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Monday, March 29, 2010


LA TODAY: 'This American Life' in LA

-- Photo By TJ Sullivan -- Click Photo to View Larger Version --

"This American Life" host Ira Glass, at a KCRW event Saturday in UCLA's Royce Hall, exhibiting a talent for making balloon animals.

(Twitter Me)

View more LA Today photographs at this link.

-- TJ Sullivan is the author of the novel Boon.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009


The Sire of Wilshire Returns!

— Photo By TJ Sullivan —
Steve Jones, the self-proclaimed Sire of Wilshire (a nod to the physical address of his former home at Indie 103.1 FM), is back on the air!

The former host of Jonesy's Jukebox is now hosting a two-hour program every Sunday at BBC 6, according to both MusicWeek and the BBC 6 Web site.

His first show, to which you can listen online, aired Sunday, Nov. 1. The show's title is "A Month of Sundays with Steve Jones."

You'll recall that Indie 103.1 went off the air in January, when pretty much all we heard from Jones appeared in a press release from MSOPR, the public relations company that represented Jones' group, The Sex Pistols. See LA Observed, Variety, LA Weekly and OC Weekly for more background.

(Twitter Me)

— TJ Sullivan in LA


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Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Press for the Petition

*** Read about the Web blackout petition at this link ***

The Web blackout petition is scheduled to be discussed Wednesday afternoon on Crosstalk with host Jim Rondeau at KCLU 88.3 FM. The show airs from 1-2 p.m. and the segment about the petition is likely to occur during the last quarter hour.

[Listen online]

Also scheduled to appear on Crosstalk Wednesday is Judy Muller, a correspondent for the KCET program SoCal Connected. Muller is expected to discuss her upcoming report, set to air Thursday evening, about the online newspaper Voice of San Diego.

Regarding the petition ...

Several publications have requested interviews. One published its story Wednesday at Journalism.co.uk, an edited Q&A conducted via e-mail by London-based reporter Laura Oliver.

Many other blog posts about the petition have also been published, though the variations are extreme. Online publications that appeal to the American journalism industry have represented the effort accurately. But some sites that write for a more general audience have misrepresented the petition's purpose as an effort to save newsprint, which is not the case. The goal of the petition is to raise awareness about the crisis facing the news-gathering organizations we call "newspapers." It's got nothing to do with saving the medium of paper. Clearly the future of newspapers is the Internet.

Such misunderstandings only serve to underscore the need to make online readers aware that newspapers account for the bulk of online news content, which is the goal of conducting a week-long blackout of all non-pay-access Web sites run by newspapers and The Associated Press.

Because most people access newspaper content online, where it's often stripped of its brand and repackaged by countless unassociated providers, the public perceives the news it consumes as being free, when, in fact, more often than not, a newspaper reporter either wrote the stories, or reported the original versions that some other entity rewrote. The news, like the water that comes out the taps in people's homes, does not inspire those who consume it to determine from where it comes, unless it is tainted, or fails to flow. I'd prefer not to wait until more newspapers fail and the news stops flowing.

More about the petition is at this link, including a list of links to the many other posts that have been published in response.

Related: Save your newspaper via 'The Daily Show'

Related Event: SPJ/LA Panel Discussion, 6:30 pm Wednesday Feb. 18 — Imagine a City Without a Newspaper

— TJ Sullivan in LA

*Cross posted at LA Observed.

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Monday, January 26, 2009


LA Area Official Given $18,000 Pay Raise!

Here are today's links to my posts at NBC:

- At least one city's still giving pay raises ...

- Signs of Indie 103.1 start to show online...

- Print writers bolster new movie biz site ...

— TJ Sullivan in LA

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Sunday, January 18, 2009


Still No Word from Jonesy's Jukebox

— Photo By TJ Sullivan —

Regarding Indie 103.1 FM going off the air last week ...

A press release from MSOPR has been making the rounds since Thursday. MSOPR is the public relations company that represents The Sex Pistols, whose guitarist Steve Jones hosted the popular Indie 103.1 lunch-hour program "Jonesy's Jukebox." Both LA Weekly and OC Weekly have reiterated all there is to say, that Jonesy is looking to expand the show. Unfortunately, there's no hint about whether that might happen at the online-version of 103.1, or somewhere else.

In addition, Steve Jones, the self-proclaimed Sire of Wilshire (a nod to the former station's physical address at 5700 Wilshire Blvd.) offers a goodbye quote that's only a tad more optimistic than a "Dear John" letter: "I'd like to think we broke some rules and that everyone had a bloody good time. Thanks for listening."

Variety has reported that "Jones has had discussions about expanding the two-hour program elsewhere," but that's all you get from Variety. No facts for you!

I e-mailed MSOPR to ask if they could confirm anything more regarding Jonesy's Jukebox and whether it would, or wouldn't, be part of Indie 103.1's Internet existence. The reply was that there was nothing new to report. No help from the Indie 103.1 Web site either. It still has all the old on-air schedule information up regarding Jonesy's Jukebox.

If I had to speculate, I'd say Jonesy is talking syndication, which would make his program available to a much larger audience. Having had a few years to experiment and prove himself in LA, I'd expect we'll be hearing something soon, if indeed that's the way he wants to go. This is, however, pure speculation based on nothing other than my best guess.

— TJ Sullivan in LA

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Friday, January 16, 2009


When Will 103.1 FM Be Resurrected Online?

Here are today's links to my posts at NBC:

- Indie 103.1 is dead air, but what's online ...

- LA foodies can eat prix-fixe at a discount ...

- Raising cain over cops without helmets...

— TJ Sullivan in LA

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Thursday, January 15, 2009


Indie 103.1 Pulls Plug ... Forever!

I knew they were having trouble, that the future of some programs was in doubt, but I never imagined we were at risk of losing the whole station.

Indie 103.1 has announced on its Web site that, effective immediately, it has gone off the air. In addition, a looped recorded message was put on the air, advising listeners to tune in online from now on.

Blame Britney, they say, because stations struggling to survive in the LA market are being forced to play too much of her music, and Puffy, and "alternative music that is neither new nor cutting edge." (Whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.)

What a tragic loss for the radio waves, the worst of it being the loss of Jonesy's Jukebox, a show that became the most exciting thing I've found on radio since WRIF in Detroit provided me and thousands of other Motown listeners relief from the horror that was disco (and how could I forget the launch of my college radio station, WRFL, in what was previously music-deprived Lexington, KY).

It's unclear whether Jonesy's Jukebox will be joining the online format, or when that format will start. All the online feed has been playing today is music.

The text from the 103.1 site says about the same as the on-air loop:
This is an important message for the Indie 103.1 Radio Audience -

Indie 103.1 will cease broadcasting over this frequency effective immediately. Because of changes in the radio industry and the way radio audiences are measured, stations in this market are being forced to play too much Britney, Puffy and alternative music that is neither new nor cutting edge. Due to these challenges, Indie 103.1 was recently faced with only one option --- to play the corporate radio game.

We have decided not to play that game any longer. Rather than changing the sound, spirit, and soul of what has made Indie 103.1 great Indie 103.1 will bid farewell to the terrestrial airwaves and take an alternative course.

This could only be done on the Internet, a place where rules do not apply and where new music thrives; be it grunge, punk, or alternative -- simply put, only the best music.

For those of you with a computer at home or at work, log on to www.indie1031.com and listen to the new Indie 103.1 - which is really the old Indie 103.1, not the version of Indie 103.1 we are removing from the broadcast airwaves.

We thank our listeners and advertisers for their support of the greatest radio station ever conceived, and look forward to continuing to deliver the famed Indie 103.1 music and spirit over the Internet to passionate music listeners around the world.

Indie 103.1, and especially you Jonesy, will be greatly missed on the airwaves of LA.

UPDATE: More from Chris Morris, who hosted Watusi Radio on 103.1 ...

— TJ Sullivan in LA

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Is This More Parking Skulduggery?*

— Photo by TJ Sullivan —

* I talked about this issue on KCRW's 'Which Way, LA? with host Warren Olney and Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at UCLA.

DOWNLOAD LINK and a related post by Zach Behrens at LAist

Los Angeles parking-meter fees are likely to remain a contentious issue for awhile now, especially considering the City Council's decision Tuesday to request a study that will take three months to prepare, though that may be just long enough for something else to come along and distract us before any changes result.

Although a good argument can be made about the beneficial deterrent effects of higher-priced curbside parking — specifically the increased motivation for commuters to carpool — that wasn't the reason the city hiked the fees last year. Rather, the fee hike provided a source of much-needed revenue, and that's a much bigger problem that isn't about to go away.

No one who expects to be taken seriously in this discussion would be so foolish as to suggest parking ought to be free. And, maybe 25 cents was too little to charge per hour in any part of the city. But taking rates as high as $4 an hour in some areas, in addition to increasing the hours of operation in both the morning and evening, is definitely too much too fast.

Many drivers and business owners have already complained, and more are certain to do the same in the coming weeks.

At some point, we're going to have to ask whether this is parking skulduggery because, once the dollars start to flow into city coffers, the meter-revenue claim is sure to smack of bureaucratic doublespeak. As the source of the increased revenue is revealed we'll see that they really meant "meter-maid revenue." We can already guess from whence a lot of this money will come, not in quarters from the meters, but rather from the checks we'll all write to pay the parking citations we'll find tucked beneath the windshield wipers on our cars. And that doesn't seem fair, or just.

Many drivers won't notice that the meter fees have changed. Nor will it register that the hours of operation stated on the sign have been altered. They'll pump that quarter into the meter like always expecting to get an hour in return, or they'll park thinking the space is free after 6 p.m., like it's always been ... until now ... and the cost of that education will be the fine stated on the ticket.

Who parks at the meters? It's not the Lincoln Town Cars with chauffeurs at the wheel. It's the rest of us.

It's part-time students at UCLA who are taking just one class and can't afford a parking pass. It's people using the Central Library downtown, where the parking garage used to be reasonably priced, but now can cost as much as $9 for three hours, and another $4 for every 10 minutes after that, up to $36.50!

It would be one thing if LA had the public transportation system of San Francisco, or New York, but we don't. For some trips, the bus makes sense, but for most of us, it's just not practical. We have to drive to get where we need to go in the time that we have to get there.

For the City Council to now be asking for a study about all of this is completely backwards, and, because it was the council who approved this in the first place, I can't help but assume that the study is merely a way to buy some time, to allow things to cool, because for a matter such as this, three months is longer than the limits of the public attention span.

— TJ Sullivan in LA

* Cross posted at LA Observed

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