(note: the first segment was originally scheduled to run last week, but due to space constraints was run this week)
Making a Mess of Mornings
Entercom is making a Mess of mornings … with a new morning show on Amp Radio (KAMP, 97.1 FM).
It started August 3rd and runs weekday mornings from 5 – 10 a.m., with Joey Boy, Aneesh Ratan, Jeana Shepard, and Karla Hernandez presenting The Morning Mess.
In a press release, Entercom Regional President Jeff Federman said that “Joey Boy and The Morning Mess are a true reflection of Southern California. They are diverse, dynamic, socially responsible and completely transparent.”
They also are not in Southern California. Keeping with Entercom’s corporate mandate to do everything on the cheap, the Morning Mash is actually nothing more than a morning show out of sister station KALV-FM/Phoenix, with a bit of local content added in order for them to be able to pretend it’s a local show.
As reported extensively over the past few months by InsideMusicMedia.Com‘s Jerry Del Colliano, Entercom is in the process of reducing its talent payroll by position cuts, salary cuts, and plan to syndicate talent around the country rather than having local programs. “The plan would give the company a chance to syndicate what they consider their top rated (and paid) talent so they can fire largely morning hosts in other markets,” he wrote on July 22nd.
It appears Del Colliano is right on the money.
For a major, full-power station in Los Angeles to use a syndicated morning program is an embarrassment, and an indictment of the leadership of Entercom itself, including CEO David Field. There is absolutely no excuse for the cuts he is making, other than the fact that he is running the company — and all of its stations — into the ground.
There is, at least, a tie to Los Angeles for the team: Ringleader Joey Boy — aka Nachoo — was raised in los Angeles, while Ratan and Shepard were raised in the Valley. Hernandez is a native of Napa. And honestly, I have nothing against the show itself nor any of the hosts … they are seemingly great people. I will also do a full review of the show in a few weeks, once I give them a fair shake and let them get used to doing a show for here even if it isn’t done here. My only complaint has to do with the idea itself – radio is local, and should have local shows. Phoenix is not local. Sorry.
If you grew up in the 1960s and ‘70s, one of the things you would pick up at your local Music City, Sears, Penny’s, Wards, Licorice Pizza, Wherehouse or Music Plus when you went to buy your favorite 45 RPM records was the local radio station music surveys.
In the early days the lists were more akin to station newsletters; The KRLA Beat, for example, had station, artist and music news presented in a newspaper style. The later surveys such as the KHJ Boss 30 lists included a list the top hits of the week, “hitbounds” (that were often not), a little blurb on one of the DJs and perhaps some info on the latest contest.
Essentially they were cheap promotions for a station, and they were a great way to keep up on the latest hits during an era when so much music was available, an “oldie” was anything more than a few months old … today music even a few years old is considered “new.”
Reader Marilyn Kirkpatrick of Covina remembers. “I’ve never seen you mention this in one of your columns, but, for those people who might have listened local L.A. stations in the past, there is a web site — oldiesloon.com — that has weekly lists of charted songs for the following stations: KRLA (1959-1966), KFWB (1958-1967), KHJ (1965-1975) and KFI (1979-1980). These are the weekly lists that used to be available in record stores. Although I realize that these are mere lists, they are a really nice reminder of the music that a lot of us grew up with. They have also been invaluable as resources for class reunions, such as the top songs for the week when we graduated from high school.”
Absolutely. And it’s an interesting way to find songs you haven’t heard for years, as many of the top songs of a station were not necessarily popular nationwide, or for whatever reason just are not played today.
In addition to oldies loon, I found another site that has the actual scans of the surveys from KHJ in addition to a ton of station information focussing on the early years Boss Radio, 1965 through 1973. You can see what they have to offer at https://93khj.blogspot.com.