HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

In 1992, I was trying to kick Klonopin, and Kevin Weatherly was named PD at KROQ. I vividly remember the first time Kevin called me at HITS. He was angry that I had speculated in this very column about whether or not a former Top 40 PD was a good fit for an (even then) legendary Alternative station. I promised to keep an open mind (who the fuck did I think I was?) and offered to introduce him to the Alternative community.

Not long after, I arranged a 30th birthday celebration for Kevin at Tokyo Delve (the Chuck E. Cheese of sushi restaurants) in North Hollywood, attended by at least 40 of his new Alternative promo friends. Once Kevin assembled his dream team of Gene Sandbloom and Lisa Worden, the Tuesday afternoon phone call from “Kevin, Gene and Lisa” to tell us they added one of our records became the single greatest call we could ever hope for. As an Alternative promotion person, there is no bigger “high” than that call, and my reaction is always the same: I giggle, thank them effusively, dance around my office, and then yell it to the world.

Earlier this week, Kevin announced he was leaving KROQ, without the as-yet-to-be-official word about where he’s headed next (but we know it’s a very exciting opportunity for him), and I think we can all agree that when a book about the history of Alternative radio is written (1990-2020), he’ll be acknowledged as the GOAT. Also, in that book, I will be acknowledged as the “dowager,” or perhaps the “cockroach” of Modern Rock. Thank you.

While we spent Wednesday night speculating about who would be chosen as Kevin’s replacement, the news we’d hoped to hear was soon confirmed: Mike Kaplan would be the new Brand Manager for KROQ, while also retaining his SVP programming and WNYL Brand Manager gig. We always knew Mike was destined to return to L.A.! Congratulations to all!

In the last column, I recommended that the key to career longevity included being absolutely right at least two times per year. Luckily for you, three of those completely magical records happened to be released this week: Ashe’s “Moral of the Story” on Mom+Pop is poised to be the biggest record of the year. First embraced by 98.7 in L.A., the TikTok video of Ashe hearing her song for the first time when Andrew Harms played it last Friday got 2.5m streams over the weekend! Currently, “Moral of the Story” is #21 on the U.S. Spotify chart and #26 on the U.S. Apple chart, with 98.7, KITS and SiriusXM Alt Nation adding it this week. The song is co-written and produced by FINNEAS, whose “Let’s Fall in Love…” is currently Top 20 at Alternative. The format needs to embrace artists like Ashe in order to reinforce our position as a format that can truly break artist

Another record to focus your attention on is Joji’s “Run,” which has 28m Spotify plays since its release three weeks ago, and another 15 million YouTube streams on top of that. I love this song—his voice just kills me. This is another record that will make it seem like you know what you’re doing… Canadian artist Powfu is a new Columbia signing whose single “death bed,” which samples Beabadoobee’s “Coffee,” is another must-add song for your arsenal. Of course, KITS and Alt Nation are already on this track (what do they know that you don’t?), and this is another record that will make you look like the genius we know you are.

Speaking of Beabadoobee, come see her with me on Wednesday night at SXSW, along with Jehnny Beth (formerly of Savages) and Irish buzz band The Murder Capital (drinks are on Warren). I’m also excited to see KennyHoopla in Austin—his “How Will I Rest in Peace…” is radio’s first consensus song of 2020.

SONG TO HEAR: Grimes“Delete Forever”

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