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Radio AM to FM: November 12, 1999

Convention Time

SPERDVAC -- The Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety And Comedy -- is holding its 16th Annual Old Time Radio Convention today through Sunday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 5985 West Century Boulevard near the Los Angeles International Airport.

Opening at 12:30 this afternoon, the convention celebrates radio's "Golden Age" with live re-creations of vintage radio shows (including many of the original performers), banquets, workshops, panel discussions and the sale of radio-related memorabilia. There is a registration fee, but attendees can pay for individual events. Convention chairman Larry Gassman says that all events before dinner tonight are free to the public. For more information or convention registration, call (562) 947-9800.

Speaking of Live Radio

L.A. Theater Works continues its live radio series "The Plays The Thing" with a presentation of "The Playboy of the Western World" tonight at 8 pm and Sunday at 4 pm and 7:30 pm at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 North Sepulveda Boulevard, just off the San Diego Freeway in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The play tells the story of a young man who wanders into a country in and tells how he killed his bullying father with a shovel. Instead of inspiring terror, the man's tale endows him with a growing mystique. Orson Bean stars; the director is Marilyn Fox.

Tickets are $31 and $35, ten minutes before curtain time, any available seats will be sold at "rush" prices of $10 for students, $20 general admission. Each performance will be taped for possible future broadcast on KCRW (89.9 FM).


The trimulcast of Y-107: KLYY/Arcadia, KSYY/Fallbrook and KVYY/Ventura -- all broadcasting at 107.1 FM -- will soon become yet another Spanish station, according to the latest word on the street.

Y-107's owner, Big City Radio, has entered into an agreement to acquire Hispanic Internet Holdings, Inc. and will apparently switch formats by December 15th, if not sooner. This just weeks after hiring a new program director as well as some new personalities in order to better compete against prime competitor KROQ (106.7 FM). Considering how bad KROQ sounds as of late, Y-107 was a nice change of pace.

But having more Spanish stations in Los Angeles than in all of Mexico (or does it just seem that way) is a worthy goal, something we might achieve if KACD/KBCD (103.1 FM) and KXMX (95.9 FM) adapt the format after being sold off by Clear Channel as part of their merger with AMFM. The company has a history of selling stations to Spanish broadcasters so that they won't have to compete with their own former stations. That will leave fewer listenable English music stations in Los Angeles since AM dominated the scene in 1965. Of course the stations in 1965 were good, a word that can't be applied to todays overly researched corporate-owned Wal-Mart-format stations. KXMX and KACD/KBCD are the best Los Angeles has ... for now.

Isn't consolidation wonderful? Can we sue the FCC for destroying our airwaves through deregulation?

Internet Time

Perhaps the Internet really will be the place for radio listening in the future. One interesting program available only on Century Cable in parts of Hollywood and Los Angeles is on the net at

"Airing" every Saturday morning at 10 am, "Music Spotlight" highlights the best in new music via RealAudio. Past artists include Big Train, Joy Askew, Blaze and Shirley Kong. There was a problem with the webcast during the past few weeks, but Music Spotlight's Kathy Capetta says that everything is working smoothly now. Archives of the show are available at the site.


Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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