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Airwaves: January 9, 2008

KGIL’s Underwear

It’s January. Must be time to change some shows around on KGIL (simulcast on 1260 and 540 AM). I mean, it’s probably already been a few weeks since this was done before. (Note to self: change underwear today).

Out are Dr. Drew, Lou Dobbs and Ed Schultz. In are, well, I can’t tell because I’ve lost track of the various hosts who come and go through the great KGIL revolving door of talk hosts. Note that not one show is local:

4 AM: Wall Street Journal
6 AM: Laura Ingraham
9 AM: Glenn Beck
12 Noon: Monica Crowley
3 PM: Michael Savage
5 PM: Lars Larson
7 PM: Alan Colmes
10 PM: Larry King
11 PM: The Great American Songbook

All joking about changes aside, I can understand exactly what owner Saul Levine is doing with these changes. Radio stations have been hard hit by declining advertising revenue, so many talk stations around the country are doing the exact same thing: jettisoning the local content and pulling in the most popular of the syndicated fare they can get.

Doesn’t make for compelling radio, in my opinion, when an entire day is nothing more than canned grub. And generally such stations are little more than blips on the ratings radar screen. But it keeps the station on the air.

Too bad KGIL doesn’t just do what it was intended to do: super serve the valley, to which it is licensed. Some great programming came from KGIL back in the day. Now, for my tastes, the only time to tune in is 11 PM to 4 AM. Not exactly prime time. Outside of a few shows, syndicated talk bores me.

Got Away

When Michael Martin announced his resignation from Clear Channel’s Los Angeles cluster -- where he was VP over all local station programming and direct programmer of KYSR (98.7 FM) -- in order to be closer to his family in Northern California, I figured he’d be staying with Clear Channel. My thinking: the company wouldn’t let him get away.

Well they did. Martin was just hired in as VP of music programming for competitor CBS’ San Francisco cluster.

New Manager

I was all excited when I saw the headline: Chris Berry would be the new General Manager of KSPN (710 AM). I mean, how often does a relative of Chuck Berry get to run a station? Certainly he would drop the all-sports format and bring in music.

Alas, I was wrong. Seems there is no relationship between Chuck and Chris, and Chris plans to “build on (the station’s) achievements and grow both ratings and revenue in this dynamic radio market.” Oh, well.


“It’s your fault,” reader Mike Reynolds from Redondo Beach wrote. “I read your column last week and dreamed that CBS took KFWB (980 AM) back to its roots and became a ‘50s to pre-Beatles station (heavy on Doo-Wop) and it sounded great on my new Sony HD Radio tuner. Will my dream come true?”

I wish it did. Along with the return of KHJ (930 AM) as a current top-40 station (sans the rap).


Copyright © 2009 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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