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Airwaves: November 23, 2007

Shooting The Star

As many expected after the changes over at sister station KBIG ("my FM" 104.3), Star 98.7 has been evolving over the past few weeks into a different animal than it was before.

It appears that the station is hoping to take on alternative rock station KROQ (106.7 FM) indirectly -- or perhaps attract listeners that have outgrown KROQ -- by playing more adult-leaning alternative songs than ever before.

Not wholesale changes, mind you, but some tweaks. More of an effort to court fans of such bands as Sublime, Linkin Park and Pearl Jam. On the way, the station has stopped using the "star" name on the air any more, referring to itself only as 98-7.

I suspect that more refinements are on the way but as it appears now, 98-7 will be attract a primarily male audience -- the only FM station owned by Clear Channel in Los Angeles to do so. The others, KBIG, KOST (103.5 FM), KIIS (102.7 FM) and KHHT (92.3 FM), are all programmed primarily to females.

Brailer Passes

It's hard to believe that it has been almost 15 years since Charlie Brailer retired from KFWB (980 AM), his name is so synonymous with the station he worked at from 1969 to 1993.

It's even harder to believe that he has passed away. Brailer died November 7th at his home in Lancaster from advanced lung disease. He was 74.

Brailer got his start in radio as a student at the University of Maryland because he refused to retract an editorial he wrote for the campus newspaper that offended someone. After he lost his position at the newspaper, he went over to the radio station and started its news department ... something it didn't have at the time.

Upon graduation he went to work for the Voice of America radio service, producing programs for the Far East. He joined the Army and became editor of the post newspaper then went back into radio after the service to work for Mutual Broadcasting as an engineer. Eventually he worked his way into Westinghouse Broadcasting as Chief Engineer in their Washington DC bureau.

He came to Los Angeles in 1969 to work as Executive Producer at Westinghouse's KFWB, which had switched to an all-news format the year before. Eventually he became an anchor as well, including the all-important morning-drive time slot.

In 2000, Brailer received a heart transplant, which apparently detoured a plan to build a new house on property he owned in Northern Nevada. he is survived by his wife, Carolyn, as well as two sons and five grandchildren.


John Zeigler has left KFI's (640 AM) 7 to 10 PM evening slot for "mutual reasons," he says. Seems a film production might take too much of his time. Wayne Resnick is currently filling in for Ziegler.

KSPN (710 AM) is revamping their lineup, including the dropping of John Ireland in the early afternoon and the hiring of Dave Dameshek for afternoon drive. Unfortunately, no one really cares.

KOST has already changed to Christmas music. Seems later than last year ...


Copyright © 2007 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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