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Radio AM to FM: September 24, 2004

Minyard to Hang it Up

"I need to get some sleep."

With that statement, Ken Minyard announced that he will leave the radio airwaves of Los Angeles, broadcasting his final show on October 15th -- his 35th anniversary on Los Angeles morning radio.

Most of those 35 years were spent at KABC, where he started in 1969. Paired with Bob Arthur, the Ken and Bob Company quickly became synonymous with entertaining news and talk ... And travel: the Ken and Bob Company took listeners on the road to destinations around the world, broadcasting the program from such areas as Australia, Singapore, Hawaii, Ireland and England.

Ratings were tremendous. According to KABC Operations Director Eric Braverman, in the first 17 years of Ken and Bob, there were only four ratings books (quarters) in which the show was not rated number one.

Roger Barkley replaced Arthur in the 1980s -- some felt that Minyard helped push him out due to age -- and the show's popularity continued. It was not until Peter Tilden came on board to replace Barkley that serious bumps appeared in the road.

It just wasn't right. In the past, Minyard was always the "funny one;" with Tilden on the show, both tried to be funny yet neither was. They both tried to hard. Eventually, KABC got so desperate for change that they dropped the whole thing in order to try out KFI's John and Ken.

During that time Minyard moved over to the old KRLA, which had recently launched a talk format. Paired with his son, Rick, Minyard and Minyard started off bad and went down from there; meanwhile John and Ken just weren't clicking on KABC mornings. The planets were out of orbit.

in 2001, John and Ken moved back to afternoons on KFI, and KABC had the good fortune of being able to pair Minyard with respected newsman Dan Avey, creating Ken and Company for mornings once again.

It worked. Minyard was sharp as a tack, with Avey as the knowledgeable newsman, bringing back the memories -- and at least a portion of the ratings -- of the old Ken and Bob or Ken and Barkley.

According to Braverman, Ken and Company almost doubled the morning ratings for KABC after Minyard and Avey were paired together.

"It's been a great run, but I need to get some sleep," Minyard told his audience on September 9th. "Great run" is putting it mildly; Minyard is truly a Los Angeles morning legend, who -- along with his partners -- helped make KABC the success that it was and is. As Braverman said in a press release, "Ken has been called the Johnny Carson of talk radio. His shoes will be very difficult to fill."

The station has not announced who or what will replace Ken and Company. Avey will continue with the station in a news reporting capacity ... whether he will continue to be part of the new morning show has yet to be determined.

Day Trip

Remember rap-formatted 1580 K-DAY? Styles Media certainly hopes you do. As of last Monday at noon, Styles has taken control of the KZAB/KZBA (93.5 FM)simulcast to launch (or is it re-launch?) 93.5 K-DAY.

N. W. A., Salt-N-Pepa, Run-DMC and 2Pac share the airwaves with Jay-Z, 50 Cent and other current rap and hip-hop artists.


Copyright © 2004 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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