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Airwaves: November 28, 2008

Helping Hands

Sister stations KABC (790 AM) and KLOS (95.5 FM) continued their long tradition of community involvement last week when they partnered with the American Red Cross for a partially on-air fundraiser. The event raised over $630,000 that will benefit victims of the recent wildfires in Southern California.

Two locations were used November 18th: The Rose Bowl in Pasadena and the Honda Center in Anaheim. Personalities from both stations -- including Doug McIntyre, Rob Marinko, Jorge Jarrin, John Phillips, Larry Elder, Rita Wilde, Joe Benson and Cynthia Fox -- greeted donors at their cars in between live broadcasts.

Additional donations are still coming in and the stations hope to exceed $700,000.

Season Sounds

KOLA (99.9 FM) beat everyone to the punch and began broadcasting Christmas music at noon on November 20th. It seems that everyone wants to get in on the ratings boost that many stations see upon adopting the temporary format.

By last Monday, KOST (103.5 FM) joined in the festivities. Which I suppose is fitting, considering that KOST has been playing holiday music far too soon for a number of years. A holiday tradition, of sorts.

Not to be outdone, Sirius and XM have gotten into the act as well. Four versions of the format will run on both satellite services, while one will be exclusive to XM.

Happy Returns

Garth Trinidad will return to the nightly KCRW airwaves beginning Monday at 8 PM.

The slot was previously held by Jason Bentley, who is leaving his show to take over the duties of Nic Harcourt, former music director and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic.

For Trinidad, it is a return to nightly broadcasts, which he gave up in 2004 when he wanted to be with his kids more. Now that they are a bit older, he’s happy to be back in the grind.

Harcourt will still be heard on the station, Sundays from 6 to 9 PM; interestingly, he’s giving up his daily grind so he can spend more time with his own young children.

That’s KCRW: The family station.


Cumulous Media CEO Lew Dickey is predicting a shakeout in the radio industry, telling the Atlanta Business Journal that half the companies in business today may be gone within 36 months.

This will be brought on, he says, by the effects of the stock market downturn, which has led to a drop in advertising that is very much hurting many station bottom lines. Ad revenue is way down in many cases due to cuts in advertising budgets of car dealers, automakers, retail stores and the like. And while this downturn is affecting all media, many radio companies are servicing huge debt loads due to consolidation over the past two decades.

But he is not a total pessimist. While admitting problems in the industry, he concluded, “this is still a very sound business.”


Copyright © 2008 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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