January 20, 2017KKGO: Navigating The First Noel
I remember it like it was 10 years ago, probably because it was. During CRS week 2007, Mt. Wilson Broadcasters Classical KMZT/Los Angeles flipped to Country, with new calls KKGO; branding as Go Country 105. I was working for Radio & Records magazine at the time, and my headline that day read: “Roll Over Beethoven!” The move restored the Country format to the FM dial in Los Angeles after a seven-month absence, following Emmis KZLA’s August 2006 flip to Rhythmic AC.
Mt. Wilson had first put Country music on its XSUR 540-A stick in late 2006. Mt. Wilson owner Saul Levine soon fell in love with Country music and decided to move it to his monster FM signal at 105.1. Then Station Manager, and now KKGO PD, Michael Levine remembers the first few years feeling like more than a few years. “We were just trying to find our feet to know what worked and what didn’t work, and just understand the format,” Levine told me this week. “When we switched in 2007, there were still a lot of changes in Country music, transitioning from the older, more traditional sound to the newer, more AC sound, so we were in the midst of it trying to figure out what was going on.” But now in 2017, he says, “We understand everything really well.”
January 5, 2017Crystal Ballin’ 2017
Last year was, of course, 2016, and now that we’re nearly a week into 2017, 2016 seems so ... last year. It is what it is (didn’t Gandhi say that – or was it Thoreau?), and since I like to think of myself as a forward-thinking, what’s next kind of guy, I spent my ...
December 15, 2016Top Five Albums of 2016 – According To Us
I still love the album. I know, I say that every year in December when trying to pick my top five of the year. But it’s still true. Singles give you a peek. Albums show you what’s really beneath the surface. Albums are like tattoos, permanent for life; what the ...
December 8, 2016Some Things I Think
I think I’m not the only one who struggled mightily when trying to narrow a year’s worth of great songs to just five Hot Picks for the year. Almost everybody who submitted theirs shared stories of deeply internal, personal conflicts, with a few of you re-submitting ...
December 2, 2016Take Five
“Why Is It So Much Harder Than I Want It To Be?” That’s MCA/Nashville Sr. Dir./Southwest Promotion Miranda McDonald, summing up how all of us feel when asked to boil down a year’s worth of great songs to her final, five top picks of 2016. As usual this time of ...
November 22, 2016Here’s Hoping All Health Breaks Loose
Today’s brilliant column idea came to me recently during my daily ritual – something I call my “10 o’clock walk.” Every morning about then, I get up from the desk and stroll to nearby Edgehill Café off Music Row for my usual large nonfat latte, followed by the ...
November 15, 2016KKGO/Los Angeles: A Christmas Story
Mt. Wilson Broadcasters Country KKGO/Los Angeles flipped the holiday switch today (11/15), going all Christmas and going all in, with a wide, mass appeal playlist stretching far beyond its usual Country format. In doing so, KKGO is basically taking on the abominable ...
November 4, 2016CMA Bottom Line Takeaway: “We Got This”
Mere moments into Wednesday night’s (11/2) “50th Annual CMA Awards,” the entire evening was summed up beautifully, emotionally, and – ironically – by someone who is mostly unable to express himself anymore. The second Randy Travis sang the word “Amen,” the ...
October 28, 2016Do You Hear What I Hear?
The Christmas album. Holiday album, if you prefer. When you think about the holidays and the influx of Christmas albums, it seems rare that a Country title immediately pops in to mind. Traditionally, we may get one or two holiday releases from Country artists in a given ...
October 21, 2016They ‘Gol Darn Gone And Done It’
Have I ever shared the turtle and the scorpion fable with you? Don’t worry, it’s short, and has a point: A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, asked a turtle to carry him on his back across a river. "Are you mad?" Asked the turtle. "You'll sting me while I'm ...