LARadio

Summer 2019

Compiled and Written by Don Barrett
Edited by Alan Oda


 

Email Saturday - 6.22.2019

** Northern California Radio

“Thanks for re-visiting Detroit and WDRQ. Loved your story. That's one I had never heard.

I watched the Northern California Radio video when Dr. Don Rose choked up I did too. What a talent and KFRC what a station.” – Mike Butts

** 80s Music on K-SURF

“I’ll preface this by saying I’m an LARL [L.A. Radio Listener], not an LARP. K-Surf’s Facebook page is lighting up with negative feedback on their addition of 80s music. I’m only 32 and prefer the 50s and 60s tunes that they started out with. Not only that, plenty of stations in L.A. already play music from the 80s.

K-Surf was unique. Not anymore.

I hope that, at the risk of sounding like the late Bill Drake, ‘The backlash just keeps on coming.’ Here it is:
https://m.facebook.com/laoldies/posts_to_page/” – Joey Schwartzman

** Portrait of My Love

Greg Hardison's tribute to Steve & Eydie moved me! So sad to read about Steve's Alzheimer Disease. Several times a month I go to You Tube to replay some of Steve & Eydie's television and concert appearances.

In my opinion, they were, unequivocally, THE finest, most consummate live performers of my time. Eydie and Ella remain my two, all-time favorite female singers. Steve's phrasing and the quality of his voice are second only to Sinatra. Donn Trenner, the 91-year-old former musical director to Steve Allen, Ann Margaret, Nancy Wilson and others also worked with Steve & Eydie. Donn, now director of The Hartford Jazz Orchestra, speaks glowingly of Steve & Eydie; both as performers and persons. 

Thanks for publishing Greg Hardison's tribute.” - Bob Sirkin

** Craig “Sea” Carpenter

“I had to write when I saw Craig ‘Sea’ Carpenter’s pic in your column this week. When I first started part-time at KFXM in 1978, he was the afternoon jock. Great, high energy delivery. He sounded major market to me.

Sadly, he left shortly thereafter and I never heard anything more about him until today!” - Neil Young

** Newman’s Business

"I barely remember Jim Newman from the ‘NFB’ all-News experiment at KMEX/34, but then it came and went so quickly ... http://www.uhftelevision.com/articles/nfb.html

But I do remember, when the AP Radio Network started in 1974, him being the first anchor of their hourly ‘Business Barometer’ financial and stock market reports. [I was with KOVA - now KFYV - in Ventura County then; we were one of the charter affiliates of APRN.] Link is to Clarke Ingram's ‘History of UHF Television website, where I am content coordinator and have written a fair amount of the content personally.” - K.M. Richards

** Nathan’s News

"Great to see the piece on Nathan Roberts. I enjoyed working with him at KCOP in the '80s and was happy to hear his voice on KNX after missing him in this market for a number of years.

Nathan's always been one of the smoothest pros on the air.” – Mitch Waldow  

Nick Cannon Looking for Love 

(June 21, 2019) Have you heard the new Power 106 morning show, hosted Nick Cannon? He plays lotsa Hip-Hop music with E-Man in the mix but when the music stopped the other morning, Nick talked about love and finding love.

Now here’s a guy who was married to Mariah Carey for six years. Got to be tough to find a date? Nick was pretty clear on what he is looking for. “I don’t want love unless it’s that old school 90s love. There’s a lot of slippin’ and slidin’ for me but it is too wet. I’m getting out of the pool. I’m done.

Nick declared. “I don’t think this generation knows what love is.”

Nick took some calls with callers trying to convey what works for them. “Remember when the songs were about problems like my girl left me, my dog died? That was real love.”

Perhaps you have a love match for Nick?

Stab Myself
. In 1971, I was the general manager of a Bartell-acquired fm property in Detroit that we named WDRQ (formerly WDEE/fm). There was a void in the marketplace for a news/talk station. It was chancy because we were the first in the country to try this on fm.

One of my marketing efforts was with the morning Detroit Free Press. LARadio reader Tony Martin wrote me recently with a copy of an August 14, 1971 column by Charlie Hanna in the Free Press.

Tony loves to discover nuggets with on-line archives. I had forgotten about it.

Charlie wrote: “The thing I like about WDRQ/fm, I said to Don Barrett, general manager of Detroit’s newest radio station, ‘is that the listener is not bothered by a whole lot of commercials.’ Whereupon Barrett picked up the table knife by his plate and pantomimed placing the pointed end precisely in the area of his own heart. Barrett was attacking the prime rib on his plate with zest as he said, ‘We’re going to knock WWJ [stodgy all over the place format owned by the afternoon Detroit News] radio out of the third place within 18 months.’

What if you don’t?

‘We’re going to knock WWJ out of third place within 18 months,’ he repeated. Later he said that thus far they have 20 accounts on the air.”

The Detroit Free Press story brought a smile to my face. I was only 28 at the time and fairly dramatic with the faux stabbing of the heart. I knew it would go into the story and make for some fun copy.

To launch WDRQ, I commissioned Art Vuolo to produce a 6-hour History of Detroit that we would run continusly the weekend before a Monday start. It was narrated by our morning news anchor, Richard Mock, a giant at KCBQ-San Diego. Click the DRQ artwork to listen.
Northern California Radio

Dave Beasing Has Another Sound In Him 

(June 20, 2019) Sound That BRANDS, the Los Angeles-based podcasting studio specializing in branded audio content for national advertisers, is teaming up with Emmis Communications for a round of funding that will allow rapid expansion. “At Sound That BRANDS, our motto is ‘Be the content, not the interruption,’” said Dave Beasing, ceo of Sound That BRANDS and a veteran media consultant. 

"With Emmis’ support, we'll grow quickly, producing audio that is not only entertaining and informative, but builds brand loyalty.” Previously, Beasing was the pd for The Sound / 100.3 for a decade.

“We’ve monitored the early stages of global brands telling audio stories through branded podcasts that dramatically enhances loyalty and preference,” said Emmis chairman/ceo Jeff Smulyan. “Sound that BRANDS has already become a leader in branded podcasting and is uniquely positioned to work with marquee brands to build episodes that make you laugh, feel and think in a way that reinforces the brand. Dave is a great audio storyteller, and we look forward to helping him accelerate Sound that BRANDS' growth.”

Major brands like Trader Joe's, Facebook, Smead, Tindr, General Electric and McAfee have recently produced branded podcasts.

Fast Company has called branded podcasts, “the ads that people actually want to listen to.” According to survey data released by Edison Research, podcast listenership is booming, as 32% of Americans aged 12 and older say they have listened to a podcast in the past month. Of those, 54% say they are more likely to consider the brands they hear advertised on podcasts. Sound That BRANDS is seeking motivated talent for several key roles, including VP/Revenue and Brand Partnerships. Former KPWR svp / gm Val Maki is heading the search. Interested parties should apply confidentially on the company's website, SoundThatBRANDS.com. 
In other news: Joey Reynolds, a distinguished veteran from numerous high-profile stations over the decades, including KMPC, KRTH and KMGG in L.A., acknowledges that the Year of the Women last season was black. “What about age?” asked Joey. “Isn’t it our turn?” I suggested to Joey that our time for acknowledgement seems to be when we die. Get in line …  Jeff Penfield, interim program director, is leaving KCSN (88.5/fm) after six years for KERA and KXT-Dallas. Expect a major announcement from KCSN soon …David McCullough’s book The Pioneers knocked Howard Stern Comes Again out of the top spot on the LA Times bestseller list.
The Day the Music Burned - - New York Times Magazine

New King of CBS 

(June 19, 2019) Gayle King, better known for being Oprah’s best friend, will certainly see her fortunes turn as she becomes the new lead anchor for CBS This Morning. Gayle was featured with a cover story in the current issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

Following graduation from college in 1976, Gayle was hired as a production assistant at WJZ/tv in Baltimore and it was there she met Oprah, who was an anchor. That was the beginning of a lifelong friendship.

A pragmatist at heart, when looking for a journalism job in the mid -70s, she targeted stations in the 20th through the 30th markets, not the top 10. “I asked to speak to the assistant of the news director and would introduce herself by saying, ‘I’m 22, I’m black. I don’t have a lot of money, so I don’t want to send resume reels if you don’t think I have a shot. I knew if they already have two black women, they’re not hiring me.’”

She spent decades in local news – in Baltimore, Washington, DC, Kansas City, and Hartford where she spent 18 years at CBS affiliate WFSB. Gayle hosted a radio Talk show on Sirius and Westwood One that was heard on KTLK (1150 AM) in 2010 and 2011. She received the American Women in Radio & Television Gracie Award for Outstanding Radio Talk Show.

King’s favorite song is Walkin’ on Sunshine. “Winfrey needles her that she needs to ‘take her yellow-colored glasses off.’ But there’s little chance of that. Definitely not now,” according to the THR article.

In other news: Lisa Worden, ALT 98.7 (KYSR) program director, will be presented as MUSEXPO "International Music Person of The Year" award during a special VIP Awards Gala Luncheon on in the spring of 2020. Other LARPs who have received the award include Kevin Weatherly, pd at KROQ and Jimmy Steal, longtime pd at Power 106, who is now at WTMX-Chicago … Congrats to KKJZ pd Mike Johnson on 12 years of wedded bliss … Johnny Wendell, veteran of KFI and KEIB, has a new gig. “So, as I was being interviewed at KPFK, I was sitting with the program director and general manager and about to launch into why they should hire me when this woman bursts in and says, ‘is this Johnny Wendell, the Johnny Wendell? I thought I recognized your voice, guys we gotta have him here, he's a legend!’ End of pitch. Hired. Serendipity like that has never ever happened in my life,” Johnny wrote on his Facebook page … Think being a reporter is a stressful life? Robert Feder posts a compelling experience with a Chicago journalist … Those connected with the Internet version of KNX/fm (
www.KNXfm93.com), a popular format in the 1970s, celebrated the legacy of the station over the weekend. Pictured In the gallery photo:  Kevin SpeaksRick ShawCraig "Sea" Carpenter, Andy MarsPat Veling. Also attending but not pictured: Chris AmesDouglas Brown, and Steve Marshall.

LARPs in the TALKERS Heavy Hundred

(June 18, 2019) Every year TALKERS Magazine publishes the list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Host in America. About one-third of the list consists of either previous or current talent heard in Los Angeles.)

Coming up with any list is tough and subjective. TALKERS publisher acknowledges the difficulty of culling through thousands of talk show hosts across the country. The editors “painstakingly compile this super-list that is drawn upon a combination of hard and soft factors.”

They evaluate the Talkers for: courage effort impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent, and uniqueness. “We acknowledge that it is as much art as science and that the results are arguable.”

Here are the Los Angeles Radio People who appear on the 2019 TALKERS Heavy Hundred:

 

     
11. George Noory
12. Ben Shapiro
15. Lars Larson
18. Hugh Hewitt
19. Jim Bohannon
20. Michael Savage
21. Armstrong & Getty
22. Bill Handel
24. Doug Stephan
27. Sebastian Gorka
28. John & Ken
33. Dennis Prager
34. Michael Smerconish
35. Larry Elder
37. Stephanie Miller
40. Kim Komando
43. Michael Medved
44. Todd Schnitt
45. Tim Conway, Jr.
54. Clark Howard
58. Terry Gross
87. Heidi Harris
91. John Batchelor

Shot Out of Power Cannon 

(June 17, 2019) The ratings in LARadio show Adult Contemporary, Hot AC, Top 40/M, and Classic Hits lead the mornings. Spotify and other music services indicate Hip-Hop is number one with their subscribers, though currently the stations offering this music is not tops in AM drive. Yet there has been competition. A few years ago, iHeart swooped Kurt “Big Boy” Alexander from Power 106 (KPWR), his home for many years. He’s now the morning man at REAL 92.3 (KRRL).

Now the new owners of KPWR are making their move in the morning. “Nick Cannon Mornings – Power 106 #1 for Hip-Hop” will debut this morning and will be heard daily on the Meruelo station from 5 – 10 a.m. Cannon is a tv / radio host, comedian, actor, producer, rapper, writer, philanthropist, children’s book author, and social activist.  

“Nick is the quintessential entertainer and content creator who will take our media game to the next level,” said Otto Padron, president/coo of Meruelo Media, “His tremendous success across television, film and music is testimony of his unique talent, work ethic and impeccable reputation. Nick is the absolute right talent to start our mornings on Power 106 – this is an incredible match and we’re fortunate to have him on our family!”  

Cannon said, “Power 106 is one of the most substantial fixtures in our Hip Hop culture that has proven time and time again that they are #1 and not going anywhere! Los Angeles is used to star players joining star franchises! I’m just honored for the opportunity to make our community and Culture proud. All I can say is it’s Ncredible!”  

Power 106 pd, E-Man said, “Nick Cannon is that fresh sound we were looking for on Power 106. Nick is an incredible entertainer who embodies Hip Hop, pop culture, comedy, and community all in one! We are very excited to have him on our team.” Cannon is the host and executive producer of Fox’s #1 hit tv show, The Masked Singer, as well as the creator, host, and executive producer of MTV's Wild ‘N Out, which will begin production on its 15th season later this year. Wild ’N Out’s YouTube channel has amassed almost 5 million subscribers since its official launch approximately 6 months ago.

In other news: Dave Cooke reached out to welcome Bob McCormick to Texas. “Dave hired me in 1974 to come to KFRC-San Francisco from the midwest. Quite a game changer for me (photo in gallery above).” … I love Facebook on Mother’s and Father’s Day. To see photos and read the stories of the role parents played in your life is illuminating ... The Eric Weiss Agency has partnered with John Wiley & Sons on the production and distribution of “For Dummies: The Podcast,” hosted by NBC daytime star Eric Martsolf. 

The iconic WPLJ-New York ended a 48 year run recently. The video, on a standard DVD, is available at www.vuolovideo.com/videovault/reunions. It runs 95.5 minutes and is priced at just $20 plus $4 shipping and handling. 
Click the artwork to see a preview. Art Vuolo, Radio's Best Friend, produced the reunion.


Email Saturday, 6.15. 2019

** Worked with Newman Beginning in 80s

“Along with so many others, I was shocked and saddened by the passing of Jim Newman. I had talked to Jim a few weeks ago, that booming voice and huge laugh still very evident! He had told me about a fall he had taken and he had suffered a broken hip and was using a walker, but I sensed no loss of energy from Jim, nor his sense of humor. I told him I would swing by and pick up some sandwiches and come visit and schmooze. That was not to be, unfortunately.

I first met Jim and worked with him in the early 80’s and our friendship never waned over the years. Never a dull time with Jim. Early on, I was producing a financial special Jim was hosting and we were in New Orleans at a conference when in walks Warren Buffett, who was the wealthiest man in the world at that point. He and Jim embraced and carried on like old buds. Years later, Jim had me write and produce a project for Columbia Records Special Products on the Manhattans, an r&b group. Kind of a musical documentary on the group. Jim voiced it, and they released it as a Columbia Records album … and I was listed as ‘Producer.’ Some people actually thought I had produced an r&b album!

To echo the thoughts of others, Jim was a ‘mensch.’ A gentleman. A real pro who knew the financial world inside and out. I’ll miss his stories. I’ll miss his friendship. I’ll miss his kindness. He was an original.

Thanks for everything Jim!” – Arlen Peters

** Gentleman Jim

“So sad to hear about the passing of Jim Newman. I absolutely adored him! He was such a gentleman, smart and witty, and just a kind soul. He introduced me to dim sum in Chinatown, shared some inspiring stories about the business, encouraged me to listen to his favorite classical albums, and loved chatting about the Theatre.

A class act!” – Pam Baker

** LARP Passings

“I know I share your feelings about the deaths reported in your column. I can’t add anything to Alan Oda’s fine story about Jim Newman. He was a true gentleman.

Thank you too for mentioning Lew Klein. Lew was an instructor at Temple University when I went there in the mid-50s. He was also a pioneer in tv having started at WFIL/tv several years earlier. As pd by then, he was able to get us into the station once a week [Thursday afternoons] for a production class with real equipment at a real station. Next to us, in the big studio, they were feeding the network American Bandstand.

Lew also had a radio connection. When the Philadelphia Inquirer spun off the stations [ABC bought channel 6] Lew was part of a group that bought WFIL/fm and it became WIOQ. He was active at Temple til the end.  It’s a cliche but he will be missed.” – Bernie Alan Canter (Class of ‘59)

** Huntin’ with Gregg Hunter


“There were so many nice things written about Humble Harve after his passing and I just wanted to say a few words about another LARadio personality who passed recently, Gregg Hunter.

Gregg was on the old KIEV/870 where he held court in the late hours. The station under the Beatons was a very different one, so there was a lot of room for old fashioned local radio which is what Gregg did. I will admit that I was not a regular listener but enjoy jumping around the dial as much as possible to see what is going on. On the occasions that I heard his show, it seemed like the kind of radio that was very intimate with the listener. Gregg called his listeners ‘cousins’ and treated them all like his family.   On the several dozen times I heard his show, I recognized some of the same callers who spoke with Gregg with love and affection. He didn’t talk much politics, as that tends to separate people and Gregg was all about bringing people together.  

Gregg had guests that ranged from show-biz types to celebrity psychics. He had done celebrity interviews for years at the Brown Derby and often played some of those that lent themselves to more of Hollywood’s golden age. This endeared him even more to what seemed like an audience of the over-fifty and beyond crowd. He did a weekend show called The Weekend World of Entertainment, which made me chuckle as one never really thought of anything worldwide when they were listening to KIEV.

Gregg talked about the coffee shops around Glendale that he frequented. Being a resident in Glendale for years I knew them to be not the large chain places, but the small and somewhat run-down places that dealt in very personal service where you knew everybody’s name and all about their kids and grandkids, which was very much like Gregg’s show.  

I know that once or twice Gregg booked himself into Jax Bar in Glendale with a pianist or combo. He gave his listeners a live performance of standards from the great American songbook. I didn’t attend these shows but from what I remember his listeners saying when they called, they loved it and were very appreciative of the chance to meet the man behind the voice they listened to each night.  

After the station was sold to Salem, Gregg gave his last show. I made a point to listen and he greeted his audience with a huge ‘HELLO COUSINS.’ You could hear the professional ‘all smiles’ broadcaster through what must have been a sad evening.

I honestly don’t know if there ever was a place for a show like this in a city as big as Los Angeles but the Beatons kept him on the air for many years. I know that his audience must have loved them for doing so as much as they loved Gregg.” - Gary Gibson, Montrose

** Humbleness

“Had to laugh that John Sebastian tried to make himself a hero in hiring Humble Harve at KZLA. ‘Hurting’ for a gig? Kind of a cheap shot. Harve told me JS was a nut, he would schedule meetings with Harve only to emphasize that, in Sebastian’s opinion, Harve was giving the call letters out wrongly ‘it's K-ZLA not KZLA.’ Finally, Harvey had enough and quit. He was the greatest night jock ever in LA, bar none, and one of the top five Top 40 jocks in history.” – Wade Collins, Hermosa Beach  

Track 10:

  • Kenny Noble (KZLA)
  • Nicole Sandler (103.1fm)
  • Lenore Kingston (KFWB Purely Personal)
  • Terry Foster (KHJ)
  • Jerry Trowbridge (KZLA)
  • Don MacKinnon (KFWB)
  • George Putnam (KPLS, 2002)
  • Freddy Snakeskin/Elvira (KROQ)
  • Don Herbert (KFWB News)
  • Ken & Bob (KABC Jingle)
  • KLSX Classic Rock Marathon
  • Warren Duffy (KDAY)
  • Sie Holliday (KRLA)
  • "World Famous" Tom Murphy (KRLA)
  • Roger Collins (KFI)
  • KABC/fm ID
  • KROQ Jingle
  • Poorman/Richard Blade (KROQ)
** Putnam Ahead of Time?

“Click track 10 George Putnam (KPLS, 2002): His comments, wow ahead of his time.  

And the passing of Humble Harve, sorry to hear. Last time I saw him I was the MC and introduced him up to the stage. It was a music show at a location in Chino.” – Chuck Wilder (CRN Talk)

** Death of Bo Leibowitz and More

“I was looking for news of the death of Bo Leibowitz, the jazz dj at KCRW Saturday mornings, when I thought of your web site and wondered if you were still around. Yes, you are!

I started listening to Bo several years ago when I would get up early to go somewhere on a Saturday. It is a habit of mine to turn on the radio for music. I always had the set tuned to KCRW, especially on the weekends. I would be waiting for Morning Edition to start, so the radio would be set for that channel. Occasionally, I would just wake up, for no reason, early on a Saturday and listen to Leibowitz with his selection of jazz tunes. Very enjoyable and I learned a lot.

I normally would listen to KLON [now KKJZ] for my jazz stuff, but Bo was the exception for me. There are no other standalone jazz show on Los Angeles radio. It is becoming rare to listen to such an experienced jazz expert. He will be missed.

Elroy Downs
 has been doing the show for a couple of months without mentioning the status of Mr. Leibowitz. It looks like he will be the new de facto host of the Saturday morning show. He is a good choice, as I am familiar with him from KKJZ.

Looking around the site, I was saddened to learn of the death of Humble Harve. As if the loss of Mr. Leibowitz wasn’t enough, this happens. I remember Harve from KHJ. He sure was a character. Little by little, our AM radio past is slipping away.

I had a subscription for your website some years ago and I remember when you discontinue the subscriptions. I figure you were going to retire and turn off the LARadio site. Imagine my surprise when I typed in the URL and saw the web site pop up with the current news. I guess you couldn’t stay away from doing the site.

Wow, I see you moved to a wonderful beach area, Avila Beach. I hope it is quiet for you. As for me, I retired and decided to move away from Huntington Beach after 29 years of living there. The changes there were unwelcoming and I wanted a slower lifestyle. In 2013, I moved to Joshua Tree, and just love it here. It is somewhat rustic and the environment can be harsh at times, but I enjoy it.” – Dan Ramos, Joshua Tree

** Jazz Greats

“KBCA from 1960 to 1989 [call sign KKGO adopted in 1978] is considered by most Jazz authorities to be the finest jazz programmed station that ever existed. It had an air staff that can never be duplicated, including Chuck NilesJim GosaRick HolmesSam FieldsJai RichTolly StrodeRichard LeosGerald WilsonLarry Van Nuys, and more.

KKJZ 88.1 is currently America’s Number One Jazz Station.” – Saul Levine

** Steve Lawrence Illness

“I am very sad to learn about Steve Lawrence being cursed with Alzheimer’s. Luckily, I got to know Steve and his wife Eydie Gorme 30-odd years ago, while working with Ray Briem at KABC. They were certainly two of the nicest people I ever had the pleasure of knowing. They always made time to come visit me in the control booth, before each in-studio shot with Ray. 

On one such night circa '92, they mentioned an upcoming live show at the Sundome just outside Phoenix. I casually mentioned the fact that my mother had recently bought a home in Sun City West, less than a mile from the venue. Before I could take a breath, Eydie turned to their assistant and told her to arrange two front-row tickets for my mom at will-call the night of their show. Of course, mom went, taking a friend along. She and Eydie exchanged notes, and my mother was quite taken with Eydie’s obvious sweetness. Years later, she was still telling me how much she enjoyed Steve & Eydie’s performance. Steve lost his precious Eydie back in 2013. Two years ago my mother lost her own relatively brief struggle with Alzheimer’s.

This disease is truly a cruel, evil curse. I can only hope and pray that Steve's journey is as easy as it can possibly be, as he faces what he must. And it certainly bears repeating, that Steve and Eydie were two of the finest, classiest people I ever knew in my entire life. – Greg Hardison

** Word Usage Chart

“That word usage chart was amazing. That’s what happens when the pajama boy – snowflakes – everyone must get a trophy crowd infiltrates the media.

Good for Jhani Kaye!! I have spent some time with him and like him a lot! – Mike Butts

** Word Use

“Cool to see the New York Times word usage data. Love to see how these two over exposed adjectives would look: Awesome Epic As radio fades...” - Douglas Brown

** Ray Lucia Experience

“The years I was working on the Vegas strip I used to listen to Ray Lucia. He was so compelling that I called him off-air to discuss engaging him as an advisor. He asked me about my finances and my business, then dropped the name of a game show host he claimed to be advising. He didn’t know I knew the guy. I called the host, and he’d never heard of Ray. That was the only red flag I needed.

Slippery bastard.” – Randy West
 
** 80s Oldies


“Wondering why massive 80s hits by Cameo, Shalamar, Atlantic Starr, Junior, the S.O.S. Band, New Edition, etc. are missing from many of radio’s so-called 80s formats. WTF? No, it’s not ‘disco’ grandpa.

Someone who’s brilliant over at TuneIn’s ‘80s Hits’ is spiking them in along with the GoGos and Night Ranger, and it sounds damn good!” – Christina Kelley

The Phrase That Pays

(June 14, 2019) When media people get together, they tell stories. Martoni’s in the 60s and 70s used to be the media watering hole. Over the years, add Nickodell’s, Le Petit Chateau in North Hollywood and radio reunions. Warren Cereghino was a tv news assignment editor at KTTV for many years, news director at KTLA/Channel 5, and worked at KNBC/tv. He used to be in radio.

A recent cartoon at LARadio triggered a moment 60 years ago when he risked his job to spontaneously, and very irreverently, skewer an on-air promotion at KBUZ-AM in Phoenix. Warren’s story:

“KBUZ's owner turned the station upside down in the Fall of '58 when he brought in three former Mc Lendon guys, one of whom was Bob (Doc) Holliday, to give it a McLendon-type sound. Bob went on vacation over the Christmas-New Year's period in 1958-59 and the pd told me, the college-boy weekend man, to fill in for Bob. The station had a hokey on-air promotion called ‘The Phrase That Pays.’ The log called for it to air at :15 after the hour throughout the day. Holliday's shift was 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This was the day after Fidel Castro's revolutionary army had driven Fulgencio Batista out of power and out of Cuba. These little ‘phrase that pays’ entries were things like ‘a stitch in time saves nine.’ The jock would read an intro announcing the name and hometown of the winner of that hour's $5.00 cash prize. [Five bucks then would be about $43 today.] After announcing the winner, the jock pushed the mike filter button to emphasize the phrase. At 10:15, I said that the winning phrase that hour was from 'Fulgencio Batista, somewhere in exile, whose winning phrase is ‘sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes you're rained out’ into the record that had been flying on the turntable.

An hour later, I read: ‘this hour's winning phrase comes from Fidel Castro in Havana, Cuba: ‘if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.’ Five minutes later the pd burst into the control room and yelled ‘you're mocking our promotion.’ I nodded agreement. He said I would be fired immediately and he'd take the board if I did it again.  I'd had my fun; I behaved myself after that. Holliday heard about it and told me he thought it was funny.”
In other news: Services for Jim Newman will be held tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. at St. Victor's Catholic Church, 8634 Holloway Drive, West Hollywood … Congratulations to Phil Hulett on 37 years of wedding bliss … Lew Klein, a broadcast pioneer who helped create American Bandstand, died at 91 … Condolences to Dave Gyurina on the loss of his youngest child, Marc. “He passed away in our new home in Cedar City and we couldn't save him. He was a very sweet, private, sensitive and loving young man. I am completely heart-broken, my soul is crushed and our world has caved in on us. Without the rest of my family coming together, I don't think I could deal with this. I will always love you dearly Marc” … How long is long when you talk about holding a job? Kevin Gershan is celebrating 40 years with CBS. He’s currently producer of Entertainment Tonight Jason Bentley is stepping down as KCRW music director and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic … Sad news about singer Steve Lawrence. He has Alzheimer’s … ESPN is shutting down its Spanish-language radio business. Thirty-five lose their jobs. ESPN Deportes’ tv and digital will continue to operate. … Condolences to Nancy Cole on the loss of her father. “I was with him last week, when I flew to Phoenix to get him into a nursing home and I was on the phone with him today when he passed. I asked the nurse to put the phone to his ear, told him I loved him and he was in God's hands. He passed seconds later. Go with God, dad. You were the best.”

Financial Guru Jim Newman Dies at 86 

(June 13, 2019) Jim Newman was more than just a voice heard twice an hour offering financial news, he was an admired journalist once described by a former U.S. Treasury Secretary as “an extremely capable and thoughtful member of the Fourth Estate.” Newman died this past Tuesday at the age of 86. He was an on-air presence for over three decades.

Newman arrived at KFWB from ABC / Group W’s Satellite News channel where he was Business Week Magazine’s tv correspondent. Prior to that, he was heard on both the NBC and CBS Radio Networks.

In the early 1970s, Newman started the first all-news television programming on a UHF station. “It laid the ground work for CNN, which prospered over cable a few years later.”

Born in Oklahoma, he received his B.A. from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri and attended the London School of Economics. Newman received numerous awards, including the prestigious Janus Award for Excellence in Financial Broadcasting and the Overseas Press Club Award for International Business Reporting. Locally, he was a two-time winner of the Los Angeles Press Club’s “Business News Reporter of the Year” and has three Emmys for TV reporting.

“Growing up in Los Angeles, my dad listened to KFWB ‘News 98’ in the car at all times,” said KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin. “So I heard Jim Newman for years before I ever met him. The power and eloquence of his radio reports always left an impression on me, and then to discover that off-air in real life he had the same extraordinary qualities that I admired on the air was a real treat.”

Newman offered live financial updates from the Pacific Stock Exchange first on KFWB, then on local television. “You can’t overstate the value that Jim brought to all of us on the air and off the air on the KTLA Morning News,” said Rubin. “Here we were – this very ragtag group trying to find our way – and suddenly the very credible Jim Newman was added to the mix as our business reporter live from the Pacific Stock Exchange.”

After seven years at KTLA, Newman switched to KABC/tv in 1999. “He was (always) immaculately dressed with a tie and matching handkerchief,” said John Brooks, retired KFWB street reporter. He remembered when Newman would laugh “in that booming voice” and proclaim “Brooks, cut your hair and get a real job!” Brooks was one of many who recalled Newman was a “true gentleman, supportive and helpful with his colleagues…he was so generous with his time. When I needed explanation about something fast, his door was open at the Exchange.”

Lysa Barry, whose media company coordinated news about medicine for KFWB said Newman “was my Uncle Jim…a classy, sweet, humble and gentle man…a walking example of what broadcast history was, with class.”
KTLA reporter Eric Spillman admired Newman the journalist, but added Newman “enjoyed the finer things in life, such as classical music, thoroughbred racing, and good restaurants,” noting the business reporter was a great patron of the arts. “I recently saw him at a reunion. He was the same bon vivant I remember,” said Spillman.

Former KFWB anchor and part-time KABC anchor Ken Jeffries also recalled Newman was a true connoisseur of music. “He hosted Friday nights at the Hollywood Bowl…one night, he mentioned my name from the stage! It was a thrill.” Jeffries said Newman appeared last month at a retirement party for former KFWB Executive Editor Bill Yeager on May 7. “I saw him a few weeks ago. He was using a walker but he had the same booming voice he’s always had,” said Jeffries, who then reiterated what many said about their departed colleague:

“Jim Newman was a class act. RIP.” (Story written by LARadio senior correspondent Alan Oda)

 

#1 on LA Times Best Seller List - Howard Stern Comes Again

LARPs Nominated for 2019 Radio Hall of Fame

 
 
 
(June 12, 2019) The nominations are out for the 2019 Radio Hall of Fame, with many LARP among the nominees. There are six categories and 24 nominees. Four of these categories will be voted on by a panel of nearly 1,000 professionals.

Two of the categories – Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality – are nominated by the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, but voted on by listeners nationwide. The voting by the public commences July 15.

LARP nominees include: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Bob Rivers, Seattle; Charles Laquidara, Boston.

Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more): Coast to Coast AM (Host, George Noory (bottom right); The Glenn Beck Program (Host, Glenn Beck); Intelligence for your Life (Host, John Tesh); The Kim Komando Show (Host, Kim Komando, bottom left).

Active Local/Regional (10 years or more): Kevin and Bean (Kevin Ryder, Gene "Bean" Baxter (top right)

Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more) -- The Jim Rome Show (Host, Jim Rome) The nominees voted on by listeners and the HOF nominating committee include: Music Format On-Air Personality -- Sean "Hollywood" HamiltonLon Helton, The Mark & Brian Show (Mark Thompson, Brian Phelps (top left), Ryan Seacrest.

Spoken Word On-Air Personality: Stephanie Miller

The 2019 Radio Hall of Fame 2019 inductees will be announced on August 5.  
 
 
Buckets of Money. In 2012, Ray Lucia was a big advertiser at KFI. Bill Handel, the second biggest endorser of products among LA broadcasters, was a huge fan of Lucia and frequently co-hosted Buckets of Money weekend seminars. But then the SEC accused the talk radio host and investment counselor Lucia, of misleading investors to think that his strategy helped retirees "generate inflation-adjusted income for life."

When the charges were looked at objectively, Handel believed they were without merit, Bill said in a phone conversation at the time. Due to federal regulations, there are restrictions on what Bill can and cannot say, e.g. whether he invests with Lucia, but his unwavering support for Lucia was evident.

“I listen to Ray’s advice. I continue to listen to Ray’s advice. And I will listen to Ray’s advice.”

Bill was unwavering in his support of Lucia, with Clear Channel (now iHeart) / KFI continuing to air his seminar appearances. Yet SEC regulators felt otherwise. The Commission ordered Lucia and his firm to pay hefty fines for making what the SEC considered inaccurate claims. Lucia was fined $50,000 and his company was fined $250,000. Additionally, Lucia's advisor registration was revoked by the judge.

SEC banned him from associating with an investment adviser, broker or dealer, revoked his license and that of his former company, and slapped both with a fine.

All this becomes part of today’s news, as Ray Lucia announced he is retiring from broadcasting after his last program on June 28. “The Ray Lucia Show” debuted on KFMB-AM in San Diego in 1990. “I have spent decades telling others how to enjoy their retirement years, and it was time to listen to my own advice.” Strangely enough, Lucia’s woes with the SEC were not mentioned in many of the industry stories this week.

In other news: KABC’s Jillian Barberie announced her radiation schedule on her Twitter account. “I start next week. Every day for six weeks. I’ll be done end of July and looking forward to a new beginning! Can’t wait to put this journey behind me. #breastcancer” … Don Parker, former program director at KCMG (“Mega 100”) is iHeart’s regional vp of programming for San Francisco / Sacramento. His duties have been expanded to include general manager for iHeart’s Pride Radio. “Pride Radio has grown significantly over the years and has the ability to reach both a local and national targeted audience across multiple markets through its audio, digital, social and live event assets,” said Don … Dave Mason is the latest to get caught in the Entercom downsizing. He joined Sunny 98.1 (KXSN / San Diego) two years ago, “but economies and expenses vs. revenue are affecting the industry everywhere. I'm (obviously) no exception,” Dave explained on Facebook. He had a run at K-EARTH a few years back. “If anyone needs a squeaky old guy to do some voiceover work, please don't hesitate to let me know.” … Ira David Sternberg, formerly with KOST in the 1970s, is now a blogger in Las Vegas. He said a Pahrump brothel is hosting an adult prom for clients who want that high school feeling. “Wouldn’t it make more sense for the brothel to host a backseat experience?” asked Ira.   
 

Jhani Kaye Earns MVP Honors in Latest Ratings 

(June 11, 2019) The just released Nielsen Audio PPM for May '19 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid reflects not much variation from month to month for most stations. #1 KOST is up three-tenths of a point, as is #2 K-EARTH. The biggest jumper within the Top 10 is KBIG (MY/fm). Country KKGO fell to its lowest level in the last half year. The two sports stations - KLAC and KSPN are virtually deadlocked. KLAA, the Angels station is not listed.

1. KOST (AC) 6.3 - 6.6
2. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.5 - 5.8
3. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 5.0 - 5.2
4. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.1 - 4.5
5. KCBS (JACK/fm) 4.2 - 4.0
    KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.0 - 4.0
7. KFI (Talk) 3.7 - 3.9
8. KXOL (Spanish A) 3.1 - 3.2
9. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.3 - 3.1
10. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.0 - 3.0
11. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.8 - 2.9
      KPWR (Top 40/R) 3.0 - 2.9
13. KNX (News) 2.8  - 2.8
      KRRL (Urban) 2.8 - 2.8
15. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.6 - 2.7
16. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.5 - 2.6
17. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.3 - 2.4
18. KPCC (News/Talk) 2.3 - 2.3
19. KKGO (Country) 2.6 - 2.2
      KYSR (Alternatie) 2.3 - 2.2
21. KROQ (Alternative) 2.0 - 1.9
      KUSC (Classical) 2.3 - 1.9
23. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 1.8 - 1.7
24. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.6
      KJLH (Urban AC) 1.5 - 1.6
26. KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 1.6 - 1.4
27. KSPN (Sports) 1.1 - 1.3
28. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.1 - 1.2
      KLAC (Sports) 1.3 - 1.2
30. KCRW (Variety) 1.1 - 1.1
31. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 1.0
32. KRLA (Talk) 0.8 - 0.9
      KXOS (Regional Mexican) 1.3 - 0.9
34. KFI Stream (Talk) 0.7 - 0.8
      KKJZ (Jazz) 0.9 -0.8
36. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.8 - 0.7
      KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.7 - 0.7
38. KABC (Talk) 0.5 - 0.5
       KDLD (Regional Mexican) 0.5 -0.5
       KFWB (Regional Mexican 0.5- 0.5
       KKLA (Religious) 0.4 - 0.5

In related news: Randy West took a look at the ratings sent out to readers of LARadio yesterday and he enthused: “The Jhani Kaye legacy. I kid him most times I see him, but Jhani modestly laughs it off. Fact is, he was pretty much the architect for each of the top three LA stations.

1. KOST (AC) 6.3 - 6.6

2. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.5 - 5.8

3. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 5.0 - 5.2

I don't know any other market where any single programmer has left such a legacy," Randy concluded … Ira Lawson had another response: “Wow. News stations are nowhere to be found in the Top 10.” … Phil Harvey was equally impressed with the top numbers: “Impressive top four numbers. Especially KOST.”


Ashley Paige Syndicates The Ranch from Simi Valley 

(June 10, 2019) Ashley Paige is one of those perky morning personalities you may remember from "Lite 92.7fm," or co-hosting with Peter Tilden during KZLA’s foray with Country music. She split her co-hosting four years at the succeeding Country outlet, KKGO, sharing the mic equally between Shawn Parr and Ryan Fox.

Since 2015 Ashley has been doing mornings at KWSV, a non-commercial Country station at 99.1, based in Simi Valley. The station has the moniker The Ranch, where she is partnered with Brad Abrell. He is a Los Angeles based on-camera actor, voiceover actor and radio host, with past on-air duties at WMMO-Orlando, and WZTA-Miami.

Despite the fact The Ranch is a non-comm, the duo has been honing their skills and it is paying off. “About a year and a half ago we decided to nationally syndicate the show thru Envision Networks,” emailed Ashley. “We now have 10 affiliates across the country. They are various formats and the stations just pick up the content of our show. It’s great because we still have the ability to tap into the local Los Angeles talent. There are so many actors, comedians, and personalities that can come into the studio but still be part of our affiliate family.” Last week Ashley and Brad had Wink Martindale in studio. “What a blast!” enthused Ashley.

In 2010, Ashley and her husband opened East Coast Pizza Company in Simi Valley.

In other news: Frederick M. Dolan, professor of Rhetoric, Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley is looking for any information about KHJ radio in the second half of the 1940s. “My father, Mike Dolan, was there and looking for pretty much anything there is to know about him, but especially in any recordings of broadcasts that may exist.” You can reach Fred at: 
fmdolan@berkeley.edu … Neil Ross continues to be aggressive in the marketing of his book, Vocal Recall. He just did Kiff Vandenheuvel’s “All over voiceover” podcast. Here’s the link … Wendy Williams, former personality at KDAY, seems to generate as much publicity off air as she does on her syndicated tv show. Her son Kevin Hunter was arrested recently following a physical altercation with his father. Wendy filed for divorce after more than 20 years of marriage. She received a lot of press when it was learned that she was living in a sober living residential facility … What TMC classic had this line: “I’d like to run barefoot through your hair?” … Scott Lowe, former Y107 personality is now with Post Modern ALT 92.3 (WNYL) in New York … Jason Insalaco came across an incredible New York Times word graph. Below check out radio (2nd to the bottom right) … An article in The Guardian about the disappearance of rural radio stations has been all over social media this weekend. Read it here.


Email Saturday, 6.8.2019 

** Humble Harve Made History

“Living in central Illinois at the time, I first became familiar with Humble Harve in 1969 when WLS in Chicago broadcast the 48-hour syndicated version of The History of Rock 'n' Roll, which Harve narrated. I remember racing to Radio Shack to buy enough quarter-inch tape to try to aircheck the whole marathon. I didn't get it all – as I fell asleep about 40 hours in – but hearing that special turned my life around. 

I became an avid rock musicologist, leading to my creating my own ten-part radio special [The Evolution of Rock] in college in 1971. It became the blueprint for my stem-to-stern rebuild of The History of Rock 'n' Roll [completely reformatted, rewritten and expanded to 52 hours] in 1978. I wanted Harve to narrate it but that idea was turned down flat by Bill Drake, who wound up narrating all 52 hours himself.

The love of music history Harve instilled in me lead to my interviewing thousands of hitmakers. I also pursued writing books, articles and countless liner notes, and teaching pop music history at UCLA. I also had a 20 year run as the Music & Entertainment Editor of Reader’s Digest, where I assembled and annotated hundreds of LP and CD releases, each one, in many respects, a miniature History of Rock ‘n’ Roll

I kept in touch with Harve, and he later sent me CDRs of his doo-wop series which proved that the master had never lost his touch over the years. Harve Miller was a wonderful guy, both professionally and personally, whose life included some unbelievable triumphs alongside a great deal of grief, but he never gave up on his goal to make the music that spoke for and to his heart do the same for people of all ages.” – Gary TherouxThe History of Rock ’n Roll (and ex of KIIS, KRLA, KSRF, KDAY, XERF, etc.)
** Another Boss Jock Gone

“I am so sorry to hear about the passing of one of THE boss jocks, Humble Harve. Another part of my childhood love affair with radio gone. I had the star-struck opportunity to meet him at one of my high school reunions, when he made an appearance to dj our event and have a trivia contest. Several of my classmates weren’t into music trivia. So I got up the nerve to answer one of his questions, and he gave me a certificate towards his hosting another event. So cool. I was never able to use it, but I have it in a scrapbook somewhere! 

God bless him and his family.” – Julie T. Byers 

** Fun Harve

“So sad to hear that Humble Harve died. I worked w him at KRLA. He was such a fun character. He’d call me ‘Bro’ and say I was the son he never had.  RIP, Harve.” – Maggie McKay

** Humble Harue

“A funny moment was when the LA Times radio listings set type as ‘Humble Harue’ on the KHJ listings. So, Robert W. Morgan comes on the next day and promos…‘Humble Harue from 6-to-9-tonight…’ Just one of the many great things about a great jock…and I’ll never forget his recorded ‘STONES,’  ‘STONEDEX,’ or ‘MOTOWN’ drop-ins over the talk-up.

A true legend has passed.” – Jeff Prescott, La Jolla

** Gavin Panel

“Sad news. Had Humble Harve on a panel in L.A. I moderated for a Gavin session about 20 years ago. He had some stories. Appreciate you letting me know.” – Dave Sholin

** Humble Harve Coverage

“It's refreshing and decent of you to post a real classy memorial to Humble Harve. When I used to listen to him in the late 60’s and even through his great doo-wop days at KRLA during the 80’s, it was as if being a member of an exclusive car club of some sort. He was THE COOLEST airman of his time.

Thank you. You're OK in my book, bro!” – Timmy Manocheo


** New Reader

“My name is John Baker. I’m 69 and have listened to rock ‘n roll radio since 1957. My favorite station was KRLA and actually, KXLA wasn’t too bad itself. I know you had a list of L.A. people which told us ‘Where are they Now,’ but I no longer have the link to it. Anyway, thank you for putting me on your list and yes, I remember Humble Harve from KBLA and KHJ vividly. The best to you.” – John Baker

** Easy on K-SURF Oldies

Saul Levine wants to add 1980s hits to the KSUR playlist. I would advise against adding AOR songs that are already being played on KLOS, KOLA, KRTH and JACK/fm. I would also suggest dropping most of the AOR songs that are already on the playlist, including All Right NowI Got a Line on YouReeling in the YearsBang a Gong and One of These Nights.

KSUR should add 1980s pop songs such as ManeaterSteppin’ OutNobody Told MeTired of Toein’ the LineUptown Girl, ElviraJoannaFreeway of LoveStray Cat StrutYou Make My Dreams and La Isla Bonita. Playing 1980s pop songs would set KSUR apart from other Classic Hits stations and would likely attract more listeners in the 18 – 34 and 35 – 54 age groups. And if Saul could purchase another station and move the Oldies to FM, that would be even better.” – Steve Thompson

** Save the Oldies

"I agree with the rest of fellow LARPs on Saul Levine playing 70's up to the mid 80's. Don't do it. I live in Long Beach, and it's difficult to clearly receive K-SURF here, but I do listen. Nobody but you Saul offers true oldies but goodies.

I never listen to KRTH, and haven't for a long time. Oh, how I miss my radio and music days with Tom Clay, Jimmy O'Neill, Lee Sims and Sie Holiday." - Gary Lane


** Saul a Character

“All of us at KSURF have listened to your reader’s concerns about an enlarged play list which will not be fully implemented until the end of June. What I have observed so far is ‘awesome.’ KSURF will rely mainly on 50s, 60s, and 70s, and a few 80s, only if compatible.

I believe a reader referred to me as a ‘character.’ I am delighted and consider it one of my best compliments.” – Saul Levine

** Country Question

“I gave up on the Country station in L.A. a while back and now listen to a wide variety of Country music on Satellite radio. I read with interest that KKGO will have a new announcer in the morning. Might be worth checking out but it didn’t sound like he’s funny or have ever been on the radio before. What can you tell me?” – Dwight Gentry

Revenue Challenges for LARadio Stations  

(June 7, 2019) Whew … whotta’ week for losses in the world of Los Angeles Radio People. A Boss Jock, a Talker, a jazz enthusiast, and a PR maven. No one died last night (that I know of) and so we  can get back to covering what’s going on today across the dial.

K-SURF /AM 1260 is a great reservoir of Oldies of an earlier era. Previously, K-EARTH was the longtime purveyor of 50s-70s music. Over the last few years, the station keeps moving the stick to incorporate more 80s and 90s music, allowing K-SURF to fill that musical void. The move for K-EARTH has been very successful, according to recent ratings.

The challenge for KSUR is a limited, directional signal and on the AM band. Besides the limited fidelity of AM for music, a friend recently bought a Tesla and was aghast to learn that AM radio does not exist. Apparently, the batteries in electric cars creates static on AM.

Then there are some Oldies fans who are distressed to learn that K-SURF was moving in the same direction as K-EARTH, adding newer Oldies while cutting out some of the 50s records. I was curious how K-SURF will integrate the newer Oldies and how the sound stacked up against the older selections.

But the word from K-SURF owner Saul Levine owner of K-SURF, is the more recent Oldies will not be heard for several weeks. “We are very aware of the hazards of going heavy into the 80s,” emailed Saul. “We’ll most likely be stopping at the mid-80s songs. The success will depend on the right mix.”

While I was monitoring K-SURF, after several hours I realized that I hadn’t heard one commercial. Now if we complain that the leading stations have numbingly too many commercials, one could surmise that without commercials, K-SURF won’t be around much long.

No so, according to Saul. “K-SURF is a labor of love. I hope to achieve higher ratings and make it easier to obtain advertiser support.” Saul’s Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters is solely owned by his family, with no debt. An enviable position in this day when we see large companies in LA fail to make budget quarter after quarter, as well as debt to the point where stations are being sold off at bargain basement levels.

How would you make changes to grow the industry?
In other news: Houston celebrated Dr. J Thomas Smith Day this week (photo above in gallery). Dr. Smith was part of the “Soul Express” on XERB (1090 AM) in the 70s. He’s currently on Majic 102 in Houston … What is all the buzz about KPCC taking over KCSN in an LMA? So where would that leave KSBR, Saddleback College’s station which LMA’d itself to CSUN? … Bill O’Reilly’s new syndicated 15-minute show is now heard on 125 stations after a month in syndication. Nothing in L.A. … Another Saul Levine item: His radio empire is moving around his HD channels. KKGO will now simulcast KKJZ on 105.1 HD 3, while Smooth Jazz 105.1 HD 3 will move to 88.1 HD 2 and be re-named ‘Cool Jazz” … Country K-FROG (KFRG) pd and afternooner Scott Ward has exited the Inland Empire Country station, after nearly 25 years in the building ... Ira Kosberg checked in with news that KFRG is now on KCBS HD2 and CBS sportsradio is on KCBS HD3 ... Joey Reynolds was recently honored with a joint resolution from the New Jersey Senate and the New Jersey Assembly. He was presented with a “Distinguished Achievement in Broadcasting" proclamation. Over a career that spans nearly 60 years, Reynolds has worked at nearly 40 radio stations. He is one of only two djs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland ... Sad to learn about the passing of Dr. John, at the age of 77. 

Three Additional LARP Deaths 

(June 6, 2019) With the announcement of the death of Humble Harve on Tuesday, we are sad to acknowledge the passing of three more LARP over the last few weeks.
Gregg Hunter

Veteran entertainer, print and broadcast journalist Gregg Hunter, died on May 15 in Los Angeles. He was 87 years old. Gregg had a 30-year run with KIEV / 870 AM when the station was owned by the Beaton family.

Son of a prominent movie theater manager in the Midwest, Hunter’s show business career started at the age of 13, when he began by hosting his own nightly radio show on KTTS in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri. Hunter attended Columbia University while pursuing a theatrical career that included off-Broadway, repertory, and summer stock. He moved to the Southland in 1952 and appeared on KPOP / KFVD. At KIEV, he had a variety of shows including Meet Me at the Derby, recorded live at the world-famous Hollywood Brown Derby, where he interviewed top Hollywood personalities.

The easy-going host generally avoided the usual talk show agenda of “hot” issues and contrived hype. “There’s plenty of shouting and political controversy around the dial, but it seems to me that late evening should provide a time to wind down and relax,” he insisted. When Salem Communications purchased KIEV in 1998, Hunter signed on with Mike Horn’s CRN Digital Talk Radio Networks. Gregg also wrote for the Glendale News-Press and Copley Papers as the entertainment editor, followed by a dining and restaurant column in the Tolucan Times.   

Often asked about the diversity and longevity of his career, Hunter emphasized: “I love survivors in show business. In fact, I intend to be one of them as long as anybody will listen, read or watch what I have to say!”
Bo Leibowitz

Another LARP, Bo Leibowitz, passed away last Monday, June 3. He spent 40 years at KCRW playing jazz, the music he adored. Tom Schnabel wrote a warm and loving tribute that appeared on the KCRW website.

“KCRW just lost a hero and benefactor of the jazz genre,” wrote Schnabel. “I hired Bo Leibowitz to produce Strictly Jazz way back in 1979, the year I came to KCRW as music director. It was a time when jazz was changing. The local jazz station and other radio stations were featuring Smooth Jazz to try to increase listenership. KCRW needed to do something of better quality. Bo was the right man for the job.

Bo never compromised, preferring to showcase Classic music that has stood the test of time. He treated jazz with the respect that the artform has always gotten in Europe and Japan.”

After attending Penn State, Bo moved to Boston, where he ran a Harvard Square record store and hosted a jazz show on KBUR/fm, according to the obit in the LA Times.

“At KCRW, Bo played nothing but the top musicians in jazz music: his three-hour tributes to Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald offered the most complete radio portraits ever heard on radio. Bo was uncompromising in his taste, a true jazz purist,” Schnabel continued. “His knowledge of the genre was encyclopedic. Whenever I went to him with a question, he had the answer. I never ceased to be impressed by him.”

“Mostly, I prize the fact that he presented the immortals, not the ephemera. When labels like Blue Note got sold and changed or tried to boost sales through crossover albums, when newspapers stopped covering jazz, Bo was unwavering in his commitment to the artform and devoted 40 years to honoring it. KCRW and the rest of us out in the jazz universe are better for it,” Schnabel concluded.

On Bo’s love affair with Jazz: “People who say jazz is dead just aren’t listening. It will never die. It just needs exposure.”

Cheryl Whitaker
Cherie Whitaker, a producer with Mark & Brian at KLOS, died May 31. Her obit described her as “a ray of sunshine for the entire community. Always giving and donating her time to others, Cherie had a special love for the veterans. For many years she produced the Salute to Arms luncheons inviting and honoring all veterans in Simi Valley.”

Cherie’s career in public relations led to the promotion of numerous performers and personalities, including Frank Zappa and Sony Records. In addition to working with Mark & Brian at KLOS, she also worked for KMET and toured with Judas Priest. Other professions included working as an emergency nurse and a paralegal.
LA Times ad on August 13, 1966 from David Grudt's collection

Boss Jock Humble Harve Dies 

(June 5, 2019) One of the most distinctive voices of the Boss Jock era, Humble Harve, died yesterday morning at his home in Camarillo. He was 84.

Born Harvey Miller, he started his radio journey when he was 17. Harve arrived in Southern California from a Top 40 powerhouse, WIBG, in his birth city of Philadelphia. He started in Los Angeles at KBLA, where he was an on-air pd, before he joined the Boss Radio lineup.

While at 93/KHJ from 1967-71, Harvey said, “I realized my greatest achievement of a 21.0 share doing 6 p.m. to 9 p.m." Harve underlined that it was a 21.0 and not a 2.1.

By 1971, Harve was working on AFRTS.

He joined KKDJ in 1974, and was at the station In October 1975, when KKDJ became KIIS/fm.

In 1983, he hosted the syndicated “National Album Countdown” show. Harve had a brief stay in 1985 at Oldies WFIL-Philadelphia, before traveling to KVI-Seattle in 1986. Harve was the dj in the 1991 movie, There Goes My Baby. In the same year he hosted the syndicated “Rock ’n Gold” for 350 Westwood One affiliates.

In a 1993 LA Times interview, Harve commented: “Life at KHJ in the ’60s was like New Year’s Eve every night. We played happy, fun music. The music was inspired. It was the poetry of a generation. They used real instruments, instead of electronic crap. Milli Vanilli could never have happened then.” In addition to his work on air, he ran a very successful mobile dj business for many years.

In the spring of 1996, Harve was back in L.A. to join KZLA for weekends. In 1997, he joined Bill Drake in Dallas for an aborted attempt to create an Oldies syndicated service.
So many colleagues and fans reacted to Harve’s passing. “So sad to hear these about Humble Harve Miller,” wrote Randy West. “There was such an infectious personality and hip-ness in his voice. It was combined with the tymp/fanfare (this must be serious) stagings of Bill Drake and the production of Bill Mouzis for the WOR/fm 1969 airing of ‘The History of Rock and Roll.’ It so impressed me as a kid that I stayed awake rolling the few reels of precious 1/4 inch tape of highlights during the entire four-day, 48-hour Labor Day weekend airing of that masterpiece. While it’s all subjective, Harve’s narration was the most exciting and compelling. Best wishes to an L.A. radio giant. We love you, Harve."

Rick Thomas, former K-EARTH pd, wrote: “Hurts. Even though a few of us were in the loop and knew his hospice status. Harve defined a LA legend and was a good man who welcomed this 18-year-old kid at KUTE 102. He will be missed.”

Larry/Jack Boxer has another perspective: “I want to mention one aspect of his talent that was under appreciated. His live copy was stellar. In his boss jock days, live 60-sec spots were still common, and Harve was flawless. During the time we worked together at Westwood One, we went through a particularly nasty contract negotiation. On the few occasions I filled him in on what either management or the union had said, and a few times at actual negotiations, he would bellow out ‘BOOLSHIT!’ It was hilarious, and you never doubted what his opinions on something were.”

“Oh Dear,” wrote Keri Tombazian. “The passing of a generation of incredible innovators.”

Jeff March was a fan. “Oh gosh, I’m sorry to hear that Don. I hope Harvey wasn’t in pain. Another one of the all-time greats is gone. Among the airchecks I recorded over the years were two of Humble Harve; on KKDJ, Saturday, July 19, 1975 and on KRLA, Sunday, March 31, 1985. I listened to him on KBLA, but never airchecked him while he was there.”

“Sad news that one of the voices of my youth has been silenced. Although I sent this some months ago, here’s a reminder that Humble Harve will be immortalized by Quentin Tarantino in his new movie Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, which will be released next month,” emailed Gary Gibson.

At one stage, John Sebastian helped Harve. “So sorry to hear. I loved listening to Harve on KHJ, back in the day. I was honored to have hired him at KZLA when he was hurting for a gig.”

Howard Lapides emailed: “Another Boss Jock…to that great station in Heaven.” (Humble Harve far left at KRLA 2015 reunion with Lori Lerner, Paul Freeman, Brother Bill, Rochelle Staab, Mike Wagner, Jane Platt)

LARadio Bulletin - Humble Harve passed away this morning at 9:45. He was 84.


Go Country Adds Another Morning Personality

(June 4, 2019) KKGO continues to revamp their mornings, as singer/songwriter Tim Hurley joins AM drive. The station recently announced that Angie Fitzsimmons, former sidekick with Carson Daly at AMP Radio, was taking over mornings. Hurley begins at Go County 105 on July 1. In 2014 Tim was discovered singing Karaoke at a local bar in Playa del Rey. Just two months later, he was performing onstage for the first time, opening for John Michael Montgomery at Fort Bliss in El Paso. After a tremendous reception, he decided to pursue his own career in music.

Originally from Rhode Island, Tim was raised on a variety of musical genres, but in college, the songwriting and lyrics in Country music won him over.

In other news: Dave Koz, former morning man at KTWV (the WAVE), kicks off his Summer Horns tour next month in Jacksonville … KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest was in the lead paragraph of the LA Times review of Wango Tango. “Again and again Saturday night, Ryan Seacrest described Wango Tango as the kickoff to the next three months of summer. But the artists he was bring to the stage? As often as not, they were looking back, not ahead.” … KABC’s Jillian Barberie has lost her hair, yet continues to be upbeat and positive about her cancer journey. “It’s just hair. It grows back and I love the time my wig saves. It’s incredible. My radiation starts in two weeks and I go daily for six weeks” … Chris Carmichael has over a thousand shoes at home. Why? “I am saving all the lost soles.”
Pick a Track and listen to the sounds of early LARadio

Track 10:

  • Kenny Noble (KZLA)
  • Nicole Sandler (103.1fm)
  • Lenore Kingston (KFWB Purely Personal)
  • Terry Foster (KHJ)
  • Jerry Trowbridge (KZLA)
  • Don MacKinnon (KFWB)
  • George Putnam (KPLS, 2002)
  • Freddy Snakeskin/Elvira (KROQ)
  • Don Herbert (KFWB News)
  • Ken & Bob (KABC Jingle)
  • KLSX Classic Rock Marathon
  • Warren Duffy (KDAY)
  • Sie Holliday (KRLA)
  • "World Famous" Tom Murphy (KRLA)
  • Roger Collins (KFI)
  • KABC/fm ID
  • KROQ Jingle
  • Poorman/Richard Blade (KROQ)

Former KPOL Veteran Dies

(June 3, 2019) Murray Westgate, a veteran of KPOL (1540 AM) for most of the sixties, died July 26, 2014, from apparent complications of a stroke he suffered a few months earlier. He was 85. About two weeks after Westgate’s death, he was posthumously inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. We missed his passing five years ago, so we are now updating his entry for posterity.

Murray was an independent entrepreneur with business interests in the Far East. He was the Sacramento reporter for KPOL, providing a number of phone reports daily. He eventually joined the L.A. operation full-time.

In 1969, Murray moved to Las Vegas where he broadcast news for a number of radio and tv stations. Eventually he became the longtime director of public affairs for Nevada Power and Light.

Westgate was born September 5, 1928, in Saskatchewan, Canada, later graduating from Midwest Broadcasting College in Chicago. He began his career in Canadian radio. Prior to coming to Nevada, Westgate served as a correspondent for 23 radio and tv stations nationwide and all three major television networks.

In 1969, Westgate relocated to Reno and worked as a reporter for KTVN-TV, Channel 2. A year later, he settled in Las Vegas, where he received several awards for covering the education beat for radio station KLAV, of which he was news director.  

In 1972, Westgate was appointed news director for KLAS-TV, Channel 8 and worked for most of the tv stations over the year. In 1978, Westgate ran unsuccessfully for the Clark County Commission. In recent years, Westgate split residency between Thailand and Las Vegas, serving as president of the Thailand-America Educational Foundation, Inc., a Nevada-based, non-profit corporation, which promoted educational and cultural exchange between Thailand and the United States.
In other news: KNX Traffic maven Barbara Brooks had a big surprise last week. She was rushed to ER and had her gallbladder removed … Remember Preston Epps, the percussionist who had a huge hit in 1959 called Bongo Rock? The song helped introduce bongos and conga drums to mainstream pop. Epps died May 9 at the age of 88. It was Art Laboe who discovered Preston. Laboe told him: "You play pretty good, but you’re going to have to cut that 15-minute solo to a minute and a half." Epps whittled it down to about two minutes. It became the first hit for Laboe’s Original Sound label, spending 13 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, getting as high as No. 14 and going gold … Chuck Rowe, former KNX Traffic reporter, was returning home yesterday from a Phoenix hospital. “The cardioversion seems to have gone well and no clots have been found. Treatment at this hospital has been amazing. Staff has been very caring and professional. Still, I can’t wait to get home and sleep in my own bed,” Rowe wrote on Facebook … Was KDIS (1110 AM) just off the air temporarily or is something going on? Chime Hart has been trying to listen and reported the station is dark … Rob Barnett, former head of programming at CBS Radio and founder of My Damn Channel, has launched a company to help those who are unemployed or looking for another opportunity. If you are in the job seeking mode, check out: RobBarnettMedia.com ... Gina Grad from the Adam Carolla podcast had some scary stuff recently. “Airways clamped up. Unable to breathe twice in one hour. Very, very, very scary,” she relayed. “There’s talk of clots but mostly there’s lots of talk of this virus that’s been going around,” she wrote on Facebook. “My profound gratitude to Officer Kimball and the EMTs who rushed right over and didn’t leave me until I was placed in a room, and thank you to all the amazing people at the hospital.” 


Email Saturday, 6.1.2019

** Condolences to McCormick

“My sincerest condolences to Bob McCormick. Although I did not know your father, to have raised a son such as you, he had to be a great man. You are proof that he left the world a better place than he found it.” – Bill Mann, South Pasadena

** Roberts on KNX

“Thanks for the update on Nathan Roberts. He sounds great on KNX, better than many of the full-time anchors, but then with that resumé, why wouldn’t he? Hat tip to Ken Charles for adding Nathan to the KNX lineup.” – John Leader

** Early Nathan Roberts

“In the spring and summer of 1964, I worked with Nate Roberts (Nathan Rosumney) at KVEC in San Luis Obispo, when it was located in the World-Famous Motel Inn, the World’s first motor hotel. Great memories. He did the morning show, while I worked 6p-midnite, playing Jazz and Middle of the Road, plus running Dodgers baseball.” – Joe Collins
** Carton Story

"In reading your piece Friday morning on former WFAN personality Craig Carton, I have some observations. Living in south-eastern CT, on Long Island Sound, I listen to WFAN several times a day, usually in my car. The WFAN signal booms into CT. Believe me, there is no love lost among avid WFAN listeners about Craig Carton and his plunge from a top rated morning sports-talk host to a convicted felon. However, ratings for Carton's former partner, Boomer Esiason and Carton's replacement, Greg Giannotti, are the lowest in 20 years. The show is in 7th place among  25-54 and under men. A mere 5 share! 

Some N.Y. critics have called Giannotti 'a thin skinned clown whose repetitive impersonations, including one of Mike Francesa, are tired and annoying.' Speaking of Francesa, one of the most successful sports talk hosts in American history and the FAN's franchise player, Francesa's ratings have dropped as well since returning to the air last year after retiring in 2017. The once dominant Francesa has now been slightly edged out by ESPN N.Y. Radio's Michael Kay. Francesa, always tough to manage, is locked in battle with Esiason and Gionnottover over their daily spoofs of him. Francesa is also at odds with WFAN management over slumping ratings at the expense of Kay's success. The testy Francesa continues to be irreverent and short tempered with his loyal core of listeners. Clearly, not the great show it once was for so very long." - Bob Sirkin

** Compressed Music

Brian Perez wrote: ‘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!’ Boy, he hit that nail on the head. And I've had one radio engineer tell me the same. People listening to high compression mp3s think they're getting a BMW when all they’re getting is a Yugo.” – Bill Schwarz, Ontario

** Canceling Sounds

“Our apologies to Gary Gibson of Montrose. Yep, our bad. We have problems with that stereo / mono thing once in a while. It is a result of us being bounced back to our backup exciter once in a while when we have a technical glitch like a lightning strike knocking something out. Our normal main exciter does a good job of delivering both channels into mono for most AM listeners. 

I’ll have to follow up and see why we have this problem with the backup. We DO want to keep delivering the stereo experience for people. We have more and more people streaming us worldwide and at their desk at work on their earbuds, and we want to encourage people to hear how good AM can sound when they spring for an HD radio. 

We listen on nice big studio monitors at work, and it sounds great in stereo there. We often forget to pop it into mono and see how it sounds that way. The big fix though, would be to get that backup exciter set up so that it is properly converting the stereo into mono.

BTW Gary, get a good set of headphones, like Grados, and listen to the live stream on Disco Saturday Night! You won't believe how good that sounds, and you won’t want us to sacrifice the stereo experience on that!” – Fred Missman

** Keep Oldies

“I complained about the sound of K-SURF, not the content. If I really wanted to hear 80s music on the radio, I would switch to the far superior sound quality of the fm dial and listen to KRTH. It was the deep-digging of stuff from the 50s and 60s mixed with songs thru the mid-70s that set you apart from the other Oldies stations.

I read someone’s comment on this site that he wanted to hear mostly familiar hit songs on 1260AM. That’s what KRTH was doing a few years ago [and maybe still today] by playing something like the top 300 requested songs ONLY.

I can remember working in my yard one Sunday afternoon/evening listening to KRTH and hearing Eddie Money’s Two Tickets to Paradise three times. 

It was hearing songs like Connie Francis’s V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N.In the Summertime, followed by James Taylor's Fire & Rain that made your station such a special mix. That’s my 2 cents.” – Gary Gibson

** Don’t Change K-SURF  

“A few days ago, I read in your column that Saul Levine has decided to alter its format a bit to include more songs from the 70s and to also include hits from the 80s in K-SURF’s (1260) format. KRTH regularly boasts that it plays all the top hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s. And it currently has excellent ratings. 

To compete for almost the same audience as KRTH would be a big mistake for K-SURF. I think that it should stick to the music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and play mainly the major hits of those decades, including rock ’n roll, MOR, Country-crossover songs, as well as instrumentals. The reason I do not listen anymore to KRTH is because I do not identify with the music of the late 70s, 80s, and 90s, with a few very rare exceptions, such as Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York, Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry, Be Happy, and a few disco songs.” – Carl Spring, Jr., West LA

** River Deep Credits

“Gary Gibson mentioned hearing River Deep – Mountain High on KSUR. The label credits Ike & Tina Turner as the artists but Ike had no part of the recording. Producer Phil Spector paid Ike $20,000 in exchange for creative control of the recording session and a promise to include Ike’s name on the label.

In her biography My Name Is Love, background singer Darlene Love said Ike was not even in the studio.  ‘For all we knew, he was in Alaska,’ she wrote. In tiny print under the name ‘IKE & TINA TURNER’ on the label are the words ‘Featuring TINA.’" – Steve Thompson


** Out of Range

“Thanks for a very informative LARP.com. I just wish I could get a better signal for K-SURF in the Arcadia-Pasadena area. I love the mix they have but the reception is just too fuzzy to listen to for long.

I was saddened by the story of how you worked with Joe Brooks on You Light Up My Life but the kicker to the success of the song was that the original and what was heard on the soundtrack was by Kasey Cisyk. I remember the bruhaha and how long it took Cisyk to get paid. That song was played so often [thanks, Don!] that I couldn’t stand to listen to it for years! I’ve been into radio and the business since I was a kid.

I used to listen to KMPC, KHJ, KRLA and KFWB [before they went to news] regularly and followed all the djs. When I discovered that out-of-state radio stations would come in stronger after dusk [back when KGBS would go off and KSWS-Roswell, New Mexico would come on], I would write to their promotions departments and tell them I got their programming. I still have many of the buttons and brochures they sent me. That’s what made me fall in love with all the aspects of promotions. I even took radio and public relations classes so I could get into radio. The closest I ever got was working public relations for the student side of KPCC, but it still is something I enjoy hearing about.

Thanks for sharing all the facets of your work in radio and all the people you’ve worked with!” – Julie T. Byers

** KRLA Trade Winds

“Talk about weird coincidences...I was just reading your website a few minutes ago, and reading the Email Saturday comments while listening to the KFXM stream. I was just reading the email titled ‘Melinda on KRLA’ and New York’s A Lonely Town by the Trade Winds was playing, and I heard ‘missing KRLA’ in the lyrics. Huh?!? What are the odds of that?

Googling, I found that there was indeed such a version:  Stuff like this is why I love KFXM!” – Dwaine Maggart
** Potpourri

“OK, GREAT Tuesday column as always for many reasons. Seeing you dancing with Alex again was so sweet!

Saul Levine is quite a character, isn’t he?

And wow, the Joe Brooks story with you and You Light Up My Life was a surprise. I did not know that. And, oh, yeah, and the cartoon. Holy shit!” – Mike Butts

** Father/Daughter Dance

“You have a beautiful daughter. And you sure do love her as only a father can.” – Bob Fox

** Dancing Machine

“The best thing about today's post?  Dad and daughter dance! Beautiful. 

Also – that 1966 LA Times ad – remember when local coverage really meant something? Before the internet we were the web. I'll never forget driving the yellow KGIL ‘newsmobile’ into downtown LA with my cassette player and my gumption [having no prior experience] to cover the election that put Proposition 13 into law.” – Keri Tombazian

** Funnie


“Great daily cartoons ... LOL!” – Rich Brother Robbin


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Last modified: July 13, 2019