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Radio AM to FM: June 18, 2004

KLOS Honored by the Red Cross

KLOS (95.5 FM) -- long known for community involvement -- was honored last week by the American Red Cross for the station's support of the organization, including an annual blood drive.

Over 64,000 pints of blood have been collected by the Red Cross through the annual KLOS blood drives over the past two decades. The 23rd annual drive is scheduled to take place next month, July 29 - 31, at 17 locations throughout Southern California.


Dave Forman, the man who took KEZY/Anaheim from top-40 to album rock to all-news, died June 7th from apparent heart failure at the age of 52.

Forman was in college when he started the morning shift at KYMS (now KALI, 106.3 FM). He remained there until a format change to Contemporary Christian caused the entire air staff to be fired ... one week before Christmas.

In the late 1970s, Forman took OC top-40 legend KEZY (now KXMX, 1190 AM) from top-40 to album rock, and put light rock on the FM (95.9). The slogan used for a few years was, "KEZY-AM kicks a**, KEZY-FM kicks back." On both stations, news was a high priority due to Forman's insistence.

Around 1981, Forman tried an all-news format on the AM, giving it up less than a year later. Eventually the stations were sold and Forman worked his way over to KFWB. He left radio in 1988 for television. He is survived by his wife, Barbara and his two children, Jaime and David.

Loyd Sigmon, the "Sig" in the word "SigAlert," passed away June 2 at the age of 95 after a long fight with Parkinson's Disease.

Sigmon was an executive with Golden West Broadcasting when he invented a machine to make it easy to alert radio stations -- primarily Golden West's KMPC (now KSPN, 710 AM) -- about traffic problems on the local roads and freeways. Prior to his invention, stations would have to call the LAPD periodically to get information, with Sigmon's system, the LAPD could notify all stations at once by pressing a button that would then play a taped message through a special box at each radio station.

The system worked so well that the police, and later the California Highway Patrol, honored him by naming a traffic incident after him. A SigAlert is an unplanned lane closure lasting 30 minutes or longer. All stations except local ABC stations use the name SigAlert; for reasons unknown local ABC stations are too important to recognize Sigmon's contribution to their success.

The first SigAlert was given on September 5, 1955.


The last known use of a flattop antenna -- sort of like a giant clothes line made out of wire -- was put out of commission recently when KYPA (1230 AM) moved their transmitter site.

Located in downtown Los Angeles at Washington and Oak, the old antenna was used from the time the station signed on in the mid 1920s until June 4th, when it was removed from service. KYPA now diplexes into sister station KBLA's (1580 AM) transmitter towers in Silver Lake.


Copyright © 2004 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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