Radio Waves: May 20, 2016

K-Beach Wants More … Again!

This is the weekend Long Beach State student-run radio station K-Beach ( and 88.1 HD3) is holding its 88.1 hour fundraiser, raising money for operations and equipment. Last year’s theme was “we want more,” and they got it … $9000, almost doubling the very modest goal of $5000.

This year the special programming runs begins Thursday May 19th at 8 a.m. and runs through Sunday May 22nd at 12 midnight.Rumor has it that I am a guest with LA Radio Studio’s Mike Stark Sunday at 7 p.m., but neither I, Stark nor station advisor Danny Lemos have confirmed this at press time … I guess I’ll find out when you do.

No More Oldies

I have to admit this caught me by surprise. It was just recently that I wrote of the great music that was once found on KRTH’s (101.1 FM) digital HD2 radio stream …

“I was shocked this week to tune into KRTH HD2 on May 11th and find the great classic 50’s and 60’s oldies gone and the kiddie pop junk of Radio Disney defiling it’s place on my HD radio dial! KRTH HD2 had been my favorite local broadcast radio music station in LA for the last few years and I can’t believe it’s just gone and probably for good.

“Couldn’t the station owner have found some other LA market station they own to attach Radio Disney to and leave the KRTH Classic oldies format alone, or at least move the rock oldies to an HD channel on a sister station in LA? It’s a crying shame to think a great rock oldies format like that will never again grace LA’s airwaves. It now seems that LA’s last radio broadcast link to the ‘Boss Rock’ glory days of 93 KHJ AM in the 1960’s is gone for good” — Rick Koenig

Or this:

“I’m ANGRY KRTH HD 2 IS RADIO DISNEY! We have 1110 AM (KDIS) for that … and what kid has access to an HD radio anyway? Main KRTH plays stuff I can’t handle; KRTH HD2 played what I call KHJ music. I was 9-1/2 when KHJ started in 1965 and listened since day two of Boss Radio. Disney parked on KRTH HD2 — think 1110 AM is for sale?” — Joe Costanzo

It’s a bit of a strange move, considering that KDIS is the sole remaining station in the Radio Disney chain — the mouse sold 23 of 24 stations it previously owned by mid 2015, holding on to flagship KDIS for its studios and distribution network. It was well-known that Disney Radio would replace those stations with HD streams — a horrendously bad idea in my opinion, due to reader Koenig’s observation that few kids own HD radios. But to run HD in a city with a full-power AM? Why have both?

An email to KRTH manager Dan Kearney has gone unanswered so far, but my assumption on KRTH side is that the decision is purely financial. KRTH made little money on the K-EARTH Classics format due to limited commercials, and it is certain that Disney is paying for the ability to run the format on the KRTH HD stream. The big followup question is — why didn’t KRTH at least put the Classics format on an HD3 stream? KKGO runs three streams and the sound quality on all is excellent. KRTH should do that and then sell the format … there is no reason for a lack of advertising on a format the station has exclusively.

KDIS once had an HD signal as well, which made the station sound much better than traditional narrowband AM. I’ve heard rumblings that the station is back to broadcasting in analog AM stereo, but I have not gotten my Carver AM stereo tuner out of the attic to confirm. Regardless, is there any reason to hold on to 1110 if the stream is already available on HD? As well as iPhone, Android, and online?

As to alternatives, there are few, at least on air. The focus of KRTH Classics was 1950s and ‘60s pop and rock. If you don’t mind going older, the HD3 stream on KKGO (105.1 FM) is a wonderful adult standards format. But that’s it — nothing else locally. Perhaps 1110 could resurrect the oldies format and put the KRLA call letters back where they belong, rather than using them for a talk(?!?) format on 870 AM.

The best bet for now? Get a membership ($10 donation) to ReelRadio.Com and download — for personal use only, please! — actual airchecks from such stations as KHJ, playing those same oldies when they were new. Presented the DJs that made them hits: Robert W. Morgan, The Real Don Steele, Charlie Tuna, and more. You’ll drive your family crazy as I often do, but it’s so much fun to hear KHJ playing top-40 music circa 1965-1980 in your car, just as you heard it originally. Or your parents heard it originally, as the case may be.

On Line Homework

Try this out. Essay due next week.

Honoring Clark

Former KIIS-FM (102.7) General Manager Wally Clark — who was part of the team that helped propel the station to the top of the ratings in Los Angeles — will be honored by the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters June 29th at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City. For information, go to