LARadio

March/April 2020

Compiled and Written by Don Barrett
Edited by Alan Oda

 Earnings Report 
(April 30, 2020) Every year, Parade magazine satisfies our insatiable desire to know what people earn. The 2020 listing covers a huge array of individuals from Howard Stern to people like you and me. This year Parade showcased the highest-paying opportunities for folks without a four-year degree, plus shine a light on how climate change is creating new jobs. Two LARPs appear on the list: Rush Limbaugh ($87 million a year and Howard Stern (at $93 million). Of course, this salary research was done before the economy cratered.

Hear Ache. Brian Whitman, morning co-host at KRLA (870/The Answer) is taking a temporary leave of absence until June 1, according to Salem's Phil Boyce ... K-JAZZ got a very strange mention in of all places, the LA Times obituary notices. And it was about a non-LARP. Richard Friedman, who died a few months ago. His obit read: “More than anyone, he knew how to relax, with a Dewar’s in hand listening to KJAZZ / 88.1” Well, that’s a real testimony …. Enjoying The Last Dance on ESPN about the Chicago Bulls 90s run. In episode 4, there was Pat O’Brien interviewing Michael Jordan … The series Bosch on Amazon is part of my quarantine watching. Nice mention of KNX in one of the episodes and Kent Shocknek is the tv newsman in many episodes … Morning host at Country KKGO Angie Fitzsimmons is out after almost a year … Sean Hannity’s lawyers have sent a request to The New York Times requesting an apology to Hannity and retract its coverage of Hannity’s work at FOX covering the coronavirus pandemic. According to a FOX News story, at issue are “three separate pieces that all showed ‘an outrageous disregard for the truth.’” The paper responded that its reporting is accurate and there is no need for an apology … Gayle King (ex-KGIL Talker) is starting a new weekly show on SiriusXM. The show will listeners sharing their stories about the coronavirus and way the crisis has upended our lives.

Wrapping His Arms Around Rhapsody in Black

(April 29, 2020) Bill Gardner has been broadcasting in Los Angeles for 36 years. He was the subject of a front-page story in the Calendar section of the LA Times this week, written by RJ Smith. Some highlights from the Times’ profile:

These days, when his KPFK-FM (90.7) show Rhapsody in Black comes on at 2 p.m. on Saturdays, Gardner is listening to it on the radio like anybody else. “It’s… a little surreal,” he chuckles. “I don’t know what they’re going to play, and so I just sit back and listen.”

With no makeshift studio in his Norwalk home, Rhapsody in Black, like the rest of his life, is on pause. While Gardner sits quarantined, an engineer at the station pulls out a “Best of Bill” CD and slaps it on the air. Since his weekly show explores the charts for a given year of rhythm and blues history, there’s a timelessness built in. 1955 is still 1955.

“He’s a great guy, I love him a lot,” says Billy Vera. “Bill doesn’t have one of those ‘professional’ voices or presentations, and that works in his favor. What’s great about him is he’s authentic – he lived the music. He really grew up at that time the records were being made. There’s a genuineness about him that’s really affecting.”

Gardner remembers the first time he entered the KPFK studio. It was 1983, and R&B star Johnny Otis was hosting his own radio program. Gardner was a fan dropping by, and when Otis asked him to come back, he got pulled in, becoming Otis’ assistant. Gardner notes that Otis liked having folks around but that he also needed to be the center of attention.
 Gardner is a tall, imposing figure with a bald head. That first time down at the station, he was stopped in the lobby by an older guy in a turtleneck sweater. “Are you the man?” the guy asked, maybe joking. It was Roy Milton, a 1940s bandleader and star in the African American clubs of Central Avenue. If being on the air got you a chance to meet Milton, Gardner decided he was in.

He kept coming back, and a few weeks later, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was there, waving a skull on a stick at Otis as the two of them cut up. Now, Otis, Milton and Screamin’ Jay are all gone.

And Gardner is nervous about leaving the house. Sitting in his home, shelves of CDs behind him, Gardner has begun work on a memoir. Along with making notes, he’s been taking out the family photos and putting some up on social media. There are beauties, for sure: A black and white shot of his dad’s auto upholstery shop at the corner of Bronson and Jefferson. A photo of Bill at 9 or 10, sitting on the hood of the family’s Buick in front of the house.

Gardner was born in 1938 and grew up around 24th Street and San Pedro, just south of downtown. Those pictures evoke African American life in Los Angeles after World War II. It was an era of some optimism, with small businesses growing and black home-ownership expanding into areas formerly off-limits.

After his parents divorced, his mother took a job at Flash Records, a small black-owned chain that also ran an r&b label. Music was an interest, and when he attended Jefferson High School in the mid-1950s, Gardner was surrounded by tunes, because Jefferson had long been a cradle for jazz and r&b in town. One of its biggest musical names, Richard Berry, had already graduated to become the celebrated composer of Louie Louie and a one-of-a-kind wit on the scene. “He was a recording star to us,” says Gardner, and he was a guy you could see at the grocery store.

Gardner hoped to play baseball after high school. “I could have played semi-pro ball, and I played ball in the Army, but if you were black back then, you couldn’t be just an average player and make it.” He studied social work at Los Angeles City College; one day, while he was playing ball at the school, a Warner Bros. scout asked him to be an extra in the movie Damn Yankees. He remembers meeting Tab Hunter at L.A.’s Wrigley Field.

By the time he started doing his own radio show, at Pasadena-based KPCC-FM (89.3) in 1984, the guys he admired in high school had made all the records they were going to make and were now looking back on it all; his program became a casual hang for some of the greats on the scene, folks like Berry and Don Julian of the Larks and Arthur Lee Maye from the Crowns.

For a while at KPCC, Gardner had two shows back to back: Rhythm & Blues Time Capsule, with the enviable slogan “the show that is changing the sleeping habits of Southern California,” and Rhapsody in Black, the program he took to KPFK in 2000. “I actually think I enjoy doing the show more now,” Gardner adds. “The music keeps growing on you, and you’re always trying to get a little better, to please people. See, back in the 1980s, I regarded it as a hobby.”

Gardner worked for 30 years as a social worker for the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services, where he investigated allegations of child abuse. Then, playing vocal groups and funk was blessed relief from the darkness he found on the job. Now the show is its own reward, and Gardner doesn’t want to give it up.

Last week, his brother-in-law died from COVID-19 complications.

Gardner got quiet for a moment, and we change the subject. “I’m worried about KPFK going down, because they have to continue fund-raising to stay on the air, and a lot of people don’t have money now,” he said. “I’m afraid. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back in the studio. I’m 81. Whatever’s going to happen, I’m gonna be careful. I might be in the house a year and a half until they find the vaccine. But I plan to go back someday, somewhere, to do ‘Rhapsody in Black.’” (Thanks to the LA Times for the artwork. You can read the complete story here.)

iHeart Accommodations. iHeart, attempting to prevent more layoffs, told employees making at least $50,000 that they are required to take two weeks of unpaid vacation between July 1 and September 30. Is this the beginning of the end for many of its employees? Will iHeart turn hundreds of employees into contract players, allowing them to work from home?


Stark Reality about Future of LARadio

 
(April 28, 2020) Mike Stark brings a unique perspective to answer our series on what LARadio will sound like post-coronavirus crisis. Between 1981 and the end of the century he worked at KABC and KNAC.

Born and raised in Ontario, he worked at Cal State University Long Beach’radio station KSUL while earning a degree in radio/tv/film. Mike was an engineer at KABC for five years, then freelanced for ABC radio for almost two decades. 

In 1989, Mike hosted KNAC's ‘Talkback’ show on Sunday mornings and was the producer of the Thrasher in the Morning program.

Mike built a state-of-the-art broadcast studio in San Pedro’s Port ’O Call Village before “redevelopment” caused him to shut down.  “We took out all the gear and that location was leveled,” Mike wrote. “We rebuilt the studio into mobile studio that was – basically – the same specs as the original, but now it sits in an undeveloped facility that is run by AltaSea.org in San Pedro, awaiting ‘infrastructure’ (Internet, phones, bathrooms, etc.).

We are currently weighing several options there. We WILL be reopening. We’re just not sure when or where.”

His essay on the future of radio:
“I remain optimistic. My optimism, however, lies in the hope that this will be the final nail in what radio has been for several decades. I have had hope over the years, as radio has declined, that the ‘bean counters’ at the corporate radio level would wise up and recognize that getting rid of talented radio people while upping the level of the commercial load is not a healthy progression.

Greed and now survival haven’t changed anything. So maybe this will bring on the rebirth in a dramatic way.

My personal experience has been an interesting journey. The ‘reboot’ of my LA Radio Studio has been plagued with logistical and bureaucratic issues for nearly two years. Then this pandemic hit. At first, I thought, ‘well, I’m semi-retired anyway, maybe it's just time to throw in the towel.’

Suddenly all these new opportunities came via new technology, that was there before, but ignored [by me and others] because it was new, untested and, if you had a studio, frankly, unneeded. After this hit, people began to adapt.

Since this started, I was asked to join a morning team for the new ‘low power" fm station in Long Beach – KLBP 99.1FM and at KLBP.org – who, sadly, launched just a week or two before the shutdown of society. Under the guidance of interim general manager Danny Lemos, we are doing his morning show –Mornings on The Beach – completely via Skype. With proper microphones at each participants location, the sound quality of the show is near studio quality and after adjusting to working in this format for a couple of weeks, things are running pretty smoothly and, honestly, I haven't had this much fun doing radio in ages.

Of course, as a low power non-commercial public station none of us are getting paid, but the joy and community that we are creating around the show participants AND the growing Long Beach listeners has been incredible. We are very much trying to ‘super serve’ the Long Beach, San Pedro and neighboring harbor communities with the latest news about the coronavirus, but we are also trying our best to bring some light to the darkness of this event – even if it's just for an hour.

Because of this revelation about the new technology, Richard Wagoner and myself have also relaunched our longtime podcast ‘Radio Waves’ (
http://feeds.feedburner.com/LARadioWaves). We had been waiting for my studio to return, but once we mastered the Skype technology it was easy to begin production again.  I’m in the process of rebooting some of the other podcasts that had come out of the LA Radio Studio and have added a new one that ‘super serves’ the San Pedro community with news, politics and culture from the area, with a focus, right now, on the current pandemic. That show is called ‘San Pedro: The Podcast’ (http://feeds.feedburner.com/SanPedrothePodcast

I am also planning two additional franchises called ‘Long Beach:  The Podcast’ and one about my own town ‘Lakewood:  The Podcast.’ All in good time, however, because my staff of – ME – has plenty on my semi-retired plate right now. Soooo.  Radio is not dead. As you pointed out, the medium has ‘reinvented’ itself successfully before and I’m confident it will again.” – Mike Stark

Hear Ache. Emmis, former owner of KPWR and KZLA plans to voluntarily to delist its Class A Common Stock from the Nasdaq Stock Market … KOST morning host Ellen K (left) lets us into her makeshift home radio studio that was originally a nursery and then a big closet until a few weeks ago. “The chandelier was a useful prop to make this tiny room appear like it was a way more important room, all along,” said Ellen … Joe Collins guests with Dave Congalton this afternoon at 3 on www.920KVEC.com … Radio/r&b author Jim Dawson posted that his old friend Gaynel Hodge is gravely ill. “Gaynel co-wrote Earth Angel, played piano on the Rivingtons' Papa-Ooh-Mow-Mow, and led various 1950s doo-wop groups like the Hollywood Flames and the Turks. He is the last of the great Los Angeles r&b voices, as well as a generous repository of great stories.”

Magic Matt PS. After Magic Matt Alan reflected on his time with Rick Dees last weekend on his Outlaw Radio show, and after Rick revealed his secret about never putting negative thoughts in writing, Matt later thought of his own life lesson. Before he arrived at KIIS, the two real players in the spotlight were Dees and Sean Hollywood Hamilton. “Because Dees was such a mega star, Sean would get the gigs that Rick didn’t have time for and there were many,” remembered Magic Matt. “When I arrived, it became Rick and me! This wasn’t by design. It simply happened. It was also leaked the unprecedented money that I was making doing afternoon drive.” Magic Matt also had a contractual demand about his hours. Afternoon drive was 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., not 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. because it matched the Arbitron hour listings.

From the moment Magic Matt arrived at KIIS, there was friction between Matt and Hollywood on the 11th floor studios of the KIIS building. But it was in this environment when Magic Matt learned a valuable lesson. “I took a page from the truly brilliant Rigdon Dees by never signing off and announcing ‘Hollywood is next.’ I felt as Rick felt that if your numbers are huge (or were going to be huge), why give the audience a reason to tune away and possibly diminish the numbers for the next guy. In retrospect I was right BUT I WAS WRONG. Sean had been there a number of years and certainly deserved at least a modicum of respect and diplomacy from me. I have regretted this for years and understand why he is not my biggest fan.” During their stay at KIIS, Magic Matt and Hollywood Hamilton almost got into fisticuffs in the parking garage one day. “Of course, he would have had to stand on a ladder...badabing,” quipped Alan. Adding: "Regrets, I've had a few."


Magic Matt Saws Rick Dees in Half

 
(April 27, 2020) Fun listen on Saturday as Magic Matt Alan invited the legendary Rick Dees to Outlaw Radio. They had the best time. Both were drive time veterans of KIIS/fm. Matt was afternoon drive at KIIS an unprecedented two times! Rick did mornings. After Magic Matt appeared in morning drive to saw Rick in half, Matt took over afternoons. (photo of Rick and Magic Matt that first morning)

The hour was free-wheeling and a delight as the pair bounced from real topics like the coronavirus to the making of Disco Duck.

Rick’s son Kevin wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps but elected to go into real estate. “Kevin is on fire and just sold a $23 million home,” revealed Rick. "And he was involved in listing Bob Hope’s home. He’s really talented.”

On COVID-19, Rick said, “For the future viruses we just can’t shut down like this.” Matt asked Rick what he’s been doing during the lockdown. “The answer is 47. The question is how many times has Rick waxed his car in the last month.”
Rick said he missed going to the Toluca Lake Tennis Club. “They have a wonderful gym. The last time I was there a young boy about five or six got lost. He found himself in the woman’s locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks and the ladies are grabbing their towels and running for cover. The boy is watching and says, ‘what’s the matter, haven’t you seen a little boy before.’”

Matt asked Rick if he was wearing a mask and gloves. Rick said he was but not in the car. “I feel I’m not going to give it to myself.”

Both have known each other for over thirty years. “Hollywood Hamilton in the Radio Hall of Fame but not Magic Matt. Did you participate in his induction ceremony?” Rick said Matt should have been in ages ago. “You both should be in the Hall of Fame.” Dees complemented Matt on his SiriusXM show.

Matt asked Rick, ‘If Joe Biden wins the election. Who will be President?’ Before Rick could answer, Matt quickly moved on.

Dees offered some advice and what he learned about criticism. He said, “If it’s good, write it. If it’s bad, say it.” There was a time during Rick’s reign when someone at KIIS was stealing all of his bits, sounders and sound effects and selling them. “I wrote a memo to the staff because I wanted to call him out saying that someone was taking all my audio from over the years. I said, ‘Please stop it. If you don’t, we’re going into see Wally Clark [KIIS general manager] and we’ll find out which one of us he wants to fire.” Dees distributes the memo to the staff and ‘that guy’ and sent a copy to the LA Times. “I’ll never forget the headline on the cover of the Calendar section, ‘If nice guys finish last, what does that say about Rick Dees.’ They printed my memo that I sent to the staff.’”

Matt recounted his first day In Los Angeles, temporarily residing at the Oakwood Apartments on Barham in Burbank. "I was so excited. I get a call at the Oakwood from Rick Dees welcoming me to the station. I was like a kid in the candy store. It was like Johnny Carson calling you. I had to pinch myself. Man, to be on the same station with Rick Dees was pretty friggin’ awesome…. and remember, I had just done three years of afternoon drive at Z100 in New York City working for the iconic Scott Shannon. And the things you learn from a guy like this. You are a teacher. You are a mensch. You are a man who likes to help people and I appreciate that.”

Rick talked about the fact that his own station where he was working in Memphis when he recorded Disco Duck wouldn’t allow Rick to play the song because they determined it would be a conflict of interest for Rick to play his hit. He could talk about being on American Bandstand doing his number one hit, but couldn’t play it.

Outlaw Radio is available at: http://www.outlawradiolive.com/

Hear Ache. Alani "La La" Vasquez Anthony joined The Beat (KKBT) for middays on August 30, 1999, from Atlanta and left in the spring of 2002. She is married to NBA player Carmelo Anthony. La La will exec produce a ten-part Snap Originals series The Honeybeez of ASU, Alabama State University’s plus-sized dance team … NPR president/ceo John Lansing plans to start cutting costs, due to COVID-19 pandemic. Organization is facing a budget deficit of $30 to 45 million through fiscal year 2021 … Keep the Faith with Penny has been added to nights at KFSH. She airs on 127 radio stations … Condolences to former KRLA personality Lee Duncan on his wife’s death last night ... Good news from the Dodgers, Vin Scully has been released from the hospital following his fall.

 


Email Saturday, 4.25.2020

** Jerry Bishop Remembered

“So sad reading about the passing of Jerry Bishop. I grew up in Central Connecticut listening to Jerry on the iconic WDRC-Hartford. Met Jerry when I was 17, my second year in radio. He was a great talent and such a nice guy!” – Bob Sirkin

** More Bishop

Jerry Bishop’s real name was Jerry Blume, younger brother of lawyer Dan Blume. Jerry and I sometimes shared Hartford-bound car rides during our overlapping years at Emerson College.  He worked at WCCC shortly after I moved to ’TIC and he then became a top-notch guy on ’DRC's in-house productions [he voiced ‘The Big D, Big Story’ audio logo on newscasts].

Charlie Parker used him on lots of such stuff. His brother Dan, meanwhile, was Dick Robinson’s attorney in the start-up of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Later, Dan even wrote a book about the broadcast profession.

Jerry had married his Emerson sweetheart [Velma Leventhal], who died many years ago. He was an avid golfer, very talented, and as bright as his brother. By the way, their father was a violinist in one of the old, old WTIC studio orchestras. Altogether, an extremely gifted family.” – Bill Hennessey

** Worked With Bish

“Sad to see that the ‘Bish’ aka Jerry Bishop has passed. We worked together for several years [close to six] at KIIS AM, from 1975-’81.  He was a good man, solid, but not flashy on the air. Better than average voice, which got him several outside announcing jobs.

As I recall, Jerry’s wife successfully battled cancer in the late ’70s. Jerry did morning drive paired with Tom Murphy [Tom & Jerry] while Gary McKenzie and I did afternoon drive on 1150AM, KIIS.” – Larry McKay

** 'Freeway Ed' Remembered 

Jerry Bishop was one of the nicest people I’d ever had the pleasure of meeting. I’d call on the request lines while still a teenager, he’d be unfailing polite even if yours truly, a radio wannabe, had nothing important to say. It was great fun hearing his character ‘Freeway Ed’ chatting back-and-forth with KFI traffic pilot Bruce Wayne (which Ed would always refer to as ‘Spruce’), the original ‘Eye in the Sky,’ putting a smile on the faces of L.A. commuters.

Anyone who could make traffic more tolerable deserves  to be celebrated.” – Alan Oda

** Remember Ian Whitcomb

Ian Whitcomb’s fans and friends have been filling his Facebook page with tributes to him and condolences to his wife Regina and family. My son and I visited him about a month ago. Although he had some difficulty getting around, he was in good spirits, and despite his physical pain, in good humor.

We shared some wonderful stories about his 1990s KPCC show. I was a bi-weekly guest on that program for six years, and came to appreciate his vast knowledge of popular music, as well has his anecdotes about Tin Pan Alley composers, many whom he had known personally. He shared colorful stories of his rock and roll years.

Ian’s droll eyewitness accounts of some of the personalities of that era were insightful and revealing and would have made a Rolling Stone writer drool. Although Ian became a naturalized American, his take on human foibles was undeniably British. His musical talent, humor and gentle spirit will be missed.” – Mitch Waldow

** Bob Howard Remembered

"It may be a little late, but I just discovered your email, and I wanted to say something about my dear friend Bob Howard. Bob and I attended Los Angeles City College together 1963. When I first heard Bob speak he had this big booming voice that shook the rafters. Bob played football and ran track at City. His first radio gig was at KDAY on Sunday's. His show was called the Wide Weird Wacky World of Bob Howard heard on Sundays. That was in 1965.

I helped get Bob hired at KGFJ the day that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, April 4, 1968.

I was at his retirement from KFWB, and Bob attended the KGFJ reunion that I put together with Lucky Pierre, Don Tracy, Brad Pye, Jr. and others two years ago.

Condolences to his family. Bob was my very special friend.

On another note, Michael Gwynn was known as Lee Vaunce at KGFJ 1969. Loved his presentation." - Roland Bynum

** Monster Radio Critique

“Having read Jim Cahill’s suggestions re: radio (‘Monster Radio’), I have some comments. Let’s consider radio without the effects of Covid-19.

First of all, there are too many radio stations in every market. I don’t know how many signals there are covering the L.A. Metro Market, but there are probably over 65 or 70. But just consider the top 25 or 30, and the listenership becomes increasingly small as one nears the lower 80% of the stations. The advertising pie has become smaller and smaller each year and the top three radio corporations have all experienced bankruptcy and will probably do so again in the not distant future. Radio is not a growth industry and competes with more media outlets than existed not long ago, the internet and all it encompasses.

Getting back to Cahill, his suggestions are complicated and involve Amazon for music. He wants commercials to be delivered by djs/announcers in a conversational tone of voice. Tell that to the advertising agencies who produce commercials so that they are distinctive from other commercials and although distinctive, they may not connect with the audience. Catch 22.

Cahill suggests changes in the technology via voice active radios. It would take decades for people to purchase new radios before a meaningful percentage were to be reached. And what about car radios? I could analyze and criticize many of Cahill’s suggestions as being impractical. He does emphasize localism but with fewer revenues each year, ownership will continue to cut costs and go for fewer and fewer announcers, programmers, etc. The entire landscape has changed. In my thinking radio as we knew it a couple of generations ago will never return. I think Cahill’s suggestions make assumptions that will never see the light of day. His ideas would work if there just a few stations per market – large and small.

Sorry, but I think Cahill’s ideas for the most part are impractical and unrealistic – at least in the times in which we now live - and going forward.” – Robert Fox

** Wow!

“Thank you for showcasing Jim Cahill's incredibly insightful dissertation about The Wow Factor. I really appreciate you both.” – John Sebastian

** Minyard’s Essay

“Back in the late 70s, I was based in New York working for ABC. Looking for story ideas, I would listen to the Bob and Ken morning gig with Henry Konysky in the field, via the radio net satellite return.

I agree with Ken that dramatically lifting ownership and duopoly rules has killed local radio. The bankruptcies of Cumulus and iHeart testify to the simple fact that an owner cannot successfully manage 200, 300, 400 radio stations.” – David Cohen

** Motorman on Minyard

“Thanks Don, for the article on Ken Minyard. He is 100% right. I lived it with him. I learned so much by watching and learning Radio from Ken, he was a master at it.

I’m in my 40th year at KABC and I still love it. Hope you and your wife are doing well. Keep up with LARadio. All the best.” – Leon Kaplan (The Motorman)  

** EGBOK

Ken Minyard’s take is right on the money [so to speak]. When deregulation led to the development of mega companies’ ownership of radio stations, servicing the debt became paramount. It is impossible to be innovative and take chances when you’re operating on borrowed money. 

I recently asked my 25-year-old nephew and 22-year-old niece how often they listened to the radio. My nephew had never listened to commercial radio. When I asked what he listened to in the car, he said ‘the music I downloaded and the def metal station on SiriusXM.’ He said that he would never listen to any programming that had commercials. My niece, on the other hand, did listen to her college radio station and had even worked there as a dj. She said that as a dj, she was free to play anything she wanted to play, as were all the other djs.

As a result, she discovered a lot of new music. Try and find a commercial station that plays songs from new, local bands. It’s impossible. I really can’t see a way for commercial radio to survive as the Boomers die off and the Millennials start running the world. I sure hope I’m wrong.” – Bob Scott

** Minyard is Right!

“I couldn’t agree more with Ken Minyard’s viewpoint on why Radio is in the state that it is. In my opinion the virus had very little to do with creating this problem but exposed how deep the problems that were already there and, in many cases, self-created.

One clear example of the lack of local content was when we had the earthquake a couple of days ago. I immediately tuned into KFI and George Noory was talking on about some nonsensical issue. So, I turned over to KABC and you had some guy who was in a different state. I turned on tv and not a single station had anything. I actually was forced to go to Twitter and sure enough #earthquake was the number one trending item. Granted it was midnight, it does go to show not to expect any information from our local radio or tv resources beyond a certain hour.” – Steve Chang, Venice

** No Ego for Minyard

“For the record, Ken Minyard had the best sense of current events ever. He could interpret whatever was going on and make it personal to our listeners. He also did it without being an ‘ego maniac’ morning man.

And as a sales guy, I could hit him up to lay it on heavy on some spots. Endorsement.

Robert W. Morgan came to my house one day and said ‘so this is the house that Ken and Bob built?’ 

It was.” – Pat Duffy

** Young Minyard

Ken Minyard’s son, Rick Minyard, was the starting QB at Cal State Northridge when I worked in the Athletic Department there. As I recall he was second in the nation in total offense in 1979 in NCAA Division II.

Ironically our games were broadcast by a radio station in Thousand Oaks that was owned by Jim Simon, who pioneered Talk Radio at KABC.” – Ron Yukelson, San Luis Obispo

** Firesign Theatre

“My apologies for taking a bit to respond, but as some of you may have heard, it’s been a busy few days here in Santa Monica:
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-18/santa-monica-city-manager-rick-cole-resigns-citing-divisions-over-coronavirus-budget-cuts

My pleasure to make Hollywood Niteshift more widely available. I suspect there’s always been an underground of airchecks out there somewhere, as I don’t think anyone who heard HN ever forgot the experience. Now of course, the world has changed.

‘Victor’s House of Barbecued Bats’ is doing only takeout and pickup. And our team has been attenuated by time. I’m sure you all know about Phil, sad and untimely. I regret having to report that Laura Quinn died unexpectedly last fall after what was supposed to be a routine surgery. She’d spent the last few years about an hour north of you, Michael, in a small town called Kingston, NY, on the Hollywood side of the Hudson River.” – Kevin McKeown

** Top 100 of the 60s

“Hope you’re doing well during this most unusual time. While I’ve been home, observing California’s Shelter in Place order, I’ve been working on some old radio projects I’ve had on the back burner for many years.

Last fall, you were the key link in helping me locate and eventually obtain a complete copy of the truly amazing ‘Chronology of American Music.’ Your column and the generosity of Bill Earl made what I thought was impossible possible.

I’m turning to you once again for possible assistance with another long lost, bucket list item I have been seeking out for many years. At the end of 1969, Drake / Chennault produced a countdown hosted by Robert W. Morgan that aired on most of the RKO stations, ‘The Top 100 of the 60s.’ As with most of the programming Drake produced, this was a program that was exceptional and rather historical looking back. I have attempted to find a copy of this program, for quite some time to no avail. Honestly, I have not been able to find anyone who has even heard of this special. So I come to you seeking help. Do you have any suggestions as to where I may turn in order to hopefully find a copy? Is there still a contact available at Drake / Chennault that you may know of? Any resource you could provide would be deeply appreciated.

While going through my archives, I have come across a recording I made in late 1969 that has some elements of such a countdown, produced on a local level and aired over KFRC San Francisco over the New Year’s holiday. I have, on tape about 15 of the 100 songs, introduced and back announced by KFRC personnel at the time, including Charlie Van DykeFrank Terry and Chuck Browning. I’m grateful to have found that recording, and hoping to locate the full national program. Please share your thoughts if you will. Hopefully I can be as fortunate in finding this recording as with last year’s search for ‘A Chronology of American Music.’ Any assistance is greatly appreciated.” – Bob Balestieri,
bbalestieri@gmail.com
** Steele Look

The Real Don Steele lookin’ very Bono-esque in your gallery of photos!” – Brian Perez, K-WAVE

** Broadway Show Found

“It didn’t take me long to find this once I started searching on the correct call letters [prior to 4/15/71, KKDJ was KRHM]. I turned up an obscure Southern California publication called Coast FM & Fine Arts Magazine and found Broadway Showtime at 6 p.m. on 8/3/69 with Paul Rhone as host. There was a comedy show at 3 p.m., but perhaps the Broadway show had originally aired at that time and had moved to the early evening by the time of this listing. Although it appears to have existed throughout the 1960s and much of the 1970s, very few issues have survived.

There are scans of seven of them at David Gleason’s [ex-Univision L.A.] excellent repository of broadcast publications from the past, ‘American Radio History.’ [Scroll down the list of titles at the far left of the home page to get to the page with all the available issues.] – K.M. Richards

** Give My Regards

“Although I don’t recall the specific show, I’d bet six months’ pay the station involved was KRHM, which sported a truly eclectic one-of-everything format at 102.7, prior to the overnight transition to KKDJ’s strict-formula Top 40 in, I believe, 1971. This was also about the same time-frame for KCBH/98.7, which dumped the same sort of ‘variety’ format, to become all-Easy Listening KJOI. 

Up till then, both KRHM & KCBH featured anthologies of everything from Broadway to Opera, to God-knows-what; basically ‘attention’ formats designed to do whatever necessary to draw listeners away from the AM giants of the era, back when superior fidelity and stereo just didn't do the trick.

I remember the ‘new’ KJOI quickly became a fave for my Muzak-loving parents, while KKDJ essentially became an AM [think 93/KHJ]-on-FM Top 40 rocker. I clearly recall the early KKDJ using ‘synthesized stereo’: mono feeds of the hot hits run through a stereo processor, in order to light up the ‘stereo’ lights on home tuners! [One could really discern the difference on the few common tunes heard over KKDJ, and KNX/fm or KLOS, as both of the latter two used genuine stereo renditions.

I enjoyed pointing that out to non-radio-nerd friends at the time, as all of us of a certain age listened to one form of Rock or another.] KKDJ gradually became all-true-stereo, kicked over the threshold from format competition provided by Don Barrett’s KIQQ/100.3 in early ’73. [‘K-100...pass it on!’] There, so much for today's observations and actual memories of an Orthodox Radio-Geek, which were not just dredged up from smoking too many banana peels.” – Greg Hardison

** Sports Streaks

“If you look at the list of NCAA Basketball Champions, you will see that UCLA leads with eleven titles.

However, it could have been more.

John Wooden’s Bruins won in 1964 and 1965 and then again in 1967 – 1973 and finally in 1975 in his final season.

The 1964 squad was led by guards Walt Hazzard and Gale Goodrich, while the 65 team was led by Goodrich.

Now on to 1966 where the Bruins were to be led by guard Freddie Goss.

However, Goss contracted mononucleosis and missed the first half of the season. By the time he came back the Bruins could not catch Oregon State for the Pac 8 conference crown.

At that point, of course, only one school from each conference could move on to the Big Dance.

Most objective reporters will state that by the end of the season, UCLA was the best in the land and would have been favorite against anyone in the tourney, including Texas Western the eventual champion.

The Texas Western win, of course, changed the basketball landscape and really pushed our society in a positive direction as all five starters for Don Haskins were African Americans and that had never happened before.

The Bruins then win in 1967 – 1973 with Lou, with Sidney Wicks and finally with two seasons of Walton.

Now we get to 1974 and the semifinal battle vs David Thompson and company and North Carolina St. 

UCLA controlled much of the game and in fact led by ten at one point. However, the Wolf Pack managed a miracle comeback and won in overtime.

Walton has called that the worst loss of his life. Moving forward to 1975, in Wooden’s final season, the Bruins did it again behind Marques Johnson and Richard Washington as UCLA bested excellent squads in Kentucky and Louisville.

So to summarize, UCLA won ten times in twelve years. Some might say well, there were only 24, 25 or 32 in the tournament at that time, but nobody can argue that to win that often wasn’t a great feat in sports.

I will argue that the 38 consecutive victories in the Tourney between 1967 –1973 remains the Greatest streak in the history of modern sports with every single game being do or die. I’m not certain there is anything even close.

Yankee fans might argue the World Series wins in the fifties was indeed a great feat and that’s true but in the baseball post season the WS is the best four out of seven.

For A’s fans in the 1970’s it’s the same situation.

I can hear Celtic fans from the 60’s screaming right now, with Boston winning nine times in eleven years was fantastic led by the great Russell, but again not every game was do-or-die or win and you go home until the next season. 

Bottom line, UCLA’s streak of 38 straight victories is the greatest record in all if modern sports and I challenge anyone to try and top it. RIP John Robert Wooden.” – Fred Wallin

** Early Radio

Russ Mulholland was still on KMPC in early 1952. I last heard his broadcast in late January as I was driving north to start grad school at Berkeley. It was a Friday and he always played the top songs of the week in sequence on Fridays. Never heard him again.

Also, who was Sad Sam the Wakeup Man on KFAC in the mid-1940s? I can’t recall his real name. I won a flock of tickets to the Orpheum and Ice Hockey guessing the correct time when he rang a bell during the program, which was on for an hour at about 6 a. m. That was in the days when the station was NOT all-Classical music, unless you count Beatrice Kay as Classical. She was one of Sam's favorite singers. So, who was Sad Sam?” – Ralph Shaffer, Covina


**  Bobbin’ With Robin

“Being an expat Detroiter, it saddened me to learn of the passing of Robin Seymour. He was a true Motor City radio legend.

Besides radio, Robin hosted a local tv dance party, Swingin’ Time, which featured lip synched performances by every group that was passing through the D, as well as the entire Motown family.  As I recall, no one could hit a post better.” – Ira Lawson

** Hall & Gates

“Enjoyed reading about Chief Daryl Gates through Marc Germain. Funny that I was telling someone how nice it would be to hear him with the original format of listening to the caller.

What we have today isn’t the talk radio I grew up with. Nowadays the formula is more like talk-at-you radio. The host with definite point of view or bias preparing each segment to justify their slant with maybe taking a call or two in an hour. I think I noticed a change sometime years ago when a particular party didn’t like the heat from callers. We began to hear rumblings from the FCC about diversity of opinions with callers.

Seems one type of outlet sells product now days. I never heard of so many hosts of a particular viewpoint all having found relief of years of pain from a pill and a pillow. Oh, and regards to Mrs. Calabash … wherever you are.” – Mike Seeman

** State of Radio

“As one who spent 35 years in the business [switching to the newspaper business for a decade before totally retiring] my sympathies lie squarely with those people still in radio. Not only are their jobs in constant jeopardy through no fault of their own, they have to listen to a chorus of radio veterans telling them their business sucks.

How do they maintain high morale under these circumstances when they’re being told they are spinning their wheels executing tired, worn out concepts that were fresh maybe 40 years ago?” – Neil Young

** Radio Seer

“I couldn’t help but note that your request for thoughts on what radio will be like post-pandemic was juxtaposed with the comment from Variety’s Michael Schneider on the KROQ ratings.

I think that radio will regain some of its importance while people are trying to cut expenses [including paid subscriptions to streaming services and the like] and there will be even less reason to care about the 6+ Nielsen’s. Maybe Mr. Schneider never got the memo that the radio industry doesn’t care about those overall numbers, it's how a station does with the target demographics that counts [and in that measure, KROQ and Alt continue to still be reasonably close to each other.” – K.M. Richards


In-Car Listening a Challenge for Radio

 
(April 24, 2020) Hettie Lynne Hurtes has been around LARadio since the late 1970s. She has worked as an anchor and reporter for most of that time, most recently at KPCC.

Hettie has some thoughts about our series on what radio will sound like once this pandemic is over. “I think radio in L.A. will survive these scary times, because either folks will continue to need the news, probably more than ever, as we try to figure out how the virus will ultimately affect our lives, or others will want to AVOID the news and listen to their favorite music as they always have. 

Of course, with fewer people driving, one major outlet, the car radio will definitely show a drop off, but as people stay home or jog around their neighborhoods, hopefully they’ll continue to listen to their favorite stations … or not. It’s really impossible to be a seer when it comes to anything right now. We’ll just have to wait and see … and HOPE for the best.” – Hettie Lynn Hurtes

Hear Ache
. Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully is in the hospital after falling at his home on Tuesday. The LA Dodgers tweeted Thursday afternoon that the 92-year-old Scully is “resting comfortably.” The Dodgers’ tweet about his condition includes a quote from Scully: “I won't be doing anymore headfirst sliding, I never liked it.” … There are now over one million podcasts, according to PodNews … Take a look at the gallery of LARP above and KTWV’s Dave Koz and Pat Prescott. She had an observation about the photo: “It's hard to believe that on April 16th, it was my 19th anniversary at 94.7 The WAVE. I called my buddy Dave Koz to wish him a happy anniversary and to say thanks for convincing me to make the move west. We started out in 2001 with 9-11 and now in 2020 we have COVID19 but with a lot of awesomeness in between. This too shall pass. I’m grateful to the Wave family of listeners, my amazing coworkers both past and present and to all my bosses who just kept renewing me. It’s been a wonderful ride!” … Fans of legendary Hall of Famer Paul Harvey is returning to WGN-Chicago, according to Robert Feder. His daily feature – “The Rest of the Story” – will air twice daily …. Rick Dees appears with Magic Matt Alan tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. on Outlaw Radio.

Judge Judy Announcer DiesJerry Bishop, a veteran of KLAC (1965), KFI (1969-74), KKDJ (1975), KIIS (1975-79), KGIL (1983-85), has died. He passed away on April 21 following several weeks of hospitalization. He was thought to be in his early 80s.

Using the name Bill Bishop, Jerry worked at San Diego’s top-rated KCBQ in 1963 before coming to LA in 1965. He made a great second career as a voiceover guy, which included announcing the syndicated game show Cross-Wits, which enjoyed a five-year run beginning in 1975. He was also the voice of the Disney Channel from 1983–97. Jerry was best known for his announcing work on the long running syndicated Judge Judy show.

After five and half years with KFI, the Cleveland-born jock commented to LA Times’ James Brown: “I’m not flashy on the air and people tell me that I’m self-deprecating. But I don’t believe that everything you say or do has to be fantastic.” In the early 1960s, Jerry worked afternoon drive at WDRC-Hartford. In between KLAC and KFI, he jocked at KFMB-San Diego. Jerry was named MOR disc jockey of the year in 1970. Times’ radio reporter Don Page said he is “whimsical, pleasant and with good taste.” Preceding Dodger games on KFI, Jerry co-hosted “Sports Phone.” For part of his time at KIIS he worked morning drive. At KIIS he teamed with Tom Murphy for the “Tom and Jerry Show.” In 1979, Jerry was the off-camera announcer on NBC/TV’s Dick Clark’s Live Wednesday.

Content That Matters is Panacea for Radio

(April 23, 2020) Our series on what post-Coronavirus radio will sound like has generated a wide variegated idea of responses. Industry consultant Valerie Geller shares some thoughts this morning:

“There have NEVER BEEN guarantees in life — very few people get ‘gold watches’ in the broadcast field - past, present or future. Recreating is now — and has always been a part of the game. This is a creative field filled with talented, smart people, entertainers. Humans are hard wired to adapt and change for survival, it’s not always easy, but we do adapt. What I KNOW: when you inform, entertain, inspire and connect, the audience is there, when it’s relevant content that matters, powerful storytelling, or humor, or just truth... it works. Reflecting life. The delivery system is just that, and subject to change.

Quoting Tom Taylor in an email last week, ‘Radio was already weakened by decades of underinvestment and under-resourcing, and shadowed by debt and new competitors. Now – this thing. But there’s still room for creativity and imagination and spark and service to the community, right? Make yourself valuable, and people will include you in their lives.” – Valerie Geller
Hear Ache. A number of LARP were mentioned or quoted in the Rolling Stone article on radio. Former KIIS middayer Alex Gervasi, observed: “We’re witnessing another culture shift away from things and people that are superficial and towards those who are authentic and self-aware. It’s not enough to be just positive and upbeat anymore. Are you being vulnerable? Are you listening to the pulse of your community and the people in your community that might have struggles that look different than yours? You’ll have a hard time connecting if you aren’t listening first.” … The ESPN / Netflix Michael Jordan documentary, The Last Dance, has garnered much talk this week. Jeff Biggs recalled on Facebook: “One of the highlights of my career was a one on one I was blessed to have with MJ. It was excruciating because it was the end of Magic & Showtime. In late 1997 I was in Chicago at the United Center, traveling with the Lakers and getting to cover Kobe (33pts) vs. MJ (36pts). It was awesome!” … Rod Lurie, former KABC Talk show host left radio for the movie business. His latest directorial effort is The Outpost, based on CNN anchor Jake Tapper’s bestselling non-fiction book The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor. The military thriller starring Scott Eastwood is about a small unit of U.S. soldiers, alone at the remote Combat Outpost Keating deep in the valley of three mountains in Afghanistan, battling to defend against an overwhelming force of Taliban fighters in a coordinated attack … Happy 13th wedding anniversary to Beth and Mike Butts!
... thanks to David Schwartz for the movie tickets!


Radio Needs to Play Leading Role

 
(April 22, 2020) Ken Minyard is one of those giants in morning radio. For decades our lives were EGBOK (Everything’s Gonna Be OK). Ken spent over three decades anchoring the morning show at KABC. He told the LA Times the secret to his success: "We never get bogged down. We find it very easy to switch gears between silly and serious. On any given day, in any half-hour, in the conversation, we can go from screwing around to getting into serious topics."

Ken is retired from his iconic career but agreed to contribute to our series on what LARadio will sound like once the pandemic is over. Ken’s observations:
“Radio sewed the seeds of its own destruction long ago when the expansion of station ownership numbers unleashed the money lust of its management. Their greed opened the way to grabbing up stations in unlimited numbers and eliminating local programming while creating goals of increasing revenue by 20% annually to service their enormous debt.

Advertising was just a part of the answer. Cutting costs was another priority. That meant eliminating staff and centralizing operations.

Radio became a mere cash register. What had once been an important part of the community vanished. What had once been a source of pride for those of us lucky enough to make it our career became a sort of unpleasant chore.

Then along came Satellite radio, blogs, music streaming, etc., and the reason to listen to terrestrial radio became elusive.

As for TalkRadio we used to broadcast 18 minutes of commercials per hour, 20 during election season. How we managed to maintain an audience I really don't know. Lack of competing alternatives probably.

KABC, where I spent almost all of my 35 years in the LA market, now has virtually no locally based programming but plenty of infomercials. Now we have a once in a hundred-year pandemic. It should be the time when local radio sustains and informs the community and plays a leading role in the healing process. Hopefully that is happening somewhere. I wouldn't know. I haven't listened in years."  -- Ken Minyard

 
In a Crisis, Radio Should Be Bigger Than Ever - So Why Isn't It? ( click Rolling Stone)


"Music Monster" for Radio 2021 Reinvention

 
(April 21, 2020) Jim Cahill is one of those marketing folks who has a real grasp of the future. He revolutionized the placement of commercials on television so the viewer seamlessly stayed from the end of one tv show to the beginning of the next without a clump of commercials. This resulted in increased viewership.  

Jim was Styx's full-time advertising and promotion director. He created the Paradise Theatre event tour in over 100 cities with national tie-ins so revolutionary, they are still studied in marketing classes today.  

Fox Sports Czar David Hill gave Jim the challenge of launching a new network platform. His amazing production work here.

Jim’s love for radio gives him a unique perspective to peer into the future to see Radio 2021.  
 Assumptions:
For this exercise I’ve assumed we can hire who we want and do what we want - a utopian scenario ideal for woodshedding  
*Name/title is placeholder
———————————————  
Here goes -  
Say hello to the MUSIC MONSTER*
      * a fresh new format (station) for music radio served across multiple verticals
      * Built on the backbone of aws (amazon web services) the mothership is capable of serving up a local radio station unlike anything you’ve ever heard before - as well as become a conduit to a world of interactive content and array of advertiser services far beyond what is currently being offered in the radio market  

Available on traditional linear radio dial but also intelligently programmed for smart speakers & voice activated mobile devices & smart autos  

Sitting in the old recliner (or the new Tesla) the listener will delight in this fresh new way to play with the radio  

In traditional radio markets the stations are programmed as normal verticals
-There’s a country music monster
-There’s a pop music monster
-There’s a classic hits monster and so on  

ON AIR
The traditional on-air product would feature the deepest catalog of music available in the particular vertical - ONLY ONE radio station on planet Earth right now gets this right- John Sebastian’s amazing new wow factor FM in Phoenix -in fact, for this dream exercise I’d immediately retain & name Sebastian as programming czar for all our music verticals - each vertical to be programmed with John’s inventive wow factor secret sauce cradle to grave monster music mix.  

COMMERCIAL BREAKS/LOAD
The commercial load would be light & intelligent, with strict standards enforced on image destroying garbage commercials. The station would teach clients a conversational approach to marketing on our air. Don’t like it? Take a hike. Adverts that communicate instead of hustle or annoy would be a significant & dramatic quality upgrade. Commercial tie ins must be elegant and offer our listeners real world value.  

SMART SPEAKER: On demand, these stations become a whole new way to enjoy radio - a thrilling smart speaker audio experience produced by RADIOs best production magicians  
Voice activated -
Responsive
Packed with fun rabbit hole content that can provide hours of entertainment at a time

        * More than a juke box or ice-cold playlist - the presentation combines the best radio tactics (sweepers, IDs, segues) with a strong branded personality in a fresh new way  

The jocks can be classic voices (tracked), our favorites in multiple music genres, local voices as well as next generation AI guided & computer-generated voices. The music is delivered with in sync screen companion layers of rich info-tech
-Wikipedia
-Lyrics
-rabbit hole BONUS sound bites & content (after that zeppelin block - a spoken word story from Robert Plant as he describes how the lyrics of Kashmir took shape...(eg: license Denny Somach vast sound bites library, audible book bites)

        * or, if you wish ...continue with an entire hour of stories from zep performers and crew

The execution deeply connects listeners with the music they love
Sit back and let it roll for hours on end...or lean in on that smart phone, smart speaker and get jiggy with deeper content, conversations and transactions  

COMPATIBLE PRODUCT MATCH: That Beatles “get back” block in sync on screen with amazons assortment of Beatle products including ‘audible book’ sound bites that enhance the radio content
      * it’s not that far a leap to a purchase across the amazon web services to grab the remixed Beatle catalog or one click insider Peter Asher’s astonishing “Beatles A-Zed” audible       book - just two of thousands of options that enhance consuming radio this way
      * The station becomes a native amazon merchant/affiliate - generating micropayments for every transaction generated across a wide variety of digital products
      * Our new era production team is then trained to observe, predict and capitalize on digital transaction opportunities paired with our vast radio editorial content  

ON SCREEN SYNC:
Each song that plays is paired with compatible digital content & time sensitive digital coupons that can be redeemed instantly online or right in your very own zip code  

STYLE
High concept, Strongly branded Digital assets accompany every audio element output by the station Mobile & smart speaker compatible & loaded with fun lifestyle offers  

BENEFITS
-imagine a station that could deliver to you & your family actual real-world savings - hundreds of real dollars a month - everything from discounted oil changes, special offers from the local baker or Kroger - and much more. The more you listen the more you’re rewarded.  

TACTICAL
Instead of the cheap trick of the old days in radio offering a call in winner a thousand dollar bill as a hyped up promotion - one that only one person could win anyway...how about every month by listening to this station and redeeming the special offers -listeners can actually save between $300.00-700.00 in the real world? We will create programs that connect advertisers to the station in a tangible real-world way that truly benefits listeners financially at every touch point.  

HYPER LOCAL Hyper Local digital couponing creates real value for the listener right in their own neighborhood. This is a simple way to create a valuable rewards program for listeners using existing technology (location services, GPS, maps, PromoCode, QRcode)  

TWO WAY COMMUNICATION: The voice of the station is interactive w the user- true two-way communication including real time message /chat w station bot personalities (AI)  

TONE:
Conversational.
Chill.
No hard sell, no hustle. No bombast. No bottom of the barrel creepy adverts (IRS scams, predatory pay day lending)
No audio kryptonite  

POSITION:
In touch with the times
Not hyped up. Tuned in.
Deep.  

EXEC BRAIN TRUST:
With Sebastian safely in the czars chair supervising all music programming -now pair with inexhaustible imaginative marketing & production minds (us!) that recruit a dream promo team to produce the flow template & outreach promos. Add an IT layer of wunder kid coders who nail the smart speaker algorithms & transaction components.  

NEW ERA SALES/IT PROS:
In addition to the local sales rep who concentrate on servicing and selling local Clients -
This new era calls for the station to employ amazon web services (aws) coders, google ad words geeks, Microsoft business systems engineers, Oracle database programmers who comprehend how to connect the station into an ever changing matrix of multiple revenue streams, merchant/affiliate payments programs as well as create subscription revenue models that work (in app purchases & micropayments, casual gaming add ons) for unique sales programs. These techies will also integrate digital coupons tied to mobile location services /GPS maps helping create custom incentives for our listeners to take advantage of local offers from local clients that save them hundreds of dollars every month.  

HYPER LOCAL:
Hyper local opportunities abound to bring the neighborhood barber or dry cleaner into the mix as well as big budget ad buyers. Making it possible to have hundreds of small businesses as advertisers w reasonable partnership micro payments & trackable redemption models is a smart way forward.  

ORG CHART
Several of these tasks can be outsourced and some full-time positions created in a bold fresh take on the radio org chart  

DATABASE
Special Offers & sales promotions are tuned by user databases (Oracle, MySQL) -with an algorithm fine tuning outreach messaging and special offers designed for maximum performance. Detailed Big Data Versium databases can be exploited in local markets.  

IN CAR
In car listening is enhanced and syncs to GPS & mobile location services -offering the listener a wide array of benefits - from instant savings on fav fast food, surprise door buster sales at the local shops and topical activities all based on precise GPS proximity  

PROXIMITY BONUS:
A smart digital couponing feature in sync with the listeners turn by turn navigation/ daily commute - truly provides local clients with the opportunity to connect in the now with listeners. Proximity Discounts & targeted couponing is a new revenue frontier ideal for hyper local applications.  

PROMO:
Highly creative promotions will be designed for forward leaning companies looking to use smart radio as part of the next wave of intelligent consumer outreach.  

RETHINK RATE CARD: Price points for airtime can be completely rethought with incentive based click through payments when the station action actually drives redemption locally - whether to the local Chevy dealer or neighborhood dry cleaner.  

TAG  

This Fall The BIGGEST BANG you’ve ever heard from a radio is coming -  

Get ready - for the The MUSIC MONSTER*  

*placeholder  

Always fun Don to fire up a memo on how to make new an old friend we all love so dearly. -- Jim Cahill
Ian Whitcomb Dies. Ian Whitcomb, a longtime friend and radio partner of Jim Dawson, died Sunday, April 19, of what appear to be natural causes. Ian was 78. “He was at the Californian convalescent center in Pasadena. My condolences go out to his widow, Regina, and his many, many fans,” Dawson posted on Facebook.  

Ian burst on the music scene in 1965 with the top ten hit You Turn Me On. He has produced numerous albums, recorded hundreds of songs and written ten books (his favorite is After the Ball, which is a history of popular music from rag to rock). Ian has written music for a Las Vegas revue and his songs have been used in many movies. He was the original tv host for the long-running BBC series The Old Grey Whistle Test. Ian was born in Surrey, England, in 1941 and was an undergraduate at Trinity College in Dublin. His life has been dedicated to early American and British popular music, especially Tin Pan Alley, Ragtime and British Music Hall.

Over the decades he worked at KIEV, KROQ, KCRW, and KPCC.


What Will Radio Sound Like After the Pandemic?

 
(April 20, 2020) Radio is in for a major overhaul when this COVID-19 crisis is behind us. Our industry has already suffered major cutbacks and people being furloughed, fired or laid off.

In times of trouble is when great ideas surface.

Last Friday we asked the LARadio community their thoughts on how radio will navigate the changes. The response was fascinating. Thoughts ranged from a longtime morning icon to a valued consultant to anonymous strategies by folks still employed and didn’t want to jeopardize their employment.

It seems appropriate to begin this week-long series with an essay from Alan Oda, decades-long senior LARadio correspondent:
As I’ve mentioned in the past, my day job (vs. my real job with LARadio.com) is teaching at a local university. I have the opportunity to chat with my students between classes and in lecture when I try to keep them awake with tangential comments. Sometimes we talk about what they’re viewing and hearing on different media platforms.

I’ve found my students follow The Bachelor (sigh), This is UsNCIS (in various forms), CSI (see previous comment), American’s Got Talent, and a number of other tv shows. What do these programs have in common? These are all accessible on what is called “free tv,” “network tv,” “traditional tv,” etc. etc.

We’re not talking about tv programs that are generally streamed, or even on cable. So why is this significant? Provide good content (OK, I still don’t understand The Bachelor) and people of all demographics will tune it. It doesn’t have to be delivered through novel technology as long as it’s something interesting. I think there’s a lesson for radio.

We’ve heard it over and over again, “live and local” makes a difference. Although he’s nationally syndicated, Ryan Seacrest is still regarded as an L.A. show, which my students say they listen to as they get ready for school. It’s quite a production every morning, with tune-in highlights and regular routines. But as I’ve said many times before, I think my students would be hard pressed to name anyone else on the KIIS/fm talent lineup. It’s not because their personalities aren’t talented. I’d argue it’s because (a) there’s minimal promotion of talent, and (b) it’s hard for listeners to sit through commercial blocks of ten (or even more) spots.

Local news on tv skews toward a much older audience. Yet Fred Roggin recently started a feature on Channel 4 (KNBC/tv) highlighting graduating SoCal high school athletes. They may be deprived of one more year of showing their skills on the fields and the courts, but they’re being celebrated by hundreds of thousands of viewers for their achievements. This feature has attracted both younger participants and viewers who appreciate being recognized in spite of the current sportless lockdown.

I agree radio needs to do a better job improving their live streaming and making digital content more accessible. But to restate the obvious, give the listener something they want to hear, and listeners will tune in. Like local and network tv, distinct programs that listeners enjoy and find relatable can and should make a difference.

Tomorrow. One of the brightest marketing minds takes a snapshot of a new radio landscape and it is VERY exciting! Radio 2021!

Hear Ache. Alan Gottfried is celebrating 28 years of syndicating Livin the Good Life. “Our 15th annual charity Folds of Honor Celebrity Valencia golf event is set for November 2, at Oaks Country Club” … Congrats to Sandy Kelly (ex-KTWV) on her 21-year anniversary …. Radio Rick Alan celebrates 34 years of marriage …. Kat Corbett is eating chocolate cake for breakfast. “Why not?” she asked.

Bobbin’ With RobinRobin Seymour never worked in LARadio but I worked with this radio icon in Detroit. He died over the weekend, at the age of 94.

When I was 28, I was sent to Detroit to be general manager at WWWW (W4). Shortly after arriving, we turned the station into an Oldies station, the first 24/7 live Oldies station in the country. I knew of Tom Clay from his time in LARadio and his reputation in Detroit. I immediately put him into nights.

I kept hearing about this legend, Robin Seymour who had his biggest success on Top 40 WKNR (Keener13). He turned out to be great on the weekends. During his stay at the little house on East Jefferson, Ron Jacobs came by to record Robin in our production room (a closet) for his Cruisin’ series. RIP and now Rock 'n Roll Heaven is Bobbin' with Robin. (Photo: Robin with Radio's Best Friend, Art Vuolo fom 2019)


Email Saturday, 4.18.2020
** Willie Davis Kicked Ass

“Everyone is saddened with the loss of Hall of Famer Willie Davis. As a kid, I enjoyed watching him kick ass on the televised Packers games we got from Lambeau Field and its frozen rotunda.

I also enjoyed working with him as a Schlitz sponsor on our Lakers and Kings broadcasts. Willie was a great local Schlitz beer distributor and sponsor when I worked as sales manager for the late great Jack Kent Cooke at the Forum, with California Sports Incorporated. RIP pro. A real class act. He learned a lot from the great Vince Lombardi.” – Alan Gottfried, ceo/Livin’ the Good Life

** Loss of Bob Howard

“Oh, what a loss! I remember Bob Howard from the late 60s’ as part of the kick-butt KGFJ news team with Averill Berman! So happy to hear him forever on KFWB. Great newsman!” – Jeff Prescott, La Jolla

** Worked With Howard

“I had the pleasure of working with Bob Howard at KGFJ in the early 70s. I had great respect and admiration for his ability and personality. One day, maybe on a dare, I’m not sure, he ended his newscast with ‘This be Bob Howard, KGFJ news!’ The newsroom and studio erupted! Sincere condolences to his family.” - Joe Terry  (L Boxer)

** Firesign Theatre Creator

“Hellos to all from woodsy Mount Kisco, New York. About 26 miles north of Manhattan.

Thanks to the Mayor of Santa Monica, Kevin McKeown, for his forwarding LARadio info to me thru Timmy. Gotta love the hookups!

I was also on KGFJ for a few months before segueing into acting in movies and tv but will always love and miss the magic involved with radio! Best ‘magic trick’ of the Twentieth Century. 

Oxymoron of the year: ‘Social Distancing.’ Be well everybody!” – Michael Gwynne

** Appreciative to Hear Firesign Theatre

“My huge thanks to The Mayor, Kevin McKeown, for the links to one of the greatest radio shows of all time! I remember listening to Firesign Theatre every Sunday night and they always put me in a laughing state of mind.” – Timmy Macheo

** Enjoyed Art Astor Interview

“I enjoyed the interview with Art Astor. Thanks to LARadio and Mike Horn for the reprint interview. Learned some stuff that I didn’t know about him.

I enjoyed working for him on the air at KIK/fm. He was a true radio success story. A straight shooter. He loved radio and had a passion for his incredible car collection.” – Dominick Garcia

** Future of Radio

“Regarding your question about interesting future concepts for radio: In the 50s, radio began playing music that was hardly available elsewhere. I don’t know of any particular type of music that hasn’t been tried on radio, but it’s an idea.

My friend suggests a bilingual Spanish / English Oldies format, presented in the same manner CHR is done in parts of Texas.

Another idea: Why not bring back the excitement of game shows? KOGO offered this in the early 80s before the station went all news. Despite being national programs, the games were interactive and involved the home listener.” – Chime Hart, Sherman Oaks

** Boss 30 Rebound

“I read Ken Leighton’s letter about KHJ’s music on the July 4, 1968 Real Don Steele aircheck and thought it might be worthwhile to point out that KHJ didn’t base its chart positions on Billboard, usually running well ahead of the national charts. Often, a record would have been on and off the Boss 30 by the time it was hitting its peak nationally.

Here are the ‘forgettable nothing tunes’ Ken mentions, along with their Billboard Hot 100 peaks. I’ve added their KHJ Boss 30 peak:

Tommy James and the Shondells Somebody Cares #53 (#13 at KHJ)
Four Tops Yesterday’s Dreams #49 (#22 at KHJ)
The Miracles Yesterlove #31 (#9 at KHJ)
Nancy Sinatra Happy #74 (#12 at KHJ)
Paul Revere and the Raiders Don’t Take it so Hard #27 (#15 at KHJ)
Peggy Scott & Jo Jo Benson Love’s Holiday #31 (#5 at KHJ)
Eternity’s Children Mrs. Bluebird #69 (#14 at KHJ)
Dino Desi & Billy Tell Someone You Love Them #92 (#6 at KHJ)

Somebody Cares was the follow-up to a number one record at KHJ, Mony Mony.  They’d have been crazy not to play it. Yeah, #13 is a disappointment after #1, but you don’t know that until after it stalls at 13.

What Ken may have forgotten [or may be too young to remember] is that KHJ competed and shared audience just as much with KGFJ, an r&b station, as it did KRLA, so the Four Tops, Smokey and the Miracles and Peggy & Jo Jo Benson were going to be bigger at KHJ.  Nancy Sinatra and Dino, Desi and Billy were L.A. artists [and sons and daughter of L.A. entertainment royalty].  

And KHJ-TV’s evening dance shows [Ninth Street WestHollywood a Go-GoBoss CityGroovyThe Robert W. Morgan Show and The Real Don Steele Show] were must-watch tv for L.A. teens. Exposure on those shows resulted in, as the Real Don would say, ‘crazed demand on the Bossline.’

Finally, the ‘tin-eared music director’ was the legendary Betty Brenneman. Them’s fighting words for anyone who met or worked with Betty.” – Mike Hagerty, Sacramento

** K-EARTH Tops Charts

“K-Earth has arrived. So dropping the 60s for the 80s Oldies successfully moved with the demographic. Well executed. Of course the top 3 stations are the Jhani Kaye trifecta again. Stations he helped position and program over the decades. Quite a legacy for a deserving pro... even if he never hired me!

So pretty much every station group is further slashing staffs and costs. Hell, even Bob Pittman is probably using the company jet less often. I always thought that a crisis would bring listeners for the live and local reporting that can’t be had anywhere else, with such specificity that can super-serve the audience.

Where are the station blood drives and the rest of the warm and fuzzies that have been traditional for radio to endear itself to the community while doing some good? I don’t hear anybody exploiting radio's unique strength, but then I’m listening less because the thrill is gone, with fewer of the familiar personalities still working. I have to go streaming, and I don’t mean on the tv!” – Randy West

** Turn Around, Look At Me

“It’s funny how one man’s trash is another man's, well, favorite song. I loved KHJ’s playlist in 1968 for the very reason Ken Leighton denigrated it, something for everyone!  Turn Around, Look at Me is still a favorite of mine, but my sister liked Sunshine of Your Love better.

Best thing about growing up with Boss Radio, KFWB and KRLA was being able to hear The Monkees, The Beatles and Johnny Rivers in the same hour with Dionne Warwick and Smokey Robinson. Good times!” – Julie T. Byers

** Journalist Dies

“It is with great sadness that I received the announcement of Eliot Tiegel passing. Eliot was a true Jazz fan, and greatly assisted me in reporting on my efforts to keep Mainstream Jazz [KBCA and KKJZ] radio on the air in Los Angeles. Eliot and his wife not only reported on the jazz scene, but were good friends.” – Saul Levine

** Baseball Streak

“I read in the LA Times story that Jaime Jarrin is worried about his 62-year streak ending. I would argue that the streak does not end if there is NO season.” – Chris Bury, Pasadena

** Music Redundancy

“If Steve Berk’s observation about songs repeating in the same hour is accurate, then I would have to say that no one in Houston has even the basic knowledge of how to set rules in their scheduling software. If they are that clueless, I suggest that they outsource to someone like Kristopher Jones or myself, who do know how to properly set parameters and schedule music.” – K.M. Richards

** KKDJ Program

“In the late 1960s and into the 1970s, there was a show every Sunday on then KKDJ at 3:00 in the afternoon where a man played highlights from a Broadway cast album. What was it called, and who was the host?” – Michael Heiter, 
prphan82@yahoo.com  

** State of Radio

“Your column is awesome. You asked an interesting question: ‘If you were in charge of LA Radio, what would you do?’ That is exactly the problem. No one is, or can be ‘in charge’ right now. The vast majority of LA signals sadly are owned by corporate monoliths. And they are all subservient to debt servicing and the banks.

The Board of Directors are for the most part cozy and friends with the ceo’s, who therefore are not seriously held accountable and in fact are rewarded with multi-million dollar comp plans even while the companies are underperforming. The consequences of this are overbearing commercial cluster loads that bring in the immediate dollars to service the debt, while driving away listeners. Plus an inferior on-air product diluted with generic voice-tracking and overall uncompelling content, that further weakens the product.  Add to the above, that there is not major decision-making at the market level, just corporate eunuchs who are glorified gatekeepers and report writers to corporate.   

So with the above, no one is or can be ‘in charge’ of LA Radio, and you have a recipe for what is going on today – continued layoffs and much less relevance for the stations, to both advertisers and listeners. However, the current COVID crisis may totally upend the current situation.

At-home workers are going to significantly damage radio’s core product: in-car drive-time listening. This is now creating a major revenue drop that will not rebound, and more than likely will force iHeart back into bankruptcy, and maybe Entercom and other radio companies with too much debt. You probably will see less fm stations even on the air within 12 months.

The good news is, the bankruptcies may cause the dissolution of iHeart and other groups, and local investors will be able to buy signals in bankruptcy court. The prices these investors pay for a station will be a fraction of what the corporate groups paid, so the debt load will be much much more reasonable.

This may lead to the new station owners actually investing in local personalities and promotions again, with less commercial loads, and a mini ‘renaissance’ of radio again!! The key is, the new owners need to avoid hiring the current ‘leaders’ of LA radio, because they are ‘trained’ to serve corporate, with zero regard to the local station product or local personnel. And that type of mindset is the antithesis of a radio renaissance!” – Bob MacKay

** No Cuts at Bonneville

… “I read the praise from Andy Ludlum for Bonneville Broadcasting as opposed to Entercom and iHeart. It makes sense since they are backed by the Mormon Church, said to be sitting on $100 billion.” - Cary Levine

** …and Ludlum’s Reaction

“Yes, Bonneville International is owned by the Mormon Church. I’m not a member and I have no idea, and could care less about how much money the church does or doesn’t have.  What is more significant is the fact that Bonneville has supported and developed its excellent group of radio stations without taking on debt – much less the obscene amount of debt shouldered by Entercom, iHeart and Cumulus, just to name a few. 

With the ad market all but gone, these groups are just treading water to work for their creditors. They were in trouble before the coronavirus, but due to their lack of foresight hundreds more good people have been laid off or furloughed.  

I may be cynical, but I don’t see these groups ever calling many people back to work and returning to business as usual. Bankruptcies are more likely.

I worked for Bonneville for 14 years in Seattle and Kansas City. I probably didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have at the time, but Bonneville really did put integrity, excellence and community service ahead of profitability. My family was young during much of that time and I found the company was sensitive and supportive of the needs of a growing family. Over the years, I was given tremendous training and other opportunities for professional growth.

And full disclosure – I’m receiving a Bonneville pension. Pensions….remember those?” – Andy Ludlum, former pd KNX, KFWB and KIRO-Seattle, KMBZ/KMBR-Kansas City

** Inland Empire

“I’ve been reading your column for years and love it. I used to be a good friend with Al Barnett who worked for KFXM, KMEN, and KOLA back in the 60’s – 80’s. Last I heard from him, which was several years ago, he was living in Mexico.

His ex-wife has been trying to locate him and has been unable. He used to work for Al Anthony and I left him a message on Facebook and never heard back.

Do you have a source who might know how to contact him?” – Dave Van Buren


How Do You See and Hear Radio Once Pandemic is Over?

(April 17, 2020) The changes to everything in our lives have taken our breath away. We can only imagine what our lives will be like when the threat of coronavirus is eradicated by a vaccine. Radio should be a comfort to those of us hunkered down in our bunkers, but is it?

Is the live and local mantra making radio indispensable? So many in the radio business have lost their jobs and chances are, few of them will be lucky enough to get rehired. What is radio going to sound like as we move forward as a society? What role will this audio service play in our lives?

Deeply in debt, and seemingly in quicksand – even before the pandemic hit the United States – the major radio companies had already laid off hundreds, some believing that more than a thousand people were eliminated. Then the crisis. Bam. Those who survived were asked to take major pay cuts, experience the disappearance of 401K matching funds, doing voice work for multiple stations within the parent company and broadcasting from home with little support.

Those who read LARadio.com have a certain passion for radio. You seem to care more than others, despite the competition from other audio sources for your ears. In time of upheaval, this is the time for creative thinking and bold changes. When tv burst on the scene, the pundits predicted the end of radio. Not so fast. Gordon McLendon and Todd Storz saw an opportunity to change the prevailing thinking about radio and block programming, instituting a format of rock ‘n roll music surrounded by exciting jocks, breathless news presentation and powerful promotions. Top 40 is still a dominant force all these years later.
Our lives have been upended. How will radio adjust? Pick up your crystal ball and look into the future. What are the changes you see? How will the inner workings of the stations work? Will stations go dark? Will formats disappear? Will personalities survive or will radio become more of a jukebox? Will owners rethink the incessant commercial loads? How do the sales departments make the adjustment to garner a bigger share of the revenue pie to help pay off debt?

Do you have some Carnac the Magician (“Carnac the Magnificent?”) thoughts about LARadio? Please send them along to 
AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com for a story we’ll do on Monday.

Hear AcheRob Frazier received good news: “In the words of my surgeon: ‘The cancer is completely gone.’ It’s a Good day!” … Joe Grande, former Sports Talker at KLAC is set to host Cannabis Talk 101 when it debuts on, get this, April 20 on iHeart radio, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcast. He claims this will be the “World’s #1 Podcast for everything Cannabis”  … Nic Harcourt will get a co-host on his morning drive AAA show at KCSN. Jet, previously nights and weekends will offer a “supporting voice” to Harcourt … Michael Schneider from Variety reacted to the just-released March PPM ratings: “The impact of the changes at KROQ are already being felt at the station: Per the latest Nielsen radio ratings for Los Angeles, KROQ slides from a 2.5 share to a 2.0 share among listeners 6+, dropping it out of the market top 20.” … Dodger stadium announcer and LARP Todd Leitz was mentioned in Bill Plaschke’s column, yesterday in the LA Times ... Sad to learn about the closures of the Burbank Leader, Glendale News-Press and La Cañada Valley Sun.
Holzman DiesMatt Holzman, the producer behind several of KCRW’s popular programs, died April 12, 2020 of stage 4 metastatic cancer. He was 56.

Holzman was born in Long Beach on October 31, 1963, according to a story written by Sonaiya Kelley. He majored in computer science at UC Santa Barbara and upon graduation found work as a consultant in Chicago.

Holzman got his start at KCRW as a board operator before making a shift to audio storytelling. One of his first stories was an autobiographical retelling of his struggles with kidney disease, which left him on dialysis for three days a week in a five-year long wait for a donor kidney.

He was the first producer of The Business, a weekly program and now podcast about the entertainment industry hosted by Kim Masters. “He was passionate about his work and was the very embodiment of KCRW to colleagues and listeners,” said Masters. “No one had a bigger heart. He had a great love for movies and even after he had moved on as producer he would tell us when to pay attention to a documentary. We always did and he was always right.”

Beatles vs Rolling Stones. Paul McCartney phoned into SiriusXM’s Howard Stern Tuesday. Stern suggested that the Beatles were the better band, and McCartney didn’t disagree. “You know you’re going to persuade me to agree with that one,” McCartney said. “They are rooted in the blues. When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues. We had a little more influences. There’s a lot of differences, and I love the Stones, but I’m with you. The Beatles were better.” 
Carl and Jeri Goldman Back in the headlines after visiting the White House (click photos to see and hear)


K-EARTH Tops Chart 

(April 16, 2020) K-EARTH is the #1 radio station in the Southland in the just-released March '20 PPM Nielsen Audio for 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid. As you might expect with dwindling car use due to the coronavirus during the survey period, February 27 through March 25, cumes for the leaders were down anywhere from a quarter of a million listeners to 700,000.

1. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.2 - 5.2
2. KOST (AC) 5.7 - 5.1
3. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.7 - 4.9
4. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.5 - 4.4
5. KFI (Talk) 3.8 - 4.2
6. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.8 - 4.0
7. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.4 - 3.9
8. KNX (News) 3.0 - 3.8
9. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.5 - 3.4
10. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 4.1 - 3.3
11. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.9 - 3.0
12. KKGO (Country) 2.4 - 2.5
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.6 - 2.5
14. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.3 - 2.4
      KRRL (Urban) 2.6 - 2.4
16. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.5 - 2.3
      KSCA (Regional Mexican)  2.1 - 2.3
18. KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.3 - 2.2
19. KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 1.6 - 2.1
      KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.2 - 2.1
21. KROQ (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.0
22. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.0 - 1.9
      KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.6 - 1.9
      KPCC (News/Talk) 2.1 - 1.9
      KUSC (Classical) 1.6 - 1.9
26. KCRW (Variety) 1.1 - 1.5
27, KRLA (Talk) 1.1 - 1.4
28. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.3 - 1.2
29. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.1 - 1.1
     KKJZ (Jazz) 1.0 - 1.1
31. KABC (Talk) 0.9 - 1.0
     KDLD (Regional Mexican) 0.7 - 1.0
     KFSH (Christian Contemporary 1.2 - 1.0
     KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.6 - 1.0
     KLLI (Latin Urban) 1.4 - 1.0
36. KLAC (Sports) 1.0 - 0.9
37. KEIB (Talk) 1.0 - 0.8
      KSPN (Sports) 0.9 - 0.8
      KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.9 - 0.8
40. KCSN (AAA) 0.5 - 0.6
      KKLA (Religious) 0.7 - 0.6
      KTNQ (Spanish Talk) 0.4 - 0.6 
Willie Davis, the great Green Bay defensive end and owner of KACE in the nineties, died yesterday after spending about a month in the hospital with kidney failure. He was 85.

The Hall of Fame defensive end started on all five of Vince Lombardi's championship teams. Willie became the first black captain for the Packers in 1965. He spent 10 years with the Packers team, from 1960 to 1969. Willie never missed a single game.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981. He was a “trailblazer in the world of business,” receiving his MBA from the University of Chicago. He was on many boards, including Alliance Bank, Dow Chemical, K-Mart, L.A. Gear, MGM, Rally’s, Sarah Lee and Schlitz Brewing.  

Willie had a “passion for radio broadcasting,” becoming one of the first Black Americans to own a Class A radio broadcasting license, KACE. He sold the station to COX (then owners of KFI), marking the end of an era.

Under Davis’ ownership, the station experimented with a number of formats and was one of the first stations to refuse to air rap music that glorified violence and denigrated women. KACE was among a handful of black-owned stations that abandoned its regular format and rallied to call for calm during the riots in 1992, said Kerman Maddox, a talk show host and political science professor at Southwest Community College.

When Cox took KACE, the station maintained its roots in the black community, focusing on r&b with hits of the 1960s and 1970s.  His company, All-Pro Broadcasting, continued to own radio stations in the Inland Empire, KHTI (HOT 103.9) and KATY/fm (101.3 The Mix) and three stations in Milwaukee.


Jeff Pope, current morning host at KHTI said it is a sad day at HOT 1039 and 101.3 The Mix. “Our owner has passed away. Willie Davis was a true icon in our industry, with a genuine love of radio. I will never forget meeting him for the first time in the mid-90s, when I was the morning news/traffic guy at then X103.9, and he greeted me with a huge smile and a massive handshake – and I immediately noticed his Super Bowl ring. Over the years, his ownership has allowed the stations to remain local and independent. And to that, I say, THANK YOU, MR. DAVIS. YOU WILL BE MISSED.”


KFWB's Bob Howard Dies

(April 15, 2020) Bob Howard has died. By the looks of the testimonials on John Brooks’ Facebook group, “I Worked at KFWB,” Bob was loved by all. “It is our deepest sympathy to Cherlyn Howard and her family,” John wrote on his Facebook page.

Beginning in 1962, Bob studied Broadcasting and Communication at Los Angeles City College. In addition to two decades at all-News KFWB, Bob spent time at KGFJ. “His journalism skills, smiling face and kindness to all will be long remembered,” wrote Brooks.

Greg Tantum was Bob’s boss for part of his KFWB journey. “We were all blessed to have had Bob in our lives one or the other. As noted by others his professional skills rank with the best. His character, humanity and spirit even greater. Love you Bob.”

His general manager Roger Nadel remembered: “Sincere condolences to Bob's family. Bob was a good broadcaster and a good man.”

“Such a sweet man,” wrote Penny Griego. “So sorry to hear he is gone, but I will always appreciate the help he gave me when I first started at KFWB.”

Victoria Easley-Randall got that phone call that we all hate when a colleague passes. “Needless to say he was absolutely one of the most incredibly awesome, zany, brilliant and wonderful folks to work with. He had a great sense of humor in addition to being an outstanding anchor. He and I were both born on September 19th, which cracked him up when I told him one day in the newsroom. Bless his heart, Bob also had a great sense of humor!”

“So sad to hear. Bob was such a sweetheart with such a wonderful smile and laugh,” wrote former KFWB anchor Vicki Cox. “Loved working with him. I don’t think I ever saw him lose his temper or his cool. My prayers are with you Cheryln.”

His friends will plan a Celebration of Life once we all can gather safely.
Message from the MayorKevin McKeown, mayor of Santa Monica, had another life before politics. He once was the gm at KROQ. “I think I have good news for Michael Gwynne, whose recent email to LARadio bemoaned the loss of radio as we knew it — and surmised that all we left behind was ephemeral radio signals 'headed to outer space in an undying attempt to entertain other planets.' Some of Michael’s work was captured before it left Earth’s atmosphere and is available on the web.”

Kevin continued: “About forty years ago, Michael anchored an improvisational comedy show called Hollywood Niteshift, first on KROQ and then on KLOS, along with the Firesign Theatre’s Phil Austin and new talent Frazer Smith, who became KLOS’s morning man. As executive producer of Hollywood Niteshift, I retained (too few!) of the tapes, and have digitized them. For your coronavirus stay-at-home pleasure, choose from seven hours of unscripted live radio ad-libbing at 
http://www.mckeown.net/HollywoodNiteshift.  Note not only Michael’s remarkable voice and character talents, but that he chose all the music and comboed the board live as the show careened in unpredictable directions.”

Hear Ache. As the large radio giants iHeart and Entercom hint at additional MAJOR cuts due to the coronavirus and severe debt, Bonneville (former owners of KBIG and The Sound [KSWD]) promised no layoffs, no pay cuts or furloughs. “Wow! I wish this was an example for other broadcasters, but sadly not,” said Andy Ludlum, former program director at all-News KFWB and KNX. “Bonneville was by far the best company I worked for in my 40 years in the biz.” … KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest donates $1 million to help first responders who are on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. According to WABC-TV, 75% of his donation will help feed and house FDNY members for six weeks. “After seeing a news report about first responders sleeping in their cars in New York to avoid putting their loved ones at risk, I wanted to do something to help make sure these New Yorkers stay safe while they’re away from their families busy taking care of ours,” Seacrest told People magazine … Last weekend on KKJZ, Johnny Magnus called these “meshuga times.”

 

Early KOST tv spots produced by Jhani Kaye

Challenges Running a Sports Station 

(April 14, 2020) Sports stations and formats seem to have a difficult challenge during the coronavirus crisis with no major sports being played. But there have been some creative – and nostalgic – efforts to provide programming. On Sunday, CBS created must-watch tv with the replay of the 2019 Augusta Masters Golf Tourney with the amazing comeback of Tiger Woods.

Commentator Jim Nantz and Tiger were in live boxes sharing strategy, memories and the ultimate victory. I’m not into golf but found myself in tears as Tiger walked off the course into the loving arms of his 11-year-old son, Charlie, clutching his father.

Later during the live commentary Tiger was struck by an arc of when he got an embrace from his father in 1997 with his first Masters win. Neither of Tiger’s kids were old enough to remember when their father was on top of his game, thus making the 2019 win that much more memorable.

Another sports story. Jaime Jarrin, the voice of Spanish-speaking Dodger baseball, was featured in the LA Times yesterday. At age 84, Jaime couldn't help notice the irony of limited Dodger baseball on tv only to have a new deal in place with SportsNet LA and DirectTV, only to have baseball quarantined at the start of the 2020 season. Jarrin's age puts him at risk or coronavirus so he stays at his Phoenix home, which is near the Dodgers’ Camelback Ranch spring training facility.

He watches much baseball from the past. He limits his tv news viewing to a minimum because he finds the world’s problems too depressing for more than a half hour in the morning and a half hour in the evening. Jarrin is reading Curt Smith’s The Presidents and the Pastime: The History of Baseball and the White House that he hopes to share with his audience, if there is a season.
Hear Ache. Former KHJ Boss Jock Scotty Brink celebrates his 28th wedding anniversary ….iHeartMedia is adding at least an hour to its morning shows, including KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest and Real 92.3’s Big Boy.  Over 60 iHeart morning shows have been extended. “These on-air voices are trusted friends with close emotional connections to their listeners, and they inspire their communities,” said National program Director Tom Poleman. “The personalities help listeners cope with anxiety and concern and provide entertainment and stress relief.” … KFI newswoman Monica Rix has parted company with the Talk station. She’s headed back to her home in Florida.  

Coach Wooden. Our famed UCLA basketball coach John Wooden coached two of the world’s best basketball players, Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. George Johns remembers two stories:

Bill Walton, who was a “long hair” remembers well, meeting with Coach Wooden for the first time. He was explaining to the coach that his long hair was essential to him because it showed that he opposed the Vietnam War. Surprisingly, Coach Wooden said that not only did he understood, but he believed that Bill had the right to protest the war in any fashion he chose to do so. Unfortunately, though, he went on to say, “He wouldn’t be doing it as a UCLA Bruin.” Bill showed up at practice the next day as a “short hair.”

Kareem Jabbar also remembered his first meeting at UCLA with his new Coach. He was in the Bruins locker room lacing up his shoes for practice when he heard, “No no no, you don’t lace them up like that.” The next thing he knew the coach was lacing them up for him and saying as he did so, “This is how you lace them up so you don’t get blisters, lots of athletes can still play with a pulled hamstring, but nobody can play with a blister.”

Two LARPs with their own tv shows in 1968 (thanks to David Schwartz)


Radio Genius Made Movies 

(April 13, 2020) Gordon McLendon was the only genius I ever worked for. I felt so lucky to be plucked out of Missouri and selected as one of his Magnificent Seven. My colleagues and I were part of a unique and unprecedented training program at his 500-acre ranch at Lake Cielo Texas.

Gordon and Todd Storz were generally credited with creating the Top 40 format that took radio out of the loosey-goosey haphazard block programming into a regimen of playing the Top 40 songs over and over. It was more than just the familiar top songs, the news broadcasts were filled with sensationalized newsmen who used verbs that leaped out of the radio. And the promotions were fun, exciting, thought-provoking, and kept the teens occupied with their rotary phones attempting to win a 45-rpm record or just maybe $100.

Gordon also owned the first all-News 24/7 station in the world and in the United States. He was also an early owner of KOST (103.5fm).

It was during a 30-day all-encompassing PhD program about Radio that Gordon regaled us with the story of making a cult schmaltzy horror film, The Killer Shrews, which starred Gordon (sitting on right). His ranch doubled for an abandoned island where the Shrew lived, a deadly animal that ate three times its own weight in food every 24 hours or it starves.
The film played on the Turner Classic Movie Channel last week. I learned about the airing too late to alert you but I did post it on Facebook and Twitter. I was surprised at the response:

Craig Carpenter (KOCI-Newport Beach) wrote: “That movie scared the crap out of me when I was young.”

Ed Pyle
, former newsman for Gordon at XTRA 690, was going to pass. “Despite the Gordon McLendon involvement I have decided to skip it.”

“One of the FAVE sci-fi 50s gems. Festus from Gunsmoke also stars with Baruch Lumet and James Best,” wrote PR whiz Charlie Barrett. Great stuff.”

Joe Collins has the movie on video. “Ken Curtis (Festus) starred in the movie. The shrews in the movie were pretty ragged.”

Former McLendon personality Elliot Field responded: “Surprised Gordon would share a frame of the film with someone else. A remarkable one-man show. However, he was good to me. I was good for him. His dad was a gentle movie house owning millionaire. Gentle quote from papa on the street in Dallas, ‘Just keep doin what you’re doin. You’ll be fine.’ Bless him, I was & am.”

LARP veteran Randy West was surprised that McLendon made movies, “Never knew! Wow!!”

Jon Bruce, formerly with KDES-Palm Springs, wrote that he has the other movie Gordon did on DVD. “The Giant Gila Monster featuring the woman who did the Spanish XTRA 690 legal IDS, Yolanda Salas.”

If you ever see this masterpiece, the KLIF engineer Les Vaughan was responsible for gluing carpet strips on dogs to look like “killer shrews.” Talk about multi-tasking.

Charlie Van Dyke, early KLIF-Dallas super star was surprised to learn that Gordon put the afternoon KLIF jock in a minor role. During filming he lost his job at KLIF. Gordon told the new afternooner to come out and take over the part. No, they didn't look anything like each other.

Hear Ache. Condolences to Len Weiner (1992 KMPC sports program director) on the passing of his mother. “She was the Universe’s best mom ever. And I fiercely love her. Forever,” Len wrote on Facebook … KNX’s Claudia Peschiutta is saluted in the current issue of LosAngeleno.  … Sad to learn that Entercom dropped traffic anchors veteran Barbara Brooks and Lew Stowers from the KNX line-up … Condolences to John Leisher (ex-KFWB news anchor) on the death of his wife earlier this month after a brief courageous battle with the coronavirus. She was 69 years old.
Tyll in Florida. One of the treats of spending so much time at home has been the ability to catch up with some of the personalities we’ve enjoyed on LARadio over the years. 

Ed Tyll joined KABC for afternoon drive from WTKS-Orlando in late 1997. He now broadcasts daily at noon on Florida Man Radio.

He began as a talk host in 1982 working in Chicago, New Orleans, Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Ed grew up in New York and was influenced by talk host, Bob Grant. He is a graduate of St. John’s University in New York with a degree in journalism. A few months after joining afternoons at KABC, the station let him go on February 9, 1998, his 42nd birthday. He was told that his style was not compatible with the station’s image.

Ed joined evenings at “Real Radio,” KLSX in the spring of 1998 before leaving a year later for Detroit. Ed is not cookie cutter talk radio. His provocative curiosity, ability to instantly connect with audiences, often with laugh out loud humor, leads to questions they have never been asked before on any and every topic. 

In addition to hosting his radio show, Ed performs stand-up comedy, appears on network tv as a commentator and as a MC at Gala Events. He was mentored by Larry King in the 80’s. Called a “Shock Jock” by Hollywood’s Variety in the 90’s, and an “Arthur Godfrey” in the Detroit Free Press in the 2000’s. Today at noon, take a fun listen to Ed Tyll by clicking the artwork.
 
KGIL/LA Times ad from Monday, April 13, 1970 from David Grudt's personal collection

Email Saturday, 4.11.2020

** Cumulus Furloughs

“Why doesn’t Mary Berner and the Cumulus Executive team work for free the next 90 days like they are asking many of their employees to do? They probably have enough money in the bank to help them through this rough patch while the folks at the bottom of the rung live check to check and this will devastate them. That would be true leadership. 

I was a board-op at KLOS back in the day when Cumulus took over the station. Within a week, part-timers were notified by a memo taped to the walls that we would no longer receive time-and-a-half for working holidays. Way to inspire your work force! The leadership over there may have changed but the results are the same: Meet the new boss, same as the old bosses.” – Mark Felsot

** Gallows Humor

“Corovincent maybe? Hilarious. Your selection of virus humor is outstanding. Ever think someone would tell you that?” – Larry Boxer

** Rob Frazier’s Challenges

“As a skin cancer survivor, I’m pleased to read of Rob Frazier’s recovery. I’m sorry for his ordeal. I can relate!

My MOHS surgeon advises me to use the highest SPF sunscreen available on the market.” - Bob Sirkin

** Potpourri

“Thanks for continuing to do what you do. It's still the second thing I do every morning. Your retro interview with Art Astor is totally fascinating.

I don’t know if you’ve seen this item from Scott Fybush (
https://www.fybush.com/site-20200403/) but thought you might be interested. Scott and I grew up three miles from each other. He went to grade school 500 feet away from the studio and towers of the first station I worked for in Rochester, NY. It was then WSAY. Today it’s public broadcasting WXXI-AM, with the transmitter still in the same building.

Scott still lives in Rochester, I’m now in SoCal. He does visit L.A. frequently, and on one of his last visits he did a 2-part interview with Saul Levine. It’s pretty interesting. I thought your readers may want to give it a listen.

On another note, when LMA San Diego first took possession of KFMB-AM/FM a couple of weeks ago, their well-planned transfer of 760 AM to iHeart went well. The fm transfer, not so good. They were to retain four of us on a part-time basis to operate the station, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced them to limit access to the station. Last Monday I was part of the decision to let the station continue with no live people and my job was eliminated. I’m not the first, and sadly won’t be the last but I'm sure we’ll get through this. Ironically, in 2007 I was ‘downsized’ from (then) Clear Channel, and six months later they had their 2009 mass layoffs. In 2016 I was ‘downsized" from XHPRS. Within 18 months the station was out of business. In 2019 I was ‘downsized’ from Entercom/San Diego and they’ve slowly eliminated a number of positions over the past 10 months leading up to last week’s downsizing. I’ve got a number of good friends from management on down at LMA San Diego, and hope that this isn’t another beginning of a series of layoffs.

I’m still working with KPBS FM-TV in San Diego, and on occasion with PBS SoCal and KCET, so all is not lost. I’m working on putting together more information on getting hired either part-time or full time at 
narrationnow.com. Hang in there. I hope in the next few months you’ll be able to publish news of re-staffing stations across the region.

You’re keeping us informed and entertained daily.” – Dave Mason

** Boss Hits?

"Things you do with too much Covid time on your hands.

I came across an un-scoped two hour-plus aircheck of The Real Don Steele show from Thursday, July 4, 1968. That was when KHJ was at its peak. It was the day before the sold-out Doors/Chambers Brothers/Steppenwolf concert at the Hollywood Bowl and Steele was giving away tickets to the 8th caller.

Two important things stand out: how you could play The Vogues Turn Around Look at Me in the same hour as Cream's Sunshine of your Love. But what was even more noteworthy was how much weak crap this monolithic Top 40 powerhouse played. Clearly, KHJ's magic was in its forward momentum, its air talent, its promotions and its bigger-than-life presentation. NOT in its playlist. 

Here is proof that KHJ, in all its grandeur, apparently had a tin ear for a music director. This is what Don Steele played during his show on July 4, 1968. As you can tell, his show (and therefore all of KHJ during that week) is chock full of forgettable nothing tunes. Listed right after each song is the song's highest position in Billboard

Tommy James and the Shondells Somebody Cares #53
Four Tops Yesterday's Dreams #49
The Miracles Yesterlove #31
Nancy Sinatra Happy #74 
Paul Revere and the Raiders Don't Take it so Hard #27
Peggy Scott & Jo Jo Benson Love's Holiday #31
Eternity's Children Mrs. Bluebird #69
Dino Desi & Billy Tell Someone You LoveThem #92

And then there's this beauty that never even broke Billboard's Top 100 but made it on KHJ's Boss 30: Pat Shannon's She Sleeps Alone. In fact none of his songs ever made the Top 100. [This song does appear on You Tube, however]. Steele back announced this song by saying he was a personal friend of Pat Shannon. 

The aircheck is courtesy of boingboing.net." - Ken Leighton, San Diego


** Shared Mics

“In thinking about how many performers and industry people are contracting the virus, it occurred to me that something that could be causing the transferring of Covid-19 are the microphones artists and broadcasters share. Everyone can’t help but speak germs into the wind socks and onto the outside of the mic itself. Sharing a house mic seems like a real liability.

To those who have to broadcast from a facility or the field: Use your own microphone. It’ll be well worth the investment. Do not share common mics. And wear gloves or use a wipe on the connector cable before plugging it in. Seems like common sense given our situation today.” – Jhani Kaye

** Young Wolfman

“I saw the row of pictures of past djs on the topside of your newsletter Thursday and noticed the picture of Wolfman Jack. Gee, he must have been in his late 20s-early 30s when the picture was taken. I wondered what year and what station he was at when the picture was snapped.

I also noticed he had half a goatee. He probably decided later on to grow a full one so it would look ‘cool’ and attract listeners to his shows. Thanks for putting his image up.” – Dan Ramos, Joshua Tree

 ** No Sports?

“I beg to differ. We have sports. Just a bit more nuanced. Great PxP too.” – Ann Beebe 

** Keep Turntable Spinning

"One of the last letters I got from old pal Ron Jacobs had a melancholy tone. He  was not well but with the ever-present wry grin said, 'I made it to 78 which is better than 33 or 45.'

I’ll be able to say the same thing this coming October 1st. God willing and the turntable keeps spinning. 

I realized some years ago, long after radio had changed again and, in my opinion, not for the better as it had finally been reduced to a mere information conduit and had surrendered its magic to accountants and her magicians. Radio gradually moved away to other more mercurial pastures, that I had spent almost ten years on 12 different radio station from 1961 till 1970 on the air in ten major markets in 5 different states and two countries and became pretty damned good at a job ... that doesn’t exist anymore!

Gone with the wind. Headed to outer space in an undying attempt to entertain other planets. Now that’s tempus fugit folks! -
Michael Gwynne

** Name That Tune

“It took a while and a lot of effort but we have finally identified the KNX/fm mystery song I asked you about a while ago.

It turns out to be Desert Moon by a short-lived band on Arista Records 1979. They were called Thieves. Producer was Mike Chapman off their album Yucatan. They were three guys and three women and the lead vocal on the song is Sue Richman. She did a lot of commercial vocal work in those days and that is probably why her voice was so familiar but not identified.

Thanks for your help! Album cover attached.” – Mellow Rock on, Douglas Brown, KNXFM93.com

** Astor Interview

“I just LOVE getting your newsletter on LARadio. AND I’m enjoying reading the interview with Art Astor and Mike Horn. When is part 2 coming?

I worked for Art back in the ’90s when I got my first start in radio – I was a board op at KIK/fm for Carri Dunn (Dunn in the Morning!), voiced some of their promos and wrote for their newsletter. He was super nice and such a nice man. I have such great memories of him!” - Kelly Bennett, 
www.BennettUnlimitedPR.com, PR/Marketing/Branding

** Quarantined

“It’s been so boring here. I found an interesting spider downstairs and struck up a conversation with him. He’s a web designer.” – Jerry Lewine

** Listing Probe

"Like everyone else, Ginger the Wonder Dog and I are pretty much shut-ins. I ran across this actual Comcast cable guide listing. 
Sounds probing! Stay well" - Ira Lawson Ex-KLOS/KABC Board Op.


New Challenges for Rob Frazier

 
(April 10, 2020) Rob Frazier, an award-winning production whiz formerly with KLOS and KLSX, sent some disturbing news this morning:

"I want to thank you for all of the love, positive vibes, and good juju you have sent my way the past few weeks. I have appreciated it so much. So why did I ask for your support? Cancer. In February I was diagnosed with Merkel Cell Carcinoma. It is a rare (about 3,000 cases a year in the U.S.) and particularly aggressive form of skin cancer. I first noticed it as an itchy bump on my back in the fall. I became concerned when it didn’t go away and brought it to the attention of my doctor in November. At the time he had his hands full treating me for pneumonia so it went on the back burner. I brought it up at my follow up in January and in February we began testing.

I’ll skip past all of the nerve wracking and fretful days of waiting to find out what type of cancer it was, but I will say that the not knowing was the worst part of the whole ordeal. I had my first surgery March 18th, where they removed what had become a tumor the size of a lemon from my upper left buttock. They also removed a few lymph nodes, for testing.

Only hours before the surgery, I had received a notice from my provider that they had their first confirmed cases of Covid-19. Exciting times to be sure. Good news came last week when the PET scan and MRI showed that the cancer had not spread, and I had my second surgery to remove whatever cancer remained on my back this past Tuesday the 7th. They also removed the lymph nodes from my left groin.

I will have a couple of epic scars and what appears to be a bright future. I am optimistic. I am also extremely grateful: for all of the medical professionals who have been just awesome, to my employer for being super supportive and understanding and for my son Jackson, who has flown out twice to take care of me. You are my hero son. I love you more than words can express.

I am also grateful for you, my friend, for all of the support, well wishes and positive vibes. At the time I didn’t want to tell you what I was going through because I wasn’t looking for pity or sympathy, just good vibes. Thank you! They came through loud and clear. I apologize for the length of this post. I just don’t feel like telling the story over and over. Just want to focus on healing at the moment. I’m sure you understand. Today is Good Friday. Sunday is Easter. Have a wonderful weekend with those you love, and thank you again for being there. Peace.


Cumulus Next Up in the Furlough Box

(April 9, 2020) Cumulus (KABC locally) is the last major radio group to take drastic measures with its employees. CEO Mary Berner announced the plan via a video message. She told her workforce that the Covid-19 plan was temporary and will be implemented in the coming days. 

As reported in TALKERS, Cumulus’ salaried staffers will take three non-consecutive weeks of furlough over the course of 15 weeks that begins on April 20. For the group of employees who don’t have supervisors or don’t have anyone else who can cover for them, they will work for 90-days without pay, beginning April 16. 

For those employees whose duties have been reduced or eliminated, they are on a 90-day furlough, starting April 16. 

Berner said the company intends to bring all furloughed employees back when full-scale business operations resume. She is taking a 50 percent pay cut during this period and says the executive leadership team is taking a 25 percent cut and is giving up incentive compensation for the year. 

Berner said in her message: “Even though these are intended to be temporary actions, I know they are going to land hard – really hard – and that is in the emotional and financial toll that a furlough or salary cut will take on each of you, but also in terms of the increased workload the vast majority of you will have to take on during your co-workers’ furlough weeks. I am truly sorry and sad about this announcement. None of you deserves this.” 
Hear Ache. Congratulations to sports guy Jeff Biggs on 20 years of wedded bliss … Former KFWB Sports Talker Brett Winterble is also celebrating a 20th wedding anniversary … Every Wednesday @ 6pm, KFI’s resident mental health professional Dr. Wendy Walsh will broadcast live on Instagram / Facebook and Twitter to provide answers about your Covid-19 concerns on family, relationships, & mental health … Just what we need this morning. This will put a smile on your face Click here …  … The Paley Center, formerly known as the Museum of Television & Radio (home to numerous LARadio events), is being forced to give up its swank Beverly Hills home on the corner of Little Santa Monica Boulevard and Beverly Drive, for which it pays 1.2 million dollars a year for its lease, according to Variety. Read the story here:  … TTWN (Total Traffic & Weather Network, operated by iHeart) is apparently upset with traffic reporters saying “no traffic” on the barren freeways or “there’s nothing going on.” An internal memo is encouraging reporters to keep the traffic content relevant if they want to keep their jobs relevant.

Sports. Just because no sports being played, we still get KLAC’s Vic the Brick Jacobs:

SPORTS FANS...
FEELIN’ YOU...
I WAS FEELIN’...
SO BAD...
I ASKED MY FAMILY DOCTOR...
JUST WHAT I HAD...
I SAID DOCTOR...
MR. MD...
NOW CAN YOU TELL ME...
WHAT’S AILIN’ ME...
HE SAID YEAH YEAH...
YEAH YEAH YEAH...
ALL YOU NEED...
IS GOOD LOVIN’...
GIVE ME THAT GOOD GOOD LOVIN’...


Dr. Drew Apologizes for Earlier Observation
(April 8, 2020) “I wish I had gotten it right, but I got it wrong,” Dr. Drew Pinsky admitted on a Twitter video feed. In early February, Dr. Drew, addiction specialist and former Talk show host at KABC, called the coronavirus a “press induced panic,” arguing that not only was it less dangerous than the traditional flu, but that the chances of dying from it are lower than being “hit by an asteroid.”

“My early comments about equating coronavirus with influenza were wrong. They were incorrect,” Dr. Drew admitted. “I was part of a chorus that was saying that, and we were wrong. And I want to apologize for that.”

He went on to say that one thing he did not get wrong was to emphasize that we should all be looking to Dr. Fauci for guidance. “He was my guiding star in the AIDS epidemic and he should be your star now.”

Dr. Drew said that when Fauci made it clear that this was significantly different – and more deadly – othan typical influenza, he adjusted course. He has also been following CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and other measures.

“I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I wear a mask outside now. And it’s paid dividends. It is improving – It is flattening the curve,” he said. “And I’m delighted to be a part of that. I’m glad to be a part of that.”
Hear Ache. I love Steve Edwards. You will never meet a more decent man. And what a great storyteller. On a personal level he has done some things for LARadio and me, volunteering to do anonymously, which is always an insightful look into his world. He started a new Facebook Live chat, and watching him reminded me once again whotta’ wonderful communicator he is, a voice of reason and calm. Check it out at noon today … Former KDAY and 11-10 KRLA personality Lee Duncan got a scare this when EMTs took his wife to the hospital. She has been very sick for a few days. “They would not let me go with them and I can’t drive due to my health problems,” Lee wrote on Facebook. At the hospital she tested negative for Covid-19, and has a very bad case of the flu. And then last night Lee posted, "My wife, Patricia is fighting for her life tonight. Her heart and kidneys are failing. She has a DNR order. It just does not look good." Our prayers are with you, Lee … American Idol leads Sunday ratings ... Thanks to Linda Bartrom for today's Funnie.

Day in the Life of the Quarantine. Readers of LARadio were asked how they are coping with the current coronavirus pandemic:

DALE BERG, KNXfm93.com and 969The Oasis.com: I'm staying home running my two Internet radio stations.

I've been keeping up to date watching the news. I've been watching the daily briefings from the White House.

My wife works as a personal caregiver on weekends. The client is homebound so there is no chance of either my wife or the lady catching it. The other day my wife Ann went out to the store to pick up some items. We found milk, cheese, but no eggs. She found some TP at a Dollar General. She wore gloves the whole time, bought some sandwiches at Subway. The Subway here practices social distancing by putting tape on the floor to keep people 6 feet apart. The strange thing was it seems Cathedral City didn’t get the memo.

All businesses are open including nail salons. This after Governor Newsom declared us a stay at home state.

We have plenty of DVD's to watch, free streaming services like Roku, and Tubi. Probably binge on the newer Outer Limits series. After Sunday my wife will be home for the week. One of our neighbors needed hand sanitizer. My wife swapped the hand sanitizer for eggs. So, we're fine. Also, all the tv stations out here in Palm Springs are practicing social distancing. The anchors are sitting behind one desk 6 feet apart. The Chief Meteorologist Patrick Evans did the weather forecast from his patio in the backyard of his house in Rancho Mirage. Great view of the sky, and the mountains.” - Dale Berg


Eric "Rico" Reed a Calming Voice During 1992 LA Riots

  (April 7, 2020) Eric “Rico” Reed has been around LARadio for decades on KJLH, KACE, KOST, and KLAC. His work in the community earned him the 1992 NAACP Humanitarian Image Award. He received a commendation from the L.A. City Council for playing a major role in calming the situation during the L.A. Riots.

Rico was one of those jocks looking out the studio's picture window at KJLH and thought it “was just like looking at a movie screen.” He gave an on-air play-by-play as he watched people smash the window of a repair shop and run off with a broken TV. “I can’t believe this guy,” Rico told the audience. “It’s a TV repair shop. The TVs don’t even work, man. They just stealing them to be stealing them. It makes no sense.”

“I was featured in three documentaries produced by Showtime, The Discovery Channel and The History Channel, addressing the 1992 Uprising,” said Rico. “One of them, LA Riots – The Lost Tapes, which was put together from the actual recordings from the Rico and Company Front Page Show, was placed in the Smithsonian Institute.”

A graduate of Dorsey High, Rico attended CSUN, West L.A. College and Los Angeles Community College during the 1970s. His long association with Stevie Wonder’s station, KJLH, allowed him to co-host with Stevie the “King-a-thon.” He has hosted the “Lou Rawls Cavalcade of Stars Telethon” along with numerous community events including the Magic Johnson UNCF fund-raiser and a black radio exclusive live with the legendary Frankie Crocker.
In 1992 Rico won the highest honor in radio, the Peabody Award. In 1993, his morning drive show, “Rico & Company,” raised over $10,000 to help a family who lost their daughter during a Christmas tree fire. Over the years he has been best known as “Rico on Your Radio.”

He started out in radio as a salesman, but his dream was always to be “on the air.”  That opportunity came when the KJLH program director Rod McGrew allowed him to write and record the radio commercials he sold. That was the beginning of many successful years on air, beginning with afternoon and evening drive slots, culminating with the highly successful “Rico & Company” morning show featuring comedian J. Anthony Brown and the award winning “Front Page Talk Show” (created by Rico and co-host Carl Nelson). This was a first in this market, dealing with current issues in the Black community. It is still listened to religiously by both housewives and professional persons alike.

During his 18 years with KJLH, Rico touched the lives of millions on a daily basis both over the airwaves and through community service. At some point, he worked every on-air shift and held various off-air position, including production manager, promotion director, music director, assistant program director and program director.

Rico spent a number of years at V-103.9 (KACE) as morning drive personality and host of “The Up-Front Talk Show.” This popular talk show raised thousands of dollars for needy families and hosted trips for hundreds of listeners to Africa, Jamaica. He also served eight consecutive years in the nineties as host/MC of “Lind Taylor’s Classic Soul Cruise.”

With the addition of the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" in 1994, Rico moved to the afternoon drive slot returning to morning drive in 1995. Shortly before the sale of KACE in 1997, Rico moved to weekend duty and vacation relief on KOST, then on to sister station KLAC in 2000.

In 1990, Rico founded the Funhouse Comedy Club (1990-96), a community outlet for young and established Black comedians where he met his on-air co-host J. Anthony Brown. Other notables who performed regularly and/or cut their comedy teeth there include: Steve Harvey, Jamie Fox, Chris Tucker, Lewis Dix, Sinbad, Martin Lawrence, and George Wallace.

Rico is married, with three children and is a self-employed Graphic Designer and voiceover artist. He loves to restore classic cars, and collect animation cells. Thanks for your years serving LARadio.


Local Radio Rules

 
(April 6, 2020) Valerie Geller is one of the smart ones in our industry. If anyone has a positive outlook in this current world of wholesale firings, layoffs, dislocations, and furloughs, it is Valerie. She wrote a book, Creating Powerful Radio, which, along with its three subsequent editions, has been the standard for the decades. She has been on the ground floor of groundbreaking formats in Los Angeles (KFI) and New York (WABC).

Valerie owns a very successful broadcast consulting firm. She appears in major industry conventions all over the world as a seminar leader and frequently the keynote speaker.

 “I’m continually amazed at how resourceful people are and how important local radio is at this moment,” Valerie emailed. “I’m so impressed with how people are stepping up and doing incredible work with very little resources. We are in a time of complete change and shift. I don’t think we will ever go back to doing radio the same way now that it’s been proven people can work out of home studios, closets etc. and you can be a reporter and attend a remote press conference from your kitchen table. We are in the eye of the storm but will come out of it, for better or worse, very differently I believe.”

 You can believe Valerie will be ahead of the curve when this coronavirus crisis ends. Her audio book is available here for free.

Hear Ache. Chris Booker has been let go from AMP Radio mornings. He was part of the original line-up at the launch of AMP Radio (Entercom) in 2009. He has held positions at New York’s K-Rock 92.3/fm (WXRK) and WNEW, as well as Q102 in Philadelphia before moving to the west coast. In addition, he was a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. “There are bigger problems in the world than Chris Booker not working tomorrow,” Booker told Variety. “I will miss my interactions with my audience, but onward and upward.”


Email Saturday, 4.4.2020
** Another Look at Carl Goldman’s Comments

“I’m writing to disagree with Jeff Maxwell’s assessment of Carl Goldman and his comments on the Frank Buckley podcast. I do not believe that Carl’s comments were in any way insulting. He told his story, which he was asked to do, and his story happens to have had a happy ending, at least so far.

He acknowledged the facts that many people get very ill and that some of them die, but also stated that many people who have the virus will not get seriously ill. Let me remind Frank and others of the paragraph that appears, almost verbatim, in many of the online news articles about the virus. This from AP:

“For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.”

This is basically what Carl was saying in his interview with Buckley. Unlike Maxwell, I believe that Carl's attempt to talk about his experience calmly, and maybe have a positive influence on people who are very distressed, rightly so, was successful. Hysteria won't do any of us any good.” – Larry (Jack) Boxer
** A Laugh in the Middle of the Crisis

“Today’s Funnie – ‘On day 7 of Quarantine’ – getting knees slapped all the back to Flatbush! Priceless! Outstanding! We need a smile like that now more than ever.     

Hope you and family are well and stay that way. Geez, what happened? Keep smiling.” – Jeff Baugh

** iHeart Woes


“I read the column regarding the financial troubles at iHeart. I am not surprised they are in this position. The company is heavily in debt and now with advertising dollars disappearing, there is no easy way out of this.

I flipped when I saw the part about the strict limitations, or complete elimination of travel and entertainment expenses. Who are they kidding? Who in hell is traveling nowadays??!! If the COVID-19 outbreak goes on for several months, I don’t believe this company will survive. I feel sorry for the employees, but they need to get ready for the complete collapse of this company.” – Dan Ramos, Joshua Tree

** Mentors

“I was moved by your piece that you wrote on Earl McDaniel. I remember when we worked in Lompoc, you spoke of him often. He was ‘YOUR’ Bobby Dale.   

As for my mentors, both Bobby and Mike Phillips filled that bill. I followed Mike by the example he set for me, ‘learn all you can about your business.’ I own my own advertising agency, only because I learned ‘to think outside the box,’ and grow. 

I met Bobby during Easter break of 1964 at KEWB in the Bermuda Building in Oakland. He took me downstairs and we had lunch in the restaurant in the basement of the building, then we went back upstairs. He then arranged for me to get to stand behind the board engineer, and watch him do the first hour of his show [4 p.m. – 8 p.m.]. It was total magic, watching Bobby, at the best he EVER sounded. We stayed in touch over the next couple of years, and after I left KNEZ in June of ’66, Bobby recommended me to Tom Razovich, chief engineer of KFRC, to hire me as a board op. The rest is history.   

Your story was wonderful. Thanks for re-featuring it again.” – Joe Sullivan

** Win Lose or Draw

“That video of Win, Lose or Draw reminded me that Richard Blade had also appeared on the game show Card Sharks under his real name of Dick Sheppard shortly after he arrived in the U.S. That episode turns up on the all-game show channel Buzzr (KCOP-TV/13.2) from time to time.” – K.M. Richards

** Changing Radios

“After reading your column, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I've actually switched from mostly KFI-KNX-KABC to mostly KKGO. I just can’t take the all-coronavirus, all-the-time coverage on the news and talk stations.” – Tom Burfield

** Jeopardy

“Who were The Warner Brothers and their Sister, Dot? It helps if you’re an ‘Animaniacs’ fan.

Thanks for all you do, Don. Seems you’re working harder than ever. That’s some retirement, but then we always knew this was your labor of love.” – Mike Sakellarides

** Bill Martinez Live

“Besides the chain of syndicated stations, I have accidentally come across Bill Martinez on the dial when listening to international shortwave radio stations beamed around the world. I do not recall the frequencies or the call letters of the stations but without a doubt Bill can tell me!” – Don Elliot

** Potpourri

“Good for Bill Martinez. He’s got quite a history.

Funny Fatman, er, I mean Batman Funnie :)

Such a shame to see so many people in all industry losing their jobs. We radio people know all about this. We call it Decembers  :(” -  Mike Butts
** Chalk Art

"A strange old phenomenon has re-arisen, just in time for Easter...CHALK ART!  Positive messages on neighborhood sidewalks to help get us thru this difficult time.  

I hope you are all well and safe." - Bill Dudley


An Eclectic Radio Tale 

 
(April 3, 2020) Bill Martinez has quite the LARadio story to tell. From humble beginnings in Oxnard, Bill is the third of nine children. He’s built a life around radio and God.

Today, Bill has gone from Rock dj to owner of a marketing company to head of sales at Salem to hosting a 300-station syndicated network. His list of LA radio stations is impressive: KWIZ (“Top Banana – Best of the Bunch”) beginning in 1970 followed by KDAY (with Wolfman Jack), KIIS (hired by Charlie Tuna), KRLA (1110AM with Art Laboe), KIKF, and KRLA (870AM) / KKLA.

It is believed that Bill is the first Hispanic in L.A. radio to use his real last name. “I was told that you never heard a Hispanic last name on a contemporary LARadio station until I got here in 1972.” 

While at KIIS, Bill was also busy directing radio advertising for several Southern California retailers. Bill lists Waterbed Warehouse, Waterbed Gallery and The Woodworks as companies he made household names.

Learning the business was the key to his success. In the 1980s, Bill concentrated his efforts at BMEI, an ad agency he founded that focused on retail production, media placement and video / film production. Around this time, Bill met Rich Buhler. “I thought maybe God wanted me to do something different, so I went back to Bible College and got my degree in theology.” He graduated from Bible college and returned to Orange County radio at KIKF as a senior account executive and was later upped to general sales manager. He then went on to be the general sales manager for the Salem's KRLA in Southern California.

Bill was willing to do everything in the beginning. “I was in the Marines, doing public affairs at Camp Pendleton during the week, then worked three different weekend shifts at KWIZ when it was at the world-famous Willowick Golf Course in Santa Ana.” His on-air pals included Tony St. JamesSpider MacLeanEarl Trout III and Bruce Phillip Miller. (By the way, yesterday was KWIZ's last day on the golf course. They are moving to Burbank.) 

Along the way, he met Patty Weaver, whose dad Bill owned KWIZ. “We got married and were together for 13 years. She is a great gal,” enthused Martinez.

“In late 2001, two significant things happened – Infinity dropped the well-known KRLA call letters, making them available to Salem, which used them to replace the KIEV name. Second was when Dennis Prager exited KABC and Salem picked him up. The station took off from there, seeing double digit increases for the next five years. It was a great team and exceptional sales run,” he said.

At 11-10 KRLA Bill remembered lots of great memories “including a concert with Little Anthony where we had to avoid a gunman at the International Club in Whittier and Roller Derby training with Little Ralphie Valladeres and John Hall of the LA T-Birds.”

In 2005, after departing Salem, Bill developed a very successful health radio network for Dr. Bob Marshall and Healthline Live. “Our strategy coupled with his natural talent and high-quality health product line made Dr. Bob a household name and branded his company,” said Bill.

“In 2008, I was drawn back to the microphone when LA Radio Christian Talk Show Host, Rich Buhler was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer,” recalled Martinez. “He and his wife asked if I wouldn't mind sitting in and hosting his show while he was going through the necessary treatments. Rich sadly succumbed some eighteen months later.  So from disc jockey to broadcast executive and now to syndicated talk show host. Only in radio, as they say.”

While sitting in for Rich, Bill was approached by some syndicators. “They said they had never heard of a conservative Hispanic before. Little did they know. What started and remains humbly is Bill Martinez Live. In today's radio market, unless you're seated by iHeart, Entercom, Cumulus, Salem, maybe Sirius, they are few other options, so you work hard as an independent. “We have built this syndication one market at a time and in about 10 years, Bill Martinez Live is now heard in over 300 markets across the country,” Bill said proudly. “And this does not include the additional global outlets via Red State Radio and other Internet connections.  All this to say, that this growing nationally syndicated radio talk show was born out of LARadio – a real success story.”

Hear Ache. Bill Withers, best remembered for writing and singing Lean on Me and Ain't No Sunshine, has died from heart complications. He was 81. "Alexa, play Bill Withers" ... By the looks of those who left Entercom yesterday, it looks like a minefield of bodies across the country. Freddy Snakeskin, who goes back to 1980 with KROQ, wrote on Facebook: "Like millions of others, sorry to say that today I take my place among the ranks of the unemployed. I was informed (via the phone call no one wants) that my position with KROQ-HD2 has been eliminated." Also, we hear the entire Entercom promotions department was let go. With no on-air promotions and no events, no need for a promo department at this time, by one estimate 68 part-timers and contract individuals ... Diana Steele, formerly with 100.3/The Sound, was let go from her afternoon drive show at WBMX-Chicago, an Entercom station.


KFI Newsman May Have Had Coronavirus 
(April 2, 2020) Kris Ankarlo is a KFI newsman. He’s been doing it since 2016. He’s not sure if he had the coronavirus, however, Kris is 90% sure. He nonetheless is unable to get a test to confirm.

“Symptoms have been mild,” he tweeted. “Fever, chills, aches, fatigue, headache and complete loss of smell/taste. I’ve been in quarantine since symptom onset over weekend. I kept up social-distancing all of last week. Could’ve just touched the wrong surface at the wrong time.”

“I’m thankful for amazing neighbors who brought by food and other essentials, and the KFI audience who cared enough to ask after me and check in on my condition. This was an instructive experience that showed just how contagious this disease is (if that’s what I had). Stay healthy! Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic to (sort of) smell and taste again!”
Hear Ache. Entercom is next as they have started to furlough employees and initiate salary reductions due to crippling effect of the coronavirus on the economy. As we get names of those furloughed, we will publish them ... Rez Radio 91.3 suspended all regular programming for one full day and replaced it with nothing but novelty songs, stand-up comedy and other classic funny, funny bits. “Wednesday, April Fool’s Day, was designed to be a much-needed day off for everyone,” emailed John Fox, general manager. Rez Radio broadcasts at 91.3 FM in Pala and live streams worldwide 24/7 using the player at www.RezRadio.FM or through the iHeartRadio. Rez Radio 91.3 is owned and operated by the Pala Band of Mission Indians … World Champion boxer Billy Joe Saunders was suspended after posting a domestic abuse How-To Video, according to Kevin Ross’ Radio Facts ... Continuity directors be on the alert. Heard a commercial this morning that started with, "The stock market can't continue to go up." ... Donna Oda, wife of LARadio senior correspondent Alan Oda, lost her 90-year-old mother last week. The family struggles to say goodbye amid coronavirus pandemic. Story here.

Entercom News. TALKERS wrote about the challenges at Entercom: “Not surprisingly, Entercom Communications follows several other media companies in filing with the Securities Exchange Commission to withdraw its 2020 guidance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the company reports that it is drawing $96.5 million in cash from a revolver loan that is in addition to the $50 million that it drew earlier in March and marks ‘substantially all’ of the cash available in the revolver. The company says, ‘The amounts drawn under the revolver were borrowed as a precautionary measure to preserve financial flexibility and may be used for working capital, general corporate or other purposes as permitted by the Credit Facility.’ Entercom reports it currently has $180 million in cash on hand.”

Self-Quarantine. LARPs on how they are handling self-quarantine. Tom Bernstein, ex-super sales exec: “I’ve sequestered myself in a bright room with a comfortable reclining chair, big screen tv, radio and my iPad. And this is only to stay away from my wife. Actually, I ride my bike 2 – 3 miles every morning around my quiet, traffic-less neighborhood, come in and do pushups off a chair and multiple exercises with light dumb bells, then return to my room.”
Adam Carolla offered some light-hearted moments with Tucker Carlson. Adam thinks the Houston Astros are the big winners during this crisis.
"When was the last time you heard about the Astros?" Staying at home has got to be better than fastballs being thrown at your head.


New Radio Show from Tammy Trujillo

 
(April 1, 2020) “We've just launched our first radio show,” enthused Tammy Trujillo. “Tim Piper, my partner on the award-winning podcast Talks with John (Lennon) and I have just debuted our hour-long Beatles radio show, Back with The Beatles. Tim is a Beatles historian and the preeminent John Lennon actor for movies and television. He uses his expertise and musical knowledge to really help us tell the behind-the-scenes stories of the band and the songs.”

Tammy said her new radio show airs Saturday night / Sunday morning at 1 a.m. on their flagship station, KCSN 88.5FM. Tammy is hopeful they can pick up other outlets.

“We’re already talking to stations in other markets and look forward to syndicating this show to Beatles fans all over the country,” said Tammy. Interested program directors can get more information at BackwithTheBeatles@gmail.com or through their website BackWithTheBeatles.com

 
Furloughed. When radio people are exiting their jobs, we are hearing a variety of reasons. In order to keep up with the terminology, The Hustle has prepared a guide to better understand what is going on:

What’s the difference between a furlough and a layoff? WTF is “force majeure?” Paid leave vs. furloughs vs. layoffs
Paid leave: An employee gets time off but continues to receive pay and benefits. Starbucks offered employees 14 days of “catastrophe pay” (even if they’re not sick).

Furlough: When an employer temporarily suspends an employee without pay but often continues to provide benefits. Big companies like Macy’s, Marriott, and Gannett have together furloughed hundreds of thousands of workers.

Layoff: When an employer indefinitely dismisses an employee. Companies of all sizes, from General Electric to Bird, have instituted layoffs of as much 30% of their workforces.

Shelter in place (AKA “stay at home”): Residents are asked to remain in their homes (except for essential travel).

Lockdown: Residents are required to stay in their homes (except for essential travel). Nonessential businesses are often required to close. These orders are sometimes enforced by fines and military personnel.

One other important term to know: Force majeure: a clause in a contract that lets a company off the hook for obligations in the event of an unforeseeable catastrophe (like, say, a global pandemic).

Hear Ache. The Voice, hosted by Carson Daly, leads Monday ratings … Speaking of Carson, he welcomes Goldie Patricia, baby #4 to the family. “The Daly family wants to send a special shout out to the incredibly brave & selfless medical staff at our hospital in New York and also the many courageous people on the front lines of this dreadful virus,” Carson wrote on Instagram. “We thank God not only for the safe birth of our daughter, but for their tireless work attending to so many in need. It is a bittersweet event for us as we are extremely grateful, but also mindful of this unparalleled time in our history. We appreciate your well wishes and ask that you join us in praying for the many suffering around the world. God Bless you all.” … Next month, Tony Bruno joins SiriusXM for some sports stuff … Don Elliot put Chuck Blore and Sam Riddle together on a conference call. The Top 40 Channel 98 KFWBers hadn’t spoken in over 25 years. “Both were like a couple of little kids,” enthused Don. “It was one of the most amazing ‘reunions’ I’ve ever had the privilege of riding along in the side car to!” … April Fool’s Day has been canceled. Nothing is funny today!
Jeopardy (thanks to Roger Nadel and Ken Jeffries)


Coronavirus Has Huge Impact on iHeart Media

 
(March 31, 2020) Our industry is under siege from the coronavirus. A smattering of actions has already happened. A reported 1,000 lay-offs by iHeart pre-virus just a few months ago. Last week, we obtained a note to employees that iHeart had temporarily suspended the employer contribution to their 401(k) Plan. 

“While the iHM match is suspended, eligible employees can continue to contribute as much as 25% of their total compensation up to the 2020 annual maximum pre-tax dollar limit established by the IRS of $19,500.  Additionally, employees who will attain age 50 by December 31, 2020 are eligible to participate in the Catch Up provision, which allows participants to contribute an additional $6,500.”

We were unable to confirm this action at the time. We had reached out to three iHeart executives and no one responded. But yesterday afternoon, corporate iHeart instituted draconian actions, which will have wide spread repercussions.

AllAccess obtained a copy of a note to all iHeart employees from chairman/ceo Bob Pittman and cfo/coo Rich Bressler regarding health, safety and work policies as a result of the continued spread of coronavirus. Part of the memo:
Bob Pittman will voluntarily take no salary for the remainder of the year and has given up his annual incentive bonus, and Rich Bressler and our senior management team will take reductions ranging from 30% to over 70% of their total compensation.  

Last week we wrote to you about the economic downturn our country is facing as the result of the pandemic and the need to respond to it to preserve the health of our company. During this unsettled time, we also know the biggest economic concern among our employees is understandably about preserving jobs—and we want you to know that it’s our main concern as well. Although we have had to make hard decisions to address the economic impact of the downturn, our management team has found ways to reduce our company’s expenses without resorting to permanent layoffs. 

In addition, we have implemented:
•Reduction of all expenses that can be postponed without impacting our service and commitment to our communities;
•Temporary suspension of the 401(k) match;
•No overtime without pre-approval;
•Temporary suspension of new raises; and
•Strict limitations on – or complete elimination of – Travel and Entertainment (T&E) expenses.

We believe all of these reductions give us more room to protect jobs. Given our pullback from live events and our shift to a work-from-home model, there are a few jobs that are not essential until our business operations revert back to usual. This week we are taking the difficult step of implementing a 90-day furlough, or temporary unpaid leave of absence, for jobs affected by these changes.

To be clear, while this will involve a small total number of employees, they are valued colleagues and we did not take this step lightly. We look forward to welcoming them back as soon as we can. This is not a layoff or a reduction in force (RIF). With a furlough, while it is an unpaid leave of absence, the affected employees stay in our employ, allowing us to continue offering these employees full health benefits, and we want to make sure we take care of them as best we can during this time. And with state unemployment benefits, supplemented by the added special benefits that are part of the new federal stimulus legislation, hopefully these employees will not feel any significant financial impact during this limited period of time.

We’ve never lived through anything like this and, as managers, we’ve never had to make more difficult decisions. However, please know we are listening, studying and considering all options before we make the important decisions that affect you and the company. We may miss on some of these decisions -- and we will pivot when we find better ones — but throughout it all, we truly appreciate your support for us, for your colleagues and for the company.

Please be safe and take care of your health and your families.


A Relatable Tale from Dr. Seuss

(March 30, 2020) KOST morning personality Ellen K has taken a page from Dr. Seuss and put together a fun read for young people called Oh, the Places You'll Go: Quarantine Times. If you have the book, listen to Ellen by clicking the artwork.

She has always been partial to kids and their challenges, doing promotions and live remotes from Children’s Hospital. As part of her new series, the first read is all about safe social distancing activities for the kids at CHOC, as well as any kids and their parents that want to listen.

Smartly, Ellen is making the stories relatable to the coronavirus. Each week she’s taking a different children’s classic story and adapting it to today’s current events.

 
Julie T. Byers a longtime reader of LARadio shares how she is coping with these challenging times.

JULIE T. BYERS, Arcadia: It’s weird to be thought of someone who is “vulnerable” at 63, but this is the “new normal” for myself and my friends per the Governor’s edict. Are we getting any perks for being special?  Depends on if you think waiting an hour in 46-degree temps at Target to get a pack of toilet paper at 7 a.m. to get in during the “senior hour” of 8 a.m.  At least we’re allowed out to go to the pharmacy, to get groceries and so I can get my sister to work and back. But it’s hard not to get frustrated at no baseball, or being able to volunteer at the senior gift shop at the community center, or getting to go out for a sit-down lunch or dinner. At least we still have horse racing on Friday through Sunday on TVG and lots of movies and music shows on our DVR.

This is when you stop and think of the first responders and hospital personnel who would rather be at home watching MTV Classic or An Affair to Remember for the umpteenth time.  I just hope the tide starts to turn on the number of people infected and that all this social distancing and doing without will have speeded it up. I hope your son got home okay and that you have lots of stuff to look at for the LARP site! – Julie
Win Lose or Draw Game Show with KROQ versus K-EARTH
with Richard Blade, Poorman, Jed the Fish, Steve Morris, Claudia Marshall, Jonthan Doll


Email Saturday, 3.28.2020

** Barely a Million in San Diego

“Just got a text: KFMB-AM San Diego sold for only $1.2M. That’s almost like a KFI or KFWB or KHJ selling for next to nothing. All those boys who unloaded their AMs early enough to bring a decent price sure knew something a lot of other folks didn’t or were ignoring.

They sure were right about the death of AM. It got me to thinking how long it’s been since I tuned in an AM station anywhere for any reason. It’s been SO long I have zero recall. For me it died at least 30 years ago [time flies!].” – Rich Brother Robbin

** Classic Capperela

“I trust you are safe and healthy.

Last night I got an email from the mayor of Santa Monica saying how cool it was to see my photograph on LARadio.com.

I gave a solo porch concert for my courtyard neighbors on Monday and did a Facebook live feed of it as well. I am touched and amazed at how much solace people get from hearing these great old tunes from the 60s and 70s. Music heals. Period.” – Rich Capperela

 ** Other Side of Carl Goldman

“KTLA news anchor, Frank Buckley, interviewed Carl Goldman on his televised podcast which aired March 22. I respect Mr. Buckley and have enjoyed his interviews with a variety of guests. That said, my wife and I were offended by his interview with Mr. Goldman.

While I am grateful that Mr. Goldman survived and emerged in good health after being infected by COVID-19, his cavalier attitude toward his symptoms was stunningly insulting. I cannot argue that his experience was perhaps less physically threatening than others, but this is not the time to make light of what is a death sentence for thousands. In my opinion, that’s exactly what Mr. Goldman did.

On a different interview, Mr. Goldman’s wife, Jeri, with a smile and a laugh, did the same thing by stating she would have no problem going on another cruise. One wonders what relationship the Goldmans have with cruise lines.

Give me a break. People are dying and they yuck it up, playing down symptoms. Had Mr. Goldman been more responsible, he could have been helpful by sharing his specific, fortunate, experience while reminding – warning – listeners that thousands of people around the world are not, were not, and will not be as lucky. Perhaps he thought he was doing something positive designed to calm us all down by showing he survived with minimal problems. He didn’t. What he did was encourage morons to ignore the reality. Frank Buckley, a good guy, let this get by him. I hoped he would offer a disclaimer to offset Mr. Goldman’s seemingly light-hearted attitude toward this frightening moment in our world. But he didn’t.

Thank you, and good luck to us all.” – Jeff Maxwell

** Ol’ Weather Eyes

“In L.A., it ain’t what you know. The baggage claim area at LAX was overflowing when a guy standing next to me asked if I was from L.A. or only visiting. I told him that I was a longtime Angelino and figured he was going to ask me how to get to Hollywood & Vine or something. Instead, he asked if I remembered an old L.A. disc jockey, a really crazy, creative radio guy named Jim Hawthorne. I said I remembered him. ‘Well,’ the guy said, ‘He’s standing right behind you!’ I turned around and Hawthorne said, ‘Oh, hi Ben.’ I thought the guy was going to keel over.” – Bennett Mintz

** Kevin Ryder’s Firing

“The way this was handled doesn’t surprise me. Who among us hasn’t heard or experienced this story before? But one thing which I think is shameful and inexcusable is that Kevin was deprived of the kind of final show farewell that Bean received back in November.

After 30 years, Kevin really deserved better than the old ‘don’t let the door hit you on the way out’ dismissal. Many thanks to Kevin & Bean, along with Lisa MayRalph GarmanDr. DrewAllie MacKay and company for all those years of great radio. Along with being funny, interesting, informative and quirky, there was always a lot of humanity in their show. Their abrupt exit was like having family kicked to the street.” – Dick McGarvin

** New Studios

“We’re in process of building out our new home radio studio for Tee It Up Radio.

We departed our Woodland Hills studio about 10 days ago. We’re very comfortable. Might never go back. 
www.ltglshow.com. We’re connected with Gab satellite. Patience is a virtue.” – Alan Gottfried

** Camping World

“There are reports of CAMPERS outside of the Costco in Monterey Park, near me. Like you’d see on Black Friday. I’ve never been to a Costco, but it seems that store brings out the worst in people. While I cannot handle contention, my wife and sister-in-law [who lives with me] are dealing with it, and holding up. I just want normalcy back.” – Bill Earl
8.2020

 
A message from Vin Scully


Radio Speaks to Us in Time of Crisis 

(March 27, 2020) How is LARadio handling the ever-changing news about the coronavirus pandemic? Radio has become necessary to transmit stories, news, and entertainment. Randy Lewis of the LA Times has written a timely front-page Calendar story noting that radio is one of the key allies in providing information. From Lewis’ story:

“I get into my car, and KUSC [FM Classical music radio] takes me to a better place (psychologically, if not physically) immediately thank you!” Pasadena resident Loren A. Roberts wrote last week in appreciation to the USC-owned classical music station (91.5).

Like many broadcasting operations in Southern California and around the world, the station has hastily arranged for its on-air personalities to continue their daily shows from home studios. That goes for news operations including KNX (1070), powerhouse music outlets such as KIIS (102.7) and KROQ(106.7), noncommercial stations such as Santa Monica-based KCRW (89.9) and Pasadena’s KPCC ( 89.3) and talk-radio channels including KFI (640) and sports stations like KLAC (570).

At KNX, the round-the-clock news station, “listening is up 44% this week, and up 55% compared to the prior two-week average,” according to John Pacino, senior vice president of product for Entercom. The increases are based on their streaming numbers, Pacino said.
“The thing that’s impressed me the most,” said KNX News Radio brand manager Ken Charles, “is the number of calls coming in from listeners saying, ‘Thank you for being out there and doing what you do.’ Most of the time you only hear from people when it’s something negative. This has been... ‘heartwarming’ is the only word that comes to mind, to hear positive messages from listeners who are appreciative of the efforts our staff is making.”

“What people are looking for even more than music to comfort them is connection, and that’s what they get from the voices and the personalities they know,” KUSC president Judy McAlpine said. "People need to engage with each other. They are also finding that the calming impact of Classical music, paired with the human connection of our hosts, is a welcome respite right now,” McAlpine said.

KUSC has been upfront with its listening audience, as are many other broadcasters. KUSC announcers such as Rich Capparela, Alan Chapman, Brian Lauritzen, John Van Driel, Dianne Nicolini, Jennifer Miller and others have uploaded photos or videos of themselves working in makeshift quarters in their homes.

“Thank you for keeping KUSC going amid this challenging time,” Los Angeles resident Cloe Yun wrote on the station’s Facebook page. “I’m happy that we have music to listen to and all you guys’ comforting human voices. :) Stay healthy!”

KROQ brand manager Mike Kaplan spoke of the powerful impact on the staff when they learned that a longtime listener well-known at the station recently died of coronavirus.

Sal LoCurto, program director at NPR’s KPCC said news content remains the station’s primary focus for now. “We find our role as being a guide to helping everyone to understand what’s happening so quickly. During the coronavirus crisis, some stations are digging deeper into their vaults for programs such as vintage interview segments, concert specials and in-studio performances they’ve hosted.

One of the ways radio stations are adapting to the new safer-at-home reality is the morphing of public station KCRW’s 5 Things To Do This Week list of event recommendations. “We’ve reconfigured that,” KCRW president Jennifer Ferro said. “Lindsay Preston Zappas, our art commentator, is normally talking about what’s going on in art galleries; now she’s doing things like, ‘Here’s an art project you can do at your house.’ We are reformulating how we connect with people.” “The thing I love most about radio is that live, real-time connection with a human voice,” she said.

“At KCRW, we don’t program a bunch of stuff. We are live, we’re talking to you, and letting you know that we’re having the same experience you are.”

It’s a refrain that’s being heard across the board in radio. “We’re in the friendship business, and that’s kind of what we’re maximizing right now,” said Tom Poleman, chief programming officer for iHeartMedia. “Radio has always served our communities in times of need, whether that’s with information, companionship or escape from the world with entertainment. Now with people locked in their homes, we find they’re craving any sort of human interaction even more; they’re craving hearing voices that are familiar.” “We’re putting artists and celebrities on the air constantly and listeners are hearing the same kinds of stories on how they’re coping with loneliness, changes of venue, how to pass the time,” Poleman said.

“It reminds me a lot of how we were broadcasting after 9/11, which was another one of those times when you didn’t have a rule book. What seems to work best is just being honest and having regular conversations showing that you’re as vulnerable as your listeners.”
**


Readers of LARadio have shared how they are coping these days.

K.M. RICHARDS, consultant: First, the quick answer to the key question: “Shelter at home” has a very limited impact on me, since my office is at home. I’m used to being here for days at a stretch without going any farther from my front door than the mailbox. Besides, with everything non-essential closed down anyway, what reason would I have to ignore the social interaction warnings by going out?

I have a reasonable amount of food and supplies and can augment that with what can be delivered, as long as that option remains available. It’s worth paying delivery charges if it means keeping myself out of public places.

I tend to watch the retro networks that have proliferated as digital broadcast subchannels, and I had already been “binge watching” by building up a dozen or so episodes of a show on my TiVo. Right now, I have five such shows stacked up. If that fails, I have a personal library of about 400 movies on DVD, and I can rewatch both my personal favorites and the ones I haven’t watched in a while.

What I’m doing from a professional standpoint is probably only a drop in the bucket. I figure that with so many businesses being mandated to close during the crisis, there are very likely a lot of ad schedules being cancelled or suspended by those local advertisers, and I doubt anyone is going to welcome a sales pitch right now. We’re undoubtedly going to see a loss of revenue starting with the current billing cycle and continuing for several months after things get back to normal.

I left messages for my existing client stations to the effect that if they are so affected, I will work with them to temporarily reduce my monthly fees for consultation, etc.  I also left messages for potential new clients that I had been talking with before the pandemic changed things offering start-up discounts on my fees if transferring decisions on their music programming to me will free up their own staff to beef up the needed local content.

I hope that those of my colleagues who are in a similar position to do the same follow suit, we can at least help keep smaller broadcasters afloat. We all started in small market radio, and they are the ones who I believe in helping the most. – K.M.

Hear Ache. KIIS has canceled Wango Tango due to the uncertainty regarding COVID-19 … Sam Rubin reported important tummy news: The Apple Pan is delivering for the first time in 73 years … Craig Powers, (formerly with KFXM, KUTE, KIIS, KKHR, KEZY, KIKF, KMXN) is leaving Cameron Broadcasting after 12 years of service to join Curb / Word Entertainment as vp of media. Congratulations, Craig ... Top 40 WFLC-Miami has rebranded the station to Quarantine Radio 97.3.
"I Miss Opening Day"

Norm Epstein's message was simple and speaks for so many of us. It certainly would be nice to have this baseball diversion in our lives. Patience.

Norm sent this photo in honor of America’s Game with HOF Rod Carew.


Kevin Ryder Expresses Raw Feelings on KROQ Firings

 
(March 26, 2020) Kevin Ryder, the remaining half of the enormously popular Kevin & Bean show at KROQ, let lose when appearing on Adam Carolla’s podcast. Kevin became "angry" upon learning about his colleagues losing their jobs: "Those people are literally out on their asses for no reason, and I don't get that,” said Kevin.

According to a story in the current issue of The Hollywood Reporter, penned by Kimberly Nordyke, Kevin said he “lost my mind” last week after hearing that the entire KROQ morning show team was fired. Ryder learned of his plight by phone.

Along with former KROQ colleague Jimmy Kimmel, Ryder called in to Carolla’s podcast, someone who also got his start with Kevin & Bean. Ryder said he’d gotten an uneasy feeling after KROQ management had canceled “April Foolishness,” the morning show's annual comedy showcase and fundraiser. “They didn’t tell me why, but then I found out as the days went on that they did it because ticket sales were poor – they said – but tickets were only on sale for nine days," Ryder said. "We still had a month" before the show. Management then told him “because of the coronavirus, no one will notice. Let’s just not mention it, and it will go away. [I thought], OK, that makes no sense.”

Ryder told Carolla that on Monday (March 15), his bosses asked him to come in and do the show by himself on Tuesday, and then “as soon as I got home at 10:30, they called me [and said], ‘Oh, by the way, you’re fired,’ and they hope to keep me in the family and I can do something.” Ryder was then asked if he wanted to come on and “say goodbye.” Ryder agreed to do so. His plan was to “not say anything and go away quietly.” But later that night, he’d learned that the entire morning show team and been fired. “Then I went crazy – I just lost my mind,” said Ryder, noting that he’d written out what he was originally going to say in advance.

Ryder told Carolla and Kimmel that he became “angry” upon learning about everyone else who’d been fired. “I was not as angry for myself as I was for the people who were working by the hour who now have to go out with businesses closing down [due to the coronavirus pandemic] and look for jobs,” he said.
“Strangely, I made peace with [losing my job]. It was a really crappy way to handle things, but what about the people who were working hour to hour and there was no reason to fire them? It made no sense to me. I made a decent amount of money and had a good living, but those people are literally out on their asses for no reason, and I don’t get that.”

As listeners were tuned in, Ryder went on the air and slammed the station’s management. “Along the way, the one criticism I’ve had about the station from day one is that they’ve always treated me, along with everybody else here, like we’re lucky to have jobs,” he said on Wednesday’s show, at times sounding choked up.

“The management of the station uses that, at times, to be incredibly cruel to people. Some of the more higher-profile ones have been Lisa MayRalph Garman – you guys know those stories all too well. There’s a lot of people who left because of the toxicity of what was going on here.” Ryder added on the air that, over the years, several fellow KROQ staffers “who made huge contributions were discarded like they were trash or left the station because, like I said, it was toxic.”

Meanwhile, Kimmel also had harsh words for the station management, questioning why Ryder had to be escorted out of the building, as Ryder had revealed on Twitter: “It’s not like you're some loose cannon.” He then went on to call station management “scumbags.”

Ryder noted that he’d texted his former co-host, Gene “Bean” Baxter, about the firings. Baxter was incredulous, though the two haven’t spoken about it over the phone. (Ryder joked he hadn’t had an off-air conversation with Bean – who left the station late last year to move to London – in decades.)

Ryder also said he has no regrets: “I’m looking back at an unbelievable career of 31 years. Sure, it ended in a crash-landing, but had I known that at the beginning, I would have still signed up and done it because it was crazy fun.”

Carolla, Kimmel and Ryder also shared funny stories of working together at KROQ. Listen to the full PodcastOne podcast here.   
How are LARadio readers adjusting to coronavirus pandemic?

MIKE BUTTS, former K-100 Morning man: Elizabeth and I have been following the guide lines to protect ourselves and others, that’s the only way we will get the spread of the virus to stop. My wife is a Bagpipe player and has been going to assisted living centers and performing OUTSIDE for the seniors safely inside. Because the virus is hardest on our elderly all of their regular visitors and entertainment are not allowed inside to visit. Me, I’m donating blood and swearing a lot. – Mike

This has nothing to do with LARadio, but if you have UPS delivery, you undoubtedly have a story about the drivers who bring treats for our animals.
 This will put a smile on your face: 
https://www.facebook.com/upsdogs/


Frosty Furloughed 

 
(March 25, 2020) Frosty Stilwell is once again the odd man out from the popular Frosty, Heidi & Frank (aka “The Triplets”) Show. On Friday, KLOS “furloughed” Frosty due to “decreased advertiser revenue” amid the spread of coronavirus.

The best times for the threesome was during the heyday of KLSX (then radio home of Howard Stern) when Frosty Stilwell, Heidi Hamilton, and Frank Kramer carved out a special noon – 3 p.m. success.

Apparently, others at KLOS (neither Heidi nor Frank) were “furloughed” but executives have been mum about details. But not listeners. With social media allowing an unfiltered pushback of feelings and reactions. “This show without Frosty is like biscuits without lard. Sometimes you really miss the fat!” tweeted one fan.

The show has moved around stations, albeit in different configurations, throughout the years. Frosty and Frank came from Denver and were joined by Jamie White on “Star 98.7.” When Heidi joined the boys, the Triplets had great success and were frequently voted Best Midday Show by readers of LARadio.

When Howard left and KLSX became AMP Radio, they briefly were heard on KABC. Eventually Frank tried to go solo on KFI and then KGO in San Francisco. Heidi & Frank joined the world of podcasting with a loyal group of listeners and supporters and then to KLOS following the departure of Mark & Brian. Frosty rejoined the trio in 2016.

LARadio readers are sharing their experiences during the stay-at-home coronavirus pandemic:

HETTIE LYNN HURTES, news exec: “Sunday was a treat. Our neighbor across the street is an amazing performer and lovely person. She did an hour show from her porch in Echo Park, performing with her guitar and banjo. Passersby were so happy to stop and listen during these trying times.” – HETTIE LYNN

Hear AcheThe Voice tops American Idol in Monday ratings … China finally announced the name of the individual who started the coronavirus: Ah Chu … Terry Bradshaw, former KXTA Sports Talker, thinks he know why Tom Brady left the New England Patriots to join the lifeless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “Why in the world does he want to keep on playing at 43 other than to prove to New England he’s more important than Bill Belichick?” Bradshaw told The Athletic. “That’s the way I would look at it. Why the hell do you want to go to Tampa? The only thing I can think of is ego gets involved and you decide, ‘I’ll show ’em who’s more important.'” … Cute frustration from a Facebooker. “Well, I finally lost it. I was just in CVS and saw a man whose cart was FULL to the brim with hand sanitizers, baby wipes, soaps, and toilet paper, everything that people are in need of now!! I called him a selfish A$$hole. Told him he should be freaking ashamed of himself! He said: ‘Are you done? Cause I really need to get back to restocking the shelves now.’”
Great marketing and so inexpensive to execute as McDonald's splits logo to support social distancing


Scully Waiting to Hear the Crack of the Bat 

 
(March 24, 2020) Bill Plaschke, sports columnist for the LA Times and former host during the Sportstalk days at KFWB (980 AM), was lamenting the postponed baseball season and was craving “the melodious tones of the ballpark, the bunting, the hope.” So he called Vin Scully.

Vinny answered on the first ring. He’s hunkered down with his wife Sandi waiting out the coronavirus scare. “He is, remember, a believer in improbable years and impossible home runs. He reminds us that his country has endured and triumphed over great trouble,” wrote Plaschke. Vin grew up during the Great Depression.

Scully said: “I think people are especially jumping at the opportunity to help each other, I believe that’s true, so that’s kind of heartwarming, with all of it, it brings out some goodness in people, and that’s terrific, that’s terrific.”

Scully believes that when the crisis begins to slow, we’ll know by the crack of the bat. “Baseball is not a bad thermometer, when baseball begins, whenever that is, that will be a sure sign that the country is slowly getting back on its feet.”

Plaschke concluded his two-page column with: “If Vin Scully says there’s a rainbow out there somewhere, well, I’m going to start looking.”

Our lives have been turned upside down with the coronavirus. Who knows how long the disruption will last? We invited readers of LARadio.com to share some of their experiences.

NORM EPSTEIN
, former general manager: My wife and I had been to several markets getting necessities for the next week or two. In every case, we could not find any sprays or cleansing wipes..they were always sold out. Yesterday, our dear neighbor, Elena who lives across the street, came walking over with Lysol wipes and Lysol spray. These were the very two items that were always sold out. How did she know we needed them? My wife, Sandy, baked her a few dozen chocolate chip cookies as a thank you. What more could you ask for in generosity and kindness. Stay strong and stay safe. – NORM

Hear AcheAmerican Idol tops Sunday ratings … The coronavirus has positively affected podcast downloads … Congratulations to Ed Krampf and his wife on 34 years of marriage … “The Answer 870” (KRLA) host Hugh Hewitt gets a contract extension through 2028 … Jared Kliger heard this bumper promo on KABC: "The government considers them essential. Armstrong and Getty." … Doug McIntyre is such a wonderful writer and his essays in the Daily News/OC Register are always a fun read. Last Sunday he wrote about his 88-year old mother who had taken a fall in her apartment in New York. She remained on the floor for hours. Doug flies to New York and then asks the question, was it an “essential” trip in the age of COVID-19? “What if I picked up the virus while flying? What if I infect my mother? I could kill her. I can’t rule out that possibility,” wrote Doug. Read his compelling here … Anyone social distancing from the refrigerator?


Carl Goldman's 60 Minutes Appearance Less Than 60 Seconds

 
(March 23, 2020) Carl Goldman, owner of KHTS, was on 60 Minutes last night, albeit for less than 60 seconds. We asked Carl for an assessment of the piece. “60 Minutes did a 45-minute interview with me and only 30 seconds made it on air lol,” he said. “Their piece was excellent and accurate.”

I asked Carl if he was keeping a secret during this quarantine ordeal? “No secrets other than the additional stress of the death threats and a few people not wanting us to return to Santa Clarita.”

In part 33 of his journal he’s been keeping since quarantined, Carl shares the “9 Things Not to Do in Coronavirus Quarantine.”
Former pd at KKBT, Michelle Santosuosso, has written an excellent piece for Variety on challenging radio to do what radio does best during this pandemic. She scolds and encourages radio. She concludes her Variety piece with, "Corporate radio is missing its biggest opportunity in a generation right at this moment." 

Carl Goldman may be the longest any American has been in isolation after testing positive for coronavirus, COVID-19. He’s had a story to tell. But we all have stories to tell on how the “shelter in place” guidelines have impacted our lives. Bet you have a personal story tell. How are you coping? What are you doing to fill in the time of your normal activities? Have you found a tv series to binge watch? Films to catch up on?

We would like to hear from LARadio readers on your new normal. What have been your personal experiences with day-to-day chores for necessities? Have you observed neighbors or friends who have stepped up to help a neighbor or friend? What has touched you? Please send your insights to:
AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com


Adam Carolla was featured yesterday in the LA Times story
on how the coronavirus was impacting comedy clubs


Email Saturday - 3.21.2020

** Robert W. Memory

“I still have a very warm spot in my heart for Robert W. Morgan. While at KMPC in the early eighties, Robert was going through a very tough contract negotiation that sadly failed. When it did, Robert was very disappointed that he was no longer the 710 Morning Man. He peered at me [on the air] thru the control room window wistfully waiting to come in to talk. 

Later, he vouched for me and my ability at K-EARTH 101 to get the open job in August 1997. I got it. When Robert acknowledged his cancer was terminal, he held private meetings with his colleagues and friends at his home in The Valley, and attended a public tribute at the Beverly Hills Museum of Broadcasting. What a broadcaster he was, and what a man.” – Larry McKay

** RWM Presence

“It made K-EARTH a giant when Bill Drake hooked us up with Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele. Robert was so quick and that made him the ultimate morning man.

The funniest thing he ever said to me was at my home in North Ranch. He came out to talk me in to letting him buy 5 VCRs to record all the late night tv shows. He walks into the house, looks around and says to me ‘so this is the house that Ken & Bob’ built. Only a morning man would get that.

Also another aside. When Robert got too sick to be on the air, I called Mel Karmazin and said I wanted to keep paying him. Without a blink, Mel said ‘we are not going to screw Robert W. Morgan at this point of his career.’ We honored his contract till the end.” – Pat Duffy

** When is All-News Not All-News

“I believed Ken Charles when he told me that I had to give up ‘Music and the Spoken Word’ after listening to it every Sunday morning for most of my life because he wanted to make KNX ALL-NEWS.

Silly me.

Now I get to hear a one-hour ad by Jacob the ambulance chaser. I feel shortchanged.” – Bill Mann, South Pasadena  (Ed. Note: Bartered programming on KNX will not run for the next two weeks)

** Entercom’s Rights and Wrongs

"It occurs to me that while Entercom has managed to do a few things right [e.g., Kevin Weatherly’s going-away party, bringing back Freddy Snakeskin to oversee ‘Roq of the 80s’ on KROQ-HD2 and online] they have also made some big missteps here in L.A.

First, they tossed aside KSWD ‘The Sound’ as the station they had to divest in the merger with CBS Radio, even though a lot of industry people felt it was a better fit with K-Earth, Jack and KROQ than the station they kept (KAMP). And they divested it not to another owner that could have at least tried to keep the format, but to Educational Media Foundation, the religious broadcaster that is far from universally liked and respected in the industry. Come to think of it, Entercom has been taking heat for spinning more stations to EMF, such as WAAF Boston, just last month.

Further, and you hit this squarely on the head in your column Don, Entercom doesn’t seem to be prepared to explain itself to the media when it makes changes. When, as happened here, they are playing ‘catch up’ with statements after the fact, they appear to be less the broadcast conglomerate that they are and more like a small-market mom-and-pop operator. And I’m being generous even with that comparison: At my first pd gig in 1978 at KAAP-AM/FM in Santa Paula, owners Bill and Anne Wallace had more of a professional attitude on our worst days than Entercom has on their best. No wonder people are questioning the viability of the business.” – K.M. Richards

** KROQ Alternatives

“With decades of being a devoted Kevin & Bean listener, it was clear to my ears the reformulated morning show was not a compelling listen. The weak ratings for it are not surprising. Moreover, its staff of a half dozen was surely a financial stress point. With Kevin Weatherly’s recent exit, there was nobody left from the many years of Kevin Ryder being one half of such a dominant legacy in LARadio morning drive.

Nonetheless, the handling of the exiting of this dual Hall of Famer, who for more than three decades was instrumental in building the powerhouse that has been KROQ, is disrespectful. Yes, I know it is common in radio to be removed with no advanced notice, yet the decent way the station and the air talent handled Bean’s lamented departure last year could have been emulated, within at least the duration of this past week and perhaps next week too. They could have allowed the morning team to package together a roster of shows that salute the impact Kevin had in this market.

The K&B morning show was a huge magnet for celebrity guest appearances. With so many music, tv, stage and film stars now encamped in their homes during this pandemic, many of them would have been queuing up to call in [not in studio due to COVID-19] to offer their departing appreciations. So much good radio could have been produced by orchestrating a concluding set of broadcasts saluting one half of KROQ’s legendary morning duo, allowing the station to honorably proceed with cutting ties with its heritage. Sad, that such a classy conclusion was denied. It would also have provided a nice bridge for listeners to happily accept the incoming Stryker & Klein morning show.” – David Alpern

** KROQ Shocker

“The ouster of Kevin Ryder from KROQ was indeed, a shocker, but when you look deeper into the station you might wonder if there was a connection between the ouster and last week’s exit of Kevin Weatherly. Not because both names are ‘Kevin,’ but Weatherly was their program director for most if not all of Kevin & Bean’s existence. I don’t know if any of this is true, but the ouster of the KROQ morning show wasn’t planned Monday to happen Tuesday. I’m guessing that Kevin Weatherly knew it was in the works and didn’t want to stay around to see it happen. It’s only a guess.

The show probably changed a lot with the departure of ‘Bean’ and other show personnel, and kudos to Mr. Ryder for keeping it going for as long as they'd let him. The show was, no doubt different with a smaller cast and the competition from Alt 98.7 insured it would be a tough battle.  Thanks for your hard work and entertaining reading.” – Dave Mason

** Kevin Ryder Calls KROQ ‘Toxic’

“Truth be told, ALL of today’s radio is totally toxic compared to our day. I am so glad and grateful I’m not 25 with a big woody for the microphone in this day and age. Us current 60+’s were lucky and are looking even luckier with each passing day!

I’ll bet the lining inside Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele’s coffins is ripped clean off w/them spinning w/rage at the status of our industry today ... and no I’m not ‘60+’ any more either ... just turned 76 and wouldn’t go back a day for nothin’ !” – Rich Brother Robbin

** KUSC Remotely

“I have been listening to KUSC, the Classical station, in the mornings and some of the announcers are saying they are working from their homes. Two of them, Jennifer Miller and Alan Chapman, have small home studios. Not sure if they are playing off record or CD collections in their homes, but the sound quality is very good. One wonders if they do voiceovers or voice tracking when they are not at KUSC.” – Dan Ramos, Joshua Tree


** KFI Echo

“Not sure if you know the answer to this. If not, then someone might.

What has happened to KFI? I’ve been able to listen to a weak signal out here in Palm Springs since the new tower went up. Lately I’ve tried to listen, and all I get is static. What happened? Seems the Top Hat isn’t fooling the tower. I think it knows it’s not as tall as the original.

Also, I understand they use something called Voltaire. It sounds terrible! Lots of echo and they all sound like they’re in a tin can. Some of that was lost by the time it reached out to here, but now KFI is gone.” – Dale Berg
969theoasis.com

** 710/KMPC Phone List

“My former engineering colleague Mike Worrall found this list at the 710-transmitter site in North Hollywood. It was taped to a pull-out portion of an old wooden desk that has been there a long time.

The desk survived the demolition of the original building and is still in use in the new one [2009]. I think it dates to the mid 80’s as Robert W. Morgan is listed and Dick Whittinghill is not. Anybody on the list have a more correct timeline?” – Tim Ahern

 ** Resource Appreciated

“What a wonderful source your site is. Such a great mission you have...thank you for rising to it. In appreciation.” – Carmyn Cousteau, Los Angeles

** Dudley’s Records

“Fortunately our younger customers are still buying records. Several places around our mall have shut down. Not just the restaurants, but even some of the barber shops are closed around here. The grocery stores are out of milk, eggs, tissue, spaghetti noodles, pasta, and of course, TOILET PAPER!

After two weeks of analyzing this odd activity, my friend Barbara Blake said she thinks people are hoarding toilet paper to re-sell it, at a HUGE profit. I think she’s right. Fortunately, Mel Brooks is still with us, and still funny. If you need some humor, click on this link” – Bill Dudley

** 4-Track Needed

“I need either a half-inch 4-track tape deck to borrow, rent, or buy, or a 4-track head block for an AG440 to purchase.

My goal is to extract whatever content is still usable from three 1/2” four-track reels I used in the 1970s and move that audio to Pro Tools. So another option would be, if anyone has such a tape deck and Pro Tools or Audacity, I would be glad to pay to just let the thing run and copy everything, as a 4-track data file, onto an external USB drive that I would supply.” – Phil Wells, AF6AV, CE KPSI, KOGO/KLZZ, KJQY '80's and '90's), 
phil@philwells.net

1965 Promotion


Purely Personal 
(March 20, 2020) My son Tyler joined the Peace Corps on April 1 of last year. He won’t make his second year commitment because he was evacuated from Zambia earlier this week and transported to the capital city, Lusaka. All of the volunteers gathered in Lusaka and then were given tickets to return home.

Tyler left for Dubai yesterday, then gets on a direct flight to Los Angeles. He is expected home tonight. The Peace Corps was concerned if they waited any longer, there could be difficulties getting flights home due to the coronavirus.  

As a parent, there is an enormous amount of relief that he is on his way. The country of Zambia had yet discovered any cases of the virus, but who knows how exhaustive their testing and reporting system is in tracking these issues.

It has been an interesting year for him. The drought in Africa has plagued the planting season for new crops. The country was recently moved to a Level 2 Danger category due to marauders who were wiping out villages and drinking the blood of the dead. And Tyler’s escapades of waking up in his hut finding a cobra, then a black mamba just last week, we found a bit unsettling. Apparently these discoveries were what you have to cope with, living in the territory. (The group pic was taken earlier this week. They had not seen each other since their arrival last year when they spent six weeks learning the language, customs, etc. before being sent to individual territories and villages. You can see Tyler's head to the left of the young man in the red shirt)
Hear Ache. Condolences to Lisa May on the passing of her mother. “My mom could light up the room with her laugh and her smile. We kids always knew that if it all went to hell, she’d be there for us, no matter what. We will forever miss her wonderful spirit and warmth and generosity, and her love of life will inspire us to the end,” wrote Lisa … Last week former 11-10 KRLA personality Lee Duncan started to feel a bit like he had the flu. “After freaking out, I decided to check the symptoms of the coronavirus. I had them all except for the fever. So I’m thinking it’s only the regular yearly flu,” he wrote on Facebook. A few days later he was feeling stronger. “I talked with my doctor and was told that it was most likely just one of the current influenzas and not the coronavirus. As I am 75 with underlying medical problems you can understand my concern.” … KNX’s Elaine Perkins’ cold turned into a bad cough. “I don't think it's corona-induced because I don’t have a fever and other symptoms, but I AM going to hunker down here in the desert for a couple of weeks. Life in isolation is not exactly away from civilization, but it FEELS challenging. I just ordered a farm box of fresh produce from a local farmer. They’re delivering food, which is great.” … Ex-KNX anchor Tom Haule reminded those working from home that the software NewsBoss is accessible through the Internet with a VPN setup. “I used that years ago right after the station moved into Wilshire Blvd offices from Columbia Square. You and the other writers should be able to write and edit stories from home.”

 

Stay Safe and Stay Healthy

 


Reaction to Dismissal of KROQ Morning Show Swift

 
(March 19, 2020) I’m not sure which should be the lead story this morning – the fallout over the KROQ morning show firings by phone or their replacement, afternooners Ted Stryker and Kevin Klein. Let’s start with the reaction to the firings. 

After 30 years as one-half of the iconic morning team of Kevin & Bean, Kevin Ryder was fired from the station, then escorted from the building by security guards. Jimmy Kimmel, an alumnus of the Kevin & Bean Show, was among those weighing in on Twitter with dismay. “Shame on you KROQ ‘management’ for caring so little about the people who gave you so much. Especially now,” Jimmy wrote.

The Kevin & Bean Show officially broke up when co-host Gene “Bean” Baxter resigned from the show and left with the blessings of all to move to England. Next, longtime program director Kevin Weatherly departed for a vp position at Spotify. Weatherly’s departure, the programmer given much of the kudos for the success of the team and station, was marked with a fun farewell luncheon.

Ryder did not enjoy such a sweet farewell.
Kevin speculated why the morning show staff was fired. “I assume it’s the ratings, which were down. The economy because it’s down. But it’s a pretty crappy way to treat people. We’re humbled by you spending any time with us. THANK YOU. (Going to sleep for about a week :)”

Bean was dismayed over the firings. “I am so sad for my talented wonderful friends at @kevinmornings. Mornings in SoCal are much worse off without them and I can’t wrap my head around it being done by phone during a pandemic. That’s no way to treat a Hall of Fame show, @Entercom @kroq.”

According to the Orange County Register, Ryder and his staff were allowed to do one last broadcast Tuesday, during which he laid into management, which could help explain the escort by security Wednesday. “Along the way, the one criticism of the station I’ve had since day one is that they’ve always treated me, along with everybody else here, like we’re lucky to have jobs,” he was reported to have said on-air. “The management of the station uses that at times to be incredibly cruel to people… ” He said other employees had been “discarded like trash” or departed voluntarily because the atmosphere at the station was “toxic.”

Woody Fife, ALT 98.7 (KYSR) morning show competitor to Kevin wrote on Twitter: “Hey @jimmykimmel — Can we be friends with you now? We’ve always respected your relationship with Kevin & Bean and KROQ, but clearly that’s over now. We love you. Be our friend. Come on our show. Whatdya say?”

Alllie Mac Kay, morning show veteran since replacing Lisa May wrote: “Met some great people, saw some awesome bands, laughed a lot with cool ass coworkers. Is the timing ideal? Not even a little, but I’m lucky. I’ve got amazing people in my corner. Thank you all. Truly. Red heartRed heart”

Jensen Karp, also part of the morning show quipped, “I don’t have to hear Chili Peppers anymore.”

Michael Schneider who writes a blog @franklinavenue is a huge fan. Part of his blog yesterday: “’Kevin & Bean’ had personality. It wasn’t trying to force sophomoric gags on you or unearned laughs. Jimmy Kimmel was scripting fantastic bits and providing sports reports. Adam Corolla would join in, mostly in character. Lisa May chiming in on news. Kevin & Bean orchestrating it all.”

“As Kimmel left and Ralph Garman joined the show, Kevin & Bean climbed to even greater heights, including many ratings books at No. 1,” Schneider wrote. “The show’s bits were even further honed and took full advantage of Ralph’s voice skills and improv abilities. ‘Psycho Mike’ Catherwood provided even more voices and takes, and the show was on fire.”

Schneider continued: “Lisa and Ralph were eventually let go, and the way both of those exits were handled were unfortunate. After 30 years, Kevin & Bean had been inducted into both the NAB Hall of Fame and Radio Hall of Fame. Bean, who had done the show remotely for the last 20 of those years, departed at the end of 2019. ‘Kevin & Bean’ was reborn in 2020 as ‘Kevin in the Morning with Allie & Jensen,’ but apparently the station’s new management wasn’t patient. And opted to throw away 30 years of history, just like that, on Tuesday. ‘Kevin & Bean’ is no more, and now ‘Kevin in the Morning’ is no more either. Which is a shame. Especially during this coronavirus crisis, we need all the virtual human connection we can get, and ‘Kevin in the Morning’ was family, a group we heard from and interacted with every morning over the airwaves (or on the podcast). Kevin Ryder, in particular, had developed those relationships with KROQ listeners over 30 years. To be so cavalier with its listeners shows a great amount of disrespect by the KROQ and Entercom management. That’s truly a slap in the face, and extremely short-sighted by them. I'm heartbroken. And yeah, quite a bit angry at KROQ and Entercom. But also grateful for having had ‘Kevin & Bean’ and ‘Kevin in the Morning’ in my life for the 24 years I’ve been out here. Part of what made my lengthy commute so bearable all these years was knowing I had a full hour and a half of the show to accompany me on that drive every day.”
Part of the negative feedback centered on the new morning show with Stryker & Klein (photo). Ryder quickly supported Stryker: “I love you so much! You’re a truly great friend. Everyone PLEASE respect and love Stryker. None of this is his fault. Just the opposite. He’s one of the mildly (mostly) insane people that helped @kroq be what it is. Nothing but love.”

Entercom was not ahead of the story and paid for it with a bombardment of reaction. They did put together a statement in response to Variety’s request for comment: “As one of the most iconic stations in Los Angeles, our commitment is to provide our consumers with the most compelling content and best listening experience that we know they expect from us. We’ve taken a deep look at our station and have made some recent changes. Today, we announced the launch of a new morning show that we believe will deliver what our fans are asking for and take our station into the future.  While change is always hard, we are excited about our new programming lineup and look forward to engaging with our fans across the city. Thank you, Kevin and Bean, for 30 entertaining years!”


Bulletin Shocker!

KROQ's Kevin Ryder announced on Twitter that he and the entire morning show were fired.
A few minutes later he wrote that there were "three guys here to throw me out of the building."
When his longtime partner, Gene "Bean" Baxter left the morning show after almost 30 years,
Entercom rearranged the morning show to star Kevin and support staff Allie MacKay, Beer Mug, Jensen Karp,
Dave The King of Mexico and DJ Omar Khan.
In Daily News story on the firings, Kevin calls KROQ "toxic"


SOS in Newest Ratings

(March 18, 2020) KOST continues at the top of the just-released February '20 PPM ratings for 6+ Mon-Sun 6a-12Mid. Not much change in the top broadcasters, kind of same ol' same ol' positioning without much variation.

1. KOST (AC) 6.5 - 5.7
2. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.3 - 5.2
3. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.6 - 4.7
4. KBIG (MY/fm) 4.8 - 4.5
5. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.1 - 4.4
6. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.8 - 4.1
7. KFI (Talk) 3.3 - 3.8
    KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 4.1 - 3.8
9. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.9 - 3.5
10. KNX (News) 3.0 - 3.0
11. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.9 - 2.9
12. KRRL (Urban) 2.6 - 2.6
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.9 - 2.6
14. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.5 - 2.5
      KROQ (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.5
16. KKGO (Country) 2.5 - 2.4
17. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.3 - 2.3
      KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.4 - 2.3
19. KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.0 - 2.2
20. KPCC (News/Talk) 2.1 - 2.1
      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.3 - 2.1
22. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.0 - 2.0
23. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.6 - 1.6
      KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 1.8 - 1.6
      KUSC (Classical) 1.7 - 1.6
26. KLLI (Latin Urban) 1.5 - 1.4
27. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.3 - 1.3
28. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 1.2
29. KCRW (Variety) 1.4 - 1.1
      KJLH (Urban AC) 1.0 - 1.1
      KRLA (Talk) 1.1 - 1.1
32. KEIB (Talk) 0.9 - 1.0
      KKJZ (Jazz) 0.9 - 1.0
      KLAC (Sports) 1.1 - 1.0
35. KABC (Talk) 0.7 - 0.9
      KSPN (Sports) 1.1 - 0.9
      KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.8 - 0.9
38. KDLD (Regional Mexican) 0.5 - 0.7
      KKLA (Religious) 0.7 - 0.7
40. KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.4 - 06


Planet Pootwaddle Celebates 14 Years on the Internet

(March 17, 2020) Michael Sheehy is the quintessential production master. He was program director of the very successful ‘Mellow Sound’ heard on KNX/fm in the 70s and 80s. Michael remembered that the station “realized the highest ratings and revenues in its history, ranking as the 6th-most-listened-to radio station in the United States.”

While there, Michael was awarded 26 gold and platinum records for his early and enthusiastic support of developing new artists. Michael has taken his love for music and production to a couple of Internet radio stations.

In 1990, Michael joined KTWV heading up their creative/production department. His work earned international awards, most noteworthy when at the New York International Radio Festival, where his entry beat 13,800 other entries from more than 29 nations. Michael talked about his vision of production: “I don’t care what the medium is...producing is a state of mind. It’s not necessarily what tools you're using...it’s what's in your head!”

For 14 years, Michael has hosted Planet Pootwaddle. “Our biggest fans are musicians and radio folks. Some of these guys are actually quite famous but we keep them under wraps as they don’t need the attention and value the privacy,” said Michael. It is found at 
www.planetpootwaddle.com.

“We attempt to break every radio rule I have learned in over 50 years and call it my ‘labor of lunacy and study in self-indulgence’ as we simply don’t give a shit anymore. Lots of radio and voiceover friends lend a big hand as well. See the Cast & Crew page if you get minute.”
The other site is the Classic 73’-83’ KNX/fm (not to be confused with the 93 tribute) is up in its Music Only Beta Test form at knxfm.com. “People asked me for over 35 years to bring the station back, so we finally did. We’re still looking for underwriting and then we will add personalities and features etc. We DO NOT use MP3 but Wav files as well as brand new streaming and audio processing technology thanks to genius Greg Ogonowski. The sound is clearer and more transparent than anything you have ever heard before. I keep discovering sounds and instruments I never knew were in the original recordings … check it out.”

Michaelsheehy.online contains links to both stations. “I just turned 70. I take the work seriously, but not myself, at least not most of the time … we hopes. As Pootwaddle says … ‘Life is too short to be an asshole … all the time!’”

KHTS' Carl Goldman is Home to Santa Clarita Following 44 Days of Quarantine for Coronavirus


Guy Heston was ZAPPED and Morganized by Robert W.
 (March 16, 2020) Robert W. Morgan has a magical place in the history of Los Angeles Radio. He was one of the quintessential morning men, during the second half of the last century. Robert did mornings for a number of important stations.

He was the original morning Boss Jock at 93/KHJ and later at KIQQ, KMPC, KMGG, and KRTH. In May of 1997, he announced he had lung cancer. Robert was two-pack-a-day smoker for 35 years, before quitting in 1996. He died in May of 1998.

Those who worked with Robert each has a unique perspective of the creative genius morning man.

This morning, Guy Heston remembers Robert W. Morgan:  

I have written newscasts, press releases, videos, radio and tv commercials, annual reports, brochures, speeches and assorted whatnot for over 40 years. My professional writing has often been for other people – I am the writer who creates words for others to speak or publish.

After all these years, I can say with certainty the person I have most enjoyed writing for is Robert W. Morgan, the master of making written words come to their full, luscious and beautiful spoken life. In the mid 70’s I was working as the promotion director at KWIZ and weekend jock at KWIZ/fm-Santa Ana (yes, I was required to say with a straight face on an open mic segueing between The Eagles and Carly Simon, ‘We’re young and beautiful, 96.7 KWIZ/fm’). It was a fun job for a recent graduate of Cal State Long Beach, then out of the blue I received an inquiry if I would be interested in writing “Record Report,” the syndicated radio program Robert W. hosted and was on about 250 Top 40 stations across the country. Each show (there were ten per week) was a 3 and 1/2 minute “newscast” that featured the latest music news and vignettes of current artists, along with two 30-second spots, one for Trident gum, the other for Certs breath mints (“two, two, two mints in one!”).

The show was meant to sound entertaining in a Top 40 style. The radio stations got to count it as actual news time for their FCC records, this being back in the day when radio stations were required to devote a certain amount of air time to news and public affairs. To say I jumped for joy at the prospect would be a massive understatement.

So I reported to The Programme Shop in North Hollywood, where “Record Report” and a variety of syndicated voice tracked radio formats were recorded, for my interview with the show’s executive producer, Gary Kleinman. The interview went fine, he was impressed with my writing samples, and I was pretty sure I would get a job offer. But my introduction to Robert W. was a bit different.

As I left my job interview and was being escorted to the front door of the Programme Shop, I could hear expletives deleted coming from one of the recording studios. Then the studio door opened and I saw Robert W. toss a 15-inch tape reel out of the studio door onto the hallway floor with a giant thud, with the door slamming behind him. I was informed by Mr. Kleinman that Robert W. must be upset by a technical issue but I shouldn’t worry about it. Scared as I was, I accepted the ensuing offer to write “Record Report.” And the experience was a joy.

Despite my first encounter with him, I found Robert W. to be an easy person for whom to work. Oh he was demanding and you had damn well offer your best. But once he concluded you had talent and that you were busting your rear to give him your best, you earned his respect. Unlike others for whom I have written, Robert W. insisted on getting his material in advance of recording day. He would pour over it and make changes, always for better rhythm and flow of the script. I was very proud when his script changes became fewer as I learned his style.

Like all on-air talent he had his quirks. Early on I put the word “do” in a script. On recording day, having made his edits, he shouted out to me, “Heston, the only thing you do is the dishes!” I had a saucy reply in mind but wisely chose to keep it to myself. I made a note to never again put the word “do” in Record Report, and had to write around “do” a few times to avoid the forbidden word.

That said, during the recording session, when his mic was on, he would make my words sound like magic. Every emphasis on a syllable, every pause, every nuance he would get perfect to my ears. A writer’s dream. And the thought of my words being heard all over the country! I even got a call from a friend in Alaska who had heard my name on the credits in Anchorage.

And then there was the ultimate evidence that Robert W. respected my writing. Shortly after “Record Report” moved from The Programme Shop to Filmways Radio at the Wally Heider Recording Studio on Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood, I was invited to have lunch on several occasions with Robert W. and the executive producer at Martoni’s, the famous LARP hangout. While we would have lunch, Robert W. held court on the status of LA radio, offering his colorful comments that I shall keep to my grave. I was in awe – and, yes, as far I was concerned, ZAP, I was Morganized!

Guy Heston, after a brief but wonderful time as an LARP at KSUL, KNAC, KWIZ/KWIZ-FM, The Programme Shop and Filmways Radio, retired after 30 years at Long Beach Transit, most recently as the chief operating officer, and is currently living the happy retired life in Las Vegas.

LARP Perspective on the Times. In the midst of the coronavirus craziness, Beau Weaver posted a very comforting message from his mom:

So everything is changing. For how long, no one knows. But today, we are making adjustments to accommodate WHAT IS, hoping to access some grace and compassion for ourselves and others, one day at a time.

I was reminded last night of something my mother said that I did not understand at the time. She was talking about what it was like when World War II broke out. She said that it was frightening at first, but that the fear soon dissipated, as the entire country began to work together for a common purpose. She said that it was actually one of the best times of her life.

What were often called “wartime sacrifices” occurred to her like “ways we were taking care of each other.” Shortages stimulated creativity and invention, and communities, small and large, pitching in together in very real ways to help each other stay safe. Mom said that feeling of all of us being connected in a thousand ways, made her glad to be a person, alive, able to do her small part for the greater good.

As the old Texas preacher Chuck Swindoll said: “The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it." It sounds like a cliché, but I believe it is deeply true. We actually have some choice about where we put our attention, and what kind of attitude we adopt toward what is happening out on the field of play. If we chose to regard “this new normal” as a set of opportunities to change our behaviors in order to help keep each other safe, we may find, like Mom did during WWII, that our experience of love, giving and receiving, actually expands with use. Okay Mom, I’m starting to get it.

After 29 days in quarantine with the coronavirus, KHTS owner Carl Goldman is scheduled to come home TODAY!


Email Saturday, 3.14.2020
** Entercom/CBS Challenges

“Entercom is firing a great number of people and particularly CBS employees. David Field who runs Entercom believes the CBS employees were over paid. CBS Radio is owned by Entercom and Entercom paid too much and took on too much debt.

I wonder if longtime and successful program director, Kevin Weatherly was terminated or left of his own volition?

Field promised lenders that he could save hundreds of millions of dollars with the purchase of CBS Radio. The savings didn’t happen with respect to what was promised and Entercom did not pay their own employees the kind of money that CBS Radio employees were making. I have thought all along that for some reason the consolidators never seemed to understand debt. They were probably listening to investment bankers who told the consolidators not to worry as they could restructure debt and borrow more money. Never happened and radio is not a growth business any more.

And companies ended up filing for bankruptcy and lenders took equity and wrote off the loans. The lenders took a haircut. Entercom may be headed in that direction. If cash flow doesn’t payoff interest and pay down principle, bankruptcy follows. Sad commentary.” - Bob Fox

** Sound Space

“Wonder if anyone besides myself noticed the irony that Lynn Duke's last project is called the ‘Sound Space’ when it was KSWD (‘The Sound’) that Entercom spun off to EMF as part of the merger with CBS?” – K.M. Richards

** Home of Chargers Changes

“After four years on KFI, iHeart is shifting Chargers play-by-play to KYSR starting this fall. The unlistenable Matt Smith will continue in the lead play-by-play role.” – Brad Cramer

** Talaya Painting Watercolors

“Didn't know Talaya was now on Watercolors on XMSirius channel 66 until yesterday afternoon. Wishing Keri Tombazian was back on the airwaves too!” - B.J. White-Robinett  

** Tavis Update

“In your column on Friday it sounded like the Tavis Smiley situation was still pending but this decision came down about a week ago.  
https://www.npr.org/2020/03/04/812337986/tavis-smiley-ordered-to-pay-pbs-1-5-million-for-violating-networks-morality-clau.” – Gary Gibson


##MeToo Reaches New Plateau 

 
(March 13, 2020) The world of sexual misconduct that exploited women was seismically altered when Harvey Weinstein was arrested and charged with three counts of rape and sexual assault. Thus, was born the #MeToo movement.

With Weinstein’s conviction and sentencing to 23 years in prison, the women who were abused and raped must have felt some sort of satisfaction with the sentencing, perhaps a feeling of vindication. With all major upheavals, there is generally a fall-out. There are others who have felt an aftershock.

Former KABC host Gloria Allred was certainly at the forefront representing many women wanting their charges of wrongdoing by Weinstein be heard. Variety, the longtime entertainment industry’s bible of information, devoted a front-page story (titled ‘A Monster Falls’) to the verdict and pages of men who washed up on shore with charges of their own.

Variety profiled two Los Angeles Radio People in the most recent issue:

Les Moonves: ‘ViacomCBS shareholders are suing the former CBS chairman and ceo, alleging that public statements Moonves made at a Variety conference in November 2017 in the wake of the #MeToo movement – ‘There’s a lot we’re learning. There’s a lot we didn’t know’ – were intentionally misleading, since Moonves was already aware of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct at the network, including against him. Those allegations, from two 2018 New Yorker stories featuring 12 women, led to Moonves’ termination at CBS. Moonves has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex, and declined to comment on the lawsuit.” (Artwork courtesy of Variety)
Tavis Smiley (ex-KGFJ, KJLH, KKBT, KABC, KMPC, KCRW, and KPCC): “Smiley is suing PBS, and PBS is countersuing over PBS’ cancellation, as reported by Variety, of Smiley’s talk show in late 2017 following multiple misconduct allegations, including that Smiley had sexual relationships with his subordinates. PBS claims Smiley’s actions violated his contract; Smiley called PBS’ actions a ‘sham investigation … based on arbitrary and esoteric standards and values.”

Hear Ache. Hollywood Media Professionals (formerly Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters) luncheon today featuring game show stars Wink Martindale and Bob Eubanks has been canceled … Los Angeles Charger games will continue to be broadcast with iHeart but move from KFI to KYSR (ALT 98.7/fm). Off the field, the Chargers will be integrated into iHeartMedia tentpole events such as Jingle Ball and Wango Tango … Miss Talaya since she left the WAVE? You can hear her on the Watercolors channel 66 at XMSirius … Winnie Coombs has set an incredible LARadio record. She joined KWIZ when the station came on the air in June of 1965 and on April 3, 2020 the station will be closed for good. “All operations will be transferred to our corporate offices in Burbank. It will be a sad day for me, but many great memories,” Winnie wrote on Facebook.
Any idea who owns this car?


Jonesy's Jukebox Plugged In

 
(March 12, 2020) Jonesy’s Jukebox is the highly entertaining Rock program with high-profile interviews with the likes of Robert Plant, Iggy Pop, Foo Fighters and Paul McCartney. The show has been part of the LARadio landscape since 2006 when it appeared on Indie (103.1/fm KDLD). 

Steve Jones
, the legendary Sex Pistols guitarist has had a tough road finding a consistent home and time slot. Jonesey has been on KLOS for a number of years. Billboard magazine recently profiled the rocker.

Last summer, Jonesy was hit with a sudden bout of Bell's palsy that paralyzed half of his face and left his speech compromised. After taking a few weeks off, he was ready to return to work when Jonesy suffered a heart attack that required emergency heart surgery, pulling him off the airwaves for months-long recovery.

“I went through a depressed period for the first couple of months. Getting old is a bitch, man. I’m 64 and shit starts happening," said Jonesey.

Late last year, Jonesy returned to KLOS for an every Friday broadcast from the famed Viper Room in West Hollywood. He used to attend rock shows and perform with his former band Neurotic Outsiders, the ’90s supergroup formed with Guns N’Roses members Matt Sorum (drums) and Duff McKagan (bass) and Duran Duran guitarist John Taylor.

“I love it,” he told Billboard. “I like the live audience. It’s like a talk show. You can interact. You can hear them laughing if you’re funny.”
Sixteen years later, it’s still hard for Jones to believe that Jukebox ever happened. “When I first started doing it, the whole thing was just a fluke. I remember the first time I got to talk and I didn’t know what the hell I was doing,” he says.

Jones, who moved to Los Angeles in 1983 because of “Hollywood, all the movie stars and the sunshine,” says there was a period in 2004 during which he wasn’t working while he recovered from back surgery due to a herniated disc. Whenever he was in his car, he tuned into now-defunct radio station Indie103 due to its often punk rock playlist.

When an offer came to be a dj on Indie, he was excited. He told management, ‘I love this radio station. I want to dj, but only if you let me do what I want to do and say what I want to say.’ And that’s where it started. I had no clue what I was doing, but people kind of liked that it was ridiculous and then I got a little better and it was moved up to five days a week, two hours a day after a while.”

KLOS program director Keith Cunningham says Jones is distinctive from other radio hosts due to his rock star pedigree in addition to his relatability. “He brings a type of swagger and vibe that really only a real rockstar can. And what I really like about him as a personality or host is he’s just authentic. There’s not a filter, he’s transparent, he’s funny, he’s not trying to be a dj, he’s just himself.”

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, the Sex Pistols didn't attend the ceremony. Still, Jones says he’s proud to be one of few punk band inductees alongside The Clash and The Ramones.

"We never got airplay in America, in that world,” he says. “People in charge of stuff never liked us, at least I don’t think so. I mean, I’m glad we’re in there, but there’s a bunch of bands that won’t be in there that should be."

As Jones wrapped up the Billboard interview, he thought, “If I did my life over again, I would have taken a course in business so I wouldn’t have gotten screwed over so many times. I’m just not business-minded at all. I always made the worst decisions and it’s always messed with me throughout my life. I wish that was something I could have rectified earlier on in my life. The best advice I’ve received is to stay out of trouble. If only I would have listened.

Hear Ache. The NAB cancels April Las Vegas Show because of coronavirus fears. They may reschedule the convention for later in the year. Ditto Joel Denver’s Worldwide Radio Summit. In the middle of industry cancelations, yesterday my wife and I attended a matinee performance of Julius Caesar at the Alan Hancock Performing Center in Santa Maria. The Shakespearean group was enthusiastic and well received … With all this work from home, KFI’s Jane Wells expects a spike in births in nine months. P&G selling Charmin now, Pampers in December ... The World Health Organization announced that dogs cannot get the coronavirus. Dogs can be released from quarantine. WHO let the dogs out! … KFI middayer Shannon Farren wants to know what’s worse, The Bachelor or coronavirus?
... from Michael Gwynne: A man from the past predicting the future AND the past. How can we escape? Edgar Alan Woe


7 Words with Megan Holiday

 
(March 11, 2020) Megan Holiday works nights at KROQ. She is becoming a superstar. Megan knows how to use social media, seemingly changing the color of her hair with colors so bright she leaps out of the pages of Facebook. 

Megan’s radio career started in the Bay Area. And then she joined the black hole of drugs and alcohol. She lost her job at KITS/LIVE 105 and was out of radio for a couple of years. When she was sixty days sober Megan wanted a job back in radio. She had an opportunity to interview with Kevin Weatherly, pd at KROQ, and Megan laid open about where she was.

“I went in there and I told them the truth. I just said, ‘I made a really big mistake when I was let go in San Francisco, and I will forever regret that. I miss doing radio more than anything in the world. This is what I’m doing today – I’m in sober living, I’m this many days sober.’ I just told them, ‘I miss doing this and I love it and I really want another chance.’ And they gave me another chance. I was just honest,” Megan said in an interview with Kirk Hawkins.
In 2016 she was hired to fill-in at KROQ, then weekends, then full-time nights. Two years ago, she started doing podcasts, 7 Words with Megan Holiday. Earlier this month she interviewed KROQ’s Locals Only host and former middayer Kat Corbett. And it is WONDERFUL. What makes her podcasts work is her own self-revealing life. She’s vulnerable and open. In two years, she has done 52 podcasts with an eclectic group that includes actors, comedians, and rock musicians.

In her interview with Kirk Hawkins Megan talked about her drug use. “I just was a shell of a person. I’ve been doing radio for a long time and it was easy to hide behind a persona and then isolate. People just had no idea what was really going on with me. Since recovery, I’ve just decided that I’m going to live my life as honestly as I can, and that I feel as though the reason why I didn’t die when I was out there.”

Megan’s story is one of redemption. “It’s been a really wild journey, that’s why I also feel like I should tell it. I don’t tell it to be like look at me, da da da. I tell it to let people know that I was homeless at one point, and now I’m living out my dreams and I bought a home. You just never know what life has in store for you if you just do what’s necessary in order for you to stay healthy and to work towards your recovery. It’s just taking care of yourself: it’s mind, body, spirit. It’s hard work, but it’s so worth it. I wouldn’t trade what I have today for anything.” Listen tonight to her program on KROQ (106.7/fm). Catch one of her podcasts here.

Hear Ache. Wanna feel old? Dean Torrence (Jan & Dan) turns 80 this week, as well as Lloyd Price turning 87. Lawdy Miss Clawdy! …We don’t cover Spanish LARadio because we don’t speak Spanish, but the LA Times featured a frightening story about a recent strike in Mid-Wilshire orchestrated by “an underpaid, highly qualified Mexican American radio worker” that attracted 50 supporters. The 28-member union of deejays, hosts, announcers and mixers at La Raza-FM (97.9) and Mega 96.3-FM will bring their complaints to the National Labor Relations Board against Spanish Broadcasting System. They are accusing their employer of repeated labor law infractions. Revenue for Spanish-language radio stations reached $864 million in 2018, out of a $13.1-billion industry total in the U.S., according to BIA advisory services. LA Times story … American Idol tops Sunday ratings … 
Lee Abrams is relaunching his consulting business under the name MediaVisions. The focus of the firm will be a new radio format; complete reimagination of video content, news and information; creative driven 40+ music innovation for entertainment and media leaders; innovative podcasting; and working with companies looking for creative direction and new ways to prosper … Former AMP personality Michelle Boros has joined morning drive at Hot AC KDMX (102.9 NOW) in Dallas … Didja see that cruise ships are now available on eBay?


Lee Barry's Dream Fulfilled

 
(March 10, 2020) When we embarked on doing research for the first edition of Los Angeles Radio People in the early 1990s, we communicated with everyone either by phone or regular mail. There was no Google search. Luckily, we missed very few LARP prior to publication. Still, there were some names we missed.

Lee Barry was a newsman back in the Boss Radio days. He has been an active reader of LARadio. Thanks to some recent communication, we decided to offer an update on his life. Lee’s had an interesting journey.

Born in Glendale, he grew up in the San Fernando Valley listening to Top 40 KHJ and KRLA in the 60s. “At age 14 I experienced true culture shock when my parents left L.A and all that great radio for the redwoods of northern California,” remembered Lee. In the redwoods he could only hear one local AM station, nothing on fm and “just a bunch of static wafting out of a very distant San Francisco.”

After high school in Willits, Lee attended college at Humboldt State University as a Radio/TV/Mass Communications major with a minor in Journalism. He started working at the college station, KHSC/fm in Arcata before getting his first commercial radio job as a 17-year-old weekend jock at KINS-AM & FM in Eureka. The owner of the Eureka station, Wendell Adams, wrote the 1950's jingle "Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should!" He worked for an ad agency at the time, so Adams didn’t get royalties, but he did have a gold record on the wall, said Lee.
“I spent summers in Ukiah as a dj at Mendocino County’s first stereo fm station, KLIL,” Lee said. “Took a break from school to make money for the next semester and got drafted almost immediately, opting to join the Navy. As an Interior Communications Technician with radio experience, I was tapped to do the daily news over the ships PA system.”

After his discharge from the navy, Lee obtained a First-Class FCC license from the Bill Ogden Radio Operational Engineering School, which helped him get a morning anchor gig at all-News KARM in Fresno. “Pat Davis (long time KNX and KCBS Sacramento-based stringer) was my mentor and news director,” Lee continued.

“As a CBS, Mutual and NIS (NBCs News and Information Service) affiliate, I made extra money feeding stories and a series of features to the networks. I also did a ton of work for Bob Eurick Enterprises, voicing and producing spots, and did weekend jock work at KIOY-FM in Hanford [as Lee Martin]. When Pat left KARM, he took over as new director before the station switched to ‘Country KARM, Where Your Friends Are!’” He worked a split shift, anchoring the morning news for Tom Maule (former KHJ, KFRC) and covering afternoon drive while trying to get a foot in the door at ANY major market station where he could do more than just the headlines.

Frustrated, he left the valley for the central coast, got a job with a small commuter airline out of San Luis Obispo, and eventually found his way to Modesto where he spent a couple of years at Top 40 KFIV/AM & FM as a jock. Having troubles making ends meet, by 1980 he returned to the better paying airline industry.

Lee spent the next 21 years with PSA, AirCal, Alaska and American Airlines. “My boarding announcements were to die for. I can’t tell you how many times I heard ‘you should be on the radio!’ Eventually I was put in charge of Customer Relations for American at LAX, handling all the complaints and ghost-writing correspondence and various reports for senior management.”

When the Internet started catching on in the 90’s, Lee began building websites and growing a little side business doing graphics and web development. Then came 9/11. Lee was caught up in the massive airline layoffs after the 2001 terror attacks. Full-time web work didn’t work out, so in 2007 he answered an ad for a Traffic Producer job at Airwatch, computer skills and radio experience preferred. “I could do that! Within a few months, after a 27-year absence from radio, I was on the air again with a weekend news shift on Salem's KRLA(870 AM), doing fill-in work the rest of the week.”

All good things seem to come to end. After a decade, he got a tap on the shoulder at the end of his shift. “KRLA was cutting their overnight local news, going with Salem’s one-minute network feed instead. I want to thank Don Bastida and Rosie Wedel for letting me break into the L.A. market, a young man’s dream fulfilled!"

Lee was nostalgic about his journey. “Today, almost a year later, it’s hard to admit that I'm probably retired! It happened a little sooner than I’d planned. But I’ve retained my airline flying benefits and have already traveled to Bali, Milan and more this past year, with Portugal, Morocco and New Zealand on tap in the months ahead. It sounds like a retirement plan, but radio is a hard bug to shake! For now, I’ve got a nice little home studio where I’m working on some ideas, and countless beaches around the world to explore.”

 
Motown Picnic, 1974 ... thanks to Kevin Ross


Can Radio Be Saved and, If So, How?

 
(March 9, 2020) If you live anywhere near New York, the TALKERS convention on June 5 is holding an unprecedented panel, tackling the question “Can Radio Be Saved and, If So, How?” The fact the leading Talk radio publication would acknowledge the question is very healthy. Will voicetracking actually successfully replace many of the hundreds of personalities who were fired in recent months? Will debt be the ultimate suffacator to our industry? 

Michael Harrison will be the moderator for this 90-minute session. The panel boasts a lineup of seven individuals reflecting a wide perspective on the past, present and potential future of radio’s role in society. The panel consists of (in alphabetical order): MediaVision CEO, Lee Abrams; RAB president and ceo, Erica Farber; Radio Hall of Fame chairman and Soundmind LLC partner, Kraig Kitchin; SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, Joe Madison; and former CBS Radio/Entercom executive VP of programming, Chris Oliviero. Two more panelists will be named shortly. Should be a must-attend event!
Hear Ache. Sounds like all-News KNX has added another infomercial to their programming. Chris Madsen posted on social media the launch of a Sunday morning two-hour show called The CallJacob.com Legal Hour with accident lawyer Jacob Emrani. A couple of years ago they snuck one in on Saturdays, Car Pro with Jerry Reynolds. Wonder what is next for paid programming on the all-News station? Remember when KABC put a daily one-hour informercial into afternoon drive? It was the beginning of the end ... Paul Goldstein, former pd at KTWV sent out a Tweet following news that Kevin Weatherly was joining Spotify. With the hashtag #FMisTheTARGET, Paul declares if there was ever any doubt about Spotify’s intentions, it should now be crystal clear. “Today the benefit represented by a listener discovering new music on FM is being outweighed by the monetary asset that listener represents to Warner, Universal & Sony & their artists. Each hour of TSL to FM radio is lost revenue for artists and their labels. Spotify and Apple and Google have more data on FM listeners than the visionless platform can even imagine. #FMisTheTARGET” … Tony Linton posted breaking news that John Travolta was hospitalized for suspected COVID-19, but doctors now confirm that it was only Saturday Night Fever, and they assure everyone that he is Staying Alive … Lynn Duke the knowledgeable and well-liked chief engineer at Entercom is retiring. Jeff Federman, Entercom regional president, wrote in an internal memo: “Lynn sat me down last year and said, ‘Once we finish the new Sound Space, I think I am ready to retire.’ Well, you all know, the Sound Space is just about finished. Lynn is set to retire April 3 after a long and incredible career in radio. Lynn started at K-EARTH and KHJ in September of 1977 after working 5 years at KFRC in San Francisco. Lynn went from being Engineering Supervisor to Assistant Chief Engineer and then to Market Chief Engineer for the past 10+ years. For those of you without a calculator, that’s 43 years that he has been here. It goes without saying, we will miss Lynn greatly.  His selflessness and dedication to the cluster is nothing short of spectacular.  He has helped accomplish so much in his tenure here.” … Bean acknowledged the fuss about Daylight Savings Time in most of the United States with a Tweet: “We have Greenwich Mean Time going into British Summer Time in two weeks though.” ... Thanks to several responses to our appeal to LARP readers, we have located Pete Turpel. He is okay and living in Simi Valley. He is interested in returning to some phase of the radio business (voicing, sales, whatever). He can be reached by phone at 805.551.3058, or via email at nodadinc@gmail.com" ... Mike Johnson got a chance to catch up with his longtime friend Dan Mandis over the weekend. "We first met when I replaced Dan at the late Money Radio Network in August 1988. All these years later Dan is pd of Supertalk 99.7 WWTN-Nashville."



Email Saturday, 3.7.2020

** Help for Guy Davis

“Just reading about Guy Davis in Friday’s column. Wondering whether he might be eligible for a grant from the Broadcasters Foundation of America, which is now led by Dan Mason. Perhaps you could share this with them: https://broadcastersfoundation.org.

In truth, it might be a resource for Pat Kelley and some other folks in need. I contribute every year…hoping I’ll never need to ask for help.” – Roger Nadel

** Jack Hayes Stories

“I first ‘met’ Jack Hayes on Facebook. I always enjoyed his posts and frequently commented. We had similar views of the world. He was living in Reno, and when I was visiting my mother in law outside of Sacramento, I arranged a visit with Jack. The time went by so fast, listening to the stories he had over such a varied career. We were now really friends.

The next time, I was also able to meet Patricia. She and I were former students at North Hollywood High School, a few years apart. Such a sweet lady. Jack’s greatest legacy is Katie. A young lady who first met Jack at a ham radio function, as I recall. She asked if he could be her Grandpa. She had a difficult situation at home. Jack was in love and proceeded to guide her for years after. Now I am told she is attending one of the top universities.

Be well, Patricia, and Rest in Peace, my friend.” – Mike Nolan

** Powerful Note from Jack Hayes’ Son

“That letter from his son was so poignant. A real tear-jerker.” – Warren Creghino

** Close Encounter with Hayes

“I'm so sad to hear of Jack Hayes passing. I first met Jack in the mid-70’s when we worked together briefly at KXRX in San Jose.  I didn’t how he was hired, but he suddenly appeared doing a shift on the station. I was amazed. I’d never heard anyone like him at that early point in my career – everything just flowed out him so naturally. 

After my shift, I’d just watch him through the glass. Fortunately, he was very kind and generous and not all creeped out by some kid staring at him. Even though I wasn’t very broadcast-savvy at the time, I did wonder why someone so good was at this little mom & pop station in San Jose.  We soon learned Jack had his demon, alcohol.

One day he disappeared and never returned to the station. Flash forward to 1998 when I started as pd at KABC. Jack called me out of the blue, I hadn’t spoken to him since the KXRX days. He told me he’d been following my career and congratulated me on getting to KABC. He then suggested we get together for lunch. He heard me hesitate briefly and that’s when he told me he’d been sober for over a decade. We had a wonderful lunch and stayed in touch casually over the years until his health declined, sharing a common interest in amateur radio. 

Jack was not only a talented performer but in inspiration to those struggling with alcohol.  RIP W3FUN/SK.” – Andy Ludlum, retired from KABC, KFWB, KNX

** Favorite Jack Hayes Story

"One of my favorite Jack Hayes stories went something like this. When Jack was in the concert business with his business partner Larry Mitchell they brought Cream to the San Jose Civic auditorium in 1968. Jack noticed a crazed, ticketless young lady  demanding not only  entrance to the concert, but to go backstage and meet Eric Clapton. She got louder and more demanding, but Jack wasn't having it,  he had signaled security to throw her off the property, and was about to grab her himself.

Thankfully Mitchell arrived at the box office shaking his head in disbelief, 'Jack, what the hell are you doing? That's Janis Joplin'

So shrugged his shoulders, oh the Piece of my Heart lady, 'okay, she gets in!'" - Kevin Barrett

** Duke is Back

"Good to read in Thursday's LARadio that Dave 'Duke' Sholin is back on the air following his triple by-pass heart surgery!" - Don Graham

** Standing Tall

“That pic of the baseball guy on the bucket and the gal with the mike is priceless!” – Rich Brother Robbin

** More Tall

“The photo of the Dodger on the bucket reminds me of the time my 5’10” colleague at KOVR/13 in Sacramento was interviewing a 6’9” pitcher for the Stockton Ports of the California League. The cameraman shot them on a tight two-shot, with them eye to eye, so you had no clue about the disparity in their heights. 

Then, Tony Pepper asked the ballplayer a question about his height, but no one heard his answer because of the laughter that ensued as the lens pullback revealed Tony to be standing on a wooden box.” – Warren Cereghino


** Dirck Morgan Memories

“I was catching up on LARadio.com after a week in the boondocks and saw the mention of Dirck Morgan’s passing. It reminded me of a brief chat I had with him years ago. I was between anchoring gigs and working for American Airlines at LAX back in the 90’s when I spotted a KFWB news car on the curb.

Being a naturally nosey news guy, I had to approach him. Turns out he had worked in Fresno [KYNO, if I recall] back in the mid-70s while I was across town at all-News KARM. We talked ‘radio’ for a while before he gave me a quick tour of the equipment in his car, pointing out a bullet hole in the door that he picked up while covering the L.A. riots. That hole was never repaired, left there as a reminder of the hazards encountered working in the field.

I remember Dirck as a nice guy who didn’t mind taking a little time to share his work with me. Thanks for the constant updates, Don!” – Lee Barry

** Retiring Vicki Cox

“I never met or worked directly with Vicki Cox, but man, she sure hit home with her thoughts on the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ of working in Radio. I think much of the ‘good’ comes from the sheer joy of the work itself. If there’s anything I come close to missing in retirement, it's the actual performance of the tasks at the most basic level.

As for the ‘bad,’ most of that comes from the fact that the world is largely run by idiots. Their ‘assistants’/errand dogs aren’t as smart as they think they are and unfortunately, that micros down very well into the Radio biz. I can instantly name three great bosses for whom I worked, and a couple of fair-to-goods.

As for the rest, well... There are many things to thoroughly enjoy about retirement. I wish each and every one of those for Vicki. – Greg Hardison   

** Blaze of Glory

“I just emailed Dave Congalton after our interview on KVEC and informed him that I was just notified by the Department of Unemployment. Specifically, now that I’m out of radio they are going to ‘retire' window F (for fired) and name it in my honor.” – Neale Blaze, author of Radio on the Run: Hired 40 Times … Fired 22 Times
** Dick Clark Caravan

“Peter Noone [Herman, of the Hermits] and a couple members of his band stepped off the bus. I drove my convertible up to the young boys, who were trudging, disconsolately toward downtown. Pulling up to the group, I introduced myself as program director of WERK and the emcee for that night’s event.

‘Where are you going, boys?’ They answered they were going downtown to get some food. I said, ‘Hop in, I’ll take you there.’ The three young men piled in the car, Peter [with an obvious frown] sat in the back seat, directly behind me. 

I said to Peter, ‘Why the disgusted look on your face?’ Immediately [as tho’ he couldn't wait to vent] Peter, a mere 17-and-a-half-year-old, blurted out in his cockney dialect, ‘That f’in’ Dick Clark! Since our bus was behind schedule, he not only wouldn’t stop the bus for us to get a bite to eat, he wouldn't even stop for us to take a PISS!’ I couldn’t believe that such foul language came out of such a youthful mouth. 

This is an excerpt from my new book [which is in final edit] titled Lar’-on-the-Air.” – Larry McKay

"Who does field trips to radio these days?  I took a group of student and professional mentors from
Long Beach State to iHeartRadio and Dees Entertainment.  

They got to meet Ellen K at KOST and KLAC SVP Sports LA, Don Martin who was such an inspiration in his remarks to our students.
They all want to work there!  And Rick Dees (far left) signed a copy of his book, “All Time Top 40 Greatest Desserts” for all!
 Thanks to Dennis Clark, who set the tour up at iHeart, and Mike Ramos at Dees Entertainment."
- Danny Lemos (front) Student Media Coordinator Associated Students, Inc., Long Beach State University


Challenges Ahead for Entercom

 
(March 6, 2020) The Kevin Weatherly-era is officially over at Entercom Media. Yesterday the company threw a farewell luncheon for him.  A largely successful thirty year run. For many years, GREAT success. He launched JACK/fm (KCBS/fm) in the mid-aughts, the most successful in creating a format-driven personality with no live personalities. His rock ‘n roll roots were evident with the launch of Top 40 AMP Radio (KAMP). But his legacy will forever be remembered for the enormous success of KROQ and the Kevin & Bean morning show.  Weatherly is moving on to a new role at Spotify.

With Weatherly’s departure, Entercom is faced with many programming challenges. Top 40 AMP has long lacked an identity. They failed to build a distinguishable brand in the market. When they started, pop music was strong, so they could ride on the ratings that the music afforded them. Now, music is produced in order to satisfy the algorithms of Spotify, Pandora and the like in order to spur algorithmic spins, rather than meet the actual tastes of listeners. To compound the problem, the music has been mediocre and bland. If it was a color it would be beige.

Top 40 radio has suffered in LA. KIIS and KPWR are no longer what they once were. Maybe three Top 40 oriented stations are too many. Without strong music for the young people, the jock content between the music is more important than ever for the stations and their brand, but Entercom doesn’t see it that way, instead opting for “less talk.” Strange. AMP hovers around 20th place in the PPM ratings.

Another challenge for Entercom is KROQ, which has become a little long in the tooth. The other Alternative station in the market, ALT 98.7 (KYSR) beat KROQ in the most recent ratings. KROQ has lost some important personalities in recent months and shuffled others. Mike Kaplan is the captain of the ALT format for Entercom on both coasts. Mike was the creator of ALT 98.7 and the Woody Show at iHeart and has intimate knowledge of the daily doings there. That experience should give him some strong insight in what to do in the Alternative space. In a recent New York Times article on ALT 92.3 in New York, Kaplan said, “We don’t even say the word ‘rock’ on the radio station — we’re New York’s new alternative. I don’t think there’s a big win in using the word rock today,” he added. This will undoubtedly be a challenge for “K-ROCK” going forward if 106.7 takes a similar direction.

As far as the third station that was Weatherly’s responsibility, JACK/fm, it is doing just fine, thank you. Ops manager Ralph Stewart has guided the station to consistent Top 10 ratings for quite a while.
Guy Davis, one of our own in LARadio, is having a terribly difficult time. Perhaps you will help. Beginning in 1985, Guy was heard on KHTZ, KBZT, KLSX, KBIG, KNJO/KLIT/KMLT, plus KABC with Mark Taylor. His wife Kris has created a GoFundMe for you to help. Kris tells the story best:

“My husband Guy Davis was diagnosed with rectal cancer in May 2019. Medical bills and co-pays have been overwhelming. Unfortunately we signed up for short-term medical insurance while waiting for Medicare to kick in. We got a letter from our medical insurance stating that Guy’s cancer was preexisting and short-term insurance does not cover his cancer treatment. We are in debt $90,000. The colonoscopy and biopsy caused damage to the tumor which caused severe bleeding. He lost so much blood and was so weak he barely made it. He has had two blood transfusions. He just finished radiation, which did stop the bleeding and gave us hope. He went to Arizona to a natural health clinic to build up his immune and strength, which was all out of pocket cost. Next is hernia surgery than colostomy surgery and chemo.” Kris says it’s been overwhelming and stressful but they are staying positive! She concluded: “Guy has said he’s had a wonderful life and radio career. He’s very grateful for the amazing friendships he made along the way. We appreciate your consideration to help!” Ready to help? Please check out his Go Fund Me page. Every little bit helps.


Anne Litt Puts the Variety Into KCRW 

(March 5, 2020) Anne Litt, new music programmer at KCRW, was the subject of an almost full-page story in the Sunday LA Times.  Staff writer Randall Roberts penned an article tracing her journey to a position that only four before her served in that capacity. She is the first woman to hold the position.

Anne started at her college station, WXYC, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She did promotions for Mammoth Records as an intern. In the Times piece Anne was asked if she ever worked for a woman music director.

“Never. Commercial radio is all dudes. And that was tough. Even at the independent record label I worked at – all guys there.”

She praised KCRW as being run by very strong women. Anne moved to the Southland in 1991 and worked a year at the morning show at Y107 before the station flipped to Spanish. She went on to work at Channel 103.1, which later became Indie 103.1.

Anne started at KCRW in 1996. She lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and 13-year-old son. Anne has a home studio.

Anne told the Times she believes she can play anything on KCRW as long as it is played in context. “I don’t want our top 20 to look like every other noncommercial or Triple-A format or whatever public radio station out there. I want ours to be uniquely KCRW, uniquely Southern California.”

Hear Ache. Entercom Communications Corp. today announced that Chief Operating Officer Weezie Kramer is retiring later this year after nearly 20 years with the company and over 40 years in broadcast radio. Kramer will join the Entercom Board of Directors. New York market manager Susan Larkin takes over the coo position … Dave “Your Duke” Sholin is back to work at Central Oregon’s number one rated station, KSJJ 102.9, after his recovery from triple bypass heart surgery.

KHTS owner Carl Goldman talks with Laura Ingraham about death threats since quarantined with coronavirus


 Spirit of Radio Podcast Launches 

(March 4, 2020) It used to be when you lost your gig on the radio, you could go across town and get another job. Not so much anymore, but one option may be starting a new podcast. And that’s exactly what two KLOS personalities have done. Ken Anthony and Frankie DiVita lost their jobs in a company downsizing. They just posted the second episode of The Spirit of Radio Podcast

“We still have a passion for radio and we decided to keep doing what we love in podcast form and keep the spirit of radio, alive,” said Frankie. “The Spirit of Radio Podcast will include conversations about radio, music, artists, and media, plus interviews with radio and entertainment personalities.

The guest on their second episode is Melissa Maxx, formerly nights at KLOS, and their friend. The 45-minute conversation was easy-going, fun, and insightful. Instead of an interview it felt more like three old friends gathered to talk about what they love – radio and music.

Young people get their music from many different sources today, not just radio. Frankie has a teenaged son who listens to music on Spotify. But a theme throughout their podcast was that terrestrial radio music be live and local to make a connection with the listener. Ken revealed an important phone call he received when working on Thanksgiving. “I don’t have a family,” the caller said. “I just listen to the radio. You guys are my family.” Ken said he never forgot that call. “That will never happen if there’s not a live person there.”

Melissa was on WBCN-Boston on 9/11. “I was on the air for twelve hours. There was no script. You don’t even know what you are doing. They helped me. I helped them. There was nowhere else I wanted to be for those twelve hours. There will be a news story but it won’t be personal.”

The Spirit of Radio Podcast is a fascinating listen. Very professional. If Frankie and Ken have set the table for upcoming meals, future podcasts should be a consideration for your podlistening.

“Music radio listeners want to have that community and be able to talk about what the artists mean to them,” said Frankie. “Keep the radio spirit alive, which is positive but we also have to be realistic about it. In the next five years I wonder what terrestrial radio will be like? I still love radio!”

The Spirit of Radio Podcast 
is available on SoundCloud, Spotify and coming soon to iTunes. 

Hear Ache
Tamo Sein, formerly with ALT 98.7, has joined SummitMedia … Ever wonder what would happen if you dropped Facebook for one month? The American Economic Review did just that with 2,743 users. Here are some highlights of what they found: 1. Deactivating Facebook freed up 60 minutes per day for the average person. Much of this time was reinvested in offline activities, including, notably, socializing with friends and family. 2. Deactivation caused small but significant improvements in well-being, and in particular in self-reported happiness, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety. 3. “As the experiment ended, participants reported planning to use Facebook much less in the future. Five percent of the Treatment group went even farther and declined to reactivate their account after the experiment ended. 4. The Treatment group was less likely to say they follow news about politics or the President, and less able to correctly answer factual questions about recent news events. This was not surprising given that this group spent 15% less time reading any type of online news during the experiment. Full story here … American Idol slips but still leads Sunday ratings.
If you'd like to be a more powerful communicator? Prefer to listen rather than read? Now free on audible

Jack Hayes, Former KFWB/Channel 98 Personality, Dies

(March 3, 2020) We had Jack Hayes for a brief time in the mid-1960s during the Channel 98 days of Top 40. He died over the weekend, at the age of 80.

Born on Valentine’s Day in 1940, in Hinsdale, Illinois, his first radio experience was as a child actor at WOPA-Oak Park, Illinois. When Jack’s voice changed in his early teens, he became summer relief announcer at KGON-Portland.

By the age of 15, he was a jock at 50,000 watt KEX-Portland.

In 1960 he joined KLIV-San Jose and stayed four years. “I quit because they wouldn’t give me more money.”

When he left the Southland, he became King Jack Hayes at KCBQ-San Diego.

Along the way he married a Playboy bunny.

In 1968 Jack was part of KNEW-Oakland, followed by afternoons at KNBR-San Francisco. In early 1973 his wife died, and Jack dropped out of radio until 1989 when he was hired to anchor the morning news and program XTRA-San Diego.

At age 20, Hayes was hired to be the chief engineer and general manager of KBAY, 104.5 San Francisco (now KFOG). KBAY was the second Bay Area fm station to broadcast in stereo, just a few days after K101-KPEN.  He was heard across the Northern California radio dial. In 1960 and 61, Hayes also worked part-time at KEWB and KYA, San Francisco.
In 2005, Hayes retired and got his FCC Amateur Radio Operator's License and was licensed as W3FUN. 

For several years, he was Chairman of the Board of directors of The Sierra Nevada Amateur Radio Society. 

Hayes was a grateful member of Alcoholics Anonymous since 1989. He is survived by his son, Ron, a Senior Vice President at NBC Entertainment in Burbank and three grandsons as well as the love of his life and companion for many years, Patricia Harrison.

His son Ron wrote on Facebook:

He led a life that was big right from the start. Jack was brilliant. A child actor then a deejay, concert promoter, radio programmer, management consultant and even a software developer. His stories were epic, including how he stumbled into concert promoting putting on a high school sock hop that made so much money, he and his partner had to carry home the $1 dollar bills in a stolen shopping cart. Soon he was putting on shows with The Who, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, etc.

He was hanging out in LA with The Beach Boys and signing an exclusive deal to promote their shows. Or he was jetting to Vegas to hang out with Nancy Sinatra. Or getting a surprise visit in the on-air booth by George Harrison.

Jack married a Playboy bunny, his first great love who ultimately died of a drug overdose. He crashed his Cadillac on the Golden Gate Bridge, and it was raining so the EMT put a yellow tarp over him – leading the local news to report he was dead!

One of Jack’s favorite stories was when Cher refused to be driven in the car provided by the local sponsor (not swanky enough). Jack got on the phone with her manager and made all kinds of threats – and Cher rode in the car. Jack could be tough, and I don’t think he minded when people called him an a**hole. For him, it might have been a badge of courage, and he was a very effective manager when hired to turn around struggling radio stations. Life for Jack was a full-contact sport.

I am Jack’s only child, which considering his early playboy lifestyle, is surprising. He and my mom hooked up after one of his sock hops and what followed was a Romeo and Juliet-style confrontation. His parents were determined I would be aborted, my mom disagreed. Jack was shipped out of town to make his fortune. So I didn’t grow up with Jack, which given how dramatic his life was, might have been for the better. But we did meet once when I was 7, and again when I was 12. Both times I met him, he was so impressive to me, and he inspired me to want to work in entertainment.
It wasn’t until I was 23 that we reunited and that was where our story began. His life had mellowed some, and my career was about to begin. It hurt him that I didn’t grow up with him, and he never stopped apologizing for that. Not ever. If he hadn’t been ready to be a father to me before, he was then. I’d never really had a father figure and Jack became my mentor, regaling me for hours with so many larger-than-life stories and pearls of wisdom, that it was hard for me to imagine this person was related to me.

We were very different personalities, but his love and support were always there. I can say without a doubt that he changed me. And for 38 years, he never stopped telling me – or anyone else who’d listen – how proud he was of his son and later, of his three grandsons. Farewell, Pop. You will always be a part of me. You were bigger than life. You lived life on your own terms. And life was always better with you in it. You will be missed.

Jack’s last great love was Patricia Harrison. For over 20 years, she has been the very best thing ever to happen to him. Words can’t describe the love, compassion and caring she showed him right up to the end and I am so grateful to her. 

Hear Ache. Neale Blaze will be guesting this afternoon at 4 p.m. with Central Coast super Talk show host, Dave Congalton. Neale will talk about his amazing journey that he chronicled in Radio on the Run: Hired 40 Times...Fired 22 Times. You can listen at http://www.920kvec.com/. Neale quipped: "In order to keep my record intact, I hope he fires me!" ... Several tornadoes across middle Tennessee last night. "Lots of damage in SEVERAL COUNTIES...We are ok," Shawn Parr reported. "Holy crap," he added ... And former KZLA pd RJ Curtis lives in Tennessee. "We are 100% safe this morning, as we live in Franklin, South of last night’s tornado path. It was a rough, scary overnight, but nothing compared to North and East Nashville," RJ reports ... KLOS and the Meruelo family of stations raised $1,028,539 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Very nice! ... Jeri Seratti Goldman is home in Santa Clarita after a grueling ordeal with a quarantine aboard the Princess Daisy. Her husband, Carl Goldman, remains at the University of Nebraska with his coronavirus quarantine.


Tom Storey is Flying High

 
(March 2, 2020) “I loved to fly over L.A. It’s so beautiful, the sunrises, the sunsets and the weather.” Tom Storey worked many years for several local traffic services. He remembered the best part of his job was when he was “airborne” broadcasting live news and traffic reports for KFWB.

Between 1992 – 2009 he received 11 Golden Mike awards from RTNA, the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California. Tom checked in with LARadio recently.

Even though he no longer flies doing traffic reports, Tom is busy with Avalon Artists Group in Los Angeles doing television commercials. “I have a national commercial that has been airing for Jitterbug flip-phones currently and in 2015,” he emailed. “I was featured on a satirical web-based television news series, airing 176 shows to a World-Wide audience.”

He reported traffic on K-Earth 101 as ”Major Tom,” then over the 17 years working as an airborne reporter, he also did traffic on KLSX, Arrow 93, KMPC and a few other radio stations. He also filled in on the “Sid Barlow” Radio talk show on KIEV in the 1970s. Tom spent five years as a dj on Country KZLA in the 1980s, where he did live interviews with top recording artists, such as Lee Greenwood, Charlie Daniels, and the Sweethearts of the rodeo, and opened concerts on stage at Universal Amphitheater and the Forum. In the early 90s, he jocked at Country K-FROG in the Inland Empire.

(Tom Storey at KZLA, today, and at KFRG (K-FROG)

“While working on my Sunday morning public affairs program ‘Conversation’ on KJOI, I won the California Governor’s award for the Best Public Affairs program concerning the training and hiring of the disabled,” Tom remembered.

“The talk show I did on Sunday night at KMPC, was sponsored by the same group that nominated my show, a group called ADEPT [assisting the disabled with employment, placement, and training]. The show on KMPC was ‘The ADEPT Connection,’ and I was nominated a second time for the California Governor's Award. That organization helped push through the blue disabled parking areas around the country and wheelchair ramps at many facilities, and it was my pleasure to work with them.”

Tom was born in Hollywood “near Sunset and Vine.” His grandfather, also named Tom Storey, was a movie director and writer from the silent films of the 1920s to the ‘Talkies’ in the 1930s. Young Tom grew up in the San Fernando Valley and went to L.A. Valley College and studied anthropology at Cal State Los Angeles. “I trained for a year for a dig in Peru. Just as our team was about to leave, we received a call from the consulate office warning us of Communist guerrilla activity in the mountains. We never went.”

Following a year at Don Martin’s broadcast school, Tom joined KJOI. After a brief four-month stay at KOST in late 1977, Tom rejoined KJOI as operations manager. In the early 1980s Tom was the news director for KWHY, the financial tv station.

Thanks Timmy ....

 


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