Richard Wagoner

Richard Wagoner

Richard Wagoner is a San Pedro-based freelance columnist covering Southern California radio.

Recent articles

  • Radio programs

    Wagoner on Radio: Rick Dees returns in the mornings as Carson Daly steps away from Amp in the a.m.

    KOST (103.5 FM) listeners had a big surprise in store when they tuned in last Monday. Instead of morning woman Ellen K, they heard none other than Rick Dees.Dees, of course, was the longtime morning man on KIIS-FM (102.7 FM) and spent many years with Ellen as his sidekick/news reporter.Ellen was out due to surgery; it seems she broke her wrist while snowboarding with her family recently and the surgery was scheduled for Monday. While she recovers (recovered? ... she may be back...

  • Entertainment

    Wagoner on Radio: ‘Aircheck’ gets honored by Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Paley Center

    J.J. Johnson got some big news this week: His book, “Aircheck: Life in Music Radio,” was selected for and is now included in the archives of both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio and the Paley Center for Media in New York City. “Aircheck” is quite a read, and paints a vivid picture of Johnson’s experience in the radio — and music — industries. Reviews on, where the book is available in both soft...

  • Radio

    Wagoner on Radio: Ratings bear out that My FM KBIG is the hot commodity

    Officially, “My FM” KBIG (104.3 FM) is a “Hot Adult Contemporary” station, playing music that is “hotter,” or more upbeat, than traditional adult contemporary stations in the past designed in large part to be unoffensive.But a closer listen shows that My FM is really modern Top 40, or as close as one can get. Much of the music played — from such artists as Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and Imagine Dragons — sounds...

  • Radio

    Wagoner on Radio: Disney’s Country stations and LA’s transformer explosion aftermath

    There are specific rules for identifying broadcast stations. Officially, station identification must consist of the station’s call letters immediately followed by the community or communities specified in its license as the station’s location. This must be done once per hour as close to the top of the hour as possible.So count me as confused when listening to KRDC (1110 AM) lately. The once-proud KRLA is now Radio Disney Country with one of the strangest sets of...

  • Radio

    Wagoner on Radio: A new wave of responses on what makes Oldies format work best

    If you play it, they will come. For those who doubt the viability of AM radio, I have received more mail on the new LA Oldies format of K-SURF (1260 AM) than almost any other topic over the past few years — and this concerning a station that is licensed to serve Beverly Hills, has a signal that doesn’t even cover the entire metro Los Angeles area and is in a part of the band that is crowded, to say the least. This is true AM revitalization: play what people want,...

  • Radio

    Wagoner on radio: Zero in on Ten-Q’s final hours of adventurous Top 40 sounds

    Years ago when AM radio reigned supreme — with a few exceptions — the competition among Top 40 stations was intense. KHJ (930 AM), KTNQ “Ten-Q” (1020 AM) and KFI (640 AM) were battling it out in the mid-to-late 1970s locally, all of them essentially playing the hits in their own way.Ten-Q was the adventurous one with an expanded playlist. It, and KFI, presented a high-energy on air approach, while KHJ tried a softer style to try to attract and keep...