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Radio AM to FM: September 27, 2002

Music returns to 1110 AM

Longtime top-40 and oldies station KRLA may be just a memory now that the format is gone and the call letters have slid down the dial to 870 AM from their old home of 1110, but music is returning to 1110 as of January 1, 2003.

No, it's not a return to its roots, just a frequency swap. Radio Disney will move from 710 to 1110; ESPN Radio then moves to 710, placing Joe McDonnell and Doug Krikorian on that frequency for the first time since Bill Ward unsuccessfully tried all-sports on KMPC back in the early 1990s.

The switch also brings the Angels back to 710 AM ... their radio home for 36 years.

New Addition

Just added to Uncle Ricky's Top-40 Radio Repository ( is the first of four uncut airchecks of The Real Don Steele on Ten-Q (KTNQ, 1020 AM) back in 1977.

ReelRadio is a non-profit visitor-supported virtual museum of radio history, featuring airchecks of great top-40 (and more) radio stations of the past. Back when top-40 meant real variety. On this particular segment, you'll hear Johnny Rivers, Captain and Tennille, Aerosmith, and the Doobie Brothers all sharing the same hour. Try that on any of the so-called hit music stations of today.

And of course you'll hear Steele, who was as hot in 1977 as he was when he made his debut on KHJ in 1965. A forever young super-talent, as they say on the site. Ten-Q for listening ...

Stereo Review

My mention of AM stereo radios last week touched off a small flurry of emails, one of which directed me to another interesting web site:

Kind of rolls off your tongue, doesn't it?

Anyway, what caught my eye, besides the poor layout, is the large selection of airchecks from AM stereo stations ... including five of our own 50,000 watt former music flame-thrower, KFI (640 AM).

This is from the time that KFI reached out to half of the United States at night, due to its status as a clear channel station (referring to the fact that there were no other stations on its frequency, not its current ownership). The DJ was live all night long playing music for "all of Western America."

Interestingly, while KFI is the biggest talk station in town nowadays, its stature doesn't come close to what it had back then. Strange.

Speaking of KFI

John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou -- the team that was essentially forced off of KFI a few years back when the station was owned by Cox -- has signed a long-term agreement to stay with the station for "a very long time."

Specifics were not released.


Copyright © 2002 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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