It was supposed to be just Mark Thompson's last day on KLOS-FM 995.5) as one half of the long-running morning radio duo "Mark & Brian" -- but midway through Friday's show, Brian Phelps announced that he, too, was leaving the station. Phelps had been expected to remain, but with a new partner. As the L.A. Times writes, it wasn't meant to be:
Phelps had been in talks with the station's parent company, Cumulus Media Inc., but said he broke those off Thursday when the sides hadn't come to terms. He announced during the farewell morning show that instead he's launching a podcast with actress and comedian Jill Whelan, known from "Airplane!" and "The Love Boat." She also recently hosted a radio talk show on WPHT-AM (1210) in Philadelphia.
"She's hilarious. We've known each other for years. We're comedy soul mates," Phelps told listeners. He said he and Whelan had already agreed to do the podcast, even before talks with KLOS fell through.
"I just felt it was time to stop," Phelps said. "I want to take a year. And I want to kind of recharge. I might return. I don't know. But for now, I want to leave and go have fun on a podcast with my dear friend Jill."
The new "Brian and Jill Show" will be found here, while Thompson's new podcast, which he'll be hosting with his wife Lynda, will be located here.
So what's to come of KLOS? Some radio observers are speculating online that Cumulus will either turn KLOS into an all-talk KABC-FM simulcast of its low-rated AM signal, or else sign on to be a member of the CBS Sports Radio network. The Orange County Register's Gary Lycan is hearing other ideas:
Inside sources indicated KLOS (and owner Cumulus) were caught off-guard by Phelps on-air announcement. Insiders said possible replacements include "The Heidi and Frank Show," "The Regular Guys" from Atlanta, or a music intensive morning show, similar to what Kennedy is doing on KSYR.