Radio AM to FM: June 12, 1998
The first rumblings of change at KABC (790 AM) have begun, as programmer Dave Cooke -- brought in last year to "save" the station -- has resigned. The announcement came in the form of a memo to station staffers from General Manager Bill Sommers; another memo announcing Cooke's replacement is expected soon ... perhaps by the time you finish reading this.
KRTH (101.1 FM) is using the month of June as a testing ground for a few (or more) potential new morning personalities. The week of June 1st had former KHJ programmer and morning man Charlie Van Dyke pulling the wake-up duties; this week the honors went to ex-KRLA/KGIL/KIIS/KPRZ/KFI personality Tom Murphy. Next up -- June 15th -- is Dave Diamond (last heard in Los Angeles on, what, KFI?) followed by Chicago's Dan Ingram.
KRTH has been without a permanent morning personality ever since Robert W. Morgan took sick leave in May, 1997; Jim Carson has been filling in during the interim. With Morgan's death two weeks ago, the station is hoping to find someone with the same stature and appeal as Morgan ... a difficult task indeed.
Well, maybe not that difficult. There are probably only a handful of jocks nationwide that could even come close to filling Morgan's shoes: Charlie Tuna comes to mind, as he filled those same shoes when Morgan left KHJ in 1970 and 1973. Van Dyke is another no-brainer, as he has a similar sense of humor as Morgan and also learned his craft at the RKO school of radio. The only problem with Van Dyke? He doesn't want to move back to Los Angeles.
KHJ/KGB/KFRC jock Bobby Ocean would be a great choice, too, even though he is usually thought of as an afternoon drive personality. Believe me, Ocean would make a tremendous morning man for KRTH but I don't believe he wants to move back to Los Angeles, either ... Ocean is one of the main reasons I wanted to get into radio when I was younger
Can you think of any other choices? E-mail your suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (AOL users may use rwaggs) or send them through the mail to Rave, The Daily Breeze, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, 90503.
Speaking of Morgan
Don Barrett, author of Los Angeles Radio People, called last week to say that I had my year wrong. Robert W. Morgan, who passed away on May 22, 1998, was born on July 23, 1937 -- not 1942 as printed in this column. Morgan would have been 61 on his next birthday.
Speaking of KRTH
The station raised $175,630 for children's charities through this year's Care For Kids Radiothon held last weekend. This brings the five year total up to $807,881 in money raised through the yearly event. Over 200 children's agencies and programs benefit from the funds provided by KRTH and their partner, Variety Club.
Copyright 1998, Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press