July 10, 1999
Gonna beat mah feet in the Hollywood mud – It’s announcements like this that make you think San Diego is just a farm team for LA. KABC 7 Eyewitness News anchor Harold Green … once KGTV 10’s main anchor and still a San Diego County resident … is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Other former America’s Finest City media names, Shotgun Tom Kelly (with one “e”… now at K-Earth) and Lou Waters (formerly with XETV 6, now at CNN) will join longtime LA weather cut-up Dr. George Fishbeck in speaking at Green’s induction ceremony July 15, 11:30am at 6806 Hollywood Boulevard.
E-mail … we get e-mail – From West Covina ham Mark Nodine (KJ6MS) “A new AM is conducting test routines. XEUT AM1630, a public station of the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, was heard playing music and hourly announcements of equipment tests. The station is Mexico’s first high powered offering on the expanded AM band with 10,000 watts day and 1,000 watts night from the University’s campus just across the border from Otay Mesa. Date of regular broadcasts is unknown.”
From Los Angeles Clippers play by play guy Ralph Lawler in response to last week’s interview, “I programmed with and against several of the people you mentioned in your Gary Allyn notes. I was at KDEO AM 910 from 1970-74. We had our few minutes of fame in 71-72 playing FM rock on AM. Royce Johnson, Perry Allen and Mike McGregor were our main personalities. Our studios were in Fletcher Hills next to the 7-11.” Ed: that building is now a print shop. Prior to KDEO’s arrival it was a bank. Lawler continues, “I have no memory of a DJ named Tom Clay. Do you know when he worked there?” What a coinky-dink. I just happened to be swapping coded missives with the ol’ Ranger at the time of Ralph’s query. In response, Gary writes, “I think ’74 or ’75. It was a short stint, maybe 4 months or so. Neil Ross worked there at the time along with Mike McGregor and Rod Page (old friend.) I wanted to try something new, so I came up with a Star Trek format whereby we used Star Trek sounders and effects on the news, weather and sports intros. Each jock would ‘log on.’ We had approval from Gene Roddenberry’s people to do it. They sent us the sound effects. I think it was a little too innovative for the time. Tom used to drive down from LA every day to do the show. He would spend two or three hours in production before and after his show preparing. What a pro. He had taken a payola rap and couldn’t get work in LA. That’s how we got him. He was one of the first soft but tight air talents, as opposed to a Top 40 screamer.” Gary also says he remembers meeting Ralph and his lovely wife Yvonne.
Gary also said that last week’s article made him remember things he wished he’d told me. In particular, that he and Neil Ross “came up with the Ranger idea after (management) at HIS and HERS turned us down when we wanted to order Dick Orkin’s “Chickenman” series. They said, ‘You boys are clever. Come up with your own ideas.’ So we did. By the way, ‘Chickenman’ is still going strong. Talk about dated stuff.”
Since his 15 minutes of cyber-glory, Gary’s gotten himself online. Gary Allyn can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curb Service – Did anyone notice that KOGO (600AM) had the only radio coverage of the recent seven-hour standoff with police by that wack job from Ranchita on the 78 freeway. All the local TV and a few from LA covered it, but only news director Cliff Albert’s operation covered it on the radio other than pointing out that the afternoon commute from Escondido to Vista would be a little more screwed than usual.
Does Kelsey Grammar know about this? – Sideshow Bob is back on mornings with Dave Smiley at Mix 95.7 (KMSX FM) following a pay dispute. Apparently Clear Channel wasn’t giving him enough to support his lavish wardrobe. You gotta look good for the radio.
Number One with a bullet on the Big, Boss Hit Parade – The most requested song on classic soul Magic 92.5 (XHRM FM), where they actually do play requests if within the format … “Always and Forever” by Heatwave. Boy, I’ve played that at a few wedding receptions.
A few clicks short of a website – Free shameless plugs for other cyber-scribes. You’ll enjoy Robert P. Laurence’s article on KOGO’s Roger Hedgecock and opportunism. Go to http://www.uniontrib.com and search the Archives for the July 9 article.
Also, fans of former KCBQ jock Lee “Baby” Sims will get a kick out of e-mails to Don Barret at his http://www.laradio.com regarding Simms’ relation to KRLA’s Doc Frail, the incompetent fill-in. The mentions appear in the July 8 and 9 columns.
In memorium – A belated farewell to 17 year San Diego radio news veteran Ed Deverill. He died May 3 at his home on Hanalei Beach on Kauii, Hawaii of complications from a stroke suffered last Christmas. It was the house where he grew up in the early 1920’s. One of Ed’s favorite stories was about the time he fainted on the job at a station in Honolulu. He’d just gotten the news over the wire of President Roosevelt’s death. His San Diego credits include KFSD, KGB and KCBQ. Ed Deverill was 81.
Genesis – A new beginning for this San Diego radio reptile. Beginning Monday, I’ll be the Production Director for the West Coast division of Catholic Family Radio. It’s a new focus for me with a growing chain of stations … currently 8, on target for 20 by the end of the year. And led by the man responsible for the highly successful former Noble Broadcast Group, John Lynch. No longer a shift host air talent, I’ll be holed up in a production studio with all my little imaginary friends, further regressing into my second childhood. I’m really looking forward to it.
Exodus – continues from Channel 9-3-3 (KHTS 93.3 FM). Spice grrrrl wannabe Angel moves to midday at KXMX (the former KEZY, Anaheim) to see if she and fellow former KHTS co-horts Ran-man and Ron Geronimo Price can find a way to take a bite out of the Big Orange with Clear Channel’s corporate Mix format. Also exiting … morning sidekick Karen Kay, who used to answer phones for me in the afternoon at B-100. In between she was on Q-106. Karen’s a sweetie. Amazing … they managed to get her photo off their website within 24 hours. My weasels tell me 9-3-3’s General Manager isn’t the easiest person to get along with. Perhaps these defections are proof.
And Leviticus – From his General Managerial office at Catholic Family Radio’s KPLS … my new home in Orange (the city that doesn’t rhyme with anything) … KSDO and 10 News alum Hal Brown and I were discussing potential properties for the rookie network to acquire here in CFR corporate home town San Diego (which rhymes with Lego, of which there are now a whole lot in Carlsbad.) Apparently, KCBQ AM 1170 is no longer on their short list of possible buys. Which means … brace yourselves … legendary 60’s Top 40 giant KCBQ stands a good chance of ceasing to exist within the next couple of years.
Holy kilocycles Batman! It’s no joke. I’ve been hearing various scenarios. Bottom line is, what used to be cheap land on Mission Gorge Road out in the sleepy country town of Santee where Q moved its transmitter around 1960, is now 20 acres of very valuable commercial property … and the lease is up next year. So why not move? Because twenty acres of land anywhere in San Diego County ain’t cheap anymore. And KCBQ isn’t the money maker it used to be. It’s mixed bag of syndicated talk shows barely registers a blip in the local ratings.
A different inside weasel tells me the electricity for that 50,000 watt transmitter costs more than the station currently bills … a lot more. If no white knight steps forward soon, they may just pull the plug now and cut their losses. But at this point, all that buyer would be getting is a license … an AM license with a lot of directional restrictions. The Q may be 50 K, but most of it gets blown out over the ocean. You can’t hear them in LA.
And so, dear reader, it will soon be my sad duty to tell you that the six tower array and the little building on the 10 foot high flood mound have been bulldozed to make way for a Lowe’s Home Improvement Center. I don’t know about you, but I may never be able to look at a 6 penny nail again. Until that time I hope to hear from everyone who ever had a fond memory of KCBQ. E-mail me at Jfox@radiodigest.com. From now until the final legal ID, this column will include a segment of Q memories every week.