Radio Waves: 6/21/19

Cannon to Power Mornings

Comedian, radio and television host, actor, producer, rapper, and former WXRK/New York morning man Nick Cannon has been chosen to be the new morning man at Power 106. He started Monday June 17.

Cece Valencia had been host of “LA’s Hip Hop Morning Show,” since mid April when J. Cruz, DJ Lechero and Jeff Garcia left the station. Valencia announced through her Twitter account that June 14th would be her last show, tweeting on the day prior: “I want you to hear it from me first….tomorrow will be my last at Power106LA ….I cant say much now…all I can say is… STAY TUNED!”

Power 106 programmer E-Man told industry news site AllAccess.Com “Cannon is that fresh sound we were looking for on Power 106. (He) is an incredible entertainer who embodies Hip Hop, pop culture, comedy, and community all in one! We are very excited to have him on our team.”

As heard on Real 92.3

The news of Cannon’s to Power 106 was actually broken by … Big Boy, morning man on Real 92.3 FM and former host of the Power 106 morning show. Big Boy gave a “shoutout” welcome to Cannon on his own Real show on June 13th. In an unusual cross-station and cross-company promotion, Real even posted the audio and gave a written welcome on the Real 92.3 website, which you can see (and hear) at

Changes at KCRW

Jason Bentley announced he will be stepping down from his position as KCRW’s (89.9 FM) music director and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic effective August 30th. He will continue to host his Saturday night program, Metropolis. KCRW will be searching nationwide for a replacement.

Newman Passes

Longtime KFWB (980 AM) financial reporter, most recently the financial editor for KABC-TV Channel 7, passed away last week at the age of 86. 

Born on Oklahoma and college-educated in both Fulton, Missouri and London, England, Newman was known throughout the industry as extremely knowledgable about everything financial. He received many awards during his career including the Janus Award for Excellence in Financial Broadcasting, won the Los Angeles Press Club’s “Business News Reporter of the Year” award twice, and earned three Emmys for his financial reporting on television.

Is Alternative Dead

The latest ratings are out. KOST (103.5 FM), KRTH (101.1 FM) and The Wave (94.7 FM) were the top-three. What stuck out to me, though was the share earned by KROQ (106.7 FM) … 1.9 among listeners aged 6 and over. About the same as last month but a half point down from February and perhaps — I have not verified it — the lowest rating earned by the station since it launched.

Alt 98.7 FM, while above, was there just barely with a rating of 2.2. And it’s not just Los Angeles, I am told. Alternative as a format appears to be having troubles nationwide.

I’ve joked in the past that it’s all due to music from 21 Pilots driving listeners away, but I don’t actually agree that alternative is dead or dying. What I do think is a problem is an overly restrictive playlist among such stations and an over-reliance on, for lack of a better word, oldies.

KROQ used to be the station to hear new music. Now on both KROQ and Alt, you can hear new-er-(kind-of) music, but so much of it is what was once called recurrence or “gold” on top-40 stations. It’s as if they are afraid to be bold like they were in the early days of the format, and rely far too much on songs that are one, two or even ten years old or more. A far cry from the trend-setting playlist that KROQ used to kill off one-time current-rock leader KMET (now KTWV The Wave).

In fact, KROQ management might want to remember just what happened to KMET due primarily to the competition of KROQ itself. The once Mighty Met miscalculated the appeal of the new artists and music played on the fledgling KROQ of the 1980s; now KROQ (as well as Alt) seem to have become as complacent as was KMET. The audience is noticing. And sleeping.

A refocus on new music and a realization that “alternative” doesn’t have to be the same old style over and over might just help such stations bring in new listeners. If KROQ and Alt don’t do it, another station will.