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Radio AM to FM: December 3, 2004

KLOS Movies and Music

KLOS (95.5 FM), in keeping with its long-term commitment to public affairs, has launched a DVD and CD collection drive for Marines here and abroad. The station calls it Operation Reel, Rock and Roll.

Partnering with Panasonic, Miramax and Sit 'N Sleep (which reminds me: are you allowed to sell mattresses without obnoxious commercials???), the idea is to give the gift of movies and music to Camp Pendleton Marines here and in Iraq, as well as the wounded at the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital and at two military hospitals. The goal? 2000 new or used DVDs and CDs.

"These gifts represent just a small token of our community's appreciation to those who are giving their all here and abroad," KLOS Community Relations Director Nelkane Benton said in a press release.

For their part, Panasonic will donate large quantities of DVD and CD players to troops at the three hospitals as well as a 53 inch television to the Camp Pendleton hospital. Miramax has committed to a large donation of DVDs, while Sit 'N Sleep has volunteered to be the donation drop-off point, with special collection bins in stores now through December 24th.

Can't make it in? Mail donations to KLOS Operation Reel, Rock and Roll, PO Box 95.5, Los Angeles 90016. Or crash the Mark and Brian Christmas Party on December 16th.

Play Time

Tomorrow at 10 PM, KPCC's (89.3 FM) The Play's the Thing will air The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial starring Ed Asner, Charles Durning and Tyne Daly. Adapted from original trial transcripts by Peter Goodchild, the play tells the story of the 1925 Scopes trial -- Tennessee vs. John Scopes -- in which Scopes was on trial for teaching evolution in his classroom while he was a substitute teacher, in violation of Tennessee law which forbade teaching "any theory that denies the story of divine creation as taught by the Bible and to teach instead that man was descended from a lower order of animals."

The trial itself was not the success Scopes' supporters had hoped. The idea was to get Scopes convicted in a lower court and have the conviction overturned on constitutional grounds by the Tennessee Supreme Court. Instead, the conviction was overturned on a technicality, and the law would not stand a constitutional test until years later. It did succeed in once sense, by sparking open debate into the law across the country, as well as discussions on the idea of separation of church and state that continue still today.

If you can't hear the play live, it is available for listening all next week on

Deja Vu

Take a small, family-owned radio station in Ohio that has long suffered in the ratings. Change the format to Rock and Roll, and try to make it succeed for the first time in years.

The pilot for WKRP in Cincinnati? Think again. Two years before WKRP hit the CBS airwaves in 1978, WQIO/Canton, Ohio -- a daytime-only AM radio station -- jumped up the ratings charts, increasing from 0.5 to 7.0 in the local ratings in only 18 months.

Hear a sample of this remarkable little station, circa 1979, this week on Then write and explain how a little 5000 watt daytime station with no budget can sound better than anything around today ... even in big-money Los Angeles, home of the most unremarkable radio stations in history.


Copyright © 2004 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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