Gingrich is a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
A Song For the Credibility Gap
|(May 29, 2018) Len Chandler celebrated
his 83rd birthday over the weekend. He was 1110/KRLA's resident
songwriter-musician who was part of the station’s legendary “Credibility
Gap” in the 1960s. He wrote fifteen new songs each week that parodied
the news of the day then sang these songs within the newscasts. Two days
after he arrived at KRLA, Robert Kennedy was killed. Len rushed to the
station to sing one of his first original songs: “Let us grieve for all
men who are felled by / The violence that sweeps through the land like a
Lew Irwin, creator of the Credibility Gap said that Len was the most talented singer/musician he has ever known. “He composed and performed more than a thousand songs in a little more than a year, some funny, some poignant, all of them an insightful commentary on the events of that turbulent and momentous year. It was perhaps the most exciting period of my life, and Len provided the musical soundtrack for it.”
In other news: Sad to report that record company legend Russ Regan passed away over the weekend … R Dub has re-signed with XHTZ & XHRM-San Diego as program director and afternoon drive in a new, multi-year deal. His new title is Supreme Commander, where he will continue to oversee the programming, strategy and branding of the company’s CHR, AC and Urban products … Garrison West of the newly merged 88.5 had successful hip replacement surgery. He should be back behind the microphone by June 5th … Loren Blumberg celebrated 35 years of marriage this week.
Howard Lapides is headed for Boston later this week where he will be inducted into the WERS-FM Hall of Fame. “WERS is the legendary radio station from my Alma Mater, Emerson College,” emailed Howard, who manages writer/producers, talk show hosts, authors, comedians, and so many LARP, including Dr. Drew. “WERS is now consistently rated in the top 5 college radio stations in the country. It is a flame thrower in New England. During my junior and senior years there I was program director. I will be honored to be inducted by Fred Faust, former Chief of Staff for the late Senator Paul Tsongas. I will be joining the likes of Vin DiBona, Executive Producer, of America's Funniest Home Videos and radio's Gary Berkowitz. I was a classmate of Jay Leno.”
Get Me to the Church On Time
|(May 23, 2018) My little girl,
no young lady, is getting married this weekend. First marriage for any
of my three kids. And, unlike the new British princess’s father, I get
the honor of walking my princess down the aisle.
Alexandra has been the apple of my eye for almost 30 years. Many of you were first introduced to her 14 years ago when a confluence of circumstances led me to ask my readers to help with her extreme dental issue. Over 500 LARadio readers deluged me with offers of references, suggestions, and recommendations. I was truly overwhelmed. Beginning with the aid of then-KABC general manager John Davison, the potential tragedy worked out perfect.
She’s always been a strong-willed individual. Very determined. She applied to four colleges (USC, UCLA, Cal Berkeley, and UCSB) and was accepted by all four. With a full scholarship to Santa Barbara, off she went to Goleta. I’d like to think the proximity of the beach and ocean was a strong consideration. We always liked a little sand between our toes.
Between her junior and senior years, she was looking for an internship. Kevin Gershan, who has been a longtime friend and supporter of LARadio, offered her an internship at Entertainment Tonight … in New York. Perfect for a communications major. Another LARP to the rescue.
Where does a single 18-year-old live in New York for the summer? We got her an “alcove” (smaller than a studio) apartment near Madison Square Garden. Easy subway or mile walk to the Paramount building. It was a great summer for her. On her last day in New York, she was mugged by a woman in a white robe. Police arrived right away and apprehended this crazy lady, but my daughter didn’t want to press charges. She told the police that she was headed back to California the next day, and this event kind of rounded out her summer experience in New York.
Alexandra graduated from college in 3.5 years. She stayed until June so she could graduate with her class and travel with 30 of her classmates for a 5-week tour Europe, which she paid for from her earnings managing a restaurant near campus.
Getting back from Europe, she came to the conclusion that she would not be able to live in Santa Barbara. There were few opportunities there, and the entry level jobs just didn’t pay enough to live in that beautiful city.
Her next step was a giant one, again thanks to another LARP. Alexandra reluctantly let me put a notice in LARadio about her search for a job. She was overwhelmed with offers and suggestions. It was K-EARTH’s Lara Scott who introduced her to an opportunity to join a tv production company in the South Bay. She has been there ever since.
I’m a proud papa. She met Simon, a young man from New Zealand. They begin their journey together this weekend. I couldn’t be happier with her choice of soul mate. It will be a joyous occasion. My older son will be flying out from Naples. My younger son, the one who just graduated from college, will be in the wedding party.
I’m a blessed man filled with much gratitude. I coulda missed it all. I almost did.
Many LARP Nominated for 2018 Radio Hall of Fame
|(May 22, 2018) KOST morning
star Ellen K is among a number of LARP who are up for
the National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Some of the nominees
spent time here while others went on to gain fame in other markets.
In a very confusing voting process, some will be voted on by industry leaders, with others voted on by the public. Nominations include:
• Active Local/Regional (10 years or more): Jonathon Brandmeier ex-KLSX, Chicago; Bob Rivers (ex-Arrow 93)-Seattle.
• Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Charles Laquidara (ex-KPPC) Boston.
• Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more): Kim Komando (ex-KLSX) The Kim Komando Show; Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg (ex-KMPC) “Mike & Mike in the Morning.”
• Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more): Walt "Baby" Love, (ex-93/KHJ) Gospel Traxx; Dr. Laura Schlessinger (ex-KFI) “The Dr. Laura Program.”
• Music Format On-Air Personality: Ellen K (mornings at KOST); John Tesh (ex-KFSH)
• Spoken Word On-Air Personality: Mark Levin (afternoons at 870/KRLA); George Noory (late nights at KFI); Jim Rome (ex-KLAC, KFWB).
|20/20 News. Eva Kilgore checked in. She recently lost her husband, Lyle Kilgore. I asked her how she was doing. “Every day is a little better than the next. I met Lyle when I was 22. I've been with him for almost as long as I can remember. I miss the heck out of him. It aches. It's hard, but I hear his voice telling me to quit it. And there is so much support. Our daughter is graduating with an MSW next week from Cal State Long Beach, and he was so, so proud of her. He’ll be watching.”|
|Out of the Woods.
Former K-EARTH 101 and Dial Global air talent Bo Woods has
a new project with a new partner, Ron Merrell. The two collaborate on a
daily podcast available on their Facebook page, ‘The Ronnie & Bo Show’
and on their YouTube channel.
Both grew up in Southern California but met while attending church in Prescott, Arizona. For Bo, radio was his future at a young age. His father, Jack Woods, was the “Charlie” half of the National Radio Hall of Fame morning team-show Charlie & Harrigan.
Whereas for Ron, he had to choose between a life in the church or stand-up comedy. Ron earned college money writing jokes for Jay Leno’s Tonight Show monologues.
Hear Ache. Howard Stern guests with David Letterman on Netflix, available May 31 … Summer has started: Bob McCormick is visiting Madrid and Barcelona, while sports guy Bob Scott is on a Parisian holiday … Thanks to everyone who sent a congrats on my young man graduating from college.
6.18.64 - 5.2.18
|I first met Mark Morris
in September of 1991 at 710/KMPC. Mark was working the evening shift
playing music and I worked the overnight show. As a 21 year old kid
working for Gene Autry, I was
immediately taken in by the charm of "that guy" who was working on the
shift before mine. We would laugh a lot, mainly at the expense of
whatever song was being played at the time. But that was a tip off to me
into the mind of the man I would always start by referring to as "The
I had so much fun, I found myself often showing up an hour before my shift to see what witty things Mark had come up with since yesterday. Mark possessed not only a laugh that no one in this room will ever forget, but also that fabulous smile. I was telling my wife the other day that Mark's most amazing quality to me was that he was never in a bad mood and NEVER had a cross word to say about anyone..Ever!
Our time together at KMPC was relatively short, about six months or so, before Mark moved on to his next thrilling radio adventure. And to those of us in the biz, we all know that sometimes six months is all the time you get in one place. Fast forward to the year 2000. I was now working as operations manager for Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters, and the decision to put jazz on AM 1260 had been made.
Program director Lawrence Tanter informed me who the new morning man would be....Mark Morris. I was thrilled. I hadn't seen Mark in years and we picked right up where we left off. Good friends, close ties, and wonderful camaraderie. It might have been eight years since we had seen each other, but it seemed like only yesterday.
After the jazz format ended, Mark stayed on doing production and voice work for the adult standards station, the Oldies station and the return to Standards that followed. And I will always cherish the 5 glorious days when we ran a stunt format known as "The Shuffle" where Mark produced some of the most clever production bits ever in LA radio history.
Bill Alexander, who did afternoons on Oldies 1260 and 540, had the pleasure of having Mark work with him as his sidekick traffic reporter. Bill would often come up with a funny line after traffic, and Mark's laughter would start. The smiles on both of these guys was contagious! Bill also commented to me that when Mark and I would eat lunch in the station kitchen, the laughter was non-stop. He said "I never heard two people laugh over lunch every day the way you guys did." And boy was he right.
After Mark moved to the Bay Area, I visited him for my 40th birthday in 2010. We caught a couple of ballgames, had a few drinks and in general had a great time. Its hard to believe that I won't be hearing that deep belly laugh again...or seeing that famous smile anymore. But I think the solace that all of us can take is in the words of , of all people, Dr. Seuss. "Don't cry because it over, smile because it happened."
As Sinatra once said For Parting Is Not Goodbye, We'll Be Together Again. I love you, my friend. - Mike Johnson, written for the program commemorating Mark's life
|(May 21, 2018) It was a
thrilling weekend in the Barrett household. Nothing to do with the royal
wedding. My youngest son graduated from Cal State Channel Islands, with
a B.A. degree in business.
After getting an A.A. degree at Grossmont College in San Diego, he took a decade off to “find himself.” If he asked, I could have easily told him where he was. For me, it has been a decade of discovering the world of millennial thinking and living.
Two years ago, he saw his friends getting promotions at work, buying homes, getting married and having babies. He decided it was time to finish his schooling. We found this school tucked behind the Camarillo Outlet stores, in the middle of some onion fields. For those of you who go back several years, the campus is on the site of the old Camarillo State Hospital for the mentally ill. Okay, we’ve heard all the jokes. The school is young. No major sports. They cater to the diversity of the area in Ventura County. When the president asked how many graduates were the first in their families to do so, over HALF of the class stood and made a loud roar, a roar not only from the students but the families with tears in their eyes, busting with pride. It was a wonderful moment of hope.
The speaker at the commencement ceremony was Judge Michele Castillo, the first Latina ever to be appointed to the Ventura County Superior Court. Her journey from poverty to Superior Court Judge must have been a truly motivational talk of inspiration for all the young graduates. And for old parents who know about perseverance.
Next weekend, my daughter is getting married. Yes, being father-of-the-bride was not something I thought was going to live long enough to experience. But I’m up for it.
Email Saturday, 5.19.18
|** ‘Ol Weather Eyes
“Going through crates of my dad’s [Jim Hawthorne] career, I came across some artifacts of early 60’s KFWB and a couple of copies of the Fabulous Forty Survey for March 12, 1960 and December 1, 1961.
Besides listing the hottest eclectic records of the period – Percy Faith’s Theme From a Summer Place, Henry Mancini’s Moon River and James Darren’s Goodbye Cruel World – the covers identify some of the Seven Swingin’ Gentlemen at KFWB for each period and how they changed in only 9 months during the disc jockey strike.
My older son Zak (38) asked me why they’d publish something like that every week.” – Darr Hawthorne
** My Mom’s Day
“Thank you for the beautiful and honest remembrance of your mother. You spelled out the good and the bad of being a caretaker, yet the only way we can truly know our parent is in the best care available. My mom was herself, though almost non-verbal until 3 days before she died at 92. The day after my birthday. At home and she waited for me to bring my sister home from the doctor before she went to sleep. Happy Mother’s Day to both our mothers. And thank you for the post.” – Julie Byers
** More Me Mom
“I loved your story about your mom and seeing the classic picture of them both. I will always remember the times I was at their house and visiting with your mom.” – Mike Butts
** Harvey a Showman
“A great read on Steve Harvey, Don. Thanks for those excerpts. I was just visiting Steve and his game show family at Universal over the weekend. He’s got Stage 1 for his talk show and Stage 29 for Family Feud. He’s a dynamo of energy in front of the cameras. Feud tapes four shows a day, day after day, often 5 days a week. He’s obviously fully invested in delivering the best possible show with maximum laughs, as he is regularly offering second takes and alternate reactive jokes. He clowns, kids, cajoles and teases each episode’s families for well over an hour, brief stop downs included, giving the show’s editors the makings for a spectacular 22 minutes for each syndicated half-hour.
During breaks, he’s non-stop chatting with the audience. It’s only between shows that he recharges quietly with a cigar. Whether you like the show’s edgy content or not, there’s no denying he’s a real showman. He says his only regret is that his fame keeps him from coming and going at will in public places. Just when you think he’s going to say that he wishes it was different, he confesses that he’ll be glad to remain hostage to the massive paychecks.” – Randy West
** Poll Joke
“Thanks for the piece on Bill Watson. I met Watson for the first time when I was a young 12-year-old. He invited me over to the radio station so I could share the news of a telephone survey that I had just completed, showing KMEN as the overwhelming market leader. Watson even asked me inside the KMEN control room and put me on his popular afternoon show ‘live’ to read the results.
Everything was going well until he turned to me and said, ‘Ted, go ahead and tell us all about this poll that you’ve taken.’ Being a youngster, I had no idea what he meant by the term poll. So, for a moment there, I thought he was accusing me of stealing a pole from the KMEN parking lot. Seriously, I was so naive. But, that day opened the door to a long relationship at KMEN, my very first radio home. Bill also gave me one of his rare ‘Bill Watson Spike Awards,’ given out as a token of thanks for a special achievement. As the legend goes, Watson spent some time in the railroad industry and had a trunk full of old railroad spikes. What a novel promotion. That very spike is still in my treasured box of radio memorabilia.” – Ted Ziegenbusch
** Heavenly Meet
"I heard Bill Watson stories from Lyle Kilgore for many years. In fact, Bill was instrumental in bringing him from San Bernardino to KHJ ... and the rest, as they say, is history. When my daughter Paige and I went with Lyle to the Route 66 reunion organized by the amazing Chuck Street, there was the legend himself, Bill Watson, sporting dark sunglasses and a cool leather jacked. 'Who is that?' asked our then teenaged daughter.
Watson had sauntered directly over to where Lyle was seated. 'He looks like some big time promoter or director or something,' said Paige. She was most impressed.
I know Lyle and Bill Watson have reconnected in heaven and, who knows, they may be cooking something up with Bill Mouzis, Don Steele, and Robert W. Morgan. I'd like to think so." - Eva Kilgore
** Bar Meeting
“Great article on Bill Watson. His name was quite revered back in the Bill Drake days. I don't remember the name of the restaurant/bar in the Valley where I just by happenstance met Bill Drake one night. He was by himself and having a good time, and I was just blown away that on the stool next to me was one of the most respected guys in radio.” – Mike Butts
Follow the Money
Essay by Alan Oda, Senior LARP Correspondent
|(May 17, 2018) To borrow the
well-used cliche, “all bets are off.” On Monday the Supreme
Court voted 6 – 3 to strike down a 1992 federal law which largely
prohibited most states from allowing wagering on sporting events. The
ruling now makes it legal for individual states to decide whether or not
to allow sports gambling. Nevada is no longer the only state that can
attract bettors. But the question is whether California is ready to cash
“The Supreme Court ruling is simply common sense. There are (already) multiple ways to bet on games online,” said KLAC’s Fred Roggin. “By allowing states to regulate it, it also allows states to profit (including California).”
KSPN midday host John Ireland believes sports betting is already pervasive. “Think of it this way: Most people bet. Now that it’s legal, they’ll soon be able to bet legally any time,” said Ireland. “It has a chance to create millions for all parties involved.”
Ireland believes the ruling will have profound impact on the business of sports. “This sports betting decision has the potential to change the sports we watch forever. Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said today that the value of professional sports franchises will essentially double.”
“I think NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been really smart with this. He predicted it might happen, he’s staying ahead of it, and he has his league poised to be a partner in whatever happens. I think most other leagues will follow suit,” said Ireland. Most of the “cord-cutting” (dropping cable / satellite television) skews largely toward younger viewers who appear to be indifferent, or at least less enthusiastic, about following sports. By offering the opportunity to bet on local teams, both professional and college, it can spark new interest.
By contrast, KNX sports anchor Randy Kerdoon thinks sports wagering will start as a novelty to younger fans. “If they are sports fans and would be betting anyway, I’d say they would be more involved, but those who aren’t the betting type might try it, but overall the interest will fade.” Further, Kerdoon said there will be new places to bet, yet traditional venues will persist. “I think it will be big for the Indian Casinos, not sure if we’ll see a Vegas like facility in Commerce, or any other location. And there is only one Las Vegas.”
There is also the possibility of wagering taking all sorts of creative turns. “I did have this vision of someone, going to a Dodger game and getting their peanuts, Dodger dog and a drink along with laying down a prop bet in the 7th inning. Will Take Me Out to the Ball Game be over or under time wise,” asked Kerdoon.
Bill Watson, Major Player at Drake/Chenault, Dies at 88
|(May 16, 2018) Bill Watson,
who achieved major success in the world of radio broadcasting, has died.
He was 88. Watson passed away in a San Diego hospital Tuesday evening,
May 15. His death occurred as a result of pneumonia and emphysema
related health issues.
Watson was raised in the San Fernando Valley. After his discharge from the U.S. Air Force in the mid 1950's Watson attended the Don Martin School of Broadcasting in Hollywood with help from the G.I. Bill. Shortly thereafter, he began his professional radio career in the Sacramento area. At that time, rock 'n roll was exploding into American Pop culture. Bill enjoyed almost immediate success as a disc jockey and hosted a local tv show for teens. The show was modeled after Dick Clark's American Bandstand. Eventually, the super self-confident Watson had a falling out with the radio station's management. He quit and headed South to Los Angeles in search of a disc jockey job there.
Watson hoped to land a position at the dominant Top 40 radio station KFWB. Unfortunately there were no openings at the station at that time. While in L.A. he visited a friend who was employed at KDAY. It was in the hallway there that Watson met a young hyper-active radio executive by the name of Ron Jacobs. Jacobs invited Watson to lunch at a Hollywood restaurant which was frequented by record promoters and out-of-work disc jockeys. Ron Jacobs had previously enjoyed major success as a disc jockey and program director at Honolulu radio station KPOI. The parent company of KPOI had recently purchased two radio stations on the mainland. One in San Bernardino and the other in Fresno. Jacobs was looking for talented disc jockeys to staff the two stations. (Photo: Watson, The Real Don Steele, Bill Drake)
As Watson tells the story "Jacobs was talking
a mile a minute" and trying to convince Bill to join the staff at the
San Bernardino station KMEN. KMEN was situated in a cow pasture there
and was not generating any ratings (there were no listeners). Before the
lunch was over Jacobs had convinced Watson to accept a position as
afternoon drive disc jockey. And for a little extra money he would serve
as the program director too.
Turns out that Watson was a natural leader and excellent program director. Within six months KMEN went from Last to First in the Inland Empire radio ratings. At the peak of Watson's tenure KMEN generated 70 shares which meant that 70% of the people listening to the radio were tuned into KMEN 1290. Watson was instrumental in bringing the Rolling Stones to San Bernardino's Swing Auditorium for their first performance on American soil. He very skillfully established the perfect pitch for the on-air presentation at KMEN and rode the wave of the Surf sound and the British Invasion. And he established himself and his fellow disc jockeys as celebrities in the region.
After 4 years at KMEN Watson left and became a programming consultant for other radio stations. Within a short time Bill Watson teamed up with the legendary radio programmer Bill Drake. Drake and his partner Gene Chenault had been given the task of turning around the radio stations owned by RKO General. Those stations included 93 KHJ in Los Angeles, KFRC in San Francisco, WRKO in Boston, and WOR/fm in New York City. Other stations under their direction included KGB in San Diego, CKLW in Detroit/Windsor, Ontario and KYNO in Fresno.
KOST 103 FM personality Ted Ziegenbusch grew up listening to Watson on KMEN. Eventually they met and Watson was very encouraging. Ted Says "Bill was an inspiration! He was clearly a visionary genius! And he was a really cool guy!" And legendary broadcaster Wink Martindale said "When I was with Gene Autry's flagship station KMPC, Bill was the program director. I can truthfully say that in the many decades that I worked in broadcasting Bill was among the most creative and talented people that I had the good fortune to work with!"
During his retirement Bill Watson lived in Laughlin, Palm Springs, San Diego, and Rosarito Beach, Mexico. He was a life-long football fan with an allegiance to the Rams and San Diego Chargers. Bill is survived by his son Bill Jr., daughter Kellie, and several grandchildren, Bill's wife Jody passed away in the 1990's.
No word yet on a Celebration of Life event. (Bill Watson's obituary by Commander Chuck Street)
Mr. Rock N' Roll Serves Up Dinner and Stories
|(May 16, 2018) When
Brian Beirne entertained us for almost 30 years at K-EARTH, you
always knew he would tell us great stories about the pioneers of rock ‘n
roll. Even though Brian’s time with the former Oldies station came to
end in late 2004, there will be a rare opportunity to again hear the
stories of Brian's life as a rock ‘n roll dj. Tomorrow night, Brian will
appear at the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre in Claremont and share
the intimate details and personal stories of the artists you know and
love along with the history and evolution of pop & rock 'n roll.
“They're all here in this truly entertaining presentation from Elvis to
Elton,” said Brian.
Brian’s legacy includes being Don Imus's newsman and straight man in Sacramento and Cleveland. Brian has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But music is what makes Brian tick. “I cook dinner to music. And it is a means of relaxation.” At one stage, Brian had 40,000 records, everything from Hank Williams to Glenn Miller. For a while he collected rare records. “Then I would do a run on a label. I also have a huge Elvis Presley collection,” said Brian.
When he started at KRTH, much of the music in the beginning was from his collection.
Brian got into the radio business because of the music. “My father took
me into a radio station when I was ten. The announcer told me about his
job and then he said you can take some of the records home.” That was
the selling point for Brian. He was playing guitar and piano at home.
Some got into radio to meet girls and get rich, but Brian’s interest was
In the late 1980s, Brian decided he wanted to do something on his own - Be his own boss. “I wanted to produce a giant Oldies Show, ala the Alan Freed days with 10-15 acts, which no one had done since then. There weren’t many venues on the West Coast to see Oldies performers. The shows were mostly in the Midwest, South and East. Our exposure to these artists originally was American Bandstand.”
“I wanted to find the Fleetwoods who you never got to see. It was a labor of love for me over the years, especially finding people who had not worked in years and some were down on their luck,” said Brian. “We restarted their careers, which was a thrilling moment for me.”
Sonny Knight’s Confidential is one of Brian’s all-time favorite songs. “Sonny left in 1965 and headed for Hawaii. He had not been back in the States since then. He worried if anyone would want to hear those songs. Turned out he got two standing ovations and I thought I would never see Sonny Knight do Confidential,” said Brian.
Ed Townsend had a big hit in 1958 called For Your Love and then went on to record producing including Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On. “A dear man,” Brian remembered Ed. “Ed was living in a flea bag hotel and not in good shape. I knew him from my days in Chicago. He said he would have to quit drinking if he was going to perform. From July to October, Townsend stayed sober and he called every day to check in. He was just magnificent.” Ed ended up returning to music producing.
“I was never in it for the money,” said Brian. “It was something I could give back for all my years in this wonderful business.” Every year for twelve years, Brian flew in the performers, picked them up in a limo, and put them up in hotel. All of the Legends of Rock N' Roll concerts were held at the Greek Theatre.
Over 110 performers were reunited for Brian’s concerts. He never once had a no-show, but he did have a couple of close calls. The Shirelles missed their flight from San Jose, got the next flight out, changed clothes in the limo and got to the Greek just as the second to last act was ending. And Fontella Bass (Rescue Me) doesn’t fly and she took the train from Oklahoma. The train was delayed on the way but made it just in the knick of time.
Brian remembers putting together the Penguins (Earth Angel) and restarting the careers of Tony Allen (Nite Owl) and Richard Berry (Louie, Louie). “These were all good people. Even those who had a bad reputation, turned out to be the sweetest people in the world,” enthused Brian.
Today Brian continues to produce shows for corporate and private parties as well as large and small venues. He plans another major concert in Southern California in the near future.
Brian, who was born in San Mateo in 1946, spent much of his youth in Oregon, where he got his start as a broadcaster on KBZY-Salem. Brian described his early radio job in Oregon: "It was a real mom and pop operation. It was great training ground because you got to do everything. You read the news, you did your show and you had other duties. We even had to feed the cows out in back and water the lawn." He went on to work in Sacramento, KFRC-San Francisco, Cleveland and Chicago. His first record in his collection was Goodnight Irene, by Gordon Jenkins and the Weavers. “I keep some at home, some are in vaults, but none are ignored." A self-described Hopalong Cassidy fan, Brian attends the “Hoppy” festival each year in Cambridge, Ohio.
If you love the beginnings of rock ‘n roll, join Brian tomorrow night in Claremont
Alfonzo Ortiz at KNX
by David G Hall
(May 15, 2018) This is the
story of an uncommon partnership between a traffic manager and a program
director. This is the story of how I knew Alfonso Ortiz.
Bear with the sausage-making here, it will be worth It.
When I was programming KNX, I was on a mission to make the station really stand apart in breaking news coverage. I was fascinated by how after some minor earthquake under Vernon or Inglewood late one evening a huge number of People Meters came to KNX only to quickly disappear. Also, for years I had strongly disliked the way a spoken word station traditionally covered breaking news: a relatively short amount of time without commercials, followed by an unlistenable hour or two when a host or anchor or board op is cramming in as many spots as possible to make-good the missed spots.
So, I went to Alfonso, who was doing KNX’s traffic scheduling, and told him I wanted to come up with an alternative clock that adds back commercials intelligently so after breaking news we could switch clocks and put the spots back without cramming them in. He encouraged me to work on the clocks, but then essentially interviewed me about what I really wanted to have happen. He took notes.
|A few days later I went back to Alfonso with my
clocks. It was a big step beyond the normal cramming. And then Alfonso
then came back to me, and explained how since our meeting he had been
thinking about what I really needed, and my alternative clocks were
important but would take too long. He explained that he had gone through
most of the clients at KNX, looking at who had long term or broadly
rotating contracts, so they could be made-good over time, and how many,
like car dealers, need their spots to run by Friday or they are lost and
gone forever. He explained that when we go into “wall to wall” coverage,
he could go through the list quickly and take out the spots with longer
contracts to create even more space for immediate make-goods. We might
be able to make-good one commercial free hour in three hours.
I was grateful and excited, and pleasantly surprised that he was so willing to help us on the programing side even though It would mean a lot more work for him. Then he came back again, low key and cool, as was his way, and said he had kept thinking about my goal and had yet another idea. He had looked at the network contracts (CBS, Westwood, etc) and saw that their dayparts were longer than ours, meaning a “morning drive” network spot could actually be made-good in part of our midday where there was less pressure and still be in compliance. Also, network spots could be made-good over weeks instead of hours or days.
He had come back with a brilliant idea: why not come back from commercial free coverage and still not play network spots? That way we could open up twice as much time to make-good local spots in each hour, and he could make-good the network spots over the following weeks. We could make up one hour of commercial free breaking news coverage in just a little over 2 hours this way. It would be a tremendous amount of work for him, above what he already did. But he felt strongly that this would work.
Later that summer, we put all of this to the test. California had the worst fire season on record. Over a million acres were burned, 23 people were killed, and 20,000 firefighters were out on those lines, all at essentially the same time. At KNX, Alfonso and I put our little plan to work, and we went more than 48 hours commercial free. When all was back to normal, we had not lost a spot.
Over my career I have worked with some amazing traffic people, and I have the utmost respect for what they have to do: if they do their job well, no one notices or comments. But since millions of dollars of revenue pass through their systems, one little mistake becomes a big deal. But Alfonso was different. It wasn’t just that the pd and the traffic guy had a good relationship. It wasn’t just that we had an alliance that served both of our departments. We had a real partnership, for which he had to work much harder than normal to help our little news radio sound its best, stand apart, assume a bigger role in the community, and yet remain a business all the while.
This week, as his family and friends and fellow KNXers mourn the death and celebrate the life of Alfonso Ortiz, people are telling their stories about him. This is mine.
KOST At the Top
(May 14, 2018) The April '18 Nielsen ratings arrived with a startling announcement.
“The integrity of our data is a top priority. Effective with the April monthly currency data (March 29 - April 25) Nielsen removed four homes from the Los Angeles PPM panel. An internal review determined that these homes did not meet our compliance and data integrity standards. In addition, we conducted an analysis of data from October 2017 to March 2018 and we have determined that the data for these months will be reissued. Therefore, we will publish revised Audio data for these months in Los Angeles starting with March Monthly data on Tuesday, May 22, at Noon Local Time.”
We will keep track with the changes, if any, with affected monthlies.
For April, KOST solidified its top spot inching above sister station runner-up, KBIG. The start of the Dodger season has helped KLAC make a significant jump to tie with KSPN. Talker KRLA edges out KEIB and doubles KABC. Here are the Top 40 stations:
1. KOST (AC) 5.9 - 6.0
2. KBIG (MY/fm) 5. 7 - 5.7
3. KRTH (Classic Hits)5.0 - 4.8
KTWV (the WAVE) 4.7 - 4.8
5. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.7 - 4.5
6. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.8 - 4.4
7. KFI (Talk) 4.2 - 4.1
8. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.6 - 3.7
9. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.8 - 3.0
10. KRRL (Urban) 2.4 - 2.8
KYSR (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.8
12. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.8 - 2.7
13. KNX (News) 3.2 - 2.6
KPCC (News/Talk) 2.7 - 2.6
KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.3 - 2.6
16. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.9 - 2.5
KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.4 - 2.5
KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.6 - 2.5
19. KROQ (Alternative) 2.2 - 2.3
20. KKGO (Country) 2.0 - 2.2
KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.3 - 2.2
22. KXOS (Regional Mexican) 2.2 - 2.0
23. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.9 - 1.7
KJLH (Urban AC) 1.6 - 1.7
25. KCRW (Variety) 1.7 - 1.5
26. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.4 - 1.4
KUSC (Classical) 1.6 - 1.4
28. KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.2 - 1.2
29. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.0 - 1.0
KRLA (Talk) 1.1 - 1.0
31. KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 0.8 - 0.9
KLAC (Sports) 0.5 - 0.9
KSPN (Sports) 1.0 - 0.9
34. KEIB (Talk) 0.9 - 0.8
35. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.5 - 0.7
KKJZ (Jazz) 0.8 - 0.7
KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.9 - 0.7
38. KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.7 - 0.6
39. KABC (Talk) 0.5 - 0.5
KSUR (Oldies) 0.4 - 0.5
THR Award to Steve Harvey
|(May 14, 2018) Steve
Harvey, mornings at KJLH, was awarded The Hollywood
Reporter’s “Unscripted TV Player of the Year.” The trade
publication dedicated four full-pages to the versatile performer who is
the only person in Hollywood starring on shows on three of the big four
broadcast networks. The programs include game shows Big Shots and
its spinoff Forever Young on NBC, ABC’s Celebrity Family
Feud, Family Feud(averages more than 10 million viewers daily),
and Showtime at the Apollo on Fox. From all his efforts, Harvey
made a reported $42.5 million last year. Highlights:
THR: What’s the show where you feel most yourself?
SH: Showtime at the Apollo. That was the first place I was on national tv, as a stand-up, and I eventually became the longest-running host. Nothing would make me walk away from the Apollo.
THR: When people are so easily offended now, does it make comedy harder?
SH: That’s the one hesitancy I have with going back to stand-up. I’m in a sponsor-driven business, and they keep moving the line of political correctness. It keeps getting closer and closer to where you can’t open your mouth negatively. Throw away freedom of speech. That’s out the window now.
THR: Are there any game shows left to be rebooted.
SH: They’ve pretty much exhausted these old properties. After they saw what Family Feud did, everybody went out and got ahold of their old stuff. They gotta find something new, something where everybody can play along at home. That’s what makes Family Feud so good. What’s your favorite color? ‘Dark blue!’ Bing!”
THR: What’s the five-year plan?
SH: I’m gonna have the biggest television production company in Hollywood. I’m gonna be producing more hits than any production company in the industry. And I’m gonna own a huge organic food business. I’m going to help people reshape the way they eat. A doctor told me, ‘Steve, what you eat in your 40s we will diagnose in your 50s. What we diagnose in your 50s, we will treat you for in your 60s. Whatever we’re treating you for in your 60s, we will bury you for in your 70s.’ It changed the way I ate.”
Email Saturday, 5.12.18
|** Miss Dex Allen
“I’m so sad to hear about Dex Allen! I repped KGGI/KMEN in the 80s when he owned it. He was a straight-up guy who understood every aspect of a radio station and was a pleasure to sell for and work with. Radio will miss him.” – Mary Beth Garber
** Dex’s Midnight Runner
“Dex Allen also owned KOWL (AM) and KRLT (FM) at Lake Tahoe under his Commonwealth Broadcasting in the 1990s. He made frequent trips to Tahoe to visit his stations where I worked.” – Bill Kingman
** Dex Got It
“I am very sorry to learn of Dex Allen's passing. I worked with him at KCBQ. He was a very nice man and as you mentioned, what a unique person to go from on air personality to ownership. He got it.” – Mike Butts
** Met with Dex
“I was saddened to hear of Dex Allen’s passing. In the early 1980s, a mutual friend of ours lined up a quick meeting between me, Dex and radio consultant Jerry Clifton. Dex needed a new pd for his KGGI/KMEN combo and I was a former K/men programmer myself. In the end, I chose instead to stay with my on-air position at KOST in Los Angeles. However, I remember Dex being quite genuine, jovial and I had the distinct impression that he would be a great guy to work for in the radio business. My condolences to his family and friends.” – Ted Ziegenbusch
** Concert Connection
“I’m very sorry to hear about Dex Allen. Lee Bartell tried to get us together to do concerts back in the sixties but I just couldn’t do it. We started to do the Beach Boys but we had different ideas about the business.” – Jack Hayes
|** #1 With a Bullet
“One of the most memorable calls I ever received on the K-EARTH 101 request line:
Me: ‘Good evening, K-EARTH 101 this is Keri’
Him: ‘Keri, my name is Don Bustany and I’d like to invite you to be the first female dj to guest host on Casey Kasem’s American Top 40.’
Me: ‘Ha Ha; very funny.’
Lo these decades later, I count him in my top two of the kindest producer / directors. What a sweet soul. Fly to Heaven.” – Keri Tombazian
|** Six-Month Mother
“My mother, Florence Laverne, raised four children alone for six months a year, all my young life. My dad was an officer in the US Navy and spent 6 months every year on a submarine patrolling the Pacific Ocean.
She grew up in Chicago with her Greek family that was notorious for a different kind of ‘family’ business. Not wanting to have anything to do with that life, she moved to San Diego where she met and married my father, Joe. We had a very happy family with love and humor being the focal point. She told us to always follow our hearts and make people laugh. She never talked much about her family.
As I grew older I asked about our family’s ethnicity. This became one of her favorite jokes: She told my sisters, Barbara & Jill, and me & my brother, Bobby, that we were half French and half Greek. Her famous punchline was: ‘So, that makes you a freak!’
Love and miss you mom. Thanks for making me the funny loving ‘freak’ I became. Your proud son.” – Jimmy Duncan
|** Mother’s Day Stories
“I loved the flashback on Mother’s Day. Loved Geno Michellini’s story about taking his mom to see Greg Kihn. Geno looks like he could be one of the Gibbs brothers.” – Bob Koontz
|** High Flying Baugh
“Happy Mom’s Day to my fave gal. Became a pilot in ’39 and I truly believe her spirit flies with me every day! Happy Mother’s Day to all moms.” – Jeff Baugh
|** Stern Cut
“Thank you for the funny article about Howard Stern being edited [that’s like Claude Rains being shocked there was gambling at Rick’s!] Then again, HBO isn’t known for original thinking. It’s cable, so why edit him?
I wish I could see this, but we don’t get HBO and anyway, the one act I wanted to see inducted was the Moody Blues. They were part of my growing up.” – Julie Byers
** Stern’s Endless Rants
“I find Howard Stern’s faux anger amusing. I stopped listening to him two years ago when the show became so far removed from its original beginnings and from the things that made his show so popular. He turned ultra PC and renamed his whack packers with less offensive names. He abandoned most of his controversial bits and skits even though they were hilarious. He cut his live show down from 5 days to 4 days to now 3 days a week and then the endless week-long vacations [by comparison, Rush Limbaugh still works Xmas week]. Stern clearly doesn’t want to do his show. His endless rantings about being tired, his increasing impatience with callers and the fluff interviews with the same dozen celebrities became unlistenable, particularly since you have to pay for his content. I honestly haven’t missed it one bit. But now to hear his anger at being censored is hypocritical. That’s exactly what he has done to his show. He’s censored all of the element of his show that were funny and made him the success he became.” – Steve Chang, Venice
** KABC Winner
“I went down to KABC today to pick up some Paul Simon tickets and thought you’d enjoy this montage hanging in the lobby. Ran into Drew Hayes while I was there. John Phillips was pacing in the parking lot doing a phone interview when I arrived. Hope the station will do better [and I have my opinions on that].
Thanks for keeping up your column.” – Andrew Schermerhorn
"I agree with your assessment of the $1,000 giveaways by both KNX and KFI. It's totally distracting and to lump it in with other radio station giveaways, it's unsafe to encourage folks [many of whom are driving] to text while they may be behind the wheel.
I know there are plenty who are not driving and could safely enter the contest, but there are those stupid people who get tempted by the station's offer of $$ that they'll text when they shouldn't.
When KFI introduces their 'KF-I in the sky' traffic segment, is the traffic reporter sitting at a desk somewhere with his microphone and a computer screen/scanner and is NOT in the aircraft? When KNX states that their freeway reports are being delivered by the person in the air, the reporter is actually in the air. It seems to me that KFI isn't being so honest with their listeners.
A familiar voice from the past seems to have joined KNX: Nathan Roberts is on-air again as a studio story reporter.
Thanks Don for all your hard work and funnies at the top of your daily page. Many of them have made it to my funny file in my computer." - Steve Nieto, Yorba Linda
|** Response to Michael Harrison
“Radio didn’t choose to ‘program stringently bordered “categories” to one-dimensional listeners.’ That decision was made for us, by the listeners, by the advertising agencies, by radio being first and foremost a business. As I have explained to numerous people who have tried to convince me that listeners should be in charge, not the programmers, listeners are not radio’s customers. They are radio’s product, because their listening is what we sell to the advertisers. The programmer’s job is to attract as many of those listeners as possible in whatever saleable demographic the station wants to sell advertising for.
Radio became more homogenized – and yes, Michael, I agree with your use of the word ‘embarrassment’ - when Madison Avenue decided there’s no profit in marketing to over-55s. The acts he lists as MIA from playlists don’t appeal to the audience the advertising community wants.
In a nutshell, that’s why Oldies stations don’t exist in the big markets. Unless you are 100% local sales and have the staff to make an older audience attractive to the local businesses, you can't get the ad bucks. The bills have to be paid, after all. That last point is why our market’s Oldies station is on Saul Levine’s KSUR. He can afford to pay the bills without much ad revenue because of his success with KKGO [and also because, having owned the latter outright since he put it on the air in 1959, he has absolutely zero debt service]. But Entercom, iHeart, Cumulus? Not going to happen.” – K.M. Richards
“I was very sorry to learn about the passing of Mark Morris. Over the years he was both a very good radio announcer and an outstanding ‘behind the scenes’ radio programmer. I still remember the various stints he had as a radio announcer, traffic reporter, and disc jockey at both on AM 1260 and K-JAZZ. Like John Regan, he was with 1260 for a number of years, both when it was playing Oldies and Adult Standards. While he was on the staff at 1260AM, I had opportunity to talk with him at least two or three times over the telephone. He was always very pleasant. In more recent years we kept in contact via Facebook. Mark Morris will be sorely missed!
On a completely different subject: You posed the question two weeks ago in your column concerning what constitutes an Oldie. I think it was Art Laboe who coined the term “ ‘Oldies but Goodies’ back in the 60s to refer to rock’n’roll songs that were recorded (and played on the radio) during the late 50s and early 60s. I think many jocks (including Bruce Morrow [Cousin Brucie]) today that tend to apply the term ‘Oldies’ to songs that were on the hit charts in the 50s, 60s and early 70s. And there are a few jocks that simply refer to all pop songs prior to mid-50s as ‘golden Oldies.’ I guess the word ‘Oldie’ is a relative term.
I continue to read and enjoy your LARadio column. And, I would like to know where I can send in a check to financially support it.” – Carl Spring, West LA
I Use to Love You Honey, 'Til You Spent All My Money - Fats Domino
|(May 11, 2018)
Seeing the bonuses paid to help retain iHeart radio execs once again
reminds me I was just a worker amongst workers. I never had a parachute
offer (golden or brown), nor a big payout while I worked or before I
retired. It’s especially tough to think of all of the decent and
talented people who worked for the (Lowry) Mays *
family and Bob Pittman during the last decade. These
people dedicated themselves to the radio industry they loved, only to be
shoved off a moving train ... Jim Carson’s story about
Archie Bell and his hit song Tighten Up prompted Bill
Seward to write, “Archie Bell was also the older brother of
College Football Hall of Famer Ricky Bell of USC.” Well, there you go … Mike
Joseph died last month, at the age of 90. His name might not
mean much to the radio listener, but if you listened to one the Mike
Joseph-consulted stations, you learned quickly what heavy rotation
meant. He created the “Hot Hits” format. On his Top 40 stations, he
would turn over the music to the point where every hour you would hear
the Top 5 songs. Mike gave a new definition to heavy hits rotation. His
stations were mostly in the East, although heard on the West Coast at
KITS San Francisco ... I’ve always found it strange – and perhaps a bit
desperate – to have cash contesting at an all-News station. Aren’t they
above the P.T. Barnum hucksterism of offering $1,000 (mind you, for a
national contest) before or after stories of genocide in Syria and the
interruption of traffic reports detailing a SigAlert on the 405 caused
by a truck overturning on the 405, dumping its load of the bonus money
being shipped to Robert Pittman and Mary Berner
... A piece published at CNNMoney
states Salem Media Group execs have pressured their talk show hosts to
be supportive of President Trump is getting a lot of attention. Duh. The
CNNMoney piece was sent to subscribers yesterday (you can sign
up to receive these mailings by writing
me … Tomorrow, some fun
Email Saturday contributions ... On Monday, April '18 ratings ...
Eclectic broadcaster Randy West was just nominated for
the Board of Directors at Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters. He’ll be great
for the organization! His energy level is contagious.
*In 2003 Mays testified before the US Senate that the deregulation of the telecommunications industry had not hurt the public. However, in an interview that same year with Fortune Magazine, he remarked, "We're not in the business of providing news and information. We're not in the business of providing well-researched music. We're simply in the business of selling our customers products." Mckibben, Bill (07). Deep Economy. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. p. 132.
|(May 10, 2018) KFI’s John & Ken were mentioned in an LA Times editorial yesterday. “Senator Josh Newman hadn’t been in the job six months when conservative talk radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou … started focusing on Newman as the weak link in the Democrats’ chain of power.” … Sorry to hear that ReelRadio.com has folded … Condolences to Hal Smith, veteran of KLAC in the mid-70s, on the passing of his wife, Sue. “But her spirit and the memories live on.” … Steven Pailet posted on Facebook that his buddy CJ Newton lost his job at KSPN after 10 years. “If anyone is looking for a good production / imaging manager, 20 years of experience, CJ Newton is your guy. He can be reached at 323.649.4553. Email - email@example.com …Mike Kaplan, former pd at KYSR (Alt 98.7), has joined Entercom as pd of WBMP (Alt 92.3)-New York … Didja know that Archie Bell of the Drells was drafted into the army, and began serving in Vietnam when he was shot in the leg? While in the army hospital, Tighten Up shot to #1 in the Pop and R&B charts. He had a tough time convincing the hospital staff that it was him who recorded the song just before he was drafted. This narrative was told by former longtime K-EARTH personality Jim Carson.|
LARP: The month of
May celebrates Mother’s Day.
I was a bit confused as I’d just passed one on a minute before that. She looked at her and declared, ‘I’ve NEVER seen my son smoke that reefer stuff.’ Then she giggled again and said, ‘Every time he puts one to his lips I close my eyes. Like I said I’ve never seen him do it.’ The girl hugged my mom, got a tear in her eye, and said something about my being the luckiest guy in the world. It was a side of my mom I didn't know existed.
The kicker to the story was that about a week after my mom flew back to Colorado I was looking for a Greg Kihn album to listen to and couldn’t find ‘any.’ By chance I called my mom up and asked her if she knew anything about it. Her response, ‘Yes, I may have packed a couple of your Greg Kihn albums in my suitcase. Every time I listen to one darlin’ I think of you.’ And every time I hear Greg Kihn I remember that night.
A couple of my mom's favorite sayings, she may have originated them, ‘A cheap thrill is STILL a thrill’ and ‘If you didn’t make a mess, you didn’t have a good time.’
The enclosed picture was taken on the ‘KOME PARTY KRUISE ON THE BAY-'79,’ that same trip. We did a lot of ‘wild and crazy’ promotions back then. I took mom along on all of them. She ‘really’ got to know her son. I wasn’t sure how she’d respond, but I thought it was better to see what was going on in my life than to try and be something I wasn’t. As luck turned out, ‘There’s a reason I am the way I am.’ It was standing next to me in the picture. I lost her three and a half years ago. Her name was LaVerne and I thank her for what she gave me. Because of her spunk and joy in living I have had a great life. I love you mom.
p.s. Note the shirt and pants. Back then ‘it worked.’
Leslie Marshall: I grew up pretty poor. My dad was a struggling jazz musician and my mom was a part-time nurse so she could be home with us when my brothers and I were in school.
When I was 15, I was dating a guy a year older than me, a junior in my high school and he asked me to go to the junior/senior prom. I didn’t have any prom dresses. We really couldn’t afford one, especially the one I fell in love with in the store window at the mall.
One day I came home from school and my mom had a box for me. In it was the white prom dress I had loved in the window at the mall. When I asked how she got it for me, she told me she had run across some good luck. I found out later in life that my mother actually sold her own clothes to a consignment shop and some jewelry she had to buy me that dress. I guess you could say I know my mom would give me the shirt off her back because she has. She’s incredible.
Bob Morgan: My mom, how could there be a less selfish person born on this planet? I was an only child and as far back as I can remember, both my parents doted on me all the time. They spoiled me rotten and I was the apple of their eyes.
My mom was an Oklahoma native. Born in Connerville, raised in Ada, she was by nature a giving woman all her life. But it hit me the hardest just moments before she passed away. Every time I would visit her when she lived on her own after dad died, her first words to me were always, ‘can I get you something, do you need anything?’
When she got to the point where she could no longer live alone, I moved her in with me and my daughter. Even then, the first thing she'd say when she woke up in the mornings was, ‘can I get you and Becki something? You want some coffee and toast?’
Her little lungs failed for the last time a week before her 90th birthday in 1998. In the emergency room the doctor told me they could incibate her but she would be on a breathing machine for whatever time she had left and I had to make a decision. The most difficult a son had to make in his life. The doctor removed the breathing machine and told me it would just be a matter of minutes. I stayed by her bed and an hour and a half later, she was still fighting. The doctor could not imagine why. My pastors were with me and one of them, a wonderful 70 year old man told me ‘she won't go until you tell her it’s okay to leave.’
I leaned over and whispered in her ear, ‘I'll be fine, Pastor Sherm is here with me. Becki and I will be okay. You go on and I’ll meet you later.’
She grinned and moments later took her last breath. I’m not the brightest bulb on the marquee, but I know there's a lot more in this world than we know about. But one thing I do know is that moms are special and you only get one shot. My one shot was Louise Oliver (Rogers) Morgan. It’s only my humble opinion, but she was my Superstar!
Chuck Blore: It happened when I was about ten years old or whatever age it is when your mother first asks, “Chuckie. What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“What? Mom, I’m ten years old.” I had never given the slightest thought to what I wanted to be, that is if you don’t count wanting to be a cowboy and/or Tarzan.
At ten years old you don’t really have much of a past but my future was about to be sealed. I swear to God that moment was traumatic and my memory of it, indelible. I was sweeping leaves off the porch of our house in East Los Angeles. The radio was on and old-time-deejay Al Jarvis was on it. Al sounded like he was having a pretty nice time and suddenly I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. So, I looked at my mother with my best ‘I’m very serious’ expression, I pushed my ten year old voice down as far as it would go and said, “I want to talk on the radio.”
My Mother was a kind and gentle lady and I’m certain what she did then was meant to protect her little boy from being cruelly buffeted about by an unkind society. She took both my hands into hers and in the gentlest possible voice said, “Chuckie. People like us don’t do that.”
Whoa! Something snapped inside my young little soul and I swore to myself, “I am not people like us. I am me! And me is gonna talk on the radio!” From that moment on, talking on the radio was everything life was about.
See? I owe everything to my mom.
The most impressive was a wooden rack of clothespins lined up on swiveling wires that could be lifted and lowered on any surface and any angle. One could simulate sounds of the feet of marching men and control the speed and intensity right there in the Foley pit during the show.
He then followed that up with a Spike Jones concert (famous for his live sounds blending of anything from trash barrels to cement mixers), and damn, I’ve been hooked for LIFE! If it’s sound or music, it’s my life.
Remember the old expression – “How about THAT... ya learn something’ new every day?”
Whenever I would “learn something new,” my mother would then footnote my comment with, “No, you just didn’t know it before.”
Here she is, shown teaching a spinning wheel technique to her students at the Kansas City Weavers Guild, where she is a member to this day. Keep on keepin’ on, mom, and Happy Mother’s Day from your little radio wire head brat!
Sad to say, but true, in today’s world, a child might take his/her mom to court for teaching such a lesson.
How many can relate to these words as you remember YOUR Mom and perhaps make you silently weep in sorry or joy?This is titled “No Charge.”
My sister’s little boy came into the kitchen one evenin’ while she was fixin’ supper. And he handed her a little piece of paper he’d been writin’ on. And after wipin’ her hands on her apron, she took it in her hands and read it. This is what it said.
For mowin’ the yard, 5 dollars. For makin’ up my own bed this week, 1 dollar. For goin’ to the store, 50 cents. And playin’ with little brother while you went shoppin’, 25 cents. Takin’ out the trash, 1 dollar. And for getting’ a good report card, 5 dollars. And for rakin’ the yard, 2 dollars. Total owed, $14.75.
Well, she looked at him standin' there ... and a thousand memories flashed through her mind. So she picked up the pen, turned the paper over, and this is what she wrote.
For the 9 months I carried you growin’ inside me, no charge. For the nights I sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you, no charge. For the time and the tears and the cost through the years, there is no charge. For advice and the knowledge and the cost of your cottage, no charge. For the toys, food and clothes, and for wipin’ your nose, there’s no charge son. And when you add it all up, the full cost of my love, is … No Charge.
Howard Stern Cut and He's Not Happy
|(May 8, 2018) Howard Stern was
upset. No, he was pissed. Listening to his almost half-hour rant
yesterday on his SiriusXM show was clearly from someone who has made a
career out of being edited and not liking it. For decades it was the
FCC, or his program directors telling him he couldn’t do something or
Earlier last month, Stern was in Cleveland to introduce Jon Bon Jovi into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He didn’t want to go, but Rock Hall Foundation co-founder Jann Wenner and Azoff MSG Entertainment ceo Irving Azoff wanted him there so much that they flew him to Cleveland on a private jet so the travel-wary radio veteran could attend the event.
“They wanted me there...ya got me there, now fucking air my fucking speech ya fucking kooks!” he shouted in mock anger, as he recalled the event. Stern’s comments were edited for the HBO broadcast, which was the source of his ire.
“I really crafted my words, I wanted to make people laugh. I wanted to have a good time,” Stern said at the top of Monday morning’s Howard 100 show, adding that he was careful not to say anything unkind about any of the band members in what was an otherwise very irreverent, heartfelt speech. “I really crafted the thing...so some editor could determine if I was funny in places? They were probably like, ‘Hey, that’s a funny joke, but we gotta cut somewhere.’ No you don’t have to cut somewhere!"
|“Who is the fucking genius who decided to cut me
talking about the women [guitarist] Richie Sambora banged?,” he asked,
likening the Hall of Fame speech edits to his early days in radio when
program directors insisted on having a heavy hand in slicing up his
shows to his eternal consternation. “I want to know the comedy
genius...I’ve sat in on these sessions. It’s kind of like, ‘Yeah, cut
that!’ It’s like a butcher shop. ‘Cut the fat off!’ It’s like, ‘Yeah,
well we gotta cut something.’ No, you don’t! If something's good, you
don’t cut it!"
Stern said that he would have been okay with the edits, had producers come to him beforehand with an agreement that he would have approval on cuts. “You can’t fly me to fucking Cleveland and ask me to make a speech and then edit the shit out of me,” he said, pointing out how some bits came off confusingly due to set-ups that were trimmed.
“I wasn’t there talking about my career. I spent a lot of time on that and they spent three minutes deciding what should be in and out...They completely...gutted me. Like a rotting fish, which I am. That’s how I feel inside.”
Following the HBO airing, Stern said he was bummed out all weekend over the end result, detailing a call to his longtime agent Don Buchwald, who agreed that his star client had every reason to be upset about the results. (Some story excerpts and photo are from Billboard Magazine)
KNX Celebrates 50 Years of All News
|(May 7, 2018)
KNX is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a news outlet in Southern
California. More than 1.5 million people tune in to KNX 1070 News Radio
every week for its comprehensive coverage of local, national and
international news in addition to its trademark traffic and weather
updates every 10 minutes on the 5s, according to an Entercom press
release. “Since 1968 we have seen nine presidents, six governors, and
six mayors,” said KNX director of programming, Ken Charles.
“Through it all, KNX has been that one consistent source for integrity,
trust, and credibility.” (Photo: Frank Mottek,
Julie Chin, Ken Charles, LA
Garcetti, Charles Feldman, and Dick
ABC has ordered a second season of hit singing competition series American Idol, with host Ryan Seacrest and judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie set to return. The show, once the biggest show on television during its heyday on Fox, has not been a runaway ratings hit in its return, but enough traction for a renewal … Congratulations to Rick Dees on becoming a grandfather. Her name is AvaMae, AM Dees, prompting some to suggest that Kevin Dees go for a girl next time and name her FM Dees … John Peake was named Station Programmer of the Year (KBIG/KOST) at the AllAccess Worldwide Radio Summit. “In reality, this is a testament to the talented and hard-working team that surrounds me every day,” said Peake. Randy Lane won Domestic Consultant award … Walt Sabo, aka Walter Sterling, has reached 50 stations for his Sunday night syndication talker “Sterling on Sunday.” Nothing in LA yet … There was a real dust-up between the Padres and their flagship station in San Diego, KWFN (The Fan). The best coverage over who controls content is offeredby a story published in the San Diego Union Tribune: ... Cumulus ceo Mary Berner banked $3.8 million in bonuses last year … Over the weekend, KOST’s Mark Wallengren celebrated 30 years of marriage. Congratulations!
Dex Allen, Rare Personality Who Went from DJ to Ownership, Dies
|(May 6, 2018) Dex
Allen, dj, radio executive (programming and sales), owner and
most recently president/ceo of Pacific Start Communications, has died.
He was 74.
Dex was best known for spearheading the “underground” movement at KPRI-San Diego. In the late 1960s, he drove to Southern California every weekend to work as a jock at KDAY (1969-70). Eventually he became general manager of several stations in San Diego. Dex made one of those rare journeys from dj to station owner.
Born Claude Turner in Ventura, Dex graduated from John Burroughs High School in Burbank and the University of Denver. His career can almost be broken down into decades. During the '60s Dex was a dj at KBLA, KTLN-Denver, KQV-Pittsburgh, KOL-Seattle, and KCBQ-San Diego. In the '70s he moved into radio sales and gm positions in San Diego. By the 1980s he was ready for station ownership. He created Commonwealth Broadcasting and KGGI/KMEN was his first purchase. He went on to own KROY-Sacramento, KMZQ-Las Vegas, KRST/KRZY/KOLT-Albuquerque and KYJT/KTTI/KBLU-Yuma.
|"It was a cornucopia of who’s who in voiceover
A most fitting event for the master of the spoken word, Dick Orkin.
Held at the SAG-AFTRA screening room on Sunday afternoon." - Jhani Kaye
Email Saturday, 5.5.18
** 70s Never Sounded Old
“Talk about thought-provoking. The ‘Oldie not an Oldie’ question really made me think. To me, an Oldie is from the 50's and 60's. Of course, growing up in the 60's I listened to everything from Big Band to Marty Robbins and the Monkees. And it helped to have KMPC on the dial along with Boss Radio, KFWB and KRLA. So, the 70's never sounded old to me. Now when you listen to K-EARTH, I don't think they play anything [other than a Beatle song or Led Zeppelin] from the 60's or 70's.
I think maybe we had it better, as far as diversity. From recitation songs to ‘flying records’ to Broadway/Movie soundtracks, as long as it was good or even interesting, Top 40 played it. Even now, JACK/fm will slip in the album version of One Night In Bangkok next to Foster the People or Def Leppard - that's a mix!
Hopefully the Clear Channels and iHeart Radios will allow space in their stations for crossover talent/music that has that relevance or hook. And stop eating their own just to eliminate competition.” – Julie Byers
** When Is an Oldie Not an Oldie?
“Answer: When radio started to believe that its mission was to program stringently bordered ‘categories’ to one-dimensional listeners instead of ‘music, memories, emotions,’ ‘information/history” and “entertainment” to complex human beings. The lack of such artists as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, countless Motown acts and so many more from today’s terrestrial radio consciousness is an embarrassment.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a devote futurist. But if you don’t know where you are coming from, it sure limits your understanding of the road ahead.” – Michael Harrison, TALKERS
** Real Oldies
“I really enjoyed reading Monday’s column on the Oldies. When I was in my teens, Oldies meant songs from the 1930's and 40's. The Big Band era and songs popular during World War II were not mentioned in your missive. I was not around during that time, but I do remember songs such as In the Mood or Tuxedo Junction by Glenn Miller. Other big bands included Count Basie and Artie Shaw. Since I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I still remember KSFO and KNBR playing the Oldies I mentioned above. Do very many people remember Frank Dill or Don Sherwood?
I believe that your discussion on what makes an Oldie an Oldie is valid. If my parents were still around, they may have a different point of view about what constitutes an Oldie.
Keep up the good work. If you ever get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!” – Sterrett Harper, Burbank
** Joe Benson’s New Assignment
“Yes, we are all fans of Uncle Joe.” – Karen Martin
** Florence & Normandy
“YEAAA for Joe Benson! Hope it includes NHRA coverage. I'll be banging down his door.
Quick story about our Uncle Joe. Joe and his much better half Jan, are along for the ride and afternoon shift in the KFWB Jet Copter 98, Wayne Richardson at the controls, me in the reporter’s seat left front with Jan and Joe in the back, ALL of us in tears listening to an Uncle Joe story about a rock and roll legend interview and we're not 50 feet off the ground just leaving Van Nuys airport.
The date is 29, April 1992. In about 15 minutes the mood in our world changes dramatically. Wayne has us positioned just North east of Florence and Normandy, all hell is breaking loose, I'm reporting on everything I can see. We hear someone in an LAPD airship say on a frequency that we all can hear, ‘you know I think were being fired at from the ground!’
A second later Joe taps me on the shoulder and with his very best straight-faced smile with raised eyebrows says, ‘maybe you guys could take Jan and I back to Van Nuys Airport.’ Joe tells that story every time we meet up at some racetrack with embellishments, I will never repeat.
Love you Joe, I hope you land exactly where you want to be with a pant load of $$$$$$$$. Long time listener and Gear Head buddy.” - Jeff Baugh
** Townsquare’s Newest
“Congratulations Joe Benson! Wishing you all the best at your new gig.” – Phil Harvey
** KFAC Ad
“That KFAC ad with the nude woman in a mink threw me for a loop. I don’t recall seeing it before, and I’ve got to think that pd Carl Princi, who was one of the classiest guys I ever met [he was the first radio person I met, when I was 7, and sparked my desire to become a broadcaster], must have had issues with it. There’s got to be a story there.
Your brief story on the Tappet brothers jogged my memory of one of the shows I syndicated in the mid-80s, The Auto Report, hosted by John Dinkle, then the editor of Road and Track, and wonderfully co-hosted by Bruce Chandler, who I had met in the early 70s when he was at KMEN. Bruce later tipped me off to an opening at Transtar, where I spent the next 23 years. What a treat working with him and with Dinkle, who had been a frequent guest of Michael Jackson on KABC before joining our show.” - Larry (Jack) Boxer
** Sad at Mark Morris Passing
“I knew Mark Morris and we were friends. I was impressed by his gentlemanliness and valued his friendship.
I am shocked and appalled at the news of his untimely death. He shall surely be missed.” - Laura Brodian Freas Beraha
** Best Employee
“Mark Morris was one of the best employees l have ever had. Always calm. I often quote him about not letting obstacles get in the way. Go around. He is missed.” – Saul Levine
** Genial Personality
“Sorry to learn of Mark Morris’ passing. I always enjoyed seeing and talking with him during my promotional visits to KACE and KKJZ. His genial personality and enthusiasm was truly an asset to his radio shows.” – Don Graham
** Morris Nice Guy
“Saddened to hear of the passing of Mark Morris. One of the nicest guys I ever worked with. RIP Mark. One of the good guys.” - Rob Frazier
** Morris Professional
“Sad to hear of Mark Morris’ passing. He was one of the best guys I ever worked with. He was so professional at his craft.
An excellent radio dj and production guy. He was always in a good mood and no task was too great for him. He always got the job done. But most especially his kindness toward others. I never heard him speak an unkind word about anyone. He had that great smile and laugh that I’ll miss. The heavens are brighter with him.” – Dominick Garcia
Classic Uncle Joe Lands at Townsquare
|(May 4, 2018) Uncle Joe Benson,
veteran of KLOS twice for over 15 years, KLSX, ‘Arrow 93’ (KCBS), and
most recently 100.3/The Sound, has landed a nighttime
syndicated program for Townsquare’s weeknight “Ultimate Classic Rock.”
He will be able to do the show, heard on 60 stations, from his home.
“I’ll be saving 2-2.5 hours traffic each day,” said Uncle Joe.
Joe had a long tenure as host of Westwood One’s weekly “Off the Record” and many of his interviews, stories and videos will be part of “Ultimate Classic Rock” program. “I know all the elements. I know all the songs. I can tell my stories I’ve been doing for years. I’ll be able to do the features I’ve done for years. There will probably be a 10@10, a story on ‘this day in history’ and various other features that will allow me to tell stories,” Joe said by phone yesterday.
Growing up in the Midwest, Joe would frequently just go out to his garage with his buddies and hang out. He took that same concept in chatting with some of the biggest names in the music business. “We opened up Uncle Joe’s Garage and started shooting videos during the interviews. At least 5,000 people view the interviews each week, some weeks as many as 80,000. I just love having fun with people.”
It was a matter of great timing for Joe and his boss, Kurt Johnson (a big dj in the 70s and early 80s), at Townsquare. “It took a couple of months to sort out the situation with Entercom and CBS and Townsquare was looking to make a change with the ‘Ultimate Classic Rock’ program. I already knew how to do syndication since ‘Off the Record’ has been going for twenty years.”
|The AOR legend proudly talked about his kids.
His daughter is graduating from the University of the Pacific. “She’s a
performance bassoonist and going for her Master’s in Toronto. My son is
an extraordinary guitarist and this summer his band will be on tour.
He’s extraordinary. Steve Miller has been his mentor. Just to see the
talent in the two kids, I wish my dad was around to see it.”
In 1968, Joe started working for a small station in Dubuque. After stops in Milwaukee and Cleveland, he joined KLOS in October 1980. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of great people.” In January 1995, the "Classic Rock" station, KLSX, hired Joe to reprise his popular Sunday night show, as well as do fill-in.
In summer 1996 he returned to KLOS to host "7th Day," and by January 1997 was working afternoon drive. In August 1997, Joe took the morning shift at "Arrow 93," featuring more of his 'stories' to compliment the music intensive Classic Rock format. Over the years, he has written several volumes of discographies, Uncle Joe's Record Guides.
Joe, a racecar enthusiast and driver, has also been covering motor sports on-air since 1986, and has been announcing at the California Speedway since its inception in 1997. “The sport I enjoy the most, I can participate in it a little bit. That’s pretty fun.”
In other news: Peter Bowen, former DOS for CBS/LA, has taken on the Director of Sports assignment at Entercom/Chicago. Bowen was most recently vp/market manager of the Cumulus/Chicago cluster until September 2017 … Ben Shapiro, formerly mornings at Salem’s KRLA, is launching a second Ben Shapiro podcast, a Sunday new long-form interview series. The idea behind the Sunday series is to provide more in-depth interviews, while not disrupting the fast-paced daily news format of the weekday show. Shapiro is also a nationally-syndicated columnist since age 17, and a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School … Ken Minyard, longtime morning man at KABC, has some striking thoughts about radio that he shared on Facebook: “I just listened to a couple of commercial radio stations this morning for the 1st time in years. It's easy to see why terrestrial radio is dying. If you are accustomed to listening to satellite radio or podcasts or any of the other Internet options it is almost impossible to tolerate the avalanche of commercials fired at you. Back when I was in the game it was just as bad but listeners didn't have the choices they have today. The path forward is pretty bleak. Today’s radio is just as outdated as 8-track tapes, imo.”
Mark Morris, LARP Veteran for 30 Years, Dies
|(May 3, 2018) Mark Morris, a
beloved local broadcaster, died yesterday of a ruptured fistula. He had
been on kidney dialysis for a few years. Most recently Mark had a show
at Hot923thebeat.com. He was thought to be in his 50s, according to Johnny
St. John Newton, who gave Mark his first job in 1988 at KKLA.
“Mark was a gentleman,” said Johnny by phone this morning, while
fighting back tears. “He was first class all the way. He was very, very
professional in his job.”
The native Los Angeleno grew up near Baldwin Park. He got the radio bug while working on Loyola Marymount University's college station, KXLU, where he was general manager for two years. During his tenure as manager, the staff won back-to-back awards as Radio Station of the Year. With a sparkle in his voice, he proclaimed his school the “Marines of God.” Mark did morning drive news and production at KKLA, then moving to SI Communications between 1988 and 1990.
Mark was also part of the morning drive team at KACE during its “Quiet Storm” period. While at KLSX in the mid 90’s, he was the host and producer of a syndicated NAC show “Night Songs” that was heard on over 20 stations.
His radio resume was deep. In addition to the above named stations he was a producer at Alan Beck’s Underground Oldies Show; production director at 1110/KRLA working with Huggy Boy, Art Laboe, and Mucho Morales; production director at AM 1100 KFAX; production director at Salem/San Francisco; air talent at Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters; production director at Oldies 1260; morning show host at K-JAZZ; production director at Mega 100 (which became Hot 92.3/fm); production director at Comedy World; and director of production at KLSX 97.1 FM.
“I last spoke to Mark on April 10th,” emailed Mike Johnson, operations director at K-JAZZ. “He seemed in good spirits, and we had talked about meeting one day soon for lunch and going to a Dodger game. He was a great man and a true professional. I will miss him.”
AMP Says Yes to Yesi
|(May 3, 2018)
I met Yesi Ortiz, former middayer at Power 106 and now
at the same slot at AMP Radio, at an SCBA function at Disneyland. Her
energy was undeniable as she met guests from the theme park and signed
autographs. She has an incredible personal life, raising six adopted
LA Weekly published a 2015 story about Yesi by Rebecca Haithcoat. Here are some highlights:
As a child, Yesi Ortiz was so shy that she would opt for an F rather than speak in front of the class. “I always felt like I was an outsider. I used to talk to myself — I still do!” says the petite, bubbly Ortiz, bursting into laughter and wrapping her hands around a steaming cup of spiced apple tea one brisk evening. But her most impressive title might be “Mom.”
In addition to her duties on air, she juggles being an adoptive mother to six kids. “I’m very successful because of the drama in my life,” says Ortiz. Her lips are curved into a perma-smile. “There’s no time to have a pity party.”
Born in San Clemente to Mexican immigrants who spoke little English and divorced when she was a baby, Ortiz had difficulty making friends. The town was predominantly white, yet she was one of a handful of Latinos taking ESL classes. To make blending in trickier, Ortiz and her mother, stepfather and sister all lived in a single room they rented in someone’s apartment.
Adrift after graduating
high school in the late 1990s, Ortiz was listening to Power 106 and
heard a commercial advertising the Academy of Radio and Television
Broadcasting. She and her mother had a stormy relationship, but watching
her mom learn English by singing along to the radio was its one sunny
spot. So she signed up, and in less than six months had landed a gig as
the “Latin Diva” at a new station in Las Vegas.
Her career was taking off, but there was trouble at home. Six of her sister’s children had been taken into foster care. Ortiz found a radio job in San Diego, but the station was located in Tijuana. Having spent a good chunk of her savings on hiring a lawyer to fight for the kids, she moved into a cheap apartment in TJ and survived on peanut butter–and-jelly sandwiches. Her perseverance paid off — within two years, she had become the 25-year-old foster mother of three boys and three girls, all of whom she later adopted.
She has appeared on the popular VH1 show Love & Hip-Hop, but the fame hasn’t gone to her head — her kids are a built-in equalizer. “They don’t care that I was just on air with J.Lo,” Ortiz says, hopping into her mom van. “They just want to know what’s for dinner.” Read the entire story by clicking Yesi's photo provided by Ryan Orange.
Two LARPs on the TIME 100 Most Influential
|TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people is a designation of individuals whose time, in our estimation, is now. The TIME 100 isn’t a measure of power, though many on the list wield it. Nor is it a collection of milestones accumulated. As our staff considers candidates, we often find ourselves wowed by those with stunning lifetime achievements. But editorial director Dan Macsai, maestro of the TIME 100, brings us back to the key question: Was this their year?|
|(by Dick Durbin) Jimmy Kimmel
is a funny man, and he makes a living telling jokes about people like
me. Washington never fails to give him plenty of material. But my
favorite Jimmy moment was a serious monologue with only a few laughs.
Last year, Jimmy told America the story of his infant son Billy, who was
born with a congenital heart condition, and the extraordinary care that
saved his life. And then Jimmy looked into the camera and told all of us
in Washington to get real about health insurance and make sure every
baby Billy had a fighting chance. Night after night he sparred with the
politicians who tried to take health insurance from millions of
Americans. In the end we stopped them with one vote in the Senate and
one great comedian on late-night TV. Thanks, Jimmy.
Durbin is a U.S. Senator from Illinois and the Democratic whip
(by Newt Gingrich) Sean Hannity has a remarkable impact between three hours of radio and an hour of TV every day. His fans listen to him and learn from him. One of his biggest fans is President Donald Trump, who routinely watches the TV show and talks with Sean as a fellow New Yorker. Hannity played a major role in helping Trump get the nomination and win the general election. Sean is both a principled conservative and a ferocious opponent of the left and the deep state. He has made and is making a difference.
Gingrich is a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
"Click and Clack" Headed to Automotive Hall of Fame
|(May 1, 2018) “Click and Clack,
the Tappet Brothers” are voted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Even
though first-run versions of the show ended with Tom Magliozzi’s death
in 2012, they are still heard in reruns.
Tom and his brother Ray Magliozzi were running a D-I-Y garage in the Boston area when they started to drop by Boston’s not-for-profit News/Talk WBUR “to offer their advice and their self-deprecating humor,” said Hemmings Motor News. That was in 1977. They later began guesting with Susan Stamberg on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, which led in 1987 to their own hour-long Car Talk show on National Public Radio.
|In other news: Now live across the country and
airing one night a week, ABC’s American Idol won its two-hour
slot, hitting its best numbers since its premiere … Heidi Harris,
formerly mornings at Salem’s KRLA, returns to Las Vegas radio at KMZQ
(670 AM “The Right Talk for Las Vegas”) … Here’s hoping for a quick
recovery for Charlie Van Dyke. He was admitted to an
Arizona hospital with pneumonia. Later in the day, there was concern
Charlie may have had atrial fibrillation. “I’ve got a team of doctors,
some with differing opinions, so they are getting together to sort it
out,” Charlie said by phone yesterday.
AMP Radio (KAMP) has a new middayer, Yesi Ortiz, who comes over after a decades-long run at Power 106. Born and raised in Orange County, she commuted every weekend during college to Las Vegas to get her start in radio. She is part of the Style Network’s “Latina Modern Mom” initiative, which targets Hispanic moms between 18 and 49 years old with new programming and makeovers of existing shows. Yesi also hosted a reality show called, Single With 7.
Rob Marinko, closely associated with KABC for years, is moving to Winter Park, Florida, near Orlando. “Besides the obvious economics, we simply feel lost here in California,” wrote Rob on his Facebook page. “This is not an ad campaign for Florida as it has its own unique challenges. We feel our views and quaint law-abiding nature is not represented by anyone in power here. It’s not all about the politics and feeling generally unwelcome until tax time. We will have more time to spend out of our cars and doing stuff we enjoy. As you get older, you find that’s a big deal. Farewell Cali! We knew ye too well.”
Hear Ache. Jim Duncan set for knee surgery in June, while Saul Levine had successful knee surgery recently … Jimmy Kimmel will be adding his voice to an ABC pilot, Man of the House … Rachel L. welcomed Bean back to the KROQ morning show yesterday on Twitter. “Thanks for being so open and candid about your struggles with mental health. It’s very inspiring. I’m glad that you were willing to put up with our annoying questioning and got some help.” Bean was appreciative of the “many, many, many” listeners who reached out. “Onward and upward!”
When Is An Oldie Not an Oldie? The Answer ... Maybe
|(April 30, 2018) While
preparing this column on “what defines an Oldie,” I had SiriusXM on my
radio. Their 60s channel was counting down the big hits of January 1960.
A shorthand look at the 50s would probably include Chuck Berry, Elvis
Presley, and Fats Domino , while the 60s split between the Beach Boys,
The Beatles and Motown. And then there was everything in between.
Included in the January 1960 countdown was Scarlett Ribbons by the Browns, Uh Oh, Part Two by the Nutty Squirrels, and the Village of St. Bernadette by Andy Williams. Would you consider any of these three songs hits representative of the era? Hardly, but there they were in the Top 20 of that chart.
Trying to answer the question of when an Oldie was no longer considered Oldies is prompted by an earlier question from Rich Brother Robbin, proprietor of RichBroRadio on the Internet. His site plays primarily the hits from the 50s and 60s. He asked if the cutoff for the Top 40 era is earlier or even later?
Gary Lane thinks the cutoff year was 1963. “You know it's kind of funny, Tom Clay, Pat Michaels and I were talking about this years ago at KWIZ in Santa Ana,” emailed Gary.
Dodger Steve believes a true Oldie stands the test of time and can get people moving and grooving whenever and where it’s played. The Disco era signaled the end of Oldies for Bob Scott. “If I had to pick a year, I would say 1973.”
“My short answer is that there is no answer,” emailed Lane Quigley, longtime host on RockItRadio.net. “Music is in a constant state of evolution. Even on those rare occasions when there seemed to be a ‘big bang’ (e.g. Beatles / Rock Around The Clock), that music evolved from all that came before.”
Quigley continued: “You will recall that when I was doing my Memory Lane Show on KUSC in the 70’s, we played ‘pre-Beatle Oldies.’ That was a convenient delineation of the end of the first era of rock & roll, mainly because it seemed to generate interest in music to a younger audience than what came before. It was probably the last such clear delineation. Over time, I think the term Oldies has come to represent Rock music through the end of the 60’s. Most folks will always think the music of their school years was the best, but the term ‘Oldie’ does not generally seem to be applied to music from the 70’s and beyond.”
“I think that the British invasion, and influence from bands like the Grass Roots, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Credence Clearwater, etc., all contributed to making some of the late 50’s and early 60’s music sound really old,” emailed Craig Roberts. “Many of those 60’s songs played well up to the mid 70’s, then of course the ‘New Wave’ sound of the 80’s made those records sound old. Time marches on, and so does music.”
“First, while as a convenience I keep my favorite Oldies 50s-and-60s in a single sub-directory,in reality I consider 1968 as an end of Oldies,” wrote Chime Hart of Sherman Oaks.
“The music of ‘69 was much less enjoyable, especially among slower records, along with Progressive Rock invading. While there are some songs from each year which I enjoy, it does seem to go in cycles. Just as a lull in 1960, 1970 was not so good, but 1961 and 1971 had lots of material I purchased. As for early Oldies stations, my friend up in Oakland says KWIZ went Oldies on January 7, 1965.”
Personally, I’m a big fan of 50s and 60s music because it is in my wheelhouse when I went to school. Memories are usually associated with a period of first-discoveries in relationships. When Rich first posed the question, I thought back to 1968. I was national program director for Gordon McLendon, based in Dallas. We were invited to an Iron Butterfly concert. After 15 minutes of In Gadda Da Vida, I turned to my wife and said, “The music has now passed me by.”
Thanks to those who participated. Rock on …
My buddy with the blast furnace energy, Rich Brother Robbin, gets the last word: My view is that “Top 40” and “Oldies” are different formats. Top 40 is the 40 most popular songs as determined by the best research we could get on any given week. Oldies is totally different from Top 40 and is far more subjective.
When the Oldies format really caught fire in the mid-70’s through early 80’s, we literally threw in the kitchen sink. For example, we played El Paso by Marty Robbins (“hey, it was number one for the entire year in 1960”) or even more odd, Bobby Vinton’s There I’ve Said it Again, a chart-topper in 1964 that eclipsed a whole gob of super-smash Beatles songs just because it was number one. We quickly discovered the MOR, Country, and fringy novelty stuff didn’t synergize with the rest of the playlist of pop hits and artists.
We realized playing Oldies was more about the sonic compatibility of songs versus their chart position. Should There I Said it Again get more airplay than I Want to Hold Your Hand just because the former charted higher the year of release? Of course not. We discovered it was more about “fit,” though what “fits” and “doesn’t fit” is subjective.
We learned stations which kept the music poppin’, offering three or four up-tempo tunes for every ballad or “slower” song, got better and better audiences. Music research entered into programming, then there was good ol’ Bill (“less songs, bigger hits more often”) Drake making changes at KRTH, cutting the playlist to 300 – 400 selections, and the ratings soared. Instead of old, stodgy numbers or silly Country bullshit, Oldies stations playing more up-tempo songs and knock-your-head off ballads like the Righteous Brothers had greater success.
So, am guessin’ my answer to the question is it’s about music from an era that match sonically. The real question is which songs fit together. Starting from Elvis, there’s the Beatles, Beach Boys, Everly Brothers, Chuck Berry, good ol’ American pop from the late 50’s and 60’s, Motown, more of the British Invasion, and so on, probably through a year or two after the Beatles’ break-up in 1969.
In the end, the Oldies format is the Oldies format, but it’s jus not that black-and-white. We have mainstream Oldies, mellow Oldies, rock Oldies, poppy wimpy Oldies, sickening or romantic (depending on your disposition and gender) sappy ballads, and on and on. They’re ALL Oldies!
So Oldies is like ice cream. We all know what it is, but the hook is coming up with the most popular flavors for the folks livin’ around your particular ice cream stand!
Email Saturday, 4.28.18
** Condition of Scott St. James
“Omg. Sorry for poor Scott St. James. Life can be so cruel.” – Fred Wallin
** Gershan a Godsend
“Thanks to Kevin Gershan for the update on Scott St. James.
I'm a longtime follower of LARadio, and longtime fan of Scott. I never met Scott, so a visit may not be appropriate. But, please pass on to him and his family that he touched many lives in his long career.
This touches me deeply, as my father passed away on 7/28/16 of this terrible disease, which can so cruelly rob one of their dignity.
Thank you for you have been doing, as it’s a great blessing to Scott to have someone like you at his side.” – Al Prado
** Appreciate of Update
“Our hearts are with Scott St. James and family. As for Kevin Gershan - many thanks for the update. You are truly the keeper of the flame in this diaspora of broadcasters and gypsies.” – Keri Tombazian
** Jammer Hurtin’
“Very sad. Loved listening to the Jammer.” - Christopher A. Bury, Attorney at Law
** Prayers for St. James
“Both Chuck and I knew Scott St. James in the ‘old days.’ I'm grateful for Kevin Gershan's update, even if it's not the news we'd like to receive. The Scott we knew lives on in our hearts and the one struggling with Alzheimer's remains a beloved child of the universe. We hold him in our prayers.” – Lisa Bowman
** Wick to Gershan
“I do not know
Scott St. James
personally, I am just one of his many fans. I used to enjoy seeing him
on television and I remember his blog. His personality was larger than
life and it must be so very painful to see Scott in his current
condition. I wish medical science could ease his condition and return
him to the vibrant person he was before Alzheimer's took hold.
Scott is certainly fortunate to have friends like you in his life.” - Mike Wick
** Where are The Sound Listeners?
“I am a longtime reader of LA Radio and your question of where listeners are going after The Sound went off the air was a really great article.
I will tell you this. My wife and I are in our 50’s. We used to listen to KMET, KLOS and up to recently The Sound and since The Sound is off the air, we have gravitated to 88.5 KCSN/KBSR. Why? The music. We love all the eclectic stuff that 88.5 plays. We get tired of the same 20 songs that KLOS plays now [GNR’s Welcome to the Jungle comes to mind]. In fact, this station is so good, our 17-year-old daughter and her friends listen to it as well. We don’t care for the promotions. Never have, never will. Just play the music. Old stuff we haven’t heard in ages. Not the same 20 songs like Born to Run, Old Time Rock and Roll, Rock and Roll All Night, etc.
“The Sound used to do that before they decided to mimic KLOS.” - Ruben Gonzalez, Lake Forest
** Hats Off to Larry
“Thank you for the great look back at Larry Van Nuys - his twitter feed alone shows how relevant he still is!
I remember not only Help Thy Neighbor but his work on the Arthritis Telethons with Jane Wyman. Such a distinctive voice!
His and the reliable coverage of earthquakes by KNX have always been been a source of comfort when those horrid things wake you up. Many a time I've stayed up after my mom and sister have gone back to sleep and listened to the news anchors talk us through the hours after a shaker. That's why radio is still important. When everything else is going wrong, radio gets us through it.” – Julie Byers
** More Hats Off to Larry
“I loved the article about Larry Van Nuys. He is part of the roster of talent with my company, The Promo Guys (promoguys.tv). He is such an amazing talent whom I have much respect for. And that voice!” – Craig Roberts
** Memories of Roger Collins
“Great job on the remembrance article about my wonderful friend, Roger Collins. One doesn’t get to know a person like he was too often in their lifetime. This one is going to sting for a very long time.
Thank you for taking the time to help me get through this. Seeing it in print still doesn’t seem real.” – Jeffrey Leonard
** Smooth, Calming Voice
“As a listener, my memories of Roger Collins at KFI and Russ Carlton with news - when working out at the Simi drive-in swap meet.
Later at KUTE 102/Quiet Storm, which I listened to frequently, he did weekend mornings, and if my memory serves me had a turn as morning drive for a bit.
A smooth, calming voice.
I made an air check of Roger and Tom King from KUTE, May ‘87.” – Greg Wood
** Pitts Memory
“Belatedly, I recall working with Don Pitts in the late ‘80s when he was the ‘voice man’ at the Charles Stern Talent Agency. A client, Casey Kasem recommended me to be signed at Stern. I was all set in 1989 to tutor with great game show announcer Jay Stewart (Let’s Make a Deal) when I learned that Jay had committed suicide. Blam! Don was super, but the Stern signing produced ‘zero.’” – Larry McKay
Last of Originators of American Top 40 Dies
|(April 27, 2018) Don
Bustany died this week. He was one of the last of the four
original creators of the iconic American Top 40. “He was family
to us and we got to spend time with him last weekend before he passed.
We got to talk and laugh and hug each other one last time,” said Kerri
Kasem, daughter of Casey Kasem. “Now he’s with
his beloved wife Judy and my dad, along with countless friends.” He was
For those familiar with the recording of Casey’s outtakes from a recording session that have been widely circulated, Don is forever immortalized in the phrase, "Get Don on the phone!" Bustany had tv credits in addition to radio, and shared Casey’s activism in support of the Arab community. In the 1970s and ’80s, Bustany was the camera coordinator and a director of The Bob Newhart Show and Mary Tyler Moore. He also served as the technical coordinator on several other television programs. Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars...
Great news from Michigan. Art Vuolo, radio’s best friend, is the recipient of this year’s TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. Well deserved. With Art's expertise, a permanent exhibit on the history of the disc jockey is being prepared for museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago … Mary Beth Garber is now a published author. “My first audiobook narration release is a heartfelt novel by Ann Meeropol, Kinship of Clover. It is available on Audible and Amazon … Fun tv news series on 1986 radio in Los Angeles. Click radio link … Duane Eddy turned 80 this week. Gads, remember Rebel Rouser? That twangy guitar was new to rock ’n’roll. It came from Country … Good luck to Joel Denver for his AllAccess Worldwide Radio Summit 2018 next week. Class guy makes class event! Steve Kamer hosts the Industry Awards Luncheon. KIIS’ JoJo Wright will host the 2018 Premiere Networks Luncheon… Entercom’s Rhythmic station KSFM in Sacramento fired everyone and is looking to hire a new Rhythmic staff … CBS chief Leslie Moonves saw his executive compensation dip to $69.3 million …Don Imus has sold his ranch near Santa Fe for close to $19 million.
Who Got 100.3/The Sound's Listeners?
|(April 26, 2018) When the
March ’18 ratings were released earlier this month, K.M.
Richards noticed no movement in Classic Rock KLOS. This was a
surprise to some, since 100.3/The Sound was sold to a Christian
outfit and abandoned Classic Rock. There certainly was the opportunity
for KLOS to seize some of those listeners who felt abandoned by the
Richards ventured a guess that loyal Sound listeners did not flock to KLOS, but rather to the eclectic Triple A format presented at 88.5 (KCSN/KSBR). I decided to approach the general manager of 88.5/fm if he had any insights into ratings, considering the Cal State Northridge station does not subscribe to Nielsen PPM.
“I was told that there were two ties in recent trend. 8 ties at 24 and 14 tied at 32!” Sky Daniels shot back. “That basically says that once you get out of the Top 20 in an area of 14 million people, one meter makes the difference between 22 and 40! Ridiculous and shameful for the industry,” Sky proclaimed.
Criticism of the ratings industry is nothing new. Unless you are #1, everyone seems to have concern over their accuracy. “We have seen our online listening increase by 40%,” wrote Daniels. “Social media postings reaching 2 million impressions, and our current pledge drive is breaking all records, including the week that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were playing our first benefit, which made history in the radio annals.”
Sky knows firsthand the seduction of striving
to be #1. “I know talking about ratings can always sound like sour
grapes. However, having developed stations like the Loop [where one out
of every two Chicago teens apparently listened to my show], my question
back then was wondering what the other teens were listening to? I too
have been seduced by the nectar that is #1 in the ratings. Non-comm
offers hope to those who want a deeper, less predictable radio
experience. Listeners deserve better radio.”
“Having a listener donate $100 in an 'honor system' is way more compelling than 'cume,’” continued Daniels. “When it comes to ratings, sadly very few broadcasters look at the big picture. For example, when KSCA jumped from 32 to FIRST with the morning host taking just FOUR meters and set them to “hear” his show. Ironically, did the industry collectively revolt that four meters could impact the L.A. book that dramatically? No. They focused on ‘he cheated.’”
The LA Times wrote: “Nielsen has been attempting to verify that individuals who participated in its sample audience panel were truly independent, and did not have ties to any radio stations or radio personalities that were being measured. The ratings agency said that it needed to ‘remove a household from the panel for not meeting our quality standards.’ Radio industry insiders said such actions were unprecedented. One person said the move marked the first time in more than a decade that the release of radio ratings in Los Angeles had been postponed due to such concerns.”
Mark Ramsey, a leading audio thinker wrote: “One single household has this scale of impact? In LA?! So what’s really going on here?”
“The rumor in the radio industry is that this particular household had media ties and the usage recorded was significant enough to skew the overall ratings for the market,” wrote Ramsey. “Indeed, how could it be otherwise? Because if one household mattered so little to the overall results, then why would Nielsen bother to hold back the ratings for the entire market in the first place? The very withholding of the data implies that one household has the potential to skew the whole in a significant way.”
Ramsey went on: “Ponder that for a moment: One household in Los Angeles has the potential to meaningfully skew the ratings for America’s largest market! And if this one household can do that in LA, then can’t any one household in any market do it any time? What does this say about the validity of the metrics? Why is one goofy household with outlandish listening habits be any more goofy than any other goofy household with outlandish listening simply because it is affiliated with a local media company?” Turns out it was two households involved, but still.
Meanwhile, Sky will continue to champion new music by emerging musicians as well as veteran artists, resulting in shout-outs from A-list rockers, including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, U2 and Bonnie Raitt. Sting added his name to that list, saluting “… the station’s format for providing much appreciated exposure to him and other musicians who have fallen out of favor with Top 40 and other commercial radio outlets.”
|KJLH Ticket Giveaway|
Roger Collins Dies
|(April 25, 2018) Roger Collins,
veteran of KFI (1978-83), KUTE (1983-87) and KLIT (1989-90), passed away
April 23, of colon cancer. John Rook hired Roger at KFI
as music director and assistant pd. Roger was thrilled to be working
with the All-Star staff that Rook had assembled.
Born Paul Lancaster in Winslow, Arizona, he started his radio career in 1963 in Winslow followed by jobs in Holbrook, Arizona and Odessa, Texas. From 1971 until arriving in the Southland, Roger worked in the Tucson market. He was sports director of KGUN/TV, pd of KTKT and KRQQ.
Roger was director of instruction at the Los Angeles Broadcasters School during much of the 80s. He was also operations director of Breneman Radio Services and the Breneman Review. After returning to Arizona, Roger produced video workshops for school kids at Northern Arizona University, and was a consultant to Native American education radio for the Navajo Nation. He also programmed KAFF FM/AM, KMGN/fm, KVNA-FM/AM and KZGL/fm. He went on to sales in Flagstaff.
“Roger had only been sick for a couple of months,” emailed colleague Jeffrey Leonard. “Roger called me back in late February to tell me that the cancer had just been discovered and he was getting treated. He had an incredibly positive attitude, having beaten prostate cancer 10 years ago. The last text I received from him was on April 9th, when he simply said, ‘thanks for being a great friend.’ All texts after that went unanswered. Roger reminded me a lot of Mark Denis. He was an extraordinarily spiritual person who never said anything bad about anyone, ever. Needless to say, I am heartbroken. Rest in peace, Rog.”
|"Roger was among the couple of dozen or so pros
who taught at Jimi Fox's broadcast school, Los Angeles
Broadcasters aka The LAB," remembered Randy West. "When
I was hired, Roger indoctrinated me to the format (yes, of course Jimi
had it tightly formatted!). Of the many radio veterans counseling and
critiquing the students, none was more dedicated or a better mentor. He
taught me to leave some questions from students unanswered, simply
steering them to find the answer for themselves. Good teaching, good
parenting. Roger was a kind, considerate friend with a quick wit ... in
short, one of the radio folks we love so much. R.I.P."
"So sad to hear about Roger Collins. passing," wrote Jeff Gehringer of the Astor Broadcast Group. "As a young radio intern with stars in his eyes in 1981, Roger would answer every question I had about the business. Watching him work with the record promoters was a real education. I'll never forget when he heard a new record he loved, he would start dancing in the office. He loved radio and the amazing characters behind the mic. This was the era of Biggie Nevins and master programmer John Rook. He also started the KFI softball team. We were not every good, but the beer at Shakeys made up for it. Thanks to Roger for fostering my love of broadcasting. He was a class act."
Ladd is Back and the Tribe Was Waiting
|(April 24, 2018) For months,
Jim Ladd was missing from his Deep Tracks SiriusXM
afternoon show but when he returned yesteray, everyone was waiting for
him - Nurse Susan, truckers, and his Tribe. Fans lighted up social media
welcoming the iconic broadcaster back to the booth to play the music
that tells a story. He said, "the support has been overwhelming." At one
point he referred to the past three months with the Doors song,
People Are Strange. With no explanation for his absence, it was
okay. Tom Petty music was in good hands. And the blues music
was represented by BB King before his first day was over.
In other news: ABC's American Idol, with 7.37 million viewers, recovered Sunday from previous week's series low, suffered during ACM Awards in its timeslot. Idol was the night's top-ranked show in the 18-49 age bracket. On Monday The Voice won again but dropped a tick while the two-hour American Idol inched up, causing an almost tie between the two singing competitions … Bill Mayne was a jock at Country KZLA from 1983-85. He went on to be executive director at Country Radio Broadcasters. This week, he announced his retirement from CRB. The Country radio and music industry veteran work includes artist development, management and at record labels … Country star Dierks Bentley will be the midday guest host at KKGO for the month of May … Congratulations to Dodger stadium announcer Todd Leitz on his 30th wedding anniversary … CBS Sunday Morning television program is being made available to radio through CBS News Radio. KNX will not be running the Sunday show, according to pd Ken Charles … Rita Pardue won the Ms Senior Ventura County pageant last weekend … Congrats to Mike Butts, former KIQQ morning man, on his 11th wedding anniversary. His former wife, Lisa, is marrying former KHJ jock Barry Kaye. They are all happy.
People Magazine is designed for women
and the current issue featuring Pink is no exception.
But the mag did manage to devote one page to "Men Behaving Beautifully" and ex-KROQer Jimmy Kimmel was part of it (lower right section).
"The formerly apolitical host of Jimmy Kimmel Live, 50, tackled important issues with impassioned monologues
ranging from the need for universal health care to the deadly shooting in his hometown of Las Vegas and the lack of gun-control support in Congress."
When Is an Oldie No Longer an Oldie?
(April 23, 2018) Rich Brother Robbin has
been a friend since 1966. We share a love for Oldies music, the kind of
music made popular in the 50s and 60s. We had the first full-time 24/7
live Oldies station in the country in Detroit at W4 in 1969.
After his run on CHR/Oldies ran out, he started his own radio station on the Internet at RichBroRadio.com. We were talking about music recently, when Rich posed a question that may be of fodder for you. For those of you who still love Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, and Chuck Berry, at what point in history did music change to something that doesn’t “fit” with what we know as “hardcore Oldies?” When is a song no longer a legit Oldie, something different than the stuff from the 70s?
“When / what is the general year / years when most of the songs changed enough to sonically stop fitting with the older stuff?” asked Rich. I came up with my own answer, but thought I would share it after others have had an opportunity to also do so. What do you think? Don’t forget our email address has changed to: AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com
Email Saturday, 4.21.18
|** Times Moving
“Great seeing the photo of Bob McCormick on today’s page. He’s a guy I miss encountering at the station back in the day… and a couple times at Flair Cleaners in Burbank. Hard to believe ‘back in the day’ is 12 years ago already.” – Ed Pyle
|** Hayes Played a Role
“Thank you for reprinting the Johnny Hayes story. Growing up, I shared many of the same thoughts and excitement about radio that Johnny enjoyed, to the point that I became a huge fan of KYA living in Palo Alto. I wanted to attend college in SoCal, partially because of the radio business.
Dreams became reality, when Johnny gave me my first job in life, at the wondrous KRLA in 1968! What a life experience. My business path was set, thanks to him.” - Ann Beebe
|** Remembering Johnny Hayes
“Thank you for the LARadio.com Nostalgia Sunday piece on Johnny Hayes. I wasn’t a regular KRLA listener during my younger days in the West Valley — KMPC was our regular station during my most impressionable listening years — but when listening alone with the dial at arm’s length, I’ve rarely been able resist the impulse to tune the dial to see what else is on.
There are many ways for a radio station to capture my ears, but among the rarest is the voice that I could just sit and listen to regardless of what he or she is saying. The voice of Johnny Hayes was one of those voices, as they say, what a great set of pipes. As a radio listener, I would sometimes fantasize being a program director. There were three disc jockeys I wanted for my imaginary station: Johnny Magnus, Chuck Niles, and Johnny Hayes, each playing whatever he wanted, as long as he talked between each record. I’m glad to read more about the man with that voice.
And since I’m writing, over the years I’ve really enjoyed LARadio.com, which my dad [from whom I must have received a radio-listener gene] will still bring up pretty regularly when I speak with my folks of the phone. Growing up we almost always had the radio on — Bob Crane, Arthur Godfrey, Denny Bracken, etc. - on KNX when I was a young boy. I got my first radio around the 3rd grade, first listening to KFI, I think KNX was all-News by then. I switched to KMPC not long after Lohman and Barkley came about — hey, I was 9! — so I came of age with Dick Whittinghill, Geoff Edwards, Gary Owens, Roger Carroll, the news and sports crew, and the Angels.
Yet as I said above, I turn the dial a lot [even as a 3-year-old quietly taking my ‘nap’ after watching Sheriff John in the den — it was really mom’s nap time — I would turn that dial to catch KFWB Channel 98, or the Spanish announcers and music on KWKW, putting it back to KNX when nap time was over].
And I always read the radio columns in the papers [Citizen-News, Herald-Examiner, the Times Calendar section]. So many of those names [especially from the morning shift before school or work, or the weekends of the non-commercial FM stations] of various formats from the ‘60s, 70s, and ‘80s, both AM and FM, are part of my radio memories of the first half of my life living in LA. So I thank you for sharing your labor of love with all of us.” - Ad astra, Reverend Steven P. Tibbetts, born in Hollywood, playing in Peoria
** Lunch with Johnny Hayes
“In-N-Out Burgers sponsored the Johnny Hayes Count Down on KRLA from the very start. I can’t remember the number of years it lasted. He did an outstanding job, ad-libbing all the commercials, never once off a prepared script. Before the program went on the air, we met with then In-N-Out president, Rich Snyder [later killed in a plane crash at John Wayne Airport] who gave us a tour of the entire company followed by lunch in the back of one of the restaurants [only drive thrus in those days. You could listen to the show while you waited for your order in the car].” – Tom Bernstein
** The Art of 91X
“George Junak [a former co-worker of mine from my days at 91X in San Diego] says Art Bell did a weekend show on 91X in 1979, using the air name Art Trey. That's something I have never heard before or seen in print anywhere. According to George Junak, Art Bell asked then consultant Frank Felix if he could use the name Trey Bell on the all-Music format, but Felix told him no. They settled instead for Art Trey. Junak says he even has an old air check of Art's show on 91X from 10/27/79.
I didn't join the 91X/Mighty 690 family for mornings and programming until January of 1980. So, apparently, we just missed each other. I don't recall ever hearing that Art Bell was a music host before his start in talk radio. So this all seems rather mysterious.” - Ted Ziegenbusch, KOST 103.5
** Memories of Art Bell
“Back in the late 80s, I had a friend who lived in Las Vegas and he would tell me about this late-night radio personality, Art Bell. He told me he was on KDWN, a 50,000 watt clear channel station so I could probably hear it in Los Angeles. I think this was the pre-syndication days as the show was more political in nature, had a hometown feel, but still touched upon the UFO stuff from time to time. If the weather was clear, I could pick the station up just fine and would listen to various guests telling their tales of alien abduction throughout the wee hours of the morning. At that time, Art was playing some interesting bumper music and a few tunes came to mind that I thought he would like. I put them on a cassette, on my next visit to see my friend we wandered up to the Union Plaza Hotel, which was the home of KDWN, and made our way up the stairs to the studio.
We were told Art hadn’t arrived yet, which surprised us because it was pretty close to airtime, but the receptionists said she would give him the cassette so we headed out the door. On our way back downstairs we passed Art rushing up to the studio. He was real. We saw him! Back at my friend’s house we were drinking beer and listening to the radio. Unbeknownst to me he dialed the station in hopes of talking to Art. After a while he had to relieve himself, so he tossed me the phone and said ‘hang on to this for a second.’ Before heading to the john, he cranked up the volume as far as it would go.
I sat there holding the receiver to my ear and with the radio blasting I think I barely hear someone say ‘you’re on the air.’ I said ‘I’m sorry, what?’ and then Art went ballistic shouting ‘HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU PEOPLE TO TURN DOWN YOUR RADIOS?!?!?’ Then I heard the phone go CLICK and he hung up. Seven seconds later my friend exists the bathroom to hear Art shouting at me over the air and he yells at me ‘I was on hold for 45 minutes and the second I go to the bathroom he takes my call.’
Several years later I was listening in LA and heard my friend on the air with Art, so at least he finally got through. Oh, and about those songs I dropped off for bumper-music, one was by violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and the other by a group named Shadowfax. Art used them for years on the air.” - Gary Gibson, Montrose
** Is KLOS Sound?
“I note that even with EMF removing 100.3 as a competitor, KLOS' ratings are flat. In my not-so-humble opinion this should be sending a message to Cumulus that they aren't doing Classic Rock properly for the market. Their ‘brand’ of the format apparently appeals to zero percent of The Sound's former audience.
I bet they're all listening to Sky Daniels' well-executed AAA format on KCSN.” - K.M. Richards
** Radio Ink Article Praising KABC PD
“Good job, Drew Hayes! While KFI saw a ratings bump in March to 4.2, you have been successful in keeping KABC on a steady course in 37th place with 0.5. It must not be easy maintaining that coveted 37th place spot, but somehow you have managed to do it.
Could it be the ‘compelling’ programming, such as evening reruns of morning shows during the week? Or is it the weekends packed with infomercials, while KFI has actual weekend hosts that do real radio shows, like Bill Handel, The Fork Report, Leo Laporte, Mo Kelly, Bryan Suits, Dr. Wendy Walsh...and the list goes on.
But don't let KFI's success distract you from your focus on remaining #37. It's good to be goal oriented like that. I have been so stupid, and I apologize. Now I realize why you run so many retirement seminar commercials. It's symbolic for the number of listeners that have chosen to ‘retire’ from listening to KABC.
By the way, I don't know if you ever listen to your own station, but Dr. Drew and Lauren Sivan have ZERO on-air chemistry, and Ms. Sivan seems disengaged from the show a good portion of the time. I'm sure she's a very nice, very intelligent person but she certainly doesn't pair well with Dr. Drew. And I'm sure I'm not the first person you've heard that from. Don't forget to have some promotional T-Shirts produced that say ‘We're Number 37!’ Say it loud -- say it proud!” - Peter Thomas
Paraquat Kelley Sets Up GoFundMe Account for His Wife
|(April 20, 2018)
Carl Swanson checked in from Washington, DC, where he is an
engineer for the Voice of America. Carl used to work at WW1, KFI, KMPC,
and KCRW. “This may be more appropriate for Email Saturday, but have you
heard anything new from Pat Paraquat Kelley and his
wife?” asked Carl. “I saw and contributed to his #notcrippledinside
campaign and saw a few posts, but now he's gone quiet. The announcement
you published about his total disability [and the back link to his
initial diagnosis 12 years prior] shared the sh!t out of me, because I
was given the same diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis 14 months ago, after
a series of 6 seizures in 4 months [one of which landed me in the
hospital for more than a week, and off work for almost a year]. “It's
frightening to think I'm probably riding the same train he is but I am
really wanting to know if he's still fighting the good fight,” emailed
Carl. “Thanks to a good federal employee health plan, I have drugs that
(hopefully) slow progression and I don't need to pay $89,000/year for
In reaching out to Paraquat, he responded immediately and the timing could not have been better because a GoFundMe account has just been established. “Carl’s lucky he has relapsing remitting MS. I have progressive MS, the worst and rarest form. It’s a drag for sure but I have Melody to help me through. The GoFundMe account is to help her so that when I’m gone she’ll have something to help her.”
Carl passed on a message to Paraquat: “Tell him there's one brother in the struggle pulling for him.”
|(April 19, 2018) Former KNX/KFWBer Bob McCormick was visiting his parents in Detroit this week. Take a look at the snow on the patio of his parents’ home. Bob is reading Charlie Seraphin’s (ex-general manager at KNXfm/KODJ) book, One Stupid Mistake. “Short and full of great stories of how one false move or word and your goose could be hooked,” said Bob … Congratulations to former KTWV personality Sandy Kelley as she celebrates 19 years of marriage … Forbes magazine has a story on how to turn iHeartMedia around with sage advice to the new owners. The first piece of advice is to bring in real radio people to run the company. "It needs smart, experienced radio people at the controls. Get rid of the financial whizz-bangers who leveraged the company up to its eyeballs in debt and brought about its collapse. Lesson learned." Another suggestion: "Do radio, just radio, and do it right. Done right, radio alone can be very profitable. Sell off the other businesses that don’t directly support radio, such as Clear Channel Outdoor. Those businesses were acquired, and at huge cost, with the idea of creating cross-media synergies. Bad idea, bad execution, loads of problems best forgotten. Program for listeners, only listeners. Early radio had the right idea. Entertain your listeners" … Nicole Sandler saw her oncologist and got the good news that her scans are clean. “Cancer free” are nice words to hear … NBC’s The Voice was No. 1 for Monday night, besting ABC’s American Idol by 31% in 18-49.|
Jim Ladd Returns on Monday
|(April 18, 2018) “The Jim
Ladd Show returns from High in the Hollywood Hills,” was how
Jim announced on Facebook his Monday return to SiriusXM Deep Tracks,
Channel 27. He had been absent from the satellite service for a number
of weeks. “Let’s Get Loud! Lord Have Mercy!”
The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) announced the winners of the 43rd annual Gracie Awards. The Steve Harvey Morning Show’s Shirley Strawberry won in the National Radio Co-Host category. The Big Time with Whitney Allen won for National Crisis Coverage. The Gracie Awards gala will take place on May 22 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and will recognize some of the most talented women in television, radio and digital media.
Dred Scott, former personality with KLSX and 100.3/The Sound, prefaced his Facebook announcement with “NOT fake news.” He will be the new morning host on The Coast, KOZT in beautiful Mendocino (coincidentally, the county of his birth). “The largest music library in the USA, the one and only Joe Regelski on news, iconic Bay Area djs Tom Yates and Kate Hayes and a great connection to the community. Oh, and broadcasting from one of the most picturesque areas around plus streaming live worldwide. Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in...”
In other news: Michelle Boros has resigned her position as music director/midday host at Entercom’s AMP Radio. She joined the CHR station in 2010. Prior to joining KAMP, Boros programmed and hosted afternoons on CHR “20 on 20” for XM Satellite Radio and worked in the Dallas market.
No Mas Holiday Music and KOST Tops the Charts
(April 17, 2018) KOST takes the
top spot in the March '18 Monthly Nielsen ratings, PPM 6+ Mon-Sun,
6a-12mid. We are used to seeing the AC station at the top for a couple
survey periods over the holidays when the station plays non-stop
Christmas music, but usually the station falls back into a Top 5
position until the next holiday period. Sister station, Hot AC, KBIG
(MY/fm), drops to second, while Classic Hits K-EARTH holds at #3. Talker
KFI moves up to #6. Here are the Top 40:
1. KOST (AC) 5.3 - 5.9
2. KBIG (MY/fm) 6.1 - 5.7
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.2 - 5.0
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.9 - 4.7
KTWV (the WAVE) 4.4 - 4.7
6. KFI (Talk) 3.9 - 4.2
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.8 - 3.8
8. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 4.0 - 3.6
9. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.5 - 3.4
10. KNX (News) 3.3 - 3.2
11. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.9 - 2.9
12. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.8 - 2.8
KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.5 - 2.8
14. KPPC (News/Talk) 3.0 - 2.7
15. KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.6 - 2.6
16. KRRL (Urban) 2.4 - 2.4
KYSR (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.4
18. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.3 - 2.3
KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.3 - 2.3
20. KROQ (Alternative) 2.2 - 2.2
KXOS (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 2.2
22. KKGO (Country) 2.5 - 2.0
23. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.9 - 1.9
24. KCRW (Variety) 1.5 - 1.7
25. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.6 - 1.6
KUSC (Classical) 1.6 - 1.6
27. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.2 - 1.4
28. KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.0 - 1.2
29. KRLA (Talk) 0.9 - 1.1
30. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 0.9 - 1.0
KSPN (Sports) 1.0 - 1.0
32. KEIB (Talk) 1.0 - 0.9
KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.9 - 0.9
34. KKJZ (Jazz) 0.9 - 0.8
KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.8
36. KFWB (Regonial Mexican) 07 - 0.7
37. KABC (Talk) 0.5 - 0.5
KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.5 - 0.5
KLAC (Sports) 0.4 - 0.5
KYLA (Christian Contemporary) 0.4 - 0.5
Art Bell Was a True Radio Original
|(April 16, 2018) For some
strange, bizarre reason, it somehow seems fitting that Art Bell,
creator and original host of “Coast to Coast AM,” heard locally on KFI,
had died on Friday the 13th. He was 72.
No matter what you might have thought about what Art talked about – and that included the paranormal, abstract, conspiracies, and the world of UFOs – Art was a radio original. Broadcasting from a double-wide trailer in the Nevada desert for more than two decades, Art talked to his listeners in the middle of the night about their stories of alien abductions, crop circles, anthrax scares and, as he put it, all things “seen at the edge of vision.”
While serving in the US Air Force in the Vietnam War, Art indulged his childhood passion for radio by operating a pirate station that played anti-war music otherwise unavailable on official channels, broadcast to American servicemen. Following his time in the service, Art’s love of radio led him to working as a disc jockey for an English-language station in Japan. Over there, he set a Guinness World Record for broadcasting some 116 hours straight to raise funds to rescue over 100 Vietnamese orphans left stranded by the conflict in their home country.
Back in the states Art started his radio journey doing overnights on KDWN in Las Vegas. Syndicated nationally in 1993, Coast to Coast AM became a phenomenon. He frequently would end up on the yearly list of Best LARP.
|Art drew an audience of about 10 million
listeners a week, when his show was syndicated on as many as 500
stations. He believed in possibilities, and he loved the idea that his
openness to paranormal events had helped build the nation’s appetite
for Twin Peaks, The X-Files and other expressions of
the edges of reality.
Born June 17, 1945, in Jacksonville, N.C., Art grew up with a seven-transistor AM radio tucked under his pillow at night. When he was supposed to be sleeping, Art listened instead to the pioneers of talk radio as they batted around alternative ideas about who really killed John F. Kennedy or how the CIA controlled people’s minds.
His nightly “Coast to Coast” show ran from 1989 to 2003, then he continued broadcasting on weekends until 2007. Art briefly returned with a satellite radio show in 2013 and an online program in 2015. That show ended after a few months, because, Mr. Bell said, someone had taken to firing a weapon at his Nevada property.
Art was married four times. At the time of his death, he was married to Airyn Ruiz, whom he met when she befriended him online after the death of his previous wife. Ruiz was then 22 and living in the Philippines.
Bell was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2006 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2008.
Email Saturday, 4.14.18
|** News Was the Pitts
“I was greatly saddened by the passing of Don Pitts. He was my first agent in Los Angeles, and continued to be a dear friend through his years of retirement. He always loved to talk, always returned phone calls, and treated people with respect. Many of today’s agents who have such a high opinion of themselves should take a page from Don's book.
It’s highly likely I put together the aircheck you have for him. He came over to my house on quite a few occasions, and we went through archives of tapes and made several different ones. We would talk for hours. If you knew Don, which I’m sure you did, you know what I mean I would meet Don and Gary Owens at Jerry’s in Encino on occasion for lunch. I’ve saved voicemails from Gary on my answering machine. He was another terrific gentleman of the business.
The first time I sent Don a demo was when I was in San Francisco and he called me back. We were on the phone for an hour, talking radio stories, etc.
Again, love your LARadio emails. I read them every day. You’re a great person for keeping all of this going. It’s got to be a lot of work.
RIP Don Pitts. I’ll truly miss him.” – Craig Roberts
** More Pitts
“I’m very sorry to learn of Don Pitts’ passing. He was hugely popular with a fabulous sense of humor.
Back in the mid-50s, Don Sherwood ruled at KSFO-San Francisco. Two or three times a week at the Fairmont Hotel, I had breakfast with Don Pitts, Don Sherwood, and Herb Caen. Great laughs and good ties. He was a special friend.” – Don Graham
** Pitts Aging
“Being born and raised in the Bay Area, I’m old enough to remember Don Pitts on the air.” – Tom Bernstein
** Cumulus Concern
“I saw the speculation about Michael Savage in today’s column. It seems that Cumulus is cutting like crazy. In the New York market, not only did they cut Don Imus loose, when they moved Bernie McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg, a local show, to mornings, WABC replaced them with a syndicated show out of DC hosted by Chris Plante. He’s a low budget, low talent Rush Limbaugh wannabe. It will do a zero rating in NY, as there’s nothing new, it’s not entertaining, and it sure doesn’t have any NY feel to it.
Cumulus, which had been going in the right direction prior to its chapter 11 decision, is definitely in reverse. They were local in NY from 6a to 3p, and again from 5-6p. Now they are only local from 6-9a and noon to 3. They are on the road to destroying WABC as they destroyed KABC.” – Bob Scott
I am Not a Victim - Larry Gifford
2018) Wednesday was World Parkinson’s Day, and it was the day
that Larry Gifford, former program director at KSPN,
announced for the first time publicly that he has been diagnosed with
Larry starts his story with an observation from his son: “Daddy, why’s your arm shaking?” That question came one January night in 2017. “My outstretched arm was trying to hand my eight-year-old son a glass of water. It was shaking uncontrollably. I wouldn’t have an answer for my son for seven months when I was diagnosed.
His diagnosis officially arrived last August after months of tests to eliminate much scarier and deadly diseases. “My symptoms were a disparate collection annoyances; a shuffling, foot-dragging walk, tremors in my arm, loss of coordination and balance, and difficulties speaking, sleeping and focusing sometimes. I never linked the symptoms as one thing. I assumed I was tired or my shoes were too heavy, or I was just out of shape.
By the time I was diagnosed, I probably had been battling the disease for a decade. Symptoms began appearing three or four years ago, and through those undiagnosed years, doctors tell me I lost approximately eight per cent of my brain cells.”
Parkinson’s is a relentless, degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It directly impacts nerves that handle motor functions for the body as a whole. As the disease advances, the body slows down, arms and legs stiffen and shake, with a whole slew of fun surprises arising.
“For me, each day is
different. I take pills four to five times each day which control my
tremors. My whole right side is slower than my left. The delay causes a
shuffle, drag or clomp in my walk and I can’t really run anymore without
increasing my chances of a face plant (not that I ran much to begin
with).” Read Larry’s honest
details of what is happening with him. Larry says he and his family
create new memories each day that he hopes aren’t stolen by
In other news, Urban One founder/chairperson Cathy Hughes accepted the 2018 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America ceremony at the NAB Show in Las Vegas … Andy Bloom, former pd at FM Talker KLSX, has been appointed operations manager at the Entercom cluster in Minneapolis, which includes stations WCCO, Country KMNB and KZIK (JACK/fm) … Music promoter extraordinaire, Don Graham, recently began representing Deborah Silver. Her album, The Gold Standards, hit #1 on the Billboard Jazz charts. She is getting so big that everyone wants her. She’s sold out venues like Catalina’s locally and others in Florida. She needs a booking agent to represent her to keep up with demand. If you know a good booking agent, get in touch with Graham at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is Savage Being Set Up?
2018) Rich Lieberman watches over all things media in the Bay
Area. His ear is uncanny about what is going on. Twice last week he
heard syndicated Talker Michael Savage (based in San
Francisco) say on the air "...in case I'm not here, you can always get
me on my website, Facebook and Twitter."
Could Cumulus be screwing with him, wondered Lieberman “More to the point, could Savage be their latest cost-cutting victim? It happened to Don Imus in NY, it also effectively ended Ronn Owens run in the Bay Area after 42 years and there's more cost-cutting on the way. Why? Cumulus is in the midst of a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceeding and is letting go of high-priced air talent; those who make over six-figures are supposedly high on the hit list.”
Savage offered a terse "no comment" when Lieberman asked Savage, via phone, about the speculation about the conservative talker’s future. He did indicate that his numbers are consistently high, especially his streaming numbers. Said Lieberman: “Oh, Savage’s contract is up before the end of the year. Might this be the opening round of negotiations – after all, Cumulus will have a sufficient amount of operating cash after its BK is settled, although that’s still being litigated by a judge who might not care about broadcast ratings. Time will tell.”
News Is the Pitts. Subscribers to LARadio received
via email the news about the passing of VO agent Don Pitts.
Word came from the death of Don via blogger Mark Evanier.
As an agent, Don had some great VO clients: June Foray, Casey Kasem, Mel Blanc, Robert W. Morgan, Orson Welles, Paul Winchell, Gary Owens, and Rod Roddy.
Don started in radio in 1945, but in the sixties and he made a move to Los Angeles and into representing other folks in front of microphones. An aircheck of Don working KGO and KYA is here.
“Blessed with boyish good looks but saddled with a thick, high voice, he wasn’t a natural radio star,” wrote Ben Fong Torres in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Don was thought to be around 90 years of age.
A Peek Into a Time Gone By
|(April 11, 2018)
This morning’s link is a real treat. If you grew up in Southern
California, you will love the sights and stories posted on a new blog,
“Heard on Olympic & Bundy.” Even if you are a newcomer to the area,
embrace the past and relish in it.
“Not to blow my horn too loudly, but director-producer-author Joel Tator and I discuss (in a cursory fashion) L.A. television history on KTTV's Olympic & Bundy podcast” wrote KTTV/KCOP archivist Mitch Waldow, and a veteran of the LA broadcast market, including KFWB when it was all-News.
“We recorded this episode some time ago, but I believe we mentioned local radio at some point or another. Many of L.A.'s tv pioneers – in front of and behind the camera – came from local radio. Your readers might find the anecdotes amusing.”
The pair share their memories and knowledge about the history of television in Los Angeles, including the first television helicopter, the first big breaking news stories covered on television, the first live coverage of an atomic bomb, the careers of people like Betty White, Lawrence Welk, and much more. Click the photo for a nice blast from the past.
Three LA Radio Stations on List of Top 10 Billers in 2017
|(April 10, 2018) WTOP, all-News
in Washington, DC, is America’s top radio biller for the seventh time in
eight years. “The list of the top-ten billers remained the same, (from
2016) with only a few slight changes in the order,” remarked BIA
Advisory Services’ Dr. Mark, Fratrik. Three of the top 10 are LARadio
stations. At #2 is KIIS/fm down from $65.9 million to $63.2 million.
MY/fm (KBIG) up from $44 million to $45 million. Coming in tenth is
2017 Revenue Growth Rate: -2.0%
|In other news: Condolences to Julio Flores, ex- KWIZ, KLSX, KGIL/KMGX, KTWV, KRLA, KSCA, KLSX, KOST, on the loss of his mother. “She will be truly missed and I appreciate all the things she taught us. It's going to be really strange not to be able to call her and mention the things I'm doing, but I will have wonderful memories. She was always very proud of us.” … Rusty Citron, a movie guru, published an interesting perspective on how the movie industry tends to categorize everything by box office gross and that might not be the best way to do it. “Black Panther, which is a GREAT MOVIE, was recently crowned the #1 movie of all time by the entertainment press. I wish they would have done some math, since that's not totally true. Adjusted for inflation, Titanic's box office is $1,002,901,481.50 when the 1997 Average Ticket Price was $4.59, which puts it in 5th PLACE among the top 5 of all time. Gone With the Wind is #1, with $3.2 Billion when the average ticket price was...wait for it....23 CENTS!” … Sheena Metal is celebrating her birthday on Sunday, April 29, at the Improv.|
Twitter Storm Over KROQ's Bean
|(April 9, 2018) #FedHedge
follows KROQ’s Kevin & Bean on Twitter. After
Kevin Ryder offered an update on Gene (“Bean”) Baxter,
his missing radio partner on Twitter, #FedHedge accused Ryder of lying
about the status of the missing Bean, currently on medical leave for
self-described mental health self-care. Ryder had posted:
“Unfortunately, (Bean) is taking a medical leave. We don’t have any more
information, but we’ll let you know as soon as we can.”
In response, #FedHedge posted: “What’s weird is that you @thekevinryder have been working with Bean for over 20 years and yet you act like you have no idea what’s going on...WTF? What kind of dick are you?? Sounds like Bean got Garman’d...” the last comment referring to the recently dismissed entertainment reporter. This prompted Ryder to reply: “The kind that believes Bean is a human being. And his medical leave is his business. Not yours, no matter how entitled you believe you are.” Kevin’s pithy response was just the beginning. #FedHedge then received a number of annoyed and angry reactions from the Kevin & Bean audience.
“So this is what a Twitter Storm is like. Wow! Guess I’m the Dick on this one! Sorry Kev Dog, I think I jumped to conclusions too quickly. I assumed Bean’s ‘mental health’ was code for something more nefarious. I’m a fan of the show and would hate to see it go the way of M & B (Mark & Brian).” Ryder appeared to accept the apology, tweeting: “Thx for the response. I really appreciate it :) Just trying to send love and support to Bean.”
Hear Ache. Condolences to Steve Futterman, heard frequently on KNX, on the loss of his mother. “She lived a long life, but at the end was in extreme pain and made the choice to die. She was loved by many and impacted many of our lives. We will miss her every day,” wrote the CBS network correspondent … Scott Thrower was at KBIG in the late 90s. When he left the Southland, he worked mornings at KURB-Little Rock for six years until late summer of 2006. “In Aug 2008, I left radio for a career in medicine and am with a large hospital in Little Rock,” he wrote at 440int. “Even on my worst days as an RN, there’s not been even one time when I've thought, ‘Why did I leave radio?’” … Reports out of Chicago suggest Ed Lover, ex-KKBT morning man, will be the new morning personality at WBMX “104.3 Jams.” He gained national attention as host of Yo! MTV Raps back in the 1990s … Condolences to former KXTA Talker Dave Broome on the loss of his mother, Laura, after a courageous battle with cancer … K-EARTH is again giving away moola, redux of their contest “Say it and Win.” If you are the lucky caller, the more times you say ‘K-EARTH 101,’ you can win $100 every time you say it in 10 seconds … KRLA morning man Brian Whitman returns after a couple of weeks, with some time spent in the hospital … More sad news, Mike Raphone (Ritto) lost his wife last week. “She battled cancer for five years and it finally got to her,” wrote Mike. “My only solace is that we were able to get her home from the hospital and she passed in peace at home with family. She was my rock, my partner, love and best friend. I will go on with her in my heart.”
“Just to let you know, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a ‘groaner’ this big!” – Mike Sakellarides
** More Groans
“Been meaning to drop a line and tell you how great your daily cartoons are. It’s hard to keep the funny stuff comin’ every day but you’re doin’ it; they always get at least a big smile out of me and sometimes all the way up to a huge laugh.” – Rich Brother Robbin
“Was that sign [on the right] stolen from the parking lot of KFRG in the IE?” – K.M. Richards
“Of course, I had to laugh at reading the April 1998 ‘Nostalgia Sunday’ bit. I remember great April Fool’s bits used to be common and could last all day.
KRTH supposedly went all-News one year until 12 p.m. They were pretty good at it. The ‘John Sebastian – KZLA’ one is hilarious. considering KZLA went from Pop/Rock to Country to Arrow. I even used to go to the Movie Nights KZLA hosted and gave my best friend a ‘KZLA Card’ from one of the special events. She won a Fiat with it! Two months later they went Country.
Sad thing was the staff was one of the best, from ‘Natural’ Neil Ross to Fritz Coleman. Then the Country staff brought in great talent like Barbara Barri and Ken Cooper and was ‘must-listen’ for their broad and eclectic playlist. Still miss that lineup.” – Julie Byers
** Flanagan in the David G. Hall of Fame
“When I was 11 or 12, I would listen to the radio and marvel at how they always seemed to play my favorite song whenever I tuned in, and how the dj always seemed to be talking only to me, no matter where I was or what I was doing. One of the guys I would spend hours and hours listening to just passed away.
John Mack Flanagan was the afternoon drive guy at KFRC in San Francisco. The music he played was the soundtrack of my youth, and his voice and style of talking up records was its narration. It was because of listening to him and a handful of others that one day I decided radio was for me, picked up the phone, and started my career.
Once I took a 3-hour bus ride into The City just to be in the studio with him for about five minutes while he worked. Other than that, I never got to meet him, thank him, or tell him of his influence on me and what would turn out to be my lifelong career.
In my little circle of friends here on Facebook, I see a lot of tributes and comments. I realize that there were many kids who he influenced and who ended up in radio as a result. There are a lot us standing on his shoulders. I love that. I hope he knew that before he passed.” – David G. Hall
** Welcome Home, Brother John
“John Flanagan was great on the air, one of the best ever, but he was a better person as a friend. I knew John for more than 25 years, and although his last few years were a struggle through a multitude of health issues, his spirit was always strong and his faith and courage never wavered. Welcome home, brother.” – David Ferrell Jackson, Bay Area Radio Museum & Hall of Fame
** Flanagan an Ole Cowpoke
“John Mack Flanagan was named after Western movie actor Johnny ‘Mack’ Brown (1904-1974). Flanagan hosted the Church of The Hollywood B Cowboy podcast on Cowpoke Radio KWPX. All ten episodes can be heard here.” – Steve Thompson
** Bad Company
“I wanted to clear up something that was in your Monday piece on Academy President John Bailey. You mentioned that both Bailey and Ryan Seacrest were alleged to have committed illegal or inappropriate acts, and that Bailey had just been cleared by the board at the Academy. Next you quoted Peter Bart of Deadline, who wondered ‘Even though he has been cleared, will Bailey effectively ever be cleared? Or will he fade into the Ryan Seacrest-like grey zone where charges are vehemently denied, and yet tacitly believed?’
This is not fair to Mr. Bailey, but neither was the original report by Variety that stated he had been charged by three accusers on the same day. In fact, there was only one accuser. Comparing the allegations against Bailey with those against Seacrest is also unfair as we have heard from several accusers (ed. note … Fact check: Isn’t there only one Seacrest accuser, with a witness that supports her allegation?) with vivid accounts of abuse and inappropriate behavior by Mr. Seacrest [which may in fact be untrue], but nobody has heard any charges against Mr. Bailey other than a memo Bailey sent to the Academy. He corrected the leaked and inaccurate story of there being only one accuser, and that the accusation was that he had attempted to touch someone inappropriately while in a transit van on a location more than a decade ago.
When you put Bailey and Seacrest in the same sentence, they get lumped together. The merits or discrediting of either of the accusations get blurred together, which is not only unfortunate but unwarranted.” – Gary Gibson, Montrose
** Whole ‘Nuther Thing
“Terrific to see you back at it, even in an abbreviated fashion. Hope things are well with you and your family.
Still doing my thing but now relegated to HD2 since the KCSN / KSBR merger on 88.5. My archive site at podomatic.com, however, is thriving to the tune of 2000 plus Downloads & Listens each week. Terrestrial Radio done well is still a viable medium, and for most Baby Boomers it’s still the only way to listen.
To quote, Claude Hall, another writer of all things radio, ‘I Love Radio.’” – Bob Goodman
Wheelchair Van Need for a Former Area PD
2018) Mark Hill, who programmed KHAY/fm in Ventura for years,
is in need of real help. He was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer
and requires a vehicle that will accommodate his wheelchair.
He’s had one of those fun, nomadic journeys in radio where he was pd of a station in Grants Pass, Oregon, then on to a New Age station in Santa Cruz with Lee Abrams. “We were successful. When the station was sold, I worked for a while as operations managers for a Classical station KBOQ in Monterey. I ran it like an AC and we had a #1 25-54 book which drove the market nuts.” For the past half-dozen years, he has been at a Country station back east until his first tumor deadened his left leg last summer.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help secure a wheelchair van. Or maybe you have one that has served its purpose.
KROQ’s Bean was a no-show at the April Foolishness
concert last weekend. The station announced that Bean is on medical
leave. He’s done this before, taking some personal time off to assess
and reassess his life. For many years, Bean did the show from his home
on Vachon Island, off Seattle. A year or so ago, he moved to New
Orleans. Bean posted on social media: “I am humbled by your well-wishes,
thank you. Happy to announce I am still physically the healthiest man
alive but am taking this time for mental health care. We’ll talk soon!”
Book ‘em. Remember Heidi Harris? She was at Salem’s KRLA in morning drive for a year, beginning in the spring of 2012. She has been a big deal on the Las Vegas airwaves. Heidi’s written a new book, Don’t Pat Me on The Head! Blowback, Setbacks and Comebacks in Vegas Radio. Harris says the new book “covers my various life experiences before radio, my nearly 20 years in radio, and 15 years as a cable TV talking head. I discuss how to pick topics, callers, and guests, and share some great behind-the-scenes stories, as well as how I’ve survived treacherous colleagues and the politically correct, who sometimes want to slit my throat.”
Hear Ache. Christina Kelley, former nighttimer at K-EARTH, is now doing fill-in morning drive news at KABC. After she left KRTH, she went back to journalism school, “which is what I was doing before music radio changed everything,” said Christina … KGO was once a powerhouse in the Bay Area. Two years ago, a video was produced about the station. …Steve Harvey is defending his wife Marjorie, after she landed herself in some hot water on social media. The couple was recording a cooking video, when she apparently had difficulties cutting vegetables.” Marjorie claimed her husband was thinking she was “r_____ed.” She was slammed on social media for using an outdated pejorative, typically aimed at people with intellectual disabilities. Steve’s defense of his wife (“What you trippin bout cause my wife said the word r_____ed...it’s a word, ain’t it?” caused a further uproar on social media.
Mike Walker, King of Gossip, Dies
(April 5, 2018) The first time
I met Mike Walker, King of Gossip for the National
Enquirer, was ten years ago at a trendy spot on Santa Monica
Boulevard. When we were introduced by our mutual pal,
Phillips from KABC, Mike blurted out to me, “how is
it covering a
dying industry?” I could have said something similar about the
publishing industry, but Mike was more than just the guy from the Enquirer.
Mike was an entertainer.
He died February 16, 2018, at the age of 72.
If you didn’t read the National Enquirer, perhaps you remember him from his three years at KABC or his weekly guesting on the Howard Stern show playing ‘The Gossip Game,’ [Walker read four stories and Stern had to guess which one was true]. Or maybe his foray as morning man at “Real Radio” KLSX. It could have been his newsmagazine, “National Enquirer TV.” Or the book he wrote in 2005, Rather Dumb: A Top Tabloid Reporter Tells CBS How to Do News. Walker co-wrote with Faye Resnick the #1 New York Times best-selling book about the O.J. Simpson murder trial, Nicole Brown Simpson: Private Diary of a Life Interrupted in 1994.
“The Hemingway of Gossip” — that’s how Howard Stern once described Mike Walker. To Geraldo Rivera, Walker was the “Guru of Gossip — the Dean of Celebrity News and a first-rate TV personality.” And Ryan Seacrest may have put it best when he asked: “Has Mike Walker ever missed a beat? Nope! Not to my knowledge. That guy impresses me — he always nails it!”
Mike Walker wrote, and some might say he was the face, of The Enquirer for five decades. Walker — who bravely battled a long illness with courage and humor — carried on writing items for his “Gossip: Coast to Coast” column right up to the end. “I knew I wanted to be a journalist by the time I was 12 or 13 years old,” said Mike. Leaving his family’s home in Boston at age 16, the future “Gossip King” joined the U.S. Air Force. During a four-year stint, he taught himself how to be a working journalist by freelancing features to daily newspapers. After the Air Force, Walker remained in the Far East and became the youngest-ever foreign correspondent for International News Service, honing his reporting skills on a top newspaper in Tokyo, Japan.
“What intervened then was a wife and two small children, and because I wanted to give them American roots, I decided that I had to give up the show business thing and go back to the States.” In 1970, Walker landed in The Enquirer’s newsroom, then based in Lantana, Florida. A colleague remembered: “Mike was hired as ‘Chief Writer,’ and he was a perfectionist. He was usually the first guy to arrive in the morning and the last guy to go home at night. He loved The Enquirer; how colorful it was and its great spirit.”
Jim Ladd Alive and Well
(April 4, 2018) Jim
Ladd, our iconic album-oriented personality, has been missing
from his SiriusXM shift at Deep Tracks. Social media has been insistent
attempting to learn if he is okay. Well Jim has put a note up on
Facebook: “Hey kids...note from me: Jim Ladd is alive and well! Hello to
EVERYONE checking in on social media! I know you have been wondering
where I am so let me say...I will be back on air real soon and will post
the date and announce show returning on Deep Tracks same battime, same
batchannel in advance of the first show, so hang in there and be ready
to ROCK! Peace, Love, MUSIC. You can send song requests to me direct
email as usual at: email@example.com.”
Good news, indeed.
Marc Germain (Mr. KABC) has been certified by the Citizens Police Academy of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. What the heck did this entail? Will we see him on the Vegas edition of Cops? “Ann and I signed up because we wanted to get to know the local law enforcement and learn more about policing. Ann thought it might be helpful with her PTSD from being at the Route 91 Festival massacre. It was a 12-week course, 4 hours of classroom time a week, by invitation only, very eye opening. Some in the class were considering trying out for the Police Academy. We got a certificate and pin for completing the course but it entitles us to nothing – not even discounted doughnuts.”
In other news: An LA Times reader from Glendale appeared on the sports page: “I’m listening to the Dodgers’ opener on the radio and it seems like every stat is brought to by some commercial plug. I can just hear it now: ‘This next pitch is brought to you by Anheuser-Busch’ or the out at second base was brought to you by ‘Jack Daniels, the official bourbon of the Dodgers.’ Here’s an idea: How about we just call the game?’” ... KROQ posted on Twitter: "Many of you have noticed that Bean hasn't been on the show for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, he's taking a medical leave. We don't have any more information, but we'll let you know as soon as we can. We're thinking of him, and wish him a full and speedy recovery."
John Mack Flanagan, ex-KHJ, Dies of Congestive Heart Failure
(April 3, 2018) John
Mack Flanagan spent part of 1975 in Los Angeles at KHJ, but his
hugest success happened in the Bay Area. The KFRC legend died March 31
of congestive heart failure. He was 71.
The San Francisco veteran called his brief stay at KHJ "the single biggest event in my career,” when I interviewed him for Los Angeles Radio People. “I had always dreamed of L.A., and Charlie Van Dyke asked me to assist and pull a couple of shifts."
In 1978, while working in the San Francisco market, John was Billboard Jock of the Year finalist. He was glad he didn't win, saying: "Never climb to the mountain top – the only way is down."
In the 1990s he was fired four times in two years, the consequence of duopoly sales. When he left KYA-San Francisco during the summer of 1994, a family friend who owned KJOY-Stockton soon offered him afternoon drive. John was delighted: "I love it! I'm out of the pressure cooker and having fun for the first time in many years. Please pray for radio, it needs it...never been harder to survive.”
Airchexx.com posted an aircheck from late 1977. Listen while you learn about him. Airchexx says about John: “This is about as good as AM Top 40 got. There’s always that tug of war between East Coast listeners who preferred the WABC approach to the format, with its reverb and Dan Ingram’s one-liners, and West Coast listener favorite KFRC, which along with KHJ in Los Angeles, was owned by then media-giant RKO General. Listen to this aircheck and most will agree, KFRC going into 1978 was hotter than almost every other Top 40 radio station, AM or FM!"
John did much VO work, with Voice 123 describing John as “One of the richest, warmest, friendliest -- and most memorable -- voices in the history of American radio. As both the imaging voice and top-rated afternoon drive star of the legendary Big 610 (KFRC- San Francisco), John Mack Flanagan is known throughout the industry for his skill at connecting 'one on one' with each and every listener. Listen to another aircheck here.
Raised in New Mexico, John started his radio career in the summer of 1964. He served in Vietnam before working in the Bay Area at KWSS-San Jose, K101, KSFO, KYA, and KBGG (“K-BIG 98.1),” as well as KFRC. He is a member of The Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame and National Radio DJ Hall of Fame. The organization wrote a beautiful tribute to John you can read here. He wrote a book about his life, Tight & Bright: A Diskjockey - Vietnam Memoir. John Mack Flanagan was named for the Western movie legend John Mack Brown.
“I've never wanted to be a relic. I never want to hear, 'Oh god, he was great in the 'Seventies,' or 'He was great in '64 in Lubbock, Texas.' I've never wanted that. I've always wanted people right now to go, 'Wow! It's him!'"
(April 2, 2018) In
searching for an update on John Bailey, the newly installed president of
the Motion Picture Academy (I am a member), I unexpectedly came across
some references to KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest. Both Bailey and
Seacrest are alleged to have committed illegal or inappropriate acts.
Bailey was just cleared after being investigated by his own Board at the
Academy for unstated allegations, assumed to be involve sexual
Ever since the Harvey Weinstein sexual explosion, the criminal justice system has largely been sidelined in the current trial-by-media cycle. At the end of it, Bailey, an accomplished cinematographer, was cleared. Peter Bart, former exec at Variety and now with Deadline, asks “Even though he has been cleared, will Bailey effectively ever be cleared? Or will he fade into the Ryan Seacrest-like grey zone where charges are vehemently denied, and yet tacitly believed? Or the Charlie Rose zone when, despite denials, a career is terminated by heavily publicized accusers.”
Has Seacrest successfully avoided a career-breaking charge? Suzie Hardy, Ryan Seacrest’s former E! News stylist, is now taking her allegations against her former boss to the police. The filing of the report follows the conclusion of E!’s internal investigation into Hardy’s allegations of inappropriate conduct against Seacrest. The inquiry found insufficient evidence to substantiate the claims. (To read Hardy’s story in Variety, click.) If you believe in conspiracy theories, Hardy said she was ready to tell her story to Megyn Kelly, but that the show canceled the interview days before it was supposed to air. Hardy told DailyMail.com. “No explanation was given.”
Seacrest has adamantly denied the allegations.
Ryan says, “I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result. I’m proud of my workplace reputation and believe my track record will speak for itself. I’m an advocate for women. I will continue to support their voices.”
Whether it be vengeance or an out-and-out lie, high profile entertainers have struggled with being charged with everything from indiscretion to aggressive sexual contact. Some might suggest the ‘casting couch’ scenario has been around forever, but social media seems to have elevated the discussion to a new, albeit vocal #MeToo level.
As charges are made and denied, some with sensational headlines, it is hoped that everyone (accused and accuser) gets a fair day in court. And how will the lingering residue of innuendo do for careers? Ryan Seacrest is arguably the highest profile Los Angeles Radio Person caught up in this arena. Ryan shares the spotlight at the highest levels of network tv. But he also shares responsibility in answering charges.
We covered his initial denial and will follow through with his case until the conclusion.