(October 31, 1998) We Get Email
** Charlie to Charleye
"Charleye Wright and I worked together in the mornings at KLIF in Dallas. Brad Messer was the news guy. Chantal did entertainment. Dick Siegel had traffic. Charleye knew sports. But it was his insight, humor, and story writing style that made the difference. He was beyond professional; he made radio sports passionate and visual. Even if you hated sports, you'd listen to Charleye Wright's reports. And what a team player! A true whatever it takes guy. I'm honored to have worked with him, a one of a kind good guy. My prayers for his lovely wife and family. Charlie Van Dyke, KRTH
* Whos Giving Out Good 1st Phones?
"Regarding the note from Bill Ogden [read 10/21]. Is it possible that something got turned around in names or just coincidence that someone named Bill Ogden went to Bill Ogden's school in Huntington Beach to get his first phone? To explain: William B. Ogden ran a school, first in Burbank, where I and among others, Chuck Southcott, attended in 1960 to get our first phones. He moved the school to Huntington Beach in the mid 1960s where it operated for some time. Bill Ogden died within this past year. There are many current and former L.A. Radio People who went through the six weeks of hell at Bill Ogden's school to get that license. The memories, in spite of the hell, are mostly pleasant and I passed the test on my first try. That was all that mattered then. Enjoy the page a lot." -Tom Goodwin
* How Do You Stop the Talk?
"Am I the only radio fan that is getting tired of the same old conversations on talk radio? As a salesman, I used to enjoy listening to KABC all day, from morning drive time through sports talk and felt informed, entertained, and even laughed while I fought traffic all day. Today the content, discussions, attitudes and language being broadcast is terrible. I wonder how a parent listening to some of these subjects and the language used by the hosts explain it to their kids. I now listen to Jim Rome [1150AM] and then turn on the cassettes and listen to music. I enjoy Saturday and Sunday programming. On KABC, Michael Jackson, Bob Brinker, Rod Lurie, at least I learn something. On KFI, the computer show, the Motley Fools, and Dr. Dean Edell, etc. Has a program manager ever experimented with a weekday format that consists of mind-expanding programs such as this throughout the day? It would be a lot more entertaining and informative than hearing the screaming millies discussing issues for which they have little knowledge. Maybe there are other people like me who will again be listening [and remove our cassettes and CD's to listen?]. Just an idea." -Bruce Seigel, firstname.lastname@example.org
** Reader Who Loves Radio
"Thanks for putting up such a great site! I got my degree in Radio/TV about five years ago, and spent most of my college years working in L.A. radio [KROQ, MARSfm, KEZY, and KIKF]. I soon came to the conclusion that I didn't want to work in the industry, but I love keeping up with what's happening in L.A. radio. Since moving to San Diego, the only way I could do this was by reading Gary Lycan's column or visiting Chris Carmichael's site [he'd have little bits of L.A. info]. Your site not only keeps up-to-date with what's going on, but does a wonderful job of keeping track of people that I grew up listening to. Which brings me to my questions for you...do you have any idea what Raechel Donahue is up to? We kept in touch for a while after the demise of MARS, and last I heard she was writing a book [Radio Daze, I think]. I'd love to know if she is on the air again, and if so, where. Also, another MARS [and KIIS] personality, Big Ron O'Brien. After he left the mornings at MARS, he appeared briefly at KIIS and again briefly in San Diego. Any idea where he is now? Keep up the great work on a truly outstanding site!" Tim Spencer
** Windy Reader from the Windy City
"Tell your Angeleno readers that you are read every day in Chicago. Through your site I have reconnected with old friends like Gary Franklin, my former news director and Steve Edwards, an old pal. We dont have anything like you here in Chicago! Sincerely, Ed Schwartz, Lerner Newspapers, Chicago. WGN Radio Emeritus"
** Go For GOLDen
"Just thought I'd give you a head's up towards the Brian Golden mention you made in yesterday's news. He is still heard on the Morning Zoo on the new XtraSports 610 in Lancaster. The show was bumped back to 4-6 a.m. once the simulcasting fun began, but the show is still plugging along." -Jeff Stevens
** Keep Your Eye On the Ball
"I was so sad I actually cried when I heard of The Coach's death on the Channel 2 noon news on Tuesday. I am 50 years old and remember him from KLAC and other stations and KIIS with his trademark, This is The Coach, Charleye Wright reminding you to keep your eye on the ball. He had such a melodious voice it made his storytelling so charming and wonderful to listen to. I always enjoyed his commentaries and if I, a stranger, will miss him, I cannot imagine how hard this is for his family and co-workers. What a loss. All the good ones seem to be leaving us." -Mary Burr, Torrance
** XTRA Report
"I worked with Russ Barnett a coupla times. I was one of about 25 American broadcasters who joined Russ in starting that all-News radio station that broadcast from lovely Tijuana, Mexico...what an experience. It was a whole new world where goats surrounded the transmitter and the on-air people struggled for space to pencil edit wire stories. A little bit of rain and the wire stories ceased to come in. At that time the wires in Mexico were not insulated and the slightest moisture stopped it all. In the parking lot, which was really a dirty pasture, a few goats often greeted us. We managed to eat one of them in a special barbecue ceremony. Russ never missed a beat as we pioneered this new era in broadcasting at XTRA in a strange and foreign broadcast land. I moved to KMPC in '62. Russ soon followed but our work paths did not cross too often. He was pd, and I answered to a grand news director named Hugh Brundage, but that's another story." Scott Shurian
** NO BS at KGBS
"I just saw, on LARADIO.COM that Hugh Cherry passed away last week. I worked graveyard at KGBS/AM/FM, until they went rock in October 1968. Bill Jenkins was our newsman. The rest of the lineup was Charlie O'Donnell morning drive, Bob Kingsley midday, pd Ron Erwin [last I heard a news writer at KFWB] afternoon drive, and Hugh Cherry on the swing shift. While Storer ran a tight format, Hugh was our Brian Beirne, elaborating about most of the records he played. It was an easy-going show to say the least. I remember many occasions, while giving a dissertation, he would lean back in the chair and get an album from a stack behind him, and either check something on the jacket or put it on the turntable and set the needle down on a track that worked into whatever he had been talking about. We worked out of the second floor of a house at 338 S. Western in L.A. The AM was a daytimer until it changed to rock-screamer KTNQ. The mono FM [97.1] was simulcasted as there were not enough people listening to program it separately. George B Storer wanted to sell it for $200,000! It is now KLSX. The industry ain't what it used to be 30 years ago. Between going rock in 1968 and KTNQ in about 1973, they had Bob Hudson and Ron Landry in the morning, Bill Ballance, and Mayor Sam Yorty with Wally George on talk shows." Bob Pond email@example.com
(October 30, 1998) When KRLA begins running the Don Imus syndicated show (maybe sooner than January 1?), who will take over the morning slot at KLAC? Will the station plug in the Westwood One Pop Standards service heard throughout the day in morning drive? Nooooooooo. A highly placed source close to the unfolding developments tells me that a 30-year Los Angeles veteran will take over the morning slot at KLAC. This L.A. morning legend placed on the list of Top 10 personalities between 1957 and 1997. If you have a copy of my book, Los Angeles Radio People, he was #8. He will get a KICK out of reading this Sunday night at 10, KLOS is running the exclusive radio broadcast of "Dark Side of the Moon; A 25th Anniversary Special." The special celebrates the release of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, an album which according to KLOS, holds the record for most weeks on the Billboard Album Charts. Tomorrow night at 9, KNX will present "War of the Worlds," a program that scared the nation when it was originally broadcast on October 30, 1938. It was heard by millions of people, many of whom were fooled into believing an actual invasion from Mars was taking place in spite of notices that were read at the beginning of the program, stating that the play was a dramatization Would you like to see a live performance of the recreation of "War of the Worlds"? Former KMPC/KTZN personality Shelley Herman and a cast of heavyweights from Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5 will perform the radio drama tomorrow night at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza benefiting Santa Susana Radio Repertory. Costumes, lighting and special media, including historical newsreels, will be used to set the feel for the event. See it recreated live or listen at 11 p.m. Halloween night at KCLU (88.3FM) Wally George hosts the "Wally George's Great American Radio Special" on Sunday evenings 8 to 10 p.m. on KIKF. The show includes music, phone calls and Wally's comments on the news of the week, as only Wally can comment The year was 1968. During his first airshift, he played the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Buffalo Springfield. This week Joe Benson celebrated his 30th Anniversary of that radio debut during his morning drive shift at "Arrow 93" by playing the Beatles, Stones and Buffalo Springfield. "Uncle Joe" reflected on his three decades in radio: "Ive been very lucky to have worked with so many fine people and to have touched the lives of so many millions of listeners over the past 30 years. There were many lessons along the way, lessons they never taught in school, but the core truth remained the same. Without courage and stamina, youıll never achieve your goals. You must develop your talents to their fullest, persist, and always put everything you have into making it work. To win, every team member must do their best, anything less is losing." Joe will appear at the Ontario car races this weekend and will achieve another milestone. After this weekend he will have called races and provided insightful commentary on every P.A. system at every major Southern California event, and at more venues than anyone before him Next Saturday, KKLA is introducing a Christian music show from 6:00 p.m. to midnight. Bob Shaw will host "The Christian Pirate Radio Music Show." Bob said: "This is not just easy-listening stuff, which I'm sure, most people associate with Christian music. To the contrary. I believe that Christians and non-Christians alike will really love it. To go along with the pirate theme, I'll be known as Barnacle Bob." A preview of the show will run tomorrow night from 7 to 10:30 p.m. on KKLA Gary Lycan will feature "Sweet Dick" Whittington in his Sunday OC Register column this week. Gary will also release the results of the 1st annual survey of Los Angeles Radio People listening habits. Visitors to this site were anxious to register their favorite radio stations and favorite personalities in each time slot. The complete results will appear here on Monday Last Sunday, Fred Shuster bylined a cover story in the Daily News L.A. Life section. The title of the five-page article was "Its Afternoon Dial." Thirty personalities were featured. If you want to know what your favorite Los Angeles Radio People in afternoon drive look like, get to the nearest newsstand, and pick up a copy of last Sundays Daily News Is it true that KACD will become Southern Californiaıs first "pay for play" station? KLSXs Tom Leykis was the subject of a huge front-page second section story in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. The story started: "On Friday afternoons, along this city's freeways, boulevards and side streets, headlights are blinking on and off like strobes at a movie premiere. And that's a sure sign that radio talk-show host Tom Leykis is on the air. On the last day of the workweek, in between calls on bisexuality, manipulative mates and infidelity, Mr. Leykis instructs male listeners in cars to flip on their headlights if they want women in nearby cars to flash their breasts. The ritual signals the beginning of the weekend -- and somewhat of a revolution in the radio world." The author said the show is often "sophomoric and tasteless; but at the same time it's representative of a nascent trend in the world of FM radio, which for years has been mostly all music, all the time." The article was very positive and comes on the heels of Toms exclusive interview with Bill Ballance last Friday. The interview took place the same day as the publication on the Internet of 12 nude photos of Dr. Laura Schlessinger that were taken while Bill and Dr. Laura were romantically involved in the mid 1970s The recent attention to Dr. Lauraıs personal life in Vanity Fair and now the publication of the nude photos has opened up opinion about the KFI talk show host from all over the country. Kim Franke-Folstad wrote in Denvers Rocky Mountain News: "It's almost impossible not to get up a little giggle upon hearing that a whole other side of syndicated radio counselor Laura Schlessinger may have been revealed Friday in 12 nude photos on the Internet. Yes, Dr Laura she of the pursed lips, the accusatory agenda and the judgmental jargon. Ding-dong, the witch may not be dead, but she certainly has been wounded. You can almost picture two little feet sticking out from beneath her glass house. And, oh, how the Munchkins danced around the water cooler." E.J. Montini of the Arizona Republic wrote yesterday: "I'm trying not to picture Dr. Laura Schlessinger naked. I'm tempted, but I believe I can resist with the help of Dr. Laura herself and, of course, the Holy Bible. Dr. Laura has been described as America's Mommy and the conscience of talk radio. She also has a new book out called The Ten Commandments. The last of the ten, she points out, is You shall not covet. Lord, I'm trying." The full text of the article can be found at Tom Leykiss Web site www.blowmeuptom.com Wasnt that syndicated talk show host Joy Browne calling Dr. Laura a "bully" the other night on 20/20? Art Bell returned to KABC last Wednesday night. He offered nothing new to explain his abrupt departure from the show. He explained what was going on in Pahrump: "Within 24 hours I had a full-time encampment of press around my home. I had people doing radio remotes minute-by-minute stuff from outside my home. I had just about every major network here interviewing not me, but my neighbors, mainly people who have never met me, but they cheerfully gave out interviews about Art Bell saying not much because they donıt know me." Art did say something curious. "Quite a few in the press have the full story. Several local tv stations in Las Vegas have it. Even the Globe has it. And they all, believe it or not, in some cases it is harder to believe than others, decided for legal reasons or ethical reasons one might hope, to not run the story. So the story is not yet public and as I mentioned, Im not going to make it public. I will not intentionally hurt anybody in my family." What is curious? In this day when media outlets, in a very competitive environment, rush to broadcast or print every salacious personal detail about personalities or a White House interns semen-soaked dress, why have they decided to protect Art Bell and keep the story hidden? Steve from Garden Grove asked about the whereabouts of Paola Boivin who co-hosted a sports talk show with Brian Golden on the KMPC sports format. Kurt Kretzschmar from One-On-One Sports reports: "She now covers college sports for the Arizona Republic. She got married and moved to Phoenix and hooked on at that paper. She no longer does radio. Brian Golden was doing the morning show at Sports Radio 610, KAVL in Lancaster - but Jacor bought the station and is now simulcasting KXTA."
(October 29, 1998) While writing about two deaths yesterday, Charleye Wright and Russ Barnett, it was very strange to turn on Bill Handel at KFI during the 7 oclock hour. He was talking about death and funerals Tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 you can watch Raechel Donahue interview Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon at the Museum of TV & Radio in Beverly Hills. Free admission to the broadcast if you mention you are there to see Raechel I spent Tuesday with Bill Ballance celebrating his 80th birthday. As he gave me the grand tour of his two-story spatial estate in North San Diego County, it was clear he has NEVER thrown anything away. He has books, plaques, celebrity photos, tapes and tearsheets everywhere. He has over 10,000 books, mostly on history and the Civil War. Bill owns every tape of every show or interview that he has ever done. He has a cataloging system by publication or radio station. The amorous Billo has photos hanging everywhere. When he showed me the one of him and Marilyn Monroe, I raised my eyebrows as if to say, "Yeah?" He said he tried but she had eyes for that "midget, Ray Anthony." I got a tour of his master bedroom with the celebrated heart-shaped headboard (it WAS loose) attached to a bed with decades of memories and stories. His industry awards and magazine covers cover the walls of an intimate reading room. In the garage, another warehouse of tapes and memorabilia. His collection will eventually be an enormous addition to a Museum or university archives. Over a chicken lunch, he reminisced about 80 years earlier, a time for joy and sadness. Bills mother died while giving birth. His father never forgave Bill for her death and they had a troubled relationship. A turbulent childhood gave him the resilience to survive and soar in the radio industry covering six decades. Back in his home in the afternoon, we made an audio history of his life. He described the night he punched out follow KFWB dj B. Mitchel Reed for stealing from his locker. Bills admiration for Chuck Blore is unabated. Bill is one of our true radio legends living life large, like he has for eight decades Sports radio in Los Angeles continues to confound me. There are so many available sports signals, but the ratings languish. Last week I was tipped off to a major announcement by KXTA, "XTRA Sports 1150," that would appear in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday. I found a quarter-page ad announcing that the Mailman was coming with a photo of Karl Malone. No word if he was going to be a guest, a spokesperson, a host, or when to tune in. Turns out he appears weekdays from 1-3 p.m. with Vic "the Brick" Jacobs. Does this mean that they talk exclusively about basketball? Very strange Speaking of KXTA, a Letter to the Editor in the Santa Clarita Signal complained that local "XTRA Sports" affiliate, KBET, dumped out of a baseball playoff game to broadcast a local football game. The reader was very irate. Again, very strange Want to spend a Nautical Nightmare with Jamie, Frosty and Frank on a Hornblower Yacht? The "Star 98.7" team will be entertaining listeners for four hours for a Halloween promotion. Jamie told her KYSR audience this morning that she has picked up her costume for the party tomorrow night. Shes going as a hooker, which prompted one of the guys to respond, "Why am I not surprised." Frank Cisco, the former pd at KIKF, will be returning on Saturday nights for "Hit KIKKIN' Saturday Night." Brenton Wood is appearing at a KRLA promotion soon which reminded me that last weekend I met Brenton at a backyard barbecue. He delighted us by singing his two signature songs, Oogum Boogum and Gimme Little Sign. Over a Dr. Pepper and spicy kielbasa, Brenton told me he has never received a penny from those two songs. He has been in court for 30 years fighting for his due share Looks like KRLA will be the new home for Don Imus at the first of the year. Does this mean the station will go all-Talk and sports? If so, it's kinda ironic that 1999 would have been the 40th anniversary of KRLA playing Rock and Roll Word from Pam Baker at KFWB is that Dan Avey is doing great as he recuperates from successful heart valve surgery! "He will be back at the station on November 16th. He looks really good...he is full of energy...and he's anxious to get back to work," said Pam Is it just my imagination, or has KRTH added some titles from the 50s and 70s to the playlist? Im hearing songs I havent heard on the Oldies station for quite some time I had a lot of things planned yesterday, until the mail came. Ben Fong-Torres incredible new book, The Hits Just Keep on Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio is now out and it is a killer. I couldnt put it down. How in the world do you chronicle the miracle of a format that literally saved radio when television arrived? The young people in radio today have barely a hint of what when on back in the 50s when radio was all but declared dead. I worked for one of the early pioneers, Gordon McLendon, and to read again about Gordons contribution to formatted radio along with Chuck Blore and Bill Drake was a true treat. I cant imagine anyone other than Ben who could have taken on this task and come out with a classic. Ben is best known during his 13-years with Rolling Stone magazine. He wrote 37 cover stories, edited several anthologies, and was a weekend dj on KSAN-San Francisco for nine years. In his Introduction, Ben charts how he will write the book about a forty-five-year-old phenomenon that has "gone through forty-five revolutions per minute." Ben declares: "Iıve chosen to do it like a radio show. And so, heeding the advice of programmers from the earliest to the latest stations, Ive prepped, researching the history not only of Top 40, but also of what set the stage for it, and interviewing as many of the main players as I could find. This is a book about the most dynamic of all radio formats, and about the disc jockeys or DJs who drove it." The book is available everywhere from Miller Freeman Books and hefty discounts through Amazon.com and other book Web sites. Pick up an extra copy for a radio friend. You will recognize many Los Angeles Radio People. It will be a great holiday gift. Congratulations, Ben! He will be appearing at two Southern California book signings in the next 45 days. Ill keep you posted Tomorrow, KROQ's Kevin & Bean will have Chris Carter of the X-Files in studio KBIG will become K-BOO Saturday afternoon from 4 7 p.m. at Universal Studios Citywalk. The station will have games, costume contests and trick or treating. Beatlejuice will host along with the KBIG djs Is Los Angeles Radio People Keith Olbermann itching to get out of his MSNBC contract? Word is that he has had it with Monica-related talk night after night after night after night Former KLAC and KABC talk show host and former Orange County congressman Robert Dornan is amassing more campaign money than ever before in his rematch with Rep. Loretta Sanchez "Mega 100" is running a secret scream contest for Halloween. Identify the scream and win.
(October 28, 1998) "The Coach" Charleye Wright, sports broadcaster at KNX since 1995, died yesterday. He had gone in for follow-up surgery related to his kidney transplant. The surgery seemed to have gone well. He was recovering nicely and due to be released from St. Vincents Hospital on Tuesday or this morning. Monday night he developed complications and was rushed into surgery again yesterday morning. During that procedure, his heart failed and he passed away. Charleye was born in Inglewood in 1937 and he graduated from Lynwood High and Compton College. He graduated with an M.A. from Baylor University with plans to enter the ministry, but while in college Charleye got into broadcasting. He taught high school English for two years and worked in Waco and Dallas radio, then moved to Dick Clarks KPRO-Riverside. In 1969 he became part of the news operation at KLAC. From KLAC he joined KIIS, KPOL and then KIIS/FM for most of the 1980s as one of Rick Dees sidekicks. In 1990 he worked the mornings at KKBT for "John Londons House Party." In the early 1980s Charleye had been undergoing dialysis three times per week for five years when the treatments began to fail. He was gradually deteriorating, to the point where he became incoherent, could not speak plain English and couldnt remember the names of his wife and children. A successful transplant left him with one perfect kidney and two old ones that functioned less than ten percent of normal. (His father died of kidney complications.) Prior to Charleye's recent hospitalization, he and his wife Rebecca spent some time in Cancun, relaxing and enjoying each other's company. Charleye had discussed the risks associated with the procedure with his doctor and with several of staffers at KNX. Tom Haule said, "He knew that there was a risk, however slight, that complications from the surgery could prove fatal. He faced it with courage and good humor, even making typical newsroom gallows humor jokes about the possibility. He will be sorely missed." Mike ONeil said, "Charleye and I worked together at KIIS AM/FM for five years. Charleye was one of the finest professionals I have known, as well as a nice and caring person. My condolences go out to his wife and family. Charleye my friend, you will be missed by all of us." KNX news director, Bob Sims said: "He knew and loved sports, and he was a gifted storyteller. One could not ask for a better sports reporter. But mostly we'll miss him because he was a warm-hearted, easy-going, friendly man." Raul Moreno from KNX emailed: "The last time he worked at KNX, he looked sick, and had trouble getting around. Having known Charleye for the past 17 years, I can say that I have lost a friend and we have all lost a great broadcaster. The whole newsroom was very silent today, as we all feel his loss. He was such a part of our team. My last conversation with him was about his email to you about Gary Franklin. Charleye always told me that he loved your Web site and checked it daily. He will always be the Coach to me." Inland Empire personality Harley Davidson remembered: "The Coach hosted afternoon drive for a short time in 1994 at KMEN-San Bernardino and was a joy to have in the hallways of the stations [KGGI/KMEN]. Charleye was a class act and will be missed." Charleye was 61 Maxine Barnett called me last night from Colfax to say that her husband, Russ Barnett, passed away October 16. Russ worked at KLIF-Dallas and when Gordon McLendon (owner of KLIF) turned XTRA into the worlds first all-News station in 1960, he tapped Russ as manager for the launch. On New Years Day 1963 Russ joined KMPC as pd and was named Program Director of the Year by Gavin. In 1971 while attending the Bill Gavin Conference in New Orleans, Russ had a heart attack. When I interviewed Russ a few years ago for Los Angeles Radio People, Russ said: "Outside of having an artery roto-rooted, I have had no heart problems since 1971. Ive never felt better." He worked at KABC in 1972 and 1973. In the mid-1990s, Russ retired to the Monterey Peninsula, but he had one more radio gig left. He joined KIDD ("Magic 63") to work mornings and Russ turned the Big Band station into a powerhouse. At his memorial last week, the Count Basie band played in honor of Russ. Russ was born in Toledo and grew up in Jackson, Michigan. After attending the University of Texas he started his radio career in Canton, Ohio and Dallas. In that same interview for my book, Russ concluded: "From the time I was a young guy, I felt that if I could go on the air and add a few smiles to the lives of my listeners through my rather corny sense of humor and make enough money to support my family, Id be well pleased with my contribution to life. Know what? I am." He had stopped smoking nine years ago. Russ died of lung cancer at the age of 69. If you have memories of Charleye or Russ that you would like to share, I will post them over the weekend.
(October 27, 1998) In case you havent filled out the Los Angeles Radio People listening habit survey, please scroll down to October 22. Today will be the last day to participate. Based on the responses thus far, the results for many of you will be shocking. The final results will appear exclusively in Gary Lycans radio column in this Sundays OC Register. On Monday morning, November 2, the complete details will appear here KLOS has a new and provocative outdoor campaign. Samples include: "Play that funky music balding-middle-aged-pot-bellied white boy;" "Located at 95.5 and a million miles from Nashville;" "The music you wasted your youth to;" and "From Matchbox 20 to rock stars pushing 60." Last week as Regency Outdoor was preparing to install one of KLOS's billboards across the street from the Pantages Theatre on Hollywood Blvd., someone stole the board out of the truck. The board will be tough to hide under your bed or on the wall of your den. It is 20X60 vinyl...Mike Butts, former morning man at KIQQ in the early 1970s responded to the question about an ideal Fantasy Format that would be a sure winner. Mike would acquire the strongest FM and AM signal and sign Bill and Hillary Clinton to a one-year contract. Mike would put Bill on morning drive and Hillary in the afternoons. Mike says: "Theyre both going to need jobs and both have a lot to say, especially to each other. We might as well listen in. We can hear what lies Bill tells in the morning and Hillarys responses in the afternoon." All sorts of other personalities to fill in the other shifts come to mind Taz at KIKF reports on the "cemented" line-up at the Country station:
5:30 a.m. 10:00 a.m. Charlie Tuna
10:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. Carrie Dunne
3:00 p.m. 700 p.m. Rick Shaw
7:00 p.m. - Midnight TAZ
Midnight-5:30 a.m. Mark Robinson
Taz says his new slogan for the evening show is "It's not your normal night in the country." Taz lost a bowling bet at a KIK event recently and had to be a slave for a day to the midday jock, Carrie Dunne. "I had to perform the following duties for her: clean the house, do the laundry, clean up after the dogs, wash the cars and do the shopping. All of these were done while wearing a French maids uniform." Pictures will be included in the next monthıs edition of Hot Country News KACD reports they received 647 emails in four days commenting on the format change to AAA music. Until a staff is hired, ex-"Groove" djs are doing board-op work. Hey, it pays some bills until a new gig opens up Hugh Cherry died last Thursday from lung cancer. Elected to the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in 1977, Hugh worked at KFOX, KGBS, XPRS and KLAC between 1960 and 1976. When his daily on-air career ended, he became a college instructor and lecturer on country music. In 1977 he joined R&R as the Country editor and also worked for the Long Beach Press-Telegram. During the 1980s, Hugh wrote and narrated many country radio specials, including "Country Report Countdown." He penned over 300 album liner notes. He was 76 Several Los Angeles Radio People are mentioned throughout the new book, The L.A. Musical History Tour by Art Fein. Featured in Art's book are L.A. Rock and Roll Landmarks like KMET with Dr. Demento, Firesign Theatre, Roger Christian, and more. Art will be signing copies of his book tonight at 8 at Jack's Sugar Shack, 1707 Vine Street. Tomorrow night Art will be autographing books at Book Soup on the Sunset Strip Was Don Imus hinting the other morning on KLAC that he is changing radio station affiliation in Los Angeles? Today Bill Ballance turns 80. Happy Birthday! A South Pasadena lawyer, Robert Guevara, shares some memories of Billo: "I was a graduating senior in college in the summer of 1971 in San Diego when I first began hearing Bill Ballance again, long after he had done his work at KFWB. At first there were a lot of records and a few calls, then there was a shift to more calls and less and less music. Back in L.A. after the summer, I listened to his show regularly, until I began law school the next year. His show started picking up listeners as the word got around that there was this guy getting women to call about all kinds of personal affairs. For a time the callers were announcing the city where they lived, which made it more interesting to know that the stories were from people in your neighborhood. I remember he went to Universal Studios and began broadcasting from that location, and that is when the FCC came down on sex radio broadcasts, mainly because of his crude imitators. The impressive vocabulary and quick wit were his trademarks. He was an intent listener to his callers, and that helped him to get the women to be more candid and comfortable about it. The way that he put innocuous words together and deliver it as if it were some taboo phrase was great. He would say that radio was the theater of the mind, and it surely was used to the fullest with Bill at the mike. He was able to use his phrases such as Davenport Rugby and cushion-pushin' to convey the idea of make-out sessions. He would compliment ample female breasts in a sweater as looking like there were a couple of puppies wrestling under the sweater. The Stallion Ganglia was another item that he promoted and his custom bed with toe-grips was another. On the other hand, his quarter pound pet cockroach Fred was his only companion at home. A funny guy; miss hearing him; and glad I could say something good about him for all the time that his show picked me up and brought laughs. I still do not think he ever got the recognition he deserved. From Bill's book The Hip Handbook of Nifty Moves and How to Cope in Situations of Utter Copelessness: A woman may be ignorant and she may be beautiful, but she is never ignorant of the fact that she is beautiful; When an older man goes with a younger woman, it is not her youth he is after- it is his own; Confucius says- man who lay woman on hill not on the level; Confucius says- crowded elevator smells different to a midget; Time wounds All Heals; Flaunt what mother nature gave you before father time takes it away; A woman can never marry too late, but can always marry too soon."
(October 26, 1998) When Bill Ballances limousine town car pulled up to the Westwood One studios last Friday to appear on the Tom Leykis show heard on KLSX and through syndication, news was breaking every minute. Earlier in the day, 12 nude photos of Dr. Laura Schlessinger taken by Bill during an earlier romance were placed on the Internet. The NY Post heard from a Dr. Laura spokesperson calling the photos fake. By the time Bill arrived at Westwood One, Dr. Laura was claiming that she owned the "faked" photos. As Bill got out of his limo, he was served with legal papers. Inside the studios, Tom was promoting Bills appearance; lawyers, agents and executives from Internet Entertainment Group (IEG) were communicating by cell phones and computers. Every L.A. tv station but one had a camera crew there (the story ran live to lead the 6 oclock news on KABC/Channel 7). At 5:05 Bill joined Tom inside the studios. And Tom was loving every minute of the action.
Before introducing Bill, Tom set the legal stage for what had been going on behind the scenes. Derek Newman, staff counsel for IEG, explained: "Bill Ballance, a legendary Los Angeles personality, had a relationship with Dr. Laura Schlessinger and in that three year relationship, he had the opportunity, and he says at her insistence to take some nude photographs of Dr. Laura. Now, IEG, of course, was interested in that story. Its a story the world wants to hear about. IEG entered into a deal with Mr. Ballance to purchase the photos and made those photos available at www.clublove.com as of last night. But today, just recently, I have the paper work right here; Dr. Laura Schlessinger served both Bill Ballance and IEG with whats called a temporary restraining order. In other words, she went into court today without giving us any notice and she said, I own those pictures. Bill Ballance doesnt own the rights to those pictures, I do. So IEG can't put them up at clublove.com." A hearing to resolve the dispute is scheduled for November 2.
Tom Leykis: "Bill Ballance, what a pleasure to meet you in person. I am so thrilled to meet you legendary radio personality and you did it for so long and in so many forms. You were one of the great disc jockeys, then in the 70s one of the great talk show hosts. Ive always said that whatever we do here, if you were here today, you'd be doing what we are doing right now.
Bill (with a smile): "Maybe a little more professionally."
Tom: "Probably and funnier too, but thats besides the point. Its a pleasure to meet you. Ive been a fan of yours forever. I really mean that."
Tom asked Bill how the Feminine Forum (for the times, a very frank talk show) came about?
Bill: "In the late 1960s, Don Page from the Los Angeles Times began referring to me, and an alarm bell went off instantly, as the veteran dj. Veteran implies galloping senility. Arteries snapping like pipe stems. So I said I better change my act. I studied my demographics. I was on from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday on KGBS, a Storer station. After prolonged negotiation with Ray Stanfield [gm], which I wonıt go into, as he said it would cost $100 for tape delay. I said, for godıs sake, Ill pay for it myself. In the meantime, I had to take calls during the playing of records, necessarily meaning limitations. So I did that for awhile starting January 1, 1971, five hours a day, six days a week all-Talk. And thats went I started to take off and our ratings began to skyrocket."
Tom: "And no one had ever done a show like that before?"
Bill: "Never had. I was restrained this will astonish you in these contemporary times was given guidelines by Ray, You are not supposed to ask and I donıt want to hear it, Are you lovers? I was supposed to say, Have you ever been (pause) intimate? I had to dance around everything I did. I could never be blunt. The show still took off instantly."
Tom asked Bill how he met Dr. Laura. Bill said that following a call to his KABC show, they met for lunch at Musso & Franks. Near the end of lunch, Bill made a suggestion.
Bill: "I said, Were getting along real well, do you want to go to my place and carry this conversation on further? The waiter is eyeing our table. She said, Sure, sure. So we hopped into my elderly blue Lincoln, matching my blue eyes of periwinkle blue, and came up to my place and the door of my apartment, executive house apartments and within a very short time we were thrashing around like a couple of crazed weasels. [Tom laughs.] I couldn't believe the passion in this woman. What have I done to deserve this? This is wonderful. This is bliss. Here I am 25 years older. I thought she would regard me as codger city. Geezer time. But, oh no. I think it was the Lincoln that did it."
In the second hour Tom took calls. A caller identified as Robert asked, "I cant understand why this personal bitterness that you have towards her. Why this justifies taking photographs that you had between the two of you that were held in private. They were intimate photographs that you shared. Why do you think this justifies showing them to the general public? It says more about you than her."
Bill: "Thats a very good, inaccurate thought. The fact is she has been stealing my material for so many years. The fact is she told so many lies about our relationship. An example being our being together just a week or two and that she was on my show just a few days, or a few times rather. She was on my show for two and a half years. We went together for a torrid two and a half years. Im tired of being lied about and the longer it goes on the more people believe her. Theyll think Im the interloper. People will begin to assume that I was the beginner and that she taught me everything I know."
Tom Leykis had seized the day. He had an exclusive! Tom had the lead story last Friday and he shared it with the world. He treated Bill Ballance with reverence. After all, before there was Tom and Howard, there was Bill going at it all alone with NO help from his parent company. In 1978 Bill took his Feminine Forum to KFMB-San Diego where he was top-rated for 15 years. I am spending tomorrow with Bill in San Diego interviewing him for the Los Angeles Radio People audio archive. Do you have memories of Bill you would like to share? The formal voice for the night people who need to know about the latest UFO sightings, the alien implant photos, the Third Secret of Fatima, the Crop Circle Connector, the Chupacabra monster images, the Area 51 mysteries of that secret Air Force base and the true meaning of the Mayan calendar is back. Last Friday night on KABC, Art Bell read the following: "Greetings to you again from the Kingdom of Nye. While all the difficulties that caused me to so unexpectedly and quickly leave the air, have NOT been resolved yet, they remain as grave as any family would ever face. The situation has improved to some degree, and I pray it'll continue to do that. I WILL NOT further exacerbate the crisis by making public what should remain private. In my position, I trust you'd do no less. Should the matter however become public despite my best efforts, I will have, believe me, a very great deal to say about it. To again state as categorically as I'm able, this was not any kind of hoax or stunt, it was not a contract ploy nor a negotiation tactic for more money. Money has never been a goal for me in doing this program, NEVER. Not so much as one dot on an I or cross on a T has changed in my contract. This was and is a family crisis, PERIOD. My network has been nothing but helpful and supportive. And there are too many people to thank individually including all of you, thank you. My sincere thanks to Hilly Rose for keeping the live forum going during all this, on I might add, very short notice. So I'm very happy to report, I WILL RETURN to Coast to Coast AM and Dreamland beginning Wednesday night, October 28th. 'Til then, from the high desert, goodnight." Whew! Since Art Bell has been on hiatus, veteran Los Angeles personality Hilly Rose has been filling in on the syndicated show heard locally at KABC. Hilly emailed me over the weekend: "I am sorry I have been so unavailable. I could not pickup my email in Medford. My wife printed it out for me, and I have an unbelievable stack two feet high. Will read it all when I return from Medford Wednesday night just in time to hear the triumphant return of Art Bell along with everyone else. The Premiere (nee Chancellor) folks have been wonderful to work with. They are doing everything to make me feel comfortable and happy. They have even flown me home for the weekend so I can reacquaint myself with my wife and 16-year-old son. Unhappily I have slept most of the weekend trying to catch up with the terrible turnaround hours. The show is really fun to do, and I am having a ball!"
(October 25, 1998) In the early 1980s Rhonda Kramer and her husband Kenny Green co-founded LA Network, a traffic reporting service. A year ago this weekend, Kenny passed away at the age of 61. Their daughter Erin just turned 13. Erin remembers her father on the one-year anniversary of his death at the WHERE ARE THEY NOW/NOSTALGIA page at this Web site. Once you are on the main page, click 4th quarter October - December Did you work with Bill Ballance at KFWB or KGBS or in San Diego? Did you listen to Bill Ballance? Do you have any stories about him? What are your memories of him? Do you have any anecdotes about Bill? I am doing an in-depth interview with Bill on Tuesday and would appreciate your personal recollections. Thanks.
(October 24, 1998) Tomorrow in the Daily News, radio columnist Fred Shuster has a huge feature on afternoon drive radio in Los Angeles. It is a cover story that looks at 30 shows with a photo of each host, a description of the program and a quote from a listener. Should be great Sunday reading.
We Get Email
** Is KRTH Commercial Radio?
"Thanks for the great site! I'm not a professional, just love radio, and I read your site all the time. I had to comment on the commercial times listed [see 10/15]. Are you sure you have KRTH correct? I used to be a loyal listener years ago but I couldn't take it any more! After all the commercials and promos I think they play about 16 minutes of music an hour. Sometimes you'll get five minutes of commercials, one song, then another several minutes of promos. Unbelievable! I'm waiting till the day they play commercials in the middle of songs. Even if they do play the same four songs every hour I'd listen sometimes but it's just not worth it. My two cents worth. Keep up the great work." Matt Moore MGMoore@ix.netcom.com
** A Los Angeles Radio People Bookie
"Just wanted to say hello again and let you know how much we enjoy your site. I know you're probably tired of hearing this already......but....Hey, Great job on the book! I'm really happy with it. And I plan to tell friends about it, especially those friends I trade airchecks with. All the best." -Joe Fazio, Escondido
** Missing the Groove
"Why don't we hear from some of the people lamenting the loss of Groove 103.1? Like MARSfm before it, you could honestly say that there was no other station in the country playing that mix of music. It was exciting. Yeah, the ratings weren't there. But KACD's signal, weak as it is, has never sustained a format for very long. There was never much promotion at Groove. Yeah, Channel 103.1 will do better. And I am kinda excited about it. The music heard on Groove won't be found anywhere else on radio now, save maybe Jason Bentley's Metropolis show on KCRW. I am saddened by the loss of another unique radio format, even if the low ratings justified its demise. Thanks, and great web site. Keep up the great work." -Mike Schneider
** A P.S. To Thursday Survey on L.A. Radio Listening Habits
"If I had been asked these questions anywhere from 2 to 10 years ago, I would have answered KLOS to every question except traffic, which would have been KFWB 980. To me, KLOS was the best programmed station, and served my musical tastes to a tee. I loved the fact that I could hear the latest music from AC/DC or Rush, and then hear Suite-Judy Blue Eyes from Crosby, Stills and Nash. Although they were criticized for lack of focus in recent years due to pd Carey Curelop's experiment with Alternative Rock, I see their current programming as a poor imitation of Arrow 93 or the pre-talk KLSX. They may be focused, but to me focused means narrow. Their promotional claim of We're back to the way we used to be is a total crock. They don't Rock anymore. Unfortunately for me, their ratings are better, so their management probably feels vindicated by the changes. I don't understand why an AOR station doesnıt serve the second largest radio market in the country. I can't believe I can go to San Diego [KIOZ], Portland [KUFO], Seattle [KISW], or even San Bernardino [KCAL] and hear an interesting mix of new and old Rock and Roll. But in L.A., it's just the tired sounds of the past." -Michael Holtorf, 29, Santa Ana
** Groovin to KACD
"Just wanted to let you know that the new Web site for KACD is now www.channel1031.com. They have streaming live audio of the new format. I have worked at KACD for six years, and I continue to work here. Last Friday was a statement to the medium of radio. On October 12 at 10 a.m., we had 48 employees operating Groove 103.1. At 10:30 a.m., there were two. The business manager and myself. Jacor brought in their staff and they have made a nice transition. They have been professional and fast. But it reminds me how unstable this industry is. Thank goodness I'm still employed here, and also enjoy writing for Gary Owens Music of Your Life syndicated show. I remember in 1990 when I got married, my new bride and I spent the third week of our marriage together in the unemployment line. I had just been caught in a format change at KFI, and she had been let go from a marketing job. But it does take you back when you see good people out of work. I guess That's Showbiz." - Jeff Gehringer
** Ol Weather Eyes
"Just spent a couple of hours with your pages on virtually every aspect of L.A. radio. The next century will find your service THE most important source of information for the least appreciated communications -- L.A. radio -- none better anywhere in the world! We are so fortunate to have you at the helm of this endless pipeline to such a vital electronic storehouse!! Hey, take a look at my Webpage -- where I shamelessly plug my current writing endeavors -- www.trains-tracks-trolleys.com. All my best 2U." Jim Hawthorne
** Cant Hear AAA
"Thanks for creating and maintaining such a great site. I regret not getting into broadcasting. I've been a radio junkie all my life. Your site is a logical and much appreciated extension of my junkie-dom. I've listened to Jim Ladd since I was 16 and ditto for the late, great Robert W. Morgan. When I was younger, I used to lower the lights, raise the volume and plug into my imagination, per Jim's instructions, and also light up a joint if one was around. Abandoned that latter habit at age 20, but I can tell you the effect is just as enjoyable now, at age 40, with a nice glass of Cabernet. Enough rambling. I love the music that the new 103-1 is playing. Caught it yesterday in my car while running around L.A. But it doesn't come in in Thousand Oaks. Any idea how one who lives on the outskirts could pick up the signal? I don't want to be relegated to hearing the station one day a week in my car! Thanks! And keep up the great work. As you've learned from so many fans, it is much appreciated." -Bob Johnson
** Gary Franklin Prescribes Dr. Laura
"I happen to like Laura Schlessinger and find that she has a solid following all across the nation and represents one of the better human elements of our industry. I drive up to the Bay Area quite often - and she makes the driving time pass more easily. If you listen closely to the advice she gives to the callers [and the general public], you find it's just sensible, biblical stuff - updated .... and entertaining. As I read the various attacks on her I keep wondering about the motivation. I have a theory, but will hold back on that for the moment. It seems to me that there are dozens of nationally syndicated and big-city-local air personalities who are a lot more deserving of such attacks....and I include in that this alleged Bill Ballance picture thing. I refuse to believe that Bill would get involved with a hard-core porn-site, and still believe this has to be a hoax.....but who's the perp? If it is a hoax, and someone has used Bill's name - I have a feeling it might be actionable." Gary Franklin
** Browser Found LARADIO.COM
"I'm pleased that a Web search for something else - certainly much less important! - brought your Web site into my browser. What a wonderful surprise! Your monthly 'archives' and summaries and great reading and the Web site is presented quite nicely indeed. It's really great to know I can catch up on my life-long favorite passion on-line! I knew there was a reason we got faster-than-God DSL Internet service! I was included [thank-you, again] in your second book and would appreciate your adding my email address to the impressively-long list you already have. I've seen more than a few old friends that I'll drop a line to some I haven't talked to since we both showed up for work and our keys no longer fit in the door! Be well and be happy." - Bob Ray firstname.lastname@example.org
** Where is Baxter Ward?
"Back in the 50's I was the newscaster for the Midnight News on WBAL/TV in Baltimore. Preceding me on the 11 PM Newscast was a fine fellow who later went to Los Angeles TV as a newscaster. After his tv career, Baxter Ward went on to become County Manager. Have not heard about him in a long time. Where is Baxter Ward?" -Dave Connor
(October 23, 1998) If the scathing Vanity Fair article by Leslie Bennetts a couple of months ago wasnt enough to send the syndicated (and heard on KFI) Dr. Laura Schlessinger running for cover, a dozen fully nude photos of the talk show "shrink" appearing on the Internet this morning might do it. Her ex-mentor Bill Ballance took the photos of Dr. Laura when she was in her 20s. From highly placed confidential sources, Craig Kitchin, president of Premiere Radio Networks and Stu Crane, gm of Premieres New York operation, have tried "everything possible" to stop the photos from appearing at www.clublove.com. But they went up at 8 this morning. The photos are appearing on a Web site operated by Internet Entertainment Group (IEG), the company that has gained fame for posting photos and videos of celebrities, including the "Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee: Hardcore and Uncensored" videotape. "Hereıs a case of a woman who sets herself up as a paradigm of virtue and it turns out she has had a few salacious moments in her life," according to Seth Warshavsky, president of IEG. Around the time of the Vanity Fair article, Bill Ballance was offered tens of thousands of dollars for the photos by the tabloids. Bill told me that he was "offered substantially more" by IEG than anyone else. The photos were taken at his Hollywood apartment, in the Palm Canyon hotel in Palm Springs, at the Grand Canyon, and at her apartment. At the <clublove> Web site, Bill says, "On one occasion I had bought a state of the art camera. She was wandering around my apartment naked, as she often did, and admiring her very fine figure in the mirror. She said to me, God, Iıve got a good figure. I reminded her that it would not always be like that and would eventually start sagging. She agreed and she said, Id like you to take some photographs of me the way I am now at the age of 28 so that I can look back one day and see that this is the way I once was. She struck some fairly professional poses and I took the first of several photographs of her." I asked Bill this morning if he gave IEG all his Dr. Laura photos. He said, "No, Ive got one great beaver shot that I have pasted on my bedroom ceiling." Tom Leykis will be interviewing Bill this afternoon at 5 on KLSX. Tom has pulled a coup with the very first radio or tv interview with Bill discussing his relationship with Dr. Laura. Bill will be on Inside Edition in the next few days As if Premiere didnt have enough problems, they are dealing with the Art Bell mystery. Art will have another statement on KABC tonight at 10. Meanwhile, the mystery surrounding the departure of Art Bell from his top rated syndicated show has been solved. Would you believe that it centers not on a "threat" to his family, but a very personal threat directed to his syndicator for more money. A highly placed source within the Art Bell world believes that Art wants to renegotiate his contract. The "threat" to his family story is real but hardly enough to walk off the 4th most successful syndicated radio show. It is being overblown to put pressure on his syndicator to tear up his contract and start from scratch. He sees what other syndicated shows are generating and wants to be in the same money ballpark. As the Jerry Maguire character said, "Show me the money." Art wants his fair share Jack Hayes, who worked at KFWB in the mid-1960s is offering an alternative talk show to Art Bell. "Night Time America" will premier Monday, November 9 from 10 p.m. till 2:00 a.m. (Pacific time). Jack, who was also at KNBR-San Francisco, KCBQ-San Diego and XTRA, said the show will be, "Entertainment driven with a healthy dose of politics, humor, show business and other topical items." Interested? Call 310.285.4737 "World Class Rock from then and now. A union between the old and the new. Channel 103-1." This is one of the promos heard between AAA music at KACD. We have been receiving a significant number of emails from those who are not celebrating the return of AAA music, but lamenting the loss of "Groove Radio" at 103.1FM. Mike Schneider wrote: "Like MARSfm before it, you could honestly say that there was no other station in the country playing that mix of music. KACDs signal, weak as it is, has never sustained a format for very long." A number of letters on the subject will appear tomorrow This afternoon at 2:30, Raechel Donahue will be in the Museum of TV & Radio's studio recording her Internet radio show "Tres Generations" for www.radio-dayz.com. Every Friday she will be interviewing a musical guest, mainly from the 50's and 60's. Today she interviews Mel Carter and next Friday is David Somerville from the Diamonds. You can watch and listen to the show for free. Just mention that you are there to see Raechel. If you want to enjoy the rest of the Museum, the suggested donation admission of $6 would apply. Also, there is two hours free parking in the Museum garage.
(October 22, 1998) What radio stations and what radio personalities do Los Angeles Radio People listen to in the privacy of their homes and driving in their cars? If you live in Southern California, will you take a moment to fill-in the answers to the questions below? The Motion Picture Academy Awards are meaningful because studio workers donıt vote en masse for their own studio films. The accuracy of this survey will be dependent on your honesty and not voting a party line unless it is an accurate reflection of your listening habits. How you vote will NEVER be published or known to anyone. Once your survey has been tabulated it will be deleted. This is being done to assure those who currently work for a L.A. station, but want to reflect actual listening habits. If you are no longer living in Los Angeles, will you please answer #14? My suggestion is that you copy this questionnaire on your computer and paste it at email@example.com. Answer the questions and send it to me.
1.When you get up in the morning, what radio station do you turn on?
2.Who do you think is the outstanding personality currently on the air in Los Angeles radio?
3.What format do you listen to most?
4.Which station do you tune to when you want up-to-minute traffic news?
5.Which personality or station do you listen to most in morning drive (6-10 a.m.)?
6.Which personality or station do you listen to most in middays (10 a.m. 3 p.m.)?
7.Which personality or station do you listen to most in afternoon drive (3 - 7pm)?
8.Which personality or station do you listen to most in evenings (7 midnight)?
9.Which personality or station do you listen to most during the all-night hours?
10.Overall, which Los Angeles radio station do you feel is best programmed?
11.During the week, on the average, how many hours do you spend listening to the radio?
12.Which personality or radio station do you listen to most on the weekends?
13.Over the weekend, on the average, how many hours do you spend listening to the radio?
14.During the past 50 years, who do think has been a pioneer and innovator in Los Angeles radio?
Thanks for your participation. - Don Barrett
(October 21, 1998) We have conducted a number of surveys during the past year that have been very well received. Tomorrow I will post the most provocative set of questions yet. The results of this survey may shock the Los Angeles entertainment community. Up until this point, the surveys have been for Los Angeles Radio People only (past and present). This survey will be open to everyone who visits this Web site. These questions will only appear tomorrow and I ask for your candidness and honesty.KNBC/Channel 4's Kelly Lange will guest with Larry Marino tomorrow on the "Morning Magazine" show at KIEV. Hope Larry asks Kelly about her early years as a Los Angeles Radio People working as Dawn O'Day reporting traffic at KABC in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Kelly appeared on billboards wearing a provocative jump suit with the ad line, "Our traffic figures arenıt dated." In addition to anchoring the news at Channel 4, Kelly is an author. Her first book was a murder mystery, Trophy Wife...Where the heck is former KDAY, KRLA, KBIG dj Michelle Roth?...Did you ever listen to a Sunday night show on KROQ in the late 1970s and early 1980s on KROQ called the "Young Marquis and Stanley Show?" It was on after Rodney Bingenheimer. Stanley Sheff was the "Stanley" and Doc Nemeth was the "Young Marquis." Stanley has gone on to direct feature films and Doc is currently in a play Stanley is directing called Queen of Outer Space; The Musical. Check out details at www.branix.com . The Web site also has a section on the radio show, "Queen of Outer Space," and some of the projects Stanley has done since the radio show...Is there a better radio station newsletter than what KTWV publishes. They call it "The Wave Musicletter" and it is slick! The presentation is first-rate, information easy, advertising friendly and in the fall issue just released, morning host Paul Crosswhite interviews Luther Vandross...My casual mention of hearing Bill Handel's "Handel on the Law" show on a Las Vegas station last Saturday night prompted a number of emails. Chris Bury of Pasadena said Billıs been syndicated for several months. "His program is supposedly local from 7 a.m. 9 a.m. on KFI and national 9 a.m. to noon," said Chris. We never hear the national show but Chris has heard Bill mention that the show is heard in the Santa Barbara area. John Nikelsky wrote to say he heard Bill's show on Saturday afternoon at KSDO-San Diego...Bill Ogden checked in from the Northwest to comment on Bill Handel and the Seattle connection to Los Angeles radio: "Love your column, it's become a must read. I spent part of 1966 in Huntington Beach getting my 1st Phone and remember listening to KHJ, KFWB and KRLA. It was a great time in Top 40 radio. Anyway Bill Handel and other KFI programming is heard on a regular basis in the Seattle market via tape delay on KOMAI [1000AM]. Incidentally, some of the legends of Northwest broadcasting have gone on to fame and maybe even fortune as Los Angeles Radio People. KRTH pd Mike Phillips did two stints at KHJ, "World Famous Tom Murphy was actually "World Famous" when he worked at KJR and KOL. B.R. Bradbury did news at KOL before hitting it big in L.A. Kenny Noble worked at a couple of Seattle radio stations before moving on to L.A and other ports of radio call. Ken Kohl, and the former news director at KIRO AM [whose name escapes me] also did good work in Seattle. Anyway, keep up the good work...yours is the best stuff on radio on the web...I enjoy it tremendously."...KABC's Stephanie Miller promo'ed herself last night as the only known antidote to the ultra conservative Al Rantel Show...CharlieTuna returned this weekend from his "all class" high school reunion in Kearney, Nebraska, where he was the emceed for the main event. Classmates reminded Charlie that he was voted the "Shiest" kid in school...Former KRLA pd Sherman Cohen MC'ed his 30-year Westchester High School last weekend. Charlie and Sherman had similar comments about the "ugly ducklings" in high school turning out to be the best looking while many of the cute girls and good looking guys were not so cute and not so good looking anymore. In addition to his mobile dj business ("December is almost booked with holiday parties"), Sherman programs six channels for Music Choice, the service provided by Direct TV. He programs Rock Hits, Party Favorites, Soul Classics, Solid Gold Oldies, 80s Power Hits and 70s Super Hits..."The best in blues, reggae, class rock and new stuff. World Class rock. Maybe you can have it all. The new Channel 103-1." This is one of the promos at KACD/KBCD running between the music while the station is jockless.
(October 20, 1998) As I scanned the radio dial late yesterday afternoon, I heard the following announcement behind some "new age" music. "Something new is coming." Now I wasn't sure if this was a promo for the new KACD or Art Bell's return. Turned out that I was in the midst of a loop of promos: "The return of something new. A brand new radio station for Southern California. Today at 5 on 103-1." "Something new is coming. A brand new radio station for Southern California." "Today at 5, your music returns on 103-1." "Today on 103-1, the long awaited return of what Los Angeles radio has been missing." At 5, KACD/KBCD officially launched "Channel One O Three One" which will be referred to at this site as 103-1. The station played Nicole Sandler's teary farewell when she signed off KSCA 20 months ago and then announced: "103-1 is proud to bring back the quality music and artists that have been missing from the Los Angeles airwaves. Southern California has a new home for World Class Rock, the new channel 103-1." The station then played actual artists giving their names, that included Dave Matthews, Bonnie Raitt, Indigo Girls, Chris Isaak, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Counting Crows. Following the roster of leading artists that would be heard at Channel 103-1, new music director and afternoon host, Nicole Sandler introduced herself. "Hi, this is Nicole Sandler. It's great to be back in Los Angeles to help launch a new radio station. It's World Class Rock, Channel 103-1. We're looking forward to hearing your feedback on L.A.'s new radio station. Call us anytime. 310.576.1031 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Welcome to Channel 103-1." The first song was Ziggy Marley's, People Get Ready. Very exciting. I have been involved in the launch of four new formats and I can just imagine the euphoric high at the KACD Santa Monica studios. There is a Web site dedicated to AAA (Adult Album Alternative) music radio stations at www.yellowroom.com. Listeners and die-hard fans have been posting their comments all night. One fan of the new station likened the sound to the Three Bears: "First he tried one station and it was TOO LOUD. Then he tried the next station and it was too soft. But then he tried 103.1 and it was just right." Good luck to all those involved with the latest change in Los Angeles radio...Hilly Rose signed on for Art Bell at KABC last night with a killer tease: "During these hours tonight, we'll be talking about cults. We'll be talking about cults in a way that you have never, ever heard before. Some of it is going to frighten you. It's going to make your flesh crawl when you find out what goes on in some of these cults, but I think you are going to find it interesting and well worth your time." Hilly then launched into a statement from Art Bell: "Greetings to you from the Kingdom of Nye. Tuesday morning October 13th without prior notice to anybody without being advised or pressured by anyone, I resigned my position as host of this program. I did it for the reasons I gave then, because of a terrible life-threatening event which occurred to my family about a year ago, as well as events subsequent to it. Although there is, and I want to be sure you understand this, no immediate danger to my family. What did occur then absolutely requires my full-time attention now. And to not give it right now would surely be negligent and neglectful of those I love. Also to disclose details of what did occur would have a rather immediate negative affect on my family and I will not do that. Several news organizations, broadcast and print media, have uncovered what went on. So far, perhaps because of legal ramifications or one might hope ethical behavior on their part, they've chosen not to proceed with the story. For this I'm very thankful. Of course as soon as I can, if the story breaks, and I will not be the one to break it, I will discuss it with you, I'll tell you all about it. You know developing this program, over the past 14 years, has been one of the great joys of my life. And you should know I miss it terribly. I'd like to sincerely thank everybody who has sent their heartfelt support to me. And there are many of you. Since my resignation, my network has been doing their very best to help resolve the situation, frankly I on the night I resigned, I thought it could not be resolved. Now, I hope it can. Allowing me to return to what I love doing so much! But I need more time. While I can't discuss what in fact did occur, I can say this -- It certainly was not a publicity stunt or contract ploy as rumored by my competitors and detractors. It is real and serious. This should become self-evident to you when you know, and you will know. I believe personally in the power of prayer, if you do?" and then silence. I asked Hilly before the show for any comments and he emailed: "I am swamped with requests for interviews and I am turning them all down. I am, however, responding to you out of respect for the great work you do. Tune in tonight and you will know as much as I do. Will be happy to give you more later. I am in Medford, Oregon at the headquarters of Chancellor originating the program. Best, Hilly." Hilly is familiar to Los Angeles radio listeners working at KABC, KFI and KMPC in the 1970s and 1980s. He was a child actor and appeared on network radio soap operas, "Ma Perkins" and "First Nighter." Hilly has two broadcasting sons, ABC News' Judd Rose and Roger Rose who was on KFI and KMGG and is married to longtime L.A. dj, Maggie Ross...Fabrice, one-half of the controversial Milli Vanilli singing group, is now doing the noon mix at KIIS. Jimmy Kim, former lunchtime mixer, still handles the Saturday Night Mix Live from the Palace in Hollywood...KABC's Larry Elder appeared recently on Chris Rock's HBO special. Callers to Larry's afternoon show were mixed on how Larry fared...Mike Meyer has a suggestion for the next Los Angeles radio station. "KBJ-FM, anyone? All sex talk, all the time. They'll pull the same thing that KLSX-FM did when they hired Kato Kaelin. You can expect to hear Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones as the morning drive team." Check out Mike's radio Web site at www.radiowatch.com.
(October 19, 1998) The worst kept format change secret debuts later today at KACD/KBCD (103.1FM). Triple A music is back with a full-time vengeance. For the past decade the station(s) has had its share of formats and call letters. For one reason or another, the difficult-to-receive stations have never been a ratings factor. Nicole Sandler, former morning show producer for Mark & Brian at KLOS, morning host at AAA-formatted KSCA until 20 months ago and most recently mornings at "91 X"- San Diego will be the music director and work afternoon drive. When KSCA was sold and the format changed to Spanish, a Web site was created to keep the memory of the AAA-formatted radio station alive. You can check it out at http://yellowroom.com. Apparently Nicole will start the new format around 5 this afternoon with new djs being added as they are added. The "Yellowroom" site is hopeful that the staff will "include some of the other on-air people from KSCA, and at least one of the engineers who were responsible for the clean, unadulterated signal that we used to enjoy from KSCA." Good luck There is lotsa news out of Nevada that all ties together for Los Angeles Radio People. A week after saying he would end his career, UFOs aficionados favorite radio show host Art Bell, who is being heard on reruns at KABC, is coming back, at least briefly. As mysterious as his callers, the conspiracy-loving radio talk show host will make a statement to his listeners sometime between 10 and 11 tonight. Hilly Rose, veteran talk show host at KABC, KFI and KMPC between 1970 and 1984 will be the guest host for Art tonight. According to TALKERS Magazine, Arts show registers 6.5 million listeners, making it the fourth most popular nationally syndicated radio show Ira Sternberg worked at KWIZ and KOST in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Hes now living in Las Vegas running a public relations business. He has a weekly radio show that can be heard on the Web. Ira said: "We feature guests who usually don't appear on other radio shows and cover the world of politics, entertainment, and whatever strikes my fancy. It is an eclectic one-hour show heard Tuesdays at noon on KDWN, 720 on the AM dial or on the Internet (www.kdwn.com). The once-a-week format allows me time to run my public relations business and keep my hand in radio [or is it radio in my blood?]" Over the years, Ira has also appeared on KGIL and KABC as Larry Las Vegas, providing show business news to "Sweet Dick" Whittington and to Ken Minyard and Bob Arthur Is Bill Handels "On the Law" KFI Saturday morning show syndicated? Saturday night at 840AM the program crackled in from a Las Vegas station. Hmmm...R&R keeps getting better and bigger and more in tune with the needs of the radio and record industry. In the current issue, Calvin Gilbert in the Oldies section writes about two Los Angeles Radio People from KRTH Charlie Van Dyke and "Shotgun Tom" Kelly. The title of the article is "In the Footsteps of Two L.A. Legends." The two-page story on the duo ended with a wonderful quote from our former boss, Gordon McLendon: "Radio just the word creates within me a feeling unlike any other Ive ever known." Charlie added: "I think if you know what that means, this is your business. If you dont know what that means, youre probably not going to have much fun." Since R&R is the bible of the radio business, it would be nice if the publication could be consistent in the spelling of Gordons name. The radio legend is spelled McLendon Have you seen the KIIS $1 million tv spot where Rick Dees is driving the KIIS truck while scattering bills out the window? The arresting officers are morning sidekick Ellen K, KIIS marketing chief Von Freeman and producer Paul Joseph New Times Los Angeles wonders if Chris Douridas is headed back to KCRW following his departure from hosting the PBS music showcase, Sessions at West 54th? "The Local Licks Show" is the longest running program of new music in Southern California. KLOS Suzanne Ansilio hosts the show tonight at midnight featuring The Evidence Project, Tim Moyer and Lisa Johnson. "The Local Licks Show" has been on for over 19 years This Wednesday evening, KABCs Dennis Prager will be lecturing at the CBS Studio Center sponsored by The Entertainment Fellowship, whose mission is to enable people in the entertainment industry to recognize Judeo-Christian principles and apply them to their careers. Hungry for Dennis in person? Call 818.363.1047, ext. 2 "You know every song Arrow 93" is one of the station ID liners at the Classic Rock station Relatively new KABC talk show host, Al Rantel, was the subject of the weekly radio column in the Los Angeles Times last Thursday. This past Saturday, the paper printed four letters in response to the article. The readers were steamed. If you are interested in KABC, pick up the Times from last Saturday. Some of the highlights: (1) "KABC is the only mainstream radio station that offers a daytime lineup that is 100% minorities. Dennis Prager is Jewish, Larry Elder is black and Al Rantel is gay. [Add Paul Harvey, a senior citizen and Stephanie Miller, a woman, and you have 12 straight hours of minority representation.] (2) "The rightward turn at KABC to which Judith Michaelson refers is neither a coincidence nor a result of quiet design of station management it is no secret that the audience they covet lives at KFI. One can only wonder about the future of the liberal duo of Ken & Peter on the stations morning show. Watch out, guys, you could be next." (3) "KABC has become so right-wing that by contrast, Rush Limbaugh sounds like a moderate." (4) "I read with amusement that Al Rantel is gay and chuckled about the new politically correct lineup: the Jewish Rush Limbaugh followed by the gay Rush Limbaugh, followed by the black Rush Limbaugh."
(October 17, 1998) We Get Email
** KACD Signal
"Your comments on the signal of 103.1 FM ...that it can't be heard east of the 405. Please!!! Don, I can't believe you said that! Have you forgotten that KBCD has a transmitter in Costa Mesa next door to the city of license Newport Beach??!!?? I live in Rancho Santa Margarita [South Orange County] and the signal here is just fine.. As well as having no problem being received in Eastern Orange County in the Santiago Canyon area [look at your Thomas Guide]. I, along with radio fans all over, request a correction." Sincerely, John Nikelsky
** Machado Man Revisited
"It has been a while since I made contact with you, hope things are well. I could be doing better, I think the last time I wrote you, I was in Victorville and doing mornings at one of my old stations. The reason I went back was for love; my fiancé lives in the high desert. I really needed my head examined! Well, the station was sold and I'm basically right back where I started from since Arrow 93 said goodbye in February of 1996. I would like to continue in radio but I' d like to stay in Southern California. Not an easy task if you know what I mean. Here's my E-mail address: KMac331985@aol.com. Maybe somebody that knows me will drop me a line. Thanks Don, keep up the good work!" Kevin Machado
** Non-Programming Content Contemptible
"The commercial air times listed today [10/15] for KABC must be underreported. Or, they play those 16 minutes and 10 seconds in one long chunk. I can drive home from work, [20 minutes] and not hear the on-air personality, or else I'm so inundated with commercials, traffic and repetitive quasi-news, that I totally tune out. That mouse does not know how to build a better trap. I used to be a loyal listener, but I'm over at NPR or CBS news at least half the time now: no confrontive claptrap [spelled Al Rantel]; a little Dennis Prager goes a long way, but he's better than what's available down the dial; they've chopped Mr. KABC into pieces; Ms. Stephanie Miller remains her chaste self, but I'll bet they deflower her before long. Keep up the good work! Thanks, Joanne Buchanan"
** When Do Jobs Blow?
"Thanks for the information that the term blow jobs [read 10/13] is acceptable on radio. Any further rules? Can you tell personal experiences? [I had a great blow job last night...I gave a bj last night.] Can it be a feature? [Tell us your best blow job experience!] Are there limitations on the number of times you can say blow job in the course of, say, a minute? On our show we have actually said blow and job, but in separate sentences...do we still get credit? How about This job blows. Does that count? I'll tell you, Don...progress can sometimes be a confusing thing. Ken Minyard, KABC"
(October 16, 1998) With Halloween fast approaching, it somehow seems appropriate for KROQ to declare "Smashing Pumpkins Month" at the ROQ KLYY ("Y-107") is looking for a pd and advertising for one in R&R. "Y-107FM, Americas 4th largest modern rock radio station is looking for a Program Director. If you thought the entrepreneurial spirit of radio has fallen to the corporate behemoths of broadcasting, think again. We are looking for a PD that will build upon a successful music product and create a strong brand identity around it. We want a team player with killer promotional instincts that can lead and motivate. If youre aggressive, ambitious, and on the cutting edge, this is your chance to swing a bigger bat!" Letters and resume should go to the station .In Wednesdays column I observed that it sounded like Mr. KABC failed to take advantage of any "local" colorful personalities when he broadcast from Art Bells residence in the Nevada desert. I thought that he could have done the show from the KABC studios since there was a paucity of anything local from Pahrump. Mr. KABC emailed: "I wanted to respond to your thoughtful criticism of my broadcast last night from the desert of Nevada. Firstly, there wasn't anyone around Art Bell's home to interview. Extra and Inside Edition interviewed ME at length because of the lack of lucid comments from any of the Pahrump townsfolk. Even Art Bell's neighbors directly across the street [100 yards away] never met him. The nearby residence who were fortunate enough discover the miracle that is modern dental care had nothing to say [we have the tape to prove it] about Art except they were happy to direct us to his house. Also, because we were asked to leave the neighborhood by the Sheriff, an on-site broadcast was impossible. Remember, the show was only an hour; we barely had time for a tiny fraction of KABC callers that wanted to express their thoughts about a very bizarre event on the radio." KXTA, "XTRA Sports 1150," has a new station ID: "The attitudes on your radio may be closer than they appear." KKBT morning show is giving away tickets to the UCLA game this weekend along with a food and drink at a "92.3, the Beat" tail-gate party Ronn Owens, forever a Los Angeles Radio People for his year spent in the nine to noon chair at KABC, is celebrating a birthday tomorrow. I wondered what Ronn was up to and he emailed: "I just returned from Washington, DC, where we remoted my show last week. [It's the kind of thing KGO does all the time...sorry, can't help taking a dig at KABC.] Guests included Tim Russert, Sam Donaldson, Cokie Roberts, Britt Hume, Chris Matthews, Bill Press, Randy Tate (head of the Christian coalition,) Patricia Ireland [president of NOW], Ann Lewis [White House communications director], and from congress, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. John McCain, and about ten congress people, including four on the judiciary committee. Latest ratings have my program an even bigger number one, with an even greater lead over Rush Limbaugh." The San Francisco Chronicle had its first annual readers' poll, covering everything in the Bay Area and Ronn was voted top radio personality...KABCs Larry Elder was simulcasted yesterday afternoon on WABC-New York Art Bells disappearance act from his radio show has prompted much speculation. Eric Cooper emails: Personally, I am glad if the biggest nut/looney/insane person in radio is finally gone! Shame on KABC and Jacor/Premiere net for giving Mr. Bell airtime in the first place !! But actually....[and sadly]...I must conclude that this is just another of Bell's infamous hoaxes and he'll be back soon." Ken Minyard at KABC volunteered about Art Bell: "My theory is that he finally flipped. You do that long enough, you talk to those people about that stuff. Hes on the air eight days a week. Hes on the air all the time. Youre living out there, just a hill away from Area 51 and pretty soon you are just going to go off. It finally affected him." Kens partner Peter Tilden thinks that maybe Art figured it out and holds the keys to the kingdom and scared of the ramifications Many Los Angeles Radio People were asked to create a Fantasy Format where they would be given unlimited budget on any frequency. The mandate would be to win. This just in: "I have an idea for a format in L.A. [on FM] that's so ground-breaking and has vast possibilities, complete with an air staff of some of the best talents available.. woops, uh, sorry, I have to take this call... maybe I'll share this highly competitive idea after we're on-the-air. Oops, gotta go!" Thanks to Jeff Davis There will be lots of dates to save surrounding the about-to-be published definitive book on Top 40 radio. Ben Fong-Torres, an excellent writer with a longtime byline in Rolling Stone magazine will have a reading of his new book at Book Soup on November 19. Ben said: "Its early evening, I think--and I'll have Gary Owens alongside for some post-reading banter. After 37 years of friendship, it'll be our first public appearance." When Gary worked at KEWB in San Francisco/Oakland, Ben was president of the Gary Owens fan club. How about THAT! Lance Ballance was talking with the morning team at KBIG the other day and the subject was in-station romances. Lance relayed a delightful story about a crush he had on an older newslady at one of his first stations. He couldnt figure out why nothing ever clicked between the two of them. It wasnt until he left the job did he learn that his boss was seeing the newslady An email last Saturday asked for the whereabouts of Bob Jackson, former Country dj in Los Angeles. Bill Ward, former pd of KBBQ and KLAC called to say: "Bob Jackson is retired and lives in West Texas, near Amarillo, I think. We had lunch in Toluca Lake about two years ago. He still plays sax occasionally in the local clubs and had just recorded an album on an independent label just prior to our last meeting." Speaking of our email page on Saturdays, John Nikelsky takes me to task in an email tomorrow for my observation about the poor KACD signal. Also, KABCs Ken Minyard has some thoughts on the talk this week about the acceptability of "blow job" on the radio Charlie Tuna called wondering if the hit tv show, BJ and the Bear, was successful because people tuned in expecting to see well you, you know If you read the CURRENT NEWS page only, you miss out on many other features at this Web site. Past columns appear on the ARCHIVES pages, which are broken down by month. Also, new material is added all the time on the WHERE ARE THEY NOW/NOSTALGIA pages. There is a current posting from Shaune Steele, wife of the late The Real Don Steele that takes a look back at Dons old tv show. I chatted with Len Chandler, folk troubadour, singer, songwriter and part of KRLAs Credibility Gap, recently and his interview will appear next week. Those pages are broken up into quarters. If you go into the 4th quarter of 1998, you will find Shaunes piece and next week Len Chandler Ron Antonette emailed yesterday that KACD (103.1FM) "is simulcasting KXTA today, after doing KIIS yesterday. Good for us sports fans in downtown office buildings!" Wonder how long before AAA music becomes a permanent fixture at KACD/KBCD? Itll happen in less than 100 hours Today Brian Perez celebrates three years with KKLA. Aside from his production and engineering duties for KKLA (99.5FM), K-Light (1390AM), and now KIEV (870AM), Brian is also hosting two music shows. He's on www.christianpirateradio.com as "Buccaneer Brian." Brian says he's thrilled to be back hosting a music show, something he hasn't done since leaving Orange County's now-defunct KYMS, where he was heard overnights from 1992-1995 Poormans plans to take his "Anti-Radio" show to KRLA have apparently fallen through The LA Times celebrated the success of KCMG, "Mega 100," in the most recent ratings with the lead story in the weekly radio column that appears on Thursdays. The Kevin Baxter bylined story said that "Mega 100 improved for the third straight ratings book and finished second among English-language broadcaster in the key 25-54 age group demographic beating KRTH, KPWR, KROQ and KIIS." The gm, Bob Visotcky, said the success has come in building loyal listenership in middays with Christina Kelley and Mario DeVoe. If the numbers are wrong please dont email me. I hate to make reference to numbers because they are always subject to (mis)interpretation. Afterall, the story had the call letters of Bobs San Francisco radio station wrong. Im not calling the kettle black because I have had my share of typos (there was one earlier this year, I think, in February), but the LA Times with its staff of fact checkers? When "Mega 100" was "B-100," Zack Taylor worked part-time in 1996 and 1997. He has also done work at Westwood Ones 70s format. Zack sends out a prep sheet to the radio industry. One of his offerings this week: "Kellogg's has made the world's biggest Pop-Tart containing 545 pounds of flour, 495 pounds of fruit filling, 800 pounds of icing and 150 pounds of colored sprinkles...which, coincidentally, was the same chemical composition of the DNA on Monica's dress."
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