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Radio AM to FM: November 17, 2000

Waking up with KABC

The debut of the all new KABC (790 AM) Morning Show with Dave Williams and Amy Lewis went off without a hitch ... once Lewis got to the station. Seems the Sacramento transplant hit a major traffic snarl and wound up arriving at the studios much later than she planned -- though still in time for the beginning of the program.

After that it was smooth sailing, however, as the first new "friendly" talk show to hit the airwaves in recent memory began. And, while its still far too early to tell, I think KABC just might have a winner.

It's not Ken and Bob, by any means. That show, (Ken Minyard along with Bob Arthur and his eventual replacement Roger Barkley) was also fun and friendly. But news and topical interviews were integral elements of that long-running KABC morning show. This new version is more "happy talk to make you feel good" than anything serious, at least judging by its first day. Call it Ken and Bob Lite.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. The popular morning television "news" programs feature just about everything BUT news, in a format designed to make viewers feel happy as they go to work. And considering how much of radio is the polar opposite of that concept, it may be that Dave and Amy may be the team to fill a void left by the pursuit of shock-talk, whine-talk and mean-talk that seems to fill the Los Angeles airwaves.

I am withholding a proclamation of future success, however because for one, you can't judge after one day or one week, and secondly, the program is on KABC -- a station with a great history but one that has become increasing irrelevant in the lives of most listeners. KABC's ratings are the lowest they have been since the station started broadcasting about 80 years ago.

But if first impressions mean much in radio, I'd say the show will be a winner.


Dennis Prager was supposed to start his new ratings-less program on KIEV (870 AM), also known as the station nobody listens to, last Monday. For reasons unknown, that didn't happen; Prager is now supposed to start on KIEV this coming Monday at 9 am.


Howard Stern, whose show is heard locally on KLSX (97.1 FM) is the object of a bidding war between current employer CBS/Infinity and Clear Channel Communications, according to's Tomm Looney.

If true, and if Clear Channel wins out, that might mean major problems for KLSX, which gets most of its revenue and attitude from Stern. It could be a make-or-break situation for KLSX, which currently has the chance to become the undisputed champ of talk radio in Los Angeles if current trends continue ... and Stern stays put.

Still the One

Dedicated to the classic top-40 "Q" years, a combination talk, oldies, and time-capsule show is set to debut on San Diego's KCBQ (1070 AM). I Still 'Q' In My Car will air every Saturday from 6 - 10 pm beginning tomorrow. Tomorrows guests: former KCBQ jocks "Shotgun" Tom Kelly (currently presiding over afternoon drive on KRTH, 101.1 FM) and Phil Flowers presenting the music of 1973.


Copyright © 2000 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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