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Copying Jack 93.1

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If you're listening ever so closely to Star 98.7 these days, they've slightly shifted formats, combining "Real Star Variety" with -- drumroll please -- '80s music. (Like we didn't get enough "totally '80s" weekends). Further down the radio dial, the "new" KBIG 104.3 has switched to a playlist that includes today's best music, some dance stuff and -- ready for this -- '80s music. (Both are owned by radio industry giant Clear Channel- so it's no wonder that even their websites use the same template.)

We heard Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" followed by Outkast's "Hey Ya" on Monday's morning drive on KBIG. Star's playlist includes Pat Benetar's "We Belong" and EMF's "Unbelievable" and Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me."

But check out Star's website, and the station's Top 10 lists all current music: Gwen Stefani, Rob Thomas, Maroon 5, Jet and Lifehouse. Hmm. Makes us think about the stations' recent format and programming decisions. Seems like both stations are trying to be more like Jack 93.1, whose mantra is play mainstream whatever music with no talk.

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LAist also did a little surfing on Star's website to see that the afternoon team Jason Pullman and Lisa Fox are no longer part of the "on-air" family. Longtime listeners remember that Fox was paired with Ryan Seacrestbefore he jumped to the KIIS-FM morning show with Ellen K. (Again, another Clear Channel station, same website template.) Though Fox's chemistry with Jason Pullman on the afternoon drive time wasn't all that, we liked her banter that made the chatfest with Seacrest tolerable. And Pullman's acoustic show "Sunday Morning Star Lounge" was a welcome respite from the same old music.

The Sunday show made us a little nostalgic for the mid-90s when KSCA 101.9 (and then its later iteration of 103.1 World Class Rock) were still on LA's airwaves. They played "Morning Becomes Eclectic"-esque music all the time: Aimee Mann, Michelle Shocked, Matthew Sweet, Cracker and the Cowboy Junkies and a whole lot more.

Maybe instead of copying Jack 93.1, Star and KBIG might give listeners back something that's been missing from the L.A. airwaves for a long time now. But real variety might be a little too much to ask from Clear Channel.

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