Art Vuolo's Last Holiday Party
|(December 31, 2018) Art
Vuolo, “Radio’s Best Friend,” is pulling the plug
on his annual gathering of local radio folk. Yesterday was
the final time that Art will make his way from Michigan to
Southern California for his yearly party. “It is time,” said
Art at the home of Steve Resnick (in white
holding one of his dogs). “Everything has a beginning and it
just feels like time for this to come to an end.”
(Art is in front
row wearing a blue jersey between blonde woman and
I was at his first gathering, so it was only fitting to be there to see a dear friend one more time.
It was a festive time as radio people, folks from the voiceover world and those from ancillary fields mingled, told wonderful stories, and enjoyed an industry gathering of peer folk.
Art and I go back to 1970 when he was a cub reporter for a Port Huron, Michigan newspaper. Art wrote about our Oldies format at WWWW (W4). I subsequently hired him to put together an incredible 6-hour audio history of Detroit radio, which ran continuously for 72 hours leading up to the launch of WDRQ.
Safe holiday today and tonight. We have exciting news about new morning personalities at two L.A. stations. (Thanks to John Leader for the photo. He sacrificed himself to get this shot)
Email Saturday, 12.29.2018
|** Levine on Wink
“I have had the privilege of having Wink Martindale perform on air work on my Standard's formatted stations. I consider him to be one of the most talented air personalities that ever sat behind a microphone.
In retrospect, I am honored to have had such an incredible talent in my organization. It is an understatement to refer to him merely as a STAR.” - Saul Levine, KKGO / KSURF
“Thank you so much for including my book, In Bed with Broadcasting in your 'Last Minute Gift Suggestions' for the LARP. I'm especially honored that it's right next to the book by a local radio legend. He was the one who encouraged me to get into the business many decades ago, when I was just another kid hanging around the KRLA studios. I'm referring to the one and only Dave Hull, who has that rare combination of being both talented and a heck of a nice guy.” - Ken Davis
** All That Jazz
“I really liked reading the story about Saul Levine's stations. In the article it mentions KBCA playing Classical music until 1979. This is incorrect. I remember listening to KBCA in the 70's while in high school, and they were playing jazz. In fact, one of my teachers listened to the station saying he loved jazz. I graduated from high school in 1976. Maybe Saul can confirm when KBCA started playing jazz.
Also, I remember when KBCA changed call letters to KKGO. It was jazz at that time as well. This was before KFAC went bye bye in 1989. I don't remember any change with the station in 1979.” - Dale Berg
** Format History at 105.1/fm
"Here are some correct numbers. KBCA went on the air February 18, 1959 about 8 p.m. from a studio on top of Mt. Wilson. We were Classical until early 1960 when unable to compete with KFAC giving away the FM side of the AM-FM Combo, went to the Jazz format.
KBCA was Jazz until about October 1989, when after KFAC went Rock, we returned to Classical. We were Classical until March 2007, when we went Country. The call letters were changed in November 1978 from KBCA to KKGO.
In the sixty year history of 105.1 there have been only three formats—Classical, Jazz, and Country. Today KKGO is the number one cuming Country station in the USA. Now in its 12th year with the format and committed to it. [Thank you Emmis]."
P.S. This February 18, 2019, I will have been general manager and operator of 105.1 for 60 years. I believe that this a record in USA radio. My son Michael, 39, and my daughter, Stephanie, 42, are committed to continuing the Country format, as I am." - Saul Levine
"While I am ever grateful we have monthly access to current LA Radio ratings, I have been noticing for a long time some fm stations are listed incorrectly.
1. KPWR is certainly not Top 40, they are almost as hip-hop as KRRL.
2. I wouldn't say KDAY isn't any less than Old-School hip-hop. And by the way KDAY is now also on KPWR HD2.
3. 103.1 KDLD has been Retro Spanish rock-and-dance for much or all of this year. Certainly not Regional Mexican.
4. 107.1 I would say KSSE are Cumbias not Spanish Oldies" - Chime Hart
|** Engineer Died
"Ron Pesha ('peh-SHAY') passed away December 26th of heart failure in Fair Haven, Vermont.
Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Ron was the consummate broadcast engineer and technician who engineered, repaired, and built radio & tv stations from Hawaii to New York - including Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Jose, Fresno, and Midwest - from the 1950s into the 1980s. One of his proudest achievements was constructing [including home-building the control room audio mixing console] and then signing-on the new KFOA (FM) Honolulu in the 1960s.
In Los Angeles, Ron worked for Saul Levine at KBCA. Ultimately, Ron became the professor of broadcasting at Adirondack Community College in Glens Falls, New York, for nearly twenty years which included founding their student-operated fm station WGFR. Ron contributed to many technical journals, and later while retired in Lubec, Maine [(the eastern-most tip of the United States], he authored several history books while being active in the local historical society as well as aiding the preservation and operation of Lubec's famous West Quoddy Head Lighthouse. Ron Pesha was 84." - Bill Kingman
A Variety of Stories About Saul Levine
|(December 28, 2018) Saul
Levine is profiled in the current issue of Variety
Magazine, written by Roy Trakin. The owner of Go Country
KKGO and Oldies KSUR in Southern California takes us on his
journey from the cow-town of Cheboygan, Michigan, to sunny
Southern California. We learn about Levine’s parents — his
father an agnostic from Lithuania, his mother an Orthodox
Jew from the Ukraine — who were part of an arranged marriage
after arriving on Ellis Island.
Saul spent a year at the University of Michigan before enrolling at UC Berkeley, where he majored in general studies, with an emphasis on philosophy, economics and psychology. “It didn’t prepare me for any kind of real job, but it was fun reading Schopenhauer and Spinoza,” he laughs. After graduation, Saul took a job as a social worker for the County of Los Angeles, then got his graduate degree at USC in social work before finishing law school at UCLA.
All along, he harbored a desire to get into radio. Read about the launch of Classical KBCA in 1959 and the transformation to Jazz, back to Classical as KFAC, before finally going Country as KKGO in 2007 when owner Emmis Communications pulled the plug on KZLA, L.A.’s only Country station at the time.
“Levine purchased the land parallel to the 405 Freeway for $800,000 in 1985, knocking down a flophouse for military vets that occupied it at the time,” wrote Trakin. The building now houses the Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters complex.
“Ninety percent of the population in the U.S. listens to terrestrial radio at least once a week,” insists Levine. “Radio will survive for the next 15 to 20 years. It’s free, it’s local, it’s live and it’s the only medium that deals with your community.” Levine concluded: “I’ve been a very lucky person. Seems like everything I touched could easily have gone south, but it went north instead. I worked hard, though. I put in the time.” Read the complete Variety story by clicking the Go Country logo.
|In other news: Lane Quigley,
ex-KUSC, has to give up his Memory Lane Show on
RockitRadio, as the streaming service shuts down next week.
Lane is a lawyer by profession. Every week he presented a
fascinating mix of r&b Oldies on the Internet. “Our terrific
station manager, Bennie Dingo, has managed to keep
RockitRadio flying for these many years through sales of
CD's and T-shirts from the Rockit Store and on eBay,” wrote
“However, decreasing sales [who buys CDs anymore?] and the reality of a diminishing market for 50s/60s music no longer generates enough income to cover the station’s broadband costs and licensing fees. Many of our listeners have generously supported the site, but there is still negative cash flow.”
Quigley hopes to find a new Internet home for The Memory Lane Show, but he will have to wait a few months because the recent California wildfires caused severe smoke damage to Studio B. “I hope to find a landing spot so that we can continue in the future."
For Hunter Hancock fans great news from Quigley: “For the final show on RockitRadio, our station manager is repeating the program from 2000 where I coaxed Hunter 'out of retirement' to do another show. I had to record it in the dining hall at his retirement home using a small portable mixer and a cassette deck, but you can tell that he had a blast. The show will be online over the weekend at http://www.rockitradio.net/programs.html .
Holiday Winner Goes to KOST
|(December 27, 2018) KOST is
once again your holiday leader in the just-released December
’18 ratings. KOST is a decisive winner over #2 sister
station, KBIG (MY/fm). The top seven stations are owned by
iHeart (four) or Entercom (three). Aside from KOST, the
biggest gainer in the Top 10 was Entercom’s all-News KNX.
Christmas music apparently didn’t hurt or help Country KKGO.
They stayed steady with a 2.4. The biggest drop from last
month’s ratings was Sports KLAC, falling an eye-dropping 2.1
– 0.7, perhaps due to the Dodgers ending their World Series
run. The station is the flagship for the local baseball
franchise. Normally, “AM 570 L.A. Sports,” receives at least
a 1 share, making its current ratings lowest since last
summer. KLAC is now tied with Cumulus talker KABC, the
latter moving up a couple of notches from a 0.5 to 0.7,
which is still one-fifth the audience of rival KFI.
Here are the Top 40 stations in the Monthly PPM 6+ Mon-Sun:
1. KOST (AC) 5.1 - 8.9
2. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.7 - 4.9
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.5 - 4.5
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.4 - 4.0
5. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.3 - 3.9
6. KFI (Talk) 3.6 - 3.5
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.8 - 3.4
8. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.6 - 3.3
9. KNX (News) 2.8 - 3.1
10. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.9 - 2.9
KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.8 - 2.9
KXOL (Spanish AC) 3.0 - 2.9
13. KRRL (Urban) 2.8 - 2.7
14. KPCC (News/Talk) 2.7 - 2.5
KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.6 - 2.5
16. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.1 - 2.4
KKGO (Country) 2.4 - 2.4
KYSR (Alt 98-7) 2.7 - 2.4
19. KUSC (Classical) 2.2 - 2.3
20. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.3 - 2.2
21. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.4 - 2.1
KROQ (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.1
23. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.7
24. KCRW (Variety) 1.3 - 1.5
25. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.4 - 1.4
26. KSPN (Sports) 1.5 - 1.3
27. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.2 - 1.2
KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.2 - 1.2
29. KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.2 - 1.1
30. KKLQ (Contemporary Christian) 0.8 - 1.0
31. KEIB (Talk) 1.1 - 0.8
KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.8 - 0.8
KKJZ (Jazz) 0.8 - 0.8
KRLA (Talk) 1.1 - 0.8
35. KABC (Talk) 0.5 - 0.7
KLAC (Sports) 2.1 - 0.7
KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.6 - 0.7
38. KDLD (Regional Mexican) 0.4 - 0.6
39. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 07 - 0.5
KKLA (Religious) 0.6 - 0.5
(Gloria Allred, former KABC Talker,
appeared on Sunday's LA Times front page.
She was marching with students protesting USC's handling of gynecologist George Tyndall, who was accused of sexual abuse.)
Wink is a Heavenly Treasure
|(December 26, 2018) Wink
Martindale is one of our treasured Los Angeles
Radio People. From his Tennessee roots, he was a disc
jockey, a game show host, and a lifelong friend of Elvis
Presley. Locally, Wink worked at KHJ, KRLA, KFWB, KGIL,
KMPC, and KJQI / KOJY. When Johnny Carson wanted to get a
laugh at the expense of game shows in general – and game
show hosts in particular – more often than not, Wink was the
target. He personifies the classic tv game show host, with
the toothy smile and personality that worked so well on Gambit, High
Rollers and Tic Tac Dough.
“The Winker,” voiced a million-selling "talk" record, Deck of Cards, which led to an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. In addition to his other roles, he was national program director at DOT Records.
In a 1971 interview, Wink said: "I try to be humorous, but I’m not funny. I have a good sense of humor, but I’m not funny like Gary Owens." Wink has received numerous recognitions, including Billboard voting him the number one midday personality in 1966, followed by winning the Gavin Radio Programming Award in 1972.
Before his successful run on game shows, Wink hosted tv dance shows on three Los Angeles stations. He and his wife Sandy love dogs, and at one stage owned five Chihuahuas. Now they have two, one given to them by Wayne Newton. Wink is busy as ever. He appeared recently on GMA Day. Right now, Wink can be heard narrating the divine narrative “Heavenly Child” – a ghost-written account of the King's creation, available on the Elvis Channel at SiriusXM. And check out a recent tv appearance when Wink talks about his relationship with Elvis.
KFOX LA Times ads from David Grudt's personal collection. They appeared December 21, 1969
Holiday Hear Ache
|(December 24, 2018) Bill Earl shared an early Top 40 story from January 1967. "KHJ's Johnny Mitchell was driving up Highway 1 in San Simeon to his new job at KFRC in San Francisco. He knew he would have to have a new air name in San Francisco and could no longer use 'Johnny Mitchell.' As he was driving fast thru San Simeon, he saw a sign that he THOUGHT had said 'Sebastian Stone'. It really said 'Sebastian STORE,' but he used the name 'Sebastian Stone' at KFRC ... ALT 98-7's morning man, Woody, posted a new milestone on his Twitter page. "Officially, I'm too fat for an amusement park ride [Harry Potter]. Honestly, I’m surprised it took this long for it to happen." ... For two decades, we heard Jeff Biggs on local Sports stations KXTA/XTRA, KMPC, KLAA, and KSPN. He's now on national NBC Sports and does he sound good. Congratulations to Jeff on his patience in going national. Good going, buddy ... Doug McIntyre retired from his morning show at KABC earlier this month and wrote about it in his weekly Los Angeles Daily News column: "As every fan of the Flintstones knows, when the whistle blows at the end of Fred’s shift at the quarry, he 'yabba dabba dos' his way home by sliding down the dinosaur. And that’s how I ended just about every radio broadcast I did over the past 22 years. After thousands and thousands of hours of yakking on AM 790 KABC — five hours a day, five days a week — it’s time to shut up and listen. Nobody ever learned while talking." Read Doug's column in the Daily News ... If you haven't seen Clint Eastwood's The Mule, you'll be blown away as he's driving singing along with the Spiral Starecase's More Today Than Yesterday. It's like watching mustard come out of a ketchup bottle ... Howard Stern is replaying his favorite interviews from his SiriusXM program in 2018. Norm McDonald revealed that when he was the news anchor on Saturday Night Live, the runner-up, Al Franken, was so upset that he left a short time later.|
From David Grudt's collection - LA Times 12.22.68
Email Saturday, 12.22.2018
|** An Amazing Tribute
"Scott St. James was one-of-a-kind. And I don’t mean the cliche 'one-of-a-kind,' 'unique,' 'unusual.' I mean. One. Of. A. Kind. There was never anyone remotely like him or ever will be.
Scott and I worked together on Arrow 93 for many years. He reported the sports and I was the 'Traffic Princess,' his nickname for me. There is a certain shared comradery between broadcasters who work in Los Angeles radio morning show trenches. The crazy hours. Going to sleep when it’s light outside and waking up when its dark. Watching late night sports, sleeping a few hours, up at the crack of dawn to read, write and speak intelligently can really do a number on your circadian rhythms. And Scott took it all in stride.
He was a wordsmith and over the clickety clack of his trusty typewriter, he chose every sentence wisely. His sports reports were brilliant. He preferred to watch sports from home, so he could see the entire field or see the entire ice rink. He had never been to the Staples Center. Since Scott didn’t go to the live sporting events, I got his hand me downs. He would ask the PR people to give me the tickets and the next morning, he would quiz me about the game. Inevitably, my stories would end up in his reports.
I could ask him the most obscure question about an unknown boxer from the 1940’s or a horse that ran the Kentucky Derby 20 years ago and he would not only know the answer, but would weave a tale like no other. If his shoes could talk! When Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant were at the height of their Laker’s fame, I made a bet with a friend. I had to get someone to say “Shaqkobe O’Bryant” on the air. I would drive Scott nuts each morning by telling him, ‘Hey, Shaqkobe O’Bryant was on fire last night.' And one morning, quite unexpectedly he seamlessly worked it into his report; Shaqkobe O’Bryant had a combined point total of 73.
Scott was also sleep eater. He would wake up in the middle of the night and go to town in his kitchen. He didn’t know he did this until he would see the evidence the next morning. Empty cookie bags on the counter. Demolished chocolate cakes in the trash can. So, it was a perfect fit when he became the spokesperson for this new-fangled diet powder. He would drink this concoction every day and do live testimonials on the air. He said before he started this diet plan, he had Dunlap’s disease. He would pause and then ask the audience, “Do you know what Dunlap’s disease is? That’s when your belly DUN-LAPPED over your belt!”
Scott would say this over and over again and it never got old. Scott was funny, a hard worker, and also acerbic. We had our disagreements and arguments. He was a hot head about the things he was passionate about. He was a consummate raconteur, played poker and was a professional bowler. A friend who once worked with Scott texted me, “Scott had a big heart, but a very peculiar cat.” I say this only because I know Scott would laugh and totally agree. After Arrow 93 ended, Scott took a job in St. Louis at a station he had worked at previously. I was visiting family in Missouri and I stopped by his station and we went to lunch. We had never gone to lunch in Los Angeles and here we were in St. Louis. It was familiar, a bit awkward and also enlightening to hear about his Midwest adventures.
A few years back, Scott emailed me that he had just finished and posted his first blog entry. I was stunned! Scott!?! A blog. On a COMPUTER!! Internet! What the hell! If Scott told me he had found the Dead Sea Scrolls, I would have believed that more than this blog.
Scott was an old school gentleman, as well as an old school broadcaster. He typed up all his traffic reports and then scotch taped them together like a puzzle. Arrow 93’s morning show producer Stacie (Dockray) Zara was given the task of teaching Scott how to use Word. He could not grasp the concept that he did not have to hit a 'return' button. The computer would automatically go the next line. 'Cutting and Pasting' was a bit too much for him to handle, and he scurried back to his typewriter. Hence, my shock that Scott not only had a blog, but had typed it on a computer, got onto the internet, posted it and dated it. I had way too many questions about how this so-called blog came to fruition. There are many questions I know I may never get answers.
The big questions like, 'Is that all there is'? The smaller questions like, 'How did Scott St. James learn to make a blog', and 'Is there really a cure for Dunlap’s disease?' I just went back and read some of Scott’s blogs. I do have faith that my old pal, Scott, right now is blogging, bowling, playing poker and doing 'anything' in that Mansion in the Sky. I can only imagine Scott’s blogs from heaven." - Sioux-z Jessup, www.siouxzjessup.com
|SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2014 I'm Baaaaaaack!: First Blog of 2014 Hi Gang! This is the first blog I've written since the last blog which was April 8th, 2013. What will some of the topics be? Here come the headlines. Headline #1: Death and religion! Is it just me, or has it seemed like (to you) that a lot of famous people have died recently? I knew some of these people. Not well, but I couldn't help but wonder about a few things. The famous actor who died just before he got good reviews in a film that was released a few weeks after he died. The very famous actor who died with a needle in his arm. The famous actor who died in a car crash. I could go on and on, but as we all get older, we can't help but wonder when "the end" hits us, what, if anything, happens next? If we are religious (I am) we are led to believe that after we die we will go to a place called Heaven or Mansion in the Sky, whatever. I have never forgotten a line in a song that Peggy Lee sang; "Is that all there is?". In other words, after we die?!? We don't really know, do we? Every preacher in the world can tell us we have an afterlife to look forward to, but that preacher can't know that for sure because he or she has no proof. Sooo....we are taught to have faith. Play along with me here. When you die (it will happen to all of us), assuming there is indeed an afterlife for us, what would you like to end up doing in this afterlife? Being in Heaven, Mansion in the Sky, sitting next to St. Peter, what? Is there something you would like to do in the afterlife, or would you prefer to be in a comfortable chair, bed or a nice soft cloud for the rest of your afterlife? I'd love to know how you would like to spend your afterlife days. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org If I wake up after I've died because I'm in an afterlife of some kind, here's what I would like to do; ANYTHING! Anything at all. I wouldn't want to stay on a couch, in a bed or on a cloud. I would want to do something. Anything. And after I've died, I really hope that I don't end up singing Peggy Lee's words; "Is that all there is?"|
** Traffic ACCIDENT
“I just wanted to say a few things about the late, great Scott St. James. I always loved his energy doing sports on Channel 9 TV, as the excitement in his thoughts seemed to get ahead of his mouth at times. I also loved it when Robert W. Morgan would throw it to The Jammer for a sports update on KMPC and you could feel that excitement coming through the radio.
As things happen in radio, one finds himself out of one job and off the radar for a while and this happened to Scott once and he popped up doing traffic on one of the LARadio stations. It was great. He was the greatest traffic reporter I ever heard because he had that same excited sports announcer attitude to the traffic reports. Instead of the usual ‘there’s a three-car pile-up on Highway 126,’ his reports went like this: ‘ACCIDENT...southbound 405 at Olympic. ACCIDENT...Pasadena freeway at York Ave. ACCIDENT...westbound 10 at Fairfax.’
There was so much excitement and enjoyment in everything he did. I bumped into him once in an airport and I told him that while I wasn’t happy about Fred Roggin’s ‘health’ problems, I was very happy that Scott was the fill-in sportscaster on Channel 4 while Fred was out on leave. Scott thanked me for the kind words and said he had been getting more acting roles lately, and that kept him from being a regular sports guy in the LA airwaves. I, too, will miss The Jammer.” – Gary Gibson, Montrose
** St. James in the First Person
“Just a quick note of thanks for warming my and all your readers’ hearts with the personal comments of Scott St. James. The first-person recollections add depth in honoring our fallen friends.
Again, I’m reminded of how you created a true sense of community among the LARP. And giant thanks as well to Kevin Gershan for all that he does, often in secret, for our family.
All the best to you in 2019!” – Randy West
** St. James BAM!
“Great sportscaster! My mom and I loved hearing Scott St. James say ‘BAM!’ when somebody hit a towering home run during the nightly baseball highlights!” – Brian Perez
** Scott and Tuna
“Sad about Scott St. James. We had a blast working with Charlie Tuna at KMPC.” – Nancy Plum
** Martoni’s Buddy
“Oh no, Scott St. James was a good guy. We would hang out at the Old Martoni’s in Hollywood.
When he was with Channel 9, he would hire my students from LACC. He will be missed. The last time I saw him was at Kevin Gershan’s house.” – Les Perry
** St. James Upfront and Personal
“I am so glad that you have honored Scott St. James with this great and heartfelt coverage and your personal story. Like you, he has been in my morning prayer every day and it's just such a shame to see such a fine and talented friend pass. I loved him and this really stinks.” – Mike Butts
** Tee Off
“Merry Xmas to all. Healthy Happy New Year. To quote the great late friend of ours, Jim Healy, ‘dateline Woodland Hills.’ We are alive and well, broadcasting live coast to coast, border to border on our syndicated lifestyle sports talk show Living the Good Life on the Tee It Up network. Sunday s live locally at AM 830, Angels Ducks radio, 7-8 a.m., live on line too, 6 a.m. til 8 a.m. www.ltglshow.com.
We are former colleagues working at 710AM/KMPC alongside many great peeps, including Gene Autry. And my hats off to friend Kevin Gershan’s tribute to ’ol pal ‘The Jammer,’ Scott St James. R.I.P. the Jammer.
Ah the good ole days. Robert W. Morgan, Roger Carroll, Norm Epstein, Stanley L. Spero, Dick Enberg, Don Drysdale, Ken Miller, Gary Owens, Geoff Edwards, Rams, Angels, Bruins broadcasts, and so many other talented on- and off-air folks.” – Alan L. Gottfried
** KABC Challenges
“I think anyone that is Doug McIntyre’s successor is an idiot to take that job. It won’t last. It never does. They stole Bryan Suits from KFI and that lasted a couple months. The best thing is they blow her up into Spanish. KABC has been blown up for all intensive purposes for a very long time. Very sad.
Now Cumulus needs to be done and put a fork in KABC. Mark my words, if it is Wayne Resnick it won’t last. Not because of Wayne, I think he is good. It’s because of the disaster at 790. Just ask John & Ken. They will tell you how much of a mess it is over there. Back in 2000, it was a decent station.
Rant over.” – Patrick Breen
** ABC O&O
“I’m looking for anyone who knows why ABC flipped all its O&Os in the East and Midwest to Top 40 in 1959-60, but not its two West Coast stations. Sadly, most of the people who knew anything about those events of 60 years ago have likely passed.” – Neil Young, email@example.com
** Small World
“I just want to make sure that you have your weekly picture of Jim Duncan. ;)
Over the years we’ve bumped into each other a few times in the banana section of our local market, and it has become a running joke. Today it was at the check stand. That’s Jim’s wife Judy in the background.” – Larry / Jack Boxer
** Baby It’s Cold Outside
“Now that the hubbub regarding the ‘date rape’ implications of Baby It’s Cold Outside has died down, it’s time to call out the song for its smoking reference [‘maybe just a cigarette more’]. Thank God she wasn’t vaping!” – Tim James, Senior Technical Writer / Technical Service Coordinator, Suss MicroTec AG
** Alan Oda Reviews 2018
“WOW: As always, Alan Oda really knows how to write and emotionally brought back memories of days gone by. With Friday's article he absolutely ‘nailed’ 20-18!!! He added a whole in-depth meaning to the phrase ‘in a nut shell.’ Thanks, Alan, and have a Happy Holiday. Big fan here.” – Alan Ross
** Year in Review
"Thank you for Alan Oda's pithy review of the year in radio.
I enjoyed the pluses and minuses, but is anyone at KNX/TPTB listening when people complain about 'Kars 4 Kids' commercials? Talk about a scam!
I also listen to K-Surf when I can get the signal decently; the mix of 50's, 60's and 70's is very entertaining and bittersweet as well.
And except for the same small group of Grinches who complain on FB, Go Country's Christmas Mix is almost as popular as KOST's is when I go into stores.
So here's hoping for a better 2019 for LARP's and the stations they love to hate, and a Merry Christmas to you and your family this holiday season. Thank you for keeping alive the best of LARadio and the people who have brought it and continue to bring it to us! Happy New Year!" - Julie T. Byers
LARadio in the 2018 Rearview
|The (K)-A-B-C’s of Change: Baseball has
something called the “Mendoza Line,” when a player’s batting
average dips below mediocrity. Heritage talker KABC found
itself below radio’s “Mendoza Line” when the station’s
ratings dipped below 40th place.
Even KABC’s former gm George Green – arguably one of the most successful radio gms past and present – didn’t have much to offer about how to help the station.
It’s not as if the station has a deficit of talent, although there were some significant changes at the end of the year.
Doug McIntyre decided it was time to sleep in, leaving the station after two decades. Jillian Barberie has taken medical leave, as she continues her very public recovery from breast cancer surgery (get well Jillian!).
|It’s not as if the talk format is dead,
as… …others keep talking:
iHeart’s KFI maintained a steady presence in the top 10, led by Bill Handel (r) and John and Ken in drivetime.
Both KEIB (“The Patriot”) and KRLA (“The Answer”) had smaller but steady audiences, each station with more than double the ratings of the aforementioned KABC. Pasadena College’s KPCC emerged in the top 10 for the first time, with its mix of NPR and local programming.
Not trying to dwell on the obvious, but one has to ask the question how much patience does Cumulus have with KABC?
|Stability or stagnation?: Probably the
most significant news about local radio – at least on-air –
was there’s very little news. The drama existed mainly at
the corporate level (more about that in a moment).
There was a bit of juggling, but the top music stations were almost always 104.3 / MyFM (KBIG), K-EARTH 101 (KRTH), KIIS/fm, KOST, The WAVE (KTWV), and JACK/fm (KCBS/fm), with KLOS and AMP 97.1 (KAMP) making periodic appearances in the upper rankings. Tenths of a point separated rivals KROQ and ALT 98.7 (KYSR) as well as Hip Hop competitors Power 106 (KPWR) and REAL 92.3 (KRRL).
As of this writing, there were no mass layoffs as in years past. On the one hand, the leading stations should be justly affirmed for consistency. Still, is there anyone who wants to breakout with something new, to exemplify the Monty Python adage, “and now, for something completely different?”
|“Money…get away” part 2 : If what was
heard on the air was fairly steady, what was happening
behind the scenes was tumultuous, yet potentially
encouraging. Granted, the economics of radio aren’t the most
compelling story to discuss for some readers. Yet there’s an
awful lot of jobs riding on the success of station
ownership. After all, “the business of radio” is one of the
monikers of the medium.
So here’s a quick overview of 2018: Last year, iHeart Media had a $21 billion dollar debt hanging over the company like the Sword of Damocles. The conglomerate did what was long predicted, filing for bankruptcy in March. Though it isn’t completely settled, the agreement with most of the iHeart creditors would reduce their massive debt almost in half.
Meanwhile, Cumulus entered into bankruptcy late last year to cut their $2 billion debt in half. Then by summertime, the company emerged from insolvency, unveiling a new logo and branding. Cumulus has progressed significantly, their stock dipping to an all-time low of 50 cents in 2017 to the current price of about $12.
Entercom saw some ups and downs, as its 2018 earnings were slightly underwhelming. But at least one analyst believes the “old-fashioned media company” could triple in value over the next couple of years. To again quote Monty Python, Entercom believes radio can fittingly declare “I’m not dead yet!”
One more financial note: Spotify, considered a contender for the radio audience, is currently listed on the NYSE at $120 a share
|“Escaparse el dinero”: Spanish entities
were hardly tranquil. David Tomasello and his Bluestar
Financial acquired a chunk of Spanish Broadcasting System
(SBS), owner of Mega 96.3 (KXOL), trying to convince the
current owners to sell.
Univision cancelled plans for an IPO, followed swiftly by the resignation of the company’s CFO Randy Falco. It was a bit of a surprise, given the company was poised to raise $1 billion. Their stations include 107.5 / K-LOVE (KLVE – not to be confused with religious outlet 100.3 / K-LOVE – yes, it’s confusing), ZONA MX / 101.9 (KSCA), and Spanish talker KTNQ.
Then there’s locally-owned LBI Media, the largest privately-owned Spanish broadcaster, who filed for bankruptcy in November. Owners of Que Buena 105.5 / 94.3 (KBUE / KBUA), the company needs to deal with over a half-a-billion dollar debt.
|Here we go again: Two years ago, Nielsen
threw out 35 ratings L.A. market diaries “out of an
abundance of caution” (that reminds me of the recent romaine
lettuce scare, but I digress). This time, four households
were removed from the Nielsen panel, causing the ratings
service to recalculate the numbers from October 2017 to
Spanish KLAX dropped from ninth to 15th in the March ratings (prompting a protest by SBS), otherwise there wasn’t a lot of movement.
At one time, there were other (albeit less recognized) services such as Pulse and Hooper to measure the listening audience, but it’s a difficult task, which helps explain why Nielsen has no real competition. Yet despite the technological advances such as the PPM device, there is still the capacity for human error.
|The resilient Ryan: Celebrities avoided
during the E! Red Carpet show
at this year’s Oscars after allegations of physical
One source stated the KIIS morning man had “lost his Midas touch.” Maybe not. After denying the accusations (with an internal investigation by E! supporting Ryan), Seacrest helped guide American Idol to achieve ratings good enough to be renewed for a second season by ABC.
Live With Kelly and Ryan continue to beat the competition, and Ryan’s morning gig locally continues to score well with his audience. His total earnings last year was estimated at $74 million, exceeded only by Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh on the list of radio’s biggest salaries. Ryan’s arguably doing pretty well (insert sarcasm emoji here).
A Thousand (Oaks) stories: The community of Thousand Oaks was reeling from the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill, where a gunman killed 12 and injured 13 before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Then the next day, the Woolsey fire erupted, claiming three lives and eventually burning almost 100,000 acres. There were many who had no tv available, but could rely on their radios to provide them with up-to-date news.
Both KNX and KFI did what radio does best – offer breaking news and information. KFI suspended all commercials and teamed up with KNBC/tv to keep listeners frequently updated, while KNX utilized their own staff and their (former) sister stations KCBS/tv and KCAL/tv to provide non-stop reportage.
Bob Christy writes a media blog from his Topanga Canyon residence, which was in the impending path of the fire. He states: “KNX and KFI gave me what I needed and I assume they were doing the same for tens of thousands of other people in SoCal.” The firefighters rightfully deserve praise and thanks for their service as first responders, but a tip-of-the-cap is directed towards the reporters and their news staffs for an outstanding effort with a week of news which one hopes is once-in-a-lifetime."
|The Mighty McClatchy: I once interviewed
Arnie McClatchy for a story about KEZY and
one of his well-known alumni, the late Mark Denis.
“Mark helped me a lot with the programming, we would get in
my office and brain storm to come up with our one liners and
contests. We did not know it at the time but we were doing
some the best radio ever,” said McClatchy.
The “Mightly 1190” was Orange County’s hometown station which faded from the L.A. airwaves at night, yet I found it worth the effort to strain my little clock radio – it was a fun to hear Arnie McClatchy, Mark Denis, Bruce Chandler, Jim Meeker, and so many other talented individuals playing good music and having fun.
There were many sad passings over the past year, yet I found myself reflecting on McClatchy and KEZY among all of his deserved tributes. Los Angeles radio is fortunate that there’s still a lot of “live and local,” but unfortunately, L.A. is now the exception and not the rule.
McClatchy’s KEZY personified the term “local radio,” a station that cared about and was actively involved with their somewhat smaller (at least by L.A. standards) community it served. The radio industry being what it is today, it’s unlikely we’ll ever seen a local station like KEZY be as dedicated and committed to their hometown anytime soon. RIP Arnie McClatchy. You really shared with us some of the best radio ever.
Vic (the Brick)
Jacobs was featured on the front page of the
Los Angeles Times sports section a few weeks ago, in a
poignant story written by columnist
Not since the late
Joe McDonnell has
someone been more strongly identified with SoCal sports. And
like Big Joe, who endured ongoing major health issues, VTB
continues to bring his “Jewish and Japanese and Spanish and
Zen and light – always that light” to his listeners in spite
of the painful physical challenges resulting from his battle
Plaschke hit two targets with his story. One is the portrayal of someone who bravely overcomes personal distress and pain to bring his game because of his love of being on the airwaves. Second, local radio can still produce a personality – a treasured eccentric – who is beloved by a city. The talent makes the difference. がんばって (stay strong) VTB…keep being like to bamboo – bend, but don’t break.
|HearAche (the year ender): I would have been interested to see Gary Bryan and Lisa Stanley (photo) as hosts for the Oscars. I’ll assume they’d spare us a duet of “Proud Mary”…Competing for this year’s “best snarky ad” award is ALT 98.7 for their billboards stating “at least we didn’t fire Ralph Garman”…The gas tax stays intact, in spite of the best efforts of John Kobylt and Ken Champiou…The news directors at KFI and KNX, Chris Little and Julie Chin respectively, have earned their 2018 paychecks, as well as some well-deserved overtime…So far, no championships, but the local pro teams have done pretty well for themselves. So have their flagship stations, KLAC (Dodgers) and KSPN (Lakers). The Rams (KSPN) and Chargers (KLAC / KFI) are also doing quite nicely…Although both are attracting good-sized audiences, neither JACK/fm nor KLOS seem to have gained much after the demise of 100.3 / The Sound. Maybe the uniqueness of The Sound can’t be duplicated…That being said, it’s darned nice to hear the Flower Child (Mimi Chen) back with “Peace, Love and Sundays” and Andy Chanley, every afternoon on 88.5/fm...Does anyone remember anything about the fifth ad offered within a ten-spot set? I thought so…There’s a lot of people who offer their perspective on current events, but I once again wish Dick Whittington was available to dissect the craziness. Can you imagine what a 2018 version of “Clean Thoughts on a Dirty Wall” would sound like?…My wife tunes into the “other” K-LOVE (100.3/fm), but finds the perpetual requests for donations to be distracting…My millennial colleague is a big fan of “Prager University” offered by the KRLA talk host. I can hear him streaming Dennis Prager down the hallway…Steve Edwards is doing marvelous work as a fill-in at KABC. Will 2019 be the start of a new gig for the former host of Good Day L.A.?...Kevin Weatherly continues to demonstrate his amazing ear for picking music…I have non-radio friends who look forward to KOST going all-Christmas. They’re very happy right now…His show having been dropped from the daily KGO-San Francisco lineup, Ronn Owens does more with his new 10-minute podcast than many talk show hosts do with their three (3) or more hours…MyFM’s Valentine continues to offer a fun, underrated morning show…A recent Facebook posting about why the Beatles titled their album “Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” referred to Dave Hull as the essential historian of the Fab Four…Alex Cohen is missed at KPCC, wishing her good luck with her new venture at Spectrum 1 News. Susanne Whatley has seamlessly succeeded Cohen as local host of NPR’s “Morning Edition”… I may be showing my age, but I admit to listening to the “L.A. Oldies” on K-Surf (KSUR) more than I expected. And get off my lawn!|
|Wait, Wait!: My sons (photo: Oda boys
Peter and Drew) and I are big fans of
NPR’s weekly comedy news quiz show, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell
Me.” So my wife Donna offered us an early birthday /
Christmas present by purchasing tickets for the show’s live
appearance at the Greek Theater (it wasn’t cheap, but I
The venue was packed with a multigenerational audience. When hosts Peter Sagal and Bill Kurtis arrived onstage, the roar of the crowd was as loud as I’ve ever heard, and that includes being at Dodger Stadium during the playoffs. The audience cheered, they laughed, they were fixed on every word offered by the hosts and the panelists. Heck, I had my two teenagers and me actually laughing at the same jokes – THAT doesn’t happen very often.
We’re told over and over again that radio is now irrelevant. The thousands of people at the Greek Theater were all fans of a radio show. Just pause for a minute. I said “radio show.” We were part of a big audience devoted to a show they hear – let me say it again – on the radio. I think I’ve made my point. And maybe people still pay attention to what’s on the airwaves. Wasn’t there something on the news about radio stations playing some song titled Baby, it’s Cold Outside?
Please stay warm this holiday season and we’ll stay tuned in 2019! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
HOLIDAY ADS from David Grudt's personal collection
(KABC - 1976; KFI - 1969; KLAC - 1975; KKGO - 1968)
Last Minute Holiday Gift Suggestions for the LARP or Fan of LARP in Your Life
|Jeff Baugh, KFWB & KFI||Johnny Gunn, OC Radio||Neil Ross, six stations
|Steve Frederick, K-EARTH nd||Michael Benner, KLOS, KPFK|
|Creator of Color Radio/
KFWB Channel 98
|Dave Hull, 5th Beatle||Ken Davis, KPPC, & KNBC 4||Original jock at
|J.J. Johnson, KDAY pd|
Tomorrow: Top LARadio Stories of 2018 by Alan Oda, senior LARadio correspondent
Scott St. James Was a One-of-a-Kind Friend
|(December 19, 2018) Scott St.
James, one of the most versatile and talented
broadcasters I know, died earlier this week after a bout
with the crappy Alzheimer’s Disease. Day by day, this
incredible storyteller was robbed of the ability to story
tell. He was a long-time friend. Scott came to my wedding in
Santa Barbara in 2012 on his way to Phoenix. His mother was
ill, yet he swung north to join us before going in another
direction to visit her. He only stayed for a short time at
our festivities, but the effort he made that September day
tells you a lot about him.
I met Scott at a poker table at the Commerce Casino in 1994, following the publication of Los Angeles Radio People. As I hunkered down at the Texas Hold’em table, I started to take in my eight opponents. One face sure looked familiar. Where had I seen him? He was very handsome. Perhaps it was on some junket. Up to this point, I had been in the movie marketing business. And then it struck me, Channel 9 sports.
I went to get a copy of my book in the trunk of my car and introduced myself. We became fast friends.
Our lives intersected frequently. He eventually wrote a column for LARadio. We shared a love for the movies and many of our conversations would be about the latest film we had seen. He saw La La Land 17 times. Not sure if he loved it a lot or this was part of what his brain was chattering.
When he returned to St. Louis radio in 2004, he asked me to join him on-air every morning for five minutes at 8:20 a.m. to talk about the entertainment business. We did that for the entire time he was on KTRS. It was SO much fun.
Through Scott, I got to meet and spend a great deal of time with Kevin Gershan, Entertainment Tonight producer and former producer for Robert W. Morgan. Kevin has a heart as big as all the outdoors. When Scott began to experience the initial symptoms of Alzheimer’s (getting lost on a simple errand), Kevin selflessly became his angel and did EVERYTHING a family member would have done (Scott had no kids and his parents had died).
Kevin worked hard to get Scott in the Motion Picture Home, and it looked like he would be successful this coming Spring. Independent care is very expensive. When Scott's pension and other income didn't cover the nursing care, guess who stepped in to help financially? At Scott’s darkest moment, Kevin was there to shine a light brightly. He never let Scott stumble.
|A few years ago, Scott and I were
having lunch at Paty’s in North Hollywood. He declared that
he wanted to kill someone and was going to do it if he found
him. Scott reached in his pocket and withdrew a piece of
paper he unfolded. “The guy I am looking for is Al Heimer.
Maybe you can help me find him.” Scott was somewhat of a
mystery to me. Not hearing from him for a time, then a phone
call from Las Vegas. His father was part of the trench coat
days in Europe for the CIA. I just figured that kind of
upbringing created Scott’s specialness.
Whenever I called Scott it was never a warm greeting but rather, “What’s going on?” And then he warmed up. If I ever get that special phone call from Scott at his new home, I will ask, ‘What’s going on?’ and I know he will dazzle me with unbelievable stories of his new journey. I can’t wait.
In other news: Hanna Scott checked from the Northwest. After doing traffic and being a news anchor at KFI, she joined KOMO-Seattle as a reporter. Since 2015, Hanna has been a reporter/contributor at KIRO-Seattle … It has been a year since Dave Gyurina had quadruple bypass surgery. “I can't believe it, but healing very well.” … - The Dodgers have added veteran Tim Neverett to their broadcast team for television and radio, in part to lighten the load on AM 570 for Charley Steiner, who requested to cut back on his schedule… Jordan Chodorow wrote in the LA Times: “Charley Steiner’s joy and love for the game are infectious, as is his humor. I’ll not forget his call of a game-ending balk induced by a Dodger runner: ‘Kike Hernandez danced down the third base line like a Radio City Rockette.’ Or when with the team down 15-1: ‘When we come back for the bottom of the ninth, the Dodgers only need 14 to tie.’”
Bob Cole Has Been to Hell and Back
|(December 18, 2018) Bob Cole,
veteran of KBCA in the late 70s, KUTE from the mid-80s and
KMPC/KLIT from 1988-94, has been to hell and back and lives to
tell the story.
Bob grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska with his mother and sister. In 1964 he was in Southern California going to Los Angeles Valley College, before he went to Hawaii on a football scholarship. His first job was at KPOI/fm in 1968 playing “lots of Jimi Hendrix on our ‘underground station.’” Bob went to Las Vegas to be the “black lead” in Hair at the International Hotel (later the Hilton Hotel and now Westgate Las Vegas).
He returned to Hawaii and spent more time at KPOI, KIKI and KQNQ. “I loved radio.” During the next decade on the Islands, he met Saul Levine and had lunch with him. Saul told Bob that if he ever wanted to come to the Southland, he would have a job. So in 1977, Bob joined Saul at Jazz KBCA.
During the next decade and a half, Bob was partying way too much. “Drugs took me down and out,” Bob said by phone recently. “I’m a Christian and the Lord led me to the Emmanuel Baptist Rescue Mission.” The mission’s mission is Where the Old-time Gospel Makes Men New Again. Bob is now the director of Emmanuel Baptist Mission. He’s been clean and sober for 22 years. “I think the Lord intended for me to do this. This is what I do and it is very fulfilling,” he said proudly.
In other news: Former KCSN (88.5 FM) director of operations Les Perry hosted an overflow Toy Drive and party benefitting LA Family Housing at the 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant in Van Nuys earlier this month. BBC Rock Hour host Phil Harvey is pictured with Les Perry in photo strip above … Pat Gorman, marketing guru, heard Nic Harcourt play another version of Baby It’s Cold Outside on his morning shown on KCSN the other day. It a nice twist, with a woman singing to a man! … Former UCLA basketball all-star Bill Walton has been the subject of much dialogue in the LA Times about his announcing style. Last Saturday in Letters to the Editor, David Waldowski of Laguna Woods wrote: “Walton is the Vin Scully of college hoops; his stories indicate Scully-like preparation.” … Former KFWB news anchor Bob Howard suffered a TIA or ministroke. “He was hospitalized a few days and then rehab,” wrote his wife on Facebook. “He's home now and thank the universe and he’s using a walker. No speech or other noticeable impairment except for the right sided weakness, particularly in his legs. He's in good spirits most of the time and getting stronger daily. All good energy sent this way will be appreciated.” ... Michael Benner will be interviewed by Nita Vallen today at 1 p.m. on KPFK.
Ad from the mid-1980s
'Jammer with the Hammer' Scott St. James Dies
(December 17, 2018) Scott St. James, Los Angeles radio and tv sportscaster, broadcaster and actor passed this morning, shortly after midnight at the Primrose Senior Care Home in Canoga Park, at the age of 75, according to his dear friend and colleague Kevin Gershan. No public funeral service will be held. A Celebration of His Life will be held, on what would have been his 76th birthday, on Friday, January 25th, 2019 at 6 p.m. at Le Petit Chateau Restaurant, 4615 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood. Gershan offered the following biography and tribute to Scott:
Scott was born on January 25, 1943 in Lockport, New York. He got his start in radio at South San Francisco High School when he and a buddy built a pirate radio station. From 1960-65, Scott served in Korea with the US Army.
Following his tour of duty, Scott tried his hand in the real estate market before playing the professional bowling circuit for a couple of years. He returned to radio at KLIV-San Jose, then afternoons at WPOP-Hartford. Always having tremendous respect for his audience, Scott made a point to travel to local high schools to get to know the kids who listened to his show. He even gave his home phone number on the air. He opened each show with a train whistle and exclaimed “The St. James Express is Smoking!”
Scott next moved to St. Louis where he worked at KKSS, KSD and CBS powerhouse KMOX. It was at KMOX he worked with legendary broadcasters Jack Buck and NBC sportscaster Bob Costas. Scott believed in the theory of ‘Go Big or Go Home.’ When Scott showed up somewhere, you definitely took notice.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1979 and joined Gene Autry’s “Station of the Stars,” 710/KMPC. Scott became an important member of the Robert W. Morgan “Good Morgan Team.” Scott also formed a friendship with three-time World Heavyweight Champion Muhammed Ali during this time. It was a friendship that endured the rest of their lives.
Scott also produced a nine-hour star-studded special on Gene Autry. The show covered the career of the Singing Cowboy from his three decades as a performer in radio, tv and film, to his ownership of both radio and tv stations, as well as he beloved California Angels baseball team.
Scott’s later on-air jobs in L.A. included working with KIIS/fm’s Rick Dees, “Arrow 93’s” Uncle Joe Benson and Charlie Tuna. Once nicked-named ‘The Jammer with the Hammer,’ St. James picked up multiple Golden Mike and Mark Twain awards for commentary writing.
In the ‘80s, Scott was on-camera sports director at KHJ/Channel 9. During this time, Scott regularly hosted the LA Police Department’s celebrity golf tournament.
Radio and tv wasn’t enough for this talent. He caught the acting bug and made his first appearance on the big screen with a role in Heart of a Champion: The Mancini Story, exec produced by Sylvester Stallone. He appeared in dozens of motion pictures. His tv acting work included Dallas, ER, The A-Team, Murder She Wrote, The Young & the Restless, Everybody Loves Raymond, with many appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live. His national tv commercial credits include American Express, Pepsi, DirecTV and the Honda Motor Company.
In 2004, he briefly returned to radio and did a talk show on KTRS-St. Louis. When he returned to the Southland, he was heard on CRN Digital Talk Radio with Mike Horn. Scott was an incredible story teller.
For more than fifty years, Scott St. James has entertained millions of people from coast to coast, with his distinctive voice and charming wit. He’s worked with the best in the business and he and his celebrity friends have given their time and money to hundreds of charities and individuals in need.
There are lots of people who made their mark in radio and television, but few that are considered true ‘broadcasters.’ There are those unique individuals who relate to an audience one-on-one, and are not afraid to tell it like it is. Scott St. James is a man who always did just that! (For 40 years Kevin Gershan was a colleague, dear friend and angel-in-residence in caring for Scott.) WATCH VIDEO: interview with Scott: https://youtu.be/WXdAii7LQgc
Email Saturday, 12.15.2018
Replacement in Mornings
"I have a theory. Until Thursday morning, Wayne Resnick was in for Bill Handel while Bill is on vacation. No explanation was given on air that I heard as to why Wayne was not on-air Thursday and Friday. The only snippet I heard was from Mo’ Kelly first thing Thursday morning, remarking he had no advance notice that he would be in on Thursday for the vacationing Bill Handel. Nothing was mentioned that I heard about Wayne coming back.
Doug McIntyre retired from KABC, and his last day was Friday, December 14. Nothing has been said that I know of about who is taking over the morning time slot on KABC. Could it be that Wayne Resnick is starting Monday at KABC? Let's start a Class A rumor!” – Sterrett Harper, Burbank
** Shoe Dropping
"Re. ‘As you know, this is something I have been thinking about for a long time,’ emailed Doug McIntyre. ‘I'm very excited the day has finally arrived!’
Spoken like a man waiting for the other shoe to drop.” – Bill Schwarz, Ontario
** Sad News
"This is very sad news for me. I listen to Doug McIntyre every morning. He is NOT a right wing nut, or a left wing [give me all your $ liberal]. His take on most issues is balanced, and a voice for those of us who try to be the same. His knowledge of Presidential history, Jazz and many other topics is endless. He will be sorely missed." - Bill Dudley
** Doug on 710AM
"Godspeed to Doug McIntyre. Had a few chats with him back in the old 710 days; a truly nice guy." - Greg Hardison
** Wallet Story
“Very nice story. There are good people out there. I had my wallet disappear at a gas station in Malibu a couple years back, it flew off the top of my trunk, because isn’t that where everyone leaves their wallet when pumping gas?
Anyway, a woman contacts me that she had it, took it home while she looked for my contact info. She lived in the valley, and offered to drive it to me! Well, I came to pick it up, and she asked me in for coffee. Total stranger. I still have the duplicate driver’s license from the DMV!” – Ed Mann
** Good People
“Thanks for sharing the story of Cherie’s wallet being returned! Yes, there are good people left in the world! Thanks also for the reminder about ‘promoting a promotion.’ I’ve heard you mention this before, but this is just another good (bad?) example.” – Brian Perez
** Wallet Found
“Loved your story about Cherie’s wallet being found. That seldom happens and it’s heartening to know Michelle is / was just as open-hearted as Cherie is.” – Anita Garner
** Wallet Joke
“Reminds me of the Henny Youngman joke: ‘Someone stole my wife’s wallet, but it’s okay. Whoever stole it is spending less than she does.’” – Bob Fox
** QSL Collector
“Thought you might have interest in this. It’s a historic QSL card from KFVD/KFAC-Los Angeles, recently sold on eBay. I’m a QSL collector, but more often find myself alerting radio stations to historic material that is available (some of them frame this kind of material and put it up in displays).
I also sent this to Jim Hilliker who wrote this piece in 2014.” – Daniel Robinson
** Tuna Christmas
“Thank you for your ‘Christmas Spirit’ story and for the one from Charlie Tuna. Both were wonderful.
I have to tell you I cried when I finished Charlie’s story. I hope he knew how much he meant to all of us. He made me want to go into radio, and I even took classes at PCC from radio professionals like Dr. John Gregory. Much as I practiced doing ‘Chung King’ commercials, I figured out I didn’t have it. Plus, after giving us the facts of life (90 watter in Pocatello, Idaho), Dr. Gregory steered me into public relations because I loved the promotions aspect of radio.
Unfortunately, I never got to do promotions like Charlie’s Green Bagels for St. Patrick’s Day, but I still have the giant slinky for an earthquake promotion he did and so many memories of appearances he made.” – Julie T. Byers
“Have to say the LARP cartoons are always great but this one today is an A+. Great stuff!” –
Rich Brother Robbin
“Okay, Don. I give up on your riddle. How many puns can you get in one cartoon caption? (I loved it!!!)” – Sterrett Harper, Burbank
Voice Over Artists Sing for the Kids
|(December 14, 2018) For
the first time ever, 31 of the country’s top voiceover pros
joined forces to raise money for a children’s cause. The
group gathered last week to record ’Twas the Night Before
Christmas. All sales and donations to Voices for Children
will benefit Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. "The work
of these healers is remarkable," emaild
Tombazian. "Some of the kids they serve are there
for a year or more as they receive treatment. Once a year,
headed up by actor Rick Wasserman, we make a visit to the
hospital to sing and read stories and even do a little magic
for the kids." (Photo below) The entire cast will assemble
at the hospital on Christmas Eve for a live performance and
to solicit donations.
Coolest Xmas Songs. KWVE’S Brian Perez sent along a link to a story about the coolest underplayed Christmas songs. Need a break from traditional songs? If you were a fan of Don & Dewey’s Farmer John, you’ll love #3. Hear here.
Burkey Back. Cindi Burkey checked in to say she’s happy to be back at KABC doing overnight traffic. “It's kind of funny to be on again after such a long break but it feels like time hasn’t gone by at all,” emailed Cindi. “Really feels familiar. I am also doing KFMB-AM overnight news (for San Diego). She moved to downtown Long Beach and likes it a lot."
Hear Ache. Ted Ziegenbusch is the subject of an OC Weekly feature story on the classic radio treasure hunt promotion. Read all about it here ... Facebook postings lament the passing of LARadio sales exec Tom Thornton. He was 85 … Another kind of sadness, Tom Taylor announced this week that he was ending his 6-year run with his tasty NOW newsletter. He’s about to turn 70 and said it was time to do something else. “Please don’t read my personal decision as a judgement about the future of radio. As Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry said, ‘It isn’t over; everything has not been invented; the human adventure is just beginning.’” … Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, the popular radio show/podcast is headed to television. NBCUniversal is developing a tv series based on the long-running NPR program. The tv adaptation will stay true to the original while delivering bigger, visual and variety-themed games that can’t be captured on the radio … CBS employees awoke the other morning to learn that CBS Corp. will sell its iconic 25-acre CBS Television City for roughly $750 million. The deal with a local real estate developer includes the rights to use the Television City trademark in connection with its operations on the property … Ah, technology. Jim Duncan and his wife were visiting family and friends in San Diego when he got a text from an ad agency for which he does commercials. Jim’s wife reminded him that Shotgun Tom Kelly has an in-home studio to do his Sirius XM Satellite Show. “We ran over and cut the 7-second tag for a car tv commercial. I voiced and Shotgun engineered. Cha Ching!” … KEIB’s Glenn Beck paid off $27,000 worth of layaway items for shoppers at a Dallas area Walmart, just two days before the final payments were due … Chris Bury of Pasadena wrote that one moral of the story of my wife losing her wallet and the frantic pursuit to get a duplicate drivers license, is visit the Pismo Beach DMV if you need services ... NBC4 used Jhani Kaye in a feature piece about the holidays. Watch it here.
Rick Wasserman, Jim Tasker, Rino Romano, Scott Rummell,
Wendy Shapero, Townsend Coleman, Jack Daniel,
Rebecca Davis, John Taylor, Keri Tombazian, Joe Cipriano, Jess Harnell
(click artwork above and album cover for more info)
KLAC Raises A Quarter of Million Dollars for Homeless
|(December 13, 2018) Dream
Fulfilled: Thanking the veterans who serve America with
their sacrifice, AM 570 LA Sports (KLAC) presented their
11th annual “Help-A-Hero” radiothon on Wednesday. “We only
ask you for money once a year,” said
Smith, “and this is that day.” And the listeners
responded, donating over $235,000 to benefit Dream Center
LA, a faith-based charity helping the homeless in Southern
"This is an opportunity for AM 570 LA Sports to give back to our fellow Americans who have fought for our freedom,” said Don Martin, svp of sports programming and gm for AM 570 LA Sports. “The Help-A-Hero Radiothon is our way of saying thanks for their ultimate sacrifice and we are both excited and proud to work with Dream Center LA.”
“The Dream Center is so excited to partner with AM 570 Sports and iHeartMedia Los Angeles for their 11th annual Help-A-Hero Radiothon,” said Danise Jurado, of Dream Center LA. “Over 11,000 of our country’s heroes are living on the streets of Los Angeles without a place to call home.
Consulting. “LA-based consultant Randy Lane, pd with KYSR in 1994-95, is among the consultants featured in my latest column for Radio World magazine,” according to an email from Dave Beasing. Randy’s best quote: "Talent is the future of radio." “I’m also proud to say that ’Inside Trader Joe’s,’ co-produced by my new company ‘Sound That Brands’ is nominated for an iHeart Podcast Award,” emailed Beasing. The 1st annual ceremony is planned for January.
Speaking of LA-based consultants, Angela Perelli is among the nominees for industry awards at the upcoming Worldwide Radio Seminar in March. Other LA Radio people nominated in various categories include Jimmy Steal, Keith Cunningham, Dawn Girocco, Frosty Heidi & Frank, John Ivey, Valentine, Brandon Bell, Miles Hlivko, Randy Thomas, and Joe Cipriano. Also up for honors: Benztown Imaging Services, and iHeart Radio’s KIIS/fm.
|In other news: Benztown picks up the weekly Urban AC “Top 10 Now & Then” show for syndication to stations doing Urban AC, r&b Oldies and classic Hip-Hop. The creative team is host/writer Rick Nuhn and creative director, programmer and producer Ron Shapiro … Country K-Frog in the Inland Empire and longtime morning man Scott Ward swaps shifts with afternoon-driver Anthony Donatelli. Ward has been the morning driver seat since 1995 and is now also the program director. Ginny Harmon, recently with KKGO, is the traffic reporter during morning drive … At GoCountry 105, Saul Levine dropped a note to say that KKGO is playing Baby It’s Cold Outside as part of their holiday music mix.|
|1989 ad in Radio Guide/Los Angeles|
Highest Paid Radio People
|(December 12, 2018) The
self-proclaimed “King of All Media,”
Howard Stern is
the highest paid radio host in 2018, according to Forbes
Magazine. He reigns supreme in the radio world with $90
million annually. Stern narrowly beats America’s
most-listened-to radio host KEIB’s Rush Limbaugh,
who made $84.5 million. KIIS/fm’s Ryan Seacrest rounds
out the top three with a $74 million haul, a big jump over
last year’s $58 million thanks to the return of American
Idol. KEIB’s Sean Hannity, who places
fourth, earned $36 million with contracts for Fox News and
Premiere estimated at $15 million and $20 million
respectively, plus adding to his bottom line with speaker
fees. “Glenn Beck’s earnings stumbled once
again, sliding to $8.5 million from last year’s $10 million
due to the struggles of his conservative media company
In other news: Radio Facts announced that industry veteran Doc Wynter, iHeartMedia’s EVP – Urban/Hip-Hop Programming Strategy/Program Director Real 92.3 (KRRL), has been chosen as the Broadcast Executive of the Year in the 2nd Annual Radio Facts “Power Play List” magazine … KQLH in the Inland Empire is playing Baby It's Cold Outside, according to pd Rick Ruhl. “Yesterday morning, I played it and the parody four times an hour. We play three different versions of the song every hour then the parody in one of the quarter hours. It was an amazing success.” … Ann Beebe is a frequent bike rider. She is trying to ride 200 miles per month on her bike. “All was well until I almost hit this on the bike path last week,” emailed Ann (photo). “Thought I had seen everything but I hadn't.” … KCLU news director Lance Orozco checked in to say their main Ventura County transmitter was fried as a result of the Hill Fire (power surge issues). “We did an emergency fundraising drive, which raised more than enough to replace it, and other damaged infrastructure. Listeners stepped up big time!” … Wink Martindale is traveling to New York on Friday to appear as a guest with Sugar Ray Leonard on ABC's GMA DAY, hosted by Michael Strahan. “Nothing like the Big Apple at Christmastime,” emailed Wink. “But cold.” … KRTH’s morning man Gary Bryan has thrown his hat in the ring to host the Academy Award telecast with Lisa Stanley … Cindi Burkey has joined KABC to do afternoon news.
KROQ's 4th edition of The ROQ newsmagazine from 1983
Jones Sings Holiday Music Gleefully
|(December 11, 2018) Sunday
kicked off the live musical part of our holidays on the
Central California Coast. Starring in Big Band Christmas was Bill
A. Jones, veteran of KLIT in the early 90s and
Westwood One's Adult Standards format heard on about 200+
stations nationally, including KLAC and KGIL. Joining Bill
Sunday was a 17-piece orchestra and the Satin Dollz singing
Best known as ‘Rod Remington’ from Fox TV’s Glee, Bill was the host/MC and writer for the production at the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande. With an array of holiday songs, and yes, Bill did sing Baby It’s Cold Outside with Nancy Osborne. The sold-out crowd jumped to their feet at the end of the first-rate production.
As a singer, Bill has opened for Tony Bennett and Steve Tyrell, toured with The Glenn Miller Orchestra, and released two CDs. He was recently named one of LA’s Best Concert/Cabaret Artists by BroadwayWorld.com.
In addition to Glee, Bill has appeared on Comedy Central’s Workaholics, The King of Queens, CSI New York, Everybody Hates Chris, Las Vegas, Criminal Minds, and appeared as millionaire “Brad Bush” on the long running daytime drama Days of Our Lives. Many still recognize Bill as the “Don't Count That” golfer from a beloved FedEx commercial.
Big Band Christmas stops in Vacaville and Folsom before the holidays end.
Doug’s Departure: Reaction to Doug McIntyre’s decision to leave KABC after more than twenty years was swift. Dave Sebastian Williams expressed a sentiment shared by many: “You will be greatly missed. Your unique blend of insight and highly tuned humor is irreplaceable.” Rita Wilde wrote: “One of my favorites, personally and professionally. Nothing but respect!” Ken Minyard was generous in his thoughts about McIntyre: “Doug took my place when I retired from KABC on 2004. He is a talented broadcaster, funny, really smart and reasonable. Qualities found all too infrequently in today's radio environment. He also has a writing career that I’m sure will continue to prosper. I talked to him this morning and said one thing he should now concentrate on is getting lots and lots of sleep.”
Times ad from April 1, 1966 ... Thanks to
David Grudt's personal collection
|(December 10, 2018)
After 22 years with KABC,
announced this morning that he will leaving the Talk station
at the end of the week.
"As you know, this is something I have been thinking about for a long time," emailed Doug. "I'm very excited the day has finally arrived!"
Baby, It's Coal Outside
|(December 10, 2018) Everyone’s
talking about Baby It’s Cold Outside. The song from
70 years ago. Ban the song from your Christmas playlist. No,
up the frequency of play because of the controversy. For
goodness gracious, as Cher put a stop to Nicholas Cage’s
whining in Moonstruck, snap out of it.
It’s only a song. Is this the best radio can do? We must really be hard up for something to talk about or rally around. It’s not actually a Christmas song anyway. It is a winter song that talks about winter weather.
The controversy was started by a Cleveland station that put the song on the naughty list. The call letters have long been lost in all the silly controversy, so they can’t even take advantage of all the publicity. Talk about promoting a promotion.
How about Santa Baby that is basically about a girl whoring herself out to Santa for expensive gifts? And Santa can’t even give us his annual greeting of ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ without some #MeToo group protesting.
I’d like to share with you a real holiday story, certainly in the spirit.
|Last Friday my wife lost her wallet while
shopping at a market in Pismo Beach. She didn’t realize it
until her next stop when she looked for her wallet to pay.
She quickly returned to California Market and solicited the
manager, Dave, to see if a wallet had been turned in. He
checked with all the checkers and nothing.
This guy goes out of his way. Dave goes to the video tape (or hard drive) and isolates my wife checking out and after the transaction, she puts the wallet in her purse. Dave then goes to the video in the parking lot and sees her get in her car. He also notices a man hanging around, a man who looks to be homeless. She also remembers the man. The manager said he would have his staff check trash cans during the afternoon just in case the wallet was found, money taken and wallet thrown away.
Distraught and not sure what to do next, she comes home and we begin the arduous task of calling her credit card carriers to cancel and report a lost or stolen card. It took two hours to complete the task for four cards. When finished we headed to the local DMV to order a duplicate. For some reason, the crowds seemed reasonable as we went through the process of a new application and procedures to accomplish this task in less than two hours.
We get home late afternoon and during dinner, Cherie said, “I really hope whoever finds the wallet really needs the money inside.” She's really that way. We get ready for an early evening. Cherie checks her phone messages. There was a VM from an Illinois area code with instructions to call Michelle. We did. Michelle informed us that she found the wallet and wanted to return it. Turns out she lives VERY close by. We agreed to meet at a local establishment.
Cherie quickly filled out a Christmas card and put $100 in it as a thank you. Ten minutes later, we meet Michelle and she was delighted to return the wallet completely intact. She and her husband had just moved to the Central Coast recently from the Chicago area. We hugged, thanked her and headed home. Cherie was crying. Probably just the day-long ordeal and a Good Samaritan showing up at the right time.
This is not the end of the story. The next morning, Michelle left a text message that she was not looking for a reward. She just wanted to help. Unless we had a favorite charity, she would give the money to ASPCA. Fine, by us. A real-life holiday tale from our new home in Avila Beach.
Hettie Lynn Hurtes walks the red carpet with the director of
Frank and Ava,
Hurtes, a veteran of KRTH, KRLA, and KFWB, appears in the film
Email Saturday, 12.8.2018
|** Green is a Mensch
“Loved the George Green column this morning. As a former staff engineer at KABC/KLOS and later, satellite tech at Dodgertown, I worked for George for several years. He was always a mensch, which was confirmed by his non-judgmental comments on the current state of affairs at KABC.” – Ira Lawson
** George Provided Invaluable Advice
“Recently you published an article about George Green. I have known George for many years and consider him one of the all-time great LARadio persons. His management of KABC and its outstanding success are a tribute to his management and marketing ability. Several times George called me to provide valuable advice. On one call, he was surprised to learn I had only five sales persons compared to the huge number he employed. I also learned of an incident which was a testament to his high ethical standards. Last of all, he helped organize some of the best Christmas parties ever presented in Los Angeles.” – Saul Levine, President and General Manager, KKGO /KSURF
** By George Green
“Regarding your article ‘KABC, By George’ I have immense respect for George Green and the huge success he had at KABC under his leadership. However, I am irked by the constant mind games played by the consultancy media trying to figure why KABC has ended up at the 40th spot. Ask any ex-listener over the past decade, and they will clearly be able to tell you why. The reason is because we were once loyal listeners who fled KABC to look for entertainment.
Now, we fled the moment a chain of self-righteous management came in who followed the advice of high-priced consultancy think tanks, rather than examining what made them successful. It was not market forces that killed KABC, it was an endless stream of incompetent management who forgot that radio is an entertainment medium. The current KABC lineup of hosts and overloaded infomercial programming is hardly entertaining.
Let’s please stop the endless misery of figuring out why this ship sank. The captain was asleep at the wheel when they hit the iceberg.” – Steve Chang, Venice
|** Humble Green
“Mr. George Green is a wise and humble man. No wonder I was an avid listener of KABC back in the day. – Allen McLean (PS: Your cartoons are funny as hell ! ! !)”
**A Friendly Green
"George Green has been one of my closest and dearest friends for about 60 years. George started at KABC as a sales rep and eventually became general manager when Ben Hoberman left KABC [where he had been gm] and moved to New York to become the head of ABC Radio. Prior to moving to LA to become gm of KABC, Ben had been the gm of WABC in NY. George never left KABC during his career with ABC and he had not been gm of WABC.
Ben and his wife Jackie were also dear friends. Several years ago, Bruce Marr arranged for a luncheon honoring Ben while Ben was living at the Belmont Village. I think there were at least 15 people at the luncheon who worked at KABC during Ben’s tenure. I was invited to the luncheon, though I was the only one who had not worked at ABC. Five-and-a-half years ago, Ben was at my home when my wife, Valerie and I celebrated our 60th anniversary. Last July 5th, Valerie and I celebrated our 65th anniversary. It was a much smaller group.” – Bob Fox
** KABC Memory
“Great to read the letter from my former boss, George Green. One of the things I adored about him during my time at KABC was his unabashed enthusiasm for his job. I’m delighted to note that his joie de vivre remains self-evident in his letter about Vin Scully. Two good men.” – Lisa Bowman
** Scully Chat Was Memorable
“Just enjoyed reading your comments on Vin Scully and the Dodgers. I was introduced to Vin at Dodger Stadium, years ago by my close friend and former LA Times beat writer, the late Jeff Prugh. Vin was gracious and took time for a memorable chat.
When I was a London correspondent for ABC News, our best friends in London were Jim and Becky Hooton. Jim’s brother was the great Dodger pitcher, Burt Hooton. My wife and I spent Thanksgiving 1984 with Burt and wife Ginger. Wonderful people and family! ‘Happy’ as Lasorda used to call Burt, is very reserved and often reluctant to talk about his long, storied career.
Tommy Hawkins, former Dodger public relations director, was always very kind to me. The Dodgers; pure class, top to bottom!” – Bob Sirkin
** 80s LARP
“Saw the article on Wally Clark (c) today. Thought I would send a picture of Wally, myself and Mike Wagner (r) from the 80's and wish him a speedy recovery. Happy Holidays!” - Paul Freeman
|** Stern/Clayton Journey
“Yes, please keep me on your subscriber list. Always enjoy your newsletter. Hope all is well on the Central Coast.
Just to keep the record straight, Howard Stern announced in October of 2004 that he would leave terrestrial radio at the end of 2005. My guess is your interaction with Joe Clayton was earlier in 2004 or 2003. I was the marketing director of a consumer electronics retailer in June of 1994, when RCA flew me to Jackson, MS to see the first DirecTV units go on sale. Joe Clayton was RCA’s go-to on the new technology and, in his inimitable way, wine and dined our group while showing us how satellite tv was going to revolutionize the business. Which it did.
Joe was one-of-a-kind; a veritable human dynamo. He is greatly missed. One more thing: At his peak Howard Stern never had more than 125 stations taking his show. I don’t know where the figure of ‘600 stations’ came from. The majority of the stations were CBS/Infinity/Westinghouse outlets.
Which brings to mind that it only took Howard less than 15 months from the time he debuted on KLSX in July of 1991 until he was ranked #1 in LA morning drive by Arbitron. It was November of 1992, when Howard came to Hollywood to hold his on-air ‘funeral’ for Mark & Brian. I was working for Radio & Records at the time and remember the traffic being an absolute nightmare.” – Brad Cramer
“Oh, my golly!
On Saturday, I attended a 2x a year invitation-only reunion of veteran Los Angeles broadcasters, hosted by Jeffrey Leonard, one of my broadcasting school instructors. It is always such an honor to be included among such legends and icons.
Thank you so much, Jeffrey! As always, it was a great afternoon. At the very end, the last of the 50+ attendees got together for a pic by Jeffrey’s wife. I was quite pleasantly shocked to see that the wonderful Don Barrett decided to include that pic on his fabulous and invaluable daily website www.laradio.com! Wow. Each day, at the top of the page he posts several photos of veteran LARP. And, there I was, next to legends! Thank you, Jeffrey, Don, Shadoe Stevens, Carson Schreiber, Lew Irwin [Jeffrey is next to Lew, on the right, end].” – Andrew Schermerhorn
|** CNN Report
“Please tell Funkhouser that his mascara is running.” – Bill Dudley
** IBS Convention
“Today, Don Barrett’s LARadio.com column spotlights the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, Western Region Conference at CSULB that I was fortunate enough to be a part of this past Saturday.
It was a great day to talk with other broadcasters/podcasters and interact with students about the current state of the ‘audio’ business. Valerie Geller’s keynote speech was a GREAT, detailed ‘primer’ for broadcast students. The speech also served as a refresher and reminder of the basic principles of the craft for an old guy like myself.
Kudos to Danny Lemos for a great day.” – Mike Stark
** Brother John Origination
“With all respect to Shadoe Stevens, the program Heaven Is In Your Mind originated on KRLA in the summer of 1969 on Sundays with Gary Marshall playing tracks with a spiritual edge. KRLA’s Reb Foster was managing Three Dog Night at the time, and they used the Three Dog Night version of Heaven Is In Your Mind as the show’s theme.
Shadoe joined KRLA in late 1970, while Marshall was still there doing weekends and production.” – Bill Earl
** Shadoe Responds: Brother John Facts
“I’ll accept that. As I told Don, given the substance abuse, it’s amazing that I remember anything from that era. It wouldn’t be the first time that my memory has played tricks on me. I do, however, vividly remember working on the show with Brother John to try to make it as special as Silhouette but more contemporary…to fit the new format.
I guess I loved Traffic so much at that time, and so enjoyed refining the concept, that I thought I’d come up with the name. I have no memory of there already being a show but I accept the facts, apologize for the bad brains, and salute Gary Marshall. It was a great idea.” – Shadoe Stevens
“The cartoon with the lady measuring is funny and my heart goes out to Vic the Brick. I love your Christmas tree and decorations. I will reach out to Wally Clark. And lastly in your jam-packed week of LARadio, loved seeing the WWWW piece.” – Mike Butts
“Read your feature on going to CBS as a youngster and watching the Gene Autry Melody Ranch radio program.
When I was in 3rd grade [1954-55], to celebrate starting at the new grammar school they’d opened in San Luis Obispo, Pacheco School, my mom bought me a brand-new Gene Autry ‘Melody Ranch’ lunch box and thermos. I still remember looking at Gene and ‘Champion’ on that thermos, every time I took a swig of the chocolate milk my mom would put in for me every day, while sitting with my pals at lunchtime. On my display case in my dining room, I have a couple of collector Cisco Kid and Lone Ranger lunch boxes on display. Don’t drink chocolate milk anymore.” – Joe Collins
Up, Up, and Away
|(December 7, 2018) Joe
Clayton died last month. There’s probably no reason why you
would know the name unless you follow the fortunes of
DirecTV, Sirius Satellite Radio and Dish Network. He was ceo
of Sirius Satellite from 2001 to 2004 and chairman from 2004
to 2008. He was described as “a man of passion and vision.”
Yes, it wasn’t too long ago that there were two satellite music services – Sirius and XM – fighting each other before they came together as one entity. In 2005, LARadio.com was critical of their marketing promotion. The tv ads featured pianos falling out of the sky, apparently some sort of metaphor that we would be hearing music from a faraway Satellite. And then the emphasis turned to truck drivers or those who travel across the country: You could hear your favorite channel without interruption from state to state. It seemed like a stupid reason to sign up for the service. And perhaps I was being defensive of terrestrial radio.
The final blow to Satellite Radio would be the emphasis on hardware and not content. When I sat next to Joe Clayton at a luncheon in 2005, for ten minutes he dazzled a table of journalists with the latest in satellite technology, a detailed numbing explanation about the physical launch of an additional Satellite into outer space and how they were doing with getting the gadgets into new cars. He turned to me, and said, “Well, Mr. Barrett, what do you think?” I told him that in my humble opinion he had no chance for success until he concentrated on the content and not the hardware. I argued the public is up to here with gadgets that have a monthly fee and there would have to be a compelling reason to sign up. There would have to be content not currently available on terrestrial radio.
|Not long after our lunch, Howard
Stern was lured to
Sirius. I take no credit for the move. After he was signed,
Stern was allowed to badmouth his parent company and promote
Sirius for a year, which was inexcusable. He had a
megaphone on 125 stations every morning for over a year.
Unbelievable decision. A station manager told The
Washington Post: “Stern’s
departure is the worst natural disaster to hit a media
company in the decade…Even though he was only on four hours
a day, many of the sponsors on his show were required to buy
time through the rest of the day as a price for getting
spots on the Stern show.”
His departure was hardly a natural disaster. But it certainly put Sirius on the map. (Stern makes $90 million a year, according to Forbes.) Terrestrial radio struggled with his absence. The stations that carried Stern, like KLSX, seemed to flap in the wind attempting one morning show after another. But it was Joe Clayton who made the move and revolutionized Satellite radio. R.I.P., Joe.
In other news: Mediate announced their 2018 list of the most influential figures in news media. KEIB’s Sean Hannity is ranked #1 ... Wally Clark is still not strong enough to receive visitors ... Alex Stan Campbell is scheduled for triple bypass surgery at the Heart Sciences Centre at Kingston General Hospital next week. “Am I nervous? Damn right! Funny...they told me today to not shave my chest hair. Do I look like a metrosexual dude?,” said Campbell … Laurie Sanders’ recent surgery was a success. “They put a 14-inch rod in my right leg, and a small triangular stainless-steel brace in my right wrist and everything is staying in place and that everything seems to be healing well,” Laurie wrote on Facebook. “He put me in a walking boot, and a wrist wrap, no cast! I can start to bear weight on the leg, no weight bearing on the wrist yet though. If everything continues to go well, I should be back on my horse Roxy in 10 weeks!” ... If you would like to be on our subscriber list, just indicate that in an email to: AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com. No cost. Read my lips. No cost.
Larry McCabe was part of
93/KHJ Boss Radio and MOR 710/KMPC, among other stations and
he has stories to tell during his 49-year broadcasting
Now available in book form at Amazon Books (Kindle). Paperback is just $13.99. eBook $3.99.
|(December 6, 2018) Wally Clark fell
over the weekend and broke his hip. The former vice
president/general of KIIS from 1982-85, is recovering in a
Wally arrived in the Southland from KSD-St. Louis with new pd Gerry DeFrancesco and started as president/general manager on March 30, 1982, overseeing the transformation of KIIS to become one of L.A.’s top stations.
In a major LA Times profile in 1983, Wally talked about the success of KIIS. He said it stemmed from community contact and charity work. He said: “It’s the willingness to go out and meet the public, shake their hands and get direct feedback on the station – that's the real secret to being No. 1.” You can send well wishes for a speedy recovery to Wally at: firstname.lastname@example.org (Wally in hat with Don Elliot)
In December 1931, Gene Autry’s first radio show debuted on
WLS-Chicago. From 1940 to 1956, Autry had a huge hit with a
weekly show on CBS Radio, Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch.
I remember the show fondly. My Santa Monica Cub Scout group traveled to CBS Center in Hollywood to be part of the Melody Ranch broadcast. I was astonished at the process of creating the show and witnessing firsthand the concept of “the theatre of the mind,” which led me to my love affair with radio.
Autry is a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is the only person to be awarded stars in all five categories on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – film, television, music, radio, and live performance. He also owned 710/KMPC, Golden West Broadcasters, and the California Angels. He died in 1998.
Gossip. Lotsa gossip at the radio reunion last Saturday at Fuddruckers. Surprised that LARadio People could participate in gossip? Well, it happened. A few days before the event, Saul Levine teased that a MAJOR Los Angeles radio personality will join Oldies K-SURF in January. Some of the Saturday speculation included Charlie Van Dyke, Larry Van Nuys, and Shotgun Tom Kelly …Ty Bentli is doing some re-branding with his new Westwood One show at the first of the year. Ty worked afternoons at MY/fm from 2010 to 2012 ... Steve Downes, ex-KWST, KEZY KLOS and KLSX, has been with Syndicated Solutions as VP/affiliate sales for the past 18 years. He is retiring later this month … Brian Perez sent a note that KWVE is looking for a production director. Click here to learn more. … KJLH’s Steve Harvey will ring in the new year once again on Fox, along with co-host Maria Menounos ... KFI's Pastathon is in full promotion mode. Donate pasta and sauce to help feed the thousands of ‘motel kids’ every week.
In 1968, we launched the
first full-time, live Oldies station on FM in Detroit
All promotions were done with a wink. Golden Girl painting downtown at lunch ... '57 Gold Chevy giveaway
Logo came from cultural movement: Black is Beautiful
KABC, By George
(December 5, 2018)
“There are legendary radio managers in the history of Los
Angeles radio. The late
George Nicholaw of
KNX was at the helm for 35 years at the all-news station.
George Green, who oversaw some
of the most successful years of Talkradio KABC.
A native of New York, George is a graduate of UCLA with a bachelor's degree in Education. He began his career as an NBC/tv page before joining ABC as a junior sales executive at KABC/Channel 7 in 1959. George moved to KABC radio from the sister tv station in 1960 as a salesperson. then was promoted to gsm in 1965. He spent time back East as gm of WABC-New York before returning to the West coast.
When longtime KABC gm Ben Hoberman transferred to New York to become ABC Radio division president in 1979, George was again promoted, this time as president and gm, succeeding Hoberman. George stepped down in the spring of 1996 to open a consultancy firm.
Who knows better about how KABC works than George. When asked to observe the current state of his alma mater, George responded as only a veteran who has been in the radio trenches fighting for ratings and revenue could offer:
|I appreciate that someone
thought my comments about the status of KABC radio would be
relevant. Frankly, I am not really qualified to offer
reasonable commentary. I am 87 years old. I left KABC radio
in 1996, so I have been gone from the station and the radio
business for more than 22 years.
Yes, I still read your column and I see the ratings of the top 40 stations. My comment about KABC radio being last, #40, is ‘SAD.’ Having said that, all AM stations around the country have suffered at the hands of satellite driven formats. Most of my current radio listening is to Fox News, CNN News and music stations (on Sirius/XM) like Broadway, Sinatra and Escape.
I am not sure of KABC’S profit status because I have never talked to the manager of KABC, but I would think they are still making money by selling long form hours to whoever wants to buy the time. I was always against breaking the format, never giving way to these hourly infomercials. Yet in retrospect, I might have sold an hour or two overnight on weekends, but never during prime time. And making money is still the name of the game, so I suspect the manager of KABC should be appreciated for keeping the station profitable during these tough times for AM radio.
The other day I read about the (noise issue) between AM radio and electric cars. Wow! What an uproar that brought.
Bottom line Don, I am happy that I was part of the business during the 38 years I was at KABC. I am glad I am not there anymore. I would be the last person that KABC should call for advice on programming. I do know that KABC has the best sales manager in the business. Vernon Copp is the finest, and I trust he is doing the best job possible helping KABC survive as an English driven radio station. Other stations might have changed their entire format to Spanish, Religious or some other non-English format.
As for what I’m doing nowadays, I have been writing books for 3 years. I have 15 children’s books written, illustrated, printed and for sale on Amazon. One of these days. I will be calling some of the stations in LA in order to make an appearance as a guest and to also BUY some spots promoting all my books. My website will tell you and others more about me and what I am doing. www.georgegreen.net.
Good luck to all of your readers. The radio business treated me well and I wish those who are still at it GOOD LUCK! - George Green
Chart from The Hollywood Reporter
Vic the Brick is Feelin' You
|(December 4, 2018) The
NFL is now on full display and college football is counting
down to conference championships. Yet the Sunday LA
Times devoted a half page cover story (with additional
pages inside) to the one-of-a-kind LARP, Vic “the
Brick” Jacobs. With a loving pen, Bill
Plaschke, himself a LARP from his hosting days at
KFWB, writes about Vic’s battle with cancer. Some highlights
from the story:
“On this day, the voice is still strong. The words still fire out from that shrubbery of a beard in a wonderful mix of Brooklyn and Spanish and Japanese and Zen, the words of a city that only the city can understand. ‘Yay, yay Dodger fans, I’m feelin’ you! The blue is busy y’all … Segs, Joc, CT3, AWood … Doc’s Clips, the nitty gritty dirt band, the selfless tsunami, still atop the West … who knew? … Los Lakers, will Zo go? … fifty-fifty to ball against Indy in the downtown hoop dojo!’
His eyes are weary, his arms are splotchy, his steps are slow. His back hurts. His fingers tingle. He wears an ostomy bag. He sleeps a couple of hours a night. He doesn’t go anywhere without a giant plastic bottle of pain pills. “I have been to the abyss,’’ he says.
“During terrible times, we can go to the darkness or to the light. I’m going to the light.” (Vic) has spent the last two years engaged in a personal fight with rectal cancer and its collateral damage. Even though the cancer is in remission, resulting ailments, including a broken back and blood clots, have continually sapped his strength, kept him away from stadiums and locker rooms, and threatened the legendary power of his vocal chords.
“During terrible times, we can go to the darkness or to the light,’’ he says. “I’m going to the light. Be the bamboo, bend but don’t break.’’ Read the complete story by clicking the artwork:
Ray Taliaferro, KGO-San Francisco radio host for over three
decades, went missing in early November. The 79-year-old
host was last seen about a mile from where he was found dead
in a wooded in Paducah, Kentucky. In the ‘60s, Ray did
television work at KHJ / Channel 9.
During the Monday “Ronn Owens Report” broadcast on KGO, Owens, who was on KABC in the late 90s, fondly remembered his colleague as “very, very open, very, very opinionated, and a total pro.” Ray was dedicated to the fight against leukemia, serving on the Board of the Leukemia Society of America. Owens recalled as he prepared to sign off the annual KGO 24-hour Cure-a-Thon, then an annual feature of the Bay Area news / talk station, Taliaferro would always interrupt Owens and declare: “No, no, it’s not enough! We have to do more!” as he implored Owens to keep the radiothon going while imploring the listeners to keep giving.
Current KGO host John Rothmann said Taliaferro was quite private about his personal life, but did recall when his girlfriend Julie suffered a stroke, Taliaferro broadcast his all-night show from her residence, in case Julie needed his assistance. Gil Gross, another KGOer who was on KLAC, reacted to the Taliaferro news. “I’m still taking it in. I’ve been asked what our political discussions were like. The fact is, we didn’t because that was our day and night job. When we met up, we talked about the Blues. It was a mutual passion and so while people coming by when I’d see him expected us to be yammering about Bush and Obama, we were talking about Otis Rush and Magic Slim and Howlin' Wolf. Those will always be my best memories of Ray. I miss that.”
Terrific story on Wink Martindale in the current edition of EWaves
Tomorrow: Bill Schwarz of Ontario read George Green's memories of Vin Scully in Email Saturday and George wrote: "One of these days, Don, you should do a column on Peter O’Malley," sez George Green, retired from KABC 790.
Bill said heck with that, I would rather read what this former general manager thinks of KABC's current ratings quagmire. Bill, your wish is granted. Read his thoughts in a special edition of LARadio tomorrow.
Next Generation of Broadcasters Gather
|(December 3, 2018) Danny Lemos orchestrated
Saturday’s IBS (Intercollegiate Broadcasting System) Western
Region Conference at CSULB (California State University,
Long Beach).The organization boasts a membership of over one
thousand non-profit, education-affiliated radio stations and
webcasters. Many of the next generation of broadcasters will
come from this group.
There were over 100 attendees for the day-long event, doubling expectations. Was the overall mission accomplished?“Absolutely!" emailed Lemos. "Radio people are radio people no matter how old and college radio needs access to experienced veterans. The results are immediate, the networking went on all day.”
Valerie Geller, author of the must-own book for
broadcasters, Creating Powerful Radio, was the
keynote speaker. She emailed: “It was a fantastic day of
learning with people from all over Southern California
including the Coachella Valley, Hollywood, San Diego,
Burbank.” She added: “Danny Lemos did a stunning job of
curating speakers and panels and everybody learned a lot and
had the chance to network. It was a fantastic mix of both
public and commercial radio.”
(Geller is far right on
Next to Valerie is Vicki Pearlson, director LA Theatreworks, who’s weekly program used to air on KCRW and KPPC, and currently airs on KPFK. Second from the left is Gary Scott, former program director at KCRW, and on the far left is Perry Michael Simon from AllAccess Music Group.
The photo on the right shows the breakout session panel discussing What Goes Into a Great Podcast? Seen in the photo: Ron Shapiro (Format 3000), Gary Scott, Mike Stark (LA Radio Studio in San Pedro), Tracy Johnson (Tracy Johnson Media Group San Diego + former gm at KFMB), Dave Beasing (Sounds That Matter). Key messages of the session included how podcasts can target narrow slices of an audience and touch them deeply. Critical mass conversation touched on how 40% of audio in cars is now accessed via smartphones (as per Edison Research’s Share of Ear), and 40% of that audience is listening to podcasts. Panel referenced how 50,000 downloads is the point at which a podcast becomes attractive to advertisers.
“We got some great questions from the students,” said Dennis Clark, vp of talent at iHeartMedia.
Manny Pacheco, KNX Traffic Anchor said, ”An added bonus involved networking and sharing stories with wonderful broadcast professionals, colleagues and friends in the industry.”
And Dave Beasing, former pd at 100.3/The Sound enthused, "The content of the sessions was great for students. I was happy to be included.”
Lemos hopes to return to Long Beach State next year. "They were excellent hosts,” said Danny. (Thanks to David Alpern, board of directors of KLBP 99.1-Long Beach, for the coverage and photos)
Kasem Case Update:
A police investigation into the end-days care of iconic
radio personality Casey Kasem has concluded
that he received “appropriate” care. The Kitsap County, WA
Sheriff's Department has released the following statement:
Casey passed away at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor,
Washington on June 15, 2014. The Gig Harbor Police
Department opened an administrative investigation of the
death on October 24, 2018. The investigation was restricted
to the standard of care offered to Mr. Kasem in the days
before his death, the consideration of any guardianship
authority in the medical decisions made during that time,
and any sign of collusion between the medical personnel and
the family members exerting guardianship for Mr. Kasem. The
Gig Harbor Police Department investigation revealed that the
standard of care delivered to Mr. Kasem by medical personnel
was appropriate and that any medical decisions were made by
family members authorized to act on his behalf. Gig Harbor
Police Department case number 18 302 00097 will be forwarded
to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office for review on
December 3, 2018.
Hear Ache. Morning Joe hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough (ex-KABC) were married November 26 at the National Archives building in Washington DC. The couple exchanged vows in front of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights … Brooks Melchior was a sports update guy for a couple of L.A. stations, but his claim to fame was a cutting-edge sports website where he regularly beat ESPN and other national outlets. Perhaps more noticeably, he had a stable of sports babes whose photos he liberally integrated into his website, SportsByBrooks.com. And then Brooks dropped out of sight. Now, after five years, he has resurfaced with frequent tweets on Twitter. Some answers about the Melchior mystery, read here ... You won’t be able to watch porn in Starbucks anymore. Get a room. An in-store filter prevents access to explicit content.
Los Angeles Radio Guide, August/September 1994
Email Saturday, 12.1.18
** Worked with Kasem
“I worked with Casey Kasem at KEWB-San Francisco back in the sixties and got to know him fairly well. He would be ashamed to see what’s happening to his family in the name of love. I have sisters I’ve not spoken to since my mom died in 1965. I’m ashamed of them too.” – Jack Hayes
** Brother John Update
“I was just back on your site and came across some Brother John information and wanted to clarify a few things in honor of him.
I loved this guy. He was one of my best friends. This is the way I remember it: When I hired Brother John at KRLA in 1970, I couldn’t believe my good fortune. He took the job. I was I was 23 years old and I idolized him, he was ‘the Voice of God,’ and he was going to be the Voice of this new kind of programming I was trying to create, ‘Rock with a Grin.’ I was in charge of all programming, including news and public affairs. I wanted everything about the station to be new and contemporary.
In keeping with this new Album Oriented Rock format I was beginning to introduce ‘Phase II.’ I asked Brother John to create a public affairs religious program for the station that was more contemporary than the then broadcast show Silhouette. And since Traffic was my favorite group at the time, I asked him to create a show named after their the song Heaven is in your Mind. I worked with him to fine-tune the approach and loved what he came up with. I later brought Brother John and Heaven is in Your Mind to KROQ and then KMET, where John was again ‘the voice.’ He was in charge of production, public affairs, and also did news.
He could do anything. He created newscasts called ‘The Old Piano Bar News, with Shirley at the Piano,’ complete with fake correspondents around the world, and a parody of a sportscaster called ‘Bouser Benson, Speaking of Sports.’ It was hilarious. I don’t think I ever worked with a more talented, more creative educated, and kind person in my career. I quit radio in the late 70s, and when John went to KRTH, he asked me if it was okay with me for him to do Heaven is in Your Mind at K-EARTH.
As far as I was concerned, it had become his show and he continued it for several years. That’s the way I remember it. But then again, I could be wrong.
And now you know…the rest of the story.” – Shadoe Stevens
** Ponderous IDs
“I loved the 1963 LA Times newspaper ad for KGFJ. Back in 2002, when I submitted an article to you about KGFJ’s early history as the nation's first 24-hour radio station in 1927, one of your readers sent me a 1962 KGFJ ID. The announcer proclaims that KGFJ is the original 24-hour station.” – Jim Hilliker
** What the World Needs Now is Tom Clay
“I just wanted you to put in a little word, for my dear friend and mentor Tom Clay. We always had a great time. It’s hard to believe, it has been 23 years since Tom went home.
I think of him, his son Ron and daughter Candy, often. I have even lost track of her.” – Gary Lane
“That’s some picture! But a great one! My good guess is that picture was probably taken around the release time of the album – mid-late January 1964. Maybe later. Also, KFWB would have to be playing a Beatles song or two, as I Want to Hold Your Hand was released on December 26, 1963 - coinciding with the first airplay by WMCA-New York.” – Gary W, Facebook.com/manfromyesterday
** What’s Going On?
“I was pleased to see that you’re a fan of What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye. While I also really like his older stuff, What’s Going On was a major shift for Motown, replacing ‘feel good songs with social commentary. It was, of course, preceded by the Temptations Ball of Confusion, which came out a year earlier. Its lyrics were less controversial, but it helped open the door for What’s Going On.
As far as Patsy Cline vs Brenda Lee, that’s an easy one for me. Patsy was too hard-core Country for my tastes, while ‘Little Miss Dynamite’ could jump from Country to Rock without missing a beat.” – Bob Scott
|(November 30, 2018) Marvin Gaye and his song What’s
Going On is one of my favorites. Not only is it a soulful
contribution to the singer’s legacy but a reward from his
tribulations on getting the record made despite Barry
Gordy’s objections. Next year, the USPS will be making a
commemorative stamp honoring Marvin Gaye. Sign me up.
In other news: Saul Levine has added a second airing of the Dick Clark Show heard Sunday mornings between 8 a.m. and noon. The program will be repeated Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saul also hinted that “a MAJOR Los Angeles radio personality will join KSURF in January.” That’ll be a nice present under the tree. And a blogger has paid tribute to KSURF, which you can read here … KJLH’s Steve Harvey gave away more than 8,000 turkeys as part of his annual turkey giveaway. Since the Turkey Give was launched in 2009, nearly 70,000 turkeys have been provided to those in need … Buster Bodine, veteran of KPWR in the late 80s, is a big football fan. He asked an interesting question: “Even though he’s still lethal on the football field, is it me or does Tom Brady look sloooowww compared to all the new QB guns?” By the way, didja know that Buster's older brother was Chuck Riley, veteran of KZLA (1979-80)? … Who was better, Patsy Cline or Brenda Lee? ... Do you still wish you could be Les Moonves?
Bob Christy lives near the recent Woolsey Fires. He blogs with George Johns, and gave high praise to KNX and KFI. “Both stations gave me what I needed and I assume they were doing the same for tens of thousands of other people in SoCal. It seemed to me as a listener they had people everywhere, constant updates, traffic and weather. They covered and carried news conferences, community meetings. The actualities were outstanding. The stations would cut live to a reporter in a helicopter describing the inferno below. The anchors and reporters on both stations were filled with emotion and energy, they asked good questions and the pictures they painted with their words were vivid and true. The worked almost around the clock and never stumbled. They did their jobs and the stations fulfilled their obligation to the community. It was radio doing what radio does best. KNX and KFI did what radio has always done during times like this, they were the voices of Southern California.” You can read the full account here.
|KTWV's Deborah Howell interviewing Al B Sure|
November 2018 Ratings
|(November 29, 2018) Adult
Contemporary KOST is on a blistering pace to be the dominant
radio station for the next couple of months, as the station
transitions to their annual full-time array of Holiday
music. This is nice increase from last month for 103.5/fm,
according to the just-released November '18 PPM ratings 6+
Mon-Sun. Sister station KBIG (MY/fm) is the runner-up while
Classic Hits K-EARTH drops from #1 to #3 this month.
Familiar stations round out the Top 5 with KIIS/fm and KTWV
(the WAVE) 4th and 5th respectively. Here are the Top 40
1. KOST (AC) 4.9 - 5.1
2. KBIG (MY/fm) 4.8 - 4.7
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.0 - 4.5
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.2 - 4.4
5. KTWV (Rhythmic AC ) 4.2 - 4.3
6. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.8 - 3.8
7. KFI (Talk) 3.7- 3.6
KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.8 - 3.6
9. KXOL (Spanish AC) 3.0 - 3.0
10. KLOS (Classic Rock 3.0 - 2.9
|11. KNX (News) 2.7 - 2.8
KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.8 - 2.8
KRRL (Urban) 3.0 - 2.8
14. KPCC (News/Talk) 2.6 - 2.7
KYSR (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.7
16. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.8 - 2.6
17. KROQ (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.5
18. KKGO (Country) 2.5 - 2.4
KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.3 - 2.4
20. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.4 - 2.3
21. KUSC (Classical) 2.1 - 2.2
22. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.2 - 2.1
KLAC (Sports) 1.7 - 2.1
24. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 1.8 - 1.7
25. KSPN (Sports) 1.3 - 1.5
26. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.2 - 1.4
27. KCRW (Variety) 1.3 - 1.3
28. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.3 - 1.2
KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.1 - 1.2
KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.1 - 1.2
31. KEIB (Talk) 1.1 - 1.1
KRLA (Talk) 1.3 - 1.1
33. KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.8 - 0.8
KKJZ (Jazz) 0.8 - 0.8
KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 1.0 - 0.8
36. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.7 - 0.7
37. KKLA (Religious) 0.7 - 0.6
KSUR (Oldies) 0.4 - 0.6
KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.6 - 0.6
40. KABC (Talk) 0.3 - 0.5
|Terry Hardy received this flyer in his Valpak mailer earlier this week ... Sounds fascinating!|
Two LARPS Join the Passing Parade
|(November 28, 2018) Dave
Roberts (l), veteran
Orange County jock at KEZY and KWIZ in the mid-1970s, died
November 24, following a long battle with cancer. He was 70.
Born Dave Kelliher on November 1, 1948, he held a doctorate in research from the University of Oregon. He worked at KYNO-Fresno, KMEN-San Bernardino and KPOI-Honolulu. He started his career in 1966 at KDUO, and did fill-in work at KFXM-San Bernardino. A year later he joined KREO-Indio, then on to KPOI-Honolulu. In 1980 he was at KYA-San Francisco as assistant pd, research director and afternoon drive. In 1981 he was appointed pd at KRQR-San Francisco before he was named vp/director of programming for the RKO Radio Network in 1983. In the mid-1980s he was host of RKO’s “The Hot Ones” and was a four-time fill-in host for American Top 40.
In 1985, he joined the CBS/FM Group as vp/director of programming. Dave owned a consulting company in Austin. During part of his radio journey, Dave worked as David B. Daniels.
Over the holiday weekend we lost another LARP, Ed Crook (r), veteran of KWKW, KDWC, KGRB, and KWOW, during the 50s and 60s. Ed worked on-air as Dave Gilmore. He also spent time at KPRO-Riverside. He died November 26, 2018, concluding several months of battling stomach cancer.
"He went to take a nap on Thanksgiving Day and he never woke up," according to friend Bill Kingman. Ed was 85. "He was the nicest guy on our planet and a proud Eagle Scout. Ed moved to Lake Tahoe in 1974 and founded KRLT/fm." He was general manager of KPTL/KKBC Carson City/Reno in the early 1980s, followed by a stint as gm at KROI AM&FM. Ed was heard at KTHO-Lake Tahoe since 2001 and was heard hourly nights and weekends announcing the local weather forecast.
This is the weekend that college broadcasters, webcasters,
podcasters, journalists, news reporters and low-power FM
station personnel will gather for the Intercollegiate
Broadcasting System’s Western Regional Multimedia Conference
at Long Beach State University. The all-day event is open to
A long list of media professionals will interact with students and attendees, including Keynote Speaker, International broadcast consultant Valerie Geller, author of Beyond Powerful Radio, Dennis Clark, iHeartMedia’s VP of Talent Development, Brian Webber, NBC Sports Radio, Manny Pacheco, traffic anchor KNX, Alejandra Ortiz Chagin, news anchor for Noticiero Telemundo 52, Nick Roman, KPCC’s host for All Things Considered / faculty-Cal State Long Beach, Ron Shapiro – Format 3000.com and KIIS/fm, Dave Beasing, "SoundsThatBrand.com", Tammy Trujillo, KPCC news anchor and author of The Intern Insider: Getting the Most Out of Your Internship in the Entertainment Field, Vicki Pearlson – L.A. TheatreWorks, Kimberly Kelly, College of Liberal Arts Internship Program/CSULB, Terri Dourian, Power 106, 93.5 KDAY, and Teresa Puente, professor of Journalism & Radio station faculty advisor.
Registration is $45 per person, which includes a light breakfast, a hearty lunch and a "pizza hive" networking social at the end of the day. To register visit www.mediaconferences.org or www.ibsradio.org. For local information, contact IBS Radio Vice President, Danny Lemos (email@example.com)
| A cool
KGFJ LA Times ad from Thanksgiving Day 11/27/63.
This is from David Grudt's personal
Al Scott (at Dolphins of Hollywood), Chuck James, Brother Joseph Matthews, Rosko, Johnny Magnus, Herman Griffith and Hunter Hancock
Scary Saturday for Host of Rhapsody in Black
|(November 27, 2018) As
Art Gould and Dave Kunz
were wrapping up The
Car Show Saturday afternoon, the KPFK engineer put a
message on the screen that Billy Vera would
be guest-hosting Bill Gardner’s Rhapsody
in Black. “Very cool that a well-known musician was
filling in for Bill, who rarely takes a Saturday off,”
emailed Kunz. And then the shocker. “What we didn’t know at
the time was that Bill’s call to Billy was very much
last-minute, as someone had shot out Bill’s car window while
he was on the road!”
Vera talked about the incident and said that Bill was unhurt, just a little shaken up.
Over the weekend, Gardner posted details about the incident: “On Saturday morning I was driving west on the 91 frwy in Bellflower when suddenly I heard a thud on my rear driver’s side window. There was a hole in the glass that shattered the whole window. I didn’t stop because I was scared and in shock. I drove to the nearest police station. By that time, 99% of the window had shattered with the glass all over my back seat. The policeman said it wasn’t a bullet that caused this, it was probably some car that made contact. I was driving my 10-year-old Toyota Sienna. The policeman assumed the scratches on the side of the car was the result of a collision but I know I didn’t collide with a car! I got scratches all over my old car. He took my license for a while to make sure I wasn’t involved in a hit-and-run. There was no report of an accident on the 91 west at that time. So now I have to get a new rear window. I’m still shook up but thankful the Lord spared me any physical damage. Thank all of you for caring.”
We reached out to Bill and he responded last night: "I got my window fixed. I wasn't injured, so I guess that's it. Thanks for caring!"
|From Dave Grudt's collection: KLAC radio LA Times ad from 11/26/68|
Potpourri of the Day's News
|(November 26, 2018) LBI Media Inc., the nation’s largest
private minority-owned Spanish language tv and radio
broadcaster filed for bankruptcy last week, blaming its woes
on competition from digital media platforms and a heavy debt
load. LBI locally owns high-performing KBUE.
In 2011, morning star Don Cheto (l) received a 5-year $3.5 million extension contract. KBUE is #1 with Hispanic Adults 18-34 in most dayparts. KWIZ/fm (Santa Ana), also owned by LBI, is #1 Hispanic in evenings in Orange County.
A LARadio listener wrote to say he couldn’t hear the USC / UCLA football game on KSPN. Scott McCarty, gm, responded, “There was an early (east coast) Lakers game that day...2:30 pregame show start. If I remember correctly, we carried the USC pregame on 710 and aired the USC game/post-game on 1110. We have a couple of these Lakers / USC conflicts every year. And we heavily promote where to find the USC broadcast when we do have to move it.”
Blogger Chris Smith wondered the whereabouts of Jim Brown, entertainment guy on KPOL in the 60s and NBC’s Today Show. Known to many as “Our Man in Hollywood,” Jim was born on June 27, 1932 and passed away December 3, 2017. He was 85. A native of Hollywood, he worked in radio for many years before turning to television, appearing on KNXT / Channel 2, KNBC / Channel 4, and finally the Today Show. “To his family, he imparted a love for thrift stores, superior navigation skills, the ability to appreciate Big Band music, a desire to drive the back roads, and a talent to quote classic films at the drop of a hat,” according to his obituary in the LA Times. “He also passed on a strong Christian faith and was truly an example of a man who lived out what he believed.”
In other news: A number of LARP were inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame last week. They include: Mark Levin, Jonathon Brandmeier, Mike Golic, and Dr. Laura Schlessinger … Laurie Sanders, formerly with KOST, was in a bad car accident last week in San Leandro. She has a broken right leg and broken right wrist. Her spirits are high but she’s going to be immobile for a while, according to a Facebook friend … KFI’s Jennifer Jones Lee celebrates nine years of marriage. “Scott Lee has kept me smiling since the day we met back in 2005,” Jennifer posted on Facebook.
Jillian Barberie went out for her second outing since surgery to give out meals to homeless on Thanksgiving. “We are so fortunate. You never know why people are in the predicament they’re in. One man lost his family and job. He was once a teacher. God bless these people. I’m so grateful,” wrote Jillian on her Facebook page. She announced on the podcast she does with Steve Edwards and Dorothy Lucey that her double mastectomy eradicated all of the cancer but that she will have to undergo radiation and chemo come the first of the year.
Email Saturday, 11.24.2018
** Hogan Highway
“Really good to read your piece on Jim Hawthorne. And wasn’t he building a ‘drive-in volcano’ when he was on KRLA in ‘Pasa-Hogan’? A truly remarkable talent. Many thanks.” – Don Graham
** Announced for Hawthorne
“Enjoyed Jim Hawthorne story. I was a fan. The guy was good, very good. I was his announcer on his ABC network radio show. His local show was much better because there were things he couldn’t do on the ABC network.” – Roger Carroll
** Ballance on Hawthorne
“Thanks for the piece on Jim Hawthorne, a radio and television legend in L.A., and later, in Hawaii. When I was a kid, he was the first broadcast personality I was familiar with, and it was a thrill for me to include him when we produced KCOP’s 50th anniversary show. Jim and Bill Ballance were buddies since their Denver radio days. When we brought them together for an interview session [they had both worked at Channel 13 at various times], it was like a couple of teenage pranksters had taken over the set.” – Mitch Waldow
** Call Letter Confusion
“I enjoyed the Jim Hawthorne article. I grew up listening to Hawthorne and he and Bob Crane were strong influences on me as a young broadcaster. But your mention that he started at KXLA [now KRLA] is misleading. KRLA 1110 is now KRDC and was once Radio Disney. The call letters KRLA are now used by the former KIEV. KRLA 870 The Answer is now a conservative talk station. It’s confusing and there oughta be a law.” – Gary Marshall
** Candle for Paradise
“I just want to light one lone candle as a mournful tribute to the people of Paradise, California. At the start of my radio career, I worked in that area, and spent many a day driving to Paradise with my longtime friend and fellow dj, Jimmy Cole. Paradise was basically a retirement community near the base of the beautiful Feather River Canyon.
There has always been only one road in, and one road out of town. There have been other fires in that area in recent years, and one that occurred about 10 years ago inspired safety conscious folks to widen that highway for a better escape route. However, since that day of enlightenment came, business leaders, do-gooders and downright idiots helped create the bastard idea of a ‘road diet.’ If you don't know what a ‘road diet’ is, ask anyone that has been subjected to one in the Los Angeles area. They pitch it as a ‘safety measure,’ when all it does is add unnecessary bike lanes, reduce traffic lanes, parking, and mainly common sense. Yes, the four-lane Skyway highway has recently been reduced back to two. The result, at least 80 known dead, and hundreds more still missing. This idiocy has hampered firefighters and medical first responders.
With over 6,000 structures destroyed, and cars found melted together on the only escape route, I can only quote Pete Seeger, ‘when will they ever learn?’ ‘WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN?’” – Bill Dudley
** Public Radio Woefully Lacking
During Woolsey Fires
“I live in Westlake Village. As you know, the last couple of weeks have been very difficult for residents here, first with the Borderline mass shooting and then the Hill and Woolsey fires the following next day. The following comment was posted to a thread on NextDoor.com this afternoon regarding the lack of adequate information during the Woolsey fire. I thought you might find it interesting, especially the last sentence. I assume the author is referring to KCLU 88.3.
We gave up on our local public radio station that doesn’t appear to have the ability to break satellite feed and give us updates. Same thing during Thomas Fire. Tried calling multiple times (during both fire events) for some kind of local broadcasts / updates and information...can’t say how frustrating it is to be told to go on their web site for updates when there is no data service due to the emergency. I don’t know how they can be considered ‘public radio’ when they fail to serve the public at such a critical time. It is a grave disappointment. Two major fires in a row and we get to tune in to All Things Considered while dodging fires and trying to figure out where is safe for evac for people and livestock and pets. No donation from us this year.’” – Terry Hardy
“That photo is a howl. Wink Martindale is so young, but the expressions on Bill Ballance and Gene Weed's faces are priceless! I’m very glad Go Country is doing Christmas music. They play a different mix than KOST and I like having a choice. And with all the sadness of the fires and shooting in Thousand Oaks, holiday music always makes me feel better.” – Julie T. Byers
** Casey on 48 Hours
“I’ve never been much a fan of troublemakers like the Roseanne story, but am happy to learn of the special on Casey Kasem is on the way tonight. Not so much to get down there and wallow in the mud with all the other drama freaks but to learn what really did happen. Should be interesting as the dickens.
Also loved the shot of that particular KFWB crew. Half of ’em look slightly to more-than-slightly shitfaced which did my ol’ heart good ...
** Looking for a Break
“I am a graduate of Los Angeles Valley College with a degree in broadcasting. I grew up listening to KRTH, KZLA, KBIG, KOST, KTWV, Mega100, KHHT and others.
I’m looking for an opportunity at an entry level in LARadio. In the old days there were smaller markets to learn the business but they don’t seem to exist anymore. I am willing to do anything.
Some of your recent posts on your website pretty much told me to ‘don’t give up on my dreams.’ But where do I go? I spend so much time thinking about this and I read your weekday posts and glance at your Sunday nostalgia and your email Saturdays and I get really inspired. I was thinking that somebody in your radio circle would be interested chatting with me.” – Chananya Freedman, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Just wanted to send a ‘Thank You’ for everything you do for all of us LARadio people. I have enjoyed reading and keeping up with everyone for many years now thanks to you. I know it takes a lot of work, and just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it! And thanks for always including me too!” – Craig Powers
Counting Backwards to 48 Hours
|(November 21, 2018) Casey Kasem and the family turmoil
swirling around his death is the subject of 48 Hours next
Saturday night. For the first time, more than four years
after radio legend died, his wife Jean Kasem reveals to the
CBS newsmagazine for the first time her version of her
husband's final days, levels allegations of murder in a
lawsuit and discusses a heated family feud.
Casey is best known to readers of LARadio as a unique dj at 1110 / KRLA for much of the sixties. At the top of his career, Kasem was later heard by millions around the world as the host of the music countdown show, American Top 40, and as the voice of "Shaggy" in the cartoon classic Scooby Doo. But toward the end of his life, Casey’s name was in the news for less palatable circumstances.
His family made headlines over an ongoing dispute between Kasem’s children from his first wife (Linda Myers Naylor), and Jean Kasem, his second wife. After his death on Father’s Day in 2014, the feud escalated as both sides accused each other of contributing to his death, and they battled over his estate and final resting place.
“They killed my husband,” Jean Kasem told 48 Hours’ Peter Van Sant. “They killed their father.”
“Jean killed my father,” counters Kerri Kasem, one of Kasem’s three adult children, adding, “what she did led to his death.”
In 2014, as Casey was dying of Lewy body dementia, a Parkinson’s like illness, his estate was estimated to be worth between $80 million to $100 million. Jean Kasem said her husband’s children, Kerri, Julie and Michael, were only after his money and that eventually her husband cut them off financially. “It was always all about the money,” she said. “We became the bank of Kasem. We were the personal ATM machine.” She claims the children were furious and initiated a premeditated plan that led to their father’s death.
Kerri Kasem and her siblings make similar claims against Jean.
“The only thing she ever wanted from my dad is money,” Kerri Kasem said. “That's it.” Jean Kasem reveals to Van Sant how she moved her ailing husband from a rehab facility in Santa Monica to a friend's home in Silverdale, Washington, where Casey spent some of his final days. She claims she had to move him there to “protect her husband.” Then, she said his children found them and forced him into a hospital where he was ultimately taken off life support.
Kerri and her siblings blame her father's death on Jeans actions. Kerri had a court order that allowed her to take her father to a hospital for care. When Casey arrived at the hospital, his diagnosis was grim. Hospital records indicate Casey had a stage three ulcer of his back, suffered septic shock, respiratory failure and a host of other ailments. Kerri, Julie and Michael Kasem have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against their stepmother. Jean Kasem filed a countersuit against her husband’s adult children for the same reasons. “What she did to my dad was elder abuse,” says Julie Kasem. “Straight and simple.”
What really led to Kasem's death? This is for certain: While his living relatives continue in a seemingly never-ending battle over his estate, Kasem’s body rests in an unmarked grave in Oslo, Norway. Check out 48 Hours Saturday night. Here’s a preview.
|In other news: Jim Governale is celebrating 18 years of marriage. “We thank the Lord for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us. Too many to count,” wrote Jim … Lancaster library is turning into a dj workshop. Read the story here ... Josh Lewin, a familiar sports voice in the Southland, has been the voice of the New York Mets. The NY Post reports that Josh is now heading to San Diego as pre-game and post-game host for San Diego Padres broadcasts. Josh is also the radio voice of UCLA football and men's basketball ... The Academy of Radio Broadcasting in Orange County is celebrating 36 years in business … Wink Martindale enjoyed Jim Hawthorne's 100th birthday tribute and sent a photo of Jim and the KFWB “Good Guys” taken during the sudden emergence of the Beatles and their first Capitol album. “The picture was taken during the Hollywood Lane Parade circa ’63,” said Wink. A Beatles-inspired photo below … KKGO is now playing full-time Christmas music. “Once again twelve million Southern California listeners will have a choice,” emailed Saul Levine. “Traditional Country Music will continue on 105.1 FM HD3.” … Tomorrow, we will post some LARP thankful messages from the past, then on Friday memories of LARP when John Kennedy was assassinated.|
'Ol Weather Eyes Would Have Been 100
|(November 20, 2018) Today
would have been Jim Hawthorne’s 100th
birthday. “Hawthorne passed away in 2007, like so many Los
Angeles radio pioneers who were performers with a passion,
not necessarily a large paycheck,” wrote his son Darr.
Hawthorne was one of the most creative talents L.A. radio and tv has ever seen. He was a frequent contributor to LARadio.com and penned a series, “Hawthorne’s HIStory,” for many years.
Jim started at KXLA-Pasadena (now KRLA). His humor established him as a unique broadcaster in the early days of personality radio, yet his major success came from television. In 1950, he created, produced and starred in the Saturday night coast-to-coast radio program, The Hawthorne Thing, which was the final network radio show to originate in NBC's Hollywood Radio City.
At KLAC/Channel 13 in the early 1950s, he created the first late evening talk show on television, This Is Hawthorne. An article in the LA Times reflecting on early tv described the show as “the predecessor of NBC’s Saturday Night Live.”
On KNBC / Channel 4, beginning in 1952, he did a daily five-minute weather show. Then in 1958, Jim traveled to KYA-San Francisco and created “Voice Your Choice,” which he brought to KDAY. In the early 1960s, while doing Instant Weather on KTTV / Channel 11, Hawthorne joined KFWB as assistant pd and mornings, and eventually became vp / national program manager for Crowell-Collier Broadcasting.
|While still at KFWB he joined Sherman
Gricreating the Checkers and Pogo kids show for tv which ran
for 11 years. He was also involved with programming
KGMB-Honolulu and was creative consultant to morning legend
Aku (Hal Lewis).
As one of his bits, since the tv weather was so short, Jim would hold up cards and do a pantomime.
In 1970, Jim moved back to his hometown, Denver, to help his ailing mother. He stayed for 11 years and established a very successful career at KOA, eventually becoming general manager. In the late 1980s, Jim returned to Southern California.
Time Magazine offered a profile on Jim on May 10, 1948: Jim Hawthorne, a young Pasadena disc jockey, used to be bored with his job ($85 a week). Sometimes he would sign off with a sneer: “This is KXLA, the 10,000-watt jukebox.” But he is bored with his job no longer.
One night, without notifying his bosses, Hawthorne suddenly turned his show into a carefree, wit-loose “Hellzapoppin on the air.” Next day, before the station had time to fire him, the place was snowed under with fan mail. Both ABC and Mutual were dickering for national network rights. Hawthorne’s salary is now $450 a week. In the middle of a recording, a voice may suddenly announce: “I’ve got cole slaw in all my pockets. I’m cold.”
Hawthorne was great for the advertiser. When a commercial was coming up, he banged on his “attention getter” (a pair of crash cymbals) as a red alert to the audience. Most of the transcribed commercials are played at either very slow or breakneck speeds, so that they sound like either a foghorn or Donald Duck. One listener thought Jim was, “half haw, half thorn.”
|An example of the HIStory inserts he provided for LARadio: Back in 1945, the tiny town of Yellville, Arkansas, held its first annual Turkey Trot Festival. It was named after the Turkey Trot dance, which was popularized on a 1913 recording by the Charles Prince Orchestra. This is the orchestra that later recorded So Long Letty, which I adopted as my radio theme song - but I’m getting off the subject. The Turkey Trot Festival featured a turkey shoot, a turkey calling contest, a “Miss Drumsticks” pageant, and – for the grand finale – a live turkey was thrown from the roof of the courthouse. In later years, they started tossing turkeys out of a low-flying airplane. This was halted in 1989 after animal rights protestors raised a fuss – or maybe I should say “raised a gobble.” But the turkey drop inspired what is considered to be the most memorable episode of WKRP In Cincinnati, a 1978-82 CBS sitcom.|
John & Ken #1 in LARadio 8th Annual Listening Poll in 2006
|In 2006, more readers of LARadio.com listen to KFI’s John & Ken in afternoon drive (3 p.m. – 7 p.m.) than any other personality or radio station. About 300 readers of the Web site voted John & Ken as the clear afternoon winners. We revealed last week that KFI’s Bill Handel is the most listened to in morning drive.|
The Top 10 most listened to LARP in afternoon drive:
John & Ken (KFI)
Randi Rhodes (KTLK)
Larry Elder (KABC)
Mason & Ireland (KSPN)
Tom Leykis (KLSX)
Joe Benson (KLOS)
Michael Savage (KRLA)
“Shotgun Tom” Kelly (KRTH)
Bryan Simmons (KOST)
Don Burns (KTWV)
"Nobody Knows Anything"
|(November 19, 2018) “Nobody
knows anything.” The man who coined this phrase,
William Goldman, died a few days ago. He was a prolific
writer of screenplays. His list of blockbusters include All
the President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
Marathon Man, Princess Bride, Misery,
and many more giant hits.
Goldman maintained that not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what's going to work, including him. Every time out it's a guess and, if you're lucky, an educated one.
Goldman wrote a book, Adventures in the Screen Trade, where his distressing and encouraging words appear in the first chapter. I’ve written four screenplays, none becoming a movie, but one resulted in two studio meetings. Goldman’s book is a must-read for any aspiring screenwriter. It helped me a lot.
As I read all the obits and tributes to Goldman over the weekend, I wondered if his prophetic line about the Hollywood movie business pertained to other industries. Isn’t it the maverick who becomes the stand-out? Against all odds, armed only with a dream, we see brilliance emerge.
No one made boxing movies anymore, then along comes a dreamer in the form of Rocky Balboa. No one makes outer space movies, yet along comes a dream from George Lucas.
What about radio? Do dream makers exist in radio anymore? Or are we just another ho-hum industry safely playing the hits over and over. The early dreamers always knew it wasn’t the music (anyone could play the top 10 songs), it was always what happens between the songs. The same questions can be asked of information formats. Are the same news stories offered repeatedly with numbing redundancy? Even sales demonstrate the same malaise.
Are our sales people just selling numbers, or are they excited about what their morning man / woman said that morning? We must create moments every hour, every day. Or do William Goldman’s words become a nail in the coffin of radio? Who are our dreamers in LARadio who bring compelling content every day? Or, maybe it’s time to re-image radio. Look at all the audio competition for our ears – SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify and podcasts.
It’s time for the curtain to open on the next generation of radio dreamers. Are you out there?
Email Saturday, 11.17.2018
Ingraham Transitions to Podcasting
** Home For the Holidays
"Thank you for the great article about Bill Haley, Sr/Jr.. The behind the scenes story by Bill Jr. and Mr. Rock 'n Roll was fascinating. It's interesting how a B-side made more then one career happen.
And considering how infrequently Barry Manilow gets played on mainstream radio, I'm glad yet another generation gets to hear a really fun version of Happy Holidays/White Christmas. I just hope KOST also includes Christmas is Just Around the Corner or Christmas Is For Children and Just Another New Years Eve in their playlist. And the Nelson's This Christmas with Wilson Phillips. I think you'd like that one, too!
The new book about Tom Petty sounds really good. I look forward to reading that." - Julie T. Byers
** In the Air – Everywhere
Over the Bay Area
To bring you up to date I left mornings on KABL, after 33 years in 1993. I did mornings on a station in Lakeport for another 21 years.
I currently write and voice the stuff on KABL worldwide on the Web and am inching along toward the Big Nine O in February!
‘Time, you old Gypsy-Man, will you not stay. Hold up your caravan, just for one day.’ I DO recall the ‘incident’ of so long ago and all is forgiven.” – Bill Moen
“I used to listen to an online station called icountryradio.com, which no longer exists. The main dj was Andy Rodgers. I was wondering if you could help me try to figure out what he is doing now.
With regards to Shawn Parr, I think KKGO would jump really high in the ratings if we got Shawn’s syndicated show Nash nights live on the station. Do you think you might wanna bring that up to Saul Levine?” – Chananya Freedman, email@example.com
“This morning’s cartoon, reminded me of how much the world has changed during my lifetime. After getting a chuckle out of a great, somewhat corny joke [I love the corny stuff], it occurred to me that most people under 30 wouldn’t even get this joke.
I only wish I could come back 50 years from now and see what the world will be like then.” – Bob Scott
“Upon leading into your story of Laura Ingram, leaving her show to be with her family, on my own retirement, I actually ‘did’ retire with no plans for a podcast in my future. My voice will still be on tv and radio through the business I continue to do thru my advertising agency.” – Joe Collins, Fresno
** KABC Woes
“Not necessarily wanting to pile on, but I have very fond memories of listening to KABC during my high school and early college years. Ken and Bob, Michael Jackson, Dr. Dean Edell, Dr. David Viscott, Ira Fistell, Dodger Talk. Those were fun years indeed. But now, seeing where my once beloved station has ended up, is very sad but very predictable as well. I do put blame on Maureen Lesourd, who came in and cleaned out house and brought in national hosts who at that time did not seem right for the local market. Management thereafter has continued to double down and make things even worse.
A few years ago, the nth management took over and decided to bring back local hosts, but by then the country and the average talk radio audience had changed. It was too late to right the ship. Furthermore Doug McIntyre, Peter Tilden, Dr. Drew, and John Phillips are hardly riveting hosts in anyone's vocabulary. It's all about personalities and none of the current KABC hosts have that magical element.
Once upon a time Tom Leykis was my choice after he left KLSX, but now he has grown old and stale too and would no longer work either. Times have changed and KABC continues its inevitable slide into irrelevance and eventual disappearance from the talk radio format. It’s a sad end to a legendary station but definitely predictable.” – Steve Change, Venice
(November 16, 2018) “I’m
resigning in order to spend more time with my family.” Or,
“I’m going to pursue some new opportunities.” Whatever
happened, you're usually encouraged to come up with a party
line about how you're pursuing your lifelong dream and
leaving your terrific job. Some think it saves face.
In the movie business sometimes, the parting gift is a production deal, which if doesn’t work out, REALLY means you’re fired. In the radio business, the latest soft landing for those who are not working out is to be given a podcast, funded by the company for a year or so. The cost of a podcast is miniscule for the company and the talent or exec gets to save face. Rarely will they ever make any money for their podcast. Industry hasn’t figured out that one.
Laura Ingraham, formerly with KPLS, KRLA, KGIL, and KFWB, is ending her syndicated radio show and joining the world of podcasting at PodcastOne at the first of the year. Currently, her closest syndicated station to the Los Angeles airwaves was Apple Valley’s KIXW (960AM).
“While hosting a prime-time television show and raising three children on my own, continuing a three-hour morning radio show was no longer feasible,” said Ingraham.
“Although I will greatly miss my radio listeners and affiliates, working late nights and early mornings has taken a toll on my family life. Plus, my radio audience is smart, savvy and committed, and I know most will follow my new show in the format that is revolutionizing the audio world – digital podcasting.”
In other news: KOST has completed their first week of full-time Christmas music. “We started our Christmas programming right after 9/11,” emailed KOST afternooner, Mark Wallengren. “Felt like the right thing to do. Every year we have started our Christmas programing with Barry Manilow’s Happy Holidays/White Christmas. This is our 18th season and our cume jumps to nearly 6,000,000 people a week. It’s really incredible.” ... Andy Bloom, former pd at KLSX, has left the operations position for the Entercom cluster in Minneapolis. He only arrived at the Twin Cities in April … Dan Goodwin is trying to reach Manon Hennesy concerning her family home in the Malibu fires. Anyone know her contact info? … Ted Prichard, a.k.a ThrashPie / Thrasher, is a former morning personality at KNAC-Long Beach. He also played "Engineer Ted" at KLOS for Mark & Brian. Ted recently published his radio memoir -- Head Bangin' Radio: My Life at Southern California's Heavy Metal Flagship KNAC/fm, now available on Amazon.com in paperback and digital versions. For more details, visit headbanginradio.com … Bob Koontz, sales management at KFWB, KLOS, and a number of other stations, has joined a new commercial real estate division of Keller Williams Realty in Anaheim … Yesterday, When I Was Young was a terrific gift that Roy Clark left behind for us. He died this week, at age 85 … Chuck Rowe, traffic reporter favorite at KNX, checked in from his new home in Arizona: “Well, it was a privilege to have had the opportunity to be a part of the team at KNX, once again. There is a lot of talent in that building and I’m honored to have been a part of the team, but my home in Arizona was calling me back.”
Adam Carolla making his
52nd appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Ingraham Transitions to Podcasting
Music, Music, Music
|(November 15, 2018) Living
on the Central California Coast provides some challenges
when it comes to seeing concerts. We get our share of cover
bands, Bill Haley, Jr. and His Comets recently appeared at
the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande (near San Luis Obispo and
Pismo Beach). The audience was made up of old white hairs
like me, but we were all ready to Rock Around the Clock.
Haley the rock star led a jam-packed life into his 55 years. His son, Bill Jr. was the second of 10 children and was part of a dysfunctional family, including his mother, and and two subsequent step-mothers. Bill was a hopeless alcoholic who wreaked havoc through much of his life and the people who populated his world, but still left an indelible mark on the early beginnings of rock ‘n roll.
Bill’s son was very candid about his father’s life as he parceled pieces of the Rock legends’ life in between live performances of Rock Around the Clock, See You Later, Alligator, Shake, Rattle and Roll, Rocket 88, Crazy Man Crazy, Skinny Minnie, and Razzle Dazzle. During his lifetime, Bill Sr. sold over 50 million records.
The best story Bill Jr. told was how Rock Around the Clock made its way into the iconic juvenile delinquent film, Blackboard Jungle. Richard Brooks was an excellent director who helmed Rock Around the Clock onto the movie’s soundtrack. Some of his later films included Looking for Mr. Goodbar, In Cold Blood, Sweet Bird of Youth, Elmer Gantry, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
As Brooks was looking to make his mark in the mid-50s with Blackboard Jungle, he was having a post-production dinner with the star of the film (and Santa Monica High School graduate) Glenn Ford. Brooks was talking about finding a song to open the film (over the credits) that would set the mood for something edgy, unique, and provocative. Glenn invited him into his teen son’s room where Peter Ford was just discovering rock ‘n roll. Peter had already flipped Haley’s first Decca release, 13 Women, a novelty r&b tale about an H-bomb explosion that leaves just fourteen people alive, one man and thirteen women. But Ford’s son loved the B-side and so did Richard Brooks.
Eight months after Bill Haley released 13 Women, the flip side became the signature song to help usher in a new form of music.
“Rock Around The Clock was the true catalyst that brought Rock and Roll into the mainstream culture,” emailed Brian “Mr. Rock ‘n’Roll” Beirne, the 29-year veteran of Oldies K-EARTH. “It was the first rock ‘n roll song to hit #1 on the Billboard charts. The success in the US led the song to becoming #1 the world over. I was 19 the first time I worked with Bill Haley & His Comets. I had just moved into a one bedroom apt the day before and my refrigerator was stocked with beer. I invited everyone over, and pretty soon Haley & The Comets were playing in my apartment. It took about two hours before the police were called and I of course was evicted the next day, but what a thrilling night."
If the song was before your time, click the artwork.
Another LARP Loses His Home in Fire
|(November 14, 2018) “I'm so sorry that Joel Denver's
home is one of the many, many that were lost in the inferno
of the Woolsey firestorm,” wrote Mary Beth Garber, former
president of the Southern California Broadcasters
Association. She lives in Malibu. “I am so very grateful to
the 10 brave people who, armed with fire hoses, used the
fire hydrants in our 68-unit complex to keep it whole while
the structures on either side and many behind us burned to
the ground (l). I am so anxious, yet hesitant to be able to get
back in to see what has happened. It sounds as if our area
on PCH has been devastated.” When Mary Beth was evacuated,
fellow LARP Terry Saidel was in a clear area, so he took in
Mary Beth her dog, Ernie. “We are so grateful to him! My
son, Greg and his family were evacuated from their home in
West Hills, which is still standing and is whole. I hope all
other LARP are safe and sound and still have homes to go
Entercom Senior Account Executive George Karthan and his family have also lost their home and possessions in the Woosley fire (r). He, his wife, and two small children are safe, but they face a long road of rebuilding and recovery. His friends at Entercom have set up a GoFundMe account. You can help!
In other news: Local endorsement in radio pays. For the past 20 years, Lars Larson has been doing spots for Sleep Number Beds. Lars is based in Portland and syndicated. We met him when Saul Levine turned his 1260AM into Talk radio, when Lars worked middays. “Today, my wife Tina (Sleep Number 35) and I (Sleep Number 65) mark exactly 20 years of taking our night’s rest on a Sleep Number Bed,” Lars told Radio Ink. “I have been doing live read radio ads for the company on my national and Northwest regional radio shows for that long. As many of you know, they don’t keep me on as a Sleep Number endorser because of my charming personality. They want and deserve results, and for two decades they have been getting results from my stories about the superiority of Sleep Number Beds. When I do live remotes, several dozen times a year, listeners kid me about my Sleep Number and they ask, ‘Do you really sleep on that bed?’ and I tell them that, unless I’m on the road in a hotel, I do. That’s the secret of successful endorsements."
Retiring Soul. After more than 55 years in broadcasting, Joe Collins ends an eclectic career tomorrow. “I’ve had the pleasure to get to be a part of Art Laboe’s KOKO 94.3 in Fresno for the past 7-and-1/2 years. It’s time to take a break, do some more traveling and run my advertising agency from my home in Fresno. I’m truly grateful for this and many other opportunities I’ve had over these years since 1964. I'm grateful for all who I’ve encountered along the way.”
Joe and I worked together in 1965 at KNEZ-Lompoc. A very dedicated and talented broadcaster.
Southern California Inferno
|(November 13, 2018) Unless
you have been in or near one of our fires, it is tough to
comprehend the power and ultimate devastation mother nature
yields. I remember an occasion when I was on our roof with a
water hose, extinguishing flying embers. The fire never made
it to my house but in 1994, half our house came down in an
earthquake. People moving in. People moving out. Just a
ball of confusion.
This current Woolsey Fire has hit home (pun intended) to many LARP. Tragically, one of those structures lost to the Woolsey Fire is the longtime Malibu home of Joel Denver, president of All Access. "Sadly, my fiancee Kym and I lost our home in Latigo Canyon in the fire on Friday. It was my home for 31 amazing years. We evacuated grabbing our pets, some belongings and very little else, so we are in rebuild mode. Our heartfelt thanks to the many friends and clients who have reached out with words of support and kindness -- it has truly buoyed our spirits. We are planning to rebuild,” wrote Joel.
His nearby Malibu offices were untouched by the fire. However, until the roads are opened, AllAccess employees are working from home to keep AllAccess.com active with news of the radio and record business. “No one can reach the offices as roads are still closed due to the on-going fire danger and gusty winds. Services like power and connectivity have not been restored and may not be back until the end of the week,” said Denver.
KNX’s Claudia Peschiutta retweeted a pertinent message: “I just want to say thank you to all the journalists who put themselves in harm’s way, work long hours and put their own needs and concerns aside to keep the public informed. #journalismmatters” … Former KNX program director Andy Ludlum had to evacuate and move in with his daughter … Frank Kramer, part of Frosty, Heidi & Frank morning show at KLOS, lost his home in the fire. He tweeted: “Trying to grasp the situation this morning. I lost everything yesterday when my home was destroyed in the Woolsey Fire. My family is safe and that is all that matters. Things keeping popping in my head that I left behind, but we will build from our ashes. Thanks for the love.”
|KABC afternooner Jillian Barberie journals
on Twitter her recovery from breast cancer. “Day 3 after
surgery and I’m feeling good. I wish I could sleep on my
stomach though. I’m getting up on my own to use bathroom.
Still light headed. Shots for pain ended last night so we
will see how I do.”
KFSH evening host Delilah was inducted into the 2018 Adoption Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in Washington, DC, last week. The Adoption Hall of Fame Award is given by the National Council for Adoption in recognition of outstanding commitment, service, and sacrifice for the cause of adoption by an individual or organization who has positively impacted the practice of adoption. A mother of 13 children, 10 of whom were adopted, Delilah was honored for her decades-long commitment to children in need of a family, and for using her national radio platform and her non-profit organization Point Hope to celebrate adoption and raise awareness of children waiting to be adopted from the U.S. foster care system.
Hear Ache. Sam Farmer writes a regular NFL column in the LA Times. He answers questions about the NFL. Last Sunday Farmer volunteered, “When it comes to play-by-play announcers, nobody tops NBC’s Al Michaels.” … Lori Kelman has joined KABC as a weekend news anchor … KROQ’s Bean paid tribute to Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee: “Wow, very few people created more entertainment for the world than Stan. We will really miss his visits to the @KevinAndBean Show too.”
Brian Whitman & Jennifer Horn Anchor Growing Mornings at KRLA (870AM)
|(November 12, 2018) While
much of the Talk Radio obsession in Los Angeles has centered
on the continued success of KFI and the freefall of KABC, in
the middle of the dial, Salem’s KRLA (870AM) quietly marches
forward. The station offers a combined sound of a feisty
local morning show and some of the leading syndicated
conservative Talkers throughout the day, including a
And KRLA is making waves. In the October ’18 PPM 12+, "KRLA is now four times greater in audience than KABC. Astute followers might think comparing any numbers with KABC is a fallacy, but KRLA had a 1.7 share compared to KABC’s O.4. This has been a long time coming,” declared Phil Boyce, the man behind the Spoken Word stations at Salem.
Boyce comes with supporting credentials. In 1995, he joined WABC-New York as program director, putting together the successful team of Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby. It was also Boyce who brought Sean Hannity to New York from Atlanta. For all of his success, Phil was promoted to vp of programming for ABC Radio’s News/Talk stations, while continuing to run WABC. In 2012, Phil took over a similar role at Salem Communications as VP and Director, Spoken Word Format. He’s been awarded industry accolades from Radio Ink and Radio and Records as Programmer of the Year.
His challenge in L.A. was formidable. “We knew we had to do something to give the station an identity,” said Boyce. He re-branded the station as “The Answer” to give it that identity. “We wanted to be the answer for anything on their minds. At that time, KABC had a solid line-up, with Sean Hannity, Larry Elder and Mark Levin. After about a year, they decided to let those three go. I picked up Larry and Mark, and Sean went across town. Today, Mark is beating his old station by 4 times, and so is Larry. It rarely happens like that, but it did in this case.”
|Finding a morning combination of
personalities has been tough. Parading in and out of the
Burbank headquarters have been a diverse collection of
Talkers. But the one constant presence is talented talker /
comedian / host Brian Whitman. He’s another
talent that KABC allowed to get away.
“We feel Brian Whitman has true star power, and last year we paired him with Jennifer Horn. The two instantly developed that elusive ‘chemistry, camaraderie, and rapport.’ We call it CCR, but it is crucial to making a team show work. They sound great together,” Phil said modestly. “Brian was always the glue holding the show together. Jennifer adds conservative fire power. She’s smart, funny, and really understands how to relate to the Southern California conservative listener. We’ve doubled our share since she joined Brian and we re-created The Morning Answer.”
The mid-term political angst is over. I asked Phil if he was making any adjustments. “Not really. We know we are located in a liberal state and city. But we also know there are a lot of conservative listeners. We don’t need to have everybody listening to us, just those who love what we do. Our audience base looks to us as the bastion of freedom and democracy. We will stay true to the mission.”
Phil is always on the look-out for new talent. He recently found Dr. Sebastian Gorka, who will host the noon-3 p.m. hours come the first of the year. The timing coincides with Michael Medved moving on to a podcast. “Dr. Gorka has an amazing story. His father was a freedom fighter and thrown in prison in Communist Hungary in 1956. He escaped, and built a family, with Sebastian learning about freedom and democracy from an early age. He is a naturalized US Citizen with a doctorate in political science. He is a Fox News contributor. He will be a great talk show host. Imagine Brian & Jen, Prager, Gorka, Levin, and Elder. With Mike Gallagher at night. Now THAT is a strong lineup. You are always striving to get better,” concluded Boyce. (photo: Phil Boyce)
Email Saturday, 11.10.2018
|** Fight at KABC
“Yesterday was a life-changing event for Jillian Barberie, so I hope this will give her some cheer when she reads it. Cancer picked on the wrong person when it called on Jillian. Not only is she a fierce advocate for womens' issues, she knows how to focus on what is important. She got the surgery, she'll deal with the after-treatment, she'll educate her listeners about the smart choices she made -- and she'll do it with humor and passion!
Come back with great stories, Jillian, we love you! It shocks me that for the last few ratings books, KABC has been in the basement. As you have said, Don, promotion is essential for any station's lifeblood and, actually, KABC has some wonderful talent to promote. The Monday through Friday lineup of Doug McIntyre and Leeann Tweeden, Peter Tilden, Dr. Drew and Lauren Sivan, Jillian and John Phillips could not be better. Each show is a joy of info, laughs, and energetic hosts.
And the KNBC News at 6 is a public service for commuters. But then KABC falls off the cliff into paid programming from right-wing nut jobs, bores, and scam artists. A healthy station wouldn't choose to fill its slots with this garbage which, I'm convinced, drives away potential listeners. If KABC can't afford original programming, why not fill the off hours and weekends with replays of their superstars?
Thank you, Don, for keeping radio on our minds, in our ears, and part of our hearts.” - Dawna Kaufmann, Los Angeles
** Jillian Fan
“Good luck to Jillian Barberie. I'm a big fan of her work. We're safe and hoping the winds don't shift. Unlikely, but we're thinking of my pals in Westlake, Thousand Oaks. Very scary day.” – Ed Mann
** Worked With Parker
“I read with sadness of Mike Parker’s passing. Mike and I were fellow field reporters in the early 1970s. It is the mark of a good reporter to be able to take on any subject, ask bold questions of representatives of all sides of the story and then report it dispassionately. Mike was such a reporter. On top of that, he was a good guy and I am glad to have known and worked with him.” - Steve (Fredericks) Liddick, former K-Earth News Director
** Peek at Parker
“In 1965, my mother took me to the then-brand-new Occidental Tower in DTLA. Many floors were not even finished. But at the very top floor were the studios for KUTE/fm, then a Beautiful Music station with minimal ‘jocking.’ The air talent came out, gave my mother and I a VIP tour of the brand-new state of the art KUTE studios. The air talent? Mike Parker.” - Bill Earl, 147kxoa.com
** Followed Parker
"As a child I remember Mike Parker. He was one of the few newscasters to sport a beard when he was teamed up with Connie Chung on KNXT/Channel 2 for a while. I remember his booming voice with, 'the Channel 2 News at 4:30 is next.'
In early 1980, he was gone and I wondered what happened. In 1983, my family took a cross country vacation from Los Angeles to Chicago [where my parents are from]. This was the flip of National Lampoon’s Vacation, which released that year. When we turned on WBBM-TV Channel 2 [the CBS affiliate in the Windy City], there was Mike Parker.
Four years later, we took the train to Chicago and Parker again was reporting from somewhere downtown, this time with a mustache only. He will be missed." - Josh “JJ” Jacobs, KKLA
** Mary Beth Garber on NY Times
“Bravo to Larry Elder and Bruce Barker for biting back at the sanctimoniously left leaning NY Times article. If their news reporting was any farther left, it would fall over on itself. Whatever happened to unbiased reporting? What about triple checked facts and never opinion except on the Opinion page? I am so tired of their one-side, lopsided, kaleidoscope view of reality that I don’t even open their email alerts and news roundups anymore. I have unsubscribed to most of them. They still do some interested human interest stories – but as this one proved, even those aren’t based on good researching, let alone good reporting.
It is a sad day for journalism on all platforms when the only news source that comes close to ‘the facts and nothing but the facts’ reporting is the Wall Street Journal.” - Mary Beth Garber
** Ball Game With McCovey Was Treat
“I was very sorry to read that Jillian Barberie has breast cancer. We watched her with Steve Edwards on FOX11 before she got fired.
I was also sorry to hear of the passing of Willie McCovey (SF Giants). One night when I had been over-served at a Union Street pub, I went home to find that I couldn't find my keys. Very late at night I broke the window so I could get in. Minutes later Willie came down the stairs from his place, baseball bat in hand, demanding to know who was breaking in to Jack's house. I had not previously met Willie so that was the start of a friendship that lasted for 40 years.
Going to a Giants ball game with Willie was a treat. Willie had his own box with room for three or four. A great guy who had a wonderful career but health problems towards the end.” – Jack Hayes
“I always look forward to the cartoon at the top of your column. Most of them bring a smile to my face. So, what did I see as I clicked on LARadio.com this morning? A Mancow on XTRA Sports 570 billboard! Was it really necessary to rub salt in an old wound? Please make me laugh again with tomorrow’s cartoon! Still feeling the pain.” – Bob Scott
** Dial Position
“I continue to enjoy your production. Is there any possibility that your Top 40 ratings could include their places on the dial? I continue looking at the ratings month after month, not knowing where I could possibly find them on the dial. I am very happy that you continue to be involved with us, the radio community.” - Margie Cherry
** Sirkin Keeping Up With KNX Buddies
"Greetings from Old Lyme, Ct. on Long Island Sound. Been living here for past nine years.
I continue reading LARadio each day, keeping up with some of my old friends and KNX colleagues like Chris Madsen, Ed Pyle, Frank Mottek, and Roger Carroll. Also, Larry Van Nuys who was one of the best talents and persons I've ever worked with.
Connecticut Radio, on which I cut my teeth at age 16, is a mere shadow of its old, great sound and substance. I listen only to NY Radio: WOR and WCBS News88. Even those once great station's have undergone massive changes. I grew up with WNEW, the greatest of them all!
Just wanted to say hello and thank you for maintaining your iconic website. I sure do miss the daily action, especially during these monumental times." - Bob Sirkin, Old Lyme, CT.
** In the Air, Everywhere
“Thank you for the KABL recollections last week. The KABL radio you describe is still legendary in Bay Area memories and Bill Moen’s voice is part of it.” – Anita Garner
** Voting Sticker
“Great idea showing all the LARP's that voted. My place didn’t have a sticker those cheap bastards!” – Mike Butts, Boston
“As always, thanks for getting the ratings out to us. Wow: KFI, KNX, KABC … so sad … and SO correctable with the right folks in command. Still though, L.A.'s a great market largely due to those in the trenches who've got the drive, desire, and talent to keep things afloat. Huge congratulations to Saul Levine. He and his staff keep on comin' on. Kudos to you all, great market!!” - Alan F. Ross
Flash! Bohemian Rhapsody Is a Smash
|(November 9, 2018)
Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic about Freddy Mercury,
has been killing it at the box-office. The legendary
six-minute single by Queen, is what many call the greatest
song ever written, according to
Business Insider. I
have on my concert resume the Freddy Mercury concert at the
Forum in the late 1970s at #1. I still get goose bumps as my
son and I watched Mercury prance and strut all over that
“Bohemian Rhapsody was voted The Song of the Millennium in 2000, and recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the No. 1 song of all time,” according to Business Insider.
Many people have forgotten that Freddy’s first soundtrack album was for the 1980s Flash Gordon. I had just joined the marketing department at Universal Pictures. The movie was already in release when I arrived and you can tell how a film opened by the faces of the men and women who work so hard. We are either savoring a great opening or dwelling on what we could have done differently.
He save with a mighty hand, every man, every woman, every child, with a mighty flash. The Hollywood Reporter was not kind to Flash Gordon: “Queen supplies a rock score that is, to put it kindly, anachronistic.”
The music and film had an afterlife as it became a mild cult favorite. When it was suggested that Freddie Mercury and Queen do the music, film producer Dino De Laurentiis said, “Ok, I’ll meet with the Queen.” He had no idea who they were.
In other news: K-SURF is adding the Dick Clark Show – Rock and Roll and Remember - to its schedule of 50s/60s Oldies. The show is set for Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon, beginning November 18 … Bill Lewis, former marketing guru at Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) from 1986-2002, checked in. When he left radio, he joined the Aquarium of the Pacific, Olson Homes and since 2008, the director of Solar sales and marketing at Cal South. “Currently I am the marketing specialist for Sunrun in Orange County, Inland Empire and San Diego. Any LARP interested in knowing more about solar and saving the planet, shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org" ... Doc Wynter (KHHT, 2015-17) is the Radio Facts Power Play List magazine winner of this year’s Broadcast Exec of the Year … Craig Powers, veteran of KUTE, KIIS, KFXM, KKHR, KEZY and KIKF, is nominated to the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame. “This is my second nomination hopefully I’m old enough to get it this time,” emailed Craig ... Jillian Barberie is headed into surgery this morning. On Twitter she wrote: "I’m up. It’s 3:30. Leaving at 5:30 a.m. Ready for today (as ready as I can be!) Thanks for the love and support!! My friend Kathleen is going to stay with me during surgery." ... Joel Denver has evacuated his AllAccess Malibu office due to the shifting winds in the fire that is headed for the ocean ... Whitney Allen writes a frightening account of the fire: "Were out. We’re ok. More later. Edited to add when they cut power and we don't know when. We could not get info. Did not know it had jumped the lake so in two cars with 4 furbabes we drove out — and I thought we were going to die. I couldn’t see Gerrit's car 5-10 feet in front of us. Flames both sides of the road. Embers all over the car- burning branches. falling. I thought we were goners. We’re fine. We’re alive. Pray for our neighbors. I think they all left before us. I hope."
What's In Your Berry Bag?
|(November 8, 2018) When
Jim Duncan was a 15-year-old teenager in
San Diego, his naval officer father brought home a
transistor radio from Tokyo. “The first voice I ever heard
was Wolfman Jack,” remembered Jim. After
being inspired by Wolfman Jack, Duncan became a disc jockey.
“Fast forward 15 years, he hired me to be his announcer for his syndicated show,” wrote Duncan. “What a dream come true. I still miss Mr. Wolfman. [He ALWAYS laughed when I called him that!] Aa-hooooooo! I was going through some boxes, I found this rare bumper sticker.”
Jim has been nominated for the Country Radio Hall of Fame. “This is my third nomination. Maybe third time is the charm,” Jim notes. 50th Annual Country Radio Seminar will be held February.
Sweet Dick Whittington (top right) with cast of Rowan &
Martin's Laugh-In, which was
featured in Emmy Magazine celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the show. Sweet Dick was in many cameos.
(Thanks to Douglas McEwen)
Variety reports that ABC is
developing a comedy series inspired by the real-life
friendship of Kelly Ripa and KIIS’
They co-host the syndicated ABC morning show
Kelly and Ryan. The show,
Work Wife, is
described as an ensemble comedy "that explores the dynamics
surrounding people's 'work spouses,' who have very few
boundaries with each other, and how that impacts their
relationships with everyone else."
In other news: Fred Ebert, KFI Talker 1999-2001, is a former chemistry professor. He recently "rediscovered the fun and mental challenge (but also relaxation) of playing pocket billiards,” according to his Facebook post. If you live near Bridgeport, Connecticut, he would love to shoot pool with you at the Four Corners Billiards … Christmas music returns to KOST tomorrow and Gwen Stefani will be at the station to help flip the switch … Smashing Pumpkins and Florence + The Machine headline KROQ’s Acoustic Christmas … Jim Roope was the Cumulus LA correspondent for mid-term election night news.
Gary Moore Stands Up to Cancer
|(November 7, 2018) Gary Moore works
afternoon drive at KLOS in a building that houses sister
station KABC. He wrote on Facebook: “Perhaps you’ve seen the
Stand Up to Cancer moments at major league games when
everyone stands in silence holding cards similar to the one
below. I’d seen it but never been a participant – until a
week ago Saturday, during World Series Game 4 at Dodger
Stadium, and it was as moving as anything in sports as I’ve
ever witnessed. Holding up that survivor card honored those
I know who’ve fought cancer and won as well as those of us
who are fighting and winning, as I had my own procedure
today. It was the second one in three years – I’m all clear
– and early detection IS the key. So, if something doesn’t
look or feel right, get it checked ASAP.”
Gary also acknowledged and dedicated his post to colleague Jillian Barberie. “In addition to her work in afternoons at KABC, many of you know from her days on the NFL Today with Terry, Howie and the boys. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is having surgery this Friday. I can’t say enough good things about her and I’m sure she’d appreciate every extra prayer. You can follow her journey on Twitter @askjillian.”
K-HITS Jock Dies. There will be a celebration of life on November 14 at the San Fernando Moose Lodge for John Lyle Campbell. John worked at KHTZ (K-HITS) from 1983-86. He died on July 19, 2018 in Sherman Oaks of natural causes. He was 63.
John was born in 1955 in Cohoes, New York. “John loved radio!” according to his sister, Charlotte. He got his initial on-air experience on the campus station while attending Hudson Valley. In Albany, New York he worked at WHRL, WABY, and WSNY.
In 1975, the lure of Hollywood drew him to Southern California. His booming voice enabled him to find work in LA at KRLA, KHTZ and KSRF, KWNK-Simi Valley and in San Bernardino at KMEN. He was a proud member of SAG for many years and appeared in many movies, most notably Absolute Power, Logan’s Run and The Rock. And he worked on many tv shows.
For the last 14 years of his life, John was employed at the law office of Richard M. Lester. “John had a heart of gold. He was quirky, opinionated, interesting, passionate and lovable, always smiling or grinning. He was a ‘walking encyclopedia’ with regard to old movies and old tv shows especially. Give him a title, he knew the actors, the director and the year it came out,” his sister continued. “John leaves behind many desolate co-workers, good friends close and afar and a family that never got to say goodbye.”
“Bring your memories, sad, funny, ridiculous or poignant. Bring stories of the run-ins, burn-outs, close calls and Runyonesque characters he encountered in LA.” For more information on his Celebration, contact his sister Charlotte at email@example.com.
Former KFI News Director Dies
|(November 6, 2018) Mike
Parker, a veteran
broadcast journalist who got his start in the Southland,
died November 4, at 75, of congestive heart failure.
In 1967, Mike joined KBBQ as a newscaster and worked alongside Dick Spangler and Andy West. In 1969, he moved to KFI where he worked as a street reporter, anchor, then news director from 1973-77. “So much happened at KFI and I worked with so many great people, my head reels from the great memories. In the newsroom were such greats as Mark Coogan, Bob Kerr, Larry Chatterton, Bill Jenkins, Bill Browning, Eleanor Green and Vern Williams. I’m sure I’ve left somebody out but it was a fantastic news operation until Cox Broadcasting bought the place and started cutting costs. I also got to work alongside some legendary radio personalities as a newscaster. There were Lohman & Barkley, Dave Hull, Al “Jazzbeaux” Collins, Hilly Rose, even Dave Garroway and Robert Q. Lewis. Now that was a FULL SERVICE radio station.”
Mike was assigned to cover the potential collapse of the Van Norman Dam immediately after the 1971 San Fernando earthquake. Eighty thousand people were evacuated because of the potential for disaster. “I traveled up the road in a mobile unit for KFI,” recalled the tenacious reporter. “I had no idea where I would go had the dam collapsed.”
In the late 1970s, Mike moved to tv at CBS station KNXT/Channel 2 as both a reporter and anchor. He said “working in L.A. in the ’70s was like covering news for the Sodom and Gomorrah bureau.”
Mike covered numerous forest fires as well as the Hillside Strangler case.
He moved in 1980 to work at the CBS station in Chicago, WBBM/tv. He became one of the station’s best known reporters over his three-and-a-half decades.
Mike became internationally known for his reporting on in 1992 about David and Sharon Schoo, a couple who left their four- and nine-year-old children to fend for themselves back in their Illinois home while the parents took a nine-day Christmas vacation in Mexico. It was as if the movie Home Alone became realilty. “What had been my little story that we had done out there in the Fox River Valley suddenly became this international incident, with literally tens and dozens of reporters and camera crews and police and bystanders shouting and screaming at the couple as they walked by,” Mike recalled for the Chicago Sun Times.
“Versatility was Mike’s calling card,” said WBBM/tv news anchor Jim Williams, a longtime colleague. “He was a great anchor and reporter. His writing had a touch of poetry, which he delivered in that beautiful baritone. And he was such a cherished presence in our newsroom – wise and wickedly funny.”
Except for a year he spent in New York at ABC-owned WABC (where he worked with his second wife, Mary Nisssenson), Mike remained a prominent presence at WBBM/tv before stepping down in 2016 as the station’s senior on-air personality. “It’s been a fine, fun and exciting ride through the decades – but it’s time to get off the horse,” Parker told co-workers in announcing his retirement, according to a story at Robert Feder's Chicago blog.
When interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People in 1995, Mike was asked if he missed L.A.: “Do I miss L.A. and L.A. radio? Oh, yes! Oh, yes!”
Jillian Barberie Diagnosed with Breast Cancer
|(November 5, 2018) KABC’s Jillian
Barberie has announced she has breast cancer. The
C-word has struck one of our own and she has been very open
on social media over the weekend. Test results confirmed
that she has cancer in her right breast. “Results back. It’s
cancer in my right breast but also it has spread to my lymph
node,” she wrote.
“Appointment at Bedford Breast to assess everything.” Jillian, who hosts afternoon drive at KABC with John Phillips shared that she will undergo a double mastectomy to combat the cancer. “I’m going to be super aggressive and do double mastectomy and they said I need chemo for the lymph,” she shared. “Thanks for coming on this journey with me!”
“To be honest, I just want the boobs gone and the cancer outta me. Then tackle the lymph node. But hey I’m no expert,’ said Jillian. “And all I can think is dammit. I should have done Playboy while I had those beauties. In a second tweet, Barberie said “the hardest part about a cancer diagnosis is telling your kids” and shared that she enlisted Dr. Drew Pinsky’s help. “I’m not going to sugar coat it but I also don’t want to scare them,” she wrote. “Cancer sucks and f— cancer and all that good stuff. Wish me much.”
“She called in to her KABC show Friday – Steve Edwards was filling in for her – and she still had her sense of humor,” emailed Tom Burfield. “She seems to be one tough lady.”
|Ripston Dies. Ramona
Ripston, the longtime executive director for the
ACLU of Southern California worked at KABC as a Talk show
host has passed. In the spring of 1990 Ramona joined Bill
Pearl as co-host on the "Point / Counterpoint" show in
afternoon drive. She died November 3, at the age of 91. Born
and raised in New York she reached her $90,000-a-year job as
head of the Department of Public Affairs for the New York
Urban Coalition through her involvement as an activist.
Ramona is the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish mother and a physics professor who was Roman Catholic. She said she was raised to be aware of inequality and discrimination. She thought she was going to be an actress, a veterinarian or a teacher. Instead, she became a model after graduating from Hunter College in 1948, and soon married. She pursued volunteer work editing a newsletter for the New York Civil Liberties Union, raised funds and organized new chapters. Married five times, she ran one of the 53 affiliates and chapters that make up the ACLU's national organization.
In other news: MY/fm’s Lisa Foxx reports that her throat is making a strong recovery from hemorrhaging. “Doc says I’m at 50% IMPROVEMENT...STRICT VOCAL REST is working... its boring...but I'm following orders for the looong haul.” … Hip-Hop Power 106 (KPWR) is launching a new, two-hour show starring DJ Felli Fel and Justin Credible called “New at Night.” It airs from 12 midnight to 2 a.m. and is being billed as “unfiltered new hip hop without limitations.” KPWR personality Mando Fresko hosts the second hour of the program ... Programmers at Soul Town (SiriusXM Channel 49) had a great time Saturday night playing only songs with Time in the title. Nice way to remind their listeners about the clock ahead change.
Email Saturday, 11.3.2018
** AM Radio Piece in
"Fascinating—and a little depressing—to read Erin Aubrey Kaplan's opinion piece in the New York Times (LA Radio, Friday 11/2/18). The notion that the 'hard right' started building any sort of infrastructure to take over AM Talk is ridiculous.
Commercial radio is, and always was, about building listenership. That's what gets the advertiser dollars flowing, pays the talent, and keeps the station on the air. If a significant portion of the population listens to your station, it's because you're airing things they want to hear.
Rush Limbaugh didn't take over or commandeer anything; he simply found a listener base whose views coincided with his, at a time when major newspapers and the burgeoning 24-hour tv news market were increasingly slanting left.
You want shouting? Sure, AM Talk has some. So does MSNBC. Even used-car dealerships still air ads that shout at you [I should know, I voice a lot of them]. Don't like it? Change the station.
As for a 'toxically white' landscape, can we please get past the insertion of color into every topic? Riddle me this, Ms. Kaplan: what's the predominant ethnicity at any of our local Spanish-language stations? Or Vietnamese-, Iranian-, Mandarin-language stations, et al? There's not a single spot on the dial that has the perfect percentage of every nationality or racial origin. Even the long-departed left-leaning Air America, which likely would've survived had it found listeners, was predominantly white. But was it 'toxically white,' or is that phrase reserved just for conservatives?
There are certain aspects of the old AM band that I miss too, but time marches on. Time was when you could hear Barry Manilow next to Kenny Rogers next to Earth Wind & Fire next to Kiss, all on the same AM station. But music—for the most part—moved to fm, and accordingly, AM's revised formats found new listeners. To claim that the remaining AM music stations are 'tainted by association' is just sad. My everyday car is a 1958 Ford with its original vacuum-tube AM radio, so that's what I listen to on the road. At any given point I might be tuned to talk on KRLA [how's Larry Elder fit into a 'toxically white' station lineup?], news on KNX, a golden Oldie on 1260 K-Surf, a teeny-bopper hit on Radio Disney, any of the great choices on KABC, KFI, or a hundred other options. The only 'taint' I'm sensing is AM's time-honored signal fade when I drive under an overpass.
Thanks, as always, for the 50,000 watt blowtorch known as LARadio.com!" - Bruce Barker, North Hollywood
** NY Times Article
“I was unable to respond to the writer of the AM radio article in the New York Times who described KABC better than I probably could. She hit the nail on the head, so to speak. Yes, we did have a great product with some very talented hosts, most of whom I hired. That era is somewhat gone from radio, certainly from AM.
I really expect KABC to go SPANISH ANY DAY NOW! Their format is so diversified that my only hope is that they are making money with the format.
One of the very talented people who I hired is still there and he is not on the air. Vern Copp is the sales manager for KLOS and KABC. Quite a nice man and a super star sales guy. Hang in there Vern. Making a living is the key!” – George Green
** NY Times Article Perspective from Elder
“With all due respect, what’s ‘fascinating’ about a hard, left-wing black columnist upset about the post-Fairness Doctrine ascendency of conservative talk radio? That’s why God invented NPR.
Notice she slammed hosts she described as mostly ‘loud white guys,’ leaving out an L.A. based conservative/libertarian black talker named Larry Elder, who has only been at it for 25 years. In a 2006 column about a black member of the GWBush administration, Kaplan wrote, ‘I don’t support conservatism in its current iteration, and I support black conservatives even less.’
Nor was there one word about the crash and burn about the ambitious leftwing Air America. When AA was on, did she hear the ‘sophisticated discussions of things [she] had only vague ideas about’ she claims to miss? Was she as offended by the likes of leftwing ideologues Al Franken and Ed Schultz as she is by Rush Limbaugh?
I’m guessing not.” – Larry Elder
|** Brother John's Journey
"Brother John was brought into the KRLA fold in 1972 by Shadoe Stevens who used him on air [I think as a newsman and dj] and in production. Brother John's voice was in the historic Phase II repositioning that aired in July 1972. When Shadoe went to KMET, he brought Brother John with him to do news and public affairs, as I recall." - Ken Leighton, San Diego
** More Brother John
"Loved the Brother John story.
My mind is a little foggy on this, but I believe at one time ABC Radio was running on KLOS [or was it KABC/fm at that time?] an automated format of just the Beatles and the Stones. I seem to remember that it was Brother John that voice tracked that. It was basically 'that was the Stones, now here are the Beatles. After a Beatles song, 'that was the Beatles and here are the Stones' followed by a Stones song. They were all said in various ways by Brother John." - Mike Stark
** Heaven on KMET
“Long time no interact with you. I read the piece on the above show with Brother John. It was most definitely on KMET as I never listened to KLOS back then, and I did tune in to his show from time to time.” - Bob Whitmore, Chino
** Heaven Is In Your Mind
“In regards, the story on Heaven is in Your Mind in Friday's LARP. In 1969 when I was hired by KRLA, pd Doug Cox asked me to develop a semi-religious program for Sunday Morning similar to Brother John's Silhouettes then running on KLOVE (KLOS) which both Doug and I were fans of. I took the title from the Traffic and Three Dog Night song, Heaven is in Your Mind. The program was one of my proudest achievements on KRLA. Brother John later revived the program on KRTH.” – Gary Marshall
** Reverend on Brother John
** Reverend on Brother John
" Several weeks
ago I wrote to you after being inspired by recollections of
Several weeks ago I wrote to you after being inspired by recollections of Johnny Hayes.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America has a short video on YouTube <https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=SGpXThZpMMM>
of a tv report from 1967 on
'Brother John' Rydgren’s
radio program for the American Lutheran Church. His voice
there should certainly be familiar to anyone who heard him
on LARadio, and maybe Jason Fenimore will recognize it.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has a short video on YouTube <https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=SGpXThZpMMM> of a tv report from 1967 on 'Brother John' Rydgren’s radio program for the American Lutheran Church. His voice there should certainly be familiar to anyone who heard him on LARadio, and maybe Jason Fenimore will recognize it.
I remember Sunday night radio on
many stations was often different from other times of the
week, and if Jason was anything like me he might have gone
up-and-down the dial looking for something more interesting
while his regular station was not playing its usual
format. Perhaps he could have discovered Brother John’s
Heaven Is in Your Mind on KRTH the same way I
Global Village. Imagine
Carl Princi playing some very modern rock [among a
very wide variety of other sounds together with Classical
music], but that’s what I went to sleep to Sunday nights for
a few years in the ‘80s.
I remember Sunday night radio on many stations was often different from other times of the week, and if Jason was anything like me he might have gone up-and-down the dial looking for something more interesting while his regular station was not playing its usual format. Perhaps he could have discovered Brother John’s Heaven Is in Your Mind on KRTH the same way I discovered KFAC’s Global Village. Imagine Carl Princi playing some very modern rock [among a very wide variety of other sounds together with Classical music], but that’s what I went to sleep to Sunday nights for a few years in the ‘80s.
Ahh, it’s not easy to find radio
like that any more, especially on commercial stations. It
was very cool, as a Lutheran pastor in Peoria, to look up
the first directory [from late 1988] of the ELCA in the
church library and find John Rydgren’s name on the roll of
pastors, showing his address as 'KRTH Radio Station, 5901
Venice Blvd., Los Angeles.' Peace." - The Rev. Steven P.
Tibbetts Born in Hollywood, Playing in Peoria
Ahh, it’s not easy to find radio like that any more, especially on commercial stations. It was very cool, as a Lutheran pastor in Peoria, to look up the first directory [from late 1988] of the ELCA in the church library and find John Rydgren’s name on the roll of pastors, showing his address as 'KRTH Radio Station, 5901 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles.' Peace." - The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts Born in Hollywood, Playing in Peoria
|** Pirate Radio Beginnings
"I saw your mention of Scott Shannon and Pirate radio. The station was supposed to start a few weeks later than it did, but Norm Pattiz got word another station was going to try to jump the gun on the format. He called me at three in the afternoon the day before the 5 a.m. kickoff. My engineering partner, Jeff Park, lugged all sorts of musical instruments to the studio [guitars, keyboards, drums, etc.] to produce the opening. With the help of Westwood One Production stud, Ron Harris, finding several air check pieces, Jeff and I, with the help of a 12 pack of beer, a bottle of tequila, and few smokables, spent the night in studio A at WWO in Culver City and created the opening.
We drove the master to building 2, a few blocks away, and the location of the Pirate Radio Studios at 4:50 a.m. I can only imagine what we looked like. We handed the tape to Ron. Norm came out to my black Bronco and invited Jeff and I to come join the crowd having a pre-start champagne party. We turned down him down and drove back to building 1, sat in the parking lot, fired up and shared the last beer. We sat in the Bronco and listened with pride our creation.
The link is: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=72C6_fGexjw " - Jim Duncan
** FU%^#ing Kidney Stones
“Tell Ed Mann to just be glad he [apparently] is able to pass his kidney stones. I have had them off and on since around 2001, and in my case, they led to something a lot more serious.
In April, my doctors discovered during a routine blood panel that something was amiss with my kidneys themselves. A few more blood and urine tests plus an ultrasound showed that something was blocking my left kidney's drainage to the bladder, and a subsequent CT-scan turned up a 1.5cm [a little longer than a half-inch] stone that had attached itself to the inner kidney wall at both ends and grown across the exit portal. This resulted in hydronephrosis, meaning urine built up in the kidney and it was close to the point where it would have begun swelling as a result. [I am told that I was down to less than one-third of available capacity in that kidney by the time it was diagnosed.]
I am fortunate that the medical group with most of my doctors has a very talented urologist in its number, and she trained on a roboscopic procedure under the doctor who created it. She went in on August 28 and, using a camera and laser was able to get the center 85% broken up and removed, but in the fifth (!) hour my blood pressure became erratic and the anesthesiologist made her stop. I have had a stent connecting the kidney and bladder since then, which has thankfully drained most - if not all - of the liquid from there. [Fun fact #97.5: The kidneys are part of the regulation of your blood pressure. I never knew that.]
Since then, we have been trying in vain to convince my insurance carrier - which shall go unnamed to prevent possible legal action against me - to authorize a second time 'on the table' to get the ends removed. Only then will my nephrologist be able to determine how much permanent damage there is and what can be done to maximize what capacity remains viable.
Ed can take my word for this: Two months of having a stent irritate your bladder and cause frequent 'false alarms' on urination, with trace amounts of blood and a burning pain similar to a still-to-be-passed stone every third or fourth time, is a LOT worse than a stone which, once passed, is no longer causing pain and discomfort.” – K.M. Richards
Source of Heaven Is In Your Mind?
(November 2, 2018) Jason
Fenimore of Springvale, Maine emailed asking if we recalled
a radio show in Southern California called “Heaven Is in
Your Mind.” He made a point to say it was NOT a religious
show and it aired in the evenings on either KMET or KLOS. He
said it had to be one of those two stations because when he
was growing up in Palos Verdes, these were the only stations
he listened to.
In response, I sent him some information on Brother John:
RYDGREN, John: KRLA, 1972; KRTH, 1977-82; KRLA, 1985; KRTH, 1986-88. "Brother John" had a unique place in Southern California radio. Born in North Dakota, he grew up in Seattle. In 1958, John graduated with a divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran University in Washington before his ordination as a Lutheran minister. John was one of the first people to utilize rock music in religious radio programs. He began his radio work in Minneapolis, where he taped a Christian rock show called "Silhouettes" from a church basement. The show became so popular that it was nationally syndicated. John was then appointed director of the American Lutheran Church's national tv, radio and film department.
He continued to work in commercial radio. John was the voice of ABC’s pro-album Love Format in 1968. In 1970, John left WABC/FM to produce religious and socially slanted radio/tv programs, before moving to L.A. in 1972, where he worked at KRTH and eventually created and hosted a program called "Heaven Is in Your Mind." In 1982, John suffered a debilitating stroke while on the air which left him with a form of dyslexia, forcing him to relearn reading and speaking from the third-grade level. Doctors predicted that he would never be able to talk again. However, with therapy he rejoined KRTH in 1986.
Randy Gardner talked about the opportunity to have worked with John: “What a dear sweet soul! He had come full circle. He had to voice track his show between records during his relearning period.” John died in his favorite easy chair on the day after Christmas 1988, of a heart attack. He was 56. Beasley Broadcasting’s Allen Shaw said that John "was unusual during the cultural revolution of the late '60s." Jason thanked me for the “memory glow” but he still thinks it was on KMET. He said it was “just sort of a Jim Ladd-style free association w/appropriate music.” Perhaps this story will trigger a memory from someone.
In other news: Steve Dahl’s
announcement that his final WLS 890-AM afternoon show will
air December 21 and the other changes in store for the
Cumulus Media news/talk station led the top 10 most-read
stories at Robert Feder’s Chicago media blog in October … Dave
Roberts, veteran of KEZY, KYNO-Fresno, and KMEN-San
Bernardino, celebrated his birthday this week. When I was
researching Los Angeles Radio People, I was always
fascinated to learn something about them that most people
didn’t know. Dave was no exception when it came to sharing
an amazing fact. He’s also known as Dr. Roberts, holding a
Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Oregon. He
went on to be vp/director of programming for the RKO Radio
Network … Scott Shannon, former pd at
Pirate Radio (KQLZ), will host the National Radio Hall of
Fame induction ceremony later this month ... A fascinating
story on Los Angeles AM
radio appeared in the New York Times
Jason Insalaco came across more props from the new Quentin Tarantino movie shooting in North Hollywood
How Did LA Music Stations Talk About the World Series? Were They Relatable?
(November 1, 2018) When
radio people get together they talk radio – stories about
the past, people they have worked with and the current state
of radio in their market. We all come with a bias but when
an outsider is in town for an event – like the World Series
– they listen to radio without prejudice.
Blogger George Johns, who has been a successful programmer in many markets was in the Basin for baseball. He made some observations about what he heard.
“Other than the news and sports stations, if you listened to LA radio you wouldn’t have known the World Series was being played at Chavez Ravine. Other than the low-key ticket giveaway for Friday’s game on the iHeart stations, the World god damned Series was non-existent on LA music stations. [iHeart’s KLAC carries the Dodgers.]”
“Who decided this was a good idea?
The air talent? The god damn brand managers? The exalted
market manager? Some highly placed corporate programming
guru ruling from afar? It’s as if there was a huge parade,
you were invited to ride in a convertible in the front with
your name on the door. You turned it down because you’d
rather play a Maroon 5 song for the 900th time and attempt
to make a big deal out of it. Show me the research that says
it’s a really good idea to NOT reflect events in your
market!” Read the entire column
In other news, Country KKGO will be presenting all-Holiday music for the third year on 105.1 HD3, and on-line … Want to read a sad radio story? How the mighty have fallen in Tampa. Even if you are not in radio, you have probably read about Bubba the Love Sponge connected with a Hulk Hogan sex video. Here’s the link … In medical news, K-EARTH producer Brandon Castillo spent Halloween in the hospital following successful gall bladder removal … Richard Kimball, former KMET pd in the early 70s, finished his first round of chemo ... Former KIISer Ed Mann had a short message on Facebook: "F#$KING kidney stones.
In 1958, the first morning man at Chuck Blore’s Top 40 KFWB/Channel 98 was Bruce Hayes, the “Hayesy One,” as he called himself. He and his wife, Bea Shaw (“Tiger”) did commercials. Bruce’s tv commercials for Clorox featured a scene in which Bruce surprised housewives in a laundromat by saying, "I'll give you $50 for that t-shirt" (and then tearing it in half, washing one half in you-know-what). The commercials were so successful that stand-up comics all over the country did take-offs and parodies. Bruce died November 20, 1994, of cancer. Excelsior, Uncle Bruce.
Al Wisked Away to Dallas
(October 31, 2018)
Keeping track of over 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People is such
a treat. Some are so unique and quirky, and each has a story
to tell. In the ’90s when I started the task of finding
these djs, executives, talk show hosts and sports
personalities, it was before the Internet. It was mostly
done by phone and old-fashioned mail. The first year I spent
over $3,000 in postage. Today it is easier with a Google
For my books, I never found Al Wisk. In the late 70s, he was one of the announcers for the California Angels, Rams, and UCLA football and basketball. Earlier this month, I attended Roger Carroll’s 90th birthday party at the Long Beach Yacht Club. And guess who I end up sitting next to? Al Wisk. He had flown in from Dallas to join Roger in the celebration. Since 1983, Al has been a lawyer. I was interested to learn about his broadcast career.
“I had inexplicably good luck and exceptional mentors,” said Al. “One month after graduation from the University of Michigan in 1972, I answered an ad in Broadcasting Magazine, ‘Opportunity to Join Dallas Cowboys Broadcast Team.’ KRLD, the flagship station for the Cowboys 175 station network, received responses from 250 candidates and somehow I got the job.”
Ernie Harwell, the Baseball Hall of Fame announcer for the Detroit Tigers, was Al’s mentor. “KRLD hired me without an interview based on a University of Michigan basketball play-by-play tape and Ernie’s recommendation.
While at Michigan, I announced at WAAM, where my mentor was Larry Zimmer (retired Denver Broncos play-by-play), WUOM. Tom Hemingway of the Detroit Pistons was also a mentor. While in Michigan, Al did news for WQTE and WPAG, and was dj for WTRX and sports for WCBN. He also wrote for the Ann Arbor News.
“In 1972, the Dallas Cowboys had just won their first Super Bowl. For the next four seasons I shared the announcing duties with Verne Lundquist and mentor Frank Glieber, who worked for ABC/TV Sports and CBS-TV Sports respectively,” Al continued. “I originated a sports talk show on the station at 6 p.m. that was the highest rated program in the market in that time slot. My last football broadcast in Dallas was Super Bowl X.”
In 1976, KCMO hired Al to follow Ray
Scott [formerly CBS-TV’s #1 sportscaster] as the Kansas City
Chiefs play-by-play announcer. “I was recommended by an
earlier Chiefs announcer Tom Hedrick. In winter 1976-77, Ken
Wilson (Seattle Mariners) recommended me to
Stan Spero, the
general manager of KMPC, to take
Dick Enberg’s place as the
Rams and Angels announcer and work with Fred Hessler on the
UCLA broadcasts. Stan was a terrific station manager who had
a tremendous stable of talent,
Wink Martindale and
on the air and executives like
[later general manager of KLAC].”
When Enberg left to become NBC’s #1 sportscaster in 1978, Al became the Rams play-by-play announcer and in 1979 moved from the #3 Angels announcer up to #2 teamed with #1 Don Drysdale. “The last Angels games I broadcast were the American League Championship Series (ALCS) with the Baltimore Orioles. The final Rams game I announced was the 1980 Super Bowl (XIV). The tapes of my Super Bowl broadcast were smuggled into the U.S. Embassy in Tehran during the Iran Hostage Crisis. In 2016, George Clooney’s production company made a documentary based on that story for NFL Films, directed by Tate Donovan and narrated by Clooney.”
In 1979, KMPC made wholesale on-air personnel changes as the station transitioned to talk. Al decided to go to law school in Dallas at SMU. “To pay the tuition, I announced the Kansas City Royals games on WDAF/TV for three seasons, thanks to mentor Joe Burke, the Royals’ President. In my first season (1980), the Royals went to the World Series and my play-by-play of Game #3 of the ALCS was used in The Sporting News’ book 25 Greatest Moments in Baseball History.”
Al is humble when he attributes much of his success to providence, but he says his final stroke of broadcasting luck came in 1980. “State Farm was looking for a new national radio voice for its commercials. They were considering a number of Hollywood actors. My former agent was pitching one of them. While State Farm’s head of advertising was searching on the agent’s reel-to-reel demo tape for Actor X in front of the Chairman of the Board Ed Rust, Sr. and the other executives, he accidentally stopped the tape at my voice and State Farm’s chairman said, “That’s it! That’s the voice I want.” That led to 15 years as the national radio voice for State Farm.”
Since 1983, Al has been a finance lawyer in Dallas at Clark Hill Strasburger. He would love to hear from colleagues and fans from his time in LARadio. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Classic Hits K-EARTH #1
KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.6 - 2.8
14. KNX (News) 3.0 - 2.7
15. KPCC (News/Talk) 2.5 - 2.6
16. KKGO (Country) 2.4 - 2.5
KROQ (Alternative) 2.8 - 2.5
18. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.4 - 2.4
KYSR (Alternative) 2.3 - 2.4
20. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.4 - 2.3
21. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.3 - 2.2
22. KUSC (Classical) 1.8 - 2.1
23. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.0 - 1.8
24. KLAC (Sports) 1.2 - 1.7
25. KCRW (Variety) 1.5 - 1.3
KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.5 - 1.3
KRLA (Talk) 1.2 - 1.3
KSPN (Sports) 0.9 - 1.3
29. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.1 - 1.2
30. KEIB (Talk) 0.9 - 1.1
KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.1 - 1.1
KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.2 - 1.1
33. KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 0.8 - 1.0
34. KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.8 - 0.8
KKJZ (Jazz) 0.8 - 0.8
36. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.8 - 0.7
KKLA (Religious) 0.7 - 0.7
38. KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.6 - 0.6
39. KDLD (Regional Mexican) 0.4 - 0.4
KSUR (Oldies) 0.3 - 0.4
KTNQ (Spanish Talk) 0.3 - 0.4
KYLA (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.4
Allie Mac Kay's Journey
|(October 29, 2018) Allie Mac Kay joined
the iconic Kevin & Bean Show on KROQ back
in February 2015. Allie was instantly disliked by every fan
of Lisa May, the third person at the K-ROQ
morning show for almost 25 years. That was because Lisa was
let go to make way for Allie. “It was bad. I got death
threats. Death threats! Like a couple that were really
insane,” Mac Kay said in a recent podcast.
“There’s a guy to this day that will write under any YouTube video of mine.” There were more “weird, awful, horrible things” from there — just in case the death threats weren’t enough.
Allie shares another battle. Thirteen years ago, she had her first surgery for melanoma. “I’m down some lymph nodes, have some amazing scars and have basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas that pop up every 6 months. But I’m lucky. No melanoma in 13 years and I’m more aware of changes in and on my body than ever,” she posted recently on Facebook.
“The spot that turned out to be melanoma didn’t look like anything I Googled, the dermatologist said it was nothing, but I told him to biopsy it. Good thing I did. My oncologist said it was a matter of time before it spread farther.”
Allie had some words of advice. “If something feels off, demand that it’s looked at and you’re taken seriously. Protect your skin. And not just pasty gueras like me. Bob Marley had melanoma on his toe. It spread throughout his body and we lost a legend. Get your skin checked, wear sunscreen, stay out of tanning beds...and – if you’re like me – buy stock in @jergensus Their “Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer” is my godsend when it comes to sunless tanner!”
Foxxy Voice. Lisa
Foxx, former partner with Ryan Seacrest at
‘Star 98.7’ and now at #1 rated MY/fm (KBIG), made a
startling announcement on social media. Her vocal cords
aren’t working. “Anyone who has talked to me or heard me on
the radio for over the past month, has heard how bad I
sounded,” Lisa confessed. “But I didn’t stop.”
She hoped that the issue with just go away and get better on its own. She kept talking. That’s what she does. She attended events, participated in meetings and cheering on her Dodgers at games. A real cheerleader. She kept pushing her voice. The shows, interviews and commercials.
“I finally made the time to go see my doc because I couldn’t take it anymore and started to get scared,” Foxx continued. “He dropped a camera thru my nose to find that it’s a vocal cord hemorrhage, with severe acid reflux damage. You CAN’T just go, go, and go. You have to listen to your body and put your health first. I’m crushed! I’m upset and getting more mad at myself as I process what I could have done differently...EVERYTHING.”
She’s now on medication and limits her talking. She’s taking a break from her voicetracked show in San Francisco. No World Series games. Lisa said that Justin Timberlake had to cancel his tour for 2 weeks for the same thing. “I’m grateful I didn’t cause PERMANENT damage. Boo. Hiss.’ #timetoshutuplady.”
|Hear Ache. Speaking of Ryan Seacrest, his foundation, a non-profit dedicated to inspiring youth through entertainment and education-focused initiatives, has relocated its headquarters from Los Angeles to Nashville. John Ivey, KIIS pd, is one of the foundation’s advisors … Miss Vin Scully’s voice during the World Series? Ira Lawson sent a note that Vin is the voice on Proposition 4. Listen and watch here … Classic Hits Internet station BossBossRadio.com will launch their ‘Jingle Boss’ holiday channel November 1 on the Live365 platform, as a complement to their regular station. ‘Jingle Boss’ will be hosted by the Boss Jocks from BBR and will feature traditional to contemporary pop Christmas favorites (from Bing to Buble and beyond). LARadio People include: “The Insane” Darrell Wayne, Raechel Donahue, Bob Ray, and Tammy Trujillo. They are part of the full staff of veteran jocks at Boss Boss Radio under the direction of pd and morning Boss Jock John Van Camp … Bill Dudley checked in to describe his vintage vinyl shop in Torrance. “It's a tiny version of Amoeba. Only about 1,000 feet. The funny thing is, I was doing this exact same thing way BEFORE Amoeba. A Portland customer said, ‘It looks just like your 1985 store in Portland.’ Which is the exact intention.” …KLOS’ Gary Moore was at the marathon World Series game Friday night. “I had to shave twice.” … Former KKLA morning man Jim Governale summed up the World Series: "Bummed out Dodgers fan this morning. Gotta own it. Congrats to the Red Sox, clearly deserving and a better team. All things considered, it's just a game, and there are far more important things going on in the world" ... When researching the KBIG-Avalon station, I tracked down the daughter of Bill Faulke, Cathy, who remembered as a kid living on Catalina Island while her father drove up and down the mountain (16 miles) to get to the broadcast facility at the transmitter site … Another 60s hit maker dies. Polk Salad Annie and Rainy Night in Georgia songwriter Tony Joe White died suddenly last week at his home in Tennessee. “He wasn’t ill at all,” said his son, Jody White. “He just had a heart attack. There was no pain or suffering.” Tony Joe White was 75.|
Email Saturday, 10.27.2018
|** Early Salt Water Coverage
"I remember well the commencement of KBIG AM on Catalina. It was a brilliant idea with the salt water coverage of the California coast line. I was not yet in broadcast ownership, and a grad student at USC. I listened everyday for the signal coming on. It was the early 1950s.
Then there it was. And it was terrific coverage. An interesting side note. In those days the FCC did not allow personal messages. KBIG had an engineer whose last name was Bailey. When there was equipment failure and he was needed, KBIG played the song Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home.
Dial forward to the 1960s, and I had 105.1 on the air. We formed our own association, The Southern California FM Broadcasters Association, and I was also the attorney for the group. John Poole made an application for permission to build an fm station on his radio towers on Catalina. Some of the FM Association members were pushed out of shape at the thought of this competition. In any event, Poole dropped the idea and built 104.3 on Mount Wilson." - Saul Levine
** Avalon Memory
“I know you’ll receive many fond memories of KBIG from many who grew up with the station. I lived back east but let me share one. As a young teenager living in New Jersey in the early to mid-50s, I was into DXing...listening to and logging distant radio stations. Back then, I belonged to the National Radio Club (NRC) which arranged for a middle of the night test broadcast by KBIG for its members. As I recall, it ran from four to four-thirty a.m. Eastern time and began and ended with Benny Goodman’s Avalon.
I had picked up KFI and a few other west coast stations but KBIG was easily the strongest I had heard. I sent in a report and got an acknowledgement. I heard the station again when I visited LA in 1958, and they were still broadcasting from off-shore. There is a 1980 film called The Man with Bogart’s Face in which some of the story takes place on Catalina, and KBIG is referred as a source of the latest local news. It’s a cute film.” – Bernie Alan
|** Melody Ranch and Lucky
Lager Dance Time
“Your site is such a treasure trove. For instance, until I read your piece on KBIG, I had always thought that Lucky Lager Dance Time was a KCBS-AM [San Francisco] exclusive. It came on the air there after KNBR-San Francisco grabbed a big audience with its nightly Burgie Music Box. Each was on from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., head to head on two of San Francisco’s major stations. Each formatted the same way, two tunes X 5 in the half hour.
I was a Burgie Music Box loyalist as a kid and teen [40s and 50s] and never switched to the competitor. In those days, KCBS-AM was KQW and KNBR was either KPO or KNBC. This is all apropos of nothing except an old dude’s memories. I knew nothing of broadcasting.
When I listened to Gene Autry after the war, I envisioned that his ‘Melody Ranch’ was somewhere near my home in Redwood City. Years later, I met The Cowboy while producing tv news remotes for KNBC/4 at Angel Stadium. I told him of my childish naivete and he got a chuckle out of that.
I’ll shut up now.” – Warren Cereghino
** Early 11/10 KRLA
“Ron ‘Buddy’ Budnik concludes his fascinating reminiscences of the early days of KRLA last Sunday morning asking the ‘big’ question: Whatever happened to Arlen Sanders? All he needed to do was zip up to the top of the home page of your excellent site and click on the ‘S,’ and he’d have his answer in short order. He probably knows that. But his mention of Mr. Sanders triggered a memory for me.
I chronicle the story of attending the Bill Ogden school in Burbank in the fall of 1963 in my new book Vocal Recall, but I left this story out. One of my classmates was a young woman who said that she could get into KRLA pretty much any time she felt like it. I put her to the test one night. We cut class, hopped in my car and headed to Pasadena. She was true to her word. We got in the station. It was shortly after midnight. She introduced me to Dave Hull who had just gotten off the air. Years later I reminded him of this, but he had no memory of it. Why would he? We then went in the studio and spent the next hour chatting with Arlen Sanders [who was a very nice guy] watching him spin the hits. It was a magic hour!
I was in ground central of the radio big-time! So near and yet so far. When it ended, I was higher than a kite [just endorphins]. We left the station and hit the freeway, listening to KRLA of course. Arlen fired off the Marketts’ Out of Limits. I cranked it and we flew. Eventually the young woman put her hand on my arm and told me to slow down. I looked at the speedometer. We were doing 100mph. I’d had no idea.
I never made it to KRLA. But a few months later I did make it to KRL……C. What a difference one letter makes. Instead of sunny Pasadena, it was snowy Idaho. But that’s another story. And if you want to read about it, you gotta buy the book. www.neilbook.com.” – Neil Ross
** 11-10 KRLA
“Thanks for the column on KRLA. I worked there during the Art Laboe years, when the FCC still owned the station [so the signal wouldn’t go dark and automatically revert to Mexico, I was told], up until a little after Bob Hope and the conglomeration of groups who had petitioned for years were finally approved to buy the station. The sales staff was housed in Art’s Original Sound headquarters on Sunset Blvd, in a somewhat seedy block of the Blvd, all owned by Art. Now there is a master of real estate as a financial investment. The traffic and talent part of the station was still in the Huntington Hartford offices in Pasadena. We communicated by a forerunner of the fax machine, some tacky paper that smelled to high heaven, but got the job done. It was all a pretty strange set up, but great fun.
I remember Tommy Bernstein had an original Picasso hidden in his office – a leftover from the Larry Webb ‘how can we spend all this money’ days. The FCC and the people who finally bought KRLA – after the fiasco over Jack Kent Cooke, a rigged on-air contest of sorts and how to retain control of the signal – owe a huge debt of gratitude to Art Laboe, who turned a turkey into a golden goose. The man is a brilliant programmer, strategist and on-air talent. I was so lucky to work with him those years.” – Mary Beth Garber
** Batter Up
“Re Charley Steiner and the LA Times. Who cares if Charley takes a breath. Stop taking everything so seriously. Unless you are at the game or watching it on live tv, ‘checking up on him,’ who cares. It’s radio, fergawdsake.
Well, Chuck Blore always said, ‘talk to people in their own language.’ How does your life change with a fraction of a moment’s delay? Thank goodness some people think before they speak. It takes a newspaper nearly a whole day to report anything.” – Don Elliot
“In case you're interested, I did an article on channel 22’s history a while back for Clarke Ingram’s ‘History of UHF Television’ website [which I designed for him and ended up both writing and editing articles for].
The KBIC-TV article is at http://www.uhftelevision.com/articles/kbic.html Other articles of potential interest to LARPs are those about KHOF-TV/30, KLXA-TV/40, KCHU/18 (San Bernardino), KMEX/34’s short-lived and ill-fated attempt at an all-News format in the weekday daytime hours, the early educational experiment KTHE/28, and KAAR/39 in San Diego.
They are accessible from the article’s menu at http://www.uhftelevision.com/articles.html if anyone’s interested. The site is a labor of love, no ads or subscriptions.” – K.M. Richards
** Invisible LARP Essay
“AMEN and AMEN!” – Dave Armstrong
** More Invisible LARP Response
“Re reading your top story last Monday, it is striking how most, [if not all] of the stations have lost their unique identity due to corporate takeovers.
When I first opened my store a year ago, it seemed most of my customers mentioned The Sound, and how sad it was they were soon going away. Since then, NOBODY had ever referenced ANY station to me. Young people are NOT listening to radio for music.
I myself only listen to talk shows, and usually just Doug McIntyre in the morning on KABC. The corporate clowns have ruined radio. Sad, very sad!” – Bill Dudley
** Delayed Sports
“In the last Email Saturday roundup, Dwaine Maggart says, ‘I hope Dodger games never go back to KSPN.’ The Dodgers were NEVER on KSPN, unless he picked up an ESPN network game, in which case the game would have also been on the Dodgers flagship station.” – Bob Scott
** LA, Oh, How Sweet It Is
“Dodgers in the World Series is sweet. Listening to KNX/fm is delicious! We love L.A.” – Keri Tombazian
** Is It Poorman?
“I'm hoping you can help me track down the name of a short-lived dj who was heard on KIIS in the late 90s [somewhere between 95-98]. There are only a few things I remember about him:
- Rick Dees claimed he had been hanging outside the studio with a sign asking for a job.
- He performed a stunt where he was ‘frozen alive.’ This stunt was held in the parking lot of a supermarket in Burbank. Public were able to come and view the dj encased in ice [I remember because I was one of the people who went to see him].
- Wasn’t your traditional pop personality – he was edgier, meant to be kind of a ‘wild man.’ I know it’s a very random request, but I wasn’t sure who else to ask. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!” – Corey Irwin, email@example.com
** Roq of the 80s Expands
“The ‘Roq of the 80s’ is now on KOOL 94.5-HD2 in Phoenix [in addition to KROQ 106.7-HD2 here in LA, and nationwide on Entercom’s radio.com, as has been the case since we relaunched around September 1]. So far, the response has been Incredible and I mean that in a good way!
Credit where credit’s due: Gene Sandbloom put the whole thing together and has been doing an excellent job as pd [meaning he actually listens to my suggestions], and it’s been a real pleasure for me to be back after three years of, shall we say, involuntary retirement thanks to CBS. [I only wish my many talented friends in similar situations could be so lucky].
As of now the dj lineup consists of Freddy Snakeskin (M-F 6 to noon + noon to 6 Saturdays), and Tami Heide [noon to 6 Sunday thru Friday], with a festive Party of Bounds remix show every Friday and Saturday from 6 to midnight [Billy Idol guest-hosted last weekend!] And in honor of Halloween we’re doing a special ‘Dead Man’s Party Out of Bounds’ this weekend. Tune in for a real Klassick KROQ musical fright fest. If you dare, and all that.” – Freddy Snakeskin
93/KHJ Gets Benched
(October 26, 2018) After
a movie screening in Beverly Hills Sunday night, Gary
Gibson’s (Montrose) son had to stop in Hollywood because
Quentin Tarantino was filming his new movie Once Upon A
Time in Hollywood. The production closed down a few
blocks of Hollywood Blvd. “The movie takes place in 1969 and
he had lots of props covering current storefronts including
this retro bus bench advertisement,” emailed Gary.
In other news: Diana Kirchen Kelly, part of the all-female jock line-up at KWIZ, checked in this week. She is enjoying retirement with her husband (another LARP), Paul Kelly. “We enjoy volunteering and travelling,” emailed Diana. “We still keep in touch with quite a few of our former Fullerton College Radio/TV students, many of whom are still working in radio and tv (and others who have had success in other careers).
They include: Bill Thomas, Rob Frazier, Rick Clapper, Henry Mulak, Liz Altamirano Carpenter, Terry Tate Driscoll, Teresa Fernandez Spector, Chris Dunn (NBC 15), Kimo Villarimo, Rod Barajas, Jim Hilliker, Jim Governale, Shari Lipman, Dale Berg, Pat Veling, Jay Eckstein, Randy Skretvedt, Eugene Louie, Steve Hassler, Stew Herrera, Tony Smith, Cami Black, Kay Poland, Craig Jackman, Pam Baumgardner (KPPQ-Lp Ventura), Marleen Kane-Weeks, Wayne Crews, Yume ArtWorld, Julio Flores, Victoria Botka Williams, and Lisa. We're proud of all of them!”
|Hear Ache. Country singer Maren Morris will be the midday guest host at KKGO for the month of November … Chicago’s Steve Dahl will leave Cumulus talker WLS/890 just before Christmas. Steve got his start at KPPC and KKDJ before heading to the Windy City for an incredible career. Dahl and former partner Garry Meier were inducted into the Chicago-based National Radio Hall of Fame in 2013 … MY/fm’s Mario Lopez lands his own branded line of shoes for men and boys, priced in the $50 to $80 range … As the Dodgers struggle in the World Series, Earl Trout, former pd at KDAY, send along a funnie: “Vin Scully once told the story of an old man who bragged about his new hearing aid. The old-timer said something like this to Mr. Scully: “With this amazing new hearing aid, I can hear a bird in the outfield. I can hear the tinkle of a bell on a kid’s tricycle at the end of the block. I know a blind man is crossing the street by the tapping of his cane on the asphalt.” Vinny asked, “What kind is it?” The old man said, “A quarter to three.” … K-EARTH's Gary Bryan refuses to play any Classic Hits by the group Boston, at least until the end of the World Series ... Rob Marinko has lost his KABC job. “Without notice, explanation or ceremony, I was told my services were no longer needed at KABC. Perhaps I just did not meet their standards. My employment search will now focus on radio stations that are #42 or lower in the market, where my talents may be better suited,” wrote Rob on his Facebook page. Leah Brandon, one-time KFI news anchor gave some comfort to Rob: “Heeeeeyyyyy! Chin up buckaroo! Remember, I moved on purpose to a market smaller than yours. I LOVE IT! Wouldn’t go back for anything. More fun, more freedom. This is a gift” … Classical KUSC is using Christmas music collections in its current fall pledge drive … The Beatles released The White Album in 1968 but never played any of the songs live. On November 25,at the Harris Center in Folsom, California, a 40-piece orchestra featuring top area players, along with popular local singers/musicians/celebrities and top students from The Sacramento Preparatory Music Academy, will perform the entire album in its entirety.|
KBIG Begins With Poole
(October 25, 2018) Growing
up in Southern California presented me with numerous
opportunities to hear the evolution of LA Radio. Long before
I discovered r&b on KPOP and KGFJ and long before KFWB
channeled rock ‘n roll, Carl Bailey broadcast
on the “Big White Steamer” between San Pedro and Avalon. The
blaring sound of the steamship
provided the romance of being aboard and seeing this lanky
(6 foot, 5-inch-tall) personality who made the voyage daily
and conducted interviews from the under deck as they crossed
the channel. He called them man-on-the-deck interviews.
The daily broadcasts in the fifties were on KBIG (then on 740AM, a daytimer). Every day was a fantasy while listening on my transistor radio as Carl made the 26-mile trek to Santa Catalina. Life magazine carried a photo of Carl’s broadcast. He was made a “Commodore of the Port of Los Angeles,” as well as being named an official greeter for Avalon. Carl has a commemorative plaque on the island. KBIG's studios were located 16 miles up in the hills of Catalina.
Each dj was given his own 4-wheel jeep by the company to make the daily drive up and down from the station. The Big Band format could be heard from San Diego to Portland. In 1958, Carl hosted Bailey’s Biscuit Barrel, which featured the one and a half tons of his personal record collection Carl gave KBIG to establish a working music library for the then-new station on Catalina Island. His show was on the local airwaves during the same time as Al Jarvis' Make Believe Ballroom, Gene Norman's Lucky Lager Dance Time and Peter Potter's Platter Parade. Carl was also program director of KBIG.
In the mid-1960s he switched to news. Carl had to from broadcasting just shy of his 50th anniversary following a stroke that damaged his motor reflexes.
Also helping establish the station 26 miles across the sea was John Poole. He was a broadcasting innovator, former merchant marine radio operator (he helped pioneer early military radar use during WWII), and reportedly worked as an American radio operator on Japanese fishing boats plying American water (the boats apparently were required by law to have an American radio operator on board). John was the engineer who launched KBIG on Catalina in 1952. At the time, Los Angeles County had more than 20 radio stations and seven tv stations. Few believed the region needed yet another radio station. He went on to establish not only KBIG on Santa Catalina Island but also one of the nation’s first UHF commercial television station, KBIC Channel 22 (now KWHY).
During his more than two decades as a broadcasting company owner, Poole played a major role in founding nine radio stations and four television stations. In 1969, Poole left behind his career as a pioneer communicator, leaving behind his interest in 13 radio and tv stations, and sold KBIG. He then purchased and planted an 80-acre parcel of land in Temecula, harvesting premium varietal grapes. By 1975, he constructed Mount Palomar Winery. It took six years for those vines to mature and for Poole to produce his first vintage under the Mount Palomar Winery label. The family has grown the ranch to 92 acres and garnered hundreds of top awards in domestic and international competitions. John wanted to establish a new agricultural business natural for his family. His son Peter took over operation of the Winery in 1985.
|John’s wife was both Italian and
British, having lived in England. Poole’s family reportedly
was from the East Coast and had other business ventures,
including holdings in iron and copper mining companies,
among other things. John died on Christmas Day 2004, at the
age of 86.
KBIG memorabilia is now on display in the landmark Avalon Casino Ballroom, built by the Wrigley family in 1929. In fact, the opening of the theatre was within weeks of the stock market crash.
LA Times Beats Up Charley Steiner
(October 24, 2018) With
the LA Dodgers preparing on Tuesday for Game One of the
World Series, the LA Times oddly took the
opportunity that morning to write a scathing story on Dodger
broadcaster Charley Steiner. The headline
in the Tom Hoffarth penned story declared: Steiner of
the Dodgers Can Be Call of the Wild. Hoffarth cites
missed calls, wrong calls and an interminable pause in his
“We entrust Steiner to give us a chance to visualize when a ball is hit in the air,” writes Hoffarth. “His long pauses don’t seem to be for dramatic effect. Sooner or later, Rick Monday confirms a catch, a home run or the ball bouncing off the way.”
Steiner, 69, who grew up in Brooklyn listening to Vin Scully, received a recent contract extension. Hoffarth suggests some relief assistance from a local talent who can handle the middle three innings as Jerry Doggett used to do for Scully. “Selfishly, we’d endorse more of a Monday-Kevin Kennedy tandem, which never fails to educate listeners about how the game plays out, move to move.”
Somewhere Out There: The Los Angeles Premiere for Joe Frank – Somewhere Out There is set for December 1 at South Park Center. The feature length film explores the life of award-winning audio artist Joe Frank, whose career on radio and on-line has spanned four decades before he passed earlier this year. He created his work for decades at KCRW in Santa Monica and his programs aired nationwide on public radio. The host for the screening, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization designed to showcase innovative works by emerging filmmakers from around the world.
Podcast Problems: The challenge of making a living by hosting a podcast was further put in flux, as described in a story from Chicago. Earlier this year, the Chicago Sun-Times hired Jennifer Schulze, the former Chicago tv news director and wife of Sun-Times ceo, with “really big plans” in mind, according to a story by Windy City blogger Robert Feder. She was put in charge of “new content development,” including production of an ambitious series of weekly podcasts to be hosted by Sun-Times columnists and reporters. “We’re putting the full weight of the Sun-Times behind the podcasts,” said the senior vice president of digital news products. “We’ve got really big plans.” Nine months later, Schulze is still on the job, but the podcasts are silent. “Overall, they didn’t generate the audience we hoped, so we put them on hold over the summer,” she said.
In an unrelated announcement, iHeartMedia, described as “the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally with over 20,000 podcasts available on its platform,” announced the first annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards to be held at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles early next year. The first-ever major live awards event, voted by the listeners to honor the very best in podcasting,will span 22 categories and honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts of 2018, while giving listeners the opportunity to decide the winners in 17 of the 22 categories. Mark Ramsey’s “Inside Jaws” was nominated. “What a pleasure and an honor to be on such a short list of great series,” wrote Mark. “The way the winner is chosen is via social media prowess, so I would be grateful if you enjoyed the series enough to vote for it here. We are trying hard to do great work, and to be acknowledged for that is a real treat.”
RJ Hits Jackpot
|(October 23, 2018) RJ Curtis,
former pd at Country KZLA and most recently AllAccess
Nashville editor, had a pretty heady week. He was at Lambeau
Field in Green Bay for the first time to see the Packers
play. As if that wasn’t itself a noteworthy event, RJ was
appointed executive director of Country Radio Seminar.
“Scuse me, while I pinch myself, and go buy a Mega-Millions
ticket,” wrote RJ. “I'm honored to join CRB and hope to
provide steady leadership and direction for an organization,
and an event I'm in love with.”
Former Power 106 morning team player, Luscious Liz Hernandez, has joined TuneIn to host “Today's Hits,” the premier TuneIn exclusive music station. In addition to being part of Big Boy’s Neighborhood, Liz previously co-hosted Valentine in the Morning at MY/fm (KBIG) until the end of 2013. She's also worked for Access Hollywood, E! News and MTV News.
Total Traffic & Weather Network (TTWN) is looking to hire. The company has posted openings for two part-time traffic anchors at the Long Beach studios and one in San Diego. Anyone interested should go to iheartmediacareers.com for information and to apply. All applications must be submitted through that site – applicants should NOT contact management directly regarding this opportunity.
Phil Hulett has joined the team at NBC News Radio as a national news anchor. “Listen for my voice [soon] at the top and bottom of the hour on your favorite station across the country. I will also be heard The Blaze,” Phil wrote on his Facebook page.
Everything traffic queen Rhonda Kramer owns is all about the Dodgers. “From pillows, T Shirts, blankets, coffee cups and even my debit card, it’s all about this team for me,” wrote Rhonda. “My team is now in the WORLD SERIES! Go DODGERS! This is our year. Now, I need to find one of those winning championship T-Shirts ASAP!”
Tom Taylor reports in his tasty newsletter that we have our first all-Christmas station, and it’s in downstate Illinois. “Atlantic City owner Gary Fisher likes to be first in the nation, on his easy oldies ‘Easy 93.1’ WEZW, but this year that distinction goes to a new setup in Du Quoin, Illinois. ‘Christmas 97.1’ is a bit of a stunt. Radio Insight says last Friday’s holiday announcement was part of the launch of a new translator. The owner will use the diet of Christmas music to get attention.”
KOST will have many challenges for ears when it comes to holiday music this year. 10 channels on SiriusXM will launch, many of them next week. The channels include:
HOLLY (channel 4), contemporary holiday hits, airing November 1 - December 28.
HOLIDAY TRADITIONS (channel 3), traditional holiday music, November 2 - December 26.
RADIO HANUKKAH (channel 77), December 1 - 11.
COUNTRY CHRISTMAS (channel 58), December 3 - 26.
HOLIDAY SOUL (channel 49), December 3 - 26.
ACOUSTIC CHRISTMAS (channel 14), singer-songwriter acoustic holiday songs, December 14 - 26.
CHRISTMAS SPIRIT (channel 63), holiday songs from Contemporary Christian artists, December 21 - 26.
MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHANNEL (channel 30), December 17 - 25.
HOLIDAY POPS (channel 76), Classical, December 24 - 26.
NEW YEAR'S NATION (channel 2), party hits, December 28 - January 2.
70S/80S CHRISTMAS (streaming), November 1 - December 2.
ROCKIN' XMAS (streaming), November 1 - December 26.
HOLIDAY CHILL-OUT (streaming), Chill holiday music, November 1 - December 26.
JAZZ HOLIDAYS (streaming), November 1 - December 26.
NAVIDAD (streaming), Spanish-language holiday music, November 1 - January 7.
|(October 22, 2018) When
I first started writing about Los Angeles Radio People in
the early 1990s, its market managers, programmers and even
talent relished being public figures. Not so much today.
With the beginning of social media, the opportunity to
promote seemed like a natural, and some embraced it. Yet
others felt that their radio station alone was bigger than
all social media. After all, they could promote on multiple
frequencies, appearing on sister stations up and down their
As consolidation took hold, executives seemed to hunker down, and as a result they became isolated. In today’s corporate radio, how many of us would recognize – or have ever heard any periodic statements – from the market managers and programming execs? Each summer, we used to vote for the Top 10 Off-Air LARP. I believe we would be hard-pressed today to nominate 10 of these invisible leaders. Is there any correlation to the paucity of radio leaders promoting radio?
Nowadays, the singleness of purpose seems to be sales. There are a number of LA Radio stations that don’t even have a program director. Those are the call letters programmed from some far away corporate headquarters or by someone who also has to program another station down the hallway.
The audio environment is being created and distributed for total disruption. No longer is radio the fair-haired child coveted by the public. As I sit writing this essay on Sunday afternoon, I have asked Alexa to play a half dozen audio sources, only a couple of choices were LARadio. The weekend programming seems to be an after-thought for most programmers.
|Who are our leaders who can shout
from the tallest tower about the virtues of radio? Who
locally is giving us reason to listen to compelling radio
instead of watching NFL football? Who out there is
interested in informing the public about the impact of
Many levels of iHeart, Entercom, and Cumulus empire are still in flux, with two bankruptcies in various phases, while one merger / purchase is still trying to figure out who they are. While change is going on, wouldn’t this be the best time to launch new thinking? How many more years will we have to endure “Pay Your Bills” and “Say It and Win It” promotions? Have you ever won a family four-pack to Disneyland? Just look at the station websites and all you get are photos, news stories and ads.
My continuing mantra – if you don’t promote, a funny thing happens: NOTHING!
Email Saturday, 10.20.2018
|** Steele Memories
“Needless to say, I loved today’s Nostalgia Sunday piece. Having followed The Real Don Steele on Ten-Q back in the day, anytime his name is mentioned or comes crashing into my mind, it’s an instant flashback to not only his incredible genius and zeal for his profession but his total decency and the love he shared [in his very own very non-quiet way] with everyone around him as well.
It seems almost hard to believe but even now hardly a day goes by when I don’t think of him. Yeah baby, you left a deep mark on hundreds of us!” - Rich Brother Robbin
|** KNX/fm Returns
“KNX/fm is back … sorta … me don’t think so … but almost! After 35 years of being begged to bring back KNX/fm, I started working six years ago on re-building two Mellow Sound stations … one the ‘Classic KNX/fm’ from ’73-’83 and the ‘Mellow Sound Now: ’73-present. They are now in their Beta testing stage and will be soon ready to fly. The original KNX/fm music library contained 1200 tunes … the two I have just compiled and completely re-mastered contain over 5200 cuts and that is just the beginning. I programmed the original station for 7 out of its 10 years on the air … and produced a good many of KNX/fm’s well-known jingles.
I feel bad that an eager beaver would put all that work into his current project, however, I think Dale Berg might be better off hooking his wagon to our train.” – Michael Sheehy, Program Director, Music Director, KNX/fm
|** Banner Year
“790 KABC can’t seem to catch a break. The afternoon drive team of Jillian Barberie and John Phillips were doing a remote Wednesday at Robin’s Woodfire BBQ in Pasadena in support of Proposition 6.When they arrived, the place had banners announcing Welcome KFI’s John & Ken. It could just be divine payback because a dozen years ago John & Ken were in the Glendale Christmas Parade, when the tv announcer introduced them as Ken & Bob.” – Gary Gibson
** Minyard’s Start
“Ken Minyard started on KABC in 1969, just not morning drive. Craig Horowitz's excellent book chronicles Minyard's impressive run in L.A.” – Bill Earl
“I do see a lot of Dodger games and I can’t imagine not listening to the AM 570 broadcast of the games at Dodger Stadium. I’m very appreciative that AM 570 is willing to take the HUGE RISK of broadcasting the games with no delay. I sure hope the Dodger games never go back to KSPN!” – Dwaine Maggart
** Gunn’s Book
“Thank you for Johnny Gunn's story. I've never heard of him except when LARP's mention him, but he sounds like a fascinating person. And a great storyteller. I have to get his and Wink's books.” – Julie T. Byers **
|** Happy Trails
“It was absolutely wonderful to see so many great comments about Roy Rogers & Dale Evans. Over the years, I have had the honor to do a great deal of work [including a couple of CDs for Dusty [Roy Jr.], Cheryl and the Rogers family. Shamelessly, I never got tired of going to the museum, walking up to the Trigger exhibit and hearing my own production of Roy talking about his beloved four-legged friend. The Rogers were beyond heroes, they were American Icons that showed the way for billions of kids. I laugh as I remember sitting in their dining room and getting Dale to record those immortal words ‘Never ask a cowgirl about the size of her spread,’ She laughed for quite some time and thought it one of the funniest things she had ever been asked to record. Despite their sparkling image, they were very ‘down to earth’ and absolutely ‘real.’ I never asked a dime for any of my work. I always considered it repaying a childhood debt.
When Dale passed, I did the music for her service. One of the most amazing moments we have ever experienced happened upon leaving her memorial and heading West towards L.A. It had rained that afternoon, however the clouds cleared and now the skyline was like a vivid Maxfield Parrish painting … the huge amazing clouds had separated with a golden shaft of light beaming through all the way to the ground. It was a breathtaking and magnificent Western way for Dale to depart but I think she may have had a little help. These days I celebrate my 50th year in broadcasting, and we live up North in Grass Valley three miles out of town in the middle of the cedar forest. We along with some very special friends are in our 12th year of Planet Pootwaddle, which is my ‘labor of lunacy and study in self-indulgence.’ www.planetpootwaddle.com. Pooty continues to live by the mantra we learned from Dale Evans many years ago, ‘If you want to be happy, make other people happy!’ Hey saddle pals, it works! Happy Trails!” – Michael Sheehy, Mdsheehy18@comcast.com, www.planetpootwaddle.com
|** Auto Correct
"Who said it was a man?" - Don Elliot
** Auto Correctness
"Your 'humor box' in today’s column refers to the 'man' who invented autocorrect. In 2018, shouldn’t that have said 'person?' How do we know it wasn’t a woman who invented it?" - Bob Scott
Bill's Biz is Hardly a Dud
|(October 19, 2018) Dudley's Records Vintage Vinyl is located in Torrance and owned by KTWV personality Bill Dudley. His specialty store just celebrated its first anniversary. Bill sells hundreds of records, CDs, cassettes, posters, T-shirts, and other music related merchandise. “Hard to believe, but we just celebrated our one-year anniversary of the new Dudley’s Records, my seventh and final location,” emailed Bill. “We had a HUGE sale with a big turnout of our new and regular customers. The Beach Reporter newspaper gave us a nice shout out.” More info at: dudleysrecords.com … Doug Stephan celebrates 30th Anniversary as an independent syndicated host. His program, continually running for the past three decades, was heard on LARadio on various stations over the decades, most recently on KFWB. It began as a morning show titled “Good Day” in a basement studio at WCKY-Cincinnati. “I think for the first few months, I was talking to myself, and now after all these years, I have spoken to millions of listeners…how many…who really knows? Plus being on over 1,400 stations in the collective over the years, I am humbled by the support of so many station managers and program directors.” … Ever wonder what happened to the Satellite Sisters who had a show on KABC in 2005? ... As part of their ongoing support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Shirley Strawberry and Carla Ferrell of the KJLH Steve Harvey Morning Show joined more than 4,000 participants in the 2018 Sista Strut Breast Cancer Walk in Chicago this past weekend … Brad Pomerance yearns to be a game show host. “I am hosting TRIVIA for King Trivia at Billingsley’s Restaurant in L.A.,” Brad posted … Gary Spears, retired from radio broadcasting one year ago, moved to Florida, and takes occasional requests for voiceover work … Vin Scully could have wished us all a very pleasant good afternoon, on national television. The invitation came from Joe Buck, the lead announcer for Fox Sports. “It would be an honor to get up, take the headset off, sterilize it and hand it to Vin,” Buck told The Times. Vin respectfully declined: “I don’t want to just take a bow…Those fellows have been broadcasting all year. I don’t want to get into their spotlight in any way, shape, or form. I think they’re doing a wonderful job” … Chaka Khan, the one-time jock at B-100 (KIBB 100.3/fm), will be the grand marshal of the 2019 Rose Parade. As a singer, her hits include I’m Every Woman, I Feel for You, and Tell Me Something Good.|
|(October 18, 2018) One
of treats of chronicling the 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People
(LARP) is to learn something special about them and share it
with you. Since this project started in the early 1990s, we
think we are up to date with everyone but clearly know that
is not the case. It only takes an email to update yourself
or someone you know.
While picking around some research material, we learned about the passing of Hal Pickens. Hal had quite a time in LARadio, working during the 60s at Channel 98/KFWB, KBLA, and KDAY. He died July 19, 2010 after a lengthy illness. He was 73.
Although his made-for-radio voice had never uttered the thought outright, Hal always knew in his heart that he was born to be an entertainer, according to his obit in the Tulsa World. The nuns at his school corroborated his belief. His career aptitude test results had confirmed as much. It wasn't until Pickens, as an Oklahoma State University engineering student, filled in one night for an absent disc jockey at the campus radio station that his future course was set. Pickens felt right at home in front of a mike. And with his natural charm and quick wit, he was soon on his way to radio stardom.
By the mid-1960s, the rising radio personality would find himself spinning the latest pop hits for millions of listeners, including work in the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles and New York City, winning wide acclaim in the process. For his work at KFWB in 1965, Pickens was named Billboard magazine’s Air Personality of the Year. He would spend nearly 30 years in the industry.
Pickens eventually moved back to Oklahoma and made his home in Tulsa, where he worked in local radio until retiring in the 1980s. Harold L. "Hal" Pickens Jr., worked for both Tulsa’s KAKC and KWEN as he ended his career. “He loved connecting with people,” Barbara Pickens said of her husband. “And the spontaneity of radio really appealed to him.” She first heard his voice over the airwaves when he was working in New York. “It wasn’t real deep but it was perfect. He had a sexy voice and he knew how to use it,” Barbara said with a laugh.
Pickens, who also wrote music and built his own recording studio, would go on to produce and write songs for Jimmy Holiday, the r&b singer and songwriter. In 1964, he booked and emceed The Beatles’ San Diego show during their famous first trip to the U.S. “He said The Beatles were just perfect gentlemen,” said Barbara. “He did the Rolling Stones not long after that. He said they were thugs.” While emceeing a New Year’s Eve show in Santa Clara in 1971, Pickens was running up some stairs when the steps collapsed. He broke an ankle and shattered both knees. But he finished the show before seeking medical attention, his wife said. From face-to-face interviews with famous stars to skydiving and driving race cars for radio promotional stunts, Pickens loved every aspect of the business. Said Barbara Pickens: “Even in Hal’s last days, he was talking about how much he missed doing radio.”
(October 17, 2018) KNX/fm
is making a return engagement, thanks to the Internet. “I've
been working closely with James Cole whose father Bob
Cole was vp of CBS from 1969 to 1983. Bob helped
create ‘The Mellow Sound’ that launched in January 1973.
James provided me with over 100 jingles from KNX/fm. They
are all playing now,” emailed
Nice if they could get back their tasty features like “The
Odyssey File.” Berg is hoping that this station will
generate listeners as much, or more than what he’s
experiencing with his Smooth Jazz Station, The Oasis. Click
the artwork to listen.
Hear Ache. KFSH’s Delilah was a guest on ABC’s Good Morning America this week to promote the release of her latest book, One Heart at A Time. She will stop by Megyn Kelly TODAY, plus she’s currently featured on the cover of Women’s World Magazine and Guideposts magazine … Former Top 40 jock Jack Hayes looked like he was not going to make it there for a while. “But I fooled them,” emailed Hayes. “I got pneumonia in June and the antibiotics turned it into c-diff (clostridium difficile colitis) which I wouldn’t wish on anybody. Have been in the hospital five times since but mostly OK since August 23. Got my fingers crossed” … Love “Temptations Tuesday” on Sirius Soultown, Channel 49 … Neil Ross is out promoting his book, Vocal Recall. “Just made an appearance plugging my book on Ken Levine’s podcast, Hollywood and Levine. I was so long-winded he ended up turning it into two podcasts. Part one is available now at http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/. It’s #93 titled ‘The Man who Killed Jim Morrison.’ You’ll have to listen to find out why” … Lon Helton, former pd at KHJ, just won CMA Broadcast Personality of the Year for his “Country Countdown USA” … KJLH’s Steve Harvey was among the honorees at the Merge Gala Awards at the 10th annual Merge Summit in Los Angeles.
I'm Dressed, You're Not
(October 16, 2018) Johnny
Gunn had a great radio career, with stops at KEZY,
KBIG, KNJO, and KGIL. Proving that LARPs come in shapes, sizes, and
colors, Johnny provides a first for us as he reveals all in
a new book. He boasts to be very blessed. He lives in a
“dream world of 37 shades of green jungle of giant trees and
flowers at the Motion Picture Country House, at the edge of
LA.” His present story in a moment.
Johnny started his broadcast career in 1947 in the then-territory of Alaska. After programming KENO-Las Vegas in 1967. Johnny won the world championship Sheriff’s Rodeo Mule races for three years. In the mid-1970s he was producing commercial spots. At the San Fernando Big Band station, KGIL, Johnny worked evenings and was the pd.
Born in Buffalo, Johnn spent all his school years in Akron, Ohio. “It was at Akron University where I got shot in the ass with show business. I moved to Seattle, auditioned at every station in the Northwest and got my first job in 1947 at KFQD-Anchorage. I worked my way down the coast with stops in Juneau, Ketchikan, Tacoma, Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego and then the Southland.” Johnny’s still married to his first wife Jo-Ann. He retired to Morro Bay in 1992 and was writing Our First 103 Moves. Now for Johnny’s story today:
up there likes me.” Paul Newman, as Rocky Graziano, said it
in the movie which also served as the title. “I’m hereby
adopting the line because I’ve been blessed with so much. I
had a 92nd birthday, a 67th wedding anniversary, continued
good health and I finished my book, which was published a
few months ago.
At the Motion Picture Home, I have an independent cottage and Jo-Ann resides 172 steps away at the Alzheimer’s facility. We spend the last half of every day together. Yes, she still knows me, is still my favorite conversationalist, has a great sense of humor, we chat, have dinner together, wheelchair around the acreage, I tuck her in for the night, read to her and sneak back to my digs when she goes to sleep. It doesn’t hurt, and one forgets all details of what happened from ten minutes to ten or fifteen years back. Jo-Ann was diagnosed more than 10 years ago, by comparison Peter Falk died in six months.
Right after the war we moved “out west.” It took two months of looking before we ended up in Seattle. Seattle is not “rainy.” It’s misty. And sunshiney. And beautiful. I got married there and we had Gloria there. Gloria recently retired from Mary Tyler Moore as Post Production Supervisor. We all lost our beloved middle one, Emily, to cancer in 2013. We left Seattle twice for Alaska, once for Anchorage before I knew Jo-Ann, and once for Ketchikan and Juneau when Gloria was 2 years old. Both times for Radio station employment. Back to Seattle for a couple years and then Las Vegas in the 50’s. That was Las Vegas at its best. Every big-city mob owned a casino, New York – Desert Inn and Riviera, Bugsy Siegal, The Flamingo, Meyer Lansky, The Sahara. Brunches and celebrity shows were unbelievably cheap, before the city with its burgeoning population and big-city behavior gradually took the town over. The prices went up and the bad guys disappeared.
We moved to San Diego and L.A. and more radio. We’ve had a fun-life, including being divorced for four years because of a misunderstanding (noun). We misunderstood (verb) each other. We finally wised up and talked and got remarried. (It’s in the book). So, why did I write a book called, I’m Dressed, You’re Not?
I’ve had a good reason: Since I was five years old, secretly ‘dressed up’ in my mother’s clothes. The word, cross-dresser is in the book a lot, the word transvestite, not a whole bunch. I also admit to “daddy.” Good husband for 67 years and 3-time grampa, a lovable, old curmudgeon. Cross-dressers don’t want to be organized or identified. You couldn’t get one to march in a parade. They don’t want to be recognized or divorced, fired or even glanced askance at. Don’t want their wives or kids to find out. It isn’t fun. But it is. But it isn’t. That’s where I was when I told my wife about it. She had a tough time for a while and finally told her “best friend,” our daughter. Nobody got mad or disappointed at anybody. Isn’t it amazing how intelligent people can be. I’ve lectured on the subject to hundreds of college classes, for every Cal State. and U. of Cal’s. this century and last. Crimany! I wish I could have made this shorter. It happens. (Photo: Gunn with Tom Patterson)
You can reach out to John at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can buy his book I’m Dressed, You’re Not at: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/johnnygunn
Winner, Wimmer, Winner
15, 2018) Rocio Rivera is getting more and more
exposure doing the news at KFI. Next weekend, she’ll be
taking over the weekend shift of Julie Slater (Julie’s
leaving the station to pursue voiceover).
Rocio was born and raised in Los Angeles, graduating from Cal State Northridge with a degree in journalism. She started her broadcast career in a small town in Southeastern Colorado in 2011. “I found her [she found me] while she was working in Lamar, Colorado,” emailed KFI news director Chris Little. “I told her to stay there and work on her delivery, with my help, but she decided to move back to LA. I kept working with her and put her on overnight.” Rocio has been with KFI since 2015.
She’s also now a fill-in host for KCRW in the LA and Santa Barbara market during middays, Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
Roger Wimmer Passes. “Far too many
people play a major role behind the scenes of local LARadio and are rarely recognized for their efforts,” emailed Jhani
Kaye. “Although most may not know his name, Roger
Wimmer was one of those pivotable broadcasters who
helped shape the radio landscape in Los Angeles. He was one
of the two researchers of Cox Radio when the decision was
made to launch KOST 103 in 1982. Every KOST auditorium music
test was conducted under his watchful eye.
His insights were amazing. He helped sculpt the talk radio format for KFI, which took on powerhouse KABC and won the talk radio war. And he helped revive K-Earth 101 and make it #1 again in Los Angeles beginning with my tenure in 2006.”
Jhani continued: “Roger had been courageously fighting cancer for the past 4 years. He passed Saturday, October 13. He held a PhD. in mass media research and worked for many groups throughout his lengthy career. He was president and co-founder of Paragon Research and The Eagle Group, and also became president of Surrey Research. Few in radio probably realize that he co-authored the text book used at most colleges to introduce students to Mass Media Research, a book that has been printed in more than a dozen different languages around the world. Besides radio, Roger helped guide the programming for network television and cable TV. He turned 69 this past July.”
LARP Availability. “I’M WILLING TO WORK FOR FREE!” That offer from Jeff Schimmel, comedy writer/producer, leaped off the email page in 2000. “Right now, I’m collecting paychecks because Radio One, Inc. bought out the remaining year of my contract with KKBT. Aside from my tv and film credits, I created all the characters and comedy bits for Big Boy’s morning show on ‘Power 106.’ I also wrote the BEAT’s morning show with Ed Lover and Dr. Dre, then sat in for them on the air until Steve Harvey arrived.”
Although Jeff is currently writing and producing a tv show and teaching screenwriting classes around the country, he recently told me the most fun he ever had in the workplace was during his time in L.A. radio – and he’s ready to do it again. Jeff isn’t making his ‘work for free’ offer this time, because he doesn’t have to. Within the last few weeks, Jeff put the word out, and as a result he’s already evaluating a number of offers. His heart is in radio and he would be perfect for another programming opportunity. He’s funny, talented, and ready for his next mission. Jeff achieved tremendous success at multiple L.A. stations by bringing his writing / producing skills from tv and film to radio, and simultaneously provided next level content to stations in New York, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco, Denver and San Diego. Perhaps an L.A. radio decision-maker is at a crossroads and can provide an opportunity to let Jeff take a morning show to new heights or perhaps give an existing radio station a new coat of paint. You can reach Jeff through his website: www.maximumscreenwriting.com.
“Trust me Don, if you’re a prude then so am I.” – Larry Huffman
** Thompson Bio
“Very nice story on Gary Thompson. And Kerri Kasem is so pretty. Also loved the cartoon :)” – Mike Butts
** Happy Trails
“Thanks for the feature on Roy Rogers this morning. Those auction prices were really astounding!
I had the fortune to meet Roy Rogers once when I was a teenager. My brother and I were delivering furniture from our family business to a home out in Apple Valley. Having never seen the Roy Rogers Museum, my brother suggested that we drop by for a quick look. We obviously arrived at just the right moment. Standing outside in the parking lot that afternoon was Roy Rogers himself. We said hello and a twenty-minute conversation ensued, discussing everything from Trigger to the entertainment business. Not another soul was even around at the time. It was just the three of us talking, uninterrupted by any other Roy Rogers fans. Having grown-up watching Roy Rogers and Dale Evans as youngsters, my brother and I walked away with broad smiles. I can’t help but wonder what ever happened to my original Roy Rogers lunch box from elementary school. What would that gem be worth today?” – Ted Ziegenbusch
** Rogers Link
“My mom once worked as Roy Rogers' secretary. This was in the early 1950’s. She always told me that Roy and Dale were really nice, unassuming people. I remember her telling me that one of her jobs was to sign 8x10s of Roy on Trigger, ‘Happy trails, Roy Rogers.’ Roy also used to sign the pictures, but mom probably signed most of them :) My mom is still around. She’s 99 now and living in a board and care home.” – Larry Levy
** Another Roy Rogers Museum
“You mentioned Roy Rogers had a museum in Branson, but the first Roy Rogers museum was actually in Apple Valley it was there until maybe the 80’s. When I was a kid, my parents owned property near there and we would stop there. At least one time I remember when Roy was there.” – Bob Koontz
“You made me cry again! That listing of Roy Rogers’ memorabilia brought back so many memories. I knew his stuff would sell but wow! I grew up with Roy and Gene and Sky King and you’re right, they all made our lives better. From Sheriff John to Engineer Bill and Chucko and Bozo and Zolar, So Cal kids had it good growing up here.
I loved the analysis of Valentine on MY/fm. He can be funny without being mean. It’s a relief knowing people can leave the show on with or without kids present. I’m not a prude either but Heidi, Frosty and Frank have not gotten better with age. I’d rather even listen to ‘Ryan’s Roses’ on KIIS [now THAT would be a column].” – Julie T. Byers
** Carroll’s 90th BD
“Happy belateds, and many happy returns to Roger Carroll! We had some great phone chats during my days at KABC, decades ago. I was proud to be his ‘inside man,’ keeping him up to date on the goings-on at 790. [Guess that made me a ‘leaker.’] Also, was Dale Evans’ horse Buttermilk still alive? Or did they auction off the taxidermic version?” – Greg Hardison
** 1971 Ratings
"You showed the morning ratings for the summer of 1971 today. Ken Minyard was not at KABC in 1971. I believe he arrived in 1973 from Minneapolis and started in the evenings before being moved to mornings.
First he was paired with a news writer, John Babcock, and then Bob Arthur. Although I was not the regular morning engineer, I believe I was the engineer for one of the first broadcasts Ken and John did together." - Jerry Barber
** More '71 Ratings
"Relative to the 1971 12+ ratings posted Thursday, I’m thinking that the three month summer of ’71 AFTRA strike at KFWB might have had at least some impact. Substitute anchors and reporters, including a number of buffoons, could have sent some people to other stations. And back then an organized labor action might actually have stirred some sympathy resulting in a little listener attrition. Back then I think—don’t know, think—WB was generally ahead of KNX’s standing in the ratings." - Ed Pyle, Prescott, Arizona
Don Elliot Reports from 2018 NAB/RAB Radio Show
(October 12, 2018) Production
whiz Don Elliot has done it all. He’s been
on-air, program director, production, and station ownership.
He attended the recent 2018 NAB/RAB Radio Show in Orlando.
He shares some thoughts about the convention.
Don said there were only 2100 attendees. “Columnist Tom Taylor was even quoted as saying he couldn’t figure out why everybody was so happy,” he offered. “I suppose it depends on why you attended. Let me shed some light. It’s true that this certainly was not the largest attendance on record, however, it was in fact composed of a lot of doers.”
Don puts people in two different categories, those who see the glass half full, and those who see the glass half-empty. An engineer tells you that the container is larger than it needs to be.
He said there was a lot of emphasis on teaching the audience how to use the new devices like Alexa to find your station. “A panel on this sought input from the crowd to help facilitate the problems and confusion from a dictated command and to minimize errors in accomplishing this task,” said Don.
Another topic Don observed was the “connected car,” and on-the-floor demos brought it to life. “But it’s pretty easy to be all dressed up and no place to go,” Don emphasized. “You may have a good signal, you may be streaming, you may be doing podcasts, but remember, technology is great yet if the content isn’t there, today there are waaay too many choices and you won’t hold the audience.”
Don’s eye was on production resources. He said if you dug around at the show, you could find it. Don also had other conversations while at the NAB / RAB meeting. Elliot wrote a technical piece for a trade publication, but the highlight of his time in Orlando was interviewing Dave “Chachi” Denes, former pd of KBIG and founder of production house, Benztown. "We pride ourselves on figuring out custom solutions for our clients and that’s why we work with programs such as Sunday Night Slow Jams, Hot Mix and Todd N’ Tyler,” Chachi told Don.
“These shows give stations the opportunity to air the highest quality programming without giving up locality because the hosts work hard to be involved with every affiliate’s listeners and sales teams. I’m probably most proud of rebounding after being laid off by Clear Channel in 2009. At the time I was crushed and lost. It’s much of a blur now but I remember the sadness. I look back and now realize it was professionally the best thing that could have happened to me because it afforded me the opportunity to team up with amazing partners and we got to build Benztown.”
Hardly FM. In
the summer of 1971, the 12+ morning drive numbers in
1. KABC 8.2 (Ken Minyard)
2. KNX 8.0
3. KFWB 7.2
4. KFI 6.9 (Lohman & Barkley)
5. KMPC 6.6 (Dick Whittinghill)
6. KHJ 5.4 (Charlie Tuna)
7. KPOL-AM 4.3
8. KLAC 3.7 (Dick Haynes)
9. KRLA 3.2 (“World Famous” Tom Murphy)
10. KOST 2.8
KOST was the only FM station to make the Top 10. KHJ had a 23.0 in teens in AM drive, followed by KRLA with a 14.0.
|(October 11, 2018) KFI’s Kris Ankarlo is starting a new podcast. His first episode is catching up on the complex history of propositions in the state of California. Not only is Kris a wonderful storyteller, he spent four years as a tour manager for Contiki Tours, organizing and executing excursions for groups of 50 guests at a time. Click the artwork to get propositioned … Ever wonder how talent gets evaluated? George Johns and Bob Christy analyze MY/fm morning man Valentine. When you read the blog, you will think you are sitting in at a jock review meeting. Bob Christy begins: “I listened like a listener this morning at 6:20. I poured my third cup of coffee, turned on the radio and the first thing I heard was Valentine having a long conversation with a woman trapped in an unhappy marriage. Valentine let her talk, she got into what a nice and good man her husband is, but she just isn’t in love with him. Valentine got too close to being an amateur psychologist, but he didn’t push it. He didn’t make fun of her predicament. Valentine ended it nicely, and I came away thinking “Wow, he isn’t an asshole!” Good start.” Read the blog and the exchange here … Kenny D worked for Cal Shields when he was at KACE in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Kenny checked in to update his activities. After working behind the scenes at KABC and KRLA, he’s now the night jock for an Internet station, SoulRadioCoast2Coast.com ... Over the weekend, Roger Carroll celebrated his 90th birthday with family and friends at the Long Beach Yacht Club ... Since 2016, Sheri Donovan, veteran of Arrow 93, KROQ, and KSWD (100.3/The Sound), has been a realtor at Pinnacle Estate Properties in Woodland Hills.|
|If you are under 50, the following
will mean nothing to you. It is all about growing up in a
different time, when we all watched cowboy Roy Rogers on tv.
He had a museum in Branson, Missouri. Roy said if the museum
ever operates at a loss, close it and sell the contents.
Well the doors have closed forever and the contents of the
museum were sold at a public auction. Some items sold:
Roy's 1964 Bonneville (Pontiac) sold for $254,500. (It was expected to sell between $100 – 150,000).
His script book from the January 14,1953 episode of This Is Your Life sold for $10,000 (above expected $800 – $1,000).
Trigger's saddle and bridle sold for $386,500 (above expected $100 – $150,000).
The Bible they used at the dinner table every night sold for $8,750.
Nellybelle (the Jeep) sold for $116,500 (above expected $20 – 30,000).
A Republic Productions Poster bearing many autographs of the people that played in Roy’s movies sold for $11,875.
Dale’s horse, Buttermilk sold below the pre-sale estimate for $25,000. (below expected $30 – 40,000).
Dale's parade saddle sold for $104,500 (above expected $20 – 30,000).
Trigger (stuffed) sold for $266,500 (expected $100 – 200,000).
So, it's good-bye to Roy and Dale, Gene and Hoppy (Hop-a-long Cassidy), the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Farewell to Sky King (and Penny) and Superman and (Dragnet) Sgt Friday. Thanks to Capt. Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, and Capt. Noah and all those people whose lives touched ours, and made them better.
Gary Thompson Was at the Right Place at the Right Time
(October 10, 2018) Gary
Thompson was heard on KLIT, KYSR, KLAC and KSWD (100.3/The
Sound) throughout much of the 1990s. The Sound was
his most recent stop. We recently had a chance to catch up
with Gary, who took us through his eclectic career.
“It's been WAY more luck and ‘right place, right time,’ than talent. In early 1990, I was an electrical engineer in the aerospace industry, working at Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo, studying for my Masters. Within a year and a half, somehow, I was doing afternoon radio in Los Angeles (K-Lite), throwing out the first pitch at an Angels game, and working just studios away from two of my radio idols, Robert W. Morgan and Jim Healy (KMPC).
“In that year and a half after leaving the defense industry, there were four stations, three of which had less than perfect outcomes. The fourth location, Transtar, was a REALLY great place that would be my home several more times over the years. It’s where I met Dan McKay, who left Transtar to program K-Lite and ask me to come along for afternoons. Right place, right time.
Gary detailed how he was part of a tv show talking about radio. “While at K-Lite, I was on an episode of 48 Hours about ‘contest pigs.’ It was pretty widely watched, and that opened a door at Star 98.7 with Bob Kaake, vp/programming at Viacom. Literally the day after K-Lite let me know they were moving in a different direction, [read: letting me go].”
Gary’s next gig was at KYSR. “I went to 98.7. In the next six years I did imaging, mornings, middays and afternoons. “LUCKY! Although I did develop a LITTLE talent, thanks to Kaake, and pd’s Greg Dunkin, Dave Beasing, Randy Lane and Angela Perelli.
He described how he arrived in Southland. “Born in Milwaukee, raised in the suburb of Menomonee Falls, undergraduate engineering degree in Dallas, then high-tailed it to California, Manhattan Beach, thanks to Hughes Aircraft. From 1984-91, I was designing and maintaining equipment and procedures that tested lasers and thermal imaging systems used in tanks and aircraft.”
Gary ended up being on-air and director of programming for Westwood One from 1999 – 2007. He went to Dallas later in 2007 to program The Bone (KDBN 93.3/fm). He returned a year later to Westwood One. In 2015, he was the founder of ImagingThing, an imaging company for radio stations and podcasts. You can check out his website at www.ImagingThing.com.
|(October 9, 2018) One of the biggest tv and radio personalities in the Southland, Wink Martindale, will be up close and personal this Saturday morning and you’re invited to attend. Wink will tell stories of his amazing career as a tv game show host of hits including Tic Tac Dough, High Rollers, Gambit, Debt, and Trivial Pursuit. His radio years include KFWB, 1110/KRLA, KGIL and KMPC. You can ask him about his friendship with Elvis, or the inspiration behind his hit record, Deck of Cards. If you’re looking for an autograph, Wink will sign his book Winking at Life. The event is this Saturday morning at the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys. Send a check for $20 to PPB, PO Box 8673, Calabasas, CA 91372. Deadline is today. To pay by credit card, leave a message at 323.466.2121 and you’ll get a call back ... AMP Radio is ramping up its on-air sound with two new additions. DJ Vice will be hosting “DJ Vice in the Mix,” heard weekdays from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. In addition, Krystal Bee joins the station’s weekend lineup. “As someone who was born and raised in Los Angeles, it is an honor to be a part of the ‘97.1 Amp Radio’ family,” said Vice. “This mix is so fulfilling to do for my city, and hopefully, I can ease the pain of our listeners as they sit in L.A. traffic.” Krystal spent the past six years at Power 106 … In looking through the LARadio archives in 1998 for our Sunday feature, I found a piece where I was scolded by JJ Michaels (traffic lady for The Real Don Steele from 1992 – 1995) for a comment I made: "I was amused by your attitude toward ‘Star's’ morning crew's [Jamie, Frosty & Frank] reference to ‘blow job’ being (something) unacceptable to mention on the radio. For what it's worth, in my opinion too many Americans are prudes. Our founding fathers stepped off the Mayflower many moons ago and I think it’s time for people like you to loosen up. Come on Don…step off the Mayflower and lighten up." Twenty years later, I’m still a prude. Sorry … Remember Brian Beirne, for almost 30 years the dj known as Mr. Rock ‘n Roll at K-EARTH? Brian will appear with Vince Daniels at KMET, 1490 AM (Banning / Inland Empire) this Friday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. to share about the role music has played in his life. You can ask him anything live on Friday morning or send questions in advance by email. Vince has a website with all the contact info, www.VinceDaniels.com. Should be a lot of fun Friday morning. If you can't pick up the signal, you can listen at: http://www.kmet1490am.com/|
"There's a Train on Someone's Front Lawn"
8, 2018) Imagine you are a traffic reporter in
Southern California and you hear this cackle from the LAPD
dispatcher: “Someone is reporting that there is a ‘train on
their front lawn.’ Well, that’s what happened to Jeff
Baugh, one of the premiere airborne reporters. “You
can bet the farm that got my attention,” declares Jeff, in a
new book he has co-authored with Mary Baron Walker titled
Stick With Us & We’ll Get You There.
Jeff takes us into his world of covering the massive local freeway system for the past 30 years. The Chatsworth train derailing is just one of the major events Jeff details in this fascinating book that couples his birds-eye view with a licensed clinical social worker observing from sea level. The two authors provide survival techniques and ways to cope with getting caught in the terrible traffic jams.
Since 1986 when he started at all-News KFWB, he has also reported at KNX before his current gig providing traffic coverage from the KFI-Eye-In-The Sky. Once upon time, the dance-disco-deejay at Carlos & Charlie’s on the Sunset Strip has become the go-to-guy for airborne reporting. Jeff doesn’t just tell you that a freeway is clogged, he offers solutions for alternate routes.
When he arrived in L.A. in the late 1970s, Jeff found it strange there was such a lack of public transportation. Growing up back east, he was offered above ground light rail, the trolley, subways and buses to get to school. “I’m told that turn-of-the-century Los Angeles did have lots of light rail but falling in love with freeways, cars, cheap gasoline, suburban housing and the freedom of instant gratification when it came to travel put public transportation on the back burner for a long time,” wrote Jeff.
Jeff provides a history of SigAlerts. You’ll also recognize many LARP in the book – Ken Jeffries, Jack Popejoy, Rhonda Kramer, Judy Ford, "Uncle Joe" Benson, and Pete Demetriou.
His Top 10 traffic incidents will take you right into belly of the storm. Even if you were not living here when these events took place, his storytelling will make you will feel like you are a first-hand witness experiencing them for the first time. You will visualize the start of 1992 Los Angeles riot when Jeff was overhead at Florence and Vermont when hell erupted and as he details the following 70 hours. “Violence grew and before it was over fifty-eight people were dead and approximately two thousand injured,” wrote co-author Baron in this fascinating interactive book. Jeff added: “I remember using this phrase as I described what I was seeing, ‘From the air this looks like a cigarette hole in a napkin that very quickly is burning out in all directions.’ The words just tumbled out of my mouth.”
Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the book. The combination of an event being reported in the air as situations unfold as well as learning how to cope with traffic fatigue, anxiety and frustration on the ground is a first. Jeff’s stories also includes the crane collapse in the Cahuenga Pass, suicide on a major transition, the Northridge Earthquake, and Carmageddon. He was also in the air covering the OJ Simpson Bronco “chase.” Jeff’s coverage of the Chatsworth train tragedy earned him a Golden Mike by the Radio and Television News Association.
Assuming you travel the complex freeway system in Southern California, we highly recommend you order a copy of Stick With Us & We’ll Get You There at Amazon. You will undoubtedly listen to airborne reporting with a whole, new appreciation. Click the artwork for a link to the order form.
Email Saturday, 10.6.18
|** KABC Woes
“Re: KABC failing to make it into the top 40, two books in a row. Some years ago my old pal, the late Brent Seltzer, took a meeting with whoever was [mis] managing KABC at the time. According to him, Brent said something like: ‘If you don’t make radical, substantive and intelligent changes to this station immediately, you will soon fall below a 1 share and there will be no hope for you after that.’ They smiled, thanked him for coming in and showed him the door. Everything he predicted has come to pass.
For me, the long slow slide to oblivion began when, panicked by the rise of Rush Limbaugh, they jettisoned Michael Jackson with no viable plan to replace him. From that point on, bad decision piled on bad decision, exacerbated by the ownership changes. Could anything happen now to bring the station back? I have some ideas. I’m sure you do too. Would current KABC management / ownership listen? I doubt it. So why bother. Thanks.” – Neil Ross
|** K-EARTH Success
“Really cool how KRTH has figured out how to play non-current music and win with it again ... visors off!
Congratulations to the program director, Chris Ebbott. It reminds me of the KCBQ ‘Modern Oldies’ experiment I created in the late 90s. Good idea, bad timing. KRTH: Good idea, perfect timing! Chris really nailed it.” – Rich Brother Robbin
“Thank you and Rita Wilde for the nice words about Mike Scioscia today. As an Angel fan since 1968 [11 years old with the transistor radio under my pillow], I have never been prouder of a manager as I have been of him. Although he didn’t know when to pull a pitcher half the time, he otherwise managed and dealt with players and management and fans with integrity and kindness. I cried when he got choked up about his players. I’m hoping he'll be able to manage another team soon. And one whose management won’t skimp on pitching.
I loved what Denise Madden had to say about the unforgettable KGBS. I grew up with Hudson & Landry [‘clear the freeways, his Highness is coming’] and ‘the Feminine Forum’ and good old ‘Travelin’ Sam.’ Everyone should grow up with the radio I did; everything from Dick Whittinghill and Johnny Magnus to Charlie Tuna and Dave Hull to Lohman & Barkley and Tom Clay [l] – magic.” – Julie T. Byers
| ** Johnny Morris an
“Thank you so much for posting the link to the Johnny Morris video! I had plenty of admiration for his work, and his self-appointed gig as curator of L.A.’s Classic Soul collection.
When I knew him, I really never had any idea just what kind of icon Johnny was. If I’d known about his associations with Sly, Stevie and KDIA, I probably would have never left him alone. It’s a shame Johnny never wrote that 700-page book outlining his experiences, but he never was one to brag, or even to give himself enough credit as the king of great soul radio in California. (Photo of Morris with James Brown)
Health issues kept me from attending his memorial last weekend. For that I am truly regretful.” – Greg Hardison
|** Bow Wow
“This deejay reminds me of [the late] Noel Confer of mornings on XEAK ‘Mighty 690’ who said his small hands were... ‘...wee paws.... for this announcement.’
Confer impressed on my teenage mind [and wanna-be-in-radio] some of the most memorable radio quotes I love to recall, such as: ‘That’s Carl Dobkins, Junior, singing My Heart Is An Open Book ... and sure enough, right there, on the very last page, is the appendix.’
I never met Noel, but years after his passing I learned that he was a friend of my sister and brother-in-law in Brawley, Calif!” – Bill Kingman
|** First by Satellite
“I think Saul Levine is mistaken about KKGO being the first national-by-satellite commercial radio station. I was able to receive Chicago’s WFMT on a small tv cable service [‘Falcon Cable’] in my Portland canyon when I first arrived in the Rose City [where I still live] in 1975 from KMPC.
I just checked to see if WFMT might be noncommercial, but it is on a commercial frequency, and according to Wikipedia, it does run commercials.” – Eric Norberg, former pd at 710/KMPC
** Where Is the Kid?
“Around 1962, KPPC belonged to the Pasadena Presbyterian Church. The studios were in the basement. The church needed the money and allowed a bunch of ‘hippies’ to use their facilities to broadcast flower-power music. Their jocks were really funny. One called himself ‘The Kid’ and he did an irreverent impersonation of Dave Hull, including a satire of Hull’s silly laugh. Who was ‘The Kid?’ Where is he now?” – Chuck McReynolds
| ** Rachel’s Profile
“Something that got overlooked in the Rachel Maddow piece is that LARP Keith Olbermann was the one at MSNBC who originally brought in Rachel to be his regular guest anchor when he needed to be away.
It was that exposure which led to her getting the slot following his, which she kept when he was forced out a few years later. I still remember the handoff the first night of her new show, which was a combination of his congratulating her and some tongue-in-cheek griping that now he was going to have to find a new regular guest anchor.” – K.M. Richards
** Love for Rachel
“Loved the Rachel Maddow article. I never miss her!” – Rich Brother Robbin
| ** Double Double Audio on KSPN
“Thanks for continuing your column, I always look forward to it.
Sunday mornings, KSPN runs a public affairs program in the 5 a.m. hour. Last week I was in the car and heard this show airing at the same time the station continued to air the ESPN Radio network feed. Double audio! I’m not sure how long it continued because I arrived at my destination and got out of the car. But guess what? This week it happened again! Double audio with the public affairs show and ESPN Radio network feed airing at the same time. Unbelievable. I could hear a woman talking with a guest about digestive health while two other guys broke down the Stanford-Notre Dame game – at the same time!” – Mark Thomason
** KSPN Boss Responds
“We found a misplaced command in the automation system ahead of the public affairs show. We believe it’s been fixed...will be monitoring this Sunday.
Regarding the delay, all of our live programming is on an appx 20-second delay for obvious reasons. This includes all play-by-play – Rams, USC, Lakers, etc. While it would be nice to not have a delay for folks listening to a radio inside the Coliseum, it is simply not worth the risk to do so.” – Scott Mc Carthy
|** Many Thanks
"Sorry to hear Don Graham had a health challenge and we all hope he is already bouncing back.
As to the diagnosis of possibly early pneumonia, Don is always early with the breakouts. I guess early pneumonia will be New and Active, garnering huge phones and topping the charts soon. Get well, Don!" - Randy West, tvrandywest.com
End of the Week Hear Ache
|(October 5, 2018) Legendary sportscaster Warner Wolf has lost his age discrimination lawsuit against the retired Don Imus. The New York Daily News reports: “Due to the fact that Wolf is a Florida resident that worked in Florida, he lacks any viable claims…since the impact of any alleged discriminatory conduct would have been in Florida.” The 80-year old Wolf claimed Imus mocked his age and senior status before firing him in 2016. The judge also wrote that the examples Wolf filed with the court did not rise to the level of age discrimination by Imus — since he too is old (thanks to The New York Daily News for artwork) … Didja know that blind artist Clarence Carter (Patches) was married to gospel and soul singer Candi Staton? … KNX’s Chris Madsen is celebrating 34 years of marriage. How he met his wife is as good as any request-line romance. “She was a contest winner to see the Cubs v. the Padres in San Diego and I was an announcer with SportsPhone ‘tasked’ with being an escort. I have proudly been escorting Lori ever since,” wrote Chris on his Facebook page … Gary Calamar, 25-year veteran at KCRW, resurfaces at KCSN (88.5/fm). His Sunday show debuts this weekend from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. … Get well thoughts for record promoter extraordinaire, Don Graham. After three days in Cedars-Sinai, docs say it is possibly early pneumonia … Isaac Lowenkron is the new radio play-by-play voice of Cal State University Bakersfield Roadrunners men’s basketball … Don Elliot “survived” the Orlando Radio Show, “Only 2,100 attendance. Scary,” wrote Don … KNX anchor Rob Archer announced in his blog that as a youngster he was the victim of sexual assault. Read his story here … Have you been reading the very public dust-up on social media between morning icon Ken Minyard and the author of his memoirs? OMG! … KWVE’s Brian Perez sent a fascinating story about retailers being deaf to radio advertising. Read here … Would you like to have coffee with Wink Martindale and be able to ask him anything about his career? Stand by for details next week … Former Mega programmer Mike Marino has a thought-provoking line: “I want an investigation into boring radio!”|
Fun Top 40 Story.
It was the case of the missing dj. When 1110/KXLA
rechristened itself KRLA and began to rock and roll in 1959,
one of its jocks, Perry Allen, was absent.
KRLA started a "Find Perry Allen" campaign and promised
$10,000 to any listener who could track him down in those
pre-Google days. What mischievous KRLA didn’t say was that
it knew where Allen was: working at his old station in
Buffalo, waiting for his contract to expire. But KRLA’s
rival, KFWB, knew all about it. And KFWB sent two
representatives to Buffalo to confront Allen and claim the
$10,000, wrote ex-jock Bob Eubanks in
It’s in the Book, Bob, co-written by Matthew Hansen.
KRLA grudgingly paid, then tried to capitalize on its own
misfortune with the slogan, "Even KFWB listens to KRLA."
Les Moonves. The Hollywood Reporter had a Paul Bond article titled “Les’ Long Goodbye.” He wrote: “CBS laid out the plan in an SEC filing that doesn’t mention how much it will spend on Les Moonves, but in 2017 it shelled out $640,552 for his security alone. It shouldn’t cost that much going forward, though, since Moonves won’t be traveling as often as a mere adviser – and won’t be using the company plane. Plus, the filing stipulates only ‘security services at executive’s home.’”
Rachel Maddow's Journey from Radio to TV
|(October 4, 2018) A
10-page profile of Rachel
Maddow in a recent
edition of the New Yorker tells
a revealing story on how she constructs a narrative. Though
currently better known for her work on cable tv, Maddow was
one of the anchor talents at the now defunct Air America
radio network. Some highlights from the Janet Malcolm penned
In Rachel Maddow’s office at the MSNBC studios, there is a rack on which hang about thirty elegant women’s jackets in various shades of black and gray. On almost every weeknight of the year, at around one minute to nine, Maddow yanks one of these jackets off its hanger, puts it on without looking in the mirror, and races to the studio from which she broadcasts her hour-long tv show sitting at a sleek desk with a glass top. She is the current sweetheart of liberal cable TV. Like a carnival barker, she leads us on with tantalizing hints about what is inside the tent.
The Rachel Maddow Show is a piece of sleight of hand presented as a cable news show. It is true entertainment at its finest. Maddow’s artistry is most conspicuously displayed in the long monologue – sometimes as long as twenty-four minutes, uninterrupted by commercials – with which her show usually begins. Maddow was born 45 years ago in the small city of Hayward, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and grew up in neighboring Castro Valley. Her brother, David, now on the staff of a bioscience company, was born four years earlier. Her father, Robert, a lawyer, worked as the counsel for the local water company, and her mom, Elaine, had an administrative job in the school district and wrote for a community newspaper.
“I graduated from high school at seventeen and went to Stanford. I came out soon after I got to college, and that caused a rift – a temporary rift – with my family. It was very hard for them. My mom is very catholic, and my dad saw how much it hurt my mom. But now my parents and I are close again. They couldn’t be more supportive. They’re very close to my partner,” said Rachel.
Her partner is a fifty-six-year-old artist, with whom she has lived for the past eighteen years. They met in a small town in Massachusetts a few years after Maddow graduated from Stanford. Her partner was looking for someone to do yard work. When she opened the door, a coup de foudre followed. Maddow’s entrance into broadcasting began as a lark. While she was writing her thesis and doing her odd jobs in western Massachusetts, she heard about an audition held by a local radio station for someone to announce the morning news. She got the job – understandably. She has a beautiful voice, low in register but with a clarion brightness to it, and beautiful diction. This job led to others, to higher and higher runs on the ladder of radio broadcasting (the liberal network Air America was her final radio destination, in 2004), and then to work in television news at MSNBC and, ultimately, to her own show, which began airing in 2008. (Thanks to the New Yorker for the artwork)
Ellen K Doubles Down
(October 3, 2018) Hosting
a podcast is the newest audio fad. Will it last as long as
the Tamagotchi, Furby, or Pokemon? Marketing will be a
factor. So will ease of access. I was struck by iHeart’s
announcement that KOST morning personality Ellen K will
host a podcast where she will “share behind-the-scenes
stories from her career and dive deeper into the stories of
the day.” If we’re fans of Ellen’s morning show, why isn’t
she sharing behind-the-scenes stories and diving deeper into
the stories of the day during her show, while we’re invested
in her program as we get ready for school or work and on the
morning commute? Isn’t this what makes
show soar at sister station MY/fm? He takes us
behind-the-scenes with his life. When he was sharing his
challenges with his son, it was appointment listening. Why
make it tougher for the listener, requiring access to two
different platforms to listen to Ellen? Makes no sense.
Batter Up. Was there a classier swan song message than Angel manager Mike Scioscia signing off last Sunday? Sciosica stepped down after a 19-year career that included a World Series Championship, a feat impossible to achieve in franchise history when Gene Autry owned the team. Sounds like he will be available if another team comes calling.
“I was an Angels fan before Mike Scioscia became their manager,” wrote Rita Wilde. “Thank you for being at the helm in 2002 when Angel fans got to experience what it felt like to be World Series Champions. Thank you for some amazing experiences and for being who you are. My best to you and the family.”
Hear Ache. Jimmy Steal, longtime programmer at Power 106, will be honored as International Music Person of the Year by MUSEXPO … Craig Powers is celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary in Spain and Portugal … A celebration of life for an early voice in Urban radio in the Bay Area and L.A., Johnny Morris, was held last weekend. Would you like to know more about him? A YouTube video was prepared for his memorial here …Marcellus Wiley told LA Times’ Tom Hoffarth why he jumped from KSPN to Fox Sports. “No evil backstory. Just pretty standard operations with an expired contract.” He said he dealt with the same situation over a 10-year NFL career as an All-Pro defensive end.
September PPM Released
(October 2, 2018)
KBIG is the big winner in the September '18 Nielsen Audio
for 6+ PPM Mon-Sun 6a-12mid. K-EARTH, the Classic Hits
station that just won the Marconi Award for Best Classic
Hits Station of the Year, was runner-up. Biggest move in a
generally static Top 10 from last month was Power 106,
moving into the 9th spot. KLAC, flagship station of the
playoff-bound Dodgers leads KSPN. Top 40 AMP Radio and
Alternative 98-7 seem to be going in the wrong direction,
both tied at 20th. For fans of KABC, apparently it was no
fluke last month when the station failed to make the list of
Top 40. Happened again.
1. KBIG (Hot AC) 5.6 - 5.5
2. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.1 - 5.0
3. KOST (AC) 4.6 - 4.7
4. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.2 - 4.6
5. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.6 - 4.4
6. KFI (Talk) 3.8 - 3.7
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.7 - 3.6
KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.7 - 3.6
9. KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.6 - 3.2
10. KXOL (Spanish AC) 3.0 - 3.1
11. KNX (News) 3.1 - 3.0
12. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.7 - 2.9
KRRL (Urban) 2.8 - 2.9
14. KROQ (Alternative) 2.9 - 2.8
15. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.5 - 2.6
16. KPCC (News/Talk) 2.5 - 2.5
17. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.5 - 2.4
KKGO (Country) 2.4 - 2.4
KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 2.4
20. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.8 - 2.3
KYSR (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.3
22. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 2.0
23. KUSC (Classical) 1.6 - 1.8
24. KCRW (Variety) 1.5 - 1.5
KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.5 - 1.5
26. KXOS (Regional Mexican) 1.5 - 1.3
27. KLAC (Sports) 1.2 - 1.2
KRLA (Talk) 1.2 - 1.2
KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.3 - 1.2
30. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.2 - 1.1
KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 0.8 - 1.1
32. KEIB (Talk) 1.1 - 0.9
KSPN (Sports) 0.8 - 0.9
34. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.8
KFWB (Regional Mexican) 1.2 - 0.8
KKJZ (Jazz) 0.8 - 0.8
KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 0.7 - 0.8
38. KKLA (Religious) 0.4 - 0.7
39. KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.6 - 0.6
KYLA (Christian Contemporary) 0.5 - 0.6
Classic Win for K-EARTH
|(October 1, 2018)
K-EARTH is no longer your father’s - or grandfather’s -
Oldies station. The days of
Pretty Woman by Roy
Orbison airing five times a day are long gone. Chuck Berry
and Fats Domino have been replaced by The Cure, Kansas, and
Uncle Kracker. The newer playlist devised by pd
Chris Ebbott has worked very well. So well that the
station not only finds itself among the top-rated stations,
but over the weekend, the industry recognized KRTH as the
Classic Hits Station of the Year. The Marconi Award was
presented by the National Association of Broadcasters'
Established in 1989, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards recognize stations and individuals for their excellence and performance in radio. Winners are selected by the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy. The academy consists of general managers, program directors, regional executives, owners, programming consultants and former radio executives from across the country. Speaking of awards, listen to the winner of the 2003 Radio & Records Lifetime Achievement Award with one of the most amazing speeches ever, thought to be his last.
Little Franny Freeway. Denise Madden has sold time on L.A. Radio. She wrote: “Your website always comes up with really fun memories. I re-connected with a dear friend I worked with at KGBS and I laughed recalling Little Fanny Freeway [Peggy Bowen], who later married our program director Ron Martin. I miss him a lot. Someday, I will write and share some memories of those crazy years of Bill Ballance, Micki & Teddi and Mayor Sam Yorty with sidekick Wally George, plus the radio war over sponsorship of the Palomino Club. The battle raged for over years between KLAC & KGBS when the latter became ‘Gentle Country.’ It all seemed so life and death back then."
In other news: After more than 32 years of hosting MoneyTalk, Bob Brinker has decided to step away from radio… Retired KFI in the Sky pilot Mike Nolan had a pacemaker installed last week. “Heart rate was down to lower 30's. No major symptoms for me, but everybody seem surprised that I haven't face planted already,” he wrote on Facebook. “Feeling fine and very thankful. I guess me and the tv bunny now have something in common” … Former longtime KROQ programmer Gene Sandbloom wrote on Facebook that he’s getting pretty close to calling Paris his new home town. “I’ve stopped making a list of stuff to do, and just walk out the door and wander. Today, I found music everywhere … New monthly ratings are due this afternoon. If you are on our mailing list, they will be sent to your email box.