Final Curtain Comes Down on

(November 8, 2012) This is the final act for LARadio. My love affair with covering the LARadio landscape for the past 20 years with my three books and the website has come to an end.

Officially it ended a year ago September, but there were hundreds of supporters with time left on their subscriptions and I felt it only fair to fulfill that time. The reasons for ending the site are no different today than they were 14 months ago.

This time there are no long goodbyes. No parades.

As it turned out, during the additional year, we were pleased to break some very big, exclusive stories – just recently KROQ's Bean donating one of his kidneys to CBS/LA and West Coast engineer Scott Mason and Mark Thompson’s retirement from the KLOS morning show with Brian Phelps.

The thank you’s are plentiful to Alan Oda, Anita Garner, the Insane Darrell Wayne, the late Jim Hawthorne, Jim Hilliker, Scott St. James, Christian Wheel, and Steve Thompson.

My goal from day one with my books and later website was to pay tribute to the men and women who have entertained us in LARadio for the past half century. My goal every day was to provide something you didn’t know, about what was going on in today’s radio.

I wanted to pay tribute to those who had gone before us and blazed the trail. Many of our profiles filled in so many missing pieces about the stories of our favorites we only thought we knew from behind the microphone. If you read a story and said, ‘I didn’t know that,’ or ‘that’s fascinating,’ then I accomplished my task..

Some of the personality profiles were presented in startling detail. Again, always with the goal of lifting our people to the highest highs.

And when Los Angeles Radio People died, I never wanted that LARP, no matter how big or small, to leave in obscurity. I attended more funerals, celebrations of life, and memorials than anyone should, but when it was over, they got the proper send-off. It was important to me to make sure he or she didn’t leave as an unknown, but rather as a part of this fraternity of Los Angeles Radio People.

I never wanted radio to be thought of only as “the way it used to be.”  I never wanted to live in the past. Oh, yes, I wanted everyone to be aware of the past, but never to live there. My intention was always to lift the medium up and be proud. When management or personalities stumbled, I was quick to point that out – not in a pejorative way but rather, how can we do radio better.

I was lucky enough to work for Gordon McLendon. I traveled to FCC hearings with Gordon. We spent hours in airplanes one-on-one. I was fortunate to experience his genius, in fact, in my lifetime he was the only genius I worked for. Do we have geniuses today ready to give radio a new coat of paint and find a way to serve the listeners and not just serve Wall Street? If the product is good and the radio station resonates with the people, everything else will take care of itself.

And the genius in my life for 55 years, my dearest friend, colleague, and mentor Earl McDaniel continues to be an inspirational force in my life.

I have been blessed with five careers (radio programming and management; tv news anchor; motion picture marketing; a family therapist; and author/publisher). I believe I have one more career in me and I will decide among three of them (all non-radio) after the holidays. Cherie and I will be spending much of December in New York for our honeymoon, smelling chestnuts roasting on every corner, experiencing the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, visiting friends, and absorbing the magic of Manhattan at this magical time.

While the Where Are They Now pages and Archives are no longer available, hopefully resources will be found to house them on the site.

Kind regards,

Don Barrett

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Last modified: November 16, 2012