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Airwaves: October 3, 2008

Mr. Benny

In costume, Eddie Carroll looks so much like my favorite comedienne of all time, Jack Benny, he could probably fool Rochester. His voice, his movement, and especially his hand gestures so mimic Benny that as an audience member, you are immediately transported back in time to the golden age of radio -- or television, for that matter -- to watch a man who managed a thirty-year stint as one of American’s favorite entertainers. Some consider his show a form of channeling.

Lucky you, you get to see him again, or for the first time, Sunday, October 19th at 7:30 PM at the Sherr Theater in the Thousand Oaks Arts Center, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd. in Thousand Oaks. It’s a fundraiser for the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters and the Thousand Oaks Library as they raise money to build a radio archives museum to house thousands of pieces of memorabilia from radio’s past. Tickets are available at the Arts Center or through Ticketmaster.

I was lucky enough to see Benny, er, Carroll, a few years ago at a SPERCVAC convention, and he was absolutely fabulous. If you are a fan of Benny at all, try to get out there ... I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Plus it benefits a great cause.

HD Questions

Many have wondered why KFI (640 AM) is not broadcasting in digital HD Radio, what with their new transmitter tower pushing out a full 50,000 watts. The station had been broadcasting with HD for about a month back in 2004 when the tower was knocked to the ground by a small airplane hit, so many observers, myself included, figured it would be back on as soon as the new tower was operational.

Turns out it won’t be back on for a few months. It seems the current transmitter doesn’t particularly play nice with HD, so the engineers and management made the wise decision to hold off until a new transmitter is delivered and installed, probably by January.

More HD Questions

Last week I asked why Inland Empire country station KFRG (95.1 FM) is being simulcast on the HD-2 signal of KLSX (97,1 FM). Now I wonder why KNX (1070 AM) is being simulcast on the HD-2 channel of The Wave (KTWV, 94.7 FM).

I ask because, in order to make HD Radio succeed, the secondary programming must be compelling, and I don’t think rebroadcasting other stations is that compelling ... especially when the original stations already cover the area better with their own signals, and in the case of KNX, the HD signal already sounds fabulous. I truly have to question the decision-making process over at CBS Los Angeles ... they are not cutting it right now.

But Wait

Just to prove that good decision-making has left the building at CBS, new manager Roy Laughlin has removed Andy Ludlam from the programmer post at KFWB (980 AM) -- the station he saved after previous bonehead decisions -- and replaced him with David G. Hall, who will now oversee both KNX and KFWB.

Laughlin’s reasoning? Hall has made so many mistakes in his past, he must have learned from them and now will be a great programmer. I’m serious; he actually said that.

Roy, you’re in denial. I think Hall has a ton of mistakes left in his blood, and you let go of the person who could have continued to make KFWB great. I can only figure that either you want to destroy both stations and do something else, or you are still on the Clear Channel payroll, just pretending to work for CBS. Either way, Hall may just be your own downfall at CBS.

One reporter’s opinion ...


Copyright © 2008 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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