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Radio AM to FM: March 12, 1999

John and Ken and KABC?

The hottest rumor in Southern California centers around two formerly unknown talk hosts from New Jersey that just happen to have one of the hottest afternoon talk shows in Los Angeles.

John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, aka John and Ken, have consistently had one of the more entertaining afternoon shows in Southern California since soon after their arrival about six years ago. So popular is their show that KFI allowed and helped arrange for a syndication deal giving the duo rights to broadcast their program nationwide, although most of their affiliates are currently near the West Coast.

Yet that could all change. According to rumor, KABC, which has been lacking a marketable morning program since management fired Ken Minyard and Peter Tilden late last year, has been talking with John and Ken with the idea of putting their afternoon show on in the morning.

Whether this is true or not remains the big question. Even if true, it would remain to be seen whether or not John and Ken would seriously think of giving up their afternoon gig and their syndication deal in order to take mornings on a station with less than stellar management (as judged by recent programming decisions and ratings that are the lowest in KABC talk history).

Give up syndication? Programming-wise, perhaps one of the best things they could do. It's hard to find topics every day for four hours a day that will appeal to an audience spanning the Country. Personal finance-wise, a much tougher decision. It is a fairly lucrative deal, and most likely stations that cleared their afternoon show will frown upon running either a tape-delay broadcast or moving the show into mornings. If they do move to KABC, they will most likely have to start a new syndication deal at best or give it up completely at worst.

In addition, last I spoke with the team, Kobylt indicated that he and Chiampou had a great working relationship with KFI, with no real desire to leave -- even though another station was interested in hiring them. Calls to Kobylt were not returned by press time.

Going to Disneyland

Radio Disney, airing locally on KDIS, now has even closer ties to Disneyland than before: personalities "Just Plain" Mark and Zippy now broadcast live from Disneyland's new Tomorrowland every weekday from 1 to 6 pm.

The broadcasts originate from a glass-walled studio beneath the Observatron. Young fans can watch and listen as Mark and Zippy perform their on-air antics and interview guests: the first broadcast on March 1st included appearances by Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy. Who woulda guessed?


Copyright © 1999 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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