The most comprehensive listing of 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People, spanning the last 61 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      
     

(Jeff Pope, Johnny Morris, Chase Landers, and The Real Don Steele)


Fire Threatens TV and Radio Transmitters on Mt. Wilson 

(October 18, 2017) Lisa Bloom (l), daughter of Gloria Allred and former LARP, was part of the Harvey Weinstein scandal until she wasn't. She represented him but got out early ... The fire on Mt. Wilson yesterday morning threatened to damage an array of broadcast towers. Before daylight, a fire broke out below the parking lot of the Mt. Wilson Observatory. Authorities evacuated at least a dozen people from the 10 buildings in and around the observatory. More than two dozen antenna towers cluster on the peak of Mt. Wilson. Authorities estimate that hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of communications equipment were at risk, including federal and county facilities used for emergency communications, commercial television facilities and radio transmitters. Damage to the communications towers can disrupt cellphones, television and radios, as well as interrupt some communications for emergency responders … The first-ever iHeartRadio ALTer EGO concert set for the Forum in January stars Mumford & Sons, Cage The Elephant, Beck, Spoon, WALK THE MOON, and The National and Dashboard Confessional. Alt 98-7 is sponsoring the event … KTLA/Channel 5’s Sam Rubin paid a visit to 100.3/The Sound yesterday as the Classic Rock station heads to the finish line, with the Classic Rock set to change format next month. Sam talked about cruising in his green Capri and listening to Dire Straits. Uncle Joe Benson and Cynthia Fox played some Dire Straits for Sam … If you are a subscriber to LARadio.com, you got to read the full story on what Vin Scully would have said when Justin Turner hit the Dodgers’ most famous home run since Kirk Gibson’s in 1988. Scully told the LA Times that he wouldn’t have said much. “I would have just said, as always, ‘It’s gone,’ and then shut up. I do my best saying nothing.” … Does LARadio have its own inclusive problem? How many woman work afternoon drive? One less, since KNX moved Diane Thompson to evenings. Can you fill up the fingers on one hand counting the women?

LARPs in a Firestorm 

(October 17, 2017) Former Gene Autry radio executive Michael O’Shea owns stations in fire-savaged Santa Rosa. How is he and his stations doing? “I am OK. “I’m trying to sleep in a cold dark house without electricity for going on five days. At least I have an office and studio complex with good quality filtered air to go to 14 hours each day. The smoke is absolutely choking. I heard on my news talk KSRO today that the suspended particulates in our breathable air is the worst quality air ever measured in history in the SF Bay Area.” … In a related story, a Facebook post had Lynn Anderson Powell, ex-general manager at KIIS/fm, dying in the fire. Not true. “First, I am very much alive. Michael and I have been evacuated from our home, but are safe and like so many thousands of people affected by this horrendous disaster, we are simply waiting and praying. In error, it was reported that Lynn Anderson Powell of Santa Rosa had perished in the fires. We are trying to rectify this error, or determine if there is another person with my [former] name, or if this is a case of identity error or even identify theft. Thank you to all who have reached out and thank you for your prayers for us and especially all of those who have already suffered and lost lives and homes. God Bless us all.” … In other news, Pat “Paraquat” Kelley (photo), legendary personality at KMET, is now completely paralyzed due to the progression of his MS. A GoFundMe fundraiser campaign has been established. You can help with Pat’s caregiver needs by clicking the artwork ... Halloween is around the corner. Starbucks' cult-favorite Pumpkin Spice latte, introduced in 2003, has driven a $414-million-a-year market for the flavor, according to Nielsen estimates. Boo!

John Davis, Longtime Engineer, Dies at 84 

(October 16, 2017) John Davis, chief engineer for Saul Levine’s Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters, died last week on October 9, as a result of complications of pneumonia coupled with a virulent lung infection. A nicer guy you will never meet.

John was my first hire after I had been hired to run 100.3/fm in the early seventies. Investors had purchased KFOX/fm, which was housed in the “Tootsie Roll” building in Long Beach, even though the city of license was Los Angeles. Once the FCC approved the sale, we had to build studios from scratch and move the 100.3 antennae to achieve line-of-sight with a tower in Coldwater Canyon. John orchestrated that move and the building of our studios on the 11th floor at 6430 Sunset Blvd.

Within a few months, we launched KIQQ (K-100/fm).

Saul engaged the services of John in 1970 to handle the engineering of KKGO/fm, 105.1 and later to concentrate on the station’s transmitter site. John also acted as engineer for launching KRTR/fm-Honolulu and CH 26 UHF TV-Honolulu on the air for Levine’s Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters. “John and I pioneered FM and UHF TV in Hawaii,” said Saul. John continued his services for Saul Levine to the present time.

John and his wife, Deanne, made Sierra Madre their home for 50 years. They loved seeing deer wandering in the street. John was born in Los Angeles on June 16, 1933. His parents knew he would be some sort of engineer. They supported him in whatever he needed to do, including drilling holes in the walls to rewire certain areas to work the way he wanted them to. He attended USC where he received his Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1955 and his Masters in Engineering in 1959.

Nostalgia Sunday - 13 Years Ago Today

KABC Throws A Farewell Party for
Ken Minyard and EGBOK!

(October 15, 2004) With a line forming at 3 a.m. in the lobby of the Marina del Rey Ritz-Carlton Hotel Friday morning, you might have thought that  a rock star was staying there and groupies were hoping to catch a glimpse. But the group was very well-mannered, mostly gray panthers, and their rock star was actually Ken Minyard, a 30+ year veteran with KABC, most of the time in mornings. This would be the final opportunity for Ken’s legions of fans to pay tribute to the man who woke them every morning with just the right mix of news, humor and silliness. Even though Ken was retiring, the group knew that everything was going to be ok. (Thanks to Chris Bury for photo help)

Ken’s final KABC broadcast was from the main ballroom at the Ritz Carlton, a mere 20 feet from the huge yachts docked in the Marina. The morning cast of characters from Ken’s past showed up to pay tribute to him. They told stories. “Screw-ups have been a hallmark of my career,” admitted Ken. 

He opened his show after the 5 a.m. news. “I’ve gotten up this early for the last time. I will see 2:30 from this end no more.” He played the opener from the October 10, 1986 show with Bob Arthur, who he described as a John Forsythe look-a-like with a beard.

 (1. Former KABC gm George Green, current gm John Davison; 2. apd Bernard Pendergrass,
pd Erik Braverman; and 3. newsman Dan Avey, SCBA president Mary Beth Garber)

Many of the warm memories came from the cast of professionals and characters on the Saturday show. “I’m not a Type A personality and work is not my life,” explained Ken on being forced to work a six-day week. To avoid coming in on Saturdays, Ken created the ‘Saturday Special,’ which was recorded on Wednesdays. Barbara Esensten met her writing partner Jim Brown while doing the Saturday shows. They have worked together for 19 years writing for Dynasty, Guiding Light and One Life to Live. “We are the longest standing male/female writing team in tv that isn’t married to each other,” said Barbara. She remembered her first broadcast was done naked in a hot tub. “I could have electrocuted myself. My husband said that I actually didn’t have to do it naked, but I knew Ken would know if I didn’t.” Barbara took CJ Ware’s place. 

CNN anchor Aaron Brown called Ken his mentor for his years as an intern at the station. 

PBS host Tavis Smiley appeared on stage with Ken. “You discovered me, and it’s never lost on me how all this got started. 

(1. Marc Cohen, Mark Oleesky [computer guys], 2. Tavis Smiley,
and 3. Jorge Jarrin, Stu Nahan)

From 1986 to 1995, Stu Nahan, now on the Dodger pre-game show, dispensed sports on the KABC morning show. Ken described Stu as “one-of-a-kind.” Stu told a story about the bachelor party that Ken threw for him a couple of days before his marriage. “It was held at a well-known restaurant on the West side,” remembered Stu. “Ken invited a lady who soon divested herself of her clothing. Mr. Minyard took pictures of this lady standing next to me. On the day of the wedding, he walked up to my wife and gave her the pictures.” 

Ken remembered how Stu could misspeak with the best of them. He once called the Houston Astros the Houston Assholes. “I wonder what kind of logo would go their cap,” said Ken.  

Ken’s former partner Peter Tilden, now mornings at KZLA, called in. The joke has always been that all of Ken’s partners die. It’s been known around the station as the Jack Kevorkian of radio. When Peter went in for life-threatening surgery a couple of years ago, he remembered: “I had a lot of people care about me, but none more than Ken. He wrote me a card, ‘Please don’t die, it would look bad for me.’” 

It was while Ken and Peter were teamed together that the Hillary Clinton-was-gay-story surfaced. “We had Dick Morris on the air and he said it out of nowhere,” remembered Ken. “He blew himself out of the water with the Clintons. That did it. He blamed it on us, but we had it on tape, which we played over and over again.” 

(Pictured: 1. Dan Avey, Lonnie Lardner, Barbara Esensten; 2. Ken Minyard [foreground]
and Rick Minyard; 3. Jorge Jarrin and news singing tap dancer, Sandra Lowell)

Politicians and city officials called throughout the morning. Congressman David Drier, who is a republican and Ken is a democrat, hoped that Ken’s son, Rick Minyard, would be able to educate him about changing party affiliation. Police Chief William Bratton and Mayor James Hahn called in to wish Ken well in retirement. The mayor called Ken, “the ultimate radio personality in Los Angeles.” 

One of Ken’s “weather watchers” called in. Since the weather rarely changes much in the Southland, Ken distributed “Weather Watch Sticks” to various parts of the city. “You stick the stick out the window and if it gets wet it is raining. If it was dry, it wasn’t raining,” explained Ken. 

Lonnie Lardner used to do the news on the morning show. “I would always prepare my segments with you and then you would throw out something that would make me reveal personal aspects of my life that I wouldn’t do with anybody else,” Lonnie told Ken. “I’m now going to save on therapy sessions,” she confessed. Lonnie stayed in the hotel Thursday and admitted that she indulged in a number of adult beverages. “My head was hurting and I knew it would be the sleep of death. I wake up this morning and turn on the radio and I hear Bob Arthur and thought I did die. I figured that Ken finally killed me.” It was the 1986 aircheck that she heard. Lonnie is working on a documentary about South Los Angeles. She also works with a non-profit organization that deals with inner city kids. 

Michael Reagan thanked Ken for his radio career. “You’ve always given our family a fair shake,” Michael said by phone. “Ron Reagan and I talk more since June than we’ve ever talked before.” Reagan admitted that his family has always been different politically. “I’ve got a family just like that,” quipped Ken. 

(Pictured: 1. Tommy Hawkins; and 2. Chuck Carmelli, George Green, and Leon Kaplan)

Tommy Hawkins, former NBA star and currently with the Dodger organization, said that working the morning show (1970-85) was the most fabulous job in his broadcast career. “It was incredible.” When Ken wanted to loosen up the very button-downed Bob Arthur, he asked Tommy to bring in a model who would take her top off. “We hid her in the bathroom and when Bob started a newscast she came into the studio and put her bodacious ta-ta’s on Bob’s shoulders. And Bob kept reading. He was imperturbable. It was Edie Williams of Russ Meyer films. She was ticked off and ran over and sat on Ken’s lap and rigor mortis set in with Ken. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t push the microphone button. He was frozen,” said Hawkins.  

Ken admitted that he was unable to stand up. About this time George Green, president/gm at KABC, rushed into the studios and wondered what the hell was going on. “’This is no brothel. We have a broadcast to do. We have decent people listening.’ George ripped all the film out of my camera,” said Tommy, “and he told us to be in his office at 9 a.m. When we got there he said, ‘Nice going.’” 

Others who joined in the celebration: Al Selner, the podiatrist to the Valley and movie reviewer, Rabbi Jerry Cutler.  

EGBOK – the “Everything’s Going to Be OK” phrase that Arthur and Minyard used on the show – occurred on the day of the Jonestown Massacre. “We were just worn out that day and I think we ended the show that day saying, ‘remember, everything’s going to be OK.’ EGBOK came to mind as I was driving home and it resonated with people. Now it’s used all over the world on the Internet, just like LOL,” Minyard said. 

Near the end of the show, Steve Edwards, a KABC alum, ran a live shot on his Good Day LA program on FOX/Channel 11. Steve introduced Ken as “the voice and face of morning radio in L.A. for 35 years.”  

(1. Bob Anderson; 2. Ritz-Carlton crowd; and 3. Doug McIntyre and Rob Marinko)

During the morning, Ken played a portion of the drunk/hangover show. Steve was working at KABC at the time and called in: “Ken, I know you’re late and I know you feel bad. I want you to know that you’re really handling it – badly.” When the live shot ended, Ken told his audience that Steve did a great radio show. “It is the only show that I was moved to call in.” 

Richard Roeper, currently teamed with Roger Ebert, called in from Chicago and admitted that it might be end of his many years of movie reviews with KABC. “No offense to the guy coming in, but I can’t imagine having as much fun as we’ve had,” said Roeper. “I talk to a lot of radio hosts around the country and honestly I have enjoyed talking to you more than anyone else!”

 (Pictured: 1. Mr./Mrs. John Ramos; 2. Dave Stone; 3. Shelley Wagner, Steve Sheldon)

Marc Cohen, part of the weekend computer show with Mark Oleesky, has been with Ken for 25 years. Marc was Ken’s financial advisor and had him start on the air with financial reports. He later participated in Rick Minyard’s show in Modesto. “Your whole family is responsible for my career,” admitted Mark. Ken said that he is able to retire because of Cohen’s financial advice over the years. 

Peter Greenberg, the travel expert, was a regular on the Saturday Special for many years. “Congratulations, Ken, on finally doing the right thing,” Peter said by phone while awaiting a tv appearance in New York. 

Leon Kaplan and Minyard recalled that the “motorman” got the nickname “flat out” the time they took a boat ride to Catalina. “We got there in about 15 minutes. I thought he was a hitman or something,” recalled Minyard. 

“This is sad day for radio,” said Doug McIntyre, the new morning man beginning today, “but a hellava day for the wine merchants of Oxnard.” Doug talked about the KABC building was built largely because of Ken. “The facility on LaCienega is one of the great stations - a legacy station and much of the credit goes to the success that Ken brought to morning drive. The Red Sox had three left fielders – Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Jim Rice for over 45 years. KABC has had one morning show host for the greatest part of its history. I’m deeply moved and humbled to take a shot at it.” 

Doug said that he was not going to follow in Ken’s footsteps. “It is because they actually go all over the place. Beginning Monday it will be 'McIntyre por la Manana' from now on. Just trying to be ahead of the curve.” 

Shortly before ending the four-hour broadcast he praised his current morning team of Mr. News Dan Avey, traffic maven Jorge Jarrin, sports guy Dave Stone, board op John Ramos, former morning show member and now “suit,” Bernard Pendergrass, and executive producer Terri West.  

Ken imparted his philosophy on life. “I’ve always liked to work hard and play hard. Balance would tip toward play. When Bob and I came together it occurred to me the best way to make the thing happen was to make work into play. And it has been for most of the time. And surround yourself with great people.”  


Email Saturday 

** Worked With Reiling in Fresno

“I was so sorry to hear of Joe Reiling's passing. When I first came to Fresno from Los Angeles, Joe was working at KFIG when they hired me to be the pd. He had been doing the midday show, and I immediately needed a newsman for the mornings, so I made Joe my news director. He was always dependable, and became a good friend. He had two other staff members who he grew up with in Dayton. Sometimes I'd go over and visit them at Joe's place, and we always had a good time. He and I remained in contact for the last 10 years on line and spoke a few times over the phone. He will surely be missed. As always, Yadda-Yadda.” – Joe Collins

** Joe Reiling was Mentally Sharp

“My family and I visited with Joe Reiling at his latest assisted living facility before he died and had arranged for his daughter Krista to bring him to our vacation rental at the beach for a gathering. She called early Saturday morning with the news. Everyone should know that Joe, while expressing pessimism about his health, was mentally sharp and in good humor. I still can't stop missing him.” – Larry Jacobs

** Worked With Reiling

“I loved working with Joe Reiling at KLOS. He was one of the great guys both on and off the air. I will always remember Joe taking the time to chat or joke with me when I was on my way back from a concert or event.” – Cameron Ward

** Worked with Reiling at LAB

“So sad to hear the news about Joe Reiling. He was a person you could respect, as well as being a real pro and a hell of a great guy. Many of us local radio people worked with him at Los Angeles Broadcasters [LAB]. I look back on the days when he would ask me, ‘Hey buddy - what's new.’ Glad he was able to continue on with many excellent gigs after the days of KLOS.” – Rich Hogan
** KBLA Memories

“I traveled with my dad to Burbank in 1964 and discovered KBLA 1490kc playing You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, and recorded it on my Wollensak 1500. A year later, I once again discovered KBLA at 1500kc on my radio in San Diego. First they were playing current hits then went all-Talk and placed an ad in the LA Times. By summer of 1965 when I was with my dad in L.A., I was in heaven. 

Tom Clay and Rosco were among the line-up of announcers, and Tom Dugan was promoting an exclusive interview with Lee Harvey Oswald's mother to be aired at midnight. Unfortunately, I could not receive KBLA from Alhambra that night. I became friends with Tom Clay in 1966, now at KDAY playing oldies with Stan Evans.

I first heard Tom at KDAY in 1960 then at KDEO, CKLW, KBLA, KDAY and KGBS where he promoted his tribute recording What the World Needs NowDave Diamond and William F. Williams were my favorite announcers at KBLA in 1966.” – Pat Maestro, KXO RADIO
** The Mad Heatter

“The world of games has lost another icon. Today we awake to the news of the passing of game show producer Merrill Heatter. He had been in failing health the past several months due to cancer. Sandy and I visited and said our goodbyes to Merrill at his Beverly Hills home.

This man did more for my career than anyone with whom I worked. I was privileged to host several shows produced by Merrill and his longtime partner Jack Quigley. Among them Gambit, Las Vegas GambitHigh Rollers and The Last Word.

Heatter-Quigley Productions created what is arguably the most successful game show of them all, Hollywood Squares, originally starring Peter Marshall as host and featuring the incomparable Paul Lynde in the center square. My sincere condolences to his two children. And may he rest in peace.” – Wink Martindale

Hear Ache 

(October 13, 2017) K-EARTH loaned Larry Morgan to 100.3/The Sound so he could say goodbye … Former NFL star and sports media pro Eric Davis joins the afternoon drive program on KSPN. He will working with co-hosts Marcellus Wiley and Kelvin Washington … Been to Costco lately? Those are Christmas trees and decorations for sale … KFI's Jeff Baugh (l) and David Jerimiah had a chance meeting outside a Burbank medical office this week. "We were co-workers and he was a great one from the Shadow Traffic days in the early 9o’s," emailed Jeff. "We were just catching up on old 'war' stories, comparing medical adventures and dishing everyone. Evil but fun! David is terrific. He lost a ton of weight, lives in Massachusetts and was in town for some v/o work." ...  Tom Joyner, host of his own nationally syndicated, distributed $50,000 to 50 Houston-area families affected by Hurricane Harvey. In 2006, Tom’s show aired locally on KKBT, The Beat … It seems like yesterday when I turned 50 and received my application for AARP. Former airborne reporter Tom Storey does the aging one better. He got a birthday wish from the Neptune Society … KRLA’s morning co-host, Brian Whitman, received a nice extension on his contract …Peter Dills, son of restaurant guru Elmer Dills, joins KRLA for a weekend show every Saturday at 4:30 p.m. … KYSR’s Nikki Sixx departs the Alternative station at the end of the year … Great news for Bob Miller. In early 2018, the retired Kings announcer will get a statue outside of Staples Center … A memorial service for Joe Reiling is planned for 10 a.m. on October 29 at Eternal Valley in the Santa Clarita Valley … Inside the Exorcist is Top 10 on Apple podcasts … Bill A. Jones is singing this Sunday during the Battle of the Big Bands – Glenn Miller vs Tommy Dorsey at El Camino College in Torrance … KIIS’ Jingle Ball features Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers and Sam Smith … Steve Fredericks Liddick’s latest novel is Prime Time Crime … A question came up about why KIIS and Ryan Seacrest are not doing as well as they have in the past. Bob Scott, former sales guru now retired in Connecticut, observed: “Ellen K gone, Ryan Seacrest doing show from New York, and no station ‘personality’ like it had.”

The Unthinkable Happens to Delilah for the Second Time 

(October 12, 2017) Delilah has an enormously successful syndicated radio show. The evening show has been carried by a half-dozen stations in the past 20 years. Currently Delilah is on KFSH (The Fish).

She has written three books.  Last year, Delilah Rene was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

I met Delilah around 2007 when KBIG picked up the show. She is remarkably upbeat about her life. On her weeknight show, she takes calls from listeners in her home studio, providing encouragement, support, and receiving musical dedication requests,offering a song that best matches the caller’s situation.

It is tough to ignore her sincerity once you learn the road she has traveled. Married for the fourth time, she doesn’t skirt the issue when giving marital advice. She has adopted 10 children and integrated them into her household with three children of her own. A drinking problem led her to a 12-Step recovery program.

Delilah has already endured the loss of a child. Her son Sammy, adopted from a West Africa refugee camp, died four years ago of sickle-cell anemia. The Rene family is now mourning the loss of another child. This week, her 18-year-old son Zachariah committed suicide. Delilah told her listeners that Zack “took his life” after being “treated, counseled and embraced fiercely by family and friends, while battling depression for some time now.” Delilah says “my heart is broken beyond repair…but I have to believe he is at peace with the Lord and that God will get us through.”

Zack was diagnosed as autistic.

Our prayers are with the versatile broadcaster. She is going to take a break from her daily broadcasts, running a foundation, writing books, traveling and public speaking to process the loss of her son. You can listen to the Best of Delilah every night at 95.9/fm from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Three Faces of Nicci 

(October 11, 2017) One of the reasons in keeping LARadio Lite alive is to update the 6,000 LARP as changes happen. Nicci Ross, formerly with KOCM/KSRF, 1989-90; KACD, 1994-96; KIBB, 1996-97, has checked in. She was an intern at KEZY while in school, then some time in Plainview and Huntsville, Texas, "paying my dues." For five years beginning in 1984, she worked in San Diego at “Y-95,” "K-Lite" and KBZT. Prior to joining Orange County’s “K-Ocean” (KOCM) Nicci worked at Metro Traffic. When she left K-Ocean she worked a variety of formats in San Jose at “Hot 97.7,” “Mix 106.5,” “The Fox,” plus two years at KOME.

For part of her stay at KACD she worked afternoon drive and middays. At KIBB, Nicci worked as Tina Marcos. “Management wanted me to have a more ‘ethnic’ Latin sounding name.” She’s also been known as Ricci O’Hara. “I left L.A. in 1997 to work for the legendary programmer and consultant Dwight Douglas at WZGC [‘Classic Rock Z93’] in Atlanta. I worked there until 1999, then I became the afternoon partner at WRAL (MIX 101.5) in Raleigh, North Carolina.” In the fall of 2001, she returned to San Jose. “I worked for a short time (2001-05) at KKIQ-Pleasanton. I then worked at KEZR MIX 106 and KBAY 94.5 San Jose as weekends and evenings from 2005-2016.  In December 2016, I was hired for weekends and fill-in at KISQ 98.1 The Breeze San Francisco.”

“Since I left LA radio in 1997 and moved to the south, I miss hearing about all my friends and peers. This site fills me in,” said Nicci.

In other news: No sooner said than done, the first two episodes of Inside the Exorcist are posted, the podcast featured in yesterday’s edition of LARadio. “We’re already #1 on Movies/TV on iTunes and charging up the ranker overall. :-),” emailed producer Mark Ramsey Cameron Ward is now providing crisis counseling. “If you know of anyone impacted by the mass shooting in Las Vegas, I was recently also providing therapy in Texas following Hurricane Harvey,” emailed Ward. You can reach Cameron at: jamminCam@aol.com 

A Podcast That Will Spin Your Head 

(October 10, 2017) If you were around in 1973, chances are you were spending part of the holidays standing in line throughout Westwood, waiting to see The Exorcist, one of the most profitable and scariest horror movies ever made. Now you can get the behind-the-scenes scoop on the tale of a real-life demonic possession, a movie, and its makers.

Mark Ramsey, one of our outstanding experts on audio, put forth his creativity last year with a look at Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. He has now created a seven-part podcast series inspired by the story behind an unforgettable, classic movie.

This is Inside the Exorcist. Listen to a 3-minute trailer by clicking the artwork. 
             

 

In other news, Brenda Barnes, general manager at Classical KUSC, is leaving at the end of the year to take over Classical KING/fm 98.1 in Seattle. Barnes is currently president of the University of Southern California Radio Group, which owns and manages KUSC and KDFC-San Francisco.

“I have been at the helm of the USC Radio Group for 20 years,” emailed Brenda. “I have known this time was coming for several years and have been planning to announce my departure when the organization was very strong. It has never been stronger, so this summer I made the very difficult decision to retire from USC at the end of this year. Within a few days I received a call from the search committee of the Classical station in Seattle looking for a new ceo.  After meeting with them it was clear I could make a contribution there, so I accepted their offer to lead KING/fm, and I will begin in January. It was the perfect next chapter for me: an opportunity to make a positive impact on a great station in an incredible city.”

Brenda thinks it is the right decision for her. “It is difficult to leave a great job working with and for outstanding people within the USC Radio Group and USC. I will miss it more than I can say. My husband will continue to be here so we are keeping our house and I will come back weekends.”  

USC is in the process of putting together a plan for the search, but they will definitely do a nationwide search for the next President of the USC Radio Group. 

Joe Reiling Dies 

(October 9, 2017) Joe Reiling was a familiar voice for four decades at KLOS, KMET, KNX/fm, and KLSX. His voice was silenced on Saturday, following a decade of health issues. He has been alternatively described as jovial, sweet and an all-round good guy.

Joe's jock and rock programming past prepared him well for his tenure when, in 1992, he became the programming, voicing, artist interviewing and producer of inflight entertainment for over 30 airlines. He began this part of his career with AEI Inflight. Joe then moved to Inflight Productions USA as a vp in June of 2000. Working for the airlines is somewhat prophetic, for Joe since he was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, the birthplace of aviation. Joe attended the University of Dayton where he majored in communication arts and minored in psychology, a rather apt combo.

While at the university, Joe began his radio career a part of the school’s owned-and-operated commercial radio station, where he was the midday jock and Sunday morning talk show host. After graduating in 1974, Joe went to KFIG-Fresno for midday-jocking, news anchoring and directorship becoming the station’s pd.

One memorable Fresno story was when he interviewed Reverend Jim Jones (The People’s Temple Of San Francisco). "Jones brought some of his followers to Fresno to protest the jailing of three local newspaper people in 1976. I was the only media person to interview him. My editorials attacked Jones for brainwashing his ‘flock,’” said Joe. He claimed that he never sipped grade Koo-Aid since that interview.

Tom Yates hired Joe at KLOS in 1977. Joe introduced "The KLOS Local Music Show" in 1981, the long-running program featuring unsigned acts. “In 1983, I was part of the short-lived but greatly ballyhooed ‘Turner Music Channel.’ It lasted a whopping 39 days, not one of Ted's foremost successes.” For almost a decade, beginning in 1984, Joe hosted an alternative rock show to an estimated worldwide daily audience of 400 million on Armed Forces Radio. Joe’s “bests” are his many friendships and his daughter, Krista.

Many of his friends and colleagues offered memories of Joe:

Mike Stark – The one thread you will see in all the memories you receive about Joe will be that he was one of the sweetest guys on the planet. Always making people smile. Always positive. Even in the face of health issues and an industry that had begun discarding voices that didn’t fit the corporate profile, Joe never let those elements get him down.  The last time I saw Joe, he struggled up my studio’s stairs to record a “demo tape.” He still wanted to be part of it, as all of us old school “radio geeks” want. His voice was strong but his spirit was stronger. Rest In Peace, Joe.

Randy West - Sad to report the passing of an L.A. and Armed Forced radio legend, one of the sweetest, wittiest gentlest giants. You could never know a nicer guy or a more dynamic on-air talent. His fans might best remember him best from KLOS, his home through much of the 1970s and 1980s. Joe and I worked together with a bevy of other pros for years at a broadcast training facility called The L.A.B. – Los Angeles Broadcasters – where we shared a million laughs. Rest in peace, dear pal.

K.M. Richards – All I have to say about Joe is that he was devastated when he lost his best friend, J.J. Jackson, back in 2004. You might recall that the late MTV VJ was driving home from dinner with Joe when he had that fatal heart attack. As J.J. was a friend of mine as well, we reminisced often about him, and although we spoke less and less after he left KLOS, I felt that Joe was still J.J.’s best friend. As much as I feel sorrow over Joe’s passing, I also feel joy that he is reunited with his best friend in heaven now, and I’m sure they're reminiscing together now.

Pat Paraquat Kelley – Joe was a big, loving bear. When the shit hit the fan with MS and me, Joe was one of the first responders. He’d come and visit, take me out for haircuts and errands, Mexican food and margaritas, all of this while he had health issues himself. Joe also had money issues but you’d never know it. The planet has lost a wonderful example of what we should all be – giving, caring and loving. Peace Brother. 

Steve Downes - The week ended when death came knocking in an even more personal way, when I learned of the passing of an old friend and colleague. Although Joe and I never worked together, we traveled similar roads. We both graduated from The University of Dayton, I was a year or two ahead of Joe. We both cut our teeth at WVUD. Perhaps the greatest college radio station ever. We both worked at KLOS. Joe, along with mutual friend Lou Chelekis, welcomed me to LA back in 1978, and made me feel at home. Besides, being a great radio talent in LA, Fresno, and later on the Armed Forces Radio Network, Joe had a heart of gold, and a sense of humor to match. The last years of his life were a struggle, and his passing was probably a blessing. Still, the world seems a lesser place with him not in it.


Sunday Nostalgia - 12 Years Ago Today

 

(October 8, 2005) Pat “Paraquat” Kelley was at the vortex of the spectacular success – ratings and revenues – during the 1970s and 80s at KMET (94.7/fm). In this 4-part series we have journeyed with Pat from his early home environment filled with characters from the world of Hollywood, radio and sports. He took us to the beginning and how he got his early jobs in radio to the ending of an incredible journey in the mid-1990s. His professional life made a dramatic turn when he met his wife-to-be, tv star Melody Rogers. They joined the world of real estate and have a very active and successful business. 

And now another dramatic turn in his life. In early 2002 he was diagnosed with MS – Multiple Sclerosis. “It’s a fucking blessing in disguise and that’s exactly how I look at it,” said a resolved Pat.   

He said the divorce from his first wife, as traumatic and horrible as it was at that time, coupled with the demise of the Mighty Met were probably the two worst things that could happen to him. “It broke my heart, but now those two things turned out to be blessings. This MS is the same way. I mean, sometimes you take a horse turd and turn it into a diamond.”  

Paraquat reflected on when he thought he experienced the first symptoms. He was an avid golfer and played practically every day for decades. In 1985 he was watching the pros play at Rivera Country Club when he noticed he was numb from his waist to his knees. Being very healthy he wrote off the temporary numbness to twisting something or pinching a nerve. In a few days it was gone.  

From time to time Paraquat experienced similar symptoms with pains in his lower back. He wrote it off to something he must have done from years of golf. By late 2002, the pain was such that he gave up golf. During the holidays of that year, he had trouble walking from one party to another. He could barely make it down the street and it wasn’t from the holiday cheer.   

Melody insisted that her husband go to a doctor. The doctor sends him to a neurologist and schedules him for an MRI. “I had no idea about the results, but I was happy it was over. That night we had dinner at Jim Ladd’s house. I could barely walk up the steps to his house.” 

After waiting a couple of days over a weekend, the neurologist calls Pat. “Matter-of-factly he said the tests came back and tells me that it is MS. It was like he totally brushed over it. I asked him if it would shorten my life. He said absolutely not and that it was totally treatable. I asked him what he thought I had. He goes ‘my God, you do not know, you do not want to know what I thought you had.’ Later he confessed he thought I had ALS or an inoperable malignant brain tumor. He thought I was dead. When I walked out of the office he said he pounded his fist on his desk saying, damn, damn, damn because he thought I was cooked. So I had good news, it was just MS.” (Photo: Pat, Melody, LaVonne and Bob Kelley Jr, from a cruise)

Pat called Melody with the diagnosis and she was very encouraging. “This is just another hurdle and we’ll do it together,” she said lovingly.  

Paraquat has dealt with MS in an incredibly positive fashion. “I have no anger and I have no regrets about my life. I’m a happy man. I’m just happy to be what I am and if this is it, this is it but it’s only going to get better. Since I’ve been diagnosed it hasn’t gotten worse, it may have gotten a little bit better and I’m doing everything I can to make it even better than that.”  

He believes a positive outlook will affect the outcome. “There’s an old saying, ‘your attitude determines your altitude.’ And I’m up there, man, so you don’t have to worry about me.”   

Paraquat had been reluctant to go public with his MS. “I didn’t want to be the object of anybody’s sympathy. I felt like I was the invincible - untouchable - and that’s the way I lived my whole life. If I could count the number of times when I should have been dead for just being the fool, drinking, driving my motorcycles, or skiing, I should be dead a hundred times over. Okay. I proved pretty much to myself that I’m immortal and now this. But you know what? This hasn’t really changed my feeling about life at all. When you start feeling sorry for yourself; take a walk down the halls of Children’s Hospital. I am a very lucky person.”  

Pat acknowledged that not much is known about MS but he believes he may become the beacon of hope for other people. “I am writing a book at the direction of someone else who has been visited by MS. In 1984, this woman, Judith Parker Harris, was blind and paralyzed. Today she is symptom free. I know another person, Mr. Eric Small, diagnosed in 1950 who went to India in a wheelchair. Today in his 70’s, you’d never know there was anything wrong with him. Both these people have used their experiences to help others. I intend to do the same thing. I’m documenting this journey. I want to demonstrate to others the power of the human spirit and what you can create using your mind. I believe when this book I am writing about this journey is finished, I will be healed. The book will be a wonderful beacon of hope for anybody else that has anything.”  

Part of Paraquat’s desire to go public with MS is to rid himself of any negative thoughts he may have been holding onto allowing his body to repel the disease with positive thoughts and energy.

"Deepak Chopra declares that you are the essence of chemical reactions and when something impacts you adversely, mentally, it has an affect on the cells controlling your whole body,” stated Pat. “I’m going to be living proof that this concert works!”   

Did you ever smoke dope? “I wouldn’t say I’ve never smoked dope but you know what?  I am not a pot smoker and I never was. I may have smoked pot once or twice when I was at KMET. It just wasn’t my thing you know.” Pat paused to allow the statement to sink in. “Now the heroin is something else,” he laughs. “No, I’m just joking.”  

Many people would rush to a support group regarding the MS, but not Paraquat. “I don’t want to sit around and listen to other people complain about their lot in life. Somebody filmed a documentary about people with MS and he asked me to narrate it. I said I’d be happy to. Then I saw the first three minutes of the damn thing and I just turned it off. I said you know what? This isn’t for me. It appeared to me to have been presented from the victim’s standpoint. I’m not a victim. You know what? There are no problems – only solutions. Didn’t John Lennon say that? There are no problems, only solutions. Well, that’s the truth! Look at me and my life. I have so much more than any one person could ask for. I’m not a victim. I’m a lucky person.”  

A number of personalities have MS and are leading active lives - Montel Williams, Teri Garr, and Neil Cavuto. Pat’s doctors aren’t sure what causes MS so they can’t tell him if it was anything that he did to himself. “I will turn it around totally. I will be back 100 percent, and then people can come to me and I’ll just give them the formula or the book.”  

Does Pat have a highlight to his ubiquitous life and career?  “The highlight of my life is my wife, Melody. She has been instrumental in making me better at what I am. I call her my ‘primary angel of life.’ We should all be so lucky. If everyone had a Melody in their life, there would be World Peace.” 

“I think other highlights in my life were born out of necessity. For example; when I was struck by lightning that one day at Safeway and I wanted to be in radio, that’s when I just put it in my mind. I set out on a mind course to not only be in radio, but that I was going to be a success and be huge. Radio ended, Melody and I have been very fortunate to have been successful in two fields- broadcasting and real estate.” 

In 1996, Pat and Melody returned from back East where they were living in Benny Goodman’s old house in Connecticut. Pat knew his radio journey had come to an end. “We really loved living in Connecticut. It was a fantastic house. Melody loved it. We flew her 1,300 pound horse back via Fed Ex to be with us. We had a great time back there but when we moved back I just had my fill of radio. The business had changed to the point where it wasn’t what I wanted to deal with anymore.” 

Pat’s brother Rob used to be a builder up in Central California where he was a contractor. “I remember my mom calling to say that Rob had passed his real estate exam and he started doing very well. So I said to Melody that we should do that. At that moment it was like the bolt of lightning in that Safeway store that led me to radio and I envisioned the day when we would be at some brokerage in Beverly Hills and we would be selling multimillion dollar houses in the hills. You know what? It happened. All of our success came because we worked hard at what we did.” 

When Jim Ladd was presented with his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the night before there was a roast for Jim at the Laugh Factory. When Pat took the stage to deliver some hilarious stories, it was the first time that many of his colleagues saw him with a cane and needing a little bit of assistance to get up the steps to the stage. When he got to the podium, the audience was hushed. Holding the cane overhead Paraquat proclaimed, “At least the drugs didn’t hurt me.” The silence was broken and the crowd laughed and cheered.  “I’ve come to the conclusion that you eventually become everything you made fun of growing up.”  (Photo: Pat at Laugh Factory Ladd roast)

When asked to comment on the state of radio as he sees it today Pat became reflective.   “To me it’s a different business. Hopefully it will continue to flourish. Any favorites? “By far and away, Jim Ladd is the best thing on the radio in this city. He works hard at the craft and it shows.” 

“I like Don ImusHe never bought into the bullshit nor did Jim Ladd and those two guys have one thing in common that I admire - they work at their craft. You listen to Imus and it may sound like it’s just off the cuff nonsense but believe me, man, I would hate to wonder how much preparation goes into that show. That guy works his butt off. To me in radio, Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern probably make more money, but I have nothing but the utmost respect for Jim and Don. I don’t even know who number three is.  Oh, number three might have been Jonathan Brandmeier. I listened to his show on ‘Arrow’ and I thought there’s another guy that does a well prepared show and look what that got him. I hope I haven’t cursed Jim and Don, you know what I mean?” 

“The station in town that stands out for me anyway is KZLA,” continued Pat’s radio observations. “That station is programmed to perfection; it’s a hard one to turn off. The music reminds me of the rock and roll of the late 70s and early 80s. Above and beyond the music, the personalities and how they present the station is awesome, very cool. It reminds me of KMET and the camaraderie we all had. Very cool.”  

“Jim Ladd is probably my best friend from the radio years. He’s just a good guy and ever since my diagnosis, he’s been there for Melody and me. Jim and Steve Edwardstalk about being there. When the ‘shit hit the fan’ so to speak with the MS diagnosis, Melody called her good friend Steve Edwards and asked for some advice. One of the drawbacks of MS is the treatment is very expensive. My AFTRA insurance had expired and we were somewhat concerned. Steve asked Melody, ‘Can he still talk?’

‘Unfortunately yes,’ quipped Melody.  Steve said we’re looking for someone to do the promos for our national television show Good Day Live. I did the promos for that show for over 6 months. Pretty good, huh? Not only did I qualify for the insurance, I got to do something that was new and really enjoyable. Steve is a true friend.” 

“So after all is said and done, I hope I’ve demonstrated in this interview the ‘good things’ that come to you after ‘bad news.’ I am a lucky person. Melody and I are happy and otherwise healthy, have great friends, a growing business and the future is bright. Don, if you ever hear me complain about anything - shoot me! I am blessed.” 

You can reach Paraquat at: mrpk1@pacbell.net  


Email Saturday

We Get Email ...

**Response to Open Email to KLOS PD

Regarding your open letter to Keith Cunningham: While I, like many others lament the corporatization of modern radio, it has been a reality now for over 20 years. Not much that can be done about that.

As far as major market corporate assets goes, KLOS has done its best to rise above the cookie cutter mentality of its corporate brethren. With the ouster of Lou Dickey from Cumulus and the installation of Mary Berner as ceo, more local control has been handed back to program directors and, to his credit, Keith Cunningham has taken advantage of it.

During Keith’s tenure, Jonesy’s Jukebox, featuring rock ‘n’ roll hall of famer Steve Jones has returned to the airwaves. Does he fit the consultant-driven idea of what a mainstream Classic Rock station should sound like in middays? Absolutely not. It’s a roll of the dice. The kind of risk taking that everyone complains doesn’t happen anymore, yet instantly castigates when it does. Funny how that works. Keith has experimented with adding more current rock to the KLOS playlist, adding unique and locally produced specialty programming, including Horns Up with Stew Herrera, Frazer Smith, Whiplash with Full Metal Jackie, while maintaining such AOR chestnuts as Two for Tuesday5 o'clock Funnies and 95 minute ‘free rides.’ The station has doubled down on its morning show, reuniting Frosty Stilwell with his old pals Heidi & Frank. And yes, it’s a talk show. Kinda like Mark & Brian were a talk show, or Howard Stern was a talk show. Those seemed to serve their stations well at the time. Does everything always work? No. But at least the chances are being taken. In market #2.

The Sound was a very good station. It was consistently kicking KLOS’s ass. KMET was a great station and kicked KLOS’s ass, yet KLOS is the survivor. We’ll now see if they deserve to be.” - Rob Frazier

** Regular Joe on The Sound

“I am just a regular Joe, a Los Angeles radio listener from way back. This past September marked my 56th birthday and after suffering a stroke, being declared disabled and learning to walk and drive again I was thrilled to receive a phone call from a programmer from The Sound inviting me to be their guest dj on their Your Turn program, which airs Sunday evenings (for the time-being)?

A couple of years prior, I ran and programmed my own internet radio show first on LIVE365.com, then joined local community radio station Mid Valley Radio in the City of El Monte, also an Internet-based broadcaster. The Soul Pilot Radio Experience was pure joy for me. So, now I get the chance to hear myself on a real genuine radio station ... and in Los Angeles for God’s sake. My visit to The Sound was such a thrill for me I soaked it all up. The staff I met seemed happy and warm and my experience was better than expected. Uncle Joe Benson was on the air at the time but I held back my desire to ask if I could say hello to him during a break in his segments. I recorded my segment and left. 

It took me about an hour to drive to my home in La Puente in the San Gabriel Valley and when I switched on my computer I read that 100.3 The Sound has been sold. WOW, the emotions, the yin and the yang from feeling elated to the sadness that this station would be going away just wafted over me.

SiriusXM should pick up the entire staff and create ‘L.A.’s The Sound LIVES On!’

BTW, thank you Josh for the opportunity to hear my voice hosting an hour of my programming on 100.3 The Sound is something I will never forget.” – Sal Gomez, Photojournalist / Freelance / Former Content Contributor & Photographer to California Rock News & Mid Valley News

** King of the Queen

“There is one, tiny, microscopic, silver-lining in losing our great and wonderful Sound, now, we will only have three stations, KLOS, JACK/fm, and KRTH, instead of four, to play Queen simultaneously [and, often the same Queen song!]. From a Van Halen-starved listener….” – Andrew Schermerhorn

** More KMET?

“I've read all these posts on how we need to bring back KMET or KLOS, or whatever great station was creating magic, back in the 60’s and 70’s. Hell, I wish they’d bring back KRLA, ‘The BIG 11-10’, and have it sound as good as it did in the mid-60’s, but then again, I’m going to be 72 in January.  

Times change, my old general manager, the late L. David Morehead used to say all the time ‘nothing is constant but change.’ I did afternoon drive in the ’80's at a great AOR station here in Fresno, KKDJ. We had a ‘live’ reunion at a local nightclub here last October. The turnout was great, it was nice to see everyone, and the audience was quite appreciative. But HELL, KKDJ was almost 40 years ago.

People change. Stoners are now grandparents, and in some of our cases, even great-grandparents. Instead of thinking about buying that bag of weed, we’re thinking about the consequences of what's going to happen to my lungs if I smoke it? Buying the latest Led Zeppelin or Def Leppard album has been replaced with something much more mundane, like buying a bag of Scotts Turf Builder to make one’s lawn look greener. [I do still buy lots of CDs, but it’s just not quite as much the ‘spiritual experience’ that it once was when we wanted to make our Friday night a little more special.] 

In closing, there’s no guarantee that if you brought back, say a KMET that it would be a success. Today, buying a radio station, one must think for a second, if I build it, WILL THEY COME? [sorry, borrowed from Field of Dreams].

As always......Yadda-Yadda” – Joe Collins

** Fan of Eatman

Bob Eatman was one of my best friends. We worked together with Dr. Drew for over 25 years. One of the best...smartest...gentle, and fair. I am able to go on for hours about this man. Please know that Bob's brother and business partner, Ross, will aggressively build the business. Happy to go on? – Howard Lapides 

** Harve Was Cool

“Growing up in Santa Monica, I couldn’t wait for Friday and Saturday nights as it was a ritual to go to the valley and cruise Bob’s Big Boy on Van Nuys Blvd. with my hot rod and one of the coolest things was being able to tune in to a little station called KBLA! Couldn’t hear the station in Santa Monica. The night jock was soooo cool. He called himself ‘Humble Harve, you’re with your brother baby.’ Soon he was brought to 93/ KHJ and every night was cool.

Thanks for the memories Don.” - Mike O’Neil

** Memories

“Fantastic Humble Harve story. We were there. Brought back many great memories. I recall one special night when I was introduced to KRLA. Blew me away. What a format and jock line up.” – Stan White, Seattle

** Humble Harve Triggers Memories

“Thanks to Kevin Gershan for the flashback. Humble Harve. KHJ. The Electric Prunes. Marv Howard. I went to The Groovy Show several times. I didn’t win the pie-eating contest but Kam Nelson smiled at me. I was 8. Life was good.” – Bill Seward

** K-EARTH Ratings

“It amazes me the way KRTH hangs in there; as the audiences change [older folks movin’ on, younger folks comin’ into the 35-64 cell],  KRTH just changes the music to fit the sales demos, ‘in perfect har-mo-nee’ with their ever-changing audience, just like An Old Fashioned Love Song.” – Rich Brother Robbin  


LARP In Artist Tent During Las Vegas Massacre

(October 6, 2017) Buzz Brainard (l), former morning co-host with Peter Tilden on Country KZLA, was on stage in Las Vegas about a half hour before the shooting on Sunday, “then in the artist tent when it happened, then under a tour bus, then we ran to the Tropicana,” wrote Buzz. “We were staying at The Mandalay Bay on the 23rd floor (nine floors below the shooter) with the same view he had. Unreal and horrifying. Senseless.” You wonder if iHeart, Coachella, Stagecoach and others are rethinking their concert plans? … Loren Blumberg has left Hero Broadcasting. “Due to the recently completed FCC Spectrum Auction, when many broadcasters put their spectrum up for auction, many were able to take advantage and sell for millions of dollars. Hero Broadcasting will be shutting down this year.  I have had a wonderful career both in radio and television sales and look forward to my next chapter in life.” You can reach Loren at: L0723@aol.com  (0 = Zero) or cell at 310-617-6712 … Rush Limbaugh said “Three hours isn’t enough” – so he now does a commercial-free fourth hour, online at his website. “I’m so frustrated over the things I’m not getting to” in the basic three-hour broadcast show.” His extra hour comes under a subscription plan. “I’m gonna keep going on the Internet…I just keep going until I’m ready to quit.” … How tough is it to get a simple AM/FM portable radio. My wife was looking for one yesterday after her bathroom radio crapped out. She went to three stores before she found one, picking one up at CVS Pharmacy … Didja know that KFI is the flagship station for the Chargers? No exorbitant parking fees if you listen to the game at 570AM … Former KGGI morning host Jeff Pope is exiting Mix 106-San Jose after three plus years. He said goodbye on Facebook: “From the time I arrived from Southern California, you treated me with love and kindness – even when my LA Kings came back from that 3-0 hole against your Sharks. Thank you for letting us be a part of your mornings, and now I'm REALLY glad I didn't buy a house!” …  Nikki Sixx has launched a new weekly program feature on his nationally syndicated “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” radio program. It’s called "My Favorite Riff" and it’s billed as “a first-ever multiplatform music and conversation series highlighting guitar legends and the hottest upcoming new artists.

KNX Team Wins Edward R. Murrow Award

(October 5, 2017) It was time for celebration on the Miracle Mile, as all-news KNX marked their achievement as the national Edward R. Murrow Award winner for Major Market Breaking News, presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association. Ken Charles (far left with market manager Dan Kearney), the station’s program director, offered a recap of the day’s events:  

Winning the first national Murrow in KNX’s 49 year all-news history was such a big deal we wanted to do something special for the team. We gathered everyone who could, news, traffic, sales, production etc. to have lunch, recognize the achievement and also pick the person who would represent KNX at the Murrow Awards dinner in NYC 10/9.  After organizing it the nominations for the NAB Marconi’s came out and we were nominated for Legendary Station of the Year and News/Talk Station of the Year so we got to celebrate those as well. Julie and I could not figure out which one of us should go to NYC. I kept telling her she should go as news director. She kept telling me I should go as pd.  This went on for 36 hours before she texted “Let’s send Baird!” I love Jon but if I just sent Jon without giving everyone else the chance to represent KNX I would be killed. So there began the idea of a drawing of everyone on the team who participated in the coverage to represent KNX in NYC. So at the celebration we picked a name out of a hat to be our rep.  Which is why you see some pics with me with a hat. I appreciate the write up Don used in his column but he only got the on air people of the immediate coverage. We broke with the story just after 10a that day and stayed longform on it until 5p. Anchors, reporters, editors, producers all had a huge part to play in our coverage that day, June 1, 2016.  

The list is:   Chris Sedens, Linda Nunez  (no longer with KNX), Charles Feldman, Mike Simpson, Diane Thompson, Jon Baird, Cooper Rummell, Claudia Peschiutta, Ed Mertz (no longer with KNX), Debbie Wright, Greg Habell, Jonathon Serviss, David Singer, James Tuck, Se Chavez, Laraine Herman, Kathleen Mendoza, Jerry Edling, Diane Dray, Scott Finder, James Tuck, Kathy Kiernan, Thom Tran, Denise Fondo, Julie Chin. They say it takes a village.  Well you can see how many people contributed to our coverage that day.

Hear Ache 

(October 4, 2017) Recent news events helps put our day-to-day  world in perspective. I realize every day I have, and we all have, much to be thankful for … Congratulations to former KLOS pd John Duncan celebrating his 30th wedding anniversary. John and his bride are living in Florida … Wanna meet KABC morning man Doug McIntyre? It's "McIntyre in the Evening" this Friday, from 8-10pm at Barney's Beanery in Pasadena, with morning co-hosts Randy Wang and Leeann Tweeden (photo), with special guest  Fritz Coleman of KNBC/tv …  A two-part interview between Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh scored big on Fox last week, as Hannity featured Limbaugh as his first guest after moving to a new timeslot on cable’s FOX News. The show attracted over 3.7 million viewers, easily beating Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and Anderson Cooper on CNN … KABC’s Jim Roope is giving up his 40thHS reunion in Cincinnati to cover the mass shooting in Las Vegas. “The loss is devastating, I also won’t be seeing my family in Ohio this week, but selfish of me to even think that when so many lives have been lost and so many lives changed forever,” wrote Roope on his Facebook page.

Talent agent Robert Eatman passed away on Sunday at age 65 after a battle with cancer. Eatman represented some of the biggest names in the broadcast industry including Opie & AnthonyMancow, and The Regular Guys. “Bob took me from $70,000 a year when nobody else saw anything in me and made me one of the top radio personalities in America,” Mancow told Chicago media reporter Robert Feder. “Eatman made the difference.” I met Bob at an R&R event in the Marina. I was standing with Sam Rubin when Eatman hurriedly came up to Sam. “I want to give you an exclusive about a move with Peter Tilden.” Bob gave the details. Sam then turned to me, “Bob, have you met Don Barrett? He’s got this website, LARadio.com” Bob gulped and said, “Well, there goes your exclusive Sam.”

Allred Featured in The New Yorker 

(October 3, 2017) Former KABC Talker Gloria Allred is featured in a 10-page article in the current issue of The New Yorker. Some highlights:

Gloria Allred may be the most famous practicing attorney in the United States. What she does, as far as the public can see, is show up in front of tv cameras, five feet two, in her black turtleneck, with her gold jewelry and her brightly colored jacket and her clients by her side, and deliver her message with bulldog aplomb.

She has a dry sense of humor, which, these days, tends to emerge in a bemused tone or a sly look, and in a general willingness to play herself as a character.

Allred's career can be seen as a decades-long project to expand the boundaries of legitimate victimhood.

She was born Gloria Rachel Bloom on July 3, 1941, to two doting Jewish parents, Morris and Stella. Stella was English, she and Morris had met in Baltimore, on a streetcar named desire.

When Gloria was in junior high, she and her mother would put on American Bandstand and dance around the living room after school.

In 1960, at nineteen, she married a tall, attractive senior, from a patrician family, named Peyton Bray. In her sophomore year, she got pregnant and gave birth to their daughter, Lisa. Allred writes that Bray left her side while she was in labor and went out for a beer. He committed suicide in 2003.

Allred majored in English at Penn, and wrote her undergraduate honors thesis on Ralph Ellison, Alex Haley, and James Baldwin. She graduated as a single mother, flat broke, recently divorced, and undecided about how to make my way in life.

By all accounts, Allred refuses to consider retirement. "You'd have to drag her kicking and screaming out of the office," said Lisa Bloom.

LOVE Between EMF and Univision

(October 2, 2017) K-LOVE ceo Mike Novak sent the following text message:
"Modified. Took working together over a long period of time to satisfy all involved, but we did it.
The K-LOVE you will hear on the radio will be the exact same K-LOVE that is heard all across the country."
Thanks, Mike, for the update.

Will There Be Love Between EMF and Univision?

(October 2, 2017) Executives at Educational Media Foundation (new owners of 100.3/fm) have a dilemma. When the purchase is approved, the intent, according to an EMF press release, is to put the K-LOVE Christian format on the station. The problem is one of the most successful Spanish speaking formats in the market is KLVE, a station that’s been known as K-LOVE for more than four decades.

K.M. Richards asks an important question: “What happens to the agreement that EMF made with Univision years ago not to use the ‘K-Love’ brand in this market so long as KLVE is still using it?” We reached out to Mike Novak, ceo of EMF, but he has yet to respond to our questions.

To make way for the new Christian format at 100.3/fm, all on- and off-air people at The Sound will be out of a job once the sale is approved. Facebook postings by the on-air and off-air programming execs have been very upbeat. Yet by the end of last week, some of the employees have become disgruntled and met with management to express their unhappiness. One report is that it got very heated.

Former Sound employee Elizabeth Joe McDonnell spoke up for the staff in a Facebook post. “No one has asked me to post this! And I will probably piss a few people off BUT Fuck It!!! The staff of The Sound has lost their jobs. They are contractually obligated to remain positive and among other things, they are not able to say anything bad about their current situation. These radio legends will remain holding their heads up high! They will fight to put their best foot forward and give you the best of their talent until their last day!

These people are not only seasoned professionals BUT some of the very best HUMAN beings on the planet! To my family ... Rita Wilde, Uncle Joe BensonCynthia FoxMike Sherry, my ex-work husband Michael Haase and to my friends Matty JaiChris SantoyoMimi ChenJoann DeLeoz Young, and Sandy Sosa. I’m so very sorry that you are going through this and I hope that you soar and find new jobs in a healthy atmosphere.” (Photo: Uncle Joe Benson, Cynthia Fox, Mimi Chen, Mark Thompson, and Rita Wilde)

Nostalgia Sunday - 50 Years Ago

(October 1, 2017) Kevin Gershan has sent a wonderful hour aircheck of KHJ's Humble Harve from the Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

February 1967. Months away from the Summer Of Love, but nobody is calling it that. As soon as the weather gets warm there’s going to be a gathering of the Tribes at the Griffith Park Merry-go-round. In the meantime, Penny Lane is in your ears and in your eyes and it’s all you’ve been hearing the past few days, ever since you first heard it from Humble Harve on Boss Radio.

Months until Summer – rain until then. Everybody eats lunch in the library or the auditorium or the hallway of the Administration Building – the air is filled with the aroma of Baloney and Fritos. Life is soggy and you want to get stoned. You have a friend of a friend who goes to Hollywood High who can get nickel bags of honest-to-god Acapulco Gold, and you’re getting some for the weekend. Your girlfriend’s parents are going to Tahoe on Friday and she has the house to herself until Sunday night. You’re imagining what she looks like with her clothes off. And what exactly is an Isosceles Triangle anyway?

You wonder if she’ll let you sleep over – what are you going to tell your folks? Can’t use the camping excuse; it’s pouring rain, they’ll never believe you. You wonder if she’s a virgin – you wonder if she thinks you are too. What if nothing happens? Someday you won’t need excuses – won’t need to make up stories. You’ll have your own place and all kinds of time – whole days and weeks. Why do they give tests on Fridays? You hate Math. How come orchestra is an elective? You’re starving because you only have enough money for the dope and lunch is on hold for a week. Everybody smells like wet hair. Is it Friday yet?

Here’s an hour’s worth of Humble Harve, during his first week as a Boss Jock at KHJ, recorded on February 3, 1967 – when it wasn’t raining. Click artwork to listen.


Email Saturday 

** Weekend Pleasures

“Email Saturday is a favorite.  It helps keep us in touch. I always mean to send an email, but somehow don’t, so this is my comment:  I hope there’s always LARadio.com and I will shamelessly scan every week for items about our business, about people I know and others I should know. Saturdays at LARadio.com remind us broadcasting has always been a community.” – Anita Garner

** LARadio a Warm Blanket

“Damn, I am glad you’re back

Love the KLOS email. Things have changed so drastically even in talk. You are a nice warm blanket on some very cold radio days.” - Michael Castner

** Pop Music Fan

“I loved your article on KLOS – good for you. I don’t listen to the station, nor did I listen to The Sound either. I’m a KBIG-KIIS kind of pop music fan, but I'm glad you put these people in their place. Many programmers in many formats do not have a clue. As for KBIG, they deserve the numbers they have. They are the best soundig station in L.A by a long shot.” – Craig Roberts

** Should KLOS Be a Better Station?

“Great letter to KLOS, but as many have noted, it may fall on deaf ears [or blind eyes].  We’re in the era of wide choices, and yet somehow the word has missed a few. I’m not suggesting that KLOS increase the playlist. I was at K-Earth 101 when we sliced the list to less than half of what it was and within nine months we were #1. I’m suggesting that KLOS should be a better radio station.

Back in the day KLOS, KMET, WCMF-Rochester, WEBN-Cincinnati, WLUP-Chicago were powerhouses of the lifestyle that listened to AOR. They were fun to listen to. They did things that made you stop and listen. Now the music is researched, it’s pretty mellow and there’s really nothing around it to make KLOS any better than Pandora or Spotify.

AOR was always a bit irreverent, a little ‘blue’ and very unpredictable. With corporate mandates coming out of distant cities, and little attention being paid to marketing the station, how can they hope to survive? The scrappy fm attitude of the 70s needs to be replaced by a scrappy attitude of 2017. That’s what’s gonna make it work. Oh, and that’s just my opinion [it will be one of dozens you see].  Please keep us posted and keep us on our toes.” – Dave Mason, Sunny 98.1 San Diego

** KLOS May Be Facing Bankruptcy

“Cumulus [owner of KLOS] is near bankruptcy and Mary Berner who runs the company has other things on her mind. The company doesn’t have cash flow and none of your suggestions will be enacted. As a matter of fact, all of the major groups including iHeart, Entercom, etc. don’t understand that successful radio has to be local.

Consolidation and the ensuing debt load have helped kill the radio industry. Also, the Internet has played a major part in siphoning off many dollars that used to be devoted to traditional media. It’s a different time now, and even if the FCC went back to ownership limits that existed some 30 years ago, it wouldn’t help. The economy and new technology have changed everything.

One of your readers mentioned bringing back the Fairness Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine was basically an attempt to censor broadcasters. The First Amendment is the cornerstone of our democracy and the Amendment guarantees free speech – not fair speech. Think about it.” – Bob Fox

** The Sound of Silence

“Even though it was really not a surprise with the many months of speculation, it’s always so sad to see entire talented air staffs terminated. Back before deregulation, an air personality could seek another position with many other stations in the same market with different owners. Those days are gone.

The staff of The Sound cannot seek employment from any CBS station. That’s just great. Now major market broadcast veterans, unless they’re willing to uproot their whole family and move halfway or maybe all the way across the country to a smaller market with lower pay and no guarantees that it won’t happen again, are facing the end of their on-air careers.

I went through a few staff layoffs in my years of radio, and the last time it happened I didn’t even bother to look elsewhere. By the way, ironically, I was part of a mass layoff of that very same station in the mid-80’s. It was then known as KIQQ. There’s nothing out there anymore. Thanks, deregulation.

Now just a handful of operators are running the stations into the ground, facing bankruptcy, laying off as many employees as possible, overloading the ones who get to stay with additional duties, and ruining careers. Meanwhile, the people who run the companies will be just fine and eventually leave with huge golden parachutes, while the people who gave their all and did everything that was asked of them, and dedicated their lives and their hearts to what used to be an exciting vibrant business are forced to either retire from it and seek employment in a totally different line of work. In other words, trash all of their years of training, experience and success, and completely reinvent themselves through no fault of their own, or upend their lives and risk another go at it somewhere, anywhere else. 

Deregulation in the 90’s has destroyed radio. It’s made a fortune for the very few running the show –   and for the most part very poorly I might add – and its left many, many countless talented professionals with nowhere to go. My heart is with them. To those who are at or near retirement age and are lucky enough to have saved or can draw a pension, go for it and try to gracefully close the door on the good years, being thankful for the part you took in what was a wonderful era of music and radio. For the others who are caught in between, too old to find work at another station but too young to retire, the best of luck to you, and may your experience and talent lead to something equally fulfilling in the industry or out if it. It’s now an extremely different landscape in the radio businesses, and it’s getting more and more difficult to stay optimistic.” – Bruce Chandler

** History of 100.3

“The station that is now KSWD (100.3 MHz) sure has undergone a lot of changes over the years. When I was a teenager and my parents bought my first AM-FM radio in late 1964, the station had the call letters KMLA, with a very subdued Pop Standards music format. Then the owners of Country station KFOX-Long Beach [Sonderling Broadcasting], which broadcast on 1280 AM and 102.3/fm, acquired KMLA, which became KFOX/fm-Los Angeles with a simulcast Country format. I enjoyed listening to the corny Squeakin Deacon in the mornings on KFOX, which had an air staff that also included Biff Collie and Cliffie Stone. In the early ’70s, with a change in ownership, 100.3 became KIQQ with a Top 40 format anchored by Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele, programmed by Bill Drake and Gene Chenault.

In the mid-’80s the station became ‘K-Lite,’ then in the late ‘80s it was sold to Westwood One, and Scott Shannon programmed it as ‘Pirate Radio’ under the call letters KQLZ. More ownership, format, and call letter changes followed, as KXEZ (adult contempt), KIBB (rhythmic AC), KCMG ‘Mega 100’ (R&B oldies), KKBT (hip-hop), then another call letter and format change (not sure of what it was) before becoming KSWD-The Sound. WHEW! For more than 50 years, 100.3/fm in L.A. was a frequency in search of an identity.” – Jeff March

** It’s a Wacky Business

“I read your story on The Sound being sold and the new owners not keeping any of the staff. I was working at The Sound when David Field and Weezie Kramer had a full staff meeting to tell us that they were merging with CBS and that they would need to divest of several stations including one in LA. I remember David telling us we won’t need to worry – even if they were to sell LA, everyone would have a job with Entercom. Looks like that’s no longer the plan, those of us who have been around long enough knew it was bull shit, he told us that so the staff would stick around until the sale! Crazy Business!” – Bob Koontz

** Losing Staff

“Everyone is out of work at The Sound? Staff can begin to look for work, except at CBS.

This is awful news. Mercy sakes. Where are there enough slots to absorb everyone?” – Laura Brodian

** Fart in the Wind

“The best commercial fm station on the dial in LA is going away like a fart in the wind. Corporate ownership at its worst. Thought Entercom was better than this. Good luck to The Sound staff.” - Greg Wood, West Hills

** Disco Inferno

“I saw the article in LARadio about our Disco Saturday Night show. Boy, people are listening with a microscope! Well, I think we're doing as well as we can for a canned show.

We should probably let people know that we are doing this as an homage to the original KBIG show, using names from that show as an inside wink to people who remember it. Of course Rick Diego is probably never returning, nobody knows where he is. It would be great to have Rick back doing it again, but I doubt that Saul Levine is envisioning a budget for a live announcer for a Saturday night show with limited ratings nor real advertising base to pay for it.

I guess the good news is that somebody is noticing!  ;-) Any suggestions?

I know Saul is an amazing man who is supporting great American music genres, like Jazz and Classic Oldies, out of a real sense of community service and love of radio.

I wish we could do all the things staffing-wise that stations used to be able to do back in the heyday!” – Fred Missman

** Pioneer Field

“I enjoyed my Silver Jubilee [75] August 10, 2017. Add it up, doesn’t mean guy can’t keep a job. Take seven decades, do the work, so one can look back with pride.

I’ve spent more than half my life in the Coachella Valley, am currently resting, but with plans to do more stuff in person. Mics can take just so much beating.  Nice to visit with you Don.” – Elliot Field

** Boman Pitch

“I just wanted to touch base and say hello. I love getting the daily email reminding me to check the updates. I’ve still got a ton of radio friends out there. Hope you’re doing well. How ‘bout them Dodgers?

BTW, nearly 130 schools now and counting.” - Tom Boman, Vice President - Broadcast Operations, Learfield, Jefferson City, Missouri

** HD Programming

“As I look at HD stations several times a day, I just noticed K-Mozart on HD3, identifying as KKGO HD2 and KKJZ HD2-Long Beach. It wouldn't seem logical to put his Classical in mono on an HD3, when it’s already in Long Beach on an HD2. ” – Chime Hart, Sherman Oaks (Editor’s note: “The Great American Songbook” programming has returned to 105.1 HD3.)

** Whoo-Ya

“What an unexpected treat to get LARadio email bulletins.  Always a treat to read you. LARadio brings back fond memories.

It’s hard to retire, that’s why Ace Young and I are doing our morning show on that latest incarnation of KZAP in Sacramento. Low power listener supported, k-zap.org and a very good apple and android app.” - Jeff Gonzer

** Analyze This

“The three most prominent local news commentators (or ‘analysts’) in the early ’50s were Chet Huntley on KABC, and William Kennealy and Carol Alcott on KNX. The two most prominent radio field reporters were Jim McNamara on KMPC and Bob Ferris on KNX. I’d love to know what happened to them, but they’re not mentioned in Where Are They Now, except for Ferris, who receives just a few words. (He won numerous awards for his ‘Megalopolis at Night’ on KNX. I hired him at KRLA in 1968 or ’69 to do the evening updates for the Credibility Gap shows, but his KRLA connection isn’t mention in WATN, either.) Any chance you can check with your sources to update their profiles?” – Lew Irwin

** Former KOST PD a Good Guy

Michael LaCrosse is a terrific guy and a fine programmer. Happy to see him land in this shrinking industry. KOST’s loss, Portland's gain.” – Keri Tombazian

** All That Jazz

"Thank you, Don, for the article on Helen Borgers. I can tell you, after working with her back when the station was KLON, she was tireless in her support of the music and the jazz community. And no one was more effective getting those dollars in during the pledge drives. After 38 years on the same station, serving the jazz listeners, she certainly deserved better." - Dick McGarvin

** Rams Play

"Please don’t put the Rams on JACK/fm." - Tom Bernstein


KBIG Still Big in September '17 Ratings 

(September 29, 2017) KBIG (MY/fm) is sure doing something right, rather BIG. The Hot AC station is on top of the latest PPM monthly ratings for September '17, with the WAVE in second. K-EARTH came in third, followed by KIIS. It used to be that once a station changed ownership or format, they would experience a ratings bump.  The axiom didn't hold true for 100.3/The Sound as the Classic Rock station fell a full half point behind KLOS. The two LA sports stations were tied. Month to month, no movement for KABC nor the Oldies station, K-SURF. Here is the list of Top stations with Persons 6+, Mon-Sun, 6a-midnight:

1. KBIG (MY/fm) 6.4 - 6.0
2. KTWV (the WAVE) 5.9 - 5.2
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.8 - 4.8
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.7 - 4.6
5. KOST (AC) 4.5 - 4.3
6. KFI (Talk) 3.5 - 3.5
    KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 4.2 - 3.5
    KRRL (Urban) 2.6 - 3.5
9. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.4 - 3.2
10. KNX (News) 3.0 - 3.1
      KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.9 - 3.1
12. KAMP (Top 40/R) 2.9 - 2.9
     KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.5 - 2.9
     KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.2 - 2.9
15. KKGO (Country) 2.7 - 2.8
      KROQ (Alternative) 2.7 - 2.8
17. KXOL (Spanish AC)2.7 - 2.6
18. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.2 - 2.5
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.6 - 2.5
20. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.4 - 2.1
21. KSWD (The Sound) 2.4 - 2.0
22. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.9
       KXOS (Regional Mexican) 1.6 - 1.9
 24. KPCC (News/Talk) 1.9 - 1.7
25. KCRW (Variety) 1.4 - 1.4
       KJLH (Urban AC) 1.5 - 1.4
       KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.3 - 1.4
28. KUSC (Classical) 1.3 - 1.2
29. KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.8 - 1.1
30. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.2 - 1.0
       KLAC (Sports) 1.1 - 1.0
       KRLA (Talk) 1.0 - 1.0
       KSPN (Sports) 1.0 - 1.0
       KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.0 - 1.0
35. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.7
       KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.7
37. KABC (Talk) 0.6 - 0.6
       KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.5 - 0.6
       KKJZ (Jazz) 0.6 - 0.6
40. KPCC Stream (News/Talk) -- - o.5

Readers Sound Off on KLOS Open Letter

(September 29, 2017) The Open Email to the KLOS Program Director did not elicit a response from the program director, Keith Cunningham (l) but plenty of others weighed in. Former KFI in the Sky airborne reporter Mike Nolan, now retired in Arizona, wrote: “Thank you, Don ‘Quixote,’ for continuing to tilt at windmills. Corporate radio is like the Borg on Star Trek – you can walk among them, but unless they are on a mission, they will not hear or learn. Your words to Entercom are wise, but history proves they will fall on deaf ears. Long live AOR and KLOS ain't it.”
 

 

Michael Benner was a longtime weekend Talker at KLOS and KLSX. He offered some thoughts:  “I loved your open letter to KLOS about whether The Sound’s listeners will move down the dial to 95.5/fm. But it led me to wonder whether they care.

Do ratings even matter anymore? Oh, on some level they do, of course. And yet increasingly, I’ve seen the push for ratings and ad revenue give way to a drive to increase the value of the station in anticipation of selling it. Merger mania has left us with only five or six broadcasting behemoths to choose from. 

Countless towns and cities suffer from finding every radio station from one end of the dial to the other owned by one conglomerate, fed by satellite and programmed from New York City. A similar monopolization has destroyed the music and recording industry. Book, newspaper and magazine publishers are throwing in the towel, as well.

Federal anti-trust legislation was passed 100-years ago. Why is it no longer enforced? Could it be money and corruption in Congress? Those of us who love radio should collectively demand some serious trust-busting. How ‘bout a return to the tradition of owning no more than seven AM, seven FM & five TV stations? Oh, and bring back the Fairness Doctrine, too, while we're at it.

I know, I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one,” concluded Benner.

Others provided their own pithy observations:  “Bravo, Don,” wrote Ted Ziegenbusch. “You took the words right out of my mouth!” Paraquat Kelley wrote, “That's Radio. Bummer for the staff. Hate KLOS and always have. That being said, I'm afraid they're doomed. Radio isn't what it used to be. Nice piece. ” Doug Brown added, “Man, KLOS must be popping the corks of the bubbly while singin' PRAISE the Lord!” Dave Sebastian Williams enthused: “Brava!”

Cameron Ward worked at KLOS for 11 years. He wrote:  “Great letter Don! Most of my heroes became my friends, The Sound will always be one of my favorite stations. Not for the music as much as the personalities, which made it so special.”

Randy West wrote: “KICKASS letter to Cunningham. I love it! You are dead-on with your observations, Don. I wonder if they're too close to bankruptcy to still have the power on for him to read it. Such a treat to have you return to the keyboard!”

“Very astute observations,” emailed Joe Collins. “This industry used to be run by broadcasters who had a passion for what came out of the speakers. These days, the guys in the suits, and the ‘bean counters’ run the show. That is the reality of the situation. And I get to continue to be a part of whatever is left of this great medium, because I've learned that, ‘acceptance is the answer to all my problems.’ When the box changed, I had to learn to ‘think outside the box.’ Yadda-Yadda.”

Tomorrow: Email Saturday is filled with lots of opinion, observations and thought-provoking ideas.


An Open Email to the Program Director at KLOS

 

 

To: Keith Cunningham

From: Don Barrett

Date: September 28, 2017

When Entercom announced yesterday that 100.3/The Sound was going away, at some level you must have been thrilled. Here was this upstart station with a signal inferior to you beating your pants off. Month after month the Classic Rock battle between KLOS and The Sound got personal.

First, they counted commercials and The Sound had far less than your station. Loosely translated, The Sound played more music. And they shouted it from the highest tower, documenting hour by hour on thesoundla.com website the running totals of music versus ads. Then they had the audacity to start hiring personalities that were on KLOS for years, including the hire of one-half of the 25-year successful KLOS morning team, Mark Thompson. Even though Mark left after the one-year morning drive experiment, The Sound continued to beat you.

If the Entercom/CBS Radio deal does go through in the next few weeks, your formidable competition in the Classic Rock format ceases to exist. But, don’t count on one of The Sound listeners turning their dial to 95.5.

Whenever there is a change in our lives, it is a good time to take inventory of what is working and not working. You are not a Classic Rock station. You are three stations in one. Those who loved music at the Sound when they get up will get a Talk show if they turn to you. In the middays you have a unique personality that violates the tenants of playing mainstream Classic Rock. The size of his guests determines the level of interest. In the afternoon you make another switch and play more familiar Classic Rock tunes.

The sales department at your station must be wearing three faces, depending on the potential advertiser. They really have three different stations to sell, each with demographic challenges.

You are riding herd on a heritage station. As we have seen with other heritage call letters, it takes a magical gift to retain an extraordinary legacy and build for a future generation with music that doesn’t seem stale.

What are you? Who are you? Are you vulnerable to an attack by an underperforming station that sees what The Sound did to you? It is time to regroup and rethink your approach to staying competitive in an industry that has its own challenges, with fickle audiences looking for the next-best-thing and an onslaught of choices from various platforms.

Good luck.


Entercom Shuts Out The Sound 

(September 27, 2017) The response was quick and for many, emotional. KSWD, better known as “100.3/The Sound” will be the Los Angeles station divested as part of the agreement when Entercom merges with CBS Radio. The frequency will now be the local outlet for the Educational Media Foundation, a non-profit organization best known for their “K-Love” and “Air1” contemporary Christian music formats. The package of stations sold to EMF included KSWD, KSWD-FM2, KSOQ-Escondido, WGGI-Benton, PA, and WGGI-FM1-Bloomsburg, PA and the total price was $57,750,000.

In a meeting Tuesday morning, the KSWD staff were informed everyone was out of a job as of the middle of November, with no indications whatsoever that the new owners would hire anyone from the current employee roster. The staff was told they could look for a job and interview on company time, but they could not talk with CBS/LA about employment. One current employee said there will be a "modest" severance package that will depend on time employed by The Sound. A number of the current staff were not totally surprised, as KSWD and KCBS/fm (“93.1 JACK/fm”) had been placed in a trust of possible stations to be divested back in March of this year. Some had hoped 100.3 would be selected over KCBS/fm, as KSWD had the rights to broadcasting the Rams, particularly since Entercom has long been associated with sports. It is now likely the local NFL team will be sent to another Entercom / CBS fm property, with the best guess being JACK/fm.

The 100.3 frequency has had a long and varied history in Los Angeles. As contemporary hits “K-100,” the station showcased Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele. After a number of formats including “Pirate Radio” programmed by Scott Shannon and Hip Hop, R&B, and urban formats as “The Beat” and “V-100.3,” Bonneville Corporation purchased the station from Radio One for $137.5 million in 2008, dropping the Urban format for Rock. In 2015, Bonneville swapped stations (and $5 million) to Entercom where the music eventually evolved to the present Classic Rock format. 

The Sound competed successfully with KLOS and JACK/fm for ratings, yet attracting advertising dollars as a “stand-alone” station (one owner with one local property) is difficult in a market where 16 of the most popular stations are part of either the iHeart Media or (the current) CBS Radio clusters.  

Two years ago, an attempt was made to boost morning ratings by hiring Mark Thompson, half of the long-time KLOS morning duo of Mark & Brian. In spite of a significant publicity campaign, Thompson was not able to increase listenership, resulting in a return to a more music-intensive AM drive show with Andy Chanley and Gina Grad. 

Almost all of the talent on The Sound are veterans of KLOS and the late, lamented KMET. As another Rock station disappears from the L.A. airwaves, the soon-to-be-dismissed KSWD staff received numerous messages of support posted on local media. Posting a Native American blessing, nighttimer Rita Wilde simply stated she was “blessed and grateful.” Mimi Chen, host of “Peace, Love and Sunday Mornings” offered a response of “thanks for all the caring calls” to her Facebook friends. Also leaving the station is middayer “Uncle” Joe Benson and afternoon driver Cynthia Fox, along with pd Dave Beasing. 

With just over a month left before the station changes hands, the current KSWD personalities promise to “give it all they got” and provide their loyal listeners with “the best they can bring.” A tweet from radio veteran Larry Gifford summarized the many listener reactions: “So bummed TheSoundLA is going away. One of my favorite stations in North America featuring great talent.”

Beasing summed up the feeling for many at the station. "We are proud and grateful. This has been a great run. We have a few weeks to go, and we're going to love every minute." (Story written by LARadio senior correspondent, Alan Oda)


Hear Ache

(September 26, 2017) Jason Insalaco spent almost 20 years at KFI and KLSX, mostly behind the scenes. He’s now a lawyer and real estate agent. He just sold a Magnolia Park Burbank home (l) for KFI's Tim Conway, Jr. Jason also represented Tim on the purchase of his new home. The home sale was featured in the LA Times last week. He listed his Burbank home for $839,000 and in less than a week had multiple offers. Jason is the owner/broker  of Kelton Properties, a full-service residential and commercial brokerage. Need a top agent? You can reach Jason at: Jason@keltonproperties.com Michael LaCrosse was pd at KOST last year when Ellen K cracked the listing of the Top 5 morning personalities. Then, all of a sudden, he was out. Michael has surfaced as pd of Adult Contemporary KKCW (K103) and Classic Hits KLTH (106.7 The Eagle) in Portland … Remember Heidi Harris? She spent a short time in the morning at Salem Talker KRLA. When her gig was up, she returned to Las Vegas from whence she came. Heidi is now exiting Talker KXNT. The move came just days after she posted to Facebook a critique of a local ad promoting adoption that featured a gay couple. Harris’ Facebook post took aim at an ad for the Clark County Department of Family Services. The agency was promoting adoption with a photo showing two gay men holding a child.  She wrote, in part, “Another not-so-subtle attempt to normalize something that is NOT normal. Even if it is normal for YOU, it is not the best thing for the baby. Babies who are eligible for adoption should go to MARRIED people of the opposite sex. That is the IDEAL situation for a baby, and political correctness, changing laws or attitudes cannot alter that REALITY.” … The Sunday Nostalgia piece this weekend featured Andy Ludlum losing his job as KFWB pd when Roy Laughlin took over the CBS/LA cluster in 2008. The irony is Andy returned to KNX a year later and served as pd for six years. What is Andy up to today? “I am well. I wanted to find something productive to do in my retirement, so I'm starting my second year on the Ventura County Grand Jury, this year as Foreperson. This is the civil, not criminal grand jury. We're sort of a watchdog of county/city government - not too far off from the work I did as a journalist for 40 years,” wrote Andy … Pasadena attorney Chris Bury also heard “Jeff Ball” as one of the KNX traffic reporters and thought it was Jeff Baugh, now at KFI. “Maybe Dawn Barrett will do the traffic!” quipped Bury.

A Double Bolt Out of the Blue 

(September 25, 2017) Earlier this summer, 38-year jazz personality Helen Borgers was let go from KKJZ. There was no mention of her departure, no parades, no tributes. Steve Propes, who authored a piece in the Long Beach Beachcomber and a former dj at KLON (which became KKJZ) wondered why there was no send-off, ala Vin Scully or Mark & Brian. “Certainly, it would be assumed the end of a nearly-40 year career in the L.A. market would be similarly celebrated,” wrote Propes.

Helen wrote on her Facebook page at the time, “As of July 1, 2017, no longer on air at KKJZ. After 38 years. It was such a bolt from the blue!”

KKJZ is owned by Cal State Long Beach and run by Saul Levine’s Mount Wilson’s FM Broadcasters. Propes recounts that Mt. Wilson took over operation in April 2007 on a five-year contract. KKJZ on-air personalities were interviewed by the new operator and Helen was one of several retained.

“There were drastic changes to KKJZ operations during the intervening decade,” wrote Propes. “The widely respected Long Beach Blues Festival was cancelled in 2010. In December 2014, the operators of KKJZ announced the station would move to Westwood, a good 30 miles away from its city of license, Long Beach. That meant since the early days of radio, Long Beach would have no broadcast radio stations, making it by far the biggest U.S. city with no such operation.”

Propes continued: "That was a turning point for staff and the on-air sound. According to several sources close to the subject, a small studio was built at the foundation’s building from which Borgers and other locals did their shifts. This involved voice-tracking, in which musical cuts are introduced, then added at the Westwood studio, common in commercial broadcasting, making the presentation more professional. In contrast to the KLON days, the playlist was supplied by management.

Propes heard from KKJZ station manager and General Counsel Stephanie Levine, “We recently laid off Helen Borgers and another announcer [Brad Williams] for budgetary reasons. Unfortunately, financial circumstances require us to make difficult decisions like these. However, we are committed to keeping KJazz on the air long-term. We greatly value both individuals and wish them continued success.”

Now the second bolt out of the blue. Helen is critically ill. “The 60-year-old Borgers is waiting for life-saving surgery that can't be performed until her health stabilizes” wrote Helen’s longtime friend Brooke Wharton. “Meanwhile, her bills are stacking up and she has run through her life's savings.” Wharton has put together a crowd-funding campaign. The goal is $60,000. So far, about $19,500 has been raised.

"She was totally shocked when she was let go," said Wharton. "She had no idea it would happen." Borgers lost her health insurance when she was laid off. Although she got insurance privately, it's expensive due to her pre-existing condition, and the operation, when she has it, will involve intensive rehabilitation and she may not be fit for work at least through the end of the year."

In addition to the funds raised through the crowd-funding website, Borgers' brother, another longtime jazz-radio dj Ken Borgers, now with KSDS-Jazz 88 in San Diego, and Ken Poston, that station's general manager, are booking musicians for a benefit concert for Helen that will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. October 1 at the Orange County Musicians' Union at 2050 South Main St. in Santa Ana.

If you would like to help Helen, go to: https://www.youcaring.com/helenborgers-954525


Sunday Nostalgia - 9 Years Ago Today

Roy Laughlin Era Begins at CBS Radio/LA 

(September 24, 2008) It was assumed when Roy Laughlin was named senior vp and market manager for the CBS Radio/LA cluster a month ago, he would quickly and even dramatically disrupt the status quo. Last night, Roy created some drama in more ways than one. 

First, the cluster staff was gathered at the Key Club on Sunset Boulevard. An ambulance drives up, a stretcher is unloaded – and it’s Roy making his entrance. “This is called a dramatic entrance and radio is not dead. Spanish radio may be dead but English radio is alive and kicking,” insisted Roy. 

Then more drama. Changes were afoot. Andy Ludlum, a 10-year veteran at KFWB and program director, was let go. “I realigned KFWB and KNX,” said Roy. “I’m trying to invoke the ‘Blue Ocean’ strategy, which is to make things run more efficiently and better at the same time. One of the things I have up my sleeve is to run the OJ trial live on KFWB the minute he hits the stand. We’re going to talk about the idea that you realize they’re going to put this guy away for life for stealing a painting. Does that really justify life in prison … unless you killed your wife and got off. Two wrongs don’t make a right, right?” 

David G. Hall (l), once program director of both all-News stations, will once again be in charge of KFWB and KNX. “We’re only going to have one program director of those two stations,” said Roy. He insisted “we’re going to get the right guy if David’s not the right guy. I think David has already made a tremendous amount of mistakes so he could be the exact person who knows what not to do. The company spends a lot of money letting people make mistakes and then they fire them. That’s when they are good. Now they know everything that is wrong.” 
Roy is already planning for a major LA Times ad promoting KNX and the historic election – either an African American or a woman in the White House. “At 4 p.m. on November 4th we’re going to have a historic broadcast on all the CBS stations as people are on their way home. No one will be thinking about anything but that on that day.” 

Roy also announced that Von Freeman (l), former VP of Marketing for Clear Channel/LA had been newly hired as a consultant to generate Non-Traditional Revenue (NTR). Von was the marketing head at KIIS/fm during Roy’s successful regime. “Von is so great at having the swagger,” said Roy. 

As for KLSX, long rumored to be changing formats, the news is there’s no news. The station will not be changing formats and will be staying with FM Talk. “I made the point in the meeting that despite what you’ve heard, KYSR, HOT (KHHT), and KFI are all in worse position than any of our radio stations. Just because they have a new leader at CBS, don’t be confused by the rhetoric. Be sure and look at the facts. K-EARTH has never been stronger. JACK/fm’s never been stronger. KROQ’s never been stronger. KNX and KFWB have never had a better competitive situation against KFI. And Adam Carolla is a superstar. The only problem we’ve got is the WAVE, but last week they had a good week. I think the improvement at the WAVE is because we went from three stop sets to two, just like WLTW in New York and they doubled their share. It is amazing how sensitive this People Meter is. Last week the WAVE was #7, 25-54, the week before it was #14. Running three stop sets just gives people another opportunity to punch out. If we could get it down to one we’d really be in great shape.” 

“The great thing about the People Meter is if you have the balls to do something, you can see whether it works. I’ll give you an example. Dodgers this week are #2, 25-54 at nights on KABC. How does that happen?,” Roy asked rhetorically. “Well, the answer is they’re three games out of the magic number and Manny Ramirez is red hot. They’re #2 at night 25-54 because the People Meter is so real that it can happen. The Dodger fever catches, you see it. Before that, nobody cared.” 

Ludlum Says Goodbye: Andy sent a note to his KFWB colleagues: 

As you’ll hear from the meeting this afternoon – the station is undergoing a reorganization and as a result I will be leaving KFWB today. 

I want to thank all you for sharing your talents and for all the hard work and effort you've put in to making this a great news radio station.  

I will always be grateful to you for your willingness to try something new and to embrace innovative ways to talk to our listeners. 

I’ve had a great time for the last ten years (can you believe it!) and I will always think fondly of all of you. 

I’m going to enjoy a little R&R – my oldest daughter gets married in a couple of weeks so I’ll have plenty of time to enjoy that. 

This is a very small business – so I know we’ll cross paths again in the future. There’s never a good way to leave – and I'm sorry I wasn't able to speak personally to all of you. 

I’d love to hear from you, my personal email address is aludlum@ix.netcom.com and my cell is 818.370.3402. 

I’ll always be rooting for you – and please don’t hesitate to ask if there is anything I can do for you. 

And please – one last favor – please don’t start talking about “officer involved shootings! - Andy" 


Email Saturday

** KNX Compensation

"I don’t know the first thing about how radio stations pay their talent other than in big markets like Los Angeles I’d think they’re paid under contracts and talent is all part of the union. Just taking a look at the KNX re-arrangement of air shifts, Brian Ping’s evening slot now totals five hours from 7 p.m. to midnight [Brian is still in on air introducing the traffic reports and doing the weathercasts “on the 5’s” during the 8 o’clock hour]. Next week, things change to Brian being on the air from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a grand total of just three hours. 

Does Brian’s pay check change for the fewer hours on duty? Perhaps he works at other station duties during other two hours of his shift at the station?" - Steve Nieto

** Comment from the Whoo-ya Gallery

"Morning, DB. I have a comment or two:

1. Love Laura Ingraham. Total professional, intelligent and pretty. Glad for her.
2. What can Vin Scully do for the Dodgers? Nothing. He should stay away! They're perfectly capable of screwing things up all by themselves. Whoo ya!!!" - Jeff Gonzer, KZAP.org
** News Name Parody?

"I understand the days of journalism in the day of Walter Cronkite are long gone, BUT our only all-News outlet seems to be making jokes teasing airborne reporters from Eye in the Sky. Wasn't that KFI's motto? And why do they call their traffic reporters Jeff Ball and Will Handle? Are they making fun of KFI personalities Jeff Baugh and Bill Handel?

I was never a fan of KNX's drama hour or horseracing results, but a two-hour automotive show on Saturdays is way too much for me to handle. Let's get back to basics. The world needs to lighten up but not sure KNX is doing it the right way." - Howard Stover, West Covina
** Memories of Steve Gonzalez

"I am very sorry to hear about Steve Gonzales passing at such a young age [and if you knew Steve, you knew it was a young age].  We had loads of laughs together doing weekends at KABC back in the early '90s, thanks to Steve's unique and very sophisticated sense of humor.  

We had spoken and emailed a few times in recent years, now I will regret never making that lunch date with him. My deepest sympathies go out to Tammy Schroeder, with whom he had a very unique relationship that lasted many years. I knew Steve had some health issues, but I still somehow expected he'd be around forever.  

We're losing too many good people, too quickly these days." - Greg Hardison  (photo: Steve, Tammy, Natalie Tavares)
  ** Disco Saturday Night

"Certainly a prospect of a new offering on KSUR was exciting. I rather enjoyed that era of music, basically 1974-82. Even with the following inconsistencies, we are enjoying Disco on Saturday Night. These are some of my concerns: #1 The host, Fred Missman is always sitting in for Rick Diego. #2 Three weeks ago or so, he suggested we can make requests. So I followed an exact email link on LAOldies.com. On the Tuesday after Labor Day, someone in the front office wrote and asked if I were trying to request a song? Another week during the 8 p.m. hour, Fred said, 'get those requests in, but an hour earlier, he said they were filled up for this week. #3 The second week, the 8 p.m. hour began with an exact same group of songs which began at 7 p.m. Also, we noticed the same shout outs each week. #4 Certainly among eight years of Disco, there are many more records to play, but for the most part, each week is similar. Sure two of my faves, Dance Disco Heat and You Make me Feel (Mighty Real) are great hearing every week, but with five hours every Saturday evening, there is much to explore. #5 We would like to know when is Rick Diego coming to livin' up the show, with actual live shout outs? #6 We would really like knowing who is producing each week, as we are hearing Ray Lopez, or Al? We do love it, we hope it improves." - Chime and Suzy Hart, Sherman Oaks
 
 

** The Art Laboe Connection

"Congrats to Art Laboe for breaking a Guinness World Record for longest career on radio as a dj . You're still on the air. Playing records and setting records. You've always been a great and talented person, and I'm honored that I can say I once worked with you. You're a true radio living legend." - Dominick Garcia

"Congratulations to Art Laboe. When I worked for KRLA back in the early 80's, our sales staff worked out of Art's building on Sunset at La Brea. During that time I got to know him pretty well and always enjoyed our talks. He truly is an amazing radio and music pioneer. He called me when both KMPC and K-LITE went up for sale. He wanted to buy one of them.

I will always remember the Rolls Royce he drove to the office. I thought that was pretty cool." - Bob Koontz, TMC  Media, The McClemmy Companies  
 

  ** Sports Guy Remembered

"I'm in shock. Barry Turnbull was one of the good guys. He would even call my Sports Byline show on a weekly basis. He was the consummate Angels fan." - Fred Wallin
 
 

Newsman Steve Gonzalez Dies

(September 22, 2017) Steven Gonzalez, a veteran from KWIZ and KABC, passed away September 18, at the age of 67.  His wife, voiceover artist and former news and traffic reporter Tammy Schroeder wrote: “I've tried to find the right words to post on Steve's Facebook page for three days now. Steve's battle with brain cancer was tough to say the least, yet he never once complained or said ‘Why me?’ He lived every moment to the fullest and he cherished every day he was able to spend with his 4 children and 10 (soon to be 11) grandchildren.”

Tammy continued: “As the day drew near for him to meet his Savior, he told me he was ready. He was so excited he would be able to see again! Relapsing Polychondritis, blindness and brain cancer, none of these health challenges ruffled his feathers or got him down. When I asked him why he never complained, he laughed and said it wouldn't change anything so why make everyone else miserable.”

Steve was unable to speak since July 26th because of how the cancer affected the speech part of his brain. “One of the last things I heard him say was ‘Lord! Please take care of my children!’ And that says it all,” said Tammy.

A celebration of life will be held Sunday, October 1, at 5:30 p.m. at Lake Avenue Church, Pasadena. He will be buried with military honors Monday, October 2nd at noon, at Riverside National Cemetery.

Diana Kirchen Kelly wrote “Many of us fondly remember Steve Gonzales, ‘Steven G’ from KWIZ/fm and then KWIZ-AM. He was funny and talented. Steven Gonzalez will be missed.

Steve Kindred wrote: “I've lost a great friend and terrific LARP. Steve and I were fierce competitors covering some of the biggest stories of the last two decades. He was always objective and a straight shooter when it came to getting a story quickly and correctly. He was also a terrific family man, and a strong Marine who fought his disease fiercely right up to the end.”

Sports Good Guy Dies 

(September 21, 2017)  Longtime sports broadcaster and Golden Mike recipient Barry Turnbull died suddenly on Tuesday. He was 60 years old. Barry was known in Los Angeles as a part-timer with Shadow and MetroBroadcasting, heard on all-news KFWB and KNX. He had a long run with KVEN / KHAY-Ventura as the station’s sports director and hosting weekend call-in shows, along with a time at KVTA. Barry was awarded a Golden Mike in 1992 for his KVEN sports commentary.)

Born in Whittier, Barry grew up in Garden Grove. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Cal State Fullerton in 1981. Barry’s first job in radio was in the early 1980s, working the news beat at KDES-Palm Springs. "At KDES I learned so much under the man I call Mr. Golden Mike Palm Springs, Mike Meenan."

When he was interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People, Barry offered some thoughts about sports broadcasting. “There is no question that Vin Scully is the voice of Southern California baseball. As the sports director for a Dodger network affiliate, I feel cheated now because Vinny only does two innings a game on radio, at best. But as a broadcast team, there was none better than Dick Enberg and Don Drysdale in the 70s on KMPC. They made an Angel team that was especially bad on the field still fun to listen to regardless."

Barry experienced various health issues over the years. In 2006, his time at KVEN was interrupted due to illness, though he would eventually return to the station. As recently as last year, Barry spent time in a convalescent home, recovering from a knee ailment.

On Barry’s Facebook page, he wrote on September 15: Here's my adventure today. It actually begins yesterday, when I went to a local lab for a ‘routine’ blood draw in advance of a visit to my primary care doctor next week. At that point it's a checkup and discussion of some other health issues I won't go into here. At 7:45 this morning my doctor calls to tell me “you need to be in the hospital. You must be really weak. Are you bleeding?” ‘Well, no, not externally at least.’ I feel the same as I did yesterday and the day before, I said. ’The lab came back with blood hemoglobin of 3.8. ‘Are you having dizzy spells?’ Well a couple recently but nothing bad. Within minutes, the doctor contacted my wife who had just finished a 12-hour ER shift, and she sends me a text to “get dressed, I'm coming to get you.” They did another blood draw on me. Hemoglobin in the 9's, which was within range at least of normal. My primary care doc, after being relieved to get the better numbers, says it was a huge mistake. More to the point, someone may be walking around Oxnard, he said, with a 3.8 and not know it. So I got the you know what scared outta me, as did others.
Barry also used the name Brad Wallace while dispensing traffic reports for various stations.

On Barry’s Facebook Page:

“Echoing my former KNX colleagues, Barry was the nicest man, so thoughtful and engaged and kind. It was lovely to connect with him on Facebook in recent years. #RIP” –Gail Eichenthal
“He was one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of working with and I'll miss him horribly. RIP Barry.” – Brooke Binkowski
“Barry was Brian Wilson's second cousin who is credited with naming the Beach Boys album Smiley Smile, which was released on September 18, 1967. My condolences to Barry's family and friends.” - Cory Sabblut-Baker
"I worked with him at Metro Networks, where he worked at various radio stations doing news, traffic and sports. His last station I believe was KVTA Radio in Ventura. A nice guy. He loved sports and knew everything about it.” – Dominick Garcia
"He was at KVEN during the time I was involved as an owner. He kept to himself and I can’t recall if he was part time or full-time. He had some health issues at the time and it was difficult for him to get around. He was a nice person and seemed to enjoy doing sports announcing and other fill in jobs. Sad that he is gone." - Bob Fox

The Art and Soul of Rock 'n Roll

(September 20, 2017) If you call Art Laboe an Oldie But Goodie, one thing is for sure, he won’t mind. At 92, the creator of the famous Oldies But Goodies album series (his first album was on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for an astounding 3 years) is still on the air with his request and dedication show. In fact, this weekend he will break the Guinness World Records for longest career as a radio presenter/dj (male). 

The event will mark Art’s 74th continuous year on commercial radio. His sister Lillian gave him his first radio at age 8, Art built his own amateur radio station when he was 14 and at 18 his incredibly tenured professional career began at KSAN-San Francisco on September 23rd, 1943. Art was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2012 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Radio in 1981. (Don Barrett presenting Art with the LARadio Lifetime Achievement Award at a 2010 luncheon)

The record breaking feat can be heard live on the Art Laboe Sunday Special (6pm-mid Sunday, September 24th) on the following stations:

Los Angeles – KDAY 93.5 FM
Bakersfield  – KISV 94.1 FM
Palm Springs – KMRJ 99.5 FM
Barstow – KDUC 94.3 FM
Fresno – KOKO 94.3 FM
Santa Maria – KPAT 95.7 FM
Las Vegas – KOAS 105.7 FM
Tucson – KXEW 1600 AM
Palmdale – KQAV 93.5 FM
Phoenix – KAJM 104.3 FM (7pm-10pm)
San Diego – XHRM 92.5 FM (8pm-10pm)  

“My favorite place to be is behind that microphone. I have one of the best jobs in the world, playing the music, interacting with our listeners, doing their dedications and connecting them with their loved ones! Thank you to our dedicated fans that have listened through the decades and made The Art Laboe Connection a family tradition. And thank you to our many friends and colleagues at our many radio stations and the promoters we work with on our concerts.” said Art.  

When 93.5 KDAY began airing Art's show in 2015, Otto Padron, president of Meruelo Media exclaimed, “Art Laboe is an LA legend like Vin Scully and Chick Hearn…his work and brand are truly synonymous with LA’s music history and culture.”

That association is also felt nationwide and worldwide. Art Laboe and 93.5 KDAY are scheduled to present the 7th Annual Chicano Soul Legends concert on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 at Honda Center Anaheim and Art hosts a 2nd Annual concert on January 20th, 2018 at Spa Resort Casino Palm Springs and will be a Guinness World Records holder as he embarks on his 75th year on the radio.


Hear Ache

(September 19, 2017) Sean Hannity is moving to 9 p.m. to take on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow directly starting next week in anticipation of Fox News Channel debuting Laura Ingraham’s (l) new show on the day before Halloween. I remember meeting Laura 15 years ago when interviewing her at KPLS (830AM) in Orange. You might have fun reading the original story as you scroll down … Jim Cramer’s nine-minute piece on why the market is totally wrong about the CBS Radio/Entercom merger is a great, positive listen. If you haven’t seen it, click here. One local industry leader wonders if 20 years after consolidation if anyone can effectively run a large station group. Good question. The McDonaldization of radio just hasn’t worked the way it was perceived … When the Dodgers were in the midst of their 11-game losing streak recently, a letter to the LA Times was quite poignant. “Could Vin Scully consider calling a few games, until at least several of them are won? If anyone can break a curse, it has to be Scully. My dad and I had a difficult relationship. Scully’s call of Sandy Koufax’s perfect game in 1965, with us listening in our kitchen without breathing much was a healing moment for us. Maybe the unmistakable sound of Vin’s voice can heal the Dodgers as well.” …  Adding to the list of changes at KNX posted yesterday, the all-nights will be shared on different nights between Bob Brill, Maggie McKay, and Mark Austin Thomas … Those of you who have asked how my son, Don, Jr., was doing in Naples, Florida, he’s still without power. “Turns out our quadrant had more extensive line damage than they thought. Likely Friday until restored,” he texted.

“I Became a Talk Show Host,
 a Profession More Reviled than the Law” – Laura Ingraham, KPLS
 

(April 30, 2002) Laura Ingraham, nine to noon counter talker to Rush Limbaugh, appears daily on Hot Talk/KPLS (830AM) and 225 other stations across the country. She was in town yesterday, broadcasting from the Orange studios where there were wires everywhere to hook up with her studio headquarters in Washington DC. She teased KPLS gm Alan Fuller  (pictured below with Laura) unmercifully about getting the studio just right for her. 

In person, she looks like a coed late for her classes at San Diego State instead of one of those bright young ladies dotting the talk show wars. She graduated from Dartmouth College, where, in the mid-1980s, Laura was editor of The Dartmouth Review. She worked as a speechwriter in the final two years of the Reagan administration and then graduated from law school at the University of Virginia. She successfully took her bar examination in San Diego. Laura was a clerk in the Supreme Court of the United States for Justice Clarence Thomas. For three years, she was a white-collar criminal defense litigator for a Washington DC law firm. When she moved into the media world, she worked at MSNBC and CBS, where she contributed on-air commentaries for the weekend evening news. 

Her father was a career worker at Pratt & Whitney, a company that manufactures engines for commercial, military and general aviation aircraft, space propulsion and power systems. Laura’s mother was a waitress. The youngest of four children, she has three older brothers. “When I was born, my parents were so happy they had a little girl. But I was a tomboy. I loved to play basketball, baseball and other sports,” she enthused during a break in her program. 

Laura is part of KPLS’ effort to become a major player in Southern California radio. Emerging from the shadows of the Catholic Family Radio, William Agee, the former chairman of Bendix, is the champion of the new talk entry. “It is not by accident that five of our six hours in midday are female voices,” said Alan Fuller, proudly looking after his Washington, DC guest. “We’ve signed with ABC Radio, and Westwood One. We carry Pepperdine sports, we're the alternate flagship for the Angels and we carry USC sports. Did you know that 70% of USC graduates living in Southern California, live in Orange County?” Alan asked rhetorically. 

When Alan arrived last fall from a career in advertising, sales (he was with CBS for 17 years) and syndication, KPLS had three employees. The station now has 30 and a full staff of sales people. (Following Laura’s show yesterday morning, Mike Bremner, the KPLS gsm, was taking his talk show guest to lunch with a group of station advertisers.) The station is looking to move to new quarters, demonstrating a commitment to be a player in local radio. They currently occupy the old Radio AHHS space. 

Don Imus starts the KPLS day followed by Laura, George Putnam at noon, and then Dana Roth. The controversial Michael Savage holds down afternoons. Alan is still toying with the evening line-up. The station is celebrating its one-year anniversary today as a Hot Talk station. Operations director Howard Drescher and Jeffrey James have been there from day one.


KNX Shuffles Shifts 

(September 18, 2017) KNX is shuffling the anchor staff in all dayparts except mornings. Brian Ping (l) moves from nights to midday. “After more than six years on overnights and then late nights, I'm moving to the KNX midday anchor shift starting September 25. See you on the dayside,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

5a – 10a               KNX Morning News with Dick Helton and Vicky Moore

10a – 1p               KNX Midday News with Brian Ping

1p – 2p                 KNX In Depth with Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson 

2p – 7p                 KNX Afternoon News with Mike Simpson and Chris Sedens

7p – 8p                 KNX Evening News with Diane Thompson

8p – 9p                 KNX In Depth (Repeat) 

9p – 12a               KNX Evening News with Diane Thompson


Nostalgia Sunday - 11 Years Ago Today

KFI’s John  Ziegler Suspended After Flap with John Kobylt

(September 17, 2006) An angry exchange between KFI’s John Kobylt and John Ziegler (photo) during the cross over between shows Monday night shortly before 7 p.m. has resulted in a two-show suspension for Ziegler.

Nearing the end of the John & Ken show (Ken Champiou was on holiday and John was working solo), John Ziegler walked into the studio to promote his show.

Kobylt: “John & Ken Show, John Kobylt and Ken Champiou, six fifty-five here at KFI. John Ziegler coming up right after the seven o’clock news.”

Ziegler: “Hey, John, exclusive information – stuff you won’t hear anywhere else – about how ABC caved on the Path to 9/11 movie last night. Plus we’ll talk to a teacher who is having some difficulty locally teaching about 9/11 and I’ll also explain…there are two great mysteries as far as I’m concerned. Why George Bush is so incredibly soft on illegal immigration and why someone as smart as John Kobylt has his head up his ass on Iraq.”

Kobylt: “Oh, get the…get out of here…get out…get out…get out or I’m going to throw something at you. Out. Out.”

Ziegler: “Go ahead and throw it John.”

Kobylt: “Get him out…get him out. No, I’m serious. I’m sick of you coming in here every day and bugging me. Get out of here.”

Ziegler: “You’re wrong on this, John. You turn off my microphone…”

Kobylt: “Either turn off his microphone or I’m getting out. Get him out…get him out. John, I just asked you five minutes ago not to be a pain in the ass and bug me anymore. Okay? I asked you…I ask you every day. Get out of here. God almighty. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I want to see you put on a GI uniform and go fight in Baghdad. God…go…out.”

Ziegler:  “Fine. Take care of it tomorrow.”

Kobylt: “Leah Brandon is next…”

Austin Hill sat in for Ziegler last night. Ziegler is scheduled to return to his 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. slot on Monday.


Email Saturday

** KSHE Impressive

"I thoroughly enjoyed today's story on the Top 20 AOR Stations. During my days in the 1970s doing mornings and helping to program KCAL/fm in San Bernardino, we shamelessly did our best to mirror all the good attributes of our Los Angeles competitor KMET. However, the best overall music presentation and imaging award back then would have to go to KSHE in St. Louis.

While traveling on a three week cross-county road-trip in the summer of 1979 [a.k.a. Album Rock's heyday] my wife and I listened non-stop to every AOR station on the dial in virtually half of the United States. We logged a ton of miles and buckets of listening hours. Many stations were impressive, but none more so than KSHE. I'm not at all surprised that it made everyone's Top Ten List.

But when it came to the best on-air charisma and the hipness factor, The Mighty Met put everyone else to shame." - Ted Ziegenbusch
** New Liner at KNX?

"On Tuesday 9/12/17 at around 6:47 a.m., Jennifer York was ending her two-minute traffic report as part of the station’s 'traffic [and weather together] every ten minutes on the five’s' when she said something totally different than her usual sign-off of:  '…I’m Jennifer York with more traffic reports more often, KNX 1070 Newsradio.'

She caught herself a few seconds into this new and different sign-off saying 'sorry' and chuckling a bit to herself, then returning to the normal sign-off script.

Does anybody know what distracted her to say something totally different then what she has to say 50 [FIFTY!!] times each day during her five hour shift?" - Steve Nieto
** Anniversary to LARP

"Happy anniversary to LARadio.com. Congratulations, Don, and many thanks for all you do." - Don Graham


 ** Why Did KCSN Move?

"As a former KCSNer, I agree with Doug Brown’s assessment of KCSN and KSBR. I unfortunately started at KCSN after Doug left and Bob Bishop was manager. At that time we were 3000 watts, reached from Santa Barbara to San Diego. We were NPR, run by mostly students at CSUN. We were highly thought of in the music industry since we didn’t have 'sponsors' we were doing basically the same format as KCSN has been doing for the past few years, but only at night. Most of the day parts were NPR and educational stuff.

Then for some reason, I don’t know why, and after I left, KCSN moved their antenna to hit the Santa Clarita Valley and cut their power to 370 watts. This led the way to KSBR [Saddleback College] to come on the air. Now they’re back. We all wish them luck and have nothing bad to say against the 'employees.' They just should be mostly students. That’s my opinion. - Kevin Stern  
 

** Where is Bill Jenkins?

"I love your website about the radio scene in LA. Do you have any idea what became of Bill Jenkins who worked at pretty much every station down there?" - John C. Dvorak, KJ6LNG, jcdvorak@dvorak.org

 
 
  ** Passing of Don Bishop

"Sad news about the death of Don Bishop, former morning personality at K-100/fm in L.A. in the 70's and long time personality at Transtar/WestwoodOne/Dial-Global Radio Networks has passed.  

I knew him for such a long time. I first met him when he was brought on to host the evening shift at KFXM in San Bernardino in the early 70's. Our broadcast paths crossed again at K-100 and at WW1. The link to his information in enclosed if anyone reading this knew him and wants to post a comment." - Bruce  Chandler

Naples, Florida is a Family Affair 

(September 15, 2017) My oldest son lives in Naples, Florida. Not knowing the laser beam precision of Hurricane Irma, he waited until Sunday to evacuate his home with his two dogs, Daisy and Papi. Don, Jr. (l) works for a law firm. The company opened the building for employees and their families (including animals) to ride out the storm.

There’s nothing worse than “not knowing” when it comes to family members. The storm hit the Florida Keys very hard, and Naples was next. Last I heard was Sunday when he was evacuating … until yesterday afternoon.

“It’s like a war zone here,” my son texted. “No electricity. No gas. No cell service. No power in county. No Internet until late last night. No AC, no pool screens, mosquitoes breeding. Earlier no flushing toilets until neighbor back fed water. Lots of standing water until today. Front yard is still a bog.”

My son ended his text mentioning that one of his dogs damaged her leg and was lame. In addition, he has a giant Bismarck palm leaning on his property, he doesn’t know if that will come crashing down. His car got water logged traveling through high water, so his vehicle is no longer drivable.

As a father I am pleased that he survived and that there was no major damage. Others had it so much worse. I remember in 1994 when half our Valencia house collapsed in the earthquake. Day by day you do what is in front of you and keep moving forward. It seems impossible to escape the obstacles that Mother Nature has up her sleeve.



 
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About the Publisher of LARadio.com, Don Barrett

As publisher of LARadio.com, Don Barrett chronicles radio news and lists 6,000 people in Los Angeles who work or have worked in radio in the past 50 years. Barrett is a historian of contemporary Los Angeles radio history and author of Los Angeles Radio People, published in 1994. He published a second volume of the book a year later, along with the launch of a daily website column.

In 2013, he started as the radio columnist for the Orange County Register.

Barrett's Southern California roots (Santa Monica) include a bachelor's degree from Chapman University. He also earned a master's in psychology. He spent 10 years in radio working as a disc jockey, program director and general manager (W4-Detroit and WDRQ-Detroit).

He launched KIQQ (K-100) Los Angeles in the early 1970s.

In the mid-1970s Don joined the motion picture business, working as a marketing executive at Columbia, Universal, and MGM/UA. Barrett was part of the marketing team that released E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Back to the Future, Thelma and Louise, Rocky and James Bond movies.

He also represented a number of films at the Cannes Film Festival.

He was the first recipient of TALKERS Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award. Don has been honored with an honorary Golden Mike and Special Recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists. 


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