"Shotgun" Tom Kelly
Rich "Brother" Robbin
new morning trio
B-100 finally filled its morning slot left vacant by the departure of Jeff & Jer, now at Q-106. The disc jockey team of John Lander and Jools Brandt and Houston Post columnist Ken Hoffman debuted June 25. Hoffman doubles as the producer of the show. This is Lander's second job in San Diego. He worked for KGB-AM from '79 to '81. Lander came from a WEGX in Philadelphia where he co-hosted a show with Danny Bonaduce, who played Danny Partridge on the popular '70s TV show "The Partridge Family." Brandt was with WKLS in Atlanta. The show can be heard from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Despite decent ratings, XHRM 92.5 FM dropped its urban contemporary format June 28. Financial woes, mainly resulting from a lack of advertising, prompted the action. Formerly known as "Hot 92," the station now bills itself as "The Flash 92.5." The station plans to go head-to-head with 91X with a format described by new vice president of programming, Sherman Cohen, as "pop alternative." "We don't want to be labeled," Cohen said. "We'll let listeners decide what it is. It will be much different than anything San Diego's ever heard before; I guarantee you." Listeners can expect to hear the likes of U2, REM, Erasure, The Pretenders, Sting and The Police, for starters - classic progressive rock, so to speak. Cohen, who came from KRZZ, an adult rock station in Wichita, Kan. and has also worked at stations in Los Angeles and Arizona, said the change would be fully implemented after the Fourth of July with a mostly new staff.
Mike Glickenhaus, general manager of 91X, isn't thrilled to have direct competition. "It's too early to tell what they're going to do," Glickenhaus said. "I think they're barking up the wrong tree. It's an interesting radio decision. We're not panicking. We're going to be the best we can be. Ten years of doing this and knowing this product and this market is a lot to overcome. "We don't think there's room for both stations; and through radio competition, we'll do all we can to prevent this from occurring again." Battle lines are being drawn, and there's already been a squabble over on-air talent. Former 91X morning guy Brian Jones was supposed to join "The Flash" July 5, but 91X enticed him back with a better offer before he could go on the air. Another former two months at KCLX, joined 92.5 as vice president of marketing. He's also doing his "Backstage Pass" show.
Meanwhile, folks at Jammin Z-90 couldn't be happier with the 92.5 switch. Now Z-90 has a monopoly as the city's lone urban contemporary station. "I was looking forward to a heated battle with them," said Z-90's new program director, Steve Wall, facetiously. "It means we'll inherit a lot of their listeners, and we've got to please them." But Jammin Z-90 has no plans to inherit the role of flagship station to San Diego's black community formerly attached to Hot 92.5. "We go beyond all color lines," Wall said. "We're programming for people who love dance music."
Shotgun and Brother return to KCBQ
It appears KCBQ 105.3 FM's stock is on the rise. On June 6, program director Rich "Brother" Robbin and popular afternoon DJ "Shotgun" Tom Kelly left K-Best group - Compass Radio Group, based in Washington D.C. - took over KCBQ, whose ratings have plummeted recently. With the two of them, Compass is getting 40-plus years of local radio experience. Furthermore, the moves mark both Robbin and Kelly's third tenures at KCBQ. The station hired Robbin as program director exactly this station in the '70s. "This is really exciting," Robbin said. "The battle of the oldies is back. I was hired to put this station back into prominence where the call letters KCBQ belong. I want to make some changes [in the format], but we'll do it slowly- gently massage the format."
One of the first things Robbin must do is to find a full-time replacement for Charlie & Harrigan, the former KCBQ morning team. The new owners decided not to renew the duo's contract. Gary Cocker is temporarily filling the slot. Plus, program director and DJ Dino Matella was fired. The only full-timer to survive the KCBQ purges, La Donna, can still be heard from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Kelly kept the same 2-6 afternoon slot that he had at K-Best.
Over at K-Best, things are going smoothly. KSON program director Mike Shepard has temporarily assumed control until replacements for Shotgun and Robbin are hired. Friendly afternoon DJ Dayle Olhau is the programming coordinator, and Crazy Dave Smith is also helping out. Olhau was assistant PD during Robbin's reign. "It was a mixed blessing," Olhau said of Robbin's departure. "He really delegated things, so both Dave and I have a lot of hands-on experience."
Right here, right now
It seems every time you adjust the dial to a talk station these days, conservative viewpoints fill the air. From Roger to Rush, San Diegans can't seem to get enough right-wing politics. KSDO recently picked up G. Gordon Liddy's show. The convicted Watergate burglar's program is similar in tone to the Rush Limbaugh Show. It's on from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. weeknights.
Not to be outdone, KCEO 1000 AM began airing ex-presidential candidate and right-wing hard-liner, Pat Buchanan. KCEO also picked up Larry King. That means fans of conservative politics can now hear six hours of uninterrupted right-wing commentary on KCEO weekdays, until Larry King's voice comes on for the drive home. The programming: Buchanan's show runs from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by Rush Limbaugh, who's on 'til 3 p.m; Larry King is aired from 3-6.
Comings and Goings
Radio's a nomadic business, most will say, but last month got a little out of hand. June was Program-Director-Jumps-Ship-Month. Six local stations (KCLX, KYXY, XHTZ, XHRM, KCBQ and K-Best) have new PDs or at least temporary fill-ins as RSD goes to press. KCLX 102.9 FM music director Keith Miller is taking over for Dave Parks, who left at the beginning of June. Miller hasn't officially been given Parks' old title, but he's earning it. "I'm a one-man show right now." he said. Besides his morning show, KYXY 96.5's Sonny West is handling the program director duties in place of Art Schroeder, who was let go in mid-June because of budget cutbacks. West formerly was program director at KCBQ. "It's a challenge," he said of doing both jobs. "It makes for long days."
Jammin' Z-90's new program director is Steve Wall, who has one of the weirdest answering machines known to man. Wall came on board June 22. He has 10 years of programming experience. He came from KKXX in Bakersfield.
For those who can't get enough blues, KPBS replaced its "Saturday Night Blues" show with a new three-hour blues show - "Blues Time." Dan Pothier, formerly with KIFM and XHRM, is host. "Blues Time airs from Shannon Leder is back as Rock 102's (KIOZ 102.5 FM) morning show host. Management let go her former morning show partner, Kevin Cranker, in mid-June. Listeners familiar with Rock 102 can expect less comedy-babble and more hard rock.
Football's on the way
Luckily, for local sports fans - especially those weary of watching the embarrassing shenanigans of the Padres - football season is just around the corner. The Chargers begin defense of their AFC West divisional crown when training camp opens July 15. XTRA Sports 690 AM will offer live coverage and daily reports from camp. Once camp is under way, Chargers coach Bobby Ross plans to make a daily appearance on the Loose Cannons' (Chet Forte and Steve Hartman) morning show. And once again, XTRA will carry play-by-play of pre-season exhibition and regular season games.
Information for sale
These are lean times for many radio stations, but Metro Networks, the company which owns Metro Traffic, has found a way to capitalize on budget-conscious stations. It's called Metro News Service. The idea is basically the same as the Metro Traffic reports heard on many local stations. However, instead of information on freeway gridlock, the service provides breaking news, stories and features.
So far, KOWF 92.1 FM has been the only station to pick up the service, which was first offered June 21. Metro marketing director Russ Wittberger reports several other stations have inquired about the service. Radio veteran Gayle Newman is the bureau chief. The news team has two announcers and two reporters on board, but plans to hire more if business picks up. Metro also trades information with CNN and, locally, with Channel 10. The news, said Wittberger, can be tailored to the station's preference, including length of newscast. "It's up to the station," he said. "It can be anything: local news, arts, sports or business. They tell us what they want."
And, perhaps best of all for the stations, there's no cost for the service. Metro makes its money by selling 10-second advertising spots at the end of the newscast like its traffic reports.
"Metro News Service gives stations the image of having more news without having to spend more money," Wittberger said
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