(August 31, 2020) If
you don’t promote, a funny thing happens –
NOTHING! If you are a regular reader of
LARadio, you are familiar with this mantra.
Marketing cures many ills. Awareness for one and
in many cases a call to action. Having written
three self-published books, I maintain that
writing the books was the easy part. Marketing
the books was the challenge.
How does a radio station break through the clutter to reach a potential listener? How do you get someone to try a new station or new personality? One thing for sure, if you do no promotion, NOTHING will happen. Even when Howard Stern burst on the scene on KLSX, he was marketing himself ALL the time.
Over the weekend I heard about a KUBE promotion in Seattle that checked all the boxes in creating a triple-event win. While restaurants are struggling in these difficult times, the folks at KUBE found a way to break through the clutter. KUBE created blow-up dolls of the morning team, Strawberry and Lizette. It doesn’t look like they spent much money on the dolls. This is not a swipe at them, but rather promotions don’t have to be expensive. It is the idea that gets people talking.
Now that Seattle permits dine-in dining, the KUBE sales staff put together a sales/promotion package with Neighborhood Grills, a half-dozen restaurants spread out in Seattle and adjoining areas. The blow-up dolls are placed in different Neighborhood Grills locations. Listeners find the dolls and take a picture with them. The listener then places the photo on Instagram tagging it “KUBE 93.3 The Wake-Up Show.” The morning show hosts will select creative photos posted on Instagram and participants win a Neighborhood Grills gift card. Winners announced on-air.
Everybody wins. New traffic into Neighborhood Grills. KUBE morning show gets new awareness. Sales department develops new ad business. KUBE gets new listeners because you have to hear your name to win gift card.
“With all the social distancing we have been practicing, KUBE 93.3’s ‘The Wake-Up Show’ has been feeling a little lonely,” said Eric Rosado, program director for KUBE 93.3. “Now that restaurants in the Pacific Northwest are open for dine-in options, we’ve placed blow-up dolls of the show’s hosts Strawberry and Lizette Love in Neighborhood Grills locations to keep everyone company and fill up those empty tables.”
Hear Ache. R
Dub guests with Chachi on
his latest podcasts at: https://bit.ly/ChachiLovesEverybody.\ … Baka
Boyz join Friday night at KDAY …
Publicist Bennett Mintz noticed there was an
amazing record set during a Dodgers game last
week. “In the fifth inning announcers Hershiser
and Davis stopped blabbering for .03 of a
second. Sorry, Vinny, they must have heard you,
but never listened.”
**Blazer on KGIL
“It is sad to hear about the passing of Phil Blazer. You omitted that Phil broadcast a Jewish Hebrew English Program on KGIL 1260 when we acquired the station in 1993. The program was on early Sunday mornings.
FYI, Yiddish and Hebrew are different. Yiddish is a mixture of German, slang, and many nationalities. Also, very expressive and used commonly by all of us with words that start with an S. Hebrew is the ancient language of the First Testament, now the official language of Israel.
My parents who escaped from Eastern Europe used Yiddish so that I would not understand what they were saying but I soon caught on. Phil was passionate about the creation of Israel as a modern nation. He was a real ‘mensch’ and a joy to work with.” – Saul Levine
** Blazer Correction
“The Minneapolis station where Phil Blazer began is KUXL [not KULX]. It was an r&b station with a few gospel programs and was programmed by Wolfman Jack. Today it is conservative talk KDIZ. https://freedom1570.com.” – Steven Thompson
** Carroll a Mensch
“Reading your Roger Carroll section in Where Are They Now, I realized how much I miss that guy so much. We used to talk by phone regularly. I loved hearing Roger tell stories about his early career. He told that he once sat in for a week for William B. Williams on WNEW. Roger was a mensch! Wonderful friend. So proud of his children. When I was in the Air Force, stationed in France and Southern Spain, I listened to Roger's ‘Greatest Sounds in Town’ every day.” – Bob Sirkin
** Sports Jinx
“Reading this weekend about John Ireland leaving the morning show at XTRA Sports 1150 in 1999 brought back some great memories.
During my 12 years at XTRA Sports evolving into AM 570 LA Sports, we had more than a couple of morning shows, but John Ireland and Derrick Hall was my favorite. John is a sports genius and brought his insight and analysis to the show in a very entertaining way. Derrick was hysterical and his impressions of local personalities like Geoff Witcher, Fred Claire and Vic The Brick, were perfect.
I remember him having some fun with a Dodgers pitcher named Jeff Shaw. He pretended to be Geoff Witcher and tried to get Shaw to talk about players and women on road trips. Shaw was, of course, appalled and kept asking ‘Witcher’ why he would ask these types of questions. After making Shaw sweat for a while, Derrick let him in on the joke. It was great radio.” – Bob Scott
** Early Radio History
“First, I hope you are doing well and staying well. Ray and I are. We’re hiding from the virus in West Palm, donning near-hazmat gear to go to the grocery store or doctor’s appointments which are the only reasons we leave the house or the office.
Our video acquisition for The Autism Channel is on hiatus and I don’t know if we’ll even keep the stage, opting to put everything in storage until the threat passes.
I am considering doing a podcast on the history of electronic communication. To that end, I sent Jim Hilliker a note. I’ve not corresponded with him since Stan Kelton passed, and I’ve not gotten an answer. I want to interview him about the history of KFWB. Also, as I move into the second golden age of radio, I’ll want to interview you too, if you're amenable to it.
Stay safe, let me know. Also, if you can suggest anyone else who might bring perspective to the earliest days of radio (the ‘what can we use this for’ era of radio), I'd love to hear your suggestions.” – Jerry Trowbridge, email@example.com
|(August 28, 2020) Phil
Blazer, creator and host of award-winning
Jewish radio and television programs –
previously heard on KIEV (870AM) in the late
1970s – and pro-Israel activist, died August 25
in Burbank. He was 76. He was president of
Blazer Communications and publisher of the
national newspaper Israel Today.
Blazer was born on February 12, 1944, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Wolfman Jack helped launch the broadcast career of Blazer, then 21, when the legendary dj gave him a chance to host a show about Jewish culture and music at KUXL in Minneapolis, according to the Jewish Journal.
Blazer launched his Jewish multimedia group with his “Jewish Soul” radio program in 1965. In 1973, Blazer urged his radio listeners to cut up their Standard Oil credit cards to protest the oil giant’s anti-Israel stance. Thousands mailed him enough cards to stuff numerous trash bags, which Blazer deposited at the company’s headquarters. The stunt made The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.
The television show “Jewish Life with Phil Blazer” debuted in 1977. In 2006, Blazer launched Jewish Life Television Network (JLTV), which now reaches nearly 50 million homes in North America. He produced more than 2,000 TV programs, making him one of the industry’s most prolific tv producers. Blazer Communications also produced the International Jewish Film Festival.
Last weekend in Nostalgia Sunday, we re-ran a
LARadio story from 18 years ago. We reviewed the
2002 morning landscape and included: KFSH
Ted Ziegenbusch (long-time
KOST personality) and Lauren Kitchens have
quietly made much noise with the Arbitron folks.
A mixture of personality, news and Christian
music seems to be the proper prescription for
starting each day spiritually fit.
This prompted a personal note from Ted: “Lauren and I were beyond thrilled knowing that we were part of an award-winning station with the largest audience of any music outlet of its type anywhere in America. We had an unprecedented, huge listening audience! We were later told by one L.A. programmer that we were showing up as very tough competition for other morning shows in town. They were truly concerned for their losses with folks switching to us. It's the one time we were morally allowed to steal (an audience, I mean). Thanks for the mention, Don. Lauren and I are still proud of what we accomplished all those many years ago. Fun times!"
Hear Ache. Former morning man at KTWV (the WAVE) Dave Koz has a new album coming this fall, thirty years and one day after the release of his debut album. “And this one (my 20th) is unlike any other I’ve ever made, having been conceived and recorded completely under the umbrella of Covid-19. It’s called A New Day. And the sole purpose of making this album was to provide a sense of hope and comfort.” … LA Times’ Kevin Baxter wrote a terrific story titled: Spanish Dodgers announcer Jaime Jarrín: Chicano Moratorium eyewitness. The article goes back to Jaime’s day when he was a “humble street reporter.” He said, “That was my foundation.” Read the story here.
** Scarry Fan
“I will speak Rick Scarry’s name to the Heavens until I leave this earthly plain! He took a chance on a 19-year-old high school dropout and set me on my course to a career I could not have imagined. Rick is the best kind of contradiction – crusty as a sailor and funny as hell. Good to the bone. I love him.” – Keri Tombazian
** Book ‘em
“Lots of great books by LARP. Would love to have my two included in that list. I wrote two books on broadcasting that are in wide use on college campuses around the country.
The first – Intern Insider: Getting the Most Out of Your Internship in the Entertainment Field – I wrote because there simply were not any books out there at the time (2016) that really gave students anything to go on as they headed into their first internships. A year later, Routledge commissioned me to write my second book Writing and Reporting: News You Can Use. I was thrilled because it gave me a chance to combine my broadcasting experience with my teaching skills. ‘News You Can Use’ has always been my mantra when it came to news – give the listeners the important stories and help them understand (where applicable) how they can use that information.
Both books were published by Routledge and I have had the pleasure of speaking on them both at several conventions geared toward college broadcasters. It’s so great to get the emails and messages from students telling me that the book helped them in some way to go after their dream careers.
Hope you are doing well in this insane world. We're working hard every day on our podcast and on syndicating our new Beatles radio show. If there is an upside to this pandemic, it’s been having more time to work on creative projects!’ – Tammy Trujillo
** Avey Got KFWB
“Dan Avey was one of the true professionals who it was my privilege to work with at KFWB. He ‘got’ KFWB and was brilliant on the air as an anchor or reporter and delivered mightily and with a special flair on the news promise we made to our audience. I think of Dan frequently along with many other ’WB colleagues who made going work most days fulfilling and fun!” – Richard Rudman
** More Avey
“Dan Avey’s dry sense of humor always made workdays better.” – Crys Quimby
** Lovely Tribute
“What a lovely tribute to her father, Dan Avey. We worked together at KFWB for a while. Loved his sense of humor too.” – Terry Saidel
** Avey Colleague ‘
"Dan Avey was a great guy. It was a pleasure to work with him at KFWB.” – Ken Jeffries
** Avey Rejection
“I read with interest the Dan Avey segment. I kept all my rejections letters over the years including the nicest one I ever got from Dan when he worked at an OC station. He was very encouraging I remember which I always appreciated.” – Bob Brill
** Grief Counseling
“I worked briefly with Dan Avey during his very short stint at KWIZ in the 1970s. He was always easy going and funny beyond words. I was touched -- as were you -- by his daughter, Ally’s remembrances of her dad, and her struggles moving forward as his adult daughter still grieving her loss, and wishing he were still here so she could share her adult life experiences with him.
One of my favorite films of all time is Shadowlands, starring Anthony Hopkins as author and Christian apologist, C. S. Lewis, and Debra Winger as his wife, Joy Gresham. The film is a true-life account of Lewis’ crisis of faith after losing his wife to cancer so early in their marriage. Lewis eventually worked through his pain and suffering, and became an even more committed Christian as a result.
The film moved me so much because its message, at its core, is that grief is the price we pay for having loved. Ally certainly loved her dad a great deal. ‘That's the deal.’
If she reads your column, and my reply to her published thoughts on her grief, I encourage her to seek out the film and some of the grief-related Lewis works. These two quotes come most to mind, as I wish her peace in the fond memories of her dad.
“Why love, if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore: only the life I have lived.” – PHILIP ANTHONY HOPKINS - Jack Lewis
‘We can't have the happiness of yesterday without the pain of today. That's the deal.’ DEBRA WINGER - Joy Gresham” – Patrick Veling
2020) Rick Scarry is more than just
radio, he is also having quite the acting
career. Before the film and tv career, he
touched down in Los Angeles radio beginning in
1968 at KEZY, then KKDJ, KDAY, KGIL, KMET, KRTH,
KHJ and KMPC/fm, and KLIT. Rick is antsy to get
back to work. “Luckily I had a show in the can
before the pandemic,” emailed Rick. “It's a
prequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
It’s a new series on Netflix named Ratched.
Based of course on the most dreaded character in
that movie, Nurse Ratched. Sarah Paulson plays
Nurse Ratched and the cast is great. Sharon
Stone, Cynthia Nixon, Don Cheadle, Vincent
Donofrio and many others. I have role in the
first episode due to air sometime this fall on
Netflix. I play a character named Randall
"I was so fortunate to work with and know so many great LARP including The Real Don Steele, Robert W. Morgan, Wolfman Jack, Sweet Dick Whittington, Mary Turner, Jim Ladd, The Hullabalooer, Raechel Donahue, David Hall, Mark Denis, John Yount (Big John Carter), Paraquat Kelley and so many others it would fill an entire book."
Paraquat and Rick were the last voices heard when The Mighty Met, KMET, went dark on February 6, 1987. “I was also the last voice heard when KHJ changed call letters. I made the official on-air announcement signing off for good. When I was a young radio nerd in Ohio, I read about L.A. radio in Billboard and dreamed of the day when I could be a part of it. I finally chased that dream and what do you know...it came true."
Over the years, as radio changed so did Rick’s passion. The acting bug for Rick started when he was an extra in an Elvis movie. With well over 100 credits, be impressed that he has appeared in That 70's Show, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Drew Carey Show, Melrose Place, Star Trek-The Next Generation, Howard Stern's infamous Son Of The Beach, Wag The Dog, The Naked Gun 33 1/3, Addams Family Values, Mad Men, Weeds and The Negotiator.
With much of life shut down these days, Rick was asked what he is doing. “Doing nothing, like most everyone.” Nurse Ratched sounds fascinating and it will fun to watch our own LARP in the initial episode.
Ache. KFSD AM 1450, Escondido, has
been sold, according to Chris Carmichael.
“The last station in what was once Art
Astor’s group, has been sold to a
Catholic radio group,” wrote Chris. “Currently,
the station remains playing music with its 1,000
watt one-stick antenna. No commercials, just
straight music and IDs. The station’s single
antenna is in the Stone Brewery parking lot. The
new group is based in Imperial County and
operated a Catholic-based LPFM.” … What’s in a
name? I was reading a piece on David J. Cook,
O.J. and Fred Goldman’s collection agent. His
website is: SqueezeBloodFromTurnip.com … Former
K-Earth news director Steve Frederick’s
wife just celebrated her 82nd birthday. I said,
“Happy Birthday.” She said, “If you say so.” …. Jimmy
Kimmel Live! Is back with its
ninth Emmy nomination. He hosts the virtual
Emmys next month … After the departure of Carson
Daly in July 2017, AMP Radio (KAMP)
filled the vacant morning drive slot with Edgar
“Shoboy” Sotelo and Brian Moote.
The duo began in February 2018. Edgar exited the
station in October 2019 and is now syndicated on
a number of Entravision stations … KLAC’s Dan
Patrick has joined iHeart to host a
** Tribute to Dan Avey
“What a warm and lovely tribute to Dan Avey – a guy I knew from the business and because I knew Michele so well. I remember countless evening and afternoons with them with great joy and tristesse. Dan was guy you couldn’t NOT like – and he made sure of that.
I will always remember him fondly. Smiling. Both of us.” – Mary Beth Garber
** Avey’s Ally
“Thank you for Wednesday’s newsletter. Don't get me started about the tears I have for Ally Avey’s letter. God bless her...we’re never too old to miss our dads.
I hope you don't mind that I ‘borrowed’ your ‘leftover wine’ cartoon to share with the girls from my HS class. They love your humor!
That was funny to see that someone else still has their KZLA Gold card. I love my Radio Station souvenirs as each and every one has a story!” – Julie T. Byers
** Earthquake Coverage
“I just wanted to thank you very much for your help in trying to locate that 1971 earthquake audio. Had a lot of response but it seems no one has the moment of the quake. Someone sent me a shot of a story in R&R I believe showing that KNX had been knocked off the air for six minutes, so nothing there. Another sent me audio he recorded that morning of KHJ and KFWB but he started at 10:30 a.m. and no one seemed to do what we do today (replay the audio from the time of the quake).
Interesting. I am certainly going to use some local radio audio. Great stuff from KGIL which actually put out an album of their day of coverage with (Dick) Spangler, (Chuck) Southcott, (Bill) Smith, etc. I did get a great report of Carol Sobel on KFWB that I’d like to use of her talking about a report on Equake insurance which was great and fits into a segment I’m doing. I’d like to find her and inform her plus get her to approve that just out of courtesy.
I’ll let you know as we get closer to the air date where and when. Thanks again.” – Bob Brill
** Z 94
“Jeffrey Leonard's keepsakes from KZLA jogged my memory on something. The reason they called themselves ‘94 FM’ originally is that for whatever reason [maybe management wasn’t sure the new format would catch on, or they were just avoiding Arbitron diary confusion] the call letters stayed KPOL/fm when the format segued from MOR in February 1977; AM 1540 was still doing the old format with the KPOL calls.
The fm calls changed to KZLA August 7, 1978 and the AM rejoined the simulcast and also changed calls October 1, 1979. In fact, if you look at the gold card, the phone numbers spell out ‘94FM’ and ‘15AM’ and may well have been given out on the air that way. I simply don’t remember.
And as a fun bit of trivia which I had also forgotten until I saw it mentioned in an old copy of Billboard at David Gleason’s WorldHistory.com, the television syndication company Filmways tried to get into radio by syndicating an automated version of 94FM as the ‘20/40 Format’ not long after it launched on KPOL/fm.” – K.M. Richards
|(August 26, 2020)
Dan Avey was a very dear friend. I have met
so many wonderful people through this website,
but Dan was so special and he touched me in so
many personal ways. When asked by a family
member to join Dan at Cedars-Sinai Hospital one
Sunday morning ten years ago, I dropped
everything and rushed to Beverly Hills. Dan was
dying. I was so appreciative to have been able
to say goodbye.
Dan won a couple of armloads of Golden Mikes. His radio decorations matched his service work as a Captain in the Green Berets during the Vietnam War. In high school he hung out at Color Radio KFWB and refereeing fights between B. Mitchel Reed and Bill Ballance. Early in his career he managed the Fabulous Forum for Jack Kent Cooke. Dan worked alongside L.A. Kings announcer Bob Miller. He worked morning drive at KFI, KFWB, and KABC. He has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was a Star friend.
Dan and his wife Michelle Davis adopted two youngsters from Romania. Shortly before his death, Dan arranged a day with his two girls, KABC’s John Phillips, and myself to spend the day together with lunch at Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop on Hollywood Boulevard, followed by a stroll to take pictures with him at his Star and then to the Wax Museum where we “acted” with our favorites. He was a Hollywood film buff. We had a delightful afternoon. There was a lot to love about Dan.
His daughter Ally’s words about her father moved me to tears and wanted to share them with you:
Ten years without my Dad
by Ally Avey
He was my protector, my guiding hand and my person. No matter how old I get, I still need my Dad. I still want my Dad. I still have days where I don’t totally know how to exist in a world where he does not.
I’ve found myself missing him in a totally new way lately. It’s like with every happy thing that happens, I’m both celebrating and mourning the fact that he isn’t part of it.
Getting engaged and planning a wedding without being able to share any of it with him and thinking about the fact that he won’t be there to walk me down the aisle...then all of the uncertainty in our world...well, to put it lightly, it’s been heart wrenching some days. I want him here. I need him here. But he can’t be, and I know he would be if he could.
His dumb jokes through all of this would be the brightest light through this dark time. The loss will always sting. I’m sure with every happy time in my life there will always be some bitter in it, as I can’t share it with him. But now, everything I do, I do with my Dad in mind. I do my best to be a good person. I surround myself with those who make me laugh and try to make others laugh often. I make a point of giving without expectation, just as he taught me to, through countless examples in his life. I try with all of my might to make him proud of the human that I am.
When I’m at my best, I am my father’s daughter. I do my best to focus less on the fact that he is no more and more on the fact that he was. I am so much better because he was. I got the love, laughter and comfort for nearly 20 years. With all of that beauty, I got the tears at the end. The tears that haven’t stopped for ten years. The tears that hide away for a while and then sneak up on you like a slap to the back of your head. I suppose this is the price of having someone truly wonderful in your life. I also get the smiles. The ones that start small and grow across your whole face as the seconds pass. The ones you feel through your entire being like you’re being wrapped up in a warm blanket. The ones that feel like my Dad. I know how lucky I am to have had and lost someone who makes me feel so much.
Love you, as big as the sky, Dad.
** Ellen K OK
“Everything I hear about Ellen K makes me like her MORE!” – Valerie Geller
** Ham Radio
“When I was 14, in the 8th grade, my neighbor and pal, Steve Rood, pals since the 3rd grade, helped me hook up my first ‘pirate’ radio station. It was citizen's band, at 1600 k.c. ‘Baby Talk’ transmitter, [ordered thru the Montgomery Ward’s catalog], that broadcast for about a 6 block radius in my neighborhood in San Luis Obispo. He had a station down Loomis Street from my house, with a ‘pirate’ station that broadcast at 1580 k.c.
We both went on to careers in radio, and worked together as engineers at KFRC. He was Dr. Don Rose’s board op for years. I was there earlier, beginning in 1966 with Bobby Dale, Mike Phillips, Charlie Van Dyke, Jay Stevens and Jim Carson.
Stay safe, my friend.” – Joe Collins
** Amateur Radio
“How fun! Thanks. I enjoyed seeing reactions to my early photo as a ham operator. Timmy Manocheo was the first. It was a great time.
I was the ‘kid’ who would always get up on rooftops and climb towers for the old farts who needed antennas put up. Where’s a kid like that for me now? I need some antenna work. LOL.” – Don Elliot
2020) KOST morning personality Ellen K was
the subject of a glowing story from Children’s
Hospital Los Angeles. What LARPs do when they
are off the air says so much about who they are.
Until an accident in her family, Ellen had no idea what happened at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Then, in September 2016, her son Calvin suffered a broken arm during a high school football game. That was when Ellen got to see firsthand what CHLA was about.
“From the moment we pulled up to the Emergency Department, everyone was so amazing and so calm and so ‘on it.’ It was incredible how they took care of our whole family,” she said.
She shared her experience and expressed her gratitude to the hospital. Ellen offered to broadcast her morning show live from the CHLA lobby on Giving Tuesday, the global day of charitable giving that takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. During the show, doctors, patient families and volunteers were featured on the air, and listeners responded by making donations.
Since the initial launch four years ago, donations more than doubling each year. To date, Ellen and her KOST team have helped to raise more than $650,000 to support the hospital. She calls the hospital “the crown jewel of our city.”
“When you’re on the radio like I’ve been for the
past 30 years, your audience becomes an extended
family. You lean on each other as you navigate
life’s ups and downs. That was the case when my
mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I
wanted to use my platform to raise awareness
about cancer and cancer research. As callers
shared their survival stories on the air, it
gave me hope to pass along to my mom. I believe
that positivity was a factor in helping my mom
beat breast cancer,” said Ellen.
She had a similar feeling when they were at CHLA for Calvin’s surgery. “All this time, the highest ranked children’s hospital in California was in my backyard, and I did not know about it because I never needed it. But when we did, wow!”
To help support Children's Hospital Los Angeles, please visit CHLA.org/Donate.
Bynum Book. We’ve supported many books written by Los Angeles Radio People in recent books. Did you order Roland Bynum’s recent book, God Shots? The Amazon description is a fascinating promotion piece. “This is a biography of a foster youth who discovers his family twenty-six years after being placed into a foster care facility in Detroit. His journey takes him from obscurity to being one of America’s top radio personalities. On his journey he meets Malcom X, and marches with Martin Luther King Jr. In addition, he also become friends with James Brown, the Temptations, Bobby Womack, Solomon Burke, and so many others in the entertainment industry. When he finds his family, he discovers that Smokey Robinson is his uncle. But, more importantly, he remains humble, and discovers God.” You can order his book here.
Hear Ache. Clark County in Nevada will soon allow marijuana dispensaries to operate drive-thru windows. Marketing whiz Ira David Sternberg wonders if customers will place their order and forget to drive away? … A fascinating look when the Beatles performed in San Diego including how much they were paid. Read it here … Blogger George Johns acknowledges that 93% of Americans still consume radio, but radio still can’t make a buck. “It’s time to bring in the guys from Amazon and Google; I bet they could figure it out,” wrote Johns … Four-time Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan is the guest host for the KKGO midday show throughout September … Next month at 10 a.m. on KMET 1490, Fred Wallin, Mark Mancini, and Art Sorce begin a new show, The Sports Universe, sponsored by Under Armour. “Mark will be in LA, Art will be in Pennsylvania and I will be on Mars,” emailed Fred.
** Sunglasses at Night
“Good to see a great photo of Paul Freeman in a recent photo collage without sunglasses. Usually we see him indoors or outdoors with shades, ala Tom Leykis. Maybe this eye revealing was a Disney requirement direct from Goofy himself.” – Steve Nieto, Yorba Linda
|Casey Kasem thinking about additional revenue steams in the early days. Check out phone prefix|
2020) How does
the radio performer add another revenue stream? Randy
Williams, better known to his colleagues and
fans as R Dub, has written a book on
radio syndication with a perfect formula for
going from local personality to national. With
the world of radio turned upside down, R Dub’s
book, Go Syndicate Yourself, presents
the world of syndication possibilities in easy
to understand language. He explains how he took
his weekend Sunday Night Slow Jams show in
Tucson to over 200 stations in 17 countries with
a nuts and bolts approach that never happens
overnight, but rather putting one step after
His 500+ page how-to manual for radio talent outlines the steps needed to succeed and countless secrets to radio syndication. One section deals with the decision makers in the world of syndication. Each share what they look for in taking on a new show. And, as importantly, what turns them off. This is real hands-on approach for you to avoid missteps in the process. You’ll read about leading syndicated talent, including Dr. Laura Schlesinger and Dave Ramsey and the lessons they learned on the road to syndication.
RDub has come up through the ranks. He was
program director at KHHT (Hot 92.3/fm) from
2007-09. He brought l B. Sure!!to his
jock line-up in LA. “Al was a major force in r&b
music in the 80s and 90s – an era that makes up
a big portion of the music we play at Hot 92.3,”
R Dub said at the time..
RDub was on vacation in Brasil when he fell in love with the county. Four days before moving to Sao Paulo he got the call from HOT general manager reg Ashlockkoffering the KHHT job to him. He was there for two years. When he left Hot 92.3 Jamz he returned to Brasil, taking with him broadcast equipment to continue syndication from his home studio. “I love the beaches, the money exchange, the people, the culture, the language and the lifestyle,” R Dub said.
hat’s in a name? “Randy Williams turned into ‘R.W.,’ which morphed into R Dub. And it stuck. I added an exclamation point years later to complete today’s ‘R Dub!’ brand. One of his inspirations in getting into the business was evin “Slow Jammin’” Jamessfrom KKBT and from listening to other stations in the Southland.
Never in the history of radio has there been a better time to syndicate," said R Dub! "With so many stations in dire need of talent and the local personality becoming more obsolete every day, the option of syndication makes sense both as a pathway toward expanding your broadcast career and as a backup to protect its very existence. But just how do you get syndicated? It's all broken down here.""
Go Syndicate Yourself!!is now available in paperback, hardcover and E-book at Amazon.com. Save by ordering direct at http://www.gosyndicateyourself.comm.Every version of the book includes access to the readers only portal online, which includes many resources and ongoing book updates..
Biggs Up..Congrats to our dear friend, longtime Los Angeles and network sports radio reporter, anchor, and hosttJeff Biggss. He has joined Sportsmap Radio Network to anchorr FL Rushh,a network Sunday afternoon show covering all the games. Biggs has been heard on KLAC, NBC Sports Radio, KSPN and KNX. His versatility is evident by the fact he has hosted pre-game, post-game, and studio host for every Los Angeles pro and major college team..
We’re thrilled to add someone with Jeff’s experience to our all-star roster. He’ll be a great addition to our NFL coverage beginning September 13, said Sportsmap’s programming head Craig Larson.
* National Radio Day
What a great roundup of gratitude and accomplishment you have in National Radio Day. The recall it triggered for me is likely the same as many of your readers..
he shot of what looks like the garden-variety Collins board took me back to 1958 when I first learned to fly a turntable and take the pot all the way down to the cue position before reversing it clockwise for air. Let's hope radio goes on for another 100 years.” – Warren Cereghinoo
* Bresee Anniversaryy
According to one of my old birthday calendars, yesterday was also the birthday of Frank Breseee,who kept a lot of classic radio from the 30’s and 40’s alive on his programs over the years. It seems appropriate that his birthday was on National Radio Day.” – David Schwartzz
* Gay Flubb
"In no way do I condone the comments inadvertently aired by Reds announcer Thom Brennaman this week. However, I think the tv director also deserves to be fired. Clearly, Brennaman became aware of his terrible remark, and he was either compelled or ordered to immediately apologize.
Returning from the commercial break, he began to address the issue, directly to the camera, only to have the tv director cut away from his mea culpa midstream, just to show a long ball heading for the seats. This was the director’s incredibly stupid decision. It diluted the serious nature of the moment and distracted everyone, including Brennaman, from the most important thing taking place in real time.
Call out the director that thought showing a home run was more important than addressing the elephant in the press box.” – Rick Sietsemaa
* Columbia Square in 19900
"Around the time I moved into the 4th floor of the CBS/KNX building on Sunset in 1990, one of the broadcast engineers offered me a tour of the building. I jumped at the chance. First stop? The men’s room on the first floor. He claimed it was the source of the deep reverb in the middle of the Beach Boys’ ood Vibrationsswhere the music completely stops for a second or two toward the end..
hen they supposedly couldn’t find the ideal reverb they wanted, one of those involved in the session noted the excellent echo in that men’s room during a bathroom break. Mics and recording gear were moved in to capture the fine acoustics. No idea whether there’s an ounce of truth to it, but it sure makes for a good story..
lso, on the tour was the sound stage that was used for all those classic CBS radio shows. There it was, complete with all the audience seating, just partially lit along with storage boxes stacked double high on most of the theatre seats. Instant excitement at being in there, but also sadness at what it had become. That place could be a museum.” – ave Anthonyy
|(August 21, 2020)
August 20th of every year is designated to
celebrating the invention of the radio and its
importance to mass communication. While not a
nationally sanctioned day this industry promoted
holiday was created to bring attention to local
radio stations and personalities. In 1892 Nikola
Tesla’s experiments successfully with transmission
of radio frequency energy and proposes its use for
telecommunication. Then in 1895 Guglielmo Marconi
built a wireless system that transmitted long
distance signals. One hundred years later in 1996,
the birth of the first Internet radio station.
Los Angeles Radio People (LARP) share early photos from their careers.
|(August 20, 2020) LARPs
love a good mystery and are quick to play detective.
Hollywood publicist Hal Lifson snapped a photo of a
new KMET billboard in the San Fernando Valley. He
sent it off to Kevin Gershan, former producer
for Robert W. Morgan and now an executive
with Entertainment Tonight, wondering if he
Hal told Kevin he though it could be for a tv or movie shoot, much like Quentin Tarantino did plastering 93/KHJ outdoor for the driving sequences in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Kevin called me and I called our friend Denny Brougher who works at KMET in Banning. The station currently in possession of the legendary call letters knew nothing about the signs, prompting us to believe that perhaps they were put up to enhance a period piece in the movies.
Rick Scarry got involved in the mystery after Kevin sent him the picture and he asked his KMET alums, who had no idea. Kevin contacted KMET alum Pat Paraquat Kelley to find out if he knew anything. We could see the billboards were owned by Clear Channel Outdoor. Pat knew an account executive at Clear Channel. They confirmed that the outdoor board was for a movie shoot, filming soon in the San Fernando Valley.
Scarry then searched the Internet and came across a story in Deadline about a new movie about to be shot by director Paul Thomas Anderson. The new movie is set in the 1970s and will center around a high school student who is also a successful child actor, but have intersecting storylines. It’s the fourth time that Anderson has set a film in the San Fernando Valley, the last titles being Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love.
Mystery solved? Maybe.
Boston sports radio host Fred Toucher will be off
the air for a yet-to-be-determined amount of time,
and said he will enter a mental institution. He’s
the co-host of a New England sports show. Recently
he went on several intense rants on a wide range of
subjects, including the fact that he’s getting
divorced … And a little further South, Charlotte
Hornets radio play-by-play man John Focke has been
suspended indefinitely after he used a racial slur
on Twitter during a Jazz-Nuggets game. He deleted
the tweet and said it was a typo. Focke, who’s in
his first season calling games, said he wanted to
tweet out the word “Nuggets” when he typed the
Hear Ache. We lost another Californian. Terry Anzur, part of the KABC morning show in the 90s, has moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida … Deborah Zara Kobylt, wife of KFI’s John Kobylt, has been nominated for six awards by the #LosAngelesPressClub, including Journalist of the Year. “After many years as a tv reporter for #CNN, #FOX11LA and #KCAL9, she took off a few years to raise our sons. She then completely reinvented herself, and created a livestream video/audio podcast, #DeborahKobyltLIVE,” wrote John …Lindy Thurrell, formerly evenings at KHTZ (K-Hits) in the 80s, is back in the VO business doing her first ever national product. ‘It is for a ‘Help I've fallen and I can't get up’ device. Talk about typecasting! Lesson here is to always keep taking those steps forward. It will pay off!”
** Story on KNX Move
“The personal comments of Beach Rogers and Dick Helton resonated so vigorously with me, I have an idea of how they felt about working at KNX. Growing up in the San Francisco radio market in the 1940s, I saw two NBC radio shows broadcast live – one from NBC Radio City and the War Memorial Opera house.
At the former, the Standard School Broadcast was attended by selected 6th grade classes from around the Bay Area. When my class was chosen, I watched that live, one-hour show from the audience seats and thought ‘this would be a great way to make a living.’ Some 14 years later I did an audition for NBC News Radio on that very same stage and, even though the audience seats were gone, I was thrilled to be there knowing in whose footsteps I was walking.” – Warren Cereghino
** What's Your Name?
"I enjoyed Neil Ross's mention of one of his nom de plume's on the radio. Of course to me and my friends he will always be "Natural" Neil Ross from KZLA (pre Country). A magic time with one of the best contest giveaways ever. KZLA would host 99 cent movie nights at theatres around the area, and hand out Gold KZLA Member cards with a registration card to mail back for prize giveaways.
I only went to one, the movie Fame in Pasadena. I ended up going with my sister as my best friend couldn't get off work, so I got her a Gold Card and she mailed it in. The first giveaway was a Fiat, and when they named off the numbers of those listeners in the drawing, my friend was one of them. The catch was you had to be listening when they called your name/number. Three o'clock on a friday afternoon and my friend called saying, 'Were you listening? I won!'
I forgot the giveaway was that afternoon so I missed hearing she had won the Fiat! Needless to say I got to go along with her husband and one of his friends to pick up the car and take pictures for the station. We invited Natural Neil for a ride in the new car, but when we came by the station, everyone was in a meeting.
Unfortunately that was when the station changed formats, so after one more giveaway [a spa tub], there were no more movie nights and our gold cards were put away as souvenirs. Good Times! Have a good Thursday!" - Julie T. Byers
Sonny Fox passed away
earlier this week. This video is from his awesome
morning show on Y-100 back in 1987. RIP Sonny.
Full video available from California Aircheck on Video #11 www.californiaaircheck.com
(August 19, 2020) Mark Thompson, half of the
iconic Mark & Brian Show for 25 years at KLOS, does
a weekly podcast with his wife every Friday. He made
an exception on Monday when it was announced that
the duo would be inducted in the Radio Hall of Fame
“I’ve always been proud of the fact Mark & Brian did 25 years in Los Angeles, the single most competitive market in the world,” said Mark to kick off the podcast. He invited the chairman of the Radio Hall of Fame, Kraig Kitchin, to join him by phone. It was clear that Kraig was a huge fan of the boys and was very gracious in his comments.
Mark talked about the “sweet spot” of their popularity being from September 8, 1987 to mid-91. “That was special, infectious energy and great momentum breaking all the traditional rules,” said Kitchin.
Mark added: “Those years were magical because we were doing things that nobody had heard, including ourselves. We were making that shit up as we went along.”
|When Mark arrived from Alabama to
co-host the morning show, he admitted that he didn’t
know half the songs being played on KLOS. “The jocks
treated the music so reverentially, like it was a
Kitchin added some or the names at KLOS at the time were Jim Ladd, Frazer Smith, Geno Michellini, and Rockline’s Bob Coburn. “This radio station worshipped the music,” said Thompson. “How are we going to get into this thing? Then I had epiphany. Bill Sommers [general manager] hired us to do our thing. I sat with Brian. These guys worship this shit. They don’t speak over the music. They don’t speak until the song finishes. They know who is dating who when they write this thing. We just have to ignore all that.” Mark confessed that the minute they hit the air, they hit it hard with what they do.
On day one, KLOS scheduled six songs for them to play. “In two hours, we didn’t play anything. We finally played a Neil Young song. We interrupted it and said, ‘What is this crap?’ I scraped the needle and scrape it across the album and then we said, ‘Let’s play some good music’ and we played Glen Campbell over and over.
The phones exploded.” Mark said they put all the callers on the air. They figured the calls would eventually come to an end and they did stop calling. A new crop of listeners embraced the irreverent pair.
Thompson realized early in his career that when a jock goes into a new job that no matter how good he is, “at that moment you are the most hated guy in the city just because you are not the guy you are replacing.”
Kitchin attributed their success to Mark’s infectious laugh and the camaraderie he had with Brian. “You two were at the party that everyone wanted to be at. Everyone wanted to talk with you at the party.”
Thompson noted how hot they were in 1991. “We were on fire, our hottest point. Now this is a fact, in September ’91 in the 12+ category Mark and Brian had a 13. Our nearest competitor, Rick Dees, had a 4.”
More Hall of Fame. KFI’s John & Ken were nominated for the Radio Hall of Fame but missed. John wrote on Facebook: “Thank you to our family, friends, loyal listeners, management, producers, and everyone for helping us to get into the #RadioHallOfFame. We had HUGE showing, but this year, the honor went to #GlennBeck. Congratulations, Glenn, and the other nominees. We were close, which holds well for next time. So we’ll be back, sort of like the #Oscars and #Emmys. In the meantime, we’ll keep fighting and entertaining, because that’s what we do. Appreciate the love and support, particularly from the Radio Hall of Fame. We’ll be back.”
Hear Ache. After a lengthy countdown, Baja-based XEPRS-AM (The All-New Mightier 1090) relaunched this week, nearly 18 months after the original “Mighty 1090” went dark. Their “all-star lineup” includes Scott Kaplan, along with nationally-syndicated personalities Rich Eisen, Tony Bruno and Scott Ferrall … FOX Sports Radio, a division of Premiere Sports Network, is celebrating 20 years. Heard locally on KLAC: Colin Cowherd, Dan Patrick, Clay Travis, Doug Gottlieb, Chris Broussard, Rob Parker, R.J. Bell, Jason Smith, Mike Harmon and Ben Maller. Don Martin, svp of Sports Programming for Premiere Networks said, “I’ve been fortunate to be part of the FSR family for the entire run, both as an affiliate and on the management team.” … KLAC’s Colin Cowherd, host of The Herd with Colin Cowherd, appeared on the most recent episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher … Best wishes to Mike Lundy, former pd at KGIL and KDAY. This week Mike started chemo for Stage 3 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma ... San Francisco News/Talker KQED was forced to lay off 20 staff members, representing 5.5% of its workforce, and is also reducing hours for some employees due to financial strains brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
** KNX Move
“Thank you for thinking to send me your remembrance of the KNX move to the Miracle Mile. I still have a video of the tv report that was live that night. I’ve only watched it once. It gins up mixed emotions for me.” – Dave Williams
What the heck is going on? Are we in for a surprise? New billboards in the San Fernando Valley
(August 18, 2020)
For over a quarter of a century (1987 – 2012), the
LARadio spotlight shone brightly on KLOS’
Mark & Brian as they captured the
imagination of a new generation of radio listener.
The pair will be inducted into the Radio Hall of
Fame on October 29 during a live radio broadcast.
The Radio Hall of Fame is part of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. The other LARP who will be inducted is KEIB’s Glenn Beck, who won public votes as on-air personality.
Facebook sites dedicated to Mark & Brian erupted in good wishes.
Cassi Pittman: “I took a week of vacation time to be sure I didn’t miss a second of their last week. I could have worked and listened to it in my office like I always did, but I couldn’t take the chance. It felt like I went into mourning after the final show. Bawled!”
Tedd Armstrong wrote that his life has been immeasurably less fun since the guys left.
Mike Moore wrote: “I think toward the end they both had just had enough of each other...still put on the best program by far .... but time had moved them apart a bit ... in this pic it even looks as though neither wanted to be there ...... but loved the Boys anyway!”
KGMB-Honolulu had fun jock names like Aku and Granny
Goose. Did Neil Ross
have a good
one? “Due to a
decree,” emailed Neil, “I became Neilson X. Ross for
a while. That’s as wild as I got. As I said in my
book, Vocal Recall, looking back I should
have called myself 'Ham N. Eggs.' It didn’t really
matter. For the bulk of my time there I did
production and news during the week and only DJed on
the weekends” … Former KIIS dj
Freddy Rivera has
started a new podcast. “You know what the HARDEST
part of doing a podcast is? STARTING the podcast.
Goodness! There’s a significant feeling of
vulnerability in contrast to radio. It’s an
interesting world. But it’s a story worth sharing.”
Freddy’s new podcast is called the
project and it is about: the ongoing story, struggle
and moments. The first show is all about how he got
his start in radio. Available on Spotify, Apple
Music, SoundCloud and everywhere Podcasts are heard
… Interesting story about browsers. It seems to be a
two-horse sprint, with Google Chrome and Apple
Safari controlling more than 80% of the market.
Mozilla’s Firefox has only a 4% share of the market.
Mozilla announced that it was laying off 250
employees, or about a quarter of its staff.
** KNX Move from Columbia Square to Miracle Mile
“It's such a great memory. I remember being so excited to be the last traffic reporter at the legendary Columbia Square, and honored to be [after the first hour of the morning show broadcasting] the first reporter in the new building. That night will remain one of my favorite memories of all time!” - Katie Clark
** The New Norm
“Although I never met Norm Schrutt, in reading all the kind words his former colleagues at KZLA said about him previously and then contrasting those with the quote from his daughter, I have to conclude that he was incredibly professional about his situation. Forced into a market he didn't want to be in, he obviously did not take out any frustration he had on the station staff, and instead worked with them to create the best possible product on the air.
When I think of some of the general managers I've encountered over the years, he was head and shoulders above them. And I can say that having not ever being around him when he was alive.” - K.M. Richards
** In the Air Everywhere
“I read your weekend KNX report with interest, as a dedicated listener and former KNX tipster [‘Harvey the Agoura Road Warrior’] for many years. I was surprised that no recognition was given to former traffic and weather guy, Bill Keene, who served at the station for many years. Bill retired and then passed away in 2000.” - Harvey Kern
** Nom De Plume
“In mentioning that name rip-off, you can add the notorious female ROBERTA W. MORGAN. Her real name escapes me at the moment, but she was legendary in the Northeast/New England less for her air work, more for ‘climbing every DJ's tower.’ I think her dad was a bigshot in New Haven, and hearing of her escapades would have been enough to kill him.” – Randy West
|(August 17, 2020) Sonny
Fox, midday jock at Boss Radio/KHJ in 1972-73,
died August 14, at the age of 73. He made his radio
career as ‘Sonny in the Morning’ for decades in
Sonny came to Southern California from KCBQ-San Diego. While at KHJ, the Grand Rapids native wrote a weekly column for the Bob Hamilton Report. When he left "Boss Radio," he and Lee Abrams started the Superstar Radio Network. He programmed WRNO-New Orleans and WYSP-Philadelphia during the remainder of the 1970s. Sonny was on the fast track.
In 1973 he was part of the creation of "The Last Concert in Fantasy Park" that, according to Sonny, “was later borrowed by the Gordon McLendon family.”
By the end of the 1970s, Sonny burned out, and in 1980 he went to Miami. He said in a 1995 interview from his home in Miami, “I had done it all. The drugs, the mentions in the trades, the limelight, and I needed a rest.” Sonny started doing mornings at WSHE-Miami and then mornings at WHYI (“Y-100”)-Miami for three years during which time he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show as one of the top six djs in the country.
In 1989 he was suddenly let go. He filed
a $300,000 lawsuit against Metroplex Communications,
claiming his departure was “wrongful, willful,
malicious and for the sole purpose of having a less
expensive replacement.” Sonny's suit was
successfully settled out of court.
** Art Laboe Connection
“No one has ever been better at embodying what a great radio personality should be. Art Laboe could connect with anyone over the air, reach them and touch them and make them happy. He is marvelous and amazing and indeed one of a kind.” – Mary Beth Neal Garber
** God Shots
“Congratulations to Roland Bynum on his new book, which is kind of like the birth of his fourteenth child! Roland was my program director during my four years at the Big K and he has the best sign-off in radio: Bye-num!” – Joe Terry (Larry Boxer)
** Granny Goose Hiring
“Should I have hired Granny Goose at KRTR-Honolulu? The suggestion has been made that Granny Goose could have surpassed Aku, the ‘Hawaiian fish.’ I doubt it. If Granny Goose did well in later years with afternoon drive on KGMB, it might well have been due to AKU getting his huge audience in morning drive and listeners staying all day tuned to the station.
I believe this theory was prominent in the 80s with Rick Dees on KIIS.
But at the same time in 1984, I hired Gary Owens for morning drive on KKGO [then KBCA]. That was a home run. Some people thought Gary couldn’t adapt to a Jazz format. Gary being the great talent that he was, adapted very well. I am gratified that Gary joined my staff of great air personalities over the years that included Wink Martindale, Chuck Southcott, Chuck Niles, Jim Gosa, and Tom Dixon.
Gary finished his first-year contract and wanted it renewed which we did for another year. Two days later, Gary called me and asked to be let out of his contract because KFI had just offered him a small fortune to return to the station and be parred with Al Lohman. I told Gary I would not stand in his way and released him. My wife was slightly annoyed with me as a dedicated professional football fan. She said I should have made KFI buy out his contract. But Gary returned to work for me in later years on the Standards format. It was a very rewarding relationship.
PS – Talking about call letters (KQKE), I obtained the iconic call letters for KCAL-Redlands, around 1954. And as for KRTR (KRATER) 96.3 Honolulu, I initially put the station on the air in 1978 with the station licensed to Kailua, a suburb of Honolulu. I took the call letters KLUA which sounded very Hawaiian. After several weeks I had a listener call to advise me LUA in Hawaiian meant toilet. I quickly changed to KKAI and then KRTR.” – Saul Levine
God Shot from KJLH's Roland Bynum
(August 14, 2020) Tomorrow is a special day for KJLH’s Roland Bynum. His first book, God Shots, will be released on Amazon. “It's also my youngest sister's birthday, who we lost when she was brutally murdered twenty-five years ago,” said Roland. “So, I'm honoring her birthday. Also, my good friend Congresswoman Maxine Waters. It's her birthday as well.”
Make no mistake about the contents of the book. It is not your typical radio book, but a book written and experienced by an LA radio personality.
“Life is a journey but it's nothing without God,” is the sub-headline in God Shots.
Born in Detroit in 1941, Roland is a retired school teacher. He got his radio start at the Motor City's WCHB, then WABX- Montgomery, Alabama.
Roland arrived in Los Angeles to replace the Magnificent Montague at KGFJ. By 1970, "the Soulfinger," as he was known, was the assistant pd and pd a year later. He also did a show on Armed Forces Radio Network.
Fifty years later he has a story to tell. “I had this quiet and personal conversation with God. As I closed my eyes, not knowing how to pray, I just said, ‘God, please let me find a family that is my own because living with the Reed’s is horrible.’ Also, I want to live a long life. I paused and then made one more appeal, ‘I would like to have a big family of my own,’” Roland wrote. “I have thirteen children. Be careful what you wish for.”
“I got up, and looked up. I could feel
God’s eyes were on me. Right there and then I began
Voted Billboard Magazine’s Black program director of the year in 1974, Roland also worked at KAGB. He’s been at KJLH since March 1998.
“I became a high school teacher in 2001,” revealed Bynum. “I started teaching in 1995-97 and then opened my own telemarketing business in 1998.” A couple of years later he decided to go back to the teaching profession, just two days before September 11th.
“Broadcasting gave me a wealth of experiences to bring to the world of education. I earned two master's degrees in education and counseling from Point Loma University during my tenure as a teacher.”
God Shots can be purchased at: https://www.amazon.com/God-Shots-Journey-Nothing-Without/dp/B08DPZF5NN/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=god+shots+roland+bynum&qid=1597519622&sr=8-1
** Things That Go Bump In the Night
“I was amused by that photo of 14 bumper stickers on the Toyota Prius. It was great to see this owner concerned with so many issues facing our nation. However, one glaring bumper sticker that was missing was ‘Buy American.’" - Steve Chang, Venice
** ESPN Wheel of Fortune
“KSPN Radio is like the wheel on Wheel of Fortune....just give it a spin because the programming is so random. Come back in two months because the wheel will have changed again. Just make sure you don't look for the spot for any coverage of the major current news, the shutdown of college football won't be on the wheel.” - Tony SIracusa, former Entravision Radio (not the former football player...different spelling)
** Car Talk
“Great photo of KNX back in the day but things I'd do to have any one of those cars parked outside! A ‘gearheads’ happy dream:)” – Jeff Baugh
|(August 13, 2020)
Monday will be a new day at KSPN. The local ESPN
radio outlet revamps its weekday lineup with morning
co-host Keyshawn Johnson’s move to ESPN’s
national morning radio show. The station will now
air three hours of Johnson, Jay Williams and
Zubin Mehenti’s new national show on a
two-hour delay airing from 5 a.m. – 9 a.m.
will provide topical and opinion driven local
content,” emailed Amanda Brown, KSPN pd.
Lz Granderson will join current 10 a.m. - noon host Jorge Sedano for afternoon drive with Mike Greenberg’s new ESPN national show "Greeny,” which will air live from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., followed by Max Kellerman’s national show from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Current afternoon hosts Steve Mason and John Ireland will move back to their previous midday duties from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Scott Kaplan will work evenings at KSPN.
Hear Ache. For
fans of Pink’s Hot Dogs, rejoice! After five months,
the eatery is reopening with much plexiglass to go
with your chili dog … Bill A. Jones is
playing a hospital board member on General
Hospital today. And Sunday at 5 p.m. Bill will
be streaming a variation from his Front Porch
Concerts at www.Facebook.com/Bill.Jones for the
live stream … Larry “Supermouth” Huffman is
on the mend, according to a Facebook friend. “After
three operations in the last five months Larry tells
me his recovery is going well and no further surgery
is currently planned. The leg situation and pain
level are much improved but there are still mobility
issues and Larry needs to use a walker or specially
designed leg brace to get around.” … Former head of
Sirius (and CBS Viacom) Sumner Redstone died
yesterday at the age of 97 … A LARP was asking for a
friend if you can you get a face mask that looks
like your own face, so you don't appear to be
wearing a mask? … Chris Carter, host of
Breakfast With Beatles, is still doing eight radio
shows a week on three different stations on both
Sirius/XM and KLOS. Chris sent along the recent PPM
ratings. “Breakfast With the Beatles #2 A25-54 and
6+, #1 A35+ here in LA. Southern California still
loves the Beatles. Peace & Love,” emailed Chris.
** New Personalities
“With all due respect to Chris Ebbott and ‘record high’ K-EARTH numbers fm radio in LA now is a pathetic vast wasteland of zero talent, zero innovation. So being high-rated is like winning a turtle race. Anyone reading this would be hard-pressed to name even five ‘personalities’ in LARadio, because there aren't any anymore. And it takes zero talent to play 8 or 10 songs in a row - artificially hyping your AQH - and then run 12 or 14 commercials in a cluster break. This is short-changing the advertisers who get buried in the middle of those breaks, and listeners just tune out and come back later. That's called gaming the system.
All the FM's are doing it, and there is not even one station now offering innovative or break through programming, or offering Top Pro personalities who are dynamic and have something witty or memorable to say. Radio programming has seen much, much better days.” – Bob MacKay
** Miracle Mile Retro
“Coincidental to your story on KNX's 100th anniversary, August 12 also marks 15 years since KNX left Columbia Square for the Miracle Mile. Listen to the retrospective here.” – David Bernhart
|(August 12, 2020) Radio
World, with the help of LARadio historian Jim
Hilliker, devoted a special issue to the 100th
anniversary of KNX, the station which what is
traditionally considered the birth of modern
commercial radio. We don’t know what KNX is doing to
celebrate the occasion around their September 10
anniversary. We’ve reached out a couple of times
with no response.
Hilliker chatted with KNX writer / producer / editor Keith Mizuguchi who is apparently working on the special. “Keith recorded me talking about the earliest days of KNX from 1920 up to when Columbia Square was opened for CBS in 1938,” emailed Jim.
“Looks like after he gets done editing my words to perfection, I will be one of several experts and sound bites to be included in his KNX history program.” Hilliker was thrilled and humbled to be part of the project.
Some highlights from the Radio World story:
In 1920, there were still
no fixed regulations governing broadcasting, and the
first stations operated under a variety of license
classes, such as amateur, experimental or
“commercial land station.” (The renowned pioneer
station KDKA debuted with a new category called
“limited commercial” license under the call sign
Calling itself “The California Theatre Radiophone,” KNX was now broadcasting live music four or five days a week, featuring Carli Elinor’s California Theatre Concert Orchestra and the music of the theatre’s organ. A nightly newscast was also featured.
But finances to support the station were limited; advertising was not yet condoned on broadcast stations, and so the entire operation was being supported by the sale of radio parts at the store.
In October 1924, KNX was purchased by Guy C. Earle, publisher of the Los Angeles Evening Express newspaper, who had the means to turn it into a first-class operation. KNX was now “The Voice of Hollywood” — on the air from morning to late night with sports, news, informational talks, drama by the “KNX Players” and live evening broadcasts by Abe Lyman’s Orchestra from the Hotel Ambassador.
In 1935, Guy Earle bought the 20,000 square foot Motion Picture Hall of Fame building at 5939 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, and rebuilt it into the new KNX studio building at a cost of $250,000. It featured six studios suspended on floating floors. Studio “A” was 30 x 60 feet, and Studio “B” featured a new $35,000 Morton organ. Brand new RCA studio equipment was installed throughout.
KNX was now a powerhouse station, with a powerful signal covering eleven Western states a night.
It’s 1935 gross income of $675,000 ranked it among the six highest-billing stations in the country.
In 1936, under pressure over the license hearings, Earle sold KNX to the CBS network for $1.25 million. It was the highest price ever paid for a single radio station to that date. KNX was now CBS’s key station on the West Coast, and would soon become the home base for CBS’s Hollywood program origination.
Then on April 30, 1938, KNX and CBS moved into its new $1.75 million Columbia Square studio complex at 6121 Sunset Boulevard. It would be the origination location for dozens of CBS radio shows heard nationwide over the next decade, featuring stars such as Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Burns and Allen. (KMPC then moved into the former KNX Sunset Boulevard building.)
As network radio transitioned to the disc jockey era of the 1950s, KNX adopted a middle-of-the-road format, featuring personalities like Steve Allen and Bob Crane, who broadcast his popular KNX morning show from 1957 to 1965 before leaving to become the star of the tv series Hogan’s Heroes.
In April 1968, KNX adopted an all-news format, which has successfully maintained it as one of the top ten news stations in the country. Entercom Communications acquired KNX in 2017 when it merged with CBS Radio. KNX will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Sept. 10, 2020. Check out the complete Radio World story here.
** Kuzz I Can
"Seeing the comments about bumper stickers, I remember that when I lived in Bakersfield, KUZZ, then owned by the late Buck Owens, had an especially effective campaign. It was called, ‘Stick on KUZZ win cash.’ A listener would have to go to one of the station’s advertisers, get a KUZZ sticker and place it on their car. Then they would need to listen for the station to call out their license plate on the air and would have 20 minutes to call and arrange to pick up their cash. Some listeners had their entire bumper covered with KUZZ stickers.
What a great promotion. You bring the listeners to the advertisers, force them to listen to the station all day, and every car is promoting the station! It most likely wouldn’t be effective in a market the size of LA, but it sure worked in Bakersfield!” – Robert Banks
** Former GM at KZLA Dies
“I saw your headlines and was happy to see that it wasn’t me as the ex-general manager GM of KZLA. Ironically Norm Schrutt offered me the job as VP/GM of KZLA when I was the GSM at KMPC. We got along very well and I was very impressed with him, however, I decided to stay with Gene Autry.
When Cap Cities sold KZLA and KLAC to Milt Maltz, they offered me the job as VP/GM which I accepted this time: 1986-93. Norm and I had a professional and cordial relationship for many years. Like a slice of French toast, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.” – Norm Epstein
** The Art of Laboe
“Art Laboe is one of a kind. He has always been gracious and kind to me. Thank you, Don, for organizing the wonderful tribute 10 years ago.” – Lane Quigley
** Original R&B Jocks
“Art Laboe is one of four original, L.A. radio R & B (Rock) disk jockeys, along with Johnny Otis, Dick ‘Huggy Boy’ Hugg, and Hunter Handcock. Before them, there was nothing but Frank, Ella, and the Lettermen.” – Patrick Moore
** Very Early LARadio
“My mother loved Al Jarvis. He had a request line and she always wanted to hear the Ink Spots.” – Bill Gardner
** Six Degrees of Separation
“I got to work with both these guys Don, in '65 & '66 and worked for Art from 2011 thru 2018.” – Joe Collins
** Worked with Art
“Art Laboe is honest, bright, funny and one of the kindest men I ever met!” – Doug Cox, former pd at KRLA
2020) Norm Schrutt, former
general manager at Country KZLA in the
early 1980s, died August 5 at the age of
87. Norm was a 33-year veteran of ABC
He had been a car salesman when he joined WKBW-Buffalo as a time salesman. He became ’KB’s gm in 1977 before joining KZLA in 1980. Then in 1981 he joined WKHX/WYAY-Atlanta as gm and stayed until the fall of 1996, when he retired at age 63. Norm was tough on talent but had a soft underbelly.
In his obit in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Atlanta morning star Moby remembered Norm telling him. “Never think this is your radio station. This is my radio station.”
“Norm was brilliant,” Moby said. “If you believed in him, and you let him know you believed in him, working for him was easy.” Even when Moby got in trouble with clients or listeners, he said Schrutt supported him.
After retiring from radio, Norm became a talent agent for the next 23 years, working with entertainment attorney Joel Katz.
“Norm was my first GM at KZLA, having flipped the station Country two weeks before I started there as a weekend talent in the Fall of 1980,” remembered RJ Curtis. “Gruff, tough, and boisterous on the outside, but soft, empathetic, and supportive on the inside, Norm was large and in charge,” he wrote on Facebook.
|Curtis had a front row seat to
Norm’s negotiating style during an AFTRA contract
“Months into my time at KZLA, I made an accidental, yet monumental error that was clearly a fireable offense. Norm gave me a pass on that, and saved my radio career. I honestly don’t know where I’d be now if he hadn’t, as I had zero career equity at that point.”
“Norm Schrutt was a true force of nature,” RJ wrote. “It’s hard to imagine that amount of energy has been stilled. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Goodtime Steve Mitchell worked at K-100 (KIQQ) in its formative years. He later returned to his home in Atlanta where he worked for Norm. “I tried to steer clear of him, because he projected this persona of an ogre. But when I did a secret project for him and WLS/fm-Chicago, I got to work one-on-one with him and discovered that was all an act. Then years later, I produced a video for the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame and again he was a really nice guy.”
Jason Pullman worked at KYSR from 2003-05. His father was Norm’s general sales manager at WLTA-Atlanta and the families knew each other for forty years. “I’ll never forget my time with him. He was creative and brilliant,” said Jason.
Hear Ache. Howard Stern has encouraged Ellen DeGeneres: “If you’re a jerk, own it,” according to the New York Daily News. “I would change my whole image. I’d go on the air and be a son of a bitch. People would come on and (I would) go, ‘F--k you.’ Just be a pr--k.” … Chris Ebbott has two events to celebrate – he took K-EARTH to highest heights ever in recent PPM, plus 17 years of marriage with his wife, radio consultant Angela Perelli Ebbott … Sad to read that one of the British Invasion stars, Wayne Fontana, died at age 74. He was the front man for the Mindbenders with a huge hit, Game of Love … Former K-LITE personality Bill A. Jones vacationed with his lovely wife Karin in Avila Beach last week. We got to catch up over coffee on the beachfront. Bill is an actor and was a regular on Glee. Since the lockdown, Bill has narrated two audio books.
** Morgan Tops
“In my opinion, Robert W. Morgan should be number one. He was special.” – Fred Wallin
** Where is Lohman & Barkley?
"I'm not sure who I'd remove from that Top 10 list, but to omit Lohman & Barkley? Shameful!
Also, Jim Ladd's Radio Waves is missing from the book list! Tsk! Tsk!" - Bob Whitmore
** KMET Surprises
“I happened upon two references this week to the great 94.7 KMET.
The first one did not surprise me, the second one certainly DID! Hearing Mike Harrison share memories with Shadoe Stevens on a recent podcast, which you referenced in this column, was a treat.
The SURPRISE for me came during Mark Maron’s recent interview with ICE-T. I learned that the great gangsta rapper grew up listening to, of all stations, KLOS and KMET. He mentioned such bands as Traffic, ELO, and Deep Purple. Who would have guessed?” – Jared Charles Kliger
** Bumper Stickers and Antenna Balls
“Discussion about bumper stickers and antenna balls. Yes, they have disappeared. I did them all for KBCA/KKGO. But new model bumpers went from metal to plastic and stickers would not stick.
Auto antennas to top with a plastic ball disappeared. Some of my favorites I produced: a sticker for KRTR-Honolulu saying ‘Krater’ against a photo of Diamond Head.
On my Country station I operated in Northern California called KQKE (‘The Quake’) with the call letters visually out of alignment.
BTW, a dj I didn’t hire. When operating KRTR, no one could shake loose the morning show on KGMB (Heftel) which featured a dj named AKU (an Hawaiian fish with 55% shares). Then a dj showed up at my Kailua office claiming he could beat AKU. His name was Granny Goose. I just would not program a Goose against a Fish.” – Saul Levine
Top Ten L.A. Disc Jockeys in Second Half of 20th
Century The King of KJLH
2020) With the publication of the
first volume of
Los Angeles Radio
People, there was a postcard put in
each book with a ballot inviting readers
to vote for the best disc jockeys of the
second half of the 20th Century. The first
volume was confined to djs only.
It wasn’t until Volume Two when talk show hosts, sports people, traffic broadcasters, news anchors and executives were included. In that second volume, the centerfold was devoted to the Top Ten djs.
We sold close to 5,000 copies of the first book and received around 1,700 ballots. Over 232 djs received votes. The ballot requested the top ten djs. Scoring was inverted in relationship to placement, for example, #1 received 10 votes, #2 got nine votes and so on.
After the Top 10 was determined, each winning personality was asked to write a brief comment about the other winners. B. Mitch Reed died in 1983.
The Real Don Steele wrote: “I feel truly honored to be in such distinguished company, and it’s very gratifying to be in the ‘tops’!”
If you listened to LARadio between 1957 and 1995, I hope you join with me in saluting these men who broke the molds when then came onto the broadcast scene.
Since moving to the Central, Coast I have become friends with a very talented and award-winning artist, Brian Nelson. As we got to know each other, he asked what I did and told him about Los Angeles Radio People. He asked to borrow the book and Brian took the centerfold of Volume 2 and created a fascinating montage. Starting at the top left and going clockwise:
Emperor Bob Hudson
“His Hudson & Landry album bits are still some of the best.” (Charlie Tuna)
#6 Rick Dees
“Rick has been consistently been one of the top-rated air personalities in LA. We worked under the same roof at Gannett and shared many laughs and furtive hallway anecdotes.” (Gary Owens)
#5 B. Mitchel Reed
“B. Mitch didn’t talk too fast, people simply listened too slow. He was ‘New Yorky.’” (Emperor Bob Hudson)
#2 The Real Don Steele
“I’ve always enjoyed his uniqueness. An original. Thank god Tina Delgado is still alive.” (Dick Whittington)
#3 Robert W. Morgan
“Deliciously cynical, possessing rapier-like wit, capable of being ‘Peck’s Bad Boy.’ Always funny, never boring.” (Hudson)
#10 Dave Hull
“Had a 30+ share in afternoon drive in Los Angeles. What else needs to be said?” (Robert W. Morgan)
#1 Gary Owens
“His tremendous share of acclaim is not nearly enough. There should be an Owens equestrian statue (prancing position) erected on the grounds of Griffith Park as a salute to his inimitable talent.” (Bill Ballance)
#4 Bill Ballance
“A gentleman. Without his initial testing of the 1st Amendment and non-sated FCC rules, Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh would be playing Supertramp tracks today.” (Whittington)
#8 Charlie Tuna
“The best timing on radio. Never once stepped on the vocal of A Theme from a Summer Place. (Morgan)
#7 Sweet Dick Whittington (center)
“I remember him best after all these years for a wonderfully poignant bit of prose having to do with the life cycle of a butterfly. The moth part of Sweet Dick was known to all his friends and employers – he simply could not keep away from the flame of peril. When everything was seemingly perfect job-wise, he would fly abruptly from the safety of the formation, directly into the flame of the forbidden candle. He is one of a kind. I love him.” (Hudson)
Chet Douglas Rode Two Careers
(August 7, 2020) Part of
our pandemic ritual at home is discovering something new while
streaming random movies or being surprised while watching an old
classic on one of the Turner channels. John Ford, the legendary
director was well-known for the cowboy classic The Searchers.
I’m guessing Two Rode Together was put together to satisfy
contractual obligations because it was not a whole lot different
than The Searchers. Very disappointing.
As I’m reading the credits, I saw the name Chet Douglas. Could it be the same Chet Douglas who anchored morning drive news at KFWB for over a decade (1968-80)? Indeed, he was the actor and the anchor.
Chet was featured or co-starred in several major motion pictures for Columbia and Paramount Pictures. Most of his feature film work was done in the 1960s: Requiem for a Gunfighter, Papa’s Delicate Condition, Grand Marshal, The Underwater City, and Cry for Happy.
Following his movie career, Chet turned to radio, first at KBLA-Burbank before his long run at KFWB. In January of 1981 Chet joined ABC in New York where he anchored morning drive news for the Entertainment Network until late 1992. He then retired to Scottsdale.
On December 4, 2000, his long battle with cancer ended. Chet’s daughter Janet said he died peacefully at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Scottsdale. “Dad got the word several weeks ago that his bone marrow had stopped producing red blood cells and that his time would be short,” reported Janet. He was 64.
Chet was very active up until he went into the hospital. He spent Thanksgiving with his daughter and family in Southern California, then flew to Colorado for a couple of days with his son, Erik. He returned from Colorado did Christmas shopping for his wife, Yvonne and hid the gifts with neighbors. Within days his condition worsened enough that he was hospitalized. And then the medications that had been helping sustain his life were discontinued.
Congrats to Barbara and Mark Wallengren (ex-KOST)
on their 31st wedding anniversary … Orange County radio personality
in the late 90s and early aughts, Taz, known as
Mark Allen Graves, has prostate cancer. He has been sharing his
here … Two LARP given VP stripes at Entercom. Congratulations to
K-EARTH’s Chris Ebbott being promoted to
vp/programming and to Chad Fitzsimmons upped to
svp/promotions & experiences … The WAVE’s Greg Mack is
the subject of a new documentary about his time programming KDAY.
Check it out
here ... Recently married Gary Moore and his
new bride Linda are leaving for Kentucky next week to begin a new
life together. Gary was with KLOS forever until the coronavirus
crippled our industry.
** Dewar’s Drake
“With all the recent publicity regarding Bill Drake, maybe it’s time to revisit this.” – Neil Young
** Radio as Teaching Tool
“If you were going to teach school on LA radio stations for kids stuck at home, where would you start?
Torrance has a radio station through the city, but its mandate is only traffic and weather. I’m getting stuck.
Hope you are staying well in this pandemic. I’m a mom of grade school kids and a nurse, but my past is working in education in Liberia, and we used the radio to teach. I’m finding that some families have barriers to online learning, and I’m looking at the obvious alternative.” – Anna Lustre
** All Hail the King
“It was so wonderful to read that King Oliver is alive and well. I always enjoyed his shows on KJLH in the evening. 83 and still kicking it is an inspiration for all of us. Keep those grandchildren coming King Oliver.” – Roland Bynum
** King Listener
"It was great to see an article about King Oliver. A little over a year ago I wrote to you to see if there was any contact info for him, and you published that request, but I never saw that anyone posted anything.
I listened to his show Gemini Changes from about 1977 through 1979. I tried not to miss it. He opened with Hank Crawford [whose music I did not know of until then] and had a really mellow wonderful show. I taped one show. It is still good to listen to.
I am glad to see that he is is healthy and doing well." - Rick Bisetti
** Wave at the Bumper
“We still do bumper stickers at K-WAVE!” – Brian Perez
(August 6, 2020) King Oliver (Oliver
Nelson Harris Jr.) had a long run at KJLH from 1968-85. He’s now 83,
retired and living in East Rancho Dominguez. He grew up in Newark,
Delaware, in fact before he settled on the King moniker at KJLH he
called himself “the square from Delaware.”
“Someone told me, ‘you’re no square, you are a king.’ And that’s how my name came about,” said Oliver.
Radio didn’t always pay the bills for his growing family, so he became an electrician at Texaco Oil Company where he retired in 1999. His radio career was confined to evenings and some after midnight shifts. Rhapsody in Black host Bill Gardner called Oliver the ‘baby maker’ because of the soft and soulful r&b music he played while on the air at KJLH. “Some called me the ‘Voice of Love,’ because I drifted towards that kind of music, like the O’Jays and Spinners, those groups with the deep voices singing that great, sweet stuff,” said Oliver.
His father was a sailor so the family moved around. Oliver had three brothers and three sisters. When Oliver was sixteen, the family moved to the island of Guam, wherehe finished high school at George Washington High School. He then went off to college at Park College located in Parkville, Missouri.
After graduation he joined the Army and spent eight months at Fort Ord before going to Bamberg, Germany for the remainder of his time with the service. He was discharged from the Army in July 1962. In those days, the government sent you back to wherever you called home. “I went to my parents’ home.” That’s how he got to Long Beach.
“My father was still serving in the US
Navy and stationed at a navy base in Long Beach. During my college
years, my family lived in San Diego. I usually spent my summers with
the family in San Diego. We had an antenna on top of our home so I
could listen to Hunter Hancock broadcasting from
Los Angeles. At that time was no r&b station in San Diego,” Oliver
"Currently I am enjoying retirement. My health is good and I am still enjoying the music. Sometimes I go on the air with Bill Gardner at KPFK/fm," emailed Oliver. “My wife Martha and I have seven grandkids.”
Hear Ache. Former KDAYer Earl Trout wondered what’s a polygon? Earl answered his own rhetorical question: A dead parrot … In reviewing Sean Hannity’s new book, the reviewer referenced his time in radio. “A conversation with him (Hannity) quickly reminds you that his roots are in radio. Like an old-school Top 40 disc jockey, the conservative host can play the hits (Russian Collusion Hoax) Trump Derangement Syndrome (The Deep State) on repeat, with unflagging enthusiasm,” wrote the LA Times’ Stephen Battaglio … Podcasting revenue to hit $1 billion in 2021, according to Podnews … Entercom announced that it will be extending its current work-from-home policy until at least January 1, 2021 … I was sad to learn that Northwest legend Pat O’Day has passed. In the glory years of Top 40 Radio, KJR-Seattle was a GIANT. I was asked to speak at the Bill Gavin Convention in Chicago on the Future of FM in 1969. After the presentation, Pat sought me out to thank me for my observations. I was really touched … Former AMP Radio original Chris Booker is the new Thumb 20 Countdown host at Sirius XM.
** HOF Vote Quandary
“I feel like Solomon being called upon to split the baby regarding the vote for John and Ken into the Hall of Fame. I absolutely love John Kobylt, his pragmatic analysis. He is one of the most intellectual talk show hosts on radio today in his ability to form a consistent intellectual argument.
However, I do not think Ken Chiampou contributes anything to the show. He rarely is able to make a cogent argument and generally brings the show down by attempting to argue a case but rarely succeeds. Add to that his incessant screaming on the air with an ever-increasing gravel voice.
I do not believe that he would have been able to survive in this business had it not been for John. John is the reason for the success they’ve had. Personally, I do not even tune in when John is absent. Having Ken and Debbie at the helm is equivalent to listening to static. So sadly I could not vote for John and Ken to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. 50% is not a passing grade the last time I checked.” – Steve Chang, Venice
** Old Book is New
“My book Growing Old Sucks But It Doesn’t Have To came out this week on Amazon. The Kindle version is 99˘.
I’ve created a book trailer, which is found here — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WhOhgVQpgk&t=17s (it’s 97 seconds)
and to buy the book https://books2read.com/u/mdlwyd The book is about staying healthy while we age.” – Mark Alyn
** Missing Howard
“I just heard about Bob Howard passed away. Very sad. Bob was a super nice gentleman, a great family man and a terrific pro news anchor. I enjoyed working with him years ago KFWB. He was very welcoming and helpful in my first couple of weeks there at the old building on Yucca St. He was appreciative of when I pre-recorded my sports reports, to be on the all-nite newscasts, at three and half minutes on the mark, as that was the only time Bob could take a break from the anchor chair in the wee hours. He said the other sports guys, who would record their ’casts, would sometimes go only around 2 and 2 and half minutes. Not much time to do personal business.
Nonetheless, Bob will be missed and I want to send out condolences and prayers to his family and friends. RIP Bob Howard” – Michael Carlucci
** Missing Top 40 Stations in July
“KSPN’s listeners are so few it doesn’t even get to be #710?” – Jeff Freedman
Top Ten L.A. Disc Jockeys in Second Half of 20th Century
The King of KJLH
Lost in Paradise
|(August 5, 2020) Lane Quigley,
host at Rock-It Radio and former personality at KUSC, has shared a
harrowing story about the pandemic. Lane and his wife Pat were
traveling out of the country when the coronavirus struck. Here is
“We left LA during the first week of March for a long-planned two-week vacation in Costa Rica. Not long after we began our trip, the pandemic situation exploded in California. As we were reading about the chaos back home, there were just a handful of cases in Costa Rica – and those were all in the capital city, far from the seaside village where we were staying.
While toilet paper was flying off the shelves in LA, it was on sale 50% off at the local grocery store. The Costa Rican government took quick and decisive action to retard the spread of the virus. Pat and I decided that we would defer our return until things calmed down in California. We are still waiting for that to happen.
We are not alarmists by any means, but because Pat has some medical issues that make her particularly susceptible to contagions, we decided it was best to be cautious. Our intended two-week stay has now been five months.
We left our hotel and rented a small furnished apartment. The government implemented rigid shelter-in-place regulations, permitting driving only on certain days depending on the last digit of the vehicle’s license plate. Beaches were closed for the first couple of months. Non-essential businesses were closed.
Being ‘stranded’ in Costa Rica sounds exotic, but given the quarantine orders we rarely left our apartment except to go to the grocery store. We might as well have been in Kansas.
After the first couple of months, the
restrictions were gradually eased. Until about a month ago, the
number of deaths and hospitalizations for Covid remained minimal.
However as restrictions were lifted, the virus began spreading
quickly in the capital city, and significant restrictions have been
reimposed in that region. The Pacific coast area (where we have been
staying) has had a minimal number of cases. There are still
restrictions against large gatherings, bars and restaurants must
close early with limited seating, and masks are mandatory. But we
have had the ability to move around and see more of the country.
We left the apartment in Playas del Coco in mid-June and relocated to another furnished apartment in the central coastal town of Jaco. We have fallen in love with the country – it is beautiful and the people here are friendly and respectful. We are hoping to move here sometime down the line.
As much as we would like to stay here longer, we need to get back home. We are planning to return later this month. We miss the lockdown, protests, earthquakes, unemployment and political discord. We had been booked to return nonstop to LAX on Alaska Airlines. However, the Costa Rica government closed its borders early on, causing our flight to be postponed. The border closure has been extended several times, each time causing cancellations of our flight. The US Embassy has arranged with United Airlines to offer periodic Repatriation flights from Costa Rica to Houston. We would prefer to minimize our risk of exposure by flying nonstop to LAX. However it now appears as if it will be months before there will be nonstop flights to LA, so we will need to catch a connecting flight in Houston.
With all this free time, I have become quite proficient at cell phone solitaire.” – Lane Quigley
** Dead Songs
“When you were asking about songs not appropriate at funerals, the first song that came to mind was Time is on My Side by The Rolling Stones.
Noticed one other thing in your Where Are They Now section. Under B, you show Dick Bass, former Ram running back and announcer, as a customer relations person. Bass, aka Scooter, died quite a few years ago, 2006 to be exact.
Anyhow, always love the site.” – Tim James, Mr. Procedure
** Play Ball
“Here's a spot for Hankook tires I recorded late last year before the postseason, but I believe they shelved it because of Kershaw’s struggles in the postseason, but now with a new season, they are running it a lot. The residuals should be nice.
Let’s also hope the abbreviated 60 game season continues and the players can avoid Covid-19.
Also, recently I received my official temporary contract release as lead Baseball Announcer at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Hoping to be back on track for 2021? There is also a rumor, it could be pushed to 2022?” – Mike Carlucci
TALKERS Michael Harrison interviews Shadoe Stevens (both former pd at KMET)
Classic Hits Marathon at K-EARTH
4, 2020) K-EARTH keeps pumping out the hits. The Classic
Hits station is #1 again in the just-released July '20 PPM Nielsen
survey for Persons 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid and ahead of the runner-up
station KFI by a full point and a half. KOST tumbled a half-point
from the June survey, while KTWV increased a half point. The first
number after the format description is June PPM and the second
number is July. Here are the Top 40 stations:
1. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.7 - 6.1
2. KFI (Talk) 4.4 - 4.7
3. KOST (AC) 5.1 - 4.6
4. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.1 - 4.6
5. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.9 - 4.4
6. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.6 - 3.7
KLOS (Classic Rock) 3.6 - 3.7
8. KIIS (Top 40/M) 3.7 - 3.6
KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.3 - 3.6
10. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.2 - 3.5
|11. KYSR (Alternative) 3.1 - 3.3
12. KNX (News) 3.9 - 3.2
13. KKGO (Country) 2.9 - 2.5
14. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.3 - 2.4
15. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.6 - 2.3
KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.0 - 2.3
17. KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.4 - 2.2
KRRL (Urban) 2.6 - 2.2
19. KUSC (Classical) 1.9 - 2.1
20. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.8 - 2.0
21. KAMP (Top 40/M) 1.9 - 1.9
KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.2 - 1.9
23. KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 1.9 - 1.7
KPCC (News/Talk) 1.5 - 1.7
KROQ (Alternative) 1.7 - 1.7
26. KCRW (Variety) 1.4 - 1.6
27. KLLI (Latin Urban) 1.3 - 1.5
28. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.3 - 1.4
KRLA (Talk) 1.5 - 1.4
30. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.5 - 1.2
31. KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 1.2 - 1.1
32. KABC (Talk) 1.0 - 1.0
KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.9 1.0
KKJZ (Jazz) 1.1 - 1.0
35. KDLD (Regional Mexican) 0.7 - 0.9
KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.9
KFWB (Regional Mexican) 1.0 - 0.9
38. KKLA (Religious) 0.6 - 0.6
KLAC (Sports) 0.6 - 0.6
KTNQ (Spanish Talk) 0.5 - 0.6
For the Love of Ed Mann
Ed Mann has radio running through his blood or is it veins. He worked at KUTE, KIIS, KEZY and KBIG. Ed was one of the founders of Premiere Radio Networks.
He's written a tasty novel with radio serving as the backdrop. Ed sent an advance copy of his book. Couldn't put it down. A real page turner. You can order the book at: www.fortheloveofradiobook.com Our review:
|** AMP Morning Madness
“The Phoenix simulcast announcement reminds me of the time that CBS Radio decided to simulcast Bob Rivers from Seattle on Arrow93.
Those that cannot remember the past...” - Rick Sietsema
“I second the request that all SFV earthquakes hit early in the morning, but I would vote for 5:45. At least I would be awake! The one last week was not fun. I thought the tenants in the next apartment complex had backed their car into the wall next to ours!
Not that I listen to AMP radio, but good luck with Arizona talent trying to sound topical for Southern California audiences. JACK/fm manages to tailor their syndicated sound to us, but live radio is a different thing altogether!
I too miss radio station bumper stickers, I can remember when every other car featured a neon rainbow KLOS sticker. I think the whole sticker craze went under when the conglomerates took hold. Pity.
I loved your grandson's picture with his dog, so cute! Enjoy!” – Julie T. Byers
|(August 3, 2020) Danny Dwyer,
very popular afternooner at Country KUPL (The Bull) in Portland, had
a 4th of July he’ll never forget. While working on his roof he fell
off, suffering 11 broken ribs, 7 fractured vertebrates, a broken
collarbone, a punctured lung and a serious eye injury that required
11 stitches. He spent nine days in the trauma center in Vancouver,
Washington and miraculously was back at work before the month was
out. He tells the story on how it happened
Danny spent four years at Country KZLA from 1992-96. When he left the Southland, he moved to the Northwest. He is now KUPL’s longest term employee after hitting his 20+ years with the station. During his tenure, he’s worked in every daypart and held many posts from promotions director and traffic reporter to midday host and music director.
Dwyer also is a dedicated volunteer advocating for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital along with many other local charities.
of Fame Voting. Time is running out for you to cast a
ballot for the 2020 Radio Hall of Fame. A number of LARP are being
considered on this year’s ballots. The organization puts nominees
into two categories – one where the public can vote and the other is
based on votes done by a RHOF appointed committee.
Due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns, the 2020 induction ceremony will be held as a live radio broadcast from multiple locations this October. As a radio fan, you can vote for your favorite nominees in two categories. Click here to vote. They have made it very easy.
LARPS are nominated in two categories. Winners will be from your votes and the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee:
• Music Format On-Air Personality: Whitney Allen (The Big Time with Whitney Allen, Westwood One).
• Spoken Word On-Air Personality: Glenn Beck (The Glenn Beck Show, Premiere Networks); John Kobylt & Ken Chiampou (The John & Ken Show, KFI); Stephanie Miller (The Stephanie Miller Show, WYD Media).
There are also LARP Nominees to be voted on by the appointed Voting Participant Panel: • Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Mark & Brian (KLOS); Bobby Rich (KFMB/fm-San Diego & KMXZ-Tucson); Bob Rivers (KJR/fm-Seattle).
• Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more): Joey Reynolds (Host, WOR Radio Network).
• Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more): Larry Elder (Salem Radio Network); Jaime Jarrin (Los Angeles Dodgers Network); Kim Komando (Host, The Kim Komando Show, Westar Radio Network).
“2020 marks 100 years of radio and, while we regret that we cannot hold an in-person event this year, we’re looking forward to the excitement of a live, multi-location radio broadcast,” said Kraig Kitchin, Chairman of the Radio Hall of Fame.
Hear Ache. Happy 10-year wedding anniversary to sports guy Joe Grande … There’s buzz that Howard Stern may retire when his five-year deal with Sirius XM expires at the end of this year, according to the Page Six column. Howard is 66 and an exec with SiriusXM claims he can stay as long as he wants … Congrats to Sandy and Wink Martindale. They’ve made it work for 45 years! … KFI news director Chris Little is looking for a full-time news editor. “The ideal candidate will have a journalism degree and know how to write conversationally. Send a cover letter plus five rewritten stories. Rewrites should be four lines or less. Include the originals,” Chris wrote. Send inquiries to: Chrislittle@iheartmedia.com.
** Breaking News
"’This just in to the LARadio.com newsroom...effective immediately, to avoid utter chaos and the unending description of broken plates and dishes, all San Fernando Earthquakes will hit at approximately 4:30 a.m. Be prepared, that is all, carry on!!!’ :)” – Jeff Baugh
** Phoenix Morning Mess on AMP Radio
“Here’s something I doubt Entercom has taken into account. During Daylight Saving Time, Arizona stays on Mountain Standard Time so the time is the same in both states right now. But, when DST ends, we will be one hour behind them.
Won’t that make giving time checks a lotta fun for the new morning team during those months?
Mess, indeed.” – K.M. Richards
My 7 month old grandson
Matthew in stare down with his dog Charlie
|In 1959, the Johnny Otis Show was must watching in L.A.|
|(July 31, 2020) Thud!
That’s the sound of Entercom throwing in the towel for local morning
drive at Top 40 AMP Radio (97.1/fm).
Yesterday morning a press release arrived, describing Entercom, “as a leading media and entertainment company and the #1 creator of live, original, local audio content.” Well, you won’t believe what the #1 creator of live, original, local audio content is doing. Beginning August 3, the station will debut a special Los Angeles edition of “The Morning Mess,” featuring Joey Boy, Aneesh Ratan, Jeana Shepard and Karla Hernandez originating from sister station Live 101.5 (KALV/fm) in Phoenix.
The press release arrived on the morning of a significant earthquake in the San Fernando Valley. Wonder how "The Morning Mess" would have continued to do their Phoenix show and somehow be relevant to listeners in Southern California in talking about the earthquake?
The timing couldn’t have been worse for the new show announcement. Apparently Joey Boy and crew will feature curated local content for Los Angeles listeners, including lifestyle, news, daily traffic and weather updates, as well as city-specific COVID updates.
Listeners in L.A. will also hear popular segments like “Nachoo’s Revenge,” featuring Joey Boy’s alter ego prank calling unsuspecting listeners.
“Joey Boy and The Morning Mess are a true reflection of Southern California,” said Jeff Federman, regional president, Entercom. “They are diverse, dynamic, socially responsible and completely transparent.”
AMP Radio has had many attempts to fix the morning ratings. Overall, in the June ratings, the station ranked in a tie at 20th with Christian Contemporary KKLQ and Classical KUSC.
Guess no one will be in the Miracle Mile AMP studio Monday morning. Hey guys, just leave the keys to the station in the bowl by the front door.
|Hear Ache. Sterrett Harper of Burbank questioned the sound of the EAS test. Our Alan Oda always thought the EAS test sounded like a duck passing wind … Warren Eckstein, host of the Pet Show at KRLA wonders, if your dog had pockets, what would be in them? … Randy Kerdoon has an early warning system for earthquakes named Pupcake. “Waking up at 4:16 this morning [Thursday] via alarm to get ready for ‘working from home,’ I was greeted by our dog Pupcake who NEVER greets me like that,” Randy wrote on Twitter. "Thirteen minutes later, a 4.2 near Pacoima. Dogs. THEY KNOW!” … San Diego’s Chris Carmichael wonders where radio people cash time checks? … Do you get those Facebook requests to name your favorite something or another? Got one yesterday asking to name a song you don’t play at a funeral. How about Grazin’ in the Grass?|
|* Hit Parade
“Actually, I lied. [Inadvertently.] Looking at Gary Theroux’s picture of him with Bill Drake, I suddenly remembered that I had a picture with the big guy. And then I realized that would have been our third encounter. It happened just before we kicked off the Hit Parade format on KMPC.
A lavish press party was held at the Bistro Gardens in Beverly Hills. All the jocks were there, along with station owner Gene Autry. Also in attendance were Pat Boone, Keely Smith, Ray Anthony, Johnny Ray, Pat Buttram and some other celebs I’ve forgotten.
In the attached picture I’m posing alongside Pat Boone, Bill Drake, Keely Smith and KMPC gm Ken Miller. So that was sighting number three. I realize you may have had enough of this topic by now, but I thought I’d send this anyway.” – Neil Ross
|** Katz Icon
“Wanted you to know that Bob McCurdy, a National (Katz) icon, lost his battle with cancer Wednesday. He was 68, and there are a lot of articles on Google about his life.
Bob was a mentor to many in the radio industry.” – Bob Hastings, Director of Integrated Marketing, Salem Media Group
** Crack of the Bat
“Your piece on Gordon McLendon's baseball recreations was very interesting to me. Gordon's legacy with the Liberty Broadcasting System is covered extensively in a book that I recently read: Crack of the Bat, by James R. Walker. The book is a fascinating history of baseball on the radio. It covers the initial broadcasts [the first recreation of a baseball game was in 1920, the first live broadcast from the stadium came one year later], the development of announcing styles, and the controversy among club owners over whether radio was a useful promotional tool or a reason for fans to stay away from the ball park and just stay home and listen. It was many years before it became clear to team owners that advertising revenue could make sports broadcasting such a good move for business.
About Gordon McLendon, Walker writes, ‘The balance between fact and fiction remained a central tension for baseball announcers ... 'On the fictional side was Gordon McLendon, who is fondly remembered for creating dramatic accounts of the game action in his Dallas studio that were far better than the real thing reported from the ballpark.’ This was far from a pejorative comment, by the way.” – Jared Charles Kliger
|(July 30, 2020) The Master Blaster
has died. Tom Reed, a veteran of KGFJ, KMET, XPRS, and KDAY
passed on July 13. He was 84.
“Tom greeted me at KGFJ in 1967 ad was my mentor as I navigated my way around Los Angeles radio,” emailed KJLH’s Roland Bynum. “His rapid-fire presentation will always be etched into the ears of his listeners. His television show For Members Only was aired on channel 18 for years.”
Born and raised in St. Louis, Reed arrived in L.A. in 1959 and was on the air at the Los Angeles City College radio station. He also attended UCLA and Windsor University.
While working in Kansas City he was the reporter for DownBeat. Tom tells the legend of his nickname “The Master Blaster": "While sitting in a Kansas City bar many years ago, a patron was taunting me, saying, ‘You are gonna get blasted outta here.’ I said, ‘You can’t; I am the Master Blaster.’” The next morning, his only recollection of the night before was the “Master Blaster” reference. He went on KPRS/AM&FM-Kansas City with the descriptive line, and the name stuck.
In the mid ’60s, Tom worked at WLIB-New York and WJLB-Detroit before blasting into the Southland in the little house on Melrose Avenue.
In 1969 Tom was elected president of the Western States Chapter of the National Association of TV-Radio Announcers.
A 1973 Arbitron showed KDAY was Number 1 in teens. Tom says, “This was the first time in Los Angeles radio history that a black station or radio personality was No. 1.”
|Between 1976 and 1979, Tom was assistant
advertising manager and music critic for the Los Angeles
In 1978, he went back to school and earned a Masters in Communications Science at Windsor University. Tom then did doctoral work at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication. He is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.
Tom fulfilled a lifelong passion by documenting the rich history of black music in Los Angeles with the 1993 publication of a tasty book called The Black Music History of Los Angeles – Its Roots. (4th printing).
Tom credits his own firm roots to strong family values: “My father was a policeman and my mother was a school teacher. My cousin, Elston Howard, was the first black ball player for the New York Yankees.”
Tom was the first African American to win an Award of Excellence from the Greater Los Angeles Press Club three years in a row for tv entertainment reporting. Tom has won five Angel awards for excellence in media for his program For Members Only, the longest running locally produced African American program in L.A. television history. The award was from the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters for his liner notes and historical information for three CD packages from Hindsight Records.
Funeral services for Tom Reed will be held on August 4th at Hollywood Forever Cemetery at 11 am.
|** History of Bill Drake
“Neil Ross’ story about Bill Drake rings very true. When Drake-Chenault Enterprises was in operation, Drake almost never entered the premises because, as Neil states, Bill preferred to remain at home and operate his businesses over the phone.
When I joined D-C in 1976, I was told that almost no one on the staff had ever even seen Drake, let alone talk to him. I was hired to update the 1969 48-hour version of The History of Rock ’n’Roll, which I had heard broadcast over WLS in 1971 and utterly transfixed me. I remember rushing to Radio Shack to buy as many 7" reels of recording tape as I could carry in order to aircheck the entire production.
That experience began what has turned into a lifelong study of Rock, Pop, Country and R&B history, which has involved the assembly of a huge archive of CDs, LPs, singles, files on thousands of recording artists and more than 4,000 in-person hitmaker audio interviews.
The first thing I did when taking on the History of Rock’n’Roll project was review the 1969 script. As a result of my in-depth research into the subject over the five years since I heard that WLS broadcast, I was appalled to realize how chaotic the 1969 production was and how packed it was with outrageous factual errors. (This can be excused in part because at the time it was written, little serious rock’n’roll journalism existed.) Photo: Bill Drake (l) and Gary Theroux
phone – which was my only way of being in direct contact with Bill
Drake – I told him that rather than simply tacking on a few update
hours, I’d prefer to completely reformat and rebuild The History
of Rock’n’Roll from scratch. To my surprise, Drake agreed, so I
set about reformatting the concept into cohesive themed hour and
As much as possible, I wanted, via audio interviews, to have the actual hitmakers tell the stories behind their music, and started pulling clips from my own archives of such material. I was then told that, according to the management of Drake-Chenault, I couldn’t contact, talk to or see Bill directly. Instead I’d have to submit each of my scripts to a middleman, Bert Kleinman, who would then turn them over to Drake.
While that seemed pointless, I went along with it – until Kleinman reported back that Drake hated all my scripts and was wondering what was going haywire. I was stunned, as I’d written each script in precisely the style Bill and I had discussed over the phone and agreed to.
Soon after Mr. Kleinman was suddenly out of the picture for a few weeks. That meant that I had to drive to Drake’s house myself and face his wrath over the scripts.
Half expecting to get fired, I vividly remember knocking on Drake’s door one sunny morning. As he opened it, I noted that he was wearing a University of Hawaii sweatshirt and bearing a big wide grin. ‘Come on in,’ he cheerfully waved. We sat down in his sunken living room and Bill asked me again to outline my plans for the HRR. I repeated them, in some depth, and then Drake said, ‘So how come these scripts don’t read that way?’
He held out two hour-long scripts for me to review – which I did – instantly discovering what the problem was. As it turns out, after I’d given my scripts to Bert Kleinman, he’d clumsily rewritten them! I said to Bill, ‘This isn’t what I wrote!’ and handed him copies of my original versions of those two hours. As Bill looked them over, he exclaimed, ‘Yes! This is exactly what I was looking for!’
After that moment, Bill Drake and I became what turned into lifelong friends – and in dealing with him, I never again had to go through a middleman. From that point on, the production of The History of Rock’n’Roll was smooth sailing. Many years later, just before going to the hospital for the very last time, Bill Drake sent me a very kind and heartfelt farewell email I will always cherish. And today I own the trademarked name ‘History of Rock’n’Roll.’” – Gary Theroux
|(July 29, 2020)
Banana Joe Montione worked
at 93/KHJ, KUTE and KIIS. He recently shared a frightening story on
social media. He said to beware if you go to Ralph’s on Sunset in
Hollywood at night.
“Friday night I was walking the one block home when two desperados jumped me,” Joe revealed. “I tried to hold on to my crucifix, but they started choking me with the chain. They got the chain and everything else I had with me— after ramming my head into a wall. This crap is happening at an alarming pace.”
Joe implored people to be careful. “I’m especially happy to wear my mask to cover this face – lol.”
|Hear Ache. Former KDAY jock Earl Trout used to be a fairly good golfer. About twelve years ago, he won enough money in a tournament that he officially became a “pro” and could no longer compete as an amateur. “This is a true thing,” said Earl. “I haven’t hardly even played since then. Yesterday, my buddy Kona Jack and I played golf and I assumed I would be terrible after such a long lay-off. But I shot a 70! My score was even lower on the second hole … Speaking of golf, Alan Gottfried is getting ready for his annual golf tournament benefiting Folds of Honor. He’s looking for players and sponsors. Give Alan a call at: 818.441.6672 … Brett Eldredge will be the guest midday host on Go Country 105 (KKGO) next month, said station manager Michael Levine … According to The Hustle, in 2019 the average person had 93 apps on their phone – but only used 41 of them every month … Congrats to Jimmy Kimmel, nominated again this year for an Emmy in Variety Talk Series and his collaboration with Norman Lear for Variety Live Special. Jimmy will also host the ABC event.|
|The longtime Calabasas home of Wink Martindale sold for $2.16 million, according to the LA Times|
Off on EAS
“Am I the only person who thinks that the emergency tone used for the Emergency Alert System sounds weird or like a sick animal? Every time I hear it, I wonder who or what died to make that noise.” – Sterrett Harper, Harper Claims, Burbank
** KJLH Veterans
“Hey, it was great seeing my cohort Million$Milt in your photo gallery. He’s been at Radio-Free KJLH for more than 36 years.
We both were sent home in March due to the coronavirus. Anxiously waiting to return live on the air at KJLH. My customers [listeners] are crying the blues because they haven’t heard me since March. Saturday mornings haven't been the same.
Jogging and just finished my first book. In the meantime, stay safe.” – Roland Bynum
|(July 28, 2020) We hadn’t
heard from Steve Day since he left Los
Angeles in the late 90s. Steve’s on-air work at:
KOCM/KSRF, KXEZ, KLIT, and KMGX. He retired once but
the pull of radio took him back to WHLC-Highlands,
North Carolina where he now does mornings and is
operations director for husband/wife owners who just
celebrated 27 years of local ownership.
Born in Washington, DC and raised in Rockville, Maryland, Steve discovered his passion for radio while in his second year at Ashland College in Ohio. From a chance encounter with a programming executive from a station 30 miles from campus, Steve began his daily commute to WGLX-Galion, Ohio. He dropped out of college and during the 1970s worked at WSIR-Winterhaven, Florida, WDAE-Tampa, WDAT-Daytona and WKZL and WTOP-Winston-Salem.
While in Winston-Salem he began broadcasting play-by-play sports and reporting sports for a local tv station. "We were doing okay but my wife wanted us to be more secure so I got out of radio and joined her father’s insurance business in Rochester." The insurance job and the marriage ended, so Steve returned to radio in Rochester at WBBF and WWWG.
"In 1979 I got the West Coast urge and packed up for
San Diego." Steve worked weekends on KFMB-San Diego
and broadcast sports on KGTV/tv. In the early 1980s,
Steve joined the sports department at KTTV/tv
Channel 11 in Los Angeles. In 1983 he partnered with
Betty White for the tv game show Just Men.
In 1993 Steve was the announcer for ABC’s
Caesars Challenge starring Ahmad Rashad. In
1994 he was part of Sony's Game Show Network and
hosted several shows.
In 1999, Mark Elliott hired me from LA/Westwood One to work in Ventura and Santa Barbara. Steve went to KMGQ (Smooth Jazz), followed by three years at News Radio 1250 Santa Barbara as pd and afternoon drive. “We built a tv studio and simulcast our Talk Show with local sister TV station KEYT-3 with host Jerry Cornfield,” emailed Steve.
When the owner died, Steve's nomadic journey took him to Washington, DC, to be with family, eventually landing in 2006 in the Western Carolina Mountains at WHLC. That was followed a couple years later to WFMS-Indianapolis, which was short-lived. And then WBBM-Chicago traffic. “It wasn’t for me, much too frenetic,” admitted Steve.
In 2010, Steve joined KAZM- Sedona, Arizona. “I walked the Vortex’s and meditated and did a little radio,” he wrote before going back to WHLC for 6 years. It was time for retirement and he chose San Diego to be near his daughter, Courtney. “I drove for Lyft where I accomplished 1100 rides and was a 5-star driver. I met some incredible people.”
“I have loved the journey and wouldn't trade anything for it. Radio takes care of you if you love her. I love North Carolina. This is a wondrous spot if you love the mountains, lakes, and fishing.
Hear Ache. Mookie (Marc Kaczor), pd at KCSN (88.5/fm) sent a note that the station reached their fundraising goal last week. “Our July pop-up pledge drive was a success. Public radio stations like this one are still struggling, and we’re not out of the woods yet, but it’s a step in the right direction,” emailed Mookie … Thought from consultant George Johns: “If you don’t set your own goals, you’ll be working on somebody else’s.”
**Sadness with Regis Passing
“Regis Philbin seemed to me to be one of those nifty people who was always up and often funny. It makes me sad when these folks pass but hey, we’re at that point in life where people (and things) we love are passing into history ... and the beat goes on.” – Rich Brother Robbin
** Ex-KNXer Health Challenges
“Very sorry to read about Jack Salvatore’s health issues. If you can, please pass along my best wishes for his full recovery.
Jack was exceptionally kind to me at KNX. He trained me, with great patience, on operating the complex board and computers.” – Bob Sirkin
** Bill Drake’s Stationality
“Dave Anthony’s mention of Bill Drake’s reluctance to set foot in KYA triggered this memory.
When 710 KMPC switched from talk back to music in 1983, general manager Bill Ward hired Bill Drake’s company to supply his Hit Parade format and consult the station. The weekend before we made the flip, all air and programming personnel were invited to spend a Sunday afternoon at Drake’s house in Tarzana so we could get to know Drake’s people and vice versa. It was a hillside house with spectacular views of the Valley.
Outside the living room’s sliding glass doors was a swimming pool. Three attractive young women in bikinis lounged around it. They never joined us and at some point, late in the afternoon, I realized they were no longer there. I found myself wondering if Drake had hired them for the afternoon as ‘decorations.’
The living room was large and had a bar on one side. Bill Drake and Bill Watson [there were too many Bills in this setup] were behind the bar. Robert W. Morgan, who would continue to do mornings on KMPC, sat at the bar nursing a club soda. The other barstools were empty, so I took one.
Frankly, I’d heard so much about Drake, Watson and Morgan that I just wanted to watch them interact and see what they’d say. So I sat there and only spoke when spoken to. Drake had managed to have the Hit Parade music piped into the living room. He was very proud of the work his engineers had done cleaning up some of the old records. He told me they were now flawless and he gave me an assignment.
‘If you hear a pop or a click, you tell me,’ he instructed. I assured him that I wouldn’t fail him and as the afternoon rolled on he would periodically tap me on the shoulder and ask, ‘Heard a pop or a click yet?’ I would assure him that I hadn’t and he would again remind me to let him know if I did.
There was a strangely familiar feeling to that afternoon, but I couldn’t initially place. It didn’t really feel like a radio event. What was it? Only later did I realize that it reminded me of when I was in the Navy and one of the officers would invite us to his home for a barbecue on a Sunday afternoon. That afternoon felt just like those gatherings. We were in civvies, we were drinking and laughing, but you knew you could only take it so far.
We were enlisted people, they were officers. You didn’t let yourself get too drunk. You watched yourself and never took it too far. That afternoon at Drake’s house had that same feel. One person did take it too far during the event and paid a heavy price. But that’s for another time.
We kicked off the new format on KMPC with me in middays. A few days later, I was on the air. The studio had a window which allowed one to see the hallway. I saw motion out of the corner of my eye and as I looked, I saw Bill Ward and Bill Drake coming down the hallway heading for the jock lounge and the air offices. Drake waved at me and I waved back. Less than five minutes later I saw the two Bills come back down the hall headed for the reception area. Drake waved at me again.
A minute or two later, Robert W. Morgan barged into the air studio, something he would never do again. For the rest of the time I worked with him once he exited the studio, wishing me a ‘good show,’ I wouldn’t see him again. He even had a secret exit from the station that didn’t involve the hallway. But here he was, breathing heavily and looking a bit pale. ‘Was Bill Drake just here?’ he asked, breathlessly.
‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘but I think he just left.’
‘Son of a bitch!’ said Robert. He went on to tell me that, as far as he knew, in all the years he programmed the station, Bill Drake had never set foot in the KHJ building. Not once. He preferred to remain in his home in the Hollywood Hills, monitoring his stations and issuing edicts by phone. ‘I wonder what the hell he was doing here?’ Robert asked. He also said that I had now seen Bill Drake in the flesh twice in a week. ‘That’s more than most of the guys who worked for him for years ever did,’ said Robert. ‘You should consider yourself lucky.’
Discreet inquiries were made and eventually we found out the reason for the visit. 710KMPC, ‘The Station of the Stars’ was such a legendary station, that for once, Drake had broken his ‘format’ and asked to visit the operation just to see what it looked like. It was as simple as that. And, looking back, I guess I should consider myself lucky.” – Neil Ross
Regis Philbin Waves Goodbye
(July 27, 2020)
Best-known for his four decades in tv (game show
hosting and talk shows), Regis Philbin had a
stint in radio at KABC in 1972. He died July 24,
2020, at the age of 88.
Born August 25, 1933, he was named after Regis High, a Catholic boy's school and his father's alma mater. A native of New York City, Regis graduated from the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a sociology degree in 1953. He later served in the Navy.
Between 1970 and 1990, Regis hosted nearly a dozen talk and game shows and went through a series of co-hosts before clicking with Kathie Lee.
Much of his experience on tv took place on the Southern California airwaves. Regis got his start as an assistant news editor with Baxter Ward at KCOP/tv. Regis then moved to San Diego to try his first solo talk show at KOGO/tv (now KGTV/tv). The show was eventually picked up for syndication by Westinghouse, but Regis was soon replaced by Merv Griffin.
After returning to Hollywood and becoming known as Joey Bishop’s sidekick on ABC/tv, Regis succeeded Ralph Story on KABC/tv’s AM Los Angeles, bringing the show to the top of the ratings. His co hosts included Sarah Purcell, later Cyndy Garvey, then-wife of Los Angeles Dodger Steve Garvey. Regis again tried a national show with Mary Hart on NBC in 1981, lasting only 18 weeks.
He left Southern
California and moved to New York to once again
co-host with Cyndy Garvey on WABC/tv, but it wasn’t
until he was paired with Kathie Lee Johnson (who
eventually married sportscaster Frank Gifford) that
the show experienced a ratings boost. The show was
then nationally syndicated, primarily to ABC/tv
affiliates. Interestingly, Live with Regis and
Kathie Lee actually replaced the locally
produced AM Los Angeles.
He hosted the primetime blockbuster, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Regis has written two best-selling memoirs – I’m Only One Man! and Who Wants to Be Me? He launched a new line of shirts and ties by Phillips-Van Heusen, inspired by his look (monochromatic wardrobe – a dark dress shirt coupled with a matching shiny tie) on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.
Hear Ache. Saul Levine is bringing back K-MOZART, “World’s Greatest Classical Music 24/7” on KMOZART.com and 105.1 HD4. Returning are K-MOZART’s personalities Susanna Guzman with the best in opera, and Nick Tyler with The Arts Reports … There was a time in the Inland Empire when a Top 40 war between KMEN and KFXM had a tiger bite. Relive some of the memories Here: … Congratulations to Jeri Seratti-Goldman and Carl Goldman, owners of KHTS-Santa Clarita, on 29 years of togetherness … Gary Butterworth (ex-KWNK, KIQQ, KLIT) is an Angels fan and he’s already disappointed in the team’s days-old season. “My team finds a way to blow a late-game lead. We fans expect it. My Angels always have the marquee players, but in the end, we often come up short,” wrote Gary on social media … Former KNX newsman Jack Salvatore had a real big health scare. “In June, in the middle of the night, I got bad stomach pain...bad enough to go to the ER,” wrote Salvatore on social media. “I was admitted to the hospital, spent 17 days in there under the most trying of circumstances. No COVID symptoms, but aware I was lying helpless in a hospital in which it could encroach at any time. After a series of missteps and misdiagnoses, a Godsend of a surgeon swooped in and saved the day. Two major abdominal surgeries in 4 days. The surgeon took out a couple of feet of perforated intestine.” Jack’s home now and taking short walks around the neighborhood … Speaking of KNX, here’s the final news broadcast for Tom Haule before he retired in the summer of 2015 … Mike Butts heard our buddy Tom Clay’s What the World Needs Now is Love on Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 yesterday on SiriusXM’s 70s on 7 … Mike Sakellarides reflected on this weekend and the Passing Parade. “Olivia de Havilland. Peter Green. John Saxon. Regis Philbin. Oh, and 53 Covid-19 victims in L.A. since Friday.”
** Regis Memory
“My heart was broken hearing the news of Regis Philbin’s passing on July 24th. It was at his first television talk show, being recorded at KOGO-TV in San Diego, that two wanna-be broadcasters, me and Tom Kelly, met for the first time and remained friends and colleagues for over 50 years.
Here “Shotgun Tom” and me are with Regis at a luncheon of the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters 3 years ago. Regis was a very special man who make people feel good. Thank you, Regis, for your years of inspiration and laughs. Rest in Peace!” – Jim Duncan
|** Boss of the Bay
“If KYA in San Francisco was the first major station to use the term Boss, it may also have been the last. In 1992-94 we hired Bill Drake to consult, and the term ‘Boss of the Bay’ was back on the air. And in later Drake style, he would never meet inside the radio station. Instead, programming meetings were held at a nearby bar … or one time, in the parking garage underneath the building at Broadway and Sansome.” – Dave Anthony
** Ground Hog News
“Has anyone else noticed KSUR 1260 has been running the same ABC newscast for nearly a week now? It’s getting to a point that I can recite the entire newscast word for word right down to the Dow closing off 63 points. The content I actually care about, the music continues to be amazing.
A better range of music than JACK/fm and snark-free to boot! If it wasn’t for the weird charm of hearing the hits over AM radio again, Saul Levine’s station would have me seriously thinking about looking for an FM-HD receiver.” – Greg Glaser, somewhere in the Valley
|** Flying the Flag on
“I loved the photo of Rick Monday remembering the Dodger history he made when he saved the U.S. flag from being burned. Some may not know that Fred Claire is the one who came up with the sentence, ‘Rick Monday ... you made a great play,’ creating another piece of Dodger history.” – Lisa Bowman
“I was at the Dodger game in right field loge level when Rick Monday made that flag play. It was really spectacular.” – Whitney Allen
** Baseball Re-creations
“I loved your story of Gordon McLendon’s re-creations of baseball in the early days that you heard at ‘Training Camp’ at his ranch outside of Dallas.
Mike Phillips told me stories of how he’d go to Portland Beavers games in the old Pacific Coast League in Portland with his battery reel-to-reel tape recorder. He’d sit out in the right field stands, and call play-by-play of the games, and then go home and listen back to them.
My great Minor League baseball story goes around 1955, when I was 9, on Saturday nights. My grandfather, Ed Atkinson would take me down to Mission Field, behind Mission School in San Luis Obispo to watch the local ‘San Luis Blues’ play. One Saturday night, there was a ‘special exhibition’ game with the Blues vs. the Santa Maria Indians, featuring their guest pitcher, Satchel Page. He threw nothing but smoke.” – Joe Collins
** KMPC Carried Liberty Re-creations
“As a child and early teen, I frequently listened to Gordon McLendon’s re-created baseball games on the old Liberty Broadcasting System. At that time in my life I was a fanatical baseball fan. Over the years the LBS games were carried on a number of local radio stations. But the last station to carry them in LA was KMPC (710).
Once Liberty ceased its operations, Bob Kelley [voice of the Pacific Coast League LA Angels], Steve Bailey, and Fred Hessler took over the duties of broadcasting recreated major league games on KMPC. Obviously, I found it amazing [in my child’s mind] that Kelley could be calling a New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game at 12 noon from Yankee Stadium, followed by an Angels-San Francisco Seals game at 7:30 p.m. from the Bay Area. [Ironically, both of those games were re-created and the actual broadcasts originated in the KMPC studios in Hollywood.]
A few years later the Dodgers came to town, and KMPC [at least for the first couple years] had the rights to broadcast those games. [The Dodgers later went to KFI.]
Like you, I was fascinated with Bill Shaikin’s interview article in the LA Times earlier this week, about when Vin Scully ended up doing a re-created game from Vero Beach that was actually played in the Bahamas.
Now in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can listen to games that once again have artificial sound effects to make them more exciting to listen to – and to help keep the players more motivated.
On a totally different subject [and much more somber one], I was sorry to read about the passing of Brad Pye, Jr., a few days ago in your column. I first met Brad back in 1958-59 when I was serving as editor of a student newspaper at Cal State LA [then called LA State]. Brad was my sports editor. Every article he wrote was superb. He was an outstanding writer and a wonderful person. Brad Pye Jr. will be sorely missed.
PS: I will be sending in my annual donation for this column very soon. You always do a great job in keeping all of us up-to-date as to what is going on in radio.” – Carl C. Spring, Jr., West Los Angeles
** Fond Memories of Sports Re-creations
“It’s been great reading about the re-creations and about Gordon McLendon’s Liberty network which I remember enjoying.
Vin Scully’s history with re-creations goes back to the 50s, at least. The Dodgers were always involved in exciting pennant races and the flagship radio station WMGM-New York decided to offer important games involving other teams on Dodgers off days.
As I recall, they used sound effects and I believe you could even discern the ticker in the background, but that may have been my imagination. The announcers were the low men in seniority, i.e. not Red Barber. They were Scully and Al Helfer, subbing for the regular play-by-play guy, Connie Desmond.
It must have been successful because WMGM became the NY affiliate of the Liberty Network. I believe that method was used for boxing and football going back to the 20s.
Thanks for the updates.” – Bernie Alan
** Re-created Games
“I'm old enough to remember the AAA PCL teams in LA, the Angels at Wrigley Field on Avalon Blvd in South Central and the Stars at Gilmore Field on Beverly and Fairfax. Bob (Old Kell) Kelley was the radio voice of the Angels, and of the Rams, I recall, on 710/KMPC. I remember him calling major league games remotely from KMPC studios by reading from a ticker tape and hitting a piece of wood with a stick when the ball was hit. He’d plop a ball into a mitt when the catcher caught the pitch. And he had a recording of crowd noise he’d turn up louder when the ball was hit. Or so it was reported – I never saw it myself. But these broadcasts were fun, and what did we know in this minor league city in the 1950s? It sounded fairly real!
We did get to see live major league games on tv Saturdays with Dizzy Dean and Buddy Blattner, but otherwise we were a million miles from MLB prior to 1958.” – Jeff Freedman
** Early McLendon
“To spend time with the Old Scotsman must have been a major league treat, if you will. My brother and I listened to his broadcasts in the early ’50s never realizing until much later that they were re-creations.
Didn’t Chuck Blore find inspiration in Gordon McLendon’s philosophy? I know that some of the guys I worked with at KBUZ in Phoenix were Blore alumni from KELP in El Paso. And the format was true color radio.” – Warren Cereghino
** Boss Radio
“The first use of the word ‘boss’ with a radio station was KYA in San Francisco...years BEFORE 93/KHJ. For a while, Bill Drake was morning drive on KYA. KYA called itself ‘Boss of The Bay.’
By the way, KFRC in February 1966 could NOT use ‘boss’ because KEWB jumped them to it in 1965, so they used ‘Big 6-10.’" – Bill Earl, 147kxoa.com
** Boss & Bitchin’
“While I cannot shed any light on who should get the credit for coining the term ‘Boss’ Radio, I do have an interesting memory of where I first heard the word some two years before it was used on KHJ.
In 1962, I left San Diego and drove across the country to attend a broadcast school in New York City. I had a bit of free time on the weekends and started hanging out with some other young guys in Central Park.
They were all using ‘boss’ the way kids on the west coast were using a now long forgotten word: ‘bitchin.’ In SoCal it was a bitchin’ car. In New York in ’62 it was a boss car.
1964 would find me in Honolulu, where nobody said ‘boss’ or ‘bitchin,’ but when news of this new station in L.A. that was calling itself Boss Radio reached the 50th State, I instantly thought of those guys in New York and assumed that either someone connected with the station was from the east coast or that in the intervening two years the expression had gradually worked its way westward. If Ken DeVaney was hearing Valley girls use boss in ’64, the latter must have been what happened. Hope this missive finds you and yours safe and healthy.” – Neil Ross
** Boss of the Bay
“I don’t have any insight regarding which of those gentlemen connected ‘boss’ to KHJ’s identity. However, I can offer an historical perspective. Bill Drake’s association with ‘boss’ pre-dated KHJ.
Below you’ll see the introduction to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame website which includes a mention of KYA ‘the Boss of the Bay’ and a KYA music ‘survey’ from December 1961, when Drake was the KYA morning man. Bill had been transferred from WAKE in Atlanta to KYA, the Bartell station in San Francisco.
On a Drake-Chenault produced promo album in the early 80’s, Drake mentioned KYA, the Boss of the Bay…when talking about the beginning of Boss Radio, KHJ.
I doubt if this resolves anything…kinda interesting, however, that after more than 50 years after the debut of 93/KHJ there is a ‘boss’ controversy.
From the Bay Area website:
As most visitors to this site will freely acknowledge, the Bay Area has been home to some innovative, historically significant and just plain fun radio. In the early ’60s, that meant broadcasters like Al Collins, spinning jazz and surreal raps from inside the imaginary Purple Grotto, and Don Sherwood, inventing an insane repertory of characters and bits every weekday morning – both of these shows on KSFO. It also meant Top 40 KYA, 1260 AM, ‘the Boss of the Bay.’” – Denny Adkins
** Truth Be Damned
“I only had one long email ‘conversation’ with Ron Jacobs a few years ago.
It was about me questioning a long time claim he [and Bill Mouzis] made about early KHJ.
The crux of the matter was, he was lying and tacitly admitted it by stating ‘why let the facts get in the way of a good story.’ So, I’d take anything he said with a shaker of salt.” – Douglas Brown
** Revolting Radio
“Thanks for the space with the stories of my John Revolting character.
Rick Dees has always been so kind to support my work. Glad to see you got some input from Rick.
Yeah, those were some times [all before the world took a pivot into NY 911].
Thanks, too, for keeping the fun part of L A. Radio alive.” – Greg Berg, aka John Revolting
** Who Replaced Bob Crane at KNX?
“Rege Cordic replaced Bob Crane. Rege came from Pittsburgh where he owned the market in morning drive. He bombed on KNX and later on KRLA. But Rege stayed in Los Angles and had a very successful career doing voiceover and character acting in movies and tv.
Ralph Story returned to KNX, doing middays, after the $64,000 Challenge went off the air because of the quiz show scandal. My wife was an assistant producer on the radio show.” – Tom Bernstein
** News Ratings Down
“Regarding the news radio ratings dropping by 25% in Dallas. Sadly, what is the relevance of news radio now, when smart phones are ubiquitous and offer live traffic updates with GPS, live sports updates, and live news updates?
Just as alarming, how are even fm music stations relevant? Thanks to Bob Pittman and iHeart and a few other smaller corporate owners, fm music stations have been dumbed down to meaningless audio snippets [voicetracking] between some songs, with audience-repelling commercial cluster breaks of 10,12, or more commercials in a row. Listeners tune out, and advertisers get shafted.
The music streaming apps offer the same music as fm stations – much more actually – and the apps are interactive. Most importantly, the apps do not have the commercial cluster breaks. AM and FM are now about as relevant as fax machines or the old AOL dial-up modem. AOL ... another company that Pittman destroyed!” – Bob MacKay
** Whole Lotta Shakin’
“I remember the ’71 earthquake well. Funny thing was I worked for FEMA right after the ’94 Northridge earthquake at the Recovery Now tv/cable station we set up in a Pasadena office building. I then went on to work for about two years for The California Governor' Office of Emergency Services.” – Joseph Roth, Crestline
** More Shaking
“Will never forget ’71 earthquake as every book in our home fell down and the shaking never stopped.” – Fred Wallin, Sports overnight America
** Sweet Shakes
“During the ’71 quake I was listening to the “Sweet Child” Dick Whittington at KIEV, who kept many of us calm, if not collected. Luckily some of the major aftershocks during his show were recorded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdCV_P-wEHw.” – Bruce Tennant, Long Beach
** Sylmar Earthquake
“Most traumatic event of my 13-year-old life. The first quake I ever went through, the worst wakeup call I ever had.
My mom immediately started calling her family, and found out her cousin’s house in Granada Hills was damaged. My aunt had fallen out of bed and was bruised by being bounced on the floor by the quake. Her whole family ended up sleeping in their cars in the local hospital parking lot for several nights.
On top of that, where I lived [Temple City] they didn’t cancel school so we all had to get dressed and my mom took all four of us to school while my dad went to work. I thought the worst was over until I was in Home-Ec and the biggest aftershock hit. Fortunately we had these heavy sewing tables we all dove under, then once the shaking stopped I thought the teacher would let us go and I could get ahold of my mom and go home. Wrong. The teacher had a representative from a pattern company visiting and although she had gotten a message to let us go home, said it would be rude not to hear her presentation. That lasted 10 minutes, and then the next aftershock convinced her 18 freaked out girls didn’t care and let us go. Since my older brother hitched a ride with his friends and no one answered at home, I started walking home, shaking and crying every time a car backfired or tires screeched!
Thankfully, half-way home my mom found me and we went home, finding out later that everyone but our class had been in the gym when the main aftershock hit and tiles fell onto the court, and the basketball hoops swung down from the roof and nearly crashed onto the floor. My brother was in there and he had to relate over and over again how the screams of all the athletes freaked the teachers out. I didn’t sleep through the night for months after that and I never walked home from school by myself again. Thankfully there were some big lessons learned by the school district: don’t have school when you have a 6.6 earthquake, and when the school tells a teacher to let her students go home, do it! [The Home-ec teacher was laid off at the end of the year].
It’s sad to say, but it took Northridge, Whittier, the Landers/Big Bear and other earthquakes for people to learn to have emergency plans for their families for getting in touch with one another and schools and jobs. Hopefully documenting Sylmar will remind everyone of this.” – Julie T. Byers
** Earthquake Docu
“Thanks for your posting about the Sylmar quake documentary!
As it happens, I was born that night in Upland. So while I don’t have any memories of that morning, I do have several front-page newspapers from that day.
I know KNBC’s David Horowitz famously anchored from the parking lot at KNBC in Burbank. I think the station pulled out some low-quality audio a few years ago for a retrospective. Maybe they have something more available with a deeper look. As you know, he’s passed away, but I believe his daughter runs something of a tribute website for him, so maybe the family has something, too.
I also remember the late Bill Smith reported on the quake, and I’m thinking the Sylmar VA hospital collapse, for KGIL. Somebody, maybe KTTV, ran a clip of his audio many years ago. Maybe they or Smith’s family have a clip, or maybe KTTV still does, since he anchored there for many years.
Tom Brokaw might have a memory or two to share from that time, along with other LA journalists who are still around from that era.
Warren Olney? I’m sure KTLA has archive clips, or can find them, with Telecopter footage, etc. Gordon Skene runs an extensive audio archive. Maybe he’s got some stuff from back then too.
Anyway, I’d be happy to try and brainstorm more with the documentary producer if you’d like to pass this along. I do not think I have any direct audio from that day, but I do have a vast archive of tv news from the ’80s onward, so perhaps I have something usable stashed there. I’m in the middle of digitizing it now.” – Ethan Harp
** Former WAVE Voice
“Nice to see the story on Dave Caprita. He’s a good friend of mine, as is his wife Ellen who [almost] shares the same birthday with me. She’s 12 hours ahead. July 18 for her July 19 for me. We’re both 39 this year [again]. They’ve both been to my store several times. I was also here for the 1971 earthquake, checking into the Don Martin School as I needed a First-Class FCC license to take a gig in Seattle.” – Bill Dudley
** Frazer Smith Hurt
“Timmy Manocheo’s just a tiny bit confused. Frazer Smith’s thing at KROQ was ‘Hurt Yourself.’ There were Frazer Smith ‘Hurt Yourself” T-shirts, each of which came with Fraze’s written ‘Must Get Laid’ guarantee: https://greg-raven.github.io/press/1979-01-19-frazer-smith-want-you-to-hurt- yourself.html .” – Mike Hagerty
** Former NFL Defensive Tackle
“A long overdue note to let you know that while I have been out of the radio industry for about six years now, [working in digital sports media now], I am still a near-daily reader of your LARadio.com column. I still enjoy the great work you do keeping on current news while finding time to wax poetic about the industry days gone by.
I hope you are enjoying your new, ‘slower’ lifestyle.” – Tony Siracusa
Rick Monday's "Great Play"
(July 24, 2020) Rick Monday has been on five
LA Radio stations, going wherever the broadcast
rights for the Dodgers goes. The local baseball
franchise is currently heard on KLAC (570AM). Rick
is a baseball veteran currently part of the LA
Dodgers broadcast team. Now that the abbreviated
season has started, Rick is back in the broadcast
Rick will forever have a special place in baseball history. He became the first player picked in the Major League Baseball draft era when the Kansas City Athletics selected him with the first overall pick in 1965 out of Arizona State University. The College Baseball Hall of Fame and two-time All-Star outfielder then went on to hit 241 home runs and 775 RBIs in 19 Major League seasons with the Oakland Athletes, Chicago Cubs and LA Dodgers, winning the 1981 World Series with the Dodgers.
Monday spent six years in the Marine Corps Reserves. On April 25, 1976, the Los Angeles Dodgers were playing the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium, when two protestors — a father and his 11-year-old son — jumped the wall in center field in the fourth inning and headed to shallow left-field with an American flag in hand. They began dousing the flag with lighter fluid and took out matches.
Suddenly, Cubs outfielder Rick Monday ran by and swiped the flag from them before they could set it ablaze in left-center. The center fielder returned it to the dugout. The stunned crowd at Dodger Stadium began singing God Bless America immediately afterward. The entire stadium belted the lyrics. An inning later when Monday came to bat, the crowd doused him with a standing ovation. The Dodger Stadium scoreboard put up a message for Monday, “Rick Monday…You made a great play.”
|Hear Ache. Douglas Brown is part of a team recreating the Mellow Sound of KNX/fm on the Internet. “From time to time, the original station would produce artist showcase specials,” emailed Brown. “In July 1978, they scored a rare sit-down interview with Carly Simon. She was a big star of the day and a core Mellow Sound artist. Show writer and host Christopher Ames has saved the tape!” They plan to play it exactly 42 years later on Monday July 27 at 5 p.m. It is titled An Evening with Carly Simon and runs an hour, no commercials with Carly’s words and music. Show will air again on Friday, July 31 at 5 p. m. Wonder if Carly will tell the You're So Vain story? … Brian Moote left a terrific position in Atlanta to join the AMP Radio morning, then and left the following year. He’s now doing a Country morning show at 99.5/the Wolf in Dallas … Congratulations to Michael Harrison (ex-KMET) and his crew for 30 years ago of TALKERS. It launched on July 23, 1990 as “The Information-Radio Newspaper.” It first appeared as a tabloid-style, 12-page newsprint publication distributed to radio stations around the country by mail and eventually grew into a full-color, glossy magazine and, eventually, a multi-platform communications organization … Former V-100 and KKBT personality John Monds has joined evenings at WHUR-Washington, DC for a “Quiet Storm” program … Fictitious sponsors have been a part of Frazer Smith’s comedy. From Greg Raven’s blog. “Among the notable products are Valium Cigarettes (‘They’ll make you forget problems you never thought you had’) and Transvestite Cigars (‘You never know they’re there until you take them home’).” … Thomas Whetston put together an AFRTS website for former 710/KMPC’s Roger Carroll. Now, Thomas is back with a site of his own: www.mybestsounds.com. In addition to Roger, you can also hear Gene Price, Charlie Tuna, and Humble Harve. The woman is Chris Noel, star of a dozen beach party movies in the 1960s. She’s best known by veterans of the Vietnam war for her work on the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service as the "Voice of Vietnam." … Neil Young heard about the new version Alexa. It is a male voice and doesn’t listen to anything … My old buddy from Chapman, basketball great Larry Beard, is still hunkered down. He sent me an email that he ain’t coming outta quarantine until Marvin Gaye finds out What’s Goin On.|
|(July 23, 2020) The
first general manager at 93/KHJ and the man who
arguably generated the phrase “Boss Radio,” Ken
Devaney, died on January 30, 2013. This news
came about from Ray Randolph, host of a website all
things KHJ. And his site is thorough and very well
put together accumulation of personalities,
contests, promotions, survey sheets, print ads, and
sales brochures. You can access his site here. http://93khj.blogspot.com
We appreciate updates for our Where Are They Now pages. We miss out on significant events (new jobs, retirements, passings) from time to time and certainly appreciate the new information.
“I first discovered Boss Radio in 1966 when I was ten and was immediately hooked,” emailed Ray, when asked how the site came about. “It was all so exciting. The Boss Jocks, the music, the contests, the entire package. For the next five years or so, my radio was glued to the Big 93.” His serious collecting of KHJ artifacts started in the late 1970’s.
“Black Box survey,” Ray continued. “It all began at the old Capitol Records swap meet in Hollywood when I found one KHJ survey (No. 134) in amongst the stuff somebody was selling. All of the great memories of Boss Radio came roaring back. I paid something like 50 cents for that one survey and it started me on a journey that’s now lasted some forty years. This site contains the bulk of the KHJ material that I’ve been able to accumulate over that period.”
In perusing Ray’s website, I came across a new piece of startling information for me in regards to Ken DeVaney. KHJ is one of the seven iconic stations of the last seventy years. Much attention is always focused on those handful of stations that have resonated and withstood the test of time. Minutiae is always debated.
History also has a way
of identifying heroes and villains. As far
as coming up with the legendary “Boss Radio”
phrase, Clancy Imislund has
always been credited with the name.
Imislund, now head of the Midnight Mission
in Los Angeles, was promotion director when
KHJ launched. In researching Los Angeles
Radio People, Clancy told me he had coined
Well, you could have knocked me over to read otherwise. According to Randolph, while Ron Jacobs was writing his book KHJ: Inside Boss Radio, DeVaney sent Jacobs an email to clarify the situation around who originated the phrase. Jacobs included it in his book on page 40. Below is the text from Ken DeVaney’s email to Ron Jacobs:
For what it’s worth,
it was I who initiated the name “Boss Radio,” the
slogan that is now indelibly etched in the history
of radio itself. In May 1990 the 25th anniversary of
Boss Radio generated a staff reunion. The event
marked a sense of renewed nostalgia and history of
the early, frantic days of the new KHJ format that
debuted a quarter century before. At the time,
Clancy Imislund was “officially” credited with
coming up with the Boss Radio slogan.
longtime producer of the Robert W. Morgan
show added: “For what it’s worth, I have always
believed it to be Clancy who coined the phrase and
that was backed-up by Bill Drake, Jacobs,
Morgan, The Real Don Steele, and Bill
Mouzis on many occasions…irrespective of what
ended up in Jacobs book.”
Ken was 80 when he passed away in 2013, in Fresno. Ken was born in 1932 in Albany, California and grew up in the San Joaquin Valley. While working in broadcasting in San Francisco, Ken graduated from Hastings College of Law in 1961. Throughout his legal career, Ken’s professionalism and passion for law made him an accomplished and well-regarded attorney in the Fresno community.
He had a voice for radio as you can hear in this KHJ sales presentation: Ken narrated the 1965 KHJ Sales Presentation, an overview of the nascent Boss Radio format intended for prospective advertisers.
| Wink Martindale in
1964-65. He hosted the first of two network musical
game shows, What's This Song?
Each show featured two celebrity players, who had to do some singing. Among the celebrities who appeared included:
Efrem Zimbalist Jr, Walter Brennan, Frank Gorshin, Vin Scully, Dick Clark and Jimmy O'Neill. (thanks to David Schwartz)
|(July 22, 2020) The
Liberty Broadcasting System was a U.S. radio network
of the late 1940s and early 1950s founded by
Gordon McLendon, which mainly broadcast live
recreations of Major League Baseball games.
Broadcasters were not at the ballparks, but rather
followed the action via Western Union ticker
The idea was born in the trenches of World War II when Gordon discovered that his army buddies loved baseball so much that they were interested in not only their home games but other games. Gordon’s sound effects were very realistic, and many listeners were not aware the broadcasters were not announcing the action live.
Major League Baseball eventually put Gordon out of business by raising rights fees to untenable levels In our new world of fan-less baseball stadiums, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times remembered a time when the Dodgers did it 52 years ago.
On March 23, 1968, the Dodgers played an exhibition game in the Bahamas. With broadcast transmission facilities unavailable in Nassau, Vin Scully skipped the trip and called the game from the Dodgers’ spring home in Vero Beach. “Vin got a book on the Bahamas and read from it during the game, as if to share how he had experienced the local culture. A Dodgers publicist phoned in descriptions of every play, and team staffers typed them and fed them to Scully and partner Jerry Doggett, who jazzed up the words and turned them into play-by-play. And, yes, the broadcast included crowd noise, from tapes of previous games.”
The month I spent at Gordon McLendon’s ranch during the Magnificent Seven mentoring program in 1967, was certainly a one-of-a- kind experience. Every morning at breakfast Gordon would regale us with stories and more stories. In regards to baseball recreation broadcasts, he told us of all the delaying tactics he used when the Western Union ticker tape broke. Gordon would announce that a pesky dog has entered center field and play was stopped until they caught it. Depending on how long the ticket tape delay was, the dog chase would go on and on with umpires diving for the dog and missing. One extended ticker tape delay resulted in a rain delay of the game, while fans at the actual game were in short sleeve shirts fanning themselves in the sun.
|Hear Ache. KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest will host the 10th anniversary of the iHeartRadio Music Festival. The virtual concert event will be recorded live on stages in Los Angeles and Nashville and feature performances from BTS, Coldplay, Keith Urban, Miley Cyrus, and more. The CW Network will also televise the two-night iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 27 and September 28 … Podcast listeners are 39% more likely to be hybrid drivers, according to Podnews … AMP Radio’s Yesi Ortiz adds another responsibility to her busy schedule. She has been upped to apd, while continuing to be music director and afternoons drive … Missing early rock ‘n roll (50s, 60s,70s)? Rich Brother Robbin (ex-KIQQ pd) continues with his tasty website at: www.RichBroRadio.com but a slightly different configuration. When you log in, a player comes up, just hit the blue circle w/the right-facing arrow if it doesn’t come up by itself. Where else are you going to hear Foot Stompin by the Flares?|
|(July 21, 2020) Whotta’
beautiful voice. Dave Caprita spent 15 years
working weekends and fill-in at KTWV (the WAVE). He
is missed. Turns out he moved to Atlanta a year ago
to be near family. Dave wrote an update for LARadio.
Dave’s used to moving. He was born a Navy brat in Jacksonville, Florida on September 30, 1953 and his father returned after a 30-year career. A little nepotism planted the entertainment seed. His older brother was running a radio station in Milton, Florida, near Pensacola. Dave was 13 years old.
“My brother gave me my first radio gig,” said Dave. “So I made a fool out of myself, but I got the bug and eventually went from Pensacola to Hattiesburg, Mississippi for a rock station while in college. His major market career launched in Jacksonville.
Dave started hosting morning shows across the nation, including Miami (WAXY) and five years at “Love 94FM,” which offered a precursor to the popular Smooth Jazz format. “So in an indirect way, I introduced that music to the station,” David said. He also worked in Seattle, Las Vegas and eventually Los Angeles.
Along with a great voice, Dave is handsome. “I sold my house and my sports car because I got the acting bug. I was fortunate enough to appear in a few major movies and tv pilots and wanted to really learn how the industry worked and how to act, so I took classes at AFI.”
KTWV program director Paul Goldstein hired Caprita in 2003. “It was a true-life adventure at the WAVE, dealing with different program directors,” said David. “I just marvel at how I was able to keep my gig there through all the changes. I’m very proud of it and the things that I did, not just being on the air but hosting different gigs from brunches to appearances at the Hollywood Bowl. Looking back, I really miss it. I think that’s probably the one thing I really miss right now in my life is being on the radio. This is the longest I’ve gone without being on the air. It’s going on a year now.”
Dave concluded: “As you
get older you start to get tired of looking at the
kids and the grandkids on Skype. So this is where we
are, Atlanta. I’m continuing to work in acting and
voiceover work and writing a lot. But I still miss
Check out Dave’s website at: https://www.davidcaprita.com/
Whole Lotta Shakin.’ A survivor of the Sylmar earthquake (February 9, 1971) is producing a documentary on the quake designed for air in February 2021 to mark the 50th anniversary. He is looking for interviews with survivors, first responders and people instrumental at every level in dealing with the killer quake and its aftermath including crimes which took place after the tragedy. Two hospitals in Sylmar collapsed killing nearly 70 people and setting the stage for new ways of dealing with disasters in California. Stills and early video of the disaster will be included, some provided by other survivors. Do you have any audio of that morning? Drop me a note at: AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com and I will forward it to the producer.
Hear Ache. Dear friends are struggling to make sense of our current culture. We get about 25,000 days on earth, if we are lucky. Subtract what you’ve already used up and how do you want to spend the remaining days. I live by the mantra: action and more action. Consultant George Johns put it succinctly in his tasty weekly blog post this week: “Action produces results; no action produces absolutely nothing.” … Nick Cannon had a tough weekend, according to the New York Daily News. He was fired by ViacomCBS last week for making anti-Semitic comments on his podcast. “I hurt an entire community and it pained me to my core, I thought it couldn’t get any worse,” Cannon tweeted. “Then I watched my own community turn on me and call me a sell-out for apologizing. Goodnight. Enjoy Earth.” He added, “Y’all can have this planet. I’m out!” The messages marked his location as “heaven.” … Morning radio news isn’t what it’s used to be. In a recent Dallas rating, the listener share for three news-talk radio giants has dropped by about 25 percent. Perhaps we are overwhelmed with negative news. Perhaps our routines have changed radically. Interesting article in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram: https://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/bud-kennedy/article244177012.html
Ton of LARPs in
More LARPs in the Heavy Hundred
(July 20, 2020)
As with any list of anything, controversy usually
follows. No reason for the
listing of the 2020 Heavy Hundred Talk Show hosts to
be any different. And there are plenty of Los
Angeles Radio People (LARP) on the Heavy Hundred.
How the heck do they make their choices? This year’s Heavy Hundred is compiled by the editors of TALKERS magazine using such factors as: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness. The editors acknowledge that it is as much art as science and that the results are arguable. During our COVID-19, pandemic talk radio personalities have the opportunity to become an even more important part of their listeners’ lives by delivering the information they need and providing the opportunity to hear debate about and take part in discussions concerning the events affecting their lives. The list accounts for the personality’s “courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.
noon to 3 p.m. on the Patriot 1150AM KEIB, tops the
Heavy Hundred listing
13. Lars Larson
14. Ben Shapiro
15. George Noory
18. Jim Bohannon
19. Michael Savage
21. Hugh Hewitt
22. Bill Handel
23. Armstrong & Getty
27. Sebastian Gorka
28. John & Ken
29. Larry Elder
31. Doug Stephan
32. Larry O'Connor
33. Dennis Prager
38. Kim Komando
39. Michael Smerconish
40. Stephanie Miller
42. Michael Medved
49. Tim Conway, Jr.
50. Todd Schnitt
56. Clark Howard
58. Terry Gross
69. Ric Edelman
87. Heidi Harris
91. John Batchelor
94. Brett Winterble
99. Brian Whitman/Jennifer Horn
Larry Elder's documentary Uncle Tom ranks #1 on IMDB this week
More LARPs in the Heavy Hundred
|** Sweet Dick’s Dirty
“Great article on a man I listened to in the car while mom was taking us to school back in the 60’s, when Dick Whittington was on that power lineup of djs at KGIL [Dudley Williams, Johnny Gilbert, Wink Martindale, Paul Compton and Gary Parker]. His conversations with Larry the Lizard, his ‘Musical Cars’ segment that you could never get away with today, and of course he would wrap up the week with ‘Clean Thoughts on a Dirty Wall.’
I also remember his rendition of the Christmas Carol ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ which was side-splittingly hilarious and I was grateful to hear again when he played it while at KNJO-Thousand Oaks in 1994 [and yes, I audio recorded it].
He had a style and a sense of humor all his own and for which I will always remember him. While I have never met him, just listening to him over all those years at various stations is enough for me.
God bless you Sweet Dick Whittington!” – Larry Anderson, Sunland
** A Day At a Time
“Since March, each day has become one long uninterrupted day for me. No divisions of days, weeks or months. I figure that God owes us at least four months out of our lives. Jesus is so pissed that he has left his seat next to his father and is taking a sabbatical. HE applied at Cal Poly, but didn’t have a high enough SAT, so HE can now be found at Cuesta majoring in nothing because HE knows everything. They’ll keep HIM because HE is also the starting point guard for the Cougars basketball team.
I would feel sorry for you, but I’m too busy feeling sorry for myself, which I frankly enjoy. I am extremely grateful to you for the e-mail, since no one will talk, text, or email me, except the dog. And then only if I give her treats. I tried to give Barbara ‘treats,’ which is why she no longer talks to me.
Take care of yourself. If you don’t, I’ll overwrite you another email. Jesus, who is staying with us until HE can find a cheap rental manger says hi. HE won’t say it directly to you, until HE sees HIS name in your column Also, it would help your cause if you could get HIM an interview with Hugh Hewitt.” – Sweet Dick Whittington
|** Proud Papa
“Congrats to Brian Whitman and Jennifer Horn for cracking the Heavy Hundred Talkers.
Also, Larry Elder and Michael Medved!” – Mike Horn
|** Cat’s in the Cradle
“Great column, but 39 years? It doesn’t feel like that long since I heard the news [over the radio in the car] about Harry Chapin’s death. His life still reverberates today, but that song. His brother Tom used to sing his Circles song and even did a short lived but award-winning daily show with Stephanie Edwards, John Bennett Perry and Murray Langston called Everyday.
Good times when Top 40 radio could play Circles then Jack and Diane then Gloria and even Ronnie Milsap’s Any Day Now and not worry about what was Pop and what was Country. Sigh.” – Julie T. Byers
** Mighty Met Memories
“I just saw your trip down KMET memory lane on The Sound. Between politics and masking up to keep COVID-19 at bay, I don’t check in with you as much as I should. It was a treat. It’s reminiscing about an event that was like, reminiscing.
Anyway, that was back in 2009, so much has happened to radio, so much has happened to us all. Keep up the great work of keeping us a radio community.” – Jeff Gonzer
** Mighty Met Reunion
“I saw Nostalgia Sunday column on the KMET reunion and enjoyed it. Seeing my favorite morning dj, Jeff Gonzer, bought back some good memories. I attended a few ‘Finally A Friday’ shows at the Wolf and Rissmiller location, getting up early to drive to Reseda from Huntington Beach, and always had a good time.
I avoided the temptation to drink as I knew I would have to drive back after the show ended at 10 a.m. On the way back, I would visit my grandmother and rest up with her until I had to go to work at 4 p.m.
Looking at the pictures, I noticed there were no younger guys in attendance, the ones who would be the up-and-comers to replace the older djs when the time came. With no younger guys and gals, there apparently will not be the continuation of the Classic Rock tradition of irreverence and other crazy stuff. KMET had its day, but it is sad there will no one to continue that free-form style that made KMET what it was.” – Dan Ramos, Joshua Tree
** Mighty Met
“My gawds that was amazing coverage about the KMET Reunion! Extremely cool. Thanks for that blast from the past. Much appreciated.
I was a board-op there while I was in law school for Mary Turner, Barbara Birdfeather, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Dr. Demento. A really fun gig.
I have a story along those lines I will tell you on the phone about what used to happen when I would go to lunch and mysterious voices would haunt the jocks.” – Don Elliot
** A Story on Who Bob Crane Replaced?
“Bob Crane joined KNX as the morning man in September 1956. Do you know who he replaced?
In September 1956, Ralph was hired to replace Sonny Fox as host on The $64,000 Challenge, which forced him to move to New York. In January 1962, Bob Crane took a week off to fill in for Johnny Carson on Who Do You Trust while Carson filled in for Jack Paar on the Tonight Show.” – David Schwartz
** Dan Ingram Intros
“I saw that you mentioned some Dan Ingram intros to songs in Wednesday’s column. Here are a few others: he always called Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, ‘Herb Alpert and the teeny weenie Brass.’ When he played Eli’s Coming by Three Dog Night, he would say, ‘Eli’s Coming – it’s about time.’ He always introduced Angel Baby by Rosie and the Originals as ‘the worst record ever made’ and Elton John’s Someone Saved My Life Tonight as ‘Someone Shaved My Wife Tonight.’
He was so quick. Due to WABC’s tight format, he had to get all his one-liners in during song intros or during live spots. I remember hearing him do a spot for Jiffy Pop and he said, ‘just heat it on the stove and when the popping stops, peel back the foil and eat it.....it tastes better than the popcorn.’” – Bob Scott
|** Hall of Fame Nominee
"Did you see this? I’m beyond thrilled.
They changed the voting. It now starts July 27 not the 20th.
I have no idea how this came to be but my mind is just blown!
I hope you’re well And healthy!" - Whitney Allen
|** San Diego Calls
“This is an open letter to the scabby, lead-headed, corporate-bandits at iHeart Radio, who think they scored a coup by appropriating the legendary KGB call letters, to its newest acquisition of 760-AM [formerly KFMB] in San Diego. You have insulted the honor of hundreds of hard-working men and women who proudly DID serve KGB-AM radio in the past.
Yes, I bet you smirked when some idiot came up with ‘stealing’ of the KGB call letters to 760. [I don’t care that you own the FM, repeat, I don’t care]. It shows, typically of your ilk, nothing original. Let’s dumb-it-down some more. Can your hosts honestly even speak those call letters without feeling something is not right [or maybe throwing-up]?
You are a joke…and if we ever meet in person, I’ll tell you what I really think.” – Jeff Prescott, La Jolla
** Casey at the Mike in Bay Area
“With 2020 being the 50th Anniversary of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 countdown show, I’m recalling my childhood. I used to hear Casey on KEWB in Oakland counting down the hits on Friday nights from 8 p.m. to midnight in the early 60’s, a good 10 years before the national show started. The difference was he started at the number one song at 8 p.m., and made his way down to 40 right before midnight.
I learned later that Casey had actually been living right down the street from me for the entire time he was on KEWB. However, I didn’t find that out until right after he had moved down here to work at KRLA. I was a 12-year-old who took it upon myself one day to help a confused substitute mailman that had all these records for a ‘Casey Kasem,’ and he couldn't find the address. When he did, he found it was a forwarding address to KRLA in Pasadena.
As Don Adams would say: Missed him [Casey] by that much" – Bill Dudley
** Host That Loves You the Most
“Very glad my friend Dave Sebastian Williams made it clear that Johnny Magnus - whom I had the pleasure of working across the hall from during my K-Lite years – is still very much with us. Here’s to ‘The Host who Loves You Most,’ indeed!
AM HD Review.
Had a chance to recently hear Saul Levine’s KSUR 1260 on a rental car with a receiver that picks up AM HD. It was a true pleasure to listen to, compared to my usual listening experience on our ancient Honda CRV’s tuner. Unless my headphone diminished hearing fooled me, it sounded like true stereo in full fidelity. A pity the FCC dropped the ball years ago with their ‘marketplace’ decision that doomed AM Stereo.
Regardless, for those who have late model cars – I suggest trying out 1260 to see if your experience matches mine.” – Bill A. Jones
** Black Information Network
“I am reminded of the earlier black-oriented radio news networks, going back close to 50 years. In 1972, both Unity Broadcasting and the Mutual Broadcasting System began black-focused news networks: Mutual Black Network began May 1 of that year and National Black Network, on June 15. Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation purchased a half-interest in Mutual’s network in 1976 and acquired the remaining half three years later, changing the name to Sheridan Broadcasting Network.
National Black Network continued under that name until 1991, when it merged with Sheridan into the American Urban Radio Network. American Urban Radio Network is still in operation, having expanded into long-form talk and entertainment programming, including podcasts.” – K.M. Richards
** Grandson Matthew
“Your grandson Matthew is way too sparkling cute to work for scale. He needs to demand that his dad set up a 529 college fund right now and provide a bonus for family labor law violations. Perhaps he could pay Matthew an allowance for being such a cute little rascal.” – Warren Cereghino
“I was an avid listener to KROQ, when it was AM&FM, or known as The ROQs of Los Angeles, in the mid-late 70’s. When Frazer Smith came on board, he would blurt out a lot of outlandish phrases during his show, and one of them, in fact probably his most well know ‘fraze’ was in fact: ‘Hurt me, beat me, make me write bad checks!’ So this ‘revolting john’ guy that Rick Dees dreamt up was nothing more than a Charlatan, in my book. They’re both disco ducks.
And as for a reality check, I would like to send out healing vibes to one of the most menschish gentlemen in this world, Kevin Gershan. Sorry to read about your misstep, Kevin. May your rest period be strengthening for you.” – Timmy Manocheo
** In the Air … Everywhere
“Fond memories of KABL: ‘We’ve named our station after the beautiful Cable Cars that climb your San Francisco hills … KABL Radio, San Francisco (Oakland).’” – Don Graham
“Another week of great cartoons to light our spirits through all the shit floating around out there. Thanks, my friend.” – Rich Brother Robbin
|(July 17, 2020) With
this crazy world – upside down and topsy-turvy – the
risk of telling a joke or funnie story might offend
someone, yet LARadio is throwing caution to the
wind. And there was a time when one of our brightest
personalities was so funny, day after day. Water
cooler humor. Every morning he would take us on a
fanciful trip. One journey was to the Louvre in
Paris while he attempted to get a listener’s
paint-by-the-numbers painting hung somewhere near
the Mona Lisa.
His name is Sweet Dick Whittington. If his zaniness was part of your radio listening habit between 1960 and 1995, you were lucky. And in 2020, we need a break from the daily pandemonium swirling around. I thought some Sweet Dick stories might put a smile on your face while you shake your overgrown beard and/or hair.
The Queen Mary’s arrival in Long Beach in the late 60s to become a tourist attract was a major story. Of course, Dick had other zany plans. In person in full captain’s gear, he married the Queen Mary and a tug boat. This was the beginning of his outsized plans to play with imagination.
There was his invasion of Catalina Island, inviting his listeners to join him dressed in the uniform of their favorite war.
Dick occasionally opened his show by
interviewing God. “Good morning, sinner Dick,” God
would say with a reverberating voice. Dick responded
with, “Good lord, it’s, it’s the Lord.” Then the two
of them would discuss such topical, earthly problems
as election-year politics (God’s advice: “Vote Yes
on Commandment 3”). In another conversation with
God, the Lord says, “I saw the play Jesus Christ
Superstar, but I liked the book better!”
He tip-toed into politics when he headed the campaign to elect Tiny Tim President and First Lady. Tiny Tim’s people threatened a lawsuit if Dick didn’t abandon the campaign, prompting an observer to comment that Tim’s humor was also tiny.
One stunt in 1968 got the U.S. Coast Guard involved. Whittington spun the tale of an iceberg spotted off the coast of Santa Monica. He named it Myron and he said it was 1,200 feet tall and four feet wide and was wearing a prayer shawl. Myron had come down from Alaska to see a famous Santa Monica specialist about “bad circulation.” Myron was so introverted that he simply melted away when someone on shore stared at him with high-powered binoculars. When Dick was asked if nine-tenths of it was under water, it is believed the iceberg chimed in, “Isn’t everything?”
Thanks, Sweet Dick. For a moment we got unstuck from the vortex of this pandemic and smiled. He just celebrated his 91st birthday and lives on the Central Coast.
Some Correspondent’s Comments: Alan Oda
decided a story about Dick Whittington required a
few recollections of his own:
I’m sure I’ve mentioned (far too many times) about how grateful I am to Don Barrett for allowing me to meet some of my heroes – while others thought of emulating Marvel Comic characters or rock-n-roll stars, I envied who was on the radio, the voices that kept me company while I struggled through my overdue homework assignments. Many were performers, providing everything from high-energy one-liners between “more music” to talented personalities who were funnier than what was on tv.
Dick Whittington was more than just a funny performer. The stunts about invading Catalina Island, hanging a paint-by-numbers picture in the Louvre (I think it was placed ever so briefly by the entrance to the men’s room), the marriage of the Queen Mary continue to be legendary. Yet consider an important detail about these broadcasted shenanigans – Dick included his listeners to join with him in the fun. He involved his audience as few others ever did or ever will.
Consider his invasion of Catalina Island. He invited his listeners to join him dressed up with the uniform of the war of their choice to march to some rockin’ beat as they attempted to occupy Avalon. It was a listener that painted the “artwork” which was destined for Paris. Imagine 10,000 listeners as invited guests as Dick officiated the wedding of the Queen Mary. (photo: Dick (l) with producer Douglas McEwan)
One Christmas, he dressed as Santa Claus, albeit
dressed in green (he would never dress in “commie”
red since that wasn’t “Amourican”), inviting his
audience to sit on his lap and share their holiday
He had a bus filled with riders, all members of Dick Whittington’s SOBs (“South of Burbank Boulevard”) to mark the line of demarcation in his beloved “Sin” Fernando Valley on some early weekday morning.
I teach for a living. I realize years from now my students will likely forget every detail of the elaborate child development theories I painstakingly attempted to explain. But if I can be mindful of the value of bringing my students along for the journey of learning, to segue from passive learning to joining me on the expedition to better understand kids and families, to get them to look up from the text, maybe I’ve done something worthwhile.
For his loyal listeners, Dick Whittington did something worthwhile. And that’s why I’m grateful I got to meet a hero. May the tender young cypress bloom long past 91 years.
Hear Ache. No word on who Meruelo is putting in morning drive while Nick Cannon takes some time away for self-reflection following the cancellation of his relationship with ViacomCBS … Ryan Fox, former morning man at KKGO, saw it with his own eyes upon entering his local Wal-Mart. They ae now requiring all customers to wear deodorant and pants … KFI producer Michelle Kube wished Bill Handel a happy 27 years in morning drive. “What's scary is that of my 27 years at KFI so far, my 25 years on the show.....means that more than HALF MY LIFE was spent working VERY early mornings with you.” … Phil Hulett, former morning anchor at KFWB, revealed on Twitter that in a month he’s gone from 4 cars to 2. “Now my daughter's car is in the driveway with a cover on it. My wife's car is in the garage, used for #essential trips. Next to it, space for bikes where my car used to be. #NewNormal #WorkFromHome” … Scott Ferrall returns to Southern California on sports radio next month on XEPRS-San Diego on “The Mightier 1090.”
|(July 16, 2020) KPWR (Power 106) morning
man Nick Cannon has been the center of a firestorm
on social media. He was fired yesterday by ViacomCBS
for “hateful speech,” and espousing “anti-Semitic
conspiracy theories.” Cannon’s firing apparently was
triggered by his comments on a recent episode of his
Cannon’s Class podcast, during which he discussed
race and racism with former Public Enemy member
Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin.
Details of the controversy can be found elsewhere.
In return, Cannon lobed a cannonball at ViacomCBS, demanding ownership of his MTV and VH1 series Wild ‘N Out, alleging, in part, that the company “swindled” the show away from him, according to a story at Deadline.com. In a nearly 1,500-word Facebook message posted yesterday morning, Cannon wrote: “I created a billion-dollar brand that expanded across a multitiered empire that is still Viacom’s biggest digital brand, touring business, talent discovery and incubation system and successful restaurant franchise. Based on trust and empty promises, my ownership was swindled away from me. For Viacom to be so deceptive is no surprise; they have been mistreating and robbing our community for years, underpaying talent on their biggest brands like Love & Hip Hop, all of BET programming and of course, Wild ‘N Out.”
Then Sean Diddy Combs got involved, seeming to offer him a job with his cable network Revolt TV, saying “we are for our people first.” The tweet, under Combs’ Twitter name Diddy, asks Cannon to “come home” to the Black-owned Revolt TV.
In his Facebook post Wednesday, titled “Truth and
Reconciliation” Cannon wrote that he has received an
“outpouring of love and support from the Jewish
community,” and added, “I must apologize to my
Jewish Brothers and Sisters for putting them in such
a painful position, which was never my intention.
They can try to kick me while I’m down or force me
to kiss the master’s feet in public for shame and
ridicule but instead I stand firm on my square with
my fist in the air repeating my mantra, ‘You can’t
fire a Boss!’”
The Deadline.com story reported that since his firing Cannon has received “death threats, hate messages calling me an ungrateful [n*****] and beyond.”
The story comes at a particularly sensitive time in our history. And expect the fireworks to continue to ignite.
Hear Ache. Cumulus’ Westwood One is joining Omnicast Media that brings the popular podcast Something You Should Know to the Westwood One Podcast Network. The show is hosted by Mike Carruthers where he interviews top experts in their fields to offer fascinating information and advice to help listeners save time and money, advance their careers, become wealthy, improve relationships, and simply get more out of life. Something You Should Know drops each Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, and is available at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, and Google Podcasts, among other platforms. Mike’s early career includes stints at KHTZ (K-Hits), KBIG, and KIQQ … Michael Austin posts a tasty daily reminder on Facebook about a celebrity and usually the anniversary of a significant date. Remember Cat's in the Cradle? Huge hit song by Harry Chapin in the seventies. Austin noted that Chapin died in a car accident 39 years ago today, at the age of 38. "I'm gonna be just like you dad." Song was so sad. I felt he was singing about my dad and it just upsets me all over again. We all can be better fathers ... 870/KRLA’s Dr. Sebastian Gorka joins the National Security Education Board … Think content and personality is the secret sauce? Consultant George Johns has an interesting thought: “Radio like the rest of show business is built on talent. Without talent, what’ve you got to sell?”
|(July 15, 2020) Westwood
One continues to be one of the biggest sources of
syndicated radio programming. At one time, almost
8.000 stations across the country relied on at least
one of the services offered by Westwood One,
including news, talk, sports, 24/7 music channels,
and other offerings.
Well known brands such as CBS Sports Radio, “NFL on Westwood One,” CNN News Wire, CNBC Business Radio, Metro Traffic, Shadow Broadcasting Services, the Weather Channel, even The History of Rock and Roll are all Westwood One properties.
The company made headlines when it acquired the NBC Radio Network and its assets, The Source and Talknet, a $50 million deal back in 1987. Dial Global was another programming service owned by Cumulus Media. They merged with Westwood One, with the combined Cumulus-owned companies eventually dropping the Dial Global moniker in favor of the better known Westwood One marque.
Declining revenues fueled by contracting audiences – further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic – have adversely affected different media, with radio appearing to be hit especially remorselessly. Now, it appears the waning economic climate has led to a double-whammy for the Cumulus-owned Westwood One. Their entire news service will be dropped as of August 30. About 1,000 stations (locally KABC) currently use Westwood One News.
Several recognizable names, including LARadio veteran Jim Roope, are among those being laid off. A second blow landed when Cumulus announced they are also imposing an overall three percent reduction in force, about 100 staffers which include Westwood One.
One of the casualties
is Blair Garner, former talent at Country
KZLA. Inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2013,
Garner has also been heard locally on KIIS. Right
now, KABC will continue to offer Ben Shapiro,
Michael Savage, and Dan Bongino, while
Mark Levin will continue to be heart on “The
Answer 870” (KRLA), all originating from Westwood
One. There is also speculation that there will be
additional cuts forthcoming, including the possible
sale of assets including broadcast towers.
In the Air … Everywhere. Bill Moen has been the voice of KABL-San Francisco for 61 years. He wrote on social media that the station is about to ring the Cable Car bell for the last time as part of the station’s ID.
“Like the Cable Car ride itself it, certainly, has been a nostalgic, rattling ride through a city that we all love and that, even, the world grabbed a handle on, laughing and waving, the past few years, loved the ride. The Cable Cars are, of course, forever there but KSFOs ‘Sounds of the City’ are gone and KABL’s ‘Very San Francisco!’ is but an echo as we raise a glass to a gentler time. For those who remember waking to the sound of Cable Car bells on your Radio…that was us.”
|Hear Ache. My son-in-law Simon Poulton has been working behind the scenes for almost a year on the launch this week of Peacock TV for NBC/Universal. Simon is using my grandson, Matthew, as a little peacock mascot … Strange times as Diageo, one of the world’s largest whiskey producers, just launched an all-paper whiskey bottle. Guess you won’t have to wrap it in a brown paper sack …Richard Wagoner writes in the OC Register that KABC’s John Phillips turned his “Doctor Hour” into a daily coronavirus Q&A, one of the best things on radio. Read the story here: …With wearing masks gaining acceptance, lipstick sales are down 15% … WABC’s Dan Ingram (ex-K-EARTH) has some wonderful lines talking up to vocals of 60s and 70s hits. Introing Captain & Tennille’s Do That To Me One More Time, he said, “From the album ‘Insatiable.’” For The Commodores’ Easy, he said “The new lubricant from Johnson & Johnson.”|
|(July 14, 2020)
can change a lot in five years, but our goal is to
be a trusted and credible source for news in the
Black community,” affirmed
Tony Coles as he
launches the Black Information Network (BIN), a new
iHeartRadio venture. The network starts with 15
affiliates across the U.S., locally on BIN 1440 AM
(KFOO) Riverside-San Bernardino and also available
KRRL-HD2 (REAL 92.3). Additional affiliates will be
announced over the next 60 days. BIN will also
provide news services for REAL 92.3 and iHeart’s
r&b, Hip-Hop and Gospel stations, 91 stations in
The President of the new network is a 16-year veteran with iHeartMedia (previously Clear Channel). He also serves as division president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group. Coles has worked in radio for 35 years, starting as a programmer and on-air talent. His previous titles include National Hot AC Brand Manager, Senior VP of Programming (Chicago), and West Region Executive VP of Programming.
With current events making the timing of the new network seems apt, it was last year when iHeart conducted a survey of Black listeners. The company reported 83 percent of respondents believed there was a need for something to fill a void within the mainstream media, with the concept of a Black information service testing strongly across 18 – 34 and 35 – 54 demographics in the Black community.
In an exclusive email interview with LARadio.com, Coles explained the uniqueness of BIN. “While there are Black TV networks, radio stations and newspapers, we are the only 24/7 national and local all-news audio network dedicated to Black listeners and available across multiple platforms.” He said big news stories affect almost everyone, “but BIN’s context will always be to understand how the story impacts Black listeners. BIN is focused on service to the Black community and on providing an information window for those outside the community to help foster communication, accountability and a deeper understanding.”
Coles said BIN is a 24 / 7 national and local all-news audio service, “dedicated exclusively to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of news coverage for the Black community with a Black voice and perspective.” He said BIN “will be rolling out more options” for local affiliates, stating “our success comes from the success of our affiliates.”
Previous attempts at targeting a particular
demographic with news and information programming
have yielded mixed results. Fox News – both cable tv
and radio – has done well by marketing to a general
audience, while Spanish information services have
often struggled. Even in a major market such as Los
Angeles, news and information stations in Spanish
have attracted diminutive listenership. Coles
stressed how BIN is unique. “It is important that we
first draw a distinction between the comparisons.
Fox News is primarily driven by their talk / opinion
programming. Our focus is exclusively on news and
information, something that has broad appeal,” said
The President of BIN said the success of network will not be measured by ratings. “While we firmly believe we will build a sizeable audience, success will come from becoming the trusted, credible source for news and information for our listeners and affiliates, driving value for our founding partners, and the level service we provide to our communities.”
As to what a radio service can offer compared to other media platforms, Coles said “radio has always been about companionship. Our focus is on telling Black stories and serving the communities where we operate. TV networks are driven by ratings and often need to tell what sells and that is a different experience. Our model gives us the freedom to build something unique.”
(July 13, 2020) Most
successful morning shows have a cast of characters
providing stories, humor or sometimes are just the
foil for a bad joke. KIIS’ Rick Dees ruled
the morning roost for many years in the 80s and 90s.
One of the characters on his show was John
Revolting, played by
Interviewed for this story, Dees remarked, “Greg Berg has a gift of ‘chameleon vocal chords.’” Said the former KIIS morning star: “Give Greg 20 minutes and he can do an impression of any celebrity or character. His creativity is astounding. As I recall, his lime green ‘John Revolting’ leisure suit cost me $35.”
“But I saved the best for last. He is wonderfully cordial and gracious to everyone. Except his landlord,” Dees concluded.
Greg Berg offers the story of John Revolting:
If you lived almost anywhere in the world that had a radio from 1980 – 2000, you may have heard one of a variety of voice characters performed by ME! John Revolting was an airheaded character, living forever with his slick hair and 70's Disco Suit, including a slew of chains, (purchased at CHAINS R US), with a lapel pin that says 10 1/2.
For over 20 years, on morning and weekend shows, John would capture listeners ears by calling in with a piece of his adventurous, confusing life, including his dislike of jogging at the beach, because after three seconds he would keep hitting the water, to telling Rick how he hates playing the game Trivial Pursuit, because he played Scrabble and found out he couldn’t spell, now he found out, he doesn't know anything!
|And to prove John Revolting WAS a
LIVE person, not just a call-in, I/he, would be
brought in to appear on stage, in costume, to many
of the prominent live appearance shows where Rick
Dees performed or hosted, from the Disneyland Space
Mountain Stage (when crowd seating was permitted),
to a short visit to the Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton L
A. New Year’s Eve Show, at the L.A. Forum – before
18,000 attendees, a Santa Anita Race Park Comedy
Show, and a variety show at the famed Long Beach
Spruce Goose Display in Long Beach.
I had no clue of the extent of popularity the character had – although on a top listened to morning radio show, and heard around the world – until one day I was asked to perform on a record Rick was doing, called:
HURT ME BABY, MAKE ME WRITE BAD CHECKS.
The album garnered a Grammy nomination! I could be heard doing a string of my John Revolting experiences on one cut, (my color photo is on the back cover,) and I was 'all smiles' after hearing the cut being played on the long-time running Dr. Demento syndicated radio program! This was more of a rundown of my work voicing John Revolting.
On other occasions, depending what was in the news or whatever idea came to mind, I was given the freedom to drop a call to Rick while the radio show was in progress and call with other celebrity voices or characters and silly ideas. To fans of John and others who just wondered what I have been part of in my voice career, this was one amazing run and I look forward to other voices and characters to conquer!
Hear Ache. Beau Rials is celebrating 28 years of marriage. See, radio marriages do last, grow, and prosper … ESPN has reconfigured its national schedule, effective August 17: The new morning show will be a trio co-hosted by Keyshawn Johnson, NBA and college basketball analyst Jay Williams, and “SportsCenter” anchor Zubin Mehenti. Others rounding out the day include: Dan Le Batard, Trey Wingo, Max Kellerman, Chiney Ogwumike and Mike Golic Jr. … The 2020 Radio Hall of Fame nominee Bobby Rich is broadcasting from home. He fell and shattered a kneecap. Making his way around his home studio with the help of a leg brace and a walker … And speedy recovery to Kevin Gershan who had a fall in his kitchen. “Multiple micro-fractures of the left knee,” emailed Kevin. “Treatment: Stay off of left leg and apply no pressure. Wear Velcro knee brace. Six to eight weeks minimum, to heal, possibly months. Ouch!”
** KGFJ Lost a Huge Friend
“Broke my heart when I heard that Brad Pye Jr. had transitioned. We worked together at KGFJ for more than eight years. He was one dedicated sports personality and we became close friends over the years that we broadcast together.
Brad Pye, Lucky Pierre, Don Tracy, and other KGFJ personalities were united when I put together a KGFJ reunion a few years ago. Brad will be truly missed.” – Roland Bynum
** Pye Loss
“Heartbreaking news about the death of Brad Pye, Jr. He was a good friend of my dad’s. – Felicia “The Poetess” Morris
** Dave Sebastian Doubles Down
"Oh Don! Twice in 7 days My personal best. This time, I'm writing for two reasons.
ONE: I’d like to award justified applause to whomever wrote the inspiring piece: Trailblazing Broadcaster Brad Pye, Jr. Dies. And even more applause to Brad for living that life.
Sadly, I didn't have the pleasure of working with or meeting Mr. Pye. What a diverse and ambitiously inspiring life he led. While reading, the hair on my arms were like ‘amber waves of grain’ and his multitude of accomplishments choked me up a few times, tissue in hand. Thank you and the LARadio platform for sharing over the years the many uplifting shards of our industry’s people.
Being an all-star member of his undefeated East LA College football team gave me thought. During this Covid-19 period we have a gaggle of High School Athletes basically playing the ‘real’ home game at a time in their lives when they’re getting ready to set out on their life’s path. I’m in hope [with authorization] of using this piece as the basis for an inspiring Zoom meeting with my area Athletes and Students alike.
Brad Pye Jr.’s life story may be just what the Doctor ordered. It’s time for all of us to give … and give again.
TWO: Skipping down to LARadio reader Rick Howard's memories of LARP, Johnny Magnus. I got scared when it was written mostly in past tense that it gave me chills [yet, I knew not] and when Johnny himself read it, I wonder if he ran for his blood pressure cuff. Living out of LA for the first time in 50 years I’m happy to have the KKJZ – KJazz 88.1 Smartphone APP wherever I go. It brings Johnny’s style, grace, artist respect and formidable music knowledge within reach and into our home. I’m writing to say my friend Johnny can be enjoyed LIVE each weekend morning 7-10 a.m. on KKJZ. Even with its less than robust LA Signal this station has for years held its own, consistently topping nearly ten other stations vying for an audience in the SoCal Market. Johnny’s LIVE show is worth your ears … APP up, wherever you are." - Dave Sebastian Williams
** Joey Reynolds Nomination for HOF
“Our happy ‘congrats’ to Joey Reynolds on his well-deserved nomination to the Radio Hall of Fame in the category of ‘Longstanding Network/Syndication.’
I’m thanking Joey for years of national radio entertainment on WOR-New York. You have our vote.” – Don Graham
** Man Who Owned Midnight
“Life is weird. I told my wife about Steve Allison maybe two weeks ago and now you print the story.
When I was sixteen I became friends on the phone with Joan Lennox, Steve Allison’s producer. She invited me to come down to the station and sit in with the man who owned midnight. Steve was very nice and I believe the best political host I’ve ever heard. He left us, way too soon. Tell her daughter that I was a lifetime fan of her father.” – Fred Wallin, Sports Overnight America
** UCLA Grads
“I was delighted to see the inclusion of at least three of my former classmates and colleagues from KLA [UCLA] included in your reader’s suggestions. Along with the contributions of Larry Boxer, Steve Weed, and Ken Levine, I would also note that LARadio people Gary Campbell, Tom Greenleigh, Bill Pearl, and Ira Sternberg were also all colleagues of mine at KLA. You could also add Sharon Weiss, who although not an LA Radio air personality, has an impressive background starting at Watermark, and then as a major music and broadcast publicist, as well as album cover photographer.
It’s an impressive group, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten to cite various others, as we have some key tv figures who were also with us at KLA. And for what it’s worth, I did do one weekend as a courtesy via Rick Carroll at KKDJ. I came down from the legendary KROY in Sacramento, and Rick was kind enough to let me do a couple of shifts that weekend.” – Barry Salberg
** Kimmel Apology for Being in Blackface
“For the record, I’m a Jimmy Kimmel fan. Folks should know [if they don’t remember] that Whoopi Goldberg also went socializing with [while dating] Ted Danson while HE was in blackface, around the same time as the Kimmel goof.
Shouldn’t she and Ted also apologize?” – Bill Dudley
** Michael Sheehy Recovering
“You'd be hard pressed to find a sweeter human than Michael Sheehy.” – Keri Tombazian
** Mellow Sheehy
“Glad to hear that Michael Sheehy is on the mend! Really enjoyed him and everyone else ‘back in the day’ on Mellow Sound KNX/fm. It was the only station we listened to along with ‘The Quiet Storm’ KUTE102.” – B.J. Robinett
** Sheehy Well Wisher
“Wishing Michael Sheehy a speedy recovery!” – Dale Berg, 969theoasis.com
** Message from Michael
“Thanks so much for your emails of support and encouragement. The response was overwhelming. It is reassuring to know that great people still abound during these times of rampant stupidity.
I am doing fine and somewhere between getting kicked in the chest by a mule and/or run over by a steamroller, but recovery will take time and I’m only a few days out of the hospital. Once again, thank you for your heartfelt support. We’ll take it to the bank. Now, where’d I put that taco?” – Michael Sheehy
** I See the Light
“Noted with interest your inclusion of the passing of Joe Light. I worked with Joe at KOIL in the early 1970s. He was truly one of the brightest air personalities I’ve ever heard, let alone worked with.
I last saw Joe in 1988 when he was with a company seeking to purchase KOIL in a deal that eventually failed to close. I’ve detailed some of Light's Omaha accomplishments in a book, History of Omaha Radio, that you might find of interest. It’s free, from OmahaRadioHistory.com. It’s a PDF download, making it easy to do a ‘Joe Light’ search for all of his mentions in the work. His passing was very low profile, but his son perfectly summed up Joe’s frustration with radio as the business left the fun and personality years going into the corporate years.
Another L.A. personality covered in the volume is Jimmy O’Neill, who spent several years in Omaha after Shindig. Worked with Jimmy as well, a very even-tempered gentleman who graced us with his ‘California Cool.’
Your website is an interesting, thorough, and valued resource for radio historians. Thanks for your hard work.” – Carl Mann, Cedar Rapids
** Another LARP Death
“Crap! We are dropping faster than Kim Kardashians pants on prom night :)” – Mike Butts
** Charlie Daniels Band
"Thanks for the stories about a great American and my good friend and radio's, Charlie Daničls.
Forty eight years ago I was fortunate to meet him and bring him to Epic Records. Our families came together in friendship as this is a major loss to America. His love for his wife Hazel and son Charlie Jr will be a blessing for all to cherish.
As he would end every conversation, I offer it to you and all the people who read your inspiring notes. GOD BLESS." - Ron Alexenburg
** Casey at the Bat
“Casey Kasem had a big hand in getting me into radio, though he had no idea he did.
I loved his countdown as a kid, so when he showed up at the local affiliate station and the dj invited callers to chat with him off air, I immediately called and they put me on with him. I asked him nearly 10 minutes worth of radio questions, and he kindly answered them all, even as I heard a handler in the background saying ‘Come on, Casey, we gotta go.’
One thing he said that really stuck out was, ‘Get used to playing the same songs over and over again, kid, even the ones you hate! It’s the nature of the business.’
So, I threw on the 45 I had accidentally bought and hated and spun it for nearly an hour. Haha, and I said to myself, ‘I can live with this.’ He was super kind. Very cool and an exciting moment in my life.” – Doug Cox, former program director at 11-10/KRLA
|Tale of Two Stations (thanks Timmy)|
|(July 10, 2020) Time for the 2020 Radio Hall of
Fame voting. A number of LARP are being considered
on this year’s ballots. The organization puts
nominees into two categories – one where the public
can vote and the other is based on votes done
internally by a committee. Industry voting in four
of those categories begins next Monday, July 13.
Listener voting begins on July 20.
Due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns, the 2020 induction ceremony will be held as a live radio broadcast from multiple locations this October.
LARP Nominees to Be
Voted on By Voting Participant Panel:
• Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Mark & Brian (KLOS); Bobby Rich (KFMB/fm-San Diego & KMXZ-Tucson); Bob Rivers (KJR/fm-Seattle).
• Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more): Joey Reynolds (Host, WOR Radio Network).
• Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more): Larry Elder (Salem Radio Network); Jaime Jarrin (Los Angeles Dodgers Network); Kim Komando (Host, The Kim Komando Show, Westar Radio Network).
Nominees to Be Voted on By Listeners & Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee:
• Music Format On-Air Personality: Whitney Allen (The Big Time with Whitney Allen, Westwood One).
• Spoken Word On-Air Personality: Glenn Beck (The Glenn Beck Show, Premiere Networks); John Kobylt & Ken Chiampou (The John & Ken Show, KFI); Stephanie Miller (The Stephanie Miller Show, WYD Media).
“2020 marks 100 years of radio and, while we regret that we cannot hold an in-person event this year, we’re looking forward to the excitement of a live, multi-location radio broadcast,” said Kraig Kitchin, Chairman of the Radio Hall of Fame.
Coronavirus Hits Home. Over the holiday weekend an LARadio listener heard Brian Noe, a Fox Sports host working from his Portland home, announce on KLAC (570AM) that someone in the Premiere Networks building in Sherman Oaks had tested positive for COVID-19. Brian normally co-hosts with Ephraim Salaam, a former NFL Lineman who usually broadcasts from the Premiere Studios. So Salaam was off.
Apparently the Sherman Oaks studios were being scrubbed down by a clean-up crew. With no home equipment, Salaam was a guest on the phone for a segment, and then Noe hosted alone from his home studio.
Several board ops and producers are on quarantine until they get their test results back, according to an insider. Producers are working from home. The ones who had no home equipment, he or she was given the day off.
We haven’t learned about internal protocols at the Premiere Networks (partnered with Fox Sports Radio and owned by iHeart Media). We’ve reached out to several executives with no response. The silence certainly begs the question that there is more to the story.
The COVID-19 news and broadcast from home order must have caught some by surprise because there was no way of producing updates, so a musical bed just ran for 60 seconds at the top of the hour, and they blew out the bottom of the hour update since there is no commercial break on the either side of it.
Charlie Daniels Memory. When you work in the motion picture marketing world, you get your share of wonderful movies and memories. For me the highlights include the Rocky and James Bond movies, E.T., Back to the Future, The Muppet Movie, and Thelma and Louise.
But with those winners come the clinkers and you seem to remember them the most because you work so hard on them.
Burt Reynolds was riding a string of Smokey and the Bandit successes, so the studio tried one more time to squeeze a few more gallons of revenue with Stroker Ace in 1983. The timing of the Charlotte Motor Speedway 500 (where the film was shot) and the release of the film a week later was perfect for a World Premiere in Charlotte. At the premiere instead of a Red Carpet, we had a black and white checkered carpet for celebrities and guests.
Before the movie screened at the benefit premiere, the Charlie Daniels played live. They sang the title song during the opening car chase of the film, so it seemed like a natural fit. Daniels couldn’t have been nicer and more gracious. The audience at the Premiere was really into the performance. Charlie Daniels was better than the movie. Sadly, Charlie died last Monday.
Despite the fact that Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson were riding high at the time, the film was a box office disaster. Stroker Ace earned a Razzie Award that year. It was nominated for Worst Picture, Worst Director and Worst Actress and winning for Worst Supporting Actor (co-star Jim Nabors).
(July 9, 2020) Brad Pye, Jr. was a trailblazing
sports writer and broadcaster working at KGFJ,
1955-73; KJLH, 1973-75; KACE, 1975-77; KGFJ,
1977-79; KDAY, 1979-90. He died July 5, at the age
Pye attained many “firsts” during his long career. His achievements include being the first recognized African American sportswriter in Southern California, the first Black administrator for Al Davis, the Commissioner of the AFL and the first African American public relations and scout for the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers, and the California (now Los Angeles) Angels. He also served nearly 30 years as the sports editor for the Los Angeles Sentinel.
Brad broke down numerous color barriers at the newspaper, in radio and as an active participant in sports. His style was unique. "Two of my greatest idols in the radio field were the late Walter Winchell and Jim Healy, two of my dearest friends. Winchell used to use my typewriter at Angel games at Dodger Stadium and Healy made me more famous on his program than I was on my own show,” said Brad.
He was an all-star member of the 1949 undefeated East Los Angeles College football team and was student director of public relations. He was considered the "Dean of Black Sportscasters." The Sentinel had an exchange deal with KGFJ and Brad alternated with the late Chester L. Washington, Jr. on a five-minute news/sports show.
Brad hustled a sponsor for a weekly 15-minute show each Sunday. He secured Julius L. Hibler & Company, the city’s only black stock broker firm at the time for sponsorship. In 1956 he began a 17-year association with KGFJ hosting “Sportsville L.A.” He coined such phrases as “Overheard at Tommy Tucker’s Play Room from the Lips of a Los Angeles Dodgers Star” and “Pretty Little Green Ones.”
During his pioneer stint with
the Sentinel, Brad was credited with leading the
campaign to make the late Emmett Ashford the first
African American umpire in the history of major
league baseball. He is given credit for integrating
the L.A. Coliseum press box and other local press
Brad served as assistant Chief Deputy for County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. One of his last appointments was serving as the ADA Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. (Add if interested) Dennis Freeman, publisher of News4usonline.com once interviewed Brad. “Long before there was a Jim Hill, a Fast Eddie (Alexander), a Bryant Gumbel…long before they came on board, there was a Brad Pye,” he said. Who will ever forget, “Switch Reels,” and “And that's All of My Time...Thanks for Your Time...This is Brad Pye, Jr. Reporting...Have A Ball.”
Hear Ache. “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” had more than four million downloads in June – an 86% increase from June 2019 – placing it firmly in the top 1% of all podcasts for listenership. The daily podcast’s July 2 episode was its most downloaded ever, attracting over 400,000 downloads in a single day … Radio host Rickey Smiley (former Talker at 710/KMPC and KABC) said his daughter was shot three times in Houston over the holiday weekend but is expected to recover. The comedian said his daughter, Aaryn Smiley, was driving to Whataburger on Sunday night to get food when she was shot at a traffic light. “She’s fine. I’m just so angry right now,” he said on his Atlanta-based syndicated show …Jennifer Horn, KRLA 870AM morning co-host with Brian Whitman, is the guest on the Michael Harrison weekly podcast at: https://www.podcastone.com/the-michael-harrison-interview ... Beau Weaver was riding his bike when a hit and run driver hit resulting in a broken clavicle. “Asshole! Oh yeah, and, ‘owwww!’”, wrote the voiceover pro on social media.
|Memories of LARadio|
LARadio reader Rick Howard shares some thoughts about strong personalities he has enjoyed over the years:
Ray Briem . . . The King of the Night . . . He owned the hours after midnight. Many college term papers were completed while listening to Ray with his calls to small towns throughout the U.S. We learned a great deal about the strength of rural America, the character of certain small towns, each call giving us a mind’s eye view of the people, the pace, and the pride of small cities in America.
Johnny Magnus . . . The Host Who Loves You The Most . . . he owned the hours before midnight. The Voice . . . wow! He introduced a generation to quality singers and musicians. He KNEW music! Weather with a Beat took us across America with great music and his superb voice. Years later when he was no longer on the radio on the West Coast, I emailed him to thank him for the years of enjoyment he brought to my wife and myself (when we met we were both Magnus addicts) . . . he sent us a file with ‘Weather with a Beat’ on it . . . class.
Dick Haynes . . . Haynes at the Reins . . . If he didn’t own the town, he had a mortgage on it for sure.
Jim Healy . . . no one before or since had as many listeners to such a short show . . . fans, players, management, and owners took their phones off the hook to hear who was going to be savaged after the immortal words, ‘Is it True . . .’ and the frantic click of the telegraph key. Tommy Lasorda’s tirade with about 20 bleeps was a classic.
(July 8, 2020)
Back-to-back 1st place finishes for Classic Hits
KRTH (K-EARTH) in the just release June '20 Monthly
PPM Nielsen survey measuring 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12Mid.
Three stations had notable jumps from the May '20
survey: KNX up a full point, KOST was up almost a
full point and Alternative KYSR went from a 2.4 -
3.1. Here are the Top 40:
1. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.6 - 5.7
2. KOST (AC) 4.2 - 5.2
3. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.5 - 4.9
4. KFI (Talk) 4.6 - 4.4
5. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.3 - 4.1
6. KNX (News) 2.9 - 3.9
7. KIIS (Top 40/M) 3.3 - 3.7
8. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.4 - 3.6
KLOS (Classic Rock) 3.9 - 3.6
10. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.3 - 3.3
|(July 7, 2020) Michael Sheehy was
part of the success of the Mellow Sound at KNX/fm in
the 70s and 80s. He’s been in Sacramento for many
years and manages a delightful website of
positive/fun music (Planetpootwaddle.com). Lately,
he’s had some medical challenges. In late June after
a failed angioplasty procedure, Michael had triple
bypass open heart surgery.
“Having been a Type 1 Diabetic for the past 51 years, heart issues were never off the table, but I’d never imagined anything this extreme,” emailed Sheehy. The surgery was a success, he said he would be easy to find someone in worse condition.
“No complaints here, so why start whining now.”
|His diet may have helped prevent a
more serious situation. “My circumstances are all
helped by the fact that I haven’t eaten red meat in
over 44 years but have been hindered by the fact
that I smoked for 25 years despite quitting over 30
years ago. My heart is very strong, and my arteries
are now in good shape. However, the years of
diabetes and taking certain statins caused
calcifications within three of my main cardiac
arteries and left me a walking timebomb,” Michael
He praised the caregivers at Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento who went beyond the call of duty. “Their kindness and caring helped me walk through this experience. They made it a point to come in and poke and prod me every 4 hours, 24 hours a day for the entire week. I had a heart monitor central line, wound drains, chest tubes, IVs, and a few other assorted devices hooked up this retched body. My only complaint was they would constantly be infusing my IVs with morphine and stool softeners which made the thought of farting terrifying, for fear I may redecorate the room.”
His wife Denise was unable to visit due to the Covid crisis and restrictions, which meant that not only was she not able to visit every day, she was not allowed to visit even once. “This was particularly stressful as we have not spent this much time apart in our 46 years together. She’s an absolute Godsend and is devoting all her time to babying me. I am truly blessed to have such a spectacular friend and partner in my life. I truly got lucky. Coughing hurts a bit and walking from one end of the house to the other causes near exhaustion that requires about 15 minutes to recover from. Other than that, I’m in no severe pain. It’s a relief and a blessing to be home with my family which includes our dog and two cats.”
Michael described Pootwaddle Radio. “I no longer chase money, I chase happiness and as our old friend Dale Evans told Denise and me, ‘If you want to be happy, make other people happy.’
Hear Ache. Consultant George Johns says the real purpose of billboards is to piss off the other radio stations in town and guarantee that the sales force doesn’t have to hear, ‘never heard of ya.’ … KFI producer Michelle Kube received test results of second mass removed in surgery. “Not cancer...so yay!” wrote Michele on Facebook. “Now just finishing recovery with some leftover soreness, a rainbow boob bruise and the whites of my eyes are returning to white from red after post-surgery puking ... Ira David Sternberg, former KOSTer who is tracking the recovery scene in Las Vegas observed: “There’s one convention definitely scheduled - the National Risk-Takers Association,” he wrote in his tasty website …. NPR regains the #1 podcast slot, followed by iHeartRadio and the New York Times, according to Potrac … KIIS nighttimer JoJo Wright shared on social media that his father tested positive for COVID-19, but appears to be recovering … Bob Applegate, former KPPCer, got out of the house after three months. “I am dealing with severe COPD and have been at home," Applegate wrote on social media. “My son came by and took me for a ride to Oceano and Monarch Golf Course. I wanted to get out of the car jump in a golf cart but that’s not happening for a while. It just felt good to get out.” … A love story from 51 years ago. “I knew from our first date this was the love of my life,” wrote Judy Chandler. Jim Chandler proposed that night. “I said no. We went out the next night he proposed again. I said YES!”
(July 6, 2020) How
often does a radio personality make a market move
and it gets entered into the Congressional Record?
Well, that’s what happened when Steve
Allison left WWDC-Washington DC to join
KABC in 1967. Steve’s daughter, Amy, wanted to
update her father’s entry in Where Are They Now.
Steve worked at WPEN-Philadelphia before moving to DC. After a decade in Washington, ‘the Man Who Owned Midnight’ (as he was known) traveled west to be one of the early Talkers at 790AM. John Conyers entered into the House record on March 13, 1967: “I know that many of my colleagues had the opportunity to appear on Steve’s show. Congressmen were among his favorite guests.”
Conyers had high praise for Allison: “The city is not the same without one of its major promoters. I wish Steve much luck in Los Angeles at station KABC. I would like to insert after my remarks several articles which describe Steve’s long career in Washington radio and as a personality in his own right.”
Steve died in 1969, at age 53, of lung cancer.
Kimmel Apology. Former KROQer Jimmy
Kimmel was the subject of five emails in
the Feedback section of yesterday’s LA Times.
When he and Adam Carolla hosted The
Man Show, Jimmy appeared in blackface
impersonating NBA star
He apologized last week but how did he handle it? A
writer from Granada Hills wrote, “Comedy is about
talking ideas and turning them on their head, often
to powerful, truth-telling effect.”
A Yorba Linda writer wrote: “Bad taste is part of being a comedian.”
Another slant on their show appeared from a writer in Pacific Palisades: “I’m glad Kimmel has apologized for the blackface segments on The Man Show. I will not hold my breath, however, for him to address the objectification of women that was a regular part of that show. Does ‘Girls on a Trampoline’ sound familiar?”
Hear Ache. Former KABC Talker Jillian Barberie was upset Saturday night and posted on Facebook: “I’ve lived in the San Fernando Valley for 22 years and NEVER have I heard fireworks like this non-stop. I thought they were banned no? Fuck yu law breakers. I want to go to bed” … Ex KNACer Bryan Schock has been named operations manager for three LM stations in Charleston, South Carolina … Consultant Julian Breen had a great truism. “Regarding ‘format change’ rumors: If management tells you not to worry about it – WORRY!” … Mr. Master, the company behind Automation Import Manager (AIM) and the industry’s leading provider of workflow optimization software, has extended its partnership with Cumulus Media to include all of its 424 local stations across 87 markets.
Douglas Brown sends another scan from his archive. "R&R going for a funny on their famous "The Back Page"
Top 20 in October 1978 for their 5th anniversary. Some pretty clever madness.
Irrational indeed! My faves are #10 and #20," emailed Douglas.
Email Saturday - 7.4.2020
|** AT 40 at W4
“It was so great to read your story about Casey Kasem and the 50th anniversary of American Top 40. First of all because it’s Casey, and you also shared when you brought American Top 40 to W4 [WWWW] in Detroit. I was so thrilled to come work for you in the Motor City at W4. It was such a great station and to have Casey made it even better.
Through my career I have had the pleasure of interviewing Casey four times on my show, but what was really special was when I came to Los Angeles to do my show live via satellite back to Texas. Casey was gracious enough to get up early and broadcast with me from the Universal Studios lot at six in the morning. I only wish my promotion person had taken more pictures. Casey was so nice and kind, I’ll always cherish it.” – Mike Butts
** Loved AT 40 Story
“Wonderful story on Casey Kasem and American Top 40!” – Bob Sirkin
** Original Seven
“Enjoyed the AT 40 50th Anniversary post today. KJR was also part of the original seven stations.
Hope you are still coping with all the COVID 19 stuff OK. Have a Safe & Sane 4th. Don’t hear that one much anymore.” – World Famous Tom Murphy
** AT 40 Discrepancies
“After years of asking many people, including Billboard staff and American Top 40 staff, I still have no idea how Casey Kasem, and others, came to use an end-of-the-year chart for 1966 that Billboard never published for its official statistics, despite the fact that the end-of-the-year chart that Billboard did publish, on p. 34 of the 24 December 1966 issue, bears no resemblance. For both charts, see here.
A similar controversy concerns the end-of-the-year chart for 1963. If you get an answer from anyone, whether from the American Top 40 staff or otherwise, to resolve the discrepancy, please let me know. Also, among many other stations that air classic American Top 40, see, e.g., American Top 40 - the 70s and American Top 40 – the 80s under http://www.alannicklin.co.uk/ .
And, if you would like to hear classic American Top 40 all the time, check out this site. Your thoughts?” – David Dana-Bashian
|** Ocean of Memories
“Wow! Imagine my surprise as I spot the old 93 KHJ logo and say to myself ‘Look, it’s Ocean, Chucker, John Thomas, Rick, Mooch and holy crap that’s Me!’
Years later when I hit the voiceover job with Fox Sports Radio, it was because Mucho Morales told his son Chris that I taught Mooch how to bowl!
Also note that Bobby Ocean wearing the ‘fake teeth’ was because our team name was ‘The Melrose Werewolves.’ I still have that shirt! Yours in retirement.” – Pat Evans (Terry Foster)
** Poorman Airs on Lucky
“Just thought I’d give you a little background on KLUK [Lucky 98] adding Poorman. Based here in Bullhead City, it serves Kingman and Lake Havasu City as well. It ran Mark & Brian for years, but has had NO morning show since M&B went away.
The station segues Classic Rock day and night except for afternoons when it’s live. This is a station Craig Powers programmed until rejoining Curb.” – Neil Young
** Glory Road
“Thank you for the story about my new book, The Glory Road: A Gospel Gypsy Life. You were the first of our colleagues to publish and market your books, and since then it seems the publishing industry had reinvented itself several times.
I’m glad self-publishing is available. I chose a University Press for this story because it covers a chunk of American religious and musical history and I wanted it to exist in libraries. Certain academic presses today publish both scholarly work and ‘to the trade’ and I’m fortunate to be somewhere in the middle.
Who knows where the next one will land?” – Anita Garner
** Wayne Resnick’s Question
“In response to Wayne Resnick: totally agree about all ZZ Top songs sounding the same! Add most of Jack Johnson’s tunes to that list, and just about every song on Christian radio [except here on KWAVE!] And anything in the Mariachi genre! I always thought it’d be funny if someone did a skit called ‘Name That Tune, Mariachi Style!’" – Brian Perez
** Repetition Repetition
“You asked, ‘What band has the highest percentage of songs that sound the same?’ Destiny’s Child. Among their hits are Jumpin’ Jumpin,’ Bills Bills Bills and No No No. Not only do their songs all sound the same, even the titles are repetitious!” – Steven Thompson
** Here’s to You Mrs. Robinson
“The Graduate: The author’s name [Charles Webb] was omitted. Was that intentional? I was surprised to learn that he lived in the UK.
Highest percentage of songs that sound the same: Coldplay. But I still like them.
Since the coronavirus lockdown, I’ve been home by myself for days at a time. I haven’t seen my friends or family in person, and I don’t have much contact with them, even the ones who use social media.
So just for a living voice in the house, I’ve been listening to radio more than ever. Mostly AM, and now through websites since all the electronic gadgets in the house cause so much static. I particularly like Gary & Shannon on KFI – smart, funny, not panic-ridden. I need to hear Shannon say Jesus, Mary and Joseph at least once a day.
Your column continues to be a daily read for me. My guy friends especially like your more rancid jokes. I know people appreciate all the work of it and I hope they tell you so.” – Janice Jacobson, Culver City
** Record Correction
“Keep publishing, you are an inspiration to all that have ever had that creative A or F Modulation rush through their brains, either on-the-air or in support of attaining the elusive listener. Your style and integrity is needed now more than ever. As my hero, The Real Don Steele would say, ‘enough about you babeee, I’m writing to talk about me.’
About a month ago you posted a nice pic of ‘Rug-burns’ Liz Fulton [AM News] and Lon Thomas [AM Drive] taken at KIIS/fm just before the introduction of ‘Rick Dees in The Morning. If my memory isn’t failing me, at that time during one of my three stops at 102.7 KIIS/fm I was doing fill-in and weekends.
Soon after the picture was taken Lon departed KIIS and I was plugged into mornings, [prior: AM Drive in Salinas-CA, Salt Lake City-UT, KMEN-San Bernardino and among other shifts, afternoons at KEZY-Anaheim and 9-noon at 93/KHJ].
My hope was that general manager Wally Clark would stick with me. Rick was playing the Home-Game because of a non-compete with KHJ. You see, in November of 1980 KHJ went Country in the middle of my friend, Bob Shannon’s show and Rick left KHJ. After a number of months Rick’s N-CC was exercised. Yep, Rick Dees replaced me mornings at 102.7 KIIS/fm. That may have been as late as May, ’81.
I went back to weekends and remember Rick calling often during those shifts to ‘check in’ just to make sure I was [as a friend, casually] plugging his weekday morning show. This was aside from his produced promos running twice an hour.
His greatness was beginning. I believe that’s for the record and keep up your great service Don.” – Dave Sebastian Williams
** Don Burden vs FCC
“Do you remember how it was that the FCC ended up taking all of Don Burden’s radio stations away? He was caught, making illegal contributions to Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon’s campaign. The FCC had been disturbed by Don’s operations for a while, this was the nail in the coffin.” – Joe Collins
** Sale of KABC
“It will be interesting to see how much KABC sells for with WABC-New York getting $12.5 million. Maybe Richard Wagoner will buy it, he loves AM radio.” – Bob Koontz
|(July 3, 2020) Arguably the classiest syndicated show in radio
history, American Top 40 debuted 50 years ago this weekend. If the
show with Casey Kasem was before your time, you can listen to the
original countdown show each week on SiriusXM’s ‘70s On 7 Channel.
The very first show will air tomorrow at 3 a.m. and 9 a.m. On Sunday
you can countdown the original hits with Casey at 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
I share a slice of history with AT 40. Fifty years ago, I was general manager at W4 (WWWW) in Detroit. The head of the production company Watermark, Tom Rounds called me and pitched the show. I jumped at the chance. I was familiar with Casey from San Francisco radio and 11-10/KRLA. W4 was one of the first seven stations to carry the countdown.
Casey called the next morning to thank me. He grew up in Detroit and his parents were kind of unclear what their son was doing in California. “Now my parents will be able to listen every week on W4, thanks to you.”
We started a lifelong friendship as Casey went on to super stardom.
Pete Battistini is another fan of the countdown show. He shares with LARadio what happened behind the scenes.
This coming Saturday, July 4th, marks 50 years since the broadcast of the first program in 1970. What took place – the writing, recording, duplicating, shipping, and then broadcasting the first program – took dedication, professionalism and teamwork. And considering the first show’s incredible start-to-finish turnaround production time, this entire effort may have been nothing short of a miracle.
During a 24-hour period beginning Tuesday afternoon (June 30, 1970) and ending Wednesday afternoon (July 1, 1970), the offices and studios of Watermark Inc., located at 931 N. La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, were filled with anxiety and excitement, as a group of radio and music authorities were gathered, energized and focused on accepting the challenges of introducing a new, national radio program.
In the year 2020, you may recognize the names of these individuals – Casey Kasem, Don Bustany, Tom Rounds, Ron Jacobs, Bill Hergonson, Earl Jive, Ben Marichal, David Freese, Stew Hillner and Tom Driscoll. But in 1970, most of us wouldn’t have known much about them, if anything.
Taking a look back to the production of the first show, as documented in Rob Durkee’s book, American Top 40: The Countdown Of The Century, the staff recalled what it was like as they initially worked on what is now one of radio’s greatest success stories. According to producer/writer Don Bustany, “we got the chart in the afternoon and it took maybe four or five hours to get the script in shape.”
Once recording was underway in the Watermark studio later that day, it became a very lengthy and tedious session to produce a three-hour countdown. According to record coordinator Earl Jive, “I remember that first show was 18 hours. The sun was up in the morning when we walked out of there.”
In short, the studio portion of launching this new radio program began Tuesday evening and wrapped up Wednesday morning. So why would a 3-hour radio show take 18 hours to record? One reason was to give the utmost audio quality to a syndicated radio show, something that similar ventures were known to lack. Another reason was to achieve a desired sound, to give the impression that Casey Kasem was hosting a live radio program, and by playing one record after another.
According to Rob’s book, “All the elements of AT40 were recorded at the same time – that is, in ‘real time.’ Everything – Casey’s voice tracks, the jingles, the theme music, and the records – was recorded at once. There was no editing of voice tracks or anything else.” And during this particular recording session, since the show was divided into six 25-minute, 'live radio show' segments, if Casey made a mistake during one of those segments, they stopped and started over. Casey further explained the concern.
“The people producing the show didn’t want to cut the tape. They were afraid it’d break in high-speed duplication and we’d lose it. So I’d have to go for 20 minutes at a time without making a mistake.” Once one segment was completed, they moved on to the next one. In a nutshell, that's a description of how they recorded the show. However, while most AMERICAN TOP 40 fans may be aware of the countdown’s overnight recording session, most don’t realize that scarcely 60 hours transpired after board engineer Bill Hergonson turned off Casey Kasem’s microphone – and the newly formed staff wrapped up the countdown’s production for the first time – when AMERICAN TOP 40 debuted ON-THE-AIR in San Diego. Barely 60 hours later. And then, a day or two after that, in six other cities scattered all over the USA, from Boston to Honolulu.
In order to meet this incredible delivery deadline, immediately following an 18-hour studio session, the next step in Watermark’s assembly line was program duplication. Once the first show’s recording was ‘in the can,’ making copies of the master for all seven of AT40’s affiliates took place. Each of 3 program hours were transferred to individual Scotch-brand, 10-inch reel-to-reel tapes. And with seven radio stations under contract, seven sets of three reels were produced, then boxed and labeled for shipment. And those boxes of AT40’s first show were sent that same day – Wednesday, July 1st – undoubtedly marked “urgent” and slated for delivery, no later than Friday, July 3rd, to all seven radio stations. And just in time for a weekend broadcast.
To say it was a rushed process is an understatement. And even though hurried, they maintained the highest levels of industry quality. And believe it or not, this ‘breakneck speed’ set of production/duplication/shipping procedures went on every week until May 1971. In fact, in April 1971, there were approximately 100 affiliates airing the countdown every week. And that meant Watermark was responsible for duplicating and shipping 100 sets of 3 reel-to-reel tapes every week. Should I mention here that AT40’s affiliates were then required to return the reel-to-reel tapes every week? Indeed, they were.
And, as operations manager, it was Stew Hillner’s responsibility to coordinate this entire process. So here it is, 50 years later -- to the exact day of that evening recording session -- on the occasion of a momentous anniversary. Now may be an appropriate time to tune in and enjoy AMERICAN TOP 40's first program.
And it's also a fitting time to express gratitude to a handful of dedicated individuals -- Casey Kasem, Don Bustany, Tom Rounds, Ron Jacobs, Cap'n Billy Hergonson, Earl Jive, Ben Marichal, David Freese, Stew Hillner and Tom Driscoll -- as well as dozens of other members of the AT40 family.
And here are a few of them: Nikki Wine, Alan Kaltman, Sandy Stert-Benjamin, Peter Skye, Paul Grein, Scott Paton, Matt Wilson, Johnny Biggs, Steve Buth, Brian Heimerl, Tom Kratochvil, Gary Landis, Ron Shapiro, Jeff Leonard, Janis Hahn, Lynn Meriwether, Allen Goldblatt, Darryl Morden, Nancy Conover, Dana Schwarzwalter, Ranais Jeanne Hill, Larry Nixon, Paul Liebeskind, Stu Jacobs, Anne Strohecker, Maura Sindell, Guy Aoki, Barbara Rounds, Robin Carr, Imad Jamal, Tom Sottrell, Shannon Lynn, Ken Martin, Rob Durkee, Shadoe Stevens, Scott Lakefield, Lorre Crimi, Merrill Shindler, Elizabeth Rollins, Jay Goldsworthy, Elaine Stieglitz, Paul Colbert, Tracy Pierson, Mike Williams, Michael Sullivan, David Cohen, John Musgraves, Bill Stroum, Toby James Petty, Bobbi Kaminski, Ray Hernandez, Michael Cooper, Sal Cocio, Kerri Kasem, Gonzalo Venecia, Michael Cross, Mike Savage, Khalilah Dawkins, Dade Nunez, Mike Kasem, Julie Kasem and Larry Morgan.
|Author: With a transistor radio tuned to WLS and WCFL, Pete Battistini became a Top 40 radio fan during the summer of 1968, and began picking up their weekly singles surveys every week. “Soon after, I discovered Billboard magazine [thanks to ABC-TV's Music Scene] and Casey Kasem's American Top 40. My interest in AT40 continued throughout the 70s and 80s, resulting in the publication of two American Top 40 books. Although an outsider to AT40 and Watermark, its parent company, I continue today to be fascinated with the show's history and what brought it to worldwide popularity,” said Pete. (Photo: Pete meeting Casey at an industry conference in August 1981)|
|(July 2, 2020) I got into book
publishing quite by accident. Back in the early 90s I was wondering
where some of my early radio heroes at KFWB/Channel 98 rock ‘n roll
Color Radio had gone and what they were doing now. They played such
an important role in my sibling-less life as they became my brothers
and sisters as I cruised the streets of Santa Monica. Chuck Berry
was blaring from my ’54 Ford convertible radio or while on the beach
with my transistor radio down at State Beach, Muscle Beach or
Neeny’s Sorrento at the bottom of the incline.
There was no Google, heck computers were barely navigable to me.
I tracked down the Seven Swinging Gentleman, one by one. Some by phone. Some by snail mail. One lead seemed to lead to another on how to find them. Once finished, I turned to the 11-10/Men at KRLA. Now it was becoming fun. Some had gone on to a tv career like Bob Eubanks. Others not so fortunate. One I found living in a box on Vermont near Hollywood Blvd.
I had been out of radio in LA for twenty years at that point. After being the first hire to put together KIQQ (K100/fm) for the Weyerhaeuser Lumber family, the station was sold to Drake/Chenault and I left radio and got into my second love – movies and became a marketing executive for Columbia, Universal, and MGM/UA for the next two decades.
While mulling over the KFWB and KRLA lists of these pioneering djs, a radio buddy thought this would be a fascinating book. Yeah, right. Maybe for a handful of people. I decided to enlarge the landscape to include jocks from all formats and create a quick look at those on-air folks who have entertained us. Each time I talked with someone, I would get contact info on colleagues. Almost like a game of tag.
During this process, I had lunch with Anita
Garner, who worked afternoons at KBIG. We didn’t know each
other at this point but beyond research for my book, we
discovered we had much in common, including mothers struggling
with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease.
I found her background and history fascinating. I knew others would love discovering a unique world of a family following a preacher father and gospel-singing mother through the tent revival South. Well, Anita went on to write that story and after a decade-plus of rewriting for print and the stage, it is finished.
“University of Alabama Press is moving forward with production of The Glory Road: A Gospel Gypsy Life scheduled for Spring 2021,” wrote a thrilled Anita, who now makes her home in Northern California. “This book still feels like a miracle, considering how many decades the story waited for me to finish writing it.”
Anita never considered self-publication, Amazon or vanity press. Her efforts were good enough to attract a big-time publisher and against formidable odds, the finish line is in sight. “Book publishing is a long process. It’s complicated and sophisticated stuff and for me every stage is exciting. I plan to keep enjoying it. I can’t think of a different way to say ‘uncertain times', ‘unprecedented’ or ‘challenging’ so let’s just say everything about book tours, appearances and marketing in general continues to shift. The new approach may be a marathon rather than a sprint.”
For all the Los Angeles Radio People who have written memoirs and then challenged with the daunting marketing challenge to sell the book in a world overloaded with messages, our hats are off to Anita. She has done it. She has beaten the odds in finding a publisher to do the heavy lifting. Anita’s enjoying the process, allowing someone else to steer the ship. She’s been through the editing system allowing a team of editors and proofreaders to dissect the book. That part of the process is finished. And now she just received the cover for her book and is she excited! Marketing is down the road.
“Who knows how we’ll meet readers in 2021? Meanwhile, I’m going to keep enjoying this cover,” said Anita.
|Thanks to Douglas Brown for this capture of a February 1979 R&R page with a fun shot of some KHJ staff.|
|(July 1, 2020)
A LARP is heading the
new 24/7 national and local all-News audio service from iHeartMedia.
The Black Information Network will be dedicated to providing an
“objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news coverage
with a Black voice and perspective,” according to a press release.
An LA iHeart station is not part of the launch but AM stations, translators and HD signals in Atlanta, Augusta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbus, GA, Detroit, Greenville, Macon, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Norfolk (full-powered fm), Riverside, San Francisco and Seattle will be. The company seems to be focusing on different platforms to build brand awareness for the network overall and getting listeners to stream or listen to podcasts on the iHeartRadio app.
Tony Coles has been tapped as president of the new network. He arrived in the Southland in 1996 to program Soft AC station, KXEZ, which he later switched to KIBB. Coles is currently the division president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.
“BIN: Black Information Network will fill a void by providing continual news and objective information with full focus on the Black community. We began developing our 24/7 Black news source last year, and events of the last few weeks, especially the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd, highlighted the need for this network. Now is the time for our voice to be heard, and I could not be more proud of our work and the team we are assembling at BIN,” said Coles.
The network will also be available on the
iHeartRadio app and some of BIN’s content will be distributed every
day as podcasts across iHeartRadio’s podcast network.
In addition to traditional advertising, the company will provide sponsorship, similar to the way NPR stations will announce, "this segment brought to you by..." iHeart has lined up some impressive sponsors such as Bank of America, CVS Health, GEICO, Lowe’s, McDonald’s USA, Sony, 23andMe and Verizon.
BIN will be a standalone business for iHeart.
BIN will also provide the news service for iHeartMedia’s 91 Hip Hop, r&b and Gospel stations across the country, including Power 105.1-New York, Real 92.3 in Los Angeles, WDAS and Power 99 in Philadelphia, WGCI and WVAZ in Chicago, WJLB-Detroit, The Beat in Houston, The Beat in Miami, WQUE-New Orleans, KMEL-San Francisco and more.
Hear Ache. Buster Bodine, ex-KPWR jock, noted that Into the Night’s Benny Mardones, died at age 73 from Parkinson's disease in Menifee, CA. RIP … Poorman’s Morning Rush is being added to the KLUK-Needles morning line-up … Local tv news got a little more naked as two longtime personalities create a familiarity hole. 43-year KCBS/2 veteran Dave Lopez is retiring while KNBC/4 weatherman Fritz Coleman ended his career last weekend … KCSN (88.5/fm) is throwing its support behind independent music, as they host a two-day, virtual music festival over the July Fourth weekend. … Saga Communications has added former KHTZ personality Steve Kamer as the new imaging voice for its 11 CBS-affiliated News-Talk stations.