Happy Monday LARP Birthdays

Wally Clark
Carol Hemingway
Scott James
Patty Lotz
Mimi Novak
Frank Sontag

The most comprehensive listing of 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People, spanning the last 58 years, is now available just by clicking on your favorite personality. The listings provide a colorful snapshot of where they came from, where and when they worked, and what they’re doing now. Enjoy!   



(Beata Czechowski, Ed Arnold, Tim Conway, Jr., KHJ outdoor, Vin Scully, Bob Miller, and Melissa Sharpe)

Uncle Joe Benson Voted #5 Best On-Air LARP of 2015

(July 6, 2015) Uncle Joe Benson is a Southern California legend. He has worked at KLOS, KLSX, Arrow 93, and currently is on the red-hot 100.3/The Sound working middays. Uncle Joe must be in the perfect place, as he was voted #5 Best On-Air LARP of 2015.

For many years he was the host of KLOS’s Sunday night “7th Day” program, highlighting entire albums with in-depth background stories. He has returned to KLOS at least three times, but he was a free agent when The Sound grabbed him.

Joe started working for a small station in Dubuque in 1968. After stops in Milwaukee and Cleveland, he joined KLOS in October 1980, then was let go in November 1994 as part of a major station housecleaning. In January 1995, KLSX, then known as the “Classic Rock” station, hired Joe to reprise his popular Sunday night show, as well as do fill-in.

In summer 1996 he returned to KLOS to host “7th Day,” and by January 1997 he was working afternoon drive. In August 1997, Joe took the morning shift at “Arrow 93,” featuring more of his ‘stories’ to compliment the music intensive Classic Rock format.

Over the years, he has written several volumes of discographies titled Uncle Joe’s Record Guides. A racecar enthusiast and driver, Joe has also been covering motor sports on-air since 1986, and has been announcing at the California Speedway since its inception in 1997. Having an on-line presence since 1994, Benson's Web site is unclejoe.com.

The Sound's Uncle Joe Benson

Some of the comments from those who voted for Uncle Joe:

Hear Ache. KOST’s Karen Sharp celebrated her 22nd wedding anniversary over the weekend. Congratulations … Ken Charles begins as new program director at KNX this morning. Best of luck, Ken.

 KPPC Concert Ad from 1971

Top Local Talk Shows. Alan Ross sent along congratulations to our local LARP who made Newsmax.com's 2015 list of the Top 50 Local Talk Shows nationwide: 

1.  John & Ken, KFI 640 AM

5.  Bill Carroll, KFI 640 AM

13.  Doug McIntyre, KABC 790 AM

37.  Brian Whitman, Ben Shapiro, Elisha Krauss, KRLA 870 AM

“And a special shout out and prayers to #22, Ronn Owens, KGO 810 AM, San Francisco, especially as he continues to battle ongoing problems with Parkinson’s Disease,” emailed Ross. “What a Talent and what a Trooper.  What a survivor, too [health wise and career wise]. I mean just think of the decades long ups and downs he's gone through at the used to be iconic KGO! God bless Ronn.”

Who Helped Make You the Person You Are?

Bob Brill

KNX News Anchor

The person who helped make me what I am professionally really is people. My father instilled upon me I could do anything if I worked hard and believed I could. Ted Tillotsen, my former KELP-El Paso news director put me on the straight road in news.

Mark Howell was my news director at KUZZ –Bakersfield and KYNO- Fresno and he instilled upon me the “right way” to do news. Accuracy, straight forward, and the reporter is not the story – the story is the story. He refined me.

When I went to UPI Radio in 1985 it was Bob Fuss who took my refinement to another level. But more than that, he respected me and showed me that respect. He made me realize what I was and what I could be while at the same time giving me the props for where I had come from and gotten to.

None of that however, would have been possible if it wasn’t for Cynthia Menck. She was my high school speech teacher who first put me on the road to where I would go. I absolutely consider her my mentor and the person most responsible for my career. I stay in touch with her even three decades later.

KNX Honored. KNX won three Southern California Journalism Awards presented for editorial excellence by the LA Press Club at its 57th Southern California Journalism Awards dinner held recently. The KNX 1070 award recipients for exclusive, original programming that aired in 2014 are:


Charles Feldman l Laraine Herman (“Running on Empty: Our Epic Drought”)


Chris Sedens (“Ed Begley’s Not Running on Empty”) 


Charles Feldman l Tom Haule l Jonathan Serviss l Diane Dray l Logan Moy (“Ask the Mayor”)

Photo:  KNX producer Laraine Herman and anchor Chris Sedens at awards dinner where KNX went 3 for 3.


So a mushroom goes into a bar and asks the bartender for a drink. The bartender says, "Sorry, we don't serve mushrooms here."

The mushroom says, "Come on! I'm a fungi!"

(Esquire's series on a Funny Joke from a Beautiful Woman. Emily Wickersham is an agent/genius on NCIS)

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** 98.7 Call Letter Error

“Thank you, Jim Hilliker and K.M. Richards, for discovering the source of the erroneous information that 98.7 fm had the KJOK call letters in 1971-72. Those calls were listed in the 1971 Broadcasting Yearbook. The publication subsequently wrote a correction. The Wikipedia page for KYSR also included the KJOK calls and I have corrected the error there.

On a totally unrelated note, KFI 640 is running a new promo: ‘At KFI, we like mixing things up now and then. IFK, AM 460.’” – Steve Thompson

** Debra on the Mark

“Hey, just wanted to thank you so much for all that you have done. I really loved LARadio and will miss it greatly!” – Debra Mark, Go Country

** LARP Feeling Like Superstar

“Alas, Don, I can certainly understand why you’ve made the decision to end your column, although I will miss it and you intensely. No matter where on the radio hierarchy we stood, you made us all feel like superstars. So many times I’ve giggled with pride because the same savvy you wielded as a marketing boss at three movie studios took notice of some accomplishment of mine. You gave us an outlet to share news and views, and learn of hirings, firings, births, deaths, triumphs and tragedies. Don Barrett, you are simply irreplaceable and I look forward to hearing what your next great adventure will be.  

While I’m here I'd like to give a shout-out to someone I consider a radio mentor, although I could never rise to his greatness. Dick Whittington, you made radio fun, interactive, and a crucial part of our lives for so long. On a daily basis your imagination and verbal prowess celebrated the art of original storytelling. What passes for humor today is too often snark and opinion. I feel bad for listeners who never experienced what you provided each time you sat in the air chair.” – Dawna Kaufmann, Los Angeles

** Thanks for the Memories

“Don, I have been loving the great messages of radio memories shared by so many LARPs and readers.  This is yet another message of thanks and affection, for you and all your hard work, and to Alan Oda, Nancy Plum, Darrell Wayne, Jim Hilliker, Mary Beth Garber, Steve Thompson, and the many over the years who contributed to make up the wonderful online radio community you assembled. 

I really enjoyed the ride, thanks for taking us all along. This moment is a little sad for us, but we are very happy for you. Time to lay this burden down, and know we all appreciate how far, long, hard, and well you have carried it!  With much gratitude.” – John Crowley

** Thanks for the Scoops

“Thank you for inviting all of us LARadio People to share our thoughts on what your work has meant to us.

While it saddens me to see that it is ending, I totally understand, and honestly, I’m happy for you. Now you can spend your time in other ways that can bring you happiness and hopefully whatever is next will be appreciated.

You poured your heart and soul into LARadio.com as you did in the books that you self-published before going online. You were always first with the top stories, headlines and scoops. You took us behind the scenes and gave us a ‘peek behind the curtain’ into the lives and careers of people we listened to, admired, respected, but many times didn’t know that well. I enjoyed it and learned a great deal.

I think many of us feel that it's an embarrassment that an industry that wants to be paid for everything, expects everything else to be free.

One thing is clear. You have always loved and respected radio, far more than it respects itself.” – Mike Butts

**More from Moore

“A big THANK YOU for informing and enhancing so many of our lives, those of us in the biz as well as those who aren't.  You have gone above and beyond what anyone could've expected. 

May God continue to bestow his blessings upon you and Cherie!” – Gary Moore, KLOS

** Thanks for the Enlightenment

“You are one of the classiest, most dignified and articulate people in our industry.  Your sphere of enlightenment and influence goes far beyond LA. I thank you for making radio something to be cherished. How many people can we say that about?” - Mike Lee, President, HD/FX

** Adopting All Radio People

“Well, I guess it's time to stop the denial and actually start to think about how I'm going to start my mornings from here on in once your beloved column won't be there to greet me and my hot cup of green/ginger tea. It was a ritual I'd come to love over the years.

A thought struck me today at Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Mission Hills. I was so happy to see our 100th pet find a happy home this weekend. And Don, you've done exactly that for thousands of on and off-air LARP's for years. You’ve given us a fun and loving home where we could hang our hats and gather in community.

Thanks for adopting every one of us. You'll be sorely missed by all. Best wishes for a fun and happy life filled to the brim with happiness.” – Deborah Howell, The WAVE 

Beasing Sounds Off as #5 Best Off-Air LARP of 2015

(July 5, 2015) In the early summer of 2008, Dave Beasing joined the senior management team as program director of 100.3fm/The Sound, a Triple A station launched a year earlier. In 2009, Beasing made his first appearance on the list of the Best Off-Air LARP of the Year. This year he has moved up to #5 Best Off-Air LARP of 2015, from #6 last year. The Sound has made its Classic Rock presence known the past year, consistently showing up in the Top 10.

Dozens of working LA Radio People voted for their peer group, which resulted in the Top 10 Best list. Dave is no stranger to the programming ranks in Los Angeles, having been program director at KYSR and KXEZ in the 1990s. Before joining The Sound, he was a senior consultant with Jacobs Media for 13 years.  

When he was appointed pd at The Sound he said: “From the moment I first heard The Sound I knew whoever programmed this brand would experience the opportunity of a lifetime. Thanks to Greg [Solk, Bonneville vice president of programming] for including me in what is shaping up to be an unparalleled team of broadcast professionals. Thanks also to Fred Jacobs, his staff and clients for an incredible 13-year run. They have prepared me well for this assignment.”  

Before arriving in the Southland, Dave also programmed KMZU-Carrollton, Missouri, KLIN-Lincoln, KRMG-Tulsa and spent three years with WLTI-Detroit where he had been appointed pd in 1990.

#5 Best Off-Air LARP of 2015

Dave Beasing

Some of the comments about Dave from those who voted for him: 

Memories Of Southern California Radio. Subscribers were offered an opportunity to share some memories of listening to the radio in LA. Larry Hart of Sherman Oaks shares his memories:

Some days ago, when I heard your site was finishing its run, I thought “again?” Seems like the third time for a bad April Fool’s joke. But as someone who really enjoys listening to stations making format changes, you never know what will be in the next day’s headlines, including what’s happening with LARadio.com. 

When I arrived here from New Jersey in the 1970s, I noticed how much more Top 40 there was on the AM band here, versus WABC and WNBC in New York. We had KFI, KHJ, and KTNQ, plus KRLA mixing Top 40 and Oldies. I sure wish I’d made an aircheck of the screaming 1190, KEZY from Orange County, I didn’t know the station would later turn to an AOR format later in the year. There were two soul stations, KDAY and KGFJ / KKTT, the latter was certainly interesting. 

As for news and talk, I did have some issues with KNX omitting some live coverage from the CBS Radio Network, though they were certainly a dependable station. At least the station offered a complete weather forecast at :06 and :31 past the hour, and George Walsh would report on the nation’s temperature extremes every night at 10:06.

The 1980–81 edition of KMPC featured a most enjoyable talk format, without the commercial clutter. In addition, the station was a good outlet for the Mutual Radio Network. And yes, KABC was also enjoyable listening, especially Ray Briem, as he was a radio freak. 

This may be the last chance I have to tell this story. In 1978, during my first week here, I was curious about stations running SCA (Subcarrier Communications Authorization, which allowed fm stations to provide additional programming on a subcarrier frequency, Muzak was once delivered this way). I called KSRF in Santa Monica, asking to speak to the Chief Engineer. A quite knowledgeable man came on the line, who knew a lot about the local radio landscape. That man was – and still is – Bernie Alan. I happened to phone him again near his last day at “K-Surf,” when he told me he was leaving for KOST. We continued our friendship for all of these times, since we were both from back East, we always have a lot of ground to cover, especially since we’re both DX-ers. He was nice enough to let me watch the debut of CNN at his home.

One more historical note. In a recent “Rewind,” there was a mention of KLAC being a Top 40 station, either as “Formula Radio” in 1958 or “Future Phonic” in 1959. I’m wondering if there are any airchecks and / or jingles from that station. I counted seven AM stations (KLAC, KHJ, KFWB, KPOP, KRLA, KGFJ, KDAY) dabbling in some form of rock and roll around 1959, eight if you count “The Mighty 690” (XEAK, now XETRA) coming in from Baja, California. That would have been an exciting time to be a listener.

Lastly, Don, if you are really shutting down the website, are there any plans for a farewell shindig? Thanks so much in advance.”

Who Helped Made You the Person You Are Today?

Dale Berg


Good question. For me it would have to be my psychologist.  His name was Dr George Axtell. I started seeing him in 1986 when my first marriage and life fell apart.  I thought my radio career was over. When I started seeing him things began to happen.

First I realized I was okay. Then my career got a fresh new boost. The next 28 years has been just amazing, both in my life and career. This included two positions as a program director and reconnecting and marrying my next door neighbor Ann who I met in 1967 and lost track of in 1978.

My doctor has passed away. I spoke to him about 15 years ago and not only did he still remember me, but was pleased about my accomplishments and kept going on about them.


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** Early LARadio Start

“I am Richard (Dick) Miller who started working in LA Radio at KCRW in 1960 when all KCRW did was ‘Standard School Broadcast’ and SMCC sports.  I got a call one day from George Baron who was working for the Funks [KDAY -Evening Outlook] and was at POP and KSRF in Santa Monica. Then I got hired by Bill Scott KBMS 105.9 [background music business] plus a few spots on the main channel. Then I added KGRB AM 900 in West Covina on weekends. They had a 2 tower DA and a RCA 1kw at 250 watts, unlike KPPC AM 1240 that had a mini version of a Collins 20V2 with 4-125 tubes instead of the usual 4-400C final/modulator. 

Robert Burdett owned KGRB and trusted me to show up and work weekends.

I had to quit there when Art Sterman/Ben Hoberman hired me full time in 1963.  Joe Pyne was the big thing then and we had one of the first home-made delay machines to dump a caller after they said or did a ‘no no.’

Ben Hoberman told me, ‘Dick don't let this get to you because people don't call unless they are upset or very interested.’  I worked at KABC AM/FM simulcast until 1969 when KABC/fm went Beautiful Music for a year.

KLOS started in 1970.

I got drafted and had to be away for a while, but they let me keep my seniority.

Lots of interesting people like Howard (prop 13) Jarvis, Bill Ballance, BMR, Michael Brown (Billy Juggs), Rodger Layng, Don Doolittle, Ray Briem, Frank Hemingway, Carole Hemingway, Michael Jackson, Dick Wahl (net only) had 10 kids, Scott Shurian, Mel Baldwin, Tom Schell, Merrill Muller, Bob Scott, Lou Cook, Bob Anderson, etc.

Thanks, Mahalo.” – Richard Miller, KUAU, Maui, HI

** Missing LARadio

“I am another who is going to miss your web pages. I am not in ‘the business,’ but I like listening to radio during the day, and find your articles interesting.  I also read you in the Orange County Register. 

If you go, where will we get the information? May I suggest you go to a weekly, or monthly site? Thank you for what you have done.” - David Aten

** All Things Must Change

“Like all of us I'm saddened to see LARadio.com end. All things must change in life. Thank you for all the years of quality. The best to you!” - Mike O'Neil

** Non-LARP

“Thanks for the years of great information about LA Radio. As a non-LARP I have enjoyed the look inside the industry you have provided.” – Norman Gordon

** Someone Else To Follow Format?

“You have set up a format a style  a way of doing things. Can't someone carry on your tradition?” – David Boothby 

John & Ken Voted #6 Best On-Air LARP of 2015

(July 4, 2015) KFI’s John & Ken were voted #6 Best On-Air LARPs of 2015. No one catches the local lightning-in-a-bottle better than John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou. The afternoon duo has been at KFI since 1992, save for a year doing morning drive at KABC in 1999.  

Their ability to loudly create headlines from their afternoon show was acknowledged and admired in our annual poll, drawing from dozens of active and working Los Angeles Radio People (managers, talent, engineering, traffic, and marketing/promotion people) who voted this year. A cross section of station groups and independents each nominated five LARP currently on the air, plus five off-air people presently working for a Southland radio station.    

John & Ken capture the flavor of the day with almost meticulous precision, skewering politicians and their policies and practices.

John & Ken first teamed up in 1988 at WOND-Atlantic City. Ken, born in 1956, graduated from State University of New York at Buffalo. After graduation he worked as a C.P.A. for a health company. John spent a year of college at Seton Hall and then worked as a sportswriter. His first radio job was at WKAD in Canton, Pennsylvania in 1983. He met Ken at WKAD, and eventually the two moved on to Elmira, New York. John did mornings at WENY, while Ken was part of a competing morning team at WELM. The pair teamed up at WKXW-Trenton before arriving at KFI. In 1995, their relentless coverage made the pair synonymous with the O.J. Simpson trial. 

KFI's John & Ken

Here are some of the comments from those who voted for John & Ken:

Who Helped You Be the Person You Are Today?

Dwight Arnold


Great question. I had two terrific mentors early in my career.

In college, Russ Jackson, who was a longtime radio veteran, taught the radio station KKSM (now just KSM) at Palomar College and he got me started

 And Max Tolkoff, my boss at my first and longest job at 91X in San Diego, taught me more and gave me more opportunities than anyone!

Russ is now happily retired and Max is still working in radio.

LARadio Archives 

No-Host for Departing CBS/LA
Market Manager Dan Weiner

(April 3, 2009) Dan Weiner (l) was the focus of a no-host cocktail party at Ma Kai in Santa Monica last night. The packed room of colleagues and advertising agency folk were there to wish Dan good luck as the new Regional VP of Fox Interactive Media. He left his position as head of the CBS Radio/LA cluster just last Friday. He's been on the new job just a matter of a few days.

"I've just been soaking it all in," said Dan. "It is a total start-up from the ground-up. I've been working on everything from new logos, to press kits, to account lists, which we didn't even have. On Monday and Tuesday I worked on avails - 11 pieces of business. I hadn't worked on 11 avails in a month at CBS. It kind of convinced me that the new job is going to be okay."

Ed Krampf, the new CBS Radio/LA market manager, has been on the job since Monday. Ed replaced Weiner and returned to the Southland from the market manager for CBS Radio in Tampa/St. Petersburg and Orlando. Ed had been with Clear Channel/LA cluster a decade ago. How have the first few days been? "The market has been very receptive and very kind to me. Everybody I've met with has been extremely warm and happy that an old friend has returned. I got caught up in some emotion today at Dailey & Associates when I talked with some folks that I'm very fond of and we had a nice conversation about coming home."  

1. Dave Severino, Christina Castellanos, Tim McClellan, Rose Nelson;
2. KTWV middayer Talaya; and 3. Ron Escarsega, Andy Ludlum

Left: former KBIG team Dan Weiner, Ed Krampf, Ed Butts, Jhani Kaye;
right: Crystal Gomez, KTWV afternooner Don Burns, and Adam Bookbinder

Left: Amber Perry, Jan Kopic; center: KTWV's Bill Dudley; and right: Amy Goldstein and Bill Denton

(Left) Jhani Kaye, Blake Florence, Lisa Stanley; (center) James Fink;
(right) Derek Beesemyer; Ralph Stewart, David Hughes


Left - Scott Mason and Keith Smith; and right - Derek Beesemyer, Kim Barber, Leonard Madrid, Rosemary Jimenez

Funnie. When is new music an Oldie? Don Elliot weighs in on the subject with this funnie.

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** Gift of Radio Community

"Like many people I have been a follower/subscriber to your daily blog for years and have always looked forward to it. Without realizing it I think it helped to create a real sense of community for all of us who work within the fun and challenging business of Los Angeles radio. 

As has been said, all things end and so maybe instead of mourning that end, it's better to just reflect on the gift of community and self-awareness that it created for a time. And say thanks to you for making it possible!" - Mark Austin Thomas

** Daily Regimen Upset

"Part of my mandatory daily regimen was checking  into LA Radio.com. I had to see what was going on in the world of entertainment that so dominated the positive part of my life for so many years. Don, you and your site will be sorely missed. I wish you the best!" - Rich Johnson, VersaTape

** Will Miss LARadio.com

"Just wanted you to know that you will be missed. Thank you for all your wonderful radio news and articles. I looked forward to them each day you published.

Take good care of yourself, and enjoy your happy life with your bride. Happy 4th of July!" - Jeanne Sims

** Birthday Calendar Kept Us in Touch

"I will miss your column but I don't think there are enough words to say thank you for what you have done for the radio community in keeping us informed on what is happening now and then in the world of radio, and reuniting us with the people we worked with in our radio lives.  Your photos and birthday calendar keep alive many of our friends who are no longer with us.

Thank you Don for all you have done." - David Schwartz

** Industry Service

"You have done a great service to our wonderful industry for the past two decades." - Louis Chelekis

                   Publisher of LARadio.com
                              Don Barrett

LARadio Archives



July 2015

LARadio.com is Coming to an End; Fernando Perez voted #7 Best Off-Air LARP of 2015; Ed Ziel on mentoring; Chris Ebbott voted #6 Best Off-Air ARP of 2015; John & Ken Voted #6 Best On-Air LARP of 2015 Dave Beasing voted #5 Best Off-Air LARP of 2015





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