July 23, 2007

Radio Dots & Dashes (July 23 Edition)

Included in today's Daily Digest, but showing as approved on July 16, is the FCC's granting of the "Voluntary Assignment of License" for KOIT/1260 from Bonneville International to IHR Educational Broadcasting.

As of a few moments ago, 1260 is still simulcasting the KOIT programming from 96.5 FM.

No word on when Immaculate Heart will take over operation of 1260, and no assignment of new call letters has been published by the FCC...

KTRB/860 has added Bob Gowa as news anchor, via Metro Networks. Bob had been a KGO airborne traffic reporter, also via Metro Networks, from 1990 to 1997, and has worked at several local stations — including KSAN and KMEL — since 1980.

KTRB major domo Jim Pappas also recently hired Chris Edwards to head up the station's marketing effort. Yes, that's the same Chris Edwards who was a popular KYA and K-101 personality. He was most recently in charge of sales for Clear Channel's KKSF, KNEW and KQKE...

(...And, just moments after posting this nugget, I'm being beat down by people telling me that Chris is no longer at KTRB, but was introduced at the end of last week as a new salesman at the new Classic Hits KFRC/106.9. That makes the KTRB business card that he handed me a few weeks ago at the Broadcast Legends lunch a collector's item. I'll have it on Ebay shortly...)

Speaking of Broadcast Legends (watch this smooth segue...), they'll be celebrating the life and times of James Gabbert at their next luncheon on Thursday, September 20, at the DoubleTree Inn on the Berkeley Marina.

It promises to be a rollicking afternoon of memories, recounting Gabbert's fifty years in radio and TV, from humble beginnings at KPEN through K-101, KOFY (AM, FM and TV) and KDIA, on through his present work as a fill-in host at KGO/810.

The event is open to the public, but reservations are required. You can find out more and save a seat for yourself by clicking here...

In the past few weeks, KNBR's Gary Radnich has mentioned the presence of Cumulus Media executives wandering the halls of the station's headquarters on Hawthorne Street in the City. This morning, the word is out that Cumulus chief Lew Dickey has secured a partner — no less than Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity — to secure a buyout of his company, taking it private in a deal reportedly valued at $1.3-billion.

Cumulus acquired the former Susquehanna Radio group of 33 stations, including San Francisco-based KNBR, KFOG and KSAN, as part of a $1.2-billion deal in October 2005...

Radio & Records reports today that Ron Engelman is battling inoperable lung cancer. Engelman was John London's longtime companion on the air here at KMEL, as well as at Power 106 in Los Angeles and elsewhere across the radio map. Positive thoughts may be sent to Ron by way of his family via email...

July 21, 2007

KGO's Pete Wilson Dies

Into what was otherwise a very festive morning at the KRE open house came the news that KGO-TV (Channel 7) and KGO/810 afternoon talk show host Pete Wilson had died. Pete WilsonConsidering the large contingent of KGO people there — including Steve Kushman (KGO news editor and CHRS president), Peter Cleaveland, John Catchings, Alan Bowker, former anchors Fred Lacosse and Terry Lowry, plus Noel Cisneros and a news crew from Channel 7 covering the event — there was an awful lot of sadness tempering the joy.

No announcement was made during the event; reportedly, Pete Wilson's mother was flying in from Wisconsin to help out during his recuperation, and had not been advised of his death yet. It was my understanding that the KGO people were asked not to say anything until the family was prepared to allow the news to be made public.

Confusion over a rumor that former California governor Pete Wilson had died apparently caused a sensation among several news organizations, including CNN, on Friday evening, but KGO employees were uniform in making certain that silence was maintained regarding the actual situation.

Rather than expending more electronic ink here covering the highlights of his career, you will find more coverage of Pete Wilson's life and career through these sources:

KGO Radio 810

San Francisco Chronicle

San Jose Mercury News

KGO has also set up a page on Blogspot for listener comments about Pete Wilson.

July 13, 2007

KFRC: Flanagan To Begin Again

The jubilant cheers heard from the second floor of 865 Battery Street in the city today were prompted by the presence of one John Mack Flanagan, who will be jumping back into radio with both feet -- although only ankle-deep (for now) -- in the cozy confines of the station that made him a local legend, KFRC (106.9).

Already having added Dave Sholin (mornings) and Celeste Perry (middays) to their roster, KFRC major domos Tim Jordan and Mike Preston invited longtime Big 610 star Flanagan back, and he accepted. This afternoon's not-for-broadcast test drive was a chance for John Mack to get back behind the mike in advance of his re-debut as host of KFRC's Sunday morning "Beatles Brunch" show, and the reviews were glowing.

Due to other commitments, Flanagan's Fab Four foray back into the broadcast booth at KFRC will begin with the one-hour Sunday program, but the door has been left open by station management to an expanded role in the future.

John Mack was a vital cog in KFRC's success in the 1970s as part of the all-star lineup that included Dr. Don Rose, Marvelous Mark McKay, Don Sainte-Johnn, Bobby Ocean, Chuck Buell and Rick Shaw.

"Beatles Brunch" debuts this Sunday (July 15) at 9 a.m.

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July 07, 2007

CHRS "Radio Day By The Bay" Coming July 21


We're only two weeks away from "Live! At KRE," the big annual open house and celebration of local radio thrown by the great people of the California Historical Radio Society.
You may have driven past KRE thousands of times over the years, but never had the opportunity to stop by for a visit — so here's your chance. I'll be hanging out at the radio museum table all day, so if you go, stop by and say hello.

Here's the details:

WHERE: The Historic KRE Radio Station Building, 601 Ashby Ave., Berkeley
WHEN: Saturday, July 21, 2007, from 10 AM - 2 PM. (Gates open at 9:30 AM)
ADMISSION: $5 (Children under 12: free)

The California Historical Radio Society is proud to present its annual open house with a celebration of local radio history on the grounds of the famous KRE Radio Station Building, located under the huge radio tower on Ashby Avenue near Highway 80 in Berkeley.

The KRE building, which stood as an abandoned eyesore for many years, has been lovingly restored by the volunteer members of CHRS and converted into a world-class museum of radio and television, including vintage broadcast and production studios, displays of classic radios and television sets, a research library, a working ham radio shack (W6CF), electronic theory school and repair shop, plus a museum store and archival audio transfer and restoration service.

The open house will include tours of the facility, live music, and performances by the Bay Area’s own Broadcast Legends, as well as an auction of rare and unusual radios to help raise funds for CHRS’ continuing effort to preserve the rich history of broadcasting in the region.

Popular Bay Area radio personality Carter B. Smith will once again be on hand to host the festivities.

The historic KRE radio station building is one of the first structures built specifically for broadcasting in the Bay Area, and has been transmitting for seventy years from this location; it currently houses the transmitters for stations KVTO/1400 and KEAR/610 (formerly KFRC).

In the early 1970s, George Lucas used this location to film the Wolfman Jack and Richard Dreyfuss scenes in his film, “American Graffiti.” CHRS is believed to be one of the only vintage radio societies to have an historical AM radio station building as its headquarters.

The building will also serve as home to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame, with a “wall of honor” to celebrate the great men and women that have entertained local listeners on our airwaves for nearly a century.

Additional information, directions and photos of some of the items up for auction are online at http://www.californiahistoricalradio.com/photos72.html

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July 03, 2007

KSFO Sends 4th Of July Greetings...

Members of the KSFO Listeners Club received personal greetings from Melanie Morgan via email this morning, excerpted here:

Dear {FIRST NAME}

There's nothing I love better than the Fourth of July - the fireworks, the backyard barbecues, the time I spend with my liberal, dysfunctional family members and of course, Marin County's parade, where I get to heckle Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey for her anti-war, anti-troop positions in the swampland that passes for our nation's capitol.

I'm also very enamored of catcalls, hoots of derision and other un-becoming behavior in which I engage towards to the International A.N.S.W.E.R. and Code Pink crowd who show up to try and wreck our patriotic parade with our excited Little Leaguers and their fabulous floats every year.

My husband and son - not so much.

But seriously, I really do get pumped up when I see the American flags flying in the most unlikely of places, Marin County. It reminds me that despite the many differences I have with my neighbors over politics, at least once a year, the Grand Old Flag comes out and we can celebrate together what makes this nation great. ...

I am also thankful that KSFO Radio gives me the opportunity to exercise my Constitutional right of free speech that our forefathers brilliantly included in their efforts to make us a land of opportunity and inclusion.

Don't forget to fly your flag. And take a moment between the festivities, parades, and family re-unions to remember that we are 'One nation, UNDER GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'

Melanie Morgan


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