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Airwaves: January 16, 2009

And now ... Dennis Miller!

Los Angeles has had him since last March on KRLA (870 AM); now the Inland Empire gets him, too, as KTIE (590 AM) signs the Dennis Miller Show to evenings (6 to 8 PM). Miller replaces Michael Savage. For whatever reason, KRLA has all three hours of his syndicated program while KTIE cuts it off at two.

According to station manager Brad Anderson, Miller should challenge listeners, stating that “he is a conservative on many issues but also holds views that are less orthodox-right.” Programmer Chuck Tyler added that “it is rare when you can find a versatile talent on the scale of Dennis Miller to tackle a ‘real job’ ... the daily thrill of creating two hours of radio magic out of thin air.

“Dennis is truly a marquee talent for the Inland Empire” he concluded.

Perhaps best known for his quick yet sophisticated wit as Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update anchor for six years ending in 1991, Miller was for two years part of ABC’s Monday Night Football, and earned critical acclaim during his nine-year run of Dennis Miller Live on HBO. More recently he has become a political and critical favorite, very much a modern day Lenny Bruce or George Carlin.

He’s been doing his syndicated talk show for almost two years -- since March, 2007 -- and is currently heard on over 175 stations and all ten of the top-10 markets. I think he will make a fine addition to KTIE.

Tyler’s Roots

Longtime fans of Southern California music radio may remember the name Chuck Tyler, currently programmer of co-owned KTIE and KRLA, as well as KFSH (95.9 FM) and KKLA (99.5 FM). He was a DJ during the last of the music days on KFI (640 AM). In fact, one of the best examples of AM stereo broadcasting that I have is a recording of him playing music on the former music giant. I’m glad he still enjoys being in radio.

Washington Connection

In an era when all you seem to hear is of cutbacks at local radio stations, it’s nice to hear of something great. KPCC (89.3 FM) just announced something great: the expansion of their news department through the opening of a Washington News Bureau.

Station veteran reporter Kitty Felde will be among those who staff the bureau, which is sponsored by Southern California Public Radio (SCPR). The focus will be on the potential changes headed our way: financial bailouts, environmental legislation, and (hopefully the end of) No Child Left Behind.

SCPR President Bill Davis put it this way, commenting on how legislation may affect Southern California: “(everything is) too important to settle for pool or wire service coverage.”

I agree. Felde’s reports will be heard during such shows as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, AirTalk and Off-Ramp.

Better Reception

Numerous readers have written in asking how they can better receive KGIL (540 and 1260 AM). Unfortunately, in parts of the County, it can be quite difficult. General suggestions are: avoid light dimmers, fluorescent lights, computers, cable boxes, and plasma televisions when using your AM radio. Try turning the radio to aim its built-in antenna, or if you can, connect an external antenna and route it away from interference. If none of that works, write to me and I’ll try to give more specific suggestions.


Copyright © 2009 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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