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Summer Splash | Radio : Around the Dial

Stay Tuned for Stadium Concerts, Readings, More

May 25, 2000|STEVE HOCHMAN and JUDITH MICHAELSON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The annual summer spectacle of huge radio-station-sponsored concerts was more or less invented by modern-rock leader KROQ-FM (106.7) with its annual Weenie Roast, held in each of its seven previous years at the 18,000-capacity Verizon Amphitheatre (formerly Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre).

But in 1998 the ante was raised by pop giant KIIS-FM (102.7), which took its Wango Tango to the stadium level, first at Edison Field in Anaheim and then for two years, including two weeks ago, at Dodger Stadium, with an audience of around 60,000.

Now CBS-owned KROQ is seeing that bet, if not raising it, by moving the Weenie Roast to the Big Ed, with at least 40,000 tickets to be sold. It's the kind of display of muscle that's bound to get only more intense with the corporate mergers in the radio world (KIIS owner Clear Channel is merging with AMFM Inc. to make the nation's largest radio group, while KROQ parent CBS has combined with Viacom). It's also evidence of the increasing battle between the two stations--the top two English-language music outlets in the region--over the teen and young adult audience.

But the Weenie Roast will certainly have a different menu than Wango Tango did. Where the Tango was an eclectic pop array with an emphasis on bubble gum (Jessica Simpson) and heartthrobs (Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony), KROQ's show will take a hard edge, with rap-rockers Limp Bizkit, rock band Stone Temple Pilots, rappers Cypress Hill and pop-rock band No Doubt expected to appear, and a "surprise" set by metal icon Ozzy Osbourne said to be in the works.

Local observers speculate that KROQ is further tightening its grip on hard rock to protect its flank amid rumors that there could be a new station being planned for the L.A. dial that would come in as a rock challenger.

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Rock oldies station KCBS-FM (93.1)--"Arrow 93"--tonight will simulcast Don Henley's concert on A&E from 9 to 11 p.m.

Rock oldies sibling rival KRTH-FM (101.1)--also CBS-owned--will give listeners chances this summer to win entry to certain events, from access to Miramax Films' re-release in late summer of "A Hard Day's Night" (1964), celebrating the music of the Beatles, to the "Brian Wilson Pet Sounds Symphonic Tour."

Not to be outdone, adult contemporary station KBIG-FM (104.3) is launching "KBIG's 104 Days of Summer," designed to "liven up your workday"--so that's what you're doing at the office--with giveaways including field trips to theme parks and concerts as well as escapes to Palm Springs and Las Vegas. Closer to home, KBIG is offering to "bring the fun to you" with catered barbecues, lunches and ice-cream parties for your office or family.

The ticket in is to log on to http://www.kbig104.com, and four times a day the station will announce on air a contestant's name. Listeners have 30 minutes to call and claim the reward.

And rock station KLOS-FM (95.5) will be giving away tickets for concerts such as Motley Crue/Megadeth at Blockbuster Pavilion in Devore on June 25, and to the Metallica show at the Los Angeles Coliseum on July 15.

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From Tanglewood to the Lyric Opera of Chicago and on to the Hollywood Bowl, classical music will have special resonance during radio's summer season.

On June 4, classical commercial station KMZT (105.1) features a program on "The American Spirit" from 3 to 4 p.m. with music by Barber, Copland and Hanson. On July 4, for the third year in a row, comes the 6 a.m.-midnight blockbuster, with music by Copland, Piston and Bernstein.

"Hollywood Bowl Previews," Sunday nights from 6 to 7 p.m., airs from June 23 to Sept. 24. The program features Tuesday- and Thursday-night classical repertoires performed there. Highlights will include Respighi's "The Pines of Rome," Holst's "The Planets" and Stravinsky's "The Firebird Suite."

KMZT for the fifth season presents Sunday nights (8-11 p.m.) with Lyric Opera with six offerings until June 25. This Sunday (8-11 p.m.), it's Strauss' "Die Fledermaus." And Monday nights, 10 p.m.-midnight, you can hear Southwest Chamber Music, in its third season at the station, formerly KKGO.

Taking a page from the book of big-rock-station concerts, classical public station KCSN-FM (88.5) is presenting the station's first-ever listener appreciation party. It's called "Ride the Rails for KCSN," which will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. June 17, beginning on the platform of the new Metro Red Line station on Lankershim Boulevard in the heart of North Hollywood. For information, call KCSN at (818) 677-3090.

Station manager Rene Engel's hourlong show "Let's Do Lunch" at noon broadcasts live from the Getty Center the week of July 10.

Meanwhile, in honor of July 4, KCSN is presenting a month of American music while KCRW-FM's (89.9) offerings for Independence Day include "A Nat King Cole Special" from 9 to 10 a.m. and repeated at 7 p.m.

On the jazz front, public station KLON-FM (88.1) will be at the Playboy Jazz Festival over Father's Day weekend taping the entire event for broadcast July 3 and 4, noon-10 p.m.

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