Airwaves: August 11, 2006
When I was growing up, my sister Susan used to listen to records by Barbara Streisand and the Beatles. A lot. So much so that I developed a deep hatred for anything from Funny Girl, Funny Lady, and anything from the drug era of the Fab Four.
Listening to repetitive KRTH (101.1 FM) over the years took care of the pre-drug Beatles.
I am probably the only one in the entire world who feels this way, but I will admit it: I hate the Beatles. Hate them. I thought I was over it when I bought the One CD a few years ago, but trying to listen was painful. I keep it in a closet now, away from a CD player.
That being said, I was taken by surprise when the news came out recently that September 3rd would be the last show of the long running Breakfast With the Beatles on KLSX (97.1 FM). Seems the tanking ratings brought on in part by Howard Stern's move to satellite radio has affected the bottom line of former affiliates such as KLSX, so general managers are scrambling to save their jobs by running paid programming.
That's right: Breakfast With the Beatles is being bumped off the schedule for programs that might hock illness remedies. Station founder George B. Storer must be rolling over in his grave.
Technically, it could return. After the commitment to the advertisers is completed, Breakfast could be back on the KLSX airwaves. Perhaps by January. Maybe. But don't count on it.
For the uninitiated, Breakfast began as a program hosted by the late Deirdre O'Donoghue in 1983 on KMET (now KTWV, 94.7 FM). When KMET changed formats to The Wave in 1986, KNX-FM (now KCBS-FM, 93.1) picked up the program for a couple years. 1988 brought it to KLSX where it has stayed ever since, surviving as the only music program on the station since it became all talk.
The program features popular and less known songs from the Beatles as a group as well as solo, along with interviews and features that have made it the longest-running and one of the most popular Beatles programs in the country.
Current host Chris Carter took over after O'Donoghue's death five years ago. Carter hopes that fanatic fans will help save the program by writing to KLSX, encouraging management to find a spot. Perhaps a better bet would be to convince KLOS (95.5 FM) programmer Rita Wilde that it would be a perfect addition to her classic rock station.
If the best a major market high power FM station can do is run infomercials to help the bottom line, it is obvious that creativity is lacking. KLSX -- also known as Free FM (or is it Freefall FM) -- doesn't deserve Breakfast. Whether KLOS wants it remains to be seen, but at least if it did, the program would be on a station that isn't in broadcasting only for the money.
Thing of Play
The LA Theater Works' The Plays the Thing airs The Fiery Furnace tomorrow at 10 PM on KPCC (89.3 FM).
Written by Timothy Mason and starring Julie Harris, Shannon Cochran and William Fichtner, the play tells the story of a family led by an upstanding farmer. Or is he? Why does his favorite daughter want so badly to leave for Chicago? With her mother? Mysteries are solved with suspense. Be there.
Copyright © 2006 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.
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