LARadio

Archives, April, May, June 2018
Compiled and Written by Don Barrett
Edited by Alan Oda


 

 

National Radio Hall of Fame Set to Induct LARPs

(June 27, 2018) Stories galore with the announcement of the National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

Jonathon Brandmeier (c) who took Chicago by storm at WLUP (Loop) for decades, as well as trying to duplicate his success at KLSX, was elected on the first public vote ballot. Johnny B was among 11 broadcasters to be elected.

Other Los Angeles Radio People voted in by the public include Mark Levin (r), the talk radio conservative fire brand whose syndicated program was first heard locally on KABC and now afternoons at 870/KRLA. In addition, the sports duo of Mike Golic & Mike Greenberg and Dr. Laura Schlesinger were voted in by the industry panel.

“It’s our mission to recognize the most impactful personalities and individuals to our medium and honor them,” Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchen said in a statement. “We’re proud to induct these individuals for their contributions into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2018, our 30th year.” Nominated LARPs who will have to wait until next year include: George NooryJim RomeJohn Tesh and Ellen K. Kitchin said over 500,000 votes were cast in the two listener-chosen categories.
   
Dave Armstrong is one of those who understands the synergy between programming and sales. He was in charge of the Salem / LA cluster for many years.

He’s now working with the Diocese of Orange to create The Southern California Catholic Network. The new venture includes KHJ-Los Angeles and KCEO-Vista. “The network covers nearly 7 million Catholics from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border and the stations were recently converted to commercial,” emailed Armstrong.

“I will be developing the sales function with the programming coming from Relevant Radio. This is an exciting new adventure and I look forward to helping them increase their revenue.”

In other news: Ira Lawson loved the great reminisce of Jim Healy. He sent a site link that contains a boatload of Healy sound bites: http://www.lerctr.org/~transit/healy ... Congrats to Ken Jeffries and his wife Stephanie Yellin-Mednick on 35 years of wedded bliss … Bon voyage to Steve Kindred who is taking his first cruise, which includes stops in Greece and Croatia, with his new galpal. "I’m also a blood ambassador for the Red Cross and volunteer at the Burbank Temporary Aid Center. I’m in good health and seeking some part-time work. I’d also consider a return to full-time work if the offer was right," emailed Steve … KRRL’s Big Boy served as one of the team coaches for the 2018 BET Experience Celebrity Basketball Game … Some called Dan Ingram the greatest Top 40 jock ever. Those who worked with the New York personality at WABC and WCBS/fm sent their praises on social media this week. Ingram died on Sunday at the age of 83. Howard Hoffman created an audio history of Ingram at: https://soundcloud.com/howard-hoffman/dan-ingram-hof-demo

Hiatus. LARadio will be on hiatus while Cherie and I travel to Naples to visit my oldest son. We go from one beautiful beach (Avila) across the country to another. Sand is never too far away from our lives.

Then on Monday we drive to Key West for Cherie’s birthday. I haven’t been there since the late ‘80s when we had a huge James Bond press event complete with a lush setting, a Bond look-a-like jumping out of the 007 helicopter into our lawn party with a satchel containing ten car keys. One of the keys started an Aston Martin. A key was given to 10 contest winners from tv promotions all over the country. The winner got to drive it home. For desert, we presented a 20-foot key lime pie that was lighted by 007 himself, Timothy Dalton.
Email Wednesday
 
** Ingram’s Passing

“Big Dan Ingram's boast that he was ‘number 13 in Pittsburgh’ is probably quite modest. Back in the mid-'60s, KQV was Pittsburgh’s only 24-hour per day full-time Rock AM station, and its nighttime signal was very weak. We lived just 8 miles from downtown Pittsburgh, and due to the ’Burgh’s hills and ravines it would fade while driving just a mile from our house once the sun went down.

As a result, I had WABC, WLS, and WCFL marked on the dial of my bedroom radio. Once I had my own car, I set 3 pushbuttons for those stations on the auto’s AM dial. From December through February, when darkness would set in around 5 p.m., I’d move the needle over to WABC to catch the last 30-60 minutes of Big Dan Ingram.  (KDKA was middle-of-the-road music from morning until Clark Race’s rock show from 4 to 8 p.m. WAMO was r&b most of the time, but was daylight only on AM. WEEP was a rare 50 kW daylight only station, and had Dick Biondi’s live syndicated show from 6 p.m. until sign-off in the spring and summer of 1965.) Dan Ingram did have one marvelous set of pipes.”  – Robert O’Brien

** One-Of-a-Kind Jim Healy

“Only one Jim Healy and there will always be just one Jim Healy. Can you imagine if Jim was doing his thing now, with all the social media? Healy by himself would double the ratings on whatever station he was doing his thing.” – Fred Wallin, Sports Byline

** Arnie Memories

“My folks moved to Anaheim in 1970 and that’s when I discovered KEZY, who OWNED Orange County’s AM Airwaves. It was everything that OC was in those days – fresh and new, wholesome and fun. I remember going out to meet the KEZY Beach Van on its weekend coastal cruises and listening to this high momentum format [they used to jingle before EVERY record!]. I was hired by Mark Denis in late 1974 and never worked for Arnie McClatchey, but he was a class act, both on and off the air. A true professional and a great leader.” – Mike Wagner, KEZY 1974-76, KIIS/fm 1976-82, KRLA 1982-95 (photo: Julie Frey, Mike Wagner, Bruce Chandler, Paul Freeman, Arnie McClatchey, Dave Sebastian Williams)

** Arnie’s Wife

“Thank you so much Don. Arnie would have been humbled by your article.” – Pam McClatchey

** Freeman on Arnie

“I was working in Salt Lake City with Dave Sebastian at The Big 1280 KNAK in 1970 when I was hired by Arnie McClatchey who was the program director to do 7p to midnight on The Mighty 1190 KEZY, Orange County's Monster Station. The almost 6 years I spent at KEZY working with Arnie and Mark Denis and the rest of the great staff was a wonderful learning experience not to mention all the FUN we had Rocking Orange County. Arnie was always so easy to work with and truly one of the nicest people I’ve ever known.

Arnie was a real gentleman. My condolences to his wife Pam and his family and friends. He will be missed by all who knew him.” – Paul Freeman

** Appreciates LARadio

“Thanks for the recent LA Radio blurb featuring my face along with a few others. I always appreciate your thoughts/mentions/and exposure. You are a legend in the radio industry. Such an amazing ability to track all the radio talent of today and yesterday. We all owe you a debt of gratitude. Thank you for all you do!” – Kris Erik Stevens

Who Goofed? I've Got to Know ... Jim Healy is One-of-a-Kind

by David Alpern, Long Beach

(June 26, 2018) (This is the second installment in the summer series of you saluting those LARP who were absolutely unduplicatable and truly stand out as one-of-a-kind)

Who Goofed? I've Got To Know.


Not LARadio.com by being sure to honor one of the most original broadcasters ever to grace the LA airwaves, Jim Healy. I knew him just from his KMPC days, while others benefitted from enjoying his craft dating back to his time at KLAC.

Jim Healy was a gifted radio talent who combined being a sportscaster/comedian/technician/commentator/community connector/consumer of all media/lover of celebrity/mocker/punster.

Dateline: Los Angeles – Jim Healy was appointment radio, to the extent that such listening doesn’t much exist anymore outside of perhaps some NPR programming and morning drive. If it was 5:30 p.m. on any LA freeway, far and away more buttons were being punched (yes back then we pressed a physical haptic button) to AM 710 to hear the wonderful soundbite fest that was Jim Healy’s short but marvelous sportscast. So compelling was his show and his time slot, that KMPC programmed around him, with the afternoon host vacating the air at 5:30 p.m. and returning only some minutes after “the dreaded six-o’clock tone.”

So sit down and have dinner with Pearl Harbor, and think of Howard Cosell, while you admire Kurt Bevacqua, and contemplate what Tom Lasorda thinks today of Dave Kingman’s performance.

IS IT TRUE that any of the references in that last sentence brought a smile to your face? If yes, then you (like me) have not gone “the Leonard Tose route” and as such are lucky to have caught a chance to admire one of the finest talents ever to grace the airwaves here in the city of the angels.

Some memorable quotes played ad nausea on Jim Healey’s show:
Benoit Benjamin saying "I don't give a #%$@ about the fans"
"The World Champion" – how Jim labeled the LA Times Sports section, which hopefully can reclaim that title under new owner, Patrick Soon-Shiong
Ed Bieler’s geographical claim that "the San Antonio River goes right through the heart of downtown Los Angeles."
Lawrence Welk impersonation that simply sums up what Jim’s show was: "A Wun'erful, A Wun'erful."

The Face/Voice of OC Radio, Arnie McClatchey, Dies 

(June 25, 2018) Newer listeners to Southern California radio may have a tough time understanding that at one time there was radio exclusively for Orange County. As the population of the Southland began to spread, low powered AM station originating from L.A. had a hard time reaching the OC. Three of the leading OC stations in the 1960s and ‘70s had Arnie McClatchey as a common denominator. He was an innovator, programmer and talent. The well-liked leader of OC Radio died June 20, 2018, after a long illness. He was 76.

Arnie was born June 14, 1942 in Vancouver, Washington and raised in Camus, Washington. He started his radio career at the age of 15 at KVAN-Portland. After serving in the Army, he relocated to Orange County where he worked in local radio for almost two decades. Arnie was pd at KEZY from 1967–74 until he was succeeded by Mark Denis. Arnie transformed the station from an easy-listening station to “The Mighty 1190.”

A number of djs who later became prominent in L.A. – Mike Wagner, Paul Freeman, Bruce Chandler, among others – worked with Arnie to create a Top 40 station which dominated the OC airwaves. KEZY even had a following into the Los Angeles market despite the fading signal at night when the station reduced power.

Recalled Arnie: "Mark helped me a lot with the programming, we would get in my office and brain storm to come up with our one liners and contests. We did not know it at the time but we were doing some of the best radio ever."

In March of 1975, Arnie started a new venture on the fm dial. “I became general manager of KYMS in Santa Ana and put on the first Contemporary Christian Music station in the nation," he said in a 1995 interview for Los Angeles Radio People from his home in El Paso. He eventually bought KYMS along with stations in Phoenix and Denver and kept them until 1983. "I took some time off and then I bought KELP/AM in El Paso in 1984, and I commuted from Southern California to El Paso for eight years until we moved here permanently in the early 1990s.”
Arnie continued to do commercials and voice work for The Word for Today, a national radio ministry heard on 200 radio stations daily and Horizon Radio, another nationally syndicated program.

His wife of 49 years, Pam, said the Lord called her husband home last week. “He was a kind, loving, gentle man who loved and served the Lord for many years and will be missed by those who had the pleasure of knowing him,” said Pam.

Bruce Chandler wrote that Arnie was “always so mild mannered and genuinely nice. He hired me in the fall of 1973 for weekends at KEZY while I was working full time at KFXM-San Bernardino. A few months of that and then when Mark Denis took over as pd, Mark hired me full time in February 1974. I did every day shift.”

There will be a memorial service for Arnie at Fairhaven Memorial Chapel in Santa Ana, on Friday July 6 at 2:30 p.m.

In other news: After two seasons, Nick Hardwick will not be heard as color analyst on KFI for the LA Chargers ... Greg Tantum (pd at all-News KFWB in the '90s) celebrates his 40th wedding anniversary ... Nick Tyler and KJazz 88.1 FM will once again broadcast from the 39th Montreal International Jazz Festival, midday, this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. This is our 8th year covering one of the largest music festivals in world," said the all-Jazz outlet ... Dave Skyler celebrates 10 years with K-EARTH ... Congratulations to Leslie Marshall on her 22nd wedding anniversary ... Another anniversary - Tom Watson (ex-KKDJ) is celebrating 11 years of wedded bliss ... Happy 91st birthday to KFWB/Color Radio's last man standing, Elliot Field ... After an assault claim by ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra, Chris Hardwick (ex-KROQ and founder of Nerdist) sees his talk show pulled by AMC as NBC mulls what to with his game show The Wall. He’s now married to Lydia (nee Hearst), the daughter of Patty Hearst.

Email Saturday 6.23.18

** Duncan Meets the Wolfman

“Something many people don’t know about me: Two weeks after coming to LA to join Radio & Records newspaper as a columnist and story writer [thank you Bob Wilson!], I was taking a tinkle in a restroom in the 6430 Sunset Blvd building when Wolfman Jack walked in and stood next to me to do the same. A little sidebar: The first voice I ever heard on the transistor radio my dad brought home from Tokyo, while in the submarine service, was Wolfman Jack on XERB. It was then a 14-year-old changed his life’s course from medical doctor to disc jockey.

Standing nervously next to Wolfman. I barely got out the words: ‘Hello Mr. Wolfman.’ He laughed and said: ‘Hey man, you’ve got a great voice! How would you like to be Wolfman’s announcer?’ Of course. I said yes! He told me come into the R&R studio when I was done to cut some tracks. The rest is history.  ‘Live from Hollywood it’s Wolfman Jack!’” – Jim Duncan
** When Is an Oldies an Oldie?

“An oldie for me is a car that has knobs and push buttons. Go ’57 Chev!” – Stan White, Seattle
** One-0f-a-Kind Picking is Tough

“There’s no way I can pick one supreme air personality in Southern California radio. It is impossible! With all the talent and radio genres over the years, it’s comparing apples to oranges. What I will concede is that it takes time, creativity, guts, a huge ego, and lots of support personnel to create a true superstar. But, there will be many bodies strewn about along the way to ratings and public glory. Some people are not willing to sacrifice their loved ones, co-workers, and friends to reach the pinnacle.

I think anyone who has been hired in the Los Angeles radio market and survived is a superstar.” – Diane Thompson
** Memory of Arnie McClatchey

“It is with great sadness to hear of the passing of Arnie McClatchy. Arnie, for some reason, hired me to, do weekends and vacation relief at KEZY, on March 15, 1969, which was my 20th birthday.

I was still pretty green, but he always encouraged me and made me a better air talent.

Saw him at a KEZY reunion a couple of years ago and I asked him why he ever hired me. He told me that he thought with a little guidance, I could be a good air talent. He and Mark Denis were big influences in my radio career and in life.” – Jim Shannon
** Mack Attack

“Thanks for posting my old Boss 30 today. It’s nice to see my picture sans wrinkles.

I’m still kickin’ [in Florida – God’s waiting room]. Hope you’re well. Maybe we can outlive ’em all.” – Gary Mack
** Voice Concerns

“Your relaying the story about a mid-show substitution for the Frankie Valli character in the performance of Jersey Boys shows respect for the dedication some vocal performers bring to their gigs. It’s something few audience members have ever thought about.

When the amazing Mel Blanc was required to voice the WB cartoon character Yosemite Sam, the abuse to his throat was well known. Recording Sam's lines was always reserved for Friday afternoons so that Mel had time to recover over the weekend. In his advanced years, when re-creating many of the characters he had voiced decades earlier for the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mel was unable to do justice to the role. Sam was later dubbed by another animation voicer.

When I subbed for Rod Roddy at The Price is Right I finally understood the difficulty he encountered, taping as many as six one-hour episodes over three days. The studio was so loud with 300+ audience members cheering and yelling prices through the reams of copy that the gig called for. Consequently, after projecting to such an extent, that by the end of the work week whoever was behind that mic frequently ended up with a raw throat and a voice that could easily crack uncontrollably.

On my first day, I understood something Rod rarely spoke about – the lengths he often went to in order to resuscitate his voice. Picture yourself opening your mouth as wide as possible, while a doctor reaches deep with a long hypodermic needle to inject several doses of cortisone into your vocal chords. Rod did that countless times over his 17+ years on the show. There’s lots to respect in the lesser-known trials and tribulations of vocal performers. Only recently has SAG-AFTRA started to explore bringing sanity to the abuse that some members face recording for video games.” – Randy West

** Live Performances

“Thanks for sharing your experience with the real world of live theatre! Although I’ve never seen a performance have to stop and an understudy come on, that was handled just right by SLO/Cal Poly. [I almost got to go to SLO for college but costs dictated Pomona for PR in the Media. Good experience but not the same.]

If you would like to read a good, honest bio, I can heartily recommend the new book My Girls-A lifetime with Carrie and Debbie by Todd Fisher. Having read both the last biography of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher’s Princess Diarist, it is a great look at a remarkable family and one which is really touching.

I know how hard it is to live with an aging parent and disabled sibling, but how one deals with it under a public spotlight and a financial quagmire is almost impossible. It is very hard not to read it at one sitting but at the same time I rationed myself to three chapters a night just so I could handle [literally!] the range of emotions. And having visited Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Casino and Hotel the first year it was open, it’s heartbreaking to read how such a dream could go down in flames. It's a great read.” – Julie Byers

** Hip Hop Hit

“Your cartoon on June 20 is totally relevant today! Substitute ‘high pitched tone’ with too much bass, and you have a hip hop hit! I know...I know...get off my lawn...take care!” – Mike Nolan

** Funnie Gone to the Dogs

“I just looked at today’s funnie and I wonder if the sign is to make hot dogs.” – Sterrett Harper

Fascinating Interview with LARP Icon Rita Wilde


Hear Ache

(June 22, 2018) The New Mexico Broadcaster Association has awarded Bryan Simmons, former KOSTer, Best Metro Market Radio-Public Service Announcement. “I recorded VO for a charity golf tournament,” emailed Bryan. “I've never submitted any of my work before, so it was a surprise and very nice that my market manager submitted it.” … Arnie McClatchey, OC Radio veteran, has died ... Rich Marotta, Hall of Famer and former sports guy on KFI, returned to fill in this week. “Bill Handel is still insufferable. Wouldn’t want it any other way,” said Rich … Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight? … Scott Shurian, veteran of XTRA and 710/KMPC, sent a strange email this week. “I have been advised that I have 90 to 140 days left to wander the streets of Utah ’til my demise. Medical conditions and my age (86) say it is a time to move to the big broadcast studios in the sky.” You never know about these kinds of notes. Were there medical issues prompting his writing? “The ‘note’ is prompted by a convergence of advanced COPD, stenosis of the trachea and residual radiation from two earlier bouts of vocal cord cancer...and of course the advancing years brought all that together.” Scott said there will be NO funeral and NO services. “I have been told that there may be some folks out there who would say a word about memories of times we’ve spent together or near together. Please feel free to contact me at: scott@voscott.com and I will collect them as the final pages of the last chapter of my book “Me, Myself and I” ... Wanna see a really cool house? Jim Ladd has lived there since 1974 and it is now up for sale. Here’s the video listing site … Speaking of Ladd, Rich Piombino kicked of our summer series by putting a spotlight on Jim as a one-of-a-kind broadcaster in the history of LARadio. Our second spotlight is set for Monday. By the way, if you want to select someone you think was unique and unduplicatable, send a note to: AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com along with the reasons why your candidate was so special … After 16 years with Entercom/CBS cluster in LA, John Michael has resigned. He held a number of positions, including music director, apd and talent at KROQ, JACK/fm, and AMP Radio … Howard Lapides sent a note about the passing of Billy Sammeth, manager of Cher and Joan Rivers. “He was always a great friend to LARadio. He operated with hurricane force, but always was a gentle friend” … Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is making a $2 million donation to NPR and $500,000 to Los Angeles’ NPR membership station, KPCC … Remember when Wolfman Jack used to pitch a pill called Florex, which was supposed to enhance one’s sex drive. “Some zing for your ling nuts,” the Wolfman would say.

Oh What a Night

(June 21, 2018) Since moving to the Central Coast a year or so ago, Cherie and I have supported the Cal Poly/SLO theatre group. Jersey Boys was performed the other night, where something happened that was a first for both of us. 

There is a scene when the bad guys come to collect owed gambling debts from a member of the Four Seasons. All of a sudden, an announcement over the loud speaker. “Will all actors please exit the stage and will the audience remain seated.”

All actors scurried off the stage. Lights were dimmed on stage and we all sat in the dark for 10 minutes. And then another announcement. “Jersey Boys will now continue.”

Actors came back on stage and resumed the action where they left off, but it was clear that all was not right. As soon as the Frankie Valli character sang his next song, we knew they had made a change. Not only was he taller and stockier, but his falsetto range was limited and not as strong. 

The audience began to buzz about the change. Recognizing that something happened to the original character playing "Frankie, the audience embraced the change and gave the new actor a rousing applause and cheering at the end of his first song. The play stopped for a moment while the audience continued to applaud the replacement actor/singer.

You could tell he was moved as he bowed and patted his heart with a thank you.

Yesterday we received the following email: “Thank you so much for joining Cal Poly Arts for a fabulous performance of Jersey Boys on Tuesday evening at the Performing Arts Center. During Act II a replacement was made due to a minor injury. For the remainder of the performance, the role of Frankie Valli was played by Ben Bogen.”

At dinner before the performance, we marveled at how many “Frankie Valli’s” there must be to cover for the damage done to the voice singing the falsetto night after night. We guessed before the play resumed that the loss of "Frankie’s" voice was the reason for the change. And the show must go on and it did. The kid was a real trooper.

 

Batter Up

(June 20, 2018) TALKERS’ editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at flagship baseball affiliations. The following April 2018 scoreboards are for an MLB team’s English-language, Nielsen Audio subscribing key station. Specifically, information for the flagships of the Mets (WOR) and Yankees (WFAN) is limited to their home market – New York City – even though they may appear as well in Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) and Middlesex-Somerset-Union.

Key stations for the two Bay Area teams – the San Francisco Giants (KNBR) and Oakland A’s (KGMZ) – have San Francisco ratings info only (not San Jose).

Things though admittedly get especially thorny for ratings stats of the primary flagship for the Los Angeles Angels, as KLAA is unlisted (April 2018) in both the Los Angeles and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario reports. Therefore, “NA” (Not Available) is frequently displayed next to KLAA throughout this entire overview.

Is the Bloom Off the Rose?

  (June 20, 2018) Lisa Bloom was featured in a massive eight-page story in Los Angeles Magazine. The title of the piece was The Trials of Lisa Bloom. Some highlights from the Bryan Smith story:

The legal pundit and civil rights attorney made a name of herself taking on powerful men on behalf of her female clients. Then she came out defending Harvey Weinstein last fall, and all hell broke loose. She anchored her own show on truTV, Lisa Bloom: Open Court (for eight years) and had parlayed appearances as a legal analyst on cable news and entertainment show into a career as the go-to pundit on CNN, MSNBC, CBS News, Dr. PhilDr. Drew, KABC, and the Joy Behar Show.

Her reputation ignited when it was learned that Lisa represented Harvey Weinstein. How could she, of all people? She didn’t just work with him. She defended him. Lisa received death threats and rape threats against her and her daughter. To make matters worse word surfaced that Bloom, in the course of her work with Weinstein, had struck a deal for his production company and the rapper Jay-Z to make a docuseries based on a book she had written about the Trayvon Martin case.

“It was probably one of the worst times that I’ve ever seen for her, or at least that I’ve witnessed,” says Bloom’s daughter Sarah, an attorney who joined her mother’s shop. The central rule in most crisis management is not to make matters worse. In the Weinstein case, however, Bloom didn’t just breach that rule, she trampled it, tore it up, and turned it into confetti. Even she admits that she stumbled in those first fraught days.

At 56, Bloom is lean and fit. She works at a stand-up desk with a treadmill and, characteristically Type A about how she spends her off-hours, she’s summited Mount Kilimanjaro, backpacked both the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire and the Inca Trail in Peru, completed the New York City marathon, and visited more than 40 countries from Cambodia to Costa Rica.

Law school wasn’t part of the plan early into Bloom’s days at UCLA. Like her daughter, Gloria Allred didn’t set out to become a lawyer at first. Bloom worked for her mother’s firm for nine years after graduating from Yale Law. There was an early marriage, though Bloom talks little of it. You can read the complete story at: 
http://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/lisa-bloom/  

Fox 11's Good Day LA Reunion

(June 19, 2018) Whotta’ fun reunion at KABC the other day when the longtime hosts of Good Day LA got together on the John Phillips and Jillian Barberie show. “It was wonderful,” enthused Phillips.

It was the first time the three of them have done a broadcast together since Dorothy Lucey left the show. They talked, they interacted, they laughed, and they talked over each other, just like they did for 20 years doing the Fox 11 Morning Show. Steve said he felt like a referee. There were times over two decades when Jillian and Dorothy didn’t like each other, but they were unable to explain why.

Later, Steve remembered what happened after 9/11 happened. “The tenor of our shows changed for the next six months.” He was hopeful that it would be a more peaceful period in our society but he said it didn’t last that long. He addressed the issue of polarization. “Fox and CNN can be talking about the same story, yet they speak a different language.” When GDLA started in 1995, Steve said there were five morning shows “and we were in 12th place on local tv.”

Steve didn’t talk about the circumstances regarding why he left the Fox show. It would fun to have three of the together again. They were unpredictable and fun to listen to.

In other news: former KNAC dj Diana DeVille has joined middays for at 99.1/The Ranch (KWSV-LP) – Simi Valley. "Our listeners are a very vibrant and involved community of Country music fans, and I’m really looking forward to entertaining them through their workdays," said Diana ... KPFK’s Bill Gardner, host of Saturday’s Rhapsody in Black, participated in a documentary on Sam Cooke, one of the best Top 40/r&b singers. If you loved Sam's music, it is a fascinating story. 

Jim Ladd is One-of-a-Kind

By Rich Piombino, RD Music & Marketing 

I was fortunate enough to work at KMET from 1983 – 1986. Having previously worked with some amazing air personalities on previous occasions, I was especially proud to share space at The Mighty Met with Cynthia FoxPat “Paraquat” KelleyJeff Gonzer and a man who I feel is the best rock dj of all time, Jim Ladd.

Honestly, I didn’t meet him for a full three months after I started at KMET on June 6, 1983. One Friday night on the way out, I stuck my head in the studio, said hello, he nodded and shook my hand. I spent many “late hour” evenings at the station, so I was in a position to be an average listener with the distinct advantage of being 15 feet from the studio.

What I remember most, and what makes Jim the “essential” rock jock, is based on his overwhelming knowledge of the artists and the music, much of it based on personal relationships with many of them. Second are the narratives — if you’ve ever seen, heard Bruce Springsteen at shows, we all know the kind of intros Bruce makes as lead up to the songs. Jim is amazing there – I always remember best how he intro'd Panama from Van Halen, any number of Pink Floyd and Doors tracks. As a matter of fact, hearing Jim’s intro of LA Woman sealed my respect for ‘both' Jim’s, the Doors were the second and third concerts I ever saw in the late 60’s at Madison Square Garden and the Felt Forum in NYC.

Jim Ladd and I did a promotion together when Elektra released Dance On Fire, the first Doors video compilation. We gathered fans and listeners for a “Dinner with the Doors,” including Robbie, John and Ray – it’s no coincidence that it was Jim Ladd who rounded out that foursome.

After I left The Met, I went to work for Norm Pattiz, Thom Ferro and Brian Heimerl at Westwood One. We were assigned to tape one of Roger Waters’ early Radio KAOS shows at Great Woods outside of Boston. Roger had handpicked Jim to “narrate’”the dj parts on that record, thus capping an amazing era and close-up opportunity to work with one of the all-time greats.

These memories are sealed forever...

Email Saturday, 6.16.18 

 ** Listening to Cousin Duffy

“I remember listening to Warren Duffy when he was ‘Cousin Duffy’ with WMEX – one of the two leading AM Top 40 station in my hometown Boston. I would visit the station’s lobby, where the public was allowed to come in and watch the djs working through a large picture window on the left as you entered the building.

On one visit, Duffy came out to say hi to me and my friends. I think one of us asked him how he decided what songs to play. His answer was he didn’t. ‘I don’t even know what I’m playing now,’ he said with irritation. I looked at the 45 spinning on the turntable through the window behind him and wondered how anyone could be unhappy in such a job. It was obvious that he was very passionate about music and that he was frustrated there.

He was a wonderful dj, though.” – Sandy Wells

** Duffy’s Full Life

“I listened to Warren Duffy quite often in the 1990s. I'm sorry to hear of his passing. Here is a page with dozens of his airchecks, newscasts, promos and commercials, plus several photos and Duffy's essay about his early years in radio by clicking Warren's photo.” – Steve Thompson  
** Ratings

“Twenty years after all of us are long over the mountain, whoever takes over this site will STILL be reporting KRTH at #3 behind those other two! What d’ya wanna bet? Been goin’ on for decades. Why not a couple more? As they say, some things never [seem to] change.” – Rich Brother Robbin

** Non-Com in the Race

“I believe that one of the most interesting things about the ratings over the last several months is the slow but steady rise of KPCC. Here is a listener supported station that is doing what KQED [another listener supported station] in the San Francisco Bay Area has done. I haven’t heard much talk about how KPCC has done this, but kudos to them. KPCC has now cracked the Top Ten. Maybe some of the other news/talk stations should take a few KPCC classes.” – Sterrett Harper, Burbank
** Red Ryder Collection

“I really enjoyed the re-cap of Frank Bresee’s life. When I was 10 years old I had the complete collection of Red Ryder figures. Now I know that I was not the only Red Ryder voice. 

I recall one time that Irv Ivers and myself were at the Malibu Colony and we had the rare opportunity to see Paul Newman’s 944 Porsche. Whotta’ treat.” – Stan White, Seattle

** Bresee Memory

“I got to know Frank Bresee from his association with Roger Carroll, while I was at KMPC as apd from 1972 – 75. When Frank found out I loved the radio Gunsmoke show with William Conrad as Matt Dillon, US Marshall – ‘the first one they look for and the last they want to meet; it’s a chancy job, and a little lonely’ – he gave me a carton of tapes of the show. Sorry, indeed, to hear it is gone.” - Eric Norberg, Portland, Oregon

** More Bresee

Frank Bresee started Golden Days of Radio on my KMPC show. It was on for years at 7 p.m. with 5 or 10 minutes of old shows. I just talked with his wife and she doesn’t sound well. I introduced Frank to Bobbie years ago.” – Roger Carroll

** Wall of Fame

“I read of Frank Bresee’s passing and the story of the autograph wall in his basement theater. I’m happy to report that the wall is intact and restored. The house was purchased a few years ago by Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, who asked my company to do some lighting and hardware work. We are friendly with them and they asked us to take a look at the theater. I knew a bunch of the names [other than the obvious ones] on the wall and explained who they were. They wondered if they were real, so we called a friend who is an autograph expert and he came over and authenticated them all. That is when Sharon decided to restore the wall as there was some water damage. The attached photos are from before the restoration.

Once they started restoring the wall they found out about Frank Bresee and contacted him. He remembered all the stories behind each of the names including the circumstances of each signing. He told them about the beginnings of Let's Make a Deal as well as the signatures of Elvis and Natalie Wood. It seems they were there together and wound up having an argument, which continued right out into the street.” – Gary Gibson
** One is a Lonely Number

“I love the K-Earth promotion and how great is it to see Jerry Mathers :) As for your question about one LARP that is one of a kind. That’s a tough one. There are so many great ones. I idolized Robert W. Morgan [until I met him]. The Real Don Steele was, of course, a tremendous talent and unique. Casey Kasem  started something special with American Top 40 and was a very nice as well.

Sadly though, we have all been replaced at one time or another.” – Mike Butts

** One Perspective

“To my way of thinking — the LA radio personalities who broke thru barriers are the unduplicatable ones as the barriers are no longer there to break and as such cannot ever be duplicated.” – Roy Laughlin
** LARadio Newsletter

John Newton forwarded a copy of your newsletter. I worked with John and Mark Morris at KKLA back in the 80’s.

Can’t believe what a service you are providing. What a wealth of radio history you have put at people's fingertips. So many names popped up that I recall. Thank you so much for doing this.

Could I possibly be put on your email list? It would be such a pleasure to receive. Thanks so much.” – Joseph Roth
** Mentions About Mary Lyon and Gene Weed

“1.  On people leaving California, I realize it isn’t what it once was, but I moved to Oregon for nine months in 1973. The summer was almost ‘dream like,’ but when the reality of the cold and gray and rain of the Pacific Northwest kicked in at the end of summer, I asked myself, ‘what have I done?’

By November of ’73, I became a permanent resident of California, and have never considered moving away again.

#2.  On Gene Weed, he had a show on Los Angeles TV on Saturday night's in ’65 and '66 called Shivaree. One Saturday night, while living in Lompoc, and working with ‘YOU’ (Don Barrett), I was watching Gene’s show, and his guests that night were The Righteous Brothers and Stevie Wonder.

At the end of the show, Gene thanked his guests and invited us to tune in ‘next Saturday night, when our guests will be Len Barry and The New Beats.’ Gene says ‘Goodnight’ and then, he, Bill and Bobby of The Righteous Brothers, and Stevie, start waving goodnite to the camera, except Gene and The Brothers are facing the camera, and Stevie, is facing left and waving to the side and back stage area, and Gene, suddenly realized this, and quickly grabs Stevie by the shoulders, and turns him about 45 degrees towards the camera. [True story].” – Joe Collins

K-EARTH Locks Up Perfect Promotion 

(June 15, 2018) K-EARTH ran a near-perfect sales/programming promotion, the “Locks of Love Week” for the eighth year. The morning team of Gary Bryan and Lisa Stanley were the face of the promotion, along with Supercuts, Paul Mitchell, and the Girl Scouts.

This past Monday, Gary and Lisa were at Universal CityWalk 5 Towers stage where 101 listeners and Girl Scouts got their haircut by Supercuts stylists. The first 50 donors each received a pair of tickets to Universal Studios. Locks of Love provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children with medical hair loss.

Last year, 1,208 people participated donating more than 12,500 inches of hair. Everyone wins. The station received high visibility at the event and at Supercuts. And ultimately it is for a great cause. Congratulations.

In other news, Entercom is returning Kevin Weatherly to the programming post at AMP Radio. He will continue as pd at KROQ and JACK/fm. At the same time, former AMP and current K-EARTH pd Chris Ebbott has added operations manager duties for Radio.com in Los Angeles.

“We are proud to cultivate our existing talent at Entercom/Los Angeles,” said Jeff Federman, svp/market manager “Kevin was the original architect of AMP almost 10 years ago. He was successful at creating a format lane that was duplicated across the country. With Chris focused on Radio.com in Los Angeles, we are guaranteed compelling, creative and innovative ideas that will lead to growth in our consumer base and expand our relationships with our clients.”
Hear Ache. People are still buzzing how iHeart ceo Bob Pittman could make another $10.4 million, under iHeart’s “incentive plan for insiders.” During iHeart’s bankruptcy. Pittman, whose regular deal includes access to a Dassault-Breguet Mystere Falcon 900 aircraft, has a “target award” of nearly $7 million this year. He could make another 50% above that, depending on the metrics, and that would equal $10,462,500 … Not everything is a sure thing. Didja know that 20th Century Fox slated Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel a week after they released Avatar as insurance due to fears that Avatar could bomb, according to Stan White. “20th called it their ‘secret weapon.’" … Earlier this week, 870/KRLA afternooner Mark Levin was honored with a “Speaker of Truth” Award at the Endowment for Middle East Truth’s “Rays of Light in the Darkness” dinner in Washington DC … Loving Channel 4 at SiriusXM. All Beach Boys music this summer with some wonderful and insightful vignettes from all of the living Beach Boys. A true surfin’ safari all summer long. Also, my favorite daughter picked a Beach Boys song for the father of the bride dance … Brad Chambers is celebrating “Mother Miriam’s 80th Birthday Bash” at a Martini In the Morning event at Catalina Jazz Club on June 25. Performing is Dave Damiami and the No Vacancy Orchestra along with Johnny Blue, Gloria Loring, Deana Martin, Jane Monheit, among others.

My Heart at iHeart/SF. Many familiar LARP names are reemerging in the San Francisco market. iHeartMedia is bringing Progressive Talk back to the Bay Area at Real Talk 910 (KKSF), replacing ESPN Deportes. The station features a line-up led by Stephanie Miller (formerly heard on KFI, KABC, KTLK), Thom Hartman (ex-KTLK), along with KEIB consumer expert Clark Howard.

One is a Lonely Number. Have you figured out the personality who was a one-of-a-kind on LARadio? The person who jumped out of the radio every day probably still resonates with you today. If you want to share your fan fave, be sure to include all the reasons they were so unique. We’ll start revealing your favorites next week. Send your one-of-a-kind to: 
AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com

Warren Duffy Has Died

(June 14, 2018) Warren Duffy, veteran of KMET (1970 – 71), KDAY (1973 – 1974), and KKLA (1994 – 2004), died June 13, 2018. He was 80. Warren was prominent on the Los Angeles airwaves as both an original voice of progressive rock and as a longtime host on Christian talk radio.

He began his career as a singer on the radio before he started in a weekly television show at age 10. After graduating from high school at the age of 15, Warren started his long and varied career in broadcasting, including Washington D.C. where “I literally ruled the roost.” Warren helped launch the legendary progressive rocker KMET. “The station was a melting pot for some pretty talented people. To give us some validity with ad agencies when we were but a fledgling operation unable to afford 24-hour-a-day jocks, we were one of the first 'automated' music stations in the country,” recalled Warren. “We hired B. Mitchel Reed to host our afternoon drive-time show, so the agencies would recognize us.”

After time at KDAY, Warren left radio to become the national album promotion director for 20th Century Fox records. Within a year, he was promotion director for the Beach Boys, putting together the group’s worldwide tour celebrating their 15th anniversary. Warren soon found himself with a serious drug problem. He started his recovery in the late 1970s, leading to his religious conversion and renewing his faith through Robert Schuller Ministries.  
In the early 1980s, Warren joined the staff of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, where he served as executive administrative assistant to Dr. Schuller. Warren later moved to Kauai, Hawaii to serve as a church pastor. “I feel that everything I have gone through, from being a child prodigy to overcoming drug addiction to pastoring a church, has contributed to my ability to relate to people on a ‘heart’ level,” said Warren.

After stepping down from the pastorate, Warren created his own marketing and consultancy agency. One of his clients was Salem Communications, which at that time owned 30 Christian radio stations nationally. It led to his afternoon drive program “Duffy and Company – Live from L.A.” on Salem-owned KKLA. Warren declared his program was a home for the “Not-so-Silent Majority.”

He left KKLA on January 4, 2004, the tenth anniversary of his talk show. Warren’s friend John Loftus shared details of his passing:

Pam (Warren’s wife) called to share the news that our beloved brother, Duffy, left us this morning of June 13, 2018 and is now in the arms of Jesus. She was at his side during his final days, giving comfort and tender care and receiving the blessing of his inimitable smile. I know that each of us has been touched in special ways by Duffy's life and have fond memories of this dear man. God used him mightily for His kingdom and is now partaking, face to face, of Duffy's most radiant smile yet! In April 2016, Warren was diagnosed with Stage IV brain cancer.

In spite of his situation, Warren remained joyful and valiant. I cherish the many ways Duffy has touched my life. From when I first heard him over the airwaves on KKLA to my riveting initial phone conversation with him that occurred completely by chance (err, that is, by God's providence!), to his deep care for my youngest son, Jason, during his teen years (and ultimately officiating his wedding), to standing by me in some of my darkest times, Duffy has left an indelible impression on my life. Pam and I both express our heartfelt thanks for your prayers, remembrances, and financial support during these past months. You helped ensure that Duffy received exceptional care and that his wishes will be carried out for his final arrangements.

Though a memorial celebration is planned, the Duffy family depleted their personal funds because of the prolonged cancer fight, plus the expenses of assisted living and funeral costs. Loftus established a GoFundMe page to assist the Duffys,
https://www.gofundme.com/warren-duffy. Donations will be administered by Warren’s widow Pam Duffy. (Photo: Warren and Pam Duffy)

Do We Have One-Of-A-Kind LARPs?

(June 13, 2018) I came late to the Anthony Bourdain party. I hate to admit I thought it was one of those tacky food shows that CNN threw in when there was not a catastrophic news calamity to cover.

My family only watches 60 – 90 minutes of tv each evening. We have to make choices with our limited time in front of the screen. About a year ago I was probably watching some news event on CNN and Parts Unknown came on. I watched and after the first viewing I was hooked. OMG. Where had I been?

I recorded everything and relished each viewing. I thrive on storytelling, and Bourdain had such a strong knack to do just that. And the way he would weave in pop culture to a program was masterful. Anthony Bourdain was truly one-of-kind.

In local media we’ve had a few. Ralph Story was one of the best storytellers. You would also have to include PBS' Huell Howser. Golleeeeeee.

But have we had a real original in LARadio? Who would you think was truly a one-of-kind personality and why? Send your suggestion to: AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com

Frank Bresee, Actor Who Played Little Beaver, Has Died, at 88 

(June 12, 2018) Frank Bresee, radio historian and character actor, died June 5, at the age of 88.

In 1942, Bresee was Alvin on the radio show Major Hopalong also starring Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan. Bryan was perhaps better known as the original voice of Elmer Fudd. Arthur later became a second father to Frank. The two often collaborated on projects. Bresee was also Little Beaver on the Red Ryder radio show until 1946.

Bresee was probably one of the first dumpster divers. As a little boy, he took his wagon, went behind radio stations and retrieved from the trash various radio broadcast transcription discs. He also collected radio scripts after attending many of the broadcasts. What began as a childhood pastime grew into an important private collections of radio memorabilia. In addition to the discs and scripts, Bresee’s tape archive of approximately 3,900 reels is held at the Thousand Oaks Library.

In August of 1949, Bresee began hosting the “Golden Days of Radio” show with his large collection of transcription discs. He played early recordings from then-current radio shows while new shows were being broadcast. He wrote a book with artwork portraying every big radio show of its time.

Bresee was one of the first people in Hollywood in the late 1950s to have a movie theater in his home. The theater had around 30 seats and a projector purchased from a local movie theater. Mel Torme, Elvis Presley and Natalie Wood were some of the celebrities who came over to watch films. Many autographed the wall inside the theater, then a chalk board. This theater became the home where tv shows would have their first run through. Monty Hall and Stefan Hatos ran Let’s Make A Deal for six months in Bresee’s theater before they sold it to the NBC network in 1963.
Around this time, Bresee’s “Golden Days of Radio” was being featured on KGIL and KMPC. In 1966, his program started being offered in Germany over the Armed Forces Radio Network. It went on the full network in 1967, becoming one of the main features for the next 29 years. Bresee played highlights from shows and interviewed radio people. Some of his guest included Mae West, Bob Hope, Jack Benny and George Burns.

During KFI’s celebration of its 50th birthday, Bresee produced a 12-hour special hosted by many of the stars heard over KFI during the golden days of radio, from the 1920s – 1950s. Some of the hosts were Rudy Vallee, Jim Jordan (Fibber McGee from “Fibber McGee and Molly”), Edgar Bergen and Hal Parry (“The Great Gildersleeve”). Throughout his long career, Bresee received numerous awards, including the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters’ Diamond Circle Award, The Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio, Drama, Variety, and Comedy’s Byron Kane Award. He was a past president of Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters. (Thanks to Tom Vernon of Radio World, Jerry Fry  who kept “The Golden Days of Radio” on Armed Forces Radio for 29 years, AFR's longest-running show, and Roger Carroll [pictured on right with his wife and Bresee])

KBIG Big in May '18 PPM

(June 11, 2018) KBIG has regained the top spot in the May '18 Monthly PPM Nielsen ratings, but only by a breath over #2 KOST, which fell almost a half point. Entercom's K-EARTH and the WAVE (KTWV) are strong at 3rd and 4th. KIIS comes in 5th. KFI seems to have benefitted from politics and the local election conversation. Ratings represent 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-Mid:

1. KBIG (Hot AC) 5.7 - 5.7
2. KOST (AC) 6.0 - 5.6
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.8 - 5.0
4. KTWV (the WAVE) 4.8 - 4.8
5. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.5 - 4.5
6. KFI (Talk) 4.1 - 4.4
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 4.4 - 4.2
8. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.7 - 3.7
9. KYSR (ALT 98-7) 2.8 - 3.2
10. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.5 - 2.7
      KLAX (Regional Mexican 2.5 - 2.7
      KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.7 - 2.7
      KNX (News) 2.6 - 2.7
      KPCC (News/Talk) 2.6 - 2.7
      KRLL (Urban) 2.8 - 2.7
      KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.6 - 2.7
17. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 3.0 - 2.6
      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.2 - 2.6
19. KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.5 - 2.4
      KROQ (Alternative) 2.3 - 2.4
21. KKGO (Country) 2.2 - 2.1
22. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.9
23. KXOS (Regional Mexican) 2.0 - 1.8
24. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.7 - 1.7
25. KUSC (Classical) 1.4 - 1.6
26. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.4 - 1.4
27. KCRW (Variety) 1.5 - 1.3
28. KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.2 - 1.2
29. KSPN (Sports) 0.9 - 1.0
30. KLAC (Sports) 0.9 - 0.9
      KRLA (Talk) 1.0 - 0.9
32. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.8
      KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.6 - 0.8
      KKJZ (Jazz) 0.7 - 0.8
       KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 0.9 - 0.8
36. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.7 - 0.7
      KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.0 - 0.7
38. KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.7 - 0.6
     KYLA (Christian Contemporary) 0.4 - 0.6
40. KABC (Talk) 0.5 - 0.4
      KDLD (Regional Mexican) 0 - 0.4
      KSUR (Oldies) 0.5 - 0.4

Driven to Buy Paul Newman's Cars

(June 11, 2018) Adam Carolla collects cars – specifically race cars –  and more specifically, Paul Newman’s race cars. Carolla’s automobile collection caught the interest of the LA Times, placing the story on the front page of the Business section. The introduction of the story started: “Adam Carolla is a comedian, carpenter, podcaster, filmmaker, bestselling author, race car driver and entrepreneur.” The writer didn’t mention Adam’s a LARP. He was morning man at KLSX for a time, as well as the co-host of KROQ’s “Loveline” with Dr. Drew Pinsky.

Adam thought that cars raced by Newman might increase in value after the actor died, making them a sensible investment. Carolla spent $1 million securing Newman’s collection and another $1 million in restoration. He recently won at auction, Newman’s 1979 Porsche 935 that he driven to second place at the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Charles Fleming story can be accessed by clicking artwork.

In other news, Sean Hannity will host his radio program from Singapore all this week to cover the historic June 12 summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea Leader Kim Jong Un … Saul Levine started a new radio station last Friday, June 8, according to Steve Nieto of Yorba Linda. “It's on KKGO 105.1-HD4. He's calling it ‘LITE/fm LA.’ The station plays soft rock songs  and a few Disco treats that used to be played by KRTH and KOST before they moved their library to more current tracks.  Congrats to Saul and Fred Missman for putting together another station that fills a large gap on the LA radio dial.” ... LARadio subscribers will get their first look at the May '18 PPM this afternoon.


Email Saturday, 6.9.18

 
** Lyon Queen

“WOW what a story from Mary Lyon. What a history. What a writer. Mary WAS LARadio. Soooo many stations. Soooo many buddies! I heard so many of those interviews down through the years. She made those people come alive. AND she was SO human on the air, no fancy ‘radio voice!’ Mary, thanks so much for being there for L.A. all those years.” – Alan F. Ross

** Move to Oregon

“I really enjoyed Mary Lyon’s story on her move to Oregon. KC and I are seriously considering a move to a ranch in Northern Idaho. We’ve found one with a pond, horse stables for KC and acreage. Even though we live on a small ranch in Big Bear, the absolute best part of SoCal, the taxes, traffic, etc. is really getting to us. Will let you know what we decide.” –Larry Huffman

** Busy Lyon

“WOW, Mary Lyon has done a LOT – all those early photos with her guests is amazing.” – Mike Butts

** Weedy One

“Scrolling down on your site today, I again saw Gene Weed and it brings back an ancient war story which I heard from a colleague at KPHO/TV in Phoenix back in 1960 or ’61. It was told to me by Pat McMahon, who joined the station in 1960.

By 1961, he and I were both in uniform, as our Arizona Air National Guard fighter squadron was activated for the Berlin Crisis, as ordered by President Kennedy. Prior to moving to Phoenix, Pat had done radio and tv [including a teen dance show] in the Quad Cities when he was drafted. He was in basic training at Fort Carson, Colorado, with Gene Weed, likewise a drafted disc jockey. 

Their platoon sergeant hollered ‘anyone here have radio experience?’ Pat, all 5’10” of him, and Weed raised their hands. They were instructed to pick up the heavy back-pack walkie-talkie base units and march with them. They protested. ‘We don't know anything about this stuff.’ The platoon sergeant: ‘I thought you said you had radio experience...’ Weed and McMahon answered in unison, ‘Yeah, but we’re disc jockeys.’

They were stuck being radiomen in their assignments. I don't know if Pat’s alive or not. He spent his entire career in Phoenix. We’ve lost touch.” – Warren Cereghino

** Goodtime Steve Mitchell

“One of the highlights of my radio career was when I made it to LA. That was a goal for me. I was part of the original staff of KIQQ (K100), along with some great radio talent, big names in the biz. We were there before the furniture in the offices. It was a brand-new station. We started up with used equipment in the studios, located smack dab in the middle of Hollywood, within walking distance of Martoni’s bar and next door to the Cinerama Dome. The two guys in charge were Irv Ivers, who later went to the movie business, and Don Barrett, who later created the highly regarded and well-known LARadio.com which keeps track of Los Angeles radio and its people. Yes, my nickname was Goodtime Steve. Credit Michael Butts for that.” – Goodtime Steve Mitchell (Ingold)

** Goss Update

“Thank you for the update on what Dean Goss is up to. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times during the ‘Mousersize with Mickey’ days at KRTH and he was so nice, even working a United Way event for Bank of America at the Arco Towers. I hope he tells the students what a difference he made in the mornings for Angelenos. I was sorry when Disney put the kibosh on his entertaining bits.

By and large, most of the djs who worked fm especially during the 80’s and 90’s did so much not just for the music, but for the artists. Even stunts like playing ‘State of Shock’ almost 24 hours straight [K-100] or Machine Gun Kelly supposedly getting fired for something similar kept us laughing during the hardest of times. Nowadays we need our personalities even more, not just to showcase music and the artists who create it, but to encourage listeners to speak out about the issues. And if you enjoy someone’s show, let the suits know it!” – Julie Byers  

** Regan Memories

“As a radio guy, these record boys were cousins in our success. Without their product radio as we know it, would never have been. Russ Regan was a real prince. As it works out, his illness zapped the family’s finances. One of his main promotion guys, Bill Pfordresher, is putting together a concert to raise money. He has already secured the group Ambrosia [You’re The Biggest Part Of Me] to get involved. I know you get inundated with emails and I’m not askin’ you to do anything for Russ, just lettin’ you know how great a man he was.” – Rich Brother Robbin

** Viscott Memories

“I have fond memories of attending Santa Monica High School in the mid-80’s where due to a light schedule during my senior year, I was able to listen to KABC in the afternoons. I was instantly drawn to Dr. David Viscott due to his calming voice and his no-nonsense analytical style which was radically different from the long drawn out scholarly exercises employed by others in his field.

I recall he would often say ‘Where do you want to be in five years?’ That was very resonating since it stripped away all the excuses and only focused on moving forward with achievements. I see a lot of this in use with today’s impatient millennium generation where the goal is to achieve something fast. If utilized correctly it can be very successful. I feel sad how his own life took a downturn and his eventual early death, but I appreciated him greatly and feel he was ahead of his time. I have no doubt he would have been embraced by today’s generation.

God bless you Dr. Viscott, and thank you for being a part of my life.” – Steve Chang

** More David Viscott

"As an avid listener to his show, I was also fortunate to have been a patient of Dr. David Viscott. Hoping for some clarity about issues in my life, I made an appointment to see him. Dr. Viscott was quite different than your average shrink. My previous experiences with therapy took place in high-rise office buildings; our sessions, however, were in a light, airy screened-in porch at his home.

Dressed informally in khaki shorts, a brightly-colored, short-sleeve hawaiian-ish shirt and sandals, he proudly explained that his method consisting of four two-hour sessions dramatically condensed the intensity and resolution of the work, thereby eliminating the need for years of prolonged therapy.  

At the end of the two hours, he handed me a tape of our conversation and instructed me to review it every day for two weeks. My homework was to note, in writing, how many times and about what I lied. I pushed back hard suggesting I didn’t lie. With a kind, knowing smile he said, 'Yes you did, everybody does.'

And then he did something remarkable. As I was about to leave, he gave me a big friendly hug, kissed me on the cheek and said, ‘I have a great deal of affection for you. See you in two weeks.’  

After listing to my tape for a week, I heard myself be less than honest many many times. It clearly pointed out there were things in my life too difficult for me to be honest about. Hearing myself do that was a revelation. Unfortunately, funds dried up which prevented me from completing two remaining sessions. But I probably got more out of those four hours than a good year with more conventional therapy.  

Dr. Viscott’s hug and affection was not just for me, but for all of humanity. He was a terrific person and a gifted, artful therapist.” - Jeff Maxwell

** Snap Chat

"I enjoy seeing all of the photos of the various LARP you show at the beginning of each post you do. I was wondering how you choose which photos to show. Do you ave a system? I am amazed at how many names I know [and can now put a face to those names], but even more amazed at how many photos you have of these mainly faceless and wonderful people.” - Sterrett Harper

** Bad Link in Subscriber Email

'Yours wasn't a bad link. Here's a bad Linc." - Bill Seward


New Day for Sue Fruend 

(June 8, 2018) Sue Freund, former general manager at KDAY and vp of sales for the Western Region of SiriusXM, has joined two colleagues – Ron Hartenbaum and Scott Calka – to form a new company, Crossover Media Group Sales. The company was specifically developed to provide advertising-sales representation across multiple platforms for an array of established and emerging program personalities and formats. “Crossover Media Group Sales is equipped to help content creators maximize their ad revenue regardless of delivery platform,” said Sue.

“There is a strong and surprisingly untapped market for advertising to support personalities and brands seeking to maximize revenue potential across all the platforms available to them. If you have an audio presence, we can be your video partner. If you have a video brand, but have had difficulty breaking through the clutter, we can help. We understand cross-platform branding, promotion and monetization, and how to serve the needs of content providers, media buyers and brands alike.” Crossover Media Group Sales’ initial clients include a variety of radio and podcast products by Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann, among others.
In other news, Mike Carlucci is headed for Russia. “I will be working as an English Announcer for the FIFA World Cup Soccer tourney,” emailed Mike … Dean Goss, former morning man at K-EARTH and KODJ) is now teaching radio at Palomar Community College in North San Diego County. “I’m having a ball. I get to tell all my radio stories every semester...lol.” … Also now in the classroom is Lori Kelman, former newslady at KFWB and KABC. She is teaching two news classes at The Academy of Radio & Television Broadcasting in Huntington Beach.

Bill Davis is stepping down as president/ceo of Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), which runs KPCC. He wrote to supporters: “I am humbled by the accomplishments that your generous contributions have made possible during the past 19 years, and I know that SCPR is well-positioned to build upon these accomplishments in the years and decades to come. Local news coverage in greater Los Angeles is essential to the civic and cultural life of one of the world’s great metropolitan areas. And civic engagement is critical to the region’s future as one of the world’s most diverse regions. These are the twin pillars of SCPR’s public service mission. Thank you for helping us more fully realize this vision and for making greater Los Angeles a better place to live.”

We’re saddened to hear of the passing of Reelradio's founder and curator, Richard Irwin. The man known as “Uncle Ricky” died in Sacramento yesterday at the age of 67. His online museum of Top 40-era radio airchecks -- at which dozens of us who contributed were given "collections" -- was award-winning and ahead of its time. Due to illness and concerns over the pirating of these recordings, Ricky closed down Reelradio earlier in 2018 after 22+ years. Rest in peace, Uncle Ricky.

Debunking the Myths about Radio DJs

By  Kevin Ross  -

(June 7, 2018) RFFocus editor Kevin Ross was a radio dj for many years working in many markets including monumental stations like KKBT in Los Angeles. There are some very interesting myths about radio djs that the pubic just assumes. Well, Kevin is here to tell you the truth about MOST DJs. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule but this profile fits MOST radio djs. Read his column here.


There Was a Time When The Doctor Was In

(June 7, 2018) Psychology and therapy driven programming is largely gone from LARadio. But there was a time when we had some pretty big names – Toni GrantDr. Laura Schlessinger (now on SiriusXM) and David Viscott – who dispensed a quick diagnoses and prescription for change in usually five minutes or less.

In the 1990s, Marnell Jameson was on assignment for a radio industry magazine to interview Viscott. She thought maybe he would give her 45 minutes, instead the interview ended up being four hours. She only took one 90-minute cassette to record the interview, so Viscott ended up providing additional tapes until he finished talking.

The interview took place in his Hancock Park home. It’s been a decade since she reminisced about David on that chilly fall afternoon for the LA Times.

“Forget my prepared questions – I just let Viscott talk and rant through a riveting free association that resulted in a more complete portrait of the man than I could have ever achieved through questioning,” Jameson wrote.

At his height, Viscott appeared to be everywhere, from his daily KABC radio show to a midday television program on KNBC/tv. He offered the “quick hit” Viscott method to patients via therapists he personally trained, based on four two-hour sessions at $1500 per session. He travelled around the U.S. leading seminars, teaching others to find their “inner gift.” Viscott also wrote more than a dozen books, including two autobiographies, and even had a greeting card line.
Eventually both the tv and radio shows were cancelled, cutting off the source of new clientele. The Viscott Center in Beverly Hills was relocated before the clinic and all of his satellite facilities were closed down while his seminars were downsized.

In 1993, Viscott declared bankruptcy with more than $1 million in debt, leading to the loss of his Hancock Park home. Viscott tried to re-emerge on the radio, returning to an early evening program on KABC frequently pre-empted by Dodger baseball broadcasts. The psychiatrist was then heard on KIEV, sponsored by the Pain Relief Network. Viscott had to find his own advertisers to try to stay on the air when the Pain Relief Network backed out of their deal. In 1995, Viscott was hired for the 9 p.m. to midnight shift at KMPC, a station which had recently switched to an all-talk format. After initial hopes of syndication, the show was cancelled as both Viscott and the station suffered low ratings.

His last regular radio gig was once-a-week appearances on KIIS/fm with Rick Dees.

When David died in 1996, he died alone at his Studio City home of an apparent heart attack. He had been separated from his wife, Katherine, whom he’d been with for nearly 20 years. A cleaning crew found him deceased in his bed. David’s publicist, Bonnie Fleming, wasn’t surprised he was alone in the end. “David had his own source of problems,” said Fleming. “I wish he could have taken more of his own advice and gotten help when he needed it.”

Viscott had lofty goals. “I’m still earning my wings,” he would say to friends. “I’m here to help solve the great problems of Earth: Better distribute justice and food, create a unified government, make it safe from nuclear weapons, clean up disease, fix the ecology, and here I am doing my best. Most of all I want to do what I came here to do, to make people feel stronger in their lives so that everyone’s life can be the source of strength and nurturing, and gradually the world becomes better. Then I can die in peace.”

He referred to death often. Viscott had a bad heart. Twice, he said, his heart stopped and he was taken for dead. The heart problems stemmed from a condition he was born with called situs inversus totalis, “in which all the organs of the body are on the wrong sides.”

I only met David Viscott once. It was at one of his gatherings in Orange County. Waiting outside with hundreds of others, once the doors opened, the crowd, mostly women, stormed inside to get a seat upfront with the hopes of sharing a personal problem and having David fix that problem. The sense of excitement outside and inside the auditorium was not unlike waiting for a rock star to appear. David had certainly been given a gift, and the LARP community is better for his taking part.

His publicist friend feels the cause of David’s death, ironically, was due to a broken heart. (Alan Oda contributed to this story)

Good Time for Steve Mitchell

(June 6, 2018) In the early 1970s, we were a bunch of ragamuffins who had a dream of creating a unique radio station. One of those at the launch of KIQQ (K-100) was Good Time Steve Mitchell, who was teamed up with pd Rich Brother RobbinMike ButtsJim MaddoxRoger Christian, Gene West, and Craig "Hurricane" Hines. Good news for Good Time Steve. He’s being inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame later this year.

In 1974, Steve became program director at 96 Rock (WKLS), Atlanta. While at 96 Rock, Steve became part of the station’s “Wakeup Crew” team during morning drive. Next, mornings at KSHE-St. Louis followed. In 2005, Mitchell opened INGO Studios producing everything from commercials to documentaries. He also hosts Thunder Road, a nationally syndicated country radio NASCAR-themed program airing on over 100 stations weekly.

In other news, didja know that the late Jan Berry’s (half of Jan & Dean) father worked for Howard Hughes? He was a project manager of the "Spruce Goose" and flew on its only flight with Hughes … Congratulations to Mary Beth Garber on being appointed to the California Private Security Disciplinary Review Committee by Governor Brown. “I am so excited,” said Mary Beth. “We meet monthly to review decisions handed down by the Bureau that oversees everything to do with security services. People or companies whose licenses have been revoked can appeal to us to re-evaluate their situations … Think there is any chance that I can find out my life trajectory if I go back to age 14 and find the #1 song? … KOST producer Roger Rodriguez is moving down the iHeart hallway to be the local producer for the MY/fm (KBIG) evening show, ‘On With Mario Lopez.’ … Salem’s Larry Elder, nights at 870/KRLA, is guesting with Michael Harrison on his local podcast, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Links and more info at TALKERS.com … LA Times reviewed last week’s KIIS Wango Tango: “Saturday’s five-hour program was about as exciting as a marketing meeting, with competent but unremarkable performances.” … Vin Scully remembered the spectacular catch by Dwight Clark (he died this week of
ALS) of the SF 49ers in the playoffs leading to the Super Bowl. It was Vin's last NFL broadcast. “After the catch, I was on the plane going home. I thought it can’t get much better than that. That’d be a great game to walk off on. By the time the plane landed I had quit football. That was it. I had done it.”

Lyon Queen

(June 5, 2018) Mary Lyon had quite the LARadio career, making stops at KFWB, KNAC, KLOS, KHJ, KRTH, and KLSX. She grew up in West Los Angeles, attending Marymount High School before graduating from UC Irvine. At KHJ, she was the first woman news director. She has made a major move and we knew you would like to come along for the ride. Mary tells her story:
Bruce (my husband of now 42 years) and I have made a major move as we embrace the passage of time and our status as empty-nesters, and our shared desire to "dial it back" a little. We’ve formally said goodbye to Southern California and moved north, trading L.A. for L.O.  – beautiful Lake Oswego, Oregon! Escrow closed yesterday on the sale of our way-too-big-for-just-the-two-of-us house in Brentwood. We’re Oregonians now. Most important, we’re a lot closer to our married daughter in Idaho, especially for whenever she and our son-in-law decide to start a family of their own. Our son remains in L.A., studying to advance and expand his career in music and finish his college degree, but he stays in close touch. It’s quite a transition, lemme tellya!

(Mary Lyon w/ Elton John, Tom Cruise, BeeGees, Arnold Schwarzenneger, and Jane Fonda)
We have seasons! We moved in January so we got a taste of snow – which was rather mind-bending! Spring is here, and the whole area is in bloom! We frequently have different kinds of snow flurries now – hundreds of thousands of little petals from all the ornamental cherry trees up here, blown about and swirling through the air when the wind kicks up. And driving through various parts of town remind me of the Wilshire Corridor, except that instead of tall, concrete-and-glass high-rises, it’s tall stately TREES!

I’m only just starting to discover the radio scene up here, the political issues up here, and the lay of the land in general. It’s so green and gorgeous up here, mellow as can be, well-hydrated (because of all the rain), and a gentle vibe that permeates everything. The lake, the towering trees, the forests and rivers, gentle people in good moods, everywhere and friendly neighbors stopping by to chat while out walking their dogs. This must be where old hippies go to retire!

I do miss L.A. But I think I miss what L.A. WAS while I was growing up. When it wasn’t quite so crowded and congested, rush hour was really a mere hour long, and there still was a something of a rainy season we could plan on. Or maybe it felt that way because I was a kid. Radio was a big part of that. I still remember being stretched out on my towel at the neighbor’s pool, with my transistor radio blaring KHJ, KFWB, and KRLA, with all the Boss Jocks and the explosion of the Beatles and the “British Invasion,” how long it took for J. Paul Huddleston to intone his name at the end of his newscast (held onto that “JAAAAAAAAAAAAY Paaaauuuul” part for what seemed like an entire daypart just by itself!), the “KFWBeatles or KFWBeach Boys? Call in and vote!” (Beatles won, btw) and so much more. Never did I dream that I’d eventually be one of those voices on two of those stations. I was also across the hall from the third, when KRLA was in the same large suite of offices as its then-FM complement, KLSX, doing the morning news for Phil Hendrie. Never did I expect I’d actually wind up working with that Charlie Tuna guy I listened to religiously.

(Mary Lyon w/Ringo Starr, Harrison Ford, Dan Akroyd, and Tina Turner)
Never did I dream I’d be one of the first woman’s voices on any of those! Indeed, in a couple of cases, I WAS the first female voice providing morning news updates for an astonishing lineup of famed and brilliant morning men. Never dreamed I’d become even a minor sort of broadcast “pioneer.” I met and became friends with some of the most talented and towering figures in local, and later network broadcasting. The L.A. radio scene was very, very good to me.  

One of the biggest things I’ve learned about all this has come with the unpacking of all those boxes of our stuff and our decades of memories. Some of these things I fished out of storage were mementos and framed photos, awards and testimonials, much of which I’d long ago forgotten. It helped remind me about tons of things, people, events, breaking stories, and other happenings. I kept thinking about that valuable advice I received years ago: If you're ever feeling down about things in your life or the passing of years, stop for a moment, and put your resume together. Doing that will compel you to revisit some of your finest accomplishments that will make you feel proud and help renew your spirit. It’s even more powerful when you pull out those old photos and press clippings and actually hang ’em up on the wall. It’s incredibly reaffirming! 

I won’t be a complete stranger, though. Our son’s still there, for one thing, and for another, I refuse to miss the 50-year and 60-year reunions of KUCI, in Irvine, the 10-watt FM station at U.C.I., to which I owe my career, and where most of my decades-long record collection now resides. They’ll find some real gems in there, including some LPs with “KABC-FM” stamped on them, from when the KLOS music department was cleaning out its library and leaving huge stacks of old albums in the hallway for those of us interested employees to take home if we wanted them. Geographic changes notwithstanding, I’ll never really leave all of that completely behind.
 

(Mary Lyon on her Lake Oswego patio, Mary with Dean Goss, Donna Summer, and her press passes over the years) 
And thanks to you, Don, and your LARadio.com, I will happily be able to stay connected. Much love to you all! -- Mary Lyon


Hall of Fame Voting Begins Today
 

(June 4, 2018) Voting for the Radio Hall of Fame begins today. For the next two weeks, you can participate in the vote via RadioVote.com or by texting. You’ll find some LARP among those nominated for this year’s honors.

Here’s how you can vote via texting. Send your message to 96000, then submit your selection from the following: For Ellen K, text 100. For Kid Kelly, 200. For Angie Martinez, 300. And for John Tesh, 400. For Mark Levin, text 500. For Joe Madison, 600. For George Noory, 700. And for Jim Rome, 800. Voting ends June 18.

In other news: Artie Lange, longtime part of the Howard Stern show, has avoided a prison term for possessing heroin. He is to serve four years of probation and complete an outpatient drug treatment program. He wrote on Twitter: “The judge was very fair! But 4 yrs probation is a long time. I am gonna try my best. If I end up in jail for yrs, (add comma)  let my life be a lesson to you kids battling heroin. I had everything! And more. I traded it for powder. Don’t make that mistake. Ur better than that.  & I love u!” … Mike Novak, formerly a dj at KIQQ, steps down as ceo of Educational Media Foundation. EFM is part of the ministry that operates the K-LOVE and Air1 radio networks. They recently bought KSWD/fm (former home of 100.3/The Sound) … Shotgun Tom Kelly announced at the Burbank radio reunion that he is joining the Oldies channel “60s on 6” at SiriusXM … Actress Gwyneth Paltrow was on with Howard Stern. She recounted the time in 1995 that her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, confronted Harvey Weinstein. Said Pitt: “If you ever make her feel uncomfortable again, I’ll kill you.”

Email Saturday, 6.2.18

 ** Last DJ Standing

“I’m pleased to see ongoing interest in KFWB’s Seven Swingin’ Gents. As the last of ‘em, interesting to note my Amazon book, Last of the Seven Swingin’ Gentlemen has been translated in German and we are having Europe sales. Guess some Field Frolickers moved East. Happily still at it in my ninth decade and celebrating a new May born granddaughter. Always pleased to share the latest with LARadio readers. Happy Summer Time!” – Elliot Field

** Alexandra’s Marriage

“Congratulations on the marriage of your daughter, Alexandra. She is truly beautiful and from what you have written about her, it is apparent that she has a great mind and is self-sufficient and industrious. I know how much you love her and are happy for her. My good wishes to you and your family. You are a wonderful father and person.” – Bob Fox

** Oldies 300

“Love the look back at the Memorial Day 300’s from KRTH through the years. Somehow, I don't think most of those songs would be on this year’s countdown! 

I was reminded of a contretemps some years ago between you and Heidi of Heidi, Frosty and Frank this morning. Since they came to KLOS, they have been funny without [mostly] going over the line. However, they were in very poor taste today and I had to change the station.

Anyone who can turn a heartwarming story about the dad who took his late son's prom date to the prom into something dirty, doesn't deserve my listening to them. Sad thing is they have ripped off so many bits from The Woody Show, which sometimes is off putting, and made them funny, that this was one they should have skipped.” – Julie Byers
** Devastated at Russ Regan’s News

“I was devastated when I learned of Russ Regan’s passing. Our friendship dated back to the glory years of KFWB, ‘Color Radio,’ Channel 98. Russ was a record promotion man during that period, and among the very best. What a pleasure it was to get ‘off the air’ at 9 a.m. and have him waiting [usually with record librarian Don Anti at his side] to hand me a 45 copy of the ‘Next #1 hit in the country!’ [He was correct with this prediction more times than not.] Russ had an ‘ear’ for what was ‘commercial,’ i.e. ‘a hit or a miss.’

His talents led him to become ceo of one of the top independent labels in the business. It was Russ who introduced us to such mega-stars as Barry White, Elton John and Neil Diamond, among others. It’s a cliche to say this – but with this gentle man, the cliche has merit. There was only ONE Russ Regan. And God knows he will be missed. May he rest in peace.” – Wink Martindale
** On the Highway with Mark Denis

“Just the other day, I stumbled upon an old episode of Highway to Heaven, circa 1984. During one scene filmed at an airport, I heard a familiar voice, then saw that familiar face. It was the legendary Mark Denis. I had to grab a screen capture and send to you.

Like so many, Mark was a wonderful friend and mentor to me in my early days in radio. He is greatly missed. It was sure nice to receive this 'surprise' visit from him from a bit part on an old tv show!” – Jim Governale
** Camarillo State Hospital Notoriety

“Congratulations on your son's graduating from college, as well as you daughter's wedding.

On Camarillo State Hospital, both Charlie Parker, and Billie Holiday, spent some time there back in the day.

And on another thought, I'm attaching a picture of my youngest granddaughter, Scarlett. It's so wonderful, getting to experience holding your grandchild, surrounded by family. This picture was taken at my wife's sister's memorial service this past Saturday at Adele's parent's home in Fresno. We started at noon, and I finally went home to bed, a little after 11, stone cold sober.

Like the promises say, ‘we will know a new happiness and a new freedom’ ... yadda-yadda.” – Joe Collins
a·pos·tro·phe1
əˈpästrəfē/
** Apostrophe’s

“Love that Randy West finally called us [radio people] on the butchering of the English language.

A few weeks back I heard an LA news anchor [not on KNX] refer to ‘Bing-HAM-ton,’ a city in New York. Maybe not difficult to mispronounce if you've never been there-or exposed to McHale's Navy

Several days later the same news anchor used a story about two military ships bumping into each other and she referred to the ‘Collusion’ of the vessels. 

Here in SD we're currently running a commercial about where to put your car when you're flying out of the airport. According to the spot it's a convenient ‘Parkeen’ lot. Parking without the ‘G.’ Early on, those of us in the eastern part of the country learned that ‘W’ was double -yew. I guess since radio and tv stations west of the Mississippi start with a ‘K,’ the use of the term ‘Dubba-Yew’ will live forever.

Thanks for your fun, compelling content. If you were a radio station you'd be #1. And congrats on becoming an ‘In-Law’.” – Dave Mason, Sunny 98.1, KXSN-San Diego.

Jimmy Kimmel in People

Family Fun
Los Angeles, May 20
Jimmy Kimmel stepped out for the Hammer Museum's annual benefit K.A.M.P. (Kids' Art Museum Project)
with wife Molly, son Billy, 13 months, and 3-year-old daughter Jane - People Magazine, June 4, 2018

San Diego Sports Voice Diagnosed with Cancer 

(June 1, 2018) Ted Leitner, the voice of San Diego sports for almost four decades, announced that he has cancer. The malignant tumor is in a kidney, which he will have removed.

Ted has never been out of the Padres booth for more than a series and never missed a road trip since he began calling Padres games in 1980, according to an in-depth story by Kevin Acee in the San Diego Union Tribune (and thanks for the photo).

“I’m so thankful that it isn’t my kids, so thankful it hasn’t spread where it’s chemotherapy and all the stuff, which it’s not, and it’s not ‘You’re going to miss the entire rest of the season,’” Leitner said. “… The fact they haven’t found anything else and I’m not 40 years old at the peak of my career — I’m 70 — I’m really thankful as hell.”

Leitner has been the radio voice of the Clippers, Chargers, Padres and San Diego State football and basketball. He hosted a radio show for many years and he was for 25 years the sports anchor on KFMB/tv.
Hear Ache. Didja know that Lisa Osborn’s sister, Gina, is an FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Cyber and Computer Forensics? She works at the crime lab in Orange. Her status on leaving the FBI to focus on script writing prompted a story in the OC Register … With the story earlier this week that people are not going to put up with six minutes of commercials, a number of you wrote that it is not uncommon to hear eight minutes, and even one station that regularly airs 10 minutes in a commercial cluster … Thanks for all the nice notes about my daughter’s wedding. Very touching.

PPM Re-Issue. Tom Taylor, in his tasty radio newsletter Now, did a wonderful job in analyzing Nielsen’s re-issued L.A. PPMs for March. He said the big losers – with meters from four households surgically removed from the original sample – were KLAX, which had a 30% drop and KXOS dropped 13%. Nielsen hasn’t revealed its reasons for pulling those four households, then reissuing its PPMs back to last October. With the sample re-done, there were also gainers in the book. In fact, they were all up one-tenth of a share. The top six stations all slightly increased (KOST from 5.9 to 6.0, KBIG from 5.7 to 5.8, and so on through KRTH, KIIS, “Wave” KTWV and KFI). We’ve never seen a reissue that re-writes this much history. Something else about the re-issue – many demo cells, for men and women across the board from 6+ to 65+  – were impacted. The members of those four households must have ranged from kids through grandparents.

Two Lady LARPs of Grace

(May 31, 2018) The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) handed out their 43rd Annual Gracie Awards at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.

Host Lisa Joyner led the evening, which included the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Rita Moreno, the award presented by Norman Lear.

The evening also featured a special performance by Grammy-nominated Country Kelsea Ballerini. Two LARPs were honored: Shirley Strawberry, (co host of the The Steve Harvey Morning Show, heard locally on KJLH) and Whitney Allen (The Big Time with Whitney Allen).

 

Grammar Police. Randy West took note of the Entercom offer of employment: “They expect a lot of writing skills for a company that hasn’t figured out the proper use of apostrophes.”

Part of yesterday’s posting: Entercom’s all-News KNX is looking for a fearless, aggressive, energetic, enthusiastic, and creative team player. Must have a strong rolodex, good news judgment and the ability to write quick, clear, compelling and concise scripts without the usual cliche's or news speak.

Maybe they should also define news speak?

Robert Feder, all-knowing about Chicago media, is reporting Dick Biondi, a giant in Chicago radio (and briefly at Top 40 KRLA), is out at WLS.

“When Dick Biondi turned 85 last September 13, WLS honored the legendary radio personality with a daylong celebration that included an outpouring of on-air salutes and social media messages along with a ‘Happy Birthday, Dick Biondi’ web page,” writes Feder. “No one knew it at the time, but those tributes turned out to be Biondi’s farewell from the Cumulus Media classic hits station.

The move signals the end of an era in Chicago radio — and an association between Biondi and WLS that dates back six decades. At night on Top 40 powerhouse WLS 890-AM from 1960 to 1963, ‘The Wild I-Tralian’ commanded a 60 percent share of all listeners, attracting millions of adoring teens in 38 states and Canada. After numerous stops along the way, he was reunited with the iconic call letters at WLS 94.7-FM in 2006.

Regarded by some as the greatest disc jockey of all time, Biondi is enshrined in the National Radio Hall of Fame, the radio exhibit of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.”

"Six-Minute Ad Load is Death" 

(May 30, 2018) With the tv upfronts just completed, the subject of commercial clutter once again surfaced. Some of the observations may help explain the loss of revenue in the radio sector. “Stuffing seemingly interminable commercial blocks into programming is a losing battle,” acknowledged NBC chair Bob Greenblatt. “People are running away from advertising in droves.”

So far, ad buyers seem willing to pay a premium for a less cluttered environment. One observer noted: “The six-minute ad load is death. Nobody is sitting through that.”

Two of our largest LARadio groups are in bankruptcy reorganization, struggling to secure every dollar possible. At some stage, iHeart, Cumulus, Entercom and the others will have to address this revenue issue. It is not acceptable to always respond with the statistic that 93% listen to radio each week. You have to keep them engaged, then present the most compelling ad message possible to get the listener through the door to purchase the product.


Wanted. Here’s a recent job posting:

Entercom’s all-News KNX is looking for a fearless, aggressive, energetic, enthusiastic, and creative team player. The right candidate is a real show producer and not just a guest booker. Must have a strong rolodex, good news judgment and the ability to write quick, clear, compelling and concise scripts without the usual cliche's or news speak. Must work and play well in a fast, high-pressure all-news environment. Intimate knowledge of socializing content in all platforms is a MUST. Prior major-market producing and news writing experience required. Strong multi-tasking and computer skills required. Familiarity with Southern California including politics, pop culture, lifestyle, etc. preferred. Must be available to work all hours, overnights, and weekends. Required to join the Writers Guild of America. More info here

This week, Dusty Street marks the 50th anniversary of KSAN in San Francisco. “It started several years earlier at KMPX when Tom Donahue had a vision for what radio could be and for a while it was ... all across the country,” wrote Dusty on her Facebook page. “I am sad, but happy Tom never had to see what was made of his beautiful dream. We had many great years as did the people who listened to us. I still get emails from old KSAN fans and it warms my heart. Happy 50th to all who loved KSAN Jive 95.”

In other news: Congrats to Donna and Alan Oda on their 19th wedding anniversary! ...  Vince Daniels joins news/talk KMET 1490 AM/Hemet/Banning/Beaumont for the 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. shift. “Speaking of KMET, I'll have a segment twice per show at 9:35 and 10:35 called ‘KMET Remembers KMET’ where I'll feature a portion of a Classic Rock song that the old rocker would have played in their heyday,” wrote Daniels.

My daughter, Alexandra, and Simon Poulton were married over the weekend at a ranch near Temecula.
It was a beautiful afternoon. Pictures tell the story. We danced to the Beach Boys.
I was a mess all weekend. Cried all the way down the aisle.

 

 


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 death motorcade.”

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 AcheHoward 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.


Mark Morris

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 Greatness Of...."

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

                                                                                                Purely Personal 

(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

** Watson’s Journey

Bill Watson was also pd at KIQQ from December of ’73 until mid-’75 and served as interim pd of KHJ for a few months in between Ted Atkins and Paul Drew in 1972.” – Mike Hagerty
(thanks to Bill Earl for artwork)

** 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


Hear Ache

(May 18, 2018) Michael Benner is one of those thinkers who has shared his wisdom over the years at KLOS and KLSX. We worked together in Detroit, and I have attended his wisdom events over the years.

He has written a new book. Michael describes his book:

“Fearless Intelligence as expanded awareness, the insight and understanding that become apparent in peaceful, loving states of mind. As the intelligence of fearlessness, awareness is serene, innate wisdom. It is goodness, truth and beauty — the magical elixir and essence of Life. This book also contains personal skills to develop self-awareness, self-worth and self-realization. Plus, it includes social skills to enhance empathy, compassion, respect and trust of others."
Airborne Attack. Former traffic lady Radene Marie Cook had a heart attack last Sunday, May 13th. “It was VERY surprising and I actually have to thank Ms. Rosie O’Donnell for doing a comedy special after her heart attack that listed the different symptoms for women in this acronym: ‘H.E.P.P.P=Heat. Exhaustion. Pain. Pale. Puke.’

One artery was clogged and through ABSOLUTE MEDICAL MIRACLES, in a snap of time, I had a stint put in that cleared the blockage thru a tiny pin hole in my femoral artery. I’m home a day later feeling very well, just a bit tired,” wrote Radene on her Facebook page.
Morris Services. There will be a memorial service for Mark Morris this Saturday (5.19) at 10 a.m. at the Loyola High School Chapel, 1901 Venice Blvd.

A lunch/wake will follow at Guelaguetza Restaurant, 3014 W. Olympic Blvd. (Morris pictured with John Newton)
Ratings Hic-Cup. When one PPM individual is disqualified, it may affect additional members of that household, maybe four or five individuals. When Nielsen announced that they had removed four homes for April ’18, it was a big deal.

Saul Levine was not happy. “It is always distressing when our measurement providers report errors in their service. I can only hope these negative events can be avoided. I believe the radio industry needs a second robust measuring service. We once had Pulse Vs. ARB.”
 
GoFundMe. After readers read the David G. Hall piece on Alfonzo Ortiz, many wondered if there was anything that could be done to help the family.

Elaine Perkins at KNX alerted me to a GoFundMe page for the Ortiz family. KNX employees have been very generous, and Elaine said they were going to do a second round. Click Alfonzo’s photo to learn more. 
Final Hear AcheBob Koontz, long-time Gene Autry exec, has joined Lucas Oil/MAVTV (Motorsports Network) … Bill O’Reilly is in talks with Newsmax TV to get back on television in his old 8 p.m. timeslot … Cumulus settles its multi-million dollar dispute with Michael Baisden (formerly with KKBT/KRBV, 2006-07). With a settlement agreement, both parties can move on as Cumulus deals with bankruptcy … Salem Communications in Glendale is looking for a board op for their four stations at $13 an hour … Keith Naftaly, former pd at KKBT (The BEAT), has been elevated to President, A&R, RCA Records, based in New York.


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 in.

“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.  
Together Watson and Drake worked their programming magic on these radio stations creating the "Boss Radio Format." Within a short time all of the stations enjoyed top ratings too. Later Watson was instrumental in producing the national version of the "The History of Rock and Roll," "The History of Country Music," and several other syndicated radio specials.     

Towards the end of his broadcast career Watson was program director at K-100 FM and KMPC 710. He guided KMPC to the number 4 position in the Los Angeles ratings in a market where 86 stations could be heard on the dial. It was the last music formatted AM station in town to reach the Top 10 in listener ratings. Radio broadcaster Mark Denis once said "Bill Watson was a great manager of talent!"  Former radio personality "Huckleberry" Chuck Clemans said "Watson was a darned good radio executive. It was a pleasure to work for him!" Newsman and tv anchor Jim Mitchell said "Bill Watson knew how to connect with a radio audience. He was a communicator!"

Kevin Gershan, producer at Entertainment Tonight worked for Watson for a time. Gershan said "Watson was a very important influence during an exciting era of radio!"  (Photo: Watson speaking at Bill Drake's memorial in December 2008)

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 music. 

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 AllenLee 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
** Distractions

"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
** Potpourri

“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.

Hear Ache 

(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 - cjnewton1989@gmail.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.
 Do you have a special story about your mom?

(from 2009)
 

Geno Michellini (former KLOS personality): When I was at KOME-San Jose about 1979, my mom came out to visit me from Colorado. I was living in Santa Cruz at the time. I remember that my old pal Greg Kihn was playing at a club in Santa Cruz and we went to the show. She had never been to a rock concert before, but she was my mom and I thought, she might as well see the 'real me.' 

Now you have to remember, those who can, what the times were like then. Here I am, in my bell bottoms and long hair with my mom, a sixty something year old lady at a concert. Plus, it was Santa Cruz [lots of, let’s say, natural ‘products’ around] with a lot of ‘smiling faces’ and happy people. So here I am with my mom and friends rocking out. 

She’s in her mom clothes and drinking her Seven and Seven standing there down front boppin’ along. Certain herbs being passed back and forth, and yes, I inhaled. She didn’t seem to mind so I thought everything was ‘cool’ when this young lady came up and offered one to her. Mom smiled and declined and then looked at me and giggled. The girl looked at me then at my mom and said, ‘Is this your mom?’ I responded positively. She went on, ‘I just think this is so cool that you can go rocking with your mom. She is so adorable. And she lets you smoke dope too!  Wow!’  To which my mom interjects, ‘I do not!'

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.

 

Don Elliot: It is fitting timing that my mom's influence on me would arise from my memories today,  just after my recent surgery at Cedars-Sinai and only hours before Mother’s Day. It will be a true Thanksgiving Day for ME on Sunday, first, the appreciation for my great healthcare, and secondly, that my mother is alive, well, comfortable and quite healthy at 90. She takes only one pill a day – a blood pressure med! Now that’s what I call great. 

A wonderful early memory of her, and the influence she had on formation of my career choice, happened at age 10 on my first trip to The Big Apple. She had a family friend named Rudy Eisell, a VP at Radio City Music Hall. After a lunch at Sardi’s, he took me on a trip to the Foley stages during the radio broadcasts and showed me how the sound effects were made live during the shows.

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! 

 

Wink Martindale: Perhaps like many of your readers, my story will ring a bell. I grew up in a small house in Jackson, Tennessee. No modern-day shower, just a tub for which hot water had to be heated on the wood stove. One bathroom for six people. We didn't have a lot of the material things we take for granted today. 

As Mother’s Day approached last week, I was re-reading a letter from my late mom, dated May 12, 1979 – a letter in which she reminded me, “We may not have enjoyed some of the things others had, but your dad and I always saw to it there were good meals on the table, and you never went naked!” 

How we turn out as adults, in my view, is reflected by how we were raised as children. In our God-fearing home, the appreciation of my mom can be traced to one seminal moment. It was a fall evening. I was seven or eight years old, and had flat-out lied to her about having taken some grapes from our neighborhood grocery store without paying for them. She took me out to the back yard, stripped a “switch” from our monumental Weeping Willow tree and proceeded to give me the whipping of my young life. I never forgot that night. I never took what didn’t belong to me again. And the event cemented a loving relationship with mom that I have carried with me for life.  

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 another.

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 Mayor Gil Garcetti, Charles Feldman, and Dick Helton)

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 and broadcasting.
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 BoyArt 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 kids. 

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 ClayPat 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 90.

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 change.

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 CharlesRita 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

** Memories of Art Bell

Art Bell and I were friends for almost 50 years, and I am more than saddened by his death. When we met, I was stationed at Vandenberg AFB and Art, recently out of the Air Force,  was a jock at KSEE in Santa Maria. The first time we talked was, of course, over ham radio. The last time we spoke, at his house in Pahrump was predictably, also a lot about ham radio. Besides working together for a time at KDON in Salinas, Art and I didn’t actually spend a lot of time together over those 50 years, but we always kept in touch over the phone, email or ham radio.

My wife Sheryl and I had made plans to stay with Art and his wife during our trip to Southeast Asia a few years ago when he was living in the Philippines, but the timing didn’t work out as they were moving back to Pahrump about that time. Art was not only a one-of-a-kind broadcaster, but also a one-of-a-kind human being. The person you heard on the air was not who Art was. His show was just that. Space ships, ghosts and the paranormal were not part of his normal conversations. That was reserved for his on-air persona. You had to know him to see the silly, compassionate, overly-bright and animated person he was. Art, my friend, I’m sure going to miss you.” – Jerry Lewine

 ** 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 it.”

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.”


Hear Ache 

(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 PeaksThe 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 

(April 13, 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 Parkinson’s disease.

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 Parkinson’s. 

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: 
thanksdg@gmail.com

Is Savage Being Set Up?

(April 12, 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 Talker KFI.

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.”

Email Saturday

** Groaner

“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

** Ribbit

“Was that sign [on the right] stolen from the parking lot of KFRG in the IE?” – K.M. Richards
** Potpourri

“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 

(April 6, 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. 
Well Bean. 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, John 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: jimladdshow@sirius.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!'"

Tainted Love    
(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 indiscretion.  

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.
 

 

 


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Last modified: July 22, 2018