LARadio Archives
April 2015
Written and compiled by Don Barrett
Edited by Alan Oda

Larry Elder Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

(April 30, 2015) Larry Elder, the “Sage from South Central,” is a man of grace, integrity and remarkable talent. He was humbled and honored to be the recipient of the 2,548th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this week. Celebrities Jon Voight and Dean Cain were in attendance, and spoke of their admiration and respect for Larry.

Jon Voight offered that “Larry has the great virtues every man should possess.” Voight was preceded by Dean Cain (of Lois & Clark fame), who stated that Larry “has character, tells the truth and through hard work, has earned this Star.”

A telegram from Larry’s friend, Dennis Prager, emphasized Larry’s “moral courage.” L.A. City Councilmember Tom LaBonge presented Larry with a special proclamation. Hollywood’s Chamber president/ceo Leron Gubler, on behalf of the late honorary Mayor, Johnny Grant, declared April 27, 2015 to be “Larry Elder Day” in Hollywood.

Addressing family, friends and his many fans (“Elderados”) who filled seats and lined the sidewalk, Larry thanked and recognized all for their support, love and encouragement. He fondly remembered three special Crenshaw high school teachers who had given him confidence, and he graciously acknowledged former KABC station manager, George Green, who took a chance and hired Larry, with five days of talk-show experience, all those years ago.

Placed in a prime location near the corner of Hollywood and Vine (“The Most Famous Intersection in the World”), across from the Pantages Theater, Larry’s Star, shining and bright in its newness, was a reminder to Larry, and all who know him, listen to him on the radio or Internet, or read his best-selling books, that whether you love him or hate him, Larry is relevant, impactful, influential and patriotic, and he has earned this honor through many years of hard work, perseverance and an unwavering belief in personal responsibility.

Visit www.LarryElder.com to listen live Monday – Friday, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., or download the podcast to hear/watch at your convenience. (Larry Elder’s Star story was written by Tina Marie Ito)

LARadio Rewind: April 30, 2013. Shotgun Tom Kelly is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Stevie Wonder and KRTH program director Jhani Kaye speak at the ceremony and commemorative Shotgun Tom Kelly ranger hats are given to several fans in attendance.

Born in San Diego, Kelly jocked at KDEO, KPRI, KGB, KCBQ, KOGO, KBZS and KFMB/fm and hosted three television series, Kids Club, Disco 10 and Words-A-Poppin’. He also worked at stations in Merced, Oxnard, Bakersfield, Phoenix and San Francisco. Since 1997, Shotgun has hosted afternoons at KRTH. His home is in El Cajon, where for 35 years he has ridden in the city’s annual Mother Goose Parade. Kelly’s star is at 7030 Hollywood Blvd. and is adjacent to the star honoring his predecessor at KRTH, The Real Don Steele. As a child, Kelly admired the hats worn by National Park rangers and adopted the hat as part of his image. In March of 2014, Kelly wanted to wear his hat during his quadruple bypass heart surgery and subsequent recovery at Grossmont Hospital in San Diego. His wife Linda said no. 

Great Scott. Larry Scott, veteran of Country stations KBBQ and KLAC during the 60s-80s, had hip replacement on March 23. They sent him home a week later. Instead of sending him to rehab they sent him home. The next day he fell and broke the replaced hip.

This is certainly one of those horror stories surrounding surgery. They operated on him April 3, now he has spent a month in rehab and is able now to put half of his weight on the foot. He goes back to the doctor in May to get the all clear to “walk with full weight.”  His leg is healing great.

On May 13, Larry will have his voice fixed. When they did the carotid surgery in January, they had to separate the vocal cords to get the surgery done. Larry also has a leaky valve, so they are going to fix all of it on the 13th. He is very gravelly-sounding now. 

He’s being inducted again into the Cowtown Society of Western Swing in early May and the family doesn’t know if he will be able to make that. Larry’s being honored for his Lifetime Achievement.

Harvey with Obama. KJLH’s Steve Harvey welcomed President Barack Obama for an exclusive conversation about the civil unrest in Baltimore and the national issue of police-related deaths, as well as plans to create a dialogue between police and local community leaders.  President Obama spoke about the need for our society as a whole to tackle these issues and find long-term solutions, including rebuilding communities and increasing trust, training, accountability and transparency. Click here to listen to the interview.

Hear Ache. Fans of Boss Radio are passing around airchecks of the original Boss jocks. Click Robert W. Morgan for an early listen … Randy Thomas, former personality at KMET and KTWV, is the voice of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame special on HBO … KIIS’ morning co-host Ellen K hosted a fundraiser for the LA Times endorsed candidate Carolyn Ramsay in her run for the Los Angeles City Council ... Would love to hear from recent subscribers Walter Clark and Jerry from Santa Clarita.

Weenie Roast. KROQ announced this week that “KROQ Weenie Roast y Fiesta 2015” returns to the Irvine Meadows Amphitheare on Saturday, May 16. Lineup includes All Time Low, Awolnation, Big Data, Cold War Kids, Death Cab for Cutie, Florence + the Machine, James Bay, Muse, of Monsters and Men, Panic! At theDisco, Saint Motel, Vance joy, Walk the Moon and X Ambassadors. Proceeds go th the Surfrider Foundation and Heal the Bay.

Overheard.

 

Funnie. A man notices a stunning older woman at a bar. He thinks, She’s beautiful. I wonder if she has a daughter.

The woman approaches him and says, “I saw you staring at me. Were you thinking about a mother-daughter thing?

Stunned, the man says, “As a matter of fact I was.”

“Is that something you’d be interested in?” she asks.

“Are you kidding? Absolutely!”

The woman then nods her head, looks over her shoulder, and says, “Hey, Ma!”

(Funnie Joke from a Beautiful Woman series in Esquire features Addison Timlin from Stand Up Guys)

 

Email Thursday

We GET Email …

** Powers’ Mentor Piece

“I first heard Craig Powers on KIIS/fm. I was driving back home from a day at Sea World.

I had the opportunity to work for KPZE 1190 AM in Anaheim in 1986. Craig worked across the hall at KEZY/fm. I will always remember January 29, 1986. We heard of the Challenger blowing up. The look on his face was shock.

Craig is one of those nice radio guys who keep going on. I’ve also learned he has a train hobby. He’s building a cool train layout in his backyard.” – Dale Berg, 969oasis.org

** Nolan Moves to Arizona

“Good for you, Mike Nolan.  How fortunate you are to write a new chapter for your ‘Book on Life.’ Your courage to free yourself from your comfort zone is not only an inspiration, but is an empowering example for others in our radio fellowship, who struggle with the dilemma of whether or not to remain in a medium where quality is sacrificed for homogenized quantity, to scratch and claw for ‘life and death’ work hours, for a radio paycheck just to make ends meet, to live in unbelievably overpriced Southern California. You’ve made a wise choice.” – Bob Smith, Vaughn, New Mexico

** Who Goofed, I’ve Got to Know, Part One

"The Kingman tape is certainly a true classic from the Jim Healy collection. The ‘Bevacqua who couldn’t hit water if fell out of a f ______g boat’ tape is even better.” – Tom Bernstein

** Who Goofed, I’ve Got to Know, Part Two

“It was a Sunday night May 14, 1978, when I was doing one of my two weekend shifts on KLAC, the top rated Country station in America. Top 5 in LA.  [Come on GO Country!]

I was the Country Editor of Radio & Records newspaper.  But I did weekends and lots of fill-in on KLAC.  My favorite shift to fill was for ‘Hi-Ya, Hi-Ya, Hi-Ya’ Harry Newman’s afternoon drive.  It was amazing to watch Jim Healy do his fast-paced show, with dozens of sound bites on carts. He did his own engineering. He was changing carts at an amazing speed while he did his legendary half hour report at 5:30. Even though I had a half hour break, I always stayed in my studio to watch the King of Krazy Sports work his magic. 

Anyway, back to that Sunday night in May of 1978. Paul Olden came running in to the station and told me to put on a long record. [Our Country go-to was El Paso by Marty Robbins.  And yes I introduced it by saying:  ‘Here’s what a Mexican quarterback throws.’ [Insert rim shot here!]

So, Paul tells me he has this incredibly funny sound drop from Tommy Lasorda. He was right. I barely got back to my studio in time to intro my next record; trying to contain my laughter because of what I just heard. I had Paul make me a cassette copy that I still have today. One of my favorite nights on the radio.” – Jim Duncan

** Add Animal Stan Brown to Unique Sportscasters

“Nice piece on Jim Healy.

While I was at KMPC we all had a particular pleasure in working with Jim.  Many of us would do all we could to bring little ‘additions’ to Jim's daily show.  I recall Jim’s yearly ‘thank you’ in being treated, along with ops manager John Felz, to a lunch at Musso & Frank.

If Jim quoted you or made fun of you during the show it became a badge of honor.

Happy to say that other than the hour Pat Buttram guested daily with Robert W Morgan, the 5 – 6 p.m. was the highest rated while I was program director at the station.

One tiny addition:  We had a very creative sports guy at KGIL in Stan ‘The Animal’ Brown. They don’t seem to make ’em like that anymore.” – Chuck Southcott

** Louie Louie Lead Dies

‘Sad day. Louie Louie was a great party song.” – Louie Chelekis

** Great Song

Louie Louie was the greatest song ever and the real words have never been published. I think my band in the 60s played this a thousand times. Did he really say ‘fuck your girl all kinds of ways?’" – Pat O’Brien


Who Helped You Be the Person You Are Today?

Craig Powers, VP Cameron Broadcasting

(April 27, 2015) There are a significant number of Los Angeles Radio People who have been helped by a mentor – a parent, coach, teacher, troop leader, religious leader or all-purpose lifesaver. A mentor encourages positive choices.

We asked a number of LARP to share with us their mentor and how he or she helped them get to where they are today. 

Craig Powers

VP Cameron Broadcasting

There are many people who helped me on my career path. I start with Mike Wagner, former KIIS/fm and KRLA pd. I was his very first student when Mike and Jack Wagner (Mike’s dad, former KHJ pd and voice of Disneyland) opened up Orange County Broadcast Headquarters. OCBQ. 

I heard an ad on the radio saying: “You can learn how to be a Disc Jockey or Newscaster!” So I rushed down and was the very first person to sign up and start the classes. Paul Freeman, Joe Daniels, AJ Martin and Val Valentine, all from KIIS/fm, were instructors and Mike Wagner himself critiqued many of the airchecks I made in the OCBQ studios.

After doing my time in Palm Springs radio, Mike gave me a job running the ‘God Squad’ tapes overnight on Sundays at KIIS/fm. The plus was once an hour I got to open the mic and say “K-I-I-S FM/ Los Angeles.” And believe me, I airchecked every single one.

That led to part-time shifts on the weekends and eventually full time swing shifts at the age of 20 at KIIS/fm. I learned about research from Don Benson and Jeff Salgo, personality radio from Rick Dees, Charlie Tuna, making personal appearances from Rick Dees and Paul Freeman, marketing, promotion and advertising from Al Anthony, KFXM general manager and Tim Sullivan KEZY/fm, gm. Jeff Salgo and the KROQ IT manager taught me how to do my first computer music log and compile weekly in house out-call music tests back in 1977 at KFXM.

Helen Jones (KFXM gsm), Grace Madriga (California Angels) and Peri Corso (KEZY gsm) taught me sales. Mike Curb, John Curb and Carson Schrieber (former KLAC pd) taught me the record business and how to analyze the charts.

Tom Humm (Beasley Vegas vp/gm) and Don Jaeger Cameron (vp/gm) taught me management, and Billy Williams Cameron Broadcasting owner has taught me all of the above and still does every single day.

I’ve listened, watched and learned from many of the great personalities in LARadio, then I added my own special touches to make me unique. Each day I look forward to learning something new, finding new mentors, attending all the seminars and doing the best live and local personality radio I can. 38 years later I still LOVE it every day.

Elvis is Back. Sandy and Wink Martindale, along with Ira David Sternberg, were at the VIP reception for “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience,” last week at The Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. The venue has sentimental value because this is where Elvis performed more than 600 record-breaking, sold-out shows between 1969 and 1976 when it was the International Hotel and then Las Vegas Hilton. 

The first-ever permanent Elvis exhibition outside of Graceland encompasses more than 28,000 square feet and includes hundreds of artifacts from the Presley family’s treasured Graceland Archives. The exhibition takes visitors on a journey through Elvis’ life and career, beginning with his early days in Tupelo, Mississippi through his first recording session in Memphis, rise to fame, Hollywood career, life at Graceland, the Las Vegas years and more.

The Elvis Mania exhibit documents this rise to fame including personal copies of his first singles on the Sun record label,1955 RCA contract, a variety of Elvis Presley collectibles, his custom leather guitar case, the gold record for his eponymous first album, and wardrobe pieces from Jailhouse Rock, which was released in 1957.

Is It True? As the afternoon comes to an end, I am still one of the Jim Healy fans who wants to be in his car at 5:30 to listen to the legendary sports radio legend and make the ride home a little more bearable.

Appointment listening.

He packed more sports news into a half hour than anyone else, unless he went a bit longer and allowed for the dreaded 6 o’clock tone to go off.

He made fun of everyone. No one escaped his incessant overkill of your mistake. And if there was audio to go with it, the audio would last forever, attached to other guffaws. Repetition became part of his show.

Victor Kiam, former New England football owner, after one of his players had treated a woman reporter badly: “She’s a lovely lady and my apologies to her.”

Nothing was sacred.

Sports people didn’t just get old and infirm and babble uselessly, they ‘went the Leonard Tose route,’ that being Healy’s perceived route of the former Philadelphia football owner, who sometimes would go on and on.

Wouldn’t it be fun to have real sports broadcast personalities again? Chick Hearn or Cleve Hermann come to mind.

Opinion of Kingman's Performance. Kevin Roderick's tasty LA Observed blog featured the classic Tommy Lasorda rant that was featured frequently on Jim Healy's show. This is the raw interview. Healy's clip was filled with beeps, which was funny in a different way.

LA Observed: Sunday's New York Times revives a classic Los Angeles sports media incident — the time that KLAC radio reporter Paul Olden asked Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda what he thought of Cubs' left fielder Dave Kingman clubbing three home runs in that day's game at Dodger Stadium. The question set off a recorded tirade which did a lot to shape Lasorda's public image back then — and that made Olden famous for something. Olden sold the tape to Rhino Records and went on to do play-by-play and serve as the stadium public-address announcer for 12 Super Bowls. He is now the Yankee Stadium public-address announcer. 

“I jokingly say that in my obituary in Southern California, that will be in the first paragraph,” Olden, 61, says in the NYT story. “In my obituary in the East Coast, it won’t even be mentioned.” 

“I was in the front row with my arm extended, holding the microphone, and no one was asking about the main thing from that day: the three home runs by Dave Kingman,” Olden said. I just needed a quick sound bite, 10 or 15 seconds, and then get the heck out of there. 

“So I sort of innocently asked his opinion of Kingman’s performance. A minute and a half later, he’s still talking.” 

And not just talking. Lasorda immediately repeated the question, and did so 10 more times, lacing cuss words throughout. At one point he conceded he was mad and had not given a good answer, to which Olden replied, “It wasn’t a good question.” 

Olden was not backing down, he said; he was actually repeating a Groucho Marx line, a heady ad-lib in a tense moment. Olden was young but had dealt with angry managers before. Walter Alston, he said, once threatened to bash him over the head with his tape recorder. 

Lasorda has said that he never expected his answer to air, because he cursed so much during it. But Jim Healy, who hosted a popular gossip show, used it in all its bleep-filled glory, and it became a staple on radio stations for years.

Overheard.

Arizona Bound. KFI/KOST in the Sky veteran Mike Nolan and his beautiful wife are leaving the Southland and headed for Arizona. “Laurie and I have always agreed we would rather be warm than cold,” emailed Mike on the eve of his departure. “And having spent my life in the sky, I need open space. That is Arizona. Through Facebook we have so many of our Phoenix friends again. And there are 36 million people in California and 6 million in Arizona. It’s time for a change. It sure doesn’t seem like we left Arizona 28 years ago, but we’re ready to return.” (The Nolans: Jeremy, Laurie, Mike)

LARadioRewind: April 27, 2006. KLAC evening host Phil Hendrie announces that he is retiring from radio in order to focus on a career in acting. At that time, he was portraying cynical high-school teacher Dick Green on NBC’s sitcom Teachers. Hendrie’s final broadcast was June 23 but his tv series had been canceled after only six episodes. A year later he would return to radio with a weeknight program syndicated by Talk Radio Network and heard locally on KTLK. Born in 1952 in Arcadia, Hendrie grew up idolizing KRLA morning man “Emperor” Bob Hudson. After working at several stations in Florida, Louisiana and California (including KFI), Hendrie began hosting an afternoon show at KVEN in Ventura. He began discussing controversial issues with his guests, who were actually fictional characters voiced by Hendrie. Outraged listeners would then call in to argue with Hendrie and the “guests.” Hendrie returned to KFI in 1996 and moved to KLAC in 2005. His program was syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks from 1999 to 2006. He launched another syndicated weekday show in 2007, and then also hosted a Saturday-night program on KFI from 2010 to 2012. Hendrie has had roles in several tv series and voiced characters on Futurama and King Of The Hill. He now hosts a podcast at http://www.philhendrieshow.com/

Hear Ache. There will be no LARadio on Tuesday and Wednesday ... Don Imus announced this morning that his tv (Fox Business channel) portion of his radio show goes off the air on May 29. "Why, I don't know," said Imus. "There are a hundred times more people listening on radio than watching on tv."

Los Angeles Radio People, Volume 2:

While sifting through faxed listener requests during one stay at KLSX, Shana learned that she had been fired when she came upon a contract for her replacement.

Emperor Bob Hudson was forced to leave KRLA in 1986 for quipping “that the U.S. space shuttle blew up because the crew was freebasing Tang.”

Swanson Back in Game. Jack Swanson, veteran programmer at KGO and KSFO-San Francisco has been named director of news and programming for KCBS “All News Radio 740AM and 106.9FM.”  CBS/San Francisco cluster leader Doug Harvill said, “Jack has a distinguished track record of leading iconic radio stations.  He’s a terrific leader with a deep understanding of how a market leading station such as KCBS can be a trusted and active member of its community.” 

Funnie.

Email Monday

We GET Email …

** Remembering Scott Mason

“The many men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department who came to know Scott Mason over the years, extend their condolence to the CBS Radio family and their listeners in Los Angeles, and to many beyond radio that came to know and be inspired by Mr. Mason in his many roles in our community.

As his personalized license plates attested, he was indeed Mr. LARadio – but to many more he was the embodiment of the selfless spirit that makes this nation great.

From long nights as an Emergency Medical Technician volunteering at a local trauma center, only to hit the airwaves hours later for Open Line; or to give freely of his weekends mentoring young men to become Eagle Scouts, only to return to a Los Angeles mountaintop to keep his stations on the air; to be summoned from a quarter-night’s sleep to provide disaster relief for the American Red Cross, and on the way home to return calls from his many college students who pleaded a desperate need for guidance, Scott accomplished more in an average week than most of us will in a lifetime.

And for that and so much more, we will be eternally grateful. Thank you Mr. Mason, for leading one wonderful life, and allowing us along for the ride.” – Brian Humphrey, Firefighter/Specialist, Public Service Officer, Los Angeles Fire Department

** Bobby Dale Early Memories

Bobby Dale was one heavy influence on my choice of being a dj. As a teenager, I would listen to him on KFGO- Fargo, North Dakota, 790 on the dial. That would be in between from after he left Glendive and later went to KOIL. I recall visiting the Glendive cable tv station where I was entertained by Bobby’s exploits from the guys who were still working there. The consensus was they were glad he left as he was a rogue.

It was at KFGO that Bobby honed his quirky on-air and off-air ways. KFGO was an island in a desert of ho-hum radio in that area. Program director Charlie Boone was the driving force. He later went to WCCO Radio in Minneapolis where he had a very popular, long career. He is now retired but does local theater with Roger Erickson, another very popular WCCO retiree.

Bobby and Charlie Boone would do ‘Platter Parties’ in towns in the KFGO listening area. They visited my hometown playing records and kibitzed in the gym. Indeed, KFGO had a huge audience. Another notable who DJed there was Scott Beach, who was later a very popular raconteur and cult figure in the San Francisco Bay Area. Scott taught at Moorhead State Teachers College while also DJing at KFGO.

As for my radio days, I spend nearly 20 years in the biz, variously, as a dj, operations director, engineer and PR man, mostly in Minneapolis. It was one roller coaster of a ride. But I survived and now make movies and write books. – Vladislov Kyzinsky

** Gift of Mentoring

“My gift of mentoring to up and coming broadcasters; Never Give Up! I dreamed of following in my father’s footsteps. Thank God I failed. Instead I ended up at KMET.

Your talent will take you to where you belong. Also, never take advice from hypo crazed, drug abused, communist, and faggot hippies like me.” – Pat Paraquat Kelley


“Scott Mason will Definitely be Missed” – Bean, KROQ

(April 24, 2015) Scott Mason (l) died last Sunday, at the age of 55. His most recent job was in engineering, in fact, he had a pretty big job as the West Coast Director of Engineering for CBS Radio. But he was more than that. Readers of LARadio.com would probably not know his name if it hadn’t been for a very public kidney transplant a couple of years ago. KROQ morning co-host Bean (Gene Baxter) donated his kidney to Scott, who had been suffering for a number of years. At the end of this story, we will re-run the initial story that LARadio first published three years ago.

Last Monday morning, Bean opened up the Kevin & Bean Show with a moving tribute to Scott. It was clear they all cared about him greatly. Bean’s words:

Someone very close to us for a number of years here at KROQ has died. He is our old friend, Scott Mason. I wasn’t shocked when I got the call about his death. He had been very sick for a long time. Scott was the Chief Engineer of KROQ and oversaw the engineering department for many, many CBS radio stations, but he’s been with this station since 1979.

I talked with Dr. Drew (Pinsky) and Drew said Scott was one of the original hosts of Loveline. When Dr. Drew came to do Loveline in 1983, Scott had already been doing Loveline on and off for a couple of years.

Through all the departments of the CBS radio stations, who didn’t like Scott Mason?

We made fun of Scott Mason over the years, especially that hair. One of my favorite memories was when we were back in Burbank in the old days when we bought my goat into the radio station. There was a strict no-animal policy, under any circumstances you do not bring an animal to work. How often did Scott look the other way? Even with Kat Corbett bringing her dogs all the time. Scott Mason knew it was against the rules and knew that he told us it was against the rules, but he was so cool that he let us get away with it.

He would have been the guy behind the scenes who was responsible for all of the broadcasts remotes KROQ does over the years. He was the guy who set those up. He got the Weenie Roast and Acoustic Christmas broadcasts on the air.

He sure was smart, too. I’m happy to say that in recent years I became a lot closer to Scott because for those who don’t recognize the name, he was the guy I donated my kidney to 2 ˝ years ago, so I got to know his family, his mom, his stepfather, his brother and his girlfriend and the kids. They were just a delight in his life.

If there is one silver lining for anyone that young dies – Scott was only a little bit older than we are – in the last couple of years you really become a father. He had a girlfriend with these kids he just adored and became a scout master. He was able to camp with them and he spent so much time with them. He was so happy in recent years because of those relationships.

It was just really sad.

Long-time KROQ listeners may remember he was a dj on this station – Spacin’ Scott Mason - for a number of years and he loved that.

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who did more for KROQ and he was more beloved in this building than anyone.

It is very sad news that we did lose our friend, Scott Mason. We won’t forget him.

I talked with him about three weeks ago and he had been in intensive care for some time and was now in a physical rehabilitation faciity, which was great because he had lost a lot of body mass and muscle being in the hospital.

They were physically rebuilding him so he could go home and he did end up going home and he spent some time out of the hospital. Facebook posts had him out with the kids having pizza. At least he was able to get out before things turned bad. He had auto-immune deficiencies his whole life. He had lupus. He had a lot of things that were fighting his body. He did the best he could for a long time.

We’re going to do the best can to move on today but I did want to give him his due because he’ll definitely be missed.

Bean interview. Larry Gifford has a tasty website, posting his 98th podcast. The podcast is all about Radio Stuff. He just put up an insightful interview with KROQ’s Bean, who talks about about being inducting into the Radio Hall of Fame and at the end he talks about donating his kidney to Scott Mason.

Click the artwork to download the interview.

LARadio Archives from November 2012

Plight Of Scott Mason Jars A LARP Into Action

(November 1, 2012) In the 20 years of LARadio (the books and website) there have been several stories that have touched the hearts of many. One that comes to mind with a powerful response is the plight of Shana, one of the earliest female personalities in LA Radio (93/KHJ, KEZY, KROQ, KLOS, KLSX and KPCC). About 10 years ago she was having a difficult time. Well, it was more than difficult. She was about to lose her cottage in La Canada and her car (her only means of going out on job interviews) was being repossessed. 

Her candidness touched your hearts and within 30 minutes of the column about her plight being published; a LARP who lived nearby drove to her home with her monthly rent and saved her from eviction. Within days, she received over $9,000 in help. She is back on her feet and consulting in the music business. It was an incredible outpouring of love and support from the LARadio community.

But the story you are about to read is a matter of life and death. Or at least the hope of an extended life versus a pretty crappy one. When I heard the story about a month and a half ago, I literally had to sit down. I was shaken and now as I write the story to share with you, I am filled with inspiration, hope, exhilaration, and awe. It is the most powerful story we have ever presented.

Scott Mason has been actively involved in LARadio since 1974. He is now the west coast head of engineering for the CBS stations. He was there for the launch of Rick Carroll’s KROQ in 1979. Scott was hired as chief engineer and weekend jock, where he was known as “Spacin’ Scott Mason.” (Photo: Scott Mason)

In 1981 he was made assistant pd at KROQ and moved up to operations manager in 1985. When asked for his most memorable moment, he recounted being on the air during the January 17, 1994, Northridge earthquake: "I just grabbed the console, opened the mike, and said 'we're having an earthquake, stay calm.'"

During my times with Scott I have found him to be a very humble individual who gives much of his personal time to charitable causes. He claims his life is balanced because of his volunteer work with the American Red Cross for which then-Mayor Richard Riordan acknowledged him. He has also been active in the Boy Scouts. Scott shares his passion for radio as a professor at a local college and I have been honored to be a guest lecturer there. That experience told me volumes about Scott. Where radio seems to get short shrift with young people today, his classroom was filled with students very interested in RADIO. I know it was because of the passion and respect that Scott has for the business. They really admired him.

What I didn’t know about Scott until recently is that he is a sick man, with kidney failure. He has a dialysis machine he uses in his home. He had a kidney transplant ten years ago but when cadaver kidneys from a deceased donor are placed in the pelvis, apparently they have a shorter shelf life than from a living donor; in Scott’s case he had a cadaver kidney in 1999 that started to go bad in 2010.

Turns out Scott has had medical issues since high school. They have affected a number of functions in his body over the years. “It has been off and on over the years, sometimes severe, sometimes mild and quasi non-existent,” revealed Scott.

“I’ve had a hip replacement, had pericardiectomy (surgery in the sac of the heart). I’ve had a lot of surgeries since the 70s. I knew my kidneys were going bad in the late 80s. Slowly but surely they stop functioning,” said Scott.

Mason was put on a transplant list at UCLA. Because he has Type-O blood, the waiting list was usually 6-7 years. “In 1999 I got a call from UCLA saying they had a cadaver donor. If I could be there in an hour they could make this work. I got there. I got the transplant. It lasted pretty good until 2010 when it started going bad.”

When his transplanted kidney started to fail, he got a dialysis machine for use at home. He plugs in the machine at night and is usually finished by 4 a.m. “I’ve had a very difficult time over the years with low red blood cell count. Climbing stairs is very difficult, and especially when I’m working in San Francisco with all the hills.”

Traveling is part of Scott’s job. Once a year he visits an island off Seattle where Bean (Gene Baxter), half of the enormously successful Kevin & Bean Show on KROQ, lives and broadcasts his daily morning show. Scott will calibrate the equipment in Bean’s studio and tend to any engineering issues. Scott usually spends two days in Seattle.

Scott and Bean are not close beyond the yearly visit. They’ve known each other for over two decades as colleagues who respect each other greatly. But they don’t get together in their off time or even talk on the phone. It is a respected professional relationship. (Photo: Bean)

On Scott’s yearly visit last spring, Bean thought Scott had slowed down quite a bit and wasn’t looking well. He had a grayish tone to his skin. Bean asked if he was okay.

Scott decided to tell Bean what was going on. He told him that he has a number of issues going on and he had to really take care of himself because his kidney was going bad. He told him he was on a transplant list but he had Type-O, which made it more difficult to find an organ donor. He had exhausted his immediate family as possible donors.

The issue of blood compatibility has made great strides over the last few years. Cedars is one of four hospitals in the country that has the capacity to make blood neutral. It is called a plasmapheresis process.

“This is crazy,” said Bean. “I have two working kidneys. You can have one of mine.” That night over dinner, Bean and his wife Donna discussed the issue. She readily agreed and in the morning Bean confirmed to Scott that he would like to begin the procedure. “It was absurd that Scott was so sick with no working kidney and I had two that were working great. I thought this was a no-brainer. Scott and I have worked together for 23 years and I’ve always admired him a great deal, but we’re not close friends. We don’t have a relationship outside of work at all. I don’t think we’ve ever shared a meal together. We don’t talk on the phone. We’re colleagues who admire one another.”

Bean’s almost flippant approach to this transplant is amazing. He says, “It would be like you and I going to lunch and I have two sandwiches and you have none. ‘Hey, have my other sandwich.’ It was as simple as that. It didn’t seem like that big of a deal to me. It seems obvious, but I got the impression from some of the questions they were asking that a lot of people have a lot of fear about the surgery, but I didn’t. I don’t have any question that Cedars-Sinai Hospital is going to do a great job. I’m not worried about the surgery going well.”

Bean said the organ transplant people think some people were doing it for other reasons. “They make it very clear that I shouldn’t think that I was saving somebody’s life. The transplant may not happen. His body may reject it. It may not work. He may need another one in a year. They paint the worst possible scenario because they don’t want you going in there thinking, ‘I’m a great guy and I’m a hero, because you’re not. This might not work. None of this bothered me. They want you prepared for whatever the outcome is.”

Scott knew getting a kidney from Bean was a long shot. “There are a lot of obstacles to get through to be an organ donor. There are compatibility issues, etc.,” he said. “If you’re serious, here’s the organ transplant person at Cedars and you can get on the track with all the tests.”

Bean contacted Cedars (http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Programs-and-Services/Kidney-and-Pancreas-Transplant-Center/) and the tests have been going on for months. There is a Cedars sister clinic in Seattle dealing with organ donations. They began the process on Bean with blood and urine tests, a complete physical, and a stress test. The clinic sent the results to Cedars in Los Angeles. And with each test passing, there were more. At some point Bean had to fly to Cedars and spend a day. “I met with all the various departments, telling me about the surgery, post-surgery, and psychological ramifications on expectations. Cedars does a great job letting you know that right up to the last minute there’s a possibility that it won’t happen. There are times when a patient has been wheeled into surgery, given anesthetics, and wakes up to find out that it didn’t happen. Maybe it was too difficult to get your kidney out or some issue with the recipient.”

Part of Bean’s testing at Cedars was psychological.

ˇ        Why do you want to do this?

ˇ        What is it you’re expecting to come out of this?

ˇ        What is your relationship with the recipient?

ˇ        What do you expect the relationship to be afterward?

“The list is small of those who have the physical and mental condition to make a successful donation, which was a surprise to me,” said Bean. “It’s a lot more complicated than I thought it was going to be. But it is a much more complicated procedure for Scott. He’s got a lot more challenges facing him in recovery. I’m more concerned about how he’s going to come through than I am.”

I asked both if they were afraid. “I’m always afraid before all my surgeries,” said Scott. “There’s always something that can go wrong but I could get hit by a car on the way to work.”

Bean responded quickly, “Not at all. I know there is a tiny percent of complications from any surgery. I have a lot of confidence in the Cedars organ donation program. They have the highest success rate. I’ve met the doctors who will be doing the surgery. I have a lot of confidence in them. I think they know what they’re doing. I’m not worried.”

Bean said that he is hoping that within a few hours of surgery Scott will instantly feel better and not be poisoned anymore. “I hope, as a minimum, everyone will state on their driver’s license that they will be an organ donor. It seems inconceivable that people would want to bury usable body parts – livers, kidneys, eyes and anything else that can be transplanted. We shouldn’t throw away those spare parts.”

For Bean, he hopes to be off the air for only two weeks. “I’ve been told that I will be uncomfortable for a few weeks but after that I expect my life to go back to normal, like it never happened. I don’t think there will be a significant change in my life but it’s likely to give Scott 15-20 years of feeling good. And that’s a trade-off I’m certainly willing to make.”

Bean comes back to Cedars on November 6 for final orientation. The transplant is scheduled for November 13. He will stay in LA for at least 6 days recuperating. On November 19 he hopes to be able to return to Seattle to have Thanksgiving dinner with the family and rest in his own bed before returning to the KROQ morning show on November 26. He will then spend the next couple of weeks raising awareness about organ donor contributions.

“There’s no way I can repay Bean or thank him,” said Scott. “There’s no way to pay him back. It’s a gift. I can’t think of a greater gesture. I couldn’t get a kidney from my own family. My parents are too old. My younger brother had been on blood pressure medication and was rejected. He tried very, very hard. And here is a colleague willing to give me one of his kidneys.”

Bean was philosophical about the past half year. “I have been unbelievable with my health. I’ve had a couple of broken bones as a kid but I’ve been so lucky and so healthy for so long that I’ve wondered since this process began, maybe it’s part of the deal. The reason I’m in such good shape now is so that I would be the right person at the right time to do this right thing to help out this guy. I thank my lucky stars.”

Walk for Scott. If people are moved to want to do something in Scott Mason's honor, tomorrow morning is the Donate Life Run/Walk and Family Festival at Cal State University Fullerton.  Lisa May and Deborah Howell will run/walk in Scott's name and lots of good folks from CBS and other media outlets will be on hand to get the word out about organ donation. "It will be a wonderful day of music, food and fun spent with people who've received organ donations, are waiting for them, have donated themselves, and their loved ones," emailed Deborah. "I can't wait! Here's a link about the event. If people can't attend, they may want to make a donation in Scott's name. http://www.donatelifeoc.org/ "

Hear Ache. Winner of the 2015 GRAMMY Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band performs a Swinging Tribute to Count Basie for the KJazz 88.1 FM Summer Benefit Concert at the Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, June 27th. Made up of 18 of L.A.'s finest musicians, the Big Phat Band puts a contemporary spin on the Big Band tradition. Joining the band is special guest guitarist Lee Ritenour … KLAC’s JT the Brick and Tomm Looney will be in Las Vegas broadcasting the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight and the 2015 NFL Draft preview April 29 - May 1 … Charese Fruge, former program director at KYSR (Star 98.7), has been named vp/programming and ops manager for CBS Radio's six stations in the Houston market.

LARadio Rewind: April 24, 2010. DJ Hideo, who had called himself “the hardest working DJ on the west coast,” dies of cancer at 42. Upon learning in 2009 that Hideo had been diagnosed with fourth-stage colon cancer and was undergoing surgery and chemotherapy, music industry veterans Vivian Son, Tawala Sharp and Kathleen “DJ K-Sly” Taylor arranged an “Operation Hideo” fundraising concert at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles, featuring Eric Bobo, Spindrella, Evidence, DJ Rhettmatic, Hot Dollar and other hip-hop artists. Hideo would live only one more year.

Born in 1967 in Japan, Hideo Sugano opened shows for Coolio, Xzibit, Cypress Hill and other artists and spent nine years at 100.3 KKBT as a mix show director. He co-hosted the “Friday Nite Beatdown” program and was a part of the morning shows of Steve Harvey (2000-05) and John Salley (2005-06). Hideo taught mixing at Scratch DJ Academy, founded by Run-DMC member Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, and was a member of the Bumsquad DJz (now The Mix Syndicate), an organization of radio DJs, club DJs, mixers and music directors. Hideo gave out hundreds of t-shirts bearing his likeness and his motto: “Live life.” (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Overheard.

  • “OK, so Diane’s big interview with Bruce Jenner is tonight. This one is irresistible: Who does he love? Is he broke? What is his plan? And which bloody gender IS he? And, of course, I don’t care, I’m not supposed to care, I don’t want to care. I tell everybody I don’t care, and I’m working hard at not caring…but dammit to hell…I’m gonna watch.” (Marty Ingles)

  • “Now the word is out that everyone sleeps in the cargo hold of the planes. I said it that morning. This guy is going to be the most unpopular guy in the entire airline industry because he’s now exposed where everyone goes to goof-off.” (Doug McIntyre, KABC)

Funnie.

Email Friday

We GET Email …

** KNX News

“I would like to see CBS admit that they made a mistake and either bring back Andy Ludlum or someone of his caliber to watch over the minutiae that goes into making KNX the great station that it is. A good program director does not let the nonsense happen that I am hearing. Julie Chin by herself does not have the time to do two jobs as neither Andy nor Julie really had the time to do each of their jobs by themselves.

In the interest of being honest, when I mention Jeff Baugh, I really mean all of the traffic team. It is just that Jeff bought some barstools from my factory when he moved into a new condo a few years ago so I have a soft spot for him in my heart [and wallet]. If memory serves me well, Chuck Rowe also has some of my furniture purchased before he moved back east.” - Bill Mann, South Pasadena

** KNX On Your Corner  

"A quick comment on Bill Mann's essay concerning KNX. Although most of his points are well taken, I think the claim that the 'On Your Corner' remote had no backup may be unfair. In fact, it may very well have been a 'backup' that saved the remote when it picked up at the top of the hour with excellent audio quality. Maybe Bill just got frustrated and didn't keep listening. 

I say kudos to the KNX engineers who manage to put these broadcasts on the air despite some extremely challenging behind the scenes technical hurdles." - Sam Lawson, retired engineer from KNX, KFI, Premiere, and others.

** Rick Buckley’s Radio Role

“I was more than pleased to read the kind things Saul Levine had to say about Rick Buckley.

Rick hired me when he was program director of KGIL.  As a 22 year-old Top 40 disc jockey I found Rick [everything was first name basis with the Buckleys]  to be a wonderful employer.   

I’ll never forget a couple of unwritten rules Buckley went by: No door to any office was ever locked. In fact, during business hours doors to every office were wide open and pretty much stayed that way.

When Rick [as general manager] made me program and music director of the station I was told that part of my job was to work with sales and, in fact, attend any and all sales meetings. That, plus working directly with sales people on specific projects gave me tremendous insight into what they faced daily. On the other hand, all sales personnel were told to stay out of the on-air studios.

I later learned that this was the reason most of the better general managers with Buckley Broadcasting came out of programming.” – Chuck Southcott

** Fox Role

I have to agree with Fred Wallin on his comments of Michael Fox who was the program director of KABC. I once told manager George Green to ‘buy’ me out of my contract at KABC, but Michael Fox said they had to approve a buyout. I cooled down and stayed for almost 25 years. I later retired at the age of 66.” – John Naimo 


Has KNX Taken Their Eye Off the Ball?
An essay by Bill Mann

(April 23, 2015) As you have pointed out Don, it has been about a half year since KNX has had a program director.

Although my hat is off to Julie Chin for the job she has done, especially with the new programming, she is one person doing two more than full time jobs. I would like to see her survive without being killed by overwork.

My reason for this missive is that I see a roller coaster at KNX. Great programming, fantastic breaking news coverage and the proactive traffic that Andy Ludlum developed. I love it when Jeff Baugh tells me to take Figueroa Street instead of the Arroyo Seco, instead of just ‘Hey, Bill, there is a stuck car on the Arroyo Seco.’

However, the delivery is getting very sloppy. The delivery is what I hear, not the behind the scenes planning and executing.

KNX On Your Corner with no back up and going off the air and the studio having to take over while I am engrossed in what Frank Mottek was saying about Burbank. John Kerry being introduced as the new Secretary of Defense? Duh, I thought he was the Secretary of State. Who is reading the script before it is handed to the anchors?  Back to back ads. Yes I like George Foreman but not back to back spots. Or competing ads back to back. DiTech Funding followed by a great ad by the kid who's mother loaned him some money to start a mortgage company. Windows by Bill and his wife followed by windows by Anderson. Cunning Dental followed by Newport Beach Dental. Split them up so I hear one ad in one break and the other ad in the next break, not both in the same break.

If it has taken CBS more than six months to find someone as good or better than Andy Ludlum, perhaps Andy was too good to have been terminated to start with.

Don, although I agree with you when you said that business news twice an hour on the weekends is a waste of air time, to have Bloomberg reporting financial news after Frank Mottek leaves the studio is also a waste of air time. Bob McCormick gave me local news and things meaningful to both me personally and relevant to the Southern California neighborhood. Bloomberg News could not care less about what is happening in Santa Monica, Pasadena or my bank account. Losing that local touch has diminished the role that Frank and Bob worked so hard to build.   

Perhaps that is why I am listening to KUSC a heck of a lot more than I used to.

Respectfully, Bill Mann, South Pasadena

Hey, KIDD. Saul Levine purchased KIDD-Monterey for $50,000. “It will be a huge challenge to relocate the transmitting facility by December 31, 2015,” emailed Saul. “The Buckley Family had confidence in my ability to do so. The 630 low frequency will have a large coverage area from San Jose to King City.”

American Dream For Sale. KNX will take an in-depth look at the high cost of housing in Southern California that for many has turned the American dream of owning a home into a cost prohibitive nightmare this morning at 10 a.m. In a press release, the station stated not only can fewer people afford to buy a house, L.A. has become one of the most unaffordable rental markets in the country. Add it up and it makes finding a place to live near your job unlikely and often prevents employers from attracting the most qualified candidates. Los Angeles is the least affordable housing market in the country – and experts say it’s only going to get worse.

KNX Spotlight: American Dream, L.A. Nightmare will be hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and investigative reporter Charles Feldman and will feature experts who will answer listener questions about how to find a home, be it an apartment or a house, that are actually affordable.

Wood Plan. Jason Insalaco formerly served as Tim Conway Jr.’s producer at KFI. He recently made news in a story published in Los Angeles Magazine the cult movie favorite Ed (Plan 9 from Outer Space) Wood. An actor friend who appeared in an Ed Wood film, Paul “Kelton the Cop” Marco, is related to Jason. A private display of historical items from the estate of Ed Wood has been assembled by Marco’s great nephew Jason. “Spread out over several rooms of his San Fernando Valley home were artifacts ranging from a signed program from Wood’s postwar theater troupe The Casual Company (Dear Mom & Dad; ‘Another great success for me,’ Jr., October 25, 1945) to an angora sweater purchased for a relative, to his sleazy 70s porn stories. Insalaco restored the lost black and white tv special Final Curtain and premiered it at the Slamdance Film Festival. He brought these items back to Los Angeles and hopes they will further the legacy of the movie legend.”

LARadio Rewind: April 23, 2012. One month after rebranding New York City’s WYNM as “AM 970 The Answer,” Salem Communications rebrands KRLA-Los Angeles as “AM 870 The Answer” and KTIE-San Bernardino as “AM 590 The Answer.” Heidi Harris, former morning host at KDWN in Las Vegas, replaces Glenn Beck in mornings. Two months later she will be joined by Brian Whitman and Ben Shapiro. Whitman had hosted or co-hosted programs on WABC, KKBH in San Diego, KABC and KLSX and for 14 years did impersonations on the Rick Dees morning show at KIIS/fm. Shapiro is an author, political columnist and Breitbart.com editor-at-large. In 2013, Harris exited the morning show and was replaced by Elisha Krauss, a former producer of Sean Hannity’s syndicated program. Also in 2013, Shapiro and political activist / author David Horowitz launched the www.TruthRevolt.org conservative news site.

Overheard.

  • “Paul McCartney won’t return our phone calls. Rick Dees taught you nothing.” (Gary Bryan, K-EARTH)

  • “Celebrate Earth Day by avoiding people who say, ‘But shouldn't every day be Earth Day?’" (Damien Fahy)

  • "I don't know where April went. I thought it was March." (Terri-Rae Elmer, KABC)

  • "Why do snakes wear hats? So you know which end to kiss." (Dude, character on Gary Bryan Show, K-EARTH)

 Funnie.

Email Thursday

We GET Email …

** Fox Passing

“Enjoyed the piece on Jerry Hawkins.

He mentioned that Michael Fox had passed away from a heart attack some fifteen years ago. I did not realize that had happened and it makes me very sad.

Let me say, that in all my time in radio, Michael Fox, was one of the most honest and square shooters in the business and the business could use a whole lot more like Michael Fox.” – Fred Wallin, Sports Byline

** Tantum is a Hawk for Facts

“Ordinarily I would let things like this pass but the recent piece by Jerry Hawkins needs some clarification. 

My recollection is Jerry Hawkins did some traffic reporting for us at KFWB during my years as PD/Executive Editor but he was never one of our anchors. Pete Demetriou was the first reporter to file from the field on the morning the Northridge Earthquake followed by incredible work by all our reporters, anchors, writers and editors. 

As for the day of the O.J. slow speed chase Jerry may have been one of Shadow’s traffic reporters but if memory serves me correctly, Jeff Baugh was doing his usual masterful play by play from the jet copter, as well as our reporters on the ground.

As I said at the start, ordinarily I would let Jerry’s revisionist history pass, but it is important that the actual KFWB team that devoted a lot of blood, sweat and tears [and putting up with me] during those historic events is remembered for their heroic efforts.” – Greg Tantum

** Remembering Hawkins

“I and my fellow KFWB reporters, anchors and news managers are having a great deal of trouble remembering Jerry Hawkins at any of the major news stories mentioned in your current blog. I and Pete Demetriou were the only KFWB reporters on the air in the minutes following the Northridge Earthquake. I was the lead reporter/anchor on the KFWB inside reporter desk on the first day of the L.A. Riots. I would have been the one who threw to field reporters, traffic anchors and chopper pilots; there was no Jerry Hawkins. My memory could be failing, but I think a little investigation needs to be done about the veracity of Jerry Hawkins’ claims.” – Mark Rocchio​​

 ** KFWB Confusion

“I don't remember Jerry Hawkins [and I emailed him to that effect]. Pete Demetriou called in the first live shot in the wake of the Northridge quake on KFWB, not Hawkins.  I should know. I was anchoring at the time, along with John Brooks and Jayne Bower.

I also don’t remember him being ‘at the anchor desk’ during the OJ Simpson chase. Perhaps he worked at KFWB using another name.

Incidentally, his picture doesn’t look familiar, either.” – Ken Jeffries

** Hawkeye Responds to Questions

“Quite a surprise to see this feedback today from the LA Radio crowd! The facts are as follows:

I was an on-air employee for Shadow Broadcast Services from 1989 through 1994. I was one of the primary weekend anchors at Shadow for the duration of my time there, and my primary duties for Shadow were on the KFWB anchor desk [noon - 6 p.m. shift].

I also serviced a half-dozen of the other 38 stations in Shadow’s Network at the time, usually depending on where they needed me. I worked the 10a - 3p midday shift for the latter several years of my tenure at SBS, dropping reports on KFWB every 10 minutes during that daypart.  I was also often the first-call fill-in when other fulltime traffic anchors at KFWB were out, and therefore often found myself working a weekday shift here and there.

During this time, I also happened to fly 25-hours a week as fixed-wing Pilot-In-Command for Kevin LaRosa at Jetcopters, the aircraft services contractor at the time to SBS. Therefore when I wasn’t being flown around as a reporter, I was often doing the actual flying of other reporters. There was one exception to that scenario, and that came on the evening of the In-N-Out Burger executives jet crash in December 1993, while on a 5-mile final approach to John Wayne. My regular reporter was out sick that day, so I actually did the news drops for KFWB and flew the airplane simultaneously. While I was very capable of handling this chore, it was also a very stressful evening to be sure, because of the time [afternoon rush hour-dark], the close proximity to the airport and the numerous other aircraft circling in the immediate vicinity.

I happened to be on the Shadow anchor desk for KFWB  on the Friday afternoon of the O.J. slow-speed chase, but cannot recall where Robin, the regular full-timer for that shift, happened to be that day or why she was out. I do recall with great lucidity receiving calls from some of our other Shadow affiliates around the country asking me for live drops, or to provide them ‘inside information’ about what events were unfolding with that ordeal. And I told them that afternoon that I was swamped under with my local LA stations responsibilities, and that in fact we had the studio monitor tuned to the same network coverage (CNN) that they did – and that therefore I couldn’t be of much help to them.

I also phoned in my first drop from the field at about 5:05 a.m. from my then-fiancé’s cell phone on the morning of the Northridge quake.  It was about 40 minutes after we were rocked out of bed that morning, still dark of course, and that first drop was from the front yard of the young couple’s home who were attempting to extinguish their house fire with a garden hose. They were in their underwear, and it remains a haunting image in my mind to this very day. The reason I was even there in the first place was because I couldn’t gain access to the locked hangar to access the airplane at that hour, and whoever was on the editor’s desk that morning told me that was fine, that he would prefer to have ground-based reports from the field than to have nothing at all. 

For those of you declaring my propensity for ‘revisionist history,’ I really have little to say. While it is hurtful to hear this kind of feedback, the fact that you cannot recollect means little to me, and it certainly doesn’t change the facts. I also find it interesting that I have trouble remembering what I had for dinner last Tuesday night, and yet several of you wasted no time assuring anyone who would listen that you are 100% certain that I never existed or did the work I claim to have done some 20 years ago! 

For you doubters, I was hired by Lin Durling at Shadow, a name I’m sure you’ll recall. Bill Thomas was instrumental in bringing me into their fold, and remains my friend to this day. Michael Fox was the SBS Ops Director during most of my tenure there. I worked alongside people like Lee Marshall [the voice of Tony the Tiger] and his son Steve.

Tom Story and Alan Lee were also friends and colleagues of mine there. And I shared many a helicopter ride with Jeff Baugh. And Mark, to your specific point about KFWB not utilizing Shadow, you are simply incorrect. It is true that at some point either before or after my tenure there, KFWB may have used Metro Traffic [your reference to Rhonda Kramer makes me think that this is where your confusion lies]. She in fact did work for Metro at one time, and my old friend Lance Locher was actually the longtime president of that organization, hence, Rhonda’s boss. 

I left SBS shortly after Mr. Fox offered me a full time position because of an AFTRA/SBS dispute in which SBS wanted to pay me part-time wages for fulltime work. I had more integrity than that. I have been a member in good standing with SAG/AFTRA since 1975. If it matters to you, I would encourage you to ask any one of those individuals about my presence and work there. I also just happen to have hundreds of hours of aircheck tapes from my work on KFWB sitting in a box right here in my home, including many news drops from the field along with hundreds of traffic reports from both the airborne side, and from the in-studio anchor desk. I went by ‘Jerry the Hawk’ originally, and then morphed my on-air name from the airborne platform to Jerry the ‘Hawkeye in the Sky’. When on the anchor desk, I was always known simply as Jerry Hawkins on KFWB.

Don, please feel free to share this correspondence with anyone you wish. I am sorry if this has caused you any embarrassment, but I think some of these folks in the news reporting biz should check all of the facts before putting garbage like this out there for anyone and everyone to see.” – Jerry Hawkins 


Where Are They Now?
Hawkeye Landed in Tulsa

(April 22, 2015) The Where Are They Now feature at LARadio.com is a great resource to find those Los Angeles Radio People you used to listen to and then disappeared from the airwaves. It was never meant to be a full biography or copy of LinkedIn but rater a quick snapshot of what they are doing now. With over 6,000 LARPs who have passed through Southern California we are dependent on the personalities updating their activities.

Jerry Hawkins was one of those big voices from Shadow Traffic in the 80s and 90s who provided news and traffic for various LA stations like KFWB, KYSR and KLSX. He recently sent an update of his activities since leaving and shared some of his memories while here.

Jerry moved to Tulsa and started the Airborne Traffic Division for Clear Channel. He is now president/ceo of his own aircraft sales & brokerage firm, called Hawk’s Nest Aviation in Tulsa. He is also a part-time consultant to the news media and guest lecturer at Tulsa Community College, speaking on Media Broadcasting career opportunities for young men and women. Jerry also completed one year of study in the Broadcast Meteorology Department at Mississippi State University. He also celebrated his 25-year anniversary as a licensed commercially-rated pilot, performing aerial photography services for the Tulsa World newspaper in addition to years of airborne breaking news and traffic reporting duties. If you want to reach out to Jerry, his email address is: Jerry@HawksNestAviation.com

Jerry shared some memories of his time working in LA Radio.

WOW! What a loaded question! You better believe I have tons of memories, mostly fond memories of my time there. Surprising to see how many people have passed away – that was my biggest impression running through the site this week so far. Glad to see others still out and about though. Lee Marshall was a friend with whom I worked and was shocked to see that he died a year ago. I would love to locate his son Steve, but can’t seem to find him anywhere on the site – perhaps he is out of radio altogether? Do you know him or of his whereabouts?

My good friend Bill Thomas is still doing airborne traffic [for KABC] and while I talk to him occasionally, I notice he isn’t listed on your site. That is probably by design, as Bill is a very low-key guy in real life and isn’t big on self-promotion. He’s a quiet, shy type, but an excellent reporter as I’m sure you are aware.

I happen to notice a lot of people don’t update their info on a regular basis. Case in point was Mike Fox, former pd at KABC Radio. He was my pd at Shadow in the late 80s – early 90s, and I heard that he had dropped dead of a heart attack some 15 years ago? He was always very high strung, and we had a few run-ins from time to time over AFTRA disputes and the like.

I miss Barbara Barrie from the KZLA days. Jeff Baugh was an old buddy, as was Jennifer York and many others in the traffic side of things. Sadly the big corps have run us all into the ground [pun intended!] because they discovered a ‘cheaper way to deliver the product.’ Problem is, they’ve stripped the interactive personality side of the equation out of the mix, so the ‘product’ they deliver today isn’t really the same at all. Radio as we knew it growing up is pretty much dead and gone, and I AM CERTAINLY NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT!

As far as other memories of events, I have a chapter full that are going into my book – eventually.  Among the standouts was the time we were dispatched to OC to cover a train versus vehicle where the vehicle tried to outrace the train crossing sticks on their way down.  The train won, as it usually does. So we are circling overhead and the paramedics on scene took one look at the driver, who had been thrown some 200 yards downrange, and covered him with a tarp. While awaiting the arrival of the coroner’s office, the medics were standing around drinking coffee when one of them noticed the “dead guy’s” hand twitching under the tarp! He apparently dropped his coffee and began screaming “this guy’s not dead!”  They dispatched the LifeFlight from USC Med to come get him, but he apparently expired for good in the helo ride over.

Another wonderful memory was when I was working the midday shift one day, when we were approaching the downtown area and I happened to notice a long stretch of I-10 coming in from the East that seemed to have very little traffic. So I saw an L.A. County Sherriff’s chopper about two miles from my position and I called him up on the 2-way multicom channel to ask him whether they were in pursuit or surveillance of anyone. Sure enough, they were following a VW with four teenaged kids inside, and no sooner did he get those words out than he started screaming “Skywatch One fall back – fall back at least one mile!! We have just taken a couple rounds of fire!!” Needless to say, I fell back to give them the room they needed, but continued to follow the action (and the story) until its conclusion. Turns out that the four kids had skipped school that day and raided the gun closet of the dad of one of the kids, who apparently had a small arsenal of weapons in this closet. One of the kids took  a couple of potshots at the Sheriff’s chopper (to this day I still don’t know what he was thinking!). Suffice it to say that this was not his best move. That chase ended downtown at the intersection right in front of the Staples Center at Figueroa and 12th.  When we arrived overhead a few minutes later, I counted some 29 black-and-white units from LAPD, LACSO surrounding the location. The four kids were face down on the hot asphalt with the boots of the officers in their backsides.

Of course there was the Northridge quake in ’94 in which I was the first reporter in the field to start phoning in reports to KFWB at 5am.  At the first house I stopped at in the Valley, there was a young husband and wife, both in their underwear with a garden hose in hand, trying to extinguish the flames coming out of their already-nearly consumed house. From there drove up to the 118 in Granada Hills only to have someone chase me down screaming “Don’t go out there!” I asked why not, and he said that the freeway on-ramp had collapsed, and that I would tumble off if I went another 75 yards further down. I still have an aerial photo of the I-10 collapse at Fairfax from that event, a bridge that they re-built in record time due to construction incentives. I was on the KFWB anchor desk throughout the O.J. slow speed chase, and was working the streets while under the dusk-to-dawn curfew when martial law was declared during the south Central riots. You get the idea!  I think I can fill at least one chapter in my book.

 
LARadio Rewind: April 22, 2007. Howard Larman, longtime FolkScene co-host, dies at age 73. He had been in failing health due to injuries suffered in an auto accident the previous June. Howard and his wife Roz launched the weekly folk music program in 1970 on KPFK. It moved to the World Wide Web in 2000 and returned to KPFK in 2002. Roz continues to host and produce FolkScene. The program features recordings, interviews and live performances and is syndicated nationwide. Born in 1933 in Chicago, Larman served with the Marines during the Korean War, then worked as an electrical technician for the aerospace industry. He attended the Don Martin School of Broadcasting and began working at KPFK in 1970 as a part-time engineer and soon had his own program. He and Roz were unpaid volunteers. They covered all production costs and initially taped the program in their home. They gave early exposure to Tom Waits, Dwight Yoakam, Don McLean, Dave Alvin, David Bromberg, Katy Moffatt, Debby McClatchy, Mary McCaslin and hundreds of other artists. They also produced folk music festivals. KPFK airs FolkScene from 6 to 8 pm Sundays. http://folkscene.com/ (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Overheard.

  • “Everything you do on the radio must have a reason or a premise even if you have to make one up, but doing it to make money for the company ain’t one of them, those are called commercials.” (George Johns, radio consultant)

  • “Did you hear that Harry Styles might be the next member of One Direction to leave the band? Is that going to change your day forever? (Kari Steele, KOST)

  • "I am an alcoholic and drug addict, I have an alcoholic personality. I need everything now." (Don Imus, KCAA)

  • "We've got to beg Stan Kronke to make this stadium deal, otherwise we are going to get stuck with the Raiders again with Raiders Nation returning here. If violent crime hasn't already gone up enough, you really want to bring the Raiders back to L.A.?" (Doug McIntyre, KABC) 

Funnie.

Email Wednesday

We GET Email …

** Mason Highly Innovative

Scott Mason was a very large part of the history of CBS Radio in Los Angeles. Scott was involved in every CBS Radio Station’s on-air sound. Scott was dynamic, hardworking, fun-loving and always interested in what you had to say.  Scott was a great guy and an innovative person who always tried to make things better.” – Bob Moore

** Horse Race Veteran

“I didn't realize Bill Garr was 98 years old. I actually filled in for him once on KRKD, as well as Charley Clifton who gave out info on the ponies. Always thought we were about the same age.

Calling horse racing is probably the toughest game to call and he knew his stuff. He had the looks of a movie star.

Rest in peace brother.” – Jack Naimo

**NAB/RAIN

“We had a great time at RAIN Summit, NMX and NAB!

It was busy, a book signing, a panel, and fun seeing friends and of course, meetings, meetings, meetings, it was great.

The audio version of the Beyond Powerful Radio book will be out and available on iTunes and audible.com, May 1st! For the time being Focal Press is continuing the conference discount which is 20 percent off if you order from www.bit.ly/beyondpowerfulradio and input code SRK89 at checkout.” – Valerie Geller, Geller Media international (Photo: Suzanne Whatley and Geller)


Setback at SCBA

(April 21, 2015) The already small two-person office staff at the Southern California Broadcasters Association got even smaller, as both staffers were let go last week. The only person remaining is the president, Thom Callahan. Apparently the bulk of the association’s funding came from outside sources.

Specifically, the Army National Guard, which operates from government funds, did not renew their ad campaign with the organization. The SCBA seeks sponsors in exchange for spots run on Southern California stations.

Callahan is hopeful he will find a new sponsor soon.

Monterey Bay City Roller. Saul Levine has extended his presence in the Monterey market to five stations with the purchase of KIDD, a frequency at 630 AM. KIDD is presently silent due to the erosion of the two former radio towers located near Monterey Bay, which were recently demolished as a safety measure.

“I can’t disclose the price yet, but it was so reasonable, it was irresistible,” emailed Levine. “Interesting, this was the last of all the Buckley properties. In 1993, I closed on the purchase of KGIL from Buckley. Rick Buckley came to my office for the closing. It took only about ten minutes. Rick was a classy, dynamic person. This transaction with the Buckley Family has been equally harmonious.”

“The erosion was in the towers. The towers were more than 50 years old in a wet environment,” explained Saul. “The towers (about 380 ft.) were rusted. They were in a flight path and the tower riggers would not climb them to change the light bulbs. So they just pulled the towers down.’

Mount Wilson FM plans to construct a new transmitting facility.

Great Scott. Lara Scott is back to middays at Christian Contemporary KFSH, the FISH, after having her second baby. “While I was pregnant, I got certified as an aroma therapist and started working with an essential oils company,” emailed Lara.

“I’m also certified as a family herbalist and I'm now teaching classes and educating people about the power of natural medicine. If you know of anyone in radio or another business that might like to learn more or even join my team and create a second stream of income, they can email me at laralaralarascott@gmail.com.”

Overheard.

 

Fox on Crystal Awards. Bob Fox just returned from the NAB that was held in Las Vegas last week. “Among other things, I attended the radio luncheon,” emailed Fox. “Regarding the Crystal Awards, three of the 10 winners were Hubbard stations and the company also had a couple of more nominations. There were no stations nominated from California [none in L.A, S.F., San Diego or the smaller markets]. Many of the nominees were from small markets in various states. Hubbard gets it. From the top of the company and down, they understand that successful radio stations provide local news, strong local community service, and local air talent. It is local, local, and local with a heavy involvement in each of their communities. That has always been the mantra of successful radio. Too bad the major consolidators don’t get it.”

Hear Ache. KLOS' Heidi & Frank discussed yesterday what you did when you got very high. A caller name Jared was visiting a friend after high school and smoked so much that he got the munchies. He looked high and low for something to eat. “All I could find in the kitchen was a box of candles. I started eating them and thought they were candy. I was cleaning wax out of my teeth for hours.” … I understand local market revenues for March are down double digits. Ouch.

Calvary Anniversary. KWVE pd Brian Perez sent along a terrific six-minute video created by the video department at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, which has owned KWVE for 30 years (and five days).  “We showed this video in front of a near-packed house at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa earlier this month during a concert that we put together,” emailed Brian. Click the artwork for the story of KWVE: Past, Present, Future. Click the artwork to view the video.

LARadio Rewind: April 21, 2014. The Woody Show joins ALT 98.7 KYSR for mornings. Jeff “Woody” Fife had begun co-hosting mornings with Tony Mott, Renae Ravey, Greg Gory and Jason “Menace” McMurray in 2006 at Live105 KITS in San Francisco. On April 1, 2009, Fife was fired along with Mott and Ravey for playing 30 seconds of an unreleased track from Green Day's upcoming 21st Century Breakdown CD. Mott quit radio and Fife moved to KDSK in St. Louis to co-host The Woody & Rizz Show with Scott Rizzuto. Ravey joined the show in 2013. Fife, Ravey, Gory and McMurray reuni ted in 2014 and replaced Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery on the ALT 98.7 morning show. Program director Mike Kaplan declared, "They’re genuine. They talk about things that are important to all of us. These are the friends listeners will want to hang out with after work, at a party or any time." http://www.alt987fm.com/onair/the-woody-show-54307/ (LARadio is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

 Funnie. Rare picture of a nesting Falcon (from Rich Brother Robbin)

 

Email Tuesday

We GET Email …

** Death of Scott Mason

“Wow ... I remember Scott Mason as a kid back at the old KKDJ. I'll always remember him as an involved, helpful guy who caught whatever passes were thrown to him [even as a ‘kid’ in his teens].” – Rich Brother Robbin

** We Lost a Legendary Broadcaster

Scott Mason was one of those wonderful, unique characters that rarely come into our lives. To have worked with him was to know what it was like to have a real friend, as well as a professional colleague. 

Scott’s early entry into radio broadcasting began at KKDJ at Sunset & Vine in Hollywood. I never got tired of hearing him share the story of how he became my intern when I was a jock at KKDJ under legendary program director Rick Carroll. Scott would answer my request lines and loved just being around the radio station, high up on the 16th floor overlooking the Pacific coast. Scott was particularly moved with the passing of Rick, and offered his heartfelt goodbyes as we all said farewell to Rick over the Pacific Ocean. 

Our friendship continued well past our time together at K-Earth 101. Whenever I had an IT issue around the house, Scott was there to solve the problem. He would often text just to say hello and to let you know how much you were missed back at work. Scott had radio DNA in him.  He loved being on the air, and supporting all the talent with whom he worked.  He never complained about his medical issues, even when he was in the midst of distress. 

He did his best to remain positive and always turned the conversation around to inquire about how you were doing. It's the passing of an era in Los Angeles radio engineering. Scott touched so many of our lives. He’s truly a legendary broadcaster.” – Jhani Kaye

** Scott Mason Made It Easy

“So saddened by the passing of Scott Mason. He made it easy to do our job in programming via the terrific support from CBS/LA Engineering. A wonderful guy who will be missed greatly.” – Rick Thomas, Program Director, AMP Radio New York

** Norway Turning Off FM

“It is my understanding that Canada is dropping DAB (Digital) and returning exclusively to AM-FM.” – Saul Levine

** Old School

“I'm not sure whether I feel good or bad about the demise of fm in favor of digital. I guess I'm the Old School type who prefers to listen to a radio and watch a tv, rather than getting everything off of my phone.” – Jerry Downey, Detroit

** They’re Off and Running

Bill Garr is a name I had forgotten. But for a few of years in the mid 60s I listened to him most early evenings. In those days I would go to Santa Anita as often as I could cadge my uncle's clubhouse pass--several times a meet. At the time my uncle owned one-third of a horse. I never made a nickel off his third in five tries. The most interesting part of the racing show was the commercials for the various tout and tip sheets. I knew if I used their services, and there were many, their tip of the day would make me a winner! Well I didn’t and I’m not. I'm just old with a pleasant memory of a very entertaining show.” – John Hindsill, Highway Highlands (Glendale to you)                     


Scott Mason Dies

(April 20, 2015) Scott Mason, veteran broadcaster and executive, died yesterday, at the age of 55. Dan Kearny, CBS.LA svp/market manager, sent this note to the CBS/LA staff last night:

The entire CBS RADIO family is grieving today over the passing of Scott Mason, who has been part of CBS since 1979.    With his spirited passion for radio and unwavering dedication to his work, Scott’s accomplishments were numerous, from being an on-air personality at KROQ to hosting diverse programs like the popular “Loveline” and “OpenLine,”a long-running public affairs show, to overseeing the design and construction of CBS RADIO L.A.’s state-of-the art facilities on the Miracle Mile. Our thoughts today are with his family and all those who knew and worked alongside Scott during his amazing life and career.

Due to Scott's wishes, no funeral services will be held. A memorial will be planned in the weeks to come.

In late 2012, Scott was the recipient of a kidney from KROQ morning co-host Bean (Gene Baxter). It was Scott's second kidney transplant. The first one was from a cadaver in 1999. He has had kidney issues for most of his adult life.

Scott was first heard on KKDJ in 1974. He moved on to KIQQ and KGBS/KTNQ. In 1979 he joined KROQ and had been with CBS/LA in various capacities since then.

When Rick Carroll's format at KKDJ ended, Scott moved to "K-100" where he "button pushed" and did overnight IDs. At "the new Ten-Q" Scott did engineering and was given a weekend shift.

When Storer Broadcasting sold KGBS/KTNQ in 1979, Scott's old friend Rick Carroll asked him to help establish a new format at KROQ. Scott's position was chief engineer and weekend jock, and he was known as "Spacin' Scott Mason."

In 1981 he was made assistant pd and moved up to operations manager in 1985. When asked for his most memorable moment, he recounted being on the air during the January 17, 1994, Northridge earthquake: "I just grabbed the console, opened the mike, and said 'we're having an earthquake, stay calm.'" He hosted KROQ's "Openline" talk show for nearly 10 years. Scott also participated in the successful evening show on KROQ, "Loveline."

He claimed his life was balanced because of his volunteer work with the American Red Cross for which Mayor Richard Riordan acknowledged him. 

Perfect Memorial for Gary Owens and Earle C. Festoon. If a Hollywood producer wanted to orchestra the perfect Memorial, they wouldn’t have to look beyond what was done for comedy legend and #1 voted disc jockey for the last half of the 20th Century, Gary Owens.

Hundreds of his friends, colleagues and family members gathered at the Writers Guild in Beverly Hills to pay tribute to one of our outstanding giants. In a two-hour ceremony, there was a flawlessly magical flow to the stories, videos, audio, and memories that captured his life.

The MC/host was John Rappaport, producer and writer known for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, M*A*S*H, and The Lily Tomlin Show. “We wanted to open this tribute to anyone and everyone who knew and loved Gary,” said Rappaport, “but the Coliseum was booked.”

“Gary Owens was a comedy genius,” said Rappaport. “He was a wonderful golden-throated performer. He was the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. And most of all, Gary was a family man.”

The chronological part of Gary’s life was told by his two boys, Chris and Scott, as well how he got to Hollywood, which was conveyed by his widow, Arleta.

“About a month before my dad died, he told my mother that he worked with everyone he wanted to work with, did everything he wanted to do, and every day was a new adventure. He enjoyed working with the most interesting people at the top,” said Scott Owens, a musician and Emmy nominated producer.

Scott said his dad was born on May 10, 1934 in Plankinton, South Dakota. “My dad had a sister, 13 years his senior who had a great sense of humor named Adelaine.”

Gary’s mom was a housewife and his father was the Mitchell, South Dakota sheriff. When he was eight years old, Gary’s world changed. He overheard his doctor tell his mother that he had developed Type 1 diabetes and “probably would not live until his teen years. This conversation set in motion a lifetime of determination to prove them wrong,” said Scott.

Gary had another setback shortly after the onset of diabetes. His dad had a series of strokes, became an invalid, resulting in his death. His mother became the breadwinner.

During his childhood, Gary was a budding artist, perhaps to divert his thoughts from some of the challenges with his own health, as well as his father’s condition. He was truly a budding artist, Scott said. He won a $250 art scholarship, which was awarded to him by Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts.

 Arleta Owens, John Rappaport, Gary's Star on display, Joanne Worley

Gary was 12 was spent a weekend in Chicago. On his own he found his way into WMAQ where he met Bob Arbogast. “My dad was interviewed on the air by Arbo and they became lifelong friends, eventually working together at 710/KMPC. He was hooked on radio,” said Scott. “At home he would crouch behind the radio and interview his mother every day and read newspaper stories out loud. Gary knew he was definitely going to become a radio man.”

Chris Owens, Gary’s tall and lanky award winning producer son next took to the podium and talked about his father’s teen years. “My dad was a natural athlete. He excelled at basketball and baseball and also performed in school plays. Every summer, he had a part-time job at the radio station in Mitchell filling in for people on vacation or writing copy.”

Connie and The World Famous Tom Murphy, Mike Johnson, Stephanie and Jason Jeffries, Wally Clark, Howard Gershan, Kevin Gershan, Sandy and Norm Epstein

When Gary traveled to L.A. at age 17, that was another life-changing experience. “After seeing palm trees, Sunset Boulevard, the Pacific Ocean, and Wallichs Music City, dad was hooked,” said Chris. “To him, Hollywood was the center of the universe.” Chris added, “My dad loved whatever he did.”

Gary’s wife Arleta completed the story on how he got to Hollywood. The couple met in 1956 in her junior year of college. She recalled how he got out of Mitchell. A program director for a radio station in Iowa was passing through Mitchell and got stranded in a snow storm. He heard Gary and offered him a news director job in Shenandoah. “Gary threw everything he owned in the trunk of his car and headed for Shenandoah. It didn’t take long to become disenchanted with the new job. He would have to cover the local rodeo. He saw cowboys falling off these bulls and getting trampled. Gary just didn’t want to do it.”

On a trip to Omaha for a meal and a movie, they accidentally met the manager of KOIL radio station. Gary was offered a job. “We went looking for an apartment,” said Arleta. “It was a Sunday and we started looking for places on Park Avenue. We thought Park Avenue sounded very upscale so we rented a place. On Monday we discovered we were in a ghetto. We only had enough money for one utility, so we picked electricity. We cooked dinner on an electric popcorn popper that we got as a wedding gift. We didn’t have much money for food so it didn’t matter.”

The winter was brutal, so when Gary got a call from Denver where it was 72 degrees, he took it. But the times were changing. Gary wanted to be part of the new music for baby boomers – rock ‘n roll. When he got the call from Gordon McLendon, Gary and Arleta were off to New Orleans. He became a trouble shooter for McLendon and ended up in San Antonio.

Next stop was WIL-St. Louis. “This was the largest city we worked in,” recalled Arleta. “The city had an Eastern sophistication and a Mid-western friendliness. Gary’s salary tripled. Everything was great until a tornado came through town where buildings were destroyed and people were killed. This intensified Gary’s visions of getting to California.”

Chuck Blore called next and offered Gary a job at KEWB-San Francisco. He was getting closer to Hollywood. “Chuck promised Gary a job in Hollywood when there was a next opening. Two years later he was transferred to L.A. Gary was home and he was here to stay.”

“We had a great life,” offered Arleta as a conclusion.

Robin and Don Graham with G.O., Chuck Southcott, Commander Chuck Street, Marta Monheim, Randy Kerdoon, Ben Fong-Torres, and Shotgun Tom Kelly

Frank Sinatra impersonator Monty Aidem was the next to speak. He recalled his own days starting out in radio in Cedar Rapids and rural areas of Iowa. “The station I worked for was so rural that the animals refused to be in the farm report.”

Monty recalled that Gary was part of show business history. “He introduced Sonny to Cher. However, there is no truth to the rumor that Gary taught Sonny how to ski. He also acknowledged the talent that Gary mentored, including Ken Levine.

He ended with: “May you live long and perspire.”

Before introducing the producer of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, emcee Rappaport said Gary was the king of trivia. “He knew everything. I was at his house one day and the phone rang. Arleta got the phone and yelled to Gary, ‘Google’s on the phone, they want some information.’”

George Schlatter recalled when he met Gary. “Nobody auditioned for Laugh-In. We sold this thing to NBC but really didn’t know what it would become. Personalities just kind of appeared. Our offices were across the street from the Smoke House in Burbank. I was in the men’s room at the Smoke House facing the wall and I hear ‘Well, hello, George. The acoustics in here are wonderful.’ This was really bizarre. We’re both facing the wall and I tell him that’s what I want you to do. He said, ‘You want me to face the wall?’”

At the time of Laugh-In, George admitted there was nothing beautiful about downtown Burbank, a phrase made popular by Gary, because in 1967, there was only the studios for Disney and NBC, plus Forest Lawn. “Everyone loved Gary,” said George. “Even Burbank loved him.”

Comedian Joanne Worley remembered a line of hers: “If you like Burbank, you’re going to love Paris.” She invited everyone at the Memorial to stand, cup their right hand over their ear and repeat, ‘Beautiful Downtown Burbank.’”

Ben Fong-Torres flew to the memorial from his home in San Francisco where he writes for the San Francisco Chronicle. At the time of Gary’s death, Ben devoted his entire column to one of his favorites:

Gary Owens is famous as the announcer with the booming baritone voice who cupped his right ear, old school style, on “Laugh-In,” which came to us, he’d say, from “Beautiful Downtown Burbank.”

But to me, Gary was a friend and mentor. He came to Oakland from St. Louis in 1959, to a new station, KEWB, and took over the morning ratings – even beating KSFO’s legendary Don Sherwood. (“By one point,” he told me.) His reward, in 1961, was a ticket to his main goal: Hollywood.

There, at KFWB, he succeeded again with his formula – a friendly voice, silly jokes and non sequiturs, cartoon voices (including one character who gave weather reports while tap dancing), and audience-building devices, like membership in his “Complete Failures Club.” He would soon be lured to KMPC, a station in the mold of KSFO. He prospered there, and, in 1968, landed a nice side gig: on “Laugh-In.”

By the early 70s, I was at Rolling Stone magazine and was doing my own DJ show on free-form KSAN-FM. But I never forgot Gary and his role in my life.

Back in 1960, a buddy, Al Kostors, and I became official fans – that is, Complete Failures. When I was commissioner of assemblies at Oakland High, I opened each program with an emulation of Gary’s mellifluous greeting, “Hi, Gang.”

He responded to my fan mail with a return address of “The Gary Owens Building” in Oakland. It was actually the Bermuda Building, on Franklin Street, and I got to meet him there when I landed a job on weekends during football season, passing scores along to the news anchor. One day, on a walk downtown, he asked about my college plans.

He knew that I loved radio, and that I harbored fantasies about doing what he was doing. Gary knew that success in radio was a difficult goal for anybody, let alone a Chinese kid in the early Sixties, when the number of Asians in broadcasting could be counted on…well, no hands, really.

He told me that I shouldn't concentrate only on radio. Take liberal arts, he counseled, in his radio voice. Learn a bit about as much as you can, so that you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way. He offered further wisdom in his autograph in my Oakland High yearbook, writing, “Stifling a child’s extraovertentualities tends to subjunctuate his biophysical transmogrifications.” Yes, he was a mentor.

Like an idol we had in common, Steve Allen, Gary was a Renaissance entertainer. Outside the radio studio, he made novelty records, including “What is a Freem?” and an album, “Put Your Head On My Finger.” He was an accomplished cartoonist, voiced hundreds of characters in animated cartoons, did thousands of commercials, and wrote books. He had a hand in the 1964 best-selling joke book called Elephants, Grapes and Pickles

Through the years, we stayed in touch. Whenever I had a project that involved Top 40 radio, he was there. He sat for an interview for my book, “The Hits Just Keep on Coming,” hosted a reading at the Book Soup one evening in 1998, and took part in an all-star panel that I moderated at the Museum of TV & Radio. His appearance no doubt drew several more reclusive types, including the iconic program directors Chuck Blore and Bill Drake, to join us on stage. One afternoon in June, 2004, Gary flew into the Bay Area for a Top 40 panel I moderated for the Broadcast Legends. It was a wonderful radio homecoming.  He’d only worked in Oakland for about two years, but his peers remembered and admired him.  And Gary recorded funny liners for me, whether it was for a radio show or a music start-up. As a voice talent, and the author of How to Make a Million Dollars with Your Voice, or Lose Your Tonsils Trying –  he probably commanded big bucks. But he’d pop into whatever studio he was working in, cut a few silly things and send them. My program directors could NOT believe it.

I called him in January to let him know that I’d run a photo of us in my column, recalling his influence on me. He sounded pleased, but weak. He said he was fine and still doing some radio. That was nice to hear. Gary was a good guy, a family man, with wife Arleta and two accomplished sons, Chris and Scott.

Unlike the members of his fan club, he was a Complete Success.  

Fred Willard remembered the time when Gary called him about hosting the Burbank Film Festival. The Festival rep told Fred there was no money to be MC but it was a lot of fun.  “Two weeks Gary called and asked how it went. I told him it was a lot of fun but no money. Gary said, ‘no money? Last year they gave me $2,500.”

“I know if go to heaven,” said Willard, “Gary will be standing there and saying, ‘Hello, Fred, c’mon, let me show you around.’”

Arnie Kogen, writer for Bob Newhart, the Tonight Show, and Carol Burnett, was the last to speak. “As I said to my wife on our honeymoon night, I’ll be brief.”

Kogen did some research on how a guy from Mitchell, South Dakota got so funny. “Gary grew up on the lower east side of Mitchell. You got into comedy or you repaired trailer hitches.” Arnie said he and Gary got together for lunch frequently and posed questions like, ‘Who do you like better, Ferrante or Teicher? Or Proctor or Gamble?’”

Arnie concluded with “Gary was brilliant zany and the sweetest, loveliest guy in the world. “And now I’m going home and listen to Gary’s album, ‘Put your Head on My Finger.’”

As the group filed out into the lobby of the Writers Guild for refreshments, his classic Preparation H commercials ended the formal Memorial. In the lobby, friends told Gary Owens stories and raved about how perfect the Memorial for Gary was. And it was.  

LARadio Rewind: April 20 

2015 - Former KLLC/KMVQ sales manager Larry Blumhagen becomes sales director of CBS Radio in L.A.

2012 - KPFK interviews ex-nun Catherine Morris regarding Vatican's investigation of "radical feminist nuns."

2011 - Hot 92.3 KHHT announces the hiring of former KHJ/KIIS/KMVN morning man Rick Dees.

2011 - Ted Quillin, dj at KELP, KFWB, KRLA, KEZY, KFOX, KORK and Armed Forces Radio, dies at 81.

2009 - Al Racco, former general manager of KLAC, KFRC, KGO and WABC, dies of heart disease at 80.

1999 - Wolfman Jack, veteran of WNBC, KRLA, XERB and XEPRS, is inducted into NAB Radio Hall of Fame.

1965 - Hector Chevigny, a KNX director and comedy/drama script writer from 1935 to 1943, dies at 60.

1958 - On his CBS radio show, Jack Benny portrays "Zeke" Benny, fiddle-playing leader of a hillbilly band. 

1933 - Frances Gumm, later known as Judy Garland, sings on KFI's Al Pearce & His Gang program.

1915 - Evelyn Scott, 1940s KMPC/KHJ dj and Peyton Place co-star, born in Brockton, Massachusetts.  


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Morning Dew

(April 17, 2015) Ryan Seacrest continues to be a dominant force in the wake-up slot of morning drive radio. The KIIS star was #1 for Persons 18-34 and 25-54 in the March Nielsen ratings. Mark Thompson, with his second ratings book since joining 100.3/The Sound, made the Top 5 once again. And Big Boy has helped KRRL (Real 92.3) be a real factor in a brief few months.

Persons 12+

1. Gary Bryan (K-EARTH)

2. Bill Handel (KFI)

3. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)

4. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)

5. Valentine (MY/fm)

Persons 18-34

1. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)

2. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)

3. Carson Daly (KAMP)

     Big Boy (KRRL)

5. Valentine (MY/fm)

Persons 25-54

1. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)

2. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)

3. Kevin & Bean (KROQ)

4. Valentine (MY/fm)

5. Mark Thompson (KSWD)

They’re Off and Running. Bill Garr broadcast race results for Southern California radio stations (mainly KNX and KIEV) for close to 40 years. He died March 28, at the age of 98.

Born and reared in San Francisco, Bill was the manager of the UC Davis radio station. After graduation,  he became a newscaster in San Francisco. During the 1950s, Bill was a dj in Los Angeles until he began covering the thoroughbred racing circuit in 1959.

“Bill had a gift for making a race come alive,” said a colleague, “so much so that your heart pounds as the field nears the finish line. Only the smell of the stables is missing when he’s on.”

Bill did an old fashioned, easy paced program about horse racing where he would call the races and give the results at the end of the day. Bill also hosted “Call About Racing,” which aired on weekend mornings. His morning show included scratches, interviews, plus calls and results.

Garr had been retired for years and had been in poor health, preventing him from coming to the track he loved most, Santa Anita, according to a story in the Daily Racing Form.

Garr’s first live show from Santa Anita was broadcast on December 26, 1959. For nearly four decades, he broadcast his show – a forerunner of today’s racing shows – from Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, and Del Mar. He also worked on local racing telecasts in the 1960s.

In addition to his exhaustive broadcast schedule, Garr was known for some of the corniest jokes at the racetrack, ones in which he took great delight in telling if only to see the reaction of his audience.

He’d remind you to have a hot dog, because you were “guaranteed to have a weiner.” After watching a horse named Forty Winks win, he called the horse “a real sleeper.” When Jerry Bailey was riding, he’d ask, “If Barnum runs a horse does he have to put Bailey on him?”

Hear Ache. The golden parachute John Hogan received when he left Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) amounted to nearly $5.4 million, according to filings with the SEC … Jeff Pope was a morning giant in the Inland Empire at KGGI until one day, poof, he was gone. After only a few months, he was hired at KEZR-San Jose. “After living alone for a year in Silicon Valley, my wife finally found work up here and joined me in January. I’m proud to announce the sacrifice has paid off!” Jeff and Marla are #1 in mornings, and the highest numbers for 25-54 women in 3 years! “And that good news came after I sang BOTH the Canadian and American national anthems in front of 19,000+ (San Jose Earthquakes soccer) fans Saturday night! (Check out the video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo-MYOF1N6k … Mike Huckabee is dropping his nationally syndicated radio commentary, as of May 1. He’s been weighing his options on running for President once again.


Jhani Kaye sent along this photo after Barry Manilow's sold-out concert at Staples Center
 Jhani Kaye, Barry Manilow, Shotgun Tom Kelly, publicist Ken Phillips, and account manager Mitch Grajeda

More Joe McDonnell Memories: Robert Allen is an usher with the Dodgers for the past 35 years, 28 years working in the press box. He shared his story of the late sportscaster. 

Allen said he met Joe McDonnell’s mother and aunt who would bring cookies as gifts. Once, when the women came to the stadium, he said he didn’t remember them. “I need to see your IDs, you’re two of the sweetest women so I can’t see how you’re related to Joe.” McDonnell was always weary of taking advantage of his credentials, so he was bemused when he saw his mom and aunt meeting Vin Scully, who also received a gift of cookies. Said Allen to McDonnell, “they’re decent folks, not like you.”  

There were always visitors who came to the press box asking to meet McDonnell. A young boy once asked to meet the sportscaster, who came out of the press box and chatted with the boy for a few minutes. “Where’s your Dad?” asked McDonnell. “He’s dead, I’m here with my Mom,” said the boy. McDonnell then spent the next 30 minutes talking to the young boy, sharing stories about their Dads and offering encouragement. “It’s like the ‘Mean Joe’ Greene commercial for Coke a few years ago – Joe McDonnell gave the kid something special,” said Allen.  

LARadio Rewind: April 17, 2007. Hot 92.3 KHHT is one of ten stations to receive a 2007 Crystal Radio Award from the National Association of Broadcasters. The others are KTAR in Phoenix, KOA in Denver, KBHP in Bemidji, KSTP in St. Paul, KLGR in Redwood Falls, WFYR in Peoria, WTAM in Cleveland, WJJY in Brainerd and WUSL in Philadelphia. The Crystal Radio Award was established in 1987 to recognize stations for their year-round commitment to community service. A presentation ceremony takes place each April during the annual NAB trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. KHHT, which would win a second award in 2014, aired hundreds of hours of public service announcements, contributed thousands of hours of volunteer work for charities and hosted dozens of discussions and events on topics ranging from business and finance to education and scholarship opportunities. Other Los Angeles stations to receive a Crystal Radio Award are KABC (1989, 2002), KBIG (1995), KKBT (1997), KZLA (1999), KNX (2001), KLOS (1991, 1999, 2005) and KSWD (2010). KHHT became Real 92.3 KRRL in February 2015.   

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** Memories of Bill Garr

“I’ve been a horse racing fan since the 1970s. So, it was a sad day recently, when I heard the news about the passing of another local broadcast legend Bill Garr. He died on March 28th at 98 years old.

Bill Garr was truly a radio pioneer. For nearly four decades, his daily shows included the morning scratches, afternoon interviews, a ‘live’ race call and then early evening results. These were the days long before the Internet or gambling channels on the tv, at a time when horse racing fans would often wait until the next morning’s newspaper to find out if they actually picked a winner.

Around 1980, I met Bill Garr in the press box at Hollywood Park. He was a classy, well dressed gentleman and certainly knew the racing game well. I was in awe of the man, as I sat right next to him and watched him call a race ‘live’ over the KIEV airwaves with nothing but a small microphone and binoculars. I've been a broadcast talent myself for football, basketball and baseball games. But, horse racing is the fastest minute or two in sports, often with up to twenty players moving around like checkers on a game board.

Bill Garr was a masterful race caller with both accuracy and genuine excitement in his voice. He was one-of-a-kind. For me, it was great knowing that the warm and friendly voice that I often heard on the radio was equally friendly in person.

My condolences to his family, friends and his many longtime fans.” - Ted Ziegenbusch, KOST 103.5 


Kevin & Bean Humbly Inducted Into Radio Hall of Fame

(April 16, 2015) Kevin & Bean were recognized for their decades of excellence hosting mornings at KROQ with their induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. The team was honored this week at a ceremony during the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas. “Of course it was a humbling experience, as expected,” said Bean (Gene Baxter) when asked about his reaction to the induction. “No one imagines being inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. You just feel like a guy doing a tiny radio show day after day but eventually I guess, if you're really, really lucky, all those days add up and people notice.”

The pair has been doing mornings at KROQ since 1990. A number of key players – Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, and Ralph Garman – who are now successful solo performers got their start as being part of the Kevin (Ryder) & Bean Show.

“The NAB treated us so well and it was a lovely day,” concluded Bean. “We were happy to have many family members with us and happy to be able to share the recognition with our great team who work just as hard as we do to make the show successful.” (photo: Kevin Ryder, NAB president Gordon Smith, and Bean ... photo credit: Robb Cohen photography)

Agency Shenanigans. On Monday morning, Pivotal Research senior analyst Brian Wieser issued a note downgrading the ratings he had for WPP, Omnicom and Publicis, urging investors to sell their shares in those advertising and publicity agencies and to exit the sector for the foreseeable future, according to a story in Media Post Agency Daily.

Wieser’s advice was based on what he termed the “emerging concerns among marketers around different forms of agency rebates in the United States.” 

Laughlin Spotted at NAB. Roy Laughlin is one of the most colorful leaders in Los Angeles Radio history. After running 8 stations in LA for many years, as well as buying and selling stations, syndicating talent from Perez Hilton to Steve Jones at Rogue Radio / Relativity films and assisting friends like Shaun White with his Air + Style event at the Rose Bowl, Roy was introduced at the NAB as being part of a new venture with MelRok, called the IoT Broadcast Network. The company enables broadcasters to maximize new NTR (non-traditional revenue) thru opening a new channel of controls through the fm signal.

In Paul Donahues' intro at the NAB this week, he said:

“At MelRok we think of IoT [Internet of Things] as the next generation of Social Media ‘the Twitter of Things’ where people interact with information, content, and control of their ‘Things’ while receiving information back with contextual advertising and their ‘things tweet with each other,’ so to speak.

Roy Laughlin, who built a team that took the LA Clear Channel Radio cluster to revenue levels of $300+million in annual revenue as the Market Manager for a decade, was an early pioneer in NTR. Roy is currently working with MelRok, utilities, Grid operators and broadcasters to bring IoT Green energy applications to fruition thru a patented process. Info at www.iotbroadcastnetwork.com

With Roy’s help we have confirmed that participating IoT fm stations also benefit from enhanced coverage and quality of their analog broadcast signals as they open this new distribution channel. In addition, to a new revenue stream, broadcasters will enjoy a multiple on valuations when participating in the next mega trend early - not unlike the mid 90s dot-COM boom."

LARadio Rewind: April 16, 2008. Brian Clewer dies of pneumonia at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at 79. Born in London, Clewer worked with Radio Luxembourg while serving in the British Army in World War II. After the war, he handled movie publicity for the Rank Organisation. In the 1950s, he worked in radio in Toronto and in advertising in Los Angeles. In 1962, he launched Cynic’s Choice on KRHM. The program featured British comedy and music, interviews and news of local British-sponsored events. The show moved to KFAC in 1969, then to KSRF in 1989 and continued until 2005. Clewer also hosted From London with Love, which presented songs from West End musicals. One of Clewer’s early advertisers was the Continental Shop, which catered to British immigrants by offering canned goods, biscuits, tea, teacups, candy, newspapers, movies and recordings from the UK. In 1967, Clewer bought the store. It moved to various Los Angeles locations before finally relocating in Santa Monica. Clewer also operated a travel agency inside the store. A Best Of Cynic’s Choice album was released by Brian Clewer Records: http://www.amazon.com/Presents-Excerpts-British-Programmes-KFAC-AM/dp/B001ERRDW6/ref=sr_1_4?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1429140211&sr=1-4 

Hear Ache. Stan Kelton passed away April 12. His viewing will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday April 19 at Heritage Chapel 17712 Beach Blvd. Huntington Beach, CA 92647 Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 21, Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church, Huntington Beach. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hoag Family Cancer Institute.

KFWB Reunion. “Gwen Cheltenham is one of those people who get referred to as ‘the heart’ of any operation,” emailed Victoria Easley Randall. “And that’s exactly what she was to those of us still left around who worked at KFWB all-News Radio during some of the station’s BEST DAYS between the late 1980s and late 90s. But she actually put in more than 30 years as a Westinghouse/CBS employee. Talk to anyone who worked with her and they’ll describe her as one of the smartest, most kind hearted, generous and helpful people on the planet.”

(Photo back row: Diane Dray, Alan Randall, Ken Jeffries, Steve Kindred, Bob Howard, John Brooks and Paul Lowe.
Front row: Regina Pacheco, Stephanie Jeffries, Birthday Girl Gwen Cheltenham, Vicki Cox, Cherylyn Howard, Diana Martinez and Victoria Easley-Randall.

Gwen turned 85 recently and Victoria thought it would be a great idea to get some of the old gang together. It turned out to be a big surprise.

1. Vicki Cox, Stephanie Jeffries, Victoria Easley-Randall, Diana Martinez and former KFWB Production Assistant Regina Pacheco; 2. Former anchor Bob Howard;
3. Cheltenham, Paul Lowe w/wife Teresa; 4. John Brooks and Cheltenham

“There wasn’t a person I called who didn’t want to attend,” continued Victoria. “And even if they couldn’t, they all sent messages filled with love. The look on her face when everyone yelled surprise as we walked into the restaurant was priceless, it actually brought her to tears. Needless to say, we spent the next few hours reminiscing and laughing like crazy.

1. Seconds after yelling surprise at Mrs. Bea's Chicken & Waffles in La Harbra, specializing in "AWESOME" Louisiana Creole food. Diane Dray, Gwen Cheltenham, Bob Howard, John Brooks & Ken Jeffries;
2. Victoria Easley-Randall, Diane Dray; 3. Bob Howard, Paul Lowe, Steve Kindred, John Brooks, Ken Jeffries; 4. Vicki Cox, John Brooks, Victoria Easey-Randall

Victoria concluded: “I don’t need to tell you that we’ve lost a lot of our beloved co-workers in the past few years and it’s an extremely painful thing. Gotta say it was a blessing to get together to honor Gwen because she so richly deserves it and Lord knows it was a heck of a lot more fun than another funeral.”

Funnie. This morning our funnie is from record promoter extraordinaire, Don Graham:

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** Mark Levin's Move from KABC to KRLA

"Good riddance to the most horrible of talk show hosts ever. Why would they sign him up for 5 more years? I know it's not likely to be, but I would vote for Mr. KABC's return," - David Grudt  


NAB Update

(April 15, 2015) Lisa Osborne, KCRW-Santa Barbara morning host and former KFWB newswomen, is attending the NAB in Las Vegas. (Photo: Valerie Geller, Lisa Osborne, and Suzanne Whatley)

Her report:

The best part about attending NAB in Las Vegas is going to the RAIN Summit West (Radio and Internet Newsletter) leading into the show. This one-day conference offers ways in which both Internet and traditional (AM/FM) broadcasters can use digital technologies to promote their brand.  It’s held in a single ballroom at the convention hotel, making it easy to find people you know and meet new friends.  

Here are some key takeaway points from RAIN Summit West:

  • Survey results on in Car listening:  For those driving cars model years 2009 or older – 67% said they listen to AM/FM channels the most. But, the numbers are lower for people who drive cars that are year 2010 and newer: only 47% of those surveyed say that they listen primarily to AM/FM channels. That’s because the newer cars likely have an adapter to plug in wireless devices. (Larry Rosin, Edison Research)  

  •  Wonderful podcasting panel headed by Norm Pattiz of Podcast One.  Norm calls this ‘the golden age of podcasting’ and likens the industry to the early days of traditional radio when programmers were still trying to figure out what kind of content would draw listeners.  

  •  Pattiz likened podcasting to using a DVR to record TV shows. Once you start using it, you won’t go back to ‘traditional’ media consumption. He also said he’s seeing more big brands (such as Geico, Burger King) entering the podcast advertising market.  

  •  Pattiz mentioned several revenue streams for podcasting including  advertising, subscriptions, product placement, merchandising and personality endorsements  

  •  Tom Leykis was on the podcast panel – Leykis said his podcast was less like traditional talk radio and more of a social network, where he could invite fans to events. Leykis said making money in podcasting was all about engaging the ‘true fans,’ the P-1s were his bread and butter.

  •  Leykis gave props to NPR for being ahead of commercial radio in rolling out a rich library of podcasts, offering narrowed down well produced content.

  •  Panelists suggested chopping long form talk radio shows into smaller slices, offering digital listeners interviews and shorter segments, rather than posting the entire show in a single podcast. (Although Leykis doubted that many commercial stations would pay someone $40k a year to make this happen).

  •  In his ‘state of the industry’ address at the end of the day, RAIN Summit West founder Kurt Hanson said, except for Pandora, the online radio listening audience will remain flat for the next several years. Hanson likened today’s Internet broadcasting to the ‘great divide’ of days past.  Hanson said that’s when the FCC made broadcasters do more on their fm signals than simulcast their AM stations. Hanson says fm radio took off only when listeners could hear something that they weren’t already getting on AM.   DRONES are big this year – both on the show floor – and in NAB sessions, with panels talking about the future of using drones for newsgathering, and the legal aspects of using them now and in the future.

LARadio Rewind: April 15, 2001. Pat Prescott and saxophonist Dave Koz begin hosting mornings at KTWV, 94.7 The WAVE. Koz would exit in 2007 to embark on a world tour in support of his At The Movies CD. He was replaced by r&b singer Brian McKnight. Due to the morning show's conflicts with his touring schedule, McKnight would quit in 2010. He was replaced by Kim Amidon, who for 22 years had co-hosted mornings with Mark Wallengren at KOST. Amidon left KTWV in 2012 when program director Jhani Kaye decided that the station should play more music in mornings. Prescott has worked solo since then. After earning a BA degree in English at Northwestern University and attending the University of New Orleans, Prescott worked at WRVR and WQCD in New York before joining KTWV. She also does voiceover work and has co-hosted several Smooth Jazz Cruises for Entertainment Cruise Productions. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

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** KNX's Chances of Becoming #1

"I doubt KNX will ever be #1, largely due to the wide spectrum of ethnicity in the Los Angeles market.

Over time, we have gotten to a point where a little over 70% of the population consists of groups that don't use news radio as much as the core of non-Hispanic white listeners do: 8% African American, 42% Hispanic, 12% Asian and about 12% first generation immigrants not included in these other groups [such as Russians, Persians/Iranians, and persons from the Arab nations]. I would imagine that if you filtered the Nielsen numbers to remove those demos you would find KNX does very well, and that is why it continues to bill decently by attracting ad business aimed at the remaining population that still turns to radio for news.

This is also why it was a good idea to shift KFWB away from the all-News format; splitting that piece of pie likely wasn't very good to the bottom line for either station." - K.M. Richards


iHeartMedia Takes Top 3 Ratings Spots in March '15 PPM

(April 14, 2015) KIIS, KOST, and KBIG, all iHeartMedia stations, occupied the top three spots in the March '15 PPM Nielsen ratings, just released on Monday. 100.3/The Sound (KSWD) continues its torrid pace, ticking up .2 and tying for 6th place. The Sound’s direct competitor, KLOS, is stuck with a 2.0 for the past few months and came in 23rd.  

Big gains for Big Boy's new home at KRRL (formerly HOT 92.3). Real 92.3, the Rhythmic AC station, jumped into 11th place with 3.2. 

Speaking of sports, KSPN program director Mike Thompson sent an internal note to his staff claiming “one of the best monthlies ever – and certainly the best Winter quarter in the history of the station. Huge numbers for Mason & Ireland.” KLAC, the Dodger station, came in 37th with the other two sports stations, KFWB and KLAA, tied for dead last at 41st.

The Country station – KKGO – is steady with a 2.3 for the past few months and coming in 18th.

Jumping almost a full point is KTWV going from 2.6 – 3.5 and finishing in a tie for 9th. The addition of many, many songs from the former HOT 92.3 likely contributed greatly to the significant rise of The WAVE.

1. KIIS (Top 40/M) 5.2 – 5.3  

2. KOST (AC) 5.2 – 5.1  

3. KBIG (Hot AC) 5.0 – 5.0  

    KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.1 – 5.0  

5. KAMP (Top 40/M) 4.3 – 4.0  

6. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.9 – 3.9 

     KSWD (Classic Rock) 3.7 – 3.9 

8. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.8 – 3.7 

9. KFI (Talk) 3.4 – 3.5 

     KTWV (Urban AC) 2.6 – 3.5

11. KRRL (Hip-Hop) 2.5 - 3.2

12. KNX (News) 3.1 - 3.1

13. KROQ (Alternative) 3.1 - 2.9

14. KPWR (Top 40/R) 3.6 - 2.8

15. KPCC (News/Talk) 2.5 - 2.6

16. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.4 - 2.5

17. KYSR (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.4

18. KKGO (Country) 2.3 - 2.3

      KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.5 - 2.3

      KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.1 - 2.3

21. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.0 - 2.2

      KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.3 - 2.2

23. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.0 - 2.0

24. KXOL (Spanish AC) 1.9 - 1.7

25. KUSC (Classical) 1.8 - 1.6

26. KCRW (Variety) 1.4 - 1.5

27. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.2 - 1.3

28. KSSE (Spanish Contemporary) 1.4 - 1.2

29. KSPN (Sports) 1.1 - 1.1

30. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.1 - 1.0

      KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 1.3 - 1.0

32. KKJZ (Jazz) 0.9 - 0.9

33. KEIB (Talk) 0.7 - 0.8

34. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.7 - 0.7

       KKLA (Religious) 0.7 - 0.7

      KRLA (Talk) 0.8 - 0.7

37. KLAC (Sports) 0.5 - 0.6

38. KABC (Talk) 0.6 - 0.5

39. KTNQ (Spanish Talk) 0.3 - 0.4

40. KPFK (Variety) 0.1 - 0.2

41. KFWB (Sports) 0.1 - 0.1

      KLAA (Sports) 0.1 - 0.1

 

Biggest Loser. Jillian Michaels, former Talker on KFI and Biggest Loser star trainer, alleges that Santa Monica-based Lionsgate Entertainment violated a distribution agreement by allowing anyone to stream her fitness videos for free by uploading them to studio’s BeFit channel on YouTube.

The dispute with at least $10 million in alleged damages is a remarkably novel one thanks to a production and distribution agreement that Lionsgate had with Michaels, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  The 2007 deal provides escalating royalties for Michaels depending on how many exercise videos are distributed in the market, but according to Michaels’ arbitration petition, videos uploaded to YouTube have “cannibalized sales” via free streaming.

 

LARadio Rewind: April 14, 2013. KNBC-Channel 4 sportscaster Fred Roggin begins hosting Going Roggin, a half-hour sports program airing at midnight. Roggin describes the show as a presentation of “hot topics in sports in a dynamic crossfire discussion format, integrating a wide range of viewpoints from throughout the region.” Born in Detroit, Roggin studied broadcasting at Phoenix College and began in radio in 1976 as a sports reporter at KIKO in Globe, Arizona. He worked at stations in Yuma, Austin and Phoenix before joining KNBC/tv in 1980. From 2002 to 2006, Roggin hosted a one-hour afternoon program at Sports Radio 710 / KMPC. He then spent a year at KLAC, co-hosting mornings with Los Angeles Times sports columnist T.J. Simers and Simers’ daughter Tracy. Since September 2014, Roggin has hosted a weekday noon-to-3 program at The Beast 980 / KFWB. http://kfwbam.com/audio/the-fred-roggin-show/ (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Real LineUp. Real 92.3 has completed its on-air programming lineup, according to a press release from iHeart Media. The station now features Big Boy in the Morning, DJ A-OH, Nina Chantele, DJ Damage and Sib Vicious. REAL 92.3 plays hits from major Hip Hop and R&B artists like Drake, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Usher, Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

The newest additions to the staff include Nina Chantele in  afternoon drive from 3 – 7 p.m. She joins the station from WGCI in Chicago, where she previously co-hosted the morning show. The iHeart release states “her infectious humor and celebrity news keeps listeners tuned in for their daily dose of Latina love.” DJ Damage and Sib Vicious host evenings from 7 p.m. – 12 a.m. KRRL said “the duo bring their talents and success as powerhouse tv personalities on Revolt TV to nights on Real.”

Hear Ache. The top stations in Chicago, Washington DC, and San Francisco are all-News operations, WBBM WTOP, and KCBS-AM, respectively. Wonder if KNX will ever be able to make that claim … KNX has been without a program director for over a half year. We hear that an announcement may be VERY soon.

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** Andre Fernandez New Head of CBS Radio

“Minority hire ... hats off, Les Moonves.” – Rich Brother Robbin 


CBS Appoints New Radio President 

(April 13, 2015) Andre J. Fernandez has been named President of CBS Radio. The announcement was made by Leslie Moonves, president/ceo of CBS Corporation, to whom Fernandez will report. He begins next week and will be based in New York. 

In this role, Fernandez will oversee the direction and management of the division, which includes 117 stations in 26 major markets as well as a growing collection of digital assets. He was most recently president/coo of  Journal Communications, where he was responsible for the company’s broadcasting and publishing assets. “Andre is a terrific executive who brings a wealth of experience to this role – operations, financial management, programming and digital distribution, among many other attributes,” said Moonves. “He has had great success working in large and mid-sized markets, which has primed him to lead our major market operations. I’m confident Andre’s many qualities will make him a superb manager and help build upon an incredible foundation at CBS Radio.”

“CBS is an exceptional media company, and this is a terrific opportunity to join a world-class operation and continue its growth and innovation,” said Fernandez. “I’m very impressed with not only CBS’s collection of market-leading brands, but the interface it has achieved with its complementary tv and digital assets, which gives us great opportunities for further development. I could not be more pleased to join this outstanding team.”

Fernandez succeeds Dan Mason, who announced his retirement earlier today after 17 years with the Company, during which he led CBS Radio for a total of 15 years.  "Dan is a legendary leader in the radio business,” said Moonves. “His passion for the business is well-known, and is a major reason why he’s been able to turn around so many of our major market stations. Above all, he’s been a good friend and a superb colleague. We will miss him dearly and thank him very much.” 

Previously, Fernandez served in several executive positions at Journal Communications, a publicly traded diversified media company. Named president in 2012 and chief operating officer in 2014, Fernandez was responsible for operational oversight of Journal’s broadcast and publishing segments, as well as a number of corporate functions. He also served as the company’s chief financial officer from 2008 through 2014.   Prior to Journal, Fernandez held a variety of financial leadership roles at the General Electric Company. Following GE/NBC’s acquisition of the Telemundo Communications Group in 2001, Fernandez was named Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Telemundo, where he helped steer the company to its best financial performance in history.

During his tenure, Fernandez also led the acquisitions of Telemundo-RTI Studios and Tepuy International and helped create the Yahoo!Telemundo digital joint venture. Prior to Telemundo, Fernandez held the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Controller of GE Latin America, based in Mexico City; Chief Financial Officer of GE’s Digital Energy business, based in Atlanta; Assistant Treasurer of GE Corporate Treasury and Chief Financial Officer of GE Capital Information Technology Solutions (ITS), both based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.    


CBS Radio President/CEO Dan Mason Set to Retire

(April 13, 2015) Dan Mason, CBS Radio President/CEO, sent an internal memo to his colleagues announcing his retirement:

After an unforgettable eight years leading CBS RADIO, I am announcing today my retirement at the end of April. Witnessing all that we’ve accomplished and knowing the bright future ahead for our company has not made this an easy decision. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as President and CEO and I want to express my gratitude to all of you. 

My passion and love for this industry is well-known and I’ve enthusiastically watched as we’ve transformed our broadcast business and simultaneously evolved our digital product.  I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments - everything from creating new music formats, and launching sports on FM, to the evolution of Radio.com and now Play.it, our on-demand podcast network.  We’ve made it easier than ever before for listeners to experience our content through new online, mobile and event platforms. 

However, as much fun as I’ve had, it’s now time to “pivot” in my personal life.  With four kids either grown, out of the house or on their way to college, I would like to do some “retirement” type things like leisure travel and spending more time doing my favorite hobbies. 

Broadcasting will always be part of my life.  I am happy to continue with CBS RADIO on a consulting basis, and I will also be doing more work for the Broadcaster’s Foundation, a cause that I believe so much in.  Finally, this fall I will be doing play-by-play for select college basketball games, a passion I followed early in my career.  I guess you never get rid of the disc jockey blood you’re born with. 

Most people are lucky enough to have one great run at the helm of an organization – I’ve had two.  My thanks to Leslie Moonves who has been so supportive of every new road we traveled down since this extraordinary second time around began for me in 2007.  His desire for great content has been an inspiration for all of us and will no doubt continue to be the foundation of the company. 

Thank you as well for facing every opportunity with optimism and dedicating yourselves to teamwork, excellence and creativity. You have been great colleagues.  I look forward to seeing you all grow in the years ahead, adding to a long list of successes. 

With warmest regards, 

Dan 


Stan Kelton Loses Battle with Stomach Cancer

(April 13, 2015) Stanley Martin Kelton, a great friend to radio (KJLH in the late 60s) and to this site, passed away yesterday after a three-month battle with stomach cancer.

Stan was born in Long Beach. He loved radio and he started his career at 16. “I would have started earlier if it had not been for child labor laws,” said Stan when interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People.  When he began at KJLH, the station was owned by Los Angeles mortician John Lamar Hill (K-John Lamar Hill) and the studios were located in the Garden Room of Mottell’s Mortuary at 3rd and Alamitos in Long Beach.

“When I was working solo at night at the studio/mortuary it was eerie; however, I was never actually disturbed by the other inhabitants.” After receiving a B.A. in journalism from USC, Stan obtained his law degree from Loyola University of Los Angeles. Stan lived in Huntington Beach and represented commercial landlords throughout Southern California. In addition to his continued interest in radio, he maintained an interest in journalism and taught mass communication law each summer at the California Scholastic Press Association Journalism Workshop at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Stan was a supporter of SPERDVAC, and cultivated friendships with radio historians and many of our best second-generation of broadcast engineers, for whom he had great respect. He helped keep Southern California's rich media history alive in many ways. He was active in the campaign to restore Fullerton's Fox Theater to its former glory. He helped train two generations of journalists, as a volunteer with the California Scholastic Press Association teaching media law to young writers.

“Stan was also my dearest, oldest friend,” said Jerry Trowbridge, who helped with this story. “One of the things I will miss the most is the oft-repeated email from him that starts out: ‘In case you missed this on Barrett's site...’”

LARadio Rewind: April 13, 1922. Two days after airing a test broadcast, Charles Kierulff, owner of Motorola radio distributor Kierulff & Co., puts KHJ on the air with 50 watts of power at 833 kHz, broadcasting from the Los Angeles Times building at 1st and Broadway. The hour-long dedicatory broadcast includes the playing of The Star Spangled Banner, a message from Times publisher Harry Chandler, a newscast, a children's story and some musical performances. In November 1922, Kierulff sold KHJ to the Times and power was increased to 500 watts. Cadillac dealer Don Lee, owner of KFRC, purchased KHJ in 1927. Power was raised to 5,000 watts in 1940. KHJ broadcast at several different frequencies over the years before finally moving to 930 in 1941. Under the ownership of RKO General, KHJ aired a top-40 format from 1965 to 1980. From 1986 to 1989, the station played oldies as KRTH/am and then became Spanish-language KKHJ. In 2000, the KHJ call letters returned. In 2014, the station became an affiliate of Immaculate Heart Radio. Patrick Madrid hosts the morning show. http://ihradio.com/ (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Archer Available. KFI and news anchor Rob Archer have parted ways “And suddenly the future, as they say, is wide open,” emailed Rob. “In addition to news anchoring for the past eight years, I’m also a programmer who has worked in rock, CHR, alternative, rhythmic hits, A/C, Hot A/C ... and an air personality on those formats and even more. I’ve had some great stints with KFI and KBIG, worked as a programmer, format creator and air personality at Dial Global (now WestwoodOne) for many years, in addition to stations in Miami and other markets. And in my spare time, I write like a demon.”

You can reach Rob at: digyourgig@gmail.com.

Money Man. CBS president/ceo Les Moonves received compensation of $57.2 million during 2014. That was down from the $66 million that Moonves received last year for 2013. Moonves has been with CBS since 1995 and has headed CBS Inc. since it split from Viacom in 2005. For most of that time, Moonves has overseen the highest rated broadcast network and one of the most profitable media companies.

Women in Sports Broadcasting. Major props to KSPN-AM (710) program director Mike Thompson for going out to find more female co-hosts to rotate into the 10 a.m.-to-noon slot known as “ESPNLA Now.”

While ESPN.com reporter Ramona Shelburne is becoming a regular when she’s available, Thompson has also recently invited in former USC and Sparks star Lisa Leslie, Grantland.com editor and podcaster Juliet Litman. This week, the station adds Cox Cable and RPV-TV reporter/host Maria Serrao who, incidentally, works from a wheelchair since she has been partially paralyzed since age 5. (Click artwork)

“It’s so important to have a talk station that is diverse in so many ways, opinion and style included,” Thompson said. “I’ve always seen Maria at the games so I thought I would give her a shot.

“Diversity and inclusion is a big priority for the company, but it’s good business in the format. I was impressed with Lisa. Juliet has game, too.”

It’s been awhile since the L.A. sports-talk market has had much of a non-male presence with an on-air personality – Lisa Bowman (photo) broke some ground in the 1980s with a run at KABC (790) working with Bud Furillo and Tommy Hawkins, later with comedian Gabe Kaplan on KLAC (570). Former Daily News columnist Paola Boivin did sportstalk for a couple years during the KMPC (710) all-sports launch in the early ’90s. These days, Jeanne Zelasko holds down the early morning co-host spot at The Beast 980 (KFWB).

What’s the qualifications into picking a female to host in this market today?

“Being an old talk-radio guy that was in the format when it wasn’t just about politics, this is really all about the hosts,” said Thompson, who has programmed sports talk in L.A. off and on the last couple of decades. “Are they smart? Have a sense of humor? A little quirky perhaps? That applies to anyone you put on. There are plenty of folks of all shapes and backgrounds that fit that description. The listener has to be vested into them before the ‘topics’ discussed and I think it’s a disservice to the listener and the host to put someone on the air if they don’t have these things.”

Just prior to the last Super Bowl, ESPN Radio launched a weekend show where two very qualified females –Sara Spain and Prim Siripipat – serve as co-hosts.

Would Thompson be daring enough to put local females in the studio to co-host an L.A.-only show?

“If I find the right talent – you bet,” he said. “I think we all need to take chances, be creative and find the next stars.”

Hear Ache. Before KFI can begin using drones in their news gathering process, it requires instruction classes and adherence to many agency requirements. Since the announcement that drones would be part of their operation, KFI news director Chris Little stated: “Our training is scheduled and we are working with all agencies on the approval process” … The Los Angeles Clippers and KFWB will host Fan Appreciation Night tonight when the Clippers host the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center. All fans in attendance will receive a cheering fan courtesy of The Beast 980, with additional prizes and merchandise distributed throughout the game … KRLA’s Michael Medved made his first appearance on the midday show in more than a month. He has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for throat cancer. Medved announced that it appears that the treatment has been entirely successful, but further rest is required … Robin Quivers will be honored at the June 12 Talkers New York TALKERS 2015 conference where she will be presented with the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman. She has been Howard Stern’s sidekick for 34 years … Steve Thompson notes that KHJ is 93 years old ... March PPM ratings will be sent to premium subscribers this afternoon.

Funnie. (Thanks to Carmelina Montante for our funnie this morning) 

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** Chance Encounter with Freberg

“At the Glendale train station, climbed on the Lark [Sleeper] northbound for San Francisco. Stan Freberg stepped aside to let my mom board the train and was so very gracious.

Good man first, genius thereafter.” –  Doug Cox (“What was that? French Horns!”)

** Kern Preserves Freberg Memories

“Hearing the news that Stan Freberg had died was painful.  He lived a full and rich life, but a part of my past seemed to die with him.  In fact, my nearly 49 year old daughter informed me first in an email, remembering fondly our times together when she was very young listening to and enjoying Freberg’s unique humor.  Always funny, always topical, and always clean, you could not help but laugh at his clever and topical records, histories, and commercials, not to mention all the years he was the voice of Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent [and Dishonest John] on the classic Time for Beany program.

In retirement, I am privileged to be a volunteer docent at five locations in the L.A. area, giving tours to hundreds of visitors. Three of the locations are gardens, and I am often asked which of the plants, flowers, or trees are my favorite. I usually respond saying that this is like asking me which of my precious grandchildren I like the best.

So, in response to Don’s inquiry, I plowed through my stack of records and enjoyed being reminded of Freberg’s talent.  His satires were priceless, especially St. George and the Dragon Net, Wunerful, Wunerful [‘somebody turn off the bubble machine’, Heartbreak Hotel, Point of Order, John and Marsha, Omaha, The Old Payola Roll Blues, Ya Got Trouble, Person to Pearson, and the record I played every Christmas day for 17 years on the old KNJO was Green Chri$tma$.

I guess that my favorite and one of the most popular and clever albums is/was Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, a full album of history as only Freberg and his favorite voices could produce.

He was honored many times in his lifetime, and is in the radio Hall of Fame.  

Rest in Peace, Stan.  Thanks for the wonderful memories.” – Harvey Kern, Los Angeles

** Welk Lore

Stan Freberg was a great favorite of mine and of both my brothers.  My oldest brother used to listen to the CBS radio show and got us hooked. Favorite story I remember [source unknown but up for verification by your other readers] is the inspiration for the Wun’erful, Wun’erful 45 rpm record. Freberg was at the Lick Pier ballroom in Santa Monica dancing with his wife to the Lawrence Welk Orchestra. Someone told Welk that an ‘up-and-comer’ named Stan Freberg was in the audience. So between tunes, Welk turned to the crowd to announce the presence of the presumably famous Stan Freberg.  And then he asked Freberg if he would like to come up on stage . . .  and . . . ‘do whatever it is you do.’  The unintended insult led to his satire of the Champagne Music Man.

For ad campaigns:  I still remember best the campaign for Pacific Southwest Airlines, ‘Hey There, You with the Sweat in Your Palms.’ As usual with his campaigns, there were many aspects that played out over the weeks and months.  Chief among these was the provision of small security blankets, a la Linus in the Peanuts comic strip, as passengers boarded the planes.  But the kick-off was vintage Freberg [or it became vintage Freberg, since this was one of his earliest ad campaigns]. Freberg was to take the train from LA to San Francisco, rather than fly, to hold the opening news conference. But apparently something was wrong with the tracks, so he ended up flying anyway. He had to take a cab from the San Francisco airport back to the San Francisco train station to make it in time to hold the press conference – on the tracks as he had promised!” – Rick Terrell

** Phone Call From Stan Freberg

“The passing of Stan Freberg brought back a memory of my one dealing with this legend. It was the very early 70’s and I was working at KNX/CBS Radio at Columbia Square in Hollywood. I had written a lengthy magazine piece for long defunct COAST Magazine about the very first day of broadcasting at this legendary building. Lot of pictures … anecdotes … interviews. ‘The Technicians Wore Tuxes’ is what I called the piece [because all the engineers were actually forced to wear them for this special opening!] and the morning the magazine appeared on newsstands, I, of course, went to get my 20 copies.

I hadn’t been in my office more than a few minutes when the phone rang. When I answered there was a VERY distinctive voice on the other end. ‘Arlen, I just wanted to tell you that was one hell of a piece you wrote. Brought back so many memories for me. Great building, so many wonderful shows, so much history, so many talents.’

Needless to say I was knocked out that one of my idols had taken a few minutes out of his day to call me and thank me. ‘Mr. Freberg, I should be thanking you for all of your creative brilliance’ was my response to him then. And now, upon his passing, I can only echo those thoughts: the world loses a one-of-a-kind genius, and all of that creative brilliance!” – Arlen Peters

** Licorice Pizza Record store

“The Licorice Pizza logo sure brought back come great memories. We used to drive into Hollywood on a Friday night and buy the latest LP’s going to Peaches, Licorice Pizza and Tower Records.” – Bob Koontz

** Radio Memories

“I was in radio so long I remember 1st Phones, Ownership Limits, and even Good Taste!” – Boyd R. Britton  


"It Only Took Me 21 Years to Get My Shift Back" - Bob Coburn

(April 10, 2015) KLOS has hired veteran personality Bob Coburn for a full-time midday shift to help get the Classic Rock station back on track. In recent months, KLOS has been taking a beating from 100.3/The Sound.

“This is a dream situation right now because I’ve got a program director that knows what to do, and appreciates talent, which is a huge change right there,” said Bob in his first interview since being named to his new midday gig. “Keith Cunningham is a fun guy to work with. It is really nice there right now. We’re getting our ass kicked so they’ve got to do something. He’s gotten rid of a lot of the music clunkers and as much as anything he has changed the tempo. The station has more forward momentum.”

Coburn said he had been trying to retire for ages. By the time 2018 arrives, Bob will have been in radio for 50 years. “I came back to KLOS three and a half years ago and I was just doing Sundays. They got caught short and asked me to do Saturdays and I did. First of the year, some corporate things came down and they asked me to do Thursday and Friday nights. People would ask when I was on the air and I would respond with, ‘How much time do you have?’”

“I love this shift, ten to two is the sweetest shift in radio. I said sign me up.”

As the owner of the iconic Rockline Show, a weekly program that connected the Classic Rock artists’ music and interviews to the listener, Bob has 3,000 interviews he will be using in his new time slot to enhance his time on KLOS. “We’ll be extracting clips from Rockline shows and song set-ups. We have a lot up our sleeves and we’re going to make a run for it.”

Coburn said he’s a very lucky guy. “There aren’t many people that have managed to stay in the business an entire career. I’ve seen other guys and gals that have had to do something else. I’m very fortunate and I’m very aware of that and count that as a blessing every day.”

When the announcement was made on the Gary Moore Show that Coburn was returning full-time, Bob said, “It only took me 21 years to get my shift back. I did 10-2 from 1980 through 1994 at KLOS and coming back now is 21 years later.”

When Bob left KLOS in 1994, new owners, Cap Cities, fired the entire staff and hired the KNAC staff and went Heavy Metal. It didn’t last long.

“We just want to play good, up-tempo music,” said Bob. “I’m just going to be me and I’ve got this entire Rockline archive that I own and I’ll be mining that. I get to play music for a living.”

"We’ve been publishing magazines once or twice a year on KKLA and KRLA for years," said Salem's Bob Hastings. "They’re an opportunity for us to let our hosts create an article,
an opportunity to give our clients something tangible to put in their place of business, and, of course, a revenue source for us."

Overheard.

Stan Freberg’s Passing. Stan Freberg died April 7 at a Santa Monica hospital. He was 88 and had suffered from several age-related ailments, including pneumonia. Born in Pasadena, Freberg cited Jack Benny, Fred Allen and Norman Corwin as his inspirations. He began doing voice work for Warner Brothers in 1944 and supplied animal sounds for CBS Radio’s Sunday-morning children’s program Tell It Again. In the late 1940s, he performed stand-up routines with the Red Fox & His Musical Hounds comedy orchestra, then teamed with former Warner Brothers animation director Bob Clampett to create the Time For Beany puppet show for KTLA-Channel 5. The Emmy Award-winning series aired for five years and featured Freberg as the voice of Dishonest John and Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent. Daws Butler voiced Beany and Captain Huffenpuff. Freberg also provided the voice of Junyer Bear in the 1948 Looney Tunes cartoon What’s Brewin’, Bruin and portrayed the wolf, all three pigs and the singing narrator in the 1957 cartoon Three Little Bops. He voiced Beaver in Disney’s Lady & The Tramp (1955) and portrayed a baby bear in Looney Tunes Back in Action (2003).

Freberg began recording musical parodies in 1950. His hits included the soap opera parody John & Marsha, a parody of Johnnie Ray’s Cry titled Try, a Dragnet parody titled St. George & The Dragonet and a Lawrence Welk parody titled Wun’erful Wun’erful. His 1960 recording of Green Chri$tma$ criticized the commercialization of the holiday. In 1958, Freberg opened an ad agency, Freberg Ltd. His slogan was “More honesty than the client had in mind” and the agency’s motto was “Ars Gratia Pecuniae” (“Art for the sake of money”). Among his clients were Heinz Soups, Chun King Chow Mein, Contadina Tomato Paste and Jeno’s Frozen Pizza. Freberg’s radio and television ads earned him 21 Clio awards. His 1961 satirical album Stan Freberg Presents the United States Of America was followed 35 years later with a sequel, Stan Freberg Presents the United States Of America, Volume 2: The Middle Years. Freberg’s 1988 autobiography was titled It Only Hurts When I Laugh. A 1966 episode of The Monkees which featured Freberg as an efficiency expert who wanted to replace an elderly toymaker with automation can be seen on YouTube by clicking Stan's photo. (Written by LARadio Rewind’s Steve Thompson)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Needs to Go Dark. A story in the current issue of Esquire by Andy Langer suggests that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame turn off the music for five years. “The Hall is pretty much caught up with the make-goods, and the next few classes range from bad to terrifying,” wrote Langer. “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t need a rest; it needs a breather. It needs a way out in years in which Seal Primus and Sublime or, worse yet, Counting Crows are looking for a way in.”

In making a case to take a breather for five years, Langer said “we go from slim pickings to an embarrassment of riches. The class of 2019 would no doubt usher in Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Beck, and Biggie Smalls.”

Hear Ache. Richard McIntosh is making a valiant fight against pancreatic cancer. “I saw my oncologist this week. The cancer marker number is now at 817. When I started treatments it was 11,500. The tumor is shrinking. Vertically it has shrunk 50%. Horizontally it has shrunk 20%. Consideration is being given to switching me from chemotherapy to radiation. Radiation is target at the tumor. The bottom line in the Great Physician is doing a work in me. I am so thankful for all of your prayers.” … Reports from those who see Weekly numbers state KLOS numbers are up ... Westwood One News is celebrating 100 days on the air. There are over 700 affiliated stations, including KABC. WW1 News is powered by CNN ... Harry Shearer is devoting much of his Sunday's Le Show (KCSN, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.) to a tribute to Stan Freberg.

Funnie. What did the Pope call Batman when he left church early?

Christian Bale.

(From Esquire’s ‘Funny Joke from a Beautiful Woman’ series. Funnie teller: Erin Richards, fiancée of Batman ally Jim Gordon on Gotham)

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** LARadio Newsletter #62

“Thank you for the news regarding Stan Freberg. I just found him so intelligent and far and above the typical comedian. Very sad for me today.” – Jeanne Sims

** Comedy at AFKN

“I got plenty of requests for Stan Freberg’s comedy albums as a deejay on the American Forces Korea Network (AFKN) in the early 1960s. We needed some laughs and he provided them. – Steve (Fredericks) Liddick, former K-Earth News Director.

** Freberg Live at 1260

Stan Freberg provided material and shows for 1260 AM in the 1990s when it was programming Standards. One day during that period, present in the studio were both Freberg and Milton Berle. They were telling priceless jokes to each other. I was standing in the middle, enjoying this comedy. I wish I had recorded the scene. Many comedians came by the station and contributed stories.

Harvey Korman contributed to the station too.  Also, during this period, while dining out with my wife, we learned that Mel Brooks, who was dining nearby, was a regular listener to 1260.

Stan’s program material was an important contribution to the 1260 sound. In retrospect, the 1260 air line up consisting of Chuck Southcott, Wink Martindale, Gary Owens  and Stan Freberg’s material was as outstanding as ever presented on the air in Los Angeles.” – Saul Levine

** Lost a Great Talent

“Sorry to hear of Mr. Freberg’s passing! I loved his outlandish satire. The Old Payola Roll Blues may have been my favorite of his records. I was also impressed early on by his unique ability to use humor to make commercials both enjoyable and effective. We lost a great talent.” – Steve Knight

** Beany and Cecil Memories

“I appreciate the notification of the passing of one of my earliest influences – Stan Freberg. My first memory of him came from the original Beany and & Cecil tv show and he continued to provide a volume of great comedy moments thereafter. 

In the 80s, I was working in Pacific Palisades and often had lunch at Mort’s, a local Deli there. One day, I looked across the dining room and spotted Mr. Freberg having a sandwich, sitting under an autographed picture of none other than Stan Freberg – a delightful moment, indeed...one I’d like to think he planned for everyone else’s enjoyment. He will be missed.” – Michael Nash

** Green Chri$tma$ Airings

“Sad to hear of Stan Freberg’s passing.  He was a true creative genius. Of all of his creations, Green Chri$tma$ is my favorite. In a very penetrating and provocative and very entertaining way, he got his feelings made known about the commercialization of Christmas. I was fairly young when he had created it, but I do recall that most of the radio stations that started playing it pulled it from their air-play very quickly when the ad agencies made a big fuss about it. I believe only KFWB and KMPC kept on playing the record.

I do have his Greatest Hits CD and treasure it immensely. I hope that he will be able to continue to use his creative talent on the other side.    

Rest in Peace, Stan Freberg.” – Dave Paulson

** Freberg a True Great

Stan Freberg was among the true greats. I grew listening to him. My son, now 38, was raised listening to Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, Volume 1. Even now, if one of us says, ‘what’s that?, the other will answer ‘French horns.’

I met him once while shopping, in the old Broadway department store in Century City. We were both buying underwear. It was a true thrill. His autobiography It Only Hurts When I Laugh was a great read.

My earliest memory of him was the time I went to the old Channel 4 studios at Sunset and Vine at age eight to appear on the Sheriff John show and watching him with the Beanie puppet on Beany and Cecil.” – Jeffrey C. Freedman

** Tip of the Freberg

“I’ve been listening/watching the Tip of the Freberg box set Rhino released back in 1999 ... four CDs of his commercial records [all the 45s plus Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America], radio commercials, and other assorted audio archives, plus a VHS cassette of his television commercial work.

Included in the VHS tape [knew I kept that old machine around for some good reason] is his Jeno’s Pizza Rolls commercial. At the time, Lark cigarettes had a campaign called ‘show us your Lark pack’ in which they put that message on the side of a truck and drove down busy streets filming actual Lark smokers who complied with the request. Freberg thought that was ripe for satire, and so he created a spot set at a dinner party where said pizza rolls were being served as hors d’oeuvres, with a waiter pushing a cart through the room periodically which had the sign ‘show us your pizza roll box,’ which, inexplicably, several partygoers happened to have in their inside tuxedo pockets.

Both the Lark and Jeno’s commercials used Rossini’s William Tell Overture as the music, and near the end of the spot, a cigarette company executive [so identified because he pulled a package of Lark’s from his tuxedo jacket, with the brand name covered up] tells the host of the party ‘I’d like to speak with you about the music you're using.’  Pan right to the Lone Ranger and Tonto – the real Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels – and Moore saying ‘funny, we wanted to talk with you about the same thing.’ Silverheels’ line: ‘Pizza roll, kemosabe?’ while clearing an entire tray of them into his leather pouch.

I heard Freberg tell a story about the commercial on the ‘Late Late Show’ with the late Tom Snyder, and he confirmed the story when I spoke with him on Charlie Tuna’s KLAC morning show about a year later. CBS refused to air the commercial unless Freberg got Silverheels to sign a waiver regarding his playing a ‘stereotypical Indian’ in the spot. Although Freberg protested [‘but he's Tonto!’] the network insisted and Stan trotted up to Jay’s house to get the signature.  Jay’s reaction?  ‘But ... I’m Tonto!’

While Snyder was going into his convulsive laugh, Freberg delivered the real punchline: At that time, syndication rights to The Lone Ranger television series were controlled by ... yep, CBS.” – K.M. Richards

** An Hour with Freberg

“I have fond memories of the hour I spent with Stan Freberg on 1260 in 1994. [Considering all the call-letters in recent years, probably best to only mention frequency.]

I enjoyed learning about his father's role as a pastor along with his mention that the only thing he grabbed during the ’94 quake was his bible.

He also mentioned that for some reason Harry Belafonte was absolutely irate over his very humorous version of Day-O. On the other hand, Stan told me that not only did Jack Webb approve of his take on Dragnet, he gave him the full Dragnet orchestra for his session.

One more: Freberg said that actor Lionel Barrymore was a big fan of Time for Beany on KTLA. In fact, one evening after checking his watch, Barrymore asked his driver to pull over to the side of the road and enter the first house with a tv antenna and see if they’d allow him [Mr. Barrymore] to come in and watch the show. They did and he did.” – Chuck Southcott

** Freberg Wasn’t a Fan of Credibility Gap

“I was saddened to learn of the death of Stan Freberg. I was always a great admirer. Unfortunately, he did not return the admiration. He once told me that he thought that the Credibility Gap was sophomoric and that it was futile to try to produce consistently good satire at the volume we were (three programs a day with one to three topical sketches). I was so devastated by his remark that I simply said, ‘We’ll keep trying’ and walked away. We weren’t always consistent, but I think that overall we were good.” – Lew Irwin

** Grew Up with Freberg

“Sad about the loss of Stan Freberg. He was a good, clever, talented and a gentle person. Stan would joke about us living in South Pasadena. Stan my friend, RIP. Stan and G.O. will keep them laughing up there.” – Roger Carroll

** Met Stan at Hollywood Bowl

“My favorite memory of Stan Freberg is the time my wife and I were walking just behind him and his wife as we were leaving the Hollywood Bowl. I walked up to him and said: ‘Soooo, Stan who ya takin’ to da witch boyn’n Saturday night?’

And he looked at me, then his wife, then back at me and said: ‘June Foray, who else?’

My line was from his classic LP Stan Freberg Presents the United States Of America. And, of course, June Foray is the classic voiceover character mega-talent who played soooooo many roles as part of Stan’s ‘gang.’

Rest In Peace, Stan. [Oh, and ignore the ‘rumble, rumble, rumble of mutiny down below!]” – Alan Ross

** LARadio Newsletter #62

“Happy to hear about the good news regarding Bob Coburn. When we were both on Arrow, I had the pleasure of learning how great of a guy Bob Coburn IS!” – Scott St. James


Jimmy Kimmel’s Incredible Success But Who Is He?

(April 6, 2015) Entertainment Weekly has treated us to an 8-page cover story asking the question, ‘Who is Jimmy Kimmel? and in the process provided some great insights from those closest to him. The former KROQer has hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC for seven years. “Jimmy Kimmel is exactly who you think he is. Jimmy Kimmel is nothing like you think he is” is how EW started out their in-depth story. Some highlights:

“I always thought I’d be an artist, but I started watching late-night television while I was drawing. I read in a Playboy article that David Letterman said he started in radio, I thought that was a good idea.”

“Genius from the first f… minute that he walked in the door. I’ve been in Hollywood since 1976, and I’ve never met anyone smarter than Jimmy. No one.” (Ben Stein, co-host of Win Ben Stein’s Money, Jimmy’s first tv job)

“Ben Affleck and I had not met when we shot ‘I’m F---ing Ben Affleck.’ We actually fall in love on that set.” (Ben Affleck)

“I’d been fired from my fist radio job and was living with my parents. I decided that I would shrink down the covers of the National Enquirer and the Weekly World News to the size of a postage stamp using a Xerox machine. Then I made earrings out of them. I decided that women would like these. Of course, no women liked them.”

“Jimmy is the only comedian who could be President. If he were President, I would trust him to do the right thing, even though he’s a Democrat.” (Ben Stein)

“Our Christmas cards and stationery are all handmade by him; our wedding invitation, he drew. He makes vinegar, he makes pasta from scratch. He really is Martha Stewart. I’ve never met a man that’s so feminine and so masculine at the same time.” (Molly McNearney, Jimmy’s wife and a JKL co-head writer)

Overheard.

LARadio Rewind: August 6, 1997. Former KRLA owner Jack Kent Cooke dies at 84. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Cooke managed CJCS in Stratford before forming a partnership with Roy Thomson and purchasing several radio stations and newspapers. In 1959, Cooke formed Eleven-Ten Broadcasting and purchased Pasadena country station KXLA. Because of a law prohibiting foreign control of a United States station, the company was in the name of his brother Donald, a U.S.citizen. On September 1, KXLA switched to top 40 as KRLA. In 1960, Jack Kent Cooke moved to the U.S. and became a citizen. He formed American Cablevision and at various times owned the Washington Redskins, the Lakers, the Los Angeles Kings, the Chrysler Building and the Forum. He was stripped of the KRLA license in 1964 because of falsified ownership, accounting discrepancies, improper station IDs, doctored program logs and a fraudulent contest. In 1959, to promote KRLA's new morning man, Cooke had offered $50,000 to the first listener who could "Find Perry Allen" by going up to strangers and asking, "Are you Perry Allen?" KFWB general manager Bob Purcell knew Allen was still working at WKBW in Buffalo and sent newsman Charles Arlington to Buffalo to "find" him. Cooke was forced to pay the prize money to KFWB. After Cooke lost the license, ownership of KRLA was transferred to a new non-profit company, Oak Knoll Broadcasting.  

Airtalking for 30 Years. Larry Mantle marks 30 years hosting Airtalk on KPCC. From the KPCC website:

At the time, a gallon of gas cost about $1.10 and a postage stamp cost 22 cents. The compact disc, the Super Mario Brothers and New Coke were introduced to America. Microsoft released the first version of Windows and the first .com domain name was registered. All while Ronald Reagan served as President of the United States. 

30 years later, that same broadcaster still sits behind a KPCC microphone and continues to bring his loyal listeners the latest in news, entertainment, and culture from Southern California.

 Five years ago, we spent the day with Larry. Here is that story: 

Larry Mantle is Never Right (or Left)

(April 1, 2010) Larry Mantle celebrates 25 years today with AirTalk on KPCC (89.3fm), which airs daily from 10 a.m. - noon. For the past decade, KPCC has steadily grown its influence in the world of news/talk. When the PPM measurement service was launched, the non-commercial stations were listed. In the February '10 listings, KPCC was ranked 21st with all listeners 6+ among all LA radio stations. The station has an annual budget of $13.5 million.  

Adding to the success at KPCC is the midday show, AirTalk, hosted by Mantle. The very up-to-the-moment two hour show has four producers who work on the current events magazine-type program every day. "Linda Othenin-Girard is the senior producer and has been with me for almost twenty years. Jackie Oclaray has been with me more than a decade. Roger Rudick and Karen Fritsche have also been with us awhile. I have four terrific producers, along with two interns, Gina Delvac and Roy Lenn, who are essentially full time."

The producers KPCC hires usually have a track record producing somewhere else, or they've done fill-in in the past. Some have been interns while attending Pasadena City College.   

Putting together the two hour show is just one part of what Larry and his team have to do on a daily basis. "There is so much to do between all the content for the web that they have to handle - Twitter, Facebook, and our KPCC website. One person is heavily devoted to that, but all four produce segments for the show. We are constantly brainstorming ideas because we may do six topics in a two-hour show. We often book two or more guests per segment, that's often 12 we have to line up in an average day. The producers also put together all the folders with my study materials for the segments. It's like a daily conveyor belt - coming up with the topics, lining up the guests, debating how we want to come at the subject and how we can advance the story. It is tremendously challenging preparing for all these topics."  

How is AirTalk put together every day? "It is a collaborative effort along with our news director, Paul Glickman. We get off the air at noon and then have an editorial meeting about the next day. We’re always in process."   

On the day we had lunch at the Ocean View Restaurant in Montrose, Larry revealed they already had an author booked for the final 20-minute segment the next day. "At 11 a.m. we will cover the states that are starting to file against the healthcare mandate. At 10:30, we are looking to do a segment on the Los Angeles Unified School District's stopping the transfer of students to other districts. By later in the afternoon or early tomorrow morning one or all of those may be replaced by other things because when we get in at 8 a.m., we review everything that happened overnight and what we need to respond to. Typically our first half hour is breaking news from the morning and we're booking guests right up until air time." (Larry prepping before his show)

Larry said the show is always in a fluid state. "It's a group process," said Larry. "The producers, our news director, and I all working together."  

Mantle has a unique relationship with KPCC's news director. Technically he answers to the program director, Craig Curtis, but so much of how the station sounds - being news oriented - falls to Glickman. "Paul has a light hand in the process. He will make suggestions all the time. He comes in every morning with a list of possible stories for us. His job is the totality of what KPCC is doing. He has to make sure what we are doing on AirTalk is fitting into what Patt Morrison is doing in the afternoon with her show and what NPR is doing with its magazine programs. Paul has the big picture of what we're doing and how it all fits together."  

Larry praised Glickman for his ability to figure out a way to take national and international stories and to localize them. "One of the challenges for us is to do things that are very distinctive for our program and my skill set, while being mindful of what fits with the totality of KPCC. How we sound over the course of the entire day is what’s most important to the listener. People tune into a particular station because they know what they are going to get. They're looking for consistency and reliability. We don't want KPCC to sound like different stations throughout the day, but the station does want its hosts to be distinct." (Steve Julian and Mantle in Morning Edition studios)

KPCC is constantly trying to meet the expectations of the listener. Larry emphasized that they are mission-driven and that affects everything they do. "Of course, we want to have the highest ratings we can because that’s a strong measure of how well we’re serving the audience, and we need to raise money to operate this station. We have to be grounded in that reality and at the same time operate as a non-profit. Our reason for existing is to serve the community and to find ways to do that where other broadcasters are not. We want to fill the audience drive for serious, in-depth, news and issues coverage that they can’t find elsewhere. This gives us a lot of opportunities. At the same time it is very challenging because when we look at a story that has been beaten to death, we have to ask if there’s a better way to get at it. We also have the luxury of significant air time, if we think a topic is worth it, but we don't want to rehash what people have been seeing on cable news."  

With healthcare on everyone's mind, I wondered how his listeners came down on the subject. "Our listeners, by definition, are really interested in public policy, so with healthcare, there's been tremendous interest. Opinions are all over the place. Some are very disappointed and they wanted a much more robust plan. Others feel that it's over-reaching. I see my job as bringing together all these different points of view so the listener can hear the strongest possible perspectives, then come away with an informed opinion."  

Larry addressed the issue of an NPR station being left-leaning or politically liberal in editorials and subject matter. "I'm disappointed that would be the perception for KPCC. Public radio did begin as community and college broadcasting, with activist and educational roots. I think that established the early-on reputation of public radio as being the bastion of the left. As public radio has grown, and the size of the audience has grown, it's by no means ideologically based. It is much more diversified. The fact that I'm on opposite Rush Limbaugh does mean that many conservative listeners are going to be listening to him. There is no program on the left of comparable size to Limbaugh’s, so it really does affect the pool of listeners available. However, I think it would be a real disservice to say we are going to serve those listeners who don't like Rush Limbaugh. We don't want to limit ourselves in any way." (AirTalk production staff during broadcast)

Larry said he is not an advocate for any political point of view. "I don't come out of activism. I come out of radio. I've loved radio since I was a kid going to Hollywood High School.”  

Mantle originally wanted to be a minister. In all of his environments he has loved taking both sides of a subject. He was active in school debates. "I don't want to convince anyone of a particular point of view. Our program is a place for exploring ideas from all perspectives, so that our listeners get exposed to the strongest arguments from all points of view."  

Larry's pd, Craig Curtis said: "As for Larry, I'd just say that his longevity and popularity is born of three things: his love for Los Angeles, his genuine and insatiable curiosity, and his great respect for our audience. That, and the fact that he occasionally bribes me for extra vacation time with Cuban cigars."  

"Hosting AirTalk is the best job in the world. I get to talk with literally the most interesting people in the world."

Hear Ache. Rob Marinko returns to the morning show at KABC this morning to provide sports for Doug McIntyre and Terri-Rae Elmer Todd Leitz spent a decade on the KNX news team. He was just appointed 2015 stadium P.A. announcer tor the LA Dodgers … When Mike Nolan arrived at KFI to succeed airborne reporter Bruce Wayne, Mike received a nice, hand written note from Reverend Robert Schuller. “He was wishing me the best in my new position,” wrote Mike on his Facebook page. “A very nice gesture that I still treasure today.” … Kirk Nemzer, former chief engineer at KROQ/KTWV, had successful cataract surgery last week. “The doctor makes a small incision in the cornea, uses ultrasound to smash/destroy the lens and the cataract, said Kirk. “After cleaning out the pieces, he places a custom selected lens in behind the pupil, closes you up and it takes about one hour to come out of the local they knock you out with. I drove home the 300 miles the next day. My eyesight is back to what I remember as a kid! This is my 62nd birthday present.” … Mike McVay is promoted to svp of programming at Cumulus. He’s been with the company since September 2011. EVP John Dickey said “this title adjustment reflects the job that Mike’s been doing” and “acknowledges his value to the company…we hope to have Mike with us for many years to come.” … Chris Hardwick is developing a weekly half-hour series based on his popular Nerdist News podcast ... LARadio will be on the hiatus after today.

Who Helped You Be the Person You Are Today?

Randy West

Game Show Annnouncer

DJ
     

I wish I could say that a parent nurtured my interest in broadcasting. In reality, my folks were so against my choice of careers that they traveled three hours to meet with the program director at my first significant gig without my knowledge to arrange for me to be fired. The hope was that I would return to school full time. With radio my priority, I simply moved on to the next station, eventually earning my BA degree.

The person who taught me the most about radio was Tom Shovan, whose career advanced from jock (Albany, Boston, and briefly WINS, New York) to ABC Radio in New York. There was nobody who lived and loved the business more than Tom, and he was all too willing to share his knowledge and his toys. At Tom's hand I learned about the economy of words as a jock, and the art of hosting long-form live adlib events (radiothons and civic events). Tom also taught me about music rotations, ratings, public service, human resources, FCC compliance and the rest of the myriad skills necessary to earn my stripes as program director under his supervision as general manager.

There is one earlier mentor who generously shared his time and encouragement, as well as years of tutoring in the arts of tv announcing and audience warm-up. The great Johnny Olson recognized my passion as a habitual audience member in New York, including me in his warm-up act when I was 12 years old. His early advice was to get into radio. As I matured personally and professionally and had airchecks to share, he became more and more serious in his sharing of wisdom in long conversations and in critiques of my recorded reads from his old scripts.

Johnny and I corresponded by mail after he moved to L.A. in 1972, and resumed our face-to-face meetings when I moved west in 1979. Johnny passed away in 1985 while announcer on The Price is Right. In a strange cosmic symmetry, I filled-in at his podium as announcer on The Price is Right for much of the 2003-2004 season.  

While Johnny never arranged for any employment for me, he prepared me so completely for the work that I was able to step into my first gigs with the skills and confidence that enabled me to quickly build a career in game and talk show announcing. After Johnny's death his family entrusted me with the collected writings, momentos and ephemera from John's 58-year career. It served as the basis for the well-received biography Johnny Olson: A Voice in Time.

Funnie. The last argument funnie comes from Roger Carroll

OK, honey, we’re here! I said I was sorry. You can come out now.

Email Monday

We GET Email …

** Lloyd Thaxton at KABC

“While in college, I produced Lloyd Thaxton's Sunday morning show on KABC Radio. You could not find a nicer human being.” - Fred Wallin, Sports Byline

** Thaxton’s Legacy

“Thanks, Don, for your piece about the incredibly innovative Lloyd Thaxton. His legacy needs to live forever. Lloyd was to the afternoon teen dance extravaganzas what Soupy Sales was to kids' shows.” - Bill "Press" Hayes, Boozefighters MC

** KFI News to Use Drones

“Perhaps it was just a promotional stunt, but I’d love to hear more about how KFI intends to legally operate drones as part of their news gathering.  

A hobbyist can operate a drone, following a number of safety guidelines up to 400 feet. And the hobbyist could give their video to KFI or any other news organization.

But as I understand it, the FAA considers journalism as a ‘commercial’ use of drones which is for the most part prohibited except by special permission or in a number of approved experiments.

In January, the FAA agreed to allow a dozen major news organizations to test drone use in programs with universities and at six test sites approved by Congress.

In mid-February, the FAA put out some proposed drone rules for 60 days of public comment.    

They would require operator training and certification. The rules also require drones to operate ‘line of sight’ and stay out of restricted airspace and flight paths. Only daytime operation would be allowed.  Speed and altitude would be capped and the drone can’t be operated in a reckless manner.

Probably the biggest concern to journalists was the rule stating the drone may not ‘operate over’ any persons not ‘directly involved’ in the drone’s operation unless those folks happen to be inside or under a ‘covered structure.’ I presume that is a safety thing, think of drones dropping from the sky onto your head, but I see a potential area of conflict in balancing safety concerns with the public’s interest in what the drone is recording.

Sadly, all of this is in the federal bureaucracy. It could be a year to a year and half before these rules could be approved.  That’s not to mention privacy concerns and liability issues. Besides being ‘cool’ as Robin Bertolucci rightfully noted, drones make financial sense. You can own a camera-equipped drone for less than it costs to rent a helicopter for an hour.

From what I’ve seen, journalists are still being cautioned to keep their drones grounded until the rules are approved.” - Andy Ludlum 


Rush Limbaugh Tops TALKERS Heavy Hundred Talkers

(April 3, 2015) Rush Limbaugh was once again voted the #1 Most Important Talk Radio Host in America by TALKERS magazine. The on-line publication just released its annual listing of their “Heavy Hundred.”

“The TALKERS magazine editors who painstakingly compile this super-list draw upon a combination of hard and soft factors when evaluating candidates,” explained the publication, considered to be the Bible of Talk Radio activities.

“The goal of the list is to be reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor as well as giving credit where credit is due.” They are judged on courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.

With Rush (locally on KEIB) at the top, the other LARPs in the Top 25:

2. Sean Hannity

3. Dave Ramsey

4. Michael Savage

5. Glenn Beck

6. Mark Levin

7. Howard Stern

9. Thom Hartmann

10. Mike Gallagher

11. Bill Handel

12. Todd Schnitt

13. John & Ken

14. George Noory

17. Doug Stephan

19. Lars Larson

20. Laura Ingraham

21. Alan Colmes

22. Michael Smerconish

23. Bill Bennett

B-100 Reunion
by Chris Carmichael

“The B-100 Hours,” a special four-day broadcast in which all regular Rez Radio (KOPA – Pala, CA) programming for 100 hours was a huge success in terms of listenership over last weekend. Re-creating the sound of San Diego Top 40 rock station B-100 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of its inception set records for the two online live streams published by Rez Radio.

On the in-house stream, the previous high mark was 120 simultaneous listeners. During last weekend’s B100 Hours, 91.3 FM at one point had almost 200 streams. On iHeartRadio, the stream exceeded 800 simultaneous listeners. That’s a thousand total online listeners to a station based in a town of less than a thousand residents. The cumulative total for the weekend on iHeart was over 6,000 connections.

Station manager John Fox said, “That’s more than Rez Radio usually gets in a month – in just four days. Since the only promotion for the special weekend of programming was through emails and privately among Facebook friends, it would seem that Friday’s article by Diane Bell in the Union-Tribune San Diego must have had an impact with online listening.”

John added, “Our thanks to B-100 staffers who provided old recordings and participated in the weekend’s live broadcasts including Bobby Rich, Frank Anthony, Pat Gaffey, Cherie, JR Rogers, Gary Kelley, Tony Pepper, Rob Actis, Glen McCartney, Ken ‘Beaver Cleaver’ Levine, Shotgun Tom Kelly, Rob (St. John) Sisco, and B100 general manager Paul Palmer.”

About another 40 sales, operations and on-air staff was also there at Pala Casino Friday night for a party, video presentation, speeches and general roasting. Bobby Rich said that when the magic started on B-100, radio in the San Diego market was never the same.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/mar/27/radio-b-100-kfmb-reunion-palmer-seacrest-jer-rich/

 

Dos Equis Radio Campaign

His left side is his good side

And so is his right

He once shook his own hand, just to see what all the fuss was about

When he dances with wolves it usually is the tango

His hair gets thicker with age

There are people still laughing at a joke he told in 1997

His anecdotes have sub plots

He has never stepped in gum.

He is the most interesting man in the world.

LARadio Rewind: April 3, 2009. Emmis Broadcasting, owner of KMVN, enters into a seven-year local marketing agreement with Grupo Radio Centro of Mexico City. The station had gone on the air in 1958 as KPOL/fm, simulcasting the beautiful music format of KPOL-1540. In 1978, the call letters were changed to KZLA. The station aired a country format from 1980 until 2006, then switched to rhythmic hits as “Movin’ 93.9” with Rick Dees as morning host. The call letters were then changed to KMVN. Just before midnight on April 14, 2009, Donna Summer’s Last Dance was the final song played before the station switched to Spanish oldies as “Exitos 93.9.” The station now became KXOS, and in 2012 was purchased by 93.9 Holdings Inc. for $85.5 million. GRC entered into a new LMA with 93.9 Holdings and continues to provide programming. KXOS is now regional Mexican “Radio Centro 93.9” and Ricardo “El Mandril” Sánchez hosts the morning show. http://radiocentro939.com/

Hopping to Lloyd Thaxton. Lloyd Thaxton hosted one of the most interesting and successful afternoon dance shows in the early 60s. He owned the show that aired on KCOP/Channel 13 and was later syndicated to over a hundred stations. TV.com described the show as "a wacky hour of dancing high school teenagers, skits, and comedy by Thaxton, and musical features by the top pop, rock, folk and country artists of the day." Oh, zany it was with his unique lip synching. It was clearly appointment viewing every afternoon for teenagers and young people.

Over lunch before his passing, he explained that he owned the show, certainly unique for its day. "I was being paid $750 a week," said Lloyd. "They wanted me to produce it, write it, and to make all the arrangements for everything. I was still the staff announcer at Channel 13 for the first two years of the show. Out of the $750, I paid a guy to get the guests, the kids for the show and pick the music. I also paid an assistant/secretary."

His book, Stuff Happens, is a must-read if you love reading about truly creative people who carved out a niche almost single-handedly.

More Big Joe Tributes: Lon Rosen is the evp for and Chief Marketing Officer for the Los Angeles Dodgers and also the agent for Magic Johnson. “Joe McDonnell was a big memorabilia collector, he was very subtle about getting things signed,” recalled Rosen. “He also loved to collect programs. He broke his own protocol in 1992 when he called me long distance in Spain to get the program for the Dream Team. I eventually sent it to him and it got lost in the mail. I had another copy so I gave it to him. A few months later, he called me and said ‘guess what – the (Dream Team) program finally showed up!’ When I asked for my copy back, he said no, and wound up keeping both.” 

Tony Scott interviewed Ringo in Studio A at Capitol Records to celebrate his new album Postcards From Paradise. The interview will air on Westwood One on over 100+ stations this week.

Hear Ache. Didja know that Wink Martindale was a second string quarterback in high school? “I would have been a sportscaster had I known where sports casting was going back when I started as a 17-year-old kid. I was a sports junkie,” said Wink … When FOX News moved Sean Hannity from 9 to 10 p.m., most pundits though it was evidence his influence was waning. Since then, his ratings are 27% higher in the key 25-45 demo … The Sound’s Mimi Chen was in an accident yesterday where her car was totaled. She’s okay … Mike Botula is home after two days in the hospital for right shoulder arthroplasty. “Actually able to type with my right hand, wiggle the fingers and have good feeling in the arm,” Mike posted on his Facebook page.

Funnie.

 

Email Friday

We GET Email …

** We Don’t Expect Profanity on the Radio

“With a couple of younger folks in the family [22 and 27] it’s nothing hearing the ‘F’ word in music, movies and on tv.  I grew up seeing people trampled on by giant apes, blown up in army movies and pushed off of buildings by Robert Wagner. What’s worse? 

These days you can watch a comedy roast on Comedy Central [after 10 p.m.] and it’s uncensored.  Is it anything new?  Long before my time Cole Porter wrote how things were changing –and things haven’t stopped ‘evolving.’  We don’t expect it on the public airwaves [even if it’s streamed] –but let’s be honest.  Anyone under 25-in hearing that wouldn’t give a … well you know. 

BTW LOVED the recap of the Shotgun Lunch. I’ve known Shotgun for 15 years –and will always remember his comment to me – “All I’m trying to do is fit in”. I think he’s proven that.’ – Dave Mason (9a-2p) 105.7 Max FM

** No Profanity on the Radio, Even Though It is Legal

“Regarding your article where the ‘F’ word was used during a broadcast at KLOS I believe stations should not allow profanity even though it is legal to do so.  I’m offended by profane language.  I believe people that use the ‘F’ word and other profane words are unsophisticated, unprofessional and are acting juvenile.  There is no need to use such language during routine conversations.

I subscribe to Sirius Radio just so I can hear Howard Stern. I enjoy his show except for the profanity. There is no need for it. I guess some use it for the shock value.” – Dave Van Buren

** Oldest DJ

“I am sure you already know this, however, it was worth a try. Bob Massey from Squim Washington is the oldest dj in America. Classy Massey is on KSQM 91.5 fm, 9-noon.  90 years old.” – Stan White, Seattle

** Different Experience with Mentoring

“I’m positive that my story will be quite different than the rest of my colleagues. I had ‘no one’ whom I can call my mentor, someone who took me under their wings or made me who I am today. Not even my own father. Not even a father figure.

I was chewed out and spit out by most program directors in my career.

BUT in my last ordeal which almost cost me my life, I realized that guardian angels in human form do exist. I ran into these people who literally saved my life. I want so badly to claim someone my hero but my destiny so far has not permitted such a person. I suppose I’m to learn from those who screwed me over and there've been a few of those. My mom on the other hand has been the light in my life, always... so thanks mom for everything.” – Shaun Valentine


Streaming Fuck at KLOS OK

(April 2, 2015) I learned something this week that I didn’t know. Tuesday morning I was listening to Heidi & Frank on KLOS. They were talking about when you realized you were lazy.

Caller Blake: “The time I realized I was super lazy was one day I was wearing my clothes and put them off, got in the shower, got back and I just looked at them. I was like, ‘fuck it.’”

What? I stopped everything I was doing. ‘Fuck it’ on the Cumulus morning drive station? I rewound the feed and there it was again.

Seconds later, Frank Kramer said, “Yeah, you have to clean up for radio, folks. I know it sounds like we’re always hanging out at the bar.” 

KLOS has a new program director, Keith Cunningham, so I thought this was as good a time as any to introduce myself and ask for a comment. He said he hadn’t heard it and asked when it happened and if I was listening over the air or on the stream.

Stream, I responded. I’ve moved into the digital age.

Shortly, Keith got back to me. “Governing is different on the stream and there is no language restriction – it’s the same as Satellite radio.”

I thought that was a bit strange because Satellite is by subscription, so by paying you know that there is no restriction on content or language. I hadn’t paid for the stream. It is just how I listen to KLOS.

Royal Oakes, our legal radio guru that is much a part of LARadio as anyone, sent me something perhaps relatable from the FCC website:

Do the FCC's rules apply to cable and satellite programming?

In the past, the FCC has enforced the indecency and profanity prohibitions only against conventional broadcast services, not against subscription programming services such as cable and satellite. However, the prohibition against obscene programming applies to subscription programming services at all times.

In this case at KLOS, it was neither cable, or maybe it is, and doesn’t seem to fit the definition of Satellite.

David G. Hall, former program director at KFI and KNX emailed: “FCC is broadcast only, and the stream feed is straight out of the board pre-delay.”

“You can use any language you wish on the stream and there is no requirement to air legal ID’s or follow any other FCC standards,” added Andy Ludlum, former programming chief at KNX. “It even applies in some cases to union contracts. AFTRA stations could use non-union talent on their streams. In most cases the profanity delay is one of the last things in the audio chain so it is quite likely the ‘fuck it’ would be successfully bleeped on air yet go out uncensored on the stream. It is more a matter of economics that so many streams are identical to the terrestrial with the exception of commercial cover.”

“The streams are completely different than HD multicast channels.  HD2’s and 3’s have to be ID’d and adhere to FCC rules,” concluded Andy.

Well, there you have it. We march one more step into the future of digital broadcasting. What do you think? KLOS was completely legal in allowing “profanity” or whatever the “fuck it ” qualifies for to air on the stream.

Supermouth Making Remarkable Recovery. Last Friday at the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters luncheon, I was honored to sit next to Larry Huffman, a LARP who spent most of his radio in Orange County radio. He was best known announcing speedway motorcycle races. He has announced every type of motorcycle off-road race in North America, England, Belgium, France and North America. He distinctive delivery got the nickname “Supermouth.” On the radio spots, Larry screamed “Sunday” to announce when and where the races would be held.

Larry’s journey for the last few years has taken him out of the race. Larry related his story, a tale with mind-numbing twists and turns. He suffered a complete arterial blockage of his left leg almost three years while working out with his trainer. After going out to dinner with his wife and friends he went into shock after arriving home in Big Bear. His wife noticed he “didn’t look the same,” and when she felt his back thru his wet t-shirt realized he was in trouble. She drove him to the local hospital where the doctor immediately called for a Medivac helicopter to transport him to an Apply Valley hospital.  

Incidentally, the pilot was reluctant to put Huffman in the chopper until the doctor told him that Larry carried a Platinum American Express card. True story.

Huffman was rushed into surgery that night, finishing well after midnight. Because the lack of blood had killed all the muscles on the left side of his leg, they were removed.   He was then put into an induced coma for three weeks and then moved to Kindred Rehab hospital in Rancho Cucamonga where he spent almost two months.

After thirteen surgeries and the partial amputation of his left foot, Huffman was forced to use a wheelchair for a month and a half, then crutches, a walker and, finally a cane. He's now walking “almost” normally with a permanent brace on his left ankle.  And he’s back working out but not with the original trainer. “She was very tough.  As I remember, her name was Eva Braun,” said Huffman.

Incidentally, Huffman had originally met with two orthopedic surgeons who both told him that his leg must be amputated “because it’s too complicated a job to rebuild your foot!” Huffman then found a young surgeon in Orange County who “doesn't believe in amputation,” Dr. Devon Glazer, who performed two operations on the foot.

After a very serious bout with a MRSA infection, Huffman is walking almost normally and continues with voice work in his studio on his Big Bear ranch. “When you’re faced with possible amputation or another serious procedure, always get another one or two opinions.”  And he thanks God every day that “I’m married to KC!”

Hear Ache. Ringo Starr guests with Chris Carter on KLOS’ Breakfast With the Beatles this Sunday … KLAC’s Jay Mohr picked Tampa Bay Buccaneers selecting Jameis Winston, QB from Florida State as the overall #1 pick in his personal mock draft … Saul Levine has launched “The Music of The Great American Songbook” to his KNRY 1240 AM, his Cannery Row-based radio station … Bryan Suits and his program Dark Secret Place returns to KFI this Saturday night at 10 p.m.

Who Made You Who You Are Today?

Leslie Marshall

Talk Show Host

My mom.

She taught me to never give up. She taught me about mountains to die on. She taught me how to be passionate about social issues and injustice. She told me I could be anything and do anything I wanted to. And, she encouraged me; and was the shoulder I cried on and best friend I confided in, every step of the way.  

She taught me to be honest, to be myself and when thrown from the horse, dust myself off and get back on. She also taught me to work harder, even harder than the other guys, especially because I am a woman and entered my given profession much younger than many were at that time.

And when I felt like the world hated me, she reassured me that I was loved by her, and she lifted my spirits by pointing out my strengths, when I felt at my weakest.

April Fool’s 2015: Gary Bryan and his morning show staged their April Fool’s prank when K-EARTH programming assistant Claudia Rubio sat in and translated the program, purportedly to reach out to Spanish-speaking listeners. The “new feature” received both positive and negative calls, but the real stunt was Rubio was taking great liberties in her translations, supposedly unbeknownst to Bryan and co-host Lisa Stanley. You can hear part of the show at http://kearth101.cbslocal.com/2015/04/01/gary-bryan-gets-pranked-on-air-by-our-spanish-translator-claudia/

City by the Bay. An aircheck collector, Ronald Tamm, is looking for some early San Francisco station material: KDIA  from 1959-84, KSFX 1975-78, KOBY from 1955-60, KYA, 1957-77, KTIM/fm 1970's-84, KWBR 1950-59, and KSAY 1957-74. You can reach Ron at: ronwtamm@yahoo.com or call him at: 925.284.5428.

Overheard.

  • “After spending much of my life in the radio business, I’ve concluded that trying to make money with a standalone AM radio station is like trying to shovel sand with a pitchfork.” (Fred Lundgren, KCAA)

  • Grand Budapest Hotel is a memoir created in a cinematic snow globe.” (Steve Erickson, Los Angeles Magazine)

  • "As it turns out, @KFIAM640 is America's most listened to radio station. Only a fool would work elsewhere in LA." (Bryan Suits tweet)

LARadio Rewind: April 2, 1993. After Scott Shannon says “Goodbye, Pirate Radio” via telephone from WPLJ in New York, KQLZ becomes Easy 100.3 KXEZ. Pirate Radio was launched in 1989 at 100.3 fm, the former KIQQ, and the on-air hosts created the image that the station was broadcasting from a boat anchored near Catalina Island. Shannon, who was program director and morning man, vowed to take the station “from worst to first.” but he exited in 1991 when the format changed from rock/metal to traditional album rock. Shannon became morning man and program director at WPLJ. In late 1992, alternative rock was added to KQLZ’s playlist and the “Pirate Radio” slogan was dropped. On April 2, 1993, the station switched to soft hits and took the KXEZ call letters which had previously belonged to 98.7 fm (now KYSR). Since 2008, 100.3 has been KSWD, “The Sound.” Shannon now does mornings at WCBS/fm. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Missing Headlines. For whatever reason, some of you have not been getting your LARadio headlines recently. If that be the case, please let me know. (db@thevine.net)

Funnie. “I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.” (Comedian Steve Wright) 

Email Thursday

We GET Email …

** Luncheon Highlights for Shotgun Tom

“There were so many highlights, like Jhani Kaye’s video of my broadcast career and Charlie Van Dyke telling how he hired me as a Boss Jock at KGB in San Diego. 

But the one thing that I really enjoyed the most, was accepting the Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award and being able to show a video to the over 260 people who were in attendance at the lunch of PPB’s founding president,  Art Gilmore and his work, on The Highway Patrol tv show and on Dragnet with Jack Webb. Art Gilmore is on camera acting as LAPD’s Capt. Mert Howe. 

It was a day that I will never forget.” – Shotgun Tom Kelly

** Enjoyed Wink and Shotgun Events

“Great coverage on both Shotgun and Wink.

I met Wink when I arrived at KMPC in ’79, and Shotgun, at Robert W.’s house on the day he (Robert W.) did his last radio show. I didn’t really get to know Shotgun at Robert W.’s house, but I’ve gotten to know him since he became a Board member of PBP. In addition to being great broadcasters, Shotgun and Wink are great guys.” – Scott St. James

** Groupies Wanted Casey Kasem Dead

“I’m really tired of this story. Wish it could come to a quiet end and re-allow us to remember Casey Kasem for his contributions, instead of his dysfunctional family.” – Rich Brother Robbin

** WAVE’s Afternooner

“We are on our way to JFK Airport after a whirlwind weekend in New York, where everyone still jaywalks while talking on their phones while eating a slice of double pepperoni.

The first song I heard after landing was Ledisi’s I Blame You followed by Basia and then a deep album cut by Jazzino.  Yeah. A city that wakes you up, hits you with a smack of energy and then challenges you to learn something new. It’s a kick in the pants every time. :)

That said, there is NO place I’d rather be right now than the City of Angels, where you don’t have to schlep your whole life around in a backpack with you all day.  And you can leave changes of boots, etc. in your CAR. Inexplicable luxury. That, and not schlepping groceries for 5 blocks [6 plastic bags on each wrist] and up 3 flights of brownstone stairs just to have your scrambled eggs in the morning.

 Oh yeah, and seeing dolphins splashing in the Pacific while you’re on your way to work doesn’t exactly suck, either.  Color me home.  :)” – Deborah Howell


Doug Krikorian, Joe McDonnell’s Frequent Radio Partner, Remembers Joe

(April 1, 2015) There are certain people in this life you come across that are larger than it. There are certain people in life who leave a definitive imprint on your own. There are certain people in life you come across that are such dominant personalities that you expect them to escape the “taxman” who is always waiting at the gate, set to collect his due from all of us.

Such a person, of course, was Joe McDonnell, who, to put it mildly, glided through the pathways of the years at his own unique beat, never compromising, never straying from his passionate beliefs, never turning the other cheek no matter what the consequences.

As my friend Larry Kahn so aptly put it, Joe did it his way throughout his colorful existence – and how many human beings can say that?

As we all know, Joe had excessively gargantuan passions for eating, and for the Dodgers, and for the Lakers, and for speaking into a radio microphone to sporting aficionados around the Southern California basin.

It was the latter pursuit that resulted in him becoming an iconic, if not cult figure, on the sports talk landscape with his strong, lively interplay with the callers.

Joe was never one to parse his statements, and he could be humorous, mean-spirited, light-hearted, loutish, uplifting, demeaning, caustic, hilarious, vicious, zany, and most of all, entertaining.

I was his radio partner off and on across a 13-year span on four stations with the McDonnell-Douglas Show, and I had an up-close glimpse of this man whose turgid views on so many subjects inspired me to nickname him “The Big Nasty,” and inspired either undying devotion or hatred, but seldom indifference from his listeners.

Beyond the noise and controversial asides, Joe was a terrific journalist. He knew more inside goings-on about the Lakers and the Dodgers throughout the 1980s and 1990s than any other L.A. media member, and that resulted in his breaking a lot of intriguing stories.

Obviously, he changed my life in so many ways – I never would have been a full-time sports talk host without his loyal support – and the glad memories I have of our days together will remain forever with me.

We were fortunate to have great producers like Nick Zaccagnino and David Vassegh, and great sports update announcers like Rod Van Hook, Scott St. James, Dave Stone, Ted Sobel, Jeff Biggs, Lew Stowers, Mark Thompson, and Dave Joseph. We had an eclectic array of guests, and time constraints restrict me from naming even the most prominent ones, of which there were so many it’s like a Who’s Who in American athletics over the past 30 years.

People always asked me how I remained pals with Joe, since – well, the opinions he voiced about me on the air could be every bit as biting as the opinions he would unleash on Del Harris, John Robinson, Kevin Malone, Paul DePodesta, Randy Pfund, Andy Roeser, and, most of all, USC.

I occasionally was referred to by Joe either as a moron, or an imbecile, or an idiot, which never upset me too greatly since I’ve always been a guy who can accept the truth.

Of course, we did have our ups, downs, and in-betweens, both professionally and personally, but we remained pals until the end.

I think the happiest I ever saw Joe was that evening on March 30, 2007, at the Sportsmen’s Lodge when he married Elizabeth Cahn, who I’ve referred to as a modern-day Florence Nightingale for her unstinting assistance in recent years as Joe was beset with various serious ailments.

Another person who has been there for Joe through his travails has been his first cousin, Fred Plessner.

It would be remiss not mentioning the impact still another person, the Long Beach restauranteur, Phil Trani, had on Joe. He would visit Trani’s place at least seven times a week for almost 15 years, much to the enjoyment of Phil, who always rolled out the red carpet for Joe.

No doubt Joe had his passionate, unconditional loves beyond the athletic orbit where he grew close to Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Welch, Magic Johnson, Pedro Guerrero, Mike Scioscia, Kirk Gibson, Tommy Lasorda, Eddie Murray, Bill Bertka, Bill Sharman, and countless others.

He loved his mother and father and aunts.

He loved Elizabeth.

He loved Phil Trani.

He loved the Lakers and Dodgers.

And he loved being a sports talk show host, and never gave up believing that the McDonnell-Douglas Show would somehow have another resurrection.

Only a couple of months ago he called me, and asked if I’d be willing to return to the airwaves.

“I get emails almost every day from old fans who want us back on the air,” he said.

It now will never happen.

Joe is now silent for good, but the roar he made all those years on the L.A. airwaves never will he forgotten by those many people who listened to it.

LARadio Rewind: April 1, 2002. As an April Fool’s Day stunt, KLSX brings back Brian “Kato” Kaelin and resurrects the “Real Radio 97.1” identifier which was used in 1995-96 when Kaelin hosted a two-hour afternoon show. Kaelin, an aspiring actor, was living in a guest house behind the home of O.J. Simpson’s estranged wife Nicole in 1994 when she and her friend Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death. Simpson was charged with their murder and Kaelin testified during the trial. In 1995, KLSX had become the first Los Angeles fm station to institute a talk format. General manager Bob Moore recognized the popularity of Howard Stern’s syndicated morning show and decided to switch from classic rock to talk, hoping to “feed off the audience Howard already has.” Among the other KLSX hosts in 1995 were former Brady Bunch co-star Susan Olsen, former MTV Remote Control host Ken Ober and former KFI “Queen of Advice” Mother Love (Jo Anne Hart). In 2009, KLSX switched to CHR as 97.1 AMP Radio, KAMP. 

Funnie. KHAY in Oxnard/Ventura is making a branding change effective today to 100.7 BLUKE. “We will be joined by our buddies Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan to help us launch 100.7 BLUKE,” emailed Chris Cox, operations manager of the Cumulus cluster. “I know what you’re thinking, it’s just an April Fool’s Day stunt and Thursday they will go back to 100.7 K-HAY. Now why would you think such a thing?”


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Last modified: June 30, 2015