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Airwaves: February 8, 2008


Your chance to ask or state anything you wish regarding radio ...

Q: "It's been years and Fullerton Airport keeps fighting the replacement tower - even though KFI (640 AM) was there first (not by much, though). Now I heard something about (and saw the FCC construction permit for) a reduction from a simple 740' halfwave to 500' top-loaded, which has to affect the signal.

"Considering they are the pilot station for West Coast regional emergency comms (remember Conelrad?) this is important. Can you get the facts?" -- Bruce Bergman, via email

A: Your timing is amazing. Last time I wrote on the subject was early November, 2006, when I expected the tower construction to begin almost immediately. As it happened, the city of Fullerton as well as Fullerton Airport officials wanted the tower either moved or reduced substantially in height, and successfully delayed the construction.

Now the fighting appears to be over. In January, the La Mirada City Council approved a plan to finally rebuild the tower at a slightly reduced height -- 684 feet versus the original's 760 -- in the original location within La Mirada city limits.

The debate on the tower was somewhat heated at times during the January City Council meeting according to observers, with statements that the tower is too dangerous to be located near an airport refuted with statements from tower supporters that the airport itself is too dangerous and perhaps should be closed.

The original tower, erected in 1947, was both a hazard and a reference point for pilots flying nearby. It was knocked to the ground in late 2004 when a small plane collided with it, killing the pilot and passenger. In 1970, another pilot died when he collided with the tower, but the tower damage then was minimal. KFI has been operating at a reduced range ever since the accident three years ago.

Construction is expected to take about a month once it begins, perhaps as early as this summer.

Q: "Tried to tune into Chef Jamie, and she was not on Saturday. Is she off the air?" -- Diane, via email

A: More great timing. Chef Jamie Gwen, formerly heard on KABC (790 AM) made the move to KGIL (540 and 1260 AM) just last weekend, and can now be heard Saturdays from 11 AM to 1 PM. The show is also streamed live and is available as a podcast through KGIL's website at

Qucik Takes

Phil Hendrie returns to radio via KTLK (1150 AM) and can be heard weeknights from 9 PM to 1 AM effective February 5th. He follows Mike Malloy (6 to 9 PM) and Rachel Maddow (3 to 6 PM) in what the station calls a "triple play."

I love listening to Casey Kasem's original American Top-40 recordings on XM satellite radio's Channel 7 Saturday mornings at 9:00 and Wednesday nights at 7:00. But you don't have to be an XM subscriber to hear the classic shows.

Besides XM being available on the internet via AOL Radio (, American Top-40 also airs on the Inland Empire's oldies powerhouse KOLA (99.9 FM). KOLA programmer Gary Springfield confirmed that AT40 airs every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 9 AM.


Copyright © 2008 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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