Happy LARP Birthdays

  Friday
Hugh Fuller
Greaseman

Lee Hamilton
Kathy Kiernan
Tom Leykis
Steve Parker
Chris Patyk
Saturday
Michael Ambrosini
Dave Forman (d)
, 1951
Phil Hall
Dennis Prager

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!  

A\B\C\D\E\F\G\H\I\J\K\L\M\N\O\P\Q\R\S\T-Z\W 

(Mike Nolan, Rita Wilde, Rick Shaw, Stephen A. Smith, Kevin James, Raymond Banister, Hanna Scott, and AJ Martin)


Bill Denton Voted #7 Best Off-Air LARP of 2014

(August 1, 2014) The 2014 countdown of the Best On- and Off-Air LARP continues for this year. Bill Denton, general sales manager at KFI, KEIB, and KLAC, was voted #7 Best Off-Air LARP of 2014. Prior to joining Clear Channel a year ago, Bill spent almost nine years as gsm at KROQ. He joined CBS/Radio following a stint as vp/director of operations at Quigley-Simpson Advertising. He then spent  four years as director of client services at Newmark Advertising, where he helped build their radio personality endorsement business. For almost two decades, he was with Christal Radio (1979-98), first as a seller, then as vp/LA manager for 15 years.

“All in all, 35 years in the business, and I’ve loved every minute of it,” emailed Bill. “I’ve hired/worked with great people, witnessed it from the last days of the Mad Men era of full-service ad agencies, to buying services, regionalization, consolidation, to the dawn and evolution of Digital, and the decline of ad budgets and rise of marketing budgets.  Radio is remarkably resilient and as relevant as ever, and still the best, most credible local and national mass medium. Having the opportunity to work for the two largest broadcasters in LA underscores my belief that our industry attracts some of the best and brightest in American business. It’s a terrific family of exceptional individuals.”

He’s a past president of the GSM Council of the Southern California Broadcasters Association. Bill is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

#7
Clear Channel's Bill Denton

Comments from some of those who voted for Bill:

Carson to Seth: “I’m so busy I guess I’m Steve Harvey. I’m not afraid to work,” AMP Radio morning man Carson Daly said the other night on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

“It’s not a sexy answer, because to me, it's just work. I’m a father first but I also operate a lot out of fear, and I don't come from any money. I never wanted to be in the entertainment business. I’m also aware of what it’s like to not have work, so while the getting’s good, you gotta get it! I just don’t know how to say no. Some of these shows don’t last forever, so you just do what you’ve got to do.”

Early RadioRandy Kerdoon has been an active voice at KFWB and now KNX since 1990. He got his start at KPGA/fm, a soft rock radio station in a Pismo Beach mall off the 101 freeway. “The station was owned by former KPOL newsman Tony Kent and his wife, who installed a soft rock format,” said Randy. “At one point during my brief stay there the on-air talent was Ken Jeffries (KFWB) 6 a.m. to 12 noon, I worked from noon to 6 p.m., and Al Yankovic 6 p.m. – 12 midnight.

Randy said that all on-air personalities had to read everything from index cards. “There was NO AD-LIBBING,” said Kerdoon. “As you could imagine, Al didn’t last long there. And I didn’t last much longer either."

KFWB Sports. There are a number of job openings at KFWB as the station prepares for a format flip to all-Sports. Here is a link for job openings: http://kfwbam.com/job-openings-at-kfwb/

Saul Levine Thinks Sports on KFWB Good for LARadio

"In response to your question, I do not have an agenda against CBS or KFWB. 

I only became involved a few years back because it was the belief of my sales department that KFWB was being offered as part of a package with other CBS stations which placed my company at a disadvantage. 

In fact, agencies told us that that KFWB was being offered as a bonus to get buys for the cluster. Based on these opinions, and the fact that KFWB should have been divested more than a decade ago, my company merely asked the FCC to enforce its policy placing a limit on the number of stations any single entity could own in the Los Angeles Metro, and require that KFWB be divested. In fairness to CBS and KFWB, on my way to the NAB Convention in Las Vegas last April, its Trustee, Ms. Valerie Blackburn, was seated on the plane one seat removed, and we started a conversation, leading to having lunch together, in which she flatly denied that KFWB had engaged in such practices. 

My opinion, at this time, is that the failure of CBS to divest KFWB is a matter between CBS and the FCC.

I have heard excellent reports about the CBS Sports Network, and there is a possibility that the format might do well in Los Angeles. And, this development might assist CBS in finding a buyer for the station. 

I have deep respect for Dan Mason, and people are making a mistake if they underestimate the potential for the proposed format change. As to any issue as to compliance with FCC Rules if KFWB is sold and continues to carry the CBS Sports Network, it is premature to speculate.” – Saul Levine, President, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters, Inc. 

Overheard.

KFI Promotion

When K-EARTH’s afternoon star “Shotgun Tom” Kelly heard Neil Saavedra, host of “The Jesus Show” and “The Fork Report,” was given a promotion as assistant program director
to KFI’s Robin Bertolucci, he stopped everything he was doing and ran to KFI to congratulate Neil and Robin.  (Actually, he was there to see his friend of more than 40 years,
the man he started his radio career with in San Diego:  director of production Jim Duncan.)  A good time was had by ALL!!

LARadio Rewind: August 1 

Get On Up. Entertainment Weekly gives the James Brown biopic, Get On Up, a B-. Why do we have to suffer through one lame attempt after another to capture great singers. Ray was a homerun, the Frankie Valli movie, The Jersey Boys, was a disaster.

From EW: "How on earth is a movie about James Brown rated PG-13? The Godfather of Soul not only oozed sin and raw sexuality from the stage, but his life off it was one long rap sheet of domestic-violence charges, blackout drug benders, and indiscriminate gunplay.

Get On Up too often plays it safe when it needs to be dangerous.  The best thing the movie has going for it is Chadwick Boseman's live-wire channeling of Brown. With his gravity-defying pompadour, raspy jive patter, and quicksilver shimmy-slide dance steps, the 42 star sweats through a two-hour funk workout, belting Caledonia, Night Train, and It's a Man's Man's Man's World. In the most poignant scene, Viola Davis, as the mother who abandoned Brown, shows up backstage to leech off his wealth and fame. Both she and Boseman are devastating. And for that brief moment, Get On Up shows us the kind of movie it could have — and should have — been."

Funnie.  How do you fix a broken tuba?
With a tuba glue!

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** Power to KFWB

“I love reading LARadio. It’s an incredible website.

Concerning KFWB trying to increase power, there is an old FCC record that shows KFWB trying to become a 50,000 watt station.

On KFWB’s History Card on the FCC site:  https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getimportletter_exh.cgi?import_letter_id=38060   If you go to Page 26, KFWB filed for a construction permit in 1947 to move from 980 to 830 and increase power from 5,000 watts to 50,00 watts.  The application was apparently denied by the FCC, according to the note on the record.

Also, on the FCC site, there is a record of a Construction Permit that was granted in June of 1996 with an expiration date of August 2000.  http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=185476   If I remember correctly, that may have been a CP for KFWB to finally move to 50,000 watts (around the same time Clear Channel boosted 1150 KXTA, now KEIB).  Unfortunately, there is no Application Record with the 1996 CP and it was dismissed in February 1999 because it somehow expired:  http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_det.pl?Application_id=259446

Someone with better knowledge of the LA market probably knows the ins-and-outs of the late 1990s CP for KFWB.

Finally, on a similar note, the station that I am News & Program Director for, KFYO (Lubbock) has its own storied history.  I’ve conducted a lot a research over the past decade and you can read it here: http://kfyo.com/kfyo-history-part-1/ and here:http://kfyo.com/kfyo-history-part-2/ .  KFYO is the only set of call letters in the station’s history, dating all the way back to 1926.” – Rob Snyder, News & Sports Operations Manager, Townsquare Media Lubbock | Abilene 


KNX, KABC, KPOL, KFI, Newsman Passes

(July 31, 2014) JJ Smith, one of the last voices of the original radio network newscasts, succumbed to intestinal cancer on July 28 in Burbank. He was 88.

As a radio newsman, JJ landed at KNX from WGN-Chicago in 1962, said his longtime friend and colleague, Dave Sebastian Williams. In 1958, JJ became the voice of everything Sears (a total of 26 years) and wanted to move to LA. 

As the story goes, Sears picked up the phone and secured JJ a job at KNX. The Bob Crane Morning Show ('57-'65) was already a fixture at KNX when JJ arrived, handling the morning show newscasts. Later, he replaced Ken Ackerman on the American Airlines Music ‘til Dawn national radio show before moving on to KABC, KPOL and finally KFI.

JJ earned 3 Golden Mike Awards while in Los Angeles.  He retired from his day-to-day newsroom duties as he chose to leave KFI in the late 1970’s while it was a music station. 

Through the 80’s, 90’s and the new millennium, JJ continued to work as a voiceover actor.  He voiced over 1,200 Industrials,  thousands of radio commercials, and hundreds of tv spots.  Beginning in 2005, JJ voiced Chrysler 300 spots for tv, radio, and dealers. JJ Smith's last agent of record was the William Morris Agency.  JJ went on hiatus a couple of years ago to replace one knee and half of another, followed by a hip replacement. JJ turned 88 in early April this year and was optimistically mounting his VO career again when, in late April, he was diagnosed with his illness.

Dave Sebastian Williams remembered his friend:

“In the 70’s, during one of my three stays at KIIS/fm  / KPRZ (K-Praise) my then VO agent and Casey Kasem’s longtime friend / VO agent and former legendary SF Bay Area radio personality, Don Pitts, called me to produce a game show demo for one of his VO clients.  That client was JJ Smith.

From the day JJ and I met we were friends and grew even closer over the years. In the late 70’s, under Biggie Nevins and John Rook at KFI, JJ handled the evening newsroom and on-air duties during my Top 40 music show. 

My buddy, JJ Smith, went quietly while his son, Major Brian Smith, USAF ret., and daughter-in-law Jill, were at his side. To stay in the loop regarding services and if you'd like to share any remembrances of JJ Smith with his family, drop an email at jjsmith.07282014@gmail.com.”  

Louie Louie. The Kingsmen wowed the crowd of 50 thousand on Brand Blvd. at Glendale Cruise Night, said Brian Beirne, promoter of the concert. "My thanks to all the radio sponsors; KRTH, KABC, KFWB, and KRLA. The Kingsmen then joined me for my 50th high school reunion in Salem, Oregon this past Saturday night.  I introduced The Kingsmen at a teenage night club outside of Portland at the beginning of my senior year when they hit with Louie, Louie. Here we are 50 years later and the band is better than ever.”

Two of the current members of the group were on the original release. (Brian Beirne is in white pants)

 

The Florida Suite. KUSC’s Rich Capparela is a wonderful storyteller. His afternoon drive show on the Classical station is always a treat. Earlier this week, he played an orchestral suite by English composer Frederick Delius. “In the 1880s, Delius was sent to manage an orange grove in Florida, and he took away from that experience some melodies and feelings and created an orchestral suite called The Florida Suite. From that he composed By the River. This is a car tune as an anti-road rage melody featuring the Ulster Orchestra.”

Metal on Sunday. Sheena Metal, former KLSX personality, will celebrate 20 years of radio this Sunday night at 9 p.m. with an anniversary party at the Hollywood Improv. Her Internet talk show on LA Talk Radio (http://www.latalkradio.com/Sheena.php) debuted at the historic comedy club.

“I am completely honored to announce my talented line-up of onstage guests whom I admire and adore. Each will be doing a hilarious, irreverent and insightful interview with me onstage, in front of a live audience of my friends, listeners and fans of comedy,” said Sheena.

Some of her guests include: Corey Feldman, Susan Olsen, The LoveMaster Craig Shoemaker, and comedian Judy Tenuta. You can email Sheena Metal directly for tickets or info on the radio show: sheena@sheenametalexperience.com.  

Overheard.

Hear Ache. Former KSPN host Stephen A. Smith has been suspended from ESPN’s First Take when he inferred that women should consider how they are the ones who provoke violence against themselves. “In my heart of hearts, I really don’t give a damn,” he told TVNewser. “I cannot emphasize enough how little it bothers me. It bothers me when nobody’s criticizing me.”… Vin Scully will be back for another year of broadcasting the LA Dodgers, his 66th year … Beginning next week, On Air with Ryan Seacrest and Ellen K will be heard in England … Michael Castner, former KFIer in the mid-2000s, is now a talk show host at KEX-Portland. He has been upped from afternoons to mornings … After almost four years at KABC, Peter Dills is now on 830 AM KLAA Sunday afternoons right after the Angel post game show … Former KKBT jock in the mid-90s, Marques Wyatt, hosts KCRW’s final Made in L.A. evening at the Hammer Museum. 

LARadio Rewind: July 31, 2009. Two months after dropping Steve Harvey's syndicated morning show, KDAY drops Michael Baisden's syndicated afternoon show. Keith Sweat's program, Keith Sweat Hotel, will also be dropped. Program director Adrian Scott admits that it was a mistake for the station to carry syndicated programming, KDAY will also abandon its urban contemporary format and bring back the "old school" r&b/hip-hop format that was heard in the 1980s on the original KDAY at 1580 am. The airstaff includes PJ Butta, Joe Vinyl and Brandi Garcia. Among the core artists are Nas, Nelly, Cam'ron, NWA, Mase, Diddy, Shaggy, N2Deep, Nate Dogg, Cypress Hill, Mary J. Blige, Mack 10, Mobb Deep, Above The Law and the Wu-Tang Clan. KDAY and sister station KDEY in Riverside simulcast on 93.5 fm and are owned by Meruelo Media, which also owns KWHY-Channel 22. (LARadio Rewind meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

 Funnie. This morning's funnie is from Harvey Kern:

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** KROQ History

Dave Paulson was correct, in that KROQ-AM/1500 came on the air in September 1972. However, it was just a little over a year later, in October or November 1973, that KPPC/106.7 became KROQ/fm.  

AM/FM simulcasting was not allowed in those days--unless the two stations had separate cities of license [KROQ-AM was Burbank; KROQ/fm was Pasadena].  The 100% simulcast continued until both stations left the airwaves in mid-summer 1974.

It all resumed two years later, holding forth until KROQ-AM went Spanish [programmed by a firm known as Latino Marketing] in 1979. I helped throw the 1980 National Radio Club convention in El Segundo. We toured the Latino Marketing studios at 1330 S. Vermont Ave., from which KROQ-AM, XEGM/950 and XEPRS/1090 were programmed. As I recall, the FCC soon found the 1500 arrangement ‘illegal’ since they had not been notified of the change in KROQ-AM's programming source, effectively, the first ‘LMA’ in the L.A. market.” – Greg Hardison

** Remembering Bill Ward

“Thanks to you and Steve Thompson for the piece on Bill Ward. He was my best radio pal and I miss him a lot and think of him often.

Some of the best memories of my first years in radio involve working with Bill when we were still teenagers at KBEC, a little 500 watt daytimer in Waxahachie, Texas in the ’50s. We kept in touch all through the years and both ended up in Southern California when I managing a Westinghouse station in San Diego and he was back in L.A. running Gene Autry’s Golden West group. Once we went to an Angels game and he took me up to Autry's box so I could meet ‘The Cowboy,’ one of my childhood heroes.

After we both left the business, we used to lunch together often and talk about everything that had gone wrong in radio, and what we would do if we were in charge. It's hard to believe he's been gone 10 years. He was a sweetheart of a guy.” – Jerry Lee

** UCLA Flooding & KABC

“Seems 'DWP Spokesman' Louis SLUNG POO called KABC/Channel 7  yesterday to explain how the UCLA water main broke. He told the reporters the cause of the pipe failure and they went with this breaking information. So much for the two source rule? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...n_5632439.html.” – Scott Felten

** Do You Know the Way to San Diego Radio?

“Comic-Con in San Diego! Wow, you'd think that the hometown radio would embrace this. Oops. It took LA's KROQ and KFI to be the example.

Mo’ Kelly hit it out of the park on Saturday with his live remote – including an interview that was walking. Best use of natural sound. Hats off to you, Mr. Kelly!

Plus Kevin & Bean on location that rocked.

Where was San Diego radio? Napping. They had some tents and interns around. As I scanned the dial, no local remote broadcasts.

For a city that thrives on an event that grabs national attention, it takes an out of town station like KROQ and KFI [respectively] to do it right. Could this be why Anaheim and other locations are just prancing with no local radio support?

Noted: KFI’s Bill Handel and Weird Al in studio for an entire hour on Thursday, July 24, was great. Michelle Kube – ya should have asked Al!!” – Christopher Carmichael

** Another Format Flip

“Is there any truth to the rumor that 105.7 The Walrus in San Diego will become NASH/fm?” – Eric Calhoun 


Another Chapter About to Unfold at 930 AM 

(July 30, 2014) With the sale of “La Ranchera” KHJ by Liberman Broadcasting, it closes another chapter on the legendary AM 930 frequency. Once the home of “Boss Radio 93/KHJ,” the station was sold to the Libermans 25 years ago, who converted the station into a Spanish language outlet. The station was again sold last week for $9.75 million to Immaculate Heart Radio, which will offer Catholic programming starting in October. Added to an earlier sale of the former transmitter site near the Westside of L.A., the combined value of the sale is likely somewhat above the $23 million that Liberman paid back in 1989.

Tied for 31st in the overall Nielsen radio ratings, the current format of Regional Mexican music on AM 930 was easily bested by stations with similar programming, including KSCA/fm, KLAX/fm (La Raza 97.9), KBUE/fm (Que Buena), and KXOS/fm (Radio Centro 93.9). Like its counterparts on the English language dial, playing music has become an unsuccessful venture on AM.

Across the border, AM is perceived as dated at best. “Mexico’s congress ruled that AM was no longer viable, and to save the jobs and investments, as many AMs as possible would be allowed to move to fm and would then surrender the AM license, never to be reissued,” said David Gleason, former Executive vp with Univision Radio. “This will result in 85% of Mexico’s AM stations going away forever … no new licenses except in areas with remote indigenous populations, either.”

Still, one often viable option for AM stations in the States has been news and talk formats. Yet KTNQ, the one L.A. Spanish station offering news / talk programs, is near the bottom of the ratings with a recent 0.2 share. “I changed KTNQ to all-talk and all local (in 1996),” said Gleason. “For a while it was beating and tying KFI in 25-54. But it was expensive. And advertisers perceived it to be old, and national accounts did not buy Spanish talk as they associated the format with WQBA in Miami or WADO in New York … old, very political and not well rated by that time.”

“KTNQ maintained very good numbers through 1999, when ownership changes and cost issues made it obvious that we could not make money on the station and that syndication of our shows was not possible. So the station simulcasted KRCD for several years,” said Gleason.

There have been other attempts to create a Spanish version of news / talk radio. “My old boss Danny Villanueva tried an all Talk radio in Orange County named ‘La Voz’ but failed,” recalled Eduardo Quezada, perhaps the best known tv anchor in Hispanic media. “People in this area work super hard and have no time for talk or news and would rather be entertained with music.” Observers note the Spanish audience gets their news and information primarily from television, not radio. At one time, Quezeda’s newscasts on KMEX/tv had higher ratings than any other station in Los Angeles, including both English and Spanish language channels. 

Previously, the AM 930 offered a Spanish all-news service known as “Radio Noticias.” It also was unable to attract a significant audience. “KHJ tried all news. It never got above a 0.5, and was very expensive. It did not work,” said Gleason. “It does not work anywhere in Latin America except, marginally, in Mexico City … a market of 23 million where anything works.”

Gleason said that talk formats work in Mexico, but it would difficult to duplicate the success of the format locally. “Talk works in Mexico. In Mexico City, there are a dozen signals doing talk, many among the billing leaders. The problem in LA is that it takes an fm to get big numbers, and a big fm is expensive and the format is expensive and advertisers don’t have a buying habit.”

“In Mexico they’ve been buying talk for decades and it is a very productive format despite the costs,” said Gleason. “Talk definitely gets an older demo, but in Mexico, there are talk stations with good 30-39 numbers and that is salable. Also, talk attracts a more affluent listener and in Mexico buys are made against income level much more than against age. That strategy does not work in the US.” (Story written by LARadio senior correspondent, Alan Oda)

LARadio RewindJuly 30, 2004. Bill Ward dies of an apparent heart attack at his home in Sherman Oaks at age 65.  Ward worked in radio in Waxahachie, Louisville, Providence, Atlanta and Dallas before becoming program director of top-40 KBLA in 1967. He changed the format to country and the call letters to KBBQ and took over as manager in 1970. A year later he was hired to program Metromedia's new country station KLAC and eventually lured away six of the KBBQ air personalities. KLAC built an audience with its large playlist, contests, concerts, NASCAR coverage and Jim Healy. Ward became general manager in 1972. He was promoted to vice president of Metromedia in 1979 and became president a year later. In 1982 Ward became general manager of KMPC and president of Gene Autry’s Golden West Broadcasters. Healy would move to KMPC in 1985. That same year, Ward orchestrated Golden West's purchase of KUTE. He retired in 1997. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

 

Funnie. Do you know that when a woman wears a leather dress, a man’s heart beats quicker, his throat gets dry, he gets weak in the knees, and he begins to think irrationally? It’s because she smells like a new golf bag!

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** Changes at KFWB

“What a refreshing statement from Roger Nadel on his remembrance of his time at KFWB.

I get a kick out of reading some of the more sanctimonious postings of some LARPs as to how if they were running things this station or that station would be #1 with this demographic or that demographic.   

I came, I tried, I did my best. Now it is someone else’s time.   

Roger’s humility, grace and pride is a bright spot that I admire.  If the world had more people with his smarts, the world would be such a greater place. The mark of a REAL mensche.” – Bill Mann, South Pasadena

** KROQ History

“The original KROQ was AM 1500. In 1972 KROQ replaced Country KBBQ, which originally had been KBLA-Burbank on 1490 AM. The 1490 became 1500 in the mid 1960's, still as KBLA.

The AM KROQ left the air in summer 1974.  In 1976 it came back on the air. I believe that it was just a little later in the 70's that the 106.7/fm [KPPC] also became part of KROQ. I left the LA area at the end of summer 1974 and only heard about the later happenings from friends in the biz. But I do recollect that the original KROQ was just the old KBBQ 1500 (AM only) in 1972.” – Dave Paulson

** KFWB – The Little Station that Could

"'We’ll see. The station's in a trust you know!' Boy, did that card get played for a long time. You've seen the poster, ‘Everything you need to know in life you learned in kindergarten.’ Well everything I needed to know about Airborne reporting and talking to someone driving or about to, I learned at KFWB.

KFWB News 98, ‘The Little Station that Could.’ I really got a smile out of Randy West’s note to LARadio: ‘a strange choice to not maximize the station signal. Why would you choose to compete in a gunfight with a butter knife?’

Well said Randy. Truth is that beat up little butter knife did a lot of work for a lot of listeners. I know nothing about ratings and such but the record stands for itself, the ratings were right there. 5000 watts, love it.  I think the office microwave is that strong now. Chris ClausKen BeckBill YeagerGregory P., Roger NadelDavid G. HallBill CooperJohn BrooksPete Demetriou, Robin, Celia, Kelly ... and all the talent there, couldn't have been more committed to helping me. Learn from the best, you’ve got a shot. Thank you KFWB and now KNX, for so many things.” – Jeff Baugh

** Shadoe KROQ’s History

“Thanks for the salute to a moment in time. The only part of this story that was missing was the part that included me. Not that it really matters 40 years later, but given the pain I went through starting the station, I’ve always been a little disappointed with my regular lack of inclusion in any article about the history of KROQ. And I think the truth makes a more interesting story.

KROQ/fm became a major force in L.A. radio in less than six months from the day I signed it on and had tremendous momentum with the team we'd put together that included the legendary Jimmy Rabbitt, the Voice of God: Brother John, and the amazing Flo and Eddie. Not only was the staff remarkable and not being paid, everyone was going bankrupt but holding together because the station was so exciting and the ratings were going through the roof. You couldn't go anywhere in Los Angeles without hearing KROQ/fm everywhere.  

Finally, I could no longer take the pain of the ongoing lies and watching everyone – including myself – suffer so much. I resigned and when I announced that I’d quit, everyone else – the entire staff – quit on the same day. We had a giant ‘live’ going away party on the air on the last day of my show and Gary Bookasta turned off the transmitter in the middle of the show because he was afraid we’d say something bad about the station. The station went back on 24 hours later without a staff but it only lasted a few days. I vowed never to be in radio again and started my production company.

As fate would have it, a few months later L. David Moorhead at KMET made me an offer I couldn’t refuse ... and you know how that story turned out. Then, two years later when KROQ finally went back on the air, I was brought back to help the station keep going, consult programming, and do shows for another four years before quitting again. That’s when Rick Carroll came in and it became the Rock of the 80s. And Ken Roberts, put as little money into sustaining the station as possible. And the staff suffered for their programming because it was so good and so exciting. And it became a huge success and Ken made a fortune. He was a good business man.

And now you know ... the rest of the story.” – Shadoe Stevens 


Former KFWB General Manager Reflects on KFWB

(July 29, 2014) Roger Nadel was general manager at all-News KFWB from 1996-2003. Roger arrived at KFWB from the same post at WWJ/WYST-Detroit. He has strong credentials in the area of news formats.

Roger graduated from the University of the Pacific in 1971 majoring in psychology. In 1974 he was a news gatherer for Associated Press Audio News Service in Santa Barbara before joining "KNX Newsradio" as a news writer/editor in 1976. In 1982, Roger was promoted to executive news producer before his transfer with CBS Radio to Detroit as pd of WWJ Newsradio, then Roger was promoted to vp/gm at WWJ/WJOI. 

After leaving CBS in 2003, he spent a year as executive editor of Radio & Records, overseeing the Management/Marketing/Sales section of the paper before returning to radio to manage Sporting News Radio’s KMPC/1540AM. After the station was sold, Roger moved to Metro Traffic (now TTN) managing affiliations in the western US. 

We asked Roger for an observation on the changes at KFWB:

"I’m always bothered when dopes like Dick Cheney offer advice on how the Obama Administration should be running the government. He had his chance, and now it’s the next guy’s turn to try to get it right without the last guy looking over his shoulder. I don't know if there’s a parallel here or not ... but it’s kinda how I look at it. So I really don’t have anything to offer on the direction of KFWB. I do know that no one likes to see more good broadcasters facing the possibility of having to look for work. And I’m certain that includes the people making the decisions. Everyone who worked for KFWB in the glory days of all-news was part of something special that can never be taken from them, but the industry is changing and businesses have to evolve."

Before you go any further this morning, click the Shirley Strawberry artwork above to see her heartwarming and surprise birthday gift.
KJLH's Shirley Strawberry has been a longtime co-host with Steve Harvey.

Hear AcheCary Ginell, veteran of KCLU for a decade is now publisher of VC On Stage, a webzine for Ventura County theater arts ... Will yesterday’s court decision allowing the $2 billion sale of the Clippers lead to a quick decision about their flagship radio station in 2015? ... What’s delaying the decision about the Dodgers and their radio home next year?

LARadio RewindJuly 29, 1974. With $7 million in debt and the disc jockeys refusing to work without being paid, KROQ goes off the air. The station had begun in 1962 as KPPC/fm, originally owned by the Pasadena Presbyterian Church. A progressive rock format debuted in 1967. When KROQ was unable to cover the costs of a 1973 station-sponsored Sly & the Family Stone concert at the Los Angeles Coliseum, promoter Ken Roberts agreed to pay for the concert in exchange for a small ownership stake in KROQ. In 1974 he became president of the station and took KROQ off the air for two years while he worked to pay off the debt. Roberts put KROQ back on the air in 1976 and bought out his partners until he was sole owner. He hired Rick Carroll as program director and the ensuring modern rock format led to a huge surge in listeners. In 1985, Roberts sold KROQ to Infinity Broadcasting for a then-record $45 million. The station is now owned by CBS. Roberts passed away May 22, 2014, three months after suffering a heart attack. He was 73.

 

Kriski Has Weathered the Storm. For almost a quarter of a century, Mark Kriski has been part of the KTLA Morning News presenting the weather every morning. His versatility is not lost on readers of LARadio because in 2006 Mark started hosting a Saturday Disco Party on KBIG.

Last weekend, Mark won an Emmy for his voiceover and on-camera impersonation of Rod Serling for the station's Twilight Zone Marathon spot which ran last November. This was his second award for the same spot. Last month the weather anchorman also won a PromaxBDA GOLD for the commercial. He's also won a prestigious Clio Award.

All this recent recognition has prompted Mark to launch his voiceover/imaging/commercial business. Mark is a ring announcer for Oscar De La Hoya & Golden Boy Promotions and has done a half dozen fights for him. He also does MMA fights.

If you want to check out Mark's award-winning Rod Serling spot, click his artwork.

You can check out Mark's website at: www.markkriski.com

Overheard.

Funnie.

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** KFWB Calls

“I hope CBS keeps the call letters KFWB. Isn't KFWB a heritage call letter radio station, like KFI is?” - Mike Baird, Hanford

** KFWB R.I.P.

“Congratulations to John Brooks for having the cajones to say what must be said about KFWB. It was my pleasure to work there many years ago, under Group W, when it was an important resource for the Los Angeles market. By the time I rejoined the station, it was clear the end was near. 

Yes, demographic shifts have taken their toll. Yet, the ultimate responsibility for the failure of the station lies elsewhere. As John says, there were opportunities to increase the power and move the transmitter east, as more competent owners have done with their properties. This was not done. Instead, the station was allowed to wallow with its 5kw near Lincoln Park, which could not put a decent signal where potential listeners lived.  Add to these impossible sales demands from New York. 

Then there was the merry-go-round of managers, program directors, executive editors – whatever they were called at any particular moment – who added their special touches to the format. KFWB’s on-air product became a bastardized version of what it was, and should have been. All through this, a cadre of professionals soldiered on, never knowing from month to month who would be calling the shots, or what the format would be that month. I could write a book describing my disbelief and disappointment on seeing what the station had become when I rejoined. That may come later. [The zoo KFWB became took a terrible toll on my health, but that’s another story.]

I didn’t want to retire. I HAD to retire for my own well-being. It was my choice, pushed hard by my doctors.  Several years ago, I wrote a piece for LA Radio called ‘Is The Bell Tolling for KFWB?’ I was not prescient. I was simply describing the obvious. The writing was already on the wall. Then came the bloodbath – although I have been chastised for calling it what it was. Most of the news staff was sent packing, although a few were picked up by KNX.

The once viable station became a distasteful mélange of low quality, third-tier talk shows, brokered garbage, and the leader of the pack, Laura Schlessinger. The few remaining news staffers did their best with virtually no corporate support under what appeared to those outside as a possibly sham license transfer to an ‘independent’ trust – with the shots still quite likely still being called by CBS and its local managers, along with a ‘general manager’ who was also the ‘head bookkeeper’ for the CBS radio stations in Los Angeles. Not much of a long arm, IMHO.

My heart goes out to those who did their very best to keep their heads high, knowing full-well they were living under the Sword of Damocles – a sword which could fall at any moment. Now, it has. I feel so deeply for so many who gave so much, only to see their efforts foiled at every turn from above. RIP, KFWB News 980.” – Mike Lundy

** Would KFWB Power Have Helped?

“You do raise a good question, Don. How can CBS keep a straight face when it claims that KFWB has been operating independently of KNX when they share the same pd Andy Ludlum, talent Bob McCormick, and lord knows how many administrative and support staffers. What a charade.

But the huge question raised by your coverage of the format switch is found in John Brooks’ eulogy for the once great KFWB. Can it be possible that there have been multiple opportunities to increase the power of this 5,000 watter to which Westinghouse, Group W, Infinity and CBS have all decided over the years not to pursue?

I would love to hear both some technical opinions [Marvin Collins?] and corporate reflections [any suit would do!] on such a strange choice to not maximize the station's signal. Why would you choose to compete in a gunfight with a butter knife?” – Randy West

** Where is Bill Jenkins?

“I'm praying you can help me out. I was a guest 5 or 6 times over a couple years back around 1990 give or take on Bill Jenkins’ Open Mind show on KABC radio in Los Angeles. I retired from my work in 1995 and lost contact.

A year ago I 'un-retired' and would like to make contact with Bill. I'm sure he would appreciate the renewed contact.

Can you point me in a direction to find him? I’ve tried Google but have failed. Or, if you have contact with him, perhaps you’d be willing to give him my contact info. I would be so very thankful.” – Thomas Jacobson, manandspirit@gmail.com

** KLAA Morning Sports Live and Local

“Glad to see more coverage of Sports Radio. I’m also glad to see another sports station in the mix. [KFWB]

One omission in your KFWB story, AM 830  KLAA has had the ONLY LIVE AND LOCAL sports radio station in the LA market for the past six  plus years.

Roger Lodge held down the morning post for five years from 2008 to March 2013 hosting the Sports Lodge from 7a-10a

Travis Rogers has been hosting the mornings from 6a-10 since March 2013.

We have been steadily growing our audience in both the morning with Travis (6a-10a) and the afternoons with Roger (3p-7p)

This year we have added the SF 49ers to our NFL roster in place of the Raiders.

This is an interesting sports radio market. You win you get listeners, you don’t they are gone.

Fortunately, we have a very exciting Angels Teams with the second best record in ALL of baseball.” – Bob Agnew, PD, KLAA


Many Moving Parts as KFWB Makes the Transition from News/Talk to All-Sports

(July 28, 2014) “KFWB employees were made aware that they would not be part of the new format,” said Diane Sutter, who oversees the KFWB Asset Trust.  Current staffers were informed last Friday morning that the station’s news / talk format would be flipped to all-sports sometime in September.

The format flip comes at a time while CBS is still looking for a suitable buyer for AM 980. At present, CBS is still in violation of the market cap rules that prohibits any owner to own more than eight stations in the same market, the result of the CBS purchase of KCAL/tv in 2002.

Five years ago, KFWB dropped the all-news format that the station had offered for over four decades. Rebranded as “KFWB NewsTalk 980,” the station started with Dr. Laura Schesinger in middays, surrounded by morning and afternoon news blocks. Later, the station offered Dave Ramsey and his program about personal finance, as well as other shows hosted by Les Brown and Laura Ingraham. Currently, the station offers Bob McCormick hosting “Money 101,” and Phil Hulett & Friends, while running the syndicated NBC Sports Radio programming in the evening. Five years ago, KFWB became the flagship station for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. Weekends include syndicated programs and infomercials.

In recent years, CBS/LA has made it very clear that KFWB works completely independent of the local ownership, despite Andy Ludlum serving as the program director for both KNX and KFWB. There are other overlaps, but Sutter and CBS/LA market manager Dan Kearney insist on a separation of the two stations.

Sutter was interviewed by phone late Friday afternoon, after the aforementioned staff meeting. She said the station is looking for a new program director and other senior staff. “We will be posting for all the senior positions next week and we’ll be hiring very shortly, so we want to get them on board right away.”

The speculation for the past few weeks involved CBS orchestrating a change to provide a local outlet for CBS Radio Sports, Jim Rome being their most prominent talent. Sutter said no decision has yet been made to carry the syndicated CBS Sports Radio package. “Actually, I think I would want to make sure the (new) program director had a part in that decision, so we have not made a final commitment to anybody today and we are in talks with a number of people and companies and we will be announcing that in the very near future.”

“I’m running some CBS programming now and I’m running some NBC programming now. I don’t see what kind of conflict it would be. We will make the decision what’s the best programming to put on the station for where we are going.” In general, the decision to switch to sports is based upon what Sutter thinks will make KFWB successful. “It works however I think is best for the radio station,” she said.

There have been rumors that when the switch is made, KFWB will have a live and local morning show, which would be the only local show among the L.A. sports outlets. “Again, all of those details are being finalized and worked on now and we will be announcing those in the very near future,” said Sutter. She also said that no decisions have been made about changing the current weekend programming.

KFWB owns the broadcasting rights for the NBA Clippers through the 2015 season. “We’ve had an on-going relationship with the Clippers for a number of years and we’re VERY much looking forward to the coming year. It would be inappropriate to have a discussion now (about renewing the broadcast rights) since we still have to get the ownership of the team determined. We don’t get a vote in that. We are waiting to see what the courts and the NBA decide and when that decision is finalized we’ll, of course, be looking forward to continuing a very profitable and successful relationship from the listener’s standpoint and from ours. We enjoy a great relationship with them and hope to continue it.”

KFWB R.I.P

Essay by John Brooks
editor-reporter-anchor KFWB / KNX 1979-2013

As one who spent a large part of his adult life at KFWB (News 98, News 980, News/Talk 980) I should be very sad at its passing. I am for the wonderful people still working there who are now looking for jobs. But it was long overdue to put the station out of its misery. The long slow decline was the responsibility of a equally long list of Westinghouse, Group W, Infinity Broadcasting, and CBS executives who failed to invest in upping the power of the 5,000 watt signal, when there were numerous opportunities to do so.

Even with the weaker signal, in our prime, KFWB was very competitive with the 50 thousand watt KNX and we kicked butt in morning drive.

We were first on the scene of most breaking stories, our writing and reporting was descriptive, factual and fun. Then as the audience shifted farther out into the suburbs with longer commutes, our signal and our bosses betrayed us. The merger came, the staff reductions started,the sports programing was added and now as the house of news sinks into the ocean, there is only a small but talented staff. Much of the non prime hours are filled with infomercial junk.

Goodbye KFWB, it was a wonderful news ride that began in 1968. Welcome to Hotel California "The Beast 980." 

Perhaps your sports programs will survive 46 years. After all, as the Eagles sang,"They stab it with their steely knives but they just can't kill the beast." KFWB got stabbed in the back.


KROQ broadcast from Comic-Con International Convention in San Diego last week (Photo: Kevin Ryder, Daniel Radcliffe, and Bean)

LARadio Rewind: July 28, 2007. Gary PriceRemy MaxwellMike StarkBryan Schock and 14 others take part in an on-air reunion of former KNAC air personalities at the studios of Cerritos College radio station WPMD ("Where People Make a Difference"). The reunion served as a benefit for another KNAC host, Tawn Mastrey, who had recently quit her job as host of "Hair Nation" on Sirius Satellite Radio because of complications of hepatitis. Sadly, she would succumb to her illness on October 7. KNAC, broadcasting from Long Beach at 105.5 fm, had a heavy metal format from 1986 to 1995, when the station was sold and became Spanish-language KBUE. In 1998 the station was revived online at KNAC.com. The WPMD reunion can be heard at http://mikestark.net/Tawn.html

AM Missing from Car Radios for a Reason. “Sometime back, a reader of yours expressed concern that BMW was leaving the AM band out of the entertainment system of the new electric i3 model,” wrote Dave Kunz, automotive reporter for KABC/Channel 7 and co-host of the Car Show at KPFK. “It seemed to be a sign that auto manufacturers were phasing out the AM band due of obsolescence or something. Turns out, that's not the case at all. Yes, the new i3 does not have AM on its menu of available audio sources, but there's a technical reason for it.”

Details were offered by Dave Buchko, BMW Product and Technology Communications:

The i3 and i8 will indeed not have AM radio. Our experience with the MINI E and the BMW ActiveE revealed a significant amount of interference from the electric motor on AM. Rather than provide an inferior listening experience,we left AM radio off. HD radio is standard and, though multi-casting, many of the traditional AM stations in major markets are available on secondary and tertiary signals.  BMW i Centers will have channel guides that show where to find AM stations on HD FM radio.

 Kunz concludes: “So there you have it, straight from the source. I have driven several of the current BMW models, and can assure you that AM is present and accounted for in their non-electric cars. And in the i3, I was able to receive both KNX and KABC via their affiliated FM HD2 channels. (Couldn't find KFI, however, even after looking through the entire assortment of HD sub-frequencies twice.)”

Hear Ache. God speed for KWVE general manager Richard McIntosh as he begins chemotherapy this week to eradicate pancreatic cancer. “Keep praying my friends,” said Richard … Didja know that KSFO-San Francisco remained an independent station until the summer of 1956, when it was sold for $951, 333 to legendary singing cowboy Gene Autry and his business partner, Robert O. Reynolds, who also owned KMPC in Los Angeles? ... Saw Boyhood this weekend. Whotta' treat!

Funnie. When is new music an Oldie? Don Elliot weighs in on the subject with this funnie.

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** Lew Irwin on Healy

“My first [paid] tv appearance was on Jim Healey’s KLAC/TV program in 1956, doing a live commercial for Citroen cars. The ad agency liked my voice but thought I looked a little too young [I was 21 at the time], so they had the makeup man add ‘laugh lines’ to my face and brush white powder into my temples. My mother told me when I returned home that I looked as if I had stepped out of a monster flick. I was not asked to return.” - Lew Irwin, STUDIO BRIEFING

** KFWB Format Change

 “Obviously someone in management believes sports can make more money than the current talk format. They may be right.” – Kyle Hojem

** KFW BEAST?

“So, KFWB-980 AM is going to become a sports talk station called The Beast. Will they call it K-F-W-Beast? Or will those in charge decide to change the traditional KFWB call letters after 89 years?” – Jim Hilliker, Monterey

** Aging KABC

“Sad that the ole KABC is older and not better. The entire lineup is boring old time schlock radio. Between Doug McIntyre and Peter Tilden it’s like ‘Old man radio 101.’

Drew Hayes should clean house and start fresh or go MUSIC.  OMG the John Philips/Jillian Barberie thing is the worst. And ole Larry Elder is boring as hell. He needs his late mom.” – Rich Kay, Tarzana  


                          Publisher of LARadio.com
                                  Don Barrett

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