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Radio AM to FM: March 10, 2000

No Mo Miller

Stephanie Miller is out, Mr. KABC is in as KABC (790 AM) makes a long-overdue change in its evening lineup, attempting to spread Mr. KABC's good ratings to more than just one hour per day.

Miller came to KABC more than 2 years ago after a brief stint at sister station KTZN ("The Zone," 710 AM) When the Zone went under, management brought her over to KABC. Previously, Miller had been on competitor KFI (640 AM), but left that station in order to launch a television program called The Stephanie Miller Show. After it flopped, she returned to radio on KTZN.

For a time on KFI, Miller's program was somewhat fresh and rather funny. On KABC, her program devolved to become a stale rehash of bitter jokes and bad sound effects. Her show ceased to be creative long before it debuted on KABC: the last two years only made it worse.

Interestingly, it appears that, while her show will not be heard on KABC, she will still broadcast from KABC's studios under a syndication deal she has with ABC Radio. Her program can be heard on over twenty stations across the country. Just not here.

For his part, Mr. KABC is quite happy that his program, Ask Mr. KABC, finally gets a full three hours, even if it does put more pressure on the host. And while Miller has hinted that her liberal politics played a part in her show's cancellation, Mr. KABC told me, "Her show was canceled because the station believes that I am a better fit and that my ratings are on the rise. Her politics played NO factor in her demise. I'm as liberal as I have always been and know that if Leon Trotsky could get a five share at night, KABC would replace me with him."


The questionable decision to give KPCC's (89.3 FM) license away to Minnesota Public Radio continues to dominate the mailbag now that MPR has decided to drop ALL non-news programs, no matter how popular, in order to fill every broadcast day with syndicated public radio fare as heard on every other public station in the country ... including the others in Los Angeles.

Gone are Tibor Paul's "European Sunday Concert," a fixture on the station for 25 years, "The Sancho Show," on for 16 years, Chuck Cecil's big band "Swinging Years," nightly Adult Alternative music programming, and newer shows including some hosted by students. Students in fact will no longer be welcome at KPCC, a dream manager Larry Mantle has apparently had for years. Perhaps someone should remind Mantle that the license is for Pasadena City COLLEGE. Or at least was, until he gave it away to MPR.

As I have stated numerous times, KPCC should lose the right to broadcast due to its deal with MPR, with the broadcast license being given to someone or some group that understands what college radio is all about. Perhaps a full-scale license challenge is in order. In the meantime, if the mail is any indication, KPCC might just WANT to get out of the broadcast business ... it appears that donations to the station may fall to an all-time low due to this unsavory move. I personally hope so.


Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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