Radio Waves 8/8/14

Blood Drive a Success

KLOS (95.5 FM) had another hugely successful blood drive at the end of July. The five-day event collected almost 8000 (I am told it was just shy of 7900) units of blood at 20 locations throughout Southern California.

This is the 33rd year KLOS has hosted the drive, and is consistently one of the country’s most successful drives of its type anywhere.

Openings at KFWB

Perhaps the new all sports format won’t necessarily be the awful CBS Sports Radio syndicated format everyone, including me, is predicting for KFWB (980 AM) when they change this coming September. Employment opportunities included, among other things, on-air talent (at least as of press time) at Would be nice to see a local focus at least part of the day.


It was 33 years ago when MTV — Music Television — made its debut on cable companies across America. The exact date was August 1st, 1981.

For those under 40, MTV once played what was called “music videos.” Hosted by “VJs” Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, Martha Quinn (all of whom can be found on SiriusXM’s “80s on 8” Channel 8) and the late, great JJ Jackson, the channel quickly became a trendsetter for music, breaking both songs and new bands.

I’m not sure anyone seriously thought MTV would “kill” radio, though the first song played on the network was the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.” What happened instead is that MTV either helped or was part of a resurgence of top-40 radio. Across the country, stations like KIIS-FM (102.7) started dominating the ratings just as MTV was taking flight. Coincidence? Probably not.

For the same reason that a format paradox often exists in radio, in which two competing stations actually build an audience together that is higher for both than each station would do in a format exclusively, MTV brought attention back to popular music after years of decline in the popularity of top-40.

And since interest in popular music was on the rise due to the popularity of music videos on MTV as well as local shows … but you could not take your TV in your car or to school … radio was able to capitalize and build on that popularity. KIIS set FM ratings records for the era, all the while competitors such as KIQQ (now KSWD, 100.3 FM) and alternative stations such as KROQ (106.7 FM) did quite well too. It was a fun time for both music and radio. Not necessarily cause and effect, mind you, but they MTV and radio did seem to help each other.

Unfortunately, MTV is nothing more than a stomping ground for half-baked reality programs these days. And traditional top-40 radio — the type that plays the best of all popularity musical genres? Dead as a doornail. Weird …


Neil Saavedra — host of KFI’s (640 AM) Fork Report and The Jesus Show — has been named assistant programmer of the top-rated talk station, reporting to Program Director Robin Bertolucci.