‘No one in their right mind would ask me for a golf tip."
Not what you'd expect to hear from a guy who has spent 15 years hosting a radio show devoted to all things golf, but that's what Jim Apfelbaum told me this week.
Apfelbaum's "That's Golf" airs at 8 a.m. Saturdays on 1300 KVET-AM.
"Were skill in playing golf required to write or report about it, you could count the number of ‘good' golfers on one hand," he said. "Most are miserable."
While Apfelbaum jokingly refers to "both my listeners" when discussing the show, it's clear there's a much larger audience out there. Otherwise, he wouldn't still be on the air.
"Fifteen years is the media equivalent of dog years," he said. "Austin is an exceptional golf town."
Apfelbaum says he strives to avoid "belaboring the obvious" each week. Listeners shouldn't tune in and expect to hear him gush about Tiger Woods and other big-name golfers. That's not the show's focus.
"I have a few informal rules: read, avoid talking about how much the pros make — or about my own golf game, enlist expertise," he said.
"The show strives for a more holistic approach. Hydration, collecting, skin cancer, etiquette, fitness, history, course design, travel, humor, nutrition, obesity, meditation, the environment are eternal topics."
Many in the radio biz are notorious for their super-sized egos but, as you've no doubt figured out by now, that's not the case with Apfelbaum. (Or, if it is, he did a fine job of hiding it from me.)
"An hour a week isn't enough, so there's a Charlie-Brown-kicking-the-football aspect to the show for me," he said. "I never get it right."
8 a.m. Saturdays
KMFA, KUT add staff
Austin radio stations 89.5 KMFA-FM and 90.5 KUT-FM both have new additions to their staffs.
At KMFA, Cheryl Dring has been named program director and will "oversee talent development and production quality, manage special programming/community engagement initiatives, and participate in the continued development of KMFA's overall broadcasting service to the Austin and Central Texas community," according to the station.
She arrives from Wisconsin Public Radio and will start work in August.
"I'm thrilled to be back at an all-classical station," Dring said. "Austin has such a vibrant arts community, and classical music is an important thread in that colorful tapestry. I can't wait to get started."
In addition to Wisconsin, Dring's broadcast career also includes stops in Sacramento, Calif.; New Orleans; Shreveport, La.; and Baton Rouge, La.
KUT, Austin's NPR affiliate, has hired Todd Callahan to serve as its first-ever digital platform content director. He had previously served as a consultant for the station.
He will "focus on building KUT's audience through digital platforms, strengthening KUT's existing relationship with audiences through technology, including building a new iPhone app, and providing the best possible presentation for KUT's digital content," according to the station.
"This is a brand new position and a key one going forward," said Hawk Mendenhall, KUT's associate general manager and director of broadcast and content. "I am confident that Todd understands where we are, where we want to go and has the skills to help get us there."
Callahan's previous work includes a stint overseeing new media for Time Warner Cable's news division.
Around the dial ...
Congrats to the crew at 90.5 KUT-FM, who received a super-prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award. The national award — the NPR affiliate's third — recognized the station's continuing coverage of last year's record-breaking Texas drought that killed crops, dried up waterways and fueled devastating wildfires. ... Read my blog at austin360.com/tvblog or follow @gdinges on Twitter to get the latest updates on local radio and TV stations.
For a fifth week, the unstoppable "Somebody That I Used to Know" remains Austin's most-played song, according to allaccess.com. It was heard on local stations 240 times June 9-15, down one from the previous week.
"We Are Young" (190) from Fun. is still a strong second, while Nicki Minaj's "Starships" (142) came in third.
Flo Rida's "Wild Ones" (141) continues to get less airtime, dropping to fourth place.
Moving up the charts: Eric Church's "Springsteen," Luke Bryan's "Drunk On You," Kenny Chesney's "Come Over," Maroon 5's "Payphone," David Guetta's "Titanium," Tyga's "Faded," Loverance's "Up!" and Usher's "Scream."
On the way down: Alabama Shakes' "Hold On," Ryan Adams' "Chains of Love," Gym Class Heroes' "(Expletive) Back Home" and Foster the People's "Don't Stop" ("Color On the Walls").
Here are the top five songs played on a random sampling of local stations:
Eli Young Band, "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" - 21 spins
Brantley Gilbert, "Country Must Be Country Wide" - 17
Miranda Lambert, "Over You" - 17
Kip Moore, Somethin' "‘Bout a Truck" - 17
Tim McGraw, "Better Than I Used to Be" - 16
102.3 the Beat
Drake, "The Motto" - 118 spins
Drake, "Take Care" - 117
Tyga, "Faded" - 97
Loverance, "Up!" - 91
Flo Rida, "Wild Ones" - 89
M83, "Midnight City" - 62 spins
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know" - 60
Fun., "We Are Young" - 44
Foster the People, "Don't Stop" ("Color on the Walls") - 34
Young the Giant, "Cough Syrup" - 31
Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger" ("What Doesn't Kill You") - 29 spins
Lady Antebellum, "Just a Kiss" - 27
Adele, "Set Fire to the Rain" - 26
Lionel Richie, "Endless Love" - 26
Kelly Clarkson, "Mr. Know It All" - 25
Contact Gary Dinges at gdinges @statesman.com or 912-5987