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It's a New XTRA, but Will It Be Special?

March 07, 1997|LARRY STEWART

XTRA, XTRA: Are two XTRAs better than one?

Beginning Monday, there will be XTRA sports 1150 in Los Angeles, to go along with San Diego's XTRA 690.

Kiss KIIS-AM 1150 goodbye.

XTRA 1150 will become the Dodgers' flagship station in 1998.

It will also become UCLA's flagship station, a deal soon to be announced.

The Bruins will be on both XTRAs during the NCAA basketball tournament, then exclusively on XTRA 1150 beginning with football next fall. By then, the plan is for XTRA 1150 to be a 50,000-watt station.

In the meantime, XTRA 1150 on Monday makes its debut as an all-sports station with a lineup top-heavy with syndicated programming. The plan, according to KIIS-FM and XTRA 1150 General Manager Roy Laughlin, is to ease into the new format.

This week, KIIS 1150 was running the same programming as its sister station, XTRA 690. On Monday, after KIIS becomes XTRA 1150, it will begin

carrying its own lineup--sort of. The morning show, with Steve Mason, John Ireland and Jeanne Zelasko, will be the same on both XTRAs.

Then, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be ESPN radio's "Fabulous Sports Babe," Nanci Donnellan, who had a stint on KMAX-FM when it was all-sports. From 1-3 p.m. will be KIIS-FM's Vic "the Brick" Jacobs and then two hours of Jim Rome.

But get this: Although the first hour of Rome on XTRA 1150 will be live, the second hour will be a repeat of an hour of the syndicated Jim Rome show heard earlier in the day on XTRA 690. So don't try to call during the second hour. Nobody will be there.

After Rome, there will be three hours of Bob Golic's syndicated show; then, from 8 till midnight, it will be the "Sports Gods," Dave Smith and Joey Haim, who specialize in off-color entertainment.

During the wee hours, it will be J.T. Brick from midnight till 3 a.m. No, he is not related to Vic the Brick. He is a former Rome "Smackoff" winner who now has his own syndicated show. After J.T. Brick, from 3-5 a.m., will be either a live syndicated show or Pete Rose on tape.

All-sports radio has never succeeded in Los Angeles, if you discount XTRA, and it might not have succeeded without the San Diego market. KMPC--now KTZN--tried it. So did KMAX and KWNK. KMAX is now a rock station and KWNK has been sold and will soon become a Spanish-language station.

XTRA 1150's lineup is not compelling, certainly no better than the ones that failed at KMPC, KMAX and KWNK.

But XTRA has a few things going for it.

First, it has the Dodgers. Second, it has a major FM station behind it. KIIS-FM billed about $30 million in advertising last year, tops in the L.A. market.

Laughlin, the young, energetic general manager, said he believes XTRA 1150 can bring in about $15 million, particularly since there is room for more commercial spots in an AM talk format.

Let's hope they don't oversell. That may be the inclination. XTRA 1150 will need to generate a lot of revenue because, according to sources, Jacor Communications, which owns the two XTRAs, agreed to pay about $35 million over five years for the radio rights to the Dodgers.

Because of the five-year contract with the Dodgers that takes effect next year, XTRA 1150 has time on its side. "We're not going anywhere," Laughlin said. "We're here for at least six years."


End of an era: ABC, which will televise the finals of the AC Delco Classic in Lakewood on Saturday, will drop bowling later this year, ending a 36-year relationship.

When ABC televises its last bowling tournament on June 21, it will probably mark the end of Chris Schenkel's sportscasting career. He has done ABC's bowling since the beginning.

ABC is dropping the sport because of declining ratings and lack of sponsor support.


Fox Sports, in its battle with cable operators over Fox Sports West 2, scored another victory this week when it made a deal for DirecTV to begin carrying West 2 on March 28. The first of West 2's 40 Dodger telecasts will be the season opener on April 1.

The DirecTV deal gives frustrated cable subscribers an alternative. West 2, in Southern California, will be part of DirecTV's basic $29.95-a-month package.

Now what can be done about the Pacific 10's television package that kept both UCLA and USC off local television Thursday night?

TV-Radio Notes

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