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Radio AM to FM: October 6, 2000

All sports all the time everywhere.

And then there were six. Or at least a potential six. Sports-talk radio stations, that is.

By the time you read this, KRLA (1110 AM) may be under the operation of a new owner, Disney/ABC. The rumor patrol has KRLA either going all-sports or picking up Disney Radio from 710 AM, allowing 710 to pick up the sports format. That's one.

In spite of insistence to the contrary from manager Ed Krumpf, KLAC (570 AM) may also be gearing up for its own sports format. This rumor just won't go away, even though it would be an amazing blunder to give up format exclusivity and ratings for being one of a pack ... and a pack has no listeners. That's two.

Highly unlikely and just as stupid (which is why you can't quite rule it out) is the rumor that KFWB (980 AM) will abandon news for sports talk. That's three.

Four five and six are KXTA (1150 AM), XTRA (690 AM) and KMPC (1540 AM) which, in spite of a long head start, have never earned what might be called even low ratings, let alone respectable ones. The top of the current three -- San Diego's XTRA -- beats them all with its paltry 0.6 lifetime high share under sports.

So why go sports? For whatever reason, the major ad agencies buy into sports formats because they attract the right demographic, apparently in this case people with no jobs that like sports. But wouldn't six stations sharing the potential ratings pie of about two percent of the available radio audience (on a really good day) mean that none of them will succeed?

That would be my guess.

Tuna in the Morning

Charlie Tuna is the new morning man on KBIG (104.3 FM), replacing Billy Burke who left to work afternoons on KZLA (93.9 FM) a few weeks ago.

Tuna had been doing news on KBIG's morning show after a year at KLAC. And while it's great to have him back in the spotlight, I can't help but think of two things: 1. I'm so used to him on AM I can't quite get used to the new sound and 2. KBIG's music play list stinks. Sounds too much like sister KOST (103.5 FM).

Leigh Ann Adam remains as co-host of the program.

We Get Letters

After reading my story last week regarding KLSX (97.1) and Jonathon Brandmeier's calling programmer Jack Silver a rat and manager Bob Moore a snake, I received an e-mail from the snake himself, Bob Moore, who wrote (and I am quoting the letter in its entirety, exactly as written), "and you still are dreaming of working in Radio ...... but you never will."

Now I understand how he keeps his job as general manager of the lowest-rated AM/FM combo in Los Angeles: his quick wit.

And 30-minute commercial sets.


Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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