March 14, 2008

Dude Martin Documentary On KTEH, KQED

David S. Washburn's documentary on Berkeley's own "Broadcast Cowboy," Dude Martin, will air this Monday, March 17, on KTEH (Channel 54) at 11 p.m.

It will be rebroadcast on KQED Digital Channel 9.2 (Comcast Channel 189) on Saturday, March 22, at 11 p.m.

Dude, whose real name was Steve McSwain, was a hugely popular Western bandleader and radio show host from the 1930s through the 1950s on KLX, KGO, KYA and other local stations. He was part of the Bay Area's thriving Western Music scene during that era that included Black Jack Wayne, Cottonseed Clark, Cactus Jack, Longhorn Joe and Red Murrell, who appeared in nightclubs and on the air on a regular basis.

Oddball fact: late in his career, Dude moved to L.A. and hosted programs on KTTV (Channel 11) in the late 1950s as "Steve Martin."

More information on the documentary at

Jim Goggin has also written an interesting book, "The Dude Martin Band Story," which is available from Trafford Publishing.

Labels: , , ,

March 11, 2008

Eshoo Bill Calls For Licensing In "Public Interest"

From today's Radio Business Report:

H.R. 4882, the "Broadcast Licensing in the Public Interest Act," is in the hopper, introduced by Anna Eshoo (D-CA), with four co-sponsors. If enacted into law, the eight-year broadcast licensing term would be reduced to three, and civic affairs, news, and locally produced programming would become a blanket requirement.

Eshoo represents California's 14th District, covering the Peninsula down through Santa Cruz. The bill focuses on television, but includes specific provisions for:
  • a dedication to the civic affairs of its community;
  • a dedication to local news gathering;
  • local production of programming;
  • a commitment to providing the viewing public a presentation of the issues, candidates, and ballot items that are before voters during a local, statewide or national election, including coverage of candidate debates and forums, political conventions, and ongoing news coverage; and
  • presentation of quality educational programming for children.

How about going one step more: require radio stations to generate a minimum of eight hours of live, locally-originated programming?

I can just see the huge ownership conglomerates instantly wetting their slacks over that, and the NAB screaming bloody murder ... and getting out the checkbooks to buy off enough legislators to kill the bill. Why? Because radio isn't about programming in the public interest any more; it's about "economies of scale" and getting the most return for the least effort.

March 07, 2008

Pappas Adds Savage, Flips Modesto AM To "Patriot" Talk

KMPH The Patriot 840Unfortunately, it looks like Pappas Radio's attempt at a hybrid Adult Standards and Infomercials format on KMPH/840 in Modesto has ended. It was fun while it lasted — the music more so than the long-form ads for colon cleansers — but the sound was incongruous in Modesto, which is still very much a farm town (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Of course, I still think that they should have (1) kept the transplanted KTRB/860 call letters in Modesto, where they mean something, and (2) at least tried the Adult Standards on 860 in San Francisco, rather than fifth-rate talk. I reserve the right to repeat this line over and over again, if only because I believe I'm right.

I'm still hearing that Oakland A's baseball will be moving to 50,000-watt KTRB in 2009 after one more season on KFRC/106.9 and KYCY/1550.

KMPH is being repositioned with conservative talk as "The Patriot," starting this Monday (March 10). Here's the press release from Pappas, issued this afternoon:

New Talk Radio Station To Debut In Modesto
Michael Savage Returns To The Airwaves!

March 7, 2008—(Modesto, California) KMPH-AM 840, which went on the air on July 24, 2006 as the successor station to Modesto’s first radio station, KTRB-AM 860 (now in San Francisco) changes format to bring The Michael Savage Show and other great talk programs to the Modesto, Merced, and Stockton area starting on March 10, 2008.

Among its shows, the station will feature the fiery Laura Ingraham every weekday morning, nononsense personal advice from Dr. Laura, the passionate intellect of Michael Savage, and a unique mix of commentary with satire and comedy on The Phil Hendrie Show. Plus, AM 840 KMPH The Patriot features Modesto’s only talk show that focuses exclusively on local issues, The Morning Mayor with former Modesto Mayor Carmen Sabatino, traffic updates during the morning commute, and local news with Modesto’s most experienced radio news man, Tim St. Martin.

The Michael Savage Show is now the third largest radio talk show, according to TALKERS Magazine, and airs on well over 300 stations nationwide. Michael Savage is the author of four best selling books: The Savage Nation, The Enemy Within, and Liberalism is a Mental Disorder.

His most recent book is the irreverent Political Zoo. He attacks big government and liberal media bias, but champions the environment and animal rights. Trained as a scientist, he holds Master's degrees in medical botany and medical anthropology and earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in Epidemiology and Nutrition Science.

Jim P. Pappas, General Manager of AM 840 KMPH The Patriot said, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to give Modesto area listeners a real choice with a Talk Radio station that is anchored by popular hosts like Michael Savage, Dr. Laura, Laura Ingraham, Jerry Doyle, Phil Hendrie, and successful weekend talkers like Bob Brinker, Clark Howard, Leo Laporte, and Bill Handel, not to mention great sports programming with Fox Sports Radio.”

AM 840 KMPH The Patriot is owned and operated by Pappas Radio of Modesto, LLC, and represents a Modesto broadcast tradition dating back to 1953.

Labels: , , ,

March 03, 2008

Citadel Cuts Catch KSFO's Melanie Morgan

The addition by subtraction mandated by Farid Suleman at Citadel Broadcasting ("How can we afford to pay me $17-million a year? Fire the talent!") has netted a major casualty at 560/KSFO.

Melanie Morgan, conservative firebrand and a genius at pushing all the right buttons, will not have her contract renewed and made her final KSFO broadcast on Monday morning.

Morgan had been the high-profile co-host to Lee Rodgers on the station's morning show, having worked her way up from sidekick/underling to being the co-star of the program. In many ways, she actually upstaged Rodgers, who performs his part of the show via remote hookup. (A television set in the KSFO studio helped keep Morgan and Officer Vic "face-to-face" with Rodgers.)

Morgan published the following press release on her personal website on Monday:

Conservative Melanie Morgan Cut from KSFO Radio
* Vows to Continue Her Role as Conservative Activist *

(SAN FRANCISCO) – Renowned radio personality and national conservative leader, Melanie Morgan, delivered her final broadcast on talk radio powerhouse KSFO 560 AM today – Monday, March 3, 2008.

The owner of KSFO radio, Citadel Broadcasting, decided not to renew Morgan’s contract as part of the company’s announced across-the-board financial cost cutting.
Melanie Morgan has been a fixture on KSFO for the past 14 years, enjoying a run from 1994-2008 that far exceeded industry standards for longevity. During that time, Morgan emerged as one of the nation’s most dynamic conservative activists, using the radio airwaves to motivate listeners who shared her passion to take action and fight for causes important to them.

Morgan’s on-air activism included an effort that removed the carcinogen MTBE from gasoline in California, launching of the historic Recall Gray Davis campaign that led to the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Governor of California, and co-founding the nation’s largest pro-troop organization, Move America Forward.

“It has truly been an honor for me to work at KSFO for the past 14 years. What I loved most about my time at KSFO was that it allowed me to connect with listeners and take action to make real changes in the world,” said Melanie Morgan.

“We never had a one-way dialogue with our listeners, and we never believed that we had to resolve ourselves to accept the status quo. We got out of our chairs, left our homes and offices, and circulated petitions, rallied for our troops and met with government leaders. “We did all this to make sure that we left an even better world for our children than the one we had inherited from generations before us,” Morgan said.

As part of her ongoing conservative activism, Morgan has traveled to the Middle East twice to interview U.S. Troops stationed in Iraq and Kuwait. Her broadcast efforts from Iraq resulted in her winning the Associated Press’s Mark Twain Journalism Award, and The Peninsula Press Club’s award for Best Interview or Talk Show.

“Meeting our troops who are on the frontlines of the war against terrorism stands as the most powerful experience in my broadcast career,” said Morgan.

Morgan’s career with ABC began in 1981 when she was a television reporter for KGO TV. In 1984, she became an on-air personality for KGO radio where she worked for six years before switching over to ABC-San Francisco sister-station, KSFO 560 AM, co-hosting the Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan show.

In 2006, Citadel Broadcasting acquired the ABC Radio group. She has reported on the scene from the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon; the Mexico City earthquake; and the Tiananmen Square massacre in China.

Melanie Morgan says her focus in the days ahead remains unchanged: She will remain a conservative activist leader. “My commitment and dedication to serve as a leader in the movement to support our military men and women continues to grow, and I am very proud to serve as Chairman of the pro-troop non-profit group, Move America Forward,” Morgan said. Melanie Morgan is not compensated for her work with Move America Forward, a fact since the group was first launched in 2004.

Morgan will also continue her weekly column for the news website and will continue to serve as a television analyst on news programs on cable and broadcast television stations and networks. “My passion and commitment to the troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world are foremost in my heart.

"While I will miss my good friends Lee Rodgers and Officer Vic, and our great producer Sheri Yee, I am excited to stay close to the conservative grassroots. And I'll always lead with my chin out," Morgan concluded.

Labels: , , , ,