Radio AM to FM: July 16, 1999
The China Syndrome
Veteran personality China Smith has returned to the Los Angeles airwaves after a far-too-long absence. According to Don Barrett at www.laradio.com, Smith will handling vacation fill-ins and weekends on Arrow 93 (KCBS-FM, 93.1) effective immediately.
Smith has a long history in Los Angeles radio, dating back to 1971 when he landed a job at "album rock" KDAY. He later went on to work at KRLA (1110 AM), KROQ (AM), KMET, KLOS (95.5 FM), KNX-FM, KWST, KMGG, KUTE, KTWV (94.7 FM) and KACD/KBCD (103.1 FM). It was at top-40 KWST in the early 1980s where Smith earned his reputation as one of the best evening personalities that Los Angeles has ever heard. At least in my opinion.
In spite of all the stations where Smith has worked over the years, he says he is most proud of his former syndicated program, "Fusion 40," which he describes as "a combination of jazz/NAC and World Beat." Don't know what "NAC" means? Ask the folks at KTWV (The Wave) ... they run that format right now. The show lasted for five years and was heard on four continents.
Now for this week's trivia question: "China Smith" is not his real name. What is his real name? Extra credit? Where did the name come from?
Matt Drudge, who runs an internet site (www.drudgereport.com) filled with politics and gossip, has inked a deal with the ABC Radio Network to do a weekly radio show -- in spite of opposition from ABC News, which said he was "reckless." That opposition, in fact, led to delays in signing the deal which was finally completed last week.
The program airs locally Sunday nights from 10 pm to 12 midnight on KABC (790 AM).
New Times Los Angeles' "Driveby L.A." has named The Tom Leykis Show the "Best Afternoon Radio Talk Show (Fun and Slightly Raunchy)."
"Leykis is clever, engaging, and a master at refining issues of sex, race, and pop culture into pure entertainment," says New Times. "Callers sometimes get raunchy, but generally, intelligence and wit abound."
You ask, we answer ...
Q: Is there any truth to the story that Peter Tilden has moved, or will move, to Denver? -- John Lebedda
A: The last I heard was that the story was false. Tilden said a few weeks ago that he hadn't even talked with anyone in Denver, while sources report he wants to stay in Southern California for various reasons. Things could change at any minute, however.
Q: Where is Garrison Keiller's weekend program!?! -- Jeanne Perkins
A: One of public radio's most popular programs, "A Prairie Home Companion" can be heard on KPCC (89.3 FM), Sunday mornings at 10:00.
Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.
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