Radio AM to FM: June 18, 1999
Kelly Lange, perhaps best known as the popular KNBC-TV Channel 4 newscaster, will be back on the air in Los Angeles starting this Sunday, June 20th -- this time on radio, at KRLA. Her show will air Sundays from 5 pm to 8 pm.
Lange actually began her broadcast career on the radio at KABC as an airborne traffic reporter.
Who's in charge?
Is former KABC General Manager George Green the real mastermind behind the programming on KRLA? Does KRLA programmer Ron Escarsega have any real authority at his own station?
Consider: High profile personalities Michael Jackson, Ken and Rick Minyard, Ira Fistell and now Kelly Lange are all represented by Green, who apparently is paying the station for the privilege of airing them. That means that, essentially, Green controls the majority of KRLA's daily prime-time programming and is now moving into the weekend lineup.
It also means that KRLA is nothing more than a cheap, brokered station where you too can be on the air -- if you have enough money. To think that this could happen on a major-market, 50,000-watt station! Whatever happened to pride in ownership? I guess that's the new corporate-mentality ... and it wasn't that long ago that (KRLA owner) CBS was a proud company. If I were managing KRLA, I'd be ashamed.
Who's on first?
George Moore of KACE recently wrote to Tomm Looney of RadioDigest.com regarding the origins of the Rhythm and Blues oldies format in Los Angeles.
Referring to Mega 100 FM, Moore wrote, "Mega 100 is a big corporate-merger, multi-owned, cookie-cutter, antiseptic rip-off of our format at KACE! Large corporate radio has made it a habit to rip another format from the originator (i.e. KACE) and make it seem as if they invented the thing. We've been doing the R&B oldies format at KACE since 1993"
Moore's right, of course, to a point. What he fails to mention is that KACE is itself a rip-off of KGFJ, which ran R&B oldies from the mid-1980s until they were sold a few years back, and actually is the originator of the format in Los Angeles. KRLA, too, ran a format that included many R&B oldies in the early 1990s.
Yes, KACE is a great station, and it definitely does not get the attention it deserves (I think I'll take care of that in a future column). But Moore needs to get his history straight.
Rush to move?
Rumors keep circulating that KFI mainstays Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura Schlessinger will be moving over to sports-talk KXTA when their contracts come up for renewal.
Personally I don't believe it (Rush and Dr. Laura have a certain pull and would not want to lose their spots on the most powerful AM station in Southern California), but the rumor has the following basis in fact: Both shows are distributed by Jacor, and Jacor owns KXTA. In addition, KXTA has no ratings, and Jacor has a history of pulling their shows from competing stations in order to place them on their own. Stay tuned ...
Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.
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