Archives, July 2014

Written and compiled by Don Barrett

Edited by Alan Oda

KNX, KABC, KPOL, KFI, Newsman Passes

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Sebastian Williams remembered his friend:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


  • “Shania Twain announced she is ending her two-year residency at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace. After December 13th, never Caesars nor Twain shall meet.” (Ira David Sternberg)

  • “I’ve got to get my kid school supplies and pencil erasers. He’s going back to school in two weeks.”  (Renee Taylor, HOT 92.3)

  • “You’ve chosen KFI, you’ve got excellent taste, and I might add, you’re also attractive and powerful.” (KFI liner)

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

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

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

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** KROQ History

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

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

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

** Remembering Bill Ward

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

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

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

** UCLA Flooding & KABC

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

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

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

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

Plus Kevin & Bean on location that rocked.

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

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

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

** Another Format Flip

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

Another Chapter About to Unfold at 930 AM 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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** Changes at KFWB

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

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

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

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

** KROQ History

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

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

** KFWB – The Little Station that Could

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

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

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

** Shadoe KROQ’s History

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

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

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

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

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

Former KFWB General Manager Reflects on KFWB

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

You can check out Mark's website at:


  • “I do not own dogs. I did as a child, I do not now. I was attacked by a dog when I was a child, so I’m kinda afraid of dogs.” (John Phillips, KABC)

  • “The only successful on-air promotions are sales promotions that sound like programming promotions.” (George Johns, radio consultant)

  • “Your Von’s could turn into an Albertson’s. I liked Hughes a lot.” (Michael Crozier, KFI)

  • “After listening to the crap coming out of SHELLEY Sterling's mouth it makes me wish for the resurrection of Georgia Frontiere.” (Joe McDonnell, from his Facebook page)


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** KFWB Calls

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

** KFWB R.I.P.

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

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

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

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

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

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

** Would KFWB Power Have Helped?

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

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

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

** Where is Bill Jenkins?

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

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

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

** KLAA Morning Sports Live and Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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** Lew Irwin on Healy

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

** KFWB Format Change

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


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

** Aging KABC

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

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

Sunday Funnies (7.27 from Jim Bain)


KFWB Employees Given 5 Weeks Notice

(July 26, 2014) In preparation of going to an all-sports format around September 1, the KFWB Asset Trust gave notice to all employees at the news/talk station yesterday that their jobs would end at the end of August. A search is on for executive positions to launch the new format. 

Will KFWB Flip to CBS Sports Network? 

(July 25, 2014) The KFWB Asset Trust has called for an “important” staff meeting this morning. Word from several sources is that the station is flipping from the current news / talk format to the CBS Sports Network, which features Jim Rome. No one from the Trust, general management or programming will respond to repeated inquiries to stories about the format flip.

Over a year ago, a tipster from CBS/New York alerted us that there were contractual concerns with Jim Rome, specifically, the contract apparently calls for clearance for “The Jungle” in all of the top markets. Clear Channel’s KLAC offers Jay Mohr midmornings while KSPN broadcast Colin Cowherd and a local midmorning show, most recently hosted by Mark Willard and Mychal Thompson. Rome now does a daily commentary on KFWB, while his daily show was heard on San Diego’s “The Mighty 1090” which can be heard – albeit sometimes inconsistently – across the L.A. and Orange County listeners. Still, there’s been a push behind the scenes to get a station in L.A. to carry Rome’s three-hour show.

Some of the questions might be answered this morning about whether any current KFWB employees will hold over into the all-Sports network. Will there be a live and local morning sports show? The Clippers currently run on KFWB and the NBA team has one more year with 980 AM. Will the Clippers be an integral part of the new KFWB? The station is currently running NBC Sports programming late at night. Was the Trust able to get out of that contract or was it month to month? And how about the infomercials that run on the weekend. Will they continue?

Southern California has three full-time sports stations, KLAC (570 AM), KSPN (710 AM), and KLAA (830 AM). Will the market be able to support a fourth full-time sports station? Since 1958, KFWB has had a spectacular run at 980 AM, first with the legendary and iconic Top 40 station. Then in 1968, the station asked us to give them 22 minutes and they would give us the world. The fast-paced all-News station was great counter programming to all-News KNX. A dozen years ago, the KFWB parent, CBS Radio, purchased KCAL/Channel 9 putting the company one over the ownership maximum. Since then, the station has been under a Trust until the station is sold. The format has been a hybrid of news blocks, talk programming, syndicated sports shows, play-by-play, infomercials, and NBA basketball. In recent years the station has not fared well in the ratings, but in all fairness, the Trust leadership has done little to promote the station and programming. Perhaps the CBS Sports Network will do the trick. The new format is expected to launch within 30 days.

Adam Carolla appeared with Sam Rubin on KTLA's Morning News earlier this week. Click the artwork to view the segment.

Weird Al Beginning with LARP. Red-hot ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic (first ever comedy album to debut at #1) is an alum of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. A fellow alum from the late 70s is KNX sports guy Randy Kerdoon. “I was trying to be the next Gary Owens or Vin Scully and Al wanted to be the next Dr. Demento,” emailed Randy.

“While taking a tv production course at nearby Cuesta College, my final was to direct and produce a performance of my choice in their studio,” continued Kerdoon. “I thought of Al and the parody he had just done of the Knack's My Sharona he recorded in the men’s room across the hall from KCPR in the Journalism building. I asked Al if he could do a Midnight Special kind of performance, for me, lip-syncing the song while playing guitar so I could show my mastery of camera cuts, pans, and dissolves and the like. He said sure....and it went well. Here is the video on”

Randy got an A on the project. “Afterwards, I basically forgot about it. Al's video career exploded when suddenly I began to get followers on Twitter talking about being a key to ‘Weird Al's’ career. Puzzled, I asked what they were talking about and I was directed to Al's Q and A page on his website where Al credited me for producing and directing his first ever video. You'll have to excuse me, I'm adding ‘Music Video Producer’ to my ‘Linked-In’ page right now.”

‘Weird Al’ at the Pinnacle. “Some days it just gets weird at Clear Channel in Beautiful Downtown Burbank,” wrote Jim Duncan. “My longtime friend "Weird Al" Yankovic stopped by to be on KFI's Bill Handel's morning show to promote his new album. We all worked at The Westwood One Radio Network in the first years of the network circa 1981. You can see new parody of Happy by clicking the photo of Duncan and Al. AND remember the words of Hunter S. Thompson: ‘When The Going Gets Weird....The Weird Turn Pro.’”

LARadio Rewind: July 25, 1925. General Electric's 2XAG in Schenectady becomes the first radio station to broadcast with a 50,000-watt transmitter. The station became WGY and is still on the air today. In 1927, WGY experimented with a 100,000-watt transmitter but interference with other stations necessitated a return to 50,000 watts. In 1931, KFI became the first 50,000-watt station in California. Other 50,000-watt Los Angeles-area stations are KBLA, KDIS, KEIB, KLAA, KMPC, KNX, KRLA, KSPN and KTNQ.

Immigration Special. This morning beginning at 10 a.m. and running for three hours, KFI will air a live news special devoted to the immigration crisis affecting the US border.

The three hour special is collaboration between KFI and Univision/Channel 34 and will be co-hosted by correspondents, Steven Gregory (r) and Oswaldo Borraez.

The recent influx of unaccompanied child immigrants has triggered an onslaught of questions from affected border residents and local governments alike. This news special will do a deep dive, not just interviewing those involved but also attempting to answer the tough questions surrounding this escalating situation, according to a KFI press release.

KFWB in 1959 from Mr. Pop Culture
Click the Artwork 


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** LARP Loves Airborne Folk

“It is fun with Mike Sakellarides, a guy that has been so supportive of us Airborne types! The picture of Mike, when he was 16, what are all those flat cartridge like looking things behind him?” – Jeff Baugh      

** KFI in thePicture

“Again I read this morning's thoughts on KFI. All of the gloom and doom about KFI and their late ratings seems to be counteracted by the fact that Bill Handel was number 5 overall  for morning drive in the last ratings you published. The rest of the day parts must have problems. [Should KFI hire Handel for a 24 hour shift? He-he] Also, lost in the discussion is the fact that KFI is still the top talk format (by a long way). The only spoken word format to beat them is KNX, a news only format.

Does KFI have some soul searching to do? Of course, they do. Do they need to do something to bring a younger audience to them? Maybe. Are they destined for a format change? I doubt that.

We should have an open mind and review the total picture. Perhaps my thoughts will help others look at KFI a little differently.” - Sterrett Harper, Burbank

** KFI Observations

“I have to echo Herb Redholtz’ comments about KFI. I hardly even tune in any more, and removed it from the presets in my car months ago.

KABC may be adrift, but so is KFI. I quit listening to Bill Handel on regular basis several years ago, ditto John & Ken. Bill Carroll’s show never really grabbed me either. If I were running KFI, I would:

I know this involves recycling a lot of former KFI hosts, but KFI enjoyed what I thought was kind of a ‘golden age’ from the mid-90s until about 2003. The programming was entertaining, edgy at times, and original. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that things started to stagnate and then decline when David G. Hall left.” - Gary Moe

** iHeart Promos

“Really, the iHeart radio promo featuring the First Lady recorded off axis from the microphone with all kinds of echo in the room - trying to pronounce ‘starZZHH and SCHTripes] (sic). Surely somebody heard this before it went on the air.

Oh well, plenty of people are hearing it now that's for certain. What an embarrassment. Somebody doesn't like her. It's distracting to the cause, it's an insult to her and it certainly would be worthwhile getting rerecorded, thereby showing some respect to the Office of the President.

I mean, really, come on, and give her some respect. Everybody has an outtake now and then, but it's not fair to put it on the air.” - Don Elliot 

Netflix Part of the Media Future

(July 24, 2014) Netflix announced this week that the subscription service has signed up its 50 millionth subscriber. I am one of the 50 million. I love Netflix. House of Cards was genius – from conception, execution, and the unique distribution channel of seeing it ONLY on Netflix.

House of Cards couldn’t have been done without The West Wing going before it and blazing new territory. Fifteen years ago The West Wing was launched – seven years later, the series was showered with 26 Emmys, including four best drama series wins.

I LOVE The West Wing and we are revisiting the series on Netflix. We are almost through season four. Aaron Sorkin created the series with Thomas Schlamme. They delved into the personal and professional lives of those in the White House who worked directly for the President of the United States.

The Hollywood Reporter recently chronicled the series with many of the cast members. It was fascinating to learn some of the back stories. The series had its challenges: Rob Lowe, deputy communications director, departed midway through season four; John Spencer, chief of staff and the glue that held all story lines together, died during season seven; and creators Sorkin and Schlamme exited after season four.

Some highlights:

Day at the Races with Conway, Jr. KFI nighttimer Tim Conway, Jr.  joins Susan Flannery (Bold and the Beautiful), and NFL linebacker Christ Draft, for a ‘Day at the Races,’ this Sunday at Del Mar Race Track. Tim will participate with other lung cancer advocates and supporters at the Lung Cancer Foundation of America's (LCFA) unique ‘Day at the Races.’

Racing fans will learn that lung cancer is the USA’s primary cause of cancer death, killing almost twice as many women as breast cancer and three times as many men as prostate cancer. LCFA’s ‘Day at the Races’ will feature a special ‘Breath Of Life" race to support lung cancer research and help educate the public about this disease. More information at:

Hear AcheGary Campbell, weekends at KKGO, Go Country, adds similar duties to K-Mozart (1260 AM) … Tony Sandoval of HOT 92.3 has been giving away tickts to the Smokey Robinson concert at the Greek in August ... Is it true that we are hours away from learning where Jim Rome will land on an LA radio station? ... Adam Carolla appears on the KTLA Morning News this morning.

LARadio RewindJuly 24, 1966. Peter Bergman begins hosting Radio Free Oz, a free-form program on KPFK. The series would later be heard on KRLA and KMET. Bergman was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the son of Oscar and Rita Bergman, who hosted a morning show on WSRS. While in high school, Bergman formed a comedy group and worked as an announcer for the campus intercom radio station. His KPFK program featured many collaborators, three of whom wound up joining Bergman in a comedy troupe inspired by the 1950s BBC Radio series,The Goon Show. The Firesign Theatre included Bergman, Phil Austin, David Ossman and Philip Proctor. They recorded 29 comedy albums and starred in several films. Bergman is credited with coining the word "love-in" and he hosted the first such event at Elysian Park on Easter Sunday, 1967. He also produced a political satire series,True Confessions Of The Real World, which aired on KPCC in 2002-03. Bergman died of leukemia in 2012.

Banana Joe Memories"After hearing about the latest sale of KHJ, I thought about the night I arrived in Los Angeles (March 25,1979) after driving all day and all evening from my overnight stop in Albuquerque on my journey from Orlando," Joe Montione wrote on his Facebook page.

"I was so excited after seeing the lights of the L.A. basin in front of me, I drove straight through to KHJ at 5515 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, where I did a two-hour break in show that night, right off the road! Passion and excitement brought me to radio, and kept me there my whole life! I'll never forget my special time at 93 KHJ or any of the incredibly talented people I had the privilege of working with at that 'three-letter-legend.'"


Inland Empire Ratings. The June ’14 PPM Nielsen ratings 6+ 6a-mid, Mon-Sun:

1. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 9.8 - 10.2

2. KOLA (Classic Hits) 5.7 - 6.6

3. KGGI (Top 40/R) 4.4 - 4.7

4. KFRG (Country) 3.4 - 3.6

     KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.7 - 3.6

Healyisms. Bill Dwyre of the LA Times wrote a great story about the legendary sports radio icon Jim Healy on the 20th anniversary of his passing. We will feature some highlights in the days to come. After all, if you were a fan you couldn't get enough. Healy was the epitome of appointment listening at KLAC and for the last 10 years or so, on 710/KMPC. I was one of those who planned my departure from work at 5:30 p.m. to get his full 30+ minute show, which helped with the awful commute home. When he was about to go over 30 minutes, we would revel in hearing the "dreaded six o'clock tone."

From Dwyre: "Over the years, he had developed this quirky show that relied on noise from Teletype machines and background music and a precious collection of tapes of famous people saying clever or stupid things. Healy threw them all together in a bouillabaisse of sports fun."

"It wasn't exactly journalism, but amid the sound tracks and sound bits were frequent tidbits of news that nobody else had. Healy had an army of correspondents. It was a badge of honor to get an item and feed it to Healy. You could read the nuances and elaborations in the paper later, after Healy had given you the tip of the iceberg."

"In those days, The Times sports staff numbered close to 100 and half of them leaked to Healy, mostly about the other half."

"He called Chick Hearn 'Chickieburger' and Stu Nahan 'Silver-Tip Stu.'"

Funnie. After a long day on the golf course, I stopped in at Hooter’s to see some friends and have some hot wings and drinks.

After being there for a while, one of my friends asked me which waitress I would like to be stuck in an elevator with. I told them "The one who knows how to fix elevators."

I'm old, tired, and pee a lot! (Today’s Funnie from Leon Kaplan)

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** Mottek Honor Much Deserved

“Always enjoy your column. I met Frank Mottek briefly, several years ago at a special AFTRA Broadcasters meeting I was asked to attend. He conducted himself as a true gentleman in our meeting, and since that time, I’ve always been impressed by his consistently high level of professionalism. Well deserved.

I had the opportunity to rub elbows with Jim Healy during my time at K-Lite, across the hall from KMPC, and I was told me he somewhat ‘invented’ the ‘wacky' tv sports reporter archetype, back in the day. I also got the impression he did not suffer fools gladly. He typically would never respond directly to a hello from me or a fellow member of the K-Lite air staff - instead commenting to ops director John Felz something along the lines of, ‘One of those fm people tried to say hello to me.’

A funny man.” - Bill A Jones

** Response to Stephanie Miller

“From Stephanie Miller in the Overheard section this week: ‘Here’s one thing we can all agree on – Rick Perry is a dope. Newspaper headline: border sheriffs perplexed by Rick Perry’s plan to send a thousand troops to stare at Mexico.’

Stephanie Miller’s quote made me think of how many troops have been standing at the border between North and South Korea since 1951 staring at North Korea. Or Jack Nicholson's character in the film A Few Good Men talking about ‘standing the wall’ at Guantanamo Bay staring into Cuba. There are plenty of good reasons to have people [with guns] patrolling the Texas-Mexican border staring into Mexico. [And I'm not referring to the poor children pouring across the border.] Is Rick Perry stupid? I think in Stephanie's little finger pointing exercise, the four pointing back at her are more telling. Rick Perry is being a good manager of an awful big piece of real estate.” – Rich Johnson

** Talk Radio Changes

“In response to a couple of your emails yesterday, I don't believe that the management at KFI is really concerned about KABC. This is a station that has been adrift for quite some time. Formerly a consistent Top 10 station, albeit many years ago, it has floundered around 40th in the recent past. With rumors flying that KABC would once again become the Dodgers flagship, it is a bit of a surprise that a deal was made with the hockey Kings. I totally agree that it will certainly wreak havoc with the on air line up. If you’re going to have a major league sports franchise on your air it can't be done in a vacuum, you have to bookend around the games. This will consume lots of air time. Other changes must be forthcoming at KABC.

As for Rush leaving KFI and the ratings falling, I believe the ratings were already heading south while he was still there. KFI sounds tired and continues to be overloaded with repetitive commercials. Their on air talent has been beating the same drum for many years and it is no longer ‘stimulating.’ I still think that the real problem remains to be the incessant commercial blocks that causes many, including me, to switch stations. Changes need to be made at KFI to return to the Top 10.” - Herb Redholtz, West Covina 

Frank Mottek Voted #7 Best On-Air LARP of 2014

(July 23, 2014) Frank Mottek is the voice of business news in Los Angeles. An award-winning broadcast journalist with more than 25 years of experience, Frank currently anchors the business reports on KNX. Weekdays at 1 p.m., he hosts the KNX Business Hour. Seventy-seven of his peers working in Los Angeles radio voted Frank as the #7 Best On-Air LARP of 2014.

Frank was the substitute anchor for Paul Kangas on The Nightly Business Report on PBS from 1989 through 1991. His tv experience also includes anchoring and reporting on WTVJ in Miami, where he was part of the station’s Peabody-award winning tv coverage of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Since joining CBS in Los Angeles in 1992, he served as a spot reporter for KCBS/Channel 2 for six years. He was also a reporter and business news anchor on the KTLA/Channel 5 News at 10 and the Emmy-Award winning KTLA Morning News for ten years.

Frank began his career in broadcast journalism in high school at a top-rated fm station in Miami where he was promoted to news director at the age of 18. He then joined the all-news CBS station in Miami where he was morning news anchor, reporter and news/talk host for 11 years.

During that time, he provided the live descriptions of all space shuttle launches for the CBS Radio Network from 1985 through 1991. In 1986, he was an eyewitness to the Challenger disaster at the Kennedy Space Center.

For ten years, Frank was an instructor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC teaching the “Newsradio” course he created.

Frank has won numerous awards from the AP, UPI, RTNDA, Florida Medical Association, L.A. Press Club and the Radio-TV News Association of Southern California. He won the RTNA Golden Mike award for Best Business and Consumer News Reporting in 2012.

Frank currently serves as Immediate Past-President of The Society of Professional Journalists-Los Angeles Chapter. He is also on the board of directors of the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California and the Concern Foundation for Cancer Research in Beverly Hills. He previously served as President of the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters.

KNX's Frank Mottek

Comments from some of those who voted for Frank:

Wagging a PromotionRob Wagman, formerly with KBIG and afternoons at KFSH, ‘The Fish,’ has joined Contemporary Christian WAY/fm as network program director. "When you're shopping and you try on that shirt, then you look in the mirror to see that it fits as if it were tailor-made for you,” said Wagman. “This is how it feels to be joining WAY/fm.”

"The position, which allows me to utilize all the skills God has given along my path in this industry, is also perfect in its timing; as an answer to prayer, allowing my wife, Sarah Lee and me to be closer to our families before our baby boy is born this coming October.”

Faustian LeadershipLou Faust managed KPOL and KIIS AM & FM in the mid-60s to the early 1970s. The LA Times’ late radio columnist Don Page named Lou Executive of the Year “for supervising and helping develop one of the most stylish music concepts heard here in many years.” He is credited with coming up with the “KIIS” moniker.

Lou was a longtime executive with CapCities, managing WPAT-Patterson, New Jersey for a time. One colleague who worked for Lou at KPOL said, “We would have walked through fire for him.” Lou also headed Selcom Radio Reps in New York, gm of WKBW-Buffalo and executive vp of Blair Radio. He went on to KCMJ-Palm Springs and worked at Jones Radio Network as regional sales manager of Western and Central states.

It is so much fun when people discover LARadio. Lou’s widow, Rusty, checked in this week.

“My past also includes radio – KIIS AM & FM [was vice president of broadcasting] when they merged years ago,” wrote Rusty. “I also was manager of the AM and took it to religion for a short time.  Then to business manager at KFWB then into cable.”

Rusty retired with Lou to Palm Springs.  They were together 36 years. The former president of Torbet Reps and Bartell Broadcasting died January 24, 2008. He was 82. He died at his home in Boise, Idaho after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. He had fifteen grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren and one sister.  “After he passed, I moved to Parker, Colorado to be near family,” she continued. “I miss hearing about all the old timers and will spend much time going through your LARP lists – trying to remember as many names as I can for my memory is not the best having just had my 86th birthday.”


Production ProJeff Serr, longtime production director at KKGO, Go Country, is leaving to start his own production company. “I’m working with two new clients out of a home studio,” emailed Jeff. “Even though I love the vibe and energy of working at the radio station, this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. I might end up being even busier than before.” His website is at:

With Serr’s departure, KKGO now has an opening for a director of production and imaging. Prior major market experience is required and a background in Country is a plus.

LARadio RewindJuly 23, 1937, Robert W. Morgan – the W stood for Wilbur – is born in Mansfield, Ohio. In 1965 he left KEWB in San Francisco to become morning man at the new Boss Radio, KHJ. Hundreds of thousands of listeners would awake to his signature greeting of “Good Morgan!” At his peak, Morgan had a 20% share of the listening audience, according to Arbitron. Was he destined to be in radio? His parents were Arthur and Florence Morgan, initials AM and FM. He began his career at WWST in Wooster and also worked at KACY-Port Hueneme, KTEE-Carmel, KMBY-Monterey, KMAK-Fresno, WIND-Chicago, KIQQ, KMGG, KMPC and KRTH, leaving radio in 1997 after developing lung cancer. Morgan narrated the 48-hour History Of Rock & Roll special in 1969, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1993, and was a charter inductee into the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1994. Robert died in 1998 at age 61.

Hear Ache. KFI's Bill Handel leaves for Iceland tomorrow and his family vacation, but not before announcing that the LA Daily News readers have named the Bill Handel Show the best morning radio show. "The only reason I bring this up because if you read the LA Times, our show isn't even on the air," quipped Handel this morning.

Trujillo Exits KPCC. “Since so many people are asking why they haven't heard me on the air in the past few weeks, well, KPCC did a round of budget cuts and the evening news was one of the things cut,” emailed veteran Tammy Trujillo. “Please don’t send condolences. I’m fine. I am going to now do the projects that I have been wanting to do for a long while but did not have time to do. Stay tuned!  Some of these ideas are pretty cool and have been sitting around asking to become reality far too long!  Who knows, there may even be a place for you in one of them!  I am up for any great news gigs that are out there of course as well. You can keep track on my website, or on Facebook.”


“Carnac the Magnificent – you know how it works – first the answer, then the question.

 The Answer: Phyllis, Michael Jackson and Vladimir Putin!  (Rip the envelope)

 And the question: Name a Diller, a Thriller and a cold blooded Killer!” (Mike Butts)

Email Wednesday

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** Who Goofed?

“’Is it true?’ Jim Healy would quip to open his nightly KMPC sports soap opera rant about some sports jock’s scandalize behavior off the sports venue.  

Jim had the most entertaining sports show ever. No one but no one escaped his wit and his ‘inside’ stories on his daily radio version of the National Enquirer. Jim was a one of a kind ‘diamond in the rough.’

Lasorda never could figure out how Healy got his profane laced comments on tape. I know as I asked Tommy about his ‘F’ word laced comments being aired on KMPC almost every night. But then again Tommy is a total honest and down to earth guy with a big heart, especially for kids. Heck, I knew a famous MLB umpire who used the ‘F’ as an adjective, verb, noun, pronoun, and adverb. He was addicted to the word and sprinkled it in everyone conversation about anything and everything, you know like the guys down the pier unloading ships back in the old days before cargo containers.

Vin Scully is the classic baseball story teller. Jim Healy was the classic Howard Cosell ‘telling it like it is,’ storyteller. Jim’s Walter Winchell staccato style of broadcasting was engaging, entertainment and was never, ever boring. I miss him to this day.” – Joe Cosgrove 

BZ Was a Pirate

(July 22, 2014) Ben Ziegler is a footnote in the history of LARadio, but nonetheless a part of the rich history of those who entertained us over the years. Known as BZ at the tail end of ‘Pirate Radio’ at 100.3/KQLZ, Ben was working at KYNO in Fresno in 1991 when he got the call from to cover weekends. The originator of ‘Pirate Radio,’ Scott Shannon had already left the station and returned to New York.

Ben went on to radio station ownership in North Dakota at 103.9 The Truck KZTK/fm.

Ben was born in Glendale and moved to San Diego at age 6, where he listened to many of the radio talent that would influence his future. As a young boy he knew that he wanted to be that voice in the radio someday. “When I was 14 years old, my mom dropped me off at KGB, as was invited by Bobby Ocean to hang out in the studio. I was hooked. Shotgun Tom Kelly was also a big influence and his now a friend."

His dream was realized after a year in Fort Collins, Colorado where he “leaned the ropes” of radio.  He then returned to San Diego to work at Country outlet 97.3 / KSON, a station he grew up listening to. He eventually moved across town to KCBQ and then Cleveland radio.

In 1995, he partnered with Jim Babbitt and they are still a team in North Dakota. Ben has done it all from programming to operations. Ben loves morning radio best. He summed up his love affair with “radio is my playground.”



Sullivan & Son. The KLOS morning team of Heidi Hamilton and Frank Kramer appear on Sullivan & Son tonight on TBS. The show airs at 10 p.m. If you have seen the sophomore series, Sullivan & Son stars Steve Byrne, who surprises his parents when he leaves his job as a corporate lawyer to take over a bar owned by his father in Pittsburgh. 

LPFM. Michi Bradley is one of the applicants proposing to put an LPFM station on the historic KRKD tower on the Spring Arcade Building. “There are currently 21 competing applications and it is likely that several applicants will be granted CPs. I am involved in the KRKD application and if granted, we will be time sharing, like the original KRKD,” wrote Bradley. “If the CP is granted, we will be bringing the call letters KRKD back to Los Angeles. I have the call letters sitting safely on another LPFM but if everything works out, they are bound for LA.”

Bradley is looking for information on the original KRKD, especially airchecks. “I have already compiled some history on the station. I am not sure if they had any jingles or other imaging. I am with REC Networks. I have been involved with LPFM advocacy for the past 15 years. I lived in Los Angeles from the 1970s to the early 1990s.” If you can help Bradley with any historical information, contact her at:

KHJ Sold. Liberman Broadcasting has sold KHJ-AM to IHR Educational Broadcasting for $ 9,750,000.00. They are also buying KTYM-AM 1460. IHR is a Catholic Radio network.

LARadio RewindJuly 22, 1994. Jim Healy dies of complications from liver cancer at age 70. Born in Spokane, Healy attended UCLA and served as sports editor of the Daily Bruin. He wound up marrying Pat Campbell, the newspaper’s editor. Healy worked at KMPC from 1951 to 1961 and from 1984 to 1994.

In the intervening years he worked at KLAC, KFWB, KABC Radio and KABC-Channel 7. In addition to his nightly sports wrap-ups, he announced football and boxing. Healy had a collection of more than 500 sound bites which he would use throughout his programs.

His most famous was recorded in 1978 by KLAC news reporter Paul Olden, who, in a post-game interview, asked Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda to comment on the performance of Dave Kingman, whose three home runs had helped lead the Cubs to a victory against the Dodgers. Lasorda was stunned to learn that a bleeped version of his profanity-laced tirade was played on Healy’s show the following day. Healy would continue to play excerpts on almost every broadcast. Lasorda held no grudge against Olden, saying, “He was doing his job. I probably shouldn’t have talked like that, but I didn’t think he would play it.”

Healy was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991 and was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1997. Healy’s son, Patrick, has been a reporter for KNBC-Channel 4 since 1984.

The uncensored Lasorda rant can be heard by clicking the photo. (Thanks to Steve Thompson for meticulously preparing the LARadio Rewind)

Hear Ache. Weird Al Yankovic joins Bill Handel on KFI Thursday morning … Sheila and Tom Bernstein come to Santa Barbara every year for a week of fun and golf. We had delightful dinner at the Tee-Off on State Street. Tom worked in sales at KNX, KGIL, KHJ, and KRLA. He really had a wonderful time in his career working with Art Laboe and shared so many wonderful stories.

FunnieJerry Lewine found this morning’s funnie.  


Email Tuesday

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** KABC Challenges

“Make no mistake, KABC taking a little talk radio away and adding some hockey is only about money. Last time I checked it’s a talk radio station. I guess you have to do something when your ratings are nearing 40th place.” – JP Myers

** KFI Jumping for Joy

“OMG, KABC is going to kill talk radio in LA. Programmers should be ashamed of themselves by representing one of the largest radio audiences in the US with such poor program choices.  It seems every station I turn to at night is now all sports programming and we don't need another.

Not a hockey fan myself, I can’t imagine anyone would actually want to listen to a hockey game on the radio! Very disappointed in this decision. I am sure KFI is jumping with joy over this stupid move.” – Jill Charvet

** Call Letter High

“If those were my call letters – KLSD – I would think seriously about changing them.  Lol” –  Mike Baird

** Is Tammy Bruce headed to The View?

 “No, and neither is Barbara Whiteside or Mother Love.” – Tomm Looney

** Content Does Matter

“This is not brain surgery, Don, radio listeners will follow content they want wherever it goes. I predicted when Rush was moved from KFI that KFI would free fall in its ratings and it has. This report validates what anyone with common sense knows.” – Joe Cosgrove

KLOS’ Bloody Promotion

(July 21, 2014) There’s a lot of consistency in the history of KLOS.)  The Classic Rock station has been part of the Southern California landscape with favorite Rock music and such iconic morning shows as Mark & Brian for a quarter of a century. Another consistent thread for the past 33 years is the annual KLOS Blood Drive. The Red Cross effort expects to draw more than 6,000 pints of blood.

The timing is once again perfect, as there is a severe summer shortage of the community blood supply. The five-day blood collection effort aims at stabilizing the region’s blood supply for more than 160 hospitals.

Rock lovers across the Southland are invited to donate at any of the 20 blood drive sites throughout San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties. Tomorrow blood donors can give blood while Derek Madden broadcasts live from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Pomona site, 100 Red Cross Circle.  Appearance locations of other KLOS djs can be found at;    

Participants will also have an opportunity to receive a limited edition commemorative 2014 KLOS Blood Drive T-shirt, or a voucher for a Charburger from The Habit Burger Grill, or a concert voucher to one of the hottest rock concerts in the Southland (KLOS Company Picnic featuring Santana, Boston / Cheap Trick, Chicago/REO Speedwagon, Michael McDonald/Toto, YES, Heart, or Crosby, Stills & Nash).   

All blood donors will receive one voucher for a single event ticket. Event vouchers are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Walk-ins will be accepted, but donors with scheduled appointments will receive priority.

In 1981, KLOS organized its first Red Cross blood drive at Los Angeles High School, collecting 250 pints of blood. More than three decades later, the KLOS Blood Drive has grown from a single-site, single-day event to a multi-site, multi-day event – making it one of the largest media-sponsored blood drives in the country. With the help of thousands of Southern California blood donors, the KLOS Blood Drive has collected more than 153,000 units of blood since 1981 for patients needing blood and blood products. This summer, the Red Cross and KLOS anticipate a phenomenal public turnout to break past records for the most blood collected.

The LA Times ran a story this morning on the front page of the Sports section that poses more questions than answers.
The story indicates that there is a 5-year deal between KABC and the Kings hockey team to broadcast the games.
Is this the precursor to a format flip to sports for KABC? If not, running a sports franchise plays havoc with regular programming.
Larry Elder, Mark Levin, and Peter Tilden depending on where a game is being played (East coast games will begin at 4 p.m.)
 will be pre-empted all the time during the season and lonnnng playoff season.

The story says that "the Kings will be the only sports property on KABC." Sports franchise? Sports programming?

On the Kings' run for the Stanley Cup, many of the tv games were aired on NBCSN. Tough to get an audience on tv, let alone radio.
Dan Avey, former Kings broadcaster once said,
"There are 17,000 hockey fans who come and watch the game.
There are only 17,000 fans who care about hockey."

Hear Ache. Does anyone have any details on the passing of KFWB and KABC’s Chuck Walsh? … Nikki Finke suggests that former KABC Talker Tammy Bruce (l) is being considered for a hosting slot on The View as the so-called "anti-Rosie.” Sarah Palin apparently recommended Tammy because the producers of The View “want the show to be politically combative, and Tammy would certainly be the anti-Rosie in every possible way." … Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton, celebrating his quarter of a century doing Sportstalk radio in Southern California, would be a great addition to a local sports outlet ... Just when you thought the Casey Kasem story couldn't get any worse, now we get reports from the Northwest that his body is missing. Very sad story.


LARadio RewindJuly 21, 1991. KLSX begins carrying Howard Stern’s syndicated program. The station’s new slogan is “Howard Stern all morning, classic rock all day.” Stern began in radio in 1973 at Boston University's WTBU. He worked at several stations before taking over the afternoon slot at WXRK in New York in 1985. A year later, he was moved to mornings and his show began syndication. At its peak, it was heard by 20 million listeners in 60 radio markets in the United States and Canada. Since 2006, Stern has been heard on Howard 100 and Howard 101, two uncensored channels on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. In 1995 KLSX switched to a talk format on weekdays but continued to play music on weekends. In 2009 the station became contemporary hits “AMP Radio” and is now KAMP. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

BJ UpdateSteve Kindred has taken care of mortuary arrangements for his recently departed wife, KFWB’s BJ Kindred. “She wanted to be cremated without a religious service or funeral ceremony,” Steve posted on his Facebook page. “There will be a memorial in a couple of weeks at the Whitnall Highway dog park In North Hollywood. Thanks to your overwhelming support and generosity, I'm paying off her prior medical bills and hospital costs, and feel optimistic about covering the medical bills that are yet to arrive. As a result, I'm suspending the fund-raising appeal, at least for now. I'm planning to return to work at 24/7 News on Tuesday, and looking forward to seeing work colleagues again. But I'm not fooling myself into believing that this nightmare is over. Even with a great support group of friends and relatives, the shock, horror, and depression runs deep. I don't know what to do with all her stuff. It pains me to see it all day, yet I'd feel terrible throwing away or selling ANYTHING right now. Once again, thanks for all of your love and support.”

San Diego Sports. Clear Channel launches XTRA 1360 FOX Sports San Diego(KLSD-AM) this morning. “1360 AM will super-serve San Diego sports fans with relevant, credible coverage of sporting news and games,” according to a press release. “In addition, XTRA 1360 FOX Sports San Diego will be a San Diego Chargers broadcast partner, covering the team’s training camp activities beginning next week with daily live broadcasts from the practice field. The station will broadcast all Chargers Preseason and Regular Season games in addition to airing a Chargers Power Hour Show weekdays from 6-7 p.m.

XTRA 1360 FOX Sports San Diego (KLSD-AM) weekday programming lineup:

6 a.m. – 9 a.m. - Dave & Jeff

9 a.m. – noon - Jay Mohr Sports

Noon – 2 p.m. - The Dan Patrick Show

2 p.m. – 6 p.m. - Loose Cannons with Steve Hartman and Mike Costa

6 p.m. – 7 p.m. - Chargers Power Hour with Judson Richards

7 p.m. – 8 p.m. - XTRA at Night with Judson Richards

8 p.m. – 11 p.m.  - FOX Sports Tonight with Jason Smith

XTRA 1360 FOX Sports San Diego lineup will include nationally recognized sportscaster Steve Hartman as host of the Loose Cannons Show during afternoon drive with Mike Costa. Hartman’s career in sports began at UCLA as a football color commentator for the Bruins. Following graduation, Hartman worked at KABC radio and then with the LA Raiders for four years as media relations/publications director before taking a position at KFOX Radio in 1989. A year later, he helped launch XTRA, the first all-sports radio station in southern California where he worked with Chet Forte and later Billy Werndl. Throughout his broadcast career, Hartman has covered 21 Super Bowls, 16 Final Fours, and six Major League All-Star Games.

“I could not be more excited about returning to the city where my radio career started. So many great memories with many new experiences to come,” said Hartman. “We have assembled a lineup second to none in San Diego and look forward to giving Charger fans a true radio home.”


Email Monday

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** Faustian Response

“Today a friend called and gave me information on LA Radio People. Happy to be able to see what has happened to some of ‘the old timers.’ 

My first reading and it is of Ken Miller’s passing. My thoughts go out to Marlene during this sad time. Fond memories of great dinners with the two of them and my Lou.

Thanks for having Lou as part of this history.” – Rusty Faust

** PPM Woes

“I think the real crux of the matter is that significantly more accurate ratings based on sampling a universe of potential listeners is VERY expensive.  To increase the confidence level to 99% or even 98% would require a much larger sample. 

To get to that level would mean increasing the sample size by a factor of 10 or more.  While this would be more accurate, who would pay for it? Radio stations are the customer here. They would have to pay much more for any rating process that delivered real significantly reliable numbers. Will they pay our just continue to gripe? They are paying for a Kia and they expect a BMW.” – Douglas C Brown 

Sunday Funnies (7.20)


LARadio Archives from September 2009 

KFWB Remembers. For over four decades KFWB was where you went if you had 22 minutes and wanted the news. The station has flipped to a Talk format and left hundreds of KFWBers with a chance to rekindle memories.  

Pete Demetriou; front row: Joy Nuell, Hettie Lynn Hurtes, Dennis Levitt, Diana Rosales; back row: Brian Bastien, Phil Reed, Rich Buhler,
Diane Buhler, Sue Stiles, Gaylene Lowringer, Debbie Primo, Melinda Smith; and Hettie Lynn Hurtes

Last week there was a reunion of the members of what Rich Buhler, former KFWB editor and reporter, referred to the “Hollywood Boulevard Gang.” But there were also individuals who worked at Yucca Street, as well as those currently employed at the CBS Broadcast Center on the Miracle Mile. It was a gathering of the past and present members of the all-News operation on the day that the station was rebranded ‘KFWB Newstalk 980,’ to share their memories over dinner at Vitello’s in Studio City. (Photos by LARadio senior correspondent, Alan Oda)

Deana Rosales, KFWB/KTWV traffic manager; Bastien, Buhler, Nuell, Reed;
and Melida Smith, KFWB continuity director and Debbie Primo, sales, Metro Traffic

Hear Ache. KFI’s Bill Handel offers his home to friends for weddings and receptions. Earlier this month he had a function where Joe Vinyl was the dj and Bill paid some high compliments to Joe. “He does a terrific job. He was playing songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and the 90s. These kids in their late 20s knew every word to every song.” … “Did you K-GIL [pronounced ‘kegel’] this morning?” asked Don Elliot. “We love you – come closer for a REAL squeeze: 1260.” ... George Lopez is co-host of The 2009 ALMA Awards show on ABC tonight ... Lee Hacksaw Hamilton is taking on afternoon drive at XX-1090 Sports Radio in San Diego.

Ryan Exits CBS/LA Cluster. John Ryan, general sales manager at JACK/fm, left the CBS Radio headquarters on Miracle Mile last week. In an internal memo to staff, Ed Krampf wrote: "The decision was mutual and amicable, and we part with respect and admiration for John as a professional. We wish him nothing but success in his future endeavors."

The well-liked sales executive has had various positions including: gsm at Mega 100, ten years at KKBT ("The BEAT") when Chancellor owned it and John was general manager at 1540/The Ticket. (photo: John Ryan far right at industry function)

John Revolting Checks In. After nearly 20 years of performing on the Rick Dees morning show and Weekly Top 40, Greg Berg checks in to say that he continues his work as a comedy actor and voice talent. Two of the crowd pleasers that Greg played with Rick were John Revolting and convenience store owner Ali Boggoshite.

Currently, Berg can be heard as the tv spokes voice for the Boston Market restaurant chain, Albertsons Grocers’ “Monday Meal Deal” radio ad and in-store announcement (as a Family Guy type husband)  and as one of the stars in the animated International movie Gnomes and Trolls from the writers of Toy Story.

Howard’s Departure. When Bob Howard (l) left his anchor chair at KFWB earlier this year, he had spent 29 years with the all-News station. Many of his colleagues staged a farewell gathering for Howard. “We had a lot of fun and told a lot of stories!” said KFWB/KNX pd Andy Ludlum. “One of the highlights of the evening was Maggie McKay’s surprise for Bob. She got in touch with one of Bob’s oldest radio friends, Roland Bynum [now with KJLH]. Bob and Roland were together at the LA Community College radio station in 1964. Maggie got Roland to come to the party to surprise Bob and to share some pictures of them from 45 years ago, which were used to decorate the party, it was a big hit.”

A number of KFWB and KNX veterans in the photos below joined Bob to celebrate his career.

1. Larry Van Nuys and Bill Polish; 2. Maggie McKay, Howard, Tracie Savage;
and 3. Roland Bynum and Howard

1. Paul Lowe, Howard, Ted Sobel; 2. Andi Marshall, Howard; and 3. Sheryl and Bob Howard 

CBS/LA Chief Voted #8 Best Off-Air LARP

(July 18, 2014) Dan Kearney, CBS/LA marketing manager, has been voted #8 Best Off-Air LARP of 2014.

Dan joined the local 7-station cluster last September from vp/market manager for Cox Media Group in Miami. Prior to that he was with Cox in Atlanta where he ran WSB. He spent over 15 years with Cox.

CBS/LA's Dan Kearney

Some comments from those who voted for Dan:

Kasem InsightKerri Kasem subbed the last two nights at KFI for Tim Conway, Jr. Wednesday night she reviewed her journey with her father, Casey Kasem, during the past year. “Jean Kasem moved him five different times to five different nursing homes,” said Kerri, which prompted her to hire a lawyer. “By this time, my dad had a bed sore on his back bigger than my hand. He had a lung infection, a bladder infection and was not doing well when I finally got to see him.”

Much of her journey has already been documented but there was one area that I missed. “I tried everything to get visitation to see my father before we had to pull out what my dad signed in 2007, which was a health directive,” explained Kerri. “We asked him in 2007 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s to do something so we can see you. We actually thought this might happen. It wasn’t a shocker when we were blocked because my stepmother, Jean Kasem, actually did this to her eight siblings when her mother got sick. She blocked all her siblings from her mother, did not tell the siblings what she had, that she was dying, and didn’t notify them when she died or where she was buried. So, we had a heads up on this that this may happen to our family.”

One of her guests was Mike Gatto, supporter of a visitation bill to protect the rights of children to visit ailing parents, a bill that is getting traction. The bill was inspired by the plight of the Kasem kids.

KLAC's Dan Patrick broadcast from the Clear Channel studios yesterday.
Photo: Steve Uslan, a former executive with Radio & Records, Patrick, Jim Duncan and Vic "The Brick" Jacobs

LARadio RewindJuly 18, 1998. Former KFWB newsman Bill Angel dies at age 79 one week after suffering a stroke. Born Angelo Firrovanti in Conway, Pennsylvania, Angel worked at stations in Pittsburgh, Wichita Falls and New Mexico and at KIEV and KWKW before joining KFWB in 1956 as music director and traffic reporter. He was the assistant to program director Chuck Blore when the station adopted a Top 40 format as "Color Radio, Channel 98." In 1961, after the disc jockeys walked out in solidarity with newsmen and news writers who were striking because of a pay dispute, KFWB brought in jocks from other stations, and Angel, who was then a newsman, was given a Sunday evening airshift. KFWB switched to a news format in 1968 and Angel remained as a news anchor, finally retiring on his 64th birthday in 1983. (LARadio Rewind is meticulously prepared by Steve Thompson)

Funnie. Want to know how the Texas Long Horn symbol was created? Stan White of Seattle provides the answer to the mystery if you will scroll down.

Email Friday

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** PPM Challenges

“I love the fact that you have been including some great articles about Nielsen’s small sample size, but until ad agencies and clients demand increased sample sizes from Nielsen it won’t change. These clients are the ones that need to step up now and demand change.

We as radio can scream and yell until we are blue in the face [and we are]. When clients begin to see that these surveys don’t deliver enough sample size, they will stop allowing us as radio to use the Nielsen service. Once that happens then we might begin to see some change from Nielsen. Once clients stop trusting the service and radio stations stop buying the service and Nielsen’s revenues dry up; then maybe they’ll wake up.” – Todd Williams, Uniradio consultant

** Fan of Hal Mathews

“Excellent magazine as always.

I was honored to read Shadoe Stevens’ comments about Hal Mathews. Hal was my boss at KRLA and a hero to me. Honest, strong and fearless. I'm sure that was true when he served in World War Two.

Thank you for remembering.” – Doug Cox

** Journey with Ken Miller

“I first met Ken Miller (l) along with fellow broadcasters George Green and Larry Chambers as members of a City of Hope group around 1965. Ken was President of our group. Ken exuded leadership from the first time we met.  He was admired and well respected by all.

Over the years we took several trips with our families and became very dear friends.

In 1976, I had the pleasure of working for Ken when he was the gsm at KMPC.  Later he appointed me gsm when he became vp/gm. Ken loved KMPC and was involved in all aspects of the station.

He and Stan Spero were easy to work with. When it came to selling sports on radio [LA Rams, Angels, UCLA Bruins and later the LA Dodgers]), no one made a better slide presentation than Ken.  He was always articulate and knowledgeable.

 KMPC was a legendary station, ‘the station of the stars,’ with great djs. Dick WhittinghillGary OwensRoger Carroll and Geoff Edwards, along with Dick Enberg and Don Drysdale doing play by play for the Angels and /Airwatch,’  LA’s first traffic reporting system.

With fm radio garnering the music listeners, Ken changed the format to a talk station and brought in Laura SchlessingerHilly Rose and Robert W. Morgan. Just when it seemed they were making a breakthrough, ownership wanted to go back to a music/personality format.

Ken later became the point man for KABC and the LA Dodgers and handled all aspects including the radio network.

From Blair Radio to KMPC to KABC, Ken had a successful career in Radio.

He will be missed by all who had the joy of knowing him.

Good bye, my friend.” – Norm Epstein

** eBook Fun

“I bought and read your eBook yesterday. Good stuff!” – Jack Hayes

** George Green Photos

“Enough of the George Green pix.  Lol.” – Jack Naimo 


Funnie Answer 

Statistically the PPM Problems Won’t Go Away 

(July 17, 2014) Shadoe Stevens not only worked as a super programmer during his radio career, but he went on to much success apppearing in The Kentucky Fried Movie, announcer on The Hollywood Squares, one of the leads on the sitcom Dave’s World and he’s currently the announcer on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.  

Shadoe shared Tuesday’s essay on the PPM woes with his close friend Mike Lee, founder of Brown Bag Productions in Denver. “Mike worked with me at KROQ and is easily one of the brightest radio people I ever worked with,” emailed Shadoe. “He earned a master’s degree in Statistics.”

Shadoe continued: “The article about ratings was sensational. Both Bob Fox’s essay, Saul Levine’s article, and Mike’s reply validate the investigations taken by the smartest station manager I ever worked with, Hal Matthews at KRLA. Hal had traveled back to Beltsville, Maryland to find out about the methodology of Arbitron and to actually look at the diaries. He spent hours talking to me about independent variables, samples sizes, projections, and the horror of seeing diaries almost written in crayon being the foundation of an entire industry. He’d even created a portable recording device that would take the place of diaries that worked brilliantly. The politics of big money interests and well established survey protocols kept him from ever getting it off the ground. This was in 1973.”

“My master's thesis was 100% about this issue, and I was subsequently offered $10,000 by Arbitron not to publish it,” wrote Mike Lee. “Of course, as a fool, I did not accept it and published only a couple of minor [free] pieces. Yes, the smaller the sample size and the less random that it is [where every member of the population does not have an equal chance to be selected] makes commercial surveys wildly inaccurate and unreliable. My doctoral dissertation covered all the media and focused on what best predicts mass media behavior. It was study conducted by mentors and funded by CBS for $3 million. Accurate? It predicted the vote in Summit County Ohio in the 1976 presidential election to within 1/4% of the actual vote. Killer sampling and controls.”

Mike Lee researched the effect of independent variables, such as demographics, location, consumer habits, etc. on media attendance (television, radio, newspapers, magazines, etc.). “What did I learn when it came to radio? Demographics like age, sex, income and education had no predictive ability for radio listening. There was only one variable that did: An index of political cynicism. How crazy. It means that reporting radio listening by age and sex and thus artificially creating more cells (subject categories) that don’t have enough respondents and need to be weighted is absolute idiocy. And Nielsen and Arbitron have known it for decades,” concluded Mike.


Hollis Honored. With the recent passing of Classical radio veteran Gary Hollis, K-Mozart, will present a special tribute to the radio host on July 20th at noon, and repeated Sunday at 5 p.m. and on Monday July 21st at 9 a.m.

The program will air on K-Mozart 1260 AM and will highlight memoirs of Hollis’ interesting life as both a character actor as well as his foray into the Classical music genre when radio station owner, Saul Levine, hired him in 1990 on his radio station, Classical 105.1, K-Mozart, and most recently, 1260AM, K-Mozart. “When Gary was hired as a part-time announcer, 25 years ago, I had no idea that we had engaged one of the most creative and dynamic air persons in our long history in radio. Gary was always upbeat, cheerful, and happy to be on the air presenting the music he loved.” said Levine.

H2O. As California faces one of the most severe droughts on record, KNX will present a comprehensive examination of the region’s current water emergency in a day-long series entitled, Running on Empty: Our Epic Drought, to air on Thursday, July 31 from 5 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Charles Feldman and Laraine Herman will look at the impact the worsening drought will have on our lives far beyond washing our cars, watering our lawns and putting our skis in storage. A potential health emergency looms, firefighters are changing the way they battle fires and some areas are already on the verge of running out of water.

“This historic drought has started affecting our grocery bills and it’s only the tip of the iceberg,” Feldman said. “Southern Californians will not only see food prices continue to rise but government health experts are concerned about the spread of infectious diseases and other serious related issues.”

Hear AcheBryan Schock, former pd at KNAC, has left his md/apd post at KRPI-San Diego … KIIS' Ellen K was in Israel when all hell broke loose between the Palestinia and Israel. Click Ellen's name to see the coveage and interview on KNBC/Channel 4  ... Johnny Chiang, formerly with KNX, KFI, and KOST, will be inducted into the 2014 class of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame … Every afternoon at three, KLOS’Gary Moore features ‘Top Three @ Three.” Yesterday he literally took the three concept to heart with three top trios starting with the group Cream, debuting on this day in 1966 … John Phillips and Jillian Barberie will be broadcasting from Fashion Island Newport Beach at noon today.

Pushing Too Hard.  A long form 110+ minute documentary The Seeds: Pushin’ Too Hard, directed by Neil Norman for GNP Crescendo, is scheduled a grand premiere on August 16 at the Egyptian Theater at the American Cinematheque will present.

Using vintage footage, rare photos, memorabilia and audio, and fresh interviews with band members and associates as well as notable fans and observers, Pushin’ Too Hard relates the bizarre rage-to-riches-to-rags tale of the rock quartet who took Los Angeles by storm in the mid-60s.

“I’ve made this movie because I really love the Seeds music and was lucky enough to hang out with them as a young teenager and was inspired,” said director Norman. “They achieved true stardom. Very exciting!”

Neil Norman’s father is Gene Norman, one of the Big Five djs at KLAC in the 1950s.

Funnie. Samsung  Electronics (from Mike Baird)

Caller: Can you give me the telephone number for Jack? 

Operator:  I’m sorry, sir, I don’t understand whom you are talking about.  

Caller: On page 1, section 5, of the user guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning.

Email Thursday

We GET Email …

** Swimming with Minow

“Many years ago FCC Chairman Newton Minow said tv was a ‘vast wasteland.’ Today radio is becoming a ‘vast wasteland.’ The programing is what needs fixing.” – Roger Carroll

** Ken Miller a Good Guy

“I agree with Chuck Southcott regarding Ken Miller and Bob Fox. Ken’s passing surprised a lot of people.   He was overall, a good guy. Chuck Southcott and Bob Fox are big time and alive good guys.

I also agree with Randy West’s rant regarding Pittman & Mason.” – Scott St. James

** Porter on Miller

"Ken Miller was one of the nicest men I have ever known. My condolences to Marlene and the family." – Ross  Porter

** Ratings Problems

“I think the Bob Fox analysis of PPM is right on, but Bob is a gentleman, so let me put it my way, ‘the smaller the demo or day part, the more likely agencies are just pleasuring themselves with buys based only on ratings.’

I majored in sociology though I earned my worst grade, C, in Statistical Analysis. Still, that’s good enough to know what Arbitron and Nielsen ratings mean. 

As Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth,  ‘It is a tale...full of sound and fury Signifying nothing.’ 

Or in today’s vernacular: too few people meters held in too few households for too long is a small part of the ‘big picture’ at best. 

Bob's solution is to distribute more diaries again, but any sociologist will tell you the diary method is counter-productive.  NEVER let the subject of a study collect and report the data. Subjects record their biases as much as their behavior, and their record keeping is often inept.

So, here’s a multi-million dollar suggestion for you perspiring IT geniuses: design an app that works on smart phones in the background to pick up radio and other media signals and report them back to the ‘mothership.’

Sign up thousands of qualified participants through social media every month among the millions of mobile subscribers in major markets like L.A. for a bigger, better, and marketable picture of the audience that broadcasters and sponsors, alike, can value.

Who loves you, baby?

Regarding BJ: So sorry for Steve Kindred’s loss.  My Dad suffered cardiac arrest, was revived twice on the way to the hospital, but remained in a coma for 29 days with little or no brain activity, then died.  I always thought he hung around the planet just long enough for faraway family like myself to come and say, ‘goodbye.’” – Mike Sakellarides

** Bigger the Sample

“Thanks for your article the other day about PPM and the state of the ratings industry. I've always been fascinated by research and the numbers. I began doing call-out listener polls for K/men when I was still a teenager. Later, I remember watching the RAM computer at KCAL/fm where the sample sizes were [in hindsight] better than some of the meters nowadays in major markets.

Here’s the scary part of the equation. When I was a pd in San Diego and San Bernardino, we did our own in-house call outs and calculations that constantly predicted the entire quarterly book within just a few tenths of a point, including all the demos! It doesn’t take an Einstein to realize, the larger the sample size – the less room for any errors. If I ran the same call-out program today, I wonder how closely it would match the meters.” – Ted Ziegenbusch

** Where Is Personality Radio

“Where has all the innovation in radio gone? More and more stations sound like robots. Whoever ‘invented’ these blocks of commercials that go on endlessly, have taken the fun out of our profession. With few exceptions, radio has no personality, it’s just a plain shame. 

Radio has ceased of being fun to listen to. It has become a bore. Let’s hope the next generation of broadcasters will go back to the roots and pick up the pieces of a seemingly lost art.” – Johnny Helm, Placentia 

These Foots Are Made for Walking

(July 16, 2014) In the early to mid-1990s, David Rizzo, aka Dr. Roadmap, was obsessed with alternate routes to the local maze of complicated freeways and roadways. He was a breath of clarity who helped listeners to the KABC morning drive show navigate around trouble spots on the Southern California highways and byways.

In the late 1980s he contacted every major radio station to offer his services. “I went to KABC with a demo tape and a proposal. I got nowhere, anywhere.” Once his book,  Freeway Alternatives, was published in 1990, within 13 days after appearing on the “Ken & Barkley Company” he was hired to be the alternative route expert on KABC.

David has been a foot doctor since earning a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree in 1976 from California College of Podiatric Medicine in San Francisco. Yet as Dr. Roadmap, he became the “Dear Abby” of commuting. David wrote a weekly commuter column for the South Bay’s Daily Breeze newspaper and was a fulltime publicist for high-technology companies.

“I started listening to radio when I was seven years old, when the Dodgers first came to L.A. I’d fall asleep every night with my two-transistor radio plastered against my ear. I’ve been hooked on radio ever since. At fifteen, I even got a ham radio license. I still have it all these years later. I watch two hours of television, per MONTH. I never shut off the radio.”

Dr. Roadmap retired to Phoenix a couple of years ago, only to return.

Steve Lopez featured Rizzo in a recent Page 2 LA Times column. Some highlights:

Kindred PassedBJ Kindred died yesterday morning, shortly after being taken off life support systems. “I'm completely consumed by grief,” Steve Kindred wrote on his Facebook page. “Thanks to everyone for your kind donations. Please keep them coming as we're just starting to receive the first round of new medical bills, and we have to pay the mortuary upfront. God bless you all.”

Miller MemorialKen Miller's funeral is set for 2 p.m. tomorrow at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Culver City. Ken and Marlene were married for over 50 years. He leaves behind his wife Marlene, four children and grandchildren.


Twin Towers of Radio. “The two corporate giants of the radio world Clear Channel chairman & ceo Bob Pittman (left) and CBS Radio president and ceo Dan Mason (right) will headline the 2014 Radio Show in Indianapolis this fall,” wrote Randy West. “It's controversial because it's a rare public appearance by the head honchos of the companies most responsible for what has become of the once vibrant, fun and community-based radio biz. These are the heads of the conglomerates that have collectively fired thousands of broadcasters and are responsible for the McDonalds-ization of radio.”

“So is it coincidence that the convention session with Pittman and Mason, the twin towers of corporate radio, is scheduled for September 11th at 9:15 a.m.?,” asks West.


Hear Ache. Remember Dave Smith? The sports veteran from KIEV, KMAX, KWNK, 1996; KIIS/AM/KXTA, KMPC, and KLAA, has joined Sunday nights on the NBC Sports Radio Network and … How to become a radio star TODAY is the subject of Mark Ramsey’s most recent interview at: ... Bill Handel is celebrating 21 years with KFI today. "They don't do a big party when it comes to us. They do do parties when they have added some minor, riduculous show on the sports station. Then we have balloons all over the place but not a word for us," said Bill.

(Thanks to the Bill Earl collection for this Hawaiian survey featuring Ron Jacobs, Tom Rounds, and Donn Tyler)

Funnie. A testimony to true friendship is...

A man brings his best buddy home for dinner unannounced at 5:30 after work.

His wife begins screaming at him and his friend just sits and listens.

“My hair and makeup are not done, the house is a mess, the dishes are not done, I’m still in my pajamas and I can't be bothered with cooking tonight! What the hell did you bring him home for?”

“Because he's thinking of getting married.”

 (Thanks to KABC’s Motorman, Leon Kaplan, for this morning's Funnie)

Email Wednesday

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** PPM a Joke

“What a joke PPM has turned out to be, two households in LA/OC can change the fate of radio. What if this happened in Milwaukee, Tampa, Fresno or any other sized market?  PPM needs a major overhaul immediately.   Making decisions on this data is crazy.” – Bob Moore, President, Sports USA

** Open Email to Bob Fox and Saul Levine

“I just wanted to tell you that I think you’re both right.  How much worse will it get before the industry bands together and demands a change?” – K.M. Richards

** Survey Says?

“Great column Tuesday on measurement!” – David G. Hall

** Sample Size

“Back in the printed ‘book’ days at the back of the book there was a page which addressed the way to estimate the accuracy spread (+- X %). Years ago I ran this for Men 55-64 Sunday 6-10 a.m., a period with a very small sample. The calculation came up with plus or minus 75%.

With the PPM’s smaller sample size it is worse. The more finely you chop up the data, the more the results become noise.” – Paul Sakrison

** Ken Miller Colleague

“What a shock Ken Miller has died.  Everyone loved him. Ken was my boss and a friend.” – Roger Carroll

** Ken Miller Positive Light

“I was saddened to learn of Ken Miller’s passing. He was a bright, positive light in Los Angeles radio and a good friend to so many of us, especially those members of Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters.

On another note, applause is due to Bob Fox and his clear, concise piece of PPMs. His study of the mathematics of the current system was the finest I’ve seen. Cal should be proud of this student who listened well.” – Chuck Southcott

** Friend of SCSB

Ken Miller was a longtime member of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters and a great friend as well. And we are saddened by his passing.” – Joe Cala

** Warm Thoughts About Miller

Ken Miller was one of the nicest and kindest people I have ever known in this business. We used to meet at Hollywood Park and play the ponies.

When I left KABC we met for dinner at Bally’s in Las Vegas. We laughed and laughed some more.

One great guy.” – Fred Wallin, Sports Byline Radio

** Miller’s Passing

“I’m so sorry to hear of Ken Miller’s passing.  He was truly one of the good guys from the ‘good ole days.’” – Lynda Parets

** Watching Over AirWatch

“Just a quick note about Terry Wedel.  I’ve known him now for a little over 15 years.  The highest compliment I can give any man is to call him a Gentleman.  And, Terry is a Gentleman.

During my time at AirWatch, Terry, and KSBR, was a client.  The kind of client you want to have; a client with a good product, non-demanding, who will work with you, is always positive, etc.  Later, after I left what Clear Channel now calls the TTWN, Terry asked me to come to Saddleback College and teach the radio classes.

As I’ve said before, right here on these pages, there is no bigger reward than teaching students and seeing them ‘get it!’ Seeing them love radio.  Seeing them display a passion.  And, seeing them succeed.

Look at this!  It is a by-no-means complete list of students Terry has taught and who have succeeded. They have come through the doors at AirWatch or the doors of other broadcasters here in LA: Rebekah Baker, Nancy BondRobert DobuckiCathy EarlyChris HughesJay Lawrence,Lee KlineBen MallerJohn MarshallJacob NavarroFranz OrocioRichard SalgadoVictoria StalkerJohn Quinlan, and Marina Wilson.” – Don Bastida 

Purple People Meter
Essay by Bob Fox, former radio station owner and Chairman of SCBA

(July 15, 2014) There have been questions raised regarding the recent PPM audience measurement utilized by Nielsen and also by Arbitron (now owned by Nielsen). Apparently, one family that was involved in the Los Angeles sample may have skewed the results. Some people wondered why one family could have an effect on the listenership to one or more stations.

Getting down to basics, there are about 2,700 meters involved in the L. A. sample. The Los Angeles market is composed of L.A. and Orange Counties and the population estimate for the market is slightly over 13 million. The sample base is about .0002 (or two ten thousandth of a per cent). That's really small, isn't it?

When I attended Cal Berkeley many years ago, I took a course in statistics. I learned a lot about statistics, and the most important fact I learned was that no matter the size of the universe (people, trees, autos, etc.) being measured that statistical reliability of a survey is dependent on the size of the sample. That's it – plain and simple.

When one considers the Nielsen radio audience being measured in L.A (or anywhere), take into consideration that when audience is broken down to report only men, the sample is cut in half (the same for reporting the listenership of only women). Now start breaking down listenership by day parts (6 - 10 AM, etc.) and then by age breakouts such as men age 18 - 34, 25 - 49 and on and the same for women, and one can understand that the sample is becoming smaller and smaller and the statistical reliability (or lack of same) decreases accordingly.

Also, take into consideration that the PPM meters stay in the same household for a year and longer (the meters are expensive and it also more expensive to find people who are willing to carry a meter and other responsibilities that are included).

So, the same sample (with some attrition and replacement of same) is being measured for a long time. As ethnic groups and certain age demographics do not meet the statistical breakdown of the population, then it is necessary to “weight” the sample either up or down.

When too few persons are included in a specific group, then Nielsen will give weight to the existing sample and multiply by a factor the listenership of that existing portion of the sample. However, it is impossible to measure the listenership of under reported people and in effect the listenership of the existing sample is the only listenership that is being reported but it is being increased.

Prior to Nielsen ownership of Arbitron, the same thing was taking place. But prior to the PPM meters, Arbitron was reporting listenership via diaries which was always considered an inexact method (as many consider the meters to be). However, there were about 6,600 diaries in-tab in the L.A. sample and the sample was changed every quarter. In effect in a four book average (one per quarter) there were some 26,000 diaries utilized for measurement of the listening audience. 26,000 would increase the annual sample by a multiple of 10 over the meters being currently utilized. That adds up to about .002 (or two thousandth of a per cent). That is still pretty small, but it is 10 times better than the PPM meters in tab.

As broadcasters are paying more for the meters and a smaller sample, maybe an interim solution would be to have broadcasters demand a return to the diary system with a quarterly in tab of about 12,000.That would amount to 48,000 per year. Personally, I think broadcasters were mistaken to buy into the meter system and the very small sample. Rating methodology and reporting is always going to be a problem, but it seems it would be less of a problem with a much larger sample and abolishment of the PPM meters. Just my opinion.

Ratings are just estimates and the most reliable is the listenership based on total audience, seven days per week, 6 AM to 12 Midnight. The radio industry has always needed some type of measurement in order to demonstrate audience listenership. Advertisers (agencies and clients) need numbers in order to justify expenditures. In small markets some stations are able to sell results and the communities are aware of the role that radio plays. Revenues are not large in smaller markets but owners make a living and serve their communities.

Getting back to large markets, I believe that broadcasters have been raked over the coals by Arbitron and Nielsen.  Broadcasters are their own worst enemies. And to my thinking Nielsen and their measurement systems are less than adequate. There must be a better way than relying on an unreliable system.

More Ratings ConcernsSaul Levine owns a number of radio stations in California. He thinks the ratings system is a mess. “I would begin with recalling all Nielsen Reports going back at least a year. And, that anything less would be a Band-Aid. This is action Nielsen has refused to do. In addition, Nielsen has to increase the number of meters in LA more than a puny 200 / 300 being added. We need the NAB, Clear Channel, and CBS to take action on this. I would join such an endeavor.”

Levine thinks the entire radio audio reports methodology is flawed. “There is a need for complete transparency which is now presently lacking. A major glaring deficiency is the pitifully small sampling rate utilized by Nielsen to measure the 12 million person market of Los Angeles / Orange County. This deficiency is further magnified by weighting which is the artificial method of increasing the sample size of special groups in the community which are not responding with the meter sampling.”

“The radio industry needs scientific data explaining how current methodology is accurate, and not just smoke and mirrors,” Saul continued. “It is sad that an industry that involves billions of dollars in advertising revenue has to rely on a sampling system that closes each survey with a disclaimer that says the Report is ONLY an ESTIMATE and may not be reliable. We need sampling data that is accurate and vouched for by organizations such as Nielsen. Nielsen protects itself from legal liability by claiming its reports are only estimates. This is a cop out that is harmful to the entire broadcasting industry. We need data that is accurate and consistent. The reports are now on a roller coaster. This does not inspire confidence in radio.”

Saul thinks the solution to the ratings mess is to have two ratings services. “When Pulse was operating, we could compare one service with the other. It would be great if NAB and major radio groups would encourage a second rating service. And, competition with comparative ratings would help keep the ratings services more accurate and accountable.”

“The NAB and broadcast owners should undertake a program of education and enlightenment for buyers of radio time dwelling on the fact that a Nielsen Report is not the ‘gospel,’ but merely an estimate subject to error, and that other independent studies should be made to understand the dynamics of radio listening to supplement Nielsen reports. In other words, total reliance on Nielsen Reports creates uncertainty and a huge potential for error in making radio buys,” concluded Levine.

Miller Passes. Ken Miller, former general manager at 710/KMPC, has died, according to Bob Fox.

Ken became gm of KMPC and in 1983 segued to director of sports marketing. In managing the Los Angeles Dodgers and Anaheim Angels radio package, he was responsible for all Dodgers and Angeles sales activities, and merchandising.

Ken was the former senior vp of the Western Region of Blair Radio.

During his 37-year career, Ken had sales responsibilities for the Angels, L.A. Rams, UCLA football and basketball, as well as the Dodgers. He was a member of the advisory committee for National Baseball Radio Network. In the summer of 1997 he moved to “XTRA 1150 Sports.”


Hear AcheStacey Cohen is doing a weekends midday show on Country KSWG-Phoenix … Frank Kramer, part of the KLOS morning show with Heidi Hamilton, is back from vacation, and he described a harrowing foot injury before he left town. He was checking that his pool heater was turned off when he slammed his toe into the edge of a stone step. “It was like the ultimate toe stubbing,” said Frank. “I look down at my flip flop and there is blood everywhere.” … L.A. Mayor Gil Garcetti appears on KNX Thursday morning between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to field questions from listeners. The program is hosted by Tom Haule and Charles Feldman … Psychic Linda Salvin appears with George Noory tomorrow night on KFI.

Fund for BJKaci Christian has set up a fund for Steve Kindred to help with the medical bills due to the hospitalization or Steve’s wife BJ (pictured). “Friends, as you can imagine, this time is daunting not only emotional and spiritually, but also financially,” wrote Kaci. “BJ has been on life support now for two weeks and even with health insurance, the bills are escalating, just as they were getting straight with previous medical expenses. Steve has asked me to let you know that we have set up a secure link for donations to the BJ Kindred Fund via PayPal. If you are in a position to make a donation, please know that all funds will be transferred to Steve and any size contribution will be gratefully received and acknowledged. (This is not a 501(c)(3) charitable organizations and donations are not tax-deductible.) If you prefer to mail a check, please send me a private message at: on how to do that."

LARadio RewindJuly 15, 2002. In a Los Angeles Times commentary titled “Failing a Landmark,” Nicolai Ouroussoff decries the L.A. Unified School District’s plan to tear down the historic KEHE Radio building at 133-141 North Vermont Avenue. Completed in 1936, the “streamline modern” building was designed by architect Stiles O. Clements, who also assisted in the design of the Wiltern Theatre and El Capitan Theatre. The building housed the studios of KEHE-780, which was owned by the Herald-Examiner. In 1939, KFI/KECA owner Earle C. Anthony purchased KEHE for $400,000 and took the station off the air, then moved KECA from 1430 to 780. Eventually, KFI and KECA would move from South Hope Street into the old KEHE building. KECA (now KABC) was purchased by the Blue Network in 1944 and moved to 790. KFI maintained studios in the building until 1975. In 2003 it was torn down to make way for a basketball court, part of the $12,900,000 Belmont Elementary School No. 6. 

Funnie. A guy walks into a bar and orders a beer. He takes his first sip, sets it down, and before he can take another, a monkey swings down and steals the pint of beer.

Infuriated, the guy asks the bartender who owns the monkey. The bartender says it's the piano player's. So the guy walks over to the piano player and says, "Do you know your monkey stole my beer?"

The pianist replies, "No but if you hum it, I'll play it."

(Portia Doubleday, actress in Youth in Revolt and Carrie, provides "A Funny Joke from a Beautiful Woman" series. Esquire cannot guarantee that his joke will be funny to everyone.)

Email Tuesday

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** Putnam Perspective

“Just a few words about the not-so-often-seen side of George Putnam. George was quite the charming guy with a memory like the proverbial steel trap. Once he met you, he’d remember your name and would recall your last conversation.

When I joined the engineering management in 1983, George anchored solo on weekends at KTTV. I would periodically be scheduled as weekend manager-in-charge. One Saturday evening something magical happened.  Too Close for Comfort starring Ted Knight [which shot Monday/Tuesday on Stage 1 had either a wrap or cast party. KTTV News originated on Stage 2. Ted paid a courtesy call. George, ever the showman, invited Ted to co-anchor one segment with him. Ted appeared – in character – with George for one segment. After the commercial break, he was gone. As I recall, nothing was said.

I know there were tapes rolling. But alas, copies slipped through my fingers. We searched until the day the station moved to West L.A. in 1996. Many of us who worked the weekend News kept up the effort. Most are now retired. And this little piece of broadcast history is lost in the ether.” – Robert Sudock 

Dodger Deal May Include Ownership

(July 14, 2014) As various suitors vie for the highly coveted broadcast rights for the L.A. Dodgers, potentially new, eye-popping elements may be in play. Clear Channel’s KLAC is completing a three year deal with the team, and would appear to have the inside track and renew the radio rights. It’s been learned that to better their odds, Clear Channel is offering a partnership where the Dodgers would own as much almost half of KLAC, though Clear Channel would still have majority ownership and control of the station.

What would be the advantage to this deal? The Dodgers and KLAC would be locked into a formidable marriage for years to come, perhaps as many as ten years, as reported by several sources. Additionally, besides the bragging rights of having one of L.A.’s most significant sports franchises, the Dodgers would no longer endure the arduous task of negotiating with different prospective companies every few years, with negotiations having to start from scratch. It would also allow KLAC to continue the branding rights associated with carrying the Dodgers.

Additionally, it’s no secret in the hallways within the Pinnacle building, local headquarters of Clear Channel, that KLAC president / general manager / program director Don Martin has been unhappy with his station’s relationship with Fox Sports Radio, a complex entity as the network is syndicated by Premiere Radio which is owned by Clear Channel. The station and the Dodgers would both consider a local morning show and move current morning host Dan Patrick to a different timeslot.

Then there’s another twist. Don’t rule out KABC as an active participant in these negotiations. After all, KABC was home to the Dodgers from 1974-97 and again from 2008-11. There is much history with the Dodgers and KABC, if that means anything at all. KLAC has broadcast Vin Scully and the team for the last three years, previously Clear Channel had the Dodgers on 1150 AM (KXTA) for five years and KFWB (CBS) had them for five years.

Does KABC want to change formats to all-Sports and take on the CBS Sports Network, having the Dodgers as the hood ornament? The network has on the roster one of the highest profile sports radio figures, Jim Rome, who has not been heard on an LA station for over a year and a half. And aren’t the Clippers in play? Having two major sports franchises on one station would certainly change the landscape in local sports radio.

Kindred CrisisSteve Kindred’s journey with his wife, BJ may be coming to an end. BH has been has been in a coma since her heart stopped two weeks ago. “We need one more round of prayers for BJ,” Steve wrote on Facebook. “Monday will be the 14th day since this nightmare began. The doctors say that's normally the outer end of the window they give for patients on life support to recover, without taking further action, such as pulling the ventilator and doing a tracheotomy to insert a breathing tube. The family has the right to go this route, but I know BJ would not want this. There has been very little brain stem activity in the past week. But those who know me know that I don't give up easily. If there are modern-day miracles, let's try to summon one.

“We decided on Friday we would terminate BJ'S life support, but now as the Monday deadline approaches I’m not sure I can do it,” Kindred wrote over the weekend. “She has told me in the past she doesn't want to live on machines. She never regained consciousness after collapsing two weeks ago. If she were brain-dead the decision would be easier, but she isn't. She moves around a lot, but doctors say she has almost no brain stem functions.”

Open Email From KSPN’s Steve Mason.

Sorry for the mass email. For the last couple of years, I have been working to help 400-600 orphans in the Ukraine. They live in camps in Beregova near the Hungarian border. These kids have nothing. Very little clothing. Shoes are in short supply. They struggle to get square meals. And they have no shelter. And now, conditions have worsened because of the near-civil war in the Ukraine.

This effort is part of an initiative for Variety International, The Children's Charity ( I am working with my friends Don Harris and Clark Woods. Don President of Distribution for Paramount Pictures. Clark is Vice President of IPic Theatres and President of Variety International.  

We all get "hit up" a lot for donations for various causes so please, do not feel obligated to give. But if you can give anything-- $10, $20, $50 or more-- it will make a huge difference in the lives of these kids. Variety International is, of course, a registered 501c3, so any donation is tax deductible.

I am providing you with a link to my Crowdrise page where you can make a donation via credit card. At the very top, please click on the video that was shot was shot at Beregova, and you'll see why we are so passionate about helping these kids. CLICK HERE:

Muppet Movie Memories. During my quarter of a century working in the motion picture business, I had the pleasure of being on the marketing team for some wonderful films from Steven Spielberg, James Bond, and Rocky. One of the highlights was the 1979 The Muppet Movie. A sheer delight from the creators Jim Henson and Frank Oz to all executives connected with the Henson organization.

Last week, Entertainment Weekly listed the “55 Movies Every Kid Should See” and The Muppet Movie was the top pick. EW described the charming movie this way: “Full of love and friendship, it’s a brilliant gateway drug to all the wonderful things that movies can be.”


Fave Singer. Our mini-survey about your favorite singer of all time brings a nomination of Burton Cummings, lead singer of the Guess Who. “He could turn on his gravelly voice and rock with the best of them [American WomanHand Me Down World] and then croon with the s​mooth voice [UndunLaughingStand Tall],” emails Rich Johnson of VersaTape in Sierra Madre.

“Let's see, that leaves in a tie for second, Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, etc., etc., etc.”

Heart of Rock and Roll. “Prior to returning on the air at K-EARTH following my open heart surgery, Gary Bryan asked me on his morning show, ‘What the first song I was going to play,’” said Shotgun Tom Kelly. “I told him that I planned to sign on with The Heart of Rock and Roll by Huey Lewis and The News. Dave Sholin sent Huey the MP3 of my sign on and Huey was so impressed that he asked Dave to extend an invite to me to introduce him on stage July 1st at the Del Mar Fair.”

LARadio Rewind: July 14, 2014. George Putnam was born 100 years ago today in Breckenridge, Minnesota. He began in radio at age 20 at WDGY in Minneapolis, playing records and answering phones. After stints at stations in St. Paul and Washington, DC, Putnam was hired by NBC Radio in New York. During World War II he served with the Marines and worked for Armed Forces Radio. From 1948 to 1951, Putnam worked for the DuMont Television Network, delivering daily news commentaries and hosting Broadway To Hollywood.  He then moved to Los Angeles and became evening news anchor at KTTV Channel 11. He later anchored newscasts for KTLA, KHJ (now KCAL) and KCOP and, with satirist Mort Sahl, 

hosted a short-lived talk show, Both Sides Now. He retired from television in 1975 and launched Talk Back on KIEV-870. The daily two-hour program moved to KCAA in 2002 and was distributed nationwide on Cable Radio Network beginning in 2004. Putnam continued to host the program until shortly before his death in 2008. Putnam lived on a ranch in Chino where he raised thoroughbred horses. He rode a horse in every Tournament of Roses Parade from 1951 to 2000. Putnam received three Emmy awards and more than 300 other honors and citations, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Funnie. Have some fun with Pat O'Brien interviewing Dan Gilbert about LeBron James returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Click Pat's artwork.

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** K-EARTH Over the Years

“Everyone keeps saying … ‘K-EARTH hit the air back in the day – the music played was 20-30 years old.’

But it wasn’t. In 1972, KRTH went back as far as 1955. That is a MAX of 17 years. In the mid [maybe late] ‘70s they started morphing into the current/oldies based AC format that tended to stick with songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s. It wasn’t until they went all Oldies in the mid-1980s that they potentially went 30 years, and they often did not, as they focused on the ‘60s.

It is actually NOW that KRTH goes back in years more than ever. Just playing a hit from 1980 is 34 years old. Play something from the ‘60s and you’re as many as 44 years out. If KRTH was to play from the past what they did when they signed on, they would not go back more than 1997!

Can you imagine a popular station in 1972 playing music from 1928 … or older?

‘Oldies’ [‘KHJ Gold’] used to mean 5-10 years back. Now songs that recent are almost current.” – Richard Wagoner, Daily Breeze

** Christian’s Contribution

“Got to work with Roger Christian at KHJ and KDAY where he was pd for a short time.  Really good guy.  At KHJ he wrote an on-air jingle, ‘Now you know what we’ve got,’ to the tune of Little Deuce Coupe that introduced all the Boss Jocks.  It was a winner. 

At KDAY he gave me at tape of an hour radio special The Beach Years that I took to Norm Pattiz  for syndication when he was first forming Westwood One. I thought it was really good. Evidently Norm didn’t. Rodger also had a collection of early Corvettes.” – Tom Bernstein

** Car Songs Christian

Roger Christian was a shy man, one of the nicest, gentlest men I have ever known. I had the pleasure of working with him at K-Earth. Roger coaxed Brian Wilson out of his hermit mode to record a K-EARTH special featuring Beach Boys songs. He made a lot of money in royalties from his collaboration with Wilson on Beach Boys ‘car songs’; Little Deuce Coup, etc. and, as I understand it, gave most of it away to anyone who came to him for a handout. When I knew him all he had left was an older model Jaguar.

A sad end for a great guy.” - Steve (Fredericks) Liddick, former K-Earth News Director 

Sunday Funnies (7.13)

LARadio Archives from February 2007

Indie 103.1 Hires Alternative Veteran as Programming Chief 

(February 22, 2007) Max Tolkoff, former pd at “Y107,” has been appointed program director at Indie 103.1/fm (KDLD/KDLE). He will be responsible for all on-air station content, including music, news and promotions. Max will report to Indie 103.1 station manager Dawn Girocco

“Max is considered one of the founding fathers of Alternative radio and I have complete confidence in his ability to take Indie 103.1 to the next level,” said Ms. Girocco. “Indie 103.1 has an extremely loyal fan base and we remain committed to airing music that they won’t find on any other radio station.”     

“This is a fantastic opportunity to join a radio station that has very quickly made a name for itself in Los Angeles,” said Max. “Indie 103.1 is an alternative radio station in the truest sense of the word and I’m excited to keep the station’s adventurous, pioneering programming spirit intact as we seek to expand our listener base.”   

Max begins his new assignment on April 1. During his 30-year broadcast career, Max most recently served as operations manager and pd at legendary Boston Alternative station WFNX/fm. He has also worked as the pd at XTRA/fm (91X)-San Diego. His on-air credits include hosting duties on the syndicated radio show, “Modern Rock Live,” which was heard on all of the country’s 75 largest radio markets.   

Tolkoff has also worked as a consultant with Jacobs Media creating the “Edge” format with Fred Jacobs. In addition to his work in broadcasting and as a consultant, Max also co-founded Mutant Promotions, a record promotion company dedicated to Alternative rock music. He also worked briefly at A&M Records as a Senior Director of Alternative Promotion and was the Alternative Rock Editor for the industry trade publications, Radio & Records and The Gavin Report.    

Max becomes the station’s second pd ever, replacing the recently departed Michael Steele

Morning Dew

(July 11, 2014) The top five morning shows (6a-10a) in the June '14 Nielsen ratings:

Persons 12+

1. El Bueno, La Mala, y El Feo (KSCA)
2. Gary Bryan (KRTH)
3. Omar y Argelia (KLVE)
4. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
5. Bill Handel (KFI)
Persons 18-34

1. El Bueno, La Mala, y El Feo (KSCA)
Big Boy (KPWR)
3. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
4, Kevin & Bean (KROQ)
Valentine (MY/fm)
Persons 25-54

1. Kevin & Bean (KROQ)
2. El Bueno, La Mala, y El Feo  (KSCA)
3. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
4. Omar y Angelia (KLVE)
5. Valentine (MY/fm)


KSBR Mentor Retires. After 36 years of devoting his entire career to KSBR Radio 88.5/fm, Terry Wedel is retiring from Saddleback College. To recognize his contributions to the college, The Terry Wedel Scholarship has been created for students in the Broadcasting program.

“Terry Wedel has been instrumental in helping to start KSBR Radio that has made it possible for students at Saddleback College to learn and practice their radio/broadcasting skills so they could venture out into the world of Broadcasting,” according to a KSBR statement.

“Thanks to Terry, many students experienced wonderful new learning experiences that inspired and prepared them for successful broadcasting careers. And, he helped establish KSBR as an integral part of the South Orange County Community.”

If you would like info on the retirement party, click the KSBR logo:


Hear Ache. What the heck has happened to KFI’s cume? It is half of what it was at its ratings height … R Dub!, now working at Z90 in San Diego, told the radio trade publication FMQB that his first radio name was his real first and middle name: Randy William(s). “It was BORING! I soon changed it to ‘R.W.,’ and that quickly morphed into ‘R Dub!’ That stuck! And YES, my name INCLUDES the exclamation point … There’s a station in the Ozarks with an afternoon drive personality named, “Shotgun Steve Kelly.” Wonder if Tommy trademarked the Shotgun? ... It was great having dinner with Lisa Osborne and her new beau during their visit to the Santa Barbara Summer Soltice. Great Mexican food at Las Agaves ... Today might be your lucky day - 7/11

LARadio Rewind: July 11, 1991. Roger Christian dies at 57. Born in Buffalo, Christian began in radio at WSAY in Rochester. He spent a year at KFXM before taking over the noon-to-3 slot at KRLA in 1960, then moved to KFWB a year later. In 1965, when KHJ switched from adult contemporary to Top 40, Christian was one of the original Boss Jocks. He later worked at KBLA, KDAY, KGBS, KIQQ, KRTH, XEPRS and Armed Forces Radio.

Christian teamed with Brian Wilson to write several hit songs for the Beach Boys, including Shut Down, Don’t Worry Baby and Little Deuce Coupe. With Jan Berry (and sometimes Wilson), Christian co-wrote several Jan & Dean hits, including Drag City, Honolulu Lulu, Dead Man’s Curve, Sidewalk Surfin’ and The Little Old Lady From Pasadena. With Gary Usher, Christian co-wrote theme songs for Beach Party, Muscle Beach Party and other teen beach movies. He also wrote screenplays and had roles in several films.

At the time of his death, he had been suffering from liver failure and kidney failure.



Car Honor. KNX’s Randy Kerdoon won a 2013 silver medallion in the 23rd annual International Automotive Media Competition. Randy received his award for a story he did on KNX about whether kids should get classic cars as their first car. “I went through this when my daughter Kelcie turned driving age,” said Randy.

It's his second such award. “I won one in 2011 for a KNX story I did on an 8 year old car auctioneer,” noted Kerdoon.  

Community Corner. KNX On Your Corner series spends a day in northern Orange County on July 25 putting the spotlight on Brea, La Habra, Yorba Linda and Placentia.  Additionally, local civic leaders will appear as special guests throughout the day as KNX gives listeners insight into the unique attributes of the area. Remote broadcast is from Arthur’s Coffee Shop in La Habra.

Dick Helton and Vicky Moore will anchor the news from 5 a.m. – 9 a.m., Frank Mottek will host the KNX Business Hour from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and Jim Thornton and Diane Thompson will anchor the broadcast from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Public is welcome to participate at the remote.

Funnie. Two old Jewish guys, one 80 and one 87, were sitting on a park bench one morning. The 87-year-old had just finished his morning jog and wasn’t even short of breath. The 80-year-old was amazed at the guy’s stamina and asked him what he did to have so much energy.

The 87-year-old said, "Well, I eat rye bread every day. It keeps your energy level high and you’ll have great stamina with the ladies."

 So, on the way home the 80-year-old stopped at the bakery. As he was looking around, the saleslady asked if he needed any help.

He said, "Do you have any rye bread?"

 She said, "Yes, there’s a whole shelf of it. Would you like some?"

He said, "I want five loaves."

 She said, "My goodness, five loaves! By the time you get to the 3rd loaf, it’ll be hard."

The old man says to himself, "I can’t believe everybody knows about this shit but me."

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** K-EARTH PD Checks In

“Nice work in Thursday’s column. It’s refreshing to find someone who [obviously] understands the challenges faced by radio. If you can’t keep reinventing yourself on a regular basis you end up at the bottom of the heap. While Gary Bryan and Keith Smith are VERY instrumental in what’s shaping up at the station credit really should go to the entire staff who’ve embraced and executed what we’ve put together.  

Bottom line though Don is that when K-EARTH hit the air back in the day – the music played was 20-30 years old.  It’s 2014 … and see where we’re headed? 

I love the KABL story too. You’ve been here….you get it.” - Dave Mason, Assistant Program Director, K-EARTH

** Paul Freeman a Nice Guy

“I just wanted to chime in on what a great guy Paul Freeman is. I’ve gone to Paul for advice, we’ve shared laughs, worked the LA radio trenches together, and he's usually the first guy to hand out a ‘congrats’ or reach out to you when you need it. He’s a pro’s pro and an LA radio legend, but he’s even better friend. Kudos Paul!

Also, my thoughts and prayers to my friends at Mount Wilson Broadcasters on the passing of Gary Hollis. I was truly saddened to learn of his passing. Gary was always there with a good word, hearty handshake and an award winning smile. You’ll be missed, my friend.” – Ryan Fox

** Voices of the Industry

“Terri and I are saddened that we did not make it to the KEZY reunion. Our Vegas to Burbank flight landed too late to then drive to Julie’s home on Balboa Island for the event. The previous week I was one of the Official Voices of a Conference for 1200 Local Market, Television Promotion and Marketing Directors, the annual PromaxBDA Station Summit. 

During the conference Terri and I had a chance meeting with one of the World Renown Pioneers of Local TV Station Voic’ing ... Charlie Van Dyke, my pd at 93 / KHJ in the early 1970’s. He moved me from nights to days.

He lives in Phoenix now and still probably voices daily for more tv stations across the country than anyone else. Following Robert W Morgan’s passing (May ’98), for a short time, CVD was a LARP again as he had a short run as the K-EARTH 101 morning host. Charlie has been the promo voice of K-EARTH 101 for over 25 years, maybe even 35 years. It was nice running into him in Vegas.

Way back, I moved directly from KEZY to 93/KHJ. KEZY’s recent reunion reminds me of my relationships while there have guided many, many moments in my life. What a great station to work for because of its people. I’ll always have terrific personal and business memories because of those that left an indelible mark on my life, even if I didn’t know it at the time.

KEZY staffers are a brotherhood. It trickled down from the top. We’ll see you all at the next KEZY reunion. Thanks, Dan, Arnie, Mark, Paul, Meeker, Oliver, Gary, Julie, Marty, Adam J, Ed, Bruce, and DeBo.”  –Dave Sebastian Williams

** Music Sourcing

Leo LaPorte mentioned last weekend that for him, the music he listens to is not from a radio source.  Radio is still alive but only supported by the human element on-air. I think that what radio supplies is personality. I liked radio of old more than now possibly since there were so few options that we all focused on radio, and in high school for me, it was only AM. FM came into play more in the 70s after what I recall being more of an underground thing in the late 60s.

Great work you’re doing as more radio reporting outlets are disappearing and you keep the fans and radio people connected.” – Robert Guevara, Eagle Rock 

Giving Away a Family Four-Pak of Disneyland Tickets Isn’t Enough

(July 10, 2014) K-EARTH pulled off a very impressive feat yesterday, coming in at #1 in the June ’14 ratings. This has to be dose of cold water in the face of incoming program director, Chris Ebbott. The station had been without an official program director since Rick Thomas’ abrupt decision back in May, to join CBS’ new AMP Radio in New York. Now Chris is joining the #1 station in Los Angeles. His new challenge will be to remain as one of the top stations in the marketplace, with the additional challenge of attracting younger listeners to the station. K-EARTH had been missing out on ad buys or from obtaining a larger share of an advertiser’s budget because of K-EARTH’s aging demographic.

With perspective, the joke in programming circles was as soon as a station decided to change formats, the station would have its best book ever. This isn’t exactly the same concept, but some inside the CBS Miracle Mile building were speculating, with tongue firmly in place, that maybe the station should continue leaderless.

But that would hardly be the story. There are some very dedicated individuals who have taken on the challenge of keeping the station relevant with an eye toward the station’s relatively geriatric listening pool. From all reports, there are four who deserve credit for moving the needle on the aging listener base.

Under Rick Thomas’ brief regime he set in motion to add more 80s songs to the playlist, executed flawlessly by apd Dave Mason, production chief Keith Smith, and morning man Gary Bryan.

A station that is unwilling to change is doomed to become stale and see declining ratings. An older skewing audience is also subjected to dying off with no new listeners who embrace the older approach. My first programming job was at KABL-San Francisco in 1967. The station set a new standard in Easy Listening ratings in the Bay Area. Yet over time, Mantovani, and 101 Strings music was beginning to take a toll with redundancy. The uptight station prided itself with very creative promotions and zany contests (you send us $10,000 and we’ll send you 25 words or less).

We slowly replaced the soft sounds of KABL Music with contemporaries like Johnny Mathis and the Johnny Mann singers. The changes breathed new life into the station and were a factor in the marketplace for years to come.

K-EARTH has been moving with its music. What about other music formats in the marketplace? Are they in need of refreshing? And how do you strategically integrate different music without upsetting and losing your P1s.

I remember the first time I met Tim Pohlman, general manager at the VERY successful KTWV, “the WAVE.” Tim was hosting a Valentine’s party at a trendy club/restaurant on Main Street in Santa Monica. Keri Tombazian was doing a live remote. Guests included some contest winners along with the advertising community. The WAVE had just boasted one of its best books ever. When introduced to Tim, I congratulated him on the success of the Smooth Jazz station. I asked him what he considered his biggest challenge. He didn’t miss a beat. “To keep the staff focused on the task at hand and not get lazy because of the high ratings.”

Tim recognized what so many forget. Take Starbucks. In the 90s and early 2000s, Starbucks was the largest specialty coffee retailer in the world. But it seemed the company felt it could do no wrong and the company grew to 15,000 stores. Yet somewhere along the way, Starbucks lost its soul. By 2008, the stock had tumbled 50% in 15 months. Within a year the stock fell another 50%. Financial vultures circled and obituaries were drafted.

Starbucks brought back the former ceo and refocused on core issues. To build morale, 10,000 store managers were flown to New Orleans for a rah-rah weekend. All stores closed for a half day so baristas could relearn how to make espresso. The ceo refused to compromise on providing health benefits to all employees, including temps. The results have been startling. From a low of less than $8 five years ago, the company is now trading at almost $80 a share.

The motion picture business is presently in the doldrums. Summer box office is off a WHOPPING 19% from this time last summer. This is when the studios are supposed to derive a big percentage of its yearly revenues. One can only guess that the movie going public has had it with sequels and unoriginal fare. Only Transformers 4 has ignited the box office. Where are the original films that used to define the culture? What was the last movie you couldn’t wait to see? See. You can’t keep going to the same well.

You can’t be a jukebox if you are looking to dominate. What happens between the music is more relevant than ever. Do you have a story to tell and can you tell it well?

Talk stations have a new set of challenges. Doom and gloom sprinkled with fear is really over. Can the current crop of Talkers be relevant, interesting, and captivating and not just a 24-hour feast of rehashing the top three stories over and over again. Are we really still looking for the missing Malaysian Airliner with no new information for months? Is Barack Obama doing everything wrong as President?

Back to K-EARTH. As the Classic Hits station inches forward with newer and newer music, watch for a collision of cultures when JACK/fm, KLOS, and The Sound are all playing the same “classic rock” songs. That’ll be one heck of an interesting battle. 

KRTH On Top of the EARTH in June '14 Ratings

(July 9, 2014) The latest ratings are out, and it appears the “Earth” is golden. Here is the June '14 Monthly PPM 6+ Mon-Sun 6a-Mid:

1. KRTH (Classic Hits) 5.1 - 5.5 

2. KIIS (Top 40/M) 5.3 - 5.2 

3. KBIG (MY/fm) 4.8 - 4.9 

4. KPWR (Top 40/R) 4.4 - 4.8 

5. KOST (AC) 4.2 - 4.1 

6. KAMP (Top 40/M) 3.8 - 4.0 

7. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 4.1 - 3.6 

8. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 2.9 - 3.1 

9. KCBS (JACK/fm) 3.0 - 3.0 

10. KROQ (Alternative) 3.1 - 2.9 

      KSWD (Classic Rock - The Sound) 2.6 - 2.9

12. KFI (Talk) 2.7 - 2.8

13. KHHT (HOT 92.3) 2.7 - 2.7

14. KTWV (Smooth R&B) 2.6 - 2.5

15. KKGO (Country) 2.8 - 2.4

       KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.3 - 2.4

       KNX (News) 3.0 - 2.4

       KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 2.5 - 2.4

19. KYSR (Alternative) 2.2 - 2.3

20. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 2.3 - 2.2

21. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.1 -2.1

22. KXOS (Regional Mexican) 1.9 - 2.0

23. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.5 - 1.9

       KPCC (News/Talk) 2.1 - 1.9

       KXOL (Spanish AC) 2.0 - 1.9

26. KUSC (Classical) 1.6 - 1.6

27. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.7 - 1.5

28. KDLD (Regional Mexican) 1.0 -1.2

29. KCRW (Variety) 1.1 - 1.1

       KSPN (Sports) 1.1 - 1.1

31. KHJ (Regional Mexican) 1.0 - 1.0

       KSSE (Spanish Contemporary) 0.9 - 1.0

33. KJLH (Urban AC) 0.8 - 0.9

       KLAC (Sports) 0.9 - 0.9

       KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 1.1 - 0.9

36. KEIB (Talk) 0.6 - 0.8

       KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 1.0 - 0.8

      KKJZ (Jazz) 0.7 - 0.8

39. KABC (Talk) 0.5 - 0.5

       KRLA (Talk) 0.4 - 0.5

Dan Kearney, CBS/LA cluster chief, was thrilled with the performance of K-EARTH. “Last month was the first time since 2009 that we were #1 with 12+, but we finally knocked CC out of the top spot for 6+ too.”

Other ratings notes: KSWD tied for tenth with a 2.9, besting rival KLOS which reported a 2.1, a continued trend upward for 100.3/The Sound which broke the tie between the two stations last April. KEIB and Rush Limbaugh continued a slow but steady increase, from a 0.6 to a 0.8 over the last month, again surpassing heritage talker KABC which remained flat with a 0.5. This does nothing to quiet the rumors that Cumulus wants to make major changes with their AM property. Despite the fact that 70% of the Southland can't watch the Dodgers on tv, fans apparently are not interested enough to listen on radio, as KLAC came in 33rd and flat from month-to-month (0.9 - 0.9). The Angels station, KLAA, came in 41st, moving from 0.5 - 0.4.

Hear Ache. KRTH’s Dave Randall celebrates two decades with the Oldies/Classic Hits station … Gene & Julie, former morning team at KZLA, have joined WRAL-Raleigh …  Doug the Slug had a couple of runs at KROQ, 1992-96 and 1997-2012. Also known as Sluggo, he was a KROQ fan favorite for almost two decades before he exited the Alternative station in late 2012. Doug is now on the 80s alternative-formatted KROQ-HD2 where he holds down the 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. show … KEIB’s Glenn Beck predicts that if Hillary Clinton runs for president, she’ll face a tough road to the White House thanks to President Obama. “Hillary Clinton is going to pay the price of this administration…not by the American people, but by the press,” Beck said on TheBlaze TV. He added that the press feels “betrayed” by the Obama administration, but is “too deeply in bed” with them to take action … Frankie DiVita has joined KLOS for Saturday nights.

Norm Pattiz's Home Up for Sale (from Variety)

Norm Pattiz founded and sold the Westwood One radio empire and is currently the ceo of Bev Hills-based Courtside Entertainment Group — (re-)listed his deluxe digs in California’s low-key but wildly ritzy seaside enclave of Montecito with a $15.9 million price tag. 9,430 sq feet, 6 bedrooms, 5 full and 3 half bathrooms

Property records and other online resources reveal Mister Pattiz and his wife, Mary Turner Pattiz acquired the gated and fully landscaped 2.73 acre spread with its luxurious (and benignly decorated) 9,430-square-foot Mediterranean-style villa in June 2006 for $17.5 million from the late entertainment industry executive Harold “Hal” Gaba.

Located about 1.5 miles due west of Oprah Winfrey’s 40-some acre Promised Land, the Pattiz pad is approached down a stately, palm tree-lined driveway that makes a soft curve towards a baronial, parking lot-sized forecourt with central fountain and three-bay detached garage. Iron and glass doors that probably cost more than a well-equipped medium-sized BMW open to a vast and voluminous central foyer that was surely designed to impress guests with its soaring double-height ceiling, rustic-luxe natural stone tile floor material and prom-picture worthy wrought iron railed staircase. 


Rugburns Memorial. Friends and colleagues of Liz Fulton, KIIS morning show veteran during the Rick Dees years, will gather at Mike Stark’s LA Radio Studio in Ports O'Call Marketplace in San Pedro this Saturday afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. “Our plan is to have people share memories about their adventures with Liz,” emailed Jeff Kaufmann. “An edited compilation of the proceedings will air as an episode of Mike’s weekly LA Radio Sessions program. We are getting great response: Gary McKenzie, the news director who hired Liz at KIIS, is on-board and so is CNBC’s Jane Wells, whose first professional on-air broadcast appearance was when she substituted for a vacationing Liz Fulton on the Dees show on KIIS.” More information at: 323.617.3030.

LA Press Club Honors KCRW. KCRW took home a few noteworthy awards at the L.A. Press Club gala, according to Jason Groman. “Saul Gonzalez was recognized as the top radio journalist of the year, Bob Carlson’s UnFictional created the best radio documentary, Avishay Artsy and Darby Maloney won for best use of sound in a feature, independent producer Carolina Miranda took first for a story she did with The Business, and Caitlin Shamberg took first for use of social media around a special producer by Madeleine BrandSaul and Matt Holzman


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** K-EARTH #1

“Wow, how things have changed.  Or maybe it was the music.  Or maybe Chuck Blore is right. Wow!” – Claude Hall

** Paul Freeman Voted #8 Best On-Air LARP

Paul Freeman is certainly the BEST! He is a natural on-air, he knows a lot about radio [both the technical side and ‘the biz’], and he is so down-to-earth.” – Alisa McClosky

** Freeman a Friend

“Very happy to hear that Paul Freeman was voted #8 as he has always been the hardest working guy I know and one of the nicest guys you could have as a friend.” – Mike O'Neil 

Paul Freeman Voted #8 Best On-Air LARP of 2014

(July 8, 2014) Paul Freeman gives new meaning to the word veteran. His resume of time in LARadio is impressive. Paul began his journey in Southern California at Orange Country rocker KEZY in 1970. He’s been heard non-stop since then, working at KHJ, KIIS, KODJ / KCBS/fm, KZLA, KLAC, KYSR, KBIG, and KLITCurrently, Paul is the afternoon drive voice of popular Go Country KKGO.

Paul was voted #8 Best On-Air LARP of 2014.

Born and raised in Spokane, the longtime survivor in Los Angeles radio started early with the medium. By the time he was 15 years old, Paul had built a small radio station in the basement of his parents’ home.

He arrived in the Southland from KNAK-Salt Lake City. Paul started at KIIS during the station’s “Southern California album rock” and disco period, moving to middays for most of the 1980s before leaving in 1989. At KIIS, he was one of the few people permitted to do the morning show when Rick Dees went on vacation. At the CBS Oldies station KODJ / KCBS, Paul hosted the "all-request lunch hour."

In 1992, Paul would cover the mornings for Ken Cooper at KZLA. He reminisced when interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People, “The highlight of my four decades in Southern California radio? It was being part of a team that achieved a 10 share (12+) in the mid-’80s at KIIS/fm. I think that was the last time any station has had double digits in L.A.” Paul was at KYSR to help launch “STAR 98.7” before leaving the station in the spring of 1996. He then reported the news on morning drive at KBIG with Sylvia Aimerito.

The pair left the station in late 1997 when Chancellor took over the facility from Bonneville. Paul went on to afternoons at LITE 92.7fm and weekend afternoons at Country KZLA, before he arrived at his current gig at KKGO.

KKGO's Paul Freeman

Some comments from those who voted for Paul:

BJ Kindred in a Coma

(July 7, 2014) Steve Kindred has been a newsman/anchor in L.A. for many years beginning with Money Radio (KMNY) in 1987. Over the years he has also been heard on KFWB, KFI, and KABC.

Steve fell in love with a fellow news colleague at Money Radio. When she moved to KFWB, Steve went with her. Her name was BJ. They knew each other for years before getting married fifteen years ago on a beach in Maui. Steve and BJ became the darlings of the news world.

Last Monday, their world changed forever. “I am still in shock and disbelief,” Steve shared on his Facebook page. “BJ’s heart stopped as I was getting ready for work Monday. Through heroic efforts by the Burbank police and fire departments she was revived. But being deprived of oxygen for at least eight minutes took its toll. She has low brain stem function and the doctors don’t expect her to recover. But since she responds with head and body movements when we talk, I believe there’s a chance.

Thanks to everyone for the thoughts, prayers and good wishes.”

Hollis DiesGary Hollis, an announcer for two decades with Saul Levine’s Classical KKGO and KMZT, died June 29, following a short bout with Pancreatic cancer. "Many people did not even know he was sick, because he really didn't talk about it much," said his wife, Kelly. 

“When Gary was hired as a part-time announcer 25 years ago, I had no idea that we had engaged one of the most creative and dynamic air persons in our long history in radio,” said Levine. “Gary was always cheerful, and happy to be on the air presenting the music he loved.”

Gary grew up in Wisconsin. “We lived near Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin School, and we visited there quite often,” said Gary when interviewed for Los Angeles Radio People.

“I played violin. My mother would awaken me to the Chicago Classical music station, where I began my love for the music.”

Gary lived in New York City for 18 years and studied to be an actor. “I finally made it to Broadway in the musical Raisin, which starred Debbie Allen, among others. I was one of the singing Hitler’s in the movie version of The Producers.” 

Early in his career, Gary achieved a dream by becoming an usher and valet to some of the world’s great musicians and conductors at Carnegie Hall. From there, Gary moved on to become the assistant manager of Lincoln Center’s Philharmonic when it first opened. “I had the honor of escorting Jacqueline Kennedy backstage to meet Leonard Bernstein at the opening of Philharmonic Hall [now Avery Fischer Hall],” remembered Gary.

Gary sailed around the world twice, working and entertaining on cruise ships. Gary was also an actor who appeared in Columbo, Murder She WroteHill Street Blues and Kindergarten Cop. “My interests range from astrology to bike riding and swimming. I swim a mile a day. I love to read when I have time, primarily non-fiction biographies. I love baseball, especially the Milwaukee Brewers, and I love the movies,” Gary said in the LARP interview.

Services for Gary will be held at: First Christian Church of North Hollywood, 4390 Colfax Avenue (corner of Moorpark), North Hollywood, on Saturday, July 12 at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Donations in Gary’s honor can be sent to: WeSpark Cancer Support Center, 13520 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

LARadio Rewind: July 7, 1997. Jerry Doggett dies of natural causes at 80. Born in Missouri, Doggett had done radio play-by-play for Southwest Conference football games, Dallas Rebels minor league baseball and Liberty Broadcasting’s “Game Of The Week” before joining Vin Scully, Connie Desmond and Al Helfer in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ WMGM broadcast booth in 1956. Scully and Doggett followed the Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1958. Dodger baseball was heard on KMPC in 1958-59 and KFI from 1960 to 1973, and then moved to KABC. Doggett retired after the 1987 season. He was a charter member of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association and was elected to their Hall of Fame in 1996.

Hear Ache. K-EARTH apd Dave Mason was broadcasting from a bikini-clad Huntington Beach over the July 4th holiday. He introduced a song as a “thong.” Wonder why? … Scott Shannon’s True Oldies format was heard briefly at 1260 AM. When Westwood One recently decided to discontinue distributing the ‘program, Scott decided to take the service online. “We didn’t have much time to get something together after we found out that we were getting tossed off the radio,” posted Scott on the WCBS/fm website. “However, we did manage to get everything needed to set up our own Internet station on short notice.” The former architect of “Pirate Radio” in LA has set up commercial-free streaming at: … Kerri Kasem will fill-in for Tim Conway, Jr. at KFI on July 16 and 17 … Great to hear John & Jeff filling in for Larry Elder at KABC. When KLSX folded, we lost the daily offerings from the long-time talk show hosts … Michael Martin joined the Clear Channel/LA cluster in the summer of 2007 as head of programming. In November of 2007, he was appointed pd at KYSR. Michael exited the CC/LA cluster in late 2008. In early 2009 he took over as VP of Programming for the CBS Radio cluster in San Francisco. Now, in the summer of 2014, CBS made Michael the SVP/Programming and Music Initiatives … Jerry Santantonio passed away last month, apparently of a massive heart attack. Jerry worked in sales at KFWB when it was on Hollywood Blvd. He was an account executive with Mike MastersonBob MooreHoward NealMike Chambers and Frank Oxarart was the general manager … Congratulations to Warren Eckstein on beginning his 30th year broadcasting The Pet Show. He’s heard every weekend on KRLA (870 AM) … Did you know that former KIIS midday personality Suzy Tavares was a Miami Dolphin cheerleader? … As Jim Healy would say, “Is it true” that the Los Angeles Dodgers are thisclose to announcing a new deal for a L.A. radio flagship station?... Hotel California by the Eagles was voted by listeners as the number one song on K-EARTH 101’s “Firecracker 400” countdown over the weekend.

Favorite Singer. A story recently at LARadio noted that Carson Daly’s favorite singer was Sam Cooke. We thought that readers of LARadio might like to share their faves. This is from former KIIS 10+ year veteran Brother Bill McKinney (r):

“James Brown is my all-time favorite performer. Everybody now knows who he is. From the time he hit the stage until his robe was thrown over him at the end of the performance, he told a story [sorry for those who didn't get it]. I once traveled to 5 different cities to catch his show. And as he left us, he was getting ready for another show. He was truly ‘the godfather of soul.’ RIP.”

Who is your favorite singer?

Marconi in the West. The NAB Marconi Radio Award Finalists have been announced and a number of LARP and West Coast stations are in contention. The Awards are given by the National Association of Broadcasters to honor excellence in broadcasting. Nominees are:

No nominations in the following categories: Major Market Station of the Year, CHR Station of the Year, Country Station of the Year, Oldies Station of the Year, Spanish Station of the Year, Sports Station of the Year, Urban Station of the Year, and Noncommercial Station of the Year.

Timmie's Corner
Gary Owens

LA Press Club Awards.  KNX won three Southern California Journalism Awards presented for editorial excellence by the Los Angeles Press Club at its 56th Southern California Journalism Awards dinner held recently in Los Angeles. The KNX award recipients for programming that aired in 2013 are:

ANCHORS: Dick Helton and Vicky Moore, KNX Morning News

TALK PUBLIC: Charles FeldmanLaraine HermanDiane ThompsonFrank Mottek and Bob McCormick for “Healthcare Uncovered,” daylong special series and live Town Hall event about the new Affordable Care Act

SPORTS: Ed Mertz, “The Watts Bears”

City by the Bay. Spent last week in San Francisco and Marin County celebrating my wife’s birthday, but it wasn’t very long before there were constant reminders of home. On the local cut-in during Good Morning America at KGO/TV, Leylan Gulen (l) is the traffic reporter. She interned at KPCC while at USC and went on to KNX where she won a Golden Mike before moving to San Francisco. She is terrific … At 560 AM / KSFO, Larry Van Nuys was broadcasting morning drive news. He is always the pro and deserves to have a regular shift in L.A. Since the early 80s, he’s been heard in L.A. on: KBCA, KBLA, KNOB, KGFJ, KGIL, KFI, KABC, KMPC, and KNX … And I kept going back to KBLX. Excellent programming and music selection … We drove back on Friday, July 4, thinking the drive would be easy. We got caught in a major stop and go for a couple of hours through Morgan Hill and Gilroy. Scanned the radio for traffic news and you guessed it, everything was voicetracked.



Recent KEZY Reunion on Balboa Island: Charlene Hammer, Marti Taylor, Julie Fry, Oliver Wilson, Jeff DeFeo, Jim Shannon, Bruce Chandler,
Mark Debowski, Dan Mitchell, Paul Freeman, Arnie McClatchey (front in motor chair)

Clark from CC to CBSButch Clark, a decades-long sales veteran at Clear Channel is making a move. Bill Denton, general sales manager at KFI, KLAC, and KEIB, sent a memo to the staff:

“I am very sorry to announce that Butch Clark will be leaving the KFI/KLAC/KEIB sales team to join the CBS Altitude Group.  We thank him for 10 years of contributions to our sales effort and for his irrepressible esprit de corps and great humor that leavened the atmosphere on the 4th floor. We wish him much (but not THAT much!!) success in his new responsibilities.  

All the best, – Bill”

Pond OkayBob Pond, veteran of KGBS, KPPC, and KPOL in the 60s and 70s, has had A-fib (Atrial fibrillation) for a couple of years, but became very fatigued with shortness of breath last summer. “Tests revealed that my heart was only putting out 20% of normal flow, so last week I went in for an angioplasty to open the artery,” emailed Bob. “They found all my arteries clear, so no by-pass or even a stent necessary. They now need to figure out why my heart only puts out 20%. It’s good to be clear but now they must figure out something else.”

FunnieIt was Sunday morning, and the priest had already preached to the adults in the congregation. He was presenting a children's sermon. He asked the children if they knew what the Resurrection was.

Asking questions during children's sermons is crucial, but at the same time, asking children questions in front of a congregation can also be very dangerous.

In response to the question, a little boy raised his hand. The priest called on him and the boy said, "I know that if you have a resurrection that lasts more than four hours you are supposed to call the doctor."

It took ten minutes for the congregation to settle down enough for the service to continue.

Email Monday

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** No Photos of Mr./Mrs. Kasem?

“Sorry to have to say this, Don, but I think posting that picture of Jean Kasem with Casey was/is inappropriate owing to the recent bitterness over the old master dj. It is my understanding that Mrs. K. was not even at his funeral.” – John Hindsill 

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