Category: Features

Frazer Smith Returns to KLOS

| June 30, 2014

Renowned “Too Hip” Phrase is Back!

By Mike Kinosian
RadioInfo
Managing Editor/West Coast bureau Chief

kinosianFrazer SmithLOS ANGELES —Especially in flavor-of-the-month Los Angeles, several decades is the equivalent of numerous lifetimes, as “eaten up and spit out” is the cruel — yet highly realistic — summation for a countless number of those in this city’s vast entertainment complex.

Movie/film stars are supposedly only as good as their current box-office; singer/songwriters only for their last (approximately) three and a half minutes; and television and radio talents for their most recent ratings book.

Take an extended hiatus and expect the comeback to be greeted with a collective yawn.

Thankfully, there are exceptions to the rule; a devoted legion of committed fans is extremely hopeful and already demonstrating that “Too Hip” Frazer Smith is in that exclusionary category.

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Alice in Radioland

| May 15, 2014

Not-so-playn Jayn and company doing live and local with passion

By Jeff McKay
RadioInfo
Special Features Correspondent

 

mckayjeffSAN FRANCISCO — When it comes to music radio, one is reminded of the days of the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s when stations broke new music, had live DJs on the air during the day and night, and the only syndicated programming heard covering several hours was on the weekend when the likes of Dick Clark or Casey Kasem did their countdowns or novelty acts such as Doctor Demento performed their zany specialties.

Fast-forward to 2014, and a station’s morning show could come from a few time zones away, the midday show could be voice-tracked from a DJ in a different cluster, and a live DJ may not even be found on the station.

All that being said, there are still radio stations in the nation that have live and local DJs during the day and evening, take pride in breaking new music and new artists before they hit the mainstream, and work to create lasting bonds between the radio station and the listeners using old-school radio ideas blended with new technology.

Welcome to “Alice”

alice - blueFrom its local DJs from morning until midnight, heavy use of social media through Facebook and Twitter, intimate ties to artists, and a management team dedicated to localism, KLLC-FM, known as “Alice@97.3” has become a model of how to make live and local radio work as it celebrates its 18th year serving San Francisco and the Bay Area.

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Barry Scott and his “Lost 45s” Set Standard for Dedication, Longevity and Historical Pop Fundamentalism

| March 18, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
RadioInfo
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

kinosianscottbarryLOS ANGELESUniversally attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius, there is marvelous credence to the adage, “Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.”

Highly engaging, tireless, self-described radio “geek” Barry Scott is among the fortunate attaining such blissful satisfaction.

Boasting an encyclopedia-like mind of classic hits-oldies trivia, Scott has been the one-man band brains behind the weekly, three-hour “Lost 45s” and its daily short-form feature companion.

Some might equal the level of passion he or she has for their job, but it is inconceivable the zeal for their professional endeavors would exceed that of this fiercely loyal graduate of Boston’s Emerson College.

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Picking Songs in Jacksonville

| March 11, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
RadioInfo

 

kinosian LOS ANGELESNon-radio people perusing classified job listings in this business probably scratch their heads in befuddlement at such jargon as “tight board” and “good/golden ears essential.”

What on earth could any of that mean?

Technological advancements have virtually remedied the “tight board” syndrome; however, is there still a demand for programmers and music directors with “ears?”

Considerably more than being highly unfortunate, it is actually appalling that fervent passion has left the music selection process for some quarters of the industry, although to be fair, not completely pervasive.

Companies of virtually all sizes though have format-specific templates for the properties they own. That component is hardly new, of course, but what has become disturbing in recent years is an erosion regarding zeal or gusto in “picking the hits.” It seems to have morphed into much more of a robotic-like process.

Hopefully, you have been digesting the words of recommendation from RADIOINFO music editor/director Duane Doobie, who practically screams that, “For the sake of radio’s future, as well as your own career, program and present music as if your life depends on it.”

Nothing could be more emphatic than that. Our own “D.D.” has been searching for those who possess “golden ears” and, more importantly, those who are allowed to put those ears to good use on their station(s).

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Farewell to a Jim Dandy Gentleman

| March 5, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
RadioInfo

Jim Lange #3LOS ANGELES — The broadcasting industry took another hit last week as Jim Lange succumbed to a heart attack.

In much the same way the late Dick Clark never seemed to age, some were shocked that the always youthful-looking Lange was actually 81 when he passed away at his Mill Valley, California home.

Several years ago – during my tenure as special features editor for the trade publication Inside Radio – the two of us had an extended conversation; the result was one of my in-depth personality profiles.

That chat laid the foundation for what became a continuing friendship. It was a privilege to remain in contact with the gracious and hospitable Lange, who was most deserving of the “Gentleman Jim” handle.

As a tribute, here are edited/condensed/updated highlights from that profile, which began by theorizing, if those at Guinness ever concocted a world record category for “Person Throwing The Most Kisses on Television,” Lange would be the hands-down winner.

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Part Three – “Radio is Beyond Radio Now”

| February 12, 2014

RadioInfo Three-Part Special Feature

The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse

By Jeff McKay
RadioInfo
Special features Correspondent

 

mckayjeffNEW YORK — Since he ventured out on his own and started what has become not only a highly successful syndication company, but one that can truly serve the needs of both the largest and even the smallest radio station, Danno Wolkoff has known that he cannot simply rest on his laurels.  Wolkoff will be the first to admit that his company, in order to be and remain successful, must change with radio’s changing times from how companies do business and manage their own businesses, to how companies must do more with less, and the ever-changing technology that could cost a company listeners and their survival.

Envision Networks has changed with the changing times in radio, something Wolkoff identifies as being driven by technology which is now the catalyst for these changes and placing traditional radio at a crossroads.

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Part Two – Taking the Vision and Creating Envision

| February 11, 2014

RadioInfo Three-Part Special Feature

The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse

By Jeff McKay
RadioInfo
Special features Correspondent

 

mckayjeffNEW YORK — When Clear Channel came along and bought MJI Broadcasting in November, 1999, and then merged them into Premiere Networks, the idea of leaving and starting his own company was far from his thoughts.  However, Danno Wolkoff soon found out that creating new programs he was trying to push wasn’t in the plans for Premiere at that time, and was told simply, “If we want a new show we’ll buy it,” which included shows like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.  Wolkoff realized his future wasn’t at Premiere.

At MJI, Wolkoff was accustomed to building programs from the ground-up.  This was not how Premiere was operating at the time, and realizing that sooner or later the end could come for him at Clear Channel and Premiere, Wolkoff began devising “Plan B.”  The question for Wolkoff would be in which direction should he go, to work for someone as he had his entire career to-date, or start his own company?

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Part One – ‘I Didn’t See a Future for Me in Radio’

| February 10, 2014

RadioInfo Three-Part Special Feature

The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse

By Jeff McKay
RadioInfo
Special features Correspondent

mckayjeffwolkoffdannoNEW YORK — Like many people who go to college with a plan for what they want to do when they graduate, Danno Wolkoff went to Syracuse University with a goal to wind up in television production.  Fate, and the prodding from senior management at MJI Broadcasting instead sent him in the direction of sales and affiliate relations.  Wolkoff discovered he had a gift for sales, and doubled his income in one year.  It was through sales and affiliate relations work that he climbed the corporate ladder at MJI, expanding and growing their sales offices nationwide.  When Clear Channel acquired MJI and merged it into Premiere Radio Networks, he became VP of Affiliate Relations.

However, it wasn’t long before he began to realize that the hands-on and creative approach he had at MJI wasn’t translating to the growth concepts and business model of Premiere and Clear Channel.  Wolkoff faced a career crossroad, and would make a decision that would change his life and become an important source of programming and services for radio.

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Radio’s Version of the Olympics Now Underway

| January 20, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
RadioInfo

kinosianLOS ANGELES — Thanks to the Olympic Games, the world comes together every four years through athletic competition.

The radio industry has its own equivalent of that each year, but unlike what will take place next month in Sochi (Russia, 2/7-23) – there will not be any heated bobsled or luge rivalries.

As part of the New York Festivals’ “World’s Best Radio Programs,” entrants will be evaluated on what they do best, and it has been that way ever since these particular honors were established in 1982.
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‘Super Jock’ Larry Lujack Passes Away at 73

| December 19, 2013

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
RadioInfo

 

LOS ANGELES — Notwithstanding words such as “legendary” and “iconic” are grossly overused, Larry Lujack was nonetheless an unquestionable legendary, iconic Chicago personality. The radio world lost a quintessential on-air talent Wednesday night when the 73-year-old “Super Jock” passed away at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Especially in the Midwest, countless air personalities hoping to advance to the biggest of the big time when AM radio was king would talk up vocals on audition tapes, liberally using signature slogans like “The Big 89,” “The Rock oflujacklarry Chicago,” and “Music Radio, W-L-S.” The list of WLS’ on-air roster read like a veritable “Who’s Who” of the Top 40 glory days and there was no bigger name or more dominant personality on that – or any other – list, than “Uncle Lar,” Larry Lujack was. One could not possibly hope to find a more apt description for Lujack than his “Super Jock” moniker, although last night, his wife Judith commented, “He never thought of himself as the ‘Super Jock’ or this larger-than-life personality. He was just Larry, he loved those around him.”

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