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    Why former KABC radio host Doug McIntyre isn’t planning a regular on-air return
    • July 10, 2023

    “About 15 years ago, I did one air shift at KFI (640 AM) radio,” wrote (former) longtime KABC (790 AM) morning talker and SCNG opinion columnist Doug McIntyre on a social media post. “I so impressed management that, after only a decade and a half, they have invited me back. I will be filling in for John & Ken on Thursday, June 29th and Friday, June 30th from 1-4 p.m. Nobody is more surprised than me.”

    He did fill in, and it most certainly did not go unnoticed by you … I received numerous emails asking if, just perhaps, McIntyre might come back permanently to radio via KFI. So I asked; his response will likely disappoint somewhat. But there is some good news, too.

    “I’m just happy to have had the opportunity to fill in for John and Ken,” McIntyre explained, adding, “I am not looking for work. They called and asked if I’d do it and the timing was good, especially with my book coming out July 18th, so I said yes.

    “It was a ton of fun, but after 4-1/2 years off the air, I was as nervous as I was the first time I ever hosted a show. I’d be happy to do more fill-in work if they ask. I have a lot of old friends in the building.”

    Any possibility of a permanent position? Not interested.

    But the book? What’s up with that? I have not read it, seen an advanced copy, nor have any real information as to its content. But I do know it is being published (as stated above) on July 18th. And it is his first full-length novel, entitled “Frank’s Shadow.”

    You can read the synopsis by searching out the title, but this part of the description jumped out at me: “’Frank’s Shadow’ is a deeply (sometimes darkly) human story wrapped in the trappings of a delightfully gritty love letter to New York City’s less glamorous neighborhoods.” Sounds intriguing!

    McIntyre will be out promoting the book in person on July 18th from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Grove at Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles; July 22nd from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Gatsby’s in Long Beach; and July 26th from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Pages: A Book Store in Manhattan Beach and August 9 at 7 p.m. at Vroman’s in Pasadena. More signing events will be held in August as well … you can see a calendar of events for the book and other aspects of his life at

    More Oldies … on Hit Radio?

    Well, I guess it had to happen. Considering that even supposed new music stations like Alt 98.7 FM and KROQ (106.7 FM) are essentially alternative oldies stations, perhaps it was just a matter of time before top-40 stations became oldies stations as well.

    I mean, why attract young people to radio when you can play the same songs you played 20 years ago? Simple. Easy. Mindless. Lazy.

    I am referring to a trend highlighted in a recent RadioInsight.Com report by Lance Venta, who writes that “WKFS Milford/Cincinnati Ohio has joined the growing number of CHR stations shifting to a gold-heavy presentation.

    “WKFS is still playing 3-4 currents per hour, but has removed all of its re-currents and recent golds replacing them with golds mostly from 2000 to 2010,” he says.

    To translate that into normal-speak, what they have done is limited new releases — within the past year or so — to three or four songs per hour, cut back on music over a year old (re-currents) along with those just slightly older (recent golds). In their place are what we used to call oldies – songs more than ten years old. Note that the station is not going back too far, though it is the modern equivalent of when stations like KHJ (930 AM) or K-WEST (now KPWR, 105.9 FM) would drop back into the 1960s era when they played top-40 in the 1980s … or when KHJ played songs from the ‘50s in the 1960s and ‘70s.

    The difference, though, is that stations like KHJ and K-WEST maintained playing a LOT of new music, and the oldies added spice to the mix, maybe twice an hour at most. And they were carefully selected to make you go, “Wow, I haven’t heard that in years.” Usually, the songs were part of a flashback and highlighted using terms like “Yesterday,” “No, 1 then…” or the “Time Machine.”

    The modern version, by contrast, places the oldies at the top-tier. Which would be OK if the stations sold themselves as the oldies stations that they are, much like KRTH (101.1 FM) did in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    Perhaps it will work, and radio can continue to shun younger listeners, forcing them to other entertainment sources. But I find the entire movement kind of sad when formats that are supposed to play new music … don’t. If this continues, the only people who will listen to radio will be older than me.

    Sure, it could bring in some listeners from other stations. But it won’t bring in new listeners to radio, and it is basically the easy way to temporarily make a buck. Like other make-a-buck schemes of the past — satellite formats, “Jack” formats, cloned stations in every market, little promotion, nationwide contests, one DJ for multiple stations — it will do nothing to make radio competitive long-term against the industry’s numerous competitors, from streaming services to TikTok.

    Sometimes, it really does seem that the radio industry wants to fail.

    Richard Wagoner is a San Pedro freelance columnist covering radio in Southern California. Email [email protected].

    ​ Orange County Register