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Radio AM to FM: November 5, 1999

No respect.

Tom Leykis just doesn't get any respect.

At least not in Los Angeles, where he is heard afternoons (3-7 pm) on KLSX (97.1 FM). In spite of the fact that Leykis is doing very well, thank you, in the afternoon drive time slot (especially in the desired KLSX demographic of 25-54 year-old-men who still live in fraternity houses and wistfully recount date-rape stories), he rarely gets mentioned in the local press outside of The Daily Breeze.

"We were #1 in afternoon drive in ANY spoken word format (talk, sports talk, news and Spanish talk) in adults 25-54," Leykis recently told a listener through an e-mail forwarded to me. "We were #1 among ALL radio stations in men 25-54 ... we beat everyone INCLUDING Spanish language stations. Despite this, you can look forward to continued incessant coverage of stations with few listeners such as 'Channel 103.1.'"

Leykis is of course referring to that little downtown newspaper, The Los Angeles Times. Such coverage disparities would never happen here.

Special Selections

Channel 103.1 (KACD/KBCD, 103.1 FM) is releasing its first (and perhaps last ... see below) limited edition CD, the Channel 103.1 Special Selections CD. The disc has 15 "world class rock" tracks, including four that were recorded in Channel 103.1's Studio C that you can't get anywhere else from Cheryl Crow, Train, Old 97s and Dave Mathews.

The disc is priced at $10.31 and proceeds benefit Heal the Bay. Find it beginning November 9th at Virgin Megastores.

Bids Due

Last Tuesday was the purported deadline to submit bids for the stations Clear Channel needs to sell in order to win approval for its merger with AMFM. Those stations are KACD and KBCD (103.1 FM), KEZY (1190 AM), KXMX (95.9 FM), and KKBT (92.3 FM). Will any formats survive the sales? I certainly hope so ... but I'm not counting on it.

Getting It Right

Last week I mentioned that it was Tom Donahue who started "progressive" radio at KPPC. Doug Brown, production master from many Los Angeles stations and one of the few radio people whose memory is not foggy from drug use at the time when Donahue was working his magic, wrote in to clarify the situation:

"Donahue actually started free form rock radio (progressive was a later label) at KMPX in San Francisco (with his and his friends record collections!) in 1966. This was a totally wasted station before Tom and friends took over, owned by the National Science Network who did not have a clue as what to do with this strange FM band. They also owned KPPC-FM in Pasadena, so it was only natural to migrate the SF hit format to L.A.

"The weak signal was part of the mystique, as was the studio location: in the basement of the Pasadena Prespytarian Church, which made the free-form music and personalities seem even weirder. Donahue used to send taped shows down to L.A. and do live shows from time to time. I remember them offering plans to build a simple VHF antenna so you could tune them in better ... again, part of the mystique. I can also remember hearing classical and blues mixed in with Hendrix, Love, Moby Grape, et. al."


Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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