nicole Smith. - Christopher Ames... KFWB News 980.

Charger Head Coach Schott Down. KFI sports guy Rich Marotta had a fired up commentary on the firing of San Diego Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer. "It's hard to believe that one month after exiting the playoffs in a heartbreaking last minute loss to the New England Patriots, one month after saying that Marty Schottenheimer would be back as head coach have fired Marty Schottenheimer. Even though the Chargers posted the best in football during the regular season at 14-2 and 3-1 favorite to win the Super Bowl next season. It is perplexing to say the least but it arises out of the philosophical differences between Schottenheimer and general manager AJ Smith. The two barely spoke. But it boggles the mind how two adults with this kind of opportunity could not put their differences on the back burner to work toward a common goal. They were nearly there."

Funnie. Sent by Patrick Emory:

Happy Birthday: Pat Garrett, Austin Hill, Herb Humphries, and Steve Rivers

LARPs: Where do you think commercial radio broadcasting will be in 10 years?

Dan Avey (KABC): Not too different from where it is now. There will be one, merged, Satellite service that will be massively in debt. The only live radio will be music morning shows, all-News,  all-Talk and all-Sports. Every market in America will have the same six to eight syndicated morning shows. Talkradio will be mostly syndicated shows. Pure all-News will have disappeared. Some stations will air all-news 5 – 9 a.m. and 3 – 7 p.m.

Weekend radio will be totally sales driven, computers, cooking, sports betting, cars, etc. and infomercials.

Emails 

We GET Email… 

** Brodie Worthy
“I definitely think Chris Brodie’s new position is an excellent decision. We all remember how great and listenable the WAVE was under her direction. For once a worthy person gets the perfect gig. It was always my dream to someday work at the WAVE, so I have followed the station closely since its inception.” – Johnny Hayes 

** Rose By Any Other Name
“I'm glad to hear that through Anthony Acampora's missive, Jim Rose [James Anthony Rose when he was on KZLA] is doing well and sharing his gifts with the people of Oregon. It just reminds us how much talent came from the glory days of ‘the Z,’ when we could turn it on and hear such vocal artists as Ken Cooper, Barbara Barri and Jim Duncan. When artists as diverse as Los Lobos and Mary Chapin Carpenter, Garth Brooks and Waylon Jennings shared the airwaves and listeners were treated like family...sigh.   

Hopefully the new Country station in town will resurrect such a connection!” – Julie Byers, Arcadia 

** Franklin Thanks
My thanks go out to those who've written in response to my comments, vis-a-vis the awful and excessive coverage of the Anna Nicole Smith demise ... and still continuing, days later. With the body remaining unburied, pending further medical tests, we can be certain that this pop media frenzy will continue, till she's finally planted, and even after that. And I'll bet publishers are being bombarded with book manuscripts – the worst part of that being that those books will sell like hotcakes.
 

Letter writer – and old compatriot – Mitch Waldow is correct in his last lines: I did interview the lady a thousand years ago, at the Playboy mansion. I might add immodestly, that I was pretty good at interviewing dull people. All one had to do, was think up questions that the other dumb-dumb showbiz reporters wouldn't ask. For example if, today, I were to interview one of those semi-educated, self-centered showbiz men, women [or combos thereof] – I would ask them about our situation in Iraq and then watch with glee, as they struggle for an answer that (a) wouldn't reveal their stupidity and (b) wouldn't get them in trouble. [Wasn't that great, last night ... the Dixie Chicks getting all those awards? Maybe the showbiz world IS changing for the better. Now if we can only get rid of some of the other loud, noisy, crashing music.] 

Our society is in so much trouble.” – Gary Franklin 


2015 Year in Review
by LARadio Senior Correspondent Alan Oda

(Ed. Note: Normally the Year in Review is done around New Year’s. This edition is offered during Chinese New Years. You’re right, it’s a poor excuse for being late. Hope you believe in better late than never.)

Weathering the Cumulus Clouds: It’s the personification of the children’s game “Musical Chairs” over at KABC. A year ago, Bryan Suits was brought in to challenge Rush Limbaugh. The latter no longer dominates the local ratings, and the former found himself out of a job last January. The underrated Doug McIntyre was extended an hour, while Peter Tilden, the station’s utility man (apparently), moves from nights to mid-mornings. Dr. Drew Pinsky and Psycho Mike Catherwood take the midday slot, former middayers Jilian Barberie and John Phillips slide into afternoon drive after the December 2013 departure of Larry Elder. Follow all that?

Meanwhile, after being lost in the middle of the pack throughout most of the year, sister station KLOS has been making inroads on the competition, specifically KSWD (The Sound / 100.3), though the now-Entercom-owned Classic Rock station is still in the lead. And does the edition of Jonesy’s Jukebox (hosted by former Sex Pistol and Iggy Pop guitarist Steve Jones) offer a clue about the future direction of KLOS?  

As for 100.3/The Sound, it’s noteworthy that former KLOS morning host Mark Thompson, half of the former team of Mark and Brian, now is in the same time slot but moving up the dial. The station’s Andy Chanley was part of the AM program, having been seen wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words “NOT BRIAN.” Mark has been missed, indeed. 

One more Cumulus note: In a major management shakeup, both of the Dickey brothers – John and Lew – are no longer at the helm of the company, with the stock reduced to junk status. Daily Breeze radio columnist Richard Wagoner has strong opinions of the Dickeys, his work can be found at www.socalradiowaves.com. 

The Rams aren’t the Only Ones Relocating: Kurt Alexander, better known as Big Boy, waded through legal wrangling to move his “neighborhood” (whoops, he can’t use that term) from KPWR (POWER 106) to the revamped 92.3, now known as KRRL (REAL 92.3). The station formerly known as HOT 92.3 saw a ratings bump with Big Boy and a new hip-hop format. Meanwhile, KPWR owner Emmis Broadcasting has seen ratings slide for their long-time urban station, from a perennial top 10 perch to somewhere in the middle of the pack.

 

Adios: There is no denying the significance of Spanish media in Southern California. One of the true pioneers was Teddy Fregoso (l). His radio legacy includes starting one of the first Spanish language stations, San Gabriel’s KALI, and bringing the Dodgers and Jaime Jarrin to Spanish baseball fans. And that’s just what he did for radio. His passing at the age of 90 ended seven decades of work as a true broadcast innovator.

Never Ever Garish: When Gary Owens signed off for the last time in February, signaled the end of another era in L.A. Radio. For all of those who claim to be the King of All Media, it was Owens who was present on what’s now known as multiple platforms. From being one of the Swinging Gentlemen on KFWB to KMPC and The Station of the Stars, he performed announcer duties on NBC’s Laugh-In, was superhero Roger Ramjet, and “Powdered Toast Man,” hosted The Gong Show (where it was pointed out he was the first person ever replaced by Chuck Barris, which gave Owens a good chuckle), voiced more than 30,000 (!) commercials, was part of the lineup of the Music of Your Life network, succeeded Murray the K on Soundtrack of the Sixties¸ released comedy albums, wrote books (including How to Make a Million Dollars with Your Voice [or Lose Your Tonsils Trying]),  and brought class to everything he did. The man who wore a Friedrich Nietzche t-shirt while playing basketball earned his status when he was voted the best of Los Angeles Radio People. Earl C. Festoon has reported his last roundup on the freeways, and the Story Lady has closed her book.

A Big Loss, Indeed: The loss of Joe McDonnell leaves a huge void in the L.A. sports scene, and that’s not only because of his persona as “Big Joe.” He was known for calling out what he saw was hypocrisy and injustice in the sports world and beyond – ask him about the JFK assassination and prepare for an unabridged history lesson. He criticized many, yet still maintained these same targets as friends, a rare feat. He called out his beloved Lakers for bad decisions (anyone remember “Del [Harris] must go!”), and was wary of former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt from the very beginning. Yet both teams helped cover the cost of his memorial services. Just know that Joe now has the best seat in the house to watch every game he desires. And a quick shout-out to his wife Elizabeth, whom Joe loved to his very last day.

There were other significant passings, among them Scott Mason, part of the short-lived, yet well remembered Top 40 outlets KKDJ and KIQQ and Storer Broadcasting’s KGBS-AM and KHTZ/fm. He rejoined KKDJ boss Rick Carroll at alternative rocker KROQ as the station’s chief engineer. His efforts helped take a station with a then less-than-ideal signal to eventually becoming the number one billing station in the country. Thanks to the generosity of Gene Baxter, half the duo of KROQ’s Kevin & Bean, Baxter’s donation of a kidney allowed Mason to enjoy and relish a few more years.

She was probably best known for her time at progressive rocker KLOS (including time as the station’s morning host) and later KLSX, but smoky-voiced Shana (LiVigni) was also a pioneer of Top 40 radio, being the first female to be hired at San Francisco’s legendary KFRC, before moving down south to sister station KHJ. She moved back to her native Michigan to start her company called Barefoot Entertainment, later starting a new career as a Personal Assistant and Healthy Living coach. Shana is gone way too early at the age of 62.

KIIS and Ryan Seacrest Not Staying Idol: As the year progressed, the reincarnation of Dick Clark, also known as Ryan Seacrest continued his multi-platform winning. He again hosted Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, producing the guilty pleasure known as Keeping Up with the Kardashians, still doing the (morning) drive at KIIS/fm. Yet even the most successful evolve. His gig as the host of American Idol ends in 2016, after a 15 year run. Ellen K, whom Ryan referred to as his “radio wife,” moved up the dial to sister station KOST to occupy the AM slot. Mark Wallengren now gets to sleep in as he takes over the afternoon shift.

The (K-)Earth Continues to Spin: Landing in the top spot of the local ratings, perhaps the first time in a long time, K-Earth decided not to embrace the cliché of “leave well enough alone.” “Shotgun” Tom Kelly was reassigned to weekends, while Christina Kelley, Charlie Tuna, and Jay Gardner were all sent to “the beach” as it’s said in the radio world. The CBS station continues to successfully spin a mix of primarily 80s hits, though for those longing for the older classics require the purchase of an HD radio (yes, the product still exists) to listen to K-Earth HD2. 

The CBS Broadcast Center on the Miracle Mile had other activity. Ken Charles, veteran of KFBK (a.k.a. the original home of Rush Limbaugh) filled the program director role at all-News KNX, picking up the pace but also eliminating standard fare, such as “KNX News time is…” and the multi-decade Korg (not the radio station) synthesized traffic sounder. Lisa May was dropped from mornings with KROQ’s Kevin & Bean (replaced by former KTLA Morning News feature reporter Allie MacKay), but soon landed at KLOS to join the steadily growing listenership of Heidi and Frank. Longtime newsman Boyd R. Britton, perhaps better known as “Doc on the ROQ” hasn’t yet found a platform on the radio after being let go from the ROQ, but has his pulpit to keep him busy. The WAVE (KTWV) saw its ratings rebound, adding some of the old-school hits which disappeared when HOT 92.3 disappeared.

Barter Up: Tune into the AM and FM bands – particularly on weekends – and the proliferation of infomercials keeps increasing. Personally, I’ve not purchased any of the dietary supplements (which means I’ll die someday) nor participating in novel investment opportunities (which means I’ll die someday and I’ll die poor). What’s missing is the opportunity for new talent to do the Saturday and Sunday shifts to develop and someday do the coveted weekday shifts. At least there’s still appointment listening, including Mimi Chen’s “Peace, Love, and Sunday Mornings” and Chris Carter hosting “Breakfast with the Beatles” – unfortunately, the two best weekend offerings are in overlapping time slots.

So How Does This Rate?: Ever since the introduction of the Portable People Meters (PPM), the high tech successor to ratings diaries, Nielsen (previously Arbitron) has fended off one criticism after another, from claims of overall undersampling to concerns that not enough of the Spanish audience was wearing the PPM devices. Now comes Voltaire, technology from the Telos Alliance, which boosts the “silent” signal received by the PPM devices – and potentially (unfairly?) boosts a station’s ratings. Nielsen doesn’t need another challenge to the accuracy of PPM. Remember last year’s debacle, when an entire month’s worth of ratings were almost negated because of the undue influence of just two (2) ratings families?

Hear Ache (Redux!): Kudos to The Beast 980’s Fred Roggin who was on top of every aspect of the story about the Rams returning to L.A. Too bad the sale of KFWB means The Beast will roar no more...Former KFI middayer Bill Carroll didn’t have to scream to get his point across, wishing him well as he continues on Toronto’s CFMJ. Gary Hoffmann and Shannon Farren (l), whose extended shift technically “replaced” Carroll, are filling in nicely…Will JACK/fm (KCBS/fm) sound the same, now that Freddie Snakeskin is no longer there to write the clever and snarky liners?...Hats off to The WAVE’s (KTWV) Talaya Trigueros, K-EARTH’s (KRTH) Jim Carson and GO Country 105’s (KKGO) Paul Freeman, all admirable not just for their longevity on the local airwaves, but because all still provide quality and consistency…The LARadio “Fountain of Youth Award” should be given to Art Laboe and retired…Speaking of retirements,  the team of Tom Haule and Linda Nunez (Linda is still – fortunately – working at the Newsradio outlet) is missed especially when there’s breaking news…Is this really Vin Scully’s last season?…One of the best late-night programs is somewhat ironically hosted by AMP Radio’s (KAMP) morning host Carson Daly…ALT 98.7 (KYSR) was actually tied for ratings with heritage rocker KROQ for the first time a few months ago, though The ROQ has regained the lead…Good ratings don’t guarantee your job, as ESPN L.A.’s (KSPN) Mike Thompson found out…Will KPCC ever have the same ratings success as San Francisco’s KQED/fm and San Diego’s KPBS? Why is public radio news / talk not as successful in L.A.?... Petros Papadakis is now as well known for his TV work as he is for being half of KLAC’s afternoon drive with Matt “Money” Smith…A 12.3 (!) rating explains why KOST turns their playlist to all-Christmas every year…Listening to The Answer (KRLA) has been fascinating with the current Republican candidates for President…The Dodgers move their Spanish broadcasts back to 50,000 watt powerhouse KTNQ, still the station is near the bottom of the ratings…With the underrated Valentine starting off the day, MYfm (KBIG) continues to be almost stealth with its continued success…There are a number of people visiting Dave Ramsey at Financial Peace Plaza, even though KEIB’s ratings have been less than stellar…My dog and I still cherish having KUSC available through the day.

I Wish I was Don Barrett: As he reposts his past columns, it’s amazing how much work Don Barrett put into LARadio.com over the many years of the site. None of us – no matter how passionate or interested we are in the AM/FM medium – will ever equal what he offered. With the lovely Cherie by his side, Mr. Barrett deservedly continues to enjoy life one day at a time. And no one finds more inappropriately funny cartoons to share.  

As to those of you wondering what’s with the new content on a site supposedly retired – in spite of some very encouraging words (thank you Mike Kinosian!), it was quickly apparent there was no way I could keep up my own website or blog on a daily or even weekly basis, but I still had the itch to keep writing about my favorite medium of entertainment and information. So Mr. Barrett is indulging me and allowing me to post periodic offerings of new material here at LARadio.com as long as this outlet is available. Rita Wilde, I promise to FINALLY do that long-awaited profile.  

Hoping 2016 is going well for you and yours! - Alan Oda


Bill Handel Breaks Down at David Hall's Tribute Party

(February 10, 2002) Friends and colleagues from the Clear Channel AM stations, KFI/KXTA/KLAC, gathered at El Cholo's in Koreatown to pay tribute to David G. Hall  (pictured), program director who is credited with the decades-long success of the the 50,000 watt Talk station. "David is the man who created the sound of the station," said morning man Bill Handel. KFI afternooners John & Ken aired a "Best of" segment so they could surprise and honor their boss. "It really touched me," remarked David. "They were on the air having a GREAT show but slipped on a tape so they could come honor me for ten minutes. I was really touched. If you know them, you know that was a BIG thing."

Greg Ashlock, gm of the three AM properties, said that KFI was David's house. "David had no reason whatsoever to 'let me in,' but he graciously did anyway. He taught me some amazing things about how the format works, and he took me under his wing. I'll never forget both his grace and the invaluable information."

Bill Handel made fun of the fact that David never showed up at things and was shocked to see that he actually showed up at his final event. Bill acknowledged that David molded him and built him into the morning man that he is. As he spoke in the most gracious terms, he started to cry and then many in the room started to cry. One observer said it was a "surreal moment."

Karel thanked David for his "grand experiment" giving them (and the late Andrew) an opportunity to find a home in Talk radio. David's assistant Stella Marroquin (r) was acknowledged by David for her work, service, and attention that she gave him for twelve years.

David said that he had three options when he left KFBK-Sacramento to come to KFI as news director in 1989. "First, I had been offered a job I had sought as a newspaper photographer for El Universdal newspaper in Mexico City. Second, I had been offered a job as assignment editor at KCRA television in Sacramento, and I was offered this by George Oliva, who is the pd who put KFI on the air as a talk station. This was the highest risk, but I took it anyway."

David shared with the group a painful lesson about never firing someone over a meal. "I fired Daryl Gates over lunch in Glendale. It was a difficult, scary meeting and involved him baring his teeth and saying, 'I'm going to get you, David.' I whimpered at the thought of what that might mean, and THEN our food came. One of the many lessons learned the hard way at KFI."

"I don't think it hit me until I walked into David's office expecting to see him at the desk," reflected Don Elliot, production guru at the AM stations. "There was an unfamiliar echo bouncing off the bare walls, marred only by the empty nails staring back at me from where pictures and plaques once hung. David was the soul of the station, who made us all perform to our highest degree. You WANTED to please him because he wanted to push you to be your best. He respects, rewards and appreciates talent."

At the end of the evening, David reflected. "I really felt honored and then incredibly sad."   

Leykis Trial. A Juneau, Alaska jury awarded Karen Carpenter $150,000 in punitive damages from Westwood One, the company that produces the Tom Leykis Show, according to a story in the Juneau Enterprise. The jury on Tuesday determined that Westwood One intentionally destroyed or concealed a tape of the disputed July 24, 1998, broadcast that was wanted as evidence in Carpenter's civil lawsuit. Carpenter had charged that demeaning and sexually oriented comments about her on the show, and calls and faxes to her home afterward, traumatized her and led to a serious emotional illness. The jury cleared Leykis and Westwood One of claims that they intentionally inflicted emotional distress on Carpenter and violated her privacy by publicly disclosing private facts about her. There are plans to appeal the latest decision.

Radio Stuff. KTWV host Dave Koz shared his personal thought for the morning. “If love seems like a faucet that turns on and off, it could mean that you are involved with a drip.”…When KOST’s Kim Aimidon relayed the news about Nicholas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley breaking up, Mark Wallengren wanted the news put in the “Who Cares” column. He knows why they broke up. “She said: ‘You call me Elvis one more time and…’” Mark thinks our celebrity break-ups are wackier than British royalty...On Monday night KABC simulcast Batchelor & Alexander from WABC-New York.

KYSR Promo. “Most tours last a couple of months, or some even last a year or so. But the Star Lounge World Tour hasn’t stopped for three straight years. Sting in Paris, France. Red Chili Peppers in New Orleans. REM in Rio de Janeiro. No Doubt in Tokyo, Japan. Depeche Mode in Barcelona, Spain. Just to name a few. Now, see another Star artist in their hometown. Travis in Glasgow, Scotland. When you hear the Scottish bag pipes, you can win the invisible band CD from Travis, and qualify for a trip to Scotland.” Many of KYSR’s listeners are very young. Bradley had to eliminate a couple of potential qualifiers for the Scotland trip because they weren’t old enough. 

Ballance in SLC. Former KOST/KBIG personality Lance Ballance is the new apd/md/afternoon guy at AC KSFI (“FM 100”) in Salt Lake City. “What a beautiful city, even if you can't drive downtown right now,” emailed Lance. “FM 100 is patterned very much like KOST, so my 8 1/2 years on the air there have most definitely paid off! The people here are outstanding! Some of the nicest people I've ever met. I am in the rather un-enviable position of replacing a very well liked personality, but so far, everyone has been great. I am deeply indebted to Jhani Kaye, for showing me what major market radio is all about. I still have many friends at KBIG/KOST, and will never forget any of them.” 

Hendrie to Primetime. Could KFI’s Phil Hendrie go all the way? The popular nighttimer has signed a deal to develop a primetime series with NBC. "We can’t wait to bring his sophisticated brand of comedy to television. Quite simply put, Phil is a genius when it comes to creating characters – and hit characters are what make hit television shows,” said Ted Harbert, president of NBC Studios. Phil has given voice to a number of characters on FOX's King of the Hill

The tv networks and syndicators are littered with LARPs attempting to translate their expertise to a hit tv show. Most recently KZLA’s Peter Tilden was writer and producer of the Bob Patterson Show with Jason Alexander that was canceled after 5 weeks. Dr. Laura Schlessinger was not successful in her recent attempt, but, in fairness, it might have more to do with the timing of her project, which was clouded with gay and lesbian group protests. When Mark & Brian were in their prime in the Southland, NBC gave them a comedy series that featured the duo’s weekly antics. The show was put on Sunday nights as a younger alternative to 60 Minutes, but the show quickly disappeared. Another LARP, (the late) Dr. David Viscott, had a late-night weekly show. ABC heavily promoted Rick Dees as a youthful late night alternative to Johnny Carson. 

Successful talk show hosts who made the successful transition from radio to tv include Steve Edwards and Regis Philbin. KROQ’s Carson Daly has made a huge impact at MTV and now has added a late-night talker on NBC. 

“You’re Killing Me.” Steve Harvey (pictured) of the LA Times’ “Only in L.A.” column was stunned to hear that KABC’s Larry Elder was playing a tape of Sit ‘n Sleep’s accountant with the shrilling “You’re killing me, Larry!” with his bumper intro music. Steve wonders how many listeners will reflexively change stations upon hearing that voice? “Talk about a career gamble,” commented Harvey. 

Overheard. Dick Clark was guesting with KIIS’ Rick Dees the other morning and they were talking about how times have changed with the airing of certain words and subject matter. Dick recalled that the Everly Brothers’ Wake Up Little Suzie was banned in Boston. With his new tv show, The Other Half, he was given a list of words that he couldn’t utter. One of the words was “dick.”…KRLA’s Mike Gallagher lost his father when he was 11 years old. “So most of my young years were with my mom and I sure missed playing ball with my dad and his companionship. All my friends went to ball games with their dads and I missed that,” said Mike the other morning…KSPN’s Dave Stone has been married for 21 years….KOST’s Kim Amidon is taking her daughter to see Lion King at the Pantages. 

Reaction to Rick. Roger Carroll thought the Julie and Rick Dees phone call (yesterday’s LARadio.com) was a cute promotion to get some ink. “Only time my wife called the station was if one of our kids couldn't get down from one of the 11 oak trees on our property or to get me to bring home several gallons of milk,” quipped Roger. 

KIIS gm Roy Laughlin responded to coverage of Julie’s comments: “I hope people appreciate your highlighting of Julie Dees as part of the very balanced Rick Dees show. She has a brilliant comic mind and also adds some of the essential balance to the large range of ages that listen to Rick every morning. Additionally, she adds creative insights, does dozens of great voices [she was Casper the friendly ghost] and adds new ideas as well as sometimes functions as a reliable barometer for ‘good taste’ on bits/stunts for the family oriented Rick Dees in the Morning show - a show that has remained one of the ‘most listened to’ morning shows in L.A. for years because it balances all elements from the outrageous, to the goofy family oriented fun, to the alternative, to the serious.”

Roy concluded: “I am proud of her class contribution to a balanced show that sometimes does well for wild antics and sometimes for helping people, sometimes for big prizes or hit music and sometimes for letting all the views to get on the air as was the case with Julie yesterday.” 

Audio Vault. From Rex Moore’s classic airchecks: "Sandy looks in to get his signs, Roseboro shuffling cards behind the plate.” 

Too Patriotic. KFI afternooners John & Ken were reflecting on the Super Bowl the other day and wondered if our focus on patriotism shouldn’t be over. “This is gonna sound the way it’s gonna sound. I’m sick of hearing about patriotism. After Sunday, I just don’t want to hear it anymore – the phony false patriotism. It’s like weird that we’re obligated to be patriotic,” said John Kobylt. Ken Champiou added: “When is it the right time to give it a rest? When do you take your flags down?”…Glenn Beck, nationally syndicated and heard on KIIS/AM, is not over the display of patriotism yet. “I thought I was over September 11 and completely healed. The U2 performance was absolutely incredible. If I had been in the stadium, I would have been crying like a baby,” said Glenn. 

Satellite Bi-Polar. Shares of satellite radio firm XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. rose 14 percent, and shares of rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. fell as much as 18 percent on Wednesday after Salomon Smith Barney upgraded its investment rating on XM and downgraded Sirius. 

Voice Track. PR guru Mary Anderson-Harris noted the two emergency stomach surgeries – KLZA’s Peter Tilden and KLOS’ Brian Phelps. “Could it be too many donuts and pizzas?” wondered Mary…KMPC’s Chris Myers was interviewed in allaccess.com last week. He was asked to list his favorite play-by-play announcers in each sport. “Al Michaels does everything well, he is the king of football. We’ll put Bob Costas as the king of baseball. Bob Miller in hockey. And Kevin Harlan in basketball.” 

Funnie. Michael Jones was reading at LARadio.com: < “I’ve been looking at figure skating since I was a kid and don’t know what the hell I’m looking at,” complained Phil Hendrie> I think it's vitally important that our skaters enter this most important competition unaware that Phil has been thinking about their sport all these years. 


LARP: As you look back on 2001, 
what was your favorite movie, tv show, CD and book - and why?
 

Kenny Morse (Mr. Traffic): My favorite movie was Moulin Rouge. It’s NOT the best movie but Baz Luhrmann is one the most visionary and innovative directors I have seen. His work in Romeo & Juliet and Strictly Ballroom were a prelude to the visual and aural assault on ones senses and sensibilities in Moulin Rouge that it is understandable that the lines of praise and pans diverge so widely. Every single scene was not satisfied to be ordinary. It HAD to be extraordinary and I think succeeded well. The singing voices of two actors not previously singers, Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, were not just good, they were superb (for non singers). Its performance at the Golden Globes is not a surprise to me.

As for favorite tv, I am a rabid West Wing fan, but this season, its 24 all the way. The writing and direction on this show is amazing. Most tv dramas have an "A, B, C, and MAYBE a D" plot that they have to tie up. This show does "A through H" and weaves them together so creatively, that it deserves to be called the best new series of the season. Careat: If you didn't watch it from the beginning, the recaps might not be enough to hook you.

Emails 

We GET Email… 

** Recovering LARPs
“Just wanted to email a get-well to both Peter Tilden and Brian Phelps

I had two major abdominal surgeries within 6 months of each other. It's one of the most difficult operations to recover from, according to my doctors. The main thing is to follow all the directions they give you about picking things up and the like. Do what you're told and with luck, recovery will be complete and without complications. Complications I know about. Not a lot of fun. I was off work for about 9 months total and it was awful. Take care guys and you'll be OK! Oh, and getting those staples removed isn't half as bad as you might think!” - Bryan Simmons, KBIG 

** Bryan’s Back – Good News
“Pardon me while I catch my breath. I'm a little stunned that a heart still beats at Clear Channel radio in Los Angeles, having just read that Bryan Simmons may have some work on KBIG. He's a great talent and it speaks loudly that Jhani Kaye and Archer DO HAVE HEARTS and the good sense and cajones to re-employ him. [Having worked at KBIG opposite Bryan back when KOST and KBIG were not owned by the same Enron-esque Texas monopoly, I have great respect for his on-air work. He's a real pro!] 

I wish that management with some heart and soul, as well as a McLendon-like love of programming talent, could somehow infect the top-heavy bureaucracy of mega-corporate radio. But, I'm a dreamer. We live in a world where the Texas corporate mentality of Enron-style management controls not only the radio stations but also Pacific Bell and Verizon and dozens of other corporations who have headquartered in the Lone Star State. Here's a thought: Perhaps Enron is just the tip of the iceberg? All that merging and deal making [by not just Enron] may come undone in the years to come. Time will tell.” – Craig Hines 

** North to Alaska
“Please allow me to comment on the Tom Leykis legal confrontation in Alaska. I bring over 30 years of experience as a programmer and performer to the table. No matter how the court rules in Tom's case, Tom is wrong. Regardless of the status of the ‘other’ person. The guy with the mic has the power. That power can, and often does influence listeners to think, act and react to what they hear.

I'll give you an example. One afternoon I happened to tune in an afternoon drive show in town to hear a competitor say in a semi-serious fashion, ‘That all night guy on WGN deserves to be killed.’

The source was one of our towns more acerbic wits, but the remark gave me a cold chill. The same night just before airtime I answered the call-in line to hear a male voice invoke the name of the competitive antagonist repeating the suggestion that I ‘needed to be killed.' He then added, ‘I know where you park. I could blow you away any time I want.’
A police report was made and the company spent hundreds of dollars on extra security, even to the extent of having an off-duty city police officer walk me to and from my car. This went on for weeks.

Those of us with the microphones and the ‘power’ also have a responsibility to act with diligence to not harm the community or its inhabitants. Neither the cover of entertainment, humor, the first amendment, or any other excuse or reason makes it okay to put another's life at risk. Leykis can get his ratings without the threatening rantings. We can save the courts plenty of time and effort by use of a universal standard of behavior. Talk show hosts must not invoke wrath nor provoke harm or violence to others in the name of humor or any other form of ‘free speech.’ If Leykis has ever received any death threats he will understand the fear he invokes in his verbal victims. This is neither fair, entertaining nor useful programming. It’s low class, cheap, thoughtless bullshit. Tommy, we reap what we sow.” - Ed Schwartz, (exec. producer-host WIND) (Host-WGN & WLUP), all Chicago 

** KSPN Sports
Props to KSPN, who aired a syndicated one hour hockey show Saturday at 10 p.m., ‘NHL This Week’ hosted by Don Criqui.

I guess someone is listening to me at KSPN. I would like a similar local show that would cover the Kings, Ducks and Long Beach Ice Dogs, but this is a start. Thanks Joe McDonnell.” - Steve Austin, Montecito Heights 

** Gil Gross Hot
“I just wanted to write and say how much I enjoy listening to Gil Gross in the morning on KLAC. You are always getting email saying no one is listening to KLAC, so here is one person who does. He gives me more information on airport security and the war in Afghanistan than anyone else on radio. His Thursday morning update on airport security is priceless and he does it with a little humor, too. You can tell he was once a journalist for ABC. He is very knowledgeable about many topics. I especially like his stupid criminals stories. He renamed Arganbright ARGANSTUPID. How appropriate. I follow him up with Michael Jackson to really make my mornings complete. Thanks for letting me put in my 2 cents.” - Lucy Oakley, Diamond Bar 

** LARP Drummer
“Regarding Jim Hilliker's story about Bob Crane [2/7]:  Many younger people might not know that Crane was a world-class drummer before he started his radio and television career. Nobody was as good as Buddy Rich or Louie Bellson, but Bob Crane was close. In fact, Crane formed his own Big Band in 1945, at the age of 16. When Bob came to KNX in 1956, he did something that no other disc jockey ever had the nerve to even try; he'd have an open microphone around his neck, and play his drums along with the records. Bob was an inventive, GREAT dj, probably the best ever to hit Los Angeles.” - Rex Moore 

** Boss Radio
“Regarding the Saturday email from Llew Keller of San Francisco. If I'm not mistaken, Bill Drake programmed KYA after WAKE and right before moving on to KHJ and the RKO chain. It wasn't the exact format that he put on KHJ but it was pretty close from what I've heard. Unfortunately I was too young to hear 1260 KYA during Drake's tenure

there, even though the Big 610 from the mid 60’s overshadowed them. KYA had a rich and varied history of its own. As I recall, for a while KYA still dominated at night when Tom Campbell routinely beat the great Dale Dorman in the ratings. Alas, KYA's signal just couldn't keep up with KFRC's 5,000 watt, ground system in salt water, flame throwing radio waves.” - Bryan Simmons 

** John & Ken
“Everyone I ask about John & Ken demos 25+ love them. They do their homework, are smart and have a great act. Most importantly John and Ken are ‘ENTERTAINING.’" – Roger Carroll 

** Loves Satellite Radio
“XM and Sirius radio are looking better and better. I listen to KFI, KABC and KRLA and I am getting hammered by all the commercial breaks. Take heed KFI, KABC and KRLA! I don't know what your profit requirements are, but you are on the fast track to losing customers with all the commercials. And Don, remember when this warning was logged. We don't want these stations and others complaining that they never knew when their ratings start tanking.” - Rich Johnson, Pasadena 

** Real KFI Promos
“I have no idea whether KFI's promos are real or fake. However, in response to Martin White's sneer at a woman who claimed the war has affected her jewelry business, I'd like to point out that the highest grade of the precious gemstone Lapis Lazuli is found in Afghanistan.

This is a very lovely blue stone used in quite a bit of jewelry. It's also popular as a birthstone for both Capricorn and Sagittarius. So the inability to import it might very well cause problems for a jeweler.

Of course, that doesn't mean KFI's promos are real, but at least they're not inaccurate!” - Christine Lehman, aka Chrissy the Stooges Woman :-) 

** Setting the Record Straight
“Last week I used KFWB gm Roger Nadel as an example of management saying one thing and doing another, based on my own experience. I need to make it clear that I was generalizing about radio managers not trying to single out Mr. Nadel. I used to work for Roger at the WWJ/WYST combo in Detroit and everyone should know that Roger Nadel is a fine radioman and a good human being. I am sorry if my remarks were offensive but sometimes I let my mouth overload my a__.  I think most djs do that sort of thing from time to time and I certainly am not an exception.” - Dave Burns in Reseda  

** Book ‘em Gary
This week, I finally caught up to the Bernard Goldberg book, Bias [it was on sale, 30% off, at Barnes & Noble], which pours pseudo-literary political acid all over Dan Rather [regularly heard on KNX] and CBS News [ditto]. Actually, the ‘literary’ part is questionable. I barely got through half of this boring, defensive, albeit dangerous book. 

Goldberg worked as a reporter/producer for CBS News and, more specifically, for and with Dan Rather for decades. Some time back, something snapped, and Goldberg [no relation to Whoopie] wrote an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal, in which he charged that the broadcast news media and many of his fellow producers and management folks were badly biased towards the - gulp! - liberal side of the American spectrum. His special target is Dan Rather whom he repeatedly paints as 2-faced, and about whom he tells a number of inside personal tales. A real friend, this one! 

Naturally, Goldberg's WSJ outburst caused the dirt to hit the fan at West 57th Street - with Rather and CBS brass justifiably angry, even enraged, by this betrayal from a trusted veteran co-worker. 

No doubt, the likes of the audio-challenged Rush Limburger, Ken Minyard, the pseudo-journalist, Larry King, Paul Harvey and that New York Hannity guy who spews midday venom all over KABC's midday air, are all delighted by Bias, saying, ‘I told you so.’ 

Of course, they're wrong. 

When I worked for KFWB a thousand years ago, especially after the departure of its superb gm, Art Schreiber - the Westinghouse-owned newsroom was dominated by politically and socially very conservative editors. The same was true at KABC/Channel 7, KCBS/Channel 2 and KABC radio [which had no newsroom staff, but they did have George Green]. 

It was - and probably still is - true at KNX, where one of the former conservative KFWB editors now does his business, although one has to add that KNX has been much more tolerant over the years, probably due to the pragmatic wisdom of Mssrs. Sims and Nicholaw, the duo that created the modern all-newser, and continue to set its standards. 

What Goldberg fails to make clear to the innocent, unwashed masses, who don't know squat about the broadcast news business, is that all along the food chain of electronic journalism [and print journalism, too], there is ‘bias’ of one sort of another, starting at the top where hiring, firing and contract negotiations are guided by personal quirks, ethnicities, background and sales department pressures [not to mention the occasional casting couch]. And, of course, at the New York network levels, there is immense pressure from Washington and the White House, as well as from major commercial clients whose millions form a powerful club with which to guide and coerce network managements. 

Sure, there is reporter and writer bias, sometimes even to left of center. I often let my social conscience guide my film reviewing and choice of Hollywood interviewees and it's to the credit of my former employers that I was left alone, even though some of the brass must have been grinding teeth. 

But those were different times and a breed far different from the greedy, unimaginative, bottom-line folks from Des Moines and Crawford-like communities, who now control these various enterprises. 

Bernard Goldberg thrived under those old broadcast regimes and benefited from the friendship, guidance and power of Dan Rather. Now - perhaps it's senile incontinence - he defecates all over his old friend and former associates. 

You oughta be ashamed, Bernie.” - Gary Franklin  (www.garyfranklin.com)


Most LARPs Think Brian Williams Has Lost All Credibility and Should Go

(February 9, 2015) “There is no such thing as a lie in advertising, there is an expedient exaggeration.” Those words were spoken by Cary Grant in North by Northwest. Brian Williams got caught in something that smells of a lie but perhaps was an “expedient exaggeration.”

This has been a fast moving story. On Saturday, while asking a number of LARP if Brian should resign or should NBC take some sort of action, perhaps even termination, Brian announced that he would vacate the air for the next several days, with Lester Holt filling in. By Sunday, NBC announced that Williams had canceled his upcoming Thursday appearance with David Letterman. The story is moving so quickly, who knows what will happen between now and Thursday?

The future of the NBC Nightly News anchor is certainly uncertain as his company investigates his Iraq and Katrina coverage. He’s had the devil of a time getting ahead of the story that, at best is an exaggeration of the truth or, at worst, a complete lie. Social media has been a blaze with opinions on what Brian should do and NBC News should do.

Some very knowledgeable LARP weighed in on the subject. From those polled it is clear that Brian Williams should not be the anchor or the face of NBC News. Read some very well-thought out emails:

Former KNX/fm Program Director Dies. Bill Minckler, former program director at KNX/fm, has died at the age of 66. “He will be so missed by everyone who worked with or ever hoisted a scotch with him,” emailed Don McCulloch of Radio Deluxe. “Everybody who ever worked with him, for him, or knew him is very saddened. He had not discussed his health issues, which is consistent his style, so were all taken by surprise. I heard from another close friend, Portland Radio Person John Williams, that he was fighting pancreatic cancer.”

Bill’s friend (and radio researcher) Terry Danner posted this on PDXRadio.com: “Bill passed away in Phoenix, from complications after surgery. Bill had been battling a recurrence of cancer after decades of remission. He was a very successful radio programmer who relied on his ear and his instincts rather than formulae. He was also a generous, sincere, and likable friend to many, many people. I will miss him immensely.”

RT Simpson wrote on a Portland, Oregon blog: “A great radio person and a downright great human being. Bill and I first met while attending the University of Denver in the late sixties. He was Charlie Weekly on KLZ/fm … a play on his weekend status. I so enjoyed his voice and presentation, I suggested to the pd of KTLK to hire Bill. From there he went on to bigger and better things, stopping in San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and eventually landing in Phoenix at Star 97.5. We rekindled our friendship of 40+ years and made it a point to have lunch together once a month. Throughout his healthcare ups and downs, Bill never once complained and kept an upbeat attitude toward life. At our last lunch together in December, Bill confided that he gave up alcohol altogether – so I guess all the stories I’ve heard will remain in the past.”

Bill arrived in the Southland from programming KYA and KSFO-San Francisco. He went on to program “The River, 105.9/m” in Portland.

Hear Ache. Shadoe Stevens will be on the air live all next week, from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. on WLUP/FM, in Chicago. Here's the link to listen live: http://player.listenlive.co/28591 ... Last song played on HOT 92.3 was End of the World by Boyz2Men.  First song of the new Real 92.3 was Only by Nicki Minaj. Reaction was quick on social media. Comments ranged from: “This is da Bomb” to “Incredible launch, LA is gonna love It” to  “WE Want Old school” and “Sell outs! Stop sucking Jay Z’s cock.”

LARadio Rewind: February 9, 1971. One minute after Charlie Tuna begins his morning airshift at KHJ, a 6.6-magniutude earthquake shakes the San Fernando Valley, causing severe damage to the Veterans Hospital, Olive View Medical Center, Van Norman Dam and several freeway interchanges. Total damage estimated at $550 million. Charlie was playing Born to Wander when the quake hit. After the 12 seconds of shaking subsided, he noted how appropriate it was that he was playing a song by Rare Earth. In 1991, Charlie was doing the morning show at KODJ. On February 9, he played the aircheck of that KHJ broadcast from 20 years earlier.  

Overheard.

Funnie. A guy walked into a crowded bar, waving his model 1911 Colt .45 caliber pistol with an 8 shot magazine, and yelled, “Who in here has been screwing my wife?” 

A voice from the back of the bar yelled back, “You need more ammo.” (Funnie from Don Graham) 


(February 8, 2016) Frank Polack, long-time Lakers producer, died Saturday, Feburary 6, 2016, of an apparent heart attack. He was 62. From the LARadio Archives:

KLAC and the Lakers – a 30-Year History Together
“Chick Hearn Never Mailed It In” – Exec Producer Frank Polak

(November 29, 2006) KLAC and the Lakers are celebrating 30 years of a broadcasting partnership. Frank Polak has been with the broadcast operation longer than anyone else at the station. Twenty seven years ago, Frank left KMPC’s Sports Wire (remember the infamous Webster 8-3000 number for scores?) to produce the Laker broadcasts. “I wasn’t planning on staying very long,” remembered Frank, as we talked on the phone recently. “I was going to build up some money and get out of town – and that was 27 years ago.” 

Frank’s job has changed little over a quarter of a century. As the producer he is in the control booth directing everything connected with the broadcast – the announcers, commercials, and timing. He’s the traffic cop who directs all elements of the radio broadcast. 

“My first night was the Lakers first game in Dallas,” remembered Frank, “and it was the same night the old KHJ went Country. After the game, we went into a production room at the old Metromedia Square building that had an AM tuner and listened to the format change at nine o’clock. KHJ segued out of Rock and went into Country. The last song was Mac Davis, Rock And Roll [I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life]. I think the first song might have been Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys by Willie and Waylon.” 

When Frank started as Lakers producer in the 1980-81 season, the pre- and post-game shows were televised with Chick Hearn and Keith Erickson. They would sit there with a simple two-shot or they did a stand-up. After the game they did a two-shot from the broadcast table and that was it. But by Frank’s second season, KLAC started Laker Line on Sunday nights only. “When there was no game, Chick would come in and do six to seven o’clock. Even with our Country format and our auto race coverage, we got just as many calls when he came in and did the show in studio as when we did the game.” 

Having Laker Line once a week was a small step for KLAC, since the call-in show affected the station’s revenue. At the time, the station would get two and three Arbitron shares, still one of the top stations in the market. 

But by the start of the 1982 season, the decision was made to broadcast Laker Line before every home game. It was a big success. “There’s always trepidation when radio stations make programming changes that affect revenue. Will it work? Will people respond? They did. The Lakers were doing very well as they were defending champions,” remembered Frank. 

When Frank started at KLAC, the Country station was going through a number of transitions. Bill Ward, the popular general manager, had been promoted to president of Metromedia. The veteran morning man, Dick Haynes (at the Reins), had fallen ill. Replacing Ward as general manager was Don Kelly, who came in from WIP-Philadelphia. “Dick Haynes died the Thanksgiving weekend of the year I got there. Kelly had to deal with a funeral and for someone he really didn’t even know,” remembered Polak. “Haynes had been off the air for several months.” (Picture: Frank is an avid fisherman)

“In 1983, Kelly retired and they brought in a guy who worked at about 25 radio stations and has worked at about 30 more since – Al Brady Law. Before Kelly left he fired Don Langford as pd and brought in Charlie Cook, who had been running KHJ. Charlie lasted about a year and a half and then Phil Hall came in as pd and a sales guy, Chris Beck, from Denver where they all had been working.” 

Frank has high praise for Laker broadcasting icon, Chick Hearn. “He was the ultimate pro, even to the end. Chick was the easiest guy to work with because there was never an issue about anything he did in terms of his job. If I asked him to come in and cut commercials and I said I needed you at eleven o’clock, I would come in at 10:30 and he would already be in the lobby going over copy and getting ready. To his last days, he was still the hardest working guy on the crew. Given his condition, that’s saying something. This guy never mailed in a show and there were a couple of times when we thought he wasn’t going to make it. One time in San Antonio, I’m guessing he had food poisoning. Susan Stratton (producer/director of KCAL 9 Laker broadcasts) saw him sitting in the stands by the press table before a game and he didn’t look good. She thought he might be having a heart attack. Turned out it was something he ate. He disappeared for an hour and a half. They couldn’t find him and she was worried he was passed out somewhere. A half hour before the show, he comes out wearing a $500 suit with the pocket square, picks up the mic like nothing happened.” 

Chick had laryngitis a couple of times and had to abandon his play call at half time. “He never mailed it in," said Frank. "He put his butt on the line every night. I’ve worked with temperamental people who will double cross you, as quickly as looking at you. He never once said he was going to do something and then failed to do it. If he said we’re going to record the pre-game show at four, you better be in studio with tape going because he was sitting there ready to go. I love a guy like that because you can always count on him – that to me is a pro. He was always ready. He made my job really easy.” 

Chick favored radio. “He always had a soft spot for radio – more so than television, which rankled the tv people more than a little,” said Frank. 

Stu Lantz was Chick’s broadcast partner for 15 seasons. Did Stu ever want to be top banana? “Stu is very comfortable doing what he does. I never, ever, got the feeling that he wanted to take over the #1 chair. A couple of times when Stu filled in for Chick, I think he realized this isn’t something you learn overnight.” 

After Chick died, Paul Sunderland and Joel Myers came in for a season of radio broadcasting. Frank has high marks for the current play-by-play Lakers announcer, Spero Dedes. “He is a rare talent. Every once in a while colorman Mychal Thompson gets tied up in a conversation during the game and starts doing play-by-play and if it isn’t just one guy shooting a jump shot, Mychal kinda gets his feet tangled up. And Spero jumps in and you hear how smooth and easy it is for a guy who does that full-time. Spero is not only an extremely capable broadcaster and very, very talented, but he’s polite, professional, and he’s just enjoying being here and I sure hope we don’t lose him.” 

When you think of the 30-year broadcast history between the Lakers and KLAC, you can’t do it without thinking of Chick Hearn. The two are so intertwined even though Chick died in 2002 at the age of 85. “Even when you know it’s coming, it still hurts,” said Frank. “It hit me like a ton of bricks because I worked every game with him for 22 seasons - I mean every minute of every game. We never so much as had a cup of coffee together. We never went anywhere. We never did anything. We never sat down to have lunch, but we just did every game.” 


LARadio Changes

(February 8, 1998) "Mega 100" continues to adjust their jock line-up. Morning men Joe "Boomer" Servantez and Gilbert Esquivel are out. Station is jockless in the morning and just playing music ... KRLA gm Bob Moore has an on-air message saluting morning man "Huggie Boy" as the #2 personality in Southern California radio. Bob says: "Huggie Boy must be #2 because everyone else claims to be #1!" ... Ed Tyll is out at KABC. Larry Elder moves back to his four-hour afternoon drive shift beginning tomorrow ... KCRW is advertising for "Creative Music Director and On-Air Music Host. KCRW-FM is seeking a gifted music programmer to host station's signature 3-hour daily music program, Morning Becomes Eclectic. Format includes eclectic music mix (pop, world-beat, alternative), interviews and regular live performances with cutting-edge, as well as name artists and bands. Experience with on-air fund-raising or commercial announcing required." ... Eight and a half year vet and all-night KOST personality, Lance Ballance, will announce his new station here soon ... Steve Hochman in the LA Times reports that the mornings in Southern California radio will get busier. KYSR is bringing in from KALC-Denver the trio of Jamie White, Frank Kramer and Frosty Stillwell. Hochman says: "A reputation for outrageousness and explicitness precedes them." KLYY (107.1FM), the KROQ-Alternative alternative, will announce a new morning show soon. 


A Work Of Art Wrapped Up
With A Nice Big Laboe
 

(February 7, 2010) They came out of the shadows of Art Laboe’s past and present to honor the consummate LA Radio personality, businessman and humanitarian at the 2010 LARadio Lifetime Achievement Award luncheon at Vitello’s in Studio City on Saturday afternoon. For over a half hour he was never able to get past the upstairs lobby to the Cabaret Room because his friends and colleagues wanted to greet him and pose for pictures. (Photo: Don Barrett, Art Laboe, and City Councilman Tom LaBonge)

There they were … K-EARTH pd Jhani Kaye, his middayer and afternooner Jim Carson and Shotgun Tom Kelly, KABC/KLOS gm Bob Moore, former 1110/KRLAers Manny Pacheco, Jeffrey Leonard, Detective Rudy Alvarez, and Dominic Garcia, president of the Southern California Broadcasters Association, Mary Beth Garber, HOT 92.3 (Art’s current station) operations director Ron Shapiro, music director Damon Knight, Rick Nuhn and Marie Flores, former R&R publisher Erica Farber, “Retro 1260” middayer Mike Sakellarides, former Boss Jock Dave Sebastian Williams, the Insane Darrell Wayne, TalkRadioOne.com and regular at Art’s dances at El Monte Legion Stadium Dan Avey, former KVEN owner Bob Fox, KTWV/KRTH AE Pam Baker, RockitRadio’s Lane Quigley and Steve Propes, PR greats Irwin Zucker and Ira David Sternberg (came in from Las Vegas for the event), former KNX news anchor Larry Van Nuys, former KIIS and Movin’ afternooner Clarence Barnes, CRN President Mike Horn, and LARPs Laura Gross, Tom Bernstein, John Felz, and Alfred Archuleta

The Art Laboe story will be broken up into three sections in order to fully capture the amazing afternoon Saturday. To begin the festivities, Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge presented Art with a proclamation from the City, but in his introductory comments he owned up to the fact that he was a Laboe fan when growing up at John Marshall High School in Silver Lake. He said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was a fan and probably made some dedications while going to East Los Angeles’ Roosevelt High School. 

“I’m proud of Art because he works in my district,” started Tom. “Art was able to make a deal with the City of Los Angeles to build a public library on a piece of property he owned on Sunset Boulevard. We are in the process of naming it the Art Laboe Music Library.”

LaBonge concluded with: “We listened as kids. The man lives forever and you made it happen. Keep playing Angel Baby.” (Laboe and Bob Moore)

Art was born and lived in Utah until he was 13. His father was a smelter worker, while his mom was a maid. “They divorced when I was nine or ten,” remembered Art. “My mother used to work in this motel/gas station for four hours every morning for twenty-five cents an hour so my brother and I could have lunch. I came from pretty simple beginnings.” 

Art was known in his neighborhood as the fix-it kid who could fix appliances or anything electrical. “Neighbors would bring me a broken toaster. Usually it was just an AC cord but I got a great reputation for fixing things. I still like to fix things. If something breaks I fix it.” 

With his next door neighbor, Art built a telephone with earphones and the kid next door had a pair of earphones. “If we connected the two earphones together we could talk with each other. I ran some wire between the two houses with a little switch and it was our own personal telephone. They didn’t realize until I listened to them one day that I could listen in on everything going on in their house. I thought that was pretty slick. They never messed with the switch and it was always on. I knew how to click it off.” (Mike Horn with red mic asking question)

Art is the youngest of the family. He has three sisters and one brother. His oldest sister is 97. “She still cooks for me when I go to San Diego.” Art was ready to leave home in his early teens. In 1935, his sister moved to Los Angeles and he would visit often. One day he showed up at the Greyhound station and told his sister he was there to stay. He went to George Washington High School in South Los Angeles and graduated at 16.  

Art continued to tinker and built a Ham radio set and a broadcast station that went a couple of miles. One day he got the scare of his life when officials from the FCC knocked on his door. “Before World War II, the government was really monitoring the airwaves,” said Art. “These two guys came to my house and busted me for this Ham Radio rig I had. I also had a second one, which was on the broadcast band. For all you engineers, it was an electron coupled oscillator that I built with some of my buddies at school who were radio people. I played music. They scared the bejesus out of me. They told me I could go to jail for five years and be faced with a $10,000 fine. I had a good looking sister and the guys kinda liked her. The FCC guys said to me that they would come by the next day and if the antenna was down they’d let it go but they told me to get a license. I went and got a Ham license and I was only 14 years old. I still have it – W6TTJ.” He also earned a First Class License and a 2nd

It was the summer of 1942 when Art graduated from George Washington. He joined a special program for the Army signal corps, studying radar. He was in that program for a year but then he heard that the signal corpsmen were being sent to the South Pacific, they were the first to go ashore and they would run along the beach with a big spool of wire and lay the telephone wire. This way when the soldiers hit the beach they would have communication, but the Japanese were sitting the hill watching these two guys with a big spool of wire. I heard the casualty rate was 85% and I thought that was a little high.” (Laboe with Dominic Garcia)

In the class with Art was Engineer Bill (Stula). He suggested to Art that since he wasn’t 18 and never signed with the Army and was just a student, he could get out of Army duty. “I checked on it and Bill was right. I joined the Navy. I weighed 111 pounds and looked much like I do today. They were thrilled with me because I had these FCC licenses. I became a radio officer on the Pan American Clipper fleet for three years and flew to Hawaii 147 times along with trips to the South Pacific carrying blood and important people.” 

Art was stationed at Treasure Island in San Francisco between assignments. He lived in the City and decided he wanted to get his first commercial radio job. There was a 250-watt AM station, KSAN, which was housed in the Merchandise Mart. With some trepidation he went to the station and was taken to see the general manager, a gruff man who declared that Art had a squeaky voice and was too young. “I kicked the ground and started to walk away,” Art recalled. “And then he says, ‘Besides, you have to have an FCC license. We need at least a 3rd Class license. We’re a combo station.’ I walked back and pulled out of my jacket pocket these certificates and said, you mean one of these? I laid out a First Phone, 2nd Telephone and a Ham license. He looked up at me and said, “You’re hired.’ He put his arm around me and said, come with me. He took me to a room with three huge transmitter boxes and asked me if I could tune one of these things. I told him I thought so.” 

There was a sign on butcher paper in the transmitter room on the wall: “If the damn things works leave it alone.” Art asked him why he was hiring him. The radio station owner had been operating illegally because all his engineers had been drafted into the war. “Now with your First Class license, I’m legal again,’ the owner said. “That First Class license got me my first job in radio.” 

In the next episode Art reveals how the idea for his Oldies but Goodies compilation series was born and also, the funniest line of the afternoon. 

Conway Returns … to Fox 11. To celebrate his return, albeit after only six months away, Steve Edwards welcomed Tim Conway, Jr. to Good Day LA. “To guarantee you will return to LA Radio, move to another state, move the family, put the kid in a brand new school and they’ll get you a job back here,” Tim told Steve has he joined Dorothy Lucey and Lisa Breckenridge.  

Steve asked why Tim had only a short few days at KABC after KLSX folded. He said it was because of a joke he told, which he repeated on GDLA. “A traveling salesman knocks on a door and a kid answers the door and he’s got on nothing but his mom’s underwear and he’s covered in shaving cream and smoking a cigar. The traveling salesman asks if his parents are home. The kid responds, ‘What do you think?’”

Tim explained that his family was settled in Oregon when he got a phone call from KFI pd Robin Bertolucci. “She said Bryan Suits was leaving the 7 – 10 p.m. slot and offered me the job. So his moving van passed mine on his way up north.” 

With the move from FM Talk KLSX to KFI, the nightly subject matter has changed. “When I was over at KLSX I was much younger in my early 30s and I talked about smoking weed and going to the racetrack. Now I’ve got a kid and you become more conservative.” 

Overheard

Lost Files. Last week, hundreds of emails disappeared from our db@thevine.net account. Attempts to "find" them have not been successful.  

If you have sent any emails that needed a response - subscription renewal, email for publications, or promotional material - and you have not received an acknowledgement from me, please resend. 

Sorry for the hassle. Sometimes technology can be such a pain in the butt. And how is your day?

Hear Ache. Ralph Garman, entertainment reporter for the KROQ morning show with Kevin & Bean, is a big fan of Aerosmith’s front man Steven Tyler. “Over the weekend Steven Tyler is at the Home Depot in Rancho Mirage,” emailed Ralph. “He grabs the microphone that’s connected to the PA system and starts singing, Dude Looks Like a Lady. Then he goes to the helium tank and starts sucking helium and continued singing, even in the higher pitched voice than usual. People gathered around and he signed autographs.” … Go Country morning team of Shawn Parr and Ashley Paige have food bet on the outcome of the Super Bowl. “If the Colts win [Shawn's pick], then I have to eat steak, which I haven't eaten meat in almost 20 years,” emailed Ashley. “If the Saints win I get to shave Shawn's head. Listeners can go to our Web site: http://www.facebook.com/l/025f8;gocountry105.com and pick who they want to win and we'll have a pizza party for the winning team at the East Coast Pizza Company in Simi Valley, which my husband Neil and I own.”

LARPs: Love is in the air in February.
Do you have a romantic story you would like to share?
 

Mitch Waldow: I don't know how romantic this is, but I met my wife, Ellen, when we were both working at KPFK/fm in L.A. 35 years ago. I was a reporter for the news department, stationed at City Hall, and she produced programs for the public affairs dept. She told me that at the time she thought I was someone "important." Obviously the illusory quality of the medium didn't die with radio dramas.  Still I'm glad she thought I was special enough to marry, and I'm sure my son is happy about that, too. 

Emails 

We GET Email…  

** SCBA Prexy at Laboe Tribute
“Thank you so much for doing the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ series, and Saturday was truly a feather in your cap, and a wonderful day for everyone who was there. Art Laboe is such a treasure for radio and for radio listeners. He deserves a parade.” – Mary Beth Garber, President of the Southern California Broadcasters Association  

** Moore Reaction to Laboe Event
“I was very impressed with the way you set up the Lifetime Achievement award for Art Laboe. You did a great job with the questions, and Lou Adler was an excellent choice as the presenter of the award. Thursday night, I was at an event at Dodger Stadium mc’d by Vin Scully, and Saturday a Lifetime Achievement award with Art. We are all lucky to have these types of Legends in our lives.” – Bob Moore, General Manager, KABC/KLOS 

** ET Producer
“That was one of the BEST tribute luncheons I have ever been to.  It was fun, nostalgic and very entertaining.  I wasn't bored for one second.  Great job.” – Kevin Gershan, Entertainment Tonight 

** Memories of Art Laboe
“What a wonderful event you put on Saturday. Your interview with Art Laboe was special and memory-filled. It transported me back to a time when we were all young and struggling in the radio business. I am so happy Art was selected for his Lifetime Achievement Award. He is truly deserving of this accolade [and so much more]. And the room was filled with folks I haven't seen in years, another memorable radio reunion. What a thrill to see everyone is doing so well. I almost felt that folks that have left us were there too - Sherman Cohen, Kathy Shields, Phil Little, Ruth Collander, Huggy Boy, and others.  

Anyway, I know I am not alone in feeling this way. The folks taking their Saturday out to share in the magic were not disappointed. Again, thanks for your complete effort...It was a total success.” – Manny Pacheco 

** Call for Johnny Morris
“Nice story on Johnny Morris. He was one of the first people to help me 25 years ago, when I was taking my first tentative steps toward looking for any information I could find on early Los Angeles radio history. I felt that the chief engineers at the heritage AM stations had some knowledge about the origins of the stations they worked for, and in many cases, I was right. When I wrote a letter to KGFJ, I received a nice letter back from Mr. Morris with what he knew about KGFJ’s early technical history. He also was nice enough to include some items he found in the engineering files. These included a detailed diagram drawing of KFGJ’s flattop wire transmitting antenna, a couple of pages from a transmitter log from the 1940s, and a copy of a KFGJ rate card from the 1940s. I didn’t know who Johnny Morris was at the time, but I know a lot more about him now. Thank you Mr. Morris, for taking time back in 1985 to answer my letter. I wish you and your family all the best. 

I also enjoyed reading about the Golden Mike Awards and discovering that Hollywood veteran June Lockhart was a presenter. In 2004, I wrote a detailed history of KFWB-980 and KFOX/KFRN-1280 in Long Beach. In that essay, I included a fact that I found in a KFWB promotional piece I have in my files. According to the KFWB history sheet, June Lockhart was on the air at KFWB on December 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by Japan. At that time, Miss Lockhart was acting in a radio play with Freddie Bartholomew on a program called ‘Preview Theatre,’ which featured popular novels which were adapted for radio by KFWB writers. I don’t know if she did any other radio acting, but her work in movies and television is a matter of record.” - Jim Hilliker, Monterey 

** Long-Time LARadio Supporter
“I bought the first LARP book in 1994. I share the same sentiments as many of your readers about wanting the Web site to continue. There is no better way to keep in touch with Los Angeles radio's past, present and future.” - Scott Lowe
 


KleanRadio Launch in Pat O’Brien’s Wheelhouse

(February 6, 2015) Pat O’Brien has enjoyed a high profile career in news, sports, and entertainment journalism. He now takes his media success to another level by incorporating his own success battling a personal demon – alcoholism. His recovery journey will be the focus of a new radio show already booked locally on KABC, one of six markets so far.

“I've been blessed with an unbelievable career, but the best thing I’ve ever achieved is my sobriety and, having done everything else, including developing Access Hollywood and The Insider, hosting the World Series, four Super Bowls, Final Fours, multiple Olympics and of course the NBA, this is how I’m going to put that final stamp on my career,” said Pat. “I am passing it on.”

“There are 30-40 million untreated alcoholics,” continued Pat. “That's the audience. Our current list of stations has come along organically and we will soon expand to New York, Chicago, Miami, etc. Our web presence is unique, as we’ll do the show LIVE on Sunday nights, streaming on KleanRadio.com and people can get it 24/7 from then on. We get calls from all over the world. People are looking for help and we provide guests and experts to help them navigate through the nightmares.”

O’Brien acknowledges a very public “bottom” and recovery. He says he has been clean and sober for almost seven years but cautions that the sobriety world record is 24 hours.  “When I was on my book tour for I’ll be Back Right After This, many people approached me with questions about what to do about themselves, their kids, their parents, etc.  I would like to end the stigma of being an alcoholic, of making mistakes, of being the butt of jokes on radio shows. It’s not funny, and we are helping people get better lives. I’ll gather together the same guests I've always been able to get; celebs, athletes, business people, journalists, and authors, all who have followed the same path. Their knowledge is gold.”

This new venture is well funded by Andrew Spanswick, an experienced clinical therapist who specializes in dual diagnosis and addiction and owner of Klean Centers.

Pat and Andrew are building a state of the art studio in the famed 9000 building on Sunset Boulevard. Before the end of spring, KleanRadio will also be a real television show. “We’re taking our time. Right now, the show is on the Internet and some stations in the Northwest, KVI, KAST and KXL.”

Pat’s most recent gig was at KLAC, working middays. Will he still be available for the world of sports and entertainment broadcasting? “I’ve had multiple offers and yes, I’ll still be involved but I’m not interested in working for those who manage by fear and intimidation. We have a wonderful team who are all on the same page and we don't need 1980s quips and styles to make it work.  We’re the future.”

The radio home for the new show is at KABC. Pat has added four cameras and great lighting. As far as syndication, he is just letting it grow. “My track record speaks for itself and they know it,” said Pat. “Bottom line is to grow the brand, help people navigate addiction, get them to the right people and maybe even have fun doing it. We’re not a glum bunch. Andrew is a brilliant co-host who has tremendous credentials in the mental health and addiction fields. Since I arrived, I’ve done interviews with roughly 50 radio stations and will be all over the Grammys and other red carpet events, carrying the flag.  I just hope we can get people to find a place to seek help and flip an internal switch allowing them to have a more productive life.”

While KleanRadio.com is getting off the ground, Pat is also working on a sports show called Training Table with Chef and Food Magnate Tara Brennan. “We go to famous athletes’ homes and cook them their favorite foods.  Magic Johnson has shown interest in getting behind the show.  And I’m writing another book about being a tourist in my own life.” (Click Pat O'Brien's artwork above to learn more about KleanRadio)

92.3 No Longer HOT. This morning at 9:23 a.m., HOT 92.3 becomes Real 92.3, the new home of “Hip Hop and R&B” for Southern California. The iHeartMedia station became jockless yesterday. The station announced it will launch with “10,000 joints in a row” commercial-free, featuring hits from major Hip Hop and R&B artists like Drake, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Usher, Jay-Z and Beyoncé. 

(Jimmy Reyes, Damon Knight, Renee Taylor, Josefa Salinas, Tony Sandoval, Lisa St. Regis)

As a result of this format flip, a number of HOT 92.3 jocks were let go including Jimmy Reyes, Damon Knight, Renee Taylor, and Josefa Salinas. The station will also drop the two tracked shifts from Tony Sandoval and Lisa St. Regis (from San Francisco). Tony and Lisa still have their jobs up north on KISQ (98.1 / KISS-fm).

It is rumored that once the legal action between Big Boy and Emmis (KPWR) is resolved and Big is able to join iHeart, that he will be the new morning man at Real 92.3.

Doc Wynter, iHeartMedia’s svp of Urban Programming, has expanded his responsibilities and will become program director of the new station. Doc has been with iHeartMedia (Clear Channel) since 1988. Now adding this new role as program director to his other responsibilities, Doc will manage all programming operations for Real 92.3 in Los Angeles.

“This is an exciting and robust addition to our portfolio of iHeartMedia brands that reach more than 9 million people in Los Angeles each week through broadcast radio, digital, social and events.  Hip Hop is thriving and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have leading the charge than Doc Wynter,” said Greg Ashlock, president of Southern California iHeartMedia.

Big Boy Speaks on Facebook. There was no formal on-air goodbye, but Kurt “Big Boy” Alexander is apparently moving on from his 18 year morning gig KPWR (Power 106 ).  Though Big Boy has yet to explain what led to his decision to leave his long-time home at Emmis’ KPWR, he has written on his Facebook page: “God knows I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!  Real talk. I MEAN IT! When I can speak, I will speak to YOU. I’m crushed and I do care for you guys. Y’all have shown me so much love and respect throughout the years. We have grown together. Many of you were there when my Mom died, when my babies were born, my marriage, my FAT days, my health scare, just everything. We have laughed and cried together. My LOVE for you isn't just words or ratings. This is bigger than a radio logo. You’re my Family. I NEED y’all to survive and be happy. I’m hurt. I’ll be able to tell the real ... soon. God bless you all.”

Why all the fuss for Big Boy? With large groups controlling many of the advertising buys, it is very difficult to be a stand-alone station and generate significant revenue. Yet the local Emmis station has been a lucrative exception. Big Boy’s Neighborhood on KPWR / Power 106, helped the station create a money machine.  According to BIA/Kelsey, KPWR billed $30.4 million in 2011, $31.8 million in 2012 and $34.1 million in 2013.

Overheard.

LARadio Rewind: February 6, 1987. With no warning, KMET program director Frank Cody fires the entire airstaff. The station would run jockless until February 14 and then switch to New Age music as KTWV, The WAVE, with KMET listeners calling the format change “The Valentine’s Day Massacre.” KMET had aired an album rock format since 1967. Over the years the airstaff included Jim Ladd, Jeff Gonzer, Frazer Smith, Mary Turner, Dr. Demento, Ace Young, Paraquat Kelly, Tom Donahue and B. Mitchel Reed. In the fall 1986 Arbitron ratings, KMET was 20th with a 1.6% audience share. Cody acknowledged that “when the best that album-rock radio can do in this market is repackage its old hits in a classic rock format, then album rock is history.” KMET’s final song was a Beatles medley, Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End. KTWV debuted with Sting’s If You Love Somebody Set Them Free. Howard Bloom was general manager. The KMET call letters now belong to “Smart Talk 1490” in Banning.

Hear Ache. MY/fm’s Dave Styles will be live backstage at the Grammys today … Buoyed by his success with his first book, Last of the Seven Swingin’ Gentleman, Elliot Field is halfway through writing a new book called Purely Palm Springs. He plans to release it before the year is out.

Funnie.

Email Friday

We GET Email …

** New Blood Makes Us Better

“Your observations in your State of LARadio are right on. The Sound will do very well. Brilliant moves to promote Mark Thompson. Watch this show be the market leader.

The movement of the market marches on. It’s great to see the market moving in a new direction. New blood makes us better. The market was stale. Time to move forward. The big boys will learn the product is king. Know the market. Don’t guess as most stations are doing. Know your vine, listen, learn. Most won’t.

Don, you are right on!” – Bob Hamilton

** Big Boy Effect

“Don, will that Emmis lawsuit vs. Big Boy have any effect on his restaurants?  :)” – Jerry Downey

** LARadio Changes

“I wrote an angry post the other day about all the changes in LARadio this week, but yours is much more thoughtful. I’m listening to about 90% digital content on my phone now that T-Mobile has given me an unlimited plan for $100. I think once all cars have smart radios and blue tooth nobody will listen to terrestrial radio. It’s really awful these days to sit through all the crap. And these new changes [especially at KABC] are laughable. The management at all these stations seems to be clueless and clueless.” – JP Myers

** Struggling Industry

“Your State of LARadio address was great. There should have been standing ovations from both sides of the aisle! You have a tremendous grasp of our struggling industry and many would be wise to listen to what you have to say. Have a great day.” – Dave Armstrong

** HD an Alternative

“Regarding streaming and HD discussed in your February 1 State of LARadio sent to us subscribers – it seems that many existing LA stations actually do have that content on-air but are not doing enough to cultivate it as a product, or generate awareness.

I am referring to many of the innovative HD2 formats – ranging from the excellent KROQ2 with its flashbacks format that includes many of the underplayed oh-wow songs from the history of the alternative format, to KRTH’s 50/60s HD2 channel, which is where many of K-EARTH’s removed playlist has been relocated to.

KIIS has a brilliant Evolution dance format that iHeart has experimented with in several markets nationwide, and our public radio stations are active on this front as well.

KKJZ has a terrific standards and jazz vocals HD2 (Frank Sinatra has an fm home right here in LA!), KCRW brings us Eclectic24 on their HD-2 (which is also on air at 106.9 in Goleta/Santa Barbara), and several others in the market have recreated their heritage formats (classic Wave tracks on KTWV HD2, the wonderful K-Mozart on KMZT-HD2, etc.). Now, the challenge for LA’s broadcasters is to use their digital presence to more aggressively tout the existence of their HD channels, and use their promotional platforms on-air and at their event marketing venues to let the LA DMA know that our local broadcasters are providing the local audience with some great undiscovered programming just waiting to be heard.

Long live LARadio.com!” – David Alpern

** State of Chang’s LARadio

“Great article on the state of LARadio. One comment I did have was your mention of Mark Levin getting a ‘promotion’ from KABC to KRLA.  I don’t know if that really is a promotion or rather just a different seat on the Titanic. I at least was able to pick up KABC. I can’t even pickup KRLA on most of my radios.

Additionally the comment of him having a heart attack. Mark has been very upfront about his many heart attacks and I think he mentioned he had about nine stents in his heart. I always wondered for someone with such a pre-existing condition who likely was blacklisted by every insurance company why he wouldn’t embrace at least the concept of Obamacare since he is exactly the type of person that the bill is attempting to get health care for.” – Steve Chang, Venice

** Big Mess for Big Boy?

“The Big Boy situation is a mess. And 3 ½ million dollars seems to be a huge amount especially from a company [iHeart] that is laying off people and can’t seem to meet their debt requirements.

Emmis matched the offer but it seems the loyalty factor wasn’t in play for Big Boy. Very sad that something such as this has happened.

I wonder how this will affect other radio personalities and their thoughts with respect to making more money from their present employers. If so, it will probably result in more syndication.” – Bob Fox  


Northern California Top 40 Breeding Ground 

(February 5, 2004) LARadio.com has long been fascinated with where Los Angeles Radio People come from before they get to L.A. radio. When I was marketing my books, I contacted a friend at the Detroit Free Press looking for some publicity. We had been friends since my days as general manager at W4 and WDRQ. The columnist turned me down for lack of an angle. I counted how many LARP had spent time in Detroit radio and there were 52, including Casey Kasem and Tom ClayThe angle worked and he did a major piece on my book.

Sacramento’s KROY was a great breeding ground for future LARP. Check out these names: Brian Beirne (KRTH), Mark Ford (KDAY), Rick Carroll (KROQ and KKDJ), Dean Goss (KRTH), Anita Garner (KBIG), Jack Hayes (KFWB), Bill Kefurry (KRLA), T. Michael Jordan (KKDJ), Don MacKinnon (KFWB and KLAC), Byron Paul (KFI), Bryan Simmons (KOST and KBIG), Gary Owens (KMPC, KFWB and KLAC), Hal Murray (KFWB), Robert W. Morgan (KHJ and KRTH), Hal Pickens (KFWB), Andy Rush (KNX/fm), Dave Williams (KNX morning anchor), Dwight Case (KHJ), and Gene West (KIQQ). 

Three decades ago, KROY was the most popular radio station in Sacramento, and the station has been memorialized in a tribute Web site at www.1240kroy.com

Jeff March, a KROY veteran and LARP from KIEV and KBBQ in early 1970 writes: 

“With the ‘Music Power’ format it launched in the fall of 1968, KROY achieved undisputed market dominance and remained entrenched in the No. 1 ratings position well into the 1970s. Several former KROY disc jockeys and staff members are involved in the operation of the Web site.” 

“After switching to a youth-oriented Top 40 hits format, KROY (1240 AM) became a magnet for vibrant, talented air personalities, many of whom later moved on to larger markets where they would emerge as broadcast industry icons. The motivating, energetic ‘Music Power’ format was the platform upon which KROY endeared itself to a fiercely loyal audience. From the fall of 1968 through the fall of 1973, KROY was No. 1 in every Arbitron rating book. KROY, known as ‘the 1240 Rock,’ dominated over stations with 50 times its transmitter power. KROY's secret was chemistry - a potent combination of disc jockeys with winning personalities who were attuned to the pulse of the city and who played an infectious blend of Top 40 hits, many of which were ‘hitbound’ on KROY before they were heard on more timid radio stations in other cities. 

KROY first signed on the air in 1937, operating from studios on the mezzanine of the old Hotel Sacramento at 10th and K streets. The station's personnel included a young salesman named Elton Rule, who would later become president of the American Broadcasting Co. Chosen to honor original station owner Royal Miller, the KROY call letters were synonymous with Sacramento for more than 40 years. When America went to war, 1240 KROY was of enormous importance on the home front as one of only two radio stations in Sacramento; the other was KFBK. 

KROY became a part of broadcast history on May 13, 1946, when in a precedent-setting legal decision - the first in which the Federal Communications Commission had to select among bidders competing for a radio station - it granted the application of Harmco Inc. to acquire KROY from the Royal Miller estate for the purchase price of $150,000. 

From the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, KROY was located in downtown Sacramento. The station occupied the second floor, directly over the Country Maid Restaurant, and was just four blocks from the state Capitol building. Throughout its early years KROY had been host to a number of formats, dating back to the ‘swing era’ in which it broadcast big bands live from an earlier studio location, the Senator Hotel across from the Capitol. By 1960, the trend-setting station had switched to Top 40 music programming, playing the top youth-oriented hits of the day. 

During the early heyday of rock 'n roll, KROY's transmitter and tower were located in the southeast area of Sacramento, on a street appropriately named KROY Way. The transmitter was relocated in the mid-1960s to a site located literally at the Sacramento dump at 24th and A Streets, where it remains today. The organic material in the dump helped strengthen the potency of KROY's transmitter signal, which by then had been increased to 1,000 watts daytime and 250 watts at night. Because of its fast-paced format, KROY was chosen as the prototype station for tape cartridge machines, which subsequently became the industry standard for radio station jingles, commercials and other recorded matter.   

One reason KROY became so beloved by its listeners was its high visibility throughout town. The station acquired a vehicle that would become its trademark - an antique fire truck that was painted in the station's trademark shade of purple. Arriving on the fire truck, KROY disc jockeys made appearances throughout town - showing up, for example, at a high school to serve free soft drinks to thirsty teenagers, or playing a basketball game against high school faculty members to raise funds for a worthy cause.   

On one occasion, KROY thrilled listeners [and irritated law enforcement officials] by bringing snow in the middle of summer to the street in front of the station's studio at 977 Arden Way. Using a large dump truck, station personnel made a run into the Sierra Nevada, scooped up a load of snow, barreled down Highway 50, and dumped it onto Arden Way as 5,000 listeners showed up for a snowman-building contest in 100-degree August heat. Traffic became hopelessly ensnarled, and as California Highway Patrol officers arrived to restore order and reopen the street to traffic, they were pelted with snowballs. The runoff from the melting snow washed into the radio station and ruined the carpeting, but it was a wonderful day, demonstrating that KROY loved its listeners as much as they loved the station's star disc jockeys. KROY even made its listeners celebrities, honoring deserving citizens on the air with ‘Power People’ awards. 

When Don McLean's American Pie soared to popularity in early 1972, Sacramentans remained riveted to their radios as KROY dispensed clues leading to a secretive prize location. As the final clues were revealed, the station's listeners converged upon a levee where the KROY disk jockeys were parked in a Chevy - a reference to a lyric line in the song - and they were handing out pies stuffed with currency. 

The station's ‘haunted mansion,’ presented in cooperation with a local youth organization each Halloween, became a perennial favorite, as did its Fourth of July spectaculars at Cal Expo. 

In 1977, KROY was joined by an fm affiliate. Four years later, in response to changing tastes of listeners and increased competition, KROY AM and FM abandoned the Top 40 singles format and switched to an adult album rock format. A cherished strand in Sacramento's history unraveled on Nov. 1, 1982, when after 45 years under the venerable KROY call letters, the AM station quietly became KENZ, then KSAC as it switched first to classical music, then to an all-sports format that failed to attract a listener base.   

Purchased by Dwight Case (photo) - who had been KROY's station manager during its heyday in the late 1960s and early '70s - the AM station signed off and went dark in early November 1994, returning to the air a few weeks later as Spanish-formatted KSQR, as it remains today. In November 1990, KROY/fm adopted a Classic Rock format. Dubbed ‘the Eagle,’ the station switched call letters to KSEG, and KROY finally disappeared from the Sacramento airwaves.   

But the camaraderie that developed among KROY personnel still endures. Although they're now dispersed throughout the nation - including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and other cities - about four dozen KROY alumni remain in regular contact with each other via email."

Dees Sleaze. Tons of emailer’s reacted with disappointment at Rick Dees’ “life-changing” announcement yesterday morning. They felt ripped off. One called it a real “cheap trick.” How about the tv crews that arrived as early as 3:30 a.m. waiting to get a story on Rick’s anticipated “life-changing” announcement? It was a busy day behind the scenes on Riverside Drive in the KIIS headquarters with all parties attempting to work out the real “life-changing” announcement...This morning, KABC's Ken Minyard was talking about the buzz surrounding Ryan Seacrest replacing Rick Dees at KIIS/fm. Ken acknowledged what a talent and gentleman that Rick was to him. When Ken returned to KABC, Rick sent him a gift.

Leap Year LARPs. KNX's Diane Thompson is putting together a feature piece on Leap Day birthdays and she wondered if there were some LARP Leap Day "babies" she could interview. You can contact Diane at: taylorvoice@earthlink.net

Mornings in Ventura Goes Insane…Again. Darrell Wayne, ex-KROQ and LaRadio.com editor will fill-in on the Dave & Bob show at KVTA in Ventura for the next few weeks. KVTA is Ventura County’s only News/Talk station. “Dave and Bob have been a Ventura County institution for the past 19 years, and their shoes will be hard to fill. I fill in for Bob starting today through next week, and for Dave, driving the bus, the week of the 16th through the 20th." For those outside the area, the show is streamed at www.kvta.com. 

Hear This. KLOS middayer Cynthia Fox is giving away tickets to Angels Fest, which is taking place on Valentine’s weekend at Angels Stadium. Fans get to meet the Angel players…KFI’s Phil Hendrie taped a "screed" segment for the Dennis Miller Show. It's to air this week…The WAVE is promoting "Saturday Afternoon Live at Sea" on February 7th, offering a scenic cruise of the Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach with a catered buffet and special performances by David Benoit and other jazz ensembles. 

Karmazin’s Half-Time Response. This is the full text of a memo from Mel Karmazin that deals with the half time show at the Super Bowl that aired on his CBS and was produced by his MTV.  

As you know, the incident during the Super Bowl's Half Time Show on Sunday has received 
a significant amount of attention both in the media and in Washington, D.C.   Because of the 
speculation and misinformation about what transpired, I want to update you on the facts 
and also on what we are doing to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. 

First let me say that everyone at Viacom, CBS and MTV was shocked and embarrassed 
about what transpired at the end of our half time performance.  Ms. Jackson's unrehearsed, 
unplanned and unapproved display went far beyond the bounds of what is acceptable under 
our broadcast standards.  We apologized immediately and publicly to our viewers for the 
incident. 

We also conducted an investigation and are satisfied that we handled the creation and 
staging of the half time show responsibly and that both CBS and MTV reviewed all planned 
aspects of the performances in detail and in advance.   We have established that no one in 
our company was aware in advance of any plan to rip Ms. Jackson's clothing. Executives 
from MTV, CBS and the NFL attended all rehearsals and nothing like this was included in 
the show, which was verified by our review of videotapes from the rehearsals. Moreover, I 
have been assured that we would never have allowed the incident to take place had we 
known in advance. Janet Jackson has now publicly admitted that she and her choreographer 
came up with the idea after the last rehearsal and that no one at MTV or at CBS had any 
knowledge about her plan. 

In order to prevent future incidents, we are immediately taking steps to minimize and 
hopefully eliminate the vulnerability inherent to live television. 

First, we are redoubling our already thorough oversight of all live performances -- to be sure 
that the standards of our networks are upheld and that what is presented is appropriate for 
the intended audience.  Second, in addition to our longstanding policy to employ audio 
delete technology on live entertainment broadcasts, we will begin a video delete capability 
with the February 8 broadcast of the Grammy Awards on CBS.  We believe that this new 
procedure will allow us to keep unplanned and unscripted-accidental or otherwise-incidents 
from occurring in the future. 

Other aspects and segments of the half time show are being debated and criticized and will 
no doubt continue to be discussed over the next several weeks.  We support the right of 
people to disagree with the choices we make just as we value and take seriously the public 
trust that is given to us.  And we will continue to do everything we can to assure that our live broadcasts adhere to the same high standards as the programming we air every day.
   

Radio Stuff. Lance Ballance, former middayer at KBIG, is the pd at KOSY-Salt Lake City…KSPN’s Joe McDonnell is reporting the drama series Playermakers has been cancelled, according to SportsByBrooks.com: "Piss on the NFL, it was a great show," said Joe…We proposed a new drinking game guaranteed to get you drunk in a hurry is to take a swig every time new KFI evening Talk show host John Ziegler utters the word “Frankly.” He did it 11 times in one hour recently. Another LARP readers thinks that would get drunk even quicker if you had a drink every time Bill Handel says, "uhhhh."… “K-Mozart” is presenting a live broadcast of Pacific Symphony Orchestra from Orange County Performing Arts Center on this evening’s Pacific Concert.

Elder Politician. Democratic U.S. Representative Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio) was in studio with Larry Elder this week discussing his candidacy in the Democratic presidential race.

Overheard.

Color Him Father. Glenn Sacks is a men's and fathers' issues columnist and a nationally-syndicated radio talk show host. His radio show, “His Side with Glenn Sacks, can be heard on KMPC/1540 and in Seattle. Glenn is creating headlines with his campaign against inflammatory tee-shirts. You can read the complete story at: http://www.dailynews.com/Stories/0,1413,200~24781~1933081,00.html 

LARP Archives. February 5  

On this day in history:  

1940 - Glenn Miller and his orchestra record Tuxedo Junction; it would spend nine weeks at number 1  
1953 - Walt Disney's Peter Pan premieres at the Roxy Theatre in New York City  
1957 - Bill Haley & the Comets began their first British tour  
1996 - Elizabeth Taylor files for divorce from Larry Fortensky, her seventh husband  
1998 - Falco (born Johann Holzel), who hit number one with Rock Me Amadeus in 1986, dies in a Dominican Republic car crash at 40, and Beach Boys guitarist Carl Wilson dies of cancer at 51; Stevie Wonder and Elton John perform at the White House   

Born on this day:  

Hot Hits countdown for this day in 1986: number 5, How Will I Know by Whitney Houston; number 4, When The Going Gets Tough by Billy Ocean; number 3, I'm Your Man by Wham!; number 2, Burning Heart by Survivor; number 1, That's What Friends Are For by Dionne & Friends (Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder)  

Hawthorne’s Radio Rewind: On this day in 1940, the daily soap opera Amanda Of Honeymoon Hill, starring Joy Hathaway as "the beauty of flaming red hair", debuted on NBC Radio. Co-starring was Staats Cotsworth and John Archer, who was also the announcer for The Shadow ("Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows").  Frank Gallop was the announcer.  The show was created by Frank and Anne Hummert, who also created several other series, including Front Page, Little Orphan Annie, Just Plain Bill, The Romance Of Helen Trent, and Mr. Keen, Tracer Of Lost Persons. From 1940-42, Amanda Of Honeymoon Hill was sponsored by Cal-Aspirin and Haley's M-O and then moved to CBS for four more years, sponsored by Phillips Toothpaste and Tooth Powder.  The storylines ranged from the mundane (Amanda looks for an apartment) to the dramatic (Amanda's father is falsely charged with murder).  

LARP Threesome. This New Year's photo represents three reasons why Brooks Melchior, former KMPC/1540 talk show host, has put together one of the fastest growing Web sites for sports buffs. Brooks hosts events around the Southland and took his marketing machine to Las Vegas to kick in the New Year. He's planning future trips to Seattle and Phoenix. www.SportsByBrooks.com 

Funnie. KNX's Randy Kerdoon wrote to say that he's not getting picky, but just noticed the line above the LARP birthdays at the bottom of this page: 'If you are a LA Radio People who would like your birthday…or death listed?' "Not only is there a Rock and Roll Heaven, but they apparently have email!!" quipped Randy.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Gene West (ex-KIQQ and KGFJ)   

LARP: What is your favorite song lyric?  Any songwriter.  Any artist.  
Any genre.  Any time.  Please limit your answer to two lines at most.
 

Martin Wagmaister (producer, Rick Dees In The Morning-102.7 KIIS/fm): Wasted Time by The Eagles: 

    You can get on with your search, baby  
    And I can get on with mine,  
    And maybe someday we will find…  
    That it wasn’t really wasted time
 

Richard Turnage: Jackson Browne, from The Pretender  

      I'm gonna find myself a girl,
     Who can show me what laughter means;
     And we'll fill-in the missing colors,
     In each others paint-by-number dreams
  

Archer (KBIG): Favorite song lyric? Yes from Starship Trooper:  

    "Loneliness is a power that we possess to give  
    or take away forever."  

Bill Banks (ex-KNAC, Liberman): Every single line of Mr. Tambourine Man and Idiot Wind. Actually, almost all of Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home and Blood On The Tracks.  

On another tangent, two lines from Kris Kristofferson: 

    "I may smoke too much, drink too much, every blessed thing too much,  
    But you can bet your butt I'm gonna live before I die."  

Doug McIntyre (KABC): It's not my favorite song, but given the shift I work, Frank Loesser's My Time of Day from Guys and Dolls:

    "My time of day is the dark time, a couple of deals before dawn.  
    When the street belongs to the cop, and the janitor with his mop,  
    and the grocery clerks are all gone."

John Mellen: You & I written by Meredith Wilson, Tommy Dorsey and the Band, with Frank Sinatra on vocal, recorded June 1941. Two In Love, also by Meredith Wilson, Tommy Dorsey and the Band with Frank Sinatra on vocal was recorded August 1941.  Both were on the Hit Parade at the same time.


              Publisher of LARadio.com - Don Barrett

While daily posting of LARadio news will no longer be, please feel free to reach out to say hello or update
your Where Are They Now section.
db@thevine.net
   

LARadio Final Column

2016 Columns
by  Alan Oda


* 2015 Year in Review (2.11
)
* Hall of Fame Entry Posthumously to Joe McDonnell (1.28)

 

 

 

 

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