Be kind to your dog They are just a few years of your life But you are all of theirs.


8 Years Ago Today

A Los Angeles Radio Kidney Transplant – a One-Year Update

(December 3, 2013) A year ago, KROQ’s morning co-host Bean [Gene Baxter] demonstrated an amazing act of selflessness by donating a kidney to CBS/LA colleague Scott Mason, the West Coast head of engineering for the CBS stations. Scott had a dialysis machine he used in his home. He had a kidney transplant a decade ago but when cadaver kidneys from a deceased donor are placed in the pelvis, apparently they have a shorter life than from a living donor; in Scott’s case he had a cadaver kidney in 1999 that started to go bad in 2010.

Traveling is part of Scott’s job. Once a year he visits an island off Seattle where Bean lives and broadcasts his daily morning show. Scott calibrates the equipment in Bean's studio and tends to any engineering issues. On Scott’s yearly visit, Bean thought Scott had slowed down quite a bit and wasn’t looking well. Scott decided to tell Bean what was going on. His kidney was going bad. He told him he was on a transplant list but it was difficult to find an organ donor. He had exhausted his immediate family as possible donors.

“This is crazy,” said Bean. “I have two working kidneys. You can have one of mine.”

That night over dinner, Bean and his wife Donna discussed the issue. She readily agreed and in the morning Bean confirmed to Scott that he would like to begin the procedure. “It was absurd that Scott was so sick with no working kidney and I had two that were working great.”

The kidney transplant happened last November. How are they doing a year later?

 “It has been a year since Bean gave me the most awesome gift that is imaginable,” emailed Mason. “He is in my thoughts and I thank him every day. My life is truly better today than it was a little over a year ago.”

Mason said the healing from the kidney transplant was not an easy task. “Recovery took a few months, and that was trying on my entire family, especially since I was living at my parents’ home a good deal of that time.  Lots and lots of hospital and clinic visits, and it seemed they all started at 6 in the morning.”

Has it been clear sailing as far as recovery? “I had a number of good months after that, feeling good, getting back to work, and even doing a lot with Boy Scouts, such as weekend camp-outs.  After 7 or 8 months I felt myself getting weak and around June I noticed my legs swelling up.  I went to Cedars, where I had my transplant and had numerous different treatments. None really seemed to be working and my kidney numbers started looking bad.  Finally at some point after numerous different [and expensive] treatments, the team of transplant doctors thought that I may have become allergic to one of the main anti-rejection transplant medications, which I took twice a day.”

They took Scott off medications and went in a different direction. “This approach required I get a 30 minute IV of medication every month and stop the suspect medication,” Scott continued. “I'm four months into this treatment now and believe they figured out the problem as I feel really good and I am at a really good point physically and mentally.”

If he had to do it all over again, Scott said 100% yes, he would. “I'm actually back doing the things I had done while I was feeling good years back, such as traveling.  Now I just always need to remember that I have a gift that's really special, from a really special person, who will never admit that because he's much too modest about his great gift to me.

Bean, the angel in this story, claims he is good as new. “My life is 99.9% the same as before with two kidneys,” said Bean. “I can't take anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen anymore but otherwise nothing's changed.”  

Bean was back to work at KROQ after missing only eight days for the procedure. His scars are fading. “Soon, no one will even believe it happened,” said Bean. “Seriously, I've had more traumatic haircuts than what giving up a kidney caused.”

When Bean was asked if he had any regrets, he was quick to say that Scott should have let people know about his need sooner. “It might have saved him a couple of years of that awful dialysis.” (Photo: Scott Mason, Bean, Lisa May)

Bean says he is grateful to have been in the right place at the right time to help. “I have been blessed with excellent health my whole life and it was the very least I could do for a friend. I learned in the time leading up to the surgery how beloved Scott is in his own circle of friends and family and in the broadcast industry too, so my kidney really couldn't have asked for a better new home.”

The need for life-saving organs is staggering. Eighteen people will die each day waiting for an organ. Bean asks those who read this story to visit www.organdonor.gov for more information on how to help.

Overheard.

  • "In New York, the Jets have gotten worse the last three years. They are the worst offense in the league for the second year in a row." (Colin Cowherd, KSPN)

  • "You will have to go through the Seahawks for the Super Bowl." (Warner Wolf, sports guy on Don Imus Show, KCAA)

  • “Hey, JACK, the last bunch of songs touched me ... inappropriately ... and I liked it ... a lot.” (JACK/fm liner)

Hear Ache. Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton, mornings at San Diego’s “Mighty 1090” is adding writing duties as he joins the San Diego Union-Tribune as a sports columnist. He was the longtime voice of the San Diego Chargers … Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning pop icon Britney Spears will guest host Ryan Seacrest’s American Top 40 this weekend, December 7 and 8. In addition to counting down the Top 40 songs, Spears will answer questions directly from fans.  

Now And Then
Robin Abcarian is a writer at the LA Times. She is an online columnist for the newspaper's online edition. Her primary mission, according to a LA Times editor, is driving the digital conversation. In 1996, Robin Abcarian was a regular columnist for the LA Times column. That year she joined KTZN (710)/’The Zone’ for a talk show with the late Tracey Miller. It ended within a year.

Cumulus Patriarch Dies. Broadcaster Lew Dickey, Sr. passed away over the Thanksgiving weekend at age 86. His son, Lew Dickey, Jr., ceo of Cumulus Media said:  “My dad was an enormously talented broadcaster and, more importantly, a deeply devoted husband, father, and mentor. He touched the lives of many people and will be dearly missed.”  Dickey, Sr. got his start in radio at Storer Broadcasting’s WWVA- Wheeling, West Virginia and quickly rose through the ranks at the company. He was promoted within Storer to leadership positions at KDKA/TV-Pittsburgh followed by WAGA/TV-Atlanta. 




 
For over 26 years, LARadio has tracked thousands of personalities
who have entertained us in the Southland from 1957-present.
These are snapshots of each on-air personality –
where they came from, where and when they worked in Southern California,
and where they are now.


If you are on the listings, please update and make corrections as needed at: AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com.

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




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Bob Fox, Gary Owens, Chuck Southcott, Beata Murphy, Kelli Gates, Steven Tyler

 

Janine Wolf, Mark & Brian, Kenny Noble

 

Dave Roberts, Tamara Kaye, Ed Crook

 

Bill A. Jones, Vin Scully, Ross Porter, The Real Don Steele, Bill Drake

 

Bill Carroll, Earl and Ellie McDaniel, David Singer, Tim Cates 

Ken Levine, Buzz Brainard, Artie Lange

 


Shana, Bobby Applegate, Jane Platt, Jim Pewter
 

 

Lisa Worden, Bill Sheets, Rod Van Hook

 

Mark & Brian, Rochelle Staab, Scott St. James


Evan Luck, Gene & Julie Gates, Stu Levy
     

Rich Fields, John Kobylt, Dr. Drew Pinsky

 

Mike Thompson, Hans Laetz, Annie Van Bebber, Bernie Torres


Teddy Mora, Jane Yamamoto, Peter Tilden

  

Bob Pittman, Luscious Liz Hernandez, Larraine Herman

 

Boyd R. Britton, Jerry Dexter, Diane and Michael Medved

 

Damon Knight, Karla with a K Antoinette, Jane Wells

 

Art Bell, Julie Chin, Andy Ludlum, Frank Mottek, Dan Kearney, Dave Zorn

 

Barbara and Mike Sakellarides, Dave Randall, Chubby Checker, Brian Beirne

James Janisse, Dick Clark, T. Michael Jordan

Jay Mohr, Kurt Kretzschmar, Todd Donoho, Val Maki

 

Rick Hull, Robert Dornan, Bill Bowker

 

Kathleen Sullivan, Gayle King, Johnny Otis

 

RJ Curtis, Al Wisk, Carl Bailey 

 

Diane Thompson, Lisa May, Jennifer Miller

 

Jim Governale, Dennis Prager, Stephanie Miller, Benjamin Dover

 

Megan Holiday, Fran Tunno, George Green

 

Ed McLaughlin, Milt Larsen, Mark Denis 

 

Rick Cutler, Frosty Stilwell, Buzz Bennett

 

Merrill Markoe, Mike Nolan, Nancy Plum

 

Terry McGovern, James Brown, Isidra Person-Lynn, Jerry Doggett, Vin Scully, Ross Porter

Gayle Murphy, Perry Michael Simon, Heidi Hamilton, Frank Kramer

 

Stoney Richards, Brian Phelps, Rita Wilde, Bill Sommers, Big Boy

 

Trip Reeb, Gary Owens, Randy West, Patty Weaver 

 

More LARadio Photos Here


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In case you missed it earlier this week ...
11 Years Ago Today

 

An Open Email to Radio Program Directors 

(December 2, 2010) When Dave Williams, an outstanding newsman with great credentials from KNX, KFWB, KABC and KFBK-Sacramento, sent me an email earlier this week expressing frustration with the lack of courtesy from his fellow colleagues. He asked that I run it anonymously. In the 15 years of LARadio.com, I’ve never run anything anonymously. Before I could respond to Dave he must have had a quick epiphany and said he wanted to rewrite it WITH his name on it.  

Dave is not alone in his frustration. It is a common cry from those who have suddenly found themselves through no fault of their own, unemployed. It is lonely being on the beach. We suddenly discover who are friends are and those who duck and hide from our phone calls and emails.

In Dave’s own words: 

I'm just one of thousands of veteran jocks, talk hosts and news personalities looking for work in these lean times. On behalf of all of us I would like to make a simple request: 

When we email you and/or fill out an online job application could you please acknowledge receipt? Personally, I mean. A word of thanks and encouragement would be nice, too. After all, you or somebody on your staff put out the call for applicants in the first place. 

When I was a pd I spent a portion of each day writing thank you notes to people who had mailed me letters, resumes and airchecks. And this was back when the effort required a typewriter, White-Out, an envelope and a stamp. It was time-consuming but we did it because it was polite and proper. It was professional respect. 

In the past six weeks I've applied for seven jobs. I received a reply from ONE. 

And all you have to do is click on a link and fire off a few words in an email. 

I understand that you're busy. Hell, many of you are trying to program three or four radio stations in the time you used to have to concentrate on one. 

Sadly, some of you will soon be on the beach with the rest of us. It never hurts to make a friend in advance. 

Sincerely, respectfully,
Dave Williams,
davewilliams@verizon.net  

 

 
3 Years Ago Today


Email Saturday, 12.1.18

** Best Broadcaster Ever

“I just read all the nice things that were beings said about Vin Scully. I said to myself, wait a minute, I have a lot to say about my friendship with Vin Scully. We are now talking about the best broadcaster I have ever been associated with. 

Remember, the Dodgers were on KABC radio from 1974 to 1997. I was the general sales manager at KABC from 1965 to 1979 and the president and general manager from 1979 until I retired in 1996. How many ball games do you think I went to in that time? Hundreds of games. I have a pillow in my office that I see every day that says ‘THIS MARRIAGE HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY INTERRUPTED BY THE BASEBALL SEASON.’

Peter O'Malley invited me down to Vero Beach every year, and of course I stayed with the team and traveled with the team, watching every game that we also broadcast on KABC. Bringing guests into the press box was always one of my responsibilities at the home games. I did that almost every game. And at every visit to the press box my guests and I would patiently wait for Vin to finish his pre-game tv and radio show, which he did with Ross Porter, or Jerry Doggett. When Vin finished his show, he would come out of the broadcasting booth at the stadium and would quickly put out his hand to shake the hands of my guests while I introduced them to the great Vin Scully.  

You would think that God himself had just shaken their hands. That is the way my guests always felt.  What an honor! What a gentleman! I loved looking at the eyes of my guests as Vin said hello.  I was very proud to have had these and so many other experiences with Vin Scully. He is in a class all by himself.

One of these days, Don, you should do a column on Peter O’Malley. He is Mr. Modest and it is doubtful that he would want anything said about him. And believe me there is. He too was and is an amazing human being. I am the proud owner of two World Series rings from 1981 and 1988. Peter just sent me the book The 1988 Dodgers, Reliving the Championship Season. It is quite a story. Get the book.” – George Green  

** Worked with Kasem


“I worked with Casey Kasem at KEWB-San Francisco back in the sixties and got to know him fairly well. He would be ashamed to see what’s happening to his family in the name of love.  I have sisters I’ve not spoken to since my mom died in 1965. I’m ashamed of them too.” – Jack Hayes

** Brother John Update

“I was just back on your site and came across some Brother John information and wanted to clarify a few things in honor of him.

I loved this guy. He was one of my best friends. This is the way I remember it: When I hired Brother John at KRLA in 1970, I couldn’t believe my good fortune. He took the job. I was I was 23 years old and I idolized him, he was ‘the Voice of God,’ and he was going to be the Voice of this new kind of programming I was trying to create, ‘Rock with a Grin.’ I was in charge of all programming, including news and public affairs. I wanted everything about the station to be new and contemporary.

In keeping with this new Album Oriented Rock format I was beginning to introduce ‘Phase II.’ I asked Brother John to create a public affairs religious program for the station that was more contemporary than the then broadcast show Silhouette. And since Traffic was my favorite group at the time, I asked him to create a show named after their the song Heaven is in your Mind. I worked with him to fine-tune the approach and loved what he came up with. I later brought Brother John and Heaven is in Your Mind to KROQ and then KMET, where John was again ‘the voice.’ He was in charge of production, public affairs, and also did news.

He could do anything. He created newscasts called ‘The Old Piano Bar News, with Shirley at the Piano,’ complete with fake correspondents around the world, and a parody of a sportscaster called ‘Bouser Benson, Speaking of Sports.’ It was hilarious. I don’t think I ever worked with a more talented, more creative educated, and kind person in my career.  I quit radio in the late 70s, and when John went to KRTH, he asked me if it was okay with me for him to do Heaven is in Your Mind at K-EARTH. 

As far as I was concerned, it had become his show and he continued it for several years. That’s the way I remember it. But then again, I could be wrong. 

And now you know…the rest of the story.” – Shadoe Stevens

** Ponderous IDs

“I loved the 1963 LA Times newspaper ad for KGFJ. Back in 2002, when I submitted an article to you about KGFJ’s early history as the nation's first 24-hour radio station in 1927, one of your readers sent me a 1962 KGFJ ID. The announcer proclaims that KGFJ is the original 24-hour station.” – Jim Hilliker

** Steve Edwards a Winner


“I tuned to KABC while Mark Levin was in a commercial break and heard the familiar, veteran, ultra-pro voice of Steve Edwards, co-hosting with John Philips. Boy, they-are-so GOOD together! Steve is such a good complement to John’s sharp intellect and wit. I never went back to Mark Levin.

Steve and John had former Clinton prosecutor Ken Starr in studio and it was riveting, but the rest of their show and conversation was riveting too. Steve has the friendly warmth in his tone and delivery, like he was your next-door neighbor. Steve Edwards is really gold for KABC and always has been.” – Andrew Schermerhorn

** What the World Needs Now is Tom Clay

“I just wanted you to put in a little word, for my dear friend and mentor Tom Clay. We always had a great time. It’s hard to believe, it has been 23 years since Tom went home.

I think of him, his son Ron and daughter Candy, often. I have even lost track of her.” – Gary Lane

** KFWBeatles

“That’s some picture! But a great one! My good guess is that picture was probably taken around the release time of the album – mid-late January 1964. Maybe later. Also, KFWB would have to be playing a Beatles song or two, as I Want to Hold Your Hand was released on December 26, 1963 - coinciding with the first airplay by WMCA-New York.” – Gary W, Facebook.com/manfromyesterday

** What’s Going On?

“I was pleased to see that you’re a fan of What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye.  While I also really like his older stuff, What’s Going On was a major shift for Motown, replacing ‘feel good songs with social commentary. It was, of course, preceded by the Temptations Ball of Confusion, which came out a year earlier. Its lyrics were less controversial, but it helped open the door for What’s Going On.

As far as Patsy Cline vs Brenda Lee, that’s an easy one for me. Patsy was too hard-core Country for my tastes, while ‘Little Miss Dynamite’ could jump from Country to Rock without missing a beat.” – Bob Scott

14 Years Ago Today 

Kim Amidon, Co-Host of KOST Morning Show,
Exits the Clear Channel Station

(November 30, 2007) Kim Amidon, who teamed with Mark Wallengren, created the highly successful Mark & Kim Show at KOST for over two decades. Kim has exited the station as part of a company overhaul. She was told after her shift yesterday morning.

The morning team was recently honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  

"This is a very emotional day for everyone at our station,” said KOST pd Stella Schwartz. “Kim has given us 22 years of great memories and we will be forever grateful for her many contributions to our success.  It has been a great ride that I had hoped would never end. I love Kim."

Wallengren opened his show this morning for the first time in 22 years without a co-host. "It's the morning show with Mark Wallengren. That's weird to say. I don't know how I'm going to get through today. Yesterday after we left the air at ten o'clock Rodrigo, Claudia and I were told to leave the building and I got a text from Kim that said, 'I've been let go.' February 3, 1986 to November 29, 2007. It's no longer going to be called the Mark & Kim Show. I look in the paper today. Headline in the Los Angeles Times, 'Pain of mortgage meltdown spreading through the economy.' Apparently throughout the Clear Channel broadcasting group, some 900+ stations, it's not going to be a good day. This is a crazy business, Kim and I both knew this was a crazy business 22 years ago. We never knew how it would go or how it would end. It's weird when that day comes. I am so proud that the Mark & Kim lasted as long as it did - 22 years. I am proud to say that right up until the very last day our ratings were better than ever. Everything was going well. These are decisions that are very, very difficult to make."

 Mark & Kim's Star unveiling in January 2006: 1. Producer Rodrigo, Kim and Stella Schwartz
leaving the green room for the podium on Hollywood Boulevard; 2. Kim at the podium
addressing the crowd; 3. Schwartz, Kim, Wallengren

Wallengren shared some thoughts about his longtime partner:  

“I wanted to take just a brief moment and tell you how grateful I am personally to my partner of nearly 22 years. Kim Amidon.

The real magic of any successful show is balance. Nothing is more boring than listening to two people who are exactly alike. We weren't. It created friction at times but there was always magic on the air. Kim and I have always loved each other and know each other like brother and sister. How many of you ever said we act like a married couple? Well it's because in many ways we were. We treated our audience the same way and called them family. I have always said that we have the most normal and wonderful listeners of any station in Los Angeles.

In 1986 the Mark & Kim Show started a trend in this country that, for the first time, put women out front on morning radio shows. A woman was no longer a 'side kick' or the 'news chick.' Now you had a real woman with a real personality sitting equally next to a man. It started in the A/C world and quickly spread. Over the years I can't tell you how many times, at national radio conventions, other talent from around the country would approach us and tell us how their bosses had flown them here to L.A., put them up in hotels for a week at a time to listen to us and try to re-create what we had. It's was always the highest compliment. If anything, I want Kim to be known as a woman who was instrumental in this business for that very reason.

She is a remarkable woman and will always remain one of my dearest friends and family members.

We can all speculate and try to wrap our heads around what ever process occurred that concluded that despite all our past and current success her services would no longer be needed. But let us not forget, she broke ground, was feisty, she couldn’t be ignored and is an incredible example to any woman in this business.

Will I be o.k.? Yes. Will the station be o.k.? Absolutely. Will I miss her? What do you think?

 

Kim was born in Middletown, Connecticut. She got her start in radio as student at Long Beach State on the campus station KLON in 1982. Her first radio job after college was at "KUTE 102" in 1983. Kim then worked at KHJ and KRTH before teaming with Mark. “I love interviewing interesting people, especially those of whom I am a particular fan, like Linda Ronstadt." Kim was nominated for Billboard's 1993 Music Director of the Year and as a team they were nominated for AC Radio Personality of the Year. (Photo: Schwartz, Kim, Barry Manilow, Wallengren)

 

17 Years Ago

Howard Stern's Replacement:
Jimmy Kimmel

(November 29, 2004) Infinity Radio is faced with the daunting task of replacing Howard Stern, a legend who carved out a special place in broadcasting history. No matter what you think about Howard, there is no argument they he changed radio forever by pushing the boundaries of taste. 

For the past two months Howard has been vocal that he believes terrestrial radio is dead, mainly because of the government restraints by the FCC and the threat of multi-million dollar fines if one utters indecency, whatever that is. He will be off to Sirius Satellite Radio where he thinks anything goes. He will leave behind a very large vacancy. How do you replace a legend? And when? You can’t wait until the end of his contract and then announce the change. Infinity has to be as smart as Howard in marketing. If Infinity doesn’t take Howard off the air earlier than December 2005, he will continue to have an unprecedented forum to promote his move. Sirius will continue to benefit from tens of millions of dollars of free marketing promotion. 

How much is Howard worth to Infinity? Knowing that figure would help understand the dilemma that Infinity finds itself in on whether to dump him now, pay him the $20 million and make him sit out for a year. No one will talk about how much Infinity reaps from having Howard on in the morning. The following math equations are based on information from industry insiders. 

Most observers acknowledge that the revenue from having Howard on in the morning accounts for 50% of the station’s budget. If KLSX does $50 million in 2005, put $25 million in the Howard column. If his New York station (WXRK) does $50 million, put another $25 million in the Howard column. Pay Howard his $20 million for 2005 and in just New York and Los Angeles Infinity has netted $30 million. His show is also heard in 43 additional markets. Using the same formula, a conservative guess is Howard brings $100,000,000 to $150,000,000 to Infinity. Pretty tough to give that up. Or is it? His station list can be found at: http://www.koam.com/list.html.

Howard may believe that terrestrial radio is dead, but as long as there are smart people running radio, terrestrial radio will be around forever. But is Infinity Radio smart enough? Who do you replace Howard with? Who has a national presence, is young and edgy, but acceptable to the advertising world and the FCC? Chicago’s Mancow comes with more headaches than Howard created for management. Comedian Andrew Dice Clay is an unknown entity on whether he is interesting and talented enough to hold down a 4-5 hour shift. Opie & Anthony? Infinity has already been in bed with them and insiders say the $1.99 a month that XM Satellite charges above the monthly subscription fee to access the bad boys has been a disaster. They have no national following outside of the publicity that was generated following an incident when two listeners attempted to have sex in a New York cathedral.  

Replacing popular personalities is nothing new for entertainment entities. When Johnny Carson announced his retirement from his late-night NBC show, many pundits predicted the end of the late night tv talk show. Huh? The late-night talk show format is stronger than ever.  

When Sean Connery left the James Bond films, many thought there was no way the franchise would survive. 19 films later it is the most successful series in the history of the motion picture business and it survived through Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and now a new one, yet-to-be-announced. The Bond series will be going on long after you and I are gone. 

The key is for the geniuses in the Infinity culture to make a move and make it soon. It feels like the company doesn’t know what to do since Howard’s announcement. It feels like the proverbial deer in the headlights.  

Infinity should hire Jimmy Kimmel. He is very funny. He has survived insurmountable challenges with ABC in late night. The budget for the show and lack of marketing support would have buried a lesser star than Kimmel. He is no stranger to radio, having been part of the enormously successful Kevin & Bean show at KROQ. Jimmy was an integral part of the FOX NFL pre-game show for three seasons and he gained enormous respect from the likes of Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long.  

He knows how to reach men. Jimmy and Adam Carolla created The Man Show for Comedy Central, which ran for a number of years and introduced us to juggy dancers and the bouncing trampoline girls.  

He co-hosted the Emmy-Award winning Win Ben Stein’s Money. Without his humor and wit, the show would never have made it through the first season.  

And how about all that exposure hosting the primetime American Music Awards show for the past two seasons?  

Those who follow tv salaries have guestimated that Jimmy earns $2 million for his ABC late-night series. Infinity should approach Kimmel and offer him $10 million to take over the morning slot. Make the deal now and then benefit from a year of promotion on the ABC network, not unlike what Howard is doing to Infinity. The huge increase in pay will be incentive enough for Jimmy to make the move. At ABC he is on a year-to-year contract basis and his biggest supporter, ABC Group chairman Lloyd Braun, was fired recently. 

Will it work? Jimmy is one of the brightest stars in the entertainment world. He has made low-budget projects successful because of his creativity and likeability. Give him the resources to be successful in the morning show slot and not only will he be a success; he will enlarge your empire beyond 48 stations because he respects the FCC line.  

Jimmy Kimmel to replace Howard Stern – you heard it here first. 

 

..

"I’m Sorry" 

(November 28, 2005) Last week voiceover talent Jeff Davis recounted an experience of being fired at a Los Angeles radio station. The story has taken a number of twists and turns. The man who fired him, Charlie Seraphin (photo), was reading the story and was prompted to write in part:  

Anyway, I won’t bore you with a long drawn out apology, but nevertheless, this is a sincere apology. I’m sorry I couldn’t manage the situation for your continued employment and happiness at KNX/fm. I’m sorry if I was rude in any way. I’m sorry for any bad feelings that I engendered in you and I am sincerely happy that you are happy, healthy and still doing exceptionally well in Los Angeles Radio. 

I’m sorry, and I hope you will forgive me for whatever negative role I played in your past.” – Charlie Seraphin 

Craig Hines wrote: “I don't know Charlie Seraphin or Jeff Davis, but this is mea culpa is amazing: Reading that and ‘hearing it in my head’ was like mom's chicken soup on a cold day, very soothing. Having been on both sides of the equation, firing is a horrible event for everyone and it can weigh heavy for years. That Mr. Seraphin has the courage, the balls, to apologize and ask for forgiveness is simply stunning and should set an example for every person who ever had to ‘do the deed’ and for those who will in the future. 

What a classy thing to do. It does not change history, but it sure goes a long way towards showing some heart, some humanity.” 

There were others who were moved by Seraphin’s apology, but the most amazing part of the story came from Seraphin himself. “As Paul Harvey would say...and now the rest of the story.  Within an hour of writing the apology to Jeff Davis, I went down the hall to meet with Ron Unkefer, the owner of First Broadcasting. At the end of our meeting, he explained that the company had turned 180 degrees from where it was when he hired me in September, and without plans to ‘operate’ his stations [they all run on minimal staffs and budgets] he couldn't afford to keep someone like me in my position, so he terminated my employment! I had the VP of Human Resources sit with me while I packed up a few personal things. How ironic. Years after the Jeff Davis incident, but only minutes after apologizing, I get canned! You think Jeff needs any help managing his voice business?” 

Perhaps you have a job lead for Charlie. His email is: charlieseraphin@yahoo.com  

 

 

The Night Disco Died ... or Didn't 

(November 27, 2017) I shamelessly admit to languishing in the pulsating beat of disco music in the mid-70s. Forgotten names like Hot Chocolate, Alicia Bridges and Anita Ward may be gone but I could Boogie Oogie Oogie until I just couldn’t oogie boogie no more. It was just the way I liked it.

With virtually no LA radio station offering a steady diet of Gloria Gaynor and Vickie Sue Robinson, let alone an appetizer or two of Donna Summer, I have turned to Studio 54 channel on SiriusXM for my disco fix. And now Native New Yorker by Odyssey is in heavy rotation. There you are, lost in the shadows, searching for someone to set you free from New York City.

You can imagine my surprise when the current issue of The New Yorker devoted a full page to celebrate the height of the disco era. And the best part, I learned that every week in New York, there is a Native New Yorker night at a local club.

While in the marketing department at Columbia Pictures, I had the pleasure of working on Thank God It’s Friday with the famed P.T. Barnum record character Neil Bogart. Casablanca shipped 35 million albums to record stores pre-movie release. I’m told there are still 10-15 million in a warehouse somewhere in the San Fernando Valley. And then the ultimate disco movie, Can’t Stop the Music, produced by Allan Carr (Grease-fame) and starring disco favorites Bruce Jenner, Valerie Perrin and Steve Guttenberg. Oh, yes, it was loosely based on the story of the Village People. But the timing was bad. Steve Dahl turned the center field of Comiskey Park into a disco inferno, just days before the still-born release of the movie. Disco is dead, except when the doors of Studio 54 open on SiriusXM. Until you just can’t oogie boogie no more. (Thanks to The New Yorker for the artwork.)


 

(November 26, 1998) On this day for family, friends and a day of reflection, Los Angeles Radio People share what they are most thankful for on Thanksgiving, 1998.

Mr. KABC
(KABC): My wife, kids, parents, brothers, health, friends, job, material possessions, home, in-laws & listeners. Not necessarily in that order.

Chuck Blore (legend): Thanks...for the memories. Memories of KFWB and all that it was...what a wonderful ride we had. There's a kind of a glow that comes with knowing that what we had lives in some sacred treasure chest of precious things that can never be duplicated. Yesterday is a very nice place, but as they say, I wouldn't want to live there. I am more thankful for what is going to happen tomorrow than for all the glories of what happened in the past. Thanks for old memories and young dreams.
Jim Governale (KKLA): I guess I'm most thankful for freedom. This year I had the chance to visit China and Indonesia, and my experiences there make me all the more grateful to be an American.
Gary Moore (KLOS): All the things we often take for granted, like good health, great friends, a caring, supportive family, a terrific childhood (which, at times, is still continuing), being a player in the world's #1 radio market, the invention of college football and basketball and supermodels who still have energy to fix us breakfast the next morning. Take that Hugh Grant...
Mark Denis (KFI): I am most thankful for my wife Nancy and our family (Denise, Mark, Julie, Matt, Tim and Ashley) plus having a job I enjoy so much.
(Robert) David Hall: Off the top of my baldhead I'm thankful for the following: (1) My son Andrew, even though at 17 and a half, he treats me worse than any program director I ever knew; (2) Health; (3) The opportunity to make a living in acting and voiceovers; (4) Friends, old and new. My closest friends from my radio days remain Michael Sheehy (now at the Wave), Rick Scarry (ex-KMET), Mark Denis (KFI), Bill Handel (KFI and still crazy after all these years), Bob Nelson (former GM of KNX/fm), Scott Morgan (ex-KEZY), Jeffrey Leonard (most recently did MetroTraffic) and so many others; and, (5) I'm thankful all the Clinton/Monica Lewinsky crap is winding down. My best to you Don and all your readers.
Ed Mann (formerly with KIIS, KBIG): Having worked with the likes of The Real Don Steele, Tim Kelly, Big Ron O’Brien, Gerry DeFrancesco along with my fellow founders at Premiere Radio Networks gives me pause to think and to thank. My best to all this holiday season.
Steve Parker (KXTA): My wife/partner...some of the best and most loyal friends in the world (which is amazing because most of them are in radio!)...A union (AFTRA) which takes care of my family medical needs and sticks up for me when it's been necessary (they're two for two so far)...having worked in media for 20 years and finally starting to see some of the real, tangible fruits of my efforts.
Chuck Martin (formerly with KHJ): I am thankful for having the luckiest and most wonderful career in radio broadcasting; and having the ability to further my career in agency advertising and commercial production all of which was the product of being so lucky to be a part of the broadcast industry. I'm a thankful broadcast survivor. But perhaps what I'm most thankful for is taking time over this special holiday weekend spending precious moments with my family and friends. And I raise my glass to toast my broadcasting colleagues wherever they may be. And to my listeners should they remember me. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Dan Avey (KFWB): I’m most thankful for: (1) My wonderful wife, four daughters and great friends; (2) Adoption - the only win-win process I know; (3) heart doctor Vaughn Starnes and USC University Hospital; (4) Barbara Esensten, head writer of The Guiding Light (see #1); and, (5) KFWB, KNX and KFI: the only stations (out of 83 in the market) that gather, write and deliver the news.
Teresa Payerle (KGIL): My health. My friends. Living in L.A. Education.
Andy Stevens (formerly with KEZY): I'm always thankful for 4 days off! I've been fortunate enough to do the kind of work that I love, and I've met some very cool people along the way who've become great friends--I'm thankful for that--and for my health. I'm also thankful for having a great family. I've had some great opportunities--some I've blown and some I've really taken advantage of, and I'm thankful for ALL of them too. I'm fortunate because I could list a lot more things here, but I'll be thankful for some moderation too. Happy Thanksgiving to all. I hope your list is as long as mine.
Ken Levine (formerly with KTNQ): That I'm not still doing all-nights in San Bernardino. For awhile in 1973 it looked like I might be.
Linda Jean (KIKF): I am thankful for so many things: (1) My family for their endless support; (2) my friends; (3) my health; (4) my fun job in radio. Doing what you love is IDEAL! It isn't work; and, (5) to live in Orange County-no place comes this close to perfection!
Len Chandler (formerly with KRLA): I’m thankful that I'm not a turkey.
David Wayne (KWVE): "I'm thankful for God's love, my family, and that I still have a job in radio!" Blessings and a Happy Thanksgiving to you.
Ken Stanton (KIEV): I am thankful for being given the opportunity for working at KIEV and Salem Broadcasting. I am thankful for my education and my health. Thankful for being alive and doing fine.
Bob Pond (formerly with KGBS and KPPC): I am most thankful for being a rock jock for many years before AIDS, without contracting a venereal disease, at least a serious one. If that is too politically incorrect try: I am most thankful for surviving doing a nightly broadcast from a West Phoenix country bar for over a year without any injury!
Chuck Rowe (KNX/Shadow Traffic): I'm thankful that I'm the guy watching the traffic jam from above in an airplane instead of the unfortunate sap down below. Seriously, I'm thankful for my new daughter and continued health and good fortune shared by my entire family.
Todd Parker (formerly with KIIS): I'm most thankful for two of the greatest sons I could ever wish for, my parents for instilling in me certain values, joys, and a sense of humor: tools that have allowed me to live a very rich and satisfying life. Professionally, I'm thankful for the combination of hard work and good luck that allowed me to have a very rewarding career in a business that I've loved since childhood; and that has allowed me a certain amount of success in something that I love equally as much, and am equally passionate about now: acting and voiceovers. To my peers, friends, and (if there are any...) fans: thank you for all of your support, guidance, and influence. I thank God for you daily.
Big Ben Maller (KXTA): I'm thankful: to have a gig at L.A.'s Only Local Sports station; that the Dodgers didn't lose 100 games last season (how could I have turned that into a positive?); that Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinsky gave all of us L.A. radio people so much good material to work with; and, that my family and friends have supported me the last few years in this wacky business.
Jeff Young (Westwood One): I’m thankful that it seems our service men and women won’t have to spend the holidays at war with Iraq, that I’m still working "in the biz" after 23+ years, that my radio prep site welcomes many thousands of visitors monthly, that your Web site does such a great job of keeping me up to date on L.A. radio people, that I’m not Mrs. Howard Stern, and that after nine years, my 2nd wife’s kids from her first marriage have finally accepted me as human.
Alan LaGreen (Metro Traffic): Thankful for a great family which has been so supportive over the years, including my daughter, who started at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia this fall to pursue her dream in musical theatre (and I'm never going to tell her to have a fall-back career choice "just in case"). Thanks also to Dave Hull who put me on the radio for the first time 30 years ago as a guest on his show on KFI (at the old studios on Vermont). I was a student down the street at USC; Dave had Wes Parker of the Dodgers on that night predicting a big loss for USC against UCLA that weekend, I called them up, and Dave said, "come on up to the studio and you can debate with Wes." Thirty years later, and a few twists and turns in the career, and I'm on KFI every night!
Phil Harvey (formerly with KSRF): I'm thankful we live in a country where the biggest problem seems to be the President's sex life. Things could be a lot worse!
Taz (KIKF): I'm thankful that I have my health and that all members of my family are healthy and happy. In this world where so many are doing without, I'm thankful that I have the things that really make me happy - family, friends, health and a great job in my favorite industry! Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Maryanne Caruso (formerly with KLSX):That I will be spending Thanksgiving with my beautiful 2-month-old niece, Samantha Nicole, and the rest of my family.
Nasty Neil (KNAC.com): That I'm not that idiot Ken Starr!
Johnny Chiang (KOST): I'm obviously thankful for having so many family members and friends who love and care for me. Despite whatever happens in life, it's always comforting to know there will always be people there for me.
Rex Moore (KGRB): I’m most thankful that I’m in good health. I’m thankful for the 31 years that I had with my dad. Mom's still alive and well and living the good life in Arizona. And I’m thankful to all of the great men and women of L.A. radio, who've been nice enough to correspond with me via email (thanks to your Web site). Happy holidays, everybody --- see you along the way .
Chuck Southcott (KGIL): I'm most thankful for the glorious way my sons have become men. Karl (the elder) has now been in radio for twelve years. He runs our Music of Your Life operations for Jones in Denver. He's also the all-night air talent. He goes by the name of Carl Hampton. Yes, he once lived on a street called Hampton. My younger son Charles has been a magnificent force for Time-Warner Cable for many years now. I told him that tv thing was only radio with those ugly pictures, but he wouldn't listen. I love them more than even my cats.
Jim Hawthorne (formerly with KFWB): My thanks go to whomever regulates our time on this planet! 80 years and still around! WOW!
Jack Armstrong (formerly with KFI): HEALTH!....I said "good luck" to a friend once and he said, "no, good health...without that, you won't need the luck." I've said a few words of thanks lately for getting me through the close calls over the years. By my count, I could have easily checked-out 4 times (that I know of) in the last 4 years. Guess we are all here for a reason and I haven't completed mine.
Mike Butts (formerly with KIQQ): What I’m most thankful for this Thanksgiving remains the same: my wife, Lisa; my mother back in Denton, Texas (where I was living when bitten by the radio bug while listening to KLIF); my brother Leslie who lives in the Valley; Buddy, Annie, Courney, and Dusty (my 4 children, all four-legged); and, my oldest friend Don Barrett, the author and creator of Los Angeles Radio People who brought me to L.A. when I was doing afternoons at KXOK-St. Louis. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Scott West (KCRW): First and foremost and without a doubt, I am most thankful for having such a wonderful family! They are the most important things in my life! I feel that it's important for us to remember those less fortunate, and to do our part to help out when we can! I am also thankful that I am able to do what I love AND get paid doing it!
Brian Perez (KKLA): This may seem kind of vague, but I'm really thankful for my pd, Jason Jeffries. He has given me the chance to once again do a music program, the "K-Light Music Show," heard weekend overnights on AM1390. THANKS, JASON!!
Bill Wright (KWVE): I'm most thankful for God's great love and for my family and friends.
John Willyard: As a former signature voice for KZLA and promo voice for many concert events in and around L.A., I'd like to pause and give thanks for the abundance of meaningful friendships in the industry, great opportunities in the country music industry, such as being selected as the voice of the CMA, for a wonderful, loving, caring family, for an incredible church family, and most especially to a gracious, loving God who has definitely blessed me this year! Psalm 107:1 says "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever!"
Lori Ryan (KFI Traffic): My family...my friends...my sweetheart, Michael Moore...his family...the dogs...my health...and I'm thankful also that somewhere in a galaxy far, far away, some PD thought I sounded good enough to be on the air...are you listening Sherman Cohen?
Lisa Foxx (KYSR): I am most thankful for my new contract! Ok, um, I'm most thankful for doing something that I LOVE everyday...Sorry. Boring-but true! Have a nice turkey day!
Nancy Plum (Shadow Traffic): Thankful I wasn't born a turkey. Especially this time of the year! After years and years of working nights and evenings in Los Angeles I am so happy and thankful to be on morning drive time doing news and traffic and when I do airborne usually its middays. I love love love these shifts and I'm very thankful I get to work them! It's so selfish, but I love the fact that most of my friends, my dearest and oldest friends all listen to me doing the news in the morning on their way to work. That is so damn cool! It's like we stay in touch that way and yes, it affects the way I sound because I'm just talking to my friends as well as a couple of thousand other folks too! I'm thankful I made it through all my experimentations with sex and drugs and lived to tell about it and not wind up some casualty! And I'm always thankful to be alive and well to try new things and to learn new things and to meet new people. Like Hollywood says, "It's A Wonderful Life!"
Carolyn Hogenraad (KEZY): I am most thankful for my Health and that since the sale of KEZY...Jacor is still willing to keep me... so far!
Steve Ray (formerly with KRLA): I am most thankful that I was laid off from my gig at Premiere Radio Networks the week before Thanksgiving. What a great way to simplify life! I don't have to worry if I've made enough stuffing, because I can't afford more than a slice of pressed turkey roll. Instead of spending all night cleaning up after a big dinner, I can look up at the stars in the winter sky while sleeping in my car. I can get in touch with the true spirit of the holidays while wandering the streets muttering "Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Oh God, Oh God," and then spend all day Friday in the warmth of the mall pretending I'm going to buy something while enjoying the glow of children's faces. Thank you to all the program directors who absolutely needed an overnight tape & resume, and then didn't bother to call. It made life so much simpler, not worrying if I'd perform well at a new station. Thank you to the general managers and owners who thought my ideas were great, but never followed through with any of the projects. I don't know what success might have done to spoil my bright and cheerful outlook on life. Thank you for saving me from success. And finally, thank you to all the friends who helped me move my things into a storage unit, find a PO Box, and tell me how to get my phone number forwarded to voicemail. This Thanksgiving, the thing I'm most grateful for is so easy to sum up, I can do it in one word.....dignity.
Neil Saavadra (KFI): This ain't very original but, I am most thankful for my family. (Doing a talk show in L.A. comes a close second!)
Tommy Edwards ("Arrow 93"): A wonderful, healthy and happy family and the opportunity to help others grow professionally.
Mark the Shark Brower (KZLA): I'm most thankful for my wonderful friends and family. They are the best through their support and everything else for that matter.
Thrasher (KNAC.com): I'm thankful I didn't get the job as newsman on Peter Tilden's morning show at KMPC back in 1995.
Elizabeth Salazar (formerly with KWST): The fact that God has blessed us with good health, a home, a close family and good friends, and bountiful blessings in general compels me to give Him thanks daily and most certainly on Thanksgiving.
Marc Cohen (KABC): I'm thankful for the time I have to spend with my family. That I have the time to spend as President of the Starlight Childrens Foundations. And that anyone would be crazy enough to give me my own show on KABC.
Ronn Owens (formerly with KABC): I'm thankful I work for a superb radio station with great management.
Big John Carter: (formerly with KHJ): When I first got into radio there was this kid. He was kind of a big, lovable guy. All he wanted to do was be on the radio. I confess his passion for being "behind the audio console" exceeded even my own. He had lots of raw talent, and, God knows, drive. To me, in a universe where it seems to be wanting, there is evidence that there is justice, because today that kid is doing afternoons at KRTH 101. I am so grateful to God that my "brother," Shotgun Tom Kelly is, on the basis of his talent, his experience, and his dedication to the industry, right where he belongs, drivin' 'em home in the Big Town! THAT is what I am grateful for.
Nicole Sandler (KACD): My new niece... and the second chance I've gotten at my ideal radio job with the start-up of Channel 103.1!
Bill Tanner (Heftel Communications): I'm thankful for: (1) family and friends; and, (2) my career, with special thanks to the man who made it possible, Cecil Heftel. Also his son Richard and my associates on the KLVE/KSCA/KTNQ programming staffs. All else pales beside these two. Happy Thanksgiving!
Harley Davidson (f): I'm most thankful for the time I spent in Southern California. My two kids were born there, Melinda, 9 and Gregory, 7. They continue to live there with their mother. I'm also thankful professionally for the opportunity to meet and network with many Los Angeles Radio People. Those who come to mind are Ron Jacobs, "World Famous" Tom Murphy, Mark Denis, Bill Watson, Ted Atkins, Charleye Wright, Kevin Weatherly, Ken Kohl, Mark & Brian, Bruce Chandler, and many others who taught me about the heritage of this great radio market. It's been a thrill to have spent the last 10 years in Southern California, and to have been a small part of it's broadcasting legacy. Thanks to your Web site, I'll still be in touch.
Gary Franklin (formerly with KFWB): Two answers: (1) Am most thankful that there's such a terrific union as AFTRA; and, (2) That shakeouts in the radio industry are beginning to return it to useful and entertaining normalcy.
Ira Sternberg (formerly with KOST): I'm thankful for Thanksgiving, the one holiday that is relatively commercial free (other than marketing turkeys, pumpkin pie and antacid) and that allows us to relax with our families and not worry about "getting things" for them. Do you think we can expand that to other areas of our lives?
Charlie Tuna (KLAC): This Thanksgiving I'm most thankful for two people who believe in me enough, I didn't even have to audition to get the morning show job on KLAC. KLAC consultant Bob Hamilton and I almost worked together at KRTH in 1980 when we were talking about me going there, and he's just one of the great programming minds in this country. Ed Krampf, the KLAC gm is one of the nicest gm's you'll ever have, according to a good radio friend of mine who had worked for Ed in the past; and Ed's been just that with me. But I'm also thankful for Bill Drake who heard something in me 31 years ago, brought me to KHJ and put me on the #1 station in the country at that time. Just two and a half years before that I was working on a 1,000 watt AM station in my hometown of Kearney, Nebraska. Go figure!
Marc Cohen (KABC): I'm thankful for the time I have to spend with my family. That I have the time to spend as President of the Starlight Children’s Foundations. And that anyone would be crazy enough to give me my own show on KABC.
Joe McDonnell (formerly with KXTA): I'm thankful for all the people who have been so kind since my firing. People coming up to me and the email I've received has been really positive and supportive. And I'm thankful for a good agent who negotiated a great contract for me!"
Eric Tracy (KFWB): I am most thankful that I am a child of God and that he sent me an incredible woman to share my life. Before I knew God and Kathleen, radio was my life. Boy, I sure wasted a lot of years.
Jack London (formerly with KLAC and KBBQ):I am most thankful for my wife Sherry. We just got married on Nov. 6. and just came back from a cruise to Mexico. We now have seven children living with us and I think it is time to take another cruise. Have a great Thanksgiving, from the bright lights of Las Vegas.
Kevin "Mad Dog" Machado: By far, I'm most thankful to be alive and have a wonderful woman in my life. She's proven radio isn't the only thing that matters.
Mark Thompson (KLOS): I am very thankful for my kids and their health and a wife who loves me along with a great job that brings me much satisfaction, but I am most grateful for the fact that we are going to spend Thanksgiving day at a friends house which means I don’t have to cook or clean anything up. I’m also thankful that my ass isn’t wider than my shoulders as of this writing.
Roger Carroll (formerly with KMPC): I have a lot to be thankful for, my wife, our five children, their spouses, our grandchildren, our good health and so many true and loyal friends. Yes, thankful and lucky.
Gene Thayer (formerly with KRLA): I am thankful that I am not involved with the broadcast media anymore, especially in LaLa Land! Although, I do like to keep up on who's being screwed, or elevated to the status of a minor deity. Ranching, even in the middle of The Great Stinking Desert, is way more mellow than "working" as a radio pronouncer, i.e., the cows don't care about ratings. Nor do the horses. However, milking the chickens every morning and evening is a pain in the butt.
Andy Park (formerly with KMPC, KFWB): That I went into news and not, as my Mother wished, the priesthood, politics nor peddling life insurance.
Bill Jenkins (formerly with KFWB, KGBS): When this Thanksgiving dawns, I will be happy for the gathering of many family members from around the country.....and friends. It will be a long weekend, Friday filled with A&M football, then on Saturday, my marriage to Carole Matchette. Family, friends and a new mate for life, I'm filled with Thanksgiving.
"The Late" Bill Smith (formerly with KFI): Earth is nothing more than a giant turkey farm, and once a year people are plucked from this planet. Poked and prodded not with scientific tools, but with thermometers and tenderizers. And then eaten by a family of thankful aliens.
John Driscoll (formerly with KTNQ, KGBS, KFI): I am most thankful for my health, albeit I am recouping from arthroscopic knee surgery. My idea was to get healthy when I turned 40! You know! Quit smoking, lose weight and run 3-4 miles a day, mountain bike on weekends. This has been great for my heart but I have a broken wrist from the mountain bike trail in San Francisco. In Colorado I fractured an elbow from roller blading at Big Bear, and now a torn medial meniscus from B-Ball on a court at the beach! Oh how I long for the day's of yesteryear, when I was BulletProof!
Ron Brewington (KJLH): I am very thankful for being alive, having good health, having a wonderful family, living in a country called U-S of A and being permitted to work in an industry known as radio....it's a great feeling and I love it!!!
Kevin McKeown (formerly with KROQ): I'm grateful to be back on the air starting December 8th. The format is talk, with a twist: seven co-hosts, and instead of call-ins we'll have members of the public come in person to share a live mic. The Santa Monica City Council meetings air alternate Tuesday evenings on KCRW and affiliated stations.
Buddy Baron (formerly with KEZY): I'm thankful this Thanksgiving...Because: (1) I'm working; (2) our dog, Bear, is still with us; (3) my wife, Pat, is still with ME; (4) we're hosting a Caribbean Cruise over the holiday with 91 listeners; and, (5) they all look like they can hold their liquor.
Mike Nolan (KFI): I am most thankful to have been married to my wonderful wife for nearly 20 years now, and to have enjoyed watching our son, soon to be 10, growing and learning and maturing. It took us 9 years to have him, and 9 years later, he is still the only one, and we feel blessed to have him. I am also thankful to be a part of radio in L.A. Having grown up on KFWB, KRLA, KMPC, KHJ, KFI, KMET, etc., and to now be a part, a really small part, but still a part of creating what some day will be L.A. radio history, is a dream come true. I often wonder what became of Marine Corp. Reserve Captain, and KMPC sales associate Bob Bononami, who was the one who originally steered me to the Don Martin School of Broadcasting. Good night, Capt. Bob, wherever you are. Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Sherman Cohen (formerly with KRLA): I, Sherman Cohen, am most thankful for experiencing what I have experienced in my life. I have four wonderful children...David, Benny, Louie and Lenny, a mother that has survived severe cancer, my health, and great friends that have been there for me throughout my life.
Kiris Coburn (KKLA): Well let's see on a serious note (And I know this is corny) I'm thankful for my gig here @ KKLA. I'm also thankful for the KISS reunion.
Wild Bill Scott (formerly with KROQ and KNAC): Thanksgiving, 1998. Happiest and most thankful for Gap commercials helping the return of "Swing." Kate Moss and Calvin Klein were giving me a pain in the ass. Eat much and gain girth!!
Clark Macy ("Arrow 93"): I have to state the obvious because it's true. Besides meeting the love of my life, Martha, who decided to put up with my radio bug and marry me, I consider myself one of the lucky ones to be employed in L.A. radio. Radio is full of characters and I am thankful that I have had the distinct pleasure to meet, work with and personally know many of the GREATS in L.A. radio.
Anita Garner (formerly with KBIG): I am thankful for work that makes a difference - and for being allowed to do that kind of work from time to time. There's the job we do for money, or for fun or for glory. But occasionally someone tells us that something we do makes life better for them. That's it! Nothing else even comes close.
Geoff Edwards (formerly with KFI): I am thankful I am not the program director of KABC.
Keith Peters (KWVE): Thanks that I have a wonderful family who are great and I feel very fortunate that I am doing something (radio) that I love, which I think is something of a rarity in our society today.
Bob Shaw (KKLA): I am extremely thankful that God has seen fit to bless my radio career after I stepped out on a limb at 30 years of age a year ago, left a lucrative career in sales, and set out to do what I've always wanted to do. I've come so far in such a short time. I'm thankful for the new friends I've met in radio, and all the things they've taught me. (Kiris if you're reading this, you da man!) And I'm thankful for a great wife who supports me and kicked my butt to get out there and get on the air. Also thankful for you, Don, for providing an awesome forum like LA Radio. Thanks, and God bless!
Scorchin Scotty Wilson (formerly with KIIS): Thankful for open minded program directors who will hire you even if your resume has all hard rock stations on it believing you can intro a Jewel song just as well as you intro Megadeth, because your a professional.
Bob Morgan (formerly with KGBS): I have so much to be thankful for. I have a wonderful daughter, who is now on her way to a very successful career with a huge music distributing company. I have a loving mother, who is recovering from a critical bout with pneumonia, she's 89 so I know that God answers prayer. But most of all, I thank God for giving me a full, rich life, with the promise that the best is yet to come. I don't think that there's anyone on the face of the Earth that could ask for anything more than what I've been blessed with throughout my life. Now, I have everything I ever wanted. A great job, a nice house, my own studio, but most of all, a peace through Christ that I never knew existed. I know that's probably not very popular in some circles, but that's okay. I'm also very thankful that so many of the people that I worked with at Storer have gone on to become successful. The only thing I could wish for right now, would be a radio station somewhere that would let us old-timers do our thing again, just for fun. That would be nice.
Tom Schnabel (KCRW): To be alive, to have health, to love and be loved, and to appreciate the beauty--and pain-- of life and this world.
Gary McKenzie (formerly with KIIS): There is much to be thankful for. There's the family that loves you, a big turkey leg and all the trimmings, and no Showdown In The Gulf Updates until Saddam gets feisty again.
Don Jaye: Thanksgiving is the holiday that I celebrate the anniversary of my birth. Good Lord, he actually let me slip through. Mom was working on preparing dinner with the family and at noon she began with the pain and 1:15 p.m. there I was giving them all hell for taking so long. My first words were, "Los Angeles Lives"! The docs at UCLA told me many years ago I'd never see fifty...Dr. Rose and the rest of you Cardo-men...I'll be sixty on the 25th of this month...Stick that in your pipes! The End.
Jeff Gehringer (KACD): I am thankful this Thanksgiving just to be employed. So many changes are happening in our industry, it's scary. Who would think so many stations would be bought and sold, only to lower cost and hire fewer people? And, who would have thought a former Boss Radio jock from KHJ would now be playing Sinatra and Manilow on KLAC? My, how this medium is changing.
Jim Maddox (formerly with KDAY): I'm most thankful for good health, a great family (which includes 3 great kids), and a bit of longevity in this business. I'm also thankful to have been a "fellow traveler" to so many of you in this business. I feel blessed.
Bob Morrison (KEZY): I'm thankful I get to work on one of the most exciting new media ventures in America: TXCN -- Belo's new Texas Cable News. And I'm thankful that my bills are paid after 7 months out of work. I'm thankful that I can walk after major knee surgery in April. I'm thankful for a lovely wife, Susan; a son who is a blessing, Austin; and a wonderful home in one of the nicest cities in America, Dallas. And most of all I'm thankful for the sovereign God of the universe who has His eye upon the sparrow...and me, too.
Kenny Noble (Cortes): The way I see it, I was unemployed (full-time) a little over a year and a half ago. I now work at a top-rated market #11 radio station for a super radio group (Cox) doing morning drive for a pd that's the best people person on the planet (Tip Landay - former KOST assistant pd). I have a house I love, in a terrific neighborhood close to work and church, and a wife who doesn't have to work so she can homeschool our two incredible boys. I make a decent salary and the weather in South Florida this time of year is unbeatable. God is good. And that's who I thank!
Todd Parker (formerly with KIIS): I'm most thankful for two of the greatest sons I could ever wish for, my parents for instilling in me certain values, joys, and a sense of humor: tools that have allowed me to live a very rich and satisfying life. Professionally, I'm thankful for the combination of hard work and good luck that allowed me to have a very rewarding career in a business that I've loved since childhood; and that has allowed me a certain amount of success in something that I love equally as much, and am equally passionate about now: acting and voiceovers. To my peers, friends, and (if there are any...) fans: thank you for all of your support, guidance, and influence. I thank God for you daily.
K.M. Richards (formerly with KNJO): I am most grateful that my mother, who turned 80 this year, is still alive and (according to her doctors) in excellent health. As any seasoned radio person will tell you, there are many times in your career when you might find yourself back in your old room at home "between gigs." My mother, bless her, always kept my room as "my room" just in case that happened (again). And when I worked at stations within earshot, she was the most faithful listener I had, regardless of what format I was doing. She'd listen no matter what. (On the other hand, that may have contributed to her love of MTV in its first five years.) So I am thankful that when I travel back to Ventura for Thanksgiving, my mother will still be there to share the holiday with.
Jeff Leonard (formerly with KHTZ/KRLA): I am thankful for having a wonderful, happy and healthy family. I am indeed blessed.
Jeff Hillery (formerly with KFWB, KHJ): Most thankful for a great, understanding wife and two daughters who've put up with many moves over the years so I could better my radio career.
David Hirsch: I’m most thankful that I have a healthy, loving wife and daughter and that our relationship was not screwed up by the craziness that sometimes invades the radio business. I'm also thankful that quite a few people I've worked with over the years have survived and thrived.

 


 

 

Journalism and Mental Health: Cooper Rummell Reports

(November 25, 2019) Cooper Rummell recently exited Newsradio KNX (1070 AM). One day he was there covering breaking news – murders, fires, crimes, and other tragedies. And then he was gone. We reached out to him for the behind the scenes story of what happened. Our one-hour phone conversation was something the likes of which we never expected.

Three and a half years ago, Cooper joined the station at age 23. He had arrived from news / talk KTAR in Phoenix. Media, storytelling and voice work certainly was in Cooper’s genes or DNA. His grandfather was retired Battalion Chief for the LA Fire Department Chief, Gary Rummell. His grandfather was accustomed to facing the press and public.

Cooper’s father is a distinguished and active voice actor. Scott Rummell is well known for being the voice of Aquaman in Justice League and its follow-up Justice League Unlimited, but perhaps best known as the go-to voice these days for theatrical movie trailers.

Cooper was thrilled to be joining KNX but the leap was startling. He was jumping into a high-powered cauldron. Early on he received a profanity-laced communication for using improper grammar. Maybe in today’s more sensitive working environment the criticism wouldn’t have been allowed but as Cooper’s colleagues told him, “This is just the way it is here.”

Cooper quickly adjusted to the fast-paced world of covering breaking stories in the #2 market. Camp Pendleton Marine boot camp probably would have been equally stressing and challenging, yet the young recruits do survive. And he was prepared to do so too.

As unprepared as he was for the intensity of the newsroom, nothing prepared Cooper for dealing with the day in and day out “death, doom, and destruction, which can wear on you,” said the 27-year-old.
The shootings, mass killings and fires began to take a toll on Cooper’s mental health. Cooper said he was really struggling emotionally and mentally with covering sickening scenes and sometimes there would be multiple incidents in one day, sometimes going from one gruesome killing involving the twisted underbelly of the Southland to another.

“It really messed with my head. My mental health was diminishing. Day in and day out I was seeing the worst of humanity,” Cooper recalled.

Then came a personal epiphany. A calling. Something bigger. If you believe that God gives everyone a special gift, Cooper was given the gift of storytelling. Perhaps he was just using his gift in the wrong area. Following a massive panic attack after covering another headline-grabbing stabbing, he took a leave.

“I fell to my knees and asked how can I tell good news when I cover bad news day in and day out. I feel I have a storytelling gift but I feel like all I’m doing is spreading fear.”

Cooper began to experience his calling into the ministry, specifically storytelling, but not necessarily as Pastor Cooper. He took a leap of faith and instead of extending his medical leave, he resigned from KNX to pursue his calling. A lack of mental health facilities where journalists can go for PTSD-related issues is an area where Cooper may also have another calling.

“There are no peer-support groups,” he said. “First responders have critical incident debriefings after a tragic incident. We’re actually seeing about 75-80% of what they’re seeing, yet we have nothing to protect our mental health. I have an incredible amount of respect for the work of our first responders, fortunately for them not every incident they respond to is a critical incident and they have resources available when they see the darkest sides of humanity; but when you’re a crime and fire reporter, every incident you go to seems to be a major incident, there are no resources and your mental health is affected. I wasn’t sleeping at night. I had night terrors and panic attacks.”

There needs to be some sort of outlet for journalists to process these issues. Cooper feels passionately about this area, and hopes the union covering the broadcast industry will address this issue. He also made reference to the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma (https://dartcenter.org/) that is doing excellent work in this area. This next journey for Cooper has all his storytelling juices going at full speed.

While pursuing the mental health issues for journalists, he is interviewing with a number of mega churches who have needs for storytelling. “We’ll see what happens next. It’s a bright horizon,” offered an optimistic Cooper Rummell.

You can reach out to Cooper at: cooperrummell@gmail.com   

 

Linder is Beached

(November 24, 2010) “I figured if there were no jobs to be found in radio at the moment, start your own station,” Michael Linder said by phone the other afternoon. Michael is best known in the Southland as a newsman at KABC and KNX. 

Michael is launching KVB.fm in early January. He is from Venice Beach (started living in Venice in 1973 and he now overlooks the surf and boardwalk) and his new radio station will cater to the lifestyle of the beach communities. “The music is a mix of Top 40/CHR hits with a late-night stream-of-consciousness blend of dance, chill and ambience. The problem is you can’t daypart for the planet. If you’re in town the station sounds like this is what is going on in town and along Abbott Kinney. If you’re from out of town – and I expect a big out of town listening audience since Venice Beach is such a big brand – the station will give you a sense of what it’s like to live there captured in vignettes reflecting the environmental attitude. Everyone in the world knows Venice Beach because of all the movies that are made there. Venice is greater L.A.’s number 2 tourist destination, second only to Disneyland with 16 million visitors a year.”

“I acquired this great automation software from New Zealand called Station Playlist. I didn’t realize that it was such a complicated process to start an Internet radio station. You have to file ‘Intention of Streaming’ with the United States Library of Congress people, along with a $25 check. You then have to register with a music clearance service. Then comes the automation software. This package I bought from this New Zealand company is really good. You can put in dry liners and it will back-time them to the ramp of the music. It’ll also announce time and temperature. Absolutely amazing stuff.” 

How tough is it to start your own radio station? Not bad, according to Linder. He started with a new laptop. “The laptop will be the radio station. It is networked to my desktop computer where I can program the hours. The hardest part is loading in a couple of thousand songs. Then you build typical hours for whatever your daypart is and then drag the various songs, liners, promotional items and commercials. The machine randomizes and kicks out these songs that you’ve programmed with guidelines not to play the same artists within so many minutes or hours of each other or play anything from the same album within so much time. These are all things programmers would do on a typical radio station.” 

Music radio is nothing new to Linder. We think of him as a great newsman but he put on the third fm Rock station in Canada in 1971 and he was also at CHOM-Montreal doing Progressive Rock. “I started really in music radio and segued to news at WNEW/fm-New York during its heyday in the 70s with Scott Muni and Allison Steele. It’s going back to my music roots.” 

Securing music for KVB.fm is not only a time consuming project but can be an expensive one. Linder has a pretty extensive personal music collection but those he doesn’t have and wants cost him 99 cents from iTunes.

Putting together his radio station is only part of the process. Linder said: “Now you have to think about how you are going to distribute it and in what format. I found these guys in Canada called Stream-On and they’ve got a little box that you plug it into your laptop and then you plug it into your Internet connection and it streams to their servers. They distribute to as many people as choose to log in and they charge you by the listening hours over a month. Any number of people can be tapped in at the same time.” 

Linder is bullish that Internet radio is the next great wave. “You sent out an article recently with the growth of Internet listening and questioning whether this will be the end of terrestrial radio and I heard that loud and clear. I’ve been thinking exactly the same thing. I want to broaden the scope of what I do. I’m doing this to figure out how I can do more interesting things than simply streaming your AM or FM air signal. I didn’t want to replicate other Internet stations that simply spew out one song after another. I’m looking to create personality radio, specifically for the Internet. If you listen to the 90-second promotional spot at KVB.fm, all the voices are computer generated. Those aren’t even real people.”

“For me, KVB.fm is a demo project. It will be a hard sell in terms of advertising. I don’t think there will be a lot. It may come with sponsoring specific programs or vignettes. I may want to experiment with a skateboard show and there are folks here in town that could do that. A surf show could pick up some limited advertising from Quicksilver or a surfboard manufacturer. I’m not sure local shops in Venice will buy spots but it is a possibility depending on listenership. It’ll probably take six months to a year to figure out how many people are listening and how you spread the word. I’ve got some Google Adwords to promote the site in advance. But the site will be a loss leader for a while and simple self-promotion so I can look at what I think is the next big thing in radio.” 

Thanks. Hopefully all members of the LARadio community will enjoy some time together with family over this Thanksgiving weekend. A simple wish from someone who was estranged from his son for 17 years, reach out and extend yourself to someone who really needs to be acknowledged and hugged. Our time here is so short.

Email Saturday - 11.23.2019


** Grieger Fixed It

Terry Grieger wasn’t just one of the finest engineers I ever had the privilege of working with, he was one of the finest humans, period. In the short time he worked at KLOS, I lost track of how many times he bailed us out of one malfunction or another, usually related to the Cumulus OpX operating system, by far the world’s worst. But beyond the work, he was just a really good guy to talk shop with.

We had a number of stations and radio people in common.  If Terry couldn’t fix it, it wasn’t fixable. And for anybody on air who said they didn’t like engineers, that’s like a quarterback saying ‘I don’t like offensive linemen.’ We were blessed to have his expertise and humanity for as long as we did.” – 
Gary Moore

** Followed Terry Grieger

“Thanks for the very interesting story on Terry Grieger’s career. I wish we could know these things about people BEFORE they beam up. I didn’t know him well but we met a few times.

I succeeded Terry at KOGO/KLZZ [previously KPRI] in San Diego and lived in that same transmitter building on Old Memory Lane, off Hwy 94 and Kelton Rd from 1984 to July 1987. They built the place when AM was still king, tv was in its naissance, and fm was a toy – they were still using the old 49Mc band then. The AM had been downtown atop the US Grant hotel, a horizontal wire antenna like many stations had used since the beginning of radio in the early 20th Century. In 1947, they built an attractive art-deco building on the site of the former Emerald Hills Golf Course and the two self-supporting Ideco Steel towers are still in use.

There was space for the 600kc AM, 94.1Mc FM, and Channel 10 TV but, at the last minute,  comma) they installed Channel 10 on Mt Soledad where it remains today. It was nice to be able to run downstairs to the transmitter room if the station failed, vs. having to drive across town. The apartment has a deck with a grand view of the ocean out to the Los Coronados Islands.” – Phil Wells

** Grieger Counter

“Awe man!!! 

I worked with Terry Grieger at 100.3 /The Sound. He was such a special light!!!  Sending my prayers to his family!” – Elizabeth McDonnell

** Grieger a Tower of Strength

“Yes, KIQQ [100.3] was on the KJOI tower until I moved KIQQ to Mt. Wilson in the 80s.  However, the KJOI/KYSR transmitters were/are in the studios under the tower. KIQQ was up a flight of stairs behind the tower. KCRW is in that space now. There are several AUX installations at the site now, too, including 100.3 again.

I just finished reading your interesting story on Terry Grieger during breaks in the debate. I knew him well, and he was chief at 100.3 before EMF bought it. RIP, Terry.” – Lyle Henry

** Smartest Guy in the Room

“So sad to hear about Terry Grieger. I worked with him when I was with KBIG. He was dedicated, focused, always knew what he was doing, and always one of the smartest guys in the room. He was everything you’d want in an engineer.” – Rob Archer

** Lisa May

Lisa May, please do explain where the past 30 years have gone? Amazing huh!! I wish you nothing but great joy, extraordinary new adventure and peace with the World.

We’ve worked shoulder to shoulder in our little niche of the radio world and sadly, hardly ever got to see each other. You’re terrific Lisa, never one to criticize and always first to empower. Rare credentials in this world. 

Happy trails. Love ya always Lisa.” – Jeffrey Baugh

** Car Show Host Dies

“Saddened to hear of the passing of The Car Show host, Art Gould. I just learned about it this week when they announced it at the beginning of Hyundai’s private L.A. Auto Show press party at Novo in downtown L.A. Art was a very nice person and passionate about his work. I would see him from time to time at automotive press events around the country. Car companies usually schedule two or three groups of journalists for each event, and Art and I were frequently in the same group. It was always fun seeing and, needless to say, interesting to talk to him given his impressive knowledge of cars and the automotive industry. He will be missed.” – Reed Berry

** Goodbye Cruel World

“Wow, how wonderful to see a picture of James Darren on LARadio.com Thursday morning! I had a wonderful encounter with he and his lady friend years ago when I was in New York City. We went into Benihana, the Hibachi restaurant, and they seated us together. What a nice man he was. Good-Bye Cruel World :)” – Mike Butts

** Jarvis in the OC

“Interesting point re Al Jarvis in your 11/21 column.

In 1958, I danced with a cute blond from Corona High School on his live tv show on, I think, Channel 13. Somehow, we were picked to dance in the final eliminations that day. 

We didn’t win but I found out forty years later that my dad actually left the Safeway store that he managed in Corona to go home in hopes of watching me on tv. He got back to the store saying ‘Damn, Larry can dance!’ And it took 40 years for me to find out that he saw me on tv! Fast forward just ten years to 1968. I was production director at KWIZ 1480 in Santa Ana.

One day Jarvis came in as the new salesman. He wrote a spot and it was several seconds too long. Station owner Bill Weaver was absolutely fanatical about the spots being exactly 30 or 60 seconds. I pointed this out to Jarvis and he replied something about ‘It’s okay. Bill will let me get away with it.’ Bill didn’t and Jarvis was gone in, as I recall, a few days. Oh, the radio memories we have!” – 
Larry Huffman

 ** Dudley’s Records

“I heard from people I haven’t spoken to in years thanks to your article last week. Is there any news on what happened to Aron Bender at KFI? I know he’s gone but what happened?” – Bill Dudley

** Less Time with KNX

“As a SiriusXM subscriber, I’ve noticed over the last six years [or two automobile leases] that the amount of time I spend in the car listening to SiriusXM’s channel 148 has for some reason usurped all the time I used to spend listening to KNX 1070.” – Gregory Glaser

** Breaking News

“Very disturbing regarding the lack of consistent coverage of breaking news events by LA radio stations, as noted by Gary Gibson's letter. Especially as the first report I heard about the Saugus High School shooting was on Valentine in the Morning on MY/fm, about 7:40 – 7:45 a.m. He reported having received a tweet/email about a shooting at Saugus High School and said he hoped it wasn'’ serious but wanted to let listeners know about it. When I switched to KNX to hear more, it was canned reporting, then commercials. No one else had anything. Sad. It made me miss KFWB and the excellent news reporting by David Wylie at KOLA.” – Julie T. Byers

** Funnie

“Your cartoon this week brings to mind [the late] Noel Confer, morning dj on the original ‘Mighty 690’ (XEAK) about 60 years ago: ‘They told me to cheer-up, because as time goes on, things could get worse. So, I cheered-up...and as time went on, they did!" – 
Bill Kingman


** Boss Radio Kerfuffle

“Regarding the Sunday story on Boss Radio on Sunday's LARP: Ron Jacobs must have been difficult to work with. One afternoon a friend took my wife and me into the KHJ air studio to meet The Real Don Steele. Following a break Don went into ‘RDS’ rap and tipped his chair over crying and shouting over the next record'’ intro. Immediately the studio door flew open and Jacobs started screaming at Don to get it together. We quietly left the studio in shock.” – Gary Marshall



Minyard's Journey

(November 22, 1998) This past Thursday, longtime KABC veteran Ken Minyard left his morning slot after a quarter of a century. Ken reflects:

"I came to KABC on Nov. 10, 1969. I was 30 years old, arriving in L.A. from Minneapolis where I'd done a talk show on WLOL. Even though I'd effectively been in broadcasting since I was 13, coming to L.A. was a pretty heady experience...and coming to KABC was like hitting the lotto. Ben Hoberman, a legendary pioneer in talk radio, was running things at the time. Michael Jackson was already holding down the 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. slot, Marv Gray was on from 4 – 7 p.m., and I fit in between from 1 – 4 p.m. During the next 3 1/2 years I moved around to every day part except Michael's and morning drive talking about Vietnam and Watergate until I wanted to SCREAM!!

In 1973, station management decided they wanted to do something with the mornings. At that time, morning traffic was a news block, anchored by Bob Arthur, already a seasoned veteran of L.A. radio and tv. The idea was to lighten it up just a bit and try to appeal to a broader (read that "younger") demographic. That's where I came in. None of us had any idea at that time that the show would develop into what it became. We started with the stodgy name of "Newstalk." Bob, "Mr. News" as I later named him, delivering the news while I was sort of the anchor/litenews/screwoff. For Bob, the traditional news guy, this was a bit of a culture shock, but he soon became comfortable with it and off we went. Then, and for 22 years thereafter, our engineer was Pat Patrylla, formerly a country/western disc jockey who had gone by the name of "Waco Pat." When I found that out Waco-the-engineer was born and, with his formidable help, the show took on a life of its own. Soon we started to feel that "Newstalk" was hardly an appropriate name for a show that was filled with weird sound effects, practical jokes and sometimes-goofy pranks. We gradually started referring to ourselves as just Ken and Bob, saying Newstalk only as much as station management forced us to. One day we got a card from a listener who said we should be known as the "Ken And Bob Company...KABC." Bells rang…lights went off...and I was able to sell the idea to then General Manager George Green. Within 3 years we got our first #1 ranking and never looked back. For the next 17 years, as Ken and Bob and later Ken and Barkley (with Roger Barkley joining me after Bob's retirement in 1990) we were the #1 morning show in Los Angeles in all but 4 quarterly Arbitrons. (You get the feeling I may have researched this?) I'm quite proud of that accomplishment and proud to have worked with such professionals as Bob Arthur, Roger Barkley and the inimitable Waco Pat.

With the 90's LA became the worlds most competitive radio market. In the mornings, we got talent like Rick Dees, Mark & Brian, Howard Stern, etc., etc. Some like to pretend that, because were KABC, we didn't compete with those guys...but don't you believe it. That may be true with other day parts, but not the mornings. Everybody does a talk show in the mornings. So our challenge was to try to be competitive not only with all these shows, but the other talk stations and news stations as well. Add to the mix the new incredible strength of Spanish language radio and you've got yourself a challenge! Yet through the 90's right up until the last ratings book (Summer '98) our show (with a couple of notable exceptions) has been consistently ranked among the ratings leaders in L.A. (#5 in 12+ in the most recent book). I point this out for two reasons: 1)I like to blow my own horn; and 2) I'm a little sensitive at the suggestions in the media that Ken and Peter were cancelled because of the flagging ratings. Oh, I know what you're saying: "What about those 25-54 numbers?" Don't be rude! OK...they suck. The only thing I can say is that the other talk station's morning show sucks almost as much. And in 35-64 we bounce back to a very respectable #6.

In 1996, Peter Tilden became my partner. Peter is not only an extremely talented broadcaster, he is one of the most truly and spontaneously funny guys on the planet. Lots of people, including me, had serious reservations about the Ken and Peter combination...thinking there would be no one the lead the show as we'd both been accustomed to that role. Peter and I got together and after about 15 tequilas decided we could do it! Thus, Minyard & Tilden (or Ken and Peter...we never could quite decide) was born. Unfortunately for us, that was when a whole new management team from Disney came steamrolling into the station, unceremoniously dumping 39 year veteran gm George Green and pd Al Brady Law…the two guys who had come up with the Ken and Peter idea in the first place. Any new on-air partnership (including Ken & Bob and Ken & Barkley) needs nurturing...time to develop. Without George and Al there to give us time for that Peter and I stepped into a big pile of management do-do. Even though our ratings went up about 35% for the first 2 books, we had almost constant second-guessing and "fine tuning" sessions that were MADDENING!! Once we were told to "alternate being straight men." One segment would belong to me, with Peter being the straight guy...the next the other way around. THIS IS NO JOKE! THEY ACTUALLY TOLD US THAT! If this had been happening to someone else it would have been hysterical...happening to us it wasn't so funny.

That brings us to 1998, a new management team at KABC. When Drew Hayes had arrived I already pretty much knew that my days were numbered. I had a 6-month option that had been exercised at the lst of July. It was clear for the last couple of years that the new wave of Disney management at our station did NOT like to pay the kind of money I was making. On top of that, Drew arrived in town seemingly determined to turn KABC into an all-conservative radio station. Once, when we booked a guest who was too friendly to Pres. Clinton, Drew mandated that for the next 5 mornings we were to talk to a right-wing critic of the president's. (I'm not making this up!). Drew apparently believes that pro-Clinton sentiment doesn't serve what he calls the station's "core audience." It was clear at that point that the station had an agenda and Peter and I didn't fit into it.

So that's the story. I feel great. I have plans for the future that are very exciting to me. I had 29 great years at KABC and am moving at precisely the right time for me. They made the right decision. God bless America!
Ken Minyard
Happy and Content
11/20/98



 

For 25 years LARadio chronicled the news of Southern California radio and the personalities who populated it. Alan Oda was editor for much of that time. With the closing of LARadio he opened a weekly blog, mostly about radio at ayodaradio.blogspot.com After 25 years, LARadio came to an end in  2020.

Read the final column by clicking the curtain.

Ladies of LARP Calendar in 2007


Early LARadio was dominated by men. In the 70s women began to find an important place - on and off-air - in creating the rich history of LARadio. In 2007, we saluted the women in LARadio with a calendar that included the names of the LARP who were having birthdays that month. Calendar was sponsored by Mt. Wilson Broadcasting. You can access it at this link.



 

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