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    Sunday, October 29, 2006

    Radio Loses Legend Mike Phillips

    Legendary personality and program director Mike Phillips died October 16th, 2006 following a two and a half year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 64. Mike moved from his Santa Clarita home to Portland earlier this summer to be with his family.

    Mike was one of the original 610 men at KFRC-San Francisco in 1966. Word of Mike’s passing came from his three-decade friend Tom Parker, who was with Mike when he passed away. Parker worked with Phillips starting in 1974 at KGW-Portland, then three stations in San Francisco, KYUU, K101, and KFRC.

    “Mike had a great and wonderful career,” said Parker. “He invented the format that eventually became Soft AC with KOIT. A very successful guy with many different formats. What he did with K-EARTH was nothing short of incredible. They were 14th when he took over and kept them in the Top 5 the whole time he was there.”

    Radio and Records reported that during his 40-year radio career, Phillips was associated with such illustrious call letters as KISN/Portland (as an 18-year old jock!), KGW/Portland, KJR/Seattle, and Bay Area stops at KNBR, KFRC, KIOI, and KOIT. He was also the first PD of the late KYUU/San Francisco. Phillips was later named VP of programming of the NBC FM Radio Group, which included WYNY/New York,
    WKYS/Washington, WKQX/Chicago and KYUU. In 1990, Phillips embarked on his final full-time radio stint -- an 11-year run at KRTH (K-Earth)/Los Angeles, before leaving in 2001.

    Annette Lai, the longtime former AC Editor of The Gavin Report, worked with Phillips for many years -- she was his programming assistant at KYUU and was later his executive assistant when he was VP of programming of the NBC FM Radio Group. "I was very fortunate to have Mike as a boss at KYUU and as a friend for more than 25 years. He will be missed," Lai says. "He was the only boss I ever had who made me file a rubber chicken!"

    Tom Parker, Phillips' longtime friend and a former fellow KFRC jock tells R&R: "Mike was truly one of the best people in the business. He was a program director who put the interests of his staff ahead of the interests of the corporation!"

    Les Chan adds to The Time Machine:

    I knew Mike.. Related to my Beach Boys connections.

    When Dennis Wilson died on Dec 28, 1983, I received a phone call from Mike Phillips from K101 radio, on the 29th. He was the program director at the time. He somehow found me and ask me to come down to the station to do a 1 hour tribute to Dennis Wilson.

    That evening at 6pm, K-101 radio had their tribute to Dennis Wilson with myself and drummer Scott Matthews in the studio with the DJ Jackie Skar. It was a very moving tribute filled with songs like; "Little Bird", "Angel Come Home", "You and I", "Mona", "In The Back Of My Mind" and "Do You Wanna Dance" along with interviews with myself and Scott.

    Several fans called in to reflect on the passing of Dennis. The show was something I am very proud to have particpated in and appreciated Mike calling me. I have a cassette tape of the show that Mike sent to me a few weeks later.

    Posted by Les Chan


    Below is a list of stations that Mike Phillips performed his "radio magic":

    KAYO Seattle WA 1961
    KJR Seattle WA 1961
    KISN Portland OR 1962
    KJR Seattle WA 1962
    KNBR San Francisco CA 1965
    KFRC San Francisco CA 1966
    KJR Seattle WA 1968
    WXLO New York NY 1973
    KGW Portland OR 1975
    KYUU San Francisco CA 1980
    KIOI San Francisco CA 1982
    KFRC San Francisco CA 1984
    KOIT San Francisco CA 1986
    Research Group Seattle WA 1987
    WTMX Chicago IL 1989
    KRTH Los Angeles CA 1990-2001


    Listen to Mike Phillips in January of 1964 on KJR

    Rock Radio Scrapbook



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