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Radio AM to FM: March 15, 2002

KLON Drives into Funds

Public jazz station KLON (88.1 FM) raised more than $500,000 during its Winter membership drive, according to station spokesman Phil Hampton, making for a fiscal year-to-date total of $1.32 million.

More than 3400 pledges were received during the February membership drive, and the average pledge amount was the highest in the station's recent history. According to Hampton, the station hopes to raise $2 million by the end of the fiscal year in June.

Not Guilty

WXTB/Tampa morning man Bubba "the Love Sponge" Clem was found not guilty of animal cruelty charges stemming from an on-air stunt in which a wild boar was castrated live on the air in early 2001.

Animal activists had been watching this trial closely, due to the nature of the stunt that was part of the morning show. Clem never understood the outcries and in fact has vowed to launch a voter registration drive to have Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark Ober -- who filed charges against Clem last year -- voted out of office when his term expires.

Interestingly, right after this was settled, Clem was in court for another incident in which he is charged with assault. To recap: he is involved with the castration of a wild boar, allegedly assaults someone, and his audience never voted before. Sounds like a winner.

Cheap Country

Emmis-owned Country KZLA (93.9 FM) has joined the voice tracking party: weekends are now completely fake on the station: the personality may be on the air, but he's on tape. According to programmer R. J. Curtis, no tracking is planned during the week. For now.

Lycos Update

Terra Lycos has discontinued its excellent Lycos Radio after just a few months on the web. According to the company, supplier issues caused the move, and that a new and improved web-based radio service will be launched soon.

If everyone involved in deciding the payment of royalties for streaming music on the web doesn't grow up, that may not happen. The latest word has stations giving up the ghost due to exorbitant fees proposed to be paid to the music licensing agencies, in some cases higher than regular over the air broadcasters. Considering that internet radio still loses money, this could be the end.

We Get Mail

"I used to listen to KLAC (570 AM) in the afternoon," writes Drew Major. "However they have a gravel-voiced announcer inserting 'not just facts, feeeeelings' every 10 minutes, hour after hour, over and over. It became intolerable. I wonder how many other people had to preserve their sanity by changing stations?"

Judging by KLAC's ratings as a talk station, everyone.

"Regarding the new 'SuperCool 94.3,' asks one reader through the internet, "was 'Really Neat-O' already taken?"

My thoughts exactly. Makes you long for the days of stations using their actual call-letters.

Quick Plug

Classic soul KJLH (102.3 FM) sits so much higher than its competitors, I'm awarding it Station of the Week.


Copyright © 2002 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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