LARadio

2017 - 4th Quarter Archives

Compiled and Written by Don Barrett

 

 

Email Saturday, 12.30.17

** Chickenman Passes

“By now I am sure you know that Dick Orkin passed away on Sunday night, apparently from complications from a stroke.

It is a gross understatement to say that Dick was a singular, incredible person. He was working with Christine Coyle as his partner when I first met him in person. Everyone, of course, had met Dick at some point over the radio, whether in his bits or his commercials. I worked with them on projects for the SCBA.

I was honored to share a podium with him at both an NAB and an RAB conference – both of which turned into A/V disasters, I’m horrified to say. We had used their work and combined it with one of my pro-radio presentations to illustrate the points. I had tested out the computer just before the sessions and it worked perfectly. Then the computer I was using wouldn’t sync up with the projectors used by the NAB and RAB. The presentation was so huge I had to use a zip drive to run it. Funny, it just chose to fail when it was show time. No one else at the conference had a zip drive. We wound up having to do the sessions – in a room of more than 300 people – just speaking and with chicken-scratch diagrams on an easel pad. Dick said, ‘Just go on. We’ll act out the commercials.’

They were amazing. I still get nightmares about it. But Dick was utterly calm and vamped as only he could. Afterward, the feedback was that the audience really liked the material, but it failed completely on A/V presentation.

Thank you Dick – and Christine - for not killing me when it happened twice. He even invited me to his birthday party in Las Vegas. He and his family were so warm and welcoming – and incredibly forgiving of those incidents.

When my husband Steve was in his final few months of dying from MDS – a bone marrow cancer – Dick agreed to help us do an ad campaign to urge people to become bone marrow donors. You don’t have to die to do it and it actually doesn’t even hurt anymore. They just draw your blood. People still thought it was a harrowing, painful experience [which it did used to be]. Dick dived in and spent hours recording Steve and me and we tried to work with City of Hope to create the campaign. City of Hope had to decline [HEPA concerns] to participate, and then Steve passed away. Dick, the indomitable, reached out to me a few months later to see if I’d be willing to take up the cause again. We did try, but factors in his life made us put it once again on the back burner.

I’m pleased to say I was there for his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame, and have kept up with him, his wife Diane and his children.  I wish them the happiness of remembering what a creative, unique, masterful talent Dick was and be aware of all the joy he created for all of us.” - Mary Beth Garber

** Orkin One of the Best

“I'm so sorry to hear of Dick Orkin's passing. He was a funny, talented man with a great set of pipes. I was just having a conversation about him a few days ago and we were recalling some of his wonderful bits, his commercials, etc. One of the very best.” - Michael Ambrosini

** A Facebook Posting

“From KFI - where Michael Shappee now works: ‘I’m very sad to say that Michael Shappee’s wife, Celia, has died. Many of you know Celia was in a devastating car accident in which she suffered severe head trauma and was in a coma for two weeks. Celia regained consciousness but suffered further complications. Throughout this horrific, life-changing ordeal, Michael has been concerned with the KFI news team and the shifts everybody has had to cover for him.  Michael is a man of high character, who worried about us while he was suffering unimaginable pain, and my heart breaks for him.’

Sorry to use this space to bring this horrible news. So many wonderful memories of her work and laughter.

We stayed in contact after she went to work for the county and my condolences go to Mike, her sister Andrea and her dad.

When I hear of services I will let you know.” - Kathy Kiernan

** Alan Oda's Review of 2017

"GREAT column Alan!! [as always!!!] Been enjoying and devouring your contributions to LARadio for years!!! You know your facts, put 'em togeter soooooo Well, and bring on such emotions I read your pieces and THEN read 'em again!!! Thanx for being there to keep us informed and entertained." - Alan Ross

** Thanks to Apple

“For DELIBERATELY removing the FM chip from the newest iPhones after refusing to enable the existing ones in previous models.

Well, at least they can honestly respond that they can’t enable a non-existent component. They knew what they were doing all along - protecting iTunes from RADIO competition.

For a hair over 2 bills, I just picked up a gorgeous Motorola G-5 UNLOCKED... but the best thing is, it has FM radio.

NOT AN APP. A real R A D I O.” - Don Elliot

** All Christmas Music

“I never researched the topic of when radio stations in Los Angeles or elsewhere started playing all-Christmas music. Back as far as the 1920s, stations in L.A., and elsewhere I assume, were playing Christmas music on and off on the 25th and sometimes on the night of Christmas Eve, but I don't think anyone tried that early to do it all day long.   Since I don't have any information about any stations doing the 'format' earlier than the 1958 example of KPOL in Los Angeles, I asked my friend, media historian and early radio broadcasting expert Donna Halper in the Boston area, if she had ever researched this topic. I thought you might be interested in what she found. Here is her reply to me:

‘Well, being Jewish, it's not something I've thought about - frankly, I don't like it when stations go to all Christmas songs, but I guess it's a winning strategy because a lot of stations do it every year. I've found stations as far back as 1921-22 that devoted one evening to Christmas music, but the idea of ‘format’ [as we understand it today] didn't really take hold in broadcasting till the mid-1950s [yes, I know some sources say the first Top 40 format can be traced to 1949, but my point is formatted stations were still not common till the rock and roll era began to take hold], so it's unlikely stations in the 1940s would have gone to all-Christmas music for more than Christmas day itself.  

Meanwhile, I do find individual stations earlier than 1958 that claim they played all-Christmas music for one day [usually the day before Christmas]. But there is one station, KEX (1190-AM) in Portland, Oregon which broadcast several consecutive days of Christmas music in the lead up to the actual holiday, December 25 [and sometimes it turned into three consecutive days - the weekend and then Christmas day, if Christmas fell on a Monday that year]. But whether a couple of days or a weekend, their version was not only Christmas songs continuously throughout the weekend, but no commercials. And they [KEX] claimed to have done this as early as 1954. But an entire month? No, I don't find anything like that in the 1950s.’

Thanks, Donna.” - Jim Hilliker


Scott St. James' Challenges

(December 29, 2017) This has been an especially tough year for Scott St. James. He has been battling with Alzheimer’s disease for the past few years. In recent months, following some minor kidney stone surgery, the effects of the Alzheimer’s have been magnified. He is no longer able to be alone in his Valley Village apartment, and is in the process of moving to an assisted living facility. Eventually, Scott will relocate to the Motion Picture & Television Fund Campus, in Woodland Hills in the second quarter of 2018. Kevin Gershan, Scott's angel, said Scott is not accessing his former home phone or mobile device. "I will be checking his emails periodically," Kevin emailed. "Scott should be out of Sherman Oaks Hospital this weekend and will be in residence at The Commons at Woodland Hills. He will have a new direct dial phone number: (818) 436-2295. PLEASE WAIT UNTIL AFTER THE FIRST OF THE YEAR, TO CALL OR VISIT, SO HE CAN GET ACCLIMATED TO HIS NEW SURROUNDINGS. For the first few weeks, It is probably best to call the facility at 818-600-4573 to check on him, before calling him directly. Feel free to call me on my cell (818) 216-9321 with and questions and/or concerns."

The Commons at Woodland Hills on Ventura Boulevard, between DeSoto and Topanga, on the North side of the street. "It is a clean, non-hospital-like place, with kind and caring people who will greatly improve the quality of life he has been living in recent times," Kevin continued. "I know he would welcome the company and the conversation." You can watch the
 Scott St. James Biography.

Talk Radio Pioneer Hilly Rose Has Died 

(December 28, 2017) Hilly Rose, a true pioneer in Talk Radio, died yesterday of natural causes, at the age of 91.

Before moving to Los Angeles, Hilly was on the air in San Francisco for a number of years, hosting highly-rated talk shows on  KGO, KCBS and KNEW, as well as a television talk show on KTVU. He spent close to two decades at KABC, KFI, and KMPC. Hilly was best known for his talk show "Open Phone Forum" on KFI, before satellites made national talk shows feasible. The KFI signal stretching across the country drew calls from all 48 states. When Art Bell “mysteriously disappeared” in 1998, Hilly took over the Coast-to-Coast program on 482 stations including KABC. He later alternated nights with Art Bell until January 2000. He also filled in numerous times for Larry King on the national Mutual Radio Network.  
Hilly had one of the very first shows on the Sirius Radio Network. The show focused on examining the paranormal. Hilly was a child actor, performed in network radio soap operas in Chicago, (Ma Perkins and First Nighter) and has made industrial films and commercials since 1961. In 1979 he joined KHJ/Channel 9 News to review restaurants. "I appeared live on tv and radio simultaneously through the wonders of tape." 

In the late 1970s, Hilly demonstrated the power of talk radio advocacy. "There was a lot of talk about tax relief for property owners and Proposition 13 was born as the Jarvis-Gann Initiative. The problem was they weren't talking to each other and it looked like it might fail." Hilly surreptitiously brought them together along with L.A. County Tax Assessor Phil Watson. "I locked the studio doors while they worked out their differences on-air!" The result was a huge vote for Prop 13.  Hilly was also an author, writing on book on the talk radio profession entitled But That’s Not What I Called About.

In 1984, Hilly retired from radio and purchased a large housewares store in Santa Cruz. A year later he started a series of weekend radio shows on KGO-San Francisco that ran until 1992.  In 2016, Hilly was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame as a “Pioneer/Living Legend”. Hilly Rose is survived by his wife Mary Shepper Rose and has children Patricia, Roger and Adam. His oldest son was Judd Rose, ABC network news reporter.  He is the grandfather of six. Rose was a resident of San Francisco.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Broadcasters Foundation of American in memory of Hilly Rose.

KOST Ends 2017 on Top with All-Christmas Music

(December 28, 2017) A heavy dose of Christmas music propelled KOST into the top spot in the just released Nielsen Audio for December '17, 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid. With the World Series excitment over, Dodgers sports station, KLAC, took a huge drop from 1.7 down to 0.5.

1. KOST (AC) 4.4 - 8.7
2. KBIG (MY/fm) 5.9 - 5.9
3. KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.4 - 4.8
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.8 - 4.5
5. KTWV (the WAVE) 4.2 - 4.2
6. KFI (Talk) 4.1 - 4.1
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.6 - 3.2
    KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.2 - 3.2
9. KNX (News) 3.2 - 3.1
10. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.7 - 2.9
       KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.2 - 2.9
12. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 3.1 - 2.7
13. KROQ (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.6
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.7 - 2.6
15. KPCC (News/Talk) 1.9 - 2.5
16. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.4 - 2.4
      KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.4 - 2.4
      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.5 - 2.4
19. KRRL (Urban) 2.5 - 2.2
20. KKGO (Country) 2.5 - 2.1
       KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.2 - 2.1
22. KXOS (Regional Mexican) 1.8 - 2.0
23. KUSC (Classical) 1.6 - 1.9
24. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.8 - 1.7
25. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.4 - 1.5
       KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.5 - 1.5
27. KCRW (Variety) 1.6 - 1.4
28. KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 2.8 - 1.2
29. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.0 - 1.0
       KEIB (Talk) 1.0 - 1.0
       KRLA (Talk) 1.0 - 1.0
       KSPN (Sports) 1.3 - 1.0
33. KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.0 - 1.0
34. KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.9 - 0.8
35. KABC (Talk) 0.6 - 0.6
36. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.5
       KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.7 - 0.5
       KKJZ (Jazz) 0.5 - 0.5
       KLAC (Sports) 1.7 - 0.5
       KSUR (Oldies) 0.7 - 0.5

Top LARadio Stories of 2017
by Alan Oda, Senior Correspondent for LARadio.com
 

   

#radiotoo: Time Magazine named the “Silence Breakers” as the “Person(s) of the Year.” Sexual harassment was no longer a whisper, but headline news. Accusing now former Senator Al Franken of forcibly kissing and groping her, KABC’s LeeAnn Tweeden took down the political career of the Minnesota Congressional representative. Few of us could claim not to know someone who (unfortunately) could tweet #metoo. Then Steve Edwards, a fixture on both local television and radio, was dismissed from his 20-year hosting duties on FOX 11’s (KTTV) Good Day L.A., to the disbelief of many of his colleagues. The Reverend Charlie Van Dyke wrote a thought piece for LARadio.com expressing his own confusion about the whirlwind of confessions and accusations, concluding with this statement: “...maybe we are finally facing an abusive culture that is long overdue for correction.”

Entercom “eyes” the future: CBS Chairman Les Moonves (the current head of “the Eye” Network) was well known for thinking radio is not a growth medium. Consequently, there’d been long-standing rumors about having CBS-owned radio stations separated and sold as a separate entity. Entercom is all about radio, with 127 stations across the county though it had only one property in the Los Angeles market.

After taking over CBS Radio, the family-owned company leaps from being the fourth largest radio owner to the rank of second, just behind iHeart Media. Ironically, it was their one L.A. property, KSWD (100.3 / The Sound) that was sold off to satisfy the FCC’s demand to reduce Entercom’s radio portfolio. As for The Sound...

Silencing The Sound: The station once did a tribute day to the late, lamented KMET a few years ago, the ties to “The Mighty MET” include some of the KSWD veterans working at the Entercom property. But as previously noted, The Sound has met the fate of KMET. The station was allowed a long goodbye for a bit over a month, with the playlist becoming more and more creative before 100.3/fm was officially handed over to Educational Media, Inc., source of the nationally-syndicated “K-Love” contemporary Christian format.

So many of The Sound’s listeners checked in to offer their thanks to Andy Chanley, Gina Grad, Uncle Joe Benson, Rita Wilde, Cynthia Fox, Mimi (the Flower Child) Chen, Mary Price, Tina Mica, Steve Hoffman, and Tony Scott, all led by pd Dave Beasing. One sad note: L.A. loses another locally programmed station featuring some of the all-time best of local talent, perhaps never to be heard again on the Southern California airwaves.

“Money, get away”: The lyrics of the Pink Floyd hit described the 2017 woes of corporate radio ownership. Haunting every discussion about the present and future of iHeart Media was their $22 billion debt. No matter how successful their stations – iHeart stations were represented in the top ten of the ratings – the company’s finances shadows their stations and their employees. It seemed as if every month there was a new complaint / strategy / serious concern about how the company could address their massive red ink, with iHeart doing everything possible to avoid bankruptcy. 

Then there’s Cumulus, owners of KABC and KLOS, a company that chose to file for bankruptcy. For the time being, it’s business as usual at their Culver City studios as the parent company restructures their $2.4 billion in debt. Changes in leadership over the last couple of years appear to have stabilized the company, with staff morale reportedly improved. Their local fm property is in the middle of the ratings and will likely gain some audience with the demise of The Sound. To their credit, pd Keith Cunningham has stabilized the station while offering some unique programming with “(Steve) Jonesy’s Jukebox,” “Whiplash with Full Metal Jackie,” and the nearly-30-year-old (but still quite popular) “Breakfast with the Beatles” hosted by Chris Carter. Still, not all’s well, as the morning offering of Frosty, Heidi and Frank has yet to capture the attention the team received when 97.1 once offered talk. The AM continues to meander in the ratings cellar, despite well-known names including Doug McIntyre, John Philips, Jillian Barberie, Peter Tilden, "Pyscho Mike" Catherwood, and Dr. Drew Pinsky. 

Spanish radio was not immune from financial woes. The Spanish Broadcasting System, owners of KLAX (97.9 La Raza) and KXOL (Mega 96.3) was delisted from NASDAQ. Now trading over-the-counter, the stock was worth 20 cents a share as of this writing. The company sold their Century City offices as part of their efforts to save money. Meanwhile, SBS is in court over charges they fired eight employees trying to organize employees on behalf of SAG-AFTRA. 

 

Talk, talk, talk: Nielsen (the ratings people) recently announced news / talk is the top American radio format, demoting CHR as the traditional leader. To think some were predicting the demise of KFI once Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura moved elsewhere on the dial, the station still delivers a solid, albeit older, audience. The current President and California tax increases have given show hosts Bill Handel, John Kobylt, and Ken Chiampou plenty to talk about. Despite the potential for chaos with new ownership, KNX continues to provide its business-as-usual round-the-clock news coverage, particularly noteworthy during the December fire storms. Also of note: The station won the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for Journalistic Excellence for their 2016 coverage of the UCLA campus shooting tragedy, quite an honor! The CBS...er, Entercom all-News station has been within or near the top 10 all year long. Rush Limbaugh’s station, The Patriot (KEIB) and its nearly all-syndicated programming also experienced a ratings bump, as did The Answer (KRLA). But then there’s the aforementioned KABC, still sinking towards the bottom. One suggestion: KFI’s got an aggressive, full-time in-house news operation. Maybe the new slogan for 790 (“News – Talk – Evolved”) would benefit from expanding their news department. Just a thought.

Legends of the Fall(en): It’s as if KROQ and Rodney Bingenheimer (“Rodney on the ROQ”) was a redundant statement. He introduced a number of artists and their music – Joan Jett, the Runaways, Blondie, the Ramones, Duran Duran, the Go-Gos, the Bangles, just to name a few – to local listeners. Bands would hand their tapes to Bingenheimer on his way to his evening shift back when the 106.7 studios was located in Pasadena. Having left the local airwaves in May, Bingenheimer is now featured on Sirius XM. Then there’s Ralph Garman. An 11-year fixture on the Kevin & Bean morning show, Garman announced on November 30 it was his last day on KROQ, though he didn’t disclose his reason for leaving. He lived his life on the station’s airwaves, losing a premature daughter and his Grandmother, triggering many listeners to offer their support. Garman continues to offer the “Hollywood Babble-On” podcast and on-stage shows, though again not on the L.A. dial. Budget issues were rumored as reason for the two departures. 

There were other developments between the Wilshire and Venice Boulevard facilities. Carson Daly, already based in New York, stated it was too much to do his radio show (“I want to have breakfast with my children”) while maintaining his work on The Voice, the Today Show and his Last Call (very) late night offering on NBC. So KAMP (AMP Radio 97.1) lost their morning man without a real replacement, though the rest of their broadcast day, including Michelle (Nichols), (Chris) Booker, and (Casey) McCabe, remains steady. Meanwhile, the entire local CBS cluster switched from Total Traffic to Radiate Media (now U.S. Traffic Network). There was some shuffling, as Jeff Baugh became the new “KFI in the Sky” while Jennifer York, Denise Fondo, and Barbara Brooks changed companies but not stations to guide weekday commuters home.

 

It’s All About Me or Rather My: MyFM / 104.3 (KBIG) may not be well publicized, yet it sat on top of the PPM numbers for most of the year, including an almost two (!) point lead over the number two station. Another tip of the cap to Andrew Jeffries giving morning driver Valentine and the rest of his talented staff a playlist welcomed by the station’s loyal listeners. Having Ed Sheeran in studio definitely doesn’t hurt. KIIS/fm continues to be helmed by Ryan Seacrest, even if the AM host may be better known for being the other half of the nationally syndicated Live with Kelly and Ryan. There was a small decline in the ratings, is the New York origination of his program a concern? The Woody Show ensemble provides a strong lead-in for the rest of the day on ALT-98.7 (KYSR), with the station continuing to beat heritage alternative rocker KROQ. Like featured artist Christopher Cross, KOST continues successfully “sailing” (get it? Christopher Cross? Featured on KOST? OK, it needs work) with Ellen K in the mornings and the now legendary “Love Songs on the KOST.” Given the station’s monster ratings every holiday, it’s rumored the station will now go all Christmas starting in July. Just kidding. Or maybe not. 

Congratulations are due to Greg Ashlock, who’d previously oversaw the eight iHeart stations with success, now the President of the iHeart Media Markets group. What it really means is he’s now overseeing all of the iHeart radio stations throughout the U.S. It’s well deserved.

 

 

Go Dodger Blue!: With much of the market still unable to view Dodgers games on Spectrum, you would think the ratings for AM 570 L.A. Sports (KLAC) would be gangbusters. The ratings definitely improved, but weren’t really obvious until the World Series. Interestingly, ESPN L.A. 710 (KSPN) lost little audience, making it possible the near-championship run of the Dodgers brought new listeners to sports radio. Charley Steiner and Rick Monday were solid as always, but what I’d give to hear once again Vin Scully once again start a game with “hi everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you, wherever you may be.” 

One quick add: Something seemed missing on 570’s coverage of the Dodgers. Then Vic “The Brick” Jacobs returned after taking time off to recover from colorectal cancer. The Brick can be over the top, but there’s something comforting about hearing the number one fan of L.A. teams back behind the microphone, offering his haiku and eastern philosophy.

 

Power to the People: Lost among the many changes on the local dial was the sale of KPWR (Power 106) from Emmis Broadcasting to the Meruelo Group. The pioneer of hip-hop radio in Southern California, Power 106 has seen its one-time dominance slip to the middle of the ratings pack, partly due in part by the success of rival REAL 92.3 (KRRL) and the earlier defection of morning host Kurt “Big Boy” Alexander, the former host of “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” on 105.9 FM.

The $82.75 million sale immediately wiped out 60 percent of Emmis Communications debt, though the consequence is the company no longer has a presence in the second biggest market in the country. Many argue radio lacks both diversity and local ownership. The Meruelo Group fulfills both criteria, a Latino-owned private firm based in Downey. Can a locally-owned stand-alone station succeed in a market dominated by corporately owned conglomerates?

 

HearAche (the Year Ender): The KABC-KLOS building on La Cienega was a state-of-the-art radio showcase when it was built in 1989, sharing property with an AM transmitter that had a ground system ensuring a signal which surpassed its 5,000 watt allotment – now all of it is gone ... After the many forecasts of 94.7 / The WAVE (KTWV) crashing, it’s again a top-five station. Credit consistent programming and a consistently talented lineup. Of note: It’s been 29 years for Talaya Trigueros on The WAVE. I’m assuming she was hired when she was a toddler ... Farewell to Helen Borgers, Joe Reiling, and Bill Smith, among the LARP who’ve switched off the mic one last time ... There’s a lot of new names at KLOS, then there’s the solid veteran Gary Moore in afternoon drive, still offering “The Five o’clock Funnies” and the “95-Minute Free Ride”... Mark Thompson is an ideal partner for Tim Conway Jr. ... Maggie McKay is as good doing news (KNX) as she is doing music (The WAVE) ... Here’s hoping Robin Bertolucci, Chris Little, Ken Charles, and Julie Chin get some well-deserved time off – it’s been a busy time for news ... Speaking of time off, does Pete Demetriou ever sleep?... In spite of good numbers, Gary Bryan (pictured with Lisa Stanley) may be the most underrated morning talent in L.A. ... It may not be enough to revive music on AM, but Saul Levine’s Oldies on K-SURF has one of the more interesting playlists anywhere. K-SURF makes me glad I’ve an HD radio. Yes I’m a radio geek ... KABC’s Jillian Barberie offered a memorable – and clearly personally painful – tribute to Steve Edwards a few weeks ago ... I still instinctively dial my radio to 100.3 on weekends, only to realize The Flower Child (Mimi Chen) no longer tends the garden known as “Peace, Love and Sunday Mornings” ... Why did Diane Thompson leave afternoon drive? She’s such a good fit for the commute...Continuing to send positive, healing thoughts to Pat (Paraquat) Kelley and Craig Hines, both keeping up the good fight against MS ... The one interview that hasn’t happened yet: Leo Laporte, “The Tech Guy.” It’d be interesting to find out why the very successful podcaster continues to spend his weekends on the radio ... Choosing between Fred Roggin and Rodney Peete vs. Steve Mason and John Ireland, all at noon each weekday is a tough choice for sports talk ... Is there a better foil for Fred Roggin than Petros Papadakis?...And one more sports item: Will there be an fm sports station in L.A. before long? ... Once again, KQED/fm is atop the ratings in San Francisco, as other NPR / non-commercial stations are found in the top five throughout the country. Why isn’t that true for Pasadena’s KPCC and Santa Monica’s KCRW?

 

Signing off 2017: George Burns once said: “If you stay in the business long enough, and if you get to be old enough, you get to be new again.” The old medium known as radio survived another year, albeit with a lot of changes taking place. My unbridled optimism (which amuses Don Barrett, but I digress) wonders if the coming year will be the opportunity for radio to be new again. Dick Whittington taught me success is about never settling into mediocrity but be willing to reinvent oneself at the right time. Radio has reinvented itself before. Let’s see what’s next. We’ll be listening. 

明ましておめでとう、the Japanese for “Happy New Year!” See you in 2018!


LARPs Make Yearly Tamale Run

(December 26, 2017) Carrillo's Tortilleria is a family-run business that "started from nothing" and grew to become a southern California tradition. Today hundreds of customers line up every Sunday at the San Fernando store, kettles in hand and kids in tow, for the Sunday menudo midday meal - a Mexican tradition. During the rest of the week a steady stream of customers also come for the hand made tortillas, tamales, tacos, chile rellenos and burritos the family and their 15 employees still make in traditional Mexican style.

The year 1975, and the art of handmade tortillas was dying out, giving way to the faster machines that could punch them out by the hundreds. But the Carrillo's insisted that their plant would continue making tortillas the traditional way. And to this day, workers fashion the Mexican staple from the corn flour with the soft pat-pat motion, and turn the bubbling disks on searing hot grills by hand. Carrillo's remains family-owned and operated by the founders' daughter, Amelia and her husband Epigmenio their two sons William, Steven and daughter Yvonne.  Amelia, now over 70, has worked in the business since age 19, and still comes in at 3 a.m. on Sundays to put the finishing touches in the simmering pots of menudo, which she personally ladles out to each customer. During the Christmas season, Carrillo's sells tamales in a holiday tradition that goes back to its early years. Calls begin to come in by November from as far north as San Luis Obispo and south to Santa Ana.

Starting in 1975, the late, legendary, Los Angeles morning radio personality, Robert W. Morgan, used to call in his orders, while on the air…and by New Year’s Day, Carrillo's sells more than 25,000 tamales. (Photo: Mike Johnson, Brandon Castillo, Kevin Gershan, Mitch Lewis, Albert Malipun, Joni Caryl, Susanna Morgan, Shelley Morgan, Larry Curtis)


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
From
LARadio.com 

(December 24, 2017) The late Michael Callaghan, former chief engineer at KIIS/fm, was a wonderful storyteller. A few seasons before his passing, Mike sent LARadio.com:

KPPC used to carry the Christmas Eve Service from the Pasadena Presby­terian Church. One year the church asked if we would also carry the tower chimes as they sounded out carols at midnight. I mounted an Electro-Voice RE-16 up in the bell tower and ran 8451 audio cable down to the mixer.

I also let the pd know we’d be about 15 minutes late getting out of the service, and would run until 12:15 or so.

During the service coverage, the announcer mentioned several times that the caroling chimes would be on at midnight.

Midnight arrived, at which point the church announcer said, “And now, the Pasadena Presbyterian Tower Chimes.” WHAM, we were into the Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. The KPPC Program Director never told the midnight jock about the extension. The jock, Edward Jay Whetmore, heard the moment of silence and thought it was his cue. He didn’t answer the hotline when I called, and when I got to the station he feigned complete innocence.

Even so, he was gone within a month. Grrr. 


Email Saturday, 12.23.17 

** Enberg’s Humility

“Let’s face it—when one thinks of us broadcasters, the word ‘humility’ rarely comes to mind. But I always found Dick Enberg to be incredibly humble and self-effacing, despite all his awards and accolades. I once asked him where he got those traits and he told me, ‘My father was from Finland. He used to tell him that it was almost a sin to speak highly of yourself.’ RIP to a true class act.”  - Ken Davis

** Enberg a Padre

“Those of us who are San Diego Padres fans have been treated to any number of former players, has-beens and wannabes over the almost fifty years the team has been in existence. I was very pleasantly surprised when Dick Enberg started doing tv play-by-play about eight years ago. When Dick retired, the Padres hired former Boston announcer Don Orsillo.   

We'll sure miss Dick, Orsillo is also a real pro!” – Jack Hayes

** College Buds

Dick Enberg was a grad student at Indiana University where I was an underclassman in the late ’50s. I was lucky to be chosen as Dick’s ‘color man’ to his excellent play-by-play for I.U.’s Homecoming Football game vs. Iowa. As I recall, the Hoosiers were stomped, something like 53-6. Lol. This started a lifetime friendship with Dick.” – Larry McKay

** Photo Finish

“In the early 1970’s, Dick Enberg had some publicity photos taken at my dad’s photography studio on Ventura Boulevard. My dad told him that I was a ‘big fan’ and he left me passes to go see Sports Challenge at KTLA on Sunset Boulevard. It was heaven. I went again and again and again. DiMaggio, Williams, Mantle, Snider, Drysdale, Killebrew, Rams, Lakers, Dodgers, et al. It was a special time and Dick Enberg was a big part of it. I thanked him for the tix every time I saw him. God bless him!” – Bill Seward

** Enberg a Cowboy Angel

“In 1977, I was ‘the new kid’ in Gene Autry’s magnificent Golden West Broadcasters, being groomed to take over pd duties at KVI- Seattle with my eventual career path to be the national program director for the entire group, based in Los Angeles at KMPC.

We [Gene Autry] also owned the California Angels, and KMPC was the flagship station. We had two young and talented play-by-play guys ‘in the Angels booth,’ Dave Niehaus and Dick Enberg. Both were ‘fighting’ for position and airtime for the team broadcasts. It was very friendly competition, but still competing.

Dave Niehaus came to ‘the powers to be’ [namely Gene Autry] and said essentially: ‘listen, this kid Enberg should be the #1 guy for the Angels. He’s a young buck and has immense talent. I don’t want to compete for the job, BUT the new team in Seattle, the Mariners, give me a shot in the booth there. I love Seattle.’

And THAT is exactly what ‘The Cowboy’ did. Enberg became #1 in the Angels booth and I joined Niehaus in the journey to Seattle with Dave #1 in the Mariner booth and me taking the reins as program director at KVI, the flagship station of the brand NEW Mariners. Two years later, I went back to LA, first as pd of KMPC, then as the company's national pd.

Dave and I stayed close. even travelling to Hawaii once together. He passed away some years back after 35 years as #1 with the Mariners broadcasts. There is still a Dave Niehaus Way street near Safeco Field in Seattle.

My guess is there will soon be a Dick Enberg named street near the Angels stadium in Anaheim after one of the most amazing national sports broadcast careers of all time. Two ‘young bucks’ who made incredible impressions in their careers and in their towns.” – Michael O’Shea

** Cried Over Enberg

"I cried when my sister read the breaking news of Dick Enberg's death.  He was Angels baseball to me; and his 'oh my' always made me smile.I can't tell you how many nights I went to sleep hearing his call of Angels games or the way he made golf interesting. I was surprised at how few local news programs had anything on him this morning, but I happened to find Rich Eisen doing his radio/tv show and I called in.  

He had a wonderful hour-long tribute and kindly took my call and another fan's call, then had Dick Ebersol on to reminisce about his NFL announcing. It's hard to believe how many important moments in sports history Dick Enberg broadcast, but we won't see his like again. Thanks for the obituary and also for the pictures you always post of the personalities we all grew up with! Merry Christmas to you and yours!" - Julie Byers

** Write Your Own Book

“Holy Radio. How many times do I want to read today’s column? Absorbed, yea that fits.  I think that I am a male Tammy Trujillo. She really has the needle on the record. I taught that way too, however, in a different field.

And then Cliff Winston’s passing. I want Kevin Fleming to write my obit [one paragraph]. What a wonderful piece of tribute to Cliff Winston. Truly just wonderful.” – Stan White, Seattle

** KQV Set to Go Dark

“KQV-Pittsburgh was one of the first things that we studied when I took Communications back in my college days. It is sad to see such a huge piece of radio history going dark.

Thanks for keeping the column active and for keeping all of us informed and entertained. It’s been a great connection for all of us in the business. Have a great Christmas, Don!” – Ted Ziegenbusch, KOST 103.5

** Keene Feeling Alone

“This week, God took one of my best friends, I only had two and I called the other one, John Monds, right after I heard the news about Cliff Winston. I'm alone now pouring my heart out and feeling lost. Cliff and I were not just friends, he was like a brother I never had.

Like most great relationships, ours started off bad, real bad, to be truthful. He did not care for me at all, avoided me like the plague in public and wanted nothing to do with me.

The bond was formed when John Monds joined ‘92.3 The Beat’ and it blossomed over our love for the game of basketball.

‘The Beat’ had a court in the back parking lot. It was where we laughed, fought and bonded. We were a TEAM.

John left the BEAT for greener pastures back to Chicago while Cliff and I kept ballin’ all over the city, it was our love for sunshine, sweat and solitude on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. 

At KJLH our friendship grew both on and off the air. He protected me from the haters. He scolded me for being a nut. He hugged me when I needed a friend. I know you are at peace my brother and I will always love you. I will see you on that beach with the sand in our toes and a dirty banana in our hands. It was my honor to be on your #HomeTeam.” – Mark Keene

** Winston Was a Hall of Famer

“I am absolutely devastated by the news of the passing of Cliff Winston. Cliff left an indelible imprint on my career and friendship. He is simply a Hall of Fame DJ.

Cliff worked at KJLH for many years and The Beat in LA. His talent was incomparable as was his heart. That smile was there every time I saw him. I worked with him at The Beat in the early 90’s. Sometimes we overdo it in praise when someone passes, but not in the case of Cliff. There are few people in radio that affected me with that type of positivity. Cliff is one that I could not heap enough praise on. I sincerely grieve with his family, friends and legions of fans. We love you Cliff and always will embrace your fabulous spirit!” – Kevin James

** Winston Photo Shoot

“It is very sad to hear the news about Cliff Winston. He had a great radio career, and was a very personable person. Here is a billboard that I am sure not many [if any] people remember. 

I have it in my files due to the fact that I was the photographer hired by ‘The Beat’ to shoot photos of the air staff. Back in those days, the graphics people made photos look more like paintings, but that was the style. [Think the mural size album covers on the side of Tower Records – that’s how they looked.] The station also had a billboard made for John Monds as well. Sorry to say that I never kept in touch with Cliff Winston, but I’m sure he enjoyed his LA experience.” – Rich Hogan

** Early All-Christmas Music

“I have attached two Christmas related ads. One is a KNX ad featuring ‘Christmas Sing with Bing’ and a KPOL ad touting continuous Christmas music. Both ads appeared on the same LA Times page December 24, 1958.

I can't prove it just yet, but I think KPOL playing continuous Christmas music, commercial free in 1958, may be the first time ever that KPOL or perhaps any U.S. station did this. Checking the LA Times in prior years I could not find any evidence that KPOL or any other LA station programmed continuous holiday music. Always open to be proven wrong though.” – Dave Grudt


Dick Enberg Dies of a Heart Attack 

(December 22, 2017) Dick Enberg, known in Southern California as the longtime voice of the Rams, Angels, and UCLA plus known nationally for his years covering Wimbledon and other major events for NBC and CBS Sports, died Thursday at the age of 82. His wife Barbara said the longtime sportscaster apparently suffered a heart attack in their La Jolla home.  

The Michigan native was a football quarterback, basketball center, and baseball pitcher while a student at Central Michigan University, where he started his work as a broadcaster at WCEN, where he was a disc jockey and play-by-play announcer for Little League baseball, basketball, and Golden Gloves boxing. He went on to Indiana University where he earned both his Masters and Doctorate in Health Sciences. While at Indiana, Enberg worked at WFIU, where he broadcast Indiana Hoosiers football and basketball.  

He moved west for a faculty position at San Fernando Valley State College – now Cal State Northridge – in 1961. To supplement his income, Enberg continued broadcasting sports including an opportunity to be part of that year’s NCAA basketball tournament. He left his professorship when he was hired full-time by KTLA/tv to be the station’s sportscaster. He soon called the weekly “Boxing Night at the Olympic,” and did UCLA telecasts during the glory years of Coach John Wooden and Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). KMPC hired him to cover the football Rams, then the California (Los Angeles) Angels, the latter for a decade.  

Enberg was hired by NBC Sports for the network’s coverage of the NCAA tournament. He soon proved his versatility, covering tennis, golf, Super Bowls, the Rose Bowl, college and pro football, boxing, and the Breeders’ Cup horse racing, plus covering the Rose Parade. He was admired for his preparation and his enthusiasm, with his signature “Oh my!” quickly identifying him on the air. He also was the host of several game shows, most notably the syndicated Sports Challenge, where athletes from different teams competed by answering sports trivia questions. Besides numerous Emmy Awards, Enberg was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving the Ford C. Frick Award in 2016. Enberg retired that year after his stint doing televised games for the San Diego Padres for eight seasons.  

“If there was a Mount Rushmore of L.A. sports announcers, Dick Enberg is on it with Chick Hearn, Vin Scully and Bob Miller,” tweeted Lakers radio broadcaster John Ireland. “Enberg was the first famous announcer I met, and he couldn’t have been nicer.” On Friday morning's Dan Patrick radio show, Patrick replayed an interview where he asked Enberg what was the hardest sport to cover. Without hesitation, Enberg said "baseball...it's a long season...you get to tell history, you get to share humor, you tell stories, you can inject a bit of your personality." Patrick said "Enberg grabbed the game, he appreciated it, and he brought it to you...his generation of sportscasters made sure they were never bigger than the games they covered."

Looking for a Jazzy Christmas 

(December 22, 2017) For the 8th year, Dave Grudt has programmed the Sounds of the Season for Ken Borgers' JazzKnob Internet station. Listen for 36 hours beginning at noon on December 24th and ending at midnight on December 25th. Dave and Ken will feature jazz instrumental and vocal interpretations of holiday favorites.

 The annual reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, by late legendary jazz radio personality Chuck Niles, at noon and 6 p.m. on the 24th and midnight, 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. on the 25th. Click the Jazz Knob artwork.

Heritage All-News Station Will Go Dark 

(December 21, 2017) If you are in radio, have been or just a radio fan, you’ve probably heard the iconic call letters KQV, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During the heyday of Top 40, KQV rocked at 1410 AM. For the last 42 years, the station has been pumping out all-News: “Give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world.” The station has a broadcasting history that dates back nearly 100 years. On the last day of this year, the heritage station is set to go dark. The owner lamented: “The bottom line is I just can’t sustain the business model. We’re an independent, labor-intensive format, and we were happy to take it on as long as we could financially do it.” In the early rock ‘n roll era, one of the colorful disc jockeys was “Jeff Christie,” the pseudonym was used by future conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

In other news: That old black magic put me in a spell when I was in college in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I had the rare treat to see Keely Smith and Louis Prima in concert. RIP Keely, who died last week at the age of 89... ESPN has suspended analysts Donovan McNabb (ESPN Radio Network) and Eric Davis (ESPN L.A. / KSPN) after a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles named the former NFL Network personalities among those alleged to have committed sexual harassment against a network wardrobe stylist … A Prairie Home Companion is renamed Live From Here. The creator and former host Garrison Keillor was fired in late November by Minnesota Public Radio after claims of “improper behavior.” … Former Salem morning co-host Heidi Harris has launched a new podcast along with a new book coming in the next few weeks … Speaking of the podcast world, Suze Orman, former syndicated host who was heard on KFI and KLAC in the early 2000s, hosts a podcast through Podcast One … Kelly Jones hosts evenings at the rejuvenated HOT 103.9 in the Inland Empire … KFI’s PastaThon raised $462,852 & 102,658 pounds of pasta and sauce, benefitting Caterina’s Club, a non-profit providing pasta meals daily for 3,500 children.

Cliff Winston Suffers Massive Heart Attack

      (December 20, 2017) Cliff Winston, veteran of KJLH and KKBT, has died of a massive heart attack. The personable and talented personality and program director passed away yesterday, according to Kevin Ross publisher of the trade publication, Radio Facts.

Cliff grew up in Southern California and originally intended to be a sportscaster. He attended the University of Washington and started his radio career at KYAC-Seattle doing both drive times. He moved to KMJM-St. Louis, followed by a stint at WBMX-Chicago and was pd at WDRQ-Detroit. KRLY-Houston was his last stop before joining KJLH. Cliff was "the Beat’s" (KKBT) first morning man and public affairs director and in late 1993 rejoined KJLH in morning drive, where he had spent 13 years. In the summer of 1995, Cliff was appointed pd of KJLH. The Urban Network has recognized him as air personality of the year. In 1999 he was named as Air Personality of the Year by Black Radio Exclusive Magazine.

In 2006, we published an interview I did with Cliff. He was a giant in LARadio and this will give you a perspective on who we lost.

Kevin Fleming was interviewed at the time of Winston joining KKBT (100.3). “I’ve been both a fan and a competitor of his for more than twenty years and I’m thrilled we’re now on the same team. Any conversation you have about an enduring Urban Contemporary radio personality in Los Angeles has to include Cliff Winston. ”Born and raised in L.A., as a youngster Cliff was fascinated with listening to his transistor radio. “I would be up in the middle of the night listening to the radio and I loved KHJ. When I was a real small kid, they had KRLA and my mom used to listen to KFWB and KGFJ. It’s funny that KFWB uses the same jingle they used when they were a Top 40 station. I loved that style of radio with Robert W. Morgan, The Real Don Steele, Sam Riddle and all those legends.” 
   
Cliff was like many LARP who grew up DXing in their bedroom at night attempting to find stations in Denver and even KOA-Oklahoma City. “I used to announce everything I could find - checker games, and pick-up basketball games at school, I just liked to announce. I listened to Chick Hearn and Dick Lane. I guess I grew up in the golden age of broadcasters – Dick Enberg was doing UCLA games, Vin Scully with the Dodgers. Everywhere you turned there were great radio people and I was really influenced by them all.”

During school games, Cliff would practice by taking his tape recorder to the very top of the gymnasium and call the action. “I liked to announce the games with the crowd effects, as opposed to calling the action on the tv with the sound turned down. When I got to the LA City College tv/radio program I began to feel I could really do this. I don’t think a lot of people realize that much of your experience comes from what you listened to and were influenced by. When KDAY signed on with Jim Maddox, JJ Johnson, and Steve Wood, I wanted to be like them.” He transferred to the University of Washington where they had a stronger radio/tv program. He was on the student station which led to his first paying job at KYAC-Seattle, where Robert L. Scott gave him his first opportunity. From the Northwest he went to St. Louis to work at “Magic 108” for Jim Maddox. The morning man was Brad Edwards. “When I was growing up I would listen to Brad on KGBS. I couldn’t believe I would be working with big Bradley. He came from that generation of hard-drinking guys. He could be hung over, napping under the console, and the record ended, he would get up and do a break flawlessly. When the light went on, bam, he was on. It blew me away watching big Brad. He was still the fastest gun in the West but his hands would shake.” 

Following Cliff’s time in St. Louis, he went to WBMX-Chicago, which was owned by Sonderling Broadcasting. “I remember one night when the old man came on the air with me because they had some sort of political turmoil and Jesse Jackson was picketing the station. He was an old German gentleman proclaiming that the station was always 'a black music experience.' A great guy, but what a classic for the owner, Edgemont Sonderling, to be on the overnight shift with me.”

He left Chicago in 1981 and worked for Spanky Lane (ex-KDAY) at WDRQ-Detroit, which was an Adult Contemporary station at the time. “I wanted to work in general market radio,” said Cliff. “When Spanky left he made me program director under consultant Al Casey. I learned a lot from Al who said, ‘You know what, junior, let me tell you what wins. Songs win. A great song wins. Always remember, songs win. Not tracks, but songs.’” Not long afterwards they brought in Brian White from San Diego and Jerry Clifton becomes the consultant.  

During this time, Cliff learned about call-out research because he had to make the calls and then calculate everything by hand. “It showed me that songs I liked weren’t songs that the audience necessarily liked. Songs I’m tired of, the audience might just be getting used to them. Clifton was a strict research guy and he was right. The station shot up in the market.” 

In 1983, Cliff got an opportunity to go to Houston. “Once I flew down there and it was 80 degrees, I knew this would be next job. KRLY was the station.  A year and a half later, they changed the station to ‘K-Lite.’ They let everyone go except for me.”  Cliff eventually was offered an opportunity to join KJLH in 1985. “I actually took a pay cut to work middays, but within a year I was pd and working morning drive until 1990 when the BEAT first signed on with Jimmie DeCastro, Liz Kiley and Mike Stradford. The station shot to the top. It was a great success.” 

Hear Ache

(December 19, 2017) The hilarious April Winchell steps in front of the mic again to co-host the Marc Germain show Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. on TalkRadioOne.com. A longtime show regular and host from KFI / KABC / KTLK, the brilliant and funny woman shares her contempt for social media and Internet culture while on the Internet and social media ... Condolences to Chuck Southcott on the loss of his wife, Karlene. They had been married 56 years … Julio Flores, veteran of KWIZ, KLSX, KGIL/KMGX; KTWV, KRLA, KSCA, KLSX, KOST, and Fox Sports Radio, starts a new job at Amazon Prime Video Japan … Kim Komando, one of the early pioneers of tech talk on the radio (KLSX for many years here) has an interesting take on Net Neutrality. You can read it here … Condolences to Tom Storey, former KNX airborne traffic reporter, on the death of his father at the age of 97. “It was exactly one year, to the day, that my mother died last year,” wrote Tom on his Facebook page … Were you around in 1973? Take a look at Kelly Lange and Paul Moyer celebrating the 25th anniversary of KNBC/Channel 4. Thanks to David Schwartz for the link

You Can Book that Tammy Trujillo Has the Write Stuff 

(December 18, 2017) Tammy Trujillo has been a news and traffic anchor for over three decades. Stations where you may have heard her include KEZY, KNX, KFI, KXEZ and KFWB. In 1979, she started at KWOW-Pomona. Today, she works at KPCC on weekends, weekdays doing morning news for the Cameron Broadcasting stations in Arizona and as a news/entertainment anchor for Whochit. Tammy also hosts a public affairs show on KRLA. Born in Long Beach, she went to Long Beach City College and Cal State Fullerton. “I pursued radio because everyone said I had a good voice,” remembered Tammy.

Tammy took her love for the business and became a teacher. She’s been a full-time broadcasting professor at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut. Before that she taught at Orange Coast College, Long Beach City College, Cal State Northridge and Los Angeles Broadcasters. She’s also active in voiceovers and industrial narrations.

At her teaching assignments, she was frustrated with the available textbooks. So, she is writing her own. Her second textbook for college newswriting and reporting classes, has just been published. "I wrote the first one, Intern Insider, because I knew it was important for students to really understand internships from the professional point of view," emailed Tammy. "Having been in the industry over 30 years, I know what stations are looking for and from teaching nearly as long, know what students need to work on and prepare in order to successfully land and perform an internship. Too many books in radio and television are written, albeit well, by people who have never worked in the business, or only had a passing acquaintance with it. Over the years, whenever I taught a newswriting or reporting class, I would find myself literally cringing over some of the information being given and would end up leaving big chunks of the book out and substituting real-world information in instead."

With Intern Insider being so well received, Tammy took on the task of writing a book on news and reporting. "Happily, Routledge Publishing was again on board with me," Tammy continued. "What a task, but I think this is a book that will really help prepare students to jump into the news  field with the tools and skills needed to actually help them succeed. I'm teaching my History of DJs class again this Winter and we always end up going through the listings on LARadio to follow the careers of some of these amazing on air personalities."

Tammy's website is at
www.TheRealTammyTrujillo.com

Email Saturday, 12.17.2017 

** Charlie Van Dyke's essay, “I Am Confused”      

"I am in total agreement with his words and his approach to the subject matter. I have thought the same thing, as I am sure many have. But nobody could have   said it better. Kudos to Charlie Van Dyke." - Wink Martindale  

"While I agree with the Rev. Charlie Van Dyke that we do appear to have an abusive culture that has been allowed to go unchecked for too long and now needs serious corrective action, the volume of accusations is quickly becoming so overwhelming that one eventually begins to wonder if some of them are somewhat less meritorious. Already questions about the validity of Leeann Tweeden's complaint against Sen. Al Franken have arisen. Yet, even after the Senator tried to do the right thing by owning up to the incident, giving an explanation that was consistent with her claims and then offering a handwritten [and in my opinion, sincere] apology, he still got backed into a corner and apparently will follow through on his stated intent of resigning, EVEN BEFORE AN INVESTIGATION TAKES PLACE and despite the photographic evidence appearing to have been staged.  

Now we're hearing that similar claims are being made against Steve Edwards. I don't know him personally, but I do know Mary Beth Garber's integrity and if she says it was unlikely, I believe her, which leads me to lean toward an opinion that someone is making the accusation because they can and because we have created a 'guilty until proven innocent' climate. That not only is not fair to the accused but also brings the likelihood that the accuser will be the one humiliated when the truth comes out. Or will they? 

What are the odds that Al Franken, or Steve Edwards, or anyone else accused who may be found blameless after the proper investigation, will ever be able to shake the matter off and go back to a normal existence? Careers are going to be ruined, and the rush to judge will be responsible. I don't believe any of us dispute that these unwanted advances have gone on for decades, if you believe the old saying about the 'Hollywood casting couch,' but at some point we all need to hit the brakes and stop jumping to a conclusion based only on the statement of an alleged victim. Rev. Van Dyke, no one is safe from being unfairly accused -- not even you, me, your wife or your stepdaughters until we start dealing with this problem in a rational manner. And so far, that doesn't appear to be happening." - K.M. Richards
** View of Former KABC/KLOS Site

"First, I totally agree with Greg Hardison. I worked briefly around Steve Edwards when I was wiring the KABC/KLOS studios.  Steve is genuinely approachable, friendly, and a total professional. The same accusations nearly ruined Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo's career, another gentleman with whom I worked for five years and who is another genuine pro.        

This shot of 3321 S. La Cienega Blvd. was taken yesterday. Sad to see a well designed studio disappear. So stunning how millions of dollars were just scooped away by skiploaders so Cumulus could make payroll one more week, and the 'hood can have more retail businesses to loot and pillage.  View of 3321 S. La Cienega Blvd.from the Expo line platform at La Cienega and Jefferson.

Thanks for all you do for our industry!" - xrey   [M. David Rey]  
** Fire Dangers

"Happy and relieved to report that things here in Brentwood are settled down again, on the heels of last week's Skirball Fire. This one was scary! We're just west of the 405. I've lived here since my family moved here, the year after the 1961 Bel Air Fire, and I've lived through various fire scares since then. But this one was different. Noticed multiple neighbors actually loading their cars, fully prepared to evacuate. Everyone was nervous, and on the alert.

MANY hugs to our brave, hard-working firefighters!

I did learn one thing: the local lore about our street, that Richard Nixon had once lived there, turned out to be true! This fire prompted several tv retrospectives on the 1961 blaze, emphasizing on all the celebrities in this area who were affected. And sure enough, there was footage of the then-former Vice President hosing down the hillside leading up to his rented home somewhere right here in our canyon! I always thought that was something one of the older neighbors made up.

Cheers, hugs, and glad you're back." - Mary Lyon

People Magazine gave the 2017 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball concert a double truck lay-out. KIIS was mentioned in the circle, getting some national attention.
By contrast, the review offered in the LA Times was not very kind. Their reviewer claimed that the Jingle Ball performers were merely going through the motions,
and only appearing because they want to be on good terms with the iHeart stations for continued airplay of their music


Greg Edwards Celebrates a Half Century in the Radio Industry 

(December 13, 2017) Congratulations to Greg Edwards, who celebrates 50 years in the radio industry this week. “Early on I was told one day that I would have to grow up and get a real job. I tried to never look back and just keep moving ahead. I was once interviewed by a newspaper and the headline was ‘Young Man in a Hurry,’” Greg wrote. He spent his time in California working in Lemoore, Fresno, Bakersfield, San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Merced, Stockton and San Francisco.

“I have had the privilege of also popping up on tv. My original tv appearances in Fresno were on The Webster Webfoot Show, and Princess Morning Starboth on KJEO-47 when I was age 6 or 7. I loved it because I got out of school early.”

In other news: Dave Beasing recently had the sad duty of signing off 100.3 The Sound after a 9-1/2 year run, divested as part of Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio. The award-winning programmer and consultant is now busy opening his new on-demand audio company ... Sad to hear about the passing of Bruce Brown, who did as much for bringing surfing to the world as the Beach Boys. His Endless Summer is a classic ... San Diego legend Gary Allyn is having some tough times. Two weeks ago he lost his wife, Sophia. Then last week, Gary lost his home in the Lilac fire. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family … A bright spot for this smoky week in Santa Barbara, Lisa Osborn (ex-KFI, among other stations) is being recognized by the Association for Women in Communication/Santa Barbara as Member of the Year ... Thanks to C. Cousteau for helping find some MIA LARP in the Where Are They Now section. She's got an eagle eye ... Every time I hear a Bobby Darin song, I can't help but think of Kevin Spacey. Kevin starred in the movie about Bobby Darin, Beyond the Sea.

I Feel Confused

An essay by Charlie Van Dyke 

(December 12, 2017) I feel confused. I am the step-dad of two beautiful women and you have a lovely daughter yourself. I also have a talented wife who is a gynecologic surgeon and feminist. I would never want any woman to have unwanted sexual contact forced on them. Still, I find the current rush of accusations going back decades about behavior that includes an unwanted kiss to be concerning and confusing.

I get that we are no longer in the "free love" culture. But even back then, it was understood that any contact would be consensual. Radio was a playground for many back in the day. It seems that was the same in movies, politics, and many industries.

Repeating...no woman should be forced to endure anything to which she does not agree. And I get that these days, there seem to be new rules on flirtation. Still, going back decades and making claims about an unwanted kiss or rude/suggestive comment leaves me confused.

Back to my opening statement: no person should be forced or intimidated into unwanted sexual contact. But is this not getting a little beyond reasonable? "She said, he said" without confirmation is destroying some lives.

If a real offense has happened, the consequences follow the action and are a result of behavior. If it was simply rude or inappropriate, perhaps a sincere apology might be adequate as long as the behavior is not repeated. Or maybe we are finally facing an abusive culture that is long over-due for correction.

Reaction to News About Steve Edwards Was Swift 

(December 12, 2017) When news broke yesterday that Steve Edwards had left KTTV Fox 11 under the veil of sexual allegations, I reached out to Steve. He did respond. Steve thanked me and said, "More later."

Melody Rogers, a decades-long friend and co-host with Steve on Two on the Town emailed: "I just heard this and it is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard. Steve Edwards is one of the finest men, make that people, I know and I worked with him, as you know, for four years traveling all over the world together. He was and is such an incredible friend in every way. Never in all my years of knowing Steve, and actually that goes back to 1976 in Chicago, have I ever seen, heard or experienced anything but a kind and caring man with a great sense of humor and probably one of the smartest people I know. He always took the time to listen to me and help me with any problems I ever had. Yes, he was like a therapist in many ways. He gave me a great sense of perspective. He always played the devil's advocate. I refuse to believe that this is true! Look up integrity in Webster's Dictionary and next to it you will see Steve Edwards' name. One of the finest! Don, I know in my heart this is not true."

Mary Beth Garber, former president of the Southern California Broadcasters Association, wrote: "I am totally flabbergasted over the news about Steve Edwards. I worked with him at KABC/KMPC in the mid-90s, right before he went to Good Day LA. He was a gentleman who showed everyone respect. I cannot imagine what could have prompted those allegations."

Greg Hardison worked with Steve at KABC. He wrote: "From what I saw, I believe any of those allegations against him are just so much bullshit.  I completely agree with Jillian Barberie. I saw Steve interact with plenty of females, without the slightest hint of impropriety. He was one of the few at the station, for whom I had too much respect to even tell a dirty joke, or to use my usual profane retinue of casual chitchat. Steve was the consummate pro, with whom to work. Knowing what I do, I find it impossible to believe Steve is guilty, or even capable of abusing his position toward any form of "harassment."
  
 

Veteran TV Morning Host Steve Edwards Fired  

(December 11, 2017) KTTV 11’s Steve Edwards has been fired from the Fox O&O, according to FTVLive. The site said Edwards was fired after sexual harassment allegations were made against him.

Edwards has been a fixture on LA television for decades and co-Anchor of KTTV's morning newscast since April of 1995.

An emotional Jillian Barberie said Steve Edwards "was like a father figure to me...I have no family in this country...I had two marriages, seven years each, I was with him for 20." The former Good Day L.A. co-host and current KABC afternoon personality offered her recollections of Edwards. "In all the years I worked with him -- nothing," said Barberie, regarding any acts of impropriety.

She said she talked to Edwards, "he was doing fine," as well as reaching out to former tv partner Dorothy Lucey, who was also "in total shock."

John Phillips, co-host of KABC's "The Drive Home" program, said the news about Edwards "hit him in the gut with a 2 x 4." He said his contacts with Edwards were always cordial, and that Phillips was surprised as anyone. Barbarie recalled Edwards originally studied to be a psychiatrist, "so he'd hear about my marriages, my divorces, he heard everything...he was there when both of my babies were born." "I spoke out against anyone -- democrat, republican, red, blue," regarding the current media storm of sexual harassment allegations, said Barberie. "But it's different when it's someone you love, someone you've been with for 20 years."

Edwards stint on morning LA tv goes back to the 80's when he was anchor of KABC/TV's AM Los Angeles (1984-91), KCBS-TV's Two On The Town (1978-84) and The Steve Edwards Show (1978-81). He also had a long stint on KABC radio.

LARP Traffic Reporters Featured in NY Times Story 

(December 11, 2017) The New York Times covered our LARP traffic reporters in an article entitled, Where There’s Smoke, There Are the Traffic Reporters of Los Angeles. Some highlights:

Unlike a pileup or a road closed for construction, the blazes are also a breaking news event, throwing traffic reporters into the same mix as their news anchor counterparts, said Sioux-z Jessup, a traffic anchor. “What’s really challenging is that there are so many fires burning right now, and I am trying to get the most accurate information to the most amount of people,” Ms. Jessup said.

Along with street closings and alternate routes, she said, she has spent days posting tips on Twitter, like the safest kind of gas mask to wear. “You want to give them the evacuation centers, and the school closures, and the wind conditions,” she said. “I’m trying to provide anything that they need.”

The conditions have introduced tremendous reporting challenges. The buffeting winds of up to 60 miles per hour that have fed the fire have grounded some traffic aircraft. Only the hardiest helicopters (more expensive ones usually operated by television stations) can withstand the current air conditions, said Desmond Shaw, who reports for both radio and tv. It has been too dangerous to fly the Cessna he reports from for KNX 1070 radio since the fires ignited.
Like many of his colleagues, he must cover the story from the ground this time. “I definitely feel kind of hamstrung or helpless,” he said. “My city is burning and people are trying to get out of town and I wish I could be up above that helping people out.” Instead, he and other reporters work the phones, monitoring reports from the state Department of Transportation and Cal Fire. The news feeds flickering on viewers’ screens across the state — stark pictures of amber flames licking across mansions, horse farms and highways — belie what the reporters went through to capture them, Mr. Shaw said. “The shot is steady, but you’re not seeing the chopper getting knocked around because of the stability controls the camera has,” Mr. Shaw said. “Meanwhile you’re getting knocked around by turbulence like crazy.”

Los Angeles is a city of gridlock. But the fires, which have consumed more than 100,000 acres and are still raging, create an entirely different traffic scenario. “You can Google and look in Hollywood and see these are the closures for the Oscars,” said Ginger Chan, a KTLA traffic anchor. “The difference is it’s fluid, it’s changing, the wind can shift, it can pick up.” Ms. Chan said officials from the Los Angeles Police Department had warned reporters on Wednesday that app-based GPS risked taking drivers into fire-affected areas.

“For people who are not familiar, they are kind of trusting this blindly,” said Ms. Chan, who is married to Mark Kono (photo with family), the traffic pilot. “You’re running into a situation that will change on a dime, and then it’s putting you in areas that could be danger zones.” On Thursday afternoon, Ms. Chan was picking up her twin 3-year-old children at school after a workday that began at 1:30 a.m., extended hours for round-the-clock fire coverage.

Few of the city’s veteran traffic reporters said they had ever dealt with so many simultaneous fires. “It’s indescribable,” said Scott Burt, an airborne traffic reporter for the radio station KNX 1070 News Radio. “I have seen this before, to a certain degree, but not probably this extreme.” The work is taxing, but rewarding, he said. “That’s what I’m here for, to help people,” Mr. Burt added. “And who doesn’t at work like a good challenge?”

Email Saturday, 12.9.17 

** Drop Commercials During Major Fire Coverage?

“Yes on all counts. Considering that one fire alone has affected hundreds of thousands of people  in Ventura, shut major freeways down and cost lives [human and animals], KNX should follow the lead of NBC4, CBS2, and ABC7 and run commercial free at least during drive time in the morning and evening. Since they are the only game in town doing all-News, they should take the lead on this issue. It was a mark of the seriousness of the five fires burning on Tuesday and Wednesday that even JACK/fm had traffic reports! Thanks for highlighting this!” – Julie T. Byers, Arcadia

** KNX During Fire  

KNX dropped their sports reports today, Tuesday the 5th, during the breakout of fires, including the Ventura blazes. Sports anchor Randy Kerdoon wasn’t off the air, instead, he was part of the station's wall-to-wall fire coverage listing the school closures and other fire related bits of helpful information. KNX also pre-empted the CBS news at the top of the hour, at least during morning drive time.  

Why do many of the KNX morning drive anchors say ‘this morning’ so much? Most people know its morning...we just woke up and the sun is rising in the east...so why do they say ‘we take you live this morning to the scene and KNX reporter’ or ‘and this morning it's 56 degrees in Yorba Linda.’  

Good to hear this week Christmas themed commercials from In 'n Out Burgers on LAOldies.com. I know In 'n Out is privately owned by a Christian family and that they have a Bible verse from the Book of John on the bottom inside rim of their paper cups. It is refreshing to hear a heartfelt and mature commercial by a company touting their beliefs in God and Jesus Christ along with their food. And I admire them for advertising on Saul Levine's Oldies stations at 1260AM and 105.1 HD2. In 'n Out will get my business when I have a hankerin' for a hamburger.” - Steve Nieto, Yorba Linda
** Dave Hull’s Wife

“I just read the Dave Hull article about his wife and congestive heart failure. Having been there myself [9.5.14] I can understand his concern.

I woke up in my Toluca Lake apartment unable to catch my breath. I went back to sleep [finally] and two hours later – another attack. I drove myself to Kaiser’s Sunset hospital that morning and they checked me in right away. Oh yeah, I had my last cigarette on the way to the hospital. It would have been my mother's 91st birthday-so I figured it was a pretty pertinent message. 

Truthfully the doctors told me that CHF isn’t a death sentence. Your heart doesn’t really fail, it’s just weaker than it should be. One of the chambers of my ticker wasn’t fully functional. I’m on medicine now – feel pretty darn good and hope the same happens for Dave’s wife. I will be on PBS SoCal and KPBS fm/TV this month as well as the ol’ morning show on ‘Sunny 98.1.’" – Dave Mason
** Saturday Night Fever

"Oh, whotta’ soundtrack. Night Fever, Stayin’ AliveMore Than a WomanHow Deep is Your Love and Yvonne Elliman’s If I Can’t Have You all hit the top spot from the movie and LP. And now on with the countdown.” – Mike Butts

** More Disco

“Note to Upland’s Steve Dugan:  Disco Saturday Night is back on KSUR-1260 AM from 7 p.m. until a bit past midnight every Saturday night. You can listen on their stream at LAOldies.com which is best, but it’s also on fm at KKGO 105.1 HD 2.

Fred Missman spins the disco and gives tribute nods to Rick Diego, who was a big part of KBIG’s Disco Saturday Night show from a few years ago. By the way: A current KNX news anchor, Rob Archer [who now does a fantastic job during various fill-in slots on 1070], once hosted DSN on KBig 104. Tune in KSUR on Saturday nights. You won't be disappointed.” – Steve Nieto, Yorba Linda
** Bill Brown Memory

“So sad to hear of Bill Brown’s passing. Bill was a very young bright newsman. He did the news on my show at 710/KMPC.” – Roger Carroll

** LARP Walker

“When I saw the 1110/KRLA photo this week, I remembered when Rhett Hamilton Walker worked at KSEE in Santa Maria, before Dave Conley, who I met through you. Yadda-yadda.” – Joe Collins

** LARadio.com

“Great column today, Don. One of your all-time best, in my opinion ... comprehensive, lots of first-person reports, and Tom Haule's perspective was very enlightening.” – K.M. Richards

LARPs in the Fire

 

(December 8, 2017) Fast-moving fires and slow-moving freeways dominated our Southern California experiences this week. Mine started the other morning with a voice mail waiting for me from my youngest son, Tyler. He lives in the Ventura area and wanted me to know he was okay but was ready to head east. He’s still on stand-by, though the wind shifting has been kind to him.

Roger Nadel, former general manager at all-News KFWB, lost power for about five hours late Monday night. “And even though we’re maybe seven miles from where homes were lost in the hills of Ventura, we could easily see the flames from our house in Channel Islands Harbor Tuesday morning. The winds have been up and down, but when they are up it’s pretty amazing and nothing is secure. Wednesday, the smoke was thick enough to cut with a knife all around Oxnard / Pt. Hueneme. We saw more people wearing masks than I’ve ever seen. But when the wind picked back up Wednesday night, it blew a lot of the smoke away. We know people who lost everything, so sad. This has served as a great reminder of the value of live and local programming. People need us now more than they realize. Unfortunately, a couple of local radio stations were knocked off the air (KFYV/fm and KCAQ/fm).  We’re safe.”

The Insane Darrell Wayne lives in Ventura. “We evacuated. We’re three days without power, boiling water before use, smoke and ash, flames within 1500 ft., sober, all is well.”

 

Beau Weaver, veteran of 93/KHJ, K-EARTH, and longtime voice of Entertainment Tonight, lives in Ojai. “We just got word that the house on our Lane made it through the night, though homes behind us did not. When the fires in the foothills behind us got down to lower elevation they were out of the wind flow, and they became backfires. It’s not over yet. Fires are still brining in the Ojai Valley. Winds are calm, but expected to return in force. We are near Summerland, and will continue north as the fires follow us. Grateful for being spared another day, as we speak to other evacuees who have lost everything that would not fit in their cars. But we have each other, and the awareness to stay in the present moment,” wrote Beau on his Facebook page.

I asked a rhetorical question yesterday: “When the Southland is in flames, freeways closed in both directions, smoke clogging the air, should our only all-News station embrace all-News and dump commercials? At least during morning drive?”

I asked KNX program director Ken Charles if there were some guidelines on when or if commercials would be dropped during a major news event. He was unable to respond because the new Entercom has yet to establish a policy. Local television ran much of their coverage free of commercials.

Tom Haule (photo) offered a compelling perspective on major breaking stories. He spent over 30 years anchoring the news at KNX.

"It seems to me to be a deceptively simple question with a complex set of reasons to say ‘”No.” 

The foundation of your question seems to imply that commercials interfere with the presentation of vital information.  In my experience, that has rarely been the case.  There have been times when we have decreased or eliminated our commercial load due to breaking and compelling events, but only after we eliminated other programming elements of questionable relevance to the situation.  Stations run self-promoting marketing messages that tell the listener how good they are – if you are at your peak or performance, drop those first. Stations also run formatted tease segments typically with top headlines every 15 minutes read over music. Here again, if there is only one top story, just keep doing it and the listener will catch on quickly.  Features will also go, as will sports and even business updates or can be shortened to 15 seconds. This is not to disrespect the hard work of the sports and financial reporters. I have had these situations come up and have always enjoyed their understanding and cooperation.

The Thomas Fire broke out around 11 o’clock at night. People began evacuations around 1 in the morning and continued through about 4 in the morning. By the time morning drive got underway, the essential and compelling need for immediate information had already passed.  Yes, this is a major story and yes, tens of thousands of people want to know about it, but a two-minute break will not cost lives or property.

The fire at Hanson Dam broke out later in the morning and missed most of morning drive on Tuesday.  The fire in Santa Clarita broke out in the afternoon. The Getty fire broke out at the beginning of morning drive and while spectacular – and involving very wealthy people with expensive homes – the fire had more of an impact on traffic. Still, I think it would have merited a reduced commercial load more than the others, given its timing and location.

But still, you have to ask yourself, “What else to we have?”  If you want me to pull the commercial load, you had better have some compelling and time-sensitive information to pass along.  Keep in mind that the station is already running and expanding its traffic reports every ten minutes, with break-in updates as needed.  Is it better programming to repeat the same thing over and over until something else comes along? 

Honestly, I am no fan of commercials. I applaud the new owner, Entercom, coming out with a plan to reduce commercial loads. But commercials do serve a function. A two-minute break gives the anchors time to confer with the producers and assignment editors to update the plan of programming. Who’s next and where are they?  I’ve had hundreds of such rushed conferences to keep us on track during breaking news. You also have to keep in mind that the station has made an agreement with sponsors to carry their messages. Some may not want to be associated with a disaster and they will make that known. Others might see the value of getting their message across to an audience that is three to five times what they expected.  It is a good business practice to tell the customer that when the value of what they buy increases they can’t have it? And insurance companies always rush to get their outreach to customers on the air as soon as possible. These are commercials that tell victims where to go to make a claim and get the help that they need.

Finally, you included a clue to the answer in your question when you cited “our only all-News station.”  Even with the commercial load, the station is the only source for people who have had to run to their cars to evacuate and find shelter.  Television doesn’t reach them.  The Internet has limited reach for them.  The radio station can run commercials and still get the vital information out in a timely manner. That is the job of the anchors, editors and producers. If the commercials go, eventually so will they.

That said, I was able to watch television coverage from my home in Las Vegas. It was commercial free.

"The fire came close but hit Casitas Springs and not Oak View," emailed former KFWBer John Brooks. "Just lucky. Fires still visible Thursday night on the back side of Red mountain where the KHAY tower is and along the ridge below White Ledge peak. I even did some freebie reports for KNX and KABC." 

"So many people complaining about the lack of fire news that they need reminds me of the golden days of radio news reporters who would blanket a disaster with relevant and accurate info. I spent a lot of time on Facebook these last few days trying to kill erroneous tid bits such as the Nordhoff evacuation center was closing. [It wasn’t.] And Johnny Cash’s house in Casitas Springs burned down. [It didn’t]." (Photos of John Brooks in KFWB fire gear)

Tomorrow, Email Saturday will feature more fire news

Mother/Daughter Tiff? 

(December 7, 2017) The Hollywood Reporter wondered out loud if Gloria Allred and her daughter Lisa Bloom are estranged. The trade publication asks if they spent Thanksgiving together. "You'd need a subpoena and search warrant to find out," guessed the Rambling Reporter Chris Gardner. They were on the opposite sides of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in October. Lisa briefly repped Weinstein while her mother repped several of his alleged victims. Gloria publicly dissed her daughter in the process. "Bloom declined to comment when THR asked where she ate turkey on November 25, while Allred danced around the subject like an uncooperative witness." Gloria added, "We'll always be together. All issues will be resolved."

In other news: A longtime L.A. engineer is looking to get rid of a set of remote broadcast equipment that he will never use again. It is an Adtran 128k ISDN DSU and two (2) CCS CDQ-1000 codecs, with data cables. Codec audio I/O is standard XLR. He used these extensively for local and network hifi news installations, and they were awesome for sports backhauls. This system can connect to ISDN, or be used on a dedicated 56K/64K data circuit for a fraction of what an 8K analog circuit cost (when you could still get one). Let me know at db@thevine.net if you can use this equipment.

When the Southland is in flames, freeways closed in both directions, smoke clogging the air, should our only all-News station embrace all-News and dump commercials? At least during morning drive?

Hear Ache 

  (December 6, 2017) Mehgan Reyes (l) has been reporting on traffic for almost two decades. Yesterday the smoke from all the Southland fires created a terrible sky of smoke. She wore the appropriate face mask while reporting from Chopper4 ... Former KNX/KFWB newsman Bob McCormick is making huge improvements from his recent back surgery. "I'm still keeping the cane handy but the lower back pain is already 80% gone. The wound is still sore but my surgeon just told me it’s healed and I started driving a bit yesterday. No bending, twisting, etc. for a long time. I will be using a grabber and squatting to pick up what I drop on the floor," emailed Bob. He is planning on spending the holidays in Dallas. "My wife Ellen has been a trooper for the past two weeks. We’re very lucky." ... The new Entercom has been busy changing formats around the country (not in L.A.). I was reminded of a quote from Michael O’Shea - three things you can count on: Death, taxes and format changes … Good wishes to KRLA’s Brian Whitman. The 45-year-old morning man missed work earlier this week. “It started at about 1 a.m. with intense calf cramps that woke me up (sorta crying) writhing in pain. My feet seized next, my neck is getting into the act and a brief stomach cramp that briefly felt like an organ got turned over. Then the hands and the fingers freeze with noticeable pain,” wrote Brian on his Facebook page … Dave Hull, formerly with the original KRLA at 11-10, rushed his wonderful wife Jeanette to the hospital with congestive heart failure. Dave has been the great caregiver as she is still in the hospital … Angie Fitzsimmons, who worked morning drive with Carson Daly at AMP Radio, has departed Entercom … Former KFIer Sam Botta had heart surgery recently and it was successful. “I'm in excruciating pain, but they're finally getting me up to walk short distances,” wrote Sam.  
 

Radio Reunion

(December 5, 2017) Jeffrey Leonard has done it again. Twice a year he invites a number of LARP who once toiled in LARadio to gather and share stories. This past Saturday, 60 guests showed up at Fuddrucker's in Burbank for lunch and to share radio stories.

"Everyone had a great time," emailed Jeffrey. "It has become so popular, I've had to make it an 'invitation only' event. Don't want the fire department to come in and shut us down. Fuddruckers is so gracious to us. They are the best, and the burgers are delicious." (Left: Leonard, KBLAer's Douglas Brown and Carson Schrieber; Center: Former K-EARTH personalities Bruce Chandler and Jim Carson; Right: Shadoe Stevens and founder/creator of the KRLA Credibility Gap, Lew Irwin)

Hear Ache 

(December 4, 2017) KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest made TMZ news this weekend. Ryan was walking his black lab Georgia on Saturday around Beverly Hills when he either got tangled up in the leash or just plain stumbled. His dog Georgia looked startled but was unhurt. TMZ said that Seacrest was in L.A. for the Jingle Ball iHeart concert which he MC'd. “He flies coast-to-coast a lot ... he has to be in NYC during the week to host Live with Kelly Ripa. He'll be flying even more when American Idol fires up next month. It will be shot in L.A.,” reports TMZ.

Speaking of KIIS, John Ivey is promoted by iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group to the new position of president of CHR programming strategy.  He will oversee the company’s CHR and rhythmic CHR brand formats.

Warren Cereghino, assignment editor at Fox 11, wants to make a correction in the bio on one of the most famous LARP, Francis Gary Powers. Powers, the Southern California “Big Red Skywatch” pilot was shot down over Russia on a reconnaissance mission during the Summit Conference in Paris in 1960. In an unprecedented move, the United States traded spies with the Soviet Union.

Gary came home in exchange for master spy Rudolf Abel in 1962. When he grew weary of test piloting, Frank moved with his wife and two children to Studio City around 1970, and tried out as the backup pilot for Col. Bruce Payne on KGIL. He commented at the time of his promotion: "The higher you get, the greater the sense of detachment. It's indescribable, but it's the detachment.

"While leafing through your extraordinarily complete roster of LA radio folks, I came across several with whom I've worked during my years in tv news,” wrote Warren. “He was our on-air helicopter pilot/reporter and as fine a colleague as I ever had during my 18 years at KNBC. I was on vacation up at Lake Tahoe when one of my boys was watching a Sacramento station newscast and hollered at me about ‘Gary Powers.’ He then told me of his fatal crash.” Cerreghino said Powers didn’t crash while reporting traffic. “I was told by the executive producer that Frank and his cameraman had been out in Ventura County covering a brush fire and ran out of fuel enroute back to the hangar at Burbank Airport. I have always been grateful that I was not the one on the desk who had to deal with it that day. “

Email Saturday, 12.2.17 

** Commercial Glut

“Amen to the glut of commercials [aka the ‘Kars4Kids’ sludge] on radio. Unfortunately KNX [for example] is guilty of so many interruptions, it's almost unlistenable.  And don't get me started on the iHeart radio ad nauseam!  

Sad fact of the Matt Lauer bombshell and other sexual harassment/workplace issue-stuff like articles of impeachment, the spate of hit-and-run injuries/deaths, missiles being shot off by North Korea, etc., is going unreported or buried on the back page or last few minutes of the news. Sigh.

Now you know why I listen to both channels airing Christmas Music a majority of the time.” - Julie T. Byers, Arcadia

** Garman’s Journey

“One heck of a story about this very special man named Ralph Garman. JUST WOW.” – Stan White, Seattle

** Entercom Lay-offs

“How many employees of the newly merged company will be fired in order for David Field to make 100 million dollars in cuts? Was Ralph Garman the first?” - Bob Koontz, TMC Media 

** Stupid Move

"Letting Ralph Garman go from the Kevin & Bean show is one of the stupidest corporate radio decisions ever. Those Entercom geniuses probably weren’t even aware of how important and valuable Ralph was to the program, and never bothered to find out. My wife and I became regular listeners to Kevin & Bean about 15 years ago. A major reason for that was Ralph. We’re saddened and outraged over his dismissal. It was all I could do to to keep my wife from grabbing a torch and pitchfork, and joining the angry mob headed for the station.

I’ve been in this business a long time and I’ve never heard anyone more talented, funnier, quicker and more consistently creative than Ralph Garman." - Dick McGarvin

** They Could Stop the Music

“Thanks to Don Elliot for remembering that I told him to ‘turn the headphones down!’ although I don’t remember it. I remember him as being very talented.

Re Bruce Jenner and Can’t Stop the Music: back around 1980 I was the announcer for the first New Orleans Supercross and was then tapped to be the color man for Jenner for the NBC broadcast of the race. I’d met him before when we were both riding dirt bikes at Saddleback Park. I asked him about the movie and he said ‘Well, somebody figured out they could stop the music!’ I laughed.” – Larry Huffman

** Disco Fever

 “Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever soundtrack did what ONLY The Beatles did before them--having 5 top songs on the charts at once. I loved that stuff.” - Mike Butts, former morning man at KIQQ (K-100)

** Niche Programming

"Your comments about getting your Disco fix on Channel 54 on SiriusXM jogged my memory that KGIL [now KSUR 1260 AM], tried an all-Beatles format in the mid-90s. Unfortunately, the signal wasn’t strong in the San Gabriel Valley where I lived, so listening to it was a hit or a miss. And of course, KBIG had Disco Saturday Night for years. I guess that kind of niche programming is rapidly disappearing.” - Steve Dugan, Upland

** Bill Brown Interviewed Manson … I Didn’t

Bill Brown was one of the first newsmen I met when I started at KFWB after the big change to all-News in 1968, and I always looked forward to running into him in the field during those very tumultuous days. He was with KHJ/Boss Radio, a station more notable for its music and its jocks. But, Bill was determined that his station excelled at its news product.

Bill Brown was a thorough pro, he had great news sense and was a fierce competitor. But, he had a great sense of humor and went out of his way to help a new kid on the street, yours truly, who was just getting to know his way around LA. Radio News became a tight-knit fraternity back then. Our paths crossed frequently on a great variety of stories. I never interviewed Charles Manson, but Bill did, and that was quite a coup. I considered Bill a good friend and colleague, and even though our paths have not crossed in many years, I truly mourn his passing.” - Mike Botula

Ralph Garman Leaves KROQ's Kevin & Bean Show 

(November 30, 2017) A tweet from the official Kevin & Bean show announced this morning, "As you just heard on-air, we're sad to report that @RalphGarman has announced that today is his last day as part of the Kevin & Bean morning show. We’re grateful for all he has done for us and our program, and wish him all the best." No official word from the new Entercom.  Kevin Ryder tweeted: "It's a day we hoped would never come. This sucks, but we're EXTREMELY grateful for the 18 yrs he gave us...he carried us :)"  Director Kevin Smith tweeted: "After giving them 20 years of laughs loyalty & his life, @kroq just shit-canned my Babble brother @RalphGarman because of budget cuts. But worse? They won’t let Ralph say WHY he’s fired on @kevinandbean today!" 

In other news: Cumulus (locally the owners of KLOS and KABC) has filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 reorganization. Cumulus said it "expects all operations, programming, and sales to continue as normal throughout this restructuring process" … ESPN is eliminating 150 studio and production employees, cuts that do not include on-air talent. In a fairly convoluted press release, it was announced the positions eliminated as ESPN “redirects resources” to what the company considers newer growth areas, including ESPN+, their direct-to-consumer service debuting this spring, and a new digital SportsCenter on Snapchat … A national radio mainstay, Garrison Keillor, host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” has been fired by Minnesota Public Radio due to claims of “improper behavior” … Back by popular demand, Coast to Coast AM’s charity album Holiday Magic Coast Style has been re-released for the holidays. Benefitting various veterans hospitals across the U.S., the CD features traditional holiday songs and poems performed by fan-favorite guests of the nationally syndicated radio program. Coast to Coast AM host George Noory also performs a special rendition of O Come All Ye Faithful … KJLH’s Steve Harvey Morning Show, along with Premiere Networks, gave away more than 8,000 turkeys as part of their Annual Turkey Give.  Affiliates of the top-rated syndicated morning, heard nationwide on 100 stations, have given away nearly 60,000 turkeys since 2009.  

KBIG #1 in Just-Released PPM 

(November 29, 2017) Another ratings period and once again KBIG is #1 in the just released November '17 Nielsen PPM with listeners 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid. As 100.3/The Sound aired the longest goodbye before the format/ownership flip, KSWD came in a solid 12th. KLOS came in 18th. KLAC had a huge jump moving from 1.0 - 1.7. The World Series march and Vin Scully last season helped propel big increase for AM570.

1. KBIG (Hot AC) 6.4 - 5.9
2. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.5 - 4.8
3. KOST (AC) 4.5 - 4.4
    KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.5 - 4.4
5. KTWV (the WAVE) 4.3 - 4.2
6. KFI (Talk) 3.9 - 4.1
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.6 - 3.6
8. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 3.2 - 3.2
    KLVE Spanish Contemporary) 3.6 - 3.2
    KNX (News) 3.2 - 3.2
11. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 3.0-3.1
12. KSWD (The Sound) 2.2 - 2.8
13. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.9 - 2.7
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.7
15. KKGO (Country) 2.6 - 2.5
      KRRL (Urban) 3.4 - 2.5
      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.2 - 2.5
18. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.6 - 2.4
       KPWR (Top 40/R) 2.3 - 2.4
       KROQ (Alternative) 2.6 - 2.4
21. KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.2 - 2.2
22. KPCC (News/Talk) 1.9 - 1.9
23. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.7 - 1.8
       KXOS (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 1.8
25. KLAC (Sports) 1.0 - 1.7

Sound GSM Finds a New Home

(November 29, 2017) Mary Lea Wagner (l) joins Bonneville as general sales manager for KOIT and KMVQ in San Francisco. Wagner will oversee all sales for the two stations. Most recently, Wagner was gsm for 100.3/The Sound (KSWD). Her experience also includes management of the CBS Radio National Sales office in San Francisco as well as the VP of Sales for Cox owned television stations in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In other news: Matt Lauer, host of the Today Show, was fired last night over "inappropriate sexual behavior" ...  A second NPR news exec is out after claims of sexual harassment ... Will the actions of LARP ever be revealed? ... Former KFI Talker Sam Botta was admitted into the hospital this week. “They're repairing damage to my heart caused by the hit and run driver. Oliver (my service dog) chills here in the room after working so hard to help me out,” Sam wrote on his Facebook page … KFI’s Aron Bender announced that he will be taking a leave from the Tim Conway Show. “My wife (MY WIFE!!) has stage 2 breast cancer, with surgery this week” … Tom Hoffarth reports that Vin Scully hopes to celebrate his 90th birthday today “very, very quietly” even after speaking at the Jackie Robinson statue dedication at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl earlier in the day ... Letty B, middays at KIIS, got a new dog for the holidays ... After several days in the CCU, Allan Lee is home from Long Beach Memorial Hospital. Turns out he has atrial flutter, similar to atrial fibrillation, which many people live with no issues ... Sisanie, co-host of the KIIS morning show announced that she is pregnant.

“Consumers hate advertising and they are running away from advertising in droves,” proclaimed NBC chairman, Bob Greenblatt, during an industry event this week.  “We have to figure out a way to make those interruptions a lot more palatable, a lot more entertaining, a lot more relational, or they’re going to keep going. And going and going and going.”  I read that yesterday and shouted, 'Amen.' Recently, I heard a “Kars for Kids” commercial eight times in a two-hour period on the stream of an LA radio station. Disgraceful.

Bill Brown Found 

  (November 28, 2017) It takes a village to update LARP in the Where Are They Now section of this website. Ray Randolph wrote recently that former KMPC and KHJ newsman Bill Brown died March 25, 2016, at the age of 76, after battling Alzheimer’s Disease.

Born on August 17, 1939, Bill was the youngest newsman at KMPC before being at the launch of “Boss Radio” KHJ. He got started in radio in his hometown of Paris, Illinois while a junior in high school. Bill went to Indiana State and worked for two Terre Haute stations. In 1960, Bill followed his brother who was in aerospace to Southern California, attendeding the Don Martin Broadcasting School. The school had a placement service, and Bill was hired as an apprentice to work the Angeles baseball games. “The biggest thrill of my life is when I flipped the switch for my first newscast at KMPC. My adrenaline pumped for the next three years.”
Bill and his wife purchased a station in Lexington and eventually returned to Paris, Illinois, where he managed a station for years. Bill designed a custom weather service on the Internet. His L.A. career included working for KABC television. Among his most memorable news experiences was covering the Charles Manson trial, where he actually got a personal interview with Manson.

In other news: A few of you were surprised that Steve Dahl was bold-faced (indicating he is a LARP) in my disco story yesterday. Steve’s career success is certainly associated with Chicago radio but he did spend some time in the seventies at KPPC and KKDJ … Stan White was part of our marketing team on Can’t Stop the Music. “I recall the night when we were in San Fran at a warehouse for some filming. You guys set me up with this dancer and I was supposed to kiss her. I did,” remembered Stan. “I came back to the table and you guys were laughing out of control. Why? It was a gay dancer dressed in costume as a young woman.” … In an interview with The Coloradoan, ESPN Radio host Mike Golic said he was angry and disappointed his 18-year show with Mike Greenberg came to an end. “I had no clue. Zero. When I went into see the bosses, I thought it was to talk about the next deal since our contracts were ending.” Yesterday, Golic launched a new show with Trey Wingo on ESPN Radio.  
 


The Night Disco Died ... or Didn't 

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

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

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

While in the marketing department at Columbia Pictures, I had the pleasure of working on Thank God It’s Friday with the famed P.T. Barnum record character Neil Bogart. Casablanca shipped 35 million albums to record stores pre-movie release. I’m told there are still 10-15 million in a warehouse somewhere in the San Fernando Valley. And then the ultimate disco movie, Can’t Stop the Music, produced by Allan Carr (Grease-fame) and starring disco favorites Bruce Jenner, Valerie Perrin and Steve Guttenberg. Oh, yes, it was loosely based on the story of the Village People. But the timing was bad. Steve Dahl turned the center field of Comiskey Park into a disco inferno, just days before the still-born release of the movie. Disco is dead, except when the doors of Studio 54 open on SiriusXM. Until you just can’t oogie boogie no more. (Thanks to The New Yorker for the artwork. You can read about 24-year-old Steve Dahl's disco demolition by clicking Steve's name)


Email Saturday, 11.25.17

** The Sound Was Something Wonderful

“I was reading the 'love letters' that program director Dave Beasing sent to the staff at The Sound as this amazing station wound to a close. They were wonderful. The station was incredible. It was a station that I so longed to be a part of, but sadly that never happened. Incredible talents, incredible music. Dave was my pd when 100.3 was KXEZ back in the mid- 90s. He was the one who brought me to the station and was one of the best pds of my career. What's his secret? He hires talent and lets them be talent. He listens and doesn't dictate. He creates alongside his staff. He managed to make the last month or so of The Sound something wonderful and that was not an easy task. 

I know how hard it must have been. I worked for several months on the air at a station where, for most of the staff, we knew the death knell was about to sound. It was horrible. No one tried to mitigate the dark cloud that hung over those studios. It just got bigger and darker every day.

And we got sadder. While nothing can make the end of a wonderful station before its time any less of a heartbreak, Dave managed to do it in a way that makes me think the staff must have been smiling through their tears on that last day... just as many of the listeners were. I know. I listened with one of my broadcasting classes to those closing moments...and there were plenty of smiles and tears to go around.

Dave Beasing, one class act!” – Tammy Trujillowww.TheRealTammyTrujillo.com

** Return of The Sound

“I was thinking about Alan Oda’s half-hearted hope that The Sound would find a new home. And if the history of the Los Angeles market holds true, he’s wise not to hope very hard.

February 14, 1987: KMET signs off. Many opined that ‘94.7 The Wave’ will never last. Thirty years later, no one has tried to resurrect the old Progressive Rock format while KTWV, having reinvented itself a few times, is still with us.

May 12, 1989: KEDG (the former KMPC/fm) gives way to a soft rock format. J.J. Jackson made the rounds of the other fm’s in the market trying to find a new home for ‘The Edge,’ but his efforts were in vain.

December 28, 1992: KQLZ's run of ‘Pirate Radio,’ a so-called ‘Rock 40’ format, ends just short of its fourth anniversary. The last two years had been a more traditional AOR, before it gives way to a more Alternative/New Wave format which itself only lasts about three months before an Easy Listening format replaces it.

February 15, 1995: KNAC, after nine years of Hard Rock that had followed several years of a New Wave/Alternative format similar to KROQ, is replaced with a Spanish language music format. The metal fans swear someone will pick up the gauntlet, but the format only lives on as an Internet stream, as ‘Que Buena’ is still at 105.5 [and added a simulcast on 94.3 since].

February 4, 1997: KSCA ends about three years of an "adult album alternative" format.  Many say they should have just brought KEDG back on 101.9, nonetheless KSCA lasts less than three years, also going Spanish language on February 4, 1997. Again, the street buzz is that it would reappear. It's been more than a dozen years, and the only thing close now is KCSN at Cal State Northridge.

And all of the above precede the AOR years of KWST [‘K-West’] on 105.9 from 1975 to 1981 and the original KNX/fm on 93.1 from 1971 to 1983. 

Of all the above, only KSCA (as KACD/KBCD on 103.1) and KNX/fm made comebacks, but neither lasted even three years.

The odds are against The Sound reappearing, unless Cumulus abandons whatever that is they’re doing at KLOS in favor of recreating it on 95.5, but I don’t give them credit for having the intelligence to understand that The Sound’s audience was more like a family than a bunch of radio listeners. But then, so was the Mighty Met, the Edge, and Channel 103.1, and no one reunited those families either.

I’m sure a lot of people are hoping Educational Media Foundation will fail with their new acquisition, seeing it as nothing better than losing stations to hip hop and Spanish language music. In the long run, everyone’s anger and disappointment will subside, until the next beloved format leaves the airwave.

The real problem is that we are too big a market for anything but huge audience grabber formats to survive here. There’s no room for families any more ... and no, Mike Novak, I don't mean ‘families’ the way you do.” – K.M. Richards

** KABC Headlines

“We learn something new every day. For example, with the Al Franken/Leeann Tweeden story, I was stunned to learn KABC is still on the air.” – Ken Davis

** Archived Radio News

“A total shot in the dark here. I’m working on a documentary about a stolen Ferrari Dino that turned up buried in some guy’s backyard in South LA back in 1978. It made a lot of local press at the time.

Is there a chance in hell that any of the local news radio broadcasts from February 8th, 1978 or thereabouts were archived? Did any stations or anyone you know of keep archival recordings of their broadcasts back then? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

We’re already working with UCLA and so on for the video/film archival side. Local newsradio however is a different story.” – Matt Lewis, matt@project26.org

** Mentoring

“You asked recently about mentoring. I had the good fortune along my way to have GIANTS on the team. As I am and was a plodder I only now in my ninth decade recognize the enormity of simple things done for me at important times. I call it to attention now for the current plodders who in their modest ways not aware of giants around who help. OTHERS who have more confidence in your effort than you do. Plodders tend to know less than mentors.

My giants were Gordon McLendon and Bill Weaver. Gordon because he had his station-owner’s eye on Los Angeles. Weaver, who held a Houston contract on me and claimed he ‘lost it.’ Mentors known or unknown tie their star to your path. Helping.” – Elliot Field 


(November 24, 2017) In 2000, we asked LARP to recount the circumstancces with being hired or fired.

Joe McDonnell, KFWB sports broadcaster, answers today’s question:

My job at KFWB came about in a rather interesting manner. It was about a year ago, and I had been fired from KXTA and was getting ready to start working weekends at KABC. I heard that Dave Cooke - who was pd at KABC during my first go-round there - had been hired at KFWB. Dave had been great to me when I worked for him, so I emailed congratulations. He emailed back a thank you, and that pretty much was that. Or so I thought.

A few weeks later, Dave emailed me again, asking me if I had ever thought about working in the all-news format. Well, I really hadn't - at least in that decade - and I emailed that back to him. Well, Dave didn't give up and asked me to come in and meet with him. That was fine, because it had been a few years since I'd seen him. Well, we met and he basically told me that he thought I'd be great in the KFWB format, and that I should at least give it a one-day trial to see if I'd like it. I really wasn't all that interested, because in my mind I couldn't see me doing anything other than a talk show. But, I decided to take Dave up on his offer, and I actually enjoyed it much more that I ever thought I would. But I still wasn't ready to give up talk radio for all-news radio.

So, after Dave made me an offer to do afternoons at KFWB, I kept putting off making a decision. Finally, he caught me on my cell phone one afternoon and said, "Look, Joe. We want you over here. You'd be perfect for this format and the plans I have for this station." I told him I'd call him back that afternoon with an answer. I then called one of my most trusted advisors - the esteemed Doug Krikorian - and told him about my dilemma. It took him about 15 seconds to tell me what an idiot I'd be if I turned down the opportunity to work for a great station like KFWB. Then I called my MOST trusted advisor - my dad, and he said the same thing. So I thought about it some more, came to the same conclusion, and it was off to KFWB - one of the best decisions I almost never made.

**

Chuck Southcott, pd of Music of Your Life, answers today’s question:

I have two stories for you. The first concerns my being hired, while the second concerns someone I hired. I was hired (at age 22) for my first full-time disc-jockey job in Los Angeles by Rick Buckley (now of Buckley Broadcasting - owners of WOR, NY) then the Program Director of KGIL. I was hired over the fellow who had been doing summer relief for the station. The guy I beat out for the job was a very nice man who even said he really thought he'd be better off as a sportscaster, since he had a doctorate in Phys Ed. While I gleefully charted my chosen course for stardom at KGIL, he took a crack at sportscasting. Yes, Dick Enberg did all right!

In 1990, while I was program director of KMPC, I heard Gene Autry's old sidekick Pat Buttram (also of Green Acres fame) guesting with Mark & Brian. I had always been a fan of Pat's, especially delivering great comedy on the dais at various roasts, but I noticed Pat not only held his own with the young duo, he was hipper and funnier than both of them, on their own show! That prompted me to ask Bill Ward, my gm if he'd consider taking on Buttram for a daily piece on KMPC. Pat wound up guesting daily between 8 and 9 a.m. with Robert W. Morgan, and that hour rivaled the Jim Healy hour as the highest rated hourly figure during the three years he appeared on the station.

**

KFI’s production guru, Don Elliot, responds to today’s question:

In my wild and crazy days with Shadoe Stevens at KROQ, I yearned to work, for some reason, at KEZY! Mark (whisper-"Anaheim") Denis was pd, and I was getting little or no reaction, so I went into the studio with a pack of something from Golden, Colorado, and cut a blue tape to send him. Even left in the out - takes.

It got a reaction but I was cautioned not to do "that stuff" on the air. I was hired for overnights (where, of course, I never did do any of "that stuff"). Had the time of my life. The staff we had at the time was Paul Freeman, Mark Denis, Larry "Turn the headphones down!" Huffman, (to whom I'm indebted to this day for still having all my hearing intact), and Mike "turn the headphones up" Wagner. Hey Mike, need anybody in Paris? I've got a tape the French would LOVE! Ernie (Anderson) would think it was tame! Respect-fully, (if I have any left). Don Elliot

**

Art Kevin was part of the news landscape in the Southland from 1959 to 1978, working at KEZY, KFAC, KFI, KHJ and KMPC. Art shares a fascinating story to answer today’s question.

I immediately fixed on the late Andy West whom I hired to work in the Boss radio newsroom at KHJ. At one period, Andy was one of my key field reporters. He was wonderful on routine assignments. He'd send back covering audio clips ASAP and always managed a "live" drop-in way ahead of the rest of the competition. Andy was also quick to rush off to breaking news events. Sometimes he'd even arrive well before LAPD at a developing crime scene only to be pinned down by gunfire. During Watts-1 I shall never forget Andy and fellow reporter Roger Aldi coming back to the station with a blown out windshield in their mobile unit. For the next hour or so they (laughingly yet) picked out glass from their not yet receding hairlines! But Andy had a vicious enemy out there that began to gnaw at his manifold abilities. It was alcohol. I learned much later that Andy drank heavily to relieve persistent pain, the result of a massive head injury.

One night Andy crashed a KHJ mobile unit into the concrete wall that separated the KHJ parking lot from the Desilu studios. Management gave me no choice but to relieve him of his duties. The year was 1968. As the California primary got into high gear I got a call from Mutual radio news in Washington. They needed a stringer to cover RFK through primary night. I pushed Andy's name real hard. Then I called him and made him promise he'd lay off any alcohol. I knew he needed the work and the income and that his promise was his word. And so it came that Andrew (Andy) West was the only reporter in that anteroom at the Ambassador Hotel, tape recorder running, when Sirhan Sirhan opened fire. Andy helped wrestle Sirhan to the ground and all the while provided a running commentary on what mayhem was erupting all around him. It was one of the greatest pieces of audiotape I'd ever heard of a breaking news event. Later, pd Ron Jacobs would tell me, "Art, I think that was the one story that Andy West was always fated to cover...to be there for that moment in history." 


Thanksgiving Hear Ache
(November 22, 2017) Mark Levin has a few, new surprises for his new FOX News Channel program, Life, Liberty & Levin, set to debut in February and air Sunday nights … KLAA’s Roger Lodge has been upped me for another year to continue The SportsLodge in afternoon drive. He will also continue hosting the Angel pregame show and doing play-by-play fill-in from time to time … Most of the Della Reese obits praise her work in Touched By an Angel, but I remember her first big hit fondly, And That Reminds Me. In the midst of the new rock ‘n roll on Top 40 radio, the song was kind of haunting … Cumulus Media stock (owners of KABC and KLOS in LA) has been delisted by NASDAQ. Stock traded below the required $1 per share mark for the past month … KFI has set a date for the annual #PastaThon to benefit Caterina's Club people. It takes place on Friday, December 8. Bill Handel begins the broadcast day live from Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove.


Hear Ache 

(November 21, 2017) Last week, the LA Times devoted almost a half-page to the Helen Borgers obituary. It was a VERY nice send-off who they described as having “a booming voice and an easy laugh.” The story provided details about her radio career began. “Almost 40 years ago, Helen was doing volunteer work at K-JAZZ, (then known as KLON), while studying literature at Cal State Long Beach. Her brother Ken Borgers was program director at the station and one day he asked her one day to fill in for a deejay who was ill. The deejay never returned, and she never left.” One day in June, without warning, Helen was let go from K-JAZZ for budgetary reasons. She described it as “a bolt out of the blue,” when Helen was let go for budgetary reasons.

In other news: “We are done apologizing about radio,” said David Field, ceo of the new Entercom. “(It’s) America’s #1 reach medium, which is massively undervalued.” Within 24 hours of taking over the CBS stations, Field took great pride in making three major format changes within the Top 5 markets, though nothing in L.A. Wonder how many people from those three stations lost their jobs as a result of the changes? … Didja hear that most of the L.A. Angels owned KLAA let go of most of their sales staff? … Larry Wachs left the latest incarnation of “The Regular Guys” at WFOM-Atlanta … Versatile BJ Dahl has moved from CBS Radio t0 television. "A 16-year old me began my career as a promo kid, eventually producing a morning show, directing promotions, having an on-air shift and running a digital department," Dahl wrote. "It’s been a great and surreal adventure and it comes to a close. Now, I finally get to focus all my time and energy in ONE brand. One company - CBS Television. One office instead of three. I’ve graduated. Here’s to the past and the future to come!" ... Warm prayers and thoughts to Bob McCormick who goes in for spinal fusion surgery today. He’s suffered a lifetime with excruciating pain. Can’t wait to hear the good news that he will soon be pain free.

Pope is Hot in the Mix 
(November 20, 2017) Former KGGI morning host Jeff Pope has exited Mix 106-San Jose after three plus years. But it didn’t take long for the talented morning man to find a new home. “I got one hellava sweet deal to come back to the IE and do mornings for All-Pro Broadcasting’s Hot 103.9 in San Bernardino and simulcasted on 101.3 The Mix in Temecula,” emailed Jeff.

“Ironically, I started doing their news and traffic in the 90s – and twice they ask me to leave Metro Networks and be their morning guy, but their offers weren’t any good. They tried again right before I left for San Jose. This time, they called with an amazing offer the day after I was let go. So my unemployment lasted 24 hours. And they are owned by NFL Hall-of-Farmer Willie Davis, not a damn corporation that’s millions in debt looking to cut salary. That’s the main reason I said YES.”

Jeff starts next Monday. They are already in escrow on a house in Riverside! “This is after we were outbid on three different homes up in the Bay Area - including one month before I got let go.”


Ryan Seacrest Denies Behaving “Inappropriately” To E! Stylist 

(November 18, 2017) As more and more allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct emerge in Hollywood, KIIS' Ryan Seacrest took the preemptive move of denying acting badly before an accusation went public, according to a story at Deadline.com. “Recently, someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News, came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her,” said the past and future American Idol host Friday. “If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry.”

E! is investigating the allegations internally, the outlet says. The anonymous accuser wanted a “substantial amount of money to keep quiet,” a source close to the situation tells Deadline. Weary of the implications of guilt baked into acquiescing to such a financial demand, Seacrest refused and decided to go public, we hear.

“I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result,” the Live With Kelly and Ryan co-host went on to say in his statement. “I treat all my colleagues with kindness, dignity, and understanding, as this is a principle that’s core to who I am. Throughout my 25 years in the entertainment industry, the majority of my co-workers have been women, and I’ve endeavored to foster a positive work environment of mutual respect and courtesy, as that’s how I believe it should be. I’m distraught that anyone or any situation would call that into question. I’m proud of my workplace reputation, and believe my track record will speak for itself. I’m an advocate for women. I will continue to support their voices,” he concluded.

Seacrest hosted E! News from 2006-2012. Seacrest’s response lands just less than five months before the ABC version of Idol is set to debut March 11.

Art Laboe Marshall for East LA Christmas Parade

(November 18, 2017) Broadcast and music pioneer, Art Laboe, is is the Legendary Marshall for the 2017 East Los Angeles Christmas Parade, which takes place tomorrow on Whittier Boulevard in Whittier. “East LA has always held a special place in my heart, ever since doing dance and show events in El Monte from the 1950s through 1970s.  And it's an honor to be taking a cruise down Whittier Boulevard as the 2017 East Los Angeles Christmas Parade Legendary Marshal. I'm excited to see the people of East LA and our listeners and the joy on their faces as we usher in the holidays and Santa!" said Art.

The parade will include spectacular floats, lowriders, marching bands, horse squads, folklorico groups and celebrity guests including the Grand Marshall Oscar De La Hoya, Celebrity Marshal Danny Trejo, East LA favorites and Chicano Soul Legends Thee Midniters, talent from Telemundo and ABC7 and Cece Valencia from 93.5 KDAY.

Art and 93.5 KDAY are scheduled to present the Chicano Soul Legends concert featuring East LA legends Thee Midniters with Little Willie G, Tierra and many more on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 at Honda Center Anaheim and Art hosts a 2nd Annual Latin Jam concert on January 20th, 2018 at Spa Resort Casino Palm Springs.

Email Saturday, 11.18.17 

** Beasing Man of the Hour

“Thanks for continuing to be the heart, soul, and ‘watering hole’ for L.A. Radio.

To Dave Beasing:  You are the man of the hour. Your testimonial to all that graced The Sound over the years was heartfelt and selfless. You put it together, kept it together, and in the competitive radio world of Southern California, that is truly an amazing feat.  Some would have launched a giant F…U to the sale of the station and dismantled the whole thing as you were walking out the door. You did the exact opposite. You made the last month or so a real Love Letter to the fans, to the staff, and also to all who worked for you over the years.

Continued success to you and the entire crew, who made for a great radio station.” – Jeff Gonzer

** The Sound Was Our Friend

“Even with the industry’s downward spiral in recent years, the last few weeks have proven that radio can still be a powerful force in uniting a community. It seems everywhere I go, people of all political persuasions are lamenting the loss of 100.3/The Sound.  Of course, part of that is because this became perhaps the longest goodbye in the history of L.A. Radio, but it’s something more.

Yes, it’s sad that a station that became our ‘friend’ is leaving us. But it’s refreshing to know that radio still has the power to be a positive force in bringing us together, and can be so much more than a faceless corporate money machine.” – Ken Davis                                                                                   

** Sound Music Front and Center

“Thank you for the lovely article about The Sound and their untimely exit from LA Radio. While I didn't always like when they tried to go for style over substance [Larry Morgan and Sheri Donovan, Mark Thompson, etc.] the music was always front and center. My sister in particular is very upset about losing The Sound to a ‘Christian’ station. We both understand about it being a business and also what is going on with the current political climate, but it doesn’t make it easier.

Thanks for always making it about who makes our radio waves matter, and have a great holiday!” - Julie T. Byers, Arcadia

** Jazz Dj

“Sad to learn of Helen Borges’ passing. Loved her enthusiasm.” – Don Graham

** Borges Passing

“Although I never listened to Helen Borges, I admire her thirst for knowledge and desire to share it with others. The Magic of Radio. Helen had been challenged with health issues for years but kept on giving. 

I would like to share with you all something I have learned from trying times. Pray for everyone! I find it especially healing to pray for those who appear to be against you. It's a win-win.  All this because Helen passed. God Bless her and RIP.” – Pat Paraquat Kelley

** Scully Scolded

“I have to question what we as a nation have become, when someone is not allowed to express his opinion without being viciously attacked for it. When that person is Vin Scully, and the attackers are alleged sports fans, I begin to feel ashamed of being an American.

Vin, like every citizen of our [once-great]) nation, has every right to express himself. I happen to disagree with him, but it is a polite disagreement, and I am certain he would respect my right to politely disagree with him.

How low must we sink before we can respect ourselves again?” - K.M. Richards

** GO Birthday

“Thanks for running the picture of Gary Lycan in your column. Saturday would have been his birthday.” – David Schwartz

** Franken Woes

Al Franken should have stuck to his gay character, Stuart Smalley. Then he could have groped Kevin Spacey and everyone would be happy.’ – Bob Scott 

** Times They Are A-Changin'

"God, it’s awful to watch our industry as we knew it die.  Ugh.” – Rich Brother Robbin


KABC Morning co-Host Says Al Franken Groped Her

(November 17, 2017) Leeann Tweeden, KABC morning co-anchor with Doug McIntyre, posted on the KABC website that Senator and former KTLK (1150AM) Talk show host Al Franken kissed and groped her without her consent.

"Franken had written some skits for the show and brought props and costumes to go along with them,” Leeann wrote. “Like many USO shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience. As a tv host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHMMaxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.

"When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd. Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, “Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.”

"He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable. He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.  I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time. I walked away.
"All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth. I felt disgusted and violated. At the time I didn’t want to cause trouble. We were in the middle of a war zone, it was the first show of our Holiday tour, I was a professional, and I could take care of myself. It wasn’t until I was back in the US and looking through the CD of photos we were given by the photographer that I saw that he groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep. I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.

How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny? I’m no longer afraid. I’m still angry at what Al Franken did to me. I want the days of silence to be over forever."

Franken, who has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, almost immediately released an apology to the Tweeden. After initially apologizing without fully acknowledging all of her accusations, he then released another lengthier, more contrite statement that contested nothing.

 

Fan of 100.3/The Sound

Essay by Alan Oda, senior correspondent at LARadio           

(November 16, 2017) As The Sound prepares to hang up the headphones, I join the many mourning the loss of “Southern California’s Classic Rock.” There are many stations playing good tunes, yet The Sound was different. The music was the soundtrack of my formative years, which likely biases my affection for their playlist. But I found I could leave my radio on 100.3, even sitting through (the relatively short) commercial blocks, and it wasn’t just the records (wow, that word dates me) they played.

To many, the repeated lament about the “old days” of radio is likely tiresome. Millennials don’t have fan clubs for their favorite radio djs – heck, besides morning talent (and even then) I wonder if a millennial can name a current dj? Still, there are those of us still alive who grew up with ourfm receivers (what a novelty it was to have an AM and FM radio in your car back then) and not only enjoyed the music, but the friends behind the microphones and turntables who entertained us.

When the late, lamented KMET disappeared from the L.A. airwaves in 1987, listeners mourned, really mourned its passing. It wasn’t just the eclectic mix of tunes, it was the djs who did more than read liner cards. They shared stories, gave glimpses of their own life journeys, even offering words of comfort when the outside world was getting a bit crazy.     

Then came The Sound. Our friends on the radio were back! Dave Beasing put together a ridiculously amazing lineup – Andy Chanley, Uncle Joe Benson, Cynthia Fox, Rita Wilde – heck, this was a station where Mimi (the Flower Child) Chen and Mary Price were weekenders. Add Gina Grad, Tony Scott, Tina Mica and Steve Hoffman and you had a powerhouse of personalities all under one fm roof.

It would be truly wonderful if The Sound – or something like it – could find another Los Angeles radio home. I’ve already mentioned I’ll miss the music. That being said, my bigger, personal void will be saying goodbye to the live and local veteran djs – the people who made The Sound such a special place on the radio – on a station programmed exclusively for Southern California listeners. We’ll never hear this lineup of talent together again on L.A radio. The cold reality is the current direction of the business precludes this possibility.

Since I’m not a psychic, I hope I’m wrong. I would truly be happy to offer a future retraction.

 I mentioned many listeners still have great affection for KMET, even three decades later. The Sound now joins the “Mighty Met” as one of the best L.A. radio had to offer. Even so, it’s unfortunate I now have to refer to 100.3/The Sound in the past tense. 



End of The Sound

(November 15, 2017) For almost a decade, 100.3/The Sound captured the imagination of a dedicated fan base. KSWD was alone with its own take on Classic Rock music and an eclectic group of personalities to take us along on the ride. 

The station ends its run tomorrow, making way for a format dedicated to Christian music. Before the Sound ends its run, this morning, Dave Beasing, the ringmaster, sends a love letter to the staff (on and off-air) and to you.


Love Letters to The Sound Air Staff

by Dave Beasing, Program Director at 100.3/The Sound

Let’s go left-to-right in the photo backstage at the Greek, surrounding Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham...

Dear Cynthia Fox: You’ve ably carried on the musical tradition of KMET, that’s a given. But more importantly, you’re the keeper of KMET’s conscience. You care deeply about people, fairness, and our community.  Southern California is a better place because of you.

Dear Gina Grad: You are the best “sidekick” in radio. (No offense, Robin Quivers.) Your greatest talent is making other people’s talents shine. You contribute so much to a conversation without derailing it. And that laugh! Who wouldn’t sound funny with you sitting next to them?

Dear Katie Thompson: Your dad helped you get the job, but you kept it on your own. Listeners love seeing the world through your eyes, so please continue to just be yourself. Your wide-eyed wonder will take you far.


   

Sean McNamara, Emily "Emo" Morenz, Jeffrey McAndrew, Trey Livingston, Tim Meikle, Ernie Rodriguez 
(Sound crew members not pictured: Amanda Acevedo, Charles Conoly) 

Dear Rita Wilde: What an amazing career you’ve had so far. From the greenest kids in the business to the biggest rock stars, to know you is to love you. Because we know you love us back.

Dear Joe Benson: Let’s set the record straight, Joe.  It wasn’t your idea to be introduced as “America’s favorite classic rock DJ” on the 10 at 10, that was me.  If anyone’s ego is hurt by that, tough.  I’ve learned that what sets air personalities of your stature apart isn’t just talent.  It’s sweat and persistence.  You work as hard today as at any time in your career.  The Sound was honored to borrow the “Uncle Joe” brand for a short time.  My goal was always to return it better than we found it. 

(photo: Uncle Joe Benson, Cynthia Fox, Mimi Chen, Mark Thompson, and Rita Wilde)

Dear Andy Chanley: When you were mobbed by fans as you arrived at the “Mark In The Morning” anniversary show at the Saban Theatre, that was the moment I realized: Others we’d hired had become stars earlier in their careers, whereas you’d become a true star on The Sound. You earned it. 

Dear Mimi Chen: Your “Peace, Love & Sunday Mornings” show was #1 6+ in Nielsen for a time, but that’s not what matters in the long run. Thanks to your positive outlook on life, your musical inspiration, your smile, and your courage to share your fight with cancer...  you saved lives. 

Dear Sam Farmer: In the LA Times, you’re an amazing sports writer. Turns out you can tell a story just as well without typing it first. I look forward to more fascinating conversations, and I won’t mind a bit if we’re momentarily interrupted by a text from Roger Goodell or John Madden.

(photo: Tony Scott)




(Chris Santoyo, promotions director and producer Mike Sherry consult with Joe Benson, Todd Donoho, and Andy Chanley posing with fans)

Dear Mike Sherry: The audience knows you as “Mike TV” or “Producer Mikey.”  But I think of you as a program director’s dream. It’s amazing enough that you got everything on that daily “to do” list done, but you did it all so well. 

Dear Steve Hoffman: You sounded great. For me personally, your biggest contribution was when I was tired and frustrated. As a former program director who had left the business except on weekends, you frequently reminded me that The Sound is, as you put, “my happy place.” No one seems to love working in radio more than the people who don’t anymore. Thank you for helping me appreciate every day.

Dear Tina Mica: Could you come in right now, be here in an hour? You never said, “No.” You’ve always appreciated and maximized every opportunity, and you’ve grown so much. You also were our ambassador to the community, making so many friendships by booking and hosting our public affairs programming with empathy and sincerity.

Photo: Dr. Demento and Rita Wilde


Not pictured in the group photo because they were back at the station at the time...

Dear Tony Scott: People who’d worked with you before said you’re an extremely talented, affable, creative, coachable dj. They way undersold you. Wherever you land next, I will encourage students of radio to listen and take notes. You share fascinating (partially truthful) behind-the-scenes stories using theater-of-the-mind, and you make every shift sound totally “in the moment.” 

Dear Mary Price: No one is more conscientious about executing your program director’s vision – to the letter. What listeners hear is truly you, one of the nicest people in the world.

Dear Josh Fleeger: The official “programming assistant” job description didn’t include being on air. But it happened for a reason. You never asked for the spotlight, but your hilarious way of looking at life was just too good for us to keep to ourselves.

Dear previous air staff: Sorry you got away. To avoid leaving anybody out and keep from abusing this invitation, I’m not mentioning you by name. But you know who you are, and I sincerely hope we keep in touch. I respect and appreciate you.

Dear salespeople: No! We’re not doing the stupid promotion your client requested, but we’ll come up with something they’ll like even better. Thank you for believing me when I said that.

Dear promotions staff: When I made controversial decisions, you were on the front lines, taking the abuse. Then again, our listeners were passionate and wonderful – and usually understanding. I’m glad I got to know some of you, but – unfortunately – we didn’t always have long conversations. I chalk that up to shyness – mine. Despite the low hourly wage, you cared a lot, and I did notice. Thank you.

Dear social/video people: You did as much to keep The Sound alive as any dj. I’m proud that we found a modern way to market radio, one that few others have yet to discover. 

I’ll write personal notes to many others, including Greg Solk and Peter Burton who gave me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but there’s one last very public love letter I must send...

Dear Sound listeners: I have mostly stayed off the air until recently. I didn’t care if you remembered my name, but I realized I just had to tell you: There is absolutely nothing anyone could ever do that would mean more than what you’ve done for me. You accepted a piece of my heart, and I am grateful.



The Mark In the Morning team: “Mike TV” Sherry, Gina Grad, Katie “Chick on the Street” Thompson, Mark Thompson, Andy Chanley, Jackie Delgado, Daniel Mizrahi; Mary Price, and KMET reunion on The Sound... Ace Young, Jeff Gonzer, Sound pd Dave Beasing, Cynthia Fox, Jim Ladd;
 Larry Morgan
and Sheri Donovan celebrating Freddy Mercury day




                             Entercom Take-Over Disrupts Neighbors to the South

(San Diego from Chris Carmichael: Entercom takes over two stations and spins one off in the market this week. KSON will move from 97.1 FM to 103.7 FM. The Country station will be placed on a signal that reaches North County San Diego. The main reason is that KSOQ 92.1 FM that relays KSON's format, willl become part of the satellite-delivered EMF stations. 

KEGY-FM, known as "Energy" will adopt 97.3 as their new home. Meanwhile, the San Diego Padres' current home of 94/9, KBZT's future as an alternative rocker, is called into question. The numbers have not aligned well for the station since the Padres have been on board. Entercom may turn this into sports outlet. The radio dial changes are expected once the deal closes on CBS Radio. KyXy 96.5 FM and 103.7 KEZY will join KSON, KBZT, and 98.1 KXSN in a new facility near the iHeart cluster. Nearby will be NBC own KNSD and Telemundo, making Granite Ridge a broadcast home for a majority of TV and radio outlets.  Joe Nelson will have complete details at
http://SanDiegoRadio.org.


                                                                                                      Scully Scolded
 

(November 14, 2017) Vin Scully, who turns 90 at the end of the month, said something to get himself into hot water. According to the New York Post, Vin “had the audacity to protest the protesters. He thus was condemned as an ‘Old Retired White Man’ on a popular, but reckless, often dishonest and vulgar sports website featuring cheap-shot artists who make snap, no-research bad guesses to mischaracterize and defame.”

At a symposium, Scully calmly answered a question about NFL take-a-knee national anthem protests. He said he’s so upset by them, he’ll never watch another NFL game. Scully: “I am so disappointed. I used to love, during the fall and winter, to watch the NFL on Sunday. And it’s not that I’m some great patriot. I was in the [World War II] Navy for a year — didn’t go anywhere, didn’t do anything. But I have overwhelming respect and admiration for anyone who puts on a uniform and goes to war. So the only thing I can do in my little way is not to preach. I will never watch another NFL game.”

In speaking his mind and interpretation rather than avoid the risk — he became an immediate target to be tainted or branded a “racist.”

In other news, former KFWB news anchor Penny Griego starts a new job today. She is Media Relations Specialist at L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the country, serving 2-million members in L.A. County.

Helen Borgers, Jazz Radio Personality, Dies 

(November 13, 2017) Helen Borgers, a decades-long mainstay in LA Jazz radio, died at high noon on Sunday. Here is the Facebook passage from the family.

'Helen, the woman who inspired and enriched the lives of thousands of people in art, literature, music, theatre and so much more, who followed her passion in spite of what anyone thought, took her last breath today, at high noon, after a long, brave fight with the many health issues she faced. We will soon share more information about a celebration of Helen's life. Thank you to everyone who has loved her, supported her, and been there for her during her life. With Love and Light, The Family'

A personal message from Dave Grudt: “I knew Helen well for nearly 35 years from our days at KLON on the campus at CSULB. Along with her brother Ken, I worked side-by-side with both of them in the programming department. I have so many wonderful memories of this special one-of-kind woman. She could so easily make me laugh.... and boy did she have the laugh that could be heard now.... all the way to the angels! I was fortunate to be there at the end. A truly unique experience.”


Field of Dreams

 
(November 13, 2017) David Field will be a name often mentioned in the coming year. It is Field who orchestrated the merger of his company, Entercom, with CBS Radio. The takeover will take place sometime this week.

Over the weekend, Field gathered 135 membership of the new Entercom leadership team in Chicago. “World class team!” tweeted Field. “Ready to launch. So fired up!!!”

There will be some things to clean up this week. When Entercom takes over, perhaps on Friday, their station in L.A., 100.3/The Sound will be taken over by Educational Media Foundation. “K-Love” is the new moniker for contemporary Christian music radio programming.

Before the week is out, LARadio readers will experience a history of the last decade, at 100.3 by the one person who has experienced it all.

Meanwhile, in a related Tweet, Chuck Hayes has been a listener to fm since the '70s at WSUB in Groton, Connecticut. He has loved the on-air freedom afforded the personalities at The Sound, knowing the end was near. “Your last three weeks may have been the greatest run of music in the history of radio,” wrote Hayes.


Email Saturday

** Radio Missing

“Recently I had occasion to be stuck in Yucca Valley on a job. I say stuck because there was a multi fatality accident on 29 Palms Hwy, and traffic did not move for hours. I saw no less than 8 ambulances on the shoulder driving past me. And would you believe not one radio station had anything about it?” – Bill Schwarz

** Executive Promotions in LARadio

“Wow - it's like the early nineties. People moving and shaking.” – Keri Tombazian

** KABC Towers

“I’m including three different links for views of Tower 2 coming down. This was at the end of February: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEPMNJDRyWc ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxp8-Qpg0cc; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHLPI6xWSY4.  Thanks.” – Tim Ahern

Hear Ache

(November 10, 2017) The FCC has formally approved the merger of Entercom and CBS Radio, another giant step closer to the creation of the radio industry's second largest company. The merger combines Entercom's 127 stations with CBS Radio's 117 stations ... Charlie Van Dyke (photo w/ wife Ingrid) has been tapped to be the imaging voice of the new 100.3 when The Sound flips to K-LOVE, a contemporary Christian music format, sometime next week. Additionally, Charlie will be the voice of the entire Educational Media Foundation, which includes hundreds of stations and translators ... Lisa Bowman is all set for her first book signing on Sunday. It will be held at Nan Rae's Art Studio in Burbank, from 2-5 p.m. There will be valet parking. If someone is interested, they can email her at LBowman9@gmail.com for details. Her book is entitled, Shattered Peacock, and is an historical novel taking place during and after the fall of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1979. Her pen name is Lisa Di Vita ... Mark Wallengren kicks off the KOST Christmas music for the holidays this afternoon at 5 p.m. For 16 years, KOST has benefitted from the early holiday jump on 24/7 Christmas programming ... SAG-AFTRA will host a members-only panel discussion next week about sexual harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry. The panel will be led by attorney Gloria Allred … Gil Perez, part of the production team at iHeartMedia, was let go yesterday … Pasadena station KPCC 89.3 is one of four public radio stations benefiting from a $1.5 million grant given by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to American Public Media (APM), to lead a new investigative journalism initiative … Alfred Liggins, ceo of Urban One, complains that the industry “has one player that’s so big, they’re able to advantage themselves over smaller players.” Assume it is iHeartMedia. Liggins wants a more level playing field … David Gaines was looking for KPPC airchecks. After our posting, he claims to have unearthed some decent archival recordings of djs from that era. He is still looking for more. You can reach him at: dscgaines@gmail.com … On March 17, 2018, KFI’s George Noory will be among the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame’s 2018 class of inductees … KDAY presents “Kings of The West" featuring Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Cypress Hill on Friday, December 1 at the Microsoft Theater, located in L.A. LIVE.

Jim Duncan, Decades-Long with Clear Channel/iHeartMedia, Exits 

(November 10, 2017) Jim Duncan has worked in the majors for most of his 51 years in the radio business. His latest gig as production director at iHeartMedia’s eight-station cluster has come to an end, as a result of budget downsizing. When reached by phone this morning he seemed accepting about the news and was thankful for his multi-decades with Clear Channel/iHeartMedia. “I plan to spend time with my wife Judy (married 48 years), who recently retired from her job, and our kids and grandchildren. Who knows, maybe you’ll find me doing a weekend show in some small market.”

Born on a naval base on Mare Island in Northern California on October 7, 1948, his Navy father gave him a transistor radio from Japan. It was love at first hearing. His first job was on the campus radio station at San Diego State. At one time, Jim worked for four San Diego radio stations at the same time under the names Jim Chandler, Jim Morgan and Jim Duncan. At KSON-San Diego, Jim moved into morning drive at the age of 19, and he later became pd.

Bob Wilson hired Jim to be the Country editor in the early days of R&R, a position he held for a decade. Being on the air became a hobby as Jim started hosting and producing many of the Westwood One shows, including "Live From Gilley's" and "The New Faces of Country." Besides radio, Duncan owns his own successful production company. In 1994 he produced the "Radio Across America" video to open NAB's Programming Convention in Los Angeles. He is active with the CMA, serving as a vp.

His early influences were the "Boss Jocks" and production masters Terry Moss and Bobby Ocean. From 1974, Jim has worked at KFOX, KLAC, KHJ, and KZLA, as well as his voice work at KFI, KEIB, KIIS, MY/fm, Alt 98-7, KOST, and KRRL. He also was the imaging voice for the Lakers and Angels over the years. Jim can be reached at ezbaby11@hotmail.com and by mobile: 661.993.4293

LA Times' Robin Abcarian is a LARP 

(November 9, 2017) Where will the next generation of Talk Radio personalities come from? In the past  the new talent came from the fields of sports, legal, traffic reporting, entertainment reporters, teachers, addiction specialists, and car experts.

In 1996, Robin Abcarian took a leave of absence from writing a twice-weekly column in the LA Times Life & Style section to join Tracey Miller in the fall of 1996 in morning drive on Talk-formatted 710/KMPC. And they did an admirable double woman-double whammy show on an underrated station that ran out of steam two years later.

In the early 1980s Robin was a columnist for the Daily News. She moved briefly to Detroit before joining the Times. Robin left KMPC/ KTZN (“The Zone”) in late summer of 1997, when the station switched to all-Kids “Disney Radio.” Robin has been with the LA Times off and on for almost 20 years. And she is a WONDERFUL writer. Look for her byline. Her stories are always riveting and interesting. Last Friday the story she told was of a family who experienced unbelievable scars from the recent fires. Tough to read without a tear.


Greg Ashlock Promoted to President of the iHeartMedia Markets Group 

(November 8, 2017) Greg Ashlock has been promoted to president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group, moving up from President of iHeartMedia Markets Group West Division. He will now manage the entire iHeartMedia Markets Group, including all 850-plus radio stations in over 150 markets.

When LARadio polled the Best Off-Air LARP of the Year, Greg was always on the list. Many years we would run his incredible story. For all the new readers, enjoy. For those who read it in the past, enjoy the re-run. Greg is one of the most respected people in the radio business and deserves this promotion. He’s had quite a heady run.

Greg earned a Master's degree in communications management from the USC Annenberg School of Communication with a minor from the Business School.

Beginning in 1994 and for the next three years he worked for the LA Dodgers as a corporate sales manager. In 1997, he joined Jacor as an account executive for KXTA / XTRA Sports 1150, focusing on Dodger radio sales. A year later he became the sports sales manager.  

In 2001, as part of the AM/FM merger, Greg was named general manager of the AM properties; KFI, KLAC and KXTA. A year later he was named co-market manager for the Clear Channel [now iHeartMedia] cluster with Roy Laughlin over their eight radio stations. In 2005, he was made president of the L.A. market. 

When Greg first arrived in Los Angeles, he had $500 to his name. “The Dodgers had a position that paid $7 an hour,” said Greg. “They had interviewed me on the phone, but told me they could not hire anyone without a face to face meeting. I had just graduated from college a week earlier and was at home in Malakoff, Texas [population 2048]. I thought, ‘what the heck,’ and packed my 1987 Sunbird, withdrew $500 from a checking account, which was all I had and headed to sunny California. If it didn’t work out, I'd chalk it up as mini-vacation.”  

Greg made a deadhead drive and after 29 hours, he arrived in Santa Ana. “One of my friends was doing some missions work in Orange County and told me that the family he was staying with would let me crash there for a few nights before they went on vacation. By the way, this was on a Wednesday. On Thursday, I had my interview with the Dodgers. The meeting went great and they offered me the job. The offer was followed with a couple of questions, ‘Do you have a place?’ and ‘Can you start Monday?’ I replied, of course, ‘Yes and yes.’” 

Greg spent the next day making the rounds of local churches asking the ministers if someone in the congregation would be willing to rent him an inexpensive room until he got on his feet. “Remember, I grew up in Mayberry and this was what people did small-town USA. Good Southern hospitality. Needless to say, everyone I talked to was rather skeptical and I couldn't find any takers.”  

The pressure was on. It was Saturday and he was going to start with the Dodgers on Monday and he had no place to stay. “I spent all day browsing the papers looking for a cheap place to rent [really cheap],” remembered Greg. “I found a place downtown for $200 per month and called the landlord to set up a walk-through. He showed me the place around 3 p.m. and my ‘would be’ room-mates [about 10 of them] were all still asleep. So here was Howdy Doody about to move in with a large group of questionable characters in a place that screamed ‘crack house.’” 

Greg continued: “I told the guy I needed until 6 p.m. At that point, I walked down to the corner 7-Eleven and took one last shot with the Yellow Pages. I called the First Baptist Church of Beverly Hills. C’mon, Beverly Hills. Surely, someone could lend me hand for a few months until I could cash in those huge checks I would be making from the Dodgers. The pastor answered the phone. He told me that he couldn't think of anyone in his congregation that could help, but he might me able to give me some suggestions if I wanted to swing by. He gave me directions and I was on his doorstep in 30 minutes. We hit it off. He was a Dodgers season ticket holder of 30 years. After a long chat and agreeing to help out with the youth group and to do odd jobs around the church, he offered to let me rent the house next to the church that they used for the nursery on Sunday mornings. It had a shower. A kitchen. And a porch. He charged me a whopping $100 per month. I worked him down to $75 [just kidding]. I took it and unpacked my car on the spot.”  

Greg and the pastor, Tom Stringfellow, became really good friends. Strange how things work out. That pastor is now Greg’s father-in-law. “God's grace was in full effect. It all worked out,” said Greg.  


Huge Moves Announced for Soon-to-be Merged Entercom and CBS Radio 
(November 7, 2017) An internal memo from Entercom coo Weezie Kramer used a sports description to announce changes. “From day one of the merger announcement, we have said that we wanted to assemble the best team in the business. Regardless of whether you wear an Entercom jersey, a CBS jersey, or one from the opposing team – we want to make sure that we have the best starting line up on opening day.”

In addition to promotions tor all Entercom market managers, Dan Kearney is out of his current position as head of all CBS/LA stations and will take over as svp/market manager in Las Vegas. Susan Larkin, who has been regional president of Riverside, Sacramento and San Diego, will add Entercom/ San Francisco to her duties.

Jeff Federman (photo) is returning to the Southland as the new svp/market manager of Los Angeles. He spent the last 9 years in technology.  Specifically, he co-founded a card linking platform that is used by millions of consumers today and a social media filter that has 1000’s of local merchants engaged every month. He also mentored start-ups in Los Angeles.

Jeff was appointed general manager at "Arrow 93" in late 2003. Station flipped to JACK/fm on St. Patrick's Day 2005. Jeff became market manager for CBS/LA in early 2006. He exited the company in late summer 2008. Federman joined CBS from Emmis Communications where he served as vp/DOS for the company's two radio stations in Los Angeles, KPWR and KZLA, for almost five years. During his tenure, he oversaw all sales operations and also was responsible for many of the stations day-to-day operations. 

Federman also worked as sales manager for KBIG and KLAC (1996-99). Prior to that, he was director/sales and marketing for KROQ (1995) where he served as the liaison between the sales, programming and promotion departments.  From 1992 to 1995, Federman was nsm for KFMB-AM/FM in San Diego. He began his career at KKLQ-AM/FM in San Diego where he served in various capacities, including account executive, nsm and marketing/promotion director from 1988 to 1992. 

Federman was born and raised in Los Angeles. He graduated in 1988 with a degree in journalism and advertising from San Diego State University. 

In Chicago, Jimmy deCastro is the new svp/market manager. Jimmy was most recently the president and gm of WGN Radio and is the former ceo of AMFM, Inc.   

Bob Bolinger will take on the svp/market manager responsibilities for the combined CBS/ETM stations in San Diego. 


Radio TV Announcing One of Top 10 Worst Jobs for the Future, per Kiplinger Newsletter



Total number of jobs: 33,202

Projected job growth, 2016-2026: -10.0%

Median annual salary: $32,383

Typical education: Bachelor's degree

More radio disc jockeys, talk show hosts and podcasters are under threat of being silenced. Consolidation of radio and television stations, as well as the increased use of syndicated programming, limit the need for these kinds of workers. Plus, streaming music services offer fierce competition to radio stations and their workers. On the upside, online radio stations may provide new opportunities for announcers.

Alternate Career If you're committed to this career track, consider addressing even smaller audiences and becoming a party DJ or emcee. These other types of announcers make up a small field of just 17,326 workers currently, but are expected to grow their ranks 6.0% by 2026. They typically earn slightly less with a median $32,177 a year, but only require a high school diploma to get started. Read more at Kiplinger 


Hourly Countdown Until the Music Dies on The Sound

(November 6, 2017) The mainstream media is hardly a fan of radio, though there is the periodic offerings. Richard Wagoner writes a weekly column for the Daily Breeze,  syndicated in a number of area newspapers. Over the years, Richard has been a big fan of local radio, especially the AM dial. Last month he wrote about the upcoming demise of 100.3/The Sound with a provocative headline: ‘With its end near, The Sound 100.3 turns to Jesus (literally) in its promos.”

Tom Burfield sent me a link to the Orange County Register’s big story on The Sound. Here’s a link that you can check out. http://www.ocregister.com/2017/11/02/as-the-sound-100-3-prepares-to-go-silent-its-classic-rock-djs-prepare-for-the-end-of-the-fm-station/.

Meanwhile, the Santa Monica Daily Press wrote an early obit: “GOODBYE (sniff): For 10 years at 100.3/fm, you heard some excellent rock and roll programming, not adventuresome but with good taste and not much repetition, my #2 pick on the dial. They’re playing a countdown to oblivion now of their favorite 2000 songs, alphabetically. Oblivion? The station’s been sold and possibly by the time you read this you will hear ‘contemporary Christian love songs’ dripping out from 100.3.”

The sale of KSWD (The Sound) is expected within hours. It is tied to the complicated deal with Entercom and CBS Radio. LARadio.com is expected to have a very unique insight into The Sound between now and the day the music dies.


Email Saturday
** Sad Losing The Sound

“I think it’s a sad day for radio in losing KSWD. I feel that the loss was magnified on that Monday at the end of September, when Tom Petty died and we were all shocked by the tragedy in Las Vegas. A station like KSWD is the place to turn to for comfort on a day like that. It’s always good to have familiar voices on the radio in times like that.  I don’t feel like there is anything else like KSWD on the radio dial.  

Sirius should be able to fit into that spot, but their formats seem as constricted as an iHeartRadio station. I grew up in New York where we had WNEW as the KMET equivalent. It was the place to turn to for events and happenings in the rock n roll community. Even though it never achieved the broad success of WABC or KHJ, it served a purpose for fans of the music. KSWD is the closest thing to it I have heard in over 25 years. Let’s hope the suits at Entercom/CBS can figure out a place to let The Sound continue. The classy exit they are providing shows that this company may actually about something more than just numbers.  Cumulus has made KLOS a poor shell of a Classic Rocker. Just tuning into KABC or WABC shows their disregard for quality.” – Cary Levine
** World Series Call

“My only thought about those complaining about Charley Steiner and his World Series style is that’s what happens when you jump on the bandwagon at the last minute – the rest of us have had all year to get used to it … :-)” – Stan Ecklund
** LARadio Hacked

“As wondrous and magical and hi tech our fairly recent computers and mobile devices are, they have brought out the outrageous cheating underhanded criminality of some of our soulless selfish citizens with absolutely no conscience or moral values. So shameful.” – Bruce Chandler
** Engineer John Davis Remembered

“I read your obit of John Davis on your radio site and was saddened to see it, and I send my condolences to his family through you. While you spoke of his engineering prowess, you didn't mention his on-air work, both with and without his wife Deanne. I looked to refresh my memory of it at your bio links up top of the website, but he isn't there. So I have to stretch my memory some 50+ years.

John had a Saturday morning folk music show from the early 60s [I found him about 1963/64] on either KCBH/fm or KRHM/fn on Saturday mornings until the station was sold or changed formats. He then went over to KPFK for many years, at least until the late ’80s plus or minus a couple of years.

I think I remember that he did his show one morning in the '60s, and went to marry Deanne straightaway. She eventually joined him in doing the KPFK show until it went off the air. Perhaps Deann could be more precise sometime in the future.” – John Hindsill, La Crescenta
** New Years Eve with the Fatman

“I was in Harrah’s Tahoe on New Year’s Eve when, at midnight, the curtains opened and there he was, in-person, to start 1969 this way." – Bill Kingman, Lake Tahoe
** Final Broadcast at KLOS

“To add to the memories of the former KABC/KLOS property, I was fortunate to be on hand for the very last broadcast emanating from the KLOS studio. The honor of saying farewell fell to Breakfast With The Beatles host Chris Carter (c).

With a handful of other friends and Beatles fans, we all cherished being there one final time. The studio facilities were vacant. One studio guard on hand as the moving vans had yet to arrive when I showed up at the facility a few minutes before the 9 a.m. broadcast, I took the opportunity to stroll the empty hallways and sales department. An eerie quiet inside this building. Except for the faint sounds of the radio broadcast still being piped into a few office speaker phones, I made my way thru to the very back of the building where Chris Carter was set to begin his broadcast.

After I arrived a few others joined in and we celebrated what many of us new to be a solemn but historic day. The last day.” – Sal Gomez

 ** Demolition of KABC

“The pictures of the KABC demolition made me absolutely SICK! Having grown up listening to the likes of KABC, KFWB, KMPC, KRLA and KFI, I never dreamed that I would ever have the honor of working at any one of them. Gratefully, I eventually worked at three.

As a consultant to KABC in 1992 and pd from ‘93 through ’96, it was a real joy moving from the rat-infested building along La Cienega, to that new state-of-the-art Talk Radio palace. KABC was one of the pioneering stations of the Talk Radio format, and truly deserved it. Working hand-in-hand with Joe Talbot and the crew from Pacific Recorders was a dream come true, having a small part in designing details for those fabulous studios. There were four of them: Studio K, Studio A, Studio B and Studio C. We would start with the Ken & Barkley show in K and move over to A for Michael Jackson, then Ping-Pong back and forth the rest of the day. Studios B and C were a production director’s dream! Studio K eventually became the main studio for KMPC, after CapCities purchased it from Golden West.

Later, when I became a consultant for the Frasier tv series, our studios became the model for the radio station sets on Paramount’s Stage #25. The first broadcast from the new digs was an all-nighter, during the Clinton inauguration festivities, and it was so great to be able to pull in everything we wanted, from everywhere and quickly turn it around for air. In 1993, we held an open-house, with hundreds of LA’s radio-elite attending the catered event in a giant circus tent in the parking lot, and then taking guided tours of both KLOS and KABC. I designed a little attraction that allowed guests to leave with a recording of themselves, interacting with KABC personalities. These were KABC’s golden years and one of the years I was there, we became the second highest billing radio station in the country, just behind WGN. I could write a book [and it looks like I almost have] about the place and the wonderfully talented people I got to work with there, on and off the air. Those years were truly the happiest times of my 45+ years programming radio stations, all over the country. But now, it hardly seems like it ever existed.” – Bok K

** Remembering 5 Years Ago

"Thanks for the mention at the end of the Jai Rich story. Didn’t know I’d told you about that. I idolized those guys; listened to ‘em all day every day.  Several of them, especially Jai, Tolly Strode, and Tommy Bee (not Chuck Niles, of course) had standard things they used every day and I memorized ‘em all. Anyway, thanks for bringing it all back.

Loved the group pic, too. Man, that really was a well-integrated staff—probably more than anyone then, and few since." - KenBorgers

Airborne Reporter in SigAlert Crash on the 101 

(November 3, 2017) Jeff Baugh is our daily traffic friend (KNX, KFWB, and now KFI) as he reports from the sky the SigAlerts, congestion and bottlenecks of our daily commutes. We hardly thought he would or could be involved in a freeway accident. But there he was on the 101 the other morning on his way to the Van Nuys Airport to do his airborne reports for KFI.

Boom! Without warning he was tagged and he spun out banging into other cars and ending up in the center of the freeway. He called 9-1-1. The offender took off. The CHP listed as a hit and run, but Jeff won’t have the details until he secures the accident report next Tuesday.

Jeff was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. He was released a few hours later with a very sore back and an achy breaky neck. “It could have been so much worse. My car was totaled but that is easy to replace,” Jeff told me by phone.

“My life is now complete after driving the same freeway in the same lane for the past thirty years. I was a SigAlert.”

Is KFI's Bill Handel in Trouble? 

(November 2, 2017) There’s a national campaign to fire KFI’s Bill Handel (photo), according to a story in Radio Ink. Handel is being targeted for calling U.S. Representative Frederica S. Wilson a whore. “The group Color of Change is coming after the host. The group has 1.2 million members and has started a petition asking iHeart to fire the host.”

According to L.A. Weekly, “Handel, who is white, called Wilson a ‘cheap, sleazy Democrat whore.’ They were recorded and distributed by political commentator Jasmyne Cannick, who also posted follow-up on-air remarks in which Handel says he should have used the term ‘media whore’ instead of just ‘whore.’” There is some irony in that Bill is to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame tonight.

In other news, Chuck Blore, one of the pioneering program directors who launched the Top 40 format in Los Angeles on KFWB Channel/98, checked in. “I find retirement pretty boring,” wrote Chuck.  “Although a couple of years ago the publisher of a beautiful children’s book asked me to write and direct a version of his book for tv. I did of course and, guess what, I was nominated for an Emmy.  Didn’t win, but it was a wonderful adventure.”

He’s been doing a lot of tv writing. “Of course, I think they’re all great but when I finish one, I just put it away and start another. There is one I finished a long time ago, but almost every day I’m still polishing it ... again and again. It’s a musical version of the bible as told by children with songs by Roger Miller. It’s called, God And The Other Kids.”

Hear Ache

(November 1, 2017) KABC’s Michael Catherwood (Psycho Mike) married Rules of Engagement’s Bianca Kajlich in late 2012. They have a daughter, born in 2014. Bianca was featured in a full-page story in Variety on the selling of her house (1940s cottage) FOR $2.9 million, $200, 000 over asking. She bought the house in 2010 for $1.3 million … Speaking of KABC, Ira Lawson took a peak at the ratings for the Talk station (tied for 37th with KKJZ Jazz, Christian contemporary KFSH and Oldies 1260 KSUR), wondering why Cumulus hangs on. “I realize they’re heritage call letters, but at some point you gotta cut your losses,” emailed Ira … Sean Hannity tops Cable news in October with the second largest crowd ever after his move back to 9 p.m. … Todd Schnitt, former syndicated host heard on KFWB, has exited WOR-New York’s morning show … After seven months as separate formats for two separate areas of Southern California, Murelo Media is restoring the full-time simulcast of Classic Hip Hop KDAY-Redondo Beach/LA with co-channel KDEY/Ontario-San Bernardino … Jeff Wyatt, former KIIS pd/personality and pd at KPWR (Power 106) has announced his retirement from day-to-day programming, according to a story in AllAccess.com. He had been an svp with iHeart Media’s Baltimore cluster … Jessica Rosenthal, former news anchor/reporter at KFI, will be co-anchoring The Fox News Rundown podcast, offering a rundown of top stories plus deeper dives into the news … KABC middayer Dr. Drew Pinsky is tackling the timely topic of America’s opioid crisis. He’s co-hosting a multi-part docuseries that puts America’s opioid epidemic under the microscope, broadcast date to be announced … Brad Cramer of La Habra Heights isn’t the only one upset with Charley Steiner’s World Series call. “I’m sure Charley Steiner is a very nice man, but listening to him call a game while driving is painful,” posted Rhonda Kramer on her Facebook page. “Please learn the game, give the scores often and at least get the players’ names right,” continued Rhonda. “When you have to ask Siri what the score is every 10 minutes, you are NOT doing a good job. Remember, we can't see the game or the scoreboard from our car! UGG rant over.”


KBIG Almost Two Points in Ratings Lead

(October 31, 2017) MY/fm (KBIG) pulls almost two points ahead of the three stations tied for 2nd: KIIS, KOST, and K-EARTH. Power 106 (KPWR) suffered a big drop from 3.1 - 2.3, while KTWV (The WAVE) was down almost a point. English language increases included: Talker KEIB and Oldies KSUR.

1. KBIG (MY/fm) 6.0 - 6.4

2. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.6 - 4.5
     KOST (AC) 4.3 - 4.5
     KRTH (Classic Hits) 4.8 - 4.5
5.  KTWV (The WAVE) 5.2 -4.3
6.  KFI (Talk) 3.5 - 3.9
7. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.2 - 3.6
      KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.5 - 3.6
9.  KRRL (Urban) 3.5 - 3.4
10. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.9 - 3.2
       KNX (News) 3.1 - 3.2
12. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.9 - 3.0
13. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.9 - 2.9
14. KKGO (Country) 2.8 - 2.6
       KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.5 - 2.6
       KROQ (Alternative) 2.8 - 2.6
17.  KYSR (Alternative) 2.5 - 2.5
18.  KPWR (Top 40/R) 3.1 - 2.3
19.  KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 2.2
        KSWD (Classic Rock) 2.0 - 2.2
        KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.6 - 2.2
22.  KXOS (Regional Mexican) 1.9 - 2.1
23.  KPCC (News/Talk) 1.7 - 1.9
24.  KBUE (Regional Mexican) 1.9 - 1.7
25.  KCRW (Variety) 1.4 - 1.4
        KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.4 - 1.4
27.  KJLH (Urban AC) 1.4 - 1.3
28.  KSPN (Sports) 1.0 - 1.2
        KUSC (Classical) 1.2 - 1.2
30.  KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.0 - 1.1
31.  KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.0 - 1.0
        KEIB (Talk) 0.7 - 1.0
        KLAC (Sports) 1.0 - 1.0
34.  KRLA (Talk) 1.0 - 0.9
        KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 1.1 - 0.9
37.  KABC (Talk) 0.6 - 0.7
        KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.7 - 0.7
        KKJZ (Jazz) 0.6 - 0.7
        KSUR (Oldies) 0.4 - 0.7

We Should All Be So Lucky
by Mary Lyon 

(October 30, 2017) Joe Reiling had the kind of departure any of us would want – passing peacefully in his sleep, and having a long line of loved ones eager to step up to the chapel podium and talk about him.

If you want to leave behind a beautiful portrait, have your friends create the word picture. The service at Eternal Valley Memorial Park in Newhall Sunday morning was a modified Catholic Mass, but in place of a sermon came a multitude of entertaining and emotional testimonials. I lost count of how many family members, friends, and colleagues spoke. About his youth in Ohio, about his "Dolby Joe" days early in his career, WVUD Dayton and then KFIG out here ("WVUD West"). Fellow Ohioans and close relatives weighed in. KLOS alums reminisced with great fondness. Friends from Armed Forces Radio shared how his voice eventually reached to hundreds of millions of listeners around the world and took him physically to the very edge of North Korea and back.

It was like a mosaic portrait of Joe Reiling. He wasn't there to pose for it, but everybody had a piece of the portrait to contribute. This rendered such a deep and rich picture of him, viewed from so many different perspectives. Gentle-hearted, loving, strong as an ox (able to lift whole mature trees out of the backs of cars), massively talented, hilariously funny, compassionate beyond imagining – and man, that smooth bass voice. At least one guest humbly offered an imitation that made everyone smile through tears.

People came from across the country, from a variety of areas and arenas, from neighborhoods and national networks, but we all had one thing in common: Just how damn cool it was to have Joe Reiling in one's life, and how much we'll all miss him. Joe died October 7th after a long illness. He was 65. (Thanks to Mary Lyon for chronicling Joe's Celebration of Life and for her photos: (l) Kellie Sue Peters, Kelly Cox - (r) Stan Milander, Jane Platt)  

Email Monday

 
"It’s great to have the Dodgers back in the World Series for the first time in 29 years. It would have been greater to have Vin Scully behind the mic. But, alas, that did not happen  From all I hear, Charley Steiner is a terrific guy. He just sounds totally unprepared to broadcast a game with the importance of the World Series. Listening to Sunday night’s five-hour marathon I heard Steiner misidentify players who were in the game, not inform the audience when reserves had been substituted for, become confused whether a Dodgers player caught the ball in fair or foul territory and incorrectly count how many outs were in an inning.

He characterized the game as similar to the fight between Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler. That fight took place over 32 years ago. He also referenced a movie released in 1969 called They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? That movie was about the last person standing at a Depression-era dance marathon. The overwhelming number of people listening probably weren’t even born when those pop culture moments happened.  I can understand if it was an almost 90-year-old Vin Scully referencing those moments, but Steiner is nearly 25 years younger. 

Scully always came to the game over-prepared with tons of information. Steiner sounds like he read the game notes prepared by each team’s PR department and that’s all he needed. In a game like last night, Scully would have let the drama build and expand upon it [maybe give examples of previous back-and-forth WS games]. Steiner has absolutely no sense of history and even when the Dodgers came back, Steiner seemed overmatched. With one of the most memorable World Series games in the books, I was looking forward to interviews on the post-game show by the KLAC reporter who travels with the team.  Well, forget about that. Since the Dodgers were flying back to LA right after the game, the KLAC reporter couldn’t stick around to conduct interviews because he would miss the team flight. Guys, it’s the World Series. There are flights from Houston-to-LA tomorrow, you know. Sorry for venting, but it seems like Dodgers fans deserve better. Heck, I hear Ross Porter is available." -
Brad Cramer, La Habra Heights
 
 


Email Saturday, 10.28.17

** KABC Moves

“It was indeed a small twist in the gut seeing those photos of the former KABC/KLOS facility on La Cienega, especially painful were the looks of the term room [the site of a strong boost to my self-taught technical education], and the remains of the AM towers. Didja know the tall, guyed tower dated back to KEHE in 1938? It may have been then owned by the old Evening Herald-Express. The shorter self-supporting job was erected around 1954 when KABC received a nighttime power boost to 5,000 watts Directional, up from 1,000 watts ND.

For KABC we see this, along with the toilet-dwelling 2017 audience figures, as nearing the ultimate culmination of the Disney project destroying ABC Radio in Los Angeles [and similar results in many other markets, as well]. Of course, Disney bailed out of these two local stations altogether, selling out to Citadel around ten years ago, which was then swallowed by current owners Cumulus. The original studios stretched along the La Cienega sidewalk for decades, built as an ever-growing expansion to the ex-KEHE transmitter building, and the move of the main studios [then KABC AM & FM] from Vine Street, down to the AM-tower site. This occurred sometime around 1960, give or take a couple of years.

In 1992, we moved it all across the parking lot to the brand new circular facility that has now been demolished.  Man, I was there when a fly landing on any surface in the new building would slide off and break his neck! The moving cargo consisted mostly of carts and files [paper, not cyber]. In my own case, it was rolling a two-layer high metal file cabinet crammed with around 300 carts and a few 7" reels, across the rough asphalt, somehow without splitting one of the casters in half!  [And thank you again pd Diane Cridland, for supplying that to me.] New control room equipment all the way around, complete with overhead-racked monitors and transmitter controls, the rooms linked together by a cool new SAS routing system [a little nerd-talk there], most of it grandly conceived by chief engineer Norm Avery. Working a shift in the control room gave one the sense of piloting the USS Enterprise, feeding a large audience at warp speed. Yes, thems WAS the Days, thems was!” – Greg Hardison

** Pave the Parking Lot

“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. RIP KABC, La Cienega. The memories and friendships created there remain cherished.” – Shelley Herman

** Less Local is More?

FCC eliminates listeners.  

Taking the cue from Clear Channel Radio who said years ago that the only purpose for their frequencies was to deliver their advertisers' messages, the FCC today eliminated the need for radio stations to have listeners.

Since the Public Interest & Necessity has not been addressed in decades, and the old 7-7-7 rule has sparked syndicated, pre-recorded programming and national contesting, listeners no longer play a part in broadcasting today.

Cumulus plans to turn their Los Angeles properties into giant Fidget Spinners, whereas Entercom has announced that Mount Wilson will be transformed into a Cannabis Farm and that Marijuana Modulation, or MM, is now the preferred method of reaching an audience.” – Mike Wagner

** Empty Buildings

“It's sad to see, hear and think of abandoned buildings that once held thriving media outlets. I’ve been doing this in one form or another since I was a teenager. I can picture the dozens of stations I worked for that are now boarded up, torn down or a mere shadow of what they once were. Many of us know that radio has always been a fluid business. Consolidation certainly added to it, but even before that, stations were bought and sold. Studios were built and moved. Talent was hired and fired. Formats were established and changed. 

When technology arrived, it was inevitable that it would begin to control the business. Randy Michaels was one of the architects in the 80s who brought digital storage and remote voice tracking to the business. He didn’t intend for it to replace local talent. He wanted to see his cadre of professionals bloom and assist each other. 

You just listed the Inland Empire radio dial. We’ve seen the same kind of changes happen in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco...you name it. 

KLAC played Country. (570)

KFI played Top 40. (640)

KMPC had awesome talent – Gary OwensWink Martindale and the rest. (710)

KHJ was arguably the #1 station in the country. (930)

KFWB was arguably #1 and then #2 when KHJ hit the airwaves. (980)

KGBS was trying all along with the likes of Bill Ballance and Hudson & Landry (1020)

KRLA carved out a niche of its own. (1110)

KIIS-AM was caught in the crossfire between AM and FM (1150)

KGFJ was a huge influence on the African-American community (1230)

KDAY was also an Urban powerhouse.  (1580)

Have I missed a few? Probably. What are these AM stations doing now? Other than sports, not much to attract a general audience. 

My point is that our industry always changes. The loss of KSWD is a real shame. The talent on that station is awesome and doing their best to keep the stiff upper lip, but knowing that a syndicated format is about to hit from 100.3 is a painful reminder of the flowing river that is the radio industry.  It’s a shame that it’s gotten to this point – money over creativity. Entercom proved its worth in keeping the station going for as long as it could and made a smart move in selling to a non-competing entity in EMF. We hope the music/format choices won't diminish more on the fm dial as they did on AM for the general public. I hope the folks from The Sound find new arenas to play in. They deserve it because you’ve shown us their love for the craft that is radio.

Thanks. I had to say it.” – Dave Mason

** 25 Year Gap

“Seeing Letterman's name made me want to share this with you!

When I was in New York and doing a lot of performing, Broadway, etc., I must have done 100 industrial shows, for Ford, Cadillac, Purina Dog Chow, etc. A producer on this show, about 25 years ago, when he was looking for unusual music came across an album for, I think of The Ford Show. He became intrigued with the industrial musicals. They were huge in the 60’s and 70’s and I did so many. It was great fun and great money .

Most people have no idea about this area of show biz. Well, his name is Steve Young and he wrote a book about the golden age of industrials, Everything’s Coming Up Profits! They are now in the process of finishing the movie, which David Letterman is producing and Sundance is mentoring. We did the finale on the Warner Brothers lot about 6 weeks ago. I saw so many old friends that I had performed with. It is a first class production – A+. Here is a short clip about it. I am not sure when the premiere is but I will let you know. It is pretty funny with all of us singing and dancing about bathrooms and dog food and cars. They were multi-million dollar productions back when most industry was here in the US. Boy has that changed.” – Melody Rogers

** Mentoring

“On a rainy night in December of 1962, I was driving home from a Battle of The Surf Bands at the Pismo Beach Vets Hall back to San Luis Obispo. I turned on the radio to KFWB and heard for the very first time, Bobby Dale. I immediately realized how much better than the other ‘good guys’ that we heard on the radio in the early ’60’s.

KRLA was MY station, but when the weather conditions were right, I could get KFWB up on The Central Coast, so I took advantage of the rain that night, and discovered the greatest jock I’d ever heard, up to that time. I would go up to San Francisco in the summer. In July of ’63, I took my tape recorder to San Francisco and air checked Bobby’s shows on KEWB-Oakland, where he did 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Two years later, during Easter break of ’64, I went to the City, and called KEWB and set up a visit to meet with Bobby. I drove over to Oakland and visited the Bermuda building and met Bobby, and he took me downstairs to the restaurant and bought me lunch and we talked about his history for about an hour.  Then, he took me back upstairs to the station and arranged for me to stand in the engineer’s booth from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and watch him, thru the glass, do the first hour of his show. 

It was one of the true thrills of my life. I was 18 at the time, and had just started a few months earlier doing Sunday mornings at KSLY in San Luis Obispo. Two years later, in June of ’66, I got to go to work at KFRC in San Francisco as a board engineer/producer.  My first day on the job, at 12 noon, I broke in with … Bobby Dale. It doesn’t get any better than that. Yadda-Yadda.” – Joe Collins

** More Mentoring

“I’m one of the founding members of a volunteer group, Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio.  When Radio Ink began doing its ‘Most Influential Women in Radio’ list 19 years ago, several of us on the list gathered together and decided to start a mentoring program. We wanted to be able to share our knowledge and our spotlight with other women in management positions to help them advance up the ladder. At that point, there were virtually no women in ceo positions or on the RAB Board of Directors. The percentage of women at senior management levels in radio companies was woefully low, and the number of female program directors was almost non-existent.

The group has changed as the years have gone by – several of the original group has retired. But there are 10 of us on the Executive Board and we still mentor 3 to 4 women each year.  We have developed sponsored mentoring programs like ‘Rising Through the Ranks,’ a new program with Nielsen Music 360 to help women on the programming/music side of radio. Several of our mentees have gone on to great heights – one is the market manager of iHeartMedia’s group in San Francisco. And there are great examples throughout the ranks of our mentees. 

We also report, each year, on the percentage of women in the ranks of management of each of the radio companies and for radio as a whole. 

I am happy to say we have helped make a difference, not just in the lives and careers of more than 50 women in radio, but in diversity in radio’s management makeup. 

Mentoring is a great thing.  Very few of us would be where we are or have been without having had mentors along the way.” – Mary Beth Garber

** K-SURF Oldie Idea

“Maybe if Saul Levine wants to have some live, local talent on 1260, he could hire Johnny Hayes. I have no idea if Johnny is available or interested but it is sure a nice thought. An Oldies station that sounds like KRLA did in 1985, complete with a countdown show at noon on weekdays would be terrific. I’d sure listen.” – Bob McGehee


 

Hear Ache 

(October 27, 2017) Howard Fine drives by the old KABC studios on La Cienega on a regular basis. He emailed to say the old location has been completely demolished. “Dirt lot the last time I went past it. Sad.” … World Series is now tied. Bob Scott thinks Dodger manager Dave Roberts was too quick with the hook in the second game. “It could come back to bite,” Bob posted on his Facebook page … KLAC received much free publicity with strategically placed signage promoting “AM 570,” especially during the Vin Scully opening in Game 2 … Lotsa LARP at the 29th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony next week. This year, Entercom president/ceo David Field will induct his father, Entercom founder Joseph Field. Former orchestra leader of Pirate Radio, the legendary Scott Shannon will induct Premiere Networks (and former KABC personality) Sean Hannity. iHeartMedia West president Greg Ashlock will induct KFI morning personality Bill HandelBrad Martini Chambers is planning another last ditch effort to save his Internet radio station. Royalty issues have put him behind the eight ball. On a personal note, he’s expecting his 9th grandchild on Halloween … Condolences to Leon Kaplan on the passing of his wife Dixiebelle. She passed away Wednesday. Leon, known as The Motorman, has been at KABC for 37 crankshanking years … Bill Gardner spends his two-hour Rhapsody in Black Saturday show tomorrow on KPFK saluting Fats Domino … KLAC’s Dan Patrick launches a sportscasting school next year.

Empty Spaces at KABC/KLOS

 
(October 26, 2017) Spoiler alert for engineers ... this will be a very painful column to view. KABC, home to thousands of dedicated workers and personalities over the decades on LaCienega Boulevard, is no longer. Cumulus has moved KABC and KLOS to Culver City while the original location is demolished. Take at last look at what once was.

Sales area Stew Herrera's Studio M
Terminal Room Towers down and ready for recycle


Voiceover World Presented by Randy Thomas 

 
(October 25, 2017) Randy Thomas, superstar voice who made history as the first woman to announce The Academy Awards, The Emmy Awards, The SAG Awards, and The AFI Awards, is sharing her voiceover craft at the VOMastery event this Saturday. If this is a world you are in or thinking about going into, this two-day event is for you. “Click the artwork,” emailed Randy. “We do have a few seats left. Your readers can save $50 with the code VOICES50” … Ain't That a Shame? Fats Domino dies at 89 ... KNX news anchor Bob Brill has put together a video book trailer on his latest novel, Al Kabul; Home Grown Terrorist … Following game 1 last night, Fox's Jason Smith said that Clayton Kershaw may be the best pitcher in the last 25 years. The LA Times headlined the win: Special K ... Carol Schilling is looking for Pete Moss. “The Pete Moss I am talking about worked KDWN AM 720 in Las Vegas,” emailed Carol. “I listened to him every night and wondered if he has a radio program.” You can reach Carol at carolynschilling7@gmail.comMeg McDonald, widow of LARP Brent Seltzer, has just posted her podcast Episode #18 “Internal Clock.” You’ll find a direct link to the page.  Click on MEG! at the top or scroll down and click on her picture … KLOS’ Frankie DiVita sent a link for Joe Reiling's obituary and service. “The service is this Sunday at 10 a.m.,” emailed Frankie. “It would be great to see a nice crowd out there honoring him.”  … Interesting graphic during one of the NFL games last weekend – the first NFL tv broadcast was on October 22, 1939.


Howard Stern Worth a Half Billion $$ 

(October 24, 2017) Howard Stern tops the Forbes list of highest-paid radio stars. In a story by Hayley Cuccinello, Stern’s income from June of 2016 to June of this year is reported at about $90 million. Even though his fortunes aren’t what they used to be, Premiere Networks’ superstar Rush Limbaugh (KEIB locally) placed second with Forbes estimating his salary at $84 million. At third is KIIS/fm’s Ryan Seacrest with a reported $58 million earned during the period. Fifth was Sean Hannity with a reported $36 million annual paycheck. Glenn Beck came in sixth with $10 million. Forbes guestimates that Stern has a net worth of $450 million. The magazine based its earnings estimates on data from Nielsen, NPD Bookscan, and PollstarPro, as well as interviews with industry insiders. All figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers, and lawyers are not deducted.

In other news, former CBS/LA director of sales, Peter Bowen, exits the vp/market manager slot with Cumulus in Chicago …  It is so much fun to hear Rich Fields on WRBQ in Tampa. I loved his weekly interviews on Sunday nights at KODJ.

Hack Off. Over the weekend, LARadio got hacked. And by all accounts, by a very professional bad guy. K.M Richards wrote to say this a variation on the "phishing" scam. “A list of email addresses is acquired -- maybe they got their hands on those old pages you used to post with our addresses? -- then a fake email is constructed to be sent to those addresses. The link for the funds request is to a bogus site and the scammers hope people will go there and leave personal information, such as bank account information, passwords, etc.” K.M. said he has exposed a lot of these to law enforcement and/or companies whose identification was used (largely banks, PayPal, credit card companies) and have gotten to the point where he can smell one of these a mile away.

Vacation LARP Buddies Chat About Life

(October 23, 2017) Two big radio-loving guys spent almost an hour together the other night on network tv. Howard Stern was a guest on Live With Jimmy Kimmel. The ABC late-night host was in Brooklyn, so he looked to book Brooklyn-centric guests like David Letterman and Billy Joel.

Letterman showed up still sporting his beard-disguise. Apparently when Letterman left his late-night show, he had given Jimmy a box of his ties when he retired. The next night, Stern complained he watched Kimmel “fawning all over Dave.” Stern brought a trash bag filled with underwear, socks, and T-shirts and dumped it on his desk.

Stern and Kimmel vacation together every year and they are very fond of each other. Still, that didn’t stop Stern from teasing Jimmy. “Somehow I thought I had a bigger influence on you,” said Howard. “I thought I was your hero, not Letterman. “When I was on regular radio sex talk and outrageousness was the thing, because you were breaking all the taboos,” declared Howard. “I got fined by the United States government, millions of dollars, for saying the word ‘penis.’ And now ‘penis’ comes out of my mouth and your mouth so easily. It was shocking back then,” Stern reminisced.

When the conversation turned to the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal, Howard wondered: “First of all, when did this guy have time to make movies? I thought movie making was hard!” “This big fat guy goes, ‘Listen, I’m going to get into the shower. I want you to watch me nude.’ There is no girl on the planet that wants to see Harvey Weinstein naked. If I’m Harvey Weinstein, I wear a burka and say, ‘Listen, you don’t have to look at me’. If you looked at me naked you would throw up.”


Email Saturday, 10.21

** Empty Spaces

“You asked if we have had similar experiences with empty offices, pods, and buildings. 

For several years, I had an almost-loving relationship with a couple of producers at Time-Warner Cable's Chatsworth studios, for a decent amount of V/O work.  They knew they could call me in a pinch, ask if I could be there in 30 minutes and I'd tell them 20, jump in the car and we'd knock out whatever had to be covered, usually all within the hour.  I also had mostly regular weekly work with these fine folks, for local productions. 

One day in 2004 or so, I received a call from my favorite producer, who spent a good fifteen minutes on the phone, practically in tears, telling me about ‘changes’ that were being made, forcing him to stop using me.  A week or so later, I stopped by the studio unannounced, to at least maintain contact. My experience was eerily similar to that of Joe Collins.  The difference was, I ran into one person whom I didn't know, who explained that all producers had been let go, and all the work was now being done either fifty miles south in O.C., or else back in Michigan somewhere. This was also after I'd let myself in through a utility door, seeing no sign of the usual facility receptionist, or any other familiar faces. 

Luckily I don't ‘have to work’ either, but I would have gladly held onto the working relationships I had there until I was dead and gone. This all coincided with the purchase of Time-Warner's cable operation, by some heretofore obscure unknown entity, away from the original company.  Interestingly, their consumer service also went to hell at around the same time.  As a cable customer, I ‘pulled the plug’ for good, a month or two later.” – Greg Hardison

** Sound Gear Down

“Speaking of empty radio stations, here's my take on the end of the trail at 100.3/The Sound LA.

It is a casualty of consolidation. It is not a failure of vision or a failure to find an audience. The Sound LA is a high-quality product that works on terrestrial commercial radio. And yet, it is being swallowed by conglomerate shedding and conglomerate buy-out. Its demise adds to the homogenization of the airwaves. Its loss is our loss as listeners and yours as radio professionals.   

If there is any place that deserves and can sustain live, local radio that should be Los Angeles. The Sound LA put together a unique platform for showcasing music and artists of a particular type, and gathered an outstanding air staff that loves that genre. The djs [ok, air personalities] are sharp-witted, clever, and knowledgeable, but more than that they are each in their own way charming, sharing their stories and emotions in what feels like an intimate level. They are the friends you want to have along on your commute, in the kitchen while preparing meals, in your home just hanging out. 

The silver lining to this particularly cloudy time is that the station is giving everyone the rare chance to say goodbye. Hearing the honest gratitude and regret in the voices of the air staff is profoundly moving. Hearing their selections of music when they are given more freedom is great fun, and it shows respect for these professionals by the management staff.

I know these things happen, and will keep happening. This listener appreciates the way The Sound is handling this insane time. Shine on, you crazy diamonds.” - Karen Martin (Photo: Uncle Joe Benson, Cynthia Fox, Mimi Chen, Mark Thompson, and Rita Wilde)

** Daughter of Steve Gonzalez

“I wanted to express my sincerest thanks for acknowledging the death of my father, Steve Gonzalez. One of his dear friends, Steve Kindred, brought it to my attention and stopping to read the post on your site put a smile on my face, which is a welcomed treat during this time of mourning.” - Natalie Tavares (Steve's middle daughter)

** World Class

Vin Scully is the absolute best. The Justin Turner homer? Scully would let the crowd do the talking. The new announcer is setting up every scoring situation like it's going into the Broadcast Hall of Fame.  It's all about him. That's how I see it.” - Pat Paraquat Kelley


** Open Letter to Gloria Allred

“How about coming up with a REAL solution to the Casting Couch? Instead of waiting for another sickening example to emerge so you can get your face on television, then allowing the subject to go dark for a few more years, take action that will really make a difference!

The discussion shouldn't just be about Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen, or Bill Cosby. It should be about the S.O.P. in Hollywood, which protects MCP producers and others who have been exploiting young women for a hundred years and the stars who are too greedy, selfish, and apathetic to blow the whistle. The Casting Couch is a way of life, not just a piece of furniture.

This suggestion would include hard, unprofitable work in between your media appearances.

Every major feature film ends with an advisory that no animals were hurt during its production. It's time to establish the same protection for the performers who make you rich. 

Gloria, here's what you should do: Demand that an independent committee be set up to monitor the on-set conduct of directors, producers, writers - anyone attached to the project - not just on the set, but during any business that involves making their product. It's a simple concept: treat the actors as well as you treat the animals. You are in a position of power and clout. Use it!” – Steve Kindred


**Inland Empire Radio Reminiscing

“Early 1983 - Here's a snapshot of the Riverside/San Bernardino radio market. This is terrific because it's all local. What a difference. Take a look at these old call letters. This was a great area to break into radio. No more... Six out of 10 are still playing English-language music. Also, this was a great market to break into radio. Back then - not now!

Let's go down the list:

KDUO (97.5) is now Spanish KLYY (Jose-FM)
KCKC (1350AM) is now FOX Sports radio KTDD
KGGI (99.1) - still playing the hits
KCAL-FM (96.7) - Classic Rock (about the same as it was then)
KQLH (95.1) Became Country KFRG in 1989
KOLA (99.9) Classic Hits
KFXM (590AM) Long gone - is now Salem Talk station simulcast
KBON (103.9) - Many formats later - hot adult contemporary KHTI
KDIG (1240AM) - now Spanish
KNTF (93.5) - Now hip-hop KDEY simulcast with 93.5 (KDAY) near LA
Three other stations not in the Top 10:
KMEN (1290) was Oldies. Is now Spanish
KHNY (92.7 K-Honey) - Mix A/C-Hits. 92.7 was re-allocated to the high desert (no longer in Riverside)
KWOW (1600) - Oldies. Today - foreign language” - Gary West/Man From Yesterday


Traffic LARPs Awarded Golden Pylons

(October 20, 2017) The coveted Golden Pylon Awards were handed out to the Southland’s top traffic reporters recently. The awards honor the reporters who keep the region’s traffic moving by promoting rideshare options such as carpools, vanpools, bicycling, walking and public transportation. (Photo: Officer Kevin Tao, California Highway Patrol, Phil Hulett, Dianna Olea, Robin Banks, and Kelly Jones) … Dodger Fever! Bill Plaschke of the LA Times and former KFWB morning wrote: "So this is what happens when a group of locals finally reaches baseball's biggest stage after 28 years of wandering around its darkened back hallways. It's cool. It's fun. It's soaked in relief, seeping with redemption, and awash in awe" ... A burned body has been recovered in the area of a wildfire on Mount Wilson, after the family of a Sylmar teen said the young man was believed to have gone to the mountain. Authorities could not confirm if the fire was responsible for the death … Saul Levine, owner of LARadio stations with a corporate name –  Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters – said that KKGO escaped any damage in the fire. “Our auxiliary back-up transmitter on Flint Peak above Glendale is safe and ready to be turned on if Mt. Wilson fails,” emailed Saul. His 1260 AM transmitter is in Mission Hills … Mike Huckabee, former KABC Talk host, is looking to buy a radio cluster in Branson, Missouri … Will the iPhone offer fm radio? Here’s a confusing story for you … I loved this description of the El Monte Legion area that appeared in The New Yorker: “in the late nineteen-seventies, East Los Angeles swelled with decade-old soul records; Mexican-American teens cruised to Oldies in low-rider convoys, forging a youth subculture that was both nostalgic and new.” Only thing missing was a reference to 11-10 KRLA along with Art Laboe and Huggie Boy… Some fun Email Saturday contributions tomorrow.

Empty Spaces 

(October 19, 2017) Joe Collins lives and works in Fresno. He has worked at KFRC-San Francisco and KMET. Currently he works at KOKO and owns an ad agency. We all lament the downsizing in the radio business, but Joe had an experience that will scare the pants off you.

“I just went into a tv station about an hour ago that I buy regularly for two different clients of mine and to pay one of the ad bills for August for a bike shop I've represented now for 30 years,” Joe wrote. “I went to the front desk, door was locked with a sign to enter thru the side door [for shipping mostly], and walked into the station. The front office was dark, I looked into the main sales room, the room was dark, walked down the hall to where the master control is, and I ran into my friend, Terence, who I worked with for 10 years when I was an account rep for that station. He's now the ONLY engineer at the station, to oversee the main programming board. All the other board techs have been let go as they are now outsourcing, all the board changes that need to take place now are controlled from some remote location. They've let go of most of the office help, secretaries, etc. The one remaining lady there took my check to give to accounting, lamenting that, ‘this is not the same place.’  It's happening everywhere. Thank God, that I don't HAVE to work, but because I'm accountable, I GET TO work. I'll be 72 in January, and it's been a great ride. Thank God I can still put a complete sentence together.”

Have you had a similar experiences with empty offices, pods, and buildings?

Fire Threatens TV and Radio Transmitters on Mt. Wilson 

(October 18, 2017) Lisa Bloom (l), daughter of Gloria Allred and former LARP, was part of the Harvey Weinstein scandal until she wasn't. She represented him but got out early ... The fire on Mt. Wilson yesterday morning threatened to damage an array of broadcast towers. Before daylight, a fire broke out below the parking lot of the Mt. Wilson Observatory. Authorities evacuated at least a dozen people from the 10 buildings in and around the observatory. More than two dozen antenna towers cluster on the peak of Mt. Wilson. Authorities estimate that hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of communications equipment were at risk, including federal and county facilities used for emergency communications, commercial television facilities and radio transmitters. Damage to the communications towers can disrupt cellphones, television and radios, as well as interrupt some communications for emergency responders … The first-ever iHeartRadio ALTer EGO concert set for the Forum in January stars Mumford & Sons, Cage The Elephant, Beck, Spoon, WALK THE MOON, and The National and Dashboard Confessional. Alt 98-7 is sponsoring the event … KTLA/Channel 5’s Sam Rubin paid a visit to 100.3/The Sound yesterday as the Classic Rock station heads to the finish line, with the Classic Rock set to change format next month. Sam talked about cruising in his green Capri and listening to Dire Straits. Uncle Joe Benson and Cynthia Fox played some Dire Straits for Sam … If you are a subscriber to LARadio.com, you got to read the full story on what Vin Scully would have said when Justin Turner hit the Dodgers’ most famous home run since Kirk Gibson’s in 1988. Scully told the LA Times that he wouldn’t have said much. “I would have just said, as always, ‘It’s gone,’ and then shut up. I do my best saying nothing.” … Does LARadio have its own inclusive problem? How many woman work afternoon drive? One less, since KNX moved Diane Thompson to evenings. Can you fill up the fingers on one hand counting the women?

LARPs in a Firestorm 

(October 17, 2017) Former Gene Autry radio executive Michael O’Shea owns stations in fire-savaged Santa Rosa. How is he and his stations doing? “I am OK. “I’m trying to sleep in a cold dark house without electricity for going on five days. At least I have an office and studio complex with good quality filtered air to go to 14 hours each day. The smoke is absolutely choking. I heard on my news talk KSRO today that the suspended particulates in our breathable air is the worst quality air ever measured in history in the SF Bay Area.” … In a related story, a Facebook post had Lynn Anderson Powell, ex-general manager at KIIS/fm, dying in the fire. Not true. “First, I am very much alive. Michael and I have been evacuated from our home, but are safe and like so many thousands of people affected by this horrendous disaster, we are simply waiting and praying. In error, it was reported that Lynn Anderson Powell of Santa Rosa had perished in the fires. We are trying to rectify this error, or determine if there is another person with my [former] name, or if this is a case of identity error or even identify theft. Thank you to all who have reached out and thank you for your prayers for us and especially all of those who have already suffered and lost lives and homes. God Bless us all.” … In other news, Pat “Paraquat” Kelley (photo), legendary personality at KMET, is now completely paralyzed due to the progression of his MS. A GoFundMe fundraiser campaign has been established. You can help with Pat’s caregiver needs by clicking the artwork ... Halloween is around the corner. Starbucks' cult-favorite Pumpkin Spice latte, introduced in 2003, has driven a $414-million-a-year market for the flavor, according to Nielsen estimates. Boo!

John Davis, Longtime Engineer, Dies at 84 

(October 16, 2017) John Davis, chief engineer for Saul Levine’s Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters, died last week on October 9, as a result of complications of pneumonia coupled with a virulent lung infection. A nicer guy you will never meet.

John was my first hire after I had been hired to run 100.3/fm in the early seventies. Investors had purchased KFOX/fm, which was housed in the “Tootsie Roll” building in Long Beach, even though the city of license was Los Angeles. Once the FCC approved the sale, we had to build studios from scratch and move the 100.3 antennae to achieve line-of-sight with a tower in Coldwater Canyon. John orchestrated that move and the building of our studios on the 11th floor at 6430 Sunset Blvd.

Within a few months, we launched KIQQ (K-100/fm).

Saul engaged the services of John in 1970 to handle the engineering of KKGO/fm, 105.1 and later to concentrate on the station’s transmitter site. John also acted as engineer for launching KRTR/fm-Honolulu and CH 26 UHF TV-Honolulu on the air for Levine’s Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters. “John and I pioneered FM and UHF TV in Hawaii,” said Saul. John continued his services for Saul Levine to the present time.

John and his wife, Deanne, made Sierra Madre their home for 50 years. They loved seeing deer wandering in the street. John was born in Los Angeles on June 16, 1933. His parents knew he would be some sort of engineer. They supported him in whatever he needed to do, including drilling holes in the walls to rewire certain areas to work the way he wanted them to. He attended USC where he received his Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1955 and his Masters in Engineering in 1959.

Email Saturday, 10.14.17 

** Worked With Reiling in Fresno

“I was so sorry to hear of Joe Reiling's passing. When I first came to Fresno from Los Angeles, Joe was working at KFIG when they hired me to be the pd. He had been doing the midday show, and I immediately needed a newsman for the mornings, so I made Joe my news director. He was always dependable, and became a good friend. He had two other staff members who he grew up with in Dayton. Sometimes I'd go over and visit them at Joe's place, and we always had a good time. He and I remained in contact for the last 10 years on line and spoke a few times over the phone. He will surely be missed. As always, Yadda-Yadda.” – Joe Collins

** Joe Reiling was Mentally Sharp

“My family and I visited with Joe Reiling at his latest assisted living facility before he died and had arranged for his daughter Krista to bring him to our vacation rental at the beach for a gathering. She called early Saturday morning with the news. Everyone should know that Joe, while expressing pessimism about his health, was mentally sharp and in good humor. I still can't stop missing him.” – Larry Jacobs

** Worked With Reiling

“I loved working with Joe Reiling at KLOS. He was one of the great guys both on and off the air. I will always remember Joe taking the time to chat or joke with me when I was on my way back from a concert or event.” – Cameron Ward

** Worked with Reiling at LAB

“So sad to hear the news about Joe Reiling. He was a person you could respect, as well as being a real pro and a hell of a great guy. Many of us local radio people worked with him at Los Angeles Broadcasters [LAB]. I look back on the days when he would ask me, ‘Hey buddy - what's new.’ Glad he was able to continue on with many excellent gigs after the days of KLOS.” – Rich Hogan
** KBLA Memories

“I traveled with my dad to Burbank in 1964 and discovered KBLA 1490kc playing You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, and recorded it on my Wollensak 1500. A year later, I once again discovered KBLA at 1500kc on my radio in San Diego. First they were playing current hits then went all-Talk and placed an ad in the LA Times. By summer of 1965 when I was with my dad in L.A., I was in heaven. 

Tom Clay and Rosco were among the line-up of announcers, and Tom Dugan was promoting an exclusive interview with Lee Harvey Oswald's mother to be aired at midnight. Unfortunately, I could not receive KBLA from Alhambra that night. I became friends with Tom Clay in 1966, now at KDAY playing oldies with Stan Evans.

I first heard Tom at KDAY in 1960 then at KDEO, CKLW, KBLA, KDAY and KGBS where he promoted his tribute recording What the World Needs NowDave Diamond and William F. Williams were my favorite announcers at KBLA in 1966.” – Pat Maestro, KXO RADIO
** The Mad Heatter

“The world of games has lost another icon. Today we awake to the news of the passing of game show producer Merrill Heatter. He had been in failing health the past several months due to cancer. Sandy and I visited and said our goodbyes to Merrill at his Beverly Hills home.

This man did more for my career than anyone with whom I worked. I was privileged to host several shows produced by Merrill and his longtime partner Jack Quigley. Among them Gambit, Las Vegas GambitHigh Rollers and The Last Word.

Heatter-Quigley Productions created what is arguably the most successful game show of them all, Hollywood Squares, originally starring Peter Marshall as host and featuring the incomparable Paul Lynde in the center square. My sincere condolences to his two children. And may he rest in peace.” – Wink Martindale

Hear Ache 

(October 13, 2017) K-EARTH loaned Larry Morgan to 100.3/The Sound so he could say goodbye … Former NFL star and sports media pro Eric Davis joins the afternoon drive program on KSPN. He will working with co-hosts Marcellus Wiley and Kelvin Washington … Been to Costco lately? Those are Christmas trees and decorations for sale … KFI's Jeff Baugh (l) and David Jerimiah had a chance meeting outside a Burbank medical office this week. "We were co-workers and he was a great one from the Shadow Traffic days in the early 9o’s," emailed Jeff. "We were just catching up on old 'war' stories, comparing medical adventures and dishing everyone. Evil but fun! David is terrific. He lost a ton of weight, lives in Massachusetts and was in town for some v/o work." ...  Tom Joyner, host of his own nationally syndicated, distributed $50,000 to 50 Houston-area families affected by Hurricane Harvey. In 2006, Tom’s show aired locally on KKBT, The Beat … It seems like yesterday when I turned 50 and received my application for AARP. Former airborne reporter Tom Storey does the aging one better. He got a birthday wish from the Neptune Society … KRLA’s morning co-host, Brian Whitman, received a nice extension on his contract …Peter Dills, son of restaurant guru Elmer Dills, joins KRLA for a weekend show every Saturday at 4:30 p.m. … KYSR’s Nikki Sixx departs the Alternative station at the end of the year … Great news for Bob Miller. In early 2018, the retired Kings announcer will get a statue outside of Staples Center … A memorial service for Joe Reiling is planned for 10 a.m. on October 29 at Eternal Valley in the Santa Clarita Valley … Inside the Exorcist is Top 10 on Apple podcasts … Bill A. Jones is singing this Sunday during the Battle of the Big Bands – Glenn Miller vs Tommy Dorsey at El Camino College in Torrance … KIIS’ Jingle Ball features Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers and Sam Smith … Steve Fredericks Liddick’s latest novel is Prime Time Crime … A question came up about why KIIS and Ryan Seacrest are not doing as well as they have in the past. Bob Scott, former sales guru now retired in Connecticut, observed: “Ellen K gone, Ryan Seacrest doing show from New York, and no station ‘personality’ like it had.”

The Unthinkable Happens to Delilah for the Second Time 

(October 12, 2017) Delilah has an enormously successful syndicated radio show. The evening show has been carried by a half-dozen stations in the past 20 years. Currently Delilah is on KFSH (The Fish).

She has written three books.  Last year, Delilah Rene was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

I met Delilah around 2007 when KBIG picked up the show. She is remarkably upbeat about her life. On her weeknight show, she takes calls from listeners in her home studio, providing encouragement, support, and receiving musical dedication requests,offering a song that best matches the caller’s situation.

It is tough to ignore her sincerity once you learn the road she has traveled. Married for the fourth time, she doesn’t skirt the issue when giving marital advice. She has adopted 10 children and integrated them into her household with three children of her own. A drinking problem led her to a 12-Step recovery program.

Delilah has already endured the loss of a child. Her son Sammy, adopted from a West Africa refugee camp, died four years ago of sickle-cell anemia. The Rene family is now mourning the loss of another child. This week, her 18-year-old son Zachariah committed suicide. Delilah told her listeners that Zack “took his life” after being “treated, counseled and embraced fiercely by family and friends, while battling depression for some time now.” Delilah says “my heart is broken beyond repair…but I have to believe he is at peace with the Lord and that God will get us through.”

Zack was diagnosed as autistic.

Our prayers are with the versatile broadcaster. She is going to take a break from her daily broadcasts, running a foundation, writing books, traveling and public speaking to process the loss of her son. You can listen to the Best of Delilah every night at 95.9/fm from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Three Faces of Nicci 

(October 11, 2017) One of the reasons in keeping LARadio Lite alive is to update the 6,000 LARP as changes happen. Nicci Ross, formerly with KOCM/KSRF, 1989-90; KACD, 1994-96; KIBB, 1996-97, has checked in. She was an intern at KEZY while in school, then some time in Plainview and Huntsville, Texas, "paying my dues." For five years beginning in 1984, she worked in San Diego at “Y-95,” "K-Lite" and KBZT. Prior to joining Orange County’s “K-Ocean” (KOCM) Nicci worked at Metro Traffic. When she left K-Ocean she worked a variety of formats in San Jose at “Hot 97.7,” “Mix 106.5,” “The Fox,” plus two years at KOME.

For part of her stay at KACD she worked afternoon drive and middays. At KIBB, Nicci worked as Tina Marcos. “Management wanted me to have a more ‘ethnic’ Latin sounding name.” She’s also been known as Ricci O’Hara. “I left L.A. in 1997 to work for the legendary programmer and consultant Dwight Douglas at WZGC [‘Classic Rock Z93’] in Atlanta. I worked there until 1999, then I became the afternoon partner at WRAL (MIX 101.5) in Raleigh, North Carolina.” In the fall of 2001, she returned to San Jose. “I worked for a short time (2001-05) at KKIQ-Pleasanton. I then worked at KEZR MIX 106 and KBAY 94.5 San Jose as weekends and evenings from 2005-2016.  In December 2016, I was hired for weekends and fill-in at KISQ 98.1 The Breeze San Francisco.”

“Since I left LA radio in 1997 and moved to the south, I miss hearing about all my friends and peers. This site fills me in,” said Nicci.

In other news: No sooner said than done, the first two episodes of Inside the Exorcist are posted, the podcast featured in yesterday’s edition of LARadio. “We’re already #1 on Movies/TV on iTunes and charging up the ranker overall. :-),” emailed producer Mark Ramsey Cameron Ward is now providing crisis counseling. “If you know of anyone impacted by the mass shooting in Las Vegas, I was recently also providing therapy in Texas following Hurricane Harvey,” emailed Ward. You can reach Cameron at: jamminCam@aol.com 

A Podcast That Will Spin Your Head 

(October 10, 2017) If you were around in 1973, chances are you were spending part of the holidays standing in line throughout Westwood, waiting to see The Exorcist, one of the most profitable and scariest horror movies ever made. Now you can get the behind-the-scenes scoop on the tale of a real-life demonic possession, a movie, and its makers.

Mark Ramsey, one of our outstanding experts on audio, put forth his creativity last year with a look at Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. He has now created a seven-part podcast series inspired by the story behind an unforgettable, classic movie.

This is Inside the Exorcist. Listen to a 3-minute trailer by clicking the artwork. 
             

 

In other news, Brenda Barnes, general manager at Classical KUSC, is leaving at the end of the year to take over Classical KING/fm 98.1 in Seattle. Barnes is currently president of the University of Southern California Radio Group, which owns and manages KUSC and KDFC-San Francisco.

“I have been at the helm of the USC Radio Group for 20 years,” emailed Brenda. “I have known this time was coming for several years and have been planning to announce my departure when the organization was very strong. It has never been stronger, so this summer I made the very difficult decision to retire from USC at the end of this year. Within a few days I received a call from the search committee of the Classical station in Seattle looking for a new ceo.  After meeting with them it was clear I could make a contribution there, so I accepted their offer to lead KING/fm, and I will begin in January. It was the perfect next chapter for me: an opportunity to make a positive impact on a great station in an incredible city.”

Brenda thinks it is the right decision for her. “It is difficult to leave a great job working with and for outstanding people within the USC Radio Group and USC. I will miss it more than I can say. My husband will continue to be here so we are keeping our house and I will come back weekends.”  

USC is in the process of putting together a plan for the search, but they will definitely do a nationwide search for the next President of the USC Radio Group. 

Joe Reiling Dies 

(October 9, 2017) Joe Reiling was a familiar voice for four decades at KLOS, KMET, KNX/fm, and KLSX. His voice was silenced on Saturday, following a decade of health issues. He has been alternatively described as jovial, sweet and an all-round good guy.

Joe's jock and rock programming past prepared him well for his tenure when, in 1992, he became the programming, voicing, artist interviewing and producer of inflight entertainment for over 30 airlines. He began this part of his career with AEI Inflight. Joe then moved to Inflight Productions USA as a vp in June of 2000. Working for the airlines is somewhat prophetic, for Joe since he was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, the birthplace of aviation. Joe attended the University of Dayton where he majored in communication arts and minored in psychology, a rather apt combo.

While at the university, Joe began his radio career a part of the school’s owned-and-operated commercial radio station, where he was the midday jock and Sunday morning talk show host. After graduating in 1974, Joe went to KFIG-Fresno for midday-jocking, news anchoring and directorship becoming the station’s pd.

One memorable Fresno story was when he interviewed Reverend Jim Jones (The People’s Temple Of San Francisco). "Jones brought some of his followers to Fresno to protest the jailing of three local newspaper people in 1976. I was the only media person to interview him. My editorials attacked Jones for brainwashing his ‘flock,’” said Joe. He claimed that he never sipped grade Koo-Aid since that interview.

Tom Yates hired Joe at KLOS in 1977. Joe introduced "The KLOS Local Music Show" in 1981, the long-running program featuring unsigned acts. “In 1983, I was part of the short-lived but greatly ballyhooed ‘Turner Music Channel.’ It lasted a whopping 39 days, not one of Ted's foremost successes.” For almost a decade, beginning in 1984, Joe hosted an alternative rock show to an estimated worldwide daily audience of 400 million on Armed Forces Radio. Joe’s “bests” are his many friendships and his daughter, Krista.

Many of his friends and colleagues offered memories of Joe:

Mike Stark – The one thread you will see in all the memories you receive about Joe will be that he was one of the sweetest guys on the planet. Always making people smile. Always positive. Even in the face of health issues and an industry that had begun discarding voices that didn’t fit the corporate profile, Joe never let those elements get him down.  The last time I saw Joe, he struggled up my studio’s stairs to record a “demo tape.” He still wanted to be part of it, as all of us old school “radio geeks” want. His voice was strong but his spirit was stronger. Rest In Peace, Joe.

Randy West - Sad to report the passing of an L.A. and Armed Forced radio legend, one of the sweetest, wittiest gentlest giants. You could never know a nicer guy or a more dynamic on-air talent. His fans might best remember him best from KLOS, his home through much of the 1970s and 1980s. Joe and I worked together with a bevy of other pros for years at a broadcast training facility called The L.A.B. – Los Angeles Broadcasters – where we shared a million laughs. Rest in peace, dear pal.

K.M. Richards – All I have to say about Joe is that he was devastated when he lost his best friend, J.J. Jackson, back in 2004. You might recall that the late MTV VJ was driving home from dinner with Joe when he had that fatal heart attack. As J.J. was a friend of mine as well, we reminisced often about him, and although we spoke less and less after he left KLOS, I felt that Joe was still J.J.’s best friend. As much as I feel sorrow over Joe’s passing, I also feel joy that he is reunited with his best friend in heaven now, and I’m sure they're reminiscing together now.

Pat Paraquat Kelley – Joe was a big, loving bear. When the shit hit the fan with MS and me, Joe was one of the first responders. He’d come and visit, take me out for haircuts and errands, Mexican food and margaritas, all of this while he had health issues himself. Joe also had money issues but you’d never know it. The planet has lost a wonderful example of what we should all be – giving, caring and loving. Peace Brother. 

Steve Downes - The week ended when death came knocking in an even more personal way, when I learned of the passing of an old friend and colleague. Although Joe and I never worked together, we traveled similar roads. We both graduated from The University of Dayton, I was a year or two ahead of Joe. We both cut our teeth at WVUD. Perhaps the greatest college radio station ever. We both worked at KLOS. Joe, along with mutual friend Lou Chelekis, welcomed me to LA back in 1978, and made me feel at home. Besides, being a great radio talent in LA, Fresno, and later on the Armed Forces Radio Network, Joe had a heart of gold, and a sense of humor to match. The last years of his life were a struggle, and his passing was probably a blessing. Still, the world seems a lesser place with him not in it.


  
Email Saturday

We Get Email ...

**Response to Open Email to KLOS PD

Regarding your open letter to Keith Cunningham: While I, like many others lament the corporatization of modern radio, it has been a reality now for over 20 years. Not much that can be done about that.

As far as major market corporate assets goes, KLOS has done its best to rise above the cookie cutter mentality of its corporate brethren. With the ouster of Lou Dickey from Cumulus and the installation of Mary Berner as ceo, more local control has been handed back to program directors and, to his credit, Keith Cunningham has taken advantage of it.

During Keith’s tenure, Jonesy’s Jukebox, featuring rock ‘n’ roll hall of famer Steve Jones has returned to the airwaves. Does he fit the consultant-driven idea of what a mainstream Classic Rock station should sound like in middays? Absolutely not. It’s a roll of the dice. The kind of risk taking that everyone complains doesn’t happen anymore, yet instantly castigates when it does. Funny how that works. Keith has experimented with adding more current rock to the KLOS playlist, adding unique and locally produced specialty programming, including Horns Up with Stew Herrera, Frazer Smith, Whiplash with Full Metal Jackie, while maintaining such AOR chestnuts as Two for Tuesday5 o'clock Funnies and 95 minute ‘free rides.’ The station has doubled down on its morning show, reuniting Frosty Stilwell with his old pals Heidi & Frank. And yes, it’s a talk show. Kinda like Mark & Brian were a talk show, or Howard Stern was a talk show. Those seemed to serve their stations well at the time. Does everything always work? No. But at least the chances are being taken. In market #2.

The Sound was a very good station. It was consistently kicking KLOS’s ass. KMET was a great station and kicked KLOS’s ass, yet KLOS is the survivor. We’ll now see if they deserve to be.” - Rob Frazier

** Regular Joe on The Sound

“I am just a regular Joe, a Los Angeles radio listener from way back. This past September marked my 56th birthday and after suffering a stroke, being declared disabled and learning to walk and drive again I was thrilled to receive a phone call from a programmer from The Sound inviting me to be their guest dj on their Your Turn program, which airs Sunday evenings (for the time-being)?

A couple of years prior, I ran and programmed my own internet radio show first on LIVE365.com, then joined local community radio station Mid Valley Radio in the City of El Monte, also an Internet-based broadcaster. The Soul Pilot Radio Experience was pure joy for me. So, now I get the chance to hear myself on a real genuine radio station ... and in Los Angeles for God’s sake. My visit to The Sound was such a thrill for me I soaked it all up. The staff I met seemed happy and warm and my experience was better than expected. Uncle Joe Benson was on the air at the time but I held back my desire to ask if I could say hello to him during a break in his segments. I recorded my segment and left. 

It took me about an hour to drive to my home in La Puente in the San Gabriel Valley and when I switched on my computer I read that 100.3 The Sound has been sold. WOW, the emotions, the yin and the yang from feeling elated to the sadness that this station would be going away just wafted over me.

SiriusXM should pick up the entire staff and create ‘L.A.’s The Sound LIVES On!’

BTW, thank you Josh for the opportunity to hear my voice hosting an hour of my programming on 100.3 The Sound is something I will never forget.” – Sal Gomez, Photojournalist / Freelance / Former Content Contributor & Photographer to California Rock News & Mid Valley News

** King of the Queen

“There is one, tiny, microscopic, silver-lining in losing our great and wonderful Sound, now, we will only have three stations, KLOS, JACK/fm, and KRTH, instead of four, to play Queen simultaneously [and, often the same Queen song!]. From a Van Halen-starved listener….” – Andrew Schermerhorn

** More KMET?

“I've read all these posts on how we need to bring back KMET or KLOS, or whatever great station was creating magic, back in the 60’s and 70’s. Hell, I wish they’d bring back KRLA, ‘The BIG 11-10’, and have it sound as good as it did in the mid-60’s, but then again, I’m going to be 72 in January.  

Times change, my old general manager, the late L. David Morehead used to say all the time ‘nothing is constant but change.’ I did afternoon drive in the ’80's at a great AOR station here in Fresno, KKDJ. We had a ‘live’ reunion at a local nightclub here last October. The turnout was great, it was nice to see everyone, and the audience was quite appreciative. But HELL, KKDJ was almost 40 years ago.

People change. Stoners are now grandparents, and in some of our cases, even great-grandparents. Instead of thinking about buying that bag of weed, we’re thinking about the consequences of what's going to happen to my lungs if I smoke it? Buying the latest Led Zeppelin or Def Leppard album has been replaced with something much more mundane, like buying a bag of Scotts Turf Builder to make one’s lawn look greener. [I do still buy lots of CDs, but it’s just not quite as much the ‘spiritual experience’ that it once was when we wanted to make our Friday night a little more special.] 

In closing, there’s no guarantee that if you brought back, say a KMET that it would be a success. Today, buying a radio station, one must think for a second, if I build it, WILL THEY COME? [sorry, borrowed from Field of Dreams].

As always......Yadda-Yadda” – Joe Collins

** Fan of Eatman

Bob Eatman was one of my best friends. We worked together with Dr. Drew for over 25 years. One of the best...smartest...gentle, and fair. I am able to go on for hours about this man. Please know that Bob's brother and business partner, Ross, will aggressively build the business. Happy to go on? – Howard Lapides 

** Harve Was Cool

“Growing up in Santa Monica, I couldn’t wait for Friday and Saturday nights as it was a ritual to go to the valley and cruise Bob’s Big Boy on Van Nuys Blvd. with my hot rod and one of the coolest things was being able to tune in to a little station called KBLA! Couldn’t hear the station in Santa Monica. The night jock was soooo cool. He called himself ‘Humble Harve, you’re with your brother baby.’ Soon he was brought to 93/ KHJ and every night was cool.

Thanks for the memories Don.” - Mike O’Neil

** Memories

“Fantastic Humble Harve story. We were there. Brought back many great memories. I recall one special night when I was introduced to KRLA. Blew me away. What a format and jock line up.” – Stan White, Seattle

** Humble Harve Triggers Memories

“Thanks to Kevin Gershan for the flashback. Humble Harve. KHJ. The Electric Prunes. Marv Howard. I went to The Groovy Show several times. I didn’t win the pie-eating contest but Kam Nelson smiled at me. I was 8. Life was good.” – Bill Seward

** K-EARTH Ratings

“It amazes me the way KRTH hangs in there; as the audiences change [older folks movin’ on, younger folks comin’ into the 35-64 cell],  KRTH just changes the music to fit the sales demos, ‘in perfect har-mo-nee’ with their ever-changing audience, just like An Old Fashioned Love Song.” – Rich Brother Robbin  


LARP In Artist Tent During Las Vegas Massacre

(October 6, 2017) Buzz Brainard (l), former morning co-host with Peter Tilden on Country KZLA, was on stage in Las Vegas about a half hour before the shooting on Sunday, “then in the artist tent when it happened, then under a tour bus, then we ran to the Tropicana,” wrote Buzz. “We were staying at The Mandalay Bay on the 23rd floor (nine floors below the shooter) with the same view he had. Unreal and horrifying. Senseless.” You wonder if iHeart, Coachella, Stagecoach and others are rethinking their concert plans? … Loren Blumberg has left Hero Broadcasting. “Due to the recently completed FCC Spectrum Auction, when many broadcasters put their spectrum up for auction, many were able to take advantage and sell for millions of dollars. Hero Broadcasting will be shutting down this year.  I have had a wonderful career both in radio and television sales and look forward to my next chapter in life.” You can reach Loren at: L0723@aol.com  (0 = Zero) or cell at 310-617-6712 … Rush Limbaugh said “Three hours isn’t enough” – so he now does a commercial-free fourth hour, online at his website. “I’m so frustrated over the things I’m not getting to” in the basic three-hour broadcast show.” His extra hour comes under a subscription plan. “I’m gonna keep going on the Internet…I just keep going until I’m ready to quit.” … How tough is it to get a simple AM/FM portable radio. My wife was looking for one yesterday after her bathroom radio crapped out. She went to three stores before she found one, picking one up at CVS Pharmacy … Didja know that KFI is the flagship station for the Chargers? No exorbitant parking fees if you listen to the game at 570AM … Former KGGI morning host Jeff Pope is exiting Mix 106-San Jose after three plus years. He said goodbye on Facebook: “From the time I arrived from Southern California, you treated me with love and kindness – even when my LA Kings came back from that 3-0 hole against your Sharks. Thank you for letting us be a part of your mornings, and now I'm REALLY glad I didn't buy a house!” …  Nikki Sixx has launched a new weekly program feature on his nationally syndicated “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” radio program. It’s called "My Favorite Riff" and it’s billed as “a first-ever multiplatform music and conversation series highlighting guitar legends and the hottest upcoming new artists.

KNX Team Wins Edward R. Murrow Award

(October 5, 2017) It was time for celebration on the Miracle Mile, as all-news KNX marked their achievement as the national Edward R. Murrow Award winner for Major Market Breaking News, presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association. Ken Charles (far left with market manager Dan Kearney), the station’s program director, offered a recap of the day’s events:  

Winning the first national Murrow in KNX’s 49 year all-news history was such a big deal we wanted to do something special for the team. We gathered everyone who could, news, traffic, sales, production etc. to have lunch, recognize the achievement and also pick the person who would represent KNX at the Murrow Awards dinner in NYC 10/9.  After organizing it the nominations for the NAB Marconi’s came out and we were nominated for Legendary Station of the Year and News/Talk Station of the Year so we got to celebrate those as well. Julie and I could not figure out which one of us should go to NYC. I kept telling her she should go as news director. She kept telling me I should go as pd.  This went on for 36 hours before she texted “Let’s send Baird!” I love Jon but if I just sent Jon without giving everyone else the chance to represent KNX I would be killed. So there began the idea of a drawing of everyone on the team who participated in the coverage to represent KNX in NYC. So at the celebration we picked a name out of a hat to be our rep.  Which is why you see some pics with me with a hat. I appreciate the write up Don used in his column but he only got the on air people of the immediate coverage. We broke with the story just after 10a that day and stayed longform on it until 5p. Anchors, reporters, editors, producers all had a huge part to play in our coverage that day, June 1, 2016.  

The list is:   Chris Sedens, Linda Nunez  (no longer with KNX), Charles Feldman, Mike Simpson, Diane Thompson, Jon Baird, Cooper Rummell, Claudia Peschiutta, Ed Mertz (no longer with KNX), Debbie Wright, Greg Habell, Jonathon Serviss, David Singer, James Tuck, Se Chavez, Laraine Herman, Kathleen Mendoza, Jerry Edling, Diane Dray, Scott Finder, James Tuck, Kathy Kiernan, Thom Tran, Denise Fondo, Julie Chin. They say it takes a village.  Well you can see how many people contributed to our coverage that day.

Hear Ache 

(October 4, 2017) Recent news events helps put our day-to-day  world in perspective. I realize every day I have, and we all have, much to be thankful for … Congratulations to former KLOS pd John Duncan celebrating his 30th wedding anniversary. John and his bride are living in Florida … Wanna meet KABC morning man Doug McIntyre? It's "McIntyre in the Evening" this Friday, from 8-10pm at Barney's Beanery in Pasadena, with morning co-hosts Randy Wang and Leeann Tweeden (photo), with special guest  Fritz Coleman of KNBC/tv …  A two-part interview between Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh scored big on Fox last week, as Hannity featured Limbaugh as his first guest after moving to a new timeslot on cable’s FOX News. The show attracted over 3.7 million viewers, easily beating Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and Anderson Cooper on CNN … KABC’s Jim Roope is giving up his 40thHS reunion in Cincinnati to cover the mass shooting in Las Vegas. “The loss is devastating, I also won’t be seeing my family in Ohio this week, but selfish of me to even think that when so many lives have been lost and so many lives changed forever,” wrote Roope on his Facebook page.

Talent agent Robert Eatman passed away on Sunday at age 65 after a battle with cancer. Eatman represented some of the biggest names in the broadcast industry including Opie & AnthonyMancow, and The Regular Guys. “Bob took me from $70,000 a year when nobody else saw anything in me and made me one of the top radio personalities in America,” Mancow told Chicago media reporter Robert Feder. “Eatman made the difference.” I met Bob at an R&R event in the Marina. I was standing with Sam Rubin when Eatman hurriedly came up to Sam. “I want to give you an exclusive about a move with Peter Tilden.” Bob gave the details. Sam then turned to me, “Bob, have you met Don Barrett? He’s got this website, LARadio.com” Bob gulped and said, “Well, there goes your exclusive Sam.”

 

Allred Featured in The New Yorker 

(October 3, 2017) Former KABC Talker Gloria Allred is featured in a 10-page article in the current issue of The New Yorker. Some highlights:

Gloria Allred may be the most famous practicing attorney in the United States. What she does, as far as the public can see, is show up in front of tv cameras, five feet two, in her black turtleneck, with her gold jewelry and her brightly colored jacket and her clients by her side, and deliver her message with bulldog aplomb.

She has a dry sense of humor, which, these days, tends to emerge in a bemused tone or a sly look, and in a general willingness to play herself as a character.

Allred's career can be seen as a decades-long project to expand the boundaries of legitimate victimhood.

She was born Gloria Rachel Bloom on July 3, 1941, to two doting Jewish parents, Morris and Stella. Stella was English, she and Morris had met in Baltimore, on a streetcar named desire.

When Gloria was in junior high, she and her mother would put on American Bandstand and dance around the living room after school.

In 1960, at nineteen, she married a tall, attractive senior, from a patrician family, named Peyton Bray. In her sophomore year, she got pregnant and gave birth to their daughter, Lisa. Allred writes that Bray left her side while she was in labor and went out for a beer. He committed suicide in 2003.

Allred majored in English at Penn, and wrote her undergraduate honors thesis on Ralph Ellison, Alex Haley, and James Baldwin. She graduated as a single mother, flat broke, recently divorced, and undecided about how to make my way in life.

By all accounts, Allred refuses to consider retirement. "You'd have to drag her kicking and screaming out of the office," said Lisa Bloom.

LOVE Between EMF and Univision

(October 2, 2017) K-LOVE ceo Mike Novak sent the following text message:
"Modified. Took working together over a long period of time to satisfy all involved, but we did it.
The K-LOVE you will hear on the radio will be the exact same K-LOVE that is heard all across the country."
Thanks, Mike, for the update.

Will There Be Love Between EMF and Univision?

(October 2, 2017) Executives at Educational Media Foundation (new owners of 100.3/fm) have a dilemma. When the purchase is approved, the intent, according to an EMF press release, is to put the K-LOVE Christian format on the station. The problem is one of the most successful Spanish speaking formats in the market is KLVE, a station that’s been known as K-LOVE for more than four decades.

K.M. Richards asks an important question: “What happens to the agreement that EMF made with Univision years ago not to use the ‘K-Love’ brand in this market so long as KLVE is still using it?” We reached out to Mike Novak, ceo of EMF, but he has yet to respond to our questions.

To make way for the new Christian format at 100.3/fm, all on- and off-air people at The Sound will be out of a job once the sale is approved. Facebook postings by the on-air and off-air programming execs have been very upbeat. Yet by the end of last week, some of the employees have become disgruntled and met with management to express their unhappiness. One report is that it got very heated.

Former Sound employee Elizabeth Joe McDonnell spoke up for the staff in a Facebook post. “No one has asked me to post this! And I will probably piss a few people off BUT Fuck It!!! The staff of The Sound has lost their jobs. They are contractually obligated to remain positive and among other things, they are not able to say anything bad about their current situation. These radio legends will remain holding their heads up high! They will fight to put their best foot forward and give you the best of their talent until their last day!

These people are not only seasoned professionals BUT some of the very best HUMAN beings on the planet! To my family ... Rita Wilde, Uncle Joe BensonCynthia FoxMike Sherry, my ex-work husband Michael Haase and to my friends Matty JaiChris SantoyoMimi ChenJoann DeLeoz Young, and Sandy Sosa. I’m so very sorry that you are going through this and I hope that you soar and find new jobs in a healthy atmosphere.” (Photo: Uncle Joe Benson, Cynthia Fox, Mimi Chen, Mark Thompson, and Rita Wilde)

Nostalgia Sunday - 50 Years Ago

(October 1, 2017) Kevin Gershan has sent a wonderful hour aircheck of KHJ's Humble Harve from the Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

February 1967. Months away from the Summer Of Love, but nobody is calling it that. As soon as the weather gets warm there’s going to be a gathering of the Tribes at the Griffith Park Merry-go-round. In the meantime, Penny Lane is in your ears and in your eyes and it’s all you’ve been hearing the past few days, ever since you first heard it from Humble Harve on Boss Radio.

Months until Summer – rain until then. Everybody eats lunch in the library or the auditorium or the hallway of the Administration Building – the air is filled with the aroma of Baloney and Fritos. Life is soggy and you want to get stoned. You have a friend of a friend who goes to Hollywood High who can get nickel bags of honest-to-god Acapulco Gold, and you’re getting some for the weekend. Your girlfriend’s parents are going to Tahoe on Friday and she has the house to herself until Sunday night. You’re imagining what she looks like with her clothes off. And what exactly is an Isosceles Triangle anyway?

You wonder if she’ll let you sleep over – what are you going to tell your folks? Can’t use the camping excuse; it’s pouring rain, they’ll never believe you. You wonder if she’s a virgin – you wonder if she thinks you are too. What if nothing happens? Someday you won’t need excuses – won’t need to make up stories. You’ll have your own place and all kinds of time – whole days and weeks. Why do they give tests on Fridays? You hate Math. How come orchestra is an elective? You’re starving because you only have enough money for the dope and lunch is on hold for a week. Everybody smells like wet hair. Is it Friday yet?

Here’s an hour’s worth of Humble Harve, during his first week as a Boss Jock at KHJ, recorded on February 3, 1967 – when it wasn’t raining. Click artwork to listen.


 

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