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Radio Column for May 22, 1998

In an era when legendary personalities such as Charlie Tuna and "Humble" Harve Miller are off the air and Los Angeles wakes up to such no-talents as the Denver Sluts on KYSR (98.7 FM), it may seem like radio is on a definite downward spin.

Ricky the K wants to do something about it. And for a fee, you can too.

In the making for almost a year, Ricky the K's Solid Gold Time Machine is now webcasting on the internet five nights a week with a re-creation of early 1960s radio as heard on such stations as Los Angeles' KFWB, and Chicago's WLS and WCFL.

A state of the art broadcast studio was designed specifically to recapture the sounds of early 1960s Top-40 radio, with special reverb and vacuum tube compression -- just like the good old days, before people started calling such reverb and compression "distortion."

A 3000 song music library promises to cover all the important songs from 1955 to 1971, and the station claims that no song will be repeated more than once every nine (itlaics)weeks(/italics). That's amazing, if it proves to be true. Jingles from the era were also recreated, and hundreds of 1960s commercials are on the playlist to give a real 1960s feel.

Unfortunately, all this comes at a cost. Subscriptions run from $20 per month up to $150 per year for 73 hours per month of "radio." In addition, you'll need internet access and a computer capable of running Real Player from Progressive Networks.

For more information, set your browser to There are hours of demo tapes available, so its worth the trip.


KIEV (870 AM) has been sold for a Los Angeles AM record $33.4 million to Salem Communications, owner of Christian-formatted stations KKLA (99.5 FM) and KLTX (1390 AM). But don't expect a major change soon. 

It seems that conservative talk is a money-maker, so the new owners hope to expand on the stations current success and evolve to a more fully programmed (rather than brokered) type of format.

In other words, Ray Briem and George Putnam are safe. And Michael Medved may be on the way.


KNX (1070 AM) is expanding their nightly Drama Hour to two hours, from 9 pm to 11 pm, beginning this Monday, May 25th. Sources say that the extra hour will feature repeats of the great "CBS Radio Mystery Theater" that debuted on KNX in 1974, but that rumor could not be confirmed at press time. 

The KNX Drama Hour is one of Los Angeles' most popular programs, and consistently outperforms most of the competition during its time slot. I've often wondered why a station doesn't adapt this format full time.