The most comprehensive listing of 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People, spanning the last 62 years, is now available just by clicking on your favorite personality. 
The listings provide a colorful snapshot of where they came from, where and when they worked, and what they’re doing now. 


(Ted Sobel,  Chris Leary, Doug Dunlap, and Rick Scarry) 

Music, Music, Music 

(November 15, 2018) Living on the Central California Coast provides some challenges when it comes to seeing concerts. We get our share of cover bands, Bill Haley, Jr. and His Comets recently appeared at the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande (near San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach). The audience was made up of old white hairs like me, but we were all ready to Rock Around the Clock.

Haley the rock star led a jam-packed life into his 55 years. His son, Bill Jr. was the second of 10 children and was part of a dysfunctional family, including his mother, and and two subsequent step-mothers. Bill was a hopeless alcoholic who wreaked havoc through much of his life and the people who populated his world, but still left an indelible mark on the early beginnings of rock ‘n roll.

Bill’s son was very candid about his father’s life as he parceled pieces of the Rock legends’ life in between live performances of Rock Around the ClockSee You Later, AlligatorShake, Rattle and RollRocket 88Crazy Man CrazySkinny Minnie, and Razzle Dazzle. During his lifetime, Bill Sr. sold over 50 million records.

The best story Bill Jr. told was how Rock Around the Clock made its way into the iconic juvenile delinquent film, Blackboard Jungle. Richard Brooks was an excellent director who helmed Rock Around the Clock onto the movie’s soundtrack. Some of his later films included Looking for Mr. Goodbar, In Cold Blood, Sweet Bird of Youth, Elmer Gantry, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

As Brooks was looking to make his mark in the mid-50s with Blackboard Jungle, he was having a post-production dinner with the star of the film (and Santa Monica High School graduate) Glenn Ford. Brooks was talking about finding a song to open the film (over the credits) that would set the mood for something edgy, unique, and provocative. Glenn invited him into his teen son’s room where Peter Ford was just discovering rock ‘n roll. Peter had already flipped Haley’s first Decca release, 13 Women, a novelty r&b tale about an H-bomb explosion that leaves just fourteen people alive, one man and thirteen women. But Ford’s son loved the B-side and so did Richard Brooks.

Eight months after Bill Haley released 13 Women, the flip side became the signature song to help usher in a new form of music.

Rock Around The Clock was the true catalyst that brought Rock and Roll into the mainstream culture,” emailed Brian “Mr. Rock ‘n’Roll” Beirne, the 29-year veteran of Oldies K-EARTH. “It was the first rock ‘n roll song to hit #1 on the Billboard charts. The success in the US led the song to becoming #1 the world over. I was 19 the first time I worked with Bill Haley & His Comets. I had just moved into a one bedroom apt the day before and my refrigerator was stocked with beer. I invited everyone over, and pretty soon Haley & The Comets were playing in my apartment. It took about two hours before the police were called and I of course was evicted the next day, but what a thrilling night."

If the song was before your time, click the artwork.  
Now a tale about another rocker. A much more contemporary artist – Tom Petty – is the subject of a new book by Jon Scott. It is a hellava read as Jon takes us back to the time when Petty was about to be dropped by his record label, ABC Records. Through many serendipitous moments, Jon appeared at the right time to help get Tom's first album played on the radio and changed the careers of both men. Tom's first album had been out for eight months when Jon arrived on the scene. The rest is history! You’ll come across a number of LARP mentions.

Some of the personalities who also played a role in Petty’s iconic place in Rock history: The Real Don SteeleSky DanielsCharlie Kendall, Jim LaddSam BellamyLee AbramsMary TurnerJack SnyderSteve ResnickMark Felsot and Larry Woodside. Jon will autograph the book, go to

Another LARP Loses His Home in Fire

(November 14, 2018) “I'm so sorry that Joel Denver's home is one of the many, many that were lost in the inferno of the Woolsey firestorm,” wrote Mary Beth Garber, former president of the Southern California Broadcasters Association. She lives in Malibu. “I am so very grateful to the 10 brave people who, armed with fire hoses, used the fire hydrants in our 68-unit complex to keep it whole while the structures on either side and many behind us burned to the ground (l). I am so anxious, yet hesitant to be able to get back in to see what has happened. It sounds as if our area on PCH has been devastated.” When Mary Beth was evacuated, fellow LARP Terry Saidel was in a clear area, so he took in Mary Beth her dog, Ernie. “We are so grateful to him! My son, Greg and his family were evacuated from their home in West Hills, which is still standing and is whole. I hope all other LARP are safe and sound and still have homes to go back to.”

Entercom Senior Account Executive George Karthan and his family have also lost their home and possessions in the Woosley fire (r). He, his wife, and two small children are safe, but they face a long road of rebuilding and recovery. His friends at Entercom have set up a GoFundMe account. You can help!

In other news: Local endorsement in radio pays. For the past 20 years, Lars Larson has been doing spots for Sleep Number Beds. Lars is based in Portland and syndicated. We met him when Saul Levine turned his 1260AM into Talk radio, when Lars worked middays. “Today, my wife Tina (Sleep Number 35) and I (Sleep Number 65) mark exactly 20 years of taking our night’s rest on a Sleep Number Bed,” Lars told Radio Ink. “I have been doing live read radio ads for the company on my national and Northwest regional radio shows for that long. As many of you know, they don’t keep me on as a Sleep Number endorser because of my charming personality. They want and deserve results, and for two decades they have been getting results from my stories about the superiority of Sleep Number Beds. When I do live remotes, several dozen times a year, listeners kid me about my Sleep Number and they ask, ‘Do you really sleep on that bed?’ and I tell them that, unless I’m on the road in a hotel, I do. That’s the secret of successful endorsements."

Retiring Soul. After more than 55 years in broadcasting, Joe Collins ends an eclectic career tomorrow. “I’ve had the pleasure to get to be a part of Art Laboe’s KOKO 94.3 in Fresno for the past 7-and-1/2 years. It’s time to take a break, do some more traveling and run my advertising agency from my home in Fresno. I’m truly grateful for this and many other opportunities I’ve had over these years since 1964. I'm grateful for all who I’ve encountered along the way.”

Joe and I worked together in 1965 at KNEZ-Lompoc. A very dedicated and talented broadcaster.

Southern California Inferno 

(November 13, 2018) Unless you have been in or near one of our fires, it is tough to comprehend the power and ultimate devastation mother nature yields. I remember an occasion when I was on our roof with a water hose, extinguishing flying embers. The fire never made it to my house but in 1994, half our house came down in an earthquake. People moving in. People moving out. Just a ball of confusion.

This current Woolsey Fire has hit home (pun intended) to many LARP. Tragically, one of those structures lost to the Woolsey Fire is the longtime Malibu home of Joel Denver, president of All Access. "Sadly, my fiancee Kym and I lost our home in Latigo Canyon in the fire on Friday. It was my home for 31 amazing years. We evacuated grabbing our pets, some belongings and very little else, so we are in rebuild mode. Our heartfelt thanks to the many friends and clients who have reached out with words of support and kindness -- it has truly buoyed our spirits. We are planning to rebuild,” wrote Joel.

His nearby Malibu offices were untouched by the fire. However, until the roads are opened, AllAccess employees are working from home to keep active with news of the radio and record business. “No one can reach the offices as roads are still closed due to the on-going fire danger and gusty winds. Services like power and connectivity have not been restored and may not be back until the end of the week,” said Denver.

KNX’s Claudia Peschiutta retweeted a pertinent message: “I just want to say thank you to all the journalists who put themselves in harm’s way, work long hours and put their own needs and concerns aside to keep the public informed. #journalismmatters” … Former KNX program director Andy Ludlum had to evacuate and move in with his daughter … Frank Kramer, part of Frosty, Heidi & Frank morning show at KLOS, lost his home in the fire. He tweeted: “Trying to grasp the situation this morning. I lost everything yesterday when my home was destroyed in the Woolsey Fire. My family is safe and that is all that matters. Things keeping popping in my head that I left behind, but we will build from our ashes. Thanks for the love.”
KABC afternooner Jillian Barberie journals on Twitter her recovery from breast cancer. “Day 3 after surgery and I’m feeling good. I wish I could sleep on my stomach though. I’m getting up on my own to use bathroom. Still light headed. Shots for pain ended last night so we will see how I do.”

KFSH evening host Delilah was inducted into the 2018 Adoption Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in Washington, DC, last week. The Adoption Hall of Fame Award is given by the National Council for Adoption in recognition of outstanding commitment, service, and sacrifice for the cause of adoption by an individual or organization who has positively impacted the practice of adoption. A mother of 13 children, 10 of whom were adopted, Delilah was honored for her decades-long commitment to children in need of a family, and for using her national radio platform and her non-profit organization Point Hope to celebrate adoption and raise awareness of children waiting to be adopted from the U.S. foster care system.

Hear Ache. Sam Farmer writes a regular NFL column in the LA Times. He answers questions about the NFL. Last Sunday Farmer volunteered, “When it comes to play-by-play announcers, nobody tops NBC’s Al Michaels.” … Lori Kelman has joined KABC as a weekend news anchor … KROQ’s Bean paid tribute to Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee: “Wow, very few people created more entertainment for the world than Stan. We will really miss his visits to the @KevinAndBean Show too.”

Brian Whitman & Jennifer Horn Anchor Growing Mornings at KRLA (870AM)

(November 12, 2018) While much of the Talk Radio obsession in Los Angeles has centered on the continued success of KFI and the freefall of KABC, in the middle of the dial, Salem’s KRLA (870AM) quietly marches forward. The station offers a combined sound of a feisty local morning show and some of the leading syndicated conservative Talkers throughout the day, including a brand-new show.

And KRLA is making waves. In the October ’18 PPM 12+, "KRLA is now four times greater in audience than KABC. Astute followers might think comparing any numbers with KABC is a fallacy, but KRLA had a 1.7 share compared to KABC’s O.4. This has been a long time coming,” declared Phil Boyce, the man behind the Spoken Word stations at Salem.

Boyce comes with supporting credentials. In 1995, he joined WABC-New York as program director, putting together the successful team of Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby. It was also Boyce who brought Sean Hannity to New York from Atlanta. For all of his success, Phil was promoted to vp of programming for ABC Radio’s News/Talk stations, while continuing to run WABC. In 2012, Phil took over a similar role at Salem Communications as VP and Director, Spoken Word Format. He’s been awarded industry accolades from Radio Ink and Radio and Records as Programmer of the Year.

His challenge in L.A. was formidable. “We knew we had to do something to give the station an identity,” said Boyce. He re-branded the station as “The Answer” to give it that identity. “We wanted to be the answer for anything on their minds. At that time, KABC had a solid line-up, with Sean Hannity, Larry Elder and Mark Levin. After about a year, they decided to let those three go. I picked up Larry and Mark, and Sean went across town. Today, Mark is beating his old station by 4 times, and so is Larry. It rarely happens like that, but it did in this case.”
Finding a morning combination of personalities has been tough. Parading in and out of the Burbank headquarters have been a diverse collection of Talkers. But the one constant presence is talented talker / comedian / host Brian Whitman. He’s another talent that KABC allowed to get away.

“We feel Brian Whitman has true star power, and last year we paired him with Jennifer Horn. The two instantly developed that elusive ‘chemistry, camaraderie, and rapport.’ We call it CCR, but it is crucial to making a team show work. They sound great together,” Phil said modestly. “Brian was always the glue holding the show together. Jennifer adds conservative fire power. She’s smart, funny, and really understands how to relate to the Southern California conservative listener. We’ve doubled our share since she joined Brian and we re-created The Morning Answer.” 

The mid-term political angst is over. I asked Phil if he was making any adjustments. “Not really. We know we are located in a liberal state and city. But we also know there are a lot of conservative listeners. We don’t need to have everybody listening to us, just those who love what we do. Our audience base looks to us as the bastion of freedom and democracy.  We will stay true to the mission.”

Phil is always on the look-out for new talent. He recently found Dr. Sebastian Gorka, who will host the noon-3 p.m. hours come the first of the year. The timing coincides with Michael Medved moving on to a podcast. “Dr. Gorka has an amazing story. His father was a freedom fighter and thrown in prison in Communist Hungary in 1956. He escaped, and built a family, with Sebastian learning about freedom and democracy from an early age. He is a naturalized US Citizen with a doctorate in political science. He is a Fox News contributor. He will be a great talk show host. Imagine Brian & Jen, Prager, Gorka, Levin, and Elder. With Mike Gallagher at night. Now THAT is a strong lineup. You are always striving to get better,” concluded Boyce. (photo: Phil Boyce)

Sunday Nostalgia - 20 Years Ago Today

Hear Ache

(November 11, 1998) KABC has a Christmas present for Michael Jackson. That is when the station will let him out of his contract that calls for a 90-day moratorium before he can appear on another station, according to a highly placed ABC source. It just so happens to be when the Fall book is over. So KRLA will launch its new syndicated Talk format on November 30 and will have to wait almost a month before their only local star will appear. Word is there will be a rotating array of Hollywood personalities parading through the nine to noon slot until Jackson arrives. Whotta’ tough break for CBS…Former KNX sports reporter from 1985-92 and currently doing sports commentary on KFWB at 8:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., Keith Olbermann, will reunite with Chris Myers to host the nightly sports roundup show on Fox Sports Net. As host of Fox Sports Net Primetime, Keith and Chris will go head to head with ESPN’s mainstay, Sports Center. Keith has been with MSNBC for the past year following a tumultuous stay at ESPN … Raechel Donahue interviews Lenny Since I Fell For You Welsh this afternoon at the Museum of TV & Radio. You are invited to watch the taping … New Times Los Angeles has a cover story by Ron Russell titled "One Angry Dyke." Read about Tammy Bruce and her high-profile firing from KFI …Steve Hochman, writing in the Los Angeles Times, hears a softer, gentler Dr. Laura Schlessinger. "Thank you, Bill Ballance. Ever since losing the battle to have the photos banned, Dr. Laura has seemed a bit more sympathetic and understanding of the foibles and misjudgments of her troubled callers – and therefore much more listenable," Steve writes… A joke now circulating on the Net swears that Dr. Laura is now insisting that her listeners practice only 9 Commandments. Her syndicated newspaper column this week includes the statement she made to her radio listeners.

In other News:
Former KNX/FM personality and now actor, David Hall and KFI’s Bill Handel used to sell stereos together after they finished college!...Today and tomorrow Joe Benson’s 1957 Corvette and Uncle Joe's Super Comp Dragster will be competing in the NHRA Winston Finals Drag Race at the Fairplex in Pomona. The "Arrow 93"crew will be there today … Tomorrow at noon ALL the KROQ djs, Kevin & Bean, Tami Heide, Richard Blade, Jed The Fish, Doug The Slug, Adam Corolla & Dr. Drew, Christy Carter, Web Fingers [formerly of San Francisco's Live 105], "Native" Wayne Jobson, Jimmy "The Sports Guy" Jimmy Kimmel, "Big" Tad Newcomb, "Lightning" Jay Tilles, Rodney Bingenheimer and Scott Mason will be signing copies of the 1999 KROQ Calendar at the Blockbuster Music store in Huntington Beach. The band Zebrahead will also have a free concert to coincide with the calendar signing … Don Imus’ Andy Rooney character lambasted our KLAC gm once again for what he said in the LA Times. Judith Michaelson wrote in the Times that Ed Krampf, vp of KLAC said, "I’ve been trying to get Imus off the air since I got here last year." Imus has been having fun with Ed …  KZLA is giving away tickets to a private Garth Brooks television Special broadcast … You might be a dj if you measure your amount of production in "shitloads" or you can post the down the a full blown "number 2" and be back in 2:40 for the segue … Have you checked the results of your voting for top Los Angeles Radio People durin the past 40 years? The list was updated this morning and you will find a couple of new names on the list. If you haven’t voted, now is the time. Click The Top 10 Personalities link at the bottom of this page … Marko Radlovic has been upped to gm at "Mega 100," KCMG…6th Annual KKBT Holiday Cool Down is coming… Here's a reminder to all local on-air radio talent from Gary Lycan at the OC Register. The Sunday Show section of the OC paper devotes 3 full pages to radio, including listings. So, if you've got a show, a time change, or a new listing, he'd like to know
… Movie tickets are still a great giveaway. Gary Spears at KIIS is giving tickets to an advance screening of Enemy of the State with Gene Hackman and Will Smith. KACE’s Gillian was giving tickets to the Danny DeVito film, Living Out Loud.
Rod Lurie’s movie-oriented Talk show at KABC has moved to Saturdays at 10 a.m. Rod has just directed his first feature film. It is called Deterrence and stars Tim Hutton and Kevin Pollak. It is a political thriller about Presidential decision-making. Rod has a fascinating background: "I am a seventh generation Israeli, though we came here when I was five years old. My father was brought over to be the cartoonist for Life Magazine. He is listed in the Guinness book as the Number one political cartoonist in the world." Rod grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and Honolulu and studied at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in 1984 with a political science degree. "I was the commander of a combat arms air defense unit for a few years," Rod said. He was an entertainment reporter for the New York Daily News and Premiere magazine and moved to L.A. to become the film critic for Los Angeles Magazine. In 1995, his first book, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, was published, the same year he started at KMPC. Rod directed a short film about Bob Woodward called 4 Second Delay, which won the Deauville and Atlanta Film festivals and is now eligible for an Oscar nomination. Rod is in post-production on his film, Deterrence. He will have a screening print by the end of the month … Frank Sontag is one busy guy at KLOS. In addition to working mornings on KLOS with Mark & Brian, he hosts two weekend Talk programs, Sunday morning from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. and Sunday night/Monday morning Midnight to 5 a.m. Frank emailed: "I am about to start my 12th year hosting both shows and I would like to think very few people are doing the type of radio I'm providing for Los Angeles." Frank does do a very unusual Talk show. If you haven’t listened yet, this is the weekend to start ... I will be appearing on "Radio AM/FM Live" this Sunday night at 7 on KIEV with Alicia Flannery and Dick Heatherton.

Email Saturday, 11.10.2018

** Fight at KABC

“Yesterday was a life-changing event for Jillian Barberie, so I hope this will give her some cheer when she reads it. Cancer picked on the wrong person when it called on Jillian. Not only is she a fierce advocate for womens' issues, she knows how to focus on what is important. She got the surgery, she'll deal with the after-treatment, she'll educate her listeners about the smart choices she made -- and she'll do it with humor and passion!

Come back with great stories, Jillian, we love you! It shocks me that for the last few ratings books, KABC has been in the basement. As you have said, Don, promotion is essential for any station's lifeblood and, actually, KABC has some wonderful talent to promote. The Monday through Friday lineup of Doug McIntyre and Leeann Tweeden, Peter Tilden, Dr. Drew and Lauren Sivan, Jillian and John Phillips could not be better. Each show is a joy of info, laughs, and energetic hosts.

And the KNBC News at 6 is a public service for commuters. But then KABC falls off the cliff into paid programming from right-wing nut jobs, bores, and scam artists. A healthy station wouldn't choose to fill its slots with this garbage which, I'm convinced, drives away potential listeners. If KABC can't afford original programming, why not fill the off hours and weekends with replays of their superstars?

Thank you, Don, for keeping radio on our minds, in our ears, and part of our hearts.” - Dawna Kaufmann, Los Angeles

** Jillian Fan

“Good luck to Jillian Barberie. I'm a big fan of her work. We're safe and hoping the winds don't shift. Unlikely, but we're thinking of my pals in Westlake, Thousand Oaks. Very scary day.” – Ed Mann

** Worked With Parker

“I read with sadness of Mike Parker’s passing. Mike and I were fellow field reporters in the early 1970s. It is the mark of a good reporter to be able to take on any subject, ask bold questions of representatives of all sides of the story and then report it dispassionately. Mike was such a reporter. On top of that, he was a good guy and I am glad to have known and worked with him.” - Steve (Fredericks) Liddick, former K-Earth News Director

** Peek at Parker

“In 1965, my mother took me to the then-brand-new Occidental Tower in DTLA. Many floors were not even finished. But at the very top floor were the studios for KUTE/fm, then a Beautiful Music station with minimal ‘jocking.’ The air talent came out, gave my mother and I a VIP tour of the brand-new state of the art KUTE studios. The air talent? Mike Parker.” - Bill Earl,

** Followed Parker

"As a child I remember Mike Parker. He was one of the few newscasters to sport a beard when he was teamed up with Connie Chung on KNXT/Channel 2 for a while. I remember his booming voice with, 'the Channel 2 News at 4:30 is next.'

In early 1980, he was gone and I wondered what happened. In 1983, my family took a cross country vacation from Los Angeles to Chicago [where my parents are from]. This was the flip of National Lampoon’s Vacation, which released that year. When we turned on WBBM-TV Channel 2 [the CBS affiliate in the Windy City], there was Mike Parker. 

Four years later, we took the train to Chicago and Parker again was reporting from somewhere downtown, this time with a mustache only. He will be missed." - Josh “JJ” Jacobs, KKLA

** Mary Beth Garber on NY Times

“Bravo to Larry Elder and Bruce Barker for biting back at the sanctimoniously left leaning NY Times article. If their news reporting was any farther left, it would fall over on itself. Whatever happened to unbiased reporting? What about triple checked facts and never opinion except on the Opinion page? I am so tired of their one-side, lopsided, kaleidoscope view of reality that I don’t even open their email alerts and news roundups anymore. I have unsubscribed to most of them. They still do some interested human interest stories – but as this one proved, even those aren’t based on good researching, let alone good reporting.

It is a sad day for journalism on all platforms when the only news source that comes close to ‘the facts and nothing but the facts’ reporting is the Wall Street Journal.” - Mary Beth Garber  

** Ball Game With McCovey Was Treat

“I was very sorry to read that Jillian Barberie has breast cancer. We watched her with Steve Edwards on FOX11 before she got fired. 

I was also sorry to hear of the passing of Willie McCovey (SF Giants). One night when I had been over-served at a Union Street pub, I went home to find that I couldn't find my keys. Very late at night I broke the window so I could get in. Minutes later Willie came down the stairs from his place, baseball bat in hand, demanding to know who was breaking in to Jack's house. I had not previously met Willie so that was the start of a friendship that lasted for 40 years.

Going to a Giants ball game with Willie was a treat. Willie had his own box with room for three or four. A great guy who had a wonderful career but health problems towards the end.” – Jack Hayes

** Funnies

“I always look forward to the cartoon at the top of your column. Most of them bring a smile to my face. So, what did I see as I clicked on this morning? A Mancow on XTRA Sports 570 billboard! Was it really necessary to rub salt in an old wound? Please make me laugh again with tomorrow’s cartoon! Still feeling the pain.” – Bob Scott

** Dial Position

“I continue to enjoy your production. Is there any possibility that your Top 40 ratings could include their places on the dial? I continue looking at the ratings month after month, not knowing where I could possibly find them on the dial. I am very happy that you continue to be involved with us, the radio community.” - Margie Cherry

** Sirkin Keeping Up With KNX Buddies

"Greetings from Old Lyme, Ct. on Long Island Sound. Been living here for past nine years.

I continue reading LARadio each day, keeping up with some of my old friends and KNX colleagues like Chris Madsen, Ed Pyle, Frank Mottek, and Roger Carroll. Also, Larry Van Nuys who was one of the best talents and persons I've ever worked with.

Connecticut Radio, on which I cut my teeth at age 16, is a mere shadow of its old, great sound and substance. I listen only to NY Radio: WOR and WCBS News88. Even those once great station's have undergone massive changes. I grew up with WNEW, the greatest of them all!

Just wanted to say hello and thank you for maintaining your iconic website. I sure do miss the daily action, especially during these monumental times." - Bob Sirkin, Old Lyme, CT.

** In the Air, Everywhere

“Thank you for the KABL recollections last week. The KABL radio you describe is still legendary in Bay Area memories and Bill Moen’s voice is part of it.” – Anita Garner

** Voting Sticker

“Great idea showing all the LARP's that voted. My place didn’t have a sticker those cheap bastards!” – Mike Butts, Boston

** Ratings

“As always, thanks for getting the ratings out to us. Wow: KFI, KNX, KABC … so sad … and SO correctable with the right folks in command. Still though, L.A.'s a great market largely due to those in the trenches who've got the drive, desire, and talent to keep things afloat. Huge congratulations to Saul Levine. He and his staff keep on comin' on. Kudos to you all, great market!!” - Alan F. Ross

Flash! Bohemian Rhapsody Is a Smash 

(November 9, 2018) Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic about Freddy Mercury, has been killing it at the box-office. The legendary six-minute single by Queen, is what many call the greatest song ever written, according to Business Insider. I have on my concert resume the Freddy Mercury concert at the Forum in the late 1970s at #1. I still get goose bumps as my son and I watched Mercury prance and strut all over that stage.

Bohemian Rhapsody was voted The Song of the Millennium in 2000, and recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the No. 1 song of all time,” according to Business Insider.

Many people have forgotten that Freddy’s first soundtrack album was for the 1980s Flash Gordon. I had just joined the marketing department at Universal Pictures. The movie was already in release when I arrived and you can tell how a film opened by the faces of the men and women who work so hard. We are either savoring a great opening or dwelling on what we could have done differently.

He save with a mighty hand, every man, every woman, every child, with a mighty flash. The Hollywood Reporter was not kind to Flash Gordon: “Queen supplies a rock score that is, to put it kindly, anachronistic.”

The music and film had an afterlife as it became a mild cult favorite. When it was suggested that Freddie Mercury and Queen do the music, film producer Dino De Laurentiis said, “Ok, I’ll meet with the Queen.” He had no idea who they were.  

In other news: K-SURF is adding the Dick Clark Show – Rock and Roll and Remember - to its schedule of 50s/60s Oldies. The show is set for Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon, beginning November 18 … Bill Lewis, former marketing guru at Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) from 1986-2002, checked in. When he left radio, he joined the Aquarium of the Pacific, Olson Homes and since 2008, the director of Solar sales and marketing at Cal South. “Currently I am the marketing specialist for Sunrun in Orange County, Inland Empire and San Diego.  Any LARP interested in knowing more about solar and saving the planet, shoot me a note at" ... Doc Wynter (KHHT, 2015-17) is the Radio Facts Power Play List magazine winner of this year’s Broadcast Exec of the Year … Craig Powers, veteran of KUTE, KIIS, KFXM, KKHR, KEZY and KIKF, is nominated to the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame. “This is my second nomination hopefully I’m old enough to get it this time,” emailed Craig ... Jillian Barberie is headed into surgery this morning. On Twitter she wrote: "I’m up. It’s 3:30. Leaving at 5:30 a.m. Ready for today (as ready as I can be!) Thanks for the love and support!! My friend Kathleen is going to stay with me during surgery." ... Joel Denver has evacuated his AllAccess Malibu office due to the shifting winds in the fire that is headed for the ocean ... Whitney Allen writes a frightening account of the fire: "Were out. We’re ok. More later. Edited to add when they cut power and we don't know when. We could not get info. Did not know it had jumped the lake so in two cars with 4 furbabes we drove out — and I thought we were going to die. I couldn’t see Gerrit's car 5-10 feet in front of us. Flames both sides of the road. Embers all over the car- burning branches. falling. I thought we were goners. We’re fine. We’re alive. Pray for our neighbors. I think they all left before us. I hope."

What's In Your Berry Bag?

(November 8, 2018) When Jim Duncan was a 15-year-old teenager in San Diego, his naval officer father brought home a transistor radio from Tokyo. “The first voice I ever heard was Wolfman Jack,” remembered Jim. After being inspired by Wolfman Jack, Duncan became a disc jockey.

“Fast forward 15 years, he hired me to be his announcer for his syndicated show,” wrote Duncan. “What a dream come true. I still miss Mr. Wolfman. [He ALWAYS laughed when I called him that!] Aa-hooooooo! I was going through some boxes, I found this rare bumper sticker.”

Jim has been nominated for the Country Radio Hall of Fame. “This is my third nomination. Maybe third time is the charm,” Jim notes. 50th Annual Country Radio Seminar will be held February. 

Sweet Dick Whittington (top right) with cast of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, which was
featured in Emmy Magazine celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the show. Sweet Dick was in many cameos.
(Thanks to Douglas McEwen)

More TV for Ryan. Variety reports that ABC is developing a comedy series inspired by the real-life friendship of Kelly Ripa and KIIS’ Ryan Seacrest. They co-host the syndicated ABC morning show Live with Kelly and Ryan. The show, Work Wife, is described as an ensemble comedy "that explores the dynamics surrounding people's 'work spouses,' who have very few boundaries with each other, and how that impacts their relationships with everyone else."

In other news: Fred Ebert, KFI Talker 1999-2001, is a former chemistry professor. He recently "rediscovered the fun and mental challenge (but also relaxation) of playing pocket billiards,” according to his Facebook post. If you live near Bridgeport, Connecticut, he would love to shoot pool with you at the Four Corners Billiards … Christmas music returns to KOST tomorrow and Gwen Stefani will be at the station to help flip the switch … Smashing Pumpkins and Florence + The Machine headline KROQ’s Acoustic Christmas … Jim Roope was the Cumulus LA correspondent for mid-term election night news.

Gary Moore Stands Up to Cancer 

  (November 7, 2018) Gary Moore works afternoon drive at KLOS in a building that houses sister station KABC. He wrote on Facebook: “Perhaps you’ve seen the Stand Up to Cancer moments at major league games when everyone stands in silence holding cards similar to the one below. I’d seen it but never been a participant – until a week ago Saturday, during World Series Game 4 at Dodger Stadium, and it was as moving as anything in sports as I’ve ever witnessed. Holding up that survivor card honored those I know who’ve fought cancer and won as well as those of us who are fighting and winning, as I had my own procedure today. It was the second one in three years – I’m all clear – and early detection IS the key. So, if something doesn’t look or feel right, get it checked ASAP.”

Gary also acknowledged and dedicated his post to colleague Jillian Barberie. “In addition to her work in afternoons at KABC, many of you know from her days on the NFL Today with Terry, Howie and the boys. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is having surgery this Friday. I can’t say enough good things about her and I’m sure she’d appreciate every extra prayer. You can follow her journey on Twitter @askjillian.”  
From David Grudt's collection of LARadio ads appearing in the LA Times
October 23, 1978.
  K-HITS Jock Dies. There will be a celebration of life on November 14 at the San Fernando Moose Lodge for John Lyle Campbell. John worked at KHTZ (K-HITS) from 1983-86. He died on July 19, 2018 in Sherman Oaks of natural causes. He was 63.

John was born in 1955 in Cohoes, New York. “John loved radio!” according to his sister, Charlotte. He got his initial on-air experience on the campus station while attending Hudson Valley. In Albany, New York he worked at WHRL, WABY, and WSNY.

In 1975, the lure of Hollywood drew him to Southern California. His booming voice enabled him to find work in LA at KRLA, KHTZ and KSRF, KWNK-Simi Valley and in San Bernardino at KMEN. He was a proud member of SAG for many years and appeared in many movies, most notably Absolute PowerLogan’s Run and The Rock. And he worked on many tv shows.

For the last 14 years of his life, John was employed at the law office of Richard M. Lester. “John had a heart of gold. He was quirky, opinionated, interesting, passionate and lovable, always smiling or grinning. He was a ‘walking encyclopedia’ with regard to old movies and old tv shows especially. Give him a title, he knew the actors, the director and the year it came out,” his sister continued. “John leaves behind many desolate co-workers, good friends close and afar and a family that never got to say goodbye.”

“Bring your memories, sad, funny, ridiculous or poignant. Bring stories of the run-ins, burn-outs, close calls and Runyonesque characters he encountered in LA.” For more information on his Celebration, contact his sister Charlotte at   

Former KFI News Director Dies 

(November 6, 2018) Mike Parker, a veteran broadcast journalist who got his start in the Southland, died November 4, at 75, of congestive heart failure.

In 1967, Mike joined KBBQ as a newscaster and worked alongside Dick Spangler and Andy West. In 1969, he moved to KFI where he worked as a street reporter, anchor, then news director from 1973-77. “So much happened at KFI and I worked with so many great people, my head reels from the great memories. In the newsroom were such greats as Mark Coogan, Bob Kerr, Larry ChattertonBill JenkinsBill BrowningEleanor Green and Vern Williams. I’m sure I’ve left somebody out but it was a fantastic news operation until Cox Broadcasting bought the place and started cutting costs. I also got to work alongside some legendary radio personalities as a newscaster. There were Lohman & Barkley, Dave HullAl “Jazzbeaux” CollinsHilly Rose, even Dave Garroway and Robert Q. Lewis. Now that was a FULL SERVICE radio station.”

Mike was assigned to cover the potential collapse of the Van Norman Dam immediately after the 1971 San Fernando earthquake. Eighty thousand people were evacuated because of the potential for disaster. “I traveled up the road in a mobile unit for KFI,” recalled the tenacious reporter. “I had no idea where I would go had the dam collapsed.”

In the late 1970s, Mike moved to tv at CBS station KNXT/Channel 2 as both a reporter and anchor. He said “working in L.A. in the ’70s was like covering news for the Sodom and Gomorrah bureau.”

Mike covered numerous forest fires as well as the Hillside Strangler case.

He moved in 1980 to work at the CBS station in Chicago, WBBM/tv. He became one of the station’s best known reporters over his three-and-a-half decades.

Mike became internationally known for his reporting on in 1992 about David and Sharon Schoo, a couple who left their four- and nine-year-old children to fend for themselves back in their Illinois home while the parents took a nine-day Christmas vacation in Mexico. It was as if the movie Home Alone became realilty. “What had been my little story that we had done out there in the Fox River Valley suddenly became this international incident, with literally tens and dozens of reporters and camera crews and police and bystanders shouting and screaming at the couple as they walked by,” Mike recalled for the Chicago Sun Times.

“Versatility was Mike’s calling card,” said WBBM/tv news anchor Jim Williams, a longtime colleague. “He was a great anchor and reporter. His writing had a touch of poetry, which he delivered in that beautiful baritone. And he was such a cherished presence in our newsroom – wise and wickedly funny.”

Except for a year he spent in New York at ABC-owned WABC (where he worked with his second wife, Mary Nisssenson), Mike remained a prominent presence at WBBM/tv before stepping down in 2016 as the station’s senior on-air personality. “It’s been a fine, fun and exciting ride through the decades – but it’s time to get off the horse,” Parker told co-workers in announcing his retirement, according to a story at Robert Feder's Chicago blog.

When interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People in 1995, Mike was asked if he missed L.A.: “Do I miss L.A. and L.A. radio? Oh, yes! Oh, yes!”

Jillian Barberie Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

(November 5, 2018) KABC’s Jillian Barberie has announced she has breast cancer. The C-word has struck one of our own and she has been very open on social media over the weekend. Test results confirmed that she has cancer in her right breast. “Results back. It’s cancer in my right breast but also it has spread to my lymph node,” she wrote.

“Appointment at Bedford Breast to assess everything.” Jillian, who hosts afternoon drive at KABC with John Phillips shared that she will undergo a double mastectomy to combat the cancer. “I’m going to be super aggressive and do double mastectomy and they said I need chemo for the lymph,” she shared. “Thanks for coming on this journey with me!”

“To be honest, I just want the boobs gone and the cancer outta me. Then tackle the lymph node. But hey I’m no expert,’ said Jillian. “And all I can think is dammit. I should have done Playboy while I had those beauties. In a second tweet, Barberie said “the hardest part about a cancer diagnosis is telling your kids” and shared that she enlisted Dr. Drew Pinsky’s help. “I’m not going to sugar coat it but I also don’t want to scare them,” she wrote. “Cancer sucks and f— cancer and all that good stuff. Wish me much.”

“She called in to her KABC show Friday – Steve Edwards was filling in for her – and she still had her sense of humor,” emailed Tom Burfield. “She seems to be one tough lady.”
Ripston DiesRamona Ripston, the longtime executive director for the ACLU of Southern California worked at KABC as a Talk show host has passed. In the spring of 1990 Ramona joined Bill Pearl as co-host on the "Point / Counterpoint" show in afternoon drive. She died November 3, at the age of 91. Born and raised in New York she reached her $90,000-a-year job as head of the Department of Public Affairs for the New York Urban Coalition through her involvement as an activist.

Ramona is the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish mother and a physics professor who was Roman Catholic. She said she was raised to be aware of inequality and discrimination. She thought she was going to be an actress, a veterinarian or a teacher. Instead, she became a model after graduating from Hunter College in 1948, and soon married. She pursued volunteer work editing a newsletter for the New York Civil Liberties Union, raised funds and organized new chapters. Married five times, she ran one of the 53 affiliates and chapters that make up the ACLU's national organization.

In other news: MY/fm’s Lisa Foxx reports that her throat is making a strong recovery from hemorrhaging. “Doc says I’m at 50% IMPROVEMENT...STRICT VOCAL REST is working... its boring...but I'm following orders for the looong haul.” … Hip-Hop Power 106 (KPWR) is launching a new, two-hour show starring DJ Felli Fel and Justin Credible called “New at Night.”  It airs from 12 midnight to 2 a.m. and is being billed as “unfiltered new hip hop without limitations.” KPWR personality Mando Fresko hosts the second hour of the program ... Programmers at Soul Town (SiriusXM Channel 49) had a great time Saturday night playing only songs with Time in the title. Nice way to remind their listeners about the clock ahead change.

Sunday Nostalgia - 13 Years Ago Today

I Left My Heart at KABL

(November 4, 2005) When I heard that KABL-San Francisco was no longer ‘In the Air…Everywhere Over the Bay Area...’ a twinge of nostalgia swept over me. I’m pretty good about living in the moment, in the now. My time at KABL was very special. I was 26 when national pd Bill Stewart made his last appointment with the Gordon McLendon Corporation. He made me program director and we were in the midst of a cultural revolution in Golden Gate Park near the intersection of Haight and Asbury Streets. And we were playing Beautiful Music. Right place, wrong music.  

KABL was itself a cultural phenomenon. When McLendon bought the Oakland radio station in the late 1950s for $800,000, his incredible track record was in Top 40 radio. When he launched the new format with Mantovani and the 101 Strings separated with harp bridges and an unctuous announcer, he did the impossible. Herb Caen and other columnists thought Gordon was stunting. Within the year KABL was the #1 station in the Bay Area, in fact, KABL was the first Beautiful Music station in the country to hit #1. It stayed in the Top 5 for decades. 

When I got to KABL in 1967, the only personality on the station was newscaster John K. Chapel. I’ll never forget Gordon coming into town from Dallas and instructing me to fire him. John cried when I tried to explain that the star of KABL was the station itself.  

The station had a style. The top of the hour opened with a mood intro – a poetic vignette about San Francisco voiced by Gordon or national pd Don Keyes. On-air promotion included whimsical contests – you send us $10,000 and we’ll send you 25 words or less. Entries to this contest totaled in the thousands with Monopoly or foreign currency being submitted. And every St. Patrick’s Day we conducted snake races in downtown San Francisco. Snakes were a pagan symbol and legend has it that Patrick drove all of the snakes out of Ireland.

Some of the announcers were morning man Bill Moen, Rick Wiseman, Bill Weaver and Bill Keffury. They were anonymous until 1974. Moen stayed for decades and became the best-known announcer. By the 1980s the format had run its course. Those listeners who enjoyed the Oklahoma Overture, Tea for Two and George Shearing were dying and no one was replacing them. The station went through many formats and owners, but oh, for anyone who lived in San Francisco in the 1960s and 70s, KABL was a reflection of the style, sophistication and passion of a Great City. 

Email Saturday, 11.3.2018 

** AM Radio Piece in NY Times

"Fascinating—and a little depressing—to read Erin Aubrey Kaplan's opinion piece in the New York Times (LA Radio, Friday 11/2/18).  The notion that the 'hard right' started building any sort of infrastructure to take over AM Talk is ridiculous.

Commercial radio is, and always was, about building listenership. That's what gets the advertiser dollars flowing, pays the talent, and keeps the station on the air. If a significant portion of the population listens to your station, it's because you're airing things they want to hear.  

Rush Limbaugh didn't take over or commandeer anything; he simply found a listener base whose views coincided with his, at a time when major newspapers and the burgeoning 24-hour tv news market were increasingly slanting left.  

You want shouting? Sure, AM Talk has some. So does MSNBC. Even used-car dealerships still air ads that shout at you [I should know, I voice a lot of them]. Don't like it? Change the station.

As for a 'toxically white' landscape, can we please get past the insertion of color into every topic? Riddle me this, Ms. Kaplan: what's the predominant ethnicity at any of our local Spanish-language stations? Or Vietnamese-, Iranian-, Mandarin-language stations, et al? There's not a single spot on the dial that has the perfect percentage of every nationality or racial origin. Even the long-departed left-leaning Air America, which likely would've survived had it found listeners, was predominantly white. But was it 'toxically white,' or is that phrase reserved just for conservatives?

There are certain aspects of the old AM band that I miss too, but time marches on. Time was when you could hear Barry Manilow next to Kenny Rogers next to Earth Wind & Fire next to Kiss, all on the same AM station. But music—for the most part—moved to fm, and accordingly, AM's revised formats found new listeners. To claim that the remaining AM music stations are 'tainted by association' is just sad. My everyday car is a 1958 Ford with its original vacuum-tube AM radio, so that's what I listen to on the road.  At any given point I might be tuned to talk on KRLA [how's Larry Elder fit into a 'toxically white' station lineup?], news on KNX, a golden Oldie on 1260 K-Surf, a teeny-bopper hit on Radio Disney, any of the great choices on KABC, KFI, or a hundred other options. The only 'taint' I'm sensing is AM's time-honored signal fade when I drive under an overpass.

Thanks, as always, for the 50,000 watt blowtorch known as!" - Bruce Barker, North Hollywood

** NY Times Article

“I was unable to respond to the writer of the AM radio article in the New York Times who described KABC better than I probably could. She hit the nail on the head, so to speak. Yes, we did have a great product with some very talented hosts, most of whom I hired. That era is somewhat gone from radio, certainly from AM.

I really expect KABC to go SPANISH ANY DAY NOW! Their format is so diversified that my only hope is that they are making money with the format.

One of the very talented people who I hired is still there and he is not on the air. Vern Copp is the sales manager for KLOS and KABC. Quite a nice man and a super star sales guy. Hang in there Vern. Making a living is the key!” – George Green

** NY Times Article Perspective from Elder

“With all due respect, what’s ‘fascinating’ about a hard, left-wing black columnist upset about the post-Fairness Doctrine ascendency of conservative talk radio? That’s why God invented NPR.

Notice she slammed hosts she described as mostly ‘loud white guys,’ leaving out an L.A. based conservative/libertarian black talker named Larry Elder, who has only been at it for 25 years. In a 2006 column about a black member of the GWBush administration, Kaplan wrote, ‘I don’t support conservatism in its current iteration, and I support black conservatives even less.’

Nor was there one word about the crash and burn about the ambitious leftwing Air America. When AA was on, did she hear the ‘sophisticated discussions of things [she] had only vague ideas about’ she claims to miss? Was she as offended by the likes of leftwing ideologues Al Franken and Ed Schultz as she is by Rush Limbaugh?

I’m guessing not.” – Larry Elder

** Brother John's Journey

"Brother John was brought into the KRLA fold in 1972 by Shadoe Stevens who used him on air [I think as a newsman and dj] and in production. Brother John's voice was in the historic Phase II repositioning that aired in July 1972. When Shadoe went to KMET, he brought Brother John with him to do news and public affairs, as I recall." - Ken Leighton, San Diego

** More Brother John

"Loved the Brother John story. 

My mind is a little foggy on this, but I believe at one time ABC Radio was running on KLOS [or was it KABC/fm at that time?] an automated format of just the Beatles and the Stones. I seem to remember that it was Brother John that voice tracked that.  It was basically 'that was the Stones, now here are the Beatles. After a Beatles song, 'that was the Beatles and here are the Stones' followed by a Stones song. They were all said in various ways by Brother John." - Mike Stark

** Heaven on KMET

“Long time no interact with you. I read the piece on the above show with Brother John. It was most definitely on KMET as I never listened to KLOS back then, and I did tune in to his show from time to time.” - Bob Whitmore, Chino

** Heaven Is In Your Mind

“In regards, the story on Heaven is in Your Mind in Friday's LARP. In 1969 when I was hired by KRLA, pd Doug Cox asked me to develop a semi-religious program for Sunday Morning similar to Brother John's Silhouettes then running on KLOVE (KLOS) which both Doug and I were fans of. I took the title from the Traffic and Three Dog Night song, Heaven is in Your Mind. The program was one of my proudest achievements on KRLA. Brother John later revived the program on KRTH.” – Gary Marshall

** Reverend on Brother John

"Several weeks ago I wrote to you after being inspired by recollections of Johnny Hayes.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has a short video on YouTube <> of a tv report from 1967 on 'Brother John' Rydgren’s radio program for the American Lutheran Church. His voice there should certainly be familiar to anyone who heard him on LARadio, and maybe Jason Fenimore will recognize it.   

I remember Sunday night radio on many stations was often different from other times of the week, and if Jason was anything like me he might have gone up-and-down the dial looking for something more interesting while his regular station was not playing its usual format. Perhaps he could have discovered Brother John’s Heaven Is in Your Mind on KRTH the same way I discovered  KFAC’s Global Village. Imagine Carl Princi playing some very modern rock [among a very wide variety of other sounds together with Classical music], but that’s what I went to sleep to Sunday nights for a few years in the ‘80s. 

Ahh, it’s not easy to find radio like that any more, especially on commercial stations. It was very cool, as a Lutheran pastor in Peoria, to look up the first directory [from late 1988] of the ELCA in the church library and find John Rydgren’s name on the roll of pastors, showing his address as 'KRTH Radio Station, 5901 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles.' Peace." - The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts Born in Hollywood, Playing in Peoria

** K-EARTH #1

“Great to see K-Earth at the very top of the ratings again. It was the best radio job I had in my 47 years in the business. I always said that it wasn’t like going to work, it was like going to a party. Working with program director Bob Hamilton was a joy.” - Steve (Liddick) Fredericks, former K-Earth News Director (1974-78) author of But First This Message: A Quirky Journey in Broadcasting.

** Letter to Al Wisk

“It was a very nice surprise to see you written up on Don Barrett’s LARadio website and am happy to touch base and remember what was a great time to be an Angels fan and a listener to KMPC. Those days [I was between 18-20 during your tenure as Angels broadcaster] I made many more trips to the Big A than at any other time. Seeing Nolan Ryan pitch [for many years the only reason the Angels were worth watching or listening to], you never knew if you were about to witness history [though you were probably sure to have seen 10+ of his 5,724 or so strikeouts].

If memory serves me correctly, you arrived in 1977. I think Dave Neihaus had gone to Seattle to become the Mariners’ broadcaster. But I thought you were as good as anyone who ever covered Angel games on the radio, Dick Enberg included. You always seemed exceptionally prepared and professional, never the shrieker that seems to occupy so many booths nowadays. With the radio the only sure way to follow the Angels every game, you contributed to many, many enjoyable evenings, even though the Angels lost more than they one. But, of course, I do remember that evening in September 1979 vs. KC when you got to announce, ‘The 19-year wait is over!’

So, I am very glad to hear you have found success in your new career in law, but wish I had several more years listening to you cover the Angels and the Rams [you did get to be there as well for the win vs. TB that sent the Rams to their first Super Bowl]. Anyhow I could ramble on and on about the memories of those years as an Angel fan, but work awaits. Take care and thanks for the great memories of a great time. Continued success in all you do.” - Tim James, Senior Technical Writer/Technical Service, Coordinator, Suss MicroTec AG

** One Lawyer to Another

“Very interesting story about Al Wisk.” - Christopher A. Bury, Attorney at Law

** Wisk at KMPC

Al Wisk was on his way big time. He was young and very good sports broadcasting with the Angels, Rams, and UCLA. He gave it all up because his wife was unhappy that was never home. He quit sports broadcasting and went to law school.

Al has a very successful law career. He is a very smart, good guy. Al lost his wife about the same time Beverly died. He has a very lovely daughter who lives in LA.

I am very fortunate I have an outstanding family and having friends like Al Wisk.” – Roger Carroll

** Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters

Below are the streaming numbers for October, with the September numbers in parenthesis.  All stations saw an increase from last month.  And attached are the cities." - Saul Levine 


Total connections: 193,365 (162,934)
Total number of hours listened: 288,432 (251,743)


Total connections: 45,519 (44,735)
Total number of hours listened: 58,025 (56,646)


KKJZ-FM (Numbers reflect 10/1 - 10/28):
Total connections: 208,101 (167,413)
Total number of hours listened: 254,462 (218,237)


KKGO-FM HD4 (K-Mozart):
Total connections: 32,668 (24,219)
Total number of hours listened: 60,889 (46,469)


Total Connections: 3,409 (2,484) 
Total number of hours listened: 6,854 (4,869)
** Pirate Radio Beginnings

"I saw your mention of Scott Shannon and Pirate radio. The station was supposed to start a few weeks later than it did, but Norm Pattiz got word another station was going to try to jump the gun on the format. He called me at three in the afternoon the day before the 5 a.m. kickoff. My engineering partner, Jeff Park, lugged all sorts of musical instruments to the studio [guitars, keyboards, drums, etc.] to produce the opening. With the help of Westwood One Production stud, Ron Harris, finding several air check pieces, Jeff and I, with the help of a 12 pack of beer, a bottle of tequila, and few smokables, spent the night in studio A at WWO in Culver City and created the opening.

We drove the master to building 2, a few blocks away, and the location of the Pirate Radio Studios at 4:50 a.m. I can only imagine what we looked like. We handed the tape to Ron. Norm came out to my black Bronco and invited Jeff and I to come join the crowd having a pre-start champagne party. We turned down him down and drove back to building 1, sat in the parking lot, fired up and shared the last beer. We sat in the Bronco and listened with pride our creation.

The link is: " - Jim Duncan

** FU%^#ing Kidney Stones

“Tell Ed Mann to just be glad he [apparently] is able to pass his kidney stones. I have had them off and on since around 2001, and in my case, they led to something a lot more serious.

In April, my doctors discovered during a routine blood panel that something was amiss with my kidneys themselves. A few more blood and urine tests plus an ultrasound showed that something was blocking my left kidney's drainage to the bladder, and a subsequent CT-scan turned up a 1.5cm [a little longer than a half-inch] stone that had attached itself to the inner kidney wall at both ends and grown across the exit portal. This resulted in hydronephrosis, meaning urine built up in the kidney and it was close to the point where it would have begun swelling as a result. [I am told that I was down to less than one-third of available capacity in that kidney by the time it was diagnosed.]

I am fortunate that the medical group with most of my doctors has a very talented urologist in its number, and she trained on a roboscopic procedure under the doctor who created it. She went in on August 28 and, using a camera and laser was able to get the center 85% broken up and removed, but in the fifth (!) hour my blood pressure became erratic and the anesthesiologist made her stop. I have had a stent connecting the kidney and bladder since then, which has thankfully drained most - if not all - of the liquid from there. [Fun fact #97.5: The kidneys are part of the regulation of your blood pressure. I never knew that.]

Since then, we have been trying in vain to convince my insurance carrier - which shall go unnamed to prevent possible legal action against me - to authorize a second time 'on the table' to get the ends removed. Only then will my nephrologist be able to determine how much permanent damage there is and what can be done to maximize what capacity remains viable.

Ed can take my word for this: Two months of having a stent irritate your bladder and cause frequent 'false alarms' on urination, with trace amounts of blood and a burning pain similar to a still-to-be-passed stone every third or fourth time, is a LOT worse than a stone which, once passed, is no longer causing pain and discomfort.” – K.M. Richards

Source of Heaven Is In Your Mind? 

(November 2, 2018) Jason Fenimore of Springvale, Maine emailed asking if we recalled a radio show in Southern California called “Heaven Is in Your Mind.” He made a point to say it was NOT a religious show and it aired in the evenings on either KMET or KLOS. He said it had to be one of those two stations because when he was growing up in Palos Verdes, these were the only stations he listened to.

In response, I sent him some information on Brother John:

RYDGREN, John: KRLA, 1972; KRTH, 1977-82; KRLA, 1985; KRTH, 1986-88. "Brother John" had a unique place in Southern California radio. Born in North Dakota, he grew up in Seattle. In 1958, John graduated with a divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran University in Washington before his ordination as a Lutheran minister. John was one of the first people to utilize rock music in religious radio programs. He began his radio work in Minneapolis, where he taped a Christian rock show called "Silhouettes" from a church basement. The show became so popular that it was nationally syndicated. John was then appointed director of the American Lutheran Church's national tv, radio and film department.

He continued to work in commercial radio. John was the voice of ABC’s pro-album Love Format in 1968. In 1970, John left WABC/FM to produce religious and socially slanted radio/tv programs, before moving to L.A. in 1972, where he worked at KRTH and eventually created and hosted a program called "Heaven Is in Your Mind." In 1982, John suffered a debilitating stroke while on the air which left him with a form of dyslexia, forcing him to relearn reading and speaking from the third-grade level. Doctors predicted that he would never be able to talk again. However, with therapy he rejoined KRTH in 1986. 

Randy Gardner talked about the opportunity to have worked with John: “What a dear sweet soul! He had come full circle. He had to voice track his show between records during his relearning period.” John died in his favorite easy chair on the day after Christmas 1988, of a heart attack. He was 56. Beasley Broadcasting’s Allen Shaw said that John "was unusual during the cultural revolution of the late '60s." Jason thanked me for the “memory glow” but he still thinks it was on KMET. He said it was “just sort of a Jim Ladd-style free association w/appropriate music.” Perhaps this story will trigger a memory from someone.
In other news: Steve Dahl’s announcement that his final WLS 890-AM afternoon show will air December 21 and the other changes in store for the Cumulus Media news/talk station led the top 10 most-read stories at Robert Feder’s Chicago media blog in October … Dave Roberts, veteran of KEZY, KYNO-Fresno, and KMEN-San Bernardino, celebrated his birthday this week. When I was researching Los Angeles Radio People, I was always fascinated to learn something about them that most people didn’t know. Dave was no exception when it came to sharing an amazing fact. He’s also known as Dr. Roberts, holding a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Oregon. He went on to be vp/director of programming for the RKO Radio Network … Scott Shannon, former pd at Pirate Radio (KQLZ), will host the National Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony later this month ... A fascinating story on Los Angeles AM radio appeared in the New York Times this week. Read it here.

Jason Insalaco came across more props from the new Quentin Tarantino movie shooting in North Hollywood

How Did LA Music Stations Talk About the World Series? Were They Relatable?

(November 1, 2018) When radio people get together they talk radio – stories about the past, people they have worked with and the current state of radio in their market. We all come with a bias but when an outsider is in town for an event – like the World Series – they listen to radio without prejudice.

Blogger George Johns, who has been a successful programmer in many markets was in the Basin for baseball. He made some observations about what he heard.

“Other than the news and sports stations, if you listened to LA radio you wouldn’t have known the World Series was being played at Chavez Ravine. Other than the low-key ticket giveaway for Friday’s game on the iHeart stations, the World god damned Series was non-existent on LA music stations. [iHeart’s KLAC carries the Dodgers.]”
“Who decided this was a good idea? The air talent? The god damn brand managers? The exalted market manager? Some highly placed corporate programming guru ruling from afar? It’s as if there was a huge parade, you were invited to ride in a convertible in the front with your name on the door. You turned it down because you’d rather play a Maroon 5 song for the 900th time and attempt to make a big deal out of it. Show me the research that says it’s a really good idea to NOT reflect events in your market!” Read the entire column here.

In other news, Country KKGO will be presenting all-Holiday music for the third year on 105.1 HD3, and on-line … Want to read a sad radio story? How the mighty have fallen in Tampa. Even if you are not in radio, you have probably read about Bubba the Love Sponge connected with a Hulk Hogan sex video. Here’s the link … In medical news, K-EARTH producer Brandon Castillo spent Halloween in the hospital following successful gall bladder removal … Richard Kimball, former KMET pd in the early 70s, finished his first round of chemo ... Former KIISer Ed Mann had a short message on Facebook: "F#$KING kidney stones.

In 1958, the first morning man at Chuck Blore’s Top 40 KFWB/Channel 98 was Bruce Hayes, the “Hayesy One,” as he called himself. He and his wife, Bea Shaw (“Tiger”) did commercials. Bruce’s tv commercials for Clorox featured a scene in which Bruce surprised housewives in a laundromat by saying, "I'll give you $50 for that t-shirt" (and then tearing it in half, washing one half in you-know-what). The commercials were so successful that stand-up comics all over the country did take-offs and parodies. Bruce died November 20, 1994, of cancer. Excelsior, Uncle Bruce.

Al Wisked Away to Dallas 

(October 31, 2018) Keeping track of over 6,000 Los Angeles Radio People is such a treat. Some are so unique and quirky, and each has a story to tell. In the ’90s when I started the task of finding these djs, executives, talk show hosts and sports personalities, it was before the Internet. It was mostly done by phone and old-fashioned mail. The first year I spent over $3,000 in postage. Today it is easier with a Google search.

For my books, I never found Al Wisk. In the late 70s, he was one of the announcers for the California Angels, Rams, and UCLA football and basketball. Earlier this month, I attended Roger Carroll’s 90th birthday party at the Long Beach Yacht Club. And guess who I end up sitting next to? Al Wisk. He had flown in from Dallas to join Roger in the celebration. Since 1983, Al has been a lawyer. I was interested to learn about his broadcast career.

“I had inexplicably good luck and exceptional mentors,” said Al. “One month after graduation from the University of Michigan in 1972, I answered an ad in Broadcasting Magazine, ‘Opportunity to Join Dallas Cowboys Broadcast Team.’ KRLD, the flagship station for the Cowboys 175 station network, received responses from 250 candidates and somehow I got the job.”

Ernie Harwell, the Baseball Hall of Fame announcer for the Detroit Tigers, was Al’s mentor. “KRLD hired me without an interview based on a University of Michigan basketball play-by-play tape and Ernie’s recommendation.

While at Michigan, I announced at WAAM, where my mentor was Larry Zimmer (retired Denver Broncos play-by-play), WUOM. Tom Hemingway of the Detroit Pistons was also a mentor. While in Michigan, Al did news for WQTE and WPAG, and was dj for WTRX and sports for WCBN. He also wrote for the Ann Arbor News.

“In 1972, the Dallas Cowboys had just won their first Super Bowl. For the next four seasons I shared the announcing duties with Verne Lundquist and mentor Frank Glieber, who worked for ABC/TV Sports and CBS-TV Sports respectively,” Al continued. “I originated a sports talk show on the station at 6 p.m. that was the highest rated program in the market in that time slot. My last football broadcast in Dallas was Super Bowl X.”
In 1976, KCMO hired Al to follow Ray Scott [formerly CBS-TV’s #1 sportscaster] as the Kansas City Chiefs play-by-play announcer. “I was recommended by an earlier Chiefs announcer Tom Hedrick. In winter 1976-77, Ken Wilson (Seattle Mariners) recommended me to Stan Spero, the general manager of KMPC, to take Dick Enberg’s place as the Rams and Angels announcer and work with Fred Hessler on the UCLA broadcasts. Stan was a terrific station manager who had a tremendous stable of talent, Dick Whittinghill, Roger Carroll, Gary Owens, Wink Martindale and Geoff Edwards on the air and executives like Norm Epstein [later general manager of KLAC].”

When Enberg left to become NBC’s #1 sportscaster in 1978, Al became the Rams play-by-play announcer and in 1979 moved from the #3 Angels announcer up to #2 teamed with #1
Don Drysdale. “The last Angels games I broadcast were the American League Championship Series (ALCS) with the Baltimore Orioles. The final Rams game I announced was the 1980 Super Bowl (XIV). The tapes of my Super Bowl broadcast were smuggled into the U.S. Embassy in Tehran during the Iran Hostage Crisis. In 2016, George Clooney’s production company made a documentary based on that story for NFL Films, directed by Tate Donovan and narrated by Clooney.”

In 1979, KMPC made wholesale on-air personnel changes as the station transitioned to talk. Al decided to go to law school in Dallas at SMU. “To pay the tuition, I announced the Kansas City Royals games on WDAF/TV for three seasons, thanks to mentor Joe Burke, the Royals’ President. In my first season (1980), the Royals went to the World Series and my play-by-play of Game #3 of the ALCS was used in The Sporting News’ book 25 Greatest Moments in Baseball History.”

Al is humble when he attributes much of his success to providence, but he says his final stroke of broadcasting luck came in 1980. “State Farm was looking for a new national radio voice for its commercials. They were considering a number of Hollywood actors. My former agent was pitching one of them. While State Farm’s head of advertising was searching on the agent’s reel-to-reel demo tape for Actor X in front of the Chairman of the Board Ed Rust, Sr. and the other executives, he accidentally stopped the tape at my voice and State Farm’s chairman said, “That’s it! That’s the voice I want.” That led to 15 years as the national radio voice for State Farm.”

Since 1983, Al has been a finance lawyer in Dallas at Clark Hill Strasburger. He would love to hear from colleagues and fans from his time in LARadio. He can be reached at: 

Classic Hits K-EARTH #1

(October 30, 2018) Classic Hits K-EARTH is #1 in the just-released October '18 Nielsen Audio PPM 6+Mon-Sun. The 5.0 share for K-EARTH is practically unchanged over the last six months but some of the recent leaders dropped a fraction, allowing KRTH to rise to the top of the chart. KOST, in the on-deck circle to begin its killer Christmas holiday music, is runner-up, while MY/fm (KBIG) dropped almost a point. At 4th is KIIS in a tie with the WAVE (KTWV). The potential of the LA Dodgers in the World Series helped both Sports stations. There was upward growth for Classic Rock KLOS and Real 92.3 (KRRL). KNX’s rating is going the wrong way, while Saul Levine sent an email declaring the K-SURF shares with a 1.1 in the 55 plus demographic. KABC fell another tenth of a share and ranks #43. Here are the Top 40 stations for October '18:

1. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.0 - 5.0
2. KOST (AC) 4.7 - 4.9
3. KBIG (Hot AC) 5.5 - 4.8
4. KIIS (Top 40/M) 4.4 - 4.2 
    KTWV (Rhythmic AC) 4.6 - 4.2
6. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.6 - 3.8
    KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.6 - 3.8
8. KFI (Talk) 3.7 - 3.7
9. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.9 - 3.0
    KRRL (Urban) 2.9 - 3.0
    KXOL (Spanish AC) 3.1 - 3.0
12. KPWR (Top 40/R) 3.2 - 2.8
      KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.6 - 2.8
14. KNX (News) 3.0 - 2.7
15. KPCC (News/Talk) 2.5 - 2.6
16. KKGO (Country) 2.4 - 2.5
      KROQ (Alternative) 2.8 - 2.5
18. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.4 - 2.4
      KYSR (Alternative) 2.3 - 2.4
20. KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.4 - 2.3
21. KAMP (Top 40/M) 2.3 - 2.2
22. KUSC (Classical) 1.8 - 2.1
23. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.0 - 1.8
24. KLAC (Sports) 1.2 - 1.7
25. KCRW (Variety) 1.5 - 1.3
      KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.5 - 1.3
      KRLA (Talk) 1.2 - 1.3
      KSPN (Sports) 0.9 - 1.3
29. KJLH (Urban AC) 1.1 - 1.2
30. KEIB (Talk) 0.9 - 1.1
      KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.1 - 1.1
      KSSE (Spanish Oldies) 1.2 - 1.1
33. KKLQ (Christian Contemporary) 0.8 - 1.0
34. KFWB (Regional Mexican) 0.8 - 0.8
      KKJZ (Jazz) 0.8 - 0.8
36. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 0.8 - 0.7
      KKLA (Religious) 0.7 - 0.7
38. KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 0.6 - 0.6
39. KDLD (Regional Mexican) 0.4 - 0.4
      KSUR (Oldies) 0.3 - 0.4
      KTNQ (Spanish Talk) 0.3 - 0.4
      KYLA (Christian Contemporary) 0.6 - 0.4

Allie Mac Kay's Journey

(October 29, 2018) Allie Mac Kay joined the iconic Kevin & Bean Show on KROQ back in February 2015. Allie was instantly disliked by every fan of Lisa May, the third person at the K-ROQ morning show for almost 25 years. That was because Lisa was let go to make way for Allie. “It was bad. I got death threats. Death threats! Like a couple that were really insane,” Mac Kay said in a recent podcast.

“There’s a guy to this day that will write under any YouTube video of mine.” There were more “weird, awful, horrible things” from there — just in case the death threats weren’t enough.

Allie shares another battle. Thirteen years ago, she had her first surgery for melanoma. “I’m down some lymph nodes, have some amazing scars and have basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas that pop up every 6 months. But I’m lucky. No melanoma in 13 years and I’m more aware of changes in and on my body than ever,” she posted recently on Facebook.

“The spot that turned out to be melanoma didn’t look like anything I Googled, the dermatologist said it was nothing, but I told him to biopsy it. Good thing I did. My oncologist said it was a matter of time before it spread farther.”

Allie had some words of advice. “If something feels off, demand that it’s looked at and you’re taken seriously. Protect your skin. And not just pasty gueras like me. Bob Marley had melanoma on his toe. It spread throughout his body and we lost a legend. Get your skin checked, wear sunscreen, stay out of tanning beds...and – if you’re like me – buy stock in @jergensus Their “Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer” is my godsend when it comes to sunless tanner!”
Foxxy VoiceLisa Foxx, former partner with Ryan Seacrest at ‘Star 98.7’ and now at #1 rated MY/fm (KBIG), made a startling announcement on social media. Her vocal cords aren’t working. “Anyone who has talked to me or heard me on the radio for over the past month, has heard how bad I sounded,” Lisa confessed. “But I didn’t stop.”

She hoped that the issue with just go away and get better on its own. She kept talking. That’s what she does. She attended events, participated in meetings and cheering on her Dodgers at games. A real cheerleader. She kept pushing her voice. The shows, interviews and commercials.

“I finally made the time to go see my doc because I couldn’t take it anymore and started to get scared,” Foxx continued. “He dropped a camera thru my nose to find that it’s a vocal cord hemorrhage, with severe acid reflux damage. You CAN’T just go, go, and go. You have to listen to your body and put your health first. I’m crushed! I’m upset and getting more mad at myself as I process what I could have done differently...EVERYTHING.”

She’s now on medication and limits her talking. She’s taking a break from her voicetracked show in San Francisco. No World Series games. Lisa said that Justin Timberlake had to cancel his tour for 2 weeks for the same thing. “I’m grateful I didn’t cause PERMANENT damage. Boo. Hiss.’ #timetoshutuplady.”
Hear Ache. Speaking of Ryan Seacrest, his foundation, a non-profit dedicated to inspiring youth through entertainment and education-focused initiatives, has relocated its headquarters from Los Angeles to Nashville. John Ivey, KIIS pd, is one of the foundation’s advisors … Miss Vin Scully’s voice during the World Series? Ira Lawson sent a note that Vin is the voice on Proposition 4. Listen and watch here  … Classic Hits Internet station will launch their ‘Jingle Boss’ holiday channel November 1 on the Live365 platform, as a complement to their regular station. ‘Jingle Boss’ will be hosted by the Boss Jocks from BBR and will feature traditional to contemporary pop Christmas favorites (from Bing to Buble and beyond). LARadio People include: “The Insane” Darrell WayneRaechel DonahueBob Ray, and Tammy Trujillo. They are part of the full staff of veteran jocks at Boss Boss Radio under the direction of pd and morning Boss Jock John Van Camp … Bill Dudley checked in to describe his vintage vinyl shop in Torrance. “It's a tiny version of Amoeba. Only about 1,000 feet. The funny thing is, I was doing this exact same thing way BEFORE Amoeba. A Portland customer said, ‘It looks just like your 1985 store in Portland.’ Which is the exact intention.” …KLOS’ Gary Moore was at the marathon World Series game Friday night. “I had to shave twice.” … Former KKLA morning man Jim Governale summed up the World Series: "Bummed out Dodgers fan this morning. Gotta own it. Congrats to the Red Sox, clearly deserving and a better team. All things considered, it's just a game, and there are far more important things going on in the world" ... When researching the KBIG-Avalon station, I tracked down the daughter of Bill Faulke, Cathy, who remembered as a kid living on Catalina Island while her father drove up and down the mountain (16 miles) to get to the broadcast facility at the transmitter site … Another 60s hit maker dies. Polk Salad Annie and Rainy Night in Georgia songwriter Tony Joe White died suddenly last week at his home in Tennessee. “He wasn’t ill at all,” said his son, Jody White. “He just had a heart attack. There was no pain or suffering.” Tony Joe White was 75.

Nostalgia Sunday - 14 Years Ago

Jamie White: KIIS Treats Clear Channel People Like Crap 

(October 28, 2004) Jamie White, feeling slighted one more time at the recent Radio Music Awards show that was held in Las Vegas, lashed out at parent company Clear Channel for orchestrating KIIS as the favored station. Ryan Seacrest’s replacement at KYSR was so upset he bolted from the ceremony and left the building. The show, originally the brainchild of KIIS morning producer Paul Joseph and KIIS marketing whiz Von Freeman, has moved from independent status to network exposure.  

Jamie was originally scheduled to be a performer in the show. “I was supposed to be in four different things that we rehearsed,” said the KYSR morning co-host, “and they cut them all out because the show ran long. And all you saw was our sister station, but it really doesn’t upset me anymore because for the last five years all it has been is KIIS’ show. I don’t even know why any of us bother to go. One year Angela Perelli [KYSR pd] and myself were put in the nose bleed section. Ellen K and Roy [Laughlin] and Valentine were on stage. It is not worth ever doing again and I won’t ever do it again. It will always be KIIS’ show and it is pathetic and it really angers me that our company does that. We don’t work as a company because all we see are the stupid people from KIIS on that damn show.” 

Jamie said that Clear Channel super star in Dallas, Kid Kraddick, was flown in to participate and ended up with saying two words on the show and then he didn’t have a microphone.  

“Remember, we’re supposed to be one big, loving group,” continued Jamie on her tirade, “but it’s all about ratings and we’re competing against KIIS and their jocks are on the entire time.” 

Jamie said that she wasn’t the only one slighted, but pointed to what happened to KYSR afternooner Jason Pullman. “Jason left the building and is on fire,” said Jamie. “They gave him a seat at the awards ceremony in row 70. And then the KIIS street team, the people who are interns and part-timers who hang up banners at events, marched past Jason and sat in row 4. So Jason left. He’s such a nice guy and they treat him like crap.” 

The rest of the KYSR morning team complained that often they are placed in the balcony at company events. 

Jamie said that the Clear Channel should re-name the Radio Music Awards to the KIIS Music Awards. 

Laughlin Responds to White's Rants. “The RMAs' were a winner from a sponsor perspective [Cingular] as well as Clear Channel/LA [profit] and NBC [ratings],” responded Roy Laughlin, co-marketing manager for the local Clear Channel cluster. “I am obviously sorry that Jamie White did not have a great experience at this tv special but I am not in charge of the actual tv production in Vegas done by Tall Pony Productions. I am in charge of KIIS so I am not sure how ‘KIIS’ could have treated her poorly at an NBC/TV special that the KIIS station management was not in charge of.” 

“It seems to me that Jamie had the same issues at the RMAs that were at the heart of her ‘month long absence’ from the ‘STAR’ morning show this summer,” continued Laughlin. “Jamie missed over a month of AM shows on ‘STAR’ and I believe this was at the heart of a less than stellar morning rating situation for the summer for all the folks at ‘STAR’ after a great spring book. What is that ‘same element’ that causes her to miss the morning show for a month and then rant and rave about the RMAs on-air in some conspiracy theory involving KIIS? I think she and we all have an idea of what that ‘same element’ is.”  

Roy went on to explain his goals for this NBC/Clear Channel tv collaboration: “Make some good money and do a promotion that is fun for the audience at the same time. This CC/LA non-traditional revenue [NTR] event is designed as an integrated marketing program with NBC, the sponsor and several radio stations from all over the US. It was never a way to assist any radio stations ratings from my perspective. My argument with Von Freeman and Paul Joseph for years has been that I love this tv show IF we make good money on it because in my opinion radio stations only get ratings based on the quality of what comes out of the speakers or creative, memorable custom marketing programs that the audience clearly identifies as ‘owned by the station’ like the Jamie & Danny morning show on STAR, or benchmark things like Not So Silent Night holiday concert, STAR Lounge, STAR Lounge CD, Star Say it and Win, STAR EIP program,  Star Peace Oriented billboards up now or things like ‘the 80s music mix image,’ etc. Being a bigger part of some tv show will not create a benchmarked experience for a radio station or radio personality in the ratings.” 

“I am truly sorry that Jamie had a bad personal experience at the RMAs. A happy employee, of course, is better than one that is not. I wish I could say that the RMAs were the only place Jamie has had a bad personal experience. She is one of a few great L.A. morning radio talents and we are happy to have her signed up and on the CCLA team for many more years. There is no KIIS conspiracy against Jamie regardless of the voices in her head,” concluded Roy.

Email Saturday, 10.27.2018

** Early Salt Water Coverage

"I remember well the commencement of KBIG AM on Catalina. It was a brilliant idea with the salt water coverage of the California coast line. I was not yet in broadcast ownership, and a grad student at USC. I listened everyday for the signal coming on. It was the early 1950s.

Then there it was. And it was terrific coverage. An interesting side note. In those days the FCC did not allow personal messages. KBIG had an engineer whose last name was Bailey. When there was equipment failure and he was needed, KBIG played the song Bill Bailey, Won't You Please  Come Home.

Dial forward to the 1960s, and I had 105.1 on the air. We formed our own association, The Southern California FM Broadcasters Association, and I was also the attorney for the group. John Poole made an application for permission to build an fm station on his radio towers on Catalina. Some of the FM Association members were pushed out of shape at the thought of this competition. In any event, Poole dropped the idea and built 104.3 on Mount Wilson." - Saul Levine

** Avalon Memory

“I know you’ll receive many fond memories of KBIG from many who grew up with the station. I lived back east but let me share one. As a young teenager living in New Jersey in the early to mid-50s, I was into DXing...listening to and logging distant radio stations. Back then, I belonged to the National Radio Club (NRC) which arranged for a middle of the night test broadcast by KBIG for its members.  As I recall, it ran from four to four-thirty a.m. Eastern time and began and ended with Benny Goodman’s Avalon.

I had picked up KFI and a few other west coast stations but KBIG was easily the strongest I had heard. I sent in a report and got an acknowledgement. I heard the station again when I visited LA in 1958, and they were still broadcasting from off-shore. There is a 1980 film called The Man with Bogart’s Face in which some of the story takes place on Catalina, and KBIG is referred as a source of the latest local news. It’s a cute film.” – Bernie Alan
** Melody Ranch and Lucky Lager Dance Time

“Your site is such a treasure trove. For instance, until I read your piece on KBIG, I had always thought that Lucky Lager Dance Time was a KCBS-AM [San Francisco] exclusive. It came on the air there after KNBR-San Francisco grabbed a big audience with its nightly Burgie Music Box. Each was on from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., head to head on two of San Francisco’s major stations. Each formatted the same way, two tunes X 5 in the half hour.

I was a Burgie Music Box loyalist as a kid and teen [40s and 50s] and never switched to the competitor. In those days, KCBS-AM was KQW and KNBR was either KPO or KNBC. This is all apropos of nothing except an old dude’s memories. I knew nothing of broadcasting.

When I listened to Gene Autry after the war, I envisioned that his ‘Melody Ranch’ was somewhere near my home in Redwood City. Years later, I met The Cowboy while producing tv news remotes for KNBC/4 at Angel Stadium. I told him of my childish naivete and he got a chuckle out of that.

I’ll shut up now.” – Warren Cereghino

** Early 11/10 KRLA

Ron ‘Buddy’ Budnik concludes his fascinating reminiscences of the early days of KRLA last Sunday morning asking the ‘big’ question: Whatever happened to Arlen Sanders? All he needed to do was zip up to the top of the home page of your excellent site and click on the ‘S,’ and he’d have his answer in short order. He probably knows that. But his mention of Mr. Sanders triggered a memory for me.

I chronicle the story of attending the Bill Ogden school in Burbank in the fall of 1963 in my new book Vocal Recall, but I left this story out. One of my classmates was a young woman who said that she could get into KRLA pretty much any time she felt like it. I put her to the test one night. We cut class, hopped in my car and headed to Pasadena. She was true to her word. We got in the station. It was shortly after midnight. She introduced me to Dave Hull who had just gotten off the air. Years later I reminded him of this, but he had no memory of it. Why would he? We then went in the studio and spent the next hour chatting with Arlen Sanders [who was a very nice guy] watching him spin the hits. It was a magic hour!

I was in ground central of the radio big-time! So near and yet so far. When it ended, I was higher than a kite [just endorphins]. We left the station and hit the freeway, listening to KRLA of course. Arlen fired off the Marketts’ Out of Limits. I cranked it and we flew. Eventually the young woman put her hand on my arm and told me to slow down. I looked at the speedometer. We were doing 100mph. I’d had no idea.

I never made it to KRLA. But a few months later I did make it to KRL……C. What a difference one letter makes. Instead of sunny Pasadena, it was snowy Idaho. But that’s another story. And if you want to read about it, you gotta buy the book.” – Neil Ross

** 11-10 KRLA

“Thanks for the column on KRLA. I worked there during the Art Laboe years, when the FCC still owned the station [so the signal wouldn’t go dark and automatically revert to Mexico, I was told], up until a little after Bob Hope and the conglomeration of groups who had petitioned for years were finally approved to buy the station. The sales staff was housed in Art’s Original Sound headquarters on Sunset Blvd, in a somewhat seedy block of the Blvd, all owned by Art. Now there is a master of real estate as a financial investment. The traffic and talent part of the station was still in the Huntington Hartford offices in Pasadena. We communicated by a forerunner of the fax machine, some tacky paper that smelled to high heaven, but got the job done. It was all a pretty strange set up, but great fun.

I remember Tommy Bernstein had an original Picasso hidden in his office – a leftover from the Larry Webb ‘how can we spend all this money’ days. The FCC and the people who finally bought KRLA – after the fiasco over Jack Kent Cooke, a rigged on-air contest of sorts and how to retain control of the signal – owe a huge debt of gratitude to Art Laboe, who turned a turkey into a golden goose. The man is a brilliant programmer, strategist and on-air talent. I was so lucky to work with him those years.” – Mary Beth Garber

** Mack Attack

“I enjoyed reading Buddy Budnik’s recollections of KRLA.  It was great to remember the talented folks I met there: Charlie O, Casey, Reb Foster, Dick Moreland, Emperor Hudson, the Hullabalooer, Eubanks and all the rest.

I was on air at KRLA one weekend when a listener called, requesting some Peter Paul & Mary songs. He claimed to be Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, who said they were touring America for the first time.  Back then, a lot of the kids were putting on a phony British accent so I had my doubts. 

I shouldn’t have. 

He even came by to visit! Oh, I met the rest of the band too! 1965. 

Right time, right place.” – Gary Mack

** Batter Up

“Re Charley Steiner and the LA Times. Who cares if Charley takes a breath. Stop taking everything so seriously. Unless you are at the game or watching it on live tv, ‘checking up on him,’ who cares. It’s radio, fergawdsake.

Well, Chuck Blore always said, ‘talk to people in their own language.’ How does your life change with a fraction of a moment’s delay? Thank goodness some people think before they speak. It takes a newspaper nearly a whole day to report anything.” – Don Elliot

** UHF

“In case you're interested, I did an article on channel 22’s history a while back for Clarke Ingram’s ‘History of UHF Television’ website [which I designed for him and ended up both writing and editing articles for].

The KBIC-TV article is at Other articles of potential interest to LARPs are those about KHOF-TV/30, KLXA-TV/40, KCHU/18 (San Bernardino), KMEX/34’s short-lived and ill-fated attempt at an all-News format in the weekday daytime hours, the early educational experiment KTHE/28, and KAAR/39 in San Diego.

They are accessible from the article’s menu at if anyone’s interested. The site is a labor of love, no ads or subscriptions.” – K.M. Richards

** Fine Sign

“I saw this sign at Ventura Blvd and Fulton Ave in Sherman Oaks.” – Howard Fine

** Invisible LARP Essay

“AMEN and AMEN!” – Dave Armstrong

** More Invisible LARP Response

“Re reading your top story last Monday, it is striking how most, [if not all] of the stations have lost their unique identity due to corporate takeovers.

When I first opened my store a year ago, it seemed most of my customers mentioned The Sound, and how sad it was they were soon going away. Since then, NOBODY had ever referenced ANY station to me. Young people are NOT listening to radio for music.

I myself only listen to talk shows, and usually just Doug McIntyre in the morning on KABC. The corporate clowns have ruined radio. Sad, very sad!” – Bill Dudley

** Auto Correct

“With all due respect to Bob Scott and my good friend Don Elliot, we know the inventor of auto-correct had to be male because literally every woman I know hates when it ‘corrects’ something that was not meant to be. The men tend more to shrug it off and just retype [or let it go, because what the hell ...].” – K.M. Richards

** Delayed Sports

“In the last Email Saturday roundup, Dwaine Maggart says, ‘I hope Dodger games never go back to KSPN.’ The Dodgers were NEVER on KSPN, unless he picked up an ESPN network game, in which case the game would have also been on the Dodgers flagship station.” – Bob Scott

** LA, Oh, How Sweet It Is

“Dodgers in the World Series is sweet. Listening to KNX/fm is delicious!  We love L.A.” – Keri Tombazian

** Is It Poorman?

“I'm hoping you can help me track down the name of a short-lived dj who was heard on KIIS in the late 90s [somewhere between 95-98]. There are only a few things I remember about him:

- Rick Dees claimed he had been hanging outside the studio with a sign asking for a job.
- He performed a stunt where he was ‘frozen alive.’ This stunt was held in the parking lot of a supermarket in Burbank. Public were able to come and view the dj encased in ice [I remember because I was one of the people who went to see him].
- Wasn’t your traditional pop personality – he was edgier, meant to be kind of a ‘wild man.’ I know it’s a very random request, but I wasn’t sure who else to ask. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!” – Corey Irwin,

** Roq of the 80s Expands

“The ‘Roq of the 80s’ is now on KOOL 94.5-HD2 in Phoenix [in addition to KROQ 106.7-HD2 here in LA, and nationwide on Entercom’s, as has been the case since we relaunched around September 1]. So far, the response has been Incredible and I mean that in a good way!

Credit where credit’s due: Gene Sandbloom put the whole thing together and has been doing an excellent job as pd [meaning he actually listens to my suggestions], and it’s been a real pleasure for me to be back after three years of, shall we say, involuntary retirement thanks to CBS. [I only wish my many talented friends in similar situations could be so lucky].

As of now the dj lineup consists of Freddy Snakeskin (M-F 6 to noon + noon to 6 Saturdays), and Tami Heide [noon to 6 Sunday thru Friday], with a festive Party of Bounds remix show every Friday and Saturday from 6 to midnight [Billy Idol guest-hosted last weekend!] And in honor of Halloween we’re doing a special ‘Dead Man’s Party Out of Bounds’ this weekend. Tune in for a real Klassick KROQ musical fright fest. If you dare, and all that.” – Freddy Snakeskin

93/KHJ Gets Benched 

(October 26, 2018) After a movie screening in Beverly Hills Sunday night, Gary Gibson’s (Montrose) son had to stop in Hollywood because Quentin Tarantino was filming his new movie Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. The production closed down a few blocks of Hollywood Blvd. “The movie takes place in 1969 and he had lots of props covering current storefronts including this retro bus bench advertisement,” emailed Gary.

In other news: Diana Kirchen Kelly, part of the all-female jock line-up at KWIZ, checked in this week. She is enjoying retirement with her husband (another LARP), Paul Kelly. “We enjoy volunteering and travelling,” emailed Diana. “We still keep in touch with quite a few of our former Fullerton College Radio/TV students, many of whom are still working in radio and tv (and others who have had success in other careers).

They include: Bill ThomasRob Frazier, Rick Clapper, Henry Mulak, Liz Altamirano Carpenter, Terry Tate Driscoll, Teresa Fernandez Spector, Chris Dunn (NBC 15), Kimo Villarimo, Rod Barajas, Jim HillikerJim Governale, Shari Lipman, Dale BergPat Veling, Jay Eckstein, Randy Skretvedt, Eugene Louie, Steve Hassler, Stew Herrera, Tony Smith, Cami Black, Kay Poland, Craig Jackman, Pam Baumgardner (KPPQ-Lp Ventura), Marleen Kane-Weeks, Wayne Crews, Yume ArtWorld, Julio Flores, Victoria Botka Williams, and Lisa. We're proud of all of them!”
Hear Ache. Country singer Maren Morris will be the midday guest host at KKGO for the month of November … Chicago’s Steve Dahl will leave Cumulus talker WLS/890 just before Christmas. Steve got his start at KPPC and KKDJ before heading to the Windy City for an incredible career. Dahl and former partner Garry Meier were inducted into the Chicago-based National Radio Hall of Fame in 2013 … MY/fm’s Mario Lopez lands his own branded line of shoes for men and boys, priced in the $50 to $80 range … As the Dodgers struggle in the World Series, Earl Trout, former pd at KDAY, send along a funnie: “Vin Scully once told the story of an old man who bragged about his new hearing aid. The old-timer said something like this to Mr. Scully: “With this amazing new hearing aid, I can hear a bird in the outfield. I can hear the tinkle of a bell on a kid’s tricycle at the end of the block. I know a blind man is crossing the street by the tapping of his cane on the asphalt.” Vinny asked, “What kind is it?” The old man said, “A quarter to three.” … K-EARTH's Gary Bryan refuses to play any Classic Hits by the group Boston, at least until the end of the World Series ... Rob Marinko has lost his KABC job. “Without notice, explanation or ceremony, I was told my services were no longer needed at KABC. Perhaps I just did not meet their standards. My employment search will now focus on radio stations that are #42 or lower in the market, where my talents may be better suited,” wrote Rob on his Facebook page. Leah Brandon, one-time KFI news anchor gave some comfort to Rob: “Heeeeeyyyyy! Chin up buckaroo! Remember, I moved on purpose to a market smaller than yours. I LOVE IT! Wouldn’t go back for anything. More fun, more freedom. This is a gift” … Classical KUSC is using Christmas music collections in its current fall pledge drive … The Beatles released The White Album in 1968 but never played any of the songs live. On November 25,at the Harris Center in Folsom, California, a 40-piece orchestra featuring top area players, along with popular local singers/musicians/celebrities and top students from The Sacramento Preparatory Music Academy, will perform the entire album in its entirety.

KBIG Begins With Poole 

  (October 25, 2018) Growing up in Southern California presented me with numerous opportunities to hear the evolution of LA Radio. Long before I discovered r&b on KPOP and KGFJ and long before KFWB channeled rock ‘n roll, Carl Bailey broadcast on the “Big White Steamer” between San Pedro and Avalon. The blaring sound of the steamship horn provided the romance of being aboard and seeing this lanky (6 foot, 5-inch-tall) personality who made the voyage daily and conducted interviews from the under deck as they crossed the channel. He called them man-on-the-deck interviews.

The daily broadcasts in the fifties were on KBIG (then on 740AM, a daytimer). Every day was a fantasy while listening on my transistor radio as Carl made the 26-mile trek to Santa Catalina. Life magazine carried a photo of Carl’s broadcast. He was made a “Commodore of the Port of Los Angeles,” as well as being named an official greeter for Avalon. Carl has a commemorative plaque on the island. KBIG's studios were located 16 miles up in the hills of Catalina.

Each dj was given his own 4-wheel jeep by the company to make the daily drive up and down from the station. The Big Band format could be heard from San Diego to Portland. In 1958, Carl hosted Bailey’s Biscuit Barrel, which featured the one and a half tons of his personal record collection Carl gave KBIG to establish a working music library for the then-new station on Catalina Island. His show was on the local airwaves during the same time as Al JarvisMake Believe BallroomGene Norman's Lucky Lager Dance Time and Peter Potter's Platter Parade. Carl was also program director of KBIG.

In the mid-1960s he switched to news. Carl had to  from broadcasting just shy of his 50th anniversary following a stroke that damaged his motor reflexes.

Also helping establish the station 26 miles across the sea was John Poole. He was a broadcasting innovator, former merchant marine radio operator (he helped pioneer early military radar use during WWII), and reportedly worked as an American radio operator on Japanese fishing boats plying American water (the boats apparently were required by law to have an American radio operator on board). John was the engineer who launched KBIG on Catalina in 1952. At the time, Los Angeles County had more than 20 radio stations and seven tv stations. Few believed the region needed yet another radio station. He went on to establish not only KBIG on Santa Catalina Island but also one of the nation’s first UHF commercial television station, KBIC Channel 22 (now KWHY).

During his more than two decades as a broadcasting company owner, Poole played a major role in founding nine radio stations and four television stations. In 1969, Poole left behind his career as a pioneer communicator, leaving behind his interest in 13 radio and tv stations, and sold KBIG. He then purchased and planted an 80-acre parcel of land in Temecula, harvesting premium varietal grapes. By 1975, he constructed Mount Palomar Winery. It took six years for those vines to mature and for Poole to produce his first vintage under the Mount Palomar Winery label. The family has grown the ranch to 92 acres and garnered hundreds of top awards in domestic and international competitions. John wanted to establish a new agricultural business natural for his family. His son Peter took over operation of the Winery in 1985.
John’s wife was both Italian and British, having lived in England. Poole’s family reportedly was from the East Coast and had other business ventures, including holdings in iron and copper mining companies, among other things. John died on Christmas Day 2004, at the age of 86.

KBIG memorabilia is now on display in the landmark Avalon Casino Ballroom, built by the Wrigley family in 1929. In fact, the opening of the theatre was within weeks of the stock market crash.  

LA Times Beats Up Charley Steiner

(October 24, 2018) With the LA Dodgers preparing on Tuesday for Game One of the World Series, the LA Times oddly took the opportunity that morning to write a scathing story on Dodger broadcaster Charley Steiner. The headline in the Tom Hoffarth penned story declared: Steiner of the Dodgers Can Be Call of the Wild. Hoffarth cites missed calls, wrong calls and an interminable pause in his delivery.

“We entrust Steiner to give us a chance to visualize when a ball is hit in the air,” writes Hoffarth. “His long pauses don’t seem to be for dramatic effect. Sooner or later, Rick Monday confirms a catch, a home run or the ball bouncing off the way.”

Steiner, 69, who grew up in Brooklyn listening to Vin Scully, received a recent contract extension. Hoffarth suggests some relief assistance from a local talent who can handle the middle three innings as Jerry Doggett used to do for Scully. “Selfishly, we’d endorse more of a Monday-Kevin Kennedy tandem, which never fails to educate listeners about how the game plays out, move to move.”

Somewhere Out There: The Los Angeles Premiere for Joe Frank – Somewhere Out There is set for December 1 at South Park Center. The feature length film explores the life of award-winning audio artist Joe Frank, whose career on radio and on-line has spanned four decades before he passed earlier this year. He created his work for decades at KCRW in Santa Monica and his programs aired nationwide on public radio. The host for the screening, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization designed to showcase innovative works by emerging filmmakers from around the world.

Podcast Problems: The challenge of making a living by hosting a podcast was further put in flux, as described in a story from Chicago. Earlier this year, the Chicago Sun-Times hired Jennifer Schulze, the former Chicago tv news director and wife of Sun-Times ceo, with “really big plans” in mind, according to a story by Windy City blogger Robert Feder. She was put in charge of “new content development,” including production of an ambitious series of weekly podcasts to be hosted by Sun-Times columnists and reporters. “We’re putting the full weight of the Sun-Times behind the podcasts,” said the senior vice president of digital news products. “We’ve got really big plans.” Nine months later, Schulze is still on the job, but the podcasts are silent. “Overall, they didn’t generate the audience we hoped, so we put them on hold over the summer,” she said.

In an unrelated announcement, iHeartMedia, described as “the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally with over 20,000 podcasts available on its platform,” announced the first annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards to be held at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles early next year. The first-ever major live awards event, voted by the listeners to honor the very best in podcasting,will span 22 categories and honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts of 2018, while giving listeners the opportunity to decide the winners in 17 of the 22 categories. Mark Ramsey’s “Inside Jaws” was nominated. “What a pleasure and an honor to be on such a short list of great series,” wrote Mark. “The way the winner is chosen is via social media prowess, so I would be grateful if you enjoyed the series enough to vote for it here. We are trying hard to do great work, and to be acknowledged for that is a real treat.”

RJ Hits Jackpot 

(October 23, 2018) RJ Curtis, former pd at Country KZLA and most recently AllAccess Nashville editor, had a pretty heady week. He was at Lambeau Field in Green Bay for the first time to see the Packers play. As if that wasn’t itself a noteworthy event, RJ was appointed executive director of Country Radio Seminar. “Scuse me, while I pinch myself, and go buy a Mega-Millions ticket,” wrote RJ. “I'm honored to join CRB and hope to provide steady leadership and direction for an organization, and an event I'm in love with.” 

Former Power 106 morning team player, Luscious Liz Hernandez, has joined TuneIn to host “Today's Hits,” the premier TuneIn exclusive music station. In addition to being part of Big Boy’s Neighborhood, Liz previously co-hosted Valentine in the Morning at MY/fm (KBIG) until the end of 2013. She's also worked for Access HollywoodE! News and MTV News.

Total Traffic & Weather Network (TTWN) is looking to hire. The company has posted openings for two part-time traffic anchors at the Long Beach studios and one in San Diego. Anyone interested should go to for information and to apply.  All applications must be submitted through that site – applicants should NOT contact management directly regarding this opportunity.

Phil Hulett has joined the team at NBC News Radio as a national news anchor. “Listen for my voice [soon] at the top and bottom of the hour on your favorite station across the country. I will also be heard The Blaze,” Phil wrote on his Facebook page.

Everything traffic queen Rhonda Kramer owns is all about the Dodgers. “From pillows, T Shirts, blankets, coffee cups and even my debit card, it’s all about this team for me,” wrote Rhonda. “My team is now in the WORLD SERIES! Go DODGERS! This is our year. Now, I need to find one of those winning championship T-Shirts ASAP!”

Tom Taylor reports in his tasty newsletter that we have our first all-Christmas station, and it’s in downstate Illinois. “Atlantic City owner Gary Fisher likes to be first in the nation, on his easy oldies ‘Easy 93.1’ WEZW, but this year that distinction goes to a new setup in Du Quoin, Illinois. ‘Christmas 97.1’ is a bit of a stunt. Radio Insight says last Friday’s holiday announcement was part of the launch of a new translator. The owner will use the diet of Christmas music to get attention.”

KOST will have many challenges for ears when it comes to holiday music this year. 10 channels on SiriusXM will launch, many of them next week. The channels include:  

HOLLY (channel 4), contemporary holiday hits, airing November 1 - December 28.
HOLIDAY TRADITIONS (channel 3), traditional holiday music, November 2 - December 26.
RADIO HANUKKAH (channel 77), December 1 - 11.
COUNTRY CHRISTMAS (channel 58), December 3 - 26.
HOLIDAY SOUL (channel 49), December 3 - 26.
ACOUSTIC CHRISTMAS (channel 14), singer-songwriter acoustic holiday songs, December 14 - 26.
CHRISTMAS SPIRIT (channel 63), holiday songs from Contemporary Christian artists, December 21 - 26.
MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHANNEL (channel 30), December 17 - 25.
HOLIDAY POPS (channel 76), Classical, December 24 - 26.
NEW YEAR'S NATION (channel 2), party hits, December 28 - January 2.
70S/80S CHRISTMAS (streaming), November 1 - December 2.
ROCKIN' XMAS (streaming), November 1 - December 26.
HOLIDAY CHILL-OUT (streaming), Chill holiday music, November 1 - December 26.
JAZZ HOLIDAYS (streaming), November 1 - December 26.
NAVIDAD (streaming), Spanish-language holiday music, November 1 - January 7.

Invisible LARP

(October 22, 2018) When I first started writing about Los Angeles Radio People in the early 1990s, its market managers, programmers and even talent relished being public figures. Not so much today. With the beginning of social media, the opportunity to promote seemed like a natural, and some embraced it. Yet others felt that their radio station alone was bigger than all social media. After all, they could promote on multiple frequencies, appearing on sister stations up and down their corporate hallways.

As consolidation took hold, executives seemed to hunker down, and as a result they became isolated. In today’s corporate radio, how many of us would recognize – or have ever heard any periodic statements – from the market managers and programming execs? Each summer, we used to vote for the Top 10 Off-Air LARP. I believe we would be hard-pressed today to nominate 10 of these invisible leaders. Is there any correlation to the paucity of radio leaders promoting radio?

Nowadays, the singleness of purpose seems to be sales. There are a number of LA Radio stations that don’t even have a program director. Those are the call letters programmed from some far away corporate headquarters or by someone who also has to program another station down the hallway.

The audio environment is being created and distributed for total disruption. No longer is radio the fair-haired child coveted by the public. As I sit writing this essay on Sunday afternoon, I have asked Alexa to play a half dozen audio sources, only a couple of choices were LARadio. The weekend programming seems to be an after-thought for most programmers.
Who are our leaders who can shout from the tallest tower about the virtues of radio? Who locally is giving us reason to listen to compelling radio instead of watching NFL football? Who out there is interested in informing the public about the impact of radio?

Many levels of iHeart, Entercom, and Cumulus empire are still in flux, with two bankruptcies in various phases, while one merger / purchase is still trying to figure out who they are. While change is going on, wouldn’t this be the best time to launch new thinking? How many more years will we have to endure “Pay Your Bills” and “Say It and Win It” promotions? Have you ever won a family four-pack to Disneyland? Just look at the station websites and all you get are photos, news stories and ads.

My continuing mantra – if you don’t promote, a funny thing happens: NOTHING!

1963 LA Times Ads from David Grudt's collection

Nostalgia Sunday - 10 Years Ago Today

Top 40 KRLA from the Inside

(October 21, 2008) Ron ‘Buddy’ Budnik worked at KRLA after school (Pasadena High School and City College) beginning in the late 1950’s. Buddy remembers it was a time when Jack Kent Cooke was still coming in to work every morning before the promotion  fiasco that caused havoc with the FCC for a few years. “As a kid, I lived in Sierra Madre and Wink Martindale lived close to me,” remembered Buddy. “So, one day I knocked on his front door and asked him if I could come to the station, and asked who I should see to get some news copy off the AP and UPI wires, as we needed some for a class at school. It was Bill MacMillan who first welcomed me at KRLA, along with Dick Moreland, who became one of my best friends until his passing in the late 80’s. MacMillan was the news director, and Jim Steck and Richard Beebe were doing news. Upstairs, Sie Holiday, and a few months later Bill Keffury, worked in traffic and did on-air work as well as local commercial production. Keffury also did weekends. 

In the big office off the left of the front door was the music director, Mary Kelly.”  Buddy became the station go-fer, working on station promotions, giveaways, answered phones and everything else no one else wanted to do. Bob Eubanks and Buddy became friends and urged the gm, John Barrett, to hire Buddy. "Eubanks was the all-night guy,” said Buddy. “Wink was doing 6 to 9 a.m.,  Roy Elwell was doing midmornings, Moreland at noon to 3 p.m. Jimmy O'Neill was a monster personality doing afternoons. Then it was Sam Riddle and Roger Christian, as I recall, along with Perry Allen

This was the period well before Casey Kasem, Emperor Bob Hudson, Reb Foster, Dave HullDick BiondiTed Quillin, and the rest, and years before Shadoe Stevens, China Smith, Dick Sainte, Lee Sims, Russ O’Hara, Charlie Tuna, Gary Mack, Sonny Melendez, William F. and so many others.   “In 1960, KRLA was new, but the facility was old,” continued Buddy. 

“At that time there was an old  switchboard telephone system in front lobby, and in the lobby was a white naugahyde sofa in the lobby [adjacent to the stairs] that Eubanks would sometimes ‘crash’ on. I would get to the station before school at the same time Wink showed up, just before 6 a.m. Eubanks and I would generally have breakfast mornings in the Huntington Sheraton Hotel commissary after his shift, since KRLA was located on the grounds of the hotel. 

Rudy Marini was the engineer at night, and the Chief Engineer was a guy named Frank, a big burly cowboy type who’d been with the station when it was still KXLA with a Country format only a year or two before. Following Frank in engineering, there was a nice guy named Jack Reeder, and then there was Phil Little, one of my classmates from PCC, who ultimately became chief engineer.”  (Photo: 1963 KRLA jocks at 1981 reunion: back row - Johnny Hayes, Ted Quillin, Richard Beebe; center - Emperor Bob Hudon, Dick Moreland, Dave Hull; front - Buddy Budnik)

In 1959, KRLA was the new kid on the Top 40 block following the launch of Color Radio KFWB Channel 98 a year and a half earlier. “We were still on the warp edge of the Doo-Wop days with the Platters, the Five Satins, the Coasters, the Fleetwoods, the Skyliners, the Crests, along with Paul Anka and the Everly Brothers,” recalled Budnik. “It was that transitional period of music that ran from the Doo-Wop groups and girl singers like Connie Francis and Brenda Lee to Chubby Checker’s Twist, to Preston Epps’ Bongo Rock, to Duane Eddy and Bobby Rydell to Roy Orbison and Frankie Avalon. And does anyone remember Skip and Flip?” 

Competition was fierce between KFWB and KRLA. And the battle began. “Having become good friends with Eubanks and everyone else at the station,  it came a time that I wanted to go on the air,” recalled Budnik. “What kid wouldn’t want to be a disc jockey, right? So Eubanks, Steck and Keffury suggested that I go to their old farm team radio station, KACY in Oxnard. Moreland, Eubanks and Keffury had gone to Don Martin’s School of Broadcasting, and all had worked at KACY. Eubanks always said to me ‘keep it light, keep it bright, and shut up!’ So, I’d go up into the production booth and practice ‘my time and temp technique.’

Finally, my confidence sufficiently sequestered, and having heard there was a weekend opening at KACY, I went up to Oxnard do an air check for them in their production booth. Long and short, I got the weekend gig at KACY.” While still in school, Buddy worked at KRLA doing odd jobs during the week and drove to Oxnard to work weekends and relief at KACY. By 1962, the KACY weekends finally transcended into a full-time shift. “I remember doing ‘rip and reads’ off the AP and UPI noting that Vietnam body counts and fire fights were getting absurd,” said Budnik. “A few was turning into hundreds. It was scary. So, wouldn’t you know, it was about a year or so when I got the word that I was coming up on the list, and had to act quickly. I was doing what I could to avoid the draft, and was lucky enough to avoid a free ‘round-trip vacation’ to beautiful downtown Saigon and the exotic Vietnamese countryside villages by stumbling into a Reserve PsyOps Broadcasting Unit down at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro.” 

The unit was filled with assorted radio, tv and entertainment people. Buddy did his basic training at Fort Ord and six months of active duty in the “ivy covered garrison”  headquarters at Ft. Lewis, Washington. “It was a period that Rick Scarry and I both reminisce about to this day,” added Budnik.  “When I came back for a short while, Quillin, Hudson, and Biondi were there, and then I left again,” Buddy continued. “KRLA started getting a little weird when the station lost its license and became an FCC whipping boy, and there was some slick suited guy named Larry Webb who came in to run things. He’d been brought in by the ‘board’ or the Washington FCC guys and things started changing after that. I can't remember the exact years, but I do remember the people. They include my dear friend from PCC, Penny Biondi, who’d married Dick’s brother, and who worked in traffic, Reb Foster and Dick Moreland who remained dear friends over the years, along with Hudson, Beebe, Charlie O'Donnell, and so many more.”  “Those were wonderful years, and I remember things like the all the promo men coming in with stacks of vinyl and all those artists who came to the station, including a young couple named Caesar and Cleo wearing these outrageous clothes and long hair. Their song was I Got You Babe. So many faces and so many great friends were made for life back then. And, to this day, you should know, Eubanks still drowns his eggs in ketchup. The big question is: What ever happened to Arlen Sanders?” (Photo: Moreland, Budnik and Eubanks)

Email Saturday, 10.20.2018

** Steele Memories

“Needless to say, I loved today’s Nostalgia Sunday piece. Having followed The Real Don Steele on Ten-Q back in the day, anytime his name is mentioned or comes crashing into my mind, it’s an instant flashback to not only his incredible genius and zeal for his profession but his total decency and the love he shared [in his very own very non-quiet way] with everyone around him as well. 

It seems almost hard to believe but even now hardly a day goes by when I don’t think of him. Yeah baby, you left a deep mark on hundreds of us!” - Rich Brother Robbin
** KNX/fm Returns

“KNX/fm is back … sorta … me don’t think so … but almost! After 35 years of being begged to bring back KNX/fm, I started working six years ago on re-building two Mellow Sound stations … one the ‘Classic KNX/fm’ from ’73-’83 and the ‘Mellow Sound Now: ’73-present. They are now in their Beta testing stage and will be soon ready to fly. The original KNX/fm music library contained 1200 tunes … the two I have just compiled and completely re-mastered contain over 5200 cuts and that is just the beginning. I programmed the original station for 7 out of its 10 years on the air … and produced a good many of KNX/fm’s well-known jingles.

I feel bad that an eager beaver would put all that work into his current project, however, I think Dale Berg might be better off hooking his wagon to our train.” – Michael Sheehy, Program Director, Music Director, KNX/fm
** Banner Year

“790 KABC can’t seem to catch a break. The afternoon drive team of Jillian Barberie and John Phillips were doing a remote Wednesday at Robin’s Woodfire BBQ in Pasadena in support of Proposition 6.When they arrived, the place had banners announcing Welcome KFI’s John & Ken. It could just be divine payback because a dozen years ago John & Ken were in the Glendale Christmas Parade, when the tv announcer introduced them as Ken & Bob.” – Gary Gibson

** Minyard’s Start

Ken Minyard started on KABC in 1969, just not morning drive. Craig Horowitz's excellent book chronicles Minyard's impressive run in L.A.” – Bill Earl

** Delayed

“I do see a lot of Dodger games and I can’t imagine not listening to the AM 570 broadcast of the games at Dodger Stadium. I’m very appreciative that AM 570 is willing to take the HUGE RISK of broadcasting the games with no delay. I sure hope the Dodger games never go back to KSPN!” – Dwaine Maggart

** Gunn’s Book

“Thank you for Johnny Gunn's story. I've never heard of him except when LARP's mention him, but he sounds like a fascinating person. And a great storyteller. I have to get his and Wink's books.” – Julie T. Byers **
** Happy Trails

“It was absolutely wonderful to see so many great comments about Roy Rogers & Dale Evans. Over the years, I have had the honor to do a great deal of work [including a couple of CDs for Dusty [Roy Jr.], Cheryl and the Rogers family. Shamelessly, I never got tired of going to the museum, walking up to the Trigger exhibit and hearing my own production of Roy talking about his beloved four-legged friend. The Rogers were beyond heroes, they were American Icons that showed the way for billions of kids. I laugh as I remember sitting in their dining room and getting Dale to record those immortal words ‘Never ask a cowgirl about the size of her spread,’ She laughed for quite some time and thought it one of the funniest things she had ever been asked to record. Despite their sparkling image, they were very ‘down to earth’ and absolutely ‘real.’ I never asked a dime for any of my work. I always considered it repaying a childhood debt.

When Dale passed, I did the music for her service. One of the most amazing moments we have ever experienced happened upon leaving her memorial and heading West towards L.A. It had rained that afternoon, however the clouds cleared and now the skyline was like a vivid Maxfield Parrish painting … the huge amazing clouds had separated with a golden shaft of light beaming through all the way to the ground. It was a breathtaking and magnificent Western way for Dale to depart but I think she may have had a little help. These days I celebrate my 50th year in broadcasting, and we live up North in Grass Valley three miles out of town in the middle of the cedar forest. We along with some very special friends are in our 12th year of Planet Pootwaddle, which is my ‘labor of lunacy and study in self-indulgence.’ Pooty continues to live by the mantra we learned from Dale Evans many years ago, ‘If you want to be happy, make other people happy!’ Hey saddle pals, it works! Happy Trails!” – Michael
** Auto Correct

"Who said it was a man?" - Don Elliot

** Auto Correctness

"Your 'humor box' in today’s column refers to the 'man' who invented autocorrect. In 2018, shouldn’t that have said 'person?' How do we know it wasn’t a woman who invented it?" - Bob Scott

Bill's Biz is Hardly a Dud

(October 19, 2018) Dudley's Records Vintage Vinyl is located in Torrance and owned by KTWV personality Bill Dudley. His specialty store just celebrated its first anniversary. Bill sells hundreds of records, CDs, cassettes, posters, T-shirts, and other music related merchandise. “Hard to believe, but we just celebrated our one-year anniversary of the new Dudley’s Records, my seventh and final location,” emailed Bill. “We had a HUGE sale with a big turnout of our new and regular customers. The Beach Reporter newspaper gave us a nice shout out.” More info at: … Doug Stephan celebrates 30th Anniversary as an independent syndicated host. His program, continually running for the past three decades, was heard on LARadio on various stations over the decades, most recently on KFWB. It began as a morning show titled “Good Day” in a basement studio at WCKY-Cincinnati. “I think for the first few months, I was talking to myself, and now after all these years, I have spoken to millions of listeners…how many…who really knows?  Plus being on over 1,400 stations in the collective over the years, I am humbled by the support of so many station managers and program directors.” … Ever wonder what happened to the Satellite Sisters who had a show on KABC in 2005? ... As part of their ongoing support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Shirley Strawberry and Carla Ferrell of the KJLH Steve Harvey Morning Show joined more than 4,000 participants in the 2018 Sista Strut Breast Cancer Walk in Chicago this past weekend … Brad Pomerance yearns to be a game show host. “I am hosting TRIVIA for King Trivia at Billingsley’s Restaurant in L.A.,” Brad posted … Gary Spears, retired from radio broadcasting one year ago, moved to Florida, and takes occasional requests for voiceover work … Vin Scully could have wished us all a very pleasant good afternoon, on national television. The invitation came from Joe Buck, the lead announcer for Fox Sports. “It would be an honor to get up, take the headset off, sterilize it and hand it to Vin,” Buck told The Times. Vin respectfully declined: “I don’t want to just take a bow…Those fellows have been broadcasting all year. I don’t want to get into their spotlight in any way, shape, or form. I think they’re doing a wonderful job” … Chaka Khan, the one-time jock at B-100 (KIBB 100.3/fm), will be the grand marshal of the 2019 Rose Parade. As a singer, her hits include I’m Every WomanI Feel for You, and Tell Me Something Good.

Archives 4th Quarter 2018: Classic win for K-EARTH; Ellen K doubles down; Rachel Maddow profile; Imus lawsuit thrown out; Jeff Baugh's book; Gary Thompson was at right place, at the right time; Don Elliot reports from NAB/RAB Radio Show; Rocio Rivera gets more time at KFI; Johnny Gunn's new book gets dressed down; New life for KNX/fm; Passing Parade: Hal Pickens

Archives 3rd Quarter 2018: Anniversary of AT 40; Passing Parade: Ed Schultz, Johnny Morris, Fred Beaton, Dave Zorn; New Role for Kelli Gates; Art Laboe is One-of-a-Kind; Savage as Supreme; Vic the Brick is Feelin' You; Rita Pardue a thing of Senior beauty; Marcellus Wiley jumps team; Doug Dunlap has the keys to happiness; Highest paid LARP; Martoni LARP Noms; Former KIIS GM retires; Sad Sage Sylvester story; Carlucci, voice of Russia World Cup Games; Is there a Smart Radio? Springsteen on KMET; Is podcasting for you?; Rick Dees slated for Yucapia station; Time for a Southern California Radio Hall of Fame; National Radio Day; Big Boy makes unwanted news; Judging Amy Lewis; Jim Rome lookig for LARadio home' K-SURF adds morning personality; What keeps Kevin LeGrett up at night? Alex Cohen moving to new Specrum; Silver celebration at NBC Sports Radio; Jo Jo Wright takes his KIIS show to Beijing; Paxton Quigley, armed and strong with a new radio show; Mt. Rushmore of sports; Neil Ross pens new book; Highest paid radio people; Looney looks to add game show host to eclectic career; Burt Reynolds apologizes with a twinkle; Traffic reports won't be so Rosie (Wedel); Voice of Trojan basketball headed for Thunder; the night Elvira spent with Elvis

Archives 2nd Quarter 2018: Michael Benner's new book; Brian Beirne in concert; KNX celebrates 50 years; Uncle Joe to Townsquare; Amp says Yes to Yesi; Click and Clack to automotive Hall of Fame; When is an Oldie Not an Oldie? Passing Parade - Mark Morris, Bill Watson, Dex Allen, Dick Orkin, Bill Jenkins, Don Bustany, Arnie McClatchey, Mark Morris, Roger Collins, Art Bell, Mike Walker, Frank Bresee, Warren Duffy, John Mack Flanagan; 3 LA stations in revenue Top 10; NAB nominations and voting; Kimmel in People; Ted Leitner diagnosed with cancer; PPM re-issue issue; Lady LARPs of Grace; Dick Biondi out of WLS after six decades; 6-minute commercial load too much; Purely Personal with son's graduation and daughter's marriage; Len Chandler songs for Credibility Gap; Alfonzo Ortiz @KNX; THR award to Harvey; Stern cut and he's not happy; 2 LARPs on Time list of 2018 Most Influential; Ladd is back and Tribe thrilled; Larry Gifford diagnosed with Parkinson's; Is Savage being set-up; Walker needed for pd; Good Time Steve Mitchell to Georgia HOF;  LARPs nominated for HOF; Marriage of Alexandra Barrett; Lyon Queen; David Viscott king of psych Talker; Debunking myths of a dj; New day for Sue Fruend; Adam Carolla is driven to buy; Is the Bloom off the rose?; Paul Newman's cars; One of a Kind LARPs Series with Jim Ladd, Jim Healy; K-EARTH's Locks of Love excellent promotion; Good Day LA crew reunites at KABC; Baseball ratings; Jersey Boys interruption; Rita Wilde interview; LARPs inducted into Radio Hall of Fame

About the Publisher of, Don Barrett

As publisher of, Don Barrett chronicles radio news and lists 6,000 people in Los Angeles who work or have worked in radio in the past 60+ years. Barrett is a historian of contemporary Los Angeles radio history and author of Los Angeles Radio People, published in 1994. He published a second volume of the book a year later, along with the launch of a daily website column.

In 2013, he started as the radio columnist for the Orange County Register.

Barrett's Southern California roots (Santa Monica) include a bachelor's degree from Chapman University (Man of the Year, 1964). He also earned a master's in psychology. He spent 10 years in radio working as a disc jockey, program director and general manager (W4-Detroit and WDRQ-Detroit).

He launched KIQQ (K-100) Los Angeles in the early 1970s.

In the mid-1970s Don joined the motion picture business, working as a marketing executive at Columbia, Universal, and MGM/UA. Barrett was part of the marketing team that released E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Back to the Future, Thelma and Louise, Rocky and James Bond movies.

He also represented a number of films at the Cannes Film Festival.

He was the first recipient of TALKERS Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award. Don has been honored with an honorary Golden Mike and Special Recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists. 

Send mail to: with questions or comments about this website.
Copyright  1997-2018 - Los Angeles Radio People
PO Box 2670, Avila Beach, CA 93424

Last modified: November 14, 2018