Happy LARP Birthdays

Kevin Gershan

Jim Governale
John Kluge
Gary Franklin (d)
Dean Goss
Alan Gottfried
Kevin Peterson
Tom Rivers (d)
Carson Schreiber
Julie Slater
Bill Thomas

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



(Petros Papakakis, Matt Money Smith, John Biseglia, Frank Bingman, Jim Martin (foreground), Don Bastida, Fahd Sheikh, Steven Moghaddam,
Brian Otto, Miro Sarkissian, Jay Olin, Randy West, and Ryan Seacrest)

Sunday Funnies from Saul Levine (9.21)

LARadio Archives from September 2003

“It’ll Be Fun Going Against Robin” 
– David G. Hall

(September 22, 2003)  Not much in radio lasts very long. One only needs to look at the revolving door of high profile morning hosts – Sinbad and George Lopez – at Mega/HOT. Each was gone in less than a year. KLAC has been a troubled station in search of a format for years (today they have four formats – Lakers, Adult Standards, Bozo Trucking Show all night and weekend snake oil infomercials to cure any ill). KXTA has struggled with four monikers in five years. Talk about an identity crisis since going all-sports. And isn’t it interesting that, with four all-Sports stations, the Dodgers appear on a news station. 

Which brings us to the subject at hand. When you look at the 35-year anniversary of the all-News entries in 1968, KNX and KFWB, one marvels that the concept has remained virtually unchanged for decades. They call themselves all news or news radio, but this is a stretch. Most nights, tune into KFWB and you’ll hear a Dodger game and KNX might be in a 50-year old radio drama. So much for all-News. And how about the NFL football games on Sunday and Monday night? 

KNX has been in a time warp. KFWB has diverted from its long-standing “Give Us 22 Minutes and We’ll Give You the World” promise. If there is a long Dodger game, the interruption of 22-minute news blocks could last for five hours with pre- and post-game programming. 

Enter David G. Hall, former pd at KFI, who, just over a decade ago, transformed a 50,000-watt sleeping giant into a relevant news/talk station that is poised to be the first AM station to be rated #1 in L.A. since KABC in the mid-1980s. Robin Bertolucci, Hall’s replacement, has continued the impressive growth of a relevant-sounding news/talk station. News/Talk stations rank #1 in a substantial number of the Top 30 markets. Why not L.A.? 

KFI, with more stimulating news, has leapfrogged over the all-news stations. KNX and KFWB may have been caught transfixed in the proverbial headlights waiting for something to happen. KFWB was rumored to be sold and was temporarily put into a Trust last year. KNX news programming was helmed by Bob Sims for decades until a few days after 9-11 when he packed his briefcase, offered no good-byes, and never came back. KFWB has had a revolving door of news directors and program directors. 

Perhaps it is time to reevaluate the mission of the two Infinity/CBS all-news properties. Even though we don’t know what changes might be in store for KNX and KFWB, one thing is obvious – David Hall didn’t leave his executive position with Premiere Radio Network (owned by Clear Channel Entertainment) to oversee the status quo. 

Pat Duffy, recently installed as vp/market manager of the LA news stations, called David G. Hall the “best spoken-word programmer in the country.” Interesting that he chose the words “spoken-word” as opposed to news/talk. On Friday, Pat told me that this was his most important hire since bringing The Real Don Steele and Robert W. Morgan to KRTH a decade ago when he was gm at the Oldies outlet. 

How much freedom will Hall have? “David will have a lot of discretion to make changes, but we’re certainly not going to blow up these stations. He’ll have a lot of latitude,” said Duffy. 

David emphasized that nothing will happen “very fast.” As a kid growing up in Sacramento, he used to listen to KNX on a crystal radio. He is thrilled to be part of the two stations, and acknowledged that there is already a base of 1.5 million listeners each week. 

Pat Duffy has been in his new position as head of KNX and KFWB for less than a month, but his move on Friday with the hiring of Hall was a major statement that the company plans to make their two AM stations relevant. Ratings, despite the war, have continued to drop. KFWB in the most recent ratings fell to an all-time low of 1.4. 

What does this mean for current general managers Roger Nadel (KFWB) and George Nicholaw (KNX)? No one is talking. George has been a Columbia Square resident from the beginning of the news operation. He has earned hundreds of millions of dollars for the companies owning KNX. He has built a solid CBS news operation. Is it time for George to step aside? Only George knows. In conversations with George over the past year, there has never been an indication that he is ready to retire. Perhaps the thinking is, “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” It would be so cruel for the New York Infinity corporate execs to embarrass George during this transition. How will he react when these changes take place? One hopes that dignity will prevail in whatever decisions are made. 

David spoke with Bertolucci on Friday. “It'll be fun to go against Robin. She wished me ‘all possible fortune and success’ in my personal life and ‘not any success whatsoever’ professionally. She is going to have fun with this, too. Competition will be a very good thing all the way around, mostly for radio listeners who enjoy hearing news and talk programming,” said David.

KFI is not the only target for David. "I see it aimed at someone between 25 and 54 who would be inclined to use one of these four radio stations [KFI, KABC, KLSX, and KRLA], period. Both as news director and program director at KFI, I was always mindful of ALL the stations in the format, not just KABC, which is how KFI got to the position it's in. It would be a fatal mistake to not do the same thing here. It's a pretty small world in this market with this crowded format."

Look for an exciting time in AM L.A. radio during the next few months. David has a number of challenges. KFWB's signal problems are real. Some have suggested that a $2 million investment in signal upgrade could improve things significantly, but apparently Infinity hasn't wanted to make the investment. The choking spot load will severely limit programming flow. When KFWB needed to make budget, more spots were added. It wasn't unusual to monitor an hour and hear 25 minutes of commercials. And those who are sure that David will adopt a KGO-type format for KFWB, don’t be so sure. Just when you think you have David figured out, he moves in another direction. 

The Beast 980 Set to Launch New Sports Format on Monday

(September 19, 2014) Former Clippers and UCLA star Marques Johnson (l) will team with sports talk veteran Jeanne Zelasko (r) to kick off the new sports format Monday morning at KFWB (980 AM). Airing weekdays from 5:30 a.m. – 9 a.m., the show will feature the longtime Voice of the Clippers, Ralph Lawler, and other notable insiders.

The Beast 980’s weekday lineup will continue with The Jim Rome Show airing live from 9 a.m. – noon and Fred Roggin from noon – 3 p.m. In afternoon drive, ex-NFL player George Wrighster and veteran radio/tv host and journalist, Brett Winterble host from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.  “L.A. Sports Today,” looking at “the day’s hottest local stories” will be featured from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., followed by Doug Gottlieb from 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.

The Beast 980 is the flagship station of the Los Angeles Clippers, airing every game and comprehensive behind-the-scenes coverage throughout the year. The Beast 980 will also carry a full slate of NFL action including exclusive primetime Sunday, Monday and Thursday evening games, NCAA football and basketball play-by-play, “Trojans Live,” a weekly look at USC athletics, and frequent sports updates from Ted Sobel and Amy Bender.

The Beast 980 complete weekday schedule:

5:30am – 9:00am        Marques Johnson / Jeanne Zelasko

9:00am – 12:00pm     The Jim Rome Show

12:00pm – 3:00pm     Fred Roggin

3:00pm – 7:00pm       George Wrighster / Brett Winterble

7:00pm – 9:00pm       “L.A. Sports Today”

9:00pm – 11:00pm     Doug Gottlieb

11:00pm – 3:00am     The DA Show (Damon Amendolara)

3:00am – 5:30am        Tiki Barber / Brandon Tierney / Dana Jacobson

Hoffarth on the Beast. Tom Hoffarth is a longtime sports writer and columnist for the LA Daily News. This morning, Tom devotes much of his column to KFWB.

"Not that the experts flipping the switch on this venture need our top five suggestions on how to make an impact in this market, but we’ll give them anyway:

1. Reconsider this “Beast” mentality: We can appreciate the optimistic, shot-of-adrenalin approach to getting out of the gate. But isn’t this kind of strange timing to get into “Beast Mode” when you’ve got a sports culture trying to tame inhumane acts of violence off the playing field?  

Besides, it comes off as something that could overpromise and under-deliver with a bold logo and a tagline: We feed on L.A. Sports. 

“I don’t want to insult people who make that kind of connection, but I really do like the name,” said new morning co-host Jeanne Zelasko, a former Fox Sports anchor/reporter who came up in morning radio years ago at the Mighty 690 in San Diego and also when Fox Radio launched 12 years ago. “With everything connected to the NFL right now, it’s more ‘criminal’ or ‘violent act.’ ‘Beast’ never came to my mind.

“It sounds like the company line, but the wonderful thing about morning sports is feeding off all the teams.” 

Traditional dictionaries refer to a “beast” as something villainous, rogue or miscreant. Yet the Urban Dictionary defines it as slang for someone who is very good at something. 

One of the other web domains secured by the KFWB Trust some years ago for this rebranding included TheFanLA.com and 980Fan.com — we were fans of that. 

Either way, with sports talk stations across the nation using monikers like The Zone, The Ticket, The Game or even The Sports Animal, picking anything that remotely relates to bestiality might take prodding for L.A. to embrace. (Jeanne Zelasko talks about the branding name of The Beast: http://www.dailynews.com/sports/20140918/on-the-media-is-the-beast-whats-best-for-la-sports-talk)

2. Play it smart: This region and legion of listeners deserve intelligent discussion. 

How will that happen? 

The station promos from mid-day host Fred Roggin have been along the lines: “It’s a whole new show and a different approach — I’m not sure what that’ll be, but I’ve got time to figure it out.” 

The tone may be set by Zelasko paired up with former UCLA and Clippers star Marques Johnson in the 5:30-9 a.m. weekday slot. 

After Rome and Roggin, there’s former NFL, University of Oregon and Sylmar High standout tight end George Wrighster (he of the famous Violet’s Cupcake business in Pasadena and Valencia) goes on with Brett Winterble in the key 3-7 p.m. drive time spot. 

A program called “L.A. Sports Today” airs from 7-9 p.m., with a condensed replay of the CBS Sports’ Doug Gottlieb afternoon show going from 9-11 p.m. The network lineup featuring Damon Amendolara (11 p.m.-3 a.m.) and Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson (3-5:30 a.m.) fill the rest of the 24 hours. 

Here’s hoping Roggin and his Beastie Boys (and girls) will be true to their own personalities and convictions if they want to cultivate a loyal, intelligent listening base. Otherwise there remains a handful of fully capable out-of-work local sports talk show hosts who already know how things work. 

3. Ride the new-wave Clippers as far as possible: Having succumbed to being the home base for the NBA’s poster child of ineptitude was no act of community service the last few years. The time is ripe to hit a re-set button for all concerned. 

As much as KSPN may over-do it with the Lakers, or even KLAC with the Dodgers (a contract extension is expected to be announced when the season ends), 980 might consider having Clippers owner Steve Ballmer on as many shows as possible. 

4. Find more local teams to jump on board: The Kings recent signing on with KABC-AM (790) starting next season may seem like a missed opportunity, even if there were conflicts with the Clippers’ schedule, but some kind of grab like that needs to be the next step in a year-around foundation. 

Latching onto Westwood One’s NFL package, as has been done, won’t hurt. Redirecting The Angels’ sporadic simulcasts from Orange County-based KLAA could be pursued. So would investigating the creation of a high school football Friday night series. 

5. Respect the letters: The @KFWB Twitter account disappeared Thursday, replaced by @TheBeast980. Yet the KFWB history means something. 

We go back to the early 1990s, when Gene Autry decided to usher his beloved KMPC-AM (710) into the all-sports trend at the time, hiring big names to join Jim Healy in trying to recreate what had been going on with New York’s WFAN, and compete locally with the burgeoning Mighty 690 lineup. 

KMPC lasted only two years with mismanagement, miscalculations and panic attacks. 

Here’s to KFWB being taken into the 21st century in a little more dignified way.

Insight Into Brian Whitman. KRLA morning man Brian Whitman had an interesting Facebook entry that will give you insight into a couple of LARPs:

“Radio folks, the unemployed or those struggling to be an actual broadcaster, are pretty bitter and angry people – some for good reasons. The Clear Channel news today reminds us how broadcasting has changed. Throughout my entire career I have never publicly criticized an employer or a former one. It's the way I've always done business and it's even more important today. I also never publicly have said bad things about people I’ve worked with as a broadcast partner. I really do love all of them but even if I didn't, why go there. During a commercial break in 2006 (or so) I said to Tim Conway, Jr., buddy, this won't last forever. It could be over tonight or it could last for years. I promise you that when this is over I’ll never say anything less than wonderful about you publicly."

I remember Tim thinking about what I’d said. “You know what dude? You got a deal. Likewise. You’re awesome.”

And then we shook hands.

Power to CraigCraig Powers, longtime programming executive in Orange Country radio, has been in charge of the Cameron Broadcasting cluster in Kingman/Bullhead, Arizona cluster. Over the weekend, Craig experienced a life-changing event that he recounted on his Facebook page:

First, I’m thankful to be here today, I’m thankful for my wife who is the best advocate and partner any person could ever have, I’m a lucky guy, plus she’s hot too! I’m so thankful for you my Facebook family! And last but by far not the least I’m thankful for two of my best friends on this planet Mike and Crystal Fletcher, two of the highest quality persons on the planet!

For months we have been planning a camping weekend trip on our houseboat on Lake Mohave with Mike and Crystal. We planned and even scoped out our spot at the Lake a few weeks in advance to get the perfect beach. We rode the Sea Doo, went water skiing, wake-boarding and took a 26 mile ride up to Cottonwood Cove for breakfast!

The weather was perfect all weekend, sunny, clear and 98 degrees! Nights were beautiful with a perfect campfire on the beach, roasted marshmallows and good conversation with a billion stars! We sat and told stories about our best and worst moments in life and enjoyed the natural beauty of Lake Mohave and Arizona! It was definitely two of the best days ever on the lake for me!

Sunday afternoon, we packed it all up and one last thing to do before taking off and that was to put my Sea Doo back on the trailer. Mike, Crystal and I were all on the launch ramp at Katherine Landing, waiting for Tamara to drive the Sea Doo up. It was hot on Sunday, so I stepped directly behind my Suburban, with flip flops on, walked down into the water deep enough to get myself wet and came back out waiting Tamara. Moments later I saw her driving up, so I took one step into the water on my right foot and felt it go straight up into the air, it seemed like it took forever to land but bam, I landed on my rear end so hard that my upper body started to fall back as well, so fast that I couldn’t brace my arms behind me to prevent hitting my head! (Photo: Craig and Tamara Powers)

Bam, the next thing to hit was my head and the first hit to my head was so hard it bounced up like a basketball and hit again. Crystal said I was unconscious for five seconds with eyes open and she was saying “Craig are you ok, can you hear me, wake up.”

I remember seeing her above me, slowly coming into focus and I was saying, “I’m fine, I’m fine!” She told me to stay still, don’t move. Meanwhile, Mike saw some rangers on the launch ramp and one was an EMT, they got to me in seconds, called an ambulance and it was there within two minutes.

The lead EMT did a great job, checking all my vital signs and gave me a neurological field test. In my mind I was checking all my vitals myself too, wriggling my toes, fingers and searching for other signs in my body. The lead EMT was very good and told me I may have a head trauma that he can’t see, so between my wife, Mike and Crystal and him, they all convinced me to go to the hospital.

God knows that’s the last place any man wants to go. The Park ranger ambulance took me to WARMC (Western Arizona Regional Medical Center) where I met the head nurse Candy. She took great care of me, and as it turned is also a K-Flag fan. Candy was fun, a smart ass like me, so we hit it off.

I asked her if she had ever poked me? She cocked her head and said, excuse me? I said, you know poked me on FB? We both laughed. Dr. Ross the local doctor on duty came in and I asked him if he was McDreamy? He paused then laughed as it took him a few seconds to get it.

He wanted to do a CT scan and came back with the results very quickly. He said I had a small subdural hematoma and if it gets worse without the proper medical attention I could die. Not having a neurosurgeon there, he recommended that I go to Vegas by helicopter or ambulance.

I went immediately by ambulance and checked into the ER at UMC (University Medical Center) Las Vegas . I had another CT scan in Vegas, got moved to the lower ICU unit for observation and waited for the neurosurgeon to give me the results. After a long day of waiting, he said “you have a very bad concussion and possibly a small subdural hematoma, at least that’s what the radiologist in BHC (BHC Monte Vista Hospital) says.”

No heavy thinking, video games or other brain filled activities for a couple of weeks and no aspirin for two weeks, keep me informed of any problems and go for a checkup in 30 days.

So after some very scary moments when Dr. Ross in BHC said “this is serious Craig you could die,” there were a lot of life changing moments for me –and I know for Tamara too! – who by the way, never slept or took an eye off me for the first 24 hours. What I’ve learned:

 1) How many true friends I have.

 2) How precious your family and friends are.

 3) I was reminded how lucky I am to have family, friends, co-workers and employers that care so much about me.

 4) Life can end in an instant even on a launch ramp! Make every second count, keep family, friends and the people you work with close! Forgive often, say I love you more! And laugh as often as possible, it’s the best medicine!

I’m a lucky man in so many ways! I love you all.”




Email Friday

We GET Email …

** Koontz to KFWB

“What a great hire for KFWB. Bob Koontz is a great salesperson, manager and motivator. Congrats Bob.” – Lynda Parets

** Steve Hoffman’s Essay on iHeart Media

Steve Hoffman must be a youngster. The comment he made, with a word left out, was the 25 year cartoon series. Was he missing the word ‘Old?’

Steve, that cartoon goes back to 1962. The Internet Movie Database says it ran until 1988, but I didn’t dive into all that history.

Maybe you just meant to say 52 instead of 25.

The one thing the Jetsons didn’t have on those large tv/computer screens were lots of ads.  Ads on the page, pop up ads that are annoying, and filmed commercials in front of every dang news story that I want to see.

Of course, there’s that radio station I used to listen to online that covers local commercials with ads relevant to my area. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hear the station I wanted because, in another part of the page, ANOTHER filmed commercial was running drowning out the radio station.

The Jetsons didn’t warn us about THAT!” - Mike Femyer, Phoenix

** Clear Channel Venting

“Got a couple of bugs up my ass that need venting:

1)  For those who have unceremoniously been shown the door from a career they dedicated their lives to, the anger about Clear Channel radio is palpable, and has been for many years. I’m only disheartened by what they've done to a once vibrant industry. Radio is now irrelevant to an entire generation.

Apparently Clear Channel has also left a stink that can be smelled up and down Wall Street. According to an L.A Times article, or was it the Wall Street Journal, CC’s SEC report shows a loss of $1 billion dollars in the past two years, raising their total debt to $20 billion! It's like the national debt of a country! They continue to issue new bonds [IOUs to kick the can down the street]. I guess there are buyers because they pay an inordinately high interest rate – something like 9% – to compensate for the lack of security and safety.

So let’s celebrate the name change for what it is, a PR move and an embracing of a Wall Street-friendlier identity that can be more closely related to ‘tech’ than to ‘radio.’ And yes, the new logo looks like a carnal act is about to be consummated!

2)  I’ve been listening to KNX on the clean quality stream of HD-Radio. KNX is on KAMP-HD2; or at least it was. There has been nothing at that car radio push-button for four days. I finally called KNX to find that there was not a single engineer in the building for the entire cluster, and that the phone receptionist has no idea what HD Radio is. Could I have been the only person listening and they have no idea they are off the air?

You may now resume your regular programming.” – Randy West

** New Name for Clear Channel

“I have to respectfully disagree with Bob Fox’s assessment of the Clear Channel name change. iHeart represents a lot more than the iHeart app. All of Clear Channel’s concerts are branded as iHeart and their new performance theater in Burbank bears the iHeart name. 

Clear Channel was undoubtedly the innovator when it came to radio companies understanding the importance of digital, and developing products to keep them competitive. While the app only represents a small percentage of Clear Channel’s revenue, it is the brand that the general public knows and embraces. It is only we in the radio industry that really know the Clear Channel brand and I think our insider status sometimes makes us too jaded to see our business through ‘civilian’ eyes. 

iHeart is the brand that truly transitioned Clear Channel from a radio company to a media and entertainment company and the brand will resonate with the non-radio industry public.” – Bob Scott, Marketing Consultant, RINCON BROADCASTING LLC 

Bob Koontz Named Sports Sales Manager for The Beast 980

(September 18, 2014) As the on-air line-up at KFWB begins to take shape (Jim Rome and Fred Roggin confirmed thus far) the moves behind-the-scenes continue to evolve. The latest addition to the staff is Bob Koontz, who has been appointed sports sales manager of all-Sports The Beast 980.

The Southern California native Koontz has more than 20 years of sports radio sales and management experience in Los Angeles. From 2006-08, he was the station manager for ESPN 710 and served as that station’s first sales manager over the preceding six years. Koontz also served as sales manager for KABC, KLOS, KSCA, KMPC and K-LITE. Throughout his career, Koontz has worked directly with several local sports franchises including the Clippers, Trojans, Angels, Rams and Bruins.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the launch of L.A.’s new sports station,” Koontz said. “I look forward to working with our great talent to help build strategic partnerships and unique opportunities for our clients and listeners.”         


Hear Ache. Former KABC news person Debra Mark has been hired as a freelance entertainment reporter for Fox News Radio … Brian Beirne (a.k.a. Mr. Rock ‘n Roll), 30-year veteran of K-EARTH, is now a concert promoter, primarily of Oldies acts. He’s in Abu Dhabi with Surfin’ – The Beach Boys Tribute. No news is good news from Brian … Charese Fruge, former STAR 98.7 program director from 2006-07, has been named vp/programming for CBS Radio’s six station cluster in Las Vegas … Rich Marotta's last day at KFI is September 26 ... Deb Carson (photo) tried out on-air with Bill Handel Monday and Tuesday for the soon-to-be-vacated sports spot on the morning show. She is co-hosting a show with Jason Smith on Fox Sports Radio … Dr. Jenn Berman starts her 5th season hosting Couples Therapy on VH1. She continues her daily show on SiriusXM's Oprah Channel. She used to appear regularly on STAR 98.7 ... Darrell Hammond replacing Don Pardo as the Saturday Night Live announcer.  

Steve Hoffman – A Look at iHeart Media

(Hoffman is a veteran of KLOS, “Pirate Radio” and 100.3/The Sound. After 14 years programming KCAL-Riverside, he stepped down in late summer of 2012 to practice law.)

When it’s not just your company that’s changing massively, but your entire brand, a fresh coat of paint is an extremely good idea. Given that (1) media convergence in a digital environment is driving that change, (2) Clear Channel’s digital initiatives have been built around the iHeart brand, and (3) our media convergence era means that our current types of media – television, radio, film, print – are becoming one thing called “media,” what better name could there be for the company than iHeartMedia?

Let’s walk through it all as quickly as possible.

Step One: We’re heading to The Jetsons Future. It’s a future where – just like the 25-year cartoon series – giant screens inhabit every room in our homes. Smaller screens sit in our hands (in the form of tablets), in our pockets (on our cell phones), in our connected dashboards, and they’re moving on to our wrists (and glasses). Like George Jetson and his clan, we’ll be using those screens for everything from consuming entertainment content to making phone calls to doing our banking and ordering dinner.

What’s delivering content to all those screens? It isn’t big sticks sitting on top of mountains – y’know, broadcast transmitters. It isn’t giant cables running under your carpet. In The Jetsons Future, content will be delivered by what we now call broadband Internet.

Step Two: Media converges. We still – more or less – have three types of media:

  1. Audiovisual content: That’s content with video and audio, including feature films, television, YouTube videos, etc.

  2. Audio-only content: That’s radio content – both talk radio and music-oriented radio – but it’s also music and most podcasts.

  3. Print content: Newspapers, magazines, books, and any other medium featuring the written word and photographs.

 When content is being delivered to many devices whose main distinguishing characteristics are (1) screen size and quality and (2) the amount of memory and type of processor the device possesses, the boundaries between types of content disappear.

Here’s the website of a great radio station.  Interesting observation: The “radio station” has a lot of content on its website, very little of which is audio-only content.  It has audiovisual content.  It has plenty of content that is, by traditional definitions, “print” content.  Similarly, here’s a great print website.  Not long ago, a newspaper featured text and a few fixed photographs.  Now, when I go to the website or open the newspaper’s app on my tablet or phone, I can scroll through non-fixed photos, meaning I can see slide shows where once only a single photo would have been visible. Oh, and I can watch plenty of documentary videos.

Step Three: Content – and the system for developing it is changing. Whatever kind of content you think you make, you need to realize this: You’re competing with all three types of content, and if you’re not already creating all three types of content yourself, you certainly should be.

The most important words for any content creator to remember in The Jetsons Future: “The medium is the message.”  –Marshall McLuhan

How your content is delivered to, and consumed by, your users is inextricably intertwined with the content itself. I absolutely love a speech Kevin Spacey gave last year because he really nailed the impact of The Jetsons Future on traditional tv and film. Summed up:

Step Four: Opportunity arises! Talent can build a brand and a career in all sorts of interesting places. If you’re talent, and you look around the media world with an open mind, opportunities have never been bigger. Even huge stars are “leaving television” in order to have greater access to audience. Better still, the barriers to entry have collapsed, and if you’re great talent, you can get in the game easily and cheaply.

When the Rupert Murdochs of the world make it clear that content in this new world is everything, you should believe them. Frankly, this is a recurring story that goes back to the 1950′s.

Step Five: The Jetsons Future arrives. It’s pulling into the station now. How quickly will it get here? Media history serves as a pretty good guide on that point as well.

The now-former Clear Channel has been doing deals that recognize the digital future for some time now. They’ve been building so much of their marketing around the iHeart brand for some time now. Why? Because they see The Jetsons Future arriving. Other companies are doing so as well, of course, but I do think the new iHeartMedia has been doing it much more completely.

Today’s company rebranding simply codifies their vision of the future.

More importantly for you, the content creator are these thoughts, which should be clearer today than ever before:

When Rupert Murdoch makes it clear that content is everything, believe him. When the single biggest operator in radio makes it, er, clear where the future lies, believe them.

It’s never been easier for you to expose your brilliant creative ideas to the world and to make money – lots of it – from them.

To borrow from perhaps the best people in the world at overcoming anything – the United States Marines – this is the time to improvise, adapt, overcome.

Check out Steve's tasty blog at: http://www.stevehoffmanlaw.com/thoughts/

Funnie. Thanks to Scott St. James for our funnie.

Email Thursday

We GET Email …

** Sorry to See Marotta Leave

"I am very sorry to hear about Rich Marotta leaving the KFI morning show. In addition to being the extremely knowledgeable sports reporter, he also provided a different political perspective that is not normally heard on that station.

Besides sports, he was quite astute at analysis of the national political scene. I am sorry to see him go. I will miss his presence in the morning. Glad to hear he will still be doing boxing events.

All the best to him.” – Herb Redholtz, West Covina

** Marotta a Class Act

"Rich Marotta has been a class act wherever he's been dong radio.

He’ll be a class act in retirement.” – Fred Wallin, Sports Byline

** What’s In a Name?

“Clear Channel changing its name to iHeart Media to foster a better public image? How about Barack Obama changing his name to John F. Kennedy? Or the Tea Party changing their name to...oh wait, they've already tried that.” – Jared Kliger

** Bob Pittman’s Dreaming

Bob Pittman is living in a dream world. He’s nuts. Changing the name of Clear Channel to iHeartMedia accomplishes nothing except to add some confusion as to the identity of the company. Changing the name of the company will not reduce debt, increase sales, etc. and iHeart [the app] provides a very small percentage of revenues for the company. Most of the revenues are generated by the radio stations. But perhaps, Pittman can BS Wall Street in preparation for a public offering.

Regardless of the name change, Pittman and Bresler will continue to reduce expenses by firing people.” – Bob Fox

** Keep Your (Charl) Eye on the Ball

“Thanks for the remembrance of Charleye Wright.

I was exceptionally lucky to meet and work with him at KPOL with around 1976-77 at the wee little building we fm hipsters lovingly called the Wilton Triangle at Sunset.

Charleye was a superlative sportscaster and a great guy with a nice temperament.

Not surprised at all to learn that he studied for the ministry. He was peace personified.” – Mike Sakellarides 

Veteran Sports Broadcaster Rich Marotta Retires

(September 17, 2014) KFI’s Rich Marotta (photo: Rich on left with Bob Miller) announced his retirement this morning on the Bill Handel Show. Rich has been providing sports and commentary for many years across the dial. He started out in LA Radio at KNX in 1981, then moved to KRLA/KBZT, and KFOX. Rich has also been active in announcing in the boxing world.

"After 34 years of morning drive, I've decided it's finally time to stop getting up in the middle of the night and I'm announcing my retirement from radio," Rich said shortly after 9 a.m. this morning. He said that he would continue tv boxing announcing assignments.

In 2011, Rich became the 26th broadcaster to be inducted into the SCSB Hall of Fame. He joined an incredible group of sports broadcasters that includes: Vin ScullyChick HearnGil StrattonKeith JacksonDick EnbergJim HealyJaime JarrinRoss PorterBob MillerSam BalterBob KelleyTom Harmon, and Stu Nahan.

Rich joined the LA Kings tv broadcast team with Bob Miller in 1976. Bob recalled a practical joke that he played on Rich after the end of the first season. He told Rich that Kings’ owner Jack Kent Cooke wanted his broadcast team to sell advertising on the ‘schmoo’ during the off-season.  Rich had no idea what a ‘schmoo’ was: 

A ‘schmoo’ were those concrete pylons when you drove into the Forum, they directed traffic. I told Rich that Mr. Cooke wanted us to go up and down Manchester Boulevard and sell advertising on the ‘schmoo.’ You get a whole ‘schmoo’ for $25 and a half a ‘schmoo’ for $15. Rich looked shocked. I told him that Cooke knew how many people drove past those ‘schmoos’ and he wanted advertising on every one of them. The thought of the task ruined Rich’s day.

Later that same afternoon, Rich came by Bob’s office while Bob was on the phone pretending to be pitching Sizzler for advertising on the ‘schmoo.’ I motioned to Rich that the head of Sizzler needed the size of the ‘schmoo’ and asked him to go out and measure the ‘schmoo.’ I handed him a ruler. Now Rich is getting more upset all the time. He goes out and down the steps and takes the ruler and measures the ‘schmoo.’ He comes back and says 36 inches high.”

Three days of teasing and taunting about selling the ‘schmoos,’ Rich decides to write a letter to Cooke about his dilemma. Before the letter was sent, Bob let him in on the joke and Rich cursed him out for days.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball. There are over 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People listed in the Where Are They Now section. We are dependent on input from the personalities for updates and families of the personalities who have passed away.

One of the bright spots in LARadio was Charleye Wright. He started at KLAC in the late 1960s followed by a long run at KIIS, KPOL, KKBT, and KNX. Charleye reported sports as “The Coach” alongside Rick Dees on KIIS for much of the eighties.

Charleye’s daughter thanked us for keeping her father’s contribution to LARadio alive. There was mention that Charleye changed his name from Charles. Not true. In fact, he was Charleye, Jr., according to his daughter.

Born in Inglewood in 1937, Charleye graduated from Lynwood High and Compton College. He graduated with an M.A. from Baylor University with plans to enter the ministry. He got into broadcasting while in college.

Charleye taught high school English for two years and worked in Waco and Dallas radio, then moved to Dick Clark’s KPRO-Riverside before arriving at KLAC. He was Les Crane’s newsman during afternoon drive. At KIIS, he worked under programmer Chuck Blore, who was attempting features such as mini-dramas and a series of mind-sputtering aphorisms called “Kissettes.” Chuck encouraged his newsmen to converse with the audience instead of reading to them. “The time with Blore was a great benefit to me. He encouraged the personality approach. He taught me to look for the human aspect of the news,” said Charleye.

In 1982, Charleye won a third Golden Mike award. He had been undergoing dialysis three times per week for five years when the treatments began to fail. He was gradually deteriorating, to the point he became incoherent, could not speak plain English and couldn’t remember the names of his wife and children. A successful transplant left him with one perfect kidney and two old ones that functioned less than ten percent of normal. His father died of the same ailment. “My father got it too young to take advantage of kidney transplants.” In the summer of 1990, he left Dees for the successful “House Party” morning drive show with John London at KKBT, where he continued to perform as “The Coach.”

Charleye died October 27, 1998, at the age of 61. 


Kimmel/Daly PairingJimmy Kimmel and Carson Daly are red-hot. This is the time to take advantage of the heat. ABC has bought a pilot script written by Jimmy and to be produced by Carson.

The untitled half-hour entry is about a once-massively popular VJ who loses it all and is forced to move in with his parents and take a job as host of a local radio “morning zoo.” If it sounds familiar, it should –the concept is loosely based on Daly’s career before his recent resurgence as host of NBC breakout reality competition The Voice and a regular role on the same network’s Today show, according to a story in The Hollywood Reporter.

Carson and Jimmy have been friends and colleagues for two decades, going back to KROQ.


“She’s folded everything I hate about Hollywood people into one piece of audio. She’s used the fame card and race card. She needs another deck of cards.” (Mark Thompson, KFI, on LA police stopping  Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts)

Birthday Messages. Thank you all for your very generous well wishes and birthday greetings yesterday. I was truly humbled.

My new bride, Cherie, took me to the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. OMG. Whotta' treat. Had dinner at Suzanne's Cuisine in Ojai.

Clear Channel Re-Branded. Radio has certainly been going through growing pains as the economy and technology has burped and bumped radio along the way in recent years. iHeart Media is the new name for Clear Channel. For no other reason, a name change will help rid itself of being the corporate poster child for massive firings over the years, voice tracking –which eliminated many jobs – across their stations nationally, $20 billion in debt. Perhaps most telling, Clear Channel acquired the dubious nickname “the evil empire,” as the San Antonio home office took advantage of consolidation and gobbled up enough stations to be the biggest owner of radio stations in the country, owning over 1,200. They are still champs in radio ownership with 850 stations.

In 2008, the iHeartRadio app was launched. Over 1,500 Clear Channel stations throughout the U.S. became available to anyone with a mobile device. Now that iHeartRadio has become such a central part of Clear Channel’s efforts to remake itself as a multiplatform media company, the moniker “iHeart” has become the new identity of the entire operation.  Currently it appears a reference to iHeart Radio is made at least once an hour on air by Clear Channel hosts.

“To capture all these media concepts and still call it the legacy name,” B0b Pittman said in an interview, “really is a disservice to what we are and what people here have built. So we’ve taken our biggest national brand, our newest brand, our most digital brand, and made that the name of the company.”

The New York Times offered a perspective about the progress of iHeartRadio. “According to Clear Channel, more than 50 million people have registered for the iHeartRadio app. And the larger iHeartRadio Network, which includes the broadcast station websites, is visited by 97 million people each month. (By contrast, more than 250 million people have registered for Pandora, and at least 76 million people listen to it each month.) Yet online listening — and the advertising revenue it brings — is still small compared with traditional broadcast radio.”

Yet the former Clear Channel believes a corporate rebranding will offer new opportunities for their advertisers. “When you align your brands with the way people really know you, it helps,” Pittman said. “Today when we walk into an agency and say, ‘Hey, we’re here from Clear Channel. We want to talk about some innovative new marketing,’ they say, ‘You guys have been around forever.’ ”

“But when we walk in and say we’re iHeartRadio,” he continued, “they say, ‘I love what you’re doing. Let’s talk.’”

LARadio Rewind: September 17, 2001. Vin Scully returns to the Los Angeles Dodgers' broadcast booth, six days after al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger planes and crashed two of them into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured more than six thousand, caused more than $10 billion in damage and resulted in the cancellation or postponement of hundreds of sporting events and cultural events. In a pre-game message shown on the Dodger Stadium big screen and broadcast on KXTA-1150 and KTLA-Channel 5, Scully offers these words: "All of us have experienced a litany of emotion---shock, disbelief and horror, followed by grief, mourning and anger. All of us indeed have lost a lot. We have lost thousands of lives. We have lost some of our self-confidence. We have lost some of our freedom. And certainly we have lost a way of life. The President of the United States has said it is time to go back to work. And so, despite a heavy heart, baseball gets up out of the dirt, brushes itself off and will follow his command, hoping in some small way to inspire the nation to do the same."


Email Wednesday

We GET Email …

** Trujillo’s Talent

“Just a matter of time before someone picks up on talent. Congrats Tammy Trujillo. Show ’em how it’s done.” – Jeff Baugh

** Is The Beast Appropriate Branding for KFWB?

“Before this gets polarized with all the comments pro and con, just realize that I write this stuff with a smile on my face in the first place. Okay. So just know that I am operating in chill-out mode.

I read the piece about KFWB’s ‘The Beast’ branding. But you’ve gotta be kidding me. Are we getting a little bit too sensitive here? No connection. Little red riding hood and the big bad Wolf are going to be endangered species. And I would imagine the symphonic classic masterpiece Peter and the Wolf will never be heard again. Although by now I’m sure that many have forgotten it anyway.

No relation. In a stretch, maybe one could force any connection. Where would we all be if someone named a radio station king K-O-N-G! Many innuendos don’t exist until one pushes it and infers them.

Beasts don’t devour young maidens, those are dragons. What’s next, taking all the games off the market with dragons and dungeons in them?

I remember that Jhani Kaye told me once that the reason that they used K B I G in lower font [k – big] was to not offend some women to whom the word ‘big’ could only mean one possible thing. True story.

When Combined Communications owned KIIS/fm, we were instructed never to say the word ‘kiss’ because it had a feminine image. The slogan in the jingles therefore was ‘K double eye ess.’ Incidentally, that was a big year for the rock group KISS, but corporate never listened to the radio, so how would they know!

Let’s send the new oppressors a copy of any dictionary. Definitions are quite revealing about the multiple meanings of any one particular word.

Apparently they learn nothing from the past.

Talk later, in the meantime, ‘Peace, Big Beast.’

Livin’ Large

Misses and Kiiises everyone --- oh hell, correction: ‘K double eye esses.’" – Don Elliot

** Nothing Is Forever

“I remember many years ago when I was first introduced to the internet and thought every site should be free, I even mentioned I didn’t want to subscribe, and besides we would always have Radio & Records? Couldn’t have been more wrong!

Thanks for all your great work.” – Scott Felten

Support LARadio.com

Help cover the expenses of keeping the daily columns current and updating 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People. $15 for one year.
Enter your Email Address:

** Shaun Valentine’s Dubai Ordeal

“First, my many thanks to you for running my story and for truly always being there for LA Radio People. I’ve received many emails of support including Kevin Carter from RAMP who was kind enough to run my article and show support.

I also thank Bill Mann, whose email you printed on your site, for offering a fund raiser. My wife and I are hanging in there but I’m sure with the way our industry and economy is, there are lots of radio people who need help. It would be nice to see efforts in helping all our colleagues.

After going through my ordeal, my faith in the higher power has become so much stronger that I’m thankful for all I have every day.

You have a heart of gold Don and I hope all your heart’s desires come true.

P.S. If anyone knows an International attorney to take my case pro bono, that would be another miracle.” – Shaun Valentine 

KROQ a Double Winner 

(September 15, 2014) KROQ walked away with two prestigious honors at the 2014 National Association of Broadcasters' (NAB) Marconi Radio Awards. Kevin & Bean, morning personalities on the Alternative station won Major Market Personality of the Year while KROQ won Station of the Year.  

“I am very proud of this incredible team at KROQ,” said Kevin Weatherly, long-time program director for KROQ when asked about the awards. “We have a very passionate group of individuals who collectively come together to make KROQ such an amazing station.”

Kevin sent a special thanks to Lisa WordenGene SandbloomAissa Juarez and the rest of the KROQ crew.

“I was so happy to accept the award on behalf of the Kevin & Bean show,” continued Weatherly. “They are more than deserving of this recognition for their remarkable success in the most competitive market in the country. This November is the 25th anniversary of Kevin and Bean waking up SoCal on KROQ. Last month, they extended their streak to 56 books in a row as the #1 morning show with 25-49 adults in Los Angeles.  They continue to consistently deliver one of the funniest, most compelling and entertaining morning shows in the country....day in and day out. It’s nice to see their incredible accomplishments recognized.”

Established in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. One of this year's NAB Marconi Radio Award recipients was Rush Limbaugh for National Syndicated Show.

The Beast Within. Does KFWB have a major branding issue by calling its new all-Sports format The Beast? There was no press release announcing the name, The Beast, yet there was a reference to it in a press release when Fred Roggin was named the new noon- 3 p.m. host.

WFAN, the Fan, has endured as a successful brand for decades. Across the country sports stations have been called The Ticket, The Champ, The Sports Animal, The Sports Leader, The Game, The Zone, The Buzz, and The Score, but no The Beast until now.

If KFWB is looking for an edge with the new format, there couldn’t have been a worse week to launch a station called The Beast, with so many domestic violence cases in the news along with child endangerment and concussions.

The KFWB Asset Trust should drop The Beast as a branding label right away. The issue of domestic and other forms of violence is not going away, it will be with a long time, perhaps forever. Is it a negative or positive to refer to an athlete as a beast? 

Trujillo ReboundsTammy Trujillo, most recently with KPCC, has landed a job with Cameron Broadcasting. She wrote on Facebook: “It’s funny about Facebook – a recent conversation reminiscing about the ‘good old days’ when radio was fun, resulted in me being reunited with one of my all-time favorite program directors, Craig Powers. Craig has been vice president of Cameron Broadcasting and its five stations in the Tri-State area [California, Arizona and Nevada] for quite a few years now. Turns out he was looking for a new news director and well, it worked out great years ago at KEZY so we decided to go for it again.  It's been two weeks now and I'm starting to get the hang again of getting up at 3 a.m. for a morning show.”

“I’d like to welcome aboard our new Cameron Broadcasting news director Tammy Trujillo,” wrote Powers. “Tammy was my news director back in the day at KEZY AM/FM in Orange County and also at KIK/fm in Orange County. She went on to win several Golden Mikes and she also worked at KFWB. I’m so happy to upgrade our news and weather department with her major market experience and talent."

Tammy concluded: “It’s a great group of stations that really is in touch with its fans and the reception from them has been just wonderful. Funny how this crazy little radio world of ours works, isn't it?”


Sanders by the BayLaurie Sanders became a LARP in 1985, when she arrived in the Southland from Chicago radio. She replaced Liz Kiley on the very successful evening program “Love Songs on the KOST,” and achieved enormous evening ratings.

She worked for KOST for six years followed by two years at KXEZ. Laurie went to KOIT-San Francisco and has stayed in the Bay Area ever since. She just started doing weekends at BIG103.7/fm . “After a long day I sound like Bonnie Tyler, but it felt so good be behind the mike where I am practicing and stretching my vocal cords,” said Laurie. She’s on Saturday and Sunday nights from 7 p.m. to midnight. 

Hear Ache. KLOS's Heidi & Frank announced this morning a big fan appreciation party, 2014 SogFest, on October 4 at the City National Grove of Anaheim ... There will be no edition of LARadio on Tuesday.

KLOS to the Maxx. KLOS is moving Melissa Maxx from evenings to middays, while pd Derek Madden takes himself off the air to concentrate on corporate duties.

“It is not often that you get to leave a show on your own terms and pick the person that follows you,” said Madden Friday afternoon. “I cannot wait for her to be here with you guys on Monday.”

After studying tv/radio broadcasting in college and several jobs in radio markets with 90 or 91 listeners, Melissa moved to Boston and got her first major market job at WBCN where she stayed for 10 years. She then moved to Los Angeles and was the executive producer, writer and VJ for the first made-for-mobile rock video channel.

"Working at the legendary KLOS since 2010 has been truly a dream come true and I am excited and honored to host the midday shift. I look forward to this opportunity to connect and share the best in rock with daytime listeners. I also look forward to watching prime time tv in real time." 

Madden said: “Melissa has done a tremendous job in nights for the past year, doing a heavily interactive show that has garnered a really unique fan base. I’m excited to share this show with an even larger audience during daylight hours.”

Madden will focus his efforts on growing the radio station and will maintain an on-air presence during the “Gold and Platinums” segment on the Heidi & Frank morning show.

Last Man StandingElliot Field, original afternooner at iconic Top 40 KFWB, also went on to become an animation voice. “Mothers are the world's best PR agents,” wrote Elliot. “They are all heart so if the message is a bit mixed, hey, they are great, but not always pro. At age 15 I was making good progress with CBS Saturday morning kid block, Youth on Parade. I told my mother, I was to be the narrator.

Radio and narrator were new to her, but she shared my excitement, telling a friend on the phone, ‘listen to Elliot Saturday, he’s gonna be a radiator."

Cumulus Media. Every week The Hollywood Reporter spotlights entertainment movement and industry ups and downs. In the current issue of THR, they spotlight Cumulus Media with a downward arrow for a -7.2% stock decline. “Analysts lower earnings projections as the owner of 457 radio stations works to integrate 2013’s $280 million acquisition of audio content provider Westwood One.”

LARadio Rewind: September 15, 2008. Restaurant and travel critic Elmer Dills dies at 82. Dills spent 20 years as an officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, where he developed his vast knowledge and passion for food and wine as he entertained heads of state and other dignitaries. After retiring from the CIA, he wrote restaurant reviews for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. In 1975, he joined KABC and began hosting a weekend program, often teamed with Merrill Schindler. Dills also gave restaurant reviews on KABC-Channel 7’s Eyewitness newscasts. In 1996, he left KABC and spent a year at KMPC/KTZN, then spent three years at KIEV and five years at KRLA, finally retiring in 2005. His son Peter Dills has worked at KIEV, KABC and KLAA and currently hosts a weekend program, Dining With Dills, on Charter channel 188.

Funnie. It has been a while since we had a caption contest. Timmie Manocheo has provided this cartoon that begs for captions. Send your captions to: db@thevine.net

 Email Monday


We GET Email … 

** Valentine Saga 

“Holy crap, that Shaun Valentine saga is incredible. 

I lovedddddd the K-100 rate card. I still have my K-100 tee shirt.” – Mike Butts 

** Overseas Work

“That is the problem with overseas work. Shaun Valentine is quite the horror story. I am glad he was able to get out. Interesting that the US could give him an emergency passport only after escaping.” – Steve Peterson

** Shaun Valentine Dubai Ordeal 

“Do you think that a fund raiser should be done for Shaun Valentine? GiveFoward or some such site? 

Although I do not know him, never heard of him before yesterday and am outside the industry, I would be more than happy to spearhead such an effort. 

Glad that you got the servers back up. I was not sure if it was my computer or a problem on your end. I am pretty short fused since the surgery and get frustrated easy but that is improving. Finally was able to finish a crossword puzzle yesterday for the first time since the operation.” – Bill Mann 

** K-100 Memory 

"Yes, I do remember K-100 and thanks to Craig Hines for sharing his memory. It was a great time to be a kid and listen to great radio. We were migrating from AM and junky transistor radios, over to giant speakers and tube technology receivers. Very fun music, and one more personality we liked a lot was Billy Pearl. He was a like a cool older brother that would let us listen to his records. 

Great time and great station, K-100!” – The Crowley boys, John, Bill, and Joe 

Support LARadio.com

Help cover the expenses of keeping the daily columns current and updating 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People. $15 for one year.
Enter your Email Address:

                          Publisher of LARadio.com
                                  Don Barrett

Sign up for daily headlines, ratings and breaking news at: db@thevine.net

LARadio Archives

September 2014
Robin Bertolucci voted #4 Best Off-Air LARP of 2014; Vin Scully back in Dodger broadcast booth in 2015; AM drive ratings; MY/fm back on top in August '14 ratings; Fred Roggin set for new KFWB all-Sports format; Caron Daly voted #4 Best On-Air LARP of 2014; Mark Willard exits KSPN; Fred Roggin is a Beast; Shotgun Tom on Storage Wars; Tommy Edwards, co-creator of the Arrow 93 format retires from radio after a splendid half century in the business; Ronn Owens provides insights into his Parkinson's disease and the KGO/KABC commute simulcast; History of Arrow 93; Tim Conway, Jr. voted #3 Best LARP of 2014; Adam Carolla trial is over; Stern words for Joan Rivers; Joe Safety joins sports KFWB; Shaun Valentine, veteran of KOST and KBIG, held in Dubai prison

Follow LARadio.com on Twitter

       Click Artwork for Winners of 2012-2014                                                                                                   Click Book

Send mail to db@thevine.net with questions or comments about this website
Copyright 1997-2014
Last modified: September 21, 2014