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Radio AM to FM: June 29, 2001

Arrow Misses One

As if to prove that it too can make really bad decisions as part of Infinity Broadcasting's radio empire, Arrow 93.1 (KCBS-FM) has let go of afternoon personality Bob Coburn, replaced him with former morning man Joe Benson, and is now going to have a syndicated morning show instead of the local oasis it once had.

Great. Now we can get our local news from Seattle.

The new program is the Bob Rivers Show, starring Bob Rivers, Spike O'Neill, Downtown Joe Bryant newswoman Maura Gallucci and producer Mike Jones. O'Neill is described as a comic genius a la Robin Williams, while Bryant is known for a slight Southern drawl and offbeat observations.

Kinda sounds like Howard Stern's show. Or Rick Dees' show. Or any one of the thousands of shows nationwide that have the same format, known as a "morning zoo." And it may be quite good. But not as good as something that is local, and that's where it falls flat. Arrow HAD a good, maybe great local morning show. Now it doesn't. And that's just sad.

Bad Voice

So where the heck is Paul Harvey, the newsman perhaps best known for telling offbeat tales and giving us "the rest ... of the story?"

Laryngitis, it turns out. He's been off the air due to a bad case of laryngitis, and doctors don't know when he'll be back. If he goes back too soon, he may reinjure his voice and be out even longer.

In the meantime, Sam Donaldson is filling in on the 15-minute mid-day broadcast, while Gil Gross takes over the morning reports.

Harvey is heard locally on KABC (790 AM).

ReelRadio Returns

"It was an emergency," says Richard "Uncle Ricky" Irwin regarding my favorite web site, "ReelRadio was offline from 9:30 PM on Tuesday, June 19, 2001 until approximately 5PM on Saturday, June 23."

It seems that the contracted internet provider shut down their service when their landlord in Sacramento locked them out. "We retrieved the ReelRadio server (moondog) before our access was canceled and moved it to Hurricane Electric in Fremont the following Saturday (June 23)," says Irwin.

The site has been online since February, 1996 According to Irwin, "outages have been rare, but we had problems with this provider last April. We had prepaid our contract and we have lost $600 of Internet Service, which will probably not be refunded."

ReelRadio is a radio repository, featuring audio (and some video) "airchecks" of classic top-40 radio spanning from roughly the 1950s through today, with an emphasis on the early days of the format. Special features include jingles from legendary stations and an aircheck from 1931, Fifteen Minutes with Bing Crosby.


Copyright © 2001 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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