2 Years Ago Today

35-Year KOST Veteran Ends iHeart Career

(January 17, 2020) Just when you thought the blood-letting was over at iHeart Media, it just keeps on keeping on. Thirty-five-year KOST personality Mark Wallengren ended an incredible run, highlighted by a Star on Hollywood Boulevard with former co-host Kim Amidon. Since Mark was unable to say goodbye to his KOST audience (rarely offered these days), he recorded a farewell that appeared on Facebook. Click his photo to watch.  

For decades competing up the dial at KROQ, Bean of Kevin & Bean was incensed when he saw Wallengren as part of the blood bath. Bean tweeted: "Forgive my language but this is utter bullshit. @MarkWallengren is on the Mount Rushmore of @KOST1035fm and deserves a lot better."

As you see talented radio people dumped wholesale on an already shrinking marketplace, you wonder how iHeart will keep its stations alive, vibrant and compelling. One of those who were released said that they were told by their manager the goal of the company for music stations was to have just one live shift per station. iHeart uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to describe how they move into the new radio landscape. Isn't that just another word for automation?

For over 27 years, LARadio has tracked thousands of personalities
who have entertained us in the Southland from 1957-present.
These are snapshots of each on-air personality –
where they came from, where and when they worked in Southern California,
and where they are now.

If you are on the listings, please update and make corrections as needed at: AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com.


Another LARP Joins the Passing Parade ...

JACKSON, Michael: KHJ, 1963-65; KNX, 1965; KABC, 1966-1998; KRLA, 1999; KLAC, 2001-02; KNX, 2004-05; KGIL, 2007-08. The former rock and roll dj was a midday mainstay at News/Talk KABC for over three decades. He died January 15, 2022, at the age of 87. He had been sufffering from Parkinson's disease.

Michael’s father owned several pubs in London and when he was 11, the family moved to South Africa, where Michael became fluent in Afrikaans. But he always imagined himself in radio, and by the time he was 16 (and finished high school) he was on the air in Johannesburg, having lied about his age. He trained with the BBC.

Michael started his American radio career in Springfield, Massachusetts and moved quickly to the Bay Area where he played rock music at KYA and KEWB. In San Francisco he was known as Michael Scotland, and his program was called "Scotland's Yard."

In 1963, Michael hosted a two-hour Hootenanny show on KHJ. In 1965, when the format switched to "Boss Radio," he moved to KNX. The same year he became a U.S. citizen and married into Hollywood royalty. His wife Alana is the daughter of the late actor Alan Ladd, the man who played Shane. He won a local Emmy while hosting KCOP/Channel 13's The Big Question series. 

A 1974 LA Times profile said, "He is of small stature, as compact as a lightweight boxer. His facial expression is one of bemused, continental curiosity - a man secure in all things intellectual but having too good a time to be excessively tweedy." 

Michael has won seven Emmys and four Golden Mike awards. He has also received many other honors, including Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.) presented by  Queen Elizabeth, the French Legion of Merit Award, presented by president Mitterand in 1988, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1984. 

In the spring of 1984, he suffered a minor heart attack at the age of 50 while riding horseback through Griffith Park. Journalist Norman Cousins advised Michael during his recuperation period and told him, "A heart attack is something to laugh at. It really is."

In 1992 he was off the air for almost two months following heart surgery. In the summer of 1997, Michael moved to weekends on KABC, eventually leaving the station in 1999. He was a regular substitute for Larry King on CNN.

We GET Email...

"This Tuesday, January 18 at 1 p.m., I’ll be doing a tribute to the Dean of LA Talk Radio, Michael Jackson on KPFK-90.7 FM. It’ll only run about 10-minutes, but I’ll also be promoting my re-broadcast the following Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. of my interview of Michael from February of 2004. As near as I can tell, it’s one of the last times Michael ever appeared on L.A. Radio. He absolutely loved being on KPFK. He couldn’t get over the fact that we had no commercials. He was quick, witty, funny, and irrepressible. I’m sure many of your readers would love to listen. Those outside Southern California can hear the livestream at www.KPFK.org.  Thanks. Peace and Love, my friend." - Michael Benner

LARadio with Pictures


George and Betty Nicholaw, Dan Avey, Rodney Bingheimer


Kevin Weatherly, Thom Tran, Smokey Robinson, Bill Seward


Dominick Garcia, LL Cool J, Carey Curelop, Mike Butts


Melody Rogers, The Real Don Steele, Mickey Mouse, Bean


Dennis Quaid, Angel Martinez, Bill Bowker, Art Laboe 


Jolie and Chuck Madden, Gene Gates, Mike Lundy 

Cliff Winston, Paul Wells (the Lobster), Bill Smith


Diana Steele, Danny Bonaduce, Gordon Mason


Humble Harve, The World Famous Tom Murphy, Casey Kasem, Dick Moreland


Rick Hunter, Cathy Hughes, Zac Zenor


Shadoe Stevens, Don West, Francesca Cappucci, Chris Sedens


More LARadio Photos Here






More Funnies


For 25 years LARadio chronicled the news of Southern California radio and the personalities who populated it. Alan Oda was editor for much of that time. With the closing of LARadio he opened a weekly blog, mostly about radio at ayodaradio.blogspot.com After 25 years, LARadio came to an end in  2020.

Read the final column by clicking the curtain.

The Passing Parade of 2021 (click)


Send mail to: Donald Barrett, AvilaBeachdb@gmail.com with questions or comments about this website
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PO Box 2670, Avila Beach, CA 93424

Last modified: January 16, 2022