Columns appear in print in the U Entertainment Section of the Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Radio Column May 12, 2006

Listening In

May 12, 2006

By Sandy Wells

Two FM morning shows return to LA radio

They’re BAAACK!!! Jamie, Jack and Stench ended their unexpected month-long hiatus from KYSR-FM Star 98.7’s

K-Earth 101's Gary Bryan (KRTH Photo)

morning show this week. Hot Adult Contemporary station’s trio of jokers made an exultant return Monday. Even traffic guy Chris Hughes seemed giddy with joy as he improvised rhyming songs about the latest freeway conditions.

After disappearing from the official Star 98.7 web site, Jamie, Jack and Stench fans kept abreast of their radio idols partly by reading about Jack on Star 98.7 General Manager Craig Rossi says the exit of all the DJs was done to draw attention the “re-launch” of the station as much more focused on new music. But thousands of complaints from listeners made him reconsider his decision to take out the morning team. He says their return was clinched after a 48-hour station poll taken just a week and a half ago attracted 900,000 votes “overwhelmingly” in favor of bringing Jamie, Jack and Stench back on the air.

Jamie will be temporarily off the air again in a few weeks for maternity leave. It will be her first child. Megan Mullalley of “Will and Grace” fame and Extra TV’s Dayna Devon are slated to be among the fill-in hosts.

Star 98.7 continues to place a lot of focus on its music, using its interactive web site to offer downloads of songs and videos, plus garner info on listeners' music preferences. Rossi says he’s hoping the refreshed Star 98.7 will keep folks tuned in for longer periods of time.

Star 98.7 personality Lisa Foxx is back as an evening host, from 7 p.m. to midnight. Other time slots will be filled by new and returning talent, including long-time fave Richard Blade.

In the world of oldies radio, Gary Bryan has been reinstated as the ambassador to the workday replacing Hollywood Hamilton and crew in the K-Earth 101 (KRTH-FM 101.1) morning show. Bryan returns to prestigious post Monday after more than a year in afternoon drive – a position he was shifted to before K-Earth 101 Program Director Jhani Kaye came on board at the beginning of this year.

“It’s an honor to be entrusted with morning drive on K-EARTH 101 by people like Maureen Lesourd, Jhani Kaye and the CBS RADIO team. I feel a real connection with the audience and I look forward to serving them again as the host of the morning show,” said Bryan.

Former K-Big (KBIG-FM 104.3) personality Joshua Escandon takes Bryan’s place in the 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. slot.

Star 98.7 DJ reborn on The Fish

Former-Star 98.7 personality Lara Scott’s life as a DJ was born again on Christian Contemporary “The Fish” (KFSH-FM 95.9) this week where she now hosts the midday slot.

“I love the music and The Fish lifestyle, and am excited to join the team,” said Scott. “The station reflects my faith and values and I look forward to being able to combine my passion for radio with the positive music and message of The Fish. It's been a great six years at Star, but I'm looking forward to this new season in my life.”

Scott is also heard on Delta Radio’s in-flight programming and she was recently honored to be selected to record the in-flight programming for Air Force One.

Spanish radio and KIIS-FM big winners in winter ratings

It was a mega winter Arbitron book for Hispanic radio in Los Angeles area radio. The ratings show that, in total, Spanish language radio stations added about half a million listeners.

That said, the biggest station in the market was English language top 40 mainstream KIIS-FM 102.7 which topped them all with a 4.9 share among all listeners 12 and older, up from third place in the fall. Spanish Adult Contemporary KLVE-FM 107.5 remained in No. 2, followed by Regional Mexican stations KLAX-FM 97.9 and KSCA-FM 101.9. Talk station KFI-AM 640 kept its 4.0 share but slid one notch down into fifth place. Soft rock KOST-FM 103.5 was No. 6, down from its Christmas music-driven No. 1 rank in the previous book. Regional Mexican KBUE-FM 105.5 was No. 7. Alternative rock KROQ-FM 106.7 dropped from No. 5 to No. 8. Jack FM (KCBS-FM 93.1) regained its momentum and jumped up to No. 9. The no-DJ retro-rocker tied with Spanish oldies KRCD-FM 103.9, which shot up from No. 20.

KIIS-FM with JoJo (7 p.m. – 10 p.m.) and Odm (10 p.m. – 1 a.m.) ruled the evening airwaves, posting a 6.9 share. Left trailing in their wake were the usually very strong Hot 92 KHHT-FM 92.3, urban KKBT-FM 100.3 and hip hop and R&B Power 106 (KPWR-FM 105.9) and KROQ-FM. KROQ and KKBT each lost more than one full share point.

In the morning show sweepstakes, Píolin was No. 1 at KSCA, Bill Handel in second place at KFI, American Idol mega star Ryan Seacrest in third at KIIS, followed by El Cucuy de la Mañana on KLAX in fourth and Kevin and Bean on KROQ in fifth place. “Jack FM” scored an impressive 2.9 share to place at No. 11 by just “playing what we want.” KABC-AM 790’s McIntyre in the Morning, KLTK-AM 1150 K-Talk’s Stephanie Miller and KRLA-AM 870’s Laura Ingraham all showed improvement, with Miller’s liberal take on current events upping the audience intake by half a share point.

Adam Corolla, saddled with unenviable task but nevertheless golden opportunity of succeeding Howard Stern on talk station KLSX-FM 97.1 crashed but didn’t quite burn, diving from No. 7 to a tie at No. 31. His counterpart on the East Coast, rock star David Lee Roth is already toast. He's been replaced by the highly obnoxious but ratings-proven Opie and Anthony. The KLSX morning show plunge didn’t take anything away from midday’s “Triplets” Heidi, Frosty and Frank,” who actually improved their ratings.

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