3rd Quarter - 2017

Compiled and Written by Don Barrett

Email Saturday, 9.30.17

** Weekend Pleasures

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

** LARadio a Warm Blanket

“Damn, I am glad you’re back.

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

** Pop Music Fan

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

** Should KLOS Be a Better Station?

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

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

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

** KLOS May Be Facing Bankruptcy

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

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

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

** The Sound of Silence

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

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

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

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

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

** History of 100.3

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

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

** It’s a Wacky Business

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

** Losing Staff

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

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

** Fart in the Wind

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

** Disco Inferno

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

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

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

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

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

** Pioneer Field

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

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

** Boman Pitch

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

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

** HD Programming

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

** Whoo-Ya

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

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

** Analyze This

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

** Former KOST PD a Good Guy

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

** All That Jazz

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

** Rams Play

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

KBIG Still Big in September '17 Ratings 

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

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

Readers Sound Off on KLOS Open Letter

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Open Email to the Program Director at KLOS



To: Keith Cunningham

From: Don Barrett

Date: September 28, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck.

Entercom Shuts Out The Sound 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Hear Ache

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

A Double Bolt Out of the Blue 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you would like to help Helen, go to:

Email Saturday, 9.23.17

** KNX Compensation

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

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

** Comment from the Whoo-ya Gallery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

** The Art Laboe Connection

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

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

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

  ** Sports Guy Remembered

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

Newsman Steve Gonzalez Dies

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sports Good Guy Dies 

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

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

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

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

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

On Barry’s Facebook Page:

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

The Art and Soul of Rock 'n Roll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hear Ache

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KNX Shuffles Shifts  

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

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

10a – 1p               KNX Midday News with Brian Ping

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

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

7p – 8p                 KNX Evening News with Diane Thompson

8p – 9p                 KNX In Depth (Repeat) 

9p – 12a               KNX Evening News with Diane Thompson

Email Saturday, 9.16.17

** KSHE Impressive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 ** Why Did KCSN Move?

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

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

** Where is Bill Jenkins?

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

  ** Passing of Don Bishop

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

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


Naples, Florida is a Family Affair 

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

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

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

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

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

Top 20 AOR Stations of All-Time 

(September 14, 2017) Over the past few weeks, readers of trade publication Radio Ink voted for the top 20 AOR stations of all time. In addition to the people poll, two AOR experts voted. Both John Sebastian and Lee Abrams have ranked their lists.
How John Sebastian picked them: “My decisions and analysis for this list was predicated on several considerations: Legacy…how the station influenced other Rock radio stations around the country and really the world. Longevity…Consistency in a rock format. How the station was a factor in furthering social justice…this varied market to market but it speaks to how serious the stations were about truly being sensitive to the day to day needs of their listeners and advertisers…the way they covered news, the public service they provided, the concerts they influenced to play in their market. Ratings dominance and consistency, over time and also stations that broke ratings records that in some cases still stand today.” John Sebastian’s Top 20 Rock Stations of All Time:

#1) KMET-Los Angeles
#2) WEBN-Cincinnati
#3) KQRS-Minneapolis
#4) WRIF-Detroit
#5) KSHE-St. Louis
#6) KISW-Seattle
#7) WLUP-Chicago
#8) WBCN-Boston
#9) WMMS-Cleveland
#10) WNEW-New York
#11) WMMR-Philadelphia
#12) KLOS-Los Angeles
#13) WFBQ-Indianapolis
#14) WDVE-Pittsburgh
#15) KGON-Portland
#16) KSAN-San Francisco
#17) WYSP-Philadelphia
#18) WSHE-Miami
#19) KZEW-Dallas
#20) WCOZ-Boston
How Lee Abrams ranked his Top 20:

#1) WEBN-Cincinnati
#2) WMMR-Philadelphia
#3) WBCN-Boston
#4) KMET-Los Angeles
#5) WRIF-Detroit
#6) WMMS-Cleveland
#7) KISW-Seattle
#8) WDVE-Pittsburgh
#9) KQRS-Minneapolis
#10) KSHE-St. Louis
#11) WKLS-Atlanta
#12) WFBQ-Indianapolis
#13) WNEW/fm-New York
#14) WSHE-South Florida
#15) WQDR-Raleigh
#16) KYYS-Kansas City
#17) WDIZ-Orlando
#18) KLOS-Los Angeles
#19) WAAF-Worcester
#20) KGB-San Diego
And here’s how Radio Ink readers voted in online poll:

#1) WMMR-Philadelphia
#2) KLOS-Los Angeles
#3) WRIF-Detroit
#4) KSHE-St. Louis
#5) WEBN-Cincinnati
#6) KQRS-Minneapolis
#7) KMET-Los Angeles
#8) WNEW-New York
#9) WNOR-Norfolk
#10) WRAT-New Jersey
#11) WFBQ-Indianapolis
#12) KISW-Seattle
#13) WKLC-Charleston, WV
#14) WMMS-Cleveland
#15) KNAC-Los Angeles
#16) WBCN-Boston
#17) WDVE-Pittsburgh
#18) KQRC-Kansas City
#19) WSHE-Miami

#20) WGRF Buffalo

Former KIQQ and Westood One DJ Dies

(September 13, 2017) Don Bishop, former jock at KIQQ (mid-70s), KMGX and Westwood One, died September 10, 2017, in American Fork, Utah, according to his longtime friend, Gary Cheney.  He was 69. Funeral services are set for this Friday in American Fork.

Before broadcasting at “K-100,” Don worked in Utah, Washington and Chicago. Don also worked at the Bright AC format at Westwood One for many years.

There were immediate memories of Don from his colleagues.

James Baker: So shocked! Don was super kind to me when I came to WW1 and Bright AC. I filled in for him from time to time before I moved into nights. I am so grateful to have known him. Rest in Peace Don!

Andy Waits: What a shock!

Bob Blackburn: Don was a nice soft spoken guy, I really liked working with him both in Hollywood & Valencia, this is sad news

Jim Duncan: Always loved talking with Don. He was a special person. It was a honor to know him.

Chuck Clifford: I worked with Don at Westwood One in Valencia for many years... A gentle man with a heart of gold.... I am saddened by the news of his passing.... Prayers to his family and friends.

Dr. Demento Loses His Wife of 34 Years

(September 13, 2017) "Sad times in the Land of Dementia – Sue Hansen, my wife, love and helpmate for 34 years, died on Sunday, September 10, after a month-long illness. She was just 65.

Sue saved my life and my sanity at a time when I was sorely tempted by the fast times of the L.A. radio and record business in the 1980s. We never had children [our mutual decision, for several reasons] but richly enjoyed each other's company, and I learned a whole lot about life and love from her.

Sue was born and raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and moved to Los Angeles a year after high school. She and I were introduced by my L. A. neighbors in the 1970s, Fred and Delores Schaefer. Sue and Fred worked together in the Los Angeles yard office of the Union Pacific Railroad, and we first laid eyes on each other when Fred offered to give me a tour of the yard office. [As you may know I'm something of a rail fan, so I was eager for that]. After a couple of get-togethers at the Schaefers' house Sue and I began dating in 1979. We were married in Fern Grotto, Kauai, Hawaii in 1983, and our reception in early 1984 drew hundreds of people to the Variety Arts Club in L.A., where the great Johnny Otis and his band capped the celebration with their fabulous r&b sounds.

By that time Sue had been promoted to training officer for the railroad, but soon after our wedding the training operation was moved to the Midwest. Since I couldn't leave L.A. at that time due to the show, Sue opted to leave the railroad and stay with me in L.A. For several years she worked for a business that imported quartz crystals and carvings from Brazil, distributing them to local metaphysical bookstores and head shops. She then volunteered to take over the Demento Society, the show's fan club and merchandising operation. She ran that very successfully through the 1990s and into the new century. If you got one of our membership kits in those years, Sue probably packed and shipped it.

Sue began having health problems in 2009, when she had an attack of food poisoning that lingered for a very long time. One day in 2011, when I was out of town, she tried to lift a large box of papers, and suffered a hernia which led to serious consequences requiring emergency surgery. She had barely recovered from that when she began having the back and knee problems which plagued her from then on. She had to sleep in a recliner, making it difficult for us to travel together.

We continued to enjoy a happy life at home, though, until she became ill early last month. On August 15 she was admitted to the hospital. Despite their efforts including emergency surgery and dialysis, her condition continued to get worse. I was totally unprepared for how fast she was taken from me. The Dr. Demento Show will go on [and you will continue to hear Sue's voice saying "The Doctor is In!" at the start of each show] but this will be a very hard one to get over." -Dr. Demento (Barret Hansen) from his Facebook post

Damn Gardner

(September 12, 2017) Bill Gardner is one of my favorite LARP. Bill hosted the quintessential doo-wop music show on Friday nights at KPCC until a format change dropping all music programming in the spring of 2000. By day he is a supervisor of social workers who aid victims of child abuse in Los Angeles County.

His weekly show, Rhapsody in Black, moved to KPFK in May 2000 and he hosted a weekend show on KKJZ playing jazz, blues and classic r&b until the spring of 2007 when there was a management change.

He shared a story when he was at LACC.

In 1958 I was a movie extra in Damn Yankees. I was playing ball for Los Angeles City College in 1958. The filming of Damn Yankees was about to begin. My coach knew movie people and told me to go and try out for the film at a local playground. I was chosen as an extra, really because the Washington Senators first baseman was black and left-handed and played first base ... like me..

We filmed the first day at Warner's Brothers. I got to see the filming of a Maverick episode featuring James Garner. For the next four days we were on location at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. My main scene is when Tab Hunter is trying out for the Senators. The camera is directly behind me as a ball is hit to Tab Hunter at shortstop and an extra throws the ball to me at first base. I was also in several other walk by scenes. I got to meet Tab Hunter who was a very nice person. He invited me and others to his ranch to ride horses, but I and other ballplayer extras declined. lol. I made $800 for this, which was a lot of money back then. I could have joined the screen actors guild but I chose to buy a used Ford to drive to school.

Hear Ache
(September 11, 2017) Chris Madsen is celebrating his 24th Anniversary since he joined the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim franchise. Chris wrote on his Facebook page: “Looking back, it was something right out of a Hollywood script…considering I had no inside contact at the Walt Disney Company, no agent, and yet I got the call over hundreds of other applicants for the tv play-by-play post–WITH ONLY ONE NHL GAME on my resume! As my dad taught me: 'Happy are those who dream dreams, and are willing to pay the price to make them come true.'" … Bob Madigan did news on KNX/fm in the late seventies. In 1993, Bob joined WTOP-Washington, DC and stayed until his retirement in 2014. He now lives in Blue Hill Peninsula, Maine … Rhonda Kramer is celebrating 3 years of dispending traffic info at KABC …  … LARadio reader Andrew Schermerhorn wonders if there is a rift between KABC’s Doug McIntyre and Peter Tilden. “Every morning Doug waits until the last 10 seconds of his show to do crosstalk with Peter. As Peter begins to respond to Doug’s, ‘Peter! What do you have coming on your show today?’ Doug cuts him off with his signature signoff, ‘Down the dinosaur I go!” Doug responded: “It's a bit, but if gets us a single listener, you can tell LARP we hate each other.” … During the La Tuna fire last week, Rick Dees tweeted: “Hollywood air is loaded with ashes and smoke and breathing is not good. I fact, I just inhaled and chipped a tooth.” … Roger Carroll emailed to say that during his 22 years with 710/KMPC, “We had the Angels, UCLA football and basketball and Rams.” … What the heck is happening with LARadio? During the 2017 NAB Marconi Radio Award presentation, not one LA station received an award.

8 Years Ago Today

Our Missed Brooks 

(September 10, 2009) Barbara Brooks has been doing traffic and news reports for over two decades both on local radio and tv, including KNBC/Channel 4. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she was on the ground floor of Metro Traffic, the first independent company to deliver traffic and later news to radio stations.  

In the late 1970s, Barbara was working for a newspaper in Lubbock. She was in Lubbock because she had majored in journalism at Texas Tech University, where she also was a dj and newsperson on the campus radio station. “I just happened to get into radio. I was in the student union and there was a table selling tee-shirt transfers. I was talking with the guy selling the transfers and he commented that I didn’t have a Texas accent and that I should talk with the program director at the college station. I did and he put me on. I really wasn’t looking for anything in radio because I planned on writing for newspapers. That was my idea at the time.” 

Barbara needed an FCC 3rd Class License. She studied for it but on her first attempt at taking the test, she didn’t pass the Element 9 section, which was very technical. But Barbara persisted and passed the test on the second try. Not long after passing the exam her general manager at the college station put up a notice on the stations’ bulletin board that the Easy Listening station in Lubbock was looking for a female announcer. She called, got the job, but didn’t actually have her 3rd Class license in her hands yet. “I had to drive to Dallas to get the physical piece of paper in order for it to be placed on the wall of the control room before I could start.”

“Turned out it wasn’t much on air work because the men were doing the imaging. It was an automated station with the old Schafer Reel-to-Reel playback machines that were programmed by numbers. I was allowed to do the news once an hour. This was 1976 and I felt like the token female.” 

Barbara originally moved to Texas in 1970 when her father accepted a job with an independent production company in Dallas. He was a film editor and director in Hollywood in the 50s and 60s where he did 60 travelogues for Jack Douglas and a tv series called I Search for Adventure. “Competition from film school graduates forced my dad to look elsewhere and he found work in Dallas and we moved there when I was 12. You could buy a house for next to nothing and there wasn’t the same kind of competition for jobs,” said Barbara. 

When Barbara was working in Lubbock, her father had a massive hemorrhage on his spinal cord and he was paralyzed from the chest down. “I moved to Dallas to help take care of him. Shortly after moving to Dallas I needed a job and saw an ad in the newspaper: ‘Traffic Reporter Wanted.’” 

Metro had already established itself in Baltimore and Washington DC. Dallas was the third market. The sexual revolution had yet to hit Dallas and Barbara was confronted with sexism. “In those days they wouldn’t let a woman do drive time. Nobody wanted a female voice so I did middays.” 

The Dallas Metro office consisted of two rooms – an outer office and a broadcast room, which was an office with a control board. Barbara recalled: “There were no such things as computers back then so we listened to the scanners, called the highway patrol and wrote down the information on a piece of paper.”

While working for Metro she was offered a position with a tv production company in Baltimore as a coordinator. “The job was not what I expected. I didn’t meet anybody and saw the same four people every day. I think they had more expectation of what I knew about video. I was basically a radio/newspaper girl.”

She ended up at Metro in Washington DC and after some broken promises from management; Barbara left and returned to Dallas to work at all-News KRLD. After her father died, Barbara’s mother wanted to go back to Southern California. They did – her mother didn’t stay in the Southland, but Barbara decided to stay.

In 1985 Barbara joined LA Network, a traffic company owned and run by Rhonda Kramer (now KFWB drive time traffic) and her then-husband Kenny Green. She stayed at LA Network for a couple of years before returning to Metro Traffic for the third time, where she was also director of operations for a time. In 1993 she moved over to the competing traffic service, AirWatch, and dispensed traffic and news for 14 years, primarily for KFI and KBIG. For several years Barbara flew with Mike Nolan.

On the day of 9-11, she was doing news for Charlie Tuna at KBIG. “I have a CD of that morning but I’ve never listened to it. I should some time.” 

Did she like the airborne reporting? “I hated the Santa Ana winds,” as Barbara remembered being buffeted during the strong winds. “I loved some of the views and the sunrises were beautiful. There were certain parts of the job I loved but other parts scared me.” 

On one airborne flight the plane lost an alternator over the Diamond Bar/Walnut area. There were no flaps and no radio. “We did an emergency landing at the Fullerton Airport. I got out of the hangar, saw Commander Chuck Street and told him I needed a hug.” (Photo of Barbara with Bruce Manning at recent celebrity event)

With a career as a traffic reporter, Barbara reflected on her first introduction to traffic reporting, ironically at a young age. "At a costume party my parents met Capt. Max Schumacher and his wife," remembered Barbara about the traffic reporting pilot from the 50s and 60s who worked for Gene Autry's 710/KMPC. "At the end of the evening, Capt. Max invited my dad to fly with him the next afternoon. He was finishing up a film, ran into some problems and had to cancel so Capt. Max said to come to the airport the following day and to bring his wife. My mother was very excited and told several friends she would be going. The following afternoon, my father had a premonition that he shouldn't go so he called and said he was still busy with work and canceled. Capt. Max was glad because he had a couple at the airport that was there on the wrong day so he said he would take them up that day and my parents the following day. That was the day he had a mid-air collision over Dodger stadium with a police helicopter. Evening news reports said there was an unidentified couple on-board, thankfully it wasn't my parents."

Barbara thought it was a little strange that she ended up as a traffic reporter after that introduction. "I was on the ground for many years but, when I first decided to become an airborne reporter I had a difficult time trying to tell my mother about my decision because of her history. I explained to her that I would be in an airplane and not a helicopter. After I was grounded, she was sad I lost my job but I think secretly thrilled that both my feet would once again be on the ground."

Barbara lives in a historic home in the Inland Empire (she was quick to point out that it was in the 951 and not the 909 area code) that was built in 1924. “I really like it. When I bought it five years ago I was able to get it for what I was paying in rent.” 

Today, Barbara combines all of her skills as a reporter, video host and writer for a Web site called Fire Department Network News. She is up for taking on a new news and/or traffic reporting assignment. You can reach Barbara at:  

New Sport. 710 ESPN vp/gm Chris Berry (left) and Matt Mallon (right) welcome new Account Executive Allen Sliwa to the KSPN Sales Team.  Sliwa joins the sports talk station after six years at XX Sports Radio 1090 in San Diego, where he was Salesman of the Year in 2008 and was instrumental in the station’s Padres play-by-play sales.

Email Saturday 

** Power to 88.5/fm

“With KCSN merger with KSBR, it now gives KCSN approximately the same coverage area they had when they were 3000 watts. Who says you can't ‘go home.’" – Kevin Stern

** Ex-GM at KCSN Remembers

“My thoughts on the "new" 88.5/fm.

I was the first full time staff general manager of KEDC/KCSN in 1971-73. That was also the very early days of NPR of which we were a member.

I find it really sad to see both KCSN and KSBR are no longer primarily student operated providing young people with a starting place in broadcasting

In fact, I don't get why the colleges are even holding these non-commercial licenses which are now run primarily by former commercial music radio people.

In the late '60s and early '70s, the staff of KEDC/KCSN was well more than 100 students performing virtually every function: writing, performing, production, engineering, continuity, music programming, news, public affairs, publicity, etc. It was a great place to start for many of us.

And BTW, the new KCSN call sign was my idea [in January '73] to coincide with the university name change from San Fernando Valley State College to CSUN.” – Doug Brown

** Can You Hear Me Now?

“Listening to the La Tuna Canyon fire press conferences, I am rather puzzled that, in 2017, journalists at press conferences STILL do not deploy a crowd mic to pick up the questions that the reporters are asking. The questions can barely be heard and often are not heard at all. We only hear the spokesperson answering the question and are left to deduce what the question was.

Steve Kindred, Chris Little, Steve Gregory, Andy Ludlum, et al … can you explain why this basic logistic to serve the listener is omitted and ignored?” – Andrew Schermerhorn


** Tribute to Josefa Salinas’ Father

“I am here for a brief moment to share the most heartbreaking news with you. My father has died.

He was the most incredible man I have ever met. Many of you had the joy of meeting Senor Salinas. I took my father everywhere with me and I can tell you he was at home in ALL situations. He made everyone feel welcome. He was the most well-read man I have ever met. He taught me about morals, ethics, philosophy, art, writing, negotiation, parenting and more.

He said something to me this week that echoed a previous conversation. He said: ‘I have so much respect for you Josefa. The woman you have become. The mother you are. Congratulations sweetheart.’ WOW, for my father to tell ME that he had respect for ME? The highest honor he could ever have presented me.

Believe me I understand that he is in a better place. This however took my breath away. He was my rock. My mentor. My confidant. My advisor. Mi Papá. He taught me that I should expect what I am prepared to give. He taught me that I was a princess deserving of a prince. He was a warrior. He was superhuman. To see the look on his face when they told him he was terminal was heart breaking. He looked at me and said NO. I am NOT going to die.

I held his hand for three days as he lay not speaking. I watched his chest go up and down listening for each breath until it did no more. I held my hand over his heart as it took its last beat. I will never forget preparing his body, washing it with lavender soap, covering it with lavender oil, sage and rosemary and wrapping his body for delivery.

Papa, you are right. You will never die. I will tell your stories for as long as I have breath. My children will tell your stories. I will finish all of your writings and publish all of your books. I will make sure the world knows about the books you have written. You will be with us always.

For today, I am trying to figure out how to breathe. How to walk with no legs. How to see with eyes that cannot focus. To move one foot in front of the other.

Forgive me as I grieve. And if I have business with you, understand that I will not be taking phone calls for now. I must find my way in a dark place of which I have no map.

Thank you all for understanding.” – Josefa Salinas (facebook entry)

** LA Persons in 1976

"Here's a look at quarter hour numbers - mid-1976. Compare New York to Los Angeles and more. The top station in LA was KABC - with about 100,000 per quarter  - compared to music station WABC-NY at about 250,000 per quarter hour. WLS-Chicago - 170,000.  KHJ about 64,000. Also in the Top 10 - KBIG, KFI, KMPC, KNX and Country KLAC. 

An interesting time as fm was quickly catching up to AM in most places. Also - interestingly (FYI) - KHJ's top year was 1972 when it did $5.3 million gross. Same year - WABC did just over $8 million gross. 

Here's a link. - Gary West/Man From Yesterday

Two Non-Comms Go Triple A 

(September 8, 2017) Two student non-com stations, KCSN from Cal State Northridge and KSBR from Mission Viejo's Saddleback College, have joined programming forces to extend the reach of both stations. “With both stations on 88.5/fm, the combined effort increases the potential audience of the two stations from 3 million to 11.5 million listeners.

The station will be branded as "The New 88.5," with much of its programming originating from KCSN, currently a Triple A  station. Previously, KSBR had been primarily programming Smooth Jazz. The broadcasts will originate from both stations' campus studios as well as from a remote studio at The Village at Westfield Topanga.

“We’ve been saying that one plus one equals eleven,” said KCSN’s general manager/program director, Sky Daniels. He’s been working for the past four years, leading the charge to combine the two non-commercial stations. “We were literally the lowest powered fm station in L.A.,” Daniels told Billboard Magazine.  

In addition to Daniels, Jim Rondeau will be ops manager, plus djs Nic Harcourt, Jim Nelson and Daniels along with KSBR’s Garrison West who will now have a regular weekday slot. The station will continue to program NPR’s syndicated World Cafe as well as shows with Julie Slater, Harry Shearer, Les Perry (Saturday with the Beatles), Robert Hilburn, Jed The Fish and Kevin Bronson.  

“There’s a reason why we’ve taken the tact we have as a Triple A station,” said Daniels, “it's because this is a format in Los Angeles that has not been served." "The New 88.5" will host a benefit concert with Sheryl Crow at L.A.'s Fonda Theatre on October 23. Part of the proceeds will be donated to Stomp Out, an anti-bullying organization.

Fake News at AMP Radio 

(September 7, 2017) There is much interest in the morning drive slot at AMP Radio. The opening was created when Carson Daly decided to leave after seven years to devote more time to his young family and his role at The Today Show. At my Twitter account (@barrettLARadio) there have been a few Tweets asking if Opie (Gregg Hughes) was in line to join AMP/LA. Opie was the former co-host of the Opie and Anthony radio show that aired from 1995 to 2014 with Anthony Cumia and comedian Jim Norton. When the team broke up, Hughes stayed on at SiriusXM until July of this year. When AMP program director Chris Ebbott was asked about the speculation, he said, “This is fake news, first I’ve heard of it.” So there.

In other “real news,” Brad Chambers is celebrating 11 years hosting MartiniInTheMorning Internet radio playing songs of “The Great America Songbook.” … Speaking of anniversaries, Ashley Paige, former mornings at KZLA and KKGO, is celebrating her 21st wedding anniversary with hubby Neil … Also celebrating their anniversary, Lisa Bowman, ex-KABC, celebrates 38 years of marriage bliss with husband/director Chuck of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman … Bonnie Marquez is joining KCSN, the Northridge Triple A station, as director of marketing and special events. She had a similar role at KZLA and KOST … Former KIIS and KBIG dj Gary Spears is exiting Chicago Oldies station, WJMK. He’s headed for Florida, hopefully after Hurricane Irma … Mike Dowler, part of Santa Clarita radio for many years, is telling everyone he is now cancer-free for the past seven years.

Morning Has Broken (August '17 PPM)

Persons 12+

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. Bill Handel (KFI)
3. Pat Prescott (The WAVE)
4. News Team (KNX)
    Omar y Argelia (KLVE)

6. Ryan Seacrest; 7. Gary Bryan; 8. Ellen K;
Persons 18-34

1. The Woody Show (KYSR)
2. Valentine (MY/fm)
    Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
4. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
5. Mega Morning Show (KXOL)

6. Pat Prescott; 7. Frosty, Heidi, Frank; 12. Carson Daly
Persons 25-54

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
3. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
4. Jack (JACK/fm)
5. Pat Prescott (The WAVE)
    The Woody Show (KYSR)

7. Kevin & Bean; 20. Big Boy

KBIG Top of the Charts in August '17 PPM 

(September 5, 2017) Something's got a hold on the top spot in the LARadio ratings and it is BIG, in fact, MY/fm KBIG. The Hot AC station is a half point higher than the runner-up KTWV (The WAVE). Not much jumping around in the August '17 PPM ratings, Mon-Sun, 6a-12M:

1. KBIG (Hot AC) 6.1- 6.4
2. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 5.3 - 5.9
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.8 - 4.8
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.7 - 4.7
5. KOST (AC) 4.7 - 4.5
6. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 4.4 - 4.2
7. KFI (Talk) 3.4 - 3.5
8. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.4 - 3.4
9. KNX (News) 2.9 - 3.0
10. KAMP (Top 40/M) 3.0 -2.9
      KPWR (Top 40/R) 3.1 - 2.9
12. KKGO (Country) 2.8 - 2.7
      KROQ (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.7
      KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.9 - 2.7
15. KRRL (Urban) 2.8 - 2.6
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.7 - 2.6
17. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.5 - 2.5
18. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.5- 2.4
      KSWD (Classic Rock) 2.4 - 2.4
20. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.2 - 2.2
      KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.3 - 2.2
22. KPCC (News/Talk) 1.4 - 1.9
23. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.6 - 1.7
24. KXOS (Regional Mexican) 1.6 - 1.6
25. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.4 - 1.5
26. KCRW (Variety) 1.2 - 1.4
27. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.4 - 1.3
      KUSC (Classical) 1.4 - 1.3
29. KDAY (Rhythmic AC ) 1.2 - 1.2
30. KLAC (Sports) 1.0 - 1.1
31. KRLA (Talk) 0.9 - 1.0
      KSPN (Sports) 1.0 - 1.0
      KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.1 - 1.0
34. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.8
       KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.7 - 0.8
36. KABC (Talk) 0.6 - 0.6
      KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.6
      KKJZ (Jazz) 05. - 0.6
39. KFWB ( Regional Mexican) 0.6 - 0.5
      KWKW (Spanish Sports) 0.5 - 0.5

You Can Book on Nancy Cole

(September 5, 2017) I met Nancy Cole for the first time when she was the gm at The Sporting News’ KMPC.  The station was located on Ocean Park Blvd in a Santa Monica industrial park.Not many women were running radio stations at the time, let alone a sports station.

Nancy was born in Seattle, later growing up in the orange groves of Scottsdale, Arizona. She graduated from Arizona State University in 1973 before working in Phoenix radio and tv as a writer/producer. “I began my radio career as an intern and I was the first woman on the air in Phoenix. From then on I was bitten by the broadcast bug and the rest is history.”

Nancy continued in radio but on the path of sales, from starting as an account executive to her first leadership position as sales manager at KXTA. At KMPC she was responsible for repositioning the station to include a more local focus, adding USC football and men’s basketball, signing the LA Avengers arena football team, and changing the call letters from KCTD to KMPC. In early 2002, her contract was not renewed with the station.
Nancy is now an author. She sent an email to update her profile. “Since retiring I’ve picked up my pen and started writing The Carol Childs Mystery series about a young investigative reporter working for a talk radio station here in Los Angeles,” Nancy wrote. “Something I know a little bit about. It’s been a fun and successful series to write. Room For Doubt, book four in the series has been on Amazon’s top 100 in mysteries and the series over all appears to be a hit.”

Stations Nancy was involved with: KGIL, 1981; KJOI, 1982; KNX, 1983-88; KFWB/KTWV, 1988-95; KABC/KTZN, 1995-97; KXTA, 1997-98; KCTD/KMPC, 2000-02, gm

Email Saturday

** Jay Thomas Had Power

"I thought that you had retired from the website. It looks like it's still going on.  I assume that you are still running it, but maybe at this time you have someone else in charge.

I went thru my files and found a Hitmakers cover featuring Jay Thomas and the Power 106 staff at the time. I am actually the guy who took this photo. The staff showed up at one of my Hollywood & Vine studios, and it was one of those  'crazy & fun' radio get togethers.

Jay Thomas was the morning man at the time.  

Just thought that I would pass this along to you." - Rich Hogan  ( Yep still alive and kicking )


** Riding the Surf

"Congratulation to Saul Levine who has come up with a format that all my friends love, Oldies 1260AM [K-SURF).  My car has HD Radio so the Oldies really sound great in stereo. I actually can listen in HD from North Hollywood to just past Hidden Hills when I drive to Thousand Oaks. 

My one problem is their liners. They are laid over part, usually the beginning, of a song then the liner and music stop and they go into a song. Why can’t they just program the computer so when they play a liner, suck as 'the oldies are new again' etc? They do it over the intro of the song that’s going to play. Most songs have a music intro. Or just the liner with no music works too. But to think you’re going to hear a song then it’s over in 10 seconds, kind of gets to you. I know I’m not the only one who thinks this way. 

Thanks for the chance to bitch." - Kevin Stern


** Internet Oasis

"I wanted to give you an update on my Internet Radio Station. 

Since I launched it in 2009 the station has grown. After settling on a Smooth Jazz format and the name 96.9 The Oasis it’s been doing very well.  I have a library of 5,000 Smooth Jazz Songs. I also play 1,200 indie songs from 144 independent artists from all over the world. They all personally contacted me to play their music. 

I’m also a reporting station. I report my adds to Groove Jazz Music. My station has it’s own app available on Google Play, BlackBerry World, and The App Store for iTunes. I also have added some season professional voices to the station - Bryan Simmons, Cathi Parrish, and Mike Villani. I host the morning show weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Pacific. Starting September 22nd I will be having a co-host on Fridays. Canadian Artist Catherine Kiki Love will join me via Skype. She’s an award winning artist who has earned over 40 independent music awards, and is a Grammy Member. It will be a lot of fun!  Looking forward to many more fun years!” – Dale Berg,  

Houston, We Have Help

(September 1, 2017) The images coming out of the coverage of the devastating flooding in Houston is mind-boggling. Each of us has chosen our own way of helping, contributing, praying and donating to the effort.

One LARP wants to help a radio colleague who has been wiped out, displaced or left homeless as a result of hurricane Harvey. Instead of writing a check to the Red Cross, this individual would rather help another radio person directly. His efforts are commendable but he wants to remain anonymous.

I’ve agreed to act as a middle man if you know of a Texas or Louisiana radio person that needs help because of the disaster, contact me and I will act as a middle man. Write me at: 

Labor Day Hear Ache 

(September 1, 2017) Eight classic cars from Art Astor’s collection were sold in Pebble Beach at The Russo and Steele auction for $394,000. “The highest paid in his collection was a 1932 Packard for $80,000,” emailed Bob Koontz. "Art would have loved it.” … Dodgers manager Walter Alston a LARP? Steve Thompson remembers when the skipper hosted a short-lived morning show on KHJ in 1960, plus an evening program on then-sister station Channel 9 … Love the Carolina Shag channel on SiriusXM. I’ll be sorry to hear it go after this weekend … Headed to Vina Robles Amphitheatre this weekend for a Saturday in the Park to see Chicago in concert. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?  … With Meruelo Media (KDAY) purchasing KPWR (Power 106), Jimmy Steal adds programming chores for both stations. Adrian Scott is out … Pete Weber, former Kings announcer, continues as the play-by-play guy for the Nashville Predators NHL hockey broadcast team … Veteran Spanish radio exec Gary Stone has resigned from the board at SBS … Nearly three years after hitting the local airwaves, Simi Valley’s country radio station has expanded its reach into the western end of the San Fernando Valley. Ranch 99.1/fm has been heard not only in Simi, but also in Chatsworth, Northridge, West Hills, Woodland Hills, Tarzana, Van Nuys, Hidden Hills and Canoga Park, reports John “JD” Tayloe, the station’s founder and president … In the next couple of months, AMP Radio is moving studios into the CBS/Radio facilities on the Miracle Mile from the Culver City location.

Labor Day Countdown 

(August 31, 2017) For decades, a Labor Day weekend custom was hearing K-EARTH count down the number one songs of the past. With the station going a different musical direction in recent years, K-EARTH no longer provides the annual countdowns. But no fears. Vince Daniels has been holding onto his cassettes of the countdown shows. “The tapes were superior quality for the time in the late eighties / early nineties,” emailed Vince, former host of his own show at KCAA. He’s spent the past two years having the cassettes professionally remastered and cleaned up.

Vince has put together recordings from 1989 and 1990 of “Southern California Number One’s of Rock and Roll,” procured from past Labor Days on K-EARTH. The recordings are largely unscoped in the almost 25-hour presentation. The program begins on August 31, 1990 at the start of countdown with Brian Beirne, who kicked off the show with music from 1955, seven months before the official initiation of the rock-and-roll era. The program continues with the hits presented in chronological order. Other air personalities featured include Jeff Davis (sitting in for Steve Scott), Joe “Baby” Daniels, Lisa Moree, “Bernadette” (Irma Molina, sitting in for Scott Jenkins), George Matthews, and Jay Coffey. The contest that weekend was tickets awarded hourly to see the Beach Boys at the Pacific Amphitheatre.

“The 1970s #1 songs continue with my recording from Saturday, September 2, 1989. The personalities working that day were Steve Scott, Jay Coffey, and Jeff Davis,” Daniels continued. During the 1989 countdown K-EARTH played all of the #1’s through 1979, I was only able to record through the end of 1976. The 1989 Labor Day weekend presentation was the final year of the classic K-EARTH 101 jingle. All the music, air personality patter, jingles and bumpers are still intact, except I cut many of the commercials while doing the original recording. The recording sounds like HD quality, the quality audio of K-EARTH heard later on.” “It’s true a lot of valid arguments can be made for how K-EARTH barely cracked a 4 share in those days, and how much of an industry giant the station became when they tightened up,” said Daniels.

“For now, and particularly fitting for this particular weekend, I thought it might be good to remember a time in radio when air personalities worked hard to get a station to a place where it would eventually be. It’s also a reminder of a time when they kept us company as our friends,” said Daniels. He also is offering to share these recordings. “If anyone is interested in this, please email me at I won’t (and can’t) charge you for this, but if you would mail me a 32 GB USB flash drive, I’ll transfer the files over for you. Hopefully, I’ll hear from some of the aforementioned K-EARTH jocks, or maybe some of you know where they are. I’m sure they’d appreciate this!”

Tough enough to get your Letter to the Editor published once in the LA Times,
but Pat Paraquat Kelley managed to have TWO letters published on the same day

Ellen K Makes List of Inspirer Women in Radio

(August 29, 2017) In the past decade or so, radio has been perceived as a dying art. Much like cable TV, no one really wants to sit through unnecessary advertisements when they have ad free music at their fingertips. Radio is left to daily commuters, who often flip through channels mindlessly. Inspirer Magazine recently featured some of the women of radio and some women of LARP made the list, including Ellen K (l) , morning lady at KOST. 

In other news: Didja hear the Disco music Saturday night on 1260AM (K-SURF)? ... Former KLSX morning man Adam Carolla testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last month, on free speech on college campuses. The Washington Post followed up with a feature story. Click the Post … Condolences to Ken Levine (Beaver Cleaver at KIQQ and KTNQ, et al.) on the passing of his father, Cliff Levine. Cliff was a sales executive for major LA and Chicago radio stations. “’Cliffy’ was one of the really good guys in the business and will be truly missed,” emailed colleague Tom Bernstein … Want to hear fun radio stations from Jay Thomas? Listen here:  … ESPN’s Ryen Russillo will return to the sports network following an incident where he was “highly intoxicated” when he entered a Wyoming condo and refused to leave. Russillo was found naked, with just his pants around his ankles and “bloodshot eyes and slurred speech,” Jackson police said after arresting him for criminal entry. ESPN is suspending Russillo for a couple of weeks … In an obit in the LA Times over the weekend; a doctor’s cause of death was “Too Many Birthdays.”

1,000 Apply for Mornings at AMP Radio 

(August 28, 2017) In an era of vanishing radio jobs, the idea that morning drive at a major LA radio station had an opening was like a vacancy surfacing in beach front rent-controlled property. Carson Daly would be leaving CBS’ AMP Radio. Newly-installed pd Chris Ebbott – already part of the Miracle Mile executives leading K-EARTH to interstellar heights – put out the call about the available AM drive slot.  

Ebbot told AllAccess last week that he had 1,000 applications for the opening, and was still looking. It sounded like a logistical nightmare. Are there still 1,000 radio people left in the business? And how in the world do you process 1,000 applicants? “Yeah, it's crazy,” emailed Ebbott. “We've gotten some really amazing people along with some dreamers who are shooting for the moon.”  

Chris and two others are going through it all to see what they’ve got. “Nothing is missing – just want to make sure we hear from everyone who is interested,” wrote Ebbott. He apparently hasn’t found the perfect gem – a communicator who can break through the clutter. It is a tough assignment. It takes a few years for a morning person (team) to gain traction … if they ever do. Think George LopezSinbadAdam Carolla, and Danny Bonaduce.

If you have the dream of morning radio in LA, Ebbott is keeping it alive for you. Better contact him NOW before you snap your fingers and say, “Gads, I wish I had gone out for that job.”

Jerry Lewis Was a LARP

(August 27, 2017) Jerry Lewis died last Sunday. He was a lot of things to a lot of different people. Frenchmen found his movies to be masterpieces. Some found his comedy slapsticky and funny. For a decade he was unequally paired with singer Dean Martin. He became a mainstay on Labor Day tv as he served as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethons for 44 years.

His spectacular success is fully rounded out in a note from master LARadio historian, Jim Hilliker. He reminds us that Jerry Lewis owned an LA station. "In the early days of LARadio, we discussed Jerry Lewis being a part owner of KVFM 94.3," wrote Hilliker. I found this blog from 2011, that shows a December 15, 1960 newspaper column, in which Jerry Lewis talks about the radio station and his interest in it, doing a show on KVFM, etc. In the story, the writer gives call letters as KJPL for Jerry and Patty Lewis, but either that was a joke, or they decided not to file for those call letters. In the story, the writer also listed the wrong frequency. I figure the radio show on his own station was likely a short-lived hobby, but his movie career took up more time, so he had to give up radio.  Just a guess."

You decide for yourself with this story at:
Jerry Lewis is On the Air
 (94.3 is now Que Buena LA Radio)

Email Saturday, 8.26.17


  ** Batter Up

"Interesting to [not see] a real ratings bump this year, considering the shape of the team and all the good baseball coming from the Dodgers. And,considering the sub-par tv deal they still have - as many of us can't watch the games. Rick Monday and Charley Steiner sound great - but I wonder, is some of that Vin Scully

If there is a bump, it's not nearly as pronounced in the overall KLAC ratings as in the past." -  Gary West,  

  ** Ebay Memory

"You might enjoy this from March of 2003, a few years before Darrell Wayne (Wampler) became the next buyer of KTHO-Lake Tahoe." - Bill Kingman  (click artwork for story)

** Updating Where Are They Now

"I happened to come across your website. My dad, Flavio Silva Zenteno passed away April 2004.  I noticed the info was not updated.
He was also known as 'El Gordo.' When he came to L.A. he already had a successful radio and tv career in Mexico. He worked in Spanish-speaking theater in East Los Angeles, and he also worked in movies.

He was a radio personality in L.A. from 1985- 2003. He worked for Radio KALI, KTNQ, KWKW, Telemundo, Channel 22, and some others I can't recall." - G. Roxana Cobbs MA SpEd  

Reaction to Jay Thomas' Passing

(August 25, 2017) Fastest way to get LARadio news is to sign up as a subscriber. Next to get the news is on my Twitter account. And then a few minutes later, the content gets posted at After posting news about Jay Thomas yesterday, there were many responses on Twitter.

Greg Tanner wrote that he loved Jay’s Christmastime appearances on Letterman. The almost yearly appearance certainly gave us ample notice on what kind of a storyteller Jay was. We’ve posted the link a number of times over the years because it is a real keeper. Click artwork.

Danny Lemos who played the character Chuy from La Puente on the Rick Dees program wrote:  “Jay was a class act all the way. He sought me out at a KIIS/fm event to say he was a fan. So sad on hearing this.”

Harry Shearer wrote to note that he also had a show on SiriusXM for quite a while.  “It was always fun to do that show w/him,” wrote Harry.

Carson Daly was a fan: “I heard #JayThomas every am on @Power106LA growing up in LA. Huge inspiration as a DJ. Very nice guy. Praying for his family. Terrible loss.” (Photo: Jay with Richard Dreyfuss from Mr. Holland's Opus)

Jay Thomas, starred on Power 106, Murphy Brown, Cheers, Ray Donovan, has died 

(August 24, 2017) Jay Thomas, former morning man at KPWR from 1986 to 92, has died of cancer, at the age of 69.

 The co-star of the hit movie Mr. Holland's Opus was born in 1948. He attended the University of Tennessee. Jay spent three years at WAYS-Charlotte and eventually became pd. His wacky on-air sidekick characters started to emerge during this period: Mister Denise, the station hair dresser; Granny Glick, the oldest skin flick maker in the world; Dr. Henry the K; Rock, the inflation fighter; and Caleb Kluttz, the local redneck policeman.

His first visit to the Southland was a two-season stint as a deli owner on ABC/TV's Mork and Mindy, but the third season the producers introduced Jonathan Winters, and five character actors hit the street. Jay recalled: "Winters said, 'I'm 58. I need the work.' What, and we didn't?"

Before joining KPWR Jay did a number of tv shows, including Love Boat and Spencer for Hire as well as dinner theater. He arrived at KPWR in October 1986 from morning drive at WKTU-New York. KPWR captured NAB's first Marconi Award during the 1989 convention in New Orleans. Even though the award was new, it was being touted as the Oscar of radio. Jay commented on the station's award: "It's a great, fabulous honor. Marconi invented wireless transmissions. Unfortunately, if Marconi heard 'Power 106' he would probably die again. I don't think this is what he had in mind. But he's dead." 

Jay's later tv carreer includes Cheers, Almost Grown, Murphy Brown, Family Ties, The Golden Girls, Love & War and others. He has won an Emmy. When Jay was terminated from "Power 106" in 1993, he filed a $1,000,000 breach of contract lawsuit. He was nominated for Billboard Top 40 Radio Air Personality of 1993.

At the start of the second season of Love & War, Jay lamented about his firing from KPWR: "I'm having withdrawal symptoms. I had the rug pulled out from under me. It's very hurtful." Jay told the LA Times in September 1993, that KPWR fired him "because they became jealous of my tv show. They could not parlay my television popularity into what they wanted." His breach-of-contract lawsuit with Emmis Broadcasting was settled in late 1994. In addition to his acting career, Jay was the promotion voice of Comedy Central.

Gene Sandbloom to Exit CBS/LA

(August 24, 2017) Sounds like more downsizing at CBS/LA Radio. One of the unsung heroes behind the scenes for decades, Gene Sandbloom (l), is leaving. In a Facebook post, he wrote: “Ciao. Yeah, it isn't French, but au revoir sounded a little too permanent. After 25 years at KROQ, I'll be leaving next week. It's been an amazing run, and throw in music director at KIIS/fm, A&R director at MCA Records and managing editor of Network 40 Magazine, that's 35 years in the music biz in LA. It's time to move on.” Gene said he will be off to the Sierras to solo backpack the John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mount Whitney in September. Then a quick stop in Cuba before heading to France. “I can't take up French residency until 2019, so next year I'll be travelling the world looking for my next job. Africa, Asia, Europe, or back here in the States – anything and everything is on the table.”

In other news: Ross Porter has been broadcasting CSUN Matador baseball games. You can hear a recap of the 2017 season at: ... Don Elliot went to Kansas City for the eclipse. On his way to the airport, he tripped on a welcome mat and fell on his face on the cement. Don has seven stitches … How time flies! Pat “Paraquat” Kelley reported on the eclipse on KMET. Not the one this week, but the one in 1979. Take a listen by clicking his name ... A few months ago, Felicia 'The Poetess' Morris entered an essay writing contest sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank. The winners received $10k-$25k in business upgrades and renovations! The former KKBT personality was one of the winners! "My studio is gonna receive a $10,000 make over," enthused Felicia. "I met with the designers and architects today to lay out my wish list and I also had a really good time meeting the other contestants! I'm so blessed and excited to see the studio moving forward." 

Hear Ache

(August 23, 2017) Glenn Cooper (l) who recently retired from a career in sales/marketing sports in LA (XTRA Sports 1150, Sporting News Radio 1540 / The Ticket, and ESPN LA 710) emailed to he’s retired from ESPN LA 710 Radio and “enjoying the ‘retirement’ chapter with my wife of 45 years. We go up to the Central Coast every couple of months and stay in Cambria and always get into a few PickleBall games.” … Phil Hulett, formerly with KFWB and now on episode 329 of his always interesting podcast, is recovering from hernia surgery. “I know, it’s not like I had an organ removed or anything, but still, I’ve got to be ready for the end of September when my first-born gets married,” emailed Phil. “Yup, two weddings in one year. Olivia in March.” ... Mark Sudock sent a funnie: Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication … American Idol reboot seems to be in crisis. The show’s honchos still haven't locked down a second, third and possibly forth judge, with only five weeks until cameras roll. TMZ broke the story. Producers first set their sights on Katy Perry, who will be pocketing $25 million. Lionel Richie, a front runner for one of the judge’s chairs, wants $10 million, double the amount the honchos want to pay … While in front of the TV with food poisoning symptoms, I watched Sully again on HBO. Saw it on the big screen when it was first released, but it really moved me again. Why can’t there be more heroes like Sully? To him, it was just another day, saving the lives of 154 passengers and crew … In a press conference at the conclusion season five and the end of the run for his show in Chicago, Steve Harvey was asked if he would write a memo to his new staff along the lines of the infamous one he wrote to the staff of his previous, Chicago-based daytime talker, The Steve Harvey Show. “ I learned two things from that email: No. 1 I can’t write, and No. 2 I should never write,” Harvey joked. He said he wrote that memo a year before it was leaked bya staffer who “got pissed” when the individual was not offered a job on the new show. “I was OK until I saw it on CNN and then I knew I was in a lot of trouble,” Harvey said. “It’s not a big deal to me,” he insisted, saying, “I’m not a mean-spirited guy. I’m a congenial guy.” He likened the memo to coming home to a house full of kids and telling them, “You just need a moment.”

Former KFWB Program Director Exits NO cluster

CLAUS, Chris: KFWB, 1988-92; KFWB/KTWV, 1992-96. Chris spent a decade in New Orleans as market manager for Entercom. He retired from the cluster (WWWL, WKBU, WEZB, WWL, WLMG) in the summer of 2017.  

Born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1949, Chris graduated from Indiana University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in public administration. He started his radio career at WOWO-Fort Wayne in 1975 as a comptroller. Three years later he was a financial analyst and in 1982 moved to Group W Radio in New York. Prior to joining KFWB, he was vp/gm of KJQY-San Diego for three years. In 1996 Chris was elevated to vp of station operations for CBS Television & Radio. In late summer of 1996 he moved to WOGL-Philadelphia as vp/gm and in early 1998 took on additional duties at WHPT. He left the stations in the summer of 2001. Chris is married to Judy and has two sons, Max and Nathan.

“I am grateful for these 10 years in the New Orleans cluster working with exceptional colleagues and being a part of this great community,” said Claus. “I had a wonderful experience and now I look forward to spending time with my family.”

Brooke Binkowski, former KNX reporter/anchor,
penned an op-ed piece for the LA Times on Friday

Alan Oda Digs Japan

by Alan Oda 

  (August 19, 2017) Don Barrett was clearly having a slow news day when he posted some very kind words about me. Nonetheless, I humbly accept his comments on behalf of our team here in Kumamoto, Japan. A bit of background: Six years ago I was offered to go to Japan myself after training students here in the U.S. for disaster relief work after the 2011 Great Tohoku (Northern Region) Earthquake and Tsunami. It was a life-altering experience, seeing total devastation yet also signs of hope. Since then, each year I either have people interested in joining disaster relief work or we receive offers from Japan to continue assisting the rebuilding  both lives and livelihoods. I want to emphasize two details.  
First, I never, ever expected to be part of volunteer disaster relief work and disaster relief networks, yet this seems to be something I consider to be a Divine appointment. Second, I really don't think there's anything exceptional about me, not any specific gifts or talents for this sort of work. Maybe my most important role is to show anyone can be helpful when others are recovering, I just happen to have been given the opportunity these past few years. That being said, I've worked with some incredible people whose dedication amazes me. I'm currently part of a team of seven, all from Southern California, ranging in age from 13 (my youngest son) to yours truly (AARP eligible, but not just yet). We've done everything from helping with a kids Science Fair (children are greatly neglected since adults spend their time rebuilding their homes, businesses, and families) to cutting down overgrowth around property (including a local cemetery) and helping move belongings from damaged homes.    
This year, just prior to our arrival, mudslides left at least 11 dead and 600,000 people needing to evacuate in the neighboring prefecture of Fukuoka. My team has shown great flexibility and grit extending themselves by doing manual labor in 90+ degree temperatures and 90+ percent humidity, digging mud, dirt, and rather large rocks. I'm honored to work with this team. Our stories are posted at Your good thoughts and prayers are requested for these communities recovering from trauma, it's a privilege to be able to help out in some small way. We'll be back later  with more stories and with great curiosity about Rick Dees back doing mornings on KOST. Sincerely, Alan Oda

Outlaw Radio - Animal House for Grown-Ups Who Haven't Yet Grown Up 

(August 18, 2017) For two decades, Outlaw Radio has been one of those secrets on Internet Radio, where every guy who wanted to disappear for a few hours of smoking, drinking, and telling outrageous stories could vicariously participate. The brainchild of Magic Matt Alan, host on the 70s Channel on SiriusXM and a former jock on KIIS/fm, rides herd on a dedicated group of decadents from a mystery location in the Southland. Think of it as Animal House with grown-ups who haven’t quite yet grown up.

The recurring cast includes radio legend Shadoe Stevens, entertainment manager to the star Howard Lapides (Dr. Drew Pinsky), Matt's musician brother Sherer, Hollywood producer Frank Hagan, the enigmatic Mark CG Boyer; and Outlaw Radio Show Producer - widow of legendary tv star Morton Downey Jr - Lori Downey Jr.

Outlaw Radio is making a move into traditional radio circles as WNFL-Green Bay is the first to broadcast the mayhem every Saturday. They have been carrying the craziness for two months. Midwest Communications has eight more stations that are set to air the crazy cigar smokin' and martini swiggin’ romp soon. Lapides is spearheading the syndication and can be reached for more information on being one of the first to carry the weekend show at:

One never knows who might drop in at Outlaw Radio. Guests have included: ZZ Top, Meatloaf, Spencer Davis, Chicago,  Village People, The Cowsills , Bob Saget, Sean Young, Robert Hayes, Ann Coulter, Engelbert Humperdinck, Scorpions, Burt Reynolds, Michael Madsen, Pat Boone, and hundreds more.

Listen this Saturday on iTunes or on the Internet (

Reaction to Tommy Hawkins' Passing

** Dual Stations

"Very sad news about 'The Hawk.' I had the pleasure of working with Tommy Hawkins at KABC/KLOS where he would do sports on both sides of the hall, with Ken and Bob on the KABC side and 'The Fraze,' Frazer Smith at KLOS and not miss a beat. 

Moreover, Tommy always had a smile and a kind word for anyone and everyone he met. He’ll be missed." - Ira Lawson

** Worked with Tommy at KABC

"I just read about the passing of Tommy Hawkins on and the news hit me hard. Tommy was a very special person.  He was one of those rare people that everyone loved and respected. He was a gifted athlete. He had an unbelievable vertical jump during his basketball career. 

I had the pleasure of working with Tommy at KABC radio during the 70's and 80's. He was always smiling, and positive while doing a quality job on every project he was assigned to work. He was also a wonderful public speaker and inspired people here in Los Angeles for many years. I feel very fortunate to have had him as a colleague and friend. He will be missed.” - Geoff Witcher

Tommy Hawkins Dies

(August 17, 2017) Tommy Hawkins - a two-time University of Notre Dame men's basketball All-American, Notre Dame All-Century Team member, Notre Dame Ring of Honor inductee and 1959 Notre Dame graduate and veteran from KGFJ, KABC, and KKJZ - passed away yesterday at his home in Malibu, according to a Notre Dame press release. He was 80.

Hawkins was the first African-American to earn All-America honors as a student-athlete at Notre Dame. Drafted in the first round (third overall pick) by the Minneapolis Lakers, Hawkins played 10 years in the National Basketball Association with Minneapolis, the Cincinnati Royals and the Los Angeles Lakers. He scored 6,672 points and grabbed 4,607 rebounds in the NBA. Hawkins' life off the basketball court was as equally distinguished as his playing career. As a player representative, he played a key role in the first collective bargaining agreement with the players' union and the NBA.

After his playing career, he worked in radio and television and served as the vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2012, Hawkins authored a book on poetry entitled Life's Reflections: Poetry for the People.

Art Astor Classic Car Collection Auction

(August 16, 2017) When Art Astor was alive we knew him as an eclectic owner of radio stations. What many did not know was he was an avid collector of classic cars and old radios. “Thought this might interest you and your readers,” emailed Dave Kunz, automotive reporter for KABC/TV and co-host of The Car Show on KPFK. “As you probably know, Art Astor auctioned off the majority of his huge classic car collection some years ago, but kept some of his favorites. Now, those favorites are up for auction in Monterey this week in the wake of his passing.” More information and a look at some of Art’s classic cars by clicking the artwork.   

In other news: Radio news websites have dwindled in recent months. San Diego is now without a full-time outlet. On Monday, Rollye James announced that she was ending, a site paying tribute to the men and women of early Top 40 radio. The site was started by former Billboard editor, Claude Hall. When Claude got too sick, Rollye came to the rescue but now that Claude has passed on, Rollye is calling it quits.  

“I’m stopping it with much frustration over having no other choice,” wrote Rollye. “If I were retired, it would be the perfect pastime, and I’d embrace it wholeheartedly. But I own a couple radio stations and run a few corporations. Fortunately nothing I do is physically intensive, but all of it is tremendously time consuming. My ongoing fantasy is that I will find a Time Shop where I can buy a few hours, or a weekend, or an extra Sunday. But as technologically advanced as society is now, we’re not there yet.”

Rick Dees to Mornings at KOST
(August 15, 2017) KOST morning host Ellen K took some time off earlier this month for wrist surgery (she injured it in a snowboarding accident while showing off for her husband and teenaged son) and Rick Dees sat in the chair. Rick and Ellen ruled mornings for many, many years at KIIS. “When I called Rick and asked him to help, he didn’t hesitate- I am happy that the show will be in the hands of someone I know and trust,” said Ellen. “It was such fun and the audience response was phenomenal,” emailed Dees.

“Ellen K., as always, was so thoughtful to call on me to help during her wrist surgery. Darlene of Ellen's show has the complete audio link. She's a pro, and so is Ryan Manno, along with Alaysia working the phones and Rockin' Rosie, the traffic superstar. President Kevin LeGrett created a high mark when he came by and offered a ‘high 5 !’ Then he said I had to host a minimum of two shows in order to get my parking validated.”

In other news, Terry Hardy sent along a very warm story from the Thousand Oaks Acorn about Jaime Jarrin ... April Whitney, former KROQ dj for over a decade, had a stress related heart attack four years ago. She returned to the hospital earlier this month. “It's called Takotsubo or ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’,” April posted on her Facebook page. “It's a heart attack caused by stress. They're not kidding when they say stress can kill. It's rare, you'll usually hear about it when someone dies right after their partner of a long time dies. That is often ‘Broken Heart Syndrome.’”

Alan Oda Leaves Classroom to Help Earthquake Relief in Japan

(August 14, 2017) Almost from the inception, Alan Oda has made enormous contributions to LARadio. He’s got radio in his blood and enjoys writing about it. But his day job is at Azusa Pacific University where Alan is professor. He is one of the most decent human beings I have ever known.

Six years ago a major tsunami hit Japan. Every year since then, Alan has given up his vacation to participate in post-earthquake relief. Alan and his two boys join members of his church from Santa Monica as they help with the cleanup. The man is so humble. One year I remarked what a remarkable heart he has to make this yearly sacrifice and he remarked that God has presented him with an opportunity and all he did was take it. You can read about his efforts at his blog:

In other news, Jack Hayes, former dj from Top 40 KFWB in the 60s, was released last night from the Tahoe Pacific Hospital after spending three days following a stroke. “Scared the hell out of me,” said Jack … K-EARTH morning Gary Bryan is in London helping Tom Cruise do some stunts for Mission Impossible Brian Roberts is recuperating from knee replacement surgery … Cameron Ward asks: Do you know why you should never break wind in an Apple Store? “Because they have no Windows” … Tonya Campos, former pd at Country KKGO, has joined Skid Trax, a company that offers tune-ups for small and medium market radio stations. Skid Trax writes imagining and slogans, designs or calibrates music clocks for better flow, airchecks talent and helps stations utilize the tools they have to produce a winning sound at a very affordable rate … Runaway Bronchitis put Charlie Van Dyke in a Santa Barbara hospital for a couple of days. He’s back at his home away from home this morning tending to his station imaging chores.

Tonight - Sunday, 8.13.17

"I can strongly recommend the teriffic  new 2 hour Elvis documentary to air Sunday night on the REELZ TV Network. 
Produced by Peacock Productions (NBC) for this Elvis Week, they did extensive interviews with Sandy and me for the show. 
I feel sure it will be excellent." - Wink Martindale

Email Saturday, 8.12.17

** Russian Trip

"Thanks Don, happy to contribute, Bill Smith seemed like a genuinely nice guy. Too often nice guys don't get the attention they deserve. Sad that often the recognition comes after they pass away.

I read of your and your wife's adventures in Russia. Thanks for sharing. Glad to hear that you found no animosity directed at Americans, maybe there is hope that we all can live together in peace. Welcome home, your column was missed." - Mike Wick

** V A C A T I O N

"A week without is a dreary week indeed.

I am so happy that you and Cherie had such a wonderful time! I loved the commentary and photos about your trip to Russia.

Here's wishing you and yours a long and happy time." - Sterrett Harper, Burbank

** Thanks for Remembering What Couldn't Be Remembered

"Jim Healy! Loved the guy. Listened every day. You score a double:  the name B. Mitchel Reed came to me in the middle of the lunch hamburger. Looked him up on your site. Sorry to learn of his passing.

And I remembered and looked up my Top Fave:  Johnny Magnus. Wow. He grew up in Germany. Never heard a trace of an accent.

And Gary Owens.

And that rogue late-night jock who broadcasted from some cave in Mexico - Wolfman Jack.

In a moment of excess alcohol, I once suggested to Ron Chapman, the king of Dallas radio, that a site be assembled where folks could pull up and listen to these radio greats. But six thousand in LA alone. Yikes! William B. Williams in New York. I think the word is mellifluous. George Lorenz in Buffalo ['The Hound's Around!']

You belong to a proud fraternity, Mr. Barrett. Arthur Murray used to say on his show, 'Put a little fun in your life; try dancing.' You and your fraternity put a LOT of fun in our lives.  Thank you! And your site is reprising all that fun for this old geezer in Green Valley, Arizona. Gotta go to PayPal and drops some coins in your tambourine." - Dick Wilke
** Winker with Elvis

"I just wanted to share a great hour I spent listening to Wink Martindale on the Gilbert Godfrey podcast. 

If you love vintage L.A. radio, you'll love this podcast. Wink has such amazing stories about local personalities like Chuck Barris, the glory days of KMPC, and of course his friendship with Elvis. Sometimes, big stars get interviewed so often, they have standard answers to many questions. But not Wink. He went outside the box with great stories.

Wink reminisced about the early days of radio, his numerous game shows, and his experience as a guest on the Ed Sullivan show. It is hard to imagine Gilbert Godfrey as a great interviewer, but he is. He has no filter and asks the uncomfortable questions. 

Thanks Wink for opening up to fans of local radio. You are a class act. If you'd like hear the podcast, go to " - Jeff Gehringer, Astor Broadcast Group & Astor Classics KSPA 1510 KFSD 1450

Hear Ache

(August 11, 2017) KFI midday Talker Shannon Farren will be the Chargers radio sideline reporter this season. Home and away games. "I'm thrilled!," emailed Shannon ... Dean Cantor, a CBS/LA LSM, has exited the cluster ... Stella Prado Kuipers is home from emergency gallbladder surgery ... After almost 11 years of hosting mornings on KWVE, pd Brian Perez moves to the afternoon slot, where he'll also be hosting the nationally syndicated Bible Q&A show, Pastors' PerspectiveBob Shaw, who recently joined KWVE after nine years as morning host on KFSH, takes the AM shift at KWVE ... An email earlier this week stated HD programming on Saul Levine’s stations incorrectly.  KKGO HD2 is broadcasting K-SURF.  The in-house Classical format, K-Mozart, is now on 88.1 HD2 … Want to stir up some controversy? Check out a new survey appearing in RadioInk listing the greatest Top 40 stations of all time … Charles Osgood, host of long-running The Osgood File, heard for decades on KNX, will be honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with the 2017 “News & Documentary Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement.” The honor is given to a journalist or filmmaker who has “made a lasting and distinguished contribution to broadcast journalism or documentary film.” … Congratulations to former Star 98.7 pd Angela Perelli and her husband, Chris Ebbott, pd at K-EARTH and AMP Radio, on their 14th wedding anniversary … Condolences to Jay Coffey on the passing of his brother … Angel Martinez is running for mayor in Santa Barbara. Not the Angel on KFI. Santa Barbara’s Angel is a he … People Magazine snapped a photo of KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest and his galpal Shayna Taylor (l) strolling through New York City’s SoHo neighborhood … Bill O’Reilly launched a 30-minute-long news show, shot inside a studio and made available online to premium subscribers to his website. The goal of the studio show, he said at the end of the program, is to "bring everybody into the annual premium membership fold and spread the word." … Amber Perry, ex-CBS, most recently sales at Pandora went over to The Chargers as a sales manger ... Ryan Seacrest Productions is expanding his relationship with ABC in a big way. He has signed a multi-year overall deal with ABC Studios. Under the pact, RSP’s scripted division will develop scripted projects exclusively for ABC Studios at all tv networks and platforms, including broadcast, basic and premium cable and on-demand services ... Nelson Salsa Fernandez, formerly with KLSX, just picked up the book by Neil De Grasse Tyson, Astrophysics for People in  a Hurry. "What a wonderful book to read on what the cosmos and planet earth have in common," emailed Nelson."But more importantly it asks the question, 'is there alien life out there." 

Idol Producer on Why Seacrest Was Hired for Reboot

  (August 10, 2017) Cecile Frot-Coutaz, American Idol’s producer of the revival, was interviewed in The Hollywood Reporter and was asked why the negotiations to bring back Ryan Seacrest lasted nearly two months. “It was always going to happen,” said Frot-Coutaz. “It’s hard for Ryan. He’s on the East Coast now and had to figure out how to make it work, but he’s the hardest-working man in show business, so there will be some flying back and forth. But, as I said, it was always going to happen. He’s the face of Idol."

THR: Idol creator Simon Fuller has said that Seacrest is the show’s ‘single most important element.’ Is there one essential piece?
Frot-Coutaz: It would be very strange to make American Idol without Ryan, but the danger is to forget that it’s the contestants that make the show. The key factor to a successful season is finding the right contestants.

Even though the producers are very generous in their praise of Seacrest and claim the contestants are the key to success, they are spending $25 million on Katy Perry as a judge.  

Not So Gentle on the Times

(August 10, 2017) The death of Glen Campbell generated many memories from radio people. Trades, mainstream press and tv stations paid their respects with feature stories, but a story in the LA Times created a flurry of emails.

The story in the Times: "His big breakthrough came in 1967 when his recording of the John Hartford tune Gentle On My Mind hit the #1 spot on the Country charts and the Billboard Top 40 and earned Campbell a Grammy."
"The way this is written, one could think it hit #1 on both the Country charts AND the Billboard Top 40 but no, it did place in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 but peaked at #39 in 1968 upon its SECOND release," wrote Bruce Chandler. "In 1967, the year the article is referring to, the tune's first release, it only peaked at #62. There's a HUGE DIFFERENCE between #1 and #62!!  Although very recognizable, it was only a mid-to-low charter on the Billboard Hot 100 TWICE!

Steve Thompson, a frequent contributor to LARadio, wrote to say that Gentle on My Mind didn't reach #1 on either the Top 40 or Country charts. "On the Country chart, the song reached #30 in 1967 and #44 when it was re-released in 1968," wrote Thompson. "

Bruce concluded: "That's how FAKE NEWS is made..." 

Reader Has Idea for Oldies K-SURF

(August 9, 2017) It's true, if the Oldies format on 1260AM is to go to the next level and take on a personality of it's own, it should be time after several months to hire live/local on-air talent and have station ID's/bumpers professionally produced [Johnny Mann singers?]. Enough of 'oldies are new again...'

To this point anyway, it's nothing more than a juke box - JACK/fm has more personality.

Also the TOH ID is outdated, it indicates the station is available on KKGO HD-2, which I believe is actually a stream of public Classical station KDFC from San Francisco - which is run by KUSC. I wonder how much attention in-house is really being paid to this format. Thank you." - Greg Wood, West Hills

Hear Ache

(August 9, 2017) KLAC's David Vassegh made the front page of the LA Times earlier this month, but what is wrong with this picture? David's reference in the story about new player, Yu Darvish. " ... a smiling David Vassegh, the host of the postgame talk show on the team's flagship radio station." No reference to KLAC. What a shame for this opportunity lost. With the massive black-out of Dodger games on tv, KLAC is the only place to listen. Perhaps this helps explain the station languishing in 31st place in the most recent ratings ... Chris Leary, former high-powered jock on KIIS, exited his co-hosting chores at Great Day, Washington after two years ... Former KFWB Top 40 jock Earl McDaniel managed the Champs (Tequila). It was Earl who brought Glen Campbell from Arizona to work with the Champs. RIP, Glen, at the age of 81 ... "Radio ain't what it used to be," emailed Roger Carroll. "Nothing yet on 99.1 Disney Country?" Nope ... Congratulations to sports guy Joe Grande on his 7th wedding anniversary ... Andy Barber, personality at BOB 92.9 in Tulsa, put out on his Facebook page that he was leaving. "Too much pressure all about this 50 years live radio thing," he wrote. The day wasn't over yet when Andy revealed that the Bob format was leaving but that he would be staying for the new Classic Hits format. His fans were delighted to find out it was a flipping spoof ... Oakland Raiders football broadcasts will be carried on KDAY. PD Adrian Scott declares that, “KDAY is the perfect [radio] home for the Raiders in Los Angeles. Hip-hop fans are the most passionate Raiders’ fans in Southern California and we are thrilled to continue to be the exclusive fm radio station delivering the Oakland Raiders.” The Raiders’ radio team consists of Greg Papa and former Raiders quarterback (1960 - 1966) and head coach (1979 - 1987) Tom Flores. 

Morning Has Broken

(August 8, 2017) The morning drive numbers in the just-released July '17 PPM ratings show an across the board sweep for Valentine at MY/fm (KBIG). The Hot AC station was #1 AGAIN (scroll down) and Valentine achieved such success it would probably be a while back before we found another personality accomplishing it. (Photo: Valentine appearing with the women of
The Talk)
Persons 12+

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. Bill Handel (KFI)
3. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
4. News Team (KNX)
5. Pat Prescott (KTWV)
Persons 18-34

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. The Woody Show (KYSR)
3. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
4. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
5. Mega Morning Show (KXOL)
Persons 25-54

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
3. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
4. Mega Morning Show (KXOL)
5. The Woody Show (KYSR)
5. (t) Jack (KCBS)

KBIG Scores BIG in July '17 Ratings 

(August 7, 2017) KBIG just keeps getting the stack of #1 monthly finishes taller, as they did in the just-released July '17 PPM, Persons 6+, Mon-Sun, 6a-12m. All-News KNX fell out of the Top 10, perhaps the "Trump effect" that had helped so many news stations earlier this year is beginning to lose its effect. KYSR (Alt 98-7) and KROQ virtually tied in the Alternative category, while Sports KLAC and KSPN dead even. The two Classic Rock stations, KSWD (100.3/The Sound) and KLOS are within two-tenths of a point of each other. Oldies K-SURF (KSUR) boogie boarded to impressive launch numbers, but this month the station failed to crack the Top 40 station listings. Perhaps it is time to insert some personality and promotion between the hits.

1. KBIG (MY/fm) 5.8 - 6.1
2. KTWV (the WAVE) 5.4 - 5.3
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.1 - 4.8
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 5.0 - 4.7
     KOST (AC) 4.8 - 4.7
6. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.5 - 4.4
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.5 - 3.4
     KFI (Talk) 3.3 - 3.4
9. KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.9 - 3.1
10. KAMP (Top 40/M) 3.0 - 3.0
11. KNX (News) 3.3 -2.9
       KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.5 - 2.9
13. KKGO (Country) 2.8 - 2.8
      KKRL (Urban) 2.9 - 2.8
15. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 1.9 - 2.7
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.9 - 2.7
17. KROQ (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.5
      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.8 - 2.5
19. KSWD (Classic Rock) 2.7 - 2.4
20. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.6 - 2.3
21. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.3 - 2.2
22. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.6
       KXOS (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.6
24. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.5 - 1.4
       KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.6 - 1.4
       KPCC (News/Talk) 1.5 - 1.4
       KUSC (Classical) 1.5 - 1.4
28. KCRW (Variety) 1.5 - 1.2
       KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.3 - 1.2
30. KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.3 - 1.1
31. KLAC (Sports) 0.9 - 1.0
       KSPN (Sports) 1.0 - 1.0
33. KRLA (Talk) 1.0 - 0.9
34. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.8
35. KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.9 - 0.7
36. KABC (Talk) 0.6 - 0.6
       KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.5 - 0.6
      KFWB (Regional Mexican ) 0.6 - 0.6
39. KKJZ (Jazz) 0.5 - 0.5
       KWKW (Spanish Sports) 0.4 - 0.5

Airchecks Needed 

(August 7, 2017) "Currently I’m working with some friends on a documentary film about that legendary period at KPPC from 1968-71, and am hoping that you, or someone in your vast network of LARadio contacts would have some knowledge about the existence of airchecks or other original broadcast audio from the station?

We have interviewed most of the dj’s from that period including, Susan Carter, Steven Segal, Barry Hanson, The Credibility Gap, Dave Pierce, Elliot Mintz, Don Hall, Raechel Donahue, Jeff Gonzer, and others, but have very little actual broadcast audio from this era, and the dj’s we’ve been in touch with haven't been able to supply much more than memories.

I’m afraid that without more of that original material it will be very difficult to convey the unique character of the station and its contribution to LARadio culture to an audience today. I’m hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction to unearth some of the audio treasure that I know must be buried out there somewhere. Your website is an extraordinary resource that I only heard about today when I was discussing this project with Carole Hemingway, who immediately mentioned your name and said you would be the best place to go to further my quest.

As an LA native, I’m excited to look further into this site and thank you so much for putting it together; hope to hear back from you soon." - David Gaines 818/522-9040

Carson Daly Out ... Who is In at AMP Radio? 

(August 7, 2017) As CBS/LA prepares for their merger with Entercom (note that Entercom will be calling the shots once the merger is approved), there has been some local reorganization. Chris Ebbott, currently pd at K-EARTH, will also oversee Top 40 station 97.1 AMP (KAMP). The first major decision Chris will have is to fill the morning slot, recently vacated by Carson Daly (l), who resigned on July 27.

Daly said he did not come to this decision easily, saying, “for me to be on every morning in my hometown, to be able to talk to you guys, it’s literally been the greatest. I just want to have breakfast with my kids.” Jerry Del Colliano, publisher of Inside Music Media doesn’t think that Carson quit his radio show to spend more time with his family. “Dan Mason hired Daly to go head to head with Ryan Seacrest on KIIS. Daly is a big salary, and any CBS employee who has a big salary knows Entercom is coming to take them away.”

It has been no secret that Carson’s morning drive numbers have been disappointing to the CBS brass across all demographics. In tv, he is the fair-haired boy at the Today Show and is being groomed to eventually replace Matt Lauer. Last month during Matt's vacation, Carson sat in the anchor chair.

Back to Ebbott, what kind of a morning show is he looking for? “I’m looking all across the country for either an established show or individuals that we can put together,” emailed Chris. “I'm actually in Atlanta at Morning Show Boot Camp talking to everyone who will talk to me.  :)”
Ebbott is well-liked at CBS/LA. His boss, svp of programming Kevin Weatherly, had been AMP’s pd. “Chris and Kevin are masterful program directors at the top of their field,” said Dan Kearney, head of the LA cluster. “This move will further strengthen 97.1 AMP, making it a standout Top 40 competitor in Los Angeles, while boosting the overall performance of our entire cluster.”

“Chris is an established programmer and has done an amazing job with KRTH the past few years,” added Weatherly. “His experience and leadership make him the perfect choice to take on the day-to-day programming responsibilities at AMP Radio”

LaLa & Carmelo Anthony
Are the actress (former middays at KKBT, the Beat from 1999-2002), 38, and NBA player, 33 reconciling?
A month after the Power star told Wendy Williams they weren't divorcing 'right now,'
the athlete tweeted a photo of his wife, with whom he shares son Kiyan, 10. - People Magazine, 8.14.17

Email Saturday
** Bill Smith's Passing

"Thank you, again, for being the conduit to the past, present and in many ways the future of radio. But for I would never have heard the sad news of the passing of Bill Smith

I only knew Bill from seeing him on television, but remember him well as being fun as well as informative and so likeable. Without you I, and I’m sure many others, wouldn’t have had an opportunity to say goodbye to someone who brought many hours of joy into our lives and for a few minutes at a time gave us a welcome break from the pressures of everyday life. 

Thanks Don, thanks Bill." - Mike Wick

** Big Nasty Missed

"I was just perusing thru your website LARadio, and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your entry on Joe McDonnell, the 'Big Nasty.'

I moved to LA from Charlotte in '99 when I got married. I enjoy sports talk radio, and immediately grew attached to Joe and the McDonnell-Douglas show. Those two were so cool, and so well-connected and knowledgeable. If it was LA sports, Joe & Doug were in the know. I really enjoyed that radio show, and really was disappointed when Joe had his medical issues and was unemployed. What a great talent. He will be missed.

Thanks for your very inspiring and very poignant entry on Big Joe." - Ed Price, Valencia

Morning Has Broken

(July 13, 2017) If you are The Woody Show or Valentine you are sitting atop of the morning drive ratings in the June '17 PPM. Some of you have asked about other wake-up people beyond the Top 5. In Persons 12+: Gary Bryan at K-EARTH is 7th; Ellen K at KOST is 8th; Andy Chanley at The Sound came in 14th; at 15th there is a tie with KKGO's Graham Bunn and KLOS' Heidi, Frosty & Frank; Big Boy is 18th at KRRL; Steve Harvey ranks 21st at KJLH; at 23rd is Carson Daly at AMP Radio; J Cruz is 26th at KPWR; Dan Patrick at KLAC and Doug McIntyre at KABC are tied at 34th 

Persons 12+

1. Valentine (MY/fm)
2. News Team (KNX)
3. Pat Prescott (KTWV)
    Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
5. Bill Handel (KFI)
Persons 18-34

1. The Woody Show (KYSR)
2. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
3. Valentine (MY/fm)
4. Mega Morning Show (KXOL)
5. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
Persons 25-54

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

Former KABC Sports Talker Lisa Bowman Publishes Shattered Peacock 

(July 13, 2017) I just ordered Shattered Peacock by Lisa Bowman (DiVita). Can’t wait for its arrival. Lisa is one of my very favorite LARP personalities who is so multi-talented. Shattered Peacock: A Story of Life and Revolution is a fictional novel based on real political events that happened in Iran and Persian society in the 1970s. Although the characters and their stories are fictional, the novel is set against the non-fictional.

From the Amazon website: Feel the Iranian Revolution choking the life out of Iran's long succession of Persian kings. Learn about the brutal, subsequent rule of Ayatollah Khomeini and how Sharia law changed the character of Iran, even as it walled off Western influence. Today, Iran's theocratic Islamic government stands on the brink of nuclear capability, and is a major sponsor of worldwide terrorism. Shattered Peacock recounts how it came to be. 

I hope you will support Lisa’s efforts. Check it out at Amazon under the name Lisa DiVita.


Bingenheimer to Satellite. Longtime KROQ personality Rodney Bingenheimer, who left the alternative rock station last May, will resurface as host of a new weekly music show on Sirius/XM’s “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” channel (21) beginning this Sunday night at 6 p.m. "Rodney was one of my first calls when I started the channel," Van Zandt said. "We are honored to have him. This is where he belongs!"

Listen to Alt and You’ll Get a Woody. If you look at the morning drive numbers published here, there is a new name that has been on top of 18-34 demographics and strong 25-54 for the last few months, and that is the Woody Show on ALT-98.7 (KYSR). When Jeff “Woody” Fife arrived in the Southland from successful runs in St. Louis and San Francisco, apparently there were too many people telling the Woody cast how to do their show. “The first nine months were really rough,” admitted Fife. ‘We inherited 22nd place and we were up against legends like Kevin & BeanRyan Seacrest, and Big Boy. There were 1,000 chefs and no one was talking to each other.”

In a recent rant on the KYSR website, Fyfe said the Woody Show looked like career suicide, and on paper it shouldn’t have worked. “I was professionally horny but I knew we had something.” But he can’t explain the success.

At the iHeartMedia Christmas party a year and a half ago, the rumor was that 98.7fm was going Country. “Woody” shared the information with his audience and asked for support and help so the station wouldn’t dump their current format. “People said I shouldn’t go public because they would fire me. I figured if they went Country, they would fire me anyway.”

Well, everything started turning around, so much so that iHeart has given the Woody Show a 5 year contract, which will take them to the end of 2022.

“I can’t explain the success. The show has evolved. We knew we had something.”

New News. KNX program director Ken Charles send a note that nominations for 2017 Marconi Awards are in. “LA is well represented with KNX up for two, one against KIIS for Legendary Station of the year and KRTH is up for one after winning last year for ‘Classic Hits station of the Year.’”

Transistor ListeningTom Patterson shared a note on his Facebook page after attending a game at Dodger Stadium. “After 46 years of coming to Dodger games with a transistor radio listening to Vin Scully do the play by play, KLAC AM 570 has finally found a way to ruin the experience at the ballpark. Just recently they changed or added some digital equipment into their signal path and now there is a 3-4 second delay in the audio. This totally screws up watching the game live and hearing the play by play. Digital technology is NOT always better. KLAC, please put back the old reliable analog equipment. Can I get a ‘Whoo-ya’ or an ‘Amen’ from my fellow broadcasting peers? Howard FineBarry VictorRichard Rudman, help me out buddies!”

KBIG #1 AGAIN in June 2017

(July 12, 2017) KBIG is B-I-G for another month, as the Hot AC station comes in #1 in the June PPM 6+ 6a-mid, Mon-Sun. Here is how your favorite station fared:

1. KBIG (MY/fm) 5.8 - 5.8
2. KTWV (The WAVE) 5.3 - 5.4
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.8 - 5.1
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.8 - 5.0
5. KOST (AC) 4.7 - 4.8
6. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.1 - 3.5
    KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.6 - 3.5
8. KFI (Talk) 3.4 - 3.3
     KNX (News) 3.4 - 3.3
10. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.7 - 3.0
11. KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.9 - 2.9
      KRRL (Urban) 2.7 - 2.9
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.9 - 2.9
14. KKGO (Country) 2.8 - 2.8
      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.7 - 2.8
16. KSWD (Classic Rock) 2.9 - 2.7
17. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 3.1 - 2.6
18. KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.4 - 2.5
19. KROQ (Alternative) 2.2 - 2.4
20. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.1 - 2.3
21. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 1.8 - 1.9
22. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.8 - 1.7
       KXOS (Regional Mexican) 2.0 - 1.7
24. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.8 - 1.6
25. KCRW (Variety) 1.4 - 1.5
      KJLH (Urban AC) 1.6 - 1.5
      KPCC (News/Talk) 1.7 - 1.5
      KUSC (Classical) 1.5 - 1.5
29. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.3 - 1.3
      KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.1 - 1.3
31. KRLA (Talk) 1.0 - 1.0
      KSPN (Sports) 0.9 - 1.0
33. KLAC (Sports) 0.9 - 0.9
       KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 1.1 - 0.9
35. KEIB (Talk) 0.9 - 0.8
36. KABC (Talk) 0.7 - 0.6
       KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.6 - 0.6
38. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.5
       KKJZ (Jazz) 0.5 - 0.5
       KSUR (Oldies) 0.5 - 0.5

More on Bill Smith

(July 12, 2017) Sam Rubin did a marvelous tribute to Bill Smith when KTLA remembered their late colleague, Deadspin linked the video. And here's a transcript of what Sam said:

A few other things about Bill Smith. We’ve gone through a variety of different owners and managers (at KTLA) and right now, at this moment, we’re really lucky with great management. We did not, in 2007, when a dopey billionaire purchased the company and hired a group of pirates and bandits to run it, including a news consultant who was the devil himself. This consultant would fly from TV station to TV station with crazy directives, including hit lists, people at each station he didn’t know, who he decided just to get rid of, for basically no reason. To our great shame and detriment, Bill Smith was on that hit list. He left KTLA in 2008, a huge loss to all of us. Of course, that news consultant no longer works in television, having been justifiably fired from our company during a different period of turmoil. So even at the end of his time here, Bill Smith got the rawest possible deal, (yet) anytime I saw him, always nice, always upbeat, deeply in love with his terrific wife, and very proud of his son who like Bill, shared a real passion for aviation. There’s a quality, this trait, that’s increasingly rare these days. Bill Smith was a true broadcaster. He could really do anything, and he could communicate to a big, and appreciative audience, virtually any kind of story. From the birth of (KTTV’s) MetroNews MetroNews to his always great work here, Boy, I will miss Bill Smith. Very sorry to hear this yesterday.

One additional note: Smith died of Alzheimer's, KTLA's Eric Spillman said his family welcomes donations to the Alzheimer's Association in Bill's name to help research efforts in treating this disease.

** Interned for Bill Smith

"I was lucky enough to know Bill Smith at age 13 while working as an intern at KNJO in Thousand Oaks. What a kind person he was. Always positive and always funny. I was a bit star struck when I saw him reporting on the KTLA Morning News. Bill had no ego, he was just great at what he did, and was always kind when he did it. RIP." - Justin Michael, Technical Director, Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx Premiere Networks I iHeartMedia

Bill Smith, Veteran of Local Radio and Television, Has Died 

(July 11, 2017) Bill Smith, a veteran of KGIL (1970-76), KABC (1980-90), and KNJO (1996), died yesterday at the age of 74.

An Army “brat” whose youth was spent globe-trotting with his U.S. Army parents, beginning school in Japan and finishing in Germany, Bill’s entire broadcasting career was in Los Angeles. Bill began as a news reporter at KGIL, became nd and eventually took over morning drive when Sweet Dick Whittington left the station after a long and successful run. During the “Whittington” years, Bill was the “mystery voice” of the character Harrison Hollywood, a popular parody of Hollywood reporters.

As a licensed pilot, Bill often flew the KGIL Skywatch plane reporting on freeway traffic. This led to his first stint on KABC. Following KGIL, Bill spent ten years as reporter and anchor on KTTV/Channel 11, anchoring the station’s “Today-like show” noontime newscast. During his decade at KABC, he worked as regular fill-in (with Eric Tracy) for the popular morning team, Ken Minyard and Bob Arthur. He also teamed with Wink Martindale for an afternoon drive program.

After KTTV, Bill spent three years at KCBS/Channel 2 and then went to KTLA/Channel 5. “Even though I have won various awards for ‘best TV reporter,’ my heart remains with radio.” At KNJO, Bill was teamed with co-host Kirby Hanson, billing themselves as a “low budget Regis and Kathie Lee” in an experiment to see if talk radio would work on a “very local” level. “All was proceeding well until gm Steve Angel (longtime friend from the KGIL days) died of leukemia and the station was sold.” For a time Bill free-lanced for “KNXNewsradio.”

KNX Wins Edward R. Murrow Award 

(July 11, 2017) KNX has won the prestigious 2017 RTNDA National Edward R. Murrow Award. Anchored by Chris Sedens and Linda Nunez, KNX was honored for their coverage of the June 1, 2016 shooting and lockdown of the UCLA campus. This is the station's first national award in almost half a century. Sedens and Nunez were joined by reporters Ed Mertz, Cooper Rummell, Jon Baird, Claudia Peschiutta, Charles Feldman, plus traffic anchor Thom Tran.

In other news, Greg Hardison sent some unrelated small-bites of information: "1) Ironic that you should display a WMEX survey. Just last Friday (7/7), WMEX-Boston went dark in anticipation of a 'new owner' - but nothing's been announced anywhere about that, as of yet. Their last format was right-wing talk, but they'd been playing Oldies during night hours. With their directional pattern, WMEX was regularly received in Ireland and the U.K.  2)  Exchanged some nice notes with K.M.Richards, regarding KABC's vaunted 'power increase.' K.M.'s assessment of the situation was right on the mark.  3)  Your upper-right-hand corner photos and cartoons are absolutely priceless! They just get better & better."

Hear Ache. After 67 seasons as the play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the legendary Vin Scully will be presented with the Icon Award at The 25th ESPYS. The honor is given to individuals whose careers have left a lasting impression on the sports world; actor Bryan Cranston will make the presentation to Scully ... Scott Herman was a big name at CBS Radio, COO, and he will not be part of the new merged Entercom/CBS. Gone.

Hear Ache 

(July 10, 2017) While listening to KNX yesterday morning, a commercial for Sit ‘n Sleep aired promoting a July 4th/Independence Day sale. Wasn’t that last Tuesday? You might think that more attention would be paid to such a prolific advertiser … Speaking of KNX and the merger of parent company CBS and Entercom, the earliest date for approval is apparently September 2017. From a number of reports, the new Entercom and CBS will have to sell one fm station in LA. Consequently, we hear that KSWD (100.3/The Sound) has already been sold / traded /swapped, but the announcement has been delayed until Entercom can extract the LA Rams radio rights and move the games to a CBS fm station, maybe KCBS (JACK/fm) … Claude Hall, an editor at Billboard Magazine during the early days of Top 40 Radio, has died. Radio fans followed his weekly gossip column for years. The column was recently resurrected at, hosted by Rollye James. She devotes this morning’s entire column to memories of Claude. I admired Hall from afar. A few years ago I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with him at his Las Vegas home. We consumed his favorite beverage, Diet Pepsi, while sharing stories about LA radio personalities, but mostly we shared about our sobriety journey. RIP, my friend … “Claude was a wonderful man who helped me a lot when I started my custom belt buckle business, JSL Enterprises,” said Jeffrey Leonard. “In the July 4, 1976 issue of Billboard, Claude wrote a piece about me in Vox Jox. It provided me a lot of new customers. I never forgot about him and stayed in touch. Claude will always be part of our family” … There’s a new on-air lineup at Top 40/R-San Diego outlet KSSX (Jam’n 95.7) that includes Nina Chantele as middayer. She also hosts afternoons on Urban KRRL (Real 92.3) … Didja know that Charlie Tuna spelled his name “Tunah” at the beginning of his career. The WMEX survey is from Jeffrey Leonard’s collection. “Early on, Charlie was afraid he would get sued for using the name,” emailed Leonard, who puts together the wonderful bi-annual radio reunions at Fuddruckers … Anniversaries galore: KPCC's Susanne Whatley and her new hubby David celebrate their first year anniversary; KABC’s Doug McIntyre and Penny Peyser celebrate 15 years together; Brad Samuel, former gm at KYSR, married Tanya Kuhn 10 years ago; Jim Duncan and his wife Judy racked up 48 years married. Yay to all ... Peter Oda, son of senior correspondent Alan Oda, turns 16 today. When asked about his son's birthday, Alan's immediate response: "Clear the roads!"

Payne in the Butt

(July 9, 2017) Longtime Fox Business Network host and former KFI Talk show host, Charles Payne, has been suspended from Fox after a frequent guest on the network reportedly accused him of sexual harassment.

Fox has been exposed to a variety of sexual misconduct claims over the past year. Payne, who hosts the nightly personal finance show Making Money, will remain off the air pending an investigation. Last week  the National Enquirer published an article in which Payne admitted to carrying on a three-year “romantic relationship” with a married female political analyst who was a regular guest on Fox Business, and apologized to his wife, children and friends. 

Payne “categorically denies” claims that he sexually harassed the woman. Payne, a former Wall Street analyst, joined Fox Business as a contributor during its launch in 2007 and regularly appears as a guest on Fox News Channel shows. Last month, he re-signed a multiyear contract to continue hosting Making Money, which launched in 2014 and went on to become a top-rated show in the 6 p.m. time slot.

Email Saturday
** Passing of Claude Hall

"This hurts. As a newcomer to Los Angeles Radio in the 70’s and early ‘80s this widely circulated and hugely respected radio writer wrote complimentary things about me and/or the stations for which I worked. Publicly, I was humbled. Personally, I was exhilarated. And his observations helped to keep me focused wherever I’ve worked in whatever format ever since those halcyon years.

In this sense I owe whatever success I’ve enjoyed in a large way to Claude Hall. My appreciation goes to my former KZLA colleague, Rollye James, for the partnership and support you have given to Claude and this radio community as well. Thank you, Claude. God bless you, Claude. May your family find some comfort and peace in your giving spirit, too." - Mike Sakellarides


** KABC Power

"The power increase for KABC probably wasn't worth mentioning, Don, because it was only an adjustment made to replicate the old coverage patterns from the old La Cienega site at the new KWKW diplex site. From an engineering standpoint, it was a big 'ho-hum' and it isn't gaining them any listeners they didn't already have. Hope David Alpert will be less 'surprised' now." - K.M. Richards



Commercial Loads

"If radio advertising is effective, why are there so many unsold spots on radio stations in which I'm told radio advertising is effective? Very best regards." - David Bernhart, Simi Valley

LARP Summer Reading

I have enjoyed reading the semi autobiography from Michael Nesmith InfiniteTuesday. Nesmith has a very creative way of writing.  He is very intelligent, unlike his character on the old Monkees tv show.  

The book talks about the juggernaut of the Monkees in 1966 and how radio and television worked in tandem to launch America's answer to the Beatles. The Monkees revolt from Don Kirshner and the powers that be in 1967 are told in a funny and witty manor. 

Michael was on the ground floor of Country Rock.  And Nesmith also was one of the founders on MTV.  

This is not a 'tell all' autobiography, but a unique insight into 60's media. As with any teen idol, it goes up and falls just as quickly. Michael Nesmith has survived the journey with humor and insight." - Jeff Gehringer,  Astor Broadcast Group & Astor Classics

For the past two and a half years, I’ve been writing a book on kids show and quiz show host and producer Jack Barry, who also owned 93.5 KKOP (later KFOX) from 1968 to 1979.  Covering his forty year career from Juvenile Jury to The Joker’s Wild, I’ve had the privilege to interview LARPs Wink Martindale, John Hart and Howard Day along with about ten others who knew Jack both personally and professionally including tv personalities Monty Hall and Jim Peck.  They were all very friendly and had wonderful stories to share.  

I was wondering if anyone in the LARP community worked with or for Jack Barry during his days at KTLA Channel 5 in the early 1960s and/or during his ownership of WGMA in Hollywood, Florida. If anyone would like to share their memories of Jack during that or any other period for the book, I can be reached at" - Josh Jacobs, Technical Producer of Middays with Sam, Lunchtime with Kevin & Taylor, KeepTheFaith 95.9 the fish – KFSH


I am tackling several books this summer (in addition to my usual reading of magazines and newspapers)

1/  James Bond:  The Secret History by Sean Egan

2/  My Happy Days in Hollywood by Garry Marshall

3/  The Magic Window: American Television  1939-53 by James Von Schilling

4/  Line of Sight:  Klaus Landsberg-His Life and Vision by Evelyn De Wolfe and George Lewis

5/  Complete Dick Tracy volume 22 by Chester Gould

Thanks for opportunity to share books." - David Schwartz

Hear Ache

(July 6, 2017) Not too often do we get to see radio people featured on tv. Last weekend, KABC’s Doug McIntyre was interviewed on KNBC 4’s News Conference ... Jeff and the Showgram are gone from KYXY, according to Ken Leighton of the San Diego Reader. “A longtime radio powerhouse was unceremoniously escorted out the door after nearly 30 years as a top-rated local morning show,” wrote Leighton. “According to insiders, the Jeff and the Showgram ensemble were told they needed to attend a KYXY sales meeting immediately after their Tuesday, June 27 morning show.” It turned out the meeting was to escort the crew of four out the door with no opportunity to tell their listeners goodbye on the air. The Entercom/CBS merger is just months away and firings are going on all over the country, from talent to sales to management. “This one hurt,” Jeff Detrow told his fans on Friday on social media. “We didn’t see this coming…I’m afraid.” Originally, Detrow was teamed with Jerry Cesak and led the “Jeff and Jer” six person team on the now defunct KKYY (Y-95) in 1988. The top-rated show was heard across the San Diego dial before leaving KMYI (Star 94.1) in 2009. After podcasting for two years, four members of the original team re-emerged on KYXY in 2011 … Salem Media Group was certified as a “great workplace” on June 28, 2017 by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work. “According to our study, 84 percent of Salem Media Group employees say it is a great workplace,” says Sarah Lewis-Kulin, vp of Great Place to Work Certification & List Production … Game Show Network will have a week of $25,000 Pyramid’s from 1983 coming up for broadcast the week of July 17th with Jerry Bishop as the show announcer, who was filling in for regular announcer Jack Clark ... Coverage of the MLB All-Star Game begins Monday, July 10, with a special edition of The Herd hosted by Colin Cowherd live from Marlins Park ... KLAC's Vic the Brick is back on the air following his fight against cancer. He wrote on Facebook: "Mad love to everyone for welcoming me back to the airwaves. Good vibes run amok in our ciudad. Honored and humbled. Feelin' all of you!"

Saul Levine, owner of KKGO (Go Country 105/fm), is thrilled with Week 3 of the PPM, 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12m
KKGO received at 3.0 share and a cume approaching 1.5 million

In light of new competition from Radio Disney Country (99.1/fm and 1110 AM), Saul calls KKGO "LA's only Country Radio station."
          "In our tenth year and getting stronger. Congrats to pd Michael Levine and his team for making
          LA Country Radio History," emailed Saul.

KROQ General Manager to Mayor of Santa Monica

by Kevin McKeown

(July 5, 2017) While attending Yale University, Kevin McKeown worked at the campus station as music director and disc jockey. After college he worked for a series of Hartford/New Haven stations. In the Southland, Kevin became general manager at KROQ from 1976-78. After he left KROQ Kevin was a voiceover talent, creative director of JAM Advertising and owned L.A. RadioWorks studio in Santa Monica. He was executive producer of "Hollywood Niteshift" radio show with Phil Austin and Frazer Smith. His journey into politics is amazing. I asked Kevin to tell his story in his own words:
Coming out of public high school as a physics major with a scholarship, I was curious about the electronics at Yale’s campus radio station. I ended up on the air as a rock jock, majoring in radio. Unfortunately for me, Yale didn’t offer a broadcasting degree. We turned Yale’s WYBC/fm, with a signal that covered most of southern Connecticut, from an “educational” station into one of the very first progressive rockers. Meanwhile, because most AM radio pros in the 60s believed no one listened to fm, I was able to paycheck as a boss jock at New Haven’s then-powerhouse WNHC. (Photo on the right is Kevin astride an elephant [and evidently enjoying it] during a WNHC promotion welcoming the Ringling Bros. Circus to town)


As FM Rock took over, I pulled a majority share (52%) of men 18-34 on WPLR, to this day the Classic Rock station in New Haven, then moved to San Diego to work with Ron Jacobs at Billboard’s 1974 station of the year, KGB/fm. I’ve lived in Santa Monica over 40 years now, coming here to run KROQ, where I ended up as general manager back when KROQ was quirkily and unpredictably free-form. KROQ ownership shifted, paychecks bounced, and I moved into the realm where radio creativity still paid the rent, advertising. 

In the 80s I was the voice on many of the rock lifestyle radio spots in L.A., including staples like Guitar Center, University Stereo, and Laserium. I owned a radio production studio on Santa Monica’s Main Street, where I produced “The History of San Francisco Rock” with Raechel Donahue for KFOG. There came a moment in the 90s when I realized my personal and political values were demanding expression. I took a job (still in tech) as Apple computer consultant for our local public school district, and a few years later ran for Santa Monica City Council, where I’m now in my fifth term, including time as Mayor. My Santa Monica Council meetings have been live on KCRW every other Tuesday night for almost two decades, the longest radio gig of my career.  

  The memories of my early radio days are still vivid: following Lee Baby Sims on the air to do overnights at WPOP in Hartford during the summer of love ('WPOP, your five-thousand watt flower pot'), then driving like mad to fire up the transmitter for my AM drive show at a suburban New Haven daytimer … showing up for my airshift one day to find my replacement in the studio, with no advance warning from management … racing to a radio station's bank not knowing if the owners had enough in the account to cover the entire payroll … and like any radio veteran, I got to know where to find the unemployment benefits office in every town where I worked. Better than just memories, I have tapes. I’ve posted a sampler at for readers. (Photo taken in 2015 when Kevin was mayor and there was an official visit to Santa Monica’s sister city of Fujinomiya, Japan.

LARP Summer Reading

Seeing his name, his books, and movies made from his books for years, I thought it was time to explore the author Dennis Lehane. So I started with his first one, A Drink Before the War. Truly its own noir, the author is truly gifted in taking us into another world of crime and conspiracy.

I have a feeling this may be a Dennis Lehane summer at the beach for me. - Fran Summers

Summer Reading

What books are you reading this summer? Would you like to share your favorite book with other readers of LARadio?

Send info to

5 Years Ago Today

"We sat here for 25 years at one set of call letters and never had to cross town. We competed in the second largest radio market in America, lasted for 25 years and leave on our own terms.
I will never, ever, not be proud of that.” - Mark Thompson


(July 2, 2012) The final chapter in this series revolving around the resignation of Mark Thompson (l) after 25 years together at KLOS could be called the ending but knowing Mark, his future endeavors hold the promise of wonderment and new beginnings.

How management will treat the time between now and August 17th is anyone’s guess. Since making the announcement last week, the program director at KLOS – Jack Silver – has already been let go with no hint from current management what will happen to the remaining partner, Brian Phelps. There have been hints of progress in the negotiations.

Mark had a dream about being successful in radio and he has exceeded all of his expectations. “I realized my dream,” Mark told me during our recent lunch at L’Ermitage. “When I was 16 I first got into radio Friday and Saturday nights from midnight to 6 a.m. while going to high school. I listened to bootleg tapes of WLS-Chicago, WABC-New York and 10Q in Los Angeles. Radio is what I was dreaming about. I heard the tapes of these jocks and they sounded so good and I made myself a promise that I would make it all the way and sound as good as they did. I take the fulfillment of that dream not with a grain of salt, but with pride and joy.”

He had lots of people to thank for his success. “I thank all those people who gave of themselves for all those years and worked hard to make the morning show as great as it is. We still work every day making it as great as we can. I just can’t ask for any more than that. I just can’t.”

Mark is moving into the next phase of his life, which is still undefined, but he is clear that it will not be connected with the word, ‘retirement.’ Whenever Mark would take the family on vacation, for example, to Hawaii, he was never the guy lying on the beach reading a book. “I just can’t do it,” he confessed. He said he was more like the Rodney Dangerfield joke, ‘I would take a vacation, but I’m there.’ I need to be busy. I’m a worker bee. I need a chore. I’ve got to be creative and then I’m happy.”

The long journey of “always” having a job started for Mark when he had an 18-mile paper route for the Birmingham News at 4 in the morning. There has been one common denominator from delivering the Birmingham News to being a bellhop at Holiday Inn to radio, he has always worked for someone else until he wrote, produced and starred in his first movie, Mother Ghost. “I never made money at it but I had such a good time. When I did my second movie, 2:13, I lived at the Sofitel Hotel. Got up, did the radio show and was on the set by 11. My daughter was the TA. I worked until 11 at night, got a few hours’ sleep and would do it all over again. I was totally exhausted but was having such a wonderful time I never noticed.”

Chuck Moshontz played a key role in the early success of the Mark & Brian Show. “When we came to town – day one September 8, 1987 - it was literally just me and Brian in the room. I was running the board then and Brian is sitting across from me. We look over through the glass and there’s this guy sitting there with headphones on and he’s smiling. We wave at him. From the first moment of broadcast on day one, Chuck embraced us when there were people in the hallways wondering why management has brought in these idiots from Alabama. Chuck laughed, helped; he encouraged and he became a dear friend for ten years. He allowed us to get silly with him. I’ve never gotten over his leaving. When Chuck came back for our 20th anniversary, he used to do News & Views and just winged it from the newspaper and I almost cried. Losing someone as important as Chuck, you never get over that, but he had the balls to make a bold decision to leave everything he knew as a broadcaster and step out there as a therapist. Chuck is Chuck. Period. And one of the beautiful people in the world.”

Twenty five years as morning show partners must have created some difficulties over the years? “The Stern years were very difficult on both of us,” Mark confessed. “The one thing we were pretty good at and it came from Brian, ‘ Whatever I’m feeling, the only other person in the world that can know how I’m feeling is the other guy – the guy that sits across from you. No matter if we were angry with each other or waiting for tempers to cool, you realize you do have the one bond, that one thing nobody knows like you know. We always got to a point where we could talk it through and move on. How many married couples make it as long as we did?”

Mark has no idea what management has in store for the morning show. “There is a right formula to take what is left of the morning show, plug in a couple of pieces and still keep it cohesive. It can done. It has been done.”

For now, Mark’s hinting that his next project will be something he will once again immerse himself into and be fully in charge. “I don’t need the money to be successful. I will have a good time trying.”

“I will always remember that we sat here for 25 years at one set of call letters and never had to cross town. We competed in the second largest radio market in America, lasted for 25 years and leave on our own terms. I will never, ever, not be proud of that.”

As Mark prepares to end his time in L.A., you might want to share some memories with him or maybe just a thank you for the good times. Mark's email address is:

19 Years Ago Today 

(July 1, 1998) A living Southern California legend returns to morning drive this morning. Charlie Tuna (l) makes his way back to KIKF, a station he left earlier this year. Charlie will make the daily drive from his San Fernando Valley home to the city of Anaheim (nearby home of my alma mater, Chapman University) where KIKF’s new Country home is located. Once a broadcast line is installed in Charlie’s house (sometime next week), he won't have to get out of bed to go to work. Charlie knows everyone and hosts the syndicated "Weekly Top 30 Country Countdown" show. When the Judd family comes by to visit, Charlie will have to get dressed and his wife, Shari, will have to prepare breakfast and a big pot of coffee…Newest addition to Los Angeles Radio People fraternity officially begins this morning, Drew Hayes, pd at KABC. Wonder how long before his presence will be felt on and off the air? I’ll bet sooner, rather than later, maybe even "swifter" … Perhaps coinciding with KLOS’ involvement with promoting today’s movie opening of Armageddon, Aerosmith music has suddenly reappeared on the station. Hey, it’s a local band plus Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv is the flick…Speaking of KLOS, do you think Mark and Brian know where Eddie Van Halen lives? … The Queen Mary will be the site of a BIG KBIG 4th of July Disco Saturday Night party. Morning hosts Carolyn Gracie and Rick Diego will be hosting the firecracker special called "The BIG Red, White, and BOOM!" … Now that the Los Angeles Kings have moved their broadcast from XTRA/AM to KRLA, where will the Mighty Ducks go? Can KRLA air the Kings, Ducks, Angels and keep Huggie Boy happy? … Speaking of sports (do you miss Jim Healy’s half-hour as much as I do? At 5:30 I still reach for the radio to tune in his sports commentary show. ISSSS IT TRUE?), KCTD (One-On-One Sports at 1540AM) has been attempting to localize the Chicago feed. Before gm Bob Koontz left for KLOS, he hired nice guy sports guy Eric Tracy to do local commentary. The station has now added traffic and weather reports during morning and afternoon drive ... Former Los Angeles Radio People, Mother Love (KFI, KLSX, KACE, and KBIG), made an appearance this morning with Sam Rubin on KTLA's Morning Show to promote her syndicated tv show, Forgive or Forget.



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