Radio Waves: 11/8/19

Kevin and Bean End a 30-Year Run

By the time you read this, it is likely that Kevin and Bean — longtime morning pranksters on KROQ (106.7 FM) — will be no longer. As a morning team, that is.

When it was announced earlier this year that Gene “Bean” Ryder would be returning to his native country of England, it was one of those things that you put out of your mind. I mean, the two still get along, the show is still relevant and entertaining … maybe we just heard it wrong.

But alas, ’tis true. The final show is/was November 7th, following a period of remembrances including a Breakfast with Green Day in which many stories were told and perhaps embellished a bit.

The show — which once earned a coveted Waggy for Best Morning Show — made its debut December 31, 1989; the duo decided that (almost) 30 years is a good-enough run. Baxter will be moving with his wife back to England, while Kevin (Ryder) will continue with KROQ. 

All Christmas

In case you were worried, holiday music starts on KOST (103.5 FM) on November 8th. And if you think that’s too early, think again … last year the station went All Christmas at about the same time (November 9th), and ratings went up immediately. Within a very short time, the station was #1.

I expect Go Country 105.1 FM to make the switch some time around December 1st.

All Digital

The Federal Communications Commission will discuss allowing all-digital broadcasting on the AM band on a voluntary basis at its open meeting on November 19th.

Currently the FCC allows the hybrid HD Radio system to be used on both AM and FM bands, in which a digital signal is sent just above and below a station’s analog signal. In this way, analog stations pick top the analog signal while special HD Radio tuners decode the digital stream.

The HD system also allows an all-digital mode, and while the FCC has allowed all digital on a couple stations on an experimental basis, the proposal to be discussed would allow it as a regular standard open to any station that wants to try it.

The possible benefit? Better fidelity, and a more robust digital signal with less interference to adjacent stations. The very-real down-side? No analog radio could pick up the station any more. What crazy station would do that? Considering the large number of cars that now have HD radios installed, it’s not so crazy. The improved sound may bring in more than enough listeners to make up for the loss of analog, especially considering that most radio listening is done in the car.

Locally, Saul Levine supports the proposal. Levine is the owner of K-SURF (1260 AM) … he may be “crazy” enough to try all-digital, even if for a just a portion of the broadcast day.

Speaking of K-SURF

The radio you use can make a huge difference in what you hear. I’ve mentioned this before, but I am consistently impressed by the reception of the radio in my Mom’s 2012 Chevy Cruze (and while I am thinking off it, thank you for the nice messages you sent when I spoke of her passing last week). 

That radio picks up K-SURF clearly and cleanly in San Pedro, even at night … much better than almost any other radio I own. And it picks up even true long-distance stations from other states easily as well. Who would have thought that a factory radio would be so good. I have to hand it to the designers of that radio – they did well.


Anyone else notice that listening to KRTH (101.1 FM) is like flashing back to the music played by KIIS-FM (102.7 FM) in its ratings dominance days? That’s because both are based on the early to mid 1980s. Maybe KRTH should hire Rick Dees…