June 26, 2009

Dave McQueen Signs Off At KCBS Tonight

Dave McQueen (KSAN)Dave McQueen, one of the best newsmen we'll ever hear, retires after his late-night shift at All News KCBS (740/106.9) tonight. KCBS has been running a tribute piece by Mike Sugerman as their cover story today, and his friends and colleagues will hold a retirement party for him tonight.

McQueen (photo, right) came to the Bay Area forty years ago from Texas as the news anchor at KSAN during its nascent days as "The Jive 95." He had a deep, solid, authoritarian voice -- a "network voice" -- which belied his appearance: Dave McQueen was a full-on long-haired hippie.

He also worked at KFRC, KNEW, KKCY and KKSF. McQueen's last shift tonight (through early Saturday morning) has him on from 9 to 11 PM, then again from 2 to 5 AM, according to the KCBS program schedule.

UPDATE (6/27/2009 5 AM): As I fully expected, Dave McQueen -- who declined to be interviewed for Mike Sugerman's tribute piece -- signed off his final broadcast on KCBS in simple, by-the-book fashion: he mentioned the features that were coming up in the next hour, and then, after the top-of-the-hour time signal, he intoned "five o'clock."

The KCBS audio tribute to McQueen may be streamed at the station's website.

PHOTO SOURCE: Dave McQueen, circa 1973, from Jive95.com.

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June 25, 2009

Karel Show Loses Energy

As tipped by Rich "Big Vinny" Lieberman in his "City Brights" blog this morning, Karel has announced on his own website that he has been dropped from Energy 92.7's schedule.

Energy 92.7 has decided to not carry the Karel Show any longer. The reasons stated were financial reasons and the fact that it’s a new show and so as ratings tend to do they drop off at first and then rebuild. The building process isn’t happening fast enough for management so the money men (and women) said, stop.

According to Big Vinny's blog, Karel emailed him that the show will continue on Peter Laufer's KRXA (540 AM) in Monterey, and that "we are looking towards another station in [the Bay Area], perhaps Green 960 or such," to pick up the program.

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June 17, 2009

Live 105: The Return Of "Yes/No" Radio

Live 105 Logo (2009)The Chronicle's SFGate.com reports this morning that Live 105 (KITS 105.3 FM) will turn its 10 PM to midnight block on Sunday nights into "listener's choice" in conjunction with a San Mateo social media startup -- kind of like KLOK's old "Yes/No Radio" mashed up with Russ "The Moose" Syracuse's bombing runs on bad records back in the day on KYA

Jelli's website proclaims this to be "100% User-Controlled Radio. No Suits. No DJs. No Kidding."

(Brilliant! Remote-controlled radio! We've now got an app to replace the music director and the disc jockey -- just what radio needs these days! Wouldn't it be easier to tell your listeners to go out and buy an MP3 player and shut off the transmitters completely? Here's an idea: how about an app that replaces all the listeners that previously flocked to radio?)

The first iteration of "LiveJelli 105" rolls out on Sunday, June 28.

Excerpts from the article on SFGate:

Jelli Inc., which officially launches Wednesday, lets listeners vote up or down on a play list of songs streamed on its Web site, Jelli.net.

Songs chosen as "Rocks" get bumped up the list and will be chosen seconds before it actually streams. Songs marked as "Sucks" can get bombed off the list, even while it's playing.

UPDATE (10:45 AM): FMQB has more about this wonderful innovation that will revolutionize radio as we know it, including this nugget:

"We want to change the entire concept of what ‘traditional radio’ can be, via real-time web services, enabling new experiences, social web integrations and content possibilities," said Jateen Parekh, CTO and co-founder of Jelli. "Jelli helps traditional broadcasters convert active listeners into active web users, drive ratings and revenue, and access reporting about what their audience cares about."

UPDATE (3:30 PM): Man, is this thing getting coverage in the trades. By early afternoon, in addition to SFGate and FMQB, there have been detailed articles in Billboard Business News, CNET, Radio World, Streaming Magazine, Radio Online, Kurt Hanson's RAIN and Media Buyer Planner about this. Google News has updated links to all industry coverage on this topic.

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June 15, 2009

Greg Jarrett To Wake Up In Chicago

Greg Jarrett (2009)According to Crain's Chicago Business website, former KGO (810 AM) afternoon news anchor Greg Jarrett (photo, right) has landed a plum gig -- morning anchor at the legendary WGN (820 AM) in the Windy City:

WGN-AM has hired a San Francisco radio news veteran to host its morning rush-hour show and will move the program’s current host, John Williams, to the mid-morning slot that until last month was the home of the “Kathy and Judy” talk show.

There's more juicy details on the Chicago Tribune's website, which rates the selection of Jarrett as a "stunner":

Even more of a surprise is the selection of a complete outsider in Jarrett, who brings a newsman's sensibility to his work as host.

In his memo to staff announcing the moves, WGN Program Director Kevin Metheny described Jarrett's new morning show as "an information and services intensive morning broadcast with emphasis on usable news and information, leveraging the substantial resources of Tribune Co. newsgathering assets."

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June 11, 2009

Jazz Format In Trouble At KCSM?

KCSM Jazz 91 Logo (2009)KTVU (Channel 2) did a story this evening about venerable KCSM (91.1 FM) and its struggles to retain funding to keep its Jazz format on the air. (The video from Rita Williams' report is available on KTVU's website.)

The station will be holding a pair of benefit concerts at Yoshi's on Jack London Square in Oakland to help close the gap from its budget shortfall. The shows will take place at 8 PM and 10 PM on Tuesday, June 30.

In addition to its Jazz programming, KCSM and the College of San Mateo continues -- as it has for decades -- to develop an increasingly rare commodity: well-trained broadcasters.

More info about the benefit on the Yoshi's website.

The KCSM Jazz 91 website is at kcsm.org/jazz91.

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June 09, 2009

Kava: High Level Cuts At KGO

KGO Radio Logo (2006)Just moments ago, Brad Kava blogged about rumored cuts at KGO (810 AM):

Weatherman Leo Ciolino is gone, apparently, as is assistant program director Trish Robbins and news director Paul Hosley. If you have information to confirm or deny, drop me a comment.

UPDATE (6/9/09 2 PM): Subsequent to BK's post, Rich "Big Vinny" Lieberman has blogged on SFGate.com that he spoke with Trish Robbins, who confirmed that she has been terminated. Rich also notes that Paul Hosley's role will be covered by KSFO program director Ken Berry.

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June 08, 2009

KCBS Heads To San Jose For A Day

Stan Bunger (KCBS)This Thursday (June 11), All News KCBS returns to its ancestral roots for one afternoon as it sends morning co-anchor Stan Bunger (photo, right) and midday co-anchor Rebecca Corral to the approximate spot that the station originally broadcast from a century ago.

Bunger and Corral will anchor the KCBS (740 AM and 106.9 FM) noon newscast from Fairmont Plaza in San Jose, once the site of the Garden City Bank Building, where Prof. Charles D. Herrold developed the world's first broadcasting station in the late 1900s.

When the government began licensing stations for commercial broadcasting in 1921, Herrold's pioneering station became KQW. A migration to San Francisco began in 1942 with the opening of studios at the Palace Hotel, along with becoming CBS' key affiliate in the Bay Area.

In April 1949, the station was purchased by CBS, at which time it adopted the KCBS call letters. The station's transmitter remained in the Southbay, near Alviso, until moving to Novato in August 1951.

(For more on the history of KQW and Doc Herrold, check out the Bay Area Radio Museum's website.)

Thursday's live broadcast is open to the public, and will include giveaways of snappy KCBS centennial T-shirts (got one; love it) and passes to view an exhibit of Doc Herrold memorabilia at the nearby Tech Museum of Innovation.

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June 05, 2009

KTRB Files For New Daytime Site

KTRB Sports Logo (2009)Pappas Radio's KTRB (860 AM), which has been operating with a directional 50,000-watt signal from the Livermore hills for the past few years, has filed an application with the FCC to move its daytime transmitter to the Hayward shoreline, where it would transmit a non-directional signal.

The move, if approved, should provide KTRB with one of the strongest AM signals in the Bay Area. Only KNBR (680 AM) operates a fulltime 50,000-watt non-directional signal in the Bay Area; KTRB would have a comparably equal signal from local sunrise to sunset.

Other 50,000-watt AM stations in the Bay Area, including KCBS and KGO, operate with directional signals, which limit their coverage in some parts of the region.

KTRB's new location in Hayward would have them sharing the existing KFAX (1100 AM) transmitter site. KTRB's signal would be transmitted through KFAX's current tower #3.

KFAX is owned by Salem Communications, which also operates KDOW (1220 AM), which has been working towards a power increase of its own for several years.

At nighttime, KTRB -- which re-branded itself as "Xtra Sports 860" recently -- would continue to broadcast with a directional 50kw signal from the Livermore site.

The technical exhibit, with all the details, may be reviewed on the FCC website.

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