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Airwaves: November 4, 2011

Cutbacks at KABC and KLOS
Ladd fired from classic rock outlet

KABC (790 AM) and KLOS (95.5 FM) are already going through cutbacks as part of the purchase by Cumulus Media. Gone are KLOS programmer Bob Buchman, KABC production director Howard Hoffman,  KLOS production director Mike Sherry and a few sales managers. General Manager Bob Moore had been let go earlier this month. But the most shocking is the departure of legendary KLOS night jock Jim Ladd.

How does a station fire the man so closely associated with KLOS ... and indeed, FM rock radio itself? Ladd started at KLOS in 1969 and called the station home three times, most recently for the last 14 years.

As is the norm these days, Ladd was shown the door with no warning, meaning that he was unable to do a “goodbye show.” To the rescue? KFI (640 AM), which is giving The Last DJ one more shift tomorrow from 4 to 7 PM. You might want to listen over the internet or on an HD Radio if you can, to maintain that “FM sound.”

Future plans for KLOS? KABC programmer Jack Silver is now handling both stations, so FM talk or FM news could be in the cards. Silver has music radio experience as well, though, so I’d hold off on betting the house on this. For Ladd? I asked The Sound (100.3 FM) programmer Dave Beasing if there might be space for the legendary personality there; the response? “Anything is possible ... except dismissing Rita Wilde at night.”

I’d personally find a place for him, but I’d go one step further. Put Ladd and Sound personality Jeff Gonzer together and let them run wild on one of The Sound’s digital HD streams. Bring in former KMET programmer Sam Bellamy for good measure as well, let them do whatever they wanted, and I bet they would have a reason to buy an HD radio.


“I have a question about KFWB. I was listening Monday and noticed that there are signs that they’re on their way to separating themselves from CBS. It has me wondering if they have finally found someone to buy the station.” -- Paul Williams, Torrance

You are quick. It hasn’t been sold, but Monday, October 31st was the day the station finally became part of the trust set up to handle a sale, necessitated by CBS being over the station ownership limit in Los Angeles. As part of that move -- which most people including myself mistakenly assumed had happened years ago -- Valerie Blackburn was named general manager ... and to show that CBS still is very much in control, Blackburn will continue in her old job as market controller for the other CBS/Los Angeles radio stations.

“What ever happened to Michael Jackson, Dr. Toni Grant and Ira Fistell? They were longtime talk show hosts on KABC. I’ve often wondered about them.” -- Gloria Aubry, email

The last time Fistell was heard on KABC it was 2006; I can’t find him on air anywhere. For a time he was with BroadcastTalk.Com, but that company is gone.

Grant, born Toni Glickman, is retired from radio. She has written books at least one of which can be found at Amazon.Com or your local bookstore. She was last heard on KABC in 2001.

Jackson left KABC in 2008 and was heard last Summer filling in for Patt Morrison on KPCC (89.3 FM). I know that he wants to be on the air, and he sounded great as always on KPCC. I think that he would be a perfect fit on KTLK (1150 AM). Scratch that, he should be on KABC along with Grant and Fistell. It was when they were together that KABC had good ratings, and the station nose-dived as they were replaced with more “in your face” hosts.

“Where is Laura Ingraham? I miss her on KRLA 870 AM ... can’t stand Glenn Beck.” -- Marilyn White, Reseda

Her show is not live in Los Angeles, but it can be heard on KFWB weekdays from 10 PM to 1 AM. She can also be heard weekdays from 6 to 9 AM and Sundays from 4-6 PM on KMET (1490 AM) in Riverside/San Bernardino. Have a smartphone or iPod Touch? Download a free app called TuneIn and you might find a station that streams the show at more convenient times. For example, in addition to the times listed for KFWB and KMET, Ingraham’s show is carried on KPSI/Palm Springs from 2-4 PM.

“Is there a station in Los Angeles County that plays all comedians? I was in Kansas City for two weeks, and a station there played comedians ... it is a fun way to start or end your day!” -- Karen Lawson, email

There was quite a few years ago in our neighboring county to the North, KMDY/Thousand Oaks (Ventura County). Alas, it didn’t make it and the station dropped the format in the early 1990s. Interestingly, while commercial comedy radio didn’t work, it seems to be popular on Sirius/XM satellite radio. They have five -- count ‘em, five -- channels dedicated to comedy routines, stand up and humorous recordings. Of course for this you need a subscription.


Copyright © 2011 Richard Wagoner and Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

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