You better, you Bet
Entercom is trying something new on its secondary HD digital stream for KCBS-FM, which can be heard if you have an HD radio at 93.1 HD3 as well as on the radio.com app available for smartphones.
Called “The Bet,” it’s a bit of a gamble (get it? OK, bad joke …) and replaces most, but not all, of the programming formerly heard on the station when it was running the CBS SportsRadio format.
The format is designed to tap into a growing interest in sports gambling, which may indeed become legal in California sometime in the future. For now you have to use out-of-state services such as those in Nevada to place bets on events.
Right now the programming is a bit of a hybrid, utilizing new programs as well as some that were previously heard on SportsRadio. According to company regional President Jeff Federman, “the move gives us an opportunity to dip our toes into the format in Los Angeles and Denver;” the plan is for The Bet to eventually be on its own.
Federman told me that the move follows Entercom’s purchase of BetQL, an online betting info app and service, providing information on anything game related: “Details on any game, how people are feeling, who is expected to throw more touchdowns … anything,” he explained. “It’s like having an electronic ‘tip book’ like is done for horse racing.”
Can the format work? In a sense, it doesn’t have to. The extra channels on HD radio currently, in general, make no money anyway. If this attracts people to the app and helps BetQL attract more users, it’s done its job.
Federman says his favorite program on the station is You Better You Bet, heard weekday afternoons from 1-5 PM. He’s also a big fan of SportsRadio’s Jim Rome, airing 10 AM to 12 noon. For more information and a full program schedule, heads over to tinyurl.com/RW20721.
Casey at (the KRLA) Bat
If you listened to radio any time during the 1970s through the ‘90s, you probably at least heard of Casey Kasem, the master of countdowns – the original voice behind American Top-40, Casey’s Top 40, and Casey’s Countdown.
If you’re like me, you made it a regular listening habit. Perhaps not always for the entire show, as the bottom 20 songs could often be, well awful save for some new hits that would make their way to the top.
But Casey had a previous life, and it could be heard locally on the original KRLA (now KRDC, 1110 AM) from 1963 to 1969. Here you could hear elements of what would become his signature style of talking about the music rather than just playing it, a style he started developing in San Francisco at KEWB just prior to making the move to Los Angeles.
And though the magic of the internet, you can hear a sample as well … I just happened to run across one from 1964 via my friends on Facebook … at tinyurl.com/RW20721a.
One of the really “cool” things of this air check is a full newscast, so you can get a feel for the era in which it aired in addition to hearing Kasem six years before the debut of AT40. Commercials, too, including one for the new Ford Mustang. KRLA at this time was the most popular station in town, just about a year away from the launch of Boss Radio KHJ (930 AM)
And a little known fact about Casey that I heard straight from his daughter, Kerri: In spite of his extensive knowledge of artists, bands, musicians and the popular songs they produced, Casey didn’t really like many of the songs he played. That surprised the heck out of me!
And if you want just a little more of KRLA from that era, head over to tinyurl.com/RW20721b for an hour of Bob Eubanks and Dick Mooreland. Eubanks was of course just a short time away from hosting televisions Newlywed Game, while Moreland was a DJ and programmer of KRLA, known to help expose new music on the station. He and his wife, Pat, later founded the record chain Music+.
Remarkable is how professional the DJs all sounded on KRLA. The format was not nearly as “tight” as KHJ’s would be, but it’s definitely a sound that is “bigger than life,” and you can hear why it was so successful.
Like hearing those KRLA air checks? Have a few bucks sitting around? You can buy the station for yourself and bring it back to its former glory. Unfortunately the call letters are not currently available — they are tied to our own talk radio station at 870 AM — but don’t let that stop you.
Current owner Disney is looking for interested parties to take the station off their hands. I haven’t seen an asking price, but I would assume somewhere between $6 and $10 million. Maybe less if they get desperate …