Radio AM to FM: April 7, 2000
The Bell Tolls
Last week's column was an April Fools Day joke, (thankfully most people got it). But it was no joke when Art Bell announced April 1st on his popular overnight show (well, popular for an overnight show) that he would be leaving the program ... again ... this time for good.
That means KABC (790 AM), which airs his show in Los Angeles week nights at 10:00, suddenly finds itself with an opening. Does this have anything to do with rumors this week that "something big" is going to happen at KABC? Certainly the Disney suits that manage the radio division cannot possibly be happy with the station: once the grand daddy of talk radio, now a station falling so fast in the ratings that NASA is using it for speed-of-sound tests.
When Clear Channel spins off its urban contemporary former powerhouse KKBT (92.3 FM) later this year pending FCC approval of the sale (and approval of its merger with AMFM that is forcing the sale), it isn't selling the frequency. Just the station.
KKBT will be sold along with 100.3 FM, while current 100.3 occupant KCMG will slide down the dial to 92.3. This effectively gives KCMG (Mega 100) a better signal, although at the expense of a vastly inferior dial position.
When CBS announced that it was merging with Viacom, many observers expected that a few stations would be sold off to win FCC approval. In Los Angeles, KRLA (1110 AM) and KFWB (980 AM) kept popping up as potential sales targets.
Well it might not happen. Perhaps due to Viacom's offer to buy out Chris Craft's stake in the UPN Network (which would effectively take Viacom out of the ownership loop at Chris Craft's KCOP Channel 13), CBS appears to be holding its cards tight, hoping to win approval of the merger without any Los Angeles radio station sales.
On The Web
Want to listen to KBIG (104.3 FM) at work but the boss won't let you have a radio? Well, you're in luck. With a good internet connection and a good computer with a sound card, you can "tune into" KBIG at www.kbig.com. The "listen now" link is a Real Audio streaming file that is perhaps one of the cleanest-sounding G2 Real Audio streams anywhere.
Perhaps more impressive simply because it is so vast an improvement over most AM radios is KLAC (570 AM), available at www.570klac.com.
There is no actual web site for KLAC, just a link for the audio.
Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.
To subscribe to The Daily Breeze, call (310) 540-5511