Sounding a lot like Christmas
Still a week before Thanksgiving, and I haven’t heard a Christmas or Holiday song yet.
Of course that’s because I have not tuned in to KOST (103.5 FM), which launched its annual holiday marathon at 5 p.m. on November 9th with a special holiday party featuring Gwen Stephanie.
And KOST wasn’t even the first – SiriusXM Radio has been playing it on multiple channels (3, 4 and 70) since November 1st, and will add more and more through Christmas Eve, December 24th.
Why the rush? Ratings. KOST has dominated the holiday ratings period since it began playing holiday music around now since Jhani Kaye was programmer years ago. And while you would think it’s too early — certainly in my mind, waiting until after Thanksgiving Day would be appropriate — you’d be wrong: starting earlier has only extended the time KOST dominates into the “December” ratings period which is happening right now.
So dominate is KOST with the format that other stations can only hope to take some if it’s thunder. Ask anyone what local station plays holiday music and the likelihood is they will say KOST. My hunch would be that if they didn’t play the music, people would actually get mad and ratings would suffer all year from the backlash.
Years ago when I more actively made fun of the decision to switch so early, I was chastised by a reader who explained that the music just puts them in a good mood. “It makes me feel good,” he explained. I imagine if psychologists studied the phenomenon they might find ties to happy childhoods or good memories of past holiday seasons in much the same way that drives the popularity of oldies music in general.
I expect Go Country 105 to go all holiday music around Thanksgiving as well, though it was not announced when I wrote this.
If you want info on the SiriusXM channels, go to SiriusXM.com.
Video and Audio NOW
If you listened to the radio in the 1970s and ‘80s, there is no way you could forget this: “Bellflower, Torrance, Canoga Park, Pasadena, West Covina, Reseda, Van Nuys, Ontario, Upland, Pomona, San Bernardino, Riverside … Cal Stereo, NOW!!!”
That was the famous tag line for Cal Stereo, as read by Tom Campbell, a Bay-area radio personality who became the spokesman for various local businesses in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and I am sure others. Here he was best known for Cal Stereo, and in that era he used to list his home (and mobile! Who had a mobile number back then?) phone number in the local phone book!
Campbell is still doing commercials and his voice seemingly hasn’t changed a bit. Now he’s the spokesman for Video and Audio Center and has the trademark Campbell delivery he is famous for both in commercials and on top-40 radio.
Today he’s not just a pitchman; he is listed in various on line stories as the Video and Audio Center’s marketing director and chief technologist.
I finally got through to someone at SiriusXM who will be sending the information on reception problems to their engineering staff; the last time I wrote about it was in June so hopefully I can get some solid information asap.
Interestingly, since installing an aftermarket tuner into my wife’s Enclave, the reception has been solid – no noticed dropouts in three weeks. I am not sure if it is the weather, or if – like in my Silverado – the newer aftermarket tuners, or the newest SiriusXM satellites they use for the signal, are more robust than the older Sirius or XM systems.
Was that really a KHJ-era “more music” jingle I heard coming from Jack-FM (93.1) as I looked at a dining table at American Furniture Guild in San Pedro? I always wondered why CBS and now Entercom don’t use the 93.1 FM frequency to bring back an FM version of 93/KHJ.
Losing it All
“Trying to grasp the situation this morning. I lost everything yesterday when my home was destroyed in the Woolsey Fire. My family is safe and that is all that matters. Things keeping popping in my head that I left behind, but we will build from our ashes. Thanks for the love.”
That was a post on Twitter from Frank Kramer, part of the popular Frosty, Heidi and Frank Show on KLOS. The news was confirmed by KLOS programmer Keith Cunningham, who told me “It is true – his house burned on Friday afternoon – lost everything.”
Fire does not discriminate. To everyone affected, I am so sorry.