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Airwaves: April 24, 2009

Catching up with the mail ...

Q: I read your column in my local newspaper, and I’ve got a question I hope you can answer. I was a fan of Mr. KABC and his radio program. Do you know what happened to him? It’d be great to know. -- Harold Ho

A: Mr. KABC, formerly known as Mr. KFI and who was later to be known as Marc Germain (his real name) had a short stint on KTLK (1150 AM) until early 2008. Now he can be found on live weekdays from 8 to 10 PM locally. Shows are also available as podcasts. Germain, long one of my favorite talk hosts, is not currently heard on any local radio stations.

Q: This may have been publicized before but ... any indication on why Larry “Sage of South LA” Elder and KABC parted company? -- Herb Clarkson

A: Nothing “official” ever came out, but it is widely thought that KABC owner Citadel just wanted to cut costs and felt Elder wasn’t worth the money they were paying him. It also may have been due to clearing out the old to make room for the new, but the station still really hasn’t done much and frankly, seems a bit lost. No word yet on and if Elder will return to radio.

Q: I know that if I ask about a radio person, you are the person who can give the answer. I have been away from Los Angeles for a while and turned on KFI to listen to the Bill Handel Show. I noticed Paul The Wall (a real music buff) was not on the show any more. Do you know what happened to him? -- Mary Phillips

A: According to statements made by Handel on KFI, Wall returned to his homeland of Guam due to a “family situation.” Handel said, “After 18 years together I would say it’s like a member of my family leaving, but I tend to like Paul more than I like members of my family. I am sad to see him go.” Wall left the show in February, 2008.

Q: I enjoy your columns on radio stations. There isn’t much written about radio and DJs, and yet for most people it is part of their daily lives. I was wondering where Charlie Tuna is. Suddenly he was gone from KBIG. I am also wondering why most DJs will not give the name and band of a song - almost never! This makes no sense to me; it’s one of the things I appreciate so much ... not mentioning the songs is baffling and disrespectful of the listening audience. -- Alison Trafas

A: Tuna, one of the nicest DJs on the radio, is doing weekends and fill-ins on KRTH (101.1 FM). Regular schedule is 9 AM to 2 PM Saturdays and 10 AM to 3 PM Sundays, but you can find him random times when needed.

Song mentions are a pet peeve of mine as well. I agree, it is disrespectful. Station programmers forget that mist people don’t follow music as closely as they do, and often don’t know a song. SOmehow, stations of the past were able to state the song, artist/band, weather and time and still make it entertaining; seems today that you get almost nothing. No wonder people are leaving radio for iPods ... they don’t lose a thing. And the iPod tells you the song ...

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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