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Airwaves: December 21, 2007

Nolan Returns to KFI/KOST

Just two weeks ago, Clear Channel laid off Mike Nolan from its Airwatch Traffic division in a series of cost-cutting layoffs throughout the country. This meant that one of the most familiar traffic voices on local Clear Channel stations KOST (103.5 FM) and KFI (640 AM) -- Nolan was the K-F-Eye in the Sky -- would be silenced.

The layoffs appear to be a way a way for Clear Channel to cut costs as the company finds ways to finance their plan to go private. But still, it seems shamed to lose someone like Nolan, who is as identified with KFI and KOST as any of their other personalities.

To the rescue is KFI programmer Robin Bertolucci, who decided that Nolan was indeed important to the stations. Bertolucci hired Nolan back, this time to work directly for the station (as traffic reporters were in the pre-CC past). His duties will be to cover traffic from the studios, as well as provide news coverage from his airplane as needed ... such as during the recent wildfires in Malibu.

Last Minute Gift Guide

Still can't find that perfect something for that perfect someone who is a radio freak? Here are some ideas.

1. A gift of Los Angeles Radio People. All of them. A subscription to Don Barrett's keeps your radio freak up to date with all sorts of radio news in and around Los Angeles. It is the news site of record for the local airwaves, in fact, read by industry people and fans alike. News is presented Monday through Friday (which is why I have withdrawals on weekends); subscriptions cost $40 to $60, with a monthly rate available.

2. For those who feel radio hit its peak years ago, give a gift of the past. Uncle Ricky's Reel Radio Repository is a treasure chest of archived radio recordings, both scoped (songs removed) or unscoped (complete). It primarily features top-40 giants of the past, but includes many other features including a recording of Bing Crosby on KHJ (930 AM) in 1931, and the first day of KROQ ... when it was on AM!

The site is a nonprofit, so this won't cost you much at all, yet its worth a fortune. Suggested donation: $12 per year.

3. Want your radio freak to really live in the past? Check out the selection of t-shirts, coffee mugs and calendars at -- all of stations that don't exist any more. You probably won't get the order in time for the holidays now, but you could use it as a new-years eve surprise ...

4. For those living closer to the present, any number of gifts are possible, from the best portable radio currently made (RCA Superadio III, about $50) to one of the best bargains in digital HD Radio (Sangean HDT-1 or HDT-1X component tuners, about $180 and $250). Satellite radio is the gift that keeps on giving, as long as you keep paying for it. XM or Sirius? I like Sirius, my wife likes XM. Your radio freak will like either. Prices vary for the receiver, but depending on the subscription term, monthly rates run the equivalent of about $10 to $14. Lifetime subscriptions are also available.


Copyright © 2007 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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