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Airwaves: October 10, 2008

The Sound on the 405

Commuters driving through Lawndale on the San Diego Freeway have no doubt seen the infamous giant Lawndale billboard that for years featured ads for programs on Fox Television now running ongoing ads for 100.3 The Sound ... complete with an ever-changing “now playing” section of the sign that lets viewers know what is playing on the station at that very moment.

Knowing the history of the sign and knowing that Fox ads finally had to be taken down because of rules from Cal-Trans that forbid such advertisements on a city-owned sign for businesses not located in the city, I figured it was just a matter of time before The Sound ads were gone as well.

I was wrong.

Turns out that The Sound has a business office located in Lawndale. Not a studio; that’s on Wilshire in Los Angeles. Not a transmitter; that’s on Mt. Wilson. But a business office that allows it to have a local presence in the South Bay. What they do there, I don’t know ... probably sit around and think of ads to place on the giant billboard.


KOST (103.5 FM) morning man Mark Wallengren finally has a new partner, almost one year flying solo after 22-year co-host Kim Amidon was laid off in as part of budget cuts.

Her name is Kristin Cruz, and she comes to Los Angeles from San Diego, where she was the longtime host of San Diego’s Love Songs program on KYXY (96.5 FM). The new Mark and Kristin program made its big debut last Monday (October 6th).

“There is no other station that defines LA for me like KOST,” Cruz said in a press release. “Mark (Wallengren) is the best at what he does and I am honored to work with him.” Added Wallengren, “We could not have made a better choice ... it’s going to be a fun ride.”

Good Humor

A few weeks back a took a pot shot at Jack FM (KCBS-FM, 93.1) as I discussed the effect of Arbitron’s new Portable People Meter -- PPM for short. One effect was that Jack is actually up in the ratings, and my quote was “KCBS-FM’s awful Jack format almost doubled in the PPM ratings compared with the diary method, so I guess we’ll be stuck with it for a while longer.”

Without going too in depth as to what I don’t like about Jack, I just think the entire concept is a bit sad. Not that Jack itself is sad, but the entire industry is a bit sad when a station with no personalities outside of a recorded voice can do so well. That a station that claims to play what they want rather than what you want does so well is an indictment of the entire industry, in my opinion.

But my opinion and $2.00 will get you a cup of coffee, somewhere. The fact is, Jack does do well, and and the airwaves are littered with stations I liked that are now gone: KHJ, Ten-Q, KEZY, KMET, K-WEST, KIQQ, pre-rap KIIS-FM, 94 FM, Mix 95.9 ... the list goes on and on.

So I actually found the e-mails humorous and refreshing ... and somewhat pointed, that came from a few of the Jack staff.

Justin Cranfill, responding to my line about the station’s ratings: “Thanks, man! We are awful. It’s great! Says Doug Roberts, “Higher praise, Jack could not find.” And Tami Heide, “If by awful you meant awful good, thanks.”

So I am revising my opinion. If three people can have that much fun and an obvious sense of humor, I can’t knock it. Those three have so changed my opinion of the inner workings of the station that I apologize for taking the shot at them.

And yeah ... awful good. That’s what I meant.


Copyright © 2008 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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