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Radio AM to FM: December 18, 1998

Minyard (and son) goes to KRLA

First is was Ken Minyard. Then it was Ken and Bob. Next came Ken and Barkley and eventually Ken and Peter (or "Minyard and Tilden," depending on what day of the week you were in).

Starting January 4, 1999 and airing weekdays from 3 to 7 pm, it'll be Minyard and Minyard, as Ken pairs up with his son, Rick, for afternoons on KRLA (1110 AM), the station that seems destined to recreate the old KABC (790 AM) in one way or another.

The first show of the new program will be broadcast live from the Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills . Then it'll be broadcast from KRLA's studios or a combination of studios at KRLA, KFIV/Modesto and KJAX/Stockton, as Rick will still be doing mornings and programming in Central California while his dad works out of Los Angeles. When the two are separated, Rick will send his portion of the program to Los Angeles by ISDN telephone lines; otherwise ISDN lines will send the show up North from Los Angeles.

This is not the first time Rick has worked with his dad, who left KABC late last month. During the later days of Ken and Bob and the early days of Ken and Barkley, Rick was a producer for the program.

Interestingly, Rick was director of communications for Bruce Herschensohn's race for the United States Senate back in 1985 and '86. Considering that father Ken is fairly liberal, it must make for interesting family get-togethers. "I love to argue politics (with dad)," says Rick.

The program will displace the syndicated G. Gordon Liddy Show, which may end up replacing Ron Barr's "Sports Byline USA" at 7 pm.

And if that weren't enough, January 4th is also the date that Michael Jackson returns to the weekday airwaves: 9 am to 12 noon, also on KRLA (I told you they were recreating the old KABC).

This Just In

Actually this came in a few weeks ago, but Channel 103.1 FM (KACD/KBCD) finally has a Program Director. His name is Keith Cunningham, and he arrived in Los Angeles December 7th from Jacor's "adult alternative" station in Boulder, Colorado.

Reader Rodger Barrow hopes this will improve the station which, as he correctly pointed out, has sounded automated and repetitious. To put your minds at ease, yes, it should. Cunningham has a pretty decent reputation at Jacor, and besides, the kinks are still being worked out at the station which switched formats within days of Jacor's purchase ... leaving very little time to get things ready for a real launch.

Gift Guide

Looking for the perfect gift for your radio nut? Look no further than your local book store (or even on the web) for "The Hits Just Keep on Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio" by Ben Fong-Torres.

Featuring interviews with Dick Clark, Gary Owens, Casey Kasem, Cousin Brucie and others, this well-written book chronicles the evolution and history of top-40 radio and is a must-read for any fans of rock and roll music radio from the 1950s to today.

It'll leave you wanting more.

On the other side of the isle for fans of AM radio, my perennial recommendation is the SuperRadio III from General Electric. It's one of the best-sounding AM radios in existence, and it costs only about $40. FMs not too bad either, by the way, especially considering that the radio is a portable.


Copyright © 1998 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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