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Airwaves: April 21, 2006

A Star is Reborn

If the new Star 98.7 is sounding good to you, you're not alone. Not only does my wife Jean like it enough to forgo a new satellite radio installation in her car, I've been hearing it around town in places where I didn't even know they had radios: tire stores, retailers and the like.

Yes, it's nice to have a full power signal, relatively speaking at least, play current music. Much of the playlist sounds a lot like my old favorite from a few years ago: Anaheim's Mix 95.9, when it was programmed by Craig Carpenter. I call it pop alternative, though admittedly the music isn't that drastically different from what it was before the change last week.

What is still unknown is the status of the air staff. Currently the station is running jockless (an industry term, mind you, and I don't know if it's really a bad pun or not), though at least some of the personalities are expected to return within the next few weeks.

I'd personally like to see the spirit, if not the personalities, of the Mix come back to town. Personalities are what made the Mix sound so great, even though they were relatively young unknowns to the area before they hit the OC airwaves. Ran Man, Linda, Matty, Krishna and Carpenter himself had exactly the attitude that the new Star should have. Mix was scrappy and fun. Star should be too.

My fear, as I mentioned last week, is that the worst personality in all of radio will return to her morning perch to rehash the same show she's been doing for years. I don't know who Jamie White knows at Star, but she should have been let go a long time ago. My guess is that she'll be one of the first people back on the air.

Where's Rick?

It seems Rick Dees fall off the earth after being replaced by Ryan Seacrest on KIIS-FM back in February, 2004. Other than his countdown show, unheard locally, he seemed to be an unwanted man.

Until now.

Dees was recently a guest host on KXOL's morning show last week in part to promote the new Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Con Sabor (with flavor), a bilingual version of his widely syndicated show. And if the comments I've heard and read regarding the appearance are accurate, Dees is hot and ready to work.

Where? Don't laugh ... I think he'd do OK on the new Star, especially considering many Star listeners are former KIIS-FM listeners from the era when Dees was at his peak. Get him a decent news partner, something he didn't have for years, and he'd really cook. Maybe try out John London in some capacity -- sports comes to mind -- now that half of the former London and Engelman team is available again.

This Just In

Radio and Records reports that KDAY is shifting formats to urban from, er, well I thought it already was urban. Shows what I know.


Copyright © 2006 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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