Thursday, March 01, 2007

KTLK in Los Angeles Does Programming Makeover

Updated, March 2, 11:35 pst. Updated portion in bold face

It’s good news for Marc Germain, Alan Colmes, and Bill Press, but bad news for several Air America Radio talkers, local yakker Cary Harrison, WOR’s Lionel, and Jones Radio’s talk star Ed Schultz as KTLK-AM the liberal talk station in Los Angeles announced a total makeover of their programming line-up today.

Germain, formerly know as Mr. KABC, who is a well known radio personality in Southern California, gets the coveted 3pm-7pm drive time slot, which puts him head to head with the John and Ken Show, the top afternoon talk show in LA. To make room for Germain, KTLK, moves the Ed Schultz Show, to 7pm-10pm, drops local talker Cary Harrison, who in now carried from 8pm-10pm, and moves Randi Rhodes from 3pm-6pm to 12pm-3pm. Also, Rachel Maddow gets bumped from 6pm-8pm to 10pm-12am.

In other moves KTLK will be replacing Lionel, who was carried from 10pm-1pm with Alan Colmes, who get’s the 12am-3am late night slot. Insomniacs in LA, which is the number two radio market, will also notice some changes. Off the schedule are AAR talkers, David Bender, Marc Riley, and the Young Turks, replaced by Bill Press who will carried from 3am-6am.

The only KTLK talkers that will not be effected by the schedule shift are Stephanie Miller, 6am-9am and Thom Hartmann 9am-12pm.

The new line-up will take effect on Monday.

This is probably the most significant shake-up of a liberal talk radio station since the AAR launch three years ago. Lib talk stations around the country will probably be watching the move and possible some them will doing similar makeovers.

The big news in the shake-up for radio listeners in LA is the fact Germain has found a new radio home for his quirky show.

We have just receiving a comment from Germain which includes some information about his upcoming show on KTLK:

  • He will be known as Marc "Mr. K" Germain on his new show

  • Lisa Goich will be his producer/sidekick

  • He will do a sneak show tonight (Friday) from 8pm-10pm

I guess Cary Harrison doesn’t even get the chance for a swan song.

Germain started his broadcast career in the mid 90’s when he was known as Mr. KFI. He moved his show to KABC in 1996. The show was very unique. He would start out by saying we don’t have guests, no topics, and no call screeners. The name of the show was "Ask Mr. KABC" and the callers were all over the map, usually not political types.

Callers were required to ask a question. Often those questions were quite bizarre, like "how fast does hair grow?" Or "what is heavier – milk or cream?"Some of the features that he popularized were allowing callers to hang up on themselves, identifying the rare female callers, as "another KABC vixen," and his standard rejoinder when asked how he was doing – "better than most not as good as some."While the Mr. KABC show was not political it was clear that Mr. KABC was moderate to liberal on most issues.

As the station moved further to the right about six years ago by first adding Sean Hannity and then Bill O’Reilly. At the same time they dumped liberal radio’s most famous host, Michael Jackson and completing their line-up with a conservative gay guy – Al Rantel and a conservative black guy – Larry Elder. (KFI already had the conservative Jewish Guy --Dennis Praeger.)

Not everybody is happy about KTLK’s programming makeover. Supporters of "Harrison of the Edge," Cary Harrison’s nightime talk show have launched a website where Harrison supporters can tell KTLK management that they are not happy about losing his talk show and gaining a moderate talker like Germain and even more controversial lib talker like Fox’s Alan Colmes.

In a post today on a blogger called "thepen" calls the programming makeover "a creeping right wing radio putsch."

Citing the recent wave of lib talk station flips, the blogger says that the owners of KTLK are doing something different in Los Angeles.

"Where they can't shut down an outlet entirely they are working to dilute it, to neuter it time slot by time slot, to pick us off one by one, as if we were too stupid to notice the difference. It's the Jerry Springer effect, and then when something like the Air America Radio bankruptcy takes place they jump up and say, ‘See, it doesn't work’."


Anonymous said...

Verrrry Interesting, as Artie Johnson used to say. Liberal talk stations have been taking eggs (dayparts) out of AAR's basket but this is a lot of eggs in the most important talk radio market in the country.

Bit of a surprise that Big Ed got exiled to nighttime. Thom seems to be getting traction, after being kept on the bench for so long.


NYLefty said...

I listened to "Mr. K's" preview show last night and he called himself a "proud liberal." He said the only issue where he differs from most progressives is the death penalty (he's for it). He sounded pretty good to me and took a lot of calls from long-time listeners who said they'd be switching to KTLK. He was getting a 5 share on KABC (compared to KTLK's 0.8 share overall), so I hope he can boost the station's overall ratings enough to keep the format viable in Market #2.

Scribbler said...

"A lot of eggs?" Only in day parts when hardly anybody is listening. Before the changes KTLK was carrying eight hours of AAR programming between 6am and Midnight (Hartmann, Rhodes, and Maddow). After the changes, KTLK will still be carrying eight hours of AAR programming during those hours (Hartmann, Rhodes, and Maddow).

Anonymous said...

KTLK is trying to become less controversial with its new line-up, except for Randi Rhodes, they can't ignore her success despite her rants. Look at the late-night line up; Rachel Maddow, Alan Colmes, Bill Press, no fire in any of those hosts. KTLK could not handle Mike Malloy, Sam Seder, or even the Young Turks. What a crap station compared to their CC cousin in San Diego, KLSD. KTLK should just simulcast KLSD with the exception of the morning show, and just fire their waste-of-a-salary Program Director.

gregrocker said...

I think they are trying to go with time tested proven ratings-getters since their parent has no patience with letting a newbie (format) catch on. I would flip to Mr K when KTLK was turned over to sportsholes and he is tolerable and several times set aside his trademark amiability to give a good shaking to dittoheads spouting ignorance, which seems to be his bette noir. And his Fridays with the inimitable Rachel were the only thing that comes close to fall-down-Stephanie-Miller-funny. I hope he has her on regularly.

gregrocker said...

Sorry that wasn't Rachel but April Winchell, the only radio person I've heard as fall-down-funny as Stephanie MIller. I called into Mr K hour tonight and he plans to bring April onto his show there, too. Soundin pretty good to me. These additions might be a coup for KTLK.

Anonymous said...

Keep an eye open and an ear glued to your radio, Talking Radio. Trust me