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Airwaves: April 27, 2007

Radio from a Higher Source

"There is no hope in Heaven. For in Heaven, you are fulfilled and thus there is no need for hope."

Preacher from a local church? Religious discussion on a college campus? No, actually it comes from "Jesus Christ" himself, as heard on KFI every Sunday morning from 6:00 to 9:00 on The Jesus Christ Show.

When I first heard of the Jesus show on KFI, I was taken aback: how could a major Los Angeles radio station mock religion in this way? Then I listened, and found that there is no mocking. There is a host spreading the good word with a little pretend. And doing a very convincing job.

His name is Neil Saavedra, who besides playing Jesus every Sunday for just about the past seven years, doubles as the station's Marketing Director. What started out as segments on Bill Handel's show grew to what it is today: a staple of KFI's weekend programming.

I find the show fascinating, and it has become on of my favorites. Saavedra is informative, and always stays in character. I imagine that the questions asked by callers and the answers given by Saavedra often serve as starting points for sermons at traditional churches, and I think the program does better job of teaching the Bible than many programs on so-called religious stations.

Tech Support

Another of my favorite weekend shows in the Tech Guy, Leo Laporte, heard Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM to 2 PM also on KFI.

Previously heard only on KFI and through the internet, Laporte's show is now syndicated on radio stations throughout the country. It is the syndication deal, in fact, that led Laporte to stay with radio; late last year he had announced that he was leaving KFI, and the deal convinced him to stay.

It's not just a computer show, though many questions from listeners focus on computers. Laporte introduces listeners to new and evolving technologies in all areas of home entertainment.

He also knows his stuff, or how to get the information if he doesn't know it. He's on the net while doing the show in order to get specific information for callers, and he posts "Show Notes" on his own web page,

Spears Gone

Afternoon personality Gary Spears has left KBIG (104.3 FM), after more than two years with the station. You may remember Spears as a personality with KIIS-FM (102.7) back when people over the age of 12 were able to listen. Weekend jock Brent Burcroff will handle the shift until a replacement is found.

Still Waiting

Thirty days after the rules are published in the Federal register, AM radio stations will be able to run digital HD Radio broadcasts at night. Currently the stations must turn off HD at sunset.

But even though the FCC authorized the broadcasts on March 22, the rules still have not been published, and the 30-day countdown has not begun. When will it happen? No one seems to know.


Copyright © 2007 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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