LARadio Archives
January 2015
Compiled and written by Don Barrett
Edited by Alan Oda

 

Lee Baby Simms, KRLA/KMET/KROQ Veteran from the 70s, Dies

(January 30, 2015) Lee “Baby” Simms, a veteran of Los Angeles radio, has died. Claude Hall, former editor of Billboard Magazine’s “Vox Jox” section, reported the following:

"One of my best friends died yesterday (January 27).  This is all speculation so far, but it appears as if Lee Baby Simms got up yesterday morning, walked out onto his back porch where he grew tomatoes, and shot himself in the stomach, according to his daughter Kim Simms. He was 72 and recovering from cancer."

Born Gilmore LaMar Simms in 1944, in Charleston, South Carolina, Lee dropped out of high school at 16, thinking he could learn more about life by experiencing life. He began jocking at WTMA as “Hot Toddio on the Radio.”

One of his early mentors was George Wilson. “George saved my life. George was my great inspirational guide. George taught me how to get people to listen to me; he taught me how to relate to them, and he taught me entertainment in radio,” said Lee.

He got his nickname “Baby” from Woody Roberts, pd of WONO-San Antonio. “I was a kid and they were kids and we got off together.” In the 1960s he wrote Time for the Pozo Seco Singers. The label reads “Mouse Merchant” which was the name of his cat.

In 1965 he worked in Phoenix and traveled with the Beatles to Las Vegas. Lee worked at WPOP-Hartford from 1966 to 1968, followed by stops in San Diego and San Antonio before returning to San Diego. He jocked at KCBQ-San Diego before arriving in the L.A. market. He first worked as Lee Simms, then later with the nom de plume Matthew “Doc” Frail.

His first night on KRLA was the day of the 1971 San Fernando earthquake. Lee discussed how he was always preparing his next show. “I think about my show all the time, every waking moment. If anything happens that I think is interesting, or relatable, I’ll tell it. If I think of some line, I’ll write it down so I won’t forget it. Good jocks are those that do good, unexpected things.”

In 1973, KRLA went MOR, and Lee was teamed with Johnny Hayes in morning drive. He also made brief stops at KROQ and KTNQ (Ten-Q), the latter for two nights. In the early 1980s he was working at KFOG-San Francisco and KDUF-Honolulu. In 1985 Lee joined the morning team at WLVE-Miami. In 1992, Simms landed at KYA-San Francisco, but by 1994 he relocated to KOOL in Phoenix. While at KOOL, Lee had the #1 show in just 90 days. In 1997, Lee was contacted by Steve Rivers, pd at San Francisco’s KISQ, prompting Simms to return to the Bay Area. His KISQ radio show was also heard via syndication on WUBT-Chicago.

Simms, by his own recollection, worked at 35 stations in 22 markets and was fired 25 times because he “never accepted an insult from anyone.” While at WPOP in 1966-67, Simms would often break format and go on lengthy tirades to complain about long hair, sloppily-dressed teenagers, rude people and other annoyances. He told an interviewer from the Hartford Courant, “I don’t like anything, including Hartford.”

Simms was outraged in 1986 upon the release of an Indie film, Down by Law. Tom Waits played one of three men who were arrested and imprisoned and then plotted an escape. Waits' character, Zack, was a New Orleans disc jockey known as Lee “Baby” Simms. The real Simms threatened a lawsuit but Waits later explained that he used the name as a tribute and had no idea Simms was still in radio. Robert Wiesbuch, former president of Drew University, has written a book titled Hitbound chronicling the careers of Simms, Joey Reynolds, Woody Roberts and other radio personalities. The book has yet to be published.

Ken Levine, as part of his tribute to Lee at his blog, , offered these final words: "Lee Baby Sims deserved more recognition. He deserved to be in whatever Halls of Fame the radio industry concocts. He was a true original and a shining example of how radio could be great.  He elevated the medium to an art form. Pity he was never really appreciated in his time. RIP Lee Baby. You were the best."

Blurred Story. With just two weeks to go before a scheduled trial over whether Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines is a copyright infringement of Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give It Up, the dispute has gone nuclear in the past 24 hours.  U.S. District John Kronstadt abruptly changed his mind on a key issue and then denied an attempt to delay the trial for an appeal. On Wednesday, the judge said he made an error with his initial ruling, that the recording of Gaye’s legendary song was completely inadmissible at trial.

The trial pits Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams against the children of the late Motown legend. The Gaye family charges Thicke and Williams illegally copied protected elements of Got to Give It Up when the duo wrote their number one song. Since the recording wasn’t deposited with the Copyright Office in the 1970s, the dispute is whether Gaye’s copyrights were limited to elements presented in the sheet music composition.

In new papers, the Gaye family asserts the judge is misreading copyright law to the extent that it could have “drastic and devastating consequences for intellectual property” and “allow infringers to steal classic portions of the songs by Marvin Gaye, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, and every other iconic artist whose works were created before 1978.”

The full story appears in the current issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

LARadio Rewind: January 30, 2010. At a luncheon at Vitello’s Restaurant in Studio City, Art Laboe is honored by his peers with the LARadio Lifetime Achievement Award. (Presented by Don Barrett)

Born Arthur Egnoian in 1925 in Salt Lake City, he began his career at age 13 by assembling a ham radio and playing records for his local neighborhood. In 1943 he landed a one-hour late-night show at KSAN-San Francisco and changed his name to Laboe after the station’s secretary. He worked in radio in Palm Springs and Reno and was briefly at KRKD. He joined KXLA in 1949, then worked at KGFJ, KFWB and KPOP in the 1950s.

For ten years, Laboe broadcast from Scrivener’s Drive-In at Sunset and Cahuenga. Because so many fans requested oldies, Laboe coined the term “Oldies But Goodies” and launched Original Sound Records, which has released 15 Oldies But Goodies compilation albums.

From 1955 to 1961, Laboe staged dances at El Monte Legion Stadium. Since 1960 he has worked at KRLA, KDAY, KPPC, XEPRS, KRLA, KRTH, KFI and KCMG/KHHT. Laboe hosts two syndicated programs, Art Laboe Connection and Sunday Special.

He received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 1981 and was inducted into the Radio Hall Of Fame in 2012. Laboe’s favorite song: Since I Don't Have You by the Skyliners. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson) 

Musical Chairs. Just as Cumulus, owners of KABC, signed Mark Levin to a 5-year extension, KABC announces they are dropping Levin from their lineup. KRLA (AM 870 / The Answer), picked up Levin and will broadcast his show in afternoon drive. Hugh Hewitt, previously in afternoons moves to a 6 p.m. start. Meanwhile, Dennis Miller is dropped from KRLA to make room for Levin. 

Yet Miller will continue to be heard locally, as he now moves to late-night at KABC (10 p.m. to 1 a.m.), followed by Red-Eye Radio from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Peter Tilden will slide down to 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  

“This move consolidates and strengthens our live and local lineup,” according to a station spokesperson.  “Our station now has well known, compelling Southern California personalities from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and a bona fide Hollywood personality in Miller for late nights. The Talkradio 790 KABC lineup is crafted to be entertaining, relevant, compelling and uniquely Southern California.”

These changes take effect next week.

Hear Ache. KFI/KEIB’s David Cruz is on a leave of absence … Sad that songwriter/poet Rod McKuen has died. He was 81 … Marc Germain (formerly Mr. KABC / Mr. KFI and nationally syndicated weekend host of Red Eye Radio) is bringing his unique brand of Talk Radio to KXNT FM/AM-Las Vegas all next week from 6-9 p.m. We can listen live at: http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/. Germain has made his home in Las Vegas for the past five years and has been hosting a nightly live show and podcast from his TalkRadioOne.com base.

 Funnie.  (thanks to Timmy Manocheo)

Email Friday

We GET Email …

** Shocking Simms News

“It’s quite shocking. I haven’t been in touch with Lee Simms since I worked with him in the 70s but I always admired his exceptional creativity and wit. I’m so sorry to hear it and my heart goes out to his family and friends.” – Shadoe Stevens

** Lee Simms Made Up

Lee Simms was at KCBQ when I arrived at KGB in San Diego. He was working evenings. One night, I was fascinated by a rather lengthy story he was sharing about a James Taylor song he was about to play. It seems that James had been in a mental institution and met a woman there who became a close friend and inspiration. If I recall correctly, Lee went on to share that the magnetic woman died and many other details about their friendship. It was the inspiration for the song.

As the tale went on, it was pretty impossible to tune out. The fable ended with the James Taylor song Lee was talking about.

Sometime later, I was talking with Lee on the phone and asked him how he collected all these great stories and mentioned the James Taylor piece in particular. He paused and said, ‘Oh, I just made that up. But it was a pretty good story, wasn’t it!’

He made it all up! Lee Simms…unique and unrepeatable.” – Charlie Van Dyke

** Plum Sad Over Simms’ Death

“The saddest news EVER! Lee Baby was so nice to me and so kind. He and his lady took me out to eat in Honolulu on my first trip there in 1977 and I first met him when he was considering a gig at TEN-Q.

I will never forget his wacky sense of humor. I am really bummed.” – Nancy Plum

** iHeart Missing at PPB

“At the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters luncheon last week that honored Rick Dees, there were about 300 attendees. The speakers that honored Rick were terrific and spoke of his tremendous talent and huge impact on Los Angeles Radio and also station KIIS.

However, it was interesting and a sign of the times that other than Mark Wallengren who is a member of PPB, there was no one there from Clear Channel. I was surprised and dismayed that iHeart (Clear Channel) did not buy a table or two. It was Rick’s morning show many years ago that drove the ratings at that time for KIIS and made the station a dominant force in Los Angeles and helped to increase revenues for the entire market [a rising tide lifts all ships]. The local management and others at KIIS should have been at the luncheon – at least that is what I believe. There was a time in Los Angeles when radio people bonded and became friends and were supportive of one another. Apparently and sadly, that time has long passed.” – Bob Fox

** Non-Comms

“Good story. Thanks. In fact your comments regarding the changes are more than accurate. How many students run or on the air at KPPC, KCRW and KUSC? The focus of those stations in recent years has been on providing the community with alternative but needed programming. Classical and Jazz are two music formats that more than fill this bill.” – Chuck Southcott

** Fritz the Comedian

"Thanks Don for link to Fritz Coleman’s stand up. He is very funny, and he was so at the PPB luncheon.

It was great to see Harvey Kern’s comments on KNJO/fm 92.7. I worked there late 70s with Alan Fischler, too. The only time I saw him get upset is when our pd allowed us to play a Rita Coolidge L.P. He did put the dots on it, but I guessed he missed one cut.  Alan stormed the studio, I was on the air at the time, brought in the pd and yelled at him.  I ended up getting the L.P.” – John Newton

** Vegas Radio

“I agree with Bob Morgan about Las Vegas Radio. My wife and I were just there this last week. The only one station that was tolerable was Old School 105.7. Vegas tv news is the worst. I was watching the News on CBS Channel 8 and the female anchor was wearing some outfit that would make sense if she were in Wisconsin or Chicago. She kept tripping on her words. I couldn’t wait to get home to Palm Springs and watch CBS Local 2 where they have two top notch anchors Kris Long and Brooke Beare.” – Dale Berg, 969theoasis.org

** Blurred Lines

“Wow, what a sad Marvin Gaye story of a composition that we loved so much. One of the greatest songs of all time! I outta know. I’m so blessed to have been in this industry for some of the most memorable moments of all of radio and the record business. 

Maybe I will write a book myself.” – Chrissy Hamilton


Radio Still Rules

(January 29, 2015) Good news for AM and FM Radio. Despite all the noise about the overwhelming popularity of streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, most music is still heard via traditional AM and FM, according to a new report by Morgan Stanley Research and featured in the current issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

Radio accounts for 86% of audio consumption across most age groups, and half of that is done while in a car. Still, worth noting is the numbers for traditional AM and FM are beginning to decline because of more options provided by the auto manufacturers. Newer cars come with Pandora, Spotify and iHeart Radio alongside SiriusXM, which splinters the listening across so many platforms.

70% of the survey’s respondents say they have little or no interest in paying for a subscription-based streaming service. As far as demographics, SiriusXM tends to attract the oldest listeners, at over 65 years on average, while Spotify appeals to the youngest group, between 18-29.

The survey shows AM-FM users at 298 million, down to Spotify users (free and paying) at 14 million.

Hear Ache. Beau Weaver has a fun gig this week, working as the announcer on CBS’s The Late Late Show with Regis Philbin and others guest hosting in the interim as the network gets ready for James Corden in March. “Fortunately, I did not have to trek through the snow to West 57th Street,” said Beau, “but was able to do my part from my warm Ojai studio … Mark Levin’s syndication deal with Westwood One has been extended through 2020. Levin is heard on over 300 stations across the nation. Locally, Levin is carried early evenings on KABC ... KNX‘s On Your Corner returns to Burbank tomorrow with a broadcast live From The Castaway restaurant. The special programming is designed to give listeners insight into the unique attributes of the area and you are invited. Free appetizers and refreshments will be offered to attendees throughout the broadcast day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Fritz is Hardly on the Fritz. We know Fritz Coleman best as the weather guy at KNBC/Channel for decades, but he worked in radio early in his career. Last Friday, he appeared on the dais honoring Rick Dees. Fritz is also a comedian, hosting many events and appearing in comedy clubs.

He talked to a group on aging that is absolutely hysterical. Click the artwork for 15 minutes of fun.

Radio Gets Poorer. Not only is Mark Thompson returning to LA airwaves as the host of the new morning show at 100.3/The Sound, another rock-n-roll veteran is also returning to the radio dial. Poorman re-joins KCAA in the Inland Empire beginning at 1 p.m. for an hour a day. “The format is new, fresh, and definitely controversial (in a good way)! I promise you nobody else is doing or would dare doing what I'm going to do,” said Poorman, the alias of Jim Trenton.

Sileo Morning Sports. “We’re killing it in both LA and San Diego,” wrote Dan Sileo, morning host at the Mighty 1090 Sports. “I see why Wolfman did well on this signal! From our numbers guys, we have 8.5 share #1 in the market Men 25-54 in Week 4. Now we are showing up in Los Angeles. I also have a client in Santa Barbara. Some dude got a diary and 1090 finished with a 4 share Men 25-54 for the fall book 200 miles away.”

LARadio Rewind: January 29, 2008. Kurt St. Thomas launches Houndstooth Radio, an Internet station broadcasting from the garage of his Los Angeles home.  Born in 1963 in Richmond, Virginia, St. Thomas worked as a dj and music director at alternative-rock WFNX in Boston from 1987 to 1995. In 1991 he world-premiered Nirvana’s Nevermind album. In 2004 he co-wrote a biography, Nirvana: The Chosen Rejects. St. Thomas jocked at Indie 103.1 KDLD/KDLE in 2008 and did weekends and fill-in on KROQ from 2009 to 2012. After WFNX became adult hits WHBA “The Harbor” in 2012, WFNX returned as an Internet-only station. St. Thomas returned to Boston to program WFNX.com but the station lasted only five months. St. Thomas has written and produced five independent feature films and has produced music videos for Kathleen Edwards, Orange, Orbit, Reel Big Fish, Rustic Overtones and other artists. Houndstooth Radio’s slogan is “New and classic indie rock. No format, no rules, no commercials.” The station can be heard at http://www.houndstoothradio.com/

Mark & Brian Survivor. Kelli Gates worked with Mark & Brian at KLOS for over a decade. She played an important role in the success in the iconic run of M&B. She moved to Santa Rosa in Sonoma County for a new gig. She is now killing it as host of The Kelli and Big Jon Show on 97.7 The River FM (KVRV).

"I thought you’d like to know that after putting Kelli Gates together with Big Jon Snyder the new River morning show debuted with a 10.2 share in 25-54 Men in the new Nielsen, just out last week,’ emailed gm Michael O'Shea. “Mornings are up from a 7.1 share with the previous syndicated morning show. So far out in First that you can’t even see #2 <smile>”

Funnie. Thanks to Timmy Manocheo

 

Email Thursday

We GET Email …

** Shotgun Remembers Bob Shannon

“I must say, I'm in shock to hear about Bob Shannon passing. We worked at KCBQ together and in later years K-Earth 101. On my way to San Diego on Friday nights we would have dinner together and talk about the great times we had. We were at the KRIZ-Phoenix reunion and I got to introduce Bob on stage.

I loved Bob so much. He will be missed.” – Shotgun Tom Kelly

** Early Playlist Control

“Your funnie brought back memories of the late 1970’s at KNJO-Thousand Oaks (“Stereo 92”). We were one of the first stereo fm stations in the area.

Our format clock was simple:  News at the top of the hour. Instrumental, group vocal. Spots. Instrumental, Male vocal. Spots. Instrumental, female vocal.  Repeat second half hour.  

Owner Alan Fischler was very concerned over the instrumental music [all this from LPs], and he loved to shop at Thrifty Drug Stores [remember them – before Rite Aid] and buy their highly discounted discs with Mantovani, Percy Faith, et al.  He then listened to each one and glued ‘stick on’ white dots on cuts he did not want played on the air.  We had a label on each LP so we could record the date each cut was played and rules as to how often we could play them.  Colored tape was placed on the side of the albums--red (females), blue (males), green (instrumental), yellow (groups), and white (piano).  Plus others. So they were visible on the shelves.

Same codes for 45s when we finally started to play them.

It was a simpler time.  G-d forbid we started a cut with a dot –you can imagine the embarrassment when the needle hit it.  :-( ” – Harvey Kern, Los Angeles

** Talkers Reviewed

“Just listening to the morning radio and made rounds of talk radio while driving to sample what’s there. I noticed in recent weeks that KFI is pushing Line App as another tool that listeners can use to contact air hosts and station generally, besides the more conventional email, telephone and snail mail and the widely used Twitter.

KABC over the past year used to promote texting to the station for directly reaching shows but I haven’t heard that promotion for about the same time period that the KFI Line App began. I have no idea why or what that changed promotion was about, but with KABC and the lineup changes, you just can’t tell what’s up there. I can only suppose the texting for KABC was not worth whatever it took to manage compared to listener contacts received.

As an aside regarding programming: For changes there at KABC, I just can’t get behind the Judge Cristina show, Bryan Suits gave a lot of information on a range of current events, adding the coloration to the picture that his military experience and personal contacts enabled.  The change for that time slot is simply a total subject matter change and not an effort to provide material from another air personality’s point of view.

Still miss Larry Elder on the air. Although the shift of Jillian & John’s time slot to afternoon drive preserves their show, their mid-day position was better as John & Ken continue to be informative and provocative of criticism many times, as well.  This is where the Larry Elder presence afforded me a choice as the alternative during that time slot.

Well, this is just a listener opinion and observation. I have no real information on what's actually the plan for any of these changes, aside from the goal of making a station advertiser-attractive.

And, as usual, your column puts a lot of what happens regarding the radio industry into some interesting context and fills in a lot of the past all-around.” – Robert Guevara, Eagle Rock

** Vegas Radio

“Radio in Las Vegas is unlistenable. I haven’t turned one on in two years. Television is the same, the Fox News channel here is a joke. They have morning news with two buffoons who can’t stop laughing at each other.  The woman is nothing more than a live laugh track, and the guy can’t begin a sentence without the word ‘I.’

I’ve worked with some of the most egocentric people in the biz and nobody I have ever met can top this geek.  I was looking at some of your archives and came across Dave Conley. I worked with Dave at KSEE and TenQ (KTNQ).  KSEE owner was Frank McComber.  He hired Dave in Santa Maria and at one time it was Don Sanchez in the morning, I did middays and Dave did afternoons. Man what a trip that was back in 1966/67. Spending the ‘summer of love’ on the radio with Dave Conley was an ‘E’ ticket ride!” – Bob Morgan 


KNX Sports Team Winners

(January 28, 2015) KNX has received the 2014 Radio Anchor Staff Award by the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association. Awards for radio and television excellence were presented Monday at the SCSB’s 23rd annual awards luncheon at the Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake. The SCSB has been a major forum for recognizing and advancing sports broadcasting in Southern California since 1958. Its Hall of Fame includes Vin Scully, Dick Enberg, Tom Harmon, Keith Jackson, Don Drysdale, Chick Hearn, Gil Stratton, Jim Hill, Fred Roggin and Ralph Lawler, to name a few.  [Photo (l-r): KNX 1070 sports anchors Geoff Witcher, Joe Cala, Steve Grad, Randy Kerdoon and Chris Madsen]

KNX morning sports anchor Randy Kerdoon (right with Jackson) got to say hello to veteran sportscaster Keith Jackson at this week’s SCSB luncheon.

Randy wrote on Facebook: "Once upon a time, a Pierce JC student working as a delivery boy for a Sherman Oaks liquor store asked a customer who was a network sportscaster if he would listen to his play-by-play cassette tape. That sports guy listened and took the time to type out a two page critique, which I still have today." Forty-two years later, the two, caught up at ‪#‎SCSBA awards.

Overheard.

Seacrest on AT 40. Ryan Seacrest recently appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to talk about the 14th season of American Idol.  During the interview, Fallon and Seacrest discussed their mutual love for American Top 40 when they were growing up. 

Seacrest shared that as a kid, he would set up a Radio Shack mixer in his bedroom and make tapes pretending to be AT40’s original host and creator Casey Kasem, who would ask Seacrest to introduce the #1 song of the week.  Seacrest and Fallon also chatted about how shocked they were when Fallon’s song Ew! featuring will.i.am made the Top 40 chart. 

Click the artwork to view the episode of The Tonight Show, during which Seacrest and Fallon teamed up for a game of Charades against actress Taraji P. Henson and The Roots’ Tariq.

Here’s a Riddle. Sam Riddle shared some insight on how Paul Harvey played a role in his early radio life. This appeared in Claude Hall’s tasty newsletter.

“Paul Harvey did not know it, but he taught me the art of timing on radio. My first real radio job at 17 was at KRBC in Abilene, Texas.  I was the morning jock and rip and read newsman from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., which included running down the hall for the KRBC/TV station breaks and back to radio control for Paul Harvey at 12 Noon.  I will always remember talking right up to noon so when I stopped suddenly, with a flick of the switch, Paul would start talking ... and 15 minutes later he would say Paul Harvey ... GOOD DAY! and I had the switch on live for at least 60 seconds prior to saying ... Sam Riddle ... HELLO MUSIC LOVERS ... AND THIS IS THE MUSIC FROM K R B C ... ABILENE.  And the rest was rock and roll to LA.”

O’Malley Promoted. Paul O’Malley, Cumulus vp/brand solutions, has been promoted to senior vp, Strategic Sales Partnerships, for Westwood One.  This newly-created Strategic Sales division will specialize in the vast multi-platform programs that Westwood One and Cumulus Media have to offer, including live sporting events, Red Carpet Radio music and entertainment events, print, NASH, live concerts, and more.  Paul will oversee the development and execution of high-level partner activations and innovations with clients and agencies.  He is based in Atlanta and reports directly to Steve Shaw, Westwood One President.

Paul worked at KYSR (Star 98.7) from 1997-2003. He was made station manager in early 2001.

In a Cumulus press release, O’Malley said, “I am excited by the opportunity to deliver experiential solutions which will encompass national scale and local engagement. The best brands in the U.S. are asking for new, innovative, and measured programs.  Westwood One and Cumulus have assets and capabilities that are unparalleled in the industry and that deliver results for advertisers.  I look forward to growing our client base and driving revenue across our platforms.” 

LARadio Rewind: January 28, 2014. J.J. Johnson releases Aircheck: Life in Music Radio as a Kindle edition.

Johnson began in radio at age 17 at WABQ in Cleveland. He later worked at KYOK in Houston and WGRT in Chicago before spending three years as program director of KFRC/fm. Johnson was heard on KDAY from 1974 to 1991, before the station switched from r&b/hip-hop to financial news/talk. He also served two stints as program director. In 1980, believing that rap music was “a flash in the pan,” Johnson dropped it from the playlist. Ratings dropped and the ban was lifted two years later.

In his book, Johnson discussed his intuition: “I knew by listening when one of my jocks was reading the newspaper in the studio. No one ever protested when I would call and say, ‘Put the paper down and pay attention, please.’ They knew I knew.” In the 1990s-2000s, Johnson worked at KJLH, KKBT, KACE, KMLT and KRBV. He now does freelance audio production. Click the book cover to buy his book.

 

Michael Linder Calls it Quits. “That’s a wrap, Los Angeles” is how veteran news broadcaster Michael Linder announced his retirement from Los Angeles Radio on his Facebook page. “Thirty-one years of making media in the City of Angels is over. Time to call it quits and move after four tv stations and two networks, four radio stations, projects for the Times and LA Weekly, and sharing amazing L.A. stories on the BBC and Radio New Zealand.”

Linder continued: “Slinking out of town is a lame plot twist to decades of documenting L.A.’s best and worst though a journo’s POV and the possibly misguided notion that exposing tragedy and celebrating triumph really can help make things better. But opportunity sometimes evaporates without a trace under the SoCal sun, so much spilled gas on the 405. It’s one of Los Angeles’ oldest trademark tropes and it’s my turn to play it, though I so prefer L.A. love stories, however bizarre. Sorry, I’m pathetic at goodbyes – especially leaving so many great friends, colleagues and characters in the spectacular hometown I adopted and love. Thank you, everyone, for everything.”

Funnie.

Email Wednesday

We GET Email …

** Shannon Loved Radio Stories

“I’m dumbstruck at the news of Bob Shannon’s death. We hooked up in the early 80’s, and it had little to do with radio. He was my first acting coach and through his workshop in Laguna Hills, I landed a couple of episodes of Young and The Restless on CBS during the high rated soap opera days, and these aired on New Year’s Eve. What a thrill, and what a guy. He was a tough taskmaster but brought some excellent talent along in this second chapter of his life as an acting guru.

From his days at KFI, he was fond of recounting his activities on the air such as yanking out the hotline phone when, I believe, John Rook would call to tell him off. And his mercurial nature served him well in getting his young acting charges in front of casting directors most every week and pushing us to do our best.

In the past years we reconnected on Facebook often and promised ourselves a lunch, and I’m sorry to say that won’t be happening.” – Ed Mann

** Shannon at KFI

Bob Shannon had the unenviable task of succeeding Dick Whittington when ‘Sweet Dick’ left KFI after the reformatted station became more music-intensive. I always admired how Shannon had a friendly presence that complimented the music, it could not have been easy to have had to succeed a local legend. Later, I’d hear Shannon teamed up with newsman Ed Nix over at Santa Ana’s KWIZ, they were quite the duo. Best to his family and friends.” – Alan Oda

** Colleague Shocked at Shannon’s Death

“I'm so shocked and saddened to hear the news about Bob Shannon’s passing in your posting Tuesday.  He was so excited about the film he was working on. The last time I saw him was May 14, 2014, when we had a KWIZ gathering to celebrate the retirement of Winnie Combs.” – Diana (Kirchen) Kelly (left with Shannon)

(Seated L-R -- Larry Travis, Allen Klein (who just passed recently), Reid McLeod; Standing L-R -- Bill Martinez, Jon Ramsay, Patty Martinez, Bob Shannon, Winnie Combs, Bill Reitler (head just above Winnie), Larry Granis, Pat Veling, Mike Villani, Diana (Kirchen) Kelly, John Novak

Here's a link to his Facebook page if anyone would like to post. https://www.facebook.com/rjadams46Some

** Radio in Panorama Towers

“In 1964 or early 1965, when I was about 11 years old and living in San Fernando (the city of...) the sound of fire engines one morning, sent me running up the street four blocks. There, fully engulfed in flames [a phrase I never used until my news career], was the Thrifty Drug Store and the Porter Hotel, which served as the second story of that building. This was at the corner of Brand Blvd., and San Fernando Road.

As a wide-eyed kid I sat so still on the curb across the street watching the firemen battle the flames and eventually see the Porter Hotel as a total loss. The Thrifty Drug on the first floor and several other businesses would reopen but not the hotel. It became a one story set of stores.

Little did I know at the time the Porter Hotel housed radio station KVFM [94.3] and inside sat a disc jockey playing music. His general manager, a guy named Norm [I don’t remember his last name so maybe somebody can help me out], told him to ‘stay on the air and keep broadcasting.’ I guess he did until some point. I never found out what happened to him.

Anyway, the point to the story is really, I didn’t realize at the time that the first LA based radio station I would work for was KVFM 94.3 in 1972. By this time it was in the Panorama Towers in the Panorama City several miles away. Norm was still the gm which is why I know the story about the fire as he related it to me.

The morning show was Spanish at this time but without the normal disc jockey who was a woman who owned a ballroom in San Fernando. Some sort of dispute between her and Norm. My first gig there was to segue Spanish records for three hours and play the spots. That has led to some really funny stories but not for now.

You just never know where life will take you and what events will influence your life.” – Bob Brill

** KFXM Confusion

Bruce Chandler’s account of KFXM history is spot on, but I am confused by one aspect from my own listening experience. I couldn't remember whether it was 1963 or 1964, but my family was riding around downtown Riverside one fine afternoon and the jock who was on the air at KFXM plugged the next dj saying he’d be coming from ‘our studios at Riverside's Mission Inn.’

We were just about at the Inn at that time but it wasn't for me to ask if we could stop and visit the studio, but I thought, ‘I didn’t know they had a second studio.’ I've never heard it mentioned since then and cannot find any reference anywhere to KFXM ever broadcasting from there. Years later, KOLA would make the Mission Inn its home. Can anyone shed light on this?” – Bill Powers, Las Vegas 


KNX and KFI Top the Radio Newscast Awards at 2015 Golden Mike Awards

(January 27, 2015) The local “More Stimulating Talk” and “All News” came away as winners at this year’s Golden Mike Awards. KFI and KNX received honors for their newscasts at the 65th annual awards dinner on Saturday night.

KNX received honors, among major-market radio stations for “Best Newscast over 15 Minutes,” while KFI won for “Best Newscast Under 15 minutes.”

As for small market stations, Ventura County’s KCLU won the Golden Mike for the best small-market radio newscast under 15 minutes, while Cal State Northridge campus station won in the “over 15 minute” category.

Special honors at the dinner went to Maria Elena Salinas, co-anchor of the Univision Television Network’s nightly newscast, Noticiero Univision, who was named an RTNA Broadcast Legend.

Bob Miller, the National Hockey League’s Hall of Fame announcer, now in his 42nd season as the voice of the Los Angeles Kings, received a Lifetime Achievement award. (Photo: RTNA president Chris Little, Maria Elena Salinas, Bob Miller)

The awards competition includes radio and television stations from Fresno south to the Mexican border. 

KFI’s Steve Gregory posted this photo and note on Facebook. “It was a good night at the ‪#‎GoldenMikes. I was proud to win Best Hard News Feature; Best Light Feature; Best Serious Feature; Best Radio News Special (with @oborraez); Best Internet Reporting (with @dperezaudio) and Best Investigative Story (with @oborraez). On top of that, @kfiam640 won Best Newscast in our category with @shannonfarren at the helm. I’m blessed to work with such talented friends and colleagues. Thanks to @TheChrisLittle @billhandelshow, @billcarroll640, @ConwayShow for continued support.”

“We have the best news team here at KFI, these folks rock,” said, KFI program director, Robin Bertolucci. “Steve is a prime example of the caliber of talent that makes us so proud!”

Steve Gregory said, “It’s wonderful to be recognized like this from the RTNA and I’m especially proud of my partnership with Oswaldo Borraez from Univision, and our 3 hour special report on the US and Mexico border.”

   

As for KNX, the station took home Golden Mike trophies in the following categories:

BEST NEWS BROADCAST OVER 15 MINUTES: KNX MORNING NEWS – Dick Helton, Vicky Moore, Jonathan Serviss, Pete Demetriou, Margaret Carrero, Jon Baird, Ed Mertz, Laraine Herman, Paul Gomez, Diane Dray, Wendy Thermos, Scott Finder, Ryan Bravo, Darlene Rodrigo, Randy Kerdoon, Jennifer York, Jeff Baugh

BEST LIVE COVERAGE OF A NEWS STORY: “LAX Shooting” – Tom Haule, Linda Nunez, Pete Demetriou, Jon Baird, Scott Burt, Charles Feldman, Ron Kilgore, Tom Reopelle, Frank Mottek, Diane Thompson, Jim Thornton, Wendy Thermos, Ric Schroeder, James Tuck, Paul Gomez, Diane Dray, David Singer, Greg Habell, Kathy Kiernan, Josh Cuadra

BEST NEWS REPORTING: “Nanny Nightmare” – Charles Feldman

BEST SPOT NEWS REPORTING: "The Great UCLA Flood of 2014” – Desmond Shaw, Ed Mertz, Pete Demetriou

BEST NEWS PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROGRAM: “Ask the Mayor” – Charles Feldman, Tom Haule, Jonathan Serviss, Paige Osburn, Logan Moy

BEST TRAFFIC REPORT: “KNX Traffic at 6:15am” – Jennifer York, Jeff Baugh, Mike Baez

BEST SPORTS REPORTING: “Watts Bears” – Ed Mertz

         

(Jeff Baugh, Jennifer York Mike Baez;  Ric Schroeder Julie Chin, James Tuck, Joe Guimond, Ed Mertz; Ron Kilgore, Julie Chin, Pete Demetriou;
Jennifer York, Bill Handel; Ron Kilgore, Frank Mottek, Kathy Kiernan, James Tuck, Ric Schroeder, Wendy Thermos, Pete Demetriou)

Rez Radio. Rez Radio 91.3 was also honored by the Radio-Television News Association.  Their program, Pala Today was first runner up for best long-form Radio Newscast in Southern California, division B that includes stations from San Diego, LA, Inland Empire, Ventura, Santa Barbara, High Desert and the Central Valley. Rez Radio / KOPA is presented by the Pala Band of  Mission Indians, located in Northern San Diego County, heard on both the fm dial and streamed on iHeartRadio.

“The station that is making a difference is where I’m relearning radio roots,” said Chris Carmichael. “John Fox is putting KOPA/Rez Radio on the map. As general manager of the station at Pala, California, he’s taking community radio to new heights. Getting recognized at the Golden Mike awards Saturday night is huge. Not only is he collecting well deserved awards from RTNA, and the local San Diego Press Club, he’s been a mentor for me. As the producer of a local music show, John’s guidance has made me a better broadcaster. ‘Think locally, act globally’ is the wall posting at the studios. Congratulations, John, on another job well done. Hear Rez Radio on the air at 91.3 FM, iHeartRadio, or Tune-In.”

Bob Shannon Dies. Bob Shannon, veteran of KWIZ (pd in the mid-70s), KFI, KHJ, KLAC, and K-EARTH), died of an apparent massive heart attack yesterday, according to his son-in-law, Mike Lynch. Bob was working on a film project in Pennsylvania.

Bob was the last dj on KHJ before the station switched to Country music.

He was born in St. Catherine's, Ontario and grew up in Western New York near Buffalo. He started his radio career in Arizona working in Yuma and KRUX. From KUTY-Palmdale in 1965, Bob joined KDWB-Minneapolis for the first time. He went on to work mornings at WKYC-Cleveland, KXOK-St. Louis and KING-Seattle. In the early 1970s Bob was at KJR-Seattle, WIXY-Cleveland, KDKA-Pittsburgh and back at KDWB to be pd and work mornings. Bob worked morning drive as “BS in the Morning” with Ed Nix at KWIZ. At KFI he was hired to work the swing shift and ended up doing afternoon drive for two years. He left KFI for middays at KCBQ-San Diego and he returned to the Southland for KHJ. During the 1980s Bob started "The Actor's Workshop" in Orange County. Using his birth name of R.J. Adams he turned to acting. Bob appeared in close to 60 episodic tv shows including a regular role on Riptide. He was seen frequently on Hill St. Blues, Murder She Wrote and Hotel. He appeared in 8 major films including Rocky IV. Bob lived in Mission Viejo and continued to act, coach at his workshop and produce documentaries.   

LARadio Rewind: January 27, 2014. Madeleine Brand begins hosting Press Play, a daily noontime series on KCRW. Program director Gary Scott calls Brand an “original” who will focus on “the latest in issues, ideas and culture.” Born in Hollywood, Brand attended UC Berkeley and worked at campus station KALX. She received a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University  Brand has hosted a program on KPPC, co-hosted NPR’s Day To Day, served as a correspondent for NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and contributed to SoCal Connected on KCET-Channel 28. She joined KCRW in 2013. Episodes of Press Play can be heard at http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/press-play-with-madeleine-brand

Funnie.
 

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** Rick Dees Revenue Winner

“Without Rick Dees LA would have never become a $1 Billion marketplace. In the mid-80’s KIIS started charging $1000 per spot for Rick and everyone in the market doubled their rates from that day on. It climbed to $2000 a spot at one point. 

Also, Rick was the first to charge big talent fees for personal appearances.  It changed the course of LA Radio forever.” – Bob Moore

** KFXM’s In-Hotel Studios

“KFXM moved into the Holiday Inn studios along with KDUO/fm, their sister station, in the fall of 1963.  It was a short move, since coincidentally the Holiday Inn was brand new and built at the same time the stand alone studios and offices of KFXM/KDUO were constructed on the west side of the hotel.

The old transmitter/studio site of KFXM was indeed in a small bungalow of a building that continued to house the KFXM transmitter. The Holiday Inn was located literally just a stone’s throw from that old fortress of a studio and the three towers. That huge piece of property was located at the intersection of the 10 and 215 freeways in San Bernardino. 

At the time of the move, KFXM djs were separated from the rest of the radio station staff in that the management, sales and support staff were still located either at the California Hotel, which USED to house the studios and the quite a bit smaller tower set-up.  The station also had a presence in the Mission Inn in Riverside, though I don’t know how extensive that was.  

Up until the move to the new Holiday Inn facilities, the djs did their on-air shifts in that little building that the transmitter was in. I’m not exactly sure when the studios were moved out of the California Hotel. 

KFXM’s glory days of Top 40 Rock ‘n’Roll radio were first broadcast from that little building circa late 50s through the fall of 1963 and then from the Holiday Inn in the fall of 1963 on until the end of their AM Top 40 format.  KFXM was never challenged in the Top 40 Rock ‘n’ Roll wars until March 10 of 1962 when ‘K/men 129’came to town, taking over the old KITO studios in Highland, also in a big field – a cow pasture. 

KFXM had a few competitors, like KRNO 1240, up until K/men came to town but they didn’t do that much to derail the ‘Big 59’s’ dominance.  Even when K/men came to down, it still took about a year to finally knock KFXM off.  Ironically, with the move of KFXM out of their humble little on-air building to the length of a football field away into the new state of the art studios at the time in the Holiday Inn, again, fall of 1963, the station ‘fumbled’ away their ratings by dismissing the entire current jock staff, flushing the ‘Fabulous 59’ survey and totally revamping the format into ‘Big Top’ radio, with a circus type branding and bringing in all new deejays, like Larry Lujack [future Super Jock at WLS-Chicago] for mornings and a host of others that came and went in the course of a couple of years. 

The decision was costly.  The dismantling of their heritage was the exact wrong move when across town the year and a half campaign of K/men to ‘Chip, chip, keep chippin’ away’ at KFXM’s numbers was helped greatly by KFXM itself when it voluntarily gave up on its A-Team of talents and reduced itself to being the ‘new kid on the block’ by starting at square ONE.  [By the way, K/men’s FIRST SONG PLAYED on Saturday morning, March 10th, 1962 by ‘Huckleberry’ Chuck Clemens was Chip Chip by Gene McDaniels. It was an ‘inside message’ at the time to KFXM that the mission of K/men would be to chip away at their ratings.]

Back to the future, the ‘Fatal Flaw Fall’ of 1963, the long-time KFXM listeners were jilted by the sudden unfamiliarity of EVERYTHING but the music and fled to K/men. It wasn’t until Al Anthony came into town in 1965 and took over the programming reins that KFXM slowly clawed its way back to the top. The new studios were cool, sure, BUT at the very same time, the sudden alienation of listeners was a huge misstep. I lived and listened through it all as a junior high and high school kid in Fontana who loved radio and made it my life’s dream, thanks to the Top 40 radio wars in the Inland Empire.” – Bruce Chandler

** Aging Equipment Notice Yesterday

“Maybe fortunately or unfortunately, we are all having that same ‘combination of aging equipment and power problems.’

Don't worry, the column came alive as usual.” –  Sterrett Harper, Burbank

** Aging Equipment Part 2

“Have you been to the doctor yet to check on your aging equipment?” –  Christopher A. Bury, Pasadena 


An Honorable Tribute to Rick Dees

(January 26, 2015) For decades, Rick Dees ruled the morning drive airwaves, entertaining a couple of generations getting up for school and those commuting to work. On Friday, the industry got to repay the favor by honoring Rick at this year’s Pacific Pioneers Broadcasters celebrity luncheon at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Sherman Oaks. PPB president Commander Chuck Street, familiar sidekick in Rick’s morning show at KIIS/fm from the “Yellow Thunder” traffic helicopter, presented the beautiful Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award to Dees.

“The honor itself was the highlight of the luncheon,” said Rick a day later. “What a humbling feeling and joy to see my name next to those greatest talents in entertainment!”

Dees loved the “the lively one-liners and jokes from members of the dais.” Appearing Friday were Wally Clark, Rick’s original general manager for much of the 80s, KNBC/Channel 4 weatherman Fritz Coleman, KFI nighttimer Tim Conway Jr., voice announcer Joe Cipriano, former tv entertainment reporter David Sheehan, and sportscaster Scott St. James, who worked alongside Rick for years.

There were some surprises. Jerry Bruckheimer made an unexpected appearance. Bruckheimer has an impressive resume of producing such movie hits as Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop, American Gigolo, and Pirates of the Caribbean. His tv credits include the CSI series, and Amazing Race. “Jerry is my dear friend, and he surprised all of us with his appearance and kind words,” said Dees.

Rick wanted to acknowledge his dear friends and superstar talents in attendance:  “Shotgun Tom Kelly, Mark Wallengren, Valentine, Wink Martindale, Kerri Kasem, Mancow Mueller, Joe Kieley, Paul Joseph, Jack Silver, Paul Liebeskind, Don BarrettMike Ramos, Frankie Quijano, Melanie Leach, Bob Catania, Jhani Kaye, Danny Lemos, Kraig Kitchin, Dennis Clark ,Lois Travalena, Chris Hamilton, Lynn Anderson, Charlie Rahilly, Juanita the "J-Unit", Cheryl Quiros, Jill Degan, Frances Murietta, Ray Delagarza, the 102.7 KIIS/fm sales stars, Diane Vudmaska, Bob Moore, Mary Beth Garber, Bianca Pino, Ric Ross, David Dow, Bill Moran, Jeff Wald, and so many more!”

Rick said he enjoyed re-connecting with “the most talented people in radio.” A number of attendees just hung out after the luncheon, catching up and exchanging radio gossip and stories.”

“I enjoyed the well-deserved award bestowed upon my dear friend, Michael Brockman…(and) seeing the glowing recognition of Julie and Kevin Dees.”

(Tim Conway, Jr., Fritz Coleman, David Sheehan, Joe Cipriano, Dees, Fritz Coleman, Harold Green, Lynn Anderson Powell, Julie Dees, Rick Dees, and Wally Clark)

Dees thanked PPB prexy Chuck Street for “the incredible work that went into the event and the entire Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters board.” Of course, Rick couldn’t leave our conversation without a quip. He thanked the PPB “for the free parking at the Sportsman’s Lodge.”

 

(Carson Schreiber, Don Elliot, Ron Shapiro, Jeffrey Leonard, Jim Pewter, Gene Price, Jerry Fry,
(front row) David Sheehan, Fritz Coleman, Rick Dees, Wally Clark, (back row) Tim Conway, Jr., Scott St. James, Commander Chuck Street, and Joe Cipriano)

Scott St. James, the first speaker for the afternoon gathering, said he had a good time. “Above all, Rick and his family were very happy.” (Thanks to David Keeler and Don Elliot for photos)

Franklin Dies. Syndicated radio host and pioneering tv host Joe Franklin has died of cancer, at the age of 88. He gave breaks to the likes of Al Pacino and Bill Cosby on his variety show long before they became famous.  

Franklin often is credited with developing the standard tv talk show format, sitting behind a desk while interviewing wanna-be celebrities, minor celebrities and the occasional bona fide celebrity.

The host of The Joe Franklin Show started in tv back  in 1950. Billy Cristal used to parody Franklin on Saturday Night Live.

After Franklin's tv show ended in 1993, he worked on his late-night radio show. He continued to work even after he was diagnosed with cancer, doing celebrity interviews on the Bloomberg Radio Network.

Hear Ache. KLAC’s  Jay Mohr and J.T. The Brick will broadcast live from Radio Row at The Bridgestone Fan Gallery, located at the Phoenix Convention Center this week. They join other media from around the country with interviews and other coverage leading up to Super Bowl XXXVII … Oscar time is coming soon and it is always fun to reminisce about the great films of our past. Take a listen to the best move quotes of all time at: https://www.youtube.com/embed/594Oxq4c0XA?feature=player_embedded

Patriot Amezcua Gone. “Carlos Amezcua has left his daily KEIB show to pursue other business interests,” emailed Robin Bertolucci, pd of The Patriot 1150 (KEIB).

“Carlos has a media company and will be focusing his energies there. We are adding another hour of Dave Ramsey (3-6p) and moving Clark Howard's start time up an hour from 7p to 6p.”

Greenberg’s Mea Culpa. Mike Greenberg of KSPN’s Mike & Mike Show has just written a book called My Father’s Wives. Greenberg appeared with Dennis Miller on KRLA to promote the new published work. “I’ve been a lifelong fan,” Mike told Dennis. “I’ve always promised myself that if I ever got a chance to talk with you, I would apologize.”

Explaining the reason for the apology, Greenberg said he had stolen a Dennis Miller line and used it on his show and ESPN’s SportsCenter a thousand times. “If there is a team that soundly crushes another team, I will say they got beat ‘like a narc at a biker rally.’ I’ve never credited you and I get a laugh every time. So I apologize.”

Dennis told him that he was flattered that Greenberg used the line.

Overheard.

LARadio Rewind: January 26, 2003. Jimmy Kimmel begins hosting a late-night television talk show on ABC. Born in 1967 in Brooklyn, Kimmel began in radio while in college, working at Arizona State University station KASC and University of Nevada Las Vegas station KUNV. He jocked at stations in Seattle, Tampa, Palm Springs and Tucson before coming to KROQ in 1994, where he spent five years as “Jimmy the Sports Guy” on Kevin & Bean’s morning show. On television, Kimmel co-hosted Win Ben Stein’s Money and The Man Show and co-created/co-produced Crank Yankers. He has also hosted the ESPY Awards, American Music Awards and Primetime Emmy Awards. His ABC talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, debuted on January 26, 2003, following Super Bowl XXXVII, and continues to air at 11:30 pm each weeknight.

Valentine’s Gift. With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks away, KFSH’s Lara Scott has a book she wrote with Cori Linder called From the corner of Hollywood and Divine: Your Guide to 30 Old Hollywood-Inspired Spots in Southern California. You can get the book at Lulu.com.

“I wrote this back when I just had one kid and had all that free time,” emailed Lara. “You could take your Valentine to a theatre that looks like a tomb (The Egyptian), the glam 1920s hotel where the Munchkins once stayed (The Culver Hotel), or for dinner aboard a 1930s Art Deco luxury liner (The Queen Mary).” 

Funnie. She was standing in the kitchen, preparing our usual soft-boiled eggs and toast for breakfast, wearing only the t-shirt that she normally slept in.      

As I walked in, almost awake, she turned to me and said softly, ‘You've got to make love to me this very moment!”

My eyes lit up and I thought, “I’m either still dreaming or this is going to be my lucky day!” Not wanting to lose the moment, I embraced her and then gave it my all; right there on the kitchen table.      

Afterwards she said, “Thanks,” and returned to the stove, her t-shirt still around her neck.      

Happy, but a little puzzled, I asked, “What brought that on?”

She explained, “The egg timer’s broken.” (submitted by Christopher Bury)

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** Radio Wars

“I loved your item about the latest radio wars, and your memory of the KRLA/KHJ battle over the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl. I remember that. What a night. I was still in elementary school and my best friend and I were there at that concert. We all noticed the circling message overhead ‘KHJ Welcomes the Beatles to Boss Angeles.’ It was before the Beatles played and you couldn't miss it, because they flew low enough to see easily, and low enough to hear the noise it made as it circled directly over our heads.

I think it was Bob Eubanks who was the emcee. He was onstage at the time. He looked up and cracked – ‘It's very nice to see those greetings from the station that hasn’t earned its fourth letter yet.’ It got a HUGE laugh from all of us in the audience. True enough, for a VERY brief moment, KHJ did one-up KRLA. But Bob Eubanks’ comment allowed KRLA to shut that moment down – cold. Just stole their rivals’ thunder in one quick retort. Kind of like what the President did during the State of the Union speech the other night, when some snarky GOPers applauded his statement that he had no more campaigns to run – and he shot back with ‘I know because I won both of them.’" – Mary Lyon

** Dees First Day on KIIS

“I am glad I had enough foresight to aircheck Rick Dees near the end of KHJ as a rock station. I also have an aircheck of his first morning show on KIIS/fm in 1981.

As a collector of novelty records, I know there are two Rick Dees related recordings related to the O.J. Simpson trial back in February 1995. These were Dickie Goodman-style interviews with snippets of hit records that had airplay on KIIS/fm. At that time, I spoke to a music staffer at the station (who coincidentally shared my February 15 birthday). She said the records would be edited and played on the (nationally syndicated) Rick Dees Weekly Top 40. However, I had someone check an archive of the program and there’s nothing indicating the parodies were ever played on the show. After seemingly millions of hours searching through a variety of sources, I cannot find any airchecks of these records. If someone does have these recordings, please let me know and make them available via upload.

One more novelty recording I’m looking for is recordings featuring “Tom Brokenjaw.” He was heard during a sketch played as KDUO 97.5 (San Bernardino) changed formats from beautiful music to oldies K-HITS (KHTS), probably around 1998 or 1989.

Thank so much in advance.” - Larry Hart, Sherman Oaks

** Inflate Gate

“I recall, just a couple of weeks ago as the Lions were preparing to play the Packers, the tv announcers were talking about how Aaron Rodgers preferred to OVER-inflate the footballs he’d be using in games, even in the cold, Green Bay weather. I guess he never got busted for over-inflation. Strange that the Rodgers factoid hasn’t re-emerged with all of the discussion about football PSIs this week.” – Jerry Downey, Detroit


A Classic Rock Radio War

 

(January 23, 2015) Once upon a time, there were radio wars between competing formats. Going back to the Top 40 wars during the 60s, I remember sitting in the Hollywood Bowl waiting for the Beatles when a helicopter with chaser lights underneath it hovered briefly over the Bowl. The message was “KHJ Welcomes the Beatles to Boss Angeles.” But the irony is that 1110/KRLA was the official Beatles station and brought the Beatles to the Southland. For a brief moment, KHJ one-upped KRLA.

Well, for a brief moment on Wednesday (much of the day into Thursday morning), 100.3/The Sound one-upped KLOS. Both are in a classic radio war over their Classic Rock formats. The Sound has been very aggressive letting their listeners know that they play far more music than KLOS. Between music sweeps, The Sound will mention that there is no need to switch to KLOS because they are in the middle of a commercial sweep.

Now the battle has gone digital. This screenshot was captured Wednesday afternoon. How in the world did KLOS allow what appears to be a paid digital ad to get on their website, promoting the return of Mark Thompson? Mark, of Mark & Brian, spent 25 years at KLOS. When the show ended a couple of years ago, Mark moved to North Carolina.

Mark is coming back on February 2 with an all-new show, this time on 100.3/The Sound.

This radio war is a Classic.

Morning Dew. The morning drive ratings for the Holiday '14 book have been released.

Persons 12+ Mon-Fri 6a-10a

1. Mark Wallengren (KOST)

2. Bill Handel (KFI)

2. (Tie) Dick Helton & Vicky Moore (KNX)

4. Gary Bryan (KRTH)

5. Valentine (KBIG)

5. (Tie) Omar y Argelia (KLVE)

Persons 18-34 Mon-Fri 6a-10a

1. Mark Wallengren (KOST)

2. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)

3. Big Boy (KPWR)

4. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)

5. Valentine (KBIG)

 

Persons 25-54 Mon-Fri 6a-10a

1. Mark Wallengren (KOST)

2. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)

2. (Tie) Kevin & Bean (KROQ)

4. El Genio Lucas (KLYY)

5. Valentine (KBIG)

 

 MIA

 

Where the heck is Carlos Amezcua? He's not on KEIB in the afternoons and he's not on the KEIB website. Hmmmmmmmm?

Hear Ache. Ken Levine is hosting the Neil Simon Film Festival, Friday nights on TCM … Ryan Seacrest guests on the Today Show this morning. Would love to hear the conversation between Carson Daly and Ryan in the make-up room. Wonder if they talk about their morning drive Top 40 gigs? … KEIB’s Dave Ramsey is now heard on more than 550 AM/FM affiliate stations. According to the Ramsey organization, is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners weekly.

  LARadio Rewind: January 23, 1986. Alan Freed, in the “non-performer” category, is among the first inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, along with Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers. Robert Johnson, Jimmie Rodgers and Jimmy Yancey are inducted as “early influences.”

The Hall Of Fame Foundation was created in 1983 by Atlantic Records chairman Ahmet Ertegun. Induction ceremonies have been held annually since 1986. The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame & Museum opened in 1995 in Cleveland.

Freed began in radio as a soldier during World War II, working for Armed Forces Radio. Between 1945 and 1959, he jocked at stations in New Castle, Youngstown, Akron, Cleveland and New York. In the 1960s he worked at KDAY, WQAM in Miami, and KNOB.

Freed died of uremia in 1965. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall Of Fame in 1988 and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991. 
 

Overheard.

Funnie.

 
 

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** KABC Changes

“I agree with everything Andrew Schermerhorn said about KABC, but he didn’t comment on the afternoon drive show. And no matter how much promotion they do, I doubt any of it will keep Jillian Barberie from floating out of her chair.” – Bruce Harris, West Covina

** Cart This

“Congratulations to Rick Dees and Jim Duncan. I know how ya feel. I’ve got hundreds of carts sitting in big plastic containers in my basement:)” – Mike Butts

** Home for KFXM

“Anthony Kardoes of Riverside said the original KFXM studios were in the Holiday Inn in San Bernardino.  They were actually in the transmitter building in the middle of a pasture near the towers before the Holiday Inn was ever built.” – Bob Morgan

 

** Other Radio Homes

“As a former resident of Anaheim from 1965 to 1985, it was nice to see a picture of the sign for the first KEZY-1190 studios at the Disneyland Hotel.  As for KFXM, going even further back, from 1929 into the 1930s and ’40s, KFXM had its studios and transmitter at the old California Hotel in San Bernardino, at the corner of 5th and E Streets. I found a website that has a postcard image of the hotel with the KFXM wire antenna on top of the roof. 

Also, KIEV-870 in Glendale (now KRLA) had its studio and transmitter at the Hotel Glendale at 701 E. Broadway from 1933 until about 1990, but I don’t have on hand the exact date the station moved to a new studio site.

I also recall KNOB was at the Hyatt House hotel for a time in the ’60s and ’70s on Harbor Blvd. across from Disneyland.  

I can’t recall offhand any other Los Angeles radio stations that had studios inside hotels. KGER-Long Beach had a second Los Angeles studio at the Clark Hotel in the 1940s for a while. And in the 1920s and ’30s, a number of stations had their antenna atop the roof of high buildings around the Southland to advertise their call letters, but not hotels specifically.  In the early-1920s, a few short-lived Los Angeles radio stations had studios inside department stores downtown, such as Bullocks and Barker Brothers, to advertise the radios on sale in the stores.

Also, in San Diego, KFSD, later KOGO, had studios inside the US Grant Hotel and its antenna on the roof in the 1930s.” – Jim Hilliker, Monterey

** Helper Boy Greg Simms

“I've known Greg Simms in his San Diego years: First as ‘Helper Boy Greg’ on the Jeff and Jer Showgram to his years at KFMB ‘Star 100.7’ as a hot AC talent at the then-number one rated station.

His last on-air was at the rebranded KFMB ‘Jack FM’ with Monique Marvez [now KFI]. Their show, ‘Monique and the Man’ was popular. It was a Tracy Johnson nationwide search for a million dollar contract to host a morning show in the 17th market.

Greg did his time at Star in Los Angeles and now at K-EARTH. He’s also a Cordon Bleu trained chef – so he’s always simmering something. Hits and asparagus.

That’s Greg. I congratulate him on his latest achievement in Los Angeles! See you on the radio, Greg.” – Christopher Carmichael

** Donn Reed … Nightside

Donn Reed’s photo brought back many memories. Donn, Captain Max and I worked together at KABC before we all went to KMPC.

KABC was first in LA with the helicopter doing traffic. The helicopter company was owned by Donn, Max another guy, I think his name was Rolley Thomas, who worked at KFI.  Bob Forward put the deal together buying Air Watch for KMPC from the guys and became KMPC Air Watch. At KABC Max was the pilot and Donn did the air reports.

While at KABC they crashed and Donn never flew again. He did the reports from the newsroom. At KMPC, Max did the air work and pilot and he became very popular. Donn started NIGHT WATCH that he did before on a local station, covering the Culver City Police department.

Donn was something else. ‘Roger, I must come in right now or he might start the report with, ‘flashing red lights, sirens, hoses are over the place. This Donn Reed Nightside.’

Sometimes didn’t tell us where the fire was because he didn't want to get crowds there.

Donn was a very good reporter. He was one of the best.” – Roger Carroll 


The World Turns at K-EARTH

(January 22, 2015) Larry Morgan (l), most recently afternoons at Go Country KKGO, is joining K-EARTH as assistant program director/swing. Once known as “the Amazing Larry Morgan,” he started in the market at KIIS in 1984. He’s been heard on KSCA, KYSR, 100.3/The Sound and KKGO.

Chris Ebbott, pd at K-EARTH made the Morgan announcement along with the official hiring of Greg Simms as music director/swing.

“K-EARTH is one of the preeminent radio brands in the world,” said Ebbott. “On and off -air, Larry and Greg make our team stronger and deeper. Getting them on board is the perfect start to 2015.”

Both new hires begin February 16th.

Support LARadio. A tease sent to LARadio subscribers earlier this week hinted at someone leaving afternoons and headed for an Oldies station. If you want these newsletters and teases before they appear in the column, you can sign up for $15 with a link at the bottom of the page.

The Larry Morgan announcement was not the only exclusive. We are still waiting to announce the departure of a morning man. His station is giving him the opportunity to land another job prior to announcing the change.

Golden Mike Honors. Nationally renowned news anchor Maria Elena Salinas and award-winning Kings play-by-play man Bob Miller will receive special awards at the 65th Annual Golden Mike Awards. Salinas will be named “Broadcast Legend” at the gala awards dinner, set for this Saturday at the Universal Hilton Hotel. She has co-anchored the national Spanish-language newscast Noticiero Univision since 1987. She also hosts the prime time newsmagazine show Aqui y Ahora beamed to television stations in the U.S. and many Latin American countries.

Miller will receive the RTNA’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his 41 seasons broadcasting games of the Los Angeles Kings, who have won hockey’s fabled Stanley Cup two of the last three years.

Miller has voiced over 3,000 hockey games on television and radio. He is a member of several halls of fame for sports broadcasters and has won every prestigious sports broadcasting award in California. The author of two books of vignettes about hockey, Miller also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1998, The Kings presented Miller a “lifetime contract” and named their arena press box in his honor.

LARadio Rewind: January 22, 2013. After three years as operations director at WLS in Chicago, Drew Hayes announces that he will return to KABC to replace the recently departed Jack Silver as program director. Hayes, a graduate of the University of Miami, had served as news director of KKDA in Dallas, hosted a talk show at WMAQ and programmed WKRC in Cincinnati before becoming WLS program director in 1989 and overseeing that station’s switch to a talk format. Hayes also programmed a talk format on WLS/fm from 1991 to 1995. After leaving WLS in 1996, Hayes served as general manager of ESPN Radio in Bristol, Connecticut, and was KABC's program director from 1998 to 2000. He later managed Chicago’'s WBBM and WSCR before returning to WLS in 2010.  

Feuding Harvey. Steve Harvey appeared on CBS Sunday Morning last weekend. “I tape 180 (episodes of The Steve Harvey Show) in 34 weeks,” Harvey said. “And then as soon as I’m done, I go home to Atlanta to tape Family Feud. And in eight weeks I tape 185 shows. And then every morning on the radio I do 240 live shows a year, every morning. The checks help get you there,” he laughed. “The moment they quit paying me – I’m exhausted.”

You can see the segment by clicking Harvey.

Overheard.

Hotel Studio. Anthony Kardoes of Riverside sent along a photo from the Disneyland hotel in 1959, the location of the old KEZY studio for 1190 AM. This was before they moved to Ball Road in Anaheim.

“I guess a number of radio stations had their original studios in hotels, like KFXM at the Holiday Inn in San Bernardino in the 60s, and KRLA at the old Huntington Sheraton Hotel in Pasadena for many years,” emailed Anthony.

Hear Ache. Congratulations to Rick Dees on receiving the Art Gilmore Lifetime Achievement Award tomorrow at the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters luncheon. Tim Conway, Jr. and Joe Cipriano have joined David Sheehan, Fritz Coleman, Wally Clark, and Scott St. James on the dais … Todd Schnitt, former talk show host at KFWB, has joined mornings in New York at WOR, with veteran sportscaster Len Berman … KFWB’s Sue Stiles is recuperating from stomach surgery to remove a tumor. “I came home from the hospital Sunday and I’m feeling better each day,” Sue wrote on her Facebook page. “The doctor promised he’d get the entire growth and he didn’t lie and there was no sign of cancer, but I know I couldn’t have made it without the support of so many people.”

Cart This. Jim Duncan, production engineer extraordinaire at iHeart Media (formerly Clear Channel), has the only connected cart deck in the Pinnacle building.  “The tie-in is that I spent many years in the Rick Dees' studio at KIIS/fm,” emailed Jim. “When we moved into the Pinnacle Building in ‘Beautiful downtown Burbank,’ I was asked what equipment I wanted.  A reel-to-reel tape machine and a cart deck were at the top of the list.  Not that I would use them very much, but many of my only recordings of my ‘Jim Duncan’ jingles and favorite commercials and production pieces are ONLY on a cart. And beside the hundreds of albums in storage, I have many past projects on reel-to-reel tape. [I figured one day, before the oxide fell off, I would digitize them on my computer.] Thanks to long-time engineer Jerry Burnham for finding this piece of history.”

 KIIS nighttimer JoJo Wright asked if he could play a couple of carts in Jim’s studio.  One short video from his KIIS/fm website blog can be seen at: http://snapwidget.com/v/894520735471962405

Funnie. Harvey Kern wonders if this Bud Light commercial will appear on the Super Bowl telecast.

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** Golden Girl Promotion

“What a tough job. Touching-up a girl in a bikini.” – Mitchell Crawford

** Tell KABC to Promote

"Let me humbly suggest that Drew Hayes and KABC management make this into a banner and place it over their respective desks [If you don't promote, a funny thing happens: NOTHING]. I’m missing Bryan Suits and Larry Elder, even though Suits never learned to use the 'cough' button and had a bad habit of holding his syllables ['the” became 'theeeeeeeeeee…' and 'and' became 'annnnnnnnnnnnnd…', etc.]. I tried Judge Cristina this morning and found it barely listenable. It was her 2nd day, I’ll give her some more chances, but I’m grateful to have Dennis Prager to turn to on KRLA. If he’s boring, I’ll punch up Classical KUSC or JACK/fm or punch around till I find something listenable. [Btw, I turned off KABC tonight because of a repetitive commercial. When I tuned back in 7-10 minutes later, the same commercial was playing again!]

Glad they kept Mark Levin [never afraid to tell it like it is] and Peter Tilden and Doug McIntyre, one of the jewels of L.A. radio. But, remember KABC folks: If you don’t promote, a funny thing happens: NOTHING.” - Andrew Schermerhorn

** Downtown Detroit

“WOW! What a beautiful sight to see Dazzlin’ Don Barrett right there on Jefferson Avenue painting our W/4 Golden Girl.

Great station and great times. I was proud to have been a part of it. Let’s go to Windsor and the Top Hat now:)” – Mike Butts

** Holiday Ratings

“Those ratings have the same credibility as the results of a Fox Network poll.” – Fred Lundgren, KCAA

** CBS Streaming Challenges

“Thanks for the comments in LA Radio about the audio streams. In the year I was with CBS/LA they changed the streaming servers and player at some point – I pointed out the issues – but issues remained. I checked it out again this morning and – you guessed it. 

I don’t know what others [iHeart, Cumulus] are doing to their streams, but for the thousands of dollars spent on monitoring the ‘broadcast’ signal, about NOTHING is spent on monitoring the stream. Granted it’s a small number these days and when the stream is down, someone usually calls. But when it happens constantly it is really embarrassing." – Dave Mason, Ass’t PD, 105.7 Max FM, San Diego


KOST Yearly Ratings Gift

(January 21, 2015) The colossal rating for KOST in the Holiday ratings book is not a misprint. When KOST abandons its AC music around Thanksgiving and goes with 24/7 Christmas music, it is a ratings bonanza. The ratings book is barely considered by ad agencies and advertisers unless a client is buying radio during the holiday season next year. These ratings are Persons 6+ 6a-Mid, Mon-Sun:

1. KOST (AC) 7.0 - 12.2

2. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.7 - 4.7

3. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.9 - 4.6

4. KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.5 - 4.3

5. KAMP (Top 40/M) 3.7 - 4.0

6. KPWR (Top 40/R) 3.9 - 3.8

7. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.8 - 3.5

8. KNX (News) 3.0 - 3.2

9. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.2 - 3.0

    KFI (Talk) 3.5 - 3.0

11. KSWD (Classic Rock) 3.0 - 2.9

12. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.7 - 2.6

       KROQ (Alternative) 2.6 - 2.6

14/ KHHT (Hot 92.3) 3.0 - 2.5

15. KLYY(Spanish Adult Hits) 3.0 - 2.4

       KTWV (Urban AC) 2.2 - 2.4

      KYSR (Alternative) 2.3 - 2.4

18. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.4 - 2.2

19. KPCC (News/Talk) 2.1 - 2.1

      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.4 - 2.1

21. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.6 - 2.0

22. KXOL (Spanish AC) 1.8 - 1.9

23. KKGO (Country) 2.1 - 1.8

      KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.2 - 1.8

      KUSC (Classical) 1.9 - 1.8

26. KCRW (Variety) 1.4 - 1.3

      KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 1.0 - 1.3

28. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.1 - 1.1

      KSPN (Sports) 1.2 - 1.1

31. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 1.2 - 0.9

      KJLH (Urban AC) 0.8 - 0.9

      KSSE (Spanish Contemporary) 1.0 - 0.9

34. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.7

35. KABC (Talk) 0.7 - 0.6

       KKJZ (Jazz) 0.6 - 0.6

       KLAC (Sports) 0.7 - 0.6

       KRLA (Talk) 0.7 - 0.6

39. KTNQ (Spanish Talk) 0.3 - 0.3

40. KFWB (Sports) 0.2 - 0.2

       KPFK (Variety) 0.2 - 0.2

42. KHJ (Regional Mexican) -- - 0.1

       KLAA (Sports) 0.1 - 0.1

KCRW $$. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation awarded Southern California’s KCRW, a $1 million grant to develop a new multi-year documentary and reporting series examining issues affecting the lives of LA’s neediest residents and underserved communities. The Foundation’s grant will support KCRW’s news team as they take an intimate look into the lives of Angelenos and find and tell stories illustrating the challenges faced by the city’s most disadvantaged and marginalized residents.

Gold Is Beautiful. Our little three-story house on Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit was my professional home for a few years in the late 1960s. When Gordon McLendon sent me to the flashpoint for Motown, WWWW (W4) was a Beautiful Music station. Within a couple of months we turned the Montavani/101 Strings station into the first live 24/7 Golden Oldies station.

As general manager we didn’t have any money for marketing. Selling fm was tough enough because of the paucity of available radios. But I have always believed that you don’t need a lot of money to promote, just some creativity.

“Black is Beautiful” became a slogan in America during this time, and nowhere was it as prevalent as it was in Detroit. We adopted a similar slogan, “Gold is Beautiful” to launch our new station playing the hits of the 50s and 60s. One of our first promotions was to find a ‘Golden Girl’ to represent the station. Once we found her, we created a contest to paint her gold in downtown Detroit at noon in Kennedy Square. The victor of our contest, who submitted a winning limerick, was a Recorder’s Court Judge. When the reality of what he was required to do, the 34-year old judge thought it might embarrass the court and passed. We gave the honor to the runner-up, a 22-year old department store worker.

With every tv station filming the painting of the W4 Golden Girl, and 3,500 onlookers with their brown bag lunches, we had excellent coverage on the early and late evening newscasts. The Detroit News provided a quarter page of coverage.

In front of W4 there was a huge theatre marquee on our lawn. We changed the promotional message daily, even in blinding snowstorms. For our publicity shot, we had a teaser for local favorite Tom Clay, who had just been hired. The marquee read: “Clay turns to Gold .. soon.”

Remember, if you don’t promote, a funny thing happens: NOTHING. 

LARadio Rewind: January 21, 2010. Air America ceases live programming and files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which allows for liquidation of the network and redistribution of assets and property. Air America will re-run programs for four days and then go off the air. The progressive talk radio network had launched on 26 stations in 2004 and at its peak was heard on more than 100 stations, including KTLK (now KEIB) in Los Angeles. Air America was plagued by mismanagement, high debt and declining ad revenues. In addition, many affiliates were stations with poor signals and could not compete with the more powerful AM talk stations. Among the Air America hosts were Randi Rhodes, Rachel Maddow, Ron Reagan, Mike Malloy, Thom Hartmann, Montel Williams and Michael “Lionel” Lebron. Afternoon host Al Franken hosted afternoons until 2007, when he quit in order to run for Senator in Minnesota. He was elected in 2008 and won re-election in 2014. (LARadio Rewind meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

 
LA Film School. KFWB’s (Saturdays at 6 a.m.) Leo Quinones is hosting two advance screenings this week at the Los Angeles Film School. You are invited to attend. Parking will be validated. Please enter on Ivar Ave. Click artwork for more information.

SAN FRAN SALARIES

Bay Area blogger Rich Lieberman lists what he says are the salaries of the highest paid tv anchors and reporters in San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose (Market #6). The sound you hear is heads exploding.

Walt Disney-owned KGO-7-ABC

Dan Ashley: $525,000
Cheryl Jennings: $400,000
Larry Beil: $374,500
Spencer Christian: $300,000
Dan Noyes: $275,000
Ama Daetz: $275,000
Wayne Freedman: $220,000


Dan Ashley

CBS-owned KPIX-5-CBS

Ken Bastida: $500,000
Allen Martin: $350,000
Veronica De La Cruz: $300,000
Dennis O'Donnell: $275,000
Vernon Glenn: $175,000
Paul Deanno: $170,000



Ken Bastida

Cox Media-owned KTVU-2-Fox

Frank Somerville: $500,000
Mark Ibanez: $360,000
Julie Haener: $350,000
Ken Wayne: $325,000
Gasia Mikaelian: $250,000
Bill Martin: $250,000
Heather Holmes: $250,000
Tori Campbell: $200,000
Dave Clark: $180,000
Sal Castaneda: $150,000
Tom Vacar: $150,000
Rob Roth: $120,000


Frank Somerville

NBCUniversal-owned KNTV-11-NBC

Raj Mathai: $450,000
Jessica Aguirre: $450,000
Janelle Wang: $300,000
Jeff Ranieri: $250,000
Terry McSweeney: $200,000

 


Raj Mathai
Media General-owned KRON-4-MyTV

Gary Radnich: $500,000 (includes radio work)
Pam Moore: $250,000
Catherine Heenan: $150,000
Darya Folsom: $125,000
Vicki Liviakis: $120,000


Gary Radnich

 Funnie. from Tim Manocheo

 

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** Will Miss Tim Regan

Tim Regan was a childhood friend of almost 40 years. I was shocked and heartbroken to hear of his sudden passing on Sunday.

We will all miss his friendship and unique sense of humor that always brought a smile to anyone who has ever met him.

Condolences to his family and everyone that had the pleasure of knowing Tim.” – Tom Patterson, Supervisor, Technical Operations, CBS Television City

** Bryan Suits Destination

“Will you please keep us informed as to where Bryan Suits is headed? Not much left to listen to on KABC these days. Doug McIntyre and Peter Tilden [when he’s not bumped by the Kings] are pretty much it. What a shame.” – Pat Mack, Westchester

** Missing Suits

“I cannot believe that KABC exchanged Bryan Suits for this boring woman, Judge Cristina. She has no animation in her voice, and her topic to start off her show is meaningless. I am so disappointed. Please keep us up to date with what happens with Bryan.” – Judi Matsen

** KABC Changes

“I had the misfortune of waking up Tuesday morning at 4:30 and found myself listening to a promo piece hosted by Doug McIntyre to introduce the new KABC lineup. Since all the hosts of the station were there I assume this was pre-recorded. However, it only took a few minutes for me to decide I would not be listening to this new lineup. I was put off by Cristina Perez talking in a normal American accent explaining she was born in New York but then she kept switching to an enhanced ethnic accent and repeatedly bringing up she grew up in Mexico and Guadalajara and that she was a Latina." - Steve Chang, Venice

Streaming Engineers are Like Monkeys with a Football

“If anyone can fix the streaming problem that would be Greg Ogonowski. He is the best in this field.” – John Davis

“WONDERFUL STUFF BY GREG O.  Obviously a leader in the field.” – Jack Hayes

“Great piece on Greg Ogonowski and streaming radio. I have known him many years and I consider him the best. Thank you for covering this issue.” – Don Elliot

Greg Ogonowski is SO RIGHT about streaming radio. It's disgraceful.” – Rich Brother Robbin 


“Streaming Engineers are Like Monkeys with a Football” – Greg Ogonowski

(January 20, 2015) Greg Ogonowski is a bright light in the world of audio. While most radio engineers concentrate on the transmitter site and keeping broken equipment fixed, Greg has spent a lifetime improving audio processing and creating software that will enhance and produce the best possible sound reproduction.

Those who listen to streaming radio in Los Angeles know that it is a disaster with uneven volume (one element louder or softer than the next), commercials cut off, talent interrupted for a commercial and repetitious commercials and promotions.

When management calls it a glitch and the glitch is not corrected, who better to provide an explanation on what is happening to our streams than Ogonowski, who spent a decade and a half with Orban, a leader around the world providing the best audio possible. He also served as a former engineer at KBIG and other stations.

“Radio stations don’t want anything to do with computers,” said Ogonowski in a phone interview yesterday. “They’ve lined themselves for what I call the great digital divide. When it came time to take advantage of streaming ones’ signal around the world, most of these radio guys went to service providers who have developers. A lot of them are in India or places where the people don’t have a pot to pee in.”

Ogonowski maintains that these foreign-based companies have never seen the inside of a radio station or a recording studio. As a result, they don’t have a clue about the audio business when writing software, resulting in awkward and error-filled segues into commercials or getting in and out of commercial stop sets in a clumsy manner.

“And therein lies the problem,” insists Ogonowski. “They wouldn’t know what a tight board meant if their life depended upon it.”

Ogonowski believes that this lack of attention to streaming problems is partly to blame why a lot of terrestrial radio is falling apart. “It is the same with the iPhone and mobile phone app development. Most of these apps don’t reliably play these streams on these devices because most of them don’t work properly.”

“Radio transmitters are going away," claims Greg. "The manufacturers are all in trouble with low sales today.”

Are the leaders in terrestrial radio dragging their feet and ignoring the audio problems with the current state of streaming? Greg thinks he sees the future of streaming, and has embarked on a new company providing encoder solutions. “Ad injection into the stream can be either on the server side or the provider site at the radio station. “Doing it on the server side you can send specific ads for targeted delivery but these commercials can’t go through the same audio processor, resulting in huge level problems. They need new encoders and audio processors to deal with this complex problem. The current service providers working on this and providing solutions don’t seem to understand the problems.”

Streaming offers a whole new world of radio revenue that the industry seems to ignore. A generation ago Coke, Pepsi, car manufacturers and shampoo makers used radio to reach their audience in specific audiences. Now with streaming, the same brands can be heard around the world when they buy locally.

“National advertisers need to understand the power of which they are working with when it comes to streaming,” said Greg. “With a little streaming encoder, you are able to reach hundreds of million on mobile phones all over the world while you’ve got these guys spending tens of, sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars trying to improve a transmitter site to cover 100 square miles.”

Why the reluctance to invest in the future? Ogonowski thinks the radio industry “has had it so good for so long that nobody peaked into the future. Science marches on.”

There has been an issue in the past with the high cost of bandwidth, but apparently that has been rectified with new encoder products using new streaming protocols. “We’ve designed a new encoder that doesn’t require a streaming server to deliver the content. You can now use a simple web server or cheap cloud storage to deliver live streams with just a piece of very smart encoder software.” Ogonowski said that he has several sample streams already up and running. “The encoder does all the heavy lifting and points it all to a web server and then the web server does everything else. This could dramatically reduce the operational costs of live streaming.”

Greg is one of many trying to solve the web streaming issues and he seems to be ahead of the game. Now the question is will any of our radio leaders reach into the future to fix these streaming issues?

A local group just hired an overseas company for ad replacement. Greg said, “Here we go again with another bunch of monkeys with a football.”

You can reach Greg at: greg@indexcom.com

Tim Regan Dies. Tim Regan, a well-liked veteran engineer, died on Sunday, from an apparent heart attack. He was 52. “Tim was a childhood friend from 1977 and a work colleague at KGIL Radio from 1979-86,” emailed Tom Patterson. “He was also producer/engineer for Sweet Dick Whittington during the mid-80's.

Beau Weaver wrote: “Got word today that Tim Regan has taken his light into another room. He was a super talented audio mixer, and I am remembering many good times with Tim across the glass from me. He brightened sessions with even the most difficult clients with his bright energy and humor. He was a good spirit journey old friend. Condolences to all who loved him.”

"Tim called me his little sister," wrote Lillie Grace. "We met when we were 13 and 15. He was the older  He was Peter Pan and I was Wendy. Tim was playful, joyful and my rock. I will miss him forever. I was his Lil." 

LARadio Rewind: January 20, 2001. Deirdre O’Donoghue dies of multiple sclerosis at 52. Born in 1948 in New York, O’Donoghue attended Clark University in Worchester, Massachusetts, and began in radio in 1970 providing health information and news of local events as the operator of KPPC’s Community Switchboard. She worked at WBCN/fm in Boston in 1974 and at KKGO in 1979. In 1980, she began hosting SNAP (Saturday Night Avant Pop), which aired on KCRW until 1991. Then, with the show renamed SNAP Judgments, she was heard for a few weeks on XETRA/fm. In 1983, while at KMET, O’Donoghue created the Sunday-morning Breakfast with the Beatles program. In 1987, when KMET changed formats to become “The WAVE,” O’Donoghue took the program to KNX/fm. A year later, she moved it to KLSX and continued as host until her death. In 1995, she launched a new version of SNAP Judgments on KLSX. O’Donoghue once said that she did not become a Beatles fan until after she started hosting Breakfast with the Beatles. The program now airs on KLOS and is hosted by Chris Carter. (LARadio Rewind has been meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

 Funnie.

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** KABC Changes

“Without Larry Elder and now Bryan Suits, KABC is going to lose me as a listener.” – Michael Hilburn, Dana Point


Sound Mornings Ready for February 2 

(January 19, 2015) All the players are in place for the February 2 launch of the “Mark in the Morning” show on 100.3/The Sound. Along with Mark Thompson, his on-air team will include Andy Chanley, Gina Grad (photo), and Thompson’s 22-year-old daughter Katie Thompson.

“As my previous 25-year LA run has taught me, a great morning show takes more than just one guy and a microphone. Being funny and entertaining at 6 a.m. ain’t easy, but Andy and Gina have kept me laughing all week as we have been working [if you want to call it that] on plans for the show.  That’s a very good sign.  Plus, we’ve got great Classic Rock music, and that stuff never fails to get the old morning motor revving,” said Thompson.

Gina Grad is no stranger to LA Radio. Her pedigree also includes being the daughter of a very successful father. Steve Grad is one of the veteran sports anchors at KNX. Gina has worked alongside Tim Conway Jr., Adam Carolla, Dr. Drew Pinsky, and Arsenio Hall. Throughout that time, Gina has served as fill-in co-host and news reporter for The Adam Carolla Show.  

 “Even though I had no idea who Mark Thompson was until he dragged me down to Hollywood Blvd. and made me look at his star on the Walk of Fame, I was thrilled to be offered a full-time gig, so needless to say, I took the job,” said Gina.

Thompson’s new show will incorporate field pieces hosted by his 22 year-old daughter, Katie, who will serve as the show’s “Chick on the Street.” She said “I know this is just my dad’s way of getting me off the Thompson family dole.  But, growing up, I couldn’t believe my dad actually got paid to do all those shenanigans.  And it has been my goal not to have a real job either.”

Over the weekend, Gina wrote on her Facebook page, “Thank you for the congratulations that are starting to seep in. I wish I could embrace it wholeheartedly right this second and wax poetic about the ridiculous amount of excitement and gratitude I feel, but my superstitiousness won’t allow it until the trades are posted on Monday.  In the meantime, I’m shoving off to Vegas to do 2 episodes of ‘The Adam Carolla Show’ from the Hard Rock hotel and casino tonight so first things first.  Keeping my focus in laser mode and my eyes on the prize,

KFI in Cuba. This past Friday morning, Bill Handel announced that he was going to be the first U.S. morning show broadcasting from Havana. “It will be me talking to you from Havana,” said Bill. “That’s in the works, just to let you know.”

A check with management said that Bill was only kidding. Didn’t sound like he was kidding and knowing how smart and aggressive the programming people are, it certainly seemed feasible. But, Handel got us.

Opera Show. Every Saturday morning, Duff Murphy hosts the Opera Show on KUSC. Duff is a lawyer and trades deposition for divas and other things operatic. “The erudite and enthusiastic world class opera fan has been presenting opera on Los Angeles radio for many years, having joined Classical KUSC in 1994,” states the KUSC website.

“During the Metropolitan Opera's December to April season, he introduces opera’s historic performances and colorful personages; and during the Met’s off-season he features favorites among composers, conductors and artists. Recognizing that operatic music spans generations, continents and centuries, Murphy imbues each program with a range of musical historical experience, often creating programs around specific themes.”

LARadio Rewind: January 19, 1968. In a memo to the Boss Jocks, KHJ program director Ron Jacobs refers to the just-released January Arbitron ratings and declares, “It’s an unflattering disgrace to have only a 2.3 lead against KRLA at night.” He warns that “there’s someone on another station just dying to get #1 ratings” and urges the jocks to “put out the best effort 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year” and not “bask in the brief glory of a few good numbers.” Jacobs chastises one jock (unnamed) for playing Incense & Peppermints twice in 80 minutes and berates another for playing the “bad combination” of an Otis Redding song followed by a Joe Tex song. Jacobs then praises 9-to-noon jock Charlie Tuna for being “ever funny, provocative and selling the station” for three hours every day. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson) 

Ian Rose Passing. Nora Molina sent this note that former San Diego Total Traffic employee and San Diego personality Ian Rose died late last year. “He had been retired for a few years, but he was a big part of the KFMB-AM family as well,” emailed Nora. “I’m sure many of you worked very closely with him. The family is planning a celebration of life for any friends and former co-workers who would like to attend. The date for that is January 31st, but they are searching for a larger venue due to the overwhelming response from those who knew and loved him."

Click the artwork for Ian's obit.

 

Funnie.

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** LARadio Days

“I have such fond memories about the radio festival. This was back when the Paley center gave some focus to radio.  The stories these giants of broadcasting told were amazing. They were all so funny and creative, I loved when half way thru the event, Al Lohman did a monologue on the trails of an older prostate.  He said he’d be right back and proceeded to leave the dais and visit the restroom. He received a huge ovation upon his return.” – Jeff Gehringer, KSPA/KFSD


Anita Garner in Pages of Saturday Evening Post

(January 16, 2015) Anita Garner was “Lovely Nita” at KROY-Sacramento during the station's rock and roll heyday in the 70s. She moved on to KOIT in San Francisco and during her voiceover career, she and Tom Parker, Bay Area radio and tv personality, became spokespersons for a major supermarket chain. Then she got the call inviting her to do PM drive for KBIG. In 1984, KBIG was switching from Beautiful Music to personality AC. She anchored the afternoon drive spot for four years.   

Never one to do just one job, for nearly two decades, she was the female imaging voice for KCET/TV, PBS for Southern and Central California.  

When the gig at KBIG ended, Anita produced and hosted nationally syndicated radio shows, eventually returning to the part of California she loves best, where redwood trees soar taller than the eye can see. She lives in a 100-year-old cottage, just up the hill from a famous-in-the-Bay-Area corner coffee shop where locals gather, huddled mainly in flannels or fleece, to chat about whatever creative people chat about in Mill Valley. 

Anita is also a prolific writer, taking on ghostwriting assignments, rewriting projects, and editing for other writers. Her services became a writer's dream, helping others realize a polished presentation.

She continues to write her own stories, often about the Deep South, about her Southern Gospel-singing/evangelist parents and the family's travels in tent revivals. 

Last year she decided to enter one of the most prestigious competitions for writers.  

For more than 200 years, The Saturday Evening Post has been publishing a who’s who of American authors — Ray Bradbury, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Louis L’Amour, Jack London, Joyce Carol Oates, Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Tyler, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Sinclair Lewis, among so many others. Now, add one of our own to the impressive list. Her short story, "Still Life,"  was selected as one of the Best Short Stories from the Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2015. The compilation, now available, features more than 25 must-read new stories, including Garner’s. The Post describes the anthology as representing all genres of fiction from today’s talented pool of up-and-coming writers, many making their national publishing debut.

"From a sideshow on Coney Island to a coast-to-coast road trip set in 1939, from a small-town courthouse after WW II to a cocktail party among academics in contemporary Chicago, the Best Short Stories 2015 presents a diversity of style and subject matter guaranteed to engage and entertain. Click the book title artwork for more information on how to purchase this collection."

With all of this success and recognition, Anita and her business partner Steve Bradford have formalized their frequent creative collaboration (including work for LARP clients) with the debut of "Develop Your Book." Check it out. Details at their website, http://www.developyourbook.com/

Radio Only. Thumbing through a September 1985 issue of Radio Only, a slick glossy magazine edited and published by Jerry Del Colliano, Paul Drew who was an entrepreneurial radio consultant and program director was featured in a full-page article. His notorious fame came with his longtime association with RKO Radio and Bill Drake in its heyday.

At the time of this article, Paul had launched a new company, Program Auditing, which went beyond the traditional media monitoring. “Most stations can sound good for one day, but putting together a good week [even on what is considered to be a good station doesn’t always happen,” wrote Drew.

He cited the need for a constant inventory. “Radio is the only entertainment industry that is without constructive criticism. TV has it. The movies have it. But it occurred to me recently that radio station owners rarely have a chance to have their stations reviewed for good or bad.”

Drew then described the details of his auditing services, which included an in-market visit for seven days. Rates were $5,600 for one station and $8,400 for two stations.

Overheard.

Hear Ache. KNX’s sports guy Randy Kerdoon, who moonlights as their “occasional"” automotive reporter, interviewed the hosts of the car fix-up show Wheeler Dealers.  A “segment sized” 2-minute interview airs this weekend on KNX, but the 17-minute extended interview can now be heard on KNX’s Soundcloud … Shadoe Stevens’ brother Richard is still with Cumulus in Dallas providing voicetracking programming. Richard Stevens was a jock on K-EARTH in the late 80s and early 90s. Shadoe has been concentrating on Blackout Television, an all-black podcast series developing characters and content for a television series. “We’ve done 83 episodes and they’re pretty funny,” emailed Shadoe. “We’re waiting to hear from TV One about a possible pick up.” … Pio Ferro was program director at KTNQ/KLVE in the mid-90s. He’s joining HOT 97 (WHQT-New York) as pd. Ferro’s most recent successes include working as the National Program Director for Spanish Broadcasting System, where he oversaw programming for stations across the country including KLAX in LA, WSKQ in New York, and WXDJ in Miami … Dennis Miller and Adam Carolla are teaming for a new podcast called, PO’d with Dennis Miller and Adam Carolla.

LARadio Rewind: January 16, 2009. After firing the entire KDLD/KDLE airstaff the previous day and ending the music format following the playing of Frank Sinatra’s My Way, Entravision Communications spends two-and-a-half days playing a recorded message over and over, announcing that Indie 103.1 will not play the “corporate radio game” of seeking ratings by airing the same songs heard on other stations. Indie 103.1 ceased terrestrial broadcasting and moved to the Internet. KDLD and KDLE switched to a Spanish adult hits format and are now known as José 103.1. The current morning man is Alex “El Genio” Lucas. The online Indie 103.1 features alternative rock along with some reggae, heavy metal and advice programs. Among the hosts are Dredd Scott, Sol Bisla, DJ Santo, Joe Escalante, Wayne Jobson, Jackie Kajzer and Jose Maldonado. Indie 103.1 can be heard at http://www.indie1031.com/ 

Campus Radio Operations. When Saul Levine indicated that he may move the studios of KKJZ from the campus of California State University Long Beach to Saul’s Westwood operation that houses KMZT and KKGO, there was much concern about not having a campus radio station remaining on the campus.

During an exchange about the subject, Saul volunteered that he has presented hundreds of thousands of dollars to CSULB.

We wondered what the relationship was between KPCC (Pasadena City College) and American Public Media Group. “Our contract w/the PACCD (Pasadena City College’s governing board) requires that we reimburse them for station-related expenses (usually ~$200K/year) and provide up to a dozen internships for PCC students,” replied Bill Davis, the founding president of Southern California Public Radio, a California-controlled subsidiary of the American Public Media Group.

“I’d be surprised if CSULB didn’t have a similar contract w/Saul,” continued Davis. “It’d be a setback for CSULB if their students didn't have internship opportunities at KKJZ.”

Funnie.

Email Friday

We GET Email …

** Hannity Question

“I haven’t figured out what Sean Hannity was doing calling Israeli Jews in Israel on Christmas Eve.

Would he call Londoners on the 4th of July?” - Matt McLaughlin, Santa Barbara

** John Poole Station

K.M. Richards asks if anyone remembers Alan Fischler’s partner? I knew it was John Poole, because once a month he would visit the visit the station, and I always thought it was to put some money into the stations account.” - Bob Hughes


Email Thursday

(January 15, 2015) We GET Email ...

** When is a Pioneer a Pioneer

"I read a comment on your site that questioned whether Rick Dees is a radio pioneer since he is being honored by the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters. A couple of years ago there was serious discussion within the leadership of the PPB about whether we should shorten our name to just 'Pacific Broadcasters.' Some were of the opinion that the name Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters made the organization sound like it was only for 'old time' broadcasters.

I was talking to long-time PPB member John Harlan [and former PPB president] about the possible name change. I told John that I certainly did not feel like a 'pioneer' in broadcasting. Of course, John started his long and distinguished career in the late 1940's. John said to me 'Look, one hundred years from now when broadcasting evolves into what ever it will become you [Chuck Street] will be thought of as a 'pioneer' in broadcasting.' This made sense to me.  Maybe it will make sense to your reader." - Chuck Street

Email Wednesday

(January 14, 2015) We GET Email …

** Radio’s Best Friend

“I was shocked to read that my friend Allen Klein had passed away. Allen was one of the most knowledgeable and caring radio people I have ever met. He was so bright and creative in his writing and analytical analysis.

We first met when he was with Pulse, the radio ratings company. He was a fabulous presenter and ahead of his time. He was very helpful to me when I developed Marketron and assisted me in explaining my theories in a more succinct manner.

If Radio had a BEST FRIEND, it was Allen.

I had the pleasure of reading many of his brilliant short stories.

Allen will be sorely missed and remembered with great admiration.” – Norm Epstein

** Rick Dees a Pioneer?

1) Very complete and touching coverage of the Passing Parade. You're the best.

2) Rick Dees is a Pioneer? When I joined PPB he was a newcomer.

3) Saw your K-WEST mug and dug out this next generation poster to share.” – Randy West


Rick Dees to be Honored at PPB Luncheon

(January 13, 2015) Next year, Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters will celebrate 50 years as an organization that honors fellow pioneer broadcasters for their achievements. PPB hosts four celebrity luncheons during the course of each year, at the legendary Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City. The organization's meeting have long provided networking opportunities among congenial colleagues.

On January 23, the organization salutes Rick Dees, KIIS morning man for almost a quarter of a century. PPB President Chuck Street will present the Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award to the host of The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown, internationally-syndicated radio show. It will be a reunion for Commander Chuck, who did traffic reports with Rick during his tenure with KIIS.

Normally the luncheons are for members only, but this special event for the popular LARP is open to everyone. You can get more information or reserve tickets by clicking the Dees photo.

On the dais with Rick will be his longtime boss at KIIS, (also his longtime business partner), former general manager Wally Clark, KNBC/Channel 4's weatherman Fritz Coleman, tv entertainment reporter David Sheehan, and Scott St. James, decades-long colleague of Rick’s. Scott was the sports anchor at Channel 9 for over a decade.

Dees is a People's Choice Award recipient, a Grammy-nominated performing artist, and Broadcast Hall of Fame inductee. He wrote two songs that appear in the film Saturday Night Fever, plus he performed the title song for the film Meatballs. Dees is also co-founder of the E. W. Scripps television network, and the Fine Living Network.

Rick was born in Jacksonville, FL and reared in Greensboro, NC, where he began his radio career while still in high school. He has a bachelor’s degree in motion pictures, TV and radio from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After working at several Southern radio stations, Dees landed at WMPS AM in Memphis and it was there that he wrote and recorded Disco Duck, the award-winning hit that sold more than six million copies during the disco craze of the late 1970s. That success brought him to LA’s iconic 93KHJ as the morning show host, but when KHJ switched format to Country music, he started his 23-year career on KIIS/fm in 1981.

Throughout his long career, Dees has garnered many accolades, including the prestigious Marconi Award, induction into both the National Radio Hall of Fame, and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall Of Fame. He is an inductee in the North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame, the Tennessee Radio Hall Of Fame, has received the Billboard Radio Personality Of The Year award for 10 consecutive years and has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In television, Rick Dees hosted his own late-night show on the ABC television network in the early 1990s, Into the Night Starring Rick Dees, which ran for one season. He has guest-starred on Roseanne, Married...with Children, Cheers, Diagnosis: Murder and many other hit shows. Rick has been married to the former Julie McWhirter since 1977 and they have a son, Kevin.

Join the festivities by clicking Rick’s photo at the top of this piece.

Watch Elvis' Legendary Band

Overheard.

Kindred Spirit. Steve Kindred, veteran Southland newsman, has parted ways with TotalTraffic (iHeartmedia). It has been a tough year for the talented broadcaster.

 “So, it's on to the next great adventure, whatever it may be,” said Steve. “I'll soon head to Maui to spread my wife's ashes at our wedding site, and then take some time off. I'm still taking on per diem assignments, so please keep 'em coming.”

You can get in touch with Steve at:  steve@stevekindred.com

LARadio Rewind: January 13, 2012. WICC in Bridgeport and the Connecticut Radio History organization endorse the late Bob Crane for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Born in 1928 in Waterbury, Crane began in radio in 1950 at WLEA in Hornell, NY. He returned to Connecticut a year later and worked at WBIS and WICC. From 1956 until 1965, Crane hosted the KNX morning show and conducted nearly 3000 celebrity interviews for CBS Radio. He also played a doctor on two seasons of The Donna Reed Show. In 1965, Crane began starring as Colonel Robert Hogan on Hogan's Heroes, a CBS/tv sitcom about a German POW camp. After the series ended in 1971, he jocked at KMPC, acted in dinner theater, starred in a short-lived NBC sitcom, The Bob Crane Show, and appeared on several tv shows and in two Disney movies, Superdad and Gus. Crane's 1978 death by strangulation remains officially unsolved. Among the National Radio Hall of Fame inductees in 2012 were Howard Stern and Art Laboe. In 2013, Steve Dahl, Garry Meier, Charley Steiner and Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo were among the inductees. In 2014, Ira Glass, Dick Orkin and Charlie & Harrigan were among the inductees. Bob Crane has yet to be inducted.

Ouch!

Hear Ache. Lisa Stanley spent her holiday in Australia, while her K-EARTH co-host Gary Bryan took a Caribbean cruise through the Virgin Islands … Didja know that Ralph Story used to be a corset salesman in Kalamazoo before he arrived in the Southland to begin an iconic media career? … CRN Digital Talk Radio is adding two high-profile syndicated personalities to its already powerful lineup. Best-selling author and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and political commentator and comedian Stephanie Miller bring their voices to CRN's audience of over 25 million homes … Premiere Networks announced that The Steve Harvey Morning Show has reached a broadcasting milestone of 75 affiliates. KJLH carries the program in Los Angeles.

Funnie.

Email Tuesday

We GET Email …

** CES Telling

“Where’s Radio? And that’s the interesting piece. Radio was pretty hard to find at the recent CES Convention in Las Vegas. The automakers are all showing upgraded center stacks. And many were featuring Apple’s Car Play and Google’s Android Auto – frequently in the same vehicles. It looks like the beginning of some degree of standardization.

But no one was talking about the radio. After a nice tour of a well-equipped Volkswagen ‘center stack’ where a guy named Henrich walked me through both the Apple and Google systems, I asked him to show me the radio.

Raised eyebrow from Henrich, like he’s wondering why I want to know about that feature. We turn the radio on, and what do you know, the vehicle has HD Radio. I requested more sync3 information about his company’s stance on radio and HD Radio, and this very knowledgeable VW guy couldn’t tell me anything about it. Yes, I was the first to ask.

Speaking of cars, Ford unveiled their new Sync3 platform (above), and pretty much everyone you talked to was raving about its improved simplicity and functionality. Ford put a lot of thought into improving their “center stack” approach, and Sync3 appears to be clean, simple, and very easy to navigate.” - Bob Moore, President, Sports USA

** College Radio at California State University Long Beach

“Regarding your column re: KSUL-KLON-KKJZ, I too worked at KSUL for a brief period, before the transition to KLON. At the time I was finishing my Bachelor's degree at [what was then known as] CSULB. 

Look, if the Internet is the way to go to train students on how stations are programmed, and to reflect the present state of the industry, why don't the public radio stations put THEIR programming on the web only, and give STUDENTS the broadcast signal? The big stick of terrestrial radio is still where the jobs are, at least the ones that PAY.

I am a big fan of Saul Levine's, and wish him continued success. I just wish students could be trained side-by-side with working professionals, as was the intent if not the specific language of the FCC rules regarding ‘educational’ radio. (Click the photo for a list of those who attended a KSUL reunion)

I'm also an alumnus of the now-defunct radio school at L.A. City College, where we produced award-winning programs that ran in so-called ‘public service’ time. My mom had to get up at 3 a.m. on Sunday to hear me.

But I can name many current broadcasters who, like Phil Hulett and Nick Roman [KPCC, ex KLON], benefited from the training provided by a college-based station. The good news is there are still some schools that provide this training, such as USC, UCLA, Los Angeles Valley College, Cal Lutheran, Fullerton College, Cal State Fullerton, and, of course, one of the most successful, Tammy Trujillo's station at Mt. San Antonio College, which has won some Golden Mike awards.” – Steve Kindred

** Losing Colleagues

“It is gonna be a great year. I was just reading Monday’s LARadio, and noticed there is a striking resemblance to Tom Rounds and Jack Popejoy. We've lost so many pals huh?” – Jeff Baugh

** Life is Precious

“Excellent job, Don, on the LARP Passing Parade. I was a little shocked to see so many of our friends who had passed away. Every day is precious and I try to live every day to the fullest. I am grateful to have enjoyed the life that I had. When we enjoy our work, it is not work. Long life to you old friend.” – George Green

** Early 105.9

“That KWST mug is not only pre-KPWR [and by default, also pre-KMGG], it dates from the early 1970s, based on KRHM being at 102.7, KHJ/fm at 101.1, and KFOX/fm at 100.3. In fact, there was a change no later than April 1971, when KRHM became KKDJ. KRTH was November, 1972 and KIQQ was February, 1973.

My best guess is that the mug distribution coincided with the call letters changing from KBMS in February 1969.

P.S.:  Does anyone other than me recall that Alan Fischler’s partner in KNJO's ownership was John Poole [who previously put AM 740, FM 104.3 and TV channel 22 on the air]?” – K.M. Richards

** George Clooney for Office

“After watching the Golden Globes, and now that we know that Barbara Boxer's not running for re-election in 2016, shouldn't somebody should start figuring out how to approach George Clooney to go after her seat?  He's got way more brains, humility and humanity in his little finger than Schwarzenegger had in his whole body. If Al Franken can be a respectable Senator, one would think Clooney could be a superstar.  It is exciting just to think about.” – Rich Brother Robbin

** Klein’s Pulse

“I was so sad to read that Allen Klein had passed away over the holidays. Allen was a true champion of radio.” - Bob Koontz, Sports Sales Manager, KFWB

** An Eye for an Eye

“Things in life can change at the drop of a hat and my recent setback is no exception. I was visiting my dad over the Christmas holiday out in Riverside when I lost a good chunk of my vision almost overnight. I thought at first it was due to a sinus infection, but within a couple of days it became apparent it was more than that and needed medical attention. Trying to see a doctor over the Christmas holiday is probably the worst time of the year but that's what I needed to do.

 I first went to Parkview Hospital hoping to get seen by an eye doctor, but instead was seen by a physician's assistant. They did what tests they were capable of and then sent me by ambulance to Riverside County Regional Medical Center where I was seen by another physician's assistant, who did some more tests and phoned those in to an eye surgeon who didn't think there was anything they could do for me there, so they told me to return to my own doctors up here in Henderson, Nevada.

The very next day I returned to Henderson and waited till Monday morning to be seen at the eye center. After being seen by several doctors here, the feeling is that I had what I think is called ‘non-arterial optic stroke,’ which affects the eye but has no other symptoms. No one seems to think there are any treatments for this so it's a wait-and-see game now to see in two weeks whether my vision changes before my next doctor visit.

Meanwhile, my vision is about half what it was before, going from 20/200 to 10/200. It's now very hard to read print, and I feel like I'm in this dark closet with only a 10-watt bulb. Think of my vision now like what you would see if someone snapped a picture with a really bright flash in your face and your eye is trying to recover from that - except that dazed vision isn't going away. I've always been big on frequent eye checkups, keeping my diabetes under control and taking care of any changes that I notice right away, and it's something I encourage all of you to do starting with this new year. I don't know whether I'll lose any more sight or whether any of this will return, just as none of us knows whether we'll lose sight or if anything else will happen to us. I certainly encourage you all to take care of those valuable eyes and get frequent checkups, and meanwhile, enjoy the gift of sight every single day. I also ask all of you for prayers and good thoughts that I will recover. I'd like to continue being the eyes for my blind wife and her sister and need all the sight I can get to do that. If you care to write me, I'll try my best to read and answer back, at powersradio@cox.net .

I'm currently trying to reconfigure my computer to read the on-screen text by voice but using my screen magnifier program, but it's more difficult than it sounds and trying to get help is not always easy. It's all possible, just challenging. Anyway, I thank you all for your friendship, your thoughts and prayers.” - Bill Powers, Las Vegas


The LARP Passing Parade (June-December)

(January 12, 2015) During the month of May in 2014, on average, two Los Angeles Radio People died each week. Tough month.

From June through the end of the year, it was equally heartbreaking with those who entertained us and who were an integral part of the Southern California landscape. Not that one death was any more significant than another, but in August, George Nicholaw, the father of all-News in LA, passed away. He was the first recipient of the LARadio Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. And the long saga with Casey Kasem’s body generated sensational headlines for months.

Please let us salute one more time, those who are no longer with us. 

Tom Rounds, June 1 (77) Tom was best known as one of the founders of the quintessential syndicated program, American Top 40. AT 40 featured the team of Casey Kasem and producer Don Bustany. The program was popular in large markets and also allowed small market stations to present a three-hour national music chart countdown show at nominal cost that nevertheless produced good ratings and helped generate advertising revenue.

 

Rounds’ first radio show was at the campus radio station of Amherst College in Massachusetts in the late 1950s, where he earned degrees in English and Music. He worked at WINS (AM) in New York City as a newsman in 1959. While a dj at KPOI in Hawaii, Tom set the world record for sleeplessness. The period of 260 hours awake was attained while Rounds was sitting in a department store window display. Before he left KPOI, he became program director.

While at KFRC in San Francisco, Rounds began promoting large multi-act concerts to benefit charity and gain publicity for the station and the bands it featured. After holding the Beach Boys Summer Spectacular at the Cow Palace in 1966, Rounds and KFRC conceived of a large outdoor festival featuring a fair atmosphere similar to the popular Renaissance Pleasure Faire. The KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival were held in the second weekend of June 1967 at Mount Tamalpais State Park in Marin County, California, to support the Hunters Point Child Care Center. Featuring Jefferson Airplane, the 5th Dimension, The Doors and many other acts, the event drew nearly 60,000 attendees. The Fantasy Fair produced by Rounds is considered the first rock festival in history, preceding the more well-known Monterey Pop Festival by one week.

After Watermark was absorbed into the American Broadcasting Company in the early 1980s and became ABC Watermark, Rounds became responsible for the promotion and syndication of American Top 40 and other programs outside the United States. His independent company Radio Express was created in 1985 and produced and syndicated World Chart shows hosted by Lara Scott and PJ Butta, among other programming.


Jim Brady, June 5 (67) Jim, born Scott Felton, suffered a "horrible battle with cancer for the past four years," said his friend Chris Moore. Jim grew up in Canada and worked radio in Toronto before joining Country KLAC. He worked morning drive when Eddie Edwards departed. Jim left KLAC in 1988 to do Country radio in Dallas. He later moved to KLUV-Las Vegas and his last radio job ended in 2008 in Toledo when he retired.

Jim was born August 21, 1946, in Toledo. He took an early interest in radio and began working at WTOL-AM — now WCWA-AM 1230 — as a high school student in 1963. After graduation, his interest in the airwaves took him across the country to stations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, according to his obit in the Toledo Blade.

At KLAC, he worked morning drive when Eddie Edwards departed. Jim left KLAC in 1988 to do Country radio in Dallas. He later moved on to KLUV-Las Vegas.

Much of his career was spent in Canada, where he lived and worked for about 18 years, much of his time at Toronto’s CFTR-AM 680 in 1973.

Brady summed up his life simply in an April interview with The Blade. “I’ve had a good life; a great career, great friends, great family,” he said. “I really can’t complain.” He told friends his final wish was for people to “wake up” and get themselves screened for diseases like cancer.


Casey Kasem, June 15 (82)  Los Angeles claimed Casey as their own during the 60s, before he became one of the most recognized voices on the planet. The long time host of American Top 40 died  after a long battle with Lewy body dementia and infected bed sores. 

Born in Detroit in 1932 to Lebanese Druze parents, Kemal Amin Kasem interned in 1950 at Detroit's public radio station, WDTR. He then worked as a radio quiz-show usher at WXYZ-Detroit, before acting in youth roles on nationally-aired programs, The Lone Ranger and Sergeant Preston. Drafted in 1952, Casey served in Korea at the headquarters of Armed Forces Radio. In 1954 he returned to Wayne State to finish college, working as a newsman, board-op, and part-time dj at WJLB. Casey later switched to WJBK-Detroit as a full-time jock. He headed to New York in 1958 in an unsuccessful try for stage acting work. In 1959, he hosted radio and a tv show, Cleveland Bandstand at WJW.  

Casey moved west in 1962, arriving at KEWB-San Francisco where he developed the “teaser-bio” format, putting drama and stories into introductions of the music. It became his much-copied trademark technique. In 1963 he moved to Southern California, joining the lineup of the legendary KRLA as one of the “Eleven-Ten Men” until 1969. Working in Southern California allowed Casey to continue pursuing acting gigs throughout the 1960s. He appeared in several movies, including The Girls from Thunder Strip, The Glory Stompers, Scream Free!, 2000 Years Later, The Cycle Savages, and The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant. Casey appeared on tv, hosting Dick Clark’s daily syndicated tv dance show, Shebang, as well as an appearance on The Dating Game.

Record exec Mike Curb suggested Casey try commercial voiceover work, which made his voice known nationally. It was Casey who provided the voice of Robin in the tv cartoon series Batman and Robin, though he was probably better known as the voice of Shaggy on Scooby Doo.  

In 1969 Casey called Ron Jacobs at Watermark, a radio syndicator, to talk about a new idea called American Top 40. The show would count down the biggest hits of the week, an idea he conceived with Don Bustany, a Hollywood movie producer and childhood friend. “AT40" debuted on July 4, 1970, on WMEX-Boston. The show originally aired in only seven markets. The show eventually became nationally and internationally popular as “Casey’s Coast-to-Coast” countdown added more and more stations, at one time boasting over 1,000 affiliates. The playing of nearly every song was introduced with a short story about the song or the artist. Listeners from all over the world would ask Casey to play a long-distance dedication to reach out or to honor a friend or long-lost acquaintance.  

From 1980 to 1992 he hosted a syndicated tv countdown show based on the radio show, America's Top Ten. Casey received a Star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in 1981.  

Casey parted ways with AT40 and Cap Cities/ABC who was then syndicated the show. But he wasn’t gone for long, as he was soon back with Casey’s Top 40, with Casey Kasem via Westwood One. Before the show debuted on January 1, 1989, over 400 affiliates had signed up. That same year, Casey was featured in Variety, explaining the appeal of AT40: “When we first went on the air, I thought we would be around for at least 20 years. I knew the formula worked. I knew people tuned in to find out what the No. 1 record was.” 

 His death became a family fight between Casey's wife and his kids. Six months after Casey's death, he was buried in Norway.

Who will ever forget his signature sign-off: "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars."


Gary Hollis, June 29 (73) Gary was an announcer for two decades with Saul Levine’s Classical KKGO and KMZT He died following a short bout with Pancreatic cancer. "Many people did not even know he was sick, because he really didn't talk about it much," said his wife, Kelly. 

“When Gary was hired as a part-time announcer 25 years ago, I had no idea that we had engaged one of the most creative and dynamic air persons in our long history in radio,” said Saul Levine. “Gary was always cheerful, and happy to be on the air presenting the music he loved.”

Gary grew up in Wisconsin. “We lived near Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin School, and we visited there quite often,” said Gary when interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People.

“I played violin. My mother would awaken me to the Chicago Classical music station, where I began my love for the music.”

Gary lived in New York City for 18 years and studied to be an actor. “I finally made it to Broadway in the musical Raisin, which starred Debbie Allen, among others. I was one of the singing Hitler’s in the movie version of The Producers.” 

Early in his career, Gary achieved a dream by becoming an usher and valet to some of the world’s great musicians and conductors at Carnegie Hall. From there, Gary moved on to become the assistant manager of Lincoln Center’s Philharmonic when it first opened. “I had the honor of escorting Jacqueline Kennedy backstage to meet Leonard Bernstein at the opening of Philharmonic Hall [now Avery Fischer Hall],” remembered Gary.

Gary sailed around the world twice, working and entertaining on cruise ships. Gary was also an actor who appeared in Columbo, Murder She WroteHill Street Blues and Kindergarten Cop. “My interests range from astrology to bike riding and swimming. I swim a mile a day. I love to read when I have time, primarily non-fiction biographies. I love baseball, especially the Milwaukee Brewers, and I love the movies,” Gary said in the LARP interview.


Ken Miller, July 14 (83) Ken was a former general manager at 710/KMPC. In 1983, he segued to director of sports marketing. In managing the Los Angeles Dodgers and Anaheim Angels radio package, he was responsible for all Dodgers and Angeles sales activities, and merchandising.

Ken was the former senior vp of the Western Region of Blair Radio.

During his 37-year career, Ken had sales responsibilities for the Angels, L.A. Rams, UCLA football and basketball, as well as the Dodgers. He was a member of the advisory committee for National Baseball Radio Network. In the summer of 1997 he moved to “XTRA 1150 Sports.”

" When it came to selling sports on radio [LA Rams, Angels, UCLA Bruins and later the LA Dodgers]), no one made a better slide presentation than Ken," said friend and colleague Norm Epstein. "He was always articulate and knowledgeable."

With fm radio garnering the music listeners, Ken changed the format to a talk station and brought in Laura SchlessingerHilly Rose and Robert W. Morgan. Just when it seemed they were making a breakthrough, ownership wanted to go back to a music/personality format.

From Blair Radio to KMPC to KABC, Ken had a successful career in Radio.


JJ Smith, July 28 (88) JJ was one of the last voices of the original radio network newscasts.

As a radio newsman, JJ landed at KNX from WGN-Chicago in 1962, said his longtime friend and colleague, Dave Sebastian Williams. In 1958, JJ became the voice of everything Sears (a total of 26 years) and wanted to move to LA. 

As the story goes, Sears picked up the phone and secured JJ a job at KNX. The Bob Crane Morning Show ('57-'65) was already a fixture at KNX when JJ arrived, handling the morning show newscasts. Later, he replaced Ken Ackerman on the American Airlines Music ‘til Dawn national radio show before moving on to KABC, KPOL and finally KFI.

JJ earned 3 Golden Mike Awards while in Los Angeles.  He retired from his day-to-day newsroom duties as he chose to leave KFI in the late 1970’s while it was a music station. 

Through the 80’s, 90’s and the new millennium, JJ continued to work as a voiceover actor.  He voiced over 1,200 Industrials,  thousands of radio commercials, and hundreds of tv spots.  Beginning in 2005, JJ voiced Chrysler 300 spots for tv, radio, and dealers. JJ Smith's last agent of record was the William Morris Agency.  JJ went on hiatus a couple of years ago to replace one knee and half of another, followed by a hip replacement. JJ turned 88 in early April this year and was optimistically mounting his VO career again when, in late April, he was diagnosed with his illness.


John Mellen, July 30 (79) John was a veteran jock at KNOB, KGLA, KLFM and KEZY in the fifties and sixties.

“I was drafted the day before Elvis,” John remembered when interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People in 1992. “He got to go to Europe. I got to go to Eniwetok,” Johnny worked at Armed Forces Radio in the late 1950s and when he was discharged, he programmed KLFM (later became KNAC) in Long Beach. He sold time at KEZY until the station was sold for $950,000 in 1963.

John reflected: “Even after thirty five years I still miss those good old days of starving, being unemployed, ownership changes, and management changes. Oh, do I miss it.”

“During the first part of that 37 year period, John was in a managerial/sales position with Pier One Imports, traveling the country with the responsibility of opening stores in new locations, which included much media contact. Later he was Catering Sales Manager for the Sundial Restaurant in Atlanta," recalled colleague Paul Hill.

“John lent his voice and personality as a volunteer at the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. He was also a tour guide and announcer for various activities, including the shuttle boats carrying visitors to the Arizona exhibit,” Paul continued. “John also worked as a volunteer with the Pearl Harbor Survivors Organization and was granted an honorary membership.”

Hill said that John had suffered a stroke in 2012 and had recovered by about 80% to 90%. John lived alone, apparently lost his balance and fell into his pool, where he was found by a neighbor. “The neighbor came to investigate John's dog who had been barking for several hours. It is believed this happened on July 30 and has been deemed accidental,” concluded Hill.  


George Nicholaw, August 9 (86)  George was there on Day One when KNX flipped to all-News in 1968. The former general manager of the iconic all-News station  was at the vortex of an unparalleled news standard set for three and a half decades. During his stewardship, KNX won more awards year after year than any other station in the market. Under his leadership the station won the coveted Peabody Award, the Alfred I. DuPont Award, the NAB Crystal Award, and more than 170 Golden Mike Awards. His career with CBS spanned over six decades, from 1955 to 2003.  

George Nicholaw was one of the smartest and nicest Los Angeles Radio People ever.  

When it came time to present the first LARadio Lifetime Achievement Award, there was overwhelming agreement that the honor should go to George. After a controversial ending to his half-century tenure with CBS, following the LARadio Lifetime Achievement Award luncheon, George said this is what CBS should have done for me. He was almost teary-eyed.

He grew up in Salinas and originally wanted to pursue a career in television but he was told that he needed to get some experience in radio first. He joined KDON-Monterey, doing everything including his own show called “Real George George,” playing r&b hits by the Crows and the Robins.

In 1955, George arrived in Los Angeles without a job and five months later went to work at CBS Center as a page for $39 a week. “That meant a lot of bologna sandwiches.” George went to work at KNXT in the publicity department, then on to WBBM/TV-Chicago and WCBS/TV-New York. He met his wife-to-be, Betty, at WCBS/TV.

Around 1967, William S. Paley, chief architect of CBS, wanted his seven AM stations to go all-News. George had a cursory experience with an all-News station when he worked in Chicago. He went by WNUS to visit Gordon McLendon’s all-News operation. “I was so shocked when I saw the news anchor introduce the reporter at the scene of the story and the reporter was just in the next room on the other side of the glass. I thought McLendon really knows what he’s doing, this format doesn’t cost all that much.” 

When Paley announced his decision to pursue all-News formats for his AM stations, George actively went after the job at KNX, despite the fact his friends thought he was crazy to even think of leaving tv and go into radio. George announced in January 1968 that KNX was going all-News on April 15. The next day, Westinghouse, owner of KFWB and already experienced in all-News radio, announced that 980 AM was also going all-News on March 15, getting a 30-day jump on George and KNX. The following day, Gordon McLendon announced that he was abandoning the all-News format at XTRA 690. “It was one of those kinds of trains that happen sometimes. I was encouraged to go sooner to beat KFWB but I figured we already made the announcement and I was already extremely confident of our being extremely successful. So we launched on tax day,” said George. 

Some anxiety was created before the launch of KNX. “Frank Georg was the news director and Bob Irvine was the assistant news director. Two weeks before KFWB was to go on the air and after I spent a great deal of time with Frank, he came in and quit and went over to KFWB. They offered him so much more money and off he went. Bob came to me and said that he was going with Frank if I didn’t make him news director. I told him to go downstairs and play news director.” When Irvine went into tv, George brought in Jim Zaillian as news director. “It all worked out very well.” 

When KNX was launched, the conventional thinking would be that the all-News station would be all-news. “It was hardly the case,” said George. “The network had ten minutes of news on the hour with a five-minute news program within the hour. At 9 a.m. we had Arthur Godfrey for an hour, followed by Art Linkletter for an hour and then Bob Crosby for an hour. On top of all that they had sports events that we were carrying like the World Series and the NFL. During the all-night show I had Music ‘Til Dawn. I’m sitting there saying I’m going to be an all-News station? Oh boy, this was a tough one, believe you me.” 

To counter these obstacles, George created an instant perception of KNX. In a stroke of genius, George bought billboards all over town with the faces of the very popular KNXT/Channel 2 Big News personalities: Jerry Dunphy, Bill Keene, Bill Stout, Ralph Story and Gil Stratton with the promotional line – KNX Newsradio 1070. “Everybody thought we were in the news business and it worked extremely well for us,” said George. “It took some time before we were able to release ourselves from the network shows and into a full schedule of news radio.” 

Shortly after launching KNX, the station had three newsmen following Bobby Kennedy’s visit to the Southland and they all ended up at the Ambassador Hotel. “I was at the station that evening because it was election night and on election night you were always at the station. I was in the process of deciding when we were going to return to regular programming. I passed the studios just as the actual shots were broadcast over KNX. You could hear people screaming. At first we didn’t know what had transpired. It was a real tragic situation. Everything else had stopped for the evening and Bobby Kennedy’s speech was the last thing we were going to cover. We had one reporter with Kennedy and two other reporters had finished their assignments and had gone to the Ambassador to help cover the Kennedy speech. That’s why our coverage was so complete down in the kitchen as we followed Kennedy.” 

 “I formatted the station in my own mind to follow a newspaper. A food section was part of a newspaper and there was a drama section. You name it and I tried to do it. I even had a horoscope. We were journalists and I figured that whatever a newspaper was doing we ought to be doing the same damn thing. That’s how that started. The food news hour started with Mike Roy and Denny Bracken.” 

News events will define a station. Two major events happened during Nicholaw’s reign and how he covered them made local radio history – Watergate and the OJ Trial. “Watergate was quite interesting. The actual case was going from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., which was morning drive and there were no commercial breaks. And then it came back at 11 a.m. and went to 2 p.m. You were giving up all your commercial time. The news director, Jim Zaillian, wanted to know if we were going to cover Watergate. I said of course we’re going to cover Watergate because they are going to kick the President of the United States out of office. I can’t think of a more major news story. You know, we were the only station in the nation that carried that thing. The first person in my office was Ray Barnett [sales manager] asking, ‘What are we doing here?’ I told Ray to go to the advertisers and tell them we’re going to give them two spots for one and you won’t lose a single advertiser. And we didn’t. We were #1 in the ratings during that period of time.” 

More than two decades later, it was former NFL running back Orenthal James (OJ) Simpson on trial for the murder of his former wife and another acquaintance. During the O.J. trial, everyone thought George was nuts for carrying it live. “It was our time and Judge Ito had enough talks at the bench. The minute prosecuting attorney Marsha Clark was walking up to the judge, we just shoveled those commercials in there.” Audience roared and loved the references. 

To talk about the beginning of his journey with KNX would not be complete without talking about how it ended in 2003. “There’s not too much to say. They sent out a press release announcing that I wasn’t going to be there any longer without telling me. They made it very difficult from my standpoint to accept that situation. When I was informed, I was quite surprised. The station was doing very well. All of a sudden I’m in my 49th year with this company and you might think they would have let me stick around to 50. It is a round number that resonates with a lot of people.” 

George said he holds no animosity towards anyone at CBS. “I had a great career from my standpoint that was very successful. I really enjoyed my job and going from television to radio, my God, I was the luckiest guy in the world.” 


Tom Magliozzi, November 3 (77) Tom (l) was best known as half of “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers,” the hosts of Car Talk on National Public Radio. He died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

As a pair, the Magliozzi brothers were appointment listening on NPR radio. “Tom’s been such a dominant, positive personality amongst us for so long that all of us in the public radio family – and I include our millions of listeners – will find this news very difficult to receive,” said Doug Berman, the executive producer of Car Talk  in a statement reported by NPR.

“Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers” were the personas Tom Magliozzi and his younger brother Ray created. They were two mechanics offering advice about autos back in 1977 for Boston’s NPR affiliate, WBUR. Ten years later, the program was syndicated nationally.

The notoriously self-deprecating duo retired from radio in 2012, after 35 years on air. NPR continues to rerun their popular shows.


Dana Miller, December 9 (59) Dana was the ultimate producer/manager. Along with Leeza Gibbons, Dana put together Leeza Gibbons’ ET on the Radio and her Blockbuster Top 20 Countdown back in the 80s and 90s that ran on KBIG. Dana created Hitline USA, the Country Radio Music Awards, The Buzz, and Countryline USA. He launched successful shows with Adam Curry, Elvis Duran, Hollywood Hamilton, Jim Ladd, William Shatner, Ed McMahon, Gerry House, Steve Kmetco, David Horowitz, Charlie Cook and Sam Riddle.

Dana He managed Scott Shannon when Pirate Radio was launched in 1989, and with Shannon, Dana co-hosted the nationally distributed Pirate Radio USA on Saturday nights all over the country. Together Shannon and Miller had a seven-year run on television in 17 countries with the music countdown show, Smash Hits. He managed the Beach Boys as well as every teen idol of the 80’s including Rick Springfield, Andy Gibb and Corey Hart.  

On tv, Dana co-produced Star Search, Solid Gold, numerous Bob Hope Specials, The Greatest American Hero, Sinatra’s 80th and ABC’s Disco Ball. He won a cable ACE Award for his special, The Beat of the Live Drum. He oversaw the television special that commemorated the 20th anniversary of AIDS Project Los Angeles hosted by Tom Hanks. He has produced programs featuring Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Elizabeth Taylor, Garth Brooks, Robin Williams, Hillary Clinton, David Geffen, Barry Diller and Elton John. Dana and Elton created the Elton John AIDS Foundation almost 30 years ago. Miller was the volunteer chair of the board of AIDS Project Los Angeles for six years at the request of Steve Tisch and Jeffrey Katzenberg.   

Dana graduated from USC. His first radio job was middays at KTMS-Santa Barbara. The lead singer of the Beach Boys, Mike Love, lived there and caught one of Dana’s weekend radio specials and in a quick hour offered him a job running the Beach Boys’ record label, Brother Records. He went from $400 a month to $60,000 a year virtually overnight. He put together the annual Beach Boys July 4th events on the Mall in Washington, DC, (asking for the permit from Bush Senior when he was Vice-President) and hired Charlie Tuna and Wolfman Jack to host a 25th anniversary TV & Radio special for the band. It cemented his belief in being at the “right place, at the right time” But despite all his success as a manager and producer, this veteran intern of KRLA in Pasadena at the Huntington Sheraton Hotel – who worshiped and brought coffee to Lee Baby Simms, Jimmy Rabbit, Johnny Hayes, Casey Kasem and Shadoe Stevens –knew that radio was where his heart was. 


Les Honig, December 17 (68) Les was the music director at KWIZ in Orange County in the early to mid-80s.

Prior to KWIZ, Les worked for Cashbox magazine in the 70's. When he left radio he became a teacher in the Huntington Beach school district. He taught high school math and journalism/ Les held two master's degrees: one in broadcasting from San Francisco State, and another in math from a university back east. He retired about 5 years ago, moving to the Bay Area. He was doing some free-lance writing for magazines. 

In recent years, he had battled and seemingly overcome several health challenges, including oral cancer, open heart surgery, and high blood pressure.

His passions were his friends all over the world, and traveling in France. He was a regular participant in a French conversation group, as well. Originally a New Yorker.

Allen Klein, December 23 (84) Allen had a big contribution to the world of radio ratings back in the 1960s. He went on to work for Davis Broadcasting.

In the mid-1970s, he formed Media Research Graphics, which made an enormous contribution in putting the Arbitron ratings into graphic form. With his knowledge of the broadcasting industry, the census reports and customized computer software, Allen helped hundreds of account executives and radio station executives tell a unique story about their station by using presentations that were available within a couple of days of a new report being released.

Allen was also a steady contributor to Radio & Records as well as a guest lecturer for the Southern California Broadcasters Association and UCLA. Media Research Graphics changed with the times and advance of technology and was a respected name in the industry for over 40 years.

When Allen semi-retired, he wrote numerous short stories and three novels which he proudly shared with friends.

Born in the Bronx, New York he married his teenage sweetheart, Suzanne, and both attended Brooklyn College. He served in the Korean War and was very proud to represent his country. 


Tom Sirmons, December 31, (60) Tom was a KNX news anchor from 1987-94. He spent nearly two decades as a highly successful broadcast journalist. Tom received seven “Golden Mikes” awards from the Southern California Radio and Television News Association, plus honors from UPI for producing “Best Radio Documentary in the Nation.” In addition to KNX, Tom spent many years in Florida and other areas in the country as a news anchor and reporter.

When he left KNX, Tom returned to his family home in St. Petersburg, Florida. He continued as a writer offering “Sirmons’ Sermons.”

“Tom had dazzling talent, with dramatic ups and downs,” recalled Robert Sims, former KNX news director. “Tom was a superb news anchor who could cover foul-ups behind the scenes with effortless ad-libs and flawless segues.” Sims said Tom was “fearless and fast, always reliable and accurate” as a reporter, but it was Sirmons the writer than stood out. “He wrote with a grace and clarity that put him beyond the reach of meddling editors. What gifts! Tom was an imperfect genius. I'm very sorry he’s gone,” said Sims.

"I viewed Tom as a network-quality broadcaster with the talent and intelligence to write his own ticket, radio or television," emailed Ed Pyle, former KNX program director. "Whatever he was ultimately driven to pursue I hope he was light of heart … fulfilled."



LARadio Rewind: January 12, 2007. Clear Channel Communications announces that "Boy Toy" Jesse Lozano, who works weekends at KIIS/fm and afternoons at KHTS in San Diego, will take over the KIIS/fm afternoon show. He will replace Sean Valentine, who will move to KYSR and co-host mornings with Lisa Foxx. Former KYSR morning host Jamie White had left the station on January 3. In September 2007, Foxx began working solo after Valentine replaced Charlie Tuna in the morning slot at KBIG. In addition to doing afternoons on KIIS/fm, since 2012 Lozano has co-hosted mornings with Delana Bennett on KMYI in San Diego. Foxx now works at KBIG and voice-tracks programs for KMYI and for KIOI in San Francisco.
(LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Hear Ache. KNX News is putting together a one-hour special tomorrow morning called: Lights, Camera, Terror: Hacking Hollywood. Anchors Tom Haule and Charles Feldman will welcome Sharon Waxman, editor-in-chief & ceo, The Wrap entertainment website; Matthew Belloni, executive editor, The Hollywood Reporter; Jonathan Handel, entertainment/technology attorney; Troy Gould, and Ross Crystal, KNX entertainment correspondent … Chris Bury of Pasadena was a big fan of Lisa Ann Walter when she did a weekend show at KFI. Lisa still does commercials for dermatologist Dr. Rispler. “She has more weekly airtime now than when she was on KFI,” observes Bury. I wonder if Lisa Ann Walter has ever looked at the Yelp reviews for Dr. Rispler? … After a year at Cumulus as corporate pd for the News/Talk division, Randall Bloomquist resigned citing family matters.

Gail Eichenthal Update. Gail Eichenthal, senior manager and executive producer at KUSC, has had her duties and responsibilities extended to encompass the station’s new acquisitions, KDB-Santa Barbara and KDFC-San Francisco. “I’m doing quite a bit of traveling,” emailed Gail. “I can’t complain – such wonderful places to visit. I’m in charge of outreach to those formidable arts communities, meeting with arts leaders on a regular basis. I enjoy staying somewhat active on the broadcast side, too, conducting interviews with various arts figures for KUSC’s ‘Arts Alive’ and hosting a couple of hours of classical shifts Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. Life is good.”

Funnie.

Email Monday

We GET Email …

** Where Are Mark & Brian?

“I used to listen to Mark & Brian back in the day when they were Radio Hosts in Birmingham, Alabama. I was curious as to what they’re up to.

I have a special affinity for them - they deejay’d my brother's Bar Mitzvah back in the 80s and I used to call in ALL the time to tell them jokes when I was eight [basically stalking them post-Bar Mitzvah party. They were always so nice and put them on the air.” – Amanda Goldstein Marks

** Frozen Idea

“The mention of Walt Disney's cryogenic ‘myth’ made me think of one of the funniest tv vignettes ever made, The Disney Vault, seen on NBC's Saturday Night Live, of 4/28/2006. As I understand it, Disney successfully quashed the distribution of the short a year or two after it aired, but if you can get hold of a copy, or somehow find it on the web, you’ll be in for a hilarious treat!  So surely, it’s just a matter of time before someone ties in the story of Walt’s frozen head with the title of Disney’s latest 2014 hit movie, no?

You heard it here first.” – Greg Hardison

** OK in Lompoc

“1410 in Lompoc is on the air as KTNK with a Country music format. The transmitter site is still on Highway 246 between Buellton and Lompoc.

KKOK became KBIK in 1977 and KLVV in 1979. It has had six call letter changes since then and numerous format changes. The FCC history cards show that it was off the air almost all of 1964 and for a year and eight months starting in December of 1966. 

KLOM-1330 went off the air in the late 1980's and KCLL-960 (Cool 960) went off in 1996.” – Dennis Gibson, Santa Barbara


California State University Long Beach Profits from Radio Station

(January 9, 2015) Saul Levine is preparing to move the KKJZ studios from the campus of California State University Long Beach to his Westwood headquarters that already houses his own stations, KKGO and KMZT. The impending relocation has prompted an outcry from those who firmly believe that a campus radio station should be on a campus and run by students.

Saul Levine has a ten-year contract (awarded in 2007) from the school to administer, program, and fundraise KKJZ (88.1fm). He offered his response to those protesting the move.

“The school receives several hundred thousand dollars a year from this arrangement,” said Saul earlier this week. “Plus there is free publicity for the University. Every ID mentions CSULB. The school is as happy as a bear in a honey jar.”

Saul claims he has spent “slightly over three million dollars to date, and I have never drawn dollar one. If I had used that money to promote GoCountry on tv. I could have netted millions additional revenue.”

Levine explained the timing of his takeover was problematic. “The recession hit shortly after we took over, and many jazz fans found it difficult to even donate ten dollars. But every KKJZ employee has to be paid every payday. As a matter of fact, because of the space shortage at Cal State, I have been donating space at Cotner Avenue, from the beginning for the KKJZ operation including fundraising, production, traffic, etc. This has been free to KKJZ. So, a portion of the KKJZ operation has been coming out of Westwood since 2007, and there are and have been KKJZ operational employees here for all those years. CSULB needs the space in Long Beach for school activities.”

Saul believes the move to Westwood will be more attractive for jazz artists. “It’s the Jazz artists who don't want to make the drive down to Long Beach. When KKJZ has a studio in Westwood, there are multiple jazz artists who will be able to make live appearances. There are all kinds of benefits being in the mainstream geography. And, in retrospect, when I started helping KKJZ, there were several people who wrote to the press and on social media that I would do away with the Jazz format.

Overheard.

LARadio Rewind: January 9, 1986. KSRT goes on the air at 830 kHz with a Spanish-language news format. Danny Villanueva, former Rams/Cowboys placekicker and punter, was co-owner and general manager. In 1991, Children’s Broadcasting Corporation purchased the station and it became KPLS, “Radio AAHS.” At its peak, the Minneapolis-based Radio AAHS network had 29 affiliates. In 1998, facing increased competition from Radio Disney, Radio AAHS discontinued operations. KPLS played electronic dance music until being sold to Catholic Family Radio. The Catholic-oriented talk format evolved into “Hot Talk 830, L.A.’s Conservative Voice.” In December 2003, new owner Radiovisa switched the station to Spanish-language talk as KMXE. The station broadcast Anaheim Angels baseball games in Spanish. In 2006, Angels owner Arte Moreno purchased KMXE, changed call letters to KLAA and began phasing out the Spanish-language programming. In 2008, KLAA replaced KSPN as the flagship station of the Angels. KLAA also carries Anaheim Ducks hockey. Angels baseball is currently heard in Spanish on KWKW.

KABC Changes. When KABC made the announcement about its new lineup, Bryan Suits was missing. He had only joined the station just over a year ago. A spokesman for Bryan said that he will continue in the 9 a.m. - noon slot until the changes are made on January 20 when Judge Cristina Perez takes over that time period. Bryan has been doing fill-in at KGO-San Francisco, another Cumulus station.

Funnie.

Email Friday

We GET Email …

** Future of Bryan Suits?

“Can you shed so light on what is happening with Bryan Suits? Did KABC fire him? Are they moving him to a different time slot? He is still on the radio, but they are replacing him with some woman that I have never heard of.  I cannot find anything on the Internet. I know he is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love his show, I stopped listening to Rush. I can’t believe they would get rid of him, and still keep that horrible Mark Levin. His show is virtually unlistenable. KABC continues to circle the drain, in my opinion.” – Cheri Tomcheck

** KABC Changes

“Finally, KABC reveals the programing move that disappoints me, as I don’t see Bryan Suits there. He has become one of my preferred talk hosts with his style of presentation of issues and adding his background to fill in more details that I don't hear covered elsewhere.  The replacements added between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (Judge Cristina Live and Dr. Drew Pinsky), were apparently selected as KABC’s answer to improve ratings that was last reported as No. 37.

I am familiar with Dr. Drew over his years of broadcasting but I don’t expect to be tuning in, although he is good at what he does.  Judge Cristina Perez I don't know her but don’t feel compelled to tune in.

John Phillips and Jillian Barberie are kept on the lineup, a good choice, moving down to afternoon drive time, and that show is entertaining.  I just heard Leo Terrell Tuesday filling in for Bryan Suits.

I was a bit surprised to hear Leo listing a few KABC people with whom he either does not wish to have more than a professional relationship or, as I interpret it, he’s not friends nor wishes to be friends for whatever reasons he has.  John Phillips was one of the names he recited. Normally, you don’t hear too much about any negative remarks among radio people, on the air, at least. It was interesting and I suppose everyone will survive just fine.  Leo can be annoying in his call handling when he has to be right.  The last word is always his.

Decades ago, I used to think of radio station colleagues as having some affinity towards one another and having a sense of loss when the station cuts them out. I learned more since then,  mostly, that it’s just like any company when somebody leaves; sometimes you have a good relationship with that ex-employee and may feel badly, and sometimes you don’t, maybe even agreeing with the action. (Maybe even agreeing with the decision while feeling badly for the ex-employee.) Overall, like the non-radio industry, you still have your job to do and life goes on.

I still think Larry Elder had a good show and presented views ably and handled callers fairly. I notice that KFI takes less callers than KABC, with Bill Handel variously remarking that calls should not be taken. I think he said something to the effect that they were crazies for the most part. That may not be the exact description he gave but I think it was along those lines, which is surprising since his Saturday show is driven by callers with legal questions.

I expect that a lot of the move to improve ratings has to do with pulling in more and better demographics, i.e., younger and higher spending types, as a boost for ad sales. I am just one person and would not be surprised if in the minority in what opinions are generated by the announced KABC changes.  I think a reason for talk radio audiences being smaller, if they are that, is due to the idea of not wanting to hear a lot of negatives in the news, some of it being gruesome and some situations showing no apparent solution or improvement.  ‘Ignorance is bliss’ possibly fits the situation.

Others just don't want to hear contrary or different opinions or views, especially when politics are involved, and most politicians clearly find ways to show career longevity as a priority ranks well above any showing of statesmanship while in public office.

Time will tell, meanwhile, based on the changes at KABC, I don’t feel as compelled as I did before to have KABC tuned in whenever I have a radio on.” – Robert Guevara, Eagle Rock

** OK in Lompoc

“Interesting to hear from Craig Hines about the experience he shared with you in Lompoc. So, KKOK is still on the air? I’m sure they must have moved into the city by now. When I worked there we broadcast from the transmitter on Highway 246, seven miles from town, in a worn-down trailer about the size of a double-wide. It was family-run, but a dysfunctional family. The owners were heavy drinkers. The station had no working plumbing, so after my shift I was assigned to go to the pump out back and fill up a ten-gallon water jug, to flush the toilet and clean out the sinks, while enduring the stench of alcohol-tinged vomit. Ah, Memories!” – Steve Kindred

** Remembering Tom Sirmons

“I had the good fortune of working with Tom Sirmons for several years at KNX. I had the highest regard for his talents as an anchor and reporter. He was an eloquent, fiercely intelligent man, and a fine colleague. He could be demanding, even prickly, because he was a perfectionist. But he was always kind to me. And that voice! So sad to see him gone so soon.” – Gail Eichenthal 


Tom Sirmons, Former KNX Morning News Anchor, Dies

(January 8, 2015) Tom Sirmons, KNX news anchor from 1987-94, died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 60. He spent nearly two decades as a highly successful broadcast journalist. Tom received seven “Golden Mikes” awards from the Southern California Radio and Television News Association, plus honors from United Press International for producing “Best Radio Documentary in the Nation.” In addition to KNX, Tom spent many years in Florida and other areas in the country as a news anchor and reporter.

When he left KNX, Tom returned to his family home in St. Petersburg, Florida. He continued as a writer offering “Sirmons’ Sermons” via his blog, http://sirmons.wordpress.com/.

“Tom had dazzling talent, with dramatic ups and downs,” recalled Robert Sims, former KNX news director. “Tom was a superb news anchor who could cover foul-ups behind the scenes with effortless ad-libs and flawless segues.” Sims said Tom was “fearless and fast, always reliable and accurate” as a reporter, but it was Sirmons the writer than stood out. “He wrote with a grace and clarity that put him beyond the reach of meddling editors. What gifts!”

“Tom was an imperfect genius. I'm very sorry he’s gone,” said Sims.

"I viewed Tom as a network-quality broadcaster with the talent and intelligence to write his own ticket, radio or television," emailed Ed Pyle, former KNX program director. "Whatever he was ultimately driven to pursue I hope he was light of heart … fulfilled."

No cause of death has been disclosed.

KABC Shuffles On-Air Staff. With the beginning of a new year, the local Cumulus talk station announces a new talent lineup.

Television judge Cristina Perez has been added to the KABC schedule in the 9 a.m. to noon slot, replacing Bryan Suits. Beginning at noon, the previously announced team of Dr. Drew Pinsky and Psycho Mike Catherwood, best known for hosting Loveline at KROQ, will fill in the midday slot.

Jillian Barberie and John Phillips will also move their previous lunchtime show to afternoon drive.

Early evening host Mark Levin and late evening fixture Peter Tilden will continue in their same slots.

Justice for All with Judge Cristina Perez is an American nontraditional/dramatized court show that debuted in first-run syndication on September 17, 2012, according to Wikipedia. “The series, which is created by Byron Allen through his production company, Entertainment Studios, is presided over by lawyer and award-winning tv judge Cristina Perez. Perez returned to U.S. television following a three-year stint on the three-time Daytime Emmy Award winning, 20th Television-distributed court show, Cristina's Court (2006–09), cancelled due to low ratings. Justice for All with Judge Cristina Perez is unique in that it’s the first court show and one of few television series to simultaneously produce English and Spanish-language versions.”

“Our live, local and topical programming has been incredibly well received by Los Angeles listeners,” said John Dickey, Executive Vice President and co-COO of Cumulus. “We have attracted some of the top talent in the country and continue to bolster the station’s lineup in order to meet the interests of our widening audience.”

“KABC’S goal is to build a radio station that reflects the climate and attitude here,” said Drew Hayes, Operations Director of TalkRadio 790 KABC. “KABC is a sunny and up-tempo station discussing the news of the day, populated with the nation’s leading personalities. With these additions, we have successfully evolved the station to a compelling, entertaining, true Southern California station.”

Passing Parade. May 2014 was a particularly sad month for Los Angeles Radio People. There were wonderful entertainers who entertained us and then moved on to the radio station in heaven:

 "Wild Bill" Scott, May 2 (late 60s) Bill was a veteran veteran of early KROQ in 1984-85 and two stints at KNAC for the rest of the 80s. His colleague and dear friend Dusty Street made the announcement on her Facebook page: “One of my closest and dearest friends passed away from a stroke. Wild Bill Scott [Big Daddy] was the person who gave me my signature sign off ‘Fly low and avoid the radar.’ I'm crushed by this loss. He loved music and radio as much as anyone I know. We could sit for hours playing music for each other and often did. I love you my brother. RIP.”

 Scott grew up in Los Angeles and San Francisco and went to high school in Lake Tahoe. His early radio influences were the early days of KFWB and KRLA. His first radio gig was in Truckee, near Lake Tahoe in 1961.

In 1965, he spent a year at the Don Martin School of Broadcasting. His radio journey includes stations in Bakersfield and Reno, KUDL-Kansas City, KDKB and KUPD-Phoenix and WMYQ-Miami. At KMEL-San Francisco he was the first morning jock when the station became AOR.

In Detroit,  Scott worked for WABX, WWWW and WLLZ. The Chicago stations included WLUP and WMET, WKLS (“96 Rock”)-Atlanta and Houston followed.

Scott worked nine to midnight at "the Roq." He left the Southland to help establish the Z-Rock Satellite in Dallas. In the 1990s, he jocked in San Francisco at KFOG, KSFO and KYA and KFRC. He also hosted the "Dynamite Shack" on KDIA-San Francisco. His wife worked in San Francisco radio.

Click the artwork for a quick listen to Scott.


Ben Hoberman, May 4 (91) Ben put his indelible mark on the history of LA Radio when, in 1960, he turned KABC into an all-Talk format. He died following some medical complications.

In 1960, KABC was a little bit of this and a little bit of that until Hoberman made the bold move to launch an all-Talk concept. George Green started at KABC when the programming was, at best, described as a hodgepodge. The station was playing music and presenting network programming, such as The Breakfast Club hosted by Don McNeil. With few competing AMs, and fm virtually nonexistent in the ratings, KABC was still in the middle of the pack. Green was part of a five man sales staff when Ben Hoberman, from New York’s WABC would soon be arriving in Los Angeles to manage the station.

Hoberman’s arrival heralded a major shakeup at KABC. He announced to his staff that the station was going to try something very different – KABC would be an all-Talk station. No music, all talk 24 / 7. “I remembered my first reaction was pure astonishment,” recalled Green.  “All talk....no music...how can you sell that?”  (Thanks to John Rook for the photo of Ronald Reagan and Ben Hoberman)

“WOR (New York) and KMOX (St. Louis) had some talk programming, but KABC would be the first all-Talk station in the U.S.  The entire sales staff, if not everyone else at the station, wondered how we were going to sell this new format,” remembered George Green. It didn’t take long before the uniqueness of this new thing called “talkradio” became apparent. 

Ben left KABC in 1979 to become president of ABC Radio. He resigned in 1985 and talked to KABC morning team of Ken Minyard and Bob Arthur about his resignation. ABC and Capital Cities Communications were merging and it looked like Cap Cities would be running the day to day operation.

Hoberman was one of the highest-ranking ABC veterans to exit after the merger. While being lauded by Wall Street as the single biggest media merger in U.S. history, the consolidation cost several hundred employees of both companies their jobs. It has also forced the sell-off of a number of radio and tv stations.

During his last six years with ABC Ben lived in New York and ran the network's radio division, which controlled ABC's six specialized satellite radio networks, six AM stations and six FM stations, as well as such syndicated programs as Casey Kasem's American Top 40.

Born Bernard G. “Ben” Hoberman in 1922, the native of Minnesota began his radio career after graduating from high school. He started at a small radio station in Hibbing as an announcer and salesman.

When World War II broke out, Ben joined Armed Forces Radio in London, and was eventually commissioned. He was put in charge of the First Army’s mobile radio station during the Normandy invasion. At the end of his military career, Ben was in charge of all Armed Forces Network outlets in Britain and France.

When Ben retired as ABC Radio president, he had been with ABC for 36 years, first at WXYZ/TV in Detroit and then general manager at WABC-New York.


Dave Diamond, May 6 (77) Dave was one of the original KHJ “Boss Jocks.” In 2011, Dave wrote on his website: “I had a stroke that hit me like a swinging baseball bat. But I am slowly fighting my way back. It’s been a long rough road. Don’t know what the future holds. Doctors tell me I have a fading heart, but they have told me that before.”

The Deadwood, South Dakota native born Sid Davison had early experience with Don Burden on Omaha's KOIL. He was pd of WKGN-Knoxville and WIL-St. Louis and he had a radio and tv show in Denver before reaching Los Angeles.

Dave became one of KHJ's original "Boss Jocks" when the new format was launched in April 1965, but he lasted only a couple of months. Dave went to KBLA where he launched the “Diamond Mine” and started playing long LP cuts. Besides KHJ and KBLA, Dave worked at Top 40 KFWB, KRLA, KIIS AM and KFI.

According to the book Can't Get Out of Here Alive, Dave is credited as the founder of The Doors.

In 1966, he was signed to emcee the Miss America Go-Go Contest. He also worked the Crescendo Night Club on the Sunset Strip and Hollywood's The Action. In 1967, Dave starred in an ABC/TV pilot called Helpmate. Dave published Incense & Peppermint by the Strawberry Alarm Clock which reached #1 in 1967.

In 1968, he appeared in an episode of ABC/TV's Outsiders. Then he went to San Francisco's KFRC, where he worked from 1968 into the '70s. In 1971, besides his work on KRLA, he hosted a daily tv show called Headshop on KDOC/Channel 56.

He produced Acapulco Gold by the Rainy Daze.

In 1972, Dave was the pd of KCBS/fm-San Francisco and briefly did middays at KTLK-Denver. He returned to the Southland a year later and went to KIIS morning drive, moving to evenings in 1974 and staying at the station until 1975. In 1976 he signed on at KFI for music and talk shows.

Dave moved back to South Dakota and taught communications at Black Hills State University, while managing KBHU/fm in Spearfish. In recent years he retired from teaching to write. Two months ago in the local Spearfish newspaper: “Dave Diamond, professor emeritus in journalism, was awarded the annual South Dakota State Poetry Prize. Diamond's poems will be featured in an upcoming chapbook published by the South Dakota State Poetry Society. He also wrote a series of western novels.


Liz Fulton, May 7 (61) Liz was best known for being Rick Dees’ sidekick ('Rugburns Fulton') at KIIS/fm during the 80s. She died at her home in Mckinleyville, on the North Coast of California, of natural causes. She was 61.  

A note from Liz’s sister, Marianne, was forwarded by her husband, Rick Reed.

Elizabeth Fulton was born in Mobile, Alabama on December 19, 1952, to Samuel Sylvester and Elisabeth Fulton. A fraternal twin, her older sister Marianne was born eight minutes before Elizabeth. They were a US Air Force family and their daughters were raised overseas during service at bases in England, Spain and Germany. The family returned to the US and settled in Chandler, Arizona where both daughters graduated from high school in 1971.

After her father retired from the service at Beale AF base outside Yuba City, Elizabeth attended Yuba College as a Drama and Theater arts major. It was while performing in plays as a student she became interested in broadcasting. After breaking in at KOBO in Yuba City, her talent took her to Sacramento where she reported news for KROY AM. After leaving the capital city for Los Angeles, Liz Fulton became newscaster for the number one radio program in America working at KIIS/fm until leaving Los Angeles to retire on the North Coast, where she produced personal podcast streaming radio shows online.

Previously married to Karl Koerbling, she is survived by her daughters Samantha Fulton Koerbling and Sara Fulton Koerbling, and sisters Marianne Fulton and Angela Lowery.

Rick Dees was shocked at the news. “I had a wonderful re-connection with Liz at our studios in L.A. several months ago, and she recorded some promos and voiceovers,” wrote Rick.

“Liz was fabulous. Her voice and infectious laugh take me to a place of joy in radio. So many of us will miss her energetic spirit. I remember the quote I shared with Liz as I gave her a hug at our last meeting: ‘Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it’s called THE PRESENT.’  And the memory of Liz Fulton is a gift,” concluded Rick.

Liz started doing news at KIIS in 1979. She became a part of the morning team when Dees arrived, with Liz being named news director in 1981. She left in 1984 to work for a small station in Northern California, where Samantha, her first daughter, was born. She returned to KIIS/fm and the highly rated morning drive show in 1987.

In 1990, represented by attorney Gloria Allred, she filed a sex discrimination suit, seeking judgment on specified damages and charged Rick Dees and Gannett with breach of contract and invasion of privacy. She contended that she was often the object of Dees’ on-air sexual jokes while employed at the station. Liz went on to say that she and Rick hardly spoke to each other unless they were on the air. She said she didn’t complain to Dees or station management about the sexual jokes because she feared she would be fired. Rick referred to her as Liz “Rugburns” Fulton. In the mid-1990s Liz worked at KTMS-Santa Barbara and later moved to Lake Tahoe to work news at KRLT/KOWL.


Andy Rush, May 17 (60) Andy was a veteran of KNX/fm, KMPC/fm, KCSN, and KSWD (100.3/The Sound). He died of a heart attack, apparently related to a pulmonary embolism.

 “Andy worked at KROI and later KROY from 1977 to 78 as the midday and later AM drive host and again from 1980 to 82 with a stop in between as the morning man at KZAP in 1979,” said colleague Bryan Simmons. “He later worked at KFOG and KRQR-San Francisco, returning to his hometown of Los Angeles to work in Los Angeles. I just cannot believe he’s gone.”

Tammy Trujillo dated Andy for a time in the late 80s when they taught at LAB (Los Angeles Broadcasters). “He was a wonderful, quirky, talented guy and the quintessential jock of the 70s and 80s,” emailed Tammy. “It has been so wonderful to watch the comments come in on Facebook and to realize how many people, especially up in the Bay area, remember and appreciate listening to The Rush.”

Dave Beasing, program director at The Sound, described Andy as, “A great person. He really loved his profession and the people he met along the way. He was always the brunt of his own jokes, which were hilarious, kept everyone laughing.” Andy was working in production at The Sound at the time of his death.

“When I was 12 I wanted to go into acting,” said Andy when interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People. “When I found out that somewhere along the line I’d have to wear tights and do Shakespeare in a public park, acting became just a fond fantasy.”

Two years later Andy discovered his passion for radio. “I came across an ‘instant recording’ exhibit at the Science and Industry Museum in Exposition Park. I spoke into a condenser microphone when the green light went on and stopped as the red one came on. Within 10 seconds, it played back for you. A visitor to the Exposition suggested that I should get into radio broadcasting. That’s all it took.” 

Andy started at KOTE-Lancaster followed by KREO-Indio. He secured an FCC First Class License and in 1975 joined KUBA/KHEX-Yuba City for $400 a month. Following a return to Lancaster, Andy was hired by KROI-Sacramento. “And I didn’t have to work Bakersfield or Stockton to get to the 23rd market.”

In 1982 Andy joined KFOG-San Francisco followed 2 years later with a job at KRQR-San Francisco. “After leaving KMPC/fm, I got hired at L.A.B. (Los Angeles Broadcasters) as a teacher. I spent two years there, earning half as much as I could being on the air, but getting more satisfaction from it.”

In addition to his radio work, Andy owned rental property in West Los Angeles, Hollywood and Oregon and bred Dachshund pups.


Ken Roberts, May 22 (73) Ken was the controversial owner of KROQ in the 70s and 80s. He earned and lost multi-millions of dollars over the years.

Born in Hoboken, Ken had a deep history with KROQ. In the mid-1970s with the station heavily in debt, he attained his first partnership meeting. He owned the station for almost 15 years before he sold it to Infinity Broadcasting Corporation for $45 million.

According to a station profile in the LA Times in 1985, "KROQ's owners turned out to be a doctor, a pair of dairymen, a Sacramento lobbyist, a secretary and several other small investors who knew little or nothing about broadcasting. Roberts found himself president on the strength of his experience as a concert promoter - as close to actual radio experience as any of the KROQ partners had."

On July 29, 1974, KROQ went off the air for two years. In 1976, Ken began to rebuild slowly. There was no more commercial-free broadcasting or million-dollar promotional gimmickry. In the article Ken said: "Rick Carroll [pd] liked to tell everybody he was the one who turned it around."

Ken said he was responsible for making KROQ the first mainstream station in Los Angeles to regularly play Prince, an artist who had been consistently heard only on Los Angeles' four black stations until the early '80s. By 1982, Ken had controlling interest in the company that owned KROQ. (Photo: Ken Roberts and Freddy Snakeskin)

By the end of the stock market crash in 1987, Roberts was completely broke again, according to Roger Friedman at Showbiz411.com. “He went on to make and lose a lot more money. He bought the most expensive piece of real estate in Southern California and lost that too. For a long time, he managed Frankie Valli, and he was there on opening night of Jersey Boys on Broadway. He also worked with Sly Stone, trying to rescue him from greedy managers. Lawsuits are still raging. He has discovered the fund wasn’t intending to just make him a loan, it really wanted to get control of his high-value property.”

 In 1991 he bought KSRF and KOCM for $17.8 million. The two stations (for a time were branded as MARS/fm) occupied the same dial position - 103.1- the former based in Santa Monica and the latter in Newport Beach.

Friedman talked about the early days of KROQ: “To alt-rock fans, Roberts may be considered an unsung hero. When the owners of KROQ ran into money trouble in the mid-1970s and took the station dark, the FCC gave them ten days to get the station back on the air or forfeit the license. Roberts, who was among those they owed money for a station concert, bought some radio equipment, paid the electric bill and got KROQ on the air from its transmitter. Eventually a trade with the Pasadena Hilton enabled the station to move into the hotel.  Helped by an explosion of alternative and punk music over the next decade, KROQ took off and became one of the best-known Modern Rock stations in the country.”

“Ken Roberts was a dreamer, a tummler, a larger than life guy who made show biz glow with mystery. I’m really glad I knew him,” concluded Friedman.


Richard McGeary, May 24 (89) Richard was a veteran of KWKW, KHJ, KNX, and longtime vp/general manager of KGIL. “Dick died peacefully at his home after a few days in hospice care,” wrote his friend John Hokom. Dick suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. 

Richard had not lost his New England accent which was evident as he talked about his retirement from a long career in the radio business, back when he was interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People. He lived a handful of miles from the beach in Vista in a house overlooking the third fairway at the Shadow Ridge Country Club. (Photo: Tom Bernstein, Richard McGeary, and Ken Miller)

Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, Richard was a pre-med student at Western Reserve University in Cleveland and graduated from Kent State. Richard started his career as an account executive at KWKW in 1950 and two years later landed a coveted sales job with Mutual Radio’s KHJ from 1952 to 1957. “I had been out of school for only two years and the man I was interviewing with wanted someone with more experience. I said ‘how do I get experience if you won’t hire me?’ He did and I stayed there five years.”

In 1957 Richard went to NBC spot sales in Los Angeles and San Francisco and then to Katz tv Representatives. In between KNX and his return to KHJ, he was at KABC/Channel 7. After running KHJ he was Western division VP sales of Mutual Radio Network. Richard retired in 1991. “While I have many pleasant memories of my broadcasting career, retirement has enabled me the time to travel more frequently, enjoy the fantastic weather here in Vista, and to get out on the course more often batting the ball around.”


Larry Tremaine, May 31 (70) Larry was a veteran of KBLA, KTYM, KALI, and KRLA.

Born Larry Steinman, Larry was a second generation Angelino, growing up in Beverly Hills. His grandfather, a renowned artist who designed catalogs for major department stores in Los Angeles, arrived in L.A. from Europe in 1912.

Larry attended UCLA, then started his career in the entertainment field as “Larry Tremaine,” a name given to him by Elvis Presley. Starting as a rock singer with his group Larry Tremaine & the Renegades, they later changed the group’s name to the Sunrays, which had a successful hit single, I Live for the Sun.

Larry was also a concert promoter and a disc jockey at KRLA.

In the late 60’s, he starred on tv as the host of a nationally syndicated rock ‘n roll dance party show called Casino Royal Fun Circus, where he discovered and promoted artists. He played a key part in the careers of The Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher, Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass, Bobby Fuller and others. He also hosted Disneyland’s Saturday night dance party.

In 1969, Larry moved to Europe for two years. While in Europe, Larry, with his vast knowledge of radio and television broadcasting, became a partner in “Pirate Radio,” known around the world to this day as “Radio Caroline” and “Radio Nordsea,” which broadcast from a ship off the coast of England and Holland.

Returning to America, Larry entered the family import/export business and worked with his dad, a designer who had the license for Raggedy Ann and Andy products, among thousands of other novelty items, which were made in their factories in the Orient. In the 80’s, Larry specialized in the “art” branch  of the family business and owned the Carol Lawrence Fine Art Galleries in Beverly Hills. He was soon elected president of the Beverly Hills Art Gallery Association.


You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’. Sally Rosenthal is a documentary producer who is involved in project for PBS on the history of recorded music.  “We're hoping to find a recording from 1964-66 of a dj introducing the song You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' – or perhaps a call-in listener requesting the song,” emailed Rosenthal. “I understand that this might be rare because the song had a cold open. My hope is that it might be found in a countdown program during one of the weeks it was on the charts (especially when it was #1!).  It first appeared on the charts on Dec. 12, 1964 (at #77).”

LARadio Rewind: January 8, 1986. KNAC drops its alternative rock format and becomes the first heavy metal station in the United States, opening with AC/DC's It’s a Long Way to the Top if You Wanna Rock ’N’ Roll. Realtor Fred Sands had purchased the station at a bankruptcy auction in 1984. He hired Gary Price (who had managed KLYD, KDAY, KROQ and KHJ/fm) as general manager. Jimmy Christopher continued as program director. Over the years, KNAC’s airstaff included Tawn Mastrey, Paul Long (as Long Paul), Wild Bill Scott, Phyllis West, Brian Shock, Remy Maxwell, Riki Rachtman, Gonzo Greg Spillane, Scorchin' Scotty Wilson and Ted “Thrasher” Pritchard. In 1993, Sands sold KNAC to Atlanta-based Key Market, which sold the station to Liberman Broadcasting a year later. The heavy metal format lasted until February 15, 1995. Metallica’s Fade To Black was the final song played. Liberman then installed a regional Mexican music format and changed the call letters to KBUE, "Que Buena." In 1998, KNAC was revived as an Internet station at http://www.knac.com/

Premium LARadio Membership. If you were a subscriber/supporter of LARadio, you were the first to learn of the new lineup at KABC yesterday morning. And later in the day a bulletin was sent out about the passing of Tom Sirmons. Over the holidays, you received a newsletter practically every day. For $15 a year you get it all. Scroll down to sign up.

Hear Ache. Cumulus dropped the ABC News network at KABC at the end of the year. KFI was quick to become the exclusive affiliate for ABC News in the Southland. We will get West Coast correspondent Alex Stone, not only on the news but integrated into regular programming with the Talk show hosts when news breaks. Great move ... Chuck Southcott and I grew up in Santa Monica about the same time. We didn’t know each other. I went to Samo, he went to Uni. But we must have been in the Wilshire Theatre at 14th and Wilshire about the same time when a Jacques Tati film unspooled. We both fell in love with the Frenchman’s humor. Over the holidays I was shocked to see that the DVD box set of The Complete Jacques Tati was listed as #1 favorite by an LA Times reviewer. If you have never experienced a Jacques Tati film, Mr. Hulot’s Holiday would be an excellent start ... CBS/LA management continues to interview candidates for the vacant program director opening.

Boss Radio. KHJ, the venerable call letters that ushered in one of the seven iconic formats in the last 50 years of LARadio, gave new voice to an old faith in 2014. The response from the community who was around at the time was immediate. Mike Butts, former morning man at KIQQ, wrote: “KHJ ... ALL CATHOLIC? Can you hear it? That gurgling sound? It’s The Real Don and Robert W. slurping down two double Nickodell martinis.  :)”

Rich Brother Robbin responded: “If you get into a quiet room you can almost hear Morgan and Steele spinning in their coffins.”

“No matter what, I hope the new owners of AM 930 do not make the same mistake RKO made years ago by changing the call letters,” wrote George Fair of Heartland Public Radio. “Even the successful ‘Hail Mary pass’ [no pun intended] made by Liberman to get the three-letter callsign back wouldn't quite work this time.”

Chris Bury summed up the move with a brief, “Amen.”

Gary Dolgin of Santa Monica expressed his potential side effect of religious radio in the LA Times. “If Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez believes the new station offers the church ‘unique opportunities to evangelize and share the Gospel’ with lapsed Catholics and nonbelievers, so much the better.”

Dolgin believes the “expanded reach of their faith should convince our courts that the faithful have sufficient opportunity to practice their religion without piously professing their beliefs through prayers at public meters or recitation of ‘under God’ in public school.”

He concluded, “Let’s pray for the day when nonbelievers can escape the unwelcome airing of religious beliefs by simply hitting the ‘off’ switch.”

Funnie.

 Email Thursday

We GET Email …

** KABC Line Up

“Looks like a lot of style over substance, but maybe that’s what they’re going for. What do I know?” – Bruce Harris, West Covina

** Frozen Roggin

“After famed Red Sox leftfielder Ted Williams died in 2002, his son, John-Henry, had the body cryogenically frozen, against the wishes of Williams, who had wanted to be cremated.

On his January 7 program on KFWB, Fred Roggin mentioned Williams being frozen and then added ‘like Walt Disney.’ That is a popular belief but it is not true. Two days after dying of lung cancer in 1966, Walt's body was cremated and the remains were entombed at Forest Lawn in Glendale: http://www.cemeteryguide.com/disney.html. I’ve asked Roggin to make an on-air apology and correction.

And does anyone know why KFWB is using http://kfwbam.com as a web address and not any of the seven combinations of ‘980,’ ‘The Beast’ and ‘LA,’ which the station registered on July 21, 2013?” – Steve Thompson

** The LARP Passing Parade

“Thank you for a great reminder of The Colonel yesterday. Jerry Coleman was a friend and a neighbor when I lived in La Jolla. He was an all-around wonderful guy. A gentleman.” – Jack Hayes

** More Passing Parade

“Nice remembrance of Lee Marshall.  He spent awhile at 92.7/fm in Thousand Oaks [‘Lite 92.7’ at the time], and he also served as Program Director.  When he gave orders, WE LISTENED.  :-)

On Saturday mornings, he went on the air as ‘Captain Spaulding,’ with his wife Judie as his ‘assistant’ and he played good old fashioned rock and roll for three hours.

He was a gentle giant, and was very honored to take over for Thurl Ravenscroft upon his death to become the voice of Tony the Tiger.

RIP, Lee.” – Harvey Kern, West Los Angeles

** No More KIDD

“This one really makes me sad. Not just because it is KIDD, but because of last weekend as I drove to Lompoc to visit family. Being a radio dial-surfer, I did not have that many ‘good waves to ride.’

There is no KNEZ at 960 AM, the place where we both began our careers, and for me it is there that our friendship began. Even the towers are not visible anymore. There was no KLOM at 1330 AM.  Just gone. 

One of the AM stations still exists, the old KKOK (No, it was OK-Radio, not K-KOK) that was dark for years. It was on the highway between Lompoc and Solvang and was a daytimer at 1410. Last year (driving through) it was simulcast with KUHL in Santa Maria doing Rush Limbaugh like at least 4 others I could hear. This time it was old country, very simple and traditional. At least it was on the air.

I did manage to hear a faint signal from KVEC at 920AM, my radio home in my Cal Poly days. It was a class act back then. And, it is where Rich Brother and I produced the demo for what became K-100 FM in Los Angeles. 

When I worked in Monterey at KMBY 1240AM in the 70’s it was great to have KDON and KIDD there to make radio exciting and fun and never dull. Creativity and pure willpower made up for the lack of cash to promote. We had to believe ‘There is no box’ way before the world heard the phrase ‘think outside the box.’

I wax nostalgic for those days. I am not alone, as you well know. As I sit here in my office I am not far from the old KGIL, a valley legend of years gone by. It too was a Buckley station where so many great radio people worked. I was fortunate to spend some time with them, thanks to the late Jan Basham who told Rick Scarry about me and then to work with him and the legendary Stan Warwick. Box? No, we had a liquor closet and a sense of fun.” – Craig Hines

** Bob Foxcatcher

“We saw Wild. Generally, thought was a story well told and Reese Witherspoon did a very good job.

We saw Unbroken and thought Jolie did not do a good job of directing.  It was mostly focused on torture. Title should have been PAIN AND MORE PAIN.

Another film we saw was Mr. Turner, which had good acting but not enough background and not enough of his art. Story was not true to his life. Should have been titled GRUNTING.

 Liked The Imitation Game. Many months ago saw Grand Budapest Hotel and thought it was childish and the jokes were telegraphed. In the last few years I think Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris was terrific. Also, whatever the venerable Meryl Streep is in I will see." – Bob Fox

 ** Long Live FM Home

“Thank you for making my day, every day, by keeping us in community with news of LARadio.

I, for one, am still ecstatic to call FM radio ‘home.’ Where else is audience truly family? And as long as you deliver content that touches their lives and events that speak to them, your audience will stick with you through thick and thin...even in the era of digital competition.

 Long live FM, our beloved Mothership. And long live LARP.  :)” - Deborah Howell

** College Radio

“Good story on Monday about college radio. Thanks. In fact, your comments regarding the changes are more than accurate. How many students run or on the air at KPPC, KCRW and KUSC? The focus of those stations in recent years has been on providing the community with alternative but needed programming. Classical and Jazz are two music formats that more than fill this bill.” – Chuck Southcott 


CBS/LA Stream Has Problems

(January 7, 2015) I have a New Year’s resolution for CBS/LA … FIX the Internet stream. One would think that a company with as many resources as it does (over $10 billion in annual revenue), would correct a series of problems that makes Internet listening virtually impossible.

On Saturday afternoon, all-News KNX went into a Radio.com spot, followed by the same Radio.com spot, followed by the same Radio.com, followed by the same Radio.com, followed by the same Radio.com spot, followed by the same Radio.com spot. Six times the same spot ran back to back to back to back to back to back. It was either a severe continuity problem or an automation glitch. How does a major company allow that to happen?

CBS still has spots cutting off and programming rejoining randomly in the middle of content on KNX and the other CBS radio outlets. There is also a balance problem in the live programming on some CBS stations with voices coming out at different levels, one voice blasting over another.

Help!

Wendy Williams’ Dish. Wendy Williams is one of those syndicated tv talk show hosts who has been a success, now in her sixth season. Her roots are in radio, stated within a huge profile in the LA Times. Writer Gerrick Kennedy references her beginning. “Before Wendy Williams became a fixture on daytime television with her syndicated gossipy talker she was airing out celebrities on the radio. She’s made plenty of enemies, but ‘telling it like it is’ has proved good for business.”

When Wendy got the opportunity for a six-week summer tryout, she was still doing radio. When she got the go-ahead to begin tv production, she gave up radio to pursue tv all out. Wendy has written seven books and financed a biopic of her first book for Lifetime. She talked about the ending of her time in radio: “The way the film ended was I got out of a Bentley and talked into a radio station with my headphones and my swagger. Maybe the way it ends now is I get out of car service and I walk to a tv studio. Same girl, same story though.”

If You Don’t Promote, a Funny Thing Happens: NOTHING. Just before I turned 16 years old, I met the man who almost instantaneously became my mentor for over 55 years. He not only guided me through the landmines of adolescence, but steered me into an unbelievable career filled with joy and triumphs.

Earl McDaniel died last year. I wept uncontrollably when word arrived that he had passed. Word came in an email from him.

“I died today. 

(I typed this earlier so that all Kathy, my daughter, had to do was type in the date and hit the "send" button. Isn't modern technology marvelous?)”

That’s just the way he was. Puckish and always promoting. My life in promotion – radio, tv, motion pictures – I know was fostered and encouraged by Earl. He lived by the motto – if you don’t promote, a funny thing happens – NOTHING.

I was thinking about Earl when I read Mark Ramsey’s (media strategist, consultant and trend-maker) blog asking if News/Talk stations blew it during the hacking controversy revolving around Seth Rogen’s The Interview that has consumed Sony Pictures.

“With stations labeled ‘Freedom’ and ‘The Flag’ and ‘The Truth,’ News/Talk crows daily about the dangers faced by ‘free’ Americans from their own government, so what did N/T broadcasters do when those same freedoms were abjectly denied to Americans due to the vandalism (or terrorism) of a foreign government?” asked Ramsey. “For most stations in the format, the answer appears to be: Nothing.”

Most program directors claim that marketing is difficult because there is no budget. But over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that good/great promotions cost very little or nothing. Just an investment in being creative.

Ramsey asks “Did you stage free screenings of the movie on any screen you could find? Did you launch a campaign to lobby our leaders in Washington that the denial of freedom in this tiny instance is the beginning of a very slippery slope, one that could easily lead to foreign actors at any time threatening violence for any reason only to have freedoms stripped away, again and again?”

Ramsey provides an example of a very real-world flash-point that was ripe for individual promotion. Did you give away free downloads? The Seth Rogen movie was YouTube’s most popular video the day after Christmas, and was bootlegged more than 900,000 times in the 24 hours after its official release.

“Listeners expect more from the brands they love. They expect those brands to stand for something they believe in and to prove they believe in it.

Words are cheap.

Let’s not make Talk Radio cheaper.”

Thanks, Mark. Did News/Talk bungle The Interview? Check out Ramsey’s blog at: http://www.markramseymedia.com/blog/

Hear Ache. KLOS’ Frank Kramer was anxious to hear about Heidi Hamilton’s “New Year’s Queer Party.” He said all the blow horns look like penises. “And the party hats have fur around the bottom.” … Rick Dees will be honored later this month by the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters. Long overdue … The success of Salem Communications branding of 870/KRLA as ‘The Answer’ has pressed the company to expand its “Answer” Conservative Talk brand to seven additional markets … Charlie Tuna is working morning drive at K-EARTH this week. He asked a very practical question. When do you stop telling people to have a good year or Happy New Year? He figures January 6 to be the cut-off date.

Coachella unveiled its lineup on Tuesday morning, with Drake, AC/DC and Jack White as headliners.
In a nod to a certain AC/DC song, the Indio festival announced a full schedule of performers.

We'll Miss You, KIDD. Many LARP got their early start in the Carmel/Monterey Bay area at stations like KDON and KIDD. Recently, KIDD became an all-Sports station at 630AM, primarily offering ESPN Radio. Many sports fans may feel like they got a belated lump of coal in their Christmas stockings upon learning that radio station KIDD has been shut down, according to the Monterey Herald.

Parent company Buckley Communications decided to shut it down for financial reasons. Kathy Baker, evp of KIDD, said Buckley Communications will remove the towers at Reservation Road and Seaside Court and try to sell the station’s frequency.

KIDD first went on the air in 1955. For many years KIDD offered an adult standards / middle of the road, or nostalgia, format, using the name Magic 63. In 2009 the station changed to an oldies format.

Overheard.

Size Matters. When Don Elliot saw the KBIG bumper sticker, it reminded him of a story. “A higher-up in the Clear Channel organization, who shall remain unnamed, confided in me that the reason they used lower case in these ads… (I couldn’t believe it when I was told… but it’s true…) was a result of complaints by nervous women who were offended by the use of all upper case letters because the word ‘BIG’ could only possibly mean one thing.

This was coincidentally around the time of the Clear Channel ‘Less is More’ brainwashing campaign. My response, 'Yeah, you little guys all say that.’

Then there was the time when they spelled out the letters K-B-I-G rather than say the word. Right, women can’t spell, give me a break. We moved on? Not very far. Over-sensitivity and stunning reactions to a complaint isn’t brand-new though. Way back in the days of Stan Freberg, he used to parody the lament of the general manager, ‘one postcard poured in.’”

LARadio Rewind: January 7, 2013. KFI midday host Bill Carroll begins hosting an afternoon show for CFMJ in Toronto. He made this observation: “640 in L.A. and 640 in Toronto. It’s almost poetic.” Born in Scotland, Carroll emigrated with his family to Canada in 1967. He studied broadcasting at Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, Ontario, and worked at several Canadian stations, including CFMJ and CFRB, before coming to KFI in 2010 as a replacement for Bill Handel’s short-lived syndicated afternoon program. Carroll now broadcasts from 10 to 1 on KFI and from 4 to 7 on CFMJ, where he is joined on-air by news anchor Sandy Salerno and producer Chris Cresten. Carroll's CFMJ program can be heard at http://www.640toronto.com/billcarroll/

Funnie.

 

Email Wednesday

We GET Email ...

** Radio Story

“One Sunday morning, KPPC was carrying the worship service live from the Pasadena Presbyterian Church. The service was supposed to run from 10:30 to noon.  A fraternity brother of mine, Mike Mathiesson, was running the board, and had nothing cued up in either cart machine or on any of the three turntables. Why should he? He had plenty of time to prep for the end of the church service.

Suddenly, the church announcer came on and said, ‘This concludes coverage of this morning's service. We now return you to the main studios.’ Click. The console at the church had started smoking.

Mike panicked. He was yelling, ‘I have nothing to play! What am I gonna do?’

Veteran dj Don Hall, who went on at noon, was in the stacks pulling music for his show. He calmly handed Mike an LP, and said ‘Here, play this.’

Mike slapped the disc on a turntable and started it. Greatly relieved, he said ‘Thanks, Don, you saved my ass!’

Then the record started ... (crowd noise) ... ‘Give me an F.... Give me a U... Give me a C... Give me a K..... What's that spell ? (pause) WHAT'S THAT SPELL?’

I mean, the little old ladies tuned in for the worship service never even had a chance to turn the radio off before Country Joe MacDonald came on with the Fish Cheer...

Mathiesson stood up, took his prized 3rd class radio license off the wall, and left the building, never to return. So much for that career in radio.

Those were the days.” – Mike Callaghan

** Passing Parade

“OK, so you got me with Colonel Coleman. The tears were for Lee Marshall. Thank you Don. I was fortunate to know both of them and respectively, they are part of the American fabric.” – Chris Carmichael

** More Passing Parade

“Beautiful column today. For once I’m thrilled not to be mentioned in the lead story.” – Rich Brother Robbin

** College Radio

“No double standard from me.

Since I began writing my column, I have held firm in the belief that ALL professionally-run and staffed college stations are operating outside the rules set forth in their educational licenses, and I have called numerous times for Pasadena City College, USC, Cal State Northridge, Santa Monica College and all other supposed educational stations operated by colleges — sans students — to have their licenses revoked by the FCC.

I called for that for KLON/KKJZ as well, until they finally brought in students through the HD stream, and it took Saul Levine to make happen what the University should have done years before. I am still perturbed that K-Beach is not live most of the day, as prerecorded programs are not real radio, but at least the HD stream allows a radio laboratory that does indeed benefit the students of Long Beach State directly.

I commend Levine for his breaking away from the pack and actually giving the students of Long Beach State a real radio station again … with a better signal than KSUL ever had [even though you do need a special radio to hear it over the air].

It may not ‘be done’ that way any longer, but it should. If the FCC had any balls, it would. A college station without students is not educational, it is professional, and it should not be able to hold an educational license. Period. But as everyone knows, the FCC has been impotent for at least the past two decades.’” – Richard Wagoner, radio columnist Daily Breeze and LA Daily News


The Passing LARP Parade of 2014 (January - April)

(January 6, 2015) Today's retrospective of wonderful Los Angeles Radio People who left us in 2014 is always filled with sadness, awe and wonderment at the diversity of personalities, on- and off-air who helped make LA Radio what it is today.

Jerry Coleman, January 5 (89) Jerry was a two-time war hero who became one of the most endearing figures in San Diego Padres history. 

Coleman died at Scripps Memorial Hospital with complications of head injuries he'd suffered in a fall. He had been in and out of the hospital and also contracted pneumonia. 

Gerald Francis Coleman, born September 14, 1924, in San Jose, wore the Padres uniform for only a year. At that, it was a fairly desultory year for all concerned — and yet his jersey number is one of few retired to the franchise’s wall of fame. 

In 42 years as broadcaster of Padres games, Coleman became the link between the major league team and San Diego. To many, he was its very identity. 

Coleman was as beloved for his favorite-uncle voice as Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn was for his line drives between short and third. Coleman’s mistakes and misspeaks, much as he had to swallow his annoyance at their too-frequent re-hashing, made him even more of an icon of the community.

Coleman’s humility and self-effacing ways belied an extraordinary personal history of courage, sacrifice and accomplishment. Addressed affectionately and respectfully at the ballpark as "The Colonel," he was a Marine Corps aviator in both World War II and the Korean War. And he was an All-Star second baseman for the dynastic New York Yankees who once was Most Valuable Player of a World Series.

"Jerry Coleman was a hero and a role model to myself and countless others in the game of baseball," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "He had a memorable, multifaceted career in the national pastime -- as an All-Star during the great Yankees' dynasty from 1949-1953, a manager and, for more than a half-century, a beloved broadcaster, including as an exemplary ambassador for the San Diego Padres. (Thanks to the UT-San Diego for the story)


Howard Anderson, January 21 (85) Howard was the founder of Highway Radio. Howard’s entire professional career had been in broadcasting, beginning in 1948. Prior to creating unique Highway Radio in 1980, he served as a staff vice president of Howard Hughes’ Summa Corporation. He joined Hughes in 1972. Anderson was also director of the communications group of Summa with responsibilities for the Hughes Television Network and KLAS/TV-Las Vegas.  

The genesis of Highway Radio dates back to the late 1970s, when founder Anderson realized 50% of visitors to Nevada tourism markets came from Southern California. He went to his boss, the late Howard Hughes, and convinced him that reaching visitors on the highway would boost walk-in traffic to Hughes’ casinos: The Sands, Desert Inn, Castaways, Silver Slipper, Frontier, and Landmark.

 
Jim Lange, February 25 (81) Jim may have been known nationally for hosting Name that Tune and The Dating Game, but “Gentleman Jim” was a popular talent on both the Los Angeles and Bay Area radio dials. He died after suffering a heart attack. 

He was a dj at then-MOR station KMPC twice, from 1970-71 and 1984-89. Lange was born on August 15, 1932, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where at 15 he discovered a passion for local radio after winning an audition at a local station. “They wanted a boy and a girl," he said in a 1992 interview with the Bay Area Radio Digest. “They wanted the boy to do sports and the girl to do the dances and stuff that was going on in the Twin Cities — very sexist — and play music once a week.” He hosted that show for two years. 

Lange’s bio from the Bay Area Radio Museum states that he attended the University of Minnesota as well as doing a three-year stint in the Marines. His big break on network tv came in 1962 when Lange was made an announcer and sidekick on The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show, his first of his several tv gigs. “As much as he’s known for his television work, his real love was radio," said Nancy Fleming, a former Miss America, who Lange married in 1978. “He loved doing local radio, especially before it was computerized.”

Lange himself once told the Bay Area Radio Digest that he loved the medium because “you don’t have to worry about lighting directors and cameramen or script writers and all that. Good radio is still the most fun,” said Lange. “It always will be. Plus, you don’t have to wear makeup and you don’t have to shave.”

Jim spent over two decades in San Francisco radio, much of it at KSFO and KGO, working with Don Sherwood and other Bay Area legends. He returned to the Southland when King Broadcasting bought KSFO from Gene Autry’s Golden West, when everyone was fired on December 12, 1983. “Picture a guy there in a hangman’s hood, throwing the switch at midnight,” he said. During his second trip to Southern California radio, Jim worked middays on KMPC between Robert W. Morgan and Wink Martindale. Jim returned to the Bay Area and was back on the air in the summer of 1994, hosting a weekend show on Big Band KKSJ-San Jose. Jim also spent time in Branson, Missouri hosting the $25,000 Game Show.  


Geoff Edwards, March 5 (83) Geoff was a veteran of network tv game shows Treasure Hunt and NBC’s Jackpot. He was the host of California Lottery’s Big Spin for over a decade, and a veteran personality at KHJ, KFI, and 710/KMPC. Geoff died of complications from pneumonia.

Born in 1931, Geoff grew up on the East Coast. He started in radio in the 1950s at WOKO-Albany, where the station manager suggested he consider another line of work since he did not have a deep "radio voice."

Geoff arrived at KHJ just prior to "Boss Radio," working as the station’s program director. Previously, he had been at San Diego's KFMB where he was pd and also flew the traffic airplane. He also had a jazz show in 1959 on both KFMB AM and FM called The Grotto.

When KHJ went "Boss," Geoff took over the morning slot at KFI. Two years later, Geoff went up the dial to KMPC, Gene Autry's legendary all-service MOR outlet. Geoff was part of a powerhouse lineup billed as “the Station of the Stars,” including Dick Whittinghill, Roger Carroll, and Gary Owens.  While at KMPC, one of Geoff’s popular running characters was the Answer Lady. The bit was particularly unique because he did not use a female voice. Yet as the Answer Lady, Geoff fielded questions from listeners, providing audacious answers, correct or not.

He left when the station went Talk in 1979. “I had to make a decision. I had become involved in some tv activities that had become as interesting as or more interesting than the radio work.” Geoff’s new tv projects included a deal with Warner Bros. to develop daytime programming.

By 1987, Geoff was back on the radio when he joined KFI.  He was at the station when the format changed to a “news / talk” format.  Geoff worked middays as a talk show host until he resigned in March 1989.

In recent years he turned his attention to writing and began writing travel stories, as well as hosting an Internet related travel show.


John Darin, March 7 (74)  John was an L.A. radio veteran both in front of the mic as well as pd duties across the dial.  The veteran of KRLA, KDAY, KROQ, KNAC, KGOE, KNX, KGIL, KJOI, and KBLA had just been diagnosed a few months before his death with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Born John Christian Miller in Rapid City, South Dakota, he grew up in Ventura. When he was a youth John watched a broadcast, which led him to tell the dj, “when I grow up, I want to be a disc jockey.” In response, the dj said, “you can't do both!”

Johnny Darin arrived at KRLA in December of 1968 from KGB-San Diego via earlier stops at KACY-Oxnard and KMEN-San Bernardino, serving as music director at the latter. At KRLA, he started as a production man.  He would then become the character Filbert E. Yarborough (Bill Drake's name at KYA-San Francisco) on Dave Hull's morning drive show. Within a few months, Johnnie had his own show in late 1968 then a year later became program director. “It all happened very quickly,” recalled John

1972 was a busy year for John.  He started a decade of programs for Armed Forces Radio. He also served as the original pd at the ambitious, albeit ultimately unsuccessful KROQ/AM. After “the Roq,” John went to San Francisco to be gm of KSOL and orchestrated a Disco format.

In 1975, he returned to the Southland and spent a summer month at KNAC before becoming pd of KGOE in Thousand Oaks for six months. John’s father would give him prophetic advice about the “dj business,” telling him to prepare for a life after being a jock.

John began to make a transition into the world of business reporting on Channel 22 while doing business reports on KNX and playing music on KGIL. In the mid-1980s, John was an anchor on KCOP/Channel 13, field reporter on KHJ/Channel 9 and did reports for cable news.

John and Chuck Ashman produced audio, video and websites for clients on nine major airlines under the banner “Flight Talk Network.” He has been reporting business news on American Airlines’ audio channel for years. John helped launch KBLA as a full-time Business station in 1989 when realtor Fred Sands bought the station.

After leaving the day-to-day radio grind, John would eventually operate a full-service ad agency specializing in infomercials (many of which he hosted) and industrial video work. “There is life after radio if you are creative, ambitious...and DESPERATE,” John said when interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People.


Earl McDaniel, March 26 (84)  Earl, the puckish morning man at KFVD and KPOP in the 50s when Pop Standards made way for rock 'n roll, announced his death in an email: "I died today." His daugther typed in the date of his passing and hit the 'send' button.

While in LARadio, Earl not only worked at KPOP, but he was on KLAC, pd at KDAY and for two years at KFWB before being sent to KEWB-San Francisco to program the Crowell-Collier station. Earl was the first to pair Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele long before they arrived in Southern California for "Boss Radio."

Earl spent two decades working for Senator Cecil Heftel in Hawaii, as pd, then gm and later president. He took the morning man, Aku, to new heights, capturing over 50% of the listeners in morning drive. Earl was the first to give away $1,000,000 to one person.  When he ran KGMB, the population of Hawaii was about 700,000, yet the million-dollar contest drew over 4 million entries. Earl became president of Heftel's broadcasting empire, and was involved with WLUP-Chicago, 13Q-Pittsburgh and Spanish KTNQ in Los Angeles. 

Earl lived by the credo: "Whatever you did yesterday doesn't count. It's the future that counts." 

Lee Marshall, April 26 (64) Lee was a booming news voice in Southern California for decades. But that was just one of his many talents – he hosted sports talk, was a featured voice in professional wrestling, ran news bureaus, and hosted morning drive. And maybe, the voice of Tony the Tiger from the Frosted Flakes commercials sounded familiar – indeed, that too was Lee Marshall. On Saturday afternoon, Lee died of esophageal cancer. He was 67.

Before arriving in the Southland, he worked at legendary Rock radio stations such as KCBQ-San Diego and CKLW-Detroit’s anchor of their “20/20 News.” Lee's work has been featured in New York's Museum of Broadcasting and is also used as a teaching tool at the University of Illinois. He has been honored with Golden Mikes and an Emmy. He started at KHJ in 1970 followed by KDAY from 1976-78. He returned to KHJ in 1979 where Lee was news director, as well as Western regional bureau chief for the RKO Radio Network.

Lee joined KABC in 1980 as news director and stayed for more than a decade. He also co-hosted Sports Talk. Lee oversaw the Western regional bureau for the ABC Radio Networks.

In the early 1990s he was syndicating a Notre Dame football pre-game radio show and a syndicated sports-entertainment program called "SportsAmerica." On April 17, 1991, Lee launched KBLA's business morning show, "California Drive."

He went on to be executive vp of news and sports programming for Shadow Broadcast Services. Lee has always been active in broadcasting high-profile traditional sports. In 1969 he started providing play-by-play commentary for professional wrestling.

Lee became part of TNT Monday Night Intro before he moved to WCW (World Championship Wrestling). For over a year Lee was been splitting his week between L.A. and the CNN Center in Atlanta doing the commentary for World Championship Wrestling for Turner Broadcasting. He became a character himself, as Marshall was known as "Stagger Lee." Other shows included Lee as co-host of WCW Thunder and WCW Monday Nitro. A staple of WCW Monday Nitro was his regular cracking of "Weasel" jokes. He was also known for traveling across the country to host Nitro parties for WCW, while keeping in contact with the tv show through updates by telephone.

Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda said of Lee: "If God ever wanted to make a speech, Lee Marshall would get the call!"


LARadio Rewind: January 6, 2009. Hot 92.3 KHHT launches a "Yes You Can Go" contest. Any student enrolled in an accredited school could enter via mail or on the KHHT website. Entries had to include the student's name and address, telephone number, e-mail address, birthdate, and name of school, along with a letter explaining "Why I should go to the Presidential Inauguration." Entries had to be received by January 16. A panel of judges selected ten finalists and the public had three days in which to vote for their favorite. The winner received a trip for two to the Inauguration of the 44th President, Barack Obama, including round-trip airfare, a four-night hotel stay in Washington DC, two tickets to the Inaugural Gala and two tickets to the Inauguration ceremony.


Saul Synonymous with Jazz

(January 5, 2015) If it were not for Saul Levine, Jazz music might not exist on Southern California radio. (For that matter, you could make the same argument about Country music.) The radio maverick always seems to frequently have a plan up his sleeve to shake up the radio landscape.

In 2006, Cal State Long Beach, Licensee of KKJZ, decided to seek programming and fundraising help. The University had incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating losses during the preceding year. There was a possibility that 88.1/fm would have to give up its mainstream jazz format.

Saul Levine had plenty of experience with Jazz programming. When he launched 105.1 in the late 50s as KBCA and later KKGO, the station programmed Jazz, and Levine had a very loyal following for decades.

Saul was one of those interested in assisting with the programming of the station and helping with fund raising for the university station. Levine’s desire to maintain the Jazz format, along with a strong financial backing, were probably factors in the decision to give Global Jazz, Inc. (owned by Levine) a ten-year contract. One of the finalists, it is rumored, desired to turn 88.1/fm into a Spanish language talk format.

“My only goal was to save the jazz format, and help the University,” remembered Levine. “In fact, I achieved that goal, but at the cost of very hard work and enormous sums of money to keep the station going.”

Now, Levine is physically moving KKJZ’s primary operation from the Long Beach campus to be part of his operation in Westwood (home of KKGO, Go Country, and KMZT, 1260 AM Classical station). Those who had the wonderful experience of working at a college radio station where they really had hands-on involvement, were quick to react. Heck, I had a 15-minute show every Friday morning on KCRW while attending Santa Monica High School in the 1950s. That’s just not done anymore. That was then, this is now and yesterday’s gone.

Levine wonders if there is there a double standard as far as negative attention to his move. “Five years ago, KPCC left the Pasadena City College campus and relocated to a vacant building in Pasadena,” said Levine. “KPCC is operated by an out of state organization,” Saul continued. “KUSC has left the USC campus. KCSN brought in a former commercial programmer. None of those stations use students on air to any extent.’

Not only has Saul provided financial stability to the radio operation but continuity of format. As far as student involvement, Saul said: “The following programs will continue” with some of them expanded:

  •     Student intern programs

  •     Student scholarship grants

  •     Student operation of HD FM programming on 88.1 from Long Beach

  •     Performance on KKJZ of music, compositions, and other creative works by CSULB students and grads.”

Seacrest @40. While we were on holiday, KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest turned 40 years old. He was on Jimmy Kimmel Live promoting his New Year’s Eve show and recounted a birthday memory in his home, while  growing up in Atlanta. “When my dad turned 40, we put an ‘Over the Hill’ sign in the front yard,” said Seacrest. “I thought to myself he was going to die soon, that’s old. And then you get to be that age and you think, that’s not old at all.”

Kimmel wanted to know if Seacrest was born in a hospital or in a manger.

Hear Ache. Ron Irwin, has written a new book, Live Die Live Again, which is described on iTunes as: “An amazing life story filled with overwhelming adventure and powerful but real tales of stunning survival. Irwin faced his first death as he had faced his entire life, fearless with unshakeable determination. This is his story and a great guide for all who a stronger, longer and more loving life.” … There is a report that Jim Rome will be leaving CBS Sports Net and his two-year old daily half-hour television talk show in March. Sports Business Daily says Rome will continue to work with CBS – including producing his daily talk show for the CBS Sports Radio network, which is heard on KFWB … As for CBS, it reported $10.13 billion in revenue for the first nine months of 2014, which was down 3 percent from the same frame a year earlier. Its operating income fell 5 percent in that period to $2.2 billion.

KOST XMAS Music Tops December '14 Ratings

Nielsen PPM for December '14 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid

1. KOST (AC) 5.2 - 7.0

2. KIIS (Top 40/M) 5.3 - 4.9

3. KBIG (MY/fm) 4.7 - 4.7

4. KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.2 - 4.5

5. KPWR (Top 40/R) 4.3 - 3.9

6. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.9 - 3.8

7. KAMP (Top 40/M) 4.0 - 3.7

8. KFI (Talk) 3.6 - 3.5

9. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.1 - 3.2

10. KKHT (HOT 92.3) 2.6 - 3.0

      KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.8 - 3.0

      KNX (News) 2.9 - 3.0

      KSWD (The Sound) 3.5 - 3.0

Other notable moves:

  • KROQ remains steady with a 2.6 in 16th place
  • KTWV and KKGO up a tick in 18th and 19th place
  • At 20th place, Classic Rock KLOS goes from 2.5 to 2.2
  • In the last couple of months, The Patriot, KEIB, is up 0.6 - 0.7 to 0.8
  • KABC is steady at 0.7 for the last few months at 34th place
  • In the world of sports, KSPN scores highest at 27th place, followed by KLAC at 35th, KFWB at 39th and KLAA at 41. The new Beast format at KFWB dropped a tenth of a point month-to-month, 0.2.

What’s Your Name? Remember Don & Juan’s hit song, What’s Your Name? SAG has a rule that radio should adopt, regarding performers using the same name. With Mark Thompson’s quarter of a century success in LARadio at KLOS, TV’s Mark Thompson should have added an initial to his name or become Marcus Thompson when he joined KFI with Elizabeth Espinosa. SAG doesn’t allow actors to have the same name. In the old Top 40 days, this would have eliminated all those calling themselves Johnny Dark.

Kasem’s New Home. Before 2014 ended and more than six months after radio icon Casey Kasem's death, his body has finally been buried. In Oslo, Norway.

"This morning my family and I learned that my dad's abusive wife , Jean Thompson Kasem and their daughter Liberty, conned a cemetery in Norway into burying my dad there," said Kerri Kasem, oldest daughter from Casey’s first marriage.

Kerri has been convinced that the overseas burial is part of a continuing effort by her father's widow to thwart an elder-abuse investigation. (Casey Kasem artwork courtesy of TMZ.com)

ABC News. KABC dropped the ABC News feed from its hourly newscasts, however, ABC Radio has signed over 1,000 other stations to its affiliation family. ABC Radio relaunched into three services, ABC News, ABC Digital, and ABC Air Power. ABC News president James Goldston announced 200 brand new affiliates.

KNJO Owner Dies. In the 1960's, Dr. Irving Schaffner purchased KNJO/fm-Thousand Oaks, from Sandy Koufax, the original owner.  The station featured adult contemporary music and local news and community events.  Schaffner later sold KNJO to Alan Fischler for $75,000. 

Schaffner, who practiced medicine in the Conejo Valley for over 40 years, died December 14, 2014, at his home in Oakhurst.  He was 84 years old.

KABC Countdown. KABC management has been very stingy with news on the new line-up to kick off the New Year. The original press release from the parent company, Cumulus, announced just before the holidays that Dr. Drew Pinsky and Psycho Mike Catherwood would be joining the legendary Talk station that has seen better days, rated just 0.7 for the last few months.

The press release indicated that Pinsky and Catherwood would be taking the midday slot, which could be 9 a.m. – noon or noon – 3 p.m. The first reaction to the press release assumed that Drew/Pyscho Mike would take over noon-3 p.m. and the station would slide current occupiers of that time slot, John Phillips and Jillian Barberie, into afternoons, since the time period has been vacant since Larry Elder was let go a few months ago.

Now we are hearing that other changes may be in the works.

KABC took on the broadcasting rights for the LA Kings Hockey team this season, which plays all sorts of havoc with pre-emptions. When games are on the Midwest or East Coast, afternoon drive is interrupted. Evening games on the West Coast pre-empt Mark Levin and much of Peter Tilden.

Oh, what to do?

Since Bryan Suits (9 a.m. – noon) and John & Jillian (noon – 3 p.m.) were personally handpicked by program director Drew Hayes, one would think he would not be dumping either show after barely a year.

We would not be surprised to hear a brand new show tucked into the schedule. The new show would feature personalities known to Southland listeners.

This story has major consequences for the revenue budgets of not only KABC but also KLOS, a Classic Rock station that, according to sources who receive Miller Kaplan Arase auditing figures, has lost a third of its yearly revenue from a decade ago.

Huckabee Media Changes. Once upon a time Mike Huckabee wanted to be a Talk show host and Cumulus gave him the opportunity. It didn’t work, but he kept his name alive doing short commentaries. Now, Huckabee is leaving his tv gig at Fox News.

"As much as I have loved doing the show, I cannot bring myself to rule out another presidential run," Huckabee said during Saturday's episode. He added that he will make his final decision in late spring about whether to enter the race.

"It's been the ride of a lifetime, and I have never had so much fun in my life," he said of doing the show. "But I also realize that God hasn't put me on earth just to have a good time or to make a good living, but rather has put me on earth to try to make a good life."

LARadio Photo Album

Arf. Arf. Dr. Laura had a “biting” situation over the holidays or an item that may have bitten her in the butt. In a recent segment about how to avoid loneliness, she suggested that all pit bulls should be killed, according to a story in the Huffington Post.

After suggesting listeners could adopt a pet to curb loneliness, Schlessinger said on her December 15 show that she'd recently visited a local animal shelter, where she was surprised to find that most of the animals there were pits. "It was about 95 percent pit bulls. Or pit bull mixes," she observed.

"Now I know this is going to get somebody angry," Schlessinger predicted, "but I think they should all be put down." Such dogs are "taking up space," she continued, going on to say she informed a shelter worker that she "didn't feel like giving money" since "all this money donated is going to feed pit bulls" whom "nobody wants."

As some spit out their coffee over the remark, one sponsor canceled. "We have been sponsoring Dr. Laura in 2014, and we have been evaluating whether or not to do a sponsorship in 2015," Brittany Oler, spokesperson for Kidsemail.org, told The Huffington Post by email on Monday. "At this time due to the negative press and feedback we have received from hundreds of people, we feel that it is best that we do not renew a sponsorship with Dr. Laura."

Within days, more than 17,000 people have signed an online petition asking more sponsors to do likewise.

Dr. Laura posted an apology on Facebook: "After reading the emails from pit bull lovers, I realize that my comments were hurtful," she wrote. "I apologize for causing any pit bull owner/fancier any distress."

More Hear Ache. Over New Year’s, KROQ played every top 20 song from every year from 2000-14 … Yesterday, KFI newswoman Jo Kwon ran the 12.5 mile marathon from Seal Beach to Belmont Shores and back … We haven’t heard if Shirley Jahad has departed KPCC because management won’t comment on personnel matters. She hasn’t been heard on the air since November, but is still listed on the KPCC website. Wasn’t the station airing a promo about Shirley from President Obama? I believe they go back to Chicago days … 17-year CBS/Radio veteran Amber Perry and most recently general sales manager at K-EARTH has exited to join Pandora Music … The anticipated return of Mark Thompson (of Mark & Brian fame) to LARadio is now set for February. KSWD (100.3/fm The Sound) has been interviewing for the third member of the new morning team. Andy Chanley is already sliding from middays to co-host mornings with Thompson … KEZN in Palm Springs changed its name over the holidays from EZ-103/fm to Sunny 103. Same format. Just a new name … … It is always a treat to hear different voices filling during the holidays. Sitting in for Thompson & Espinosa on New Year’s Day was relationship expert, Lauren Lake who hosts Paternity Court, which  airs on KTLA/Channel 5.

LARadio Rewind: January 5, 2009. Internet station LA Talk Radio launches a second channel. Originally called BBS Talk Radio, the station was launched in February 2008 by Cal State Northridge graduate Sam Hasson, who now hosts a one-hour program at 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Hasson was named by Talkers magazine as one of the top 50 talk webcasters in 2010 and again in 2011. The station's slogan is "We say what we want." Among the more than 80 program hosts are Guy Towe, Alicia Meyer, Wes Hall, Max Tucci, Jeff Levy, Mother Love, Cathy DeBuono and Dr. Michelle Cohen. In October 2014, LA Talk Radio added a video channel. To listen to LA Talk Radio or to learn how to become a program host, go to http://www.latalkradio.com/index.shtml (LARadio Rewind meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Overheard.

  • "I'm so unbelievably excited for the future.” (Psycho Mike, KABC, from Twitter account)

  • “I am the type of person who has friends who get Elliot Gould tattoos.” (Kat Corbett, KROQ, from her Twitter page)

  • “Wow, the record that changed the world, Rock Around The Clock, featured in the movie Blackboard Jungle, just turned 60.” (George Johns, radio consultant) ,

  • ‘Give Asian drivers a break....clearly it's Asian pilots that need the scrutiny.” (John Phillips, KABC)

  • "... and remember no drinking and driving tonight; alcohol and gasoline don't mix. Well they DO but it tastes terrible."  (Rich Brother Robbin, RichBroRadio.com)

  • “Caviar should never be served from silver or spooned with silver because silver will alter its delicate taste.” (Melinda Lee, Food News, KNX)

Funnie.

Email Monday

We GET Email …

** Martoni’s a Radio Home

“Seeing the matchbook from Martoni’s reminded me of one of my first LA Radio experiences. I was station manager for WTAE and WHTX in Pittsburgh  in 1986 and we brought our morning show out to cover The Grammys with John McGhan’s company. Ted Atkins had moved on from ‘TAE and HTX and was part owner of KROY in Sacramento but came down to L.A. to see Larry O’Brien and John Garry and Scout, their producer, which was the world famous morning show from WTAE and later WHTX. 

We got together at Martoni’s for dinner and it was a riot. Ted brought the KIIS music director at the time and Bruce Vidal, [whose life was celebrated in December of 2003, according to your column]. All totaled there must have been 9 of us. A great number of plates of pasta and a lot of glasses of wine. At the end of the night the bill came and Ted and his crew were nowhere to be found! I had to expense that dinner to the station owners [along with thousands of dollars in hotel bills for the week we spent at The Chateau Marmont].

Fortunately, the dinner was awesome. Ted had hours of stories and the company was awesome. Not the BEST story that came out of Martoni’s, but will always be one of my favorite LA Radio stories.” - Dave Mason, Ass’t PD, 105.7 Max FM, San Diego

** K-JAZZ Moving to Off-Campus Housing

"I think the students at the school's online ‘radio’ station have a greater opportunity to produce content that has the possibility to be heard by more people. KLON/KJAZZ, or whatever you want to call it, is on the bottom of the radio dial serving up vertically focused programming in a niche that would never be sustainable in a commercial environment. All it would do is teach students what not to do.

When the students ran KSUL, at least during my time at the station, we strived to at least introduce concepts that were used to maximize ratings, as taught by Dr. Balin, the Bahoovian. If we had had the wattage, with Phil Hulett's programming, we would have kicked ass in the market.

Of course, then the University would have had a tiger on their hands and a wild one, of which, they would be afraid, we being students and all. They chose to play it safe, instead, and have background music for faculty parties. The results of their decision were underwhelming at best.

If there was ultimately one take away from the experience, it was that to the spoils go those who take risks. The rewards in a life well lived require one to get out of one's comfort zone to be ultimately successful. The kids today at the online version of KSUL have an opportunity the university doesn't comprehend. I hope they go for the prize.” – Chet Simmons, former gm at KSUL/fm


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Last modified: October 03, 2015