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Radio AM to FM: September 24, 1999

CBS/Infinity/Westinghouse/Viacom/Add Your Company Here Rumors

To borrow a phrase from Gilda Radner's "BaBa Wawa" character on the original Saturday Night Live, "Wumors are wunning wampant" over a proposed merger of Viacom with CBS/Infinity ... a merger that is somewhat ironic since Viacom began its life under old FCC rules that forced CBS to spin off the program supplier into an independent company almost 30 years ago.

While Viacom has no radio holdings, it does have a majority stake in the UPN Network, which airs programming on Channel 13. Combine that connection with the CBS/Infinity ownership of Channel 2 and eight radio stations (a special waiver allows them one more than the maximum seven radio stations) and you have a potential problem.

Actually, with the waiver, CBS doesn't really have to do anything. Viacom doesn't own Channel 13, it just supplies some of the programming. And the waiver doesn't expire. But sources close to CBS/Infinity are hinting that at least one radio station may be spun off to allow for easier Justice Department approval of the merger. Which radio station? Most likely KRLA (1110 AM) and, if necessary, sister KLSX (97.1 FM) or all-news KFWB (980 AM).

Frank and Frosty out cold

Danny Bonaduce has replaced Frosty Stillwell and Frank Kramer on Star 98.7's (KYSR) morning show. The reason why is unknown, as "Jamie Frosty and Frank" performed quite well in the Arbitrons -- hitting 6th place among English-language stations in the 25-54 year old demographic -- and the remaining person from the old team, Jamie White, was the most annoying of the three.

Supporters of the old show want the three reunited and have started a web site:

New Programmer

Craig Carpenter has been named programmer at KEZY, err, KXMX (95.9 FM), replacing Ron Price who left for another Mix station in Phoenix.

Longtime listeners to KEZY will probably remember Carpenter, who worked there two times before and is a station traffic announcer. His past on-air name was Craig Sea, and he has about 12 Southern California stations under his belt.


Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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