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Airwaves: January 4, 2008

KYSR Completes its Remake

KYSR (98.7 FM) has just about finished its remake of itself, bringing in Josh Venable from KDGE/Dallas for the 4 to 9 PM shift and programming coordinator Darren Rose will take over from 9 PM to 12 Midnight. Venable and Rose replace Tom Mitchell and Summer James, who have already left the station.

This news comes on the heals of the resignation of general manager Craig Rossi. Lisa Foxx will continue in morning drive while Yvonne Velazquez remains in the super long midday shift, 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM.

Said programmer Michael Martin to industry newspapers, "98.7 has gone through some significant and strategic music and imaging adjustments of ate, and is now officially in format. We are positioned to be one of the most exciting stations in the country."

Yawn. Oh, sorry, I had 98.7 on in the background. Martin continues, "This talent line up will complete the sound, vibe and stationality (sic), and our music pretty much speaks for itself. Keep your eye on 98.7 in 2008, 'cuz we are about to rock L.A."

Sorry if I appear underwhelmed, but I've heard this before. And every time Star, now just 98.7, remakes itself, it blends more and more into the background. Star used to have personality and was at times on the cutting edge of music. Today when I tune to 98.7, the excitement is almost totally gone and the music is nothing more than predictable, overly-researched semi-alternative rock.

I'll give it time to "rock," though. At least they haven't brought back Jamie, Jack and Stench. That alone is worth some praise.

Readers Connect

"You should have followed up on your mention of Jeff Levy this morning in the Daily News with the fact that he will be starting on KRLA 870 on the AM dial starting January 13, 2008, per his website" -- Richard Carter, Sherman Oaks

Good catch; I did not know that. His show will be heard Sundays from 2 to 4 PM.

"I enjoy your column. I would love to see you write about the neat alternative way Jamie White, Jack Hiene and "Stench" Roberts are podcasting to their loyal fans a year after being fired from Star 98.7 Happy holidays" -- Mike Kalustian, Granada Hills

Keeping in mind that I so loathed that show that I am still celebrating its removal from the local airwaves one year later, I don't mind promoting it. Interestingly, a few emails have come in just recently asking what the team was doing now, so I am happy to finally have an answer. It'll cost you a quarter an episode, but you can find the show at

"Can you tell me a radio station that plays a lot of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and the like. There used to be a station and Daisy Torme was one of the djs then it became a spanish music station." Can you help me out here? -- Natalia Theadore, Manhattan Beach

I get lots of letters on this. As of now, the only place to find standards on the regular local airwaves is on the KGIL simulcast at 1260 and 540 AM from 7 PM to 5 AM. If you have a digital HD Radio, you can also find the music on KKGO's (105.1 FM) HD-3 stream. Outside of that, it's internet, iPods or satellite radio.

"I enjoy reading your column. I have a prediction to make. I think that KOST 103.5 will no longer exist in the format that we knew. I used to listen to it on and off over the past 20 years - but I would always tune into it on a regular basis when the holidays rolled around. I can believe you can imagine how surprised I was when they let Kim Amadon go. I don't think that the Morning Show will ever be the same.

  "How sad that Clear Channel is so utterly clueless to what listeners want to hear.  Oh well - I have learned that the only that remains the same is change and that nothing lasts forever. Honestly - it totally ruined me listening to that station for the holidays - it just felt that it was missing something.  I really like Mark but I don't know if he can carry a show without Kim. Well - just my musings." -- A. Rebecca Fleming via email

You may be right. it will be around, but my bet is that it will slowly evolve (devolve?) into a light rock jukebox with all personality removed. It's the direction radio is moving in these days of Wal-Mart-style corporate-controlled radio. Truly sad.


Copyright © 2008 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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