Radio has its share of annoyances, but here’s what I love about it

Who do you love?

Last week I spoke of an article from Inside Music Media’s Jerry Del Colliano in which he made a list of easily-fixed programming elements that turn listeners off. In case you missed it and want to take part, I am interested to know what would cause you to tune in to another station or even turn off the radio completely.

Before I follow up, though, I wanted to put together a list of things I like about radio. Scratch that – things I love. What keeps me going back to the radio every day? You can join in this as well.

Without further ado:

I love The Woody Show. Airing on Alt 98.7 FM weekday mornings from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. (kind of … they definitely repeat segments), the program has been a huge hit for the station … and for good reason.

Starring Jeff “Woody” Fife, (Renae) Ravey, Sebastian “SeaBass” Davis, Greg Gory, Jason “Menace” McMurry, and Sammi Moreno, the show bills itself as “insensitivity training for a politically correct world.” I’d call it more of a gathering place to hang out with friends.

Yes, at times, they get a little raunchy. But usually, it’s good clean fun. They make fun of bad behavior, call people out on their stupidity and in general bring listeners into their party every morning.

I appreciate that, unlike some shows of the past, they are professional broadcasters as well, intelligent, quick-witted and extraordinarily funny and entertaining. Ravey’s laugh is infectious. Bits and contests are well-designed and include DUIQ, wherein listeners try to guess if a drunk partier can answer a simple trivia question, stories on stupid criminals, “redneck” news and occasional interviews. I include The Woody Show in the list of all-time best morning shows; the program has aired locally since April 21, 2014.

I love Booker and Stryker, also on Alt 98.7 FM. Chris Booker and Ted Stryker got together just over a year ago — February 2022 — but the flow of the show and the chemistry between the two makes it seem like they have been together forever. Like Woody in the mornings, they quickly become your friends and make the afternoon drive pass much faster … to the point where you don’t even want to get out of the car. Or leave work. Or whatever. As long as the show is on the air, I don’t care what I am doing; I even listen on my bike ride home from work.

The two wouldn’t hurt a fly; this is one program where all ages can listen.

I love Go Country 105 FM. Country music purists will disagree, but I really like modern country music. It reminds me of top-40 music of the past – songs you can sing along with in which the artists (or the country version of The Wrecking Crew, if one exists) still play real instruments. DJs are good, the commercial load is not ridiculous, and the station is locally owned by a guy who loves dogs and helps facilitate pet adoptions. What more do you want in a music station?

I love KFI (640 AM). I don’t necessarily listen to every show, but they tend to be entertaining with a variety of topics. But what I really like is the news department – KFI news has always been top-notch, and the long history of good reporting continues today. Without question, KFI produces the best local newscast heard on the local commercial airwaves. Yes, better than KNX (1070 AM, 97.1 FM).

I love the stations that go the extra mile to produce content for niche audiences. For example, you do have to use streaming or an HD radio, but the fact that Saul Levine uses Go Country’s signal to digitally send out classical music, ’50s, ‘60s and ‘70s oldies, and adult standards focusing on Frank Sinatra and his friends — commercial-free, no less — does not go unnoticed. He does it because he wants to serve an audience that others ignore, and knows that it will never bring in much in the form of revenue. Levine just loves the art of radio. Local ownership at its best.

And finally, I love that so many stations both locally and nationally stream their programming on apps I can use with my smart speakers phones. Being able to tune stations far and wide wherever I am is much appreciated by me and so many others. I’d mention the distant stations I like, but the focus of this column is local, so I won’t.

So now you have a choice … you can still let me know what bugs you, but besides that … what do you love? Let me know!

Richard Wagoner is a San Pedro freelance columnist covering radio in Southern California. Email

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