Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Radio Waves Podcast #22

Chuck Cecil and K-Jazz (KKJZ, 88.1 FM) have parted ways. His Swingin’ Years program that highlights Big Bands, began on KFI (640 AM) in 1956 and has been on the air in Los Angeles ever since, though the stations carrying the program have changed through the years.
 
According to a story printed in the Los Angeles Times, Cecil says he decided to leave the station because of technical problems producing the show, along with his feeling that it is time to start winding down the program that he’s produced himself for more than 50 years. “It really hurts me to stop, but I feel I can’t continue and do justice to the musicians who made the music,” he told the Times.
Only one problem: the show isn’t actually going away, as he will still produce it for WPPB/Long Island, and it will still be available via WPPB’s internet stream Sundays at 5 PM locally, at http://peconicpublicbroadcasting.org. So I’m not quite sure what to make of the departure from KKJZ.
Regardless, K-Jazz has already found a replacement in the name of legendary broadcaster Johnny Magnus. Magnus will preside over the K-Jazz airwaves Saturday and Sunday mornings -- beginning February 15 -- from 6-10 playing the same style of big band music from the swing era that Cecil played for so many years.
Of course the big question remains: will Magnus bring back Weather with a Beat? We’ll have to tune in to find out.
Inland Empire Limbaugh
At the risk of receiving the rash of emails chastising me for saying anything about Rush Limbaugh, Salem Communications announced last week that the syndicated talk host has a new home in the Inland Empire on its KTIE (590 AM), aka The Answer ... though many in the area fondly remember when 590 was the local top-40 giant KFXM.
The move came about due to Clear Channel’s decision to move Limbaugh from KFI -- which reaches from Mexico to Fresno during the day and covers half the United States at night -- to KEIB (1150 AM) -- which reaches somewhere across the street from its transmitter site. That left Limbaugh fans in the Inland Empire unable to hear their favorite show until now; KTIE carries the program weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
Changes in HD
A few weeks ago I happened to catch a very interesting format on The Sound’s (100.3 FM) HD-3 digital sub channel. An eclectic mix of songs that I found quite pleasing. Turns out it was just filler supplied by station Chief Engineer Terry Grieger, who utilized an automation system he had on his computer to fill the time until a new lessee took over the programming just a day or two later. The HD-3 signal now carries foreign-language programming, moving the Mormon Church programming formerly heard on the HD-3 stream to HD-4. Of course only a handful of us with HD Radio tuners can hear any of this.
Over on KCBS-FM’s HD-2, you can now hear the CBS Sports Radio format, which is about as bad of a sports format as I have ever heard. Not just in content, but in engineering, with sound levels so inconsistent I thought I was listening to a test.
Of course that’s what it is, essentially. Amp Radio, now on KAMP (97.1 FM) was once an HD stream. CBS wants to make their new sports radio format viable, and whether or not it ever makes it to a “regular” signal locally (it is available in other cities already) or it stays on HD, it will evolve. For now it’s kind of neat to listen to a station that only a few of us with HD Radios can hear.

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