Monday, December 17, 2001

Hilo radio station to
get livened up

Longtime Hilo radio personality and event master of ceremonies Darrin "DC" Carlson returns to the morning airwaves today for New West Broadcasting Corp.'s "B-97," 97.1 KNWB FM. The company also owns 94.7 KWXX FM, 670 KPUA AM and the e-commerce site

Previously the B-97 morning show did not feature a live host, but was "voice-tracked" by John Burnett, who will remain with the company.

"We're going to kick this off with some trip giveaways," said General Manager Chris Leonard, just in time for holiday travel to the neighbor islands.

Carlson's 6 to 10 a.m. show will be followed by Yisa from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Kaohu James from 3 to 7 p.m., and Desiree from 7 to midnight; the station's overnight programming is host-less.

The station's format is hits of the '70s and '80s with core artists ranging from the Eagles to INXS, Leonard said.

While a 16-year Hilo radio veteran, Carlson has nothing on Shinobu Sato, who works at B-97 sister station KPUA.

A woman of a certain age, she has hosted and sold commercial time on her hour-long "Echoes of Japan" show ever since anyone can remember. It airs 5 to 6 a.m. Monday to Saturday.

"We've never been able to figure it out exactly," said Leonard. "It's close to 50 years."

Long-distance dedication

They could have made one of those long-distance commercials Saturday in the Bishop Street offices of Merrill Lynch.

In keeping with annual tradition, the company opened its doors from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to allow invited senior citizens groups, veterans, military personnel and others to call loved ones anywhere in the world.

"It's always kind of heartwarming," said Merrill Lynch Pacific Islands Complex Sales Manager George Kaluhiokalani, "These people get to talk to a son or daughter they haven't talked to in a year or a couple of years, in many cases because they're somewhere else in the world."

"We try to get some of the older veterans who've served in other wars," he said. "Generally their families have moved away from them and in this mobile society it's not as easy for them to keep in touch."

Others with connections to military members overseas were also invited to call on the company's dime.

Employees volunteered their time to help place calls and provide refreshments, he said.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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