Media Watch

Power 1490 alum remember Brett Spigel, Iheartmedia pulls Slow Jams from Tucson radio

Power 1490 alum remember Brett Spigel

Brett Spigel, who worked in radio in Tucson and Phoenix, died last month from complications related to a brain tumor. Spigel was an instrumental component of the short-lived but popular hip-hop station Power 1490 AM.

The list of personalities to pass through that station, a small AM with limited signal capacity, remains impressive. Spigel, who most recently worked in Phoenix, joined a list that included the likes of current Phoenix talk show host Bruce St. James, popular San Diego radio personality and Slow Jams host Randy "R-Dub" Williams (who made a documentary about the station) and St. Louis morning radio host Boogie D, who worked mornings alongside Spigel at Power 1490. It was the first morning gig for both of them.

"Our program director, Bruce St. James, would have us play 'Nuthin but a 'G Thang' by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg every 45 minutes on the dot," said Boogie D in a tribute to Spigel on St. Louis radio station Hot 104.1 FM. "It got so bad that Brett and I would make fun of that song. We would just start clowning 'Nuthin' But a 'G Thang', to the point where Bruce St. James would call and tell us 'Don't talk about the music that way.' Dude, I come in here at 6 o'clock and you're making me play this song six times. I can't take it. There's always something you're going to remember a person by."

So in honor of Brett "The Man," Boogie D signed off from his morning show with their mutual heavy rotation musical memory.

"Brett, 'The Man,' I love you, my dude, and you and your family will stay in my prayers," Boogie D said.

"Brett Spigel, aka 'Brett The Man,' was one of the most dynamic personalities I've ever worked with," said R-Dub via email. "He was one of those guys that always told the truth! Brash, brazen, outspoken—Brett never held back and that was part of his charm.

"I first worked with Brett in the early '90s at Power 1490 and went on to work with him at other Tucson outlets, including KOHT, (the now defunct KSJM-Power 97.5), and KRQ (93.7 FM).

"He absolutely loved radio and was a master at production (creating commercials, promos, imaging, etc.).  No one will or can forget this guy.  If you were lucky enough to have Brett touch your life, you know what a lasting impression he leaves."

forrest still fighting

Former KGUN TV 9 news director and KEVT AM 1210 radio talk show host Forrest Carr made the rounds via recent interviews through work acquaintances and friends Guy Atchley and Jim Parisi.

The Atchley interview, via his popular Periscope account, and Parisi's radio conversation detailed Carr's brutal battle with cancer, which currently has him in hospice care, and the success of his third novel, The Dark, which has been garnering strong reviews.

Remarkably, there's a fourth book in the pipeline. It will reflect on premonitions that have played a major role in Carr's life.

"Had I kept working instead of embarking on that change of life, here I'd sit diagnosed with terminal cancer, and nothing to show for it other than another two years of experience as a TV news director under my belt," said Carr on his blog, "But instead, I have three novels to my credit, each of which has received rave reviews. In other words, had I not done what I did, I'd be a very unhappy, bitter person right now. It doesn't matter whether the novels are successful in a New York Times bestseller (sense), but it does matter that they were well reviewed and thereby helped me reach that level of self-fulfillment I was striving for, without which I'd feel very lost right now."

In addition to the three books, available on numerous e-book platforms, Carr's blog is a must read for those who want a frank, pull-no-punches insight into the cancers that have ravaged his body, and how the treatments have, in many ways, been as debilitating as the unforgiving disease.

A lot of Carr's lighthearted radio parodies are available at bashfulbloviator as well. It's also where you can find the audio to his interview with Parisi and, indeed, information on where to find the three books already completed.

Iheartmedia pulls Slow Jams from Tucson radio

If the words "classy" and "iHeartMedia" manage to find their way into the same sentence, sarcasm is almost certainly the tone.

R-Dub's signature syndicated program, Sunday Night Slow Jams, which got its start when he worked the night shift at KRQ 93.7 FM and KOHT 98.3 FM, received word last week that iHeartMedia no longer has interest in the program for its Tucson signal.

Even though it's been broadcast in the market for 20 years, fair enough. Relationships end, decisions are made. But, of course, when you're iHeartMedia, attempting to be as hip and cool and cutting edge as possible, the best way to share this information is in a fashion reminiscent of a 16-year-old in the midst of a breakup.

Just email him. No need to call.

While R-Dub made the news official on his facebook page and website, at least he took the high road.

"I'd like to thank everyone at Hot 98.3 for an amazing experience and I appreciate you letting me be on your airwaves since 1995," R-Dub's statement read.

The iHeartRadio decision meant more than just losing a radio syndication partner. R-Dub grew up in Tucson, started his broadcast career in Tucson and launched the show in Tucson. Slow Jams has a deep connection within the community.

R-Dub has already teased listeners about a new local home for the program, which is broadcast on 108 radio stations, so the Tucson hiatus appears short-lived.

Comments (6)

Add a comment

Add a Comment