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Radio AM to FM: June 14, 2002

Mornings are new on KRTH. Again.

KRTH (101.1 FM) has a new morning show for the second time in about as many months. This time it's Gary Bryan who gets to try out the hot seat, replacing Frazier Smith, Jim Carson and Joni Caryl, who were on for such a short time I barely even had a chance to listen.

Northern California transplants may recognize Bryan from his morning gig on KFRC/San Francisco during in the early 1990s. However, he made a name for himself long before his arrival at the Big 610 as personality or programmer at stations in Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Chicago, Cleveland and New York.

He also has a bit of exposure on television as host of a New Years Eve show for Fox a few years back, and has been featured on MTV and Entertainment Tonight ... that modestly entertaining show with the awful theme song.

Smooth Move

J. J. Jackson has been named the new afternoon host on The Wave (KTWV, 94.7 FM).

Jackson, who made a name for himself on album-oriented stations KLOS, KWST and KROQ, left radio for a time to become one of the early MTV Video Jocks back when MTV played videos and had good hosts.

He returned to radio in 1987, first at KROQ and then KMPC-FM/KEDG, where he moved up from music director (under the great Sam Bellamy) to programmer (when Bellamy was let go). Since the demise of The Edge, he has been using his distinctive, smooth voice doing voice-over work, commercials, and some shows for The Westwood One Radio Network.


Stunt of the week goes to Clear Channel's KJR-FM/Seattle which, as part of a format change at 6 PM on May 31, became "Quick 96," playing "the best parts of your favorite songs."

The best parts? Yes. Seven-second snippets of thousands of songs of all genres; no need for the filler. They even had a web site with play lists and links to quick versions of news, weather and traffic.

Alas, it was no to be. After less than a day the station reverted to a more traditional approach with a new format, playing the full-length versions of hits from the 1960s and '70s under the name "Channel 95-7."

I think that was a great stunt, especially when you consider the time it took to put all the elements together. Reminds me of the fun attitude and attention to detail that Clear Channel stations KXMX/Anaheim and KACD/Los Angeles had before the company sold them off. No current Los Angeles Clear Channel station would ever do anything that fun; Why they didn't move the Mix format to KBIG or KYSR, I'll never understand.

Thanks to for the story.

We Get Letters

A few weeks ago I asked for predictions on which station Infinity would spin off as part of its merger with Viacom and the subsequent purchase of KCAL Channel 9 ... which ironically places Channel 9 back in the broadcast family that includes KRTH, the same station that was once part of RKO which was forced to sell both KRTH and Channel 9 in addition to KRTH-AM/KHJ (think Channel 9 could get the KHJ-TV calls back?) ...

Anyway, here are a few of the responses.

"My prediction is that Arrow 93 gets knocked off the air," writes Patrick Swift of Hollywood. "I think Infinity will sell to Bonneville and the station will become 93.1, The Drive."

George Schwenk of San Pedro says: "You're on!. My first guess is KLSX because it really does not fit in with the other Infinity stations' formats. My second guess would be KROQ because it broadcasts way up on the dial, though its format may be moved to another frequency."

"KLSX, because I hate it," says Jeff via the internet.


Copyright © 2002 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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