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Radio AM to FM: December 14, 2001

Holiday Treat

An anonymous email received by KKLA/KFSH/KRLA general manager Dave Armstrong has turned into one of the most requested songs on KFSH (95.9 FM).

Armstrong received the email -- which reflects back on the events of September 11th -- a few weeks ago, and decided it was too beautiful a sentiment not to be shared. So he enlisted the voice of station group production manager Bob Holiday to read the words as a spoken word piece. This new version of the holiday favorite Silent Night then made its debut on the Fish morning show November 30th.

According to station spokesperson Mary Anderson-Harris, response has been tremendous. "Wow, what a song," one listener wrote adding, "Thank you, it touched my heart." Since it made its debut, it has consistently been one of the station's most frequently requested songs. It is so popular, in fact, that the station has made it available on the internet at

Happy Holidays

Clear Channel layed off another 45 people from its already shrunken Los Angeles-area group of stations last week as the largest group owner tries to reverse a slight bout of red ink resulting from the recent economic downturn and the almost continuous station purchases over the past few years.

Regional co-VP Charlie Rahilly put a positive spin on the announcement, stating that the firings will help all the stations in the Los Angeles trading area work more closely together. "For the first time an advertiser can call one team if they choose to do so and really address the entire Los Angeles area radio trading region through these 45 Southern California stations," he told

Yet positive spin or not, Clear Channel is acting desperate. A company in good shape doesn't cut hundreds of positions. And if it has any sense of radio at all, it doesn't have one person program two stations as it does with Star/KIIS (and also KBIG/KOST). What I can't figure out is why, as CC is a solid company financially, as far as I can tell. The $232 million loss last quarter is peanuts in comparison to the size of the company, and most observers still see it as a strong company.

Speaking of the cuts on his program last Friday, KLSX (97.1 FM) syndicated personality Tom Leykis proposed a Live-Aid type of fundraiser for Clear Channel. "We've already given eight billion dollars to the victims of September 11th," he said. "How about the victims of radio downsizing in the last few months?"

Are any positions safe? I'll bet on one ... at least as long as Roy Laughlin is one of the co-VPs of the region. His wife is Rick Dees' sidekick on KIIS: Ellen K.

Letter Bag

"You ask: Is there anything more annoying than a Jeff Levy commercial?" writes reader Dave Kennedy. "Absolutely. Larry Miller wins that one hands down. I guess the commercials work, but you couldn't get me into a Sit 'n' Sleep at gun point, even for a mattress that was FREEEE!"


Copyright © 2001 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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