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Radio AM to FM: December 5, 2003

Annual Spin

Commemorating the anniversary of John Lennon's death, will present its annual spin up and down the Los Angeles radio dial on Rock 50, tomorrow morning at 11:00.

Entitled LA Radio: The Night John Lennon Died - December 8, 1980, the program features actual recordings of radio stations covering Lennon's death as well as some of the artist's most important songs -- both solo and with The Beatles.

Host Michael Stark calls it "an example of modern radio at its best on a very dark night in the music world." webcasts from studios on the campus of Cerritos College in Norwalk.

Tea Time

KPCC (89.3 FM) presents Tea by Velina Hasu Houston on The Plays the Thing tomorrow night at 8:00. Starring Shaki Akune, June Angela and Diane Tanaka, Tea is a combination drama - comedy about five Japanese war brides adjusting to life in post-war Kansas.

Liberal Bias

Progress Media, the company formed by a liberal investment group in order to launch a liberal talk show network, hopes to have the network up and running by early Spring.

Already the group is buying stations in order to air programming that hasn't yet been developed. Five of the top-10 radio markets are included in the current purchase plans: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Boston.

No doubt conservative talk hosts are having a field day with this news: while their shows are syndicated, the liberal network must buy stations in order to get programming on the air. Or else go to NPR ...

Clear Channel Probe

The Justice Department is investigating Clear Channel's San Diego presence to see if the company has too much control over the city's advertising revenue.

With seven owned-and-operated stations under its belt as well as four stations it programs for the San Diego market via agreements with owners of stations in Mexico, Clear Channel commands roughly 45% of San Diego's radio advertising business, according to industry newspaper Radio World.

Clear Channel describes the probe as "routine."

Gift Guide II

Reader David Schwartz writes, "McFarland has published several books by Jim Cox on old time radio. They would make perfect gifts for radio fans."

You are so right. Titles written by Cox include The Great Radio Soap Operas; The Great Radio Audience Participation Shows; Say Goodnight, Gracie; Radio Crime Fighters; and Frank and Anne Hummert's Radio Factory.

Perhaps the best-known of the bunch is Say Goodnight, Gracie. It looks at the last years of network radio programming and offers a unique perspective as to why network shows disappeared from the airwaves.

The Great Radio Soap Operas contains detailed histories of 31 of radio's most "durable" soap operas, including The Guiding Light, The Romance of Helen Trent and Perry Mason. Yes, Perry Mason is listed as a soap opera: "murder and mayhem in the afternoon."

The Great Audience Participation Shows covers seventeen programs from the 1940s and 1950s; Radio Crime Fighters features over 300 radio mystery and adventure serials and includes the names of the series, air dates, sponsors and much more; and Frank and Anne Hummert's Radio Factory looks into the lives and programs of two of radio's most prolific program producers.

All in all, quite a collection.



Copyright © 2003 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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