Happy Sunday LARP Birthdays
 
George Moore
Mike Nardone
Cliffie Stone (d), 3/1/17
Dave Van Dyke, 3/1
Mike Wagner, 3/1/53

The most comprehensive listing of 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People, spanning the last 57 years, is now available just by clicking on your favorite personality. The listings provide a colorful snapshot of where they came from, where and when they worked, and what they’re doing now. Enjoy!  

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

(Sam Bellamy, Adam Carolla, Kathy Begley of Initiative Media, Bob Moore, Rachel Perry, Jack Silver, John Ryan, John & Jeff, Sam Phillips, Gary Garver, and Heidi Hamilton) 


Dexter Affair Comes to an End

(February 27, 2015) "I was lucky to work at one of the last, great American radio stations, 710/KMPC," said Jerry Dexter when he was interviewed for my book, Los Angeles Radio People.  Jerry was one of the youthful voices at a station filled with superstar veterans. On June 21, 2013, Jerry’s voice was silenced. He suffered a fall in his home which resulted in head injuries and he died a few days later. Jerry was 78.

Born in San Francisco as Jerry Morris Chrisman, by age 15 Jerry was already appearing on local tv shows. At age 20, he opened his own publicity office. As famed San Francisco Chronicle jazz columnist, Ralph J. Gleason, noted: "Dexter is the nation's youngest night club press agent, yet not old enough to be in a bar."

In San Francisco, he was befriended by KSFO morning giant, Don Sherwood. In 1957, Jerry took a job with the CBS/TV affiliate in Las Vegas. At KENO-Las Vegas an on-air stunt to save the doomed fictional character Tom Dooley (Jerry claimed Dooley was being held in a Las Vegas jail) attracted not only local coverage but a full-page story in Newsweek.

Don Sherwood urged Golden West Broadcasting to hire Jerry for the morning drive slot at KVI-Seattle. Within months of going to KVI, KMPC programming vp Robert Forward moved Jerry from Seattle to KMPC becoming, at 24, the youngest on-air talent ever hired at the station.

Movie Mirror Magazine named him one of "America's great radio performers" and the LA Times' Don Page named Jerry as host of "The Best Popular Music Show of 1963."

Jerry loved acting. He appeared in Gomer Pyle (semi regular role), Dragnet, regular role on Happy Days, McHale's Navy and a host of other tv shows. His voiceover work on cartoons included Josie and the Pussycats, Aquaman and Gulliver.

In 1968 he hosted his daily variety/interview show on KABC/Channel 7 called Good Day L.A. with Jerry Dexter. Jerry was featured in one of 1969's biggest films, Robert Redford's Downhill Racer. He wrote and produced a tv special, Words & Music by Bobby Troup.

For a year he was encased in a black bag as KTTV/Channel 11's morning movie host. The gimmick attracted much national attention. Jerry was the announcer on Alex Trebec's first American show, NBC's Wizard of Odds.

When left radio full-time, he syndicated and distributed tv shows around the world. "If it hadn’t been for Don Sherwood, I have no idea where I would be,” said Jerry. “I was so lucky to have been at KMPC, that legendary radio station. I will always remember that time in my life as being the most fun!"

LARPs on Celebrity Apprentice. When the bickering, fighting and devious maneuvering ended on this season of Celebrity Apprentice, two LARPs fought it out for the top spot. Former KBIG personality Leeza Gibbons and former KABC Talk show host, Geraldo Rivera, were the two left standing after weeks of wrangling on the NBC tv show.

Donald Trump named Leeza the winner of this season’s Celebrity Apprentice, making her the first female winner since Joan Rivers. The host won $250,000 for her charity pick, Leeza’s Care Connection, which provides resources for families who are caring for seniors with Alzheimer's disease.

During the finale, Trump admitted to the former Entertainment Tonight host that he didn’t believe she would make it as far as she did at the beginning of the season.

"Never underestimate a woman with passion who knows where she’s going and what she wants," replied Leeeza to the Apprentice host.

Adam Carolla (c) featured in LA Times story about Doug Benson’s podcast, Getting Doug with High on YouTube

Milan Features LARP. The Radiodays Europe Convention, held this year in Milan, Italy, features some LARP as presenters. Elvis Duran, host of the Z-100 Morning Show heard in 70 markets is the headliner. Joining him on stage is the vice president of talent development for iHeartMedia, Dennis Clark. Dennis’ role is to nurture the best and most talented radio people in the industry and he works directly with key radio personalities, such as Duran and Ryan Seacrest. They’ll discuss how to create a show that consistently delivers huge audiences, and will reveal the ingredients that makes Elvis Duran the most listened to Top 40 Morning Show in the states.

David G. Hall, former pd at KFI and KNX, will host one of the workshops. He is now a media strategist who consults stations, groups and personalities all over the world. David is presenting a session titled, “Five Simple Tools to Make Your Show Better.”

Larry Gifford, former pd at KSPN, is now a programming and talent consultant. He is co-presenting the “30 Ideas in 45 Minutes” session and is a leader at the “Fast & Furious” workshop.

And Dennis Clark will be back for a session on “Making Radio Personalities Relevant in 2015.”

Launched in 2010, Radiodays Europe is the largest and most important International radio conference in the world. It is also considered to be the best radio gathering, with high quality content, great speakers and a huge program with over 100 speakers in 55 sessions over 2 days. In 2014, it attracted 1300 delegates from over 60 countries. We had the pleasure of being there last year when it was held in Dublin, Ireland.

KABC Not Yet in Place. No sooner had Dennis Miller left 870/KRLA for 790/KABC, poof, Dennis is taking a break from radio. Jonathon “Johnny B” Brandmeier (photo) heard on KLSX and KCBS/fm ('Arrow 93') in the late 90s and early 2000s, is replacing Miller in the 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. slot. “Jonathon is one of the most versatile performers in radio today, and we know audiences will enjoy his lively humor and take on each day’s topics,” said Cumulus evp/content and programming John Dickey. “We’re thrilled to add Johnny B to the Westwood One roster of relevant and relatable Talk programming.”     

Dennis Miller said, “I’m stepping aside from radio at the moment. It’s been a great run and I’ve had a phenomenal time interacting with my guests and audience. But with so many other commitments right now, it’s hard to maintain a daily talk show. It’s time to pass the torch as I move on to explore other opportunities. I wish Johnny B lots of luck.”

Excellence in Broadcasting Award. Mel Karmazin has been announced as the 2015 recipient of the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award, which will be presented during the NAB Show in Las Vegas in April.

Hear Ache. Bill O’Reilly has not been hurt in the ratings by the lingering reports he exaggerated the danger he faced covering the 1982 Falklands conflict. In fact, he drew his highest numbers this year on Wednesday night. The last time O'Reilly pulled such a big number was during the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, in November. He was up 62 percent in demo compared to the same day last year and 24 percent to the same day last week … Dave Severino has exited Rincon Broadcasting … KFWB has signed the Clippers to a multi-year contract … The Dave Ramsey Show, heard on KEIB, airs on more than 550 radio affiliates and is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners weekly … KJLH’s Steve Harvey announced the 13th Annual Neighborhood Awards to be held in August in Atlanta … Jim Rondeau, KCLU’s former director of operations and programming, is now the director of college broadcast services at Saddleback College … Woke up yesterday to tech problems with my computer and was unable to post a column. Sorry.

Country Producer. David Bugenske is the new morning show producer for Graham Bunn and Debra Mark at Go Country KKGO.

David followed the radio bug for the past 13 years, starting when he was 19 years old. He’s been a jock, assistant pd, production director, tech director, board-op, and promotions. He comes from Florida and when he arrived in the Southland, he worked on the Dennis Miller Show.

“I have been a fan of KKGO for a couple of years now and have always wanted to work here,” emailed David. “The Levine’s run an incredible company and it's a nice oasis from the crazy town of Los Angeles. Graham and Debra are more determined and hard-working than most in this business and it is so refreshing to see. Producing their show will be one of the most exciting benchmarks in my career. Expect big things out of Graham and Debra in the morning ... and LOTS of family friendly laughs.” 

More ESPN Lineup Changes: Last week, local ESPN station KSPN released three veterans – Beto Duran, Pete Fox, and Dave Joseph – while planning a new early morning show featuring Travis Rogers and Kelvin Washington. Yesterday, an announcement of another change at AM 710 via an announcement from pd Michael Thompson:

It’s rare that sadness and happiness are blended emotions – but this afternoon I am feeling and I am sure you will feel that way as I announce the resignation of our operations anager and Host, Dave Shore.

Dave and his wife are returning to their native Midwest –  Dave picks up a great opportunity to lead the programming at Greater Media’s WMGC/fm – Detroit’s Sports 105.1 – our ESPN affiliate in the Motor City.

 Dave’s last day will be Wednesday March 11th.

Always the loyal champion of radio wisdom and organization – Dave is committed to helping me get things off the ground as we add more rooms to the fraternity.

I have had the privilege of working with some great broadcasters – and Dave is at the top of the list.

We all know my shortcomings --- and Dave was always there to ‘cover for me’ on many fronts.

A first class broadcaster on and off the air – we will miss his presence --  but at the same time be excited to watch him grow 105.1’s brand in a wonderful sports town.

It’s been a great four years plus!

Cheers Dave Shore! – Mike Thompson

LARadio Rewind: February 27, 2007. KTLK cancels Cary Harrison's weeknight Harrison On The Edge program after an 18-month run, leaving afternoon host Marc Germain as the station's only local weekday host. The rest of the day was filled with programming from Air America Radio and Jones Radio Networks, including Rachel Maddow, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes and Stephanie Miller. Local weekend hosts were Johnny Wendell, Bree Walker, Joe McDonnell and Mario Solis-Marich. After earning a B.A. in English at the University of Florida, Cary Harrison began in radio at WXTB. On his KTLK program, he was billed as "The openly gay son of a neo-Nazi. Think he has a point of view?" Harrison helped launch Sirius Satellite Radio's OutQ channel in 2003 and has been heard on KPFK since 2008. He also hosts a daily show for Progressive Radio Network. After nine years as K-Talk 1150, KTLK switched to a conservative talk format in 2014 and is now The Patriot 1150 KEIB. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are heard in mornings. (LARadio Rewind meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Funnie.

 Email Friday

We GET Email …

** AM Stereo at 93/KHJ

“I also received one of those AM Stereo radios during one of my stays at 93/KHJ. I had it installed in my Mustang at the time.

I recall, it was different sounding, yet futuristic. I’m just not sure if it’s still working like Diane Thompson’s unit. Back then on a Christmas morning I was caring an arm-full of in-law gifts into my security garage to place in the Mustang for delivery later in the day and conveniently the car doors were wide open ... helpful. Later that day on the ride over to the in-laws there was NO music. I figured sometime between 1:30 and 5:30 a.m., a music lover ripped out my AM Stereo Radio along with half my dash and my high-top lace-up roller skates from the trunk. Hey Bubba, if you're reading this, let me know if the radio is still working well.” –  Dave Sebastian Williams

** Another AM Stereo Owner

“I had an AM Stereo radio, just like the one pictured [I won it from 93/KHJ back in 1984], and there was a variety of stations to listen to in SoCal that were broadcasting in AM Stereo back then, but in my opinion, KHJ really did sound the best overall. It was kinda like listening to Boss Radio all over again, but without the big-name DJ's this time.” – Anthony Kardoes, Riverside

“Thanks for that piece on Melody Rogers. Is there any way to send good wishes to Melody Rogers and Pat Kelley? What a doll she is for sticking by her husband who must be going through hell. Nice to see the good side of people for a change.” - Ted Bryan (ed. Note … you can reach Melody and Pat at: mrpk1@pacbell.net)  

** Prayers for Paraquat

“My prayers for Pat Paraquat Kelley as I had worked at KLOS and met him in the glory days. I also worked and filled in for his sports announcer father, Bob Kelley.” – Jack Naimo

** Lost in Traffic Without Lisa May

“It's hard to imagine morning traffic info without Lisa May. I had the privilege of working with her during my Metro years, and can say unequivocally, she's a pro's pro, and a sheer joy to be around. Seeing her every morning always brightened my day. 

My daughter is (or was?) a regular Kevin & Bean listener. She points out that traffic reports are ‘part of the culture’ of L.A. radio, and that even younger listeners need that information to get started in the morning. 

She's a big Lisa fan, and her response was basically unprintable,when I told her the news. Big goof on KROQ's part, likewise Total Traffic if they don't find some other role for this sweet, dedicated professional.” – Greg Hardison

** AM Radio

“AM radio will live forever, after all, AM stands for American Music.” – Stan White, Seattle

** Radio Missing from Long Beach

“I also remember KFOX as a popular music station when visiting in the summer of 1957. The other station was KPOP.” – Ron Karam

** Saul Levine Responds to Propes’ Article about Long Beach…

“The following corrects just a few of the inaccurate items in the Long Beach article written by Steve Propes:

1. Long Beach has four operating radio stations licensed to Long Beach. They are KBUE, KLTX, KFRN, and KKJZ. It is incredible that anyone would allege otherwise.

2. The decision to maintain a studio in Westwood was made by the Trustees of California State University Long Beach who own the KKJZ License, not by Saul Levine, as alleged.

3. The Westwood Studio complies with FCC Rules, one of which is that the studio be within 25 airline miles from the center of Long Beach. The station still remains licensed to the City of Long Beach. KKJZ programs compositions of CSULB grads, and provides all CSULB student programming on 88.1 HD3, as well as local Long Beach Public Service programming and announcements.

4. I have programmed Jazz for over 30 years. Initially, under the call letters KBCA. KBCA received World acclaim for its outstanding jazz programming as the World's first 24 hour jazz radio station. The article is an insult to the incredible staff of KBCA including Charlie (BeBop Charlie) Niles, Jim Gosa, Gerald Wilson, Rick Holmes, Tommy Bee, Jai Rich, Tollie Stroude, Dennis Smith, Joe Huser, Sam Fields, Richard Leos, and others.” – Saul Levine

** …and a response to Saul Levine

“Thanks for this. Point by point.

1. Being licensed to Long Beach does not mean these stations are actually located in Long Beach, which is the entire point of the article. None of these stations referenced are (or will soon not be) have a physical presence in Long Beach with the departure of KKJZ. That is a fact.

2. It doesn’t change the point of the article. Either he’s moving the station or he's not, which is it?

3. 25 miles away from Long Beach is not in Long Beach.

4. Nothing to do with all broadcast stations leaving Long Beach, KKJZ being the final one.

How can a statement of facts about there being no radio station being actually located in Long Beach be described as an insult to those who have nothing to do with the decision or the move?” – Steve Propes 


Aloha to Joe Huser

(February 25, 2015) The most fun about LARadio is catching up with LARPs who have left the market, yet making a mark elsewhere in the business. “Jazz is still my passion,” said Joe Huser, who remembers Jazz KKGO as the greatest gig of his career. Joe worked both drive slots at Jazz, KKGO. “Hell, I worked with Chuck Niles, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Joe spent the 80s at KKJO and then KKJZ, KLIT, and KAJZ/KACD until 1995.

Over 42 years ‘playin’ the hits,’ Joe has been heard coast to coast and around the world. “Not qualified for any other form of legal endeavor, I stuck with what I knew and keep at it to this day,” said Joe. 

Born in 1952 and raised in the San Gabriel Valley, Joe joined the army after high school and was stationed in Vietnam where he was assigned to Armed Forces Radio. His radio stops along the way include KIKX-Tucson, KUPD-Phoenix and KPOI-Honolulu. When he left the Southland, he moved to Sedona, Arizona, and opened a pharmacy specializing in both traditional medicine and natural therapies.

“I am now living on Maui and working as the operations director for H. Hawaii Media. We operate 5 radio stations and publish 4 magazines on the islands of Kauai, Maui, and Oahu.” Joe also works mornings at Oldies KONI-Maui as Buddha Joe Hawkins. “It's the best of everything...living and working on Maui and still having fun in radio.” 

He’s been waking up listeners for over 13 years with a mix of the best music along with news, surf and beach reports. “The Maui Sunrise Show is the perfect start to another day in paradise.”

This year was Sam Rubin's 22nd Oscars for KTLA.
The first year he did the Oscars he was alongside Stan Chambers in 1992

LARadio Rewind: February 25, 2014. Jim Lange, former KMPC dj and Dating Game host, dies of a heart attack at his home in Mill Valley. He was 81. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Lange was 15 when he won an audition to become a sportscaster at WMIN radio. He called himself “Jack Teen” as his on-air moniker. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, where he studied broadcasting and journalism, Lange worked as the titular host of the Captain 11 children’s show on WMIN-Channel 11. He served as the announcer and sidekick on Tennessee Ernie Ford’s ABC/tv variety series before becoming host of The Dating Game in 1965. He later hosted Hollywood Connection, $100,000 Name That Tune and The New Newlywed Game. Lange worked at KMPC, 1970-71 and 1984-89, and also jocked at KKSJ in San Jose and KABL, KGO and KSFO in San Francisco. In 1992, he told Bay Area Radio Digest that he preferred radio to television because he didn’t have to shave or wear makeup.

Hear Ache. If you are a fan of Shark Tank, you will be thrilled to learn that Robert Herjavec (on the far right on the show) and Patti LaBelle will be new dancing contestants on Dancing With the Stars … AllAccess.com posted a note that Ed Shane, (former pd at KKDJ in 1971), was recently diagnosed with a colon tumor. God speed, Ed … Chris Berry, former general manager at KSPN announced his engagement with Angela DeRosa at Po’ipu Kauai … In 1986, Patty Lotz (Powermouth Patty with Jay Thomas at Power 106) was in a Moonlighting scene with Bruce Willis. “I played the proprietor of an adult video  store in Hollywood. NICE. Bruce asks me a series of questions and I just stare at him. He walks away muttering ‘World’s first living brain donor.’ He was right then and probably still is now,” Patty wrote on her Facebook page … Michele Laven has been promoted to president of business development and partnerships at iHeartMedia. (Photo: Patty Lotz)

One More for Scully. In the current issue of Westways Magazine there is a Q&A with Vin Scully. Red Barber told Vinny there was one thing he could bring to the booth that no one else could is yourself.

All young announcers are tempted to borrow from other announcers. What he told me was ‘Don’t listen.’ We had great announcers in New York. We had Mel Allen, Curt Gowdy, Russ Hodges, and Red himself. He suggested I not listen but it was very difficult, especially sitting next to him every day. I understood what he was trying to say and I realized that the two most important words are know thyself.

Overheard.

Olbermann Suspended. Keith Olbermann has been suspended from his ESPN show for the remainder of the week, after calling Penn State students “pitiful” in a series of brash tweets, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“We are aware of the exchange Keith Olbermann had on Twitter regarding Penn State. It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the views of ESPN,” per a statement from ESPN. “We have discussed it with Keith, who recognizes he was wrong. ESPN and Keith have agreed that he will not host his show for the remainder of this week and will return on Monday. The annual tradition of THON and the efforts of the students of Penn State to fight pediatric cancer should be applauded."

The Twitter war started when a PSU student tweeted at Olbermann saying “We are!” with a link to an announcement about students raising $13 million for pediatric cancer. Olberrmann responded to the tweet, writing, ‘...Pitiful,’ which resulted in a firestorm of angry messages from other PSU students. Olbermann’s response reflected his ongoing contempt of Penn State, deriding administrative response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the subsequent damage to the legacy of football coach Joe Paterno. (Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter for artwork)

Olbermann defended his position, saying he wasn’t insulting the fundraiser, just PSU students in general. He proceeded to lob several more insults at the students and the university administration.

He later apologized for the outburst, saying, “I was stupid and childish and way less mature than the students there who did such a great fundraising job.”

Funnie. Why God Sends Rain to Mexico and Not the Middle East

Email Wednesday

We GET Email …

** KHJ AM Stereo

“Two things: I wondered if Kevin & Bean were going to add a third person (female), so I’m not surprised.

Also, I have one of those AM stereo radios and it works great. Everyone on staff at KHJ received one. I don’t remember if it was during the Country KHJ days or the Oldies days, whatever, sometime before 1985.” – Diane Thompson

** AM Stereo Experimentation

“I loved the article about the technology of the 80s. In 1980, while at a border blaster in Buffalo (the NORTHERN border) – we were tinkering with AM stereo. Our station (WGR-550) shared a transmitter building-and a tower with 50,000 Watt WKBW (1520). Separate owners by this time. ’KB had been experimenting (at scattered intervals) with AM stereo and I talked our corporate chief into getting us the system. It was a July night – actually about midnight when the engineers were at the transmitter installing the ’GR system. 

Tom Atkins, the ’KB chief was also in the building, ostensibly putting their system together for full-time operation. A bunch of us were in the parking lot waiting to hear our station fire up the main transmitter in stereo. I was hoping we would get there first. 

About 2 a.m. we all heard a loud ‘Ka-Rack’ come from the building –followed by an expletive. I scampered up the stairs to see what the noise was and you can imagine my surprise when the WKBW chief was the one with a fried 50kw transmitter. 

WE won the race to full-time AM stereo and bought a full page ad in the Buffalo News proclaiming that. We used the Magnavox system in Buffalo, later to use the Kahn system in Cincinnati. It was definitely an imperfect storm, which shows the uphill battle HD radio has/is having/will continue to have. I probably have a couple of those Sony radios around- and if AM was still using 10khz bandwidth it WOULD sound great. They’ve limited it now to 5 (maybe) and even a wideband radio sounds little better than a police scanner.

The AM Stereo stories are always fun.” – Dave Mason (9a-2p), Ass’t PD, 105.7 Max FM, San Diego

** Stereo Pilot

“Nice reminiscence of AM Stereo in L.A. by Alan Oda. When I came to town in 1998, there were still a lot AM stations broadcasting in C-QUAM.  At the time, using my Realistic (Radio Shack) TM-152 AM Stereo Tuner, I could hear excellent stereo on 570 KLAC (Nostalgia), 640 KFI (Talk), 710 KDIS (Radio Disney), 790 KABC (Talk), 1110 KRLA (Oldies), 1260 KGIL and its expanded band sister at 1650 (Music Of Your Life).  870 KIEV (Talk) would light their stereo pilot, but the audio was mono, the same with 1070 KNX (News).  

I'm glad that LARadio.com is still going strong!” – Scott Lowe

** AM Stereo

“Sony made at least one model of receiver that would receive all AM Stereo systems, without the need of an ‘A/B’ switch. The Sony XRA-33 was an automobile unit that sounded magnificent, with full 15kHz audio on all AM stations, and full Stereo decoding from whomever was transmitting. The receiver had some design or manufacture flaws, mostly including fast burnout of internal chips necessary for function, but nothing directly related to audio produced. The receiver included a universal-AM Stereo chip, jointly produced by Sony and Sansui, that was killed by a Motorola patent infringement suit, according to Leonard Kahn, whom I interviewed in 1988 for a seminar I hosted at a radio-enthusiasts [read: nerds?] convention in Orange County.

To this day, KFI’s stereo presentation via the XRA-33 was, and remains, the finest music resolution I have ever heard over any radio signal, AM or FM.” – Greg Hardison

** AM Stereo’s Extra Step

“The ‘extra step’ of having to go out and actually purchase special equipment to receive AM Stereo probably signaled its doom as much as anything else. Likewise with Quadrophonic and [although I hope it’s not true] HD Radio. People like it when they don't have to do anything to get it. The exception, of course, is FM, which most people already had on their radio anyway.” – Jerry Downey, Detroit

** KPRZ Early Pioneer

“KPRZ, on 1150, was also one of the early stations to implement AM Stereo, using the Motorola C-QUAM system. It was interesting trying to keep up with which system was ahead when the FCC allowed four systems to be in the running. At the NAB in Las Vegas each spring, there was the ‘Annual AM Stereo Turkey Shoot,’ where there’d be a panel with representatives of the different systems having it out with each other. Different proponents would have stacks of car radios on the table in front of them to show how many different sets were using their system.

Leonard Kahn used to get carried away and be his own worst enemy at times. If you visited the Motorola Booth on the convention floor, there was likely to be a big stuffed doll of Leonard hanging by his neck above the booth. His stubbornness and unwillingness to secede was killing the concept.

Eventually, the C-QUAM system became the de-facto standard, and Toyota even included an AM Stereo radio as standard equipment for a couple of years. The problem was that very few of the Toyota sales reps understood what it was or how to demonstrate it.

I came up with the idea of printing up a bunch of hang-tags that would hang on the rear-view mirrors in the showroom. The tag would explain that the car had AM Stereo, what AM Stereo was, and how to best adjust the radio in the car to enjoy it. On the bottom it would be a note, ‘Brought to you by KPRZ-1150, one of the early AM Stereo pioneers in Los Angeles.’ I took the idea to management and they thought it was great. But they wanted to SELL the tags to Toyota instead of just giving them away. So the idea went nowhere. 

Eventually, we just shut the stereo equipment off, like everybody else did. It was a good idea, but with all those years of no one accepting a single system and embracing it, it was too little, too late when a single system finally did rise to prominence.” – Mike Callaghan, Chief Engineer, KIIS-AM/KPRZ/KXTA 1974-2013

** 1580 KDAY Went Stereo

“1580 KDAY went AM Stereo in the mid-'80s. Refer to the attached photo: l-r: Anita Baker, me and in the background, smack in the center, the great Randy Crawford, all in an open trailer at a remote at Hanson Dam in Lakeview Terrace. Note the sign behind me. I'm not certain, but I believe we went with the Motorola system. 

At first, I loved it. But, after listening in my car for a while, I came to hate it. Why? The stereo phased in and out: stereo-mono-stereo-mono and so on. That might have been tolerable except it didn't phase as we know phasing. It popped annoyingly as it moved back and forth as the car traveled. Big-time annoying!

I had thought, at first, that it would save AM music radio, though KDAY didn't need a lot of help. We went away for another reason, totally. Hey, nice try.” - J.J. Johnson

** KLFM History

“‘In the 1960s, AM was king. FM was where you went to hear classical, folk and foreign language broadcasts. That was the environment for KLFM, operating out of a Lakewood Village apartment building, becoming the first FM signal anywhere to program Top 40 music on a full-time basis. In 1966, KLFM became KNAC and began competing with KROQ as a new wave station out of the International Towers.’

YES and I worked there in 1966 for general manager Harvey Sheldon. Harvey, who was a regular on American Bandstand back in Philadelphia, moved to LA and kinda ran the station but he was also running for State Senate. SO I, just a dumb young punk who loved radio, went to Beverly Hills and met with Jeff Nathanson who represented the owners and told him we wanted to buy KLFM.  He told me KLFM was for sale and the price was $45,000. When Harvey found out we tried to buy KLFM he fired me. I lived in Santa Monica – so I waltzed into K-SURF and was hired.

Forty-five grand in 1966 ... well, stupid is as stupid does.” – ​Jerry Hahn

** City Radio Left Behind (The Beachcomber)

“I’m confused about what this guy says about KFOX and KFRN 1280 AM. The station is still located in Long Beach. The call letters went to Redondo Beach to the old KKOP. It appears the call letters are now in San Jose. Maybe I missed something. I have no idea what went to Lakeside in San Diego.” – Dale Berg

** CBS Dropping All-News

“That is pretty sad that CBS bailed on their attempt at all-News in Washington DC. Couldn’t make a dent in WTOP.” – Sandy Wells 


AM Stereo … Coulda, Shoulda?

(February 24, 2015) Sometime in the 1970s, previously dominant AM stations started seeing their audiences erode as more and more listeners switched their listening habits to the FM band. More vehicles came equipped with FM tuners, providing listeners with a higher fidelity option on their in-dash tuners, and it was all presented in stereo. But what if AM could be also offered in stereo? Could this help bring back the audience drifting to the FM band? It’s now been 30 years since AM stereo made its debut.

A bit of history to consider. As early as 1924, WPAJ in New Haven, Connecticut offered AM stereo involving one radio station playing the left channel on 1120 kHz, while another station presented the right channel on 1320 kHz. Not particularly practical, nor convenient. By 1960, a station across the border, XETRA in Tijuana offered a system still requiring two radios, but only one station was needed. Tune one unit slightly off to the left, while tune another radio to the right (forerunner to the Kahn-Hazeltine system which followed two decades later) to hear beautiful music in stereo. Better, but still far from ideal.

In 1980, the FCC chose a system offered by Magnavox as the standard for AM stereo, a decision immediately challenged as “flawed and incomplete.” Two years later, after protests and political maneuvering, the FCC reversed itself and allowed four different systems to compete, stating “let the marketplace decide.”

“I remember when our Chief Engineer, Marv Collins, told us that KFI was going to be one of the first stations in Los Angeles to implement the use of Motorola’s (C-QUAM) version of AM stereo,” recalled Jhani Kaye, pd of KFI during the 1980s when the station played the hits. “We were all excited. Once installed, we couldn’t believe our ears. Finally we sounded on par with FM radio.” Technically, AM actually had better separation between the left / right channels compared to FM, said Kaye. “The signal had a certain ‘warmth’ about it that just really sounded superb. Today’s HD radio sounds wonderful as well, but it doesn’t have the warmth as that of the C-QUAM AM stereo system.”

AM stereo wasn’t restricted just to music stations. “I think (all-news) KNX was one of the first L.A. AM’s to put the C-QUAM system on the air,” said Michael Smith, former KNX chief engineer, now in charge of sister stations KCBS and KLLC in San Francisco. “I know KFI was a big deal with AM stereo because they played music all the time. They sounded great.”

George Nicholaw (former KNX gm) always wanted us to be at the forefront of the latest broadcasting technology, so of course we put the C-QUAM equipment on KNX. At the time, we had co-anchors who sat side-by-side at the on-air console and we did pan their mics slightly left and right. But eventually we went back to keeping the mics center channel,” said Smith.

Spots and sounders were presented in stereo, but it was the station’s coverage of USC football and special events that stood out at KNX. “We had a stereo 15 kHz circuit from the LA Coliseum and would mic the crowd in stereo for our USC Football broadcasts. We would also put stereo mics on the roof of Columbia Square for the Hollywood Christmas Parade. We would mix the stereo mics on the roof with the reporter’s mic on the street during live shots.  It sounded terrific,” said Smith.

Getting the word out about AM stereo was another challenge. “Our KFI general manager, Don Dalton, really believed in it,” said Kaye. “He actually wanted to mail one of the new Sony AM Stereo radios to every adult household in the two county area!” One innovation Kaye created with the help of KFI’s Chief Engineer was the KFI AM Stereo Listening Post, “a tower that we would take out to personal appearances and promotions to let listeners experience AM stereo first hand. There were headphones hanging from all four sides of the tower and listeners could first hear the station in mono ... and then in incredible AM stereo. It was eye opening experience for many folks.”

Even celebrities became part of the story. “We once heard Johnny Carson remark that his famous producer of The Tonight Show, Fred de Cordova, listened to KFI,” said Kaye. “The next day we shipped both Fred and Johnny an AM stereo radio for their very own. I received a very nice letter thanking us and noting that they will only listen to KFI!”

Yet far before the appearance of digital broadcasting, AM stereo started to fade off the dial. “As far as I’m concerned the answer was, at that time, and now quite clear,” said Chuck Southcott, who programmed pop standards on KPRZ and later KMPC. “The FCC didn’t act regarding a specific overall system which created concern among the car and radio companies as to which, if any system to use. That being the case, AM stereo stayed dead in the water.” Southcott recalled when the FCC decided what color TV system as the standard back in 1953. “Even though most engineers agreed that the CBS system was the best, the FCC gave the award to the RCA concept and color TV was born. Not so with AM stereo.”

Kaye offered similar observations. “Sadly, the FCC failed to mandate a standard for AM stereo. There were two systems at the time: Motorola and Kahn-Hazeltine. Neither could be heard on the other system’s receiver. This hesitation, accompanied by the inability of the radio industry itself to decide on just one system, resulted in the death of AM stereo for decades (until the arrival of today’s HD radio).”

Smith points out there were radios manufactured by Sony which could receive the different AM stereo systems, but it required listeners to have to manually shift an “A / B” switch on their receivers based upon a particular station, “‘A’ for stations using C-QUAM and ‘B’ for stations use the Kahn system.  Another confusing item for the listening public,” said Smith, who noted “the FCC did select an AM Stereo standard, for the second time, in 1993. But by this time, it was really too late.”

Like many AM stereo enthusiasts, Kaye still has his original Sony SRF-A100 in his possession.

“I still have my Sony AM stereo radio in the garage. It makes today’s AM signal sound great... albeit only in mono.”

“It was a wonderful opportunity for AM to stay off the onslaught of FM.  It could have kept music alive on the AM dial for some time to come had the broadcasters agreed on one standard… and the auto industry had  also agreed to install the chips into their car radios…I once owned a Chevy Baretta that could receive the Motorola signal. To this day, that was the BEST radio I’ve ever heard in an automobile,” said Kaye, adding:

“To think of what might have been...!” (AM Stereo … Coulda Shouda reported by LARadio senior correspondent, Alan Oda)

New to Kevin & Bean Mornings. Allie MacKay, most recently a lifestyle reporter on the KTLA/Channel 5 Morning News, has joined the KROQ Kevin & Bean Morning Show. Allie did some fill in with Kevin & Bean late last year and everyone seemed to get along.

Allie started her career in radio atop a billboard on Lankershim and Cahuenga as part of a radio stunt for XTRA Sports 1150, according to an internal memo at KROQ. “She was dared to live up there until the Clippers won their 1st game. She was up there long enough to know never to take a dare from her co-hosts again.”

An LA native, Allie spent 14 years doing morning television, reporting on local feature stories from Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Fox News Channel, and Good Morning America before returning to Los Angeles and working six years at KTLA. She’s covered everything from the 2002 Olympics to where to take llamas for walks in Yorba Linda.

Allie posted on Facebook about her new job:

"Today was my 1st day as part of the dysfunctional family that is “The Kevin and Bean Show” on KROQ. Growing up here in LA, If you would have told me this was even a possibility, I wouldn't have believed it. At the same time, change isn’t easy (for anyone involved) especially when you come after someone so beloved. I’m just there to do my best and hope it makes you happy (for some of you…that will hopefully come in time). I’ll still have chances to do tv – so don’t get too used to not seeing my face! I can’t thank you all enough for being BEYOND supportive and so kind with your posts. It's meant the world. Truly. xo"

LARadio Rewind: February 24, 2008. After a five-month absence, Casey Kasem’s American Top 20 countdown show returns to KBIG in its former Sunday-morning time slot. Kasem, who had launched the syndicated American Top 40 in 1970, began hosting a new weekly program, Casey’s Countdown, in 1992, featuring the top 25 Adult Contemporary songs. Two years later, the countdown was shortened to 20 songs and Kasem began a new Hot AC countdown show, Casey’s Top 20. Eventually, both the AC and the Hot AC shows would be called American Top 20. The AC show was carried by KBIG but was dropped in September 2007 when the station switched to Adult Top 40 as “MY/fm.” Due to listener demand, American Top 20 was brought back in February 2008 and continued to air on KBIG until July 5, 2009, when Kasem retired and Premiere Networks decided to cancel the Top 20 programs rather than find a new host.

 Funnie. (Courtesy of the New Yorker)


Lisa May Newest Casualty at CBS/LA

(February 23, 2015) Lisa May, always one of the cheeriest bright spots on the KROQ Kevin & Bean morning show, has departed, just after it was announced that newsman Doc on the Roq had been let go for financial reasons.

Born in Inglewood, Lisa grew up in Costa Mesa. She was actually employed by the traffic company, Total Traffic, that provided that service to KROQ in exchange for spot inventory. But you wouldn’t know that she was anything but an integral part of the Kevin & Bean, no matter who her boss was.

She joined the morning team just months after Kevin & Bean started at KROQ in 1990 and has been there ever since. In a rare segment of sentimentality, Kevin & Bean spoke very fondly of their co-host Friday morning:

Bean: We have in-house business to address on air. The best way to describe this is technology has caught up with some of the features on our morning show.

Kevin: With all radio quite honestly.

Bean: We started this show pre-Internet and people got their news and information from the radio and largely that’s not the case anymore. There’s been a discussion that has been going for a long time about how many services do we need to provide on the Kevin & Bean Show – things like traffic … things like news – and I think the conclusion the company came to was there are so many other ways to get that information.

Now what we really don’t kind of need full-time, dedicated people to present that information on the Kevin & Bean Show, as of this week there is no more traffic and unfortunately that means Lisa May is no longer with us on the program and also that means there is no news and that means our co-worker Doc is not on the program with us.

Kevin: Kicking him while he is down?

Bean: I’m not kicking him when he’s down. I’m just saying he’s been doing news for 27 years on KROQ and that’s the end of an era and he is a brilliant man and he was very good about what he did.

Lisa May goes much, more deeper than that. We’re very, very close friends with Lisa May. I consider her one of my best friends.

Kevin: She was not a KROQ employee. She was with a traffic service. We love her and we’re gonna stop doing traffic and so that means she has to go away. It sucks.

Bean: It is very difficult for us to discuss this and very difficult to present it in a way that is respectful of her and to let people know how sad we are about this. It is a huge loss for us. She’s been with us from almost the beginning of the show. It is weird for me that she’s not here. Real weird. Plus she was the only one who was every nice to me.

Kevin: It’s going to be a change, that’s for sure but we’re hoping the little bit of time we pick up from traffic and doing news we can use that time and maybe bring some new features or add to the time we do other stuff when we feel a little but rushed and have to get through some things. It’s a shake-up on how we’re doing the show and hopefully will be for the better in the long run. Obviously we will miss the people we’ve worked with. We will miss them.

Bean: I think it is a tribute to Lisa May that she was always employed by the traffic service and she became as big a part of our show as she has been.

There are very few entertainment institutions that go on unchanged. We mention Saturday Night Live. Look how often their cast changes and it’s tough when you’re a fan of Kristin Wiig or Fred Armisen, but they bring in two people and the show keeps going on. There’s not a tv show on the air that hasn’t lost people throughout the years if it’s on for any more than 5-6 years and we’ve been on for a lot longer than that and unfortunately there will be changes in personnel. There was a time when Ralph Garman wasn’t on the show. We’ve had other people come and go like Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla. It’s kind of the nature of the beast when a show has been on for a long time that people are going to come and go.

It doesn’t mean we won’t miss them. We just have to continue to press forward and do the best we can in the future.

We love you Lisa and we will absolutely miss you and I hope we can stay friends.

 

All-Sports KFWB (The Beast) is looking for a program director. Click the Employment Opportunity artwork for details

Hear Ache. Shawn Parr has been living and working in Nashville. The recent snow storm hit Tennessee as hard as Massachusetts. “I knew the weather was bad so I decided to stay in downtown Nashville instead of driving home and risk the dangerous roads and crashing my car,” Shawn wrote on Facebook. “I got to my hotel at 1 a.m. and when I went to get my car from valet in the morning they told me HE crashed it. Took out the right side of my car. I’m stranded downtown and trying to remain calm” … New York and Chicago stations are part of the NAB’s 50 finalists for the 28th Annual Crystal Radio Awards but no Los Angeles station was on the list. A Crystal Radio Award honors stations for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service … Kevin Ryder was on social media over the weekend and wrote: “Love Lisa. This is difficult. You're way more than traffic” … KFI’s Jesus Christ Sunday show moved a couple of hours later and is now heard from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. ... In the 90s, Best Director for Birdman, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, was a disc jockey in Mexico.

Scully in Westways. Tim O’Brien caught the interview with Vin Scully in the current issue of Westways Magazine. Author Barry Garron asked Vinny, “You have been universally praised for decades. Deep down, do you believe all the things said about you?”

Scully: "No. I really don’t. It’s very generous of people. The greatest gift I have ever given myself was the gift of faith. I realize that everything I have is God-given. I realize that I could lose it in one second. So I don’t take accolades except to acknowledge them, tell them I appreciate them. But I don’t dwell on them, because I know it’s God’s gift and not mine."

 

 LARadio Rewind: February 23, 2010. Warren Williams, former KNX/fm morning host and KLSX program director, dies of a heart attack at 54. After graduating from Penn State University in 1977 with a degree in speech communication, he became a producer for Nittany Lions football coach Joe Paterno’s weekly pre-game program which originated at Penn State’s WKPS and was broadcast to a network of 80 stations. Williams later programmed WOFX in Cincinnati, KDKB in Phoenix and KATT in Oklahoma City and served as music director at KSRR in Houston. In 1986-87, he worked at KNX/fm as morning dj and music director. He joined KLSX as assistant program director in 1990 and was promoted to program director four years later upon the departure of Ken Anthony. Williams was also the voice of several FOX television stations and handled publicity for Fox Sports. (LARadio Rewind meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

KLOS Outdoor Campaign (Year unknown)

 
 
 

Kobe Learned from Michael Jackson. Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant opens up in a new documentary for Showtime. He talks about the dark days when he arrested in 2003 on sexual assault charges. 

There is a section on what lessons Kobe learned from Michael Jackson. Really. “I learned that everything is connected. Whether you’re a writer, an actor, a singer, a composer or an athlete, the common thread is there. Everything around us is an opportunity to be inspired.”

Four Readers Perfect. In our annual Oscar poll, readers picked all the winner except for Best Director. It was a close vote, but readers selected Richard Linklater for Boyhood. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu snagged the Best Director Oscar for Birdman. And four readers picked all six top winners - former Dodger announcer Ross Porter, Jerry Downey from Detroit who is a former Columbia publicist, perennial winner Jeff Gehringer, and KNX anchor, Bob Brill. Congratulations to all our winners and thanks for participating..

Funnie. Academy rejects from The Hollywood Reporter

 Email Monday

We GET Email …

** Doc on the ROQ for a Quarter of a Century

“They were the best of times, they were the worst of times, and they were ALL mine!  I've been on the air over 1/2 the years there's even been broadcasting, and on KROQ for over 1/2 those years.  Just as I wanted.  Just as I planned.  Got away with it, too, using nothing but brain, larynx and plain hot air!’  I'll give interviews when my lawyer says to.” – Boyd R. Britton (Doc on the ROQ)

** Was $$ a Factor in Losing Lisa May?

"I imagine Kevin & Bean are making somewhere in the Big Boy neighborhood of $2-4 million per year, right? Is that why the cutbacks are necessary, you think?

That's too bad, my wife and I really enjoyed Lisa May's role as the voice of sanity on that show. Fortunately, we don't need the traffic reports as we both work close to home, but Lisa May brought so much more than that to K&B." - Mario Escamilla

** Programmed Gary Owens

“You recently ran the old LA Daily News photo of Gary Owens, Jim Duncan and Daisy Torme. That was from a great article they ran on Fabulous 570 KLAC early in the station’s run, probably circa 2003.

I’ve attached a photo taken later in our three years on the radio. I can’t believe Gary is gone. It was such an honor working with him, actually programming a station whose staff included the guy who made me give up my dreams of riding around town on the back of a garbage truck, to begin a career as a josh dickey, as Garish used to say. It was on a family vacation to Disneyland, driving through L.A. my dad tuning the radio around, landing on 710 AM and I heard this silly funny man. Then a year or two later when he turned up on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, I knew what I had to do.

I got to tell that story at a couple of events introducing Gary and on the air with him. We did his show live together one afternoon, when we learned that Ray Charles had passed. Gregg Field at Concord Records sent us an early release of Genius Loves Company, Gary told stories about Ray, and we had call-ins from many of Ray’s friends and an email from Quincy Jones mourning Ray’s passing. Working with Gary at such a time was very humbling. 

At the risk of sounding old, they don't make ’em like that anymore. Oh, and on the subject of age as I was approaching my 50th birthday, talking about it on the air, Gary and Mrs. Owens came to see me in the studio. Gary said, ‘Ya know Brad, there's a lot of age discrimination in Hollywood. Maybe you don’t want to be telling people you're going to be 50!’ Mrs. Owens chimed in, ‘If you want to tell people you’re having a milestone birthday, tell them you're going to be 40 ... it’s a hard 40, but you can pull it off!’

My morning sidekick at KNAX/fm in Fresno (1987-2003) was a wonderful news guy and amazing second banana who had learned from the best. The late Ron Foster worked with Rick Dees at KIIS/fm and Gary at KPRZ. He told many wonderful stories about his time with Rick and Gary, and I’m thankful for Ron’s training with two of the best. Working with him made me a better josh dickey.” – Brad Martini Chambers

** Boyhood

“I agree with your son about Boyhood. I only had the patience to watch it once. It just went on and on and on. Boring!

And I agree with him about Patricia Arquette. She has that whiney voice that just kind of drones on.  Maybe it was interesting watching her age 12 years?” – Lyn Fisher, Manhattan Beach

** Ladd Sirius

“Thanks for sending my photo in your banner at LARadio and for featuring me on the ‘L’ page. Just to let you know, I just re-signed with Sirius XM for another year [my 4th] and am doing a nationwide show on Deep Tracks from 4 – 8 p.m. Monday – Friday.” – Jim Ladd 


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LARadio Archives

February 2015 Archives

LARadio Schedule Changes; Big Boy off the air at Power 106 - contract negotiations; Michael Medved reveals he has stage three throat cancer; New Country station launching before the month is out; KPWR sues Big Boy for breach of contract; Art Bell coming back to the Dark Matter; Pat O'Brien Helms New Adventure - Klean Radio; 92.3 no longer HOT; Big Boy Speaks on Facebook; Most LARPs Polled Think Brian Williams Has Lost All Credibility and Should Go; Bill Minckler, former pd at KNX/fm, has died; Art Laboe is part of the changes at 92.3; Renee Taylor says goodbye; Memories of Bill Minckler; Veteran of KWST, KEZY, KLOS, and KLSX set to retire; And more opinions on what Brian Williams and NBC News should do; John Rook's Hit List; Sharon Nelson, music director at 93/KHJ, KIIS, KYA and KLIV, dies; Les Honig celebration of life this Sunday; Old School invades Inland Empire; Teddy Fregoso, Godfather of Spanish Radio in LA, Dies; Gary Owens dies and reaction immediate from LARPs; A look at the full January '15 ratings; KOST maintains #1 after holiday music ends; KNX continues to make gains; Two sports stations are in the cellar; If you don't promote, a funny thing happens - NOTHING; Annual Oscar Poll; Doc on the ROQ out at KROQ after 27 years; Ginny Harman out at Go Country KKGO; Owen Murphy out at The Beast, KFWB; Three update sports anchors out at KSPN; Morning drive ratings; Travis Rogers set to join early morning drive at KSPN; Birdman is choice of LARadio readers for Best Picture; KFI's Shannon Farren gets new show; KNX gets new Local Sales Manager; Aloha to Joe Huser; Former morning lady at Power 106 in scene with Bruce Willis; Keith Olbermann up to his old behavior; One more from Scully; AM Stereo reaction; AM Stereo ... Coulda Shoulda?; Allie MacKay joins Kevin & Bean as newest cast member

 

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