3rd Quarter - 2017

Compiled and Written by Don Barrett


Idol Producer on Why Seacrest Was Hired for Reboot

  (August 10, 2017) Cecile Frot-Coutaz, American Idol’s producer of the revival, was interviewed in The Hollywood Reporter and was asked why the negotiations to bring back Ryan Seacrest lasted nearly two months. “It was always going to happen,” said Frot-Coutaz. “It’s hard for Ryan. He’s on the East Coast now and had to figure out how to make it work, but he’s the hardest-working man in show business, so there will be some flying back and forth. But, as I said, it was always going to happen. He’s the face of Idol."

THR: Idol creator Simon Fuller has said that Seacrest is the show’s ‘single most important element.’ Is there one essential piece?
Frot-Coutaz: It would be very strange to make American Idol without Ryan, but the danger is to forget that it’s the contestants that make the show. The key factor to a successful season is finding the right contestants.

Even though the producers are very generous in their praise of Seacrest and claim the contestants are the key to success, they are spending $25 million on Katy Perry as a judge.  

Not So Gentle on the Times

(August 10, 2017) The death of Glen Campbell generated many memories from radio people. Trades, mainstream press and tv stations paid their respects with feature stories, but a story in the LA Times created a flurry of emails.

The story in the Times: "His big breakthrough came in 1967 when his recording of the John Hartford tune Gentle On My Mind hit the #1 spot on the Country charts and the Billboard Top 40 and earned Campbell a Grammy."
"The way this is written, one could think it hit #1 on both the Country charts AND the Billboard Top 40 but no, it did place in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 but peaked at #39 in 1968 upon its SECOND release," wrote Bruce Chandler. "In 1967, the year the article is referring to, the tune's first release, it only peaked at #62. There's a HUGE DIFFERENCE between #1 and #62!!  Although very recognizable, it was only a mid-to-low charter on the Billboard Hot 100 TWICE!

Steve Thompson, a frequent contributor to LARadio, wrote to say that Gentle on My Mind didn't reach #1 on either the Top 40 or Country charts. "On the Country chart, the song reached #30 in 1967 and #44 when it was re-released in 1968," wrote Thompson. "

Bruce concluded: "That's how FAKE NEWS is made..." 

Reader Has Idea for Oldies K-SURF

(August 9, 2017) It's true, if the Oldies format on 1260AM is to go to the next level and take on a personality of it's own, it should be time after several months to hire live/local on-air talent and have station ID's/bumpers professionally produced [Johnny Mann singers?]. Enough of 'oldies are new again...'

To this point anyway, it's nothing more than a juke box - JACK/fm has more personality.

Also the TOH ID is outdated, it indicates the station is available on KKGO HD-2, which I believe is actually a stream of public Classical station KDFC from San Francisco - which is run by KUSC. I wonder how much attention in-house is really being paid to this format. Thank you." - Greg Wood, West Hills

Hear Ache

(August 9, 2017) KLAC's David Vassegh made the front page of the LA Times earlier this month, but what is wrong with this picture? David's reference in the story about new player, Yu Darvish. " ... a smiling David Vassegh, the host of the postgame talk show on the team's flagship radio station." No reference to KLAC. What a shame for this opportunity lost. With the massive black-out of Dodger games on tv, KLAC is the only place to listen. Perhaps this helps explain the station languishing in 31st place in the most recent ratings ... Chris Leary, former high-powered jock on KIIS, exited his co-hosting chores at Great Day, Washington after two years ... Former KFWB Top 40 jock Earl McDaniel managed the Champs (Tequila). It was Earl who brought Glen Campbell from Arizona to work with the Champs. RIP, Glen, at the age of 81 ... "Radio ain't what it used to be," emailed Roger Carroll. "Nothing yet on 99.1 Disney Country?" Nope ... Congratulations to sports guy Joe Grande on his 7th wedding anniversary ... Andy Barber, personality at BOB 92.9 in Tulsa, put out on his Facebook page that he was leaving. "Too much pressure all about this 50 years live radio thing," he wrote. The day wasn't over yet when Andy revealed that the Bob format was leaving but that he would be staying for the new Classic Hits format. His fans were delighted to find out it was a flipping spoof ... Oakland Raiders football broadcasts will be carried on KDAY. PD Adrian Scott declares that, “KDAY is the perfect [radio] home for the Raiders in Los Angeles. Hip-hop fans are the most passionate Raiders’ fans in Southern California and we are thrilled to continue to be the exclusive fm radio station delivering the Oakland Raiders.” The Raiders’ radio team consists of Greg Papa and former Raiders quarterback (1960 - 1966) and head coach (1979 - 1987) Tom Flores. 

Morning Has Broken

(August 8, 2017) The morning drive numbers in the just-released July '17 PPM ratings show an across the board sweep for Valentine at MY/fm (KBIG). The Hot AC station was #1 AGAIN (scroll down) and Valentine achieved such success it would probably be a while back before we found another personality accomplishing it. (Photo: Valentine appearing with the women of
The Talk)
Persons 12+

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. Bill Handel (KFI)
3. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
4. News Team (KNX)
5. Pat Prescott (KTWV)
Persons 18-34

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. The Woody Show (KYSR)
3. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
4. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
5. Mega Morning Show (KXOL)
Persons 25-54

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
3. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
4. Mega Morning Show (KXOL)
5. The Woody Show (KYSR)
5. (t) Jack (KCBS)

KBIG Scores BIG in July '17 Ratings 

(August 7, 2017) KBIG just keeps getting the stack of #1 monthly finishes taller, as they did in the just-released July '17 PPM, Persons 6+, Mon-Sun, 6a-12m. All-News KNX fell out of the Top 10, perhaps the "Trump effect" that had helped so many news stations earlier this year is beginning to lose its effect. KYSR (Alt 98-7) and KROQ virtually tied in the Alternative category, while Sports KLAC and KSPN dead even. The two Classic Rock stations, KSWD (100.3/The Sound) and KLOS are within two-tenths of a point of each other. Oldies K-SURF (KSUR) boogie boarded to impressive launch numbers, but this month the station failed to crack the Top 40 station listings. Perhaps it is time to insert some personality and promotion between the hits.

1. KBIG (MY/fm) 5.8 - 6.1
2. KTWV (the WAVE) 5.4 - 5.3
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.1 - 4.8
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 5.0 - 4.7
     KOST (AC) 4.8 - 4.7
6. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.5 - 4.4
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.5 - 3.4
     KFI (Talk) 3.3 - 3.4
9. KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.9 - 3.1
10. KAMP (Top 40/M) 3.0 - 3.0
11. KNX (News) 3.3 -2.9
       KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.5 - 2.9
13. KKGO (Country) 2.8 - 2.8
      KKRL (Urban) 2.9 - 2.8
15. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 1.9 - 2.7
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.9 - 2.7
17. KROQ (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.5
      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.8 - 2.5
19. KSWD (Classic Rock) 2.7 - 2.4
20. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.6 - 2.3
21. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.3 - 2.2
22. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.6
       KXOS (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.6
24. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.5 - 1.4
       KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.6 - 1.4
       KPCC (News/Talk) 1.5 - 1.4
       KUSC (Classical) 1.5 - 1.4
28. KCRW (Variety) 1.5 - 1.2
       KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.3 - 1.2
30. KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.3 - 1.1
31. KLAC (Sports) 0.9 - 1.0
       KSPN (Sports) 1.0 - 1.0
33. KRLA (Talk) 1.0 - 0.9
34. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.8
35. KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.9 - 0.7
36. KABC (Talk) 0.6 - 0.6
       KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.5 - 0.6
      KFWB (Regional Mexican ) 0.6 - 0.6
39. KKJZ (Jazz) 0.5 - 0.5
       KWKW (Spanish Sports) 0.4 - 0.5

Airchecks Needed 

(August 7, 2017) "Currently I’m working with some friends on a documentary film about that legendary period at KPPC from 1968-71, and am hoping that you, or someone in your vast network of LARadio contacts would have some knowledge about the existence of airchecks or other original broadcast audio from the station?

We have interviewed most of the dj’s from that period including, Susan Carter, Steven Segal, Barry Hanson, The Credibility Gap, Dave Pierce, Elliot Mintz, Don Hall, Raechel Donahue, Jeff Gonzer, and others, but have very little actual broadcast audio from this era, and the dj’s we’ve been in touch with haven't been able to supply much more than memories.

I’m afraid that without more of that original material it will be very difficult to convey the unique character of the station and its contribution to LARadio culture to an audience today. I’m hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction to unearth some of the audio treasure that I know must be buried out there somewhere. Your website is an extraordinary resource that I only heard about today when I was discussing this project with Carole Hemingway, who immediately mentioned your name and said you would be the best place to go to further my quest.

As an LA native, I’m excited to look further into this site and thank you so much for putting it together; hope to hear back from you soon." - David Gaines 818/522-9040

Carson Daly Out ... Who is In at AMP Radio? 

(August 7, 2017) As CBS/LA prepares for their merger with Entercom (note that Entercom will be calling the shots once the merger is approved), there has been some local reorganization. Chris Ebbott, currently pd at K-EARTH, will also oversee Top 40 station 97.1 AMP (KAMP). The first major decision Chris will have is to fill the morning slot, recently vacated by Carson Daly (l), who resigned on July 27.

Daly said he did not come to this decision easily, saying, “for me to be on every morning in my hometown, to be able to talk to you guys, it’s literally been the greatest. I just want to have breakfast with my kids.” Jerry Del Colliano, publisher of Inside Music Media doesn’t think that Carson quit his radio show to spend more time with his family. “Dan Mason hired Daly to go head to head with Ryan Seacrest on KIIS. Daly is a big salary, and any CBS employee who has a big salary knows Entercom is coming to take them away.”

It has been no secret that Carson’s morning drive numbers have been disappointing to the CBS brass across all demographics. In tv, he is the fair-haired boy at the Today Show and is being groomed to eventually replace Matt Lauer. Last month during Matt's vacation, Carson sat in the anchor chair.

Back to Ebbott, what kind of a morning show is he looking for? “I’m looking all across the country for either an established show or individuals that we can put together,” emailed Chris. “I'm actually in Atlanta at Morning Show Boot Camp talking to everyone who will talk to me.  :)”
Ebbott is well-liked at CBS/LA. His boss, svp of programming Kevin Weatherly, had been AMP’s pd. “Chris and Kevin are masterful program directors at the top of their field,” said Dan Kearney, head of the LA cluster. “This move will further strengthen 97.1 AMP, making it a standout Top 40 competitor in Los Angeles, while boosting the overall performance of our entire cluster.”

“Chris is an established programmer and has done an amazing job with KRTH the past few years,” added Weatherly. “His experience and leadership make him the perfect choice to take on the day-to-day programming responsibilities at AMP Radio”

LaLa & Carmelo Anthony
Are the actress (former middays at KKBT, the Beat from 1999-2002), 38, and NBA player, 33 reconciling?
A month after the Power star told Wendy Williams they weren't divorcing 'right now,'
the athlete tweeted a photo of his wife, with whom he shares son Kiyan, 10. - People Magazine, 8.14.17

Email Saturday
** Bill Smith's Passing

"Thank you, again, for being the conduit to the past, present and in many ways the future of radio. But for I would never have heard the sad news of the passing of Bill Smith

I only knew Bill from seeing him on television, but remember him well as being fun as well as informative and so likeable. Without you I, and I’m sure many others, wouldn’t have had an opportunity to say goodbye to someone who brought many hours of joy into our lives and for a few minutes at a time gave us a welcome break from the pressures of everyday life. 

Thanks Don, thanks Bill." - Mike Wick

** Big Nasty Missed

"I was just perusing thru your website LARadio, and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your entry on Joe McDonnell, the 'Big Nasty.'

I moved to LA from Charlotte in '99 when I got married. I enjoy sports talk radio, and immediately grew attached to Joe and the McDonnell-Douglas show. Those two were so cool, and so well-connected and knowledgeable. If it was LA sports, Joe & Doug were in the know. I really enjoyed that radio show, and really was disappointed when Joe had his medical issues and was unemployed. What a great talent. He will be missed.

Thanks for your very inspiring and very poignant entry on Big Joe." - Ed Price, Valencia

Morning Has Broken

(July 13, 2017) If you are The Woody Show or Valentine you are sitting atop of the morning drive ratings in the June '17 PPM. Some of you have asked about other wake-up people beyond the Top 5. In Persons 12+: Gary Bryan at K-EARTH is 7th; Ellen K at KOST is 8th; Andy Chanley at The Sound came in 14th; at 15th there is a tie with KKGO's Graham Bunn and KLOS' Heidi, Frosty & Frank; Big Boy is 18th at KRRL; Steve Harvey ranks 21st at KJLH; at 23rd is Carson Daly at AMP Radio; J Cruz is 26th at KPWR; Dan Patrick at KLAC and Doug McIntyre at KABC are tied at 34th 

Persons 12+

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. News Team (KNX)
3. Pat Prescott (KTWV)
    Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
5. Bill Handel (KFI)
Persons 18-34

1. The Woody Show (KYSR)
2. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
3. Valentine (MY/fm)
4. Mega Morning Show (KXOL)
5. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
Persons 25-54

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

Former KABC Sports Talker Lisa Bowman Publishes Shattered Peacock 

(July 13, 2017) I just ordered Shattered Peacock by Lisa Bowman (DiVita). Can’t wait for its arrival. Lisa is one of my very favorite LARP personalities who is so multi-talented. Shattered Peacock: A Story of Life and Revolution is a fictional novel based on real political events that happened in Iran and Persian society in the 1970s. Although the characters and their stories are fictional, the novel is set against the non-fictional.

From the Amazon website: Feel the Iranian Revolution choking the life out of Iran's long succession of Persian kings. Learn about the brutal, subsequent rule of Ayatollah Khomeini and how Sharia law changed the character of Iran, even as it walled off Western influence. Today, Iran's theocratic Islamic government stands on the brink of nuclear capability, and is a major sponsor of worldwide terrorism. Shattered Peacock recounts how it came to be. 

I hope you will support Lisa’s efforts. Check it out at Amazon under the name Lisa DiVita.


Bingenheimer to Satellite. Longtime KROQ personality Rodney Bingenheimer, who left the alternative rock station last May, will resurface as host of a new weekly music show on Sirius/XM’s “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” channel (21) beginning this Sunday night at 6 p.m. "Rodney was one of my first calls when I started the channel," Van Zandt said. "We are honored to have him. This is where he belongs!"

Listen to Alt and You’ll Get a Woody. If you look at the morning drive numbers published here, there is a new name that has been on top of 18-34 demographics and strong 25-54 for the last few months, and that is the Woody Show on ALT-98.7 (KYSR). When Jeff “Woody” Fife arrived in the Southland from successful runs in St. Louis and San Francisco, apparently there were too many people telling the Woody cast how to do their show. “The first nine months were really rough,” admitted Fife. ‘We inherited 22nd place and we were up against legends like Kevin & BeanRyan Seacrest, and Big Boy. There were 1,000 chefs and no one was talking to each other.”

In a recent rant on the KYSR website, Fyfe said the Woody Show looked like career suicide, and on paper it shouldn’t have worked. “I was professionally horny but I knew we had something.” But he can’t explain the success.

At the iHeartMedia Christmas party a year and a half ago, the rumor was that 98.7fm was going Country. “Woody” shared the information with his audience and asked for support and help so the station wouldn’t dump their current format. “People said I shouldn’t go public because they would fire me. I figured if they went Country, they would fire me anyway.”

Well, everything started turning around, so much so that iHeart has given the Woody Show a 5 year contract, which will take them to the end of 2022.

“I can’t explain the success. The show has evolved. We knew we had something.”

New News. KNX program director Ken Charles send a note that nominations for 2017 Marconi Awards are in. “LA is well represented with KNX up for two, one against KIIS for Legendary Station of the year and KRTH is up for one after winning last year for ‘Classic Hits station of the Year.’”

Transistor ListeningTom Patterson shared a note on his Facebook page after attending a game at Dodger Stadium. “After 46 years of coming to Dodger games with a transistor radio listening to Vin Scully do the play by play, KLAC AM 570 has finally found a way to ruin the experience at the ballpark. Just recently they changed or added some digital equipment into their signal path and now there is a 3-4 second delay in the audio. This totally screws up watching the game live and hearing the play by play. Digital technology is NOT always better. KLAC, please put back the old reliable analog equipment. Can I get a ‘Whoo-ya’ or an ‘Amen’ from my fellow broadcasting peers? Howard FineBarry VictorRichard Rudman, help me out buddies!”

KBIG #1 AGAIN in June 2017

(July 12, 2017) KBIG is B-I-G for another month, as the Hot AC station comes in #1 in the June PPM 6+ 6a-mid, Mon-Sun. Here is how your favorite station fared:

1. KBIG (MY/fm) 5.8 - 5.8
2. KTWV (The WAVE) 5.3 - 5.4
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.8 - 5.1
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.8 - 5.0
5. KOST (AC) 4.7 - 4.8
6. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.1 - 3.5
    KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.6 - 3.5
8. KFI (Talk) 3.4 - 3.3
     KNX (News) 3.4 - 3.3
10. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.7 - 3.0
11. KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.9 - 2.9
      KRRL (Urban) 2.7 - 2.9
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.9 - 2.9
14. KKGO (Country) 2.8 - 2.8
      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.7 - 2.8
16. KSWD (Classic Rock) 2.9 - 2.7
17. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 3.1 - 2.6
18. KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.4 - 2.5
19. KROQ (Alternative) 2.2 - 2.4
20. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.1 - 2.3
21. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 1.8 - 1.9
22. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.8 - 1.7
       KXOS (Regional Mexican) 2.0 - 1.7
24. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.8 - 1.6
25. KCRW (Variety) 1.4 - 1.5
      KJLH (Urban AC) 1.6 - 1.5
      KPCC (News/Talk) 1.7 - 1.5
      KUSC (Classical) 1.5 - 1.5
29. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.3 - 1.3
      KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.1 - 1.3
31. KRLA (Talk) 1.0 - 1.0
      KSPN (Sports) 0.9 - 1.0
33. KLAC (Sports) 0.9 - 0.9
       KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 1.1 - 0.9
35. KEIB (Talk) 0.9 - 0.8
36. KABC (Talk) 0.7 - 0.6
       KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.6 - 0.6
38. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.5
       KKJZ (Jazz) 0.5 - 0.5
       KSUR (Oldies) 0.5 - 0.5

More on Bill Smith

(July 12, 2017) Sam Rubin did a marvelous tribute to Bill Smith when KTLA remembered their late colleague, Deadspin linked the video. And here's a transcript of what Sam said:

A few other things about Bill Smith. We’ve gone through a variety of different owners and managers (at KTLA) and right now, at this moment, we’re really lucky with great management. We did not, in 2007, when a dopey billionaire purchased the company and hired a group of pirates and bandits to run it, including a news consultant who was the devil himself. This consultant would fly from TV station to TV station with crazy directives, including hit lists, people at each station he didn’t know, who he decided just to get rid of, for basically no reason. To our great shame and detriment, Bill Smith was on that hit list. He left KTLA in 2008, a huge loss to all of us. Of course, that news consultant no longer works in television, having been justifiably fired from our company during a different period of turmoil. So even at the end of his time here, Bill Smith got the rawest possible deal, (yet) anytime I saw him, always nice, always upbeat, deeply in love with his terrific wife, and very proud of his son who like Bill, shared a real passion for aviation. There’s a quality, this trait, that’s increasingly rare these days. Bill Smith was a true broadcaster. He could really do anything, and he could communicate to a big, and appreciative audience, virtually any kind of story. From the birth of (KTTV’s) MetroNews MetroNews to his always great work here, Boy, I will miss Bill Smith. Very sorry to hear this yesterday.

One additional note: Smith died of Alzheimer's, KTLA's Eric Spillman said his family welcomes donations to the Alzheimer's Association in Bill's name to help research efforts in treating this disease.

** Interned for Bill Smith

"I was lucky enough to know Bill Smith at age 13 while working as an intern at KNJO in Thousand Oaks. What a kind person he was. Always positive and always funny. I was a bit star struck when I saw him reporting on the KTLA Morning News. Bill had no ego, he was just great at what he did, and was always kind when he did it. RIP." - Justin Michael, Technical Director, Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx Premiere Networks I iHeartMedia

Bill Smith, Veteran of Local Radio and Television, Has Died 

(July 11, 2017) Bill Smith, a veteran of KGIL (1970-76), KABC (1980-90), and KNJO (1996), died yesterday at the age of 74.

An Army “brat” whose youth was spent globe-trotting with his U.S. Army parents, beginning school in Japan and finishing in Germany, Bill’s entire broadcasting career was in Los Angeles. Bill began as a news reporter at KGIL, became nd and eventually took over morning drive when Sweet Dick Whittington left the station after a long and successful run. During the “Whittington” years, Bill was the “mystery voice” of the character Harrison Hollywood, a popular parody of Hollywood reporters.

As a licensed pilot, Bill often flew the KGIL Skywatch plane reporting on freeway traffic. This led to his first stint on KABC. Following KGIL, Bill spent ten years as reporter and anchor on KTTV/Channel 11, anchoring the station’s “Today-like show” noontime newscast. During his decade at KABC, he worked as regular fill-in (with Eric Tracy) for the popular morning team, Ken Minyard and Bob Arthur. He also teamed with Wink Martindale for an afternoon drive program.

After KTTV, Bill spent three years at KCBS/Channel 2 and then went to KTLA/Channel 5. “Even though I have won various awards for ‘best TV reporter,’ my heart remains with radio.” At KNJO, Bill was teamed with co-host Kirby Hanson, billing themselves as a “low budget Regis and Kathie Lee” in an experiment to see if talk radio would work on a “very local” level. “All was proceeding well until gm Steve Angel (longtime friend from the KGIL days) died of leukemia and the station was sold.” For a time Bill free-lanced for “KNXNewsradio.”

KNX Wins Edward R. Murrow Award 

(July 11, 2017) KNX has won the prestigious 2017 RTNDA National Edward R. Murrow Award. Anchored by Chris Sedens and Linda Nunez, KNX was honored for their coverage of the June 1, 2016 shooting and lockdown of the UCLA campus. This is the station's first national award in almost half a century. Sedens and Nunez were joined by reporters Ed Mertz, Cooper Rummell, Jon Baird, Claudia Peschiutta, Charles Feldman, plus traffic anchor Thom Tran.

In other news, Greg Hardison sent some unrelated small-bites of information: "1) Ironic that you should display a WMEX survey. Just last Friday (7/7), WMEX-Boston went dark in anticipation of a 'new owner' - but nothing's been announced anywhere about that, as of yet. Their last format was right-wing talk, but they'd been playing Oldies during night hours. With their directional pattern, WMEX was regularly received in Ireland and the U.K.  2)  Exchanged some nice notes with K.M.Richards, regarding KABC's vaunted 'power increase.' K.M.'s assessment of the situation was right on the mark.  3)  Your upper-right-hand corner photos and cartoons are absolutely priceless! They just get better & better."

Hear Ache. After 67 seasons as the play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the legendary Vin Scully will be presented with the Icon Award at The 25th ESPYS. The honor is given to individuals whose careers have left a lasting impression on the sports world; actor Bryan Cranston will make the presentation to Scully ... Scott Herman was a big name at CBS Radio, COO, and he will not be part of the new merged Entercom/CBS. Gone.

Hear Ache 

(July 10, 2017) While listening to KNX yesterday morning, a commercial for Sit ‘n Sleep aired promoting a July 4th/Independence Day sale. Wasn’t that last Tuesday? You might think that more attention would be paid to such a prolific advertiser … Speaking of KNX and the merger of parent company CBS and Entercom, the earliest date for approval is apparently September 2017. From a number of reports, the new Entercom and CBS will have to sell one fm station in LA. Consequently, we hear that KSWD (100.3/The Sound) has already been sold / traded /swapped, but the announcement has been delayed until Entercom can extract the LA Rams radio rights and move the games to a CBS fm station, maybe KCBS (JACK/fm) … Claude Hall, an editor at Billboard Magazine during the early days of Top 40 Radio, has died. Radio fans followed his weekly gossip column for years. The column was recently resurrected at, hosted by Rollye James. She devotes this morning’s entire column to memories of Claude. I admired Hall from afar. A few years ago I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with him at his Las Vegas home. We consumed his favorite beverage, Diet Pepsi, while sharing stories about LA radio personalities, but mostly we shared about our sobriety journey. RIP, my friend … “Claude was a wonderful man who helped me a lot when I started my custom belt buckle business, JSL Enterprises,” said Jeffrey Leonard. “In the July 4, 1976 issue of Billboard, Claude wrote a piece about me in Vox Jox. It provided me a lot of new customers. I never forgot about him and stayed in touch. Claude will always be part of our family” … There’s a new on-air lineup at Top 40/R-San Diego outlet KSSX (Jam’n 95.7) that includes Nina Chantele as middayer. She also hosts afternoons on Urban KRRL (Real 92.3) … Didja know that Charlie Tuna spelled his name “Tunah” at the beginning of his career. The WMEX survey is from Jeffrey Leonard’s collection. “Early on, Charlie was afraid he would get sued for using the name,” emailed Leonard, who puts together the wonderful bi-annual radio reunions at Fuddruckers … Anniversaries galore: KPCC's Susanne Whatley and her new hubby David celebrate their first year anniversary; KABC’s Doug McIntyre and Penny Peyser celebrate 15 years together; Brad Samuel, former gm at KYSR, married Tanya Kuhn 10 years ago; Jim Duncan and his wife Judy racked up 48 years married. Yay to all ... Peter Oda, son of senior correspondent Alan Oda, turns 16 today. When asked about his son's birthday, Alan's immediate response: "Clear the roads!"

Payne in the Butt

(July 9, 2017) Longtime Fox Business Network host and former KFI Talk show host, Charles Payne, has been suspended from Fox after a frequent guest on the network reportedly accused him of sexual harassment.

Fox has been exposed to a variety of sexual misconduct claims over the past year. Payne, who hosts the nightly personal finance show Making Money, will remain off the air pending an investigation. Last week  the National Enquirer published an article in which Payne admitted to carrying on a three-year “romantic relationship” with a married female political analyst who was a regular guest on Fox Business, and apologized to his wife, children and friends. 

Payne “categorically denies” claims that he sexually harassed the woman. Payne, a former Wall Street analyst, joined Fox Business as a contributor during its launch in 2007 and regularly appears as a guest on Fox News Channel shows. Last month, he re-signed a multiyear contract to continue hosting Making Money, which launched in 2014 and went on to become a top-rated show in the 6 p.m. time slot.

Email Saturday
** Passing of Claude Hall

"This hurts. As a newcomer to Los Angeles Radio in the 70’s and early ‘80s this widely circulated and hugely respected radio writer wrote complimentary things about me and/or the stations for which I worked. Publicly, I was humbled. Personally, I was exhilarated. And his observations helped to keep me focused wherever I’ve worked in whatever format ever since those halcyon years.

In this sense I owe whatever success I’ve enjoyed in a large way to Claude Hall. My appreciation goes to my former KZLA colleague, Rollye James, for the partnership and support you have given to Claude and this radio community as well. Thank you, Claude. God bless you, Claude. May your family find some comfort and peace in your giving spirit, too." - Mike Sakellarides


** KABC Power

"The power increase for KABC probably wasn't worth mentioning, Don, because it was only an adjustment made to replicate the old coverage patterns from the old La Cienega site at the new KWKW diplex site. From an engineering standpoint, it was a big 'ho-hum' and it isn't gaining them any listeners they didn't already have. Hope David Alpert will be less 'surprised' now." - K.M. Richards



Commercial Loads

"If radio advertising is effective, why are there so many unsold spots on radio stations in which I'm told radio advertising is effective? Very best regards." - David Bernhart, Simi Valley

LARP Summer Reading

I have enjoyed reading the semi autobiography from Michael Nesmith InfiniteTuesday. Nesmith has a very creative way of writing.  He is very intelligent, unlike his character on the old Monkees tv show.  

The book talks about the juggernaut of the Monkees in 1966 and how radio and television worked in tandem to launch America's answer to the Beatles. The Monkees revolt from Don Kirshner and the powers that be in 1967 are told in a funny and witty manor. 

Michael was on the ground floor of Country Rock.  And Nesmith also was one of the founders on MTV.  

This is not a 'tell all' autobiography, but a unique insight into 60's media. As with any teen idol, it goes up and falls just as quickly. Michael Nesmith has survived the journey with humor and insight." - Jeff Gehringer,  Astor Broadcast Group & Astor Classics

For the past two and a half years, I’ve been writing a book on kids show and quiz show host and producer Jack Barry, who also owned 93.5 KKOP (later KFOX) from 1968 to 1979.  Covering his forty year career from Juvenile Jury to The Joker’s Wild, I’ve had the privilege to interview LARPs Wink Martindale, John Hart and Howard Day along with about ten others who knew Jack both personally and professionally including tv personalities Monty Hall and Jim Peck.  They were all very friendly and had wonderful stories to share.  

I was wondering if anyone in the LARP community worked with or for Jack Barry during his days at KTLA Channel 5 in the early 1960s and/or during his ownership of WGMA in Hollywood, Florida. If anyone would like to share their memories of Jack during that or any other period for the book, I can be reached at" - Josh Jacobs, Technical Producer of Middays with Sam, Lunchtime with Kevin & Taylor, KeepTheFaith 95.9 the fish – KFSH


I am tackling several books this summer (in addition to my usual reading of magazines and newspapers)

1/  James Bond:  The Secret History by Sean Egan

2/  My Happy Days in Hollywood by Garry Marshall

3/  The Magic Window: American Television  1939-53 by James Von Schilling

4/  Line of Sight:  Klaus Landsberg-His Life and Vision by Evelyn De Wolfe and George Lewis

5/  Complete Dick Tracy volume 22 by Chester Gould

Thanks for opportunity to share books." - David Schwartz

Hear Ache

(July 6, 2017) Not too often do we get to see radio people featured on tv. Last weekend, KABC’s Doug McIntyre was interviewed on KNBC 4’s News Conference ... Jeff and the Showgram are gone from KYXY, according to Ken Leighton of the San Diego Reader. “A longtime radio powerhouse was unceremoniously escorted out the door after nearly 30 years as a top-rated local morning show,” wrote Leighton. “According to insiders, the Jeff and the Showgram ensemble were told they needed to attend a KYXY sales meeting immediately after their Tuesday, June 27 morning show.” It turned out the meeting was to escort the crew of four out the door with no opportunity to tell their listeners goodbye on the air. The Entercom/CBS merger is just months away and firings are going on all over the country, from talent to sales to management. “This one hurt,” Jeff Detrow told his fans on Friday on social media. “We didn’t see this coming…I’m afraid.” Originally, Detrow was teamed with Jerry Cesak and led the “Jeff and Jer” six person team on the now defunct KKYY (Y-95) in 1988. The top-rated show was heard across the San Diego dial before leaving KMYI (Star 94.1) in 2009. After podcasting for two years, four members of the original team re-emerged on KYXY in 2011 … Salem Media Group was certified as a “great workplace” on June 28, 2017 by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work. “According to our study, 84 percent of Salem Media Group employees say it is a great workplace,” says Sarah Lewis-Kulin, vp of Great Place to Work Certification & List Production … Game Show Network will have a week of $25,000 Pyramid’s from 1983 coming up for broadcast the week of July 17th with Jerry Bishop as the show announcer, who was filling in for regular announcer Jack Clark ... Coverage of the MLB All-Star Game begins Monday, July 10, with a special edition of The Herd hosted by Colin Cowherd live from Marlins Park ... KLAC's Vic the Brick is back on the air following his fight against cancer. He wrote on Facebook: "Mad love to everyone for welcoming me back to the airwaves. Good vibes run amok in our ciudad. Honored and humbled. Feelin' all of you!"

Saul Levine, owner of KKGO (Go Country 105/fm), is thrilled with Week 3 of the PPM, 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12m
KKGO received at 3.0 share and a cume approaching 1.5 million

In light of new competition from Radio Disney Country (99.1/fm and 1110 AM), Saul calls KKGO "LA's only Country Radio station."
          "In our tenth year and getting stronger. Congrats to pd Michael Levine and his team for making
          LA Country Radio History," emailed Saul.

KROQ General Manager to Mayor of Santa Monica

by Kevin McKeown

(July 5, 2017) While attending Yale University, Kevin McKeown worked at the campus station as music director and disc jockey. After college he worked for a series of Hartford/New Haven stations. In the Southland, Kevin became general manager at KROQ from 1976-78. After he left KROQ Kevin was a voiceover talent, creative director of JAM Advertising and owned L.A. RadioWorks studio in Santa Monica. He was executive producer of "Hollywood Niteshift" radio show with Phil Austin and Frazer Smith. His journey into politics is amazing. I asked Kevin to tell his story in his own words:
Coming out of public high school as a physics major with a scholarship, I was curious about the electronics at Yale’s campus radio station. I ended up on the air as a rock jock, majoring in radio. Unfortunately for me, Yale didn’t offer a broadcasting degree. We turned Yale’s WYBC/fm, with a signal that covered most of southern Connecticut, from an “educational” station into one of the very first progressive rockers. Meanwhile, because most AM radio pros in the 60s believed no one listened to fm, I was able to paycheck as a boss jock at New Haven’s then-powerhouse WNHC. (Photo on the right is Kevin astride an elephant [and evidently enjoying it] during a WNHC promotion welcoming the Ringling Bros. Circus to town)


As FM Rock took over, I pulled a majority share (52%) of men 18-34 on WPLR, to this day the Classic Rock station in New Haven, then moved to San Diego to work with Ron Jacobs at Billboard’s 1974 station of the year, KGB/fm. I’ve lived in Santa Monica over 40 years now, coming here to run KROQ, where I ended up as general manager back when KROQ was quirkily and unpredictably free-form. KROQ ownership shifted, paychecks bounced, and I moved into the realm where radio creativity still paid the rent, advertising. 

In the 80s I was the voice on many of the rock lifestyle radio spots in L.A., including staples like Guitar Center, University Stereo, and Laserium. I owned a radio production studio on Santa Monica’s Main Street, where I produced “The History of San Francisco Rock” with Raechel Donahue for KFOG. There came a moment in the 90s when I realized my personal and political values were demanding expression. I took a job (still in tech) as Apple computer consultant for our local public school district, and a few years later ran for Santa Monica City Council, where I’m now in my fifth term, including time as Mayor. My Santa Monica Council meetings have been live on KCRW every other Tuesday night for almost two decades, the longest radio gig of my career.  

  The memories of my early radio days are still vivid: following Lee Baby Sims on the air to do overnights at WPOP in Hartford during the summer of love ('WPOP, your five-thousand watt flower pot'), then driving like mad to fire up the transmitter for my AM drive show at a suburban New Haven daytimer … showing up for my airshift one day to find my replacement in the studio, with no advance warning from management … racing to a radio station's bank not knowing if the owners had enough in the account to cover the entire payroll … and like any radio veteran, I got to know where to find the unemployment benefits office in every town where I worked. Better than just memories, I have tapes. I’ve posted a sampler at for readers. (Photo taken in 2015 when Kevin was mayor and there was an official visit to Santa Monica’s sister city of Fujinomiya, Japan.

LARP Summer Reading

Seeing his name, his books, and movies made from his books for years, I thought it was time to explore the author Dennis Lehane. So I started with his first one, A Drink Before the War. Truly its own noir, the author is truly gifted in taking us into another world of crime and conspiracy.

I have a feeling this may be a Dennis Lehane summer at the beach for me. - Fran Summers

Summer Reading

What books are you reading this summer? Would you like to share your favorite book with other readers of LARadio?

Send info to

5 Years Ago Today

"We sat here for 25 years at one set of call letters and never had to cross town. We competed in the second largest radio market in America, lasted for 25 years and leave on our own terms.
I will never, ever, not be proud of that.” - Mark Thompson


(July 2, 2012) The final chapter in this series revolving around the resignation of Mark Thompson (l) after 25 years together at KLOS could be called the ending but knowing Mark, his future endeavors hold the promise of wonderment and new beginnings.

How management will treat the time between now and August 17th is anyone’s guess. Since making the announcement last week, the program director at KLOS – Jack Silver – has already been let go with no hint from current management what will happen to the remaining partner, Brian Phelps. There have been hints of progress in the negotiations.

Mark had a dream about being successful in radio and he has exceeded all of his expectations. “I realized my dream,” Mark told me during our recent lunch at L’Ermitage. “When I was 16 I first got into radio Friday and Saturday nights from midnight to 6 a.m. while going to high school. I listened to bootleg tapes of WLS-Chicago, WABC-New York and 10Q in Los Angeles. Radio is what I was dreaming about. I heard the tapes of these jocks and they sounded so good and I made myself a promise that I would make it all the way and sound as good as they did. I take the fulfillment of that dream not with a grain of salt, but with pride and joy.”

He had lots of people to thank for his success. “I thank all those people who gave of themselves for all those years and worked hard to make the morning show as great as it is. We still work every day making it as great as we can. I just can’t ask for any more than that. I just can’t.”

Mark is moving into the next phase of his life, which is still undefined, but he is clear that it will not be connected with the word, ‘retirement.’ Whenever Mark would take the family on vacation, for example, to Hawaii, he was never the guy lying on the beach reading a book. “I just can’t do it,” he confessed. He said he was more like the Rodney Dangerfield joke, ‘I would take a vacation, but I’m there.’ I need to be busy. I’m a worker bee. I need a chore. I’ve got to be creative and then I’m happy.”

The long journey of “always” having a job started for Mark when he had an 18-mile paper route for the Birmingham News at 4 in the morning. There has been one common denominator from delivering the Birmingham News to being a bellhop at Holiday Inn to radio, he has always worked for someone else until he wrote, produced and starred in his first movie, Mother Ghost. “I never made money at it but I had such a good time. When I did my second movie, 2:13, I lived at the Sofitel Hotel. Got up, did the radio show and was on the set by 11. My daughter was the TA. I worked until 11 at night, got a few hours’ sleep and would do it all over again. I was totally exhausted but was having such a wonderful time I never noticed.”

Chuck Moshontz played a key role in the early success of the Mark & Brian Show. “When we came to town – day one September 8, 1987 - it was literally just me and Brian in the room. I was running the board then and Brian is sitting across from me. We look over through the glass and there’s this guy sitting there with headphones on and he’s smiling. We wave at him. From the first moment of broadcast on day one, Chuck embraced us when there were people in the hallways wondering why management has brought in these idiots from Alabama. Chuck laughed, helped; he encouraged and he became a dear friend for ten years. He allowed us to get silly with him. I’ve never gotten over his leaving. When Chuck came back for our 20th anniversary, he used to do News & Views and just winged it from the newspaper and I almost cried. Losing someone as important as Chuck, you never get over that, but he had the balls to make a bold decision to leave everything he knew as a broadcaster and step out there as a therapist. Chuck is Chuck. Period. And one of the beautiful people in the world.”

Twenty five years as morning show partners must have created some difficulties over the years? “The Stern years were very difficult on both of us,” Mark confessed. “The one thing we were pretty good at and it came from Brian, ‘ Whatever I’m feeling, the only other person in the world that can know how I’m feeling is the other guy – the guy that sits across from you. No matter if we were angry with each other or waiting for tempers to cool, you realize you do have the one bond, that one thing nobody knows like you know. We always got to a point where we could talk it through and move on. How many married couples make it as long as we did?”

Mark has no idea what management has in store for the morning show. “There is a right formula to take what is left of the morning show, plug in a couple of pieces and still keep it cohesive. It can done. It has been done.”

For now, Mark’s hinting that his next project will be something he will once again immerse himself into and be fully in charge. “I don’t need the money to be successful. I will have a good time trying.”

“I will always remember that we sat here for 25 years at one set of call letters and never had to cross town. We competed in the second largest radio market in America, lasted for 25 years and leave on our own terms. I will never, ever, not be proud of that.”

As Mark prepares to end his time in L.A., you might want to share some memories with him or maybe just a thank you for the good times. Mark's email address is:

19 Years Ago Today 

(July 1, 1998) A living Southern California legend returns to morning drive this morning. Charlie Tuna (l) makes his way back to KIKF, a station he left earlier this year. Charlie will make the daily drive from his San Fernando Valley home to the city of Anaheim (nearby home of my alma mater, Chapman University) where KIKF’s new Country home is located. Once a broadcast line is installed in Charlie’s house (sometime next week), he won't have to get out of bed to go to work. Charlie knows everyone and hosts the syndicated "Weekly Top 30 Country Countdown" show. When the Judd family comes by to visit, Charlie will have to get dressed and his wife, Shari, will have to prepare breakfast and a big pot of coffee…Newest addition to Los Angeles Radio People fraternity officially begins this morning, Drew Hayes, pd at KABC. Wonder how long before his presence will be felt on and off the air? I’ll bet sooner, rather than later, maybe even "swifter" … Perhaps coinciding with KLOS’ involvement with promoting today’s movie opening of Armageddon, Aerosmith music has suddenly reappeared on the station. Hey, it’s a local band plus Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv is the flick…Speaking of KLOS, do you think Mark and Brian know where Eddie Van Halen lives? … The Queen Mary will be the site of a BIG KBIG 4th of July Disco Saturday Night party. Morning hosts Carolyn Gracie and Rick Diego will be hosting the firecracker special called "The BIG Red, White, and BOOM!" … Now that the Los Angeles Kings have moved their broadcast from XTRA/AM to KRLA, where will the Mighty Ducks go? Can KRLA air the Kings, Ducks, Angels and keep Huggie Boy happy? … Speaking of sports (do you miss Jim Healy’s half-hour as much as I do? At 5:30 I still reach for the radio to tune in his sports commentary show. ISSSS IT TRUE?), KCTD (One-On-One Sports at 1540AM) has been attempting to localize the Chicago feed. Before gm Bob Koontz left for KLOS, he hired nice guy sports guy Eric Tracy to do local commentary. The station has now added traffic and weather reports during morning and afternoon drive ... Former Los Angeles Radio People, Mother Love (KFI, KLSX, KACE, and KBIG), made an appearance this morning with Sam Rubin on KTLA's Morning Show to promote her syndicated tv show, Forgive or Forget.



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