Rylee John Rook


Thanks to Jennifer and Jason the

September 2009 arrival of Rylee

 did much to recharge my batteries.


Visit the Rook household this holiday

 and you'll be serenaded by our


Happy New Year everybody


Thanks Mr. President  !


One of the very first lessons learned from early Top Forty

radio came when a competing new station was successful

in eliciting a response from the top dog in town. Rush

Limbaugh cut his radio teeth during the 60�s, evidence of

his consistent use of many of the tricks today that reaped

success for radio programmers back then.


Despite the downward consumer spiral of the print

media, radio�s instantaneous availability delivers

 millions who tune in each day.  Talk radio does

  more to inform and entertain  than any other

format. Certainly showmanship, blowing smoke

 and the taunts of Rush Limbaugh have made him

 the undisputed king of the talkers and he now owes

a big thank you to an overly reacting White House

for acknowledging him, elevating his status and

sending millions more to sample his program.


While the administrations press secretary Robert Gibbs

dismisses radio as being inconsequential, he and the

President have stumbled into promoting Rush Limbaugh,

falling for one of the oldest tricks in the book. Having

been lured into the trap of publically responding to

 talk radio�s criticism, the White House has wasted

 its vast power in promoting what it considers



We expect Rush Limbaugh will show big ratings

gains due to the promotion from the White House.


Thanks Mr. President.



Dare to be different


As Paul Harvey (below) reminded me of the importance

 of being �different,� my mind raced back to earlier years

when I first tasted some success as a disc jockey in small

town radio at KOBH in Hot Springs, South Dakota.  The

seeds that were sown there would propel me to an

exciting career in radio that would last a lifetime.




Forty years later I actually visited KOBH. Imagine my

surprise when my on-air antics of the 1950�s were

remembered by a receptionist, who as a kid grew up

listening to Johnnie Rowe, my on-air name back then. �I

remember you� she said, as her memories of my living

and broadcasting on a raised platform for 16 days

without coming down helped to raise the funds needed

 for a chamber of commerce project that paid tribute

 to nearby Sioux Indian history.


On distant stations at night I listened to KIOA - Des

Moines and KOMA � Oklahoma City, Dan McKinnon and

Rod Roddy each were �different� in their presentation.


In the early 60�s as I moved on to KALL-Salt Lake City,

Charley �Weird Beard� Peterson and Don Shafer were

indeed �different� and arriving in Denver at KTLN I

marveled at the showmanship of Pogo Poge on KIMN.

Dialing in Dick Biondi on WLS-Chicago and Wolfman

Jack on XERF out of Mexico, I discovered my first

 �shock jocks.�


As a program director for ABC Howard Cosell and I met.

Talk about �different�, his voice and delivery placed

 him in a class all by himself, as did that of newsman

 Al Julius at KQV & KDKA in Pittsburgh.


Cousin Bruce Murrow on WABC, Larry Lujack on WLS,

 the Real Don Steele, Robert W. Morgan and Humble Harv

on KHJ each were indeed �different.�  Anyone

experiencing the magic of top forty radio can

hear it in Rush Limbaugh, who cut his teeth on

communication during that era.   Dozens of other

on-air talents contributed to radio�s success during

what is now called �its golden years.�


It�s a lesson radio of today with its sea of sameness could

learn from. Provide a stage and encourage on-air talent

to take the blinders off and �Dare to be different.�


= = = = =


Paul Harvey Dies

He was a true gentle man with a unequaled style as a

person and as a professional broadcaster. With his wife

Angel at his side, he gathered the news and with a

resonant voice and a unique trademark delivery

 Paul Harvey captured millions of loyal listeners

 longer  than any other radio performer in history.

After starting out in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Paul Harvey

was on the radio for seventy five years.


As program director of WLS back in the 60�s I was

 located on the floors of ABC radio in Chicago�s

Stone Container Building, as was Paul Harvey who

originated his daily feed from there to the nation.

 From time to time we would meet, he always

 with a smile and always positive. Each

time I felt he had fueled my spirit, giving me

something I would remember all the years

since. "Dare to be different John" he said.

 Paul Harvey certainly was that, with his

 colorful descriptive writing and story telling

and those "pauses" that punctuated the words

that followed.


He was an original, their was only one Paul Harvey.


At 90 years of age in Phoenix, on Saturday, the final

day of February, Paul Harvey has gone to

 join his wife Angel who preceded him in death a year

earlier. He leaves a legacy that is unequaled in

radio broadcasting.


= = = = =

Tim Conway, Jr.

We predicted (below) that some of those formerly heard

on KLSX-LA could soon be heard on KABC, with head

honcho there, Bob Moore, a fan of   their  talent during

his days in charge at KLSX.  Tim Conway, Jr. was the first

 to cross the welcome mat at South La Cienega Blvd.


Seems Tim lasted only three days at KABC before

Bob Moore had to show him the door there citing

the humor of KLSX-fm didn't fit KABC.  But it would

not be long before Tim had moved over to KFI where

unlike his move to KABC, he obviously has had some

direction from a good PD, Robin Bertolucci.

 Too bad his time at KABC had not received

more "direction" before he ever hit the air there.



= = = = =

Michael Jackson returns to the concert stage in

London this summer. His take for an estimated

eight weeks will be $100 million.

= = = = =


Recuperating - Lyle Dean, the dean of Chicago

radio news following surgery in Chicago;

 one of the real pioneer jocks of Top Forty,

 Dave Diamond:  legendary recording executive

 Russ Regan and recording star Al Martino.

Get well you guys !

= = = = =

As this website first reported on 2-9, KLSX-fm in

LA after a long run as "free-talk fm" began

challenging KIIS-fm's  CHR format on 2-29.

  Within days of   Westwood One

pulling the plug on talker Tom Lykis, he now

has been  shown the door at KLSX, as was Adam

Carolla and the rest of the stations personalities.

Don't be surprised if some of the KLSX gang

find a new home on S. La Cienega Blvd. in the

not to distant future.


CBS  also announced format changes elsewhere

including  fm's in Dallas, Las Vegas and in New York

where CBS's WXRK-fm will  take on Clear Channel's

top rated CHR, WHTZ-fm.


And speaking of the Big Apple, changes could

be coming soon to WPLJ-fm. Owner Citadel

has taken steps to make several PD changes

at PLJ, at KABC and WLS with more to come

for the facilities once owned by ABC. 


 = = = = =

During those days when radio and the recording industry

both benefited from the music excitement of breaking the

hits of new artists, he promoted records for RCA Victor,

Columbia/Epic and Grunt records, was important

in the careers of Willie Nelson, Henry Mancini,

Jefferson Starship and many others.


In his 80�s, �Augie� Blume passed away on February 6th at

University of Virginia Hospital at Charlottesville. He will

be remembered for his kind spirit and dedicated resolve.


= = = = =

And remember those days when the local print media

 crowed about how they were far more superior

 to radio.  Now-a-days the number of daily radio

 listeners in most markets exceed the circulation

of newspapers.  Of course, more and more people

 are addicted to the internet for their

informational needs.


 = = = = =


Just when we thought it had been put to bed, the

Performance Tax has once again reared its ugly head with

the RIAA and its allies moving  to introduce legislation in

Congress that if passed will force further cuts in live

local music programming. 


So sad that the mutual promotional of music once shared

by radio and recording artists has disintegrated, largely

brought on by a reduction of radio�s exposure of new

music.  The �music excitement� that once benefited both

ceased with the centralized control broght on by the

monopolization of radio in recent years.


Only a very small percentage of any new performance tax

will ever help recording artists, instead it will line the

pockets of record companies eager to make up their losses

for being so short sighted on digital delivery of product

 to the consumer.

= = = = =


Erica Farber

Erica Farber, long time president and publisher of

 Radio & Records, Inc., will be presented with the

annual Trailblazers Award during the Radio

Advertising Bureau�s Luncheon in Orlando on

March 18. The award goes to women who has

�blazed new trails� for women in the radio industry.


Erica also serves on the nominating committee of

the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

= = = = =


Steven Spielberg, John Denver, William Paley,

Ahmet Ertegun  are among the thousands

   of investors who  lost millions of dollars thanks

   to Bernard Madoff 's Ponzi scheme.

The full list of victims  is here.

= = = = =

While those so called �oldies� stations continue to

ignore him, Elvis Presley once again is the top money

maker for 2008 leading all other deceased hit makers

 by raking in $52 million.

= = = = =


�Ella� to Herbie and Lani


Hit Parade Hall of Fame nominee Herb Alpert

and his wife Lani Hall will be honored by the

Society of Singers with the prestigious �Ella�

award at their annual Beverly Hilton benefit

 on May 18th.


SOS is a non-profit organization that benefits the health

and welfare of professional singers worldwide.  Named

after its first recipient, Ella Fitzgerald, the ELLA

Award is given to individuals whose significant

musical accomplishments are equaled by their

 dedication to charitable and humanitarian causes.


Previous recipients of the �Ella� are Frank Sinatra,

Tony Martin, Peggy Lee, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme,

Lena Horne, Rosemary Clooney, Joe Williams, Tony

Bennett, Julie Andrews, Placido Domingo, Barry

Manilow, Celine Dion, Elton John, Johnny Mathis,

Gladys Knight, and Andy Williams.


= = = = =


History Repeats Itself


For many months this website has suspended what

could be considered negative commentary aimed at

 radio or the recording industries. Disagree with

 the management of the two and/or the direction

  they have taken, the disastrous collapse of the

 world�s economy certainly can�t be

 laid solely at their feet.


Ahead of all others more than a year ago while most of

the media and our government had its head buried in

the sand of denial and whimpered only of what might

be a slight recession in the winds, some talk radio hosts

were chided for warning of an oncoming  depression.


Since then the walls of the economy have tumbled

leaving millions unemployed and more recent

generations in shock, unemployed and for the first

time in their lives tasting what will be a

disappointing future.


While the times have taken a decidedly turn for the

 worse, a year from now we can only pray our lives will

be as good as they are now. It is obvious our government

can not erase the glutinous habits for extravagant living

that have been unleashed over the past half century.


Those who experienced the 30�s and 40�s can strengthen

and help prepare more recent generations for what looks

to be a long and bumpy ride. The lessons of the past

have been exempt from their schooling and they have

much to learn as history repeats itself.



Credit Talk Radio


With a large portion of the population drifting more and

more toward being political agnostics, my appreciation in

recent times has been minimal for either of the major

political parties.


Like so many I have hoped for a new party, much like the

one that swept Abraham Lincoln into the White House.

While Republicans today like to claim our 16th president

had their blood in his veins, he distanced himself from

them to form a new party made up of disenfranchised

citizens, the National Union Party who along with 42

senators and 149 House members of the new party

took control of government following their election

144 years ago.


Since then the cards have been stacked more and more

against any candidate who is not either a Republican or a

Democrat. Unfortunately more recent generations have

little if any knowledge of events that are shaping their

lives as the same disregard for history that is no longer on

the agenda in schools has shamefully become

unimportant in the mass media too.


We can only hope the campaign to silence talk radio fails.

The format stands almost alone in providing valuable

information and is far more than the three or four hosts

usually named. Many do indeed provide pro and con to

important issues such as the reckless government bail out

of a Bush White House and the so called �stimulus� of the

current administration.


Credit talk radio for a job well done.



Fearing the Fairness Doctrine


My addiction to radio will be with me for the remainder of my life.

It�s a long way from the days of my youth when only three or four AM radio stations provided information and entertainment. The large floor model Zenith radio and the home made crystal set gave us all we needed and it was not until I graduated from high school in rural Nebraska and traveled to California that I first viewed black and white television.

In my lifetime it was the electronic media that did most in bringing about change in society.  Certainly it was the music of America that contributed much, but it was radio that gave it a stage and along with news also introduced listener participation via talk radio long before their was a Rush Limbaugh.

It was the radio lobby that pushed for deregulation twenty some years ago that changed talk radio from a more balanced exchange of opinions to what became an hours long commentary by the host of a program.

Not all, but some hosts today would lead us to believe talk radio prior to their more recent arrival was nothing but book reviews and recipe shows, boring and without any meaningful contribution to society.

Of course they lack the historical appreciation of early talk radio many of us did before the death of the    Fairness Doctrine.

Pioneer talk show hosts, Barry Gray, Alan Courtney, Joe Pyne and  Joe Finan were among those who in exposing the misdeeds of many in and out of government, were outspoken and controversial.

I was privileged to work along side a talk radio pioneer, George Green at KABC. As program director I brushed against some of the greats in talk radio before the demise of the Fairness Doctrine.  George was there when talk radio was first created by Ben Hoberman in 1960. For sure �fair and balanced� was indeed practiced with brilliant progressive communicators, Michael Jackson and Bill Press among those given a stage along side conservative host�s including  Dennis Prager, one of the dozens who benefited from being introduced to a long successful career via KABC.

KABC not only was top rated in Los Angeles, it was among the nations top revenue producers for decades.

Shortly before being named program director at KABC, I was interviewed by the Reagan White House who was interested in my becoming an FCC commissioner. With hundreds of letters from broadcasters endorsing my candidacy, most believed I would rubber stamp the death of the Fairness Doctrine. Instead I expressed my views that it had been no real hindrance to programming and that while deregulation had a nice ring to it, I warned that any such move would need to be enforced by regulators with enough teeth to prevent an over reaching by those desirous of monopolizing the industry. I did not believe the industry would police itself. I recall using the analogy of the carnage that would take place if the rules of the highway were not aggressively enforced. 

Being one of the sheep in a flock of followers has always been difficult for me. Long ago my friend Bill Gavin advised the need to be persistent, while waiting for time to prove you right. 

It did, with deregulation bringing what most now painfully would agree, brought little to benefit the radio industry as a whole.

There are many talk radio hosts today who while offering their own opinions, give ample time for opposing views. They should have no fear of a Fairness Doctrine that I seriously doubt will return anyway.

True we should be on guard of the political correctness germ that could incubate the same virus that is sweeping Europe and stifle one of our most precious gifts, our Freedom of Speech.

In the future we may see a move to provide more local news/talk programming and that�s a good thing not only for the community of license, but also for radio to spawn the seeds of tomorrows talk show hosts.