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Airwaves: February 27, 2015

Cost-Cutting Radio

Cutbacks at several local stations have affected numerous on-air personalities.

Boyd R. Britton is a longtime newsman in Los Angeles radio, having spent time at KKDJ (now KIIS, 102.7 FM), KIIS-FM, Ten-Q (KTNQ, 1020 AM), KWST (now KPWR, 105.9 FM) and KHTZ (now KAMP, 97.1 FM). In his earlier days, I remember him as the newsman on Charlie Tuna’s morning show on Ten-Q, where he was occasionally the subject of Tuna’s “Morning Wakeup Story” joke of the day.

More recently he’s been known as “Doc on the Roq” and part of the Kevin and Bean morning program on KROQ (106.7 FM). To thank him for his work over the past 27 years, station management cut him loose to cut costs on February 18th. The recipient of a Golden Mike in 1981, he’s an LA legend who will hopefully land on his feet.

She’s probably been on almost every shift at Go Country (KKGO, 105.1 FM) and most recently was paired with Larry Morgan in afternoon drive. With the station since 2008, Ginny Harman was coincidentally let go on February 18th as well.

“If you know anyone looking for a fun, Harley-riding, cat-loving talent, please let me know!” she wrote to LARadio.Com’s Don Barrett. “Will back-sell for food!”

Over at KSPN (710 AM), Dave Joseph, Pete Fox and Beto Duran were all let go ... again on February 18th. The three were known as “update anchors,” giving sports updates throughout the day on various shows.

More changes may be coming at KSPN as the syndicated morning show of Mike (Greenberg) and Mike (Golic) is expected to move up the dial to KLAA (830 AM) starting March 2nd. Travis Rogers is supposedly moving from KLAA to KSPN mornings the same day joined by Kelvin Washington for the shortest morning show in America, 5-7 AM.

Of course no one really cares.

Ratings Shorts

In its last ratings period as an “old school” station, Hot 92.3 -- now called Real 92.3, KRRL -- earned its best ratings in years, 13th place at 2.6. The competitive baseline has been set: Real starts with Hot’s last share of 2.6 while competitor Power 106 starts the contest at 5th place and a 4.0 raring. The next few months should be interesting.

KFWB (980 AM), which has struggled in the ratings since dropping news years ago, continues to struggle as a sports station ... last place in the ratings list at 0.2. About what I expected.

Maybe my plan to bring back top-40 on KHJ (930 AM) isn’t such a bad idea ... as religious talk, the station didn’t even make the list.

KABC (790 AM) was up a tad to 0.7, reversing a long decline. KFI remained the king of talk, though, with a 3.3 share at 10th place. Perhaps the most surprising news came from KNX, which came in as the top-rated AM station in town: 8th place and a 3.4 rating, tied with The Sound.

And speaking of The Sound, this is the last survey prior to the arrival of new morning man Mark Thompson. Will Sound programmer Dave Beasing look like a genius if the ratings continue to build? Currently the station is at its highest point ever in its current incarnation. Pressure ... pressure.

Leading the pack in January? KOST (103.5 FM).

Anniversary

Weird that February 18th is the date again, but it was on that date in 1959 that Saul Levine launched KBCA using a used transmitter and a home-made antenna. The station later became KKGO and is still owned by Levine. That’s something to celebrate. Interestingly, in the history of the station, it has run only three formats: classical (twice), jazz, and country.

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Copyright © 2015 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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