Politics have long been one of Tom Barberi's favorite topics. In fact, no one has as much fun with politics as Barberi.
So it's no surprise then that his latest radio stunt was to announce his bid to be on the "presidential ticket," with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).On July 4, Barberi -- the morning talk show host on KALL (AM-910) since July 5, 1971 -- made this announcement in front of 16,000 baseball fans at Franklin Covey Field.
OK, so no one -- including Barberi -- is taking this bid seriously, but he's certainly having a lot of fun with it.
As Barberi puts it, this could create the first truly balanced presidential ticket, a career politician with lifelong ties to the LDS Church and a talk-show host who boasts a lifelong conflict with the Catholic Church.
"Orrin carries the flag and I carry the fire extinguisher," Barberi said. "Orrin is the designated driver and I am in the back seat. . . . It's a perfect marriage."
This publicity stunt also tied in well with Barberi's 28th anniversary at KALL, which he celebrated this week. There are probably only four or five other radio personalities in the country who have a nearly three-decade longevity with the same station.
On his Tuesday show, Barberi heard from many of his long-time listeners and former colleagues.
Will he ever give it up?
"I can't imagine not doing it," he said. "There's no way I can retire."
Paul Harvey was old when Barberi started doing radio, and he's still around. Barberi would like to have the same kind of longevity.
You know Barberi truly enjoys his job because he looks forward to every Monday, when he can start a new week of talking about the latest in politics.
COASTER RADIO -- During a June visit to the Idaho Panhandle, I came across a radio stunt the likes of which I haven't seen in many years. A Coeur d' Alene station (I can't remember the call letters, but it had a "Z-Morning Zoo" show) was offering $10,000 to anyone who could survive 15 days of riding in a roller coaster.
The marathon event was being staged in Silverwood, 15 miles north in Athol, on the amusement park's new Tremors wooden coaster. With a 100-foot plunge and with five below-ground drops, this ride is a real kick.
When I visited Silverwood, the radio event was in its eighth day, and five of eight contestants were left. I heard one guy say that after some 200 rides, he couldn't feel anything anymore. All the contestants had earplugs and most had headphones.
I never found out who won, but the radio station event was receiving plenty of daily TV coverage.
Could we ever see a similar contest at Lagoon, co-sponsored by some radio station and the amusement park? Maybe.
Lagoon Spokesman Dick Andrew said such events go on all over the country, but liability issues are a sticky for the amusement parks who co-sponsor them.
KOSY has moved its north of Salt Lake location on the dial from FM-107.9 to FM-106.9. The station remains at FM-106.5 for Salt Lake City, though in some places you can hear both frequencies. KSNU, "The Edge," FM-107.9 -- has taken KOSY's former place on the radio dial.
TEN YEARS AGO -- KUTR, LDS music format, signs off the air and is replaced by a simulcast of classic rock station KLZX. The format just couldn't make enough money to be viable.
RADIO HAPPENINGS -- "The Freak Show" with Mick and Allen on KURR has a contest going to develop a theme song for the morning show . . . The $5 Million Olympic Bribery Scandal Contest continues on KKAT . . . "Fisher, Todd and Erin" on KISN were looking for more unsung Utah heroes Tuesday . . .
"Simon and Brady" on KBEE had a psychic on the air Tuesday. However, this time around the expert was pet-oriented and looking into reincarnations for listeners' dead pets . . . "Johnson and Johnson" on KUBL gave away Tim McGraw concert tickets earlier this week.
Deseret News radio editor Lynn Arave can be reached by phone at 237-2168 or by e-mail at [email protected]