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Radio AM to FM: June 2, 2000

Selling a Legend

KRLA (1110 AM), the once proud oldies station that has been rotting away since adopting a talk format almost 18 months ago, is up for sale.

The FCC, in approving a merger between KRLA owner CBS and former CBS Television subsidiary Viacom, stated that all is well with the merger ... as long as one of the Los Angeles radio stations is sold off in order to be compliant with ownership limitations.

Currently, one company can not own more than two television and six radio stations, or one television and seven radio stations. While the merger doesn't actually add a station to the arsenal, CBS was already out of compliance with the rules due to a previous merger with Westinghouse; a waiver, now apparently being revoked, allowed the company to keep eight radio stations in addition to KCBS-TV.

Ironically, the merger places CBS together with Viacom, a company that CBS was forced to divest when it was a subsidiary in the early 1970s. My how times have changed.


My comment last week about Dr. Laura Schlessinger (heard locally week days at 12 noon on KFI 640 AM) "ranting" brought some interesting responses. Most essentially said I should be tarred and feathered for daring to say anything bad about the beloved doctor.

Actually, I was being supportive of Schlessinger, although the support part came later in the column due to editing changes (and we won't name names here because I really like my editor. He's a nice guy).

Anyway, let me just state for the record: I like the Dr. Laura Schlessinger Show. I like the way she cuts to the chase of calls, and her consistency on moral issues is actually refreshing.

I don't like some of the things she has done in her private life (filing suit against a surf shop owner because he carried a skateboard magazine she didn't like comes to mind), but I'm not reviewing her personal life. I'm reviewing her radio show. And her radio show stands as the most popular syndicated radio show in the country.

Rumor Patrol

"Channel 103.1 programming will survive" the merger of AMFM with Clear Channel, and the required sell off of stations including Channel 103.1 (KACD/KBCD), says KACD/KBCD/KIIS-FM/KXTA general manager Roy Laughlin.

Does that mean full time programming on another present or future Clear Channel station? Some people are betting on full or part time status on KYSR (98.7 FM).

And what of the rumors that Clear Channel will bring back the legendary call letters and current-rock format of KMET? Legend has that going to 92.3 when Clear Channel sells the Beat format and Mega's 100.3 FM frequency early this Summer.

We Get Letters

Funny ones. Brian Benoit of Torrance writes, "Maybe I don't understand tacky. What is it that makes KMZT tacky? Is KRTH tacky? Is KBIG tacky? Is the same old bashing of Limbaugh and Dr. Laura or anyone else anyplace to the right of V. I. Lenin tacky?

"People who live in places like San Pedro need to speak very softly when using words like tacky. Seems to me, the capitol of tackiness may in fact, be San Pedro.

"Mozart, my friend, is anything but tacky."

You're partially right, Brian. Yes, Mozart is not tacky. Using his name as the name of a radio station is. We here in San Pedro thought everyone knew this; we accept your apology.


Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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