Radio Waves: 4/16/21

Readers Write about The Roq

My column on KROQ’s new(er) morning show and there station’s “two minute pledge” didn’t necessarily settle any arguments, but brought in some good responses from you. Witness:

“I agree with you 100% on this. I would be far more likely to stay with a station that announced how long the ads would last (esp. 1-2 minutes!) with a promise of another set of music to come.

“And speaking of insufferable ‘tune outs,’ KRTH’s ill-conceived and heinous promo featuring listeners repeating ‘KRTH101’ as fast as possible for a minute (?) to win a prize is like fingernails on a blackboard to me. Even the ads for the promo cause my tune out finger to move like lightning and punch up another station – ANY other station! And I don’t go back until the next day.” — Joe Lanning

I know the feeling. Sometimes I do wonder if programmers actually listen to their own stations. My hunch these days … rarely. No time.

“I can’t agree with you more. I either turn the volume down or change the station when the ads come on.  Another thing I do is listen to Sirius Radio where the commercials are minimal.” — Oliver Grani

“I’m on board with you regarding commercial breaks. The longer they go the more frustrated I get. It truly ruins the flow of a show/broadcast.It’s not unlike TV. I find myself recording a vast majority of programs simply so I can fast forward thru the litany of commercials. Less is more.” — Frank Rizzo

That’s a major problem. As stations added commercials to each hour in order the raise revenue, advertisers realized that their ads were not being heard and caused a lowering of ad rates … the net effect being lowered revenue overall and listeners tuning out the long breaks. Not a good move, and what KROQ is trying to fix. 

As I said before, I think the plan can be made to work but it will take time to get listeners to change their habits. Does any station have the time and patience?Is there an alternative?

“I enjoyed your column on KROQ. What used to make KROQ so good was the music and the concerts they put on. The music was alternative, new, and rocking! Devo, Clash, Specials, Echo and the Bunnymen. And in the 90’s,  Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice n Chains…and Lollapalooza’s.

“Today, rock music is practically dead, and the music on KROQ is terrible with a couple exceptions. Commercials mean switch the channel. 

“The Woody Show…is a bunch of 50 and 60 somethings trying to be funny. Fake laughs, predictable gags, and that crappy music to fuel them.

“I prefer Sirius, Pandora, Records, and YouTube.” — Joe Nevis

Before they were news

David Schwartz, currently with cable television’s Game Show Network; formerly with the originally KRLA (now KRDC, 1110 AM) sent along a real gem. It’s five minutes short of an hour of programming from our own KNX (1070 AM) beginning just before 10:30 a.m. on November 22, 1963. 

This was prior to the station’s move to all-news. Back then it was a variety format, with many different shows, many of which were recorded.

As it explained in the description, President Kennedy was shot at exactly 10:30 a.m. Pacific time in Dallas Texas, adding “The first KNX bulletins interrupt Arthur Godfrey’s show, which had been pre-recorded just a few hours before.”

You can listen via YouTube at

The Mighty 690

“In your Friday Column you wrote about XEPRS, a 50K watt station from a suburb of Tijuana.  What ever happened to XETRA the 50K radio station from Tijuana.  I remember listening to it as a kid in the 50s in Blythe along with other 50K watt stations.  Their station ID breaks were distinctive, being pronounced in Spanish.” — Leslie Venable

That’s a good question, and it has a nice connection due to 1090’s use of the “Mightier” handle, an obvious reference to The Mighty 690 name that XETRA used under numerous formats.

690 AM is still around, and they still broadcast from Tijuana. What is perhaps a sign of the various ethnic groups that make up our area, 690 is now XEWW, broadcasting from Tijuana, with studios in Burbank, carrying a format of Chinese-language music in the dialects of Mandarin and Cantonese.