Another round of "short takes"


Thanks to the start of the new semester, I'm a bit behind. For now, here's another edition of "short takes":

We’re working on a story about Eric Tracy, a long-time L.A. radio personality best known for his work covering the Dodgers. Tomorrow (Monday) he begins a regimen of both chemotherapy and radiation treatment for esophageal cancer. Keep him in your prayers and good thoughts.

During my undergraduate days at UC Davis, many stations in the Sacramento area signed off at night, including all-news KFBK. Then they introduced this overnight program with someone with a New York sound syndicated via the Mutual Broadcasting System. That individual was Larry King. His interviews were great fun to listen to, also interesting was the two-hour “Open Phone America” segment that was live coast-to-coast, where King had a reputation for gruffly “cutting off the bores.” Talk about someone with nine lives (a heart attack, lung cancer, quadruple bypass, prostate cancer, Type II diabetes) he managed to somehow persevere until Covid-19. Ah, to hear King once again interview the President of Mutual Radio (only hardcore listeners of the overnight show will understand this one).

If you haven’t subscribed to Steve Edwards’ podcast “The Ramble” (via both Facebook and Instagram), it’s worth your attention. In addition to some thoughtful commentary about the day’s news, every Friday he features a conversation with Dorothy Lucey, former “Good Day L.A” co-host.

I remember when my friends used to mention what Jim Rome had said on his syndicated sports talk program. I happened to hear his show on KCBS-FM HD3 a couple of days ago. His annual “Smack-Off” was a fun topic of conversation among my friends who listened to sports talk (I was always a fan of “Doc” Mike DiTolla). Without a "traditionally accessible" local outlet, I’m not sure any of them still think of Rome, who got his start at “XTRA Sports 690,” a signal that sailed into L.A.

I’m asking because I really don’t know. KUSC states they’re “listener supported,” but I don’t recall them doing pledge drives. I’m used to hearing these drives on KPCC (which is why I own a KPCC mug) and KCRW (we also support the Santa Monica outlet), just wondering what KUSC does. Just curious.

A story in the L.A. Times mentioned the Meruelo group, who also own KDAY, CALI 93.9 (KLLI), KLOS an Power 106 (KPWR) purchased KHWY-TV (Channel 22) for $40 million in 2011. They recently made $120 million by selling part of the station’s electromagnetic spectrum.

As I said, a story on Eric Tracy is coming up. Stay tuned. If you want notices when I update the blog, please contact me at As always, I welcome your feedback, just not in my headphones.


  1. Thanks for clueing us in...will be praying for Eric's recovery.

  2. Hi Alan,

    KUSC definitely does pledge drives. Listen long enough and you'll run into one for sure. They always end with Jim Svejda playing Beethoven's 9th symphony on his evening show. On the subject of Larry King: does anybody know where I might get hold of some airchecks from his Open Phone America days? This was talk radio at its best, in my opinion. But I can't find recordings on youtube or elsewhere. Perhaps you or one of your listeners can help?

    Jared (Charles) Kliger

    1. Thanks for the info. I can see Jim Sveda doing that. I listen to KPCC more than KUSC, that may be why I miss their pledge drives. I don't mind these drives, by the way, but it's a tune out for my wife (though we do support KPCC).

  3. Hi Alan,

    I had the pleasure of interviewing Larry King ten years ago for his (then) upcoming Las Vegas show. He had great instincts as a guest as well as a host. Here's a link to the interview:

    Ira David Sternberg


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