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Airwaves: April 25, 2008

Digital Talk

If you subscribe to cable or Dish satellite television, chances are you have access to "radio" programming that you didn't necessarily know you had.

Called CRN Digital Talk Radio -- the CRN once stood for Cable Radio network, though that use has all but disappeared -- the service is headquartered out of the San Fernando Valley and available nationally via cable, satellite, or the internet.

Some of the programs are exclusive to CRN, some are available elsewhere. But the focus of CRN is programming that you won't necessarily find easily.

For example, former Tonight Show announcer and co-host Ed McMahon has a show featuring commentary and "information on living the good life." Enthusiast magazines Car and Driver, Road and Track, Motor Trend, and Truck Test all have shows on the network. Even longtime commentator and TalkBack originator George Putnam is still doing a daily show at the age of 92! Putnam is a CRN exclusive.

Most of the programming is talk, but there is one music program that has been there since the beginning. Featuring, of all things, polka music. "When we started CRN 25 years ago, we wanted to try a program that no one else would think of carrying," said CRN president Mike Horn. "We found Dick Sinclair of the old Polka Parade that once aired on KFI (640 AM) and KTLA Channel 5. He has been on the air as one of our only music programs since our beginning, and is a real fan favorite."

Polka Parade airs Saturdays from 4 to 6 PM.

You can also find Robert Conrad and Michael Jordan on CRN. Not that Michael Jordan. This one is the General Manager at the Napa Rose Restaurant at Disneyland who hosts a weekly food and wine show exclusive to CRN.

In all there are six channels of CRN programming to choose from -- later this year it will be eight -- and you can hear them on your computer if you don't subscribe to Dish or your local cable system doesn't carry them. The web address is You can also hear some of the programming on Los Angeles television station KPXN Channel 30, via their second audio programming (SAP) channel.

Brodian Back

A twenty-year veteran of Classical Music once heard via KMZT (now KKGO, 10501 FM), Laura Brodian is back on the local airwaves playing the music she loves.

Brodian, whose entire career has been devoted to the presentation of classical music, hosts a classical music show on KCSN (88.5 FM) in Northridge weekdays from 11 AM to 2 PM. Her fans are ecstatic.

Beatles Radio

I'm not a Beatles fan. Not that I hate them, but between my sister Susan who played them constantly when I was growing up and my friend Mark Pereyda who at a very young age was already enamored with BeatleMania, I had a lifetime of Beatles music played for me in just a few short years.

But at least one reader wanted me to mention Back to the Beatles,a program airing Sunday mornings from 8 to 9 on KRTH (101.1 FM). Hosted by KRTH's Jim Carson, the show is (I am told by fans) one of the best, and different than others. Since I can't really judge it, please check it out and let me know.


Copyright © 2008 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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