Radio Waves: 1/19/18

Sotelo and Moote to host Amp mornings

Amp Radio (97.1 FM) is finally getting a new morning show.

Former morning man Carson Daly left the station in July to (supposedly) spend more time with family, though I think money had much to do with it as former owner CBS was cutting numerous positions all last year. Regardless, the station has been without an “official” morning show since Daly left, and numerous observers speculated that perhaps Amp would simply go without.

Putting those rumors to rest, Amp announced last week that Edgar Sotelo and Brian Moote would have wake-up duties beginning in February, though no exact date was given.

Sotelo was last heard on Amp Radio in New York, where he hosted mornings until that station changed to alternative in November. Moote was part of WWWQ/Atlanta’s “The Bert Show.”

Both face formidable competition from a variety of stations such as Alt 98.7’s The Woody Show, KLOS’s (95.5 FM)) Heidi, Frosty and Frank, and Amp’s own sister station KROQ’s Kevin and Bean. 

But Amp’s main competition is KIIS (102.7 FM), and morning man Ryan Seacrest has been literally calling in his show from New York as he hosts — at roughly the same time — television’s Live! with Kelly Ripa … his radio show acting as a mere promotional tool for his television shows and appearances. This leaves KIIS potentially vulnerable, and may make for some interesting competition.

Kevin on the Weekend

Speaking of Amp Radio, if you haven’t heard Kevin (Schatz) on Amp weekends (6 a.m. to 12 noon, I believe), you’re missing out. The South Bay local boy plays the hits with a special mustache twist …

Cuts at KCAL

The problem of declining advertising revenues in radio are apparently not hurting just the large group owners that caused the problem. Last week the Inland Empire’s KCAL (96.7 FM) announced cuts that meant the loss of longtime morning hosts James “Jimbo” Smith and Tiffany Angelo, morning producer Steven Kono, and 42-year KCAL personality Michael Stewart, who had been doing overnights.

“The cuts took us by surprise,” said KCAL programmer Darly Norsell who explained that it was even more of a surprise as the station has been doing well in ratings lately.

The cuts apparently came down straight from the station’s owners, Anaheim Broadcasting, which also owns KOLA (99.9 FM) once owned the former KEZY in Anaheim, hence the name. Anaheim Broadcasting is run by Tim Sullivan, once a general manager of KHJ (930 AM) and later KWST (now KPWR, 105.9 FM).

KCAL General Manager Jeff Parke told RAMP.Com that “ownership decided they just couldn’t keep operating KCAL with such high expenses,” adding “this has been really tough, to say the least. All the people we let go are like family.”

Patrick Tish, the remaining member of the former morning show, now hosts a music-intensive show; Frank Garcia, who serves as the station’s production director, has taken overnights. No format change is planned. KCAL was one of the stations I applied to years ago. They turned me down …

This is an unfortunate situation; I hope KCAL can get back on better financial footing. We need local stations!