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Radio AM to FM: March 31, 2000

What's The Frequency?

The success of Liberman-owned KKHJ in obtaining the original KHJ call letters for the 930 AM frequency has started a rash of similar applications to the FCC. So many, in fact, that the Commission has decided to go one step further into the land of nostalgia by reassigning the call letters and frequencies of all AM stations back to what they were in 1939.

FM is not affected by this ruling.

"So much of broadcasting is nostalgia," said an anonymous spokesman for the FCC. "With the rush to reclaim legendary call letters happening right now, we figured this would be a good way to help AM stations reclaim their greatness ... by taking them back to a time when AM ruled the day, cars cost $500, and people were friendlier."

Effective on April 1st, then, the following stations -- and only the following stations -- will be available on the local AM airwaves: KECA (1430), KEHE (780), KFAC (1300), KFI (640), KFOX (1250), KFSG (1120), KFVD (1000), KFWB (950), KGER (1360), KGFJ (1200), KHJ (900), KIEV (850), KMPC (710), KMTR (570), KNX (1050), KRKD (1120). Interestingly, XTRA Sports 1150 will also be available. Go figure.

In a related move, the FCC has outlawed stereo.

Two Birds

In an attempt to solve two problems -- failure to own every single radio station in the US AND getting at least SOME people to tune in their all-sports station XTRA Sports 1150 -- Clear Channel Communications has decided to buy the entire FM band and effectively shut it down.

Well, shutting down is perhaps an exaggeration. Technically they are donating it to Minnesota Public Radio, which plans to simulcast KPCC's programming on every FM station in the United States. Most observers agree that the move yields the same effect as shutting it down.

"We feel that the only way we can dominate the radio world is to act like Microsoft: buy everything that competes and make it go away," said an anonymous Clear Channel spokesman. "By donating the band to MPR and allowing them to simulcast KPCC to every station in the country, we get a huge tax benefit as well as a guarantee that people will finally tune in to XTRA Sports. I mean, you really don't think they'll tune into MPR's all talk format, do you? Really. Get serious."

The move is pending FCC approval, which is pretty much guaranteed. The change is expected to occur on April 1st.


It was quite a surprise when Phil Hendrie switched places with Karel and Andrew on KFI. It was an even bigger surprise to find out that Phil Hendrie IS Karel and Andrew. And Rush Limbaugh. And Dr. Laura Schlessinger. And Howard Clark. In fact, every voice you have ever heard on KFI is actually Phil Hendrie in disguise.

"I can't believe it took you guys this long to find out," said Hendrie to no one in particular, due to the fact that he hates the press and refuses to talk with reporters. "I've been running this station by myself since 1922 and I'm finally getting the credit I deserve. Well thank you."

"Lohman and Barkley? That was me. When we played music, that was me too. I've done every voice and every song on this station for as long as any of you remember, with one exception. I can't take credit for Mother Love."

A full press conference is scheduled for April 1st. In the meantime, happy April Fools Day.


Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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