KUSC to Make South of Border Classical Connection

Media by Claudia Peschiutta

KUSC-FM (91.5) is taking its classical music mix down south in a partnership with Tijuana-based XLNC-FM (90.7).

The public radio station on Sept. 1 will begin simulcasting on XLNC, which reaches listeners in some areas of San Diego and Baja California, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

"We've had listeners in San Diego asking if there's any way that we can hear KUSC programming," said Brenda Barnes, president and general manager of KUSC.

XLNC is a commercial-free station owned by San Diego nonprofit XLNC1 Inc. and Mexico's Fundacion Alejandro Diaz-Garcia, which is dedicated to promoting cultural radio programming.

Barnes said KUSC hopes to strengthen its new partner by helping XLNC start building a membership program. Also, the two stations plan to work together to create local arts programming for XLNC's listeners.

XLNC's growth has been somewhat limited by another local public radio station, KPFK-FM (90.7), which shares its frequency. Since KPFK recently installed a new transmitter, thereby boosting its power, XLNC's signal has been blocked in many areas.

Swaps at Viacom

The game of musical chairs continues among Viacom Inc.'s local media properties.

Come this fall, KRTH-FM (101.1) will be moving from the home it now shares with KROQ-FM (106.7) on Venice Boulevard. The oldies station will go over to the KCAL-TV (Channel 9) facility adjacent to the Paramount lot on Melrose Avenue.

KCAL is in the process of moving in with sister station KCBS-TV (Channel 2) at the Columbia Square building on Sunset Boulevard. Taking KRTH's place at the Venice building will be classic rock station KCBS-FM (93.1), said KRTH Vice President and General Manager Pat Duffy.

KCBS is moving in with KROQ because the audiences of the two stations are similar and their sales staffs can package them for advertisers. Since KCBS will take KRTH's spot, the oldies station must move out, Duffy said.

Lottery Losses

Everybody wants to win the lottery.

That's especially true for the L.A. office of ad agency DDB Worldwide.

Earlier this year, the firm was awarded the California Lottery account, which was then a four-year deal worth $100 million. But when the local office of rival Grey Worldwide challenged the decision, both agencies were disqualified from the contest for submitting incomplete bids.

In the second round, the lottery account was increased to five years and $125 million but incumbent DDB lost to the San Francisco office of Foote, Cone & Belding.

Now, it's DDB that's protesting. The agency recently sent a letter to the California Lottery declaring its intent to protest the decision. David Park, chief executive of DDB in L.A., declined comment.

Media on Alert

Local broadcasters are willing to take part in the state's efforts to get the word out about child abductions they just want to know how to go about it.

In light of recent abductions, Gov. Gray Davis recently held a meeting with media, state and law enforcement representatives that yielded several suggestions for improving the California Child Safety Amber Network.

Participants asked for a unified alert format and suggested providing alerts in different languages and distributing them via e-mail. The Amber network is a system by which law enforcement and state agencies can inform the public about abductions using the media and flashing freeway signs.

"We're all on board," said Pat Duffy, vice president and general manager of KRTH-FM (101.1). "It's just a matter of working out the details."

The Show Goes on

There's no fat lady singing a swan song for "Opera Notes On Air."

The Los Angeles Opera's weekly opera show, which was resurrected last year, is set to start a second consecutive season Sept. 1 on classical music station KMZT-FM (105.1).

Hosted by opera singers Suzanna Guzman and Rodney Gilfry, "Opera Notes" takes on different themes each week and features everything from music to interviews. It airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

The show was canceled two years ago when the L.A. Opera made some changes in its marketing budget. But Todd Schultz, who became the organization's director of sales and marketing in 2000, decided to revive "Opera Notes."

"I think it's a great way for people to stumble across opera when they're driving down the road and maybe hear a few arias and get hooked," he said.

Schultz is scheduled to soon begin providing short nightly reports on the opera world Monday through Friday on KMZT.

Brentwood Buy

Brentwood magazine, the bimonthly publication for the Westside elite, has been bought out by Valencia-based ValCom Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founder and Publisher Troy Linger and his staff now plan to launch a similar title for the Palm Springs market later this year. Linger, who launched Brentwood in 1994, said he decided to sell the lifestyle magazine in order to have more capital available for growth.

Staff reporter Claudia Peschiutta can be reached at (323) 549-5225 ext. 229, or at cpeschiutta@labusinessjournal.com.

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