Monday, August 10, 2009

BREAKING: After 40 Years, KFWB Dumps All-News Format

Just days after my Variety colleague Brian Lowry trashed KFWB for its weak "Hollywood news" format, KFWB has dropped all-news all together, and will now feature talk -- including Dr. Laura as its centerpiece.

Not a huge shock -- KFWB has dropped even further in the ratings since focusing more on Hollywood. If anything, it's surprising that CBS Radio kept all-news on both KFWB and KNX for so long, given the duplicative nature.

CBS long ago went to just one all-news station in Chicago (although it still does all-news on two AM outlets in New York). CBS first acquired KFWB as part of the 1995 CBS-Westinghouse merger. (KFWB had been owned by Westinghouse's Group W.)

Of course, before going all-news in 1967, KFWB was a popular top 40 radio station.

Here's the press release from CBS Radio:

DR. LAURA JOINS KFWB-AM AS CENTERPIECE OF STATION’S UPDATED NEWS-TALK LINEUP BEGINNING ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

Program Schedule to Feature Well-Known Personalities, Along With Array Of News, Sports And Entertainment Coverage


(Los Angeles, Calif. Aug. 10, 2009) Dr. Laura Schlessinger, world-renowned radio host and best selling author, will join KFWB 980 AM beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 8, the same day the station launches its new news-talk format featuring a host of first-class local and national programming. The announcement was made by CBS RADIO Los Angeles Senior Vice President and Market Manager Ed Krampf. Dr. Laura’s popular program will be broadcast weekdays on-air and online (www.kfwb.com) from 12:00Noon–3:00PM, PT.

"When the opportunity to add Dr. Laura - one of radio's preeminent talk talents - to our lineup became available we moved swiftly to bring her award-winning program to KFWB," said Krampf. "Throughout her more than 30-year career, Dr. Laura has built an incredible following by connecting to her audience on a personal level many other talk talents have tried unsuccessfully to replicate. She is an established voice in the Los Angeles community and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her on our team."

Having KFWB serve as the flagship station of the Dr. Laura show comes on the heels of
the recent announcement that Talk Radio Network (TRN) is involved in the syndication of her program, which reaches approximately 8.25 million weekly listeners in markets across the country. Dr. Laura is currently heard on KFI in Los Angeles where she is the top-ranked talk show host with Women 25-54 in her daypart.

"I'm unbelievably thrilled to join KFWB," Dr. Laura said. "We worked closely to create an opportunity that was too good to turn down, including unprecedented marketing support. In teaming up with the award-winning KFWB news team and terrific hosts like Laura Ingraham, we'll be able to reach more listeners and be part of an exciting new chapter further up the AM dial."

Added Krampf, "As a result of this acquisition we looked to build a station that would continue to provide our listeners with thorough reporting on local news, including entertainment industry updates, while at the same time offering programming that features an array of opinions and advice on a number of topical issues. I believe that with the new lineup that launches next month we have achieved both goals."

Following is the lineup for KFWB NEWS TALK 980 beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 8:

6:00-9:00AM: Local News hosted by Phil Hulett and Penny Griego
9:00AM-12:00Noon: Laura Ingraham
12:00Noon-3:00PM: Dr. Laura
3:00-6:00PM: Local Talk/News (host TBA)
6:00-9:00PM: Michael Smerconish

Local news updates will also be broadcast at the top of every hour 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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