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 Radio AM to FM: October 30, 1998

It's Back, Baby!

It was almost 2 years ago that L. A.'s Best Music station, also known as Adult Album Alternative KSCA (101.9 FM) signed off the air. In its place was (more accurately is) a Spanish station that would later become one of Los Angeles' top-rated stations, and a lot of upset music fans.

Oh, sure, KSCA never had huge ratings under its AAA format. In fact, Arbitron ratings hovering around 1.0 almost guaranteed that the format would have trouble making a comeback in spite of a fiercely loyal audience ... an audience that would spend the next two years lamenting the loss of their favorite station and acting as an AAA support group on the internet at

But its exactly that dedication (and the money that such listeners have to spend that can attract advertisers) that led Jacor to drop the Groove dance-music format on KACD/KBCD (103.1 FM) in favor of AAA on October 19th, just days after assuming control of the station from Ken Roberts under a local marketing agreement.

Former KSCA music director Nicole Sandler assumes the same position at the new Channel 103-1, working with programmer Dave Benson, whom Jacor transferred from co-owned KBCO/Denver, another AAA station.

The station is currently running jock less (and almost free of commercials), but will add personalities within the next month. According to Sandler, afternoon drive will be the first slot filled.

If you'd like to hear the format launch, set your internet browser to Reader John Andrusko has the switch available as a Real Audio file. If you live outside of the coverage area of the station, go to and hear it live, also as a Real Audio feed.

The Bell Tolls

It appears that Art Bell's leaving his popular overnight program has less to do with a threat against his family and more to do with his wanting to renegotiate his contract with his syndicator.

According to Los Angeles Radio people author Don Barrett, there was indeed a threat against Bell's family a year ago as Bell stated on his show. But it appears that Bell is using the issue to pressure Premiere Media to increase his compensation now that his show has been ranked as the 4th most popular talk program in the country. A resolution of the standoff is expected soon, and Bell should then return to his show heard locally on KABC (790 AM) at 10 pm week nights.

War's Anniversary

1998 is the 100th anniversary of H. G. Wells' novel, War of the Worlds, and the 60th anniversary of its radio adaptation by Howard Koch for CBS Radio's Mercury Theater of the Air under the direction of Orson Welles.

Tomorrow night at 9:00, KNX (1070 AM) will present the program that scared the nation when it was originally broadcast on October 30, 1938. It was heard by millions of people, many of whom were fooled into believing an actual invasion from Mars was taking place in spite of notices that were read at the beginning of the program, stating that the play was a dramatization.

Since that time the program has been repeated numerous times and even rerecorded a few times, first in 1968 by Jefferson Kaye, programmer of WKBW/Buffalo, New York, then in 1988 by National Public Radio. Just four years ago, the L. A. Theater Works produced their own version that also aired on public radio stations throughout the country, and it was the subject of a Movie of the Week on NBC Television in the mid-1970s.

Tomorrow night's broadcast is the original, however, as heard originally on the CBS Radio Network. I find it fitting that it still airs on CBS-owned KNX every year at this time.


Copyright © 1998 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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