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Radio AM to FM: December 3, 1999

Kevin and Bean to Stay with the Roq

It would have been a major coup, KLOS (95.5 FM) stealing away morning wackos Kevin and Bean from KROQ (106.7 FM). But in the end, it turned into a major raise for two of Los Angeles' most popular -- and entertaining -- personalities.

As of early last week, the good money was on KLOS. Kevin Ryder and Gene "Bean" Baxter had still not settled on a contract extension with KROQ, and time was running short. Mere weeks were left on the old contract; with rumors of an impending "retirement" of KLOS morning team Mark and Brian and the dire need for KLOS to attract listeners younger than dirt, the rumor mongers had Kevin and Bean moving to KLOS for afternoons until Mark and Brian "retired" later next year.

This would solve two problems: Kevin and Bean would get some respect (spelled: d-o-l-l-a-r-s), while KLOS had a way to quickly rid itself of the protests stemming from Mark and Brian's infamous "Black Hoe" contest, wherein M&B gave away black plastic garden tools called "black hoes," drawing the ire of ignorant hypocrites that never say a thing about the slang term when it is used repeatedly in a rap song.

To add fuel to the fire, Kevin and Bean were seen roaming the KLOS hallways during November.

Well, once the KLOS courting came to light, the powers that be at KROQ finally woke up and agreed to a new deal with Kevin and Bean. Details were not released, but insiders are hushly stating that they are now in the league of Mark and Brian ... but not quite as high salary-wise as KIIS's (102.7 FM) Rick Dees. One KROQ spokesman stated that Kevin and Bean will be at KROQ for at least another ten years.

Where does that leave Mark and Brian? Right where they started, with one twist. While officially KLOS says that M&B will be around at least through their current contract that expires in August of 2001, others close to the dynamic duo state that the pair will voluntarily split up the partnership as early as next Summer. They're just getting tired of it, "they" say, although radio's politically correct atmosphere must certainly have something to do with any such decision ... if indeed the rumor is true.

Big Bank

Down in San Diego, popular alternative station 91X (XTRA-FM, 91.1) raised 22,000 pounds of food for the San Diego Food Bank -- twice as much as last year -- when personality Steve West undertook a 52-hour marathon broadcast in November.

The Test

Mr. KABC, heard from 9 - 10 pm on KABC (790 AM) thinks I don't understand his argument for changing the name "SigAlert" to "Traffic Alert." No one knows what it is, he says.

Ignorance of a term's meaning is no excuse in my book. And besides, I bet no one really knows what a "traffic alert" is either. People may think they know, but they don't ... similar to those who don't ask about Cinco De Mayo, believing that the day is a celebration of Mexican Independence Day.

Well, Cinco De Mayo is actually a celebration of when the town of Puebla successfully fought off invading French troops, giving a badly-needed morale boost to the rest of the Mexican Army. It has nothing to do with Mexican Independence Day. In fact, it's not even celebrated in much of Mexico.

In the same vein, go out and ask 10 people the meaning of a "SigAlert" as well as a "traffic alert." I'll bet the vast majority will be able to correctly answer that both terms have something to do with a traffic incident. Further, I'll bet that almost no one will be able to give the correct definition of either term, which was defined in this column last week.

Go ahead, try it. Then let me know the results. Does anyone you know know the real meaning of the interchangeable terms? That both terms are defined as an unscheduled lane closure lasting at least 30 minutes?


Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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