Wednesday, June 29, 2005

 

Capital Public Radio Expands

The newest station in the growing family of Capital Public Radio signed on Tuesday. KQNC-88.1 Quincy launched in Plumas County, simulcasting CPR's jazz/news formatted KXJZ-88.9 Sacramento.

Capital Public Radio is licensed to Sacramento State University. KXJZ is also simulcast on KXJS-88.7 Sutter and KKTO-90.5 Tahoe City; and part-time on KUOP-91.3 Stockton. CPR also operates classical formatted KXPR-90.9 Sacramento and simulcast KXSR-91.7 Groveland.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

 

Sacto: Pax Denied

Paxson Communications suffers a defeat at the FCC, as its application for an extension of time to construct digital television facilities in Sacramento is denied.

The company had sought additional months to complete construction of KSPX-DT 48, the digital sibling to KSPX-29. The station's technical facilities, located in a strip mall near Mather Field, do not presently support either digital technology or studio production of any kind. In addition, the station is running behind in securing tower space in Walnut Grove for the proposed transmitter location. The analog transmitter is located above Shingle Springs in El Dorado County.

KSPX's sales and traffic functions are handled by KCRA-3, which also provides the station with two nightly rebroadcasts of KCRA 3 Reports at 7 and 11:30pm.

 

SF Arbitrends: It's All About KGO...Again!

The month of May was again merry for Disney news/talk powerhouse KGO-810, as Bay Area listeners 12 years old and older tuned into the heritage station more than any other. Arbitron trends numbers released this afternoon reveal that KGO's closest competitor, Bonneville AC simulcast KOIT-AM 1260/FM 96.5 is more than two full points behind in second place.

Clear Channel Urban Top 40 KMEL-106.1 holds in third, with KSFO-560 inching up to fourth and passing KCBS-740, which drops slightly to fifth. Smooth Jazz KKSF-103.7 and Classical KDFC-102.1 swap ranks, finishing 6th and 7th respectively; and three stations with urban leanings round out the top ten: AC KISQ-98.1; Hip-Hop KYLD-94.9; and AC KBLX-102.9.

Notable: continuing lackluster performances by KIOI-"Star" 101.3, "Alice" KLLC-97.3, and country KZBR-95.7 "The Bear." Each has failed to make significant gains in the last year. And the much touted "Energy 92.7" has settled, albeit with a monster hook and a killer beat, in last place.

 

Sacto: May Flowers For KFBK, Eagle

The May Arbitrend numbers, released late this morning, showed not much has changed in the last two months. KFBK-1530 remains the market's top rated station in listeners 12 years of age and up, with KSEG-"96.9 The Eagle" claiming top honors in listeners ages 25-54 for the fourth straight month.

In the 12+ race, KFBK was followed by perennial runner up KSFM-102.5; KNCI-105.1 climbed to third, now tied with KSEG. Smooth Jazz KSSJ-94.7 held down fifth place, with KSTE-650's talk format gaining almost a full point to finish 6th. KRXQ-"98 Rock" lands 7th; with KYMX-96.1 in 8th spot; KDND-107.9 "The End" and KBMB-103.5 "The Bomb" tied in ninth. Other notables: KHTK-1140, which held on to 13th place in spite of the Kings' early exit from the playoffs; KWOD-106.5, whose "Version 2.0" is holding on to its ratings since changing formats in April; KXCL-"Flash 103.9", which continues to trend up since moving to Lincoln from Yuba City in February; KSAC-1240, whose liberal talk format has lost more than half its listeners since the election; and KBDB-"Bob 92.1" which dipped to 28th place -- lower all-time that predecessor KREL ("Real Country.")

In listeners 25-54 years of age, Arbitron says KSEG won the month followed by sister KRXQ; KYMX climbed to third place and KNCI continues its recovery, moving into the fourth spot. Then its KFBK, KGBY-92.5 in seventh (with its best numbers since last winter); KHYL-"V101.1" sliding from third to seventh; KSTE leaping from 12th to 8th; and Infinity siblings KHTK and KSFM tied for 9th. KSSJ dropped over a point and out of the top ten; with KXCL making nice gains and getting back to #15 overall. "Super Estrella" KXSE-104.3 continued its strong showing, placing 18th and beating KHWD-"Howard 93.7" and KKFS "105.5 The Fish."

 

Modesto: "Gringo Suave" Hits Hot 104-7

David Armbrecht arrives from Phoenix to take the PM drive slot at KHTN 104.7 Modesto -- but don't listen for that name. He rolls as "Gringo Suave" as he slides into the chair Monday, 6/27.

Gringo was last heard as "stuntboy" for "MB's Morning Madhouse" at KZZR-Phoenix and KDON-Monterey. KHTN Assistant Program Director and Promotions Director Drew Roberts had been filling in the time period; he'll go back to promotions brainstorming for KHTN and Buckley sister country station KUBB.

 

SF: Starkey Stays With 49ers; Exits KGO

After 26 years, KGO Radio Sports Director Joe Starkey is leaving the Bay Area's dominant radio station.

Starkey, the longtime voice of the San Francisco 49ers, will remain with the team as its radio broadcasts segue to Susquehanna's KNBR-680 in the upcoming season. Starkey will continue to be heard on KGO-810 in University Of California football broadcasts; he's been the voice of the Golden Bears (and an employee of the University) for 30 years.

Rich Walcoff will assume Starkey's sports reporting duties on KGO's afternoon news program on an interim basis.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

 

Bakersfield: KUZZ Still On Top -- Just Barely

The May Arbitrend report shows that while Buck Owens' perennial country powerhouse KUZZ-AM 550/FM 107.9 is still top dog in the market (in persons 12 years of age and up), the Clear Channel spanish "La Preciosa" combo (KKDJ-FM/KDFO-AM) is poised to overtake the number one spot in the South Valley.

The station debuted just a year ago with just under 3% of all listeners 12 and up. In May, that number had nearly tripled, bringing it to number two and just one-tenth of a point behind KUZZ. La Preciosa, a hybrid of regional Mexican musical styles, is the fastest growing format in the recent history of Bakersfield radio. The stations are part of a network spanning from San Francisco to Bakersfield and out to Las Vegas.

A pair of American General Media stations are next, with KISV "Hot 94.1" dropping almost 17% since last fall's brief stay at the top; sister KGFM-101.5 continues to grow its adult contemporary format into a tie for fourth -- almost double it's share of last summer. Buckley's Hot AC KLLY-"Kelly 95.3" climbs into the fifth spot.

A pair of Clear Channel stations land in a sixth place tie: Classic Rocker KDFO-"985 The Fox" and active rock KRAB-106.1 were flat in May's numbers. KIWI "Radio Lobo" drops to eighth, with news/talk KERN-1410 slipping slightly to ninth and R&B Oldies formatted KKBB-"Groove 99.3" in tenth.

 

Central Coast: Family Radio Comes to Santa Maria

A case of two extremes: last week, the tumult known as the Michael Jackson trial ended in otherwise sleepy Santa Maria.

This week: Harold Camping arrived in town.

Camping's "Family Radio" network, full of traditional Christian music and bible teaching, has signed on a full power station at Santa Maria. KHFR-89.7 hit the air Tuesday, carrying the full Family Radio network schedule plus local public affairs programs twice daily.

 

Fresno: Sale Completed at KFIG

Radio Central has completed the transfer of KFIG-1430 Fresno to Fat Dawgs 7 Broadcasting. No format or personnel changes.

 

Bay Area: Infinity Places Stations In Trust

To comply with FCC ownership rules, Infinity Broadcasting has placed two of its peninsula FM stations in trust. KBAY-94.5 Gilroy and KEZR-FM 106.5 San Jose have been placed in trust with Media Venture Partners principal Elliot Evers. MVP is a brokerage and appraisal firm based in San Francisco, which has previously worked with First Broadcasting on its Sacramento valley acquisitions.

The move by Infinity is nothing more than a cosmetic one in a legal sense, as it allows the company to continue to operate the two stations until either they can be sold or FCC rule changes on ownership limits are finalized.

Infinity owns nine Bay Area radio stations, two Bay Area TV stations; plus six radio and two TV stations in Sacramento. To satisfy FCC stipulations in parent Viacom's acquisition of KOVR-13 Stockton-Sacramento, Infinity divested KFRC-AM 610 San Francisco to Family Stations. The back half of that transaction has IBC getting KEAR-FM 106.9 San Francisco from Family in a deal totalling $60 million

 

Central Coast: "Hurban" Comes To Salinas

Wolfhouse Radio's KEBV-97.9 Salinas has dropped its oldies format in favor of Latin-flavored urban contemporary music, a format called "Hurban."

The station, now known as KEXA, will use the "Exa U.S." format of edgy latin rap and dance tracks and urban CHR music. Exa is based in Mexico, and the trademarked format is popular in larger centers throughout Central America and on a growing number of stations along the U.S.-Mexican border.

There were no significant staff changes, as the previous oldies format (much like the new Exa service) is satellite-delivered and automated.

 

RANDOM RANTINGS: Of Positions and Possibilities

The times, they are a-changing.

Doug Harvill, who's been running Infinity's six-station radio cluster in town as long as it has existed -- and who comes from humble beginnings as a DJ back east -- is leaving his creation (he'd love that, wouldn't he?) to run the seven stations Infinity owns in San Francisco.

Questions arise: Why does Harvill have to go so fast (he starts TODAY) -- and why did his San Francisco counterpart Doug Sterne leave -- so fast. And, was any of this voluntary on anyone's part? The Informer hears it may not have been, at least at the left end of the deal. And, who will take Harvill's job on a permanent basis? There's lots to do at IBC in Sactown, especially considering one station is facing the loss of its namesake (KHWD-Howard 93.7) and another is looking to renew its affiliation with a certain local hoops franchise.

Speaking of Infinity, we hear that one of that company's Sactown FM's is in the market for a new PM drive assassin -- and that they've been shopping close to home. Could there be a reunion for a popular local afternoon star at a place that used to be familiar?

Inquiring minds want to know....


The Informer

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

 

Bakersfield: The Doctor Is Out at KGET

Clear Channel's KGET-AM 970 is dropping longtime host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, and adding a daily talk show with retired Kern County firefighter, conservative Jack Duncan.

Duncan has hosted a Saturday talk show on KGET for a couple of months. The move is designed to bring more of a local presence to KGET, which also carries Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, plus six hours of local news blocks each day.

The market also boasts two other news/talk stations, KERN-1410 (which offers the very popular Michael Savage program "Savage Nation") and KEZR-1560 (with strong local host Ralph Bailey in afternoons).

Duncan's show premieres July 5; KGET will also segue to Fox News Radio for its hourly newscasts, beginning in August.

 

North Bay: Doug Smith, 1959-2005

Doug Smith, morning host at KRSH-95.9 Santa Rosa, was killed Saturday night in a motorcycle accident in Sonoma County.

AP reports Smith died from injuries suffered when his motorcycle failed to negotiate a curve on River Road near the Korbel Winery. Witnesses told CHP Smith was crossing double yellow lines and passing vehicles at speeds up to 90 miles per hour.

KRSH program director Dean Kattari said Smith's was "the best morning show I've ever heard." The station's website at www.krsh.com has set up a tribute page.

Doug Smith is survived by his wife, Tina. He was 46.

 

Infinity Promotes Sacto Boss

Longtime Infinity Broadcasting Sacramento Market Manager Doug Harvill has been tapped to take over as Senior Vice President and Market Manager for the company's San Francisco cluster of stations (seven in all). Harvill will also assume the role of General Manager for KCBS-740 and KFRC-99.7.

Among Harvill's achievements during his tenure in Sacramento was the creation of America's most successful sports radio format on KHTK-1140, which included the acquisition of broadcast flagship status for the Sacramento Kings.

Harvill assumes his new duties tomorrow.

Monday, June 20, 2005

 

EMF On The Grow Again: California Purchases

Rocklin-based Educational Media Foundation is growing again, purchasing a chain of rural area stations throughout Northern California. Carousel Broadcasting is selling the stations as a package deal for an undisclosed sum. EMF operates two national Christian radio formats, "K-Love" and "Air 1," and has been in a period of unprecendented growth.

The stations included in the deal: KPCO-1370 Quincy; KBNF-98.9 (Kabin 99) Chester and booster KBNF-FM-1 Portola, plus translator K253AA Susanville.

 

Northstate: Stations Sold

The FCC has approved the sale of four radio stations licensed to Four Rivers Broadcasting, to Ardmore, OK-based Gibbs Holdings. Gibbs is an investment firm that specializes in small communications facilities and business trade publications. Terms were not disclosed.

The deal includes: KNTK-102.3 Weed; KSYC-FM 103.9 Yreka; KTDE-100.5 Gualala; and KMFB-92.7 Mendocino.

 

Bakersfield: Jimmy Bays, 1927-2005

Actor, singer and former Bakersfield television star Jimmy Bays has died of Parkinson's disease at age 78.

Known best in the South Valley, Bays and wife Sandra hosted the Sunday-morning series "The Sandra and Jimmy Bays Show" on KERO-23 from 1964 to 1971. In addition to prominent local newsmakers, the Bays hosted entertainment personalities and ordinary citizens in one of the area's best remembered and most unique local programs.

Bays also appeared in bit parts in numerous theatrical productions and films, including "The Godfather." Bays also opened Bakersfield's first discotheque, The Yum Yum Room.

Memorial services will be held in Bakersfield on Tuesday.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

 

North Valley: Family Stations Acquires TV

Family Stations, the Oakland-based Christian broadcaster, has acquired translator station K47GR 47 Redding from Woodcook & Allen Communications. The 818 watt station is rebroadcasting the signal of Family's KFTL-CA 28 San Francisco.

Family now owns three translators in the North Valley area. It is the former owner of full power KFTL-64 (now KTFK) Stockton.

 

Who Is Mark C. Allen?

Not much is known of Mark C. Allen, who suddenly finds himself in the role of communications mini-magnate in some of America's smallest, most unique broadcast regions. His television properties include:

Allen's first acquisition was (and is) KCNR-AM 1460 Shasta City. Over the last three-plus years, the tiny 750 watt station has been off-air about as much as its been broadcasting, bouncing from format to format. KCNR just resumed broadcasting last week after 15 months of silence. Allen has installed the Jones Radio Network's "Music Of Your Life" satellite format there. Four years ago, and under original calls KMCA, Allen was fined by the FCC for a host of violations at its main studio site. Last year Allen sold the CP for KJPR 1330 in Shasta Lake to Jefferson Public Radio.


 

Central Coast: Update Your Bookmark

Just a year after it changed to Spanish talk from an all-sports format, Carmel Valley's KXME-540 has changed its calls to KRXA...with no explanation.

 

North Bay: New Spanish Voice

Non-profit Spanish broadcaster Radio Bilingue has acquired KVFR-88.5 in the Mendocino county town of Laytonville. The 1kw non-commercial FM was part of Harold Camping's Family Stations group, based in Oakland. KVFR has now flipped to a Spanish format of oldies and traditional music.

Radio Bilingue owns and operates 3 FM's in Fresno, and additional stations in El Centro and Salinas.

 

Central Valley: Wilks Takes Over

Wilks Broadcasting has formally taken over operations of the Mondosphere stations in the San Joaquin Valley. They include: KFRR-104.1 Woodlake; KJSX-95.7 Fresno; and KUUS-105.5 San Joaquin. The stations operate from studios in Fresno.

 

Sacto: Pirate FM Goes Silent

As reported earlier this week, an alleged pirate broadcaster in Northeast Sacramento county has been transmitting a stereo signal full of eclectic music, occasionally profane language, and virtually no chatter. The station, at 92.9 FM, was transmitting as recently as 8pm Friday; as of midday Saturday, the signal had gone off the air.

There's no word as to who was operating the signal, which was available in portions of Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Orangevale and Roseville; or whether the FCC got wind of the activity.

 

Modesto: LPFM On The Air

A new community FM station signed on the air in Modesto on Wednesday. KPSR-LP, operated by the Westside Project Community Center, signed on with 35 watts of power at 107.9 just before 3pm. The station promises a format of different musical styles and local events.

Friday, June 17, 2005

 

St. Jude Dream Home Giveaways Begin Sunday

One of the more innovative fundraisers by charitable organizations is the St. Jude's Dream Home Giveaway. For $100 per ticket, entrants have a shot at winning a new home valued at upwards of $400K or better.

Drawings are televised LIVE during special programs highlighting the work of St. Jude Childrens' Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. The North Valley drawing will be held this weekend, with two more to come next week. Complete details are at www.stjude.org.

Chico-Redding Drawing: Sunday, 6/19, 5-6pm on KHSL-12 and KNVN-24. Co-sponsored by KALF-95.7 Chico and KSHA-104.3 Redding.

Modesto Drawing: Sunday, 6/26, 4-6pm on KOVR-13. Co-sponsored by KATM-103.3 Modesto and KTTA-97.9 Esparto.

Bakersfield Drawing: Sunday, July 25 on KERO-23. Co-sponsored by KUZZ-AM 550/FM 107.9.

 

Sacto: Deirdre's Pregnant!

KCRA-3 Sacramento morning co-anchor Deirdre Fitzpatrick revealed on Friday's broadcast that she's five months pregnant -- a fact which would not have been readily noticeable, since Deirdre's small size has not noticeably increased during that time.

The newscast's "Picture Of The Day" segment featured a sonogram of the still-developing story...uh, baby. Fitzpatrick and husband Kipp are due near the first of November.

Morning talent seems to be quite prolific in Sacramento. KXTV-10 morning meteorologist Monica Woods recently gave birth to her second child; the proud papa is KCRA-3 sunrise co-anchor Walt Gray. KCRA dayside field reporter Brian Hickey and his wife are expecting soon as well.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

 

RANDOM RANTINGS: RESPONSES

Always nice to hear from anyone who stumbles by this little corner of the Internet. Remember: there's a comment line just underneath each item on the blog.

I recently ranted about the threat of an NBA lockout. Reader CCSAC agrees, saying: "all the bling bling, thugged out NBA players is a turn off to the red states. There are no true stars anymore to attract the casual fan."

CCSAC also got in a blast on Wednesday's KCRA-3 Sacramento news coverage of a high speed police chase: "I love hearing the anchors try to comment, narrate, and generally just provide an audio track to the chase video. Listening to them coming up with new things to say is priceless. '
KCRA anchor: Usually you see the driver wave his arm outside of the window. You havent seen that this chase.'"

Gentle reader "jammerdave" made some appropriate and accurate footnotes to our piece a couple of days ago about FM power limits, particular as regards the status of KZZO-100.5 Sacramento: "actually, all station listed as Class "C" in your blog are actually Class "B", with the exception of KZZO. KZZO is directional, as it is short spaced with another station. It has (or at least had) the opportunity to downgrade to a full "B", and go non-directional, but the owners at the time decided not to do that (I was Engineer there at the time)." Good points, all -- thanks to jammerdave, and to all who take the time to read, write, and most importantly THINK!

Remember -- I'm the one with the blog...you're the one with the eyes and ears. Feel free to respond.


The Informer

 

Fresno: 47 Shuffles AM Anchors

KGPE-47 Fresno reshuffles its morning talent on its 3-hour sunrise newscast. Mike Scott, who has in his long career there anchored EVERY broadcast KGPE has ever put on the air, slides back into the left chair on at least a temporary basis, alongside Ann Hong.

 

North Bay: KRCB Auction Action To Start Monday

Nestled in the shadow of wine country and the Golden Gate Bridge, tiny KRCB-22 Cotati/Rohnert Park will begin its annual on-line fundraising auction Monday, June 20.

Up for bid are numerous vacation packages to exotic and lush destinations, including Vancouver and New Orleans; plus custom home furnishings and a variety of other items. Full auction listings can be viewed at www.krcb.com.

KRCB Radio and Television is located in Rohnert Park, and serves the Napa Valley, North Bay, Lake and Mendocino counties.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

 

Sacto: Paul & Phil Producer Departs

A bittersweet morning for longtime KGBY-92.5 Sacramento morning men Paul Robins and Phil Cowan. Martin Taylor, longtime producer of "The Paul and Phil Show" at CC-Hot AC KGBY-92.5 Sacramento, has left the station to relocate with his family to the badlands of North Carolina.

Beginning Thursday morning, former KREL-92.1 (now KBDB "Bob") and KXCL-103.9 Promotions Director Kelly Stringfellow slides into the producer's chair. Stringfellow was also Promotions Assistant at KNCI-105.1 in Sacramento for a time, and has prior on-air experience in Las Vegas and Kansas City.

 

South Valley: Latin Lover On The Move

Industry trade site Allaccess.com reports that Pappas' KVBE-107.5 (Vibe) Hanford-Fresno is set to welcome Emilio "The Latin Lover" Martinez to the morning drive slot.

Martinez arrives at Vibe's McKinley Avenue Fresno studios from just 90 minutes away, having just exited dawn patrol atKKBB-99.3 Bakersfield, the market's rhythmic oldies station.

 

RANDOM RANTINGS: NBA Action...It's....Let's See, What Else is On...?

You gotta love the NBA Finals. Unless there's something else on...like, "Dancing With The Stars." Or, "House." Or, "Peruvian Wrist Wrestling."

The NBA Finals (on ABC), which are now assured of a fifth game, don't seem to matter to anyone outside of Detroit or San Antonio. "Dancing With The Stars," which also airs on ABC, is outdrawing the NBA Finals by an average of five million viewers per telecast. It speaks to the fact that the NBA has missed the mark somewhere along the way: either it has marketed itself too much to an urban audience, such that mid-America has lost interest; or this matchup of the two teams who have dominated the NBA without storylines the last three years is just not all that interesting. Granted, the first three games have ended with one-sided scores.

Now, toss in the threat of a July 1 lockout of NBA players if there's no new collective bargaining agreement, and you have the possibility of huge long-term impact:

Without an NBA schedule, radio broadcasters like KHTK-1140 Sacramento who depend on the Kings for a huge slice of their ratings could end up losing huge audience shares. Less impacted would be KNRB-680 San Francisco, which doesn't draw huge numbers with Warriors games. Sacramento's Comcast SportsNet came into existence with Kings games as the backbone of an otherwise anemic program schedule. The loss of the NBA for any length of time could prove devastating to this nascent franchise.

The NBA and its players need to get their act together and FAST. Get a deal done, and get the audience back on your side with an new marketing strategy that gets butts in the seats and eyes on TV screens. Remember what happened to the NHL?

Hell, does anyone even remember the NHL?


The Informer

 

Sacto: Welcome to LA!

This morning at 9;40, KCRA-3 interrupted programming for wall-to-wall coverage of a police chase through Placer and Sacramento counties, along Interstate 80. John Hamilton is reporting from LiveCopter3, with studio analysis by Walt Gray and Deirdre Fitzpatrick. As the pursuit ended, Hamilton's aerial shot did push in tight -- in stark contrast to the rules of engagement for Los Angeles TV choppers who go to a wide shot to avoid the possibility of bloodshed being televised live.

The pursuit came to a swift conclusion after the suspect's car was spiked-stripped by the CHP at Greenback Lane and Interstate 80. The female suspect went from 100mph to zero in about ten seconds, pulled to the center median and stopped. No residual accidents, injuries or backups were reported.

 

Viacom to Divide

As rumored for weeks, Viacom will divide itself into two distinct entities: cable, and broadcast.

Under a plan announced to stockholders Tuesday, Viacom will operate as two unique businesses: Viacom, chaired by Tom Freston, will control the company's cable holdings including: MTV, MTV2, VH-1 and its digital siblings; the Nickelodeon networks; BET; Showtime and its digital networks; Spike TV and CMT.

The CBS Corporation will operate the CBS Network; UPN; the CBS Television Stations group (including KPIX/KPIX-DT and KBHK/KBHK-DT San Francisco; KOVR/KOVR-DT Stockton-Sacramento; and KMAX/KMAX-DT Sacramento); Infinity Broadcasting (with its six stations in Sacramento, seven each in San Francisco and Fresno); CBS News; Westwood One; and Viacom Outdoor. Leslie Moonves will oversee CBS.

 

Q&A: Maximum Power

Questions, oh we get questions. By the way, you can send comments or questions to the link listed at the bottom of each post (where it says "comments"). Here's one from reader "LaughingBoy": why are some FM stations more powerful than others, and what's the limit?

The FCC limit for max power on an FM station is 100kw -- unless you've been on the air since before 1960 and had more power to start with. Case in point: KZZO-100.5 Sacramento began operation in 1958 at 115kw, and remains at that power to this day. It is "grandfathered" into that power, and there's no other 100.5 signal for quite some distance.

Class "C" FM stations in Sacramento generally operate at 50kw, because they have either very tall towers or antennas located at higher elevations. Because of the area's unique terrain, less power is needed to cover more ground. KGBY-92.5, KYMX-96.1, KSEG-96.9, KRXQ-98.5, KSFM-102.5, KNCI-105.1, KWOD 106.5 and KDND-107.9 all operate at 50kw power, and each of their antennas are located at better than 400 feet above average terrain.

On the other end of the scale, there are regional FM stations, or Class "A" stations, that are designed to serve smaller population centers. Examples of these include KBDB-92.1 Placerville (3kw), KXCL-103.9 Lincoln (6kw), KTTA-97.9 Esparto (6kw). Those stations were not originally designated to serve large population centers when first licensed by the FCC, but in the era of deregulation station owners opted to move them to larger areas to be more competitive (all the stations listed above are operated from Sacramento).

 

South Valley: LP Plays The Oldies

In Visalia, the Universal Life Church is operating low-power (LPFM) station KVLP-101.5, but not with a format you'd expect. The station, at 100 watts power, does an effective job of covering the greatest part of Visalia. The playlist includes what the station calls "California Classics," a largely classic rock playlist...plus a mix of 60's and 70's oldies, Motown and british invasion classics and contemporary pop vocals.

The station is operated jointly by the church and the local Kiwanis club, and serves close to 120,000 people. You can check out the station's website, located at www.kvlp.org.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

 

Sacto: Pirate On The Airwaves?

An eclectic mix of music and no chatter of any kind including legal IDs -- that's what anyone in northern Sacramento county might have heard early Tuesday evening on FM 92.9...a station apparently operating without a license.

A sampling of music from the station, which is transmitting a stereo signal, included blues, rock and folk music. Also included was a tape of Paul Harvey's "Letter From God," first broadcast on ABC Radio in 1996 (The Informer heard this -- and it is an off-air recording of an eight-year younger Harvey). There was no DJ chatter on the quieter-than-average signal, which came in well in Rocklin, Citrus Heights, Carmichael and Orangevale areas.

A check of the FCC database shows no LPFM licenses on channel 225 (92.9). There are translators licensed in the area, however:

The FCC Field Office in San Francisco could not be reached late Tuesday.


Monday, June 13, 2005

 

Where Are They Now?

Now and then, The Dirt Sheet will post updates on what former area TV and radio types are up to. If you hear of anything we should know, drop a note to us using the comment line below.

David Ono and Stephanie Vigil once held down the thankless job of morning anchor and traffic goddess at KOVR-13 in Sacramento. David now anchors morning and midday news at L.A. powerhouse KABC-TV, and contributes occasional special reports to that station's vast array of minority issues programs. Stephanie, still lovely as ever, won last years "Best TV News Anchor" competition from Pacific Northwest Islander Magazine -- appropriate, since Stephanie anchors news at Spokane's top-rated KHQ-TV. By the way, she works a few feet from one of Sactown's most famous former weather guessers, Shelly Monahan (of KCRA fame).

Bakersfield has seen more than its share of top talent, on its way to someplace else. Charlotte Starck put together some of that town's best street reporting in the early 2000's; she's anchoring the morning news marathon at San Diego indie KUSI-51.

Seen Lloyd Lindsay Young recently? Probably not since KMAX-31's "Good Evening Sacramento" died quietly last year. LLY is still at KMAX, as a newsroom assistant in the evenings. From their studio, Lloyd produces weather reports for Bay Area news/talk giant KGO-AM 810.

Speaking of KMAX, who's that new guy Chris Burrous? He can do just about anything on "Good Day Sacramento," from newsreader to weekday traffic to weekend weather, and all with intelligence and great presence. San Joaquin Valley residence know this guy well, having logged time at Fresno's KGPE-47 and Bakersfield's KGET-17 -- where, incidentally, his wife Mai Do is the 6pm and 11pm co-anchor.

If you think KTVU-2 afternoon anchor Leslie Griffeth is too cute for television, you haven't been listening. Griffeth's authoritative delivery was honed in one of America's smallest markets. Leslie cut her reporting teeth on the mean streets of Grand Junction, Colorado in 1983 as Assistant News Director at KQIL-AM radio. She's just as polished today, and not a day older!

 

North Coast: KEET Keeps Eye On Congress

From The Eureka-Times Standard: KEET-13 is watching closely as once again legislation makes its way through Congress that would make drastic cuts to the station's funding.

A House Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services, and education has voted to reduce federal funding for public broadcasting and to eliminate all federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting within two years, according to The Washington Post. The Post reported Friday that that cut would begin with a 25 percent reduction in CPB's budget for next year, from $400 million to $300 million.

KEET-TV Executive Director Ron Schoenherr said in an interview that "would be devastating to a station the size of KEET." Schoenherr, a veteran of public broadcasting for about 40 years, said, "I have been through this before." He said that traditionally, when a measure of this sort gets through the House, it goes to the Senate where the money is put back into the bill.

Schoenherr said federal funds are about 46 percent of KEET's $1.4 million budget. "The smaller the market, the more the station depends on federal support," he said. To eliminate 46 percent of his budget, he said, would mean the station would lose about $640,000.

KEET just finished its summer auction. Schoenherr said that the two annual auctions -- the other is in November -- bring in about $90,000. The station also puts on an annual wine gala in May and pledge programs in March. The wine gala, he said, brings in about $35,000, but much of that is eaten up by costs, such as for catering, advertising and administration. "We have the annual Duck Race in the bay, which is really a fun event that doesn't bring in a lot of money, it's a family event and that's what it's about. In general, people have been extremely supportive of the station in its 38 years," he said.


 

North Valley: Prime Time News Fades Quietly

The first prime time local news cast in the Chico-Redding market quietly went out of existence on June 3. The broadcast, produced by Redding's KRCR-7 and aired on Chico's KCVU-30, was replaced by the nascent revival of Fox TV's daily tabloid, "A Current Affair."

KCVU General Manager Doug Holroyd told the Chico Enterprise Record that dropping the 10pm show "...was their decision," referring to KRCR. Holroyd added, "We were satisfied with their original agreement with the previous management. The new management chose to terminate the agreement."

The program, though produced at KRCR's Redding facilities, was very difficult to produce on the station's small staff. KRCR's Chico newsroom is relocating to an as-yet undetermined location, and will continue to contribute to KRCR's five daily newscasts. Ratings for the KCVU show were not outstanding, as 11pm newscasts on KRCR and KHSL-12 drew higher numbers.


 

Bakersfield: Marge Hopkins, 1919-2005

Marge Stiles Hopkins passed away last week. Though not well known outside Kern County, long-time South Valley residents will remember Hopkins as the first female weather presenter on Bakersfield television.

Long before Doppler Radar and computerized weather graphics, Marge Hopkins presented the nightly forecast on KERO-23 in Bakersfield from 1955 (shortly after the ABC affiliate was launched) to 1974. Marge Hopkins wrote numbers and "H" and "L" indicators on a glass map, long before there was color television cameras and satellite weather images. Hopkins was years ahead of her time in becoming a female presence in what was very much a white-male industry.

Marge Stiles Hopkins died of complications from a stroke on June 8. She was 85.

 

Report: Viacom Merging Two Stations

From MSNBC.COM: Viacom, the new owner of KOVR-13, is spending $6.5 million to move its Sacramento station, KMAX-Channel 31, into the KOVR building across the river.

And more changes are in the works: uoyed by his recent success attracting Spanish-language viewers to Channel 31's "Good Morning Sacramento," Bruno Cohen, general manager of both stations, says he'll try to add similar translations to Channel 13's local news and to Channel 31's broadcasts of Giants and A's baseball games. "Why not?" says Cohen, noting that nearly one-quarter of households in the regional TV market speak Spanish. "We can't get this thing done at Channel 13 fast enough."

In about three years, Cohen wants to move his stations again, and join six local radio stations owned by Infinity Broadcasting, in one new building on the K Street Mall. Viacom owns Infinity.
The venture would create a major downtown attraction, give visitors a look at broadcasts in glassed-in studios and bring new life to a stagnant part of the mall, he says. It resembles a failed idea for a California cable news network once proposed for the same location, but Cohen believes this different project could work.

Viacom is buying digital broadcasting equipment at the 50,000-square-foot Channel 13 studio just off Reed Avenue to accommodate both stations. The company will also pay for tenant improvements to 7,000 square feet in an unused part of the building. Once those changes are made by year's end, the 140 staffers at KMAX will join the 140 employees already working in the building for Channel 13, Cohen says.

Cohen came to Sacramento a year ago to run Channel 31, after heading CNBC's business news department in New York City. Last autumn he introduced some innovations at the local UPN affiliate. He introduced a "megamap," a 40-by-50-foot map of the area that the station rolls out in the rear parking for offbeat weather and traffic updates.

Cohen says he's working with Sacramento developer David Taylor and city officials on the possibility of a getting the TV and radio stations into a new building at K and 10th streets, where the city-owned Woolworth's building now stands. The new building would have up to five stories, with mixed uses, and would have to accommodate modern broadcast studios employing about 400 people. Cohen thinks this plan can work. "I'd love to do that," he says of the K Street idea. "Conceptually, everybody's on board."

 

Jackson Verdict Draws Blanket Coverage

Pop singer Michael Jackson's complete acquittal of numerous molestation, attempted molestation and other felony charges drew nearly complete television and radio coverage Monday afternoon.

ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision and Telemundo affiliates in Sacramento, San Francisco, Chico, Bakersfield and Fresno broke regular programming at about 1:45 to carry the audio feed of the verdicts. In addition, Sacramento's KMAX-31 carried the CBS network feed; KTVU-2 Oakland dropped Fox Children's programming for CNN coverage.

In Sacramento, KFBK-1530 blanketed the airwaves with live ABC Radio news coverage; shock jocks Don and Mike broke format to cover the news on their Westwood One show, carried locally on KHTK-1140.

 

Bay Area: Cutting the KABL?

Coast Radio, the new owners of KABL-FM 92.1 in Walnut Creek, have begun advertising for morning and afternoon drive air talent, almost certainly pronouncing the death nell for the standards and swing music format that recently took over the frequency.

Clear Channel Radio has had a local marketing agreement to operate the station, but that is soon to end with the sale of 92.1 by Chase Communications to Coast, which also owns KUIC-95.3 Vacaville and KKIQ-101.7 Livermore.

Late last week, rumors began to swirl around the future of Air America, which now occupies the former KABL frequency, at 960AM. There is speculation that the network, which has never been profitable, may cease to exist if more and newer sources of capital are not located by late summer or early fall of this year.

 

Sacto: KOVR Names Assistant News Boss

Last week, Steve Charlier was announced as the new VP/news at Viacom's KOVR-13. Now, his second in command has been named, and she'll only have about 100 miles to relocate. She's Lori Waldon, late of the Managing Editor's desk at sister KPIX-5 in San Francisco.

Friday, June 10, 2005

 

Modesto: Minor Legal Maneuvering

Pappas Telecasting, parent of KMPH-26 Visalia and KFRE-59 Fresno, has brought its radio operations under the main corporate fold by transferring ownership of the soon-to-be-built KPMP-840 Modesto from Pappas Radio of California, LP (partnership between Harry and brother Pete Pappas) to Pappas Radio Of Modesto, LLC (subsidiary of the main Pappas enterprise).

Meanwhile, KPMP's soon-to-be-moved to San Francisco sister station, KTRB-860, continues to suffer from poor audio quality. The station has been sending its audio to its transmitter site via a standard telephone line for nearly two months, with little or no explanation.

 

Sacto: Charlier to Viacom News VP

Less than two days after Jim Lemon was fired as news director at CBS' newest acquisition, KOVR-13, Steve Charlier has been appointed Vice President of News for KOVR and sister station KMAX-31.

Charlier arrives from Viacom station KUTV-Salt Lake City, following stints in Seattle, Phoenix and Cedar Rapids, IA. He'll oversee both stations news operations, with KMAX ND Brent Baader staying on in his present capacity and reporting to Charlier.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

 

ABC Radio For Sale?

Rumors are swirling that Disney has put ABC Radio - the network and its local stations - up for sale. New York-based Goldman Sachs was reportedly enlisted to assist Disney in the process.

ABC boss Robert Iger has hinted that radio is no longer one of ABC's core businesses.

Locally, ABC owns KGO-AM/KSFO-AM/KMKY-AM San Francisco, and KIID-AM Sacramento.

 

RANDOM RANTINGS: The NEW Breaking News Leader?

All the buzz in NoCal the last two days has been about the arrest of possible Al-Qaeda wannabees in Lodi. So it came as no surprise that regional FBI director MacGreggor Scott would hold a press conference yesterday in Sacramento. What was a surprise was the lack of LIVE broadcast news coverage the event received.

KFBK-AM attempted to relay the event, but was rebuffed when it lost its feed from ABC News Radio (in the middle of Scott's remarks, a test tone came blaring through the radio leaving host Tom Sullivan scrambling a bit). On television, there was only one station that offered live coverage in the middle of afternoon programming.

Yup. You guessed it. WRONG!

In a stunning turn of events, only KOVR-CBS 13 carried the news conference as it happened. Patti Lee anchored from West Sacramento, with almost the entire PC carried live on the station that has a reputation for NOT covering breaking stories live or interrupting programming -- even on election nights! Even better -- this morning, during "Daybreak," they're running a promo touting the fact that CBS 13 was the ONLY station to offer live coverage...shouting at us that "for breaking news, turn to CBS 13."

All of this happening as News Director Jim Lemon was bounced yesterday. Could this be a sign that more aggressive news coverage is on its way to the town's third place newsroom? Is lowly, but well-meaning, KOVR about to attempt to become the market's live news coverage leader?

Better check with Dave Bender. Hell may, in fact, have frozen over.


The Informer

 

Sacto: News Directors Axed

Two of Sacramento's TV news bosses are out of work today.

Although it happened quietly late last week, we're just today learning that longtime KXTV-10 News Director Ron Comings was sacked by station GM Russell Postell. Insiders say Postell and other members of the Gannett brass were displeased with the station's inability to close the gap on market leader KCRA-3, in spite of huge and expensive promotional campaigns.

Down the highway in West Sacramento, and in a move not totally unexpected, Jim Lemon was terminated as news boss at third-place KOVR-13 on Wednesday. Management changes were expected at the now-Viacom owned station under duopoly GM Bruno Cohen. Viacom also owns KMAX-31, the market's UPN station, and the two newsrooms have begun sharing talent and news video on a regular basis.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

 

Call Letter Changes

The FCC's most recent summary of call letter changes lists these items through the land of Dirt:

 

Sacto: Radio Race Slammed by Hoops

For the first time in several years, Sacramento's sports radio station KHTK-1140 will not be airing the NASCAR Nextel Cup Race from Infineon Raceway in Sonoma on June 26.

The Sacramento Monarchs will play at 11am that Sunday, and KHTK must carry that game live as part of its long-term agreement with the team's parent organization, Maloof Sports and Entertainment.

KHTK may join the race broadcast in progress following the game. Race fans will be able to see the event LIVE on their local Fox television station.

 

Sports: Wheels Rolls to L.A.?

Former Sacramento radio sports talk host Brian Wheeler is reportedly among the finalists for the now vacant radio play-by-play position with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Wheeler, who hosted "Wheels After Work" on KHTK-1140 in the mid-90's, has been one of the broadcast voices of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers for several seasons. He's among three finalists vying for the coveted Lakers radio job. Joel Meyers, who called the Lakers on KLAC and the Lakers radio network the last two years, will move to the television side this season on Fox Sports Net West and local Lakers TV outlet KCAL-9. He replaces the fired Paul Sunderland, who took over the job upon the death of legendary Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn in 2001.

 

Fresno: April Arbitrons

We're a little late catching this up, but: the more things change, the more they stay the same. Infinity news/talk legend KMJ-580 added another month to its dominance in the recently released April Arbitron ratings. The 12+ numbers for the heritage AM dropped a half-share, but were still a full point better than second place KBOS-94.9 (urban B95).
Infinity's KSKS-93.7 (Kiss Country) posted a third place finish, with Clear Channel's KALZ-102.7 (Alice) in fourth and Univision's KOND-92.1 (La Onda) continuing its 16-month upswing by rounding out the top five.
Spanish KFSO-92.9, in its third month as a Spanish Oldies outlet, finished sixth; last month's #3 station KJFX-95.7 (The Fox) dropped to seventh. Urban KSEQ (Q97) notched the eighth spot, with CHR rival KWYE (Y-101.1) ninth and standards/nostalgia KJWL in tenth.
Notable: after 12 years as the area's only FM news and talk station KMPH, KVBE (Vibe 107.5) showed little growth with its mix of R&B and old school, notching the second to last 12+ rating.

 

Radio Disney Comes To Fresno

KXEX-1550 Fresno has flipped from Regional Mexican to Radio Disney, as of Tuesday. The satellite-delivered format of pop hits and children's songs is contest-intensive and highly interactive. Radio Disney now has close to 50 affiliates across the country.

KXEX covers the greater Fresno area with a non-direction 5kw of daytime power; and 2.5kw of directional nightime power.

 

Sacto: Harry Stockman Returns

Out of retirement and into the News10-KXTV weather department comes Harry Stockman, whose "decision weather" segments were part of the station's newscasts in the 80's and 90's.

Stockman filled in on Tuesday's newscasts for Chief Meteorologist Elissa Lynn. KXTV's weather department has been two persons short in recent weeks, with morning meteorologist Monica Woods out on maternity leave and weekender J.D. Maher out -- his contract was not renewed.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

 

Moon Makes Legal Changes

Moon Broadcasting, former licensee of now-KSAC 1240 Sacramento and now-KBDB-FM Placerville (formerly KSQR and KZSA), has applied to legally transfer all of its stations into a California holding company, MBU Licensee Inc. The move is little more than cosmetic, but rumblings persist that Moon may be seeking new investors.

The stations involved include: KLLK Willits; KDAC, KUKI-FM and K242AD Ukiah; K238AE Lucerne; K242AD Boonville; K242AH Kelseyville; K265DB Fort Bragg; K296ES Lakeport (all translators for KUKI-FM).

 

Coast: Sainte Sells LP

Sainte Partners II has applied to sell its low-power KMUV-LP 23 in Monterey to Clear Channel Television. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sainte has no full-power television operations on the Central Coast; CC owns and operates KION-46 and operates KCBA-35 in Monterey/Salinas.

 

Unvision Adds Translator

Univision Radio has purchased a 200-watt translator station at 100.9 in Sausalito. K265DI was purchased from Golden Gate Broadcasting. It's unclear what the frequency will be used for by Univision.

 

KYCC Sells Translator

KYCC, the Modesto-based Christian radio station, has sold its Spokane, WA translator at 89.1 to Horizon Christian Fellowship, a national youth ministry with branches across the country.

Monday, June 06, 2005

 

SF: More Defections At KRON

KRON-4, once proud as a peacock and now struggling to stay afloat as a second-tier independent station, is losing two of its most popular personalities.

Steve Raleigh, KRON's Chief Meteorologist, is headed for Cincinnati's WCPO. And KRON-4 News 4pm anchor Brian Hackney is headed down the street to KPIX-5 in an as-yet unknown capacity. For Hackney, its the completion of a trifecta: he moved to KRON 10 years ago (when it was the market's dominant NBC station) after a stint at ABC-owned KGO.

KRON has lost a slew of talent, ratings and money since leaving NBC in 2002.

 

Sacramento: The Battle For Your Sleepy Eyes

In Sacramento, the hottest local TV war is being waged at dawn. By no less than six local TV stations, all vying for your attention with your morning beverage of choice.

Here's The Dirt Sheet's morning news rundown:

KCRA-3 Reports, 5-7am: Anchored by Walt Gray and Deirdre Fitzpatrick; weather from Patty Souza and Dirk Verdoorn; traffic with Adrienne Bankert; live traffic images from CalTrans and John Hamilton in LiveCopter 3; business news from Tom Sullivan.

KXTV News 10 Good Morning, 5-7am: Anchored by Dan Elliott and Sharon Ito; weather with Monica Woods; traffic from Monica Crowley; live traffic images from CalTrans and Air 10.

KOVR CBS 13 News Daybreak, 5-7am: Anchored by Patti Lee; weather with Cody Stark; traffic reports by Jacqui Freeman.

KUVS Noticias 19 A Primera Hora, 6-7am: Anchored by Isabel Sigler; weather by Catalina Martinez.

KMAX Good Day Sacramento, 5-10am: Anchored by Marianne McClary and Nick Toma; weather with Tom Loffman; traffic from Tina Machua and Courtney Dempsey; business news from David Loeffler; news desk anchored by Abbott Dutton.

KTXL Fox 40 Morning News, 7-8am: Anchored by Jennifer Parker.

KQCA Armstrong & Getty (radio simulcast with KSTE-650): Hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty with Jamie Coffee. Weather with Dirk Verdoorn and Patty Souza; traffic from Julia DeRobertis.

In all, Sacramento television stations produce 80 hours of morning television weekdays.

 

Sacto: Morning News Battle Officially Joined

KTXL-40, Sacramento's Tribune-owned Fox affiliate, officially joined the morning news wars today with the debut of "Fox 40 Morning News" at 7am.

The one-hour broadcast is anchored by Jennifer Parker, and led with the breaking news that the Supreme Court had struck down the state's medicinal marijuana law. The show also featured many pieces originally produced for Sunday's 10pm Fox 40 News.

 

Bay Area: KPIG Comes to The City

Long before there was "Bob" or "Jack," there was Hollister-based KPIG. To say that this station is free-form is to completely define the concept: no set playlists, 24-hours of live DJs per day and a format consisting of every musical genre in existence, no matter how arcane or obscure.

Now, KPIG-FM is expanding its reach into San Francisco and the East Bay by adding a simulcast on KMZT-1510 Piedmont, soon to be owned by KPIG owner Mapleton Communications. The AM signal reaches most of the Bay Area north of the 880 freeway.

Read the Chronicle's rundown of the story by clicking http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/06/05/MNGQAD3UJ41.DTL.

 

Sacto: Dorman to PA Cluster

Jim Dorman, who arrived in Sacramento late last year to program KREL-92.1 (now "BOB" formatted KBDB), has accepted the group Operations Manager position at the Citadel cluster of stations in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
Dorman inherits Top 40 stations WBHT and WBHD (simulcast); Alternative Rocker WBSX; Lite Rock WMGS; heritage News/Talk WARM-AM; and Country WSJR, which Dorman will also program.
Dorman was the second and last full-time program director at KREL, succeeding Steve Garland. Staci Anderson now inherits programming responsibilities for BOB and sister KXCL-103.9.

 

RANDOM RANTINGS: Getting "Jack"-ed...

Last Friday, with less than an hour's warning to staff and none at all to listeners, Infinity Broadcasting (licensee of seven stations each in Fresno and San Francisco and six more in Sacramento) pulled the plug on its heritage oldies format at WCBS-FM in New York City, and a modestly successful adult contemporary format at WJMK-FM Chicago. Both were replaced with "Jack," the pioneering "we play anything" format that has become radio's hot new format.

Infinity has a bad habit of short-sighting local radio markets, pulling the format switcheroo on stations it considers to be underperforming -- usually a revenue issue, not so much a ratings issue -- against other stations in the market. Four years ago, it killed Arrow 93.7 in Sacramento in favor of what it thought was the next big thing -- FM Talk (the following weeks ratings brought news that the Arrow was number five in the market and had just unseated longtime classic rock kingpin KSEG-96.9 "The Eagle"). The FM Talk format sank quietly less than 18 months later.

Infinity has now flipped stations in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Dallas, New York and Chicago to "Jack." Rumors are starting to rumble that Sacramento, San Francisco or Fresno could go next. In Sacramento, there's already a "we play anything" station -- KBDB-92.1, known as "Bob." But with a weak signal and little promotion, many in the market either haven't heard about it or can't pick it up. KWOD-106.5 dabbles in variety, but keeps its "Version 2.0" more rock oriented. With "Howard 93.7" about to lose its namesake morning host, and KZZO-100.5 still mired in a self-inflicted identity crisis, could "Jack" be the answer? Could Fresno's KWYE-101.1, whose audience seems to be deserting it, be in line for radio's new hot item?

Stay tuned. This could get interesting.


The Informer

Thursday, June 02, 2005

 

RANDOM RANTING: First Is Last To Know...Again

When First Broadcasting acquired then-Yuba City's KXCL-103.9 in late 2003, it decided to name its 80's formatted station "Star 103.9," following the form of other similarly formatted stations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and elsewhere. Only trouble was, that name was already being used by Nevada County Broadcasting's KNCO-FM -- "Star 94.1" resisted First's urge to use its moniker and did what all good community broadcasters do: they got lawyers. Several cease and desists later, Star still had its name and KXCL had a "Name The Station" contest that generated positive buzz for the station's formal April launch.

Fast forward to this past week. First Broadcasting flipped a trio of "rimshot" FM's in the Cincinnati market to its "Bob" format, presently in use locally at KBDB-FM 92.1 Placerville. From the music to the voiceover talent, the presentation was nearly identical to the Sacramento-area version. Only trouble was...

Yep, you guessed: "Bob" already lives in the area -- at Salem Broadcasting's WBOB-AM 1160 in neighboring Florence, KY. Salem's lawyers have made it known that there's only room for one "Bob" in that there market. The First trimulcast now plays anything, but doesn't have a name. A contest may be forthcoming.

The Informer has never worked for First Broadcasting, but it seems to us that these bankers have no business being broadcasters. Radio is a nice business to be in, if you have a passion for something OTHER than money. Because very few people in it actually make money.

Memo to First: it's over. Stop pretending you know something about the business, and just GET OUT. Before anyone else gets hurt by your collective ineptitude.


The Informer

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

 

CNN 25

Once called "Chicken Noodle News," CNN revolutionized the way the world gets its information. Today, June 1, CNN commemorates 25 years of continuous broadcasting. Special programs and segments will air throughout the day.

Interestingly, KCRA-3 co-anchors Dave Walker and Lois Hart were the first anchors ever to report the news on CNN, starting at 6pm (ET) on June 1.

 

Sacto: KWOD Lineup Announced

KWOD-106.5, which has been running without DJs since its relaunch last month, will roll out its new on-air lineup on Monday:

RUBIN & SIMS will hold down mornings. RUBIN arrives from KTCL-Fort Collins, CO; ANDY SIMS was recently a part time announcer at KWOD under the stations prior format. Also arriving from KTCL is Music Director HILL JORDAN; she'll host the midday shift. JEREMY NICOLATO, late of KZON-Phoenix (where former KHWD-93.7 midday goddess Stefani recently surfaced) steps in for afternoons. Rounding out the lineup is former KHWD part-timer ERIN FARRINGTON, who will spin at night.

 

RANDOM RANTINGS: He's Dead, Jim!

Far be it from me to tell any broadcaster how to program their station. It's a business, and you have to make money. I get that -- hell, I have to make money.

But the last item on the blog about the return of "The 700 Club" to Sacramento television got me to thinking about a preacher I grew up watching. Trimmed with a white mane and eternally chomping away at his Calixto Lopez cigar, Dr. Gene Scott spent his days and nights methodically dissecting the bible, the pyramids, the FCC and the show-horse and arts communities -- all the while demanding his audience "get on the telephone" and keep those dollars flowing in.

Dr. Scott's Glendale-based ministry used to own television stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Hartford; and, for a time in the 70's and 80's aired on KTXL in Sacramento and KHSL in Chico. In later years, his "University Network" had one star -- the Doctor himself. Doctor Scott still airs weeknights on San Francisco's KRON from 1-2am.

Problem is -- and it's a sticky one -- Dr. Gene Scott died on February 22, 2005.

Now, the Doc's wife Melissa -- 'scuse me, that's "Pastor" Melissa Scott -- has taken over the pulpit. And she vows to continue to broadcast the tens of thousands of hours of her late husband's tapes on satellite and leased airtime TV stations "until Jesus comes."

Should broadcasters be running tapes of dead preachers, just because the preacher's wife is still paying for the air time? It's a slight question of ethics...

Until next time...


The Informer

 

Sacto: 700 Club Back In Session

Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network has found a new home on Sacramento television. KQCA-58 has added "The 700 Club" on a one-day delayed basis, now airing weekdays at 6am.

The series is seen LIVE weekdays on San Francisco's KBWB-20 at 7am; and on two hours tape delay on TBN (available on cable and satellite, plus low-power channels 22 and 45 in Sacramento) weekdays at Noon.

One of television's longest running daily religious programs, 700 Club is a paid program with CBN leasing airtime on over 200 U.S. television stations.

 

Sacto: WB58 Adds News, Shuffles Lineup

KQCA-58 (WB58) added another 30 minutes of prime time news last night, making "WB58 News At Ten" the market's third one-hour prime time newscast. John Alston, Sarah Gardner and Eileen Javora continue to front the broadcast, which is produced by sister KCRA-3 but completely branded as a WB58 newscast, right down to the mic flags used by nightside field reporters Richard Sharp, Edie Lambert, Grace Lee and Miguel Almaguer.

In other KQCA changes, the station shuffled "The Tony Danza Show" out of daytime and exiled it to 1:30am, in advance of the show's cancellation this summer. Reruns of "Oprah" now air at 11pm; and "Paul and Phil Unplugged" gets its plug pulled, ending the simulcast of the KSTE mid-morning show.

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