Talk Show Host of the Year: KABC1s Michael Jackson


Los Angeles topped the Richter Scale in a national competition presented by Talkers Magazine National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts. Local talk show hosts aired their opinions and were honored at the Talk Radio '97 Convention held at the Century Plaza Hotel June 19 through June 21. KABC's Michael Jackson gracefully accepted the Talk Show Host of the Year Award and spoke eloquently to a crowd of about convention.

Mayor Richard Riordan presented the 30-year 790 AM vet with a proclamation of congratulations from a unanimous city council. "I love Michael Jackson; privately, he is one of my best friends," he said."I admire him. He's very tough with me when we're on the air. He doesn't let friendship get in the way. He is the absolute best." Naturally, the mayor considers his city the best location for the convention. "We are the most interesting, talkative people in the world in Los Angeles," Riordan proclaimed."We have a lot to say, and I think all these talk show hosts will go home and do a much better job." The most excited members of the audience were: Jackson's wife, Alana; his two sons; his producer, Lyle Gregory; and longtime colleague Casey Kasem. The syndicated countdown king paid homage to Jackson. "I can't think of anyone more deserving," Kasem commented."After hearing what he just said, I think everyone in the room felt very reverent to the king."

Winners Dr. Joy Browne, Art Bell,
Maureen Lesourd and Michael Harrison
of Talkers Magazine

Tracey Miller said that radio has been good to her, but wishes that she would have been paid the same as her male co-workers. She sported a huge, sparkling engagement ring. Her boyfriend, Bill Edlestein, an editor at the Daily Variety proposed to her on her morning show co-hosted by Robin Abcarian. "First he read poetry to me," she recalled tenderly."I was so nervous. All I could do was laugh. Then he said, 'Robin, tell Tracey what she has just won.' And Robin took out an engagement ring!" Another KTZN host, Yolanda Gaskins, cut to the chase. "Everyone has a different idea of what works," she said."It seems like nobody has got the formula, and everyone is still struggling to find the next Rush Limbaugh. That's what's everybody is here to find out: how to make the big money." Larry Elder of KABC spoke on a panel of talk show hosts on implementing ideas for shows. When he spotted former Clinton adviser Dick Morris, he thanked him for giving him so much material.

"L.A. is the largest drive-time morning and afternoon radio market in the world," he pointed out."It is a very culturally diverse city. We're on the cutting-edge of all sorts of issues: whether it's politics, whether it's economics, whether it's fashion or it's Hollywood, it's just rock 'n' roll out here."