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Airwaves: May 12, 2006

Clearing the Air

KABC wants to help spread the word on clean(er) air tomorrow by sponsoring the Second Annual Clean Air Car Showcase from Noon to 6 PM at the Block at Orange, 20 City Blvd., Orange.

The Showcase will feature the latest clean air vehicles from Ford and Volvo, including versions of Focus, Escape, Fusion, Mercury Mariner hybrid and Volvo Wagon and S40.

KABC Motorman Leon Kaplan will host the event all day and broadcast his show live from the Block's AMC Plaza from 4 to 6 PM. On hand will be experts in the fields of clean air technology and alternative fuel sources including representatives from Ford and Volvo.

Everyone 18 and over gets to test drive the clean air vehicle of their choice, and most importantly ... it's free. So be there.

Clearing More Air

As announced last week, Phil Hendrie is leaving the radio airwaves in order to focus on television. After June 23rd, we will no longer be able to tune in to hear the antics of characters Ted Bell, Margaret Gray, Bobby Dooley and others, nor the comments and questions from listeners around the country who never got the joke. That the show was fake. Comedy theater of the mind. Every character was played by Hendrie himself.

You'd think it would be obvious, such as when character Dooley wanted the police to put up roadblocks in Pacific Palisades so that criminals being chased by police wouldn't be able to drive into their community. "We pay higher property taxes, so we shouldn't have to be inconvenienced by them," "she" said. Or when a supposed police safety officer said he slows traffic on the freeway by opening his door and sticking out his foot.

One potential problem with a show like Hendrie's is that it relies on gullible people to continue not getting it. To get upset and call in ranting or fuming over something absurd one of the characters said. You'd think there was a finite supply of such listeners, but it never seemed to happen. When he decided to syndicate, in fact, it opened the gates for an entire country of, well, idiots.

A real problem developed for Hendie when his show was moved to KLAC from KFI. After the move, the program was continually being preempted for sporting events, and it's hard to cultivate and keep an audience when they tune in and hear not you but something else. That may have played into the decision to retire from radio, but, ironically, Hendrie is not talking.

Too bad. Hendrie's show was truly one of a kind. Hopefully enough material is on tape so that future generations can hear the last radio vaudeville act ever.

Less Hollywood

After just over a year, Hollywood Hamilton and KRTH are parting company. Beginning Monday, Gary Bryan returns to mornings on the repetitive oldies station.

Hamilton started his tenure at KRTH back in February, 2005. And while he is a talented host, he never clicked with the KRTH audience. Hamilton should probably be on a current hits radio station, if one ever returns to Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Shotgun Tom Kelly returns to the afternoon shift where he belongs, also starting Monday.


Copyright © 2006 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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