Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Local Media Notes: El Mandril Disappears, and Carlos Amezcua Exits

Where's El Mandril? Ricardo 'El Mandril' Sanchez, the morning host on KLAX-FM ("97.9 La Raza"), hasn't been on the air since last month, and the Los Angeles Times investigates why:

Sanchez's manager, Fernando Schiantarelli, said Monday that Sanchez was pulled from the air during negotiations over his employment contract, which ends next month.

But Schiantarelli also confirmed, as did other industry sources, that Sanchez's show has been the subject of an investigation by research giant Nielsen, which acquired radio ratings firm Arbitron in late September, into allegations of ratings tampering.

"There was an investigation raised by some other competitors who were very concerned that Mandril was being so successful," Schiantarelli said, adding that such investigations — and complaints from rivals — are not uncommon in the industry. He said the investigation didn't turn up anything.

Allegations have been raised that members of Arbitron's audience panel had been contacted by people connected to Sanchez's show and encouraged to listen to his program, a violation of Arbitron's and Nielsen's practices.

A Nielsen representative said the company had no comment on its investigation, adding, "Nielsen Audio is committed to the highest standards of integrity in our data and our panels."

A KLAX programming executive also confirmed that Sanchez's program was taken off the air because of an investigation. The executive referred The Times to top company executives who did not return repeated calls for comment Monday.

Schiantarelli said a top SBS executive told the janitor-turned-radio star to show up to work every day but sit around "doing nothing."

Carlos Amezcua is out at KTTV/Fox 11 after five years as the station's 10 p.m. co-anchor (with Christine Devine). TV Spy has the details:

Kevin Hale, vice president and general manager of KTTV told staffers this evening about Amezcua’s departure. “After more than five years on KTTV’s Fox 11 10 p.m. News, Carlos Amezcua has decided to step down from the news desk to expand his own media and technology company, “Carlos Media Corp.” here in Los Angeles, said Hale. “Having won over 10 Emmy’s throughout his career, Amezcua has made many contributions to this community, as well our newsroom. We wish him continued success in building his own media and technology firm.”


BREAKING NEWS: Carlos Amezcua In, John Beard Out at Fox 11 (September 4, 2007)

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