Radio Waves: 9/27/19

Readers Respond

The best part of writing this column is receiving emails and letters from you. Whether it is sparking a memory or helping to discover a new station … or even registering a complaint, your letters prove you love radio as much as I do. Here is a sample from last week’s celebration of KNX’s 99th birthday:

“With interest I read your article about KNX celebrating 99 years. Even today we listen to the news on it. However, I want you to know, (and you did not mention it) that in 1960s during the daytime it was news … but come midnight, the station would switch over to Music Till Dawn, with wonderful soothing music to go to sleep by or enjoy.

And it came through loud and clear in Palm Springs!” — Kurt Gottschalk, Redlands, CA

“You can add this to your list of stories: In November, 2004 I was driving from Centennial, Colorado, to Boulder for a business meeting. I was on E470 NE of Denver searching the radio dial for an update on the election. It was daylight at 6:30 a.m. when I stumbled upon a familiar voice … it was KNX Los Angeles! I’m familiar with distant reception back east at night (listening to WBZ in the middle of Illinois) but this signal came from the other side of the Rockies!

I enjoyed your column. Thanks!” — T. Corbett

“Nice article. KNX 1070 is one of the best AM stations around for news and traffic. Regarding past programs, they used to broadcast classic radio shows from 8pm-9pm on weekdays. These were half hour classic radio shows (Dragnet, Gunsmoke, etc) that also included the original commercials (Can you believe Chesterfield cigarettes) that aired with the show

“My late father, like many who grew up listening to classic radio shows growing up when radio was king, was very disappointed when KNX took the programs off the air so they could broadcast 24 hours of news and traffic as opposed to 23. My opinion: Unless there’s an emergency, can’t you take a one hour break from news and traffic to listen to some good quality classic radio programs?” — J Bracey, Riverside

I agree. As someone who grew up listening to the superb “CBS Radio Mystery Theater” that brought radio drams to a new generation in the 1970s, I don’t see a problem either. From what I was told, in the early days of being “all news,” the station was more of a radio magazine and diverged from all-news quite often. Music ’til Dawn mentioned above is certainly an example of that.

“Thank you so very much for the delightful return to my childhood. There was never a Saturday morning when I didn’t wake up and put my radio on KNX. My listening began with “Let’s Pretend” and went on through the next few hours listening to the radio and saying ‘No Mommie, I don’t want to get up for breakfast yet.’ It was a treasure to listen to and create pictures in my mind from the wonderful and varied programs that were aired.

“I believe that the use of one’s brain in such circumstances makes a difference in its development. I wish kids today could be involved in utilizing that area of their brains, instead of being washed in the horrific trash that is available on their phones or in color TV shots. Of course, there were, also, stories of “the war” that left pictures in the mind. However, they were not “live and in color” as they are these days.

I have cut out your article to retain and return t again and often. Again, my thanks and looking to your future writing.” — Arlene Zimmer

“Man, I really enjoy your column! I get nostalgic I guess. Lol   KKDJ, KRLA, KWOW,KMEN, KMPC were just some of the stations I and my 4 brothers listened too. Good memories, keep writing!” — Brett Proctor

Thank you, Brett and everyone else. As I said, emails like these make my day. Now to a reception problem:

“I listen exclusively to the radio. I don’t have a cell phone, TV, or computer. KNX and other AM stations have always had strong signals out here in San Bernardino. but about 10 days ago, all the AM station signals, except the one local station about two miles away, went to nothing but static. The FM stations are ok as usual. If i want to listen to AM now i have to take my radio outside.

“I live in an old apartment building. One of my neighbors at the other end of the building is experiencing the same thing; he told me one of the maintenance men told him the building’s electrical system is screwed-up. OK, since it’s an old building … but i don’t get why everything was ok for so long, then went south literally overnight.” — Dennis Bell

Without being there I can’t say for sure, but it sure seems like someone has added something in your building that is essentially broadcasting interference, possibly using the electrical system as an antenna. Perhaps something with an electrically noisy power supply, or perhaps a powerful computer that isn’t correctly shielded. Did someone install new lights lately? Some cheaper LED bulbs can cause problems.

You might try calling one of the more local stations being affected and see if they can investigate, and even contact the FCC to file a complaint. It is actually illegal for a product to cause widespread interference to a broadcast station, and it s=certainly seems that someone or something is doing just that.