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Airwaves: May 23, 2008

Savage Airwaves

No sooner had the ink dried on last week's question on where to find Michael Savage when KGIL (1260 and 540 AM) announced that the controversial conservative talk host would be moving to their spot on the AM dial beginning on May 19th mornings from 7:00 to 9:00

Savage had been on KRLA (870 AM), then moved to KLAA (830 AM) before finding himself without a Los Angeles-based radio station to call home. Enter KGIL, which dumped Neal Boortz to make room for Savage.

Only one problem, as reader Paul Williams pointed out: the simulcast with 540 is broadcast from Mexico and serves primarily San Diego, along with Orange County and a bit of Los Angeles ... and Savage is already on a San Diego station, KFMB (760 AM). Although KFMB runs Savage in a different time slot, afternoons 3 to 6 PM, they can't be too happy about this.

Note also that KGIL carries two hours of the show daily, while KFMB runs three.

In any event, I wouldn't be too surprised if KFMB doesn't take action to keep their local contract exclusive. The next few weeks may be interesting.

This Just In

Leslie Castle of San Bernardino wrote in to tell me that Savage can be heard locally in the Inland Empire weekdays from 6 to 8 PM on KTIE (590 AM). I can pick up KTIE fairly well where I live; if you are interested you might check it out.

Rantel Returns

Al Rantel will be returning to the KABC (790 AM) airwaves via his famous double shift -- weekdays from 11 to 11:45 AM and 7 to 10 PM -- beginning Tuesday.

The popular host left the air in order to concentrate on treating a a highly treatable form of lymphoma; after four months of intensive chemo therapy, Rantel stated that the lymphoma is in complete remission and that he is anxious to get back to work.

"There are so many things to share upon my return that I literally cannot wait to start talking again on the greatest talk station in America," Rantel said in a statement apparently referring to KABC. "I've learned a lot about myself ... I promise we will talk about it all and then some!"

AM to FM Reprise

A while back I mentioned how KABC is airing their programming on the digital HD-3 channel of KLOS (95.5 FM). Now KGIL is doing the same thing, simulcasting on the HD-3 channel of sister KKGO (105.1 FM). You need a digital HD Radio to hear it, though.

The carrying of KGIL on KKGO HD-3 is good news for fans of adult standards, as the music formerly heard on KKGO's HD-3 has moved to the higher-fidelity of KKGO's HD-2 ... But it is bad news for lovers of classical music, which was bumped completely off the air at KKGO.

I have to admit I am not a fan of AM simulcasts on extended HD channels. It's a good idea for KABC during times when regular programming is preempted for Dodgers baseball. But to do it regularly negates the need for the AM signal at all. Perhaps KGIL should just shut down and let the digital FM channels take over.


Copyright © 2008 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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