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Radio AM to FM: July 6, 2001

New GM at Disney LA

John Davison is coming to Los Angeles July 16th to replace Bill Sommers as general manager of KABC (790 AM), KLOS (95.5. FM), KDIS (710 AM) and KSPN (1110 AM).

Currently in the same position up in San Francisco at Disney/ABC's KGO/KSFO/KMKY, Davison says that he plans to arrive with an "open mind" as he determines what the stations do right and what they do wrong. "I'm not listening to the stations until I get there," he said.

Sommers will stay on during a four-week transitional period, before he retires from radio for a second time.

Mark, Brian and 15 Mil

While some said last year that Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps -- Mark and Brian -- planned to retire themselves, the hot rumor centers on negotiations with Disney/ABC to keep the team on the air for another five years with a deal worth a reported $15 Million.

Absolutely Awful

Bob Rivers made his debut on Arrow 93.1 (KCBS-FM) on Monday, and while I generally wait a month before passing judgment, things do not look good.

Arrow had a great morning show when Joe Benson was at the helm: an intelligent and entertaining host, a real news staff, and perhaps most importantly, music -- an increasingly rare commodity on morning radio.

Rivers, on the other hand, plays almost no music. Yet he needs it. Desperately. The show is the most dull, boring, uneventful program I have ever heard. There is no audience connection, which is good since there probably won't be an audience to speak of after a few weeks. It's kind of like overhearing people you don't know or care about talk about things you don't care about.

Of course that's just my first impression. More, next month ... if I can force myself to listen .. and if Arrow still exists ...

Eclectic Mornings

Next week is a big week on KCRW's (89.9 FM) Morning Becomes Eclectic. Grammy Award-winning artist Emmylou Harris will perform live at 11:15 am next Wednesday July 11th.

But that's not all. Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicolas Godin of the French band Air will showcase some of the music that inspires them on Tuesday, singer Tom McRae will perform live on Thursday, and pop trio Ivy will perform live on Friday (all also at 11:15).

Morning Becomes Eclectic airs weekdays from 9 am until 12 noon.

Like a Fox

KUMX/New Orleans is playing a variation of an old stunt. All last weekend they played nothing but the Beatles as part of a format change to oldies under the new name The Fox. They plan to add one artist per day until they have the largest playlist in New Orleans.

In Los Angeles that would take about a week ...


What were Saul Levine (owner of KJAZ, 1260 AM), his wife Anita, and KJAZ programmer Lawrence Tanter doing sitting together with Music of Your Life programmer Chuck Southcott and MOL personality Johnny Magnus at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood recently? Is Levine thinking of bringing Southcott's syndicated adult standards format back to Southern California? It's no secret that Levine's AM station has not earned anything that can be called ratings since he dropped the format more than two years ago ...


Copyright © 2001 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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