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Airwaves: September 28, 2007

Drudge Leaving Radio

Syndicated political talker Matt Drudge, heard locally on KFI (640 AM) Sundays from 7 to 10 PM, will host his last show this weekend.

Replacing him on the Premiere Radio Network will be Bill Cunningham, who will continue with his local afternoon show heard on WLW/Cincinnati in addition to his new syndicated duties. Cunningham is also a practicing attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio.

How will the show differ? Slightly less political, according to those who pretend to know. Will you be able to hear it? Not necessarily. KFI programmer Robin Bertolucci hasn't announced a decision, though I bet she'll give Cunningham at least a few weeks.

Drudge is not commenting himself on why he is leaving he show. Perhaps he'll say why on Sunday.

Tuna Wishes

Charlie Tuna has been sending letters out to those who have been writing to him after he was removed of morning duties with the switch of KBIG to MyFM (104.3 FM).

"So many listeners like you have sent emails to me this past week (2000+ and counting as of this writing) that I wanted to personally thank you for your support and words of hope, encouragement and of course, your disappointment about not hearing me anymore on the radio as of now. I can’t put into words what your loyalty has meant to me. It’s because of you that this year marks 40 years so far on the air in L.A., and I plan to be back for more.

"In the meantime, I’ll keep everyone updated on my website in the weeks to come on what’s going on with me. Just click on the link whenever you want to find out the latest on how I’m doing and what I’m doing.

"Thank You for making a 5 year old kid’s dream in Nebraska about being on the radio come true in the most exciting radio market in the world, Los Angeles! I promise, the dream will continue; I just can’t tell you for sure yet how long I’ll be awake this time."

No News

It's been years since KABC (790 AM) had a real news department. And for years, the station has been embarrassed by KFI when it comes to news reporting. While KABC relies on a short version of the ABC Radio network news feed, KFI actually believes in still having reporters. Perhaps that's one reason that KABC -- the original Los Angeles talk station -- has been beaten by KFI in the Arbitron ratings for years as well.

So it's not much of a surprise to hear that the last local KABC reporter, Dan Avey, is now history. Brought in as a sidekick to Ken Minyard, Avey stayed on after Minyard left and did what he could to keep the station's news "department" respectable. Outside of the ABC network reports, KABC also relies on a syndicated news service, Metro Traffic News.

Programmer Eric Braverman said the station was moving in a "new direction."

Random Thoughts

From a cluttered mind ... How long does a station get to use the phrase "all new" to describe itself? Movin' 93.9 FM launched over a year ago and still calls itself the "all new Movin' 93.9."

Why, oh why must KFRG (95.1 FM) have frog-related names for everyone on the station? I know the station is called K-FROG, but still ... The Frogmen, Christy McLeap, Davey Croakette, James Pond, Cindy Croakford ... it's very annoying. What does a frog have to do with country music, anyway?

Remember the days when the hot music stations were on AM? KFWB, KRLA, KHJ, KFI, KEZY, KFXM, KMEN ... what happened? Why did AM radio become so dismal? And do you realize how old I sound?

Was the stunting last Thursday on Star 98.7, in which they temporarily became an active rock station a la KROQ (106.7 FM) just a publicity stunt, or was it a preview of things to come? And what did Clear Channel have to pay morning man Valentine to make the switch from Star to co-owned MyFM? Guaranteed return rights?


Copyright © 2007 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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