KBLA-AM - Station Facilities

Hi! Doc: I'm looking for power and pattern info for a station (KBLA 1580 in Los Angeles).  Is there a website that can give it to me?  Thanks.  As ever - Jerry Gordon

 

Jerry:  Although other people probably know about this, I found a neat website that shows all types of technical information for radio stations.  It’s called Radio-Locator

 

Here is your information for KBLA-AM.  When you get there, you can click on the coverage maps that are about halfway down the screen.


KBLA-AM - Station Facilities - Comment

Roger: You're one in a million.  Thanks, thanks, thanks, for the info on KBLA.  It's the Air America affiliate in LA. I was there and heard it over the weekend.  It had been an ethnic station.  Years ago it was the famous KDAY (back in the day).  Being in News/Talk, my PD and I were curious about the facility.  It sounded strong in Hollywood and Glendale.  Their coverage looks good on the map.  Thanks again. - Jerry

 

Jerry:  You’re welcome, welcome, welcome.  I’m glad I could help.  I put a link for the Air America site in case you or anyone else is interested.


Kids and Ducks

Doc:  What is that phrase you use about having kids and ducks?  Just wondering. - Anonymous

 

Anon:  I thought I'd be a bit creative.  Here is the phrase (click on the thumbnail for a larger photo):

 

 


Knuckle Cracking

Hey, Dr. Wimmer!  Love the column, keep up the good work!  I like to crack my knuckles.  I like the sound it makes and it relaxes me.  Well, my girlfriend says that cracking knuckles leads to arthritis.  Is there any truth to this?  I told her, “That don’t be right,” but she insists she’s correct.  Hope you’re having fun in the Mile High city.  Thanks, in advance.  Later, dude. - Anonymous

 

Anon:  Hey to you too and I’m glad you enjoy the column.  I’ll do my best to keep up the good work, and yes, I’m having fun in Denver.  On to your question…

 

You are correct in telling your girlfriend that she “don’t be right.”  I remember hearing the same thing when I was young.  As I learned many years ago, when you “crack” your knuckles (or neck, etc.), what you are doing is popping bubbles of carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the synovial fluid located between your bones.

 

However, in the event your girlfriend doesn’t believe me since I’m not a medical doctor, check out these sites for further support: Knuckles 1, Knuckles 2, Knuckles 3.

 

Crack on.


Kokopelli on Roof - Satellite Photo?

Doc:  I heard that the painting on your roof finally showed up on satellite.  Is that true?  What's the story?  Thanks. - Marc


Marc:  Nice to hear from you again.  Yes, the Kokopelli figure on our roof is now in a satellite photo.  Here is the story . . .

 

Sometime in early 2009, my wife (Darnell) and I were talking about the satellite photos on Google Earth and other satellite websites.  As we were looking satellite photos, we started talking about how businesses should paint the name and/or logo of their business on their roof as a form of advertising.  The painting would also help identify the exact building on the satellite photo.  As we were talking, I thought "Ah-ha!  That's it!"

 

The "that's it" was to paint something on our roof.  I like the Kokopelli figure some Southwestern Indians used as a "fertility deity" many hundreds of years ago.  However, over the years, Kokopelli has become a character that represents many things.  We have dozens of Kokopelli characters in our house as well as outside in our yard.  So, the idea of businesses painting their name and/or logo led to the idea of painting a Kokopelli on our roof.

 

In July of 2009, I asked my youngest son, Jeremy, to paint a Kokopelli on the roof (he's a very talented artist).  I wanted it big enough to show up on all the satellite websites.  Jeremy did a fantastic job and the finished Kokopelli is about 40 feet long and about 20 feet wide.  He also painted a huge sun (about 10' diameter) that is above Kokopelli's head.

 

I have been checking the satellite websites for the past several months and it finally showed up a few days ago on a website called TerraServerI didn't buy a photograph (too cheap), so the TerraServer photo below includes the TerraServer name as well as a few multi-colored squares.
 


In September of 2010, I sent some information about the Kokopelli to KMGH, Channel 7, in Denver and asked them if they would like to run a story about the Kokopelli on our roof.  I received a note from Jayson Luber at the TV station and he came out for an interview.  He did a great job and you can see the interview if you click here


Kool-Aid

Why does the Kool-Aid package say not to store it in a metal container? - Jason in left field

 

Jason:  I remember this from when I was very young.  The reason you’re not supposed to mix Kool-Aid in a metal container is due to the fact that Kool-Aid contains citric acid.  This causes the drink to acquire a metallic taste from a metal container.  From what I remember, stainless steel is the only metal whose taste won’t leach or migrate to the Kool-Aid mixture.

 

If you don’t want your Kool-Aid to taste like metal, then store the mixed product in a plastic or stainless steel pitcher or container.


Langostino Lobster

Doc:  I saw a TV ad by "Long John Silver's" restaurant that referred to a special for "langostino lobsters."  Do you know what that is?  - Anonymous
 

Anon: I'm not a seafood expert, so I searched the Internet and found a description of langostino lobster by a person named "Chef Belle."  It's a great article—click here.

 

OK—as a chef and someone educated about food, I was appalled the first time I saw the Long John Silver's commercials advertising Buttered Lobster Bites made with "real Langostino lobster."  The term Langostino lobster is a nickname for a certain crustacean called the Squat Lobster.  The word langostino is Spanish for prawn. (It may be familiar to some people because it is very common for European chefs to refer to prawns as langostines.)  Squat lobster, however, are not prawns.  They are not even lobsters at all, but are more closely related to hermit crabs and then, more distantly, true crabs.  It is so aggravating to me that the FDA allows "langostino" as a market name for these squat lobsters which are so far from true lobster it is almost funny, but not quite.  They are fricking hermit crabs!  Most are 3-5 inches in size.  This is NOT Lobster!  It's even more aggravating because those certain businesses who use this shady advertising ploy are banking on the fact that the general American public isn't going to know the difference.  And truly, most people don't know and don't care.  It saddens me to know that I live in a country where this is a daily practice of advertising agencies which is approved by government agencies, and the citizens are too ignorant to know the difference, or even care.

 

There ya go.  I think Chef Belle provides a good description.  Langostino lobsters are some type of crab.  In case you don't know what a langostino looks like, click here, and for more information about the Long John Silver's langostino lobster nonsense, click here.


Language Problems/Questions

Doc: How come we drive on a “parkway” and park on a “driveway?” - Anonymous

 

Anon:  I believe your line came from George Carlin.  The answer to your question is that the English language is goofy.  There are too many words that sound alike, but mean different things.  Here are some I found on the Internet.

Why do people want to be on the radio?  Hmm…They’re there to display their talent.


Lake Michigan

How deep is Lake Michigan. – Anonymous


Anon: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website shows that the average depth of Lake Michigan is 279 feet—the deepest is measured at 925 feet.


La Mancha

Your question and answer about the Shakespeare lines from "Romeo and Juliet" reminded me that I once heard something similar to that in a musical I saw. But I just can’t remember what it is. Do you have any idea what that could be? And if you know, how do you know it? – Kristi


Kristi: I thought about this for a while and then it hit me. I found my Man of La Mancha CD and went to a song titled, "Dulcinea," sung by the character, Don Quixote. If you recall, "Dulcinea" is the name Don Quixote gives to the "dream babe" he just met (her real name is Aldonza). About midway through the song are these lines . . . this is probably what you are referring to . . .


If I reach out to thee,

Do not tremble and shrink from the touch of my hand on thy head.

Let my fingers but see,

Thou art warm and alive and no phantom to fade in the air.


Dulcinea is definitely a candidate for a "chick song." I’m sure many women would like to hear . . . (this is the beginning of the song) . . .


I have dreamed thee too long,

Never seen thee or touched thee

But known thee with all of my heart.


Half a prayer half a song

Thou hast always been with me

Though we have been always apart.


Dulcinea, Dulcinea,

I see heaven when I see thee, Dulcinea.

And thy name is like a prayer an angel whispers,

Duclinea, Dulcinea


How do I know this stuff? Probably because my undergraduate degree is in Speech/Theater and I have always enjoyed plays and musicals.


Landover Church Site – Parody?

If you haven’t seen this already, please look over this site: www.landoverbaptist.org.   Please tell me this site is a parody site.  I couldn’t find anything that stated it was. - Anonymous

 

Anon:  I didn’t know anything about this site.  I went there and read the “Term of Service Agreement” (the link is on the bottom of the home page).  The Preface of the agreement includes these two sentences: The Landover Baptist Church is a complete work of fiction.  It is a satire/parody.


"Last Kiss"

Hi.  My dad told me about a song he heard when he way young, but he can’t remember the title or the artist.  The song is about a guy driving in his car and his girlfriend is killed when they crash.  Do you know the song?. - Anonymous 

 

Anon:  I can hear all the Oldies fans saying, “Ooo, ooo, I know the answer.  Call on me!”

 

I’m sure your dad is referring to “Last Kiss” by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers.  The song was on the Top 40 charts in 1964.  I searched the Internet and found two good sites for you: Song and lyrics and Lyrics and information about the song.


Last Name Contest

We’re thinking about having some type of contest that involves the last names of our listeners—we would say a last name on the air and anyone with that last name has 15 minutes to call in to claim a prize.

 

We were wondering how to select the names and the odds of finding a person with each name we select.  Any ideas? – Ryan

 

Ryan:  The U.S. Census Bureau has information about the frequency of last names in the United States.  According to a study the Bureau conducted from the 1990 Census, the top 10 last names (surnames) in the United States are: Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown, Davis, Miller, Wilson, Moore, and Taylor.

 

You can see the entire list by clicking here: Surname List.  When you get there, you’ll see four columns.  The headings for the columns are: Name, % Frequency, % Cumulative Frequency, and Rank.  The analysis involved a sample of respondents and if you’re interested in the methodology used for the study, click here: Surname Methodology.

 

Keep in mind that the data represent the entire country and the frequency of surnames may not be the same in your market.  However, the “% Frequency” column will give you an indication of the “odds” that a person with that name is in your listening audience.  I would guess that if you select names from the top 20-25 on the Bureau’s list that you should have a decent chance of getting winners for your contest.


Law & Order Intro

Hi, Doc.  Do you watch “Law & Order?”  It’s one of my favorite shows.  Who’s the guy who does the voice-over at the beginning, ya know, the “These are their stories.”  Keep up the great work with the column. - Anonymous

 

Anon:  I’ll try to keep up the good work on the column, but my work is based on the questions I receive.  No questions. No work.  Anyway, on to your question.

 

No, I have never seen Law & Order, but the guy who does the intro to the show is Steve Zirnkilton.  If you want more information about him, click here.


Laziness

It seems to me that most of the people who write you don’t want to do the research themselves. Getting your opinion is one thing, but asking you to do the work is another. Do you feel that you are enabling laziness among your readers? Do you feel that this is common among the younger generation of today? As a manager about 40 years old, I am finding that to be true. BTW, great column! - Anonymous

 

Anon: I’m glad you enjoy the column. Thanks.

 

Laziness? Interesting question. No, I don’t think the people who write to me are lazy. I think they want an answer to a question that bothers them and they honestly don’t know where to find the answer. Or, they have already found the answer and want a "stamp of approval" of some type. Or, they just like to ask questions.

 

Do I feel that laziness is common among the younger generation of today? Well, I’m not the type of person who categorizes people (and I’m not saying that you are either). So, no, I don’t think the younger generation is…across the board…lazy. Oh, I’m sure there are some very lazy younger generation folks, but I know many very lazy people in MY generation, and my uncle (a generation older than me) was a lazy blob of flesh. Lazy young people? I’m sure there are, but there are also lazy old people. (I don’t think that age cures laziness.)

 

What I have experienced in my involvement with all animate and inanimate objects is that they break themselves into three very distinct groups: above average, average, and below average. That’s the way life is—everything is a normal bell curve. (By the way, I don’t do drugs.) The three categories apply to everything, including radio listeners, employees at any company, students, parents, children, general managers, program directors, plumbers, and every other group you can name.

 

The three categories also relate to things like stock market prices, temperatures, music test scores, the number of groundhog holes in a field, popcorn, movies, radio stations, TV programs, roller coasters, chocolate, and on and on.

 

In all my years of teaching and business, I have found that most people (not all) are very curious about a variety of things. I have also found that while some people find it easy to learn, some have a little difficulty, and others find learning almost impossible. I don’t think that’s a problem. I think that’s the way it is and I deal with it. How? I increase the repetition of messages to the average and below average groups. Do you recall my philosophy of life? It is . . . Find out what they need, give it to them, and tell them that you gave it to them. That’s what I do and it seems to work very well.

 

It might be that your experience with younger people has been mostly with those who fall into the average or below average categories. I’m not sure. But what I am sure about is that if you find out what they need (to get them motivated), your experiences will change.


Learned from the Column?

Hi Doc:  Love the column.  We have all learned so much from you. What have you learned from us? - Anonymous
 

Anon:  I'm glad you enjoy the column and I'm glad to hear that you have learned many things.  Thanks.  On to your question . . .

 

What have I learned?  That's a tough question to answer because I have been writing the column for 7½ years and have answered several thousand questions—on the column and private responses.  However, I can honestly say that I usually learn several things from each question I receive.  I learn from the people who submit the questions and I learn from the investigative work I do to answer the questions.

 

Now, I think you're probably more interested in specifics, but I think reading a list of things I learned might be boring.  Instead, what I'd like to do is list a few things I have I learned about the people who submit questions.
 

  1. Regardless of their position in a radio station, most people have questions about even the most basic things about radio.  In addition to the questions I receive from people who work in radio, I also receive a variety of simple and complex questions from owners.

  2. Many of the urban legends or myths about radio, radio research, and how to operate a successful radio station that existed in the early 1980s when I started doing media research, still exist.  I continue to receive questions about how to conduct music tests, how to analyze news/talk personalities, what should be included in a radio station's TV spot, and so on.  And there are always questions about what is the best research methodology to use, when to conduct research, and how should research be interpreted and used.

  3. Much of what people submit to me includes legends or myths—things like, "I only want to use 'virgin' respondents in my music tests." or "Is it a good or bad idea to use the same respondents in different music tests?"  The people who submit these types of questions usually have some information they heard from someone, and that's what they think is correct.  For example, PDs will write and say something like, "I want to use some of the same respondents we had in our last music test for our upcoming test, but my consultant says that it's not a good idea because they are professional respondents."  Hogwash.  I only used a music testing situation as example here, but there are similar legends and myths about almost every aspect of radio, and the garbage information continues to be passed on from one person to another.  Operating a radio station would be much easier if the person making decisions didn't have to encounter so much crap from people who don't know what they're talking about.  If a person ever tells you something that sounds like a legend or myth, ask the person to show you evidence to back up the statement.  I guarantee that you rarely, if ever, will see anything.
     

  4.  Regardless of the changes in radio, including satellite, the basics of radio haven't changed since I got involved: (1) Find out what the listeners want; (2) Give it to them; and (3) Tell them that you gave it to them.

  5. Many people are still embarrassed to ask questions.  They think they should know everything.  That's wrong.  We learn by asking questions, and no one should be afraid to ask

  6. Radio people from countries outside the United States are very interested in how radio operates in the States, and they often submit very complex questions that cover a variety of things.

How is that for a brief list?  As I said, I have answered several thousand questions and I have learned a lot, but I don't want to bore anyone with a long list of things.

 

Oh, and don't forget that I receive questions about non-radio things.  That's a totally different area of things that I have learned.


Least Objectionable Programming

What is the “Least Objectionable Programming” theory?  - PD

 

PD:  This theory relates to how people watch TV, but it also relates to radio.  An example may be the easiest way to describe this theory, and it may even describe your TV watching behavior on some occasions.

 

Scenario:  You decide that you’re going to watch TV but don’t have a particular program in mind.  What do you do?  You scan the channels to see what’s on and may think something like, “There’s nothing on that’s any good.”  (You may have dozens or hundreds of choices, but they’re all bad.)  However, you decided that you’re going to watch TV, so you continue scanning the channels until you find something you’re willing to watch—you select the least objectionable program such as a rerun of “Gilligan’s Island” or “Emeril Live.”

 

As I mentioned, this also relates to radio.  People turn on the radio at home, in their cars, or at work, and may not find anything “good” on any radio station.  Instead of turning the radio off, they continue to scan the dial until they find the “best of the worst” (the least objectionable).


Leg Cramps

Doc: Yes, I know you aren’t a medical doctor but maybe you can help me. After all, you do know EVERYTHING.

 

Anyway, every so often, I wake up in the middle of the night with a severe crap or tightening of my calf muscle in my right leg—it’s intense and painful.  It goes away after a few minutes, but sometimes I can still feel it when I wake up in the morning (just not as intense).  I was wondering why this happens.  Is it a common problem, and how can I stop it from happening.  Thanks Doc. - Bones

 

Bones:  First, I’m a long way from knowing everything.  However, I usually do know how to find answers if I don’t know something.

 

You are correct in saying that I’m not a medical doctor.  I only have a Ph.D.  The first thing I did was check the Internet.  Here are a few sources that may help explain what’s going on (there are several possible reasons for nighttime leg cramps):

 

Leg Cramps One

Leg Cramps Two

Leg Cramps Three

Leg Cramps Four

Leg Cramps Five

 

If that doesn’t help, I set up a Google search for you: Got Cramps?

 

The second thing I did was ask a medical doctor—my wife, Darnell.  Although she’s a dermatologist, she also has training in Internal medicine, which includes neat stuff like leg cramps.  She said to try magnesium citrate, an over-the-counter supplement available at most pharmacies.  Without prescribing anything (that’s a disclaimer), she said the typical dose is 200 mg twice per day.  That may take care of your problem.  If not, see your doctor.

 

Now, if that’s not enough for you, I also set up a Google search for you for more information about magnesium and leg cramps.  Just click here: Magnesium.


Legal Station ID

I was wondering—when I got in this biz, we used to say the call letters (for example) WWWW-FM then the city.  Now, we say WWWW then the city without AM/FM/TV.  Why is this? - Anonymous

 

Anon:  I copied the section referring to Station Identification from the FCC Code of Federal Regulations (Title 47, Volume 4, Sec. 73.1201, Revised as of October 1, 2001).  You’ll notice that “AM, FM, or TV” is not required unless the letters are part of the legal station call letters.  By the way, the radio station’s moniker, such as “Eagle” or “Fox,” is not the radio station’s legal call letters—see (b) below.  I don’t think the regulation was changed.  My guess is that your previous radio station had AM/FM/TV as part of its legal call letters.

 

Sec. 73.1201  Station identification.

(a) When regularly required.  Broadcast station identification announcements shall be made: (1) At the beginning and ending of each time of operation, and (2) Hourly, as close to the hour as feasible, at a natural break in program offerings. Television and Class A television broadcast stations may make these announcements visually or aurally.
 

(b) Content. (1) Official station identification shall consist of the station’s call letters immediately followed by the community or communities specified in its license as the station’s location: Provided, That the name of the licensee or the station’s frequency or channel number, or both, as stated on the station’s license may be inserted between the call letters and station location.  No other insertion is permissible.  (2) A station may include in its official station identification the name of any additional community or communities, but the community to which the station is licensed must be named first.
 

(c) Channel—(1) General.  Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, in making the identification announcement the call letters shall be given only on the channel identified thereby.  (2) Simultaneous AM (535-1605 kHz) and AM (1605-1705 kHz broadcasts. If the same licensee operates an AM broadcast station in the 535-1605 kHz band and an AM broadcast station in the 1605-1705 kHz band with both stations licensed to the same community and simultaneously broadcasts the same programs over the facilities of both such stations, station identification announcements may be made jointly for both stations for periods of such simultaneous operations.  (3) Satellite operation. When programming of a broadcast station is rebroadcast simultaneously over the facilities of a satellite station, the originating station may make identification announcements for the satellite station for periods of such simultaneous operation.

(i) In the case of a television broadcast station, such announcements, in addition to the information required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section, shall include the number of the channel on which each station is operating.
 

(ii) In the case of aural broadcast stations, such announcements, in addition to the information required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section, shall include the frequency on which each station is operating.

(d) Subscription television stations (STV).  The requirements for official station identification applicable to TV stations will apply to Subscription TV stations except, during STV-encoded programming such station identification is not required. However, a station identification announcement will be made immediately prior to and following the encoded Subscription TV program period.


Legal Station ID - 2

I have heard News/Talk radio stations run legal IDs that say something like, “Remember, today, July 3rd 2002 you listened to (call letters) (city of license) (station slogan).”  I have two questions:

  1. Does Arbitron frown on that kind of thing?

  2. Do you think it will work on a music format?

- Anonymous

 

Anon:  I checked with Bob Michaels, Arbitron’s vice president of Radio Programming Services about question #1 and he said, “What is described is fine with us.  There is no reference to an Arbitron survey taking place.”  (I’d like to thank Bob for his help.)

 

In reference to question #2…

 

First, I’m assuming you’re using the word “work” to indicate that the phrasing will somehow allow listeners to more easily remember the radio station, or that it’s more persuasive than merely saying the call letters, city, and station slogan.

 

Assuming my understanding of your use of “work” is correct, the wording of you’re question makes the assumption that the approach works for a News/Talk radio station.  I don’t know if that’s true.  I have never seen this particular phrasing tested before.

 

Finally, the phrasing appears to be a way to target Arbitron diary keepers, although as Bob Michaels said, there is no reference to Arbitron.  Assuming that is true, about 99% (or so) of the listeners who hear the phrasing will probably think something like, “Why is the radio station telling me to remember that it’s July 3?”  I don’t think it’s a major concern, but I can envision some confusion on the part of some listeners.

 

In summary, I don’t have any information to indicate that the phrasing is more successful than just the basic information, which also means that there is no indication of any harm if the phrasing is used (other than some potential confusion by some listeners).


Legal Station IDs in an HD World

Doc: I have heard several variations of legal IDs on stations broadcasting in HD, such as XXXX-FM and XXXX HD1, CITY, or XXXX HD1, CITY.

 

Any idea of how this should be worded incorporating the HD signal?  Thanks! - Fine Dodger

 

FD: As with most things in life, I subscribe to Occam's Razor"The simplest approach is always best."

 

With that in mind, what are you trying to tell the listeners?  What is the simplest way to do that?  I'm not going to offer examples for you because you know your radio station and listeners better than I do.

 

If WAAA-FM and WAAA HD1, City Name is the easiest way to get the information across, then go for that.  If it's not the easiest, then develop something that is easier.

 

One question:  Do your listeners know what HD radio is?  My guess is that most do not know.


Legal Station IDs in an HD World - Follow-Up

Sorry I wasn't more specific in my original question.  I'm curious as to the proper way to word the ID and pass the legal requirements with the FCC:

 

XXXX-FM and XXXX HD1, City

 

or

 

XXXX HD1, City

 

I have heard both and curious if both (or either) are Legal.  Thanks! - Anonymous
 

Anon: No problem.  I think the best thing is for you to read the actual information from the FCC, which is in Section 73.1201 - Station Identification.  Click here and read part (b) Content at the top of the document.  That should answer your question.


 

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