LARadio Archives for December 2014

Compiled and written by Don Barrett

Edited by Alan Oda


Alan Oda Reviews LARadio in 2014

Maybe Mark Twain was right: The famous American writer once said “there are three types of falsehoods – lies, damned lies, and statistics.” The fiasco associated with the botched May Nielsen radio ratings exposed a major Achilles heel for the company. Previously known as Arbitron, the service has defended its sample size (approximately 2700) and has taken pains to accurately assess the Hispanic market. Not an easy task, since a significant number of Latinos are apparently suspicious of having their listening habits tracked. In the aftermath, Arbitron eventually decided that the numbers weren’t adversely distorted, but the accuracy / usefulness / purpose of the current rating system has clearly been called into question.

Four play: San Francisco’s sports station, KNBR, found itself at the top of the Bay Area ratings last summer and again after the Giants’ World Series victory. Other markets have sports stations in the top 10. Then there’s Los Angeles. Sports outlets here generally occupy the lower third of the 6+ ratings, though the Men 25 – 54 numbers appear healthy. Still, sports seemingly occupies a small slice of the local audience, yet three stations were already competing for the attention of the L.A. fan. So why would KFWB (“The Beast 980”) decide to join the fray occupied by KLAC, KSPN (ESPN / L.A. 710) and KLAA? The word on the street was CBS needed to have a Southern California affiliate for their Sports Radio network for marketing purposes. Can all four stations survive? Thrive? Sports is about winners and losers – where the stations sit in the Nielsen standings at the end of the “season” should be noteworthy. And which station(s) will be the flagship should (an) NFL team(s) arrive in L.A.?

Are L.A. listeners talked out?: KFI dropped out of the top ten for the first time in anyone’s recent memory, KFWB switched over to all-sports, and KABC continues to have disappointing numbers. Eventually KFI returned to the top ten, but none of the other talk stations, including KRLA (“The Answer”), KEIB (“The Patriot”), and KABC (fill in the blank), have attracted huge audiences. L.A. reasserts itself as a unique market – all news stations are often found in the top five or top ten of major markets, public radio / non-commercial stations appear to do quite well offering news / talk programming. But remember that L.A. is a trendsetter. KFI is where talk radio was elevated to the top of the ratings, is KFI a harbinger of what will happen to talk radio throughout the rest of the country?

iHeart the ratings: Clear Channel adopts a new name, iHeart Media, to cover their radio and other platforms (the billboard company – still trying to restore their massive LED signage in L.A. neighborhoods – maintains the original moniker). Critics claim it’s only to distract from the reality that the company continues to be financially vulnerable and over-leveraged in the billions (that’s with a “b”) of dollars. Still, their KIIS/fm and My/fm (KBIG) continued to switch back and forth between the top and second place in the ratings, and KFI’s now almost-all local programming keeps the station in the top ten. Meanwhile KLAC wins the combat for the Dodgers for another decade, with speculation that the Los Angeles baseball team now shares almost half the ownership of the sports talker. But iHeart Media still experiences some cardiac distress – in spite of the publicity for their all-conservative talk station, Rush Limbaugh’s KEIB hasn’t significantly lifted “The Patriot AM 1150” from the bottom of preferred listenership. Nonetheless, KEIB’s Dave Ramsey appears to have a loyal following, as witnessed by his sold-out appearances at local venues, including the Shrine Auditorium in November.

Cumulus’ cloudy future: Bryan Suits was supposedly KABC’s answer to Rush Limbaugh, but it’s not apparent what question was asked. The partnership of former Good Day L.A. host Jillian Barberie, teamed up with veteran John Phillips added more local programming to the station, along with the always interesting Doug McIntyre. But the forced departure of the self-proclaimed “Sage from South Central,” Larry Elder, was sudden and unexpected, and ratings continue to stay below radio’s version of the Mendoza Line. There was the rumor that KABC wanted the Dodgers to add to the Stanley Cup winning Los Angeles Kings and turn the station into all-sports. Meanwhile, heritage rocker KLOS was eclipsed in the ratings by Bonneville’s KSWD (100.3 / The Sound). But don’t expect a format change immediately. KLOS still brings in more advertising revenue than the Classic Rock competition up the dial.

Beyond reaching for the stars: The passing parade sadly continues, as several LARPs sign off for the last time during 2014. But the death of Casey Kasem broached all description. Well, maybe “bizarre.” Make that “really bizarre.” At last check, his remains continue to deteriorate somewhere in Norway, while the battle continues to have Kasem’s remains (rightfully) returned and interned Stateside. The tragic circus, which captured national headlines, obfuscates happier memories of hearing “Casey’s Coast-to-Coast” every weekend, one of radio’s first syndicated success stories. Fortunately each weekend, Sirius XM continues to offer reruns of AT40, plus an iHeart station in Austin, Texas plays AT40 from the 70s and 80s continuously on an HD-2 channel, streaming at http://www.iheart.com/live/classic-american-top-40-6545/  Subsequently, Shadoe Stevens took a turn hosting AT40, Ryan Seacrest now hosts AT40. Both are outstanding in their own right. That being said, he didn’t simply host AT40, Casey Kasem was American Top 40. Period. Hoping he now enjoys being one of the stars he encouraged his listeners to reach.

Totally ‘80s, Dude: After just a year, Rick Thomas pulled up his SoCal stakes at K-EARTH and took his PD role to New York. Enter Chris Ebbott who’s call is to bring in a younger audience to the oldies hits station,  promptly released the majority of the weekend staff while continuing to tweak the music, including weekends of all 80s selections. As K-EARTH enjoyed its place in the top five of the ratings, the cliché “don’t fix what ain’t broken” was apparently replaced by an attitude of “don’t look back, move forward.” Or at least don’t look back before 1980.

Buenos dias: At one time, if you thought about Spanish language radio, you thought of Piolin, a whose ratings resided at or near the top – both English and Spanish – of morning drive. After a back-and-forth legal battle between Eddie Sotero (Piolin’s real identity) and a former employee over charges of sexual harassment, Piolin was released from KSCA and Univision Radio in 2013, to later re-emerge on Sirius XM Radio three months later. Less than a year later, Piolin and Sirius XM agreed to part company as his show was cancelled off the satellite radio service. As far as Piolin’s former home, the morning trio of El Bueno, La Mala y El Feo” (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) has emerged as a top five AM drive program.

Hacker’s delight: In his book Hullaballoo (well worth the read), Dave Hull describes the day when he joined the rest of the staff out the door when management made wholesale changes. Hull watched the now-unemployed production director as he asked to return to gather up his personal items, permission was granted. He then proceeded to take a degausser (used for bulk erasing tape – remember tape?) and ran amuck, zapping every reel and cartridge in sight. Of course, the incoming talent fought unexpected dead air and random dropouts when trying to play a spot or music. Revenge, indeed. So why does this anecdote come to mind as all media companies try to digest the hacking disaster at the Sony Studios?

Hear Ache (the year-ender): The sudden departure of Larry Elder has made others on the local airwaves nervous – is anyone really safe?... Miss Jim Healy? Fred Roggin channels him every day on The Beast 980...Despite the great lineup of talent (another round of props for Talaya celebrating 25 years!) , The WAVE (KTWV) is still trying to bring up their ratings to high tide territory … The annual shout-out to Mimi Chen and her weekly “Peace, Love, and Sunday Mornings” … Watch out Ryan SeacrestCarson Daly is also vying for the title of the reincarnation of Dick Clark … There’s an awful lot of listeners trying to impress Mason & Ireland and win a $107.10 gift card to Langer’s Deli, “home of the #19”… Valentine on MY/fm (KBIG) may be L.A.’s most underrated morning talent … Surprising how many younger men talk about what Dennis Praeger and Dave Ramsey said on the radio … Those who have HD radio tuners are treated to K-EARTH’s HD-2 channel and the good old days of 101.1 … Speaking of HD radio, more than half of the readers surveyed by Consumer Reports appreciate their HD tuners. The magazine’s editors was surprised and seemed slightly annoyed … What’s more anticipated? Hearing Mark Thompson debut his new show on 100.3 / The Sound (KSWD) or who will eventually become his new partner? ... What happened to all the billboards for The Patriot (KEIB)? ... Waiting to see what monster ratings all-Christmas KOST will have, particularly since the station no longer has competition with the seasonal format … ALT 98.7 (KYSR) finally has abandoned – most notable in print ads – any remnant to their former alias as “Star”… KPCC deserves more listeners to hear their quality product…I always feel better informed after hearing Warren Olney on KCRW … Kevin & Bean, besides their induction to the NAB Radio Hall of Fame, have demonstrated the same tenacity and durability of the great duo of Lohman & Barkley … There’s now a popular t-shirt referring to the local baseball team as the “Doyers,” at least partly attributed to KLAC’s afternoon duo of Petros & Money Paul Freeman continues to “rock on” (sort of) at Go Country 105 (KKGO) ... With little fanfare, Big Boy and Power 106 continue to get strong ratings…Leo Laporte and Neil Saaverdra are a delightful back-to-back weekend offering on KFI, the station now known as “more stimulating talk,” not “more stimulating talk radio.”… Julie Chin is accumulating some needed extended time off as she continues to fill both the news director and gm responsibilities at KNX … Thank you Ronn Owens for demystifying Parkinson’s.

“I’m not dead yet!” – The line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail may have been uttered by more than one broadcaster after Seth Godin (and further commentary by Mark Ramsey) forecast the end of radio in a November commentary. Among Godin’s comments:

The first people to leave the radio audience will be the ones that the advertisers want most. And it will spiral down from there … Just as newspapers fell off a cliff, radio is about to follow. It’s going to happen faster than anyone expects. And of course, it will be replaced by a new thing, a long tail of audio that’s similar (but completely different) from what we were looking for from radio all along. And that audience is just waiting for you to create something worth listening to. (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/11/an-end-of-radio.html)

Ramsey saw the decline as more of a slope than a cliff, but nonetheless implored broadcasters to recognize their competition was not just from other radio stations, but a variety of media forms available to a driver, most notably digital media. All Access offered a bit more optimistic assessment, stating “keeping radio relevant is and should be the prime concern for the future ... And by all means, remember that the sky is not falling ... it's just changing.”

And as the new year approaches: Again reflecting on Casey Kasem’s sign off – “keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars,” I thought of other quotes heard over the years. Bob Morgan telling his listeners “and remember just one thing…” then leaving them hanging. Dave Hull the Hullabalooer, apologizing for another of his double entendres, stating “I’m sorry, but that had to be said.”  “Sweet” Dick Whittington sharing tales of the “tender young cypress.”  But one statement seems particularly applicable given the craziness of radio this past year, which I attribute to Gary Owens: “As you go through life, remember it was a wise man or a gastroenterologist who said ‘this too, shall pass.’”

As Charles Osgood would say, “see you on the radio!” Happy happy to one and all!

Thanks to Alan Oda for the 2014 recap and contributions all year long as Senior Correspondent at LARadio.com. When not listening to the radio, Alan is professor of psychology at Azusa Pacific University.

Dr. Drew to KABC. KABC is adding "Dr. Drew Midday Live with Mike Catherwood" early next month. It is expected that the new show will air at noon daily with John Phillips and Jillian Barberie sliding into the vacant afternoon drive slot following Larry Elder's departure from the Talk station a few months ago. With the move, Cumulus, parent company of KABC, will take on the syndication of Loveline, which will air on 35 Cumulus stations.

"I'm really looking forward to becoming part of the Cumulus family and proud to be on the air at the legendary KABC," said Dr. Drew Pinsky in a prepared statement. "It will be a great platform to connect with listeners during the daytime. And while Loveline continues to be anchored at KROQ, I am thrilled that the show is expanding into new markets at night. This is a tremendous opportunity and I am grateful.”   

Overheard.

Hear Ache. A photo of Richard McIntosh undergoing chemo in yesterday’s column was identified as general manager at KWVE in San Clemente. “I am no longer at KWVE,” Richard emailed. “I was fired last April.  No reason was given.  On the seventh of April the human resources director and an assistant pastor showed up in my office unannounced with a stack of paperwork. I was given 10 minutes to get out of my office.” … AMP Radio morning man Carson Daly has extended his contract with CBS Radio that will keep him with the company for an unspecified number of years to come ... Mike Nolan ended his high-flying career on the ground in the KFI studios this morning with Bill Handel for three hours. Amazingly, Mike had never broadcast from the radio studios. He concludes a 28-year run with KFI and KOST. Scroll down to read an exclusive interview with Mike ... KTLA/Channel 5's Ginger Chan (pictured at right with the Nolan family - Laurie, Jeremy, and Mike) wrote: "It was an honor to share the skies with Mike for so many years. Back then it was less about competition & more about sharing and guys like Mike were leading the way and setting the example. I'm proud to count Mike as a friend. Congratulations on your well deserved retirement, all the best to you, Laurie and Jeremy. I'll always remember, 'Burbank tower, 6-40 Alpha Mike, North Golden, South Holly, one point niner..'"

(Thanks to Rosie Wedel for the photo of Mike with his retirement cake from his friends at Total Traffic & Weather Network)

News Magazine Opening. Craig Curtis, former exec to KPCC, is doing some talent head-hunting for KJZZ, the public radio news station in Phoenix, which plans to develop a rolling midday (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) news magazine that will combine local, regional, syndicated and network content with live local hosts. “They’re looking for a couple of strong on-air personalities with great journalism chops—aren’t we all?—to be the hosts of this new service,” said Curtis. More information at: https://hire.jobvite.com/Jobvite/job.aspx?j=oQ0TZfws&b=nTwf0pwy

Jazz Knob. Ken Borgers’ JazzKnob.org presents “The Sounds of the Season” - from noon Wednesday, December 24th through Christmas Day, Thursday, December 25th at midnight. The 36-hour presentation will be highlighted by a reading of the classic Twas the Night Before Christmas by the late L.A. jazz radio personality, Chuck Niles.  There will be six opportunities to hear the Niles narrative: noon and 6 p.m., December 24th; and December 25th at midnight, 6 am, noon, and 6 p.m.

On New Year's Eve from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., JazzKnob.org presents “A Big Band New Year's Eve.” Live big band recordings hosted by Ken Borgers to ring in 2015. Included will be Duke Ellington, Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Gene Harris Super Band, Bud Shank Big Band and more.

LARadio Rewind: December 19, 2006. In an article titled "Spreading plenty of Christmas jeer," Los Angeles Times columnist Lee Margulies describes XM Satellite Radio's five Christmas music channels, emphasizing one which is devoted to novelty songs and billed as "Your soundtrack to a dysfunctional family holiday." He compares the large playlists with that of a local station: "Sure, you can listen to Christmas music all day long on KOST---and many people do. The holiday-themed format rocketed the station to the top of the local ratings last year. But in terms of representing all the Christmas music that exists, its playlist of about 300 songs is the equivalent of hearing just one of the 12 drummers drumming." This year is the 14th consecutive year in which KOST has begun playing Christmas music in November and the station consistently tops the ratings during the holiday season. After 37 years with the Times, Margulies exited in December 2013. (LARadio Rewind meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

KJAZZ Moving. Several sources report that the California State University, Long Beach Foundation voted to allow Global Jazz, operated for the University by Saul & Stephanie Levine, to move KKJZ off campus to Mt. Wilson Broadcasting studios in West Los Angeles. The move was allowed to make room for faculty to have more office space and make the operation more efficient. ". Read into that what you will."

Reaction to the news was immediate. Jeffrey Leonard emailed: "Personally, I think this stinks. This defeats the purpose of it being a 'college' station. Taking it off campus is pretty counter productive."

"This is another slap in the face to CSULB radio alums," wrote Mike Stark. "They slapped us 30 years ago when they brought KLON on campus replacing the student station altogether so that they could have a station for the university to 'showcase.' Now they're moving the 'showcase' to West LA.
 
Stark continued: "Ironically I got a university publication today that is touting the 2015 fund raising campaign for the college. With this latest move I would LOVE to be able to convince Alums (specifically radio alums) to take whatever money they normally donate to the college and give it instead to the Associated Students to help fund the vibrant student radio station KBEACH. They could use the money and it would send a message to the university that those of us that got our degrees in radio at the college will not have that degree degraded any further."

Winking the Lord’s Prayer. “This is a record I made on Dot back in the day,” emailed Wink Martindale. This version of The Lord's Prayer was first presented on an Amos & Andy radio show in the forties. Hope you enjoy this ‘youthful’ approach to Christmas.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoSD3-WcnPc&feature=youtu.be

Tamale Tradition. Kevin Gershan is once again coordinating the long-standing tradition of picking up and delivering the annual Christmas Tamales to our family and friends. On Wednesday morning at 5:30 a.m. huevos rancheros, for breakfast, served at Carrillo's by the Luna family. Carillo’s Tortilleria & Mexican Delicatessen is at 1242 Pico Street, San Fernando.

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

The year 1975, and the art of handmade tortillas was dying out, giving way to the faster machines that could punch them out by the hundreds. But the Carrillo's insisted that their plant would continue making tortillas the traditional way. And to this day, workers fashion the Mexican staple from the corn flour with the soft pat-pat motion, and turn the bubbling disks on searing hot grills by hand. Carrillo's remains family-owned and operated by the founders' daughter, Amelia and her husband Epigmenio their two sons William, Steven and daughter Yvonne.

Amelia, now over 70, has worked in the business since age 19, and still comes in at 3 a.m. on Sundays to put the finishing touches in the simmering pots of menudo, which she personally ladles out to each customer.

Starting in 1975, the late, legendary, Los Angeles morning radio personality, Robert W. Morgan, used to call in his orders, while on the air…and by New Year’s Day, Carrillo's sells more than 25,000 tamales. More info about the Tamale Run from Gershan at: kgershan@earthlink.net

Funnie.

Email Friday

We GET Email …

** Mike Nolan’s Retirement

“I can't believe Mike Nolan is retiring, but I know how much he loves flying, so I guess it's a good trade-off: less ‘airtime’ for more ‘in-the-air-time!’

Good luck, Mike.” - Alan LaGreen

** Scott Greene Memories

“I'm belatedly writing to say thank you and Kaci Christian for her beautiful piece on Scott (Lawrence) Greene that appeared a few weeks ago.

Scott's service was actually entertaining because his sister got up and told stories about their childhood, and it was like seeing Scott's spirit channeled through someone female....she has his same brash way of speaking and gesticulating.  I also had a good time seeing my former colleague Sandy Wells, who is now working for Radiate Media doing news headlines in the evenings.  So I got to catch up with him on the way, and then listened to Dark Side of the Moon driving back to Long Beach.  I'm hearing a lot of Floyd lately, and it was perfect for that day.  I miss Scott. We were supposed to have lunch and now it will never happen.  He and I had an argument a couple of years ago and walked around giving each other the evil eye for about a year, but in spite of our tempers we were finally able to talk it out, and I really liked that about him, and I'm glad we made up when we did.

I wanted to say Kaci's piece was really wonderful and captured his history so well.  It was also great to see her, as it's been years.  She has taken a vow of silence and did not speak the entire time, but I was so impressed by her ability to use gestures and expressions to participate fully in the conversations we had as a group.  There are certain people who can be eloquent even without speaking and she is one of them.

Today is Mike Nolan's last day here and I am going to miss him, too.  He sits behind me in the open air studios here at Total Traffic, and I have learned to focus on delivering my own reports even with his booming voice in the background.  The directional mics do not pick it up...it's amazing. It will be too quiet now that he's leaving.” – Cindi Burkey

** Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame

“You mentioned the 2015 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees. Ringo Starr will finally be inducted as a solo artist. John Lennon was inducted in 1994, Paul McCartney in 1999 and George Harrison in 2004. You noted that War, Chic, the Spinners and the Marvelettes are still not in the Hall of Fame. It may surprise you to learn that neither are Tom Petty, Chubby Checker, Carole King, Boston, Chicago, Yes, Deep Purple, Steppenwolf, Jethro Tull, the Monkees, the Moody Blues, the Guess Who, the Cars, the Doobie Brothers, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and the Steve Miller Band. Yikes.” – Steve Thompson

I'm trying to re-connect with a great and dear buddy of mine, Pete Dominguez ex KROQ LA. I Googled him recently and your website came up with his name in the header. 

Last I heard from Pete - he was somewhere in S E Asia (possibly Thailand) but lost contact and have been unable to reach him. I was wondering if, with your vast network base on LA Radio people, he has shown up on the radar.

I'm based in the South Pacific on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait (Coral Sea)  Any help in re-, connecting with Pete would be appreciated.

PS I like mining your website - it's an invaluable resource for broadcasters and networking. Great job.” - Jaan Torv, Thursday Island, Queensland, AUSTRALIA  torvmail@gmail.com

** Spanish Radio Quality

"Does anybody know why many (too many) of the Spanish stations in town have that low-quality mp3 sound? Not just the music, but even the on-air hosts. Don't they realize how bad it sounds? I could maybe see getting away with this on AM radio, but FM needs to sound crisp and clear." - Brian Perez 


Former Mega Man Upped in SF

(December 18, 2014) Don Parker was brought into KCMG (Mega 100) in the late 1990s from KKFR-Phoenix as operations director. He had already worked at KTBZ-Houston, KBOS and KKDJ-Fresno and KEDG-Las Vegas.

Don is currently vp of programming for iHeartMedia in the Bay Area. His duties have now been expanded to include Sacramento.

In addition to overseeing programming for the six San Francisco radio stations, Parker will now oversee five stations in Sacramento. He will bring to iHeartMedia Sacramento more than 25 years of experience in the radio industry. He started with iHeartMedia in 2009 as the Operations Manager for the San Francisco cluster.

Parker had quite the start in radio at Bill Drake owned KYNO-Fresno, then crossed the street to program KBOS. When he left Mega 100, he joined NextMedia Group as VP/Programming. He then started a consultancy in 2005 and launched Energy 92.7-San Francisco. “Then the economy tanked, Energy was sold, and consultants became an easy expense reduction, so business wasn't good! I was thrilled to have the opportunity to join Clear Channel-San Francisco in late 2009,” he told AllAccess.com.

Don grew up in Redondo Beach and was greatly influenced listening to KIIS in the huge growth of the station in the early 80’s. “Wow, what a bigger than life station. I wanted to be every jock on the station - even the part-timers, like Larry Morgan, during that time,” confessed Parker.

“Our Sacramento stations have evolved greatly. With market veteran John Geary at the helm, our leadership team and talent, the Sacramento market is shaping up to be among the best in the business,” said Parker. “I look forward to expanding my role and would also like to thank iHeartMedia for the amazing opportunity."

1999 KBIG Promotion

 Overheard.

Office Christmas Party Story. Many years ago, KABC’s Doug McIntyre got a writing job with an ad agency in New York. It was during the Disco era of the 80s, “when cocaine was a necessity,” said Doug on his morning show.

He had been on the job for only a few days before the annual agency Christmas party. “They had this big, incredible party on the East River at this place called the Water Club. It was really ‘la dee dah,’” said Doug. They had an open bar and all the food you can eat. “I know NOBODY. I barely know the person who hired me. I had been there for three days.”

Doug said he was standing there with a Heineken. “I am talking with this squat guy with a big handlebar mustache. He’s got a Heineken. He’s got his shirt half un-tucked. He’s the kind of guy I almost always gravitate to at almost all parties.”

The “squat” guy asks how Doug is doing. “I tell him I’m doing okay and he asks my name. I introduce myself. He asks what I do. I tell him  the company hired me to write these things. I ask him what he does and he tells me he is the chairman of the board. I laughed. I told him that they offered me that job but it didn’t pay that well. He chuckles and walks away.”

Later on in the party, they introduced the chairman of the board who turns out to be the little “squat guy" with the shirt hanging out. “You’ve got to be very careful what you do at the Christmas party,” warned Doug.

Hear Ache. Stressed out during the holidays? Beginning at 10 a.m., KNX is devoting an hour his morning for a live call-in program featuring experts to help listeners cope with the stress the holiday season. Program was hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles FeldmanJoe Scarborough was among the guests at Tuesday night’s White House media holiday party … KLOS is planning to celebrate that big post-Christmas non-American holiday “Boxing Day” (Dec. 26th) with five hours of all Beatles music hosted by Breakfast with the Beatles host Chris Carter from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. “Breakfast with the Beatles was #1 with men 25-54 for the month of November,” emailed Carter … Disney paid $5 million for Orlando’s 990 AM in 2000, sells it now for $1.3 million.

LARadio Rewind: December 18, 2012. Former KRLA dj Rhett Walker dies in Victoria, Australia, at age 75.

In 1967, KRLA had moved Casey Kasem from his noon-to-3 slot and put him on from 9 to noon. Kasem did not like those hours and, at his request, was moved to Sunday mornings only, which freed him to concentrate on television roles and work on his idea for a syndicated countdown show. To replace Kasem in late mornings, KRLA brought in Rhett Hamilton Walker, who was born in New Zealand to an American mother and British father.

Walker began in radio in 1959 as the overnight host at 2UW in Sydney. In the mid-1960s, he jocked at KUTY-Palmdale, KYNO-Fresno, KOL -Seattle and KFXM in San Bernardino. In September 1967 at Anaheim Convention Center, Walker served as the announcer for a Donovan performance which was recorded and released in 1968 as the album Donovan In Concert. Walker left KRLA in January 1968 and became program director at KRUX in Phoenix.

In 1969, he returned to Australia and rejoined 2UW. He later worked at three other stations before retiring from radio, earning a master's degree and becoming a business professor at Latrobe University in Victoria. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll. Inductees into the 2015 Rock ’N Roll Hall of Fame were announced this week. Honorees include Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Bill Withers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lou Reed, Green Day and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Ringo Starr will be honored at the ceremony with The Award for Musical Excellence. 

Eligible but not chosen include War, The Spinners, the Marvelettes, and Chic, which has been nominated nine times without winning. 

 

Merry Christmas from Dominick Garcia, Maggie McKay, and Nelson Salsa

Listening Trends. Nielsen has ranked national radio listening trends among the more than 243 million Americans (aged 12 and older) who tune in each week. News/Talk remained the top-ranked overall format with listeners 6+, but its lead over the competition has grown smaller with every passing year. And Hot Adult Contemporary (AC) lived up to its name in 2014, rising up the charts with listeners young and old, and moving from fifth to third this year among audiences aged 18 to 34.

TOP 10 AUDIO FORMATS OF 2014 (PERSONS 6+)

Rank Format P6+ Share

1. News Talk Information 8.8%

2. Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) 8.3%

3. Country 8.2%

4 Adult Contemporary (AC) 7.1%

5. Hot Adult Contemporary (AC) 6.2%

6. Classic Hits 5.2%

7. Urban Adult Contemporary (AC) 4.9%

8. Classic Rock 4.7%

9. All Sports 4.4%

10 Mexican Regional 3.7%

TOP 10 AUDIO FORMATS OF 2014 (PERSONS 25-54)

1. Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) 9.0%

2. Country 8.0%

3. Adult Contemporary (AC) 6.9%

4 Hot Adult Contemporary (AC) 6.8%

5. News Talk Information 6.2%

6. Classic Rock 5.3%

7. All Sports 5.0%

8. Urban Adult Contemporary (AC) 4.8%

9. Mexican Regional 4.6%

10 Classic Hits 4.5%

Source: Nielsen

Funnie.

Email Thursday

We GET Email …

** Favorite Radio

“I have an idea for a great column that may be of benefit to your readers.  

How about you list, or better yet, have your readers list, the best AM and FM radios (portable and tabletop) that can still be found in the market.  

My old Sony 9-transistor radio has given up the ghost and is beyond repair.  

Even though I have iHeart’s app on my iPhone and use a decent set of Klipsch ear-buds, it is not the same thing. And, I am interested in getting another portable radio.

Ideas are like assholes – everyone has one – so here is mine.” – Steve Richard Levine

** Mike Nolan Retirement

“Saddened to hear that Mike Nolan will be leaving the airwaves, but his retirement is certainly well deserved. An impressive broadcasting career of four decades, and how fortunate we are to have had him here in L.A. for nearly thirty of those years.

Whether they bring drivers good news or bad, Mike’s traffic reports are always interesting to listen to because of his unique voice and authoritative delivery. I’m sure any of us can think of people in the radio business that have been less than kind along the way, but Mike, in addition to being a skilled pilot and talented broadcaster, is a genuinely nice person. His voice will be missed but his outstanding work is deeply appreciated and will not be forgotten.” – Reed Berry  


Lon McQ Celebrates 30 Years with Stevie Wonder’s KJLH

(December 17, 2014) For three decades, Lon McQ has done it all at Stevie Wonder’s KJLH. In celebrating 30 years with one station, which is quite the feat these days, now Lon has quietly launched a very tasty Smooth Jazz Internet station, McQsJazz.com.

Lon McQ caught the radio bug after returning from a tour of duty in Vietnam, serving in the United States Marine Corps. He did internships in 1976 at KGFJ and KUTE. He was then hired full time in 1979 at KLOM-Lompoc, and later across town at KRQK. In 1980, he was hired at the NFL Hall of Famer Willie Davis’ broadcast facility, KACE in Inglewood. Lon did overnights, served as production and imaging director, and later worked together with Russ Parr as he moved up to morning drive.

In 1984, Lon moved on to Stevie Wonder's KJLH and for the next 30 years has been a main fixture, doing mornings, mid-days, afternoon and evening drive. In 1993, Lon was promoted to operations manager while still maintaining a 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. air shift to present.

You can congratulate Lon at: lonmcq7907@yahoo.com

LARadio Rewind: December 17, 2012. KRTH weekender Charlie Tuna becomes morning show host at KYNO in Fresno via customized voice-tracks. In 1963, KYNO, then at 1300 am, was the birthplace of the Boss Radio format created by programmer Bill Drake and station owner Gene Chenault. Among the airstaff during KYNO’s years as a top-40 station were Dale Dorman, Dave Jeffries, Bob Taylor, Sam Schwan, Sean Conrad, Dick Carr, Rick Alan, Ron Sherman, Ted Jordan, Steve Randall, Chuck Christian, Gary Mitchell, Bill Stevens, Pete McNeal, Big John Carter and Johnny Scott (who later became Bobby Ocean). In November 2012, John Ostland launched a new KYNO at 1430 am, playing oldies and the original KYNO jingles. The station ran jockless for a month until Charlie Tuna began producing a customized version of his daily syndicated show for broadcast from 6 to 9 a.m. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Hear Ache. Didja know that KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest serves on the board at LACMA alongside other showbiz types. Friends say his interest in art was heightened with his purchase of Ellen DeGeneres’s 1963 Buff & Hensman house in Beverly Hills … Richard McIntosh, general manager at KWVE-San Clemente, had another round of chemo yesterday. “The cancer indicator numbers have dropped from 11,400 to 2,500,” Richard posted on his Facebook page. “The chemo is working. I'm certain the Great Physician has a lot to do with it. Thank you everyone for you prayers. Blessings this Christmas season.” ... Long-time food host Merrill Shindler is moving to 10 p.m.at KABC ... Friday will be the last regular 2014 column for LARadio.com. Breaking news will be sent to subscriber/supporters by email as news breaks.
 

Funnie. Just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, KFI's John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou were discussing a report issued by SmartAsset.com noting that the state of California is holding nearly $4 billion in unclaimed property owed to Los Angeles County residents. Among the property is gold, cash, precious stones, payroll checks and safe deposit box contents. Tim Conway Jr. checked his name on the State Controller's website ( http://sco.ca.gov/upd_msg.html ) and discovered that the state is holding $20 for him. He wondered aloud, “What the heck is that for?” Ken said, “It’s probably your paycheck from when you worked at KABC.”

Email Wednesday

We GET Email …

** Enjoy Your Life Mike Nolan

Mike Nolan is as positive person as I've known in a medium that can be gratifying, yet uncertainly conflictive and emotionally deflative.  It’s your time Mike to slowdown and enjoy your life. Greater days are ahead for you.” – Bob Smith, Vaughn, NM

** Enjoyed Nolan’s Service

“LA Radio Icon perfectly describes Mike Nolan. Year after year hearing that comforting voice, always there. Enjoy your much deserved retirement Mike, thank you.” – JP Myers

** Worked with Mark Taylor

“Great article about Mark Taylor. We worked together at KYA-San Francisco. I hooked up with him the other day after not talking in 15 years. We always call each other Bubba. When he answered the phone. I just said, ‘Hey Bubba.’ He waited a second and then  said, ‘Bubba is that you’? Spent the next half hour laughing and gabbing like a couple buddies.” – Brian Roberts

** Tuesday Funnie

“Really, too funny, as any once young parents will admit. Well done, just the smile I needed on a messy LA day. Thanks pal.” – Jeff Baugh

** When Radio Advertising Goes Wrong

“If talent knows how to present the content/ad as entertaining this can be done. I disagree with Mark Ramsey.  TV and movie product has been selling visual ads of products in shows for years.” – Michael J. Horn, President\CEO, CRN Digital Talk

** Agree with Ramsey

“I’ve disagreed with the Good Mark Ramsey in the past but he’s dead-on the bulls’ eye this observation ... right on the money (pun intended).” – Rich Brother Robbin 


Mark Taylor Back to His Roots

(December 16, 2014) Mark Taylor spent over a quarter of a century in LARadio, working first at KIQQ in 1976, followed by KFI, KBIG, and KABC. After a few years subbing for KRLA’s Dennis Prager and other Salem broadcasters, Mark disappeared to an isolated mountain top farm in West Virginia. His story is amazing. “I used Reagan’s campaign phrase with my wife on the decision to leave the West Coast, ‘If not now, when?’”

The native of Nacogdoches, Texas, Mark attended Texas A&M and Stephen F. Austin State College. He worked in San Antonio and Houston. Mark arrived in Southern California from a pd'ship at KYA-San Francisco.

Mark first gained experience working in a team while at KFI.  Mark and traffic reporter Bruce Wayne filled in as a team when Lohman & Barkley were on vacation. When "Bruce Wayne's KF-Eye-in-the-sky" airplane crashed, Mark has vivid memories of his on-air hours following the death of the traffic pilot on June 4, 1986.

Mark co-starred on an Empty Nest episode and was featured on ABC’s Hudson Street. He was featured in an NBC Movie of the Week called Secrets of a Married Man.


(Taylor with former KFI newsman Ken Gallacher at Mountain Lake Resort in Pembroke, Virginia where Dirty Dancing was filmed. 
It's a half-way point between his farm in Abingdon Virginia and Taylor's in Union, West Virginia; Gathering the hay for the barn in his upper pasture;
Taylor on his horse, Ace; and Taylor lunging Ace in the snow)

Mark left KBIG in late 1997 when Chancellor Media took over from Bonneville Broadcasting. In 1999, Mark teamed with Guy Davis for the Taylor-Davis show at KABC. In late 2000, Mark then joined Gloria Allred for a midday show at KABC. He was seen frequently on talking head shows. “I’ve appeared on FOX News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes along with CNN’s Talkback Live and ABC’s Politically Incorrect,” said Mark.

He detailed the decision to leave Southern California. “My father and his ancestors were all from this part of West Virginia and I came here every summer of my childhood,” remembered Mark. His wife thought they might end up in Texas but both thought it was just too hot and crowded. “I began bringing my wife to West Virginia and Virginia ‘Civil War’ trips and she fell in love with the area. That was my plan all along,” confessed Taylor. 

In 2010, they bought a 130 acres mountain top farm in Monroe County. “We live in the mountains above Union, West Virginia. The county seat is about 550 people, making this a bustling little agricultural town,” said Taylor.

Monroe County has no stop lights, only two-lane roads, and not one fast food joint or chain restaurant in the whole county.  “If we get the craving, that stuff is in Greenbrier County about 45 minutes away,” continued Mark. “I got involved in all kinds of things.  I’m the president of the Monroe County Historical Society, on the board of the Monroe County Republican Executive Committee, board member of the Monroe Arts Alliance, etc.  As you can see, I have a problem with saying ‘no.’”

The Taylors grow about 60 acres of hay. Some of the hay is for their horses and the rest is for sale. They plan to begin raising goats this spring, along with increasing our chicken production.  They also sell timber from some of our back forest areas.


(One of Taylor's back pastures; Town of Union; Taylor's horse barn; and his hay and equipment barn)

“To my surprise the phone company was able to run three miles of copper up the mountain to my farm to install an ISDN line,” said Mark. “I never thought it would happen. That allowed me to continue guest hosting for Dennis Prager.  The other shows I used to guest host for have all been cancelled (Mike Reagan, G. Gordon Liddy, etc.).  I decided in September to take the rest of the year off. I was having some Internet problems that needed to be fixed and I was getting a bit tired of doing it.  I realized that every time they called me I was annoyed that I had to stop working on my farm to prep and do a show, not to mention all that other stuff on my plate.  After the holidays I have to decide if I want to return to Dennis’ show or not.  I’m leaning toward...not.”

Ken Gallacher, former KFI newsman, lives about an hour and a half from Mark. “We visit back and forth from time to time, in fact, I got my farm dog from his wife. Ken, I’m sure you remember, was Bill Handel’s newsman, and he was mine for many years on KFI. He's been out here for 9 or 10 years. Charlie Cook, who I worked for at Westwood One, is also here in West Virginia. We communicate occasionally.  I’m also in frequent touch with Guy Davis who lives in Central California now.” (You can reach Mark at: tayloradio@sbcglobal.net )

Hear Ache. Gene Sandbloom has been the assistant program director at KROQ for many years. In 2004, AllAccess.com asked Gene what he liked best about his job. “The variety. We’re encouraged to try and not do the same thing the same way twice,” replied Gene. I would guess the same holds true today … Don Martin takes on additional duties at Premiere Networks and Fox Sports Radio, along with his current role as svp of sports Los Angeles.

Big Break. As a kid, Keith Olbermann would daydream of being a tv broadcaster. The only question was: sports or news? After nearly 40 years in the business, Olbermann has done both, with gigs at CNN, Fox Sports, MSNBC, twice, and ESPN, twice. As it turns out, the guy who gave Olbermann his “First Big Break” in tv would give him another break later on. Click artwork for the story)

Overheard.

“The first station I ever consulted was in LA and when the Sales Manager picked me up in his fire red Ferrari on my first visit I thought just maybe this market may be different.” (George Johns, radio consultant)

Kings Broadcaster to Receive RTNA Lifetime Achievement Award. Bob Miller, award winning play-by-play man for the LA Kings will receive special awards at the 65th Annual Golden Mike Awards next month. Miller will receive the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his 41 seasons broadcasting games of the Los Angeles Kings, who have won hockey’s fabled Stanley Cup two of the last three years. Miller has voiced over 3,000 hockey games on television and radio. He is a member of several halls of fame for sports broadcasters and has won every prestigious sports broadcasting award in California. 

The author of two books of vignettes about hockey, Miller also has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1998, The Kings presented Miller a “lifetime contract” and named their arena press box in his honor.

 WONDERful Morning at K-EARTH and KTWV

Stevie Wonder stopped by CBS/LA headquarters this week and made the rounds. Left he is flanked by Gary Bryan and Lisa Stanley.
On the right, Maggie McKay of The WAVE, gives Stevie a holiday hug

LARadio Rewind: December 16, 2005. Howard Stern broadcasts his final show on terrestrial radio. A year earlier he had signed a five-year contract with Sirius and XM Satellite Radio giving him two channels, Howard 100 and Howard 101, beginning January 1, 2006.

Born in 1954 in Jackson Heights, New York, Stern decided at age five that he wanted to go into radio. While attending Boston University in 1975, he worked at campus radio station WTBU and at WNTN in Newtown. He later worked at stations in Briarcliff Manor, Hartford, Detroit, Washington DC and New York City.

In February 1986, Stern took over the morning show at WXRK in New York and six months later the program went into syndication. Stern was heard on KLSX from 1991 until 2005, when he made his final terrestrial radio broadcast. He can now be heard on Sirius XM and online at http://www.howardstern.com/howard-on-air/howard-100-101

Sound Opening. Next month, 100.3/The Sound is embarking on a new morning show with Mark Thompson and Andy Chanley. The Sound is looking for a third personality on the morning show. The description of the job from their website: “We are seeking a co-host that will engage with primary hosts Mark Thompson and Andy Chanley and the music we play, is quick witted, communicates localism and relevant information with brevity and a smile, is charitable and philanthropic. This person may also be asked to dj by him/herself at times or to deliver news and traffic and host public affairs programming – as assigned by KSWD management.”

Details on job requirements can be found at The Sound’s website. Job pays $60,000 - $80,000.

Funnie.

Email Tuesday

We GET Email …

** Nolan Fixed KOST Ratings

“I would add to the story that Mike Nolan fixed KOST ratings. Mike is a voice of reason, voice of trust, voice of empathy. It’s not just about the traffic, it's the fact that his listener knows you sincerely care about them.

Mike is one of two remaining reasons that the former #1 station in Los Angeles, The Official KFI AM 640, has not seen its ratings tank further. It was #1 when we worked together there. LA Radio needs Mike, and we'll have to record you this week since traffic teams worldwide will want to study the secret sauce of the best on earth." – Sam Botta  

** Nolan’s Time Was Coming

Mike Nolan told me this day was coming at lunch about 16 months ago.  It was hard to believe then and even harder to believe now that the moment is upon us. A fantastic  career for a fantastic guy!

Hopefully we'll get to see Mike & Laurie in Arizona when it's time for spring training baseball.” – Jack Hayes

** Nolan Coverage

“You did it again with your Mike Nolan retirement story. Such great coverage storytelling. Thanks for the awesome recap of KFI’s In the Sky remarkable flight in LARadio.” – Brian Holt

** Met Nolan Through Mark Denis

“What a great review of Mike Nolan’s remarkably varied career. Thanks. I've known Mike almost 30 years, met him through the unforgettable Mark Denis during those halcyon days at KFI.

Mike's the nicest guy I’ve ever met! Friendly, helpful, team player, and good spirited with a huge smile. I get a thrill every time Mike comes in the studio and we say hi.

He’ll always be the Angel on my shoulder every time I open the mic to do a report. Enjoy retirement Mike, you’ve more than earned every second of it.” – Alan Ross, Total Traffic & Weather Network

** Nice Guy Nolan

“Thanks for including Mike Nolan’s email address.

He is one of the nicest people ever.” – Ellen Brownstein 


Nolan Retires – “I Will Never Not Fly” 
by Alan Oda, LARadio senior correspondent

(December 15, 2014) For many, Southern California evokes images of Hollywood, the beach, Disneyland, Beverly Hills, the mountains and the deserts, and all points in between. Yet local residents know getting to these different places can be a major hassle – even a nightmare –due to the dreaded phenomena of crowded Southland freeways. For years, Mike Nolan, perhaps better known as “KFI in the Sky,” provided a friendly airborne voice guiding commuters each weekday through the SigAlerts and traffic jams. After a 28 year run, Nolan has decided it’s time to click off the microphone and enjoy the ride for himself.

Growing up in the Valley, Nolan and his friends literally ran on the freeways – well, sort of – exploring the open land near Victory and Van Owen boulevards which later became the Hollywood freeway. “I used to hang on the fence at the Hollywood-Burbank Airport. One day, Tom Roberts allowed me to meet (KMPC pilot) Captain Max Schumacher, and eventually got to ride in the copter with him.” Nolan graduated from North Hollywood High School and initially did street sales for the Herald Examiner newspaper. “My brother signed up for the Marine Corps Reserve, but decided to go full-time into the Corps. So I took his place.”

“One of the Captains of my unit was Bob Bononomi, a sales rep and account executive at KMPC. I asked him about radio and he told me about the Don Martin School of Broadcasting,” where Nolan studied broadcasting while working as a frozen food clerk at the Ralph’s Market in Sherman Oaks.

By then, Jim Hicklin became the next “KMPC Airwatch” traffic reporter. “Hicklin was my mentor, I flew with him a lot. I wanted to someday work at KMPC.” Nolan was attending a class at Don Martin when he learned Hicklin had been murdered by a stalker aboard a cruise ship.

Ten months into his broadcasting coursework, Nolan received a call from KTRT in Truckee, where he worked for the next nine months as a disc jockey. He headed back south and was on the air at KORJ in Orange County and KREL, “a station in Corona and a city where I still live today.” Nolan then took time off from radio and drove an 18-wheeler before he returned to Northern California.

“I was the all-night jock at KOWL in South Lake Tahoe. The big station there, KTHO, heard me and made me an offer to move over,” where Nolan worked for three years. “A highlight was I got to emcee the Bicentennial Air Show, featuring the Thunderbirds.” He then decided to make the transition into sales and moved back south. “I was interviewed by Lotus Communications and (ironically) returned back north to Reno.”

“While I was in Reno, I suddenly became really ill. My right ankle swelled up and my elbow locked up. I got myself to an ER, where they found a spot on my kidney. The diagnosis was Reitor’s Syndrome, once the blood clot was OK I haven’t had any problems since,” said Nolan. During his hospital stay, a visiting colleague brought a book entitled A Gift of Wings, written by Richard Bach (also author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull). “I hadn’t flown in years, but after reading the book, I realized I belonged back in the sky.”

He returned to sales, once again working at KTHO. “The station had a feature called ‘Skywatch,’ where a pilot flew around Lake Tahoe and described the area and its sites, talking about everything but traffic. I cleared my physical and took over the plane and ‘Skywatch,’ my first time back in the air in ten years.” Nolan recalled the memorable fete of a young man with muscular dystrophy who wanted to raise money for the Jerry Lewis Telethon by riding around the perimeter of Lake Tahoe. “I got to describe his ride overhead. It took a struggle, but he did it.” Nolan convinced KTHO to allow him to offer weekend traffic reports from the air to help travelers with the drive to local ski resorts.

In addition to radio, Nolan’s friends got him involved in a local production of The Wizard of Oz. “I met this beautiful young lady who was right behind me in the play. Nine months later, Laurie and I got married.” The couple celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in September.

“My news director at KTHO was Stan Bunger (now at KCBS-San Francisco). He left KTHO for KXRX in San Jose. They needed a new traffic reporter, so he arranged an interview for me with Don Schrack, who actually was once at KFWB.” Almost immediately, Nolan was given an offer from KXRX and KSJO/fm and worked there until a format change in 1981.

He was busy doing marketing work when Nolan heard of a job opening for a traffic reporter at KOY-Phoenix. “It turns out Don Schrack knew the KOY news director, so he wrote a letter on my behalf. I fly down to Phoenix on a Friday, and got an offer after that weekend.” Nolan worked at KOY for five years. “Back then, it was basically one freeway with different names – the Black Canyon and Maricopa Freeway. I primarily covered the traffic on the surface streets.”

In 1986, legendary KFI pilot reporter Bruce Wayne was killed in a plane crash during takeoff at Fullerton Airport. “The station was looking for a replacement and Laurie was getting homesick for Southern California. But I wasn’t sure if I was good enough for L.A. I went ahead anyway and sent a tape, KFI sent a ticket, the weekend after the interview the station made me an offer.” Nolan later learned KFI was looking for a new traffic reporter who knew the local freeways, but had to be currently working outside of the Los Angeles market. He fit the bill perfectly.

“I had a great respect for Bruce Wayne. You can’t replace him, you could only succeed him,” said Nolan. He proudly refers to a letter he still keeps at home, “where Jhani Kaye (then KFI pd) said that hiring me was one of the best decisions he ever made.”

Kaye offered his remembrance. “Mike had big shoes to fill with the passing of Bruce Wayne, and he did that with grace and a superb talent that earned him an equal right to the title ‘KFI in the Sky.’ These two traffic reporters were among the most recognizable voices in LA Radio.  They were trusted by many, and respected by all of us in the industry.”

The death of Wayne was just one element of the station’s turmoil. “Lohman and Barkley had split, the station’s gm Don Dalton unexpectedly died from a brain aneurysm, and then the tragedy involving Wayne,” recalled Nolan. The station’s ratings were sagging, with programming best described as inconsistent. “The music was interrupted by a midday talk show…a good joke at a party would get a bigger audience than KFI."

The station would start the road to recovery, with the addition of Gary Owens and Geoff Edwards to their lineup. “KFI was becoming the KMPC that I always wanted to work at, it was a full-service station with great talent and a strong news department.” In addition, Nolan provided reports to a revamped KOST. “No matter what the format was at KFI, I was basically part of the news department. But at KOST, it was different. I’d worked KSJO when it was a music station, still I was strongly coached by Jhani (who was also KOST pd), he wanted a certain style. It was the biggest adjustment I’ve ever made.”

“Mike has consistently been one of the finest broadcasters I’ve ever worked with,” offered Mark Wallengren, KOST morning man for almost three decades. “Traffic reporting was never better with eyes like his actually on the scene. He painted pictures that can only be imagined by those covering traffic in front of computer screens. I’m proud to say that Mike was an extremely important ingredient to the Mark and Kim Show on KOST 103.5 for more than 20 years.” (Mark Denis with Nolan)

Nolan was once offered a job in Phoenix to be a telecopter / pilot. “I was doing audio-only reports for KPNX / Channel 12. The helicopter pilot, Jerry Foster, was going to retire, but after I got the offer from KFI I couldn’t pass it up.”

“The problem with tv news is if there’s no picture, there’s no story. There have been pursuits I’ve covered on the radio that weren’t seen on tv because there were no pictures to offer… I’m glad I stayed in radio, it worked out better for me.”

Nolan also offered a pilot’s perspective with breaking news. “During the riots after the Rodney King verdict, KFI abandoned ship from their Koreatown studios, so I was a primary source as a reporter. Looking towards the Westside, I could see smoke rising, it looked like a scene from the Middle East…people asked me if I was concerned for my safety. If somebody did shoot at me, no one hit me.”

Other events include a heavy rainstorm, “so severe that I could see Topanga Creek challenging the ocean flow.” In 1994, Nolan took to the air on the day of the Northridge earthquake. “It was all dark at first, I didn’t realize an entire building and parking structure had collapsed, nor was I immediately aware of the damage to the Newhall Pass and the Santa Monica Freeway,” recalled Nolan. 

“On the day of the North Hollywood bank shootout in 1997, I was at the station and getting ready to take the rest of the day off. It was all over by the time I was overhead in the plane, but at the time they didn’t know that the gunmen had been killed during the shootout. The police tried to shut off the entire Valley. Using the cliché, the ‘needle’ was the gunmen, the ‘haystack’ was the San Fernando Valley.” 

Then there was the story Nolan missed covering. “When O.J. Simpson was in a slow-speed chase with the police, it was on a Friday afternoon before I was going on vacation. I had taken the plane apart to give my plane a safety inspection. Realizing that by the time I put the plane back together, the story would probably be over, so I watched the story on tv while enjoying pizza and a beer in Corona.”

Nolan has high praise for the talent he’s worked with over the years. “I like Tom Leykis, we actually first met in passing while we were both in Phoenix. He’s still a friend, I admire how he’s reinvented himself…I had the chance to work with radio idols such as Gary Owens and Geoff Edwards, something I previously could only imagine.” Of his current colleagues, “Bill Handel is a great guy, he’s the same on and off the air. He probably doesn’t want people to know he’s a very loyal individual.” As for the afternoon duo of John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, Nolan said “I always enjoyed their company, the experience was absolutely fantastic…I used to enjoy breaking John up with a sarcastic comment on the air.”

Two years ago, an engine malfunction resulted in a plane crash where Nolan suffered a broken clavicle and three broken ribs. He’s still thankful that Commander Chuck Street, who was the first person at the hospital, helped take care of Nolan and his family during the recovery period. He also appreciated the visits and support from KOST’s Wallengren, former KGIL / KMPC pilot Pamela McInnes, and Total Traffic reporter Rhonda Kramer, among many others. Once out of the hospital, Nolan’s first thought was “when am I going flying again?” Several weeks after his discharge, Nolan was back in the air with his son Jeremy, also a pilot.

Overlooked is the tenacity and endurance of Nolan’s work at KFI and KOST, working both morning and afternoon drive. “Mike made a split shift over two decades seem easy,” said Kaye, his former boss. “Believe me, it was not. That’s one of the hardest shifts in modern broadcast and Mike delivered consistently, day after day, year after year. He will be missed by many LA commuters who have relied on his voice to guide them through their commutes. Be well, my friend, and it’s time for you to get some seriously good sleep!” (Nolan with Barbara Brooks)

Once he leaves the local airwaves, Nolan already has plans for the days ahead. “I have a SAG card so I can work as an extra. I also plan on riding my (Harley-Davidson motorcycle) with a group known as the Patriot’s Guard. They attend funerals for indigent veterans to ensure they receive the proper respect, they also blocked off Westboro Baptist Church protestors trying to interfere with services for military personnel.”

 

Hearing Nolan describe memorable scenes while flying helps explains why he states “I will never not fly – I’ll always fly.” He recalled a morning when “the moon was on one wingtip, the rising sun on another. Nowadays you might capture that scene on a panoramic camera, but I still can picture it.” Nolan was flying over Downtown Los Angeles when he saw “a wall of clouds, then a 747 punch right through and emerge. And I’ve seen wind turbulence from the plane disturbing and redistributing the fog on a different morning.”

“I don’t consider myself in the same league as Captain Max, Bruce Wayne, John McElhinney, or Jim Hicklin, but 35,000 hours of flying, 50 years of working, 34 years in AM / PM drive, the last 28 at KFI / KOST…if you had told me I’d be doing this when I was taking classes at Don Martin, I’d never have believed you. I’m lucky to have had an incredible career.”

You can reach out to Mike Nolan and congratulate him on his AMAZING career at: mnolanm49@gmail.com

 

Decade Old Ratings. The September 2004 ratings:

1. KPWR (Top 40/R) 5.1

2. KFI (Talk) 4.4

3. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 4.0

      KROQ (Alternative) 4.0

5. KIIS/KVVS (Top 40/M) 3.8

6. KOST (AC) 3.7

7. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 3.4

     KKBT (Urban) 3.4

     KTWV (Smooth Jazz) 3.4

10. KRTH (Oldies) 3.3

LARadio Rewind: December 15, 2013. Chris Carter, former KACD/KBCD dj and former bass player for alternative rock band Dramarama, hosts Breakfast With The Beatles' 30th anniversary program on KLOS. Guests include Micky Dolenz, Peter Asher, Edgar Winter, Jackie DeShannon and several members of the touring bands of Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. Carter pays tribute to Deirdre O'Donoghue, who had launched the program in 1983. Carter became host after O'Donoghue's death in 2001. The Sunday morning program had begun on KMET and later moved to KNX/fm and then to KLSX. Two months after KLSX canceled the program in September 2006, it was picked up by KLOS. The show began simulcasting on Sirius XM's Underground Garage channel in 2008. Breakfast With The Beatles airs from 9 to noon Sundays on KLOS and online at http://www.955klos.com/common/page.php?pt=Breakfast+with+the+Beatles&id=321&is_corp=0

Dahl Book. Steve Dahl, an iconic personality for decades in Chicago radio, got his start in L.A. at KPPC. During his time in the Windy City, Dahl hosted a ‘Demolition Derby’ at Comisky Park between games of a White Sox double header. He’s writing a book about the incident, when 20,000 Disco albums were blown up in center field. Bob Feder, a Chicago columnist, says “He exploded a box of disco records and thousands of drunken fans stormed the field in the ensuing riot.” And “riot” is a not an exaggeration. Feder recalls that “the damage was so severe that the White Sox had to forfeit their second game against the Detroit Tigers.” Nobody was happy, and 24-year-old Dahl took a lot of heat.

Can’t Reach the Mic Switch. Charlie Van Dyke posted on Facebook a reoccurring nightmare . “First day on the air in a new, confusing studio. Equipment doesn't work, songs run out, dead air, can't find music or commercials, can't think of anything to say, can't find format clock, and more. I woke up exhausted!”

A number of radio fans posted that they had similar dreams. Do you have a reoccurring nightmare involving radio?

Funnie.

Email Monday

We GET Email …

** Dana Miller Memories

“That was great coverage of Dana Miller’s passing! Thanks for doing it. Dana deserved it.

He had so many ‘best friends,’ which is a real measure of a human.  And, what a varied career; he even worked at KLOM in Lompoc. Lompoc AND Shannon and Hope and so many people and places, and still a nice, funny, caring guy.” – Craig Hines

** Dana Miller’s Passing

“What an amazing story on the career of Dana Miller!” - Bob Koontz

** Sound Changes

“A quick comment regarding The Sound's new plans for mornings:  The news release said Joe Benson had increased the numbers in AM drive by 98%. With no disrespect to Mark Thompson's talent, this seems like a case of management saying, ‘It ain't broke, so let's FIX it!’"- Bill A Jones 


Laid off from radio, but a voice for pride in her work
By Neal Rubin, Detroit News

(December 12, 2014) The name tag uses only her first name and an initial: Dana M. But that and her voice were enough for a guest to fill in the blank.

“You used to be on the radio,” the woman said, and Dana Lundon Masucci — formerly behind a microphone, and currently behind the front desk at a Farmington Hills hotel — acknowledged that indeed she was.

“I wondered where you went,” the woman said.

Sometimes Masucci wonders the same thing. But mostly, she knows exactly where she is:

The same place countless others have already been.

As recently as March, Masucci was part of the morning team at WDVD/fm. A few months later, her fans were lining up to see her ... in the checkout lane at a Target where she was ringing up their purchases.

Now she’s working weekends and late shifts at the hotel, hired away by a customer at Target who liked her smile and her spirit.

“What I’m going through,” she says, “is nothing new to people who aren’t in radio.”

What’s different is the comedown. Or would be the comedown, if she saw it that way – which she refuses to do.

At 17, working at McDonald’s, Masucci won a national award for lobby-cleaning. At WDVD, under the name Dana Lundon, she was the traffic and weather reporter and third voice on the highly rated Blaine and Allyson in the Morning.

Life can change quickly. Effort and self-satisfaction shouldn’t. Whether with a mop or a mic, she says, “You have to take pride in what you do.” And doing nothing is not an option.

A childhood fascination

Masucci traces her roots in broadcasting to a radio her grandparents gave her when she was all of 6 years old.

She would listen to the local stations in Connecticut and the faraway ones that came in late at night — but not just to the music. She took note of the disc jockey’s voices, the cadence, even the jingles.

By 18, she was on the air, beginning a typical multi-state radio trek that brought her to Michigan in 1998 as the evening host at WKQI/fm.

In a sometimes comically treacherous business, she has occasionally competed against herself: while one station airs a voice-tracked show starring Dana Lundon, a sister station features Dana Masucci.

Once, she replaced a midday host who was fired the morning of the station’s Christmas celebration. She cried at the party; he didn’t. There’s a newspaper story online from 1991 where she says, “I’m sure I’ll get fired someday. Everybody seems to.”

Stations change formats or program directors. Losses in one region lead to layoffs in another. Belts can tighten into nooses, and even popular programs like Blaine and Allyson aren’t immune. So a pink slip from the station was followed by a red shirt at Target, and then a name tag at the hotel.

‘Good things are coming’

However steady Masucci’s approach has been, the pay cut has been substantial.

Her husband, Dan, is the production director for one of the radio chains in Detroit, but his was supposed to be the second income.

Though they live modestly, she says, in a small house in Farmington Hills, she has sold her collection of Barbies and she’s looking for a buyer for the gold and platinum records she was given at other stops where she was the program director.

The listeners who connected with her on Facebook during better days send her encouraging messages. Many of them are struggling more than she is, she says, so why should she complain, and who would she complain to?

The other day, she emptied an overflowing trash can at the breakfast buffet and a guest tipped her $3. That afternoon, she received a thank-you note and a Starbucks gift card from a mother and daughter she had helped the week before.

“I’m going to take that as a sign from God that good things are coming,” she says. Meantime, she’ll just keep hustling and smiling as though they already had.

Last week, another article by Neal Rubin at the Detroit News was sent to subscribers that was very upbeat and positive about the future of radio. nrubin@detroitnews.com

Hear Ache. Keri Tombazian’s voiceover career is percolating right along, “and apparently nudging me into new realms of social media.  The writer/director of a beautiful (no guns!) video game (release date: Summer 2015) tweeted about us actors.  If I did not understand Twitter before, I sure do now.” Tremendous performances for ADR1FT yesterday from @OwenVoice @thecheekyscot @KeriTombazian @dkayevo. Super-talented actors. Thanks guys!” …. CBS extends Les Moonves’ contract through 2019 … Next week, an in-depth story of a retiring legendary LARP … Remember Mark Taylor, Talk show host at KABC and fill-in for Dennis Prager, among others? Well, you are going to LOVE his story and where he is now. Coming next week … KNX morning anchors Vicky Moore and Dick Helton started at 4 a.m. this morning to cover the expected heavy rains … iHeartMedia announced a deal to sell an undisclosed group of its radio towers to tower owner Vertical Bridge for up to $400 million. iHeart says the sale will help optimize its balance sheet and maximize liquidity.

One of Billboard’s Women in Music. Amy Stevens is the senior vp strategic events and partnerships at CBS Radio.

“Amy signaled CBS Radio's expansion into live events would be anything but conventional when Ellis Island was shut down in June for a free concert with Ed Sheeran. The Madison Square Garden veteran also organized October’s We Can Survive benefit, which put Taylor Swift on the Hollywood Bowl stage for the first time.”

Overheard.

Funnie.

Email Friday

We GET Email …

** Dana Miller Hired Me

“It is very sad news about Dana Miller. He gave me my first job in commercial radio. A mentor to me.  If you hear of any services, will you please let me know.” – Chris Ebbott

** Miller a Powerful Force

“I knew Dana Miller. It’s always tough to lose talented people before their time. But it’s especially hard to lose such force and what a powerful force was he. Dana was always there, making the calls. He was the first in, last to leave, making sure it got done. I especially appreciated his gift of always having the best idea in the room, even when surrounded by the biggest talents in town.

My condolences to Brody. Thanks for your memorial. It’s the best I’ve read - anywhere.” – Brian Holt, Executive Producer, KFI

** Father of the Bride

“The last time I saw Shadoe Stevens I had the pleasure of sitting with him and his wife Beverly at the wedding reception of the son of former LARadio personality Brother John Rydgren. That was in 1986 and was just a few weeks before Beverly gave birth to daughter Amber. My how time flies by.” – Rich​ Johnson​, VersaTape

** Past Repeats

“Bonneville management needs to read [or reread] George Santayana's famous work Reason in Common Sense from 1905.

Remember when KCBS/fm – then ‘Arrow 93’ – brought Bob Rivers down from Seattle to the morning show in 2001, replacing what had been a music-intensive morning show hosted by [what a coincidence] Uncle Joe Benson?  It was less than a month before negative listener reaction sent Rivers packing and Uncle Joe back to mornings. Since we have PPM now, I bet it will take even less time for Mark Thompson to come and go.

‘Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’" – K.M. Richards

** Education Radio

“One of the most overlooked areas of radio is its ability to deliver instructional material in a non-threatening, non-intimidating manner. Imagine if you will, all those great voices conducting courses – interspersed with relevant commercials. People pay good money for audio books, especially those in the self-help genre. Imagine if content can be narrow-casted – and for the profit kicker, taking a test on-line for a certificate. Imagine what might be if the test were held at a local university and be keyed to their certificate programs. The future appears to be narrowcast content in niche markets.  

Are we ready to see English as a Second Language taught on Spanish radio? Or a mainstream channel for the rest of us?” – Steve Richard Levine 


Dana Miller: Best Producer/Manager of the Stars on the Planet Found Dead

(December 11, 2014) Dana Miller was the ultimate producer/manager. Along with Leeza Gibbons, Dana put together Leeza Gibbons’ ET on the Radio and her Blockbuster Top 20 Countdown back in the 80s and 90s that ran on KBIG. Dana created Hitline USA, the Country Radio Music Awards, The Buzz, and Countryline USA. He launched successful shows with Adam Curry, Elvis Duran, Hollywood Hamilton, Jim Ladd, William Shatner, Ed McMahon, Gerry House, Steve Kmetco, David Horowitz, Charlie Cook and Sam Riddle.

Dana was found dead in the South Pasadena home of his late mother by his partner, Brody Darren Robertson, on Tuesday, December 9.  Dana was 59.

According to a South Pasadena Police Department spokesperson, Dana was supposed to meet with a real estate agent on Monday, but he never showed up. Brody also had not heard from Dana and flew in from Hawaii to check on him, finding Dana’s body on Tuesday. The Fire Department arrived around 4:13 p.m. The investigating police officer estimated that Dana died sometime over the weekend, either Saturday or Sunday. The spokesperson said there were no signs of foul play or signs of suicide. He presumes an autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.

He managed Scott Shannon when Pirate Radio was launched in 1989, and with Shannon, Dana co-hosted the nationally distributed Pirate Radio USA on Saturday nights all over the country. Together Shannon and Miller had a seven-year run on television in 17 countries with the music countdown show, Smash Hits. He managed the Beach Boys as well as every teen idol of the 80’s including Rick Springfield, Andy Gibb and Corey Hart.  

On tv, Dana co-produced Star Search, Solid Gold, numerous Bob Hope Specials, The Greatest American Hero, Sinatra’s 80th and ABC’s Disco Ball. He won a cable ACE Award for his special, The Beat of the Live Drum. He oversaw the television special that commemorated the 20th anniversary of AIDS Project Los Angeles hosted by Tom Hanks. He has produced programs featuring Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Elizabeth Taylor, Garth Brooks, Robin Williams, Hillary Clinton, David Geffen, Barry Diller and Elton John. Dana and Elton created the Elton John AIDS Foundation almost 30 years ago. Miller was the volunteer chair of the board of AIDS Project Los Angeles for six years at the request of Steve Tisch and Jeffrey Katzenberg.   

Dana graduated from USC. His first radio job was middays at KTMS-Santa Barbara. The lead singer of the Beach Boys, Mike Love, lived there and caught one of Dana’s weekend radio specials and in a quick hour offered him a job running the Beach Boys’ record label, Brother Records. He went from $400 a month to $60,000 a year virtually overnight. He put together the annual Beach Boys July 4th events on the Mall in Washington, DC, (asking for the permit from Bush Senior when he was Vice-President) and hired Charlie Tuna and Wolfman Jack to host a 25th anniversary TV & Radio special for the band. It cemented his belief in being at the “right place, at the right time” But despite all his success as a manager and producer, this veteran intern of KRLA in Pasadena at the Huntington Sheraton Hotel – who worshiped and brought coffee to Lee Baby Simms, Jimmy Rabbit, Johnny Hayes, Casey Kasem and Shadoe Stevens –knew that radio was where his heart was. 

In the mid-1980s, Dana got a phone call out-of-the-blue from radio veteran James Paul Brown of Earth News fame with Lew Irwin. “It was the strangest phone call,” remembered Dana. “Jim told me to meet him at the corner of Madison & 64th in New York City the next Tuesday afternoon at noon. I’m on a plane wondering what the heck I was doing. Who the hell was this guy? Thankfully I did connect with him and we drove together to Purchase, New York, and the home of Pepsi-Cola. In one hour we sold Pepsi a total annual sponsorship of Hit Line USA for 1.4 million bucks, a weekly syndicated radio show and it was a huge success for a ton of years on Power-106, Z-100 and 200 other stations. I think it cost $350,000 to produce.’

As manager of Scott Shannon, Dana was heavily involved with Scott’s launch of L.A.’s Pirate Radio in 1989. “I used to argue and fight with Norm Pattiz [then-president of Westwood One]. But ya know, Norm remains the best executive in broadcasting I have even known. Say what you will, but when you went up those damn steps to his office you knew he lived, breathed and loved radio. Norm was and I guess still is a stubborn genius.  When Shannon and Norm weren’t talking during the bad Pirate Radio days, my phone would ring every day at exactly three p.m. when Scott was driving home and I’d hear 45 minutes of ramblings. The drive from the CNN building to his home on Sunset in Brentwood was precisely 45 minutes. I was locked on. Nowhere to go. And I totally loved it! What a wacko genius he is. Then Scott stopped talking with Pirate’s gm Simon T. and for a moment Bob Moore. My life was hell. But fun!” 

Pirate Radio was like a turntable smash – lotsa play, publicity and promotion, but at the end of the day, not much success. “I think the crew panicked at the end, as far as L.A. radio history goes,” insists Dana. “But Scott deserves major credit for two things – The very best launch of a radio station ever, [Bill Drake & Ron Jacobs may disagree with that, but get the Pirate launch tape with just Scott at 5 a.m. broadcasting from the WW1 warehouse in Culver City to make your final decision] and getting every single person in this town a raise. We got Scott for mornings and programming $3 million a year plus major moving expenses. My buddy, WW1’s Eric Weiss hated that, but he kinda understood. Rick Dees heard that and he smiled. He was making a million bucks and he went in to the brass and said he wanted the same thing. Jay Thomas was at ‘Power’ and he hit Jeff Wyatt for a big time raise. All of these guys who had real ratings went to their companies and got a raise. Scott honestly deserves 10%.”

Dana had a unique perspective on Pirate Radio: “The people at Pirate Radio choked. They had such terrific ratings initially with a huge and brilliant marketing campaign totally created by Scott that was completely coming together and then they panicked on the music. Scott was totally a born to be wild Top 40 guy. He and I went together to the KHJ 25th Anniversary Party in Century City and I swear it was like taking a kid to his first cat house. He was the ULTIMATE fan. Robert W. Morgan, The Real Don Steele, Dave Diamond were all there and to see Scott Shannon in the room with his version of Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Mickey Mantle was stunning. Yet back at Pirate we were playing Bon Jovi, Poison, Warrant, Motley Crew in Top 40 rotation. The enormous crowd we drew didn’t want to hear just the same tunes over and over. The audience wanted what KLOS or KMET delivered when I was a kid. Our Pirate team didn’t give ‘em that and I think they choked and panicked. Oh my God, there were nine months of chasm between Scott and Norm, and finally they stopped talking. It was just a horrible time. God bless Tom Cuddy and WPLJ for making an offer because Scott and his amazing wife Trish were so over Pirate and Westwood One.”

“Dana Miller devoted decades to the battle against AIDS,” AHF (AIDS Health Foundation) president Michael Weinstein told Frontiers Magazine. “He brought all of his experience in the entertainment world to bear in helping people living with and affected by HIV. That creative energy led to the staging of some of the most amazing events in the history of the AIDS movement. We spent many an evening debating issues and creating new projects. We will miss him greatly.”

Hear Ache. Sam Smith (Stay With Me) was the big hit at the recent KIIS Jingle Ball concert, according to the LA Times review. Other huge artists who performed included: Ed Sheeran, Gwen Stefani, and Taylor Swift. These performers perform because “continued presence on KIIS is the implicit quid pro quo for a 10-minute performance at Jingle Ball.” … While KFI’s Tim Conway, Jr. was interviewing representatives from the LA Drone Expo being held this weekend at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, a drone hovered outside of the iHeartMedia studios and watched through an upstairs window. Click the artwork to peek into the studios.

LARadio Rewind: December 11, 2008. The Lakers announce that after 31 years on KLAC, their games will be heard on KSPN beginning with the 2009-10 season. In 1960, after the team moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis, Chick Hearn began doing play-by-play on both radio and television. Between 1965 and 2001, he called 3338 consecutive games. Hearn’s final broadcast was game four of the 2002 NBA Finals when the Lakers swept the Nets. He died two months later at 85. On radio, Lakers basketball was heard on KHJ from 1960 to 1964. The games were then carried by KFI, KLAC, KNX and KABC during various seasons until 1977, when KLAC became the Lakers’ flagship station. The Lakers moved to KSPN in 2009. John Ireland does play-by-play and former Lakers forward Mychal Thompson provides color commentary. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Shadoe Walks Daughter Down Aisle. Shadoe Stevens shared a special moment in his life after his daughter Amber’s recent wedding that was covered by People Magazine. “Simply the most magical, joyful, exciting, and perfect wedding I've ever attended,” emailed Shadow. “It was the wedding of the gods. Not just because it was my daughter but because everything about it was extraordinary. The people were beautiful and entertaining, funny and filled with love. The attention to detail was simply spectacular in every way...the venue, the lighting, the food, the music, the people who spoke, the ‘second line dancing with umbrellas,’ the dj, the portrait studio with professional lighting, top hats and furs, and the getaway car. It was one of the greatest experiences of our lives." (Read the photo story in People by clicking photo)

Funnie.

Email Thursday

We GET Email …

** Will Mark Thompson Phone It In?

“I loved The Sound – my favorite music station, ever. I don’t understand the decision to minimize Joe Benson in the morning. It’s like management is saying, we don't want to be different anymore, we want to be same-old-same-old like every other retro rock station in the universe.

Benson knows a lot about the music, and he shares it. He’s not about witty tv news style morning team badinage, he's about the music. I could listen to this music simply by raiding my CD cabinet but I listen to him because it’s like being with a pal who likes the same stuff and knows more than I do about it.

I just don't get it, particularly, as others have noted, his ratings have doubled.

And he’s replaced by a guy who's going to phone it in from North Carolina? Not exactly live and local, is it?

Incomprehensible.” – Janice Jacobson, Culver City

** Liberal Radio Challenges

“In response to Mary Lyon’s comments about a lack of political diversity in radio, I would like to offer the following:

Mary, I have great respect for you and your work in LA Radio. I understand your frustration. As one who was heavily involved in the launch of KTLK and who worked hard to make it viable, I have only one question.  With all the rhetoric regarding the lack of liberal programming in L.A., why didn’t anyone listen when it was available? Stephanie Miller is a wonderful personality and did a great show, yet she couldn't break a 0.2 rating with adults. Randy Rhodes and Ed Schultz were quality broadcasters and got a rating of 0.1.

Even more amazing to me was the lack of response for those businesses who gave the station a try and spent good money on advertising. Many hung in there for months, but did that small audience that the station did manage to capture support them? No! Many advertisers were happy to pay six times as much to move over to KFI, because KFI listeners bought their products and services. 

Mary, I wish KTLK had been successful, but you need to know that the management team at Clear Channel did everything possible to make it work. For all who are out there and lament the lack of a liberal voice on LA radio, I can only say – look inward - you are the reason.” – Bob Scott, former general sales manager at KTLK AM 1150.

** Wallichs Remotes

“For those interested, I did one Wallichs KFWB remote from Lakewood. It was 1959 or ’60, but there I was. I looked up and saw myself competing on a Saturday morning tv Quick Draw McGraw.” – Elliot Field

** National Enquirer Bombshell

“I can’t believe this. This goes way beyond shameful. Casey Kasem deserved none of this. So many opportunities to do the right thing and still, no honor to a great man.” – Jhani Kaye

** Punishment in the Casey Kasem Bombshell

Jean Kasem should be forced to ‘clean up’ Ferguson.” – Timmy Manocheo 


Under the Smogberry Trees: The True Story of Dr. Demento and Barry Hansen Hits Snag

(December 10, 2014) A much anticipated documentary featuring LARP iconic figure Dr. Demento (Under the Smogberry Trees) has hit a legal snafu. Many LA Radio People have participated on-camera in the biopic. Over $100,000 was initially raised to produce the documentary via a Kickstarter campaign.

The Meep Morp Studio people (Scott and Christie McKenzie) formed a partnership in early 2013 with director Devin Lucas, explained Dr. Demento (Barry Hansen).  “A conflict arose between them in the spring of 2014 which we [my manager, my wife and I] attempted to resolve,” said Dr. Demento. “The Meep Morps Studio was not happy with the resolution. That is all I can say for now; we are exploring legal action.”

The Meep Morp Studio group claims they “were only threatened with lawsuits and criminal charges, but served with a (non-legal) Cease and Desist notice and what Dr. D called a ‘formal divorce’ and other non-contractual demands,” responded McKenzie. “We have attempted to communicate many times over different things. Mr. Hansen will not communicate with us. He also refuses, apparently, to explain himself to the people who put all that $$$$ in his pocket [that’s all of you],” McKenzie stated.

The Meep Morp Studio group claims they have informed Dr. Demento “of the legal liabilities he has created for himself through this course of action, but he is not interested in communicating. All the footage shot so far was also in the hands of the crew, so nothing is in jeopardy for their ‘Kickstarter version’ of UTST.”

“We want to be clear that their production as it stands is, we allege, in breach of Barry’s contract and by no means legal. However, considering the many months of the delays they have caused us over this, we do not want to be the ones to hold up the KS rewards,” wrote the Meep Morp Studio group.

In response to what has happened to the Kickstarter money, Dr. Demento replied: “The Kickstarter rewards have all been sent except for those which depend on the full completion of the film [such as DVD’s]. Those will be sent when the film is completed sometime next year.”

Dr. Demento concluded: “In brief – the documentary is continuing full speed ahead with the original director, Devin Lucas, and my full cooperation.”

LA Observes Roderick’s Seven Years with KCRW. Kevin Roderick is the founder, publisher and editor of a tasty and relevant website called LA Observed. He worked at the LA Times for over a quarter of a century before launching LAObserved.com in 2003.

Kevin won a 2007 Golden Mike Award for his weekly LA Observed commentaries on KCRW. He has hosted the station’s program Politics of Culture and appears frequently in the media as a commentator on Los Angeles and its institutions.

How did he get his gig with KCRW seven years ago? “Far as I know, Ruth Seymour liked the reach of LA Observed and asked me to join the stable of weekly commentators,” responded Kevin. “They were 4-minute commentaries about the LA news, media or politics scene for several years, then more recently we switched to a conversation format where afternoon news host Steve Chiotakis engages me in talk about something in the news. Through LA Observed or my books on LA, I’ve been the interviewee or a commentator on Warren Olney’s KCRW shows, KPCC, KPFK, Ira Fistel, Tim Conway, Jr., KCSN and news spots on KNX.

LARadio Rewind: December 10, 2005. Former KRLA dj/program director Dick Sainte dies of complications of diabetes at 67. He was born Richard Arnold Middleton in Kansas City, Missouri. While serving in the Air Force, he played trombone with the USAF marching band. After being discharged in 1959, he studied broadcasting at the University of Oregon and interned at KFLY and KLOO in Corvallis. His first on-air job (as Dick Middleton) was at KBZY in Eugene. In December 1969, KRLA program director Johnnie Darin hired Sainte away from KFRC to work afternoons at KRLA. They had worked together a year earlier at KGB.

KRLA historian Bill Earl noted in his book Dream-House that Middleton was given his new on-air name by The Real Don Steele. Earl observed that Sainte and Steele sounded similar and were sometimes hard to tell apart. In January of 1971, Sainte replaced Darin as KRLA program director and gave up his afternoon show in favor of a weekend shift. He left KRLA in July and spent a year working weekends (as Dick Saint) at KHJ. He also worked at KNEW and KIIS and at stations in Portland, Chicago and Indianapolis. For a brief time, he played trombone with Les Brown & His Band of Renown.

Hear Ache. Former KABC Talker Al Rantel announced his engagement yesterday on Facebook … “Most of the reaction has been positive, but there’s no doubt that some people will miss the long music sweeps and Uncle Joe Benson’s other features in the mornings,” wrote Dave Beasing, pd at 100.3/The Sound when asked about reaction to the announcement that Mark Thompson being hired to do mornings. “His ratings have been up 97% this year. Fortunately, Joe will still be an important part of The Sound, and The Sound will still play a ton of Classic Rock with fewer commercials.” … Valerie Blackburn has returned as Market Controller for the CBS/LA cluster. “But purely on an interim basis,” added Valerie. “CBS is in the process of interviewing for the next one – I anticipate that I’ll be gone again by sometime in January.”

Funnie. (Thanks to Rich Brother Robbin)

Email Wednesday

We GET Email …

** Hall of Fame for Kevin & Bean

“Congratulations to Kevin & Bean. Happily this year I have been nominated to join. Election may or not develop. Nice for the nomination.” – Elliot Field

** Thompson of Mark & Brian Congratulates Kevin & Bean

“I want to congratulate both Kevin and Bean on this gigantic honor. Even more than their success on the air is what great people they are off the mic. Well-deserved gentlemen. I have been a fan of yours for years.” – Mark Thompson

** Kevin & Bean Hall of Fame

“Great acknowledgement of two great talents. They have kept LA morning radio compelling and entertaining, which is a tough job in this environment.

Ms. Double December is a radio knock-out, try that on Sirius or Pandora.” – Bob Moore

** Overheard Response

“I read George Johns’ Overheard, but not an entirely true statement: ‘Have you noticed that the only time you ever hear any positive words used to describe a radio station and/or a radio company are only uttered by a very recent hire.’

Two immediate exceptions:

KFRC-San Francisco – I’ve never heard anything but glowing words from the many people who worked there, on-air and off. I still can't believe I had the good fortune to be there in the early ’70s with Paul Drew as pd and Bill Drake as consultant. And, RKO Radio was the best!

1580 KDAY – I personally signed it off 23 years ago and I'm still in touch with many of the exceptional people who worked there, including pd Jim Maddox, who was singularly responsible for making it the success it was for so long. He split after three years, but what he started carried forth for another eleven. To a person, the old staff speaks fondly of the place. Rollins Broadcasting was alright. But, Heritage was great!’ – J.J. Johnson

** Future of Radio

“I thought radio was going away when tv arrived in the early 50’s. I was just scared for an industry that brought me pleasure beyond. Radio will never go away due to the pd’s and djs creative and demanding audience. I am dialed up, are you?” – Stan White, Seattle

** Mark Thompson to The Sound

“I question The Sound's decision to move Joe Benson to mid-day after he has increased their station's listenership so much. And returning Mark Thompson to the airwaves? Now that's puzzling.” – Karen Martin, Culver City 


Kevin & Bean Sked for NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame

(December 9, 2014) Kevin & Bean will be inducted into the 2015 NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame next spring. Frequently the most listened-to morning drive show over the years, Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter started on KROQ on January 2, 1990, and continue in morning drive almost a quarter century later.

Kevin & Bean have been so generous in allowing characters to emerge and perfect their craft. Those who have moved on to other media include Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, and Chris Hardwick

In a statement, NAB evp of radio John David said the show “has made a huge impact on Los Angeles with its mix of music, entertainment and humor that has resonated with Southern California listeners for decades.”

CBS Radio president/ceo Dan Mason called Ryder and Baxter “dedicated entertainers and broadcasters in Los Angeles for more than two decades with their own sense of humor that will never be duplicated. This award is truly a well-deserved recognition of a job well done.  I couldn’t be happier for them and the entire team”

The duo first met at CHR KZZP-Phoenix, where Ryder was a night jock and Baxter was the music director. After establishing a fast friendship, they teamed up for “Saturday Night Party Patrol,” but their interest was in doing a morning show together. After shopping a morning show demo around, then-KROQ program director Andy Schuon took notice and offered Ryder and Baxter the morning drive slot.

Other LARPs who are in the NAB Radio Broadcasting Hall of Fame: Steve Harvey, Dave Ramsey, Gerry House, Vin Scully, Larry Lujack, Rick Dees, Scott Shannon, Tom Joyner, Wolfman Jack, Gary Owens, Rush Limbaugh, Casey Kasem, Don Imus and Paul Harvey.

Mark Thompson Hears a Sound. Two years ago, Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps stepped down from morning drive, after a successful quarter of a century run at KLOS. When his KLOS show ended, Mark has moved to North Carolina and started a raunchy podcast with his wife, MarkandLynda.com.

Mark has been promoting a special announcement to his podcast followers. He talked to his own listeners before The Sound made their announcement. At noon yesterday, Mark introduced The Sound’s gm Peter Burton and pd  Dave Beasing. Said Thompson: “These two gentlemen (Burton and Beasing) who are on the phone have built one of the finest Classic Rock stations in the United States and they’re not happy. They want more. They want to find other areas to touch that they have yet to find. They want other ways to succeed.”

Thompson went on to say that the two Sound executives reached out to him a year ago and offered him the morning show on The Sound. Apparently there were a number of obstacles to overcome, but now that the deal has been signed, all of the technical aspects move forward to start the new morning program. Mark will do the show from his home in North Carolina and make frequent trips to The Sound for station events. “I will be in LA a lot making appearances, promoting the show, and pressing the flesh with people.” The new show will likely debut sometime in February.

Mark described a phone conversation between all parties. “They said, we believe the climate here has changed. We feel like we can get it done this time. That meant more to me than anything, because of all the people you could have gotten, you came back to me, not once, but a second time.”

Beasing emphasized that Joe Benson will stay with the station, moving to middays. “He’ll do the Ten @ 10 each day. His ratings are up 97% this last year.” Beasing told Thompson, “We’re handing you a much bigger stage to play on than you would have a year ago.”

Mark emphasized that he is very happy that Joe is staying with the station. “That guy is a freak who knows all the crap about music that he knows. It’s insane,” said Mark. 

Cool Stories and Music, a feature that appeared on Thompson’s podcast will find a new home. “It will become a syndicated radio show available around the world and it will air on The Sound on Sunday nights,” announced Mark. "As you know, to have your call letters attached as we try to move through a syndicaton deal is a huge deal for us," he told Burton and Beasing on the podcast.

Following the podcast, around 12:10 p.m., Burton and Beasing joined the entire Sound staff in the conference room to make the announcement about Thompson. Mark had made a special video, which was played for the staff. On part of the video, Thompson said: "You people have done something remarkable. You have built a white-hot radio station. Joe Benson has done a great job with the morning show, but Peter and Dave want to put an entertainment-based morning show. And it just so happens I know how to do that. People in the morning want one thing - they want content that is provocative, entertaining, topical, original content presented consistently by live bodies sitting in a room."

Thompson went on to say: "You need to get rested because next year you and I are going to hold hands and we are going to make a sound in the Los Angeles market. And do you know what that sound is? It is the sound of winning. There is an entertainment storm coming to LA and an umbrella ain't going to help ya."

Hear Ache. John & Jeff (l) are hosting afternoon drive at KABC all this week. They spent a decade on KLSX during the FM Talk era with Howard Stern ... Next month, KKGO will move shifts around as Larry Morgan and Ginny Harmon take over afternoon drive. "The program is an outgrowth of the surprise chemistry between Larry and Ginny that was discovered recently during their evening show on KKGO," said Michael Levine, manager of KKGO in a press release. Paul Freeman, long-time afternooner, will move to evenings. 

LARadio Rewind:
December 9, 2011. Doug McIntyre announces that he will be returning to KABC on January 3, 2012. Born in 1957 in New York, McIntyre spent 20 years as a television writer/producer. He worked at KABC in 1997 and KRLA from 1998 to 2000. He then returned to KABC as host of the overnight Red Eye Radio program. Upon Ken Minyard's retirement in 2004, McIntyre took over the KABC morning show. He left in 2009 to become morning host at WABC in New York. In May of 2011, he launched a new syndicated Red Eye Radio program which was heard on WABC, KABC and several other ABC stations. When McIntyre returned to KABC to begin co-hosting mornings with former KFI news anchor Terri-Rae Elmer, Eric Harley and Gary McNamara took over Red Eye Radio. McIntyre also writes a twice-weekly column for the Daily News. One of his mottos is "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

Melody Rogers appeared recently with Steve Edwards on Good Day LA to promote a benefit concert for her husband, Pat Paraquat Kelley

Sony Hacking Job. For the first time since Sony Pictures was hacked exactly two weeks ago, the group behind the massive breach appears to making its demands known to the public, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The group calling itself Guardians of Peace posted the following message on Monday: “Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the War!” The message, posted to various peer-to-peer websites, accompanied GOP’s fourth massive dump of documents and is seen as a thinly veiled reference to the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy The Interview. The yet-unreleased movie has angered the North Korean government for its satirical depiction of two American journalists hired by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong -Un.

In spite of the cyber attack, the studio appears to be moving full steam ahead with the comedy, set to open on Christmas Day.  

Funnie. Senior music festival 2014 (thanks to Timmy Manocheo)

 Email Tuesday

We GET Email …

** Thrilled to Have Mark Thompson Back

“Happy days are here again. I listened to Mark & Brian ever since they came to LA. I was very sad to see them end the show.  I haven’t listened to KLOS since. 

I switched to The Sound after they left and now I have even more of a reason to listen. Great move by The Sound.” – Brian Steger, Studio City

** NAB Hall of Fame

“In my career, which was a very good one, I never cared about the Hall of Fame. I just cared about my Hall of Fame paycheck.” – Roger Carroll

** More Hall of Fame

“Terrific news about Kevin & Bean. They give us consistently solid radio entertainment.

Now, where do we sign up to get Larry Elder back on the air?” – Don Graham

** Changes at KABC

“I’m done with KABC. I’m listening to Larry on his podcast at www.larryelderradio.com.” – Marina Lawson

** Broadcasting from Wallichs Music City (click artwork to hear radio spot)

“Another possibility for the answer Jim Ragan is looking for is Gene Norman on KLAC-570 in 1954 and ’55. I found a reference on the Internet to Gene Norman’s nightly radio shows from Wallich’s Music City in Hollywood. I checked Saturday night from 1954 and 1955 on the L.A. Times radio logs and Norman’s KLAC program was on from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday nights during those years. So Gene Norman may be the dj that Ragan was remembering from those years on Saturday nights.

I believe Ira Cook also did some dj shows in the window studio at Wallichs Music City, and in the '60s, KFWB's Gene Weed also did some of his shows there, according to an article I found in Billboard magazine from 1964. About 10 years or so ago, I downloaded some photos of Ira Cook taken at Wallach's radio studio for either KFAC or KMPC. Sadly, they are lost, probably on the hard drive of one of my two older PCs. ” – Jim Hilliker, Monterey

** On Location at Wallichs

“ Another LARP to broadcast nightly from the showcase studio at Wallich’s Music City was George Church, III. He did a Top 10 countdown on the otherwise MOR 570/KLAC nightly from 9:30 to 11 p.m. sponsored by Budweiser Beer. That was in the early 1960s. The main studio for KLAC was next door from Music City so it was a short commute.” – Cam Currier

** Tim & Neil Left Out

“I came across the ad in your LARadio column this morning, and I know you were focused on the afternoon talk with all the great personalities, but how could you forget to mention Tim & Neil!? We had an awesome event there that night doing a screening of the awful, cheesy but fun movie ‘KIIS Meets the Phantom of the Park!’ a la MST3K [Mystery Science Theater 3000] style with Tim & Neil doing commentary throughout.” – Michelle Kube

** Internet Radio

“If internet radio is the future, and radio as we know it is dead, why isn't there a single ‘tuner’ to pick up all stations? With AM and FM radio, the dial went from 540 to 1700 kHz and FM went from 88.1 to 107.9 mHz, and you could receive any signal in your area. You don’t have to have a particular radio for iHeart stations and another one for CBS and another one for this station or that, you could get any station on any radio.

With Internet radio, you’ve got to have the right player or an app for each station, so nothing’s quite as accessible as stations that can be simply tuned in. On top of that, even if we get a unified ‘tuner’ for Internet radio, what about the sloppy way programming is handled on Internet feeds, cutting off a dj in mid-sentence to play an endless loop of promos and PSAs covering commercials, which end up in the middle of the next song.

If radio is really dead and if Internet radio is really our future, we’ve still got a huge problem.” – Bill Powers, Las Vegas 


Mark Thompson (formerly the Mark in Mark & Brian) Joins Mornings at 100.3/The Sound

(December 8, 2014) Bonneville International Corporation’s radio station KSWD, 100.3/The Sound has signed legendary Los Angeles morning radio personality Mark Thompson to host an all-new morning show for the top-rated Rock station in the market, it was announced jointly today by Peter W. Burton, vp/gm, and Dave Beasing, program director.  This marks not only Thompson’s return to Los Angeles following his departure from KLOS in August of 2012, but also his return to broadcast radio.

“For me to return to mornings on LA’s white-hot radio station, The Sound, is beyond exciting,” said Thompson. “I want to thank Peter Burton and Dave Beasing for their unbridled passion in making this happen.  To all my old and new listening friends in LA:  You should brace yourself, my people, because there is an entertainment storm coming and an umbrella won’t help you.”

Andy Chanley, now middays, will join Mark in the new morning venture. Current morning man at The Sound, Uncle Joe Benson, will move to middays.


Is Your Radio Operation Protected Against a Cyber-Attack? 

(December 8, 2014) Sony Pictures Entertainment has been hacked in every conceivable way. Personal information on tens of thousands of employees and talent like Sylvester Stallone and Judd Apatow, the utmost of secret strategy documents, putting released and unreleased Sony films (including their Christmas release Annie) on the Internet are among the many breaches of Sony’s cyber resources.

If that major hacking wasn’t enough, by the end of the week a group called Guardians of Peace has threatened harm to individual staffers and their families.

The cost to the studio is over $20 million … so far. It appears the hackers are releasing new and embarrassing information on the Internet every day. Top-secret information, such as the profitability for 2013 movies is being offered to various media outlets. Salaries of every employee have been released. Very sensitive information from Sony’s auditing firm. This is just a partial list of the documents uncovered as a result of this security violation. 

Some experts concur that the guilty party is based in North Korea, suggesting the hackers were reacting to Sony Pictures and their upcoming movie The Interview, an upcoming movie which riffs on a fictional CIA plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un. Seth Rogen and James Franco play two journalists charged with carrying out the killing, the depiction of which caused officials to complain to the United Nations in July and has seen state media warning of “merciless retaliation.”

Are there hackers who would play havoc with Los Angeles radio stations or their parent group? iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) is massively in-debt (over $20 billion). Are there bad guys who would want to stir things up by hacking into the system and releasing sensitive data about the company that would put its future in jeopardy? If nothing else it there would be a major “cluster F” on the cluster that would divert attention from their goal of reducing debt.

Both Market Managers from the two largest radio clusters in the market were asked if there had been any recent steps to beef up security to avoid what has happened to Sony. Neither manager responded.

At The Hollywood Reporter, an expert in security and privacy outlined five tips to prevent a hack.

  1. Staff Up – Having a chief technology officer isn’t enough. You must hire a chief information security officer who can implement and oversee security programs like threat monitoring and insider threat detection. An IT department doesn’t play the same role. You need an information security department as well.

  2. Invest – Install and continually update the most sophisticated security software available and monitor for vulnerabilities in software, hardware and network configurations.

  3. Audit – No matter how well you think your organization is protected, arrange for regular external security assessments performed by a trusted security firm.

  4. Monitor – Insist upon seeing regular reports on your company’s security metrics.

  5. Train – Continually educate all employees on security and privacy issues. Since people often are the weakest link when it comes to security, enact a zero-tolerance policy.

Radio Festival 2000. We came across a half-page ad in the LA Weekly in October 2000 promoting an all-day Radio festival. Whotta salute to various entities. There was an early radio recreation, a Radio Media Craft Workshop for Teens featuring Jed the Fish and Christina Kelley, along with a three-hour conversation that LARadio was proud to present. On stage we had: Bill Ballance, Chuck Cecil, Dave Hull, Al Lohman, Earl McDaniel, Jimmy O’Neill, Gary Owens, and Sweet Dick Whittington.

If you were one of the lucky attendees at the sold-out event, I would imagine you have some wonderful memories of that afternoon.

LARadio Rewind: December 8, 2010. On the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death, KLOS broadcasts an hour-long program with host Jim Ladd interviewing Elliot Mintz about Mintz’s nine-year friendship with Lennon. On December 9, 1980, Ladd, who was then on KMET, had interviewed Mintz the day after Mark David Chapman shot and killed Lennon outside the Dakota Apartments in New York City. Mintz had worked at KPFK, KLAC, KMET, KPPC, KLOS and KABC and had been friends with John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono since 1971. Mintz also served as their publicist and media representative. From 1988 to 1992, Mintz hosted a weekly radio program, The Lost Lennon Tapes, and he appeared in the 2006 documentary The U.S. Vs. John Lennon. He continues to represent Yoko and the Lennon estate.

2014 is Year That Funny Guys Got Fit. Jimmy Kimmel was one of four funnie guys who got fit this year. “Hollywood’s latest exercise trend is comedy cardio,” according to a story in the current Entertainment Weekly. “Laughing can hurt your stomach, but we didn’t know it could give you abs. Like, good abs.”

 

Overheard.

Air personalities Marlene and Chino with Que Buena. The station helped support the rally for 15 dollars an hour for fast food workers outside LA City Hall.

Country Rumors. If Art Astor turns his 1510 AM frequency to one of the NASH syndicated formats from Cumulus, Saul Levine, owner of Country KKGO, isn’t worried. “I have been operating stations for almost 60 years. I have seen competition come and go. My KKGO is one of the top FM signals in Southern California with coverage of 13 million persons within 100 miles,” emailed Saul.

“KKGO is live and local,” continued Saul.  “By contrast, KSPA is on AM, located in Ontario, and not heard in Los Angeles. If there is any impact, it would be to KFRG-Riverside. I wish Art well.”

San Diego Ownership Changes. Three San Diego radio stations, KSON, FM 94/9, and Easy 98.1, which are owned by Philadelphia-based Lincoln Financial Media, are being purchased by Entercom. The deal also includes LFM stations in Atlanta, Denver, and Miami. The entire deal for the four markets is $105 million.

 

Hear Ache. Would young people care if radio disappeared? Click the artwork to find out ... Howard Stern is returning to America's Got Talent.

 

When Is Cable News Host an Anchor? “You won’t likely see MSNBC host Rachel Maddow filling in for Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News,” according to Media Bistro. “While Maddow is usually described as the ‘host’ of a cable news show, she is rarely called a ‘news anchor.’ Her own NBC bio describes her as a ‘host’–and never even uses the word ‘journalist.’

“So it’s worth noting that a new MSNBC promo flips the script, describing Maddow as a ‘news anchor with a big personality. She’s smart, funny and passionate,’” continued Media Bistro.

“Conservative critics immediately jumped on the promo, noting that previous Lean Forward promos for MSNBC included hosts like Maddow talking about their passion for progressive issues. ‘Given the MSNBC host’s long track record of pushing her agenda it’s hard to imagine anyone seriously considering Rachel Maddow anything more than a liberal commentator with a cable news show,” writes Jeffrey Meyer at NewsBusters.

A story by NBC News on MSNBC’s Lean Forward promos noted that “left-leaning anchors” like Maddow and Ed Schultz have made the network “increasingly identified with a rising tide of progressive political sentiment. The new branding campaign, while not overtly political, implicitly embraces the network’s progressive identity.”

Funnie. Norm Epstein drew this in the mid 60's when he was an AE at XTRA. “Charles Shultz gave me a cease and desist from any more distribution,” said Norm. “This was a blanket.”

Email Monday

We GET Email …

** Mighty Met Benefit for Paraquat

“Thank you Don for your incredible support. The legendary Raul of KMET a.k.a. Phil Gonzalez of KTLA says promos for the event will begin next week on Channel 5. Plus Raul will be at the event.

Latest addition to the music line up is Mike Inez of Alice in Chains.

Whooya!

Thank you to Dave Beasing and The Sound for their generous support.” - Cynthia Fox, 100.3/The Sound

** Saul > Elder

“Kudos to Saul Levine for his comments on Larry Elder.” – Chuck Southcott

** Open Email to KABC PD Drew Hayes

‘As a loyal listener since you were a Dodger station and Ken & Bob began each morning for me as a teenager I was shocked and disappointed to find Larry Elder just disappeared from your station.

I found Larry Elder to be a consisted sounding board of reasonableness in a seemingly unreasonable world we are living in today.

Sadly even worse was the flippant, rude, conceited and arrogant, way his temporary replacement Joe Crummey was yesterday, by assuming that the listeners’ disappointment, dissatisfaction and perhaps even irritation was because we did not like his show. It was not about him, had nothing to do with him or his show and for him to swear at listeners and insult listeners seemed to represent the insensitive and uncaring actions Cumulus Radio and your Management have shown more and more since either the purchase of this station or the present management began operations.

This poor decision making explains why your ratings have dropped continuously over the years. Doing my research in 1996 KABC and KFI had similar ratings in the 3+ Arbitron ratings. I show now they have dropped to .7 whereas KFI is holding its own.

Other than your wise decision to hire Bryan Suits, I have observed you cannibalize your talent year by year by year with no regard to your listeners which translates to no regard to your advertisers.

Advertisers find worth in purchasing power of any station based on quantity and demographics of listeners. I am sure your responsibility is to return a profit to your corporate investors. But your decision to remove popular hosts like Larry Elder seems to be like throwing out the baby with the bath water. You chase away listeners this way can only be followed by the loss of advertisers that pay for all of this.

Similar is your reported decision to cut your contract with ABC News. Once you have gutted the quality of your programming and the ratings have submerged to as low as they can go [yes they can go lower] Cumulus will certainly have no reason to keep this ‘Pioneer of Talk Radio’ as you post on your KABC page to attract advertisers.

The story of the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg is an important parable as the Golden eggs will only continue to be laid as long as you care and feeding of that prized unique Goose.

Certainly Cumulus has many concerns and Los Angeles, and listeners like myself may be of little consequence to you and your corporate executives and directors. But I would expect with the care of the INVESTORS since the loss of Mr. Lewis W. Dickey Sr. last year would be important to continue the amazing growth you, your father, family and the others on your board have endeavored to build over numerous lifetimes.

This time taken to communicate and share this constructive criticism, and vent my most recent disappointment in the KABC Cumulus staff will allow me to have the clear conscious in discussing what has been a Los Angeles treasure for decades.

One last thing: Take tender care of the ‘goose.’

A loyal listener since I was 16 years old.” – Daniel Maisel, ACE Insurance Brokers

** Put Broads in Broadcasting

“Wow! I DEEPLY appreciate seeing listener Annika Katz's email that was prompted by the dismissal of Larry Elder. ‘I regularly listen to NPR for my long afternoon drives. I’d like not to give up on talk radio entirely. Putting more women on the air would be a good place for programmers to start. And they should stop shoving right-wingers down our throats. It’s unseemly even during election time, but in-between, it’s just boring.’ AMEN to that, Annika.

For YEARS I have been frustrated by the ridiculous obsession with so-called ‘right’-wing talk, monopolizing the airwaves. I personally don't see anything ‘right’ about it. Annika is the one who's really ‘right’ here, in a true and not-hijacked or bastardized sense of the word, that is. They have indeed shoved that miserable fallacious hate-filled dreck down our throats, for years, and I am SICK of it.

Why the deliberate attempt to ignore and not serve another large audience, us liberals and progressives? What have we had to listen to? When and where have our interests been served, unless there's some twisted programming view in operation that the left is somehow being served by constant insults, put-downs, lies, distortions, and demonization?

Why have we liberals and progressives been sent not just to the back of the room but in most cases completely outside the building? WHY has our side been silenced and shut out completely, in the name of ‘serving the listeners?’ What about us listeners on the left? Why are we not considered worth serving? WE have interests and concerns and, yes, surprisingly, even discretionary income that we could spend on the cause of the advertisers. Why are we regarded and treated as less significant or worthy than even second-class citizens?

I would also add another thumbs-up to Annika for her point about the lack of women’s voices. We used to have Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes to listen to, until KTLK's format was canceled. And what did we get instead? Oh boy. Rush Limbaugh and friends. Oh great. Yeah, that'll sure get me to keep tuning in – NOT.  And that station’s ratings are still in the basement. 

I wish I could support stations like KABC with my listenership. Hey, KFI, that means YOU, too. I actually feel a little bit of personal affection for KABC because it was across the hall from KLOS where I used to work, and the likes of the Ken & Bob Company and Michael Jackson were utterly stellar, both on the air as personalities and off the air as just plain ol’ nice people. I feel personal affection for KFI as well, because of the unparalleled excellence of many of the news folk who worked there and who were, and still are, my friends. But I can’t support stations like these with my listenership. Not with the conservative slant that dominates and still monopolizes the airwaves here in L.A. Let's see – how many conservative-only or conservative-mostly stations do we have now? At least three? I realize the Equal Time provisions are long gone, but come on. For pete’s sake, nothing on commercial radio in a market this big, for liberals? Nothing with the kind of liberal voter base that includes multiple blue Congressional districts and has kept Democrats at the helm in City Hall [in one of several still-blue states whose liberal-leaning policies have now dried up the red ink on the ledger that was left behind by the wondrous magic of the previous GOP leadership]? Seriously? There's still somehow perceived to be NO listener base to serve with liberal-leaning programming? Seriously?  

To Annika’s ‘Thank you for giving listeners a voice,’ I would add, not only a thank you to you, Don, for running her comments, but also THANK YOU ANNIKA, for giving us progressives and liberals a voice, too. A shame it only comes in the form of a letter to the editor and not a whole lineup of more listenable and relevant Monday-Friday radio programming! They sure haven’t paid any attention to people like me when we've complained. But you’re a listener. Annika. Maybe they'll take YOU and YOUR interests and concerns a little more seriously. Maybe.” – Mary Lyon

** Jamie White Versus Bill Handel Feud

“I was reading your site, as I often do, and our run-in with Bill Handel came up in an email about Larry Elder being let go.  I don’t think I have ever spoken with you on the issue, but I just wanted to say as someone in the room [and as the guy who hit the dump button twice when Handel yelled the ‘F’ word] that this was the rare occasion when we, Jamie, Jack & Stench, were totally in the right.

We never attacked Bill’s daughters, Jamie simply asked that they return to their father’s floor and stop distracting our phone operator. And seriously, Jamie did it nicely. I have never seen Jamie be anything but kind to children, no matter who their parents are.

Do I think it is why they fired us? No way, they were going to do it anyway.  Do I think they punished Bill appropriately? No way, he basically just didn’t get paid over the vacation he had already had scheduled. 

I find it hard to believe that if anyone else had burst into a studio with live mics and went on a profanity laced tirade that they would have been afforded the same treatment. 

Anyway, it was a long time ago and we have all moved on, but I just thought I would throw in my two cents, about 7 years too late.

Love your site, thanks for keeping me in the LARadio loop.” – Jack Heine, Radio Promotion Coordinator, Nettwerk Records

** Music City Hosts

“To answer Jim Ragan's question about Wallich’s Music City, the chain's first store was established in 1940 at Sunset and Vine and quite a few radio hosts, including KLAC’s Duke Norton, would occasionally broadcast their shows from the store's glass-enclosed corner studio in the 1950s. I believe Art Laboe [KPOP] and Huggie Boy [KRKD, KWKW] also did a few shows from there.” – Steve Thompson

** Death of Radio

“Neal Rubin certainly knew the right guys to interview for his Detroit News article. Dick Kernen and Fred Jacobs are very astute radio observers [if you can ‘observe" radio.’] Great comments. Ann Delisi is a good friend, and her Essential Radio shows on WDET/fm from 11 a.m. 'til 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays are wonderful examples of what radio should be.” – Jerry Downey, Detroit

** Death of Radio Article

“I don't think it's so much negative/positive about the death of radio as it is realistic. As the years pass, things we love pass into history, one of the toughest things for those of us born 1955ish and before to accept. 

At least radio's outlasting Kodachrome film and who’d ‘a ever thunk as recently as 30 years ago that film would be obsolete? Time marches on.” – Rich Brother Robbin


Sunday Funnies (12.7.14)


LARadio Archives from 8 Years Ago Today

Lakers Are in the Money

(December 6, 2006) For many years, Lakers broadcasts were all about Chick Hearn. The late announcer not only did the play-by-play on Lakers for both radio and tv, Hearn also did the pre-game “Lakers Line” call-in talk show, with color analyst Stu Lantz covering the post-game. Larry Burnett also covered the call-in shows for seven years.

Enter Don Martin, pd at 570AM KLAC. Last season he made changes to the broadcast group, attempting to hold onto the upper demographic listeners while attracting a whole new younger audience. Twenty-seven year old Spero Dedes was brought in by Martin and Keith Harris, vp/broadcasting & marketing for the LA Lakers, to initiate a new generation of Lakers play-by-play voices.

Martin's latest move was to bring in Matt “Money” Smith (photo above) to the Lakers and KLAC. Money had spent the past seven years at KROQ, as the sports guy on the Kevin & Bean morning show.

“Don Martin approached me multiple times since his arrival,” said Money. “I believe his wife, Robin Bertolucci, was a fan of the KROQ morning show and that’s how she got to know me.”

The initial conversations between Money and Martin proved fruitless. There was the opportunity to do the Raiders pre-game show and even an evening talk show. “None of it really appealed to me,” said Money. “There was no sense in leaving the power that is KROQ at the time and to create and forge your own ID in this city at night on a sports station.”

But then the piece-de-resistance call finally came. “Don started the conversation with, ‘I think I gotcha this time.’ He told me that he was going to overhaul the Lakers broadcast team. As soon as he said that, I got this gut feeling and I just knew I was going to make a change in my life.”

Martin offered Money the pre-game, half-time, and post-game shows for all Laker games. Additionally, he would work an afternoon drive show with Joe Grande, a young man who worked in morning drive with Big Boy at Power 106.

“I talked with the people I lean on – KW [Kevin Weatherly, pd at KROQ] and Jimmy Kimmel. I didn’t want to bring it up with Kevin & Bean too early because I didn’t want them to think I was disgruntled or unhappy with what was going on there. Everyone told me to look into it. It’s the Lakers – the franchise.”

Money said he was excited about doing an afternoon drive show and trying to establish himself as a personality, but it was the opportunity with the Lakers that tipped the scales to leave KROQ. “I would not have left for the 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. sports talk show. It was the idea that the Lakers job was attached to it and to have the opportunity to work with arguably one of the top three franchises in all of sports. Some days I’m still surprised I did it because of the faces at KROQ who have been there forever. Nobody leaves KROQ because it is such a great place to work.”

Money is a huge sports fan but it is the NBA that really excites him. “I guess I’m strange that way,” he said. The other factor in making the switch to KLAC was a feeling that it might be time to go beyond the three-minute hourly sports report. He praised Ralph Garman as being an integral part of the success of the morning show and didn’t sense any major changes were coming anytime soon.

During his run with KROQ, Money became music director. “Being music director I got to learn everything about programming from KW. One of the reasons I left DreamWorks Records and went to KROQ as music director was Kevin Weatherly. It was just something I wanted to do. It had more to do with passion than paycheck.”

Money relishes the time he spent in the music industry, sitting for an hour at a time with Mo Ostin, Lenny Waronker and Johnny Barbis. “They’re the most wonderful people in the world. I was like a sponge. I got that job when I was 23. It was the most remarkable experience that any kid who was into music could ever have. I knew it would never be that good and I’d never be that happy at a record label again.”

But he found happiness and a family environment in radio, first at KROQ and now with the Lakers.

Money arrived at KROQ in 1993. Was he responsible for any of the New Music that became important? “From Sublime and Franz Ferdinand to Avenged Sevenfold and Fall Out Boy, I felt like I was part of a team that broke some great bands, Sublime being arguably the biggest band in the history of the station.” At DreamWorks, the Alt. Dept. had several #1’s including Papa Roach Last Resort, Lifehouse Hanging by a Moment and Jimmy Eat World The Middle. It was one heck of a run over 11 years." (Photo: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Money)

Money left the record world behind when DreamWorks was bought by Universal and they chose to keep only the A&R staff. His timing was impeccable as Lisa Worden had just vacated the KROQ music director post to head out to WHFS in Washington, DC. Kevin called and Money wasn’t out of work for long.

Money did sports for 7 years. “Then there was a Bud Light night in Jimmy Kimmel’s backyard. When Jimmy left KROQ, they hired Paul ‘Action’ Jackson and he flamed out. Jimmy was having a housewarming party and we were in the backyard drinking beer and Jimmy turned to Kevin and said, ‘Why don’t you let Money do it and that was it.”

“You want to be the guy who replaces the guy,” said Money, in making reference to his replacement, Dean
Schefrin, who only lasted a few months. Hopefully they will find someone to replace me. It is a tough gig. A lot of people have asked me about it and I tell them it is not your typical sports update job. It’s less about sports and more about timing and comedy, but you still have to know sports. That’s what people need to understand when they take that job. Sports is your vehicle to get on the air and be funny and entertaining. They know Ralph as the showbiz guy but he’s on the air about 70% of every hour.”

Money joined KLAC August 12, 2005. “I had the opportunity to meet the players and hang out with the Lakers organization. I really got to know them before the start of the season. Our first pre-season game was in October.”

Joe Grande soon moved over from Power 106 to join afternoons. “Basically Don Martin came to me and said, ‘this is what our vision is.’ I literally never heard one minute of his broadcast. I told them if that’s what you think, I’ll take a leap of faith, because I am not qualified to say no or yes not knowing one thing about him. That goes to show you how important the Lakers were to me. It was almost like I was blinded by the Lakers.”

Money replaced Burnett, who had a seven-year run as Chick’s successor on the pre-game show and also succeeded Lantz on the post-game broadcast.

Martin approached the Lakers about Money joining the broadcast team. “Everyone had to be involved. My guess is Don said 'I really like this guy and I think he’s going to be great. By the way, I’m hiring a 26-year-old to do play-by-play so roll with me. It’s time to build, get young, re-do it and hope these guys will be with us for another 30 years like Chick was.' Maybe Don is just a great salesman. I think the Lakers are happy. I just interviewed Jeannie Buss (photo with Money) and she mentioned everyone thinks I’m doing a good job.”
 

Money met everyone from the Lakers about the same time. "From Dr. Buss to Coach Phil Jackson and everyone in the PR department, it just goes to show why they are such a great organization from the top down. There’s not a bad person involved, including the trainers and support people. It’s kinda like I left KROQ and found another one. Everyone puts you at such ease. I feel like I’ve joined another wonderful family.”

For the first three weeks of his first season, Money only did pre-game and half time because of concerns it was too much for him to do the post-game and the daily afternoon drive show. After every game he went into the locker room and got interviews for the next game’s pre-game show. Instead of meeting them at media day or in group, Money went to each player and did a one-on-one interview for the next day’s show. “I conducted an interview with every player from Kobe to the 15th man on the bench. Luckily they got to know me so when I see the guys they know who I am and not just another guy on the Staples Center perch, 20 rows up.”

Long before Money joined the Lakers broadcast team last year, he held Lakers season tickets for six years. The highlight of his job doing Lakers games after a little over one season, “I don’t know if I would have gone to the Toronto game as a season ticket holder, and that was the game that Kobe scored 81 points. The fact that I was sitting there watching basketball history unfold before my eyes, it was remarkable to be in the building.”

“I grew up in Chicago, and was 16 when the Bulls won their first title, so the fact Phil Jackson and I have conversations is a bit surreal.”

The Laker Zone pre-game show is pretty statistic-based and more quantitative than qualitative. “It’s just presenting a great product and getting people ready so they have all the information before the ball is thrown up for the tip-off. The post-game I try to keep it light and fun. There are countless message boards, forums and blogs dealing with the Lakers and after I got hired I went through all of them to find out what the issues were with Larry Burnett. People didn’t like how angry he was and how it sounded like he got frustrated with listeners. I figured if that was the prevailing theme as I’m reading through all these posts, I should take a step back and try to have fun with it.”

"Essentially those who call the Laker Line are calling to complain and say what is wrong. I think if you defuse it immediately and get people in the right head space it is a much more fun show," explained Money.

It was Don’s original idea to lower the demographics. “I think his new idea is you could pull it off with your upper demos, while keeping the young guys happy. Don’t play dumb. Those guys in their 40 and 50’s won’t want anything to do with you. So have fun, be stupid with your buddies from time to time, but keep it smart.”

Money concluded: "I grew up loving sports and music. Over the course of my young career in both, I’ve had the opportunity to hang out with Bono and work with the Lakers, I’ll never complain about anything. I’ve got a lifetime full of dreams and fantasies that have come true. Can you imagine?


Vin Scully Most Outstanding LARadio Personality

(December 5, 2014) When asked who readers of LARadio thought was the outstanding personality currently on the air in Los Angeles radio, Vin Scully was the clear favorite. The LA Dodger broadcasting legend received more votes than any other in our annual poll. (Read Tom Hoffarth's incredible tribute to Vin.)

Even though comments to accompany the voting were not asked for, many of you had strong opinions. One reader voted for MY/fm’s Valentine and said, “In the morning, he brings it. Every morning.”

Another reader said even though there are a number of good personalities, no one is outstanding. “Local personalities have been taken away from local radio once 10 a.m. is reached. Stations are hiring new people who do not know LA and are shoving them down our throats.”

Rush Limbaugh is head and shoulders above the rest,” offered another.

Bryan Suits received a number of votes. One was from a woman living in Costa Mesa, “He’s very smart. Having been in the military and served in other capacities overseas, he has many contacts and can often get the real story of what is going on, not what is being fed to us by the government and the media.”

Another fan of Suits, wrote: “He’s unique in the market, refreshingly honest, cynically funny, great take on military and world matters.”

A fan of KFWB’s Fred Roggin wrote, “He’s channeling his inner Jim Healy.”

Top 10 vote getters as outstanding personality:

1. Vin Scully (KLAC)

2. Tim Conway, Jr. (KFI)

3. Kevin & Bean (KROQ)

4. Doug McIntyre (KABC)

5. Bill Handel (KFI)

6. Rush Limbaugh (KEIB)

7. Joe Benson (KSWD)

8. Big Boy (KPWR)

9. Bryan Suits (KABC)

10. Ralph Garman (KROQ)

Elder Bonded. In reporting on the Larry Elder departure at KABC, Paul Bond of The Hollywood Reporter claims that “insiders said [KABC] advertising sales executives were blindsided by the decision and voiced their displeasure to a defensive Drew Hayes, KABC’s operations director.”

In addition to an almost 20-year career at KABC, Bond said that Elder “is also known for an incredibly hostile interview of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that went viral after some of Elder’s fans posted it on the Internet.”

“I’m sorry for cutting you off the way you cut your guests off,” Elder tells Matthews at one point during that 2011 interview. “What is this, a game?” Matthews says. “This is why this country is being torn apart, with this kind of hatred.”

In an internal memo, Hayes said that Elder’s slot would be filled by guest hosts, at least in December. “At the beginning of this year, 790 KABC Radio made changes to our lineup and packaging that have proven to be positive and fruitful,” Hayes said in his memo. “We are now preparing to make further improvements and adding new shows for 2015. As part of this transition, Larry Elder’s contract is not being picked up for the coming year, effective today.”

“I've had a good, long 20-year run – no hard feelings I wish Leon Kaplan, Doug McIntyre, Bryan Suits, Jillian (Barberie) and John (Phillips), Mark Levin and Peter Tilden well – good people,” Elder told The Hollywood Reporter.

Supermouth Award. The American Advertising Federation, Inland Empire chapter, has established a "Larry Huffman Academic Achievement Award" to be awarded to a college student majoring or minoring in a field relating to advertising:  advertising, marketing, commercial/graphic arts, photography, communication, public relations, radio/tv, etc.

“Pretty good, huh?” emailed Larry. “Considering that, while I was in high school I was sent to the principal’s office so many times that they moved my desk in there. [Not really true but my parents did have to beg the principal to give me my diploma at age 17 so I could join the Army.]”

LARadio Rewind: December 5, 2005. Former KNX newscaster George Walsh dies of congestive heart failure at 88. Born in 1917 in Cleveland, Walsh joined the United States Army Air Forces in 1941 and worked overseas with Armed Forces Radio. After serving four years, he became program director of KSWS in Roswell, New Mexico. In 1947, Walsh reported the supposed landing of a UFO and the story became national news. The “UFO” turned out to be a reflective device which was used as a radar target. Walsh left KSWS in 1950.

After attending a Los Angeles broadcasting school, he was hired at KNX in 1952 as a part-timer and wound up staying for 34 years as a newscaster and sports reporter. He also hosted the nightly This Is Los Angeles program and the overnight Music Til Dawn program. Walsh was the announcer of the Western series Gunsmoke on radio (1952-61) and television (1955-75). He voiced Smokey Bear in a series of fire-prevention ads and voiced characters in two Disneyland attractions, Flight To The Moon and Mission To Mars. Walsh was married to his wife Charlotte for 49 years.
 

Overheard.

Hear Ache. Melody Rogers will be on Good Day LA this morning around 9:30 a.m. to promote The Mighty Met Acoustic Flashback Show in Agoura at the Canyon Club on December 14 that will benefit her husband, Pat Paraquat Kelley, who is suffering with MS … This Sunday night, Paraquat plays guest dj with Cynthia Fox on 100.3/The Sound’s My Turn show … Alan Gottfried is moving to new offices from Sherman Oaks to Woodland Hills by the end of the year. “After 21 years doing Sunday morning syndicated radio lifestyle, golf, travel, wellness, show, we are now in process of adding live tv web cam stream cast,” emailed Alan. “The radio show airs locally at KRLA and we are planning our 10th annual Celebrity Wounded Warrior golf event that airs on Fox Sports West TV.” Alan is looking for an experienced salesperson to hire. Call Alan at: 818.849.3630 x229 … Tanya Juhasz (photo) has been promoted to the role of Vice President, International Business Development for Premiere Networks ... What former radio executive tried to call in to a talk show yesterday under an assumed name but wasn't put on because his real name came up on the screen and he had another agenda? ... If the rumor is true, Art Astor's 1510 AM will take the NASH format beginning the first of the year.

 

Funnie. Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggert have written an impressive new book. It's called "Ministers Do More Than Lay People."

Email Friday

We GET Email …

** Stunned With Elder News

“I was stunned to hear that Larry Elder was fired from his show. Larry is smart and says exactly what’s on his mind about social issues. One reader mentioned that he didn’t talk about local issues. If anyone listened to Larry’s show regularly, he did exactly that. John and Ken are more sensational, but they also are very biased. I stopped listening to them because the Hispanic bashing bordered on race baiting. KABC lost an evening drive time listener. I’m sure they won’t miss me, but I’ll be back if Larry returns. “ – Marina Lawson

** Elder Ratings

“In the story about Larry Elder getting fired, it mentions that his ratings were good – ‘George Green commented that Larry’s ratings have been 'going through the roof in all the demographics’ - unlike what Steve Chang from Venice wrote in his email, ‘Larry’s ratings were never good and never once did he beat John & Ken.’ There are some people, like myself, who listened to Larry because he DID talk about what was going on in our country.

As far as Larry ‘detesting’ to talk about local issues, I never got the feeling that he hated local issues so much. That's one of the reasons I listened to him and NOT to John and Ken.  A lot of the ‘local issues’ that John & Ken and Doug McIntyre, etc. talk about have little or no effect on me and my family since I live in Torrance. The LA City Counsel or LAUSD policies and decisions don’t reach to the South Bay areas, as each city has their own counsels and school districts. So, when John & Ken harp on and on about something ‘local’ in LA, most of the time it has to do with the City of Los Angeles, not the County of Los Angeles.

I WANT to hear about what’s going on in the country. I don’t care very much about LA City since I cannot vote for the politicians/issues that affect LA City, only the issues in Torrance and/or the South Bay. Larry has so much knowledge and understanding of what’s going on – that it’s usually a learning experience to listen to him. I hope he will be able to find a new home very soon.” – Carol Wood, Torrance

** Politically Speaking

Larry Elder, ‘socially liberal?’ And, which Larry Elder would that be?” – J.J. Johnson

** More Women for LARadio

“I was surprised to hear some galoot recently attack you for being a left-winger. I have never once picked up your political preference, though your compassion shines through in your columns and maybe that’s the tip-off. His letter says volumes about the need of the Right to seem persecuted while defending that absolutely lunatic Masters family. I read that Daily Beast piece with my mouth agape that so many people would derive any entertainment value from those clowns.  

As for Larry Elder, it’s about time he got the boot! He has been one of the two black holes on KABC (Mark Levin being the other). Elder’s show was so lazy and pedantic, I regularly listen to NPR for my long afternoon drives. I’d like not to give up on talk radio entirely. Putting more women on the air would be a good place for programmers to start. And they should stop shoving right-wingers down our throats. It’s unseemly even during election time, but in-between, it’s just boring.

Thank you for giving listeners a voice.” – Annika Katz, Brentwood

** Hockey Puck

“If KABC fired Larry Elder because of poor ratings, wait ’til they see what hockey delivers. If Pulse was still the rating service in use, it would get a (- .3). As Bob Crane used to say, ‘a minus .3 means nobody is listening and three people are complaining.’” – Tom Bernstein

** Elder and the Jewish Community

“There is an on-line publication called Jewish World Review that has published numerous articles and comments by Larry Elder.

I have been very impressed by the clear thinking comments expressed by Mr. Elder. In fact, some of the most remarkable analysis of current events and the Washington political scene are set forth in his articles.

His grasp of the dynamics confronting Israel are 100% on target. I would vote for him for very high office.” – Saul Levine

** Walk of Fame Curse

“Amazing – at least the third esteemed radio talent to be adios’d after receiving a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: Kim Amidon of KOST, Michael Jackson of KABC and now Larry Elder.  A jinx?” – Denise Madden

** Wallichs Music City Memories

“I just found you on the Internet. Twenty years ago while living in LA, I was a big fan of yours. I just subscribed. I started listening to radio in LA when I was about 10 (1947).

Query: In 1954-55, a group of us in Long Beach used to drive up to Hollywood on Saturday night to see a movie. Then we would go over to Wallichs Music City to watch the night-time [about midnight] radio dj play his records at a glass booth on the Vine Street side of the store. After putting a record on the turntable, he would come out to talk with us. Maybe KFWB. Any thoughts as to who that might be?” – Jim Ragan, Cambria 


Email Thursday (12.4.14)

We GET Email …

** Elder’s Next Move

“Regarding the Larry Elder firing, one could only hope that Robin Bertolucci makes ‘that call’ and signs the Sage to either KFI or KEIB. Larry could make KFI ‘complete’ again by filling the Thompson-Espinosa credibility gap, or add some consistency to the after-3 p.m. confusion that is now KEIB.” - Bill “Press” Hayes

** Elder Should Have Had More Local Issues

“While I hate to see anyone get fired, this was a long, long time coming. Larry’s ratings were never good and never once did he beat John and Ken. So there was no reason to let him continue as many program directors did. In doing so they only contributed to the station ending up in the ratings basement as it has been for well over a decade.  

My biggest issue with Larry was that he detested talking about local issues which is what John and Ken excelled at. Every time there would be a major story breaking in Los Angeles, I would tune over to hear what he had to say and quite predictably he would be talking about Hillary Clinton or national politics. It really seemed ridiculous, and I’m amazed that management over the years never tried to figure this out that local issues is what matters to Angelinos. 

Ironically it was about the same time in the year that he was last fired from KABC a few years ago. It was a mistake bringing him back since neither his talking points nor the ratings changed. Hopefully this time they won’t repeat that same mistake.” – Steve Chang, Venice

** Happy Holidays, Larry

“The radio gift of the holidays. Happy Holidays! You’re fired.

Joy to the World.” – Keri Tombazian

** Stunned at Elder News

“I was really stunned on hearing the news via your email, that Larry Elder was fired by KABC. I can only imagine the reason since nothing really stands out, for me at least, as a reason.

I noticed yesterday on Facebook that Joe Crummey, a favorite of mine as host, was getting the KABC 3-6 p.m. spot for the next three days. I thought Larry was off doing something temporarily as hosts tend to do.  Now that’s cleared up, but I think KABC should not have cut Larry’s show.

I tend to agree with a lot of what he says as he’s usually presenting a reasoned view and provide an alternative to the John & Ken Show as that is entertaining, but I like being able to go to one or the other’s program as the topic are presented. There was time when you had KTLK as a drive time choice, too, and even further in the past, KLSX presented Tom Leykis’ show, for even more choice during afternoon drive time.

Maybe it’s the circumstances that bother me here, as you hear that every radio air personality will experience termination. Getting fired mid-week seems not to be the usual way in radio, from what I have read over the years. Being fired suddenly or without much notice is more the manner of termination.

I would like there to be some reason for this happening. I remember back to when Jamie White and her cohosts had Bill Handel blow up in their studio. That’s back in 2006 about this time of year. A ‘suspension’ for a week for Bill and the Jamie White ensemble ultimately were released based on a change of direction that did not include Jamie. Curious, but it happened. Bill mentioned the incident on the air after he blasted them for what he thought was yelling by Jamie and others at his visiting daughters while they entered the White studio.

That was more of a reason for some action. The outcome was somebody leaving, and Handel wasn’t going to be the one. Maybe all the change then was coincidental but now this firing leaves me with no clue other than KABC expecting to do something better in programming... expecting something better, but I don't think that ‘better’ is going to be the result overall.

When you consider that KABC fired Michael Jackson soon after he was awarded a Broadcaster of the Year, or some award to that effect, especially after decades on the station, you see no one is immune from termination, absent a contract term to the contrary. Even then, as in Tom Leykis’ case, there can be a continuing paycheck coming in without being on the air.

Hope to hear Larry again soon and his show, as live and local was a plus for KABC. Will miss his many lines that include, ‘We have a country to save,’ and his position statements that he will punctuate with ‘Is this thing on?’ meaning the microphone. Well, that's radio for you.” – Robert Guevara, Eagle Rock

** Pure Play

“After reading Peter Burton’s excellent commentary on terrestrial radio vs. pure play radio (Pandora), I came to the following summation:

The quantitative difference between Radio of today and the Radio of the 90’s is that the cume is relatively the same at 94%, but the time spent listening has decreased (AQR). In other words, people do not listen as long.

So to make Radio more efficient, the advertisers need to have better creative and more effective commercials which should improve results with less frequency.

 In Southern California, Radio is still the best way to reach most potential customers in their CARS. It’s always harder to turn off the commercials when you are driving.” – Norm Epstein

** Olbermann’s Rant

Keith Olbermann’s a little bit like a piece of Don Hewitt and Mile Wallace’s 60 Minutes that tunneled their way into ESPN to somewhat balance the total [and understandable] ‘rah, rah’ of the others who march smartly to Disney/ABC’s tune.

And God bless him for it.” – Bob Sherwood 


Larry Elder Fired from KABC

(December 3, 2014) Larry Elder, a major Talk show personality at KABC, was let go by the Cumulus station yesterday afternoon, following his shift. “I was eating dinner last night when Larry called and said he was fired,” said George Green, Larry’s agent/representative. “The KABC general manager and program director called a few minutes later to confirm.”

Green commented that Larry’s ratings have been “going through the roof in all the demographics. If anyone is looking for a great piece of talent, they can contact me at: georgegreen1931@gmail.com"

Once KABC took on the broadcasting rights to the LA Kings, we at LARadio knew there would be havoc because of a conflict with Larry’s show when East Coast games would pre-empt his program. There was an attempt to have him do his show on the Internet but that will no longer be in play.

In 2015, the only radio person to receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will be Elder. Hopefully he will find another radio home before the ceremony. 

Larry refers to himself as the "Sage from South Central," and describes his political ideology as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal."

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Larry graduated from Crenshaw High School. He attended Brown University and earned a B.A. in political science. He continued his education and received a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1977. After graduation, he was recruited by the ninth largest law firm in the country and moved to Cleveland to work as a commercial trial lawyer. Three years later, he left to start his own company, an executive search firm specializing in attorneys.

While in Cleveland, Larry hosted and produced for four years The Larry Elder Show on the Fox affiliate. He also hosted Fabric, a monthly issues-oriented PBS tv program, for five years.

In 1994, Larry sold his business and moved back to Los Angeles to begin his career at KABC, "TalkRadio," a program that deals with a number of diverse viewpoints. In the spring of 1997, Larry was the subject of a segment on 60 Minutes. 

Burton Leads the Way in Combatting Pandora Perception with Agencies

There is much concern that Pandora and other pure play outlets are siphoning off a significant portion of advertising revenue from traditional terrestrial radio. Peter Burton, vp/gm of Bonneville’s 100.3/The Sound (KSWD) has written an essay about the media challenge from these alternative platforms. Thom Callaghan, president of SCBA also circulated the letter to all radio station owners and managers in the market.

Burton responds with the reaction to the essay, but first, the article to the industry:

Friends and respected media partners:

I am sending this to those that I know in the buying community to be thoughtful, intelligent and considerate about where your money is placed.  As we approach 2015, I realize you might be encouraged to replace a radio station or two for a pure play radio product. For various reasons, I would simply ask you to consider the following information.  As an industry, broadcast radio is losing millions of dollars to pure play radio and I would be remiss if I didn’t defend our position.  We have studied, watched and tested the pure play model as an ad vehicle extensively.  It is our well thought out fact based opinion that pure play radio is not an appropriate replacement for a broadcast radio station, as the two are very different products.

1)      The pure play (mainly Pandora) registration process is a non-social login which doesn’t allow for verification of the actual user. Accuracy is not checked or audited in this area. So, verification of age, gender and location is inaccurate. Any claims of accuracy in this area should be questioned. From an overall audience standpoint, Pandora has gone as far as admitting in their annual report that there is duplication in their monthly user numbers. So, they have no idea how many total different listeners they have. Because of this, a cume number is impossible to come by with any accuracy. This would result in an impossible comparison between radio and the pure play streaming products from a total user standpoint.

2)      Pure plays (specifically Pandora) do not prompt on cell phones which is 80% of their listener base.  So, unlike the PPM, they have no idea whether their users are hearing the ads or not. It also makes it impossible to come up with an accurate TSL figure. So, the two figures of cume and TSL used in calculating AQH are derived in a completely different way. This makes the Triton numbers impossible to compare to that of Nielsen radio ratings as the two methodologies are completely different.  Any accurate comparison between different mediums must utilize the same methodology to ensure accuracy.  Additionally, audience metrics derived by streaming to an IP address is NOT the same as audience metrics that are generated by the Nielsen PPM device. In order for a broadcast radio station to be credited for listening, the device/person must be within actual hearing distance of the radio station signal. This is not the case with current streaming measurement. Pure plays are credited with audience even though the IP address continues to receive the stream while the listener is no longer present in the room.

3)      These two products are not only different but they should be considered different industries and never replaceable by the other. Evaluating and allowing pure play radio to aggregate all of its individual streams in a specific demographic is analogous to evaluating broadcaster’s aggregation of all its stations within a given market.  At a minimum, they (specifically Pandora who has paid Triton Media to rate them) should break down its audience into the 25 major formats to get a truly accurate view of its relative strength in relation to broadcast stations.   Radio delivers a message simultaneously to hundreds of thousands/millions of people verses the audio pure plays delivering them one-to-one with no capability of generating simultaneous exposure and reach.

In Southern California, 94% of the population is reached by radio. This is a larger figure than Cable, Broadcast TV, and print and certainly pure play radio (by a wide margin).  Unlike pure plays, broadcast stations provide format purity enabling advertisers to match their messaging with the mindset of the listeners at the time of exposure. What’s going on inside the listeners mind is the most important environment of all.  Please understand that we believe that pure play radio products like Pandora and Spotify are good consumer products, but not suitable advertising vehicles. They are especially not suitable when considering the replacement of a radio station as they simply deliver something at a totally different level in a different way. They (specifically Pandora) have had to morph themselves into an ad vehicle in order to survive financially, so accurate measurement of listenership was a necessary afterthought.  I appreciate your consideration on all these points and welcome a conversation with you if you have thoughts, concerns or questions.  I can be reached at: 323.692. 5401. 

Peter W. Burton, V.P., General Manager | KSWD - Bonneville Los Angeles

Burton’s later offered a follow-up response to his epistle: “First of all, thank you. I sent this out last Wednesday right before the holiday weekend. The response has been good but not overwhelming.  Ten responses and 9 were positive. I expect plenty more as buyers and directs settle in post-holiday weekend. One group in the Inland Empire thinks the piece will give pure plays more press and they are unwilling to resend or speak to it. It’s more work for radio people. I get it but it’s a threat that has gone uncontested. It’s a tough thing for radio people to get their heads around. If you’re going to ask the question, “are you buying Pandora” you need to be able speak to it. That takes time and effort. Thanks for sharing with your readers Don.”

JazzBeaux in LA. When radio fans think of Al Jazzbeaux Collins, they might think of his time with Harrison, the 176-year-old Tasmanian owl who lived in “The Purple Grotto.” When his name is mentioned around radio circles, most people think he worked only in New York and San Francisco markets. But he spent time in Los Angeles, working at KMET with Tom Donahue, then at KFI and KGBS in the late 60s and early 70s.

After a short stint in the military and a stop in Salt Lake City, he was hired for the overnight shift at WIND-Chicago. In the 1950s, Al originated the “Purple Grotto” (an imaginary candle-lit cave, a hipster’s haven) on WNEW-New York, which stirred the imagination. According to Radio Digest, Al was paid $600 a week at WNEW. One New York columnist said “Al was New York as velvet egg cream.”

Al described the “Grotto” as being three mythical stories beneath the studio, portraying all of its accouterments as though they were real, thereby giving the whole idea a semblance of existence. His trademarks became his characteristic mustache, goatee, brightly colored jumpsuits (he owned 150 of them) and gnome hat. He took his nickname from a once-popular brand of necktie called the “Jazz Beau” adding the “X” to the end because he thought it “made for a nice ending.”

LARadio Rewind: December 3, 2012. Vin Scully, Dodgers play-by-play announcer since 1950, takes over the @Dodgers Twitter blog and spends 30 minutes answering fans’ questions. He credited Red Barber as his mentor and thanked fans for their birthday wishes. (Scully had turned 85 on November 29.) Scully said that getting to host the national telecast of the first night game at Wrigley Field in 1988 was “special.” He said his favorite baseball moment is the Dodgers defeating the Yankees in the seventh game of the 1955 World Series. Scully helped found Fordham University’s WFUV and worked at WTOP in Washington DC before joining Red Barber and Connie Desmond in the Brooklyn Dodgers broadcast booth in 1950. Scully followed the team to Los Angeles in 1958 and next year will be his 66th season with the team. Scully has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is a member of the California Sports Hall of Fame, the NAB Hall of Fame, the National Radio Hall of Fame and the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Dinner Plans. I am having dinner at Jerry's Deli in Encino at 6 p.m. tonight. If you would like to join me, send me an email at: db@thevine.net.

Funnie.

Email Wednesday

We GET Email ... about Larry Elder

"People in our business should list our occupations as 'broadcast temps.' I was fired from most of the 20 or so radio jobs I worked at in my 47 year career. 'Going a different direction' was a popular reason. My habit of telling idiots they're idiots was another." - Steve (Fredericks) Liddick, Sacramento

"He’s who I listened to on my 10 minute commute home. Sorry for him, but I’m sure he’ll land on his feet.” – Bruce Harris 


Celebration of Scott Greene’s Life
By Kaci Christian

(December 2, 2014) The life of Lawrence “Larry” Scott Greene was celebrated Saturday, November 22, 2014 in Chatsworth. Family, friends, fraternity brothers and radio broadcasting colleagues gathered to honor the memory of the man known as Scott Greene to thousands across the Southland.  

Scott was born in New York City on May 20, 1959. His family moved from New York to Chicago, where he discovered a love for broadcasting at Downers Grove (Illinois) High School. He also played saxophone in the high school band and performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

The family moved to Southern California and Scott finished high school at Kennedy High, before attending California State University at Northridge where he was an active member in Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He went on to study at Hollywood School of Broadcasting.  

He then began a career in news broadcasting which lasted nearly 30 years. Scott had a deep, melodious, distinctive voice and an infectious laugh. He was well-liked by his colleagues who told stories of enjoying lots of laughter with Scott before, after and during the breaks between reports.

I first met Scott when we worked together at Metro in the early 2000s, and we became instant friends. He had a heart of gold beneath his hefty, gruff exterior and loved to laugh. 

“I’d see him every morning when I came in to produce and write at Metro,” shared Sandy Wells, “and Scott would be coming off the overnight shift. He seemed so full of energy and always greeted me with a smile, even after a long night. We visited a few minutes every day. He’ll be missed.”

Alan Lee added, “Life is too short, you know? He was taken way too soon. Scott was a great guy.” 

“We were collaborating on creating a couple of demos for talk show projects,” said Myk Price. “Sorry it didn't work out for us to make those together. Scott was an awesome friend with a terrific voice. He was very talented.” 

One of his Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brothers from CSUN, Rick Childs, said “I used to listen to him on the radio late at night. His voice would guide me with his traffic reports as I headed home along the 14 Freeway into the Antelope Valley. I always smiled to hear his voice, knowing he was in the car with me. I’ll miss him.” 

Scott was just 55 when he passed away on November 4, 2014 of congestive heart failure and renal failure.  (Photo ... Scott's colleagues from Metro Traffic: Cindy Burkey, Sandy Wells, Randy West, Heather Branch, Kaci Christian, Dawn Daniels Griffin, Liza Lake, Myk Price Not pictured: Russell "Alan" Lee, Ken Jeffries)

 His sister, Jacqueline “Jen” Greene, spoke eloquently and poignantly at the funeral, detailing finding Scott’s body.

“When I arrived, I happened to notice that he hadn’t made up his bed. That was Scott. He’d say, ‘Why make it up? I’m just gonna get back in it later!’ If he’d known I was going to be there, he would’ve made it up. I was always after him about that,” she laughed. 

She told of how Scott’s poor eating habits and lack of exercise, especially in the last few years, resulted in Scott’s gaining a lot of weight and contributing to his declining health.  

“He loved eating out, getting take-out and delivery, and he frequented fast food restaurants,” she added. “And believe me, it was quite the maneuver managing to get his body out of his apartment. It required lots of help and we finally got him downstairs.” 

“People have been asking if they could make a donation somewhere in Larry’s – oh, right – some of you knew him as Scott!-- in his memory,” said Jacqueline during her eulogy. “My first thought was the American Heart Association, but really, I’d rather you take care of your own heart with that money. Eat right and exercise, go for walks, and be heart healthy! But if you still want to make a donation, consider the Heart Association.” 

Scott also loved dogs and as a child, he was constantly bringing dogs home. When his dad, Allan Greene, told him, “Son, you’ve gotta quit bringing dogs home,” Scott proclaimed with innocence, “Dad, I swear! I didn’t bring him home! He followed me!” 

Donations may also be made to a dog rescue organization in Scott's name (Lawrence Scott Greene) with acknowledgment to his dad, Allan Greene (4176 Pacifico Lane, Las Vegas NV 89135). 

Scott was preceded in death by his mother, Anne Greene. He is survived by his father, Allan Greene, and Allan’s longtime partner, Beatrice Kidwell; his sister, Jacqueline “Jen” Greene; his soul mate and companion, Dr. Angela Seared; and many aunts, uncles and cousins in Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. 

The family wishes to express its sincere gratitude to all who attended the service or sent condolence cards and messages. His sister has set up a memorial website for friends and colleagues to post memories, tributes, stories and photos on www.forevermissed.com. Email messages and photos to <Lawrence-Scott-Greene@forevermissed.com>. (Kaci Christian with Sandy Wells (l) and Randy West)

The program for the service included the Lord’s Prayer and this poignant poem (Attribution is not 100% clear but it appears to be by Janice M. Fair-Salters according to http://www.muchloved.com/gateway/bereavement-poems-and-funeral-readings.htm) 

                    “I’m Free”

Don’t grieve for me for now I’m free.
I’m following the path God has chosen for me.
I took His hand when I heard him call;
I turned my back and left it all.
 

I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks undone must stay that way;
I’ve now found peace at the end of the day.
 

If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss;
Oh, yes, these things I, too, will miss.
 

Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
Look for the sunshine tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
 

Perhaps my time seems all too brief.
Don’t lengthen your pain with undue grief.
Lift up your heart, and peace to thee,
God wanted me now, He set me free.
 

Rest in peace, dear Scott. You’ll live on in our memories and in our hearts. Thank you for blessing us with your beautiful spirit. (And thanks to Kaci Christian for this report)

 

Casey “Rotting” in Norway. The LAPD has submitted the Casey Kasem elder abuse investigation to the L.A. County D.A. and it targets Casey's widow Jean, according to a story at TMZ. 

TMZ broke the story. An investigation was launched after Casey's kids filed a police report claiming Jean caused Casey to get bed sores that became infected and contributed to his death.   

The kids claim Jean was more interested in keeping their dad from them than protecting him, which is why they say she took Casey on a wild, multi-state car ride shortly before his death.  

Our law enforcement sources tell us it's unlikely the D.A. will file charges against Jean because there's not enough available evidence. The kids have been fighting for a full autopsy but Jean has resisted. 

"Casey's body is still rotting in Norway," according to a post at TMZ.com. "It has not been buried or even embalmed. The D.A. says it does not have the case yet, but our LAPD sources say it has been submitted. 

The legendary dj died last June. 

 Overheard.

LARadio Rewind: December 2, 1996. Former KMPC news director Val Clenard dies at 68 in Las Vegas, where he had lived since retiring in 1988. He was born Vincent Valentine Clenard on Valentine’s Day in 1928 in Los Angeles. In 1955, he became host of KMPC’s weeknight music program, Lucky Lager Dance Time. The program had begun in 1941 at KFAC. At its peak, it was carried by 48 radio stations in eleven states.

In 1955, Bill Gavin, a Berkeley graduate who had worked at radio stations in Seattle and San Francisco, became the program’s producer. Each station used its own announcer who would follow the scripts and the music lists supplied by Gavin. In 1958, after three years of tabulating music reports from each station, Gavin launched the Gavin Report, a weekly music tip sheet, and Clenard served as his music director. Lucky Lager Dance Time ended its run in 1960 and Clenard continued to do news on KMPC. He was promoted to news director in 1972 after the death of Hugh Brundage
.

Clenard also did news for KNXT-Channel 2 (now KCBS). He played a radio announcer in a 1970 episode of Family Affair and was heard in the 1979 movie The China Syndrome. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Hendrie Hacked. Phil Hendrie has made a career out of playing tricks on his audience by using several voices as he unfolds a story that seems almost true enough for listeners to believe it is real. Now unknown hackers have created phony Phil Hendrie accounts on Twitter and other social media, spreading lies about things like the “backstage pass” membership to his website.

Phil has filed a suit in California Superior Court in Ventura County. A report in Courthouse News Service, stated the suit says his attempt to build a subscription audio site is being threatened by impersonators trying to “humiliate, threaten and intimidate Hendrie, and with the specific intent of causing him emotional distress and damaging his commercial endeavors.” Some unknown hackers are telling Hendrie fans that the site’s been hacked and their financial information has been exposed, or that their accounts are being suspended. In some cases, the troublemakers are also throwing in sexually-oriented comments to would-be subscribers. To anybody building a social media presence – it’s a reminder of how fast things can get nightmarish.

Hendrie left the radio broadcast business earlier this year to go Internet only with his audio content.

OJ Prosecutor. Marcia Clark shot into our Zeitgeist during the OJ Simpson murder trial. She was the assistant DA who prosecuted the case. Years later Clark began a short-lived stint as a Talk show host on KFI. She has just written her fourth novel, The Competitors, which involves a mass shooting at a high school.

Time Magazine in a recent Q&A asked Marcia if she could go back 20 years, what she would say now to that Marcia Clark. “I would say that you’ll have a better perspective on this later. At the time, I couldn’t see the degree to which justice could be subverted by fame and the way that fame impacts everybody: the judge, the lawyers, the witnesses. It was inexplicable to me. I’d tell younger Marcia that this will make more sense – not good sense, but more sense – later.”

Hear Ache. Bo Woods, former K-EARTH jock is thrilled about the move to Bryan-College Station, Texas. “I’ve been in Prescott, Arizona for six or so years. It's a great programming opportunity on the #1 Country station in a University town, Texas A&M,” emailed Bo.

The Line. There’s a new game show debuting on the Game Show Network (GSN) that features KFSH’s Mary Price as the announcer. “It’s called The Line and mine will be the voice you hear when the contestants make it into ‘The Vault,’ emailed Mary.” It debuts on GSN December 23.

Shot on location in Nashville, according to the press release, The Line is a unique game show offering everyday people the chance to win cash and prizes for doing something that often can be stress-inducing, especially during the holidays: standing in line. Though the ultimate goal is to get to the “Trivia Vault” at the front of the line, where each contestant attempts to win a jackpot by answering eight true or false questions, many will have an opportunity to play and win just by standing in line.

Funnie. After a long night of making love, the guy notices a photo of a man on the woman's nightstand by the bed. He begins to worry. ‘Is this your husband?' he nervously asks. 'No, silly,' she replies, snuggling up to him.

'Your boyfriend, then?’ he continues. 'No, not at all,’ she says, nibbling at his ear. 'Is it your dad or brother?’ he inquires, hoping to be reassured. ‘No, no, no! You are so hot when you're jealous!’ she answers. 'Well, who and the hell is he then?' he demands. She whispers in his ear, 'that's me before the surgery.' (David Swain of Burbank)

Email Tuesday

We GET Email …

** Roybots

“Whoa, John Rich. Get a hold of reality! Don does a great service to the medium more American’s spend time listening too than any other! Liberal? That’s a town in Kansas. Bias? Name me an organization that isn’t. Don doesn’t need me to defend him; his well storied history of writing and publishing LARadio.com speaks VOLUMES.

John, a sincere, Merry CHRISTmas.” – Christopher Carmichael

** Hey Leftie

“Somehow I have never managed to catch a glimpse of your ‘extreme liberal bias’ as John Rich has, Don, but were that to be a fact I’d be among the first to welcome you to the club.” – Ed Pyle, Flagstaff

** Masters Reaction

“I am somewhat bemused by John Rich’s reaction to your Roy Masters piece. It seems typical of many of our goose-stepping extreme right-wing types who cannot tolerate any opinion other than their own, while lacing their responses with personal attacks. 

You have always been quite open about your own ‘quirky’ family history, Don, in very revealing manner – obviously missed or ignored by Mr. Rich. Also, what does the U.S. Constitution have to do with an article about Roy Masters?  That one I must have missed – although I do feel the framers of said Constitution would have been much more tolerant of opinionated dissent, than much of the right-wing constituency ranting and screaming about the ‘liberal media’ these days. 

And just who comprises this ‘liberal media.’ Perhaps Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Dennis Prager, Alex Jones, Bill Cunningham, Herman Cain, Bill Bennett, Michael Medved, Glenn Beck, John Batchelor, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Mike Gallagher, Hugh Hewitt, Brian Kilmeade, John Gibson, Fox News (TV), and the USA/IRN Radio Network are too ‘liberal’ for Mr. Rich’s tastes?” – Greg Hardison

** Radio-Related Articles

“When Rush Limbaugh was under attack for his comments about Sandra Fluke and lots of national advertisers distanced themselves from him, several publications printed puff pieces about how great Rush was, and LA Radio and that alleged dirt-throwing mis-characterizer of the right - Don Barrett - forwarded a great many of them to his list of subscribers.

But I never thought it was because Barrett was trying to slander the left or twist some facts; it was because the articles were on-point about a newsworthy radio subject. Their glowing description of El Rushbo wasn't relevant to their being forwarded; the fact they were being published - especially at that time - was.

So when John Rich found liberal bias here because Barrett forwarded an article about the collapse of TRN, it makes me wonder why he's even reading LARadio. He admitted to not reading the Masters piece in-depth. Perhaps he's reading LARadio the same way, and hasn't yet figured out that this place is all about radio: how the public sees it and what's written about it. This isn't Newsmax, the Drudge Report or Red State. So instead of attacking Don Barrett for being a rabid leftist, John Rich should work on his reading skills and comprehension. Actually reading something all the way through before you get on the soapbox would be a good way to start.” – Jerry Trowbridge

** Bias in Masters Story"

"So, how's it feel to be a part of that non-objective, liberal media?" -  J.J. Johnson

** Masters Perspective

“Thank you so very much for running the article about Roy and Mark Masters. It was quite informative.

As a political moderate (at least on most issues), I strongly dislike extremists, both on the right and the left. That is one reason why I seldom listen to talk radio, except for some sports talk programs and intellectual discussions on NPR.  I listen mainly to news [on KNX, KPCC and KCRW], music [on KUSC, K-JAZZ, and various Internet a stations, including RichBroRadio, and SiriusXM radio], and specific sports events.

Have a wonderful Holiday season.  And best wishes for the ensuing year.” – Carl Spring, West Los Angeles

** Bo Knows

“Nice to see that Bo Woods making a move. Bo is a good guy. Met him on a book tour for my western novel Lancer; Hero of the West-The Prescott Affair, where he interviewed me. It was supposed to be a 90 second interview. We did four minutes and he asked if I could stick around and do more. I did. It was at KNOT in Prescott, AZ, earlier this year, where Bo has been and which was the very first station I ever worked at in the 70's.” – Bob Brill 


Morning Has Broken With a Decidedly Hispanic Flavor

(December 1, 2014) The November 2014 morning drive numbers and personalities have certainly shown a shift in demographics, with some categories showing three of the Top 5 morning programs hosted by Spanish-speaking personalities.

Here are the Top 5 morning shows for November ’14: 

Persons 12+

1. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
2.
Bill Handel (KFI)
3.
Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
4.
Valentine (MY/fm)
5.
El Genio Lucas (KLYY)
(5t)
Dick Helton & Vicky Moore (KNX)

Persons 18-34

1. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
2.
Big Boy (KPWR)
3.
Don Cheto (KBUE)
4.
Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
5.
“El Bueno, La Mala y El Feo” (KSCA)

Person 25-54

1. Don Cheto (KBUE)
2.
Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
3.
Kevin & Bean (KROQ)
4.
El Genio Lucas (KLYY)
5.
Omar y Argelia (KLVE)

Bubblin' Under. There were so many LARPs who were nominated as Best On- and Off-Air radio people who didn't make the Top 10 but are being recognized as tied for 11th and bubblin' under the Top 10.

On-Air:

(Barbara Brooks,Mike Sakellarides, Dick Helton, Vicky Moore, George Noory, and Sisanie)

Barbara Brooks (traffic reporter for KNX)

Mike Sakellarides (weekends and fill-in at KTWV)

Dick Helton & Vicky Moore (morning news anchors at KNX)

George Noory (host of Coast to Coast, KFI)

Sisanie (middays at KIIS/fm)

Off-Air:

(Nemika Trotter, Mike Salas, Marko Radlovic, Ron Shapiro, and Drew Hayes)

Nemika Trotter (promotion director at iHeartMedia)

Mike Salas (CBS/LA marketing)

Marko Radlovic (general manager KLOS/KABC)

Ron Shapiro (former pd at HOT 92.3)

Drew Hayes (pd at KABC)

LARadio Rewind: December 1, 2012. Air 1, a full-time contemporary Christian music format produced by Educational Media Foundation, begins airing on KLSN in Adelanto, KLSI in Thousand Oaks and KLST in Fountain Valley. The stations, each at 92.7 fm, would change call letters to KYZA, KYRA and KYLA, respectively. They previously had simulcast a variety hits format as “Playlist 92.7.” From 2007 to 2012, the stations were adult contemporary KAJL, KHJL and KJLL and were known collectively as “JILL/fm.” The Air 1 network began in 1986 with KLRD “K-Lord” in Yucaipa, and is now heard on 221 radio stations and translators nationwide.  Air 1 plays “Positive Hits” by such artists as Chris Tomlin, Jeremy Camp, Jamie Grace, Lincoln Brewster, Abandon, Newsboys, Switchfoot, Third Day, TobyMac, MercyMe, Casting Crowns, Audio Adrenaline and Group 1 Crew. Eric Allen and Mandy Young host the morning show.

Batter Up. In 2009, former KABC Talk show host Regis Philbin gained some respect for those who make a craft of pitching when he threw out the first pitch at a Florida Marlins game.

Regis told David Letterman it was intimidating because “you’re all alone out there and there he is – 66 feet away – and I got it down there. But I wanted to throw a bullet because that’s the kind of guy I am.”

Philbin said his pitch almost hit the ground, but it didn’t. “It got all the way there.” Letterman wondered why he was whining if it didn’t bounce?

“I want what I do best: Fire the bullet in there.” He said it was nerve-racking because, “The loneliness of standing out there on the mound is psychologically a killer.”

Overheard.

Hear Ache. Bo Woods, former K-EARTH personality is joining Country KORA in Bryan-College Station, Texas as program director and morning personality … There are 587 series with regular roles on scripted network prime-time tv. In a recent season, only six of the roles were filled by actors with disabilities, one was portrayed by former KNX/fm personality Robert David HallMike Lundy’s sister sent a disturbing email over the holiday weekend. “Mike still in the hospital as docs search for source and cure for recurring and debilitating pain in right rib cage.”

14 Reasons to be Grateful to Live In LA. Valerie Geller saw a post in Huffington Post over the weekend that listed the 14 things to be grateful for living in Los Angeles. Under the caption of the photo on the left: "I'm grateful for the rich radio news and political landscape in LA that I can listen to while driving around. From KCRW to KPCC to KPFK to KFI to KNX to KABC and more, I can always get the fix that a news-politics-opinion junkie like myself craves." --Matt Ferner

Read all 14 by clicking the artwork

Funnie. Vasectomy Top Ten by Irv Ivers, 5.22.73

Love Is a Hurting Thing

Needles and Pins

Hurt So Bad

Witch Doctor

The Big Hurt

You Always Hurt the One You Love

Mack the Knife

Great Balls of Fire

Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag

It Hurts to Be in Love

Email Monday

We GET Email …

** Mark and Roy Masters

“I didn’t read in-depth the trash article you forwarded about the Masters family, it didn’t deserve actual reading.  

Don, you aren’t fooling us, many of the people I have talked to that look at your website for the useful news in the radio industry are aware of your extreme liberal bias, and your taking every opportunistic chance you find to throw dirt at and mischaracterize the conservative media.

So the Masters family history is ‘quirky,’ many are, possibly yours. That history has no connection to comments about what is happening in today’s politics and society by conservative talk radio hosts. To try to draw a connection is laughable.

We know you can’t resist joining the liberal media when you get a chance to sling mud at the conservative movement with the liberal twisting of facts and rewriting of history. Seriously consider this, stick to only the industry news, and, maybe actually read the U.S. constitution some time. 

Look at the results of the last election and you will see that your liberal bias is actually the extreme fringe and is overshadowed by the conservative general population.” – John Rich

** More Masters Reaction

 “It is an interesting article but gets lost in trying to go after Roy Masters and typos.” – Pablo Pappano

** Great at Eight(y)

“It was great seeing that Don Graham is still lookin’ good at 80! I've known him for a very long time and have always liked him a lot. Wish I coulda made the gathering. Saw a lot of old friends in the photos.

Please give that other Don my best when you see him again.” – J.J. Johnson

** Judge Judy Look-a-Like

“I continue to enjoy reading your column keeping me updated about radio, et al. Here’s what hit me as a ‘mmmmm’ moment. I was going through the list of various radio talents in the B section in Where Are They Now and came across Rona Barrett. The photo you have of her makes me wonder if she and Judge Judy are related.” – Ken Munroe  

** Billo’s Website

“I'm still here hosting Bill Balance’s original website after twelve plus years. I’m going to update the audio to be more cross browser compliant over the next few months. I still converse with his son Jimmy in Altadena. I know in some circles Billo was a bit controversial, but in a way, that is what made him such a great on air personality.  You can still hear elements of the ‘Feminine Forum’ at http://www.billballance.com. Your LARadio.com banner is still a live link.” – Bob Jones

 ** New KNX PD

CBS/LA market chief Dan Kearney is still interviewing for the vacant KNX programming slot. ‘Taking my time,’ said Dan.

Is it possible that perhaps Dan cannot find someone half as good as the pd he fired? Hmm.” - Bill Mann, South Pasadena 


Send mail to db@thevine.net with questions or comments about this website
LARadio copyright 1997-2015
Last modified: July 14, 2015