Happy LARP Birthdays



Sunday
Claudia Aresti
Tracy Austin

Les Beigel
Ron Fineman (d)
Slim Jim Melendez
Les Perry
Charlie Rodriguez
Bill Schubert (d)
Freddy Snakeskin
John Summers
Greg Tantum

Monday
Don Amiche
Steve Atkins
Dale Berg
Thomas Brown IV (d)
Tony Dinkel
Hugh Heller
Phil Hendrie
Harvey Kern
Roger Marsh
Serena Sharp
Jeff Wyatt

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!  

A\B\C\D\E\F\G\H\I\J\K\L\M\N\O\P\Q\R\S\T-Z\W  

(John Duncan, John Frost, Hurrican Heeran, Bob Coburn, Andy Bloom, Steve Grad, Paul Joseph, and Paul Goldstein)


Holiday Funnies


LARadio Archives from June 2002

Pucker Up 

(June 7, 2002) Tim Conway, Jr. shared some wonderful stories about his father the other night on his KLSX Conway & Steckler show. “My dad was working his ass off doing the Carol Burnett Show, raising six kids and dealing with this woman who lived with us. This was almost impossible in this town. You could count on one hand how many successful actors had six kids and still made a living and raised six kids successfully.” 

Tim talked about how his father turned the kids into hockey fans. “Nobody in this town liked hockey. My father would get up at 5:30 in the morning to take me to hockey practice in Burbank when I was 10 or 11 years old. He taught me how to skate when I was 7 in Topanga Plaza. He’s the greatest father in the world! Instead of being one of those typical actors who hung around the dancers and chicks after work, he came home to us.”   

Tim talked about a moving experience when his father (Conway, Sr. pictured) took his sister Kelly, brother Pat and himself to a Kings game. “About 10 minutes into the game, all of a sudden a puck came flying towards us. My dad took a dive and dove across the three of us to protect us from this puck and the puck fell to the ground. I picked it up and was thrilled. I found out two days later that my dad had two bruised ribs from where the puck hit him. He never told us that he had bruised ribs. He was just very happy that one of his kids got the puck.”   

Former KABC Talk Show Host Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease

(August 29, 2014) After years of top ratings in the Bay Area, Ronn Owens of KGO -San Francisco started simulcasting his show on KABC “TalkRadio” in Los Angeles, replacing Michael Jackson who was moved to a weekend-only shift. The arrangement started on July 14, 1997 and lasted for just over a year. Ronn commuted between the two cities, one week in Southern California alternated with one week in the Bay Area.

Ronn started as a Talk show host at age 23 in 1968. He worked in Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland and Philadelphia before joining KGO in 1975. Ronn graduated from Temple University where he studied sociology and communication.

Earlier this week, Ronn made a startling revelation. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 13 years ago, according to a story penned by David Wiegand this week at SFGate.com. Ronn says he’s made his peace with his condition. His family and close friends have known, but no one else, and until very recently, he was content to keep it that way as long as he could manage the symptoms with medication.

“The main reason that I didn’t want to come out, it’s twofold,” he said last week in an interview at the KGO studio. “One, I just cannot stand the thought of people feeling sorry for me. And the other, which is more of a factor with me, is that I don't want to be defined by Parkinson's.”

The revelation that Robin Williams had Parkinson’s finally pushed Owens to decide to go public.

“It's not a death sentence."

Owens signed a new two-year contract with KGO owner Cumulus a year and a half ago, with an option for a third year, if Cumulus wants to keep him around. Owens isn’t worried about that. He’s won two Marconi Awards (in 2003 and 2010) from the National Association of Broadcasters for major-market personality of the year, and is on Talkers Magazine's list of the 25 top radio talk show hosts of all time. In 2004, he wrote the book Voice of Reason: Why the Left and the Right Are Wrong.

Hear Ache. KLAC’s Tomm Looney is executive producer of the movie Avenues. How is the marketing of the film coming along? “Saturday night, Avenues took home the Audience Award for BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM at the 15th Annual Sacramento Film & Music Festival. On now to the Urbanworld Film Festival in Manhattan, New York next month, where we’ve been accepted,” emailed a jubilant Looney … K-EARTH has come along through the decades from a primarily 50s and 60s music station. This long weekend, beginning this morning, the Classic Hits station will be ALL 80s music.

 

LARadio Rewind: August 29, 1998. Richard Beebe dies of lung cancer at 68. Born in Pasadena, Beebe attended Pasadena City College and Pasadena Playhouse and graduated with a degree in theater arts. He worked in radio in Arizona and New Mexico and at KRKD before joining KRLA as morning newsman in 1959. Beebe eventually became news director. In 1968 he co-founded the Credibility Gap, which produced satirical news sketches for KRLA and KPPC and released four albums before disbanding in 1975. Beebe also worked at KABC, KGIL, KMET and KMNY, did commercial voiceovers and recorded books on tape.

 

Last of KFWB 7 Swingin’ GentlemenElliot Field, former afternoon drive at the launch of KFWB’s Channel 98/Color Radio Top 40 format in 1958, recently wrote a book about his experiences. This short story didn’t make his book, but it is a fun peek into his life.

 “It's early 1950s. I'm backstage at the showroom of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. My assignment was to fill five minutes LIVE on the Mutual Network interviewing the evening’s star, Howard Keel. Maybe Howard had a tummy ache. Maybe he just found out his trifecta didn't win. Who knows? But he was monosyllabic for 5 minutes. He gave only one word answers. Ever do an interview that was a monologue? It's 60 years later and I'm still miffed with Howard.”

Angels on the Air. The LA Times has been running some pretty negative letters about the Angels broadcast team. Here are two that appeared recently:

"I am so glad to see there are others that are fed up with Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza. I have been watching and listening to sports for over 60 years and they are the worst. They are the definition of laziness. Vin Scully works at his craft, these guys just coast. I loved
Steve Physioc
and Rex Hudler. Please bring them back or replace these guys with anybody." - Harold Courtney, Chino Hills

***

"If you want fans to take a three-hour nap, by all means rehire Steve Physioc.

If you want to hear an annoying sound like fingernails across a blackboard, by all means rehire Rex Hudler." - Julio R. Lopez, Glendale
 

Funnie. The late night disc jockey on New York’s hip hop station was shot thus increasing his street cred. Supposedly he was wearing a $20,000 gold and diamond necklace in Harlem. The defense will argue it wasn’t a homicide but a suicide attempt.  (Ken Levine) 

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** Trifecta

“Reading Who Wants to Dress Like Ryan Seacrest reminded me that back in 2006 I was grateful for a portion of a ‘unit’ of Ryan's time at Clear Channel in Burbank.

I caught him on the way to the rest room during the morning show. I asked him to sign my petition of members so I could run for the L.A. Board of Directors of AFTRA.

He did so…quickly.

Then I got Stephanie Miller to sign during her morning show at KTLK.

THEN, I ran to Bill Handel at KFI and got his ‘John Hancock.’

THREE MORNING RADIO MONSTERS signed my petition in a row!

I wish I could have kept that document.” – Mike Sakellarides, SAG-AFTRA L.A. Board Member, Broadcast/Entertainment

** Where Is Lisa Ann Walter?

“It's not unusual for radio stations to get rid of hosts and not tell the listeners. Back in 1992 KFI got rid of number 1 in the ratings Tom Leykis and didn't say a thing to the listeners. Commercial radio is about selling ads, not caring about listeners. Lisa Ann Walter was one of the few female hosts that could hold her own, blunt and very funny. I’m sorry to see her go.” - JP Myers, losangeleslistener.com 


John Ivey Voted #5 Best Off-Air LARP of 2014 

(August 28, 2014) John Ivey celebrates being voted #5 Best Off-Air LARP of 2014 while the KIIS/HOT 92.3 pd celebrates his 13 year anniversary in Los Angeles. “It’s just bizarre that I’ve more than doubled the time any previous KIIS pd has spent in the job,” reflected John. “I just assumed they were here for a long time. Before I got here there was a lot of fluidity in the industry and people just seemed to move around much more than they do today. It was good for me.” 

John worked smaller markets before taking over the programming reins at "KISS 108" in Boston, where he successfully ran the Top 40 station for seven years. “I was talking with Bob Pittman recently and realized that Bob was programming WNBC-New York when he was 22. When I was 22, I was in Owensboro, Kentucky. Bob was good to go.” 

How did John get the KIIS job? “The first person to approach me was Randy Michaels. We had some programming meetings in LA and it was a weekend of Wango Tango the year they did the two-day Dodger Stadium event. Dan Kieley was pd of KIIS at the time and it was really apparent at the meetings that Dan was having health issues. That night Randy came up to me and said, ‘What do you think about it?’” 

“I asked, ‘Think about what?’ Randy asked if I had talked with Steve Smith. At the time there were two Steve Smiths in the company – one was head of programming for the company and the other was with the concert division. I barely knew the programming guy. It was not like he was calling me on a regular basis.” 

Ivey told Michaels that he was really happy working in Boston. “’I’m not looking for unhappy people,’ Randy told me.”  

The next morning Ivey flew back to Boston. The next morning - Sunday - he got a call from Steve Smith – the programmer - asking Ivey if he could get on the next plane back to Los Angeles and be prepared for some personal meetings on Monday. There was a cloak of secrecy to everything and the company put John up in the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn on Lankershim.  

“The room was like a cement cinder-block prison,” remembered John. “I thought this was very clandestine now but looking around the room I wondered, ‘Is this really how they do it in Hollywood?’” 

His first call Monday was from KIIS general manager, Roy Laughlin, who planned to pick Ivey up for lunch and Smith would be joining them. “Roy picked me up in his little Porsche. The first thing he said was, ‘Hey man, I’m a little unfocused so I don’t drive very well.’ He said they were going to a very private lunch so no one in the industry would see them. He took me to La Loggia on Ventura Boulevard and we got a table in the back. Within four minutes, people from the labels and trades came in for lunch. Roy commented, ‘Well, I guess that blows that,’ which was typical Roy.” 

John thought it was a great meeting and Tuesday morning flew back to Boston. The next day was John’s birthday and Steve Smith called offering him the programming job at KIIS. “I accepted on the spot,” said John. He gave his Boston people almost a month’s notice. “It is hard to believe I’ve been at KIIS for over ten years.” 

With a partly- functioning program director at KIIS and a changing demographic marketplace, John was greeted with a number of challenges. “It felt like KIIS was long in the tooth,” John recalled during those embryonic days on the job. “It just felt like it was on the down end of a cycle. The Britney-‘N Sync era was going by the wayside and Hip-Hop was starting to emerge and Power 106 overtook us in a second. It was difficult to wrangle that.” 

John described Boston as the most lily-white market in American and he was definitely feeling the challenge of coming to a market where within the target audience of 18-24, half the potential demographic was Hispanic.”) 

“My initial problem was learning the market, which always takes time,” confided John. “When a station is not lighting it up, every ass is under the hood, as well, because of the high image of the station. I had so many people in the building, everyone in the company, programmers that aren’t with us anymore, every consultant, and senior vp thinking they knew more than me. I was still trying to figure out what I was going to do.” 

Adding to Ivey’s challenges, he had a number of obstacles with existing contracts for programming people and services that the company was unwilling to buy-out the contracts. “I wouldn’t have made any major knee-jerk reactions anyway, but I realized some of the things I wanted to do, I couldn’t do.” 

Ivey claims it took him a year and a half to figure it all out and get his bearings. He feels it was worth the trouble. 

Music was a challenge because records that tested well for major Top 40 stations, like Z-100 in New York, wouldn’t play as well in Los Angeles. Ivey admits that he did play Three Doors Down, Creed, and Evanescence because they were really popular, but in retrospect he shouldn’t have. 

And then the perfect storm, as Ivey described it. “I got Julie Pilat to come in and handle the music. She grew up with Hip-Hop and Rock. Then I changed the morning show and brought in Ryan Seacrest. There comes a point when you have to make a decision so bold that there’s one of two outcomes – either you’re looked on as doing something smart or you get fired. You can tinker and tinker but that doesn’t do you any good, but once you make one of these decisions that has one of those two outcomes, to me that’s always the defining moment. Adding the right music and changing the morning show, changed the feel of the radio station. It was like a perfect storm with Julie, Ryan Seacrest, and a new imaging voice, Kelly Doherty."  

“We’ve missed records that are national hits because they’re not L.A. records,” John said. “That’s the beauty of being in the market as long as I have. I figured out what works and what doesn’t work here.” 

And KIIS has enjoyed the #1 position most months for a number of years. 

#5 Best Off-Air LARP of 2014

John Ivey

Some of those who voted for John, added the following comments: 

  • "He has my total respect being able to fend off competition from AMP, KBIG, KOST, and keep KIIS/fm near or mostly at the top of the L.A. ratings heap."

  • "Consistently programs the #1 radio station in the market. He books artists for Jingle Ball, Wango Tango, pool parties and countless other shows. He lives and breathes CHR and has a no bullsh*t way of handling business."

  • "Why does L.A.'s biggest teenybopper pd look like Burl Ives?"

  • "You have to give props to someone who helps keep KIIS/fm somewhere within the top three month after month after month. Go out of town, and you'll hear KIIS/fm 'wannabe' stations. After all, they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

  • "He's legendary, humble and easy going. With decades of success, he still owns L.A."

  • “Wow! One of a kind. He is KIIS.”

  • “You can’t deny his imprint on LARadio. KIIS has been a top performer and biller for years. It is a very well programmed station that continues to perform in this highly competitive market.”

  • “What an amazing winning streak. KIIS has the revenue and ratings to lead the pack.”

  • “John programs the #1 station in L.A. – nuff said.”

Hear Ache. Even though Lisa Ann Walter no longer hosts a weekend show at KFI, her voice is still heard on the spots for dermatologist Dr. Jacob Rispler … KTWV’s Deborah Howell celebrated her birthday last night at Moonshadows in Malibu to experience the high surf. “Nature is a fierce and wild maven.  :)  Just such a privilege to behold its magnificence,” said Deborah … Condolences to the Insane Darrell Wayne on the passing of his mother, Carole Watkins. She died last Monday at the age of 80 of ovarian cancer. Mrs. Watkins had been living in her Norwalk home, the home Darrell’s parents bought 58 years ago. Services will be held at Rose Hills in Whittier on Tuesday, September 2nd at 11 a.m.

LARadio Rewind: August 28, 1978. KGBS/fm becomes KHTZ but will be known on the air as simply "FM 97."  In late 1959,George B. Storer had purchased KPOP-1020 and soon changed the call letters to KGBS. The station switched from beautiful music to country in 1965. Because KGBS was licensed to broadcast only from sunrise to sunset, Storer purchased KFMU, a full-time fm station, and changed call letters to KGBS/fm. The station was later home to Hudson & Landry, Bill Ballance, Dave Hull, and Bob Morgan as a Top 40 outlet. The two stations simulcast during the day. Each evening, before KGBS/am signed off, listeners were advised to tune to 97.1 to continue hearing KGBS programming. The station then became a talk station, featuring former L.A. Mayor Sam Yorty. In 1976, a year after becoming a full-time station, the am became Top 40 KTNQ and is now Spanish-language news and talk. In 1979, the fm switched to an adult contemporary format. The station later became KBZT, then KLSX, and is now "AMP Radio" KAMP. The airstaff includes Carson DalyMichelle Boros,Chris Booker and Casey McCabe(LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

 

Sinatra Influences Seacrest. KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest has a new clothing line. He claims that Frank Sinatra’s Palm Springs home served as the fashion inspiration for the suit pants. “He had this house in Palm Springs and the house had great lines,” said Ryan in a Hollywood Reporter story. Ryan said he wanted his pant lines to have the same kind of architecture.

Overheard

POB’s BookPat O’Brien was a big tv personality, first as a sportscaster with CBS Sports from 1981 to 1997, and then as the anchor and host of Access Hollywood from 1997 to 2004, and The Insider from 2004 to 2008. His prime assignments led him to cover six Olympic Games, two for CBS (1992 Winter and 1994) and four for NBC (2000, 2002, 2004 and 2012). He has also covered the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals, and Final Four as a pregame host while at CBS. 

Pat, most recently at Fox Sports KLAC, has written a book about his experiences, I’ll be Back Right After This. The book not only deals with his charmed life of wonderful experiences, but of his dark side with drugs and alcohol that took him down in 2005. He’s been clean and sober for six years and he admits that his last night before getting sober, he said he went through 14 bottles of wine. 

“I wake up every morning now and I look in the mirror, and I say, ‘I want to be the person that I want to be today. Not who they want me to be,’” said O’Brien. “I work for that every day.  I was full of myself. A lot of people are like that. But, thank God I figured it out. I’m so grateful for all that.” (Click Pat's artwork to see his Today Show interview)

Funnie. For all of you with any money left, be aware of the next expected mergers so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some BIG bucks. Funnie from Joe Reiling.
Watch for these consolidations:

1. Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W. R. Grace Co... Will merge and become: Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

2. Polygram Records, Warner Bros., and Zesta Crackers join forces and become: Poly, Warner Cracker.

3. 3M will merge with Goodyear and become: MMMGood.

4. Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining will merge and become: ZipAudiDoDa.

5. FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS, and become: FedUP.

6. Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become: Fairwell Honeychild.

7. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become: PouponPants.

8. Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become: Knott NOW!

And finally....

9. Victoria 's Secret and Smith & Wesson will merge under the new name: TittyTittyBangBang  

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** He Felt the Earth Move 

“On October 16, 1999, Ray Smithers and I were out with friends in Las Vegas, at 2:46 a.m. We were at the Hard Rock Casino, and suddenly the earth moved. It took a few seconds for it to set in, but it wasn’t long before people were leaving in droves, many of them Californians who from the safety of the parking lot called home to see if this was the big one. 

Radio in Las Vegas didn’t even burp. Even the news-talk station failed to acknowledge the event that everyone awake in the city was talking about. KFI, whose nighttime signal in Vegas is even better than some local ones, covered it from the news department and took calls from residents all over the desert, including Las Vegas. We mourned the end of local radio that day. 

Fifteen years later, the fourth ranked market is acting almost the same way the 32nd ranked did.” – Jerry Trowbridge 

** Quake Coverage  

“Amen, Fred Jacobs. I was on the air during several major earthquakes while Howard Stern was babbling away, unaware of the shaking and aftershocks that hit our 20 story glass building, and when the riots broke out all around us. 

They let me go home because a sniper was on the building next to us. I remember watching tv news for coverage of many disasters and there were so many syndicated shows running that nothing got covered except by the one newsman who might have been at the station, but couldn’t gather and decipher all the news coming in over the wires., Fred, you know radio and it’s infinite possibilities.” – Shana 

** Quakin’ 

“As usual KCBS-San Francisco did it right. Thanks to the CBS SF app for the iPad I listened to it almost all day Sunday. Before the morons at Cumulus got hold of KGO and blew it up it would probably have provided top notch coverage. 

At approximately 1:15 this morning in Santa Barbara, USC moved its Classical music format from KQSC on 88.7 to KDB on 93.7. A little after midnight the change in ownership was announced. A spokesperson thanked listeners for their loyalty and support over the years and encouraged them to support USC's operation of KDB. The last music played before ownership changed from the Santa Barbara Foundation to USC was The Star Spangled Banner. Santa Monica College's KCRW is now simulcast in Santa Barbara on 88.7 with the new call letters KDRW. At an unknown date Santa Barbara studios will be built to produce part time local programming."  – Dennis Gibson 


Wango Tango Marketing Mavens in Miami

(August 27, 2014) During the Roy Laughlin regime at KIIS/fm, there were some very exciting sales promotions that made lots of money. Behind that success were the husband and wife team of Von and Amy Freeman (pictured when they were at KIIS). Von has received five Industry Achievement Awards from Radio & Records magazine and 6 Billboard magazine Marketing Director of the year awards.

The married couple is now in Miami working their magic. Amy is the regional sales manager for 101.5 LITE/fm (WLYF/fm) and Magic 102.7 Classic Hits (WMXJ). Von is the director of marketing for 104.3 FM The Ticket (WAXY), 101.5 LITE/fm and Magic 102.7 Classic Hits. They’ve been there for the past two years.

The Freemans are once again owning the marketing of their radio stations. At the sports station The Ticket, Von had several “Don’t Go LeBron” poster contests at local venues. “We received press coverage from Channel 10, Channel 6, and some of our listeners posters made it on the national NBC Today Show,” said Von.

“Then our own Ticket Radio Superstar Dan LeBatard made national news by purchasing some well-placed billboards in the Cleveland / Akron Ohio area that said ‘You're welcome LeBron.’ This brilliant media stunt received press just about everywhere on the planet and got Dan and the show a couple of days of suspension, but still with plenty of publicity.”

Von’s sports station does not have the broadcast rights to the Miami Dolphin football games, thus preventing his station from doing any tailgate promotions in the Dolphin stadium parking lot. But that didn’t stop Von. “We will be tailgating at all home Dolphin games at the Sonic Beach restaurant location, which is across the street on the south side of Sun Life Stadium and their tailgate party. They are going to love it,” said Von.

At the Lite/fm station, he’s gearing up for the first annual 101.5 LITE FM 'Pink Masquerade Ball' to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation at the Martini Bar, located in the Gulfstream Park in Aventura.  “This very cool event is happening the Saturday night before Halloween so we are expecting a lot of pink oriented Halloween costumes for sure. A portion of the proceeds to benefit Susan G. Komen, 101.5 LITE FM will be supplying pink masquerades to everyone at the door and the Martini Bar will be decorated in all pink lighting as well as serving pink martini’s.  This is going to be a huge night and it’s just one week after 20,000 people walk/run for Susan G. Komen at the ‘Race for the cure,’” said Von.

The pair knows NTR events well. They maximized sponsorships for KIIS’ Wango Tango to the hilt. In Miami their big NTR money making project is the Kids Love & Family Expo, which is held at the Museum of Discovery & Science in Downtown Fort Lauderdale next month. “Lots of activities for kids of all ages and guests can meet Olympic Gold Medalist and Dancing with the Stars Champion, Kristi Yamaguchi brought to you by Goya Foods, *N'Sync founder Chris Kirkpatrick, Thomas The Train, The Mayors of Broward County Chess Challenge from FPL, and more.”

Von concluded: “And we are getting ready for our Magic and Music festival (M&M fest) featuring David Blaine doing street magic at everyone's table.  Plus, music from Doobie Brothers, The Romantics, Survivor, Sheena Easton, Little River Band, Rare Earth, Wilson Phillips, this is my new version of the very famous Wango Tango shows I started at KIIS in LA radio.”

LARadio Rewind: August 27, 2009. KGIL, owned by Saul Levine's Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters, drops syndicated talk and switches to a format of 1950s-60s oldies and adult standards as “Retro 1260.” Among the artists played are Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Nat "King" Cole, Diana Krall, Bobby Vinton, Dean Martin, Brenda Lee, Steve Tyrell and the Beach Boys. The airstaff includes John Regan, Gary Hollis, Kimber Murphy and Chuck Southcott. The station went on the air in 1947 and has had several different call letters and formats. For eight months in 2007, the station aired a classical music format as KMZT, “K-Mozart.”  On April 4, 2011, KGIL returned to the classical format and KMZT call letters. Anchored by Nick Tyler and John Santana, KMZT can be heard at 1260 am and online at http://kmozart.com

 
Photo IDBill Seward thinks he may have identified everyone in the 1989 KNX photo that Diane Thompson posted this week. “A great group at KNX,” wrote Seward. “If I misidentify anyone – apologies in advance.” Left to right: Harry BirrellTom VacarSteve SmithDave Zorn, Roger NadelBarry RohdeTom SirmonsDiane ThompsonBob SimsBeach RogersRonnie BradfordBob ScottGeorge Nicholaw, Fred Gallagher and Jack Salvatore.

State of the Site. LARadio.com continues to pay tribute to the men and women of LARadio, past and present. Since moving to Santa Barbara, all LARadio listening is done on dar.fm, a wonderful DVR-type service for radio.

While I no longer travel to functions, and there's no longer a subscription fee, of course there are still out-of-pocket-expenses. In response to suggestions from many readers, I hope to cover all expenses through volunteer contributions of $15 per year. To contribute, please use the PayPal link, or if you'd prefer to send a check, the address is: db Marketing Company, PO Box 50425, Santa Barbara, CA 93150 

Thank you.

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KFI WeekendsLisa Ann Walter had been missing from her weekend show at KFI for the past two weeks. A deluge of emails asked what happened. Her name and photo has been scrubbed clean from the website.

Neil Saavedra, assistant program director responded: "Lisa Ann Walter will no longer be doing her radio show here at KFI as she will now be focusing on her acting career and her family. Of course we wish her the best."

Funnie. A blonde pushes her BMW into a gas station. She tells the mechanic it died. After he works on it for a few minutes, it is idling smoothly. She says, “What's the story?”

He replies, “Just crap in the carburetor.”

She asks, “How often do I have to do that?” 

Email Wednesday

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** KFWB History

“My friend Randy West's essay today was brilliant - and spot on. All we need is yet another sports station. [And I happen to be a sports fan]. Back in the day I was proud to be a part of Color Radio/Channel 98. As the song says, ‘those were the days.’” – Wink Martindale

** Earthquake Coverage

“Wow, Don, you really took me back in time with the (Not a) Whole Lotta Coverage Goin’ On report.

I had only just started working in FM rock radio here in L.A. in the late 70s when the nauseating drumbeat began – about how they just simply HAD TO cut back on news and public affairs. I was at KLOS at the time. They previously had two Monday-through-Friday news shifts – helmed by our steady and brilliant news director David Heller in morning drive and the quirky and compelling Marshall Phillips in the afternoon.

I was the part-timer, with a regular news shift on the weekends and all the fill-in shifts when the one of the weekday news guys got sick or took a vacation. Then, one fine day, there came a change in program directors. The new guy immediately set out to cut-cut-cut. The afternoon drive news shift almost instantly disappeared, and there went 50% of my potential fill-in income. It was just play the hits on a newly-tightened playlist. I appealed to the new pd. No dice.

Then, Elvis Presley died – HUGE news even for non-oldies rock stations. Pathetically enough, it was left for the afternoon jock to make a brief, flimsy announcement at one moment during the back-announce between the previous song and the upcoming commercial cluster. And that was that until the following morning.

So KLOS listeners, who all regarded Elvis as a kind of revered Family Elder and a founding root of all subsequent rock, were thus rendered wretchedly poorly-served, and unable to rely on their favorite rock authority radio station for details until the following morning drive news shift. So I appealed to the new pd again, because here was proof that we needed at least some news presence in afternoon drive, just in case. But even my ‘Elvis died in the afternoon!’ argument fell on deaf ears. Not even the passing of the King himself – quite literally an EARTH-SHAKING news event in ALL popular music arenas – could save our afternoon news shift.” – Mary Lyon

** Local Pride

“Kudos to Larry Sharp and his engineer in Napa for their dedication in covering the recent earthquake. One of radio’s finest qualities has always been its immediacy, a trait that, lately, has been usurped by Twitter and other phone-based social media. But there is no excuse for a radio station not to have SOMEONE on hand to inform the public during emergencies.

When Ronald Reagan was shot, the staff at our DC radio station, WMZQ, were falling over themselves to rush to the scene, which happened to be just a few blocks away. We were extremely proud to be one of the first to cover that incident for our listeners.” – Gerry Downey

** Weekend Beatles Tribute

“A quick follow-up to the comments about The Beatles 50th at the Bowl: While there was definitely a lot of negativity concerning the show being much more about Dave Stewart and his family than celebrating the anniversary, there was also a great deal of love shown for Bob Eubanks and Dave Hull and what they both have done during their time in L.A. radio. I had the honor of working with both of them all three days of the event; helping with book and photo signings and meet-and-greets in the vendor area.

As the crowds arrived for each concert, so many people stopped by to say that they had been there in 1964. Many had their original ticket stubs, KRLA Beatles Fan Club cards, and other 1110 memorabilia. But it was during the intermissions and after each show when the real love was shown. Crowds of people gathered around both Bob and Dave to express such warm and sincere thanks – thanks to Bob for all the financial risks he took in bringing the Fab Four here in the first place, and thanks to 'The Hullabalooer' for being there with fun and wackiness as they grew up to the soundtrack of life supplied by KRLA. People may not have been enamored with Dave Stewart and his band of kids trying to do justice to the greatest songs ever made, but they truly loved—and remembered—these legends of Los Angeles radio.” – Bill Hayes

** LA Coverage of SF Quake

“We at KNX were all over this story and we owned it. I did my first live report 15 minutes before I began anchoring at 4:45. We had audio before 5 a.m. The quake hit at 3:20. We got the first Urgent at 3:30. We began monitoring KCBS, our San Francisco sister station, right away and they were taking calls. I began calling local NAPA businesses and while the phones rang no one picked up. I knew by experience one of two things because of this (1) the phone lines were down, or (2) the buildings were so unsafe no one was inside to answer the phones.

We had extra staff involved shortly thereafter and as soon as possible. Pete Demetriou was in Napa for the next two days.” – Bob Brill

** Iconoic Morning Pair for 25 Years

"I thought you might enjoy this picture of my favorite morning duo of all time, Al Lohman, Jr and Roger Barkley (pictured at KFWB, 1968).

When Lohman & Barkley were on their game, no morning show was ever better. No preaching, no politics, just pure innocent fun. So fortunate to have worked with both of them.

RIP guys." - Bob K

** Passing of George Nicholaw

“Sorry to see another giant of KNX leave us. I had a pleasure of meeting George Nicholaw at a Saturday, June 6, 2009 luncheon which Don Barrett had organized.

My observations of Nicholaw and the sound of KNX are varied. My first full day living here in LA was January 16, 1978, the day of my political hero Hubert Humphrey's funeral. In a processing of moving from Jersey, I had an unpleasant surprise when I turned on the radio, as KNX did not run the CBS-Radio network coverage of his service. In growing up back east, it was more consistent that O&O's (network owned-and-operated) stations would almost always take special events from their network. The Los Angeles radio and TV stations’ policies of either not running network coverage of news or having a local anchor intro a speech, interrupting the network were (and still are) inconsistent.

Anyway, I did hear KSDO-San Diego running the funeral. Since KNX didn’t run the CBS network during the coverage of the Humphrey services, I wrote a rather angry letter to KNX. George did reply rather quickly, wondering how on one hand If Humphrey was a man of peace, how I could write such an angry letter? He never did explain his inconsistent policies of which events he would run from the network. Luckily over the years I was able to channel that energy and anger in putting up a website paying tribute to the late Vice-President, hubert-humphrey.com.

Well, as the holidays approached in 1978, I wanted to make peace with George. We did have some nice calls afterward. When I met him at the 2009 luncheon, George didn’t remember any of our previous conversations and letters.

While George Nicholaw was in charge, KNX had a quite oldline sound – a lot of sounders and an energetic teletype sound effect always playing in the background, which in my old-school view, KNX sounds empty without it. I also liked the consistent format clock during his tenure, where sports was at :15 and :45, stocks at :20 and :50, the way it should be done on an all-News station. However, I was never in favor of a lot of non-news programming as well as non-CBS sports which was also prevalent during the Nicholaw era, such as filling up Sundays with Mutual (Radio Network) Football. There was a Sunday afternoon of a space shot, when KNX didn't run the launch because of football coverage. Under George, KNX had these really corny promos, I think it was Beach Rogers who voiced these promos such as, ‘Policemen think our news is arresting – and you will too on KNX 1070.’

At least George saw an importance of accurate weather info. At :06 and :31 past each hour, KNX offered a complete city forecast from the wire. Many years later KNX had a marvelous contracted service from Seattle, then the Weather Channel. The weather reports back then were so much better than the current offering of the Channel 2 weathercasters improvising.” – Larry Hart, Sherman Oaks 


You Give Us 22 Minutes and We’ll Give You the Historical Perspective of KFWB
Essay by Randy West

(August 26, 2014) Gather round the computer kids, while Uncle Randy tries to explain how much RADIO was once a vibrant part of everybody's life. OK, busted. This is really just a rant.

After tv took the stars and the individual programs, radio stations adopted programming they could afford to produce locally. Recorded music became the backbone, but since every station had access to the same records, the competitive edge went to those stations whose live and local presentation was most creative and compelling. What was between the records determined success – creative production, personalities, and promotions.

In Los Angeles, Chuck Blore transformed KFWB into Channel 98 Color Radio, one of the most exciting and most listened to stations in the nation. Then, in another era, KFWB was purchased by Westinghouse and on March 11, 1968 was relaunched as one of the very first all-News radio stations. Again, with a new innovative approach, KFWB enjoyed success that ran for decades. Nobody ever made excuses for failure – limited signal, lower power, increased competition, or AM is dead.

As was the case on a national level, when other media platforms created alternatives to terrestrial radio, instead of setting out to re-create KFWB with some new, creative, relevant, competitive and compelling approach, the station adopted what has seemed to be a mishmash of talk programs. Some of those shows and personalities were inspired and many were not, including a number of programs that were brokered – the radio equivalent of glorified infomercials – with the station operating on an FCC waiver of ownership rules while supposedly being marketed by CBS for sale now for the past several years.

KFWB changed formats Sunday night at midnight as CBS uses the station as a flagship for the new CBS Sports Radio Network, a primarily national programming service that instead of innovating with some new creative live and local service, will be another sports outlet in a city that seems to have adequate sports talk programming already. But I guess the fact that the format can be run at a low cost on the local level, may attract an advertiser-coveted young male audience, can point to the success of ESPN to suggest the potential for listenership, and can anchor CBS’ new network sports investment all adds up to sounding viable with stockholders.

Maybe because I’m not sports-obsessed, it’s all a giant yawn to me. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been spoiled by KFWB's once glorious record of innovation. Good night radio. Last one out please turn off the lights and the transmitter. (Randy West is a veteran of KMGG (Magic 106 in the 1980s) and game show announcer)

Overheard.

Reservation on Fox Radio. For many years, John Fox was a familiar voice on Orange County radio. When those opportunities went away, John joined the world of automotive sales. Now he’s  back on the airwaves. “In 2011, I put Rez Radio 91.3 (KOPA, Pala) on the air,” emailed John. “This is the first new class A FM in SoCal in 20 years and the only Native American owned and operated full service class station within 500 miles. We’ve been on 24/7 continuously ever since – not even leaving the air during the big San Diego blackout in September of that year. This mostly volunteer station with 1 employees had earned San Diego Press Club awards for news and talk programming every year since we signed on and is up for four more this year. I’m the chief cook and bottle washer including program director, news director, general manager, on site engineer and volunteer coordinator … and loving it.”

The station streams live 24/7 on iHeartRadio, TuneIn.com and in-house at http://208.70.75.109:8080/stream.m3u

Is there a way to monetize the station? “The tribe so far has chosen to fund everything themselves, treating it as another community utility,” said Fox. “We don't even take CPB money. The station was originally sought as an emergency information system after woefully inadequate evacuation efforts from the 2003 and 2007 fires.  But I believe it can be monetized.  I'm working towards that.”

Fox had some other thoughts on revenue. “Right now we're in a mode a little like an LPFM, of which I've seen several successful ones.  We’re extremely locally focused, but have the ability to reach further with streaming.  We’re also working on signal improvement to include five other local reservations while maintaining the local and Native American focus.  Four of the six reservations we hope to eventually serve have casinos, so it’s a desirable market for underwriters.  As long as we maintain a mostly volunteer staff with a few key paid people including commission-only sales, it should be possible to turn a profit.  Nobody’s going to get rich as long as the potential over the air audience is only a few thousand people, but as that grows with signal improvement, economies of scale will kick in.”

Music royalties pose a concern for Fox. “Probably my biggest concern until we begin underwriting is the future of performance royalties.  If new rates are established that don’t take into account the scale of a broadcaster, it’ll put all small stations out of the music-playing business.  Non-profit community stations need an exemption, or at the very least a freeze at current rates.  Granted, we play more hours of music than anything else, but even at today’s rates, royalties are the largest portion of our programming budget, exceeding even the cost of our four daily hours of network talk programming.”

LARadio Rewind: August 26, 1978. Casey Kasem debuts a new feature, the Long-Distance Dedication, on his syndicated American Top 40 countdown program. A young man named James, whose girlfriend, Desiree, was moving with her parents to an American military base in Germany, had asked Casey to play Neil Diamond’s Desiree and dedicate it to her. “Maybe my Desiree will hear it,” he wrote. In 2007, Casey’s staff members were able to locate James and Desiree and an interview with the couple was featured on Casey’s American Top 10 and American Top 20 countdown shows. Casey Kasem jocked at WJBK, WJW, KEWB and KRLA before co-founding American Top 40 in 1970. He hosted the program until 1988, when he launched a new countdown show,Casey’s Top 40. He returned to AT40 in 1998 and retired in 2004. He ended his AT10 and AT20 shows in 2009. Casey died June 15, 2014, at age 82.

Funnie.

Email Tuesday

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** Radio Response to SF Shaker

“God, that San Francisco AM Radio non-response to the earthquake was disgusting. So much for serving the needs of the people.” – Rich Brother Robbin

** 1110/KRLA Memories

“I grew up in a nowhere place, Palmdale, in the sixties. We had three radio stations which our battery powered ‘transistor radios’ could barely pickup. KRLA was our only link to the world then for Palmdaliens.

I was a real nerd in high school and did things that normal kids wouldn’t do. I toyed with early laser technology and in 1965 made noteworthy in the LA Times and the Herald Tribune.

I was contacted in the spring 1965 by one of KRLA's dj’s, Casey Kasem. They were looking for something different that they could exploit for PR for an up and coming concert visit of the Beatles.

To make a short story shorter I set up a continuous wave laser transmitting and receiving station in Palmdale and modulated a live 20 min segment of a Casey’s show on to a laser beam and bounced it off of the surface of the moon. It came off pretty well and various parts of the world got to hear it to. I got into a bunch of trouble with FCC. Apparently ships at sea encountered RF interference. It was a big hit because everyone knew what a laser was due to the movie Goldfinger.

Casey arranged to have me meet the Beatles for about 20 seconds on August 30, 1965 at the Hollywood Bowl. Greatest 20 seconds of my life.

I met Casey a couple of times over the years. The last time I tried to contact him I was informed that he was ill and would see no one. I later learned he was suffering from Parkinson's disease, which is ironic for me because I too have Parkinson’s.

Most of my memorabilia of that era was lost in a fire some years ago. I only have a couple of newspaper articles, and I recently found the CD I transferred the crumbling BASF tape from my old Roberts reel-to-reel on to with the return signal moon broadcast of 1965.” – Mark Q. Morgan

** Loss of  KFWB Broadcasters

“So sorry to see all those fine KFWB broadcasters let go, but happy for Ted Sobel that he somehow survived.  I was kidding him at Dodger Stadium on Sunday that it reminded me of the final episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show where everyone was fired but ‘Ted.’ I wonder if everyone on the last day sang It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.” – Ken Levine


George Nicholaw Remembered at Forest Lawn Services

(August 25, 2014) The program from the memorial started with the sentence, “George Nicholaw rose from a television usher to become an all-News radio pioneer.” His family, colleagues, and friends gathered at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills to pay tribute to the late KNX general manager.

His nephew, Dr. Euthym Kontaxis, officiated the Orthodox service. “George was everyone’s favorite Uncle,” said Kontaxis. “(George) was always there when you needed him, he was helpful when I was choosing my residency, asking me all of the important questions.” Kontaxis recently viewed his wedding video from 30 years ago. “There was George and (wife) Betty holding hands during the service, dancing and enjoying himself … he was always a positive person.” Kontaxis said the couple celebrated 50 years together.

Longtime friend Bud Meyers said “you can’t just count the years, you have to count what you did – and George did a lot. He put himself second and put his family first.” Meyers said Nicholaw “saw the chance to make Los Angeles a better place through the radio.” Meyers admired Nicholaw’s range of interests. “He was a voracious reader, reading two or three books a week…he liked sports, he loved the racetrack.”


(Photo left: David Dow, CBS Radio News, retired, Tom Haule, Larain Herman, KNX producer; Rick Sietsema, KNX engineering, Linda Nunez, Debbie Wright, KNX editor, Andy Ludlum, KNX pd, Frank Mottek, KNX business hour - Photo center: Linda Nunez, Debbie Wright, Tom Haule -  Photo right: Bill Arbenz, Jeff Zabinski, Marc Bonvouloir, Don Malloy, Steve Epstein, Terry Saidel, Fran Cogswell, Doug Howland, Dave Bachelis, Mike Masterson, Mark Pennington, Frank Cruz, Jeff Cena, Gary Heller)

“Witty, charming, handsome” was how Melissa Nicholaw recalled her Uncle George. “He was always active. If you spent time with him, you weren’t going to sit there for two hours drinking coffee. He took us to horse races, concerts, the theater, movies. He arranged for us to have a tour of Paramount Studios,” where Melissa Nicholaw met Elvis Presley, Lorne Green, Danny Thomas, and other famous actors. “Uncle George was excited about getting tickets to an upcoming concert. I was 16 years old. I was thinking it’d be the Rolling Stones, or some other group, yet it was for Neil Diamond,” which initially disappointed Melissa Nicholaw. It turned out the concert was the famous August 24, 1972 concert that became the best-selling album Hot August Night. “It turned out to be the best concert I ever attended,” she said.

“George was literally in the delivery room when KNX was born. He was a disciple of William Paley and CBS as the Tiffany network. He helped create traffic and the weather together, broadcast the stretch calls, provided continuous coverage of the Watergate hearings, and pitched the idea of simulcasting 60 Minutes on the radio,” said Mike Masterson, former KNX general sales manager. “His editorial board was made up of five people, yet since Nicholaw delivered the editorials…if there was a call or a letter, he took it upon himself to reply. Yet he preferred to stay in the background and let others take credit.”

       

(Photo left: Don Malloy, Ronnie Bradford, Frances Cogswell, Pat Smith, Debbie Wright, Linda Nunez, Frank Mottek - Photo #2: Roger Nadel;
Photo #3: City Councilman Tom LaBonge, Jack Salvatore, Howard Freshman; Photo right: Jere Laird and Frank Mottek)

 

Masterson recalled how Nicholaw enjoyed socializing. “George was a teetotaler – until it was cocktail hour.” He also alluded to Nicholaw’s enjoyment of horse racing, involved with more than broadcasting the stretch calls of races on KNX. Nicholaw was once the chair of the board of the California Horse Racing Commission. “George had arranged for me to meet Trevor Denman, the world famous voice of horse racing. Trevor said ‘when you get back to the station, tell George he’s doing an excellent job.’” Having said that, Masterson revealed that Nicholaw “never opened a racing form…he bet on the name of the jockey or the color of his silks.”

 “One thing that George always did was bet on the 10-70 exacta, for obvious reasons,” said Masterson. “If you’re at the races and bet the 10-70 exacta, know that George will be looking at you from above with his steely blue eyes, with a smile on his face.” (All photos, including Dottie Sharkey, on left, provided, and story written by LARadio senior correspondent, Alan Oda)

You’re Hired. You’re Fired. KFWB  980 AM is all-Sports this morning. Line-up of programming, except for Jim Rome at 9 a.m., was not available and apparently the programming you hear today may or may not be part of the final sports programming when it launches next month.

As far as other personnel, the first news that came out of the format flip of KFWB to all-Sports was that the three sports guys – Bill SewardBob Harvey, and Ted Sobel – would be staying on with the station. They received word on Friday that there was a change of mind. Bill and Bob are out, but Ted Sobel will stay.

“It is a very bittersweet time for me learning that I am the lone survivor in the KFWB format change to all-Sports,” wrote Sobel on his Facebook page. “I am extremely fortunate to be able to continue during my 20th year with the station [surviving into my 3rd different format] and my dream to have wanted to work for one of the most storied radio stations ever carries on. But I must also tell you that it truly is quite uncomfortable knowing that I won't be working with so many special friends and colleagues any longer.”

Bill Seward was somewhat dismayed at the turnabout in his employment status, but quickly expressed gratitude for the 25 years with CBS News, 11 years with KNX and the last 14 years at KFWB.

“Two weeks ago I was told I had a job. Friday I was told I didn’t,” emailed Bob Harvey. “It was surprising and disappointing, but I enjoyed 30 wonderful years with KFWB. I don't plan on being on the sidelines for long.” Bob has a popular gaming website, www.BobHarveySports.com.

Overheard.

Shaking in the Bay Area. San Francisco experienced a 6.0 earthquake Sunday morning that caused enough damage for Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. This kind of an emergency is when local radio really shines. So how did the Bay Area stations respond? Rich Lieberman, publisher of 415 Media, wrote:

“While the earthquake rocked the Bay Area and Northern California, KGO Radio is still running canned programming from Bloomberg Radio.

KCBS went on air about six minutes after with live coverage and actualities from reporters and listeners.

‘Nuff said.

Oh, and as of 4: 23 a.m. KGO is still running Bloomberg. Too funny, really.

A KGO staffer told Lieberman, other than a minimum wage board op, there was no one in the building.

KNX staff 25 years ago

On a recent Throwback Thursday, KNX afternooner Diane Thompson posted this photo from January 1989. "KNX was a little light when it came to women broadcasters in 1989, but our general manager, George Nicholaw, loved to win those Golden Mikes," wrote Diane (c).

"KNX picked up 10 that year, including Spot News for the First Interstate Bank high-rise fire. Beach Rogers and I shared the award. That fire was straight out of Towering Inferno. George, who passed recently, is third from the right. RIP," conclued Diane.

 

 Hear AcheDan Mandis, who worked at KFI in news, traffic and production, is now the program director of the Cumulus Nashville talker WWTN “Super Talk 99.7 WTN.” He will continue his noon-3 p.m. talk show. Dan was also producer of Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s syndicated show for years … Nice piece on EXTRA featuring Pat Paraquat Kelley and Melody Rogers. Check it out at: http://www.extratv.com/videos/0_5306n4s5  … Ryan Fox was morning man at KKGO Go Country from 2011-12. He’s now with the Country outlet in Dallas. “Crazy thing happened over the weekend,” wrote Ryan. “My ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video ended up on ABC's Good Morning America! They featured a small clip in a larger story about celebrities pitching in for the cause.  I'm the 'Texas DJ'.  : )” You can watch it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxlrlmLodlM … KRTH’s Dave Mason was playing Phil Collins’ You Can’t Hurry Love the other morning and came out of the song with, “What is that prayer you say in the morning, ‘Lord, give me patience … and I want it NOW.” … Q2’s top advertiser was wireless carrier AT&T … “I am tickled to report Dave Koz has recruited me to help host his ‘Dave and Friends at Sea Cruise to Alaska,’” emailed Keri Tombazian. “We set sail September 5th with a line-up as grand as the landscape we will visit.  Dave’s love of life, music, and fellowship fuel this Royal Caribbean ship with a line-up that includes Jonathan Butler, Oleta Adams, and the great Chris Botti.” More information at:  http://www.davekozcruise.com/  … KOLA, Classic Hits station in the Inland Empire, is apparently going to concentrate on the music, dropping news programming. News director David Wylie exits the Oldies station.

A Hard Day’s Night. KCSN, broadcasting from California State University, Northridge, is throwing an appreciation event later this month to thank its many contributing supporters and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of the iconic Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night. The outdoor screening on Saturday, August 30, also includes a performance by Ticket to Ride, a Beatles tribute band.

CBS Enlarges Ryan Seacrest’s World. KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest signed a new two-year development deal with CBS Television Studios. The contract’s for scripted shows, not reality shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians or Idol-style competitions. Ryan Seacrest Productions has a project in the oven with Jennifer Lopez for NBC titled ‘Shades of Blue,’ according to Variety. Ryan has a possible dramatic project with musical artist Pitbull.

 

LARadio Rewind: August 25, 2000. Salem Communications completes its purchase of KXMX from Clear Channel. Known as Mix 95.9, the station had gone on the air in 1960 as KEZR, sister station to KEZY-1190, which broadcast from the Disneyland Hotel. KEZR later became KEZY/fm. In 1999, the station was purchased by Jacor Communications, which changed the call letters to KXMX. Later in 1999, Jacor owner Sam Zell decided to get out of the radio business. Clear Channel purchased Jacor and then sold KXMX to Salem. The station switched to a contemporary Christian format as KFSH, “The Fish.” Advertised as “Safe for the whole family,” KFSH plays such artists as Daughtry, Selah, Lifehouse, Newsboys, Chris Tomlin, Jason Gray, Matt Redman, Matthew West, Laura Story, Needtobreathe, Building 429 and Casting Crowns. Hosts of the “Family-Friendly Morning Show” are Bobby Shaw (ex-KKLA), Lara Scott (ex-KYSR) and Mary Hughes. (LARadio Rewind prepared by Steve Thompson)

ABC Ownership Issues. KSPN’s Max Kellerman is the third ESPN-connected personality to step into trouble in the last couple of months. ESPN is owned by Disney, which puts greater pressure on the talent to be family-friendly.

Previously, ESPN talent Stephen A. Smith got into trouble when he suggested that women should avoid provoking men, while WAXY-AM/FM Miami-based Dan Le Batard was suspended for two days after he was involved in the Cleveland billboard that makes fun of LeBron James.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Max Kellerman got a week’s suspension for revealing that he and his now-wife were drinking at a long-ago college party when she slapped him – and he slapped her back. Actually, several sources say that’s not really what got him the suspension, but rather that he was talking about the suspension of NFL star Ray Rice. And ESPN doesn’t want folks treading in that delicate area.

NASH Moving In. Cumulus’ Classic Hits station in the Ventura market has flipped to 106.3 NASH ICON. Cumulus already has a contemporary syndicated show, NASH/fm, but is now offering NASH ICON that features iconic Country artists from Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts and the Dixie Chicks to Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride and Kenny Chesney.

A press release from Cumulus describes the new format: “106.3 NASH ICON is one of the first 15 Cumulus stations in the U.S. to offer this brand new format to radio listeners and Country music lovers. NASH ICON is an important complement to the more contemporary artists that are heard on NASH, its sister brand.”

Sommer Frisk, Cumulus Ventura/Oxnard market manager, said: “We couldn't be more excited to bring listeners and advertisers 106.3 NASH ICON. There’s no question that Country is hugely popular in Ventura County and 106.3 Nash ICON will feature music of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. These are the artists that plowed the road for today’s acts and helped make country the powerhouse format it is today. 106.3 Nash ICON will be a great compliment to big sister 100.7 KHAY/fm. Ventura County is a great country market, with the best audience and this move solidifies our position with our country music fans.”

Beatles at Hollywood Bowl. The weekend tribute to the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl apparently didn’t go so well with the fans. Dave Stewart of the Eurymthics was the host. Some of the Facebook reaction:

Funnie. Golfer: "I'd move heaven and earth to break 100 on this course."
Caddy: "Try heaven, you've already moved most of the earth."

Email Monday

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** All-Sports

“Los Angeles is not known to be a sports talk station type of town. Although I only wish the best for KFWB, the history of sports talk in L.A. is not one with good results. Even if the NFL gives L.A. a franchise, will sports talk be a winner here?

History has told us something different. I wonder if Los Angeles needs another sports talk station to share the about two and a half points that sports talk gets en toto vis-a-vis the ratings. Consider that both the Dodgers and the Angels are in first place, and the ratings are still low for the sports stations.

Good luck to the Trust!” – Sterrett Harper, President, Harper Claims Service, Inc.

** CBS Programming

“Why is CBS still allowed to program KFWB? Remember all the promises during the mergers that KNX and KFWB would be separate? Slowly but surely CBS reneged, encouraging the station to rot and then letting it fall from the tree. Now we have a city with one news radio station and four sports stations.

The problem with Wall Street people running the radio business is that it’s always about how we can sell an audience, never about how can we serve them.” – Sandy Wells

** Green Beret Avey

“Just a note about Dan Avey. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but after fulfilling a very small request he made of me, he repaid the favor with an ‘American Flag, which was authenticated to have flown over the United States Capitol on November 29, 2004, at the request of Henry A. Waxman, member of Congress. This flag was flown for Ann Beebe, in celebration of Christmas.’

I was totally surprised. I’d never owned a flag before. What a very nice thing he did, for someone he hardly knew.” – Ann Beebe

** KYMS Never the Same After Dave Armstrong Left

“Wishing Dave Armstrong a happy retirement. I met him when he was general manager at KWIZ-Santa Ana. I was able to work with him in the early 90's at KYMS-Santa Ana. He gave KYMS their most success. After he left, KYMS was never the same. Going through several mangers and pd’s before they were sold. Dave is one of the nicest people I've met in radio.” – Dale Berg

** Armstrong Touched So Many Lives

“I was both sad and happy to read that Dave Armstrong is going to retire soon.

Happy because he has had a stellar career, touched so many and it has been an honor to have known him for over 25 years. Sad because many of the younger people coming up through the ranks will miss a truly kind and gracious professional who knew how to lead and get results. 

Dave is truly one of the good guys in a business where sometimes kindness and support can be forgotten.

Dave will be missed by many of us who had the pleasure of working with and for him. His management style was inspirational.

Wishing happiness for he and Sarah as they venture onto this new chapter of their lives.” – Lynda Parets

** Robin Williams’ Valet

“During one of his early bookings as the headlining star at Harrah’s Tahoe, Robin Williams suited-up in Harrah’s official doorman's uniform early one evening and was opening car doors and greeting arriving patrons curbside at Harrah’s for nearly an hour before finally being ‘busted’ by an arriving fan!” – Bill Kingman, Lake Tahoe

** Radio Disney Takes Out Radio

“Disney was nuts to attempt to reach kids with crappy AM stations. The entire concept was crazy. It has nothing to do with radio. Disney also cancels tv shows that are lousy and don’t build audience but no one considers it a death knell for tv when shows are canceled.” – Bob Fox

** Keep One Disney Station

“I would say they kept KDIS to remain qualified to pay the broadcast radio rates for music licensing. See Pandora.” - Paul Sakrison

** Nicholaw Memory

“In all the tributes to George Nicholaw, the one word I have yet to see is, ‘CLASS.’ George Nicholaw was overflowing with Class.” – Greg Hardison

** Bright Shotgun

“Enjoyed the piece on Shotgun Tom Kelly.

Anything good regarding Shotgun Tom brightens my day.” – Chuck Southcott

** Overheard Mention

“’I never, ever, ever for a minute thought about quitting my day job.’ (Ryan Seacrest, KIIS)

‘Yeah, me, too.  I wanted to work in Radio until I died.’" (Laura Brodian, KUSC, KMZT, KCSN, KUSC)” – Laura Brodian

** Don Pardo

“I don’t know if I ever told you this but my first break in television was as a booth announcer at the ABC affiliate Channel 6 in Philadelphia.

The program director, Tom Jones, gave me my break. Unfortunately he died a few weeks later at a very young age.

My first two times in the booth were meant to be a one and done situation but I stayed on at the station and also worked in radio.

So when Don Pardo died the other day, I mourned.

I loved him.

I’ll never forget the ‘Saturday Night LIIIIVE’ introduction.” – Jerry Del Colliano 



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                                  Don Barrett

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LARadio Archives

August 2014
Bill Denton voted #7 Best Off-Air LARP of 2014; Diary of a PPM family; Spanish breakfast stars; eBook from Elliot Field now in hard cover; "56 years on the radio is enough, thank you very much" - Rich Brother Robbin; Kelli Gates to Sonoma County; John & Ken voted #6 Best On-Air LARP of 2014; Chuck Randall is on the road again and paying it forward; Bryan Simmons' wife in freak accident and dies at 54; MY/fm #1 in July '14 ratings; "Executive producers are the most important people on a radio station; "I got into radio to be somebody" - Raymond Bannister; Saul Levine thinks KFWB going all-Sports will be good for LA Radio; Legacy of former KNX general manager and iconic radio broadcaster George Nicholaw; Mike Butts - from mailroom to control room; Bob Rivers retires from radio and reflects on his 11 days in LARadio at "Arrow 93" in one of the most bizarre stories ever; Cut Frosty's photograph; Dave Armstrong retires from Salem Broadcasting; Jim Rome to join new KFWB all-Sports format in September; Van Dyke to build a new bridge; Disney wants to sell Radio Disney stations - 23 of 24 on the block; Dave Beasing #6 Best Off-Air LARP of 2014; Terry Wedel retires after 36 year broadcasting career; KFWB flips to all-Sports a week early; Owen Murphy to program all-Sports KFWB; Chris Carter and Bob Eubanks participate in Beatles salute; John Mellen, veteran from the 50s and 60s, dies at age 79; KFWB to carry NFL and NCAA games; Shotgun Tom Kelly voted #5 Best On-Air LARP of 2014; Archives: Ticket to 1540/KMPC sports success - local, local, local

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Last modified: August 31, 2014