LARadio

2017 - 2nd Quarter

Compiled and Written by Don Barrett

 

 

4 Years Ago Memorial Day Weekend

Memories of Newsman Harry Birrell

“An icon in LA radio. A very nice man! Grew up hearing him on my mom's radio. I had the honor of working with him years later!” – Tammy Trujillo 

“One of the great broadcasters. R.I.P.” – Gary Adler 

“My first disk jockey position was with KUDU [later KBBQ] in Ventura. If memory serves me correct, he was the 'image' voice for the station.” – Norm Garr 

“One of the Greats! RIP.” – Rick Jager 

“Sad to hear of his passing.” – Mark Wallengren 

“Harry was a true gentleman. He was authoritative yet relatable on the air. Harry represented the best in broadcasting and human nature.” - Chris Berry 

“2013 has been a sad year with the loss of so many of the guys who helped make radio great. George Wilson, Paul Drew, now Harry. Rest in peace. Thank you for all those years of fine work on KNX.” – Doug Herman, San Diego 

“RIP my ole friend Harry Birrell. It was a pleasure working with you all those years at KNX.” – Tom Patterson 

“I'm sorry to hear about Harry's passing. At the beginning of this past March, present-day KNX news director Andy Ludlum contacted me and asked if I had any airchecks of Harry Birrell to give Andy's granddaughter an opportunity to hear how he sounded on the air. Andy wrote, ‘Apparently Harry was never big on talking about his work or keeping tapes. But he's apparently had a change of heart.’ Harry already was in declining health at the time. I did, indeed, have some of Harry's news breaks that I had airchecked in 1975, and supplied them so he and his granddaughter had the opportunity to listen to them together. I'm very glad that worked out.” - Jeff March

“Sad news.” – Davey Croakette 

“One of the greats.” – Mark Sudock 

“Any good broadcaster should be missed.  It’s an art that deserves respect. Though I remember nothing of his work, I respect his tenure in the business, and hope I can hear and learn from his example. My time at KNX was short, but it taught me a respect for news!! God bless!” – Timothy Halm 

“One of the voices I grew up hearing on KNX.” – Deloy Sterns

“So sorry to hear.” – Nancy Wilson  

“The next time we hear thunder, we won't worry... it'll be Harry!” – Ford Michaels  

“I remember him well.” – Alan Mendelson 

“So sorry to hear about Harry. Great voice. Great newsman. Worked with him at KFWB before he crossed the street and started a long career at CBS.” – Mike Botula 

“His authoritative voice was heard every afternoon across the country when he anchored the 4 p.m. edition of the CBS network news at the top of the hour. Godspeed, Harry Birrell.” – Alan Oda 

Johnny Magnus and I spent some memorable time with Harry at an NAB in Las Vegas. Good guy.” – Chuck Southcott 

“I started listening to KNX in the late 60's. I remember Harry anchoring the local news, and anchoring the CBS News at 4 p.m. He was a consummate pro, and in later years I heard he was a fan of the ‘Dave and Bob’ show on KVEN. We have truly lost another of the great ones.” – Barry Turnbull 

“He and Douglas Edwards were my inspirations for wanting to get into broadcast news. I would listen for hours and practice reading into a Wollensak tape recorder. I'll never forget Harry's booming voice. RIP.” – Steve Kindred 

“Felt like I knew him. Never met him. Major talent.” – John Leader   


Hear Ache 

(May 26, 2017) Marketing has all but disappeared from radio, but there was a time when it was important. “After KRLA signed-on in 1959, KFWB wanted to make sure the advertising community knew that KFWB was a ratings leader and delivered a quality audience with top personalities - all of which were entirely true,” emails Gary West, the Man From Yesterday. “KFWB was just coming off 42 shares in Los Angeles. This was unique in another way - it's in color."

In other news: Chris Berry, former gm at KSPN, has been elevated to senior VP of News, Talk and Sports programming at iHeartMedia. In his new role, Berry will oversee the company’s spoken word brands providing strategic guidance and connecting key advertisers with their audiences. In addition to his new post, Berry will continue in his current position of senior vp/gm for NBC News Radio and iHeart’s 24/7 News Network.

Were you a fan of Dick & DeeDee (The Mountains High, Thou Shalt Not Steal)? I was. DeeDee and I were at Santa Monica High School at the same time. Such a nice AND talented woman. You can read a recent interview with her:
https://interviewuniverse.com/dee-dee-phelps-dick-and-dee-dee-60s-singer/

Ken Poston, decade long vet of KLON (now KKJZ), is general manager of Jazz 88.3 KSDS in San Diego. “He has brought with him the same creative energy and passion he had at KLON, initiating Club Caravans (city-wide station-sponsored pub crawls) and member events like a trip to Frank Sinatra’s house in Palm Springs, a celebration of Some Like It Hot at the Hotel Del Coronado (where it was filmed; the band included Gene Cipriano, the legendary reed player who ghosted for Tony Curtis in the movie), etc.,” emailed colleague Ken Borgers. “The station’s audience and income are rising rapidly and life is good!”



Has Entercom Sold The Sound?
(May 25, 2017) Even though the Entercom/CBS Radio merger is slated for some time in the 4th quarter, there have been significant actions behind the scenes. Every day the industry press seems to report another CBS lay-off. Instead of massive firings they have been doing it market by market hoping to be undiscovered, which is impossible as those who lose their jobs post something on social media for the world to know.

On another Entercom front, the company was slated to dispose of a Los Angeles fm station because once the merger with CBS takes place, they would be one over the maximum allowed by the FCC. The gossip tom-toms have been beating this week that it is indeed, KSWD, 100.3/The Sound, that has been sold and it will be announced soon. No word on the buyer, but to those who know, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The head of Entercom, David Field, was spotted in the CBS VIP area during KROQ’s Weenie Roast concert last weekend.

TALKERS Heavy Hundred Radio Talk Show Hosts

(May 24, 2017) Lotsa Los Angeles Radio People in TALKERS Magazine annual listing of the 100 most important radio talk show hosts in America. "Aside from the hosts whose sheer numbers and fame demand their inclusion on this list, the selection process is subjective with the goal being to create a list reflective of the industry's diversity and total flavor as well as giving credit where credit is due," according to the introduction of the Heavy Hundred by TALKERS Magazine. Included in the evaluation, candidates display courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness. The following LARP are currently on the air in LA or have been:

1. Rush Limbaugh; 2. Sean Hannity; 3. Dave Ramsey; 4. Mark Levin; 5. Glenn Beck; 6. Howard Stern; 7. Michael Savage; 9. Thom Hartmann; 10. Mike Gallagher; 11. Laura Ingraham; 12. Todd Schnitt; 13. Bill Handel; 15. George Noory; 18. Lars Larson; 19. Jim Bohannon; 20. Hugh Hewitt; 21. John & Ken; 22. Doug Stephan; 23. Stephanie Miller; 25. Michael Smerconish; 31. Getty & Armstrong; 33. Michael Medved; 34. Ronn Owens; 35. Kim Komando; 36. Dennis Prager; 42. Don Imus; 43. Tim Conway, Jr.; 44. Doug McIntyre; 51. Terry Gross; 54. Clark Howard; 64. Steve Dahl; 71. Larry Elder; 75. Heidi Harris; 86. Ric Edelman; and 92. Leslie Marshall

Howard Stern's Private Parts Looms Over Cannes Film Festival 

(May 23, 2017) The 2017 Cannes Film Festival is in full swing and all the trade publications are covering the festivities. For the 70th anniversary of the festival, The Hollywood Reporter recounted the 70 Moments from the past and a LARP was #28. To promote Howard Stern's movie, Private Parts, the promotional plan involved inflating a 40-foot balloon of a naked Stern perched on a barge anchored near the beach. The President of France was visiting the festival and officials felt the balloon was too vulgar. He was given two choices, the police would shoot it down or Howard could deflate it. The latter was chosen. When the President left, they reflated the balloon.

Stern reminisced about the event: "I miss the giant inflatable me and wish he were still with us. He was taken way too soon, and I had high hopes he would have visited America and participated in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade right next to Underdog."

Email Tuesday

We GET Email ...

** LARPs Talk Better Than They Write

"You might remember that years ago when I started writing a book, which was a collection of 'funniest things that happened to me' stories from jocks ... usually morning djs, I received very little response. I had planned to do that since that early in my career there wasn't much on myself about which to write. That was compounded by the fact of the realization of the small size of the market willing to buy it.

Today, it's all that you can do to keep them off of blogs and social media and writing up all kinds of irresistibly controversial commentary, especially about themselves or if it's a slow day, their two cents about politics.

Just goes to prove your point that jocks don't write, they talk!” - Don Elliot


Document Your Radio Life With A Docu/Bio 

(May 22, 2017) I received an interesting email recently from Kevin Gershan. Attached was a link to something about Scott St. James. I like both Kevin and Scott. I first met Kevin a number of years ago over lunch at Marie Callender’s when he regaled me with stories about the iconic morning man Robert W. Morgan. Kevin was Robert’s producer for decades, since then he’s gone on to a wonderful career as a producer at Entertainment Tonight.

I met Scott when interviewing him for Los Angeles Radio People. He was doing sports commentary at “Arrow 93.” Scott is one of those veterans who spent many years at 710/KMPC and also a decade at KHJ/Channel 9 as the nightly sports anchor. He's a legend in St. Louis.

Both are TERRIFIC storytellers, and after all, that’s what makes radio people compelling – telling engaging stories.

The email from Kevin about Scott immediately got my attention because Kevin has been looking after Scott since the former sports journalist was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I clicked the link. I was pleasantly surprised to ride down nostalgia lane with Scott. Kevin has produced an amazing docu/bio on the life of Scott. I shouldn’t have been surprised at the quality of the piece as Kevin pieced together interviews, airchecks, photos, and videos. He’s also done others – namely Robert W. and Ron Jacobs.

I got to thinking that this type of video would be perfect for LARP who like to:

1.       Create a different kind of resume.

2.       A living history for family and kids.

3.       Instead of writing a book, tell stories about your career.

Something to think about or perhaps you would like to talk with Kevin about having one done about YOU! Kevin can be reached at: kgershan@earthlink.net 


Ink for Dunlap 

(May 21, 2017) After more than a decade without an NFL team, sports fans recently learned of abundance of riches with both the Rams and Chargers claiming Southern California as home.

Doug Dunlap, the ultimate sports fan, wrote a letter to editor at the LA Times. Not too often do we read LARP expressing a lucid opinion for the Southland's largest read publication.

Email Saturday, 5.20.17

** Remembering Norm Woodruff

Norm Woodruff had just left KFBK-Sacramento when I started there as a stringer. However, his legacy was well established. Woodruff was at the station when it first started as an all-News operation, utilizing the late, lamented syndicated NBC News and Information Service (NIS), which was providing much of the station's programming.

When NIS shut down operations in 1977, Woodruff -- along with the rest of the KFBK staff -- learned of the network's demise through an AP wire story (!).

He helped the staff regroup to quickly create a locally-based all-News station. After programming a full-service information station on what is now San Francisco's KOIT-AM, Woodruff returned to KFBK in 1980 or 1981, I remember Woodruff diligently working in the newsroom behind a typewriter and wearing a tie and monogrammed white shirt, in contrast to the rest of the staff's more casual wear.

I think this was probably his last local radio gig before he became a consultant, eventually guiding Rush Limbaugh to Sacramento after Morton Downey Jr. was fired for an offensive joke that cost the latter his job. In addition to bringing Limbaugh to the world along with other previously mentioned innovations through his Woodruff Organization consulting, his legacy includes today's highly successful and respected Newsradio KFBK.

It was sad to hear of Norm Woodruff's early death at the age of 48.” – Alan Oda

 

** More Norm

I got to know Norm Woodruff through my old boss, Jim Simon at KGOE-Thousand Oaks. We were part of the Woodruff Pacific Network. It was an interesting idea ... way ahead of its time. He really was a visionary in the world of all-News and News/Talk radio.” – Ken Jeffries, reporter, KABC Radio

** The Lowe Down

“Thank you for the quick mention in today's column. Also, an even bigger thank you for continuing with LARadio.com, I check it every day. 

After you published Volume 2 of your Los Angeles Radio People book, I was inspired to make the move to L.A. Eventually, working at Y107 along with a couple of fun stops in San Diego and the I.E.  No regrets!” – Scott Lowe

 

** Meet You at Martoni’s

“Seeing the photo of the Martoni match book brought back a lot of great memories. Martoni’s and Carlos & Charlie’s were the last of the great radio and music biz hangouts.” – Bob Koontz


Hear Ache

(May 19, 2017) Bill O’Reilly becomes a Friday regular on Glenn Beck’s radio show. They’re both ex-Fox News Channel and were “good friends there,” says O’Reilly. TheHill.com says “After Beck left Fox News, O’Reilly still had him back on as a guest on The Factor more than any other Fox host” – and now Beck will feature O’Reilly every Friday on his Premiere Networks radio show … ESPN’s Mike & Mike morning show is becoming Mike & Trey, confirming recent speculation. Mike Golic (KMAX, 1995-96; KWNK, 1996; KXTA, 2000-01; KMPC, 2001-03) wasn’t happy about how he and Mike Greenberg were told by their bosses about the upcoming changes after teaming together for 18 years. According to the NY Post: “This has been the worst-kept secret for a long time,” Golic said. “The last year and a half has been somewhat interesting, if not eyebrow-raising as well. For me, it’s not my story to tell. I’m going to continue doing this exact same show. It’s for others to tell who made this decision, if they want to tell it and how they want to tell it.” … Turi Ryder, former Talker at KFI, is writing a “fictionalized memoir” due for publication. The manuscript of She Said What? will be released next year … Garrison West sent a note about the KSBR Birthday Bash on May 28th at the Grove of Anaheim. Details at www.ksbr.org  … Is Steve Harvey's ex-wife suing him for murder? … iHeartMedia has swapped the formats for its two AMs in Riverside and San Bernardino. The News/Talk format shifts from 1440 KFNY Riverside to 1290 KKDD San Bernardino, while Spanish AC “La Precisoa” moves in reverse from 1290 to 1440 … Looking for a job at CBS Radio?  … The American Idol reboot at ABC has yet to announce who will be the host. Worth noting: Ryan Seacrest recently relocated to New York and does his tv and radio shows out of ABC studios … Despite the botched ending to the Academy Awards Oscarcast, the same production team will be back next year. The host will again be Jimmy Kimmel, who did a great job as MC … Scott Lowe, former jock at Y107 in the late 90s is now with the CBS cluster in Philadelphia … Lynda Clayton, formerly with KMET and KLOS in the 80s and 90s, has joined Sacramento's Smooth Jazz station.

Morning Joe Scoring 

(May 18, 2017) The LA Times recently devoted almost a full-page story to MSNBC's Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist. Joe was heard on KABC when he attempted radio syndication.

The Times' Q&A was mostly political, which is not what we do here, but the first question asked what it was like to have their best ratings ever?

Joe: "It's surreal. We're coming up on 10 years, as Mika points out, we can't thank of any co-anchors who have been together for a decade. Then add Willie Geist - three people, together every day for a decade. That's great."

Times: The show has always appeared to be very personal. You don't see any fingerprints of management or market research on it. How are you able to keep that kind of control?

Mika: "Upstairs, they know we're going to do what we're going to do. They know that because we've established it from day one that we are going to be who we are. We're going to rip up the script if you give us something to read that is not real."

KUTE/Inland Empire Jock Dies 

(May 17, 2017) Chuck Van Horne, veteran jock from KUTE (1979-80), died Monday, according to his wife Linda Dukeslaw. Apparently his death was sudden. No other information was immediately available.

From Los Angeles Radio People: Born in Fresno, Chuck Van Horne Dukeslaw, Jr. grew up in Arcadia. Chuck was bitten by the radio “bug” while serving overseas with the U.S. Air Force. When he left the military, his family, who had been in the banking business for over 100 years, expected him to pursue a banking career. Instead, Chuck enrolled in the Don Martin School of Radio and Television Arts and Sciences in Hollywood.

He started his first radio job on November 12, 1972.  In less than two years Chuck had worked at KTOT-Big Bear, KICO-Calexico, KPTL-Carson City, KTHO-So. Lake Tahoe and KONE-Reno. A network of radio friends began to pay off for Chuck with assignments at KDES-Palm Springs, KSTN-Stockton, KSOM-Ontario, KFXM and KUDO-San Bernardino/Riverside.
In 1977 he returned to college and also became an instructor at Don Martin's.

After programming two Reno stations, Chuck started at KUTE in November 1979. Less than a year later, he was off to Albuquerque and by 1985 had left the radio business.

He produced and directed training videos for the City of Los Angeles' Department of Transportation, which led to a position as program manager for Ralph's Grocery Company's television department doing co-op and training videos. In 1992, he became director of operations for the American Video Network in Corona del Mar, which specialized in interactive media production.

When asked if he ever thinks about radio, he replied lightning quick, "All the time. I'm a jock...always." While working at AVN, Chuck returned to school for a master's at Cal State Long Beach. “After three semesters, I was able to graduate 'Cum Laude' with a Bachelors of Arts degree and was all set to continue on for an Interdisciplinary Masters in new media. However, things at work really started to speed up. I was ‘recalled’ and promoted to vp of operations, which no longer provided me the time to continue my education. Our company provides multi-media solutions [including Web sites, intranets, CD-rom's, kiosks, videos, and audio/visual support for seminars and management meetings] for a growing number of corporations. It's an exciting time; we are getting ready for our next growth spurt. If everything works out I am hoping to return to my Master's quest in two years.

My nephew, Ted, says: ‘Uncle Chuck will probably still be going to school when he's eighty.’ I think he may be right.”

MY/fm Continues at #1 in April '17 PPM 

(May 16, 2017) The April '17 PPM 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12Mid:

1. KBIG (MY/fm) 5.7 - 5.6
2. KTWV (The WAVE) 5.5 - 5.5
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.9 - 5.0
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.9 - 4.8
5. KOST (AC) 4.4 - 4.6
6. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.9 - 3.7
7. KFI (Talk) 3.4 - 3.5
8. KNX (News) 3.6 - 3.4
9. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.2 - 3.1
10. KYSR (Alternative) 3.1 - 3.0

Morning Has Broken

Persons 12+
6a-10a April '17 PPM


1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. Pat Prescott (KTWV)
3. News Team (KNX)
4. Bill Handel (KFI)
5. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)

5 (tie). Gary Bryan (KRTH)
Persons 18-34
6a-10a April '17 PPM


1. Woody Show (KYSR)
2. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
3. Big Boy (KRRL)
4. Valentine (MY/fm)
5.
El Bueno, La Mala, y El Feo (KSCA)
Persons 25-54
6a-10a April '17 PPM

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
3. Woody Show (KYSR)
4. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
5. Gary Bryan (KRTH)
5 (tie). El Show Del Mandril (KXOS)

Add New LARP to 1110/KRLA 

(May 15, 2017) After two decades of publishing LARadio, we think we have included every Los Angeles Radio People (LARP) who fits the criterion for inclusion. And then there’s this note from Alan Skuba of Palm Desert.

"Came upon your wonderful compilation of all-time southern California radio personalities. Having owned and operated three southern California radio stations in the past and, having spent a lifetime listening to L.A. area AM & FM stations, reviewing the roster was like a trip back in time.  Great...loved it. You may wish to add the name of Norman Woodruff to the list. I was a pal of Norman's and helped in having him land his very first radio job when we were both 19 years of age (1957).”

From an obit published around the time of his 1987 death.

Norman Eugene Woodruff is considered to be among the foremost pioneers in the advent of talk radio. He had thirty year career as a preeminent network newscaster. Norm was considered by many to be the “Lou Grant of radio” -- gruff but loveable and with news in his blood. His proudest achievement was probably the success of CBS-owned KCBS Newsradio in the highly-competitive San Francisco radio market. Under his stewardship in the 1970s, KCBS reached No. 1 in the ratings and stayed there for several years. The station had personable-yet-aggressive news coverage and took seriously the slogans “The News Authority” and “What goes on is on right now.”

Norm was famous for calling news editors from his car if he heard sirens and didn’t quickly hear the reason why on the air. After Hearst newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped by domestic terrorists in 1974, he had a telephone jack installed on a tree outside the Hearst estate gates so reporters could conduct live remote broadcasts throughout the months-long drama.  

It was while Norm consulted Bonneville’s Kansas City station KMBZ in the early ’80s that he encountered Rush Limbaugh, who had recently been a public relations exec for the Kansas City Royals. Rush’s opinionated radio commentaries often made KMBZ’s conservative Mormon owners nervous. Norm counseled Rush and helped to focus his talents -- and even advised him on his wardrobe and other trappings of the potential stardom Norm envisioned.

In 1984, Norm recommended Rush to Group W’s Sacramento station (KFBK) as a replacement for the recently-fired Morton Downey, Jr. Four years later, EFM Media and WABC-New York combined to bring Limbaugh east and, soon, to the nation. Norm was involved with “satellite radio” decades before the arrival of Sirius and XM. In 1979, his consulting firm initiated a pioneering nationwide project to find acceptable sites for hundreds of satellite receiving dishes for affiliates of the Mutual Broadcasting System. Mutual was the first network to phase out expensive telephone lines and opt for delivering programming to stations via satellite, beginning in the early ’80s.  

Norm’s consulting company, The Woodruff Organization, consulted several news and talk radio stations owned by Gannett, Bonneville, Combined Communications, Mutual, Group W and included broadcast properties KIRO-Seattle, KXRX-San Jose, and KCBS & KXLU, both of San Francisco. The Woodruff Organization also operated Woodruff Pacific Network, which provided daily newscasts to West Coast-only radio stations as well as “Coast to Coast,” one of the first independently syndicated radio talk shows. The company had a small radio station of its own, in Fortuna, California.

 When you hear Rush Limbaugh refer to “adult beverages,” that’s a “Woodruff-ism” that Rush picked up. Rush even says it in the same theatrical way Norm said it. It’s not known if Norm ever referred to Jesse Jackson the way Rush does (“The….REVerand….JACKson”), but that’s the way Norm would have done it if he was in the mood to take a poke. Norman Woodruff passed away December 2, 1987 at the age of 48.


Email Weekend

** Oldies Radio

"Hallelujah that Oldies music is staying on KSURF. I listen to the station at work all day on the Internet.

The playlist is stretching a bit into the early '70s, which is a real plus. Keep the playlist expansions coming. I send the station an email telling them when, in my opinion, there's a clunker being played (for example: Ode to Billie Joe).  

Advertisers should know that a lot of folks in my age bracket have spendable income and we can be influenced by their ad message. The adding of the AP network newscast near the top of the hour during the Monday-Friday business day was a good idea, though the bumper song snippets are getting overplayed and annoying. If the .4 rating is for the over-the-air listening, I'd imagine that with the Internet's superior sound and stereo fidelity there is a large listener base going unrated. But color me hooked on KSUR Oldies. When K-Earth HD-2 dropped Oldies for Radio Disney [why would CBS do that anyway with the huge branding achieved over the years with the K-EARTH name that means Oldies to so many of us] it left a huge gap. Saul Levine noticed it and filled it nicely. Congratulations!" - Steve Nieto, Yorba Linda

Hear Ache 

(May 12, 2017) Steve Harvey was surprised that the publication of his staff internal memo inspired so many headlines and so much negative reaction. "I don't apologize about the letter, but it’s kind of crazy what people who took this thing and ran, man," Harvey told Entertainment Tonight. "I just didn’t want to be in this prison anymore where I had to be in this little room, scared to go out and take a breath of fresh air without somebody approaching me, so I wrote the letter."

RadarOnLine reported that Harvey called an all-hands meeting before Thursday’s taping to discuss the incident. During his nearly hour-long address, “he didn’t really apologize,” an insider said. “But you could tell his ego is bruised. He actually started crying at one point,” the source said, but to some it seemed like just more show business from Harvey. “It seemed so fake, like he literally looked into the lights to get himself crying,” the insider claimed.

In other news, 21st Century Fox has doled out $45 million since Roger Ailes was canned last summer, following sexual harassment claims and lawsuits … KIIS morning co-host Sisanie posted on Twitter that she was jealous she didn’t attend Stagecoach … Fans of iconic team Lohman & Barkley now have a place to post photos and memories. Click artwork.


Likeable Steve Harvey Becomes Unlikeable with Memo

(May 11, 2017) A memo that Steve Harvey (mornings at KJLH along with a move to LA for his tv show) sent to his staff has backfired when one of them released the memo to the press. The memo:

Good morning, everyone. Welcome back. I’d like you all to review and adhere to the following notes and rules for Season 5 of my talk show.

There will be no meetings in my dressing room. No stopping by or popping in. NO ONE. Do not come to my dressing room unless invited. Do not open my dressing room door. IF YOU OPEN MY DOOR, EXPECT TO BE REMOVED. My security team will stop everyone from standing at my door who have the intent to see or speak to me. I want all the ambushing to stop now. That includes TV staff.

You must schedule an appointment. I have been taken advantage of by my lenient policy in the past. This ends now. NO MORE. Do not approach me while I’m in the makeup chair unless I ask to speak with you directly. Either knock or use the doorbell. I am seeking more free time for me throughout the day. Do not wait in any hallway to speak to me. I hate being ambushed. Please make an appointment. I promise you I will not entertain you in the hallway, and do not attempt to walk with me. If you’re reading this, yes, I mean you. Everyone, do not take offense to the new way of doing business. It is for the good of my personal life and enjoyment. Thank you all, Steve Harvey 

Future of Oldies at K-SURF 

(May 11, 2017) When Saul Levine, owner of Country KKGO and Oldies K-SURF, wrote to say that the Oldies format received another 0.4 share in the weekly PPM ratings, I asked the maverick broadcaster if he was able to translate this new success for his 1260AM station into revenue. There is a fear among some fans of the format that Saul will tire of the format if the station doesn’t achieve financial success.  

“I know you have heard this song before, but Oldies is here to stay,” responded Levine. “I am not in the Oldies format for money.” And then Saul declared, “This is the end of the road for formats on 1260. It just seems the perfect fit for AM.”

Saul gave us a peek into his radio corporation, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters. “My focus now is keeping KKJZ viable as the No. 1 Jazz station in the world. It is irony that I started out with Jazz just under sixty years ago."

Working for Gordon McLendon for five years, Gordon would frequently say to us, “Find the void and fill it.” Instead of becoming the fourth station in a format, find the format void and fill it. As K-EARTH continued to move to a format that abandoned the 50s and 60s music, Saul seized the opportunity to fill the void. When Emmis abandoned Country music at KZLA, Saul jumped in with 'Go Country.' And Jazz is nicely filled by K-Jazz.

“I developed a fondness for Country and my son Michael is passionate about it," continued Saul. "We are making more money with KKGO than I ever have in my radio career. And it pays the small cost of running Oldies, which is only the electric bill and some part-time salaries for programming.”  

Saul provided some insight into his life: “For the balance of my career, I am very happy with the set-up and plan to keep it that way. I have put away enough for my golden years so that I do not need to have Oldies make a lot of money to keep it going. The difficult place is KKJZ, which does not get the support it should as a public station, but the entire Levine family feels passionate about Jazz and we intend to keep funding it to keep it going.”

Power to Change Power

(May 10, 2017) Emmis Communications’ Power 106 (KPWR) is being sold to an affiliate of the Meruelo Group for $82.75 million. “Power 106 has been part of the Emmis family for more than 32 years, so this day is bittersweet,” Jeff Smulyan, said the ceo of Emmis. “The Meruelo Group will be great owners of this historic brand, and take it to even greater heights.”

Emmis sold the station, its sole outlet in L.A., to pay down debt. The sale is subject to the FCC’s approval of the station license transfer.

There seems to be a unanimous feeling that there will be no wholesale changes to the format or station. Meruelo agreed to retain Power 106's workforce of about 90 employees, according to Emmis cfo Ryan Hornaday. Meruelo currently owns KDAY.

David Gleason, radio expert and Hispanic Market consultant, responded to an LARadio question about what might be expected in this ownership change. “I exepect, as with any local owner, to see the operation personalized to some extent," emailed Gleason. "But the station billing and ratings represent a positive operation and it does not make sense to change it significantly.”

Meruelo Group is a diversified holding company with interests in banking, construction, hospitality and real estate. The company, run by entrepreneur Alex Meruelo, has been expanding its media portfolio and intends to use some of its proceeds from the FCC spectrum auction for the purchase. Meruelo bought Spanish-language television station KWHY-TV Channel 22 from NBCUniversal in 2011 and in 2014 picked up radio station KDAY/fm (93.5) for about $15 million. A Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) will begin promptly following the expiration or early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.


"That's how my mom used to get me out of bed to go to school every morning."

- Jimmy Kimmel, reacting to video of a United Airlines passenger being forcibly removed from a plane, on Jimmy Kimmel Live (from Entertainment Weekly, 4.21.17)

Fred Dryer is in the CRN Sports Lounge 

(May 8, 2017) CRN Digital Talk Radio has launched another syndicated show: The Sports Lounge with Fred Dryer. Fred is the ubiqutous personality who was a football star playing for the LA Rams, a sports commentator for CBS, star of an enourmously successful tv series, Hunter, and now host of the weekly, weekend program heard nationally. The progam is unique because it covers ground not discussed in other sports shows.  

“There is so much in the world of sports that is not investigated,” Dryer says. “What excites me is not the scores or the outcome of games. It’s what lives in between and behind the scenes.” 

Dryer – dubbed the “Sultan of Safeties” because of an in-game record he broke in 1973 – was born in Hawthorne. Michael Horn — also a SoCal native — joins Dryer each week as co-host. Horn (whose own broadcast career spans more than 40 years) worked at KROQ, KRLA and KFI before launching CRN in 1983. 

“With all due respect,” Horn prefaces, “so many other shows featuring former athletes restrict themselves to the safe stuff: chalk talk, Xs and Os, simple analyses of trades. Fred gives a deeper, more psychological look at sports. He explains sports in terms of how players and front office personnel approach them. Sports aren’t all hot dogs, sodas, and peanuts. There’s a pretty brutal truth behind what fans watch and hear on game days. That’s what Fred provides. He tells us why things happen and what to look for.” 

  Dryer routinely discusses myriad sports topics – but provides unique input and flavor. He mixes his professional football and acting careers, giving listeners virtual access and insight as to what happens on the field, in locker rooms, and owners’ offices. The Sports Lounge also delves into interesting personal territory. Stories of Dryer's dates with Elizabeth Taylor, talks with his neighbor’s dog Frank, and his connection to Babe Ruth are all fair game.  

Dryer is a graduate of San Diego State University, where he lettered in football and won the prestigious Byron H. Chase Memorial Trophy. He was the 13th overall pick in the 1969 NFL Draft and played for the New York Giants until 1971. A year later, he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams. On October 21, 1973, Dryer became the only player in NFL history to score two safeties in one quarter of a single football game. He accomplished the feat during the fourth quarter of the Rams’ 24-7 win over the Green Bay Packers. He was selected to the 1975 Pro Bowl and played in Super Bowl XIV following the 1979 season. He has since appeared in several films and more television series. Dryer recurred on Cheers as sportscaster “Dave Richards." His most recent major roles include recurring turns on the TNT drama “Agent X” with Sharon Stone as well as NBC’s “Crisis.”

 "I saw Fred at a restaurant and introduced myself,” Horn said. "We talked about radio. Fred mentioned he wanted to host a political talk show. But we had more fun talking about the politics of sports, what goes on behind the scenes in professional athletics. He has a trove of stories and is an incredible storyteller. I knew instantly he was a talk show natural, so we set up a time to meet. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.”   

 “Working with Mike and the production team provides a satisfaction very reminiscent of my time in organized sports," said Dryer. "From my childhood through my adult life, the collaborative environment gives me a ‘home.’" The podcast version "The Sports Lounge" is one of CRN's most downloaded programs. 

Email Monday

** Raiders Home

"Tom Bernstein is mistaken about who carried the LA Raiders. When the team moved to Los Angeles, they started at KRLA. Bill King, who also did play-by-play for the Oakland A's and the Golden State Warriors, would commute from the Bay Area every weekend to call the games. Rich Marotta became the color announcer. KRLA was acquired by Greater Media. Bob Moore was the KRLA gm after the sale. Bill King continued to do play-by-play, while Rich Marotta survived the sale to Greater Media and continued to do color.

All this time, the radio broadcast rights were owned by Bob Speck Productions, and sublet to the station. I started engineering the games in the 1985 season, and continued until the team returned to Oakland in 1995-96. KFI won the rights in '88 or '89. About the same time, the Nederlander family (Pantages Theater, Henry Ford Theater, etc) made a move into sports production, and they took the rights away from Bob Speck. Bill King failed to get a contract offer that satisfied him, and Joel Myers took over the play-by-play. Former Raider QB and Stanford grad Jim Plunkett eventually took over the color position. The Nederlander/KFI combination remained until the team returned to the Oakland Coliseum." - Rick Sietsema, CBS Radio (retired)
"Tom Bernstein must’ve gone the Leonard Tose route to say 'KFI never carried the Raiders.' Not only did KFI carry them, but carried them for SIX SEASONS.  I was there when they got the rights in 1988, had the pleasure to work with the late Raider great John Matuszak before I left for KNX/fm. And I believe KNX-AM had the rights before KRLA. Oh, and there are plenty of these LA Raiders/KFI bumper stickers on eBay these days." - Gary Moore

Email Weekend, 5.6-7.17

** KNX Programmer Opposed Sports Programming

"No wonder I got a long so well with Ed Pyle. A sales guy on his side who wanted KNX to drop play-by-play sports.

KFI never carried the Raiders. It was KRLA. KNX tried to get them, but lost out to KRLA ’s general manager, Bert West. It was probably the last LA Radio sports play-by-play that was some what successful (Kings Hockey was another story).  Look what the Dodgers didn’t do for KLAC when half of L.A. couldn’t get their telecasts, even with Vin Scully doing part-time." - Tom Bernstein 

** Highway Stations Memories

"Did you know that the man who put them on the air originally was Howard Hughes? Their sales manager told me that several years ago. Interesting.

I just arrived in San Francisco and I was delighted to see your comments about the article in the LATimes by Steve Lopez. Thank you very much for your friendship and your dedication to my profession." - Larry Huffman


** KSPN Layoff

"As some of you already know, I was a part of the massive ESPN layoffs last week. My nearly 6-year run with ESPN L.A. was truly a blessing. But God, being the awesome God that He is, made sure that on my FINAL DAY I had probably the highlight of my career when I got to interview Dave Gahan one on one. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement. I'm really excited about what's next!" - Jeff Biggs


** Remembering Jack Popejoy

"From time to time, upon climbing in to the pre dawn light of a clear morning sky, the first thing you would hear from me would be, '... somebody please cue up the Rascals, it's one of those....!' During the KFWB years, Jack Popejoy would magically search and find the cut and by the end of a minute or so traffic report you would hear, ever so softly the opening line of A Beautiful Morning.

The music won't play, but I do it for Jack. Wonderful memories. Whenever I think of Jack, I smile. What more, could one ask for?" - Jeff Baugh

** Love LARP Listings

"Came upon your wonderful compilation of all-time southern California radio personalities. Having owned and operated three southern California radio stations in the past and, having spent a lifetime listening to L.A. area AM & FM stations, reviewing the roster was like a trip back in time.  Great...loved it." - Alan Skuba, Palm Desert

** Ryan Seacrest Joins Kelly Ripa

"Nothing against Ryan Seacrest, but there are a lot of talented folks around. He's not the only one." - Lori Spangler (Twitter)

"I'm afraid he'll be less edgy now." - Larry Wachs


Hear Ache

(May 5, 2017) KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest just signed a new multi-million-dollar deal with iHeart Radio according to RadarOnline.com. “It’s a three-year deal for $73 million,” the insider told Radar. He reportedly signed the deal around the time he started his new job co-hosting tv mornings with Ripa this week. “They are turning [LIVE exec producer Michael] Gelman’s second office at ABC into Ryan’s new radio studio,” said the insider. “After LIVE, Ryan can get in the elevator and do his radio show!” Chairman Bob Pittman said he’s okay with Ryan doing the radio and the show with Kelly. What’s he going to say? Doesn’t he have to be alright with it. And if iHeart continues to head for some sort of bankruptcy, these contracts seem so bizarre … Saul Levine is boasting a PPM week three in the April survey of a point four. “This is a station that not shown a share for decades,” emailed Saul … Howard Stern had an interesting rant on the departure of Bill O’Reilly. You can hear it here.  … Dave Denholm (photo) is excited to begin season two of his Soccer Weekly on KSPN. “Will be talking MY LA Galaxy and their rough start plus Champions League action and my two favorite Liga MX teams,” Dave wrote on his Facebook page. “We've expanded to an hour and will open up phones to hear from the soccer loving faithful all over the country!”


Industry Layoffs Frightening

(May 4, 2017) What’s up with the massive Cumulus firings in Chicago?

And iHeartMedia acts like a dysfunctional family. On one hand they tell the financial community that there may not be enough money to survive another year. Then a few days later, they begin extending contracts with huge increases. Elvis Duran got a five-year extension totaling $75 million. And Steve Harvey also got an extension on his contract.

Now if the schizophrenic whiplash of iHeart financial news isn’t enough, the company starts laying people off this week. A couple of market managers (Cincinnati and New Orleans), morning hosts (Detroit, Akron, Sacramento and Grand Rapids) program directors (Florence, SC, New Orleans) and several other markets (Jacksonville, Chicago, Biloxi, Tampa) where morning show producers, music directors, midday hosts and evening hosts have been let go.

Speaking of iHeart, Ryan Seacrest is their fair-haired boy, rumored to being paid $20 million a year to do the KIIS morning show that is syndicated on stations in over 100 markets. Both KIIS and the syndicated stations depend on Ryan to be current, relevant, fun, and topical. With his new commitment to Live with Kelly and Ryan, at least 25% of the show is comprised. It will be impossible for Ryan to devote his full-time energy and resources to radio and do this morning tv show from New York. For a company struggling to make interest payments on a suffocating debt, iHeart needs to double down on content to maintain high ratings to translate into maximum ad dollars. As energetic as Ryan has demonstrated in the past as he juggles multiple jobs and assignments, this latest venture with Kelly Ripa definitely conflicts with his radio priority, or – when faced with a choice – once again is the reality that radio gets the short shrift?

Jimmy Kimmel's Newborn Boy Has Successful Open-Heart Surgery 

(May 3, 2017) “I have a story to tell about something that happened to our family last week. I will try not to get emotional and before I get into it, know it has a happy ending.” This was how Jimmy Kimmel opened his Monday night latenight tv talk show.

Little more than a week ago his wife gave birth to their son, Billy, who appeared to be a normal, healthy baby — until about three hours after he was born when a nurse at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center noticed he had a heart murmur and was slightly purple. At 3 days old, during what Kimmel tearfully described as the “longest three hours of my life,” Billy Kimmel had open heart surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and now is home with his family.

He thanked a long list of people at Cedars-Sinai and Children’s Hospital, and at Disney and ABC and his show. He went to say, “President Trump last month proposed a $6 billion cut in funding to the National Institute of Health. And, thank God, our congressmen made a deal last night to not go along with that. They actually increased funding by $2 billion. And I applaud them for doing that." It would have a major impact on a lot of great places, including Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Which is so unbelievably sad to me.

We are the team — it’s the United States. Don’t let their partisan squabbles divide us on something every decent person wants. I saw a lot of families there. And no parent should ever have to decide if can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen. Not here.”  Kimmel said his son would have to undergo surgery again in three to six months. (Click the photo to watch Kimmel's heartbreaking announcement)

Seacrest Makes Another National TV Move 

(May 2, 2017) KIIS' Ryan Seacrest is joining Kelly Ripa as the new permanent co-host of the newly named Live With Kelly and Ryan. After a year of searching, Ryan will up and move 3,000 miles east to fill the vacancy.

“Ryan is a quintessential broadcaster and at the top of his game,” said Ripa. “I am thrilled to start my mornings with him every day, and we are so fortunate at Live to have him join the family. Ryan is a close friend and his star shines as brightly off camera as it does on. His tremendous success is only matched by his impeccable reputation. Plainly said, everyone loves him, and so will our daily viewers.”

A couple of years ago, Ryan was an active contributor to the Today Show and he participated in NBC's Olympics coverage. At one point he was rumored to replace Matt Lauer on Today.

The press release indicated that Ryan will continue hosting and executive producing his morning-drive radio show On Air with Ryan Seacrest for KIIS, as well as a nationally-syndicated Top 40 radio show. New York's ABC7, home of Live with Kelly and Ryan, will house a brand-new iHeartRadio studio for Seacrest's New York City location.

Isn't it ironic that both Top 40 morning shows in LA (Carson Daly on AMP and Ryan on KIIS) will be based in New York? Ryan said on his debut show Monday morning that he will be commuting every weekend to LA.


I Love Jesus 

(May 1, 2017) Steve Futterman, CBS Radio News veteran that you hear frequently on KNX, saw many of the reminiscences of the 1992 LA Riots. He has many memories from being at the Simi Valley courthouse where the verdict was announced (he covered the entire trial) - to covering the unrest - to holding one of the mics in front of Rodney King when he made his famous comments.

"Covering the rioting and looting I did have one extremely memorable moment which [believe it or not] has been mentioned in many sermons and bible studies!," emailed Steve. "Here is how it is mentioned in a sermon from February this year:

In the thick of those riots a brave NBC reporter by the name of Steve Futterman attempted to interview looters emerging from the broken doors and shattered windows of a downtown department store. He asked one looter, a particular 'gentleman' with his arms full, 'What did you take?' The young man, caught like a deer in headlights, replied, 'Nothin'!' and ran off. The same question to a second 'protester' resulted in expletives I really can't repeat from the pulpit. Not giving up, the intrepid reporter pursued a third looter. 'What did you take?' he asked. The looter replied, without a trace of irony, 'I got me some gospel music! I love Jesus!'

This actually did happen. And I remember Arsenio Hall talking (joking) about the incident in his monologue," concluded Steve.


9 Years Ago Today

If you were in charge of L.A. radio, what would you do? 
LARadio Archives, 4.30.08

Helen Jones: Go back to the way it was in the 60’s – localize it and not be so ‘greedy.’

Liz Fulton: W
hoa Don, cool question, but for me it's about 15 years too late. Weakening unions has been a target of Wall Street, manufacturing and of course, communications. My last experience with the L.A. radio scene is kind of unique. The long slow process of radio’s demise actually helped me win my disability case. I was able to show quite easily with then current news segments, that radio, as we’d known it up until then, was dying. And that was fifteen years ago! 

I sure would like to see more, independent or privately owned radio stations – radio stations owned by local radio-only companies. We’ve also seen the near disappearance of local tv and radio news. We here in the real world, no longer have local news departments, not even under network banners. The loss of localization is the problem, the answer is building that fan base, listener involvement.  

"Banana" Joe Montione (www.bananajoeradio.com): Los Angeles had a reputation as THE destination market during the 70’s, 80’s and into the early 90’s. It's not that way any more. One reason could be the advent of the Telecommunications Act Of 1996, and the major well-run companies that got out or changed the way they did business right before and after it was enacted. “The fish rots from the head down.” 

The single biggest change in L.A. radio occurred when the suits decided to milk the sacred cows dry.  Cuts in Programming, talent and promotion budgets in favor of bigger spot loads and hiring more sales people to sell 1-2 decently programmed stations in a cluster of 4-5-6 or 7 stations in Los Angeles, along with the cutting of live air shifts, and the hiring of sub-par talent to match sub-par programming finally caught up with them. 

I would restore L.A. to a destination market for the best and brightest programming and air talent by going LIVE 24/7 at all my stations, along with innovative programming that doesn't sound like an iPod. There are more available listeners in L.A. overnight than there are in most top 10 markets in afternoon drive!  I would also rid the airwaves of the people who go round and round to every station and format in town because they ‘know someone.’ You think there's cronyism is politics, check out some of the broadcast and network operations here in ‘Boss Angeles.’ Talent means nothing at some major operations unless you're connected. What a shame. If Major League Baseball were run that way, the stadiums would be empty. This is the same mega-market that one noted station proclaims as ‘The Entertainment Capitol Of The World,’ well let's start entertaining again! Some are trying, but sadly, most are not. 

Last but not least, I would put creativity and innovation back to the market that long ago was the trend-setter. The popular thinking that permeates much of Los Angeles radio is ‘play it safe.’ Let's spend money on our big station(s) in the cluster, and add up all the rest of the step children. Every station in L.A. has the potential to be a BIG station.  You know who you are.  

There's still hope. Not much, but there's still a chance that someone will wake up and smell the coffee before its too late. Oh, by the way, if you would like more info on how to get this done, give me a call, and we'll have a coffee...on me! 

Kat Snow: Turn it over to Jim Ladd

Jon Badeaux: If I owned a small cluster of, say, four stations in Los Angeles, I would move three of the stations to three other facilities. Whether people realize it or not, employees of each station are territorial, undermining overall morale. I have witnessed this to some extent in almost every station I've worked with or worked for.

Each station would have a gm who would appoint his/her sales manager and pd – and they would be autonomous in decision making. 

I would offer incentives for station growth and bonus every staff member who is on team where I can see measurable results [ratings, revenue, etc.]

I would have very few rules limiting what can be done at each station. The biggest rules would be to create exciting radio and guard against the f-bomb. All internal problems should be handled internally. If the pd wants to bring in a whole new staff and the gm is game, go for it.  As an owner, it would be my job to keep my nose out of it.

These few things would hopefully boost morale and open the doors to creativity.  If everyone has a role and understands expectations, and the gm understands expectations of the people working for him/her, this creates a powerful glue to the staff as a unit.  When you're not living in fear of the next corporate cutback, growth happens. And with growth comes new thoughts and ideas.

There would be tremendous benefit to a return to offering more creative broadcasting in order to get people to want to listen to the station. Getting listeners to become part of the station's 'tribe' or 'herd' hasn't been happening in more than a decade.

Offering autonomous positions would manifest itself into people who can be placed in key programming roles. PDs with an inherent knack for knowing what works would be allowed to unleash that knack on the listening audience.  But we may have to ‘grow’ these people first. It's never too late.

While I wouldn't pretend to think this will deliver my stations to numbers one through four, there is no question that three of the four would be in the top ten. 
 

Lucie Hill: Yes, this is a very tough and sensitive subject, which is dear to anyone in the radio industry. Unfortunately, as with most things, there isn't an easy answer. The arrival of the digital age has introduced all kinds of challenges for both electronic and traditional media in general, which is being called, in some humanist quarters, the third Industrial Revolution; a revolution into which we would do well in blending. However, as we radio employees are inevitably and involuntarily caught up in the gathering work-place insecurity, changing times bring the need for new skills and a new spirit of self-reinvention. This is definitely not the time for complacency, a sense of entitlement and a feeling that the old way should continue; it is the time for new training, new skills and a renewed sense of vigor. Now is not the time for complaining or self-pity, but action.
 
I believe we will always have radio; people love to hear other real people interacting and conveying information as they busy about their days (and nights), but the business will, and should, constantly develop. This adaptation to new technologies can only be a good thing - despite its unavoidable casualties. I too have been a casualty to outside forces in the past, so I don't say that lightly. However, the only constant element in life is change, so we might as well accept it. Like early man, we in primitive radio need to adapt, otherwise the marauding saber-tooth cats will devour us!

Darrell Wayne: As the last program director of an L.A. station that allowed complete freedom to the air staff over what they said and what they played (24/7), I think that creativity needs to be added back to the content. Do we really believe that reading liners is something the audience respects? We were pulling 2’s with literally no budget and not knowing when we would be paid next, but with great talent and music that made sense together. We painted some wonderful pictures for the audience without research or any words written for us ahead of time. There’s also a huge gap in the market that’s not being served musically.


Email Saturday, 4.29.17 

** The Moment 710/KMPC Flipped to All-Sports

“I received word today that I was mentioned in your column! I always appreciate that, except, for example, when I discover I’m accused of being a sports radio saboteur.

I remember the last time I was on the air live on KMPC, and it was Friday, the day before the Saturday morning in question. Each of the jocks was given an hour-long show as a chance to say goodbye to the listeners. The special day also included some recording artists and former KMPC personalities, including Geoff Edwards and Gary Owens. I did my hour, with singer Vikki Carr as guest. I also did an hour with Gary Owens, running the board and making a few comments.

I and the others – such as Wink Martindale, Scott O’Neil, Chuck Southcott, and Johnny Magnus – took our bows and exited to wild applause. To come back the next day would have been like doing a curtain call and then performing another scene. I didn’t work a Saturday shift, I didn’t play American Pie, and I had nothing to do with toppling the microphone [or inciting the riot]. And I wasn’t a disgruntled employee. In fact, I continued working at KMPC for another month after the format change, doing production for Len Weiner. 

About ten years later, at an NAB convention in Seattle, Len spotted me in the crowd and came over to say hello. We had a very pleasant conversation, swapping Bill Ward stories and catching up. I know he didn’t consider me as someone who tried to sabotage the launch of his LA format. And I’m sure Joe McDonnell wouldn’t have wanted my name included in this story. Kurt Kretzschmar is confusing me with somebody else.” - Don McCulloch, RADIO DELUXE

“Kurt Kretzschmar's story on KMPC Sports brought back some great memories. I remember it well. Thanks for posting it.” – Bob Koontz

“I sure enjoyed reading Kurt's accounting of the great KMPC flip from full-service to sports. Nice to see mentions of several old friends, and of carts!

25 years??? Sometimes it feels more like six months.” – Greg Hardison

** Vibe at the NAB Show

"Fred Jacobs Media is right. You can't avoid the April NAB in favor of the fall 'radio only' NAB … that's like wearing blinders. To do so would be rather myopic in an age when you need to be a kinetic corporation. If you're really in the game, that is.  

As Cox Radio told me many years ago when they were building communities on the Internet, and everyone laughed. You need to be where the money and the audience is moving to. One thing about years of experience is developing your ability to see cycles and hit 'em on the upswing. Applying new technologies to it is the trick." - Don Elliot

** Craig Hines Making Major Change

“Read your posting about Craig Hines. While I never met him, I've heard him many times on the radio. I first heard him as an air personality on KBAI-Morro Bay. His talent hooked me as he made it sound so smooth and easy.

I too have a Central Coast connection. My first radio job was at KKOK- Lompoc, then  KNEZ-Lompoc,  KATY-San Luis Obispo, and KUHL-Santa Maria. What a blast!” - Rick Cruise

“Enjoyed the story about Craig Hines - one of the good guys.” - Anita Garner

“I was sorry to read about the challenges Craig Hines is going thru with his illness. He is one of those people in one's life that comes along and totally changes the direction it's going.

Craig hired me at Transtar's ‘Oldies Channel’ in the mid 80's to be one of the first jocks on the new format. I ended up staying there through four different owners, many different on air personality changes and a few different program directors.

All in all I spent 26 YEARS there before unplugging my headphones!

Thank you Craig! It was not only ‘The Oldies Channel’ but Craig helped Format 41 become a success for Transtar before that and was a very talented programmer!

I wish him the VERY BEST in his new surroundings and many years of better health and much happiness.” – Bruce Chandler

** Chargers New Home at KFI

“Thrilled? Took us years to buck sales and get rid of football on KNX. Was so damn glad to see it go.” – Ed Pyle

 “Radio play-by-play of anything, especially the Chargers, is dead in L.A. Some wise guy invented something called television, and now you can see it live And in Color. When KNX carried NFL Football, including the play offs and Super Bowl, it killed the week-end ratings.

Also, whatever happened to that fm station to carry the Rams? It must have wiped out their Sunday audience.

I hope the Chargers are paying KFI a lot of money.” – Tom Bernstein

“Wonder why KFI would go so far off format for something like this?” - Don Elliot

“That’s a good move to be a station with that kind of coverage, like the Raiders were on KFI for many years in LA.’ – Deloy Sterns

“TV ratings for the NFL are way down. Explain please how AM radio will work?” – Gene Valaitis

** McIntyre in the Morning

 “I sure miss #Terri-Rae Elmer @KABCRadio. Show hasn't been quite the same since her departure.” – Burt Iwata

** '92 Riots

"Sunday night I will be on a Facebook Live panel with Soledad O'Brien and others from Florence and Normandy after the debut of the National Geographic Documentary 92LA, which is the best doc on the 25th anniversary I've seen to date.

The panel will be live on Facebook for one hour after the premiere of the show. Click the photo to see a promo for the show. Join us." - Bob Brill

Hear Ache 

(April 28, 2017) Word from inside KFI is that former sports director Rich Marotta (l) had successful triple bypass heart surgery yesterday. "I sent Rich a text saying, "There are a lot of other people that I would like to see die before him," quipped Bill Handel … Speaking of KFI morning man Bill Handel, he guests this week on PodcastOne’s award-winning program, Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison. They talk about political correctness, satire, news/talk radio, ego, social media, surrogate parenting and even Broadway musicals. According to Harrison, “Bill Handel is one of the quirkiest, original thinkers on the air in American radio today – a true, one-of-a-kind performer. His humor is so nuanced and subtle that it takes a keen ear to know when he is kidding and when he is serious – the two tracks run simultaneously. He often offends the people and the groups that he is actually defending.  It’s amazing!” … The sports broadcast landscape changed this week as KFI became the home of Los Angeles Chargers football. KFWB will handle Spanish broadcasts. KFI will air all game play-by-play, plus additional game-day coverage will air on sister Alternative KYSR (Alt 98.7) and Sports KLAC, with other iHeartMedia stations offering marketing opportunities and promotional content. No word on the announcers … Delilah offers her syndicated show across the U.S., locally heard on KFSH (95.9 / The Fish). Delilah Rene was inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame earlier this week. “My career, some would say my entire life, revolves around story telling. It’s what I do,” she said when accepted the honor. This is the third prestigious honor in the past year for the most-listened-to woman on radio, who celebrated the 30-year anniversary of her nighttime radio program last year. In 2016, Delilah also received the NAB Marconi Award for “Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year” and she was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame …
Former pd at KKBT (The Beat), Tom Calococci, has joined Sheet Happens, a prep company, for affiliate relations and content creation … Bob Koontz is leaving 100.3/The Sound to join Richard McClemmy in his digital sign business. “We are going to focus on digital signs that are located outside of stadiums, like the one he built outside of the Phillies stadium,” emailed Bob. He’ll be working out of his Southern California home ... Former KNAC and KLOSer Long Paul read about the massive layoffs at ESPN and wondered: “ESPN should do a 30 for 30 on how they singlehandedly destroyed their own company.”  … Jeff Biggs was one of the casualties at KSPN. He’s a good, solid man … Ken Borgers, veteran of KUSC, KLON and KCRW, checked in to update his profile. He’s the membership director at Jazz 88.3 KSDS in San Diego since August 2015, where he also does occasional fill-in.

710/KMPC Flips to All-Sports
A Look Back by Kurt Kretzschmar

(April 27, 2017) It was 25 years ago this week (Tuesday) that Golden West Broadcasters flipped KMPC-AM 710 from a Nostalgia/Sports format to an All-Sports format. KMPC had always had a rich sports tradition and already had the play-by-play rights of the Los Angeles Rams, California Angels, UCLA Bruins, and the Los Angeles Clippers. Having four major play-by-play franchises, and with the success of WFAN-New York prompted Gene Autry to make the move to All-Sports.

The move was announced months in advance. Len Weiner was hired at the program director from the aforementioned WFAN-New York. Since I had been hired as a sports producer by operations manager John Felz six months, it was a natural move for Len to hire me as senior producer in change of all weekend programming.

As the original launch date of Monday, April 27th was fast approaching, we were all working endless hours to get everything done. The old KMPC music jocks were all allowed to come back to do goodbye shows during the final week. The new staff was in place to do dry run-throughs, new Toby Arnold “Sports Radio 710 KMPC” jingles were getting carted up, and things were falling into place quite nicely. We were almost ready! 

Late Wednesday night prior to the debut, Joe McDonnell and I were hanging out in his office after his afternoon show (his sports show was still surrounded by music). He expressed his concern that the switchboard would be deluged with old fans of the KMPC music format once the format changed on Monday, and that the receptionist could not handle it. I replied that the programming the weekend before the flip would be almost all play-by-play plus the ESPN programming (seven hours on both Saturday and Sunday back then), so why don't we flip on Saturday? We would just have to add a few shows over the weekend to fill out the days. Joe thought it was a great idea, and I took it to our pd Len Weiner. 

Len liked the idea and came up with the plan. We would do an early kickoff of the format without the new jingles at 10 a.m. on Saturday with Joe and Doug Krikorian, and fill the rest of the weekend with Angels baseball, ESPN, and other local programs until Monday morning.  Robert W. Morgan would do his morning without music and we would debut the new jingle package at 10 a.m. Monday. (Photo: Kurt with Greg Gumbel)

 

Saturday morning came and the last KMPC dj, Don McCullough, did the last music shift. I helped him pull the music carts for the last hour, and on my own picked American Pie as the last song. I stayed in the studio to help, because I wanted to play the last song on KMPC, which I got to do. Once I hit play on the cart machine, Don took off and Joe McDonnell came into the studio because he had to run his own board until the board ops started on Monday. We played the old KMPC 'top of the hour' jingle, followed by a Mike Kauffman sports flash. Just ten seconds into his opening monologue, Joe’s microphone came off the mic stand and he had to hold it for the entire segment. When we took the first break, I went into the studio and we found out that a few of the screws were missing. Joe was convinced that Don McCullough had sabotaged the microphone because he was upset about losing his job. (My first version of this story didn’t include Don’s name, but if Joe were still alive, he would insist that I include his name.)

 Once Joe’s microphone got fixed, the rest of the show went very well, while I answered calls from angry KMPC music fans. Better to have them yell at me than at the regular receptionist. We got through the rest of the weekend and prepared for weekday lineup launch on Monday.

Monday morning came and Robert W. Morgan was his usual amazing self, talking about what he wanted to talk about. He got to be the first one to play with the jingles on the air, going through them like a kid at Christmas. One thing he didn’t have were the KMPC Flashback carts. This was a segment of the format Len brought from WFAN. At approximately 59 minutes past each hour, there would be a segment close bed that rang out with the jingle “Sports Radio 710, K-M-P-C Flashback!” Under the continuing music bed, station voice Stan Martin’s voice would intro a classic moment in local or national sports history. This was followed by the new “KMPC Los Angeles” legal ID Jingle. I helped production director Jeff Shade produce the entire set, and picked everyone out myself. I was so proud of these that I hid them so Robert W. could not find them during his show. I brought them out for the first time at 9:59. I handed the cart to the board op Lew Stowers and told Mr. Autry and gm Bill Ward (who were in the control room) that they would love the first one. “September 25th, 1979… the Angels win their first division title” was the Stan Martin intro to Al Wisk’s historic call. Chris Roberts was next with the first official sports update with the new jingles and weekday lineup. Joe McDonnell hosted the midday show that day, followed by Jim Lampley in afternoons. Jim’s producer was Todd Fritz, now an integral part of “The Dan Patrick Show” on Fox Sports Radio.

It was a memorable experience that I will never forget. I made many lifelong friends working there and am very thankful for the opportunity that I had. (Photo: Kurt with Eric Dickerson)


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KFI AM 640 Will Be the Radio Home for the 2017 Chargers Season!

KFI AM 640 is thrilled to announce that we will be the radio home for Chargers games during the 2017 season!  


LARP Diagnosed with MS Makes Personal Pivot

(April 26, 2017) I met Craig Hines in 1965. He was in the 10th grade at Lompoc High School. I had just started my first radio job at KNEZ in Lompoc. One day I looked up from my console and there was a young man with his face pressed against the double-panel glass between the radio station lobby and the control room. I invited him in. He wanted to be a dj when he got out of school. Craig and I have been friends ever since.

He’s had an incredible journey that includes KIQQ (K-100), KGIL and KBIG that now requires he hit the pause button. He has multiple sclerosis and his disease requires some changes.

After graduating from Cal State, San Luis Obispo, he helped launch WDRQ-Detroit, worked as talent at KMBY-Monterey and WMBR/WSNY-Jacksonville. He worked for the Transtar Radio Network as director of programming/operations for the five satellite-delivered radio formats until 1987. Craig hosted several nationally syndicated radio shows for Westwood One and Transtar/Unistar.

When he left radio he co-founded Dutel Communications where he has been the CFO.

Because of his MS, Craig has to move to a cooler climate. The heat in the San Fernando Valley takes a toll on MS patients. So, his email to close friends didn’t come as a total surprise. “My house is sold and most of my stuff has already moved. My company is closing down and it is time to slow down and move to a cooler climate. Where is that? Central California God's Country - Lompoc ‘wins.’ Can I actually ‘go home again?’” Craig asks rhetorically. “I cannot wait to live in the moderate climate. Less traffic and delays? Nice air. And yes, too may GOP types for me, but I can handle it.” Selfishly it will be nice to have Craig closer to me in Avila Beach. His father lives in an assisted living facility in Santa Maria.

Craig will find a new journey, one that is less complicated and stressful. I treasure the times that our professional lives have crisscrossed. He has been an invaluable friend. He is a valuable friend. Craiger, may this move extend your life not by years, but by decades.

KFI RADIO 640 COMES TO LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE
TO ESCAPE LOOTING AND FIRES THAT RAVAGE LOS ANGELES

By Marvin Collins

Chief Engineer KFI – KOST

(Orginally written following the 1992 LA Riots)



(April 25, 2017) For nineteen hours 50,000 watt clear channel KFI broadcast talkradio programs from La Canada Flintridge to escape the looting and fires ravaging Los Angeles. The rampage, which began Wednesday April 29, 1992 within hours of the verdicts in the Rodney King beating case, continued Thursday with scenes reminiscent of a war zone, smoke billowing from dozens of fires. 

It is about 10:20 a.m. as I drive South on Alvarado Boulevard to the Hollywood Freeway. I feel a sinking feeling as I see a large column of smoke rising from the area of the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Coliseum. This is my first sighting of any evidence of the rioting, which I had been watching on television earlier. As I drive onto the Hollywood Freeway I notice that traffic is lighter than usual and flowing very well. Traffic continues to be lighter than normal as I exit the freeway at Vermont and drive south on Vermont. 

Upon crossing Beverly, First and Second Streets, I think to myself that everything appears normal. Traffic is a bit light but the typical amount of people are shopping and tending to their business all along Vermont. I turn right on Third Street and again traffic is flowing well and everything appears normal. It is 10:30 a.m. as I park in my parking space at the KFI office/studio building. 

Later in the morning I meet with David G. Hall, KFI's program director. We are discussing the possibility of doing the Tom Leykis 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. show as a remote broadcast from the KFI traffic airplane circling South Central Los Angeles. The meeting is interrupted as we notice a large fire is visible from David Hall's office. The fire appears to be about four blocks away on Third Street to the east of our location on Ardmore Avenue and Sixth Street. It is becoming apparent that the situation in the vicinity of the KFI studio is deteriorating rapidly. It is close to noon and smoke and flames from additional fires are clearly visible from the roof of our building. 

Reports are coming in about fires and looting on Vermont Avenue at First and Third Streets. There are more reports of fire and looting along Third Street between Vermont and Normandie. This is the route that I just drove an hour and a half earlier. It is difficult to imagine that conditions could turn from normal to disastrous so rapidly. Most buildings on my route from the Hollywood Freeway down Vermont and West on Third Street were either burned or pillaged I found out later. 

The situation around the KFI studio building is obviously becoming worse by the minute. Now we realize that action must be taken to minimize the risk of injury to station personnel. Howard Neal, the general manager, tells the employees that they are excused from work and may go home if they so desire. The office staff leaves. At a meeting with Howard Neal, David G. Hall, Marvin Collins the KFI chief engineer and Mark Thomas, the KFI news director, it is decided that KFI will keep only a minimum staff at the studio consisting of a board operator and a call screener. The talk show talent and news staff will broadcast from a remote location. 

The plan to broadcast Tom Leykis from the airplane is cancelled. Conditions are so bad that we will have stay out of the studio for a period longer than just the Tom Leykis show from the airplane. The plan calls for doing the remote broadcast from the home of chief engineer Marvin Collins. This is a location fifteen miles away in the suburbs, La Canada, at an elevation that permits a direct radio path for the KFI Remote Pickup Unit. 

The adrenalin begins to flow. It is now approaching 12:20 p.m. and as each minute passes there is more smoke and fire in the vicinity of the KFI studio building. Much remains to be done to get this impromptu remote broadcast on the air by 3 p.m. Fortunately another member of the engineering staff, Bob Demont drove his pickup truck to work this morning. Without taking time to organize the remote equipment, almost all of the KFI remote equipment is loaded into Bob Demont's truck and a hasty departure is made.  Bob drives his truck with the remote gear and I am driving my car to meet him at my house in La Canada. 

Traffic is now bad due to all the problems in the streets. Most businesses have let their employees leave early. Soon I lose sight of Bob's truck as we drive north on Normandie Avenue. While waiting for the signal to change at Third and Normandie I observe groups of youths crossing the streets against the red light. Their behavior made me nervous. It appeared that something was about to happen. It did happen soon afterward I learned later. The businesses on the Northeast and Southwest side of Third Street at Normandie were burned while the businesses on the Southeast and Northwest side were ransacked. 

After taking a circuitous route to leave the area and drive home I finally arrived at my house by 12:50 p.m. Bob Demont departed before I did but has not arrived at my house yet. I begin to worry that he might have encountered a problem. His personal safety becomes a concern as well as the fact that he has most of the remote broadcasting equipment in the back of his truck. Whew! Bob arrives ten minutes later. 

Being a ham radio operator I have an antenna tower in my yard. First job now is to mount a twelve element Yagi directional antenna about half way up the tower and point it in the direction of the studio. I climb the tower and with Bob Demont as my assistant rigger the antenna is mounted on the side of the tower. Then a coaxial cable was brought down the tower and into the garage. The Time and Frequency Technology (TFT) Remote Pickup Unit (RPU) transmitter is placed on the clothes dryer in the laundry room. This is as far as the coaxial cable from the antenna will reach.  Before leaving the studio the twelve element Yagi antenna on top of the studio building was aimed in the direction of my house.  Now I hoped the path was a good one and a full quieting signal would be received at the studio.  This path had never been tested before and a lot was depending on it. 

The KFI air talent was being informed to go to my house as I was putting the RPU system together but before I have had a chance to test the circuit. I turned on the TFT RPU transmitter and tried to call the studio on the telephone to see how well the signal was being received at the studio. "All circuits are busy, try again later" said the recorded voice on the telephone. Several attempts later I did get through to Larry Metzler, the board operator on duty at the studio. It was a relief to hear him say it was a good full quieting signal that sounded very good. 

Bob lays out two microphone cables into the front room and hooks up two microphones on the dining table. A Shure headphone amplifier is wired into the telephone line of my residence telephone. This becomes the listen back line for KFI pre-delay audio. We will be taking calls from listeners and it is necessary to use our ten second delay. It is almost 3 p.m. and Tom Leykis has not yet arrived. I send my wife, Herta, out in the street to watch for him and direct him to the house. Tom, we later learned, had received confusing directions to my house and was going in circles for a while. Tom arrived at 3:03 p.m. and casually came in and sat down at the microphone and went on the air as the 3 p.m. newscast ended. 

Newsman Ken Gallacher arrived before Tom Leykis but had no source of news. I turned on my Apple IIGS computer and using my modem telephone line called the KFI newsroom computer.  Luck was with us this time as we connected on the first try. Now we had a source of news, via my computer, for the news department to use at my house. News operations from the studio were terminated and the newsroom vacated to further reduce the risk of danger to KFI personnel. Tom Leykis finished his show at 7 p.m. Ken Gallacher broadcast the 7 p.m. news using news stories received remotely from the newsroom computer via my computer in the living room. 

By this time the only people remaining in the KFI studio were general manager Howard Neal, program director David G. Hall, producer Marc Germain, producer Gregg Cockrell and promotions director Bill Lewis. They were taking turns screening calls or operating the mixing console. KFI reporters were out in the field giving their live reports by two way radio or cellular telephones. 

After the 7 p.m. newscast Barbara Whitesides commenced her program from my living room table. About five minutes into the show she was interrupted by gm Howard Neal, sitting in front of a microphone back at the studio. Howard announced on KFI that the situation was becoming too dangerous and the time had come to sign off the air. KFI signed off the air at 7:10 p.m.

From my house we stayed in communication with the small staff at the studio via the RPU and the listen line telephone connection. They received word at the studio that National Guard protection would soon be provided. (It wasn't provided until 24 hours later) Based on that information we decided to sign back on the air and resumed with a special Barbara Whitesides show co-hosted by Howard Neal.  Barbara was concerned that there would be no callers after being off the air for twenty minutes. As soon as we signed back on the air the telephone lines were full. It was satisfying to see how well the programming was now going as the staff got into the routine of working in my living room. 

Bill Handel
and Bill Press took over the living room airwaves after Barbara's show finished. Late in the evening nd Mark Austin Thomas kept busy on the three cellular telephones that also were positioned on the clothes dryer. Mark was directing his reporters on which locations to cover.  os Angeles Cellular Telephone Company must be curious as to why a certain normally quiet cell site was very busy all night long. 

During the night pd David G. Hall tried to take a nap on a couch in his office. He could hear bullets being fired outside. Suddenly he heard what appeared to be someone on the roof of the KFI studio building. He had a real scare when he saw a shadow pass in front of his office door. He thought for sure the looters had somehow entered the building via the roof. David was relieved to find out it was Bill Lewis running down the hall to get something from his office in a hurry. Meanwhile back at my house I took a nap and was awakened by Mark Austin Thomas at 4 a.m. to fix a problem with the headphone amplifier. I replaced its battery with a spare I had put out to be used when needed. 

I was surprised to see that at 4 a.m. we had a staff of six people working in my living room. I was number seven. Terri-Rae Elmer and Jerry Wallace were handling the announcing duty after Bill Handel and Bill Press finished their program. Tracy Miller and morning show producer Bill Smith soon arrived to join the morning show team. The morning show continued through the 10 a.m. newscast read by Terri-Rae Elmer at which time programming was transferred back to the studio after it appeared to be safe to do so. 

It is quite an experience to have ones living room become the main studio for sixteen hours for 50,000 watt clear channel KFI, 640 Kilohertz, and be heard all over the United States.  Our refrigerator is empty and the aluminum recycle container in the garage is full of Cola cans.  But the staff agreed that it was a relief not to have to drive into Los Angeles to the KFI studio during the worst of the turmoil. Certainly there was a large audience spread across the Nation very interested in hearing what callers in the Los Angeles area had to say about this disaster as it unfolded in the heart of the city.

Thanks to Marvin Collins for the retelling of his unique story during the 25th anniversary of Rodney King/LA Riots

Jaime Jarrin Speaks the Language 

(April 24, 2017) It is not unusual to learn that immigrants and foreigners who speak no English when they come to this country, learn it by listening to sports broadcasters and radio programs. Johnny Magnus, veteran from Station of the Stars 710/KMPC and now weekender at KKJZ, fled Hitler's Germany at age 10 and came to America speaking no English. Radio was his English teacher as he sat for hours listening to series like The Shadow and Green Hornet.

Yesterday on the front page of the LA Times' California section, Steve Lopez wrote a wonderful story about Jaime Jarrin, the other Dodger broadcast legend who is in his 59th year with the team at the age of 81. Lopez described Jarrin as having a "warm, calming voice. It's rum and butterscotch and black coffee and he speaks slowly, clearly, poetically."

Some highlights from the Times story:

* Jaime was college-educated in Ecuador and took eight years of English there but felt lost when he got to Los Angeles, so he enrolled in a class downtown and began a career that's in extra innings, with no end in sight."

* "Lots of Anglos have told me over the years that they improved their Spanish through my broadcasts," said Jarrin.

* "What I do is use the proper language, the proper words," he said.

LARadio Archives from 6 Years Ago 

Industry Celebrates Jack Popejoy’s Life 

(March 14, 2011) He was described as a private man in a public role. Jack Popejoy was also remembered as a serious journalist who enjoyed awful puns, a humble man who even in his last days talked about how he still wanted to help teach the public disaster preparedness, and a man who had an intense drive to keep learning, preparing, and perfecting his craft. Family, colleagues, and friends gathered over the weekend at the Los Angeles Police Administration Building to celebrate the life of the KNX and KFWB anchor, who died on February 5.

“The public gave him their faith and trust,” said Pete Demetriou, who emceed the afternoon memorial service. He was the consummate professional subtly demanding the same from his colleagues. “In the anchor booth, he should have had a whip and a top hat,” said Demetriou, describing how Popejoy managed to anchor the news, run the studio board, read commercial spots, and keep everything on time during his run as the morning drive news anchor on the local CBS all-News stations. “He’d be amused that they asked me to keep today’s program on time.”

Former KFWB News Director Greg Tantum said “Jack was fascinated with earthquakes because he said ‘it was Mother Nature fighting her best fight.’” Popejoy was well-versed on the sciences and all sorts of subjects so he could provide expert commentary on earthquakes and the space program, yet “he always said he wasn’t a scientist,” often modestly offering a disclaimer while providing listeners facts and information about all things scientific.

Yet it wasn’t all about work. Popejoy enjoyed manning the grill, flipping hamburgers at Tantum’s annual summer gathering. “He loved to be Jack. He never wanted to talk about himself, he wanted to know about other people. He just loved talking to people. He just loved being Jack.” When joining Tantum’s 8-year-old granddaughter at a local video arcade, it was Popejoy that needed to be convinced it was time to go home.

 

Andi Marshall, Andy Ludlum, Greg Tantum, Constance Perrett, and Richard Rudman

Cal Tech scientist and noted earthquake expert Dr. Lucy Jones said her colleagues all thought she should call Popejoy for an interview last Thursday night once the bulletins revealed a major quake in Japan. “Just about everybody said ‘Jack should’ve been here.’”  She first met Popejoy in 1987, “when he talked Cal Tech into using the campus lawn to demonstrate what it’d be like to live without food and water for three days” and exhibit disaster preparedness. Dr. Jones noted Popejoy’s “incredible curiosity, he just asked questions and questions.” Two weeks later, when the Whittier Narrows quake shook Southern California, Popejoy called Dr. Jones “and interviewed me, remembering everything he asked from our first meeting.” 

Constance Perett of the California Emergency Management Agency said it was Popejoy who continued to emphasize the importance of the partnership between media and emergency providers. “He helped shape our earthquake management program…twenty years later, it’s used for other disaster [preparedness], in other states, and in other countries…Jack also trained all of our Public Information Officers, he brought in cameras to help train our PIOs.” Perett admired how Popejoy became “the voice of calm” in a disaster, and how “the public trusted him.”

 

 City Councilman Tom LaBonge, Julie Chin, Dave Williams, and Frank Mottek

Though he couldn’t be there in person, Los Angeles City Council member Greig Smith sent a letter stating that Popejoy “was the epitome of professionalism…he became the voice of earthquake preparedness…many lives were saved because Jack fought for building safety and preparedness.”  Smith had made the Deaton Auditorium at the Los Angeles Police Administration Building available for Popejoy’s memorial.

 

Greg Tantum, Victoria Easley, Pete Demetriou, Jack Salvatore, and Jeff Baugh

Introduced as “long-time close friend and travelling companion” of Popejoy, Peggy Brutsche recalled how she first met Popejoy. “I met him when I was working for the Red Cross. After our interview, he called me later to do a follow-up interview to ask more questions and get more information. Popejoy didn’t admit until years later that the reason was he’d lost the first tape.” Even in his personal life, Popejoy was always preparing, researching, and reading. “He thought neutrality was important in a journalist.” Though he watched sports – partly due to his early interest in becoming a professional baseball player – Popejoy never professed a favorite team, or any other favorites, for that matter. “In all the years I knew him, he never revealed who he voted for,” recalled Brutsche.

 

Judy Ford, Paul Lowe, Ken Jeffries, and Larry Van Nuys

While working for Chuck Blore at KIIS as a 23-year-old personality, Popejoy “didn’t have a favorite song, so he could figure out what listeners wanted and not let his own favorites affect his view.” And Blore said “it doesn’t matter who’s on the air, it’s what’s on the air,” something that Popejoy never forgot throughout his on-air career. 

 

Rhonda Kramer, Michael Shappee, Maggie McKay and the stage at the Los Angeles Police Administration Building

Popejoy’s family vacations consisted of “strapping a canoe onto the roof of a Packard and paddling to somewhere unknown and then they lived on the land for two weeks, with nothing other than a box of Bisquick pancake mix,” said Brutsche. Popejoy was turned down for admission to Amherst, yet still attended classes and lived on campus. “Four years later, he asked whether admission to the university was a prerequisite for graduation,” a question no one else had ever asked or considered, leading Popejoy to actually getting his Amherst diploma. His greatest disappointment was the discontinuance of the Space Shuttle program after the Challenger tragedy, as Popejoy was a semi-finalist to be the first journalist in space. He remained single his entire life, though he did once consider marriage. “His mother’s advice – was she your absolute best friend? So he didn’t get married.” Popejoy was proud to have travelled all seven continents with one passport. “Jack’s definition of vacation wasn’t relaxing – he’d already done the research about transportation so once he arrived in a country, he didn’t waste time. His favorite travel was an African safari and to see big animals, while his favorite photo was of him between the paws of the Sphinx in Egypt.”

 

 Roger Nadel, Ross Crystal, Bret Lewis, and Steve Kindred

Brutsche revealed that Popejoy had three surgeries over the last four years, yet for a man who was generous to others, he was reluctant to ask for help, which helps explain “why most people didn’t know he was ill.”  Popejoy worked up to the last two weeks of his life, doing what he enjoyed.  “He took his last breath at the end of the hour right at 5 p.m., and I don’t think that was a coincidence.”  His ashes were scattered into the sea “so he can continue to travel.”

 

 Peggy Brutsche, photo of Popejoy riding a camel, and Todd Leitz

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphries said he sent a bag of red-and-green Christmas M&M candies every Christmas.  It was a way to thank Popejoy for a lesson taught about being a Public Information Officer: “You have to be like the M&M candy, digestible, easy to handle, doesn’t leave a stain…the two ‘Ms’ stand for ‘meaningful’ and ‘memorable.’  And always make it tight,” said Humphries. 

At the close of the afternoon’s events, Demetriou asked the crowd to bow their heads in silence in memory of Popejoy. Then the gathering was instructed to put their hands behind their neck and prepare to crouch down below their seats or some other solid furniture. What followed was really no surprise – it was a familiar voice once again teaching an audience how to be safe while the ground shook as he’d done countless times before.  John Alan “Jack” Popejoy may not be able to provide his listeners the facts and figures about the next quake, but he’s already ensured Los Angeles will be safer for years and years to come. (Story written by Alan Oda, senior LARadio correspondent. Photos also taken by Oda) 


Email Saturday, 4.22.17 

We GET Email ...

** KOST Encounters with 1992 Riots

"I wanted to add on to Bill Lewis’ [4.20] summary of events at 610 S. Ardmore, as there was ANOTHER station on the air in the building.

The night when KFI went off-air for about 15 minutes, Lance Ballance and I were shutting down KOST just down the hall. He and I were hanging earlier that day when pd Jhani Kaye called. He didn’t want Karen Sharp to come in for her shift and wanted to know if we’d come in. I grabbed my handgun and Lance drove from Cucamonga. About 3 blocks from the station, we were diverted thru a small strip mall because the intersection was basically on fire. Traffic kept us from getting out of there as people were looting the stores in front of us. A guy dropped his 'stuff' on a trunk and motioned toward us. I told Lance he HAD to get out of there or I was going to have to shoot the guy right outside the passenger window. He gunned it and maneuvered around, getting to the station soon afterward.

Lance relieved Bryan Simmons on the air. I literally replaced Brian’s gun on the counter with mine.  Soon afterward, Bill [I believe] came over and told us we had to shut down and leave. Lance signed off and we shut things down. By the time we all gathered at the stairs, some of us really didn’t want to leave. Then we got word that we could hook back up.

An interesting addendum to shutting down. My memory on some of the specifics could be off and they could probably correct me, but I believe when KFI shut down David G. Hall was running the board with Howard Neal signing off. The station was still in delay so Howard’s last words were cut off to the listener when it was shut down. At least one tv station had consequently and falsely reported were 'taken over.'

After we were back up, Lance continued on KOST til about midnight. Jhani had told us to keep the music going and keep any dialogue simple with some encouraging words about staying safe. At the time I was only the board-op. Once Lance was done, he went to take a nap and my first extensive time on-air had begun. Clearly, we were the 'alternative,' listening for people that needed something else at the moment. Lance and I both took pride in what we were able to provide in such an incredible situation.      

Mark Wallengren eventually showed up for the morning shift. I honestly don’t recall if Kim Amidon had come in. I was pretty burned out by the morning and it was unofficial word that coming in was strictly on a volunteer basis, preferably for men. You can look at it as chivalrous or sexist, but at the time no one questioned it. As Bill said, the ride to the 101 freeway was surreal. Buildings and whole blocks were gutted or even leveled.

I went home and slept forever. I eventually woke and went to get something to eat. Waiting to be seated, it all caught up with me and I bawled in the restaurant. Not one person said anything. No one knew how 'in it,' I was, but they all understood. It was one of the toughest, yet most prideful things I’ve ever done." - Michael Crozier, KFI news anchor/reporter

** Bill Lewis' Sister Looks Back at 1992 from Different Perspective

"At the time, I was working at Katz Communications on Wilshire & San Vicente, and living in Manhattan Beach. I remember looking out our window and seeing looters hit the Big 5 across the street. That's when management called a meeting to arrange how everyone was going to get home. People arranged carpools and they didn't want any women to drive alone. However, I was scheduled to fly to Australia the next day to visit a friend for 3 weeks  and didn't want to leave my car in the mayhem. So one of my coworkers Alan who also lived in MB said he'd lead the way and I'd follow.

We planned our normal route as we had no idea that the chaos was rapidly spreading. In those days we went Wilshire to San Vicente to Fairfax to La Cienega to La Tijera to Sepulveda and into MB. We got as far as La Cienega between Jefferson & Rodeo [by KLOS] and all hell broke loose !!

All of a sudden hundreds of people from the neighborhood were running in the streets and looting the Fedco [now it's a Target]. Crowds were crossing back and forth carrying tv's, electronics, car tires, shoes, clothes and pushing refrigerators on dollies. Traffic was at a stand still - one lady even stopped to readjust her bag of stuff on the hood of my car !! Just then I see Alan get out of his car in front of me with a softball bat and he yells at the lady to move along. He then comes to my car and gives me the bat for protection. Lucky for me he had his softball bag in his car and was armed and ready - lol !

We moved slowly and once we passed Rodeo all was fine. That next day they closed LAX and my flight was schedule for midnight - so I figured no Australia. But then early evening I got a call from the airline saying they had a flight that had to land due to a medical emergency, and if I could get to the airport within the hour it was heading to Australia. Since I was 15 minutes away in Manhattan Beach, I said no problem and off I went. The airport was deserted but an airline rep met me at Tom Bradley along with about 30 other passengers and I flew to Australia with a row of 5 seats all to myself - haha !! " - Carol Lewis

** Highway Stations for Sale?

"Regarding Bob Moore's speculation, the Highway Stations [KRXV-Yermo, et al] were only transferred to a trustee one month ago as 'debtor-in-possession' which means any such sale [to Heftel, or anyone] would have to be cleared by a bankruptcy court judge. 

No such sale has been announced or filed with the FCC yet, which would be a necessary step before a judge could be approached on the matter. So, Bob ... the answer is 'no.' ( If anyone wants to see the bankruptcy filing, it is in the FCC database: https://licensing.fcc.gov/cdbs/CDBS_Attachment/getattachment.jsp?appn=101752462&qnum=5050&copynum=1&exhcnum=1 )" - K.M. Richards  

(April 22, 2017)  MY/fm's morning co-host Jillian Escoto will be part of the 2017 National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Walk tomorrow morning. It was 2008 when Escoto was diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body.  

“I was 23 years old at the time and I had no idea what MS was or what it did to your body,” said Escoto, known today as the pop culture princess of the “Valentine in the Morning” show.  So, Escoto got support and information about MS from the National MS Society. Then, she formed a Walk MS team called “Team Jillian.”

“This year will be our ninth year and our largest Walk MS team ever with about 200 walkers,” she said. “I’m so excited to meet the many listeners who are joining our team. They want to find a cure as much as I do. At the same time, I’m very humbled because so many people come out and walk. Walk MS is a great event, and anybody can still join us.”

Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. Onsite registration is available at Lot “F,” 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena. Opening ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m. The walk begins at 10 a.m. Admission is free to attend Walk MS. Event information is available at
www.WalkMS.org.


Oh, My, Whotta' Week for O'Reilly

(April 21, 2017) Boy, is Tucker Carlson the luckiest broadcaster ever? In four months he has been the go-to guy three times at Fox News. First he replaced Greta Van Susteren. When Megyn Kelly left, Tucker was promoted to fill her slot. When Bill O’Reilly was ousted from the network for alleged sexual misconduct issues, within a few hours Tucker was again the replacement du jour.

The late night comedy shows didn’t miss a beat when it came to O’Reilly‘s firing. Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon led off his monologue with the story: “Experts say that it’s not likely that any self-respecting network will ever hire him, then CNN said, ‘welcome aboard.’”

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel suggested O’Reilly’s replacement be Kimmel sidekick Guillermo. “Welcome to the No La Vuelta Zone. I’m smart, you’re stupido.”

Word is O’Reilly was given $25M as a parting gift.

The NY Times article on O’Reilly emphasized the “enormous” value of the Factor host to Fox News, ascribing a figure of $446 million to ad revenue his show generated from 2014 through 2016. “This is a sensitive time for Fox News as it continues to deal with the fallout of the Ailes scandal,” the article states.

In his own statement, issued a few hours before The O’Reilly-less Factor began Wednesday night, the ousted show host said: “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality.”

In other news, Paul Olden wrote to say the Tommy Lasorda/Kingman game occurred on Mother's Day, May 14, 1978 …. Former KPWR pd Jeff Wyatt has been named svp/programming for the Baltimore iHeartMedia cluster, as well as pd of Country WPOC and Adult Hits WQSR (102.7 JACK/fm) … Heard Wink Martindale’s Deck of Cards twice last week, once on Lou Simon’s Sirius/XM show and the other on 181.fm. Still powerful and fun to hear after all these years … Howard Stern was mentioned in Tom Taylor’s tasty website: “Since Stern bought his beachfront mansion in Palm Beach for $52 million in 2013, Stern has called on contractors for major work five times, spending an estimated $13 million that included creating a 1,000-square foot closet for his wife Beth. He also improved the kitchenette for $10,000. Stern’s place is just south of fellow radio titan Rush Limbaugh’s $40 million compound … Mike Wagner, former KRLA program director during their Oldies days, was just named Realtor of the Year by his Arizona company … Cumulus ceo Mary Berner (KABC/KLOS in LA) was named recipient of TALKERS 2017 “Woman of the Year” Award … In the fifties, squeaky clean white singers tried to cover the Rock’n’Roll hits from black singers. Gogi Grant used to cover Lavern Baker songs. But no one was worse than Pat Boone singing Little Richard and Fats Domino hits. At the top of the awful list is Boone's rendition of Tutti Fruitty. Whoever programs this crap, STOP IT!

Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!

Valerie Geller will be signing her Beyond Powerful Radio books at the NAB next week, but this time she’ll be joined by Viral Podcasting author Kerry Lutz. Look for Valerie, the prettiest woman on the floor, on Tuesday, April 25, in Las Vegas at the convention center bookstore at 3 p.m. following the Crystal Awards Radio Luncheon ... Fred Lundgren, owner of the Inland Empire's KCAA, had a frightening experience with a hacker. He details the trauma at Huffington Post ... Bob Moore sent an email wondering if Richard Heftel and Sean O'Neil just bought the Highway Stations? ... Michael Crozier wrote to say there was another radio station, KOST, in the Ardmore studios during the 1992 riots. As part of Email Saturday, he tells us what happened from his perspective.


Trujillo Needs Help With Her Book 

(April 20, 2017) The ubiquitous Tammy Trujillo is completing the final edits on her new textbook, Writing and Reporting News You Can Use for Focal Press. She would like to end each chapter with a quote about what it's like to work in the news business, which includes traffic and sports reporting. Tammy needs your help.

"What would you like college students to know about your job, your career or your dedication to truth and accuracy," emails Tammy. "Selected quotes will be included along with your name and station. I will send you a release if your quote is used. Also include your title and affiliation. Please remember, these quotes should be aimed at college students studying broadcast journalism."

You can reach Tammy at:  tammytrujillo@gmail.com 

KFI's Bill Lewis Remembers KFI's Role in '92 Riots

(April 20, 2017) "I saw in the LA Times today that there are at least five King Riot documentaries scheduled to air over the next month," wrote Bill Lewis. "Documentaries certainly are valuable, but they examine events through the filter of 25 years. I’m glad that at least one of the documentaries is including tapes of calls to KJLH.   

Radio had no filter during the Rodney King Riots. It served as a vital source for Southern California and the nation on what was happening in real time. And it also provided some of the why.   

KFI was a primary source for information and understanding for the three days of the King Riots and beyond. I’ve written a remembrance of those three days and some of what happened at KFI and to its people."

This is Bill's story accompanied with scenes from that riot courtesy of the LA Daily News and the LA Times   

KFI in the Middle of a Firestorm
by Bill Lewis

In April 1992, I was working as the marketing and promotions director of KFI radio. Our offices were at Sixth and Ardmore in Koreatown. I’d been with the station for about six years, starting off as an intern, then working as a news editor and occasional reporter before moving into the marketing role in 1989.  

When the verdicts came down at 3 p.m. on April 29, I had just finished a meeting with an ad agency in Beverly Hills. Rather than head back to the station, I went home to Costa Mesa down the 405. It’s about a two hour drive with traffic. I’d listened to our news department covering reaction at the Simi Valley courthouse and in other spots around LA. We also got a lot of listener reaction ranging from incredulous anger to smug satisfaction. I flipped on the tv when I got home and watched along with everyone else as fires and protests started to flare up around LA. 
Monitoring KFI at the same time, I heard our field reporters put themselves in very difficult situations while trying to provide first hand information. Andy Friedman was at Parker Center and took a bottle off the head. And kept on going.   

As the night came on, the flames at Florence and Normandie and the rioting downtown dominated the coverage. There was a sense of the rioting expanding, but not to the point of an area outside of South Central. Still, it was clear that it was going to be a long night and maybe a long couple of days for the news staff at KFI. 

I grabbed a little sleep and got up around 1 a.m. I picked up some food and water from the market for the news staff. Healthy stuff like oranges and bananas and stuff that the staff would actually eat like chips and soda. Around 2 a.m. I started the drive back to Ardmore.    This wasn’t received very well by my wife Katie. Our son Ben was only five months old at the time. Katie didn’t like the idea of being home alone with civil unrest going on. However, nothing had been reported in Orange County and there was no sense that anything would be happening. Of greater concern to Katie was the fact that I worked at a radio station. Katie had lived in Ghana for two years.  In that time, Ghana had two coups and neighboring Togo had one. In each of the coups, rebel forces had made tv and radio stations high priority targets. Control the media and control the message. 

 

While it didn’t seem likely that control of a radio or tv station was on the minds of rioters, it was still a factor in Katie’s thinking. And she just didn’t want me heading into an area that was in harm’s way. 

The impression from the news was that the rioting, arson and looting were all contained south of the 10 Freeway and west of the 110. As I drove north on the 110, I could see fires to my right. And turning west on the 10, there were fires to my right again. That was the direction of the station. Not a lot of fires, but fires nonetheless.   

The next twelve hours are pretty jumbled. KFI staff reported for work and then were sent home at noon by general manager Howard Neal. It was clear that the area was not going to be safe. Shortly thereafter Mayor Bradley issued a city wide curfew.  

Chief engineer Marvin Collins set up a satellite studio in his home in La Canada. Rather than have hosts come to Koreatown, they went to Marv’s home and broadcast from his living room. The decision was made early on Thursday to keep programming local. That meant no Rush Limbaugh for the LA audience. The news team kept following and reporting on rioting as it moved north from Florence and Normandie toward and into Koreatown. And Howard brought in our security advisor, an ex FBI agent and his team, to evaluate our situation on Ardmore.   

 

By about 3 p.m., there were very few of us left in the building. Program director David G Hall, producer Marc Germain, Howard Neal, the security guys and me. I grabbed about an hour’s nap and woke up at four. The light outside the building was not right. Going up on the roof, the reason became clear. There were fires in every direction. The largest and closest were six blocks west at Sixth and Western and six blocks east at Sixth and Vermont. 

While there were no cars on the street, there were groups of rioters/looters on most of the streets. They didn’t seem particularly angry. Just looking for opportunities to smash something of high visibility or grab some available merchandise. Our building was very non descript and we may have covered the call letters on the side of the building. However, with the fires and the looters, we were now inside the perimeter of the riots.   

Over the next couple of hours, with night coming on, we were weighing the safety of staying at the station. There were benefits to staying in the building as going on the streets was not really a great idea. But if the building became a target, it wasn’t going to be a whole lot of fun to stick around. From the roof, we’d scouted a couple of ways to move to the roofs of adjacent buildings if we had to make our way out that way. And our calls to the LAPD Emergency Operations Center hadn’t yielded any guarantee of assistance if needed. They had plenty of other things to do. 
As the sun set, our security guys deemed the situation to be unsafe and recommended evacuating. Evacuating would have meant that KFI would go off the air. While the hosts and the broadcast studio had been moved to La Canada, we still needed the central controls on Ardmore to stay on the air. 

Howard, David, Marc and I decided to stay. The security detail decided to leave after observing hand guns and rifles in the groups walking the streets. David and Marc had been running the board most of the day. They were coordinating the hosts, our field reporters and phone calls that went on the air. 

Howard was working to evaluate the station as well as conferring with his bosses in Atlanta on what to do about the facility. They left it up to him to make the call based on our situation locally. 

I spent the hour from 6-7P working the phones to get a commitment from either LAPD or the National Guard to station either a black and white or a small detail at the station. The reasoning was that, as the strongest radio signal in Southern California, we were needed for emergency broadcasts and official announcements. That might have been true thirty years before, but in 1992, there were plenty of stations that could get the word out.  Internally, we didn’t want to give up and go off the air.  Somehow, that would be a capitulation and a defeat.   
Shortly after seven, Howard decided that an unprotected building put his personnel at risk. Howard certainly didn’t do it for his own safety. He’d been out on the street earlier assessing the situation. He’d gotten a flat tire and had calmly changed the tire and got back to the station. Howard was a dual target: a black man driving a Mercedes 450SL. His concern was that David, Marc and I would be in danger without security in the building and keeping the station on the air wasn’t worth that risk.   

At 7:15, we signed off. At 7:18, I got a commitment from the National Guard to send a small group to the station. That commitment was enough to tip Howard back. We reconnected with Marvin and were back on the air by 7:30. The National Guard showed up 24 hours later.   

For the next twelve hours, David and Marc manned the board.  They kept the station on the air. Howard continued to monitor the situation. And I became the phone screener and field reporter coordinator.

 
It may be poor memory, but I remember only Andy Friedman and Tammy Trujillo as being in the field. It really was too dangerous for either of them to be out. As noted earlier, Andy had been hit by a bottle while at Parker Center. And the LA Fire Department unit that Tammy was shadowing came under fire at least three times during the evening.   

The other extraordinary part of being on the phone was that I was on the receiving end of calls from listeners and their stories. It gave me and KFI a network of eyewitnesses to what was happening throughout Southern California. Regardless of how many news crews a television station or network might have, they can’t cover everything. A radio station, with an inbound phone line, can be any where there is someone with a phone.  We and our listeners were able to see all of Southern California.   

We could also see outside. KFI has the strongest signal on the west coast. It can be heard from Maui to Anchorage to Lincoln, Nebraska. I took calls that night from all over the western United States. And the calls weren’t from people who wanted to be on the air. They just wanted to make sure that we were okay and that we stayed safe.
As the sun came up on Friday May 1, there was a sense that the worst was over. 36 hours of rampaging had exhausted the rioters. The targets of opportunity had been hit. The looters had taken what they could. The fires had burned themselves out or were just smoldering. The National Guard presence was beginning to be felt. It’s one thing to turn over a police car.  It’s another to stare down a tank muzzle. Tanks don’t tip over very easily. It was also evident that the station was going to be fine. Howard said it was time for me to go home. 

Around 9 a.m. on Friday, I left 610 S. Ardmore for the drive to Costa Mesa. My route took me up Vermont. A number of stores and businesses had been broken into and burned. Small fires dotted the eight blocks to the freeway onramp. Vermont was also a major staging area for the National Guard. They had control of the street and were branching out into other parts of the city.    Smoke hung over the 101. It began to clear at the transition to the 5. 

The further I got from downtown, the less the sense of danger, damage and unrest became. When I pulled onto my street, it was like driving onto the set of a Spielberg movie in which he has created an idyllic suburb. The sky was clear. Birds were chirping. Neighborhood kids were in the streets. My last couple of days didn’t have any impact on home.   

I got a call at home on Saturday morning from Rush Limbaugh. Rush had wanted badly to be on the air in his 9A-Noon time slot on KFI during the rioting and civil unrest. Howard and David had decided that this huge local story needed exclusively local coverage. If Rush wanted to fly into LA and broadcast from Marvin’s house, he was welcome. He chose to stay in New York. In his call with me, Rush wanted to know if he had been kept off the air out of concern that his political views would have been inflammatory. I assured him that it was the demand and need for KFI to be hyper focused locally that drove the decision.   

1992 was pre-social media. TV could only have impact where they had a camera. Print was on at least a twelve hour delay from an event occurring to a reader’s hands. Radio, via phone calls and reporters, could be anywhere. And for the King Riots, KFI was everywhere. Howard Neal was an exemplary leader. He placed the safety of his people first, but did everything he could to keep our listeners informed and engaged. David G. Hall and Marc Germain determined that staying on air was their responsibility. Andy and Tammy out on the street. And Marvin Collins wizarding the technical side. 

It was an incredibly intense 72 hours in which KFI served its local and national audience with creativity and bravery. I am incredibly proud to have been part of the station.   

Morning Has Broken

Persons 12+
6a-10a March '17 PPM


1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. Pat Prescott (KTWV)
3. News Team (KNX)
4. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
5. Bill Handel (KFI)
Persons 18-34
6a-10a March '17 PPM


1. Woody Show (KYSR)
2. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
3. Valentine (MY/fm)
4. Big Boy (KRRL)
5. J Cruz (KPWR)
Persons 25-54
6a-10a March '17 PPM

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. Woody Show (KYSR)
3. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
4. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
5. Kevin & Bean (KROQ)

March '17 PPM Ratings 

(April 19, 2017) Now that the dust has settled from Christmas music and Holiday ratings and formats are pretty much what they are during the year, MY/fm (KBIG) jumped a half point to continue as #1 in the just-released March '17 PPM 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid. And Saul Levine's Oldies format at 1260AM (KSUR) had an impressive debut with a o.3. Others on the list:

1. KBIG (MY/fm) 5.2 - 5.7
2. KTWV (The WAVE) 4.8 - 5.5
3. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.8 - 4.9
    KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.9 - 4.9
5. KOST (AC) 4.6 - 4.4
6. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.9 - 3.9
7. KNX (News) 3.8 - 3.6
8. KFI (Talk) 3.5 - 3.4
9. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.3 - 3.2
10. KYSR (Alternative) 3.2 - 3.1

11. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 3.2 - 3.0
12. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 3.4 - 2.8
13. KRRL (Urban) 2.9 - 2.7
14. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.4 - 2.6
      KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.7 - 2.6
16. KKGO (Country) 2.5 - 2.5
17. KSWD (Classic Rock) 2.3 - 2.4
18. KXOS (Spanish) 22 - 2.3
19. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.2 - 2.1
      KROQ (Alternative) 2.1 - 2.1
      KXOL (Spanish AC) 20 - 2.1
22. KJLH (Urban AC) 2.1 - 1.8
      KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 1.8
24. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.7
       KPCC (News/Talk) 2.1 - 1.7
26. KCRW (Variety) 1.3 - 1.6
       KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.6 - 1.6
28. KUSC (Classical) 1.1 - 1.3
29. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.1 - 1.2
      KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.0 - 1.2
31. KSPN (Sports) 0.9 - 1.1
32. KEIB (Talk) 0.9 - 1.0
       KRLA (Talk) 1.1 - 1.0
       KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 1.0 -1.0
34. KABC (Talk) 0.7 - 0.7
35. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.6
       KKJZ (Jazz) 0.6 - 0.6
       KLAC (Sports) 0.6 - 0.6
       KWKW (Spanish Sports) 0.6 - 0.6
39. KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.3 - 0.5
40. KTNQ (Spanish Talk) 0.5 - 0.4
41. KSUR (Oldies) -- - 0.3

In an email to LARadio, MY/fm morning man Valentine enthused: "Sometimes the sun shines on ya and all you can do is smile. Today we are smiling. Thought you would get a kick out of this :) Valentine"

Fall 2016

MY/fm/VITM 6-10 AM AQH Share 

25-54         Persons #1 English

18-49         Women  #1 Overall

25-54         Women  #2 Overall

35-44         Women  #1 Overall 

45-54         Women  #1 Overall

35-64         Women  #1 Overall

 

18-49         Persons #2 English

35-64         Persons  #1 Overall

Now Quarter 1 2017

MY/fm/VITM 6-10 AM AQH Share

 

6+               #1

12+             #1

6-11            #1

Teens         #1

18+             Women #1 Overall

18-49         Women #1 Overall

25-54         Women #1 Overall

35-44         Women #1 Overall

45-54         Women #1 Overall

35-64         Women #1 Overall

35+             Women #1 Overall

18-49         Persons  #1 Overall

25-54         Persons  #1 Overall

35-64         Persons  #1 Overall

   

Nine Southern California Voices We Will Never Hear Again

(April 18, 2017) Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele were both listed in the nine voices we will never hear again. The listing was provided by Jason Rosenthal in his tasty blog, The Southern Californian. "Whether they were talking in a manic speed in-between songs, introducing some cool, hip music, delivering the worst possible news, or shouting down guests in an era before cable news made that a thing of their own, these were just some of the voices that made up the fabric of Southern California broadcasting. Whether on radio or television these broadcast voices were the sound of Southern California.

Okay, so the title is a little misleading (or, you could say clickbait-ish), because while we will always hear these broadcast voices live on, be it on the Internet, on vinyl, VHS tapes, Beta tapes or cassette tapes, we will never hear these legends of Southern California broadcasting live and in a new, original form ever again.

Now, let us celebrate and remember the lives of these Southern California broadcast legends."

If you have been around Southern California media, click Morgan or Steele and check out the memories.

Email Monday, 4.17.17

** More Than a War of Words at KNX

"It appears to be more than a war of words on Twitter between KFI and KNX.

According to the KNX website, as of Easter Sunday, Jeff Baugh is still listed as a traffic reporter for KNX. As for Chuck Rowe, he must still be in Indiana or Phoenix because as far as the KNX website goes, they never heard of him.  

I was trying to find out who were all the new people I keep hearing on KNX, but they are not there either. I guess that  is OK because Julie Chin is the only management person working there.

Ken Charles? I guess he is a ghost program director because the KNX website does not have a Ken Charles at the station. Actually that is by choice as he told me he likes to keep a low profile. Yep, that is what I expect from KNX. Up to the minute news.

Hey, Ken, perception is the key to believability. If I cannot trust your website content, why should I trust your station's content?" - Respectfully Bill Mann, South Pasadena 
** What Do I Think of Kingman's Performance?

"The 'Kingman’s performance' recording was this time of year in 1978 on a Saturday night. I know because I was on the air at KLAC doing a music show when about 10 p.m.  a young Paul Olden comes into the studio and says: 'Dunk, I’ve got something for you to hear.'

I found our 'bathroom record,' El Paso by Marty Robbins (4:38), put it on the air and ran into the newsroom and I was the first to hear one of the great drops of all time, which became a regular part on the great Jim Healy’s Sport show on KLAC. (r)" - Jim Duncan,  Director of Production, iHeartMedia/Los Angeles
** Buddy System

"John Landecker and I went to college together and worked for the same, tiny daytimer in Wyoming, Michigan [outside Grand Rapids] in the mid-60s. Landecker and his first wife were in the wedding party when Pam and I got married [49 years ago]. He went east [Lansing, Philadelphia] then Midwest [WLS]. I went south [Atlanta] then wet [KHJ].

We hadn't seen each other in person until last year when John visited his actress daughter, Amy, out here in L.A.

It was great to be together again, even if neither of us had as much hair as the old days." - John Leader

18 Years Ago Today

Matt Drudge Got His Start with KIEV’s George Putnam  

(April 16, 1999) For anyone who loves radio, Sandy Wells’ weekly column in Cheers! The San Gabriel group of newspapers (Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Tribune and the Whittier Daily News) is a must. Today’s edition features a story on how Matt Drudge started his broadcast career as a caller to KIEV’s George Putnam show five years ago. Sandy writes: "The former Internet's biggest celebrity has become a regular Wednesday guest on Putnam's talk show. ‘It's his home away from home,’ says Putnam. ‘He drops by the studio and then he's back to New York. I've dubbed him the successor to Walter Winchell.’ Not surprising, if you've seen Drudge wearing a fedora on his Fox News cable tv program. ‘Winchell was my mentor back in 1939,’ recalls Putnam. ‘I like to think of myself as [Matt's] surrogate father.’" Week in and week out, Sandy writes fascinating columns. The unpredictability of his columns makes it a must read. Sandy should be read in a larger circulation newspaper. In fact, the LA Times would be perfect for him. Meanwhile you can read about radio each Friday and hear Sandy reporting news and traffic reports, mostly for KABC. Sandy has been the editorial coordinator for the Los Angeles Radio Guide since 1995 and wrote the radio news "Radio Roundup." The future of the Guide is uncertain … J. Gellig from Los Angeles attended the tax night event with Mr. KABC last night at the LAX Hilton. Gellig writes: "We were all sitting around having a good time when at about 11:45 there was some commotion and all of a sudden 4 or 5 KFI employees walked in wearing KFI tee-shirts and carrying white bags that said KFI and the Tim & Neil show on it. One of the guys was apparently live on a cell phone [big tall, blond, long haired guy]. Mr KABC seemed a bit taken aback and some of the listeners and KABC employees exclaimed ‘KFI?!’ The guy on the cell phone was talking to KABC listeners and giving away these bags. He would make whomever wanted the bag say ‘KFI rules’ before he'd give them one. I truly can't believe that one radio station would try to crash the broadcast of another, does KFI have any taste at all?"… KFI’s Wayne Resnick rocked the house at Highland Grounds in Hollywood last night, according to one fan in attendance. He played his musical comedy set to a packed crowd which included an encore … KFI’s Phil Hendrie said he wanted to be the morning man at KIIS in the early 1980s … Bill Sommers, president/general manager of KLOS/KABC/KDIS, announces three major promotions. Bob Koontz, former gsm at KLOS, has been upped to Director of Sales for KLOS/KABC/KDIS. Leonard Madrid moves from lsm to gsm at KLOS. Louie Chelekis takes on sales manager chores at KABC … Didjaknow that actor Jon Voight is a big fan of KABC’s Art Bell?…HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Bob Gowa (during the 1970s Bob worked at KPPC, KYMS, XPRS/XHIS/HERS, KMET, KROQ and KWST)

Turning Point in the Lives of LARP

During the month of April, Los Angeles Radio People share how an event, a person or mentor changed their lives. Programming consultant Walter Sabo shares his moment. The turning point was when I met tv programming genius Fred Silverman. We became friends and he is my mentor. He taught me that all that matters is what's on the air. Everything else is a distraction. That may seem obvious but consider how much time programmers waste on activities that have nothing to do with being on the air! His 100% focus on the product is an inspiration. - Walter Sabo, President, Sabo Media

War of Words at KFI and KNX Over Use of "Eye in the Sky" 

(April 14, 2017) A Twitter war of words – maybe better described as “aerial warfare” – has erupted between Chris Little (KFI nd) and Ken Charles (KNX pd) over the use of “Eye in the Sky” by both stations for their airborne traffic reports. KFI hasn’t used the phrase for a while since grounding the KFI airplane in 2009, at least not until KNX recently starting using it. Last Monday, Jeff Baugh and Mike O’Brien moved from KNX to KFI reviving the “KFI in the Sky” moniker. One of the Tweets yesterday from Little: “LOVE how you guys are ripping off @KFIAM640. We are proud to lead. You must be proud to follow. #FOLLOWTHELEADER #KFIINTHESKY. I asked former KFI program director David G. Hall if the line was trademarked: “To my knowledge, no,” responded David. “But of course the KFI traffic label going back to the days of Bruce Wayne in the 70s was ‘KFI in the sky.’”

In other news: A new not-for-profit station, Reno NV 89, features a LARP. The “Discover Music” – branded station features former personality Gia DeSantis (KROQ, 1993) in afternoon drive … Cumulus has new stripes for Mike McVay, now EVP, Content & Programming … Ryan Fox, former morning at KKGO, celebrates four years at Cumulus’ Country station in Dallas … Mark Alyn (KCSN, 1971-80; KFI 1973-76; KRLA, 1975-77; KVEN, 1986-88) and now host of Late Night Health, has been named a California Fellow by the Association of Healthcare Journalists. The Insane Darrell Wayne produces Late Night Health. “From the Affordable Care Act to how the legal system causes stress for the average American, we cover the unusual,” said Wayne.

 

Paul Olden, then with KMPC, is famous for asking Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda what he thought of Dave Kingman’s performance against the Dodgers that infamous afternoon at Dodger Stadium. It unleashed a torrent of vulgarity from Lasorda that was played incessantly on the Jim Healy radio show. Paul celebrates nine years as the public address announcer at Yankee Stadium. The uncensored version of Lasorda’s tirade can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIwrYH6Urbs … KNX news anchor Bob Brill has published his newest Western novel, the third in the Lancer: Hero of the West series. The latest offering, Santa Fe Affair, is now live both for download on Kindle (and other devices) and paperback as well on his website; www.bobbrillbooks.comSpider Harrison, former KGFJ jock, believes in lemons. He says, “I eat lemons every day for the VOICE. All DJ’s, actors, and singers should eat lemons daily. You can buy them or GROW them. Thank you Christopher Columbus for bringing the seeds to the new world. He knew that I would need and use them throughout my career. LOL.”

Front-page Tribute to Bob Miller, Voice of the Kings 

(April 13, 2017) When Bob Miller called his final LA Kings game after more than 3,300 broadcasts, the LA Times really did him right.
A front-page story evolving into a 3-page tribute was the perfect capper to a GREAT career. And such a nice guy to boot.
Writer David Wharton wrote: " Miller distinguished himself in a different way. He was an everyman, bald and bespectacled, devoted to his craft."
"For his final afternoon at Staples Center, the words 'Thank You Bob' were printed on the ice behind each goal,
every player wore a No. 44 jersey in warm-ups and the crowd chanted his name."


Email Wednesday

** Grunion Hunting

"Glad that you are still doing your LA Radio site on your own schedule! 

I though you'd appreciate this news.  I was recently interviewed out on the beach by Derek Mooney, for a radio nature program heard nationwide -- in Ireland! Here is the 'Mooney Goes Wild' podcast for the April 9 show: 
http://www.rte.ie/radio1/mooney/#2454944 

Seeing the grunion run was on his bucket list and happily, they came out to play for him. Scroll down for photos too. Cheers." - Karen Martin, PhD Professor of Biology, Frank R. Seaver Chair in Natural Science Pepperdine University
** Is $70 Million Salary Outrageous?

"I am just wondering how much KNX must cut expenses to give good 'ol Les Moonves a $70,000,000.00 annual salary. Two airbornes? Three airbornes? 50% of it's content to be able to have 50% paid ad time?

Just curious." - Bill Mann
** Questions of the Month

"I'm really enjoying these memories of how LA Radio People got started, especially when [as in the case of Charlie Van Dyke] an early photo can be included.

It's interesting to see what parallels we all have in our careers while also seeing the differences.

You should solicit more such contributions among the readers and sprinkle them in from time to time. I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates such history." - K.M. Richards
** An Oldie Story

"The response to the new Oldies format at 1260AM is just amazing. The sad truth is that Standards which I love inasmuch as that was the music of my college years, has a demo that is not responsive [or wear PPMs].

Here is an interesting story about Oldies. My father-in-law played sax for the Russ Morgan Orchestra which had the No. 1 Hit Parade song Cruising Down The River, which I heard many times on the radio while I was still in school not knowing that the sax player would become my father-in-law and I would marry his daughter who was not yet born." - Saul Levine
** Rickles Tickled Dave

"In my very years of 'doing my time in radio,' a record company was kind enough to gift me with a trip to Tahoe to see one of their acts and while there we took in a few other shows. While I was sitting near the stage at one show a comedian asked me to join him on stage.

I became the foil to his jousting and a delight to the audience for awhile. He was damn funny for 90 years, that evening, no exception. I returned to my seat and later in the show that night I was actually crying due to his humanity and warmth. Rare in a comic act.

I'll remember this lovely showman, always, as we all have lost a real matador for mankind. Gone at 90, Don Rickles, RIP, with your smirking smile." - Dave Sebastian Williams

KFI's Wendy Walsh Latest Accuser in Bill O"Reilly's Sexual Harassment Charges 

(April 11, 2017) Dr. Wendy Walsh (l) hosts a Sunday afternoon Talk show on KFI. Now, she is drawing national headlines as being the latest to accuse Fox's Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment. Her lawyer is Lisa Bloom, daughter of attorney Gloria Allred. According to her website, Dr. Walsh is a Doctor of Psychology and media commentator who is obsessed with the science of love. Walsh’s tv career began in Los Angeles at UPN 13 News where she worked as an anchor/reporter and later as correspondent on EXTRA. After a break from television to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and raise two children, Walsh returned to tv as a news commentator on CNN and Fox News’s The O’Reilly Factor. In 2012, she co-hosted The Dr. Phil spinoff The Doctors, and was nominated for an Emmy Award … In the midst of more sexual harassment allegations and the loss of over 60 advertisers, O’Reilly’s ratings at Fox News were nonetheless up last week. The O’Reilly Factor averaged more than 3.7 million total viewers and 652,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demographic. When compared to the same week in 2016, O'Reilly's primetime program was up 28 percent in total viewers and 42 percent in the key demographic that advertisers covet most … Delores Thompson, formerly of KGFJ (1994-95) and KJLH (1996-2009), checked in to say she is currently programming KOSA Internet radio and working weekends on-air at 102.9 KBLX-San Francisco … Saul Levine turned 1260AM into a 50s/60s Oldies station on March 17. He’s got encouraging ratings news. “A .2 overall and a .6 with Persons 55+! Not bad for only being on the air for 6 days,” Saul emailed … KIIS’ Jesse Lozano‏ is celebrating his 10th WangoTango concert as part of the backstage broadcast … 100.3/The Sound announced a multi-year agreement with legendary radio personality Rita Wilde. She  will continue on air weekdays from 7 p.m. to midnight and will continue to host the popular “Album Side at 11” segment featuring the uninterrupted play of one full classic rock album side at 11 p.m. “The Sound is the kind of radio I love, so I’m thrilled to be here,” said Rita. “We play the best music ever made and present it with creativity and originality.” … Who had the most extensive coverage of the San Bernardino tragedy yesterday? … MY/fm morning man Valentine  wrote about the San Bernardino shooting on Twitter: “My son just turned 9 and yet another parent’s 8 year old son will not. My heart is breaking for them.” … Seena had plea yesterday on her Twitter page: “There is so much insanity in this world. So stop complaining. Live each day fully. Keep ur loved ones close. And remember to smile.”

Van Dyke @ 14

(April 10, 2017) Over the weekend, LARadio went to the Archives in 2005 and republished some responses to the question of the month, 'How did you get your first job in radio.' Veteran Charlie Van Dyke (93/KHJ and K-EARTH) read the memories and submitted his fascinating story:

"My first job was KIXL/fm in Dallas, hired by the owner, Lee Segall. Lee was the creator of the original Dr. IQ show. KIXL AM was only a daytimer, but highly rated. It featured Beautiful Music. Also Broadway Show Tunes were part of the unique mix. Segall was also a personal friend of Gordon McLendon. When Gordon wanted to launch KABL-San Francisco, he asked Segall to share his formatics, which he did.

Later, the KIXL program director, Dillard Carrera, was hired away to launch a new station, KVIL AM. Dillard hired me for that station while I was in high school. KVIL was originally launched as an Adult Contemporary version of KIXL. I called radio stations regularly back then asking for a job. I called KIXL one day and asked if they had any openings. Harold Smith, the program director,  said they had a part-time position and might need some help in the summer. I asked if there were any age restrictions. He said there were not. So, I asked my mom to drive me to the station for an audition.

When I arrived, Smith kind of gasped. Since I already had a pretty low voice, he thought I was worried that I might be too old to be hired. Segall himself listened with a group of staffers and said to hire me. I cannot tell you the joy of being hired for a job that paid me a net of $36.16 in my first check. My parents drove me or I rode the bus every day to work because I was too young to drive. It was absolute magic from the first moment!

The attached article tells you more about Mr. Segall. I can honestly say that it was a magic carpet ride that I still enjoy. While most of my professional work is now with television stations, it's all still magic and I never stop feeling grateful and blessed!" (photo: Van Dyke at age 14 at KIXL)  Click artwork for link.

Slater Slated for KFI News 

(April 10, 2017) Julie Slater was one of the first wave of full-time personalities to join 100.3/fm The Sound when the then-Bonneville launched as a Triple A station (station has since morphed into Classic Rock) in the summer of 2008. She left in early 2016. Julie has now joined the news department as a news anchor at KFI. "Saturday was her first day in training on the air," emailed KFI news director Chris Little. "She will be working part-time and fill-in."

With her new assignment Julie said: "I am super psyched to now be in the iHeart family. I hope to do even more with them. I'm still on air at 88.5 KCSN hosting my new music show Out on a Limb Saturday from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. www.outonalimbmusic.com."

Slater was a staple in New York radio for 13 years before joining Sirius Satellite as an on-air reporter for Variety MagazineSlater followed Howard Stern on-air daily at New York's WXRK/K-Rock for 10-years. She was wooed by Sirius Satellite Radio almost ten years ago to make the move to Los Angeles, and in her words, “to get some sun.” 


LARPs: How did you get your first job in radio? 
2005 Archives

“Sweet Dick” Whittington: A few years ago while working as a ‘thrasher’ on a wheat combine in Kansas, I one day caught a glimpse in a remote section of a 500-acre wheat field what appeared to be either a scarecrow, or a man who was standing absolutely still with his arms upraised. As I approached I saw that it was indeed a man.

‘What are you?’ I asked, ‘a human scarecrow?’

’No,’ he replied. I am a radio transmitter. Stopping the combine, I jumped off and I hunkered down beside the man, stuck a length of straw between my teeth to consider his strange radio transmitter statement. As I looked up from my hunkering I studied him. In this dusty, overwhelmingly hot day, he was wearing an ill-fitting, well-worn double-breasted black suit. The cuffs on his trousers hung at least two inches above the top of his black cracked patent leather shoes, displaying what once must have been white socks, but now graying.

"What?" I asked in a shy, but forthright manner is a radio transmitter? Looking exasperated the man peered at me stroking his upper lip, suggesting that at one time, or another he had sported a moustache, but had forgotten that he had shaved it off.

'A radio transmitter sends out sound to an awaiting world.’ This was more a proclasmation than explanation. ‘How does it work?’ I gasped.

’Simple, he expatriated. ‘Announce something in my ear.’

’OK, uh what exactly should I announce?’

’Try something like P. Diddy makes me giddy.’ I moved to within six inches of the man's ear and shouted: ‘P. Diddy makes me giddy!’

He immediately shouted at double the decibel: ‘P. DIDDY MAKES ME GIDDY!!’ We then both stared at each other for a long moment. Finally he said while screwing his index finger into the ear that I had just debuted in. ‘Not bad,’ but you need experience; come back and see me when you get some.’

"What exactly does that mean?’ I asked.

’I really don't know, and frankly I don't care, now go away, I have to get back to my radio transmitting.’ Those were his last words. I climbed back up on the combine, and drove off to finish thrashing the field before sundown. I was strangely saddened, but still exhilarated by the experience. As I left him, I turned to look back and there he was as I first saw him, standing stark still, his arms thrust straight upward. It was my only encounter with a man that I shall always remember as my first radio employer, and who later would become known as George Green. As for me, I gave up thrashing wheat fields in Kansas and subsequently became a Nabisco Wheat Thin.

Gary Campbell: My first paying job in radio [after several years at the UCLA radio station, and some volunteer work at KPFK] was at a Country station, KDOL in Mojave. I sent a tape and got hired for evenings. The pd was a strange old guy named Jack Chapman, who voiced all the local spots in stentorian tones. After three months I moved on to the big time - Barstow. 

Gary Hollis (K-Mozart): I'd always loved Classical music. After all, I'd worked back stage at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. It was always a dream of mine to be a Classical music announcer, and when KFAC went belly up, I sent an audition tape to KCSN [Cal State Northridge], was accepted in the winter of '90, where I received my FCC license. Dan Sonenberg at KCSN knew someone at then KKGO, and I began working there September of 1990, and that ladies and gentlemen... 

Delores Thompson-Simon (“Yo Sista Girl” - KJLH) I got my first job at KGFJ in 1992. What had happen was, I was driving down the street and saw that station and told my boyfriend that I was getting a job there, his reply ‘Yeah, right.’ After that I started calling the station and finally I spoke with the general manager and she said, ‘do you have an air check?’ I asked what's that and can I come up there and make one? She laughed and said you've got to ask the pd, however, when I would call a Japanese man would answer. I got the job, however, it was years later that I heard the pd Johnny Morris using that same voice and I just cracked up.

Harvey Kern: The year 1978 was a scary one. I was Administrator of Quality Assurance for the LA Co. Department of Health Services, working in downtown L.A. and commuting from Oak Park [80 miles+ each day], teaching evening graduate classes at Cal State Northridge one evening a week, and a busy husband and father of two young girls. The voters of LA County were debating passage of Proposition 13 to freeze property taxes and those of us who were in public service feared for our careers. 

Having some experience in radio at UCLA in the 60s, and having been told I had a ‘nice voice,’ I decided that I would brush up on radio skills and try to land a part-time position in the event that my County job was eliminated. With my family's blessings, I plunged into the KIIS Broadcasting Workshop in Beverly Hills to learn the necessary engineering skills [remember when you had to have a license to be on the air?], as well as copy writing, voice, diction, etc. I was the oldest person in my group, and found myself amidst a bunch of young, spoiled, rude Beverly Hills youths who spent their class evenings smoking pot in the hallways. However, the instructors were top-notch radio professionals and I found it all to be great fun [no, I didn't inhale]. 

Being at an age when I enjoyed listening to KNJO in Thousand Oaks, near my home, I applied for a position there with the late former owner Alan Fischler and pd Bob Hughes.  After a few fill-in shifts, I got the shift I desired - Sunday mornings, 6 a.m. to noon. In addition to taped programs for seniors and a religious show, I played LPs [using turntables that wowed, and records with cue-burns] of Mantovani, Percy Faith, the 101 strings, and vocals by Patti Page, Tony Bennett, Sandler and Young, etc. We had a strong signal [one of the first towers with stereo – ‘Stereo 92’] and I received much support from friends, neighbors, and listeners. 

While completing my professional health career [eventually becoming director of public affairs for LAC+USC Medical Center and dealing with the major LA radio reporters 24/7 for 9 years], I was up at 4 a.m. every Sunday enjoying my shifts immensely. I had the Sunday morning gig for 17 years, and also did  news and sports reporting, countless remotes, and some shifts on KMDY (Comedy Radio) when KNJO merged with them. I also did some voiceovers and narrations.  

Changes in technology over the years were amazing - I remember when KNJO played its first 45 rpm record. Over all those years, I survived 6 owners, 15 program directors, and worked with hugely talented on-air folks, some of whom moved on to become well-known in L.A. radio or elsewhere. When I retired from LA Co. [after 32 years] and CSUN, the owners of KNJO/KMLT [Joe Amaturo et al] asked me to work morning drive [with news, traffic, and NO LPs - all automated], which I did for a year, then middays, then public service. I was also working with former KNJO/KMDY gm/pd Pete Turpel at Phone on Hold Marketing Systems recording greeting and on-hold messages for businesses and services all over the US and Canada [and was the voice of all 450 Costco stores]. I resigned from KNJO in 1998 after 20 years, and left POH last year after suffering a major stroke. Fortunately, I'm now back to normal, enjoy reading LARP.com daily, and do occasional voice work. Also enjoy having grandchildren and volunteer activities. 

Part-time local radio doesn't necessarily make you rich, but it is hugely rewarding in countless ways and I am grateful to be a very small part of the extended LARP family.”   

Jim Thornton (KNX): Besides college radio, my first ‘real’ job in radio was at Metro Traffic here in L.A. I was riding the bus home with a teacher at L.A. Broadcasters. He mentioned they were looking for producers, so, of course, I was thrilled to try for ANY job in radio in L.A. Sure enough I got hired. Then, six months later I was on the air, famous and making millions of dollars. Just another Schwab's Drugstore story.

Bill Jenkins:  In 1948, they built a new radio station in the Central Texas town of
Lampasas and initially set aside 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. as a show for the kids in school. At that time, there were very few radio signals which made it to Lampasas and the big 50,000 boomers in Dallas and San Antonio definitely had nothing for the teenagers. We had juke boxes and records. A lot of us hung around the station. The afternoon show was called ‘The KHIT Club.’ In July of 1950, I took over as the third host and continued my broadcast career until the end of the Gulf War I in late February '91. Now, as of this coming Saturday, Clear Channel has asked me to bring ‘Open Mind’ back on the air, which I did at KABC. I don't think this has ever happened in LA before. ‘Open Mind’ had the largest single audience in its time period in the country. Despite that, ole George Green did not want to expand on the popularity of that genre, so I left broadcasting 18 years ago. Now, Open Mind is back!!! 

Jhani Kaye: I was a sophomore in high school and a friend took me out to our local radio station. I was fascinated with the way the announcer ran both the board and did the announcing. After several visits and offering to answer the request lines and run general errands, they decided to give me a job as a board op. Well, one day the announcer forgot to record a spot that I would have normally played back. The gm told me to open the mic and the rest is history.

Pat Matthews (ex-KWIZ pd): It was in a small suburb of New Orleans named Harvey. I was a junior in high school an my idol was a senior named Charlie Young. He was the afternoon drive jock on this little daytimer, KGLA. They used the old KRLA jingle package from 1968, so some of the jocks had the same names as the L.A. guys...weird. I was Bob Dayton for my six month foray on weekends there. It didn't take long to shake the Bob Dayton moniker after that, though!

 

Archer (KBIG): I was still in high school, and a friend of mine got a gig spinning records a couple of weekends a month at the local radio station in my home town, Belle Glade, Florida. The station was WSWN/fm, a country music signal, coupled with WSWN AM, which played mostly preachers' sermons and southern gospel music. 

It was the summer break before my senior year, and my dad had just announced he was going to start charging me rent, so I had to find a job. I'd hung out a time or two with my friend at the station, so I thought that this would be an easy few bucks - sit there, spin records, make sure the preachers' tapes were running on time. So I applied for my first job ever on July 31, 1980. I was hired a week later.

My first gigs were a couple of overnight shifts a week, playing the one commercial break an hour during the Larry King show on the Mutual Broadcasting System. [Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Larry King was on the radio before he was on CNN.] I learned to sleep and wake up right before I had to pot him down and hit the PSAs in the cart deck. 

When the school year started up again, I was promoted to afternoons. I'd leave school at the final bell and have fifteen minutes to get to the station, but in such a small town, that wasn't difficult. After I graduated, I was promoted to mornings, and had to arrive to 'warm up' the fm transmitter an hour before we signed on at 5am. 

I still remember 'cue burns' on records.  Cart machines were a new thing the engineer had just bought to play back commercials. Stereo? Who needed it. The control board was a small box with huge 'pots' on it and one VU meter. [Rick Dees would have loved the big pots.] The turntables were right there on the desk with you, so you had to be careful not to drum on the table or the sound would carry over the spinning records. 

The program director at the time (I eventually replaced him) was a guy who'd show up every two weeks, unlock the record library, grab two handfuls of 45 rpm singles, maybe five or six albums, and toss them into the studio. "Play these," he'd say, and leave. Those were the records you played for the next two weeks, until he returned. I guess we were Jack before Jack was cool. 

The station was located at the edge of a sugar cane field, at first in an old trailer. When I started working there, they had just begun building an actual building, so my first few shifts were done in a studio that didn't yet have walls. 

What made it the most fun was hanging out with the Palm Beach County Sheriffs deputies about once a month. You see, at the other end of that cane field was Glades Correctional Institute. The facility was not known for its tight security - there was an escape every few weeks, and they'd always run toward the station. The deputies would be waiting for them there, and many times I'd arrive early in the morning to find a phalanx of cop cars waiting for an escaped prisoner to show. 

I don't know why they always ran toward the station. Maybe they were fans. I wound up working there for five years, and what started as a way to get my dad off my back turned into a career - one I hadn't planned on.   

Ken Jeffries (KFWB): It was 1972 - WBRX-AM in Berwick, Pennsylvania. I showed up in a suit. The program director said, ‘If you can read, you have a job.’  

I did a little of everything. I even sold time, until I discovered the station manager was ‘'underselling’ me. We played Top 40, although we switched to Mantovani whenever the owner was in town. He drove in from Atlantic City - about 200 miles away - and when we thought he was within earshot, we'd start slipping in Mantovani, Sinatra or Tony Bennett between album cuts of Gary Glitter, Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd. Therefore, by the time he was within the Berwick city limits, we were all MOR all the time. Our slogan should have been: ‘Give us 22 minutes - we'll give you elevator music'. About a year later, I was hired to work in the bustling metropolis of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. And the rest, as they say, is broadcasting history. 


Miller Time on Saturday


Kimmel Was Ultimate Fan 

Jimmy Kimmel was a HUGE fan of Don Rickles. LA Times elected to use photo of the two in its front-page story on Don's passing.
Rickles appeared 18 times on Kimmel's late night show.

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Hear Ache 

(April 7, 2017) Former KDAY personality Foster Brooks participated in a hilarious roast of Don Rickles, who passed away yesterday. Bill Kingman sent this link Ed Pyle, former KNX program director now living in Prescott, Arizona, emailed to say there’s nothing new about news, sports, traffic and maybe business anchors endorsing products on KNX. “It was started [grit my teeth here] maybe five years before I retired and that’s eleven years ago. A really unfortunate surrender to sales,” said Pyle … Sports guy Ted Sobel had a conversation with Vin Scully last Monday on opening day of the baseball season. “Vinny said, ‘just stand up in the middle of the Press Box and tell everyone to have a happy and healthy baseball season!’ Typical Vin who just wanted to stay out of the spotlight and let the new guys do their thing!” … Victor Zaragoza, former morning man at HOT 92.3, jumped across town to CBS/San Francisco’s KCBS/KFRC as part of the station's new in-house traffic and sports department, serving as weekday overnight traffic reporter … Joe Crummey, former KFI and KABC Talker, joins the Friday Morning Countdown Hour at Doug Stephan's Good Day ... Ralph Story’s wife, Diana, has written a new novel, Maya’s Story – Slipping Between Time and Space … Former KPPC personality and Chicago legend Steve Dahl was MIA from his WLS-Chicago show for more than a week, according to Chicago Media maven Robert Feder. He was in the hospital for treatment of a perforated colon. Broadcasting from his home, the Chicago radio legend said he was diagnosed with diverticulitis … Congratulations to Mary Beth Garber on her 6-year anniversary as EVP/Marketing Strategy at Katz Media Group … David Schwartz reports that a very young Tom Snyder appears in an episode of The Rifleman this afternoon at 3 p.m. on Me-TV … Mike Butts, former morning man at K-100, loved the early shot of Scully from his school days … Chris Bury checked out the top of the hour ID at KLAC and Los Angeles follows the call letters.

Email Thursday, 4.6.17

** Shana In Her Day

"That pic of Shana was shot the day KLOS removed the glass that separated the board ops from talent, and talent went 'combo.'

What we don’t see is yours truly on the other side of the console, also in formal attire. Thanks for the memory.  Proud to be one of the last LARP record spinners." - Ira Lawson

** KFI In the Sky

"Nice to see Jeff Baugh and ol' buddy Mike O'Brien land on their feet placed firmly in the air at KFI. Anything keeping these guys from reporting our horrible traffic conditions would truly be a waste of talent and experience.  

I wonder and fret about at least another half-dozen time-tested friends and former colleagues whom were heard daily on KNX, while the [generally] half-wits who now run the L.A. Traffic/Radio biz play footsies with each other and anyone else within range. Makes me glad to be a former participant in such [the biz, not the footsies]!" - Greg Hardison
** KNX Traffic Jam

"I feel bad about Tommy Jaxson (photo left with Randy Kerdoon). He was fired because CBS did not want ANY traffic people as employees and now it turns out that ALL traffic will be employees, except the airbornes I guess but I do not know that for sure. 

I'm having a difficult time adjusting to the gyrations at KNX. It was good to hear Chuck Rowe back. He is thrilled to be back in California. I will miss Jeff Baugh. He is the best of the best up in the air.  Of course I have a special affinity for Jeff and Chuck. Both of them bought barstools from me." - Bill Mann, barstools4u.com
** Endorsements R Us

"Changing traffic services is not the only thing going on at KNX. The long-standing policy about newscasters not endorsing sponsors has been abandoned. So we now hear Frank Mottek gushing over his fancy BMW, Denise Fondo's exercise regimen, Jennifer York and her Subaru and corn flakes window installation, and Dick Helton with investment advice, among others.

And the news announcers are recording stories which are aired at various times 24/7, which likely saves on costs for more staff. I wonder what Bill Nesbitt is doing with all his extra time?" - Harvey Kern
** Legal ID Missing?

"Have you noticed that at the top of the hour KLAC gives the call letters and also KYSR HD2 but not Los Angeles. This has been going on at least a week. 

Have the station ID rules changed and I'm just behind the times?" - Ira Kosberg
** Shotgun Does What He Does Best - Talk

"This last Sunday night I was a presenter for the San Diego Film awards and to my surprise they gave me the Lifetime Achievement Award. The show will be televised on The CW 6 in San Diego on April 9th.

I'm going to be on 790 KABC this Friday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. You can listen on the KABC website." - Shotgun Tom Kelly  
** Scully As a Youth

"Since it's the beginning of our first season in 67 years without Vin Scully, wonder if LARadio.com readers would enjoy a flashback to when Vin was just a 17- year- old future sports Hall of Famer." - Bruce Chandler

Hear Ache

(April 5, 2017) Sure is beginning to smell like the advertising boycott of Rush Limbaugh a few years back following the Sandra Fluke affair. This time around it is former KABCer Bill O’Reilly, the face of Fox News who is involved in sexual harassment charges. Mercedes Benz was the first to pull its ads from the O’Reilly Factor. It didn’t take long for another dozen to join the apparent bandwagon: BMW, Lexus, Allstate, Pet Nutrition, Untuckit, digital marketing company Constant Contact, pharmaceutical GlaxoSmithKline, Mitsubishi, Bayer, and Hyundai, among others … During the traffic reporting musical chairs this week, it is nice to hear Chuck Rowe return to KNX. “It was like old times tonight on KNX 1070,” Chuck wrote on his FB page … Consumption of news content in radio jumped 18% year-over-year, according to Nielsen's Total Audience Report. KNX benefitted with a strong performance in the last two ratings books … Leigh Ann Adam teamed with Charlie Tuna at KBIG at the turn of the century. She went on to a decade at a leading Dallas station, KVIL. Leigh Ann had an opportunity to go solo on the Dallas iHeart ‘Star’ station, but had to wait out a few months because of a non-compete clause. During that waiting period she did what all anchors do, Leigh Ann got a tummy tuck that resulted in a frightening turn of events. “During surgery or immediately after, something happened and I woke up and couldn’t talk,” she told her new morning show audience on Monday. “They think it was from the intubation. For days I met with doctors and cried. This had been my dream. Take an arm or take a leg but not the voice. I was on top of the world because I was offered this job. It will get better. It’s starting to get better.” She started her new assignment on Monday at Star 102.1/fm (KDGE) … Former KNX newswoman Brooke Binkowski turns 40 next month. She thinks of it as a milestone year, but laments the clothes available to 40-year-olds. “Look at the style guides for woman my age and get depressed,” she wrote on FB. “I’ll just continue along my merry way dressing the same haphazard way I always have, thanks.” … Bill Reiter, former KLAC sports talk host, joins CBS Sports Radio later this month hosting his Reiter Than You … Top 40 fans who grew up with early rock ‘n roll lament the passing of Rosie Hamlin, lead singer on Angel Baby.  She was just 14 when she wrote the song. Art Laboe posted on his Facebook page: "Your signature song, #AngelBaby, we must have played a million times since it first came out. Your artistry and music has touched so many Rosie and you will be missed."

Carruthers Ends Incredible Run

(April 4, 2017) After 37 years and nearly 10,000 episodes, the award-winning radio feature Something You Should Know is about to air it’s last show on the radio on Friday, May 26, 2017. Creator and host Mike Carruthers says, “It is just not possible to continue given the climate and economics of network radio – at least for an independent producer like me.”

The daily, 90 second feature debuted in December 1979 on one radio station, WFTQ-AM in Worcester, Massachusetts. Since then the program has been broadcast on hundreds of radio stations all over the U.S. and Canada including KNX, WBZ-Boston, WBBM-Chicago and WDBO-Orlando. “Affiliate stations were notified last week and the response has been quite amazing,” says Carruthers.

Some samples:
• “SYSK has been a part of ALL our lives for nearly 40 years. We fully understand the economics of radio however; please know you will forever hold a place in Americana. Thank you for sharing your talents.” WZEP-Defuniak Springs, FL
•  “You've done a consistently excellent job and it's been a pleasure to be associated with you and your program for over 20 years.” WJZR-Rochester, NY  
•  “We are so sorry to hear the news. You've done good and interesting work; we are proud to carry it.” WLIS-New London, CT  
•  “Thank you for the years of providing a great feature. ‘Content is King’ and you sure proved that for 36 years.” WICC-Bridgeport, CT  

While the radio show is going away, Something You Should Know will live on as a long-form podcast. Launched last summer, the podcast version is already one of the top podcasts on iTunes, consistently ranking in the Top 100. “It’s going to feel weird to NOT do something I have been doing every day since 1979. But it has been a good run and it is time to go” concludes Carruthers. “I am very proud of the work I have done on the radio. The fact that it ran successfully for so long makes me feel great.”

Hear Ache 

(April 3, 2017) If you are listening to your favorite radio program this morning, on some stations you will be hearing new voices doing the traffic or your favorite voices are gone. CBS Radio dropped their barter-type relationship with Total Traffic, an iHeart company. Over the years it has been almost impossible to follow the different traffic services - Metro, Shadow, Airwatch, Radiate.

The best news in this current shuffle, "KFI in the Sky" is back with Jeff Baugh airborne dispensing a birds-eye view of the traffic during the Bill Handel morning drive show. Jeff moves to KFI from KNX where he had been doing double duty traffic since 2008. Prior to KNX, Jeff was with KFWB beginning in 1986. Mike O'Brien also moved from KNX to do afternoon traffic at KFI.

LARPs Playing it Forward 

(April 2, 2017) Former radio program director and cuurent television director, Jhani Kaye, joins NBC 4 weatherman Fritz Coleman and instructor Ruben Barron to introduce broadcast students to the real world experience of producing a television newscast at NBC Universal's broadcast center.

3 Years Ago Today 

Tomm Looney Finds New Avenues

(April 1, 2014) LARPs come from all sorts of different backgrounds and cultures. Many have dreams beyond radio – some want to be a sports broadcaster at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, while others  want to make the transition to tv. But one LARP wants to be in the movie business.

Tomm Looney, personality at all-Sports KLAC and partner with JT the Brick, is the executive producer of a new independently-financed movie. Now he is just beginning the daunting task of finding a distributor. The move is called Avenues, which refers to the tough part of Highland Park, and stars a primarily Latino cast. But Avenues has several meanings. "In addition to a film being based in 'The Avenues' area of Highland Park, this movie is about choices we make in life - 'avenues' we can take to change our lives. Sometimes we choose the right avenues, sometimes we do not," added Tomm.

One reviewer called the movie “groundbreaking.” The thing Tomm loves about the movie, “It's NOT a cliché urban pic.”

Tomm submitted Avenues for inclusion in the Sundance Film Festival and as he said, “came THISCLOSE to getting in.”

“Somebody there who was Latino and pissed at his colleagues for rejecting us,actually took the step of helping us out,” said Tomm. “We re-edited and then HBO selected us for their USA/Latino festival in San Diego.” The fortuitous move landed Avenues winner of Best Narrative Feature.

You can see the trailer by clicking the artwork.

Tomm is excited about the recent turn of events. “Things are looking up,” continued Looney. “At first I was counting my millions and rehearsing my Oscar speech. Now, I’m just hoping for success and earning my money back. I am stunned that this may soon be a reality."

What’s next? “On to Miami to HISPANICIZE, which is a South-by-Southwest type of affair for upwardly mobile Latinos.”


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