Category: Features

Back When My Hair Was Long

| October 23, 2014

By Michael Harrison
RadioInfo
Publisher

The following essay was written at the invitation of the members of the legendary band GUNHILL ROAD to serve as the liner notes for their forthcoming third album, “Every 40 Years” scheduled for official release in early November 2014.

 

New York City, 1971.  The Boomers were coming of age.

I was 22 and hosting the morning show at WNEW-FM.  In what now seems like a mystical time and space, this memorable radio station nicknamed the “New Groove” was a veritable cathedral of the burgeoning counter-culture. The DJs working there were its high priests of rock.

I am using the term “rock” loosely – just as we did then.

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Promoting More Music via Radio Allies

| October 2, 2014

RadioInfo Personality Profile: RCA’s Senior VP promotion, Adrian Moreira

By Duane Doobie RadioInfo Music Editor/Director Adrian Moreira NEW YORK — Given that it is the fourth-largest radio market and easily one of America’s most cosmopolitan cities, San Francisco is anything but a middle-of-nowhere town. But, coming from a lower middle-class background in the suburbs — the son of a mechanic father and a stay-at-home mother — Adrian Moreira most likely felt the notion of working in New York City as a major label executive was a bit far-fetched. Life-Changing Call Having spent his formative years in San Francisco’s East Bay suburbs where he was exposed to copious commercial and noncommercial alternative radio outlets, self-described “music junkie” Moreira wound up helping to program his Chabot College radio station. Those duties at the Hayward, California facility were shared with his best friend, Aaron Axelsen, now the assistant program director/music director for CBS Radio San Francisco alternative outlet KITS “Live 105.” Read More

“This Was Christmas” Redefines Christmas Programming and Marketing

| August 28, 2014

By Jeff McKay
RadioInfo
Special Features Correspondent

 

Christmas B2 logomckayjeffNEW YORK — It seems the closer we get to Halloween, the closer we get to music stations trading in their established formats to try to beat others in their markets in a flip to playing Christmas songs.  Stations from Boston to Los Angeles and Dallas to Minneapolis will all make the move, all playing the very same songs from Bing Crosby’s “I’ll be Home For Christmas” to the many remakes of “White Christmas” to Lou Monte’s “Dominick the Donkey.”  The overall “holiday” sound of each station will be virtually the same, whether they’re broadcasting in New York City or the smallest of markets – that is, except for an oldies station in Brainerd, Minnesota whose programmers have taken holiday music and weaved it with everything from world events to old-time commercials, blockbuster films and hit TV shows to create a seasonal, successful and very profitable “This Was Christmas.”

The major addition of “This Was Christmas” on KUAL-FM was the brainchild of BL Broadcasting’s managing partner Mike Boen and KBLB-FM morning host Dan Goshey.  What they have created is hours of feature programming they spice into their Christmas music format.  The reward for listeners is a journey back in time to favorite moments in their youth, and a new way for young and old radio listeners to connect to the station.  As for KUAL-FM, the reward along with listener satisfaction comes in the form of insanely increased ad revenue, to the tune of over 110%.

Now, as KUAL plans an additional 20 one-hour shows, taking the series from 1945 to 1999 with 55 hours of compelling radio, it’s time to share that unique holiday programming with other radio stations around the nation, as well as the chance to ramp up holiday revenue.

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Remembering Don Pardo

| August 19, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
RadioInfo
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief 

kinosianpardo donTucson — While many in the industry continue to agonize over the peculiar details following the death of Casey Kasem and the tragic suicide of Robin Williams, news late last night produced yet more chills, as we learned that Don Pardo’s golden voice has been silenced.

Often Imitated

Countless professionals in the industry have strived to emulate the cadence, delivery, and unmistakable sound of the longtime NBC announcer. It is next to preposterous to believe another talent will do the opening cast credits to “Saturday Night Live” or that anyone else could have introduced Art Fleming (“Don Pardo – tell him what he’s won”) on the original daytime version of “Jeopardy.” In fact, he did a memorable cameo on “Weird Al” Yankovic’s 1984 parody song “I Lost on Jeopardy.”

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Frazer Smith Returns to KLOS

| June 30, 2014

Renowned “Too Hip” Phrase is Back!

By Mike Kinosian
RadioInfo
Managing Editor/West Coast bureau Chief

Frazer 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

scottbarryLOS 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

 

 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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