Radio’s KBLA launches a series of October programs called ‘Agenda for America’

Big news from KBLA (1580 AM): The station is producing a series of special programs under the umbrella title of “Agenda for America: An African-American Perspective.” Every Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. through the end of October, a focus on different issues will be (or has been) presented. “The State of Black Women in America” was presented on the 6th; “The State of Black Youth in America” on the 13th; “The State of Black Men in America” on the 20th, and the big one hosted by station owner Tavis Smiley himself on the 27th will be “Why We Can’t Wait: the Urgency of Now.”

Missed them or want to hear them again? No problem, the station has a full podcast lineup at kbla1580.com.

And while these are locally produced by hosts at KBLA, Smiley is making the programs available to stations nationwide in a sort of loosely organized national network of stations, perhaps leading to official affiliates in the future.

KBLA just celebrated its first birthday as an “unapologetically progressive” talk station, having launched on June 19 — Juneteenth — 2021. Primary hosts include Dominique Diprima, Lynn Richardson, Najah Roberts, DL Hughley, Don Amiche, Zo Williams, Danny Morrison, and of course Smiley himself, who has experience both in talk radio and television, and is a successful author as well as the recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Not just politics, the station also features entertainment, cryptocurrency, humor, celebrities — it’s kind of a modern version of what KABC (790 AM) did in its heyday.

Smiley calls it a “conversation,” explaining that he feels “we are at our best when we are challenging (our listeners) to reexamine the assumptions that they hold; we are at our best when we are helping people to expand their inventory of ideas. That only happens through dialog, not monologue.”

September Nielsens

KOST (103.5 FM) maintained its ratings dominance in the September ratings released last week. Just shy of the holiday season when it switches to Christmas music, the station earned a 5.8 share of the audience, beating out sister station KBIG’s (My FM, 104.3) 5.5. KRTH (101.1 FM) was third at 5.1, followed by KFI (640 AM) at 4.7 and KTWV (94.7 FM) at 4.4.

Like the top five, there were few surprises. Alt 98.7 FM (KYSR) was the alternative leader as it has been for a long time now, beating out KROQ (106.7 FM) 2.7 to 2.1. That 2.1 finish is actually a blessing for KROQ, however, as it had been languishing in the mid- to high- 1s for a while. Go Country 105.1 FM (KKGO) was tied with KJLH (102.3 FM)  and KSCA (101.9 FM) for 16th at 2.4. Remember when former KZLA owner Emmis said Country doesn’t work in Los Angeles?  And Steve Wonder’s KJLH continues its success by maintaining its highest ratings trend in its history.

Power 106 (KPWR, 105.9 FM)? Still at 1.5 … far lower than the ratings the station had under Chuck Martin when it was top-40 K-WEST. Just sayin’ since the market is totally lacking a straight-ahead top-40 station attracting a broad audience across the city; that’s something Martin had done at both KHJ (930 AM) and K-WEST … again, just sayin.’

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Each rating is an estimate of listeners aged 6 and over tuned to a station between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 midnight, as determined by Nielsen.

1. KOST (5.8) 2. KBIG “My FM” (5.5) 3. KRTH (5.1) 4. KFI (4.7) 5. KTWV “The Wave” (4.4) 6. KLVE (3.9) 7. KCBS-FM “Jack” (3.6) 8. KNX-AM/FM (3.5) 9. KIIS (3.2) 10. KLOS (3.0) 11. KRCD (2.8) 12. KRRL “Real,”  KYSR “Alt” (2.7) 14. KLAX, KPCC (2.6) 16. KJLH, KKGO “Go Country,” KSCA (2.4) 19. KBUE, KXOL (2.2) 21.KLLI “Cali,” KROQ (2.1) 23. KLYY (1.9) 24. KUSC (1.8) 25. KPWR “Power” (1.5) 26. KKJZ “K-Jazz” (1.3) 27. KLAC (1.2) 28. KCRW, KDLD (1.1) 30. KDAY, KFWB (1.0) 32. KEIB (0.9) 33. KRLA (0.8) 34. KABC, KFSH (0.7) 36. KCSN “88.5” (0.6) 37. KSPN, KWIZ (0.5) 39. KKLA, KRTH Online Stream (0.3) 41. KTNQ, KWKW (0.2) 43. KHJ, KIRN, KPFK, KROQ Online Stream, KTWV Online Stream (0.1)