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Radio AM to FM: September 7, 2001

Mountain Radio

In spite of being in a half-leg cast caused by a beach volleyball-induced ruptured achilles tendon, I spent a week in Mammoth Lakes recently and had a chance to listen to the one station that actually offered me a job back when I was looking, KMMT.

The year was 1986. KMMT had only two "live" shifts; as I recall, I was to work both mornings and afternoons on the air, as well as program the station, do a bit of engineering, promotions and promotions, and probably just about everything else. The perfect job for a guy who just finished college, liked to ski, and wanted to get a start in radio. Apparently that wasn't me, since I turned it down. Sometimes I wonder if I should have taken it, even though I don't ski (does one time count?).

Anyway, while I did not get a chance to visit the station in person, I did listen. And KMMT plays a darn good selection of songs: alternative rock without being obnoxious, almost like the old KMPC-FM/KEDG (now KSCA, 101.9 FM)

They could use a little help with their on-air personalities, production and engineering -- hey, maybe it's not too late to take the job offer -- but it does give an idea of how much fun radio can be when its outside of the constraints placed on it by group mergers and industry consolidation. In many ways, KMMT is how radio should be: independent and free to do what it wants.

Cherish the independents ... while you can.


KABC (790 AM) is revamping their on-air lineup, adding The Sean Hannity Show and moving just about every other shift around starting Monday.

Hannity -- half of Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes, originates his show in New York (kind of makes statements about keeping KABC live and local given when the station let the syndicated Dennis Prager Show go to KRLA seem somewhat insincere) but he'll be carried live in Los Angeles. KABC is his first affiliate in his syndication deal.

The KABC lineup starting Monday: Morning Show with Dave and Amy: 5-9 am; Allred & Taylor: 9 - noon; Hannity: noon- 3 pm; Larry Elder: 3-7 pm; Al Rantel: 7-10 pm; Mr. KABC: 10 pm - 1 am; Doug McIntyre: 1-5 am.

Not to be left out, KLAC is making some changes of its own, moving Michael Jackson back to the 9 am - noon shift he had for years on KABC and cutting one more hour of music out of the format. The changes allow Jim Cramer and Dean Edell to air live rather than on tape delay, as well as fit Clark Howard's full show on before any evening Angels baseball games.

Effective as of September 4th, here is the new KLAC schedule: 6-9 am: music with Joe Daniels; 9 - noon: Jackson; noon - 1 pm: Cramer's Real Money Talk; 1-2 pm: Edell; 2-5 pm: Howard.


Reader Greg Hardison wrote in to clarify comments I made recently regarding KACE. I had mentioned that my memory was fuzzy, but that AMFM or Clear Channel may have owned the station for a short time before selling it to Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation.

"The late great KACE was never owned by anyone except Cox, post 1994," Hardison wrote. "Cox sold the station directly to HBC." This was soon after sister stations KFI (640 AM) and KOST (103.5 FM) were sold to AMFM, later to be merge with Clear Channel. Thanks for the clarification.


Copyright © 2001 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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