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Radio AM to FM: September 29, 2000

Changes at KLSX

The rumors were right after all: Jonathon Brandmeier's last KLSX (97.1 FM) program was last Friday, replaced Monday by Heidi Frosty and Frank, two thirds of the old Jamie Frosty and Frank morning show formerly heard on Star 98.7.

According to legend, Brandmeier found out about the change through co-host Tracey Miller, who obtained the information by watching Sam Rubin's report on the KTLA (Channel 5) Morning News. What legend doesn't say is that Brandmeier did in fact know the end was near, he just didn't know the exact day.

That didn't stop him from trashing KLSX programmer Jack Silver and general manager Bob Moore, calling them a rat and a snake, respectively, on the last day of his program.

Say what you will about Brandmeier, he is perceptive.

I once had great respect for Silver back when he chose the music at KFRC/San Francisco. On KFRC's last day broadcasting hits in 1986, Silver made mention of the magic of radio and that good broadcasters talk to the listener one on one. At KLSX, he has mastered the art of programming cheap-thrill talk programs for morons.

I never had respect for Moore.

While We're At It

A misunderstanding between myself and my wonderful editor caused a bit of confusion in last week's column. Rather than predicting a ratings decline for KLSX if Howard Stern leaves the station, what should have been printed is the fact that once Stern signs off the air for the day, the ratings for KLSX (and hence Brandmeier's show) drop drastically.

That of course could place a lot of ratings pressure on the new team of Frosty Stillwell, Frank Kramer and Heidi Hamilton, but my gut instinct says no. I'm betting that the new show costs far less then the old one, and in the modern era of cost-cutting cheap-thrills radio, the bottom line is all that counts. Don't forget the KLSX (and sister KRLA) motto: If it's cheap enough, who cares about the ratings?

Old Presidents

KABC (790 AM) plans to broadcast each of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates, airing each 90-minute debate live, commercial-free and in it entirety. The first one begins at 6 pm October 3rd.

But if that weren't enough, at 10 pm on the night of each debate, the station is going to rebroadcast the classic 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debates, also commercial-free. The station has recordings of all four.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Hot rumors now have KXTA (1150 AM) changing owners, KLAC (570 AM) losing all respect and ratings by going all-sports and Arrow 93.1 FM changing formats to a Westwood-One syndicated format.

I think the third one's a bit of wishful thinking on the part of WW1, although it wouldn't knock my socks off in this day of corporate lame radio. If Arrow does change to a satellite format, its time for owner CBS/Westinghouse to hang it up ... a major-market FM running a syndicated format is an embarrassment to radio broadcasters everywhere.

Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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