May 2013 Articles and Emails


The Answer on Memorial Day

(May 31, 2013) KRLA/KTIE (“The Answer / 870AM”) invited their listeners to the USS Iowa on Memorial Day to commemorate those in the American Military we’ve lost, as well as honor current veterans and active duty military.  

“The Iowa had very limited funds,” emailed Salem’s Bob Hastings. “We enlisted the combined resources of our KTIE/KRLA audiences through a spot, banner and info-to-go campaign to drive the event. We sold tickets at a discount, we gave away free tickets to veterans; we sold sponsorships to a limited amount of clients.”

The combined stations sold in excess of 1,600 tickets through their websites.  They also gave away over 400 tickets to veterans.  The USS Iowa had over 10,000 visitors on Memorial Day. 

Take a look at the video of morning hosts Brian WhitmanBen Shapiro, and Elisha Krauss.

Movie Magic Matt Alan. We discovered Matt Alan in 1989 when he blasted into afternoon drive at KIIS/fm. He went on to work at KMPC and KIEV before returning to KIIS in 1996. He got the “Magic” part of his moniker because he is an accomplished magician and a card-carrying member of the Magic Castle. 

Matt left last night for Biloxi, Mississippi, where he will be starring in a new Burt Reynolds film. “I play a news anchor during a devastating hurricane in the area,” said Alan. “My part is more than just an anchor in the background but more of an integral part of the film.” 

His character’s name is Michael Scott Shannon,  a tribute to the full name of an important person in his professional life. “When I was working afternoons for Scott in New York at ‘Z-100,’ he turned me into a great performer. Scott was the P.T. Barnum of Top 40 radio, a brilliant man!"

Scott Shannon was on the recent CNN list of the Top 10 djs of all-time. He also orchestrated the legendary Pirate Radio (100.3/fm) in the late 1980s. 

Every Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m., Matt corrals a fascinating group of characters at his Encino home for a live Internet radio broadcast called Outlaw Radio (www.outlawradio.tv). He is currently heard on the Sirius Satellite Radio Network '70s on 7 channel in morning drive.

Costas on ScullyMike Johnson, a huge Vin Scully fan, can’t get enough stories, airchecks or references to the great Dodger announcer. Bob Costas, always eloquent, speaks about Vinny. Click the artwork.  

Hear AcheRob Archer is anchoring the news on the KFI Bill Carroll Show. He’s the temp fill-in for the departing Chris Lane The San Diego Union Tribune announced Tuesday that it will no longer publish The Californian, a daily section that covered Temecula and southern Riverside County … Entercom is loving Jamie White in Denver. “She’s been back on ‘Alice’ for a year and a half now,” emailed her rep, Glenn Goldstein … Saul Levine has purchased ESPN 97.9 KYZZ-Monterey/Salinas for $1.15 million. Once the deal is finalized, it is expected that he will simulcast his Classical K-MOZART in Big Sur … Greg Garber, son of Katz’s Mary Beth Garber, was promoted by Clear Channel to be Director of Automotive for the LA cluster. “They moved him upstairs to an office with a window next to all the ‘big guys,” said Mary Beth ... Mark Thompson and his wife Lynda appear with Heidi & Frank this morning at 8:15 a.m. at KLOS.

Hairy Situation. K-EARTH 101, Supercuts and Paul Mitchell have joined forces with the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles for Locks of Love Week starting Monday. This annual event was inspired by a young K-EARTH listener who wanted to donate her hair to help provide hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children with medical hair loss. Last year over 8,000 inches of hair were donated to the Locks of Love organization. Click the artwork for more info.

 

Overheard. 

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** Loves Where Are They Now

“Thanks for the web page. It brings back a lot of memories and the people I worked before moving to Oregon back in 1979.” - John Mielke, Owner, KKNX AM 840 HD, Eugene, Oregon 97401, john@radio84.com 

** LARadio Book

“I want to thank you for continuing to do such a good job of covering Southern California radio. 

To support your efforts, I have intended to buy copies of your latest publication for Jerry TrowbridgeJim Hilliker, and myself, which I finally got around to tonight. 

Thanks, again, for all you have done and continue to do for the radio community.” – Stan Kelton 

** Rise and Fall of Boss Radio

“We found the Tom Bernstein story regarding KHJ to be a fascinating and compelling read. Tom’s recalling of the people and events is remarkable. 

Our thanks to Tom and to LARadio.” – Don Graham

** Ballance in the Car

“Funny seeing the picture of Bill Ballance standing on the back of a car. That is the famous Hurst Oldsmobile with none other than Miss Hurst herself, Linda Vaughan.

I have been NHRA drag racing fan since the early 60’s. Linda Vaughan worked for Hurst then and still is involved in drag racing. She was smoking hot with the biggest boobs I had ever seen. I still see her at car auctions and car shows. She has to be 80 now. They sold one of her cars recently at auction. 

By the way that big pole that is attached to the back of the car is a transmission shifter. Hurst made racing shifters!” – Bob Koontz

** May the Force Be With You

“Uh, I saw the new Star Trek. No Shatner cameo, but there is one with Leonard Nimoy.” – Harvey Kern


Rise and Fall of Boss Radio
- An Insider's Perspective

by Tom  Bernstein 

(May 30, 2013) I went to work for KHJ Radio and Television in February of 1962 as merchandising assistant for both radio and television.  KHJ radio was a struggling, ex-Mutual Radio Network station. Robert Q. Lewis was the morning man. Except for the great Paul Compton, I can't remember the rest of the station line up.  

Shortly after joining, I took over as merchandising manager for radio only under legendary, general sales manager Mort Sidley (the only gsm I knew who was being paid by three different radio stations – KLAC, KFWB and of course KHJ. He always had a contract).  

We had a string of general managers, a new one about every six months. Milt Klein wanted to rock the station, but was forbidden from doing so by RKO New York. However, he did bring Michael Jackson down from San Francisco to do nights. He was great from the start, and got rid of aging Robert Q. as morning man.   

Marty Fliesler came from WOR-New York and he put “Air Watch” traffic reports on KHJ before returning back to New York (his wife didn't like L.A.).  

Ira Laufer replaced him, brought in Bob Fox as gsm (Mort Sidley remained as sales manager, still under contract). The first thing they did was hire Steve Allen and Jane Meadows to do a live, midday, show from their home in the Valley.  Morey Amsterdam was in the works to become the new morning man.  To introduce Steve and Jane to the Los Angeles advertising community, we hosted a big, Friday evening party at the Ambassador Hotel. I'll never forget seeing Ira and Bob standing in the back of the room, against a wall, heads down, arms folded, not talking to anyone. Obviously something was wrong. 

Sure enough, Monday morning it was announced, Ira and Bob were out. Gene Chenault, then owner of KYNO-Fresno, and his program director, Bill Drake, were taking over KHJ – something big was going to happen – it was going to be rock ‘n roll.

Now the story behind the story. I was told that for a long time that Tom O'Neil, president of General Tire & Rubber Co. (owner of the station), didn't like rock ‘n roll and made it the policy of no rock ‘n roll on any RKO station. 

But during a trip to the West Coast, O'Neil met with his good friend, former West Coast manager of the Mutual Radio Network, Willet Brown (then owner of KGB, San Diego, programmed by Bill Drake, and also owner of Hillcrest Cadillac in Beverly Hills). O'Neil asked him what was wrong with his station in Los Angeles, the second largest radio market. Willet highly recommended, that if O'Neil put the station in the hands if Gene Chenault and Bill Drake, it could be successful. And the die was cast. 

Ken Devaney became the new general manager, Ron Jacobs, program director and Art Astor, gsm (Mort Sidley continued as sales manager).  

They immediately got rid of KHJ’s programming, except for Steve and Jane who had a 13-week contract, plus a big investment in engineering and phone lines for the broadcasts from their home. The interim format was called “The Cavalcade of Hits” with the new talent, on air, not using their names, segueing pop standards. It actually sounded pretty good and the immediate reaction of our sales department immediate reaction was let’s keep this, what an easy sell.  

After each jock got off shift, he went into the production studio and practiced the new format.  One day, I went into the production room, which was off-limits to everyone, to pick up a tape, and watched / heard Robert W. Morgan snapping in the new sound. I was blown away! I was quickly escorted out when I was finally discovered. 

Based on what I heard, I made a $50 bet with a leading L.A. ad agency time buyer that KHJ would be number 1 in two Pulse Books. She never paid off. Although the basic format was on KYNO and KGB, it was not called “Boss Radio.” That title came from Clancy Imislund, then director of publicity, in a staff meeting to name the format. 

When “Boss Radio” hit the airwaves – WOW!  The super personalities  (jocks if you must), great jingles (the Johnny Mann Singers), Ron Jacobs’  “pure genius” contests, great play list and incomparable production by Bill Mouzis 

About four months after the launch of “Boss Radio,” I left (replaced by Lee Larsen) over a pay dispute with Messrs Astor and Devaney, to join Dale Peterson at KGBS, which lead to my return to KHJ many years later.  

Flash forward to 1973. I'm working at KCOP/Channel 13 and some management changes there were not working out, so I was looking to get back into radio. Dale Peterson and Bruce Johnson were running Classical KFAC and talked to me about coming over there. Classical music didn’t excite me, but then, they suddenly left KFAC to run KHJ, and that did excite me. The plan was that I would come over as a business development manager and eventually be sales manager. KCOP held me to two weeks’ notice so I could train my replacement, so I didn't start at KHJ right away as planned.  

In the meantime, Dale Peterson gets transferred to newly bought (by RKO Radio) WFYR-Chicago and is gone. My two weeks at KCOP are up and I call gm Dwight Case to tell him I'm ready to start, but he tells me, take another week off, and he'll call me about a meeting he is scheduling at the end of that week.  

Turns out the meeting is on Sunday, 4 p.m., in the station’s conference room.  I arrive to find a room full of strangers; the only sales person in the room I knew was Bill Sommers. One other AE had not been notified and was called, at home, and told to come in (remember, this is 4 p.m. on a Sunday). Dwight calls the meeting to order, not waiting for the missing AE.  He announces that two, key sales executives – who accounted for some the biggest billings on the station – had been fired Friday. We are the new sales team lead by new sales manager, Tim Sullivan, who is then introduced.  

Needless to say, Sommers, myself and the missing AE, when he turned up, are shocked.  Monday, we report to work and get our account assignments, and start explaining to a lot of stunned media buyers and clients that their favorite KHJ rep was no longer there.  It wasn't a pretty picture, and it gets worse.  

I can't remember the order they quit, but during my first two to three weeks back at KHJ, Bill Sommers leaves to start his career at KLOS. Barbara Babcock, L.A. radio’s best traffic manager, resigns along with the world’s greatest production engineer, Bill Mouzis. 

With the help of Western International Media, we are able to replace Barbara. Bill Mouzis could never be replaced. We had a succession of program directors. Paul Drew (nicknamed Rommel) could always be heard coming down the halls holding a transistor radio in his hand, monitoring the station (this is before ear plugs were invented for transistor radios), prior to becoming vp of programming for corporate RKO. Bill Watson succeeded Drew, and finally Charlie Van Dyke, who was also the morning man. 

No one could stem the tide of declining ratings due to a number of competitive factors (mostly the rise of fm) and the fact the station was growing stale. But that didn't relieve the pressure from the Sunset Blvd. headquarters (Bruce Johnson) to increase sales. 

On February 28th (leap year no less), Bruce sent the infamous, five page,  “Fly on the Wall” memo to every RKO Radio station manager, sales manager, and all sales AE’s. “The Fly on Wall” refers to a paragraph near the end of the memo: “Would you have liked to have been a fly on the wall when I found all five KHJ salesmen in the Brown Derby Coffee Shop on a Monday morning a 10:30 late last year.”  

Johnson hadn't actually started at RKO when the incident occurred, but his appointment as RKO Radio president had been announced.  The five KHJ AEs “caught” at the Brown Derby were there planning a surprise birthday party for their sales manager.  The memo ends “I have no sympathy for losers. And I am here to tell you that I had better not find any on any of our sales staffs thirty days from now. If this means you are going to have to put in fourteen-hour days, seven days a week, then so be it.  If you get lonely, just give me a call. I'll be awake.”

While the overall theme / tone of the memo was the most negative, threatening one I had ever read, it did contain some very sound advice for selling radio. I still have my copy. In spite of the “Fly on the Wall” memo, Johnson sought to “positively” motivate his managers and sales force. To that end, he had every one of us attend a two or three day seminar conducted by one of those outside motivational teams. Needless to say, it was really lame!  On top of that, we were required to listen to 13 motivational tapes, one per week, supplied by that company, but all were re-recorded by Johnson himself.  

At the end of each week we were required to write and report on what we got out of the tape and turn it in on Monday. Fortunately for me, during the second week of this, Tim Sullivan (and I'm sure the people at headquarters too) and I had some disagreements over station policies and I was – politely, really – asked to find another station to work for. I could take my time, not tell anyone I was leaving and best of all, didn't have to listen to those damn tapes! My last day (actually night) at KHJ was attending a big (best thing they ever did) agency / client party at The Griffith Park Observatory. It wasn't long after, Johnson and Co. were out at RKO and along came (I can't remember in what order) “Car Radio,” a Country music format and the introduction of Rick Dees to Los Angeles Radio. 

EPILOGUE:  

Last I heard, Bruce Johnson was living in Palm Desert, managing a group of stations in that area.  Dwight Case, always a really up beat guy with a sunshine bright personality, totally opposite of Bruce Johnson replaced him as president of RKO Radio. He later became publisher of Radio and Records, started KAZN (L.A.’s First Asian radio station) and worked for Western International Media.   

Milt Klein bought a radio station in Riverside and went broke (“bad timing”).  Ira Laufer and Bob Fox bought KVEN in Ventura and became rich (hard work and good business sense).  Laufer briefly went into politics.  Fox served as head of the NAB. Mort Sidley bought a radio station in San Diego, but a heavy smoker, died of cancer.   

Clancy Imuslind is director of the Midnight Mission here in Los Angeles. Tim Sullivan owns stations in the Inland Empire and lives in North San Diego. Art Astor became a multiple radio station owner in California and a renowned collector of vintage cars, radios and television sets, in Orange County. Bill Mouzis took his talents to KMPC from where he retired. Bill Sommers made radio history at KLOS, as did my KHJ replacement Lee Larsen at KOA- Denver. Dale Peterson died of a heart attack in Chicago. 

Eventually RKO lost the FCC. licenses to all their radio stations due to allegations that RKO Radio forced Oscar Meyer Meat Packing Co. to advertise on KHJ in order to have their products served in the commissary at Aerojet General (a space age division of General Tire). Ironically this happened at the time I was merchandising manager before the launch of Boss Radio. KHJ was sold to the Lieberman family and became Spanish language, KKHJ.   

I retired thirteen years ago from KNX NewsRadio, after 42 years, mostly good ones, in radio and tv. As I’ve said before, it beat working. If I left anyone out, or got some facts wrong, sorry, I’m getting old(-er) and my memory ain’t what it used to be. Oh, I did leave some things out on purpose. 

(Thanks to Tom Bernstein for sharing an important sliver of LARadio history) 


 

Andrew Jeffries, a Kiwi Who Turned MY/fm Into #1 Powerhouse 

(May 29, 2013) Earlier this year in the Southern California radio ratings race, MY/fm (KBIG, 104.3/fm) tied the perennial leader, KIIS for 1st place. The next month and during the ensuing months, MY/fm fell a notch or two, suggesting that it was an anomaly. But the recently released April ’13 Arbitron ratings have MY/fm back in the top spot, this time all alone.

KBIG has had an identity problem for years. It has been very difficult to describe the format. It seemed to be a little bit of this and a little bit of that. And then it would change once again. 

Enter a foreigner with a keen ear and a strategic plan. 

Andrew Jeffries grew up in a small town in New Zealand. It was so small that it had 12 houses, two on one side of the road, and 10 on the other. The next biggest “town” was 40 minutes away and there were 2,500 people in that one! 

At age 12 Andrew moved to “the big city of Wanganui,” which now has about 40,000 people. 

As a kid, Jeffries had access to the one national tv channel in New Zealand and he could pick up 5 or 6 radio stations. “The love of music drove me toward radio,” said Andrew. 

“Music and entertainment are the reasons I was initially attracted to this industry.” 

Andrew admitted that when the radio bug bites, it bites hard. “I wanted to hear that great song from Billy Joel, or the new one from Spandau Ballet or whoever at the time.  It’s the magic we create, the fun we have doing it, yes it is fast paced, has some better days than others – like every job… but I love it.  We get to work with amazing people, create a fun place to work, talk about music and play songs on the radio.”

How did he get that first job in radio? “It was just one of those things that happened, I’ve always had a technical background, mixing school bands, lighting for theater groups. One day I walked past the radio station in town on the way to high school, dropped in, asked for the manager and spent about 10 minutes talking him into giving me a shot in the studio. The deal was – if I could run two hours of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40, placing in commercials, linking to live news etc., then I would have a weekend board op job. I must have killed that task it appears, because I got the gig.”

That beginning quickly transpired into a weekend dj, then weeknights part time, then a full time commercial copywriting role. “I’m not good at that, as everyone discovered, so they threw me in a studio and I produced everyone’s commercials.”

After stops in a number of New Zealand markets doing afternoons, reading the news and tracking a rock station, he moved to Timaru and worked morning drive for a couple of years. 

Then Andrew traveled to Dunedin where he launched a new format in a very competitive New Zealand market. “I took that station to #1 in the first book.” 

In 1999, Andrew and his wife, Vicky, left New Zealand on vacation in 1999 and never returned. For the next 11 years he worked in England and Europe before moving to the United States. After years in on-air jobs, Andrew ended up working behind the scenes in London, Brighton, Glasgow, Leeds, and Birmingham, fixing stations that were under-performing.  

A little over five years ago, an Adult Contemporary station, “Star 101.3,” (K101) in San Francisco invited Andrew to program them.  

“San Francisco was a surprise because they wanted to bring my family into the USA to work on such a legendary station and also I was back on the air after being behind the scenes for 11 years in Europe.” 

Within nine months, Greg Ashlock, market manager for the eight SoCal Clear Channel stations (including MY/fm) offered him the programming job at MY/fm. “ I heard Andrew speak at a conference in Atlanta and immediately pinpointed him as someone that I’d like to get to know better,” said Ashlock. “It wasn’t the topic or information that impressed me, but rather the unique lens that he uses when viewing opportunities or challenges.” 

“We were looking for someone that could be complementary to our strong cluster of programming talent,” Ashlock continued. “His radio background in the UK and New Zealand, early success, along with his fresh perspective in key product areas made him an attractive option.”   

Ashlock was clear about the fact that Jeffries was a calculated risk-taker and activator with a strong dose of initiative, all of them critical qualities. “He also has a mean competitive streak. The results have been phenomenal.”   

On his arrival at MY/fm, Andrew found the station “confused about its identity.” He had a clear vision for the station. “There were great people, all strong, just needing to focus on a single goal. The biggest challenge was probably getting over the years of mixed messaging on the 104.3 frequency for the listener. Were we disco, 80’s, Hot AC, new, gold-based? Achieving clarity on the image was critical from day one.” 

With all his success, Clear Channel (owners of MY/fm and KOST) has given Jeffries additional programming control over not only the softer Adult Contemporary station, KOST, which came in #3 last month, but he is senior vp of programming for all eight Clear Channel/LA stations. How does he keep similar formats separate? “A fine balance. We have some wonderful brands and keeping them complementary to each other’s goals is a consistent balancing act. That’s why we have, in my opinion, the world’s best programming team! Great people, great brands and a great opportunity in this amazing city. Long may that continue." 

Sports Ratings. Arbitron released statistics of radio broadcasts of baseball opening day games and NBA regular season broadcasts for this season. For baseball opening day, ranked by Men 25-54 AQH share, the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds were the leaders.  Ranked by 6+ cume,  the New York Yankees were far in the lead with 581,800 on WCBS-New York.  

For the NBA, based on cume for Persons 6+, the Los Angeles Lakers  on KSPN are the ratings leaders. The study noted that the Lakers outdraw the Dodgers, Angels, Kings, and Ducks in Los Angeles.

Bill Ballance, KFWB Top 40 dj (1955-65) and host of Feminine Forum (1969-93), demonstrating new hand move 

Hear Ache. KFWB’s Bret Lewis is going to concentrate on the Celebrate Recovery ministry that's the joint effort between Bel Air Presbyterian Church and the Westside Vineyard. Alan Oda has interviewed Bret and you will love what is revealed ... KFWB program director Andy Ludlum has confirmed that Bill Seward will take over Bret's morning drive sports slot. 

Overheard.

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** Heidi & Frank Progress at KLOS

“Now that the dust has settled, how have Heidi & Frank done in the ratings compared to Mark & Brian

Any chance of Brian showing back up on broadcast radio in LA?” - Mike Koch, Yorba Linda 

Arbitron Ratings in April ’13 for KLOS 6a – 10a: 

Persons 12+ – 17th

Persons 18-34 – 14th

Persons 25-54 – 7th

Arbitron Ratings in May ‘12 for KLOS 6a - 10a 

Persons 12+ – 6th

Persons 18-34 – 16th

Persons 25-54 - 4th


Lane Ends in Texas

(May 28, 2013) KFI is a great example of the merging of a small news department with outstanding personalities to create appointment listening. During the recent Boston bombings, KFI was by far the most listened-to station that afternoon, followed by KSPN and KNX. One could argue that the combination of live talk show hosts and a local news department delivers the best, most comprehensive news during breaking stories. 

Chris Lane has been an excellent addition to the news department. She arrived at KFI in 2010 from KFI’s prep school radio station, KFBK-Sacramento. Most news anchors are assigned to a talk show host, so Chris joined Bill Carroll from noon to 3 p.m. We followed her journey during her first summer at KFI, looking for a nanny for her child while waiting for school to begin.  

“Every nanny who applied for the job through an agency, I went directly looking for their Facebook page and I probably ruled out a good seven or eight applicants based on the party pictures,” said Chris back then. 

Friday was Chris’ last day at KFI. She is returning to Texas to be near family. “You know, I just don't have enough chigger and mosquito bites,” she wrote on her blog. “And this beautiful weather and these glorious beaches are nice, but frankly I'd really like to feel like I'm living on the face of the sun for a couple of months out of the year. And hey, if I can feel really sticky from some insufferable humidity, all the better!”

She hinted in her blog that part of her decision to return to Texas is the high cost of living in Southern California. “This girl has got a dream. It's called financial solvency. I'm not going to make this a blog about California taxes and the poorly funded public school system. That discussion has BEEN had, and the differences are indisputable. And yes, they are a factor for my family. Family drives every decision in my life- professionally or personally- and so it is. Time to saddle up and head back home. 

Chris is a first-rate news person and a first-rate person to know, according to her colleagues.  

Bill Carroll was enthusiastic about Chris. “What a pro. Back in my news director days I would have snapped her up in an instant. She has all the right stuff in large measure. Great voice. Totally natural read. Journalistic depth. As part of the show, she's smart and funny and honest. We will really miss her ability to play along and keep the boys in line at the same time. You don't replace someone like Chris, you just move in a different direction and hope it still works.” 

Wilder Honored. Chuck Wilder, CRN Digital Talk Radio personality (noon daily) and former co-host with George Putnam, was recognized by Defense of Veterans Memorial Project of the American Legion Department of California for his efforts on behalf of fellow veterans and American freedom. 

"Chuck Wilder - and George Putnam before him - live by the code of duty, honor, country," said Rees Lloyd, co-founder and director of the Defense of Veterans Memorial Project.  "They have done so much good for our veterans."

Lloyd presented Wilder with a plaque for recognizing the honoree as "a veteran, patriot, radio host and journalist extraordinaire."   

"Chuck exemplifies what makes our country great," said Michael J. Horn, CRN's ceo/president. "He honorably served in the military, actively promotes veterans causes and stirs American passion every day on his show. All of us at CRN are very proud of him." 

Chuck started with armed forces radio aboard the USS Matthews and then became one of the highest rated radio rock jocks in Texas. He hosted a tv dance show on two ABC stations in Texas and New Mexico and acted as music director, program director and producer. His honors include Billboard DJ of the year, and a member of the board of directors Academy of Country Music. Chuck gave up his exciting career to hook up with George Putnam. Since Putnam's death in 2008, Chuck has hosted "Talk Back."

710/KMPC Geoff Edwards billboard touting Personality of the Year from the LA Times 

Burns Death. Fifteen year KGO-San Francisco veteran Gene Burns died over the weekend. Karel posted a farewell on Facebook:  

“Goodbye Gene Burns:

 

I'll never forget the first time I met Gene Burns. I had flown up for my first weekend fill in gigs at KGO. I went in on Monday to see Jack Swanson. Gene was coming out of his office after having a discussion. He looked at me and said, ‘I just told him to make you afternoon drive, welcome to the team, I'm Gene Burns...’

I shook his hand and we began to talk. I had not listened to him up until joining KGO. I began to, which is odd, since I don't listen to talk radio. Talk show hosts shouldn't listen to talk radio . Anyway, I listened to him and heard such reasoned, thought out, well rationed debates; passion yet courtesy, information but not boredom. He was a class act. I remember my first Christmas party at his house. I was in awe. Such taste in wine, in food, in friends. He was enjoying his life.

 

When KGO fired me, Gene broke all the rules and had me on his show to say goodbye. He was furious with what they had done, and  called me off air to express his outrage at it all. In fact, every time there was trouble in the Karel world, Gene was there, supportive, a kind voice, a voice of reason. I would call him up at home and we would chat about radio politics and he'd make me feel better about it all. His experience was vast on so many topics, and as a broadcaster, he had been through it all.

 

I met him at the height of KGO's dominance, when he was top of the heap Monday through Friday and on weekends. He was enjoying his life. His body was betraying his will at times. Because Gene was an unstoppable force. His stamina, his desire to be behind that microphone out of the sheer JOY of it, was an incredible thing to see and an inspiration to all who got to share in it.

Gene Burns enjoyed his life, and loved those dearly that were closest to him. My thoughts are with them today, people like Joel who have been there for him so many times. We've lost a great broadcaster, but many have lost an even greater friend.

 

Radio lost something it can never get back with the death of Gene Burns. It is a poorer place without him. He continues to be an inspiration for me as a talk host, to try and be better, to be that good, and to succeed for that long. His belief in me, in the format, and in his community … well let's just say the world was a better place when Gene Burns was on your side as a friend or coworker or both.

 

Class. Professionalism. An openness of heart and spirit. A friend. Gene Burns was an example of how good friends, and great Americans, should be.

 

Rich Lieberman, publisher of 415 Media blog wrote:  

 “Mr. Gene Burns was the quintessential professional.

 

A gentleman, and as John Rothmann noted, a "gentle man" too. Beloved, respected, and admired by his peers. A legend, indeed.

 

Mr. Burns was the epitome of what is so not radio today: the art of broadcast civility. Genuine dialogue, genuine, artful tact and professional content that raised the level of the discussion between the host and his callers. Moreover, Mr. Burns didn't resort to gimmicky, disingenuous chatter. He didn't have to. He was noted for his brilliant mind and innate ability to interact without the least amount of artificial noise and mindless minutiae that is so prevalent in today's radio world.

 

It is a sad day.

 

Gene Burns was more than just a great broadcaster; he was the artful broadcast tactician whose content was a genuine conversation that worked. It worked for all the reasons that have become foreign territory on the audio domain. Simplicity. Standards. Vocabulary. A broadcast pioneer and a nice man to boot.

 

RIP, Mr. Gene Burns”

And from Bob Klopfenstein

“One of the very best in talk radio has left us way too soon. At only 72, Gene Burns has lost his battle against a long series of health issues. I first heard and met him at WRKO-Boston and later tried to hire him at WCAU-Philadelphia. Gene went on to a long and successful career at KGO-San Francisco. He set a standard that all talk hosts could learn from. Regardless of which way you come down on politics or issues, he challenged you to question your personal beliefs and look at different points of view, without insulting you, stooping to name calling, or yelling and screaming. I have known some of the greatest hosts in the business and there never has or ever will be one as intelligent as Gene Burns. Rest In Peace Gene!” 

Overheard.

Hear Ache. KFWB is throwing a farewell party for sportscaster Bret Lewis today. He retires this week. Speculation on a replacement for Bret centers on Bill Seward to take over morning drive sports ... Over the weekend, Dodger Stadium hosted the first-ever Jaime Jarrín Bobblehead Night at Dodger Stadium. "The Spanish Voice of the Dodgers" and Hall of Famer is in 55th season with the organization … Art Laboe, evenings at HOT 92.3, is now dividing his time between L.A. and Palm Springs.  “After  52 years we sold our Original Sound building on Sunset,” emailed Art. “We bought  a building in Palm Springs. I have owned a home there since 2005.” … Cumulus Media branded five Country outlets, “Nash FM.” No word if one of the LA Cumulus stations would flip to Country. Hardly seems likely with KKGO, Go Country, doing so well. 

Email Tuesday 

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** More Memories of Harry Birrell

“I was still in elementary school when Harry Birrell went on the air at KNX, so his voice and that awful old teletype sound-effects cart are part of the burned-in soundtrack of my adolescence (and probably other LA natives of a certain age, too). By the time he retired, I was 11 years past college graduation and nine years gone from radio (including a year at KNX), and the idea of 30 years with one station was something only the old timers remembered. Harry's voice was how a lot of us first heard about many of the big stories of his long and news-filled era.” – Jeff Kaufmann

"Whenever I'd come back to LA, after being away, I'd always feel at home when I'd hear the familiar voices of radio people like Harry Birrell. Too bad there aren't more familiar voices on the radio.” – Don McCulloch

 

“KNX's Frank Mottek and I do Harry Birrell impressions in the hall at CBS Radio. It would be our way to greet each other. I can remember when Harry was Jerry Walker on KCBQ in the morning and he would do his duck he called, Casey B. Quak on his show. We love Harry and will still do our impressions to keep his spirit with us always.” - Shotgun Tom Kelly


Memories of Newsman Harry Birrell

“An icon in LA radio. A very nice man! Grew up hearing him on my mom's radio. I had the honor of working with him years later!” – Tammy Trujillo 

“One of the great broadcasters. R.I.P.” – Gary Adler 

“My first disk jockey position was with KUDU [later KBBQ] in Ventura. If memory serves me correct, he was the 'image' voice for the station.” – Norm Garr 

“One of the Greats! RIP.” – Rick Jager 

“Sad to hear of his passing.” – Mark Wallengren 

“Harry was a true gentleman. He was authoritative yet relatable on the air. Harry represented the best in broadcasting and human nature.” - Chris Berry 

“2013 has been a sad year with the loss of so many of the guys who helped make radio great. George Wilson, Paul Drew, now Harry. Rest in peace. Thank you for all those years of fine work on KNX.” – Doug Herman, San Diego 

“RIP my ole friend Harry Birrell. It was a pleasure working with you all those years at KNX.” – Tom Patterson 

“I'm sorry to hear about Harry's passing. At the beginning of this past March, present-day KNX news director Andy Ludlum contacted me and asked if I had any airchecks of Harry Birrell to give Andy's granddaughter an opportunity to hear how he sounded on the air. Andy wrote, ‘Apparently Harry was never big on talking about his work or keeping tapes. But he's apparently had a change of heart.’ Harry already was in declining health at the time. I did, indeed, have some of Harry's news breaks that I had airchecked in 1975, and supplied them so he and his granddaughter had the opportunity to listen to them together. I'm very glad that worked out.” - Jeff March

“Sad news.” – Davey Croakette 

“One of the greats.” – Mark Sudock 

“Any good broadcaster should be missed.  It’s an art that deserves respect. Though I remember nothing of his work, I respect his tenure in the business, and hope I can hear and learn from his example. My time at KNX was short, but it taught me a respect for news!! God bless!” – Timothy Halm 

“One of the voices I grew up hearing on KNX.” – Deloy Sterns

“So sorry to hear.” – Nancy Wilson  

“The next time we hear thunder, we won't worry... it'll be Harry!” – Ford Michaels  

“I remember him well.” – Alan Mendelson 

“So sorry to hear about Harry. Great voice. Great newsman. Worked with him at KFWB before he crossed the street and started a long career at CBS.” – Mike Botula 

“His authoritative voice was heard every afternoon across the country when he anchored the 4 p.m. edition of the CBS network news at the top of the hour. Godspeed, Harry Birrell.” – Alan Oda 

Johnny Magnus and I spent some memorable time with Harry at an NAB in Las Vegas. Good guy.” – Chuck Southcott 

“I started listening to KNX in the late 60's. I remember Harry anchoring the local news, and anchoring the CBS News at 4 p.m. He was a consummate pro, and in later years I heard he was a fan of the ‘Dave and Bob’ show on KVEN. We have truly lost another of the great ones.” – Barry Turnbull 

“He and Douglas Edwards were my inspirations for wanting to get into broadcast news. I would listen for hours and practice reading into a Wollensak tape recorder. I'll never forget Harry's booming voice. RIP.” – Steve Kindred 

“Felt like I knew him. Never met him. Major talent.” – John Leader  


Harry Birrell, Veteran KNX Newsman and Anchor For Three Decades, Dies 

(May 26, 2013) KNX NewsRadio is reporting that Harry Birrell, longtime veteran newsman and anchor at KFWB and KNX, has died of complications from lung disease . He was 85. 

A native of Steubenville, Ohio, Harry was born March 5, 1928. He started his broadcasting career at WBVP in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania in 1949. From there he moved to WEIR in Weirton, West Virginia. Then on to WSTV in his home town, KLIF-Dallas, WNOE-New Orleans, KCBQ-San Diego, WINW-Canton, Ohio and WGBB-Merrick, Long Island, New York.

He joined KFWB, Group W Westinghouse, before being called by CBS and KNXNewsradio in 1968. He was hired as a news anchor and worked there for 25 years before retiring in 1993. But not completely. For the next 5 1/2 years, from his home studio, he continued to send in daily reports of Ventura County news that were heard throughout the day on KNX.  

Then, in January 1999, he completely retired after nearly 50 years in radio broadcasting. Harry has been honored by the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California with nine Golden Mikes for his excellence in broadcasting. He has also been honored repeatedly by the Greater Los Angeles Press Club, the Valley Press Club, the Associated Press and United Press International. Harry has also received the National Headliners Club Award for his coverage of the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy and has been honored by the Broadcast Communications Department of California State University, San Francisco.  

His highest honor was the Dupont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism given to him by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. Harry has also been called upon countless times to do narrations for Panorama International Productions, TR Productions and other video and audio production companies. He also had a role in the Blake Edwards motion picture, That's Life, starring Jack Lemmon and Julie Andrews. He and his wife Emily were married for over 60 years.


Memorial Day Weekend 

Every Memorial Day, LARP veteran Bill Mouzis would send a special message. Even though he died recently, his yearly messages were always profound  

On this Memorial Day my thoughts and prayers go out to those I had the honor of serving with in World War 11 (1940-1944). Always close to my heart is the memory of my dear brother Peter who passed away from the effects of malaria contracted in the jungles of New Guinea in the South Pacific. Above all, I pray for  the brave souls who fought in all of the wars of our country and all those disabled today. - Bill Mouzis


pril '13 Ratings 6+ Mar 13 Apr 13

San Diego  

1. KSON (Country) 8.3 - 8.5

2. KHTS (Top 40/M) 5.4 - 5.1

3. KPBS (N/T) 4.8 - 4.9

     XHTZ (Top 40/R) 4.8 - 4.9

5. KMYI (Hot AC) 4.3 - 4.7

     KYXY (AC) 4.6 - 4.7

Phoenix 

1. KESZ (AC) 6.4 - 6.6

2. KOOL (Classic Hits) 5.6 - 5.2

3. KFYI (Talk) 4.2 - 4.4

     KMXP (Hot AC) 4.7 - 4.4

     KTAR (Talk) 4.5 - 4.4

Seattle  

1. KQMV (Top 40/M) 5.5 - 5.2

2. KCMS (Christian Cont.) 4.8 - 5.1

3. KKWF (Country) 4.9 - 5.0

     KRWM (AC) 4.7 - 5.0

5. KZOK (Classic Rock) 4.0 - 4.8


An Evergreen Goes to WGN-Chicago

(May 24, 2013) Jimmy De Castro touched down in LARadio at KFAC and KKBT in the late 1980s. Now, the former Evergreen Media co-founder has been named president/gm of Tribune’s 720 WGN-Chicago.

De Castro has been well-known in the Windy City, first as gm of 97.9 WLUP (The Loop). He would later purchase the station as part of Evergreen Media, which would later merge with Chancellor Broadcasting to form AMFM. While president of AMFM, the company was bought and merged into Clear Channel in 2000. 

De Castro has since served as president of AOL Interactive, before starting The Content Factory in 2007. His company launched the Dan Patrick Show into syndication before being sold to DirecTV.

“Throughout his career, Jimmy De Castro has fused talent, innovation, and a keen understanding of the audience to generate success everywhere he’s been,” said Larry Wert, Tribune’s president of Broadcast Media.  

“He’s a great leader, a builder, and someone who knows the Chicago area and the people who live here extremely well. Jimmy will be a great addition to WGN radio and to Tribune—I can’t imagine a better person to join our team.” 

"WGN has a tremendous legacy in Chicago and the radio industry," said de Castro. 

“There's been a lot of change at WGN over recent years, and a lot of controversy around it, given the personalities that have come and gone.  We're just really looking forward to some smart, go-forward stability. I don't think we could have picked anyone better than Jim de Castro,” said Wert.

Sky High for DanielsSky Daniels, gm/pd of California State University, Northridge’s Triple-A format public radio station 88.5/fm KCSN, has been nominated as Public Radio Program Director of the Year by the radio trade publication FMQB. 

Daniels, who is in his second year as KCSN’s program director, was nominated by his radio peers and record label executives for his outstanding work in radio programming. 

“It is gratifying to gain the respect of the industry as KCSN continues its growth as an artist development engine in the Los Angeles market,” Daniels said. “The staff of KCSN is dedicated to supporting music and the arts. This nomination reflects the hard work of the staff at KCSN and the support provided by our growing legion of members.”

CRN Digital Talk Radio Joins Aha. CRN Talk Radio's entire lineup of seven channels is now available globally on the audio service through a free Aha app. 

Aha organizes listeners' favorite Internet content into personalized, live, and on-demand radio stations, “making it safe and easy to instantly access them at home, on the go, or safely from the driver's seat – all from a single dashboard.  The free Aha app is available for Android and iOS. 

The announcement means not only that CRN listeners have another way to access content on their mobile devices but can now listen to their favorite CRN programs in selected vehicles.   

By the end of 2013, Aha will be offered in vehicles by more than 10 automotive manufacturers, including Acura, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Porsche, Scion and Subaru. 

"We are absolutely thrilled to offer our content on Aha," said Michael J. Horn, CRN Digital Talk Radio's ceo/president. "People have asked for our shows to be available in vehicles and this is a wonderful solution.  Aha is so innovative and versatile - and we know our programming will nicely complement this service." 

Mentoring Program. KJLH’s Steve Harvey will host an even bigger program this year for his annual national “Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men” in Dallas, with a six-day program through Father’s Day weekend. Running June 11th to June 16th, the Daytime Emmy nominee will welcome 100 young men who are without fathers for the 5th annual weeklong program, while mothers and chaperones participate in a concurrent Parent Program. Attendees will be offered a variety of transformative mentoring experiences on Harvey’s country ranch with himself and special guests including frank sessions on the principles of manhood, leadership, sports, health and wellness activities, dream building and more. 

Overheard.

  • “If there was a life ending situation that occurred on this planet millions and millions of years ago that probably wiped out any remnants of who we might have been, that’s conceivable. I’ve thought about that a lot.” (George Noory, KFI)

Hear Ache. The Gassman brothers, John and Larry, are synonymous with old-time radio. In honor of Memorial Day, they are presenting a 1954 play, "Anthology" featuring Bing Crosby, Agnes Morehead, and Frank Lovejoy. Same Time, Same Station streams every Sunday at www.vintageradioplace.com … When Igor Stravinsky's groundbreaking ballet The Rite of Spring debuted 100 years ago in Paris, the audience found it so alarming that it rioted. This week, Classical KUSC (91.5/fm) is presenting special programs devoted to the iconic Stravinsky work. Brian Lauritzen hosts tomorrow’s edition of Arts Alive, the arts magazine show which airs at 8 a.m.  The program will be devoted exclusively to the anniversary of the work. Later that evening, Alan Chapman will present a different spin on Stravinsky's masterpiece during his Modern Times program Saturday at 10 p.m. 

Email Friday 

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** L.A. Concerts

“Thanks for continuing Gary Lycan’s column in the Orange County Register. I really enjoyed reading his work on the information going around the dial, past and present. 

Having been born and raised here in Southern California and living here for my 65 years, it is a real treat. Thank god for that transistor AM radio when I was a kid. 

I can’t believe they are going to tear down the Universal Amphitheater. I, too, have found memories of those summer nights sitting outside with my girlfriend at the time seeing Dave Mason, The Doobie Brothers, Eddie Money, Donna Summers and Chicago. What great memories and exciting times those were.

The quality of life then had not yet been compromised by the reality of life and its many changes and journeys as we tried to understand and plan our futures for a successful venture through it. I think the closest thing we have now days is The Greek Theater or the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine. The Hollywood Bowl still seems a bit to philharmonic to me.” - David Capanash, Fountain Valley  


Sales Moving Between Clear Channel/LA and CBS/LA

(May 23, 2013) Wednesday was a big day in the world of Southern California sales management. Bill Denton (l) general sales manager for KROQ and for a time at AMP Radio, is leaving for a similar position at KIIS and KYSR (Alternative 98-7). “Bill is a true gentleman and he will be missed by all at CBS Radio Los Angeles,” wrote Peter Bowen, svp/DOS at CBS, in a memo to the staff.

Scott Springer (r) will take over as gsm of KROQ effective immediately.  “There is no better person on the planet to oversee sales at the World Famous KROQ,” said Bowen. “His first order of business will be replacing himself in the local sales manager position.” 

Denton’s move from CBS/LA to Clear Channel/LA has prompted a number of changes. The status of Mary Baxter, long-time KIIS gsm, is unclear at press time. One source said she was contemplating a number of options. 

The sales effort at KHHT (HOT 92.3), KOST, and KBIG (MY/fm) will be consolidated under Peter MartinezJulie Martzke will now serve as sales manager on the AC properties along with Peter. 

David Howard, gsm at HOT, will move to the sales manager at the three Clear Channel Talk stations (KLAC, KFI, and KTLK). He will work with the gsm, Darren McMillan. 

The current gsm at 98-7, Dawn Girocco, will serve as sales manager for KIIS and 98-7.

Great grandmother oldest dj in Britain - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22602801

Before He Wrote for Cheers, He Targeted Radio Stations

By Ken Levine 

Back in the days when one company didn’t own ten stations in the same market there was such a thing as “competition”. Especially in the ‘60s and ‘70s there were usually two rock stations going head-to-head in every town. This could lead to radio wars. Stations would try to sabotage each other’s contests and promotions. It was all in good fun. 

Best of all was if you could somehow get on the air on the competing station and embarrass them live.

You didn’t have to be employees of the competing station to participate. You could be a diabolical listener just out for a few laughs. 

I have been known to be one such diabolical listener (little wonder I became co-writer of all the CHEERS practical joke “Bar Wars” episodes).   

The irony is that I have since become good friends with the disc jockey I punked – Charlie Van Dyke. 

But in 1973 I had some issues. Not with him. Charlie's a great guy. But I had problems with the station at the time. 

Charlie was the morning man on KHJ, Los Angeles. Once a great radio station, the guiding forces had recently been replaced by a martinet program director, Paul Drew, who sapped all the imagination and creativity out of the station. 

They were running an on-air contest called “Columbo,” based on the popular tv character of the time. Charlie announced it was time to play the game and he would take the tenth call. I phoned in and what do you know, I was caller number ten. Using a pseudonym, I played the game. Here’s the result: 

Columbo: Hey, this is Columbo again. Er, it's time to guess the name of the celebrity suspect and the crime he committed, for a $1000 in KHJ cash.

Charlie (DJ): Marv Saxon of Woodland Hills, remember that you must answer both questions correctly to win. Marv, what is your deduction?

"Marv" (Ken): Paul Drew, for killing KHJ.

 

-very brief pause-

 

Charlie (DJ): That's not quite right, man. I will be sending you a picture, though. The KHJ Celebrity Suspect. Stand by for another clue...= 

Oooh, was Charlie pissed when he got back on the phone. Can't blame him. But I was right. 

Email Thursday 

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** CNN Listing to Top 10 DJs

“I suspect the author of the CNN blog knows little of radio. Where is The Real Don Steele? Where is Dick Summer? Where isWalt 'Baby' Love? Where is Don Imus? Where is William B Williams? Where is Ken 'Beaver Cleaver' Levine? The ‘Where Is’ list goes on and on and on. 

I suggest you start a top or best dj poll, on LARadio.com. Perhaps, everybody could submit a top three or five list of best djs. You could score appropriately and publish a more meaningful list. 

Is it possible to list the ten best? I'm not sure. There are many great djs, for many different reasons.” – Dr. George Pollard, Ottawa, Ontario


A Sliver of the Mighty Met  

(May 22, 2013) John Langan was part of a successful morning team in the Northwest in the late 70s and early 80s. John had a sliver of exposure in LA Radio, basically for four months at KMET, the Mighty Met.  

Management at KMET might have been looking to strike morning pay dirt, but by 1983, the Mighty Met was not so mighty any longer and had seen better days during the AOR era.

So what the heck happened to John? 

He eventually returned to the Northwest as Charles Foster Kane (a nod to the fictional character in Citizen Kane). With his partner Jim Arnold, the pair became the biggest thing in Spokane radio. They called themselves “The Radio Men.” 

When they first started out in 1992 the ratings were low. “This is an acquired taste,” admitted Kane, at the time. “You have to listen awhile to get it. And you know, for the first year, nobody did get it.”

But people slowly began to get it. They told their friends. Ratings began to build, and build, and build.

They eventually dominated the mornings. 

One Spokane reviewer enthused: “Most gratifying of all, they did it by refusing to run around in their underwear, get their heads shaved, or do any of the dj stunts that dominate the morning airwaves. They have no guests. They take no calls from listeners. They don’t pander to their listeners with call-in topics, such as, ‘Tell us the weirdest place you’ve ever had sex.’ They do no remote broadcasts, no outside appearances, no promotional stunts. 

Kane said his idea of radio is to “paint pictures in people’s brains and let them fill it in.” They just talk, two or three times an hour. 

“There’s no personality to 90 percent of the radio stations you listen to anymore,” said Kane. “If you make a radio station with personality, you could play polkas.” 

Both have worked in far larger markets – Los Angeles, Seattle, Kansas City, and San Diego – yet they have learned through hard experience that a bigger market does not necessarily mean a better life. “There’s a special allure that comes with the idea of going to a large market,” said Arnold. “But once you get to a certain point in your life, you know there’s more to life than having a big fat paycheck or having certain call letters after your name.” 

Langan became program director and later general manager. “The goal of my career was to work in L.A.,” said Kane. “But it was awful.”

While doing mornings in Spokane, there were frequent pokings of the general manager, Toby Hitler. What most people didn’t know was that Kane was Toby Hitler.

Overheard. 

KIIS Reunion (5.21.13)  

(Lynn Anderson, Ed Mann, Chuck Southcott, Wally Clark, Don Elliot, Karen Tobin, Mona Lapides, Chrissy Hamilton, and Karen Abrams) 

Email Wednesday 

We GET Email … 

** CNN Top 10 List

“How can Murray the K, Frankie Crocker and Alison Steele be missing from this list? Geez.” – Jeff Baugh 

** Tall Paul

“How did George Green look as tall as Norm Epstein in the Tuesday photos?  He must have been on a very tall ladder!” – Tom Bernstein 

** LARadio Book

“I loved Volume 1 of Adventures in AirtimeGeorge GreenNorm Epstein and Wally Clark were three radio broadcasters who had a huge impact on LA radio. I would highly recommend that The Dickey brothers read it!” - Bob Koontz, OC Classic Cars 

** Seeing Double

“I just bought two of your books, one for me and one for loooongtime buddy Rick BacaMary Price is soooo right, ordering and downloading is so easy! I can't wait to start the ’adventure.’” - Alan F. Ross 


Arbitron April '13 PPM 6+ Mar 13 Apr 13 

San Francisco

1. KNBR (Sports) 3.1 - 6.0

2. KQED (News/Talk) 5.8 - 5.5

3. KCBS (News) 5.7 - 5.4

4. KOIT (AC) 4.9 - 4.8

5. KMEL (Top 40/R) 4.6 - 4.4

Riverside-San Bernardino

1. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 7.7 - 7.8

2. KOLA (Classic Hits) 6.2 - 7.3

3. KGGI (Top 40/R) 4.6 - 4.5

4. KSGN (Religious) 4.2 - 4.4

5. KFRG (Country) 3.8 - 4.1


You Can Book LARadio

(May 21, 2013) There are thousands of you who check into LARadio.com on daily basis. Some have expressed a desire to make a contribution to keep the “lights on” to help with the expenses of maintaining a website. 

Over the years we’ve tried advertising, subscriptions, and donations. Nothing seemed to work, so we abandoned the pay wall and now the site is open and will continue to be open.

Last month we launched an eBook, incorporating material from the LARadio archives. I hope you'll order your copy today. 

Adventures in Airtime. Volume 1 is available through clicking the artwork and it is only $2.99. If you don’t have a Kindle,  use this site: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/313233.  

Your purchase of the eBook will help demonstrate that you appreciate LARadio, the daily content and keeping Where Are They Now updated and current. 

Gary Moore of KLOS wrote, “Got your eBook and love it.  Keep 'em coming - I'll collect the whole set." 

Mary Price, part of the KFSH (contemporary Christian “the FISH”) morning show found out how simple it is to order. “Wow, I just bought your book and I don't know how I did it. I accessed Amazon on my laptop, and, somehow, when I clicked on a button, the book magically appeared on my Kindle app on my iPad. But $2.99?! You should have charged more. I'm going to go back to Amazon to see if I can gift it to someone. Congrats on the book, and I can't wait to read it.” 

“Thoroughly enjoying your book, Don,” emailed Damien Lewis. “I loved the chapter on Wally Clark.”

Hear Ache. Last Friday, Don Imus had successful surgery for a “thing” on his vocal chords. He had the choice of having an operation or six weeks of radiation treatment. Imus rested his voice yesterday and came back to work this morning. "Have you ever taken Oxycontin?" asked Don rhetorically this morning. "No wonder Rush took that stuff until his ears fell off. Your wiener shrivels up to the size of a Milk Dud." 

CNN on Radio. David Alpern sent a note that CNN published a series on radio Friday.  

The main feature is about an independent rock station in Columbus, OH - http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/17/showbiz/hfr-music-radio/index.html  

There is a photo collage as well as some audio is available here - http://cnnradio.cnn.com/2013/05/17/radios-last-stand 

In addition, Howard Stern and Bob Pittman are featured, sharing their takes on technology and radio. 

“You might want to share this loving profile of an independent station trying to succeed in a competitive and changing industry,” emailed David.

Audience Is Listening. Vin Scully has been the voice of L.A. since 1958. The June issue of Los Angeles Magazine features a two page spread by Vin Scully. An example of the prose:

“”The sky over Dodger Stadium will change into cotton candy – all these different colors. That’s a marvelous thing, when you can sit and take all that in.”

Overheard.

  • “If you failed your boss the way these people failed America, you’d be fired. But there are no consequences for anyone in the government.” (Michael Savage)

  • “I still remember all the things that used to get my attention when I was just a listener to radio and they still work till this day.” (George Johns, radio consultant)

  • “It has been a very informative call, but do you want to wrap it with one thing that doesn’t include the guy who is opposite me?” (Dennis Miller, KRLA)

  • “Celebrity sighting: Warren Beatty at the Apple Pan. Didn't know whether to say ‘I'm a huge fan’ or ‘hurry up and eat!’" (Ken Levine)

  • “Memo to 94.7 the Wave. Stop playing Justin Timberlake. The station sounds like a train wreck.” (Chet Hearring)

Top 10 Jocks of All Time. CNN listed its assessment of the best Top 40 personalities of all-time. The list, comments and descriptions were sent to LARadio subscribers yesterday. "They were, and are, your guide to the airwaves: the vinyl spinners, the blasts from the past, the paramount players of the platters that matter." Here are 10 of the all-time great disc jockeys:

("Big Daddy" Tom Donahue, Bruce Morrow, Alan Freed, Casey Kasem, and Jocko Henderson) 

(Howard Stern, Kid Leo, Scott Shannon, Hy Lit, and Robert W. Morgan

As with any lists, there is controversy. A smattering of reaction:  

  • "No Larry Lujack? No John "Records" Landecker ? No Ron Lundy or Joe Niagra or Arnie Ginsburg? No Real Don Steele or Don Imus? And Stern? Who fought tooth and nail to music OFF his show on WNBC?” – Sandy Wells

  • “How about Al Jarvis who originated the Make Believe Ball Room and Dick Whittinghill?” – Robert Fox

  • “Great stuff, but I was also expecting The Real Don Steele on KHJ and Emperor Bob Hudson on KRLA and or KGBS.” - Bill Taylor

  • “They must have lost my photo :-)” – Harvey Kern

  • “Damn. I did not make the list again.” – Roger Carroll

Email Tuesday

We GET Email …

** When God Made Paul Drew

“I have a friend who is the Monsignor of St. Columba Episcopal Church in Fresno.  He'd heard of the passing of Paul Drew, and knowing that I was a ‘radio guy,’ he said that Paul met God a couple of days ago, and he noted that God was wearing a small earpiece, attached to a transistor radio....in his robe pocket, just to make Paul feel welcome.” – Joe Collins

** Wow

"Jerry Kaye sure has gotten confused on his KROQ email story. He has mashed up the KROQ-AM 1500, KROQ/fm/KPPC/fm 106.7 and KPPC-AM 1230 stories with dates and events that are scrambled.  Guess it does not matter but it is weird to read it like it was fact." - Douglas Brown, KBBQ-KROQ-AM/FM 1972-74


“My radio idol wanted to beat the crap out of me”

By Ken Levine, http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/

(May 20, 2013) Readers seem to enjoy my radio war stories, otherwise entitled: 'One Disc Jockey’s Mediocre Career.' Several of you have requested I write a book about them. Buy my current book first. But to tease you, here’s another Top 40 tale. 

In the fall of 1974 I had finally made the big(ish) time. I was hired to do the evening shift on K100, Los Angeles. This was the first time I was on the radio in my hometown, and even more exciting – the station was owned by Drake/Chenault, the same consultants who created Boss Radio KHJ. And most of the disc jockeys were former KHJ Boss Jocks. The great Robert W. Morgan (l) did mornings and The Real Don Steele did afternoons. As Beaver Cleaver, I got to follow the Real Don Steele. Forget that I had to play Billy, Don’t be a Hero and You’re Having My Baby every ten minutes – how cool was that?

Robert W. Morgan was one of my idols. He was the complete package. Great voice and wickedly funny. Within three weeks of my joining K100, Morgan almost drove down to the station with the intent of sending me to the emergency room.  

Here’s what happened: 

After my first week the station began a contest called “The Secret Stash.” Ten items (like stereos, trips, motorcycles – things kids wanted back then besides drugs) were in “The Secret Stash” and the first listener who could identify all ten would win them all. We took a contestant every hour and also provided hourly worthless clues. We would tell the contestants when they correctly named an item and eventually listeners were closing in on all ten. The contest took about a week.  

When someone finally got the last one, the jock on the air was required to make a huge deal of it. The recording of that exchange was then used as a station promo for several days.  

Usually you like your best jock to be the one on that promo. In this case, it was Robert W. Morgan. So once nine of the ten items were identified and we knew we were close, a giveaway clue was to be given on Morgan’s show. The next contestant would easily then win.  

So that was the plan. But the night before, on my show, the contestant got it right. I made the requisite big hoop-dee-doo, my voice was on the promo for the next week, and Morgan was steamed. I heard about this but what could I do? It wasn’t my fault the skeesix won.  

The station liked the contest so much they ran it again. Secret Stash #2 was rolled out. Same deal. Listeners narrowed down the items. We were primed to give it away the next morning on Robert W.’s show when, wouldn’t you know, a listener on my show got it right. So I’m screaming on the air how thrilled I am for this person while inside I’m going, “You stupid asshole! Do you have any idea how much trouble you’ve caused, you dick?”  

Sure enough, Morgan had had one or two adult beverages, called The Real Don Steele and said, “I’m going down to the station to beat the shit out of that kid!?"   

Now he had warned me beforehand that if I gave away Secret Stash #2 instead of him he would hurt me, but I just assumed that was an idle threat. But now I was thinking -- was it? I knew Morgan had a temper. What if

he did come down to the station? I hadn’t been in a physical altercation since the 7th Grade. I didn’t want to fight him. He was my idol. On the other hand, if your idol is kicking the crap out of you, that takes away some of the adoration. Would I swing back? Three weeks ago I was truly honored just being in the same room as him. Now I’m trying to get him in a headlock?  

Fortunately, Steele talked him out of driving to the station. He simmered down but wouldn’t talk to me for a month. Eventually we became very good friends. In his last year before succumbing to lung cancer I once joked with him. I said, “We never resolved this Secret Stash business. You want a piece of me? Come on. Let’s do it. Right now.” He looked up at me, in his somewhat frail state and said, “I could still take you.” He was probably right. 

God, I miss him.  I don't miss Billy, Don't Be a Hero though. 

Overheard.

  • “Just saw Star Trek: Into Darkness and all I can say is what a ride! Visually stunning and high octane for sure. Oh and while I won't give anything away, there are some twists and turns as well as homages to past Trek and its history that are quite nice, though I saw some of the plot developments coming way ahead of time. Bottom line, I loved it!” (Bryan Simmons)

  • “Here’s the cross Bette Midler has to bear … she had sex with Geraldo Rivera.” (Don Imus)

  •  “This is Las Vegas’ 108th birthday and the Golden Gate Casino helped mark the occasion by offering a photo display of the city’s history. Next up: a photo display of the history of  shrimp cocktail.” (Ira David Sternberg)

Hear Ache. Marsha and Larry Van Nuys celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary over the weekend. “We are as much in love as we were on day one. If you have that in your life, you're happy no matter what comes,” said the newsman. 

Email Monday 

We GET Email … 

** Gary Owens Birthday Mailer

 “This was, of course, the infamous Preparation H Christmas commercial, which Gary - being the mirthful person that he was [and still is] - had the presence of mind to have carted from the KMPC logger tape so he could play it every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas for years afterwards. 

Gary Owens is Funny with a capital ‘F,’ as in Foonman.” – K.M. Richards 

** Early LA Radio Pitfalls

“Enjoyed the history of KPPC AM. Worked for a few months @ KPPC/fm and just ignored the AM ‘godcasts’ when they were on. Just a cultural thing... 

Just for a giggle: 

When Burbank Broadcasting Co acquired KPPC - then renamed it KROQ, they had to, under orders from the FCC, get the station on the air pronto.  Sandy Beach [RIP] was initially hired on to do some engineering and transmitter work for the simulcast, and roll some takes. Previously he had been programming a cable music channel that I also worked on.  He called me and asked if I would do nights, live. I had previously worked @ KNAC and KOME in San Jose among others.   

We broadcast out of the transmitter bunker for many months until we moved to the Pasadena Hilton on a trade out.  Yes!  I drove my shiny Alfa Romero Duetto [like in The Graduate] up the fire road to the ridge where the bunker was, stopping along the way to move boulders out of the way!  KPPC AM was gone, but the joke was the AM station we were now simulcasting had the power of a light bulb [the signal wouldn't get over the Silver Lake/Griffith Park hills into LA] but, hey, we called it: The BIG 15! 

Typical ID was ‘Broadcasting at 106 point 7 fm and 15 hundred AM, the BIG 15, this is KROQ Pasadena' then I'd put on a longish jam and take transmitter readings and enjoy an adult beverage, etc. 

I can verify Mike's description of paydays.  Rarely was there enough money in the account to cash more than the first couple of checks. My West Hollywood landlady understood, but I got a Sierra Madre lawyer girlfriend so I could stay over, get my check early, crash-drive to the bank and cash it BEFORE Mike got there! 

Two other memories regarding paydays: 

The afternoon and night jocks had set up a signal with the station assistant who would instruct Bob Gowa to play, straight up at noon, John Prine's song Sam Stone with the lyrics 'there's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes...' if there was not enough money to cover payroll checks, so we wouldn't have to waste gas and drive into Pasadena unnecessarily. 

During a prolonged heavy smack session by those (ir)responsible unnamed, there was NO money in the account. DJ Bob Sala, a friend and I removed the last Scully from the production room [carrying it down a flight of stairs] to a waiting pick-up truck and held it hostage till we got our pay... two days later! Or was it three days? 

Such were the trials and tribulations of underground radio in LA back in the day when we were all feelin' like and Singin' Wharf Rat, Not Fade Away/Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad.  Appropriate.” - Jerry Kaye, aka Jerry The Junker, KROQ AM & FM, 1973-79 

** Scam Email on Your Nomination to Who’s Who

“Many broadcasters/LARP may be receiving this scam email:  

Good morning!

We wanted you to know that you received Honorable Mention in yesterday's article titled Who's Who in Radio and Journalism by Stephen Bozanek.

The article will remain available at www.newsdigest.co for the next few hours and is available for on-demand download and printing.

We wish you the best of continued success.

Sincerely, Lisa Davis, News Digest International

 

No article, no Bozanek, and no name in the greeting.  I urge everyone to ignore and delete it.  Google cites one danger of this particular scam:  if you click, that can confirm your email address which they can sell to more scammers...or worse.  And the domain of .co [note it's not  .com] can originate anywhere.” - Bill Kingman 


"The Voice Is a Dream Come True" - Carson Daly 




(May 19, 2013) A syndicated newspaper feature features AMP Radio morning man Carson Daly this weekend talking about The Voice:

Are you enjoying the show? "It's been a dream come true professionally, and personally, for my family. We were not sure about the fate of my late-night show, I just had a son and it came at a good time, workwise. People thought we were crazy to put another singing competition on."

Speaking of which, the market is so crowded with singing competitions. Why do you think this has taken off when others haven't? "We loved it, too, and we have to give credit to John de Mol and the guys who did it in Holland. That is where it was on and we fell in love with it, too. We just liked the pureness of it, hearkening back There is just snarky television. Does it even pay off to do anything for the right reasons? Is there a place for pure? In this day where you have to be beautiful and popular, yeah, they can sing, but what do they look like?"


Over $1.3 Million Raised for Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer 

(May 17, 2013) Some give lip service to public service projects, while others jump in with both feet. Over ten years ago, Don Imus and his wife Deirdre started a cattle ranch for kids with cancer. Every summer, 100 young boys and girls with cancer travel to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico for 10 days on the Imus Ranch that will encourage these kids in profound ways. 

The mission statement of the “Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer” states:  

“In 1998, the ranch was conceived and designed with the sole purpose of providing the experience of the great American cowboy to children suffering from cancer or serious blood disorders, and children who’ve lost brothers and sisters to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Our objectives are to encourage in them a sense of achievement, responsibility and self-esteem, and to instill pride and restore their dignity as they become aware of just how much they are able to accomplish. Many have become convinced that because they are sick they are not normal. At The Imus Ranch they quickly discover that they can do anything any other kid can do. Well over 1,000 kids have." 

The kids eat together, learn how to rope calves, ride horses and do chores on the four thousand acre ranch. One thing they can’t do is talk about cancer. He figures they get enough of that at home.

Don conducts a two-day on-air fundraiser for the ranch every year. Yesterday he announced that a total of $1,358,000 was raised. Imus claims that 100% of the proceeds go to running the ranch. Don and his wife Deidre, along with their son Wyatt run the ranch every summer. (Don himself donated $250,000 to the final total of the fundraiser this year.) 

“I got an email from Mel Karmazin. He was the best person I ever worked for in spite of the fact he would come over once a month and rag on me because we could never beat Howard Stern. He also made fun of the fact it looked like I married my daughter. He sent me an email saying, ‘If you think I still owe you, here’s $100,000 for the radiothon.’ I told him he did still owe me for being putting put into a position of working for Farid (Suleman).” 

"Karmazin told me that if all of my ex-bosses to contribute, you’d have more land in New Mexico than Ted Turner.”

KIIS nighttimer JoJo Wright gets his own kiss from KISS 

Hear Ache. The Thousand Oaks Library will be having a special reception celebrating the addition of the Frank Bresee radio collection to the American Radio Archives on Sunday May 19.  

Stern Second Home. Howard Stern is the likely buyer behind a $52 million private sale for a Palm Beach, Florida oceanfront house, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. The five-bedroom, 3.25 acre home sale marks the highest-dollar deal recorded this year in Palm Beach.

Two buildings sit on the lot with a grand total of 39,094 square feet of living space, inside and out. The main house has 18,673 square feet of air-conditioned space, and the smaller structure has 1,196 square feet under air, records show.

 Overheard. 

  • “I'm just glad that I'm not the guy who has to tell OJ that he's NOT getting a new trial.” (Marc Germain)

  •  “When someone sez to you, ‘hey, nice bowling shirt.’ Is that supposed to be a compliment?” (Jim Governale, KKLA)

  • "You can tell when boobs are fake. They are too close to each other." (Brian & Jill podcast)

  • "More people listen to this morning show than any other morning radio show in the world of radio." (Bill Handel, KFI)

Like Father, Like Son. Two-time NBA champion and Lakers radio analyst Mychal Thompson has much to be proud of these days. His middle son, Klay, plays for the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are in the playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs.

LARP Walks for Warriors. Cindy Young, formerly with KPCC and KLON, is now involved in a terrific cause and could use your help. She writes: “Fewer than 8 percent of Americans are veterans. Yet veterans make up more than a quarter of all homeless people and they are also over-represented among the unemployed. These are disturbing facts, and they're why I have chosen to show my support to heroes who have served, as well as those who are currently serving, in the Armed Forces by participating in Walk for Warriors Memorial Day 5K on Monday, May 27.” 

Register today at: www.walkforwarriors.org. 

Email Friday 

We GET Email … 

** LARadio Book

“I finally bought Adventures in Airtime and read it this evening. I never believed reading about radio sales people or management, of any sort, could be so interesting. The eBooks are a great idea.

Can't wait for Gary Owens.” – Dr. George Pollard, Conceptual Art Performer, Ottawa, Ontario

** They’re Everywhere

“I was having lunch at Philippe the Original in downtown L.A. today, and who sits down at the next table but [now former] KFWB/KNX'er John Brooks!   

‘I haven't been downtown since I retired,’ remarked John. He was there with some family members, only slightly disguised behind his new facial hair. I asked the stupid question, ‘So how's retirement?’ His answer, naturally, ‘Great!’” - Dave Kunz, KABC/Channel 7

** Paul Drew’s Death

“Very sad news.  Thanks for letting me know.  

Paul was very supportive of me, personally, dating back to my days programming KMBY in Monterey, my first programming assignment.

When I wrote my book, Radio Programming Tactics and Strategy, Broadcasting Magazine's Focal Press said they would need a favorable peer review before publishing it.  I suggested Paul Drew. He liked the book, and agreed to write the forward for it, and the book was published [and close to two decades later, is still in print - apparently having sold better than any other book on how to program radio stations, although it is clear it will never be a major motion picture!]  

Paul was also very supportive of the ‘Adult Contemporary Music Research Letter’ I've been putting out weekly for over 29 years now, and he followed the results. He called my attention a few years ago to what turned out to be the strongest-testing vocal we'd tested in our 29 years -- the original version of To Love You More by Celine Dion.  It was over 5 minutes long, and was being touted by a programmer famous for wanting records to be short!  Wherever the original version, which Paul imported from Japan where it was a tv show theme, was played, it blew out the phones.  When copies were made available for sale, they sold out immediately.    

Eventually Epic, rather annoyed about it since they had not intended to release the song here and hated to be forced to, did put it out in the U.S. - but with two minutes chopped out of it. The short version never tested even close to the original, so it never became the hit it should have in the U.S.  But if you want to get a strong listener reaction, even today, just play the full complete version of the song!  It is stunning.  Paul once again had demonstrated his uncanny sense of how the audience would react to a song, regardless of how radio people might feel about it.  

I will really miss Paul Drew.  He is with Bill Gavin, his great friend, now.” - Eric Norberg, Portland, OR 

** Drew Allowed Programmers Creativity

“I was lucky enough to attend a Paul Drew seminar in 1982. He was traveling America and presenting seminars to PD's, Air-Talent's and Wannabe's. It was that seminar in Cleveland that solidified the idea that I could systematize programming and yet allow programmers to be creative. People faulted Drake and Drew as stifling creativity. That was far from the truth. They understood how to coach talent [and pd’s on how to coach talent] to be creative and entertaining with efficiency in mind. Talents of their era were employing the principles of PPM that we employ today. “ – Mike McVay  

** Love/Hate Relationship with Paul Drew

“Thinking about my time with Paul Drew, who passed away May 16th. We had a real love/hate relationship. I was quite unhappy doing mornings at WLS and so I am grateful that he invited me back to LA as morning man at KHJ. 

I was not his choice to move up to program director at KHJ and I was well aware of his unhappiness at being out voted on my promotion. So, I never felt any real support from Paul for the efforts we were making at KHJ. Still, I did benefit from his opposition. I learned to really research my positions and be able to explain and defend them. I learned that a great program director cares about even the tiniest elements of the product. Paul encouraged all the program directors to find and hire the best quality people...people who might be capable of replacing you.  

When met with Paul's opposition or anger, I tried to take a measured approach in reply and it usually worked. I think over time, I learned a little more about why Paul chose the style of ‘motivation’ he selected. It never motivated me and it was never a style I tried. Still, we learn and grow from every experience and encounter.

In the last phone conversation I had with Paul a few months ago, he said, ‘I think part of our conflict was because you never trusted me.’ He was right. Still, it helped me grow to always be a little on the alert...never fully at rest with the product. So, for those reasons, I am grateful to have known Paul Drew. May he rest in peace.” – Charlie Van Dyke

** Drew Was CKLW

“So saddened to hear of Paul Drew's passing. He left his indelible mark on the style and excitement of music radio; it was a presentation that motivated an entire generation of us to join the biz. I remember my 'junior jock' friends and I taking advantage of ionosphere skip wave to spend many nights facing some distant tower, fine tuning our car radios to capture the magic.  

For me, it was CKLW, where the theater-of-the-mind and the audio chain were so maxed that a jock could say '800 kilocycles on your dial in Windsor' and it beamed into America as 'THE MOTOR CITY'S BIG 8!' 

RIP, sir.” – Randy West 


Paul Drew, Former RKO VP of Programming and Program Director at 93/KHJ, Dies 

(My 16, 2013) Paul Drew, a consultant to the RKO chain for many years and program director at 93/KHJ in 1973, has died. Recently he had moved into assisted living in Glendale, where died this morning, at the age of 78. 

He achieved much success with CKLW-Detroit and KFRC-San Francisco.  

In the 1950s, Paul worked at WDET-Detroit, WHLS-Port Huron and WGST-Atlanta. During the '60s Paul worked in Atlanta at WAKE and WQXI, and WIBG-Philadelphia.  

Paul grew up in Detroit. His first radio gig was at WCAR–Detroit while attending Wayne State University in 1953. He moved to Atlanta in 1957 to work at WGST.

In the early 1960s, Bill Drake and his wife moved into Paul’s apartment complex in Atlanta. 

In a 1977 interview with Radio and Records, Drew described how he left his job at WGST to work at WAKE:  

"So Bill and I, one morning, just the two of us in my apartment over probably the best cup of coffee I think either one of us have ever had, something in the water and something in the coffee that day, and we talked about it, and then I went to work at WAKE. The list was 40 records plus each jock had a pick hit. We didn't get to pick our own pick hit, which was picked for us."  

Soon after, owner Bartell sold WAKE. Bill Drake moved to sister station KYA in San Francisco. Drew remained at WAKE, but in 1963, he moved to WQXI-Atlanta where he eventually became program director. Drake's deal with RKO encouraged Drew to return to his hometown of Detroit as pd at CKLW in July 1967.   

Drew was later the Vice-President of Programming for RKO Radio. “Drew was very proud of the fact that RKO only had 2 VPs of programming - Paul Drew and Bill Drake,” remembered Charlie Van Dyke.

Gerry Cagle summed up Paul: “Perhaps Paul's greatest legacy lies in the success of those he hired - Jerry Clifton, Les Garland, Dave Sholin, Guy Zapolean, Bob Hamilton, Rick Bisceglia, Don Kelly, Harry Nelson, Rick Dees, Dave Martin, Gary Berkowitz, Walt "Baby" Love, Jerry Del Colliano, Bobby Ocean, and Charlie Van Dyke - a virtual Who's Who in the industry.”


Exclusive  Interview with New KRTH/KTWV Program Director, Rick Thomas 

(May 16, 2013) CBS/LA took the mystery out of who would replace KRTH/KTWV pd Jhani Kaye at the end of June.  The new pd for the two stations is Rick Thomas. The announcement caught many by surprise. When we caught up with him in Hawaii where Rick has been working for the past four years, he was still on cloud nine.

Rick grew up in New York and came to the Southland after high school. He was one of those radio junkies as a kid, and was bit by the radio bug at an early age: “In junior high I used to ‘play’ radio station with a turntable, mic and a walkie talkie and broadcast to the neighborhood.” 

As a kid he was first “hired” by Frankie Crocker at WBLS-New York. “I hung out in the lobby for almost two days before he gave me a job to get him Chinese take-out,” said Rick. “After a while I learned how to cart up songs, and run clubs with him, borrowing records from the dj at 3 a.m. so we could get them on 'BLS by 6 a.m. as a competitive advantage.” 

Rick would later move to the programming desk.  His first programming assignment was at WLUM-Milwaukee under owner Willie Davis. He spent time at KUTE in Los Angeles working with Lucky Pierre. He also worked in Tucson, Phoenix and at “Z90” in San Diego. For the past four years he was director of programming for the Ohana Broadcast Company’s cluster. The vp/gm of the cluster is Trip Reeb, former general manager at KROQ.

When Jhani elected to leave CBS/LA back in March, Kevin Weatherly (svp/programming) reached out to Rick.  In fact, Kevin and Rick were one-time competitors in San Diego. He then met with Steve Carver (CBS/LA market manager), Greg Strassell (svp/programming) and Peter Bowen (DOS). “The chemistry and idea sharing was awesome with all involved,” said Rick.

Even though it was an unfair question asking if he had any early thoughts on Southern California radio in general or his two new stations in particular, Rick did have an answer. “I inherit from Jhani, who I consider a legend, two great brands and serving the listeners of those stations will be my focus. I've built my career on being able to find better ways of connecting with, and satisfying people through great radio. I start on 6/17 and can’t wait to dive in and do that for these great LA brands.”

Star Gunked. George Junak, owner of California Aircheck, was in town for Mother’s Day and decided to take his kids to see Shotgun Tom Kelly's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “It was vandalized!” said a shocked George. 

“It had two pylons next to it and looked like it had something like cement or grout on top of it,” George continued. “’Gumdrop Lou’ was written in Magic Marker where Shotgun's name should have been. Shotgun says that they were probably polishing it up by putting some type of goo on the star, and then putting a hard surface over it; going back later to pull that off and then polish it up. Apparently, they wrote ‘Gumdrop Lou’ on it to screw with him.”

Overheard.

  • “Hugh Hefner is 87 and is married to Crystal Harris, 26. So apparently my wife won't be born until 2041.” (Christian Wheel, KRTH)

Hear Ache. Listen to 100.3/The Sound this morning and tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. with Joe Benson for a chance to win tickets to see the Rolling Stones next Monday … KJLH’s Steve Harvey kicks off the award nominations for this year’s 11th Annual Ford Neighborhood Awards show (formerly the Hoodie Awards). The event seeks the nation’s best community leaders, teachers, churches, businesses and more. 

Email Thursday 

We GET Email … 

** Vin Scully is True Voice of LA (LA Times)

“Thanks for the salute to Vin Scully, Don. 

Vin is a class person and broadcaster.  Like the late great Chick Hearn, Vin always does his homework before every game. 

I would often see Vin during pre-game warm activity interacting with players from both baseball teams.

Vin is a play-by-play announcer who is totally objective. 

Above all, Vin is a great story teller.   

Several years after the Dodgers arrived, I was with Walter O’Malley who brought the Dodgers to Los Angeles. 

I said, ‘Walter do you know why I am a Dodger fan?’ 

With a twinkle in his eye and without hesitate he said, ‘Vin Scully.’ 

Dodger fans appreciate Vin and when transistor radios came along and you were at a Dodger baseball game, Vin’s voice was everywhere.” - Joe Cosgrove 

** Loved Scully Piece

“What a piece on Vin Scully in the LA Times this week. 

I am looking forward to reading your new book this weekend.

I sent this to the Times

‘What a treat to read The Voice of L.A. on the op-ed page of the Times, especially since it was penned by the son of  the late voice of Los Angeles for 37 some odd years.  

We read about Doug's transformation from a Pirates fan to a Dodgers fan through Jack's column.  We learned about his love affair with motorcycles and we knew about his courtship and marriage to his French sweetheart through Spend All Your Kisses Mr. Smith.  We followed Curt's growing up in Mt. Washington and came to know and love the whole Smith clan.  

Now that some of the dust has settled from the bankruptcy and hopefully things are settling down at the Times, just think how wonderful it would be for another 37 years of having the name Smith on the 2nd page of the Times ad having two voices of Los Angeles.  Smith and Scully.” – Bill Mann, Pasadena 

** Who Is #1?

“I have noticed that for the last several ‘books’ you have printed the top radio morning show hosts in LA radio.  

I find it interesting that Bill Handel is number 1 for 12+ but he does not even crack the top five in the other two demos you report. Since one of the demo's goes to age 54, how does Handle do it? Is his audience either really young or really old? Is there some magic of which I am unaware? Does anyone have any answers?

Just curious.” - Sterrett Harper, President. Harper Claims Service, Inc., Burbank


Morning Favorites 

April '13 Persons 12+ 6a - 10a

1. Bill Handel (KFI)
2. Kevin & Bean (KROQ)
3. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
    Valentine (MY/fm)
5. Eddie "Piolín" Sotero (KSCA)
April '13 Persons 18-34 6a- 10a

1. Kevin & Bean (KROQ)
    Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
3. Big Boy (KPWR)
4. Carson Daly (AMP Radio)
5. Eddie "Piolín" Sotero (KSCA)
April '13 Persons 25-54 6a - 10a

1. Kevin & Bean (KROQ)
2. Valentine (MY/fm)
3. Ryan Seacrest (KIIS)
4. Eddie "Piolín" Sotero (KSCA)
5.
Renán "El Cucuy" Almendárez Coello (KLAX)

Doctor Kimmel 

(May 15, 2013) Jimmy Kimmel was back in New York this week to host the sales upfront dog and pony show for ABC. While on the East coast, he stopped in to visit with Kelly Rippa and Michael Strahan. On the show, Jimmy announced that he is getting an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, UNLV.

Strahan himself recently received his honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Texas Southern University. While Straham didn’t know he would be receiving a doctorate, Kimmel said he willed his to happen. He joked he has even been practicing for the day by prescribing medication to people and diagnosing all the illnesses of his staff.

“My fiancé’s brother is an actual doctor,” said Kimmel. “He went to ‘medical school’ for eight years. I dropped out yet I am still going to be a doctor.” 

Kimmel said the one thing he is hoping to happen at least once in his life is someone yelling, “Is there a doctor in the house,” so he can walk over and explain he how he received an honorary doctorate.

Kimmel Upfront. Jimmy Kimmel addressed the New York media buyers and ad agency folk to encourage them to spend money “upfront” before the new shows are aired on the network. Deadline.com has the full transcript. Here are some highlights:

  • “You’ve seen what we have so far. By show of hands, we’re going to let you vote 1 new show off our schedule. Which will it be?  

  • This is my 11th year coming to this event and so far this is what I’ve been able to determine. This process is very similar to going to a strip club. We parade out the girls which are the shows to get you excited, and then spend the rest of the night trying to get your money, and tomorrow you have herpes. 

  • Every year we tell you we have a dozen great new shows that people are going to love, and you give us millions of dollars and we put them on and most of them suck, but here’s what’s crazy: Next year you’ll come back and do it again. Every year I wonder, what is wrong with these people?

  • But that’s not why we’re here. The reason we’re here is because you are about to invest billions of dollars in a network that rolled a 400-lb. comedian off a diving board last week.

  • And yes, it’s true, every year our audience does get smaller. To which I say every year Apple products get smaller and nobody has a problem with that. One of the shows previewed today was written by a 3rd grade class – your challenge tonight is to figure out which one it was. 

  • This has been a tumultuous year for late night television. NBC, as you know, is replacing Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show. They did a lot of research and they found that by being #1 in his time slot, he was embarrassing their other shows so they had to get rid of him. Jimmy Fallon will replace him. You know, a lot of people still confuse me with Jimmy Fallon. Here’s an easy way to remember which of us is which. He’s the one who sings and plays the guitar, I’m the one who comes here every year and calls you assholes. 

  • It was a season of many ups and downs for us here at ABC. Our celebrity diving show Splash didn’t go as well as we’d hoped. But we have a great idea for next season. Next season we’re taking the water out of the pool and calling it Splat

  • I just want to take a minute to salute the great Barbara Walters. As you know, Barbara is leaving ABC after more than 50 years, to have a baby. My baby. I love you Barbara. Where is Barbara, is she still here? She left before…? Well, we’ll have it terminated. 

  • You have a difficult job this week. You have to somehow figure out which if any of these new shows is going to be successful, which is something we can’t figure out, and we made them. But the thing that’s important to remember is that last year NBC made a show starring a monkey and a lot of you bought advertising on it. So clearly none of us have any idea what we’re doing. As the old saying goes, you can’t polish a turd, but you can buy $100M in ad time on it. So let’s do that. Let’s go in on a turd together."

Hear Ache. Former KRLA morning co-host Heidi Harris has returned to her hometown of Las Vegas and is providing a daily three-minute feature, “Heidi Harris Files,” that runs 3 times a day on a local station, KBET … Former KYSR jock Skip Kelly has joined WWJK-Jacksonville as program director … The former KDAY personality and 2009 Academy Award winner Mo’nique (l) has dropped an amazing 82 pounds … Mike Huckabee got his hand caught in the cookie jar recently when he told the Arkansas Business that within the month he would decide if he wanted to continue his radio show or not.  “I’ve got to always weigh how much time I’m putting in it and what the return is.  How long it will take to make it what I call hopefully, disgustingly, profitable.” Apparently it didn’t sit so well with the Dickeys, who run Cumulus Media, syndicators of Huckabee’s program. The next day Huckabee said he’s hoping to continue his daily talk show. “I’m hoping that we're going to continue right on.  That's my plan and my hope and so there's nothing to report other than I'll be on the air today and next week and, as far as I know, for the long term to come.  I've enjoyed it.  It's been a terrific outlet for me.”  … KCLU, an NPR affiliate, is expanding its reach to include northern Santa Barbara County and southern San Luis Obispo County on 89.7/fm in Santa Maria. KCLU plans to begin broadcasting to listeners in the Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria, Lompoc, Nipomo, Guadalupe and the Five Cities area on June 18.

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** Quatro de Mayo

“How delightful a surprise to see my skinny face smiling at me from your page the other morning! THANKS for reminding LARP that I'm still alive! 

Poor Humble Harve; so miserable in the photo, and even more so in my attempt to engage him in conversation.  

I took a peek at Adventures in Airtime via the Amazon preview function. I love it! What a brilliant idea to capture the magical and inspiring stories of these radio greats. Can't wait to read Volume 1 and as many subsequent volumes as you are inspired to write.” – Randy West

 

** MIA

“What a great site you have at LARadio.com. I used to be a producer of the Harrison's Mike radio show on KMET back in the 80s, and I was also a producer of Mike Harrison's syndicated ‘Great American Radio Show’ at Westwood One then. And I was music librarian at KWEST.  

I'm currently a unit publicist for movies with a website, wolfschneiderusa.com.  

Anyhow, the reason I am contacting you is because I have been thinking about an old radio friend from the 80s - Jack Morris, who was Jim Ladd's partner at Inner-View and the president of Inner-View. Jack has been on my mind and I am wondering if you know how to get in touch with him these days. 

All the best." - Wolf Schneider, wolfschneider1@gmail.com 


SCBA Announces Thom Callahan as New President 

(May 14, 2013) The Board of Directors of Southern California Broadcasters Association has announced that industry veteran, Thom Callahan, has been named to lead the organization as its new President. Thom was most recently president of Callahan Communications, a firm focused on growing its clients’ business, strategic planning for brand awareness, and new market development. Previously, Callahan was director of sales for Radiate Media, based in Los Angeles. With over 30 years of broadcast and digital platform experience in sales, sales management, research, content, new product development, and emerging markets, Thom has held senior management positions with The Associated Press, CBS Radio, Metro Networks, and Anheuser-Busch.

 

Twice nominated as Radio Network News Executive of the Year, Callahan has been a guest speaker and moderator for NAB sponsored events on a variety of topics to the radio industry over the past 11 years. He has served as a member of the AP Radio advisory board, and has served on the advisory boards of the Ad Clubs in three cities. 

“Thom brings to the SCBA a wealth of media knowledge and executive expertise,” adds SCBA chairman of the board and CBS/LA svp/market manager, Steve Carver. "He is a true advocate for radio, with a history of collaborating with diverse groups to achieve a common goal.” 

Callahan will begin his duties in Los Angeles on June 3, 2013.


MY/fm Alone at the Top 

(May 14, 2013) In the February '13 Arbitron Monthly PPM for Persons 6+, KBIG (MY/fm) tied for 1st place with KIIS. In the just just-released April '13 survey, the Hot AC station proved it was not an anomaly, finishing the month at the top, a full tenth of a point in front of second place KIIS. Andrew Jeffries is pd at top-rated MY/fm and #3 KOST. Here are the Top 40 stations for April with the March numbers listed first:

1. KBIG (MY/fm) 5.5 - 5.5
2. KIIS (Top 40/M) 5.8 - 5.4
3. KOST (AC) 4.6 - 4.7
4. KAMP (Top 40/M) 4.3 - 4.1
    KFI (Talk) 4.2 - 4.1
6. KPWR (Top 40/R) 4.0 - 3.9
7. KHHT (HOT 92.3) 3.3 - 3.7
    KRTH (Classic Hits) 3.6 - 3.7
9. KSCA (Regional Mexican) 3.3 - 3.5
10. KROQ (Alternative) 3.3 - 3.4

11. KLVE (Spanish Contemporary) 3.0 - 3.2
12. KNX (News) 2.9 - 2.9
      KRCD (Spanish Adult Hits) 3.0 - 2.9
14. KBUE (Regional Mexican) 3.0 - 2.8
      KTWV (The WAVE) 3.0 - 2.8
16. KKGO (Country) 2.3 - 2.6
      KLAX (Regional Mexican) 2.6 - 2.6
18. KSWD (The Sound) 2.5 - 2.5
19. KCBS (JACK/fm) 2.3 - 2.4
20. KYSR (Alternative) 2.4 - 2.3
21. KLOS (Classic Rock) 2.1 - 2.0
      KPCC (News/Talk) 1.6 - 2.0
23. KLYY (Spanish Adult Hits) 1.7 - 1.7
      KSPN (Sports) 1.7 - 1.7
25. KFSH (Christian Contemporary) 1.6 - 1.6
      KXOL (Latin Urban) 1.7 - 1.6
27. KDAY (Rhythmic AC) 1.3 - 1.3
28. KHJ (Regional Mexican) 1.3 - 1.2
29. KCRW (Variety) 1.1 - 1.0
      KUSC (Classical) 1.1 - 1.0
      KWIZ (Spanish Variety) 1.0 - 1.0
32. KDLD (Regional Mexican) 1.2 - 0.9
      KJLH (Urban AC) 0.9 - 0.9
34. KABC (Talk) 0.9 - 0.8
      KLAC (Sports) 0.5 - 0.8
      KSSE (Spanish Contemporary) 0.8 - 0.8
      KXOS (Spanish AC) 0.8 - 0.8
38. KKJZ (Jazz) 0.5 - 0.5
39. KFWB (News/Talk) 0.5 - 0.4
       KRLA (Talk) 0.4 - 0.4
       KTNQ (Spanish Talk) 0.4 - 0.4

New PD at K-EARTH/KTWV.  Who would replace Jhani Kaye at the programming helm of K-EARTH and KTWV, the WAVE? There has been much speculation for the past couple of months. Yesterday afternoon LARadio newsletter subscribers got the word first that Rick Thomas (l) got the job. The announcement was made by Steve Carver, svp/market manager for the CBS/LA cluster. Thomas will assume his new role at the Classic Hits and Smooth AC stations beginning on Monday, June 17.  
Thomas has extensive experience as a programmer, consultant and on-air personality. He worked at KYLD-San Francisco, XHTZ-San Diego, and KSFM-Sacramento.  Throughout much of the 90s Thomas worked for New World Communications, Jerry Clifton's consulting group.

A line in the CBS/LA press release might provoke some concern at KTWV. "Thomas is also credited with developing rhythmic oldies and rhythmic AC formats in various markets which led to unprecedented ratings at XHRM-San Diego and at KUMU in Honolulu, where he has served for the past four years as director of programming for the Ohana Broadcast Company’s cluster." Will he bring that expertise to KTWV and go up against Top 10 favorite at Clear Channel, HOT 92.3?

“I’m beyond thrilled that Rick is joining CBS Radio in Los Angeles and he is the perfect choice to program K-EARTH and The Wave,” said CBS/LA vp of programming Kevin Weatherly. “I had the privilege of competing directly against Rick in my first pd job in San Diego, so I know we are getting a warrior and a winner to lead these two great stations.”

“Rick has a passion for radio, terrific instincts, thinks strategically and knows the Southern California market,” added Carver.

"I am absolutely thrilled at the privilege of caring for K-EARTH 101 and The Wave,” said Thomas. "I’m looking forward to working in concert with Steve Carver, Greg Strassell, Kevin Weatherly and the entire CBS/LA team to grow these two elite and heritage L.A. brands and to take the stations to new levels of success."

Reactions to Rick Thomas' Appointment. Paul B. Anderson, radio manager/agent, has high praise for Thomas. "He's a very smart and strategic programmer who understands the power of strong personalities. I think he will do a great job for CBS."

Rich Brother Robbin hired Thomas at his stations in Tucson. "He's a helluva good guy," emailed Rich. "It just kinda scares me when one of 'my boys' gets a job that big. It is probably the same kind of thing parents experience when their kid hits the mother lode! I'm really proud."

Chris Hughes worked with him for a few months in Honolulu. "Then I worked for him remotely while I voicetracked their mainstream CHR morning show for another year before they changed format. He did a good job in Hawaii turning the stations around, especially KUMU. Actually he did a great job considering the technical and resource limitations he was faced with at the beginning. I look forward to seeing what he can do at CBS here in LA since that operation has its act together." 

Rick Jagger, mornings at Magic 92.5 in San Diego, sees no big changes at either station. "He will just 'mind the status quo' ... just jay'n!" 

Billy Burke says Rick is a winner! "Worked for him twice. Jammin' Z90-San Diego and KSFM in Sacramento. He took both stations to #1. He works 7 days a week and is relentless in his pursuit." 

Monday – Friday 5A-9A – Persons 12+  
Stations Ranked by: Average Persons
Summer
2003 Arbitron Maximi$er METRO Survey Area

 

  1. Bill Handel (KFI)

  2. Eddie ‘Piolin’ Sotelo (KSCA)

  3. Kevin & Bean (KROQ)

  4. Steve Harvey (KKBT)

  5. Big Boy (KPWR)

  6. Howard Stern (KLSX)

  7. Tom Haule / Linda Nunez (KNX)

  8. Omar Velasco / Argelia Atilano (KLVE)

  9. Juan Carlos Hidaldo (KLAX)

  10.  Rick Dees (KIIS)

  11.  Ken & Company (KABC)

  12.  Mark & Brian (KLOS)

  13.  Mark & Kim (KOST)

  14.  Judy Ford / Dave Williams (KFWB)

  15.  Dave Koz (KTWV)  

 Hear Ache. Board-op switching at KFI. Ten-year veteran Larry Robbins is now working the board with Bill Handel. Todd Wilson is moving to another shift. Michelle Kube, executive producer for the Bill Handel Show explains: "Pretty easy, Robin Bertolucci [pd] switched some shifts around and this was one of them. This shift actually works better for Todd because he's been wanting to get back into some of his Improv stuff after his major motion picture debut in Serial Buddies and was not able to do that while working the morning shift. As you know, it's a killer shift to work, and it's not for everyone. We will miss him very much, but now we have to pick up and move forward." … Speaking of Handel, after his much-publicized bariatric surgery that resulted in Bill losing 100 pounds, he’s now giving testimonials for the Lindora Weight Loss Program to manage an unwanted 20 pounds.


Can the Radio Station Overcome Smothering Debt and Become a Viable Business Again?
By Mike Kinosian, Managing Editor, RadioInfo.com 

(May 13 2013)  “Chalk it up to misreading the economic tealeaves or perhaps to good old-fashioned avarice, but several radio groups have fallen victim to the, “(S)he who has the most toys, wins” hypothesis.

“Winners” managing to run the board in today’s all too real game of Radio Monopoly are rewarded by becoming further ensconced in deeper, darker, debt. 

Administer sodium pentothal to a cross-section of radio managers and the overwhelming majority will vociferously state that, owing to its cookie-cutter nature and mounting pressure to deliver grossly unrealistic percentages to the bottom line, the business is no longer fun. Countless executives at high-billing, strong ratings performing outlets have been unduly placed in the gut-wrenching position of laying off personnel and making other vital cutbacks – forced to share the load of paying for what could be considered out-of-control acquisition sins at the corporate level. 

Capitalism has functioned exceptionally well for years, so to be clear, this is not a condemnation of mammoth radio groups, nor a suggestion that they are run by evil, incompetents. 

There can however be hiccups such as the painful one we are witnessing with revenue survival. 

Those who did not overly-consolidate or did not allow themselves to be enthralled with the “biggest is best” notion seem to be in a better position to thrive.  

Read the complete Mike Kinosian story. 

Overheard.

  • “I’ve been to a table read with Chevy Chase. It is Shangri-La. It’s like Brigadoon – it only shows up once in a while but it is unique.” (Dennis Miller, KRLA)

  • “Has any new great radio ever got its start in a major market?” (George Johns, radio consultant)

  •  “OJ Simpson is back in a Las Vegas courtroom for the appeal of his 2008 conviction. It’s a tough battle for Simpson, so he’s taking the gloves off.” (Ira David Sternberg)

  • “A restaurant keeping kosher is insanely expensive. It is a very tough way to go.” (Bill Handel, KFI)

Hear AcheChuck Southcott donated the KMPC Marconi award to Thousand Oaks Library as part of its radio history museum which will, at last, soon also feature all the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters memorabilia. In fact, the library will celebrate the donation of the Frank Bresee collection … Debra Mark was one of the last broadcasters doing news at KABC. She wrote to say that she is no longer with Total Traffic, KABC’s news service. “As you know, the company moved to Long Beach,” emailed Debra. “I was being allowed to anchor from my home studio and then boom, they said no one was allowed to work from home anymore and well, the rest is history.” She is now doing fill-in anchoring at KPCC, and also reporting for a show that airs on KCAL/Channel 9 called Best Deals TV Show.

Quatro de Mayo. Kevin Gershan served up a GREAT Cinco de Mayo party in the backyard of his Toluca Lake home, complete with mariachi band, margaritas, and catered Mexican food.

A number of LARPs were enjoying the festivities. In addition to the photo of Humble Harve, Randy West, and Scott St. James, others seen: Keri Tombazian, Neil Ross, John Felz, Dave Sebastian Williams, Mary Price, Richard Turnage, and Johnny Magnus.

Garman in New Film. KROQ’s Ralph Garman will be one of the stars of Seth MacFarland’s new western-themed comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West. He’ll be shooting in New Mexico. 

Plug Pulled on Jonesy’s Jukebox. John Barth of Rancho Santa Margarita wonders what happened to Jonesy's Jukebox, hosted by Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols, Sunday nights on KROQ. With no warning, the show is gone. “It was an absolutely wonderful show for discovering new alternative music,” said John.Jones offered this comment: “Just thanking everyone who came along for the ride—it was a blast.” A rep for Jones added: “It was time to move on so he could pursue his growing film/TV career, work on a new Sex Pistols release of archival performance footage, and develop his own podcast.”

The Great Gatsby. Saw The Great Gatsby over the weekend, which I liked a lot. Expecting to see a house filled with old farts, I was pleasantly surprised to see the demographics of those in the theatre ranging from teens to – well, old farts.

Sitting in front of us were eight college girls all dressed in flapper costumes with the long pearls and feather headbands. They had a ball during the over-the-top glitzy musical numbers. Nice audience participation.

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** World of Radio

“I just wanted to pass on our congratulations to you for having been asked to continue the Gary Lycan column in the OC Register. We are looking forward to the many changes in our world of radio.

I was originally going to ask you why we don't report on all aspects of radio but then I came to the realization that not all of it is of common interest.

Thank you for all of your work in keeping up with what interest most of us in the World of Radio!” - Bill Fisher, Southern California Area DXer's (SCADS) (still hanging in by a thread)


THR.com


Recent Dial-Global reunion (thanks to Laurie Allen for photo)


Jami Mayberry Faces Challenges

Jami Mayberry is a four-year veteran of KYMS in the 1990s. She recently announced on Facebook that she is now a part of a club no one wants to be in. “The cancer club,” said Jami. “I have debated whether to post further about this but I believe in the power of prayer. So I am humbling myself and I say the more people praying for my health the better! Friday I was diagnosed. They think they caught it early. I have an appointment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston on the 14th with surgery after that. I am doing remarkably well and have maintained my sense of humor.”

Jami said there is never a convenient time to get cancer. “I never dreamed in a million years I would get it, but this is a perfect time. I'm back home on my beloved Texas soil, I've achieved everything I wanted to in radio and am proud of my 34 year career [still going], and am only an hour from one of the top cancer centers in America. My doctor is fast-tracking me to get in and get the surgery at MD Anderson and if it isn't in any lymph nodes I won't even have to have chemo! Please say a prayer for healing and for the surgeon to have God leading his hands as he operates on me.”

Hear Ache. Remember Edison Lighthouse’s Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)?  David Swain not only remembers the song but KRLA/1110’s Emperor Bob Hudson used to intro the song, “Where Bambi goes nothing grows!” … Oklahoma City Thunder is still in the NBA playoff series, which means that former Clippers radio voice Matt Pinto is still doing the radio play-by-play for the Thunder … Nancy Plum checked in from Lexington. “Now and then I do fill in news, traffic, and remotes for the Cumulus stations in Lexington,” emailed Nancy. “I also promote the 90-day ‘Body by Vi’ challenge. Life in Kentucky is GOOD! My book is nearly finished and ready to be published later this year.” … KNX’s Pat Haslam thinks that it is over for the Angels this season and the team will never make post-season play. “At 11-21 there are 130 games left,” said Pat. “In order to make the playoffs, the Angels must win 80 of the 130 games to win the likely minimum of 91 games needed to go to the post season. It AIN'T gonna happen. They suck. Time to clean house for next year!”

March of SupportMike Johnson, long-time operations director for Saul Levine’s broadcast group, got the idea to do a show focusing on the "March of Dimes" and the great work done by the charity. “Sheri A. Lunn (Director of Communications) was my guest and she and I had a great conversation on my program ‘Tuned In’ that airs Sunday mornings at 5:30 a.m. on Go Country 105, KJAZZ 88.1 and K-MOZART 1260AM.”

The March of Dimes acknowledged Mike’s work with a plaque. “I am rarely at a loss for words, but this did it! And a very special thank you to Marjory Ackerman Ross who posted about the March and got the idea rolling for me. Today is what I call a good day at the radio."

 

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** Book on LA Radio Station History

“I second the opinion that Jim Hilliker should do a book on Radio in LA. The archive that he has been able to put together is downright amazing. He has not only the histories of the legacy stations we still hear today, but even stations that have disappeared without a trace.

There are many stories where radio is at the center of big events in LA which could be told from the perspective of the stations; Aimee Semple McPherson's KFSG & Robert Schuler's KGEF for example, and the rise of Hollywood as a national broadcast origination point because the movie stars were all here is a story in itself.” - Jerry Trowbridge 


A LARP on the TIME List of Most Influential People of 2013

(May 9, 2013) TIME Magazine recently published the 2013 Most Influential People listing. Many of the expected names to appear on the list were Barack Obama, Steven Spielberg, Aamir Khan, Jennifer Lawrence, Pope Francis, and Joe Biden. On the list is former KROQer Jimmy Kimmel. “They don’t rank you,” Jimmy told Kevin & Bean, “but I’m at least in the top 14. There’s a woman who cured a baby of HIV on this list so I must be ahead of her.”

Hear AcheCindy Scull, former KLOS and KNACer from the 1990s, has returned to morning drive at KEGL-Dallas … Veteran Richard Blade is live this morning on KTLA/Channel 5 Morning News from the New Wave Bar with Allie MacKay. “I have to be there at 4:45 a.m.,” said the former morning KROQ co-host. “That's like when I used to get up and do the morning show withRaymondo! Now the question is - what 80's outfit to wear?” … Dial Global formally announced that Ryan Fox, former morning man at KKGO, is filing the morning drive slot for its Hot Country format.  He’ll be on more than 100 affiliates across the country …Todd Leitz, former KFWB and KNX newsman, performed the National Anthem Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. “I had the pleasure of seeing some old friends and colleagues at the ballpark while representing MySafe:LA and the LAFD,” said Todd. “A great night at the Ravine, except for the final score … Former KZLA pd RJ Curtis takes over the Nashville office of AllAccess … Ford Michaels is in his 28th year as a Coachella Valley broadcaster.  

Biggest Losing Couple. JACK/fm AE Stephanie Anderson appeared on the Biggest Loser tv reality show during the 2010 season. Another contestant, Sam Poueu, became smitten with Stephanie and by episode three they were flirting. They started dating after the show ended. They married in April 2012. Collectively they lost 241 pounds in body weight (Stephanie lost over 100 pounds). The media fell in love with the love story.

They married in the same San Francisco Catholic Church where her parents had wed 39 years earlier, according to a story in the London Daily Mail. The wedding came 8 months after Sam almost died after falling 54 feet from a fire escape. Sam woke up in hospital with a punctured lung, severed kidney, shattered pelvis, fractured tibia, and traumatic brain injury after his accident in September 2011.

Now there is a new reality. The seven-months-pregnant Anderson is announcing that the couple is splitting.

 

Hendrie and Syndicator Split. You get to decide the facts in this story. Did Phil Hendrie resign from Talk Radio Network as his syndicator or did TRN drop him. Yesterday morning TRN ceo Mark Masters said in his release that he was dropping the Phil Hendrie Show, “I believed in Phil then, and I still think he is a comic genius on-air.  He will always be a radio icon to me. We are proud to have rebuilt the Phil Hendrie show by adding over 100 stations, along with creating robust growth to Phil’s online presence, but, due to world events, the economy, and the state of radio in this country, we have decided to go in another direction in that daypart – we wish Phil all the best in his future endeavors.”

TRN began syndicating the program in 2007 after it had been parted from its original syndicator – Premiere Networks – for about a year. 

Not sure which press release came first but both came within the hour.  From Amir Forester Public Relations: “Phil Hendrie has elected not to pursue any further association with Talk Radio Network.  As he delves deeper into his successful digital platform and ongoing television and film work, Hendrie remains open to terrestrial radio opportunities, but only those with strong sales, marketing and programming support.”

What do you think? Or does it really make a difference in the scheme of things. His show is airing at 2 a.m. on KTLK.

Email Thursday

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** The High Cost of Rush from the Daily Beast

Rush Limbaugh will be around as long as he wants to keep working. I'll betcha all these failing radio types are Democrats. The Democrat radio failing all the LEFT WINGERS are listening to Rush.

Don, hope all is well with you. I am now getting the Orange County Register  since you will be writing about radio stuff.

I really like the paper. I canceled the LA Times some time ago.” – Roger Carroll   

“It Was the Darkest Chapter of My Life” – Michael Savage  

(May 8, 2013) “It was two of the darkest years of my life,” said Michael Savage. He responded to a caller’s question during his syndicated talk show earlier this week. “I don’t sue people. I did this to save my life. It was my last chance to have freedom. The lawsuit speaks for itself. The arbitration award was very clear. It took two years to get justice in arbitration. It drove me nuts. I thought it would be quicker and cheaper and it wasn’t.”  

A federal judge in California upheld an arbitration panel’s decision, releasing Savage from a contract with Talk Radio Network (TRN), his former syndicator. Savage’s lawyer said the victory establishes the ability of radio talent to break away from an employer like any other employee. Radio hosts, he explained, have been bound by restrictive clauses in their contracts that treat them like businesses instead of regular employees. In the past, this law allowed broadcasting corporations to enforce non-compete agreements with radio hosts that would otherwise be illegal if applied to individual employees. 

Some compared this ruling to the legal wrangling back in the 1970s, eventually leading to free agency in baseball.  Last year, the arbitration panel awarded Savage over $860,000, his previously withheld wages, and ownership of all of his archived radio programs.  One thing Savage learned was that going to court may now be cheaper and faster than the arbitration process: 

"Arbitration is not that cheap if you have an opponent that wants to work the system, you may be stuck in arbitration and run up a big bill. We won the arbitration fair and square. It was three to zero. The judge was appointed by President Obama, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. She’s a liberal judge and I thought anything can happen. There was no guarantee the federal judge would find in my favor. It was clear that I won. Going back to the federal system is the gamble the other side took. But it turns out she actually read the law. She did an amazing job. I was astounded how hard she worked in analyzing every argument against the award. She overturned every one of them." 

Savage learned yesterday that TRN is going to appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. “Let them do it with my blessings because the percentage of cases overturned by the 9th Circuit in a case like this is about zero. There’s no reason to overturn it. It is just an attempt to avoid paying me what they owe me in plain English. That’s how I see it. It was the darkest chapter in my life.” 

Savage offered some final thoughts: "I want to tell all of you who listen to me and my show, never ever go to court if you can avoid it. There are people who thrive on hurting you with lawsuits because they know what it does to people. It was the worst two years of my life. It took a great toll on me physically and mentally and I can never get those years back nor the physical health that it took from me. I will leave vengeance to God, because karma is a you-know-what. You will get it in the end. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. And the smaller they are, the harder they fall." 

His program, The Savage Nation, is now syndicated by Cumulus Media Networks. 

Cumulus Media Off. Cumulus Media, the corporate owners of KLOS and KABC, announced 2013 first quarter revenues of $232 million, down 1.3% from the same period last year. Cumulus attributes the drop to “lower political revenues and general lower advertising spending in some of our markets.”  

KGO-San Francisco and KLOS are the two stations Cumulus is most focused on right now. Cumulus Media ceo Lew Dickey said KGO is not fixed. "We changed from talk to news and we are still working our way through that." He said the retirement of longtime morning team Mark & Brian had a big impact on revenue and and ratings. Frank & Heidi replaced Mark & Brian after they retired. Dickey said, "The ratings took a dip, they are building back up, but that takes time to be reflected in the ratings. That has had a material impact on our effort here." 

Commenting on their general state of affairs, Dickey said: “With the integration and turnaround of the Citadel assets now largely behind us, we are investing in several key content initiatives to drive growth beginning in the back half of this year and accelerating into 2014.”  He said that new initiatives will lead to future growth. “We will post positive year-to-date revenue growth through May and expect our investments in CBS Sports Radio, Traffic, Nash and SweetJack to contribute meaningfully to our cash flow beginning in Q4 of this year.”  

Dickey acknowledged there are still issues in one major area, stating, “the syndicated talk segment continues to be challenged." 

Overheard. 

 

Frazer Smith and Peter Crabbe's interview with Billy Vera of Billy Vera and the Beaters! Click the artwork for a lively one hour -  FASCINATING - discussion of Billy's life 

Email Wednesday

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** All Things Radio

“Thank you so much for keeping me informed on all things radio. I really looked forward to Gary Lycan’s writing every week. I am a fan of all genres so I read it all. He informed me of people and programs I would not have known about, as well as giving me info on the guys/gals I grew up with. 

For instance, I have listened to KLOS since day one. I graduated from Fullerton High School in 1966. When the whole thing blew up with the Mark & Brian show on KLOS and was replaced with people I find offensive, it was a sad day. I changed the button on my car radio off of KLOS and onto 100.3/The Sound, the place where other KLOS djs went. I found this to be such a milestone after all of the years that I listened to KLOS. I was a loyal fan.  

My most listened to station is KSBR. The programming is excellent in my opinion. All of the djs are very cool and informative. I consider them now to be within my ‘family.’ I cannot say enough about this whole deal. I am a big fan of Bob Goodman’s Saturday program. I also like the morning breeze program, long-time Lagunatic Jim Otto's reggae show, Fat Kat and the blues, Blake Aaron, and Gary and Kelly's show. 

I could go on and on, as you can tell. Maybe you could do small features on each of them throughout the coming weeks.” - Lynn Smith, Capistrano Beach, San Clemente High School Fine Arts instructor 

** Los Angeles Radio History

“I think Jim Hilliker should do a book on Los Angeles radio stations.” – David Schwartz

** Mario Machado Enormously Gifted

“I worked with and for Mario Machado in 1981 when he was the Commissioner of the American Soccer League. I had tried unsuccessfully to track him down in the past year or so and this news hit me hard. He played a big role in my move out west. He was an amazing, incredibly gifted and generous person.” - Howard Freshman 


Maria Sanchez Back Behind the Mic 

(May 7, 2013) Maria Sanchez, former KFI talk show host and ex-wife of Phil Hendrie, launches her own live radio program. It should be a doozy. She has a unique perch from which to view the world and Southern California – mother of four (two out of college and two in college), Hispanic woman, and deeply involved in her community. She will cover current events and newsmakers; as well as delving into the latest state, national and world issues. Maria also covers the topics of lifestyle trends, health and wellness, family and parenting tips and information, relationships, household finance resources, community events and human interest stories, to name a few. There will be frequent relevant guest appearances by experts and newsmakers. 

The Maria Sanchez Show airs weekday mornings at 9 a.m. at www.LATalkRadio.com, Channel 2. Daily podcasts are available for download after the live one-hour broadcast at www.TheMariaSanchezShow.com, and the site will also feature the latest news, stories, and events.   

Maria started out as a producer for Mark Wallengren and Kim Amidon, the morning team at KOST. In the 1990s, Maria hosted a weekend talk show at sister station KFI. She became a regular substitute host for such talk radio favorites as Bill Handel, John & Ken, and Phil Hendrie.  “I am thrilled to be back behind the mic and to be working with LA Talk Radio! The ability to be relevant, topical, and without commercial interruption is a fabulous opportunity to really explore topics and guests” says Maria. 


New Radio Star on Hollywood Boulevard of Dreams

(May 6, 2013) The dust hardly cleared from Shotgun Tom Kelly’s star unveiling on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame last week when we learn that KJLH’s Steve Harvey will be honored next Monday. “Steve is a man of many talents!” said Leron Gubler, president/ceo of the Hollywood Chamber. “We are thrilled that he is joining our Walk of Fame family,” he added. 

There are five divisions that one can be acknowledged for a star and it seems that Steve could qualify in any one of them, but it is radio where he will receive his star. From stand-up comedy to tv, radio, books and the movies, Steve has established a multi-faceted entertainment and media career since his beginnings doing stand-up in the mid-1980s. 

His career has continued to flourish, from an award-winning stint hosting It’s Showtime at the Apollo, and the record-breaking Kings of Comedy tour, to becoming a top-rated syndicated radio host, producer, entrepreneur, best-selling author, popular game show host on Family Feud, and 2013 People’s Choice Award winner as “Favorite New Talk Show Host” for his new daytime show Steve Harvey.

 

On September 4, 2012, Harvey debuted his new syndicated daytime show Steve Harvey, which has been one of the few daytime talk hits. 

Born in West Virginia, Harvey was raised in Ohio as the youngest of five children.  Long dedicated to philanthropy, Steve Harvey believes that “dreaming is more important than anything.” Harvey, who together with wife Marjorie are parents of seven children, continue their unending pursuit to further uplifting, educational opportunities through The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation, with mentoring programs and other initiatives serving young men and women.  Harvey will also host the upcoming Neighborhood Awards, the 11th year of the popular community awards show which he created with co-producer Rushion McDonald to honor the nation’s community leaders, educators, religious and business establishments for their service and uplifting their neighborhoods.   

Star Week. Today kicks off a week of superstar celebrities taking over The Steve Harvey Morning Show broadcast while he is on vacation. This morning at KJLH Charlie Wilson will guest host followed by Kevin Hart, KEM, John Legend and concluding the celebrity week with Deion Sanders. 

Rick Dees (r) was inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame over the weekend. Rick spent time in Memphis radio, where he recorded million-selling Disco Duck.
Ed Salamon
had the honor of introducing Rick at the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. Ed was a partner with Dick Clark in United Stations,
 and they took "Rick Dees Weekly Top 40" into syndication. 

Hear Ache. Congratulations to KOST’s Mark Wallengren and his wife Barbara on their 25th wedding anniversary … Next Friday KFI’s Bill Handel and Tim Conway, Jr. will pull a switcheroo. Handel’s show will be done that night and Conway’s show will be done in the morning.  Apparently this one day deal was newsman Aron Bender's idea. 

LARPs Stoned. Many LARP went to Staples Center over the weekend to see the Rolling Stones in concert. Joe Benson, mornings at 100.3/The Sound, thought it was the “best ever” Stones concert ... PR whiz Pat Gorman emailed, “WHOO-YA!! Great night, great music, great Rolling Stones!” … Former KSPN general manager Chris Berry thought it was a little expensive, but well worth it, “especially when the second song they played was This Could Be the Last TimeMark Driscoll wrote: “The Rolling Stones not fading away - as vital as ever, rockin' Friday night's two hour plus 50 Tour kick-off show at the Staples Center. Jack Nicholson was there and Jagger gave him a shout-out. They kicked off with a high energy Get Off My Cloud, and had the entire stadium chanting along. Badass!”

Email Monday

We GET Email …

** Worked with Mario

“I met Mario Machado when he was at KNX and I was at KPOL. 

He became a friend.    

He loved the Carmel Highlands and the Highlands Inn where I had him there frequently as my guest. 

Keep up your good work.” – Joe Cosgrove 

** Mario’s Passing

“Sadly, one of the duties of a reporter can be one of the last things he will do for others, such as those leaving this mortal stage. Mario Machado's passing reminds me once again: The world we were once so familiar turns a surrealistic corner with each departing performer, and can never retrace those steps.  

Almost all first reactions to a loss like that of Mario are sad ones. Until we remember: that which is eternal knows no death. We have had this information [of the soul's timelessness] passed down through the ages, and can find no evidence to the contrary, thus, it is no stretch to be willing to look at the passing of our contemporaries as a time of gratitude for the many unique and wonderful times shared together, rather than focusing on our now being apart.  

We knew what was going to happen and we jumped in anyway ... every way ... always. Who can complain about the story line now? No regrets for willing spirits.  

Besides, as we now enter our period of being apart, we continue to REMAIN a part. A part of each and every ‘one’ we have loved, and of every split second we spent together. That's something to which we can measure up.” – Bobby Ocean 

** Mario Was a Gentleman

“How sad. Mario Machado was such a gentleman, very gracious on the few occasions when we met. And, he was an outstanding communicator. He will be missed.” -  Mike Sakellarides 

** Fond Memories of Mario

“Wow, it's hard to believe that Mario Machado was 78 years old, let alone that he has passed away. I have many fond memories of Mr. Machado from his early days at Channel 9 and throughout his career. He will be missed.” - Herb Redholtz, West Covina

** KLAA Signal

“I’m not sure if you are aware, but the KLAA signal in Orange County is actually stronger at night than during the day. Here at the stadium we get about 45 millivolts per meter in day mode and about 51 mV/m in night mode. While the transmitter power is 20 kW versus 50kW, all of the power that can’t go to the north and east at night is directed to the southwest at night. What you take away from the back side makes the front side stronger.” - Paul Sakrison, Chief Engineer & Assistant Program Director 

** Article on Michael Savage Winning Landmark Case

“While I applaud Michael Savage's success in this suit, I see many challenges ahead before it is settled law. 

That said, it is sad this article comes from World Net Daily, widely recognized among the legitimate journalism fraternity as factually and ethically challenged.

Especially troubling - and humorous if it were not so absurd - is WND's citing some survey never heard of by the broadcasting community, claiming Savage is number one in talk radio. I doubt even the Dickey boys [known to sometimes engage in what we shall call ‘hyperbole’] are not that dumb. 

The bible of the talk radio business, Mike Harrison's TALKERS, has a quite different take. http://www.talkers.com/top-talk-radio-audiences/ 

It's a shame the far-right propagandists at WND didn't bother to do any research, although their standing in the world of those able to use functioning brains - on the legitimate right as well as the left - speaks for itself.” - Mike Lundy

** More Savage Decision

"Maybe. It still doesn’t stop employers from putting the 'non-compete clause' in all their contracts." - Bill Taylor  


The Hollywood Reporter


Mario Machado Dies  

(May 4, 2013) Mario Machado, the Emmy-winning Portuguese-Chinese broadcaster who hosted the very popular "KRLA Connection" during much of the 80s and heard at KABC from 1994-96, died May 3. He was 78. Reports are that in recent years he was suffering from Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. 

Mario was seen in Rocky III, St. Elmo's Fire, and all three Robo Cop films. One of his passions in life was soccer. He combined his experience as a former league soccer player in Asia with his broadcasting skills to become an internationally known soccer commentator. Mario did various tv assignments at KNXT/Channel 2 (now KCBS). A particular favorite in the Asian American community, he frequently served as emcee or host of different fund-raising and community functions. 

Machado’s television career began in 1967, when he signed on at KHJ/Channel 9 (now KCAL/TV) as an on-air news reporter, a first for a Chinese-American. In 1969 he became the first Consumer Affairs reporter in the nation at KNXT. He became a regular reporter in 1970 on the CBS nightly broadcast, The Big News, which was Los Angeles' most popular newscast in the 1960s. He worked there with news icon, Jerry Dunphy.


A New Sport at AM 830 KLAA 

(May 3, 2013) AM 830 has been a unique radio signal in Orange County, sporting such diverse formats as “Radio Aahs,” which was part of the Children’s Radio Network, briefly it was a dance format, then came some Spanish sports programming, “Hot Talk 830” with Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham, and for a few years it was owned by Catholic Family Radio. And don’t forget it was the flagship station of the Anaheim Ducks hockey team. (Photo: Bob Agnew)

In early 2006, enter the current owner, Angels owner Arte Moreno. The Angels were looking for a broadcast outlet they could own and control. The call letters were changed to KLAA. Eventually Spanish programming gave way to full-time sports and in time it became the flagship station for the Angels when the contract with KSPN ended.

The station has struggled to find an audience and ratings. Part of the challenge is the diminished signal in the evening, but KLAA has hired its highest profile and most successful programmer yet. In late January, Bob Agnew came aboard. For much of the 2000s, Agnew helmed KNBR-San Francisco, home to the San Francisco Giants, Golden State Warriors and live sports talk from 5 in the morning until 10 at night. “We only had one sports talk show when I got there,” said Bob.

How did he get the job at KLAA? “I met general manager David Baronfeld at an industry function.  We talked about KLAA and the Angels. He was familiar with my work at KNBR and how the station was always top 5 during baseball season and usually top 10 outside of the season.”

Prior to KNBR Agnew spent a decade with all-news KCBS-San Francisco and also spent time at news/talk and sports WCAU-Philadelphia.   

Bob has been busy in his first couple of months with KLAA. “We moved Roger Lodge to afternoons and moved Travis Rodgers from afternoons into mornings [his 9 a.m. hour is carried on Yahoo Sports Network],” said Bob. “The station moved live programming up an hour to start at 6 a.m.”  

“We added local 20/20 sports updates three times an hour at :20/40 and 55, and ESPN Sports Center at the top of each hour.” 

Agnew is “amazed” at what is happening in the Los Angeles sports radio market. “There are three strong sports stations with their major sports franchises. I would have thought the ratings would be stronger. This is a real opportunity for AM 830 KLAA,” said Agnew. “We are still very young in terms of our full weekday sports format.”  

One of the biggest challenges for Agnew will be to establish a very clear branding image. The station runs ESPN programming during the day (Scott Van Pelt followed by Jonathon Coachman with Coach and Company). Recently the station has added Yahoo Sports Radio. How can you establish your own identity with the various brands? “This is not an easy explanation,” said Agnew. “There is a historical partnership that began four years ago. Fast forward to the present, and there are ESPN broadcasts of NBA and MLB games that we can’t or choose not to clear.” 

When Agnew was asked about the questionable signal to adequately cover the market, he teased, “Stay tuned.” 

Bob is optimistic about his chances for success. “We plan on improving our ratings position, steadily growing our audience, our local programming and our perception in the market place.” 

Report Card. CBS Corporation revenue for the 1st quarter of 2013 is over $4 billion for the first time since it became a stand-alone company in 2006. CBS Radio remained flat in Q1, as the launch of the new CBS Sports Radio network "was offset by the impact of radio station dispositions in 2012." CBS Radio is grouped with the TV unit under Local Broadcasting.  

For the first quarter of 2013, Clear Channel reported that CCM+E (which includes radio) saw a revenue decline of $15 million, or 2%. The company says the drop was driven primarily by the traffic business as a result of certain contract losses and lower sales resulting from integration activities, and to a lesser extent by Premiere, whose performance continued to improve over the quarter.  

Theatre of the Mind. Live radio drama comes to the Pasadena Playhouse tomorrow. The radio drama explores the life of the brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), and features live old-timey sound effects by acclaimed radio sound effects artist Tony Palermo, audience participation (cheers, applause, etc), and archival footage. The performance runs for one day only on the Mainstage of The Pasadena Playhouse, Saturday May 4, 6 p.m.

Special guest stars include French Stewart (3rd Rock from the Sun) as Tesla; Phil Proctor (Big Brother in Toy Story) as Thomas Edison; Sandra Tsing Loh (Caltech alum, host of “The Loh Down on Science,” contributing editor at The Atlantic Monthly) as Katherine; and Roger Steffens (The Life of Bob Marley) as Mark Twain.

Hear Ache. KKJZ (K-Jazz) continues its  programming of music from the American Songbook by presenting “Song Travels with Michael Feinstein,” a one hour show, hosted by five-time Grammy-nominated performer Michael Feinstein.  Song Travels will air 10 p.m. on Thursdays, beginning May 9. Directly following Song Travels, K-Jazz will present “Radio Deluxe with John Pizzarelli” at 11 p.m. …  Same Time, Same Station with Larry and John Gassman airs “Animals that talk on the Radio.” You can listen every Sunday at www.vintageradioplace.com or download it next week at www.radiooutofthepast.org  Avril Lavigne joins Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, and Flo Rida at KIIS’ sold out music festival, Wango Tango next week. 

Email Friday 

We GET Email … 

** Adventures in Airtime

“You have just written the book that I have always thought about writing, but my title was going to be ‘On THIN Air’ with the word ‘the’ graffitied out and the word "thin" written in above it. 

Many years ago, before the Internet, I solicited morning jocks in the top 50 markets to contribute their stories. I only had one response: from Scott Shannon. My conclusion at the time was that radio people never wrote, they only talked. What a difference today with texting email and the Internet, eh?" - Don Elliot


Team Bean Event a Success 

(May 2, 2013) KROQ’s Bean flew from Seattle to Orange County last weekend to participate in the Donate Life Run/Walk at California State University, Fullerton.

Over 12,000 people participated and Bean led ‘Team Bean,’ along with CBS/LA engineer Scott Mason, the recipient of Bean’s kidney late last year, and KROQ morning co-host Lisa May.  

“It was an inspiring time for sure,” emailed Bean. “I met so many people who have been touched by organ donation. I met recipients, living donors, those on the waiting list now, and family members of those whose organs were harvested. It was quite a day.” (Photo: Scott Mason, Bean, and Lisa May)

Fortuitous Hires. Ed Salamon checked in this week. He was at KTNQ in 1978. “Although I was only at 10-Q a short time, it was eventful,” emailed Ed. “While acting general manager for Storer where I was national pd, I hired Mike McVay as pd from WCHS-Charleston, West Virginia. It was quite a leap, but seems smart now. We hired Jack Armstrong and Charlie Tuna [when he was let go from KHJ] and The Real Don Steele quit on us! 10-Q finally beat KHJ in the ratings on my watch [giving 10-Q the opportunity to hire Tuna, which made an opening for Rick Dees at KHJ], but both stations were racing to the bottom. Interesting times for sure.”

San Diego Opening. Jammin' Z90 (XHTZ)-San Diego morning show host Tati is leaving for a larger market, which opens up a major opening in a key California market. “Be an awesome one-man or woman show, be an already assembled group of cast members, be married in-bred cousins, just be AWESOME,” emailed pd R Dub. “We are NOT looking for a ‘jock’ or liner reader, but a real PERSONALITY who can shake things up while delivering A+ content and wants to work for one of the hottest stations in the country. We're independently owned and operated and make all decisions locally and still believe in great radio!  The lights are still on here, and the station vehicle does NOT stay in the parking lot.  This is truly still a ‘fun’ radio job with a winning team.  Come win with us!” 

Send audio and resume to: localmediasd@gmail.com.   Absolutely no calls, please.

Hear Ache. Ryan Fox, former morning man at KKGO, is headed for Dallas and the morning slot at the Dial Global Country format … George Johns, radio consultant, is perplexed by Arbitron. “Who the hell wears those PPM devices?” … We hear that CBS/LA is getting VERY close to announcing the new program director for KTWV and K-EARTH.

Email Wednesday 

We GET Email … 

** Kinda Breaking News

"So I’m driving at 11:30 a.m. yesterday morning and I happened to dial in 790. Geraldo breaks in with breaking news that the FBI had arrested three more people tied into the Boston bombings. The only problem was I heard the breaking news at 8 a.m. How embarrassing for KABC. I guess the show is a replay from earlier in New York!” - Bob Koontz 

** Automakers Tuning Out Traditional In-Car Radios

“People will always demand free services, so in my opinion, terrestrial radio will always have its place until the internet is free and advertiser supported.” – Fred Lundgren, KCAA ceo/owner 

** Looking for the Fox

“I hope you can help me. I would like to contact Charlie Fox.  

I was in L.A. working in photo developing in 1978. I knew I wanted to get into radio and so I was pursuing it like crazy. I finely got my first paid radio gig at KHJ co-producing the Rick Dees in the Morning show, which meant I answered phones and made coffee for Rick and his wife and co-host Julie. I would arrive at the station about 5:30 a.m. for the show that started at 6 a.m. That's how I met Charlie Fox. He was just getting off the air after his overnight shift.  

Rick wouldn't allow me in the studio while he was doing his show. Charlie, however, had no problem letting me sit in the studio while he did the last half hour of his show. I started coming in earlier and earlier until I was arriving at about 4:30 or so and would sit in with Charlie and watch him do the last hour and talk about what it was like to be a dj and work in radio between breaks.  

Charlie Fox was a great guy. We became friends and when I finally got my first on air show at KNEZ in Lompoc under the name Danny Daniels, I would still converse with him from time to time. I'd send him air checks and he'd gladly critique them.

One night when I was back in LA. for a day he invited me to meet him at the studios of KUTE/fm where he was doing a night shift. 

I so much appreciated Charlie Fox's guidance and help in my early days of radio. I last had contact with him in about 1989 or so. I don't know where he is these days but I'll never forget his kindness to me. It's really something when an old dj is willing to help out a young punk trying to get into this God awful business.  

Today 30+ years and 30 stations later I'm hosting a talk show in Bakersfield and still slugging it out on the air at KNZR. And I still think of Charlie Fox, the man who helped me in those early days of my career.  

Thank you Charlie, wherever you are.” - Jaz "Danny Daniels" McKay, Jazmckay58@aol.com  

** OC Register

“I really enjoyed your column in the Orange County Register last weekend that featured Shotgun Tom Kelly of KRTH fame. Congratulations to Tom for his Hollywood Walk of Fame award.

The article reminded me of another KRTH legend who also is honored on the Walk of Fame, Brian Beirne, aka ‘Mr. Rock and Roll.’ I am a retired Los Angeles fireman and we used to listen to Brian at the fire station between calls. We were always dazzled by his knowledge of the music and the artists.  He is my all-time favorite dj and I would really enjoy reading about him in your column. 

Keep up the good work!” - George O'Nan, Costa Mesa 


LARPs Celebrate with Shotgun on the Unveiling of His Hollywood Walk of Fame Star 

(May 1, 2013) A sunny day yesterday on Hollywood Boulevard as celebrities and Los Angeles Radio People joined Shotgun Tom Kelly to celebrate his star unveiling. His K-EARTH boss, Jhani Kaye, was on the stage telling stories about Shotgun's career. "He will remember this moment for the rest of his life," said Jhani.  "I have been privileged to have been his boss for a short part of his incredible career." 

Stevie Wonder was at the podium to salute Tom and the superstar even sang Tom's praises. "My life's goal has been to be a deejay," said Stevie. "How do I work this out, do I do 24 hours of Stevie or what." 

Several Walk of Fame honorees showed up to support Tom - Harold Greene, Charlie Tuna, Johnny Mathis, and Art Laboe

  

(At the event: K-EARTH morning co-host Lisa Stanley, Jane Zeigler, Kenny Phillips, Jhani Kaye, Tip Landay, Ken Levine, David Leonard, Gary Bombelicki, and the Insane Darrell Wayne)


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