Radio Column for April 24, 1998
Shockwaves were sent throughout the radio industry last week when Scott Ginsburg resigned from the company he helped found: Chancellor Media Corporation.
The resignation is related to differences of opinion in regard to his role in the company and the direction the company is moving, according to industry newspaper Radio and Records. Ginsburg will remain on the Chancellor Media Board of Directors.
Why the shockwaves? Two reasons. First, the company's founding was directly related to Ginsburg himself. What later became Chancellor Media began life as Evergreen Media, which was founded by Ginsburg and partners Jim DeCastro and Matt Devine, who remain on Chancellor's management team.
Second, the resignation has fanned rumors of a merger between Chancellor Media and Jacor, which would make for a h-u-g-e radio holding company. Currently in Los Angeles, Chancellor owns KKBT, KYSR, KBIG, KLAC and KCMG, while Jacor owns KIIS-FM and KXTA -- accounting for about 20 percent of the listening audience, according to Arbitron.
KIIS-FM has long been the leader of the Giant Giveaway -- huge contests involving thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, the Cash Payoff contests got old. Fast.
So the station that brought you the Daily Cash Payoff is going back a few years, resurrecting an old classic -- Beat the Bomb, a contest where the specified caller tries to stop the "money machine" before the "bomb" goes off and takes away all the winnings.
Sound familiar? It should -- KIIS used this contest in the early 1980s right before their rise to the top. But it wasn't the first time it was used in Los Angeles. KHJ ran the contest back in 1965 under the name "Time Bomb." And there were no doubt countless other variations of the theme throughout radio contest history.
It's a great contest that gives more people a chance to win something, and brings back elements of classic top-40 radio. And it's just plain fun. Hopefully this is an indication of great things to come on KIIS-FM.
If you haven't been out to Uncle Ricky's Reel Top 40 Radio Repository on the World Wide Web, you owe yourself another look. Recent additions include a video documentary of KHJ/KMPC/KMGG/KRTH personality Robert W. Morgan's rise to morning stardom, as well as a clip of the History of Rock and Roll Time Sweep -- bits of every number one song from 1955 to 1977.
You'll need internet access and a RealPlayer from Progressive Networks (version 3 for audio, version 5 for video), Point your browser to http://www.reelradio.com