Radio Waves: 3/6/20

Weatherly leaves Entercom for Spotify

After nearly 30 years with the company that most recently became Entercom, Kevin Weatherly has resigned, and will be joining Spotify.

Weatherly is a highly-respected programmer and music director, and is said to be instrumental in the successes of Jack-FM (93.1), Amp Radio (97.1 FM), and the continued success of KROQ (106.7 FM). He started with the company — at the time Infinity — when he was hired to program KROQ in 1992 after achieving success at the former Q-106 in San Diego.

That he survived as long as he did for the same company is remarkable, and a testament to his skills as a radio guy. Even programmer and manager of competing stations spoke highly of him. But when Entercom bought the CBS owned and operated radio stations in a deal that worked out to be basically free, many felt his days were numbered. Entercom CEO David Field is too cheap to allow his employees to make much, and it is said that Weatherly’s salary was quite good.

Not a good match for Entercom, no matter how important you are to the company. So while the Spotify move may be an amazing new challenge to Weatherly, I would not be surprised if the rumors are true and that he left knowing that the next contract negotiations were going to include a brutal cut.

Funny thing, though. At Spotify, Weatherly may just get the last laugh. I wish him well. And hope he does. In the meantime Mike Kaplan will take on Weatherly’s duties at KROQ … an interesting development since before joining Entercom, Kaplan programmed KROQ competitor Alt 8.7 and was responsible for bringing The Woody Show to Los Angeles. 

KTWV (94.7 FM) Operations Manager Ralph Stewart will do the same at Jack, while  and KRTH (101.1 FM) and Brand Managers Chris Ebbott and Yesi Ortiz will serve as interim programmers at Amp, while a national search for a successor who will work really cheap is held.

Readers Write

Q: “I read and enjoy your articles. I have a 97 year old mother who is bedridden now and slowly declining. She does find music relaxing and keeps her calm. I got a small AM/FM radio but cannot find a station that would play as you called it Beautiful Music … we used to call it elevator music. Would you have a suggestion of a station number on AM or FM or both that would fit this description? The less talk the better.”  — April Ingle

A: Unfortunately, no, at least on regular radio. I looked at the (outdated) list of radio stations for your area and there was nothing of the sort. Not even a soft rock station.

You can find the list at https://www.radiolineup.com/locate/Murrieta-CA

However, if you have the ability to have a computer or smart phone nearby (or can connect it to the radio you bought, there are apps like TuneIn that feature Beautiful Music. I found this list with a quick search:

https://tunein.com/search/?query=beautiful%20music

I also found this with a general search: https://www.accuradio.com/beautiful/

Let me know if you are able to find something you like.

Q: “Of all the sports and all the media, I feel the best matchup is baseball on the radio. So I am most interested in your item today on the A’s. They’ve had quite a nomadic radio history, including when owner Charlie Finley had them on the student station at Cal. Compare that to the cross-bridge Giants, who have been on ‘giant’ KNBR since ’79. One of the joys of driving around SoCal at night is pulling in their broadcasts.

“The LA Kings I believe are in their second year of not being on over-the-air radio. I wondered if you could perhaps gives us an update on how that is working out for them.

“As a radio aficionado since I grew up listening to KMOX, I always enjoy your column.” — John Lowe, Seal Beach

A: Kings games were never really big on the radio here, though I do remember them on the original KRLA (1110 AM) and other stations from years gone by. My hockey-fanatic friend Mark was a huge Kings fan, but I don’t think even he listened to them on the radio. 

But to get to your main point, it certainly seems like broadcast television and cable, with so many games available, are killing play by play games on the radio. Unfortunate, as often the radio play by play announcers are better than those on television. 

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