Showing posts from November, 2021

A Thanksgiving tradition

Perhaps the greatest Thanksgiving moment ever broadcast had to do with radio. Sort of. As every radio aficionado knows, Thanksgiving means the infamous turkey drop episode of WKRP in Cincinnati. It turns out it actually has a non-fiction milieu. Hugh Wilson, creator of the TV show which ran from 1978 – 1982, was interviewed by the Archive of American Television . It was a radio GM whose admission to Wilson inspired the story: Jerry Blum, who was the general manager of WQXI [in Atlanta], told me that he had been fired from a Texas station for throwing turkeys out of a helicopter. I said to Jerry, "You just won me an Emmy. That’s really funny." Richard Sanders as WRKP's Les Nessman There has been dispute about this tale, with some claims the story was embellished (one version stated turkeys were tossed from a pickup truck, not a helicopter). Still, with all due apologies to the turkeys in question (and to any vegetarian or vegan readers), the mere thought of a flying fowl f

A tribute to The Sound and a few short takes

  Four (4) years ago, I wrote the following piece for about the upcoming demise of 100.3 The Sound (KSWD). I offer it as a tribute to the station many still remember. And mourn. As The Sound prepares to hang up the headphones, I join the many mourning the loss of “Southern California’s Classic Rock.” There are many stations playing good tunes, yet The Sound was different. The music was the soundtrack of my formative years, which likely biases my affection for their playlist. But I found I could leave my radio on 100.3, even sitting through (the relatively short) commercial blocks, and it wasn’t just the records (wow, that word dates me) they played. To many, the repeated lament about the “old days” of radio is likely tiresome. Millennials don’t have fan clubs for their favorite radio DJs – heck, besides morning talent (and even then) I wonder if a millennial can name a current DJ? Still, there are those of us still alive who grew up with our FM receivers (what a novelty i

A post-Orlando edition of short takes

  Liberty from iHeart?: It’s reported Liberty Media, which purchased $600 million of iHeart Media’s debt for $490 million, is selling their entire stake in the company. The debt was converted to about 6 million shares of iHeart after the company reduced their debt load via bankruptcy. The Colorado-based company is now unloading all of their shares for a reported $150 million. In practical terms, it means Liberty Media, headed by John Malone, has exited the broadcast radio business after only a year, abandoning plans to create a media conglomerate. The company already owns Sirius XM satellite radio (which fully owns the Pandora streaming service) as well as Live Nation Entertainment. Potentially the company had the opportunity to dominate how American audiences accessed live and recorded music. Arguably, the sale means another major media company has decided to drop traditional terrestrial radio.   Dead air: A couple of weeks ago, I received several messages telling me KNX was off