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Radio AM to FM: May 4, 2001

John, Ken and KFI

It's like Deja-Vu all over again: John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, aka John and Ken, have returned to the KFI (640 AM) afternoon airwaves effective this week. The show airs in the former time slot of Phil Hendrie, 4 - 7 pm, as Hendrie moves to his old time slot of 7 - 10 pm.

John and Ken left KFI on March 19, 1999 due to a contract disagreement with former KFI owner Cox (John and Ken wanted a new contract including continued syndication, Cox wanted them locally only or out). John and Ken then moved up the dial to KABC (790 AM) mornings July 1st of that year, where they remained until KABC had a change in attitude and let them go on October 20, 2000.

Many observers thought the team would never return to KFI, considering all the time they spent on KABC bashing their former employers. But, as Kobylt explained to me recently, that was then. KFI is now under new ownership, Clear Channel. My guess is that Clear Channel realized that letting them go was not a very good move on the part of Cox.

In any event, John and Ken are back in the time slot that suits them best, while Hendrie does the same. As to the future of Karel and Andrew, who were completely displaced by the move, this message was posted on their web site,

"Yes, it's true. We are no longer on KFI AM 640. Where will we end up next, stay tuned. We are still in the Clear Channel family and will be back on air again very, very soon. In a better time, and with a better fit.

"Feel Free to check in here for future programming as well as new video and audio features. And to all of you sending email of upset, thank you so much. But don't be upset. We didn't die. We'll be back on before you know it.

"And to our core fans, you proved it could be done. History has been made, and that can NEVER be changed."

No Mistakes

I found it rather amusing last week when another Los Angeles-area newspaper committed a huge blunder in their ratings report, crediting KRLA's (870 AM) 1.3 rating to KSPN (1110 AM) and stating how well the all-sports KSPN was doing.

Unfortunately, they were wrong. Yes, KSPN was once KRLA. But the KRLA calls -- and ratings credit -- now belong to what was once KIEV. In fact, the new KSPN didn't even show on the last Arbitron report.

A few readers of this column said they tried to correct "the other newspaper," to no avail.

What I Like ...

In my ongoing series of What I Like About LA Radio, this week I'd like to mention that I really do like KYSR, Star 98.7 FM. No it's not perfect ... it doesn't have the feel or personality of Craig Carpenter's former Mix 95.9, for example. But it does have a decent play list and a few good personalities. I find myself tuning in quite often, especially when I am driving and can't receive Cool 94.3 very well. You can find it on the fourth button of my car stereo.


Copyright © 2001 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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