Radio AM to FM: August 17, 2001
Mega 92.3 is history, effective last Thursday afternoon, August 9th. In its place is Hot 92.3, described on the air as "the best of Old School and today's R&B," with core artists including Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind and Fire, Janet Jackson, Toni Braxton, and the like.
If it sounds familiar, it is. KJLH (102.3 FM) has run a variation of this format for years. The old KACE (now KRCD, 103.9 FM) did too, until it went Spanish. In fact, this is essentially the format that The Beat (KKBT, 100.3 FM) played before that station was sold by Hot owner Clear Channel last year. Remember when The Beat and Mega swapped frequencies?
Which is quite an irony, actually. When Clear Channel sells off stations due to ownership limits, they go to great pains to make sure the new owner doesn't run a format that competes with an existing CC station. Now they are competing for much of the same audience they once had when they actually owned The Beat, even though The Beat has since evolved into a more hip-hop-oriented direction. And if my memory serves right, didn't Clear Channel own KACE when it bought Cox's LA stations? Or was that AMFM, later to become CC?
In any event, showing just how small the radio world really is, CC vice president of programming Steve Smith -- and the man apparently behind this move -- was once in a similar position in the Emmis Broadcasting chain. Emmis owns Power 106 here in Los Angeles as well as a station that (as I recall) Steve Smith once programmed directly: Hot 97 in New York.
For now, the station is running jockless. But the anticipated lineup is expected to include popular former Beat personality Theo in the morning. Hopefully we'll see a return of some of the great KACE, KGFJ or KDAY jocks that once graced the airwaves.
There will be no commercials for at least the next week, and after that, according to laradio.com, the commercial load will be among the lowest in town: 8 minutes per hour.
Personally, I'm kind of surprised that it took this long for such a station to return. It will be interesting to see how well it does.
Karel Bouley, whose personal and professional partner recently passed away, will return to KFI (640 AM) Saturdays and Sundays from 4 to 7 pm starting tomorrow.
Bouley replaces Tim Kelly and Neil Saavedra.
Legendary Los Angeles radio and television personality Ralph Story celebrates his "39th" birthday this Sunday.
Perhaps best known as the host of Ralph Story's AM on Channel 7 and Ralph Story's Los Angeles on Channel 2, Story's career includes morning wake-up duties at little 'ol KNX (1070 AM) in the 1950s.
Copyright © 2001 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.
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