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Radio AM to FM: May 27, 2005

Here Comes Jill

I love radio. I hate what radio has become.

Latest in the move toward generic copycat formats is the news that Lite 92.7 FM, aka trimulcast KELT/Adelanto, KLIT/Fountain Valley and KMLT/Thousand Oaks, has evolved into JILL-FM, described on the air as a huge iPod gone wild.

Sounds familiar.

As per usual, the entire airstaff was given walking papers, as radio no longer needs personality. Paul Freeman (who will continue to be heard weekends on KZLA), Tara McNamara, Mark Taylor, JJ Johnson, Dr. Michelle Roth, Dave Burns, Mike Flemming, Mike Daniels and Doug Eldred are all gone. In their place is Jill, a Canadian actress who stops records and commercials in the middle to pull them off the air when she doesn't like them.

Programmer George Johns, whose title is a bit extreme now that the station is nothing more than a giant iPod, says he plans to take the format into every market where a JACK clone is found and do JILL ... "just like (the others), only for women," he told's Don Barrett.

The fact that radio programmers and owners are so sprung on JACK, BOB and now JILL formats -- all essentially the same format with different, stupid, names -- in spite of no history of success for the format shows just how sad today's radio has become. They've given up. Literally. They have no clue how to program a station, so they've turned their stations into expensive iPods.

iPods with limited playlists, commercials, and no way to advance past the same lame songs they burned out under their old formats.

All the while people are flocking to the real thing, which they can load with songs they actually like and play in any order they like without commercials. Hello? Programmers? Don't you think you need to do a bit more? Why listen to your station when I can listen to my own?

I'm convinced: Jack-clone format programmers are morons.

Podcasting Update

Mike Stark of announced that three of WPMD's local Cerritos-College radio programs -- Rock 50, Tee-M's Unsigned Radio Show and the Bill Ward program -- are part of the lineup on San Francisco's K-YOU Radio (KYCY). Which means you can not only hear the programs on, you can hear them while you visit the Bay Area. or better yet, download them from and listen to them at your leisure as "podcasts."

What's a podcast? Like other audio formats, it is a file you can download from the internet. What makes them special is that they can be downloaded automatically and easily right into your iPod or similar MP3 player. Podcasts came on the scene back in September, 2004 and have been building in popularity since then.

Making Friends

Testifying in his own defense at a defamation civil trial in Louisville, Kentucky, KFI evening personality John Zeigler told the court, "I hate where I live. I don't feel like L. A. is American."

After that statement, I wonder how much longer 'ol Johnny's gonna be in L. A. ...


Copyright © 2005 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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