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Radio AM to FM: July 9, 1999

Mornings with John and Ken

John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou returned to the Los Angeles airwaves with great fanfare July 1. The former KFI (640 AM) afternoon team launched their KABC (790 AM) morning show with a live broadcast/party from the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard.

Off the air in Los Angeles since March, although their syndicated program continued for a few weeks after they left KFI, John and Ken are the final piece in the programming puzzle for KABC programmer Drew Hayes. "We're now in place," Hayes said

The duo spent much of the first hour of their debut morning show thanking their listeners and doing a bit (a lot?) of KFI-bashing.

Regarding Karel and Andrew, their replacements on KFI: "(They are) radio's version of Sigfried and Roy. They've lost about two-thirds of the audience since we left," commented Kobylt.

On KFI computer show host Jeff Levy: "He came over to my house once to help me with my computer. He screwed it up so bad ... then he got mad at me when I talked about it on the air," Kobylt said.

On KFI's equipment, stating that KFI is not ready for the year 2000: "The equipment over there was from the 1930s ... the building smelled; everything was old," claimed Chiampou.

Programmer Hayes may have had the best joke of the day, commissioning a mobile billboard that was parked in front of the house owned by competitor and KFI morning host Bill Handel. Featuring giant photos of John and Ken, it read, "Some competition Bill can't Handel -- John and Ken, mornings on KABC." The billboard followed Handel to work.

It's far too early to tell what impact John and Ken will have on the morning ratings, but my guess would be that they will succeed in bringing some needed stability to KABC. For the first time in years, KABC has a lineup that will finally give KFI some competition, and I wouldn't be surprised to see KABC close the ratings gap with KFI within the next year or so.

No Reunion

In spite of rumors to the contrary in another newspaper -- and perhaps the wishes of sports radio fans everywhere, it appears that McDonnell-Douglas will not return to the airwaves.

According to's Tomm Looney, Doug Krikorian will continue with his sports writing at another local newspaper while Joe "Big Nasty" McDonnell will stay at KFWB. They will most definitely not be paired together for another radio show, says Looney.


Art Gilmore, perhaps best known as the announcer for Red Skelton's radio show (as well as hundreds more), will be the guest of honor when SPERDVAC meets tomorrow at 12 noon at the South Pasadena Public Library, 1100 El Centro Street. SPERDVAC is a group dedicated to preserving programs from radio's "golden age."

Less Talk, More News

The KRLA (1110 AM) afternoon team of (Ken) Minyard and (Rick) Minyard have had their show shortened locally by one hour as the station decides to simulcast an hour of KCBS-TV's Channel 2 News at 6 pm weekdays. This move does not affect any station carrying the Minyards via syndication.


Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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