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Airwaves: October 14, 2011

Forced Listening

The Houston (Texas) Chronicle reported last week that a woman is suing the Harris County Sheriff’s Department in part because she was forced to listen to Rush Limbaugh.
It’s a rather bazaar story. Bridgett Nickerson Boyd’s car broke down on the way to work. Instead of stopping to help, deputy Mark Goad first wrote her a ticket for driving on the shoulder of a freeway, and for reasons not given later decided to arrest her.

According to her complaint, wrote the Chronicle’s Mike Tolson, handcuffs were painfully tight on her wrists and “she was forced to listen to conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh ‘make derogatory comments about black people’ all the way to jail.”

I’m calling foul. First, I have never seen a police car with an AM radio, though certainly things could be different in Texas. But this may be just the thing Limbaugh needs for some new publicity. In all the years I have heard Limbaugh, I have never once heard him say “derogatory remarks about black people.” Derogatory remarks about liberals, or at least their positions, yes. But never anything on a personal level. Those complaints usually come from people who have never heard the show.

All charges against Boyd have been dismissed; my guess is that this complaint will be settled out of court. Too bad; this one would have been interesting.

KFWB Corner

KFWB (980 AM) has another of their KFWB on Your Corner days planned for October 20th. This time it will be featuring the city of Pasadena and held, of course, at the Rose Bowl.

Civic leaders and local residents will be on hand to talk about important issues in the community ... the Rose Bowl’s renovation, tourism, entertainment, the city’s colorful history and hidden gems in and around the city. One gem I was thinking they could cover is the Fair Oaks Pharmacy, which includes a counter and some cabinets imported from my Dad’s hometown of Joplin Missouri; alas, the pharmacy is in the neighboring city of South Pasadena.

The live broadcasts begin at 5 AM and run through most of the day including the afternoon news block. In addition, motivational speaker Les Brown will host a special business leader luncheon at the Brookside Golf Club, adjacent to the Rose Bowl.

Speaking of KFWB

A few weeks ago in a story regarding the KFWB Trust that was created due to CBS being over the ownership limit in Los Angeles I incorrectly stated that the station was forced to carry some of their syndicated programming due to owner CBS wanting to have local clearances on their programs. It seems that CBS has absolutely no connection to any of the programming run on KFWB other than the fact that they carry it. None of it is distributed by CBS or any division of the company.

I also found that due to some various legal reasons, KFWB was never actually placed in the trust as I (and most of the rest of the world) thought happened years ago. That move should occur sometime this month. Why the delay? No reason to rush seems to be the explanation. Weird, considering that CBS did have to sell KFRC/San Francisco (the real KFRC at 600 AM, not the wannabe FM or the low-power upper AM band station they later renamed to keep the call letters alive) because the strong signal from San Francisco put them over the ownership limit ... in Sacramento.

Random Thoughts from a Cluttered Mind

Cool thing with a free or inexpensive app, you can turn your iPod Touch, iPhone or Android phone into a $5 transistor radio. And we love doing it, as internet radio is akin to long distance radio reception - you never know what you’ll hear ...

Listening to Power 106 while working out is like having a jackhammer going off next to your head as you bench press ...

Dodgers to KLAC

Clear Channel has secured the rights to broadcast Dodgers Baseball on KLAC (570 AM) with a multiyear contract that begins next season. That much is fact.

What remains rumor is the followup report that Clear Channel wants to buy the Dodgers and 500 other major and minor league teams and use a more sophisticated version of voice-tracking -- a computer-based system that allows one personality to be “local” on two, three, or even 100 stations -- to cut team payroll costs and increase fan satisfaction just as much as they increased radio listener satisfaction.

Bat Tracking will allow Clear Channel to own numerous ball clubs and through the magic of computers have one player play on multiple teams simultaneously. Company executives insist that fans won’t notice, stating “Hey, radio listeners were too stupid, er, didn’t notice that their ‘local DJ’ was hundreds of miles away. Why would they notice that their favorite baseball players weren’t actually at the park?” Yes, I am kidding.


Copyright © 2011 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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