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Radio AM to FM: February 18, 2000

KISS Founders speak up for

"Pure Rock" KNAC may be gone as a broadcast station, having adopted a Spanish-language format way back in 1986, but the web site is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. In addition to being one of the two best internet "webcasting" stations that I have seen and heard (although granted I have not seen too many), the station has announced that Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are now the official station spokesmen.

Simmons? Stanley? If you're a rock and roll fan anywhere between the ages of 14 and 40, you'll recognize the names as the founders of KISS, the band known to "Rock and Roll All Nite" that jumped on the scene back when I was attending Dodson Junior High in San Pedro. (I still proudly call my childhood neighborhood San Pedro instead of Rancho Palos Verdes, which annexed the area in 1981).

The pair will contribute original content to the web site, make occasional appearances in the chat rooms, contribute to the bulletin boards and participate in various station contests and promotions. In exchange, will co-sponsor KISS' upcoming tour -- the first instance that I know of where a web station promoted a major concert tour.

Why the tie-in? "KNAC-FM had the guts to champion KISS and support all types of hard rock and metal at a time when most radio stations chose safer formats," explained Stanley. "In the mid-'90s, most hard rock bands found themselves forced to exist in underground exile ... until came along. and the incredible power of the internet is the platform by which this music will raise a clenched fist and smash its way back into the spotlight."

Ironically, it was not hard rock or metal stations that gave KISS their launch. It was actually AM top-40 radio and FM progressive stations that played their songs and made them famous back in the mid-1970s. Hits like "Rock and Roll All Nite," "Beth," "Calling Dr. Love" and "Christine Sixteen" could be heard on such stations as KHJ, Ten-Q, KGB and KCBQ. Less hitworthy songs such as "Love Gun" and "Shout It Out Loud" were the domain of KMET, KLOS and KGB-FM. It wasn't until deregulation and other moves splintered radio formats, forcing songs from KISS onto hard rock stations like KNAC.

Of course some people think that is good ...

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Sure his ratings were up. But Charlie Van Dyke couldn't get out of town fast enough after the last Arbitron book was released. That leaves KRTH (101.1 FM) without a permanent morning show about 6 months sooner than originally planned. Jim Carson takes over in the interim.

Who will ultimately replace Van Dyke? Who knows ... it took KRTH programmers a year to decide on (italics)him(/italics) ... I might be retired before they try again. Names being considered supposedly include Charlie Tuna and Bobby Ocean.

The REALLY Full Story

OK, I missed a couple ratings last week. My list was incomplete; here are the missing ones, Summer 1999 12+ rating listed first, Fall 1999 listed second.

KACE/KRTO (0.9/0.9), KACD/KBCD (0.7/0.7), KLYY (0.7/0.5), KWIZ (0.5/0.5), KKLA-AM/FM (0.4/0.5), KWVE (0.7/0.4), KDIS (0.3/0.4), KFSG (NR/0.4), KOLA and KXMX (NR/0.3).

The showing for KXMX (95.9 FM) marks the first time in years that the little station in Anaheim (my favorite for years) has shown in the Los Angeles Arbitrons. Same goes for KOLA (99.9 FM) which hasn't shown in the L.A. ratings for at least 10 years or more.


Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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