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Radio AM to FM: August 20, 1999

Parks On the Air

Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan is (apparently) on vacation next week, so filling in for his honor on KFWB's (980 AM) Ask the Mayor program will be the head honcho of the Los Angeles Police Department, Chief Bernard Parks. This special edition of, uh, Ask the Chief, will air Wednesday, August 25th at 10 am.

The one-hour program will feature telephone calls from listeners, who will be allowed to ask just about anything: according to a KFWB spokesperson, Parks will be prepared to talk about "whatever Angelinos want to discuss."

Limiting Speech

The Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) is urging the FCC to drop plans for low-power broadcast stations, citing results of its recent FM receiver interference study. The FCC is considering (re) allowing the issuance of low-power FM licenses such as those once held by North High School in Torrance (KNHS) and Long Beach State (KSUL), back when the University actually wanted students involved in its radio program.

Gary Shapiro, CEMA president, stated, "CEMA does not object in principal to the creation of a low power FM radio service, but we believe (such a service) would adversely effect consumers' investment in the 710 million FM receivers currently in use in the United States. We have found that current home, portable and mobile FM receivers would not be able to distinguish low power FM signals from those of established commercial radio stations."

Hogwash. Any decent FM radio can easily distinguish signals. On a clear day in the South Bay, you can get the same effect as low power FM by tuning into the stations that beam in from San Diego and Santa Barbara. I, for example, often listen to KRUZ/Santa Barbara (103.3 FM) ... sandwiched between KACD (103.1 FM) and KOST (103.5 FM). Same goes for Mix 95.7 ... San Diego's version of neighbor Mix 95.9 from Anaheim. And I do this in my car and truck, a much more difficult reception type than a stationary home or portable radio.

The only radios that would have a problem, in fact, are those that are designed so poorly and cheaply that they can barely latch onto a major signal, let alone weak signals or closely spaced stations. I personally don't believe that local citizens and schools should be prevented from having a radio voice just to protect the designers and manufacturers of bad radios.

Big Country

Country-formatted KZLA (93.9 FM) has paired Jim Duncan with Wendi (no last name) for mornings beginning September 7th. The move follows the departure of programmer Bill Fink, who was replaced by Dave Ervin and a special "programming team." Apparently programming KZLA is too much work for one person.


Theo won't be moving to mid-days on The Beat (KKBT, 92.3 FM) after all. His last afternoon show was last Friday.


Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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