My Latest SLO Tribune By the Bay: Animal

   is “America’s most listened-to Pet Talk” interactive radio program. It is syndicated in 100 U.S. affiliate stations in 90 markets, XM Satellite Radio, and generates 100,000 podcast downloads internationally. So you already listen each Sunday from 2-4 p.m. on KVEC-Talk 920. But did you know Hal Abrams, the program’s “voice” and Judy Francis, the executive producer, “talk” with the world about our furry, leathered or feathered friends from their studio in Morro Bay?

They’ll call in their “experts” like Dr. Debbie from Las Vegas, Vladae, the Russian Dog Wizard from Newport, Groomer Joey Villani, from New Jersey and Animal Communicator Joy Turner from Seattle.

Abrams has been in radio forever starting in Los Angeles playing music and creating high visibility fundraising stunts like spending a week in an Alaskan doghouse for the SPCA. He’s worked in San Francisco, Denver, Fresno, Montana, Ventura, but prefers California.

Finch, his wife, says she was “lucky caller #5.” Her prize was a lifelong commitment to tour and develop their passion for animals and radio.

Animal Radio has developed and thrived since 2001. Their first affiliate was KOST.103.5 in Los Angeles. They built their brand by traveling the USA in their RV. Sponsored by Bissell and PetCo, they’d interview guests live at PetCo’s. They based a year in Utah hosted by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Then in 2004 they returned to Shandon, but longed to be seaside.

“We love the Rock, the birds and passionate people. We plan to get involved,” said Abrams. “Business is good. The pet marketplace is worth $50B expected to grow to $90B by 2017. Retail, restaurants, and tourism are pet-friendly today.”

Meanwhile Abrams intends to file with the FCC for a Morro Bay non-commercial, non-political community FM radio station. Its range would include Morro Bay, Cayucos and Los Osos with programming 24/7 taped and delivered by people in the community. What does he need to make it happen? No, not your money! Remember, he has the studio already. He needs to prove to the FCC the community is willing and interested. He needs potential community-based board members with diverse skills interested in radio programming and willing to give of their time and talents to promote Central Coast people and events, news and information.

“The new website should be operational in March,”he said. “but I want to meet with interested folks sooner. Call him at 805.772-1314 or email

Meanwhile, listen Sundays when will host guests like Elayne Boosler and Iron Chef Cat Cora, and Cambria’s Elephant Seals docent, Charmaine Coimbra. And watch when their Morro Bay studio premiers on TLC Cable Network. Yes, they just finished filming!

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