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Laguna Beach’s KX FM Radio invites local community members to ‘Takeover’ on the air

Merry Tungka and Frank and Krista Arellano, from left, of Laguna Sound, take a break as they participate in the KX Takeover.
Merry Tungka and Frank and Krista Arellano, from left, of Laguna Sound, take a break as they participate in the KX Takeover on-air pledge drive at the KX 104.7 radio station in Laguna Beach on Friday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Laguna Beach-based radio station KX FM 104.7 is once again inviting community members to take over its airwaves as a fundraising event.

The ‘KX Takeover’ debuted just one year after the station came into being in 2012. The event allows for Laguna Beach locals and those associated with the station to jump on the air as guest hosts who DJ for their own time slot.

Listeners then have an opportunity to donate to the station and support their favorite DJ. The guest host who raises the most money for the station is then crowned the winner of the Silver Tongue Award.

The annual pledge drive is taking place from Nov. 18 to 24 this year, although segments from the KX Takeover will remain available at kxfmradio.org/kxtakeover. Donations can also be made through the Thanksgiving holiday.

KX FM founder Tyler Russell McCusker, who started the station eight years ago at the age of 23, said he continues to be humbled by the community response.

Russell McCusker called the fundraiser flattering “because people are taking time out of their lives to come on the air and raise money, not for themselves and not for their own cause, but actually to keep us afloat.”

It is also an opportunity for different voices to be heard. Councilman Peter Blake let it be known at the most recent City Council meeting that he would be participating in the KX Takeover. Blake will go on the air at 7 p.m. on Monday, and then Councilwoman Toni Iseman will be on for the 3 p.m. hour on Tuesday.

Frank and Krista Arellano, and Merry Tungka, from left, of Laguna Sound, pause as they participate in the KX Takeover.
Frank and Krista Arellano and Merry Tungka, from left, of Laguna Sound, pause as they participate in the KX Takeover.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“We think it’s important for the radio station to be a voice of every single person in this community, no matter how different their views are,” Russell McCusker said. “That’s why we don’t really care what the person has to say or what they want to do as long as they follow the legal rules that are set by the FCC.”

Several hosts of the KX Takeover have already entertained listeners in various ways. Russell McCusker noted that one group of hosts played songs from movies and had listeners call in to guess the answer.

Ed Steinfeld played The Beatles’ Abbey Road album in its entirety, saying, “You never get to hear an album the way that it should be heard, all the way through.”

Bruce Rave, who said he was formerly responsible for West Coast and international artists and repertoire for Capitol Records, had a great lineup for his hour, bringing on Weird Al Yankovic, The Knack and Missing Persons bass player Prescott Niles and others for discussion.

“It was a lot of fun to do it,” Rave said. “The hour just flew by and I didn’t get to nearly the amount of music or stories that I was planning on because like Tyler and I were joking after the show, I’m not going to tell Weird Al after two or three minutes, ‘OK, got to cut you off. We got to go now.’

“It was just really good to have a chance to chat with these people, who in turn showed some really nice love to the radio station for doing it.”

Larry Nokes, a lawyer who previously won the Silver Tongue Award, decided to play country music in his return to the contest this year. He would not count himself out for the win, either.

“The money’s still pouring in,” Nokes said. “It’s not over. We’re still working.”

Nokes added that he is a big fan of the KX Takeover, saying, “I love it because I like the station, and I really like what it does. I really like what it provides to the city. I want to help support in any way I can.”

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