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Radio AM to FM: May 9, 2003

No Blinking ... Yet

Rumors have almost completely stopped regarding the possible change of one of Infinity's Los Angeles FM stations -- most likely Arrow 93 or KLSX (97.1 FM) -- to a new female-oriented dance/contemporary format known in New York as Blink 182, er, Blink 102.7.

That may or may not mean a thing, since the company may be waiting to see the New York ratings before making any commitment in L. A. Interestingly however, part of Blink's broadcast day actually originates from the Fairfax-area building that houses the studios of Arrow and sister KROQ (106.7 FM).

On the AM Radio

A short but fun experiment playing rarely heard oldies from the 1970s down in San Diego's North County on KFSD (1450 AM) ended unexpectedly last weekend when owner Art Astor pulled the plug and brought back classical music.

It's actually too bad. Astor probably would have been better off putting the classical music on his low-rated FM station (KFSD-FM, 92.1) and letting 1450 The Fox continue. This was one fun station during the two months it was on the air.

What made it fun? Well, besides playing songs you hear nowhere else (not even on my iPod ... I hadn't heard many of the songs in years), the station brought back a sample of good, top-40 radio: polished DJs, local promotions, and a certain innocence that can't be found on most stations today.

It was so good I even went out and bought a special AM antenna so I could hear it better.

No word was given on why the plug was pulled; one of the developers of the format, Chris McKay, says he was as surprised as anyone, telling,

"One month into the format Astor was considering moving the format to 92.1 and wanted to partner with me for syndication, the true reason I spent six years putting this programming together. Three weeks later he dumps the format? He was not even professional enough to talk to me about it; he had his Operations Manager deliver the news right after my shift on Friday, without explanation I might add!

"I wish to apologize to the listeners and the community that believed in our vision, that radio could once again go back to the public and the community it was licensed to serve. " KFSD's classical programming comes piped in from Boston.

McKay says that he hopes to find another station interested in the format; personally I'd like to see (hear) it somewhere in Los Angeles. There are many money-losing or underperforming AM properties (as well as FM) here that could use a jolt of good programming. Any takers?

Instant Concert

Clear Channel Entertainment -- a division of the Evil Empire -- is doing something kind of cool: CDs of the concert you just saw available about five minutes after the end of the concert.

Called "Instant Live," the process has been in the testing stages in small Boston-area venues since late February. CDs of the (so far) independent-label or unsigned bands are available at the concert itself, then after the concert at local Boston-area Best Buy stores and web site.

Kind of makes those "Fantasy Concerts" run on radio stations years ago a bit obsolete, doesn't it?


Copyright © 2003 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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