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Radio AM to FM: May 7, 1999

Burke to KBIG

It didn't take long for Billy Burke to land on his feet after being fired from KIIS-FM. Burke simply headed down the street and was hired by KBIG for the 7 pm to 12 midnight shift.

Interestingly, while KIIS-FM management apparently felt that Burke's services were neither needed nor appreciated, his air shift did quite well in the last quarterly Arbitrons, and the AM to FM Mailbag has been filled with letters like this one from reader Laura Roberts:

"I am writing regarding the stupidity of Jacor replacing Billy Burke. I have listened to Burke over the past several years and he was definitely the best radio personality KIIS had. Apparently the people at KBIG are smarter than the people at Jacor, and have benefited from Jacor's stupidity. I was never a KBIG listener, but I am now."

I'm not sure that the folks at KBIG are all that much smarter (can someone explain why they still call it "the new K-BIG" when the format is over a year old?) but I do agree in this case.

Stanfield Passes

Ray Stanfield, who as general manager of KGBS (now KTNQ) helped propel the daytime-only station to the top of the ratings in the early 1970s with an innovative personality-driven approach, died April 24th after a two-year battle with colon cancer. He was 71.

Stanfield is one of the reasons Los Angeles was able to hear the popular morning team of Hudson and Landry as well as Bill Balance's "Feminine Forum." Under Stanfield's watch, KGBS became one of L.A.'s most popular radio stations, tying KHJ in the Arbitrons back in 1973. He left the station in 1974 to become a radio station sales broker.

KFI Stumbles

KFI's afternoon ratings took a nose-dive in March when John and Ken left for greener pastures. After a relatively consistent 2.9 share of the ratings for the coveted 25-54 year-old demographic in December, January and February, KFI dropped to 1.9 in March according to Radiodigest.Com's Tomm Looney. And that includes only 8 ratings days of the new team of Karel and Andrew.

A quick listen to Karel and Andrew explains why: they make even KRLA's Minyard and Minyard sound good ... and that's tough. Until Karel and Andrew came to town, Minyard and Minyard were the worst show since Mother Love butchered the local airwaves.

New Mix

KEZY has officially changed call letters to KXMX in order to better identify with its new name, "Mix 95.9." The station continues to run jockless, even though owner Jacor had months to prepare for the change and even though the station is running a "song of the day" contest every weekday.

I think I'll apply for a weekend shift. Can't hurt, although I better change my name ... I figure that everyone at Jacor already has my picture (or column) on dart boards throughout the company ...


Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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