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Nostalgia Sunday - 8 Years Ago Today
Merlin Made Dave Williams Disappear
Dave provides some insight into what happened:
“I fell head-over-heels in love with Chicago and its people. loved my job and every single person I worked with at Merlin Media. It was the first startup of my long career. I couldn’t wait to get to work every morning. Ten or twelve hours later I returned to my high-rise condo overlooking the Chicago River feeling like an overnight rock star who had finally arrived after chasing the dream for four decades. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep at night and didn’t want to. It was like being a teenaged jock again.
During my three months with Merlin Media I was praised daily. My colleagues liked me. program director Andy Friedman told me that I sounded even better than he hoped I would. He said the ‘kids’ in the news room looked up to me as a leader and enjoyed my company. He told me he planned to eventually give me a big contract, more responsibility and a title, probably ‘head writer.’
Walter Sabo called me a ‘world-class newscaster.’ Randy Michaels hugged me and thanked me for ‘Showing us the way.’
Then with no official nor private criticism of my work, without any warning whatever; 89 days after my official start with Merlin Media [exactly one day shy of the AFTRA contract probationary period], Andy Friedman, my long-time friend who had wooed me, hired me, moved me across the country and greeted me like a brother, fired me without explanation, even though I asked him for one four times on the spot.
Since then I have written several times to Andy, Randy and Walter asking for an explanation.
What did I do wrong?
Randy and Walter have no need for dignity or friends. They have lawyers.
I miss Andy and will wait for him.” (Signed Dave Williams)
Red Eye Radio Blinks. Cumulus Media Networks announced veteran broadcasters Gary McNamara and Eric Harley as the new hosts of Red Eye Radio, replacing Doug McIntyre. Currently airing on 80 stations with McNamara, the new hosts are no strangers to overnight programming, having entertained listeners across the country with their show, The Midnight Radio Network, for the past six years. McIntyre will remain within the Cumulus portfolio in a new role. And with Terri-Rae Elmer’s departure from KFI, wondering if she will have a new role with Doug at KABC in the mornings? She has been with KFI since 1983.
Hear Ache. Larry King told his guests on his Dinner with King special on Sunday that he wants to be frozen when he dies. King said, “I want to be frozen, in the hope that they’ll find whatever I died of and they’ll bring me back.” … Latest from former KGO-San Francisco host and former KLAC host Gil Gross from his Facebook page: “Probably about time I said something...anything. First of all, your love and friendship are amazing, especially at a time when so many of you are so angry at the loss of an institution that was part of your lives long before I was. Second, it has not escaped the broadcast industry that there is now a hole in the heart of Bay Area radio and that is not a situation that will last for long.” Final ... Kenny Sargent continues to add affiliates to his national Sunday night motorsports radio show, SpeedFreaks. New are WHBQ in Memphis and KTWO-Springfield, Missouri … Condolences to KFI’s George Noory on the passing of his father, who was 88 … When I reached out to Jack Swanson, former KGO exec, for a comment on the Bay Area station, he was vacationing in Rarotonga..
LARP Rewind: December 8. On this day in 1990, following the August death of Jerry Garcia, the remaining members of the Grateful Dead decided to call it quits. On this day in 1982, Marty Robbins died at 57 following a heart attack. Sixteen of his 94 country hits went to number one, including Singin' The Blues, A White Sport Coat, El Paso (which also topped the Hot 100), Don't Worry, Devil Woman, and a sequel, El Paso City. On this day in 1980, John Lennon, returning to the Dakota apartment building in Manhattan following a recording session with his wife Yoko Ono, was shot dead by Mark David Chapman. Lennon was 40. On this day in 1977, Peter Goldmark, inventor of the long-playing record (LP) died in a New York car crash at 71. On this day in 1940, the Bears beat the Redskins in the first NFL championship game heard on radio. Red Barber broadcast the game to 120 Mutual Network stations. The score was 73-0, the most decisive victory in NFL history.
Sinéad O'Connor is 55 today. Born in Dublin, as a teenager she sang in Ton Ton Macoute, a band named after the bogeyman of Haitian mythology. In 1985 after her mother died, she moved to London and began recording. Her first hit, Nothing Compares 2 U, was written by Prince and topped the chart in 17 countries in 1990. Her latest single, How About I Be Me & You Be You, is the title track of an album to be released in February 2012.
Summer Breeze. Summer of 1971 ARB nighttime 12+ numbers:
We GET Email…
** Imus in
I still listen to George Noory on KFI often, whenever he has a good guest on, because he is the only person I know of who does long form interviews and will have a guest on for several hours instead of a bare few minutes. I always listen when he has a genuine scientist on. But lately he's had too many people who clearly are walking wounded or just have a book/website to sell, and their craziness is pitiable rather than entertaining. So I like Doug McIntyre, who is as sharp as they come; I don't agree with everything he says, and I think he gets angry and querulous a little too often, but he's so smart and alive.
Don Imus and then Peter Tilden in the early morning are good too, but they both have an excess of interruptions for commercials and whatnot. However by that time I'm sleepy anyway.
I don't listen to either KABC or KFI during the day; they're both a vast wasteland of political posturing by commentators who think they're reporters but are actually entertainers - entertainers who don't entertain me. At those times I go back to 100.3 The Sound, or blessed silence.
On another subject, I quite like the email notification of a new column that you do. I would be happy to pay a subscription if you decide to continue it past the New Year.” - Janice Jacobson, Culver City
** Future of KABC
“I wonder if KABC790 is next on the list to dismantle and restart. Talk about a nose-dive. Their situation is unsustainable and must change.” - Herb Redholtz, West Covina
Email Saturday, 12.7.2019
is Dead to Me
“Headline is the text. What else needs be said?” – John Hindsill
“I was heartbroken to read about KABC. It was one of the best places I was ever privileged to work. Ken Minyard, Michael Jackson, Ray Briem, Toni Grant, the personalities that dominated talk radio. Vin Scully and the Dodgers. It was live and local. In 1988 I was the general sales manager and we billed 40 million dollars on a 5,000 watt directional signal. People in New York assumed KABC was a 50KW clear. I’d just change the subject. Nothing on radio beats live, local talent.
You you know what’s interesting is that my other long-time alma mater, K-EARTH is doing great. Why? Because they have kept the format intact but made smart changes. They still play the hits in a tight rotation, they have a newer sounding but 'live' airstaff. They have kept the contesting, which lets you put the listeners on the air telling you how much they love the station! And they have kept Gary Bryan who is like a great quarterback. I love listening to K-EARTH, who knew I would like Journey? ” – Pat Duffy, former general manager at K-EARTH
** Lackluster Content Coming to KABC
“In your epitaph on KABC, you wrote – ‘Every time a KABC listener died, there was no one to replace them.’ It seems the same problem with their talent.
Going to a programming lineup of mostly syndicated content will see them lose the one redeeming factor in their otherwise lackluster content: Local LA focus and culture. And another once great radio station dies along with its listeners.” – Pat Veling
** More KABC
“Crum-U-Lus strikes again.” – Mike Butts
** George Green’s Thoughts on KABC
“KABC is too cluttered. They should pick an older demographic...45-65. Program old. Sell the older demo. No News! No room for KABC to compete against News stations. There are some older motion picture and television personalities who would love to try radio. ‘Friends of …’ would be the title of the various shows being heard.” – George Green, long-time general manager at KABC
** Motorman Out at KABC
“I just heard the morning show at KABC announce the changes coming in the new year. I guess if nobody is listening you might as well let everybody go, but the fact that there will only be one local show in the lineup is a bit alarming. I guess if we have a local emergency, they will be unable to cover the story. Since 870 and 1150 have been beating 790 in the ratings consistently, I suppose stacking the station with an all right-of-center lineup makes some sense, but Armstrong & Getty has always seemed like a regional show [I heard them when I was visiting smaller markets] and seems odd as a replacement for a local morning show. Adding Michael Savage to the station gives me a real choice as to who I won’t be listening to on radio in 2020.
I see you updated the post to say that Leon Kaplan the Motorman is out as well. It’s strange because in recent weeks they have been really promoting his show hard using the Ghostbusters theme song ... if there’s something strange underneath your hood, who you gonna call...Leon Kaplan.
As far as promotion for their station has been going, I can’t understand why they would play [supposedly real] recorded phone calls of listeners telling how much they love the station’s on-air talent right before the top of the hour news. The only people hearing these atta-boy phone calls are the handful of listeners they already have.” – Gary Gibson
** Personnel Questions
"Drew Hayes at KABC is I-n-s-a-n-e to fire Leon Kaplan! That’s like firing Vin Scully.
Peter Tilden is also a [loyal] KABC institution who doesn’t deserve this.” – Andrew Schermerhorn
** ’Tis the Season Giving
“It’s the way of radio - Merry Christmas. You’re fired. Brutal.” – Keri Tombazian
** Keep Your Eye on the Ball
"Shocked and sad to see KABC's fate. It's easy to say 'KABC had to do something' - but this looks like they've totally given up. I heard the news and punched up 790 this morning. After everyone else was talking about the shooting in Pensacola, they were talking about 'what you're watching on tv.' I guess that company doesn't like the kid!" - Dave Mason
** Can KABC Stop the Free Fall?
“Regarding the KABC shakeup. I think it’s a little too late. They are so far buried in the ratings cellar that no amount of shuffling at this point matters. There is a point of no return. There is a lesson here for many media outlets. One that comes to mind is CNN, which has now dropped to its lowest ratings ever and doesn’t even get a million viewers in prime-time. No effort is made to attract a wider audience but instead they double down on their failed programming.
Getting back to KABC, many of us in the audience have been screaming about their programming for at least a decade or more. However, there was a sense of arrogance amongst the management who convinced themselves that they were the experts. However, no management over the years were able to stop the free fall. I think the listeners knew exactly what needed to be done, but this never figured into the equation. It is sad but it was predictable.
I guarantee that the latest changes will have no effect on the ratings and the eventual end will be a sale or a format change. Shuffling the chairs on the Titanic made no difference. It still sank.” – Steve Chang, Venice
** KABC Thinking
“The only real surprise about the station is that they kept John Phillips. I mean, why bother? Local spot sales, I guess, if they have any.
From time to time lately, when I see the call letters in the ratings rundowns it jars my memory of Michael Jackson. Any info on how he is doing? I suspect what he is doing is not much of anything. You know, kinda like me. I would like to drop him an email if I had contact info. We got along nicely during the brief time he contributed to KNX.” – Ed Pyle
** K-Earth Praise
“Finally got in the mood to sample KRTH ... a total musical masterpiece for the power demos in this day and age ... visors off, boys and girls! Also, that was a great article on Bill Drake. Hard to believe it’s been 11 years since he passed ... and the beat goes on! Winking smile.” – Rich Brother Robbin
** Programming Leaders
“Thanks for the extended coverage on Bill Drake’s passing. His thoughts and policies still make sense for 2020 radio, but in a lot of ways the bar has been raised by the competition. Bill Drake, Buzz Bennett, Chuck Blore – amazing names in our business who made things happen. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find someone in our business in this day and age who have a ‘plan’ and get the time to work it. But we can always hope.
I had the good fortune of working with some who walked the halls with Bill Drake and can fully understand their passion and drive for the industry. Please keep up the good work. Visionaries get inspiration from people like you.” – Dave Mason
** Baugh and PTSD
“A few days ago, one of your subscribers Jeff Baugh went on a long rant asserting that only combat veterans are allowed to claim PTSD. Curiously, some researchers at the RAND Corporation – a well-known think tank in Santa Monica – say the opposite: Combat veterans and survivors of violence, natural disasters, and terrorism have often experienced disturbing events that may lead to psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
RAND research has evaluated the delivery of post-deployment mental health care to combat veterans, examined the treatment capacity of health care systems in response to PTSD, and estimated the costs of providing quality mental health care to all affected individuals. The research document is free for the public to download and read.
Mr. Baugh may want to temper his outburst against other survivors of PTSD.” – Daniel O’Donnell, Santa Monica
** Daily Deluge
“I must tell you…when going thru the almost endless list of emails including end-of-year statements, bills, 'see the attached information on your winnings from fill-in-the-blank,' how much I enjoy seeing your LARadio postings! Seriously. Each one provides a nice break from the usual deluge of crap we get daily. Please keep posting, we appreciate it! And, hopefully, KC and I can meet you again in Avila Beach for coffee.” – Larry “Supermouth”Huffman
** Siciliano Story
“I’ve been a DTV subscriber since 1994 and a Sunday Ticket viewer every year until this year. The reason I’m not viewing this season is the greed of ATT. However, Andrew Siciliano does a fantastic job every week. He must keep track of sometimes ten games at once and he keeps us hooked for the full seven hours.
I’ve also viewed the Red Zone from the NFL and that’s solid, but Sunday Ticket with Andrew is better. Hopefully ATT will come to the realization that greed is NOT a good thing.” –
Fred Wallin, Sports Overnight America
** Early Calls
“K.M. Richards mentioned Bill and Ann Wallace’s station in Santa Paula on your Saturday November 30 post. That brought back memories. KQIQ was my first paying job in radio in the late 60s. I had heard the station from home in Woodland Hills and decided to drive out and visit one weekend. Ron Foster was the pd at the time. He handed me some old teletype copy and had me write my very short resume on the back.
The next week, Bill called and wanted to interview me. I drove back out, and he and Ann offered me a weekend job saying, ‘We wanted to get you first so we could teach you all the bad habits you'll ever need.’ With an offer like that, who could refuse? When the Santa Paula River flooded in 1968, I was on the air in a sand bagged building for 18 hours straight. Phones and power never did go out. Fire Department brought me a cheese and mustard sandwich. Fun times.
I eventually left there to work as a gofer for the engineering and programming departments at KBLA, then on the air after the station became KBBQ in Burbank. That is another story.” – Steve Hafen
** Van Dyke with Drake
“You wrote ‘Charlie Van Dyke worked for Bill Drake in Boston, San Francisco and at KHJ. The veteran Boss Jock tells the Drake story.’ Charlie also worked at CKLW-Detroit and KGB-San Diego for Drake, years before he went to WRKO in 1979.” – Norm Garr
Don LaFontaine - Saturday Smile
"The Randy Thomas video recently featured on LARadio.com reminded me of this commercial." - Brian Perez
KABC Moves to Syndication
|(December 6, 2019) At
one time, KABC was the leader in Talk Radio. Copied by many
radio entities. Envied by most. As the years and decades
progressed, the fortunes of KABC seemed to age with many
ownership changes. Audio outlets expanded, AM radio began to
sound like your grandfather's radio. Younger demographics
disappeared. Every time a KABC listener died, there was no
one to replace them.
Well, it has gotten worse with virtually everyone gone.
As of January 1:
Jillian Barberie, gone.
Dr. Drew Pinsky, gone.
Leeann Tweeden, gone.
Peter Tilden, gone.
Leon Kaplan, the Motorman, gone.
Armstrong & Getty, an iHeart show syndicated from Sacramento’s KSTE, will now cover KABC morning drive, succeeding Jillian Barberie and John Phillips. Barberie has been with the station since 2014, recently sharing her battle with breast cancer on air over the past year. She tweeted: “Just when I thought this past year couldn’t get any worse... it did. I have to laugh at this point. (Although I did have a good cry too.) I need a movie distraction. Suggestions?”
Phillips moves to middays from noon until 3, replacing Dr. Drew Pinsky and Leeann Tweeden. Phillips will be preceded by Larry O’Connor, who continues from 10 a.m. – noon originating from Cumulus’ WMAL-Washington DC. Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro stays in afternoon drive, while Michael Savage, also from Westwood One, takes over for Peter Tilden in the evening slot.
“KABC has a proud history as one of the first ‘all-talk’ radio stations in the United States. With these great additions to our lineup, KABC will offer our audience even more of the content that they love, featuring outstanding local and nationally recognized talent,” said Drew Hayes, station gm.
KABC will continue as the flagship for University of Southern California football and basketball. The Nielsen ratings for December reported KABC was in 38th place, with a 0.6 share.
"I was very disappointed Rita Wilde and her colleagues (weekender Ken Anthony, v/o talent Frankie DiVita and board op Mike Vogel) were recently let go by KLOS, Rita is a legend and deserves better. There was a storm of responses about the departure of Rita and her now-former KLOS colleagues. Much of the comments came from former listeners of the late, lamented Classic Rocker The Sound / 100.3 (KSWD) which disappeared about two (2) years ago. Besides the many comments distressed over the dismissal of Rita, there were many complaints about KLOS, and how once again the big corporations don’t care about local radio. I'm going to risk being redundant and reiterate what I've said earlier on social media:
- Unlike many other L.A. radio stations, KLOS is not owned by a big media corporation. The station was purchased in April by the Meruelo Group, a local company that also owns KPWR (Power 106), KDAY, and most recently KLII (Cali 93.9). Additionally, KWHY-TV (channel 22) and KBEH-TV (channel 63) are part of Meruelo Media. Though they do have multiple outlets here in Southern California, they do not have hundreds of stations across the country. There's always been the opinion that local radio would benefit with more local ownership, Meruelo is an example of a locally-owned entity (another example is Saul Levine’s Mt. Wilson Broadcasters, owners of KKGO [Go Country 105) and KSUR [K-Surf]).
- It's argued for anyone to be successful with a commercial format (i.e. music / personalities supported by commercials, versus syndicated or bartered programming), any group needs four (4) stations in a major market like L.A. so the stations can be sold to advertisers as a cluster.
- I don’t know if Meruelo is in debt, but they did pay $82.75 million for Power 106, $35 million for KLLI, and $43 million for KLOS within the past two (2) years. Some budget trimming, I think, was inevitable.
- As for (Steve) Jonesy's Juke Box, I'd like to see that program succeed because it's original, L.A.-based programming. Unfortunately, I've learned the ratings are not what KLOS was hoping for, which is one major reason the Juke Box has been cut down to one (1) day a week. - KLOS is not The Sound, every time I turn on the radio I wish I could turn to 100.3 and hear their selection of music and the deejays who I’d enjoyed over the years. But KLOS is a locally owned station playing rock-and-roll with live personalities (at least during the weekday), so I feel I need to give it a chance. I’m assuming Keith Cunningham, the program director, will hear your opinion. He's not bound to someone back East calling the shots. I do plead that Rita Wilde and her colleagues return to the L.A. airwaves much sooner than later. I’m hoping we’re seeing a deconstruction / reconstruction of local radio, and not the beginning of the end.
Another Casey Kasem Countdown. Jean Kasen, the widow of deceased tv actor and radio personality, Casey Kasem, filed a joint request with his three children Kerry, Julie, and Mike to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit on Monday, December 2 in Santa Monica Superior Court. The lawsuit claimed that Jean’s neglect and physical abuse led to the actors death in 2014. The terms of the dismissal agreement have not been revealed by the family’s attorney. Kerri Kasem released a statement through her spokesman earlier this week indicating that she was “distraught and heartbroken over her family and lawyers’ decision to force her into a settlement.” Jean and Casey Kasem had been married for 34 years. Kasem died back in 2012 at the age of 82.
Radio Wars. Todd Williams, senior marketing consultant with Uniradio read Rich Brother Robbin’s story (scroll down to Wednesday’s column) of one radio war between KCBQ and KGB with a great deal of interest. He was lucky enough at 11 and 12 years old to be listing to this battle as it all unfolded. “It set the standards for me that I expect all radio to this day to live by. I know it’s no longer the case, but it’s what I still strive to meet every day.”
Williams expressed much thanks to Buzz Bennett and Rich. “I can’t say enough for how much gratitude I have. So lucky to have become good friends with Rich, years later and also luck to have started at KCBQ while still in high school in 1975. That high standard that Buzz and Rich set years earlier at the Q was still the expectation through all my time at the Q till I left in 1980.”
Joe Smith, Man of Many Seasons, Dies
|(December 5, 2019) Joe
Smith, former president and chief executive of the
Capitol-EMI record label, produced World Cup USA 1994. He
was also a dj at KFWB in 1961. Joe has died at the age of
As the former prexy of Warner Bros., Elektra and Capitol Records, he has donated recorded interviews with more than 200 top musicians to the Library of Congress. Smith’s archives, comprising 238 hours of interviews taped over the course of two years, served as the basis for the exec’s book Off the Record, published by Warner Books in 1988.
Joe was also an accomplished pianist. Earl McDaniel remembered introducing Joe in Japan in 1947. Joe started as a dj in Boston before becoming a weekender at "Channel 98." He left KFWB in August 1961, refusing to cross the picket line. Only Joe and Ted Quillin did not return to KFWB after the strike. He commented on leaving his on-air career: “I felt an insecurity in the talent end of the business. The emphasis had shifted from individual personalities to a station’s sound.”
Born in 1928, Joe rose through the ranks of Warner Bros. Music, beginning in 1961 when he was national promotion manager. He was responsible for signing and developing the careers of such artists as the Grateful Dead, James Taylor and Jimi Hendrix. By 1966, he was gm of the label. At Capitol, he helped revive the career of Bonnie Raitt.
He has served as president and ceo of Warner / AMEX Cable’s sports entertainment. In 1975, Joe was made Elektra / Asylum Records chairman of the board. In 1993, he became executive producer of entertainment activities for World Cup USA 1994 - the world's soccer championship.
Nicole Sandler has a wonderful story about
Smith that she shared on Facebook:
"When I moved to Los Angeles in 1987, my dad told me how he went to college (Boston University) with a guy named Joe Smith who was, at the time, president of Capitol Records. From 1990-94, I was producer of the Mark & Brian radio show at KLOS. We hit #1 about a year into my tenure.
One morning, the guys were ruminating over the fact that the Big Boy statue that sat out in front of the Bob’s Big Boy restaurant on La Cienega Blvd resembled Elvis, with whom they had an obsession. So one morning we got in the Mark & Brian-mobile, drove up to road to said restaurant, and ‘stole’ the statue. [Yes, I cleared it with the restaurant first who, for some reason, never demanded it back.]
It became the ‘Elvis-Bob’ who accomplished all sorts of amazing feats, like being catapulted across the Caesar’s Palace fountains during a live broadcast with Evel Knievel and Tom Jones looking on, and ‘jumping’ out of an airplane to become skydiving Bob, along with other adventures. Well, one day the guys decided that Elvis always wanted to be on Capitol Records, so we figured he should sit atop Hollywood’s famed Capitol Records building. As far as the listeners were concerned, we just loaded Elvis-Bob into the M&B mobile and drove over to Capitol Records to place him on his much-deserved perch.
What they didn’t know was that after the idea was hatched, I called Joe Smith’s office. I mentioned that I was Mark & Brian’s producer, and also Allan Sandler’s daughter. With that, he agreed to meet with me. I went up to his office. He asked tons of questions about my dad, and then listened to our crazy idea to put Elvis-Bob on the Capitol Building roof.
He laughingly told me to go for it!
So we loaded up the car, and with the cell-phone remote backpack, we broadcast live as we somehow cut Bob’s base to fit him in the elevators, then take him up the final couple of flights of stairs to the roof. (I’m guessing a tape from that broadcast exists somewhere, perhaps in the Mark & Brian 25 Years archive?) Anyway, Elvis Bob took his rightful place on top of the Capitol Records building and stayed there for a week or so back in the early ’90s because Joe Smith was a great guy with a sense of humor!
RIP Joe Smith. Say hi to my dad for me!"
|"Does anyone out there
have a photograph of the lobby of 1313 North Vine Street?
It was the home to both KHJ-TV and KNXT at the time. Thanks in advance" - Jhani Kaye
On Sundays, Andrew Siciliano Turns Red
|(December 4, 2019) If you
are a fan of NFL Football, you’ll love the front page of
the LA Times Sports section along with another
inside half-page yesterday that featured Andrew
Siciliano. Andrew joined Mychal Thompson for
a midday show at KSPN in the summer of 2009 before leaving
the all-Sports station in late 2010. Since 2005, he has been
the host of DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket Red Zone.
Andrew also serves as a host for NFL Total Access
on the NFL Network.
“We’ve raised a generation of young fans that has a hard time sitting still for one game at a time,” said Siciliano, 45. “We didn’t create America’s short attention span, but we came along at the right time.”
Every Sunday Andrew simultaneously monitors every football game during the day and he narrates the most exciting and interesting moments. Andrew talks about the timing of the Red Zone in the Times article: “We came along at the right time. We came along when everyone was getting a smartphone and a tablet, and can’t keep focused on just one thing.”
When Siciliano was laid off by Fox Sports Radio, Los Angeles Times sports columnist Diane Pucin said that Siciliano “[had] found the perfect blend of high-energy, red-bullish enthusiasm with some actual knowledge and reporting.”
Humbly acknowledging the complement, Siciliano challenged the generally held view that Southern California is not sports-friendly. “You have some of the best franchises in the country – the Lakers, the Dodgers, and the Angels. You have the top college programs in the country – USC football, UCLA basketball. Six million fans go to baseball games throughout the summer, almost nine million every year … half of the members of the (baseball) all-star team claim Southern California as their home,” said Siciliano. “This is ‘the’ sports town. Just because people don’t scream and throw things like they do in New York and other cities doesn’t mean there’s no passion among the fans – we have sports fans with class here.”
|Andrew first decided to give radio a try
at the age of 18. “I was at Syracuse University, I was going
to be a writer – but I fell into campus radio. Then again,
it’s really not that much of a stretch from print to radio,
it requires some of the same ability.” He was able to cover
football, basketball, lacrosse, and other sports. “I was
very fortunate to be given the opportunity to have this
Radio Story. Rich Brother Robbin is one of great Top 40 personalities of the 60s and 70s. He remembered the competitive wars between two Top 40 stations. “Man, what a contest,” wrote Rich. “In San Diego, KCBQ was killing KGB when Buzz Bennett and I came into KGB in the summer ’69. We went to Double-Cash KGB and clobbered KCBQ within two months. Buzz had quit KGB due to a number of broken promises made by Bill Drake and yeah, we sure as hell got even.”
Rich always thinks of President Kennedy when he thinks of this episode: “JFK had once brilliantly said (when someone had asked if he was gonna hit back at some asshole who’d recently dumped on him): ‘No, man, don’t get mad, get even.’ We sure as hell got even with Drake and Co. with KCBQ. We forced ‘em out of top 40 into Ron Jacob’s AOR thing. And that was that.”
Do you have a competitive radio story?
Hear Ache. Former America’s Got Talent judge Howard Stern is blasting the show’s creator and judge Simon Cowell for NBC’s firing of Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough from the competition series, bluntly stating that Cowell “orchestrated” the explosive situation … One of the most played holiday songs on KOST is A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives. Strange to think that the 270-pound Ives died 24 years ago … Rita Wilde was one of the part-timers who lost her job at KLOS. Social media is blowing up about her firing … If you love In the Still of the Night by the Five Satins, you’ll love the opening and closing of The Irishmen … Dr. Laura Schlessinger has a fun feature with listeners calling in with a corny joke. “Did you hear about the man who was bad with numbers, like three? Some people are good and some people are bad.”
Bomp creation by Norm Epstein ... thanks to Kevin Gershan for artwork
After Four + Decades, Bill Wright Hangs Up His Headphones
|(December 3, 2019) After
43+ years in the business of radio, Bill Wright (Reitler)
has retired from full time work. Bill was part of the
successful "Bill and Sylvia Show" mornings
Bill was born in Santa Monica and became involved with radio in high school and then in college at the University of California San Diego, where he received his B.A. degree in communications. He was a frequent guest lecturer at radio schools.
Prior to his time at KBIG, Bill started at KPFK in 1976, followed by KWIZ, KYMS, KBIG, and KWVE. “I’ll keep a presence in voice-over, but look forward to the next chapter in life, which will include our first grandchild in March,” Bill posted on Facebook.
“The last 20 years have been spent as Senior Producer for Ambassador Advertising Agency, and they were fantastic and challenging. I did a little of everything from writing to production to voicing to account management. BreakPoint, Life Issues, Precepts with Kay Arthur, and Grace to You were just a few of the clients it was my privilege to serve.
Bill taught at Fullerton College and the Academy of Radio Broadcasting in Huntington Beach. And there were some great voice-over years sprinkled in there, as well. “I had the opportunity to enjoy a great variety of different jobs along the way, having served as Production Director, Program Director, Morning Co-Host, News Engineer, and Ops Manager, and of course, DJ. All in Southern California, which is kind of miraculous in this business. God is good!”
|Bill has been married to his wife, Debi,
for 37 years and they are parents to three grown children.
It was around Thanksgiving when Bill announced his
retirement. “I did fine financially, nothing too outrageous.
But if you define wealth as I do, as a wealth of friends,
colleagues, family, and fellow believers, I’m one of the
richest guys around. Not to paint a picture without
challenges and a few problems; we all have those. But we
seem to soldier on throughout it all. Let’s keep doing
Bill ended his retirement announcement with “And it’s off to go fishing!”
Steve Harvey Almost Didn't Make Radio Part of His Legacy
|(December 2, 2019) Steve Harvey is
heard in morning drive, locally on KJLH. The show comes to
the Southland via syndication, but his radio career almost
“A lot of people ask how did I go from radio to tv. Well, radio almost didn’t happen,” Harvey posted on Twitter last week. The comic legend recalled the time he was doing a stand-up concert in Chicago in 1994 when he was asked to fill in for famed WGCI radio personality Doug Banks, Atlanta Black Star reports. “I was supposed to just be a guest. I got there early, he got sick, and they said, ‘Well, go on in and announce your show.’ Then, I told a couple jokes,” Harvey said.
“And then the phone rang … me and the caller had some banter [on-air]. Went to a commercial break, general manager of the station came in and said, ‘Hey, have you done radio before?’ I said, ‘Yeah, yeah. All the time.’ Never done s–t before.” Harvey was then asked to sit in for the rest of the morning. The following day when the general manager asked if he ever considered a career in radio, Harvey replied NO.
“I said, ‘How much does it pay?’ And then he told me and then I said, ‘Nah, I don’t want to do radio, man. I make a lot of money out here,’” Harvey recalled. He and the general manager then talked about how much it would take to make him join the team, but when Harvey quoted his price, the gm made clear that wasn’t in the budget. However, before Harvey could exit the building, he was called back to the office. “[The general manager] says, ‘My boss said they’ll pay you that much money.’ I said, ‘Cool, I’ll do radio tomorrow,’” Harvey said. “That was my first radio gig at WGCI Chicago.”
And the rest, as they say… is history.
|Wink Martindale is one busy guy|
Email Saturday, 11.30.2019
|** Time Travel with One of
the 11-10 Men
"I thoroughly enjoyed your recent column re the KRLA change from Music to Talk, back in the day. As one of the original ‘11-10 Men,’ I recalled with great fondness the year I was the 6-9AM morning guy, 1961. John Barrett was station manager and Jim Washburne was pd and did afternoon drive. Bob Eubanks, as the all-night jock, preceded me from midnight till 6 a.m. And far too many times I’d oversleep!
My arrival at 6:30…6:45…[once even 7 o’clock] to relieve him, didn’t go over too well! Had I not been enjoying growing popularity hosting The POP Dance Party on tv, I’d likely have been fired ASAP. Fortunately, Bob and I went on to enjoy some success as network game show producers/hosts, and laughingly we had long since put those days behind us. Others with whom I had the pleasure of sharing the KRLA mike were recognizable names like Sam Riddle, Jimmy O’Neill, Roy Elwell, Dick Moreland and Frosty Harris, to name a few.
KRLA, 1961 –the beginning of a great musical decade, along with the addition of LA’s SECOND rock ’n roll powerhouse to join KFWB, ‘Color Radio, Channel 98.’
I read and enjoy your LARadio column daily.” – Wink Martindale
** Not Wilde About Rita’s Dismissal
“KLOS has been dead to me since they fired Jim Ladd. Now with Rita Wilde being axed, I have even less reason to tune in, if that’s even possible. LA Rock radio is dead.” – Bob Whitmore
** Scoop on Coop
“While I’ve never met Cooper Rummell, I think he was one terrific radio reporter. He gathered facts, wrote coherently and tightly, and delivered in a really great natural style. He was good. We listeners are the less for his departure. He was one of the top three street reporters there.” – Warren Cereghino
** McCormick Addendum
“I should have added that Cooper Rummell sounds like a fine young man who made a tough decision and serves as an example to others who may now volunteer for worthy causes as well. But it should be pointed out that the SAG AFTRA Health Fund offers mental health counseling through Beacon Health Options. You have a few hoops to jump through, but the coverage is there. I know because the therapy helped me get off of pain pills along with the back surgery that was totally covered. The pension plan is so solid, I regret the several years in my career that I worked at non AFTRA stations.” – Bob McCormick
** Touched by Rummell’s Story
“I was touched by Cooper Rummell's story. It is not unfamiliar to me. When I began at KNX at the age of 31, I was overwhelmed and subjected to quite a bit of criticism. To be honest my grammar needed some improvement and I was told all about it in a very direct way. It was like boot camp in the newsroom and the outside reporting offered a variety of stomach-turning events.
I once slipped in a person’s brain tissue at the scene of a car wreck on the 210. I was at the epicenter of the Loma Prieta earthquake near Santa Cruz when it hit. I was chastised by the people who wanted more descriptive language when I described the flash of a dead burn victim as looking like an overdone artichoke.
Inside as an anchor was no easier. The World Trade Center bombing I and II, the Murrah Federal building bombing in Oklahoma City, the shooting at LAX and 33 years of floods and fires. It never leaves your memory but you find a way to live with it.
Here’s my way: I’ve come to define news as a notable departure from the norm; a plane crash instead of a safe landing or a car wreck instead of a clogged freeway. Because news is not a measure of the way things normally are, I have been able to sort through the cruelty and mayhem of a typical day’s content and use it to underscore my belief that people are basically good. It’s the stuff we report that is the anomaly and that’s why we report it. I know it’s the long way around the block to get to an optimistic conclusion but it’s worked for me.
As for Cooper’s plans to find a way to tell more uplifting and positive stories, I wish him all the best. I’ve never met Cooper and I have no firsthand knowledge of the exact circumstances that led to his departure. But I hope he is moving toward his dream instead of from it.” – Tom Haule
** Rummell Responses
“Thank you for highlighting the compassion with which many LARP’s have reacted to Cooper Rummell’s story. I’m going to ignore the self-righteous and utterly disgusting attitudes some so-called professionals have exhibited toward a truly human reaction to the news beat Cooper covered. I’m grateful that Diane Thompson spoke up too, I remember when Adrienne Alpert was nearly killed by being parked in a such a deadly spot. Did those Neanderthals witness her near immolation and painful recovery?” – Julie T. Byers
** Cooper Responds to Brian Perez
“Thank you for the kind words and the encouragement. I’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from people like yourself. I’m hoping this is the start of a necessary ongoing conversation about mental health and journalism. Since the article was released, I’ve been contacted by a number of people in the industry who want to help in various capacities. It will be exciting to see what is accomplished in this field in the months to come. I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with the mental toll of the world of breaking news and hope there is a way to effect positive change in the industry. I grew up at Saddleback Church and am a huge fan of Daily Hope. I know my dad views it as an honor to be part of Pastor Rick’s radio ministry.
I love your station and the work that you do to spread the good news! Keep on fighting the good fight and using the airwaves for His glory. Anyways, thanks again for reaching out and I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!” – Cooper Rummell
** K-EARTH Success
“Great to see K-Earth solidly on top in the ratings. It was a great place to work. Apparently, it still is.” - Steve (Fredericks) Liddick, former K-Earth News Director; Author of But First This Message: A Quirky Journey in Broadcasting
** Need for a Plan B
“After reading the current story about Cooper Rummell and recent stories on Ellen K and Kathy Kiernan, it appears anyone who is considering a career in radio broadcasting need to have a plan B in case it doesn’t work out. Mr. Rummell appears to have a good head on his shoulders, and was smart to leave the news industry behind. Kathy was lucky that she had three decades of work under her belt and was able to retire quickly from an industry who didn’t want her expertise.
Ellen K had worked with Rick Dees and Ryan Seacrest before her current morning assignment with KOST. She is doing well because she is a known quantity and was able to adapt to being a single host. Since Ellen K has veterinarian experience from her college years, I was wondering if she could go back to that profession should she need to leave radio. She would be a hit with customers who would know her from radio. I bet she would be very successful. She would be dealing with cats and dogs; no cows need apply. It will be interesting to see how long it would take to be re-qualified as a veterinarian with her existing credits. I wish all these people all the best in any future endeavors.” – Dan Ramos, Joshua Tree
** Grieger Counter
“I was an intern at Magic 106 [and for a few months, Power 106] during my days as a student at UCLA. I had the opportunity too took with some truly wonderful people who I will always remember, both in front of the microphone and behind the scenes. One of my favorite things to do was to hang out in the engineering office and talk with the station’s engineering staff, Tom Koza and Terry Grieger. Their knowledge of stations was like having a walking encyclopedia of radio, not only from the technical perspective but formats and personalities.
The two helped me repair and build things for KLA, the UCLA student station where I was a dj and student engineer, that help allowed me to repair the main broadcast board and add the ability to take and record telephone calls from the KLA studios for later airing.
Over the years I stayed in touch with Tom, but had lost touch with Terry. Until a fateful day visiting The Sound [now KKLQ, 100.3 FM] … turns out that Terry was the chief engineer for the station. Programmer Dave Beasing knew this but made it a surprise to me for the visit. A very pleasant surprise. Terry and I caught up over the next few years. He told me of his living in the transmitter area of one of his previous stations, other projects he was working on, the state of HD Radio, which was the reason I was able to truly keep in touch. When the analog and digital HD signals got out of sync, I was one of the first to notice, so I could give Terry a heads up and he would re-set the system.
After The Sound changed owners and formats, Terry moved on to become the senior Director of Engineering for Meruelo Media, meaning he was back in charge of Power 106 and proving that the radio world really is a small world at times.
In early November, Beasing wrote to tell me that Terry had suffered a bad stroke while en route to a transmitter on Mount Wilson. Last week came the news that Grieger passed away on November 18th. Another one of radio’s good guys, the unassuming Grieger had worked on the technical sound of many Los Angeles stations. Memories of him and his work can be found on LARadio.com, as Don Barrett did an extensive interview with him back in 2006 and printed highlights and reader tributes after his death.” – Richard Wagoner, Daily Breeze
** Call Letter History
“That ad reminded me of the history of the first station I programmed, in Santa Paula. As KSPA, it was purchased by Bill and Anne Wallace in 1965 from Frank James [who also owned 25% of KNOB here in L.A., which later became KSKQ and is today's KLAX]. They programmed Country music until 1969, when KUDU in Ventura switched to that format. [KUDU picked up the KBBQ call letters when 1500 Burbank became KROQ.] The Wallaces had changed calls to KQIQ by then.
When KUDU improved their signal and killed them in the ratings, they installed a soft contemporary/MOR format, playing three songs in a row in every set as ‘Triple Play Radio.’ KGIL was quite obviously the model for that format, which lasted until 1975 when the Wallaces affiliated with NBC’s News and Information Service as KAAP.
When I arrived in 1978 after NBC pulled the plug on NIS, we resurrected the ‘triple play’ formatics [but not the on-air identifier] as the first true Adult Contemporary station in the market. I still remember the first song we played on the new format, it was Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty, which was a big current hit that summer. Thanks for what the late Gary Owens would call a ‘memory flogger.’” – K.M. Richards
** Scully for All Ages
“I thought you might be interested in the following item. The other Bob O’Brien posted a note on Facebook that today [November 29] is Vin Scully's 92nd birthday, and one of his followers posted this link to an about Vin article written by David J. Halberstam One more reason to be thankful on this Thanksgiving weekend. Hope yours was wonderful.” – Bob O’Brien
** Early Bandstand
“I was on YouTube and found this video posted in June of this year. Apparently, if I’m reading all the comments correctly, this is one of ONLY three filmed kinescopes that exist of American Bandstand with Dick Clark, from the 1950s. The show was seen live Monday through Friday afternoons on the east coast on the ABC-TV network. The program in 1957 was seen coast-to-coast via 67 ABC affiliates, including KABC-TV 7 in Los Angeles.
This film is from the show's first year on ABC, from December 18, 1957. Anyway, since I was only 2 at the time in 1957, and Dick Clark was the same age as my father, 28, in 1957, I find all this very interesting to watch. This 45-minute film has all the songs the teens were dancing to, some commercials for the soft-drink 7-Up, and the look of 1950s television. Sorry, the sound is a bit muddy or low. And all the teenagers who give their age on the program, look so much older to me. I guess that’s the way people looked back then. Ha ha.
To me, as a music fan with an interest in television history, it is fun to hear songs when they were brand new like At the Hop by Danny and the Juniors, De De Dinah by Frankie Avalon, Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms, and April Love by Pat Boone. So, I’ll put the link if you care to watch it. I had never seen as much continuous footage from American Bandstand during the 1950s days from Philadelphia, as I’ve seen in this 45-minute video. Enjoy.” – Jim Hilliker, Monterey
** Where in the World is Aron Bender?
“A couple of weeks ago, [and I see others have also been curious], I contacted you why Aron Bender isn't on KFI. You answered me with a couple ideas. The other night, Tim Conway Jr. brought up some info as how he [Tim] can’t say anything without station approval or sticking to station policy, I think he did say some of the rumors were just that but since they were good friends, he has the answer and maybe if one wrote to him, he may reveal the answer. I figure you might get a quicker response to quell the rumors, as to listeners, it may take a longer time to hear back. Can you or has anyone close to LARadio have the answer?” – Wil Jones
On Kindness on Thanksgiving
by Bob Hastings, Director of Integrated Marketing, Salem Media Group
|(November 28, 2019)
In the past, I’ve written at Thanksgiving about Gratitude
and Joy. This year my subject is Kindness. The definition
of kindness is “the quality of being friendly, generous and
considerate.” One could write a lot about any of those
Kindness is about thinking of others first. Kindness is being the opposite of selfish. Kindness comes in many forms --- helping others, being polite, using gentle words when your brain wants to shout. Kindness is not random, as some would say. Kindness is intentional. It is an action, whether physical or spoken. The world seethes with dissention, hard edges, dog-eat-dog (my Sweetheart hates that expression!). It is up to each one of us to rise above the “world” and be that better person we should/want/need to be. Kindness is a way of living --- giving unconditionally, being gentle.
Steven Covey says we should seek first to understand. That’s not always easy, but it is a great mindset. Understanding is a great step towards peace. Finding commonality is key. I heard a speaker once say that people most likely agree on about 80% of issues, and once that is established, the other 20% is easier to achieve. I like that approach --- it leads us back to kindness. The old adage that if you’re down and out, go do a kindness for someone rings true. Don’t you always feel better about life when you lift another up?
When I was a Cub Scout, we had a badge we wore --- it was the face of a bear cub, and you had to wear it upside down until you did something kind for another. This holiday season, go out and do intentional acts of kindness --- make a pledge to do minimum one act of kindness each day, and even chronicle in a journal or just on a piece of paper. On New Year’s Eve, take out that list and share it with others of a like mind --- think of the joy you will share! If you start on Thanksgiving, you’ll have 33 days of kindness behind you, and, who knows, it could start a trend in your life for 2020 --- Lord knows we’ll need it! Have a Happier, Kinder, Joyful, Blessed Thanksgiving! - Bob Hastings, Director of Integrated Marketing, Salem Media Group
K-EARTH on Top of the LARadio World
|(November 27, 2019)
The November ’19 PPM Nielsen Audio ratings have been
released. K-EARTH remains on top with a steady 5.9, followed
by an also unchanged KOST 5.2. Look out for KOST to get
their annual holiday boost next month with their early
all-Christmas music. KIIS increased listeners to their
highest ratings in a half year. KNX was up enough to land in
the Top 10. Ratings are 6+ Mon-Sun from 6a-12mid:
1. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.9 - 5.9
2. KOST (AC) 5.2 - 5.2
3. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.9 - 4.6
4. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 4.0 - 4.1
KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.5 - 4.1
6. KIIS (Top 40/M) 3.6 - 3.9
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.8 - 3.6
8. KFI (Talk) 3.3 - 3.3
KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.2 - 3.3
10. KNX (News) 2.6 - 3.0
|11. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 3.2 -
12. KLOS (Classic Rock) 3.2 - 2.8
13. KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.5 - 2.7
KYSR (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.7
15. KROQ (Alternative) 2.2 - 2.6
KRRL (Urban) 2.5 - 2.6
17. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.4 - 2.5
18. KKGO (Country) 2.6 - 2.4
KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.1 - 2.4
KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.2 - 2.4
21. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.2 - 2.2
22. KPCC (News/Talk) 2.4 - 2.1
23. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.9 - 1.9
24. KUSC (Classical) 1.7 - 1.6
25. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.3 - 1.5
KLLI (Latin Urban) 1.4 - 1.5
KSPN (Sports) 1.1 - 1.5
28. KCRW (Variety) 1.2 - 1.4
KJLH (Urban AC) 1.5 - 1.4
KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 2.1 - 1.4
31. KLAC (Sports) 1.8 - 1.3
32. KRLA (Talk) 1.3 - 1.0
33. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.8
KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.7 - 0.8
35. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.5 - 0.7
KFWB (Regional Spanish) 0.6 - 0.7
KKJZ (Jazz) 0.8 - 0.7
38. KABC (Talk) 0.7 - 0.6
39. KCSN (AAA) 0.4 - 0.4
KDLD (Regional Mexican) 0.4 - 0.4
KKLA (Religious) 0.3 - 0.4
Rumbles. “When I read Cooper Rummell's
story, I immediately recognized my feelings,” emailed KNX
news anchor, Rob Archer. “The day I spent
reporting on the Sandy Hook shooting was the turning point
for me. But I had hope that finally, America would figure
out what every other industrialized democracy has done and
do something substantive about reducing the incidences of
and the number of fatalities from mass shootings. But no.
After that, each time I had to report on another mass shooting, I began to recognize we never would do anything about them, and another part of me died. I moved beyond anger, beyond grief, and now feel a dead resignation inside whenever the next one happens.
So, I understand Cooper’s feelings entirely when he’s gotten up close to things like this, and other scenes of human tragedy, cruelty, and carnage.
As the broadcaster representative on the Los Angeles Board of SAG-AFTRA, I’ve raised this issue before. It needs to be top of mind awareness, and there's going to be a renewed push on this issue. We need to ensure our broadcast journalists on the front lines of our brutal and cruel society that they've got the resources to handle the things they see and experience, and the union will be behind those efforts. All our thanks to Cooper for making everyone see it.”
Former KNX news director Ed Pyle emailed: “I am definitely with Bob McCormick.”
Michael Castner has been in the trenches and wrote: “I know I’m a day late but after reading the column today I felt the need to chime in as well. I have been absolutely blessed to work with KFI news director Chris Little and my mentor KNX pd Ken Charles [in four markets]. Without Chris and Ken I wouldn’t have accomplished what I have in radio.
We all know news is a taxing job. You are always on call. If you are good, you are always terrified that you missed something or got a fact wrong. And yes, if I screwed something up Chris and Ken would let me know. And they didn’t put a bow on it. I would expect nothing less.
I have seen things covering news that I wish I could forget. One of the worst was trailing a coroner for a feature on his career. I walked into a basement to see a young man who had taken his life with a shotgun. His parents were just coming home to hear that their lives were changed forever. The gruesome scene and the heartbreaking wailing will never leave me.
For the Steve Gregory‘s and Pete Demetriou’s of the world we thank you. If this isn’t a line of work for you and you are a great storyteller there are now so many avenues to spread your wings.”
“Hi, Cooper! I just read your story on LARadio.com,” emailed Brian Perez. “I’ve been here at KWAVE for almost 16 years, starting as the news director, and there were days when I came across the absolutely most gruesome stories one could imagine. Not being a news station, I picked and chose what I would cover in our 60-second newscasts. While I avoided reading the worst of the stories on-air, I still read them in the newsroom as I perused them [you, of course, were actually on the ground covering them, so I know it was worse for you; I’m not at all putting myself in your shoes].
It’s amazing what humankind is capable of doing to each other. Often, I’d end some of my newscasts with an encouragement to people to hug their kids a little tighter that night. Blessings to you in this new endeavor.
I’ve been a long-time fan of your dad’s work and find it ‘really cool’ that he’s the voice of Pastor Rick Warren's Daily Hope, which airs twice a day on KWAVE! Have a Happy Thanksgiving.”
KNXer Stephanie Roberts added: “I think stress is becoming a bigger factor for everyone on the news team, as the number of bodies dwindles.”
And former news anchor Diane Thompson checks in from her new home in Tucson: “The news business, especially in Los Angeles, is ugly and not for the faint of heart, but it’s part of the job. My 34-plus years at KNX certainly included its challenges. I’ve labeled my 18 years as morning drive reporter as ‘the dead body beat.’
* The Cerritos mid-air plane crash in 1986 kept me up all night. My boyfriend at the time (who later became my husband) was a good listener and helped to talk me through the gruesome event which included burning homes and small chunks of human body parts scattered in the street.
* After a week covering the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California, I came home with a bad case of hives.
* I was scared to get on an airplane or drive through an underpass after witnessing Adrienne Alpert get zapped by a massive jolt of electricity in Hollywood in 2000. I needed counseling for PTSD after that one. Six months later, I had to deal with guilt feelings for winning awards at Adrienne’s expense.
* I remember covering my first family murder/suicide. I hid inside the news van and wept as the coroner carried the body of a small child (inside a body bag) and placed it inside the coroner’s van.
* And let’s not forget the L.A. riots, the Northridge earthquake, and all the various brush fires, floods, mudslides, shootings and gruesome car crashes. I remember a tv photog telling me at a deadly crash to move my foot because a stream of human blood was heading my way.
Yoga, choir singing, my cats, and a ‘news junkie’ pastor who would leave encouraging phone messages helped me to cope with the ‘daily dose of death news.’ But it was the thirteen years of producing the Hero of the Week that restored my soul.
I applaud Cooper Rummell for sharing his story and I hope he spends some time taking care of himself. As always, thanks for the platform!
PS: Chris and I sold our house in Santa Clarita and moved to Tucson in late June. We love it here!!
PSS: If Bob McCormick thinks Pete Demetriou is not affected by the gruesome news he covers, then Bob isn’t paying attention.
PSSS: Bob Sims once told me he didn’t like to hire anyone younger than 25. Having survived the all-news radio meat grinder, I can see why.
KFI's Jeff Baugh has the final response this morning. "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder my Ass!!! One covers a few fires, floods, shootings. A few mangled dead bodies, children abused so badly it's beyond belief, school children mowed down by an unstable person with a gun. I could go on and on. All of the above will question your own sanity and reveal if you can handle reporting these events. This is however, what you signed up for.
One should try and help those involved after the story. Help survivors, help those directly impacted by the events, donate your time and energy, do anything to help, move forward. If you feel bad or perhaps depressed, maybe trouble sleeping?? Take a pill!! Take a nap!!! What you are NOT entitled to do is to connect yourself to PTSD!
A few years ago I attended an event held by a couple of broadcast journalists, I can't remember their names which for me is a good thing. The two went on and on about sheer terror of 'Breaking News,' major events involving great human tragedy and how they had so much trouble and PTSD, with the experience. Really?
The term.....Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.... hit mainstream media during and right after the Viet Nam War. War sucks! It is unfathomable to all. A dark, deep, dank tunnel with no light at the end. It turns otherwise nice, young, women and men into monsters! 'Gee, what happened to little Alice and Bobby, they were so nice before they went away to War?' Some return somewhat normal from war and lead productive lives but they still have memories....usually not good ones.
Members of the military that have fought in wars to protect us, protect our Country, protect our freedom are allowed to and certainly have earned the right to, use the term PTSD. Members of the press that are covering and have covered the wars are allowed to use the term PTSD. Talk to Lara Logan, Christiane Amanpour. Read the writings of David Halberstam, Morley Safer, Kate Webb. Read about Larry Burrows. Read about Col. David H. Hackworth. Better yet, find Gary Sinise, he knows a couple of people that served our country in uniform that are dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Get hold of me, I'll set up a meeting with my buddy and a fellow traffic reporter who was shot in the head...in country... and is helping OTHERS with PTSD!
Sorry, one can go through a lot of emotions covering news events and some might slow you down a step or make you puke but....you do not have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder!" - Jeff Baugh, Semper Fi
|... from David Grudt's personal LA Times ad collection that appeared on Thanksgiving Day, 1965|
John Tesh Returns Radio Hall of Fame Award
|(November 26, 2019) Strange
story from Robert Feder in his Chicago media website. He
reports syndicated radio host and former K-FISH personality John
Tesh has returned his recent Radio Hall of Fame
award. John was upset with the way his wife, actress Connie
Sellecca, was treated at the November 8 event.
Each inductee gets to pick someone to present the award, John picked his wife. When her remarks exceeded the three-minute limit for presenters, a producer cued music to play her off. When that didn’t work, they cut Sellecca’s microphone and turned out the lights in the ballroom, according to Feder’s story.
Museum director Susy Schultz commented: “I could not apologize more. Hers is a strong and important voice that should not be silenced. She is a woman with a successful multi-faceted career and a keen business sense who has navigated the worlds of acting, modeling, television, producing and digital broadcasting. She is also a role model on how to juggle and weave together work, faith and family.”
We’ll see if the apology was enough. (Photo courtesy of Robert Feder)
Shoe is Dropping. For the past couple of
months, radio people all over the country have been caught
in the termination tidal wave that we’ve come to expect as
budgets for the New Year are approved.
KLOS has dropped all weekend and fill-in personalities including former KLOS pd (from the early 90s) Ken Anthony, much beloved Rita Wilde, Frankie DiVita and Mike Vogel. Frankie responded on Facebook with: “My full-time voiceover business just became more full. Here's to a stellar 2020!”
AllAccess listed the email address of the KLOS who departed: Ken Anthony at email@example.com, Rita Wilde at firstname.lastname@example.org, Frankie DiVita at email@example.com, and Mike Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another talent caught in the tide, KBIG (MY/fm) weekender Shelley Wade has ended her three-year run.
Rummell Reaction. Cooper Rummell’s story yesterday prompted some responses.
Former KNX newsman Bob Sirkin wrote: “Cooper Rummell’s story is very inspiring. Those of us who have long covered tragic events can relate to Cooper’s feelings. I thank him for his selfless, important work.”
Former KFWB/KNXer Bob McCormick had another perspective: “Sorry, but PTS from ambulance chasing doesn’t cut it as an excuse, unless he crossed the yellow tape to get a closer look at the carnage. A soldier with a leg blown off by an IED...THAT is trauma. Maybe KNX should start giving stress tests. And Pete Demetriou can run the training.”
Chris Bury thinks Cooper needs to “team up with Steve Gregory in some fashion…Amen!”
Former KIQQ morning man Mike Butts emailed: “What a story from Cooper. It must be stressful and he is right, as stressful as it for those reporting the news, seeing it on television could not compare to what our first responders see.”
Journalism and Mental Health: Cooper Rummell Reports
|(November 25, 2019) Cooper
Rummell recently exited
Newsradio KNX (1070 AM). One day he was there covering
breaking news – murders, fires, crimes, and other tragedies.
And then he was gone. We reached out to him for the behind
the scenes story of what happened. Our one-hour phone
conversation was something the likes of which we never
Three and a half years ago, Cooper joined the station at age 23. He had arrived from news / talk KTAR in Phoenix. Media, storytelling and voice work certainly was in Cooper’s genes or DNA. His grandfather was retired Battalion Chief for the LA Fire Department Chief, Gary Rummell. His grandfather was accustomed to facing the press and public.
Cooper’s father is a distinguished and active voice actor. Scott Rummell is well known for being the voice of Aquaman in Justice League and its follow-up Justice League Unlimited, but perhaps best known as the go-to voice these days for theatrical movie trailers.
Cooper was thrilled to be joining KNX but the leap was startling. He was jumping into a high-powered cauldron. Early on he received a profanity-laced communication for using improper grammar. Maybe in today’s more sensitive working environment the criticism wouldn’t have been allowed but as Cooper’s colleagues told him, “This is just the way it is here.”
Cooper quickly adjusted to the fast-paced world of covering breaking stories in the #2 market. Camp Pendleton Marine boot camp probably would have been equally stressing and challenging, yet the young recruits do survive. And he was prepared to do so too.
As unprepared as he was for the intensity of the newsroom, nothing prepared Cooper for dealing with the day in and day out “death, doom, and destruction, which can wear on you,” said the 27-year-old.
|The shootings, mass killings and
fires began to take a toll on Cooper’s mental health. Cooper
said he was really struggling emotionally and mentally with
covering sickening scenes and sometimes there would be
multiple incidents in one day, sometimes going from one
gruesome killing involving the twisted underbelly of the
Southland to another.
“It really messed with my head. My mental health was diminishing. Day in and day out I was seeing the worst of humanity,” Cooper recalled.
Then came a personal epiphany. A calling. Something bigger. If you believe that God gives everyone a special gift, Cooper was given the gift of storytelling. Perhaps he was just using his gift in the wrong area. Following a massive panic attack after covering another headline-grabbing stabbing, he took a leave.
“I fell to my knees and asked how can I tell good news when I cover bad news day in and day out. I feel I have a storytelling gift but I feel like all I’m doing is spreading fear.”
Cooper began to experience his calling into the ministry, specifically storytelling, but not necessarily as Pastor Cooper. He took a leap of faith and instead of extending his medical leave, he resigned from KNX to pursue his calling. A lack of mental health facilities where journalists can go for PTSD-related issues is an area where Cooper may also have another calling.
“There are no peer-support groups,” he said. “First responders have critical incident debriefings after a tragic incident. We’re actually seeing about 75-80% of what they’re seeing, yet we have nothing to protect our mental health. I have an incredible amount of respect for the work of our first responders, fortunately for them not every incident they respond to is a critical incident and they have resources available when they see the darkest sides of humanity; but when you’re a crime and fire reporter, every incident you go to seems to be a major incident, there are no resources and your mental health is affected. I wasn’t sleeping at night. I had night terrors and panic attacks.”
There needs to be some sort of outlet for journalists to process these issues. Cooper feels passionately about this area, and hopes the union covering the broadcast industry will address this issue. He also made reference to the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma (https://dartcenter.org/) that is doing excellent work in this area. This next journey for Cooper has all his storytelling juices going at full speed.
While pursuing the mental health issues for journalists, he is interviewing with a number of mega churches who have needs for storytelling. “We’ll see what happens next. It’s a bright horizon,” offered an optimistic Cooper Rummell.
You can reach out to Cooper at: email@example.com
Email Saturday - 11.23.2019
** Followed Terry Grieger
“Thanks for the very interesting story on Terry Grieger’s career. I wish we could know these things about people BEFORE they beam up. I didn’t know him well but we met a few times.
I succeeded Terry at KOGO/KLZZ [previously KPRI] in San Diego and lived in that same transmitter building on Old Memory Lane, off Hwy 94 and Kelton Rd from 1984 to July 1987. They built the place when AM was still king, tv was in its naissance, and fm was a toy – they were still using the old 49Mc band then. The AM had been downtown atop the US Grant hotel, a horizontal wire antenna like many stations had used since the beginning of radio in the early 20th Century. In 1947, they built an attractive art-deco building on the site of the former Emerald Hills Golf Course and the two self-supporting Ideco Steel towers are still in use.
There was space for the 600kc AM, 94.1Mc FM, and Channel 10 TV but, at the last minute, comma) they installed Channel 10 on Mt Soledad where it remains today. It was nice to be able to run downstairs to the transmitter room if the station failed, vs. having to drive across town. The apartment has a deck with a grand view of the ocean out to the Los Coronados Islands.” – Phil Wells
** Grieger Counter
I worked with Terry Grieger at 100.3 /The Sound. He was such a special light!!! Sending my prayers to his family!” – Elizabeth McDonnell
** Grieger a Tower of Strength
“Yes, KIQQ [100.3] was on the KJOI tower until I moved KIQQ to Mt. Wilson in the 80s. However, the KJOI/KYSR transmitters were/are in the studios under the tower. KIQQ was up a flight of stairs behind the tower. KCRW is in that space now. There are several AUX installations at the site now, too, including 100.3 again.
I just finished reading your interesting story on Terry Grieger during breaks in the debate. I knew him well, and he was chief at 100.3 before EMF bought it. RIP, Terry.” – Lyle Henry
** Smartest Guy in the Room
“So sad to hear about Terry Grieger. I worked with him when I was with KBIG. He was dedicated, focused, always knew what he was doing, and always one of the smartest guys in the room. He was everything you’d want in an engineer.” – Rob Archer
** Lisa May
“Lisa May, please do explain where the past 30 years have gone? Amazing huh!! I wish you nothing but great joy, extraordinary new adventure and peace with the World.
We’ve worked shoulder to shoulder in our little niche of the radio world and sadly, hardly ever got to see each other. You’re terrific Lisa, never one to criticize and always first to empower. Rare credentials in this world.
Happy trails. Love ya always Lisa.” – Jeffrey Baugh
** Car Show Host Dies
“Saddened to hear of the passing of The Car Show host, Art Gould. I just learned about it this week when they announced it at the beginning of Hyundai’s private L.A. Auto Show press party at Novo in downtown L.A. Art was a very nice person and passionate about his work. I would see him from time to time at automotive press events around the country. Car companies usually schedule two or three groups of journalists for each event, and Art and I were frequently in the same group. It was always fun seeing and, needless to say, interesting to talk to him given his impressive knowledge of cars and the automotive industry. He will be missed.” – Reed Berry
** Goodbye Cruel World
“Wow, how wonderful to see a picture of James Darren on LARadio.com Thursday morning! I had a wonderful encounter with he and his lady friend years ago when I was in New York City. We went into Benihana, the Hibachi restaurant, and they seated us together. What a nice man he was. Good-Bye Cruel World :)” – Mike Butts
** Dudley’s Records
“I heard from people I haven’t spoken to in years thanks to your article last week. Is there any news on what happened to Aron Bender at KFI? I know he’s gone but what happened?” – Bill Dudley
** Less Time with KNX
“As a SiriusXM subscriber, I’ve noticed over the last six years [or two automobile leases] that the amount of time I spend in the car listening to SiriusXM’s channel 148 has for some reason usurped all the time I used to spend listening to KNX 1070.” – Gregory Glaser
** Breaking News
“Very disturbing regarding the lack of consistent coverage of breaking news events by LA radio stations, as noted by Gary Gibson's letter. Especially as the first report I heard about the Saugus High School shooting was on Valentine in the Morning on MY/fm, about 7:40 – 7:45 a.m. He reported having received a tweet/email about a shooting at Saugus High School and said he hoped it wasn'’ serious but wanted to let listeners know about it. When I switched to KNX to hear more, it was canned reporting, then commercials. No one else had anything. Sad. It made me miss KFWB and the excellent news reporting by David Wylie at KOLA.” – Julie T. Byers
“Your cartoon this week brings to mind [the late] Noel Confer, morning dj on the original ‘Mighty 690’ (XEAK) about 60 years ago: ‘They told me to cheer-up, because as time goes on, things could get worse. So, I cheered-up...and as time went on, they did!" – Bill Kingman
** Boss Radio Kerfuffle
“Regarding the Sunday story on Boss Radio on Sunday's LARP: Ron Jacobs must have been difficult to work with. One afternoon a friend took my wife and me into the KHJ air studio to meet The Real Don Steele. Following a break Don went into ‘RDS’ rap and tipped his chair over crying and shouting over the next record'’ intro. Immediately the studio door flew open and Jacobs started screaming at Don to get it together. We quietly left the studio in shock.” – Gary Marshall
Federman Appointed President
|(November 22, 2019) Jeff
Federman has been
promoted to Regional President for Entercom Los Angeles, San
Diego, and Riverside. An executive with Entercom wrote in an
internal memo: “Jeff has been handling Regional President
duties for over a year, and he deserves the title to go with
the position.” Jeff was appointed general manager at “Arrow
93” in late 2003, before the station flipped to the current
JACK/fm on St. Patrick's Day 2005. Jeff became market
manager for CBS/LA in early 2006. He exited the company in
late summer 2008.
From 1992 to 1995, Federman was nsm for KFMB-AM/FM in San Diego. He began his career at KKLQ-AM/FM in San Diego where he served in various capacities, including account executive, nsm and marketing/promotion director from 1988 to 1992.
Federman was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently resides in Calabasas. He graduated in 1988 with a degree in Journalism and Advertising from San Diego State University.
|Hear Ache. Have
you noticed a marked slowing of NFL games because of the
excessive stop in action because of penalties? I’m turning
off the marginal games … Nick
Cannon adds another diversion to his new morning
show at KPWR (Power 106). He will host a daily tv talk show
beginning in September 2020. The show will be based in New
York. Somehow it doesn't seem to be working for Ryan
Seacrest. How do you react to fires, flooding and mayhem in
real time? … J Cruz, afternoons at KRRL
(Real 92.3) is holding the 4th Annual “Cruz Cares” charity
fundraiser and toy drive to benefit The Boys & Girls Club of
Hollywood and East LA Rising Youth Services. Celebrities
appear with Cruz this afternoon. He’s raised over $100,000
in the past three years … The press release on Jimmy
de Castro (ex-KKBT gm) leaving the Entercom cluster
in Chicago was an interesting read at Robert Feder’s tasty
column: “On (DeCastro’s) watch, Entercom slashed expenses,
reduced its sales force by nearly one-third, and
consolidated its studios and offices at Two Prudential Plaza
from three floors to two.” Something to be proud of? Glass
half-empty or glass half-full? … Netflix in hot water as
they face some very serious allegations of institutional
racial and sex discrimination from Mo’Nique (ex-KDAY)
over a comedy special that never happened and the fallout
that followed … Why Cooper Rummell
left KNX in an exclusive story on Monday at LARadio ... Edison Research and NPR presented the new
spoken word data which showed, since 2014, share of time
spent listening to spoken word audio has increased 20
percent, while time spent with music decreased 5 percent …
Peanut Butter Falcon is a very sweet movie …
Today’s 18-24 year-olds are spending more time with radio
than they did as teenagers, according to new data released
by Nielsen. In other words, as teens grow up and enter the
workforce, their time spent with the medium rises.
Bean Bounce. Bean would like to see the Entercom execs figure out a way to make the KROQ brand pop more digitally. “To me, it’s a big mistake to make us one of 50 stations on the Radio.com app when we’re big enough to carve out our own thing. I think that’s a missed opportunity,” Bean said in his LA Times interview. Any parting shots at station management? “No, not at all. We’ve worked at KROQ a long time, through [owners] Viacom, Infinity, CBS and, now, Entercom. In general, I’d give them a B-minus, which isn’t terrible.”
Zambia Calling. I grew up in Santa Monica, but when it came time to start a career in radio, I couldn’t afford to live there. I settled in Valencia, now part of Santa Clarita. My older son, Don Jr., went to Saugus High School. Tragedy inched a little closer to my inner circle.
My young son, Tyler, is in Zambia, serving in the Peace Corps. A few months after arriving last April he broke his collarbone from a fall on his bike. He was flown to Johannesburg where his surgery included a plate screwed into his bone, which covered his shoulder. We were hoping he would heal on his own. He called yesterday morning and he is returning for additional surgery on Tuesday. He’s looking forward to McDonald’s and running water while there, and seems to have a sense of humor through it all. When he heard concern in my voice, he later emailed: “Really want to reiterate how much I trust this surgeon. Every South African that is injured in rugby goes to him, he is as decorated as it gets. Bedside manner is way different here. When I had surgery last time as he gassed me and while I was losing conscience he said, ‘so we are all clear for testicle removal.’ Funny prick but he’s really good at collarbone work.”
Host of Car Show Dies
|(November 21, 2019) Art Gould
was the long-time host of The Car Show on KPFK/fm,
hot rodder, car fanatic, and all-around great guy. He has
passed away after a brief illness. In keeping with Art’s
well-known trait of not sharing many details of his personal
life, the cause of death is not being disclosed. He was 76.
Born in Los Angeles, Art grew up in the Washington DC area. At a young age, he developed a strong musical talent, teaching himself to play the piano at age 7. By the time he was a teenager, he was playing clarinet and saxophone professionally, working as part of a musical group that once backed up Roy Clark on a record album. The youngest member of the band at age 15, Art was already making great money and could have had a career as a professional musician. But the California car culture was calling, so Art headed west to San Jose State University and automobiles.
He had a long career at General Motors, then was recruited to become the general manager of Cormier Chevrolet, a Carson auto dealership, in the 1970s. By the late 1980s, Art had taken an early retirement. He started offering expert car buying advice on The Car Show as a favor to the show’s founder, the late John Retsek. Art eventually became the show’s third co-host. He was also a contributor to various automotive publications. For so many years, Art was truly the enduring face of the radio show, traveling to both local car events and national and international launch events for new cars.
Even though he had become familiar to so many people, both on the radio and in car circles, he shared so little of his life, with even his friends. He used a post office box and never disclosed where he actually lived, other than to say “Orange County.” He was reluctant to adopt technology, preferring a lined yellow tablet scrawled with notes which he used in front of him during every broadcast. If you called his cell phone, he rarely answered it. In fact, his voice mail still had the generic greeting rather than one offering greetings with his own voice.
Greg Edwards, former news director at
KIK/fm in 1990, wrote on his Facebook page that his job with
KCBC/AM&FM in the Modesto/Stockton/Sacramento/market has
come to an end after a year. “I was told when I took the job
I could retire in this position. Well guess what, the
reality of radio strikes again. I was reminded that
California is an at will employment state and that I didn’t
do anything wrong, but the man at the top was letting me go.
No reason, I get a nice severance package, recommendations
etc., but no job. Well I will keep the faith, and go where
God leads me next!”
Bean Bounce. Bean reflected on broadcast companies playing to Wall Street rather than to their own listeners in a recent LA Times story. “I think that it’s insane that they haven’t addressed the proliferation of commercials on radio at this point. [Broadcasters] are so short-sighted and they feel like they can’t afford to not sell 12 minutes of commercials an hour. They don’t understand how ridiculous that is for the consumer in 2019. These are the same people who go home and fast-forward through every commercial, if they’re even watching something on a platform that has commercials, and then expect listeners to sit through five minutes, and then a song, before they get back to “Kevin and Bean.”
|Make Believe Ballroom.
Long before Kevin & Bean, Big Boy, Lohman
& Barkley, Rick Dees, and Ryan
Seacrest, Al Jarvis was the pioneer in
playing records on the radio in Los Angeles, starting in the
When Chuck Blore took over KFWB in 1958, creating a sensation with Color Radio/Channel 98, he insisted that Al continue with the station. “We became very close. God, how I admired that man. He was a Christian Scientist and suffered from excruciating painful ulcers. Sometimes I would walk into the booth to find him, doubled over in pain. But as the record ended he reached for the microphone and, I swear not one of the 450,000 people he had listening to him at any given time, had any idea that the amazingly communicative voice they were listening to and loved so much was covering up so much pain,” wrote Chuck in his memoir, Okay, Okay, I Wrote the Book.
3.5 years, 27-year-old Cooper Rummell recently walked out on
his KNX news reporting job.
What is the culture at KNX and the world of news reporting?
On Monday, a very special, exclusive conversation with Cooper
Terry Grieger, Engineer to Much of LARadio, Dies
|(November 20, 2019) As
you head up Coldwater Canyon, there is an unassuming street,
Cherokee, on the east side that winds itself up to a home
that sits on the top of the mountain. In the yard is an
antenna that tops off as the highest point in the city of
Los Angeles with a Beverly Hills zip code and area code. The
location of the home, almost hidden among the pine trees is
kinda eerie. Living inside you might think of some reclusive
beast that plays the organ at night, filling the canyon with
Over the years, the home has housed the studios of 98.7/fm: KMGM, KCBH, KJOI, and KYSR until the mid-1980s. Instead of a reclusive creature stirring around in the hilltop home, Terry Grieger, the then-head of Clear Channel engineering, turned the transmitter building underneath the tower into his home. Terry was in charge of the technical sound of 8 major Southern California radio stations (KIIS, KYSR, KBIG, KHHT, KOST, KFI, KTLK, and KLAC). Terry died November 18 following a stroke last week.
These are selected highlights from a four-part series we conducted with Terry in early summer of 2006. It is not only a story on his life, but it reflects a history of LARadio from the perspective of an engineer. Travel back 13 years:
“Now that I’m living up there, all these towers I’ve seen in movies over the years were actually these in Coldwater Canyon,” said Terry over lunch recently at the Daily Grill across from the Burbank Airport. “I remember seeing an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati where they go to the transmitter site because of a bomb scare and they show this tower. I hadn’t seen the show in years and watching it on Nick At Night one night they start panning down and I said ‘that’s not Cincinnati, that’s my backyard.’”
Terry has also seen his towers in the pilot episode of Outer Limits where the exteriors were all filmed up there. This isn’t the first time that Terry has lived at a transmitter site. While working in San Diego at KOGO in the 1980s, he lived under the tower. “It was an old transmitter building and they had an apartment upstairs. I seem to go from transmitter site to transmitter site.”
His Coldwater home had been
sitting empty and it was kind of by itself. “It is a little
hard to get to the transmitter in the middle of the night so
if there is a problem, I roll out of bed, throw on my bunny
slippers and tool across the parking lot. It must be
interesting to watch.” Terry lives in a drafty old building
that is not very well heated. “There are only a couple of
rooms heated and it’s very quiet up there,” said Terry. “I
With plenty of challenges to his job at Clear Channel, how did he get to the top of the engineering mountain? It all began in Northwest Indiana where Terry grew up about 50 miles from Chicago. He thought he was going to be a musician and because of his musical talents, he inadvertently got exposed to radio and it changed his life.
In 1965, Terry was in the 8th grade and worked part-time at the local piano/organ store in town. Terry had been playing keyboard since he was 5 years old. The owner of the piano/organ store used to play the theme music to a Saturday radio show. “One day the owner fell and broke his leg,” remembered Terry. “I was the only person who could play the theme song of the show.”
He remembered the first time he heard himself on the air. Basketball has always been huge in Indiana. The local high school had an organ and Terry played the National Anthem before the game. The games were broadcast on the local radio station and played back the following day. Hearing his playing of the National Anthem was a special memory. In addition to his interests in music, Terry also was fascinated by electronics and how things worked.
“I got to know one of the djs and he invited me to watch him. After school I would ride my bike to the radio station. On a Sunday afternoon the manager asked me if I wanted to work the board. That was a big deal. It was a Gates board. I played all the records on a 16” turntable. It was a big deal back then. And it’s all been downhill since.”
In 1966, Terry got a 3rd Class FCC license with endorsement in order to man the fm station at nights. “I couldn’t do AM, but I could do fm. In 1969, I graduated from high school and took the 1st Class FCC test in Chicago and passed. (Ed. Note: In the mid-1960s, only one out of every 1,600 passed the test)
Terry started out as a dj on his hometown station. He never really got into it. “The music was all over the road and I was all over the road. Other than sales, I did everything. During the summer, I filled in on the morning show, then went to school.”
“I like being in the background,” confessed Terry. “I don’t like the limelight, which is probably why I got out of the music dj business.” His interest in electronics and tinkering with the process of figuring things out came from his grandfather. “He did a little bit of everything,” remembered Terry. “My grandfather died when I was young. I remember vividly my aunt’s farm and going out to the woodshed and wiring up plugs and things. I think we were a lot alike. In fact, we look alike. Kinda scary. At home, I was always wiring things and blowing fuses, which I learned to do at a very young age.” His mother was described as “a little bit normal.” His father was a car salesman.
The WAKE call letters were given up by an Atlanta group in the mid-60s. Terry’s 15,000 population town adopted those calls and was his first station. By 1974, he was doing the all-day show, 9 a.m. to noon, having lunch, and then 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. While the music was playing, Terry was fixing cart machines and reading the news. He decided to abandon his dj work and look for an engineering job.
When Emmis purchased 105.9/fm they started Magic 106. Legendary Boss Morning Jock Robert W. Morgan was hired for mornings. Any stories? “None that I probably care to tell,” Terry answered quickly. “He was probably the most unpleasant person I ever worked with. He treated people very badly. I know people think very highly of him for what he did on the air but behind the scenes he wasn’t a very pleasant person. I know he didn’t like engineers.
Not everyone thought the purchase of 105.9/fm was a good investment. “I remember people telling Jeff Smulyan he was crazy to pay $70 million for KPWR and KSHE-St. Louis. People said the signal in L.A. could never go anywhere and could never be #1. I reminded Jeff of this the day we turned #1 over there.” Despite a number of attempts to get Terry to move to Indianapolis, he never did, but he logged a lot of airline miles. There were many challenges to improve the KPWR signal. The station was located on Yucca Street in Hollywood and it was ironic that the signal in Hollywood was weak.
“We did change the antenna, and the signal did get better,” Terry admitted. “We had to update a lot of the gear we inherited from Century Broadcasting. We also replaced the transmitter. We got it as good as we could get it. The signal still does very well in the San Fernando Valley.”
Terry remembers his nine years with Emmis fondly and said that Smulyan was really a good guy to work for. “Jeff took care of everybody. I really enjoyed working for him. And Rick Cummings is a great guy. I occasionally run into him at Morton’s Restaurant in Burbank.”
Terry was also there was it was decided to go sports at WFAN-New York. “We were meeting out by Rick’s pool in Indianapolis before we put WFAN on the air. Nobody wanted to do it. Everybody thought Jeff was crazy. Jeff said, ‘I run the company, we’re going to do it.’”
As far as the switch from Magic to Power, Smulyan didn’t want to give up Magic, according to Grieger. “He thought the format wouldn’t work here. He was going up against KOST and KBIG was Beautiful Music then, but KOST was doing really well. Turned out it was a good decision. We kept it quiet until the last minute. We carted all the music in Indianapolis. I remember going back and aligning the entire cart machines with the machines in L.A.” The timing of the L.A. format switch came at a fortuitous time as far as secrecy. The chief engineer, Tom Koza, was on vacation a week before the switch so Terry was involved in a number of activities in the production room and no one bothered him. “I got the request lines ordered and nobody asked what was going on.”
Only the general sales manager knew about the format flip. He was an Emmis executive from the Indianapolis home office operation. “He and I would go into his office, close the door and laugh at the people, snickering ‘if they only knew what was going on. Robert W. Morgan got fired on my birthday, January 8. The manager, Don Nelson, got fired. The program director, Ron Rodrigues, got fired.”
Apparently, word of the flip got out the night before. “Robert knew and he talked on the air about how the station was going to play all Kurtis Blow and the Blowfish all the time and that was going to be the new format, which of course it wasn’t. Robert thought it was going to be a black station. It was a very Dance oriented station with a Hispanic feel.”
In 1986, Jay Thomas, well known as a recurring actor on Cheers, Murphy Brown and Mork & Mindy (two season stint as a deli owner), was hired to do mornings at Power from WKTU-New York. KPWR captured NAB's first Marconi Award during the 1989 convention in New Orleans. Even though the award was new, it was being touted as the Oscar of radio. Jay commented on the station's award: "It's a great, fabulous honor. Marconi invented wireless transmissions. Unfortunately, if Marconi heard 'Power 106' he would probably die again. I don't think this is what he had in mind. But he's dead."
When Jay was terminated from "Power 106" in 1993, he filed a $1,000,000 breach of contract lawsuit. At the start of the second season of Love & War, Jay lamented about his firing from KPWR: "I'm having withdrawal symptoms. I had the rug pulled out from under me. It's very hurtful." Jay told the LA Times in September 1993, that KPWR fired him "because they became jealous of my tv show. They could not parlay my television popularity into what they wanted." His breach-of-contract lawsuit with Emmis Broadcasting was settled in late 1994.
When Emmis switched frequencies in New York it was Terry who did the switching. “I pushed the ‘off’ button when we shut down WNBC. No matter what anybody says, I pushed the off button at WYVY when it went ‘Hot 97.’” Emmis eliminated Terry’s job in 1992. “Jeff bought the Seattle Mariners and the economy wasn’t great. The company was downsizing. They didn’t have a Director of Engineering for a number of years after I left,” said Terry.
For the first time since high school, Terry was without a job. Emmis had treated him well on his exit and Terry decided to take some time off. Within months he got a call from the people at 103.1/fm (now Indie 103). “I hadn’t done day-to-day hands-on engineering for a while. The station was changing from MARS/fm to a Jazz format. Lawrence Tanter was there. The station had the highest numbers the station ever had – a 2 share.”
The 103.1/fm is a Class A station, which severely restricts power. For the past 20 years, owners have attempted to simulcast a signal on 103.1/fm with a tower in Baldwin Hills. The other tower being in Newport Beach. “They actually interfered with each other,” Terry said. “It was the worst short spacing in the country. It was terrible.”
A year later in 1993, Grieger began a journey that eventually took him to his current position of Clear Channel Director of Engineering. He interviewed for a job at KKBT, “the BEAT.” The studios were on Yucca Street, just three blocks from where Terry lived in Hollywood. He worked at “the BEAT” for nine years. “That was interesting for a white neck from Indiana. They were really good people. I still have friends from over there. I was the angry old white man in the back, we all got along okay. The station was owned by Evergreen Media and the company was run by Scott Ginsberg. “He had 4 or 5 stations at the time. He kept them through the merger with AM/FM.
They then merged and bought Viacom/Shamrock. I became market engineer for Ginsberg and then they merged with Jacor and then Clear Channel.” “I was in Denver doing Y2K compliance for AM/FM when they announced the sale of ‘the BEAT.’ I was co-engineer market manager with Mike Callaghan. I was based in Glendale at KOST and KBIG.
Engineer Greg Ogonowski had just left. Greg is one of the most brilliant people I know. He had a homemade processor that I didn’t know if I wanted to put on the air. I’m glad I did. Greg is working for Orban designing things and doing what he needs to do.”
When Clear Channel took over, Terry was the co-marketing engineer manager. “I think I got the raw end of the deal,” remembered Terry. “He got the three AM stations, KFI, KLAC and XTRA. Mike Callaghan got KIIS, HOT, STAR. Then we started the consolidation process. I kept on taking on more responsibility for the building construction [when all 8 stations came together in the Pinnacle building in Burbank]. Then one day they said you ought to do this yourself. I’ve been in charge for the past two years.” “I’ve gotten to the point where I know how everything works, but I’m not an expert at everything,” declared Terry. “I can muddle my way through everything but I don’t deal with the day-to-day, although I’ve taken on a lot more responsibility with the Prophet automation system. Brad Chambers used to do that, but he left after the Fabulous 690 was sold. My goal is to get people to work better at what they do best.”
Every time there is a fire, earthquake or severe problem on Mt. Wilson, the site that houses a majority of the radio and tv stations in the Southland, a station can be off the air for hours until help arrives as engineering makes his way to the transmitter site. Will the owners of the stations at Mt. Wilson ever get to the point where the site is manned 24/7? “I don’t know what someone would do up there all day. They’d go crazy,” responded Terry. “We have a couple of people who live at the base of Mt. Wilson and can get up there fairly quickly. During the rains he had some trouble up there and no matter how much you test things, when you need it, it never works.” Terry remembered when the generator at KBIG didn’t come on and it had been serviced just three days earlier.
“The reason it didn’t come on was we found out we’re required by law to have sensors on the fuel tanks with the spill tank in case it overflows. If there is spillage, it has to cut off the generator so it won’t run. And I didn’t know it wasn’t diesel fuel. It locked itself out and we had to go up and physically reset it.” He said the one on KIIS and HOT had been serviced a couple of days earlier.
“There was a lot of rain up there. The one I thought wouldn’t come up – the old beat up one at KOST - just putts along and has no reason to run, but it does. We actually did spend some money on this and it’s happy now. Channel 4 has someone up there during the day but no one full-time.” The Prophet automatic system has changed how radio programming works. “Prophet wasn’t ready for the big markets when we started using it. We were told how great it was, but as with any piece of hardware, there’s going to be a problem.”
Terry drew somewhat of a parallel with cart machines of the past generation of on-air people. If one cart machine goes down, the dj had five others to keep you on the air. You have one computer that goes down, and there’s nothing there. All the music stations within Clear Channel have backup CD’s to play if the computer goes down. Terry’s so skittish of software updates that if there is not some new feature that he has to have, he doesn’t update anymore.
“I’ve decided to give up blazing trails. Let someone else do it.”
Terry has worked with some interesting LA Radio People over the years. Where Robert W. Morgan might have been his most unpleasant relationship, he enjoyed working with Jhani Kaye (then pd at KOST). “Jhani is what a program director should be. He knows what he wants and he knows how to get there. Some people are tyrants, but not Jhani. He knows what he wants. Some program directors are constantly complaining about the audio processing. I asked Jhani what he wanted it to sound like, I set it up, and we never touched it again.” Terry thinks that if anyone can “whip” the Oldies format at K-EARTH into shape, it would be Jhani.
“I’m really glad I started out the way I did – working in a small station doing everything, including mowing the lawn on Saturdays out by the transmitter site,” remembered Terry.
“Do I miss some of the things in the past? Maybe, but there’s a lot of good stuff out now. There are certain things you remember as a kid. The neatest thing was a Western Union clock on the wall. It was the most Rube Goldberg thing. It kept the worst time. I was just fascinated by it and bought one on eBay. I have it running at home and it resets every hour with my EBS clock. It’s a klutzy old thing. Nobody understands my fascination with it. I also have some old RCA microphones.”
At the time of his death he was Sr. Director of Engineering for Meruelo Media. He had a wonderful journey from working as a youngster in a piano/organ store in a small town in Indiana to "tinkering" in his grandfather's garage learning how things worked to a brief time as an on-air jock to the head of engineering for the biggest radio cluster in Los Angeles.
Lisa May Ends 30-Year Radio Career
|(November 19, 2019)
Long-time radio morning personality, Lisa May,
is retiring from radio. She made the announcement on “The
Frosty, Heidi & Frank Show” on KLOS. After
30-years of waking up with Southern California listeners,
she is hanging up her headphones and moving to the Coachella
Valley to explore entrepreneurial interests. May’s last day
as the entertainment, news and traffic reporter at KLOS will
be Friday, December 13.
May said, “As someone who loves L.A. and is weirdly obsessed with traffic, I am immensely grateful for my 30 years in Los Angeles radio. To say it has been an amazing ride is an understatement, and I want to thank 95.5 KLOS and ‘The Frosty, Heidi and Frank Show’ for giving me the opportunity to spend my last 5 years on air with them. What an honor! I'm looking forward to the next chapter in my life - I'm headed to the Palm Springs area to open up a sister-studio to Strength Code in Toluca Lake. My hope is to be able to move through the next 20-plus years with strength and grace, and to help others do the same.”
“Lisa has touched millions of listeners in Southern California over the years and morning radio won’t be the same. Her familiar, calming voice and infectious laugh will truly be missed,” said KLOS pd Keith Cunningham.
In February 2015, Lisa May, left the KROQ Kevin & Bean morning show, where she had been since 1990. Born in Inglewood, Lisa grew up in Costa Mesa. She was actually employed by the traffic company, Total Traffic, that provided that service to KROQ in exchange for spot inventory. When she left KROQ, Bean said, “We’re very, very close friends with Lisa May. I consider her one of my best friends.”
Kevin added: "We love her and we’re gonna stop doing traffic and so that means she has to go away. It sucks."
"It is very difficult for us to discuss this and very difficult to present it in a way that is respectful of her and to let people know how sad we are about this. It is a huge loss for us. She’s been with us from almost the beginning of the show. It is weird for me that she’s not here. Real weird. Plus she was the only one who was every nice to me. There was a time when Ralph Garman wasn’t on the show. We’ve had other people come and go like Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla. It’s kind of the nature of the beast when a show has been on for a long time that people are going to come and go. We love you Lisa and we will absolutely miss you and I hope we can stay friends,” concluded Bean.
|Hear Ache. Earl Trout has a new bumper sticker, especially for youth of the 60s who are now well grown-up and know what that 1967 bumper sticker really should have said: “Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30 Years in Government” … In the LA Times interview with KROQ’s Kevin & Bean, the duo acknowledged the competition they were joining upon their arrival in 1989. They included Mark & Brian (KLOS), Rick Dees (KIIS/fm), Jay Thomas (KPWR), Scott Shannon (KQLZ), and the Baka Boys (later KPWR). “There were always good shows,” said Kevin & Bean … Jimmy DeCastro (ex-KFAC and KKBT general manager) exits the Midwest cluster for Entercom … Is podcasting replacing radio? New data from Nielsen suggests that it isn’t, according to their medium and small market edition of their Audio Today Report. 90 percent of podcast listeners also use radio every week. These podcast listeners prefer news/talk radio though, over the most popular format in medium and small markets, Country music.|
Challenges at 88.5/fm
|(November 18, 2019) California
State University Northridge is looking for someone to
operate AAA station KCSN and Saddleback College’s KSBR,
according to a story in Radio+Television Business Report.
A “Request for Qualification” has reportedly been issued by
the public institution of higher learning, according to
another source, Ken Mills’ Spark News blog, which is devoted
to noncommercial media.
Mills reports that CSUN issued the RFQ to solicit proposals from noncom public media organizations to manage and program KCSN and, by default, KSBR. KCSN’s “Smart Rock” programming, as it was initially billed in 2013, is the product of Sky Daniels, the now-retired veteran Rock programmer who served as Alternative Editor of Radio & Records before taking an upper-level management position at the now-defunct trade publication.
There is a fast time table for completion of this project. CSUN hopes the process will be concluded by March 15, 2020, Mills reports.
From the Radio+Television Business Report: “KCSN/fm appears in the Nielsen Audio ratings for Los Angeles with a 0.4 rating, overall. This is achieved with a signal primarily serving the Santa Clarita Valley and San Fernando Valley, aided by booster from a transmitter atop a former R&R home — 10100 Santa Monica Blvd. in Century City. This puts KCSN’s signal “over the hill” and into the Westside of L.A., including Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.” Author Ken Mills says, “Early speculation has PBS SoCal — the partnership between KCET-28 and KOCE-50 — a leading contender for managing KCSN and KSBR. Then, there is American Public Media, which could bring its Adult Alternative ‘Current’ brand of Triple A music from its home market of Minneapolis.”
|Help a Hero.
It's another successful Help-a-Hero radiothon for AM 570 LA
Sports (KLAC). Last Tuesday's effort raised $250,000, with
all proceeds benefiting the Dream Center LA. The local
charity finds and fills the needs of struggling veterans and
others in Los Angeles. Dodger third baseman Justin Turner
joined military veterans -- some formerly homeless -- and
Dream Center LA staffers throughout the seven-hour
The radiothon was hosted by Fred Roggin, Rodney Peete, Petros Papadakis and Matt "Money" Smith. Don Martin, iHeart Media Senior VP for sports in L.A. sent a memo to his staff at the conclusion of the radiothon:
Hear Ache. Tom Lasser reports the Radio Television News Association of Southern California Golden Mikes will be held Saturday, February 15 in Universal City … 63% of the world’s smartphones run on Android, according to ScientiaMobile … Alan Sims went to Career Academy broadcasting school in Hollywood with KIIS/fm superstar Bruce Vidal. “I knew him when...he was a natural (scroll up in photo gallery). He was a buddy,” emailed Alan … Sports guy Tony Bruno is experiencing some medical challenges. “All we can do is place our trust in doctors and the healing process,” wrote Tony on Facebook. “My latest checkup was not encouraging. Heading to the ER overnight and undergo my third surgery early Saturday morning.” … KFI and anchor Aron Bender have permanently parted ways, according to KFI news director Chris Little. Michael Crozier will take over the shift … Last month we introduced you to KLOS evening personality Greg Beharrell. Afternooner Gary Moore was asked for a comment about Greg, Gary responded, “Who?”
|...thanks to David Schwartz for this KABC billboard from the 60s|
Email Saturday, 11.16.2019
“Don’t know why KPCC would dump Hettie Lynne Hurtes, the best talent on the staff [matched only by Susanne Whatley], but on top of all her other talents it’s all dressed up with the best voice on the staff as well. They’ve effectively just taken the sound of the station and removed the tuxedo and told everybody to go to work in shorts.
I’m looking forward to someone casting a soprano in the Mr. Grinch role this Christmas. You know, there are some cases where there is just no replacement.
Sorry, I have to get back to listening to my new boxed set of Minnie Mouse singing Diana Krall hits. And all this from a station that bought $4000 Neumann microphones from our donations and filtered them to sound like $90 mics? It figures.” – Don Elliot
** Dudley’s Records
“What a joy to see Bill Dudley in his element and doing so well. Hard work and deep passion. That’s Bill.” – Keri Tombazian
** Dudley Do Right
“I’m so glad that Bill Dudley’s store is doing so well. He’s a great guy. If I were still living in SoCal, I would be spending many hours there.” – Bob Scott
** Where is the Bender?
“I am not sure if this is the right place to send an email for a radio question, but what happened to Aron Bender at KFI and the Tim Conway Show? Love the website.” – Julie Lule
** School Shooting Coverage
“I generally listen to 790 KABC while getting ready for work and they broke in with the news of the school shooting at about 7:55 a.m. They discussed it until 8 a.m. when the hourly news came on and then stayed with it after the news report was finished.
I got into my car at about 8:12 and started to hit my presets to see what coverage was going on. I hit 640 KFI to see what they were saying about it but, Bill Handel was interviewing someone about the high cost of building permits.
I punched 570 KLAC and they were talking sports. I hit 1260 K-SURF and they were playing Oldies.
I hit KNX 1070 and they were in a commercial.
I hit 870 KRLA and they were covering the shooting.
Back to KABC and they were still covering the shooting. I hit KFI again and they were in commercial. Back to KNX and they were in another commercial. Back to KRLA and they were now in commercial. Back to KABC and they were still covering. Back to KFI and they were now covering. Back to KNX and now they were covering the shooting. When do you throw out the commercials and just stay with a breaking story? Just wondering.” – Gary Gibson
Rita Wilde and CW West Get Downes for First Podcast Confessional
|(November 15, 2019) If
you are into radio and records – and why else would you be
here this morning – there is a new podcast debuting this
week that you should put on your must-listen list. Rita
Wilde, veteran of KEZY, KLOS, and KSWD (The
Sound), is a Southern California broadcast legend. She
has teamed with CW West (they worked
together at KLOS) to host “Rock and Roll Confessional.”
Why a podcast now? “First off, we have been very good friends since day one working at KLOS, way back in the early 80s. We clicked. Not only for the love of music, but we both have a very warped sense of humor. A year ago, I approached Rita to host a podcast. Rita’s answer was ‘only if you co-host with me,’” said CW.
“Secondly, a podcast doesn't take a corporate world to run (right now it’s just the two of us). We have all seen how corporations take over and make it about the shareholders. This is our world now; we get to choose every aspect of what the presentation will be. Right now, it is raw, but we are learning the process as we go,” said the pair.
The first show is up and available. Their guest is Steve Downes (between Rita and CW) Rock veteran at KWST beginning in 1978 and later on KEZY, KLOS, and KLSX. “We are going through our roster of friends and those who we worked with over the past 30 years. But we are also reaching out to people that we haven’t worked with – people we’re dying to talk with and find out more about,” continued Rita and CW.
They have two goals for this podcast. “Number one is to inform the listeners about the music industry. This podcast is for music fans. Whether you are a fan that wants to know more about the industry, or a fan from the industry, we welcome anyone who loves rock music. We want our guests to share what they went through while they were in the music business. Our guests will be from all walks of this life. Everyone from promoters, managers, roadies, photographers, music publishing and yes, bands.”
|Rita and CW feel that everybody has a
story. “But there hasn’t always been an outlet for those
stories. Because of our podcast format, those stories can be
told – and there are a lot of incredible people waiting to
share their anecdotes.”
From a technical point, Wilde and West go to the guests. “Wherever they are. The nice thing about this day and age, is that we can travel with an entire studio on our back. We use a Zoom H6 six track portable recorder and a few microphones. Since we are portable, it’s much easier for a guest to say ‘yes.’ We can meet at a conference room, management office, house, or as Rita has mentioned plenty of times, Starbucks!”
When will the pair see revenue for these podcasts? “I’d like to see revenue right now. But I know like anything else, we have to build up to it. Right now, we are asking for listeners to join as members on Patreon. As little as a buck a month, but as much as they like. This isn’t required to listen to the podcast, but it is a way for listeners who have the same passion for music that we do, to give a little something back. Those who appreciate the effort to put this together can contribute. Believe me, there is a huge effort involved in bringing this show forward to our listeners.”
CW said that one of the challenges that they’ve had to overcome has been technical. “Learning to use the recording equipment, editing the show, and building a website have all been huge challenges. It is ALL new. Marketing a podcast isn’t done the same way promotions were done in radio 30 years ago. But every day is a new day that we learn more. I’m sure in a year; the early shows will sound a little less professional. But it will still be great content.”
Steve was a perfect guest for the launch podcast. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with a B.A. from the University of Dayton. He began his radio career in Ohio in 1969 at one of the Midwest’s first progressive rock stations.
“The first couple of radio stations I worked for were free-form,” he told Rita and C.W. “You walked in with a bunch of albums under one arm and a joint in your hand. Boom. Let it go. We had a blast.”
Steve was at the college station that actually sold commercials “Everyone was a student. You really got a good education. I made a buck twenty-five an hour.” He revealed to the podcasters the slogan for his Athens, Ohio, station: “’We’re the only station town’” because we were the only station in town. You were listening go us or white noise. Our ratings were tremendous.”
In 1974, he became pd of WYDD-Pittsburgh. Later, he was operations director of KWST in 1979. Steve remembered that rock ’n roll was king in the 80s with four Album Rock stations: KLOS, KMET, KWST and KROQ. He spent the better part of a decade at KLOS.
He shares some behind the scene stories from his days at KLOS. “Carey Curelop [KLOS pd] didn’t have the balls to fire me,” said Steve. The podcast reveals all and who-done-it.
In the mid-1980s for a half-decade, Steve was the voice for many of the top syndicated rock shows produced by the Westwood Radio Network including “The Superstar Concert Series,” “The Rock Chronicles” and “Rock and Roll Never Forgets.” In 1986, he was flown to Japan to do a series of radio shows for “FM Yokohama,” which was a new radio station."
“In 1991 I was seeking a change in lifestyle and a desire to return to radio management and accepted a position of pd and afternoon drive at WRXK-Fort Myers (“96K”). No sooner had I unpacked my bags on tranquil Sanibel Island that I was asked to transfer to WYNF-Tampa as pd.”
He was lured back to the Southland in late 1993 to host “Rockline.” He then joined afternoon (drive at KLSX (“Classic Rock”) in the spring of 1994 but left before the year was out. Steve started morning drive at KTYD-Santa Barbara in early 1995 before moving in the fall of 1997 for WLUP-Chicago. In 2001, Steve segued to WDRV (“The Drive”)-Chicago for the next 15 years.
Steve is the now voice of Master Chief in the enormously popular Halo video games.
He worked with some of the great AOR personalities like Bob Coburn, Joe Benson, Geno Michellini, China Smith, Raechel Donahue, JJ Jackson and Phil Hendrie. In this podcast Steve reveals how he got involved with the iconic Rockline program.
Rita and CW have been marketing the podcast through social media. “Facebook and Instagram right now. This is one of the areas that has been a challenge for us. Like most people, we skim around Facebook with our own built-in audience. But now we are looking for an expanded audience, so it is a new learning curve for both of us. Honestly, don’t put it past us to be passing out stickers at an upcoming concert.
A fascinating listen to Steve Downes. Rita, a program director herself at KLOS, asked Downes what is the job of program director. He responded with a laugh, “Putting up with ass-hole disc jockeys, day in day out.”
The podcast is scheduled to be released every two weeks on Apple Podcast (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rock-and-roll-confessional/id1485623466, Spotify, and many other platforms.
|(November 14, 2019) He’s still a classic rock pd, just with Sirius XM. Classic Rock program director Bob Buchmann has a new gig. He’s joining SiriusXM as Director of Music Programming for the Classic Vinyl channel. He will be based locally, in Hollywood. Bob was pd at KLOS for almost three years and for the past seven years he was operations director and afternooner at Classic Rock KGB-San Diego … In the category of “what the hell is going on?” Ben & Jerry's has been sued over claim that their milk for their products come from 'happy cows' … As KPCC makes personnel cuts, the new station president/ceo Herb Scannell is apparently moving toward more on-line and podcasting … Bob Lefsetz, in his tasty newsletter copied the ten items that Lee Abrams wrote about in his essay on the future of radio. Lefsetz commented at the end: “Radio is in an undeniable position of strength in terms of accessibility, but as a fan of the medium, it has the potential for long term extinction in its current form” … Ken Davis, author of In Bed with Broadcasting, was inducted into the John Muir High School (Pasadena) distinguished alumni Hall of Fame. “I recently toured their brand new 3-million-dollar broadcasting facility and wait for it...some of the kids want to get into radio!” … The folks at 870/KRLA may have “The Answer.” They continue to serve their audience well, taking advantage of their hosts interacting with their listeners. “We had 1700 folks at the Pasadena Convention Center for our 2019 TownHall to hear Dennis Prager, Mark Levin, Dr. Sebastian Gorka and Larry Elder. Great success,” said Bob Hastings, director of integrated marketing. “We also had two events for author Michelle Malkin, one in Fullerton (300 in attendance) and one in Riverside (360) … Isabel “Isa” Gonzalez has joined Meruelo as Content and Brand Director for Spanish CHR station “CALI 93.9” KLLI. She was most recently at Univision Radio where she was Senior Content Director and Music Specialist for KLVE, KRCD and a group of other Spanish language stations for the past 9 years … NPR’s flagship ‘Morning Edition’ celebrates its 40th anniversary. The program made its debut with Bob Edwards, pulled from All These Considered in the afternoons for the earlier hours …|
|KNX’s Rob Archer is excited about the response to his first collection of short stories, Nothing Tells You the Truth Like the Past: a thumb-drive of stories … For the 10th year in a row, The Steve Harvey Morning Show and Premiere Networks will give away thousands of turkeys as part of the Steve’s Annual Turkey Give. Affiliates of the award-winning morning radio show, including KJLH, will provide 8,000 turkeys to help those less fortunate celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Since the Turkey Give was launched in 2009, nearly 80,000 turkeys have been given to those in need … Bryan Simmons read the story about Bill Dudley’s record store and just bought a rare Elton John poster from Bill. “I shipped it to the radio station he is programming in Albuquerque, New Mexico,” emailed Bill.|
Tommy Edwards set to retire
Another Pivot for KTWV's Bill Dudley
(November 13, 2019) Bill Dudley of KTWV is truly an
entrepreneur. Bill has worked virtually all shifts at the
WAVE, including the signature Sunday Brunch. Before arriving
in the Southland, he owned several record stores in Portland
from 1980 until 1999, when he sold them to become part of
“When my hours got cut at CBS Radio 3 years ago, I decided to re-open the store.” Dudley's Records Vintage Vinyl, located at 4633 Torrance Blvd. in Torrance, just celebrated its second anniversary. The store sells thousands of records, CDs, cassettes, posters, T-shirts, and other music related merchandise.
“My neighbor Jesse, who I had known since he was a little kid, was the perfect choice to join the new store. Jesse is an encyclopedia of musical knowledge from the 1960s on up, and he wasn’t even born until 1997.”
Bill grew up in Palo Alto. He was sent to a military boarding school, known as the Palo Alto Military Academy. “The kids attending, (ages 6-14), were required to wear a complete military uniform every day. This included starched shirts with tie and dress jacket. We had to spit-shine our leather shoes and stand in military formation prior to every meal.
My father passed away when I was nine, and my mother thought that I needed a good education and proper discipline. I was completely lost at this school during the first of my five years there. My only friend became the radio. Top 40 Radio. KEWB and KYA in the Bay Area, to be specific. The songs and deejays of that era. including Bobby Dale, Tom Donahue, Tommy Saunders, Emperor Gene Nelson, and Russ "The Moose" Syracuse navigated me through some very lonely times. The radio was my only contact with the outside world.”
“As time went on, another kid showed up at the school that also seemed sorta out of place, his name was Steve Tolen," Bill continued. “He also listened to the radio and soon we were making our own early reel to reel demo tapes. Steve was the newsman and I was the dj. Several years later, after we graduated, one of our teachers liked us so much he hired us to work at his summer camp in Northern California. On our first day off, we hitch-hiked into the first small town we could find – Quincy. That day, we met the fire chief, mortician, ambulance driver, and owner of the local radio station, and all one person, Andy Anderson.”
(Photo: Dudley's Records Vintage Vinyl owner Bill Dudley and clerks Jesse Chavez-Gallella and Alex Sanford. Credit: Michael Hixon of the Beach Reporter )
The next summer, Steve was driving the ambulance, while Bill was working at the radio station. Steve became a very successful health care professional, and still lived in that same small town, until one week before we opened the new store in 2017, when he passed away. Steve’s son, Steve Jr., his wife, and grandson just visited the store earlier this week. Bill is still doing the Sunday Brunch at Spaghettini in Seal Beach on a regular basis. Bill says, "What originally looked like a scary situation back in fifth grade, actually turned out to be a very good thing. My life was greatly influenced by going to that private school. The two best teachers I ever had in my life were employed there, one of which indirectly got me into radio. I still reflect on the importance of hearing the radio and having it help me thru my early years of uncertainty."
Bill continued: "My record store has always been, and still is a similar hangout for younger people, who appreciate Classic Rock, Soul and Jazz. It's amazing how one person can change your life. You also may never have met the second or third most influential person in your life, if you never met the first. Each exit off the highway may lead you to an entirely different place. This photo was taken on the second anniversary of the new Dudley’s. “The clock behind us was the original clock we had in the first store circa 1980. We even still have the same phone number that is on the clock, (with a different area code).”
At the second Anniversary weekend, many of Bill’s regular customers showed up to celebrate. “I’m proud to announce that Dudley’s always has been, and still is a great place to hang out for music fans of all ages, that just may feel at home with us. The store is important to people, and makes me feel like I have done something right, helping make some folks lives just a little bit better. I also recently heard from a guy who was a customer at the Portland store way back in 1985 – 1991. It was a big part of his childhood. His name is Reid Van Ness, now in his late 40s. Reid remembers the original pink bags we had, with the Dudley cartoon on them that were such a big part of his childhood. I just sent him several business cards from that era. The store is kind of like ‘Floyd’s Barber Shop’ on the Andy Griffith Show. Lots of younger people are also supporting the new store, and unlike many record stores in this area, we also have a large array of FEMALE customers. It must be our good looks!”
“My store has been visited by many LARP, including Talaya Trigueros, Barbara Blake, Lawrence Tanter, Maggie Mc Kay and Dave Caprita. Check out the fun we have at www.facebook.com/dudleysrecords Instagram: @dudleysrecords
Radio Hall of Fame - Class of 2019
|(November 12, 2019)
On Friday night, it was time for the 31st annual Radio Hall
of Fame ceremonies held at Gotham Hall in New York City. The
evening featured some of the best radio talent from across
the United States. Among the award winners were six members
of the Los Angeles Radio People Community.
The first to be recognized was sportscaster Jim Rome. Born and raised in Los Angeles, “Romey” has appeared on XTRA / KXTA, KLAC, and KFWB. He now hosts a daily show on the CBS Sports Radio network, along with tv duties on ESPN, CBS, and Showtime.
Rome said he has “deep, deep gratitude…I’ve always had people around me who are better than me…who told me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear.” He said his best work is ahead of him.
Via video, actor Christian Slater introduced Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, formerly mornings at K-EARTH. Slater commented: “This man was a huge influence on me…thank you for being a part of my life.” Hamilton first thanked all the other inductees and ultimately said, “I want to dedicate this to my love of my life, my incredible wife Marina.” Hamilton now hosts afternoons on WKTU-New York, plus countdown shows syndicated nationally on Premier Networks.
Just last Thursday, Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter ended their 30-year run at KROQ. Before Bean moves to London, the radio team was honored by the Radio Hall of Fame. They shared sentimental remarks on the heels of Bean’s last day. Ryder said, “I’m here because Bean chose me as his partner…he would’ve been here [RHOF] with whoever his partner was and I’m happy it was me.” Bean then said, “I could’ve been on the radio with anyone but there wouldn’t be magic. The universe brought us together. We were so darn lucky that happened.” (Photo: Jim Rome, Sean "Hollywood" Hamilton, Ryan Seacrest, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Joe Madison, Kevin Ryder, Gene "Bean" Baxter, Harry Harrison and John Tesh. [Group shot by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Radio Hall of Fame]
|Connie Selleca then introduced her
husband John Tesh, currently heard locally
on The Fish 95.9 (KFSH). She generously thanked all of their
radio partners and talked about being in a family business.
Tesh shared that he was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 but
stated he’s cancer free because of his “faith in divine
healing.” He went on to express his gratitude for his
family and for the honor of being in the Radio Hall of
Dr. Ruth Westheimer, formerly heard on KFI, is the diminutive sex therapist who shared explicit advice about relationships with callers to her show. She talked about radio being the best medium, “…even better than tv.” And while “…it’s nice to have become a celebrity…I see it as passing on correct information about human sexuality,” she said. The Holocaust survivor was recently profiled in a documentary, Ask Dr. Ruth, released in U.S. theaters last May and currently available on Hulu. Westheimer believes that current events, particularly immigrant children being separated from their parents, make it necessary for her to "stand up and be counted."
Jimmy Fallon entertained attendees with his comedic and heartfelt introduction of his friend Ryan Seacrest, current KIIS/fm morning host. After much laughter, Seacrest said “we truly do it [radio] because it’s in our blood. We do it because it’s something we can’t live without…I never imagined this room, these legends, this career…” In addition to his local radio duties, Seacrest is seen daily on the nationally syndicated Live with Kelly and Ryan, hosts American Idol, and is heard weekly around the world on American Top 40 via Premier Networks.
Jim Bohanon served as announcer for the evening’s program.
|Veteran Newscaster Has
Good News and Bad News: Hettie Lynne
Hurtes, a 34-year veteran has been heard on KRTH,
KRLA, and KFWB. For the past 13 years, she has served as the
midday anchor at KPCC. She shares good news and bad news.
The bad news is she was caught in an on-air and off-air
downsizing by the parent company, American Public Media
Group. The good news is the talented anchor, reporter and
writer is available after November 27.
“What are you going to do,” said Hettie by phone yesterday, “this is just the business today.” They claim to be eliminating midday newscasts at KPCC.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Hettie attended UCLA before graduating from Northwestern. She was the first woman in San Diego to anchor the news at KSDO. Hettie has also reported at KTLA/Channel 5 and KCOP/Channel 13. “While I was working at KSDO as anchor / reporter, it was a learning experience and I got to do everything from interviews, engineering, anchoring, writing and reporting," said Hettie. "It was very exciting and kept me busy 24 / 7. I knew from then on it would be my career.”
During her earlier years in broadcasting, Hettie was a freelance reporter for CNN in Los Angeles and the national film critic at the former RKO Radio Network. Hettie has written for a number of newspapers and magazines including Orange County Magazine, Downtown L.A. News, Beverly Hills Business and BackStage West. She's authored two books, The Backstage Guide to Casting Directors and Agents on Actors. Her acting experience has extended to both film and television, Terminator and Throw Mama from the Train, to name just two.
You can reach Hettie, a very well-liked and talented broadcaster, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeffrey Leonard's radio reunion scheduled for next month has
been cancelled due to the closing of Fuddruckers.
After 15 years at Fuddruckers, a new location for the reunion will be announced next year.
Email Saturday, 11.9.2019
|** Generic Radio
“Lee Abrams is ready to kick butt, or at least have the radio industry do so. He is right that radio has become generic. It sounds the same anywhere one can go and tune in. Broadcasters are afraid to being different, or sounding different.
Because of my dissatisfaction of commercial radio, I turn more and more to public or noncommercial radio providers who don’t yell at me or try to get me to think a certain way. I listen not only to NPR, but to the local hosts on KCRW and KPCC. I enjoy the nightly music programs offered, as the djs have a more open hand to selecting their artists and don’t have to follow the edicts of a faceless person thousands of miles away.
Lee Abrams is right to say radio needs to be shaken up. I just hope radio picks the right formula and gets the gonads to engage its audience and do it promptly.” – Dan Ramos, Joshua Tree
** Back to the Basics
“The Lee Abrams ‘back to the basics’ reference reminded me of an early KGB jock meeting when Buzz Bennett made it clear he didn’t want backsells longer than ten seconds period. Chuck Browning asked if there were any exceptions. Buzz replied, ‘sure, but if your rap goes over ten seconds it better fuckin’ kill me.’ That’s still seared into my memory.” – Rich Brother Robbin
** Blake’s Take
“I love this Lee Abrams essay. Thanks for printing it in an easy to read email…good for saving.” – Barbara Blake, CitizenPlanet.com
** Content is the Product
“Wow ... Lee Abrams understands. Having spent a little time in radio, I remember the talent that made me want to be on radio. It always seemed like magic to me. I was never captured by jingles or hyped formats, I was captured by humans on the air who said things that resonated with me at the start of my day or in the dark of my bedroom as the comfort of a distant friend filled my room.
Content is the product. It’s what flows out of the speaker from the person on the air. It’s the product that can be sold by talented businessmen. It’s a dance... a partnership. The most successful radio is when management allows talent to grow without fear or rules that a consultant insists worked in Scranton. Howard Stern... Rush... you want to make big money... mentor that.” – Larry Van Nuys
** Agree with Abrams
“Yes! Yes! Yes! Just a few days ago, I said to a few ex-radio friends, ‘radio has not changed since the 70s.’ Same style, same liners, same tired rules, but duller. Thank you for this.” - Stan Campbell, ex-KLAC Guy, Brockville, Ontario
** Abrams with a Dose of Reality
“Very nice article. Every time I deviated from the ‘format’ in the slightest way, the phone would ring. Or the station owner’s wife calling and telling you to break that last record and put it on her desk. How can anybody run a business like that? You don't. I always tried to be creative, nobody wanted it.” – Bob Hughes
** Back to Reality with Abrams
“In stating the obvious, Lee Abrams brought us back to reality. Yes, radio hasn’t changed in 40 years. Imagine 40 years ago if stations were programmed like it was 1939. Instead of playing Top 40 hits at KFXM, I’d be running the board for network shows like Jack Benny and Fibber McGee & Molly. YIKES!” – Neil Young
** Kevin & Bean End
“I never heard these gentlemen but it’s obvious they were great. I found a real respect and appreciation for Bean when I read that he had donated a kidney to a person in need. That's class.” - Mike Butts
** Demetriou Riveting
“Great, riveting stuff from Pete Demetriou!” – Bob Sirkin
** Demetriou Live
“I happened to be listening to KNX when Pete Demetriou gave his live report. To say that this was the best radio I had ever heard would be a vast understatement. It was scary, and, like watching an accident on the freeway, I could not turn off the radio. I was shaken for the rest of the day.
Thank goodness, Mr. Demetriou and the many others are fine!” – Sterrett Harper, President, Harper Claims Service, Inc., Burbank
** College Buddy
“Pete Demetriou was actually my companion at UCLA radio. I was the morning man, he was the news guy. Who knew? I’m very proud of the work he does, and how consistently good he continues to be. Most don't know how truly funny Pete is, and one day, one Strange Day, I will reveal all!” – Ed Mann
** KNX Drama Hour End
“Wow, my email lit up this week. You should be happy to know you have such reach. Let me clear something up, the press release about the Drama Hour was a Sales piece. We were selling to the LA Times, OC Register and any local tv coverage, not to radio insiders. Radio insiders should know that after consolidation, ‘It’s not the money, it’s the money.’
60 Minutes fit, 1930’s radio programs did not.” – Pat Duffy
** Roll Tape
“What is this ‘tape’ thing you wrote about on Tuesday? Duct, scotch, or cellophane?” – Chris Carmichael
** Aircheck Collection
“I used to aircheck format changes. They are all on audio cassette in storage. Not sure what I am going to do with them. I know I have the birth of KLSX when it was Classic Rock. I think I have the end of KRLA, the last Huggy Boy show.” – David Schwartz
** Golden Age of Radio
“I enjoyed reading the 2003 article about KNX dropping its Drama Hour, which also presented some comedy shows [‘The Jack Benny Program’], along with dramas such as Box 13 with Alan Ladd, The Six Shooter with James Stewart, and The Lone Ranger." Close to 30 years ago, I interviewed Charlie Michelson, who syndicated those shows to KNX and was responsible in large part for ‘kids’ like me, born in the late '50s, becoming fans of ‘Golden Age Radio’ in the '60s. More about him is at Charles Michelson Memorial – Lobitos Creek Ranch.
There’s still at least one ‘drama hour’ on Southern California radio. Since October 1982, I have hosted and produced Forward into the Past for KSPC/fm 88.7, the Pomona College station. It airs from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoons. During the first and third hour, I present great records from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s - jazz and hot dance bands, big-band swing, comedy records, show tunes and soundtracks, and even the occasional vintage blues or country disc. [I have a barn in my back yard which houses 30,000 78s, LPs and CDs of music from this era.]
The middle hour is taken up with great old-time radio shows, usually one half-hour comedy program, and another 30-minute drama. Listeners who miss the KNX hour can ‘return to those thrilling days of yesteryear’ for at least one hour every Sunday on KSPC.
In addition, my radio partner Roger Allen and I present an hour of new radio comedy with The Sunset Review, in which we bravely attempt to make sense of the goings-on in Merkis Palms, the town that time remembers but people forget. That show starts at 1 p.m. on Sundays, and has been on KSPC since 1988. I play about 60 characters on the show, including culture maven Walter Withersgap, astrologer Lola Nebula, rambunctious six-year-old Billy Furtively, consumer advocate Lolo Price, town ‘historian’ and chief gossip-monger Percival Heavens, and commodities market reporter Buellton Bullbear.
KSPC’s programming can be reached on the internet at http://www.kspc.org Thank you again for keeping us well informed about L.A. radio’s past and present!” – Randy Skretvedt / “Randy Brian.” – KSPC nom de radio
** Voice King at 28
“Some months back you ran a story on LA sports voices and I wrote to keep an ear on Alex Faust, the new LA Kings pxp tv guy. So far, he hasn’t disappointed. This article analyzes a few of the new hockey voices, including Faust. I hope you'll pass it on.” – Larry Boxer
** Evil Woman
“Getting in the car after my Monday morning physical therapy session [I’m on the tail end of a snapped Achilles tendon recovery], I fire up the 1958 Ford's AM radio and head off to work at the studio.
After the usual 20-second wait for the vacuum tubes to warm up, out of the speaker comes ELO’s Evil Woman, courtesy of K-SURF. I always had a soft spot for Jeff Lynne and Co., but there’s also just something about hearing a 44-year-old favorite coming from a 61-year-old receiver. With a smile on my face, I turned up the radio and headed to The Shop.” – Bruce Barker
Quarter 2019: Passing Parade: Sylvia
Chase; Eva Ross Kilgore; David Horowitz; Richard
Kimball; Super Dave Osborne, Harvey Mednick; Bruce Williams;
Let's Go Trippin' with Dick Dale; Larry Van Nuys jumps into the (K)Surf; KABC
shuffles line-up; LARP who died in 2018; Art Laboe
set for PPB honor luncheon; Jaime Jarrin honored;
Marketing lesson from Fiji Water Girl; Cindy Dole
out styling; Saul Levine essay on his 105.1/fm
beginnings; How will a recession hurt the radio biz?; Update on KFI
reporter Hanna Scott; Series to preserve radio
archives; Golden Night; 1,000 homes on site of KLOS/KABC; Video in
cars; Jimmy Steal to Chicago; New head of Southern
California Public Radio; Celebrating Scott St. James;
Laughs are on Phil Hendrie; Afternooner like no
other; Art Laboe honored by Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters;
Wendy Williams show postponed indefinitely; KNX vet
Diane Thompson set to retire; Delilah
tells all; Motown at 60; Martoni's; Steve Harvey and
kerfuffle; It's news to Steve Gregory; Auspicious
start for 88.5/fm; Triplets 10-year anniversary; How Pete
Weber made the hockey team; We Will Rock You; Randy
Keith is the piano man; Triplets partner in hope; History
of Gary Theroux; New news from Diane
Thompson; John Batchelor
reveals he has cancer; Bean announces in leaving
KROQ morning show; Actor Sal Mineo was a LARP;
Sky Daniels retires from 88.5/fm; Ask Dr.
Ruth; USC broadcast rights; Buzzards return to Hinckley,
Ohio; Nancy Plum's new book; Elaine Perkins
perks up the news; Podcast with Passion
Hettie Lynne Hurtes
Archives Summer 2019: Passing Parade: Humble Harve; Reb Foster; Gregg Hunter; Roger Carroll; Bo Leibowitz; Cheryl Whitaker; Dwight Case; Murray Westgate; Jim Newman; Revenue changes for LA stations; Jhani Kaye get MVP for May ratings leaders; Radio Hall of Fame nominees; Phrase that Pays; NY Times word usage, Buckets of Money; Ashley Paige syndicates The Ranch; Nick Cannon joins mornings at Power 106; Alan Oda to Japan; LARPs in Heavy Hundred; Gayle King new Queen of CBS; Dave Beasing Has Another Sound in Him; Corporate.FM is a Must-See documentary; Muhammad takes over programming at KJLH; Osburn new boss at 88.5/fm; Michael Jackson breaks up fight at 30,000 feet; Podcasting challenges; Is KABC next to be sold; Franken is frank; Bob Ray inducted into Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame; Takes a bunch to tango these days; Hollywood landscape on up and up; Chris Hughes Out; Earthquake king Popejoy is remembered; Mookie Kaczor new pd at 88.5/fm; Radio Hall of Fame voting begins; David G. Hall celebrates 30-years in business. Andy Chanley new md at 88.5/fm; Reggae and Mas moving to 93.9; KGIL reunion; Kevin James' internal Quiet Storm; Carlucci on the move; Dennis Prager lead story in LA Times; Sluggo now at bat for KLOS; Purely personal
Archives April/May 2019: Passing Parade: Chuck Cecil; Brad Messer; LARPs win AllAccess Awards; Series on Podcasting; Bob McCormick exits California; Bob Eubanks dazzles telling Beatles stories; Ken Levine on podcasting; Mark & Brian reunite; Past and present music intersect; Mighty 1090 not so mighty; Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Radio Station - Nothing; J Cruz cruises to iHeart; KLOS sold to Meruelo; Ralph Lawler signing off; Talaya's Last Ride on The WAVE; Looney thoughts on LARadio; Steve Swenson to Tennessee NPR; New days for KCRW; Charlie Van Dyke reflections; Dave Hull returns to radio; Mark & Brian reunite; Money winners for 2018; Kat Corbett exits KROQ; Jim Rondeau to Northwest; Uncle Russ; Perry Michael Simon's essay on weekend news coverage; Dan Patrick health scare; Kevin Klein joins KROQ; Fight on for 'ol SC; Emily Valdez new KNX anchor; Erica Farber Woman of the Year; Rick Dees' cookbook; Tim Conway, Jr. loses his father; Thom Tran to MC Army event; Dave Zorn's book will make your heart go pitter-patt; KXOS Movin' to Meruelo; George Green looks in rearview mirror; Howard Stern doing what he does best; Melinda Lee out of the kitchen and busier than ever; Nathan Roberts comes out of retirement to join KNX; K-SURF flashes back to the 80s; Radio Santa Ana on the Air; Gamble for New York Radio Personalities
Archives 4th Quarter 2018: Classic win for K-EARTH; Ellen K doubles down; Rachel Maddow profile; Imus lawsuit thrown out; Jeff Baugh's book; Gary Thompson was at right place, at the right time; Don Elliot reports from NAB/RAB Radio Show; Rocio Rivera gets more time at KFI; Johnny Gunn's new book gets dressed down; New life for KNX/fm; Passing Parade: Scott St. James; Hal Pickens, Ed Crook, John Lyle Campbell, Mike Parker, Dave Roberts; Bill Dudley plays a record; Invisible LARP; RJ Curtis hits jackpot; LA Times beats up Charley Steiner; KBIG begins with Poole; 93/KHJ gets benched; Allie MacKay's Journey; Al Wisked Away by Dallas;What did music stations talk about during World Series; Heaven is in Your Mind; Brother John source material; Gary Moore stands up for cancer; Jillian Barberie diagnosed with breast cancer; What's in your berry bag, Wolfman?; Flash! Bohemian Rhapsody is a Smash!; Mornings growing at 870/KRLA; Another Southern California Inferno; Ingraham transitions to podcasting; Nobody knows anything; Casey Kasem counts backwards to 48 Hours; Jim Hawthorne would have been 100; Best Broadcaster ever!; Wink a heavenly treasure; 2018 rearview review; Scott St. James remembered; Bob Cole to hell and back; VO artists sing for kids; KLAC raises 1/4 $; Highest paid radio people; Doug McIntyre is set to leave KABC after 22 years; Wally Clark falls; Vic the Brick feelin' you; KABC, By George Green; Art Vuolo's farewell party
Archives 1st Quarter 2019: Passing Parade: Sylvia Chase; Eva Ross Kilgore; David Horowitz; Richard Kimball; Super Dave Osborne, Harvey Mednick; Bruce Williams; Let's Go Trippin' with Dick Dale; Larry Van Nuys jumps into the (K)Surf; KABC shuffles line-up; LARP who died in 2018; Art Laboe set for PPB honor luncheon; Jaime Jarrin honored; Marketing lesson from Fiji Water Girl; Cindy Dole out styling; Saul Levine essay on his 105.1/fm beginnings; How will a recession hurt the radio biz?; Update on KFI reporter Hanna Scott; Series to preserve radio archives; Golden Night; 1,000 homes on site of KLOS/KABC; Video in cars; Jimmy Steal to Chicago; New head of Southern California Public Radio; Celebrating Scott St. James; Laughs are on Phil Hendrie; Afternooner like no other; Art Laboe honored by Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters; Wendy Williams show postponed indefinitely; KNX vet Diane Thompson set to retire; Delilah tells all; Motown at 60; Martoni's; Steve Harvey and Mo'nique in kerfuffle; It's news to Steve Gregory; Auspicious start for 88.5/fm; Triplets 10-year anniversary; How Pete Weber made the hockey team; We Will Rock You; Randy Keith is the piano man; Triplets partner in hope; History of Gary Theroux; New news from Diane Thompson; John Batchelor reveals he has cancer; Bean announces in leaving KROQ morning show; Actor Sal Mineo was a LARP; Sky Daniels retires from 88.5/fm; Ask Dr. Ruth; USC broadcast rights; Buzzards return to Hinckley, Ohio; Nancy Plum's new book; Elaine Perkins perks up the news; Podcast with Passion
Archives 3rd Quarter 2018: Anniversary of AT 40; Passing Parade: Ed Schultz, Johnny Morris, Fred Beaton, Dave Zorn; New Role for Kelli Gates; Art Laboe is One-of-a-Kind; Savage as Supreme; Vic the Brick is Feelin' You; Rita Pardue a thing of Senior beauty; Marcellus Wiley jumps team; Doug Dunlap has the keys to happiness; Highest paid LARP; Martoni LARP Noms; Former KIIS GM retires; Sad Sage Sylvester story; Carlucci, voice of Russia World Cup Games; Is there a Smart Radio? Springsteen on KMET; Is podcasting for you?; Rick Dees slated for Yucapia station; Time for a Southern California Radio Hall of Fame; National Radio Day; Big Boy makes unwanted news; Judging Amy Lewis; Jim Rome looking for LARadio home' K-SURF adds morning personality; What keeps Kevin LeGrett up at night? Alex Cohen moving to new Specrum; Silver celebration at NBC Sports Radio; Jo Jo Wright takes his KIIS show to Beijing; Paxton Quigley, armed and strong with a new radio show; Mt. Rushmore of sports; Neil Ross pens new book; Highest paid radio people; Looney looks to add game show host to eclectic career; Burt Reynolds apologizes with a twinkle; Traffic reports won't be so Rosie (Wedel); Voice of Trojan basketball headed for Thunder; the night Elvira spent with Elvis
Archives 2nd Quarter 2018: Michael Benner's new book; Brian Beirne in concert; KNX celebrates 50 years; Uncle Joe to Townsquare; Amp says Yes to Yesi; Click and Clack to automotive Hall of Fame; When is an Oldie Not an Oldie? Passing Parade - Mark Morris, Bill Watson, Dex Allen, Dick Orkin, Bill Jenkins, Don Bustany, Arnie McClatchey, Mark Morris, Roger Collins, Art Bell, Mike Walker, Frank Bresee, Warren Duffy, John Mack Flanagan; 3 LA stations in revenue Top 10; NAB nominations and voting; Kimmel in People; Ted Leitner diagnosed with cancer; PPM re-issue issue; Lady LARPs of Grace; Dick Biondi out of WLS after six decades; 6-minute commercial load too much; Purely Personal with son's graduation and daughter's marriage; Len Chandler songs for Credibility Gap; Alfonzo Ortiz @KNX; THR award to Harvey; Stern cut and he's not happy; 2 LARPs on Time list of 2018 Most Influential; Ladd is back and Tribe thrilled; Larry Gifford diagnosed with Parkinson's; Is Savage being set-up; Walker needed for pd; Good Time Steve Mitchell to Georgia HOF; LARPs nominated for HOF; Marriage of Alexandra Barrett; Lyon Queen; David Viscott king of psych Talker; Debunking myths of a dj; New day for Sue Fruend; Adam Carolla is driven to buy; Is the Bloom off the rose?; Paul Newman's cars; One of a Kind LARPs Series with Jim Ladd, Jim Healy; K-EARTH's Locks of Love excellent promotion; Good Day LA crew reunites at KABC; Baseball ratings; Jersey Boys interruption; Rita Wilde interview; LARPs inducted into Radio Hall of Fame
About the Publisher of LARadio.com, Don Barrett
As publisher of LARadio.com, Don Barrett chronicles radio news and lists 6,000 people in Los Angeles who work or have worked in radio in the past 60+ years. Barrett is a historian of contemporary Los Angeles radio history and author of Los Angeles Radio People, published in 1994. He published a second volume of the book a year later, along with the launch of a daily website column.
In 2013, he started as the radio columnist for the Orange County Register.
Barrett's Southern California roots (Santa Monica) include a bachelor's degree from Chapman University (Man of the Year, 1964). He also earned a master's in psychology. He spent 10 years in radio working as a disc jockey, program director, national program director (Gordon McLendon Corp) and general manager (W4-Detroit and WDRQ-Detroit).
He launched KIQQ (K-100) Los Angeles in the early 1970s.
In the mid-1970s Don joined the motion picture business, working as a marketing executive at Columbia, Universal, and MGM/UA. Barrett was part of the marketing team that released E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Back to the Future, Thelma and Louise, Rocky and James Bond movies.
He also represented a number of films at the Cannes Film Festival.
He was the first recipient of TALKERS Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award. Don has been honored with an honorary Golden Mike and Special Recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists.