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Airwaves: July 2, 2010

Seacrest ... Out?

Is Ryan Seacrest leaving KIIS (102.7 FM)?

Forbes Magazine mentioned, as part of a feature article on Seacrest tied to the magazine’s “celebrity 100” list of top celebrities, that the popular radio and television host “doesn’t think he will sign another one” when his current contract with the station ends late this year.

Of course he doesn’t have to ... Seacrest is everywhere and has made enough money over the past decade so that he probably doesn’t have to work at all. But the hot rumor has the modern-day Dick Clark taking over for Oprah Winfrey when her show ends production. Another rumor has it that he’ll be the next Larry King (I wonder if he looks OK in a bow tie?) when King retires from cable’s CNN.

The loss of Seacrest could be a big blow to KIIS, except for the fact that KIIS is not the station it once was: a personality-driven top-40 station that was larger than life as it was during the 1980s when it set records for FM ratings.

Today’s KIIS, while still a ratings success, is but a shell of its former self. Today the personalities are essentially afterthoughts, placing in importance well after the slick (over) production, voice-overs and music. Unfortunate because they have some talented personalities, but today’s KIIS could probably drop personalities altogether and few would notice.

With the possible exception of Seacrest. Seacrest is the one personality from KIIS that the average person recognizes. And I know that he does love radio. It will be interesting to watch what happens over the next few months.

No Dementia

Dr. Demento, at one time a Sunday night mainstay on KMET (now KTWV, 94.7 FM) but not heard in Los Angeles since last year’s KMET reunion on The Sound (100.3 FM) has given up his syndicated program heard on a handful of stations nationwide. The program had been losing money for a some time, according to an announcement made June 6th on DrDementio.com.

A weekly internet version of the program will still be available at the website for the foreseeable future, posted every Saturday.

I wonder if this could open up the possibility of The Doctor returning to the Los Angeles airwaves via The Sound ... it would be an interesting way for The Sound to help keep the KMET spirit alive.

Dr. Demento -- aka Barry Hansen -- has been playing novelty records for over 40 years. His program on KMET helped launch the career of “Weird” Al Yankovic, whose first “major” record was a spoof of The Knack’s My Sharona, called My Bologna. I personally always thought the syndicated program couldn’t hold a candle to the live KMET show .... as what usually happens when a local show goes national. I think I’ll give programmer Dave Beasing from The Sound a call ...

Scott Gone

News reporter Hanna Scott has left KFI (640 AM) for reasons unknown; she says she is looking forward to her next opportunity. Besides general news, Scott was occasionally heard on the morning Bill Handel program.

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Copyright © 2010 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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