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Airwaves: July 7, 2006

Honoring the Traffic Keane, er, King

Just in time for what would have been his 80th birthday, the 101/110 Freeway Interchange has been officially dedicated and renamed as the Bill Keene Interchange.

The dedication was held July 1st -- Keene's actual birthday -- in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

Keene was the traffic and weather reporter on KNX (1070 AM) from 1957 to 1993. His traffic reports often included witty puns, including the time he called a seafood spill and Highway Patrol at the scene as "fish and CHiPs." He died on April 5, 2000 following a stroke.

Walters Gets Sirius

Sirius Satellite Radio announced last week that it has signed Barbara Walters to an exclusive weekly two-hour show to be called Barbara Walters' Best of the Very Best which will debut next year.

No that it adds much work to the veteran television personality: the program will primarily feature tapes of her interviews spanning the past 30 years, including Tom Hanks and Muhammad Ali. Periodically, she'll also host a live call-in show, Ask Barbara Anything.

Walters is an American icon and is perhaps one of the best-known female television newscasters ever. She is a former host of the Today Show, co-anchored the ABC Evening News with Harry Reasoner in 1976, but really made her name with the ongoing Barbara Walters Specials in which she earned a reputation for making celebrities cry on camera. She was one of the original anchors on television's 20/20.

Currently she is executive producer and co-host of ABC television's The View, and spent last week embarrassing herself over the departure from The View of Star Jones.

Correction Suggestion

Last week's column made reference to two stations whose call letters are used today on different frequencies and with difference formats. Unfortunately, the wrong frequencies -- the new ones -- were assigned to the stations when I was actually talking about the "originals:" KRLA (1110 AM) and KMPC (710 AM).

This is more of a problem than you might think, due to local owners taking call letters of stations that have nothing to do with their current station or format. Both KRLA and KMPC, for example, have long histories on their original frequencies, and people often write in to ask about them or the personalities who once worked there.

Reader Ken Munroe had a suggestion: use the old frequency with a few extra words, such as KRLA (at the time 1110 AM). From now on I think I will do so.

Outdated Shirts

Want a shirt with the logo of your favorite long-lost radio stations? Head over to

Shirts, hats, mugs and other promotional recreations from such stations as KFWB, KHJ, and many more are available there, each logo lovingly recreated from the originals. Sounds like my kind of store!


Copyright © 2006 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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