Monday, August 10, 2009

KFWB Los Angeles - less news more talk ??

The Lovin' Spoonful song "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?" might wind up as the station's jingle at this rate.

KFWB 980 Los Angeles seems to be changing their mind - again. So much for the "Hollywood news" approach they have been trying as if to differentiate from sister news station KNX of late. In a sudden twist, the station is looking to add a block of talk shows to its weekday lineup starting Sept. 8th, which is the day after Labor Day.

These will reportedly include Dr. Laura from Noon to 3 PM and east coast based Michael Smerconish from 6 to 9 PM. It could be an "all Laura" midday as Laura Ingraham is reportedly in line for 9 AM to Noon.

As of now, 6 to 9 AM will remain local news and traffic with Phil Hulett and Penny Griego, with local news and traffic from 3 to 6 PM.

This is still another chapter in the damage that consolidation has done to radio over the past 10 years. Until the zeroes, KFWB and KNX were competing for the news and information audience 24 hours a day. KNX used its CBS News affiliation to have more of a regional and national news presence, to which KFWB balanced by focusing more on local matters.

Even when it came to sports, which both stations aired at the same time, they each went for a competitive edge. KNX would concentrate more on the sports headlines of the day and focus on the local teams, while KFWB would emphasize the scoreboard after 4:00 PM every day when the games would start. The stations each had competition, and listeners had choices.

Since both stations went to the same ownership, the need to scoop and "out cover" the other station has gone bye-bye. It has gotten to the point where some of the same reporters would turn up on either station. Orange County "bureaus" opened and closed periodically. But the stations became interchangeable. The magic was gone.

Now, so is an all-news format on KFWB. And for what? Talk shows with news blocks during weekday drive times is hardly an innovation. Just ask KFI from years gone by.

Changing format to add Dr. Laura? I'll be surprised if very many listeners give them 22 minutes after Labor Day.

Your comments are welcome!

1 comment: said...

The radio signal is too weeek and i cannot listen to my beloved Dr. Laura on my way home into San Bernardino any longer. For me, KFI is the strongest and she should have stayed put. She is going to lose a lot of listeners.