Radio Waves: 12/14/18

Gift List

Some new books written by local radio personalities have hit the shelves, and they may be perfect for your favorite radio fan.

• Vocal Recall

I am awaiting a convenient time for the both of us to meet so I can intervene him regarding his new book, but one great gift idea for this holiday season is Neil Ross’ Vocal Recall, an autobiography of sorts that tells the story of Ross’ life in radio and his transition to a career that actually pays real money: voiceovers.

Ross has a long history on both radio and voiceover. I remember first hearing him as “Natural Neil” on KZLA (now KBUE, 94.3 FM), known at the time as simply “Ninety-Four FM” and playing soft rock during that format’s heyday. He also worked at such varied stations as KYA/San Francisco, KCBQ/San Diego and the late-great KMPC (now KSPN, 710 AM) hewer in Los Angeles, among others. 

The book, which to radio geeks is hard to put down due to the intelligent writing and the immaculate memory of Ross, traces his history through radio, the Navy and into voiceover announcing … a career that brought him as high as announcing for the Academy Awards … and numerous other television programs.

I’ll save the rest for later, but I highly recommend the book which is available in paperback and an Amazon Kindle edition.

• Lar On the Air

I have not read this one yet but I have seen the cover and glanced. Written by Larry McCabe, known on the air as Larry McKay at KHJ (930 AM) and many other stations in Los Angeles, the book is “an oft’ times humorous journal of my many adventures over my career,” according to the author himself.  “You’ll find that I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time—sort of Forrest Gump–like,” he says. I hope to review it soon; it too is available in paperback and as a Kindle.

Shotgun’s Trains

“I’ve wanted a train set for a long time,” SiriusXM Sixties on (Channel) 6 afternoon host Shotgun Tom Kelly told me a long time ago. Now he has one, and he wants to show it to you.

Through the production magic of retired ((KFI, KOST, KRTH, KTWV) programmer Jhani Kaye — who has a pretty nifty train set himself — Kelly has put his set on display via YouTube. Just search for “Shotgun Tom Kelly’s HO Train Layout” and you’ll see it not only in action, but a time-lapse of it being built.

I’m going to have to get my Lionel “O” Gauge set out of the attic. I’m feeling inspired …

Top Pay

Howard Stern is radio’s highest-paid personality, according to Forbes Magazine, earning an estimated $90 million in 2018. This beats out Rush Limbaugh who “only” earned $84.5 million, Ryan Seacrest ($74 million), Sean Hannity ($36 million) and Glenn Beck ($8.5 million) rounded out the top-five.

Not all of the salaries are from radio itself. Seacrest obviously has televisions as well, Hannity has a cable television show, Limbaugh has an online subscription service and Beck has a media publishing company, for example.


KOST (103.5 FM) morning host Ellen K has been selected to announce the 61st Grammy Awards to be held February 10th of next year.

KFMB/San Diego (100.7 FM) has dropped “rock” in favor of adult contemporary music using the name “100.7 San Diego.” Catchy.

KFI (640 AM) held its 8th annual PastaThon last Friday, once again raising money to help Chef Bruno Serato’s “Caterina’s Club” feed hungry children.