Radio: December 29, 2017
Longtime Los Angeles radio personality Cliff Winston passed away December 19th due to a heart attack. He was 63.
His Los Angeles debut was in 1986 on KJLH (102.3 FM) where he stayed until he got an offer from the original 100.3 The Beat, KKBT in 1990. He returned to KJLH is ’93, went back to The Beat in 2006, and stayed through the transition to V-100 (KRBV). He remained at V-100 until the station was sold to Bonneville in 2008.
He was The Beat’s original morning man and acted as programmer for KJLH during his second tenure at the station owned by Stevie Wonder.
As with many in radio, his formative years were spent listening to legendary stations; growing up in Southern California, Winston told LARadio.Com’s Don Barrett that he spent many hours listening to KHJ (930 AM), the original KRLA (now KRDC, 1110 AM) and KFWB (980 AM). He attended the University of Washington and began his radio career in Seattle, followed by St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit and Houston before finally landing at KJLH.
Catching up on old news, Ralph Garman left the morning Kevin and Bean show of the formerly relevant KROQ (106.7 FM). It appears that Entercom is still slashing the budgets that CBS didn’t already slash before the merger of the two companies. I give KROQ about a year before Entercom totally destroys what is left of the one-time trendsetting station. Garman’s last show was November 30; he had been with the station 18 years.
Two objections were filed December 18th against the pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy for Cumulus Media.
One came from Randy Michaels, the on-time leader of Clear Channel Communications, now known as iHeart Media. Michaels claims that Cumulus had agreed to purchase two stations from his company Merlin Media for $50 million, but that Cumulus is now trying to use the bankruptcy to negotiate a lower price.
How interesting that one of the architects of huge corporate McRadio, one who I credit with helping begin the breakdown of the industry is now protesting when it brings him down. Karma’s a ...
The second objection comes from a group of unsecured creditors who complain that the proposed deal hurts them in order to benefit the larger bondholders. Which it does.
Scott Shannon’s Pirate Radio KQLZ launched on 100.3 FM in March of 1989; the station lasted just over four years until April, 1993 though it “jumped the shark” when Shannon left in mid-1991 and the station tried a hard-rock/heavy metal format that was badly beaten by the far better-programmed KNAC (now KBUA, 105.5 FM)
If you want to hear samples of the earlier years of the Pirate, head over to RadioDiscussions.Com and look in the Los Angeles section. Member SpiritOf67 has posted numerous airchecks of the era. The second-best part? How he obtained them.
“In 1990, I worked at a radio station as a producer, voiceover/production assistant, and board operator. When we ran programs off of the satellite, I would dial around some of the transponders to see what kind of programming was available. Several programs we carried were distributed through Westwood One.
“Westwood One distributed the show ‘Pirate Radio USA’ which was based on Pirate Radio Los Angeles (KQLZ). In many instances the local feed of KQLZ/Pirate Radio would remain on after the show, giving board ops like me a chance to listen to the station (note--this was several years away from internet streaming, and hearing out of market stations like this was a rarity).”
He taped some of the feeds, giving a nice historical perspective of a station that made a huge splash for a while in Los Angeles. Recordings of Pirate Radio are exceedingly rare; I personally would love to get a copy of the show when Shannon spent the morning bashing me over what I wrote in my column ... funny stuff. I asked Shannon for a copy at the time and never got it; I think he was afraid I was going to use it against him not knowing that it was one of my favorite Pirate bits.