LARadio

Archives: May/June 2020

Compiled and Written by Don Barrett
Edited by Alan Oda


 

 



"Memorial Day. Take a moment this weekend to say...Thank You...to the souls of every man and woman that gave all they had...so that we may live in freedom. Semper Fi !!" - Jeff Baugh KFIinthesky


Email Saturday, 5.23.2020

** End of KROQ?

“After reading the devastating Variety piece on what could be the final chapter for KROQ [at least in any recognizable form], it might be time to consider the question: Should 106.7 FM become a simulcast of KNX Newsradio? 

AM stations will face signal challenges in the age of electric cars and audience challenges with younger listeners who’ve never once hit the AM button. It might be a way to protect the only fully-staffed 24-hour radio newsroom in the southland. The fires, impeachment and coronavirus coverage may have raised their profile of late, but KNX could need more muscle in the long run, and there will always be a need for strong local news coverage on the radio.

If KROQ is dying, perhaps let it die with dignity and give KNX its long-deserved chance at fm, just as KCBS in San Francisco and WBBM in Chicago now offer.” – Ethan Harp, New York

** KNX’s Redundancy

“In Austin, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Jacksonville, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Detroit, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Washington DC, either a news station or news/talk station is number one in the ratings. In Los Angeles, KNX is tied for eighth.

A typical ten-minute period can explain KNX’s eighth-place showing: ‘KNX, traffic and weather together on the fives. Here’s Tonya Campos.’ Then a traffic report. Then, ‘Next traffic report at 10:15. I'm Tonya Campos with more traffic reports more often on KNX.’ Three minutes later, a 30-second promo, totally unnecessary, telling us KNX provides traffic reports. Two minutes later, ‘A three-car pileup has the two right lanes blocked on the 210 in Monrovia. We’ll tell you about it in four minutes.’ Two minutes later, a 30-second promo, totally unnecessary, telling us KNX is a news station.

Add up all the traffic reports, promos and commercials and only 50 percent of the broadcast day on ‘Southern California's only 24-hour all-News station’ is devoted to news.” – Steven Thompson

** KNX Traffic a Howl on KTWV

“I enjoyed most of the letters in Email Saturday, except Ken Leighton needs to lighten up! For those of us who drive, essential workers, Traffic on the 5’s and Jennifer York in particular are very welcome, especially when navigating the 210 at 6:30 in the morning! [I’m sure Mr. Leighton doesn't listen to The Wave as Jennifer does Pat Prescott’s morning show in between KNX spots and is a howl!]

Love the self-portrait! Emoji And the cartoon! Re the Sports TALKERS: Sad fact of life is I can only stand two of the seven ‘Heavy Hundred’ – Dan Patrick and Petros! I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to both of them and they are both gentlemen and entertaining! As for the others, you know what they say about ‘If you don't have something nice to say...’ Ken Minyard did / said nothing but the truth. Facebook is run by cowards who allow racial slurs, hate speech and threats but will delete your posts if you call a murderer ‘white trash!’ It’s getting so you have to a) take a deep breath and count to ten before replying to offensive posts, b) scrolling by offensive re-tweets by friends and relatives without saying anything and c) unfriending / unfollowing the same friends / family if they start posting the same things as their own posts/tweets.  I miss having intelligent discussions.

By the way, in case you need a dose of real live sports, TVG has been a beacon of light in the midst of canned sports shows and classic baseball games. Even NBC Sports have teamed up with them Fridays-Sundays in a simulcast, and their on-air personalities not only entertain but educate and even talk about the old days of radio broadcasts of races.” – Julie T. Byers

** K-EARTH Success

“KRTH has arguably the best fm signal in America. First position on Mt Wilson, 6,000 feet, 53KW. Goes from Santa Barbara to San Diego, East to Mojave.

We always knew the station was underrated during the diary methodology because it was a second favorite. On everyone’s dial but never first up. The new methodology proved us right.

Then there are the programmers, from Bill Drake to Mike Phillips to Jhani Kaye during my time they kept the format intact and evolved the music. We went from 50’s-60’s to the 70’s. Now they have moved into the 80’s still playing the tight rotation big hits. They have also transitioned from the ‘big balls’ jocks of my era to a younger sounding air staff. I don’t know the new pd staff but respect them immensely. They haven’t broken the format. They have tuned it to the current times.

And they have the last of the ‘live local’ morning shows. I can say that hiring Gary Bryant was the best decision I ever made. The fact that he is still on the air makes me happy to be a radio guy.” – Pat Duffy

** Nostalgia Sunday

“I read the Nostalgia Sunday story from last week and came across the blurb about Buck Owens and the Buckaroos appearing at the Olympic Auditorium, where for many years boxing was the main draw. It was located near the south end of the I-10 freeway in downtown Los Angeles. I remember when I would take the MTA Blue Line into the city. You can see the building up close when the train would stop at the Grand Street station. There used to be a mural of a boxer, but I believe it is gone now. The building is now owned by a Korean church.” – Dan Ramos, Joshua Tree

** Look of the Quarantined

“The ‘LARadio Publisher Don Barrett Before Self-Quarantine and After’ photos are hysterical as is ‘The Sound Of Silence’ and the Hope / Jobs / Cash and Bacon funnies. You really outdid yourself in the humor department today partner, the more laughs the better these days so many thanks helping us all to keep our daubers up!” – Rich Brother Robbin

** Before and After Photos

“The pic’ of you before and after is alarming. Get a lot of rest and take serious care of yourself.  You’re very important to all of us.” – Larry McKay


Rob Newton Part of KFI News Team

 
(May 22, 2020) KFI AM 640 has always had a knack for finding wonderful news talent. Not only do they do their newscasts covering Southland stories, they integrate themselves seamlessly into the high-profile local talk shows. They actively become part of the show.

One of the newest voices is Rob Newton. Last summer Rob joined the Talk station as a news anchor and reporter. When he’s not doing his news job, Rob is producing the Walk in Truth radio show and podcast where he also produces and sometimes voices radio commercials. Walk in Truth is an audio ministry of Living Truth Christian Fellowship in Corona.

Rob grew up in Big Bear Lake and graduated from the radio broadcasting program at Fullerton College. “My first paid job was at KCAA AM 1050 in San Bernardino in 2012,” emailed Rob. “I was a board op and announcer.” In 2013, he started as an announcer and producer at KBRT AM 740 in Costa Mesa. 

Rob has a love for the great outdoors and has been hiking and camping since before it was REI-hipster cool. He also loves to go hunting and fishing whenever he can. Thanks to his English teacher girlfriend, he now loves to read as well. You can follow Rob @radiorobnewton.

Hear Ache
. Wanna talk sports? Harvey Hyde interviews Iron Man Chuck Hayes. Listen here ... Nancy Rodriguez, most recently with Ventura radio is the new head of marketing for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Paula … Rob Archer is celebrating five years with KNX ... If you have Alexa, ask her to play Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop. Her response will put a smile on your face ... Cousin Brucie had a nice tribute to Johnny Otis this week on '60s on 6' at SiriusXM. Learned some things about the music pioneer I never knew. One of my first concerts was seeing him at one of Art Laboe's dances at El Monte Legion Stadium. Of course, the diversified musician was also a LARP.
 


Former KFWB All-News News Director Dies

 
(May 21, 2020) Reg Laite, former KFWB news director in 1971-73, died on May 12, 2020 of cancer at age 89. 

Reg was born on October 2, 1930 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. After his high school years in Brewer, Maine he served four years in the U.S. Air Force and subsequently earned his Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University.

In 1958 he embarked on a career in broadcast news, starting as combined writer, editor and announcer at a radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina. Eventually,Reg became news director of KYW in Philadelphia and then KFWB, where he was one of the early pioneers in the all-News format.

The Laites moved to Sleepy Hollow in the Bicentennial summer of 1976, when Reg became news director of WOR 710 AM-New York. He also hosted Newsbeat, interviewing Governors Carey and Cuomo, mayors, and other public figures on air. He later left management and finished his career writing and editing for NBC television news. 

During his long retirement, he enjoyed golfing, reading, and mentoring those around him. 
Leos Materialized. Last week we lamented that while reconstructing the “L” section of Where Are They Now, we discovered that Richard Leos, formerly a jock with Jazz KBCA (105.1/fm), had died. We had scant information on his life, but David Grudt and Tony Morton both dug up a 1975 LA Times story from radio reporter James Brown. Thank you.

Richard spent eight years with Saul Levine’s station working as a county probation officer during the week and hosting a Latin music on the weekends. The music was a “melting pot of ‘30s and ‘40s Cuban dance bands, African and South American influences, fortified by American jazz and popularized by such rock groups as Santana and Malo.”

Leos starved for a time as a professional musician in Los Angeles, before deciding to join the Armed Forces and ending up at Arizona State University to study architecture. In 1963, he returned to the Southland. He loved KBCA and called the owner, Saul Levine, to complain about the paucity of Latin music. Levine gave him a weekend shift while during the week, Leos worked with youngsters at the county probation office.

He told Brown: “Music is my first love and always will be. I mean, this show is like my pacifier – I just come here and trip out.”

Hear Ache
. Tuesday night The Voice topped the competition … Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Joe Walsh is bringing an old-fashioned rock n’ roll radio show to 88.5/fm. The new show debuts at 6 p.m. this Saturday. Walsh is a longtime listener and contributor to the AAA station … Wendy Williams scheduled to take another hiatus from her show due to health reasons.

KNX's Rob Archer's new book, “Sunday Traffic Every Day: Selected poems 1980-2020,” was published this week and now available
from Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions. "Call it apocalyptic poetry," said Archer.
"The cover is an original painting by my KNX colleague Emily Valdez."


Response to Seacrest's Performance

  
(May 20, 2020) Social media lit up following Sunday night’s American Idol,  with concerns that host Ryan Seacrest suffered a stroke while on the air. At one point he struggled to read off the script during the finale, while his left eye appeared larger than his right. Some thought he might have had a stroke, Bell's Palsy, or a TIA incident. When Ryan didn’t appear on Monday’s Live with Kelly and Ryan, speculation grew more intense. But he was on the tv show Tuesday morning.

The 45-year-old tv and KIIS morning star said he was thankful for well wishes after suffering ‘exhaustion.’ A rep for Ryan said he did not suffer a stroke but just adjusting to the new normal and “the added stress of putting on live shows from home.” Ryan was in great spirits as he rejoined Kelly Ripa on Tuesday morning for Live with Kelly and Ryan, according to Daily Mail.com. Seacrest did not address fears about his health but thanked Kelly’s husband Mark Consuelos for stepping in for him when he took the day off. He didn’t make any mention of the concerns for his health. “Between Live with Kelly and RyanAmerican Idol, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, (KIIS/fm) and the Disney Family Singalong specials, he has been juggling three to four on-air jobs over the last few weeks and he’s in need of rest,” said a Seacrest rep.

Bob Koontz, a two-time victim of Bell's palsey, watched the video of Ryan and believes he may have had a very mild episode. "The first time I woke up with the entire left side of my face experiencing facial paralysis. We thought I had a stroke, my speech was affected and for me to carry on a conversation I needed to push up the left side of my face," emailed Koontz. "The second time was less severe but still had facial paralysis and the left eye lid closing. Some people told me that I sounded drunk when I spoke. I had acupuncture every day for 2 or 3 weeks and by the end of the month I was mostly back to normal. Some people never recover from it, the lasting negative effects for me my left eye still droops, so I guess I was pretty lucky."

Hear Ache. As we reported on Monday, Gene “Bean” Baxter is on the mend from coronavirus. “I’m not only feeling stronger every day but I’ll be gosh-darned if I’m gonna let Her Majesty outlive me,” tweeted Bean … The “Before” and “After” photo of me yesterday prompted some pretty snarky comments. Bob Sirkin thinks I should go to Walmart for some curlers. Dave Armstrong wanted to know which was the before photo and which was the after? K.M. Richards thinks I look just like Bruce Dern. Puhlese.  … The Voice rises to top Monday ratings … New pick-up line: “If Covid-19 doesn’t take you out, can I?” … Robert Feder was reviewing his highlights in a distinguished 40 years covering the media in Chicago, when he remembered the role that Steve Dahl (ex-KPPC) had on his own career. The news of Dahl’s firing following his Disco Demolition at Comiskey Park brought Feder his first front-page byline in the Chicago Sun-Times and “It began a career-defining association with the future Radio Hall of Famer. Though Dahl and I were at odds for many years, he did as much to boost my brand as anyone. People still tell me they first began reading my column because they heard him ripping me,” wrote Feder … Congratulations to Joe Cipriano, the voice of K-EARTH. “It's been Forty-One-derful years,” he posted on his Facebook page. “I've loved you through the 70s, 80s, 90s and Today - I think that's a radio format.” … John Jenkins of Santa Barbara thinks it may be perfect timing if you want to save some money at Christmas. “Tell the kids Santa Claus didn’t make it through the pandemic.” … Variety has a fascinating story headlined: 'It’s the End of the World Famous KROQ as We Know It.' There are even some quotes from LARadio.com. Read it
here.

"They said I can visit friends if I stay in my car." (Thanks to Richard Vaniotis)

 


Colin Cowherd Tops Heavy Hundred List of Sports Talkers

 
(May 19, 2020) KLAC’s Colin Cowherd has been named The Most Important Sports Talk Radio Host in America by TALKERS magazine. Every year TALKERS ranks sports talk hosts, duos, or ensembles from 1 to 100 based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors. TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey says it’s important to note that this year’s Heavy Hundred comes with an important qualifying statement.

“The publication of this year’s list was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and it is crucial to note that it represents a snapshot of the industry as it was shortly after January 1, 2020 and is based on performances and assessments made prior to that point. Although we were prepared to publish the list in March, we delayed publication in order to focus on the pandemic’s effect on the radio industry. As a result of COVID-19, some of the talent on this list have been victims of unexpected staff reductions and furloughs and are not currently on the air. It is our belief that they deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments, nonetheless.

Other LARP who made the Heavy Hundred Sports Talk host list:

1.   Colin Cowherd
2.   Jim Rome
3.   Dan Patrick
6.   Dan LeBatard & Stugotz
39. Steve Mason & John Ireland
42. Petros Papadakis & Matt Money Smith
65. Keyshawn, LZ & Travis

Hear Ache
. Ira David Sternberg (ex-KOST) is now a PR guru in Las Vegas. As they city reopens he suggests that you self-park at casinos unless your valet shows negative test results … Mark Taz Graves, formerly with OC Radio, has been battling prostate cancer. After a year since diagnosis Taz provides an update: “As of this month the cancer is still confined to my prostate. I have been on hormone injections of Lupron every six months and a daily regime of four Xtandi capsules. The plan is to continue to reduce the size of my prostate to a point where radiation can be performed without major damage to surrounding tissue. I still have a Supra Pubic Catheter and the goal is to avoid having a colostomy bag after radiation. My catheter prevents me from submerging in water and this is what causes me the most anxiety that I will never be able to enjoy the water like I have all my life.” … Former KABC morning super star Ken Minyard is perplexed. “On our Minyard & Minyard page Facebook shut us down for three days for using the same word that Trump did in his infamous tape to describe where he liked to grab women, only our use wasn't vulgar. We said: ‘Men who don't wear masks are P****ies.’ Better fix your algorithms Facebook.” … Mookie is thrilled that KCSN (88.5/fm) has been nominated for Station Of The Year in the upcoming, JBE (formerly FMQB) Triple-A SummitFest Awards. “The sweetest part is that the nominations are chosen by our industry peers,” emailed Mookie.

LARadio Publisher Don Barrett Before Self-Quarantine and After


Bean Contracts Coronavirus

 
(May 18, 2020) Gene “Bean” Baxter has again made headlines, but not the kind he was expecting. On Twitter, he announced that he has coronavirus, COVID-19. This is after doing what he perceived everything correctly with staying at home, going out only to walk the dog and food while wearing necessary protection gear. Bean recently left his almost 30-year reign as co-host of the popular KROQ Kevin & Bean Show to embark on a new journey, returning to his home country in England. In 2012, Bean donated one of his kidneys to KROQ engineer /personality Scott Mason.

Hear Ache. Pat Prescott, KTWV morning host and producer checked in to say that she is using our recent series on the future of radio after the pandemic in a Radio Broadcasting course she teaches at Santa Monica College. “The recent series on the future of radio has been especially helpful in advancing our dialogue on where we're headed and how the next generation of broadcasters will handle our industry’s current challenges,” emailed Pat … KROQ added a two-hour Latin music to its Sunday night programming. Gene “Bean” Baxter commented: “I’ve predicted @KROQ will eventually go Spanish, or Talk, for a long time. I just don’t see how the Los Angeles market can support so many rock stations. And KROQ is the most niche, and with the worst signal too. Still, I wish them well.” … Adam Carolla thinks we are well prepared for talking through plexiglass. “From arguing with the nice man at the check cashing place, being refused the bathroom key at the gas station, or catching up with family in prison this is our time to shine,” Adam wrote on social media … American Idol (hosted by Ryan Seacrest) has been renewed for a fourth season … Jim Richards noted that Keith Richards tested positive for everything but COVID-19 … Big jump in viewership at QVC and HSN, per Wall Street Journal … Strange social media posting about staying at home. “Getting a hair stuck in your mouth has to be a million times more gross when you’re bald.” … Michael Medved is returning to the radio on CRN1. “Michael is one of radio’s best storytellers. He provides knowledge, a unique perspective and truly entertains his listeners every single day,” according CRN president/ceo Mike Horn … Bad news for KNX all-News purists. The two-hour bartered Car Pro program on Saturday mornings has resumed after five-week hiatus while the station concentrated on coronavirus news … Howard Stern had a fascinating interview with Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos last week. When Alex Trebek dies, Howard thinks George should be the new Jeopardy host. George, a Rhodes scholar, didn’t object to the idea … Engineer Jerry Lewine received excellent news in his cancer fight: “The results of this past week’s PET scan showed no cancer! I will soon begin stem cell replacement which will keep me isolated at City of Hope for about a month and if all goes as planned, this will ensure that the cancer will not recur. I’ll still have to be checked regularly for the rest of my life and you are invited to my 100th birthday bash! … Puns galore on the Internet about this pandemic: “I told my suitcases that there will be no vacation this year. Now I’m dealing with emotional baggage.”

 


LA Times ad from April 16, 1971 ... from David Grudt's collection

 


Email Saturday, 5.16.2020

 
** Tribute to R ‘n R Pioneer

“I go way back to the late 50s with Little Richard. I first saw him at my hometown Muncie, Indiana’s National Guard Armory. I was a student at Indiana University at the time. 

Richard, during one of the breaks and obviously attracted to me, asked me to travel with him on tour. I was amazed, but politely declined.

Much later, in the ’90s I was a dj at K-EARTH 101 and Richard’s original drummer [and former brother-in-law] Charles Connor was a long-time security guard there. I’d had trouble getting Richard’s autograph over the years and I asked Charles if he could get it for me. This practically indecipherable signature on Richard’s photo is the result: Little Richard aka Richard Penniman – RIP. He was an unforgettable, colorful monument to the beginnings of Rock & R & B Music.” – Larry McKay

 
 ** All the Hits, All the Time

“Would you have any idea why KRTH, whose playlist has been only Oldies for nearly 35 years, sits at or near the top all of the time?” – David Dana-Bashian

** Nostalgia Sunday

“I read the piece last Sunday on KNX and KFWB. I started in the mailroom at Columbia Square in 1970 and KNX had Mike Roy on in midday and the drama shows on at night. I don’t remember if USC play-by-play was on. The thinking then was there were hours where people were having lunch or watching tv. No in-car listening. Then came the killers for AM news.

Every local tv station started news shows from 6 a.m. on. Now till midnight. Then came computers, you didn’t have to wait 20 minutes to get the Dodgers score. A click and it was there. Headlines were there. The local tv shows were doing personality radio. LA never needed two all-News radio stations, KNX has the killer signal and because of that is still viable.

1010 WINS in New York had the signal to compete with WCBS. KFWB just had a hard-working talented staff trying to push the rock uphill. As for the Dodgers, their contract had clauses that only would allow for major disasters. They were the worst broadcast contracts ever because they had all the leverage. Especially at shit signals like KFWB. The final killer for AM News and Talk is the spot load, 18-20 minutes?” – Pat Duffy

** Armstrong Understood

“I really enjoyed reading the words from Dave Armstrong. He hired me to be the KKLA midday host from 1998-2004. He was the best general manager I ever worked for in my entire career. He was kind, direct and caring.

I remember my first week on air at KKLA. One of my sons suffered from migraine headaches. As a single parent, it was always challenging to have back-up childcare. On that day, I brought my son with me to the studio and put his blanket and pillow under the console and told him to be quiet as a mouse every time I opened the mic. He was such a sweet boy and was so quiet.

The studio was dark and in walked Dave Armstrong and noticed something under my console. On my gosh, I thought I was going to be fired my first week on the job. Instead, Dave returned with a special baseball. He told my son to feel better so he could get out there and play ball. I didn’t get fired and my kids were always welcomed at KKLA. Thank you, Dave Armstrong for your gentle, understanding and compassionate manner.” – Rita Pardue

** Thoughts on KNX

“I have trouble understanding how KNX actually went down in the April ratings while it seems every other news station across the country went up. Talker KFI was number 1 and even KABC increased by 40%. Here is my theory. I think KNX has done a very good job going out and getting more in-the-street ‘actualities’ than any other station. They are still staffed [thank God] by quality journalists. My only concern is this: why do they insist on so many long traffic reports? HELLO...DRIVING IS WAY, WAY DOWN. And yet their traffic reports every ten minutes seem just as long.

Also, I have to admit that while their morning traffic lady is probably a very nice person, it seems she has gotten carried away with her trademark Calamity Jane frenzy. It’s her shtick, her gimmick, to just flip out and get wildly excited over traffic, even when there isn’t any. She gets so frenetic that she mangles words to the point you can't understand them, or she just doesn’t even get them out at all. Words actually have fallen victim to her flip-out, hair-on-fire delivery. With her, it’s Fractious Friday every day of the week. It’s good she cares about her work. But there is no excuse for KNX to have gone down during the first full month of the Covid. This is the only thing I would suggest they work on. We have enough real drama. The overplayed KNX traffic reports are not helping in my opinion.” – Ken Leighton

** Early LA Radio

“I see we have Lompoc in common. Omitted from my brief bio on LARadio is the one year I spent there after leaving KFWB.

AFTRA struck the station in the spring of 1971, and since I was ‘at the editor’s desk,’ I qualified as management. The strike was brutal, worked us editors to the max during long days in six-day weeks. Management voices arrived from around Group W’s network, including Jim Burson, who had been news director at KYW in Philly when I landed there as a ‘management trainee’ after Vietnam.

It was great to work with Vince Campagna at KFWB — always gracious and friendly to me. I was a young know-it-all with a couple journalism degrees and five years as an Army officer when I took over as the editor of morning drive, and my reception from some of the heavy-hitters on the staff could be described as ‘chilly,’ but never from Vince.

One memory of my time in the early 70s: The parking lot behind KFWB on Hollywood Boulevard was a hot spot for crime. My shift on the news desk began at 2 a.m., so I was a bit wary when someone was stabbed in the lot late one night. I started carrying my Army-issue .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol into the station in a brown paper bag. I’d stash it the editor’s desk and go about my business. The union guys soon realized what I had in the drawer and filed a grievance. General manager Art Schreiber called me into his office and patiently explained that I couldn’t keep a loaded pistol in the editor’s desk any more — another cherished memory of fast times at KFWB.

I was fixing to leave KFWB when I attended a Walter Cronkite talk at the Ambassador Hotel that summer. He said cable was ‘the next big thing in television.’ I soaked it up, found a position at Lompoc Valley Cable TV as its first Local Origination Manager, and had a ball for a year cablecasting Lompoc and Cabrillo high school sports. I was the Chet Forte of Lompoc Valley! Scott Ostler, much-honored sports columnist now at the SF Chronicle, was sports editor at the Lompoc Record and hosted my Tuesday night replay of the Friday night football games. He interviewed the high school heroes, while I coordinated the playback in our tiny studio.” – Doug Carlson

** Saturday Night Come Together

“When creative people have down time, they create and that's what we’ve been doing. Tim Piper, my partner on the podcast Talks with John and the radio show Back with The Beatles, officially debuted our Saturday night variety show – the Come Together Club – on Facebook Live. It’s an hour of fun, music, talk and even a portion just for the kids. Our guests included the iconic Shotgun Tom Kelly, Big Band singer Bill A. Jones, Screamin’ Scott Simon from Sha Na Na, John Van Kamp from BossBossRadio.com and Tommy Scheckel from Paul Revere's Raiders. It’s not just about entertainment, it’s about fun and positivity. We were really pleased to see [in the comments] our audience not just enjoying the show but talking to each other – exactly what the Come Together Club is supposed to do.” - Tammy Trujillo

** Post Covid-19

“As I sit in our temporary home studio, I can only think of our late great boss, Stanley L Spero, general manager at Golden West Broadcasters, KMPC 710 Los Angeles. When I first met Stan in 1976, he said radio will never die. Yes, ad revenues are down, but so what. We all are good business minds. We make adjustments and I agree radio will live on forever. I remember in 1960 when my sister took a job at the old original Poole-owned KBIG 104 FM, Sunset Blvd studios, we all wondered what fm was. And most of the old timers pooh poohed the thought of fm. AM/FM radio will never die.” – Alan L. Gottfried
1977 LA Times ad


Time for the Radio Hall of Fame

 
(May 15, 2020) The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced that the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee is now accepting suggestions for 2020 nominees. Submit your suggestions at http://www.radiohalloffame.com/ and click on the Nominate tab.

Every national Hall of Fame story is a painful reminder that Los Angeles, the greatest radio market, has no Hall of Fame to honor their best. It is criminal.

When the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters struggled to reinvent themselves a year or so ago, it seemed like a natural to embrace this ambitious and rewarding venture. Under the Hollywood Media Professional banner, the group could easily put together an induction dinner once or twice a year. The revenue from participants and guests could be very lucrative, not only covering expenses but contributing to future expenses. More importantly it would put the spotlight on a much-maligned entertainment platform – radio. The museum could be put online, avoiding the costs of a building or structure. Having it online would be a great place to have audio of the inductees, representing their best work.

Let’s give this idea some serious consideration. Too many of our giants are passing.
Hear AcheJohn Lander has an idea for when this quarantine is over, “let’s not tell some people” … KFI’s George Noory joined KLAC’s Colin Cowherd’s weekly podcast. Noory chatted with Cowherd about the mysterious Navy pilot videos recently declassified by the Pentagon, the conspiracy theories around the origins of COVID-19, and the unsolved case of the D.B. Cooper airplane hijacking in 1971 … Denise Madden was saddened that Gary Price had died. Picture in the gallery above was a photo taken at Lee Larsen's (KLOS) going away party in 1983. “Gary was a good man, one we will miss,’” wrote Denise … Alex Gervasi, former middayer at KIIS, has joined Universal Music Group’s Music and Tactics team … Maryann Caruso (KLSX 1997-97) wondered on Facebook if it is really necessary to have a Fleetwood Mac channel on SiriusXM?  … Nancy Cole (Silverman), former general manager at all-Sports KMPC/1540 has successfully transitioned to a career in writing. She has just published her second book in her Misty Dawn series. LARP Rochelle Staab calls Nancy’s new book, “A great escape.” … KROQ starts a new show Sunday night called “Aternalido,” a new Latin alternative show hosted by Anthony ValadezJeff Federman, head of KROQ, explained: “Los Angeles is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States and we’re excited to broaden our sound to reflect the musical tastes of our community.” ... Looking forward to Hallmark’s holiday offering A Very Covid Christmas, when a big city lawyer and country candle maker accidentally meet when they go to the wrong Zoom meeting.
Timmy Manocheo found this foto of the Fab Four, perhaps the lads were ahead of the times


Mission Statement

(May 14, 2020) The mission of Los Angeles Radio People is to salute the men and women who have entertained us over the decades. We started around 1957, roughly the start of that music transition from Pop to Rock ‘n Roll and the explosion of Color Radio.

We depend a lot on the LARP themselves to update their activities, but sometimes we discover they have passed. It becomes catch up time, with the help of others, to adequately spotlight their lives. We do it because no one else does. LA Times requires an arm and leg (no pun intended) to publish an obit.

Oh, you might get a Facebook mention for a day or two but we can shine a continuous light on those who are no longer with us in the Where Are They Now section.

Technology, or my careless worked, wiped out the letter L last year. Each entry in Where Are They Now has to be redone. The other day while working on Richard Leos, we discovered he died February 5, 2017, at the age of 80. For almost a decade (1967-76), Richard introduced the Southland to Latin Jazz on Saul Levine’s station, KBCA (105.1). After his radio career, Richard worked as an LA County Probation officer in the 80's and 90's until his retirement, due to a stroke. Richard had been living in Monterey Park.

If you have a photo of Richard or further information about him, it would be much appreciated. And if your entry needs updating, send the info to 
AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com.


Hear Ache

 
(May 13, 2020)  With radio hemorrhaging listeners during this pandemic, the recent Myers Report asks the question: “Where Have All the Ideas Gone? When Will Media Ever Learn?’ The report suggests very few are focused on the innovative ideas for advertisers to implement, on sponsorship opportunities or more effective ways to connect marketers’ brand messages to relevant content environments … Former KABC and KNX morning man Dave Williams went food shopping in Dallas the other day and saw an X on the floor by the cash register. “I’ve seen too many Road Runner cartoons to fall for that,” he said ... Salem is adjusting to the uncertainty of the economy. The company has temporarily suspended the regular quarterly cash dividend on its common stock. Additional cuts include: reducing travel and entertainment, eliminating open positions and new hires, reducing staffing when appropriate, requesting rent concessions from landlords, reducing employee compensation and requesting discounts from vendors ... Julie Pilat, former pd at KYSR, is learning all sorts of new things during the quarantine. “I learned that Debbie Harry was adopted. I’ve been listening to her book while walking this week,” Julie wrote … Half of podcast consumers in China listen every day, according to the first survey of podcasting in the country from PodFest China. The most popular app is Apple Podcasts … Former KRLA jock Lee Duncan wants to re-install 2020. This one has a virus" … If you visit Pittsburgh, you can listen to Big Boy on WAMO … Ted Ziegenbusch did a fun telephone interview last week about the decade of the 1980s. During the conversation he suddenly remembered something that puts this aging thing in perspective. “We began that decade with no cellphones, no personal computers and radio was our only free source of music. Men had more facial hair, and women had outrageously puffy hairdos. The biggest #1 song for the entire decade was Physical by Olivia Newton John. It spent 10 weeks at #1. If you had your own time machine like the one in Back to the Future, would you go back to the 1980s for a little while? Would you stay there?” asked Ted.


KFI Talks to #1

(May 12, 2020) Nothing in our lives is normal, so why should we expect the ratings to be normal? Talk station KFI returns to the top of the PPM ratings for April '20 in the 6+, 6a-12mid Mon-Sun during the coronavirus pandemic ... In addition to KFI, all the Talk stations had significant increases - KABC (1.0 - 1.4) KRLA (1.4 - 1.8) and KEIB (0.8 - 1.1) ... With the Talk stations realizing these increases, all-News KNX drops (3.8 - 3.4) ... A disturbing trend is the loss of radio listeners. The top 5 music stations all lost over 800,000 listeners each ... Sports stations, with no sports to cover, tanked. KSPN failed to make the list ... KROQ took a precipitous drop to tie with KABC in a tie for 27th. The complete listing of the top 40 stations:

1. KFI (Talk) 4.2 - 5.5
2. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.2 - 5.2
3. KOST (AC) 5.1 - 4.5
    KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.9 - 4.5
5. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 4.0 - 4.2
6. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.4 - 4.1
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.4 - 3.5
8. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.3 - 3.4
    KLOS (Classic Rock) 3.0 - 3.4
    KNX (News) 3.8 - 3.4
11. KIIS (Top 40/M) 3.9 - 3.0
12. KKGO (Country) 2.5 - 2.7

     KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.4 - 2.7
14. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.3 - 2.6
15. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.3 - 2.5
16. KUSC (Classical) 1.9 - 2.3
17. KYSR (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.2
18. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.9 - 2.0

      KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 2.1 - 2.0
      KPCC (News/Talk) 1.9 - 2.0
      KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.2 - 2.0
22. KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.1 - 1.9
23. KRLA (Talk) 1.4 - 1.8
      KRRL (Urban AC) 2.4 - 1.8
25. KCRW (Variety) 1.5 - 1.7
26. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.1 - 1.5
27. KABC (Talk) 1.0 - 1.4
      KFWB (Regional Mexican) 1.0 - 1.4
      KROQ (Alternative) 2.0 - 1.4
30. KAMP (Top 40/M) 1.9 - 1.3
      KKJZ (Jazz) 1.1 - 1.3
      KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.8 - 1.3
33. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.2 - 1.2
34. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 1.1
      KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 1.0 - 1.1
36. KLLI (Latin Urban) 1.0 - 1.0
37. KDLD (Regional Mexican) 1.0 - 0.9
      KTNQ (Spanish Talk) 0.6 - 0.9
39. KKLA (Religious) 0.6 - 0.8
40. KLAC (Sports) 0.9 - 0.5

Little Richard Couldn't Help It

(May 11, 2020) Bob Lefsetz wrote that Little Richard was a hero to our heroes. Some have called Little Richard a founding father of rock & roll. Would Elton John’s flamboyant garb and persona be accepted if it hadn’t been for Little Richard and his pioneering performances?

Little Richard died over the weekend. If you lived in those music explosive days in 1956-58, your radio was turned upside down and inside out by the pounding sound of Tutti FruttiRip It Up, and Long Tall Sally.

The Beatles recorded several of his songs. So did Pat Boone, sometimes to greater chart success than the originator. (Little Richard later told Rolling Stone that he made sure to sing Long Tall Sally faster than Tutti Frutti so that Boone couldn’t copy him as much.)

I can’t tell you how many times I saw The Girl Can’t Help It, an insipid Jayne Mansfield flick that opened with Little Richard singing the title song. The song was enough reason for repeat visits to the Criterion Theatre on 3rd Street in Santa Monica. Gads, is that what was in store for us in the movies? Forget those movies featuring Big Bands. Move over. It was now our turn. How about Don’t Knock the Rock?

This was now our music and Hollywood was trying to figure out how to integrate this forbidden music into mainstream films. RIP to a true rock ‘n roll personality.

Little Richard was one of the 10 original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Brian Beirne, Mr. Rock N’ Roll and longtime K-EARTH personality (pictured with Little Richard), has some warm memories of Little Richard. “I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my friend Little Richard. Richard and I went back over 50 years. It was a great honor for me when he asked me to be his presenter at his Walk of Fame induction. Richard worked many concerts for me over the years.”

Brian remembered his favorite memory was a wedding he did for a Newport Beach client. “The client loved my annual Legends of Rock N' Roll Show I did at The Greek Theatre and wanted something on a smaller scale. The lineup included The Penguins, Jack Scott, Phil Phillips and Little Richard. Richard was to do four songs and he wound up doing an hour and twenty minutes. He did not want to leave the stage. It was quite a wedding. Richard was one of a kind and I will miss him.”




Email Saturday, 5.9.2020

** Armstrong the Best

“Thanks for the timely article by Dave Armstrong. I’ve worked for a lot of general managers in my career. Dave was among the cream of the cream.

By far, he was the most encouraging and supportive leader that I ever worked for in Los Angeles or elsewhere. He was also generous enough to share his wisdom with the rest of us. Whenever I would ask ‘why’ he felt a certain way, whatever the topic, I got a straight-forward and fully detailed answer. He never pulled any punches and never sat on the fence waiting for the wind to blow in the right direction.

So his advice is well worth absorbing here. Instead of bemoaning what has come upon us, get to work, be creative and get back to what we all do best. Let’s entertain our audience and remember that it’s all about relationships, on both the radio and in sales.” – Ted Ziegenbusch

** Armstrong Unsung Hero  

 “At last. Someone finally sings for the ‘unsung hero.’ I enjoyed your article on Dave Armstrong. He hired me to work weekends at KWIZ in the mid-eighties. I found him to be kind, gentle and thoughtful.  After having worked in radio through four states and Mexico, I had rarely found that. Dave was kind of like ‘Arthur Carlson’ / WKRP in Cincinnati, except he was smart. 

I am not a Christian, but that did not keep me from noticing that Dave always practiced what he preached. He led by example. Pretty rare in radio then, and less so these days. 

Best to you, Dave.” - Bill ("Daniels") Schwarz, Ontario  

** GM for Polar Opposite Stations

“Great piece on Gary Price. KDAY was his one world as a general manager. KNAC was the polar opposite for him. The fact that he was comfortable and innovative in both formats is the biggest tribute to him as a radio guy. Thanks again for remembering Gary.” – Mike Stark

** Price Ruined Me

“So sad. Gary Price was a straight shooter who ruined me for other gm’s. And, he had the best pipes in the building!” – Long Paul

** Boss Man

“Thanks for the great column on the passing of my general manager, Gary Price. I’m proud to say that I go  to work for him twice: Once from October ’86 to December ’90, then again from 1992 to the end of KNAC in the Heavy Metal format on February 15, 1995. In effect, he changed my life twice [which was sorely needed] after my stints at KLOS, Pirate Radio and a bout with a brain tumor.

Gary was a great manager. What I respected about him most was his ability to make a decision. But beyond that he was an innovator, an astute observer of the markets around him which allowed him to find the niches, measure the risks [high!] and develop the audiences to be served.  He’s responsible for giving life to two formats that the ‘big boys’ ignored, first with the Urban format at KDAY, then with the Metal format at KNAC.  I am heartbroken with the news of his passing, but I am certain that I’m a better person for having known him.” – Thrasher (Ted Prichard)

** Priceless in Many Formats

“So sorry to learn about Gary Price when I checked in this morning. He was part of the KFXM-San Bernardino lineup when I first started listening to Top 40 radio in the early 60’s. He did the 6-midnight ‘Platter Party’ shift and unveiled the new Top 40 survey every Friday night starting at 6. Top 40 radio was so MAGICAL back then. I still remember the lineup of KFXM back when I first started listening to it. Ron Garner did the ‘Rise and Shine’ show 6-10a, Jack Sands was on 10a-2p on the ‘Coffee Club.’ Bill Tanner did the ‘Club 590’ show 2-6pm and Gary Price hosted ‘Platter Party’ 6-mid. George Babcock was on all night mid-6a with ‘Night Watch.’

I met Gary a few times when I was at K/men. He was always a very pleasant guy with a quick smile and obviously had great success off the air. All of the radio personalities of our teen years are slowly riding off into the sunset.” – Bruce Chandler

** Price Start

“Your ‘Where Are They Now’ entry for Gary Price says he was at KHJ/fm in 1971-72. Actually, he was promoted to general manager in May of 1970 after several months working in the sales department.  Price began in radio as a dj at 1290 KPER [now KAZA] in Gilroy.” – Steven Thompson

** Recent Passings

“If it weren'’t for LARadio.com, I probably wouldn't have known that general manager, Gary Price, and talent extraordinaire, Steve Lundy, had recently passed away. They, along with pd Jim Taber, made my time at KROQ the most enjoyable of my career.” – Jhani Kaye

**KIQQ Partner

“I'm sorry to hear about Gary Price’s passing. Loved seeing my old teammate Jim Maddox mentioned. He’s a very nice man.” – Mike Butts

** Investment Opportunities

“At one time, Gary Price and I were very friendly. Eventually we lost touch with one another. He even set up a luncheon with Fred Sands and me and Gary as he wanted me to explain to Fred that radio was a very good investment if stations could be purchased at around eight times cash flow or less. At the times multiples were reasonable. Sometimes the price was 1-1/2 times revenues (less trade and barter). Gary was an exceptionally nice person and very easy to be around. He had no airs and treated everyone with respect. Very sorry to hear he passed away.” – Bob Fox

**Nostalgia Sunday

“I really enjoy the Sunday nostalgia pieces. I especially liked the artwork from KLAC in 1970. If a station took that playlist and played it in that order right now, I would be their loyal listener forever. Of course, there are probably only about six of us who'd listen.” – Tim James, Mr. Procedure

** Hey Sport

“My heart goes out to the radio sports stations but for us older tv golf nuts, Golf Channel is featuring replays of great tournaments of the past. It works because us older folks don’t remember what happened a year or two or five ago. I’ll turn on such-and-such tournament replay and end up watching the whole damn thing because at ‘76 the ’CRS [Can’t Remember Nothin’] has gotten pretty severe.” – Rich Brother Robbin

** What Time Is It?

“This morning I was listening to the news, not on radio but on NBC4. THREE TIMES in one break, the two newscasters told me what time it was, and it was always 6:26! That means three times in ONE MINUTE! I was coached years ago, and have coached others along the way, not to give the time in every break. It just sounds like cheesy ‘puker jock’ radio, but the morning tv shows do it constantly!” – Brian Perez

** Smoke This

“Grand Havana Room in Beverly Hills shuttered for almost two months due to the Covid hysteria!! I worry that bugs may have infested those precious Cubans hiding in those private lockers.

I'm also worried about the CIGARS.” – Magic Matt Alan

** Humble Email

“Thanks for keeping the column going, and I trust you are well and healthy. Seeing the photo of Humble Harve you posted this week reminded me of something I keep meaning to bring up, though you may already know this. He had a major cameo in the low-budget 1980 film The Hollywood Knights. It was a bit of a rip-off of American Graffiti, but has some great early big-screen appearances from the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer, Tony Danza, Fran Drescher, and Robert Wuhl. Humble basically plays himself, manning an all-night sidewalk radio studio, essentially the same role Wolfman Jack did in American Graffiti. Bit of a silly romp overall, so don’t expect Masterpiece Theatre.” – Dave Kunz, Automotive Reporter, KABC-TV, Co-host, “The Car Show,” KPFK
** Country HOF

“As you know, in February, I was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is scheduled for September. One of my former program directors, from my KZLA Daze, is the head of the Country Radio Broadcasters. He has asked all the inductees to submit pictures from our lives and careers. I can across this from my first year as the country editor for Radio & Records newspaper. The picture is important to me because it is the only photo I could find of the pd, Gary Perkins, who was hired from KHEY in El Paso.

He and the new gm, Bert Whalen, came to San Diego and listened to the station for week in a hotel. They went to KSON’s owner, Dan McKinnon, and told him they were going to fire everyone on the station except for the guy doing the Saturday night show: Me. They wanted me to do morning drive. I was 19 and going to San Diego State. McKinnon told them ‘No way!’

Now these two new hires told Dan if they couldn’t do what they were hired to do, they would go back to El Paso. McKinnon said okay but I had to move the ratings up over two ratings books.

In those days the ratings were done four times a year. KSON was 15th in the market. My first book I took the morning show to number seven. The next rating, I was at NUMBER ONE!!!!

Held that rating from 1969 to 1974 when Bob Wilson asked me to come to LA. By the way, Dan and I later became friends and served on the Country Music Association’s Board of Directors several years. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago. But he is in the Country Radio Hall Fame. I hope they hang my plaque next to his. Gary Perkins is sitting at the control board.” – Jim Duncan

** Early Radio

“I’ve been reading your column now for about 15 years. I’m what you would call a radio geek! I grew up in the Bay Area listening to the mighty 610/KFRC and I was smitten by the disc jockeys! I attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and was able to work at their campus radio station back in the late 70s, but I ended up working in television for most of my life.

I am now retired and I’m working as a life coach. The majority of my clients are in their 20s and early 30s. I currently am working with 16 clients, 11 of them I’ve been working with for over 10 years.

Being a radio geek, I have observed the way they listen to music when they drive their cars. It breaks my heart to find out that none of them listen to the radio. As soon as they get in their cars, they go straight to their phone, and stream music from the phone.

One day, one of my clients picked me up in his car to go eat lunch. He had just bought the car about six months earlier. As he was getting gas, I decided to check his presets and see which radio stations he listens to, only to discover that he had not set any presets. When he got in the car, I asked him ‘How come you haven’t preset any radio stations into your car radio?’ He replied ‘I don’t listen to the radio. In fact, I don’t even know what radio stations there are.’

I was shocked. This was a 23-year-old young man born and raised in Pasadena and he doesn’t even know what radio stations there are. The first thing I thought of was ‘Well that’s kind of true because I remember back in the day when cars would have bumper stickers advertising a certain radio station. But you never see that nowadays.’ Besides not seeing bumper stickers, very rarely do you see billboards advertising radio stations and when you go on a radio stations website, they don’t really talk about their station or the djs, they just show you celebrity gossip stories.

I met with one of my female clients, who is 21 years old, at the Chick-fil-A in Burbank. I point blank asked her, ‘Do you ever listen to KIIS/fm?’ She looked at me with a perplexed face and said ‘Is that a radio station?’  I almost fell out of my chair. Back in the 80s and 90s, every girl at that age listened to KIIS/fm to hear to their favorite boy bands. And what made this even worse was that this Chick-fil-A in Burbank is literally located across the street from the KIIS studios!! And here she is, a woman that was born and raised in Burbank, and didn’t know if KIIS was a radio station! 

I have many, many more of these kinds of stories that break my heart. So, I don’t really know where radio is going to be in the future, because so far, my 16 clients, between the ages of 21 and 31, don’t listen to the radio. ‘In fact, I don’t even know what radio stations there are.’ A very sad statement.” – Mike Hubbard  

** Banning Mighty Met

“While going through the FCC digest listings, I came across a station with the iconic KMET call letters. The station is in Banning, of all places and operates on 1490 KHz. It does not do rock music, instead it does a Talk format such as Dave Ramsey and others. I wonder who decided to pick up the call letters or did the FCC just give to them because the letters were available. I am sure a lot of people who follow LARadio will remember KMET on 94.7 MHz, its on-air staff and Rock format.

What a long way from being iconic. Once in a while, I will see an old KMET bumper sticker and think of Jim LaddJeff Gonzer and Mary Turner. What a time!” – Dan Ramos, Joshua Tree


Time is NOW for Radio to Prepare for the New Normal

(May 8, 2020) Dave Armstrong was the general manager at KWIZ, KYMS, KKLA, and KIEV/KRLA/KKLA/KFSH from the eighties through the early aughts. “I had done everything I wanted to do in secular radio and wanted to apply successful principles to Christian radio," said Dave.

He was born and raised in Jefferson, Ohio, about 60 miles east of Cleveland. Dave started his radio career as a dj at a daytimer in Ohio. Once he saw that sales people made more money than announcers, Dave moved into sales.

During the 1970s Dave worked in Erie, at KFJZ-Ft. Worth and KLOK-San Jose. He arrived in the Southland at KWIZ from sister station KLOK. He programmed KYMS-Santa Ana as a contemporary Christian outlet. Between KYMS and KKLA, Dave worked for the Orange County news channel.    

“What we do in Christian radio at KKLA is to teach rather than preach. We’re not church or a replacement for church, but we certainly support the church,” said Dave. “I  like to think that at KKLA we reinforce faith. In the fall of 1998, Salem Communications took over KIEV, and Dave orchestrated the changes to the Talk facility.

In 2000 he converted the KIEV call letters to KRLA. Later, Dave orchestrated the first “Fish” format of Contemporary Christian music to the Salem cluster, a format that’s now heard throughout the U.S. Dave continues in the entertainment world as the COO of BigIdeas.2020. Always thoughtful and forward-thinking, he shared some thoughts about radio post-coronavirus and what it will sound like:

“I believe that what radio looks like when this is over depends on what seeds are being planted now to prepare for the return to whatever normal will be. Are we planting ‘woe is me’ seeds bemoaning how tough it is, or are we planting seeds of hope as we prepare our clients to restart their businesses? Are we preparing our listeners for the same return to ‘normal?’ I want my clients to be ready to hit the ground running when the starting pistol is fired. I want messaging already prepared to let our listeners know that it is safe to come out of our cocoons and resume a semi normal life. If we wait for the opening announcement before we start strategizing, we will be even further behind than we are now!! This will end and I hope radio is ready to fly again!!!” – Dave Armstrong

Hear Ache. Zoom this. A new survey found about half of Americans don’t always wear pants while working from home … In the past, record companies would salute a personality with a unique thank you if they were instrumental in making the song a hit. Morning man Earl McDaniel was so saluted in the late 1950s by the Fleetwoods. Listen here … Sam Rubin was looking for some non-coronavirus news this week on the Channel 5 Morning News. Stop the presses. Most important topic of the day – Hostess snack cakes vs. Sara Lee Frozen Pound Cake vs. Pepperidge Farm Three Layer Cakes + Zingers …  Longtime Talk legend Barry Farber has died after his 90th birthday and 60th anniversary in radio. “It is a very sad day in radio,” said Michael Horn, President of CRN Digital Talk Radio where Barry had been broadcasting nightly for the past ten years. “Barry always said the best show in the world was watching two scorpions in a brandy glass. Sorry to correct you Barry, but the best show was your show.”


Kat Corbett Grew Up with a Double Life

 
(May 7, 2020) Since the turn of the century, Kat Corbett has been part of the Alternative music scene, mostly at KROQ. She recently lost her midday show, but continues hosting and curating KROQ’s Locals Only weekend show and has interviewed hundreds of artists including Jack White, Metallica, The Cure, and the Foo Fighters.

Recently the tables were turned when KROQ nighttimer Megan Holiday interviewed Kat for her 7 Words podcast. The pair seemed to have the best time, sounding more like two colleagues who admired each other while just sharing stories.

Beginning with my first book in 1994, Los Angeles Radio People, the fascination with LARadio has been the uniqueness of the personalities we profiled. Kat Corbett has a childhood filled with uniqueness.

Growing up in Boston, she lived a Sybil-like existence. From Monday through Friday she lived in the suburbs and attended a white suburban school. From Friday to Sunday she spent the weekend in East Boston with her grandfather, who didn't speak English. East Boston is a very depressed airport town. “During the week, I’m the cheerleader and on the weekend, I’m trying to figure out how to steal shit from the corner store,” she told Holiday. “You never told one group about the other because you’d get your ass kicked. I’d be ostracized in the suburbs for hanging out with low-rent folks.”
Kat’s growing up was filled with music. All kinds. “Some of favorite memories of my dad were listening to the Oldies and reading album liner notes.” She got obsessed with the Who, Springsteen, Van Halen, Prince – and then she found God. “I loved punk Rock and God. I thought my head would explode.” It seemed very clear to Kat that music would play an important role in her life.

Kat had high praise for her father who gave her nuggets that have stayed with her over the years. “My father said that the only thing you really have is your integrity and everything branched out from that – love, work, respect. If your integrity is intact everything else will fall into place.” She said she was so insecure about her double life. “I was a dick in school. It just sucked,” Kat said. “If I say I’m going to do something, I do it. I really didn’t find that with people until I found my people in my first station, WFNX-Boston, and they got me.” Kat’s passion for that first job was actually an internship where her dad had to take her and pick her up, driving a half hour each way before he went to his work. That passion for radio was originally ignited at a Christian religious station. “I was done with religion and was an ex-Catholic.”

The job she got was editing sermons, like splicing out coughs. “And I was learning how to edit. It really lit a fire under me. These people were so lovely but obviously this format wasn’t my passion.” The split lives back in a youthful Boston eventually coalesced into Alternative music and radio in Southern California.

She became a superstar in LARadio, and now you know how Kat Corbett got here. You can hear Kat at SiriusXM on Lithium Channel 34.


GM of Stations in the 70s, 80s, 90s, Dies 

 
(May 6, 2020) Gary Price, general manager at KHJ/fm, KROQ, KDAY, and KNAC in the 1970-90s, died Tuesday morning, at the age of 86. Jim Maddox, who worked for Price at KDAY, said that he was a great boss. “He trusted you and left you alone but was always there to support you and give you needed counsel."

Gary started as a jock, moved into sales then spent the bulk of his radio career running stations in his native California.

Born and raised in Monrovia, he earned an FCC 1st Class License after a stint in the Korean War. In 1958, he started as the morning man at KPER-Gilroy. While at KFXM-San Bernardino doing evenings in the early 1960s, he tried his hand at sales.

Crosstown KMEN hired Gary as sales manager while allowing him to work a weekend shift. His first gm assignment came in 1970 at KLYD-Bakersfield, followed a year later with a sales assignment at KHJ/fm which quickly turned into gm responsibilities.

When KDAY adopted an Urban format in early 1974, there was a prophecy of doom, but the format was a success. Gary talked about the format switch: "The only people who bought the idea were the audience. We tried something new - no screaming disc jockeys, no street jive."

Did he ever regret the switch from announcing to management? “Sometimes I think it wouldn’t have been so tough if I had stayed a jock.”

Before retiring, Gary worked as a sales consultant for Fred Sands. (Price is seated second from left in KDAY photo ... thanks to Jim Maddox. photo of Gary and his wife Donna provided by J.J. Johnson)


Sports Mics Silenced

 
(May 5, 2020) Sports radio and tv have really been hit hard by a pandemic that virtually has killed all live sporting events. Collateral damage are the sports voices. No games to call.

In an LA Times feature story by Jack Harris, he details what the guys are up to. Some highlights from his story:

Joe Davis, television play-by-play voice of the Dodgers, was preparing to call the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament games in Las Vegas for Fox Sports, when he got the call telling him he could broadcast games from a studio in Los Angeles. Joe was eating a steak dinner at a Vegas casino. “Joe didn’t want to believe that the center of his professional universe would disappear –  the entire sports calendar – including college basketball games and an eagerly anticipated 2020 Dodgers campaign, would be delayed for the foreseeable future.”

On March 12, Davis couldn’t believe the tournament would be cancelled but other conference tournaments started to shut down. “One became two, and as we all saw, it snowballs so quickly to the point that we’re going home.”

Davis has been in self-isolation along with the rest of Los Angeles’ sports broadcasting community. “In a lot of ways, the grind of broadcasting defines our lives, those of us that are in baseball miss the grind. So that missing link leaves a huge void. I don’t think you can probably fully appreciate it until it’s taken away,” said Davis. The lives of play-by-play broadcasters revolve around the regimented sports calendar.

Most have side gigs. Davis and Kings play-by-play voice Alex Faust call college games for Fox Sports while Faut also works events for the Tennis Channel that occupy their offseasons. Clippers play-by-play voice Brian Sieman was gearing up for his team’s playoff push when the NBA season was put on pause. “I lived through the lockout back in 2011 and that was hard because other sports were playing. But this is so catastrophic.”

Davis has taken to the grill. The barbecue buff has recipes for smoked brisket, full port shoulders and more. He started a podcast with Dodgers analyst Orel Hershiser.


Radio in a Riot 

 
(May 4, 2020) In times of turmoil, conflict, catastrophe, radio does what it does best. Radio is a conduit for immediate information. Voices can be calming in tragedy or heartache.

In 1991, Casey Bartholomew was 21 years old and a Fullerton College Prep student. He was the board-op at KFI for Dr. Laura Schlessinger. In late 1995 Casey joined KFI co-host Scott Hasick for an evening weekend talk show.

During the O.J. Simpson trial Casey provided regular updates to KFI's “John (Kobylt) and Ken (Chiampou)” afternoon drive show.

Name a top-rated Talk station in a big market and Casey has done fill-in work. He provides a seamless voice for an emergency shift or vacation fill-in for all the top markets. But this is a real story, perhaps being part of a real story. Casey has been on the frontline of many big stories. This story comes from his time at KFI. It was 1992.
“I was sitting at the KFI studios in a part of Los Angeles known as Koreatown. Not a good area.

Earlier in the day, a jury acquitted the cops who beat the crap out if Rodney King.

By the time I got to the station to run the board for Barbara Whitesides, it was about 6 p.m. We watched on a small tv, in the producer’s lounge as all Hell started breaking loose, and the L.A. Riots started.

By the time I was done with my shift, around midnight, I couldn’t drive home because they were shooting at cars on the freeways. The station put us up at a hotel around the corner. On the short drive over, there were trucks driving by, filled with National Guardsmen.

I stayed up most of the night, and watched the news. Eventually, I fell asleep. At 4 o’clock in the morning I heard a very loud noise, and thought the hotel was under attack. I pulled open my window, on the 8th floor, and was looking directly into a helicopter. I took a shower and turned the news back on.

By the time the sun came up, they said things had calmed down. So I walked back to the radio station. It was creepy outside. I drove home, thinking it was all over, and saw smoke from various fires all over the place. I got home, took a nap, and drove back to the radio station that afternoon.

It was then that things really took off. Buildings all around the station were set on fire. We went on the roof – before they told us not to – and saw fires all around. We could hear what we thought were guns going off. When people started looting, we covered up the sign that said KFI - KOST, so that they wouldn’t know there was lots of expensive radio equipment inside. That night, I looked down from the third story window onto 6th street. I saw a National Guard soldier walking down the street. When he looked up and saw me peering out the window, he raised his gun at me.

THIS WAS REAL!!!!

The next days were spent getting the story out, and eating food from the vending machines. By the time I could leave, again, things still weren’t good. But at that point, it was more about stealing things than hurting people. So, I was able to get home.

It was a horrible time. BUT, it was also one of the most exciting times I have ever had in radio. It proved to me that Talk Radio is the single most important medium that we have, and it got me hooked.

TV has to make sure that they have the ‘shot,’ and that everyone has their make-up on. Newspapers are a day late. Even websites can’t be completely trusted, and they may not even be on the scene. But talk radio is there. Right now. Every time. Talking to the people. Creating the backdrop. Feeling the immediacy. And TELLING THE STORY RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT. Yeah, I don't have a regular gig right now. People have asked me why I don’t try and do something else. My answer is always because there is nothing else like it. I would be bored out of my mind doing something else. Radio is the BEST medium. Talk is the BEST format. Anybody who tells you different hasn’t really LIVED as a broadcaster. Okay. My vent is over.” – Casey Bartholomew

Hear AcheBob Applegate, former KPPC personality in the 70s, needs your prayers. He’s announced he is having major surgery today to have his remote surgically removed … With Cinco de May happening tomorrow, production whiz Jim Duncan noticed a sign on his favorite taco stand: “Sorry, we’re closed due to short staff.” Jim noticed an attached note: “Hire taller staff cause I need a taco!” … Ira David Sternberg has a couple ideas of what to do while sheltering in Las Vegas: pretend you’re a Vegas entertainer by performing live on Facebook and make your own 99 shrimp cocktail.


LA Times KLAC top hits of the 60s Memorial Day Weekend, 1970. KLAC  was five months before changeover to KLAC Country.   
.... thanks to Bruce Wojcik of Monterey Park for the artwork


Email Saturday, 5.2.2020

** West Word Wrong

“Sorry to say that I do not share Randy West’s devastating account of radio today, but all due respect to him, he’s looking over the hedges. We’re down, as we were in 2001, then 2008, but we’re certainly not out.

The talent that still blasts through the arteries of the business is not where it should be, but we’ll adjust to this.

And syndication, my corner of the business for decades, is still the hotbed of creativity in the industry while many deride it as the Ivan the Terrible of job loss. In fact, most of what MannGroup Radio, my company, and so many others provide are services to stations that might not have the money, time or energy to provide in-house. More so, we’re providing free webinars and syndication services focusing on public service and ideas that stations can use to make it through this crisis, not bowing our heads and praying, but facing it and creating new wins that were never there. Radio can do what very few other media can do: live and work locally.

Yep, that’s coming from a national syndi guy, but focusing on the local issues, that’s where it's at, Randy. And most of us do exactly that. Yes, yes, radio is researched to death and listeners are going elsewhere. How long have we heard that old saw? I say Tune In, Drop In, Stay In.” – Ed Mann

** Is Podcasting the Future?

“Having read Mike Stark’s comments about the future of radio, it seems he believes the future lies in podcasting. I doubt it. I have no ideas with respect to the future of the radio industry. What I do know is that commercial radio will have to find a manner in which to provide compelling programming and sell advertising in order to support the stations. Have not a thought how that will happen but I do know that debt has to be manageable based on revenues.” – Bob Fox  

** Radio Observations

"Radio has changed even before Covid19. With KZLA gone for years, what KKGO has become has made Country music listening a bit harder. With Shawn Parr not being heard on the radio makes things even more tough. Even though Bryan Douglas is at KNX, I still remember the days when he was doing nights at KZLA and for a short time doing mornings at KKGO. The djs on the air seem hard to listen to.

With KRTH doing Classic Rock when we already have two stations doing Classic Rock, isn’t that enough? I miss the old days.

I remember a site,
icountryradio.com that no longer exists. It was the best streaming Country music site ever. You could request a song by calling a phone number and leaving a voicemail. Depending on time of day you might not have to wait long to hear your request. Their variety was absolutely amazing. If terrestrial radio is going away, and even if it isn’t, we need more sites like this. We need our fearless djs like Shawn to come back in some capacity.  

KNX, our main news outlet, has been doing an impeccable job during these rough times. I think they should have one or two segments per day where they cover other local news like a big fire etc.  What will happen post covid19? who knows really. But at least we have our people who keep informing us.  Whoever wishes to reply to these thoughts, and I want comments should send them to cdfman1@gmail.com. If you’re a radio personality, when you reply, and you sign your name, please add the station you work for.” - Chananya Freedman
** Jerry Bishop Remembered

“I was sorry to learn of Jerry Bishop's passing.

For a short period of time, in 1979, we did a show together on KIIS AM. Jerry was wonderful to work with and I enjoyed doing the show immensely. He was a great talent and a very nice person.” – Tom Murphy

** Music Special

“I want to offer my thanks to you once again, as your column produced immediate results in my search for ‘The Top 100 of the 60s.’ Thank you so much for publishing this bucket list item of mine in Saturday’s column. I received a couple of emails almost immediately, and I’m happy to report I have secured a pristine copy of this special.

I am so grateful to Norm GarrMichael Hagerty and Dave Mason for reaching out and making this a reality.

But of course, none of this would have been possible without you and your offer to post my request. I can’t begin to thank you enough. You and your column have worked your magic again!” – Bob Balestieri

** Everyone Safe at Home?

“I really look forward to your daily column and the Saturday emails. Many, many good people opening up to us with their thoughts, hopes and dreams for radio.

I’d like to know which Los Angeles announcers are broadcasting from their homes vs. from their station’s studios at headquarters. To start the list I know that Bill Handel and Tim Conway at least are at home. I’m guessing that the KNX anchors are all in studios at HQ.

I’ll guess that Jack is either at home or in the JACK/fm van parked at a local Jack-in-the Box restaurant. Also, between 6 a.m. and midnight Mon-Sun, I’d like to know which shows are LIVE on the air vs. being voicetracked.

Thanks also for sharing your kid’s adventures…both good and bad. Happy Grandparenting to you! It’s fun isn’t it?” – Steve Nieto, Yorba Linda
 

Radio a Great Service in Difficult Times

(May 1, 2020) Someone once said that Randy West must have been vaccinated at birth with a phonograph needle. Radio was everywhere in his life. Growing up in New York, he was chapter president of WABC’s "Cousin Bruce" Morrow fan club. 

His start in commercial radio came just weeks after finding proving his mettle at his college radio station at CCNY. The trick for the next three years was to take only morning classes - a hodgepodge of courses - in order to be on the road in time to get to WRNW in Briarcliff Manor in time to do his afternoon drive shift.

After working for a number of New York area stations while earning his degree, Randy was happy to accept program directorship at WFIF-New Haven. There, his 'Sound of America' format during the U.S. Bicentennial year earned a Billboard Magazine cover story.

Randy came to the Southland in 1979 to work with Joey Reynolds as promotion director for Wayne Newton's record label, but he was never far from a radio microphone, joining KMGG (Magic 106) as production director and later on-air talent. 

During the 1980s he appeared on nine different TV game shows, and set his sights on pursuing a career in announcing and audience warm-up, inspired by announcer Johnny Olson. After some tough years, he broke though announcing Hour Magazine and The Chuck Woolery Show. Randy went on to work alongside game show hosts including Wink Martindale, Bob Eubanks, Dick Clark, Ben Stein and Bob Barker on CBS' The Price is Right during 2003 and 2004.

For many years he was the announcer on the traveling Price Is Right live game show. His passion for all projects is quite enthusiastic and contagious. Randy’s love for radio gives him the perfect perspective to answer the question on what the heck Southland radio will sound like after the coronavirus stay-at-home orders are lifted. Randy’s essay:
"The future: Twelve disc jockeys voice tracking for the millions as, one-by-one those millions tune out forever.  The fault, dear Brutus, lies with those who took flavorful ingredients, and baked nothing more exciting that audio white bread.

Ahhhhh, radio. I'm still carrying an ember of the torch for my first love. Especially vulnerable as she's approaching age 100, it looks like she's succumbed to the coronavirus. The old girl thrived with very other force majeure - floods, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, even that morning on 9/11. Radio answered the call and became indispensable during many of these catastrophes, while scoring points with the community. This time, Covid-19 has her down for the count.

Heartbreaking. There's such a defeatist attitude. Where's the coach, the trainer, cheerleading for radio to get back up and fight? I bet Erica Farber hasn't thrown in the towel. The bulk of radio advertisers are closed, I get it. But there's another kind of advertising - business branding, building an image now, for when the world resumes. Public service advertising, and public service programming - live and local, addressing listeners' wants, needs and fears.

During World War II, when all the auto plants were making equipment for the defense department, Ford ran a winning campaign that stayed in people's minds. There were no cars to sell, but the ad campaign was memorable: "There's a Ford in your future." One of the creatives at the agency that birthed the campaign, Al Howard, told me it moved the merchandise when cars became available, actually creating waiting lists at dealerships. Is there any application for that in this crisis?

Hey. it's easy to backseat drive, I know. And hell, I've happily been out of radio long enough that perhaps I have no clue about the state of the industry. And maybe I underestimate the extent to which the corporate owners danced with Wall Street to leverage themselves to the brink before this challenge. But if the reaction is to slash staffs, cut budgets, kill promotional spending and play 1,000 hits in a row, commercial free ... well that's just going to speed the demise of a once great service. Yes, it once served communities during challenges. It's a big part of radio's great legacies from its heyday. - Randy West

Hear Ache. George Johns says the economy is so bad that his neighbor got a pre-declined credit card in the mail and concluded that a picture is now only worth 200 words …Magic Matt Alan ran out of toilet paper and is now using lettuce leaves. Today was just the tip of the iceberg … Great to hear Kevin Fleming on the KPFK pledge drives. He’s the program director … The Los Angeles Daily News has done a wonderful story on the new KROQ morning team of Stryker & Klein. You can read it here.   

The Answer? Brian Whitman, in making the announcement that he was taking a leave of absence from his KRLA (870/The Answer) morning show with Jennifer Horn, wrote on Facebook: “I’m not quitting, I’ve not been fired and ... I haven’t tested positive for Covid-19. I wanted you to get this information from me because you are an incredibly important part of my life. I know the folks I work for and those I work with won’t be able to share this personal ‘stuff’ about me. I don’t want you to wonder and please do not worry. I will be fine. I’m taking time away because my body and my mind are telling me it’s necessary. On the air, I’ve discussed anxiety I’ve been dealing with and sleeplessness and stress. The resulting mental fatigue is overwhelming and it creates physical fatigue. Often, I’m in physical pain. At 47, I’m prepared for some of this. The consistency of all of the above means I need to feel better.” 
Today at noon, Shadoe Stevens invites you to join him for a movie in your head, a wide-screen, world between your ears with funny ideas, features and characters. 
"It’s filled with optimism, and makes fun of fear, doubt, and gloom," said Stevens. "Like a movie, it's composed with an original soundtrack and 3D sound design
so you can see it come to life in your mind, especially when you listen with earphones. 


Send mail to AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com with questions or comments about this website
Copyright 1997-2020 - Los Angeles Radio People
Last modified: May 31, 2020