Bill Virgin's Radio Beat November 1, 2007

Includes archive of Bill Virgin's columns fromJ une 2006 - March 2009

Bill Virgin's Radio Beat November 1, 2007

Postby radiofan » Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:51 pm

On Radio: Robin & Maynard return doesn't look likely
Despite fan appeal, stations resist 'a high-overhead show'


The question that Seattle-area radio listeners keep asking: When are Robin & Maynard coming back?

John Maynard has been getting that question ever since he and longtime partner Robin Erickson had their show abruptly terminated by a format switch in December 2005 at talk station The Buzz (now country station KKWF-FM/100.7 The Wolf).

"I am still answering e-mails," Maynard says. "It is flattering" that the show's fans still care and want Robin & Maynard back.

And the answer?

"People don't understand -- they think it's our choice, that we could go back any time we want.

"There's the little matter of a contract."

Maynard is doing occasional radio gigs. At KPLU-FM/88.5, he hosts a monthly three-minute talk with real estate expert Richard Hagar, who was discovered when the show was still at The Buzz. "He lit up the phone lines," Maynard says. "He's really good -- I'd like to figure out how to take him nationally. That guy could bark for a good four hours about real estate."

Maynard also taped some KPLU pledge-drive promotional announcements with comedian Jerry Seinfeld. And he played the part of the Squid-Lord in a recent production of Dick Stein's drama/musical/detective spoof "Jimmy Jazzoid."

Beyond radio, Maynard has been doing promotional work for Bastyr University and is looking at a CD/DVD project of musical groups that have performed in the school's chapel.

Erickson, meanwhile, e-mails from Montana (where she has a ranch) that "I have been keeping myself busy trying to stay on top of a few homes, traveling and pursuing my goal of becoming the consummate housewife."

The two also completed in September their third charity golf tournament (proceeds went to the City of Hope) that Maynard says was more successful than when it was backed by radio promotion. It also reunited many of the guests and radio compatriots from the glory days of the Robin & Maynard show, including Crow & West, Chip Hanauer, Richard Peterson and Seattle P-I sports columnist Art Thiel.

Which brings us back to the matter of Robin & Maynard's return to radio, where they were a team for more than 20 years on stations such as KISW-FM/99.9, KXRX-FM (now gone) and KZOK-FM/102.5.

Maynard doesn't rule out the possibility. "You never know when you'll get the phone call," he says.

But he's also not optimistic about it happening. With station managers under increasing pressure from corporate ownership to boost revenue and keep costs down, Maynard wonders how interested a station would be in hiring not just Robin and Maynard, but also the necessary staff ("It's a high-overhead show," he says) and giving it a couple of years to build an audience.

"We were in a good place with getting good contracts" from the stations they worked for, he adds. "I don't see those coming any more."

Adds Erickson, "It is likely that I will always have the radio itch (I have had a few meetings in that regard of late), but I am not sure that I need to scratch that itch just yet."

In other radio notes:

Speaking of familiar voices, another has returned to the local airwaves. Fred Ebert, who once hosted an evening talk show on KIRO-AM/710, can now be heard on KITZ-AM/1400 and KGTK-AM/920 at 5 p.m. weekdays.

KUOW-FM/94.9's two-quarter run as the top-rated station in the Seattle-Tacoma market ended in the summer ratings, according to data from Arbitron. KUOW placed fourth when results for commercial and non-commercial stations are combined, behind KMPS-FM/94.1, KOMO-AM/1000 and KUBE-FM/93.3, and tied with KWJZ-FM/98.9. KPLU-FM placed 11th in the charts.

If certain Seattle radio stations disappeared from your radio last Thursday, Clear Channel Seattle says there was a reason: a construction mishap that cut phone and other communications lines, knocking KJR-AM/950, KUBE-FM/93.3, KJR-FM/95.7, KFNK-FM/104.9 and KHHO-AM/850 off the air about 11:38 a.m.

Economist and author Paul Krugman is the guest on "Weekday" at 9 a.m. Thursday on KUOW-FM.

Jim Wilke's "Jazz Northwest" at 1 p.m. Sunday on KPLU-FM includes a recent performance by pianist Lynne Arriale and her trio.

P-I reporter Bill Virgin can be reached at 206-448-8319 or

Bill Virgin's Radio Beat every Thursday in the Seattle P-I
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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