Radio Waves: 5/10/19

Mellow Sound Update

The resurrection of the Mellow Sound of KNX-FM has been on-line for a while now at Douglas Brown, who was part of the production team in the station’s original later years as well as being a huge fan when it made its debut in 1971, is one of the volunteers behind the online revival.

Brown says he’s been working behind the scenes on some of the technical issues, cleaning up the sound and working on the processing. All of the volunteers are putting in a lot of time, he says, and the experience has been especially rewarding. 

But the big news is that some big people are now involved as well. Says Brown: “We now have the original station creators on board in some capacity: Steve Marshall, and Christopher Ames for example. The Mellow music mix is right on 1973-83.”

Marshall was the original program director. Ames, in addition to voicing the Odyssey File, was the station’s news director. Having those two on-board, along with the production and sound expertise of Brown, is quite an impressive roster of talent, showing the passion that the creators of KNX-FM had for the station.

“It has been fun so far and is sounding pretty dang good for a small group of volunteers,” includes Brown. And fun to hear as a fan as well, I might add. If you were a fan of the original or just want to hear a sample of quality, intelligent radio, check it out ion you have not already.

Seems to me this format could still do well on the air. But what do I know?

Spreading the Love

Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters president (and SiriusXM Channel 6 afternoon host) “Shotgun” Tom Kelly called to explain the decision behind honoring Beach Boy Mike Love at the next PPB luncheon on May 17. It will be held at the AirTel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys.

“No, he never hosted a show, but his music is so popular and so many of us have played his songs over the years that he certainly made an impact on radio … and television!”

Besides, as I heard from a friend, “who doesn’t want to meet a Beach Boy?”

Expected on the dais: John Stamos, Mark McGrath, Sam Hollander, Jeff Franklin, and Michael Lloyd. More information can be found at

Cecil Passes

Chuck Cecil, longtime host of the popular Swingin’ Years big-band radio program, has passed away at the age of 97. Don Barrett’s LARadio.Com broke the news last weekend.

“For over two decades, Chuck was heard on KFI (640 AM). Later, his Big Band show appeared for years across the dial on KGIL (now KSUR, 1260 AM), KPRZ (now KEIB, 1150 AM), KPCC (89.3 FM), KCSN (85.1 FM), KLON (now KKJZ, 88.1 FM), and KKJZ. Additionally, his show was syndicated for decades.” Said Barrett.

Revenue Leaders

The top-earning station in the United States for the year 2018 is WTOP/Washington, DC, which earned $69 million in revenue during the year. Right behind was our own KIIS-FM (102.7) with $61 million, and KBIG (104.3 FM) at $46 million. To show how AM does indeed still have potential — untapped in my opinion — KFI came in 10th in the nation with $35 million in revenue earned for the year.

But those numbers also show a problem. In spite of radio still consistently being the number one entertainment medium among almost all age groups, the revenue is essentially flat for the past two decades. Example: KIIS-FM was the top station in the U.S. with $61.3 million earned … in 2001.

What do do? Stop programming like you are are owned by a large corporate organization. For KIIS to be at the same level it was almost two decades ago proves radio’s consolidation has been a total failure. Time to break up the monopolies and let programers do their thing: Program for listeners rather than the stock market. Be an Apple, not a Microsoft. Just see what happens when you invest in your stations!

But then, what do I know?