Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Radio Waves Podcast #92

KNX (1070 AM) recently won three awards for editorial excellence from the Los Angeles Press Club at its 57th Southern California Journalism Awards dinner held in late June at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
Programming (as well as producers and anchors) that won the awards included Investigative, for “Running on Empty: Our Epic Drought” (Charles Feldman and Laraine Herman; News/Feature Short Form, for “Ed Begley’s Not Running on Empty” (Chris Sedens); and Talk/Public Affairs, for the continuing program “Ask the Mayor” (Charles Feldman, Tom Haule, Jonathan Serviss, Diane Dray, and Logan Moy).
KNX celebrated its 47th anniversary in April and has been serving Southern California for 93 years.
Digital Mozart 
I had read in the trades that K-Mozart (KMZT, 1260 AM) had started broadcasting using HD digital radio streams in addition to the regular analog signal most people hear. 
At first I thought it was a mistake since I could not even receive the text data that shows up on an HD radio receiver prior to you being able to hear the improved signal quality.
It turns out I was just too far from the transmitter, which is located deep in the San Fernando Valley. As I traveled recently to Studio City, I was finally able to hear it for myself. And it sounds impressive.
Keeping in mind that my ears are novices when it comes to classical, I thought the HD signal sounded superb. No noise, clear highs, and an overall sound that I considered superior to that found on the 105.1 HD2 simulcast. If I lived locally, that’s how I would listen; those like me further away would either need to listen to analog or the FM HD simulcast.
This “listening test” came about the same time that a report was released studying the feasibility of an all-digital AM band. I asked KMZT owner Saul Levine his thoughts on the issue. It’s a risky venture, as all digital would make the vast majority of AM radios obsolete.
“I believe the future of AM radio is full HD digital operation,” he told me enthusiastically. “I am prepared to go all HD at least part time in the future.” It appears that the broadcasting maverick -- he launched one of the earliest FM stations in Los Angeles back in 1958 -- is still a maverick. 
Yet over at KFI (640 AM) the HD signal has been of for close to a month. I tried unsuccessfully to get through to the engineering department by press time to find out why; I’ll (hopefully) have an update soon.
New Weekenders
Alt 98.7 (KYSR) has added Marty and Ashlee to the weekend air staff. I think it’s great that iHeart Media is finally working on building up local talent, As you know radio will only survive if if does what it constantly claims to do: serve the local community.
What’s that? “Both Marty and Aslee will still continue in their current roles at sister Active Rock KIOZ (Rock 105.3)/San Diego,” according to the press release. So iHeart, er, iHate Media is still too cheap and, let’s just use the correct word -- stupid -- to actually program a local station? You mean to tell me there were no local DJs that could have helped develop a station for Los Angeles? Or put another way, you mean to tell me that a major Los Angeles station cannot afford -- or lacks the drive -- to hire their own talent for their own station?
Tell me again why I should bother listening to an iHate Media station rather than my iPod? Crickets ...
I cannot wait for iHate, CBS and Cumulus to just implode from the staggering debt they have collectively taken on by destroying radio as we know it.
Nationwide cuts at CBS Radio and Cumulus Media have been in the news lately, though determining who was cut where is proving difficult. The only one I can verify locally is Freddy Snakeskin, who was the “image writer” for Jack FM (KCBS-FM, 93.1) as well as the programmer for the Roq of the 80s format heard on digital 106.7 HD2.
As these companies amputate appendages and sever arteries in an attempt to make money before their business model fails ... again, one thing stands out: a rumor that CBS radio stations are going to be offered up for sale and that Cumulus may be the buyer.

No comments:

Post a Comment