Monday, November 3, 2014

Car Talk's Tom Magliozzi Dies at 77

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 3:17 PM

77-year-old Tom Magliozzi has died from complications of Alzheimer's disease. But you know him better as one of the "Car Talk Guys," the hilarious and immensely popular hosts of a weekend call-in show which aired live from 1987 to 2012 (and still plays in syndication on Boise State Public Radio).

"This is a heartbreaking loss for all of us at NPR, our Member Stations and millions of listeners in the public radio family," read a statement from NPR President and CEO Jarl Mohn.

It should come as little surprise that the Magliozzi brothers' success came as a fluke. After Ray Magliozzi opened a car repair shop in Cambridge, the 1970s, a local radio station asked him to appear on a talk show but Tom Magliozzi showed up instead (giving out some terrible/hilarious answers). Tom was so entertaining that he got invited back. But the next time, Ray accompanied his brother and a comedy team was born. Car Talk debuted on a Boston public radio station soon thereafter and went nationwide in 1987.

The Magliozzi brothers were also immortalized by voicing characters in the Pixar film Cars.

Car talk had an average audience of 4,000,000 listeners.

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Clearing the Air: FCC Has Big Plans to Revive AM Radio

Posted By on Sat, Nov 2, 2013 at 10:00 AM

The Federal Communications Commission wants to send radio back to the future by re-energizing the AM band.

The New York Times reports that the FCC is poised to alter regulations in an effort to boost AM signals and make it more affordable to invest in AM radio technology.

Only two generations ago, AM radio was king, but in the 1970s as more FM radio bands were installed in automobiles, everything changed. By 1978, AM held only about 50 percent of the audience and today, FM audiences outnumber AM five-to-one.

But The Times reports that reviving AM is a priority of FCC commissioner Ajit Pai who has unveiled a number of big changes which are now open for public comment. One of the biggest changes, according to The Times, is that the FCC would loosen its rules governing nighttime transmission by AM stations. Currently many AM stations are required to reduce their power signals at night to avoid interference with other stations. Additionally, the FCC says it's interested in making empty FM translators available to current AM stations. The Times reports that the FM translators would allow more AM stations to broadcast in urban areas which are restricted by buildings, degrading reception.

The National Association of Broadcasters has already cheered the FCC proposals:

"We strongly endorse the revitalization proceeding and stand ready to work with the FCC to develop meaningful solutions," said NAB president Gordon Smith. "AM radio is a cultural touchstone and jobs generator to cities large and small."

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Audio: Boise Mother, Author of 'I Am Adam Lanza's Mother' Appears on Nationwide StoryCorps Broadcast, Heard on BSPR, With Son

Posted By on Fri, Aug 2, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Liza Long and her son recorded their conversation during StoryCorps recent visit to Boise. Their conversation was broadcast to a national audience Aug. 2.
  • StoryCorps
  • Liza Long and her son recorded their conversation during StoryCorp's recent visit to Boise. Their conversation was broadcast to a national audience Aug. 2.

A nationwide radio audience heard a Boise woman and her son this morning talk about how their heartbreaking struggles got the attention of millions of readers in December 2012.

The woman authored an essay titled " I Am Adam Lanza's Mother," published by the Blue Review. It promptly went viral, attracting thousands of readers around the region before it was reposted, in full, by the Huffington Post and Gawker, and quickly spread across the globe.

In the article, Liza Long wrote about her 13-year-old son who lives with mental illness. She equated their struggle with many other mothers and sons, including Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old Newtown, Mass., man guilty of one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.

"I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.”

This morning on NPR's Morning Edition, heard locally on Boise State Public Radio, Long appeared with her son as a part of the StoryCorps project, which recently spent a month in Boise, recording dozens of personal Idaho histories.

In addition to this morning's broadcast, heard by an estimated audience of 13 million, the conversation featuring Long and her son [along with all of the other recordings] is archived by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The name of Long's son [and above image] is concealed to protect his identity.

You can listen to this morning's StoryCorps conversation featuring Liza Long and her son below.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Press: Another Rabid Bat in North Idaho

Posted By on Sat, Jun 15, 2013 at 10:23 AM

A rabid bat—the third in a month—was caught this past week in Coeur d'Alene.

This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports health officials say it's unusual to have three rabid bats this early in the year, and are reminding citizens not to touch any bats with their bare hards.

The Press reports that no one was directly exposed to the latest bat. A family dog had already been vaccinated and was re-vaccinated after touching the bat.

Previous rabid bat sightings were reported within the last month in Coeur d'Alene and Spirit Lake. In one instance, a family underwent a series of five shots each to protect them from rabies.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Boise Radio Personality Kevin Miller Goes to the Dogs ... and Cats

Posted By on Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 10:38 AM

580 KIDOs Kevin Miller is broadcasting from the Canyon County Animal Shelter until Friday, June 7.
  • Courtesy Peak Broadcasting
  • 580 KIDO's Kevin Miller is broadcasting from the Canyon County Animal Shelter until Friday, June 7.

KIDO 580 AM radio host Kevin Miller is off-leash this week, but he can’t get too far. Miller has caged himself inside a kennel at Canyon County Animal Shelter in Caldwell, part of a week-long radiothon to raise pet adoption awareness.

Miller told Boise Weekly broadcasting from his makeshift studio, “Allows me to observe the adoptions, so I get the chance to give the play-by-play of what’s really going on here on a day-to-day basis.”

Miller is hosting his four hour morning broadcast from inside a kennel until Friday, June 7th to assist the animal shelter in its 4th annual $100,000 Challenge, a national campaign sponsored by the ASPCA.

“The goal is obviously to win,” said Miller. “And not to be cliché, but the truth here from the staff and volunteers is when you rescue and adopt a four-legged, furry family member, you already win.”

Miller added the desire to win is ultimately fueled by the desire to help shelter animals find good homes.

“Where the shelter was a couple years ago, and where it is now, that’s the magic you see here every day, everybody’s winning. Our goal is to maintain that and take it to the next level,” he continued.

In 2012, the Canyon County shelter’s so-called “Mission Pawsible” raised $57,000 and saved the lives of over 2,200 animals.

Courtesy Peak Broadcasting580 KIDOs Kevin Miller is broadcasting from the Canyon County Animal Shelter until Friday, June 7.
  • Courtesy Peak Broadcasting
  • 580 KIDOs Kevin Miller is broadcasting from the Canyon County Animal Shelter until Friday, June 7.
    • Courtesy Peak Broadcasting
    • 580 KIDO's Kevin Miller is broadcasting from the Canyon County Animal Shelter until Friday, June 7.

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

NPR To Silence Talk of the Nation

Posted By on Sat, Mar 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM

National Public Radio stunned more than a few listeners Friday, when it announced the end of its popular Talk of the Nation program, heard weekday afternoons on Boise State Public Radio and airing live from Washington, D.C., for 21 years.

Talk of the Nation's final broadcast is slated for July 1.

The New York Times reported that discussions have been under way for "more than two years between NPR and some of its bigger member stations" to end Talk of the Nation and replace it with an expanded version of Here and Now, which is produced in Boston through Public Radio International. But beginning this summer, NPR announced that it will begin producing Here and Now and expand that program from one hour to two hours beginning July 1.

The Times reported that NPR officials denied the organization's budget deficit of $7 million spurred the decision to end Talk of the Nation.

Longtime Talk of the Nation host Neal Conan announced that he will depart NPR after Talk of the Nation ends.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Nonprofit Radio To Launch in Sun Valley, Ketchum

Posted By on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 9:32 AM

With a promised mission to "inform, educate and engage," a new noncommercial radio station will launch Sunday, March 31, in the Wood River Valley.

Not unlike Radio Boise, which expanded its Treasure Valley signal with a new, stronger frequency in October 2012, Ketchum's KDPI-FM Drop-in Radio was built following a successful $25,000 Kickstarter fundraising campaign for equipment.

KDPI is a nonprofit 501(c)(3).

KDPI is still refining its new digs at 620 Main St. in Ketchum and will begin its programming March 31 at 89.3 FM and online at

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Video: New Radio Boise Transmitter Broadcasts From Atop U.S. Bank Building

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Though the weather was bleak, Radio Boise and Unico Properties led a tour of the US Bank rooftop.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Radio Boise today turned on its new transmitter, stationed atop the US Bank building's roof in Boise and designed to send the station's signal into all the nooks and crannies of the downtown core.

This afternoon, Idaho's tallest building became just a little bit taller.

Atop Boise's 20-story, 267-foot-tall US Bank building at 1020 W. Main St., Radio Boise switched on a 19-foot-tall transmitter, as well as its brand new frequency at 93.5 FM.

Station manager and founder Jeff Abrams led the introduction of the new transmitter live from the building's top floor just after noon. Chuck Graywolf led a brief prayer on the air, after which Radio Boise's programming began to broadcast through the new channel.

Continue reading »

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Monday, August 20, 2012

BW Video Preview: Nic and Big J of The X

Posted By on Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Nic (left) and Big J (right) are getting set to celebrate 5 years together on The Morning After on KQXR 100.3 FM, The X
  • George Prentice
  • Nic (left) and Big J (right) are getting set to celebrate five years together on The Morning After on KQXR 100.3 FM, The X

Family and friends call them Jeremy and Jeremi. But you probably know them better as Nic and Big J, co-hosts of The Morning After on KQXR 100.3 FM, The X.

The relevant but irreverent duo is coming up on a five-year anniversary at The X. They met in August 2007, but only the day before they were expected to hit the airwaves.

"We had only about three hours to meet over a beer," said Big J.

"It was like a blind date," remembered Nic. "The next day, we were live on the air. Believe me, I've been part of morning shows where people hated each other off the air. It's awful."

"You don't hate me?" asked Big J. "That's awesome."

In this week's BW, we sit down with Nic and Big to talk about morning drive, hitting all the green lights to get to work on time and being eternally tired.

[ Video is no longer available. ]

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Contrary to Talk Show Claims, Boise District Employees Didn't Go to Vegas Bowl

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Listen to talk radio in the Treasure Valley and you might hear that the Boise School District is knee-deep in a controversy involving $800 of Boise School District expenses, Las Vegas and the Boise State Broncos' recent appearance in the Maaco Bowl.

Additionally, one radio station is asking local media "to investigate Boise School District's taxpayer trip to Las Vegas last month." In fact, BW received a copy-and-paste inquiry from one of the station's listeners.

The inquiry references a line item in the Boise School District's list of expenses for December. Particularly, on Dec. 20, 2011, a check was cut for $818.76 to the Rivera Operating Company (the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas) with an accompanying description of "travel to conferences."

The station's afternoon talk show host claimed that the district sent "people for a quick trip to Las Vegas, five days before Christmas and two days before the BSU Broncos play in the Maaco Bowl."

"Isn't it interesting that other media outlets in Idaho aren't even paying attention to this?" asked the host. "Why not contact these other media outlets and ask them to investigate this matter?"

With a nod to another broadcaster, Paul Harvey, here's the "rest of the story":

There was no trip to Las Vegas in December.

Citydesk learned that the expense was for two auto electronics instructors who teach at Boise Schools Technical Eduction Center to attend workshops at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. Additionally, the Boise School District is to be reimbursed for such continuing education from the Idaho Division of Vocational-Technical Education.

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