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Radio AM to FM: April 5, 2002

Happy Easter from your friends at K-EARTH

The living legend Dick "Huggy Boy" Hugg is o-u-t at KRTH (101.1 FM) as part of what one observer termed the Easter Massacre.

In a story broken by Los Angeles radio news site this week, it seems that new programmer Jay Coffey wants to make his mark on the station ASAP ... and is holding nothing back, save, perhaps, for the music. More on that later.

Huggy Boy started his journey in Los Angeles radio back in 1951 at KRKD, making his way through town on KWKW, KALI, KGFJ, KBLA, XPRS and 15 years on the original KRLA (now KSPN) before landing on KRTH in 1999. Huggy, in fact, was the one who signed off KRLA as an oldies station when that station made the ill-fated move to talk under the direction of manager Bob Moore.

Most observers -- myself included -- expected Huggy to last about 20 minutes on KRTH, due to the fact that he was a real character on the air ... playing what he wanted to play, singing through some of the songs ... and having a ball. He just didn't fit the culture of KRTH, which prides itself on playing the same 40 songs over and over again while sucking the personality out of the jocks.

And there's the rub: this firing, along with those of Chaz Kelley, Mike Lynch and Bob Shannon -- and the surprise hiring of Frazer Smith for mornings -- will do nothing to "fix" KRTH as long as Coffey refuses to admit that the station is one of the dullest oldies stations on the planet due to an overly restrictive playlist.

Want to set your clock to "Get Ready, Here I Come?" Then KRTH is your station. Want to hear something you haven't heard in a while, then you better head to KOLA (99.9 FM) in San Bernardino. Any chance of KRTH opening up a bit? Doubtful: prior to being named programmer, Coffey was the music director. Besides, I think KRTH is really programmed by corporate suits anyway. Would be nice, though. Remember the KRTH of the late '70s and early '80s?

Beating the Street

XM Satellite Radio has exceeded expectations in the last quarter, more than doubling the number of subscribers and bringing the total to 76,000. XM President Hugh Panero says that XM is well on its way to meeting its goal of 350,000 subscribers by the end of the year.

Hungry for the Wolf

WOLF-FM is a popular internet-only radio station run by Peter Wolf. Wolf (the person) has been asked if there is any chance that WOLF (the station) can be added to XM's programming list.

"The answer is currently no," says Wolf. "I've asked them and they are not interested."

That hasn't stopped listeners from adding comments to XM's comment page regarding the issue. It would be an interesting move: adding one of the most popular internet stations to the satellite system. Could help sell more subscriptions.

Want to hear the WOLF? Using iTunes it's under the 80's Pop list. With everything else its at Personally, I love it.

Readers Revenge

Comments started coming in almost as soon as last week's Waggys column was printed. The best will be printed next week.


Copyright © 2002 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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