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Looney




Tom Looney


The Looney Point of View is full of it - as in Looney opinions. The tenets included in this impotent column are not in any way to be interpreted as the opinions of the Los Angeles Radio Guide, its advertisers, The Real Don Steele, Steely Dan, Manford Mann or Dan Mandis in the KFI traffic center.



BY THOM LOONEY

I've got my top down, and my AM talk radio turned up loud! I'm also chatting on the car phone with Tom Leykis! Does Tom wish he were on the radio in Los Angeles? "What do I care?" Leykis told me. "I just signed a four-year deal with Westwood One. Do you think I sit around boohooing over whether or not I'm on in Los Angeles? I'm going to get paid anyway."
Zoning Out: Notice that the music bed for the promos on "The Zone" is the song "Don't Come Around Here No More" by Tom Petty. According to the ratings, people are expeditiously capitulating to their subliminal suggestion. KTZN ceaselessly says, "Talk radio is not just a guy thing anymore." Well, why is it always a man that has to tell us that? I get the distinct feeling that "The Zone" doesn't think that women are skilled enough to voice vivacious promos. Stephanie Miller's new show is really a nice change of pace for afternoon drive. Pretty soon her auditioning days on The Zone will be over, and she'll be doing her thing at KABC. (The Zone is KABC's single-A farm club, where people play ball until they are ready for the big show. Former Zoners who are now batting for KABC include: Art Bell, Doug McIntyre, Peter Tilden, Kevin Ross and L.A.'s coolest news dude, Rob Marenko.) If the Zone is so bad, why do I know so much? Why am I listening so often? Well, it's because it's a pretty good station. It just doesn't have a chance to succeed as long as KABC owns it and treats it like an ugly step sister. (Not to mention Angel baseball forcing fans to flee.) By the way, midday Zoner Merrill Markoe is a TV legend who was co-creator of NBC's "Late Night." She was also the head writer at "Late Night" for years. If that's not enough, she also created "Stupid Pet Tricks" and "Stupid Human Tricks." If you think Mother Teresa's job working with lepers is tough, try nursing David Letterman for eight years. Oh, no, my salsa has turned into catsup!
Generic Radio: I've received a lot of e-mail ( LooneyLA@aol.com ) asking me if I have noticed that my Elmira, New York homeboys John and Ken have lost their edge recently. The answer is "Yes!" You'd lose your talk radio edge too, if you lost your ability to talk about L.A. issues. You see, even though it may not be brazenly crystalline, John and Ken are syndicated all over the country now. They are on the air in: Sacramento, Atlanta, Phoenix, Portland, Columbus, Bakersfield, Monterey, Eugene, San Diego, Raleigh-Durham - well, you get the picture. Did you ever notice how often in the middle of a sentence they will say, "This is the 'John and Ken Show' "? Well, in radio lingo, that's called an "intro" or an "outro." That way, the affiliates in all those cities know that it's time to play some local commercials. Los Angeles has become our nation's capital, and John and Ken were at their best when they were ranting about local issues. People in Eugene don't care to hear John chew up and spit out Sheriff Sherman Block during an interview, because they neither know him nor care. So we get John and Ken talking about more universal, evergreen topics that appeal to people in Bakersfield. The other day they spent an hour on earwax! Ugh. Stephanie Miller to the rescue.
Reality-Challenged Radio: Art Bell's show is so perfect for its time slot. There is just something cool about driving in the dark or lying in bed and listening to Bell talk about UFOs and space stuff. It just fits like an old shoe. Larry King's show was like that in its heyday. Bell has great bumper music, and his guests are always reality-challenged and wacky. Lucklessly for me, it's on during the four hours that I slumber. On Friday nights though, my fingers are fondling for my KABC preset.
Mr. KABC vs. Phil Hendrie: Looks like Mr. KABC and Phil Hendrie will have some competing CDs coming out around Christmas time. A little Looney bird told me that Mr. KABC's CD will include highlights from his show and full-length versions of his various theme songs. Phil Hendrie told me he has been busy in his home in Mint Canyon working on his CD that will obviously include comedy highlights of interviews with his various "guests." By the way, has KFI's brilliant program director David Hall lost his edge, along with John and Ken? He is making Phil Hendrie say, "This is the Phil Hendrie show, where you can't always believe what you hear." Why hire a guy to pull listeners' legs, if you are going to turn around and make him say, "O.K, listeners, I am going to pull your leg now." Program directors - UGGH!
Looney Bits: KABC used to be an old person's station, but it really sounds great now with its jingles and cool bumper music. Now all they have to do is get rid of Paul Harvey's anecdotes about drinking highballs with Mark Twain. Hey, KABC, how 'bout burying those churlish commercials for funeral homes while you're at it! UGGH. Did I mention Larry & Eric yet? I'm a talk radio junkie, and I always forget to listen to KLSX.. What's that say? Is Cindy Brady still on there talking about China's MFN status? ... KFI's Bill Handel has the best AM morning drive talk show. What does that say about L.A. radio? Did Larry Elder and Handel go to the same charm school? Dr. Dean Edell is fielding fewer phone calls from fossils and talking more about politics as it relates to medicine. Nice move. Wayne Resnick is the one who should have his own CD. His social/political ditties are fabulous. ... Kato, call me!