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Radio AM to FM: November 22, 2002

If the mailbag is any indication, the launch -- or perhaps more accurately the relaunch -- of KLAC (570 AM) as an adult standards station should should be a phenomenal success.

Comments such as "I am so happy," "that's great news!" and "I am really looking forward to hearing it" are typical of the responses I have received so far. And with the exception of a reader who wrote that she will miss one of the current talk shows -- but still wants the music -- not one person has written to state that they will miss the talk format when the music returns. At least not yet.

In the meantime, suggestions have started coming in regarding The Fabulous 570, mostly in the area of potential personalities. Some of the suggestions: Johnny Hayes, Dave Hull, Tom Murphy and Jim Diamond.

Reader Paul Williams emailed, "Here's my idea, and its quite simple: just play all the great standards, swing and big band classics, along with hourly news updates at the top of every hour. There's nothing wrong with being informed, as well as entertained."

One suggestion I would make: showcase KLAC's clean signal by promoting good radios. Many people don't know that AM radio can sound great ... if only they listened on a good radio. Too many AM tuners are awful at best; perhaps KLAC could work a deal to give away some GE SuperRadio IIIs or some of the rare wideband AM stereos. The better the sound, the greater the success.

Managers from KLAC and owner Clear Channel said at a media party last week that they "made a mistake" when they dropped music for talk two years ago. I could have told them that -- and did, numerous times. But that was then ... it appears that Clear Channel has big plans for this stations, and I wish them well. The big change happens December 12th -- Frank Sinatra's birthday.

That Eighties Show

KBZT/San Diego (94.9 FM) has dropped their eighties oldies format, as of two weeks ago. In its place is alternative rock under the musical direction of new assistant programmer/music director Mike Halloran.

Halloran's last gig was programming KMXN (94.3 FM) in Orange County with the same format; it will be interesting to see if KBZT sounds any better than the completely lifeless, thoroughly dull KMXN. In other words, was KMXN bad because of Halloran, or in spite of him? Time will tell ...

Petty Ladd

Tom Petty remembers when radio meant something. When disc jockeys were personalities, people of (sometimes questionable) taste. People we related to. That feeling is the inspiration for his new album, "The Last DJ" which was played and discussed by Petty and KLOS (95.5 FM) 10 pm to 12 midnight jock Jim Ladd (THE last DJ, according to some) last Tuesday. Good Ladd radio.


Copyright © 2002 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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