Jim Ladd

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Jim Ladd
Ladd in July 2012
Born (1948-01-17) January 17, 1948 (age 74)
United States
  • Disc jockey
  • radio personality
  • writer
SpouseHelene Hodge-Ladd

Jim Ladd (born January 17, 1948), an American disc jockey, radio producer and writer, is one of the few notable remaining freeform rock DJs in United States commercial radio.[1] Ladd first gained national prominence as host of the hour long, nationally syndicated radio program Innerview, which aired weekly on over 160 stations nationwide for twelve years.[2]


Early years and KMET[edit]

Ladd began his career in 1969 at KNAC, a small Long Beach rock station. After two years there, he moved to Los Angeles station KLOS. In 1974 he moved to KMET, known to its legions of listeners as "The Mighty Met", where he would remain for most of the next 13 years (returning to KLOS in 1984, but going back to KMET again, 2 months before they changed format), while also hosting and producing Innerview, an hour-long nationally syndicated interview program that aired during the same period.

After what many listeners and people in the industry perceived as a long steady decline in the station's output, attributed by most accounts to the station's decision to bring in consultant Lee Abrams and the strict "album-oriented rock" formatting he favored, KMET management shocked southern California and all of radio by abruptly dumping rock music, the call letters, and the entire air staff on February 14, 1987, becoming KTWV ("The Wave"), featuring a new age format with no DJs at all.

Jumping station to station, and side projects[edit]

In 1987, Ladd appeared on Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters' second solo album Radio K.A.O.S., portraying a fictional disk jockey named DJ Jim who talks to the album's protagonist, a handicapped boy named Billy.[3] Ladd joined Waters on the tour that followed, and appeared in the three music videos for the album. Ladd also played an all-night DJ in Cameron Crowe's 1989 film Say Anything.... Ladd's work has also been featured in major motion pictures such as Tequila Sunrise, Rush, She's Out of Control, and Defendor starring Woody Harrelson.

For several years, Ladd worked only on-and-off on the radio because he refused to follow a playlist, as most station owners demanded. In the late 1980s, Ladd worked at KMPC-FM, where he helped to shape its "Full Spectrum Rock" blend of classic and modern rock, and was enthusiastic about its rebranding as KEDG "the Edge" in March 1989, but was laid off when the station abruptly abandoned its rock format two months later.[4]

In 1991 Ladd released a semi-autobiographical book titled Radio Waves: Life And Revolution On The FM Dial (St. Martin's Press), based on his radio career and the rise and fall of freeform rock radio in LA, from the genesis of freeform on the West Coast through the demise of KMET in 1987. The names of many people and radio stations Ladd encountered during that two-decade period were swapped for pseudonyms; however, Raechel Donahue has said that she insisted Ladd use her real name and that of her late husband Tom Donahue in the book. David Perry, Ace Young, Jack Snyder, Damion, and the late personalities B. Mitchel Reed and J. J. Jackson, were also among those identified by their actual "air names".

That same year, Ladd was hired by KLSX. In July 1995, Ladd and the entire KLSX staff were summarily fired as the station abruptly changed its format to talk radio.[5]

Free-form show on KLOS and the internet[edit]

Ladd and his free-form rock music returned to KLOS in 1997 and aired until October 26, 2011 Monday thru Thursday from 10PM to 2AM (PDT), and on Sunday from 9PM to Midnight. His show routinely led its time slot in Arbitron ratings. KLOS renewed his contract in January 2007. In addition, he has produced, written and narrated a number of nationally syndicated programs, including interviews, concert specials and album premieres.

Most recently, Ladd has used his MySpace and Facebook pages to interact with his listeners, who he refers to as "The Tribe." He often takes requests in the comments section, and has used the site as a source to become familiar with his listeners and promote free form radio. Beginning March 10, 2008, Ladd allowed his show to be streamed on KLOS's web site.

On October 26, 2011, Ladd was among various staffers fired from KLOS following the acquisition of station owner Citadel Broadcasting by Cumulus Media.[6]

On November 5, 2011, Ladd gave a three-hour farewell broadcast on AM station KFI in Los Angeles.

Sirius XM[edit]

On December 2, 2011, Sirius XM Radio announced that Jim Ladd would host a live, daily free-form music show on Deep Tracks, channel 27 beginning in January 2012.[7]

Hollywood Walk of Fame[edit]

On May 6, 2005, Ladd received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in recognition for the first 38 years of his groundbreaking radio career at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard. Friend Jackson Browne made a speech.[8][9][10]

Personal life[edit]

Ladd is married to writer, poet and musician Helene Hodge-Ladd.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Jim Ladd Beats Tribal Drum for FM Rock". Los Angeles Times. May 27, 1991.
  2. ^ I. "Innerview Profile". discogs.
  3. ^ Cashmere, Paul (January 30, 2007). "Songwriter Jim Wagner Calls Tom Petty A Liar – Undercover.fm News". Undercover.com.au. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  4. ^ Gene Autry. "KMPC-FM 101.9: Full Spectrum Rock". Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  5. ^ Simone, Michael. ""Am, Fm, Weather and News...": An interview with Jim Ladd". Rogerwaters.org.
  6. ^ Roderick, Kevin (October 26, 2011). "End of an era at KLOS: Jim Ladd out". LA Observed. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  7. ^ "Rock Radio Pioneer Jim Ladd to Join SiriusXM – NEW YORK, Dec. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/". New York. PR Newswire. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  8. ^ "Jim Ladd's Star Ceremony- Jackson Browne". Retrieved October 2, 2012 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Hollywood Star Walk". Los Angeles Times.
  10. ^ "Jim Ladd Hollywood Walk of Fame". Gettyimages.com.

External links[edit]