A 30-hour New Year’s radio marathon to showcase community leaders and raise money

What would the new year be like without family, friends, food, fun … and The Poorman?

You don’t have to wonder, as Jim “Poorman” Trenton is once again ringing in the new year with a 30-hour marathon on-air party you can be a part of. Just tune in to KOCI (101.5 FM) in or near Costa Mesa, or via, your favorite smartphone app, or your smart speaker.

There will even be a live video stream of the event at

It starts at 7 a.m. on New Year’s Eve and runs until 1 p.m. New Year’s Day; the idea is to showcase local community members as they take to the airwaves with Poorman as the official master of ceremonies.

Each segment features a different host, which can be a station sponsor, local business owner, listener, or even a surprise celebrity guest. Each hour spotlights a different charity, and Poorman will offer live public service announcements directing marathon listeners to the charity website as a part of the festivities.

The first four hours will be his normal show, which, as I wrote last year, is not the most apt description for one of the most unusual shows on the radio.

“We – either me or listeners – choose a theme, and then listeners call in to suggest songs that match the theme.” It could be any theme: food, cars, dance moves, drinks … after the theme is chosen, Poorman tries to play as many of the suggested related songs as possible.

“It’s an all-instant request morning,” he explains.

For the marathon, at 11 a.m., Poorman turns the program over to his guests who are allowed to do basically anything they want, as long as it is FCC legal. Poorman stays on hand to handle any issues or technical problems that crop up.

Of course, this means he has to stay sharp and ready to go if the guest hosts run a little too loose … I imagine lots of coffee being brewed at Poorman’s control center during those 30 hours.

This is the third year of the event, and it truly is a lot of fun.

Predictions for 2023

Here is some speculation for the coming year:

With radio stations potentially being required to pay new royalties to the artists of the music they play, there are expecting that more radio stations will shift toward talk. Not necessarily talk formats — though I would not be surprised to see a commercial FM talker within the year. I am imagining fewer songs being played on some stations and the ability of those in front of the microphone to have a bit more personality. Think Booker and Stryker on Alt 98.7 or Kevin and Sluggo on KLOS (95.5 FM).

This stems from the possibility that radio stations may have to pay these new royalties if a deal is struck between artists and the various organizations working on it. In the past, radio stations were able to avoid artist fees due to the argument that they expose listeners to new artists and new music, driving sales of records. Since radio now mostly plays oldies, shunning most new music, they can’t use that excuse anymore.

Will it actually happen — and will such an agreement actually mean more talking on the radio? I don’t think it will be a dramatic shift, but I do believe a subtle change will happen in the new year.

What else? I can see at least one of the major owner groups going bankrupt this year, especially if the economy declines at all. Hopefully, if this occurs, this will lead to a resurgence of independent owners, but I’ve been saying that for years … and remaining disappointed that it never seems to happen.

Expect a few talk programs to show up on KNX (1070 AM, 97.1 FM). Where? Overnights would be a good guess. Probably cheap syndicated fare.

At least one major talk station will have some changes. Will it be KABC switching to sports betting? KFI making some adjustments? KEIB (1150 AM) dropping talk altogether? I’ve heard nothing in particular about any of this happening, but KABC and KEIB are in obvious ratings trouble and KFI, in spite of quite excellent ratings, seems due for a refresh — the last major change KFI made was years ago when they sent Dr. Laura to satellite and Rush Limbaugh to a different dial position. I don’t expect wholesale changes, but perhaps a few tweaks.

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Would it surprise me if KFI started simulcasting on FM? Actually, yes, even though I know programmer Robin Bertolucci would love that chance. KFI does so well on AM (and KNX does so poorly on FM) that the move requires a low-rated FM to make the risk acceptable. Owner iHeart has no low-rated or unsuccessful FMs in town.

Other than that, I don’t see many changes, but if they happen, you’ll read about them here. And if you hear anything, or just want to know something that I can help with, please drop me a line.

Happy New Year!

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