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Radio Waves Podcast #238

Radio: October 26, 2018 I’ve decided to branch out … I’m going to contact the judge involved in the Sears bankruptcy to convince him or her to let me run Sears. As part of my revival of the storied catalog and retail company, I will buy WLS/Chicago and return the station to the company that launched it more than 90 years ago. I know what you’re thinking. Sears? WLS? What’s the connection? Sears actually launched WLS — the calls stood for World’s Largest Store — on April 12, 1924 after a...


Radio Waves Podcast #237

Radio: October 19, 2018 It still seems odd for me to say, but KBIG (104.3 FM) — aka My FM — earned the top spot once again in the Nielsen Ratings released earlier this month. My FM has led the ratings race for five of the last six months and was a full half-point (is that an oxymoron?) above second-place KRTH (101.1 FM): 5.5 vs. 5.0. The regulars rounded out the top-five: KOST (103.5 FM) at 4.7; KTWV The Wave (94.7 FM) at 4.6, and KIIS-FM (102.7 FM) at 4.4. Complicating matters just a...


Radio Waves Podcast #236

Radio: September 28, 2018 You probably don’t know the name Bob Goodman. But you should ... he is the host of a program called Whole “Nuther Thing, a program you might call a flashback to the early days of FM radio heard locally on KCSN’s (88.5 FM) HD2 digital stream as well as on line at, via the TuneIn app, on iTunes, Mixcloud, and at Podomatic.Com. Goodman hails from New York City and cut his teeth on early FM. His program aired on the former KSBR since 1984; last year when...


Radio Waves Podcast #235

Radio: September 14, 2018 As the suits at CBS Radio were falling over themselves three years ago trying to cut costs (i.e. talent) from their radio stations in an ill-fated attempt to make the financials look better to a potential buyer, one of the victims was Freddy Snakeskin, who had been (among other things) programming and doing on-air work for KROQ (106.7 FM) HD2, the digital “Roq of the ‘80s” that you could hear on line and with a special radio. More on that later. The format...


Radio Waves Podcast #234

Radio: August 31, 2018 My oldest son committed to attend Lake Forest College in Illinois, about 30 miles North of Chicago, so I spent part of last week with him in the city of Lake Forest as well as a couple quick tours of Chicagoland itself. I discovered two interesting things in particular: 1. The stations I heard in the educational portion of the FM band are lightyears ahead of Southern California in terms of using their licenses as originally intended by the FCC. Stations heard were...


Radio Waves Podcast #233

Radio: August 17, 2018 This coming Monday, August 20, is Shotgun Day ... the day that “Shotgun” Tom Kelly finally makes his debut on SiriusXM’s Channel 6 - Sixties on Six. He’ll be on what has become his usual shift as of late, afternoon drive or 4-8 p.m. locally, though he has worked almost every shift throughout his long career. I grew up listening to Shotgun, as San Diego stations where he worked - primarily KCBQ (1170 AM), KGB (now KLSD, 1360 AM) and B-100 (KFMB-FM 100.7) - came in...


Radio Waves Podcast #232

Radio: August 10, 2018 The Inland Empire lost a radio station last Friday, as KPRO (1570 AM) left the air, a victim of declining listenership to AM radio and the vastly increasing value of property in Southern California, which makes the land many stations sit on with more than the stations themselves. But it’s a station with a local presence dating back to 1957 when it was put on the air by husband and wife Ray and Helen Lapica and Helen’s sister, Ollie Shervan. After the three original...


Radio Waves Podcast #231

Radio: July 27, 2018 Radio is still among the most popular of all available media, dwarfing the on-line services as far as reach and even beating television for overall reach. So what is causing revenue to stay far below what it should be, considering how far the economy has come since the drop in 2008? My personal belief is that today’s young-buck programmers and executives don’t have history on their sides ... indeed, they seem to shun history, forgetting that what worked in the past...


Radio Waves Podcast #230

Radio: July 20, 2018 I’ve been listening to KOLA (99.9 FM) since I was in junior high school, about the time I figured out how to tune it on my family’s “Sonic Servant FM” home intercom system. At the time it was an automated top-40 station; one of my memories of the time is when the automation system got stuck and the station played Paper Lace’s “The Night Chicago Died” something like 16 times in a row. Honestly I don’t know how I was able to listen that long, but I did. Today the...


Radio Waves Podcast #229

Radio: July 13, 2018 Alt 98.7 FM (KYSR) will have a new midday personality as Tamo Sein replaces Marty Whitney in the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. slot at the popular alternative music station effective July 16. Sein moves to Los Angeles from her former home of Charlotte, North Carolina where she had the same shift at co-owned alternative WEND. She is described as “relatable, down to earth” a fan of alternative music and “a food and wine enthusiast ... she will fit right in!” according to Alt...


Radio Waves Podcast #228 - Chuck Martin Interview

Interview with Chuck Martin, the last programmer of KHJ (930 AM) before the popular top-40 station went country in November of 1980. Also on hand is longtime KHJ engineer/production director Douglas Brown. Richard's column for this week: Radio: July 6, 2018 The timing was perfect. I had been thinking about the fact that it is hard to find “good” new music on the radio. Or anywhere else, it seems. What brought it to a head, ironically, was an ad on SiriusXM’s PopRock channel in which...


Radio Waves Podcast #227

Radio: June 29, 2018 KLOS (95.5 FM) has survived numerous competitors over the years and continues to prove it is still an amazing station and fully worthy of consideration for one of your radio presets. This week (or last week, depending on when you read this) is a perfect example. Evening DJ Melissa Maxx has been out, so this week they are bringing in guests to handle the 7 p.m. to 12 midnight shift. Included on the guest list is none other than Rita Wilde, formerly heard on The Sound...


Radio Waves Podcast #226

Radio: June 22, 2018 Last week I had a chance to sit down and talk with Chuck Martin, the last programmer of KHJ (930 AM) before the popular top-40 station went country in November of 1980. Martin and longtime KHJ engineer/production director Douglas Brown joined me and LA Radio Studio’s Michael Stark for a career-spanning audio interview of Martin that will be available shortly at LARadioWaves.Com. I’ll have details on the the interview and a story on Martin here when the audio...


Radio Waves Podcast #225

Radio: June 15, 2018 Richard Irwin was a former radio personality and program director at stations including KAFY/Bakersfield and KROY/Sacramento. He is perhaps better known as the man behind the top-40 radio online museum called ReelRadio, aka Uncle Ricky’s Reel Radio Repository, a site that featured hundreds of recordings of radio stations from around the United States and a few from Canada. Irwin passed away last week after a long battle with health issues that were causing him great...


Radio Waves Podcast #224

Radio: June 8, 2018 Big news for former KRTH (101.1 FM) afternoon drive personality Shotgun Tom Kelly: not only has he been selected to lead the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters as the organization’s president effective September, 2018, he’s also landed at SiriusXM and will be hosting afternoon drive on channel 6 -- Sixties on Six. Kelly will begin his new show in “about a week,” he says. Kelly is the perfect person to lead the PPB. With an extensive radio and television background in both...


Radio Waves Podcast #223

Radio: June 1, 2018 As I was driving today, unable to hear parts of songs or worse, large portions of stand-up comedy from John Mulaney as I tooled around town listening to SiriusXM Satellite Radio, I figured I better do a followup to the reception-problem column I wrote a few months ago. Here’s what has transpired since that previous column: absolutely nothing. Unfortunately I put the issue on the back burner for a few reasons ... primarily that reception in my area seemed to improve for...


Radio Waves Podcast #222

Radio: May 25, 2018 The Los Angeles radio scene lost two good friends recently. Bill Watson, who helped make RKO top-40 radio stations into regional format leaders as national program director under consultants Bill Drake and Gene Chenault, died May 15th at the age of 88. Watson was Drake’s right-hand man and worked with RKO’s KHJ (930 AM) here in Los Angeles in the mid to late 1960s, along with KFRC/San Francisco, WRKO/Boston, WOR/New York, and some stations outside of the RKO chain that...


Radio Waves Podcast #221

Radio: May 18, 2018 When I was young, my father used to ask questions about Sam Hill. “Who the Sam Hill is that?” Or “What the Sam Hill is going on?” My brothers and sisters always wondered who Sam Hill was ... asking Who the Sam Hill is Sam Hill? I thought I found the answer one time while visiting downtown Prescott, Arizona, when I saw a store called Sam Hill’s. But I think the definitive answer comes from the All Access Music Group, AllAccess.Com, a website dedicated to the music and...


Radio Waves Podcast #220

Radio: May 11, 2018 Dave Beasing isn’t your normal radio guy. He spent ten years designing and programming The Sound (now KQLZ, 100.3 FM) and developing it into a ratings leader. Previous experience had him working with radio stations nationwide as a consultant with Jacobs Media, and he programmed KYSR (and its predecessor KXEZ) before the current alternative format. He’s always been an innovator, looking for ways to push the medium forward while recognizing its history. At The Sound he...


Radio Waves Podcast #219

Radio: May 4, 2018 Perhaps it is statistically insignificant, but it must be a nice feeling for the staff of KOST (103.5 FM) that the station finally led the Los Angeles ratings outside of the holiday music season. It happened in the March Nielsen ratings released in late April when KOST jumped more than a half point from February (to 5.9 from 5.3) and former leader and sister station KBIG (104.3 FM)dropped almost a half point (to 5.7 from 6.1). Rounding the top five were KRTH at 5.0 and a...