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Airwaves: January 22, 2010

More Changes Coming to KFWB?

As mentioned here previously, KFWB (980 AM) has dropped its former afternoon syndicated program hosted by Roger Hedgecock, going instead to a news block along with a repeat of one hour of Dr. Laura Schlessenger.

It’s all part of the growing pains felt by most talk stations. You may remember when KFI (640 AM) first went to talk in the mid-1980s ... many shows changed in the few year or so, including the shifts that eventually went to Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura herself.

In the case of Hedgecock, while he is a decent conservative talker, he really didn’t bring much to the table that wasn’t already here. Don Barrett of LARadio.Com put it succinctly, speaking of Hedgecock: “Bright guy but no relevance to the L.A. audience.”

Barrett thinks that isn’t the only change coming to KFWB. He expects that Laura Ingraham will most likely be the next casualty. Possible replacements? Barrett created a list that includes such names as Glenn Beck, Bob McCormick, Larry Elder, and Marc Germain. One name that I would add if the station wants instant credibility -- at least judging by the emails continuing to come in mentioning his name -- is Doug McIntyre.

Yet it all boils down to money. Certainly KFWB wants ratings. But they also want to do it cheaply, which explains why they went with all that second-tier CBS-syndicated fare to begin with, the one exception being Dr. Laura who must be frustrated as all heck surrounded by low-rated shows.

Should be an interesting development, if Barrett is correct.

Laboe Earns Award

Speaking of LARadio.Com, Barrett recently announced that he will be awarding the 2010 LA Radio Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, January 30th to none other than legendary disc jockey Art Laboe.

Laboe, who has been on the air for over 63 years, has quite a history in local broadcasting. He was the first West Coast DJ to play rock and roll. He was instrumental (with the help of Johnny Hayes) in keeping the original KRLA (1110 AM) alive during the mid-1970s with an oldies/top-40 hybrid format called Hit Radio 11. He helped make oldies acceptable as a format for the masses, and even launched a series of records distributed by his own company, Original Sound Record Company. One of my first album purchases was from his series of oldies but goodies collections.

He’s still on the air with a “Killer Oldies” show called The Art Laboe Connection, heard locally on Hot 92.3 FM in Los Angeles (Sunday 6 PM to midnight; Monday through Friday 7 PM to midnight) and 99.1 KGGI in Riverside (Sunday 6 PM to midnight, Monday through Thursday 10 PM to midnight).

The award ceremony will be held in Studio City at a location disclosed only to the limited number of ticket buyers. $30 is the cost ($25 to LARadio.Com subscribers) and it includes an intimate lunch and a one-hour Laboe interview with Barrett. Go to LARadio.Com for more information.


I spent so much time gushing over Bryan Suits’ last show and mentioning his replacement Tim Conway, Jr., that I neglected to state the time of the show. I was hoping that I could blame my editor for the oversight, but alas, it was my mistake. In case you still don’t know, you can hear Conway on KFI (640 AM) 7 to 10 PM weeknights.


Copyright © 2010 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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