HAPPY Thursday BIRTHDAYS




John Butler
Dylan Littlefield

The most comprehensive listing of 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People, spanning the last 50 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!    

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(Sandy and Wink Martindale flanking M/M George Bush, AJ Hammer, JoJo Wright, Geoff Edwards, Dan Avey, Joe Grande, Richard Rudman, and Sandy Kelley)


New Voice at Country KKGO

(April 24, 2014) Kent Walls is the newest voice at KKGO, Go Country 105. In addition to his new weekend shift, Kent also is an on-air host and reporter for the Anaheim Ducks and a correspondent for Ducks Weekly on Fox Sports Prime Ticket. When not on the mic or camera, he is a partner at Three-Point Stance (www.three-pointstance.com), a multimedia production company and creative agency in Culver City with content reaching over 175 million-plus views across theatrical, cable and online audiences. 

“My new assignment at Go Country was a great opportunity through my current work at a host/reporter for the Anaheim Ducks and as a correspondent for Ducks Weekly on Fox Sports Prime Ticket,” emailed Walls. “I’ve been a big Country music fan for years dating back to when I was in college and I worked in the Phoenix market promoting country concerts for the US Airways Center [then America West Arena].”

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Kent is a dual citizen. He was raised in Arizona and Ohio before attending Arizona State University, where he received his BA in marketing. Kent later earned his MA in communications/journalism from Cal State University Fullerton, where he now teaches radio production on the side. 

Kent has been a music lover since as early as he can remember, but it was in college that he realized his guitar skills just didn’t measure up to Keith Urban or Brad Paisley. “It was then that I traded in my guitar for a microphone. I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of such a talented group at Go Country 105. I drink more coffee than I probably should and I’m a hack musician with my guitars at home.”

He was very active holding various producing and hosting roles for Fox Sports, Fox College Sports, Fox Sports West programming, VH1, Wasserman Media Group, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and Emmys.com. His career started in the Phoenix market with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns and CBS.

Overheard.

Big Shake. KABC hosted “A Townhall Meeting: The Big Quake Threat is Real” last week. Morning man Doug McIntyre (l) moderated the panel that included Dr. Lucy Jones, USGS Seismologist and Dr. Tom Heaton, Caltech, Seismologist and Director, Civil Engineering, Bryan Suits (2nd from right) who hosts middays at KABC, and Steve Scauzillo, Transportation and Environmental reporter for San Gabriel Valley Tribune.  

Hear Ache. Former HOT 92.3 personality Smokey Robinson is the subject of a tribute concert put on by The Thalians. “Party Like a Rock Star” event is this Saturday evening at the House of Blues Sunset Strip … With four sports stations in L.A., it is a shame that Jim Rome isn’t heard locally ... Have you checked out Adam Carolla's new series on Spike TV? Catch a Contractor is so much fun and it was just renewed for a second season.

KFWB HeritageJohn Hart was a huge fan of Top 40 KFWB. His mother was president of the Joe Yocam (an orginal dj when station went rock 'n roll in 1958) fan club. She would visit with Joe on her frequent visits to the station on Hollywood Boulevard and bring her son to the station.

“Today, I had lunch with Joe Yocam's grandsons, Josh, Jeb, Jared, and Joe the IV,” emailed John. “It was a great time. “The boys are working on gathering info on their grandfather and his years of working in LA radio and television.” (The attached image from left: Jared, Joe the IV, Hart, Jeb, and Josh Yocam)

Hart paid tribute to Earl McDaniel, who just passed last month. “What a wonderful relationship you had with him.  Not sure of this being mentioned in the past, but as a very young teenager, I had the pleasure of meeting him at KFWB one Sunday afternoon in 1963 prior to him starting his air shift. Earl was so friendly and gracious.  A few years after that meeting, a letter was sent to him when he was program director at KEWB-San Francisco asking to visit him there, and again he responded with a welcome letter to come anytime. Personalities like Earl and Joe Yocam were rare, and we're both fortunate enough to have had these mentors past through our lives.”

Hitting for Heroes. KFI’s Coast to Coast AM host and part-time St. Louis resident George Noory and his son Jonathan attended the annual “Hitting for Heroes” event last weekend at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Benefitting Little Patriots Embraced, a charity focused on enhancing the lives of military families in need, the event gives baseball fans a chance to hit one out the park by going up to bat against the warm-up pitchers for the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Noory, who served nine years in the U.S. Naval Reserve, missed every pitch. “I’m not giving up my night job,” he stated. (Photo: George's son Jonathan and George) 

Edward R. Murrow Award. KNX has won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in broadcasting from the Radio Television Digital News Association. Calling it “an outstanding overview of a complex and controversial subject,” RTDNA judges recognized “Healthcare Uncovered,” in the News Series category. The 24-part series which aired in October 2013 looked at how the new Affordable Care Act affected Southern Californians as the open enrollment period commenced.  The series was produced by Charles Feldman and Laraine Herman with contributions from Chris SedensEd MertzJon BairdRon KilgoreBill Nesbitt and KNX news director Julie Chin.

Funnie.

This guy's father dies, and he tells the undertaker he wants to give his dad the very best. So they have the funeral and the undertaker sends him a bill for $16,000. He pays it. A month later he gets a bill for $85, which he pays. The next month there's another $85 bill, and the next month there's another.

Finally the guy calls up the undertaker.

The undertaker says, "Well you said you wanted the best for your dad, so I rented him a tux." (thanks to Jerry Barber)

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** Shepherd’s Novel

“Does anyone besides me know the story about Jean Shepherd and a novel called I, Libertine?” – Laura Brodian

** Shepherd versus Whittington

“Does Dawna Kaufmann think I would ever, ever relegate my dear friend and colleague of 40 years - and the most creative radio personality ever to second place?  No way.  Sweet Dick Whittington and Shepherd remain totally different breeds of talent.  They cannot be compared.” – Chuck Southcott

** Challenges at KFI

“So happy to hear that ‘among all of the recent changes, the big surprise to many was Bill Denton being reassigned as the new general sales manager for the CC/LA AM stations: KFI, KEIB, and KLAC. Many feel that CC made the change asking Bill to work his magic on KFI, a station that has seen revenues decline.’

In timing the 4 o’clock hour of John & Ken today (4/21), I found that 32.5 minutes were actually program content.  27.5 minutes, or 46% of the hour was used for news reiterated from the Internet and commercials.  Will Denton be taking even more content away to raise revenues or does he have a way to expand the hour to, say, 75 minutes for more homemade Karz for Kidz commercials?” – Roy Allen

** Stephanie Miller on Rush Limbaugh

“I think Ms. Stephanie Miller is being a little too hard on Rush Limbaugh. He made an intemperate comment about Sandra Fluke that was arguably not even as bad as what Ed Schultz said about Laura Ingraham. Limbaugh took a hit with his advertisers – which presumably was what the audience of Ms. Miller’s show by and large wanted – yet when Ms. Miller can’t pull enough ratings to stay on the air that’s somehow Limbaugh’s fault too.

Proof yet again of the old adage ‘Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.’” – Gary Moe, Fountain Valley

** Aging AM Audience

“I would like to suggest that Rush Limbaugh’s recent decline in ratings and revenue on his stations has little to do with any Stop Rush movement but is more allied to the general decline of AM radio.  The deterioration of this medium is accelerating. The increasing lack of listenership to AM is the 800-pound gorilla in the room, and while such political movements may have a very minor impact, the aging of the AM audience, the ambient noise level on AM created by computers, wifi hardware, lamp dimmers, and other digital-mode devices has reduced all but the strongest of AM signals to a cacophony of noise listened to by fewer and fewer die-hards.” – Al Gordon, San Diego

** Progressive Radio

“Not saying that anything that Stephanie Miller [whom I really like] said is wrong, but maybe there is another factor involved in the decline of Rush Limbaugh's and others' ratings that was not mentioned. Maybe listeners are just getting sick and tired of all these nationally syndicated mouths, regardless of political slant, who spend all their air time blathering on about national issues [mostly Washington based] to the exclusion of real local issues and connections.

I listen every day to some or all of Bill Carroll, Bryan Suits, Thompson & Espinosa, Mason & Ireland, John & Ken, Tim Conway Jr., and Peter Tilden. I never tune in to anything that's nationally syndicated, and even though I like Stephanie Miller, I will never listen to her on a nationally syndicated show, although I was a fan of her local only shows on KFI and elsewhere and enjoyed her recent fill-in work on KFI. There is a palpable connection the listener feels from a local only host that is missing from one that is shared with 400 other towns across the nation. Thankfully, in the LA market at least, there seems to be a resurgence of ‘live and local’ and there aren't any dayparts anymore [save for overnights] where syndicated programming is the only option. 

And for late night listening after midnight, I fire up the KCRW app on my iPhone and plug into the on-demand replay of that day's Morning Becomes Eclectic.  An abundance of radio listening riches all day long, and none of it coming down off a satellite.” - Miguel Fernandez 

** Success of Progressive Radio?

"You've got to be kidding. Are Randi Rhodes, Stephanie Miller, et al., just totally delusional? Or are they just pissed off that Rush Limbaugh at his lowest ratings ever still beats the crap out of what they ever earned. Liberal talk a success? Really?" - Richard Wagoner, radio columnist for the Daily Breeze and other Southland newspapers


 “Randi Rhodes is the Most Talented Person in Radio Today. Period.”
Stephanie Miller

(April 23, 2014) Stephanie Miller (l) spent some time the other morning lamenting the impact of Rush Limbaugh’s decline in ratings, along with the cancellation of progressive host Randi Rhodes and her show once syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks.

“With Rush coming in 37th in Los Angeles, what has happened is that he is being moved to all those crappy signals we were on, but Progressive radio did work,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie explained that the fallout of Rush Limbaugh’s weakening ratings affects all of talk radio, but progressive shows take a greater hit. “We always started with a lot less stations than Rush had.”

As far as Randi Rhodes, Stephanie said, “I love her. She’s my friend but on top of that I think she’s the most talented person in radio today. Period.”

Stephanie read from a transcript of the Ed Schultz show on the day that radio consultant Holland Cooke was a guest. Cooke explained that Rush created a business model which capitalized on free speech, allowing the conservative talk host to say whatever he wanted. The irony is a persistent online movement also used free speech to destroy Rush’s program.

“The StopRush movement has resulted in hundreds of blue-chip national advertisers basically not only to wander away from Rush Limbaugh and some of the ‘other righties,’ but they’ve abandoned the Talk radio format entirely. The conversation really picked up on February 29, 2012, Leap Year Day which was Day 1 of this three-day Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke faux pas,” said Holland. “And, if we were studying the history of Talk radio, you stick a pin in the timeline there because at that moment, a very well organized and relentless advertiser boycott effort which remains underway today rendered that business inviable.”

Cooke continued: “Hundreds of blue-chip national advertisers basically have not only wandered away from Rush Limbaugh and some of the other righties, they’ve abandoned the format entirely. They are afraid to be heard on a news talk station because this man’s use of his free speech triggered the opposing viewpoint exercising THEIR right to free speech.”

Within the past few months, Rush changed stations in both New York and Los Angeles. After years on talk powerhouse WABC, the Rush Limbaugh program moved to WOR. Locally, Clear Channel  dropped progressive talk on KTLK – which left Stephanie without a L.A. station – and rebranded the station as KEIB (“The Patriot AM 1150”), an all-conservative lineup with Rush as the format’s anchor. Cooke pointed out the initial results have not been favorable.

Cooke wrote and Stephanie read: “So Rush was told to go sit at the kid’s table and the irony in this is that for years the radio righties have been cackling about progressive radio’s failure to attain their level of listenership while the radio lefties had to go sit at the kid’s table. Well now he’s there. And we just got the first round of monthly radio ratings. And it is stunning to say this when we think that Rush Limbaugh himself led this whole talk radio revolution back in 1990. But today Rush Limbaugh is on the Number 22 station in New York. He is on the number 37 station in Los Angeles. In New York, four of the stations that are beating his station are not even English language stations.” 

 “The Rush Limbaugh station in New York is getting beat by a station that plays Classical music. In Los Angeles where you might expect it, there are 11 non-English speaking stations beating Rush Limbaugh. So the short answer is talk radio as we know it, the crazy uncle righty politically monologue-based ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ genre is mathematically in trouble.”

Cooke continued: “Rush Limbaugh is on a great big station in Chicago. It is number 19 in the ratings and he didn’t move there. Same in Dallas. He is on the same great big station he always has been so they don’t have to go find him. And that station is now number 21 in the ratings. The station that Sean Hannity vacated for in Dallas is number 29 in the ratings. Obviously this is gonna shake out some more. The Rush Limbaugh station hasn’t changed in Philadelphia. They’re number 17 in the ratings.”

Stephanie returned to the subject of Randi Rhodes. “For there not to be a place in radio for Randi Rhodes is criminal. What a waste of talent. But it’s all about the economics of Talk radio, time slots, and advertising. With Randi losing her job is like guy in the foxhole just got shot next to me.”

She thinks the scary part of the decline of Rush is, “they are taking all of us down with him. Thanks Rush. Nicely done, sir.”

Overheard.

Two LARPs on TV. KLAC middayer Jay Mohr appeared on Keith Olbermann’s show this week to discuss the dangerous situation involving a Mexican drug cartel and Dodgers Outfielder Yasiel Puig. Mohr also talked about the Houston Astros farm system and the plan that GM Jeff Luhnow devised and proposed to Astros season ticket holders, and former NFL Quarterback Jared "The Hefty Lefty" Lorenzen's funny response to the new NCAA snacks rule. To watch clips from the appearance, click the artwork.

Hear Ache. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will again take center stage on KNX with the quarterly call-in program, Ask the Mayor, airing live next Wednesday from 10 – 11 a.m. Ask the Mayor is hosted by news anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman. Listeners have the opportunity to pose questions directly to Mayor Garcetti … Some 18,000 men have played major league baseball since 1876, according to MY/fm morning man Valentine. “Only 26 of them have hit 500 homeruns. Angels Albert Pujols is now one of them.” If he hit 499 last night he was going to have his wife and five kids join him in New York this weekend to witness the historic occasion. He hit a second homerun last night to accomplish 500. “Wouldn’t you think he might have taken it easy after 499, maybe bunt?” asked Valentine.

Funnie. If George Lopez was going to check for green cards, he said he would start with Circus du Soleil. “Those Asian acrobats can fit in a little ass box. You open a Happy Meal and 12 dudes jump out,” said George.

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** Mychal Thompson Has the Wry Stuff

Mychal Thompson is great. I love listening to him. He is good with Mark Willard on ESPNLA NOW.” – Christopher A. Bury, Pasadena

** Jean Shepherd vs Dick Whittington

“Re: Chuck Southcott’s letter about Jean Shepherd and Sweet Dick Whittington. I had never heard Shep or read/saw A Christmas Story, so I researched his radio shows and recognized his voice from Disneyland's old Carousel of Progress.

While he was undeniably a good storyteller, it seemed as if he smoked too much, and he wasn’t as funny as I would have hoped. Compare that to Whittington, who remains my radio hero. He was laugh-out-loud hilarious with literate imagery and a master at bringing out the best in his guests. I suppose you like who you came up with, and I feel fortunate to have been exposed to Whittington and Garrison Keillor, another great radio wit.” – Dawna Kaufmann 


   Publisher of LARadio.com
               Don Barrett

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Recent Columns and Articles

April 16-30, 2014
Archives features NAB ten years ago; Bill Denton's new role at Clear Channel/LA; News #1 in Bay Area; Info on Jack Armstrong and the Gorilla; Woody Show set to debut; Progressive voice canceled; What the heck is going on with KDAY? Captain K-EARTH revealed; Mychal Thompson Has the Wry Stuff

April 1-15, 2014
Tomm Looney finds new Avenues; LARP connection to Pitbull; KUSC brackets; "Kimmel is Jimmy"; Tuna spreads; KRLA's Bill Bennett celebrates 10 years; Frosty Stilwell rented his home to Mickey Rooney; Drake-Chenault hiring memo from KYNO-Fresno; Mic is always open; Gunsmoke history; Kennedy is the only Kennedy with a tattoo on her hip; Search for KFWB general manager to begin; Many LARPs receive AllAccess awards; Were LARPs considered to replace Letterman?; You can't win today's game by yesterday's playbook - Big Boy; "Tell the truth, make it matter, and NEVER be boring" - Valerie Geller; LARP kicked out of funeral; February ratings for mornings; Rick Deesney counts down; LARP looking for a little Korla Pandit magic; Rooney experience; Letterman fall-out worth millions; No feud with Harvey; Gary Moore reminisces about Hank Aaron; LARP was first female sub for Casey Kasem on American Top 40; Rhiannon wins; Every song has a story; Freedom Of Speech Is Just Another Interesting Concept; Morning drive ratings - Kevin & Bean #1 in all demographics; Top 40 stations in March '14 ratings; Dream of ownership; Janine Wolf of Portland parade Grand Marshall

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