Poorman’s New Years Marathon
Looking for something to do on New Years Eve? How about joining low-power community station KOCI’s (101.5 FM) Jim “Poorman” Trenton for a 29-hour New Years Party Marathon!
“Poorman? The same one I used to listen to on KROQ (106.7 FM)?” I hear you ask. Yes, the very same. Poorman — who got his name writing The Poor Man’s Guides to inexpensive dining in the early 1980s — has been with KOCI for a few years playing classic rock and roll along with seldom heard cuts every weekday from 6-11 a.m.
This is the second year for the New Years radio marathon party, which will begin at 6 a.m. December 31st and run through 11 a.m. on January 1st.
Poorman says the inspiration for the marathon came from what he calls the mythical DJ – “the DJ who locks himself in the studio, won’t let anyone in, and won’t get off the air,” he says. The covid shutdown gave him the chance to actually do it … and considering that all the guests will arrive via Skype, the show is covid-safe,
The first five hours will be his normal show … “normal” being a strange description for what is one of the most unusual shows on the radio. “We – either me or listeners – choose and theme, and then listeners call in to suggest songs that match the theme.” The show last Thursday, for example, was on holiday food. After that, “it’s an all-instant request morning,” he explains.
At 11 a.m. New Years Eve, Poorman turns the program over to his guests — leaders in the community, artists, CEOs — who are allowed to do basically anything they want. Poorman essentially acts as the Master of Ceremonies and stays on hand to handle any issues or problems that come up.
Which means that, while Poorman is partying, he can’t really “party” … staying on the air so long and needing to remain sharp and alert means lots of coffee, and no drinking or other mind-altering substances allowed for him. Not that the rule necessarily applies to his guests …
Each hour will also be dedicated to a charity, either one chosen by Poorman, listeners, or guests; each one will be given on-air recognition with listeners being directed to the designated charity’s website.
“This is so exciting, as in addition to being a fun show to do, it benefits a lot of good causes.” It also harkens back to the type of radio Poorman and others were doing in the studios of KROQ. Or KMET (now KTWV, 94.7 FM) … radio that helped bond listeners to stations and created lifelong, almost rabid fans.
Want to hear it but don’t live near Costa Mesa, the low-powered station’s area of coverage? They have you covered as well: “tune in” through KOCI.com, www.poorman.net, and via Alexa, TuneIn and the Smart Radio app available for Android and iPhones.
The Poorman will also live stream the event on video through his Facebook page at Facebook.com/jim.p.trenton.
Not the Mellow Sound, unfortunately. For that, you have to go online. But as expected once the simulcast with KNX (1070 AM) began, on December 21st, owner Audacy changed the call letters of KNOU to KNX-FM (97.1) to better reflect the ties with the all-news format.
It still remains to be seen what will happen to the AM signal … my sources tell me that Audacy would love to switch all the listeners to FM. However, the AM signal is actually better, with longer reach and — if you can find a decent radio — fidelity that comes darn close. KNX engineering has long been a high point of the station; perhaps they could lead a charge to bring stereo sound back to the AM band if, as seems to be happening, most AM stations are giving up on digital HD broadcasts.
New Year Wishes
2022 will be the 35th Anniversary of this little radio column, which got its start in the old San Pedro News Pilot and Torrance Daily Breeze “Entertainer” section when former editor Don Lechman gave me the chance to write about my love: radio.
In the early days, I was a caustic, cynical young man longing for radio the way I like it, hoping to stay in touch with radio program directors and and a job playing the hits. Much has changed since then … now I’m a caustic, cynical old man longing for radio the way I like it, having given up on program directors and planning ways to buy my own AM station for peanuts so I can play the hits.
I have always written this column from the perspective of someone who loves radio and wants it to be as good as it can be. I still love radio, and obviously you do as well, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this right now. I appreciate that you do, I love reading your letters and emails; as we begin a new year together, I wish you the best for 2022, and hope you will continue to stay in touch.