Media Watch

Alan Michaels Returns

Don't call him the golden oldie. That's just the music he'll be playing. Same as the music he's played for years.

Alan Michaels, one of the most recognizable personalities in Tucson radio, will be back on the air starting Sunday morning, July 12, from 8-10. The local radio legend will use that time to broadcast music from the format that made him a household name in this market, but on a station known for talk and sports: KEVT AM 1210.

"I love my current job at Wells Fargo," Michaels said. "But doing an oldies show on the weekends has been on my mind for some time. I stopped in and talked to (Operations Manager Jim Parisi), told him I was thinking of doing an oldies show on the weekends, and without hesitation he said I want you to do it here. I was surprised because he does talk and sports. Doing music is totally different, but his logic was you have a name, you know how to do it, and on Sunday morning you would bring something to the table. Why not?"

That's one question, but not the question Michaels has most consistently fielded since he was one of about three-dozen people unceremoniously bounced from Clear Channel (now iheartmedia) during its major cutback swath four years ago. At the time, Michaels was morning host on KOOL 1450 AM, Tucson's last real remnant of the traditional oldies format.

"People continue to ask me when I'm going back on," Michaels said. "The questions are always there. Nobody in Tucson is doing the oldies. Nobody's doing it with a fun format. When you're having fun playing it, and the listeners are having fun listening to it, it's a whole different ballgame."

There are a few stations in the market that cover some material from the classic oldies format, but Michaels says his approach, expertise and selection process will stand out.

"It's my format. It's not corporate telling me how to do it. I've programmed before, I've been the music director before. I can do this. It's not just what I want to play, but what the listeners want to hear." Michaels said. "I want to make listening to the radio fun again. We don't have a lot of that in Tucson."

Saturday Night Locks on KLPX

Combine Dee Snyder's House of Hair with the Mullet, and classic rocker KLPX does more than just play a popular 80s metal block on Saturday nights. It lives the look. Mullet has replaced Razor—noreally—as the driving force behind 96.1 FM's Saturday Night Loud hair metal extravaganza, which also includes Snyder's nationally syndicated program, House of Hair, in addition to Mullet playing blocks of coif classics from Cinderella, Poison, Mötley Crüe and whoever else donned hairspray, high-pitched vocals and a screeching guitar.

Meanwhile at Lotus, sister station KFMA 102.1 FM has returned to the roots of alternative radio.

Long-time radio listeners are likely familiar with Jonathan L., who started his career in Tucson before making a name for himself in Phoenix and other large markets. Well, L has a good working relationship with Lotus Tucson Operations Manager Larry Mac, and as such Jonathan L's quirky internationally syndicated program, Lopsided World of L, has found a place locally from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday nights.

Broadcast from L's studio in Berlin, Lopsided isn't necessarily an alternative radio program as much as it is an opportunity for the host to play what he thinks is cool.

"Jonathan has history in this market and we have history working together in Phoenix and Tucson and thought he was a perfect fit with the KFMA lineup to follow the Test Department," Mac told "I grew up listening to (Jonathan L's classic radio endeavor) Virgin Vinyl, so it was my pleasure to bring Jonathan back to Tucson on KFMA."

Justice named interim PD for Scripps talk stations

Shortly after Scripps Tucson parted ways with Operations Manager Shaun Holly, the cluster, six months and counting without a Program Director for its two talk stations, named KQTH FM 104.1 morning/mid-day host Jon Justice interim program director.

"Jon has a love and passion for this station and an excellent creative mind," said Scripps Tucson Radio GM Leon Clark in an internal memo. "I am happy to have him supporting the station during this time period."

Newstalk station KQTH 104.1 FM and sportstalker KFFN 1490 AM/104.9 FM have operated without a PD since Bill White left the then Journal cluster of stations in January.

1330, where are thou?

Is it finally the end of an era for KWFM 1330 AM? The station, which has sort of been something of a hits format since jettisoning its talk roots a few years ago, hasn't been broadcasting on the 1330 signal for at least a month.  

The station is owned by Hudson Communications and Dr. Stan Sprei, who operates a medical practice in Yuma. However, the transition was put into motion by Dawn Avalon, a mysterious figure who swooped in one Valentine's Day and promptly conducted the local radio version of a massacre, tossing out a newstalk format that was bringing in revenue, and the staff that came with it, in favor of what sounded vaguely like the random musical meanderings of someone's iPod.

If this is the end, a dead signal hardly anyone realized had disappeared, it seems a shame given the volatile, often surreal lifespan of the station.

Whatever your call letters, and whatever your format, Media Watch would like to thank you for all the memories. If you're gone for good, you will be sorely missed.