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Airwaves: July 20, 2007

(This day marks the Friday debut of LA.COM)

Al B. Sure! is Hot

Hot 92.3 FM (KHHT) has a new 9 am to 12 noon late-morning man, the first one the station has had since it signed on the air back in 2001. And he is no less than former R&B superstar Al B. Sure! (the exclamation point is part of his name), who had numerous rhythm and blues hits in the 1980s and '90s.

Hot programmer R Dub told, "To say I am thrilled to have Al B. Sure! on the air here at Hot would be an understatement. So many people people grew up listening to his music, and the chance to hear him live on the air every day is pretty special."

HD Problems

The digital HD signal on KBIG (104.3 FM) was off the air due to technical problems for the last two weeks or so, although it should be back by the time you read this.
But that's not the real problem. The real problem is that I was one of only a few people who called in to inquire about the status of the HD signal.

Now don't get me wrong: analog interference concerns aside, I am a big fan of HD Radio. I like the improved fidelity of AM and I like the extra variety of stations found on FM, from adult alternative to adult standards. But the fact that so few people called in to find out why the HD signal was off proves that HD Radio marketing stinks.

Radio Active

KNX (1070 AM) has started a new service for listeners. Now you can get breaking news and traffic alerts right on your cell phone. And it's free, unless you get charged by your cellular provider for each message like I do: just text "KNX" (without the quotes) to 99888.

This is not the first time that a local station has provided cell phone alerts. KFI (640 AM), for instance, will send customized traffic alerts to your phone for free. You can set up your own traffic routes and receive alerts during the times that you want.

Now all we need is local surf reports delivered to your phone ...

Temporary Reprieve

Small webcasters were given somewhat of a reprieve when it was announced that royalty collector Soundexchange was willing to negotiate lower rates for royalties due for music played on internet streams.

Nothing has been set in stone, but it looks like an agreement will be forthcoming that will benefit both webcasters and content providers. This would be good news, as many webcasters actually break more new music than most radio stations. Webcasters and music providers need each other; shutting down webcasts would benefit no one.

USC Staying Put

The USC Trojans have agreed to extend their broadcast relationship with ESPN Radio KSPN (710 AM). Trojan football and men's basketball will continue to air on KSPN through the 2010-2011 seasons. All current game announcers are expected to stay through the length of the contract.


Copyright © 2007 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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