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Many Moving Parts as KFWB Makes the Transition from News/Talk to All-Sports
(July 28, 2014)
“KFWB employees were made aware that they would not be part of the new
format,” said Diane Sutter,
who oversees the KFWB Asset Trust. Current staffers were informed
last Friday morning that the station’s news / talk format would be
flipped to all-sports sometime in September.
The format flip comes at a time while CBS is still
looking for a suitable buyer for AM 980. At present, CBS is still in
violation of the market cap rules that prohibits any owner to own more
than eight stations in the same market, the result of the CBS purchase
of KCAL/tv in 2002.
The format flip comes at a time while CBS is still looking for a suitable buyer for AM 980. At present, CBS is still in violation of the market cap rules that prohibits any owner to own more than eight stations in the same market, the result of the CBS purchase of KCAL/tv in 2002.
Five years ago, KFWB dropped the all-news format that the station had offered for over four decades. Rebranded as “KFWB NewsTalk 980,” the station started with Dr. Laura Schesinger in middays, surrounded by morning and afternoon news blocks. Later, the station offered Dave Ramsey and his program about personal finance, as well as other shows hosted by Les Brown and Laura Ingraham. Currently, the station offers Bob McCormick hosting “Money 101,” and Phil Hulett & Friends, while running the syndicated NBC Sports Radio programming in the evening. Five years ago, KFWB became the flagship station for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. Weekends include syndicated programs and infomercials.
In recent years, CBS/LA has made it very clear that KFWB works completely independent of the local ownership, despite Andy Ludlum serving as the program director for both KNX and KFWB. There are other overlaps, but Sutter and CBS/LA market manager Dan Kearney insist on a separation of the two stations.
Sutter was interviewed by phone late Friday afternoon, after the aforementioned staff meeting. She said the station is looking for a new program director and other senior staff. “We will be posting for all the senior positions next week and we’ll be hiring very shortly, so we want to get them on board right away.”
The speculation for the past few weeks involved CBS orchestrating a change to provide a local outlet for CBS Radio Sports, Jim Rome being their most prominent talent. Sutter said no decision has yet been made to carry the syndicated CBS Sports Radio package. “Actually, I think I would want to make sure the (new) program director had a part in that decision, so we have not made a final commitment to anybody today and we are in talks with a number of people and companies and we will be announcing that in the very near future.”
“I’m running some CBS programming now and I’m running some NBC programming now. I don’t see what kind of conflict it would be. We will make the decision what’s the best programming to put on the station for where we are going.” In general, the decision to switch to sports is based upon what Sutter thinks will make KFWB successful. “It works however I think is best for the radio station,” she said.
There have been rumors that when the switch is made, KFWB will have a live and local morning show, which would be the only local show among the L.A. sports outlets. “Again, all of those details are being finalized and worked on now and we will be announcing those in the very near future,” said Sutter. She also said that no decisions have been made about changing the current weekend programming.
KFWB owns the broadcasting rights for the NBA Clippers through the 2015 season. “We’ve had an on-going relationship with the Clippers for a number of years and we’re VERY much looking forward to the coming year. It would be inappropriate to have a discussion now (about renewing the broadcast rights) since we still have to get the ownership of the team determined. We don’t get a vote in that. We are waiting to see what the courts and the NBA decide and when that decision is finalized we’ll, of course, be looking forward to continuing a very profitable and successful relationship from the listener’s standpoint and from ours. We enjoy a great relationship with them and hope to continue it.”
Essay by John Brooks editor-reporter-anchor KFWB / KNX 1979-2013
KROQ broadcast from Comic-Con International Convention in San Diego last week (Photo: Kevin Ryder, Daniel Radcliffe, and Bean)
LARadio Rewind: July 28, 2007. Gary Price, Remy Maxwell, Mike Stark, Bryan Schock and 14 others take part in an on-air reunion of former KNAC air personalities at the studios of Cerritos College radio station WPMD ("Where People Make a Difference"). The reunion served as a benefit for another KNAC host, Tawn Mastrey, who had recently quit her job as host of "Hair Nation" on Sirius Satellite Radio because of complications of hepatitis. Sadly, she would succumb to her illness on October 7. KNAC, broadcasting from Long Beach at 105.5 fm, had a heavy metal format from 1986 to 1995, when the station was sold and became Spanish-language KBUE. In 1998 the station was revived online at KNAC.com. The WPMD reunion can be heard at http://mikestark.net/Tawn.html
|AM Missing from Car Radios for a Reason. “Sometime back, a reader of yours expressed concern that BMW was leaving the AM band out of the entertainment system of the new electric i3 model,” wrote Dave Kunz, automotive reporter for KABC/Channel 7 and co-host of the Car Show at KPFK. “It seemed to be a sign that auto manufacturers were phasing out the AM band due of obsolescence or something. Turns out, that's not the case at all. Yes, the new i3 does not have AM on its menu of available audio sources, but there's a technical reason for it.”|
Details were offered by Dave Buchko, BMW Product and Technology Communications:
The i3 and i8 will indeed not have AM radio. Our experience with the MINI E and the BMW ActiveE revealed a significant amount of interference from the electric motor on AM. Rather than provide an inferior listening experience,we left AM radio off. HD radio is standard and, though multi-casting, many of the traditional AM stations in major markets are available on secondary and tertiary signals. BMW i Centers will have channel guides that show where to find AM stations on HD FM radio.
Kunz concludes: “So there you have it, straight from the source. I have driven several of the current BMW models, and can assure you that AM is present and accounted for in their non-electric cars. And in the i3, I was able to receive both KNX and KABC via their affiliated FM HD2 channels. (Couldn't find KFI, however, even after looking through the entire assortment of HD sub-frequencies twice.)”
Hear Ache. God speed for KWVE
general manager Richard McIntosh as he begins chemotherapy this week to
eradicate pancreatic cancer. “Keep praying my friends,” said Richard … Didja
know that KSFO-San Francisco remained an independent station until the summer of
1956, when it was sold for $951, 333 to legendary singing cowboy Gene Autry and
his business partner, Robert O. Reynolds, who also owned KMPC in Los
Angeles? ... Saw Boyhood this weekend. Whotta' treat!
... Saw Boyhood this weekend. Whotta' treat!
Funnie. When is new music an Oldie? Don Elliot weighs in on the subject with this funnie.
We GET Email …
** Lew Irwin on Healy
“My first [paid] tv appearance was on Jim Healey’s KLAC/TV program in 1956, doing a live commercial for Citroen cars. The ad agency liked my voice but thought I looked a little too young [I was 21 at the time], so they had the makeup man add ‘laugh lines’ to my face and brush white powder into my temples. My mother told me when I returned home that I looked as if I had stepped out of a monster flick. I was not asked to return.” - Lew Irwin, STUDIO BRIEFING
** KFWB Format Change
“Obviously someone in management believes sports can make more money than the current talk format. They may be right.” – Kyle Hojem
** KFW BEAST?
“So, KFWB-980 AM is going to become a sports talk station called The Beast. Will they call it K-F-W-Beast? Or will those in charge decide to change the traditional KFWB call letters after 89 years?” – Jim Hilliker, Monterey
** Aging KABC
“Sad that the ole KABC is older and not better. The entire lineup is boring old time schlock radio. Between Doug McIntyre and Peter Tilden it’s like ‘Old man radio 101.’
Drew Hayes should clean house and start fresh or go MUSIC. OMG the John Philips/Jillian Barberie thing is the worst. And ole Larry Elder is boring as hell. He needs his late mom.” – Rich Kay, Tarzana
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