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Airwaves: June 1, 2007

Doing Good

Saul Levine, owner of KMZT (1260 AM) XSUR (540 AM) and KKGO (105.1 FM) is quickly becoming one popular guy. First he brings back country to Los Angeles -- in two different forms, mind you -- while keeping classical around via digital HD Radio, now he's brought back adult standards.

You read that right. Adult standards are back, and they sound darn good. Like Levine's classical offering, you do need a new HD Radio tuner to hear them on KKGO's HD-3 channel. But decent HD radios are way down in price lately, with some available soon as low as $99, and car stereos available as low as $199. Levine plans to offer some as low as $60.

This is a smart move for Levine, and it is good for the radio industry as well as radio manufacturers. Many early HD offerings were little more than extensions of current formats, such as disco on KBIG's HD-2 (104.3 FM) or a spanish version of KIIS-FM on their HD-2 channel (102.7 FM). Then came some great formats such as adult alternative on KMVN HD-2 (93.9 FM) and Roq of the Eighties on KROQ HD-2 (106.7).

Levine takes it one step further, and offers formats that you can't even hear anywhere else locally, at least on a commercial station. This gives people a reason to try HD Radio for themselves, in turn driving sales of the tuners and radios. It is a win-win for all involved: Levine, manufacturers, station owners, and yes, for a change, even listeners.

James to KRLA

When Kevin James was pushed out of KABC's (790 AM) lineup to make room for Peter Tilden last month, listeners were left wondering where he would turn up. Well wonder no longer: James is now available on KRLA (870 AM)every weeknight from 9 to 10 PM.

A one hour show? Yes. But fans of James will find one hour better than none.

Old Time Radio

Can't get your fix of Old Time Radio? Grab your computer and head back to the Golden Age of radio with
A free resource for OTR fans, the site has over 12,000 shows already online and available for instant listening, including over 600 episodes of my favorite, The Jack Benny Program. The group is adding roughly 100 more shows every week. You need RealPlayer to hear the programs.

Closing Soon

Citadel should have control of the ABC radio stations it is purchasing on June 12th, according to industry reports. Locally the deal includes KABC and KLOS (95.5 FM); not affected are KDIS (1110 AM) and KSPN (710 AM), as ABC wants to hold onto Radio Disney and ESPN Radio and the Los Angeles affiliates.

I would not expect much change for either KLOS or KABC, as Citadel tends not to make drastic changes when they purchase stations.


Copyright © 2007 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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