CHARLOTTE, N.C. Dominique DiPrima has one of the most unusual shifts at one of the nation’s most unusual radio stations.
Shift: 4:30 to 6 a.m., which she says is fantastic.
“It’s rush hour,” DiPrima says from her broadcast booth at Time Warner Cable Arena. Her station is KJLH-FM and the city is Los Angeles. By the time “The Front Page With Dominique DiPrima” hits the air, the 405 freeway is already a river of brake lights.
One of the things that makes KJLH unusual is that it has a mix of talk shows, music and religion. Radio consultants have advised the owner to focus on a single format, but it’s the only station he owns, and he likes to do it his way.
His name is Stevie Wonder. He’s owned it for 40 years, and DiPrima says he’s intensely involved. “He calls us on the hotline during a break and will say, ‘That was good’ or ‘Ask him this question,’ ” she says.
KJLH is one of dozens of stations broadcasting from Radio Row, booths lining the concourse level where hosts can grab passers-by for interviews.
Scott Wykoff of Baltimore’s WBAL-AM says that in Tampa, Radio Row was in a different building than the convention. He likes that the DNC put it on the concourse where everyone is available and you can feel the crowd’s energy.
His best interview?
“Larry Sprinkle! Everybody in Baltimore loved him. Weather was on everyone’s mind, and he did a great interview. That’s his real name, too.”
Yes. We know that.
WBT-AM (1110) has prime position at the edge of the lobby and does its local shows, “Charlotte’s Morning News” with Stacey Simms and Bo Thompson, Keith Larson, “Brad & Britt” with Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire, and evenings with John Hancock.
“I had Gloria Allred and Jesse Jackson standing right here,” says Hancock, “and I didn’t want to interview either one of them. I’ve given them plenty of trouble through the years.”
Whitmire says he and Krantz felt like they got a snapshot of America by interviewing delegates from different places, though they’ve landed some celebs as well, like actor Beau Bridges and former RNC Chairman Michael Steele.
Krantz, who has been occasionally known to cast a blistering verdict on anything that swims into his mind, was oddly smitten with the convention by Thursday afternoon.
“It almost becomes embarrassing, the pandering we were all doing in Charlotte like, ‘Oh, there’s going to be a traffic problem’; ‘I’ll never be able to get into a restaurant for, like, the rest of my life.’ Now every time you turn on the TV anywhere, they’re talking about Charlotte. That’s as cool as it can be.”