KMLE/Phoenix Alums Hold Staff Reunion
April 25, 2016 at 12:18 PM (PT)
Past and present staffers of CBS RADIO Country KMLE/PHOENIX gathered in The Valley of The Sun SATURDAY (4/23), to reminisce, swap stories, and “Grab a Hump and Hang on” one more time during a station reunion. At the time of its OCTOBER 24th, 1988 launch, KMLE was owned by SHAMROCK HOLDINGS, a subsidiary of the DISNEY company, and was branded as “THE CAMEL,” a play on its call letters which also struck a local tone, as CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN is a prominent landmark in the PHOENIX area.
CUMULUS “NASH NIGHTS LIVE” Exec. Producer BRIAN EGAN, half of former KMLE morning show BEN & BRIAN (with BEN CAMPBELL), shared pictures of the reunion on his FACEBOOK page. The pair also previously handled mornings at iHEARTMEDIA crosstown Country KNIX; CAMPBELL still does mornings there with MATT MCALLISTER as the BEN & MATT show.
Among the 35 or so KMLE alums on hand: GLASCO MEDIA’s BOB GLASCO, who launched the station and programmed it for the first few years; his successor, ALAN SLEDGE; first-ever KMLE GM JD FREEMAN; former MD GWEN FOSTER; longtime morning teamer TIM HATTRICK of “TIM & WILLY” fame; and STU EVANS, who helmed afternoons for 22 years. EVANS brought EGAN a special gift: the typewriter used by news/traffic reporter, the late HG LISTIAK, who preferred it to a keyboard or computer. FREEMAN recalled the story of LISTIAK asking for $50 petty cash when hired at KMLE so he could go back to former employer, News KOY-A, and buy it from them. LISTIAK used that typewriter for his entire 16-year run, calling it his muse for memorable puns, poems, and alliterations woven into traffic and news reports that became legendary in the market.
Upon its debut, “THE CAMEL” took on market leader and ratings juggernaut KNIX (then owned by BUCK OWENS). Though it took a few years to gain serious traction against KNIX, “THE CAMEL” soon became a formidable competitor and has remained so ever since. The two stations toggle back-and-forth for Country supremacy in the market; as of the most recent MARCH PPM results, the two stations are tied at 3.6 among persons 6-Plus.