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Remembering Tommy Lasorda

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  Associated Press I didn't have the opportunity to meet Tommy Lasorda, though like many I heard many interviews he did on sports talk radio. Oh how I wish I could talk to the late Joe McDonnell, who I'm sure would have had all sorts of anecdotes about the manager who "bled Dodger blue." The former Dodger manager was always a popular interview on sports talk radio. Here are some memories from those who offered Tommy's voice on the local airwaves: Fred Roggin (AM 570 LA Sports):  In a city full or stars, Tommy Lasorda was one of the biggest.  He was able to capture the imagination of Los Angeles. John Ireland (710 / ESPN):  You never could have created a character that would have been better than Tommy Lasorda.  The personality, the stories, the success on and off the field--he was truly one-of-a-kind.  And he was so colorful, so quotable, that I almost think it distracted from how good of a manager he was.  He won two World Series, four National League pennants, a

Finally -- the year in review

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  The top ten stories of 2020: 10.     Covid-19 9.       Covid-19 8.       Covid-19 7.       Covid-19 6.       Covid-19 5.       Covid-19 4.       Covid-19 3.       Covid-19 2.       Covid-19 1.       Covid-19 OK, now that we have the real top ten out of the way, let’s delve into what happened across the L.A. radio dial in 2020, or as they say "on with the countdown." bloomberg.com The 2020 election: On NPR’s All Things Considered , one of the experts hoped that whichever presidential candidate emerged victorious, that it would be a decisive win as anything less could result in chaos. Talk about prophetic words. As of this writing, all of the news and talk outlets continue to describe a President using every alternative available to at least rally his supporters to cast doubt, let alone protest, the apparent outcome. Then there’s the transition – or lack thereof – of the President-Elect who promises a bipartisan approach to his time in office, even if it see

Gary Owens and me wishing you a Merry Christmas!

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Just like the famous WKRP in Cincinnati  turkey drop, the famous Gary Owens Christmas ad is part of the true traditions of radio. Merry Christmas to all -- and wish me luck as I prepare the top 10 of 2020 (need I say it's been quite a year?)!

Carlos Gaivar (1946 - 2020)

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  I'm sorry to report (a bit belatedly) that former KNX anchor Carlos Gaivar passed away on December 1. He took a disability retirement when he left the station in 2006.  For twelve years, Gaivar had a steady presence providing news throughout the late hours of the days. I've noted there are two difficult shifts in radio. One is morning drive as a talent's day will start around 3 or 4 in the morning, and end while others are finishing dinner. The other is the overnight shift, when talent is working while their circadian rhythm is offering a nudge of "why are you awake?" A Brooklyn native and graduate of the University of Maryland, he spent much of his earlier career in Washington DC. His credits include anchoring, reporting, news writing, talk show host, jazz programmer and DJ at some well known stations including WRC, WJLA-TV, WTTG-TV and WOL-AM. He was working as the business reporter for WTOP radio before arriving at KNX. Gaivar highlighted his Latino heritage

Before he was Squiggy: David L. Lander (1947 - 2020)

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Wikipedia describes  The Credibility Gap  as "an American satirical comedy team active from 1968 through 1979." Starting with the 1968 California primary, the group delivered a humorous perspective on the news, first on KRLA before heading to "underground" (and their studios were really underground) KPPC.  Samples of their silliness are available on YouTube and other venues. What's amazing is the legendary talent who comprised the group. Led by Lew Irwin, The Credibility Gap featured the work of John Gilliland, Thom Beck, Richard Beebe, Len Chandler, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and David L. Lander. Lander (along with McKean) may be better known nationally from the hit ABC show Laverne and Shirley  as Squiggy, the ever present "goofball greaser." But before he became famous on TV, Lander was a vital performer on the local radio dial. Courtesy variety.com Last week, The Credibility Gap lost this member of the troupe. The group founder, Lew Irwin, offer

Another round of short takes

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If anyone can think of a better name for these quick offerings, please let me know - at 5' 4", this title just came naturally to me. Here we go: Of course, Covid-19 is the  story of the year. And KFI and KNX continue to offer comprehensive updates with a fast moving story. At the same time I’m really appreciating Larry Mantle on KPCC. He brings in experts regularly to help listeners gain a very helpful perspective, his program allows reasonable discussion and context amidst the firehose of pandemic information. Speaking of KPCC, I heard almost all of the four-hour marathon of “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” episodes offered on Thanksgiving eve. It was a fun distraction while I was doing some cooking. At the same time, to once again hear shows recorded before a live audience was both a joy and a bit wistful. The latest ratings showed K-EARTH (KRTH) back on top, followed by The WAVE (KTWV), KOST, KFI, and MyFM (KBIG). KLOS and JACK-FM (KCBS-FM) are tied, KIIS had their best book wit

A classic(al) change on the AM dial

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  You have to admire Saul Levine. Past the age when many retire, he continues to be a significant presence in Los Angeles radio. His GO Country 105 (KKGO) continues to succeed, serving local country music fans for the past 13 years. He provides the music for Cal State Long Beach’s K-Jazz (KKJZ), one of the most listened-to jazz stations in the U.S. What characterizes the owner of Mount Wilson Broadcasters is his willingness to take chances. His latest ambition is to bring back classical music – and on the AM dial. “Starting December 1, we’re bringing back classical to L.A., AM radio is the vehicle,” said Levine. The new K-Mozart (KMZT) is replacing the current L.A. Oldies K-Surf (KSUR) “It will be pretty much the same as the K-Mozart of the past, but there’s been a lot of new classical music that’s come out over the last 20 years. We pick the music that the public wants, not what we want.” Note K-Mozart will be on 105.1  FM HD-4 “There’s a change in society. People want to find relax