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Radio AM to FM: January 3, 2003

Astor Sells Cool FM

Another one bites the dust ... Art Astor has entered into an agreement to sell one of the last remaining independent radio stations in Southern California -- KMXN (94.3 FM) in Orange County -- to Liberman Broadcasting. Liberman, in turn, will make KMXN part of a "Que Buena" trimulcast with the 94.3 signal out of the Valley and 105.5 FM from Log Beach.

KMXN is expected to go Spanish within two weeks under a local marketing agreement while the sale is pending.

In a related move, Entravision has entered into an agreement to purchase KLYY (107.1 FM) from Big City Radio, and will soon begin a trimulcast of its Super Estrella format which is currently heard on 97.5 and 103.1 FM. Considering that the 107.1 FM actually is a trimulcast itself, is Super Estrella then a pentulcast?

While Clear Channel gets the press for what it has "done" to radio, these stories illustrate the fact that others are as bad or worse. Think about it: EIGHT formerly independent signals which at one time served local communities now carry only two different programs. And for no real benefit: both groups now have fully redundant signal coverage in their respective groups.

XM Christmas

XM Satellite Radio is reporting that approximately 24,000 XM-capable receivers were sold this holiday season, meeting its target of 350,000 total for the year. The company hopes to have have 1.2 million subscribers by the end of 2003.


January 1st was to be the day that music returned to 1110 AM for the first time in four years due to a station frequency swap between Disney Radio at 710 and ESPN Sports at 1110.

If all went according to plan, the stereo generator will follow the music up the dial, so 1110, which once played stereo oldies as KRLA (on radio capable of stereo anyway) will now play stereo pop to youngsters as KDIS. ESPN will remain mono at its new home.

The move is a sort of homecoming for Joe McDonnell and Doug Krikorian, who were on the 710 frequency in the early 1990s when the former KMPC unsuccessfully attempted a sports format. The switch also brings the Angels back to 710, their radio home for 36 years.

The Play

Tomorrow at 8 pm, KPCC's (89.3 FM) "The Plays the Thing" will air "Another Time" by Ronald Harwood. Starring Lars Carlson, Jeffrey Jones, Stacy Keach, Alice Kruge and Miriam Margolyes, the story alternates between 1950s Cape Town and contemporary London, and weighs the price that a gifted musician's single-minded devotion to his art exacts upon his relationship with his family.


Copyright © 2003 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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