Radio Waves: January 7, 2022

Mellow Changes at “KNX-FM”

Disagreements over the direction and management of the online recreation of the original KNX-FM at, along with concerns regarding the owner of the “new” KNX-FM (97.1) — a simulcast of KNX Newsradio (1070 AM) — caused the temporary loss of the online mellow rock format last week. But fast action on the part of the remaining volunteers had the tribute station back online within two days.

You won’t find it at the old online address, though. As part of the split, a new location was created with an official launch of 12 noon Pacific time on Friday, December 31st: As well, a new Facebook page has been created at This should alleviate any conflict with the new KNX-FM news simulcast.

There will be a few changes … the station will more clearly identify itself as a tribute to the original KNX-FM (now KCBS-FM, 93.1) and no longer operate exactly like an on-air entity — no top-of-the-hour identification, for example (though I really liked that!). But the elements that made the original so special are still there or will return as soon as everything gets transferred to the new server: The Odyssey File, interviews, concerts, jingles, artist promotional IDs … and of course, the music.

Founding partner Patrick Veling tells me that he hopes to take the “station” to an even higher level, through the addition of station memberships, swag, and more. “We are creating a robust interactive listener environment,” he explained, “with better, more reliable streams and a stronger relationship with listeners … a stronger bond with fans of the original Mellow Sound.”

Veling says that he doesn’t want to ask for donations — though they would still be appreciated and accepted. But he hopes that the costs of running the station, from server costs to artists royalties and more, can be funded through the sale of memberships and merchandise — T-shirts, hats, stickers and such. 

Staying with The Mellow Sound is Veling, along with other founders and volunteers including Brad Goldman, Douglas Brown, Steve Marshall, Christopher Ames, Mary Price, and Kevin Speaks, all of whom were either part of or fans of the original KNX-FM. Another founder, Dale Berg has left the group, and has brought back a format of his own, “97 Lite FM,” which is the stream you currently hear when you go to the old website or tune in using the various smartphone apps. 

Berg ran the old streams himself, which is why the new format took over the old stream location … causing confusion among listeners, to say the least. Lite-FM, says Berg, plays music that extends through today, creating what he considers what would be KNX-FM as it might exist today.

Veling explained that the sudden move to Lite-FM on the part of Berg did cause some listener concern, but that is already available online, and will be on the various apps and smart speakers perhaps by the time you read this.

Streaming issues at WION

WION/Ionia — my favorite AM station in the world — is going through some technical changes that may cause interruptions with online listening. 

Station manager Jim Carlyle told me that the company they used for handling music royalty fees for online listening went out of business with little warning, forcing WION (and other streams around the country) to find alternatives. In WION’s case, it also meant changes to how the online streams were hosted. The net result: there may be periods within the next three weeks where WION will be unavailable, but they will be back on. Still showcasing the amazing fidelity of AM stereo …

Christmas Drive

Fountain Valley low-power station Radio Suerte (KLIE, 90.3 FM; showcased the power of local radio via a Christmas toy and food drive.

Station manager Maria (Mary) Luisa Luna says that the idea for the drive came after seeing so many friends, family and community members lose their battle with Covid-19. The station, along with the nonprofit Crusade of the Penny, decided to have a toy drive “and focus giving boxes of canned and dry goods to the families that are less fortunate and give face masks to remind them that the virus or pandemic is still with us,” she explained.

“We requested toys during our programs and had a good response not just with toys but monetary donations to apply toward the families and children,” Luna told me. “We passed out 300 toys, 400 bags and boxes of food to families, and 500 face masks” primarily to families in Garden Grove, and Santa Ana, she said.

“Our Goal for the month of February is to go back to La Palma Park and feed the homeless. In the past we have also cooked complete meals for the Fullerton Armory … 400 Red or Green chile burritos, salad, and for dessert: Arroz con Leche – like a rice pudding Mexican style,” Luna said. “We assist anyone in need, and have been doing this since 1987.”