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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Yew Young Whippersnappers Don't Remember NWA?!?

Sometimes I just feel danged old.

In Inland Empire radio, Wild 96 has declared war on KGGI because the latter plays, of all things, HOUSE MUSIC. This is apparently too ancient for today's young urban radio listener.

Today they really went into the dark ages, asserting that KGGI would dare play Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes "If You Don't Know Me By Now." As if that were a bad thing.

Somehow I have the sneaking suspicion that I'm outside of Wild 96's target demographic.

Well, if nothing else, all the brouhaha prompted me to switch to KGGI to see what was happening there - I don't think I've listened to the station in a couple of years. I was pleased to hear that Jeff Pope was still part of the morning show.

I first heard Jeff Pope years ago, when he was a newsreader at X103.9; later, he got the full time DJ job at KGGI, and apparently has managed to keep it. Jeff has always been a champion of local things, such as high school football teams, and is a clear asset to the IE.

While surfing, I found this 1999 era mention of Jeff Pope:

Jeff Pope works for Metro Networks and broadcasts morning drive at KCXX and afternoons at "Mega 100." He noticed the mention of Gina Davis. Jeff worked with her at KGGI/KMEN. "When I saw on your site that someone wanted to know where Gina is buried, I lobbed a call to a friend still at the station and was told she is resting somewhere in La Canada - however, the closest cemetery is in nearby Altadena (Mountain View Cemetery). That may be the place."

I read the rest of the page and found some more circa 1999 tidbits. Remember that at the time, 1150 AM was still a sports station, and KNX and KFWB had different corporate owners:

"I tuned in to hear Joe McDonnell doing fill-in at ESPN [via 1150AM] and was very disappointed. Not only was Joe not on, but the programming was not the greatest. I was initially very excited to hear that there was going to be a local sports station when KXTA began broadcasting, but it’s been very disappointing. I understand the need for change, but the changes they've made make no sense. Let Joe McDonnell go, but keep Big Ben Maller and Dave Smith with all those moronic sound effects? Pleeeeeze. With all the silly ‘applause,’ ‘effects,’ and ‘laughter’ drop-ins, it sounds silly. And Vic the Brick should be completely banned from the radio. When he's not brown nosing some obscure athlete that nobody cares about, he rambles about how great everything is.

What I liked about Joe was there was no schtick. He presented just honest, straightforward sportstalk. I am not the biggest basketball fan, but I always listened to Joe just to hear what he had to say. Do you think that the afternoon guy from Cleveland sounds very much like John Kobylt from KFI? The only worthwhile programming on ‘XTRA Sports 1150’ is Jim Rome.

Well, with all the kickass sports guys in this country, and we get this? I’d rather listen to sports stations over the Internet, but I guess that’s just me. Although I am very happy for Joe, I’ll miss his commentary. His reporting will be a blessing to a very stoic KFWB." – Dan Mandis, Los Angeles
"I must disagree with Dave Cooke's memo [2/24] about never mentioning the call letters of rival radio stations. What I think Radio 101 says is that a station should mention its own call letters as often as possible without sounding like it. This old fashioned idea of how horrible it is to ever mention a rival's call letters is pretty silly for an all-News station if your competitor happens to be in the news. While the fact that Meghan Reyes does traffic for KNX is not the most important part of that emergency landing story, it is part of it. You might call that Journalism 101. If Dave is really worried that a listener will list KNX in a diary, just because of one mention, then he has much bigger problems than this. Maybe I'm just a naïve journalist, but shouldn't concern for the facts come first? While I think he's wrong on this question, I personally don't mind the gallows humor in describing the burning down of the KNX building as an acceptable reason to risk a ratings diary disaster. But the reality is, if that fire did happen, there are a number of ways KFWB could cover it without mentioning KNX. They could say...‘the Channel 2 building,’ ‘the Arrow 93FM building’ or how about ‘Columbia Square, the building owned by the same people who sign our paychecks.’ As for the part about not mentioning KNX if a KNX newscaster burns to death while off duty, well, I'll tell you this, if I ever decide to end it all with a match and some gasoline, I'll make sure I do it a couple of minutes before my shift ends, just to give Dave something else to moan about." -Ron Fineman, KNX
"I've become a big fan of your Web site over the past few months, and therefore I'm encouraged to vent a little.

There must be legions of local radio news junkies like myself who are fed up with the chit-chat and personal asides that are infecting KFWB. I'm a KFWB partisan born and bred -- I can't stand that annoying beep-beep sound on KNX -- but I'm groaning more and more while listening to KFWB. Snide comments and in-jokes between the anchors are SO inappropriate between real news stories. And jokes coming out of or leading into reports about the grisly stuff that goes on every day in L.A. is just beyond the pale. After hating it at first, I've even come to grips with inane stuff like the ‘News Quiz,’ but I can't abide the chatter.

I'm sure some high-priced consultant has advised KFWB and CBS brass that the babbling will help ‘personalize’ the anchor team and build loyalty among listeners, but I don't listen to KFWB to get a radio version of the KTLA/Channel 5 Morning News. I just want news, news, news. The occasional aside about an offbeat, news-of-the-weird story is one thing, but yak yak yak, ha ha ha all the time is driving me crazy. Only the great [and I mean great] Bill Cooper has the talent and the wit to work humor into his reporting in a way that offers true perspective on the subject. And more importantly, Cooper seems to have a rock-solid sense of when to play it straight.

Well, finally I've unburdened myself to someone other than my husband, who agrees wholeheartedly with me. And by the way, we also thought ‘if only Jim Healy were still with us’ in the wake of the Dennis Rodman farce a few days ago." - Cynthia Littleton
The Greaseman, shock jock Doug Tracht, has been suspended indefinitely without pay for a race-related remark he made Wednesday during his morning drive-time show on classic rock station WARW- Washington, DC. On Wednesday morning, according the Washington Post, the Greaseman noted that the Grammy Awards ceremony was scheduled for that evening and played a portion of a song by Lauryn Hill, the young black hip-hop artist nominated for 10 Grammys. Then he commented: "No wonder people drag them behind trucks." The reference was to the brutal torture and death in Texas of James Byrd Jr., decapitated while being dragged behind a pickup truck driven by white supremacist John William King, who was convicted of murder on Tuesday. The gm said she "deplored the comment and was appalled by it." The former KLOS dj sent a fax to the Post: "I'm truly sorry for the pain and hurt I have caused with my unfeeling comment," he wrote. "I have no excuse for my remark, and regret it. If I could take it back I would. In the course of my show, split second judgement is made over ad-libs. This remark was a grave error in my judgement." The Greaseman worked briefly at KLOS in 1992 hoping for an acting career.
Two weeks ago Jimmy Kimmel, the KROQ sports guy, was saying farewell to his Kevin & Bean morning family for five years and last night he is on an ABC network show. When host Bill Maher asked about Grammy winner Garth Brooks taking a year off from singing to try out with the San Diego Padres, Jimmy quipped that Garth wouldn’t be the fattest baseball player. He said Garth was as fat as Tony Gwynn.
Back in the 1970s the Firesign Theatre, a satirical group dubbed "America’s Monty Python," appeared weekly on KROQ. The original members – Peter Bergman, Phil Proctor, David Ossman and Phil Austin – are regrouping for a tour that begins in early April in Santa Barbara. Their CD Give Me Immortality Or Give Me Death was up for a Grammy Award last night in the best comedy recording of the year category (the 2,000 year old comedians, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner won).
From time to time we post ideas on "the perfect radio station." Reader Rob Ismael has some thoughts about what he would do if he owned a radio station in Southern California:
6 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Kevin & Bean
10 a.m.- noon: Regular Guys
Noon – 3 p.m.: Joe Crummey
3 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Larry Elder
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Al Rantel
9 p.m. - midnight: Mr. KABC
Midnight – 3 a.m.: Lisa Axe & Henry Phillips
3 a.m. – 4 a.m.: Best of Larry Elder
4 a.m. – 5 a.m.: Best of Mr. KABC
5 a.m. – 6 a.m.: Best of Kevin & Bean
Rob went on to say: "I think a station needs to be eclectic to reach the broadest possible audience. If I'm not mistaken, that was rule #1 I learned about broadcasting. Kevin & Bean would do great as talk show hosts. I remember a few years ago during O.J. when they were allowed to talk more. I felt they were at their best doing talk and schtick than back and front selling the latest from the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. You might have noticed that 95% of the line up was male. I would make up for the lack of female hosts with the news anchors and traffic reporters being majority female. The best anchors and traffic reporters are female."

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My autograph,

Graggle "Kermit" O'vius

Also, Splunchy's Phone Number is classafied, but you can email him at Thisisnotspluchy@muppet.gov
Thank you, Graggle, for responding to my question.
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