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(Doug Dunlap, Vin Scully, Tony Scott, Greg Simms, Lara Scott, Leah Brandon, Ken Borgers, and Jeff Biggs)

710/KMPC Flips to All-Sports
A Look Back by Kurt Kretzschmar

(April 27, 2017) It was 25 years ago this week (Tuesday) that Golden West Broadcasters flipped KMPC-AM 710 from a Nostalgia/Sports format to an All-Sports format. KMPC had always had a rich sports tradition and already had the play-by-play rights of the Los Angeles Rams, California Angels, UCLA Bruins, and the Los Angeles Clippers. Having four major play-by-play franchises, and with the success of WFAN-New York prompted Gene Autry to make the move to All-Sports.

The move was announced months in advance. Len Weiner was hired at the program director from the aforementioned WFAN-New York. Since I had been hired as a sports producer by operations manager John Felz six months, it was a natural move for Len to hire me as senior producer in change of all weekend programming.

As the original launch date of Monday, April 27th was fast approaching, we were all working endless hours to get everything done. The old KMPC music jocks were all allowed to come back to do goodbye shows during the final week. The new staff was in place to do dry run-throughs, new Toby Arnold “Sports Radio 710 KMPC” jingles were getting carted up, and things were falling into place quite nicely. We were almost ready! 

Late Wednesday night prior to the debut, Joe McDonnell and I were hanging out in his office after his afternoon show (his sports show was still surrounded by music). He expressed his concern that the switchboard would be deluged with old fans of the KMPC music format once the format changed on Monday, and that the receptionist could not handle it. I replied that the programming the weekend before the flip would be almost all play-by-play plus the ESPN programming (seven hours on both Saturday and Sunday back then), so why don't we flip on Saturday? We would just have to add a few shows over the weekend to fill out the days. Joe thought it was a great idea, and I took it to our pd Len Weiner. 

Len liked the idea and came up with the plan. We would do an early kickoff of the format without the new jingles at 10 a.m. on Saturday with Joe and Doug Krikorian, and fill the rest of the weekend with Angels baseball, ESPN, and other local programs until Monday morning.  Robert W. Morgan would do his morning without music and we would debut the new jingle package at 10 a.m. Monday. (Photo: Kurt with Greg Gumbel)


Saturday morning came and the last KMPC dj, Don McCullough, did the last music shift. I helped him pull the music carts for the last hour, and on my own picked American Pie as the last song. I stayed in the studio to help, because I wanted to play the last song on KMPC, which I got to do. Once I hit play on the cart machine, Don took off and Joe McDonnell came into the studio because he had to run his own board until the board ops started on Monday. We played the old KMPC 'top of the hour' jingle, followed by a Mike Kauffman sports flash. Just ten seconds into his opening monologue, Joe’s microphone came off the mic stand and he had to hold it for the entire segment. When we took the first break, I went into the studio and we found out that a few of the screws were missing. Joe was convinced that Don McCullough had sabotaged the microphone because he was upset about losing his job. (My first version of this story didn’t include Don’s name, but if Joe were still alive, he would insist that I include his name.)

 Once Joe’s microphone got fixed, the rest of the show went very well, while I answered calls from angry KMPC music fans. Better to have them yell at me than at the regular receptionist. We got through the rest of the weekend and prepared for weekday lineup launch on Monday.

Monday morning came and Robert W. Morgan was his usual amazing self, talking about what he wanted to talk about. He got to be the first one to play with the jingles on the air, going through them like a kid at Christmas. One thing he didn’t have were the KMPC Flashback carts. This was a segment of the format Len brought from WFAN. At approximately 59 minutes past each hour, there would be a segment close bed that rang out with the jingle “Sports Radio 710, K-M-P-C Flashback!” Under the continuing music bed, station voice Stan Martin’s voice would intro a classic moment in local or national sports history. This was followed by the new “KMPC Los Angeles” legal ID Jingle. I helped production director Jeff Shade produce the entire set, and picked everyone out myself. I was so proud of these that I hid them so Robert W. could not find them during his show. I brought them out for the first time at 9:59. I handed the cart to the board op Lew Stowers and told Mr. Autry and gm Bill Ward (who were in the control room) that they would love the first one. “September 25th, 1979… the Angels win their first division title” was the Stan Martin intro to Al Wisk’s historic call. Chris Roberts was next with the first official sports update with the new jingles and weekday lineup. Joe McDonnell hosted the midday show that day, followed by Jim Lampley in afternoons. Jim’s producer was Todd Fritz, now an integral part of “The Dan Patrick Show” on Fox Sports Radio.

It was a memorable experience that I will never forget. I made many lifelong friends working there and am very thankful for the opportunity that I had. (Photo: Kurt with Eric Dickerson)


KFI AM 640 Will Be the Radio Home for the 2017 Chargers Season!

KFI AM 640 is thrilled to announce that we will be the radio home for Chargers games during the 2017 season!  

LARP Diagnosed with MS Makes Personal Pivot

(April 26, 2017) I met Craig Hines in 1965. He was in the 10th grade at Lompoc High School. I had just started my first radio job at KNEZ in Lompoc. One day I looked up from my console and there was a young man with his face pressed against the double-panel glass between the radio station lobby and the control room. I invited him in. He wanted to be a dj when he got out of school. Craig and I have been friends ever since.

He’s had an incredible journey that includes KIQQ (K-100), KGIL and KBIG that now requires he hit the pause button. He has multiple sclerosis and his disease requires some changes.

After graduating from Cal State, San Luis Obispo, he helped launch WDRQ-Detroit, worked as talent at KMBY-Monterey and WMBR/WSNY-Jacksonville. He worked for the Transtar Radio Network as director of programming/operations for the five satellite-delivered radio formats until 1987. Craig hosted several nationally syndicated radio shows for Westwood One and Transtar/Unistar.

When he left radio he co-founded Dutel Communications where he has been the CFO.

Because of his MS, Craig has to move to a cooler climate. The heat in the San Fernando Valley takes a toll on MS patients. So, his email to close friends didn’t come as a total surprise. “My house is sold and most of my stuff has already moved. My company is closing down and it is time to slow down and move to a cooler climate. Where is that? Central California God's Country - Lompoc ‘wins.’ Can I actually ‘go home again?’” Craig asks rhetorically. “I cannot wait to live in the moderate climate. Less traffic and delays? Nice air. And yes, too may GOP types for me, but I can handle it.” Selfishly it will be nice to have Craig closer to me in Avila Beach. His father lives in an assisted living facility in Santa Maria.

Craig will find a new journey, one that is less complicated and stressful. I treasure the times that our professional lives have crisscrossed. He has been an invaluable friend. He is a valuable friend. Craiger, may this move extend your life not by years, but by decades.


By Marvin Collins

Chief Engineer KFI – KOST

(Orginally written following the 1992 LA Riots)

(April 25, 2017) For nineteen hours 50,000 watt clear channel KFI broadcast talkradio programs from La Canada Flintridge to escape the looting and fires ravaging Los Angeles. The rampage, which began Wednesday April 29, 1992 within hours of the verdicts in the Rodney King beating case, continued Thursday with scenes reminiscent of a war zone, smoke billowing from dozens of fires. 

It is about 10:20 a.m. as I drive South on Alvarado Boulevard to the Hollywood Freeway. I feel a sinking feeling as I see a large column of smoke rising from the area of the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Coliseum. This is my first sighting of any evidence of the rioting, which I had been watching on television earlier. As I drive onto the Hollywood Freeway I notice that traffic is lighter than usual and flowing very well. Traffic continues to be lighter than normal as I exit the freeway at Vermont and drive south on Vermont. 

Upon crossing Beverly, First and Second Streets, I think to myself that everything appears normal. Traffic is a bit light but the typical amount of people are shopping and tending to their business all along Vermont. I turn right on Third Street and again traffic is flowing well and everything appears normal. It is 10:30 a.m. as I park in my parking space at the KFI office/studio building. 

Later in the morning I meet with David G. Hall, KFI's program director. We are discussing the possibility of doing the Tom Leykis 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. show as a remote broadcast from the KFI traffic airplane circling South Central Los Angeles. The meeting is interrupted as we notice a large fire is visible from David Hall's office. The fire appears to be about four blocks away on Third Street to the east of our location on Ardmore Avenue and Sixth Street. It is becoming apparent that the situation in the vicinity of the KFI studio is deteriorating rapidly. It is close to noon and smoke and flames from additional fires are clearly visible from the roof of our building. 

Reports are coming in about fires and looting on Vermont Avenue at First and Third Streets. There are more reports of fire and looting along Third Street between Vermont and Normandie. This is the route that I just drove an hour and a half earlier. It is difficult to imagine that conditions could turn from normal to disastrous so rapidly. Most buildings on my route from the Hollywood Freeway down Vermont and West on Third Street were either burned or pillaged I found out later. 

The situation around the KFI studio building is obviously becoming worse by the minute. Now we realize that action must be taken to minimize the risk of injury to station personnel. Howard Neal, the general manager, tells the employees that they are excused from work and may go home if they so desire. The office staff leaves. At a meeting with Howard Neal, David G. Hall, Marvin Collins the KFI chief engineer and Mark Thomas, the KFI news director, it is decided that KFI will keep only a minimum staff at the studio consisting of a board operator and a call screener. The talk show talent and news staff will broadcast from a remote location. 

The plan to broadcast Tom Leykis from the airplane is cancelled. Conditions are so bad that we will have stay out of the studio for a period longer than just the Tom Leykis show from the airplane. The plan calls for doing the remote broadcast from the home of chief engineer Marvin Collins. This is a location fifteen miles away in the suburbs, La Canada, at an elevation that permits a direct radio path for the KFI Remote Pickup Unit. 

The adrenalin begins to flow. It is now approaching 12:20 p.m. and as each minute passes there is more smoke and fire in the vicinity of the KFI studio building. Much remains to be done to get this impromptu remote broadcast on the air by 3 p.m. Fortunately another member of the engineering staff, Bob Demont drove his pickup truck to work this morning. Without taking time to organize the remote equipment, almost all of the KFI remote equipment is loaded into Bob Demont's truck and a hasty departure is made.  Bob drives his truck with the remote gear and I am driving my car to meet him at my house in La Canada. 

Traffic is now bad due to all the problems in the streets. Most businesses have let their employees leave early. Soon I lose sight of Bob's truck as we drive north on Normandie Avenue. While waiting for the signal to change at Third and Normandie I observe groups of youths crossing the streets against the red light. Their behavior made me nervous. It appeared that something was about to happen. It did happen soon afterward I learned later. The businesses on the Northeast and Southwest side of Third Street at Normandie were burned while the businesses on the Southeast and Northwest side were ransacked. 

After taking a circuitous route to leave the area and drive home I finally arrived at my house by 12:50 p.m. Bob Demont departed before I did but has not arrived at my house yet. I begin to worry that he might have encountered a problem. His personal safety becomes a concern as well as the fact that he has most of the remote broadcasting equipment in the back of his truck. Whew! Bob arrives ten minutes later. 

Being a ham radio operator I have an antenna tower in my yard. First job now is to mount a twelve element Yagi directional antenna about half way up the tower and point it in the direction of the studio. I climb the tower and with Bob Demont as my assistant rigger the antenna is mounted on the side of the tower. Then a coaxial cable was brought down the tower and into the garage. The Time and Frequency Technology (TFT) Remote Pickup Unit (RPU) transmitter is placed on the clothes dryer in the laundry room. This is as far as the coaxial cable from the antenna will reach.  Before leaving the studio the twelve element Yagi antenna on top of the studio building was aimed in the direction of my house.  Now I hoped the path was a good one and a full quieting signal would be received at the studio.  This path had never been tested before and a lot was depending on it. 

The KFI air talent was being informed to go to my house as I was putting the RPU system together but before I have had a chance to test the circuit. I turned on the TFT RPU transmitter and tried to call the studio on the telephone to see how well the signal was being received at the studio. "All circuits are busy, try again later" said the recorded voice on the telephone. Several attempts later I did get through to Larry Metzler, the board operator on duty at the studio. It was a relief to hear him say it was a good full quieting signal that sounded very good. 

Bob lays out two microphone cables into the front room and hooks up two microphones on the dining table. A Shure headphone amplifier is wired into the telephone line of my residence telephone. This becomes the listen back line for KFI pre-delay audio. We will be taking calls from listeners and it is necessary to use our ten second delay. It is almost 3 p.m. and Tom Leykis has not yet arrived. I send my wife, Herta, out in the street to watch for him and direct him to the house. Tom, we later learned, had received confusing directions to my house and was going in circles for a while. Tom arrived at 3:03 p.m. and casually came in and sat down at the microphone and went on the air as the 3 p.m. newscast ended. 

Newsman Ken Gallacher arrived before Tom Leykis but had no source of news. I turned on my Apple IIGS computer and using my modem telephone line called the KFI newsroom computer.  Luck was with us this time as we connected on the first try. Now we had a source of news, via my computer, for the news department to use at my house. News operations from the studio were terminated and the newsroom vacated to further reduce the risk of danger to KFI personnel. Tom Leykis finished his show at 7 p.m. Ken Gallacher broadcast the 7 p.m. news using news stories received remotely from the newsroom computer via my computer in the living room. 

By this time the only people remaining in the KFI studio were general manager Howard Neal, program director David G. Hall, producer Marc Germain, producer Gregg Cockrell and promotions director Bill Lewis. They were taking turns screening calls or operating the mixing console. KFI reporters were out in the field giving their live reports by two way radio or cellular telephones. 

After the 7 p.m. newscast Barbara Whitesides commenced her program from my living room table. About five minutes into the show she was interrupted by gm Howard Neal, sitting in front of a microphone back at the studio. Howard announced on KFI that the situation was becoming too dangerous and the time had come to sign off the air. KFI signed off the air at 7:10 p.m.

From my house we stayed in communication with the small staff at the studio via the RPU and the listen line telephone connection. They received word at the studio that National Guard protection would soon be provided. (It wasn't provided until 24 hours later) Based on that information we decided to sign back on the air and resumed with a special Barbara Whitesides show co-hosted by Howard Neal.  Barbara was concerned that there would be no callers after being off the air for twenty minutes. As soon as we signed back on the air the telephone lines were full. It was satisfying to see how well the programming was now going as the staff got into the routine of working in my living room. 

Bill Handel
and Bill Press took over the living room airwaves after Barbara's show finished. Late in the evening nd Mark Austin Thomas kept busy on the three cellular telephones that also were positioned on the clothes dryer. Mark was directing his reporters on which locations to cover.  os Angeles Cellular Telephone Company must be curious as to why a certain normally quiet cell site was very busy all night long. 

During the night pd David G. Hall tried to take a nap on a couch in his office. He could hear bullets being fired outside. Suddenly he heard what appeared to be someone on the roof of the KFI studio building. He had a real scare when he saw a shadow pass in front of his office door. He thought for sure the looters had somehow entered the building via the roof. David was relieved to find out it was Bill Lewis running down the hall to get something from his office in a hurry. Meanwhile back at my house I took a nap and was awakened by Mark Austin Thomas at 4 a.m. to fix a problem with the headphone amplifier. I replaced its battery with a spare I had put out to be used when needed. 

I was surprised to see that at 4 a.m. we had a staff of six people working in my living room. I was number seven. Terri-Rae Elmer and Jerry Wallace were handling the announcing duty after Bill Handel and Bill Press finished their program. Tracy Miller and morning show producer Bill Smith soon arrived to join the morning show team. The morning show continued through the 10 a.m. newscast read by Terri-Rae Elmer at which time programming was transferred back to the studio after it appeared to be safe to do so. 

It is quite an experience to have ones living room become the main studio for sixteen hours for 50,000 watt clear channel KFI, 640 Kilohertz, and be heard all over the United States.  Our refrigerator is empty and the aluminum recycle container in the garage is full of Cola cans.  But the staff agreed that it was a relief not to have to drive into Los Angeles to the KFI studio during the worst of the turmoil. Certainly there was a large audience spread across the Nation very interested in hearing what callers in the Los Angeles area had to say about this disaster as it unfolded in the heart of the city.

Thanks to Marvin Collins for the retelling of his unique story during the 25th anniversary of Rodney King/LA Riots

Jaime Jarrin Speaks the Language 

(April 24, 2017) It is not unusual to learn that immigrants and foreigners who speak no English when they come to this country, learn it by listening to sports broadcasters and radio programs. Johnny Magnus, veteran from Station of the Stars 710/KMPC and now weekender at KKJZ, fled Hitler's Germany at age 10 and came to America speaking no English. Radio was his English teacher as he sat for hours listening to series like The Shadow and Green Hornet.

Yesterday on the front page of the LA Times' California section, Steve Lopez wrote a wonderful story about Jaime Jarrin, the other Dodger broadcast legend who is in his 59th year with the team at the age of 81. Lopez described Jarrin as having a "warm, calming voice. It's rum and butterscotch and black coffee and he speaks slowly, clearly, poetically."

Some highlights from the Times story:

* Jaime was college-educated in Ecuador and took eight years of English there but felt lost when he got to Los Angeles, so he enrolled in a class downtown and began a career that's in extra innings, with no end in sight."

* "Lots of Anglos have told me over the years that they improved their Spanish through my broadcasts," said Jarrin.

* "What I do is use the proper language, the proper words," he said.

LARadio Archives from 6 Years Ago 

Industry Celebrates Jack Popejoy’s Life 

(March 14, 2011) He was described as a private man in a public role. Jack Popejoy was also remembered as a serious journalist who enjoyed awful puns, a humble man who even in his last days talked about how he still wanted to help teach the public disaster preparedness, and a man who had an intense drive to keep learning, preparing, and perfecting his craft. Family, colleagues, and friends gathered over the weekend at the Los Angeles Police Administration Building to celebrate the life of the KNX and KFWB anchor, who died on February 5.

“The public gave him their faith and trust,” said Pete Demetriou, who emceed the afternoon memorial service. He was the consummate professional subtly demanding the same from his colleagues. “In the anchor booth, he should have had a whip and a top hat,” said Demetriou, describing how Popejoy managed to anchor the news, run the studio board, read commercial spots, and keep everything on time during his run as the morning drive news anchor on the local CBS all-News stations. “He’d be amused that they asked me to keep today’s program on time.”

Former KFWB News Director Greg Tantum said “Jack was fascinated with earthquakes because he said ‘it was Mother Nature fighting her best fight.’” Popejoy was well-versed on the sciences and all sorts of subjects so he could provide expert commentary on earthquakes and the space program, yet “he always said he wasn’t a scientist,” often modestly offering a disclaimer while providing listeners facts and information about all things scientific.

Yet it wasn’t all about work. Popejoy enjoyed manning the grill, flipping hamburgers at Tantum’s annual summer gathering. “He loved to be Jack. He never wanted to talk about himself, he wanted to know about other people. He just loved talking to people. He just loved being Jack.” When joining Tantum’s 8-year-old granddaughter at a local video arcade, it was Popejoy that needed to be convinced it was time to go home.


Andi Marshall, Andy Ludlum, Greg Tantum, Constance Perrett, and Richard Rudman

Cal Tech scientist and noted earthquake expert Dr. Lucy Jones said her colleagues all thought she should call Popejoy for an interview last Thursday night once the bulletins revealed a major quake in Japan. “Just about everybody said ‘Jack should’ve been here.’”  She first met Popejoy in 1987, “when he talked Cal Tech into using the campus lawn to demonstrate what it’d be like to live without food and water for three days” and exhibit disaster preparedness. Dr. Jones noted Popejoy’s “incredible curiosity, he just asked questions and questions.” Two weeks later, when the Whittier Narrows quake shook Southern California, Popejoy called Dr. Jones “and interviewed me, remembering everything he asked from our first meeting.” 

Constance Perett of the California Emergency Management Agency said it was Popejoy who continued to emphasize the importance of the partnership between media and emergency providers. “He helped shape our earthquake management program…twenty years later, it’s used for other disaster [preparedness], in other states, and in other countries…Jack also trained all of our Public Information Officers, he brought in cameras to help train our PIOs.” Perett admired how Popejoy became “the voice of calm” in a disaster, and how “the public trusted him.”


 City Councilman Tom LaBonge, Julie Chin, Dave Williams, and Frank Mottek

Though he couldn’t be there in person, Los Angeles City Council member Greig Smith sent a letter stating that Popejoy “was the epitome of professionalism…he became the voice of earthquake preparedness…many lives were saved because Jack fought for building safety and preparedness.”  Smith had made the Deaton Auditorium at the Los Angeles Police Administration Building available for Popejoy’s memorial.


Greg Tantum, Victoria Easley, Pete Demetriou, Jack Salvatore, and Jeff Baugh

Introduced as “long-time close friend and travelling companion” of Popejoy, Peggy Brutsche recalled how she first met Popejoy. “I met him when I was working for the Red Cross. After our interview, he called me later to do a follow-up interview to ask more questions and get more information. Popejoy didn’t admit until years later that the reason was he’d lost the first tape.” Even in his personal life, Popejoy was always preparing, researching, and reading. “He thought neutrality was important in a journalist.” Though he watched sports – partly due to his early interest in becoming a professional baseball player – Popejoy never professed a favorite team, or any other favorites, for that matter. “In all the years I knew him, he never revealed who he voted for,” recalled Brutsche.


Judy Ford, Paul Lowe, Ken Jeffries, and Larry Van Nuys

While working for Chuck Blore at KIIS as a 23-year-old personality, Popejoy “didn’t have a favorite song, so he could figure out what listeners wanted and not let his own favorites affect his view.” And Blore said “it doesn’t matter who’s on the air, it’s what’s on the air,” something that Popejoy never forgot throughout his on-air career. 


Rhonda Kramer, Michael Shappee, Maggie McKay and the stage at the Los Angeles Police Administration Building

Popejoy’s family vacations consisted of “strapping a canoe onto the roof of a Packard and paddling to somewhere unknown and then they lived on the land for two weeks, with nothing other than a box of Bisquick pancake mix,” said Brutsche. Popejoy was turned down for admission to Amherst, yet still attended classes and lived on campus. “Four years later, he asked whether admission to the university was a prerequisite for graduation,” a question no one else had ever asked or considered, leading Popejoy to actually getting his Amherst diploma. His greatest disappointment was the discontinuance of the Space Shuttle program after the Challenger tragedy, as Popejoy was a semi-finalist to be the first journalist in space. He remained single his entire life, though he did once consider marriage. “His mother’s advice – was she your absolute best friend? So he didn’t get married.” Popejoy was proud to have travelled all seven continents with one passport. “Jack’s definition of vacation wasn’t relaxing – he’d already done the research about transportation so once he arrived in a country, he didn’t waste time. His favorite travel was an African safari and to see big animals, while his favorite photo was of him between the paws of the Sphinx in Egypt.”


 Roger Nadel, Ross Crystal, Bret Lewis, and Steve Kindred

Brutsche revealed that Popejoy had three surgeries over the last four years, yet for a man who was generous to others, he was reluctant to ask for help, which helps explain “why most people didn’t know he was ill.”  Popejoy worked up to the last two weeks of his life, doing what he enjoyed.  “He took his last breath at the end of the hour right at 5 p.m., and I don’t think that was a coincidence.”  His ashes were scattered into the sea “so he can continue to travel.”


 Peggy Brutsche, photo of Popejoy riding a camel, and Todd Leitz

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphries said he sent a bag of red-and-green Christmas M&M candies every Christmas.  It was a way to thank Popejoy for a lesson taught about being a Public Information Officer: “You have to be like the M&M candy, digestible, easy to handle, doesn’t leave a stain…the two ‘Ms’ stand for ‘meaningful’ and ‘memorable.’  And always make it tight,” said Humphries. 

At the close of the afternoon’s events, Demetriou asked the crowd to bow their heads in silence in memory of Popejoy. Then the gathering was instructed to put their hands behind their neck and prepare to crouch down below their seats or some other solid furniture. What followed was really no surprise – it was a familiar voice once again teaching an audience how to be safe while the ground shook as he’d done countless times before.  John Alan “Jack” Popejoy may not be able to provide his listeners the facts and figures about the next quake, but he’s already ensured Los Angeles will be safer for years and years to come. (Story written by Alan Oda, senior LARadio correspondent. Photos also taken by Oda) 

Email Saturday, 4.22.17 

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** KOST Encounters with 1992 Riots

"I wanted to add on to Bill Lewis’ [4.20] summary of events at 610 S. Ardmore, as there was ANOTHER station on the air in the building.

The night when KFI went off-air for about 15 minutes, Lance Ballance and I were shutting down KOST just down the hall. He and I were hanging earlier that day when pd Jhani Kaye called. He didn’t want Karen Sharp to come in for her shift and wanted to know if we’d come in. I grabbed my handgun and Lance drove from Cucamonga. About 3 blocks from the station, we were diverted thru a small strip mall because the intersection was basically on fire. Traffic kept us from getting out of there as people were looting the stores in front of us. A guy dropped his 'stuff' on a trunk and motioned toward us. I told Lance he HAD to get out of there or I was going to have to shoot the guy right outside the passenger window. He gunned it and maneuvered around, getting to the station soon afterward.

Lance relieved Bryan Simmons on the air. I literally replaced Brian’s gun on the counter with mine.  Soon afterward, Bill [I believe] came over and told us we had to shut down and leave. Lance signed off and we shut things down. By the time we all gathered at the stairs, some of us really didn’t want to leave. Then we got word that we could hook back up.

An interesting addendum to shutting down. My memory on some of the specifics could be off and they could probably correct me, but I believe when KFI shut down David G. Hall was running the board with Howard Neal signing off. The station was still in delay so Howard’s last words were cut off to the listener when it was shut down. At least one tv station had consequently and falsely reported were 'taken over.'

After we were back up, Lance continued on KOST til about midnight. Jhani had told us to keep the music going and keep any dialogue simple with some encouraging words about staying safe. At the time I was only the board-op. Once Lance was done, he went to take a nap and my first extensive time on-air had begun. Clearly, we were the 'alternative,' listening for people that needed something else at the moment. Lance and I both took pride in what we were able to provide in such an incredible situation.      

Mark Wallengren eventually showed up for the morning shift. I honestly don’t recall if Kim Amidon had come in. I was pretty burned out by the morning and it was unofficial word that coming in was strictly on a volunteer basis, preferably for men. You can look at it as chivalrous or sexist, but at the time no one questioned it. As Bill said, the ride to the 101 freeway was surreal. Buildings and whole blocks were gutted or even leveled.

I went home and slept forever. I eventually woke and went to get something to eat. Waiting to be seated, it all caught up with me and I bawled in the restaurant. Not one person said anything. No one knew how 'in it,' I was, but they all understood. It was one of the toughest, yet most prideful things I’ve ever done." - Michael Crozier, KFI news anchor/reporter

** Bill Lewis' Sister Looks Back at 1992 from Different Perspective

"At the time, I was working at Katz Communications on Wilshire & San Vicente, and living in Manhattan Beach. I remember looking out our window and seeing looters hit the Big 5 across the street. That's when management called a meeting to arrange how everyone was going to get home. People arranged carpools and they didn't want any women to drive alone. However, I was scheduled to fly to Australia the next day to visit a friend for 3 weeks  and didn't want to leave my car in the mayhem. So one of my coworkers Alan who also lived in MB said he'd lead the way and I'd follow.

We planned our normal route as we had no idea that the chaos was rapidly spreading. In those days we went Wilshire to San Vicente to Fairfax to La Cienega to La Tijera to Sepulveda and into MB. We got as far as La Cienega between Jefferson & Rodeo [by KLOS] and all hell broke loose !!

All of a sudden hundreds of people from the neighborhood were running in the streets and looting the Fedco [now it's a Target]. Crowds were crossing back and forth carrying tv's, electronics, car tires, shoes, clothes and pushing refrigerators on dollies. Traffic was at a stand still - one lady even stopped to readjust her bag of stuff on the hood of my car !! Just then I see Alan get out of his car in front of me with a softball bat and he yells at the lady to move along. He then comes to my car and gives me the bat for protection. Lucky for me he had his softball bag in his car and was armed and ready - lol !

We moved slowly and once we passed Rodeo all was fine. That next day they closed LAX and my flight was schedule for midnight - so I figured no Australia. But then early evening I got a call from the airline saying they had a flight that had to land due to a medical emergency, and if I could get to the airport within the hour it was heading to Australia. Since I was 15 minutes away in Manhattan Beach, I said no problem and off I went. The airport was deserted but an airline rep met me at Tom Bradley along with about 30 other passengers and I flew to Australia with a row of 5 seats all to myself - haha !! " - Carol Lewis

** Highway Stations for Sale?

"Regarding Bob Moore's speculation, the Highway Stations [KRXV-Yermo, et al] were only transferred to a trustee one month ago as 'debtor-in-possession' which means any such sale [to Heftel, or anyone] would have to be cleared by a bankruptcy court judge. 

No such sale has been announced or filed with the FCC yet, which would be a necessary step before a judge could be approached on the matter. So, Bob ... the answer is 'no.' ( If anyone wants to see the bankruptcy filing, it is in the FCC database: )" - K.M. Richards  

(April 22, 2017)  MY/fm's morning co-host Jillian Escoto will be part of the 2017 National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Walk tomorrow morning. It was 2008 when Escoto was diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body.  

“I was 23 years old at the time and I had no idea what MS was or what it did to your body,” said Escoto, known today as the pop culture princess of the “Valentine in the Morning” show.  So, Escoto got support and information about MS from the National MS Society. Then, she formed a Walk MS team called “Team Jillian.”

“This year will be our ninth year and our largest Walk MS team ever with about 200 walkers,” she said. “I’m so excited to meet the many listeners who are joining our team. They want to find a cure as much as I do. At the same time, I’m very humbled because so many people come out and walk. Walk MS is a great event, and anybody can still join us.”

Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. Onsite registration is available at Lot “F,” 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena. Opening ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m. The walk begins at 10 a.m. Admission is free to attend Walk MS. Event information is available at

Oh, My, Whotta' Week for O'Reilly

(April 21, 2017) Boy, is Tucker Carlson the luckiest broadcaster ever? In four months he has been the go-to guy three times at Fox News. First he replaced Greta Van Susteren. When Megyn Kelly left, Tucker was promoted to fill her slot. When Bill O’Reilly was ousted from the network for alleged sexual misconduct issues, within a few hours Tucker was again the replacement du jour.

The late night comedy shows didn’t miss a beat when it came to O’Reilly‘s firing. Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon led off his monologue with the story: “Experts say that it’s not likely that any self-respecting network will ever hire him, then CNN said, ‘welcome aboard.’”

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel suggested O’Reilly’s replacement be Kimmel sidekick Guillermo. “Welcome to the No La Vuelta Zone. I’m smart, you’re stupido.”

Word is O’Reilly was given $25M as a parting gift.

The NY Times article on O’Reilly emphasized the “enormous” value of the Factor host to Fox News, ascribing a figure of $446 million to ad revenue his show generated from 2014 through 2016. “This is a sensitive time for Fox News as it continues to deal with the fallout of the Ailes scandal,” the article states.

In his own statement, issued a few hours before The O’Reilly-less Factor began Wednesday night, the ousted show host said: “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality.”

In other news, Paul Olden wrote to say the Tommy Lasorda/Kingman game occurred on Mother's Day, May 14, 1978 …. Former KPWR pd Jeff Wyatt has been named svp/programming for the Baltimore iHeartMedia cluster, as well as pd of Country WPOC and Adult Hits WQSR (102.7 JACK/fm) … Heard Wink Martindale’s Deck of Cards twice last week, once on Lou Simon’s Sirius/XM show and the other on Still powerful and fun to hear after all these years … Howard Stern was mentioned in Tom Taylor’s tasty website: “Since Stern bought his beachfront mansion in Palm Beach for $52 million in 2013, Stern has called on contractors for major work five times, spending an estimated $13 million that included creating a 1,000-square foot closet for his wife Beth. He also improved the kitchenette for $10,000. Stern’s place is just south of fellow radio titan Rush Limbaugh’s $40 million compound … Mike Wagner, former KRLA program director during their Oldies days, was just named Realtor of the Year by his Arizona company … Cumulus ceo Mary Berner (KABC/KLOS in LA) was named recipient of TALKERS 2017 “Woman of the Year” Award … In the fifties, squeaky clean white singers tried to cover the Rock’n’Roll hits from black singers. Gogi Grant used to cover Lavern Baker songs. But no one was worse than Pat Boone singing Little Richard and Fats Domino hits. At the top of the awful list is Boone's rendition of Tutti Fruitty. Whoever programs this crap, STOP IT!

Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Tutti frutti, oh rutti,
Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!

Valerie Geller will be signing her Beyond Powerful Radio books at the NAB next week, but this time she’ll be joined by Viral Podcasting author Kerry Lutz. Look for Valerie, the prettiest woman on the floor, on Tuesday, April 25, in Las Vegas at the convention center bookstore at 3 p.m. following the Crystal Awards Radio Luncheon ... Fred Lundgren, owner of the Inland Empire's KCAA, had a frightening experience with a hacker. He details the trauma at Huffington Post ... Bob Moore sent an email wondering if Richard Heftel and Sean O'Neil just bought the Highway Stations? ... Michael Crozier wrote to say there was another radio station, KOST, in the Ardmore studios during the 1992 riots. As part of Email Saturday, he tells us what happened from his perspective.

Trujillo Needs Help With Her Book 

(April 20, 2017) The ubiquitous Tammy Trujillo is completing the final edits on her new textbook, Writing and Reporting News You Can Use for Focal Press. She would like to end each chapter with a quote about what it's like to work in the news business, which includes traffic and sports reporting. Tammy needs your help.

"What would you like college students to know about your job, your career or your dedication to truth and accuracy," emails Tammy. "Selected quotes will be included along with your name and station. I will send you a release if your quote is used. Also include your title and affiliation. Please remember, these quotes should be aimed at college students studying broadcast journalism."

You can reach Tammy at: 

KFI's Bill Lewis Remembers KFI's Role in '92 Riots

(April 20, 2017) "I saw in the LA Times today that there are at least five King Riot documentaries scheduled to air over the next month," wrote Bill Lewis. "Documentaries certainly are valuable, but they examine events through the filter of 25 years. I’m glad that at least one of the documentaries is including tapes of calls to KJLH.   

Radio had no filter during the Rodney King Riots. It served as a vital source for Southern California and the nation on what was happening in real time. And it also provided some of the why.   

KFI was a primary source for information and understanding for the three days of the King Riots and beyond. I’ve written a remembrance of those three days and some of what happened at KFI and to its people."

This is Bill's story accompanied with scenes from that riot courtesy of the LA Daily News and the LA Times   

KFI in the Middle of a Firestorm
by Bill Lewis

In April 1992, I was working as the marketing and promotions director of KFI radio. Our offices were at Sixth and Ardmore in Koreatown. I’d been with the station for about six years, starting off as an intern, then working as a news editor and occasional reporter before moving into the marketing role in 1989.  

When the verdicts came down at 3 p.m. on April 29, I had just finished a meeting with an ad agency in Beverly Hills. Rather than head back to the station, I went home to Costa Mesa down the 405. It’s about a two hour drive with traffic. I’d listened to our news department covering reaction at the Simi Valley courthouse and in other spots around LA. We also got a lot of listener reaction ranging from incredulous anger to smug satisfaction. I flipped on the tv when I got home and watched along with everyone else as fires and protests started to flare up around LA. 
Monitoring KFI at the same time, I heard our field reporters put themselves in very difficult situations while trying to provide first hand information. Andy Friedman was at Parker Center and took a bottle off the head. And kept on going.   

As the night came on, the flames at Florence and Normandie and the rioting downtown dominated the coverage. There was a sense of the rioting expanding, but not to the point of an area outside of South Central. Still, it was clear that it was going to be a long night and maybe a long couple of days for the news staff at KFI. 

I grabbed a little sleep and got up around 1 a.m. I picked up some food and water from the market for the news staff. Healthy stuff like oranges and bananas and stuff that the staff would actually eat like chips and soda. Around 2 a.m. I started the drive back to Ardmore.    This wasn’t received very well by my wife Katie. Our son Ben was only five months old at the time. Katie didn’t like the idea of being home alone with civil unrest going on. However, nothing had been reported in Orange County and there was no sense that anything would be happening. Of greater concern to Katie was the fact that I worked at a radio station. Katie had lived in Ghana for two years.  In that time, Ghana had two coups and neighboring Togo had one. In each of the coups, rebel forces had made tv and radio stations high priority targets. Control the media and control the message. 


While it didn’t seem likely that control of a radio or tv station was on the minds of rioters, it was still a factor in Katie’s thinking. And she just didn’t want me heading into an area that was in harm’s way. 

The impression from the news was that the rioting, arson and looting were all contained south of the 10 Freeway and west of the 110. As I drove north on the 110, I could see fires to my right. And turning west on the 10, there were fires to my right again. That was the direction of the station. Not a lot of fires, but fires nonetheless.   

The next twelve hours are pretty jumbled. KFI staff reported for work and then were sent home at noon by general manager Howard Neal. It was clear that the area was not going to be safe. Shortly thereafter Mayor Bradley issued a city wide curfew.  

Chief engineer Marvin Collins set up a satellite studio in his home in La Canada. Rather than have hosts come to Koreatown, they went to Marv’s home and broadcast from his living room. The decision was made early on Thursday to keep programming local. That meant no Rush Limbaugh for the LA audience. The news team kept following and reporting on rioting as it moved north from Florence and Normandie toward and into Koreatown. And Howard brought in our security advisor, an ex FBI agent and his team, to evaluate our situation on Ardmore.   


By about 3 p.m., there were very few of us left in the building. Program director David G Hall, producer Marc Germain, Howard Neal, the security guys and me. I grabbed about an hour’s nap and woke up at four. The light outside the building was not right. Going up on the roof, the reason became clear. There were fires in every direction. The largest and closest were six blocks west at Sixth and Western and six blocks east at Sixth and Vermont. 

While there were no cars on the street, there were groups of rioters/looters on most of the streets. They didn’t seem particularly angry. Just looking for opportunities to smash something of high visibility or grab some available merchandise. Our building was very non descript and we may have covered the call letters on the side of the building. However, with the fires and the looters, we were now inside the perimeter of the riots.   

Over the next couple of hours, with night coming on, we were weighing the safety of staying at the station. There were benefits to staying in the building as going on the streets was not really a great idea. But if the building became a target, it wasn’t going to be a whole lot of fun to stick around. From the roof, we’d scouted a couple of ways to move to the roofs of adjacent buildings if we had to make our way out that way. And our calls to the LAPD Emergency Operations Center hadn’t yielded any guarantee of assistance if needed. They had plenty of other things to do. 
As the sun set, our security guys deemed the situation to be unsafe and recommended evacuating. Evacuating would have meant that KFI would go off the air. While the hosts and the broadcast studio had been moved to La Canada, we still needed the central controls on Ardmore to stay on the air. 

Howard, David, Marc and I decided to stay. The security detail decided to leave after observing hand guns and rifles in the groups walking the streets. David and Marc had been running the board most of the day. They were coordinating the hosts, our field reporters and phone calls that went on the air. 

Howard was working to evaluate the station as well as conferring with his bosses in Atlanta on what to do about the facility. They left it up to him to make the call based on our situation locally. 

I spent the hour from 6-7P working the phones to get a commitment from either LAPD or the National Guard to station either a black and white or a small detail at the station. The reasoning was that, as the strongest radio signal in Southern California, we were needed for emergency broadcasts and official announcements. That might have been true thirty years before, but in 1992, there were plenty of stations that could get the word out.  Internally, we didn’t want to give up and go off the air.  Somehow, that would be a capitulation and a defeat.   
Shortly after seven, Howard decided that an unprotected building put his personnel at risk. Howard certainly didn’t do it for his own safety. He’d been out on the street earlier assessing the situation. He’d gotten a flat tire and had calmly changed the tire and got back to the station. Howard was a dual target: a black man driving a Mercedes 450SL. His concern was that David, Marc and I would be in danger without security in the building and keeping the station on the air wasn’t worth that risk.   

At 7:15, we signed off. At 7:18, I got a commitment from the National Guard to send a small group to the station. That commitment was enough to tip Howard back. We reconnected with Marvin and were back on the air by 7:30. The National Guard showed up 24 hours later.   

For the next twelve hours, David and Marc manned the board.  They kept the station on the air. Howard continued to monitor the situation. And I became the phone screener and field reporter coordinator.

It may be poor memory, but I remember only Andy Friedman and Tammy Trujillo as being in the field. It really was too dangerous for either of them to be out. As noted earlier, Andy had been hit by a bottle while at Parker Center. And the LA Fire Department unit that Tammy was shadowing came under fire at least three times during the evening.   

The other extraordinary part of being on the phone was that I was on the receiving end of calls from listeners and their stories. It gave me and KFI a network of eyewitnesses to what was happening throughout Southern California. Regardless of how many news crews a television station or network might have, they can’t cover everything. A radio station, with an inbound phone line, can be any where there is someone with a phone.  We and our listeners were able to see all of Southern California.   

We could also see outside. KFI has the strongest signal on the west coast. It can be heard from Maui to Anchorage to Lincoln, Nebraska. I took calls that night from all over the western United States. And the calls weren’t from people who wanted to be on the air. They just wanted to make sure that we were okay and that we stayed safe.
As the sun came up on Friday May 1, there was a sense that the worst was over. 36 hours of rampaging had exhausted the rioters. The targets of opportunity had been hit. The looters had taken what they could. The fires had burned themselves out or were just smoldering. The National Guard presence was beginning to be felt. It’s one thing to turn over a police car.  It’s another to stare down a tank muzzle. Tanks don’t tip over very easily. It was also evident that the station was going to be fine. Howard said it was time for me to go home. 

Around 9 a.m. on Friday, I left 610 S. Ardmore for the drive to Costa Mesa. My route took me up Vermont. A number of stores and businesses had been broken into and burned. Small fires dotted the eight blocks to the freeway onramp. Vermont was also a major staging area for the National Guard. They had control of the street and were branching out into other parts of the city.    Smoke hung over the 101. It began to clear at the transition to the 5. 

The further I got from downtown, the less the sense of danger, damage and unrest became. When I pulled onto my street, it was like driving onto the set of a Spielberg movie in which he has created an idyllic suburb. The sky was clear. Birds were chirping. Neighborhood kids were in the streets. My last couple of days didn’t have any impact on home.   

I got a call at home on Saturday morning from Rush Limbaugh. Rush had wanted badly to be on the air in his 9A-Noon time slot on KFI during the rioting and civil unrest. Howard and David had decided that this huge local story needed exclusively local coverage. If Rush wanted to fly into LA and broadcast from Marvin’s house, he was welcome. He chose to stay in New York. In his call with me, Rush wanted to know if he had been kept off the air out of concern that his political views would have been inflammatory. I assured him that it was the demand and need for KFI to be hyper focused locally that drove the decision.   

1992 was pre-social media. TV could only have impact where they had a camera. Print was on at least a twelve hour delay from an event occurring to a reader’s hands. Radio, via phone calls and reporters, could be anywhere. And for the King Riots, KFI was everywhere. Howard Neal was an exemplary leader. He placed the safety of his people first, but did everything he could to keep our listeners informed and engaged. David G. Hall and Marc Germain determined that staying on air was their responsibility. Andy and Tammy out on the street. And Marvin Collins wizarding the technical side. 

It was an incredibly intense 72 hours in which KFI served its local and national audience with creativity and bravery. I am incredibly proud to have been part of the station.   

Morning Has Broken

Persons 12+
6a-10a March '17 PPM

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. Pat Prescott (KTWV)
3. News Team (KNX)
4. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
5. Bill Handel (KFI)
Persons 18-34
6a-10a March '17 PPM

1. Woody Show (KYSR)
2. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
3. Valentine (MY/fm)
4. Big Boy (KRRL)
5. J Cruz (KPWR)
Persons 25-54
6a-10a March '17 PPM

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. Woody Show (KYSR)
3. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
4. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
5. Kevin & Bean (KROQ)

March '17 PPM Ratings 

(April 19, 2017) Now that the dust has settled from Christmas music and Holiday ratings and formats are pretty much what they are during the year, MY/fm (KBIG) jumped a half point to continue as #1 in the just-released March '17 PPM 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid. And Saul Levine's Oldies format at 1260AM (KSUR) had an impressive debut with a o.3. Others on the list:

1. KBIG (MY/fm) 5.2 - 5.7
2. KTWV (The WAVE) 4.8 - 5.5
3. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.8 - 4.9
    KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.9 - 4.9
5. KOST (AC) 4.6 - 4.4
6. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.9 - 3.9
7. KNX (News) 3.8 - 3.6
8. KFI (Talk) 3.5 - 3.4
9. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.3 - 3.2
10. KYSR (Alternative) 3.2 - 3.1

11. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 3.2 - 3.0
12. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 3.4 - 2.8
13. KRRL (Urban) 2.9 - 2.7
14. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.4 - 2.6
      KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.7 - 2.6
16. KKGO (Country) 2.5 - 2.5
17. KSWD (Classic Rock) 2.3 - 2.4
18. KXOS (Spanish) 22 - 2.3
19. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.2 - 2.1
      KROQ (Alternative) 2.1 - 2.1
      KXOL (Spanish AC) 20 - 2.1
22. KJLH (Urban AC) 2.1 - 1.8
      KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 1.8
24. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.7
       KPCC (News/Talk) 2.1 - 1.7
26. KCRW (Variety) 1.3 - 1.6
       KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.6 - 1.6
28. KUSC (Classical) 1.1 - 1.3
29. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.1 - 1.2
      KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.0 - 1.2
31. KSPN (Sports) 0.9 - 1.1
32. KEIB (Talk) 0.9 - 1.0
       KRLA (Talk) 1.1 - 1.0
       KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 1.0 -1.0
34. KABC (Talk) 0.7 - 0.7
35. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.6
       KKJZ (Jazz) 0.6 - 0.6
       KLAC (Sports) 0.6 - 0.6
       KWKW (Spanish Sports) 0.6 - 0.6
39. KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.3 - 0.5
40. KTNQ (Spanish Talk) 0.5 - 0.4
41. KSUR (Oldies) -- - 0.3

In an email to LARadio, MY/fm morning man Valentine enthused: "Sometimes the sun shines on ya and all you can do is smile. Today we are smiling. Thought you would get a kick out of this :) Valentine"

Fall 2016

MY/fm/VITM 6-10 AM AQH Share 

25-54         Persons #1 English

18-49         Women  #1 Overall

25-54         Women  #2 Overall

35-44         Women  #1 Overall 

45-54         Women  #1 Overall

35-64         Women  #1 Overall


18-49         Persons #2 English

35-64         Persons  #1 Overall

Now Quarter 1 2017

MY/fm/VITM 6-10 AM AQH Share


6+               #1

12+             #1

6-11            #1

Teens         #1

18+             Women #1 Overall

18-49         Women #1 Overall

25-54         Women #1 Overall

35-44         Women #1 Overall

45-54         Women #1 Overall

35-64         Women #1 Overall

35+             Women #1 Overall

18-49         Persons  #1 Overall

25-54         Persons  #1 Overall

35-64         Persons  #1 Overall


Nine Southern California Voices We Will Never Hear Again

(April 18, 2017) Robert W. Morgan and The Real Don Steele were both listed in the nine voices we will never hear again. The listing was provided by Jason Rosenthal in his tasty blog, The Southern Californian. "Whether they were talking in a manic speed in-between songs, introducing some cool, hip music, delivering the worst possible news, or shouting down guests in an era before cable news made that a thing of their own, these were just some of the voices that made up the fabric of Southern California broadcasting. Whether on radio or television these broadcast voices were the sound of Southern California.

Okay, so the title is a little misleading (or, you could say clickbait-ish), because while we will always hear these broadcast voices live on, be it on the Internet, on vinyl, VHS tapes, Beta tapes or cassette tapes, we will never hear these legends of Southern California broadcasting live and in a new, original form ever again.

Now, let us celebrate and remember the lives of these Southern California broadcast legends."

If you have been around Southern California media, click Morgan or Steele and check out the memories.

Email Monday, 4.17.17

** More Than a War of Words at KNX

"It appears to be more than a war of words on Twitter between KFI and KNX.

According to the KNX website, as of Easter Sunday, Jeff Baugh is still listed as a traffic reporter for KNX. As for Chuck Rowe, he must still be in Indiana or Phoenix because as far as the KNX website goes, they never heard of him.  

I was trying to find out who were all the new people I keep hearing on KNX, but they are not there either. I guess that  is OK because Julie Chin is the only management person working there.

Ken Charles? I guess he is a ghost program director because the KNX website does not have a Ken Charles at the station. Actually that is by choice as he told me he likes to keep a low profile. Yep, that is what I expect from KNX. Up to the minute news.

Hey, Ken, perception is the key to believability. If I cannot trust your website content, why should I trust your station's content?" - Respectfully Bill Mann, South Pasadena 
** What Do I Think of Kingman's Performance?

"The 'Kingman’s performance' recording was this time of year in 1978 on a Saturday night. I know because I was on the air at KLAC doing a music show when about 10 p.m.  a young Paul Olden comes into the studio and says: 'Dunk, I’ve got something for you to hear.'

I found our 'bathroom record,' El Paso by Marty Robbins (4:38), put it on the air and ran into the newsroom and I was the first to hear one of the great drops of all time, which became a regular part on the great Jim Healy’s Sport show on KLAC. (r)" - Jim Duncan,  Director of Production, iHeartMedia/Los Angeles
** Buddy System

"John Landecker and I went to college together and worked for the same, tiny daytimer in Wyoming, Michigan [outside Grand Rapids] in the mid-60s. Landecker and his first wife were in the wedding party when Pam and I got married [49 years ago]. He went east [Lansing, Philadelphia] then Midwest [WLS]. I went south [Atlanta] then wet [KHJ].

We hadn't seen each other in person until last year when John visited his actress daughter, Amy, out here in L.A.

It was great to be together again, even if neither of us had as much hair as the old days." - John Leader

18 Years Ago Today

Matt Drudge Got His Start with KIEV’s George Putnam  

(April 16, 1999) For anyone who loves radio, Sandy Wells’ weekly column in Cheers! The San Gabriel group of newspapers (Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Tribune and the Whittier Daily News) is a must. Today’s edition features a story on how Matt Drudge started his broadcast career as a caller to KIEV’s George Putnam show five years ago. Sandy writes: "The former Internet's biggest celebrity has become a regular Wednesday guest on Putnam's talk show. ‘It's his home away from home,’ says Putnam. ‘He drops by the studio and then he's back to New York. I've dubbed him the successor to Walter Winchell.’ Not surprising, if you've seen Drudge wearing a fedora on his Fox News cable tv program. ‘Winchell was my mentor back in 1939,’ recalls Putnam. ‘I like to think of myself as [Matt's] surrogate father.’" Week in and week out, Sandy writes fascinating columns. The unpredictability of his columns makes it a must read. Sandy should be read in a larger circulation newspaper. In fact, the LA Times would be perfect for him. Meanwhile you can read about radio each Friday and hear Sandy reporting news and traffic reports, mostly for KABC. Sandy has been the editorial coordinator for the Los Angeles Radio Guide since 1995 and wrote the radio news "Radio Roundup." The future of the Guide is uncertain … J. Gellig from Los Angeles attended the tax night event with Mr. KABC last night at the LAX Hilton. Gellig writes: "We were all sitting around having a good time when at about 11:45 there was some commotion and all of a sudden 4 or 5 KFI employees walked in wearing KFI tee-shirts and carrying white bags that said KFI and the Tim & Neil show on it. One of the guys was apparently live on a cell phone [big tall, blond, long haired guy]. Mr KABC seemed a bit taken aback and some of the listeners and KABC employees exclaimed ‘KFI?!’ The guy on the cell phone was talking to KABC listeners and giving away these bags. He would make whomever wanted the bag say ‘KFI rules’ before he'd give them one. I truly can't believe that one radio station would try to crash the broadcast of another, does KFI have any taste at all?"… KFI’s Wayne Resnick rocked the house at Highland Grounds in Hollywood last night, according to one fan in attendance. He played his musical comedy set to a packed crowd which included an encore … KFI’s Phil Hendrie said he wanted to be the morning man at KIIS in the early 1980s … Bill Sommers, president/general manager of KLOS/KABC/KDIS, announces three major promotions. Bob Koontz, former gsm at KLOS, has been upped to Director of Sales for KLOS/KABC/KDIS. Leonard Madrid moves from lsm to gsm at KLOS. Louie Chelekis takes on sales manager chores at KABC … Didjaknow that actor Jon Voight is a big fan of KABC’s Art Bell?…HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Bob Gowa (during the 1970s Bob worked at KPPC, KYMS, XPRS/XHIS/HERS, KMET, KROQ and KWST)

Turning Point in the Lives of LARP

During the month of April, Los Angeles Radio People share how an event, a person or mentor changed their lives. Programming consultant Walter Sabo shares his moment. The turning point was when I met tv programming genius Fred Silverman. We became friends and he is my mentor. He taught me that all that matters is what's on the air. Everything else is a distraction. That may seem obvious but consider how much time programmers waste on activities that have nothing to do with being on the air! His 100% focus on the product is an inspiration. - Walter Sabo, President, Sabo Media

War of Words at KFI and KNX Over Use of "Eye in the Sky" 

(April 14, 2017) A Twitter war of words – maybe better described as “aerial warfare” – has erupted between Chris Little (KFI nd) and Ken Charles (KNX pd) over the use of “Eye in the Sky” by both stations for their airborne traffic reports. KFI hasn’t used the phrase for a while since grounding the KFI airplane in 2009, at least not until KNX recently starting using it. Last Monday, Jeff Baugh and Mike O’Brien moved from KNX to KFI reviving the “KFI in the Sky” moniker. One of the Tweets yesterday from Little: “LOVE how you guys are ripping off @KFIAM640. We are proud to lead. You must be proud to follow. #FOLLOWTHELEADER #KFIINTHESKY. I asked former KFI program director David G. Hall if the line was trademarked: “To my knowledge, no,” responded David. “But of course the KFI traffic label going back to the days of Bruce Wayne in the 70s was ‘KFI in the sky.’”

In other news: A new not-for-profit station, Reno NV 89, features a LARP. The “Discover Music” – branded station features former personality Gia DeSantis (KROQ, 1993) in afternoon drive … Cumulus has new stripes for Mike McVay, now EVP, Content & Programming … Ryan Fox, former morning at KKGO, celebrates four years at Cumulus’ Country station in Dallas … Mark Alyn (KCSN, 1971-80; KFI 1973-76; KRLA, 1975-77; KVEN, 1986-88) and now host of Late Night Health, has been named a California Fellow by the Association of Healthcare Journalists. The Insane Darrell Wayne produces Late Night Health. “From the Affordable Care Act to how the legal system causes stress for the average American, we cover the unusual,” said Wayne.


Paul Olden, then with KMPC, is famous for asking Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda what he thought of Dave Kingman’s performance against the Dodgers that infamous afternoon at Dodger Stadium. It unleashed a torrent of vulgarity from Lasorda that was played incessantly on the Jim Healy radio show. Paul celebrates nine years as the public address announcer at Yankee Stadium. The uncensored version of Lasorda’s tirade can be found at … KNX news anchor Bob Brill has published his newest Western novel, the third in the Lancer: Hero of the West series. The latest offering, Santa Fe Affair, is now live both for download on Kindle (and other devices) and paperback as well on his website; www.bobbrillbooks.comSpider Harrison, former KGFJ jock, believes in lemons. He says, “I eat lemons every day for the VOICE. All DJ’s, actors, and singers should eat lemons daily. You can buy them or GROW them. Thank you Christopher Columbus for bringing the seeds to the new world. He knew that I would need and use them throughout my career. LOL.”

Front-page Tribute to Bob Miller, Voice of the Kings 

(April 13, 2017) When Bob Miller called his final LA Kings game after more than 3,300 broadcasts, the LA Times really did him right.
A front-page story evolving into a 3-page tribute was the perfect capper to a GREAT career. And such a nice guy to boot.
Writer David Wharton wrote: " Miller distinguished himself in a different way. He was an everyman, bald and bespectacled, devoted to his craft."
"For his final afternoon at Staples Center, the words 'Thank You Bob' were printed on the ice behind each goal,
every player wore a No. 44 jersey in warm-ups and the crowd chanted his name."

Email Wednesday

** Grunion Hunting

"Glad that you are still doing your LA Radio site on your own schedule! 

I though you'd appreciate this news.  I was recently interviewed out on the beach by Derek Mooney, for a radio nature program heard nationwide -- in Ireland! Here is the 'Mooney Goes Wild' podcast for the April 9 show: 

Seeing the grunion run was on his bucket list and happily, they came out to play for him. Scroll down for photos too. Cheers." - Karen Martin, PhD Professor of Biology, Frank R. Seaver Chair in Natural Science Pepperdine University
** Is $70 Million Salary Outrageous?

"I am just wondering how much KNX must cut expenses to give good 'ol Les Moonves a $70,000,000.00 annual salary. Two airbornes? Three airbornes? 50% of it's content to be able to have 50% paid ad time?

Just curious." - Bill Mann
** Questions of the Month

"I'm really enjoying these memories of how LA Radio People got started, especially when [as in the case of Charlie Van Dyke] an early photo can be included.

It's interesting to see what parallels we all have in our careers while also seeing the differences.

You should solicit more such contributions among the readers and sprinkle them in from time to time. I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates such history." - K.M. Richards
** An Oldie Story

"The response to the new Oldies format at 1260AM is just amazing. The sad truth is that Standards which I love inasmuch as that was the music of my college years, has a demo that is not responsive [or wear PPMs].

Here is an interesting story about Oldies. My father-in-law played sax for the Russ Morgan Orchestra which had the No. 1 Hit Parade song Cruising Down The River, which I heard many times on the radio while I was still in school not knowing that the sax player would become my father-in-law and I would marry his daughter who was not yet born." - Saul Levine
** Rickles Tickled Dave

"In my very years of 'doing my time in radio,' a record company was kind enough to gift me with a trip to Tahoe to see one of their acts and while there we took in a few other shows. While I was sitting near the stage at one show a comedian asked me to join him on stage.

I became the foil to his jousting and a delight to the audience for awhile. He was damn funny for 90 years, that evening, no exception. I returned to my seat and later in the show that night I was actually crying due to his humanity and warmth. Rare in a comic act.

I'll remember this lovely showman, always, as we all have lost a real matador for mankind. Gone at 90, Don Rickles, RIP, with your smirking smile." - Dave Sebastian Williams

KFI's Wendy Walsh Latest Accuser in Bill O"Reilly's Sexual Harassment Charges 

(April 11, 2017) Dr. Wendy Walsh (l) hosts a Sunday afternoon Talk show on KFI. Now, she is drawing national headlines as being the latest to accuse Fox's Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment. Her lawyer is Lisa Bloom, daughter of attorney Gloria Allred. According to her website, Dr. Walsh is a Doctor of Psychology and media commentator who is obsessed with the science of love. Walsh’s tv career began in Los Angeles at UPN 13 News where she worked as an anchor/reporter and later as correspondent on EXTRA. After a break from television to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and raise two children, Walsh returned to tv as a news commentator on CNN and Fox News’s The O’Reilly Factor. In 2012, she co-hosted The Dr. Phil spinoff The Doctors, and was nominated for an Emmy Award … In the midst of more sexual harassment allegations and the loss of over 60 advertisers, O’Reilly’s ratings at Fox News were nonetheless up last week. The O’Reilly Factor averaged more than 3.7 million total viewers and 652,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demographic. When compared to the same week in 2016, O'Reilly's primetime program was up 28 percent in total viewers and 42 percent in the key demographic that advertisers covet most … Delores Thompson, formerly of KGFJ (1994-95) and KJLH (1996-2009), checked in to say she is currently programming KOSA Internet radio and working weekends on-air at 102.9 KBLX-San Francisco … Saul Levine turned 1260AM into a 50s/60s Oldies station on March 17. He’s got encouraging ratings news. “A .2 overall and a .6 with Persons 55+! Not bad for only being on the air for 6 days,” Saul emailed … KIIS’ Jesse Lozano‏ is celebrating his 10th WangoTango concert as part of the backstage broadcast … 100.3/The Sound announced a multi-year agreement with legendary radio personality Rita Wilde. She  will continue on air weekdays from 7 p.m. to midnight and will continue to host the popular “Album Side at 11” segment featuring the uninterrupted play of one full classic rock album side at 11 p.m. “The Sound is the kind of radio I love, so I’m thrilled to be here,” said Rita. “We play the best music ever made and present it with creativity and originality.” … Who had the most extensive coverage of the San Bernardino tragedy yesterday? … MY/fm morning man Valentine  wrote about the San Bernardino shooting on Twitter: “My son just turned 9 and yet another parent’s 8 year old son will not. My heart is breaking for them.” … Seena had plea yesterday on her Twitter page: “There is so much insanity in this world. So stop complaining. Live each day fully. Keep ur loved ones close. And remember to smile.”

Van Dyke @ 14

(April 10, 2017) Over the weekend, LARadio went to the Archives in 2005 and republished some responses to the question of the month, 'How did you get your first job in radio.' Veteran Charlie Van Dyke (93/KHJ and K-EARTH) read the memories and submitted his fascinating story:

"My first job was KIXL/fm in Dallas, hired by the owner, Lee Segall. Lee was the creator of the original Dr. IQ show. KIXL AM was only a daytimer, but highly rated. It featured Beautiful Music. Also Broadway Show Tunes were part of the unique mix. Segall was also a personal friend of Gordon McLendon. When Gordon wanted to launch KABL-San Francisco, he asked Segall to share his formatics, which he did.

Later, the KIXL program director, Dillard Carrera, was hired away to launch a new station, KVIL AM. Dillard hired me for that station while I was in high school. KVIL was originally launched as an Adult Contemporary version of KIXL. I called radio stations regularly back then asking for a job. I called KIXL one day and asked if they had any openings. Harold Smith, the program director,  said they had a part-time position and might need some help in the summer. I asked if there were any age restrictions. He said there were not. So, I asked my mom to drive me to the station for an audition.

When I arrived, Smith kind of gasped. Since I already had a pretty low voice, he thought I was worried that I might be too old to be hired. Segall himself listened with a group of staffers and said to hire me. I cannot tell you the joy of being hired for a job that paid me a net of $36.16 in my first check. My parents drove me or I rode the bus every day to work because I was too young to drive. It was absolute magic from the first moment!

The attached article tells you more about Mr. Segall. I can honestly say that it was a magic carpet ride that I still enjoy. While most of my professional work is now with television stations, it's all still magic and I never stop feeling grateful and blessed!" (photo: Van Dyke at age 14 at KIXL)  Click artwork for link.

Slater Slated for KFI News 

(April 10, 2017) Julie Slater was one of the first wave of full-time personalities to join 100.3/fm The Sound when the then-Bonneville launched as a Triple A station (station has since morphed into Classic Rock) in the summer of 2008. She left in early 2016. Julie has now joined the news department as a news anchor at KFI. "Saturday was her first day in training on the air," emailed KFI news director Chris Little. "She will be working part-time and fill-in."

With her new assignment Julie said: "I am super psyched to now be in the iHeart family. I hope to do even more with them. I'm still on air at 88.5 KCSN hosting my new music show Out on a Limb Saturday from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m."

Slater was a staple in New York radio for 13 years before joining Sirius Satellite as an on-air reporter for Variety MagazineSlater followed Howard Stern on-air daily at New York's WXRK/K-Rock for 10-years. She was wooed by Sirius Satellite Radio almost ten years ago to make the move to Los Angeles, and in her words, “to get some sun.” 

LARPs: How did you get your first job in radio? 
2005 Archives

“Sweet Dick” Whittington: A few years ago while working as a ‘thrasher’ on a wheat combine in Kansas, I one day caught a glimpse in a remote section of a 500-acre wheat field what appeared to be either a scarecrow, or a man who was standing absolutely still with his arms upraised. As I approached I saw that it was indeed a man.

‘What are you?’ I asked, ‘a human scarecrow?’

’No,’ he replied. I am a radio transmitter. Stopping the combine, I jumped off and I hunkered down beside the man, stuck a length of straw between my teeth to consider his strange radio transmitter statement. As I looked up from my hunkering I studied him. In this dusty, overwhelmingly hot day, he was wearing an ill-fitting, well-worn double-breasted black suit. The cuffs on his trousers hung at least two inches above the top of his black cracked patent leather shoes, displaying what once must have been white socks, but now graying.

"What?" I asked in a shy, but forthright manner is a radio transmitter? Looking exasperated the man peered at me stroking his upper lip, suggesting that at one time, or another he had sported a moustache, but had forgotten that he had shaved it off.

'A radio transmitter sends out sound to an awaiting world.’ This was more a proclasmation than explanation. ‘How does it work?’ I gasped.

’Simple, he expatriated. ‘Announce something in my ear.’

’OK, uh what exactly should I announce?’

’Try something like P. Diddy makes me giddy.’ I moved to within six inches of the man's ear and shouted: ‘P. Diddy makes me giddy!’

He immediately shouted at double the decibel: ‘P. DIDDY MAKES ME GIDDY!!’ We then both stared at each other for a long moment. Finally he said while screwing his index finger into the ear that I had just debuted in. ‘Not bad,’ but you need experience; come back and see me when you get some.’

"What exactly does that mean?’ I asked.

’I really don't know, and frankly I don't care, now go away, I have to get back to my radio transmitting.’ Those were his last words. I climbed back up on the combine, and drove off to finish thrashing the field before sundown. I was strangely saddened, but still exhilarated by the experience. As I left him, I turned to look back and there he was as I first saw him, standing stark still, his arms thrust straight upward. It was my only encounter with a man that I shall always remember as my first radio employer, and who later would become known as George Green. As for me, I gave up thrashing wheat fields in Kansas and subsequently became a Nabisco Wheat Thin.

Gary Campbell: My first paying job in radio [after several years at the UCLA radio station, and some volunteer work at KPFK] was at a Country station, KDOL in Mojave. I sent a tape and got hired for evenings. The pd was a strange old guy named Jack Chapman, who voiced all the local spots in stentorian tones. After three months I moved on to the big time - Barstow. 

Gary Hollis (K-Mozart): I'd always loved Classical music. After all, I'd worked back stage at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. It was always a dream of mine to be a Classical music announcer, and when KFAC went belly up, I sent an audition tape to KCSN [Cal State Northridge], was accepted in the winter of '90, where I received my FCC license. Dan Sonenberg at KCSN knew someone at then KKGO, and I began working there September of 1990, and that ladies and gentlemen... 

Delores Thompson-Simon (“Yo Sista Girl” - KJLH) I got my first job at KGFJ in 1992. What had happen was, I was driving down the street and saw that station and told my boyfriend that I was getting a job there, his reply ‘Yeah, right.’ After that I started calling the station and finally I spoke with the general manager and she said, ‘do you have an air check?’ I asked what's that and can I come up there and make one? She laughed and said you've got to ask the pd, however, when I would call a Japanese man would answer. I got the job, however, it was years later that I heard the pd Johnny Morris using that same voice and I just cracked up.

Harvey Kern: The year 1978 was a scary one. I was Administrator of Quality Assurance for the LA Co. Department of Health Services, working in downtown L.A. and commuting from Oak Park [80 miles+ each day], teaching evening graduate classes at Cal State Northridge one evening a week, and a busy husband and father of two young girls. The voters of LA County were debating passage of Proposition 13 to freeze property taxes and those of us who were in public service feared for our careers. 

Having some experience in radio at UCLA in the 60s, and having been told I had a ‘nice voice,’ I decided that I would brush up on radio skills and try to land a part-time position in the event that my County job was eliminated. With my family's blessings, I plunged into the KIIS Broadcasting Workshop in Beverly Hills to learn the necessary engineering skills [remember when you had to have a license to be on the air?], as well as copy writing, voice, diction, etc. I was the oldest person in my group, and found myself amidst a bunch of young, spoiled, rude Beverly Hills youths who spent their class evenings smoking pot in the hallways. However, the instructors were top-notch radio professionals and I found it all to be great fun [no, I didn't inhale]. 

Being at an age when I enjoyed listening to KNJO in Thousand Oaks, near my home, I applied for a position there with the late former owner Alan Fischler and pd Bob Hughes.  After a few fill-in shifts, I got the shift I desired - Sunday mornings, 6 a.m. to noon. In addition to taped programs for seniors and a religious show, I played LPs [using turntables that wowed, and records with cue-burns] of Mantovani, Percy Faith, the 101 strings, and vocals by Patti Page, Tony Bennett, Sandler and Young, etc. We had a strong signal [one of the first towers with stereo – ‘Stereo 92’] and I received much support from friends, neighbors, and listeners. 

While completing my professional health career [eventually becoming director of public affairs for LAC+USC Medical Center and dealing with the major LA radio reporters 24/7 for 9 years], I was up at 4 a.m. every Sunday enjoying my shifts immensely. I had the Sunday morning gig for 17 years, and also did  news and sports reporting, countless remotes, and some shifts on KMDY (Comedy Radio) when KNJO merged with them. I also did some voiceovers and narrations.  

Changes in technology over the years were amazing - I remember when KNJO played its first 45 rpm record. Over all those years, I survived 6 owners, 15 program directors, and worked with hugely talented on-air folks, some of whom moved on to become well-known in L.A. radio or elsewhere. When I retired from LA Co. [after 32 years] and CSUN, the owners of KNJO/KMLT [Joe Amaturo et al] asked me to work morning drive [with news, traffic, and NO LPs - all automated], which I did for a year, then middays, then public service. I was also working with former KNJO/KMDY gm/pd Pete Turpel at Phone on Hold Marketing Systems recording greeting and on-hold messages for businesses and services all over the US and Canada [and was the voice of all 450 Costco stores]. I resigned from KNJO in 1998 after 20 years, and left POH last year after suffering a major stroke. Fortunately, I'm now back to normal, enjoy reading daily, and do occasional voice work. Also enjoy having grandchildren and volunteer activities. 

Part-time local radio doesn't necessarily make you rich, but it is hugely rewarding in countless ways and I am grateful to be a very small part of the extended LARP family.”   

Jim Thornton (KNX): Besides college radio, my first ‘real’ job in radio was at Metro Traffic here in L.A. I was riding the bus home with a teacher at L.A. Broadcasters. He mentioned they were looking for producers, so, of course, I was thrilled to try for ANY job in radio in L.A. Sure enough I got hired. Then, six months later I was on the air, famous and making millions of dollars. Just another Schwab's Drugstore story.

Bill Jenkins:  In 1948, they built a new radio station in the Central Texas town of
Lampasas and initially set aside 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. as a show for the kids in school. At that time, there were very few radio signals which made it to Lampasas and the big 50,000 boomers in Dallas and San Antonio definitely had nothing for the teenagers. We had juke boxes and records. A lot of us hung around the station. The afternoon show was called ‘The KHIT Club.’ In July of 1950, I took over as the third host and continued my broadcast career until the end of the Gulf War I in late February '91. Now, as of this coming Saturday, Clear Channel has asked me to bring ‘Open Mind’ back on the air, which I did at KABC. I don't think this has ever happened in LA before. ‘Open Mind’ had the largest single audience in its time period in the country. Despite that, ole George Green did not want to expand on the popularity of that genre, so I left broadcasting 18 years ago. Now, Open Mind is back!!! 

Jhani Kaye: I was a sophomore in high school and a friend took me out to our local radio station. I was fascinated with the way the announcer ran both the board and did the announcing. After several visits and offering to answer the request lines and run general errands, they decided to give me a job as a board op. Well, one day the announcer forgot to record a spot that I would have normally played back. The gm told me to open the mic and the rest is history.

Pat Matthews (ex-KWIZ pd): It was in a small suburb of New Orleans named Harvey. I was a junior in high school an my idol was a senior named Charlie Young. He was the afternoon drive jock on this little daytimer, KGLA. They used the old KRLA jingle package from 1968, so some of the jocks had the same names as the L.A. guys...weird. I was Bob Dayton for my six month foray on weekends there. It didn't take long to shake the Bob Dayton moniker after that, though!


Archer (KBIG): I was still in high school, and a friend of mine got a gig spinning records a couple of weekends a month at the local radio station in my home town, Belle Glade, Florida. The station was WSWN/fm, a country music signal, coupled with WSWN AM, which played mostly preachers' sermons and southern gospel music. 

It was the summer break before my senior year, and my dad had just announced he was going to start charging me rent, so I had to find a job. I'd hung out a time or two with my friend at the station, so I thought that this would be an easy few bucks - sit there, spin records, make sure the preachers' tapes were running on time. So I applied for my first job ever on July 31, 1980. I was hired a week later.

My first gigs were a couple of overnight shifts a week, playing the one commercial break an hour during the Larry King show on the Mutual Broadcasting System. [Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Larry King was on the radio before he was on CNN.] I learned to sleep and wake up right before I had to pot him down and hit the PSAs in the cart deck. 

When the school year started up again, I was promoted to afternoons. I'd leave school at the final bell and have fifteen minutes to get to the station, but in such a small town, that wasn't difficult. After I graduated, I was promoted to mornings, and had to arrive to 'warm up' the fm transmitter an hour before we signed on at 5am. 

I still remember 'cue burns' on records.  Cart machines were a new thing the engineer had just bought to play back commercials. Stereo? Who needed it. The control board was a small box with huge 'pots' on it and one VU meter. [Rick Dees would have loved the big pots.] The turntables were right there on the desk with you, so you had to be careful not to drum on the table or the sound would carry over the spinning records. 

The program director at the time (I eventually replaced him) was a guy who'd show up every two weeks, unlock the record library, grab two handfuls of 45 rpm singles, maybe five or six albums, and toss them into the studio. "Play these," he'd say, and leave. Those were the records you played for the next two weeks, until he returned. I guess we were Jack before Jack was cool. 

The station was located at the edge of a sugar cane field, at first in an old trailer. When I started working there, they had just begun building an actual building, so my first few shifts were done in a studio that didn't yet have walls. 

What made it the most fun was hanging out with the Palm Beach County Sheriffs deputies about once a month. You see, at the other end of that cane field was Glades Correctional Institute. The facility was not known for its tight security - there was an escape every few weeks, and they'd always run toward the station. The deputies would be waiting for them there, and many times I'd arrive early in the morning to find a phalanx of cop cars waiting for an escaped prisoner to show. 

I don't know why they always ran toward the station. Maybe they were fans. I wound up working there for five years, and what started as a way to get my dad off my back turned into a career - one I hadn't planned on.   

Ken Jeffries (KFWB): It was 1972 - WBRX-AM in Berwick, Pennsylvania. I showed up in a suit. The program director said, ‘If you can read, you have a job.’  

I did a little of everything. I even sold time, until I discovered the station manager was ‘'underselling’ me. We played Top 40, although we switched to Mantovani whenever the owner was in town. He drove in from Atlantic City - about 200 miles away - and when we thought he was within earshot, we'd start slipping in Mantovani, Sinatra or Tony Bennett between album cuts of Gary Glitter, Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd. Therefore, by the time he was within the Berwick city limits, we were all MOR all the time. Our slogan should have been: ‘Give us 22 minutes - we'll give you elevator music'. About a year later, I was hired to work in the bustling metropolis of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. And the rest, as they say, is broadcasting history. 

Miller Time on Saturday

Kimmel Was Ultimate Fan 

Jimmy Kimmel was a HUGE fan of Don Rickles. LA Times elected to use photo of the two in its front-page story on Don's passing.
Rickles appeared 18 times on Kimmel's late night show.


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Hear Ache 

(April 7, 2017) Former KDAY personality Foster Brooks participated in a hilarious roast of Don Rickles, who passed away yesterday. Bill Kingman sent this link Ed Pyle, former KNX program director now living in Prescott, Arizona, emailed to say there’s nothing new about news, sports, traffic and maybe business anchors endorsing products on KNX. “It was started [grit my teeth here] maybe five years before I retired and that’s eleven years ago. A really unfortunate surrender to sales,” said Pyle … Sports guy Ted Sobel had a conversation with Vin Scully last Monday on opening day of the baseball season. “Vinny said, ‘just stand up in the middle of the Press Box and tell everyone to have a happy and healthy baseball season!’ Typical Vin who just wanted to stay out of the spotlight and let the new guys do their thing!” … Victor Zaragoza, former morning man at HOT 92.3, jumped across town to CBS/San Francisco’s KCBS/KFRC as part of the station's new in-house traffic and sports department, serving as weekday overnight traffic reporter … Joe Crummey, former KFI and KABC Talker, joins the Friday Morning Countdown Hour at Doug Stephan's Good Day ... Ralph Story’s wife, Diana, has written a new novel, Maya’s Story – Slipping Between Time and Space … Former KPPC personality and Chicago legend Steve Dahl was MIA from his WLS-Chicago show for more than a week, according to Chicago Media maven Robert Feder. He was in the hospital for treatment of a perforated colon. Broadcasting from his home, the Chicago radio legend said he was diagnosed with diverticulitis … Congratulations to Mary Beth Garber on her 6-year anniversary as EVP/Marketing Strategy at Katz Media Group … David Schwartz reports that a very young Tom Snyder appears in an episode of The Rifleman this afternoon at 3 p.m. on Me-TV … Mike Butts, former morning man at K-100, loved the early shot of Scully from his school days … Chris Bury checked out the top of the hour ID at KLAC and Los Angeles follows the call letters.

Email Thursday, 4.6.17

** Shana In Her Day

"That pic of Shana was shot the day KLOS removed the glass that separated the board ops from talent, and talent went 'combo.'

What we don’t see is yours truly on the other side of the console, also in formal attire. Thanks for the memory.  Proud to be one of the last LARP record spinners." - Ira Lawson

** KFI In the Sky

"Nice to see Jeff Baugh and ol' buddy Mike O'Brien land on their feet placed firmly in the air at KFI. Anything keeping these guys from reporting our horrible traffic conditions would truly be a waste of talent and experience.  

I wonder and fret about at least another half-dozen time-tested friends and former colleagues whom were heard daily on KNX, while the [generally] half-wits who now run the L.A. Traffic/Radio biz play footsies with each other and anyone else within range. Makes me glad to be a former participant in such [the biz, not the footsies]!" - Greg Hardison
** KNX Traffic Jam

"I feel bad about Tommy Jaxson (photo left with Randy Kerdoon). He was fired because CBS did not want ANY traffic people as employees and now it turns out that ALL traffic will be employees, except the airbornes I guess but I do not know that for sure. 

I'm having a difficult time adjusting to the gyrations at KNX. It was good to hear Chuck Rowe back. He is thrilled to be back in California. I will miss Jeff Baugh. He is the best of the best up in the air.  Of course I have a special affinity for Jeff and Chuck. Both of them bought barstools from me." - Bill Mann,
** Endorsements R Us

"Changing traffic services is not the only thing going on at KNX. The long-standing policy about newscasters not endorsing sponsors has been abandoned. So we now hear Frank Mottek gushing over his fancy BMW, Denise Fondo's exercise regimen, Jennifer York and her Subaru and corn flakes window installation, and Dick Helton with investment advice, among others.

And the news announcers are recording stories which are aired at various times 24/7, which likely saves on costs for more staff. I wonder what Bill Nesbitt is doing with all his extra time?" - Harvey Kern
** Legal ID Missing?

"Have you noticed that at the top of the hour KLAC gives the call letters and also KYSR HD2 but not Los Angeles. This has been going on at least a week. 

Have the station ID rules changed and I'm just behind the times?" - Ira Kosberg
** Shotgun Does What He Does Best - Talk

"This last Sunday night I was a presenter for the San Diego Film awards and to my surprise they gave me the Lifetime Achievement Award. The show will be televised on The CW 6 in San Diego on April 9th.

I'm going to be on 790 KABC this Friday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. You can listen on the KABC website." - Shotgun Tom Kelly  
** Scully As a Youth

"Since it's the beginning of our first season in 67 years without Vin Scully, wonder if readers would enjoy a flashback to when Vin was just a 17- year- old future sports Hall of Famer." - Bruce Chandler

Hear Ache

(April 5, 2017) Sure is beginning to smell like the advertising boycott of Rush Limbaugh a few years back following the Sandra Fluke affair. This time around it is former KABCer Bill O’Reilly, the face of Fox News who is involved in sexual harassment charges. Mercedes Benz was the first to pull its ads from the O’Reilly Factor. It didn’t take long for another dozen to join the apparent bandwagon: BMW, Lexus, Allstate, Pet Nutrition, Untuckit, digital marketing company Constant Contact, pharmaceutical GlaxoSmithKline, Mitsubishi, Bayer, and Hyundai, among others … During the traffic reporting musical chairs this week, it is nice to hear Chuck Rowe return to KNX. “It was like old times tonight on KNX 1070,” Chuck wrote on his FB page … Consumption of news content in radio jumped 18% year-over-year, according to Nielsen's Total Audience Report. KNX benefitted with a strong performance in the last two ratings books … Leigh Ann Adam teamed with Charlie Tuna at KBIG at the turn of the century. She went on to a decade at a leading Dallas station, KVIL. Leigh Ann had an opportunity to go solo on the Dallas iHeart ‘Star’ station, but had to wait out a few months because of a non-compete clause. During that waiting period she did what all anchors do, Leigh Ann got a tummy tuck that resulted in a frightening turn of events. “During surgery or immediately after, something happened and I woke up and couldn’t talk,” she told her new morning show audience on Monday. “They think it was from the intubation. For days I met with doctors and cried. This had been my dream. Take an arm or take a leg but not the voice. I was on top of the world because I was offered this job. It will get better. It’s starting to get better.” She started her new assignment on Monday at Star 102.1/fm (KDGE) … Former KNX newswoman Brooke Binkowski turns 40 next month. She thinks of it as a milestone year, but laments the clothes available to 40-year-olds. “Look at the style guides for woman my age and get depressed,” she wrote on FB. “I’ll just continue along my merry way dressing the same haphazard way I always have, thanks.” … Bill Reiter, former KLAC sports talk host, joins CBS Sports Radio later this month hosting his Reiter Than You … Top 40 fans who grew up with early rock ‘n roll lament the passing of Rosie Hamlin, lead singer on Angel Baby.  She was just 14 when she wrote the song. Art Laboe posted on his Facebook page: "Your signature song, #AngelBaby, we must have played a million times since it first came out. Your artistry and music has touched so many Rosie and you will be missed."

Carruthers Ends Incredible Run

(April 4, 2017) After 37 years and nearly 10,000 episodes, the award-winning radio feature Something You Should Know is about to air it’s last show on the radio on Friday, May 26, 2017. Creator and host Mike Carruthers says, “It is just not possible to continue given the climate and economics of network radio – at least for an independent producer like me.”

The daily, 90 second feature debuted in December 1979 on one radio station, WFTQ-AM in Worcester, Massachusetts. Since then the program has been broadcast on hundreds of radio stations all over the U.S. and Canada including KNX, WBZ-Boston, WBBM-Chicago and WDBO-Orlando. “Affiliate stations were notified last week and the response has been quite amazing,” says Carruthers.

Some samples:
• “SYSK has been a part of ALL our lives for nearly 40 years. We fully understand the economics of radio however; please know you will forever hold a place in Americana. Thank you for sharing your talents.” WZEP-Defuniak Springs, FL
•  “You've done a consistently excellent job and it's been a pleasure to be associated with you and your program for over 20 years.” WJZR-Rochester, NY  
•  “We are so sorry to hear the news. You've done good and interesting work; we are proud to carry it.” WLIS-New London, CT  
•  “Thank you for the years of providing a great feature. ‘Content is King’ and you sure proved that for 36 years.” WICC-Bridgeport, CT  

While the radio show is going away, Something You Should Know will live on as a long-form podcast. Launched last summer, the podcast version is already one of the top podcasts on iTunes, consistently ranking in the Top 100. “It’s going to feel weird to NOT do something I have been doing every day since 1979. But it has been a good run and it is time to go” concludes Carruthers. “I am very proud of the work I have done on the radio. The fact that it ran successfully for so long makes me feel great.”

Hear Ache 

(April 3, 2017) If you are listening to your favorite radio program this morning, on some stations you will be hearing new voices doing the traffic or your favorite voices are gone. CBS Radio dropped their barter-type relationship with Total Traffic, an iHeart company. Over the years it has been almost impossible to follow the different traffic services - Metro, Shadow, Airwatch, Radiate.

The best news in this current shuffle, "KFI in the Sky" is back with Jeff Baugh airborne dispensing a birds-eye view of the traffic during the Bill Handel morning drive show. Jeff moves to KFI from KNX where he had been doing double duty traffic since 2008. Prior to KNX, Jeff was with KFWB beginning in 1986. Mike O'Brien also moved from KNX to do afternoon traffic at KFI.

LARPs Playing it Forward 

(April 2, 2017) Former radio program director and cuurent television director, Jhani Kaye, joins NBC 4 weatherman Fritz Coleman and instructor Ruben Barron to introduce broadcast students to the real world experience of producing a television newscast at NBC Universal's broadcast center.

3 Years Ago Today 

Tomm Looney Finds New Avenues

(April 1, 2014) LARPs come from all sorts of different backgrounds and cultures. Many have dreams beyond radio – some want to be a sports broadcaster at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, while others  want to make the transition to tv. But one LARP wants to be in the movie business.

Tomm Looney, personality at all-Sports KLAC and partner with JT the Brick, is the executive producer of a new independently-financed movie. Now he is just beginning the daunting task of finding a distributor. The move is called Avenues, which refers to the tough part of Highland Park, and stars a primarily Latino cast. But Avenues has several meanings. "In addition to a film being based in 'The Avenues' area of Highland Park, this movie is about choices we make in life - 'avenues' we can take to change our lives. Sometimes we choose the right avenues, sometimes we do not," added Tomm.

One reviewer called the movie “groundbreaking.” The thing Tomm loves about the movie, “It's NOT a cliché urban pic.”

Tomm submitted Avenues for inclusion in the Sundance Film Festival and as he said, “came THISCLOSE to getting in.”

“Somebody there who was Latino and pissed at his colleagues for rejecting us,actually took the step of helping us out,” said Tomm. “We re-edited and then HBO selected us for their USA/Latino festival in San Diego.” The fortuitous move landed Avenues winner of Best Narrative Feature.

You can see the trailer by clicking the artwork.

Tomm is excited about the recent turn of events. “Things are looking up,” continued Looney. “At first I was counting my millions and rehearsing my Oscar speech. Now, I’m just hoping for success and earning my money back. I am stunned that this may soon be a reality."

What’s next? “On to Miami to HISPANICIZE, which is a South-by-Southwest type of affair for upwardly mobile Latinos.”

Former Mega Man Makes People

(March 31, 2017) George Lopez, former morning man at Mega 100 (KCMG) from 2000-01, launched his second season of Lopez on TV Land. George has already had a sitcom, George Lopez, that ran on ABC from 2002-2007, producing 120 episodes spanning six seasons, then 286 Lopez Tonight shows on TBS from 2009-2011 and 10 episodes of the failed sitcom Saint George in 2014 on FX.

This week People Magazine featured a short Q&A with Lopez:

What do you love most about working on Lopez? It's like being in therapy and filming it! Most people learned the lessons I'm now learning in their 20s. But because I always worked so much, I'm just starting to deal with them now.

What's the most challenging part? The show is so personal that there's no pullback. But really, the most challenging part is holding in my stomach while we film!

What do you enjoy doing in your downtime? I collect art and pens. I learned to write with my grandmothers' eyebrow pencil, but once I realized there were really great pens out there, I wanted them!

You have a daughter, Maya, 20.What's the best part of fatherhood? Maya is a great girl. She's sweet funny, and she's an individual - all of the things that I wasn't. She's not afraid of anything.

Traffic Snarl

(March 30, 2017) Russell Allen Lee in Long Beach, California: To all of my Facebook friends, tomorrow (Friday) is my last day reporting traffic during AM drive on KTWV, 94.7 The Wave. A corporate decision by CBS is moving their stations to another service.

After almost 23 years, I am feeling sad and grateful at the same time. 16 of those years were spent with the other woman in my life, the peerless 
Pat Prescott, who has hosted the morning show since 2000, and will continue to do so. I love her dearly, and will miss sharing the airwaves with her.

The Wave is, in my opinion, the greatest station in LA and I am honored and thankful to have been a part of their storied history ... they have been wonderful to me all these years. I will, however, remain employed with other duties at Total Traffic, which has been the best job of my life.

Hear Ache 

(March 30, 2017) It seems like yesterday, but it was back in the early 2000s when Leigh Ann Adam teamed up with Charlie Tuna for mornings at KBIG. (The birth of one of Leigh Ann's children was carried live on the Internet and received huge coverage for KBIG.) After leaving the Southland, Leigh Ann went to Dallas, and for over a decade she was at KVIL, a CBS station. Leigh Ann is now joining iHeartMedia’s Star 102.1, Dallas’ “More Music, More Variety radio station,” beginning Monday. Star Mornings with Leigh Ann will feature Adam discussing the latest news in entertainment and pop culture as well as hosting interviews featuring some of today’s biggest artists. "I love what I do and I’m so excited to wake up with Star 102.1 and the DFW community,” said Adam. “Having the opportunity to host mornings is amazing and I can’t wait to put on my new headphones and get started!" … On Monday, the Dodgers will play their first opening day since 1950 without Vin Scully calling their games. He won’t be in the stands. He won’t make a point of watching on tv, either. “It’s a day game. I’ll probably have things to do,” the famed 89-year-old announcer told The AP. “I might catch a piece of it.” … Speaking of Scully, his broadcast from 1957 of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants is headed for the Library of Congress’ National Record Registry … Former Hot 92.3 morning man, Victor Zaragosa, has exited Sports KGMZ (95.7 The Game) in San Francisco … Jennifer Ferro, president of KCRW, penned an op-ed piece in the LA Times yesterday about public broadcasting … Behind-the-scenes radio friend Paul Mahler had a liver and kidney transplant at UCLA Medical Center. Paul’s family kindly requests that family, friends, co-workers and others to donate blood to the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center in the name of Paul Mahler. If not for Paul, for someone else in need. Paul’s buddy Ron Shapiro said Paul was “doing well.” … A new twist in iHeartMedia’s debt struggles was featured in a New York Times piece. … Wonder what Ryan Seacrest has been up to, beyond KIIS, these days? He’s been VERY quiet. Maybe something verrrry exciting?

LARadio Has Three of Top 10 Billers in 2016 

(March 29, 2017) KIIS/fm was the runner-up radio station in the 2016 revenue sweepstakes with $65.9 million, up slightly from the year before at $64.7M. Two other iHeart stations made the Top 10: KBIG (MY/fm) at 6th with $44M (up from $43.6M) and KFI at 10th with $38M, (up slightly from $37.8M). CBS Radio/LA failed to make the list of Top 10 billers.

News/Talk station WTOP in Washington DC was America’s top biller for the sixth time in seven years. The survey is compliled by BIA/Kelsey. WTOP is owned by Hubbard  Broadcasting. WTOP was #1 for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and now 2016. The year 2014 was the only time this entire decade when WTOP failed to hit #1 when it lost to KIIS.

As a general trend, news, news/talk or sports stations claim six of this year’s Top 10 billing spots. CBS stations are listed as Entercom stations, in anticipation of the impending merger in a few months.

Email Tuesday 

**Jocks Needed at K-SURF

"I listened to Saul Levine's 1260 KSUR yesterday and enjoyed hearing music I hadn't heard for a loooong time.

The station just needs some jocks who know how to do it the right way. Not many left." - Mike O'Neil


** New Oldies Station

"Saul Levine says he will never change the format away from Country on his KKGO 105 FM and HD1. But that means there are some interesting options Mr. Levine has likely been thinking about. He's aware that any music on AM sounds terrible and the 105.1HD-2 signal isn't very strong, BUT: with the impending ratings spike with the new Oldies on 1260 AM and KKGO-HD2, and the potential upcoming availability of the soon-to-be Entercom-owned fm frequencies at 93.1 and 100.3, which Entercom has said would be put in a trust to facilitate their sales, would Saul purchase 93.1 and put his Oldies format on 93.1 and bring back a format sounding something like Boss Radio 93/KHJ from the RKO days of Boss Radio? 

He'd have to make a deal with the current 930 AM owners to give up their KHJ call letters for his new KHJ Oldies station at 93(.1)/fm. Certainly the KCBS calls would change anyway after the CBS sale is final or does Sal buy KSWD from Entercom, then move the Oldies format to 100.3, and keep the current The Sound label but just switch the format to his current Oldies formula?

I'm looking forward to hearing LA radio when all this dust settles." - Steve Nieto, Yorba Linda
** Reader Question

"I've been thinking about Levand's question [3.25]and a thought occurred to me that I finally had time to research today. Maybe this is the answer to his question. He said he moved to the area in 1980. KGIL had dropped its Adult Contemporary format on Independence Day 1979 for the 'Ballads, Blues and Big Bands Too' format [I verified the date using archives of old Billboard magazine]. That imaging title is close enough to what Levand remembers to cause me to think perhaps he just noticed it on Sunday nights but that it was actually the full-time format.

As for who it might have been on the air:  The air personalities mentioned in Billboard were Sweet Dick Whittington in mornings and Chuck Cecil late nights, plus pd Mike Lundy, Thomas Brown IV ['The Thomas Brown Affair'] and Joe Medina on weekdays, plus Keri Tombazian and Jean Davis on weekends.  I wonder if it might have been the syndicated Cecil 'Swinging Years' and Levand mistook the station slogan for the program title? Anyway, there's one possible answer to his question." - K.M. Richards
** Labor Day K-EARTH Hits

"Is this website something that can be contributed to your LARadio site as a historical reference? I found it back in 2013 and it has valuable information regarding K-Earth 101 past programming and specials that aired over the Labor Day weekend. It is very interesting and unique, considering many living in Southern California would probably remember this huge special from the 1980's that KRTH once aired along with the "Runner's Up of Classic Rock & Roll Weekend" (the #2's), the weekend before Labor Day. This special ran on KRTH from 1978 through 1990 in some form.

Beginning in 1978 through 1985, KRTH played all local number one songs through the current year. From 1986 through 1989, KRTH ran the special through the 1979 #1 songs. And lastly in 1990 [the last year this aired], KRTH ran this special only through the 1973 #1 songs. This never aired again after 1990. This list shows all the Los Angeles area number one songs, based on local radio station surveys, such as the KFWB Fab 40, the KHJ Boss 30, and radio station surveys from K-Earth 101. Other unknown surveys may have been used as well." - Jose Harrison

Sports LARPs on Heavy TALKERS List

(March 27, 2017) For five years, the well respected TALKERS magazine has compiled the biggest names in Sports radio and a number of LARPs appear, with many near the top of the list. Executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This annual ranking of the most important sports talk radio hosts is one of the most difficult – but enjoyable – projects we undertake at TALKERS. The reason for that is the partially subjective nature of the criteria combined with the enormous number of talented and successful sports talk hosts working in America."

From the top 50: #3 Colin Cowherd, #4 Jim Rome, #5 Dan Patrick, #6 Dan LaBatard, #31 Dan Sileo, #34 Mason & Ireland, #35 Mike & Mike, and #37 Petros & Money


2017 News in January/February

2016 News

Compiled and Written by Don Barrett

About the Publisher of, Don Barrett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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