Back to Wag-Net Main Page

Airwaves: March 12, 2010

Less Music, More Talk

The Inland Empire loses contemporary standards music and gains another talk station this coming Monday as The Spa (KSPA, 1510 AM) makes a shift toward irrelevance.

All right, that may be a bit harsh. But it does seem to me that there are low-rated talk stations everywhere, and I don’t see The (New) Spa being much different. On the other hand, fans of particular shows will rejoice in the change so perhaps I better keep quiet.

Mancow -- last heard by a very small handful of people on KLAC (570 AM) years ago -- launches the format March 15th at 3 AM. Laura Ingraham follows (and live here, unlike on KFWB) at 6:00. From 9 to 11 it’s What’s Cooking Today hosted by Mike Horn, Paul Stern, Jack Roberts and Erik Hines; according to LARadio.Com, which broke this story, Geoff Edwards and Gary Owens will be rotating guests on this lifestyle show.

Remember George Putnam? His Talkback program ran for years locally and on the CRN online network ( Well, former co-host Chuck Wilder continues the show which will air at 11 AM. Dr. Laura Schlessenger follows from noon to 3 PM, finally filling in the last of the areas that had trouble hearing the good doctor on KFWB.

Michael Savage takes over at 3:00, right before Rustie Humphries at 6:00, Robert Conrad at 9:00, Doug McIntryre’s Red Eye Radio at 10:00, and finally, Barry Farber from 2 to 3 AM.

Much of the programming will be simulcast on North San Diego County’s KFSD (1450 AM), but engineering problems and program clearances may delay that a bit ... some of the programs are also carried on San Diego stations.

I have to say, some of these are great programs. Others ... aren’t. And I think the music could have stayed with the talk programs added as seasoning instead of being the entire format. On the other hand, I still feel music is a viable format on AM, so perhaps I am totally wrong here. I’d like to hear from people in the Inland Empire ... what do you think about this change?

Mixed Signals

One problem with KSPA, I am told, is that the signal is weak in many areas, very directional, and essentially so isolated that it really doesn’t enter into the major metro areas of the Inland Empire. So the big questions arise ... will changing formats make any difference in the ratings? Will running all syndicated programming bring in any listeners? Would it be better to shut down such stations that no longer truly serve their area so that others can broadcast with better fidelity?

Other Signals

I had forgotten an important fact a few weeks ago when I reported on the FCC allowing FM stations to increase their digital HD Radio power, as long as they work to reduce interference to other stations.

The fact? The rules don’t take effect until after they are published in the Federal Register. As of press time, they still have not been published. Therefore, no improvement in HD reception has begun.


Copyright © 2010 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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