Compiled and Written by Don Barrett
Edited by Alan Oda
Gamble for New York Radio Personality
|(May 31, 2019) Craig
Carton, co-host of the Boomer and Carton morning
Talk show on WFAN-New York, was leaving his Tribeca
apartment at 4 a.m. He was headed to the radio station when
a squad of F.B.I. agents handcuffed him and took him
downtown. This was in September of 2017.
Ten years earlier, the WFAN morning host was Don Imus. In April 2007, Imus was goaded by his sidekick Bernard McGuirk, leading Imus to describe the Rutgers University women’s basketball team as an assemblage of “nappy-headed hos.” The incident, and the subsequent tale about Carlton, is recapped in a fascinating seven-page story in the April 15 issue of The New Yorker.
Imus was fired, enter NFL star quarterback Boomer Esiason who had been frequent guest with Don. Adding Carton was a gamble.
“This past November, after a six-day trial in federal court in Manhattan, a jury found Carton guilty of conspiracy, wire fraud, and securities fraud. The court ruled that he had tricked a hedge fund and an individual investor into believing that he had a formal arrangement with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which operates Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum, to buy tickets to concerts in bulk, resell them on the secondary market, and kick back some of the proceeds to B.S.E. He used the hedge fund’s money to pay back an earlier investor – a Ponzi scheme. He faced up to 45 years in prison,” according to The New Yorker article.
Carton tried to be a shock jock, sounding like a Howard Stern wanna-be. He would strive to be outrageous. “The Governor, Carton said on the air, could legalize medical marijuana, ‘so women can have a joint and relax instead of putting their babies in a microwave.’” The author described Carton as often defaulting to leering misogyny. Carton has posted bail and is awaiting sentencing.
“I made some really stupid decisions, and those decisions, over a very small amount of time, have now changed by life forever,” he told the author. Gambling was not new to Carton. In junior high school, he ran a makeshift casino out of his parents’ living room.
Carton was earning roughly two and a half million dollars a year at WFAN. That wasn’t enough. In a year and a half, 2016 and 2017, he borrowed more than thirty million dollars. “Radio is my drug,” Carton likes to say. His idol is the aforementioned Howard Stern. He casts himself as a ‘dirtbag Everyman.’ He was first on WNEW with another sports guy from the Imus days, Sid Rosenberg.
It is an absorbing read that takes the reader in and out of radio stations, strip clubs, investment firms and eventually to Carton’s fate. He was handed a prison sentence of three and a half years.
|In other news: If you are the praying type, Humble Harve needs a lot of your love and prayers. He's not doing well ... After 20 years of hosting the Saturday edition of Whole 'Nuther Thing on KSBR (88.5) Bob Goodman's show has been dropped but the Sunday edition continues ... Clipper legend Ralph Lawler is packing today. He's leaving for a nine-day trip to Maui this weekend. When he returns he will have a few days before moving full-time to Oregon. "Filled with excitement for the next chapter along with un-matched memories for the past 40-years," said Lawler on Facebook ... Former KKBT (1999-2002) personality La La (she's married to Carmelo Anthony) has been tapped for a recurring role on Fox’s six-episode summer drama series BH90210, playing the wife of original Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Brian Austin Green ... Chris Carmichael wonders if a butterfly has a tattoo of a lady on one wing? He's asking for a friend|
Radio Santa Ana is Real Local Radio
|(May 30, 2019) Radio
Santa Ana is on the air!
What? A local station? Yes, they’re on the dial, telling stories of the unheard. Earlier this week, the LA Times devoted almost a full-page to this five-year old station operating out of a mall room in the El Centro Cultural de Mexico community center.
“A team of 20 volunteers provide 24/7 programming, with eight live and three prerecorded programs at 104.7/fm. When Rodolfo Martinez isn’t working as a maintenance supervisor, he hosts Rock del Centro at 5 p.m. Wednesdays. He plays music from Mexican bands, many of them local. ‘Even on Spanish stations, nobody is playing this music,’ said Martinez.
“Luis Sarmiento, co-founder of Radio Santa Ana said the application process was competitive and took years. ‘During that period, from 2014 to 2018, the group broadcast over the internet. Considering it largely runs on donation, the station couldn’t afford a satellite dish, finally renting on for $1,200 a month,’” wrote the Times’ Ben Brazil.
In addition to highlighting cultural events such as Dia del Nino or Children’s Day, the station focuses on news that affects Santa Ana’s working class. The station focuses on reunifying families separated at the border. “We interview some people who haven’t seen their mother or father for 20 years,” Socorro Sarmiento said. She co-founded the station with her son Luis. She lectures at the UC Irvine School of Medicine when not working with the station
Maintaining the station hasn’t been easy, particularly financially, but the group combats a tight budget with a do-it-yourself attitude. The crew must act as novice engineers, maintaining technical radio equipment. “We have had to be very DIY here,” said Luis Sarmiento.
In other news: Larry Perel has been named the afternoon host of NPR’s All Things Considered for KCRW in Santa Monica. He spent the last 4+ years hosting the program for the station’s central coast market out of their studios in Santa Barbara. As part of the gig, he continues to focus on local content, including breaking news important to listeners in SoCal. You can hear him daily from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at 89.9 KCRW, or online at kcrw.com … Days after Steve Harvey’s syndicated talk show is formally canceled amidst low ratings, the KJLH morning host also loses his Little Big Shots gig to Melissa McCarthy, according to THR … Speaking of KJLH, Dominque de la Prima hosts ‘Compton Elections 2019’ this morning … I am addicted to buying old Beatles' albums. Does anyone know where I can get Help?
|Pick a Track and listen to the sounds of early LARadio|
Nathan Roberts Came Out of Retirement to Join KNX
|(May 29, 2019) Nathan
Roberts is the weekend morning news anchor at KNX.
He’s been seated at the anchor chair for the past year. But
if his voice sounds familiar, maybe you heard him during his
previous radio gig or more recently, you might have known
Nathan as a local tv anchor.
Nathan was born in 1944 in Portland, working at Atlanta’s WGST before joining KDAY in 1969. Five years later, he transitioned to L.A. tv, starting at KNXT (now KCBS/tv) Channel 2, first as a sport anchor, then a field reporter. He moved to KHJ/tv Channel 9, where he was a news anchor for many years. “I also reported for KTTV and anchored and reported for KCOP,” emailed Nathan. “My 22 years in Washington was spent mostly anchoring on TV, but the last five were as a radio anchor at all news WTOP. Nathan came to the Southland with his family at age 15, attending Hollywood High School and Los Angeles City College where he majored in broadcasting.
His first job was at KVEC-San Luis Obispo. “I was on board at KDAY when Bob Wilson created the first AM album rock station and rode that horse until the owners turned it into an r&b station. Also had a brief gig at KROQ when Shadoe Stevens was running it. He followed Jimmy Rabbit late at night for a few months, but the station was dying at the time and eventually went under, but it was a wild time. Shadoe used to engineer a show on Saturday nights for Flo and Eddie, and they always had superstar guests in the studio. It was brilliant radio, far too short-lived.”
Nathan was happily retired for several years before the call from KNX. “I missed being on the air and when the opportunity came to work at KNX I grabbed it.”
|In other news: Condolences to Bob McCormick (retired from KFWB and KNX) on the passing of his 100-year-old father. “I was glad to be able to spend a lot of time with him in recent years,” emailed Bob. This week his 102-year-old mom is entering an assisted living facility in Troy, Michigan, for the first time. Read the amazing obituary on Bob’s father here … Congratulations to former KOST pd Johnny Chiang on his second-year wedding anniversary … KABC’s Mark Alyn has won three Communicator Awards for 2019. “There are hundreds of health radio programs out there. We are honored to have been selected for this commendation,” said Alyn. “Working with producer Darrell Wayne is amazing,” he said. “He keeps me on my toes, keeps the show on time, makes pointed comments on the show and mostly, is a wonderful friend.” … Congratulations to Donna and Alan Oda on 20 years of wedded bliss!|
K-SURF Expanding Oldies
|(May 28, 2019) While many
of us were enjoying a weekend holiday barbeque, Saul
Levine’s programming brain trust was busy making
changes to the K-SURF Oldies format. More 70s and 80s music
and less 50s songs. The changes will be heard over the next
Levine’s changes apparently were prompted by emails and comments made about his Oldies station, heard at 1260AM. “Today’s edition of LARadio is very important. I am grateful for the interest and comments from your readers. It made me realize that in today’s radio programming emanating on Wall Street by a corps of CPAs motivated by the bottom line, the listeners to K-SURF feel connected to the station and want it to succeed with programming from Main Street, not Wall Street.”
Saul believes they have created excitement in local radio again, so the changes are being made because he wants to keep that excitement and maintain his connection with listeners.
|“After three years with the Oldies format, Pat
Welsh, Fred Missman, Adam
Bookbinder, Larry Van Nuys, and Mike
Johnson, along with a full staff of dedicated
individuals have a better perspective of the direction
K-SURF needs to travel. Over the next 30 days, K-SURF will
evolve into ‘Classic Hits and Oldies’ featuring the hit
songs of the 60s, 70s and 80s, with some 50s.”
Saul said Disco Saturday Night and All-70s Sunday nights will continue, as well as Dick Clark’s “Rock, Roll and Remember.”
|1966 LA Times ad from David Grudt's collection|
Memorial Day - 2019
Thanks to CNN for photo
LARP Photo Gallery
Cahuenga - the commissary and hang-out
for the radio and record industry in the
'60s and '70s
In December 1964, Sam Cooke (You Send Me) started drinking in Martoni's and six hours later was shot to death
in a $3 a night motel on South Figueroa in South-Central Los Angeles
Email Saturday, 5.25.2019
|** Laughing and Crying with
“Dave Zorn was a very special person. A very good journalist. We used to sit in studio off-air and talk about our earlier times in Vietnam – sometimes laugh and sometimes cry together.” – Ronnie Bradford
** Zorn Tribute
“Excellent tribute to Dave Zorn. Never knew him but certainly knew of his great work.” – Bob Sirkin
** Meruelo’s Acquisitions
"I think Meruelo Media is ill advised. Radio is a business with diminishing revenues, particularly in major markets.” – Bob Fox
** Cookin’ With Melinda
“I've been missing Melinda Lee on the air. I like to cook, but don't do it often, as I live by myself. But when in my car at the proper time, I always used to tune in to her. And, of course, during my tenure in LARadio, I worked with her too.
My heart goes out to her journey with Steve. As you may know, I just lost my wife, Gina Hahn, to Alzheimer’s. Keep up the good work, Don!” – Terry Saidel
** Melinda on KRLA
“I enjoyed your update on Melinda Lee but in listing her radio credits you forgot to mention KRLA/1110. In the late 1990s, her informative food show was sandwiched [pardon the pun] between the two Saturday shows I co-hosted on KRLA. She once commented that, because we frequently had celebrity guests in-studio for our shows, she had the opportunity to meet a number of celebs that she probably otherwise wouldn’t have.
So sorry to hear about her husband’s illness. I’m sure the tasty food she brings from home helps him tremendously.
Melinda truly is a delightful person, and I wish her – and Steve – the very best.” – Reed Berry
** Audio Fidelity
“I couldn’t agree more with what Fred Missman and Bill Schwarz said about the audio quality on satellite radio. Last year I had to use a rental car for about a week. It was equipped with Sirius/XM. After about a day, I was listening to terrestrial fm again.
I don’t see how anyone can pay for it! Sure, there's ‘variety’ but it just sounds bad! I think people are so used to listening to low quality mp3s on their phones that they don’t know what music is supposed to sound like!” – Brian Perez
** More Static
“Being both a subscriber to SiriusXM and a frequent listener to Saul Levine’s two HD-2 stations [88.1 for Adult Standards, and 105.1 for Oldies], I was very interested in reading Fred Missman’s letter-to-the-editor about sound-quality problems concerning HD, SiriusXM, and Internet stations. And I was fascinated to learn that at least in the technical radio world, HD stands for ‘hybrid digital,’ not ‘high definition.’
Even if the sound quality is not totally up to par [compared to main-frequency fm stations] I plan to continue listening to Saul Levine’s HD2 stations, as well as certain SiriusXM stations. I am much more concerned about the types of music offered than the purity of sound quality. I am not into Rap, Hip-Hop, and hard-rock music. I especially like songs that have a melody and great lyrics.
Turning to a slightly different matter, I am somewhat surprised that that Saul Levine’s Oldies station has not ‘made’ the ratings for the past few months. I suspect that one of the key factors for it is the relatively weak signal for 1260, especially at night. The other factor is that some of the songs featured were simply not top hits back in the 50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s.
If I were in charge of programming for the Oldies station, I would generally feature only those songs that achieved at least a Top 40 ranking, and include those that were in the MOR, instrumental, and Country-crossover categories. Of course, rock ‘n roll songs should predominate in an Oldies format.
In closing, keep up the good work, Don. I enjoy your column very much.” – Carl C. Spring, Jr., West Los Angeles
** Audio Challenges
“I listen to a lot of radio both AM and fm. I mostly bounce around the AM dial listening to Talk, News, and Dodger games, but I suppose more often than not, I wind up on 1260 AM listening to Oldies.
I hadn’t listened to 1260 in years, but when I read on this site a few years back that they would be switching to an Oldies format, I figured I would give it a try as I was not a fan of the direction that KRTH had gone. On 1260, I heard Beatles, Beach Boys, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, but I think the moment I realized it was a station that really had something going was when I heard Ike & Tina Turner’s River Deep and Mountain High. I was hooked.
I often find myself driving to the west side of town on Saturday nights and while I wasn’t a big fan during the late 70’s and early 80’s, I now find myself easily amused listening to Disco Saturday Night on the way over and back. Recently they started playing music of the 1970’s on Sunday nights, so I have more ‘destination listening’ on the weekends.
I listen to the radio on a RADIO. I like the sound of AM radio when it is being listened thru a radio as it has the nostalgic sound that I grew up with. Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I only listen to streaming if I have no other choice.
One day while in the office, 1260 was playing Elton John’s Crocodile Rock and I thought something sounded different. It seemed to be an odd mix. The little organ/synth that doubles the piano in the intro wasn’t there and Elton’s voice sounded different, like it wasn’t his lead but a separate vocal overdub. I thought perhaps it was just my radio.
A few weeks later I was driving in Pasadena and a song started that sounded familiar. It was just guitar and drums going chung, chunka-chung, chunka-chung and I was thinking I know this song but something is missing. After five bars the vocal came in with Jim Morrison singing Light My Fire. What was missing? THERE WAS NO ORGAN AT ALL. The whole organ solo played during the intro was gone.
Then I remembered when I used to listen to 1260 years back, when their format was playing Standards and Jazz. I would hear Dinah Washington’s recording of What A Difference A Day Makes, and there were only the oohs and aahs from the background singers. You could barely hear an echoey lead vocal from Dinah mixed way, way in the back. I also remembered hearing some recordings of Count Basie, where you heard none of the melody played by the saxes [except for some leakage into the other mics] and only the Count plinking and planking on the piano every once in a while, as was his style.
What I had always suspected – and still do – is that in order to play stereo recordings on their mono AM signal, they would only play either the right or left channel over the air to avoid phase cancellation. I got a little bugged because I’m sure that somewhere Mr. Levine and Co. could find mono recordings of songs all the way up thru the late 70’s as AM still had many pop music stations all over the country until the 80’s. It doesn’t matter on songs from the earlier rock era but stuff recorded after the mid-60’s in stereo [or new stereo mixes of the older songs] have certain instruments or even vocals exclusively on the right or left channel, and that was problematic if you are only playing one channel. I was especially bothered when I heard Beatles tracks played with missing instrumentation because there was no reason to play the stereo recordings as they released a whole boxed set of all their recordings in mono.
Speaking of the Beatles and odd sounds coming out of my radio, a year ago I was driving up the 2 freeway in Eagle Rock and when I hit my preset to 1260, I couldn’t believe my ears. I didn’t think anyone would believe me unless I recorded it so I hit the camera button on my dash-mounted phone and started the video recorder. If you click this link, you will not only see the air conditioning vent on my Toyota, but hear the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine WITH NO VOCALS AT ALL. That’s right, no vocals, just the guitar and drums going chung-boom, chung-boom, chung-chung, boom-boom with sound-effects and the vocal gibberish during the verse. At the very end the band joins in singing the final chorus.
I wondered if anyone at the station was actually listening to what went out over the air? My semi-educated guess is that the station is playing the stereo recordings for a better-quality sound to those listening in stereo via streaming on their computers or phones with possibly Bluetooth speakers.
If this is the case than I don’t quite understand who they are trying to please? Is it the small number of people live streaming on their computers at work? Or is it the people listening to the stream on their phones with either junky small Bluetooth speakers with little or no stereo separation or maybe just the tiny speaker on the phone itself?
Maybe the station should be trying to please the much larger group of listeners who are listening on actual radios? A good mono recording never killed anyone. Some of the stereo recordings from the 70’s would throw the lead vocals slightly off center to the left or right and also the guitars or drums panned even further to either side. Unfortunately, this can mean that you might hear a song with heavy vocals and drums with little or no bass and guitar, or the opposite.
Can somebody out there with more knowledge on the subject please fill me in as to what is going on with the sound quality on AM 1260? Until then I will keep listening because I like the music, except when I hear all Ringo banging away and no John or Paul singing along.” – Gary Gibson, Montrose
** Comedy Voices
"Hi LARadio troopers! Just wanted to stop in after reading about many memorable LARadio updates and memories. For longtime radio employees and fans, I was one of those anonymous 'drop-in' voice talents for over 20 years on the Rick Dees Morning Show in the KHJ-AM days, then following along into the KIIS/fm years. I was the voice of airhead John Revolting, a convenience store owner. All the while I was voicing and acting on cartoons, tv, and films.
After hearing of all the various 'radio related' books from hosts, programming, and stations, I had an idea that I don't recall reading. Should a radio buff like to pick up on this, and include a section on those who were part of the back-up scene in personality driven shows, such as the Rick Dees Show, which had used talents as myself, pick of the crop comic talents like Jeff Altman and Frank Welker. Then of course you have the Howard Stern Show of sidekicks, like Billy West and Jackie Martling.
If anyone is putting on a radio-oriented convention, a great idea might be to have a panel of back-up voices, characters, and personalities. It may be fun to hear about character creation for radio, or how it used to be.
On a past post you ran on Dr. David Viscott, I must say I was a big fan. I even made a few cassette tapes on his various KABC shows, about topics from creativity to emotions. I use much of his advice to get through life and daily situations as he instructed. I even have about 6 hours from his late-night KNBC tv call in show, from how to cope with the overwhelming (Iraq) war news and family situations.
Well, glad to reach you to pop my head up and say hi, keep up the great work, and long live radio! As mentioned, I am now found this time, providing spokesperson, character, animation, and sound-a-likes for tv, film, and video games.” – Greg Berg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Melinda Lee is Out of the Kitchen and Busier Than Ever
|(May 24, 2019) The
delightful LARadio foodie Melinda Lee has
checked in. Following a delicious stay at KFI, KABC and KNX,
Melinda is officially retired, yet busier than ever.
Her start in radio was just a matter of gumption. She was working as a caterer in Malibu. In 1985, she called Bob Sims, program director at KNX. She filled in for one “Food News Hour” and an award-winning career followed.
Right now, her husband Steve is living in a Skilled Nursing Facility near Griffith Park, where he has been for more than three years. “He has an uncommon illness called transverse myelitis (to abbreviate, it is an inflammation of the spinal cord which has left him unable to walk, among other things) and a little bit of dementia, although not Alzheimer’s,” emailed Melinda. She visits him a few times a week and brings him sushi and homemade food he likes.
“He’s not a fan of the facility’s food, nor does he read or play games or anything, but they (the staff) are warm and friendly, and attentive. They take good care of him, which I am no longer able to do alone at home.”
Melinda is writing a book (“a major effort,” she admits), trying to learn to sculpt, and “finding it surprisingly difficult to find time for all the things I was expecting to find time for when I retired.”
Melinda continued: “The closing-the-business event took a much longer time than one might think – like turning an ocean liner around in the middle of the ocean – but, as I complete the transition, more freedom comes with it, and a greater feeling of liberation.”
She is a daily reader of LARadio. “I was particularly saddened to read of the passing of Tom Hatten. A few notes from him had accumulated on my desk (as I procrastinated in responding to them, awaiting achievement of just the tone I wished). I don’t have the heart to toss them out, containing, as they do, examples of his quirky, elegant humor and stylish handwriting. I enjoy (I know, everyone does!) keeping abreast of the fortunes and adventures of my old pals and acquaintances. You do a great – and entertaining – service to the radio broadcast industry.”
LARadio is a BIG fan of Melinda Lee for a whole bunch of reasons. We wish her well.
In other news: Rita Pardue, Ms. Senior California 2018 was the featured speaker at USC Trojan Affiliates Year End Celebration event … The Chicago White Sox is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Steve Dahl’s (former KPPC) Disco Demolition, according to Chicago's Robert Feder. Steve will also throw out the first pitch … Westwood One News correspondent Jim Roope won a Deadline Club Award for best “Radio or Audio Feature Reporting” for his 2018 report “Las Vegas: Remembering and Healing.” The award is bestowed by the NY Society of Professional Journalists for reporting across all media platforms, including newspapers, magazines, radio, digital, and tv. Jim is heard locally on KABC … Congratulations to Ken Davis on his 20th wedding anniversary … Jimmy Kimmel (ex-KROQ) was the producer with Norman Lear scoring big Wednesday night with a re-staging of two Lear classics. Woody Harrelson was Archie Bunker from All in the Family and Jamie Foxx as George from The Jeffersons. Jennifer sang The Jeffersons’ Movin On Up theme song. Marisa Tomei played Edith Bunker ... SiriusXM's 60s on 6 channel is playing the Top 100 "Red, White and Blue" songs in celebration of Memorial Weekend. Let's guess the titles - White Rabbit, Blue Velvet, and Snoopy vs the Red Baron. I'm sure you can do better ... Sandy and Wink Martindale just returned from Nashville where they were guests of TBN’s Huckabee show to air this weekend, Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. "In honor of Memorial Day, Governor Huckabee asked Wink to recite his recording of Deck of Cards and tell the story behind it," emailed Sandy.
KXOS Movin' to Meruelo Group
|(May 23, 2019) Many
stories about L.A. radio have been about what’s happening
with the national conglomerates. There’s iHeart and Cumulus
entering and exiting bankruptcy, while Entercom is still
engaged with the quandaries of purchasing CBS Radio. Saul
Levine notwithstanding, it’s been an open question about
whether a local company could ever be a major player on the
The answer may be the Meruelo Media Group, who has been on an apparent recent buying spree. The Downey-based company has entered into agreements with 93.9 Holdings, Inc. and Grupo Radio Centro Los Angeles to purchase Regional Mexican KXOS/fm (Radio Centro 93.9, formerly Movin' 93.9). This pending deal follows Meruelo Media's recent acquisition of KLOS from Cumulus, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.
After the customary government approvals, KXOS will become the seventh station in Meruelo's Los Angeles media cluster, joining KPWR, KDAY, KDEY-FM, KWHY/tv (Channel 22) and KBEH/tv (Channel 63).
"The acquisition of 93.9/fm KXOS is a key piece in our media division expansion strategy," stated Alex Meruelo, chairman and ceo. "Our group has done an amazing job curating some of the most recognizable local media brands into one extremely powerful portfolio." Otto Padron, president/coo of Meruelo Media added, "What an amazing few weeks these have been! Adding these spectacular call letters to our full-market fm radio station SoCal cluster authenticates our hyper-local media strategy to super-serve clients, partners and our community. We are also looking forward to a productive multimedia content relationship with our friends of Grupo Radio Centro Mexico."
Padron also stated that Meruelo Media will launch with Grupo Radio Centro an all-News Spanish-language format using one of KXOS’s HD Radio channels. They will also work with the Mexican broadcaster to develop other multimedia content for Meruelo's KWHY/tv. Meruelo Media expects the transaction to be completed in the third quarter of 2019, after customary regulatory approvals are obtained.
|Norm Garr sent an hour of unscoped Robert W. Morgan (93/KHJ on April 2, 1973)|
|(May 22, 2019)
Recently a Nostalgia Sunday piece from five years ago noting
the passing of Ben Hoberman appeared. Former KABC general
manager George Green was prompted to share
some thoughts about Ben and his time with ABC:
"I joined KABC radio in 1960, after spending a year at KABC/tv. I was too young to fit in with the old timers at the television station. Ben had just arrived from being the gm at WABC in New York. Yes, I was a little astonished when he told the staff that we were going to turn KABC into an all-Talk station. There were a few stations in the country that did have talk shows but none were all-Talk.
I remember walking down the street near the station, wondering how I was going to sell this station. I think when we began we may have had about 150,000 listeners.
As the station began to attract listeners, I quickly learned that getting results for our advertisers was the key to our success, rather than the number of listeners. Joe Pyne was one of the first talkers and his famous response to one of his listeners was 'GO GARGLE WITH RAZOR BLADES.’ A shocking response in 1960.
The station did grow, and I spent the first five years as a young salesman. Then the sales manager who became the manager was a man named Phil Brestoff, who was my boss for those five years. Then Ben hired Ira Laufer to the position of general sales manager. Ira was lured into leaving KABC for a job as the general manager at KHJ Television.
Bob Fox, a good friend of Ira’s and mine, recommended me to replace Ira, which I did. I was Ben’s gsm for 14 years from 1965 to 1979, before Ben got his promotion to be president of the entire radio division in New York.
I was making a national sales call in New York and I was sitting across from the media buyer I was talking to, when I was called to the phone to take a call from Phil Brestoff, who asked me to come over to see him. I knew then what was going to happen. I remember the day of the KABC staff meeting when Ben announced to the staff that he was going to New York, and I was going to be the general manager of the station. WOW! What now?
|When we walked out of the conference
room, I asked Ben ‘what do I do now?’ He responded with a
quick, ‘You will find your way to do a good job.’ I think I
did a good job. The station had more different advertisers
than any other station in Los Angeles.
When I retired in 1996, the station was valued at almost 100 million dollars. My radio career was over at KABC and there was never a day in the almost 37 years that I regretted. It was a fun time in my life and every day was a joy going to work.
Someone asked me what one event during my career at KABC changed the direction of my life. Without a doubt it was the acquisition the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974. Perhaps the biggest mistake any management team made was by Jim Wesley, who was the gsm of KFI in 1974, and his manager Biggie Nevins. Peter O’Malley had just taken over the responsibility of being the president of the Los Angeles Dodgers. His father, Walter O’Malley, was the man responsible for making the decision to take the Dodgers out of Brooklyn and bring them to the west coast.
KFI was the first station picked to air all the games of the LA Dodgers, including spring training games. Almost all of the spring training games were played and aired during the day. Jim and Biggie decided they wanted to air these games at night rather in real time during the day. Peter O’Malley said no to their request.
|Ben Hoberman (in photo with Ronald
Reagan) wisely approached Peter
O’Malley and told him that KABC would be delighted to carry
the spring training games. THAT WAS IT! KABC got a one-year
contract to carry the games. Then another one-year contract.
Then a series of three-year deals before Merritt
Willey, the marketing man at the Dodgers and I made
several five-year deals. As I remember, we quickly shook
hands on many of the contracts with little negotiation
between us, other than the amount of money that we would pay
the Dodgers for the rights to the games.
My life changed right then and there. I was at three or four games a week for all the years we carried the games. I was the guest of the Dodgers at Vero Beach every year. Peter and I became good friends. He trusted me to deliver what I had promised. And thanks to the Dodgers, we had the top radio ratings in Los Angeles for many years. I am proud to say I have two World Series rings hanging on the wall in my office, 1981 and 1988!
I often think of Ben Hoberman who led the way for me for many years. As a summary, I have had a good life, loving every day. My advice to everyone reading this – ENJOY EVERY DAY! LIFE IS SHORT!” – George Green
Howard Stern Doing What He Does Best
|(May 21, 2019) Howard Stern is
the master of all things marketable and promotable.
Especially himself. He’s got a new book, Howard Stern
Comes Again. The self-proclaimed “King of All Media”
and former KLSX morning man has carefully cherry-picked the
crème of the crop in media outlets to once again get
The Hollywood Reporter (thanks to THR for use of the artwork) gave him the cover along with eight, count ‘em EIGHT, pages of copy and pictures. Whether you think he is making big self-reflections on his life and career or attempting to sell a book, he knows how to generate buzz.
Regardless of what you think, he’s thinking about the hourglass, “and the sand emptying.” He paints in his spare time and the author concludes, “Still it’s hard to imagine the guy who regularly sneaks onto Twitter to gauge listener reactions is really ready to hang it all up. His eyes, which have been darting around the studio for the past hour-and-a-half, suddenly settle on the microphone hanging high about his desk: ‘To walk away from what I’m good at? I don’t even know that I have it 100 percent right yet. And maybe there’s more to explore…’”
Hear Ache. Speaking of Howard Stern, he created more headlines recently with a feud over heated disagreement over comments Wendy Williams made about him on her talk show. Apparently, they have since mended their friendship. She claimed that Stern had lost his edge and was “so Hollywood,” to which he responded by calling her a “jealous bitch.” The pair seem to have called a truce. Howard regrets his comments made toward the former radio personality turned talk show host. “That was me at my worst. I thought she was saying that I was a piece of s— and I sucked. But as [I hear it] now, I don’t see it as an offense at all.” … KPFK’s Bill Gardner was playing the Top 25 r&b songs from the early 1950s on his Saturday Rhapsody in Black program. The top 10 included the two Annie (Had a Baby and Work With Me) songs, along with Chords’ Sh-Boom. The number one song was 60-Minute Man by the Dominoes … LA Magazine has a delight story about “Secrets of the Chateau” by Hailey Eber. Details are contained in a new book. The storied hotel has only 63 rooms, which is more than that on one floor of the Hollywood Roosevelt. The author was asked to recount the most surprising thing in the research. “Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate got pregnant there and left because Sharon didn’t want to bring a baby back to a hotel. A pregnant Tate was later brutally murdered by the Manson family in Benedict Canyon.”
Pick a Track and listen to the sounds of LARadio
A Side of KNX's Dave Zorn That Will Make Your Heart Go Pitter Patter
|(May 20, 2019) For Dave
Zorn, radio was something he did, not who he was.
We were lucky to share Dave for 24 years at KNX. His radio
career spanned 36 years, having started his career in
And now, we are lucky once again.
Just before Dave died on July 30, 2018, he asked his wife Carolynn to bring his manuscript to the hospital. “We thought we had several weeks of hospice care, but it was only ten days. He asked me to promise that I would publish this book,” said Carolynn.
Some Final Thoughts arrived over the weekend. The pages turn easily. They float lazily like a feather as they sway from side to side. You will recognize some of what you think you know about Dave and his career but there is oh, so much more.
Dave suffered from cardiac issues in his later years. In 2005, he recalled when his cardiologist supervised the defibrillation of his heart 42 times. He flat-lined three times. Dave talks about the experience (“white light or no white light”). His decision to retire was made for him.
Dave includes the letter he sent to his colleagues. He was fond of the behind the scenes people at KNX. “They are the wittiest, most playful and a downright witty staff.”
He says the smartest thing he ever did was to join the Marines. Dave takes us into battle during the Vietnam War, then the story of his return with fellow veteran Ronnie Bradford decades later when they met with Vietnamese officers.
Some Final Thoughts includes love letters to Carolynn, anniversary notes, poems and even Christmas letters. On their 21st anniversary, Dave wrote: “Twenty-one years after marrying you, I am a much better man, and it’s all because of you. We are so good for each other. We make sacrifices for each other and make compromises for each other and do things for each other. I know that that’s a big part of what love is all about.”
On his 50th birthday, Dave writes a moving letter to his parents, Lil and Ed, thanking them for his strong sense of patriotism, integrity, family, responsibility, decency, and introducing him to God. Dave quipped near the end of his heartfelt letter, “thanks for not stopping at two children.”
| He takes us back to his
childhood home in rural Connecticut. You can almost hear the
ring of the Good Humor Ice Cream man cruising down the dusty
room. He relished in the carefree days of cookouts featuring
hamburgers, hot dogs, and frosty lemonade.
The love story between Dave and Carolynn started in 1965 when they got engaged. But they were separated by the Vietnam War. Thirty years later, he contacts her again. The pull of first love draws them together again. He shares thoughts with her in a very revealing letter in 1994. “When I returned from Vietnam, I was traumatized by the friends I lost, the close calls I had, and the conditions we had to endure. I was so emotionally messed up at that point I’m not sure I was ready to be a good husband to anyone. I’ve never stopped loving you.” The book includes his marriage proposal.
You will fall in love with Dave and Carolynn. We should all be grateful that Dave made her promise that his memoir be available to all of us. Click the artwork to purchase the book.
|In other news: KABC’s Jillian Barberie has been an open book about her journey with cancer and chemo. On Saturday, she had good news and Tweeted: “I woke up to sunshine and mild bone pain. But I got out of bed at 6 which is not normal for me on a weekend. I feel stronger. I’m so grateful I started to cry happy tears!” … Just as I was wondering what happened to "HOT 92.3" morning co-host Michelle Visage (far left with RuPaul) there she is in the current issue of US Magazine … Adam Carolla is set for the Howard Stern show this morning … Anyone have an idea how to reach the Chuck Cecil family? There is interest in carrying his ‘Swingin’ Years’ Big Band show … Whotta’ hoot at the Chumash Theatre Friday night. It was the Golden Boys concert with Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, and Fabian (minus Fabian due to illness). I guess that happens when you pass your mid-70s. Promoters replaced Fabian with Gary U.S. Bonds. Yeah for New Orleans. Gary appeared on the first seasons of Shindig and Hollywood a Go Go and for being almost 80, he was on fire. His backup singers were his wife of 54 years and his daughter … Eric Tracy is at UCLA this morning for a couple of surgical procedures. “My City of Hope cancer doctor is concerned about a nodule on my epiglottis. That’s the little thingy (sorry for the technical jargon) that covers your body cavity when you swallow.” … Brian Whitman is celebrating seven years doing mornings at 870/KRLA.|
Email Saturday, 5.19.2019
“Why would any of us denigrate KIRN’s programming by comparing it to KABC’s. Let’s stop the nonsensical comparisons and wish them continued success.” – Greg Glaser
** Condolences to Conway, Jr.
“Please post my sincere condolences to Tim Conway Jr. I had the pleasure of working with him on our days at KLSX / 97.1 FM. Like two passing ships in the night, we had our time on Sunday mornings where I had my show and he came on to do his show.
May your dad rest now for he has giving loads and lots of fun entertainment, I still watch McHale’s Navy!” – Nelson Salsa Fernandez
“Thank you for sharing your mother with us. I am so sorry that ALS still is taking the best from our loved ones, and I hope that in our lifetime there will be if not a cure, at least a medical treatment to stall it until a cure is found. It’s only been 3-1/2 years since my mother died, and yesterday was filled with well-meaning reminders and wishes from the grocery store to neighbors.
But the mention of flowers for your mother made me smile. My mother always preferred candy and pins from my father for our births and holidays. She cleaned up during May because of her birthday and wedding anniversary falling within weeks of Mother's Day. Thank you again for your words and for LARP!” – Julie T. Byers
** National News Coverage or Lack Thereof
“The discussion of how radio covers news events reiterates some points I asked at a June 6, 2009 luncheon hosted by Don Barrett.
For many years, when I was growing up in New Jersey, we could depend on radio for always running live coverage of important events, whether it was news conferences, space shots, or even long-form UN Security Council meetings. Seemingly in the early 70s, something began to change. I especially noticed something during the coverage of the Apollo 14 mission, when radio networks (and their affiliates) were running only five minute reports twice an hour, while all three tv networks were covering the moon walks for several continuous hours.
Of course, radio has done a great job with covering the Watergate hearings and the assassination attempt of President Reagan. However, by 4 p.m. on September 11, 2001, you could hardly find any radio network coverage, yet tv network coverage was running about 90 consecutive hours.
Currently you cannot find many Presidential speeches offered live on radio without a satellite or raw network feed. And I long for the good old days, when political conventions were covered gavel-to-gavel, both on radio and tv." - Chime Hart
** Music Quality
“Bill Schwarz is exactly right. It’s not mp3 audio (on KKGO / HD2), but it’s the same concept, where a choice is made to compress the audio. Why do we do that? Computers can only process information so fast, and bandwidths come with limitations, so where the computer would normally use 100 sample points to describe a waveform, a person might instead choose to use 10 sample points to describe that waveform. Doing that allows us – or anyone – to send the same ‘audio’ using a tenth of the computer power, or in the case of HD FM channels, fitting the same song into a narrow bandwidth.
The HD FM channels are not nearly as wide as the main channels, and something has to give to fit audio in there. So the waveform is described by the computer-assigned sample points, but not quite as accurately as the original that has ten times the number of sample points, and as a result you will hear flaws from time to time when the audio sampling dots aren’t able to as precisely reproduce the original.
The confusion comes from our industry calling these FM sub-channels ‘HD,’ without clearly explaining that the HD doesn't stand for ‘High Definition’ like it does in tv, but rather ‘Hybrid Digital.’
BTW – you will hear this same digital compression issue with satellite-delivered audio subscriptions, for the same reasons. In fact, the quality of the audio experience in cars with satellite radio is shockingly bad, with digital compression errors – much worse than ours – being the norm. I’m surprised people pay so much for such poor audio quality. This is the same case with most streaming audio on the web. And, yes, when you take an mp3 track – audio that is already compressed – and digitally compress it further on one of these services, you can see how the error rates would increase even more from the original audio.
Neil Young is right in his campaign to improve the quality of music audio. I don’t know what the answer is. We are doing the best we can with the tools we have to work with to deliver interesting, worthy alternative formats to the L.A. listening audience. But yeah, the bandwidths are small on these HD channels, and we are squeezing as many digits through them as we can, but the limited capabilities of these Hybrid Digital channels don’t allow us the luxury of sending out the kind of audio that Neil Young would approve of. Thanks for letting us explain!” – Fred Missman, Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters
** Audio Quality
“Well, now we know. I am also aghast at the same audio quality I hear on SiriusXM. I can’t believe anyone would pay for music that sounds like that, but I have a friend that does. I regularly get tortured by his satellite radio with songs I used to hear in high fidelity, back in the day.
Not too long ago, most scientists concluded that the universe was finite, including Albert Einstein. One who did not was Dr. Edwin Hubble, who has the space telescope named after him. He was able to prove through spectral photography aimed at certain stars that not only was the universe not finite, but expanding! Indeed, the guy who says the emperor has no clothes occupies a lonely space.
That much said, I actually deeply admire Saul Levine and his maverick ways. In an industry of yes-men, Saul serving audiences that others can’t or won’t is sorely needed!” – Bill Schwarz, Ontario
KNX's Thom Tran to MC Army Event
|(May 17, 2019)
His voice is known to thousands of KNX
news radio listeners as the man helping make their daily
commutes easier. Thousands more know him as the hilariously
funny creator of the “GIs of Comedy” Tour. Others know him
as a soldier and armed forces leader. Thom Tran now
adds another assignment, when he will be the master of
ceremonies at The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the
Association of the United States Army Ball. The event will
take place next month at the Westin Hotel in Long Beach.
Thom created the “GIs of Comedy” Tour to help his brothers and sisters in arms, both active duty and veterans, using the healing power of laughter. He knows first-hand how traumatic a combat deployment can be on both body and mind. Another reason was to help heal his own injuries. Thom enlisted in the United States Army at 18 years of age before he even finished high school.
After joining the Army, he spent his entire career as a Communications Sergeant as well as a Civil Affairs Sergeant within the United States Army’s Special Operations Community.
In 2003, four days after crossing the border into Iraq, Thom was shot in the head, when a sniper’s bullet found its way to the back of his skull. He bandaged himself up, continued the mission, and finished his 12-month tour in Iraq. Thom also works as a writer, producer, actor, and military consultant to Hollywood films and television shows, having appeared on NCIS: Los Angeles, SEAL Team, and the ABC comedy, Black-Ish.
In other news: Larry Van Nuys, celebrating 50 years of a marriage with the delightful Marsha, sent an update on his activities. “I did an interview about my career with a courageous and talented young man who suffers from Asperger's Disease. He has an on-line radio show.” The interview is here … We had a surprise on Mother’s Day our Peace Corp son Tyler calling from Zambia airport. He was being transported to Johannesburg. As he was starting his fifth week in Zambia, he fell from his bicycle and broke his collarbone. He got to the hospital and following surgery they attached a plate over the area. After two days in the hospital he was sent to rehab facility where he is now spending the next two weeks. The plan is for him to return to Zambia in two weeks where he will resume his Peace Corps training. After six months he is supposed to return to the hospital in Johannesburg where they will remove the plate and assess the healing. And how are your kids doing? … On May 10, the ubiquitous Rollye James interviewed Neil Ross about his book, Vocal Recall. You can hear it here … If you are a LARP and have written a book, we have started a section to promote your book. Scroll down just before the Archives section. Just let us know if you want your book displayed and a link where they can buy it … Headed to Chumash Casino tonight for a real Oldie But Goodie show with Frankie Avalon, Fabian, and Bobby Rydell. Let me know if you might be there.
|How I Met Your Mother.
“I lost my mom,” is how Teresa Strasser,
former co-host with Peter Tilden at KABC,
started her Mother’s Day story.
No, I literally lost her. The box from the Neptune Society filled with her ashes (Tamara) ashes was just too much for me to deal with when it arrived by US Mail three years ago. So, I asked Daniel (my husband) to find a good spot for her, just a temporary location until I could manage to face dispersing her, or putting her in some sort of vase, or sprinkling her at sea, or at the Berkeley Flea Market, or wherever.
Well, I was finally ready to come to terms with The Box. However, nobody could find mom. She wasn't ‘lost’ lost, because where could she have gone, really? But it was a relief when she turned up, still inside her taped-up cardboard shipping box, which had been placed inside of a decorative wooden box, stacked below a smaller, matching wooden box, just next to the television in our living room. It's where she would want to be, and that's why I'm still not ready to move her, or part with her, or hold some stupid ceremony reciting poetry and blasting Bridge Over Troubled Water from a tinny Bluetooth speaker.
And if you've gotten this far, odds are you're okay with some death-y mom talk. Maybe you're also grieving this time of year, a mother you lost, or sort of lost, or just never had, some other maternal bond that broke, or just never quite delivered, in the way the post office once delivered Tammy.
Mother's Day can be a tough time for the grieving, no matter how long it's been, no matter what the loss. It's a box that's always filled with ashes, and even if you don't know exactly where it is, you feel it.
Another story of an accidental UberPOOL ride she took through San Francisco hours after her mom died is here.
Teresa added: “Happy Mother's Day to everyone, even if it feels fucked up. Just remember, ‘When you're weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, my mom would have told you to dry them all, suck it up and get your shit together.’”
|From David Grudt's LA Times ad collection - May 16, 1969|
Erica Farber Woman of the Year
|(May 16, 2019) LARP
Erica Farber has been awarded Woman of the Year by
TALKERS magazine. The Radio Advertising Bureau
(RAB) president/ceo is the recipient of its 20th annual Judy
Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk
Radio by a Woman, also known as the “Woman of the Year”
Erica joined the RAB as executive vp in 2011 and ascended to its leadership in April of 2012. Prior to that, Farber served more than a dozen years as publisher/ceo of the historic radio trade publication Radio & Records. Her extraordinary career in the radio business also includes a 12-year stint in various top management capacities at INTEREP, one of radio’s leading rep firms, including serving as its executive vice president/radio development director. She was also a significant pioneer in the history of women breaking the glass ceiling in the management arena of the major market radio station business.
During the early years of her career, she held positions at KRTH, KABC/tv, and KIIS-AM. In 1975, she was appointed general sales manager of WROR/fm-Boston and was promoted to general manager in June of that year. Her success then led to an appointment as VP/general manager of WXLO-New York in 1976.
“We have just scratched the surface of this great radio woman’s work history in today’s TALKERS story," said Michael Harrison, publisher of TALKERS. "Erica could have justifiably claimed this honor many times during her stellar career and she has been awarded literally dozens of industry awards and accolades since her days in local radio management and sales.” Harrison adds, “We look forward to day when a specific women’s award in radio becomes an obsolete concept." Past recipients of the award include: Caroline Beasley, Mary Berner, Ginny Morris, Julie Talbott, Robin Quivers, Robin Bertolucci, Heather Cohen, Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, and Laura Ingraham.
Thanks to Michael Harrison for this fascinating story about our industry
Tim Conway, Jr. Loses His Father
|(May 15, 2019) Our
condolences to Tim Conway, Jr., host of the
evening show at KFI, on the passing of his father. Beloved
actor and comedian Tim Conway died on Tuesday at the age of
85. Word first reached us yesterday morning via a Tweet from
The actor is best known for his work on The Carol Burnett Show. Everyone has a favorite skit. (Ours is in the dentist chair below.) He was nominated for 13 Emmys and won six during the course of his career, including four for his work on "The Carol Burnett Show," and two more for guest appearances on Coach and 30 Rock.
“The passing of Tim Conway brought back many memories,” emailed Harvey Kern. “For years, he hosted the Tim Conway Celebrity Golf Tournament in Thousand Oaks and invited many of his friends in the entertainment industry. They raised tons of money for charities. I was privileged to broadcast from the tournament on KNJO (92.7/fm). Harvey Korman, also gone, always had things to say about our names. Rest in Peace.”
In other news: Angie Fitzsimmons will join mornings at Country KKGO later this month. "Angie is one of the most exciting air personalities I have encountered in my years of management," emailed Saul Levine. "Her background in being associated with Carson Daly is a big plus. Her air work will be delivered on 105.1 in uncompressed full fidelity 20,000 cycle audio." Angie was born and raised in Chicago, where she began her radio career as an intern and worked her way up to becoming the executive producer for a top rated, nationally syndicated morning show. After her marriage, she loaded up the truck and moved to Los Angeles where she joined the Adam Carolla Show before landing a role with the Carson Daly show on AMP Radio. After seven years with Daly, she left radio to pursue a certification as a Pilates instructor and raise her family of three boys (including twins) … KKGO Digital Director Adam Bookbinder joins the air staff for weekends. “If you would have told me one day I'd have my own on-air shift on a Los Angeles radio station, I would have told you that you’re crazy,” Adam posted on Facebook” … In a related move, Gary Campbell exits his part-time role at KKGO and K-SURF after 12 years … Jimmy Kimmel, former KROQer, has agreed to a new three-year contract extension to continue as host and executive producer of Jimmy Kimmel Live, which will bring his ABC talk show to 20 seasons … Rick Dees been on the Water Diet. “You eat 3 small meals and drink 12 glasses of water a day,” said Rick. “I lost 7 pounds in two days. MY BLADDER FELL OUT.”
KOST With the Most
2019) KOST continues to be the host with the most,
dominating the top spot in the just-released April PPM
Nielsen Audio survey. The “Soft Hits” station leads in 6+ by
almost a full point over K-EARTH. Rounding out the top five
are KTWV (the WAVE), JACK/fm (KCBS/fm) and MY/fm (KBIG).
KIIS fell out of the top five for the first time in – well
it seems like – forever. At seventh place is Talker KFI.
Spanish language formats round out the Top 10. Some
highlights: All-News KNX drops four consecutive months and
out of the top 10. Rocker KLOS (newly acquired by Meruelo)
is up. Sports KLAC had a big bump likely due to start of the
baseball season and the Dodgers, though KSPN (ESPN L.A.)
maintained their audience. The Persian station, KIRN, beat
KABC. KFI’s online stream also beat 790 AM. KAMP (AMP Radio)
is going in the wrong direction.
1. KOST (AC) 6.5 - 6.3
2. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.5 - 5.5
3. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.7 - 5.0
4. KCBS (JACK/fm) 4.1. - 4.2
5. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.2 - 4.1
6. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.3 - 4.0
7. KFI (Talk) 3.8 - 3.7
8. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.1 - 3.1
KXOL (Spanish AC) 3.0 - 3.1
10. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.6 - 3.0
KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.7 - 3.0
12. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.6 - 2.8
KNX (News) 3.1 - 2.8
KRRL (Urban) 2.6 - 2.8
15. KKGO (Country) 2.3 - 2.6
KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.5 - 2.6
17. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.1 - 2.5
18. KAMP (Top 40/R) 2.7 - 2.3
KPCC (News/Talk) 2.1 - 2.3
KUSC (Classical) 2.4 - 2.3
KYSR (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.3
22. KROQ (Alternative) 2.3 - 2.0
23. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 1.5 - 1.8
24. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 1.7
25. KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 1.2 - 1.6
26. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.9 - 1.5
27. KLAC (Sports) o.7 - 1.3
KXOS (Regional Mexican) 0.9 - 1.3
29. KCRW (Variety) 1.3 - 1.1
KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.2 - 1.1
KSPN (Sports) 1.1 - 1.1
32. KKJZ (Jazz) 0.9 - 0.9
33. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.8
KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.7 - 0.8
KRLA (Talk) 0.9 - 0.8
36. KFI (Stream) 0.6 - 0.7
KIRN (Persian) 0.5 - 0.7
KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.7 - 0.7
39. KABC (Talk) 0.5 - 0.6
40. KDLD (Regional Mexican) 0.4 - 0.5
KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.6 - 0.5
|KROQ's Kevin Ryder confronts his boss, Kevin Weatherly|
Dees New Book Bakes the Top 40
|(May 13, 2019) What’s
cookin’ with the former morning king of LARadio, Rick
Dees? While other radio people are writing books
about their nomadic journey of working in small markets
while attempting to get to Los Angeles or New York, Rick has
put together a scrumptious coffee table book with his
All-Time Top 40 Greatest Desserts.
Not only do the recipes appear to die for, but the photography is A+, which whets the appetite even more and helps inspire heating up the oven. In fact, Dees autographed the book with "Let’s bake! Just pre-heat to 350 ‘Dees-grees."
Some of his favorites include: “Rick’s Red Velvet Cake,” “Butterscotch Pecan Souffle,” “Cola Cake,” and “Grandma’s Cake with Hot Bourbon Sauce.” Rick said the recipe is “a flavorful reminder of grandmothers everywhere.” Be sure to try the "World's #1 Hot Fudge Sauce" on page 180. "That's our own personal favorite. You can't go wrong with that warm delight generously drizzled atop 3 scoops of Trader Joe's French Vanilla ice cream.....MMMMMMMMMM," wrote Dees. Click on the book to learn more.
In other news: Good news from Big Bear. Larry “Supermouth” Huffman is home from his heart bypass surgery. “Because I’ve never done drugs, which seems unthinkable knowing this industry back in the 60’s / 70’s, I’m very sensitive to pain killers. At one point I completely flipped out after an I.V. injection and it took four burly hospital orderlies to hold me down and immediately inject a child’s amount of Valium into me.” … My son Tyler was in Zambia completing his fifth week with the Peace Corps when he was tossed from his bike and broke his collarbone. We are awaiting word from the hospital in Johannesburg if he will have to come home … Former KFI Talk show hostess Marcia Clark was co-writer and co-creator on a new tv series, The Fix. The show didn’t last for very long. It has been canceled. The show centered on an L.A. D.A. who suffers a devastating defeat when prosecuting an A-list actor for double murder – sound familiar? … Brad “Martini” Chambers has been splitting his time between Studio City and Boise, which is his wife’s hometown. Brad had been spending 7 – 10 days of each month in Boise, the rest in Southern California. “That has become more and more difficult,” wrote Brad to his fan base. He’s moving to Boise full-time while still playing the tasty music on his Internet radio station … George Moore, veteran of KPWR, KGFJ, KJLH, KMPC and KACE, wrote that he’s doing okay after undergoing surgery on his neck, back in March. “Since then, I have been healing and resting. it's been very painful and draining on my body. There is still a way to go, but I hope to do that and fully recover” … April PPM ratings will be sent to all of you on the mailing list this afternoon ... It was so much fun to see all the pictures of your mothers displayed on Facebook.
|CBS Sunday Morning, May 12, 2019|
Email Saturday, 5.11.2019
** KABC Doing Something Wrong
“As your column illustrates today, KABC is the laughing stock of radio today. When your numbers are on par with Persian language programming in the ratings, you’re doing something wrong.” – Patrick Breen
** KABC and the Trojans
“Ha!! Hilariously brilliant observations by Tom Hoffarth!” – Greg Hardison
** Breaking News on Weekends
“Sadly, Perry Simon is correct. I don’t know much about San Diego radio but I know a lot about Los Angeles radio. Our all-News monopoly, KNX, offers great anchors and reporters. However, on weekends and often during the week, they rely heavily on audio from CBS2 rather than having radio staff to cover important local stories.
Visual references tell me nobody cares. The fact that no KNX reporters are on duty tells me nobody knows. Sad!” – Cam Currier
** Local Fire Not on the Radio
“I read Perry Michael Simon’s piece and two things came to mind. Ten years ago, we had the Station Fire in the San Gabriel Mountains. At the time, I was doing construction on my home in Montrose and had scaffolding surrounding the second floor. On a Saturday morning, I was on the scaffolding painting trim and listening to the radio. From the scaffolding, I had a perfect view of the mountains and I could see the smoke from the fire way off to the east, perhaps near Azusa. I noticed the fire started moving very rapidly to the west but the talk station I was listening to mentioned nothing. I switched stations to another talk station but still nothing. I switched to KNX Newsradio and heard a cooking show.
Within two hours, the fire had burned all the way to the Sunland-Tujunga area and still nothing on the radio. I went inside to watch tv news coverage and I found sports and infomercials. I guess the message is don’t have a deadly fire on the weekend.
On possibly a more important note, five years before that, I had a kid in elementary school in the Glendale School District where I volunteered one day a week. I was stuffing folders for the kids to bring home to their parents, which contained procedures in case of an emergency. One thing that stood out to me was in case of emergency at any Glendale school, parents were instructed to tune to the local Glendale radio station, 870 AM – KIEV.
I knew that 870 hadn’t been KIEV for years and the idea that it was still a ‘local’ Glendale station made me wonder if there had been any communication between the Board of Education and station management for a long time, as KIEV [now KRLA] was mostly made up of syndicated programming throughout the day. The station was under new ownership [Salem] and I wondered if they had any knowledge at all about their supposed role in getting emergency information to the parents of school children, or if the board of education had any idea that the station wasn’t the local station as it had been when owned by the Beatons. I suppose it doesn't matter now that we get text alerts.” – Gary Gibson
** Anyone in the Building?
“I found Perry Michael Simon’s comments about the lack of local radio coverage very powerful. However I must mention his quote: ‘On a Saturday, the people in the building might not have had the news instinct to break into regular programming.’
I wouldn’t assume there was anyone in the building on a weekend!” – Neil Young
** Oldies Quality
“I realize at an age of 67, I am in a minority demographic. Nonetheless, I am still fascinated in hearing Oldies in stereo.
While most 45s were in mono until around 1969, many from albums or re-issued CDs are happily available in stereo. I happen to love the audio quality (on K-SURF) on 1260 in HD. However, once the station added an HD3 with light hits music on 105.1/fm, the station reduced the highs on K-SURF HD2 fm simulcast. It is hard enough finding home HD receivers with a simpler interface, but I settled on a 2007 Polk Audio radio.
As far as comparing fidelity around the dial, even on analog, the best would be KOST by far, nice and bright. The worst would be KCRW, where the highs are not nearly as good as KPCC/fm HD1.” – Chime Hart
** Oldie Audio
“Thank you for reminding your readers of Gardening Day. I am planting tomatoes today the conventional way.
Interesting that Bill Schwartz objects to the recordings we use on KSURF/fm 105.1 HD2. It is an Oldies format with recordings going back up to 70 years. When we tried to play updated remakes of a number of songs, the audience wanted the original recordings or the MP3 versions. K-SURF has several hundred thousand listeners and this is the first complaint we have heard of as to audio quality. But I welcome the publicity.
PS. I hope you are aware that there is a day in September designated as ‘Chardonnay Day.’ We should all participate on that day.” – Saul Levine
** Chuck Cecil
“I played Chuck Cecil’s Big Band show on the American Forces Korea Network (AFKN) more than a half century ago. Even then it would be hard to find big band music anywhere on the dial. How much rarer it is today to find the songs of my era.” – Steve (Fredericks) Liddick, former K-Earth News Director.
** Satellite for Swingin’ Years
“With the passing of Chuck Cecil, wouldn’t it be lovely if Sirius/XM Radio created a ‘Swinging Years’ channel, featuring the many shows, interviews and music Chuck gave us over the years? Hopefully those great shows exist on tape.” – Arlen Peters
** Bugging You
“Funny picture about naked gardening — I’m afraid of bugs so I will not be attending.” – Mark Alyn
** Oliver Harris MIA
“Any chance you have any contact info on KJLH’s Oliver Harris? Just wanted to thank him for introducing me to Hank Crawford's music and his wonderful ‘Gemini Changes’ show every night...all these years later. I actually recorded a broadcast one night on reel-to-reel.” – Rick Bisetti
** Loss of Wild Bill
“Sorry to hear about the passing of Wild Bill Scott. He was a true original. He followed me at night on the original Loop in Chicago. Fearless and rebellious, a true rocker. Radio could use firebrands like Bill today.” – Sky Daniels
New News Anchor at KNX
|(May 10, 2019) The
latest addition to the KNX anchor desk is Emily
Valdez. She was a longtime tv reporter and anchor
at KGTV in San Diego, after previously working in Cleveland
at Fox 8 (WJW/tv).
Her stories have led to significant changes in the legal system. She once did a story on a paroled sex offender who went off his GPS monitoring device and had the run of the community, yet the public was never notified. Because of Emily’s report, then-California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, took action. He issued an order to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, mandating they create a public alert system with photos of the wanted predators.
Emily was in the eye of the storm, covering hurricane Katrina in 2005 while living out of a car for a week. She gathered news during the day and reported live via satellite in the evening, as the city of New Orleans lay submerged under the deadly toxic water and crime in the streets ran rampant.
She also finds time to report on really important stories, such as the ransom kidnapping of a Bob’s Big Boy statue. Luckily, Big Boy was returned with only minor scratches. Emily also spent ten years in Bakersfield television.
She grew up in Los Angeles and Orange County, earning a B.A. from Cal State Northridge in Broadcast Journalism and an M.S. from University of Maryland in Life Sciences.
Emily started her broadcast reporting career in 1999 at News 21 in Rockville, Maryland. She has been won two regional news Emmy Awards and been nominated seven times.
Smart Radio Folk. One doesn’t have to be smart
to be in radio. Radio people have proven it over and over.
The latest is a BBC personality who posted a picture of a chimpanzee in a tweet about the royal baby born to Meghan and Harry. The posted photoshopped photo had an image of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes and the caption: “Royal baby leaves hospital.” BBC fired him and the personality posted that the post was an “enormous mistake.” You think?
In other news: MY/fm (KBIG) personality Billy Bush, who lost his lucrative Today show gig in 2016 in the wake of his uncomfortably close proximity to the now infamous Donald Trump / Access Hollywood tape, is getting another chance. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bush has been hired to anchor Extra Extra, an updated version of the syndicated entertainment show, which will debut this fall when Extra moves to Fox … A big 7th Annual Music Industry Reunion this coming Monday night at the Canyon Club in Agoura. Be there or be square … Tammy Trujillo is about to launch a new podcast with Tim Piper, who has made many appearances performing as a John Lennon impressionist, including playing John in the movie The Linda McCartney Story. “Both Tim and I consider John Lennon to be far more than just one of the Beatles. Certainly as a member of that band he changed music forever. But he was also someone who wanted to change the world, get people talking to each other and find a way for us all to have a beautiful, peaceful existence. Just imagine what he would say if he was still here,” said Tammy. Here’s a teaser listen … KIIS’ middayer Alex had a cute line this week, “Turn up the music, but if you are in your car looking for a street address, it is okay turn us down.”
Fight On for ol’ SC
|(May 9, 2019) There was a time when
being the flagship station for a local sports franchise was
a big deal. A REALLY big deal. Not only was it a strong
ratings-getter, but much of the other programming around it
flourished. Maybe not so much nowadays.
TV, internet and other audio devices have pretty much flattened the lure of radio play-by-play. Besides the sports franchise has a healthy say in programming – personnel, spot load, surrounding programming (pre- and post-game shows).
This is especially true at KLAC, who has the LA Dodgers as a 49% partner. As for the Angels, KLAA (830AM) is owned by Arte Moreno, who also owns the other local baseball team.
Recently, KABC announced a new five-year deal for the station to carry USC football and basketball broadcasts. The Trojans had been on KSPN (ESPN L.A. / 710) for the past 12 seasons. The announcement caught the attention of LA Times sports columnist Tom Hoffarth. He said the partnership must prove that misery loves company.
“KABC, part of a depleted media company coming out of bankruptcy, pushing 6,800 watts and on par in the L.A. ratings with Persian language KIRN, is the same station the NHL’s Kings blew off after a four-year relationship, deciding it was better off broadcasting games over a phone app.”
Ouch. Hoffarth didn’t stop there.
“If this were a Monopoly board, the Trojans just slid their thimble piece onto Marvin Gardens and act as if they were laying rebar and concrete on Park Place.”
|Top Grossing Sports Movies. LA Times has
been having fun with the top grossing sports movies,
courtesy of boxofficemojo.com.
Baseball – A League of Their Own ($107M)
Basketball – Space Jam ($90M)
Boxing – Rocky IV ($128M)
Football – The Blind Side ($256M)
Golf – Tin Cup ($54M)
Hockey – Miracle ($65M)
Soccer – Kicking and Screaming ($53M)
|Dodger Pre-Game. David
Vassegh (interviewing Cody Bellinger) is in his
eighth season traveling with the Dodgers and hosting “Dodger
Talk.” Sports has been in his blood since he was a kid.
When he was growing up, David listened to most Dodgers and Lakers home games on the radio, then he stay tuned for the post-game shows. “It’s full circle hosting ‘Dodger Talk’ for me since I loved listening and would often call in to Ross Porter when he hosted the show for many years. I actually won a Lakers bag by answering a trivia question when Chick Hearn hosted the pre-game ‘Lakers Line’ show before Lakers home games.”
“I was raised by my single mother, Bianca, and have a brother seven years older than me,” said Dave. “While my mom was at work, I would be very involved in keeping up with the local sports teams.”
David joined KLAC in 2004 beginning as a field reporter and producing the Petros and Money Show until he started with his current role with the Dodger broadcasts.
David was born in Santa Monica in October 1976, growing up in Woodland Hills. He attended Our Lady of the Valley until 8th grade, then graduated from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks in 1994 followed by Cal State Northridge.
David attributes much of his success to his mentoring by Joe McDonnell. Joe was working at KWNK (670AM) in 1998 when it had a sports format. “That’s how I got my start in radio. Joe taught me so much that I still apply today.”
David concluded: “Chick Hearn, Vin Scully, Don Drysdale, Ross Porter, and Bob Miller were the soundtrack of my childhood.” In another thirty years, perhaps David Vassegh will be remembered as being part of the soundtrack to a new generation of sports fans.
More Reaction to Lack of Weekend News Coverage
|(May 8, 2019) There’s
been a number of responses to Perry Michael Simon
(l) of AllAccess, who lamented the
coverage – or lack therof – by San Diego radio stations
during the shootings at a Poway synagogue on April 27.
Perry said the local outlets continued with Rush Limbaugh and Clark Howard “best-ofs,” providing limited to non-existent coverage of a tragic breaking news event which was being covered nationally by other media.
Mark Ramsey, creator / host of the podcast “Inside Star Wars,” thinks Perry is “whistling into the wind.” He continues: “Once it’s clear local radio doesn’t get what to do in an emergency, then it’s all over. And it’s all over.”
|Pat Veiling, Orange
County personality at KWIZ and KORG in the 1980s, now runs
his own ad agency. He thinks Perry Michael Simon summed up
the issue best when he described his experience – ‘I was at
Target, idly checking my phone on Saturday when I saw
Twitter posts about a shooting at a synagogue in Poway.’ “He
was not listening to radio, even though he COULD have been
using headphones to do so,” observed Veiling.
“He was instead seeking ‘push’ notifications using Twitter as the source, and often the ‘crowd source.’ Twitter has also been my primary breaking news source since its earliest days. I typically see the news there first, then seek it out in greater detail via other media sources just like he did.”
Veiling thinks many stations and groups have moved (apparently) successfully to phone-based push apps, yet “their user terms are way too onerous for me. Why would a radio station require access to my private contacts on my phone? Why would they reserve the right to call me on my number?”
Patrick wonders if he is the only one who reads the terms and conditions. “Am I the only one who refuses to ‘Dial #250 on my cell phone’ for fear that my mobile number will be made available to every advertiser and spammer in the universe? Do people not realize this is the ONLY motivation for iHeartRadio to give away $1,000 every hour via SMS?
Unless and until radio stations and groups become more user-friendly in their social media and app terms, Twitter will likely remain the first source of breaking news.”
Ira Lawson wrote that when the 2014 Napa quake hit, on a Sunday, the only Bay Area station covering it live was Napa’s locally programmed KVYN. “Of course, they had to fire up their ‘gennie’ to get on the air, but it reminded me of why I fell in love with radio all those years ago,” emailed Ira. “It was local. The only network content was top of the hour news. The rest came from local air talent, providing local news, information and phone calls and music requests from local listeners. Ah, the good old days.”
In other news: Gayle King, previously heard in afternoons on Progressive KTLK (1150AM) in 2010-11, got a huge promotion this week. She is the new host of the struggling CBS This Morning show, while co-host Norah O’Donnell becomes nighttime anchor and managing editor at CBS Evening News, which is moving to Washington D.C. John Dickerson, current co-anchor of the morning show, is heading to 60 Minutes … Dr. Titus Levi, formerly with KUSC, checked in this week. He received a Ph.D. in economics (UC Irvine) with a focus on the radio industry, media, and policy. His work experience includes extensive involvement in music, as an events producer and promoter with the California Outside Music Association and the Los Angeles Festival … Edison Research president Larry Rosin found that radio remains far and away the most popular medium in the audio sector. For example, people in their cars are listening to radio 69% of the time, while they only spent 27% of the time listening to their own music (CDs, MP3s) or streaming. The study listed 4% of in car listening as “other.” He said that radio listening remains virtually unaffected by music streaming services. Streaming is merely the latest iteration of owned music which is taking over from the once ubiquitous iPod and CD stacker.
Jobs. Brian Perez sent a note that KWVE is looking for an assistant general manager and a sales rep: https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs?clientkey=2FE42A8F1406A04EAC070D5D376F0D82
Meet Newest KROQer
|Kevin Klein officially
joined The World Famous KROQ on January 13, according to a
Tweet he posted. This week, Entercom officially announced
that he and Ted Stryker will “crack wise”
After working in Washington, DC at WRQX, WHFS, and Syracuse stations WKRL and WKLL, Kevin launched and hosted shows on MTV / VH1 Radio (formerly heard on XM). He’s been a fill-in host on Lovelines with Dr. Drew.
Before joining KROQ, Kevin was doing mornings at KITS-San Francisco until a format switch in 2018. “I still think radio is the purest form of entertainment, and my beard is less patchy now,” Kevin told AllAccess when interviewed at KITS. He told the online publication: “These days, radio doesn’t get a lot of respect, and much of that is brought on by lame cookie-cutter shows that all pretty much cover the same topics in the same uncreative ways. I made a decision that I wouldn’t waste a second of airtime talking about celebrity birthdays or Kardashian gossip, or reading TMZ to my audience, or celebrating National Candy Bar Day. Instead, we are forced to create content, and generate our own universe that is unique to Live105 (KITS) between 6-10am.”
When he started talking with CBS Radio about building a morning show in the Bay Area, he said: “I wanted to start from scratch with a team who had ZERO radio experience. I wanted to avoid the bad/lazy habits that so many people develop, so I found people who I thought were interesting and had good work ethics. What makes radio different/better than podcasts is the LIVE back and forth you have with your listeners. Why would you not maximize and celebrate that? Our audience has done far more to promote and grow the show than our own company. They have made us billboards, built us parade floats, gotten us exposure on ESPN, etc.”
|Bob Arthur in the LA Times shortly after he joined KABC. From David Grudt's collection on May 7, 1969.|
If a Tree Falls ....
|(May 7, 2019) Perry Michael
Simon wrote a powerful
piece that recently appeared in AllAccess. Perry is no
stranger to local radio. He was hired for the launch of talk
station “Real Radio” at KLSX. “I practiced law until I
couldn't stand it anymore and had to go back to
He was the former pd of the highly successful John & Ken team (KFI) in Trenton, New Jersey. He’s also been head of operations for modern rock “Y107” during the late 1990s.
With radio in survival mode, his essay in AllAccess was particularly powerful:
Why do people use your product? That’s a simple question that anyone in business needs to ask of themselves. For the radio industry, there’s plenty of research to indicate the answers – it’s always part of Jacobs Media’s Tech survey, for one example – but it came to mind last weekend when I tried to use local radio to serve a basic need.
I was at Target, idly checking my phone on Saturday when I saw Twitter posts about a shooting at a synagogue in Poway. Details were sketchy at the time, and I wanted to find out what was going on. Once I got to my car, I went to the source I thought would be the best option, local San Diego radio. And I tuned into the news-talk stations, and I got... Rush Limbaugh and Clark Howard best-ofs.
Nothing on any station. A tragedy was playing out mere miles from the stations’ studios. A national – international, even – story was happening in the market. The stations did not break from their regular programming.
I later learned that one of the stations belatedly went to “updates every 15 minutes,” but that wasn’t enough, and when I wanted the information, it was not there.
|At the same time, I found that CNN, the
audio of which is on SiriusXM, had gone wall-to-wall with
coverage, and I imagine the other cable news networks did
the same. It was that big.
Yet when listeners tuned into local radio, they did not get what they were looking for. As I’ve pointed out before in similar situations, I understand the dilemma in which PDs and news directors find themselves in 2019. Budgets are tight. Local news is not a priority with corporate management. Local news doesn’t show a profit. We don’t have the staff.
On a Saturday, the people in the building might not have the news instinct to break into regular programming. There are reasons. There are always reasons. But you have a business, and if you ask that question – why do people use my product? – you should think about the answers: Companionship, entertainment, and, yes, when something’s happening in your town, breaking news. There’s been a shooting at a house of worship? The hillsides are on fire? The freeways at a standstill and you’ve been stuck for hours and Waze isn’t telling you what you can’t see in front of you? Earthquake, tornado, flood?
They use your product to be connected, to get information. This gets back to something I wrote about recently; the opportunity radio has to occupy that local news position. Happily, some stations do just that. WBT was all over the Charlotte campus shooting this very week, bailing from regular talk programming to cover the news. There are other stations bucking the trend and remaining the go-to for information when all hell is breaking loose in town. Yet it’s not consistent, and it’s sad (you can insert your own adjectives here) when huge nationally significant news happens, you go to local radio for the information, and it’s not there when you need it.
And as a listener looking for information, I felt... well, betrayed isn’t the right word. Disappointed is better. I know too much about the business to get my expectations up. Oh, let’s add another question you should ask once you’ve asked why people use your product. Ask yourself if you’re providing the thing people are looking to you to provide. If you’re not, ask a third question: If consumers expect something from me and I don’t give it to them when, how, and where they want it, why would they continue to come to me?
In response, Art Vuolo, recipient of a TALKERS Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award, and warmly regarded as “Radio’s Best Friend” was moved by the essay and wrote to Simon:
"Perry, I thought this one was of your best...but there have been SO many. You know how to touch the key nerve...I just hope the key people read what you’re saying.
It immediately made me think of the famous Clear Channel situation in Minot, ND with an approaching tornado and a similar tornado scenario with that same company, prior to the iHeart Media days, in Sandusky, Ohio. MY firsthand experience came while at the CRS may years ago in Nashville. I woke up to a city covered in white, and as you know, Music City does not do well with snow. I went to WSM and they were telling me (honest to God) how to gut a deer! So, I flipped over to WLAC, the news-talk station, and they were, you guessed it, running a “best of” syndicated show. Music stations were all playing the hits and any weather reports sounded as though they were pre-recorded the night before...and probably were. So, I did what you did...I went to TV...LOCAL television, Channels 2, 4 and 5 were all over the snow, and the slick roads and airport delays. How long is radio going to keep believing this bullshit about 93% of the people listening? Disappointing is an understatement. P.S. I wrote this on Saturday morning. Some of us work right through the weekend. RADIO should not take any time OFF...ever."
Art cc’ed his comments to some of the leaders in radio, just to be sure they were aware of what was going on. Art wrote: “Fred Jacobs was the first to respond almost immediately. Randy Michaels just said one word ‘shameful.’ The mind-blower was a reply from Bob Pittman (iHeart chairman/ceo) in less than 90 minutes and on a Saturday morning no less!”
What do you think?
Dan Patrick Health Challenges
|(May 6, 2019)
Out of the clear blue, last week KLAC’s Dan Patrick
revealed some serious health issues that have plagued him
for the better part of a decade. He suffers from Polymyalgia
rheumatica, which he described as constant, extreme joint
pain. “It’s like having the flu and not being nauseous.
Every morning I hate getting out of bed,” said Dan.
In an effort to remedy the issues from Polymyalgia rheumatica, he started taking Prednisone. “Prednisone is a horrible drug,” Dan confessed. “I would cry for no reason. I was emotional.”
Though the medication helped the pain, it led to issues like depression, personality change and suicidal thoughts. Patrick wanted off the drugs. “My immune system was attacking my immune system. It was like the Game of Thrones going on in my body,” Dan continued.
His doctors recommended light chemotherapy IVs. Problem was that treatment had its own side effects, which included daily headaches and memory loss. “I go once a month for an hour. I have brain fog, sometimes I can’t remember how to tie my shoes.”
Patrick described not being able to remember Albert Pujols' name during a show, how to start his car or forgetting regular tasks like shopping for a specific item and leaving with something totally different. “There are days that are not good but they are a whole lot better than they were before. There are times when I can’t finish a sentence. I sometimes have brain freeze and that’s not good for a live three-hour show on the radio and tv. There are times when my mind and mouth are not working together.” Dan said he has five more months of light chemotherapy. “I don’t know where I’m headed but I’m hopeful.”
|In other news: Bill Seward is moving back to Sherman Oaks. His two youngest children are at his alma mater, Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks. “The school has generously offered me a teaching position and still allows me the freedom to continue my broadcasting,” emailed Bill. “I am very fortunate. Thomas Wolfe wasn’t completely correct. You CAN go home again.” As Bill was preparing for his move, he opened a box that had not been opened in a long time and the KNX artwork (below) was found … Arlen Peters has a special idea. SiriusXM should entertain the thought of devoting a channel to Chuck Cecil and his “Swingin’ Years.” Assuming everything is still on tape, along with his one-of-a-kind interviews, the satellite service would expose a whole new generation to Big Band music … USC and KABC have confirmed a 5-year agreement to be the radio home of Trojan football and men’s basketball … SiriusXM bought Pandora Radio and 60 staff members were let go. The combined companies have around 4,600 employees ... Mike McVay is no longer the head of programming for Cumulus. He will return to consultancy work.|
Email Saturday, 5.4.2019
|** Cecil a Colleague
“Sad to hear of Chuck Cecil’s passing. About 20 years ago, I worked at KLIT/fm across the hall from Chuck, who – aided by his lovely wife Edna – was doing a Saturday night request program at KMPC. I was well familiar with him, as his syndicated show had aired on a station I spent time at in Nashville (WAMB).
Then years later, our paths crossed again when he introduced a Big Band I was singing with at the Sweet & Hot Jazz Festival. And we continued to bump into each other until fairly recently. He was a very, very sweet man who never seemed to age, so a shock of sorts that he passed. Condolences to his family and friends. Rest well, Chuck.” – Bill A. Jones
** Full Life for Chuck Cecil
“Chuck Cecil took his love for Big Bands and turned it into a brilliant and informative radio show. Early in my career, I worked for a station in San Bernardino that ran Chuck’s ‘Swinging Years" program on the weekends. He had a lot of faithful fans, including many of us at the radio station. He even dropped by once to say hello in person one time. He was a very nice man and grateful for our support. I know he must have lived a full life at 97. Rest in peace, Chuck Cecil.” – Ted Ziegenbusch
|** Chuck and The Mole
"I became aware of 'The Swingin' Years' in the mid-seventies on KGIL. I had my alarm radio set for Sweet Dick Wittington and one night, making sure that I was on the right station before sleeping, turned it on. there was Chuck Cecil playing the music my parents had listened to throughout my childhood. Great tunes!
In later years I heard him on the KCSN and KKJZ weekend shows. I have had his theme song, The Mole, on my iPhone for many years." - Tim Ahern
** Swingin’ Years
“Nice piece on Chuck Cecil. 97 sounds oldish ... but then, 75 sounded ancient 20 years ago!” – Rich Brother Robbin
** Chuck Cecil Owned The Swingin’ Years
“In 1965, while living in Connecticut, my parents responded to a mail order offer from Reader's Digest for a ten LP box set called ‘The Great Band Era.’ It became my introduction to hit music from well before my time. While indeed instructive, it wasn’t until after I moved to Hollywood and discovered Chuck Cecil’s ‘Swingin’ Years’ that I really learned what pre-rock’n’roll music was all about.
Chuck did not play the Big Band greats as stepping stones down memory lane. Instead, he focused on each record’s value as a timeless portrait in sound of one human emotion or another. Further, his commentary was not ‘trivia’ (a/k/a useless irrelevant information) but instead illuminated every selection he played enhancing each listener’s experience. Chuck’s completely engaging and highly knowledgeable style got me hooked on music my generation was not supposed to like and relate to, simply because it was from before our time.
Chuck Cecil inspired me to become a music historian and collector myself – discovering great songs, sounds and stars I had been born too late to appreciate when they were new. That lead to my developing and teaching a course called ‘Pop Music on Record: Yesterday and Today’ at UCLA, writing multiple books, articles and liner notes and assembling Pop Record Research, a massive archive of data, bios, photos, clippings and more than 4,000 audio interviews with hitmakers from Edison to Eminem. Oh, and more than one million recordings on CDs, LPs, 45s, 78s and even cylinders.
Chuck’s style of musical documentary presentation inspired me when I wrote and produced the Billboard award-winning 52-hour History of Rock’n’Roll – and many subsequent syndicated specials and series (such as the annually updated 10 hour 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time).
Chuck’s influence can also be felt in the more than 300 multi-disc direct-mail box sets I programmed, annotated and produced over my 20-year run as the Music & Entertainment Editor of Reader’s Digest. [One, by the way, was an updated version of ‘The Great Band Era,’ fully fact-corrected the way Chuck would have done it!]
Chuck Cecil, a gentle man whom I connected with several times over the years, was a massive influence on me as a broadcaster, interviewer, musicologist and album compiler / annotator. He will be sorely missed.” – Gary Theroux
|** Follow the Money
“Looking at the revenue rankings reminded me of my time at KFI and how much the market has changed.
When Jeff Thomas and I managed KFI in 2004, we finished the year by booking over $63 million in revenue. We were #1 in LA going into December, but KROQ’s Christmas concert pushed them past us at the finish line.
Congrats to the team at KFI for cracking the top ten. know rates in the market have fallen from where they were in my day, so it’s unlikely they’ll ever break $60 mil again.” – Bob Scott
** Mark & Brian
“Thanks for covering the Mark & Brian reunion on KLOS in the daily email! I of course listened myself to all their appearances last Thursday but enjoyed reading your recap too.” – Karen Lindell
** Oldies Everywhere
“I was thrilled to find Oldies had returned to the fm dial on 105.1 HD2. Not so thrilling is the audio quality of the music. FM revealing far more warts than the same signal on K-Surf AM 1260.
I hear tambourines splatter, no true bass, and seemingly, no one caring. Exactly when did MP3 become acceptable as a broadcast standard? I have a 45 rpm of Diane Renay’s Navy Blue that I KNOW sounds better than what I heard on the radio. I sure expected better from Saul Levine.” – Bill Schwarz, Ontario
| ** Twilight Side of the Hill
“What a nice, well written tribute to your friend. Funny, dark story. Where you are the antagonist. (You prick.)
A number of years ago you mentioned: ‘the morning side of the mountain,’ and the ‘twilight side of the hill ... I had never heard that reference before or the song. [My musical references don’t pre-date the Electric Light Orchestra.] So, in an article – I believe in reference to yourself – you used the ‘the morning side of the mountain,’ and the ‘twilight side of the hill’ reference.
At that time, I thought to myself, ‘Where am I?’ Then I did that math.
At the time I did the math, I was probably on the top of the hill. (Is that where OVER THE HILL comes from?). Now I’m probably on the twilight side.
I only learned that because of your reference. For a while, I considered giving up READING, in order that I’d never end up stumbling across anything that had me calculating similar math again!” – Tomm Looney
** Paul McCartney is Dead?
“I remember Uncle Russ very well. He’s the guy who taught me that Paul McCartney is dead.” - Ira Lawson
Up, Up and Away
|(May 3, 2019) Jim Rondeau has
done it all – he’s been a jock, program director and
co-general manager of a non-com. All of that experience has
led to Jim’s newest adventure. “I’m excited to announce that
I will be headed to Eugene in June to become general manager
of KLCC, a network of 10 signals carrying NPR and local news
throughout central Oregon,” emailed Rondeau. “It’s one of
the jewels of the public radio system. They’re #2 in the
market, with a tremendous team that won three regional
Murrow awards just last week…and you can’t go wrong with a
station that runs its own Brewfest!”
Jim started his broadcasting career as a teenager in Everett, Washington, at the ‘mighty’ 1380 KRKO. “We did our share of broadcasts from car lots and furniture stores, but also lots of local news, parades and community events,” emailed Jim. “They’d send me out to interview striking gravel workers. They also sent me on some sales calls, even though I had absolutely no idea what I was doing!”
Over the years, Rondeau has had some great teachers at commercial operations that successfully balanced public service with revenue needs. “Later, I worked on client campaigns at KUBE in Seattle and KRUZ-Santa Barbara. Most recently, I have had the pleasure of working with KCSN/KSBR Director of Underwriting, Pat Osburn, who is an innovative thinker when it comes to sponsorship arrangements.”
“Programming was my first love, but commercial radio has been a great training ground for the ‘business’ side of the house, as well as the overall competitive strategy that keeps the lights on. People at KOST, KBIG, ‘Arrow 93,’ and KNX don’t get there by accident, so I’ve learned from a lot of very impressive minds about the complete ecosystem involving sales, engineering, marketing, promotions and programming.”
Jim was program director at KRUZ-Santa Barbara when it went from being an independently-owned station to one of the first Cumulus acquisitions on the west coast. “I grew up listening to non-com KUOW-Seattle, so the inevitable changes brought by consolidation led me to pursue public radio at KCLU-Thousand Oaks,” Jim recalled.
“That was a life-changing opportunity and I’m still incredibly proud of the team there. It also provided a chance to get intimately involved with the matrix of fundraising and capital campaigns that you don’t find in the commercial world.” Is he ready to head up an NPR complex?
“Revenue generation feels different when the goal is to provide great programming and community service with those dollars. It’s what many of us got into the business to do and why I’m so excited about Eugene and KLCC. I’m tremendously grateful for all the friends I’ve made in SoCal and can’t wait for the next chapter nearby family in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re ever in Eugene, look me up!”
In other news: Tomorrow, Tammi Mac will host the KJLH Women's Health Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center ... ESPN The Magazine is the latest large periodical to go under. After more than two decades it will be done after its body building issue … Terrestrial radio is not the only audio supplier to have hiccups. NPR had tech problems with their podcasts this week. A configuration change messed up all the broadcaster’s RSS feeds, adding hundreds of episodes and kicking off a large number of downloads of seemingly random shows for many. “They managed to download 61 episodes of Planet Money for me overnight, a podcast I have never subscribed to,” said one correspondent. NPR says it will take three days to work the problems out of its system … For a podcast to be viable, according to NBC News, new audio programs typically need to spark more than 50,000 to 75,000 downloads. You’ve got to get to a level where you can sell advertising around it … Dan Mason, former president/ceo at CBS Radio has joined VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network) as Chairman, the first media network dedicated to sports betting information … This week Barry Funkhouser appears on The People’s Court with Harvey Levin.
The other loss of someone who touched me profoundly was Uncle Russ Gibb. He was the personification of the Detroit Rock scene and his “Uncle” status was his role with the young people who loved him.
The year was 1971, WJBK-Detroit had to get rid of its fm station because of simulcast rulings. AM was still the dominant audio source. Bartell, already successful in Milwaukee, Miami, Phoenix, and San Diego, was a pioneer in early Top 40 radio. They wanted to continue doing what they knew best by putting rock ‘n roll on their new acquisition.
I was general manager at Gordon McLendon’s WWWW (W4) in Detroit when Bartell’s Dick Casper approached me about building a brand-new fm station playing Top 40. He promised support and would bring along a lot of past success.
FM was still in its infancy and a number of us were meeting monthly with the car manufacturers hoping to get FM installed as standard equipment in all new cars. We hadn’t gotten there yet. I declined Bartell’s offer. Who wanted to go up against King Kong 50,000-watt CKLW (The Big 8)? Not me.
Casper asked in closing what I would do with a new fm station in Detroit. I told him there was a real void for a news / talk station. There was a way to make a vibrant, contemporary sounding station fresh and exciting without costing an arm and a leg, I assured him. Casper was intrigued.
Within 48 hours he flew me to his home in Miami and for two days we walked Collins Avenue, ate at Joe’s Stone Crab while mapping out a strategy to be the world’s first news / talk on fm.
We flew to New York and presented the plan to Lenore Hershey, editor of McCall’s and Ladies Home Journal, and the board of directors who owned Bartell. She was intrigued and gave us her blessing.
Here’s where Uncle Russ comes in. I knew that being local was the key to being successful. I reached out to Russ. He was a giant in the market at WKNR, and he operated Rock concerts at the Grande Ballroom where he orchestrated performances by Janis Joplin. The Who, Led Zeppelin and Cream. Russ knew how to market. He already got national attention by creating the “Paul Is Dead” conspiracy. While at WKNR, Russ answered a call from a listener claiming that Beatles bassist Paul McCartney had died and was replaced by a lookalike. To prove his point, the caller insisted Gibb play the band's Revolution 9 backward. Among the gibberish, the phrase "turn me on, dead man" seemed to be repeated. "It was really a phenomenon," Russ said at the time. "For a while, it seemed like it might really be true."
I offered the night shift to Russ Gibb and he welcomed the challenge. He tapped into the rhythm and soul of the Motor City. I was 29 at the time and he was 10 years older. Russ was very generous in helping me understand the culture of Detroit. I treasure my time with Uncle Russ. He died this week at 87.
Part of who I am are those positive people who have populated my life. None seem to be satisfied with the status quo. They made each day better. Quite a legacy to my balloonist friend Julian Nott and my Detroit hippie, Russ Gibb.
Host of 'The Swingin' Years' Dies
|(May 2, 2019) Chuck Cecil,
synonymous with playing Big Band music on his “Swingin’
Years” radio show for decades, died Tuesday. He was 97.
For over two decades, Chuck was heard on KFI. Later, his Big Band show appeared for years across the dial on KGIL, KPRZ, KPCC, KCSN, KLON, and KKJZ. Additionally, his show was syndicated for decades.
Chuck grew up on a farm in Enid, Oklahoma playing 78 rpm records after school and doing daily chores. When he was 12, catastrophic dust storms sent many thousands of Midwesterners fleeing from their homes and farms. As a result, his family migrated to California. He listened to some of the early Southern California radio personalities like Al Jarvis, while he was taking radio courses at Los Angeles City College.
His first radio job was on KVEC-San Luis Obispo. He joined the Navy for three years, then upon being discharged as a carrier pilot, Chuck enrolled in what was then the Broadcast Network School. One of his classmates was Dick Whittinghill who had just left the singing group, the Pied Pipers.
|Following school, Chuck got radio
jobs in Klamath Falls, Oregon and Stockton before landing at
KFI in 1956. It was at KFI that his syndicated series, "The
Swingin' Years," was developed. At first it only aired for
three hours on Saturday mornings. It gradually evolved into
a Saturday "Party Time," where his music was played in
periods between live remotes of bands from the Ambassador's
Coconut Grove, the Palladium and other venues playing Big
Over the years, Chuck has conducted and collected a Who's Who of interviews with band leaders and sidemen. He had a library of 50,000 records – including some rare records provided by his listeners – and more than 300 interviews with greats like Louis Armstrong, Woody Herman and Benny Goodman. When asked if he planned a full retirement, he said, "No, I'll be on the air as long as someone is listening.”
Mark Sudock remembered Chuck: “His contribution cannot be overstated. He almost singlehandedly carried the Big Band torch decades beyond its time. He leaves behind a collection of interviews with likely every significant contributor to that amazing era. Chuck’s presence via ‘The Swingin’ Years’ on KFI for decades and beyond placed the music in context for listeners who lived through the era and for those who came along thereafter. On a personal note, I would share the person that I knew was always warm and a complete professional. My hope is that his catalog of programs continues to be heard. May Chuck rest in peace.”
found this old KGFJ survey online. From 1972, summer I
believe. I’m the long-haired hippy type guy on the bottom
By the way, about the time this survey came out, my wife and I would spend some time every week or so
lounging near the merry go round in Griffith Park, listening to Dave Hull on KGBS.
I was delighted to hear he’s back, albeit once a week. I’ve always said that any hockey (on TV) is better than no hockey,
and the same is true of the Hullabalooer." - Larry Jack Boxer (Joe Terry)
Kat's Out of the Bag
|(May 1, 2019) Kat Corbett,
veteran of KROQ since 1999 and host of the midday show for
the past 15 years, is leaving her position. One can only
surmise that KROQ and Entercom continue to tighten their
belt. Kat arrived in the Southland from WFNX-Boston in 1998
before becoming the morning news anchor at “Y-107.”
In an Instagram posting she claims she will continue the show Locals Only, a program that has helped a number of artists.
Kat’s voiceover work includes FIFA, Wheat Thins, and Bloomberg. Occasionally, she supervises music for film and tv. Kat’s writing career varies from a short story on Amazon titled It’s Personal, based in the gritty streets of sixties East Boston to a column for Napster. In her free time, Kat is obsessed with movies and true crime. She is also an avid supporter of animal rescue organizations such as Southern California Bulldog Rescue.
|In other news: Sports Lodge on KLAA, home of the Los Angeles Angels, has been extended another two years. Roger Lodge will continue in afternoon drive, as well as continuing his duties as Angels pre-game host. “So grateful to be part of this station,” emailed Roger. “I held out for a better parking spot and got that too. I’m living the dream!" … Joel Bellman, former news director at KBIG in 1987, got good news from his surgeon, “The pathology result showed that the entire melanoma has been removed” … For the better part of the last five years, you’ve heard Kelly Jones dispensing traffic conditions for MY/fm, KLAC, KYSR and KGGI and KFI. No more. “As you know everything comes to an end,” she disclosed on social media. “This is my last week tellin' ya where your drive sucks. It's been a great time and it's hard to leave my traffic family but it's all good. Thanks to everyone who's told me they've heard me, I've helped them or made them laugh. Much love and drive safe!” … KROQ is getting beached this year as the 27th annual Weenie Roast concert event is moving to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point … Dick Biondi is a beloved personality in Chicago. His success spans decades, yet he is not in the national radio Hall of Fame. A group in Chi Town is attempting to change the narrative and asking his fans to support a fundraiser for a film about Biondi. You can read the story here. Dick, who billed himself as ‘The Wild I-tralian,’ spent three months with KRLA while waiting for a job with Mutual Broadcasting. He rejoined the Top 40 station in 1965 and stayed a couple of years. Casey Kasem called Biondi “one of the most beloved personalities to ever open a mike on KRLA.” … In two months, Dave Ervin, former gm at KBIG, is retiring from the professional workforce. “From a teenage paper route and stint as a playground director to radio management and finally non-profit work, I’m ready for a new chapter. Professional Grandpa will be my new assignment come July 1st, 2019,” wrote Ervin … Who had a greater impact on radio? Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern? Michael O’Shea, former national program director for Golden West Broadcasting (710/KMPC), answers the question here.|
Follow the Money
|(April 30, 2019) Programmers
get a report card every month in the form of the PPM Nielsen
ratings. Management receives a radio market report ranking
radio’s top revenue-earning stations every year. The 2019
edition of the annual BIA Advisory list has been released
and three LARadio station made the Top 10.
Once again, Hubbard Radio’s all-News WTOP- Washington was #1, earning $69 million in ad revenue. As seen in the graphic, iHeartMedia music-formatted stations in Los Angeles and New York take the next four slots. But Entercom’s all-Newsers in New York and Chicago – along with sports talk WFAN, New York – show their earning power consistency over the past year with return appearances at the same spots in the top 10. One news/talk station – iHeartMedia’s KFI – makes the list in the #10 spot as it did last year. Entercom’s all-News KNX fails to make the list.
BIA notes that over-the-air advertising remained relatively flat at $13.3 billion (down 1.6% from $13.5 billion in 2017). It was the digital advertising platforms at local radio stations that saw revenue growth across the industry. The report indicates digital income rose 8.1% to $923 million. Putting over-the-air advertising together with digital revenue gave radio a 2018 revenue figure of $14.2 billion which, BIA says, “positioned radio as the fifth most significant local advertising platform, behind direct mail, mobile, online/digital, and local television.”
BIA Advisory Services SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “Although local radio stations are still important players in their markets and are managing to maintain their position in the top five advertising platforms, we do expect the OTA advertising revenue of U.S. radio stations to decrease this year by 1% to 2% and through the next few years.” He adds that combined radio revenues will remain relatively flat for at least the next five years, while digital platforms will hit $1 billion by 2020.
1. KIIS $61.3
5. KROQ $48.7
7. KYSR $43.9
8. KPWR $42.4
10. KOST $40.5
2. KIIS $60.5
1. KROQ $67.6
2. KIIS $56.8
5. KFI $46
10. KROQ $39.3
5. KFI $46
10. KROQ $39.3
|In other news: Dave Williams, former morning anchor at KABC and KNX was awarded the best radio news anchor team in Texas by the Texas Associated Press … KFI’s Steve Gregory won KFI’s third Edward R. Murrow Award. “This time, Excellence In Sound for my feature, Central American Caravan Arrives at US Border,” said Gregory. “I competed with broadcast news outlets from all of California, Hawaii and Nevada. Now, it goes to the national competition.” You can hear Gregory’s report here ... Larry Huffman is going in for open heart surgery on Wednesday at St Mary's Medical Center in Apple Valley and could use our prayers for a successful procedure. “The cardiologist sez I have a 98% chance of survival. Seriously,” emailed Larry. “Although I’ve never smoked or done anything in the way of drugs, I have one artery that’s 100% blocked, one at 95% and one at 90%. My dermatologist noticed that my blood pressure was elevated and sent me to her husband, a well-known cardiologist. He tried the stent procedure and said you’re going in for surgery. My wife, KC, has been a rock thru it all.” … Dave Baker reports that the Mighty 1090’s stream and app have both been shut down.|
|Bean of KROQ's Kevin &
Bean was in town last week for the April Foolishness event.
KNX's Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson got Bean to sit down for 12 minutes.
Among other things, Bean revealed why he is leaving the successful morning show and moving to London
Reunited and It Feels So Good
by Alan Oda, LARadio senior correspondent
|(April 29, 2019) Around 3
p.m. last Thursday, the Thin Lizzy 1976 hit The Boys are
Back in Town boomed out of the Culver City studios of
KLOS. The eagerly anticipated reunion of Mark and
Brian was about to begin. But when Mark
Thompson said hello to Brian Phelps,
followed by a brief, awkward pause and some random noises
because Brian’s microphone hadn’t been turned on – well,
that just seemed an appropriate way to kickoff the
“KLOS is celebrating 50 years, and Mark and Brian were half of that…we’re very proud of that” said Mark, as Brian and him started to pronounce the day’s agenda. Yet the duo advised listeners that, as they did in the past, if something peaked their curiosity or there was a topic which grabbed their attention, the agenda could easily fall by the wayside.
The duo recapped the memo from Keith Cunningham, the station’s pd: “Don’t cuss,” and “play the commercials.” Brian recalled how they would go for two hours without a commercial break, then at 9:15 they’d stack 45 minutes of spots together, “but the listeners stayed around, as we’d insert comedy bits in-between the commercials.”
There were a lot of stories about celebrity visits. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith stayed around after his appearance on the morning show, long after Mark and Brian had already left the studios. Tyler visited each cubicle in building (“he knows who he is”), with many staffers having their photo taken with the rock-and-roller displayed on their desks the next day.
Tom Jones spotted a karaoke disc with one of his songs, prompting him to perform his song live enhanced by Mark and Brian offering their own erratic brass accompaniment.
They had Rupert Holmes stationed in the men’s room with a live mic, performing his hits Escape (the Pina Colada Song) and Him to unsuspecting visitors taking a bathroom break.
Bob Vila, the star of This Old House may not have appreciated the duo’s antics. Perhaps anticipating a normal interview, Vila didn’t expect the duo to ask him to build a wooden shelf for their albums. At first, Vila played along until it was apparent Mark and Brian were serious about their request. Vila took his tools and completed the task in the station’s hallway “with attitude…he finished the shelf but it leaned about three feet over.” They nonetheless kept the shelf as a souvenir.
|The duo appeared on several tv
outlets, including the KTLA
Morning News, the
podcast and KABC/tv. Earlier in the day, Mark and Brian were
seated for an interview with Spectrum 1 News. What they
didn’t expect was Chuck
Moshontz (in photo with Mark and Brian),
their former newsman, would be the assigned reporter.
Chuck flew in from Portland where he now works as a psychotherapist as well as a contributor to Spectrum 1 News. When Chuck later called in during the show, it started Mark and Brian recapping their history as a team. Mark had returned from Houston back to Birmingham, Alabama.
His first partner decided he didn’t want to relocate, which eventually led to Mark being introduced to a comedian “without any experience on the radio.” They spent the night in a hotel room playing tapes for each other, deciding “this would probably be a lot of fun, let’s give it a try.”
|They later spent a week together sharing a
condo made available by the station. On the evening of April
15, the two decided to take a cassette recorder to talk to
people filing their taxes at the last minute. “It was
awful,” recalled Brian. Nonetheless, “we both really wanted
to make it work – that’s why the show took off.” Their
earlier comedy bits were pre-recorded, before the duo
decided the “energy wasn’t there” and did all of their skits
live, which did lead to some on-air gaffes which were
nonetheless as funny, if not funnier, than the material.
Mark and Brian then recollected how they were all set to move to a major market, prepared to take their act to Atlanta. The contracts were placed before them in the gm’s office which they were about to sign, pen in hand, when the gm’s secretary walked in to let the duo know their lawyer was on the phone. “Thank the gm and tell him we’ll get back to him…Los Angeles called,” said Mark. They travelled to L.A. to meet with KLOS gm Bill Sommers at Carney’s. “(He said) he would never pay this amount to a personality,” then proceeded to present the duo an offer with that stated amount.
After moving to Southern California, the duo were interviewed by a seemingly indifferent L.A. Times reporter, who interrupted the duo stating “you guys realize Rick Dees is here?” Within months, Mark and Brian were #1. “(Dees) was the best at what he was…we weren’t that kind of show (insulting others)” said Mark.
The duo knew they needed to be unique. They’d take the weekend box office, the top ten viewed tv shows, or other news and do more than just present the numbers. “Our job was to look at this stack of content and do something special with it…We were given a trombone and trumpet. We used it in many ways, blasting in the middle of a song…I don’t know how this happened.”
One of their routines was to surprise one another on their respective birthdays. “I was running out of ideas” for Brian’s celebration and the show’s budget was drawing the ire of management, said Mark, when he remembered Brian once auditioned – and was a finalist – to be the new Bozo the Clown at WGN/tv in Chicago. Mark arranged for the original Bozo, Larry Harmon, to come in and dress Brian up as the famous clown.
To ensure his cooperation, Mark started giving Brian shots of tequila “starting at 6:01 in the morning.” By 7:15, Brian was “completely plastered” and was fully cooperative as Harmon (who had also indulged) painted the white makeup and the rest of the outfit onto the birthday celebrant. They then took the “Mark and Brian Mobile” and drove to a local Carl’s Jr. where Brian would perform his best Bozo the Clown routine. Sometime during his routine, a dizzy Brian could be heard saying “easy now.” The conclusion of the story was an infamous photo taken of Mark and the original Bozo driving back to the station, the famous clown smoking a cigarette and “eyes that were narrow slits.” Bozo’s handlers had prohibited the publication of the picture, though it’s now available on social media.
Scattered throughout the reunion show were callers, many who had spoken to the duo during the 25 years of the show. There was a scheduled giveaway of Disneyland passes, so the team resurrected their segment featuring young children calling in and sharing their talents (the winning joke from a 8-year-old girl: “What did one saggy boob say to the other saggy boob? ‘We better get some support before someone thinks we’re nuts!’”).
Other memorable material included Brian as the “Reverend Faircloth” and a commercial for “Krueger Markets” (“A lot of people ask how do we [at prices impossible to beat] sell such tender beef and chicken? Our secret is in the killing…because our butchers actually hate animals…our butchers use the bluntest objects they can find…”).
Email Saturday, 4.27.2019
|** Leader of KLAC
“I loved Tomm Looney’s response about the radio stations where he’s worked. Tomm was always so upbeat and fun to be around when we worked together at XTRA Sports 1150 and KLAC. It was gratifying to read that he enjoyed working with our crew as much as we enjoyed working with him.
As far as his take on Don Martin, he nailed it except for one thing. Yes, Don is loud and loves to hear himself talk, but if you ever had to face adversity and saw some of your friends run the other way, you would always know that Don had your back.” – Bob Scott
** Batter Up
“I agree with Tom Hoffarth's comments about the Dodgers new play-by-play guy and missing Rick Monday-Kevin Kennedy. Monday is not a true play-by-play guy, but when he and Kevin did the games it felt like I was the lucky fan allowed to sit in on an enjoyable conversation between two ex-MLB players who seemed to be good friends. A real treat for this Dodgers fan! PS. I truly enjoy each of your posts, Don. Thank you.” – Greg Mills
“Thank you for the mp3s of great LARP moments and jingles. Some I wasn’t old enough to remember and some are totally part of my high school / college years. I can hardly wait to play the Paraquat Kelly / Mary Turner and Jed the Fish clips for my sister, those were her favorite djs!
Thanks always for the lovely remembrance of Brent Seltzer. When he was at KZLA, my best friend won a Fiat off one of their last contests before they went Country. He was so nice about it and we offered to come by the station in the car and give him and “Natural” Neil and some of the other jocks a ride. Unfortunately, they were in a staff meeting when we came by. Later on, we found out that’s when the format change was announced.
Great memories of a wonderful part of LARP history!” – Julie T. Byers
** CD Storage
“After seeing the comment that some people experienced skipping on their copy of the LA Radio CD, I checked mine and it still plays perfectly. Fortunately, since I considered this a valuable and irreplaceable CD, I kept it inside a jewel case but wrapped it in aluminum foil and kept it in a safe place, stored vertically rather than laying flat.
There are a few principles of prolonging CD life, though all CDs will likely expire someday. (1) It’s important to burn a CD at the slowest rate possible so that maximum data is burned to the CD. (2) The CD should be stored in a jewel case, preferably one with a label on the back covering the spine of the jewel case, to prevent light from hitting the data surface. (4) Alternatively, you can even put the CD in a slim case or even a good CD envelope and then wrap it all up in aluminum foil and stand it up in a safe or box to keep it as air-tight as possible. Don’t lay it down. (5) If you can, make a ‘working copy’ of the CD when you first get it copied at the slowest speed possible, to make sure as much original data is transferred as possible. If possible, burn the copy on a pro burner rather than on a computer CD burner, as that make a better, more long-lasting copy. I hope some of this info is helpful to some, because it’s heartbreaking to lose a CD due to ‘CD rot,’ which will eventually happen to most if not all CD’s.” – Bill Powers
** How Big is Big?
“KCRW has moved into a 34,000 sq. ft. building that was built at a cost of $38 million. To me that is incredible and an irresponsible waste of money. The station has plenty of administrators and spokespersons representing the general manager. They don’t have a sales department and sales assistants, etc. Commercial stations need office space for sales people, promotional people, etc. as well as studio space and the studio and production spaces aren’t huge.
Having followed KCRW since the Ruth Seymour days, it always made me curious about what all the employees did at the station. From a distant viewpoint, I think that KCRW wastes a lot of money and could do a fine job of serving their audience without the trappings of a 34,000 sq. ft. building.
When I owned and operated KVEN / KHAY-Ventura, I shared my office with my assistant. I doubt that the office was more than a 150 sq. ft. and I returned and made all my phone calls personally and always walked a few feet to our small reception area to meet someone with whom I had an appointment. I was plenty busy as I was also serving on the board and as an officer of the National Association of Broadcasters, the SCBA and several other organizations [I founded three not for profit 501 C-3’s]. And by the way I personally typed all of my letters and presentations in addition to overseeing all of the aspects of running radio stations including the finances.
And you know what, I had plenty of time to be home and have dinner with my wife and family almost every night. I am mystified by KCRW and the manner in which they operate and spend millions of dollars. What an operation? I think the licensees should have an active and experienced board of directors to provide responsible oversight. By the way The KCRW Foundation is composed of 30 people and not one in the broadcasting business.” – Bob Fox
** Best Place to Work
“From what I hear, today most radio companies, heavily in debt, are not the best places to work. But I can speak of the past, where my 42 years in the broadcast business [6 years in tv] were mostly a lot of fun and it sure beat working.
My best memories are KRLA, under Art Laboe and Bert West, along with KNX, when I first started in the business and under George Nicholaw, where I retired. At KRLA I had a lot of really fun times. Hot air balloon rides, a SAC / Air force refueling mission, drag racing Kenny Bernstein (the then Funny Car champion) at the Winter Nationals in Pomona, and beating him.
KNX was a different story. While there were still some ‘fun’ opportunities, CBS was still CBS and KNX Newsradio was the most prestigious place to be in L.A. Everyone was proud to be working there. And to top things off, the money at both stations was very good too.
My worst experience was KHJ during the Bruce Johnson / RKO regime.” – Tom Bernstein
"Hullabalooer" Makes Return to Radio
|(April 26, 2019) Dave
Hull, the legendary “Hullabalooer,” is back on the
air. It’s only on Fridays, but we will take what we can get
from this master who was heard on KRLA during the heady days
of the 11-10 Men, as well as KFI, KGBS, KIQQ, KMPC, KHJ,
KIKF and KRTH.
CRN Digital Talk Radio ceo Mike Horn had the foresight to again give a microphone to the zany master who grew up in Alhambra.
“Dave and I have been pals for many years,” said Horn. “I listened to him at KRLA and really enjoyed his first go round at KFI. During his first KFI run, Dave was asked why he left Top 40 radio and he giggled and said, “I finally got a chance to communicate.”
Horn met Hull on his second run at KFI. “I was assistant program director and music director and was working with Sweet Dick Whittington. Dave was the part-time fill in guy and said on air he would add things to the KFI drinking water to get extra work on air.”
“We stayed in touch over the years and Dave eventually ran his ‘voiceover workshop’ at our CRN studios. We have talked about getting Dave back on the air doing talk radio. So we have started this new project. Dave is part of our Lounge show. We have different hosts on different days talking about entertainment and nonpolitical news. I host a day, the legendary Robert Conrad (Wild West) hosts a day, actor (Hunter) and LA Rams sports icon Fred Dryer hosts a day, actor Larry Manetti, Mike Gary, even Richard Nixon (no not the former president). Two weeks ago we added Dave to the lineup. He talks about current news, entertainment and more. He does it with the classic Dave Hull style. He sounds like the cat the just ate the canary [as KFI’s Al Lohman used to say] If you don’t listen, you will miss something.”
Dave’s show is syndicated on XDS satellite and offered to radio on a syndicated basis. It also airs on all platforms of CRN Talk Radio including Cable TV, Terrestrial Radio, Amazon Echo, Google Home, cell apps, Apple TV, Roku, CRNTalk.com, Facebook Live and more.
|Dave is just starting up again but he is
lighting up the air from Palm Springs. You can check out the
first two shows
April 12 and
April 19. Future plans include a Dave hull app that will
feature Dave’s talks with Elvis and memorable shows from
Dave’s career. Dave also gives away copies of his new book
Hullabaloo his incredible radio and life story. “The
Hullabalooer” worked at WQTE-Detroit, then to WTVN-Columbus
from 1961 to 1963.
Before becoming one of the “KRLA 11-10 Men,” Dave did mornings at WFLA-Tampa/St. Petersburg, holding a corniest joke contest each morning on his show. In 1966 Billboard magazine, Dave scored #1 in the Top 40 category. Dave was fired from KRLA for jumping the release date on a Beatles record, yet the public outcry was such that he was almost immediately hustled back on the air.
“My best times were in the ’60s, when I was really a giant in this town. There will never be a time as great or as innocent or as fun as those days. We’ve lost our innocence.”
At KMPC from 1978 to 1980, Dave did the nightly “Lovelines” show. Between radio gigs, Dave developed tv shows, including a season as the host of the tv program “Matchmaker.” For two years in the mid-1980s he had an office at Columbia Pictures, writing and developing a movie based on his “Lovelines” program.
Dave had a successful voiceover career, featured Union Oil and many other local and national accounts. A proud father of five children, his daughter Lisa was a Rams cheerleader.
In the late 1980s he switched to selling real estate. About that transition, the Hullabalooer commented, “Your worst day in radio is a million times better than your best day in real estate.” But he had one last full time gig, as a result of visiting Palm Springs and Scott Elsworth who was working at KWXY. Dave found himself returning to the air playing beautiful music every evening, until the station was sold, Dave being the last personality to sign off the station.
Charlie Van Dyke Reflections
|(April 25, 2019) Charlie
Van Dyke was the quintessential morning man
throughout the 1960s – 80s. He started his on-air career at
the legendary Gordon McLendon flagship
station, KLIF-Dallas, at the age of 14. Remarkably, by his
21st birthday, Charlie was appointed program director.
Before arriving in Los Angeles, Charlie was on-air at CKLW-Detroit, KFRC-San Francisco and KGB-San Diego. Charlie’s first stop in Southern California was at KHJ in 1972 to work nine to noon, sandwiched between Robert W. Morgan in the morning and Mark Elliott at noon. He moved to morning drive in 1973 and was made pd in 1975.
When he left the RKO outlet, Charlie Van Dyke said, “Charlie Tuna was right. It’s difficult to be a pd and on-air at the same time.” Tuna eventually replaced Van Dyke in the morning slot.
In 1977, Van Dyke returned to KLIF-Dallas, then in 1979 he went to the Northeast to work at WRKO-Boston. In 1980, he guided the transition of WRKO from Top 40 to Talk as the station’s pd. In 1982, Charlie landed in Phoenix as pd of KOY, before moving up the dial in 1984 to work at KTAR-Phoenix.
About this time, Charlie built his own recording studio in Scottsdale, becoming the voice for dozens of tv and radio stations, an assignment which he continues doing today. He personifies the voice that lends a unique identity to a radio station. In addition to his voiceover career, Charlie took over mornings at KRTH from 1998 – 2000.
|Recently, there has been an unusual
run of deaths in the radio business. LARadio chronicles them
all. Charlie was in a reflective mood prompting him to write
an essay that he would like to share:
You know, it starts to hurt. When so many radio folks you have shared the air with are gone, it starts to hurt. I just ran through every station where I worked and realized that many of the staff I loved working with are gone. Many were younger than me.
I can still hear their voices clearly and easily remember their humor. OK, some were on a lifestyle track that sped up their departure...but others were not. We played radio in a time that was so exciting. The way staff related in the Top 40 days could be seen as criminal today. But, oh...what a party!
I remember turning the radio UP as the song ended because I wanted to hear what the jock was going to do. These days, I do not listen to the radio at all. Does this make me an old guy, longing for youth? I don’t think so.
I am in excellent health and enjoying this phase of my career. In fact, my wife and I are heading off for a fun trip to Ireland next month. So I am enjoying life. Still, when I think of so many creative minds I shared the air with who are now gone, it starts to hurt. (Charlie with his wife Ingrid)
|In other news: Congratulations to Michael Benner and his wife Doreen on their 24th wedding anniversary … Nicole Sandler got good news from her oncologist. This summer marks three years cancer-free for the radio and podcast veteran… Todd Leitz is celebrating 31 years of marriage … American Idol slips to series ratings low … When KOST morning host Ellen K was talking about cleaning fast food wrappers from your car, she mentioned her former co-host from KIIS. “Rick Dees always told me, ‘Make sure your car is boss-right’ … On a visit to a dermatologist, Joel Bellman, former KBIG news director, discovered he had malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. “Fortunately, we caught it early enough,” his doctor told him ... There were many emails thanking us for the look at the new KCRW facilities. The station is offering tours. Details at https://join.kcrw.com/ … As part of the station’s 50th anniversary celebration, Mark & Brian are reunited at KLOS this afternoon at 3 p.m.|
|Dutch version of Wolfman Jack|
New Digs for KCRW
|(April 24, 2019) When I
was general manager of WDRQ in Detroit, we turned the
station into the world’s first fm news/talk station. We
built the station from the ground up. Our building on 8-Mile
Road was 4,000-square-feet. You can only imagine my surprise
when I learned that KCRW is moving into a new
34,000-square-foot facility that cost $38 million to build.
I have a fondness for KCRW as I had a weekly show on the station when I was attending Santa Monica High School. At the time KCRW (89.9/fm) had a nice relationship with the local high school and provided airtime for interested students.
The LA Times devoted a major front-page story to the KCRW opening. Some highlights from the Times article:
Gesturing toward the third-floor window of a new office, KCRW president Jennifer Ferro says with excitement, “Now, here we are, front-facing on a street, glass everywhere, windows bright, open. It’s this radical transformation.” She predicts the center will be not only a media hub but also a cultural one for the community.
“It’s a time of change,” says Jason Bentley, the station’s program director since late 2008 and host of its flagship show, “Morning Becomes Eclectic.” Within the ragtag rooms of KCRW’s old headquarters, hundreds of artists, including Adele, Coldplay and Radiohead, earned some of their first major exposure during the station’s 80 hours of weekly music programming. But unlike when KCRW first started broadcasting in 1945 — and when the three-hour music block “Morning Becomes Eclectic” debuted in 1977 — terrestrial radio no longer monopolizes the attention of commute-time ears.
New automobile dashboards offer infinite options, from satellite radio to bluetooth-enabled portals allowing for instant podcast action. The audio marketplace is a feast of riches.
|Ferro and her team have raised more than
$50 million — more than half for building construction,
which was also partly funded by a 2008 bond measure, $10
million for new equipment and networks, and another $10
million for future programming and distribution. Ferro’s
enthusiasm is also reflective of the stakes, which are laid
out as part of the station’s most recent financial
statement: “KCRW’s largest challenge is the same for all
media companies today — how to stay relevant in the digital
age and find sources of revenue in an increasingly
When many college-owned nonprofit stations were dividing programming between news and classical music, Ruth Seymour, KCRW’s general manager from 1978 to 2010, was advocating for adventurous contemporary music.
On the talk side, KCRW was the first station outside Chicago to air “This American Life,” the influential Ira Glass-hosted storytelling show. Another renegade program, “Joe Frank: Work in Progress,” featured the titular host producing “radio noir” dramas. Comedic actor Harry Shearer, who started his long-running “Le Show” at KCRW, once described Frank’s style “like a fist coming out of the radio.”
Longtime weekend DJ Anne Litt offers a similarly tasteful mix, but she can surprise with a left-field Meat Puppets classic. Late nights are devoted to underground house, techno and experimental electronic music.
In fall, Bentley cut loose Gary Calamar, who had been on KCRW for more than 20 years, and shuffled the station’s weekend rotation. Bentley says no further changes are in the offing.
What’s less certain is Bentley’s future at KCRW. In December, he celebrated his 10th anniversary as music director. Saying he always envisioned working in the position for that duration, he views himself as being “at the tail end” of his time at the station. Asked about Bentley’s potential departure, Ferro says in an email: “KCRW has always been about renewal. The program ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’ grows and evolves with each new music director.
As far as a time-frame, we want to get settled in our new building and then Jason and I will plot out our next steps.” “There’s a magic here that I definitely am going to miss,” Bentley says. But don’t count Bentley — or KCRW — out yet. As Bentley puts, “Let’s get to the building and then we’ll figure out a plan."
Former KFWBer Heads Tennessee NPR
|(April 23, 2019) Former
KFWBer Steve Swenson is the new
president/ceo of Nashville Public Radio. Steve was a newsman
at all-News KFWB in the 1980s, before moving up to assistant
In 1985 he became pd of 1010 WINS and 880 WCBS-New York, then a decade later he was appointed vp/gm of WTOP-Washington, DC. Swenson joins the nonprofit following completion of a $4.6 million capital campaign. With more than 30 years of experience, including directing news operations and general management, Swenson most recently served as the senior vice president and market manager at CBS Radio in Washington, DC, leading six stations.
Swenson has been involved with formats including urban, Spanish, Sports, Adult Contemporary as well as all-News.
In other news: LA Times’ Tom Hoffarth has an observation about the new Dodgers radio play-by-play man Tim Neverett: “[He’s] spectacularly average. Sure, an improvement. Still, nothing like a Rick Monday-Kevin Kennedy tandem.” Ouch … KJLH’s Nautica de la Cruz is celebrating 23 years in radio. She’s also been on Power 106 and 100.3/The BEAT ... A huge story in the LA Times about Home Grown Radio gave a shout-out to “radio legend,” Julio G, of KDAY … Amy Lewis, former morning co-anchor at KABC with Dave Williams made her first trip to Las Vegas. Her husband surprised her with a trip to Caesar’s Palace to see James Taylor.
** Brad and Brent Memories
“During my thirty years of marriage to Brent Seltzer, I heard lots of stories about Brad Messer and the KGB days in San Diego. Brent’s face would always light up talking about his friend Brad and what fun they had working together on the air. Their timing, style and delivery perfectly complimented each other and they both shared the goal of packing every newscast with as many actuality cuts as they could fit in.
They also shared a love of camping and always kept their camping gear in the trunk of the car, as well as their news gear, because they never knew when a story would break. One time, they casually mentioned on the air they were going camping in the desert that weekend. Fifty listeners showed up forming a caravan of cars behind them to the campsite. Off the air, they were best friends and roommates who were out for kicks and in for enjoying life in a paradise called San Diego.
Brad convinced Brent to take skydiving lessons, so wearing rented parachutes, the two of them jumped out of an airplane together.
Brad and Brent stayed in touch over the years. When Brent got sick, his friend Brad called frequently to check up on him. They’d reminisce about the good ole days and it was like time had never passed. Simultaneously, Brad’s wife of 40 years Carole, suddenly became ill and died March 22, 2016.
Brent died April 18, 2016. And that’s when my own friendship with Brad Messer began. We were both members of the same club going through the same stages of grieving at the same time. We leaned on each other to get through and continued to stay in touch after ‘acceptance.’ Rest in Peace, my friend.” – Meg McDonald Seltzer
Listen to more sounds of LARadio between
1957 and 2003 by clicking Track 4 or 5
complete CD available from KMR@kmrichards.com for the cost of postage
Looney Thoughts about Radio
|(April 22, 2019) Tomm Looney is
a classic entrepreneur – drove a taxicab, been a bouncer,
worked as a bartender, served as a waiter, owned a
restaurant (Van Gogh’s Ear on Abbott Kinney), spent time as
a substitute teacher, maintained his own radio website,
appeared as an actor, performed as a movie producer, was
hired as an apartment manager, and was commissioned as a
We know Tomm as being a longtime late evening sports show at KLAC with JT the Brick. Before the all sports station, you probably heard him on KLSX, KFWB, KXTA, or KFI.
Born and raised in Elmira, New York, Tomm grew up listening to radio greats from Chicago, New York, Boston and Philadelphia. "When I was a baby dj, Greaseman, John & Ken and Steve Cochran worked in Elmira and they were an inspiration." Tomm was the voice of The Best Damn Sports Show Period on the Fox Sports network.
When he was born in 1966, Tomm only had one M. "I added an extra M for the new millooneyum." His infectious excitement about life in general and radio in particular is an inspiration. You won’t find a more loyal friend. He was frustrated to read at LARadio that not one reader responded to the question about all the great things there are about the station where you worked. Even though Tomm is between radio assignments, he responded:
|You asked your readers to send you a
note about “The best radio stations to work for in Los
Nobody responded, so I thought I would.
For 20 years I felt like I was “getting away with something.” (Because … I was.)
In the past 20 years, I have been VERY LUCKY. (I am sure MANY would agree.)
Every radio station where I was presently employed at the time – was my favorite.
Every one of them was “the best place to work” while I was there.
I had nothing but TREMENDOUS experiences at all of them.
I LOVED WORKING at KFWB. Kathleen Sullivan would tickle me when I was on the air.
I LOVED working at KLSX. Jack Silver and Tim Conway, Jr. rolled out a red carpet for me.
XTRA SPORTS 1150 was the best. What a frat house of fun guys, too long to list.
I LOVED WORKING AT KFI. I would produce John & Ken with Ray Lopez, voice spots, and I’d fill in for Rich Marotta when he was out.
People always assume that John & Ken must have been hard to work with. NO. Quite the opposite.
I watched, listened, learned, and they treated me wonderfully. I had their back, and I still do.
I LOVED WORKING at FOX Sports Radio and AM 570.
What was it like working for Don Martin? He’s loud, loves to talk, and loves to hear himself talk.
I’m loud, love to talk, and love to hear myself talk.
For me, that’s called “normal.” Don is normal.
Every radio station was THE BEST PLACE to work when I worked there.
AND YES -- Every place I worked – some would complain from time to time of a “toxic work environment.”
That’s like saying you are “stuck in traffic.” NO ... YOU ARE TRAFFIC.
And at work: YOU ARE YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT.
“Toxic work environment" is a lame cliche.
One’s own behavior is REAL. That’s something in your “work environment” for which you have control.
At work I have always tried to “bring my own weather” – and try my best to be friendly, fun and loving.
Love, positive thinking and positive behavior – is stronger than any abstract “toxin.”
I loved every radio station where I “worked.” I liked or loved 97% of the people with whom I worked.
I always kept it in perspective: Working in radio beats working.
In other news: This afternoon at 4 p.m. Wink Martindale will be the guest dj for SiriusXM’s “60’s on 6" channel. He’ll play his favorites from the time when he originally played them as morning man on Channel 98/KFWB along with the stories behind some of the songs … Bob Griffith checked in from Colorado. He had such a stellar LARadio career in sales management at KLOS, KMET, KFI, KJOI, KYSR/KXEZ and KCTD (1540AM). “I left LA gladly in 2012 and found an amazing mountain town (my quest) in Durango, Colorado,” Bob emailed. “I ski 50 days a year and teach Spinning twice a week. I also do a lot of MC work for local events. Life is pretty good, buddy. I for the most part DO NOT communicate much with Radio people with the exception of old KMET folks, Sam Bellamy, Jeff Gonzer, and a few more.” … Chaka Khan was a jock during the "B-100" days at KIBB (100.3/fm). The r&b singer guest stars as herself and performs on Fox’s Empire Wednesday night ... Didja watch the Motown special last night? What did you think?
Email Saturday, 4.20.2019
|** Missing Messer
“Sad news for all LARPS indeed. Brad Messer was half of the sensational news duo at KGB FM/AM in San Diego when I arrived there as chief engineer in 1972, when Ron Jacobs was the pd. The other half of that great KGB news team was Brent Seltzer, also no longer with us. The way they played off each other during newscasts was amazing.
Brent was more the comic and Brad more the serious journalist. I was proud to make their news studio more useful for them. They were both great to work and I am sure the rest of the staff felt the same. Brad was the consummate journalist. He did his homework before doing stories, a talent lost on some in the profession today. I left KGB in April of 1975 to go to KFWB. I missed working with Brad and Brent then. I still do.
Thank you for being the ‘glue’ that holds us LARPS together!” – Richard Rudman, KGB CE, 1972-75
|** Life Changing Hire
“In 1975, Brad Messer hired me at KGB and it changed my life. I was hired as weekend anchor and Monday through Thursday was Brad’s morning writer / reporter. Our first KGB newscast was 5:55 a.m. I would come in at 5 a.m. and write the worst newscast in the history of radio.
Brad would waltz-in at 5:54:30 and would ‘sing’ that newscast so well he could win a Golden Mike. Then he would turn around and say something like, ‘oh, that was horrible,’ before we'd go upstairs and smoke a joint.
He taught me to write my news stories as brief as possible, but always tell both sides of the story. I never forgot that along with all the other life lessons I heard from the coolest, most talented newsman I would ever work with. Brad was a pioneer in so many ways. He will always be in my heart.
Pro!” – Jeff Prescott, San Diego
** Messer’s Cred
“What a great story about Brad Messer! I loved that guy. He and Ron McAlister were the voice of credibility and authority right beside The Old Scotsman, Gordon McLendon on KLIF. I learned a lot from your story that I didn’t know after his KLIF Days.” – Mike Butts
** Messer a Major Influence
“Another long time and excellent broadcaster has passed away. Brad Messer had a huge history in Texas, having worked for all three of Gordon McLendon’s powerhouse Texas stations – KLIF in Dallas, KILT in Houston, and KTSA in San Antonio – as news director of those stations. He was also a long-time talk show host on KTSA, in addition he worked at various other major markets around the country, including Los Angeles and San Diego.
Brad was an excellent news director, anchor, and reporter, and a major influence on me when I made the switch from programming to news. He will be missed, and he’ll be remembered by the many other fine radio people who worked with him through the years.” – John Hale
** Dallas Connection
“Wow, Brad Messer. I’ll always remember him from KLIF during my few months down in Dallas. Strange how people pass from our immediate vision, then we see an obit 50 years later. Strange and kinda scary, huh?” – Rich Brother Robbin
|** KLOS Soundtrack
“Wow. KLOS was the soundtrack of my youth. Such a rich history. Curious to see what the new ownership will do with it.
Thanks to Don Barrett for the great report [as always]. Also, nice to see my old KYMS boss Dave Armstrong quoted here as well.” – Roger Marsh
** Sell Wrong Station?
“I thought Cumulus would have sold [read that as unloaded] KABC/790AM and kept KLOS/95.5 FM. But I presume they needed those extra tens of millions of dollars to help pay down their large debt. In the past, it’s been the AM signals that were in trouble. Now it’s spilling over into the fm signals as well.
I wish we could see ahead 100 years from now, as to what the state of radio will be.” – Denny Brougher
** Sticker Shock
“Before the crash of ’08, KLOS would have been sold easily for $300 million. 96.3, a non-Mt. Wilson fm with no billing, went for 250 million. It was a crash of the economy, not a failure of fm radio, that caused the huge price drops. KLOS will be better, now that it has been freed from the shackles of Cumulus with a suit in his 20s back East determining the playlist.” – Jon Bruce
** No Tengo Miedo
“This is good thing and far from the end of KLOS, now being operated by a Mexican group who gets it can only get better. Everyone fearing they will flip it to Spanish is just not likely, in fact, they will want to make KLOS better which is good for the demo.” – Victor Cruz
** Memory Lane
“Thank you for the trip down [some of my memories] with the LARP audio tracks. That one with Hudson and Landry and Robert W. Morgan was hysterical – over a minute of great burns!
I do feel bad for the talent in this town regarding not one ‘best’ radio station to work at. Unfortunately, it’s like that in all professions right now. In fact, you can lose a job by saying how much you love working. Scary. At least KLOS isn’t changing formats yet, but the month is young.” – Julie T. Byers
** Good News for KLOS
“Why does everyone think this is some tolling of the bell for KLOS? This is the awesome news. No one ever wants to spin positive for a radio story. Ever. It’s as if people WANT to see us die so they can then ‘be right.’ We’re doing great and aside from the fact that we’re eventually going to be saying goodbye to our friends and family on the AM, the hallways are BUZZING. I wish somebody would print THAT. Rant over.” – Stew Herrera, KLOS
** KLOS Sell
“Radio insiders were saying in the 90s ‘wait 'til the dust settles.’ Wait, what?” – Jim Carson
** KLOS News Heartbreaking
“I love(d) KLOS. Heartbreaking to see it cast off for such a small figure.” – John Leader
|** To Play Michael Jackson
“In this week’s Los Angeles Business Journal, there is an interesting article on how LA radio stations have cut back on Michael Jackson music since the Leaving Neverland documentary.
According to the article and Nielsen, radio plays of Michael Jackson songs in the LA County Market dropped from 16,861 in the first week of Jan 2019 to 10,999 the week of March 4-10. How could these Nielsen numbers be even close to accurate? There are 10,080 minutes in a week. This would mean that every minute of the week, a Michael Jackson song starts playing in the LA Market. Where does Nielsen come up with this? Or am I missing something?” – Jason Insalaco
|** Scarry Photo “Thanks so much for
posting the pic’ of Rick Scarry and me. I also loved the
story of one of one of my favorite people in my broadcasting
career – Ingram “Digger” Clark. Digger was a joy to know,
and to work with.” - Larry McKay
** LARPs Galore
“There are two sides of the microphone. The input side is in the studio, but the output side is connected to the speaker in my clock radio and car radio. I may be old but I am still here, begging for someone to talk to me. Thank you, Jim Thornton for telling me what was happening to one the Cathedrals I studied for my dissertation as I was driving home this morning. Thank you, Jim Svedja for rocking me to sleep most nights. Thank you, Gail Eichenthal for keeping KUSC healthy. Thank you, Desmond Shaw and Jennifer York for waking me up most weekday mornings. Thank you, Larry Mantle for having something interesting for me to listen to after Frank Mottek finishes up at noon on Saturdays. And of course, thank you, Frank Mottek for your advice all of these years. Your article on Monday Don was very disconcerting to me, the most important cog in the machinery of radio, the listening public. Without me, KNX is 50,000 watts being wasted. KPCC and KUSC at least get to know how important they are by the ringing of the phone during pledge weeks.
KNX gets to tremble in their boots waiting for the other shoe to drop. I truly hope that the people who bring the news and music to my life are enjoying the job of making me enjoy my life.” – Bill Mann, South Pasadena
** Hope for Radio
“GREAT essay last Monday. I still believe that the ‘fall’ of corporate radio could bring a renaissance. The more that these corporate entities refinance their bankruptcies and magically find new financing, the quieter the employees will get and creativity be damned. I know a lot of people that are still in the system and ARE doing creative things, but it's lost in the 8-minute spot breaks and the ‘read off the cards’ mentality.” – Mike Stark
Look what they gave us
Look what they left us
Look how they paved the way
Like winning a war … and sadly…
Look what we’ve done to it.” – Don Elliot
** Green with Envy
“I am still around, but not in the radio business. Looking back, I had a great career at KABC. That was then. Now is now.
I am happily writing children's books and some others. If there was someone out there looking for a job distributing books [a new career for someone] I would be interested in hiring them. Good luck.
I think AM radio maybe almost gone but my automobile radio is on anytime I am driving. Someone is working in the business.” – George Green
** March Ratings
“I see that in the latest ratings, KABC came in at number 40, tied with a Persian station. I see the connection -- Persians eat Falafel, but KABC is FULL-AWFUL.” – Peter Thomas
** Music Reunion
“Phil Spector won’t be about to make the 7th Annual Music Industry Reunion on May 13 at the Canyon Club. He is otherwise engaged. I send regrets for him.” – Sterrett Harper
** LARadio History CD
“Just thought I’d let you know, it’s a good thing Bill Schwarz had his problem when he did, because when I pulled out my copy it was showing signs of early problems as well. [I’ve heard of that happening with non-commercially produced CDs, because the technology is different.] In any event, I pulled all the tracks off using four different programs and reburned the CD from scratch.
Made myself a new copy as well, and also made a ‘disc image’ file which will allow me to burn more copies quickly if needed. So, if anyone else has a problem, I can replace their copies if they’ll toss me a few bucks for postage.” – K.M. Richards, KMR@kmrichards.com
** LARadio Audio History
“I haven’t written in a while, but I’ve sure been enjoying your column. Last week, I came across my LARadio montage CD. I hadn’t seen nor listened to this disc in years. A few days later, I read Bill Schwarz’s letter asking for a copy of the disc. I decided to listen to mine to make sure it still worked, then write to you and ask about sending a copy or an mp3 to him. I wouldn’t have done that without your permission.
So today I started listening to the disc on the way to the restaurant where I’m now sitting. I discovered some skips and dead spots. I sit down with a Japanese chicken bowl and open your column, only to see that you’ve posted mp3s of the whole thing! Literally 10 minutes after I try to listen to this disc for the first time in years and find myself disappointed.
I’m appreciate of K.M. Richards following through where I was unable. Kismet, or something.” – Jared Kliger
“We had fun at the Vinylthon. I did the whole 24 hours. Lots of pizza, donuts, and chocolate consumed. Slept all day Sunday.” – Ken Borgers
** Chance Meeting with Gordon McLendon
“Here’s another chance meeting with a legend. I was visiting my wife-to-be in St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. As I struggled to carry in her dry cleaning from my car, a middle-aged man in white jogging shorts and tennis shoes walked up and offered to carry the load inside for me. Later, I learned the gentleman was also a patient at the hospital. His name was Gordon McLendon, a radio pioneer, founder of the Liberty Broadcasting Network. It was ‘The Old Scotsman’ himself. I told Mr. McLendon I was a dj in L.A., but he wasn’t impressed. He made no comment, though he couldn’t have been nicer. A multi-millionaire was ‘schlepping my dry cleaning!’” – Larry McKay (excerpt from my Memoirs: Lar’-on-the-Air)
** Dandy Don the Ice Cream Man
“The ‘Mighty 1090’ has so many pleasant connotations for me although I haven’t tuned in—in years or ever—I seldom listen to radio for my sports news these days. DandyDon, the ice cream maker, is now retired from doing dairy commerce daily and do not miss the fun of hustling to turn nickels and dimes into dollars. Too much government regularly visiting our business officially investigating our operation. We always got top scores on their tests to no surprise to me! Summary judgment after 36 years making, selling and distributing ice cream...government inspectors and regulation-creating public servants prohibit growth in almost all industries whether it’s radio or ice cream. [My credentials included a First Phone, an RTV B.A. from SF State, 20 gold records for promotion, multi-govt award certificates, and more...]
The freedom required to operate your own business has been replaced by too much power of ownership, read monopolies, controlling opportunities for a sole proprietor to create a competitive alternative to what’s dominant in that market. Free enterprise by itself working to improve our society makes our lives better or those enterprises are replaced by the synergies in a free market that allows for sustenance leading to more prosperity.
LARadio is a prototype.
Our niche society needs more spirit-blessed leaders as yourself in our midst of provocateurs with the desire to make this world an improvement over what we owned if our lives yesterday or last year or the last quarter, however, you measure progress. Rewards come from conquering the toil and tears that comes with the joys of hard work not from getting free stuff.” – DandyDon Whittemore
** Stern Email
“I'm an avid Howard Stern listener, as are my adult and near adult kids, and he’s still on his game. Today it seemed his show had the air of a man 15 years younger. I didn’t hear an announcement on air or talk about it, but regardless a cloud lifted.
He gets no break with music; he talks constantly and continues to make me laugh out loud. And if you think his efforts and energy equate to any ol’ talk radio show, may I remind you that comedy is HARD! It’s like 5 hours of stand up a day. It’s not normal.
His program changed radio forever, and his honesty is a template for all radio that succeeds on the notion of truth. We’ll miss him terribly, but what a legacy. I’ve been hearing that voice since ’85 during my many trips to New York, and to have him in my car every day is a treat. No one like him.” – Ed Mann, MannGroup Radio
Talaya's Last Ride on the WAVE
|(April 19, 2019) After
thirty years hosting middays at 94.7 “The Wave,” the silky
voice of Talaya Trigueros ended her run for the
Entercom station yesterday. In an internal memo, program
director Ralph Stewart said: “After 31
years at the very core of 94.7 The Wave, Talaya is moving
on. She set the tone and standard for the whole station. She
can read the ingredients on a can of Raid and make it sound
delicioso. But even more than her mellifluously tuned
instrument, Talaya exudes heart and soul in her every word.
Those of us fortunate enough to have worked with her will
forever be in awe. And I’ll always be grateful for our
Talaya has reigned for many years as the Queen of Middays, consistently earning top five ratings and developing a loyal following for her stellar on-air performance and her commitment to the community and to the arts. She is also a popular voiceover artist who has done promos for Fox Sports and CBS/tv.
As one of the few bilingual voiceover talents, you can hear her voice on Spanish announcements on the LA Metro. She has been chosen as off-stage announcer (“the Voice of God”) for numerous high-profile events including the SAG Awards, The Imagen Awards and the Los Angeles Theater Center Annual Gala.
Her impressive collection of awards includes The GENII Award for Excellence in Radio Broadcasting from the Alliance for Women In Media, National Hispanic Media Coalition Award and special recognitions from the Los Angeles County and City Board of Supervisors, including an Angelus Award. (Photo: Talaya, Tami Heide, and Kat Corbett)
|Talaya was born and raised in
Albuquerque and worked in the broadcast community while
attending the University of New Mexico and San Francisco
State during the mid-1970s. Her first commercial job was
doing a special Latin show called "Sabor y Salsa" on
KRE-Berkeley. A change of ownership and of call letters to
KBLX allowed her to be part of the new "Quiet Storm."
During her stay in the East Bay she was very active in community events, including serving as emcee for the first four years of UC Berkeley’s Cinco de Mayo concerts. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, she acted as contributing editor to a Hispanic entertainment magazine called Avance and produced a variety music show on cable tv called Entertainment Spectrum. In 1984, the owners of KBLX asked Talaya to introduce the "Quiet Storm" on their L.A. station, KUTE. Additionally, Talaya was the voiceover host for Turner Superstation WTBS' Night Tracks and hosted a cable tv show called The Jazz Network.
Before her long run at KTWV, she was briefly on KNX/fm and KOCM/KSRF.
A proud SAG/AFTRA member since 1981, Talaya advocates on behalf of her fellow broadcasters to ensure fairness in all contracts. She has donated and volunteered for various nonprofits like the Juvenile Diabetes Association, Breast Cancer Awareness and she emcees the annual High Hopes Head Injury Benefit Concert in Newport Beach, among others.
Hear Ache. Congratulations to Sandy Kelley celebrating her 20th wedding anniversary. They celebrated at the San Ysidro Ranch … Al Michaels is the guest on Ken Levine’s podcast this week. He talks a lot about his baseball career, the earthquake he covered, and the Dating Game. Here’s the link. … Gina Grad and Teresa Strasser have a new podcast. Both young ladies have or are Adam Carolla’s news anchors on his podcast. On the second issue of their podcast entitled “Easy Listening,” Gina and Teresa talked about boobs. “I’m the Triple-D cup to your A cup,” said Gina, who said bras go into double and triple G. Who knew? … In light of Talaya ending her three-decades run at KTWV, the WAVE, Entercom is not replacing her but extending shifts to three 6 six-hours slots beginning Monday: Pat Prescott 6 a.m. – Noon; Deborah Howell, Noon – 6 p.m. and Frankie Ross 6 p.m. – Midnight. The WAVE would not confirm this move … Randy West salutes the world’s oldest teenager, Dick Clark, who died of a heart attack this week in 2012, at age 82 in Santa Monica … Christopher Ames will resurrect the Odyssey File on the Internet version of KNXfm93.com. He was one of the signature voices of that CBS format … Didja know that Wayne Jobson, longtime reggae host at KROQ, splits his time between Los Angeles and Ocho Rios, Jamaica?... Any chance that Meruelo is on a buying spree and will get KXOS? At 93.9 it was "Movin' 93.9" once upon a time when Emmis owned KMVN. Station also had a history as KPOL/fm and KZLA ... Despite the fact I grew up on the beaches at Santa Monica listening to the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, I am like a moth to the flame to the music of Myrtle Beach on SiriusXM's Carolina Shag channel. I figured out why after hearing this four-song set last night that started with Love Makes the World Go Round (Deon Jackson), Opportunity (The Jewels), Only the Strong Survive (Jerry Butler), and The Entertainer (Tony Clarke). Maybe it is dancing to my version of the electric slide.
Former KMET News Director Dies
|(April 18, 2019) Brad
Messer, former news director at KMET in the
mid-seventies, died late Tuesday evening. It is difficult to
put into words the kind of man, newsman and talk show host
he was. Oh, okay. He was the BEST in all categories. Brad
had been in ill health in recent months. Earlier this year,
Brad’s sister reported that he was in the hospital, followed
by time in a nursing facility under hospice care. A dear friend
and neighor from his San Antonio days, Diane Richarson
Bryant, wrote: "Our mutual friend in San Antonio has been
keeping me abreast of his condition after Brad was no longer
able to speak on the phone or read his email."
Wherever Brad landed during his 47 years in rado – in Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Antonio – he was always the guy who knew how to make the news broadcast soar. Much of his professional time was spent at KTSA-San Antonio where Brad was named at TALKERS magazine among The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Hosts in America for seven consecutive years.
During his 16 years as a talk radio host, Brad cites several on-air conversations as especially memorable, but one stands out: In 1992, on the topic of the military draft, one caller mentioned his tour in Viet Nam. Brad thought it would be appropriate to tell the veteran "thanks for going over there," words Brad had never expressed nor heard anyone else offer. The caller was silent for so long that Brad thought maybe he had hung up, when the vet finally said, in a choked-up voice, "That's the first time anyone has ever said thank you." After that, Brad made it a point to express appreciation for the military service of his KTSA listeners.
stage kids go through where they keep asking ‘why this and
why that?’ Well, I never grew out of that stage – and it got
me the best job in the world,” Brad said when interviewed
for Los Angeles Radio People.
After high school, Brad joined the Army and served in the Far East as an interpreter and translator (Chinese language specialist). He started his radio career at KILE-Galveston, where his father was a newspaper editor. Brad always had a way of capturing the “people” aspect to the news, a tradition he carried throughout his career.
Brad began as news director of the legendary Gordon McLendon stations in Texas, KILT-Houston and KLIF-Dallas.
By age 30, he was news director of KYA-San Francisco during its #1 days, toward the end of the “Flower Period.”
Brad’s next destination was San Diego. “KGB was the most fun I ever had. The station became a legend under the brilliant guidance of pd Ron Jacobs.” Ron teamed Brad and Brent Seltzer for a noon news-and-comment show. “At times it was the highest-rated 15-minutes in San Diego radio.” He also hosted “Brad Messer’s Day Book” which was among the first shows syndicated by Westwood One.
For 13 years he wrote a weekly column for Radio & Records. KTSA-San Antonio rehired Brad three times. “Huh? It’s true. My same station hired me back [good focus groups, good ratings history] and put me on against Dr. Laura Schlessinger, and flukey book or not, I beat her (yay!) so now they have put me in the sure-death slot against Rush. We shall see. This means I have now worked every slot except 2 – 4 p.m. at KTSA," emailed Brad back in the early 2000’s. “In my spare time I love flying my open-cockpit aerobatic airplane.”
A monthly feature at LARadio.com was asking a question in order to get learn more about our LARP. Who gave you the best advice? Brad replied: “The best advice I ever received was from my dad, who spent most of his life as a Texas newspaper editor and absorbed more than the typical share of Life’s lessons. His advice? “Always take the long view unless it conflicts with short-term desires.” That seemed to cover almost every situation I encountered, except for my second-best advice, which was ‘Put that thing away.’”
In the late 1960s, Charlie Van Dyke was in his early 20s. He was program director at KLIF-Dallas when he got the offer to head to Detroit and work at CKLW, the “Big 8.” Brad had a surprise for Charlie. Messer was parked on the tarmac with the KLIF Headliner Cruiser streaming messages that said a number of things, including, “CKLW, take care of our friend.” Charlie remembered: “It was night as I left Dallas. I could see the Cruiser as the plane was gaining altitude, turning…then heading…away.”
There is a beautiful website of Brad’s life at: www.BradMesser.com. He shares his life with many photos of the time of his storied career, the time he “became” a black man and memories of Carole, his late wife of 40+ years.
|LARPs Grace Award.
Two LARP are winners of the 44th annual Gracie Awards.
Congratulations to KOST morning lady Ellen K (l)
and KABC morning co-host Jillian Barberie.
The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) continues to celebrate programming and individual achievement by, for and about women in radio, television and interactive media, which includes podcast categories. The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on Tuesday, May 21 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Some of the most talented women in front of and behind the microphone and outstanding programming will be honored. Christine Travaglini, President, Katz Radio Group and Chair of the Board of Directors said: “In the more than four decades since the inception of the Gracie Awards – what stands out in 2019 is bravery. The courage of storytellers to share poignant, relevant and compelling content. This will be a year of true celebration.”
It's the Law
|(April 17, 2019) “We’ve
all seen the famous photo of Vin Scully,
Chick Hearn and Bob Miller
standing side by side, holding their Fox Sports
microphones,” wrote Arash Markazi of the LA Times.
“Ralph Lawler remembers it well. The
longtime Clippers announcer was there when the photo was
taken and is still looking for another version he has never
“Somewhere there is a photo of Vin, Chick, Bob and me,” Lawler said. “I’ve seen the photo of Chick, Vin and Bob but somewhere out there is a photo of the four of us because we were all there that day and all of our games were on Fox in those days. I’d give anything to find that photograph.”
Some highlights from the Markazi article: When Lawler calls his final game at Staples Center it will mark the end of a golden era of sports broadcasting in Los Angeles. Hearn passed away in 2002 after being the voice of the Lakers for 42 seasons, Scully retired in 2016 after 67 seasons as the voice of the Dodgers and Miller retired in 2017 after being the voice of the Kings for 44 seasons.
Lawler, who has called Clippers games for 40 seasons, often got lost in the mix in Los Angeles. “I just felt lucky to be on the periphery of that trio,” Lawler said. “This city is really good to its broadcasters. Here I was with those three and at that point I had been in the city for 25 years or something and I was the junior to Vin, Chick and Bob. I mean how can that be? I’m in my 60s and 70s and those guys were older and had been doing their jobs longer. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
|“I remember one year we had T-shirts that
had a big 3-0 on it. The goal was to win 30 games. I mean
that was our goal. If you win 30 games that means you lose
52 games. That’s what we have risen from, which is pretty
remarkable. Going through this year I just wish I was 10
years younger because I want to be here for the next 10
years because I believe they’re going to win multiple
championships. Not just one but multiple.”
Essential California. Now, with the Clippers in the playoffs and longtime broadcaster Ralph Lawler calling the final games of his career, we started wondering: How often did Lawler’s Law hold true? This is one of the 80-year-old Lawler’s signature catchphrases and is used when a team breaks the century mark. Lawler exclaims, “You know Lawler’s Law. First to 100 wins. It’s the law.” Well it’s not actually the law, but The Times crunched the numbers and found that, aside from being catchy and alliterative, Lawler’s Law turned out to be remarkably accurate. Over the last 23 years, among more than 27,000 NBA games, the first team to reach 100 won 94% of the time. But the modern game may be changing the law. Los Angeles Times
|The second edition of Los Angeles Radio People in included a bonus CD with a number of aircheck segments, jingles, etc. Unfortunately, after more than 15 years, reports are being received that many of the CDs are now starting to fail and play erratically. In the course of creating a replacement CD for a reader of the column, K.M. Richards extracted the individual tracks and corrected any playback errors. At Don Barrett's request, they have been digitized to MP3 files and presented here for the convenience of those who wish to hear them. Click Track numbers:|
Happy Anniversary, KLOS - You're Sold!
|(April 16, 2019) Happy
Anniversary KLOS! Congratulations on broadcasting AOR Rock
and Classic for 50 years. We’re bringing back our iconic
Mark & Brian,
for a one-day salute. To celebrate, we’re selling the
No sooner had the Cumulus bulletin been sent to LARadio readers, reaction was swift. Cumulus (owner of KABC and KLOS) announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell KLOS to Meruelo Media (owners of KDAY and KPWR) for $43 million in cash.
Longtime LARadio executive Norm Epstein was shocked at the price Cumulus got for the Classic Rock station. “Amazing that KLOS, at one time, one of the leading stations of its format in the US, selling for only $43 million. I think at one time it was worth nearly $250 – $300 million.”
Bob Fox, former radio station owner and chairman of the Radio Board of the National Association of Broadcasters, also said that 20 years ago the station would have sold for at least $200 million.
former Salem general manager, emailed: “Will the last one
out the door please turn off the lights?”
Rich Brother Robbin read the Cumulus news and emailed, “THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING! ACTUALLY, IT’S BEEN FALLING FOR SOME TIME, JUST THAT NOT EVERYONE’S AWARE OF IT YET.”
After 50 years at 95.5/fm, will the new owners change the format? We don’t know. Technically, Meruelo takes over programming today. Even though revenue has dropped substantially since billing in the $35-40 million range, we imagine Meruelo will want the revenues already on the books. Plus the station does VERY well in Men 18 – 34. Otto Padron, president of Meruelo, added, "KLOS will be a crown piece in our strategically curated, L.A.-focused multimedia portfolio. As we've done with all our media properties, we will take full advantage of our deep local resources to grow the globally recognized KLOS heritage rock brand for generations to come."
Who knows, maybe the new guys have some new ideas. After all, Chris Ebbott has reinvented Classic Hits at K-EARTH to where it is now #2 in the current ratings just released. Cumulus also announced some station swaps in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley.
Mary G. Berner, president/ceo of Cumulus, said, “These transactions are part of the continued execution of our portfolio optimization strategy. Both transactions are accretive, and the sale of KLOS to Meruelo Media at an attractive multiple allows us to generate substantial cash, which can be used to further pay down debt and invest in high potential business opportunities.” (Thanks to OC Weekly for KLOS staff: front row - Frosty Stilwell, Gary Moore Frank Kramer; back row - Marci Wiser, Heidi Hamilton, Jimmy Alvarez)
KOSTING at the Top of the LA Ratings
|Adult Contemporary KOST continues at the top of the heap, a
full point ahead of runner up K-EARTH. The WAVE (KTWV) is a
strong third while KIIS and MY/fm (KBIG) come in 4th and
5th. On the bottom side of the Top 40 listing, the KFI
Stream stays steady with O.6 and Radio Iran (KIRN) appeared for the
first time, tied with KABC. Nielsen Audio ratings for March
'19 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid:
1. KOST (AC) 6.5 - 6.5
2. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.3 - 5.5
3. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.4 - 4.7
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.4 - 4.3
5. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.3 - 4.2
6. KCBS (JACK/fm) 4.0 - 4.1
7. KFI (Talk) 4.0 - 3.8
8. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.4 - 3.6
9. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.9 - 3.1
KNX (News) 3.6 - 3.1
|11. KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.7 - 3.0
12. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.8 - 2.7
KPWR (Top 40/R) 3.0 - 2.7
14. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.5 - 2.6
KRRL (Urban) 2.5 - 2.6
16. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.4 - 2.5
17. KUSC (Classical) 2.4 - 2.4
KYSR (Alternative) 2.0 - 2.4
19. KKGO (Country) 2.6 - 2.3
KROQ (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.3
21. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.0 - 2.1
KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.0 - 2.1
KPCC (News/Talk) 2.7 - 2.1
24. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.8 - 1.9
25. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 1.5 - 1.5
26. KCRW (Variety) 1.1 - 1.3
27. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.1 - 1.2
KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 1.4 - 1.2
29. KSPN (Sports) 1.5 - 1.1
30. KKJZ (Jazz) 0.9 - 0.9
KRLA (Talk) 1.0 - 0.9
KXOS (Regional Mexican) 0.9 - 0.9
33. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.8
34. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.7 - 0.7
KLAC (Sports) 0.9 - 0.7
KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.9 - 0.7
37. KFI (Stream) 0.6 - 0.6
KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.7 - 0.6
KKLA (Religious) 0.6 - 0.6
40. KABC (Talk) 0.6 - 0.5
KIRN (Persian) 0.4 - 0.5
|J Cruz Cruises to iHeart.
Meruelo made another headline when iHeart’s KRRL (Real 92.3)
nabbed Meruelo’s J Cruz morning show from
Power 106 (KPWR) and put Cruz, executive producer Jeff
Garcia, plus DJ Lechero and
DJ Lezlee in afternoons. Still working
mornings at KRRL is Big Boy. KRRL’s pd Doc
Wynter said, “Big Boy in the mornings and J Cruz in
the afternoons -- I get chills just saying it!"
Beginning Thursday on Power 106, Cece Valencia (photo in gallery above) takes over “LA’s Hip Hop Morning Show.”
Why would J Cruz leave the morning show and go crosstown to do afternoons? An observer of the LARadio scene guesses that Meruelo knew the KLOS acquisition was coming and tightened their budgets elsewhere. This way they refused to play ball with Cruz when his contract came up, so he looked elsewhere. iHeart would be foolish not to jump at that opportunity, even if they don't plan to keep him long. Cruz’s presence in the building also helps keep Big Boy in line. Interesting? (Photo: J Cruz and Big Boy)
Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Radio Station
|(April 15, 2019) Nothing.
Nothing funny happened on the way to the radio station. Are
radio people a dying breed? Have we discarded radio people
onto a heap of old CDs, or worse, vinyl? Is anyone having
fun or has radio become just a job?
Two weeks ago, in an attempt to do a positive story about radio, I borrowed a front-page story that you see in Forbes or Fortune – Best Companies to Work For. The publications offer page after page of employees sharing great experiences about the companies they work for. Bosses who care what people think. Bosses who are open to new ideas and willing to take chances. Like pixie fairy dust, some companies spread joy with breaks at a ping pong table or a free vegetarian lunch. New ideas from a variety of sources are considered and embraced.
Maybe there are joyful radio station environments. We solicited your comments on the best radio stations to work for in the Southland. Let’s spread the joy. Hey, radio is not dead. It is a vibrant entity. Apparently not. Not ONE vote. No one responded. Crickets.
Now in all fairness, there may be great working environments, but employees have been trained to avoid the press. Why? Fear. In an industry where communication is the key component, management has put such fear into their people, the only communication is in whispers. Why did so and so leave? Were they really pushed out? Are we being sold? Did you hear what is going on in San Diego? A station couldn’t even pay the rent so the transmitter was turned off. Last week, that meant dozens of people lost their jobs in a flick of the switch.
Now they will know real fear. But they will find other opportunities, but chances are it won’t be in radio. Podcasting, voiceover, maybe even sales. Making a living? Tough to know if your heart is not into it.
If radio is not dying, is it breathing? Bankruptcy is the new “b” word. Fear seems to be the commander in chief. Fear is the great new paralysis. It suppresses everything, especially creativity.
Cumulus sells their flagship New York fm station. Is Los Angeles far behind? Reports of iHeart downsizing. Entercom making significant changes in their news/talk stations.
LARadio gets no joy in an essay like this. Is revenue still a challenge? Are we broken? Is anyone there? I can’t hear you. Is anyone there?
Email Saturday, 4.13.2019
|** Farewell Mexican
"Thanks for your coverage of the BCA Radio implosion. I worked for them from 2008 when 'The Walrus' was born from 'XX Sports.' We had a good run as Classic Hits hadn't been heard in San Diego since 99.3 left the format in 2005.
There were times in 2009 that The Walrus jumped to #1 in the Nielsen weeklies. We were respectfully in the Top 10 until 2010. That's when station management changed and they tried to add to the staff of 105.7. Our one-person morning show expanded to two hosts and a producer. John Nolan and Kim Morrison hosted, trying to add personality. I moved to middays and Cindy Pace was afternoons until Rich "Brother" Robbin was hired for afternoons.
BCA was part of a plan to build Local Media in San Diego with the addition of Finest City stations XHRM, XHTZ and XETRA/fm. In 2010, the 6-station cluster was split as those three became LMA and BCA returned to existence with XHPRS, XEPRS and XEPE.
The loss of 3 stations was the first financial blow to BCA. Anyone doing the math will see the difficulty in operating two AMs and an fm radio stations with a collective bill of over 2 million dollars on January 1. XEPRS lost the Padres [rumored to be costing another $5 million in rights fees]. The talent acquisition at XHPRS of Jack Diamond [who stayed a week] and Jack Murphy [who lasted 9 months before being released] was costly and didn't produce a ratings or revenue increase.
Downsizing of 105.7 began in 2016, and as we all know the station 'crashed' last year. XEPE (1700) is at a place on the radio where no one seems to visit. The signal is fair, but if no one knows it's there -who's gonna listen? Thanks to people like Ray Lucia and other local hosts who paid for air time, 1700 was almost paying its own way. Adding ESPN radio was helpful to trying to build the brand, but it only helped 1090 to acquire 'fringe' programming from the network.
| As several of the BCA hosts
have said, other things may come out over the next few
Scott Kaplan is smart and has connections but it might be hard to find someone to not only continue to financially support XEPRS but make up the back payments which could be up to $400,000.
Some have suggested that AM radio is dead, and the elimination of two English speaking sports stations certainly doesn't increase the need to tune in to the band. Even 1360 has an fm translator to try to appease that audience.
I share the sentiments of Chris Carmichael. Chris is an honest, sincere fan of the media in San Diego - and when he was doing his daily blog he went out of his way to point out the positives. Sorry to see the staff at BCA in this pickle. There are a lot of good, talented people there and we're hoping they'll land on their feet. Whether 97.3 will acquire some or all of the talent is questionable as KWFN is part of a company that's required to exercise financial responsibility. That means revenue and ratings. I'm sure if Entercom management feels that adding the displaced BCA talent - any or all - will help, they will.
Talk may be cheap, Don. Talk radio isn't. All of us wish nothing but the best for the BCA crowd. Thank you for sorting this all out." - Dave Mason
** J. Paul Huddleston
“I’ve wanted to let you know that J. Paul Huddleston, before his legendary KHJ work, was the news director and weeknight anchor on the short-lived KCHU channel 18 in San Bernardino from 1962-63. This was the first commercial UHF in Southern California, beating KMEX by seven months, the incarnation of channel 22 [which launched with LARP Larry McCormick on its staff by a full year, and channel 39 in San Diego by three years].
I tell the whole story at the History of UHF Television website, which is owned by Clarke Ingram. He tapped me to be the site’s content coordinator where I've written a lot of articles myself. The focus is on early UHF stations that tried to make a go of it but failed. Here's the link to the KCHU article, which includes a great picture of Huddleston in the newsroom: http://www.uhftelevision.com/articles/kchu.html” – K.M. Richards
** Better Things
“I love that you love Better Things! Pamela Adlon is wonderful!! I can relate to her on so many levels. Except for the parts about owning a home and having a good career part.” –Molly Paige
** LARP Saw
“While scrolling through the group of ‘M’s’ I came across Red McIlvaine’s name and photo with that mischievous grin of his. We worked together briefly in 1959 at KPHO-AM in Phoenix. However, we never saw each other because the newsroom was in another building.
I think he was inspired to do the below because he was headed to LA and was running out his time in Phoenix. We had a lumberyard sponsor of the five-minute newscast at 10 a.m. It featured the sound of wood being sawed. While I was in the middle of the newscast, I heard in my headphones the unmistakable sound of the saw for about ten seconds, followed by Mc Ilvaine chuckling. It didn’t bother me and I kept on reading. Station management probably wasn’t amused. To tell the truth, I thought it was funny, but I kept my own counsel.” – Warren Cereghino
** M&B Anniversary
“With 95.5 KLOS celebrating its 50th Anniversary as a Rock station, it’s quite a history in Southern California radio and great talent over the years. Originally KECA/fm, the call letters switched to KABC/fm in 1954 and was mainly a simulcast of its AM counterpart.
In 1968, the FCC started requiring fm sister stations provide unique programming. That year, ABC owned fm stations broadcast the syndicated ‘Love’ progressive rock format, presented by Brother John Rydgren. An ordained Lutheran minister, Brother John had a great set of pipes and often discussed the spiritual side of rock music. His son, also named John, has a similar sounding voice.
When I met the younger John Rydgren, I recall him telling me that his dad interviewed rock bands from all backgrounds – even some early Jesus music rockers such as Larry Norman (formerly of People).
In 1969, 95 1/2 KABC/fm switched to an all local, free-form progressive rock format. Two years later, in 1971, the station became 95 1/2 KLOS, adopting an AOR (Album Oriented Rock) format under the slogan ‘Rock ‘N Stereo.’” – Josh “JJ” Jacobs
** LARadio Audio
“Do you know of anyone who could make me a copy of Audio Montage of 50 Years of LA Radio, Volume 1: 1957-2003? The hour-long CD sold for $12. The reflective foil [the part with the data] fell off my CD and I’m just devastated. Someone must have a copy of it in their closet somewhere.” – Bill Schwarz
Mighty 1090 Not So Mighty
|(April 12, 2019) The
“Mighty 1090,” a high-rated San Diego sports station (also
heard in L.A.), operates on XEPRS from Rosarito, Mexico, and
is currently leased by Broadcast Company of The Americas.
The station has been a fixture in the market for the last 16
years. Right now, The Mighty 1090 is off the air.
Apparently, BCA didn’t pay their bills to the Mexican
company that owns the frequency, so the plug was pulled late
morning on Wednesday.
BCA president Mike Glickenhaus put together a hastily called urgent staff meeting where he explained they were taken off the air by the people who own their tower.
In a recorded message posted to the station website host Darren Smith, who has been with the station since 2003, said he wasn’t too surprised by this because it had happened before to at two of the other stations the company owns. Smith wrote on social media: “Hearts filled with your kind words and messages. We’re streaming the show today via http://Mighty1090.com & Mighty1090 app. Same poop, different diaper (for some) at 12 noon.”
Smith told the San Diego Union-Tribune: “I don’t want to go out like this. I’ve been here too long to go out like this.” Smith said people were in tears at the station. Afternoon host Scott Kaplan said there was a relationship issue and a breakdown in negotiations between the owners of the frequency and the parent company of the radio station. (Thanks to Union-Tribune for artwork)
|Podcast $$. Radio
Ink had a fascinating story from the NAB Show in
Las Vegas. “Even the big radio companies are discovering the
challenge of monetizing podcasts.” The site said that
Beasley Media Group’s Chief Digital Content Officer Lori
Burgess has been “around the world and back” with
podcasting, now it’s time to make some money.
Apparently Beasley created a new division dedicated to podcasting. It’s a mix of original content and recorded live shows from Beasley’s radio hosts that fans can listen to whenever they have the time. The company also asked its hosts to start producing original podcasts, while rolling out “Best Of” shows, according to Burgess.
Burgess says that making money has proven to be a challenge. And she believes it’s because radio has not figured out how to market podcasts as of yet.
Fred Jacobs, of Jacobs Media, has a theory about that. He believes radio is a little afraid to go all out promoting podcasting (and streaming) because those platforms are not rated the same way as over-the-air radio, so they don’t want to push those listeners away.
In other news. When Adimu was on KKBT, the BEAT, he worked afternoons from 2000-03. He has joined WDAS-Philadelphia as the new host of “The Quiet Storm.” … Rita Pardue, Ms. Senior California 2018, will headline at the USC Trojan Affiliates at their Year End Celebration on Thursday, May 2. Her topic will be “It’s Never Too Late to Make Your Dreams Come True.” … Larry Elder has extended his contract with Salem Radio Network through 2022. His show airs locally on 870/KRLA and heard on more than 350 affiliated stations and on the Salem network … Peter Burton, former gm at KSWD (100.3/The Sound) is the new vp/market manager of the Beasley Media Group cluster in Las Vegas … 24 hours of vinyl streaming tonight at midnight and running all day Saturday at KLBC.org and KCTYFM.org.
Past and Present Music Intersect
|(April 11, 2019) If
you’re of the age when Golden Oldies are all you listen to –
music that’s familiar, music that hasn’t passed you by like
current offerings – Dave Sholin has a
website for you.
Sholin, a Top 40 veteran, record company executive, and charter member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has created a new website for baby boomers. BoomerMusicUpdate.com is a quick catch-up (85-220 words) that links a song from "back in the day" to a current artist or song that has a similar sound / content / style. It features the cream of the crop from the four most popular music formats: Top 40, Pop, Country, and Alternative. The site updates content every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“We put the songs in their generational context,” said Sholin. His website can link a current hit to a similar sounding Oldie. Sholin had been on the forefront of popular music. He was the last person to interview John Lennon, the accompanying photo was taken just hours before his death. Here’s a link to the site.
Music Reunion. The 7th Annual Music Industry Reunion Los Angeles returns Monday, May 13 at the Canyon Club. This event is open to all members of music business related industries, past and present. “This is a great time to hug a friend, meet a new friend, and reconnect with your pals from our great industry,” said co-organizer Jon Scott. Past reunion events (NYC and LA) have brought together over 500+ industry influencers, industry legends and icons as well as the brightest radio / music / management / publicity / marketing execs in the business today.
Peace Corps. After I mentioned that my son had joined the Peace Corps and was in Zambia, I received a very touching note from Robert Berlin. I did not know his name but he wanted to share some insights into the Peace Corps, as his daugther is in a small African village and a neighbor has a daughter in Senegal. He belongs to a group of Peace Corps parents in Northern California that get together and share experiences, so he wanted to reach out and offer a lifeline of communication to us.
Over the decades, I am constantly amazed at our readers. You might remember the doctor who was part of my daughter’s dental challenges. We had never talked before that fateful day. He had been a listener and fan of LARadio and subscribed to the website to learn more about radio. And he was there at the exact moment of need.
When Robert Berlin reached out, we had never previously communicated. He has an interesting background that I thought you might find fascinating. I did.
Berlin grew up in the San Fernando Valley. In the late 60s, he thought he wanted to work in radio. “I begged my way into a volunteer job at KEDC (nee KCSN) in the days when Mike Horn and Doug Brown were there. I migrated over to KCRW in 1971. I did some programming, even did a music show on Saturday evenings. I think they had a 5-watt transmission at the time, so no one was listening. Anyway, I decided that radio was not a career for me, even though I was fascinated by it.”
Berlin worked in public relations for Linda Gray and did some music production. His buddy in high school became Ron Fair, the outstanding A&R man. Berlin ended up in the world of tech. He’s been in the Bay Area for 25 years after living in San Diego for 10 years.
“How did I find LARadio? I've been working with and in internet companies forever,” emailed Berlin. “I spend time Googling around. I’ve been reading it for years. You’ve done a wonderful job and I some point I think you should approach the Smithsonian so the archive has a place to live for the future. Seriously.”
|** Open Email to David
"Hi folks! Thanks again, David, for the comforting remembrances of things past! The Parade Ralph and I did was my favorite in important ways. Hilarious writing meetings in a smoke-filled room - - meetings described by Ralph as populated by people who didn’t 'know _ _ _ _ from Shinola'. ;-) I heard that ‘review’ quite a few times during our adventuresome years together.
He was a busy man during those late ’60’s-early ’70’s days…I continue to be so grateful he was able to squeeze me into the mix.
I still wish he’d written the book he planned on Hollywood’s History, which he had this green farm girl research by spontaneous walk-in interviews of every single business on Hollywood Boulevard, up one side and down the other. (The Frolic bar and Frederick’s of Hollywood among the most memorable. A real education for me!) It would have been a best-seller, I think.
I miss him today, as I do every day. Much love to all! - Stephanie Edwards
|(April 10, 2019) KABC’s Jillian Barberie continues to post on Twitter her courageous fight against cancer. Yesterday she posted: “I fell asleep during the PET scan today bc unlike the CT scan, they didn’t require me to hold my breath etc. It was oddly relaxing. After the blood work and the sugar dye I was tired (no coffee) and ready for that nap!” A few hours later, Jillian posted: “Just received a call from my oncologist and nothing lit up during my PET scan today!!! This most likely means it’s nothing! We will monitor it again in 3, 6 and 9 months to make sure it hasn’t grown!! Going to bed with a peaceful mind! Thank you for your prayers!!!!!”… Larry “Supermouth” Huffman was in St Mary’s Med Center this week, initially for a simple Stent procedure. “WRONG. Seems that I have chronic heart disease and must undergo open heart surgery asap,” emailed Larry ... Jim Duncan is in knee replacement hell. “My replacement from last June took an ugly turn in January,” emailed Duncan. “Somehow the wound got infected and they took out the hardware. After six weeks of high-powered antibiotics, I should be ready for a new replacement. Wish me luck.” … Ken Minyard (pictured above in LARP gallery) has a two-word posting on Facebook, “Remission. Yay!” ... Humble Harve needs our prayers, accoring to Vic St. John. Apparently some issues that are diabetes related … KFI makes some Saturday shift changes on April 27. Handel on the Law is shortened to 8 – 11 a.m. Home With Dean Sharp will now fill the 6 – 8 a.m. slot … KROQ’s Bean of Kevin & Bean gave a shout-out to Mark & Brian on the announcement there would be a reunion later this month. “Hey, these are those guys that did the thing,” wrote Bean.|
Do It Again
Mark & Brian Return for One More Time
|(April 9, 2019) A
historic reunion of Mark & Brian, who spent
25 years doing mornings at KLOS, will take place for a
one-time only broadcast. The KLOS 50th anniversary reunion
show will take place on Thursday, April 25, from 3 p.m. to 7
Joining Mark & Brian for this landmark radio event will be former family members, including Todd Donoho, their Commissioner of Sports, and Chuck Moshontz, for his special brand of news and views.
KLOS program director Keith Cunningham said: “We’re stoked that Mark & Brian have agreed to get the band back together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of KLOS. If not for the Mark & Brian Show, KLOS may not have reached the 50-year milestone. The show is an enormous part of the brand’s history, and the 25th will be an epic day for Southern California radio listeners.”
We were curious how they came up with the date for the 50th Anniversary. “Per the station, Rock music started playing on 95.5 in 1969 (as KABC/fm), the calls actually became KLOS in 1971,” responded Cumulus spokesperson Lisa Dollinger. “For decades and decades, KLOS has always used the verbiage ‘since 1969,’ and celebrated past anniversaries/birthdays based on 1969.” When the announcement was posted on my Twitter account, Tony Siracusa wrote: “I would hope it’s the 50th anniversary of the station and not the show. I feel certain they did not start their show when I was three.” Correct.
The duo will make a guest appearance on KLOS’s morning show, Frosty, Heidi & Frank, as well as interviews with KABC’s John Phillips & Jillian Barberie and Dr. Drew and Leeann Tweeden.
In other news: The National Association of Broadcasters has convened in Las Vegas with over 100,000 attendees. There are more discussions and booths about podcasting than ever before … Morris Diamond had a love affair with music since he was 15 years old. The 96-year-old former “band boy” for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, passed away over the weekend. He went on to own his publishing company along with his own record company, Beverly Hills Records. There has been an outpouring of love for Morris on social media … Sad to see the passing of Seymour Cassel. I discovered him when I discovered John Cassavetes films … Basketball Hall of Fame-bound Ralph Lawler called his final regular season game. Tom Hoffarth of the LA Times thinks it is a shame that he didn’t reunite with Stu Lantz, Lawler’s first partner in San Diego back in 1978, when the Lakers played the Clippers. “It also would have been snice to add Rich Marotta, who had four seasons with Lawler (1990-94).” … Congratulations to Jeff Biggs on 19 years of marriage.
The Big Kahuna
|Click for 93/KHJ Promos|
|(April 8, 2019) Ken Levine
interesting insights for our series on podcasting. Is it
right for you? Ken is a broadcaster, blogger and successful
writer of screenplays and theatrical plays. He titles his
podcast, Hollywood & Levine.
What are the challenges you are facing?
Levine: Like all podcasters, attracting new listeners. And making sure the content is special and worth seeking.
Have you figured the panacea for attracting listeners?
Levine: Be famous. That really helps. For those of us not famous it’s more of a challenge attracting listeners. First and foremost, I concentrate on the content. I want each episode to be entertaining, informative, and surprising. Attracting listeners means nothing if they sample your podcast and are unimpressed. One way I try to attract new listeners is by guesting on other popular podcasts. New listeners are introduced to me and if they like what they hear they seek me out. I also use social media as much as I can. I need to establish myself as a “brand” and to that end I have a blog, a podcast, and appear as a guest on as many platforms as I can. I’m included in the CNN decades documentary series, discussing tv in the 70’s-2000’s, and happily they rerun those frequently. So, I’ve received a lot of exposure. And when you’re seeing me on CNN it means you’re not seeing Trump. I try to feature a variety of topics and tag them all so I’m casting a wide net. Come for a Cheers story and stay for an interview with Nancy Travis. Longevity is helpful too. I’m in my third year. Lots of podcasts come and go. Listeners need to be able to depend on you. My podcast drops weekly at the same time.
I consider myself a professional broadcaster and want my podcast to be of that quality, both in content and fidelity. Lots of podcasts are amateurish. The sound quality is terrible, levels are all over the place, the hosts ramble on about nothing. I want my podcast to be tight. I have custom music bumpers and jingles. Subconsciously I think the listener feels more comfortable when the podcast sounds as clean and professional as what they’re used to hearing on the real radio.
Are you getting revenue support?
Levine: No, but I have no overhead other than my time and effort. I’ve gotten a few sponsors and made some money but not to where I can buy another house. Maybe those days are ahead but I’m doing this for the love of it.
Levine: The biggest challenge is to the keep the content fresh. I try to find guests not normally presented, behind-the-scenes stories that people haven’t heard, and fun features like show commentaries, stunts, and radio plays.
How have set yourself apart from the 650,000 podcasts currently available?
Levine: I know this sounds immodest but the thing that sets my podcast apart is me. I consider myself a storyteller. I’ve enjoyed a long and varied career but I know that means nothing if I can’t connect with the listener. Hopefully listeners will be entertained, learn something, and get a few laughs. There are a lot of podcasts that focus on tv shows. But none have my perspective, my firsthand experience, my warped worldview. Also, I have no co-host. Most podcasts have co-hosts. They spend the first ten minutes chatting about nothing. I want to communicate one-to-one with the listener. And I get into that week's subject matter within the first thirty seconds. Who cares what I had for breakfast or how bad the traffic has been lately?
What is your marketing hook?
Levine: What other podcaster is an Emmy-winning tv comedy writer for iconic sitcoms, a screenwriter, a major league play-by-play announcer, director, radio personality, author, playwright, TCM guest host, voice over artist, improvisor, blogger, and jingle collector?
Thanks, Ken ....
Email Saturday, 4.6.2019
|** Go East, Young Man
“I see Bob McCormick is headed to Texas for a happy retirement. I wish him the best. I spent about 8 years in Texas one winter and retain vivid memories of the experience. While it might struggle to measure up to the offerings of Nevada, I'm sure it will more than meet the needs for a man of Bob's age.
I very much doubt he will come close to the photo of me in the hot tub. There just is so much more of me being happy in that shot and Bob will still be in Texas.
But location aside, I raise a cup to my old friend from California!” – Tom Haule
** McCormick’s Talent and Humility
“Bob McCormick personifies two traits we don't often see together in our business: humility and talent. On top of that, he's a helluva nice guy.
Happy trails to you, Bob!” – Ken Davis
** McCormick Advice
“Thank you, Don, for the update on Bob McCormick. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish Bob and Ellen a great retirement in the low tax rate state of Texas. If I had taken all of the advice he has given me over the years, I would be joining him instead of reading about him. My best to you Bob, from the guy who asked about your photo.” - Bill Mann, South Pasadena
“I was sad to see that Bob McCormick is leaving So Cal. I know things are getting expensive here, and those of us who didn't vote for the new taxes aren't happy about it. But I really hope he's prepared for the ‘meaner’ culture of Texas these days. His voice on the airwaves will be missed.
One voice that I won't be listening to on the radio is Ellen K. I know she doesn't have to worry about money these days, but her comment earlier this week that higher costs for gas are ‘part of the price we pay for living in this beautiful place’ was elitist at best and ‘let them eat cake’ at worst! No more ‘KOSTing’ for me!
Re Dick Whittinghill - my mom and her friends used to see him when they were on their way to work early in the morning and he was on his way to KMPC with his arms full of records. Normally shy, my mom would be the only one to greet him while her friends were busy giggling. Later on, it was a routine for my mom to call him up and request songs for anniversaries and birthdays, and he was always kind and considerate. One of a kind.” – Julie T. Byers
** This Is J … Paul ... Huddleston
“I met J. Paul Huddleston in the mid-1980's in San Antonio when I was doing seminars around the country for Transamerica Life Companies. By this time, he'd left radio and gone into the insurance and investment field. He was one of our insurance brokers. I mentioned to him that I well recalled his time in LARadio and he was so flattered that I did. What a nice and classy man.” - Bob Whitmore
** Hello Americans
“I just wanted to thank you for Wednesday’s YouTube video on Paul Harvey's final address in the radio world. I listened to Paul every day that I could, which was most.” - Gary Lane
** The Mayor and All That Jazz
“Mayor Tom Bradley was a huge fan of KBCA and Jazz. He would often come by the station to chat about Jazz. He would often say ‘Coming here puts a bounce in my step.’ And he would go on the air talking about his favorite music over KBCA.
Circa 1970 Sam Yorty, then Mayor of Los Angeles, was invited to be a guest dj on KMPC during morning hours. It was getting near election time for Mayor, and this didn't sit well with me since I believed it was time for LA to have Tom Bradley as Mayor of Los Angeles. I called Mr. Bradley and offered him the KBCA morning drive time and go up against Sam Yorty. So, it was Bradley vs. Yorty for a week. When the week was finished, I offered Tom Bradley a five-minute daily program at 7 a.m. to be called ‘Talk to City Hall.’ Tom at the time was a City Council member.
I like to think that KBCA played a role in getting Tom Bradley known to the public. Tom accepted the offer, and the program ran until the election period.” - Saul Levine, KKGO (KBCA), K-SURF
** Sports Talker List
“The fact that Jim Rome is number 2 on this list is a great indicator that the list is based mostly on familiarity. Rome isn’t on in LA or NY and is never the inspiration for ‘water cooler’ talk as he once was.
Finally, naming Le Batard and Stugotz [whatever the hell a Stugotz is], as # 4, makes this list completely bogus. They are truly awful.” – Bob Scott
** Promoting the Competition
“I guess when you are in the ratings basement, you'll take anybody's money. While listening to 790 KABC on my way to work the other morning I heard a commercial that went something like...Are you tired of sitting in traffic on your daily commute? Why not listen to Audiobooks...
Since when have radio stations started telling its listeners to listen to something other than their own station? How long before KABC starts running ads for KFI?” – Gary Gibson
Thanks to David Schwartz
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah - Bob Eubanks Dazzles Telling Beatles Stories
|(April 5, 2019) Bob Eubanks
is touring his insightful and entertaining show, “Backstage
with the Beatles.” Jeff Gehringer, ops
manager for the Art Astor group saw the
latest production at the sold out La Mirada theater. “We
were treated to two hours of Beatles stories and memories.”
“As the only man to bring the Beatles to Los Angeles for three amazing concerts, Bob has so many great stories about the fab four,” said Gehringer. “As a jock at KRLA, Bob also had great radio memories. It was nice to hear the roar of the crowd when he mentioned Dave Hull, Casey Kasem and all the great talent at KRLA.” The show featured the Beatles tribute band, Ticket to Ride. “They added great music to the performance. Bravo to Bob Eubanks and the entire production,” concluded Jeff.
My daughter Alexandra, applied to four colleges and was
accepted by all of the them. Not only is a proud papa
writing this, but in the midst of the college admissions
scandal, a certain naive sense of astonishment about how
much money was spent to get kids into their favorite
We made the personal rounds of all four – USC, UCLA, Cal Berkeley, and UCSB. If truth be told, she would have picked USC but knew, without saying, what a financial burden it would have placed on us. I would have sold our house if she really wanted SC, but as it turned out, UCSB wanted her and offered a full scholarship from day one through graduation. She was done in 3.5 years.
Ever since, she has been in the tv production business in the South Bay.
Her brother Tyler was a different story. He couldn’t wait to get out of the house. He moved to San Diego with some buds from the Santa Clarita Valley and earned an AA degree at a junior college. Then couldn’t decide what to do. He floundered for a number of years. Kinda like his dad who crammed a four-year education into 6.5 years.
My son wanted to return to school to get his bachelor’s degree and last June, at the age of 30, did just that. He graduated from Cal State Clear Channel Islands.
Well, earlier this week, he flew to Zambia with 38 others to begin a two-year journey with the Peace Corps. (I didn’t even know they were still in business, thinking they'd ended when the Kennedy administration ended.) He needed the degree to join the Peace Corps. A bit disconcerting when you read about an American abducted and held for ransom in Uganda, but danger is always lurking. His Wifi is spotty, but last night he sent a photo of the hut where he is living, complete with a net covering the bed to keep the bugs out.
OMG, will this be an amazing adventure!
|J. Paul Huddleston - KHJ 20/20 News|
(April 4, 2019) TALKERS magazine has published the Heavy Hundred Sports Talkers and there are many who were or who are being heard in the Southland. TALKERS admits that the results are subjective.
"Being true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors - some would say they are the only factors with considering - but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry's diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due.
Here are the LARP appearing on Michael Harrison's list:
Bob McCormick Exits California
|(April 3, 2019) After
16 years of living and working in SoCal, Bob
McCormick is on his way to Texas for his next
journey. The veteran KFWB, KNX, and KTLA/Channel 5 business
editor just got his tax bill and realized how much financial
pain staying full time in California would cost him in his
His career brought him here from Detroit and San Francisco. “Haven’t driven this far since arriving in San Francisco from the Midwest over 40 years ago,” said McCormick. “Now, I’m going in the opposite direction. Luckily, we have a lot of friends and relatives to help with the culture shock.”
Because of Ellen’s work in L.A. and Las Vegas, Bob is hopeful he will be returning for frequent visits. Bob and his wife Ellen met and were married in Dallas. “The dream home that would have cost millions here is less than half what we sold for in LA. No regrets except not seeing my buddies.”
Before taking off for Texas, Bob texted, “I hope to post a picture in my hot tub that rivals Tom Haule’s.”
|In other news: Bob Buchmann,
former pd at KLOS, announced on Facebook that he was leaving
KGB/fm. His post: “I'd prefer you hear this from me first,
as I'm a bit in shock. My position has been eliminated at
iHeartMedia/San Diego as of today. I work for wonderful
people who told me I did nothing wrong and everything right.
Now in my 7th year, I was made KGB/fm Operations Director
last August. In the Afternoon Drive Bob and Coe Show, the
February Nielsens rank us #2 in the market. Come to think of
it, I’m not a bit in shock, I’m a lot in shock! Thank you
for being there for me day in and day out.” … Where has
FX’s Better Things been? Finally discovered this
quirky adventure with a mom and three daughters. Thanks to
DVR for fast binging. Should I be embarrassed to admit that
I am smitten with Pamela Adlon? … Earlier this week, we
mentioned the Jack Webb movie -30- that featured
KMPC Station of the Stars’ Dick Whittinghill. Howard
Culver, himself a LARP, was also in the film.
Radio Environment. Many of you who read LARadio each morning actually work in radio. We would like to hear about your experiences. The workplace for all of us is changing, especially since the Time’s Up movement and the ever evolving economy. With two station groups coming out of bankruptcy, has the culture changed? Does revenue continue to play an overwhelming role? LARadio would like to share the way stations have stepped up to today’s challenges. Does your station treat you with respect, provide great benefits, and promote an intellectually stimulating and vibrant culture? Tell us the best stations to work for today. Send your experiences to us at: AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com
Paul Harvey's Final Address to Broadcast Industry in 2003
Series on Podcasting
|(April 2, 2019) Podcasting
is a red-hot conversation. But will it go the way of AM
Stereo or HD Radio? Mike Stark worked at
KNAC in the 1990s. He was the West Coast producer of the Tom
Joyner Morning Show. He is now the owner/operator
of the LA Radio Studio (laradiostudio.com).
Mike shares some thoughts about questions posed by LARadio
in our on-going series about podcasting:
If you are podcasting, what are the challenges you are facing?
Stark: My studio, the LA Radio Studio (http://laradiostudio.com) is currently in transition after our eviction in Ports-O-Call Village in San Pedro. We are currently in the final stages of construction of our new studio, also in San Pedro on the campus of the non-profit AltaSea.org.
Our focus at the new location will be on helping companies and small businesses develop podcasts as marketing tools for their services and products. That, we are hoping, will be the “monetized” side of our new business model. How that model will look is what we’re still trying to figure out, but the whole podcast business is still in a state of growth. It’s really only been since the demise of our first location that the podcasting business is starting to be taken seriously, as evidenced by your inquiry and podcasting growth stats. Before shutting down we had already produced some podcasts for SCAN Health Plan that they were very happy with and we hope they will be back after our hiatus.
|Have you figured the panacea
for attracting listeners? How have you set yourself apart
from the 650,000 podcasts currently available? What is your
Stark: The beauty of working with companies in doing their podcast is that most of these questions are dealt with by the client, who probably already has a data base and niche audience to work through. They don’t really have to “set themselves apart” from others, because the content is locked into their product or service and is an extension of their existing marketing program. We do believe that the only money we can count on in our new configuration will be from companies and businesses that buy into our service – out front – to have professionally produced audio to pitch their products on a weekly or monthly basis.
The key for us is to try to find businesses that are interested AND are interesting enough to be able to sustain a weekly or monthly podcast. Our friend Dave Beasing is already doing something similar to this with Trader Joes, which to me would be the perfect client because so much is going on in that store that could be talked about. However, those questions are harder to answer if you are doing individual podcasts on a variety of topics. We – and most of the other 650,000 podcasters – are having to work through these issues as we develop each individual podcast.
We got pretty good at doing podcasts at the old location, trying different types of formats, different lengths and with various niche topics. These roughly 15 podcasts will pick up where we left off at the new location. The hope is to monetize these podcasts, but with more of the idea that this will be the “creative” side of the business model that just involves “fun” and “making shows.” Honestly, some of these shows have potential, so we’re never going to give up hope that we couldn’t someday go with a subscription model or add advertising to them.
Stark: I’ve given up thinking I understand what makes good content. We started a show called “Bat Chat” that is based around Halloween and the people that celebrate it year-round. Not at all of interest to me. A niche audience for sure, but I was surprised at the number of people that were interested in it. This is a show with a little proper promotion (which we will work on after the studio “reboot”) could be huge.
The little podcast that I considered a “throw away,” Radio Waves that Richard Wagoner and I do, based on his weekly column, has had a great success building listeners. Just two radio “geeks” rambling [and worse] about radio every week, has been really accepted by many of YOUR LARadio People and we’re looking forward to rambling some more once our studio is available. The real draw of Radio Waves is when we get long time LA radio personalities in studio for “career spanning” interviews. We’ve done a bunch of those that we are VERY proud of and hope to do more in the future.
Are you getting revenue support?
Stark: One of our problems at our old location was that we were top heavy with creative people with no one able to handle any kind of sales to try to entice advertiser to buy into our existing podcasts, so that is also something we hope to correct this time out.
Another problem is getting accurate “metrics” for shows. It’s above my pay grade to know why it is hard to get good, comprehensive, true counts on listener, but we've yet to be able to hone in on how to do that. We hope, in our new configuration, to have someone who knows about that side of the business join our team. With good metrics you have a better opportunity to sell your shows to advertisers and lately, even ad agencies. There is still a lot to be learned about how to do a successful podcast.
To have Mr. Jayme Wilson as my partner, who was willing to grow the business for eight years only to be forced to tear down and rebuild, is the blessing of my life. I'm pretty much retired and THIS new LA Radio Studio will be my swan song in the audio business and we’re hoping to be able to subsidize my retirement a little bit in the process. If nothing else, we’re going to have fun doing it. All of our current podcasts can be reached at the studio website - laradiostudio.com.
LARPs Awarded at AllAccess Event
|(April 1, 2019) Many LARP
and SoCal entities were recipients of awards at AllAccess’
Worldwide Radio Summit 2019 last week at the Castaways in
Burbank. WWRS 2019 DOMESTIC RADIO INDUSTRY (Winners
Radio Company of The Year
Beasley Media Group
Radio Company Exec of The Year
Bob Pittman, Chairman & CEO, iHeartMedia
Ginny Morris, Chairman & CEO, Hubbard Broadcasting
Kim Guthrie, President, Cox Media Group
>>Mary Berner, President & CEO, Cumulus Media
Weezie Kramer, COO, Eentercom Communications
Radio Company Sr. Programmer of The Year
Buzz Knight, EVP Strategy/Innovation, Beasley Media Group
John Ivey, SVPP/Top 40 Programming iHeartMedia, PD KIIS-Los Angeles
>>Mike McVay, EVP/Programming, Cumulus Media (photo)
Thea Mitchem, EVP/Programming, iHeartMedia
Tony Coles, EVP/Programming, iHeartMedia
Station of The Year
Imaging/Production of The Year
>>Benztown, Los Angeles
Kelly Doherty, President, The Imaging House
Miles Hlivko, Imaging Dir., KIIS-Los Angeles
Staxx Williams, Imaging Dir., WHTZ & WKTU-New York
|In other news: How do you break through the podcasting land field of clutter to get yours heard? Chartable says that we’ve just hit a total of 700,000 available podcasts. The company monitors Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and other podcast apps … John Fox reports that for today only, Rez Radio 91.3 in San Diego becomes ‘Rez Radio LOL.’ “Out goes the regular music and most of the talk shows, and in comes, uh … other stuff,” emailed John. “Fans of Dr. Demento will understand. Stand-up comedy too, with emphasis on Native American comedians ... What’s a radio station worth? The owner of KLIV-San Jose wants to donate the station to the city. “I would hope they would make good use of it, to inform the citizens about all the things city administration is doing,” said Kieve, the current KLIV owner … Bill Seward is calling the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series … Tim Cates sounded great on the Dodgers opening day pre-game show. He was interviewing Cody Bellinger ... Ty Bentli worked afternoons at MY/fm (KBIG) from 2010-12. He went on to Top 40 WNOW (92.3 Now) in New York for mornings and then was part of Cumulus’ nationally syndicated “America’s Morning Show” for the NASH Country Network. He is now launching the first-ever nationwide Country Music radio station in the UK, Country Hits Radio … Bean just returned from England following a 10-day visit. He’s hoping to be living there by the end of the year … Salem (KRLA) has renewed Mike Gallagher through 2023 … Steve Nieto of Yorba Linda sent some fun Funnies (including this morning) that you will see over the next months. Thanks, Steve.|
|Dick Whittinghill (r), iconic morning man at 710/KMPC from 1950-79, appeared with Jack Webb in the 1959 movie, -30-|
Arrow 93 Reunion 2019
Front row, Left to right: Robert Negrete, Maggie McKay,
Back row: Mike Zara, Stacey Dockray Zara, Sioux-Z Jessup, Rick Sietsema, Jackie Herek, Ryan Doyle
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