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Howard Stern could wind up on KSHE.

The market is quiet as the huge Emmis deal moves toward completion. A final purchase price of $366.5 Million has been reported and speculation continues about which radio stations will be dealt by the Indianapolis-based media giant. Most observers point to the weakest signals as the doomed outlets, specifically WXTM-FM (104.1 FM), WVRV-FM (101.1 FM) and KXOK-FM (97.1 FM). Regardless, what may be a final consolidation of St. Louis radio properties following deregulation will mean fewer opportunities for broadcast professionals in every category. Trends such as greater penetration of syndicated programming and shared air talent appearing in multiple markets for a given group owner spell trouble for aspiring personalities and off-air personnel.

No announcements pertaining to job realignments have been made for the Emmis deal though it should be known by February what will become of the various stations' air staffs, sales, marketing and promotions departments, and formats. There may also be certain economies realized by consolidation of facilities. Emmis will own both- of St. Louis' country outlets, WIL-FM and WKKX-FM when the deal is closed. An obvious overpopulation of rock stations and fragmented formats will cause an unprecedented shakeout. Howard Stern could end up on KIX or KSHE. And St. Louis will be down to just three major group operators: CBS/Infinity, Clear Channel, and Emmis. Rumors continue to circulate about a station swap with Entercom once Emmis divests itself of stations it holds in excess of FCC regulations. The market keeps rewarding Emmis for its sound management and business practices by keeping its stock at the top of its historical trading range.

Also from the Emmis corral comes the release of a limited edition T-shirt commemorating the bands that KSHE has played since its inception in 1967. It's called "KSHE Rocks the Millenium." The front and back of the shirts have a screened photo of KSHE mascot Sweetmeat, modern version on the front and classic version on the back. It contains the names of every band KSHE has played in its 33 year history. Surely it's deserving of its own spotlighted showcase at Hard Rock Cafe.

There were only scant St. Louis connections to the recent 1999 Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony, though four previous local radio legends have received the honor. Located in the Museum of Broadcast Communications at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Radio Hall of Fame has recognized Harry Caray, Jack Buck, Paul Harvey, Gary Owens and Yvonne Daniels. This year, American icon Kate Smith, syndicated music personality Rick Dees, San Francisco news anchor Jim Dunbar, comic actor Gale Gordon, the late Los Angeles radio legend Robert W. Morgan and network talk show host Bruce Williams make up the class of inductees.

Williams appeared locally during the period of time when the city had a reliable ABC Talknet outlet. Since then, not a station in the city has revived the lineup which includes Williams and others such as Bob Brinker and Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Dees, host of Rick Dees Weekly Top 40--heard Sunday nights on KYKY-FM (98.1 FM)--is the only one in this year's honored group (in active categories) with a current St. Louis presence.

Dees is a talented comedic performer and his weekly countdown show is heard on more than 325 stations across the country. In addition, he has been a morning personality on KIIS/Los Angeles since 1982. In the late 1970s, while at WHBQ/Memphis, Dees' disco parody "Disco Duck" sold over two million copies. His lively on-air presence is a major reason why he received 15 consecutive "Radio Personality of the year" awards from Billboard. The Sunday night show is worth having on in the background and is packed with fascinating historical facts related to the music.

Inductees to the Radio Hall of Fame were selected through a national balloting process that included over 4,500 radio executives, broadcast historians and members of the Radio Hall of Fame from coast to coast.

It is located at the Chicago Cultural Center (Michigan Avenue at Washington Street) and recognized and showcases contemporary talent from today's diverse programming formats, as well as the pioneers who shaped the medium during it's infancy. Media enthusiasts and tourists alike should add a visit to this enriching instutution to their itineraries during future visits to Chicago.

KLOU Program Director Dave Michaels told SJR that the Righteous Brothers concert at the Fox in early December was an overwhelming success. Among the evening's, highlights was a tribute to Ray Charles by Righteous Brother Bill Medley which received a standing ovation. It's been a successful concert year for the oldies outlet.

Michaels also reported the donation of 65,000 cans of food to the Salvation Army during the "Cans Film Festival," conducted in conjunction with Wehrenberg Theatres. All Clear Channel stations participated, boosted by "handoff" remote broadcasts from various theatre locations.

KLOU is also giving away a trip for two to Grand Lido Brach Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica as part of a station-sponsored all-inclusive vacaton package which is already two-thirds sold out. KLOU morning hosts Rockin Ricky and Mimi Wolf will broadcast live remotes from the resort during the week of Jan. 24. The same type of promotion is being run by Clear Channel sister station KSD-FM (93.7 FM) and will feature live remote broadcasts by morning show hosts Asher Benrubi (Smash) and Margie Ellisor.

NPR Morning Edition commentator Frank Deford has a nicely done piece about the Florida Keys, with emphasis on Key West, in the December 1999, issue of National Geographic. Deford is an award-winning sports journalist and contributing editor for Newsweek magazine. He offers his commentaries on the sports world to NPR listeners every Wednesday.

The KMOX Holiday Radio Show is set for Wednesday, Dec. 15 at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The show will begin, at 8 p.m. and can be heard live on KMOX. All KMOX personalities are scheduled to play a role as in previous years. Proceeds from the 1999 KMOX Holiday Charity Campaign will benefit the new St. Patrick Partnership Day Care Center for children from impoverished and homeless families.

Predictions for the millenium? Not here, though one interesting statistic emerged recently regarding the radio listening habits of teenagers in the late 20th Century. The average time a teen spends daily listening to the radio was determined to be 36 minutes. This is in contrast to earlier generations in the rock and roll era which easily spent well over an hour per night listening to the radio, often to one a.m. station. Competition from the internet, video games, cable and satellite TV, magazines (books?) and CDs brings rise to skepticism about the real "reach" of up to 18 minutes an hour of radio commercials. Broadcast sales professionals would be quick to point out the value and penetration of brain-hammering spot clusters, regardless of reported short attention spans of that age group with its billions in purchasing power.

Larry Hoffman has been a freelance contributor to Billboard and wrote several chapters of Dick Clark's First 25 Years of Rock and Roll.
COPYRIGHT 1999 SJR St. Louis Journalism Review
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Hoffman, Larry
Publication:St. Louis Journalism Review
Geographic Code:1U4MO
Date:Dec 1, 1999
Words:1176
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