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Radio AM to FM: September 3, 1999

Syndicated Hendrie

KFI (640 AM) wacky evening dude Phil Hendrie is jumping on the syndication bandwagon. His popular 7 - 10 pm show will be aired on about 25 stations across the country starting on September 29th.

I have to admit that I was slow to catch the humor of Hendrie, who actually does the voices of his guests himself. Now his show is one of my favorites. It's impossible to describe the program fairly, and many won't understand what is going on until they listen for at least a few days.'s Tomm Looney describes the show as a "radio ventriloquist act;" and it is arguably the most innovative radio program on the air anywhere.

I Stands For ...

Ignorance or insanity, perhaps. In trying to make a point last week regarding the move of John London from KKBT (92.3 FM) to KCMG (100.3 FM), I stated flippantly, "hip-hop has always been ignorant."

In some ways it is. Many fans of the hip-hop scene follow music that is extremely derogatory to women, essentially negative and anti-social, and believe hip-hop is synonymous with drugs and graffiti vandalism, among other things. That is ignorant. But to brand all of hip-hop as ignorant is itself ignorant, and I'll allow two readers to make their cases.

"If what you are saying is that the mainstream rap played on the radio is ignorant, I am in total agreement," wrote Elvin Estela, who hosts a rap program on KXLU (88.9 FM). "How can a station (KKBT) promoting 'Peace on the Streets' and "No Color Lines' play music all day long about bitches, guns, murder and doing anything for the 'dollar?'

"But this does not reflect the whole hip-hop community. There are hundreds if not thousands of artists that are trying to change the face of hip-hop by promoting positivity, self reliance, love, and peace. Many rappers are promoting positivity at the expense of making little money, starving, and not getting attention from the mainstream audience."

Ronnie Brown, writer for Rappages Magazine, put it this way: "The crime-style element that has crippled hip-hop culture for the past decade is a burden to me as well. But rap music is a living canvas where the collective style, ambition, hopes, dreams, failures, rage, disillusionment and self-destructiveness of African-American and Afro-American youth are displayed before the world." In other words, not everything in hip-hop is bad, just as not everything in "rock" is drugs and sex.

Interestingly, considering how well London and "The House Party" did for a time on KKBT, Brown wrote, "For many in the Black community, London's skits put the "i" in "ignorant." His bottom-feeder humor was bound to play out eventually as his falling ratings attest; his claim that he wearied of the ignorance in hip-hop was pure save face."

I stand corrected.


Former KLA (UCLA student station) sports reporter John Ireland has left the morning show at KXTA (1150 AM). KXTA's Mike Thompson said that Ireland plans to concentrate on Clippers radio and television games, other television work, and the possibility of future work with the Los Angeles Lakers. No replacement has been selected for Ireland at KXTA, which itself is reportedly ready for some other changes. Not that anyone would notice ...

In other sports news, One on One Sports outlet KCTD (1540 AM) has a new early morning team. Art Mehring and Scott Wetzel are on 3 7 am locally (morning drive on the East Coast where they broadcast), while Jay Mariotti takes control at 7:00.

Former KNBC-TV newscaster Kelly Lange has joined KFWB (980 AM) for afternoon reporting.

Ron Price has left the programming post at KXMX (95.9 FM). He'll be in Phoenix running KMXP ... another "Mix" station.

And finally, former Glendale mayor Larry Zarian has replaced Ray Briem on KIEV (870 AM) from 5 - 7 pm weekdays.


Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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