Back to Wag-Net Main Page

Airwaves: May 22, 2009

Booker Gets Amped

Top-40 Amp Radio (KLSX, 97.1 FM) will finally have an afternoon jock, and he comes to Southern California all the way from New York, where he has been on the air since 1996. And in what is a nice change of pace, he’ll actually be broadcasting from the Amp Radio studios, rather than sending his voice electronically from New York. He starts June 1st.

Booker has been tested out, so to speak, on Amp Radio already, filling in for various dayparts. According to Amp programmer Kevin Weatherly, listeners have already approved of the hire, telling Radio and Records, “listener response has been nothing short of amazing. His radio track record speaks for itself, and his style and enthusiasm are a great fit for the station.”

This is an interesting time for top-40 radio in Southern California, including the return of the term when describing it. For years, CHR, or Contemporary Hit Radio was the politically-correct phrase used to describe such formats; for whatever reason, Top-40’s back, bringing the rest of the industry in line with this column. But I digress.

The hiring of people like Booker, Ted Stryker and Casey McCabe is making for an exciting station with the potential to form a great rivalry with competing top-40 legend KIIS-FM (102.7 FM). Honestly, I haven’t witnessed this much energy in the format in years. This could be big.

History Repeats

This isn’t the first time that top-40 has been heard on 97.1. Way back in 1979, as Ten-Q (KTNQ, 1020 AM) was changing to Spanish, the Ten-Q top-40 format made the move to FM as KHTZ, or “K-Hits.” Within weeks the station evolved (devolved?) into the adult contemporary station most people remember it for. But in the first few weeks, the station was hot.

It seems initial K-Hits programmer Rich “Brother” Robbin, who transitioned from Ten-Q as well, was 30 years ahead of his time.

Arbitron Investigated

...Again. For whatever reason, it seems the FCC refuses to leave radio ratings company Arbitron alone, and has officially launched a “notice of inquiry” into the company's new Personal People Meter (PPM) technology.

PPM reads radio signals over the air. People wear it and it picks up the station people actually listen to, rather than relying on memory recall as when people would fill out diaries for the company the old way. Diary return rates were horrendous, especially for certain demographic groups, so at times relatively few people would be given far greater weight in the ratings compilation for their demographic than with people in others. It made for a very inaccurate picture of listening habits.

Which makes the FCC investigation questionable and insincere. They didn’t care when ratings wrongly benefited various formats; now that the system is improved, they suddenly care? Seems very political to me.

Random Thoughts ...

... From cluttered mind: Want to know the song you just heard? If you heard it on The Sound (100.3 FM), use you mobile phone to text “song” to 21003. They’ll send a text back listing the last three songs played. Nice idea.

Is there anyone more annoying to hear on the radio than KLAC’s Petros Papadakis? He has a great voice for newspapers ... makes Sit ‘n Sleep ads sound like classical music.


Copyright © 2009 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

To subscribe to The Daily Breeze, call (310) 540-5511