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Airwaves: December 11, 2009

Digital Dees

Rick Dees was a trendsetter in 1979 when he first arrived at KHJ (930 AM). Brought here by programmer Chuck Martin to help remake the legendary station that had suffered from years of neglect, Dees was part of the last great top-40 format heard on KHJ, considered by some to be among its best efforts. Alas, the suits in New York didn’t realize what they had and turned KHJ into country.

Dees soon left for KIIS-FM (102.7), a station that had been wallowing in mediocrity for years. Management decided to take on a top-40 format -- which by then had been declared dead by industry experts --and Dees was to lead off what was perhaps the best air staff on the best-programmed station in the country at the time.

And it worked. The station took off, and Dees was among the top-rated personalities in Southern California for almost two decades.

So what is the creator of the pop novelty hit Disco Duck up to these days? He’s remade himself into a digital network.

Dees recently launched an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch called the Rick Dees Digital Network App that plays Dees-programmed streams. You can choose from six channels (or “stations”)” All Number 1 Hits, ‘90s Gold, Rick FM, Classical, Modern Country, and The Weekly Top 40. For the holidays there is a special holiday music channel.

According to the website, the audio is truly audiophile quality, beating FM, HD Radio and satellite radio and plays reliably over 3G and EDGE cellphone networks as well as wireless internet. I would tend to question the claim, but I haven’t tried it myself yet. The application is $3 on the iTunes app store.

Now to find him a spot on the air somewhere ...

Little Update

It seems that the syndicator for Little Steven’s Underground Garage, last heard on KLOS (95.5 FM), is close to inking a new deal to have the show carried in Los Angeles. That is great news for fans of the program. When/if the deal is confined, you’ll be the first to know.

Amp News broke the news this week that Amp Radio (KAMP, 97.1 FM) will be bringing Carson Daly in to host the morning show beginning January 4th.

Daly was last heard locally on KROQ (106.7 FM). After he left nights on KROQ he went on to host MTV’s Total Request Live. In 2002 he jumped from cable to network, hosting Last Call with Carson Daly on NBC, currently in its 9th season.

This is huge for Amp Radio, which is nipping at the heals on pop music leader KIIS-FM in the ratings. Interestingly, Amp has shot up the charts without actually hurting KIIS, as KIIS has held fairly steady even as Amp takes on listeners .. from other stations, obviously.

Amp has not had a high-profile morning show as of yet. It will be interesting to see how well he fits with the vibe of the station.


Copyright © 2009 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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