Bill Banks
Todd Donoho
Larry Lee

The most comprehensive listing of 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People, spanning the last 57 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!  


(Don LaFontaine, The Real Don Steele, Vernon Copp, Tattoo, Big Boy, Luscious Liz, Johnny Barba, Jeff Garcia, Jason Ryan, Wendy Williams, Sam Rubin with Ozomatli)   

LARadio Archives from August 2002 

Brooks Suited to Create a Sports Community 

(August 7, 2002) If you are looking for the next generation of sports marketing broadcaster, look no farther than Brooks Melchior. He works afternoons at KMPC Sports Radio. Tim Parker, his pd at KMPC, said: “Brooks is a valuable member of our on-air team. Brooks’ conversational style, and good feel for what listeners care about, has helped create a unique sound for the KMPC SportsFlash! during afternoon drive. The benefits of his passion for finding the otherwise overlooked stories is evident in his updates and on our local sports shows.”   

For the past 15 years, Brooks has honed his craft on-air and taken his youthful chutzpah and created a Web site that does for sports fans, what the DrudgeReport does for broad-based news. SPORTSbyBROOKS.com grew out of Brooks’ passion for sports and a desire to make his own job easier. “I built www.SPORTSbyBROOKS.com with the idea of eventually creating a SoCal sports community on the Internet,” said the ruggedly handsome young broadcaster who is better built for tv than radio. Last month Brooks received 175,000 unique visitors to his site. 

Brooks found out by accident about the reach of his Web site. At a chance meeting with Mark Cuban at a sports bar in L.A. during the recent NBA playoffs, Brooks went up to the Mavericks owner and introduced himself. “I gave him a card with my Web site address on it and before I could tell him what the site was about, he told me he knew about it and that it was the site ‘with all those girls on it.’ Very funny and gratifying,” said Brooks. 

Speaking of girls, Brooks knows what male sports fan want. Scores and scoring. His Web site is dotted with pretty young women, most of who follow him around to various personal appearances. “Because of the remarkable support that Web site has received from users in SoCal, I've begun to make paid appearances around L.A. at various sports bars,” revealed Brooks. “I use promotional models at the gigs and sell SPORTSbyBROOKS gear at the events. I also post a summary of each gig the next day on the site and include pictures as well. I've found the event summaries and pics to be a tremendous sales tool in reaching out to potential advertisers. The response has been nothing short of astonishing. Next month, we'll be shooting a SbB calendar that will feature my most popular promo models [I've used over 50 models for my appearances].” 

Brooks updates his Web site seven-days-a-week. He features great show prep for the professional and fascinating off-the-beaten sports stories for the fans. “I generally look for stories that haven't been posted on the major sports news sites and that give people a different perspective on sports. People that frequent my site email many of the stories. I generally receive between 80-100 emails a day. The site also has virtually every LA/SoCal sports-related link that you can find on the Internet. I designed and organized it as a home page for the LA/SoCal sports fan.” 

Brooks taught himself how to create and maintain a Web site in about three months. It’s a one-man operation so he is totally responsible for the content. He has been able to elevate his profile within the sports community as the site has grown by leaps and bounds. There is no advertising, banner ads or pop-ups on the site. “The payoff isn’t significant enough to inundate my users with advertisements. I make money off the personal appearances, referrals and SbB gear that I sell at events,” explained Brooks. 

“I've also created a live, interactive trivia game show for my appearances that I call SPORTSbyBROOKS. Various sponsors have assisted me in building a portable set for the show - and the sound system that accompanies it. I've amassed over 25,000 trivia questions [on all subjects] and over 500 customized CDs for music trivia. The total investment for the setup is $4,000. It will take me about a month of doing shows to pay off the investment,” enthused Brooks. 

I was invited to see Brooks in action at the Bitter Redhead in Santa Monica last week. He leaves nothing to chance. While his hostesses greet the guests, Brooks attends to details. Chris Myers, KMPC afternooner and former host on ESPN SportsCenter, was the main attraction. Chris has high praise for Brooks: "A day doesn't go by without my using SPORTSbyBROOKS in my radio broadcast. His Web site has the perfect blend of sports and entertainment in a hip but credible kind of way." (Photo: Chris Myers, Nicole Petrvch, Don Barrett)


Within the past two months, Brooks has been featured in stories in the Buffalo News and the Kansas City Star. The stories can be viewed on his Web site.

Back to the bar. In one corner of the Bitter Redhead, Brooks had prepared a Jeopardy-like set for his sports trivia game. Participating in the first round of games from left to right: KMPC AE Jeff Keller, Chris Myers, producer Scotty Hodges (he missed movie Rocky’s last name) and KMPC AE Patrick Ashby. “I added the games to add substance to my appearances and to generate more traffic and revenue for my clients,” boasted Brooks. The beer may have taken a toll when no one knew the answer to which two teams played in the Ice Bowl (Green Bay-Dallas). Chris was the first to successfully answer five questions. 

Brooks arrived in the Southland from Kansas City where he spent nine years broadcasting baseball play-by-play. He was the pd at the all-Sports station in KC and he hosted one of the talk shows. Brooks was the only native to broadcast a Royals game on radio or tv. He has been involved with Triple A and Class-A baseball as well as a hockey play-by-play announcer. He spent five years as the college basketball announcer at the University of Georgia, University of South Carolina and Ohio State University. Before moving to his current job at KMPC, his initial radio gig in L.A. was at FOX Sports Radio. 

M&M Debut. Mark Larson and Larry Marino kicked off their new KRLA morning show with a love affair from their SmartTalk colleagues. “Mark, this is like a present to me to hear you on KRLA when I get up in the morning,” gushed Dennis Prager, who follows the morning duo at 9 a.m. Prager was a big supporter of Larson’s to get him for the morning slot. “I feel vindicated for lobbying for you,” said Prager, “but I have great self-interest for a strong lead-in, as well as altruistic.” Michael Medved, noon to 3 p.m., was pleased that there would be another M&M (morning show is being billed as Mark & Marino) on the station. 

Radio Stuff. “Edward James Olmos was a perfect guest, and he can say ‘shit’ on my show anytime,” emailed KRTH morning man Gary Bryan in response to the former Miami Vice star peppering a story with a four-letter word. “By the way, we're proud to be G-rated!”…Congressman Dick Gephardt guested in-studio with KKBT’s Steve Harvey recently. Steve told the congressman about the plight of inner city schools. Gephardt offered to visit the schools and determine where he could help. Steve offered to punch up some of his congressional speeches if he would come out and assess the situation and help…Ozzy Osbourne’s son Jack guested in-studio with KROQ’s Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew Pinsky the other night. Adam asked Jack if he was still a virgin? Nope. “Two weeks ago my mom asked if I was having sex. I told her, ‘You know, mom, you said there is no such thing as a stupid question. Well, that was a stupid question.’”…Mr. KABC talked with a young man who was willing to tattoo his head with a sponsor’s name for the highest bidder on eBay. And we thought we had seen everything with toilet stall advertising and stickers on apples…Sheryl Crow appeared with KYSR’s Ryan Seacrest on the syndicated Sunday Live From the Lounge last weekend....The LA Press Club has postponed next week's charity All Media Bowl-A-Thon until next spring. Chick Hearn, who passed away Monday, was to have been the emcee..."Chick Hearn wasn't just a basketball announcer," said "Arrow's" Scott St. James. "He made the NBA in this town."...KMPC is replaying a Fred Roggin interview with Chick Hearn and his wife Marge that was conducted in New York during the NBA Finals. Both Chick and Marge talked about his career and their life in L.A. in great depth. Interview runs today at 2:25 p.m. on KMPC (1540AM) and it will be available at KMPC's Web site.    

CC Purchase. Lowry Mays announced that, for the second time in two weeks, a Mays Family trust purchased nearly $5,000,000 of Clear Channel stock in open market purchases. The first such purchase was announced July 25th. Between that transaction and today's announcement, the Mays family has invested approximately $10,000,000 in new purchases of Clear Channel stock. Lowry Mays, chairman/ceo, said, "Clear Channel is a strong and successful company, and our family was excited about making this second new investment in Clear Channel stock. This company's bright future makes the stock a great investment." 

HBC Revenues Up. Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation announced AQ3 net revenues increased 4.1% to $68.6 million, broadcast cash flow decreased 6.0% to $25.4 million, and EBITDA decreased 18.9% to $20.3 million compared to the same period of 2001, according to a Company press release. Same station performance reflects revenue declines in the Company's Los Angeles operation due to increased competition and in San Francisco due to station format changes made in conjunction with the launch of a new radio station serving the San Francisco/San Jose markets in April of this year. During the quarter, the Company operated start-up stations in San Antonio, Dallas, and Los Angeles, and one new start-up station format in each of the Houston, Phoenix, Fresno, San Francisco/San Jose and Las Vegas markets compared to the comparable period last year. Many of the Company's radio stations posted increased ratings and improved rankings in the most recent (Spring 2002) Arbitron surveys. In Los Angeles, Houston, San Diego and Las Vegas, a radio station operated by the Company is the top ranked, most listened to station among all stations regardless of format or language, by adults 25-54 years old, the demographic most sought after by advertisers. In Los Angeles, not only is the Company's KSCA the top ranked station, but our KLVE is the 2nd ranked station, again among all stations regardless of format or language.

Drudging Up Stuff. KFI’s Matt Drudge would sue Alec Baldwin for slander, if he thought the former movie star had any money, according to a story in the New York Post. "My lawyer tells me what [Baldwin] said about me is actionable, but does Alec have any cash left to collect damages?" Drudge wondered. Baldwin guested with KLSX’s Howard Stern and talked about his career (regular on Hollywood Squares) and his broken marriage to Kim Basinger. "Matt Drudge hit on me in the hallway at ABC Studios in L.A. when I was doing the Gloria Allred show. He came right up to me and he looked like he had a fork and knife in each of his hands," Baldwin told listeners. Howard asked the actor what he said. "He [Drudge] said, 'Do you have any Tabasco sauce? I want to drizzle it all over you.'" Drudge told the Post: "This is a guy whose career is in turnaround, and his mind is not holding up well. I've never met Alec Baldwin. If he has fantasies about being cruised by guys, maybe he can star in 'Cruising Part 2: The Troll Years.'"

Media Stocks UP. Media and entertainment stocks rallied Tuesday afternoon from punishing losses in the previous session, as the unpredictable broader markets surged.

Apparently, following a day when every economic indicator struck investors as negative, the picture has shifted 180 degrees, according to a story at MarketWatch.com. Among  diversified entertainment giants, Viacom jumped $2.60, or 8 percent, to $35.57. Clear Channel insider buys spark radio shares After a massive sell-off Monday, radio stocks moved forward. The nation's biggest radio group, (Clear Channel Communications), climbed $2.28, or 10 percent, to $24.89. A trust controlled by the founding Mays family purchased almost $5 million of the company's shares in open market transactions, the company said Tuesday. Since July 25, the family has purchased $10 million in Clear Channel shares. Radio One climbed $1.35, or 12 percent, to $12.43; and Westwood One picked up $1.61 to $30.06. 

Salem Communications rose $2.10, or 11 percent, to $21.45. Excluding special items, the religious broadcaster lost $100,000 in the second quarter, equivalent to breakeven on a per-share basis, compared to a profit from operations of $800,000, or 3 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Analysts participating in First Call's survey had predicted a 2-cent loss. 

Hear Ache. Tami Heide played Edwin Collins on the KROQ noonday Flashback Lunch and thought the song sounded as good today as it did then…KLAC’s Michael Jackson has been invited to Lebanon by the prime minister. “Lebanon is the one democracy in the Middle East,” said Michael…Did you hear how Bill Simon made a small fortune? asked Mr. KABC. “He started out with a large fortune.”…#1 song last night on Skip Kelly’s Interactive @ Eight on KYSR was John Mayer’s, Your Body is a Wonderland…Amazing that L.A. programmer’s still think that Don King keeps an audience. His windy bluster has long gone the way of Mr. T.

For many, the quest to become a LARP required many job changes, working under unbearable conditions as you criss-crossed the country. The markets kept getting bigger until you got to the Southland. Do you have any interesting stories about any of your moves?  

Stan Campbell: I am sure there will be many wild and interesting stories. I didn't plan for this to be my life story but I had my share of weird stations. 

I started in radio at CHER-Nova Scotia that was officially bankrupt and was being run by The Bank. But Wait! That’s not all bad. They hired some of the best people in the industry to come and program the station. I learned from some truly talented people. They are all out of work now and the bank guys REALLY run the whole radio business, as we know! 

I moved from there to Kingston, Ontario to CKWS where my pd got caught pinching my wife's butt while waiting in line at the bank. I moved on to CJSS-Cornwall, Ontario but the owner let the station decline so badly that the building began to fall in on us. I sprained my ankle running to the control room because my leg WENT THROUGH the floor! From there to CJON in St John's Newfoundland where I was on mid days on radio and the 11 p.m. news anchor on tv. I was offered a job at the very prestigious Canadian Broadcasting Company while in Newfoundland but I was offered a job in Toronto the first day, so I quit after my first morning show. 

I spent 10 eventful years in Toronto at Country station CFGM. I won an Award as Canada's Top Country DJ in 1979. What I found out later is that there was pink slip in my inbox waiting for me, which management deftly pulled after learning that I had won the accolade. I quit radio a month later and became a record producer for five years. One of my artists was an unknown singer by the name of Shania Twain (then known as Eileen). 

I soon starved to death in the record business and returned to radio where I began working for WSIX-Nashville. It was the lowest pay I had ever received in the radio biz so when I was offered a job as ops mgr at WBVE in Cincinnati for three times as much money, naturally I accepted. The WSIX manager whose nickname was "Hollywood" fired me on the spot, even though I had just gotten the biggest promotion in my career and OUT OF HIS MARKET. I spent two years at WBVE. Nobody would recognize the calls WBVE but most people remember "THE BEAVER." I endured as much humiliating "Beaver Jokes" as I could handle so when I heard about the job at KLAC from our own consultant, I went after it and got it. Only one hitch in that move, I ran out of cash in Amarillo on the way to L.A. No ATM would accept my card. One hour after arriving in L.A., we had an earthquake and it was 106 degrees. It was the first time I had heard the term "Shake & Bake" outside of the kitchen.  

LARPs Bubblin’ Under the Top 10 – Tied at 11th

(October 24, 2014) A number of Los Angeles Radio People just missed the listing of Top 10 Best On- and Off-Air LARP of 2014 and tied for 11th. The following represents some LARP who are bubbling under the Top 10. In voting for the following LARP, some readers included comments anonymously about their choices: 


(Rita Wilde, Brian Sieman, and Ellen K)

Rita Wilde (evenings at 100.3/The Sound)

  • "You can hear her love of what she does on the air."

  • "A welcoming, warm delivery that connects listeners to decades of legendary LA rock radio history."

  • "A true legend in LARadio."

  • "Such a pleasure to hear her back on the air after her stint in management. A solid presence with a good knowledge of the music. Along with colleagues Julie Slater and Mimi Chen, The Sound is the classiest station on the local dial."

  • "So glad she's still on LA radio."

Brian Sieman (Clippers radio play-by-play, KFWB)

  • "One of the best in the NBA. He paints great radio pictures."

  • "I've been listening to his radio broadcasts of the Clippers' playoff games and I've been very pleasantly surprised. He is clearly objective in terms of his call of the game. He's exciting and he provides great analysis, which is a good attribute because he usually works without a broadcast partner. And he has some great metaphors 'He could throw a key into a lock.'"

  • "The most underrated play-by-play guy in LA. He pushes an already exciting team off the charts."

Ellen K (KIIS morning co-host with Ryan Seacrest)

  • "A consummate professional who has the art of co-hosting morning drive with two of the biggest talents in Top 40 radio - Rick Dees and Ryan Seacrest. Her talent is quite obvious every time she takes a vacation or sick day and someone else fills in for her."


(Lynn Duke, Kelley Salvi, and Michael Clarke)

Lynn Duke (chief engineer KRTH)

Kelly Salvi (promotions at KFWB)

Michael Clarke (assistant news director, KFI)

LARadio Rewind: October 24, 1971. Doug Cox, general manager of KPPC/am-fm, fires the entire airstaff. A new airstaff will be in place on the following day. At the time, KPPC was the highest-rated rock station in the Los Angeles Arbitrons but would steadily lose listeners before being sold in 1973. KPPC/am continued to broadcast the Wednesday and Sunday services of Pasadena Presbyterian Church until going off the air in 1996. KPPC/fm became KROQ/fm and new program director Shadoe Stevens installed a format of "cutting edge new music," the forerunner of modern rock. In 1979, Rick Carroll became program director and gradually refined the format. He eliminated the songs by traditional rock artists such as the Rolling Stones and added more music by alternative bands. KROQ soared to new heights with its "Rock of the '80s" format. The station is now known as "The World Famous KROQ" and simulcasts on HD. Kevin Ryder and Gene "Bean" Baxter have hosted mornings since 1990. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)


MIA in Ventura. An author is preparing a story on KVEN-Ventura. Does anyone remember Dick Shipley or anyone else who was at KVEN in the late 50s and early 60s?


Email Friday

We GET Email …

** KYMS History

“Re: Vince Daniels' purchase of the KYMS record library: The great thing about radio station LP copies was that, while consumer copies were made of inferior stuff so they would wear out in time, radio station copies were practically made of steel. I hope he kept the originals.” Steve (Fredericks) Liddick, former K-Earth news director

** Remembering KYMS

“With my friend Vince Daniels releasing The Original KYMS 106.3 on YouTube it brought back some memories. First around 1982 there was a Knott’s Berry Farm Christian Night. I was selected to do the remote broadcast. Back in those days it was just part of the job. No extra money. I was situated on the deck above The Ghost Town Saloon. I got to interview many of the artists who performed that night which included Leon Patillo, Steve Camp, and Servant. 

When I worked at KYMS a second time I got to go to a couple more Knott’s Berry Farm Christian Nights. One of them I took my friend Georgia Abbott. I got to introduce Fernando Ortega! 

Another time I went, I had two extra tickets from the station. Since I was alone I didn't need the other two tickets. I saw some ladies going through their purses to get cash to buy their tickets. I walked up to them and handed them my two extra tickets and told them they were complements of KYMS! In a state of shock they said 'Thank You.'

There was only one KYMS. It was live and local radio. Each jock reached out to the listeners in their own way and connected. Something that's missing in a lot of radio today where stations are run off computers in a closet.

I was blessed to work their twice even though both times had difficult times with owners and management. KYMS was a major step for me in my 30+ years in radio broadcasting. I want to thank Arnie McClatchy for hiring me the first time, Dave Spiker for putting me on full time, and Roger Marsh for giving me the chance to program the station in 1992.” - Dale Berg – www.969theoasis.org

** Music Changes at K-EARTH

“Like many others [including Greg West] I have given up on KRTH. I’m not interested at all in the music of the late 70s and 80s. Want I really want is a ‘pop’ station that plays music of the 50s, 60s and very early 70s. The addition of some basic adult standards would be an added plus. 

Fortunately, between the Internet, including RichBroRadio, SiriusXM, and Saul Levine’s KJZZ HD-2 station, I have good alternative sources for music.” - Carl Spring, West LA

** KLAC Changes

Bill Reiter is supposed to start on November 3 as he stated on Petros & Money earlier this week. Really, Jay Mohr on tape at midday? If not for UCLA basketball coming up, another iHeart Radio [nee Clear Channel] preset on my radio that is ready for a change. I have not pushed my KFI button but twice so far in 2014.” - Greg Badovinac, North Hollywood

** Special Mailers for LARadio Supporters

“Your special subscriber emails are worth the price you are asking for the whole website. Love this stuff. People: you don't know what you are missing!” – Ann Beebe

** College Radio

“College radio no longer exists in the sense presented by Roger Carroll. Initially the non-commercial band was called Educational Radio. The purpose was to have college students and educators present lectures, college courses, etc., and allow students to be on air. Then Congress changed all this by revising this to Public Radio. And it has become big business. NPR and local stations like KPPC and KCRW receive donations and grants annually that exceed millions and millions of dollars.

I do not listen to NPR or those stations but I believe they use professional talent, not college students. My role with KKJZ was to help save mainstream jazz which is a difficult format to survive since it has a small niche of listeners although very passionate ones. I programmed Jazz on KBCA for 29 years and have a substantial knowledge of the format. It is a labor of love.

Roger Carroll has a vast knowledge of radio broadcasting, and has offered valuable suggestions to me over the years. Whether the present status of Public Radio in contrast to Educational Radio is good or bad is a judgment for your readers to decide.

Young People Entering  Radio-

From my own experience operating major market stations, radio does not seem to have the glamor today that the digital world appears to have. This is unfortunate, and represents the poor public relations conducted by radio. In fact, Bob Pittman of iHeartRadio made the same comments today.

Mike Callaghan, one of the nicest persons ever in radio, appears to agree with me as to the difficulty in finding engineers who understand RF.” – Saul Levine 

Radio Time Machine Productions: THE MUSIC OF KYMS: 1975-81
By Vince Daniels

(October 23, 2014) I was in a Goodwill store in the fall of 1998 and as I always do first, I went back into the record section.   I saw thousands of L.P.'s all over the place, all had little labels on the left-hand side of the record jackets indicating that the albums were the property of the KYMS Music Library along with KYMS' old Orange address and phone number. The store owner made me an offer. This included the cabinets they came in.   I bought everything, which amounted to a 20-year music history of the station, which began in March '75. Inside many of the sleeves were computer printouts of playlists telling the jocks the rotational order of the songs to be played along with the date of airing.  A majority of the printouts were from the first 10 years of KYMS.

I brought these records home from the thrift store and had them stored in several different closets and even under my bed.  I spent six months trying to figure out what to do with all this history. My memories of being a hardcore listener were during the first six years when I worked at the family print shop, where my Dad kept the station on all day. After the end of '81 I went off to college and worked other places and was not as exposed to the station as much. Eventually I ended up using a friend of mine's studio in the back room of his house. He had a mobile dj system and a Marantz Dolby recorder. I decided to record the era I most remembered from the beginning of KYMS through 1981.  

When it was finished, I had five 90 minute cassette tapes, and I never touched them again for 4 years. In 2003, I took them to the radio station at Cerritos College where I was working at the time. I had them all transferred digitally. The problem is that there was a lot of surface noise on a lot of the vinyl, but I lived with it. I transferred my new digital set over to CD's and listened to them in my car for about a year, and then threw them in my storage facility. Last year’s passing of Chuck Smith, Pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, brought back my memories of that earlier era. I went and dug the discs out of storage.  For the past year, much as I loved the music selection – realizing that I followed an authentic playlist – I know that I left out a lot of artists from that era, plus there was the question of audio quality. But there was something else I had at my disposal that I didn't have in 1999 or in 2003, and that's YouTube.

For the past year, with the help of my co-executive producer and video editor, Scott Higby over at Studio C in San Diego, I undertook the project of adding more hours from the playlist and updating the music with digital files if Scott could not remove the surface noise. We spent the entire month of May perfecting it, but we now have a very warm, fm sound that people are gonna like, not to mention a real historical perspective of radio from that time and place. Thanks to YouTube, we were also able to tell 10 different vignettes of KYMS' early years and also tell the story of a movement that gave rise to Southwestern Broadcasters, Inc. [then owners of KYMS when they were playing Acid Rock], who eventually switched the station  to Christian Rock. I am grateful to radio historian, Jeff Davis at Universal Transmedia in Los Angeles for serving as host of The Music of KYMS. He's a real storyteller. In all, this project has grown to a more than an 11-hour presentation, spread out over ten high def videos. 

The Saturday Answer. Last weekend an AM 870 The Answer Town Hall event was held at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. On the stage are (from left to right): KRLA “The Morning Answer” hosts Elisha Krauss and Brian Whitman, Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt,  and author and media personality Katie Pavlich. 

Hear Ache. Raechel Donahue made the announcement on her Facebook page that she’s moving to Normandy, France the first of the year. “I will be about an hour outside of Deauville and near the shore. I have a spare room in my cottage and will welcome friends who bring Champagne. Must love cheese and horses,” wrote Raechel … Tomorrow KNX salutes northern San Fernando Valley in its “KNX on Your Corner,” series. The public is invited to a live broadcast as KNX brings its operations to Compańia de Café at 110 N. Maclay Avenue in San Fernando.  Free refreshments will be offered ... With another crazy jumping the fence at the White House and the intruder kicking and beating the dogs, KCAA's Don Imus wonders if the guard dogs are poodles.

McDonnell Anniversary. Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of sports broadcaster Joe McDonnell’s gastric bypass surgery. “Talk about a life-changing - and life-saving moment. I was wheeled into the OR weighing 740 pounds. A decade later I weighed in at 230 pounds. For me it was a miracle straight from God. It led to me regaining my health. And it led me to meet the most beautiful, extraordinary and wonderful woman ever - my wife Elizabeth McDonnell. She's been with me through everything and has been as supportive as anyone can be. She's the strongest woman I've ever known and it's an honor and privilege to call her my wife. Just remember, if you have an addiction that is causing you to lose everything you cherish, seek help. It's there. I’m a living testament to that.”

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Imus Ranch Up for Sale. Every summer, Don Imus would invite about 100 young people afflicted by cancer to spend a week on his 2,400-acre ranch east of Santa Fe. The Don Imus ranch has an old western town that rivals any movie set in Hollywood. Their days are spent doing chores side by side with ranch hands and cowboys and learning to care for and ride their very own horse. They round up our Texas Longhorn cattle, herd and feed the sheep, the buffalo, the chickens, goats and donkeys, taking part in the dawn to dust rhythms of the ranch while developing an enriching bond with animals that will last a lifetime. “Our experience has shown that when children suffering from these frightening illnesses are exposed to programs such as those offered by The Imus Ranch it often actually contributes to their healing and recovery,” said Imus.

The Imus Ranch is totally and completely environmentally pure. “We serve a strict organic vegetarian diet that can be accurately described as vegan in its food selection; whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and herbs,” according to The Imus Ranch website. “Further, all ranch cleaning agents are non-toxic, biodegradable, naturally derived materials that are free of all known or suspected carcinogenic substances. In addition, we use no pesticides or synthetic chemicals of any kind in our gardening, farming, or infrastructure and plant maintenance.”

The altitude has finally caught up with the aging Imus. He seemed to be winded most morning this summer while broadcasting from the ranch. He’s now put his ranch up for sale.The asking price is $32 million.

Funnie. Thanks to Timmy Manocheo

Email Thursday

We GET Email …

** Mighty Met

“It was fun to see my morning show ratings on KLOS from 1973. I did mornings at KLOS from 1972-76 before returning to KMET.

Thanks for the flashback!” - Jeff Gonzer

** Hooper Ratings

“Interesting to see the ratings breakouts at the beginning of '73 ... right on the cusp of the fm invasion. Ah, the good ol' [muddy-audio] AM days.” – Rich Brother Robbin

** K-EARTH Redundancy

“On Tuesday around 2 p.m. I was running errands and listening to K-EARTH. The station plays Summer of '69/Bryan Adams and Super Freak/Rick James.

Back out in my car at 6 p.m., what do they play, yup - Summer of '69 and Super Freak. If you check their website there's lapses in time in the playlist history. I'm taking into account for their extremely long commercial stops. I guess they don't really list all the songs they play.

The station is supposedly a 'Classic Hits' station. More like 'Classic 80's Repetition.' Gee, no more Supremes, Mamas and Papas, etc. Guess they're not worthy any longer - aren't those groups and others part of the 60's/70's/80's as 'Classic Hits' are derived from?

Whoever this new program director is and the music director's thinking - as they would be the first to go if I got my hands on this station from CBS.  Also I would bring back Dave Randall and Bruce Chandler.

I'll be listening to 100.3 The Sound in my car and other stations on the web.

Long live the days of AM radio with KFI, KHJ, KTNQ, and KRLA when they played music.” - Greg Wood, West Hills

** NBC News Radio Ending at End of Year

“Wow, Don - there's the end of an era.

One of the highlights of my resume was working for NBC Radio News back in the late 70s and early 80s. I shared studio facilities with the likes of Jessica Savich, Cameron Swayze (son of the early tv icon John Cameron Swayze of the Camel News Caravan days - which was NBC's first televised news program) John Chancellor, Roy Neal, Linda Ellerbee, Boyd Matson, and more. The history in that building at 30 Rock - I remember rubbing the big silvery ‘N’ on the wall by one of the elevators in the lobby, just for luck, and the guy who would soon hire me as West Coast Correspondent for NBC's young-adult network ‘The Source’ thought that was hilariously funny. We'd see the Saturday Night Live people in the elevator, celebrities in the commissary, network brass in the hallways, and there was this bristling, popping, exciting, happening vibe that was everywhere - very young and very outlaw. It was a whole new day! New thinking! New anchoring styles and approaches to coverage for the rock music contingent! New programming strategies!

I remember Jo Moring, then Vice President for radio news, joking about how she'd just gotten her subscription to Rolling Stone magazine and now felt ready to tackle the young-adult demographic's programming needs, full-on. Granted, she was joking. She'd done a whole lot more than that! But she, too, had this sense of leading a whole new kind of charge on a whole new battle front of fm rock radio. The A-network people, who handled the "straight" news network, the more formal NBC Radio News, looked at us ‘Source’ people, this invasion of rock 'n' roll/potsmoker/anti-establishment renegades, with tremendous bemusement. Like somebody had let the kindergarten class into the principal's office and allowed them to stay. Well, we loved it, too, and we were awe-struck even to BE there! I was so intimidated I could barely think!   

It's sad to see that sterling operation come to an end. Those people were giants! It was a true honor - the break of a lifetime - to work there, amidst all that, with all those people. Even those with no marquee names. That was a long time ago. Quite a few of them aren't around anymore. It was a blessing and an AMAZEMENT. I still can't believe, 35 years later, that I got to be part of all that. End of an era for sure. Very sorry to see this, but I'm not exactly surprised. My love and gratitude go out to all the NBC Radio News people everywhere. I still regard them as brothers and sisters.” – Mary Lyon

** Radio Engineer Students Missing

“I would certainly agree with Saul Levine about the shortage of qualified RF engineers. The time was when a young person with technical leanings would be mentored by a ham radio operator. They'd learn about transmitters and receivers and get their own ham license. Parts were readily available to build their own equipment, and by the time they got out of school they understood what was needed to keep a radio station on the air.

Today, technically-oriented youngsters lean toward computers and software as ways to fulfill their cravings. If they do want to explore radio, the parts to build equipment are difficult to find. Many hams are really what we call 'appliance operators'. That means they go to the ham radio store, buy their equipment rather than build it, take it home, hook it up and go on the air. If the equipment breaks down or has a problem, they have no idea where to start if they want to fix it. Instead, it gets sent out to be repaired.

It used to be a big deal for a new ham operator to reach someone on the other side of the country. Hams collected cards from other hams they reached in faraway places. Long distance calls were expensive and rarely made. Today, you just pick up your cell phone and dial the number. Communicating across the world is no big deal.

So you have to really want to learn about transmitters and antenna systems to get into RF engineering today. But it's worth it.

Engineering graduates that look past broadcasting as a career are selling themselves short. I'd much rather work for a radio station than be assigned a cubicle at G.E. and design clock radios for a living. How trivial and boring is that?  In broadcast radio, you never know what the next challenge will be or how resourceful you'll have to be to meet it.

I wouldn't trade the experiences I had during my 39+ years at KIIS for anything else in the world. Carrying Dodgers baseball; doing programs from the beach in Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán;  building and turning on new transmitter plants; building and riding on floats in the Hollywood Christmas parade; all these were incredible experiences.

I remember one evening when my 8 year-old son and I were drifting above Dodger stadium while doing a remote in the Fuji blimp. Elton John and Eric Clapton were giving a concert down beneath us, and their music filled the air while the sun set behind the Pacific in a dazzling blaze of colors. The foremost thought in my mind was that I wouldn't trade jobs with anyone else in the world. I loved what I was doing, and enriching the lives of the thousands of people listening to my efforts gave me a high drugs couldn't touch.” - Mike Callaghan

** Future of College Radio

“With regard to KKJZ, Roger Carroll asks ‘Where are the students like other college licensed radio stations?’ Sadly, ‘college radio’ is and has been a misnomer for the stronger non-commercial signals – and that's not a good thing for the future of the craft.

Consider that of the 15 stations in the L.A. area licensed to a school district or college, only 7 actually use students in positions as talent and operations. KUCR (88.3) at UC Riverside, KSBR (88.5) at Saddleback College, KSPC (88.7) at Pomona/Claremont College, KUCI at UC Irvine/KXLU at Loyola Marymount (both 88.9), KBPK at Fullerton College/KSAK at Mt. San Antonio College (both 90.1) are the only regular fm signals that give aspiring broadcasters the experience.

There's also WPMD at Cerritos College (1700) and Leo FM at Univ. of La Verne (107.9) that broadcast to their respective campuses and immediate surrounds. Of those mentioned, only KXLU has an ERP of greater than 1 kW.

KKJZ at Cal State Long Beach (88.1), KCLU at Cal Lutheran (88.3), KCSN at Cal State Northridge (88.5), KPCC at Pasadena City College (89.1 - they control the Univ. of Redlands' station/89.3), KCRW at Santa Monica College (89.9), KUSC at USC (91.5 - and hasn't been on campus in years) and KVCR at San Bernardino Valley College (91.9) are all professionally staffed and programmed and students are, at best, board ops. In addition, some are NPR affiliates so there is duplication of content among stations.  Why no student on-air or supervisory training opportunities on stations licensed to these educational institutions? Inquiring minds...

Long Beach has a student station, on KKJZ's HD3 (which based on the penetration of HD Radio is like broadcasting to the room next door) and of course, stations can be found via streaming, which isn't radio but does allow students to be heard somewhere.

With respect to Tammy Trujillo, the Fullerton College program may be ‘growing’ but it's also been around for about 40 years and regarding Saul Levine's Geology reference - c'mon. Geology is one of those ‘Gen Ed’ courses you find yourself in of necessity and obviously a minority of those attending are destined to be ‘rockers.’ Most people in radio courses are there because they seek a career in the field and most want to be talent, not engineers.

True college programs provide the training, it's up to the industry to make a commitment to provide the experience.  Of course, visionary operators like Saul giving promising graduates an hour or two overnights or weekends would certainly be a step in the right direction.  And a better effort of marketing this crazy business to the next generation wouldn't hurt either.” - Greg Olsen, Pasadena (and proud college radio grad - when it meant something.)

** More College Radio Thoughts

Saul Levine is talking about radio engineering. I say 99.99% of the college students taking Broadcasting want be ‘ON THE AIR.’ It is not Saul's radio station. I hope the ‘Suits’ at Cal State Long Beach will give the students time to be on the air and work at 88.1. KKJZ is licensed by the FCC as a college non-commercial radio station. Another Southern California college could file to get 88.1 for the students like at Mt. SAC.” – Roger Carroll

** Art Astor’s Wife Passes

“Sorry to hear of the passing of Art Astor’s wife. My condolences to him. Art was a nice guy to work for at KSPA-Ontario.” – Dale Berg

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LARadio Archives


October 2014
New Country morning team at KKGO; Vin Scully voted #2 Best On-Air LARP; Leaf-peeking tour of New England; Kevin Weatherly voted #1 Best Off-Air LARP; Country mornings in the Southland sound different; Dodgers sign with KLAC; Jimmy Kimmel - It's all in the family; Saul Levine voted #2 Best Off-Air; Morning ratings; Hooper rated #1; Bubbling under the Top 10; KIIS' Chuck Nasty surfaces in his hometown of Kansas City; Fight for radio in new car models; Halloran promoted; Ken Levine writes and produces orginal play, A or B?; Open Email to Marko Radlovic; Kevin & Bean voted #1 Best On-Air LARP of 2014; Maggie McKay surfaces quickly at K-EARTH and KTWV, "the WAVE"; NBC News Radio goes defunct at end of the year



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