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Radio AM to FM: February 14, 2003

Mark Denis Interchange Dedicated

Last Saturday, radio personalities from throughout Los Angeles -- and a few other people of lesser importance -- were on hand for the dedication of the Mark Denis Melbourne Interchange, located where the 91 and 55 freeways meet.

Denis is perhaps one of the most loved personalities in the history of Los Angeles radio. Prior to his untimely death almost three years ago, he was the voice of KFI in addition to his duties of traffic reporter, but he was far more than that. He was a genuinely good person, who always made people feel great.

So it was no surprise that the turnout for the dedication was huge: 200 people, according to Don Barrett's, who gathered for the ceremony at the San Antonio Catholic Church in Anaheim Hills. Included were personalities and reporters from such varied stations as KFI, KNX, KOST; KIIS's Commander Chuck Street did much of the work ... all proving that Denis' influence spread across competitive lines.

Name Game

Finally realizing that KMPC has absolutely no name recognition as a sports station, the One On One Sports affiliate at 1540 AM has a new name: 1540: The Ticket. There's new shows, too, including Roger Lodge -- the only local morning show on any all-sports station in town.

Now the question remains: will they give up the KMPC calls so that a music station can pick them up?

Also changing names is KSUR (1260 AM). Formerly known as "The Surf," the station will now be known by what everyone already calls it: "K-SURF."

Funny thing, station names. Even though the former KMGG (now KPWR, 105.9 FM) called itself only "L. A.'s Magic" and "Magic 106 FM" on the air, I constantly fielded calls while I was a lowly intern from listeners asking "Is this K-Magic?"

Stunt of the Week

Prior to launching their new urban hits format last week, former Atlanta oldies station Fox 97.1 spent a few days pretending to be something else. Literally. One hour they simulcast a station from Jacksonville, another it was country from Texas ... could be the start of a new format trend: Simulcast Radio.

Early to Rise

KKBT's (100.3 FM) morning man Steve Harvey is embarking on an interesting syndication deal. From the KKBT studios in Los Angeles, Harvey will broadcast the first two hours of his program -- 4 to 6 AM Pacific Standard Time -- only on sister station KBFB/ Dallas. From 6 to 8 he'll be on both stations, then from 8 to 10 AM he'll be exclusive to KKBT.

KBXX/Houston is scheduled to work the same deal. No word on what Harvey will do if his show winds up on stations in New York and Hawaii ...


Copyright © 2003 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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