<laradio.com>
Los Angeles Radio People
Archives, January 1999
compiled and written by
Don Barrett

db@ecom.net


KFWB Casual Anchor Dated Alec Baldwin

(January 15, 1999) Good morning! Today is a column filled with bits, pieces, odds, ends and, well, just stuff…Tomorrow night "Arrow 93" will debut "Let It Rock," a new show developed by afternooner Bob Coburn. Beginning at 10 p.m., "Let It Rock" will feature "Arrow 93's" extensive music library combined with deeper album tracks, rare songs, comments from the artists who make the music and exclusive live performances. Bob describes "Let it Rock," as "simply trying to re-create the spirit and feeling radio had during the days I worked at the old KMET from 1975 through 1979. Only this program has the perspective and technology of the new millennium. I don't think Los Angeles has heard this kind of radio in quite some time."…Didn’t KFWB casual anchor Kathleen Sullivan date Alec Baldwin?…Have you checked the latest rankings for favorite Los Angeles Radio People? Your voting has put Michael Jackson at the top for the first time…At 10 tomorrow morning Rod Lurie has an incredible line-up of guests: John Travolta, Bill Paxton and Joan Allen…Sunday night at 7, Stephanie Edwards of KKLA will guest on "Radio AM/FM Live" at KIEV…You forget how good Royal Oakes is until KFWB utilizes his law/broadcasting mind to sort through a complicated court proceeding like the impeachment proceedings. He presents the material in a way the layman can easily understand…Recently Paul Anka appeared with Charlie Tuna on KLAC. With five daughters and a wife, Paul has his own meaning for PMS: Paul Must Suffer…Former KGGI gm Dave Presher joins three Dallas CBS/Infinity stations. He was most recently gsm at KTWV...Perry Michael Simon, former pd of KLSX, has left "Y-107" where he was operations manager. Perry was helping out until John Duncan was hired as pd…Speaking of "Y-107," did you know that gm David Howard’s brother-in-law is KLSX’s Merrill Shindler? David is moving his entire operation into the old Orion Pictures space in Century City some time in March. Sales is already in Century City but as David said, "We will merge commerce with arts and crafts." The former broadcast major from Cal State Northridge was pleased with the performance of the station in 1998. "We did one and a half percent of the Los Angeles business with less than a one share." He has a staff of 65…Yesterday we detailed a KRLA listener’s reception problems and what he was told by the engineer. An update: "Well, it seems my computer was the culprit! My reception is greatly improved when my computer is off -- even though my computer is upstairs and far away from one of my radios. Someone told me that their dimmer lights caused their problem. Once they actually turned them off, the KRLA static disappeared. So, this is all good news." Another reader, GAC from Mission Viejo, voiced his experience: "I am one of those experiencing reception problems with KRLA. I live in Mission Viejo, and daytime reception is very good. When KRLA drops its power at night from 50kw to 20kw, reception becomes very bad, i.e. fading etc. Aside from the power drop, I think that KRLA changes the radiation pattern of its signal at night, thus making them unlistenable in most of South Orange County. A source within KRLA said that they were aware of the problem and that they were working on it!"…KPWR hosted an advanced screening promotion for In Dreams with Annette Bening…Denise Fondo has left her position as news bureau chief of Metro Network Los Angeles…Theola Roberts Sanders, director of operations during three ownerships at KFWB (Warner Bros., Harry Maizlish and Crowell-Collier) has passed away at the age of 91…Bob Griffith, former gm at KJOI, KYSR, KXEZ and KCTD has joined RAB as senior vp of West Coast stations…If you were part of the Hollywood Whisky A Go Go scene 35 (gawd, is it possible?) years ago, a weeklong music festival begins tomorrow at the famed Sunset Blvd. venue. One more time for Big Brother & the Holding Company, Iron Butterfly, Canned Heat and Moby Grape? Sunday the show will be hosted by Dr. Demento and later in the week KROQ’s Rodney Bingenheimer will be the MC…Insiders say that Comedy Central has picked up KROQer’s Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel’s comic gem The Man Show. The Finger at New Times Los Angeles saw the pilot that was originally done for ABC and said the show was filled with "a raw, hilarious exploration of our national manhood, and can’t stop watching." It was called a testosterrific variety show attempting to stop "the Oprahfictation of America" and the raging "river of estrogen" ruining the country. The pilot, according to NTLA, included Cindy Crawford hosting a plumbing segment, farting chimps telling the history of man and women in skirts jumping on a trampoline…Former KEZY dj Buddy Baron has departed WHOK-Columbus, Ohio…Ricky Fuentes, recently with KPWR, is now doing nights at KQKS-Denver…This morning in the LA Times, Larry Stewart analyzed the Keith Olbermann debut for Fox Sports News. On debut night January 5 in Los Angeles, Keith was seen in 5,000 homes, while ESPN’s SportsCenter was seen in 30,000 homes. The Channel 4 news at 11 p.m. that night was seen in 370,000 homes. What’s in a name? Larry took an informal survey and found that no one knew that Fox Sports Net is the name of a group of Fox-owned regional sports networks. Most thought it had something to do with the Internet. Oops…Sunday is the fifth anniversary of the Northridge earthquake. Any memories?…Kim’s Morning Menudo is the entertainment news on Big Boy’s morning show at "Power 106." Recently Kim reported that Monica Lewinsky wanted to lose 60 pounds through liposuction. Kim suggested that she "shouldn’t have swallowed."…Last month, KXTA fired sports talker Joe McDonnell from his afternoon drive shift. Joe detailed his firing on his own Web site, some of which appeared at <laradio.com>. Elizabeth Salazar, former KWST personality and wife of Bobby Ocean, wrote on January 9, "It’s disconcerting to read Joe McDonnell’s rampant diatribe about his firing." Her point was that firing is part of the radio journey and we should "grieve and move on." Joe emailed: "I just want to respond to Elizabeth Salazar's comments from the other day. She asked what happened to being professional? Well, doesn't that apply to both sides? How professional was it to fire me in the middle of the street right after a broadcast? The fact that I was fired doesn't bother me in the least. It never did. I know how radio is, and I'm still getting paid. The way it was done, however, is what pissed me off. If Mike Thompson didn't want me around, that's his choice. I have no problem at all with that. However, he could have asked me to come back to the office to meet with him, called me on the phone, or even waited until Monday to do it. Not literally in the middle of the street, with a group of friends and listeners looking on. There's no excuse for that. So, before you start popping off, Elizabeth, know the facts and realize that professionalism is supposed to go both ways."

Ken Minyard Taped KABC Conversations

(January 14, 1999) Ken Minyard was so baffled with KABC management directives during the last half of 1998; Ken secretly taped all his conversations. Ken said: "I got so frustrated during one point at KABC that I bought a little tape recorder at Sharper Image [one with a tiny mic that can be hidden away in your lapel or inside your shirt]. I wanted to have on record some of the conversations that I had with the programming department. I just felt that the management directives were varying so widely from one day to the next and that we were being made fall guys for bad programming decisions. As it turned out I really didn't want to stay at the station under any circumstances so I didn't really need to bother, but at least I ended up with a really cool tape recorder!" He said it is great to be working with his son Rick in afternoon drive at KRLA. Over the past quarter of a century, Ken had a handful of partners at KABC. He told me exclusively, "This WILL be my last partner!".. Ted Shireman emailed a great "dijaknow"? The 98.7FM frequency was first activated in L.A. as KMGM by Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Ted said this was around 1947 or 1948…KRLA’s Don Imus is on the cover of the current Newsweek magazine under the title, "The Importance of Being Imus: How the King of Irreverent Radio Turns Politics Into Entertainment." The story says Don is "now as powerful as, if not more powerful than, a network anchor or CNN’s Larry King." Don’s salary is listed in the network anchor range of $7 million-to-$10-million. His goal with guests is to get them to say something "hideously inappropriate." Yesterday Don appeared with Michael Jackson on KRLA…The Newsweek cover story also profiled 20 stars of the new news (Walter Cronkite being the old news). On the list, two Los Angeles Radio People: Tavis Smiley ("His smart, Larry King-style show has given a huge boost to Black Entertainment Television") who started in Los Angeles radio in 1990 and worked at KGFJ, KJLH, KKBT and KABC/KMPC; and, Tom Joyner ("The first African-American elected to the Radio Hall of Fame") who appears by satellite for mornings at KACE…I receive about 300 emails a day. Many of them are about KABC, KRLA and where is Peter Tilden? An alarming number of new visitors to this site are having trouble figuring out why they are having trouble hearing KRLA. One diligent fan got hold of the KRLA engineering department and sent me the conversation. "I reached a most accommodating man in the engineering department, who said that the problem was primarily on the Westside---lots of mountains in between making it very difficult to get through. He said we receive about 2 milivolts here, which was an average but not great signal. Because of this, he said, anything electrical in the household can cause the interference/static I'm experiencing. He mentioned computers [monitors in particular], aquarium heaters, touch lamps [which have little radio transistors in them], and light dimmers [turned down instead of off], and even computer printers, though he said that the printer interference sounds more like a hum or whine than static. He also said there was a possibility that the high voltage lines that are in front of the house [as opposed to the lines that come into the house] sometimes have cracks or loose hardware that could cause the interference. If this proves to be the case, he said the DWP has to fix the problem if it can be determined that it is interfering with radio reception. He did say, however, that I should first determine if my problem is in the house before heading outside. I played the static for him, and he seemed pretty sure it was indeed coming from inside. Anything electrical in the house can be suspect. I'm afraid this is more information than you or I really wanted. I am going to walk around with a portable radio [his suggestion] and see if the static gets stronger near certain possible culprits. He did say that the predominance of calls about this problem was from the Westside and that he is gradually returning all calls."…In the January 8 issue of R&R, our own Merrill Shindler is featured in a full-page story in Mike Kinosian’s column. Mike writes: "Without a doubt, Shindler boasts one of the most impressive [and encompassing] resumes going. Everything he does seems to be a dream job." Merrill worked for three years as music editor for Rolling Stone magazine and was one of 300 who answered an ad to write for American Top 40. They wanted someone to write for Casey Kasem. Merrill told Mike, "I was able to condense a story down to a 90-second, no-wasted-word-type format." He’s been with AT40 for 20 years. His restaurant radio shows started at KABC 13 years ago and the R&R story chronicles the journey to KTZN and now KLSX. Merrill considered himself "king of the nerds" while attending Bronx High School…Last month Joe McDonnell was fired by KXTA. He detailed the firing at <laradio.com> and on his own Web site. Last Saturday, Elizabeth Salazar wrote, "It’s disconcerting to read Joe McDonnell’s rampant diatribe about his firing." Tomorrow, Joe McDonnell answers Elizabeth Salazar’s letter…Meanwhile, some Los Angeles Radio People have offered stories of their own firings. They always seem more humorous later, but never at the time. KFWB’s Dan Avey shares his experience: "I've only been fired once - at KFI in 1989. I was called to the pd's office after doing Geoff Edwards' show with him on a Friday. I walked in the door and the pd [long departed] said: ‘Don't bother to sit down, this won't take long. Your services are no longer required.’ Then, silence. I said, ‘Is there some problem with my work?’ Silence, then ‘Have I just been fired?’ He replied, ‘This is a fickle business. Pick up your check in human services.’ I said, ‘OK. I'll get my car keys in the newsroom.’ ‘That won't be necessary,’ he told me ‘all your stuff is in a cardboard box. The security guard has it.’ I was escorted to the human services office. I walked in and said, ‘I've just been fired and I was told to come here.’ The human services director looked up and yelled at me, ‘I can't give you your check until I get your key!’ So, I went to the security guard at the front desk, who allowed me to take the station door key off my key ring. He then escorted me back to the human services office where the human services director wordlessly [and without looking up] handed me an envelope. I started to open the envelope and was asked, ‘is there some sort of problem?’ I replied I wanted to make sure I got the vacation pay I had coming, and so on [I was beginning to think like a fired person]. I was told ‘that was not her department’ and I would have to ‘call the payroll people in Atlanta.’ I had been shorted a few thousand dollars. AFTRA eventually straightened it out. When Rush Limbaugh's Show aired for the first time at 9 a.m. the following Monday I realized I had been fired to make room for him."

No Tengo Miedo

(January 13, 1999) The critical Fall report card was released yesterday and the top three ranked radio stations in the Southland were Spanish speaking. There used to be a time when hearing that your station tied with a Spanish or Christian station was a bad thing. No longer. Stations will be putting their own spin on the rating results today. Highlights from Judith Michaelson’s LA Times story on the Arbitron ratings: "KSCA took clear command of first place…KPWR now holds the highest rank among English-language stations…KLAX has seen the station nearly double its audience share…KFI moved up a half-percentage point and fifth place…KABC, which is continuing to alter its lineup, took a tumble…KLSX is tied with KABC…KIEV moved from 36th place to 28th place…In the key morning drive period, KSCA’s Renan Almendarez Coello extended his lead for the top spot…KLVE’s Pepe Baretto held second place…KLSX’s Howard Stern remained the highest rated English-language morning host…In 4th place, KFI’s Bill Handel moved up from 3.8% to 4.3%, putting the station in striking distance of Stern. In the 25- to 54-year-old demographic, the three Spanish stations held the three top slots while easy-listening jazz station KTWV took fourth place and the lead among English-language stations."… "This is L.A.’s number one radio station for music variety. The new K-BIG 104. Picking you up and making you feel good with the best mix of the 70s, 80s and 90s. Set a button for variety at 104.3FM. The new K-BIG 104." KBIG promo sweeper…KNX will simulcast 60 Minutes II starting tonight, moving its Drama Hour that evening back to 10 p.m.… Tom Scholz of Boston will be the guest for "Rockline" tonight at 8:30. This Bob Coburn hosted national program is heard exclusively in L.A. on "Arrow 93." The M.I.T. educated Scholz will be available for calls during the 90-minute program…Former KRTH morning man Steve Morris has his own Web site http://harrisonline.com/stevemorris/corner.htm …KROQ’s Kevin & Bean broadcast from Mel’s Diner yesterday morning and HOT group Sugar Ray performed live for the 200 who managed to get in and another few hundred outside. The coup was having the entire morning covered by Mark Kriski of KTLA/Channel 5’s Morning Show. Every time there was a weather break, Mark was surrounded by screaming KROQ fans. Great signage for the station. At one point Mark asked Bean who was the hottest tv anchor in town. Bean said Hal Fishman and "it would really make it dreamy if Hal could get a role on Dawson’s Creek." Fun morning…Lisa Foxx at KYSR provided Sam Rubin with a secret list of no-shows at Monday night’s American Music Awards. The list included: Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Faith Evans, Natalie Imbruglia, Puff Daddy and Shania Twain, among others…Over at KIIS, Britney Spears appeared with Rick Dees. She opens in concert for hot teen group ‘N Sync…Johnny Magnus called to say how thrilled he was with the new afternoon drive gig at KLAC. "We are one big happy family," Mag enthused. "The Standards, Swing and Big-Band format is right on target and will make a tremendous ‘Mark’ like in McGuire in this huge marketplace. Bob Hamilton is our leader and he really has a handle on what is the soundtrack of our lives. He has already taken San Francisco with KABL. WEATHER WITH A BEAT is a new explosion of joy and will at times incorporate the Lakers and Angels." Johnny starts January 25…A loyal reader of <laradio.com> is confused about the Anaheim Angels moving from KRLA to KLAC. He asks, "How can KLAC sign with the Angels while they are still under contract to KRLA? Will the contract KRLA had with the club be turned over to KLAC or has a new contract been drafted?? It's crazy! I remember the story that KLSX signed a contract to carry the Los Angeles/Oakland Raider games but backed out of the deal at the last minute before a single Raider game was to be aired." Good question! Gary Lycan of the Orange County Register tracked down this answer from KRLA officials. "KRLA was in the 1st year with an option to renew for 4 more years. Negotiations had started shortly after end of the first season. Angels liked the KLAC deal because it included all preseason games, the pre-and post-shows, not just weekend pre-season. So basically it was an option not to renew." KLAC’s signal will certainly give Angel fans better coverage than they had with KRLA…In the current issue of R&R, the back page features an interview with Don Imus by publisher/ceo, Erica Farber. He was asked who was the influential individual in his life and Don responded with "Robert W. Morgan and Jack Thayer – both are dead." As far as radio listening habits he said: "I never have listened. My friend Robert W. Morgan told me 30 years go not to listen to other people on the radio because you would wind up being influenced by them and adopting things they did. It’s not that I haven’t ever listened to radio. I have, but generally I just don’t." R&R continues to have wonderful back cover interviews with industry leaders…Did you attempt to buy $.01 stamps this week. My post office clerk said that the lines on Monday were worse than any day during the Christmas holidays. Mr. KABC is attempting to relieve some of the tension (and who knows, may save a life) by handing out stamps at a half dozen locations throughout the Southland today. Listen this morning for his postal visits…KIIS is altering its dj line-up. Gary Spears moves to 1 – 4 p.m., Valentine is now 4 to 8 p.m. and Jo Jo Wright’s shift is 8 p.m. to 1 a.m…Beginning in 1979, Big Ron O’Brien worked at KFI, KROQ (worked as Eugene Oregon), KIIS (also pd in the mid-1980s), KKBT, and "MARSfm." He’s now working afternoon drive at "Star 104.5" in Philadelphia. On the station Web site, he says his idea of fun is renting videos, watching them during severe thunderstorms, wearing only what nature gave him to bed…KYSR’s Jamie, Frosty and Frank talked about female circumcision earlier this week. Jamie said, "There’s some model that doesn’t have her #%@. They just take the little ball and pop it out. They still have the flap, it is just not sensitive." Who says we need Dr. Dean Edell?…A caller to KABC’s Stephanie Miller remarked, "Our forefathers who put the Constitution together knew all about bipartisanship." Stephanie quipped, "I think our forefathers knew more about their foreskins than anything else."…Congratulations to Greg Hardison. He’s the new operations director at KCRW. Greg has been doing the morning traffic reports from Metro for KCRW for the past five years…In the Inland Empire, Lisa Axe had added production director duties to her music director chores and midday shift. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated magna cum laude from Ohio State University in 1994 with a B.A. in English literature. Lisa worked at "Groove Radio" in 1996. There is a great photo of Lisa in my book.

"Why Would You Kiss His Butt?"

(January 12, 1999) Lotsa fireworks at KABC between Gloria Allred and Larry Elder and Al Rantel. It all started Sunday night when guest Alec Baldwin took a shot at Al and Larry. He called them mere "entertainers." Alec said: "Rantel and Elder and people like that, these people are not Edwin Newman. They are not coming on to discuss public affairs with people. They are entertainers. They are in show business. It’s an entertainment program." Baldwin charged Al and Larry with "distorting the basic nature of what I did, repeatedly." Alec was on with Gloria in defense of his recent "over-the-top" comments on the Conan O’Brien Show about stoning Henry Hyde, his wife and his children to death saying it was only a joke, a parody. Al called in Sunday night, was put on hold and once on was cut off by Gloria. He was not happy with the way he was treated. Yesterday on his own noon show, Al ran and reran Alec’s comments, the response from Gloria’s show and his own perspective on what happened. Larry picked up on the same theme and had a verbal fight with Gloria on the phone. He felt that Gloria sided with Alec and was not fair to her own colleagues. Larry reminded Gloria of the time when then-Governor Pete Wilson was giving a speech and she unwrapped a protest sign that said, "Stop Bashing Clinton." He charged her with having a great amount of aggression when she wants it and when Baldwin wanted to be accommodated, she accommodated him. Larry asked, "Why would you kiss his butt, yet you can stand up and disrupt a speech by the Governor of California?" She thought he was entitled to fair treatment. Gloria told Larry, "Mr. Baldwin was beaten up very badly on your show." As far as Baldwin’s pejorative comment about Larry and Al being mere "entertainers," Gloria responded, "While he may have meant that or intended that as an insult, I don’t take it that way. I take that as a compliment to you." All of this started a week ago when KABC pd Drew Hayes received a phone call from the New York Democratic Party complaining that people on the station had been very critical of Alec Baldwin and Alec wanted to come on the radio to defend himself. Drew suggested that Alec go on the Larry Elder show because he was the first to play the excerpt from Conan and had been most aggressively critical of Alex. When Drew got back to them, they said it had already been handled locally. Apparently unbeknownst to Drew, Alec just showed up on Gloria’s show, a move that was handled by Baldwin’s publicist. Larry once again invited Baldwin to face him but knows he won’t come on. "He doesn’t want to be asked tough questions. That’s why he’s not coming on the show. He doesn’t want any part of it." Stimulating talk radio…At KFI yesterday morning, Bill Handel was talking about how churches now have marketing directors to not only attract a congregation, but to keep a congregation. In that same spirit, Bill said radio was much the same way. Bill told his audience: "You are customers to me. I’ve got to do everything I can to keep you listening. That’s my job to make sure you don’t listen to the Zoo in the morning, to bible radio, to elevator music like they have over at KOST or whatever the hell they’re doing." Last time I checked the same company owns KFI and KOST. Maybe just sibling rivalry…Miss the Oldies at KRLA? Relive the memories with a tape from California Aircheck, the most aggressive service for collecting the sounds and people of Southern California radio. George Junak has put together two KRLA tapes. His current Classic Issue cassette for January features KRLA from 1981 to 1998 and starts with the "11-10 Men Reunion" in October of 1981. This tape includes: Dave Hull, Humble Harve, Charlie Tuna, Rege Cordic, The Real Don Steele, Mucho Morales, Wolfman Jack, Russ O'Hara, Jimmy O'Neill, and Huggie Boy. Check out information on the KRLA tapes as well as other available memories at: www.californiaaircheck.com…In April, Wolfman Jack will be inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame…A group from Polish Talk Radio visited KFI yesterday and was anxious to meet with afternooner John Kobylt. They never hooked up…The Internet has opened up creative ways to promote radio. In 1994 Paul VanderBorgt started the Electronic Fun Zone. The page was the first on the web devoted to Mark & Brian, and it became an instant hit. Soon afterwards KLOS hired a company to design and host an official M&B Web site and fireworks started between Paul’s site and the official web master threatening to sue for copyright violations. As Paul explains at www.efz.com, he was in it merely for the fun of it as a loyal fan and "and didn't want any trouble so he decided the best thing to do was shut down the site." Paul was flooded with email support for EFZ and now continues with fun stories and photos about Mark & Brian. The site also tells a great love story. Suzanne Ganoe was a M & B listener in Albuquerque. She began email correspondence with Paul, they eventually met and later married…KGIL is no longer airing "K-Traffic" in morning drive. Apparently the decision was made for Gary Owens to go Pop Standard head to head with KLAC’s Charlie Tuna…Are you a general sales manager looking for your next step up and you are stymied where you are? Or a gm between jobs? There is an interesting opening for a general manager with an AM/FM facility in Phoenix. You can get further confidential information from Rich Buhler at: richbuhler@lifechange.com …KIEV has made some programming changes. Former Mayor of Glendale Larry Zarian joins the talk station from 7 - 8 p.m. following the Ray Briem Show. Elmer Dills reviews restaurant news on Saturday and Sunday from 3 - 5 p.m. Irv Kaze "On Sports" will now be heard Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. John Sutton's Big Band Swing program has been added to Sunday mornings 2 - 6 a.m…Correll and Andrew preempted Dr. Dean Edell last Sunday. The pair claim to have put the broad back in broadcasting…Glenn Baby the Rain Must Fall Yarbrough guested with Charlie Tuna on KLAC this morning…On January 8, I wrote the following: "What the heck is going on at Metro Networks? Insiders say the City News Service has been cancelled and they are relying on newspapers for their on-air stories. Hardly seems possible." Within hours of posting, Denise Fondo of Metro called to discuss my "erroneous" report but we traded voice mail and never talked. Yesterday, David Piper, director of operations for Metro Networks Los Angeles emailed. David provides an overview of Metro that I thought you would find fascinating: "Metro Networks is the largest local news, sports and traffic information service for radio and tv stations. We operate in 80 markets nationally and service more than 2000 radio and tv stations in six countries. With nearly 3,000 employees, including over 130 in our Los Angeles operation alone, we are the fastest growing news organization in the U.S. Nearly 1,000 of our employees are dedicated solely to news gathering, writing and reporting every day. Locally, we have resources such as:

Street Reporters--Metro has full-time and part-time street reporters who cover breaking news, important trials and other newsworthy events. In addition, our reporters broadcast live from all of the major entertainment events in Southern California such as the Oscars and the Emmys.

Airborne Reporters--Our airborne reporters can quickly get over the scene of breaking news such as fires and police activity and transmit the information to our operations center and to our affiliate radio and TV stations. We operate the largest fleet of aircraft for broadcasting in the US as well as for Southern California.

News Producers--Our news desk is staffed 24-hours a day by news professionals whose sole job is to gather news information, not only from our own staff of street and airborne reporters, but also from our reporters covering police beats and law enforcement and government representatives, as well as other newsmakers.

Nationally, we also benefit from Metro Source, Metro's satellite-delivered digital information system that allows us to immediately access news and information in text and audio from our news staff throughout the country. We signed over 500 new news affiliates last year alone, making Metro Source the fastest growing news wire service available today."

"Big Fish in a Big Town"

(January 11, 1999) "My father was a big fish in a big town. Cleve Hermann was At Large – Everywhere," were the sentiments of his son Steve at a broadcast-studded tribute on Saturday at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. The room in which the Tribute took place was the scene of the original Academy Awards presentation. It was a fitting location for someone who loved Los Angeles as much as Cleve did. Rich Buhler ministered to a gathering of Who’s Who in KFWB history. Friends and colleagues from every phase of his life shared a memory that by the end of the day weaved a consistent thread of a man who loved people, who gave freely of himself and who was truly loved himself. Cleve was a mentor to Chuck Sippel, who said in a quote from Mark Twain that applied to Cleve, "He liked people because people liked him." His childhood friend from the 4th grade recounted the hours they would conceive of and play games, especially sports games. Many remembered his disheveled clothes and food stains on his shirt, but Charlie Sergis remembered him as "elegant as the Hathaway man." Mitch Waldow played an audio history of Cleve from his earliest known broadcast. Mitch pointed out how Cleve could laugh at himself. The biggest laugh of the afternoon came when Mitch relayed a story that Cleve loved to tell on himself. Cleve was working with Oscar Levante on his last tv series. One day as they were working the phone continued to ring and ring and Oscar would never answer it. Finally as the phone was ringing incessantly, Cleve asked Oscar, ‘You want me to answer that?’ To which Oscar replied, ‘No, who would want to talk with you!’ Johnny Grant told a delicious story about how Cleve had helped him in his talk when he received an honorary doctorate degree from Pepperdine University. Cleve wouldn’t take any money for the help, so Johnny has dedicated the first $500 to start a fund to secure a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Cleve. In addition to those listed above, some of the news broadcasters who paid tribute to Cleve on Saturday included: Rod Van Hook, Joy Nuell, Judy Ford, Sue Stiles, Phil Reed, Jack Popejoy, Jim Burson, Kelli Whelihan, Cecilia Pedroza, John Brooks, Charlie Brailer, Al Archuletta, Brian Bastien, Don Herbert, Bill Cooper, Tony Cox, Larry McCormick, Xavier Hermosillo, Pete Demetriou, Bill Jenkins, Eric Williams, Mark Savan, Bill Schubert, Ric Shroeder, Carol Sobel, Paul Gonzalez, Fred Gallagher and Beach Rogers. At the end of the Tribute the group honored Cleve by putting on a black eye patch, a salute to their colleague who had lost his left eye at birth, a broadcaster who passionately cared about his craft and the people in it….Johnny Magnus is the newest addition to the KLAC line-up. Beginning January 25, Johnny takes over the 2 - 7 p.m. shift...KXTA’s Jim Rome hosts a success seminar tomorrow at the Arrowhead Pond. Guests include Phil Jackson, Lou Holtz, John Wooden, Jerry West, Terry Bradshaw and Tommy Lasorda…Where can you hear Ringo Starr sing Stardust? For over a decade, Deirdre O’Donoghue has hosted "Breakfast With The Beatles" on Sunday mornings at KLSX. In a day and age of change, Deirdre has been consistently presenting her passion for the Beatles weekly. Her knowledge of the Beatles is encyclopedic and she brings in her personal collection every Sunday morning… "KOST 103’s Mark and Kim. More music, less talk. That’s what we do best. Twenty percent fewer commercials than the competition. Coast 103.5. Southern California’s soft rock with less talk." A KOST promotion liner for morning show with Mark Wallengren and Kim Amidon…Listening to Chris Taylor over the weekend at "Arrow 93." Who has the deeper voice, Chris or morning man Joe Benson?…Two stations were able to get Caine on at the same time this weekend. Michael Caine has been tub thumping for his newest movie, Little Voice. He appeared last week on KRLA with Michael Jackson, which reran on Saturday as part of the "Best of Michael Jackson" while Caine was appearing live at KABC with Rod Lurie…The technical difficulties at KRLA make it difficult to listen at times. The technical quality of the phone calls range from an overpowering echo to sounding like the caller is in a hole. This past Saturday on "The Best of Michael Jackson," Michael sounded like a speeded up Alvin the Chipmunk or Michael on helium…"One-On-One" Sports, KCTD, is running a promo acknowledging the recently departed "XTRA Sports 1150’s" Joe McDonnell. The promo says "We miss him, too." The station invites its listeners to tune into their own "Papa Joe" from 3 to 7 p.m. The tagline is "The only thing that’s missing is the ‘See Ya!’ which was Big Joe’s trademark signoff…John Travolta guests with Rod Lurie next Saturday morning on KABC…Leo Terrell will co-host with Mr. KABC this week…Kurt Kretzschmar emailed: "Now that KLAC has signed the Angels for next season, their next move should be to bring back Bob Rowe to host ‘Angel Talk.’ Rowe had a big following when he hosted Angel Talk at KMPC from about 1982-1993, and his style would fit in perfectly with Bob Hamilton's personality based format at KLAC. Plus, with all the Dodger programming on KXTA, the Angels need more programming than just the play-by-play." Another suggestion for Angel Talk is Eric Tracy…John Gelzer of Knoxville is looking for Foster Brooks. John’s father and Foster worked together for many years in Buffalo radio before Foster moved West. He worked briefly at KHJ in 1962. You can email John at: jrgjhg@aol.com.

Angels Wing to KLAC

(January 9, 1999) A multi-year agreement between the Anaheim Angels and KLAC was announced last night, making the station the new flagship home of the Anaheim Angels. Coverage begins with spring training on March 5. Mario Impemba will return for his fifth season as the voice of the Angeles and will again be joined by second-year broadcaster Brian Barnhart.

We Get Email…
** I Got Fired, Part 2
"I couldn’t help but want to throw in my 2 cents’ worth in regards to being fired. Being subjected first to Michael Jackson’s, then Ken Minyard’s, then Joe McDonnell’s rantings about their unfortunate positions in which they found themselves, I got fired up [pardon the puns] as well: I’m sick of their vociferous venting.

Whatever happened to remaining professional?

Some great mentors told me time and again when I was getting into radio that being fired goes with the turf and not to make enemies. Radio was too small a world and chances were good that one day you’d end up working for or alongside that person again. So I dutifully followed that adage. And today, all this whining from radio people--on the airwaves, Internet and print--about how they were [horrors!] fired is irritating and moreover, BORING. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

It’s disconcerting to read Joe McDonnell’s rampant diatribe about his firing. And I’m surprised to read and hear Ken Minyard won’t let his former employers forget what they did to him. My one question to both of them would be: ‘Surely you realized what you were getting into when you chose radio as your profession?’
Yes, I’ve been fired--several times. But knowing what I’d gotten myself into by choosing radio as my career, I moved on from that job and others from which I was let go. I never was compelled to pick the corpse of the former job to death nor did I feel the need to expostulate venomously on the esteem-quashing deed done to me. It hurt, but by staying positive and focused, I’d just move on and look for the next gig.
It’s too bad some radio people feel the need to publicly expound on something that frankly, I don’t even care to hear or read about. It happened. Grieve. Move on. Don’t look back. Be professional about it. Because the way I see it, what goes around, comes around and whatever negative and sonorous soapbox proclamations you say on the airwaves, Internet or print will eventually come back and bite you in the ass. - Elizabeth Salazar

** KFWB Heaven Getting Crowded
"Cleve Hermann was so alive it doesn't seem possible he is gone. His distinctive style -- full of colorful stories and alliteration -- combined with his larger-than-life presence made him so special to me. I have often said that Cleve was the only announcer I've known who could successfully talk with his mouth full. When I worked with him at KFWB from 1980 until 1986, I had the pleasure of anchoring on the same shift that Cleve did sports. I think of him now as a kind, talented little boy who left trails of sandwich crumbs from the air booth to his desk so he'd be sure to find his way. Of course, we all knew he'd always figure out which direction to go.

I wish I could have said a final goodbye to my friend Cleve. Cleve and Bill Angel -- among so many others -- were familiar to me as a kid growing up in L.A. I was one of many thousands of young rock-and-rollers who would blast KFWB in the car and the house, much to the annoyance of my parents. Then to -- years later -- work with these legends, was a true gift. There are so many things I remember about the gentle spirit of Bill Angel. One was how every night he brought his lunch to work [when he was stuck on the dreaded overnight news shift at KFWB]. And every night inside his lunch bag was a love note from his sweet wife. Vince Campagna, too, I shall miss. But I know that I'm a better person, and certainly a better radio person, for knowing these men. – Julia Chavez, KFWB news anchor/reporter 1980-86, now with KNUU-Las Vegas

** Cub Reporter Reports A Cleve Hermann Memory
"I only recently became a regular reader of your Web page and enjoy it very much. It gives me a great opportunity to keep up with many people I know or have been introduced to along the way in the start of my 25th year ['74-'99] in broadcasting. Although most people in the Los Angeles market know me from working with ESPN Cable TV since 1983, my roots were in radio [and always loved radio] with National Public Radio and the NBC Radio Networks as a reporter based in the L.A. market since the early '70's. I am compelled to write you because of the recent sad news of the passing of Cleve Hermann.
I first met Cleve as a rookie reporter in the Dodger press box back in 1974. Lucky for me, I was seated next to Mr. Hermann. I was amazed at his casual, but insightful reports back to KFWB on the game in progress. He started talking to me as if I was a twenty year veteran. He couldn't have been more friendly or respectful to a cub reporter like myself. He went on to ask about my aspirations and me in this business. Along the way, I made sure to take mental notes on how Cleve reported and how he prepared for his end of the game reports. He taught me more that day than I had learned in several years prior. He was a true professional.
It is funny how a meeting turns into a longtime friendship. For many years since that first encounter, I would run into Cleve during various sporting events and [doing entertainment news as well] many VIP first Nite Theatre and arts type evenings. Each time Cleve would yell out to me ‘Hey Hank’ before I could say hello to him. We had a chance to have a few meals together along the way and the conversation always left me knowing just a little more. I will miss Cleve Hermann. I only hope that I or anyone else can be as friendly and open to that new kid on the block that we always meet along the way. Cleve Hermann was a great broadcaster but, by far, an even great man and friend. - Henry Glenn, Huntington Beach

** April Fool’s Joke on the Japanese
"Recent mentions of Armed Forces Radio reminded me: during the Korean War, even though there were satellite stations in Japan and Korea, the AFN headquarters were in Tokyo. One April 1st - either 1951 or 1952 - they decided on an April Fool's show. Throughout the day, they kept reporting that a giant sea serpent was coming up Tokyo Bay. This made for great fun for the military audience. Unfortunately, millions of Japanese also listened to Armed Forces Radio, mostly to learn English...and they didn't get the joke. The result was near panic. Far East Headquarters - either Gen. MacArthur or General Ridgeway - was also not amused, and after a short investigation, the AFN officers-in-charge were reprimanded or, worse, sent to Korea for combat duty, far from the plush and comfortable Tokyo occupation life. -Gary Franklin

** The Real McCoy from Phoenix
"I think it is time that L.A. radio heard from Phoenix. So, Hi from Al McCoy. For the past 27 years I have been the Radio/TV play by play voice of the Phoenix Suns and I have had a little free time the past few months. And your Web site has saved the day.

Back in the 1960's I was part of one of the great rating Top 40 battles in the country between KRUX and KRIZ here in Phoenix. I was at KRUX for two stops as a jock, pd, vp, and manager. Had a great line up of talent: Lucky Lawrence, Diamond Jim Clawson, Mighty Ed Mitchell, Sonny Knight, Jolly Jim Titus etc. Also hired Rich ‘Brother’ Robbin and even had Bob Hamilton doing a weekend show. It was all fun. Ed Mitchell went on to KFRC and beyond.

I've had many L.A connections thru the years. Roger Barkley and I competed in high school radio speaking contests back in Iowa. Did a tv pilot with Don Steele, Robert W. Morgan, Gene Nelson and others at one time. It never got on the air.

But it’s been all fun. It has been great seeing Vin Scully and Chick Hearn rating high in your ‘Personality’ voting. Chick and I go back to when he was in Peoria. And I was in Des Moines. Since then I worked in Chicago and Buffalo prior to coming to Phoenix. In Buffalo I worked with: Tom Clay, Lucky Pierre, among others.
So keep the info coming. I'm now going back to work with the Suns and the NBA but perhaps will hear from some old friends. My son Mike programs stations in Oklahoma City for Clear Channel Communications. Happy New Year to all!!! -Al McCoy,
Amccoy@awarena.com

** The Day the Music Died at KRLA
"Great Web site! I checked it out last night at the suggestion of good friend and former fellow KRLA'er, Jeff Leonard. I joined KRLA in 1984 when Greater Media bought the station. Working with the likes of Bob Hudson, Charlie Tuna, Wolfman Jack, Johnny Hayes, The Real Don Steele, Art Laboe, Humble Harve and the list goes on, was quite an experience. GM Bob Moore and om Jay Clark, formerly with WABC, liked what I was doing to image WGAR, Cleveland's legendary 50,000 watt powerhouse and invited me to join the new ‘L.A. Combination,’ KRLA/KHTZ. I turned them down twice. When Jay called the third time he simply said, ‘I have two tickets for you and your wife to fly to Los Angeles day after tomorrow. I want you to look over the operation here and if you don't like what you see, consider it a vacation on us.’ I liked what I saw. Bob and Jay hired me to write, produce and voice only the promos and spec spots for the two stations.

Looking back, the 3 years I was with Greater Media were without a doubt the most creative years of my radio career. That became more evident recently when I was rescuing a batch of KRLA promos from Scotch 226. Rackin' those babies up after 12 or 13 years was almost like hearing them for the first time. What a trip down memory lane! I now have a better appreciation of why Billboard magazine recognized my work shortly after I arrived in L.A. In 1986, I was thrilled to receive a first annual Southern California Sunny Award. That ‘theater of mind’ approach to production is a style we don't hear much any more. In fact, I rarely even hear a well written script, let alone an original concept on the radio these days.

I knew when I accepted the job at KRLA that it would be the last stop for me in radio. The opportunity to create, to be autonomous in the studio, surrounded by the best people and equipment in the industry and to be well-paid on top of it, was a situation that only comes around once in a career, if you're lucky. I remember Humble Harve telling me about 10 years ago that he'd like to move back east one day, buy a small farm and take a different approach to life. Tell Harve he ought to do it if that's what he wants to do. My wife and I have a small 10 acre ‘ranchette,’ as we call it, in rural Ohio along with a thriving freelance career. I'm living proof that there is life beyond radio. Keep up the great work. You can be sure I'll be kickin' the manure off my shoes from time to time to check in with you. -Bill Ward III (I see in your e-mail listing there is another Bill Ward so I added the III for distinction)

"You’re Fired"

(January 8, 1999) Getting fired or firing someone is never a comfortable situation. If you are on the receiving end, your sense of self-worth is damaged. And if you are doing the firing, there is no amount of preparation or "practice" to make it okay. When I was gm of WDRQ in Detroit I brought in a high-profile personality from Philadelphia. It was clear that I had made a mistake. He was great in Philly but never "fit" into our environment in Motown. When I called him into my office to let him go, I could never have been prepared for what he did next. After I told him, he started to cry, he got down on his knees, folded his hands and begged me to let him stay. It was awful. Earlier this week former KXTA Joe McDonnell published at his Web site a detailed account of his firing at the hands of operations manager Mike Thompson. I asked Mike to share his side of the story. "Having been in Joe's position several times without the comfort of a payout, I don't blame him at all. I would be bitter too. The difference is that I know it's a small fraternity in this biz. I was always afraid that any comments would come back and bite me in the ass, but when Tony Bruno, myself and everybody else got canned at WCAU in Philadelphia, it took me about a year and a half ‘to get over it.’ Its not fun being told that you are not wanted, so Joe's comments are 100% understandable. Many of the things he said are embellishments stemming from a hurt. I wish him well working for my pal Drew Hayes." Thanks, Mike, for the rest of the story…KRTH’s Charlie Van Dyke cruised with Disney topper Michael Eisner during the holidays. At least they were on the same Disney cruise ship in Caribbean. Charlie reported many Eisner sightings. This morning Charlie is utilizing the expertise of Mr. Rock ‘n Roll and fellow dj Brian Beirne’s encyclopedic knowledge of Elvis on his birthday anniversary. Brian interviewed Elvis many times and Brian is sharing his memories this morning on Charlie’s show. Crammed into his jammed-packed show this morning, Charlie also interviewed Dick Clark about Elvis…Happy Birthday to former KRLA djs who both went on to network tv shows, Bob Eubanks (The Newlywed Game) and Jimmy O'Neill (Shindig!)...KABC’s Warren Eckstein will be doing his regular, monthly segment on the NBC Weekend TODAY Show this Sunday, as well as Regis & Kathie Lee on Monday…Erik Estrada guests with the Traffic Guys on KRLA tomorrow at 2…What the heck is going on at Metro Networks? Insiders say the City News Service has been cancelled and they are relying on newspapers for their on-air stories. Hardly seems possible…Sunday night at 10 at "Arrow 93," the syndicated program "Off the Record with Joe Benson" features the music of Supertramp and conversations with Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson…A former L.A. personality now living in the Northwest has KHJ jingle demo tapes from Tuesday Productions, RKO memo pads, mugs and other "stuff" and wonders if there is a market for the specialty items…"XTRA Sports 1150" Car Nut, Steve Parker will be giving out free tickets to the last day of the LA Auto Show on Sunday morning in the main lobby of the LA Convention Center. You also might want to check on how he got the name Mr. Nut. Lemme know…Earlier this week, a visitor to this site remembered KROQ’s Jed the Fish at KWVE. Jed’s producer, Rick Rippey, responded: "During a year long sabbatical from KROQ, where he had been since 1978, Jed did work at KWVE [107.9] in San Clemente which was called "The Wave" before KMET changed to KTWV and used the name. He was there for a few months in 1984 before venturing up to ‘The Quake’ in San Francisco, returning home to KROQ in 1985. The candle was amazing, later we will light it cause Jed wants to see it dripping." The reference to the candle was the Christmas gift that fellow KROQ dj Tami Heide gave Jed, the candle in the form of a vagina. Mark Denis took a moment out between traffic reports at KFI to email about Jed. "Did you know he was one of my students at USC [Telecommunications]. He was at KIQQ at the time." Mark and Jed later worked together at KEZY…Between 1968 and 1991 Rick Scarry worked for KEZY, KKDJ, KDAY, KGIL, KMET, KRTH, KHJ, KMPC/FM, KEDG and KLIT. He has gone on to a very successful acting career including tv shows Drew Carey and Star Trek – Next Generation as well as a dozen films including Wag the Dog. He’s got his own Web site and has included photos from some of his acting roles. Check him out at www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Guild/8136Ken Minyard took exception to my headline on Tuesday about the fact that he doesn’t eat beaver. "You must point out that when I said ‘I don't eat beaver’ [Ok, yes, I DID say that] that I was trying to prove my thesis that we don't eat cute animals. I also mentioned penguins and rabbits. This is a family show for God's sake! What's my son gonna think?" Ken wondered. Last summer Sandy Wells wrote about Ken and Rick Minyard in his excellent weekly column in Cheers! for the San Gabriel Valley group of newspapers. In a half-year later reread, the story was almost prophetic. Rick told Sandy: "I've had the best consultant you could have. The best advice he ever gave me was when he asked me if I had been getting any hate mail. I said no. He said, 'Then you're not working hard enough. If you're going to be compelling you've got to have opinions - to take positions. I don't think people want to listen to someone who doesn't have something to say.'" Both expressed a strong desire to host more shows together. "I know someday we're going to work together. "It'd be the first father and son show. I think it would be very compelling." The father/son pair finishes their first week in afternoon drive at KRLA today. They are broadcasting from the Museum of TV & Radio. You are welcome to watch the show…Yesterday morning with Mr. KABC, Dick Clark voiced his view on entertainers expressing their political views. Mr. KABC: "No one knows where you stand politically, do you ever make any political stands....I've never seen you up at the podium with your arm around Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter for that matter." Dick Clark: "No. I've designed my life that way. I get sick and tired of people who sing and dance and juggle telling me how to vote... I'm not sure that they're qualified. So I think as a member of that group of entertainers, we should abstain."…Chick Hearn appears on KIEV’s AM/FM Live this Sunday night at 7. The program was taped earlier this week and Chick told host Alicia Flannery how honest he has been in calling the Lakers games. When Kobie Bryant first joined the team and being so young, Chick said he missed a lot of shots but was quick to point out that Shaquille was "still burping him." Up coming guests include Tom Dixon and Bob Coburn (not together)…KLAC’s Charlie Tuna appears tonight at Crown City Swing in Pasadena. A 17-piece band plays every weekend…Speaking of KLAC, if you check out MSNBC’s Web site, Don Imus is still listed as being on KLAC. Didn’t he move to KRLA on November 30, 1998?…Former KABC personality and longtime KNBC/Channel 4 news anchor Kelly Lange appeared with Sam Rubin yesterday on the KTLA/Channel 5 Morning Show to promote her new book, Gossip. She is very engaging in whatever she does. At one point she said that she appears so often on the Morning Show that they should pay her. Sam said that she should come in every Thursday to which co-anchor Barbara Beck commented that they would kick Sam off every Thursday to accommodate Kelly to which Kelly quipped, "At least he hasn’t been on suspension for a while." Barbara told her to be patient, they it would happen again…About 50 newswriters, editors and producers at KABC and the ABC News bureau in L.A. want to dump NABET as their union, according to a story in Daily Variety. The group filed a decertification petition late Tuesday with the National Labor Relations Board…Speaking of KRLA, do you think the callers will ever tire of welcoming back Michael Jackson, Ken Minyard, Toni Grant and Ira Fistell. Yikes. You would think the screener/producer would say, "yes, we know that you are happy they are back on the air, but please start with your comment or question."

"I Don’t Eat Beaver!"

(January 7, 1999) KTTV/Channel 11’s Tony Valdez called yesterday looking for old kinescopes of KTTV programs. The station celebrates its 50th anniversary next month and is putting together a special. In the course of our conversation I learned that Tony started out in radio before his decades long involvement with tv. He worked at KALI and used to sub for Huggie Boy when they were broadcasting from the Flash Record Shop. Turned out we both went to the old El Monte Legion Stadium around the same time to see the Three Tons of Joy, Handsome Mel Williams along with the Johnny Otis Show & Band. He has great stories about Hunter Hancock and some of the early Los Angeles radio pioneers. If you are in possession of any kinescopes from KTTV or know anyone who might, you can email Tony at pachuco@earthlink.net or call him at 310.584.2059…A new visitor to <laradio.com> wanted to know if I knew that KROQ’s Jed the Fish used to work at KWVE. He played records from his own collection and eventually tracked albums when he ran out of records. Didn’t know. Is it true? Speaking of Jed, my KROQ correspondent heard Jed’s return from the holidays earlier this week. Vincent emailed: "Tami Heidi finally got a chance to give Jed a Christmas present she'd picked out especially for him while she was vacationing in New Orleans. On the air, Jed unwrapped a vagina-shaped candle; laughing in his patented Jed-Laugh for the rest of the break."…Life's not fair and even traffic reporters sometimes get in accidents. Radio traffic/news reporter Craig "Sea" Carpenter was on the way to work the other day, when a woman hit him head-on in an intersection in Costa Mesa with a suspended license driving an uninsured 1980 car. "I survived with cuts and bruises but the doctors aren't so sure about my 6 month old van. I should be back up to speed for my Saturday morning traffic gig on KFI," Craig reports…A memorial service for Cleve Hermann will be held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (7000 Hollywood Boulevard across from Mann’s Chinese Theatre), this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the Blossom Room. The public is invited…Mike Thompson has a new line-up for "XTRA Sports 1150" beginning Monday:
6 – 9 a.m. John Ireland and Derrick Hall
9-1 p.m. Jim Rome
1-3 p.m. Ben Maller & Dave Smith with Vic Jacobs on updates
3-7 p.m. The Dawg Pound with Dave Denholm & Newy Scruggs
7-10 p.m. Scott Ferrall
10 p.m.-6 a.m. ESPN Radio
Derrick Hall has been the PR guy for the LA Dodgers. "He is very talented, bright, funny and does great voice characterizations," offered Thompson. Mike plans to utilize Eric Tracy and Steve Edwards at KXTA from time to time. He called them "real gems."…Pasadena lawyer Christopher Allan Bury emailed to suggest that it sounds like Brian Whitman is auditioning as Mr. KABC’s permanent co-host. "If this is the case and he gets the job, then ABC will have two ‘Mark/Marc’ and Brian morning drive time teams," wrote Chris. It also gives new meaning to corporate synergy…Our Museum of TV & Radio in Beverly Hills is celebrating Elvis Presley’s birthday with a week of screenings beginning tomorrow afternoon. The screenings include a nineteen year old Elvis’s first appearance on the country music radio program "Louisiana Hayride," performing his 1954 recording debut, That’s All Right, Mama. A half-dozen tv appearances will be shown along with his debut on Stage Show in 1956 where he performed Shake, Rattle and Roll. Kelli Gates at the Museum will put all visitors to
<laradio.com> on a guest list if you will call 310.786.1042. While you are at the Museum, visit the radio room to watch the live KRLA broadcasts…"Rockline" returned to the airwaves last night with John Mellencamp live from Indiana after a two-year hiatus. Bob Coburn, who hosted the show for over 12 years, returned as host and the show airs at "Arrow 93." Next week Bob interviews and callers get to call Boston’s Tom Scholz. For five years Billboard magazine recognized "Rockline" as the best-syndicated show…KROQ’s Kevin & Bean are having breakfast with Sugar Ray next Tuesday morning at Mel’s Diner in Hollywood. Happens to coincide with the release of the group’s new CD, 14:59. Two hundred listeners get inside for a free breakfast and those outside will be able to hear the group perform…Mike Allen checked in from Denver: "I worked at KFI, KMPC and set up the news department at KDAY. I went on to New York, where I served as an ABC News anchor from 1981 to 1986. I have been living in Denver for the past two years." Mike is news and production director for a syndicator that does newscasts in "different flavors" for Internet Web sites…Joe McDonnell joins KABC Saturday night at 7. "The Big Nasty" emailed: "I won't be doing sports talk. It will be a general interest show. I think this may be the new direction in my life, but who knows? Another sports opportunity may come along, and I may take it." Joe recently left afternoon drive at all-Sports KXTA…Happy Birthday to Ben Fong-Torres, author of The Hits Just Keep On Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio...By the way, if you would like to support this Web site, other radio books along with Los Angeles Radio People hats and tee-shirts are offered if you will scroll to the bottom of the page and click RADIO GOODIES...Yesterday afternoon Ken Minyard proclaimed to his KRLA audience, " I don’t eat beaver."

The "Father of Talk Radio" Talks

(January 6, 1999) During Minyard and Minyard’s first broadcast hour at KRLA on Monday, Ken Minyard introduced Ben Hoberman as "the father of Talk radio." When World War II broke out, Ben joined Armed Forces Radio in London and was eventually commissioned. He was put in charge of the First Army's mobile radio station during the Normandy invasion. At the end of his military career, Ben was in charge of all Armed Forces Network outlets in Britain and France. Ben arrived in the Southland in 1960 to run KABC from being gm of WABC-New York. He eventually became president of ABC Radio. When Ken asked Ben about inventing the format, Ben responded, "I may have invented the format, but the people like you and Michael Jackson and Toni Grant were the ones who implemented it and made it successful. So without you it wouldn’t have happened." Rick Minyard commented, "It resembles nothing of the animal you created in the lab in those early days, does it?" Ben replied, "Nor should it. It is one of those formats that evolve and it is where it is today. Three years or five years from now it’ll be someplace else. It’s that kind of format that is so flexible you can do that with. I never thought it was in the beginning but it certainly became that way. I thought in the beginning that we would have a rather small audience, qualitative, and we would be able to sell to the advertiser the qualitative aspects of our audience, rather than the quantitative. And what changed that was when the Dodgers came on to KABC in 1974 and that showed what a mass audience that the station was able to deliver and after then all kinds of things happened." Ben thinks the current state of talk radio is reflective of what’s happening in society. "I am not one of those who is love with the shock radio approach. I don’t see much in that but there are others who do. By the same token you can look at the release of the Ken Starr testimony worldwide and through the Internet and I never thought that should be released in that graphic of a way. In a way this is sort of reflective of society the way it is today," Ben said…KLOS presents The Black Crowes latest release, By Your Side, "live" via satellite tonight at 10. The entire band will be fielding questions and playing tracks from their new album and performing a few songs live…Ira Fistell returned to talk radio this week at KRLA. He’s working 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the new talk station. "We’re going to do intelligent talk radio and that’s what our program is. Conversation for people who like good conversation. We talk about anything, everything or anything. It’s been a few years and I’m really psyched to talk." While off the air, Ira has been teaching at a high school in Santa Monica and also at the College for Adults in Los Angeles. He said he was still frustrated because he hasn’t been able to get his Mark Twain book published…Swedish Egil is preparing a dance music channel for satellite-to-car CD RADIO slated to launch early 2000 targeting 200 million autos…Joe McDonnell, recently fired from all-Sports KXTA, tells in minute detail about how he got fired last month. He spares no words nor does he compromise the descriptions of the events leading up to his execution. It is not for the faint of heart. Joe minces no feelings about the executioner, operations manager Mike Thompson. You can read the details with a simple click at http://www.thebignasty.comMario Devoe at "Mega 100" is giving away a prize packet that includes an opportunity to "Pick Your Park." Winners get to pick any amusement park in the Southland with tickets for a family of four…"Star 98.78" lets you take the day off and get paid. A grand prize winner gets to take the year off with pay…Over 50 Los Angeles Radio People have been nominated as top personalities for the period of 1957 and 1999. Gary Owens has taken the early lead. You can vote for your 10 favorites at db@ecom.net . Speaking of Gary, his son Chris directed a film called Border to Border that won Best Film at the Las Vegas Film Festival last year. Made for $250,000, his film beat out 400 other entries…Former KABC talk personality Mr. Gadget (Steve Kruschen) checked in with well wishing for his former colleagues: "Now, as I have just finished listening to Michael Jackson and Ken and Rick's first day on KRLA [with Dr. Toni Grant in the middle] I am encouraged once again for diversified talk radio. Soon, they will get past the newness of their new digs, get past the old news and calls about their departures from KABC and settle into their new programs. I can't help but feel positive about their future there. I'll be listening as they grow into their new radio home! I wish them all well. L.A. needs another choice. And another voice."

"From the Rolling Thunder Radio Network…"

(January 5, 1999) The new "Minyard and Minyard" show got off to an auspicious start at KRLA yesterday afternoon. Coming out of the 3 p.m. cluster of news and commercials, a big booming voice booms: "Broadcasting statewide and across the Northwest, this is the Rolling Thunder Radio Network, here is the host of Rolling Thunder, Jim Herrington." Jim begins his introduction and then we hear a familiar voice. Ken Minyard cuts in and says, "I have no idea what that was. Good morning!" For a quarter of a century Ken worked wake-up at KABC and was now debuting at the new "L-A Talk KRLA 11-10." One of the guests in the first hour, Steve Edwards quipped: "I am thrilled to be here with you on the Rolling Thunder Network and I would like to say, good morning. I always say you are as good as your start. I was a little nervous for you. It’s a big moment and suddenly I hear, ‘From across the Rolling Thunder Network…’ and then I hear Ken, the broadcast professional he is, say, ‘good morning.’" Rick Minyard said his father made an art form of making mistakes over the years. Steve said, "I have a belief that says if you do it right, they like you. If you screw up and admit it, they love you. So far they love you." Ken very kindly acknowledged this Web site in his opening remarks. Ken and his son Rick, broadcasting from the Museum of TV & Radio, seemed to be having the best time with an eclectic group of guests and well wishers. They talked about their program being "all-inclusive" and wouldn’t age discriminate as far as callers. In fact they welcomed an elite group of personalities, all "old" and over 50 to call. Ken invited any of the following "older" personalities to call: Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Sean Connery, Warren Beatty, Harrison Ford, Howard Neal, gm of KFI, and even Bill Sommers, gm of KABC. With tongue in cheek, Ken denounced the other stations for discriminating against the over 50 caller but they would be welcome to call "Minyard and Minyard." Ken thought it was "outrageous" to discriminate in light of a mandatory session he was forced to attend at KABC. Ken said: "We attended an awareness seminar shortly before I left KABC. We played little games, had little role sessions. All day! It was an all-day seminar in which we were told that discrimination was wrong, how we had to be very sensitive. Sexual discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, religion and age was wrong. I said, ‘How can we be sitting here with a straight face, talking about age discrimination when we have marching orders to keep an older caller off the air. How can that be?’ They really didn’t look comfortable at all. There was another talk show host, I won’t mention his name because he’s still working there, who backed up what I said. That is a scandal just waiting to be exposed." Their first guest was Ben Hoberman, former gm of KABC. Ken acknowledged Ben as "the godfather of talk radio." Ben’s comments about talk radio in the early days of KABC and the state of talk radio today will be published here tomorrow. Ken and Rick will provide an interesting alternative to KABC’s Larry Elder, KLSX’s Tom Leykis, KIEV’s Michael Medved/Ray Briem and KFI’s John & Ken… "As I was saying when I was so rudely interrupted, Happy New Year. May 1999 be everything you wish for yourself and your loved ones for the final year of the decade, the century and for the millennium." That’s how Michael Jackson opened his new nine-to-noon show at KRLA yesterday. "Hello there, good morning and welcome to the new L-A Talk KRLA 11-10. I like saying that already and I like saying if for a variety of reasons. It is very much my new home and I’ve already been made to feel most welcome. Letters, email and faxes, phone calls literally by the thousands and I really hope that I can match up to the expectations. It’s great to be back and great to be here on the air at a great radio station. Now, what makes a great radio station? You start with a transmitter. I moved from a station with 5,000 watts to a station with 50,000 watts. If I had my choice, I think KRLA would have been my natural choice because I am at a radio station that was ready to make a change. What a great tradition they had. For decades with Rock music. They waited their time. They took their time. And when they thought they had all the right talents available, they sprang into the fray and they are determined to become the leader in Talk. Talent they have and I’m awfully privileged to be part of that line-up. What makes a great radio station? I must add the behind the scenes crew. It is a most enlightening staff in management, sales, programming, and engineering. It is in sort of a strange way a throw back to more enlightened times. Back to the days of real radio. They care about broadcasting, about what you hear on the air and you have no idea what a refreshing challenge and change that is. Let me give you an example. The first and obvious one that comes to mind, management. Where would you like to do your show from? Answer from me, on special occasions wherever the events are occurring. At the scene of historic events. At schools. On Capitol Hill. Sacramento. Skid row. At the border between Mexico and the United States. At the Democratic and Republican national conventions. In New York. Wherever. What impacts significantly on our lives. I want to, more than ever, get into this city and share my findings. Question from management, what about guests and issues? Answer, I promise you this moderate liberal will bring you more conservative guests than you will hear anywhere in the country. You’ll also hear the liberal voices. We’re going to meet authors and stars. From time to time athletes. I know we are a CBS station, but I like to cross-pollinate the networks and bring to the microphones the fine broadcasters from any and all networks." His first guests were Sam Donaldson on the phone and Larry King in-person…Laura Brodian is a 10+ year veteran of KUSC, KKGO, KFAC, KGIL, XBACH and KQED. Laura is looking for a music related on-air job. She'll be your board op, too, if you have nothing on air right now. You can reach her at kfreasstudio@earthlink.net …Morning guys at KXTA, Ben Maller and Dave Smith, are filing a formal complaint against the Tostitos Corporation for the "debacle" at the Fiesta Bowl last night. "Instead of presenting a championship trophy for the Fiesta Bowl, an executive, a suit from Tostitos was trying to present a bag of Tostitos," Big Ben complained. If you were watching last night, it WAS very embarrassing as this nerd was nervously attempting to get his bag of Tostitos in the tv shot and upstage the post-game presentation festivities...Eric Tracy and Steve Edwards make a return appearance at "XTRA Sports 1150" this afternoon and tomorrow from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eric said it will be another chance to have "fun on the radio."…Keith Jackson was the consummate pro in his final college game last night at the Fiesta Bowl. He has retired after 47 years in the broadcast booth. Keith quoted Sir Winston Churchill, "I am easily satisfied with the very best." He saluted his partner of 12 years, Bob Griese (who dumped a Gatorade bucket of confetti over Keith’s head) and Lynn Swann…Former KNX sports guy and current KFWB contributor Keith Olbermann premieres tonight at 10 on Fox Sports News…Jim McKeon has returned to the Southland after headquartering in Seattle for the past 15 years. On New Years Eve 1974 L.A.’s newest AOR station blasted off with Elton John’s Funeral For A Friend. Just a few days before that Jim, David Perry and John Detz left Detroit to program KWST. Arriving at KWST with no cart machines nor the right music, in less than a week the station was launched with Jim as pd and morning man. In the 1980s, he and John Detz formed Visionary Radio and they owned a series of small market radio stations. In 1992 Jim became part owner and president of KTYD-Santa Barbara and hired his buddy from Detroit, David Perry, to run the day-to-day operation. Jim became president of M3 based in Seattle. The company owns tower sites, half dozen radio stations in Hawaii, promotes music and manages web sites for radio stations. "I’m excited about new radio opportunities now that I’m back in Southern California." Jim can be reached at jmac@m3.netLarry Elder is close to a syndication deal, according to a story in yesterday’s Daily Variety. As part of Larry signing a 4-year contract with KABC, the deal gives Disney’s ABC Radio Network the first-look option on Larry’s services and the right to match any offer from rival radio syndicators. The story indicated that a syndication deal is expected within the next few months…Sandy Wells, heard doing traffic at KABC, also writes an excellent weekly column for Cheers!, the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group. Last week Sandy profiled KUSC’s morning man, Alan Chapman. Sandy wrote that Alan was "destined to be a physicist until the Poughkeepsie, New York native discovered his own predilection for music." He graduated from M.I.T. with a bachelor’s degree in music and minors in German literature and industrial management. In addition to his morning shift at KUSC, Alan is a professor of music theory at Occidental College…Dave Hull is doing nights at KWXY-Palm Springs.

KRLA Flexes Local Muscles

(January 4, 1999) Happy New Year! KRLA continues to unveil its new Talk line-up with Michael Jackson starting at nine this morning and Ken Minyard and Rick Minyard debuting in afternoon drive. The former KABC personalities, with a combined 50 years + in the market, will attempt to jump start the new "LA 11-10 Talk." Their shows will be broadcast today from the Museum of TV & Radio. Rick emailed: "How great it is for me to be coming home! I grew up and came of age here in L.A. and it is great to be a part of the ‘next phase’ of my dad's career as his partner. Mark January 4th down as not only the rebirth of KRLA, but as the birth of Minyard & Minyard! Let everyone know that we are all inclusive, i.e., we welcome all ages, shapes, colors and political stripes." Rick said there would be no caller age discrimination… Judith Michaelson at the LA Times wrote a wonderful piece this morning about Michael Jackson’s return to middays. Michael told Judith that "I’ve got that bounce back. I’m dying to get back to work." She reports that he signed a three-year contract with KRLA. You would think that with all the renewed interest in Jackson’s career that he would stop his whining. Judith wrote: "As for KABC, it still rankles Jackson that five days after a national talk radio organization named him Radio Talk Show Host of the Year, the station gave him his walking papers. He says he is not bitter." ‘I had 30 bloody marvelous years there. So why should two dominate the rest?,’ Michael is quoted…KRLA has had technical problems they will need to correct. Last week John Wooden was a guest by phone on the mid-morning show and the hum on the line made listening almost impossible… Network personality Kathleen Sullivan is joining KFWB as a casual anchor. Kathleen was one of the earliest stars to come out of CNN in the early 1980s. From there, she went on to ABC where she anchored the '84 Winter Olympics coverage. Following ABC, Kathleen co-hosted CBS This Morning until 1990. More recently, she co-anchored E! News Daily…If you did not have access to <laradio.com> over the holidays, there is much to scroll down for as we kept current with Los Angeles radio news. Veteran KFWB newsman Cleve Hermann died and his colleagues remembered the talented sportscaster and reporter. There is a listing of the Top 10 Radio News Stories of 1998 and LARP talk about changes they would like to hear in 1999...A year ago Larry Elder’s shift at KABC had been cut in half to accommodate the arrival of Ed Tyll from Orlando for afternoon drive a few months earlier. The station let Ed go on February 9, 1998, his 42nd birthday. (Ed now works late evenings at KLSX.) Almost a year later, not only is Larry back to a full 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. afternoon drive shift, but KABC has given him a new 4-year contract…With the start of the New Year, this is an opportunity to vote for your 10 favorite Los Angeles personalities. Each year, we start fresh. The winners of last years voting will appear in a soon-to-be-published publication…Last night former KNX/FM and KKHR personality Robert David Hall appeared on Touched By An Angel. He played a martini-swilling travelling salesman. He said, "I hardly had to act for this one."…Dr. Leslie Pam emailed: "Just got back from a two week trip to Vietnam, Phew. After seeing ‘Uncle’ Ho Chi Minh lying in state and how the Vietnamese people revere him, it sure was eerie to hear the very next day that we had bombed Iraq. Back in the USSA, don't know how lucky we are boy, back, back in the USSA." Welcome home…Former KOST personality Ira Sternberg checked the calendar and emailed: "Elvis Presley was born this week in 1935. Think of it: If he were alive today, he would be performing as an Elvis impersonator."…Bill Martinez, former KDAY, KIIS, KRLA dj from the 1970s and 1980s, started an ad agency and directed many radio ad campaigns with retailers such Waterbed Warehouse, Waterbed Gallery and The Woodworks. Bill successfully made the transition from on-air to sales. Until recently he was gsm of Orange County’s KIKF. Bill is starting the new year in sales at KWIZ…LA Times Calendar section cover story yesterday was "Faces to Watch in 1999." Only one radio personality was listed. Under the Television & Radio section, 45-year-old Renan Almendarez Coello was featured. "Less than two months after KSCA switched to Spanish, Almendarez’s program ranked sixth in the market, and by the end of the year it was No. 1, a position he’s owned for five consecutive ratings periods." The story went on to say that Heftel Broadcasting is syndicating his show in a number of markets including San Francisco-San Jose and Chicago…After 20 years with Spanish KTNQ, Humberto Luna has joined the mornings at KLAX. The station, gm, Eddie Cancela has called Humberto the godfather of all the Spanish deejays…KPLS debuts a new all-Talk format this morning with Alan Keyes until 9 a.m.; John Crudelli, 9 a.m to noon; and Doug Barry from noon to 3 p.m….Kevin & Bean were catching up from the holidays with KROQ old friend Sam. The 103-year-old received over 700 Christmas cards from KROQ listeners…Brian Whitman is co-hosting with Mr. KABC again this week on the morning show…Charlie Van Dyke couldn’t airline connect yesterday because of the foul weather elsewhere and missed his morning show at KRTH…Larry Stewart wrote a solid piece on former KABC sportscaster, Keith Jackson, in the LA Times this morning. Keith is retiring tonight after calling the final bowl game. He told Stewart why it was time to hang up the microphone. "You want to go when it’s time. You’re better off if you go a little early. You don’t see quite as well as you used to, you don’t have the patience, you lose a step. You huff and puff a little more after you climb up to the press box and it takes you longer to catch your breath." Asked if he will be emotional tonight, Keith responded with typical humility: "I won’t be emotional at all. It’s not my show; it belongs to Tennessee and Florida State. I’ll give the final score. That’s all that matters." Class act!

(January 2, 1999) We Get Email…

** Rich Buhler Cherishes Friendship with Cleve Hermann
"You'd think that the news of the death of an 80 year old man wouldn't be entirely unexpected, but when I got the call saying Cleve Hermann was gone, it hit me hard. No matter how old he was, how much of a full life he lived or how ready he was to go, when it finally happened, the lights in the world seemed to dim. The void is more pronounced than I anticipated.

He was such a massive presence. His energy, his mind, his enthusiasm, his compulsions and his quirks. He was a legend in broadcasting yet had the ability to make you feel that he was privileged to have you as his friend. I will always be proud that more than anyone else, Cleve was the one who taught me how to write news.

There was a certain amount of chaos that always surrounded Cleve and there was pain and loss that seemed bewildering to him. In the midst of it, however, was a magnificent spirited man whose ability to see and write a great story was exceptional, whose friendship was sincere, whose childlike passion for what he loved was unchanged in old age and whose affirmations warmed many a young performer's heart. Few people are as unique and occupy a larger place in our lives than Cleve Hermann. I miss him and am grateful to God that he was my friend." – Rich Buhler

** Don Herbert Remembers Cleve Hermann
"Broadcasting has lost a giant. The passing of Cleve Hermann breaks another golden cord connecting us to the golden days of radio. Cleve was one of the ‘Good Guys.’ A superb knowledge of sports, a great performer on the air or in print and with a great sense of humor, Cleve was the kind of guy who fit in everywhere and anywhere. Even if you disagreed with him on some issue or another, you could not help liking him. During the 30 years that Cleve was my colleague, I watched as one young person after another would come to him, seeking advice, direction or something else and Cleve was always there for them. Cleve was the kind of guy you just don’t forget. With his raucous laugh and his pirate's eye patch, Cleve was one of the most memorable and recognizable figures on the Southern California scene. He will be sorely missed by me and countless of his co-workers and fans. Rest In Peace Old Friend" - Don Herbert, KFWB (retired)

** Cleve Hermann Memories
"It seems it was only a short time ago that we said goodbye to Bill Angel and Vince Campagna, and now another of the truly great old-timers from KFWB's past is gone. My first reaction to Cleve Hermann's death is one of profound sadness. He was a man who gulped life while the rest of us sipped. Nothing was too boring or unusual to gain his attention. Everything enriched his day and nothing seemed trivial.

Cleve was my father/brother when the others were too far away to listen. If he asked a question, he genuinely wanted an answer. If you met Cleve, you remembered him. His memory will stick with me forever, like the mustard and mayonnaise that clung to his shirts as he unknowingly dribbled it on himself.

The stories about the man are endless and such a blessing to recall. Who can forget the numerous times he set fire to waste baskets in the old building on Hollywood Boulevard? How comic it was to watch him, with flaming or smoking basket in his outstretched arms, rushing for the back door. Or, how many times, he raced for the air studio with the old baseball ticker tape in one hand and his script in the other, trailing yards of tape behind. If indeed he died as a result of a fall, it would almost seem natural since he was so accident-prone. With only the one eye guiding him through life, he had his share of auto accidents. I remember he walked into the station one day looking quite upset. He'd just had a fender bender. His response was to say, ‘they [the DMV folks] ought to be arrested for issuing him a license.’

I treasure the few chances I had to get together with him and other friends for lunch when he made it back into town after retirement. I just opened my copy of Cleve's book At Large in L.A., which he gave me on May 25th, 1979. I know the date because he had typed a note to Doris and me and stapled it to the first page. In it, he says he is ‘inordinately proud of his kids.’ He goes on to say ‘still I wish, because you are so special to me, for many reasons, that you two were my children.’ I'll always think of him as my second father, big brother and just plain good friend. I'll miss him, as I'm sure all of you will who knew and loved him." - Jim Burson

** Cleve Hermann Was a Reporter First
"Sports figures in the media too frequently become the ‘stars,’ more so than those on whose activities they report. But, from time to time, a sports ‘reporter’ becomes beloved just because of the way he does his job. Cleve Hermann was a ‘reporter’ first, last and always. The fact that he was fair, accurate and provided insight into his subject brought him a legion of loyal followers over the years. In Cleve there was a touch of all the ‘stars’ of his profession: He could rapid-fire like Bill Stern, if necessary; write like Grantland Rice or Damon Runyon when needed; educate and entertain like Vin Scully and make you feel at home as much as Keith Jackson. He could do it all. But most of all, he was a person people enjoyed; on the air, in person, in private. It damn well DOES matter whether you win or lose as well as how you play the game. Cleve Hermann was a winner. We are the losers." -Andy Park

** Cleve’s Photo Finish
"Way back when Cleve Hermann was doing ‘the live line to sports’ on Color Radio, he and I had differing opinions on the Dodgers. Well, he decided to answer my written opinion with a glossy photo of himself.......with his tongue sticking out! You know why? Just like a politician he threw a decoy rather than answer point by point. The difference is, after all these years, unlike all politicians, it turns out he was right. No decoys here, I'll just keep my tongue in cheek!" – Dave Loevner, Twin Falls, Idaho

** The Recently Departed
"Wonderful column today [12/29]. The tributes to all of the LARP that departed this year were well done. Thank you again for the continuing updates this year. L.A. radio wouldn't know what to do without you and a cup of coffee in the morning. Happy New Year!" - Jeffrey Leonard

** Mr. Eats Quibbles with Top News Stories of 1998
"Actually, I do believe that it was my departure from KABC for KLSX that was the biggest radio news story of the year, for it was the keystone upon which all the later changes were built. Without my singular courage and determination, Ken Minyard would have left to open a bait shop in Ft Lauderdale, and Michael Jackson would be puttering about the backyard, cursing his crabgrass. Also, if I had stayed at KABC, it would surely have retained its status as the #1 talk station in L.A. -- of this there can be no doubt. Cheers!" -Merrill Shindler

** A Jazzy DJ
"My name is John Pinckney. I never have been an L.A. radio personality, but I did spend several years as a news reporter and the local voice of NPR's Morning Edition at KLON in the early-to-mid 1980's. I was attending Cal State Long Beach at the time, when they had a terrific program that molded future broadcasters attending the school by giving them paid jobs, as state employees, at KLON. I got a chance to cut my teeth as a fill-in Jazz dj, working with top-notch professionals such as Ken Borgers, Sister Helen, and Langley Patterson, who was murdered in an L.A. parking lot in 1985.

From KLON I got a job fresh out of college at a small station in Reedsport, Oregon, which went dark three weeks after I arrived. The station had applied to the FCC to shut their station down, but failed to inform the gm who hired me. Undaunted, I went looking for work, and found it in Lincoln City, Oregon, owned by former KCBS [then KNXT] and FOX [then KTTV] news anchor Charles Rowe, who furthered my broadcast training in news with his wisdom and tutelage. When he sold his station, I ended up back in California, where legendary KHJ engineer Ken Orchard in Victorville hired me. I spent 9 years there as nd at KVVQ. So you see, my career, even though not in L.A. proper, has been riddled with L.A. influence. I'm now a loan officer with a mortgage company in Victorville, but I still do a morning show on a rock station, providing news and information. The radio blood just never leaves you." - John Pinckney (John Barry, on most frequencies)

** KABC Evening News Anchor Change
"Jeanine Kabrich who has been the evening news anchor on 790 KABC for the last year and a half, has parted ways with Metro Networks. They provide KABC with News and Traffic. As a result she will no longer be heard on KABC. I was shocked to hear this, and I will personally miss working with her on a daily basis. I want to wish her the best of luck on her future endeavors. She is and will always be a part of my extended radio family." Rob Ismael, robismael@mediaone.net

**Reader Loves KABC Changes
"I just want to take a few moments and say hello from the central coast. I recently moved from L.A. to Salinas, but thanks to your site I can still check on what's happening in L.A. radio. Frankly, radio in Salinas leaves a lot to be desired--heck, I even miss the KFWB traffic reports, which I didn't think was possible! Like the chap who emailed from Australia, it's great to hear KABC via the Web. Unlike him, I'm delighted at the changes the station has undergone." Jim Starkey Jim_Starkey@usa.net

** Reader Unhappy with KABC Changes
"I must say how utterly disgusted I was with the recent changes to the line up @ KABC 790. I left L.A. four years ago for Texas and one of the few things I missed was KABC and the quality programming it provided listeners.

While in LA last week [first time in 2 years] I listened to the station and found it to be utterly unlistenable [except for Dennis Prager]. Though I consider myself a conservative, I feel like the old KABC was a forum for differing opinions to be expressed [listen to any old Michael Jackson show]. The new ‘all conservative, all the time’ format is horrible and unintelligent. I am sure it will fail in the end. Too bad for KABC. Sad to see a good thing go that route." - Jerry Elmas, Austin, Texas

** More KABC
"What a great page! I found it through the Mr. KABC page. Thanks to you, I now know about the new KRLA. What a relief to find that someone cares about 'class' in talk radio. Bringing Michael Jackson back will be a big coup. I remember when KABC was a 'class act' and now through their many errors, KRLA will triumph. Since Art Bell [syndicated show and impersonal] took over the KABC airwaves at 10 p.m., I now listen to KGO and Bernie Ward instead. KGO has always shown me a great ability to manage programming better than most especially with their 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. format. Bill Wattenberg is especially precious on the weekends. Local programming is so important. Thanks again for your page. I am now going to tune my radios to KRLA and hope that they have learned from all of the mistakes KABC has made. -John B. Field, Thousand Oaks, Ca.

** Reaction to the Passing Parade
"One of the things I enjoy is seeing the monthly birthdays in your Current News column. Seeing the names of those who passed during the month is also interesting and often sad. ‘The Passing Parade in 1998’ was an unexpected surprise and it got me to thinking. I worked with seven of the seventeen persons listed.
During the past twenty-five years I have noticed that I get a bit reflective during the last few months of the year. Perhaps it started when I was forced to do station and company budgets, which required me to review the year ending and forecast [guess is a better word] what the stations would do in the year to follow. I hated doing those budgets. It was, however, a strong signal that another year will soon pass. This time of year, so many memories come up. Memories of people mostly, and most of them broadcasters.
I really appreciate your column, Don. The daily news, the comments of your readers and the birthdays and passings. So here's my New Year's wish...When all of those who have passed 'sign-on' again, there will be no birthdays, clocks and calendars, everyone will be number-one in his time period with a 'permanent contract,' an understanding program director, a general manager with a programming background and a station with no corporate debt. Happy New Year!" – Bill Ward

Cleve Hermann, L.A.’s Live Line to KFWB, Dies

(January 1, 1999) Legendary KFWB reporter and sportscaster Cleve Hermann died yesterday at the age of 80. He'd been living in recent years with his son in Redding, California. Cleve was the continuity glue to the sound of KFWB for almost 40 years through many formats wearing a patch over his left eye – the eye being blinded in an accident at birth. His colleagues called him the Damon Runyon of radio. Born in Peoria, he came to the Southland with his parents when he was six. His mother was a teacher. Cleve grew up in South Central Los Angeles and was a stringer for the L.A. Examiner when he was 14, earning 25 cents a column inch. When I interviewed Cleve for my book, Los Angeles Radio People, he told me: "For a brief time I thought about being a preacher or lawyer. Perhaps this influenced my on-air style." In 1951 he became sports director at KRCA/Channel 4. He spent three years with Tom Duggan, hosted a KABC/Channel 7 sports discussion series called Press Box and produced Oscar Levante’s last local program. He retired at age 72, having worked at KFWB for 37 years (with a brief nine-month stay at KGFJ). He was still vigorous and spry and mentally super-sharp, according to sources at KFWB, but apparently simply fell in the bathroom and hit his head. I first met Cleve sitting next to him at a poker table in Gardena a few decades ago. There was no mistaking his appearance and booming voice as he would call or make a bet. Our conversations over the years centered on his son, Steve. He was very proud of him. Tomorrow at this site, his colleagues and friends remember Cleve Hermann, one of the most colorful characters ever to sit behind a Southern California microphone.

1999

Instead of the traditional New Years Resolutions, I thought it might be fun to hear a different twist from Los Angeles Radio People. I asked, "What is the one Los Angeles radio change you would like to hear in 1999?"
Mark Denis (KFI): I would love to hear a format on ---FM---that has not been on the air for decades. A MOR format featuring Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones' arrangements---a contemporary collection of great music. Also a re-try of the "Smooth Jazz" Format that was on KACD/KBCD. It would definitely be on my pre-sets.
Ken Minyard (KRLA): How about a diversity of views on Talkradio? That'd be a quality change, don't you think? By coincidence, I know a new afternoon show that starts on January 4th that plans to provide that!
John Felz (KIEV): I'd like to be able to tune in during the morning hours on the weekends and listen to my friends at KGIL or KLAC playing their great music instead of some snake-oil salesman with an infomercial program. Also, it would be nice if the Music of Your Life folks and the operators of KGIL could get together and fix the annoying on-air glitches that usually send me over to KLAC.
Curt Mahler (formerly with KROQ): Intelligent Sports talk radio, instead of hokey acts like we are currently subjected to on AM1150. Also the return of truly talented djs like Bob Morgan.
Kenny Noble Cortes (formerly with KFI/KOST): Me, doing morning drive.
Tom Hoffarth (Daily News): Give the city an all-Sports radio station that's informative, entertaining and not run by some ego-driven out-of-towner who is clueless about what the city natives would like to hear. Schlock doesn't cut it.
Scott Shurian (formerly with KMPC): A return to the "good old days" or is that "daze" and a return to the talents of such old fogies as Dick Whittinghill, Roger Carroll, Ira Cook and Johnny Magnus. Let's throw in a not so "old" Wink Martindale and a Gary Owens...and for God's sake...let's not forget Geoff Edwards, wherever he may be. Let's staff the newsroom with a creaky, cranky old Bob Steinbrinck, a laughing Tom Wayman, a persnickety Andy Park...heck, even I might sign up for a morning gig. Donn Reed’s "Nightside" might be still be lurking out there some where. Let's bring John McElhinney back for traffic from the air. I even remember when KMPC, that WAS the station, used a motorcycle to cover traffic...a fine idea that flopped...oh well...We could line up some of the "old" engineers too like Bob Maryon and Tom Crosnoe. Heck. Let's throw in an old but good salesman or two...like Stan Spero and Ken Miller. What a joy it would be...probably even make a buck as the audience then would have aged by now and would follow the group. Oh...it was all a dream...ah me…Happy New Years to the old fogies out there and may the "new" breed have it half as well as at least some of us did.
Kiris Coburn (KKLA): L.A. does need a new HARD ROCK/METAL station that can provide music that's a little harder than "Hootie and the Blowfish." After all, this is L.A. where so many Hard Rock bands were spawned. I guess I'll have to keep listening to KNAC on the "NET" for the time being.
Don Jaye (formerly with KCBH): Bill Drake and Chuck Blore match wits in programming a Monica Lewinsky session with Newt Gingrich, George Stephanopoulos, and Ira David Sternberg. This would start the New Year with a BANG.
Bill Earl (author of KRLA history): I would like to hear a "Modern Oldies" station in L.A. similar to what Rich Robbin did in San Diego in 1993. It would be a KRTH-style presentation with "personality jocks" and concentrate on the Billboard Top 40 (off the Hot 100) from 1974 to 1989...in other words where KRTH STOPS...this new station would START!
Fred Schuster (Daily News): I'd really like to see a nice fun murder/suicide featuring John & Ken!!
Joel Siegel (formerly with KPPC): How about simulcasting Harry Shearer's Le Show in New York?
Diana DeVille (KNAClive.com): Less Babble, more Rock
Rex Moore (formerly with KGRB): The only change for L.A. radio in '99 that I would like to see (or hear) would be more stations that play "my" kind of music --- big bands, vocalists of that era, etc. There are too few of them now.
Rod Morrison (KEZY): A True Rock Station In Los Angeles! Or A Totally 80's Based Station!
Jeff McNeal (formerly with KRTH): My voice, back on the air, earning a half a million dollars. My alternate wish is sadly even more improbable. To have The Real Don Steele back. I miss his work tremendously.
Eric Norberg (formerly with KMPC): At the risk of sounding like a codger, what most concerns me about radio today is the effect of the "ownership implosion" brought about by the telecommunications act. The problem, as I've found in providing music information for the mainstream A/C format--designed to help stations build audience by programming aggressively--in my "Adult Contemporary Music Research Letter," is that when an organization owns half a dozen or more different-formatted stations in a market, the mindset changes from aggressively building audience to avoiding stepping on the toes of any of the other stations. While this may make sense logically--why risk pulling audience from one of the stations to build another? Why play a record which normally would appeal in another format?--in fact, it eliminates the excitement radio engenders in the listener when it's being aggressively competitive! The result is increasingly boring radio, and an inevitable gradual decline for all stations I fear. When you reflect that the one medium best suited to continue into the 21st century most unchanged is wireless, mobile, companionable RADIO, the worst thing that could happen to this dynamic medium is to get bland and boring. Alas, it seems to be happening. Ironic. So, I guess, if I had my choice, I would like to see only limited duopoly, as it was being allowed by the FCC before the telecommunications act took the lid off. However, since the genie is out of the bottle, I have no idea how one could get it back in.
Mike O’Neil (formerly with KRTH/KHJ): English, would be a nice change, however the Spanish stations are a lot more entertaining.
Andy Park (formerly with KMPC): For all L.A. Radio broadcasts to be also simultaneously available as streaming audio on the Internet and, thus, available all over the world.
Michael Moore (formerly with KBIG): The one change I'd really like to see is Michael Moore back on the air in L.A. Secondly here's an idea from left field. How about some classic country tunes somewhere? By classic I mean 60's and earlier. It would be great to hear some of the one hit wonders from that era as well as the big stars.
Rich "Brother" Robbin (formerly with KIQQ): I'd have to say it's me working in that market or L.A.’s favorite satellite market, San Diego!
Don Herbert (KFWB News anchor emeritus): Having spent 45 years in radio and tv, most of it in news radio, I am aware of the political pressures out there and the opportunity for abuse. For the all-News format, probably the most expensive of them all, I would like to see, in 1999 more investigative reporting with reporters doing those investigations showing evidence that they are truly well versed in the subject, rather than just readers. The other side... talk radio...I would like to see even a little lip service to fairness. Too many stations concentrate on one political viewpoint with talk show people who have the gift of gab but no real expertise, no sense of humor but who tell jokes that backfire and do their best to ridicule and shut up those who disagree with them. Simply...be fair, as we were once required to be. It was a nicer time and a more educational time. Now it is just stereo babble. Will this happen in 1999? I doubt it but I still keep hoping.
Gary McKenzie (formerly with KIIS): Gary McKenzie anchoring a morning Newstalk program!
Raul Moreno (KNX): What I would like to see is a station become like KMPC used to be. Now that KLAC has done so well with a weaker version of what KMPC did, they should add more big band stuff and do a "Juke Box Saturday night" with lots of dance and "lounge" type music. KLAC is a great station that can be better. I would like to see the Angels broadcast on a station that could be heard at night, and have a year when Saul Levine does not make any format or call letter changes at his many stations. I think that may be asking too much.
Joe McDonnell (sports radio host): The change I would like to see most is me being back on the air!! Besides that, I would like to see an all-Sports station in Los Angeles. Oh, yeah. There is one: 1540AM. Seriously, though, I'd like to see a newer, more scientific ratings system. Since our jobs usually depend on the numbers, it would be nice to have more up-to-date ways of determining who's listening to what station. I know everyone has to live under the same system. To me, though, the system is archaic. Depending on someone to accurately write down what he or she is listening to is totally unscientific. Heck, most of the people probably don't fill out the diaries until the day they mail them. That's human nature. There has to be a better way.
Jerry Longden (formerly with KLOS): Programmer driven programming instead of banker driven programming.
Mark Driscoll (formerly with KTNQ): Arrow: Change name, and either format or completely modify the presentation. That goes for KLOS, too. Not so much the name and format...but modify the approach.
Daniel Thomas (KKLA): I'd like to hear if the FCC is really listening to what foreign language stations are saying over the airways in Los Angeles. How do they know if there is bad language or offensive remarks going out over the air? Do they hire people who understand Spanish, Korean, Chinese, etc? I would just like to see the FCC get out of Stern's case and start focusing on the foreign language stations to see what they are up to.
Thomas Irey (formerly with KLFM): A 24-hour trivia station mixed in with a little trivia music--and all request. I'd even work on it!!
Lee Marshall (formerly with KABC): My wish for the future of L.A. Radio is that it could be the way it was in the past. There was a time, not long ago, when L.A. Radio was reserved only for the most talented, energetic, daring and creative people in the business. Being on the air in L.A. was the goal to which all broadcasters aspired, but only a few were able to reach. L.A. Radio was not a homogenized, vanilla, play-it-safe, Wal-Mart imitation of itself. L.A. Radio was a place where the phrase, "just read the cards" was never spoken. The people of L.A. Radio didn't worry about what the gms, pds or listeners in Tulsa or Flagstaff thought about our "syndicated show." L.A. Radio was where the best of the best were heard. L.A. Radio is what gave our business people like Gary Owens, Don Steele, Robert W. Morgan, B. Mitchel Reed, Michael Jackson, Wolfman Jack, Lohman & Barkley and "Sweet Dick" Whittington. L.A. Radio was a place that encouraged the talents and ambitions of people such as Casey Kasem and Rick Dees. L.A. Radio was a place where Lee "Baby" Simms let us want to believe that the morning man at KRLA was a veterinarian from Simi Valley named Doc Frail. L.A Radio was a place where people got their news and information from people such as J. Paul Huddleston, Richard Beebe, The Credibility Gap, and, with great pride, Lee Marshall. L.A. Radio was the brass ring and the class act of broadcasting. I wish the same could be said in 1999.
Alan LaGreen (Airwatch Traffic): More coverage of mainstream L.A. radio in the Thursday Times!!!
Mike Thompson (KXTA): Since I am a newcomer, I have no right to suggest changes, however, how 'bout a string of repeaters that blanket all the canyon roads!
Lou Guy: The biggest change in L.A. radio I would like to see in ‘99 is for Stephanie Miller never to say the phrase, "you know" or the word "like" ever again. Have a happy holiday.
Chuck Van Horne (formerly with KUTE): Being as impractical as ever, I would like to hear a radio station that played Radio Dramas 24- hours a day.
Rob Riddlemoser ("Mega 100"): Clinton - Mornings - K???
Gary Franklin (formerly with KFWB): I'd like to see one - maybe two - good, powerful, well-financed stations convert to entirely new kinds of programming, and thus get us out of this current swamp of talk-garbage (both hosts and callers). (1) 24-hours/7 days, devoted strictly to computering, software, hardware, the politics (e.g. porn censorship, Microsoft vs the government) - all of this directed at the general public ... the secretary wanting to know more about the word processing program or the spread sheet...the parent or young person seeking help on educational and game software .... games for the adult set ... new product reports ... explaining how much memory you REALLY need...news and entertainment...even music. The possibilities are without limit. The sales potential very high. And the people calling in would be of higher mental caliber than the nuts who now dominate. (2) 24-hours/7 days: news and music .... alternating in 6-minute cycles....6-minutes of news, 6 minutes of music (minus spots, of course). Music could be Pop-Rock during the day (to attract the younger audience) and show-tunes and classics, 8 p.m. to pre-dawn. That's my wish.
Chuck Southcott (KGIL): Since all on-air performers are on-air salespeople, whether selling ideas, a form of music, humor, or simply themselves in the quest for numbers, I'd like to hear creative selling of the sponsor's products in a one-to-one fashion. This art, (some say was initiated by Arthur Godfrey) was at one time a major staple in Los Angeles radio. One need only to think of Dick Whittington, Dick Whittinghill, Gary Owens, Roger Carroll, Bill Stewart and Tom Brown's excellent restaurant spots to be reminded of how much money the advertisers, stations, and, indeed, the personalities were able to generate. As both a programmer and on-air "talent," I have always felt the direct sell in the proper environment could far outweigh the so-called ratings strength of the facility. The golden age of my own KGIL was a perfect witness to the fact that the commercial minutes could and should be as well programmed and listenable as the non-commercial times.
Steve Morris (formerly with KRTH): The local morning shows I hear are not well prepared, or funny, or kind. There's a kind of pervasive smug mean attitude, from morning shows, to talk radio. Some shows sound so generic that they could be anywhere, while others sound so ill informed that I lose patience listening. You can be a compassionate grown-up and still have a great time on the air. Maybe that's the "one thing" I wish we could share with a lot of L.A.'s air talent. You can be topical, without sounding like you're the emcee at a strip club. And you can disagree about individual political issues without demonizing your adversaries.
Reed Berry ("Traffic Jam"/KRLA): More music and less talk on music stations; more talk and less sports on talk stations! Happy New Year and drive safely!
Swedish Egil (formerly with "Groove Radio"): The return of Dance Radio - "Real" Dance Radio...reflecting truly what goes on in the scene. Everything from Pop Dance to Hip-hop and Drum N' Bass, Reggae, as well as, House, Trance, and Techno. Let's hear turntablists The Beat Junkies, DJ Shadow, and Cut Chemist as well as, Carl Cox, Armand Van Helden, Todd Terry, and Paul Oakenfold -- Africa Bambatta to the Freestylers to Urban Takeover. Rock and Breaks by Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers and Prodigy...and of course, Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Buju Banton, and Beenieman. It's time to groove into '99. Happy New Year!
Jeff Young (formerly with KFI): There are actually MANY changes I’d like to hear, but they aren’t gonna happen, (like someone giving Peter Tilden his own show…with a long-term contract), so I’ll stick with something feasible. I wish KFI’s Bill Handel would stop playing the "asshole" song every morning after the 7 o’clock news! Enough already! Move it around some, at least.
Jim Thornton (KNX): The biggest change I'd like to see in L.A. Radio in 1999--besides Rick Dees getting new material--is for KLAC to go back to real, old-time country music. KZLA is trying hard to be full-service, but there's just nobody playing the old stuff: Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Porter Wagoner, Glenn Campbell for gosh sakes! I could go on and on. And that's my wish for 1999 in radio.
Bobby Ocean (formerly with KHJ): Kahuna Claus OUT; imagination-enriched, entertaining format presentation IN. Over-commercialization OUT; listener-first programming IN.
Bob Shaw (KKLA): Let's see if radio personalities can make people laugh without delving into the sexual realm for their comedy. Yeah, I know it's tough, but then again, Bill Cosby made a pretty good living at it.


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Last modified: March 27, 1999