LARadio Archives

April/May 2019

Compiled and Written by Don Barrett

Edited by Alan Oda



Kat's Out of the Bag 

(May 1, 2019) Kat Corbett, veteran of KROQ since 1999 and host of the midday show for the past 15 years, is leaving her position. One can only surmise that KROQ and Entercom continue to tighten their belt. Kat arrived in the Southland from WFNX-Boston in 1998 before becoming the morning news anchor at “Y-107.”

In an Instagram posting she claims she will continue the show Locals Only, a program that has helped a number of artists.

Kat’s voiceover work includes FIFA, Wheat Thins, and Bloomberg. Occasionally, she supervises music for film and tv. Kat’s writing career varies from a short story on Amazon titled It’s Personal, based in the gritty streets of sixties East Boston to a column for Napster. In her free time, Kat is obsessed with movies and true crime. She is also an avid supporter of animal rescue organizations such as Southern California Bulldog Rescue.
In other news: Sports Lodge on KLAA, home of the Los Angeles Angels, has been extended another two years. Roger Lodge will continue in afternoon drive, as well as continuing his duties as Angels pre-game host. “So grateful to be part of this station,” emailed Roger. “I held out for a better parking spot and got that too. I’m living the dream!" … Joel Bellman, former news director at KBIG in 1987, got good news from his surgeon, “The pathology result showed that the entire melanoma has been removed” … For the better part of the last five years, you’ve heard Kelly Jones dispensing traffic conditions for MY/fm, KLAC, KYSR and KGGI and KFI. No more. “As you know everything comes to an end,” she disclosed on social media. “This is my last week tellin' ya where your drive sucks. It's been a great time and it's hard to leave my traffic family but it's all good. Thanks to everyone who's told me they've heard me, I've helped them or made them laugh. Much love and drive safe!” … KROQ is getting beached this year as the 27th annual Weenie Roast concert event is moving to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point … Dick Biondi is a beloved personality in Chicago. His success spans decades, yet he is not in the national radio Hall of Fame. A group in Chi Town is attempting to change the narrative and asking his fans to support a fundraiser for a film about Biondi. You can read the story here. Dick, who billed himself as ‘The Wild I-tralian,’ spent three months with KRLA while waiting for a job with Mutual Broadcasting. He rejoined the Top 40 station in 1965 and stayed a couple of years. Casey Kasem called Biondi “one of the most beloved personalities to ever open a mike on KRLA.” … In two months, Dave Ervin, former gm at KBIG, is retiring from the professional workforce. “From a teenage paper route and stint as a playground director to radio management and finally non-profit work, I’m ready for a new chapter. Professional Grandpa will be my new assignment come July 1st, 2019,” wrote Ervin … Who had a greater impact on radio? Rush Limbaugh or Howard SternMichael O’Shea, former national program director for Golden West Broadcasting (710/KMPC), answers the question here.

Follow the Money

(April 30, 2019) Programmers get a report card every month in the form of the PPM Nielsen ratings. Management receives a radio market report ranking radio’s top revenue-earning stations every year. The 2019 edition of the annual BIA Advisory list has been released and three LARadio station made the Top 10.

Once again, Hubbard Radio’s all-News WTOP- Washington was #1, earning $69 million in ad revenue. As seen in the graphic, iHeartMedia music-formatted stations in Los Angeles and New York take the next four slots.  But Entercom’s all-Newsers in New York and Chicago – along with sports talk WFAN, New York – show their earning power consistency over the past year with return appearances at the same spots in the top 10.  One news/talk station – iHeartMedia’s KFI – makes the list in the #10 spot as it did last year.  Entercom’s all-News KNX fails to make the list.

BIA notes that over-the-air advertising remained relatively flat at $13.3 billion (down 1.6% from $13.5 billion in 2017). It was the digital advertising platforms at local radio stations that saw revenue growth across the industry. The report indicates digital income rose 8.1% to $923 million. Putting over-the-air advertising together with digital revenue gave radio a 2018 revenue figure of $14.2 billion which, BIA says, “positioned radio as the fifth most significant local advertising platform, behind direct mail, mobile, online/digital, and local television.” 

BIA Advisory Services SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “Although local radio stations are still important players in their markets and are managing to maintain their position in the top five advertising platforms, we do expect the OTA advertising revenue of U.S. radio stations to decrease this year by 1% to 2% and through the next few years.”  He adds that combined radio revenues will remain relatively flat for at least the next five years, while digital platforms will hit $1 billion by 2020. 
 2001
 
1. KIIS $61.3
5. KROQ $48.7
7. KYSR $43.9
8. KPWR $42.4
10. KOST $40.5

2002

2. KIIS $60.5
3. KROQ $53.9
6. KPWR $49
7. KOST $46.9
9. KYSR $45
10. KKBT $44

2005

1. KROQ $67.6
2. KPWR $57.9
4. KIIS $52.8
7. KLSX $51.2

  2012

2. KIIS  $56.8
5. KFI  $46
10. KROQ  $39.3

 
In other news: Dave Williams, former morning anchor at KABC and KNX was awarded the best radio news anchor team in Texas by the Texas Associated Press … KFI’s Steve Gregory won KFI’s third Edward R. Murrow Award. “This time, Excellence In Sound for my feature, Central American Caravan Arrives at US Border,” said Gregory. “I competed with broadcast news outlets from all of California, Hawaii and Nevada. Now, it goes to the national competition.” You can hear Gregory’s report here ... Larry Huffman is going in for open heart surgery on Wednesday at St Mary's Medical Center in Apple Valley and could use our prayers for a successful procedure. “The cardiologist sez I have a 98% chance of survival. Seriously,” emailed Larry. “Although I’ve never smoked or done anything in the way of drugs, I have one artery that’s 100% blocked, one at 95% and one at 90%. My dermatologist noticed that my blood pressure was elevated and sent me to her husband, a well-known cardiologist. He tried the stent procedure and said you’re going in for surgery. My wife, KC, has been a rock thru it all.” … Dave Baker reports that the Mighty 1090’s stream and app have both been shut down. 
Bean of KROQ's Kevin & Bean was in town last week for the April Foolishness event.
KNX's Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson got Bean to sit down for 12 minutes.
Among other things, Bean revealed why he is leaving the successful morning show and moving to London

Reunited and It Feels So Good 

by Alan Oda, LARadio senior correspondent

(April 29, 2019) Around 3 p.m. last Thursday, the Thin Lizzy 1976 hit The Boys are Back in Town boomed out of the Culver City studios of KLOS. The eagerly anticipated reunion of Mark and Brian was about to begin. But when Mark Thompson said hello to Brian Phelps, followed by a brief, awkward pause and some random noises because Brian’s microphone hadn’t been turned on – well, that just seemed an appropriate way to kickoff the festivities.

“KLOS is celebrating 50 years, and Mark and Brian were half of that…we’re very proud of that” said Mark, as Brian and him started to pronounce the day’s agenda. Yet the duo advised listeners that, as they did in the past, if something peaked their curiosity or there was a topic which grabbed their attention, the agenda could easily fall by the wayside.

The duo recapped the memo from Keith Cunningham, the station’s pd: “Don’t cuss,” and “play the commercials.” Brian recalled how they would go for two hours without a commercial break, then at 9:15 they’d stack 45 minutes of spots together, “but the listeners stayed around, as we’d insert comedy bits in-between the commercials.”

There were a lot of stories about celebrity visits. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith stayed around after his appearance on the morning show, long after Mark and Brian had already left the studios. Tyler visited each cubicle in building (“he knows who he is”), with many staffers having their photo taken with the rock-and-roller displayed on their desks the next day.

Tom Jones spotted a karaoke disc with one of his songs, prompting him to perform his song live enhanced by Mark and Brian offering their own erratic brass accompaniment.

They had Rupert Holmes stationed in the men’s room with a live mic, performing his hits Escape (the Pina Colada Song) and Him to unsuspecting visitors taking a bathroom break.

Bob Vila, the star of This Old House may not have appreciated the duo’s antics. Perhaps anticipating a normal interview, Vila didn’t expect the duo to ask him to build a wooden shelf for their albums. At first, Vila played along until it was apparent Mark and Brian were serious about their request. Vila took his tools and completed the task in the station’s hallway “with attitude…he finished the shelf but it leaned about three feet over.” They nonetheless kept the shelf as a souvenir. 
The duo appeared on several tv outlets, including the KTLA Morning News, the Steve Edwards podcast and KABC/tv. Earlier in the day, Mark and Brian were seated for an interview with Spectrum 1 News. What they didn’t expect was Chuck Moshontz (in photo with Mark and Brian), their former newsman, would be the assigned reporter.

Chuck flew in from Portland where he now works as a psychotherapist as well as a contributor to Spectrum 1 News. When Chuck later called in during the show, it started Mark and Brian recapping their history as a team. Mark had returned from Houston back to Birmingham, Alabama.

His first partner decided he didn’t want to relocate, which eventually led to Mark being introduced to a comedian “without any experience on the radio.” They spent the night in a hotel room playing tapes for each other, deciding “this would probably be a lot of fun, let’s give it a try.”
They later spent a week together sharing a condo made available by the station. On the evening of April 15, the two decided to take a cassette recorder to talk to people filing their taxes at the last minute. “It was awful,” recalled Brian. Nonetheless, “we both really wanted to make it work – that’s why the show took off.” Their earlier comedy bits were pre-recorded, before the duo decided the “energy wasn’t there” and did all of their skits live, which did lead to some on-air gaffes which were nonetheless as funny, if not funnier, than the material.

Mark and Brian then recollected how they were all set to move to a major market, prepared to take their act to Atlanta. The contracts were placed before them in the gm’s office which they were about to sign, pen in hand, when the gm’s secretary walked in to let the duo know their lawyer was on the phone. “Thank the gm and tell him we’ll get back to him…Los Angeles called,” said Mark. They travelled to L.A. to meet with KLOS gm Bill Sommers at Carney’s. “(He said) he would never pay this amount to a personality,” then proceeded to present the duo an offer with that stated amount.

After moving to Southern California, the duo were interviewed by a seemingly indifferent L.A. Times reporter, who interrupted the duo stating “you guys realize Rick Dees is here?” Within months, Mark and Brian were #1. “(Dees) was the best at what he was…we weren’t that kind of show (insulting others)” said Mark.

The duo knew they needed to be unique. They’d take the weekend box office, the top ten viewed tv shows, or other news and do more than just present the numbers. “Our job was to look at this stack of content and do something special with it…We were given a trombone and trumpet. We used it in many ways, blasting in the middle of a song…I don’t know how this happened.”
Several KLOS veterans checked in throughout the afternoon. Known only by his first name, Tito called in receiving appreciative remarks as well as remembering the time Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac was in studio “and how their eyes met,” as well as noting Tito had “the filthiest car” in the parking lot.

Frazier Smith hosted mornings at the station just prior to Mark and Brian, remarking “I’m still trying to sleep it off.” Frazier said he was still doing standup and “driving Uber – I just gave Moshontz a ride.”

NBC Sports reporter Michelle Tafoya checked in, she interned at the station while obtaining her Master’s degree in Communication at USC (“How much did you pay to get in?” asked Brian). She remembered helping with the first Mark and Brian parade, as well as answering questions about the upcoming NFL draft.

The first sports reporter on the morning show was KABC radio’s Tommy Hawkins. The former Laker player once received a seemingly amusing joke about whether the athlete – a quite tall athlete – had to grow into his headgear. After a pause, Hawkins remarked “that’s funny.” It prompted a change, leading KABC/tv sports anchor Todd Donoho becoming part of the morning team. “I feel like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life…I think I had bad liquor in me,” said Todd. As he did in the past about the sports story of the day, Todd launched into a soliloquy about the reunion. He articulated that the duo “starting Labor Day weekend in 1987…they shared their lives with us, we shared our lives with them…the Mark and Brian show…it was human, it was a two-way street…that’s why it was the longest running, most successful morning show.” (Photo: Rita Wilde with Mark and Brian)

One of their routines was to surprise one another on their respective birthdays. “I was running out of ideas” for Brian’s celebration and the show’s budget was drawing the ire of management, said Mark, when he remembered Brian once auditioned – and was a finalist – to be the new Bozo the Clown at WGN/tv in Chicago. Mark arranged for the original Bozo, Larry Harmon, to come in and dress Brian up as the famous clown.

To ensure his cooperation, Mark started giving Brian shots of tequila “starting at 6:01 in the morning.” By 7:15, Brian was “completely plastered” and was fully cooperative as Harmon (who had also indulged) painted the white makeup and the rest of the outfit onto the birthday celebrant. They then took the “Mark and Brian Mobile” and drove to a local Carl’s Jr. where Brian would perform his best Bozo the Clown routine. Sometime during his routine, a dizzy Brian could be heard saying “easy now.” The conclusion of the story was an infamous photo taken of Mark and the original Bozo driving back to the station, the famous clown smoking a cigarette and “eyes that were narrow slits.” Bozo’s handlers had prohibited the publication of the picture, though it’s now available on social media.

Scattered throughout the reunion show were callers, many who had spoken to the duo during the 25 years of the show. There was a scheduled giveaway of Disneyland passes, so the team resurrected their segment featuring young children calling in and sharing their talents (the winning joke from a 8-year-old girl: “What did one saggy boob say to the other saggy boob? ‘We better get some support before someone thinks we’re nuts!’”).

Other memorable material included Brian as the “Reverend Faircloth” and a commercial for “Krueger Markets” (“A lot of people ask how do we [at prices impossible to beat] sell such tender beef and chicken? Our secret is in the killing…because our butchers actually hate animals…our butchers use the bluntest objects they can find…”).

The four hours elapsed quickly, it was already past 7:00 when Scott Reiff, the “Sky Lord” who reported traffic each morning, did a last-minute check in. Mark and Brian were appreciated by Scott for the opportunity to do “anything he wanted to do with a $1000 an hour helicopter” as well as giving him the experience and opportunity for his current job, airborne reporter for KABC/tv.

Tom Leykis had “Flash Friday,” Mark and Brian had female listeners expose themselves to Scott from their balconies, yard and rooftops (“90 percent of them were really bad”). The duo once instructed Scott to fly where two Playboy bunnies were waiting for him, only to have Mark and Brian appear to “moon” the copter.

In the closing moments of the reunion, the pair were invited back for a return visit by KLOS host Gary Moore “so they can play the other half of the stuff we worked hard on to put together that didn’t get aired.”

As for the reunion itself, Gary said afterward: “It was relentlessly magical.  Watching two of THE best broadcasters do precisely what makes them Hall of Fame talents was an honor—and just a helluva lotta fun. I love them guys. Mean it.”

Rita Wilde was offered kudos for working “many hours” with KLOS management to make the reunion happen. She remarked after the broadcast “It was magical, beyond anything I could have ever imagined.” The current goal is to get Mark and Brian into the Radio Hall of Fame, the duo acknowledging the efforts of Laura Stringer, formerly of the KLOS Switchboard, now spearheading the effort.

Finally, before they signed off, Mark offered this perspective on behalf of Brian and their 25 years of work: “We did the show for free. They paid us to get up at 3:30 in the morning!”

Email Saturday, 4.27.2019 

** Leader of KLAC

“I loved Tomm Looney’s response about the radio stations where he’s worked. Tomm was always so upbeat and fun to be around when we worked together at XTRA Sports 1150 and KLAC. It was gratifying to read that he enjoyed working with our crew as much as we enjoyed working with him.

As far as his take on Don Martin, he nailed it except for one thing. Yes, Don is loud and loves to hear himself talk, but if you ever had to face adversity and saw some of your friends run the other way, you would always know that Don had your back.” – Bob Scott

** Batter Up

“I agree with Tom Hoffarth's comments about the Dodgers new play-by-play guy and missing Rick Monday-Kevin Kennedy.  Monday is not a true play-by-play guy, but when he and Kevin did the games it felt like I was the lucky fan allowed to sit in on an enjoyable conversation between two ex-MLB players who seemed to be good friends. A real treat for this Dodgers fan! PS. I truly enjoy each of your posts, Don. Thank you.” – Greg Mills

** Potpourri

“Thank you for the mp3s of great LARP moments and jingles. Some I wasn’t old enough to remember and some are totally part of my high school / college years. I can hardly wait to play the Paraquat Kelly / Mary Turner and Jed the Fish clips for my sister, those were her favorite djs!

Thanks always for the lovely remembrance of Brent Seltzer. When he was at KZLA, my best friend won a Fiat off one of their last contests before they went Country. He was so nice about it and we offered to come by the station in the car and give him and “Natural” Neil and some of the other jocks a ride. Unfortunately, they were in a staff meeting when we came by. Later on, we found out that’s when the format change was announced.

Great memories of a wonderful part of LARP history!” – Julie T. Byers

** CD Storage

“After seeing the comment that some people experienced skipping on their copy of the LA Radio CD, I checked mine and it still plays perfectly. Fortunately, since I considered this a valuable and irreplaceable CD, I kept it inside a jewel case but wrapped it in aluminum foil and kept it in a safe place, stored vertically rather than laying flat.

There are a few principles of prolonging CD life, though all CDs will likely expire someday. (1) It’s important to burn a CD at the slowest rate possible so that maximum data is burned to the CD. (2) The CD should be stored in a jewel case, preferably one with a label on the back covering the spine of the jewel case, to prevent light from hitting the data surface. (4) Alternatively, you can even put the CD in a slim case or even a good CD envelope and then wrap it all up in aluminum foil and stand it up in a safe or box to keep it as air-tight as possible. Don’t lay it down. (5) If you can, make a ‘working copy’ of the CD when you first get it copied at the slowest speed possible, to make sure as much original data is transferred as possible. If possible, burn the copy on a pro burner rather than on a computer CD burner, as that make a better, more long-lasting copy. I hope some of this info is helpful to some, because it’s heartbreaking to lose a CD due to ‘CD rot,’ which will eventually happen to most if not all CD’s.” – Bill Powers

** How Big is Big?

“KCRW has moved into a 34,000 sq. ft. building that was built at a cost of $38 million. To me that is incredible and an irresponsible waste of money. The station has plenty of administrators and spokespersons representing the general manager. They don’t have a sales department and sales assistants, etc. Commercial stations need office space for sales people, promotional people, etc. as well as studio space and the studio and production spaces aren’t huge.

Having followed KCRW since the Ruth Seymour days, it always made me curious about what all the employees did at the station. From a distant viewpoint, I think that KCRW wastes a lot of money and could do a fine job of serving their audience without the trappings of a 34,000 sq. ft. building.

When I owned and operated KVEN / KHAY-Ventura, I shared my office with my assistant. I doubt that the office was more than a 150 sq. ft. and I returned and made all my phone calls personally and always walked a few feet to our small reception area to meet someone with whom I had an appointment. I was plenty busy as I was also serving on the board and as an officer of the National Association of Broadcasters, the SCBA and several other organizations [I founded three not for profit 501 C-3’s]. And by the way I personally typed all of my letters and presentations in addition to overseeing all of the aspects of running radio stations including the finances.

And you know what, I had plenty of time to be home and have dinner with my wife and family almost every night. I am mystified by KCRW and the manner in which they operate and spend millions of dollars. What an operation? I think the licensees should have an active and experienced board of directors to provide responsible oversight. By the way The KCRW Foundation is composed of 30 people and not one in the broadcasting business.” – Bob Fox

** Best Place to Work

“From what I hear, today most radio companies, heavily in debt, are not the best places to work. But I can speak of the past, where my 42 years in the broadcast business [6 years in tv] were mostly a lot of fun and it sure beat working.

My best memories are KRLA, under Art Laboe and Bert West, along with KNX, when I first started in the business and under George Nicholaw, where I retired. At KRLA I had a lot of really fun times. Hot air balloon rides, a SAC / Air force refueling mission, drag racing Kenny Bernstein (the then Funny Car champion) at the Winter Nationals in Pomona, and beating him.

KNX was a different story. While there were still some ‘fun’ opportunities, CBS was still CBS and KNX Newsradio was the most prestigious place to be in L.A. Everyone was proud to be working there. And to top things off, the money at both stations was very good too. 

My worst experience was KHJ during the Bruce Johnson / RKO regime.” – Tom Bernstein

"Hullabalooer" Makes Return to Radio  

(April 26, 2019) Dave Hull, the legendary “Hullabalooer,” is back on the air. It’s only on Fridays, but we will take what we can get from this master who was heard on KRLA during the heady days of the 11-10 Men, as well as KFI, KGBS, KIQQ, KMPC, KHJ, KIKF and KRTH.

CRN Digital Talk Radio ceo Mike Horn had the foresight to again give a microphone to the zany master who grew up in Alhambra.

“Dave and I have been pals for many years,” said Horn. “I listened to him at KRLA and really enjoyed his first go round at KFI. During his first KFI run, Dave was asked why he left Top 40 radio and he giggled and said, “I finally got a chance to communicate.”

Horn met Hull on his second run at KFI. “I was assistant program director and music director and was working with Sweet Dick Whittington. Dave was the part-time fill in guy and said on air he would add things to the KFI drinking water to get extra work on air.”

“We stayed in touch over the years and Dave eventually ran his ‘voiceover workshop’ at our CRN studios. We have talked about getting Dave back on the air doing talk radio. So we have started this new project. Dave is part of our Lounge show. We have different hosts on different days talking about entertainment and nonpolitical news. I host a day, the legendary Robert Conrad (Wild West) hosts a day, actor (Hunter) and LA Rams sports icon Fred Dryer hosts a day, actor Larry ManettiMike Gary, even Richard Nixon (no not the former president). Two weeks ago we added Dave to the lineup. He talks about current news, entertainment and more. He does it with the classic Dave Hull style. He sounds like the cat the just ate the canary [as KFI’s Al Lohman used to say] If you don’t listen, you will miss something.”

Dave’s show is syndicated on XDS satellite and offered to radio on a syndicated basis. It also airs on all platforms of CRN Talk Radio including Cable TV, Terrestrial Radio, Amazon Echo, Google Home, cell apps, Apple TV, Roku, CRNTalk.com, Facebook Live and more.
Dave is just starting up again but he is lighting up the air from Palm Springs. You can check out the first two shows April 12 and April 19. Future plans include a Dave hull app that will feature Dave’s talks with Elvis and memorable shows from Dave’s career. Dave also gives away copies of his new book Hullabaloo his incredible radio and life story. “The Hullabalooer” worked at WQTE-Detroit, then to WTVN-Columbus from 1961 to 1963.

Before becoming one of the “KRLA 11-10 Men,” Dave did mornings at WFLA-Tampa/St. Petersburg, holding a corniest joke contest each morning on his show. In 1966 Billboard magazine, Dave scored #1 in the Top 40 category. Dave was fired from KRLA for jumping the release date on a Beatles record, yet the public outcry was such that he was almost immediately hustled back on the air. 

“My best times were in the ’60s, when I was really a giant in this town. There will never be a time as great or as innocent or as fun as those days. We’ve lost our innocence.” 

At KMPC from 1978 to 1980, Dave did the nightly “Lovelines” show. Between radio gigs, Dave developed tv shows, including a season as the host of the tv program “Matchmaker.” For two years in the mid-1980s he had an office at Columbia Pictures, writing and developing a movie based on his “Lovelines” program.

Dave had a successful voiceover career, featured Union Oil and many other local and national accounts. A proud father of five children, his daughter Lisa was a Rams cheerleader. 

In the late 1980s he switched to selling real estate. About that transition, the Hullabalooer commented, “Your worst day in radio is a million times better than your best day in real estate.” But he had one last full time gig, as a result of visiting Palm Springs and Scott Elsworth who was working at KWXY. Dave found himself returning to the air playing beautiful music every evening, until the station was sold, Dave being the last personality to sign off the station.   

Charlie Van Dyke Reflections

(April 25, 2019)  Charlie Van Dyke was the quintessential morning man throughout the 1960s – 80s. He started his on-air career at the legendary Gordon McLendon flagship station, KLIF-Dallas, at the age of 14. Remarkably, by his 21st birthday, Charlie was appointed program director.

Before arriving in Los Angeles, Charlie was on-air at CKLW-Detroit, KFRC-San Francisco and KGB-San Diego. Charlie’s first stop in Southern California was at KHJ in 1972 to work nine to noon, sandwiched between Robert W. Morgan in the morning and Mark Elliott at noon. He moved to morning drive in 1973 and was made pd in 1975.

When he left the RKO outlet, Charlie Van Dyke said, “Charlie Tuna was right. It’s difficult to be a pd and on-air at the same time.” Tuna eventually replaced Van Dyke in the morning slot.

In 1977, Van Dyke returned to KLIF-Dallas, then in 1979 he went to the Northeast to work at WRKO-Boston. In 1980, he guided the transition of WRKO from Top 40 to Talk as the station’s pd. In 1982, Charlie landed in Phoenix as pd of KOY, before moving up the dial in 1984 to work at KTAR-Phoenix.

About this time, Charlie built his own recording studio in Scottsdale, becoming the voice for dozens of tv and radio stations, an assignment which he continues doing today. He personifies the voice that lends a unique identity to a radio station. In addition to his voiceover career, Charlie took over mornings at KRTH from 1998 – 2000.
Recently, there has been an unusual run of deaths in the radio business. LARadio chronicles them all. Charlie was in a reflective mood prompting him to write an essay that he would like to share:

You know, it starts to hurt. When so many radio folks you have shared the air with are gone, it starts to hurt. I just ran through every station where I worked and realized that many of the staff I loved working with are gone. Many were younger than me.

I can still hear their voices clearly and easily remember their humor. OK, some were on a lifestyle track that sped up their departure...but others were not. We played radio in a time that was so exciting. The way staff related in the Top 40 days could be seen as criminal today. But, oh...what a party!

I remember turning the radio UP as the song ended because I wanted to hear what the jock was going to do. These days, I do not listen to the radio at all. Does this make me an old guy, longing for youth? I don’t think so.

I am in excellent health and enjoying this phase of my career. In fact, my wife and I are heading off for a fun trip to Ireland next month. So I am enjoying life. Still, when I think of so many creative minds I shared the air with who are now gone, it starts to hurt. (Charlie with his wife Ingrid)
In other news: Congratulations to Michael Benner and his wife Doreen on their 24th wedding anniversary … Nicole Sandler got good news from her oncologist. This summer marks three years cancer-free for the radio and podcast veteran… Todd Leitz is celebrating 31 years of marriage … American Idol slips to series ratings low …  When KOST morning host Ellen K was talking about cleaning fast food wrappers from your car, she mentioned her former co-host from KIIS. “Rick Dees always told me, ‘Make sure your car  is boss-right’ … On a visit to a dermatologist, Joel Bellman, former KBIG news director, discovered he had malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. “Fortunately, we caught it early enough,” his doctor told him ... There were many emails thanking us for the look at the new KCRW facilities. The station is offering tours. Details at https://join.kcrw.com/ … As part of the station’s 50th anniversary celebration, Mark & Brian are reunited at KLOS this afternoon at 3 p.m.
Dutch version of Wolfman Jack

New Digs for KCRW

(April 24, 2019) When I was general manager of WDRQ in Detroit, we turned the station into the world’s first fm news/talk station. We built the station from the ground up. Our building on 8-Mile Road was 4,000-square-feet. You can only imagine my surprise when I learned that KCRW is moving into a new 34,000-square-foot facility that cost $38 million to build.

I have a fondness for KCRW as I had a weekly show on the station when I was attending Santa Monica High School. At the time KCRW (89.9/fm) had a nice relationship with the local high school and provided airtime for interested students.  

The LA Times devoted a major front-page story to the KCRW opening.  Some highlights from the Times article:

Gesturing toward the third-floor window of a new office, KCRW president Jennifer Ferro says with excitement, “Now, here we are, front-facing on a street, glass everywhere, windows bright, open. It’s this radical transformation.” She predicts the center will be not only a media hub but also a cultural one for the community.

“It’s a time of change,” says Jason Bentley, the station’s program director since late 2008 and host of its flagship show, “Morning Becomes Eclectic.” Within the ragtag rooms of KCRW’s old headquarters, hundreds of artists, including Adele, Coldplay and Radiohead, earned some of their first major exposure during the station’s 80 hours of weekly music programming. But unlike when KCRW first started broadcasting in 1945 — and when the three-hour music block “Morning Becomes Eclectic” debuted in 1977 — terrestrial radio no longer monopolizes the attention of commute-time ears.

New automobile dashboards offer infinite options, from satellite radio to bluetooth-enabled portals allowing for instant podcast action. The audio marketplace is a feast of riches.
Ferro and her team have raised more than $50 million — more than half for building construction, which was also partly funded by a 2008 bond measure, $10 million for new equipment and networks, and another $10 million for future programming and distribution. Ferro’s enthusiasm is also reflective of the stakes, which are laid out as part of the station’s most recent financial statement: “KCRW’s largest challenge is the same for all media companies today — how to stay relevant in the digital age and find sources of revenue in an increasingly competitive landscape.”

When many college-owned nonprofit stations were dividing programming between news and classical music, Ruth Seymour, KCRW’s general manager from 1978 to 2010, was advocating for adventurous contemporary music.

On the talk side, KCRW was the first station outside Chicago to air “This American Life,” the influential Ira Glass-hosted storytelling show. Another renegade program, “Joe Frank: Work in Progress,” featured the titular host producing “radio noir” dramas. Comedic actor Harry Shearer, who started his long-running “Le Show” at KCRW, once described Frank’s style “like a fist coming out of the radio.”

Southern California Public Radio, KCRW’s cross-town competitor, operates KPCC and is thriving. Would KCRW earn a bigger share with an all-talk format? Ferro answers without hesitation. “Oh, yeah. It would be more successful — for public radio — to be all talk,” she says, adding that the station’s hard-won success at maintaining, “in essence, two different styles of audience is an anomaly — and it’s not duplicated anywhere else across the country.”

KCRW airs more than two dozen original shows, including “Good Food” with Evan Kleiman, a program Ferro produced for more than a decade; “Press Play With Madeleine Brand,” whose host left KPCC in 2012 to join Ferro; “Lost Notes,” an anthology of music stories hosted by Solomon Georgio; and “To the Point,” hosted by longtime news broadcaster Warren Olney. And nearly 30 podcasts are available on the station’s website.

KCRW’s most well-known show, “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” is an internationally known brand that has not only celebrated countless marquee artists but also made stars of former hosts Chris DouridasNic Harcourt and Tom Schnabel. The show’s competitors now include the world’s richest companies, including Spotify and Apple, says Bentley.

As music director, Bentley’s show reflects his taste to a fault, which is heavy on music made in the so-called adult alternative realm. His morning shows deliver a tasteful, mostly midtempo blend of unaggressive beat and rhythm-based music. He rarely plays hip-hop — it’s not what the listeners want, he says — and he loves a good left-of-center ballad. “I’m a big believer in the power of music programming to build radio audience,” Bentley says when asked about a common critique of his oft-mellow aesthetic.

“As the word itself suggests, ‘programming’ is about creating patterns and thoughtfully shaping the sound of the station.” Those patterns, he adds, enable the station to support artists who excite the programmers and are designed to highlight bands that have new projects and tours coming to town.

Longtime weekend DJ Anne Litt offers a similarly tasteful mix, but she can surprise with a left-field Meat Puppets classic. Late nights are devoted to underground house, techno and experimental electronic music.

In fall, Bentley cut loose Gary Calamar, who had been on KCRW for more than 20 years, and shuffled the station’s weekend rotation. Bentley says no further changes are in the offing.

What’s less certain is Bentley’s future at KCRW. In December, he celebrated his 10th anniversary as music director. Saying he always envisioned working in the position for that duration, he views himself as being “at the tail end” of his time at the station. Asked about Bentley’s potential departure, Ferro says in an email: “KCRW has always been about renewal. The program ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’ grows and evolves with each new music director.

As far as a time-frame, we want to get settled in our new building and then Jason and I will plot out our next steps.” “There’s a magic here that I definitely am going to miss,” Bentley says. But don’t count Bentley — or KCRW — out yet. As Bentley puts, “Let’s get to the building and then we’ll figure out a plan."

Former KFWBer Heads Tennessee NPR 

(April 23, 2019) Former KFWBer Steve Swenson is the new president/ceo of Nashville Public Radio. Steve was a newsman at all-News KFWB in the 1980s, before moving up to assistant pd.

In 1985 he became pd of 1010 WINS and 880 WCBS-New York, then a decade later he was appointed vp/gm of WTOP-Washington, DC. Swenson joins the nonprofit following completion of a $4.6 million capital campaign. With more than 30 years of experience, including directing news operations and general management, Swenson most recently served as the senior vice president and market manager at CBS Radio in Washington, DC, leading six stations.

Swenson has been involved with formats including urban, Spanish, Sports, Adult Contemporary as well as all-News.

In other news: LA Times’ Tom Hoffarth has an observation about the new Dodgers radio play-by-play man Tim Neverett: “[He’s] spectacularly average. Sure, an improvement. Still, nothing like a Rick Monday-Kevin Kennedy tandem.” Ouch … KJLH’s Nautica de la Cruz is celebrating 23 years in radio. She’s also been on Power 106 and 100.3/The BEAT ... A huge story in the LA Times about Home Grown Radio gave a shout-out to “radio legend,” Julio G, of KDAY … Amy Lewis, former morning co-anchor at KABC with Dave Williams made her first trip to Las Vegas. Her husband surprised her with a trip to Caesar’s Palace to see James Taylor.
Email Tuesday

** Brad and Brent Memories

“During my thirty years of marriage to Brent Seltzer, I heard lots of stories about Brad Messer and the KGB days in San Diego. Brent’s face would always light up talking about his friend Brad and what fun they had working together on the air. Their timing, style and delivery perfectly complimented each other and they both shared the goal of packing every newscast with as many actuality cuts as they could fit in.

They also shared a love of camping and always kept their camping gear in the trunk of the car, as well as their news gear, because they never knew when a story would break. One time, they casually mentioned on the air they were going camping in the desert that weekend. Fifty listeners showed up forming a caravan of cars behind them to the campsite. Off the air, they were best friends and roommates who were out for kicks and in for enjoying life in a paradise called San Diego.

Brad convinced Brent to take skydiving lessons, so wearing rented parachutes, the two of them jumped out of an airplane together.

Brad and Brent stayed in touch over the years. When Brent got sick, his friend Brad called frequently to check up on him. They’d reminisce about the good ole days and it was like time had never passed.  Simultaneously, Brad’s wife of 40 years Carole, suddenly became ill and died March 22, 2016. 

Brent died April 18, 2016. And that’s when my own friendship with Brad Messer began.  We were both members of the same club going through the same stages of grieving at the same time. We leaned on each other to get through and continued to stay in touch after ‘acceptance.’ Rest in Peace, my friend.” – Meg McDonald Seltzer

Track 4:

  • KRLA News Weathercast
  • Christopher Lance (KIIS)
  • Jim Hawthorne (KIEV)
  • Ken & Barkley w/Stu Nahan (KABC)
  • KBBQ Jingle
  • Bobby Ocean (KHJ)
  • KMET
  • Joey Reynolds
  • KODJ Promo Jingle
  • Robert W. Morgan (KKBT Switch)
  • KFWB Color Radio Jingle

Track 5:

  • Paraquat Kelly, Mary Turner (KMET Fish Report)
  • Neil Rockoff (KHJ Format Change)
  • John Babcock (KLAC)
  • Skylord w/Mark & Brian (KLOS)
  • 10Q Contest Promo
  • KRTH Promo Jingle
  • Hilly Rose (KABC Talk Radio Promo)
  • Jeff Hillery (KHJ - Car Radio)
  • Jed The Fish (KROQ)
  • Charlie O'Donnell/Johhny Hayes (KRLA)
  • Car Talk
  • Bruce Wayne/Bryan Simmons (KOST)
  • Charlie Tuna (KHJ)
  • Jim Healy (Dave Kingman)

Listen to more sounds of LARadio between 1957 and 2003 by clicking Track 4 or 5
complete CD available from KMR@kmrichards.com for the cost of postage


Looney Thoughts about Radio 

(April 22, 2019) Tomm Looney is a classic entrepreneur – drove a taxicab, been a bouncer, worked as a bartender, served as a waiter, owned a restaurant (Van Gogh’s Ear on Abbott Kinney), spent time as a substitute teacher, maintained his own radio website, appeared as an actor, performed as a movie producer, was hired as an apartment manager, and was commissioned as a vigilante.

We know Tomm as being a longtime late evening sports show at KLAC with JT the Brick. Before the all sports station, you probably heard him on KLSX, KFWB, KXTA, or KFI.

Born and raised in Elmira, New York, Tomm grew up listening to radio greats from Chicago, New York, Boston and Philadelphia. "When I was a baby dj, Greaseman, John & Ken and Steve Cochran worked in Elmira and they were an inspiration." Tomm was the voice of The Best Damn Sports Show Period on the Fox Sports network. 

When he was born in 1966, Tomm only had one M. "I added an extra M for the new millooneyum." His infectious excitement about life in general and radio in particular is an inspiration. You won’t find a more loyal friend. He was frustrated to read at LARadio that not one reader responded to the question about all the great things there are about the station where you worked. Even though Tomm is between radio assignments, he responded: 
You asked your readers to send you a note about “The best radio stations to work for in Los Angeles.”
Nobody responded, so I thought I would.
For 20 years I felt like I was “getting away with something.” (Because … I was.)
In the past 20 years, I have been VERY LUCKY. (I am sure MANY would agree.)
Every radio station where I was presently employed at the time – was my favorite.
Every one of them was “the best place to work” while I was there.
I had nothing but TREMENDOUS experiences at all of them.

I LOVED WORKING at KFWB. 
Kathleen Sullivan would tickle me when I was on the air.
I LOVED working at KLSX. 
Jack Silver and Tim Conway, Jr. rolled out a red carpet for me.
XTRA SPORTS 1150 was the best. What a frat house of fun guys, too long to list.
I LOVED WORKING AT KFI.  I would produce 
John & Ken with Ray Lopez, voice spots, and I’d fill in for Rich Marotta when he was out.
People always assume that John & Ken must have been hard to work with. NO. Quite the opposite.
I watched, listened, learned, and they treated me wonderfully. I had their back, and I still do.
I LOVED WORKING at FOX Sports Radio and AM 570.
What was it like working for 
Don Martin? He’s loud, loves to talk, and loves to hear himself talk.  
I’m loud, love to talk, and love to hear myself talk.   
For me, that’s called “normal.”   Don is normal.

PERSPECTIVE.
Every radio station was THE BEST PLACE to work when I worked there.
AND YES -- Every place I worked – some would complain from time to time of a “toxic work environment.”
That’s like saying you are “stuck in traffic.” NO ... YOU ARE TRAFFIC.  
And at work:  YOU ARE YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT.
“Toxic work environment" is a lame cliche. 
It’s abstract.
One’s own behavior is REAL.  That’s something in your “work environment” for which you have control.
At work I have always tried to “bring my own weather” – and try my best to be friendly, fun and loving.  
Love, positive thinking and positive behavior – is stronger than any abstract “toxin.”
I loved every radio station where I “worked.”   I liked or loved 97% of the people with whom I worked.
I always kept it in perspective:  Working in radio beats working.


In other news: This afternoon at 4 p.m. Wink Martindale will be the guest dj for SiriusXM’s “60’s on 6" channel. He’ll play his favorites from the time when he originally played them as morning man on Channel 98/KFWB along with the stories behind some of the songs … Bob Griffith checked in from Colorado. He had such a stellar LARadio career in sales management at KLOS, KMET, KFI, KJOI, KYSR/KXEZ and KCTD (1540AM). “I left LA gladly in 2012 and found an amazing mountain town (my quest) in Durango, Colorado,” Bob emailed. “I ski 50 days a year and teach Spinning twice a week. I also do a lot of MC work for local events. Life is pretty good, buddy. I for the most part DO NOT communicate much with Radio people with the exception of old KMET folks, Sam BellamyJeff Gonzer, and a few more.” … Chaka Khan was a jock during the "B-100" days at KIBB (100.3/fm). The r&b singer guest stars as herself and performs on Fox’s Empire Wednesday night ... Didja watch the Motown special last night? What did you think?


Email Saturday, 4.20.2019

** Missing Messer

“Sad news for all LARPS indeed. Brad Messer was half of the sensational news duo at KGB FM/AM in San Diego when I arrived there as chief engineer in 1972, when Ron Jacobs was the pd. The other half of that great KGB news team was Brent Seltzer, also no longer with us. The way they played off each other during newscasts was amazing.

Brent was more the comic and Brad more the serious journalist. I was proud to make their news studio more useful for them. They were both great to work and I am sure the rest of the staff felt the same. Brad was the consummate journalist. He did his homework before doing stories, a talent lost on some in the profession today. I left KGB in April of 1975 to go to KFWB. I missed working with Brad and Brent then. I still do.

Thank you for being the ‘glue’ that holds us LARPS together!” – Richard Rudman, KGB CE, 1972-75
** Life Changing Hire

“In 1975, Brad Messer hired me at KGB and it changed my life. I was hired as weekend anchor and Monday through Thursday was Brad’s morning writer / reporter. Our first KGB newscast was 5:55 a.m. I would come in at 5 a.m. and write the worst newscast in the history of radio.

Brad would waltz-in at 5:54:30 and would ‘sing’ that newscast so well he could win a Golden Mike. Then he would turn around and say something like, ‘oh, that was horrible,’ before we'd go upstairs and smoke a joint.

He taught me to write my news stories as brief as possible, but always tell both sides of the story. I never forgot that along with all the other life lessons I heard from the coolest, most talented newsman I would ever work with. Brad was a pioneer in so many ways. He will always be in my heart.   

Pro!” – Jeff Prescott, San Diego

** Messer’s Cred

“What a great story about Brad Messer! I loved that guy. He and Ron McAlister were the voice of credibility and authority right beside The Old Scotsman, Gordon McLendon on KLIF. I learned a lot from your story that I didn’t know after his KLIF Days.” – Mike Butts

** Messer a Major Influence

“Another long time and excellent broadcaster has passed away. Brad Messer had a huge history in Texas, having worked for all three of Gordon McLendon’s powerhouse Texas stations – KLIF in Dallas, KILT in Houston, and KTSA in San Antonio – as news director of those stations. He was also a long-time talk show host on KTSA, in addition he worked at various other major markets around the country, including Los Angeles and San Diego.

Brad was an excellent news director, anchor, and reporter, and a major influence on me when I made the switch from programming to news. He will be missed, and he’ll be remembered by the many other fine radio people who worked with him through the years.” – John Hale

** Dallas Connection

“Wow, Brad Messer. I’ll always remember him from KLIF during my few months down in Dallas. Strange how people pass from our immediate vision, then we see an obit 50 years later. Strange and kinda scary, huh?” – Rich Brother Robbin
** KLOS Soundtrack

“Wow. KLOS was the soundtrack of my youth. Such a rich history. Curious to see what the new ownership will do with it.

Thanks to Don Barrett for the great report [as always]. Also, nice to see my old KYMS boss Dave Armstrong quoted here as well.” – Roger Marsh

** Sell Wrong Station?

“I thought Cumulus would have sold [read that as unloaded] KABC/790AM and kept KLOS/95.5 FM. But I presume they needed those extra tens of millions of dollars to help pay down their large debt. In the past, it’s been the AM signals that were in trouble. Now it’s spilling over into the fm signals as well.

I wish we could see ahead 100 years from now, as to what the state of radio will be.” – Denny Brougher

** Sticker Shock

“Before the crash of ’08, KLOS would have been sold easily for $300 million. 96.3, a non-Mt. Wilson fm with no billing, went for 250 million. It was a crash of the economy, not a failure of fm radio, that caused the huge price drops. KLOS will be better, now that it has been freed from the shackles of Cumulus with a suit in his 20s back East determining the playlist.” – Jon Bruce

** No Tengo Miedo

“This is good thing and far from the end of KLOS, now being operated by a Mexican group who gets it can only get better. Everyone fearing they will flip it to Spanish is just not likely, in fact, they will want to make KLOS better which is good for the demo.” – Victor Cruz

** Memory Lane

“Thank you for the trip down [some of my memories] with the LARP audio tracks. That one with Hudson and Landry and Robert W. Morgan was hysterical – over a minute of great burns! 

I do feel bad for the talent in this town regarding not one ‘best’ radio station to work at. Unfortunately, it’s like that in all professions right now. In fact, you can lose a job by saying how much you love working. Scary. At least KLOS isn’t changing formats yet, but the month is young.” – Julie T. Byers

** Good News for KLOS

“Why does everyone think this is some tolling of the bell for KLOS? This is the awesome news. No one ever wants to spin positive for a radio story. Ever. It’s as if people WANT to see us die so they can then ‘be right.’ We’re doing great and aside from the fact that we’re eventually going to be saying goodbye to our friends and family on the AM, the hallways are BUZZING. I wish somebody would print THAT. Rant over.” – Stew Herrera, KLOS

** KLOS Sell

“Radio insiders were saying in the 90s ‘wait 'til the dust settles.’ Wait, what?” – Jim Carson

** KLOS News Heartbreaking

“I love(d) KLOS. Heartbreaking to see it cast off for such a small figure.” – John Leader
** To Play Michael Jackson or Not

“In this week’s Los Angeles Business Journal, there is an interesting article on how LA radio stations have cut back on Michael Jackson music since the Leaving Neverland documentary.

According to the article and Nielsen, radio plays of Michael Jackson songs in the LA County Market dropped from 16,861 in the first week of Jan 2019 to 10,999 the week of March 4-10. How could these Nielsen numbers be even close to accurate? There are 10,080 minutes in a week. This would mean that every minute of the week, a Michael Jackson song starts playing in the LA Market. Where does Nielsen come up with this? Or am I missing something?” – Jason Insalaco
** Scarry Photo “Thanks so much for posting the pic’ of Rick Scarry and me. I also loved the story of one of one of my favorite people in my broadcasting career – Ingram “Digger” Clark. Digger was a joy to know, and to work with.” - Larry McKay

** LARPs Galore

“There are two sides of the microphone. The input side is in the studio, but the output side is connected to the speaker in my clock radio and car radio. I may be old but I am still here, begging for someone to talk to me. Thank you, Jim Thornton for telling me what was happening to one the Cathedrals I studied for my dissertation as I was driving home this morning.  Thank you, Jim Svedja for rocking me to sleep most nights. Thank you, Gail Eichenthal for keeping KUSC healthy. Thank you, Desmond Shaw and Jennifer York for waking me up most weekday mornings. Thank you, Larry Mantle for having something interesting for me to listen to after Frank Mottek finishes up at noon on Saturdays. And of course, thank you, Frank Mottek for your advice all of these years. Your article on Monday Don was very disconcerting to me, the most important cog in the machinery of radio, the listening public. Without me, KNX is 50,000 watts being wasted. KPCC and KUSC at least get to know how important they are by the ringing of the phone during pledge weeks.

KNX gets to tremble in their boots waiting for the other shoe to drop. I truly hope that the people who bring the news and music to my life are enjoying the job of making me enjoy my life.” – Bill Mann, South Pasadena

** Hope for Radio

“GREAT essay last Monday. I still believe that the ‘fall’ of corporate radio could bring a renaissance. The more that these corporate entities refinance their bankruptcies and magically find new financing, the quieter the employees will get and creativity be damned. I know a lot of people that are still in the system and ARE doing creative things, but it's lost in the 8-minute spot breaks and the ‘read off the cards’ mentality.” – Mike Stark

** Thoughts

Stan Freberg
Ron Rackley
Chuck Blore
Gary Owens
Bill Drake
Ron Jacobs
Tom Rounds


Look what they gave us
Look what they left us
Look how they paved the way
Like winning a war … and sadly…
Look what we’ve done to it.” – Don Elliot

** Green with Envy

“I am still around, but not in the radio business. Looking back, I had a great career at KABC. That was then. Now is now.

I am happily writing children's books and some others. If there was someone out there looking for a job distributing books [a new career for someone] I would be interested in hiring them. Good luck.

I think AM radio maybe almost gone but my automobile radio is on anytime I am driving.  Someone is working in the business.” – George Green

** March Ratings

“I see that in the latest ratings, KABC came in at number 40, tied with a Persian station. I see the connection -- Persians eat Falafel, but KABC is FULL-AWFUL.” – Peter Thomas

** Music Reunion

“Phil Spector won’t be about to make the 7th Annual Music Industry Reunion on May 13 at the Canyon Club. He is otherwise engaged. I send regrets for him.” – Sterrett Harper

** LARadio History CD

“Just thought I’d let you know, it’s a good thing Bill Schwarz had his problem when he did, because when I pulled out my copy it was showing signs of early problems as well. [I’ve heard of that happening with non-commercially produced CDs, because the technology is different.] In any event, I pulled all the tracks off using four different programs and reburned the CD from scratch. 

Made myself a new copy as well, and also made a ‘disc image’ file which will allow me to burn more copies quickly if needed. So, if anyone else has a problem, I can replace their copies if they’ll toss me a few bucks for postage.” – K.M. Richards
KMR@kmrichards.com

** LARadio Audio History

“I haven’t written in a while, but I’ve sure been enjoying your column. Last week, I came across my LARadio montage CD. I hadn’t seen nor listened to this disc in years. A few days later, I read Bill Schwarz’s letter asking for a copy of the disc. I decided to listen to mine to make sure it still worked, then write to you and ask about sending a copy or an mp3 to him. I wouldn’t have done that without your permission.

So today I started listening to the disc on the way to the restaurant where I’m now sitting. I discovered some skips and dead spots. I sit down with a Japanese chicken bowl and open your column, only to see that you’ve posted mp3s of the whole thing! Literally 10 minutes after I try to listen to this disc for the first time in years and find myself disappointed. 

I’m appreciate of K.M. Richards following through where I was unable. Kismet, or something.” – Jared Kliger    

** Vinylthon

“We had fun at the Vinylthon. I did the whole 24 hours. Lots of pizza, donuts, and chocolate consumed. Slept all day Sunday.” – Ken Borgers  

** Chance Meeting with Gordon McLendon

“Here’s another chance meeting with a legend. I was visiting my wife-to-be in St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. As I struggled to carry in her dry cleaning from my car, a middle-aged man in white jogging shorts and tennis shoes walked up and offered to carry the load inside for me. Later, I learned the gentleman was also a patient at the hospital. His name was Gordon McLendon, a radio pioneer, founder of the Liberty Broadcasting Network. It was ‘The Old Scotsman’ himself.  I told Mr. McLendon I was a dj in L.A., but he wasn’t impressed. He made no comment, though he couldn’t have been nicer. A multi-millionaire was ‘schlepping my dry cleaning!’” – Larry McKay (excerpt from my Memoirs:  Lar’-on-the-Air)  


** Dandy Don the Ice Cream Man

“The ‘Mighty 1090’ has so many pleasant connotations for me although I haven’t tuned in—in years or ever—I seldom listen to radio for my sports news these days. DandyDon, the ice cream maker, is now retired from doing dairy commerce daily and do not miss the fun of hustling to turn nickels and dimes into dollars. Too much government regularly visiting our business officially investigating our operation. We always got top scores on their tests to no surprise to me! Summary judgment after 36 years making, selling and distributing ice cream...government inspectors and regulation-creating public servants prohibit growth in almost all industries whether it’s radio or ice cream. [My credentials included a First Phone, an RTV B.A. from SF State, 20 gold records for promotion, multi-govt award certificates, and more...]

The freedom required to operate your own business has been replaced by too much power of ownership, read monopolies, controlling opportunities for a sole proprietor to create a competitive alternative to what’s dominant in that market. Free enterprise by itself working to improve our society makes our lives better or those enterprises are replaced by the synergies in a free market that allows for sustenance leading to more prosperity.

LARadio is a prototype.

Our niche society needs more spirit-blessed leaders as yourself in our midst of provocateurs with the desire to make this world an improvement over what we owned if our lives yesterday or last year or the last quarter, however, you measure progress. Rewards come from conquering the toil and tears that comes with the joys of hard work not from getting free stuff.” – DandyDon Whittemore

** Stern Email

“I'm an avid Howard Stern listener, as are my adult and near adult kids, and he’s still on his game. Today it seemed his show had the air of a man 15 years younger. I didn’t hear an announcement on air or talk about it, but regardless a cloud lifted.

He gets no break with music; he talks constantly and continues to make me laugh out loud. And if you think his efforts and energy equate to any ol’ talk radio show, may I remind you that comedy is HARD! It’s like 5 hours of stand up a day. It’s not normal.

His program changed radio forever, and his honesty is a template for all radio that succeeds on the notion of truth. We’ll miss him terribly, but what a legacy. I’ve been hearing that voice since ’85 during my many trips to New York, and to have him in my car every day is a treat. No one like him.” – Ed Mann, MannGroup Radio

Talaya's Last Ride on the WAVE

(April 19, 2019) After thirty years hosting middays at 94.7 “The Wave,” the silky voice of Talaya Trigueros ended her run for the Entercom station yesterday. In an internal memo, program director Ralph Stewart said: “After 31 years at the very core of 94.7 The Wave, Talaya is moving on. She set the tone and standard for the whole station. She can read the ingredients on a can of Raid and make it sound delicioso. But even more than her mellifluously tuned instrument, Talaya exudes heart and soul in her every word. Those of us fortunate enough to have worked with her will forever be in awe. And I’ll always be grateful for our longtime friendship.”

Talaya has reigned for many years as the Queen of Middays, consistently earning top five ratings and developing a loyal following for her stellar on-air performance and her commitment to the community and to the arts. She is also a popular voiceover artist who has done promos for Fox Sports and CBS/tv.

As one of the few bilingual voiceover talents, you can hear her voice on Spanish announcements on the LA Metro. She has been chosen as off-stage announcer (“the Voice of God”) for numerous high-profile events including the SAG Awards, The Imagen Awards and the Los Angeles Theater Center Annual Gala.

Her impressive collection of awards includes The GENII Award for Excellence in Radio Broadcasting from the Alliance for Women In Media, National Hispanic Media Coalition Award and special recognitions from the Los Angeles County and City Board of Supervisors, including an Angelus Award. (Photo: Talaya, Tami Heide, and Kat Corbett)
Talaya was born and raised in Albuquerque and worked in the broadcast community while attending the University of New Mexico and San Francisco State during the mid-1970s. Her first commercial job was doing a special Latin show called "Sabor y Salsa" on KRE-Berkeley. A change of ownership and of call letters to KBLX allowed her to be part of the new "Quiet Storm."

During her stay in the East Bay she was very active in community events, including serving as emcee for the first four years of UC Berkeley’s Cinco de Mayo concerts. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, she acted as contributing editor to a Hispanic entertainment magazine called Avance and produced a variety music show on cable tv called Entertainment Spectrum. In 1984, the owners of KBLX asked Talaya to introduce the "Quiet Storm" on their L.A. station, KUTE. Additionally, Talaya was the voiceover host for Turner Superstation WTBS' Night Tracks and hosted a cable tv show called The Jazz Network.

Before her long run at KTWV, she was briefly on KNX/fm and KOCM/KSRF.

A proud SAG/AFTRA member since 1981, Talaya advocates on behalf of her fellow broadcasters to ensure fairness in all contracts. She has donated and volunteered for various nonprofits like the Juvenile Diabetes Association, Breast Cancer Awareness and she emcees the annual High Hopes Head Injury Benefit Concert in Newport Beach, among others.

Hear Ache. Congratulations to Sandy Kelley celebrating her 20th wedding anniversary. They celebrated at the San Ysidro Ranch … Al Michaels is the guest on Ken Levine’s podcast this week. He talks a lot about his baseball career, the earthquake he covered, and the Dating Game.  Here’s the link. … Gina Grad and Teresa Strasser have a new podcast. Both young ladies have or are Adam Carolla’s news anchors on his podcast. On the second issue of their podcast entitled “Easy Listening,” Gina and Teresa talked about boobs. “I’m the Triple-D cup to your A cup,” said Gina, who said bras go into double and triple G. Who knew? … In light of Talaya ending her three-decades run at KTWV, the WAVE, Entercom is not replacing her but extending shifts to three 6 six-hours slots beginning Monday: Pat Prescott 6 a.m. – Noon; Deborah Howell, Noon – 6 p.m. and Frankie Ross 6 p.m. –  Midnight. The WAVE would not confirm this move … Randy West salutes the world’s oldest teenager, Dick Clark, who died of a heart attack this week in 2012, at age 82 in Santa Monica … Christopher Ames will resurrect the Odyssey File on the Internet version of KNXfm93.com. He was one of the signature voices of that CBS format … Didja know that Wayne Jobson, longtime reggae host at KROQ, splits his time between Los Angeles and Ocho Rios, Jamaica?... Any chance that Meruelo is on a buying spree and will get KXOS? At 93.9 it was "Movin' 93.9" once upon a time when Emmis owned KMVN. Station also had a history as KPOL/fm and KZLA ... Despite the fact I grew up on the beaches at Santa Monica listening to the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, I am like a moth to the flame to the music of Myrtle Beach on SiriusXM's Carolina Shag channel. I figured out why after hearing this four-song set last night that started with Love Makes the World Go Round (Deon Jackson), Opportunity (The Jewels), Only the Strong Survive (Jerry Butler), and The Entertainer (Tony Clarke). Maybe it is dancing to my version of the electric slide.

Former KMET News Director Dies 

(April 18, 2019) Brad Messer, former news director at KMET in the mid-seventies, died late Tuesday evening. It is difficult to put into words the kind of man, newsman and talk show host he was. Oh, okay. He was the BEST in all categories. Brad had been in ill health in recent months. Earlier this year, Brad’s sister reported that he was in the hospital, followed by time in a nursing facility under hospice care. A dear friend and neighor from his San Antonio days, Diane Richarson Bryant, wrote: "Our mutual friend in San Antonio has been keeping me abreast of his condition after Brad was no longer able to speak on the phone or read his email."

Wherever Brad landed during his 47 years in rado – in Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Antonio – he was always the guy who knew how to make the news broadcast soar. Much of his professional time was spent at KTSA-San Antonio where Brad was named at TALKERS magazine among The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Hosts in America for seven consecutive years.

During his 16 years as a talk radio host, Brad cites several on-air conversations as especially memorable, but one stands out: In 1992, on the topic of the military draft, one caller mentioned his tour in Viet Nam. Brad thought it would be appropriate to tell the veteran "thanks for going over there," words Brad had never expressed nor heard anyone else offer. The caller was silent for so long that Brad thought maybe he had hung up, when the vet finally said, in a choked-up voice, "That's the first time anyone has ever said thank you." After that, Brad made it a point to express appreciation for the military service of his KTSA listeners.  
“Y’know that stage kids go through where they keep asking ‘why this and why that?’ Well, I never grew out of that stage – and it got me the best job in the world,” Brad said when interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People.

After high school, Brad joined the Army and served in the Far East as an interpreter and translator (Chinese language specialist). He started his radio career at KILE-Galveston, where his father was a newspaper editor. Brad always had a way of capturing the “people” aspect to the news, a tradition he carried throughout his career.

Brad began as news director of the legendary Gordon McLendon stations in Texas, KILT-Houston and KLIF-Dallas.

By age 30, he was news director of KYA-San Francisco during its #1 days, toward the end of the “Flower Period.”

Brad’s next destination was San Diego. “KGB was the most fun I ever had. The station became a legend under the brilliant guidance of pd Ron Jacobs.” Ron teamed Brad and Brent Seltzer for a noon news-and-comment show. “At times it was the highest-rated 15-minutes in San Diego radio.” He also hosted “Brad Messer’s Day Book” which was among the first shows syndicated by Westwood One.

For 13 years he wrote a weekly column for Radio & Records. KTSA-San Antonio rehired Brad three times. “Huh? It’s true. My same station hired me back [good focus groups, good ratings history] and put me on against Dr. Laura Schlessinger, and flukey book or not, I beat her (yay!) so now they have put me in the sure-death slot against Rush. We shall see. This means I have now worked every slot except 2 – 4 p.m. at KTSA," emailed Brad back in the early 2000’s. “In my spare time I love flying my open-cockpit aerobatic airplane.”

A monthly feature at LARadio.com was asking a question in order to get learn more about our LARP. Who gave you the best advice? Brad replied: “The best advice I ever received was from my dad, who spent most of his life as a Texas newspaper editor and absorbed more than the typical share of Life’s lessons. His advice? “Always take the long view unless it conflicts with short-term desires.” That seemed to cover almost every situation I encountered, except for my second-best advice, which was ‘Put that thing away.’”

In the late 1960s, Charlie Van Dyke was in his early 20s. He was program director at KLIF-Dallas when he got the offer to head to Detroit and work at CKLW, the “Big 8.” Brad had a surprise for Charlie. Messer was parked on the tarmac with the KLIF Headliner Cruiser streaming messages that said a number of things, including, “CKLW, take care of our friend.” Charlie remembered: “It was night as I left Dallas. I could see the Cruiser as the plane was gaining altitude, turning…then heading…away.”

There is a beautiful website of Brad’s life at: 
www.BradMesser.com. He shares his life with many photos of the time of his storied career, the time he “became” a black man and memories of Carole, his late wife of 40+ years.
LARPs Grace Award. Two LARP are winners of the 44th annual Gracie Awards. Congratulations to KOST morning lady Ellen K (l) and KABC morning co-host Jillian Barberie.

The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) continues to celebrate programming and individual achievement by, for and about women in radio, television and interactive media, which includes podcast categories. The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on Tuesday, May 21 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Some of the most talented women in front of and behind the microphone and outstanding programming will be honored. Christine Travaglini, President, Katz Radio Group and Chair of the Board of Directors said: “In the more than four decades since the inception of the Gracie Awards – what stands out in 2019 is bravery. The courage of storytellers to share poignant, relevant and compelling content. This will be a year of true celebration.”

It's the Law

(April 17, 2019) “We’ve all seen the famous photo of Vin Scully, Chick Hearn and Bob Miller standing side by side, holding their Fox Sports microphones,” wrote Arash Markazi of the LA Times. “Ralph Lawler remembers it well. The longtime Clippers announcer was there when the photo was taken and is still looking for another version he has never seen.

“Somewhere there is a photo of Vin, Chick, Bob and me,” Lawler said. “I’ve seen the photo of Chick, Vin and Bob but somewhere out there is a photo of the four of us because we were all there that day and all of our games were on Fox in those days. I’d give anything to find that photograph.”

Some highlights from the Markazi article: When Lawler calls his final game at Staples Center it will mark the end of a golden era of sports broadcasting in Los Angeles. Hearn passed away in 2002 after being the voice of the Lakers for 42 seasons, Scully retired in 2016 after 67 seasons as the voice of the Dodgers and Miller retired in 2017 after being the voice of the Kings for 44 seasons.

Lawler, who has called Clippers games for 40 seasons, often got lost in the mix in Los Angeles. “I just felt lucky to be on the periphery of that trio,” Lawler said. “This city is really good to its broadcasters. Here I was with those three and at that point I had been in the city for 25 years or something and I was the junior to Vin, Chick and Bob. I mean how can that be? I’m in my 60s and 70s and those guys were older and had been doing their jobs longer. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“I remember one year we had T-shirts that had a big 3-0 on it. The goal was to win 30 games. I mean that was our goal. If you win 30 games that means you lose 52 games. That’s what we have risen from, which is pretty remarkable. Going through this year I just wish I was 10 years younger because I want to be here for the next 10 years because I believe they’re going to win multiple championships. Not just one but multiple.”

Essential California. Now, with the Clippers in the playoffs and longtime broadcaster Ralph Lawler calling the final games of his career, we started wondering: How often did Lawler’s Law hold true? This is one of the 80-year-old Lawler’s signature catchphrases and is used when a team breaks the century mark. Lawler exclaims, “You know Lawler’s Law. First to 100 wins. It’s the law.” Well it’s not actually the law, but The Times crunched the numbers and found that, aside from being catchy and alliterative, Lawler’s Law turned out to be remarkably accurate. Over the last 23 years, among more than 27,000 NBA games, the first team to reach 100 won 94% of the time. But the modern game may be changing the law. Los Angeles Times 
The second edition of Los Angeles Radio People in included a bonus CD with a number of aircheck segments, jingles, etc. Unfortunately, after more than 15 years, reports are being received that many of the CDs are now starting to fail and play erratically. In the course of creating a replacement CD for a reader of the column, K.M. Richards extracted the individual tracks and corrected any playback errors. At Don Barrett's request, they have been digitized to MP3 files and presented here for the convenience of those who wish to hear them. Click Track numbers:

Track 1:

  • KFWB Jock Jingle (Original 1958 DJs)
  • KSCA (Bill Ward format change FM 101.9)
  • Gene Jenkins (KNX News)
  • KODJ Jingle
  • Bill Gardner (KPPC)
  • Nick Federoff (KFI Promo)
  • KPWR Jingle
  • Fraser Smith (1st day at KMET - 1984)
  • Duke Norton (KGBS Overture)
  • Jimmy Rabbitt (Xmas eve KROQ)
  • Nathan Roberts (KDAY)
  • Coach Charletye Wright (KIIS)
  • The Real Don Steele (Ten-Q)
  • Joseph Cleary/Roger Latham (KLOS, '71)
  • Big Boy (KPWR-2002)
  • KWST Jingle

Track 2:

  • Robert W. Morgan (KHJ Help 1965)
  • Anita Garner (KBIG)
  • KKHR Jingle
  • David Viscott (KABC)
  • Rodney Bingenheimer (KROQ)
  • Scott Shannon (Pirate Radio Intro)
  • Dean Sander (KLAC News)
  • John & Ken (KFI - OJ Trial)
  • KFI Promo (Talk Radio - Next Generation)
  • Joni Caryl (KLSX)
  • Humble Harve (KHJ)
  • Dennis Prager (KABC on KFAC)

Track 3:

  • Paul Rodriguez, Tim Kelly, Patty Lotz (KKBT Launch)
  • Steve Downes (KLOS)
  • Marv Howard, Nancy Plum, Allen Aldridge (KMPC)
  • Hunter Hancock (KPOP)
  • Hollywood Hamilton (KIIS Promo)
  • Bill Jenkins, Bob Shannon (KFI)
  • Rabbi Mentz (KFI, 2001)
  • Ted Quillin - KFWB
  • Khool-Aid (KPWR, 2002)
  • KOST Jingle
  • Wink Martindale (KFWB, 1965)
  • Jamie & Danny (KYSR, 2002)
  • Mark & Brian (KLOS)
  • Hudson & Landry (KGBS, 1968 w/Robert W. Morgan)

Happy Anniversary, KLOS - You're Sold!

  (April 16, 2019) Happy Anniversary KLOS! Congratulations on broadcasting AOR Rock and Classic for 50 years. We’re bringing back our iconic morning team, Mark & Brian, for a one-day salute. To celebrate, we’re selling the station.

No sooner had the Cumulus bulletin been sent to LARadio readers, reaction was swift. Cumulus (owner of KABC and KLOS) announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell KLOS to Meruelo Media (owners of KDAY and KPWR) for $43 million in cash.

Longtime LARadio executive Norm Epstein was shocked at the price Cumulus got for the Classic Rock station. “Amazing that KLOS, at one time, one of the leading stations of its format in the US, selling for only $43 million. I think at one time it was worth nearly $250 – $300 million.”

Bob Fox, former radio station owner and chairman of the Radio Board of the National Association of Broadcasters, also said that 20 years ago the station would have sold for at least $200 million.
 
Dave Armstrong, former Salem general manager, emailed: “Will the last one out the door please turn off the lights?” 

Rich Brother Robbin read the Cumulus news and emailed, “THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING! ACTUALLY, IT’S BEEN FALLING FOR SOME TIME, JUST THAT NOT EVERYONE’S AWARE OF IT YET.”

After 50 years at 95.5/fm, will the new owners change the format? We don’t know. Technically, Meruelo takes over programming today. Even though revenue has dropped substantially since billing in the $35-40 million range, we imagine Meruelo will want the revenues already on the books. Plus the station does VERY well in Men 18 – 34. Otto Padron, president of Meruelo, added, "KLOS will be a crown piece in our strategically curated, L.A.-focused multimedia portfolio. As we've done with all our media properties, we will take full advantage of our deep local resources to grow the globally recognized KLOS heritage rock brand for generations to come."

Who knows, maybe the new guys have some new ideas. After all, Chris Ebbott has reinvented Classic Hits at K-EARTH to where it is now #2 in the current ratings just released. Cumulus also announced some station swaps in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley.

Mary G. Berner, president/ceo of Cumulus, said, “These transactions are part of the continued execution of our portfolio optimization strategy. Both transactions are accretive, and the sale of KLOS to Meruelo Media at an attractive multiple allows us to generate substantial cash, which can be used to further pay down debt and invest in high potential business opportunities.” (Thanks to OC Weekly for KLOS staff: front row - Frosty Stilwell, Gary Moore Frank Kramer; back row - Marci Wiser, Heidi Hamilton, Jimmy Alvarez)
 

KOSTING at the Top of the LA Ratings 

Adult Contemporary KOST continues at the top of the heap, a full point ahead of runner up K-EARTH. The WAVE (KTWV) is a strong third while KIIS and MY/fm (KBIG) come in 4th and 5th. On the bottom side of the Top 40 listing, the KFI Stream stays steady with O.6 and Radio Iran (KIRN) appeared for the first time, tied with KABC. Nielsen Audio ratings for March '19 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid:

1. KOST (AC) 6.5 - 6.5
2. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.3 - 5.5
3. KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.4 - 4.7
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.4 - 4.3
5. KBIG (Hot AC) 4.3 - 4.2
6. KCBS (JACK/fm) 4.0 - 4.1
7. KFI (Talk) 4.0 - 3.8
8. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.4 - 3.6
9. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.9 - 3.1
    KNX (News) 3.6 - 3.1
11. KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.7 - 3.0
12. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.8 - 2.7
      KPWR (Top 40/R) 3.0 - 2.7
14. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.5 - 2.6
      KRRL (Urban) 2.5 - 2.6
16. KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.4 - 2.5
17. KUSC (Classical) 2.4 - 2.4
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.0 - 2.4
19. KKGO (Country) 2.6 - 2.3
      KROQ (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.3
21. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.0 - 2.1
      KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.0 - 2.1
      KPCC (News/Talk) 2.7 - 2.1
24. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.8 - 1.9
25. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 1.5 - 1.5
26. KCRW (Variety) 1.1 - 1.3
27. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.1 - 1.2
      KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 1.4 - 1.2
29. KSPN (Sports) 1.5 - 1.1
30. KKJZ (Jazz) 0.9 - 0.9
      KRLA (Talk) 1.0 - 0.9
      KXOS (Regional Mexican) 0.9 - 0.9
33. KEIB (Talk) 0.8 - 0.8
34. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.7 - 0.7
       KLAC (Sports) 0.9 - 0.7
       KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.9 - 0.7
37. KFI (Stream) 0.6 - 0.6
      KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.7 - 0.6
      KKLA (Religious) 0.6 - 0.6
40. KABC (Talk) 0.6 - 0.5
      KIRN (Persian) 0.4 - 0.5
J Cruz Cruises to iHeart. Meruelo made another headline when iHeart’s KRRL (Real 92.3) nabbed Meruelo’s J Cruz morning show from Power 106 (KPWR) and put Cruz, executive producer Jeff Garcia, plus DJ Lechero and DJ Lezlee in afternoons. Still working mornings at KRRL is Big Boy. KRRL’s pd Doc Wynter said, “Big Boy in the mornings and J Cruz in the afternoons -- I get chills just saying it!"

Beginning Thursday on Power 106, Cece Valencia (photo in gallery above) takes over “LA’s Hip Hop Morning Show.”

Why would J Cruz leave the morning show and go crosstown to do afternoons? An observer of the LARadio scene guesses that Meruelo knew the KLOS acquisition was coming and tightened their budgets elsewhere. This way they refused to play ball with Cruz when his contract came up, so he looked elsewhere. iHeart would be foolish not to jump at that opportunity, even if they don't plan to keep him long. Cruz’s presence in the building also helps keep Big Boy in line. Interesting?  (Photo: J Cruz and Big Boy)

Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Radio Station

 
(April 15, 2019) Nothing. Nothing funny happened on the way to the radio station. Are radio people a dying breed? Have we discarded radio people onto a heap of old CDs, or worse, vinyl? Is anyone having fun or has radio become just a job?

Two weeks ago, in an attempt to do a positive story about radio, I borrowed a front-page story that you see in Forbes or Fortune – Best Companies to Work For. The publications offer page after page of employees sharing great experiences about the companies they work for. Bosses who care what people think. Bosses who are open to new ideas and willing to take chances. Like pixie fairy dust, some companies spread joy with breaks at a ping pong table or a free vegetarian lunch. New ideas from a variety of sources are considered and embraced.

Maybe there are joyful radio station environments. We solicited your comments on the best radio stations to work for in the Southland. Let’s spread the joy. Hey, radio is not dead. It is a vibrant entity. Apparently not. Not ONE vote. No one responded. Crickets.

Now in all fairness, there may be great working environments, but employees have been trained to avoid the press. Why? Fear. In an industry where communication is the key component, management has put such fear into their people, the only communication is in whispers. Why did so and so leave? Were they really pushed out? Are we being sold? Did you hear what is going on in San Diego? A station couldn’t even pay the rent so the transmitter was turned off. Last week, that meant dozens of people lost their jobs in a flick of the switch.

Now they will know real fear. But they will find other opportunities, but chances are it won’t be in radio. Podcasting, voiceover, maybe even sales. Making a living? Tough to know if your heart is not into it.

If radio is not dying, is it breathing? Bankruptcy is the new “b” word. Fear seems to be the commander in chief. Fear is the great new paralysis. It suppresses everything, especially creativity.

Cumulus sells their flagship New York fm station. Is Los Angeles far behind? Reports of iHeart downsizing. Entercom making significant changes in their news/talk stations.

LARadio gets no joy in an essay like this. Is revenue still a challenge? Are we broken? Is anyone there? I can’t hear you. Is anyone there?



Email Saturday, 4.13.2019 

** Farewell Mexican Transmitters

"Thanks for your coverage of the BCA Radio implosion. I worked for them from 2008 when 'The Walrus' was born from 'XX Sports.' We had a good run as Classic Hits hadn't been heard in San Diego since 99.3 left the format in 2005. 

There were times in 2009 that The Walrus jumped to #1 in the Nielsen weeklies. We were respectfully in the Top 10 until 2010. That's when station management changed and they tried to add to the staff of 105.7.  Our one-person morning show expanded to two hosts and a producer. John Nolan and Kim Morrison hosted, trying to add personality. I moved to middays and Cindy Pace was afternoons until Rich "Brother" Robbin was hired for afternoons.  

BCA was part of a plan to build Local Media in San Diego with the addition of Finest City stations XHRM, XHTZ and XETRA/fm. In 2010, the 6-station cluster was split as those three became LMA and BCA returned to existence with XHPRS, XEPRS and XEPE. 

The loss of 3 stations was the first financial blow to BCA. Anyone doing the math will see the difficulty in operating two AMs and an fm radio stations with a collective bill of over 2 million dollars on January 1. XEPRS lost the Padres [rumored to be costing another $5 million in rights fees]. The talent acquisition at XHPRS of Jack Diamond [who stayed a week] and Jack Murphy [who lasted 9 months before being released] was costly and didn't produce a ratings or revenue increase. 

Downsizing of 105.7 began in 2016, and as we all know the station 'crashed' last year. XEPE (1700) is at a place on the radio where no one seems to visit. The signal is fair, but if no one knows it's there -who's gonna listen? Thanks to people like Ray Lucia and other local hosts who paid for air time, 1700 was almost paying its own way. Adding ESPN radio was helpful to trying to build the brand, but it only helped 1090 to acquire 'fringe' programming from the network. 
 As several of the BCA hosts have said, other things may come out over the next few weeks. 

Scott Kaplan is smart and has connections but it might be hard to find someone to not only continue to financially support XEPRS but make up the back payments which could be up to $400,000.  

Some have suggested that AM radio is dead, and the elimination of two English speaking sports stations certainly doesn't increase the need to tune in to the band. Even 1360 has an fm translator to try to appease that audience.  

I share the sentiments of Chris Carmichael. Chris is an honest, sincere fan of the media in San Diego - and when he was doing his daily blog he went out of his way to point out the positives. Sorry to see the staff at BCA in this pickle. There are a lot of good, talented people there and we're hoping they'll land on their feet. Whether 97.3 will acquire some or all of the talent is questionable as KWFN is part of a company that's required to exercise financial responsibility. That means revenue and ratings. I'm sure if Entercom management feels that adding the displaced BCA talent - any or all - will help, they will.   

Talk may be cheap, Don. Talk radio isn't. All of us wish nothing but the best for the BCA crowd. Thank you for sorting this all out." - Dave Mason

** J. Paul Huddleston

“I’ve wanted to let you know that J. Paul Huddleston, before his legendary KHJ work, was the news director and weeknight anchor on the short-lived KCHU channel 18 in San Bernardino from 1962-63. This was the first commercial UHF in Southern California, beating KMEX by seven months, the incarnation of channel 22 [which launched with LARP Larry McCormick on its staff by a full year, and channel 39 in San Diego by three years].

I tell the whole story at the History of UHF Television website, which is owned by Clarke Ingram. He tapped me to be the site’s content coordinator where I've written a lot of articles myself. The focus is on early UHF stations that tried to make a go of it but failed. Here's the link to the KCHU article, which includes a great picture of Huddleston in the newsroom:  http://www.uhftelevision.com/articles/kchu.html” – K.M. Richards

** Better Things

“I love that you love Better Things! Pamela Adlon is wonderful!! I can relate to her on so many levels. Except for the parts about owning a home and having a good career part.” –Molly Paige

** LARP Saw

“While scrolling through the group of ‘M’s’ I came across Red McIlvaine’s name and photo with that mischievous grin of his. We worked together briefly in 1959 at KPHO-AM in Phoenix. However, we never saw each other because the newsroom was in another building.

I think he was inspired to do the below because he was headed to LA and was running out his time in Phoenix. We had a lumberyard sponsor of the five-minute newscast at 10 a.m. It featured the sound of wood being sawed. While I was in the middle of the newscast, I heard in my headphones the unmistakable sound of the saw for about ten seconds, followed by Mc Ilvaine chuckling. It didn’t bother me and I kept on reading. Station management probably wasn’t amused. To tell the truth, I thought it was funny, but I kept my own counsel.” – Warren Cereghino

** M&B Anniversary

“With 95.5 KLOS celebrating its 50th Anniversary as a Rock station, it’s quite a history in Southern California radio and great talent over the years. Originally KECA/fm, the call letters switched to KABC/fm in 1954 and was mainly a simulcast of its AM counterpart.

In 1968, the FCC started requiring fm sister stations provide unique programming. That year, ABC owned fm stations broadcast the syndicated ‘Love’ progressive rock format, presented by Brother John Rydgren. An ordained Lutheran minister, Brother John had a great set of pipes and often discussed the spiritual side of rock music. His son, also named John, has a similar sounding voice.

When I met the younger John Rydgren, I recall him telling me that his dad interviewed rock bands from all backgrounds – even some early Jesus music rockers such as Larry Norman (formerly of People).

In 1969, 95 1/2 KABC/fm switched to an all local, free-form progressive rock format. Two years later, in 1971, the station became 95 1/2 KLOS, adopting an AOR (Album Oriented Rock) format under the slogan ‘Rock ‘N Stereo.’” – Josh “JJ” Jacobs

** LARadio Audio

“Do you know of anyone who could make me a copy of Audio Montage of 50 Years of LA Radio, Volume 1: 1957-2003? The hour-long CD sold for $12. The reflective foil [the part with the data] fell off my CD and I’m just devastated. Someone must have a copy of it in their closet somewhere.” – Bill Schwarz

Mighty 1090 Not So Mighty 

(April 12, 2019) The “Mighty 1090,” a high-rated San Diego sports station (also heard in L.A.), operates on XEPRS from Rosarito, Mexico, and is currently leased by Broadcast Company of The Americas. The station has been a fixture in the market for the last 16 years. Right now, The Mighty 1090 is off the air. Apparently, BCA didn’t pay their bills to the Mexican company that owns the frequency, so the plug was pulled late morning on Wednesday.

BCA president Mike Glickenhaus put together a hastily called urgent staff meeting where he explained they were taken off the air by the people who own their tower.

In a recorded message posted to the station website host Darren Smith, who has been with the station since 2003, said he wasn’t too surprised by this because it had happened before to at two of the other stations the company owns. Smith wrote on social media: “Hearts filled with your kind words and messages. We’re streaming the show today via 
http://Mighty1090.com & Mighty1090 app.  Same poop, different diaper (for some) at 12 noon.”

Smith told the San Diego Union-Tribune: “I don’t want to go out like this. I’ve been here too long to go out like this.” Smith said people were in tears at the station. Afternoon host Scott Kaplan said there was a relationship issue and a breakdown in negotiations between the owners of the frequency and the parent company of the radio station. (Thanks to Union-Tribune for artwork)
Podcast $$Radio Ink had a fascinating story from the NAB Show in Las Vegas. “Even the big radio companies are discovering the challenge of monetizing podcasts.” The site said that Beasley Media Group’s Chief Digital Content Officer Lori Burgess has been “around the world and back” with podcasting, now it’s time to make some money.

Apparently Beasley created a new division dedicated to podcasting. It’s a mix of original content and recorded live shows from Beasley’s radio hosts that fans can listen to whenever they have the time. The company also asked its hosts to start producing original podcasts, while rolling out “Best Of” shows, according to Burgess.

Burgess says that making money has proven to be a challenge. And she believes it’s because radio has not figured out how to market podcasts as of yet.

Fred Jacobs, of Jacobs Media, has a theory about that. He believes radio is a little afraid to go all out promoting podcasting (and streaming) because those platforms are not rated the same way as over-the-air radio, so they don’t want to push those listeners away.
Newsmaker. Dan Dixon happened to catch a story on KCBS/tv about a home in South Pasadena that's been red-tagged due to the ground being undermined by a broken water pipe. “I recognized the voice, and then the name of the distressed homeowner, wrapped in a blanket, describing what had happened,” emailed Dan.

“It's was Bobb Lynes, godfather of old-time radio broadcasting and history here in town, and five-time president of SPERDVAC. Don't know Mr. Lynes but I certainly enjoyed listening to him during his many years in local radio, especially the KCRW and KPCC years.”

“Our driveway collapsed and we have no access to the house,” emailed Bobb. The Fox 11 story is linked by clicking artwork. “We are OK and we saved our cars minutes before it happened. Finding housing day by day. Will be months before we can return. Barbara & I are OK. We are at Golden Oaks Apartments until May 1, then a friend has offered to take us as guests for a ‘while.’ We won't be able access our home for MONTHS! I did our radio show last Monday night by literally ‘phoning it in’ on my smart phone with Roy of Hollywood at KPFK playing OTR shows from his end.” Bobb needs 
Al Archuleta’s phone number. Does anyone have it? 

In other news. When Adimu was on KKBT, the BEAT, he worked afternoons from 2000-03. He has joined WDAS-Philadelphia as the new host of “The Quiet Storm.” … Rita Pardue, Ms. Senior California 2018, will headline at the USC Trojan Affiliates at their Year End Celebration on Thursday, May 2. Her topic will be “It’s Never Too Late to Make Your Dreams Come True.” … Larry Elder has extended his contract with Salem Radio Network through 2022. His show airs locally on 870/KRLA and heard on more than 350 affiliated stations and on the Salem network … Peter Burton, former gm at KSWD (100.3/The Sound) is the new vp/market manager of the Beasley Media Group cluster in Las Vegas … 24 hours of vinyl streaming tonight at midnight and running all day Saturday at KLBC.org and KCTYFM.org.

Past and Present Music Intersect 

(April 11, 2019) If you’re of the age when Golden Oldies are all you listen to – music that’s familiar, music that hasn’t passed you by like current offerings – Dave Sholin has a website for you.

Sholin, a Top 40 veteran, record company executive, and charter member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has created a new website for baby boomers. BoomerMusicUpdate.com is a quick catch-up (85-220 words) that links a song from "back in the day" to a current artist or song that has a similar sound / content / style. It features the cream of the crop from the four most popular music formats: Top 40, Pop, Country, and Alternative. The site updates content every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“We put the songs in their generational context,” said Sholin. His website can link a current hit to a similar sounding Oldie. Sholin had been on the forefront of popular music. He was the last person to interview John Lennon, the accompanying photo was taken just hours before his death. Here’s a link to the site.

Music Reunion
. The 7th Annual Music Industry Reunion Los Angeles returns Monday, May 13 at the Canyon Club. This event is open to all members of music business related industries, past and present. “This is a great time to hug a friend, meet a new friend, and reconnect with your pals from our great industry,” said co-organizer Jon Scott. Past reunion events (NYC and LA) have brought together over 500+ industry influencers, industry legends and icons as well as the brightest radio / music / management / publicity / marketing execs in the business today.

Peace Corps. After I mentioned that my son had joined the Peace Corps and was in Zambia, I received a very touching note from Robert Berlin. I did not know his name but he wanted to share some insights into the Peace Corps, as his daugther is in a small African village and a neighbor has a daughter in Senegal. He belongs to a group of Peace Corps parents in Northern California that get together and share experiences, so he wanted to reach out and offer a lifeline of communication to us.

Over the decades, I am constantly amazed at our readers. You might remember the doctor who was part of my daughter’s dental challenges. We had never talked before that fateful day. He had been a listener and fan of LARadio and subscribed to the website to learn more about radio. And he was there at the exact moment of need.

When Robert Berlin reached out, we had never previously communicated. He has an interesting background that I thought you might find fascinating. I did.

Berlin grew up in the San Fernando Valley. In the late 60s, he thought he wanted to work in radio. “I begged my way into a volunteer job at KEDC (nee KCSN) in the days when Mike Horn and Doug Brown were there. I migrated over to KCRW in 1971. I did some programming, even did a music show on Saturday evenings. I think they had a 5-watt transmission at the time, so no one was listening. Anyway, I decided that radio was not a career for me, even though I was fascinated by it.”

Berlin worked in public relations for Linda Gray and did some music production. His buddy in high school became Ron Fair, the outstanding A&R man. Berlin ended up in the world of tech. He’s been in the Bay Area for 25 years after living in San Diego for 10 years.

“How did I find LARadio? I've been working with and in internet companies forever,” emailed Berlin. “I spend time Googling around. I’ve been reading it for years. You’ve done a wonderful job and I some point I think you should approach the Smithsonian so the archive has a place to live for the future. Seriously.”
** Open Email to David Schwartz

"Hi folks! Thanks again, David, for the comforting remembrances of things past! The Parade Ralph and I did was my favorite in important ways. Hilarious writing meetings in a smoke-filled room - - meetings described by Ralph as populated by people who didn’t 'know _ _ _ _ from Shinola'.  ;-) I heard that ‘review’ quite a few times during our adventuresome years together.

He was a busy man during those late ’60’s-early ’70’s days…I continue to be so grateful he was able to squeeze me into the mix.

I still wish he’d written the book he planned on Hollywood’s History, which he had this green farm girl research by spontaneous walk-in interviews of every single business on Hollywood Boulevard, up one side and down the other. (The Frolic bar and Frederick’s of Hollywood among the most memorable. A real education for me!) It would have been a best-seller, I think.  

I miss him today, as I do every day. Much love to all! - Stephanie Edwards

Hear Ache

(April 10, 2019) KABC’s Jillian Barberie continues to post on Twitter her courageous fight against cancer. Yesterday she posted: “I fell asleep during the PET scan today bc unlike the CT scan, they didn’t require me to hold my breath etc. It was oddly relaxing. After the blood work and the sugar dye I was tired (no coffee) and ready for that nap!” A few hours later, Jillian posted: “Just received a call from my oncologist and nothing lit up during my PET scan today!!! This most likely means it’s nothing! We will monitor it again in 3, 6 and 9 months to make sure it hasn’t grown!! Going to bed with a peaceful mind! Thank you for your prayers!!!!!”… Larry “Supermouth” Huffman was in St Mary’s Med Center this week, initially for a simple Stent procedure. “WRONG. Seems that I have chronic heart disease and must undergo open heart surgery asap,” emailed Larry ... Jim Duncan is in knee replacement hell. “My replacement from last June took an ugly turn in January,” emailed Duncan. “Somehow the wound got infected and they took out the hardware. After six weeks of high-powered antibiotics, I should be ready for a new replacement. Wish me luck.” … Ken Minyard (pictured above in LARP gallery) has a two-word posting on Facebook, “Remission. Yay!” ... Humble Harve needs our prayers, accoring to Vic St. John. Apparently some issues that are diabetes related … KFI makes some Saturday shift changes on April 27. Handel on the Law is shortened to 8 – 11 a.m.  Home With Dean Sharp will now fill the 6 – 8 a.m. slot … KROQ’s Bean of Kevin & Bean gave a shout-out to Mark & Brian on the announcement there would be a reunion later this month. “Hey, these are those guys that did the thing,” wrote Bean.

Let's Do It Again
Mark & Brian Return for One More Time
 

(April 9, 2019) A historic reunion of Mark & Brian, who spent 25 years doing mornings at KLOS, will take place for a one-time only broadcast. The KLOS 50th anniversary reunion show will take place on Thursday, April 25, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Joining Mark & Brian for this landmark radio event will be former family members, including Todd Donoho, their Commissioner of Sports, and Chuck Moshontz, for his special brand of news and views. 

KLOS program director Keith Cunningham said: “We’re stoked that Mark & Brian have agreed to get the band back together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of KLOS. If not for the Mark & Brian Show, KLOS may not have reached the 50-year milestone. The show is an enormous part of the brand’s history, and the 25th will be an epic day for Southern California radio listeners.” 

We were curious how they came up with the date for the 50th Anniversary. “Per the station, Rock music started playing on 95.5 in 1969 (as KABC/fm), the calls actually became KLOS in 1971,” responded Cumulus spokesperson Lisa Dollinger. “For decades and decades, KLOS has always used the verbiage ‘since 1969,’ and celebrated past anniversaries/birthdays based on 1969.” When the announcement was posted on my Twitter account, Tony Siracusa wrote: “I would hope it’s the 50th anniversary of the station and not the show. I feel certain they did not start their show when I was three.” Correct.

The duo will make a guest appearance on KLOS’s morning show, Frosty, Heidi & Frank, as well as interviews with KABC’s John Phillips & Jillian Barberie and Dr. Drew and Leeann Tweeden.

In other news: The National Association of Broadcasters has convened in Las Vegas with over 100,000 attendees. There are more discussions and booths about podcasting than ever before … Morris Diamond had a love affair with music since he was 15 years old. The 96-year-old former “band boy” for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, passed away over the weekend. He went on to own his publishing company along with his own record company, Beverly Hills Records. There has been an outpouring of love for Morris on social media … Sad to see the passing of Seymour Cassel. I discovered him when I discovered John Cassavetes films … Basketball Hall of Fame-bound Ralph Lawler called his final regular season game. Tom Hoffarth of the LA Times thinks it is a shame that he didn’t reunite with Stu Lantz, Lawler’s first partner in San Diego back in 1978, when the Lakers played the Clippers. “It also would have been snice to add Rich Marotta, who had four seasons with Lawler (1990-94).” … Congratulations to Jeff Biggs on 19 years of marriage.

The Big Kahuna

Click for 93/KHJ Promos

Podcasting Pro

(April 8, 2019) Ken Levine provides some interesting insights for our series on podcasting. Is it right for you? Ken is a broadcaster, blogger and successful writer of screenplays and theatrical plays. He titles his podcast, Hollywood & Levine.

What are the challenges you are facing?

Levine: Like all podcasters, attracting new listeners. And making sure the content is special and worth seeking. 

Have you figured the panacea for attracting listeners?

Levine: Be famous. That really helps. For those of us not famous it’s more of a challenge attracting listeners. First and foremost, I concentrate on the content. I want each episode to be entertaining, informative, and surprising. Attracting listeners means nothing if they sample your podcast and are unimpressed. One way I try to attract new listeners is by guesting on other popular podcasts. New listeners are introduced to me and if they like what they hear they seek me out. I also use social media as much as I can. I need to establish myself as a “brand” and to that end I have a blog, a podcast, and appear as a guest on as many platforms as I can. I’m included in the CNN decades documentary series, discussing tv in the 70’s-2000’s, and happily they rerun those frequently. So, I’ve received a lot of exposure. And when you’re seeing me on CNN it means you’re not seeing Trump. I try to feature a variety of topics and tag them all so I’m casting a wide net. Come for a Cheers story and stay for an interview with Nancy Travis. Longevity is helpful too. I’m in my third year. Lots of podcasts come and go. Listeners need to be able to depend on you. My podcast drops weekly at the same time.

I consider myself a professional broadcaster and want my podcast to be of that quality, both in content and fidelity. Lots of podcasts are amateurish. The sound quality is terrible, levels are all over the place, the hosts ramble on about nothing. I want my podcast to be tight. I have custom music bumpers and jingles. Subconsciously I think the listener feels more comfortable when the podcast sounds as clean and professional as what they’re used to hearing on the real radio. 

Are you getting revenue support?


Levine: No, but I have no overhead other than my time and effort. I’ve gotten a few sponsors and made some money but not to where I can buy another house. Maybe those days are ahead but I’m doing this for the love of it.   

Content challenges?

Levine: The biggest challenge is to the keep the content fresh. I try to find guests not normally presented, behind-the-scenes stories that people haven’t heard, and fun features like show commentaries, stunts, and radio plays. 

How have set yourself apart from the 650,000 podcasts currently available?

Levine: I know this sounds immodest but the thing that sets my podcast apart is me. I consider myself a storyteller. I’ve enjoyed a long and varied career but I know that means nothing if I can’t connect with the listener. Hopefully listeners will be entertained, learn something, and get a few laughs. There are a lot of podcasts that focus on tv shows. But none have my perspective, my firsthand experience, my warped worldview. Also, I have no co-host. Most podcasts have co-hosts. They spend the first ten minutes chatting about nothing. I want to communicate one-to-one with the listener. And I get into that week's subject matter within the first thirty seconds.  Who cares what I had for breakfast or how bad the traffic has been lately? 

What is your marketing hook?

Levine: What other podcaster is an Emmy-winning tv comedy writer for iconic sitcoms, a screenwriter, a major league play-by-play announcer, director, radio personality, author, playwright, TCM guest host, voice over artist, improvisor, blogger, and jingle collector?   

Thanks, Ken .... 

 

Email Saturday, 4.6.2019 

** Go East, Young Man

“I see Bob McCormick is headed to Texas for a happy retirement. I wish him the best. I spent about 8 years in Texas one winter and retain vivid memories of the experience. While it might struggle to measure up to the offerings of Nevada, I'm sure it will more than meet the needs for a man of Bob's age. 

I very much doubt he will come close to the photo of me in the hot tub. There just is so much more of me being happy in that shot and Bob will still be in Texas.

But location aside, I raise a cup to my old friend from California!” – Tom Haule

** McCormick’s Talent and Humility

Bob McCormick personifies two traits we don't often see together in our business: humility and talent. On top of that, he's a helluva nice guy. 

Happy trails to you, Bob!” – Ken Davis

** McCormick Advice


“Thank you, Don, for the update on Bob McCormick. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish Bob and Ellen a great retirement in the low tax rate state of Texas. If I had taken all of the advice he has given me over the years, I would be joining him instead of reading about him. My best to you Bob, from the guy who asked about your photo.” - Bill Mann, South Pasadena

** Potpourri

“I was sad to see that Bob McCormick is leaving So Cal. I know things are getting expensive here, and those of us who didn't vote for the new taxes aren't happy about it. But I really hope he's prepared for the ‘meaner’ culture of Texas these days. His voice on the airwaves will be missed.

One voice that I won't be listening to on the radio is Ellen K. I know she doesn't have to worry about money these days, but her comment earlier this week that higher costs for gas are ‘part of the price we pay for living in this beautiful place’ was elitist at best and ‘let them eat cake’ at worst! No more ‘KOSTing’ for me!

Re Dick Whittinghill - my mom and her friends used to see him when they were on their way to work early in the morning and he was on his way to KMPC with his arms full of records. Normally shy, my mom would be the only one to greet him while her friends were busy giggling. Later on, it was a routine for my mom to call him up and request songs for anniversaries and birthdays, and he was always kind and considerate. One of a kind.” – Julie T. Byers

** This Is J … Paul ... Huddleston

“I met J. Paul Huddleston in the mid-1980's in San Antonio when I was doing seminars around the country for Transamerica Life Companies. By this time, he'd left radio and gone into the insurance and investment field. He was one of our insurance brokers. I mentioned to him that I well recalled his time in LARadio and he was so flattered that I did. What a nice and classy man.” - Bob Whitmore

** Hello Americans

“I just wanted to thank you for Wednesday’s YouTube video on Paul Harvey's final address in the radio world. I listened to Paul every day that I could, which was most.” - Gary Lane

** The Mayor and All That Jazz

“Mayor Tom Bradley was a huge fan of KBCA and Jazz. He would often come by the station to chat about Jazz. He would often say ‘Coming here puts a bounce in my step.’ And he would go on the air talking about his favorite music over KBCA.

Circa 1970 Sam Yorty, then Mayor of Los Angeles, was invited to be a guest dj on KMPC during morning hours. It was getting near election time for Mayor, and this didn't sit well with me since I believed it was time for LA to have Tom Bradley as Mayor of Los Angeles. I called Mr. Bradley and offered him the KBCA morning drive time and go up against Sam Yorty. So, it was Bradley vs. Yorty for a week. When the week was finished, I offered Tom Bradley a five-minute daily program at 7 a.m. to be called ‘Talk to City Hall.’ Tom at the time was a City Council member.

I like to think that KBCA played a role in getting Tom Bradley known to the public. Tom accepted the offer, and the program ran until the election period.” - Saul Levine, KKGO (KBCA), K-SURF

** Sports Talker List

“The fact that Jim Rome is number 2 on this list is a great indicator that the list is based mostly on familiarity. Rome isn’t on in LA or NY and is never the inspiration for ‘water cooler’ talk as he once was. 

Finally, naming Le Batard and Stugotz [whatever the hell a Stugotz is], as # 4, makes this list completely bogus. They are truly awful.” – Bob Scott

** San Francisco Radio People

“Surprised I never saw this before. I have many friends and acquaintances on LARadio people, and I see SF Radio people, too. I've spent my entire radio career in the San Francisco Bay Area and fringe stations. My resumes, radio station headshots, industry write-ups, social media, YouTube videos and airchecks are on my website: www.melissamcconnell.com

Station Call Letters and Dates:

KYA 93.3 FM & 1260 AM, San Francisco: 1980-82: on-air and host of the "Golden Gate Greats" show on 1260 KYA

K-101(KIOI) FM, San Francisco: 1982-87: evenings 

KEEN 1370 AM, San Jose/San Francisco: 1987-90:  middays, music director, assistant program director

Double 99 FM (98.9 KDBK & 99.1 KDBQ) San Francisco, 1990-91: middays and imaging director

KKIS 92.1FM & 990 AM, Concord/San Francisco: 1991-94: middays and program director

KYCY ("Young Country") 93.3 FM & 1550 AM San Francisco: 1994-97: weekends

KRAZ ("KRAZY")100.3 FM, Santa Rosa: 1994-95: middays and program director. 

KRSH ("The Krush") 95.9 FM) KVHS ("90.5 the Edge") Concord/San Francisco: 1998 to June 2012: gm 

KATM ("KAT Country 103")-Stockton/Modesto (in SF Metro ARB as well): 2010-12, weekends

KJOY 99.3 FM, Stockton: 2012-16: evenings

KATM ("KAT Country 103") 103.3 FM, Stockton/Modesto, 2016 to present: weekends

I'm also an independent voiceover/producer, residing in Pacifica, CA.” - Melissa McConnell,
www.melissamcconnell.com

** Promoting the Competition

“I guess when you are in the ratings basement, you'll take anybody's money. While listening to 790 KABC on my way to work the other morning I heard a commercial that went something like...Are you tired of sitting in traffic on your daily commute?  Why not listen to Audiobooks... 

Since when have radio stations started telling its listeners to listen to something other than their own station? How long before KABC starts running ads for KFI?” – Gary Gibson

Thanks to David Schwartz


Yeah, Yeah, Yeah - Bob Eubanks Dazzles Telling Beatles Stories 

(April 5, 2019) Bob Eubanks is touring his insightful and entertaining show, “Backstage with the Beatles.” Jeff Gehringer, ops manager for the Art Astor group saw the latest production at the sold out La Mirada theater. “We were treated to two hours of Beatles stories and memories.”

“As the only man to bring the Beatles to Los Angeles for three amazing concerts, Bob has so many great stories about the fab four,” said Gehringer. “As a jock at KRLA, Bob also had great radio memories. It was nice to hear the roar of the crowd when he mentioned Dave Hull, Casey Kasem and all the great talent at KRLA.” The show featured the Beatles tribute band, Ticket to Ride. “They added great music to the performance. Bravo to Bob Eubanks and the entire production,” concluded Jeff.
Purely Personal. My daughter Alexandra, applied to four colleges and was accepted by all of the them. Not only is a proud papa writing this, but in the midst of the college admissions scandal, a certain naive sense of astonishment about how much money was spent to get kids into their favorite schools.
 
We made the personal rounds of all four – USC, UCLA, Cal Berkeley, and UCSB. If truth be told, she would have picked USC but knew, without saying, what a financial burden it would have placed on us. I would have sold our house if she really wanted SC, but as it turned out, UCSB wanted her and offered a full scholarship from day one through graduation. She was done in 3.5 years.

Ever since, she has been in the tv production business in the South Bay.

Her brother Tyler was a different story. He couldn’t wait to get out of the house. He moved to San Diego with some buds from the Santa Clarita Valley and earned an AA degree at a junior college. Then couldn’t decide what to do. He floundered for a number of years. Kinda like his dad who crammed a four-year education into 6.5 years.

My son wanted to return to school to get his bachelor’s degree and last June, at the age of 30, did just that. He graduated from Cal State Clear Channel Islands.

Now what?

Well, earlier this week, he flew to Zambia with 38 others to begin a two-year journey with the Peace Corps. (I didn’t even know they were still in business, thinking they'd ended when the Kennedy administration ended.) He needed the degree to join the Peace Corps. A bit disconcerting when you read about an American abducted and held for ransom in Uganda, but danger is always lurking. His Wifi is spotty, but last night he sent a photo of the hut where he is living, complete with a net covering the bed to keep the bugs out.

OMG, will this be an amazing adventure!
J. Paul Huddleston - KHJ 20/20 News

 
LARP in New Sports Talker Poll

 (April 4, 2019)
TALKERS magazine has published the Heavy Hundred Sports Talkers and there are many who were or who are being heard in the Southland. TALKERS admits that the results are subjective.

"Being true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors - some would say they are the only factors with considering - but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry's diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due.

Here are the LARP appearing on Michael Harrison's list:

Bob McCormick Exits California 

(April 3, 2019) After 16 years of living and working in SoCal, Bob McCormick is on his way to Texas for his next journey. The veteran KFWB, KNX, and KTLA/Channel 5 business editor just got his tax bill and realized how much financial pain staying full time in California would cost him in his retirement years. 

His career brought him here from Detroit and San Francisco. “Haven’t driven this far since arriving in San Francisco from the Midwest over 40 years ago,” said McCormick. “Now, I’m going in the opposite direction. Luckily, we have a lot of friends and relatives to help with the culture shock.”

Because of Ellen’s work in L.A. and Las Vegas, Bob is hopeful he will be returning for frequent visits. Bob and his wife Ellen met and were married in Dallas. “The dream home that would have cost millions here is less than half what we sold for in LA. No regrets except not seeing my buddies.”

Before taking off for Texas, Bob texted, “I hope to post a picture in my hot tub that rivals Tom Haule’s.” 
In other news: Bob Buchmann, former pd at KLOS, announced on Facebook that he was leaving KGB/fm. His post: “I'd prefer you hear this from me first, as I'm a bit in shock. My position has been eliminated at iHeartMedia/San Diego as of today. I work for wonderful people who told me I did nothing wrong and everything right. Now in my 7th year, I was made KGB/fm Operations Director last August. In the Afternoon Drive Bob and Coe Show, the February Nielsens rank us #2 in the market. Come to think of it, I’m not a bit in shock, I’m a lot in shock! Thank you for being there for me day in and day out.” … Where has FX’s Better Things been? Finally discovered this quirky adventure with a mom and three daughters. Thanks to DVR for fast binging. Should I be embarrassed to admit that I am smitten with Pamela Adlon? … Earlier this week, we mentioned the Jack Webb movie -30- that featured KMPC Station of the Stars’ Dick WhittinghillHoward Culver, himself a LARP, was also in the film.

Radio Environment. Many of you who read LARadio each morning actually work in radio. We would like to hear about your experiences. The workplace for all of us is changing, especially since the Time’s Up movement and the ever evolving economy. With two station groups coming out of bankruptcy, has the culture changed? Does revenue continue to play an overwhelming role? LARadio would like to share the way stations have stepped up to today’s challenges. Does your station treat you with respect, provide great benefits, and promote an intellectually stimulating and vibrant culture? Tell us the best stations to work for today. Send your experiences to us at: 
AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com

Paul Harvey's Final Address to Broadcast Industry in 2003


Series on Podcasting 

(April 2, 2019) Podcasting is a red-hot conversation. But will it go the way of AM Stereo or HD Radio? Mike Stark worked at KNAC in the 1990s. He was the West Coast producer of the Tom Joyner Morning Show. He is now the owner/operator of the LA Radio Studio (laradiostudio.com). Mike shares some thoughts about questions posed by LARadio in our on-going series about podcasting:

If you are podcasting, what are the challenges you are facing?

Stark: My studio, the LA Radio Studio (
http://laradiostudio.com) is currently in transition after our eviction in Ports-O-Call Village in San Pedro. We are currently in the final stages of construction of our new studio, also in San Pedro on the campus of the non-profit AltaSea.org.

Our focus at the new location will be on helping companies and small businesses develop podcasts as marketing tools for their services and products. That, we are hoping, will be the “monetized” side of our new business model. How that model will look is what we’re still trying to figure out, but the whole podcast business is still in a state of growth. It’s really only been since the demise of our first location that the podcasting business is starting to be taken seriously, as evidenced by your inquiry and podcasting growth stats. Before shutting down we had already produced some podcasts for SCAN Health Plan that they were very happy with and we hope they will be back after our hiatus.
Have you figured the panacea for attracting listeners? How have you set yourself apart from the 650,000 podcasts currently available? What is your marketing hook?

Stark: The beauty of working with companies in doing their podcast is that most of these questions are dealt with by the client, who probably already has a data base and niche audience to work through. They don’t really have to “set themselves apart” from others, because the content is locked into their product or service and is an extension of their existing marketing program. We do believe that the only money we can count on in our new configuration will be from companies and businesses that buy into our service – out front – to have professionally produced audio to pitch their products on a weekly or monthly basis. 

The key for us is to try to find businesses that are interested AND are interesting enough to be able to sustain a weekly or monthly podcast.  Our friend Dave Beasing is already doing something similar to this with Trader Joes, which to me would be the perfect client because so much is going on in that store that could be talked about. However, those questions are harder to answer if you are doing individual podcasts on a variety of topics.  We – and most of the other 650,000 podcasters – are having to work through these issues as we develop each individual podcast.

We got pretty good at doing podcasts at the old location, trying different types of formats, different lengths and with various niche topics. These roughly 15 podcasts will pick up where we left off at the new location. The hope is to monetize these podcasts, but with more of the idea that this will be the “creative” side of the business model that just involves “fun” and “making shows.” Honestly, some of these shows have potential, so we’re never going to give up hope that we couldn’t someday go with a subscription model or add advertising to them.

Content challenges?

Stark: I’ve given up thinking I understand what makes good content. We started a show called “Bat Chat” that is based around Halloween and the people that celebrate it year-round. Not at all of interest to me. A niche audience for sure, but I was surprised at the number of people that were interested in it. This is a show with a little proper promotion (which we will work on after the studio “reboot”) could be huge.

The little podcast that I considered a “throw away,” Radio Waves that Richard Wagoner and I do, based on his weekly column, has had a great success building listeners. Just two radio “geeks” rambling [and worse] about radio every week, has been really accepted by many of YOUR LARadio People and we’re looking forward to rambling some more once our studio is available. The real draw of Radio Waves is when we get long time LA radio personalities in studio for “career spanning” interviews. We’ve done a bunch of those that we are VERY proud of and hope to do more in the future.

Are you getting revenue support?

Stark: One of our problems at our old location was that we were top heavy with creative people with no one able to handle any kind of sales to try to entice advertiser to buy into our existing podcasts, so that is also something we hope to correct this time out.

Another problem is getting accurate “metrics” for shows. It’s above my pay grade to know why it is hard to get good, comprehensive, true counts on listener, but we've yet to be able to hone in on how to do that.  We hope, in our new configuration, to have someone who knows about that side of the business join our team.  With good metrics you have a better opportunity to sell your shows to advertisers and lately, even ad agencies. There is still a lot to be learned about how to do a successful podcast.

To have Mr. Jayme Wilson as my partner, who was willing to grow the business for eight years only to be forced to tear down and rebuild, is the blessing of my life. I'm pretty much retired and THIS new LA Radio Studio will be my swan song in the audio business and we’re hoping to be able to subsidize my retirement a little bit in the process. If nothing else, we’re going to have fun doing it. All of our current podcasts can be reached at the studio website - 
laradiostudio.com.

LA Magazine


LARPs Awarded at AllAccess Event 

(April 1, 2019) Many LARP and SoCal entities were recipients of awards at AllAccess’ Worldwide Radio Summit 2019 last week at the Castaways in Burbank. WWRS 2019 DOMESTIC RADIO INDUSTRY (Winners >>blackened)

Radio Company of The Year
Alpha Media
Beasley Media Group
Hubbard Broadcasting
>>iHeartMedia
Townsquare Media  

Radio Company Exec of The Year
Bob Pittman, Chairman & CEO, iHeartMedia
Ginny Morris, Chairman & CEO, Hubbard Broadcasting
Kim Guthrie, President, Cox Media Group
>>Mary Berner, President & CEO, Cumulus Media
Weezie Kramer, COO, Eentercom Communications  

Radio Company Sr. Programmer of The Year
Buzz Knight, EVP Strategy/Innovation, Beasley Media Group
John Ivey, SVPP/Top 40 Programming iHeartMedia, PD KIIS-Los Angeles
>>Mike McVay, EVP/Programming, Cumulus Media (photo)
Thea Mitchem, EVP/Programming, iHeartMedia
Tony Coles, EVP/Programming, iHeartMedia  

Station of The Year
KHKS-Dallas
>>KIIS-Los Angeles
KRBE-Houston
WKQX-Chicago
WPLJ-New York  

Imaging/Production of The Year
>>Benztown, Los Angeles
Kelly Doherty, President, The Imaging House
Miles Hlivko, Imaging Dir., KIIS-Los Angeles
ReelWorld, Seattle
Staxx Williams, Imaging Dir., WHTZ & WKTU-New York
In other news: How do you break through the podcasting land field of clutter to get yours heard? Chartable says that we’ve just hit a total of 700,000 available podcasts. The company monitors Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and other podcast apps … John Fox reports that for today only, Rez Radio 91.3 in San Diego becomes ‘Rez Radio LOL.’  “Out goes the regular music and most of the talk shows, and in comes, uh … other stuff,” emailed John. “Fans of Dr. Demento will understand.  Stand-up comedy too, with emphasis on Native American comedians ... What’s a radio station worth? The owner of KLIV-San Jose wants to donate the station to the city. “I would hope they would make good use of it, to inform the citizens about all the things city administration is doing,” said Kieve, the current KLIV owner … Bill Seward is calling the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series … Tim Cates sounded great on the Dodgers opening day pre-game show. He was interviewing Cody Bellinger ... Ty Bentli worked afternoons at MY/fm (KBIG) from 2010-12. He went on to Top 40 WNOW (92.3 Now) in New York for mornings and then was part of Cumulus’ nationally syndicated “America’s Morning Show” for the NASH Country Network. He is now launching the first-ever nationwide Country Music radio station in the UK, Country Hits Radio … Bean just returned from England following a 10-day visit. He’s hoping to be living there by the end of the year … Salem (KRLA) has renewed Mike Gallagher through 2023 … Steve Nieto of Yorba Linda sent some fun Funnies (including this morning) that you will see over the next months. Thanks, Steve.
Dick Whittinghill (r), iconic morning man at 710/KMPC from 1950-79, appeared with Jack Webb in the 1959 movie, -30-

Arrow 93 Reunion 2019
Front row, Left to right: Robert Negrete, Maggie McKay,
, Chris Taylor, Diane Thompson, Tom Patterson, Tim Suing
Back row: Mike Zara, Stacey Dockray Zara, Sioux-Z Jessup, Rick Sietsema, Jackie Herek, Ryan Doyle


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Last modified: May 16, 2019