LARadio

Archives, 2018 Third Quarter
July, August, September

Compiled and Written by Don Barrett
Edited by Alan Oda

Hear Ache 

(September 7, 2018) Technology can play funny tricks on the listener. Earlier this week, an LARadio reader/listener wrote about something heard on the KNX business report. “The anchor will introduce the reporter [Adrienne Mitchell is yesterday's example],” wrote the listener. “She begins by saying ‘Thanks Diane’ [Diane Thompson], but the report was introduced by Diane's co-anchor Mike Simpson. I can tell you I've heard it a lot in the past few months, thinking a meeting with a producer/writer is in order. This happened again yesterday at 2:50.”

The listener seems to be familiar with the process writing. “A function of today's technology when a report is uploaded to a ‘drop box,’ downloaded into the automation system – and no one is in the middle to check it.”

Ken Charles
, program director at KNX, checked it and said it isn’t so. “I appreciate your reader caring enough to write. It is especially helpful they referenced yesterday at 2:50 p.m. It gave me the opportunity to listen to the report. Adrienne is not saying ‘thanks Diane,” claims Charles. “She is actually saying ‘Mike and Diane.’ So, you know, our Bloomberg anchors are live from 2p to 5p. I hope this clears up this readers concern.”

In other news: Kenny Noble, veteran of KZLA, KFOX, KWST, KHTZ, KFI, KLSX, and KACD, has moved to the Georgia Pines. “Today is the day we say goodbye to all the wonderful people we’ve met in Colorado and hello to our daughter Mandi and new relationships in Georgia. God has a plan and it’s exciting to watch it unfold,” wrote Kenny … Congratulations to
 James Baker (ex-KBIG, 1999-2001) on his 12th wedding anniversary … Another recent anniversary includes Mark Sudock, notching 41 years with his bride.  

... And Now the Rest of the Story from Page Three  

(September 6, 2018) “Diane Thompson read your piece on my playing piano,” emailed Doug Dunlap. Last month we profiled Doug and his wonderful contribution to visiting assisted living facilities and sharing his keyboard skills. “Diane showed up at the Senior Center and turned me into the KNX Honda Hero of the week! It aired several times on all of their stations.” You can listen here  … New research at the Radio Show – “54% of radio listeners listen only in the car,” according to Edison Research. The 54% figure is for the broad age 13+ demo. The younger a radio listener is, the most likely they are to listen to broadcast radio exclusively in the car, and no other location … At next winter’s “Barrett Sports Media Summit” in Los Angeles, Jason Barrett will bestow The Jeff Smulyan Award upon its first recipient. “If Jeff Smulyan hadn’t rolled the dice to launch an all-Sports station in New York City in 1987 and stuck to the plan when it made no sense to do so, sports radio may never have received a second chance,” said Barrett … Larry Kahn of Sports USA will become the longest-tenured broadcaster of National Football League Sunday afternoon games whenit they kick off their 17th NFL season this weekend. The network’s first NFL game between the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals was broadcast on November 3, 2002 on just 32 stations. Since then, Sports USA has continued to expand and can now be heard on over 500 radio affiliates across the country … Michael Sheehy, former program director at KNX/fm (1976-83) and KTWV (1990-97) has moved about an hour north of Sacramento. “After four decades in suburban LA, we now live on an acre and half smack dab in the middle of a cedar forest. We have a good size country house with a large guest suite. No more freeway noise, sirens, gunshots or noisy neighbors. The only thing one usually hears outside is the wind and the birds …. lots and lots of birds. Plenty of deer, skunk, fox, bear and mountain lions, too,” wrote Michael. He’s been broadcasting his brand of music for over 11 years at: www.planetpootwaddle.com/

Charlie Van Dyke Is On the Mend 

(September 5, 2018) For the past several years, Charlie Van Dyke (ex-mornings at KHJ and K-EARTH) escapes the blistering Arizona summer heat and spends his August vacation in California, including La Jolla, or most recently Santa Barbara. Not this year. He is recovering from major cardiac surgery and a week in the hospital recovering. He claims he’s not ready for the roller derby yet, but feeling better every day.

“Still, I wonder if anyone got the number on the bus that hit me August 20!” said Charlie.

An earlier mention of Tonya Campos resulted in a personal update from the former Country KKGO program director. She is busy working as a part-time traffic anchor at KNX 1070, along with her work with Skid Trax, a company she co-founded almost 10 years ago. "Skid Trax has a syndicated show called “Ashley and Brad,” available through Envision Networks which we are very proud of," said Tonya.

She is also active doing voice/imaging work. She has quite the resume in Los Angeles: KNX/fm, 1988; KCBS/fm, 1991-94; KZLA, 1994-2006; KKGO, 2007-16; KNX, 2018.

Tonya started her radio career at the age of 14 at a small AM station in Visalia. Within five years she was the evening host at KFYE-Fresno. She followed that with jobs at KBOS-Fresno and KSDO-San Diego. She arrived in Los Angeles in 1987 to work for the Transtar (now Westwood One) Radio Network. In 1994, she joined Country KZLA and became music director and apd. When KZLA dropped Country, Tonya worked for Lofton Creek Records before joining KKGO.
Rita Pardue: "The Los Angeles Dodgers organization has invited me to make an appearance a
s Ms. Senior California 2018

on Senior Day, 4:35p, Wednesday, September 5 at Dodger Stadium.They have set up a fundraiser for this event.
A portion of the proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated to my three favorite non-profits:
Stars (formerly Lake Avenue Community Foundation), Ms. Senior California of America, Inc. and 89.3 KPCC.  
Here's the link for the tickets/fundraiser: Dodgers.com/Seniors"

August PPM Ratings

(September 4, 2018) KBIG (MY/fm) with a 5.6 pulls ahead of runner-up KRTH by half a point, the Classic Hits station with a strong 5.1. KOST, the AC station, had a sizeable drop from 5.2 - 4.6. In the last four books, the battle for the Alternative audience shows KROQ with a steady increase while KYSR (ALT 98.7) has had a steady decrease. Talker KABC failed to make the list of top 40 stations. The top 40 stations in the August '18 Monthly PPM 6+ Mon-Sun:

1. KBIG (MY/fm) 5.7 - 5.6
2. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.0 - 5.1
3. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.2 - 4.6
    KOST (AC) 5.2 - 4.6
5. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.3 - 4.2
6. KFI (Talk) 4.1 - 3.8
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 4.0 - 3.7
    KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.1 - 3.7
9. KNX (News) 2.7 - 3.1
10. KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.9 - 3.0
11. KROQ (Alternative) 2.8 - 2.9
12. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.7 - 2.8
      KRRL (Urban) 2.6 - 2.8
14. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.5 - 2.7
15. KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.7 - 2.6
16. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 2.5
      KPCC (News/Talk) 2.5 - 2.5
      KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.4 - 2.5
19. KKGO (Country) 2.3 - 2.4
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.4
21. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 2.1
     KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 2.1
23. KUSC (Classical) 1.7 - 1.6
24. KCRW (Variety) 1.3 - 1.5
      KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.4 - 1.5
      KXOS (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.5
27. KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.1 - 1.3
28. KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.9 - 1.2
      KJLH (Urban AC) 1.3 - 1.2
      KLAC (Sports) 1.1 - 1.2
      KRLA (Talk) 1.3 - 1.2
32. KEIB (Talk) 1.0 - 1.1
33. KKJZ (Jazz) 0.7 - 0.8
      KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.4 - 0.8
      KSPN (Sports) 1.2 - 0.8
36. KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 0.7 - 0.7
37. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.7 - 0.6
      KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.7 - 0.6
39. KSUR (Oldies) 0.5 - 0.5
      KYLA (Christian Contemporary) 0.4 - 0.5

A Silver at NBC Sports Radio 

(September 4, 2018) Today marks the 6th year anniversary of the debut of NBC Sports Radio. Jack Silver is the program director of the network, now with over 400 affiliates who carry the talk shows, sports updates or weekend specialty shows including “The Safety Blitz with Rodney Harrison.”

“The 24/7 lineup has evolved over the years and now features “Pro Football Talk Live with Mike Florio” mornings, former LARP Newy Scruggs middays, LARP Jeff Biggs handling our prime-time sports updates, and a full staff of Culver City based producers, board ops and weekend hosts,” emailed Jack. “Plus, we’ve added Super Bowl Radio Row coverage, Stanley Cup Hockey, American Century Golf and Triple Crown of Horse Racing to the network over the years, so the product is very robust and topical. All under the Westwood One umbrella in Los Angeles carrying the NBC Sports banner to stations nationwide.”

In other news. Jo Kwon, former KFI reporter/anchor, left for the two CBS tv stations about a year ago. Now she’s leaving Channels 2/9. Wonder what happened? … Speaking of wondering, is Tonya Campos, former pd at Country KKGO, now a traffic reporter on KNX?… Starting this afternoon, Jorge Sedano, formerly part of the KSPN morning show with Keyshawn Johnson and LZ Granderson, moves to the open afternoon drive slot hosting his own program from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Travis Rodgers joins the morning show … A “Remembering Dave Zorn Memorial Gathering” is set for September 29 at 2 p.m. at the A.L. Moore-Grimshaw Mortuary in Phoenix. “This happens to be the anniversary of Dave’s heart attack in 2005 after which he retired, but that is not why it was chosen,” wrote Zorn’s wife, Carolynn. “The cards have been overwhelming. My spirits are somewhat uplifted as I’m reminded of the level of affection and respect Dave generated in his life. But I miss him terribly, this kind, gentle, man who I fell in love with at 19, was separated from by the war, and reunited and married 32 years later. Our 23 years of marriage was magic.” … After some reorganization at Westwood One, Evan Hanning will continue as a part-time news anchor and First Light fill-in host ... August PPM ratings will be sent to everyone on our mailing list this afternoon. You can get on the mailing list by requesting to be at: AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com 

Johnny Morris, Godfather of Soul Radio in California, Dies

 
(September 3, 2018) Johnny Morris, godfather of soul radio in California (KGFJ / KACE / KJLH Los Angeles; KSOL / KDIA in the Bay Area) died over the weekend. He was 70.

Born in Fresno, grew up in the Bay Area. At ten years of age, a young Andrew Morris already knew what he wanted to be when he grew up – a radio broadcaster. The curious youngster didn’t want to become an adult before pursuing his dream. He swiftly put his plan in motion so that by the age of 12, he had built his first transmitter in his grandmother’s garage and constructed a small radio studio. Johnny grew up in the Bay Area with soul stations KDIA and KSOL, along with KFWB’s sister station KEWB. “I loved the early rock and roll music of Fats Domino and Chuck Berry. There’s nothing like it.” While in high school, he started his radio career as the all-night personality at KSOL Oakland / San Francisco, using the moniker Ronnie Dark. He was there at the same time Sly Stone was at the station. Johnny then did something astonishing.

Many LARP attended either the Ogden, Don Martin, or other broadcast schools to prepare for the First Class FCC engineering exam. Back in the 1960’s only one out of 1,600 broadcasting students passed the examination. Having not attended a preparatory school, Johnny passed the test at age 17. His first assignment as a Chief Engineer was at KSOL. Johnny modestly recalled it was a very good experience. “I went into that test room with a slide rule, which most people today don’t even know what it is. I was ready,” said Johnny. “I have been able to be employed in this business because I could do more than just being a jock. That’s why I have 45 years. I have been able to build studios, do transmitter maintenance, computer maintenance, and installing telephones.” 

He left KSOL in 1969, leaving behind his previous broadcast signature and joining KDIA, with Johnny Morris now his new on-air identity. He took on multiple positions as on-air jock, program director, and assistant chief engineer. Interviewed by the Los Angeles Sentinel, Johnny said “all aspects of (the multiple responsibilities) have been good. Taking on more than one position keeps you working when there are no-on-air shifts available.” He became one of the Bay Area’s most popular DJs throughout the 1970’s. Johnny introduced his listeners such r&b greats as The Whispers, Bobby Womack, Parliament-Funkadelic, the Ohio Players, among many others. Johnny also somehow found the time to finish his studies at San Francisco State.
(Dewey Hughes, Felicia Morris,  Johnny Morris, Lee Bailey, Kevin Fleming, and Ron Brewington)

After nearly two decades in the San Francisco and Oakland communities, Johnny packed up to head down south to join Los Angeles r&b stations KGFJ-AM and KUTE/fm, when the stations were located on 1989 Riverside Drive. The lineup on the legendary station included Big Jim Woods, Magnificent Montague, Tyrone “Boogie” Nelson, Levi Booker, and Alvin John Waples. When the stations parted ways in 1985, Johnny remained with KGFJ, again taking on multiple duties as an on-air personality, program director, and chief engineer.  

In the 1990’s, Johnny’s voice continued to grace the airwaves. He later entertained his late night listeners on KACE with his extensive musical knowledge and playlist of classic soul and gospel music. Johnny was also heard on KJLH. In early 2010, his daughter, Felicia “The Poetess” Morris, a radio pioneer at KKBT threw a party at the Conga Room in downtown LA for her dad. They came because they knew Johnny Morris as a radio engineer. Others came because they knew Johnny Morris as a radio dj. And still others came because Johnny Morris was Poetess’ father. The main reason they all came was to salute a man who has worked in the radio business for 45 years, first as the first black Chief Engineer in Southern California and then as a jock.

Johnny had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, so the community showed up to make donations to help Johnny defray some of his medical expenses and to salute the r&b broadcasting veteran. Before the testimonials and music began, Johnny and I huddled in a quiet room to talk about his legendary career. “I’m thrilled because in the radio business if you make it over five years, you’re doing good,” Johnny said. “I’ve had a really long run. I’ve retired into engineering now but from 1965 to 2000, I was on the air as a disc jockey and program director, but I really like engineering.” 
(Guy Black, Lisa Shearer,  LaRita Shelby, Denise Smith, and Bill Shearer)

Having a First Class Engineering license was always something Johnny could fall back if the on-air work didn’t work out. “Being able to make decisions on sound processing and building studios really helped me out a lot to make the stations sound like the way I wanted them to sound. When you can have control like that, it is really good.” 

When asked for highlights during his time in LA Radio, Johnny mentioned the people. “Being able to work with different people like Levi and Lawrence Tanter and others that I respected was certainly a high point.”  

The turnout represented the who’s who of Urban radio at the Conga Room: Bill Shearer (former general manager at KGFJ, KUTE and KACE), Ron Brewington (ex-KLON, KGFJ, KJLH, now professor and advocate for prostate testing), Kevin Fleming (former pd at KGFJ and KACE and now owner/publisher of trade publication, Urban Buzz)Lisa Shearer (ex-KGFJ and KACE), and Isidra Person-Lynn (news/public affairs programming at KACE and KJLH). Others included Guy Black (former morning man at KJLH), LaRita Shelby (former morning drive at KGFJ), Elston Butler (AE for a number of stations), Dewey Hughes (one of the founders of Radio One and former husband of Catherine Hughes), and Lee Bailey (ex-KDAY, KMPC, KGFJ, and KUTE), Morris O'Kelly (producer for Tavis Smiley), and Jerry Boulding.  

Bill Shearer spoke before the group. “In the 30 years I spent in radio, Johnny is one of the truly outstanding individuals I have been honored to know. Engineer, programmer, news person, whatever you needed, Johnny was there to take care of it. Whatever success we had, Johnny Morris was an integral part of that success. I have been blessed to have worked with him and I am blessed that we have become very good friends.”
Felicia brought the guest of honor, her father, up on stage and read two proclamations – one from the City of Los Angeles and the other from the City of Oakland, where he worked as a jock in his early career. And there was the living legend Stevie Wonder (also the owner of KJLH) on stage at the Conga Room, singing his praises for Johnny Morris.

At the end of the evening, Johnny said his daughter did “an amazing job” orchestrating the Conga Room event. “I am very proud of her,” said the prideful papa. Most recently the two of them created Morris Media Studios, an Internet radio and podcast studio located in the Crenshaw area. Services for Johnny Morris are pending.

Email Saturday, 9.1.18

** Roman Times

Jim Rome made the choice to jump from Premiere to CBS. I'm not sure if it was about money, but it was a career killer.  When he was last on KLAC, he was our lowest rated show. The schtick had gotten old and he never evolved.

I heard his show when I was driving from Atlanta and he was still doing the annual ‘smack off’ with the same callers!

He needs to reinvent himself if he wants to make a comeback!” – Bob Scott
** Big Motorcycle Show

“When I was buying spots for the Cycle World International Motorcycle show a number of years ago, I hired Big Boy for an appearance at the L.A. show. I’d never met him but my rep said he would be ‘perfect’ for our attendees. 

Our crowd of over 50k fans was made up of both young motocross-type guys and a lot of older, conservative Harley-type riders. The kind that can be very, very conservative—slightly to the right of Adolph Hitler.  

When he arrived and set up in his booth, people began drifting over to it. And he was absolutely fantastic! He was a pro and had the crowd in the palm of his hand within fifteen minutes. They were laughing and responding to his comments and his appearance was a home run!” – Larry “Supermouth” Huffman
** KNX Marketing

“I recently found a brochure from KNX radio from the 1960s that I think I got at an auto show or the L.A. County fair from a display that KNX had there.

I thought since you are the grand master of chronicling SoCal radio history you may be interested in a copy. Thank you for the decades of work you have put into radio and its history. I've enjoyed your books, CDs and your current website.” – John Lee
** Harlem Shuffle

“I love your detailed website about L.A radio!

I would like to know if you know what station in L.A. had a dj named the High Priest? It was an all-Black music station in 1963. I remember hearing The Olympics do The Slauson Shuffle, a variation on The Harlem Shuffle on that show. It was great.

Any info you can give me would be amazing.

Also, just because I'm thinking about it. I first heard the Beatles on KFWB in 1963 and it was George Harrison singing Do You Want to Know A Secret? Great memories.” – Alan Merrill


Alex Cohen Into the Full Spectrum
  (August 31, 2018) Alex Cohen has spent twenty years in the world of public radio, the last three at KPCC, as the local host of Morning Edition. She is going to be leaving KPCC and joining Spectrum, which is launching a 24-hour news network here in Los Angeles, similar to NY1 in New York.

“They’ve hired me to be one of their morning anchors and to host a prime-time evening public affairs program, both of which will begin airing later this fall throughout Southern California,” emailed Alex. “This news channel will be the first thing all Spectrum subscribers will see when they turn on their televisions — which is to say, it’s a huge and very smart audience that we’ll be reaching. I’m especially excited as Spectrum is very driven not only to report on the latest headline news, but also to celebrate all the wonderful things happening in Southern California.”

Alex was born in New York City, but her parents moved her out to L.A. when she was just a toddler. She had big dreams of becoming an actress – dreams that compelled her to leave L.A. and attend a performing arts high school in northern Michigan. She went on to study theater and religious studies at Brown University. Upon graduating, Alex realized a thesis in 13th century Zen Buddhism may not have been the best way to get a job. She spent years traveling the country and working various jobs, including spending time as a parade float designer. Eventually she spent a few years teaching English in Japan before deciding she wanted to go into journalism.

Alex attended UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism where she learned the craft of radio. She went on to work at NPR in Washington, DC as a producer and director. Then she came back to California where she worked at NPR affiliate KQED in San Francisco. Alex then decided to have a turn in front of the mic, so she moved back to Southern California to be KQED’s LA Bureau Chief. She was stationed in the downtown offices of the public radio show Marketplace where she was approached to guest host on a new show called Weekend America. She fell in love with the host seat and went on to co-host NPR’s Day to Day, local host of All Things Considered on LA’s leading public radio station KPCC, and KPCC’s most highly-rated local program Take Two.

In other newsTami Heide (l) is part of the Monday re-launch of ROQ of the 80’s on KROQ HD-2. Her busy life doesn’t stop there. She continues to do fill-in and weekends at KTWV and Open Line, the one-hour magazine style Public Affairs show produced in conjunction with KNX 1070 Newsradio. “I am the host and executive producer, and it airs weekends on KROQ, the WAVE, JACK/fm, KRTH and AMP,” emailed Tami “Busy times,” she exclaimed … The Country Music Association (CMA) announced the lengthy list of nominees for the 52nd CMA Awards and a couple of LARP are on the list as final nominees: Broadcast Personality of the Year: Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40, Westwood One; Country Countdown USA (Lon Helton), Westwood One; and The Music Row Happy Hour (Buzz Brainard), SiriusXM … AMP Radio’s Yesi Ortiz is appointed music director for the CHR station … For my New Year's resolution, my goal was to lose 10 pounds. I now have only 15 more to go …Charese Fruge joins Urban One as a dual-market PD – for Houston’s “Radio Now 92.1” KROI and Indy’s “Radio Now 100.9” WNOW/fm. She’ll be responsible for both CHRs and also function as CHR Format Captain for the Urban One group, based in Indianapolis … Wondering how to make $$ in podcasting? Check out Walter Sabo’s recent essay … Andre Fernandez was named president of CBS Radio in April 2015. He came from Journal Communications where he was president/coo. His assignment was to sell the radio division. When he completed the sale to Entercom in 2017, he left radio. Andre is now cfo at business technology company NCR Corporation.

Live Oldies at the Surf 

(August 30, 2018) The note on Facebook from Gary Campbell was short, but nonetheless great news for fans of Oldies music (50s, 60s, 70s). He announced that he will be hosting weekday mornings 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on LA Oldies 1260 K-Surf (also 105.1/fm HD2). Gary will continue on weekends on Go Country 105.

“I will have three breaks an hour, and will be focusing on interesting facts about the music, and what the Oldie artists are doing today and when they are coming to town to perform,” emailed Gary. “The listeners have been very enthusiastic about the format. We boomers love our Oldies!”

“Gary Campbell loves the music and will add to the excitement,” said Saul Levine, owner of K-Surf. He added: “We are also adding live on-the-hour one minute newscasts from ABC to the morning drive.”

After graduating from UCLA where the Bay Area native started on the college radio station, KLA, Gary started working in the Inland Empire. From KDUO-Riverside, he arrived at "K-Hits” (KHTX) in 1983. Gary then brightened the overnights at Country KZLA for over a decade. For many years he worked at AirWatch Traffic and Metro Traffic.
In addition, K-Surf now offers “L.A.’s First Morning News” from 4 until 6 a.m. “There are 300,000 cars out there at that time so it is a factor,” the newscast supplementing the station’s programming while still focusing on the music throughout the rest of the day, said Levine. He also hinted a legendary rock-and-roll dj will again be heard “very soon” on the local airwaves every Sunday night. Levine also described some other new features on his stations. “At 105.1 (Go Country) we are adding old-time s*** kicking music featuring the Bakersfield Sound, artists such as Merle Haggard and Buck Owens.” The new feature will be heard Sunday nights from 8 p.m to midnight.

Brian Roberts, veteran of K-EARTH, said: “It’s about time they figured out what to do. Now fill the rest of the day with a human touch.”
LeGrett's Scary MomentsRadio Ink conducted a Q&A with Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartMedia Market Group’s Southwest Division. An interesting question was posed: What are your top three challenges and how are you overcoming them? Kevin’s response was sobering:

1. Next generation of leaders and recruitment of sales and on-air talent – whether on-air or in leadership positions the lack of depth on the next superstars is scary to me. It keeps me up at night.
2. Changing the perception of audio and the role radio plays in it.
3. Continuing to foster a culture that rewards hard work and performance. You can read the full interview by clicking Kevin's photo.

Roman Times 

(August 29, 2018) Jim Rome was on one of his rants during an interview with the LA Times’ Tom Hoffarth. Jim is “pissed” that you can’t easily hear his radio show in Los Angeles. Ever since KFWB (The Beast 980) dropped its all-Sports format in 2016, the closest opportunity to get your Jim Rome fix is on one of the JACK/fm (93.1) HD channels. His show is carried on the CBS Radio network, so KLAC (Fox Sports), KSPN (ESPN), and KLAA (ESPN) have no interest.

“I’m a Los Angeles native, I live in Southern California, this is my backyard. I need to be in this market,” Rome told Hoffarth. Rome grew up in Calabasas and now lives in Irvine with his wife and two sons. Jim talked about walking down the street and fans wondering when he was coming back to radio. “CBS has made me still feel relevant. But some stations are hesitant about taking syndicated shows. They want local, local, local. I think I have more to offer.”

Hear Ache. Do you read the new website Ozy.com? I love it. Earthquake stories always get my attention since losing half our house in 1994 in that quake. Yesterday Ozy ran a story about the Portugal quake in 1755. Magnitude 8.5 or higher. Tsunami as high as 49 feet. Somewhere between 10,000 and 60,000 people died. About 82 percent of the city’s buildings were destroyed. Who knew? … KROQ-HD2 is relaunching Roq of the 80s with Freddy Snakeskin and Tami Heide … Michael Benner is offering a 25% discount on his book, Fearless Intelligence … Was Marianne Faithfull? … Amy Lewis’ father-in-law was a trombone player in the Pasadena Doo-Dah Parade for years … K-EARTH is asking why do kids go back to school before Labor Day? … Tom Taylor speculated in his tasty NOW newsletter about the new podcast from sports guy Mike Francesa, that if he gets 25,000 partisans to pay $98 a year, that’s $2.45 million gross. Further, if he can pump up subscribership to 50,000 – out of a market with 16 million people – that’s close to $5.5 million. “The thing is, the content – and the excitement and promise of an ‘insider’ relationship – have to be there,” speculated Taylor … Blogger George Johns wondered: “If morning folks had the ability to interrupt themselves, I believe a lot of them would.” … Wonder what happened to Malibu Dan? … KFI’s Tim Conway, Jr. was lamenting the other night about the lack of time and temperature offered by radio people nowadays. After all, you can see the time in about three places in your car. His favorite was a radio guy from Mississippi. “It’s fifteen minutes past six fifteen.”
 

Judging Amy

(August 28, 2018) Amy Lewis is part of the rich history of morning drive in LARadio. Her name surfaced in the news last week when she parted ways with KFBK-Sacramento after 19 years total with the station.

Creating a morning show is a tough assignment. Think George Lopez and Sinbad who (unsuccessfully) gave it a go.

In the 90s, Amy was partnered with Dave Williams at the Capitol City’s news-talker, they were an enormously successful team. When Ken Minyard left mornings at KABC after more than three decades, the search was on for a replacement.

KABC had high hopes that the successful #1 team working at KFBK-Sacramento might be the answer. Dave and Amy arrived with much expectation to halt the enormous slippage of KABC’s ratings in morning drive.

How did Dave and Amy first team? How did they get the job at KABC? What was it like in the new environment? Why didn't it work? From early 2002 LARP archives:
I met with Amy Lewis shortly before she returned with her family to Sacramento last weekend. As she and her 9-year-old daughter Emili slid into the booth at Jerry's Deli in Woodland Hills, I was reminded of the same exuberance and blue-eyed enthusiasm she had when we first met days after her arrival a year before.

In 1990, Amy had been working in Sacramento radio for over 10 years, when she was hired to run the operations of three radio markets for Metro Networks. She also did on-air traffic reports for the CBS television affiliate as well as various radio stations, including KFBK (similar to the role that Jim Thornton plays at KCBS/Channel 2 and KNX).

In 1993, the management of KFBK wanted to replace Bob Nathan, co-host of the popular Dave & Bob Show. "Dave recommended that I take his place. For three years I was doing traffic for Dave and Bob. We always hit it off. Great rapport," said Amy. "It was a lot of fun. When the gm approached me, it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up." Amy began working full-time in the KFBK studio with Dave Williams. "It was a hard transition. Here I was, four hours a day, five days a week, with Dave. I didn't think about the constant things we’d be involved in."

Amy was also unprepared for the backlash from Bob’s firing. "The audience was very upset that Bob had been fired. I didn’t think about the consequences of being despised, but I sure was, at first." She heard it all. Working in Sacramento, the station didn’t have screeners, so she answered the phones and heard the complaints. "But Dave wanted me, and we got through tough moments," confessed Amy. "It was a great chance to work with a legend in Sacramento. And so we did for seven years. It was great."

During their time at KFBK, the station was #1. A few years into the Dave & Amy morning show, Ken Kohl arrived as pd. He and Dave didn’t always hit it off. “Ken tends to be a meticulous perfectionist, a micro-manager. He knew exactly how he wanted the station to sound, and sometimes Dave didn’t agree with Ken’s ideas, so there was friction. Eventually Dave started looking for a new job."
Amy had no desire to leave. Her relationships with nearby family and friends were strongly established. She had recently gotten job offers in Portland and Seattle, which she had turned down. Her three daughters (5, 9, 12) were in school, and they lived in a large home with a horse arena. But L.A. had never come calling before. To help Dave’s efforts to find a new job, he hired George Hiltzik as his agent. “George and KABC pd Erik Braverman were talking at an NAB Conference,” according to Amy. “Erik apparently said he was looking for a morning show like the kind of show Dave & Amy did in Sacramento. He said he loved that show. Erik said: ‘I love the rapport. They sound great together.’ George told Erik that he represented Dave Williams and the process began.”

Dave either flew down to KABC or he had several conversations with Braverman. “Erik asked Dave if he liked working with me and if I would be interested in coming to L.A. Dave called me and I said of course I’m interested! Dave and I were flown to L.A. to meet with Erik and Eric StangerBill Sommers, [KABC gm at the time], had a home in Northern California and was familiar with us and wanted us,” said Amy. The day after the Lewis family finished the new horse arena on their Sacramento property, they left for L.A. and the opportunity of a lifetime – to work mornings in Los Angeles.

One of the strange aspects of the negotiations is that Dave and Amy didn't sign contract options for the same length of time. Sommers wanted to sign them to an 18-month contract, but Dave didn't want to sign for such a long period. He signed for 12 months and Amy for 18 months. Amy believes that time was of the essence and Sommers just wanted them down here. “There was never a thought it wouldn’t succeed,” confided Amy.

So why didn’t it succeed? “I thought the show would be a mirror image of our show at KFBK using Dave and me as hosts. In Sacramento we had an editor, a producer, three morning reporters and everything at our fingertips. Any local or regional breaking story, we were there – live. Nationally, within a minute I could get someone on the phone or satellite.” The morning show in Sacramento sounded more like a news wheel. “I thought it was going to be like that at KABC. I thought we would have live reporters. We were told the show would evolve. The day we started we didn’t have a completed clock, and over the year, the show kept changing.”

As Amy related this to me, she did so without placing blame. It was just different. This may be a case of what management thought they had bought was never actually attainable because there was not a similar support staff to make it sound like their success in Sacramento. That environment made Dave uncomfortable. “I think he never felt the show was truly his,” said Amy. “In Sacramento we knew where to go minute to minute. We had a great deal of input, but Ken Kohl had a clear picture of what he wanted to hear. This was not the case in Los Angeles. Within the first month, our relationship was strained. Dave Williams is witty, smart and intelligent. I think he just wasn’t able to relate to management exactly what he wanted or needed, and management was not able to figure him out.”

Eric Stanger was the day-to-day boss during the Dave & Amy regime. “Erik Braverman started to pull away around the sixth month, but he was also responsible for KSPN’s launch, so he was extremely busy. About that time Dave also started to pull away. During meetings with our producer, Bernard Pendergrass, we three would talk but Dave often sat silent. Bernard was a saving grace. He helped me a great deal, and taught me a lot.” Amy said Bill Sommers never faltered in his hopes for the possible success of the show.

However, during the late summer, Dave was informed his contract would not be renewed. About this time the station started trying out possible replacements. Brian Whitman paired with Al Rantel. “Then we heard Gloria Allred and Mark Taylor might be taking over. The rumors were awful. There was a constant buzz in the hallways. We heard option after option that were always being negated by management. They would tell us that everything was fine and that we were doing great. They admitted that the ratings were terrible but they had the confidence that they would start to pick up,” said Amy.

The one-year experiment didn’t work, resulting in KABC deciding to bring back Ken Minyard to morning drive (with Dan Avey). The Wednesday before their last show in November, Dave was called into John Davison’s (new gm) office and Erik called in Amy. “Dave got the word he was being let go. I got word that the show was being replaced but that I was being kept, obviously because I had another six months to go on my contract.” Amy wasn’t surprised by the decision. “Management offered us the opportunity to stop that day or finish out the week. I wanted to end the show in an appropriate manner, with head held high.”

Her effusive appreciation for having the opportunity to work at KABC is still evident today. “I told Erik that every day I walked into KABC’s building and onto that carpet, I was honored. It was an honor and a privilege to be there. When I was told about Ken Minyard coming back, I told Erik I would love to be a part of their new show. I really hope the new show works out. KABC, for me, will always be a shining star. I did everything I could. I put in long hours and every bit of brainpower I had.

The ‘Mommy Guilt’ kicks in when I think of how much I worked to make the show at KABC succeed, while I probably should have concentrated more on my kids, but they're great, and we're looking forward to the next chapter.”

Amy left Southern California with the same kind of youthful enthusiasm she arrived with just over a year ago. She has high praise for the experience and the people with whom she worked. What’s next? “I know I'll find something exciting. Whether it’s going back to KFBK or trying something different. I have heard of an opportunity to run a political campaign in Sacramento, which is pretty exciting.” “Life not only goes on, but it gets better,” enthused Amy. 

Somehow you can’t help believing that Amy has the same upbeat attitude as she plots the next step in her journey. (Watch what Amy says about leaving KFBK by clicking artwork)

Top 10 Midday LARP in 2001
Voted by LARadio readers/listeners


1.      Sean Hannity - KABC
2.      Michael Jackson - KLAC
3.      Jim Rome - KXTA
4.      Dennis Prager - KRLA
5.      Dr. Laura Schlessinger – KFI
6.      Tami Heide – KROQ
7.      Taylor/Allred – KABC
8.      Rush Limbaugh – KFI
9.      Heidi, Frosty & Frank  – KLSX
10.     Lance Ballance – KBIG

Big Boy Makes Unwanted News

(August 27, 2018) It was not your typical collision on the busy L.A. roads. Big Boy, KRRL (REAL 92.3 / fm) was driving his Nissan Armada in Calabasas. The morning superstar, also known as Kurt Alexander, told KABC/tv he was waiting at a red light with a friend when “I heard a screech, but not long…and everything from the back of the car went to the front.”  

An unfortunate incident, to be sure, but something commonplace in Southern California. But TMZ learned this was hardly your usual rear-ender. Upon exiting his auto to encounter the other driver, Big Boy discovered something was truly amiss. “He just crashed into me, and he’s in the car drinking,” said Big Boy talking to police on the phone. “He is still in the car, still drinking!” Turns out the driver of the other car was Michael Pettersen, an L.A. prosecutor.

Big Boy was shocked to see what happened next after he approached Pettersen, “As we were sitting here talking to him, he gets his bottle of vodka and he’s just sitting there. Just dazing, just drinking.” The police arrived at the scene, pulling the drunk driver out of his vehicle, when his pants dropped to the ground. Big was unharmed in the incident. “That seatbelt kept me in place and saved my life.”

Pettersen‘s currently on leave of absence from L.A. County D.A.’s Office since January 2017. (Photo from TMZ: Big Boy is standing with his phone recording the unfolding situation)
In other news: Ronn Owens, former midday Talker at KABC and KGO-San Francisco, had kind words for Senator John McCain, who passed away over the weekend.

“Simply put, Senator John McCain was a courageous man of integrity. Among other things, I admired him for being willing to go against the GOP party line when he felt it was necessary and very much respected him for refusing to leave his POW camp until all members of his unit were released. Senator McCain was a welcome guest many times on my show on KGO810 and I was grateful for his endorsement of my book. The way he dealt with his illness and pending death is a valuable lesson for all of us. We will miss his smarts and his heart. The country is indebted to him for his service. Rest in peace, John. I wish there were more public servants like you!”

Email Saturday, 8.25.18 

  ** Format Creators

“Great, great job on your column!

Good luck to John Sebastian, health-wise, and good luck to him with his new format idea. Radio desperately needs innovation and new ideas and thinking. But you won't find a ‘bold operator’ in the LA market, willing to try something new. No way.

LA radio has seen zero risk-taking or innovation for at least 25 years. The problem is, most top LA stations are cluster-owned by either iHeart or Entercom [formerly CBS]. Clusters like these are care-taken by local corporate eunuchs [Market Managers, Regional VP’s and other fancy titles]. But they have zero decision-making ability or willingness to innovate, who won’t even get a cup of coffee, let alone try a new format without being told to do it, by their corporate management bosses in New York.

Maybe Cumulus and KLOS, if that station continues to just be a mediocre presence in the market may try something. But again, that kind of risk taking [trying a new format] would need to be driven by Cumulus corporate.

Long gone are the days when LA radio stations had multiple different owners, with on-site local general managers that actually were willing to, and had the power to, take risks and innovate.” – Bob McKay  
** Hall of Fame

“Great to read about your idea for a Southern California Radio Hall of Fame. With the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters getting a new president, Shotgun Tom Kelly, I will urge him to place it on the agenda for consideration.

Our thanks for all you do.” – Don Graham

** More HOF

“Southern California Radio Hall of Fame – damned good idea, Don.” – Larry Huffman

** Hall of Fame Precedent

“I think having a So Cal Radio Hall of Fame is a great idea, actually I thought the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters had one.  With all the talented forefathers from our area who have laid the foundation of radio as we know it, this should be a given.
 
I remember in the late 70’s – early 80’s, Universal Studios had an exhibit with Grammy winners through the years. There were 10 – 15 display cases with gold records and you pressed a button and could hear selections such as the winner of Song of the Year. Something like that would be a great exhibit [busts of Hall of Fame winners with a recording of their signature bits] and will help preserve the memory of the standard bearers. I hope there’s interest in this, I think new generations of listeners would like to hear whose shoulders the Ryan Seacrests and Frosty, Heidi and Franks stand on.”

Welcome back from your vacation. I love your 'visit' to the Stones! That's funny.

Re the radio you 'missed' while you were gone: KNX still runs too many commercials, but the additional "special reports" about Aretha Franklin and Manafort and Cohen's trials were breaking news at it's best. Also regarding the news about the death of Aretha Franklin, KOLA/fm still has some semblance of a news feed and when the morning co-host Donna D. was literally handed the news of her passing, she started crying. Jesse Duran was compassionate enough to say it was okay, and gave her time to pull herself together. But it reminded me of how important it is for radio stations to have some kind of news presence or link when news breaks. – Julie T. Byers  
 
 
** One-Of-A-Kind

“Your readers rightfully named the obvious best LARP's of all time including the obvious: Robert W. [best single-person morning show ever], Steele [the finest example of how compelling high-energy radio could be], Mary Turner [the ultimate atmosphere-creating AOR talent], Bill Handel [maybe the best example ever of a topics-based 'Voice of L.A.'], Jim Ladd [no one is as soulful or as genuine], Dr. Demento [the musicologist who created an entire genre of loony laugh records].

But my Top Ten would include four others not mentioned. Easily the most overlooked of all would be Shadoe Stevens, who some said was the father of AOR for what he did at KRLA in 1971 – 73 when he merged album cuts and Top 40. He was the ultimate theater of the mind production genius [reference his July 1972 collection of new station KRLA ‘Phase II’ ID’s and on his station ID’s he created for KMET]. His on-air delivery was both ironic [leading to his Fred Rated tv spots and Hollywood Squares persona] and truly groovy [reference his KRLA interview with Steven Stills, for instance].

His ‘Soup or Star’ contest on KRLA was a brilliant reaction to KHJ’s ‘[Jesus Christ] Superstar Contest’ on KHJ. Also, hugely overlooked was the KPPC dj who actually discovered Dr. Demento, Steven Clean (Segal) whose air work on KPPC and KMET stands up as the hippest, funniest, most stimulating air work on fm progressive radio. He had fun with both Nixon era politics and the goofiness of his own underground music scene. If you ask me, he was as trailblazing as (Howard) Stern while never nearly as famous.

Bill Ballance was already part of history for being part of the hugely successful KFWB ‘Seven Swinging Gentlemen’ team [1958 – 62] that ruled the Southland until KRLA took over around 1963. But his funny-and-saucy Feminine Forum on KGBS in the early 70s basically wrote the book for reality tv shows and tell-all radio shows that would follow.

While Bobby Ocean’s on-air work was not always remarkable, the station promos he produced for KHJ, KFRC [and first for KGB in the late 60s] were always way too hip for the AM radio room. His promos always made the station sound much better, hipper and more happening than they ever were.

Only Morgan, Steele and Ballance are no longer with us. More reason to launch a So Cal Radio Hall of Fame.” – Ken Leighton, San Diego
  ** Laboe One-of-a-Kind

“Thank you so much for including me in your summer series: One-of-a-kind LARP. It turned out to be a nice birthday treat!

And thank you to Rick Sietsema and Mike Hagerty for their kind words. It’s an honor to be on the list with so many great talents, that I too admire, WolfmanCasey KasemGary OwensRick DeesJohnny Hayes, Charlie TunaThe Real Don SteeleRobert W. MorganJim LaddShotgun Tom KellyVin Scully, just to name a few. 

Radio, and in particular, LA Radio, has been very good to me. From staring into that cloth speaker at age eight wondering how the voices came out of that box to today with a syndicated show, my reality has far exceeded my dreams of being on the radio.

And in signing off, a big thank you to everyone that has tuned in / listened throughout the years. There is no show without an audience. Thanks for being a part of the ‘Art Laboe Connection!’” – Art Laboe    
** Campbell's Death

“It is with great sadness that I announce the unexpected death of my brother John Lyle Campbell. He died on July 19, 2018 in Sherman Oaks, of natural causes.

John was born in 1955 in Cohoes, New York to father William L. and mother Helen E. Campbell who pre-deceased him as did older brother William M. Campbell. John was a graduate of St. Bernard's, Cohoes High School and Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York. John loved radio! He got his initial radio experience on the campus station while attending Hudson Valley. In Albany, New York he worked at radio stations WHRL, WABY, and WSNY.

In 1975 the lure of Hollywood drew him to Southern California. His booming voice enabled him to find work in Los Angeles at KRLA, KHTZ and KSRF, in Simi Valley at KWNK and in San Bernardino at KMEN. He was a proud member of SAG for many years and appeared in many movies most notably Absolute PowerLogan's Run and The Rock. And he worked on many tv shows.

For the last 14 years he was employed at the law office of Richard M. Lester. John had a heart of gold. He was quirky, opinionated, interesting, passionate and lovable, always smiling or grinning. He was a ‘walking encyclopedia’ with regard to old movies and old tv shows especially. Give him a title, he knew the actors, the director and the year it came out. John leaves behind many desolate co-workers, good friends close and afar and a family that never got to say goodbye.

Next time you pass a 99 cent store please salute and recall John’s tips on the good buys you could find there. No services. A celebration of life will be held at a future date. As John would say ‘stay tuned.’” – Charlotte Gibbons

** Parallels

“It seems we share some history, with some variations. I attended college in 1964; read Travels with Charley that year, covered the Johnson-Goldwater saga, and drank beer over much of America.

Later I also got suckered into one of those vanity presses. It was just as Print on Demand was getting started. It cost $1,500 for ten paperback books and a listing in Books in Print. Additional books cost a whopping $15.55 each. I think the company must have been started by a group of cemetery lot, encyclopedia, and used car salesmen. I still have three of the ten books, none of which ever sold for actual money.

I now have eight published books: four novels, a memoir, two cookbooks, and a gift book. Thanks to an eye-opening education about the publishing business, all is going as I hoped it would go when you and I got swindled.” – Steve (Liddick) Fredericks, former news director of K-Earth/fm

** National Radio Day

"My thanks to Ted (Zigenbusch) for his kind words.

I always thought that you earned the legendary label after passing!” – Dave Armstrong  
  ** HD Making Move

“I just took a look at the full July 2018 PPM listing. Albeit at the bottom, it’s interesting to see an HD2 station – KROQ HD2 – making the survey. I can’t remember any HD radio stations making the survey in the past, so this may be a first in L.A.

Personally, KROQ HD2 is one of my favorites! Yes. Either all-automation or simulcasts of local AMs or distant FMs.  

I feel the biggest obstacle toward the growth of HD radio is the seeming lack of receivers. If the proliferation of FM receivers back in the 70s and 80s was as non-existent as the growth of HD receivers seems to have been during the past 15 years, I believe FM would have fallen flat on its face. To a degree, I’m sure Satellite radio and Internet radio has stolen HD radio’s thunder. But if HD can be a standard accessory in all new vehicles and all home receivers going forward, it might have a chance.” – George Fair

** KABC at Bottom

“Didn't there used to be an AM station called KABC, AM 790 ‘More Interesting Talk Radio’? # 1 for YEARS, completely down the toilet! So sad!!” – Alan F. Ross

** Info on Venna Taylor 

 “Just read in Barrett that you were looking for confirmation about your grandmother. I subscribe to Newspapers.com. The LA Times is one of the papers included. I picked 1935 and typed in the name and I found a photo and blurb from September 16, 1935.

Near as I have been able to ascertain your grandmother’s first program for KRKD was on Monday, November 5, 1933. The last listing for her in the Times was from Monday, January 29th, 1945.  Because the Times made an editorial decision to drop the KRKD listings beginning February 1st, 1945, there is no way to tell how far into 1945 she remained on the air. 

I checked several suburban papers but they did not carry the KRKD listings. There was no fanfare in the Times from the day your grandmother started her program. KRKD just did not get much love from the Times as the bigger stations received. She did well though by being on the air for 11 plus years!” – David Grudt, Long Beach  


National Radio Day ... A to Z(iegenbusch)
(August 24, 2018) During our time in Great Britain, #NationalRadioDay was celebrated with many of you sharing your radio journey. Over the next couple of weeks, LARadio will feature your Facebook stories. This morning Ted Zigenbusch, decades-long entertainer at KOST, remembers …

This marks my 50th consecutive year with a show on the radio sometime, somewhere. Not bad, considering that I made my first tv appearance at age 5 and thought I could never live without a tv camera and a "live" audience in front of me. But, radio has been more than a career. It has been an incredible journey of love and appreciation for my audience, my mentors, my managers and co-workers. Also, I get to wear my favorite T-shirts and shorts to work most days. That wouldn't happen on tv.

Thank you to all the K/men in San Bernardino for giving me my first on-air job while in high school. A special thanks to longtime friend Pat Shaughnessy who turned the programming of that station over to me when I was only 20. Thanks to Jim James for giving me my first morning show that lasted nearly 8 years before I left for San Diego. Thanks to John Lynch who believed in me enough to let me run both Mighty 690 and 91X in San Diego during the glory days of Top 40 and Album Rock.
Thanks to Jim Price for stealing me away to KGB and becoming like a second dad when my own father passed away. Jim's encouragement and "radio secrets" sent my career into the ozone, both on the air and consulting stations nationwide.

Thanks to Jhani Kaye for allowing me to join the staff at KOST in 1982 and creating a show that kept me from leaving for greener pastures and the two other programming offers in southern California. A special thanks to Liz Kiley, who undoubtedly was also behind that generous offer that made it impossible for me to leave KOST. I am forever grateful for our friendship over the decades, Jhani and Liz.

Thanks to the legendary Dave Armstrong for talking me into doing my first full-time morning show in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, despite many decades of subbing on mornings at KOST.

Thank you to Stella Prado Kuipers for hiring me back over the telephone when it was the right time to finally join the KOST family again. You're the best! Thanks to Greg Ashlock for being (almost) more excited than me when I returned to KOST. Thanks to Andrew Jeffries for teaching me how to prolong my career, well beyond my specialty trademark shows.
Thank you to my best friend since high school, Commander Chuck Street who stood by me through the thick and the thin of this crazy business. Thanks to my former KOST pd Johnny Chiang for passing along what one program director called "The best recommendation that I've ever heard!"

Thanks to my only two morning show co-hosts, Robin Benic and Lauren Kitchens Steward who helped me ALWAYS sound like we were having way too much fun while still getting paid.

And, lastly thanks to my current radio family since 1982 at my home base. Thank you Mark Wallengren, Kari Steele, Maggi Mayfield, Karen Sharp and all the others who have passed through those illustrious halls. I wish I could mention everyone who is responsible for being where I am today, but I would need an entire book.

Lastly, thanks to my wife April and my kids for putting up with a "radio guy" who never dreamed of doing anything but entertaining the people.

LARadio Was On Holiday (8.8-8.23)


 

One-Of-A-Kind LARP

(August 7, 2018) Our summer series recognizing the one-of-a-kind LARP who stand out as a unique personality, who not only has withstood the test of time, but stands alone as being unduplicable, comes to an end. This was never meant to be a contest, but rather a tribute to those performers who truly left an indelible mark.

Some readers were not in the Southland when a particular LARP was at his/her best, so we asked you provide some insight on why you thought there were unique. Some have already been published.

We leave on holiday later today and thought we would provide all contributions, new and old, for your perusal. We'll be back in late August.

Thanks for taking the time to salute our outstanding, unreplicable Los Angeles Radio People.
(artwork from Etsy)
Rick Sietsema (KNX/CBS Radio, retired): My knee-jerk reaction was The Real Don Steele. Then I thought about it for a bit, and it’s not a simple question. Rick DeesCasey KasemJimmy Kimmel and Adam Corolla used LA Radio to launch national careers across multiple platforms. Charlie Tuna probably set a record for most frequencies modulated in a single major market, spread across four decades. Wolfman Jack is a legend. And you can’t ignore Vin Scully. But I think the best answer to your question is Art Laboe.

Art is the face of local radio, and connecting to an audience. He’s almost as old as radio itself. His name, his face and his Oldies but Goodies franchise are known around the world. I had the privilege of working with Art at KRLA in the mid-1980s, long before I became aware of his historic past. I can't imagine that anyone from LA Radio made a bigger difference in pop culture than Art Laboe.

 

Mike Hagerty, iHeartMedia:  LARadio has had several one-of-a-kind personalities. There was no Art Laboe clone, before or since, anywhere in America.

The sophisticated wit and astonishing vocabulary of Bill Ballance was not going to be found anywhere other than with Bill himself. 

Bob Crane was to radio what Ernie Kovacs was to tv, but in his own, unique way. Find me a jock who was ‘just like Bob Crane.’

Johnny Magnus – ain’t nobody better than he (a line he once used about Wes Montgomery) when it comes to knowing the music and sharing that knowledge, which he still does every Saturday and Sunday morning on 88.1.

The Real Don Steele spawned a host of imitators, all doomed to fail, because as Robert W. Morgan (arguably another original) said "if you try to sound like him, you just end up sounding like an idiot."

B. Mitchel Reed pioneered the concept of an FM album rock jock and proved you didn’t have to sound or be stoned to do it. 

Jimmy Rabbitt often was or sounded stoned when he did it (sometimes on the same station as BMR), but he’s an original too.

There was only one Wolfman Jack. Or Frazer Smith, for that matter.

I never heard anybody do radio the way Lee Baby Simms did it. Or Bobby Ocean. And how about Phil Hendrie?

I’m sure I’m leaving out names. I hope other readers fill the blanks I’m unintentionally leaving. Bottom line – the ranks of LARPs includes a whole host of originals, which is probably how they made it to – and made it in – Los Angeles.
Steve Thompson: Jim Hawthorne was voicing another character [“Skippy”] long before Phil Hendrie gave us Margaret Gray, Bobbie Dooley and Bud Dickman.

Jim Hawthorne was punctuating his programs with drop-ins and sound bites long before Jack Armstrong and Jim Healy started using drop-ins and sound bites.

Jim Hawthorne was doing “stream of consciousness” long before Robin Williams came along. And who but Hawthorne could have invented the Hogan-twanger?

 

Julie Byers:  I would have to say Dr. Demento. He combines a love of radio/music history and a truly wacky sense of humor.

I first discovered him when I was in high school, first on KPCC then KMET, and excitedly taped some of his show and brought it to school. When I played “Vatican Rag” and “Shaving Creme” during lunch, my friends loved it. He introduced us to old time novelties like “Pico and Sepulveda” and new artists “Weird Al” and “Barnes and Barnes.”  

Even LARP's like Hudson & Landry made it into the program’s weekly “Top Ten,” later becoming the “Funny Five.” There have been imitations, but nothing like what we grew up with “Under the Smogberry Trees”; and I'm glad Dr. Demento is still around on satellite radio.

Thanks for the remembrance of Anthony Bourdain!
Bob Scott: You asked about LARP who were great storytellers.  While I’m not sure if he qualifies as an LARP, I believe that Paul Harvey was certainly a unique personality and could spin a yarn with the best of them. I never cared for his political commentary, but I thought his “rest of the story” pieces were brilliant.

First, of course, was his stilted delivery that made him sound different from everyone else on radio. Then he’d get you totally engaged in a character until you were sure you knew where the story was going, until he’d hit you with the twist: An ending you never saw coming.  

I remember one about a prisoner who was released from death row because a Broadway producer wanted to use him in a show. I was wracking my brain to figure out who it was and then the twist! The producer had gone to a dog kill shelter and rescued the dog who played Sandy in the Broadway show Annie.  

I never would have guessed! 

 

Rich Piombino: 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...

 

K.M. Richards: Without a doubt in my mind, the most creative person to ever inhabit Los Angeles' (and later, the nation’s) airwaves was Stan Freberg. Not simply content to do “theatre of the mind,” Stan turned the mental pictures his words created on their side, inside out, backwards, on multiple diagonals, and any other absurd way one can think of.

If Stan hadn’t pioneered his kind of comedy, would we have had the parodies of Weird Al Yankovic [technically also a LARP from his appearances with Dr. Demento]? The absurd one-liners of Gary Owens?  The “gag commercials” that inhabited countless morning shows over the years? 

And yet, even among those who followed in his footsteps, no one could quite achieve duplicating Stan completely. That’s why he was one of a kind.

 

Rich Brother Robbin: NEVER to be duplicated? You already know my choice(s): Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele will never be duplicated, on OR off-air. There were other greats who lasted longer [Rick Dees comes immediately to mind], but no one will ever do for us old timers what Morgan and Steele did.

Reason #1: they weren’t copying anyone else. As you know, I basically got NOWHERE as a jock copying Steele. When some record guy touted me to Buzz Bennett, I sent a tape from KRUX. Buzz ‘heard something’ even in that pukey Steele-copycat demo. On that tape was a promo I did for my Sunday night Oldies show, up and perky but ‘in my own voice’ which brought Buzz out of his chair saying ‘THAT’s the real you, not that pukey Real Don Steele copycat bullshit.’ Per his instructions I stopped puking that very night. I started using my own voice in its natural state with a big smile on my lips, thereby becoming my own man as a jock which obviously worked. Not to be immodest, but I doubt there’ll never be another one of me either.

 

Johnny St. Thomas: I would like to add Johnny Hayes, who on tracks would sound ‘live’
and when ‘live’ could deliver a great story about the music and artist.

 

Gary Lane: Jimmy O’Neil would be my entry. Jimmy, had that great voice, started barely out of his teens, great interviewer, [liked the one with Phil Everly], and hosted the tv show Shindig in his early twenties.

Fascinating dj and person. Met him at the Apple Pan for a late lunch, with Lee Simms. Lee was at KRLA, as Ol’ Doc Frail, and Jimmy was at KDAY.

And the Wolfman, what can I say. Movies, that gravelly voice, blasting over the radio airwaves at XERB, to name one. You could hear him, just about all over, west of the Mississippi.

 

Jeffrey Freedman: Jim Healy was not really a story teller in the sense of Ralph Story or Huell H, but Lohman & Barkley did that soap opera spoof it seems every morning. I woke up to their program for years. After the top of the hour news a song would be played and then they would do their thing until the bottom of the hour. News headlines, another song, and then another dose of them until the hour ended.

The “Light of my Life” segment seemed prepared but was probably ad libbed for the most part. I never got the impression that Lohman prepared for anything. How he remembered all those voices and could segue between them was remarkable – Maynard Farmer, W. Eva Schneider, Noel Contendere, etc. Plus their satire on Sam Yorty, aka “Mayor Sam” who worked in the “pointy building” as Mayor of “Los Angle-eez.”

In “Light of my Life” they described the people “living their span of years’ in Pine City, a ‘typical small town’ in Iowa.”

 

Alan Oda:  I think the L.A. radio veteran – make that outstanding L.A. radio veteran – Diane Thompson had it right when she stated “I think anyone who has been hired in the Los Angeles radio market and survived is a superstar” in an LARadio.com column a few weeks ago. That being said, when Don Barrett asked about who was a one-of-a-kind talent in Los Angeles radio, the name of “Sweet” Dick Whittington immediately came to mind. His many feats have been well-documented over the years, from the marriage of the Queen Mary to the invasion of Catalina Island.

I could easily write more than a page of the memories I have of Dick Whittington and his inspired folly. When he wasn’t sharing what sort of day he was having (he was brutally honest if he was having “a day” or if he was feeling good), he’d give us something to laugh about. Which highlights the uniqueness of the Whittington humor. Much of comedy nowadays is about laughing at others, Dick had us laughing at him and with him. He made fun of himself, and could also lso had us laughing at ourselves.  Dick taught us you don’t have to be viciously insulting to be funny.
(Sweet Dick with his producer preparing for the invasion of Catalina ... below is the Whittington and producer Douglas McEwan at a recent function)
Laughter can be a weapon, but Dick used it as a way of easing the craziness of what life portends.

Seventeen years ago, in the aftermath of 9/11, so many on the L.A. radio dial did so much to offer comfort to a hurting community, yet I realized that day how much I missed having Dick Whittington on the air.

He would have had the offered the reassurance to let us know we would get through this, and that we would once again find something (not someone) to laugh about as time started to heal the deep wounds of tragedy.

And am I the only one that think the current political climate would be a goldmine for Whittington’s “Clean Thoughts on a Dirty Wall?” His Sweetness is missed, but I’m the richer to have been able to have been part of his loyal listenership.

 

Dodger Steve: I’d like toss my vote into the ring of fire and offer Bill Handel as “that one-of-a-kind LARP who is so distinctive that she or he could never be duplicated.” He’s quick witted, uber intelligent, smart “assy” enough to not be insulting and has more corn in his shtick than an Iowa corn field at harvest time.

He’s also very loyal to the KFI audience by not wanting to go syndicated [at least his Mon-Fri morning show. He’s an entertainment time bomb that continually goers off and that alone makes him unable to be so and he can’t be duplicated…AND THANK GOD FOR THAT!


... and

Chris Bury: I think Bill Handel should be considered. He started with a legal advice show on KABC. He moved to KFI. He has been talking and giving marginal legal advice for about 24 years. Handel on the Law is syndicated. Has a website. Has been supportive of other newbie KFI hosts. He has had to evolve as the pc-osity has evolved.

 

Danny Lemos: Three names missing from your list, in my view.

1) Rick Dees.  I was employed by Rick for quite a few years and I may be a bit biased, but Rick was a powerhouse of LARadio throughout the 1980’s, into the 90’s and into the 2000’s. To this day, when I meet the parents of my graduating students each year [at Cal State Long Beach] they STILL freak out – 37 years later – that I was Chuy from La Puente on the “Rick Dees in The Morning show.” Talk about a legacy! “My grandma grew up with you guys!” is a double-edged compliment, but I’ll take it.

2.) Jay Thomas. Jay was a legend, a true tv and radio star… and he was a total gentleman.  We met in person only one time, at a promotional parade. Jay shook Rick’s hand and walked past him to the “worker bees” who stood around. ‘You’re only as good as your team,’ Jay boasted about us and introduced himself to all the writers and young producers. A real class act.

3.)  Mary “the Burner” Turner.  She was a rock star and the sultriest voice in LARadio during the 70’s.  When I started at KMET in 1977, I was elevated to superstar status by my college housemates simply because I worked in the same building as “the Burner.” Every night at 6 p.m., when she kicked off her Candies and curled her feet under her in the chair in front of the turntables [remember them?] she reigned as LA’s rock-and-roll queen of the night. She had no equal, but lots of imitators. Her very nature was her style – easy-going, respectful and a lot of fun. She knew how to make you feel like you were the only one listening.

 

Other contributions:

Bill EarlEmperor Hudson

Andrew Schermerhorn: Vin Scully, Vin Scully, Vin Scully. Great story tellers have also included Doug McIntyre, Charlie Tuna, and Larry King. All of them have kept me riveted in appointment listening.

Margie Cherry: I think that Tim Conway, Jr. qualifies as a good radio storyteller.

Chris TaylorThe Real Don Steele

Don Graham: Jim Hawthorne

Rebecca Davis: My suggestion for best dj’s are Rick DeesDick ClarkCasey Kasem, and Tom Leykis

Maggie McKay: Shotgun Tom Kelly

KBIG Seems to be the Station to Beat

(August 6, 2018) MY/fm (KBIG) has been consistently #1 in the monthly PPM's since the first of the year and the disappearance of KOST holiday music. The Nielsen July '18 Monthly PPM 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid was released this afternoon. Here is the Top 40:

1. KBIG (Hot AC) 5.8 - 5.7
2. KOST (AC) 5.6 - 5.2
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.1 - 5.0
4. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.5 - 4.3
5. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.3 - 4.2
6. KFI (Talk) 4.1 - 4.1
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 4.1 - 4.0
8. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.5 - 3.1
9. KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.6 - 2.9
10. KROQ (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.8
11. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.7 - 2.7
      KNX (News) 2.6 - 2.7
      KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.6 - 2.7
14. KRRL (Urban) 2.6 - 2.6
15. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.6 - 2.5

      KPCC (News/Talk) 2.7 - 2.5
      KYSR (Alternative) 28 - 2.5
18. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.4 - 2.4
19. KKGO (Country) 2.3 - 2.3
20. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.2 - 2.1
      KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.4 - 2.1
      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 2.1
23. KUSC (Classical) 1.7 - 1.7
      KXOS (Regional Mexican) 2.0 - 1.7
25. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.5 - 1.4
      KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.0 - 1.4
27. KCRW (Variety) 1.3 - 1.3
      KJLH (Urban AC) 1.4 - 1.3
      KRLA (Talk) 1.1 - 1.3
30. KSPN (Sports) 1.1 - 1.2
31. KLAC (Sports) 1.0 - 1.1
      KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.3 - 1.1
33. KDLD (Regional Mexican) 0.6 - 1.0
      KEIB (Talk) 0.9 - 1.0
35. KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.7 - 0.9
36. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.8 - 0.7
      KKJZ (Jazz) 0.9 - 0.7
      KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.6 - 0.7
39. KSUR (Oldies) 0.4 - 0.5
40. KABC (Talk) 0.4 - 0.4
      KIRN (Ethnic) -- - 0.4
      KTNQ (Spanish Talk) 0.2 - 0.4
      KYLA (Christian Contemporary) 0.5 - 0.4

People Magazine, August 13
 

Time for a Southern California Radio Hall of Fame

Every few years we attempt to generate a call to action for a Southern California Radio Hall of Fame.

The goal of LARadio.com and my three books, Los Angeles Radio People, that have been published during the past 23 years, has been to recognize those who have traveled from city to city as they perfected their craft in order to reach the nirvana of L.A. broadcasting. This project turned out to be an honest, full-scale attempt to include all those radio people who’ve spun records, reported news, covered the sports scene or were talk show hosts.

But there are some who have excelled. It is time to elevate the process and create an organization – the Southern California Radio Hall of Fame – recognizing today’s radio professionals as well as the pioneers who shaped radio in Southern California.

How can it be that there is no Southern California Radio Hall of Fame? In addition to recognition of the excellent talent who entertained us over the decades, the facility should be dedicated to the acquisition and preservation of radio artifacts, memorabilia, audio, equipment, and written and oral history.

I visualize the location within a highly trafficked area, e.g. Universal City Walk. Getting a storefront donated in turn is a traffic builder for the Hall of Fame. Our yearly induction could take place at one of the Universal theatres.

Is this something the Southern California Broadcasters Association could spearhead? Perhaps the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters will step up and help with the process.

I know our radio leaders are concerned with making budgets and working on the corporate bottom line, but Southern California radio is rich, vibrant and fascinating and should be recognized. The young kids coming along should know where we have been in order to figure out where we are going.

Does this idea resonate with you? Do you have some thoughts on how to take the first step? 


Email Saturday, 8.4.18

** Dave Zorn Remembered

“I only met Dave Zorn a couple of times. We had previous market experience in common. All I remember is a gracious, friendly, warm individual, who I liked instantly. I can only imagine how the people he worked with must feel. Safe travels ahead my friend.” – Mike Nolan

** Zorn Special

“I met Dave Zorn one time while filming and producing a presentation for The NAB Convention in Los Angeles in the early 80s. It was call ‘Radio Across America.’ He was such a nice man, who took the time between broadcasts to show our crew the famous basement at the CBS Broadcast Center on Sunset Blvd. The basement was filled with old sets from many television shows that had been filmed there.

He was a gentle man, who I very much enjoyed listening to. Our family of LARadio talent has lost one of the best! Rest in Peace, Mr. Zorn.” –Jim Duncan, Owner of Jim Duncan Creative

** Zorn was Collegial and Funny

Dave Zorn is gone from our world, but as long as there are people who remember him fondly, he continues to live in a way. They say it’s what you do when no one is looking and there is no payoff for you which reveals true character.

My first day at KNX, Ed Pyle [news director] marched me into the main studio at Columbia Square to show me how it’s done. Dave was on the air with Dick Helton and after an hour or two it occurred to me that the REAL show happened in the studio while the spot breaks ran. They were so funny and collegial. They demonstrated a real respect and love for each other. I had done radio and tv for years, but news anchoring was a relatively new skill for me. Dave was warm, helpful in a million ways, and this newbie will always be grateful for the humanity and character he showed me. That’s what I always thought big time radio was going to be at its best. Ed was right, THAT’S HOW ITS DONE.” – Larry Van Nuys

** Zorn Style

“For years, my broadcast buddies here in San Diego – Gabriel Wisdom and Michael Berger – and I, would always greet each other ‘Dave Zorn style’ with ‘Good Morning Southern California.'

We looked up to Dave as professional dude #1. Dave was a true gentleman and a broadcasting professional! - Jeff Prescott, La Jolla
** Zorn Will Be Missed

“That’s such a shame. Thanks for letting me know. My deepest sympathies to his family and all who held him dear. He shall certainly be missed. Rest in Peace, Dave.” – Laura Brodian Freas’Beraha

** Zorn’s Distinctive Voice

“Very sad. Dave Zorn had a distinctive voice as I recall.” – Christopher A. Bury

** Zorn Good Guy

Dave Zorn was one of the really great guys among a lot of really great people who worked at KNX Newsradio. Sorry to see his passing.” – Tom Bernstein

** Zorn a Caring Soul

“Twenty-five years ago, I was the media spokesperson for LA General Hospital. Dave Zorn called me live on air when three of our doctors were shot in the emergency room. He allowed me the time to correct some rumors and to provide reassurance that care was being provided during the chaos. We developed a nice friendship and when we both retired, he visited the beautiful garden in Thousand Oaks where I was volunteering.

He was a caring gentle soul with a wonderful voice, now silenced. Rest in Peace dear friend.” – Harvey Kern, West Los Angeles
** Great Broadcaster

“If you are a longtime listener to KNX Newsradio in Los Angeles, you know the name and inimitable voice of Dave Zorn. We lost Dave, less than two weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer. Dave was more than a great broadcaster and newsman, he was a gentle and generous mentor to so many of us, and a beloved colleague to all. He had a great sense of humor and an uncanny way of putting everyone at ease, even in the pressure cooker of a newsroom.

He and Jack Salvatore (l)were such a memorable anchor team. Here they are circa mid-80’s. They stayed very close all these years, Jack flew to Michigan this week to join Dave’s family at his bedside.

The photo of Dave and me marks a little broadcast history: August 2005. Just seconds earlier, Dave had finished anchoring the last KNX newscast from Columbia Square, the station’s storied home since 1938. The end of an era. Dave, you are so loved and admired. Just the best. RIP.” – Gail Eichenthal
(from her Facebook page)
** MAT Remembers Zorn

“I was shocked to hear Dave Zorn was so ill, and saddened and stunned that he passed so quickly. I remember him fondly. He was so well liked and regarded!” – Mark Austin Thomas

** Zorn’s Voice Provided Comfort

“So sad to hear this. I never had the pleasure of meeting Dave Zorn when I worked at CBS, but he was a staple of my radio on KNX. One of the familiar, confident voices that provides comfort even in the face of bad news. He will certainly be missed.” – Christian Wheel

** Zorn’s Son

“I come with bad news. My father, Dave Zorn, passed away this afternoon from a short battle with liver cancer. Words can’t express how sorry I am for my stepmother Carolynn and her family. Keep them in your thoughts. He tried to hang around until myself and family got there but it became too much. We Facetimed last Friday and it was great to see and talk to him one last time. We got a lot out and it was a very good thing. Since that time, I started to write a blog. No one knew that except my wife Nicole. I had to get things out of my head and put them somewhere and that was what I came up with. It’s a little long so bear with me. I had a lot to say. I'll leave for now with this: My dad was a Cleveland Browns fan, a die hard. I got him a Tim Couch jersey and he wore it with pride. If there’s any justice, the Browns will have a great season this year and maybe make the playoffs. I’ll be rooting for them. Enjoy the blog and thank you everyone for your love the past week or so.
https://dzsportsblog.blogspot.com/ For those who knew him, or want to spread the word please share.” – David Zorn

** Zorn Stood Out

“I didn’t know Mr. Zorn personally, but certainly knew him as a broadcaster. It takes an extra effort to stand out on an all-News station, but he certainly did so. Condolences to his family and thank you to Dave for many hours of news over the years. Your efforts are most appreciated.” – Michael Wick

** Zorn the Real Deal

"Thank you so much for posting these stories about Dave Zorn. I knew him from Phoenix and he was the real deal." - Valerie Geller

** Fox Love

George Green put Lonnie Lardner in touch with me many years ago. She was and is a terrific person.

Speaking of love stories, my wife, Valerie, and I celebrated our 65th anniversary a few weeks ago on July 5. Marrying Valerie was the best thing that ever happened to me. Nothing is in second place.” – Bob Fox

** KNX Traffic Jam

“I agree with Steve Thompson’s comments on KNX's handling of their own traffic reports. They treat listeners like children. They put so much importance on telling us the names of their traffic reporters six times per hour. Heck, the main news anchors only get their names mentioned on the air five times an hour....and how many airborne crafts does KNX have? I’ve only detected no more than one (1) traffic report from the aircraft when the reporter is introduced as being in ‘Sky 5’ or ‘Sky 4’ etc. If they actually have five individual aircraft that’d just maybe justify puffing up their chest to gloat about that investment, but I doubt they have the ability to put up more than one at any given time, even in fire emergencies [and don’t tell me that taped reports from Channel 2 or Channel 9 add to KNX’s fleet].

Another thing that bothers me: the obvious commercials for Channel 2 and Channel 9 when the KNX anchor introduces one of the tv station’s anchors so that Jeff or Suzie or Pat can promote what we'd see if we tuned in to their evening newscasts. AND THEN, when we hear the KNX anchor tell the tv anchor that we ‘will be sure to tune in,’ the KNX anchor then says ‘and that [referring to the tv station promo] is all part of our in-depth team coverage!’ Whoop-dee-doo. When does a commercial for their sister tv stations somehow make it part of the radio station's ‘in-depth team coverage’ of the news?

Hey KNX, give us the news without being so pompous and condescending. Try listening on line to how WTOP Washington DC’s all-News station handles their news presentation. You’d learn a lot about what I’m talking about.” – Steve Nieto, Yorba Linda

** More Traffic

“I disagree that KNX should lessen its number of traffic reports per hour. Assuming I have to get somewhere on time, I leave early enough, I’m guessing. However, once on the road, I am suddenly sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. I WANT to know as frequently as possible how late I can expect to be based on the most current traffic conditions. Many might disagree with me, but under those conditions I'd wish there would be more, not fewer, traffic reports.” – Laura Brodian Freas’Beraha

** KRKD Personality

“My grandmother used to perform on the radio at KRKD radio during the 1930s. Her name was Venna Taylor or maiden name was Hansen. I have been looking for confirmation of this for quite some time when I came across your article on radio personalities in the Los Angeles area and wanted to know if you have any information regarding the line-up of performers on KRKD during the 1930? My grandmother had a wonderful voice and sang every chance she got. I have heard the stories of her radio days and would love to find some confirmation of those events. Thank you for your help.” – Richard Taylor, Temecula, 
grayglow1@gmail.com

** Anyone Have the Big One?

“It was great reading the update from Mary Lyon! I seem to recall that in her KRTH days, the station [and maybe KHJ] did a fascinating special, simulating how it would cover ‘The Big One’ had it just hit L.A.  Does anyone have an aircheck?” – Ethan Harp
ethan.harp@gmail.com


** Ward Practice

“Thanks for the story about my private practice and crisis work. I am getting positive feedback from your readers [including my family and radio friends].” – Cameron Ward, cameronwardlaw.com

** AT 40 Memories

“Regarding memories of Casey Kasem and American Top 40 I remember both WGAR and WPIX/fm running the show in 1970, but it seemed slightly out-of-place as WGAR was mostly Oldies. On December 26, 1971, we were treated to a special AT40 Christmas countdown, however when Casey got to Snoopy's Christmas by the Royal Guardsman, he said they didn't have the song available. Interestingly, at the next station break, WPIX/fm did play the song from an LP. On the 5th year anniversary of AT40, they replayed its first show, boy was Casey’s style much more energetic.

Also, of note, AT40 sometimes took liberties with the records they played. Convention 72 was a novelty record by the Delegates. AT40 did their own edit from the original 5 minutes 7 seconds.

Still, my favorite countdown show was Dan Ingram and his ‘Top 30 Satellite Survey,’ which KKHR ran from the Radio Radio syndication service offered by CBS in 1984.” – Chime Hart, Sherman Oaks

** Couple of Blasts

“First, let me send kudos to Rick Dees for obviously donating his voice talents to KQLH. Obviously, a low-power FM doesn’t have the money to afford someone of Dees’ stature, so it has to be a labor of love on his part.

I also noted that two of the three stations airing Wolfman Jack [the Santa Rosa, actually Guerneville, one is the exception] are also LPFMs. I hope the syndicator is similarly making allowances for the lack of funds to pay full rate. BTW, KOPA in San Diego, which is owned by the Pala Band of Mission Indians, changed its call letters to KPRI in March after the calls were given up by Educational Media Foundation in December on what is now KKLJ. According to Wikipedia, the tribe says they intend the new calls to stand for ‘Kupa Pala Rez Indians’, Kupa being the name of the ancestral home near Warner Springs of the majority of the Pala tribe. Interesting!” – K.M. Richards

** Potpourri

“I'm glad you had a good time at the concert at the Chumash Casino. I haven’t been there in four years but I’ve always loved the place and the people there. I hope you got a chance to go into Solvang for some pastries or to Pea Soup Andersen’s for Onion Cheese bread – unforgettable!

Thanks for the update / news about Rick Dees. I think that is wild about him going to a smaller market, but once a dj, always a dj. And I thought I was one of the few who’ve noticed the lack of any 60’s and most 70’s music on KOLA. Except for the Casey Kasem shows on Saturdays, you’d think you were listening to KRTH. It shows there is a market for every kind of music and Oldies too!

I’ve got a new one for you: Have you ever heard of Sirius or one of the other Satellite channels coming in on a regular FM frequency? Someone in the north Arcadia / Pasadena area has some very eclectic music tastes that I’ve picked up on 95.1 [normally KFRG] once or twice a week. Everything from a syndicated Oldies package to a mix of Big Band, 50’s and 60’s music. I picked it up the first time Christmas before last, then last year, and now a couple of afternoons a week. The radius is from Huntington Drive and Sunset in Arcadia to NW Pasadena and it blocks out KFRG until I leave that area. No commercials [except for the Oldies package, which comes complete with local event calendars from Atlanta and Santa Cruz], just one tune after another like someone putting records on. It wouldn’t be so mysterious except that I don’t have a satellite receiver!” – Julie Byers

** Format Mixes

"KQLH's LPFM manager, Mark Westwood, may be mistaken. On the one hand he seems happy to put together a station that is reminiscent of the music that K-Earth left behind. On the other hand, he describes the format as a mix of the 40's through the 70's. That's not even close to KOLA or K-SURF. Sounds more like The Music for the Rest of Your Life." - Vince Daniels, Smart-Talk KMET 1490-AM 

Zorn As a Kid 

(August 3, 2018) While preparing stories on Dave Zorn’s amazing life following his passing on July 30, I found this delicious story from when we met for the first time. I was conducting interviews for my book, Los Angeles Radio People. Dave majored in broadcasting in college and began his commercial broadcasting career in 1969. 

“I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t want to be on the radio, but I really got the ‘bug’ one rainy summer afternoon in Cleveland in the late ’50s when I ‘played radio’ with a neighborhood electronic genius who built a radio station in his basement. We tape recorded our pretend rock ’n roll radio show with ‘your boy D.Z. on K-R-A-P’ and played it through a miniature transmitter my engineer friend built. What a thrill, I was on the radio! Imagine our surprise when we read in the newspaper the next morning that the FCC was looking for a pirate radio station that had appeared mysteriously, knocking off the air a major Cleveland radio station. When we read that the penalties for such a federal crime were multiple years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines, we decided to find safer ways to spend our rainy summer afternoons.”

Tomorrow’s Email Saturday includes lotsa memories of Dave from his friends.
(Photo: Dave was the last voice on KNX when the station physically moved from its home at Columbia Square to the Miracle Mile)
New Book. Delilah is a Hall of Fame broadcaster who has had her syndicated show air on a number of LARadio stations over the years. Currently it is heard on KFSH (95.9 The Fish). She is the most listened-to woman on American radio with 9 million listeners. On air for 25 years, her shows are heartfelt, often hilarious, and warm. Delilah (Rene) has written One Heart at a Time, an uplifting, and motivating look at life, love, and faith. She talks about how she has opened her home to 10 adopted children, making her a mom to 13 children, with an effort underway to adopt a two-year-old baby boy to join the family. She is the founder of an NGO called Point Hope, created in 2004 to be a voice for forgotten children and their families. The book will be available this fall.

New Format. John Sebastian, former programmer at KHJ, KLOS, KTWV, and KZLA/KLAC, left an ominous message last week about mysterious procedure taking place in a Phoenix Hospital. He updated his situation on his Facebook page this week. “Fifty years ago, today I was hired for my first job in radio, part-time at KPAM in Portland. Thus, began my long strange journey of adventure, travel, joy, momentous challenges and accomplishment that has been the love of my life. It’s ironic that I was recovering from back surgery back then, even still wearing a body cast when I started this first gig. And now, on this historic anniversary, at least for me, I’m again recovering, quite successfully, from a hospital stay coming back from an Ablation for AFIB, a heart rhythm issue.”

He’s now looking toward the future. John is doing voice work but his heart is in programming. He has an idea. He has a format. He’s looking for a bold operator. “On a full signal, this format has the potential to be #1 6+,” John said. You can reach John at: 
johnsebvoice@gmail.com

In other news: Lonnie Lardner and her husband Josh Kaplan, senior executive producer of Good Day LA, stopped by Avila Beach for a visit on their way from a trip on the Central Coast. Two nicer people you will never meet. Josh had stories about working with Steve Edwards for a couple of decades. He’s a huge fan. Lonnie used to be on KFWB and KABC Radio back in the day as well as Channels 2, 7, and ll. Lonnie comes from a long line of news and entertainment professionals. Her father Rex served as head writer for the trailblazing Ernie Kovacs Show in the 1950s; her grandfather was national editor of The New York Times in the 1930s. Her great uncle, Ring Lardner, is acknowledged as one of the best sports humorists of all time, and his son Ring Jr., is a multiple Oscar-winning screenwriter. Lonnie serves on the Advisory Board of the LA Art Association … Great love story for 43 years. Sandy and Wink Martindale celebrate their wedding anniversary this week ... Christina Kelley, one of our K-EARTH favorites from years past, will be anchoring morning newscasts on McIntyre in the Morning on KABC, through next week, while LeeAnn Tweeden is on vacation … It was 30 years ago this week that Rush Limbaugh began his syndication journey in reshaping Talk Radio. While reminiscing this week about the past three decades, the five-time Marconi Award winner played audio from his first radio job as a disc jockey at WIXZ in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1971. He’s currently heard locally on KEIB (1150AM) … Art Bell certainly had a strong mixture of a drug cocktail when he died April 13. The Talk show host had in his system “the opioid Oxycodone, the analgesic Hydrocodone, Diazepam (often marketed as Valium), and Carisoprodol, a muscle relaxant,” according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. All four had been legally prescribed. He also suffered from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and hypertension, conditions which contributed to his death … Diane Suter, most recently Trust administrator for KFWB until it was sold, has been appointed chairman of the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment.

Longtime Good Day LA Cast Back for Podcast 

(August 2, 2018) If you were a fan of Fox 11’s Good Day LA with Steve Edwards, Dorothy Lucey, and Jillian Barberie, your dream of a reunion has come true. KABC is housing a podcast titled OK LA: As We Were Saying.  https://loom.ly/F-k-bgA.

The free form exchange seems to have no rules, no boundaries and no problem with language. Older listeners will be uncomfortable with the peppering of the “F-word” and “bull shit,” among other expletives. Seems so unnecessary but despite the language, the podcast is a lot of fun.

The first episode covered a wide array of subjects, almost picking up where they left off. Steve was host of the show for 24 years. Hear about Jillian’s relationship with Donald Trump, censorship on the tv show, and a funny line from former LA TV news anchor John Beard. “The success of our show was because we were pushing against the norm,” said Steve. “People would watch thinking it was a normal morning show with news. John Beard said, ‘Your viewers liked the show because they are stunned. They are stunned every morning.’”
PodcastingDave Beasing had great success programming at 100.3/The Sound. The station was sold when Entercom took over the CBS stations last year and found itself over the FCC limit on ownership. Dave’s now part of transitioning leaders tethering radio and podcasting.

In a comprehensive interview he described what makes a great podcast: “Great Storytelling — Obvious, I know, but it’s exciting that this matters so much. Let’s face it: most radio has been reduced to fill-in-the-blank formats. ‘Insert call letters here.’ I was so fortunate to be given license to create an original version of Classic Rock at 100.3 The Sound in Los Angeles. We had to, because there wasn’t a hole for a standard issue station. But even programming The Sound, I’d say 20% of my time was spent writing, figuring out how to tell the brand’s story. That’s a lot. In podcasting, the percentages are flipped, and I’m writing and creating 80% of the time.” You can read the complete interview here

Hear Ache. Westwood One is taking over syndication of The Baka Boyz. No LA stations yet … George Lopez, former Mega morning star, has started production in Los Angeles on an indie thriller The Tax Collector … Days after being absent from his annual duty as moderator for The Walking Dead panel at Comic-Con, Chris Hardwick has been given the green light by AMC to return to the air after allegations of sexual assault and emotional abuse by an ex-girlfriend … Joe Grande, ex-KLAC, is celebrating eight years of wedded bliss … Brett Winterble, former sports guy when KFWB was all-Sports “The Beast 980,” signs a new contract with news/talk KFMB-San Diego to continue hosting the afternoon drive show … Rick Dees emailed to clarify his role at KQLH-Yucaipa for afternoon drive. “It is only PARTIALLY true,” wrote Rick. “Here is the TRUE report: KQLH begins airing my syndicated Rick Dees – Daily Dees show daily from 2 - 6p starting August 13. Daily Dees is syndicated by Dees Creations, Inc. and available for radio stations globally. To add it to your programming, contact Joe Kieley at Dees Creations at 
jkieley@rick.com or via phone at 818.295.2100.” Kieley said that the Daily Dees syndicated show is heard on 50 stations.

The Quirky Journey of Steve Fredericks

(August 1, 2018) Steve Liddick has written a book. We know him best during his LARadio journey as news anchor Steve Fredericks (radio people thought listeners would confuse his name with Ly-Dick). With lightning speed,  names from his time at KSOM, KIIS, KDAY, and K-EARTH come at you with delicious stories. Perhaps he titled his book, But First This Message: A Quirky Journey in Broadcasting, because, well, Steve is a little quirky. He finds fascinating news stories and then presents them in a fascinating way. A listener once told him, “You do funny news.” He responded, “No, I do news funny.”

Growing up near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with WKBW-Buffalo blasting Rock Around the Clock on his transistor radio, Steve knew at 10 that he wanted to be a radio announcer, but school and early career took him into the world of photography. His snapshot of a radio station is priceless: “Conflicting personalities worked within screaming distance of each other: Sales staff, studio and transmitter engineers, marketing people, office support staff, deejays, and news personnel. It was kind of like putting a cobra, a mongoose, a wolverine, a hamster and a peacock together in a burlap sack and expecting something good to come of that.”

From 1961 to 2008, Steve worked for over 20 radio stations and two national networks. “I got fired a lot,” he confessed. “You can tell how long a person has been in radio by the size of his U-Haul trailer.”

He left Pennsylvania and went to Florida in order to escape the bone-chilling cold. He left Florida (WSUN, WINQ, WDAE) and went to California for more opportunities, but first a stop in Korea where he participated at AFKN radio before programming a station in Nashville. Steve got his first taste of controlling owners. The owner hired Steve to make changes and get his station up in the ratings. Every time he would make a change, the owner would change it back.

Being a newsman in Hollywood, we are treated to behind the scenes stories of a variegated array of personalities from Jane Fonda to Jane Wyatt, with Brian Wilson, Cheech and Chong, and Natalie Wood in between. His experience with Alan Chlowitz (K-EARTH general manager) was not a good one. “He was an angry, bald-headed little man with the bearing of a stray dog that seemed fearful of being whipped yet was entire capable of biting.” Steve was at Oldies K-EARTH when Elvis died. His recollections are wonderful.

Along the way we meet Dave CookeDwight CaseRoger ChristianVivian PorterDick Bozzi, and Dara Welles. He calls Bob Hamilton a programming genius. Steve’s quirky journey is a must-have for radio people.

“The broadcasting career had been a wild ride; never any two days in a row alike,” Steve wrote. “Over the years, I had filed news reports on a lot of important stories. I met, worked with, and interviewed a lot of fascinating people. Now that I’m at the wrinkled end of life, in a fierce struggle with gravity, I have lots of stories to tell to impress some people with and bore others to tears. My days are spent writing novels (he’s written eight), hanging out with our menagerie and trying to remember what I did with my car keys.” Click the artwork to order your book NOW. 

The Zorn Identity

(July 31, 2018) Alan Oda, senior LARadio correspondent, wrote a sensational piece at the time of Dave Zorn's retirement from KNX. With Dave's passing yesterday, we thought it was a perfect time to review his life and career)

(June 16, 2006) After more than two decades of bringing the news to Southland commuters, Dave Zorn has officially departed KNX. The news anchor experienced a serious heart attack last September 29th, right after filing a phone report on the Topanga Fire burning near his home. With his heart experiencing sudden cardiac death and subsequent permanent damage, CBS retired Zorn on April 6 of this year. 

Since then, Zorn and his wife Carolynn spent time at their condo near Detroit, then returned to Southern California via Phoenix to visit with friends. While in Arizona, the Zorns "looked at some homes for sale. We found one we liked and bought it. Now we're faced with doing something we thought we'd NEVER do...move to Phoenix in July! We've been packing up all of our 'stuff,' and brother have we collected a lot of 'stuff.' The movers will haul it away in about a month," said Zorn. Right now, the goal is to fix up their current home. Though he was limited in what he could do, Zorn said that "thanks to my patient wife, I learned to supervise others in the repairs that were needed."

Zorn shared his thoughts with LARadio.com with what he described as "something akin to his farewell address:"

I've had a wonderful career. 37 years in commercial radio, nearly 25 of them at KNX. I've enjoyed NEARLY every minute of it. I found something to do in life that I was pretty good at, made a pretty good living, worked with some of the best broadcast journalists and best people you could ever meet up with, interviewed fascinating people, got to do things that most people only dream of doing, and had a few laughs along the way.

Having said that, let me add that radio was what I DID, it wasn't who I WAS. Some people find that hard to believe because they only know me as a voice on the radio. But, radio was not and is not my life. My family and my closest friends who "knew me when" know that and would hasten to remind me when I got a little too full of myself.

I found out early in my career that I would never get rich being a newsman but reporting is what gave me the most pleasure in my job. I always considered myself a "grunt" even though I spent more years in the studio than in the field. There's something about being able to tell people a story about something important to their lives that's very satisfying.

And it's not about being more knowledgeable than most people. I remember cartoonist and social satirist Al Capp ("Lil Abner") once saying that he was "an authority on everything and an expert at nothing." I also discovered that once I left college and began in radio news that my homework doubled. There are a lot of subjects on which reporters need to be authorities, if not experts.

For the record, the best program director I ever worked for was Nat Stevens at KOY in Phoenix, my first radio station. Although I never worked for him, Jim Zaillian was the best news director I ever knew. The best general manager, hands-down, was George Nicholaw. This is not meant to slight anyone else I ever worked WITH or FOR.

The most satisfaction I ever got from my job was covering issues involving the military: Viet Nam vets with PTSD, Agent Orange, POW/MIA families, V-A health care and other benefits, to name a few.  Following a new generation of warriors through their own conflict in my (now-defunct) KNX Iraq Update was something I took great pride in doing.
But the highlight of my career was being able to go back to Vietnam with assistant news director Ronnie Bradford in February of 2005 and report on Viet Nam, 40 years after our first trip. I will be forever grateful to David G. Hall whose idea it was to make the trip and Pat Duffy who opened the station's wallet to make it happen.

Finally, a message to "the troops": I can't imagine ever being able to work beside a better group of people than the current and former KNXers I came to know and love. If I were called upon to put together a radio news "dream team," it would be you, and you KNOW who you are, darlings.

I walk away from my radio career with no regrets.  I accomplished everything I set out to do, and MORE. It was a damn good run and now it's time to spend more time with my family.

Thanks to you Don and Alan and the hundreds of LARPs whose best wishes helped me through some very trying times during the past 8+ months. I will never forget your kindnesses. With appreciation, Dave Zorn”

 

Zorn's colleagues at KNX shared their own memories and accolades. "Dave is the best radio news anchor in the country. Period. I have been extremely privileged and extraordinarily lucky to have worked with and learned from him," said KNX midday anchor Linda Nunez. "After all these years in broadcasting, he still air-checked himself, and still tried to find ways to make himself better. That kind of dedication is unheard of.  will miss his laughter and wise counsel. When Dave left, the heart and soul of the newsroom left with him," said Nunez.

Tom Haule, KNX operations director, offered his thoughts about the retiring Zorn. "Dave is a truly inspirational man. I worked with him as co-anchor on several occasions and learned a lot from being paired with him. He always maintained a keen sense of humor while approaching the job from a thoroughly professional point of view. His years of experience on the air and behind the scenes served him and his co-workers well. He set a standard for the business that anyone would do well to follow. I miss him a lot and hope he carries similar fond feelings for those of us who remain at KNX." (Dave was the last voice broadcast from Columbia Square)

“I first met Dave Zorn years ago when I was at KFI,” emailed David G. Hall, head of programming for KNX and KFWB. “I 'sneaked' over to KNX with Mark Thomas, who had once worked here. I met Dave in the studio during his shift and he could not have been nicer or more complimentary of both me and KFI.   

“Dave is a signature voice of KNX, both in tone and credibility. I have really enjoyed working with him, and I miss hearing him on this radio station every day. Also, I LOVE the book he wrote about his experience in Vietnam. He really puts into perspective a small corner of that war in ways that you don't see anywhere else.” 

“I've known Dave Zorn since 1979 when he didn't hire me at KTAR Newsradio in Phoenix, but that's okay,” wrote KNX anchor/reporter Diane Thompson (pictured with Zorn). “We still ended up as colleagues a year later when I started working at KTAR's sister station, KBBC/fm. We became colleagues again in 1985 when I joined the staff at KNX Newsradio. Dave is my mentor and my friend. He warned me about coming to work for KNX because of its very ‘male-dominated’ environment, but I wasn't worried about that because I knew Dave would be there to help me, and he was, through thick and thin. There's been such a giant hole at KNX since Dave's heart attack last year, but I thank God that he survived the ordeal. Dave's spirit and will to live is strong. I hate that Dave's leaving L.A., but I wish him and Carolynn all the best.”

“We Are Expecting the Unexpected on Our Return to Vietnam”
– Dave Zorn and Ronnie Bradford 

(January 28, 2005) Forty years after their ships landed in Vietnam, two LARPs, working together at all-News KNX, return to the site of the embryonic days of an impossible war. “We both left on ships in May 1965,” offered anchor Dave Zorn (left). “We were on different ships together.”

Joining Zorn for the incredible journey is KNX assistant news director Ronnie Bradford (above right). Zorn was stationed at Camp Pendleton with the 2nd battalion, 7th Marine regiment. Bradford was part of the Big Red One’s 2nd battalion, 18th infantry. In early 1965 Ronnie was a driver for a battalion commander. When the orders came that his battalion was headed for Vietnam, the commander resigned his commission. He had been there in 1954 and had no desire to return. This should have been a warning for all involved. 

Ronnie was transferred to the 18th infantry battalion and was sent home for a brief time. “I didn’t know what was going on. We had been training in the jungles of Florida,” remembered Ronnie. “But we didn’t know what it was for.”  

When they arrived in Vietnam, Ronnie (right) and his battalion went down the side of the ship like they did in World War II and eventually took a plane to the Bien Hoa Air Base. “We went to Highway One, marched into an area where it was open and had a lot of trees. I asked where we were going to live and I was told to dig in.” 

I asked Ronnie if he was scared. “The first night was fine, but on the second night there was gunfire and tracers,” he recalled. “I was scared to death. I laid in the mud crying. ‘Lord, what did I do to deserve this?’ On the third night there was even more gunfire. The next morning I went into a bunker a few meters away. Our 1st sergeant was killed and three others were wounded. We put him in a body bag in seven pieces. He had 19 years and 5 months and did not have to go to Vietnam, but he wanted to be with his guys,” said Bradford. 

Zorn explained that the Marines had a transplacement system where one battalion would train stateside for a year and then rotate for a year overseas. He was due to go over at the end of the training cycle but all of a sudden everyone was headed overseas ending the transplacement system. 

“We went out of San Diego,” said Zorn. “We sailed into the sunset landing in Hawaii for a couple of days and then to Okinawa, basically to take the place of earlier battalions. After 4 or 5 days in Okinawa we were told to pack it up and head back to the ship. We had always figured that we were going to Vietnam eventually.” 

Zorn’s ship landed in Vietnam in the first week of July 1965. “I remember thinking they were celebrating the 4th of July. All along the shoreline there were tracer rounds going off and at nighttime there were flares. It was not a celebration; this is what was called warfare.” (Dave's book, Dinky Dau: Love, War and the Corps, is available at www.xlibris.com and at major bookstores and online book sellers.)

Zorn’s group stormed the beach in a landing craft. “A bunch of locals were standing on the beach wondering what we were doing. We were told to watch out for the VC – they would be wearing black pajamas and comically shaped bamboo hats. But that’s what everyone wore. I remember asking one of our gunnery sergeants, ‘Can we shoot these people?’ I was told ‘no’ even though they looked like VC. I asked how we can tell who the VC is. He said when they shoot at you, they’re the VC.” (Zorn photo from 1965)

Dave said they trained hard for combat. “But it’s nothing like reality. It didn’t take long. It was sporadic combat for a couple of months. We had to secure a number of villages and there would be sporadic gunfire.” Dave said the movie, We Were Soldiers, was about the area where he fought. Later in the year his division hooked up with the rest of the 7th regiment in Chu Lai and that’s when things really started heating up. 

Dave left the states from San Diego while Ronnie was taking a troop train from Ft. Riley to the docks of Oakland. “We were wearing full battle gear minus ammunition,” said Ronnie. “We boarded the USS Grant for the 27-day trip. On the last day they gave us ammo.” 

Bradford remembered that early on they never saw the enemy. “They only fought at nighttime and they were wearing black. We were losing so many people our brigade commander lost his commission and was reassigned.” 

But that was then. Why go back? A radio promotion? Closure?  

The idea for the return trip came from KNX programming chief, David G. Hall. This summer is the 40th anniversary of Ronnie and Dave’s landing in Vietnam and the 30th anniversary of the final US forces leaving the country. 

On February 4, the KNX pair leaves from LAX and flies to Hong Kong. They change planes and fly into Ho Chi Minh City, the old Saigon. During their 9-day trip they will visit Qui Nhon, Da Nang, Chu Lai, and Hanoi. They will be filing reports that will be put into a series to air on KNX upon their return.  

They will be visiting sites where they fought and also visit some new areas. I asked if part of the reason for going was closure. “To me there is no closure,” said Ronnie who then got choked up. “I’ve got to stop talking.” 

One of Zorn’s best friends was killed in Vietnam and he continues to stay in touch with his friend’s parents. “His mother hates the word closure. I agree. There are things you can’t ignore, but you do figure out ways to get on with life. You live with it and honor….” Zorn broke down. Forty years later and the feelings are still raw. “It’s hard to talk…” 

Zorn and Bradford decided that whatever baggage that they might still be carrying from 40 years ago, they have a plan. They will take some negative item from Vietnam and take it on their trip and leave it there. They plan to bring back something positive to take its place. 

When Zorn tells his buddies about the return trip to Vietnam, they are divided. A third would love to go back. A third said absolutely not, and a third was ambivalent. “I have nothing but positive feelings about the trip,” enthused Zorn. “I have no qualms. This trip will be very different. They won’t be shooting at us. The transportation will be better. The accommodations will be better. And there will be mini-bars in our room.” 

What are they expecting? “I expect some villages will not be changed. We are expecting the unexpected that will move us in ways we could never anticipate,” concluded Dave. 


-Bulletin-

Dave Zorn, KNX News veteran for 25 years, has died, following a short, but tough battle with liver cancer.
He was 73. Dave was one of the most talented broadcasters ever and yet so down to earth.
A beautiful soul that we lose all too soon.

Rick Dees Set to Return

(July 30, 2018) Rick Dees has joined KQLH-Yucaipa for afternoon drive. The one-time top L.A. morning man begins later in August at his new gig. He'll be doing afternoons. There was a very brief story about Dees in the Yucaipa/Calimesa NewsMirror.

Rick has had quite the distinguished career in LARadio, heard in the mornings at: KHJ (1979-80); KIIS (1981-2004); KMVN (2006-09); KHHT (2011-12).

KQLH 92.5 LPFM is a locally-powered FM grassroots radio station from Yucaipa. It serves portions of the Inland Empire and Palm Springs. The stations’ website describes KQLH as airing an eclectic mix of the “Music of America’s Mainstreet.” KQLH states they offer tunes: “From the era of the 40's,50's, 60, 70's and beyond. From Big Band Music to Rock not heard otherwise.”

Mark Westwood is running KQLH. He’s also general manager at KCAA in the Inland Empire. “We are getting a lot of love from our listeners who lost their music on K-EARTH and KOLA,” Mark told me yesterday. “Radio for a generation who loves radio. Whodda Thunk??? Lol. Comments from people who say things like KHJ has come to Yucaipa.” Because KQLH is a non-profit operation, it doesn’t run ads. However, it does run sponsorships. Businesses and organizations who sponsor the station get a tax deduction for donating to a non-profit.

Hear Ache. On September 19, Talaya Trigueros celebrates her 30-year anniversary with KTWV (The Wave). “Crazy huh?!?!,” enthused Talaya. “And midday ratings have skyrocketed. Still playing this nutty game called radio!” … Diane Thompson is back to afternoons at KNX. Have no idea why they made the switch putting her on evenings last October. She’s back where she belongs … K-EARTH 101 will no longer be available on TuneIn. Starting Wednesday, the only place to stream K-EARTH 101 is on Radio.com … Friday night was a first for me. We saw Patti LaBelle at the Chumash in Santa Ynez. OMG. Fans in the packed venue were on their feet for at least half of the concert. Rip-roaring and at 74, the Grammy winner has an incredible voice, still very strong … Wolfman Jack show is returning in syndication. Michael Lichtstein reports that three stations in California will be carrying the show: KOCI (101.5/fm), Newport Beach, KWVF-Santa Rosa, and KOPA-San Diego.

Dave Zorn in Hospice Care 

(July 29, 2018) “Dave Zorn is at Providence Park Hospital in Novi, Michigan under hospice care for terminal liver cancer,” emailed his wife Carolyn.

“He entered the hospital on Friday the 20th and was diagnosed with stage four cancer within days. He had no warning except he had been tired and short of breath since our cruise in April. Jack Salvatore is flying flew in Sunday to see him. I hope you can let all his former co-workers in the LA area and at CBS to know. I am still shocked and at a loss as to how to accept this news.”

Email Saturday, 7.28.18

** More News Less Traffic

“On one of the radio message boards, several people have been complaining about the high number of commercials on KNX and expressing a preference for KPCC. I have a complaint of my own.

Is it really necessary to give traffic reports every ten minutes? Why not every 15 minutes or every 20 minutes? But wait -- there's more! I listen to KNX and often hear announcements such as ‘There's an overturned truck on the 405. We'll have details in our traffic report in three minutes.’ Three minutes later, I am informed that KNX does ‘traffic and weather together on the fives.’ The traffic report ends with the reporter saying ‘More traffic reports more often.’ This pattern repeats six times each hour. We know KNX does traffic and weather. We do not need to be told that several times an hour.

The time could be better spent covering actual news stories.” – Steve Thompson
** Springsteen at the Roxy

“Reading about the Roxy Springsteen show brought a real smile to my face. Thank you to Cynthia Fox for letting us all know that the recording is now available [legally]. When we were given the broadcast, it was with the strict understanding that it was a one-time broadcast and that we were not to repeat it.

Along with it being a memorable show, Ace Young never lets me forget that I spilled a drink on Bruce’s mother. She was sitting in front of me, and while rockin’ out I hit my glass and the contents spilled. She was caught up in the festivities too, and I don’t remember any dirty looks. O.K, maybe one dirty look. 

Needless to say, it is one of those events that none of us at KMET will ever forget. For SoCal listeners driving around listening to Bruce live on the radio it was also a very special evening.” – Jeff Gonzer
JIM POZARIK/AP/REX/Shutterstock
** Royalty

“This article is probably important to LARP because it affects payment music rights and for a lot of talent who are also singers and musicians also, as well as podcast people and those who stream.” – Don Elliot 

** Whole ‘Nuther Podcast

“Interesting read in Thursday’s column about podcasting compelled me to comment from experience. I’ve been ‘sort of’ podcasting since 2009, I say ‘sort of’ because it’s actually a recording of my weekly Whole ‘Nuther Thing show, formerly on KSBR 88.5 and now on KSBR / KCSN 88.5 HD2.

The original intent was to expose the show and share with friends outside the limited signal of KSBR/fm, here in Orange County. Now it serves an even greater purpose since Whole ‘Nuther Thing is now relegated to HD2 and many of my former non-digital listeners do not have HD capability in their vehicles.

My ‘podcast’ now averages 1,200 – 1,500 downloads and plays each week, these are listeners from Southern California and all over the world. My ‘podcast’ is among tens of thousands hosted by Podomatic.com and Whole ‘Nuther Thing is ranked consistently in the top 200, and usually number 1 in my category of Freeform. What’s satisfying is that most of the other podcasts are 1 or 2 hours in length, my show is 4 hours.

Podomatic has free accounts with limited storage and features. I’ve been a ‘Pro Broadcaster’ and pay for 20GB, typically 3 years of shows at 96kbs. Their service includes a website and a very user-friendly interface for the creator and end user. Their App for iTunes or Android is quite good and also user friendly.

I’m constantly struggling with whether to try to monetize so I can at least recoup my storage costs, they are working on providing a convenient way to do that on ‘casters sites. Another nice feature is it feeds Tune In Radio automatically and links to Facebook seamlessly, proving an easy link to listen or download. Recently, I also started uploading shows to Mixcloud.

Vanity, perhaps, but it demonstrates there are people that have been underserved when it comes to creative music programming, not just in Southern California but all over the world.” – Bob Goodman, Host & Musical Curator, Whole ‘Nuther Thing, KSBR / KCSN FM

** One-Of-A-Kind LARPs

“Very good contribution from my old boss and teammate, Rich Brother Robbin. No question one of THE best jocks ever!” – 
Mike Butts
 
  ** Whittington’s Producer

“Thanks for the lovely pictures in the Dick Whittington article this week. Those pictures were taken 45 years apart. I was not Dick’s producer at the time of The Great Catalina War. Tom Krachtovil  produced that massive undertaking and deserves the credit for that enormous amount of work. I was a writer and performer in the event. I became Dick’s producer a year and a half later. Of course, we were not ‘preparing’ for the Catalina War in that photo, but rather had just concluded it, hence now having time to pose for that Victory picture, which was taken by Bill Smith.

The other photo was taken at Bill Smith’s funeral a year ago. Attached is the uncropped photo, which also includes Wink Martindale and JV Martin, the son of the late Jim Martin who was, along with Dick, Bill and myself, served as the regular writers for ‘Clean Thoughts on a Dirty Wall.’  
 
Alan Oda is right; the current appalling political climate would certainly be a rich source for ‘Clean Thoughts.’ I talked to Sweet Dick last week. He's in good spirits and good health and preparing for a big European trip soon. It's nice to see our work so long ago is still remembered and still a beloved memory for some.

I’m still turning out comedy, and published another two books last year, a funny non-fiction book titled 
We Belong Dead: A Gay Perspective on the Classic Movie Monsters, and a black comic novel I think is the best thing I’ve ever written titled My Gruesome Life.

Thanks for posting the article. It was a cheerful thing to discover yesterday. I saw it on my own before friends started alerting me to it.” –
Douglas McEwan 

Is There a Smart Radio? 

(July 27, 2018) There is the smart phone, smart tv, but I’ve wondered where is the smart radio? The lead story in Tom Taylor’s tasty NOW newsletter yesterday featured a story signaling potential trouble ahead for terrestrial radio if, in the words of SiriusXM’s ceo Jim Meyer, “they don’t vastly improve their product.”

Meyer says there’s been a “surge in technology, and yet you still look at the number of people that listen to AM/FM radio every day, okay? And honestly, I think that [industry] has got a problem. If they don’t vastly improve their product, that’s the area [of media] where I think listener hours are finally” going to start declining. Or, he says, listeners could “shift away to other things.” SiriusXM keeps polishing up its own products, including a new app released in May to boost streaming. SiriusXM focused on generating more “engagement” – even for subscribers “who do not have a need or desire for an in-car plan.”

Reunion. Were you part of satellite programming? Westwood One/Dial-Global/Unistar/Transtar is having a reunion this weekend. “Anyone who walked the hallways and knows how to backtime an hour of music is welcome,” emailed Katie Clark. “It’s a no-host party at Las Hadas Mexican Restaurant in Northridge this Sunday at 2 p.m. We look forward to seeing everyone there.”

Ward of LARadio. Bill Ward had quite the run in LARadio. He was the general manager and program director at KLAC, KMPC and KLIT/KSCA. His son, Cameron, worked in promotion at KLOS but felt he had a higher calling. In addition to Cameron’s therapy practice in the San Fernando Valley, he’s a crisis counselor.

“In the past year alone, I have been to Houston, Beaumont, and Port Arthur, Texas to provide crisis counseling following Hurricane Harvey,” emailed Cameron. “After I came home I went to Las Vegas and all over Southern California to provide crisis counseling to the victims of the Route 91 mass shooting.”

In other news: Country star Cole Swindell will be the guest host during middays at KKGO for the month of August … John Sebastian, former program director at KHJ, KLOS, KTWV, and KZLA/KLAC, posted on his Facebook page: “I don’t think I've ever been moved to post something like this before but I’m asking for your positive thoughts, vibes, chants, prayers and good wishes Friday morning. I’m going into Mayo Hospital for a procedure that is a bit scary but has a chance of giving me a new lease on life.” … AllAccess is reporting Trey Morgan, former middays at ALT 98-7, is leaving his current post at KPLX-Dallas in the fall … FOX Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show and JT “The Brick” are hitting the road to bring fans live, on-location coverage from the network’s annual NFL Training Camp Tour this summer. They started this week checking in with the LA Rams, followed by the Dallas Cowboys and the LA Chargers. JT has served in various broadcast capacities with the Oakland Raiders since 1998 … iHeartMedia is syndicating a new weekend show with KOST morning star, Ellen K. The new four-hour AC weekend program will originate from LA and debut tomorrow on her KOST home, as well as New York market leader WLTW (Lite 106.7).

Is Podcasting for You? 

(July 26, 2018) I graduated from Chapman College in 1964. The escalation of the Vietnam war was an issue, plus it was an election year – Barry Goldwater versus Lyndon Johnson. I had recently read John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley: In Search of America, a story of Steinbeck’s road trip to discover America. Charley was his French poodle dog who sat beside him in the camper.

I proposed to my soon-to-be graduating buddy that we should do the same thing. No agenda. No itinerary. And we did. For the next four months we visited about 35 states. I decided to write a book about our adventures. I loved to write, and was editor of the Chapman newspaper in my senior year.

Steinbeck said you can find the salt of America in either the tavern or the church. As budding alcoholics, we elected the former since it was open more days of the week than the church. Borrowing a campaign phrase from Johnson, All the Way with LBJ, with our own twist, I called the book We Beer Drank our Way Across the USA. It was written in diary form on a daily basis because I knew it would be impossible to remember all our antics and experiences.

Among our adventures, we saw civil rights cafeteria sit-ins, almost got ourselves arrested in Louisiana, and was part of the first wade-in in St. Augustine, Florida. It turned out to be quite a historical summer.
After our busy journey, I tackled the daunting task of “cleaning” up my writings and got it to the point of presenting it to prospective publishers. I was so naive. I had no idea what to do, but I sent a synopsis to a dozen publishers. Months went by with no interest. Then a letter from Vantage Press. They liked my book and thought it had potential. After a series of exchanging communiques, I paid them $1,200 (probably $10,000 in today's dollars). Not long after signing the deal, I received a dozen soft-cover books. What a thrill!

Now what? Turns out they were the biggest vanity publisher in the country. Since then, the company has gone out of business leaving a trail of legal action, including fraud for failed promises to promote the books they were supposed to be selling. I’ve always felt that writing a book is the easiest part of the process. It is the marketing of the book that is the bigger challenge.

I feel the same way about podcasting. It’s fairly easy to do the mechanics of podcasting, but how do you get people to listen? There are a number of podcasting companies that promise to put you on a platform for a fee. And then what? Artwork on website with dozens of others?

You need time to invest in ideas about content. You might be able to get a couple of dozen or even a couple of hundred people to check in, but the challenge is to have content that is so compelling that they will want to come back on a regular basis.

Before you begin podcasting, be sure you know how you will attract listeners. Where will you get your P1 listeners?

We have LARP who had successful podcasts, yet they gave it up when a real paying job with a traditional radio station came along. There are ways to monetize your podcasts, but you need to figure it out BEFORE you start talking. Do you need the money from your podcast to live on or is it a vanity effort? You better figure it out or you will end up having stories to tell about how the vanity podcasts platforms took your money. Probably not much different than barter broadcasting. I still have my vanity book somewhere … and nowhere.

Bruce Springsteen at the Roxy and KMET Was There

(July 24, 2018) Cynthia Fox, iconic voice of AOR and Classic Rock radio, sent this screenshot of the credits of the new Bruce Springsteen release. The credit shows that KMET and pioneering program director Sam Bellamy are acknowledged.

"Bruce just announced the release of his historic concert at The Roxy 7.7.78, which was broadcast on KMET," emailed Cynthia. "It was a huge moment for us. [I was on the air right after the concert-not too intimidating for a young pup!] It was quite an amazing time."

Cynthia continued: "A few nights before Bruce Springsteen came to KMET to do a live in studio interview with Mary Turner from 6-10 p.m. He was so dazzled by her grace and wit he dedicated a song to her onstage at the Forum! The Roxy show was phenomenal and I'm sure Sam Bellamy and Paul Rappaport of Columbia Records at that time have some hilarious stories about pulling that together! Fans taped it off the radio broadcast, so between that and the Mary Turner interview, truly coveted items for any Bruce fan. The Bruce Springsteen Roxy show is available at Nugs.Net!"

Mike Carlucci, the Voice of Russia World Cup Games 

(July 24, 2018) Mike Carlucci is not only a LARP, but in the past two decades you’ve heard him as the public-address announcer for the Ducks, Dodgers, UCLA baseball and the minor league San Diego Gulls.

His latest assignment was the English-language PA voice of the World Cup games at Fisht Stadium in Sochi. His duties include announcing the lineups, goals, cautions and substitutions in English and editing the translation from Russian to English to make sure the scripts are grammatically correct. The LA Times recently profiled Carlucci and you can read his profile by clicking his photo. (Photo courtesy of the Acorn)


In other news: Respected broadcaster Warren Duffy made one final broadcast as his celebration of life aired on the Internet. You can watch here: https://vimeo.com/280281544 ... LARadio historian Jim Hilliker is looking forward to his 45-year high school reunion, for Katella High School in Anaheim. “I only found out today from the main organizer of the reunion that L.A. radio personality Rita Wilde was also in my graduating class at Katella in 1973. I don't remember her in school, but I see she is on the latest list of those attending. My youngest brother Ray will be impressed. Rita is his favorite rock dj and raves about her!” … Didja know JJ Johnson’s book, Aircheck: Life in Music Radio resides in the archives of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Paley Center for Media?

Highest Paid LARP 

(July 23, 2018) Howard Stern and Sean Hannity made the 2018 Forbes’ list of world’s 100 top-earning entertainers. A year ago, Stern’s $90 million from SiriusXM ranked him #7, but this year it’s only good for #13. The figures that Forbes lists are all just estimates. Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh, heard on KEIB (1150AM) places #18 this year at $84.5 million. Forbes has Hannity at #92, with an estimated $36 million. Other radio-connected celebs include Premiere’s Ryan Seacrest (KIIS), at #26 with $74 million. Premiere’s Steve Harvey (KJLH) is #63 at an estimated $44 million).

In other news: JD Freeman, general manager at KZLA/KLAC from 1993-96, is being inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Association. Freeman’s 41-year broadcasting career includes Market Manager stints in Phoenix, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco … Ken Davis rolled over the 1,000 mark in sales for his tasty tome, In Bed with Broadcasting … Mary Lyon wrote to say she is loving her move to Portland, a suburb of Lake Oswego. “Well, we no sooner moved, sold the old house, and settled in up here when we got the news: we're gonna be GRANDPARENTS in January! Holy cannoli – how’s that for timing?” … Robin Williams would have celebrated his birthday over the weekend. We finally caught up with the HBO Documentary called: Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind. It was riveting from start to end. This is what great documentaries are all about. I got to work with Robin on a couple of weekend adventures and enjoyed his tenderness and manic-ness, all within a snap of a finger. It was delightful. Hard to believe it has been almost 4 years since he passed … Jeffrey Leonard sent a note that former KHTZ, KBZT and KRLA production guy, John Campbell has passed away. “While I was also working at KIIS/fm, John got me hired at K-Hits in 1985 and really moved my radio career along. I don’t have a lot of details on his cause of death. Rest in peace, John.”

Email Saturday, 7.21.18 

 **Handel’s Banner Years

“This banner gave me the biggest LARP laugh in years [and there’s been a lot of funny stuff in those years]. Hats off to the person who had balls big enough to create this. Love it. Love it.” – Rich Brother Robbin

** Handel’s 25th

"Man, oh man. Bill Handel celebrating 25 years on LARadio! I’ve been a fan for the whole time. Bill is the master of ‘More STIMULATING Talk Radio.’ The Morning Show’s right on, added to tremendously by the on and off-air talent and staff. Dy-nomite producer Michelle Kube, board op genius Jon Ramirez, sports guy Wayne ResnickJennifer Jones Lee tackling the news, and the traffic anchors/producers. What a team!

‘Handel On the Law’ makes my weekend a real giggle. Bill Handel RULES. It's what AM drive is all about. Rock on Bill!" - Alan F. Ross
** Visit Down Penny Lane

“That Paul McCartney segment WAS amazing and fantastic! He genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself. A great way to promote his new album.” - Christopher A. Bury, Pasadena

** Kelli at the Gates

“Thanks for doing the story on Kelli Gates. It was nice to hear what she has been up to, even though she has struggled post-Mark & Brian. As always, I appreciate the news you provide!” – Karen Lindell
** Sage Story

“I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your funny and poignant story about Sage Stallone. Sage and I attended Landmark West School together in Culver City, along with the children of several other celebrities including Mike Kasem, Casey’s son, who also attended school with us as well.

When I read about Sage’s passing at such a young age I remembered what a funny guy he was to be around and was well liked by all of his classmates. We went to a small private school [there were only seventeen in my graduating class] It seems like even more of a shock when someone so young and vibrant passes away so early in life. May he rest in peace.” – Cameron Ward


** Movie Biz

“Such an engaging story you shared on July 16th about the Stallones. I hope you’ll continue to tell us more about your days in the movie business. A faithful reader.” – Anita Garner  
** Sweet Dick

“That cartoon was so punny! Seriously, I love the remembrance of ‘Sweet’ Dick Whittington. He really was one of a kind, not to mention ahead of his time! Howard Stern could learn a thing or two from his smart humor. And I agree with Diane Thompson about LARP's, it's survival of the fittest.  

The voices of LA Radio are the soundtrack of my life, everyone from Dick Whittinghill and "Helen Trump" to Lohman and Barkley and Hudson and Landry and Dave Hull and Boss Radio, just to start!

I just wish someone would write a book about the personality driven 60's - 2010's, warts and all! But in the meantime, we have you!” - Julie T. Byers  

** Man of Steele

“I think that The Real Don Steele was really one-of-a-kind! Have to say that he was also a close friend and my manager when I was singing back in the 60’s. I was on the Imperial label – Vicki Vote, 
Angel Baby 1969. So, I’m kind of prejudiced.

Also, I want to get on your email list again if possible.” – Vicki Vogt Lindoerfer
** Eve of Destruction

“I’m currently writing a biography of John Phillips, co-founder of the Mamas & the Papas. Part of their story revolves around the unexpected rise of Barry McGuire’s #1 hit Eve of Destruction. Barry was a friend and helped get them signed to his label, Dunhill Records, which released all their hits.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Eve of Destruction story but, in a nutshell, it was recorded in haste on Thursday, July 15, 1965 at Western Recorders and mixed down to a reel for one of their executives, Jay Lasker, to listen to the following morning. He recognized its hit potential and had a dub made. He then gave it to his promotions chief to take it to KFWB, where it debuted on Wink Martindale’s Monday morning show as a ‘Pick Hit.’

This story has been told by countless witnesses, including Barry, the songwriter P.F. Sloan, one of the producers Steve Barri and others. I'm trying to find out if it’s legitimate. I'm wondering if there’s an aircheck that might exist somewhere?” – Scott Shea, Producer, Seize the Day w/Gus Lloyd, SiriusXM, 
Scott.Shea@siriusxm.com

** ...and Wink on Eve of Destruction

“Sadly, NO aircheck exists that I am aware of. That seem eons ago ;). I have NO airchecks of my KFWB shows. At the time, to record them for ‘posterity’ didn't occur to most of us. I don't remember the story being told and re-told re my introduction of the song. I certainly recall what a ‘sensation’ the record became, i.e. an instantaneous hit after being made the KFWB ‘Discovery’ and thus being played hourly. Wish I could be more helpful.” – Wink Martindale
** One-Of-A-Kind

First, I enjoyed your mention of the Bill Handel anniversary this week. I had a good chuckle at the ‘asshole’ banner on the studio wall. Of course, those of us who know Bill know that he really is anything but, we just don’t want to say that publicly.

In a ‘programming decision,’ I've made the rare move to keep my mouth shut, this time about Robert W. Morgan. If I’m not mistaken, you're looking for One-Of-A-Kind evaluations of LARPs based on their air personas. In all honesty, I never really had that much chance to listen to R.W. on the air, due to work and other commitments over the years. I do know he was a master at ‘flow-of-consciousness’ banter, especially within tight formats such as Drake.

Two of the funniest things I ever heard on the air involved him: 1) His shift with Wolfman Jack, sometime around ’73 or so, and 2) His infamous KMPC ‘interview’ with Ray Malavasi, the time the Rams coach fell asleep during the segment. My mother was only ever taken by two people on the air, during her L.A. years: 1) Russ Powell on KNX, and 2) R.W. on KMPC. I think she even won $100 from him once in the late ’80s. 

I jumped at your column question, thinking only about my close friendship with R.W. during his final years [which pleased my mom no end], but I don’t think my own perspective there is what you’re looking for, though I do appreciate the opportunity. And as far as ‘unforgettables’ on the L.A. airwaves, I realized there are way too many for me to name just one, with all due love and respect to Robert W. He's been gone now twenty years, as of last May 22.  I’ve missed him every day since and will continue to do so for all the rest of my days.” – Greg Hardison


iHeartMedia Promotions

(July 19, 2018) In a series of iHeart management promotions, Kevin LeGrett (l) has a new title. Kevin is now the new head of the iHeartMedia / LA cluster in the summer of 2015. He arrived from Rochester, New York where he was svp of operations for iHeart's Northeast and Midwest regions. This summer he was promoted to Executive Vice President of Operations for the Markets Group.

Hear Ache. John Regan checked in from San Diego. “I'm simply enjoying retirement,” he emailed. “Also, having the time to enjoy my vast recorded music collection.” John does have an incredible collection of Oldies and r&b. He provided many of his own collection when one of Saul Levine’s stations went Oldies a time or two ago … Didja know that Ed Mann is married to Mindy Rickles, the daughter of comedian Don Rickles? … Monique Marvez has exited her weekend show at KFI. Bryan Suits will now do two shows at 8 p.m., Dark Secret Place on Saturdays and Super Hyper Local Sunday. Monique will continue doing her podcast on the KFI website.

What’s Going On. Yesterday I was reading a sports story about the NFL in the late ‘60s. I had no idea that legendary Motown singer Marvin Gaye tried out with an NFL team. “We tried him out at tight end, wide receiver, even some fullback,” recalled Lem Barney, a Hall of Fame defensive back. “We thought he was doing good. But the Lions said, ‘We like your attitude, but since you haven’t played any ball, we don’t want to risk putting you out there.’ He was appreciative of that.’” A couple of years later, Marvin returned the favor, asking Barney and Mel Farr to sing backup on his 1971 mega-hit What’s Going On.

More Hear Ache. In 2002, Sylvester Stallone sold his $16 million, 15,000-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion to Viacom chief Sumner Redstone… And in the summer of 2002, Ron Kilgore, who had spent almost a decade with all-News KFWB, joined the Wall Street Journal to start up an hour-long national morning program, based in Trenton, New Jersey. Born in Prague, Oklahoma, on October 2, 1950, he grew up in Santa Cruz and went to high school in Upland in the Inland Empire. “I went to several colleges in Southern California. Since I was already working in tv and radio, I took lots of different courses, ranging from fire science to police science, with a real interest in sociology. I'm still waiting for one of them to confer a degree on me.” … If you haven’t seen the James Corden, host of The Late Show, Car Karaoke feature with Paul McCartney, here’s a link. Outstanding. Creative. Just the best! 

Marconi Nominations to LARP and LA Radio Stations

(July 18, 2018) KNX, the local all-News outlet for more than 50 years, was named a finalist for Major Market Station of the Year in the National Association of Broadcasters’ 2018 Marconi Radio Awards. Other LARP finalists were in the Network/Syndicated Personality of The Year, including: Dan PatrickDelilahRyan Seacrest, and Sean Hannity. K-EARTH was nominated as Classic Hits Station of the Year. Nominated In the Religious Station of the Year category is Salem’s KKLA. KLVE was one of the five nominations for Spanish Station of the Year. Winners will be announced September 27 at the NAB Radio Show in Orlando.

In other news: Ending a long-running emotional legal battle, Ports O’Call Restaurant in San Pedro was locked down by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department early Tuesday morning, which also affected Mike Stark and his state-of-the-art LARadio Studio.

“It ended this morning,” emailed Mike yesterday. “PLEASE know that we are resolved to rebuild and be bigger and better than before. The people we need to think about are the employees of the restaurant (over 100) that just lost their jobs, in a move that was unnecessary and – honestly – cruel. These are hard-working loyal folks that understood the importance of the restaurant to history and to the community it served.

“The power has already been cut for the studio, so our stream is temporarily down, but I am hoping to have it back up – remotely – later today. It will be playing in a ‘loop’ our last day ‘on the air,’" continued Stark. “Not much else I can tell you but stay tuned. My wife and I sat at our computers weeping today as we watched the Facebook feed of the events taking place, but we ALL need to prepare for the next chapter. Thanks to all of you for your continued support. We will be back and karma is a bitch!” (Thanks to the Daily Breeze for photo)

Former GM at KIIS/fm Retires 

  (July 17, 2018) Marc Kaye, former president and gm of KIIS (1992-94), announced his retirement after 45 years in the radio business. He is a native of New York and graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor of Science degree.

Marc began his broadcast career in 1973 at WGBB-Long Island. In the early 1980s he was sales manager of WRBQ-Tampa and gm of KODA-Houston. In July of 1984, he began his journey with Gannett Broadcasting as sales manager of KKBQ-Houston and two years later was promoted to station manager. In August of 1987, he became gm of KNUA-Seattle and a year later took over WDAE/WUSA-Tampa.

Marc left KIIS in 1994 to return to WUSA/WDAE where he was the president and gm until leaving in late 1996 following an ownership change. In the spring of 1997, he was appointed vp of Sandusky Radio’s five Seattle properties.

“I promised myself that when I hit the 45-year mark in the great business of radio, I was going to get a bit selfish and consider that milestone was enough to prove I have given it my all. I am looking forward to spending a whole lot more time with my wife and see what new challenges and chapters I can write as I move forward. I have been fortunate to have worked with the very best and for this I am very grateful,” said Marc.
 

Handel Celebrates 25 Years at KFI

(July 17, 2018) Longevity and radio are not two ideas that go together. So it’s tough to believe that Bill Handel is celebrating an amazing 25 years as morning man at KFI this week. In preparation for the Monday show, the staff decorated the studio will signs, streamers, and balloons. All of which he hates.

Michelle Kube spent 24 years working with The Official Bill Handel Show until a recent promotion. “It is with great pleasure that I got up early again this morning to get here before the show to wish him a very happy 25th Anniversary in morning drive on KFI, what an accomplishment,” she wrote on Facebook. “Congrats Bill! I know how much you hate studio decorations! Big THANK YOU to our promotions crew for decoding and implementing my request for 'over the top, obnoxious studio decorations.’”

Many sent congratulations through Facebook. Bob Scott, sales executive with Clear Channel/iHeartMedia wrote: “A 5-year-run is a long one in radio. 25 years is almost impossible! You’ve done it because you deliver the best damn morning show in the US every day.”

Handel started on KFI weekends in 1993 providing what he called “marginal legal advice.” Bill seemed to relish informing callers “you have absolutely no case.” Yet a case could be made for his obvious talent. A few years later, Attorney Handel became the morning host on the powerful news/talk outlet.    

In 2005, Bill won the Marconi Award for Personality of the Year. In 2006, he was voted #1 Best On-Air LARP. Bill was then voted #2 Best On-Air LARP for three years in a row. In 2009, he was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Some of his fans wrote: “Comfortable as an old shoe, a predictable rascal that relays that twinkle in his eye so that you know not to take anything too seriously. It sounds like he’s having fun.”
“Love him or hate him, even the pig valve in his heart didn’t sideline him for long. The most controversial talk show host in Los Angeles, he always pushes the envelope. A complete cast of characters helps him deliver a fresh packaged show every day.”
“His biggest asset is he is very f***ing funny. Smart, informative and funny. That’s morning radio how it’s supposed to be done whether you’re playing music or talking.”

Sage Tragedy

(July 16, 2018) Sage Stallone, 36-year-old son of Sylvester Stallone, died six years ago this week. Nothing a parent wants to experience. I had the pleasure of working with both men and I wanted to share with you my encounter under a fun environment.

I met Sage Stallone at the world famous Gleason’s boxing gym in Brooklyn. It was 1990. He was 14. Sage was the son of Sylvester Stallone and we were at Gleason’s to spend the day doing press interviews for Rocky V. We had 30 tv press people from around the country scheduled to interview the kid who had a significant role playing Rocky’s son in the fifth installment of Rocky.

Doing the press interviews, sitting in a hotel room is good news and bad news. The good news is the elements remain very constant and you can turn out a lot of interviews in a relatively short period of time. The bad news is they begin to all look and sound alike. In the last 20 years the studios have gotten far more creative in diversifying the interview backgrounds, sometimes using location or a place representing the theme of the film.

Gleason’s Gym has a history of some of the greatest boxers of all time having trained there at one time or another. And the smell? Oh, my God. The smell of sweat, booze, and history was something to embrace. I didn’t want the press to interview Sage in a hotel room because I envisioned five minutes of questions about his father, ‘How was it growing up as the real-life Rocky’s son’ over and over.  Stop it. I wanted the focus to be on the kid. He was up for anything. And when I told him that I wanted a walking interview with boxers sparring in the background, boxers pounding punching bags, and characters just hanging around, he was up for it.

 There was a row of Everlast punching bags hanging on very heavy chains. The big bags swung with every punch. They were staggered throughout the gym. I wanted Sage and the interviewer (think local Sam Rubin) to walk around the gym and at three locations the bag would swing into shot (the bag let go by an off-camera PA) and Sage and the interviewer would walk in such a way as to avoid the bag.

Well, the first interviewer was from a Minneapolis tv station and as they began the walking interview, I watched the interviewer surruptiously glancing sideways waiting for the swinging bag. Well, you guessed it, the bag hit the interviewer square on and decked him. After he saw that his interviewer was okay, Sage couldn’t stop laughing. He thought it was the funniest thing he ever saw. (Picture the tv show, Wipeout)

And so it went, all afternoon as we achieved amazing interviews with a great ambient background, especially dodging the bags. Sage was on cue during each walk. He was a real pro and never got hit by a bag but six more interviewers were hit, requiring a retake.

After a full day at Gleason’s we returned to our Manhattan hotel and went up to the press suite where Sly was finishing his day. Sage ran to his father and excitedly told him about his day and the press people who got knocked over by the punching bag. Sly was confused and didn’t seem happy, but as his son enthusiastically gave him details and said that he never got hit and made his ‘mark’ during each interview, a concerned look gave way to a smile. Sly looked like a proud papa – not only that Sage did a wonderful job in the movie but also survived his first day of interviews with the press with such glee.

A father losing his son is something that seems unfathomable – an impossible event to comprehend unless you have been there. I will also cherish the memory of that one day in 1990 that I got to spend in the lives of a very special father and son.

God bless the Stallone family.


Doug Dunlap's Keys to Happiness

(July 16, 2018) Doug Dunlap has been a familiar voice for decades in Southern California. His traffic reports have been heard on virtually all LA stations at one time or another. He started his radio career on KFOX-Redondo Beach in 1980. When the LA Dodgers created their Transportation Center in 2007, Doug was one of the anchors getting fans in and out of Chavez Ravine with as much ease as possible. During the NFL season, a highlight every fall was attending a football party he called the Doug-O-Rama. With large tv sets set in every room of his Valencia home, there was plenty of hot dogs, hamburgers, and drink while mingling with some of the elite of Los Angeles Radio.

Today, Doug is retired but still very busy. Everyone of us has a gift, the challenge is the discover that gift and share it with others. Doug is a pianist and a really good one. He is devoting his time to playing in assisted living homes. “As much as they get out of it, for me it’s life changing,” said Doug. “Their eyes light up and it makes my day!”

“After retiring from radio, I found myself with lots of time on my hands,” Doug remembers. “I was talking to a friend who is a guitar player and she told me that she volunteered at an assisted living apartment playing guitar during their lunch three days a week.  She suggested I look into something like that.” Doug knew a woman associated with the Santa Clarita Senior Center, so he contacted her. She was thrilled at his offer to play piano for them. “I have been going every week for several years playing standards from the Great American Songbook. I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me.  Some of these seniors have memory issues. And while they can’t remember everyday things, they can remember the lyrics to a song written by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin or Rodgers & Hart DECADES ago! I have been told that music reaches through to people in a way like no other.”

Doug now volunteers at numerous places for the elderly and for people who can’t get out. “It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Beats playing in a piano bar any day. No amount of money could compete with the joy I get from volunteering my time. I highly recommend it!” (You can reach Doug at: doug.dunlap@aol.com)
 In other news: KPCC’s Rita Pardue, most recently crowned Ms. Senior California 2018, has been invited to speak at a women’s group that offers scholarships to college students. “What a coincidence, almost 30 years ago I was one of their recipients,” said Rita. “My scholarship covered my tuition and books for my master’s Degree at Cal State LA.  I wrote an essay about wanting to have a career in radio and help children.  How great it will be to report back to them, ‘Mission Accomplished.’"

Email Saturday, 7.14.2018

** KABC Essay from 2010

“Your points are well taken here, Don, even eight years later. It has been so long since KABC had a meaningful presence here that the call letters, if they mean anything at all, stand for an era that has passed.  

Heritage call letters are only useful when they have had years of active relevance; KIIS, KFI, even KABC's sister station KLOS, have a positive ongoing recognition factor. KABC does not. [And the funny thing is that I still think of 870 as KIEV, even though Salem replaced those calls way back on January 1, 2001.]

If the program schedule in 2010 seemed like a ‘work in progress’ that got halted for some reason and then never resumed, then it looks now like the entire project was abandoned. Perhaps Cumulus was so focused on their bankruptcy that they didn’t notice Bob Moore was sitting on his hands over in the corner. I think that if Cumulus can’t make KABC work, they should either sell it, LMA it to an ethnic broadcaster, or – if they're intent on keeping this now-inferior AM signal – simulcast with KLOS until they come up with a workable game plan. Because the plan they’ve had for the past decade ain’t workin.’” – K.M. Richards

** KABC Ratings?

“I just can’t believe what has happened to KABC.” – Allen Mclean

** More Ratings

“I remember when KABC was #1 for all those years. So sad! Good for KPCC ... #10!! YEA!” -
 Alan F. Ross
** KPCC vs. KNX

“I suppose that listeners are saying that they’d rather sit through pledge drives than 22+ minutes an hour of spots. Not to mention real content.” – Douglas Brown

** Boss Radio Insight

“I recently received a sizeable collection of original memos that were written by Paul Drew while he was the program director at KHJ. As many of you who worked with him know, he was very detail oriented.” – Jeffrey Leonard

** Ciji Ware

“I worked with Ciji Ware for a few months in 1971-72 when I joined KNBC as the Dayside Assignment Editor and she was our consumer reporter who went by Ciji Ware Billet. What I wish I’d known back then was that her dad wrote for One Man’s Family. It was created and produced by Carlton E. Morse who, with his wife Pat, was a lifelong friend of my parents. My mom and Morse worked together on the San Francisco Evening Bulletin before he hit it big in network radio drama. My parents wedding was held in Pat and Carlton’s SF apartment.

So much for nostalgia. My entire LA experience was in tv, but I have known a lot of the radio people just because we’re all broadcasters.” – Warren Cereghino, Pacific Palisades

** Vidal Memories

“I attended broadcasting school at Career Academy in 1970. One of my classmates was Bruce Vidal. It was a small class, but he shined.

Most of us were there to learn how to become a deejay. But Bruce already had a natural sound, voice and personality that transcended the training. He was a ‘natural.’

We all enjoyed each other and we had a bond, but after we graduated we all went our separate ways. Later on, it was great when I heard Bruce got the gig on KIIS and I bragged to my friends that we went to school together. I did run into him in around 1992, when I co-owned a Pioneer Chicken in Canoga Park. He stopped in one day when I was there, and I recognized him immediately. We said our hi’s and caught up a bit. He lived in the area, and according to my workers he came in often.

It’s funny how things come back around and reconnect in life. I hadn’t thought of him for a while and looked him up last night, only to find his obituary. Just had to add my little story to his legacy.” – Alan Sims

** Radio Streams

“Entercom stations are announcing the only way to listen to stations on the go is to download the 
radio.com app. For those that do not want app overload on their mobile device – still as of today, one can enter web address player.radio.com and access all Entercom stations.

Did you happen to hear the interview with Chuck Martin, done by Richard Wagoner and Mike Stark –  posted by LA Radio Studios? It's over 2 hours long, but well worth the time.” – Greg Wood, West Hills

 

KRLA Mailer

The padded package on the left arrived in the mail this week in 2002. Inside, a bag of M&M's wrapped with a promotional message


Marcellus Wiley Jumps Teams

(July 13, 2018) After 11 years with ESPN, the last seven locally with KSPN, Marcellus Wiley has his final show today. “It has been amazing, years filled w/laughs, debates & even tears,” he wrote on Twitter. “My gratitude runs deep for every executive, co-host, co-worker & fan on this journey. Going to miss it all, but I am so excited to create many more media memories!” Word is Marcellus will join Fox Sports.

The former NFL star and ESPN analyst joined Max Kellerman to form the “Max & Marcellus” show in early 2011. Previously, he has been paired with various personalities, most recently Roger Lodge.

A native of Southern California, Wiley attended St. Monica High in Santa Monica, where he was an academically and athletically honored student. Wiley is a graduate of Columbia University. 

A 10-year NFL veteran, Wiley played for four teams during his career, including the Buffalo Bills (1997-2000), San Diego Chargers (2001-03), Dallas Cowboys (2004) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2005-06).  He had his best years with the Bills and the Chargers. Wiley was also voted to the Pro Bowl in 2001 and was named one of Pro Football Weekly’s Top 50 Players in the NFL.

After the NFL, Wiley turned to broadcasting as an NFL commentator for ESPN.

In other news: Saul Levine is prepping for a “grand celebration” in February 2019. “KBCA went on the air the night of February 18, 1959 from temporary studios on top of Mount Wilson on a cold and stormy night with immediate listener calls from all over Southern California,” emailed Saul … KUSC’s Rich Capparela just returned from the Galapagos Islands. “It was a mind-blowing trip. Whoa,” declared Rich … Tom Joyner’s Foundation presents “Fantastic Voyage,” a cruise that supports Historically Black College and University scholars. This year’s offering sold out faster than any of the eight before it. The cruise departs next spring from Miami with port stops in San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk … K-EARTH’s Larry Morgan posted on Facebook that he has been diagnosed with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. “The doc gave me the Epley Maneuver, a series of positional changes to realign these rascal crystals in my inner ear back to their normal place. The positions basically bring on the vertigo, which is not pleasant, but by design. Not fun. But necessary.” It all started with a fall that knocked him unconscious … Morning KOST star Ellen K got pulled over by the LAPD the other night. Window tinting was too dark. She got off … MY/fm’s Lisa Foxx has lost 40 pounds in six months thanks to the Orbera Weight Loss Balloon. “I turn 48 on the 28th and already feel ON TOP OF THE WORLD!” enthused Lisa. With the balloon out, she has vowed to lose another 20 pounds by the end of the year through healthy eating and exercising … Mark Elliot, former operations head at Gold Coast Broadcasting in Ventura, is now the Group Program Director for Cherry Creek Media in Denver. Cherry Creek Media owns and operates 46 stations in Washington, Utah, Montana, Arizona, Colorado and North Dakota … Manny the on-the-street reporter for KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest was laid off.
   

KPPC's Rita Pardue is a Beauty

(July 12, 2018) KPCC’s production manager Rita Pardue was crowned as this year’s Ms. Senior California during the annual pageant at the University of San Diego’s Joan Croc Institute for Peace and Justice Theater. “In October, I go to Atlantic City to compete in the national Ms. Senior America pageant,” emailed Rita. “What an honor to represent our great state of California. This pageant is for women over 60 who have reached ‘The Age of Elegance.’”

Her responsibilities this year include appearances, speaking engagements, entertaining and encouraging everyone, regardless of age, to live life to the fullest every day. “My first official appearance was appearing in the Coronado Island Fourth of July parade. How fun.”

The annual pageant shows off singing and dancing talents, evening gown modeling and the wisdom of women ages 60 and older, according to a story in Pasadena Now. Five judges evaluate the contestants on talent, a statement on their philosophy of life and other criteria. Pardue, 66, was chosen out of eight talented women who competed during the pageant last month, where she sang I’ve Got the Music in Me.

In April, Rita was crowned Ms. Senior Ventura County before going on to the state competition. Pardue has over 20 years of experience in radio and has expertise in fundraising, writing, presentation, production and media campaign expertise.

Before coming to KPCC, she was KKLA’s Midday LA host from 1998 to 2004. Her assignments have taken her to China, Indonesia, Japan and North Korea, where she was a guest of the state.

Born in Indiana, she grew up in St. Louis. “I started singing at 16 years old and toured across the country performing at major hotels and supper clubs,” said Rita. “I opened for name acts including Harry Blackstone Jr., George Burns and Pia Zadora. Also did some acting in film and television work, too. I sang with the original cast of ‘Jubilee’ at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas in 1981.” 
Rita started her next career in radio, working at KORK-Las Vegas as a news reporter, while returning to college at the University of Las Vegas. Simultaneously, she was hosting a talk show, Paying Dues at KUNV- Las Vegas.  “At that time my faith walk became very important in my life,” continued Rita. “I rededicated my life and moved to Los Angeles to pursue my dreams in children’s radio.” She also does freelance work doing voiceovers, teaching audio production and vocal coaching.

As a community volunteer, she has been working with the Lake Avenue Community Foundation in Pasadena for six years, helping in a mentoring program where she’s paired with a young Latina girl who had just completed her first year of college. She has also committed to reading before school children, doing Saturday morning sessions in Pasadena and Altadena. Rita tells the children her story of growing up in the Midwest and moving to California later in life.


Pardue is also an actor, musician, and vocalist. Her credits include the CBS film When the Circus Came to Town, PBS Math Facts, and WB’s Unhappily Ever After, to mention a few. In the 1990s, she was the voice of Mrs. Aahs and a host of other characters on Children’s Broadcasting Corporation’s “Radio Aahs.”  

Pardue is the author of the children’s book The Nothing-To-Do Funshop, and a narrator for several of the popular Hello Kitty children’s books.  She has also performed with the Hollywood Bowl Easter Choir from 2008 to 2011.

The Cold Dose of Radio Reality
by Jason Barrett, BSM Media
 

(July 11, 2011) It’s hard sometimes not to become jaded if you work in the radio business. The more time you spend time in it, the more you discover that it’s not just about watching and talking about sports. The newspapers and industry trades at times paint a gloomy picture of what’s happening, leaving you to wonder about the stability of your career.

Then as you improve at your craft and command more respect and warrant higher compensation, you learn why the word ‘business’ is included in your industry’s profile description. One of the most common mistakes people make in radio is believing that their contributions to a company entitles them to something greater. Managers believe the brands they run are ‘their radio stations’ and the hosts, producers and contributing members all feel their presence and value to a brand is vital and difficult to replace. Their contributions certainly do matter, especially to those they work with, but in the grand scheme of everything, we’re all still replaceable parts. Some may have greater value, but none of us are irreplaceable.

How many times have you heard someone who’s young and on the way up in their career complain about the money, long hours, and lack of attention they receive from their employer? There’s this belief that their hard work should be recognized, radio should reward its people better, and more TLC should be provided by bosses.
(Read complete story by clicking the artwork)

Vic the Brick is Feeling You 

(July 11, 2018) Fans of KLAC’s Vic the Brick Jacobs can rejoice as Chachi’s Benztown Branding is syndicating Vic in a new 30-second daily feature, This Day in Sports History. A native of Queens, NY, Jacobs has been a sports broadcaster since 1979, working in Austin, Fresno, Phoenix, and most notably, Los Angeles, where he landed in the early '90s as a sports anchor on KCOP/Channel 13 and for Rick Dees on KIIS. In 1997, he helped launch the new Sports-Talk format on KXTA (now KEIB) as the midday host. He later went on to co-host with NBA superstar Karl Malone and NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw.

Tony Valdez wrote on Facebook: “What’s gone wrong at Los Angeles’ all-News radio station? A story running today about a primary source of water for Los Angeles calls the lake ‘mono’ as in the opposite of stereo. The name is correctly pronounced ‘MO-no’ with two long ‘o’s. Making matters worse, in a sound bite we hear an official pronouncing ‘Mono Lake’ correctly. Like ‘Cahuenga’ and ‘Lompoc,’ Mono Lake is a place Los Angeles newscasters are supposed to know how to pronounce. But today, a reporter, several anchors, a writer, a producer and maybe even the news director didn’t know any better. Tuning to KPPC-FM right now.”

In other news: Bill Seward is part of the NBC Sports team covering the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens from San Francisco later this month … Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, KRRL’s Big Boy is headed to television via Fuse Media. A syndicated show will be based on “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” beginning July 30 … Longtime Emmis chairman/ceo and founder (1980) Jeff Smulyan has his contract extended into 2022. He will be paid $1,025,000 during the first year of his new contract, with $25,000 increases over the next three years, ending up at $1,100,000 for the fourth year. He received a signing bonus of $1M … Yvette Nicole Brown has been chosen by AMC to step in and moderate The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead panels at Comic-Con later this month. The decision to select Yvette is in response to accusations of misconduct by longtime host Chris Hardwick … Alt 98-7 adds Tamo Sein to middays. She is on her way here from WEND-Charlotte. “In the words of my family and friends, ‘We totally thought you were pregnant, but OH MY GOD THIS MAY BE EVEN MORE EXCITING NEWS!’” She replaces Marty Whitney, who continues at KIOZ-San Diego.

Ratings Steady as They Go

(July 10, 2018) Very little major movement with the top stations in the just-released June '18 PPM 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-mid. KBIG (MY/fm) remains on top followed by KOST, K-EARTH, and KTWV (the WAVE). KIIS, once market leader but still revenue leader, continues in a downward cycle. Pasadena City College's KPCC moves into the Top 10, while KABC falls out of the Top 40, tied at 41st with Oldies KSUR.

1. KBIG (MY/fm) 5.7 - 5.8
2. KOST (AC) 5.6 - 5.6
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.0 - 5.1
4. KTWV (the WAVE) 4.8 - 4.5
5. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.5 - 4.3
6. KCBS (JACK/fm) 4.2 - 4.1
    KFI (Talk) 4.4 - 4.1
8. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.7 - 3.5
9. KYSR (Alternative) 3.2 - 2.8
10. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.7 - 2.7
      KPCC (News/Talk) 2.7 - 2.7
12. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.7 - 2.6
      KNX (News) 2.7 - 2.6
      KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.4 - 2.6
      KRRL (Urban) 2.7 - 2.6
      KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.7 - 2.6
17. KROQ (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.5
18. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.7 - 2.4
      KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.6 - 2.4
20. KKGO (Country) 2.1 - 2.3
21. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.9 - 2.2
22. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.6 - 2.1
23. KXOS (Regional Mexican) 1.8 - 2.0
24. KUSC (Classical) 1.6 - 1.7
25. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.4 - 1.5
26. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.7 - 1.4
27. KCRW (Variety) 1.3 - 1.3
      KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.2 - 1.3
29. KRLA (Talk) 0.9 - 1.1
      KSPN (Sports) 1.0 - 1.1
31. KLAC (Sports) 0.9 - 1.0
      KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 0.7 - 1.0
33. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.9
      KKJZ (Jazz) 0.8 - 0.9
35. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.7 - 0.8
36. KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.8 - 0.7
      KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 0.8 - 0.7
38. KDLD (Regional Mexican) 0.4 - 0.6
      KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.6 - 0.6
40. KYLA (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.5

Michael Savage to the Supremes

(July 10, 2018) Back in 2013, Mary Ann Sause of Louisburg, Kansas, was listening to Westwood One’s syndicated The Michael Savage Show when the police came to her door over a complaint that her radio was playing too loud. The retired nurse eventually opened the door to the police, they said she would go to jail, and then Sause, a devout Catholic, asked to pray. They ordered her to stop.

After the incident, she tried to get an apology from the Louisburg Police department, to no avail. She went to court claiming violation of her constitutional rights and a legal saga ensued.

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, who ruled on behalf of Ms. Sause on June 28th … a precedent that all started with Michael Savage. You can read more 
here in The Hutchinson News.

One-of-a-Kind LARPs

by Mike Hagerty 

(July 10, 2018) When we asked readers to suggest one-of-a-kind personalities in the history of LARadio, most zeroed on one character who would stand alone, never to be duplicated. Some couldn’t decide on one LARP, but mentioned many. Our contributor this morning, iHeartMedia's Mike Hagerty, has a strong list.

LARadio has had several one-of-a-kind personalities. There was no Art Laboe clone, before or since, anywhere in America.

The sophisticated wit and astonishing vocabulary of Bill Ballance was not going to be found anywhere other than with Bill himself. 

Bob Crane was to radio what Ernie Kovacs was to tv, but in his own, unique way. Find me a jock who was ‘just like Bob Crane.’

Johnny Magnus – ain’t nobody better than he (a line he once used about Wes Montgomery) when it comes to knowing the music and sharing that knowledge, which he still does every Saturday and Sunday morning on 88.1.

The Real Don Steele spawned a host of imitators, all doomed to fail, because as Robert W. Morgan (arguably another original) said "if you try to sound like him, you just end up sounding like an idiot."

B. Mitchel Reed pioneered the concept of an FM album rock jock and proved you didn’t have to sound or be stoned to do it. 

Jimmy Rabbitt often was or sounded stoned when he did it (sometimes on the same station as BMR), but he’s an original too.

There was only one Wolfman Jack. Or Frazer Smith, for that matter.

I never heard anybody do radio the way Lee Baby Simms did it. Or Bobby Ocean. And how about Phil Hendrie?

I’m sure I’m leaving out names. I hope other readers fill the blanks I’m unintentionally leaving. Bottom line – the ranks of LARPs includes a whole host of originals, which is probably how they made it to – and made it in – Los Angeles.

A New Role for Kelli Gates

  (July 9, 2018) I love stories of revival, resurrection, renaissance, and rejuvenation. And this is one of them. We all know that our radio job is going to end. But this should not be the end of the story. What we do with the rest of our lives is the real story.

Kelli Gates was one of the forgotten soldiers in the midst of the dissolution of the KLOS Mark & Brian Show in 2012. Since 1998, Kelli had been the third important voice on the morning show. Equal parts contributor by giving news that was relatable to the audience, plus laughing at all of their jokes – the funny ones and the ones that went flat. She dazzled them with very personal stories, which included playing in the World Series of Poker a few years ago.

We seemed to care as much about Kelli’s life as we did the two boys. Virtually overnight, Kelli went from playing a key role on a coveted morning show to unemployment. “I thought the company was going to continue with Brian Phelps after Mark retired,” said Kelli. She spoke the day after the massive firings of everyone connected with the morning show except for the Skylord (Scott Reiff) and sports guy, Todd Donoho. Kelli thought she would be part of the reconstructed morning show. But with the snap of a finger and without warning, Brian announced that he, too, was leaving.

Kelli grew up in Dearborn Heights, Michigan and moved to Kentucky in the 11th grade. Kelli graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1987. She worked at WKQQ-Lexington as half of "Kruser and Kelli's morning show." From there, KOMP-Las Vegas then back to the Midwest at “97X,” Oxford, Ohio. “Maybe you remember Dustin Hoffman chanting ‘97X, The Future of Rock and Roll’ in the movie Rainman?” she said in recounting her journey.

Her big break came at WWCD-Columbus, Ohio in 1990. “I'm really proud of the fact that I was pd and drive-time talent for two start-up stations that are still very successful. Some of the talent hired on the small budgets provided were green. You can always teach formatics, but you can't teach people personality."
Her radio path changed course in 1993. “I married a guy that I met only because he was in love with my voice and came to a live remote to meet me. He was a tall, dark medical student. Unfortunately, he lived in Toledo."

She began working in markets all over Southern California, her ultimate radio goal. Kelli worked in the Inland Empire at KCXX and KCAL and in San Diego at KGB.

During a stint as radio coordinator for the Museum of Television & Radio, she infused a much-needed shot of awareness into the radio activities of Southern California. “The Museum job was very exciting, especially since I was able to meet all of the key radio people in town, past and present.” Single again, she got a weekend job at “Y107” before landing a job at KLOS, which led to being a part of the morning show with Mark & Brian.

On one of her stops after KLOS she did mornings in Santa Rosa. And then silence. She called old bosses and friends. Nothing led to a job. Kelli then an idea. She decided to go home, despite Thomas Wolfe’s proclamation. “I really am excited to back in Lexington,” wrote Kelli recently. “It's brought a sense of calm and inner peace I haven’t felt in a long time. Little did I know that I was going to really need support from my family in a big way after a major health scare. I guess intuition said to get back to where I would be near in proximity to those closest to me.”

As we all age, it is incumbent that we pay attention to our bodies. A year ago, Kelli noticed her energy level and ‘lust for life’ had taken a real dive. She saw a doctor, who said her iron levels were low and suggested she take an over the counter prescription to help and eat more iron-rich foods. “I did, but it didn’t seem to get any better. I ended up chalking it up to a combination of depression in not finding job. I was out of work due to a combination of station budget cuts and the economy.”

At the same time, her sister in Kentucky was terminally ill. “The silver lining there was that I was able to spend some beautiful, quality time with her and was with her when she passed.” Kelli chalked up her lethargy and depression to getting older and that this was the “New normal” for her. 

She returned to familiar territory in Northern California to look for a job back on the air, and a place to live, both unsuccessfully. “The housing market was tight already, then came the devastating fires in Santa Rosa, which really diminished the possibilities of even finding a place even if I was employed. So, I decided to go to Reno for a while where there was a radio job that was looking like a real possibility.  The initial interview and feedback was all positive, so I thought I would wait it out and stay in cheap hotels and use my poker skills to make some cash.  

When I was too tired to even just sit and play poker, which is one of my favorite things to do, I knew something was really wrong. Kelli made a snap decision, jumped in her car and drove the 33 hours back to Kentucky where she could feel at least feel centered with family around. “I went to a health clinic and had some lab work done, and the next day, while interviewing for a local radio gig, I got a frantic phone call from the nurse at the clinic, who told me to get to the emergency room right away. My red blood cell count was at 3.9. The normal is in the 13-15 range! I wasn’t getting oxygen to my heart, muscles, or even hardly my brain.  No wonder I felt so crappy!

Kelli saw a battery of doctors and nurses who all said they had never seen levels so low in someone that was actually up and walking around. “I was admitted to the ICU immediately and had a blood transfusion. 4 units! My idol Keith Richards would be proud! They kept me for five days and did a series of exploratory procedures but couldn’t find anything abnormal or figure out where the bleeding was coming from. So, I’ve been taking a heavier dosage of iron pills and vitamin C and will swallow a nifty pill with a camera in it next week to further explore possibilities of where the problem might stem from.” The story is still in process, but Kelli is feeling very optimistic. “I can honestly say I am a brand-new person. I have energy again, I don’t look like a zombie, and feel positive about what's to come.”

And Kelli landed the radio job! 

With her medical and mental challenges behind her, she encourages other to seek help if things are quite right. “Thank goodness I sought medical help when I did, and I’m so grateful for the care I received. And for my family who gave me a safe place to come back to! So, if you find yourself not feeling right, listen to your body and take the steps to get things checked out. Don’t take as long as I did thinking it will just pass.” (You can reach out to Kelli at: kelligates66@gmail.com )

Email Saturday, 7.7.2018

** Firecracker AT 40

“I worked briefly for Casey Kasem around the time of the Bicentennial.

I was part of the team [Paul Grein, Sandy Stert Benjamin, and Nikki Wine] that came up with the idea of ‘The 4th of July’s Greatest Hits.’ It went pretty much as you’d expect. Starting with 1976, we went back 40 years and did the AT40 treatment to as many of the hits that fell on that day as possible.

Amazingly, Casey and Don Bustany went along with the idea. I salute them for that. It worked out pretty well.

Casey never did fit 40 records into the program, generally eliminating a few selections on the way down. Of course, I can’t remember the entire list, but we had a good Beatles record, a good Stones record, and so on. And it may have been the strangest AT40 show ever.” – Todd Everett

** Casey’s Characters

“I loved your story about Casey Kasem and AT 40. I bet I know which show Casey was shooting at Warner Bros. It may have been the Hardy Boys-Nancy Drew series. He played a character actor who imitates Peter Falk as Columbo but ends up being the villain. He was really good at it. Casey was also good with his voiceover work on Scooby-Doo and Superman-Batman Hour and Super Friends.

I had the pleasure of playing a trivia contest hosted by Bill and Sylvia of KBIG during the 90’s at the LA County Fair where Casey gave the questions and he was so nice. A true gentleman.

Hope you stay cool during this awful heat!” – Julie Byers
** Record Lady

“My AT40 story. When the show began, the Live Earl Jive [Vaughn Filkins] was in charge of obtaining the music from the record companies. When he departed, about 18 months later, he set me up with his gig. It was very part-time, I had no office space, but the most important part was to have copies of all possible 45’s on hand, as there was no time to shag singles after the fact. When the Billboard Hot 100 was released to us every Tuesday, I had a big cardboard box in my car, containing pretty much the whole Hot 100. Sometimes records warped in the heat. I had the job from 1971 until AT40 [and ACC] was moved to Texas in 1995. Fabulous part-time work.  

Working for Casey Kasem and Tom Rounds was a real blessing. I miss TR to this day.” – Ann Beebe

** Radio in a Comic Strip

“Do you happen to remember the name of the comic strip that was set in a radio station that appeared in newspapers years ago? I've been looking online and can’t find it anywhere. I remember seeing it, I think, in the 1990s in either the Times or the OC Register. One strip in particular that I cut out one day showed the overnight guy with an intravenous bag of Java. I was working overnights at the time, and so it resonated...  ;)” – 
Brian Perez

Progressive Talker Ed Schultz Dies

(July 6, 2018) Back in the 2000s, Ed Schultz was thought to be the Progressive Talk show answer to King of the Talkers, Rush Limbaugh. The former syndicated host who was heard locally on KTLK (then-1150 AM) and KGIL, has died of natural causes. He was 64.

Ed played football at Minnesota State University/Moorhead, eventually becoming the play-by-play announcer for North Dakota State. “In college, I had an opportunity to do a little sports show in Moorhead, Minnesota on KQWB. That was my first shot,” said Ed in a 2011 interview. Schultz began his media career working as a radio and television host in the Fargo market.  

Schultz started his broadcast career working in sports on tv. He served as the sports director at WDAY/TV-Fargo during the 1980s. Schultz had an uncanny similar presentation as Limbaugh, despite their opposite political views. Ed opened his show with “From the heart of America, the nation’s #1 Progressive voice where truth and common-sense rule.”

From 2009 to 2015, he hosted a daytime news and opinion program on MSNBC called The Ed Show. He was a controversial presence. At MSNBC, Ed attacked Laura Ingraham once telling his listeners: "President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday but you know what they're talking about, like this right-wing slut, what's her name? Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she's a talk slut. You see, she was, back in the day, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas. But now that Obama's doing it, they're working him over."

Ed was heard for three years on LA Radio, first at Progressive Talk KTLK from 2005-08, then on KGIL when Saul Levine briefly went all-Talk with his AM station.

The trade newspapers had a field day covering Schultz’ colorful language on his syndicated radio show. One time he tore into a caller, telling him to “get the fuck out of here” before fretting over whether the radio producers had managed to hit the delay censor button. And somehow, audio of the incident flew under-the-radar for a whole week, according to a story at Radiate.

Ed exited KTLK in 2008 due to the show being tape delayed. “In this current explosive political environment KTLK cannot afford to be tape delayed,” explained then-KTLK program director Don Martin. “There is too much breaking all the time.” 

At one point when the media talked about Progressive radio, Ed was always in the same breath as Keith OlbermannStephanie Miller and Rachel Maddow.

At the peak of his radio and tv career he said. “I’ve wanted this for a long time. You’ve got to have some talent, but you’ve got to be lucky, too.”  

July 4th Anniversary of AT40

(July 5, 2018) Yesterday marked the anniversary of the launch of American Top 40. And I was there.

In the late spring of 1970, I was general manager of WWWW (W4) in Detroit. We were the nation’s first 24/7 live Oldies radio station on fm. Out of the blue one morning, I received a phone call from Tom Rounds of Watermark. He was launching a new syndicated countdown show called American Top 40, hosted by Casey Kasem.

I had heard of Tom from his success at KFRC-San Francisco. Despite the fact that there were a handful of Top 40 stations in the market, no one wanted this new syndicated offering. He turned to W4 out of desperation because he wanted the show to be heard in Casey’s hometown since Casey grew up in Detroit and went to Wayne State University.

I remember being reluctant. Didn’t want to interrupt the 24/7 Oldies format and told Tom so. He promised to never charge for the show and would help me with any customizing that I needed. The clincher was, “why don’t you give the Oldies a rest on the weekends and you have a ton of inventory you can sell at a premium.”

W4 became one of the seven stations that launched the show on July 4, 1970. Watermark took out a full-page in Billboard thanking us.

The following week a phone call came from Casey. My assistant put him right through. It was that unmistakable voice from years of listening to him in San Francisco and 1110/KRLA. He wanted to personally thank me for carrying the show. He said his parents never quite understood what he was doing in California. Now they could listen to their son every weekend.

Eventually I left radio and got into the motion picture marketing business. My first job was at Columbia Pictures in 1976. We shared the Burbank lot with Warner Bros, and the facility was called The Burbank Studio. Our marketing department was the first building on the right as you entered the Pass Avenue gate. Across the street was Malpaso, Clint Eastwood’s production offices.

One day as I was leaving our Technicolor Building, there was commotion on the roof of the Malpaso Building. The perpetrator was Casey Kasem, running around with a gun. He was a guest detective in some tv show shooting on the roof. I waited for a break in the shooting to join Casey. We reminisced about the enormous success of AT40 and the embryonic days of the countdown show. Casey always wanted to be an actor, but that was about the only career that didn’t work out for him.

Isn’t it ironic that Tom Rounds and Casey Kasem die within days of each other?

Decades later when LARadio was born, Casey joined a panel of other early personality giants for LARadio Day at the Museum of Radio & TV. He was very generous with his time.

We had another conversation when Casey was dropped as host of AT40 to make the way for Ryan Seacrest to take over. If he was bitter, he never let on. Casey was so praiseworthy of Tom Rounds and Premiere Radio Networks for carrying the show. He got a laugh when I reminded him of a Howard Stern observation that Casey became a multi-millionaire by counting backwards.


LARadio is on Hiatus


From the creators of Inside Psycho and Inside the Exorcist comes a new story about a classic movie and its inspirations. A tale of a modest thriller that became an ordeal and then a disaster and then a phenomenon and then a classic. A story of one man, a fresh-faced, inexperienced director who nearly wrecked his promising career and became the most important filmmaker of our era. This is Inside JAWS. Click artwork to begin the journey ...

 


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