Radio Column for February 13, 1998

Star 98.7 (KYSR) has been searching for a morning show for a long time. They almost got Chicago's Jonathon Brandmeier, but a contract dispute killed that, sending Brandmeier to mid-days at the Low-Rated FM Talk Station, KLSX (97.1 FM). Now Star has finally found what they think will be a winner.

Beginning Monday, Jamie White, Frank Kramer and Frosty Stillwell will move their show from Denver -- where it held the top spot in the Arbitrons -- to Los Angeles -- where management hopes history will repeat itself.

How will they do that? Simple, at least according to published reports about the team: take the easy way out through crude gutter-talk and detailed discussion about the sexual exploits of White and her friends. Apparently the days of innovation and creativeness are history in today's conglomerate radio.

Why the focus on morning radio? Simple. According to the research gurus, a strong morning program leads to strong overall ratings since roughly 60 percent of listeners stay tuned-in after the morning show has ended.

Unfortunately that only works when the morning show complements the station. When a morning show attracts a substantially different audience than the rest of the day, the station ends up sputtering. For example, KLSX has had one of the top-rated morning programs in Los Angeles since Howard Stern arrived six years ago, yet overall the station's ratings are lower than in the pre-Stern era.

On the other side of the coin is KROQ (106.7 FM), which has a far lower (though still respectable) morning rating, and yet creams KLSX overall.

The new program will be based in Los Angeles but simulcast in Denver, meaning that Los Angeles has lost another localized morning program. On the positive side, a KYSR spokesman stated that music will indeed remain in the morning on the station, although in a smaller capacity than now.

"We're very excited," said KYSR programmer Angela Perelli. "We rank about 16th in the morning but go up to 8th or 7th in mid-days and afternoons. If our morning show performs well, we could take the station up several notches in the ratings."


Doug Brown, former Production Director of KRLA (1110 AM) wrote in to correct last week's column regarding KRLA's transmitter site. The transmitter is no longer located in Whittier Narrows, but instead is on an old landfill filled with tires in the city of Irwindale.

This would probably explain why KRLA's signal is not what is used to be, as a landfill wouldn't have as good as a groundwave as the old location. According to Brown, the transmitter was moved around 1986.