Back to Wag-Net Main Page

Airwaves: November 25, 2011

Wave hello to Simmons

Former KOST (93.5 FM) personality Bryan Simmons is joining his old KOST pals who all seem to be migrating over to The Wave (94.7 FM) ... including programmer Jhani Kaye, along with personalities Kim Amidon and Mike Sakellarides. Simmons began his new gig doing weekends and fill-ins on Thanksgiving Day.

Holiday benefit

Saturday, December 3rd at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, KCRW (89.9 FM) presents Are Friends Eclectic? featuring Iron and Wine, Jimmy Cliff, Other Lives, White Denim, Anna Calvi and many more creating the perfect holiday vibe and helping to raise money for the public radio station. Tickets range from $55 to $200 a piece ... will get you more information.

Correction ... And Not

Last week I wrote about what appeared to be a move by SiriusXM to standardize on the XM satellite platform and eventually move off the Sirius satellites. I also happened to mention that the company was starting its Christmas programming on November 14th. Only problem ... I wrote December instead of November. So let’s look at the second issue first.

November 14th was the launch date of contemporary holiday music on Channel 17 as well as traditional Christmas favorites on Channel 147. Both of these will run through January 1st.

Then on December 2nd, classical Christmas carols will take over Channel 75 and a Country Christmas will take over Channel 58; both of these will run through Christmas Day. December 2nd through January 6th, Latin holiday music can be found on Channel 813.

Later in the month December 16th through Christmas Day you can hear classic soul and Motown holiday music on Channel 49. Finally, on Channel 68 you can hear an extensive collection of Hanukkah music -- contemporary, traditional and children’s -- December 20th through the 28th.

Now back to the rumor ... while all indications are that the XM satellites are the future of Sirius/XM, the representative, who wants to remain anonymous, responded to each point.

I said that automakers were supposedly asked to be on the XM system by 2016. “SiriusXm has made no request.” I’ll take him at his word, but I have a bit of a problem with his other arguments.

I said that production of Sirius Plug and Play receivers had been halted. “Starmate and Stratus 6 are available on now,” he responded. Problem is, they are not. No radio offered on the page receives signals from Sirius satellites, only XM. You can do a search and find them, but they are most certainly not available on the main product page. More telling: their production actually ceased a year ago, in September 2010, so the two mentioned models are one year old stock. The representative did say that a new model would be available “soon.”

What does this mean for the average consumer? Little, actually. Programming is already almost the same on both systems and I am sure the kinks can be worked out. Standardizing on one system actually is a good idea, due to cost savings Some consider the XM system more “robust,” though the robustness actually comes from the multitudes of local repeaters -- low-powered earth-bound transmitters -- than on the satellites themselves. Sirius uses but a small fraction of the repeaters that XM uses, so XM gets inside buildings a bit better.

But keeping two incompatible systems maintained for nearly duplicate programming makes little sense. So while SiriusXM may not be officially moving that way -- yet -- I still bet it is in their future.

Mail Bag

“My wife and I listen to talk radio most of the time, but your columns have given us some alternatives when the talk gets to be too much. One pet peeve about radio stations is the fact that when they make a change in hosts, they treat the departing host as if they never existed, with no reason for making the change and no clue as to where the person went. In that regard, can you tell me what happened to Charles Payne's KFI (640 AM) show on Saturday afternoons. He had a great financial show, which suddenly disappeared a few weeks ago. Any clue you can provide as to what happened would be most welcome.” -- Joe Daileda, email

This time it’s not the station’s fault. Payne actually decided to go national with a new daily program called Payne Nation, but as of press time he is heard only on a handful of stations nationwide; none in California. You can hear him online though. Go to www.PayneNation.Com.

“I just want to let you know that I'm one of the grateful one that The Wave and KOST are playing Christmas music early and all day. Somehow Christmas music always makes me happy and relax. With the bad situation around the world, I wish they will play Christmas music all year long!” --Inge Forman, email

With an opposing view:

“In Friday's column you asked: ‘Wouldn't that just scare away your regular listeners (playing all Christmas music before Thanksgiving)?’ For me, the answer is YES. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. I have officially stopped listening to The Wave. I took if off my car radio and my home radio. Right now, I'm listening to Frank Sinatra Classics II that I found in a discount bin at Wal-Mart. Thank you for a wonderful column.” -- Ardi Newton, email

Kind of sad that Sinatra was in a bargain bin at Wal-Mart, but I can understand both sides. Many people agreed with you, but many others such as Inge mentioned that the music puts them in a good mood during a time when things seem to be going so wrong in the world. And I suppose that’s what is so great about radio in Southern California ... if you don’t like something, you can just change the station.


I sincerely hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful for many things including the ability to write about what I love. Thank you for making me and this newspaper a part of your day!


Copyright © 2011 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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