Robert W. Morgan
and Gracie Allen
Juan Carlos Hidalgo
KIKF Catches Tuna
Absent from the airwaves for too long- since his parting with
KCBS 93.1-Charlie Tuna now is broadcasting loud and clear just
a short trip up the dial from his former home. The longtime Southern
California DJ is the new morning man from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on
country station KIKF-FM 94.3. According to KIKF program director
Craig Powers, listeners can expect Charlie-as-usual from the
"We're letting Charlie Tuna be himself, just like you heard
him on KRLA and KHJ and all the way back to 1967," he said.
"Except we play country music."
Sidekick in the Limelight
Ellen K of KIIS-FM extends the fun of "Rick Dees in the
Morning," which she co-hosts, with a new mid-morning show
weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. She doesn't think of herself as
funny, but she gets a real kick out of callers to KIIS' morning
program, which showcases some of those amusing listeners, as
well as celebrity callers, music and talk.
"The format is pretty flexible, but I'm hoping to catch
some of the callers being themselves, sort of off guard,"
she said. "Most of them are hilarious without even trying.
To me, they can be the best part of a show."
Ellen has hosted talk shows in San Francisco and San Diego, and
for four-plus years has been Rick Dees' sidekick, a role she
will continue to play while she takes the helm of her solo show.
Into the Light
KCRW-FM 89.9 welcomes Liza Richardson into the daylight hours
by way of a new show called "Total Eclipse," on Saturdays
and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Former host of the station's
late-night "Man in the Moon," Richardson incorporates
back-catalog favorites, hip-hop, reggae, new album cuts, alternative
rock and spoken music.
KPCC-FM 89.3 introduces more cultural and environmental entertainment
to its lineup by way of two new shows: "Wade in the Water"
During "Wade in the Water," National Public Radio explores
African-American sacred music. Conceived and hosted by Smithsonian
Institute curator Bernice Johnson Reagon, the hour-long program
focuses on the genres of leading composers, including spirituals,
lined hymns, quartets and gospels. "Wade in the Water"
airs Mondays from 11 p.m. to midnight.
On Thursday nights from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., KPCC presents "E-Town,"
hosted by bluegrass artist Nick Forster. "E-Town" is
a mixture of live music and environmentally-conscious dialogue
by a wide variety of performers, writers and other artists.
Hall of Fame Inductees
L. A. broadcast greats Gary Owens and Robert W. Morgan were inducted
into the National Broadcast Hall of Fame in an October ceremony
at the Disneyland Hotel. The first broadcast induction ceremony
held in Southern California, it coincided with the Hall of Fame's
relocation to its new home in Anaheim Stadium. Other luminaries
inducted were: Larry King, Art Linkletter, Ronald Reagan and
The McGuire Sisters.
Founded in 1977, the Hall of Fame holds hundreds of items of
memorabilia, including vintage radios, early microphones and
other links to broadcasting's roots. Also featured are programs
from more than 30,000 classic radio shows.
And Just Down the Hall...
into the Radio Hall of Fame. In a Nov. 6 ceremony at Chicago's
Museum of Broadcast Communication, Owens joined American Public
Radio's Garrison Keillor, the comedy team of George Burns and
Gracie Allen and classic radio comedian Red Skelton as honorees.
The Radio Hall of Fame recognizes and showcases contemporary
talent from today's diverse programming formats, as well as the
pioneers who shaped the medium during its infancy. This past
April, more than 5,000 ballots were mailed to radio executives,
broadcast historians and members of the Radio Hall of Fame who
voted for this year's inductees.
Good News Is No News?
Which do you want first - the good news or the bad news? KXEZ-FM
hear the good. The station's new editorial policy is to begin
each newscast with a "good-news" story. KXEZ news director
Tammy Trujillo assures listeners that the station is not ignoring
major news stories, just trying to provide something positive
to start everyone's day.
This means the KXEZ audience will hear the details about those
improved employment figures before any reports of Cuban refugees,
overflowing prisons and illegal immigration.
The new policy might cause a few quizzical looks from news stations
such as KNX-AM 1070, which is reaping a rich harvest of high
ratings and new listeners from its gavel-to-gavel coverage of
the Simpson-Goldman murder trial. So what is "good news,"
In With The New
Riverside/San Bernardino station KFRG FM welcomes two new execs:
Reid Reker as vice president and general manager and Jan Jeffries
as programing director.
Honor Roll Call
In addition to being No. 1 in the ratings, local banda station
KLAX-FM 97.9 was honored as Spanish Radio Station of the Year.
At the recent Billboard Radio Awards in New York, Juan Carlos
Hidalgo of the station's morning show captured awards for both
Spanish Music Director of the Year and Spanish Local Air Personality
of the Year. Billboard magazine and sister publication Airplay
Monitor hosted the ceremony.
Billboard named Howard Stern, heard locally on KLSX-FM, Nationally
Syndicated Personality of the Year and honored Rick Dees of KIIS-FM/AM
as Top-40 Local Air Personality of the Year.
Rock Station Hangs
in the Balance
Die-hard rock fans are on edge until the fate of metal-rock station
KNAC-FM (105.5) is decided. Recently the sale of KNAC to Liberman
Broadcasting, which operates Spanish-language station KKHJ AM
anticipates the station will begin broadcasting January or February
"Our goal is to fill the needs of the community," Liberman
said. "We will do a market study to determine programming
and call-letter selection."
The new station will most likely remain in Long Beach.
CD Side of Mark &
Currently in the works for KLOS' morning team is a CD compilation
of favorite moments from their show. Titled "Mark and Brian:
All of Me," the CD sales will benefit the Mark and Brian
Scholarship Fund and the KLOS food bank, and is scheduled for
a December release. What's next? Mark and Brian: The Tour? Mark
and Brian: Unplugged? Brian: The Solo Album?
The Wizard of Aussies
"Queensland, Australia - The Radio Show" brings the
best of Australia to L.A. listeners via KIEV AM 870. On Fridays
from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., listeners have a direct line to the land
down under. "It's a travel program, but then it's quite
a bit more," host Barry Ferber explained.
The program consists of a generous measure of travel-industry
of the Queensland area. In addition, Ferber profiles and interviews
famed Aussie chefs, historians, writers, musicians and other
Ferber also takes calls from his L.A. audience, directly connecting
them, via satellite hook-up, to his guests in Australia.
Swinging Into Retirement
For 27 years, Ray Briem has held court on the late-night airwaves.
His brand of wit, humor and discussion have earned him the title
"The King of Overnight Radio" among his many loyal
Well, the king is stepping down from his throne behind the KABC
mike as he retires in mid-December. His cronies at AM 790, mindful
of Briem's affection for big band tunes, are throwing him a swinging
bash. Some of the greats scheduled to appear at the Dec. 2 shindig
at Hollywood Park are The Ray Anthony Orchestra, Frankie Laine,
and Tony Martin & Cyd Charisse.
Fans and well-wishers are invited to celebrate along with Briem
and the KABC crowd. For ticket and event information, call (310)
SportsTalk Back On
Along with the cancellation of the World Series and pennant races,
millions of dollars and thousands of jobs have been lost. Baseball
fans, already disillusioned by the players' exorbitant salaries,
felt betrayed and depressed.
In the radio business, broadcasters scrambled to find programs
for time slots once filled by baseball games. KABC-AM 790, the
flagship station of the L.A. Dodgers for the past 21 seasons,
brought back "SportsTalk." At first, the move was temporary.
But as the strike went on, KABC realized the call-in program,
hosted by Steve Edwards and Eric Tracy, had potential. In October,"SportsTalk"
officially became part of KABC's regular weekday rotation.
"It's on permanently, which in radio means the next three
weeks," joked Edwards, a long-time broadcaster and TV personality."It's
up to us to make it a good show and make it last. This show was
thrown on the air because of the strike. Now it's taken on a
life of its own." KABC has run the program several times
in the past. Prior to the strike, Tracy hosted a Dodgers pre-game
show on KABC. Edwards was most recently on television. He hosted
AM Los Angeles. This is Edwards' second tenure as a host of SportsTalk.
"There's some tradition," Edwards said. "I did
it in 1990 and 1991 while I was doing AM Los Angeles on TV. When
we came back on [during the strike] people who had listened to
us before called in saying, 'It's about time.'"
Many listeners were going through baseball withdrawal during
the strike. Edwards and Tracy became like Dr. Laura Schlessinger
for Dodgers fans.
"We were sort of like radio therapists," Edwards said.
"[Baseball] is life for these people. They time their lifes
around the games. Now people are basically numbed by it. It's
football season." Edwards stressed that SportsTalk is for
the casual sports fan. "It's only sports, I always say,"
Edwards said. "There has to be humor. Sports is like theatre.
There's nobility in sports and there's buffoonery. We're not
Edwards isn't looking to bang heads with XTRA Sports 690, the
area's only all-sports talk format station. In fact, he's a fan
of XTRA personalties "The Loose Cannons," Lee "Hacksaw"
Hamilton and Jim Rome. But he has to get ratings.
"Those [XTRA] guys do a terrific job," he said. "We're
not really competing with them because for KABC, if the [ratings]
are like XTRA's, we're in trouble. I think we had like a 3.5
or 4.0 when it was on in '91.