Thursday, March 24, 2011

More locally-oriented AM radio would be good

Did they really used to get dressed for radio ?

At present, there's very little going on in the Gateway City in regards to AM broadcasting. Sure, there's 1490 ESPN radio but that's all sports. Personally, I think what we need more of is issues-oriented local talk radio. I realize I might be in the minority on this, but it would be nice to have the old-fashioned format of News, weather and sports at the local level at our fingertips several times a day. With Television, we have only the 5pm, 6pm and 10pm news broadcasts and usually it's just the 5pm news being repeated.

In the past, Laredo has not been able to support a full time talk radio station. I believe the last attempt was 1490 KLNT which abandoned the format about 10 years ago. At that time, it was an hour or two of early morning local issues followed by a full day of syndicated radio. If I'm not mistaken, Tom Wade, who currently has the only local talk show, cut his teeth on KLNT's last attempt at talk. Wade's Wake Up Laredo at 7am on 1090AM continues to be our only dose of local talk radio. I know Linea Abierta would come on for an hour at 1200 noon weekdays on one of our other stations. But I don't really know if this Spanish hour of call-in radio is still on the air. If it is, someone please let me know.

Waaay back when, it was all about AM radio. FM really didn't become popular until sometime in the later 70s with KOYE, which was AOR (Album Oriented Radio). KTSA Am in San Antonio was a favorite with rock fans. Locally, we were still getting Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin with a sporadic sprinkling of Cat Stevens or someone more current on KVOZ. In retrospect, it was a pretty weird mix. The Late Pepe Joven had the mystery sound contest when you could win money by guessing what the sound coming over your speakers was; most people guessed popcorn. Every hour he would go out and check the temperature out in what he called the patio. Other programs back then included radio-tradio, where you could call in to sell or buy stuff, Serenata Nocturna during which Spanish language DJ Luciano Duarte played dedications of Mexican music. It might be considered more of a dinosaur than ever, but I, for one, wouldn't mind being able to go to back the AM dial for some relief from the digital deluge.


  1. A low power FM license might be the way to go. But I believe it would have to fall under the non-profit category. A local entity could sponsor it and all sorts of local programming could be transmitted. The only problem is getting everybody on the same page.

    With a low power transmitter, you could cover an area of five to ten miles.

  2. There was some interest a few months ago by a reader. We set up some talks and were even told about the slot that the Silver Fox has on Sundays but I don't think he followed through - he was looking for talk radio format. I should shoot him an email to see what happened.

  3. That would be a real good start, it would be like the Silver Fox Talk Show, ok not really but it's an excellent idea. Maybe your reader is still interested but just has been busy or something.

  4. his mom had health issues. I should shoot him an email - a ver que. O... animate tu!