The Los Angeles Superior Court lifted a temporary restraining order that prevented Kurt “Big Boy” Alexander from joining the air staff of the new Real 92.3 (KRRL). Emmis Broadcasting had sought the order and a preliminary injunction (denied by the court) after Alexander left Power 106 to join iHeartMedia’s Real.
Emmis’ position was that they had the final right of refusal as well as the ability to meet any offer made by competitors. They also stated that they had invested heavily in Alexander, in effect making him the star that he is.
The court disagreed, and Alexander should be in place at Real waking Los Angeles from his new home as of this week.
Keith Cunningham is the newest program director to make his way through the revolving PD door that is KLOS (95.5 FM). He replaces Derek Madden, who was promoted to run a station in Minneapolis, KXXR.
The revolving door of PDs -- Cunningham is the third at the station in three years, including almost a year with no PD at all after Jack Silver was let go in 2012 -- is an expression of how bad things have gotten at the aging rocker. I’ve seen this before at stations that lost their way. Most dramatically, it parallels what happened with former competitor KMET (now KTWV, 94.7 FM), which went through numerous programmers after the legendary Sam Bellamy was forced out ... none of whom understood what she did and why it worked.
For the most recent ratings, KLOS found itself at a 2.0 share, behind The Sound’s 3.4, Jack-FM’s 3.2, KROQ’s 2.9 and 98.7’s 2.5.
The problem has much to do with competition that never existed before. KLOS has for years played rock form the 1970s ... I used to joke that listening to KLOS today is the same as listening to the station when I was in junior high and high school ... the music is the same. And it worked for a long time ... back when stations like KRTH (101.1 FM) were playing hits from the 1950s and ‘60s.
Now its a different era ... you can hear essentially the same music on Jack, KRTH, The Sound, and KOLA (99.9 FM), all of which have done a better job at staying fresh-sounding. The Sound, for example, throws in “ah-ha” songs you haven’t heard in a while. And they’ve hired some of KLOS’ best talent to play those songs -- Rita Wilde, Joe Benson, and Cynthia Fox. KRTH has the upbeat “Boss Jock” image with great DJs and exciting jingles. Jack has the variety and KOLA has a playlist that eclipses most of the others.
KLOS? Not so much. Stale might best describe it, though that sounds far more harsh than I intend. On the positive side - it IS a heritage station and it does have a name. I hope new programmer Cunningham takes the time to learn the history of the station and its contribution to Southern California radio. Perhaps he can freshen up the music, and even take the station back to the present. It certainly would be nice to have an album rocker that plays current music not heard on 98.7 or KROQ (106.7 FM). Fans of Sirius/XM’s The Pulse know what I am talking about.
What I really expect to happen? Nothing. That’s been the course for years, and I am not sure why it would change now.