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The final summer edition of short takes

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  We're doing a bit of catch-up with some stories sitting on the laptop over the past few weeks. Consider this the last of summer stories before we transition into non-stop football season...er, I mean autumn. bossip.com Talk about one heck of a birthday present. Kurt Alexander , better known Big Boy to his KRRL (REAL 92.3) morning listeners, celebrated 52 candles by received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Among those in attendance was rapper Dr. Dre and comedian – and former MEGA 92.3 morning man – George Lopez were featured during the September 8 ceremony. “Big, I love you. I love you for breaking barriers in radio, entertainment, and as a Black man, I love your support and everything you've done for me and my career,” said Dr. Dre. Nobody deserves this honor better than you. Thank you for making me and the entire city of Los Angeles laugh, what’s more important than that?” rapbasement.com “There's nobody who I hold closer in my heart than I do Big Boy,” said

Remembering 9-11, part three

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I recall a friend of mine who was a frequent business traveler. She used to state it was faster and easier to go to LAX and jump on a plane, instead of driving, for a meeting in San Diego. Needless to say, things have changed. Several news stories over the weekend referenced the changes in security procedures, let alone how politics have changed since 9-11. Nonetheless, thinking back 20 years ago was a reminder the real tragedy was the lives lost that day. I found a YouTube video of David Letterman's first broadcast after 9-11, it's worth a view. More of you have shared your 9-11 memories: I was working for KCOP at that time. I was their archivist and I produced documentaries. I was at home the morning of 9-11, having breakfast and watching the station’s morning newscast when the towers were hit. I immediately left for the station, where I spent the next several days monitoring endless hours of video feeds, as well as all of our live coverage. I retired from KTTV last year, an

Remembering 9-11, part two

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Yesterday I'd mentioned our University's President called in all staff and faculty to come to campus so we could support our students right after the tragedy of 9-11-2001 had become known to all. All of my students attended my classes, we tried to go on as business as usual but it was clearly not the same. But the impact of the day hadn't hit me until I was driving home, a 47+ mile plus commute. Traffic was non-existent. I drove through Downtown L.A. on the 101, listening to Sean Valentine on KIIS-FM, sharing a conversation with sister station Z-100 New York. There were maybe five (5) autos in either direction. Eerie. We shared on Thursday what then-KNX morning anchor  Tom Haule  remembered about being on the air on 9-11 (read it here ). Today we offer what his co-anchor  Linda Nunez  recalls about what happened on that Tuesday, 20 years ago: Tuesday, September 11, 2001.   Tom Haule and I got word of some sort of plane hitting one of the World Trade Center towers.   During

Remembering 9-11, part one

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It was a Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. I was awakened by a phone call from a good friend at about 7 in the morning, I'd slightly overslept. She let me know something horrible was happening in New York. My wife and I carried our then 4-month-old son to the front room to watch TV coverage. I kept watching the TV coverage until we received a message from our University President, asking us to come to campus so we could be there for our students. So the radio became my source of updates of an ever deepening calamity. I tuned across the dial, dominated by network coverage and music stations simulcasting either TV news or their corporate cluster's news / information station. I landed on all-news KNX to hear Tom Haule  and Linda Nunez , my primary source of information as I drove into work. Tom is kind enough to share his recollections of that day : There are things from Tuesday, 9-11-01 that stick with me vividly to this day and many other details that have fallen away.  Linda

A visit with a (K)FROG

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We're back after some time off. The semester has started, it's been weirdly wonderful to have students back on campus and teaching in person, an emphasis on the word "weird." That's also why the column's a bit late this week. In general, my goal is still to try to provide something new every week, breaking news as it happens, and other periodic offerings. That being said, I may not always post something new on the same day, but I'll do the best I can. As the late Jim Healy  would say, "stay tuned." If you don’t know already, my mentor Don Barrett reposts past columns at his website, www.laradio.com . A couple of weeks ago, he posted a story from 2006, when KZLA’s format change left the local dial without a country station. KKGO (“Go Country 105) wouldn’t debut until six months later. The story noted that the Inland Empire’s “K-FROG” (KFRG) did fill in the void for many L.A. listeners, the station even gave Shawn Parr an opportunity to say farew

Breaking news: The Real Don Steele and Bill Drake are in the Radio Hall of Fame

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  The Museum of Broadcast Communications, based in Chicago, has finally righted a wrong. Donald Revert, aka  The Real Don Steele  has been inducted as part of the posthumous class of 2021.  Another key inductee is Bill Drake , the creator of "Boss Radio KHJ." Other inductees include: Jackson Armstrong, Freddie Crocker, Tom "Big Daddy" Donahue   Dr. Toni Grant, Jay Thomas Hal "Aku Aka" Lewis Raul Alarcon, Sr. Jackson Armstrong Dr. Joy Browne Frankie Crocker Don Cornelius Tom Donahue Arlene Francis Barry Gray Toni Grant Petey Greene Maurice "Hot Rod" Hulbert Jocko Henderson E. Rodney Jones Chuck Leonard Melvin Lindsey Mary Margaret McBride Ruth Ann Meyer Murray "Murray the K" Kaufman Manuel "Paco" Navarro Pat O'Day Alison Steele Martha Jean "The Queen" Steinberg Todd Storz Jay Thomas Rufus Thomas McHenry "Mac" Tichenor Nat D. Williams The posthumous honors were added to celebrate radio's 100th anniver