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Airwaves: December 23, 2011

Readers Revenge

Last week’s coverage of real and potential changes at KABC (790 AM) brought in more emails than any single topic in a long time. It appears you are passionate about talk radio and, perhaps, have a fondness for KABC dating back to their past record-setting ratings in the era dominated by Ken and Bob, Michael Jackson, Ray Briem and others. It was KABC that proved a full-time talk station could succeed; it was more recently that the station proved living on past glories and syndicated fare will not attract listeners. The following are some of your comments:

Syd Rubenhold: “I've been a listener to KABC many years when Ken Minyard and Michael Jackson were on. I like Doug McIntyre and Peter Tilden equally even though Doug is right of center but at least he's not an idealogue. I agree with you that Sean Hannity and Mark Levin should be dropped. I would like to hear a mix of views from the whole political spectrum.”

S. Boren: “I think KABC should have a mixture of talk and music and see which gets the higher ratings. I do not understand folks that call into talk radio shows ... the messages are ALWAYS the same; if they need therapy go to a therapist!”

Woodie McBride: “I adore radio and boy! do I wish you ran KABC. Terrific suggestions all. Sorry to hear about Peter Tilden leaving his current slot. He's been getting me to work every morning since Mister Misinformation on KFI (640 AM) became unlistenable. The sharp, humorous Terri-Rae Elmer is the primary reason to tune in to John & Ken at all -- one can only take just so much of Kobylt's angry bloviations and Cunning Dental ad spots about bleeding, pus-filled gums. Yecch. It will be lovely to hear Ms. Elmer's infectious giggle on KABC before the sun comes up.”

Ellen V: “I am really excited that Doug is returning to morning drive - nothing stirs the morning blood like an irate Doug demanding answers from local politicians!  You asked for suggestions - here are mine: See if Michael Jackson would be interested in returning to radio. He was one of the best talk show hosts KABC had. They should continue with talk - take a page from KFI - they should focus more on news, weather, sports besides traffic - especially in the mornings. The two minute segments for national news is terrible given the fact that people tune in on the hour to learn the latest.”

RD (Sherman Oaks): Are you kidding me? You want to take Hannity and Levin off the air in an election year? Even a big lib like you should know better than that. Wise up.”

Richard Barnicki (Rancho Palos Verdes): “As a listener to KABC since the Ray Briem years, KABC is definitely not what it used to be. At times I've had to stop and think about whether I had dialed in 790 AM or not. Now with digital radio tuning everywhere, I now know for sure that I'm tuned precisely. Sadly, that leaves me on the weekend, overnight, tuned into a KABC infomercial where public airtime is used to hawk potions, cures, and schemes, and that's the entire program. So how about KABC airing actual, real programming all the time, 24/7, news or talk.”

Rick Petitfils (Calabasas Hills): “I agree with your assessment of KABC programming during the middle of the day. Hannity and Levin are boring and I am a conservative! I like Geraldo. Maybe from 12-3 you could get Dennis Miller. I also believe Bill Wattenberg (fired from KGO) would be a great asset on weekends. 3-7 is a tough one you have to compete against John and Ken on KFI. I only listen to KABC for the Redeye show and on Sunday to Leon (Motorman) Kaplan. Keep up the great columns maybe you could be a guest on McIntyre's new show next year.”

Alan Wolfe (Canoga Park): “The line-up of hosts on KABC needs to be reworked and the station needs to bring in other personalities to broaden listener appeal. Doug will be a welcome addition to the morning time slot. Larry Elder needs to move back to his afternoon drive time and have the same type of show he had when he was the only person we would listen to at that time. Sean and Mark need to go because their shows do not capture listener input. Their telephone calls are always softball questions from people that always have something nice to say about them. Dump the network news feed. Give (programmer)Jack Silver full control and let him succeed or fail but let him do something without the owners telling him what to do. Corporate control does not work. One last suggestion. Since the station is now owned by Cumulus Media, how about changing the call letters to disassociate the station from ABC?”

Quick Takes

Want something different in your holiday music selection? Go to (dedicated to the old KNOB/Long Beach of the 1950s and ‘60s) beginning at 6 PM Saturday December 24th. it’s 30 hours of commercial free music spiced with a reading of the classic “Night Before Christmas” by late LA jazz radio personality Chuck Niles.

The Fish (95.9 FM) personality Lara Scott will broadcast live December 31st from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Irvine’s Orange County Great Park’s first-ever family New Year’s Eve party. The event itself runs from 5 to 9:30 PM and will feature live music and dancing, rides, food and activities for kids and adults of all ages in a safe, alcohol-free environment. Free admission, $10 parking at 6990 Marine Way in Irvine.

And finally, you are the reason for this column. Thank you for reading it; I wish you and your family the best for the holiday season!


Copyright © 2011 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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