Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Radio Waves Podcast #18

KDAY Format Safe
... at least for now. After searching for the past year or so for a buyer of it’s KDAY/Redondo Beach and KDEY/Ontario (simulcast on 93.5 FM), Magic Broadcasting has agreed to sell the duo to Meruelo Media, owner of KWHY Channel 22 in Los Angeles.
Meruelo took over control of the stations through what is called an LMA, or Limited Marketing Agreement, January 1st in order to effectively run the station as the sale progresses through the regulatory and financial process. According to the company the classic hip-hop format is safe. 
“Los Angeles has saved KDAY” according to Mereulo CEO Alex Meruelo in a prepared statement. “I’ve been a longtime fan of KDAY and I’m excited to have the opportunity to re-energize such a beloved Southern California cultural institution. KDAY is L.A.”
The original KDAY at 1580 AM was the station that actually did the ground work for the format that eventually landed on 95.5 FM, known at one time as KFOX. The original 1580/K-DAY had great success playing Hip-Hop and Rap music in the late 1970s and early 1980s that had previously never made it to commercial radio stations anywhere else. It truly was a trendsetter.
That KDAY featured a staff of some phenomenal DJs that included one of my all-time favorites, JJ Johnson, and King News from legendary newsman (and current voice of Tony the Tiger) Lee Marshall.
The problem with KDAY today is the limited signal. Of course that may be a good thing, since a general mass-appeal format would have a tough time competing there, while a specialized format will attract an audience that is fiercely loyal. KDAY’s audience? Fierce! As long as Meruelo makes money, the Hip-Hop on KDAY is safe.
Mail Bag
“Do you have any idea if there are any audio clips of the late Jim Healy who used to do a brief, comic type spoof of sports news back in, I believe, the 80's or early ‘90s prior to his death? I thought it was a blast listening to his short, I believe 30 minute broadcast. He would interject the Tommy Lasorda cussing tirade from way back when with all the "bleeps". It was hilarious! I can not find any clips/shows on the internet and thought I'd run the question past you.” -- Alan Kaliff, Lancaster
Healy was one of a kind; his drop-ins of the various swearing and other elements are legendary. I did find a few on YouTube of all places, one can be found at http://tinyurl.com/KMPCH, and with that link you can find quite a few more.
“With all the radio stations in the Los Angeles area, you spend an inordinate about of time talking about a mere few, and for the last few columns all you have talked about is Rush Limbaugh and the obvious bromance you have for John Phillips. Both of whom I consider the worse things to happen to radio and this country. All this shows me is where your bias leanings are. 
“How can you have a radio column in this city, with it's large hispanic population, and not give a mention to any of the many stations and their hosts that cater to that population other than the ratings? I would think again its conservative selectism (sic) at work, ignore it till you need it.” -- Paul M. 
There are a few things at work here. First is that in reality, over the past 26 years, I have covered Limbaugh, and political talk radio in general, very little. The past few weeks are due to the fact that his move to KTLK (1150 AM) -- and the station’s format change itself -- is big news. Secondly, due to my limited linguistic brain power, I don’t speak any foreign languages and thus it is difficult to cover foreign-language stations. On the other hand, I would not expect a foreign-language newspaper to cover English radio often either.
I cover radio from my perspective. What I like and don’t, from the viewpoint of someone who loves “good” radio ... as defined my me. I cover stations regardless of audience demographics. Ironically, I actually try to avoid much on political talk formats partly because get accused of being either a right-wing wacko or a left-wing fanatic ... from the same column!
And as always, if you want something covered, just send me a note. I do my best to answer all mail, electronic or not, though I admit to be awful in replying to standard US Mail.

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