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Airwaves: June 9, 2006

Star Struck

Radio and television personality Wink Martindale oversaw the unveiling of his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last Monday as friends and fans honored him for his many years of entertainment over the airwaves of Los Angeles.

His Los Angeles resume goes back to 1959 KHJ, and includes stops at KRLA, KFWB, KGIL, KMPC, and now KKGO, the last remaining standards station in town.

But he is probably most famous as the host of television's Tic Tac Dough -- and a few other game shows -- in which he could show off what radio historian Don Barrett describes in Los Angeles Radio people Volume 2 as "a white toothy smile and a frothy personality." Others just call him a really nice guy.

On hand at the unveiling were stars and superstars, including Steve Tyrell, Johnny Mathis, Casey Kasem and Bob Eubanks; friend and fellow KKGO personality Gary Owens broadcast his show live from the event. Former KMPC general manager Stanley Spero told the crowd what they already knew: "Wink is a great talent. No one is more deserving."

Martindale's star is located just West of the Roosevelt Hotel.

Struck Down

Former KNX Vice President and General Manager George Nicholaw filed a complaint for wrongful termination after he was let go from the station he managed for 36 years in 2003, citing violation of rules against age discrimination.

A judge recently ruled that there was no violation, and that the termination stood.

While the details of the case are somewhat complicated, there is one thing that came to mind when I read the verdict: when Nicholaw ran KNX, it was a classy station that had respect among listeners and the broadcast community. Now it is far from the station of record it once was, and has sunk to its lowest level ever in the ratings.

In other words, while the wrongful termination claim may have been rejected, the managers from Infinity Broadcasting who destroyed the station should also be fired.


Copyright © 2006 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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