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Radio AM to FM: September 6, 2002

Mountain Radio

I took the family all the way to Mammoth Mountain for a too-short vacation last week, listening to my iPod throughout the entire drive (who needs satellite radio when I've got 1000 songs in my cup holder?). Once we arrived, however, we were pleasantly surprised to hear the local station, KMMT, playing the same great format it had last year.

So, for a week, it was the alternative pop sounds of the one station that actually offered me a job in radio back in 1986 when I was just out of college. (I turned it down).

Sure, as with most small-market independantly-owned stations, the production elements weren't up to "big city" standards. The disc jockeys, for example, often sounded like they were about a mile away from the microphone (wouldn't be that way if I took the job and was still their programmer/in-house engineer ... at $800 per month). But the personalities were decent and the music was better than anything in Southern California ... at least since The Mix went fishing two years ago.

Time was when Los Angeles had the best stations in the country. Before consolidation.

Digital Update

Ibiquity hopes to jump start consumer interest for in-band-on-channel (IBOC) digital radio with a new name and a new slogan: "HD Radio." "Pure Digital. Clear Radio."

Hmm. HD. Would that be "Heavy Duty?" Nah. "Honest and Decent?" Probably not. "Human Dog?"

Ibiquity hired a marketing firm to come up with the new name ("Horse Dung?") in order to help differentiate regular analog receivers from the HD ("Hors Derivers?") type, and figured that the HD Radio name would remind people of HDTV and its associated improvement. At far lower cost, I might add.

Quick: What does HDTV stand for? High Definition Television. What does HD Radio stand for? High Definition Radio? One might think. Interestingly, as of now, it stands for nothing but a marketing plan. So I suppose my ideas are just as good as any ...

Back to Good

Infinity is moving KCAL-TV Channel 9 into the same Sunset Blvd. building as KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KNX (1070 AM), pushing KCBS-FM (Arrow 93) out of its broom closet and into the Fairfax building that currently houses KROQ (106.7 FM) and KRTH (101.1 FM) -- and is (or was) the transmitter site for KHJ (930 AM), if my memory serves correctly.

In turn, KRTH will move into the space vacated by Channel 9 at 5515 Melrose in Hollywood ... the same building that once was home to KHJ-AM, KHJ-TV Channel 9 (before it adopted the stupid KCAL calls) and KHJ-FM ... the former calls of, you guessed it, KRTH.

KRTH General Manager Pat Duffy says, "It is fitting that we return to where is all began." I agree. The move will happen sometime in late October or early November.


Copyright © 2002 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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