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Radio AM to FM: November 16, 2001


Ken Minyard, who spent over 25 years as half of the morning show on KABC (790 AM) has returned home this week, replacing Dave Williams and Amy Lewis who hosted the KABC morning show for the past year.

Minyard began his broadcasting career at KABC in 1969 as host of his own issues-oriented program. After a short time, he was paired with Bob Arthur for the creation of the Ken And Bob Company, one of the most popular morning shows for much of the 1970s and '80s.

When Arthur was forced out because former management was convinced he was too old, Roger Barkley stepped in and the show's popularity continued. Later Barkley suffered the same fate as Arthur and he was replaced by Peter Tilden. The ratings nose-dived; Minyard and Tilden were released from KABC in 1998.

A short time after leaving KABC, Minyard paired up with his son for an absolutely awful syndicated afternoon program, Minyard and Minyard, heard locally on the old KRLA (now KSPN, 1110 AM). That program was mercifully dropped from syndication after three years.

This time, Minyard is being paired with former KFWB (980 AM) newsman Dan Avey, and the show has gone full circle. Like Arthur, Avey is well-known as a newsman, and the focus of the show will be very similar to its early days. Not that Barkley was against news, but his focus was more on entertainment, while Tilden's focus was definitely comedy.

"KABC was my home for so many years, and I have fantastic memories," said an enthusiastic Minyard. "I'm excited to rejoin my friends both on and off the air in the morning." Partner Avey commented, "Working with Ken is a dream come true. We've been friends for years, and I think that will be obvious when people hear us on the air.

KABC Programmer Eric Braverman says that Avey is the perfect complement to Minyard. "Dan is one of the most respected and credible voices in Southern California, having won countless awards over the years." He says that Avey's sense of humor will be heightened by Minyard's.

For what its worth, I think this is a great move for KABC. Minyard does have a great, often sarcastic sense of humor (anyone else remember him hosting Metronews-Metronews form Channel 11 in the mid 1970s?), and Avey should complement him well.

Williams is now looking to host another show somewhere in Los Angeles, while Lewis has been retained by KABC for an as-yet unannounced position.

Second Homecoming

Its not only Minyard who is returning to the local airwaves, George Putnam, recently fired from the new KRLA (870 AM) will make his debut on KPLS (830 AM) sometime this month for a noontime talk show. More details as they are uncovered.


Copyright © 2001 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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