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Radio AM to FM: December 17, 1999

No se el Modern Rock

An anticipated yet disappointing format change occurred at Y-107 (KLYY, 107.1 FM) this week, giving Los Angeles yet another Spanish station and one less reason to listen to the radio. Interestingly, this move may prove to be a sacrifice that ultimately proves beneficial. Or it might not.

Last week in a move that involved contract disputes, Y-107 owner Big City Media fired the entire air staff, leaving the station jockless but maintaining the Y-107 play list. Then early in the morning last Sunday, the alternative music was replaced with "Feliz Navidad," -- that obnoxious song from the 1970s that always gets overplayed this time of year -- over and over again. By Tuesday, a new format was expected to be on the air, a new contemporary Spanish hits format aimed at 25-34 year olds.

It's too bad, really. Not that Y-107 was that great of a radio station. But it did give an alternative to the dominant alternative rock format station in town, KROQ (106.7 FM). Never a serious KROQ competitor, Y-107 still attracted a loyal following from those who tired of KROQ's carefully-planned spontaneous-sounding format.

How might this be beneficial? Well (and this is a long shot), combined with the imminent change to a similar Spanish format at KACE (103.9 and 98.3 FM), the market for Spanish radio may be temporarily saturated and my two favorite stations, Channel 103.1 (KACD/KBCD, 103.1 FM) and KXMX (95.9 FM) may be spared a similar fate as Clear Channel Communications seeks a buyer for their properties in a divestment plan prompted by a merger with AMFM.

All we need now is someone to step in and save Channel 103.1 and Mix 95.9 before there is no longer a reason for me to cover Los Angeles radio.


The $1 million slander suit brought against Beach Access Surf Shop owner Tom Moore by Dr. Laura Schlessinger has been dismissed as groundless. The good doctor, heard locally on KFI (640 AM) from 12 noon to 3 pm, was seeking damages from Moore after Moore allegedly called Schlessinger a liar last Summer in reference to an incident involving Schlessinger and Big Brother Skateboarder magazine, carried at Beach Access and featuring photographs that Schlessinger called pornography.

Not that I've ever seen pornography myself, mind you, but Big Brother Skateboarder has none.

In any event, Moore's countersuit against Schlessinger for lost revenue due to bad publicity on the doctor's program was left standing.

Big News

KPFK (90.7 FM) has announced the receipt of the largest grant in the station's 40-year history: a $233,056 award from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The money will be used to help pay for replacing the station's broadcast tower, transmitters, antenna and control board.


Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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