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BY THOM LOONEY
Got my top down, and my radio turned up loud. I'm listening to talk radio, and I've got it on FM. That never used to happen! When I used to listen to talk radio, I forgot about KLSX, "The FM Talk Station." Now they are finally taking themselves seriously! They have added the legendary Tom Leykis. People who shut off Howard Stern as they arrive to their place of employment will now get back in their cars and find the looney, liberal loudmouth Leykis! Now they will stay tuned to KLSX, instead of quickly tuning out whomever was on before. (Who did afternoon drive at KLSX before Leykis? Was it Kato? Cindy Brady? Dennis Fung? The-Carol-Burnett-Show-guy's-son-from-a-previous-marriage? Who was it?)
OOF! That fistfight at KLSX between nighttime talker Riki Rachtman and midday gabber Doug Steckler is the best thing that could happen to the two remaining non-syndicated entities on the station. KLSX should give them both a big bonus in exchange for the free publicity. Now if they could only get the TV news anchors to say the call letters right. Nastyman has replaced the deposed Rachtman, and the Nastyman seems to be struggling. He's a lowly disc jockey-turned-talk-show host like Rush.
Rushbuster. Very few people have been able to not only beat Rush Limbaugh in the ratings, but atomize him! At WRKO in Boston, a guy named Tom Leykis destroyed Limbaugh, and at KGO in San Francisco, Ronn Owens has consistently made mush outta Rush. However, will the Ronn Owens gig work here at KABC? It'll take a few books, but I don't think so (book: radio vernacular meaning ratings period).
I just can't picture people saying, "I'm tired of the GOP prostitute. I'm headed over to KABC where Ronn Owens really knows how to drive down the middle of the road." I think middle-of-the-road is boring radio - so far. Maybe I just don't like him because he has two Ns. That's really nnonne of my businnnnes, though, is it?
John and Ken: I changed my mind. I know how much my opinion means to my homeboys, John Kobylt and Ken Shampoo, so I'll forge forth with my new opinion. They have never been better! I dissed 'em in my last column, and ever since, they have been on fire. Just goes to show the influence of the critically acclaimed "Looney Point of View" in the fabulously phenomenal Los Angeles Radio Guide.
The Ex-Zone and KABC: Talk radio is a guy thing! Who was Erik Braverman trying to fool?! Chick radio is gone?! Did anybody notice? Gee, I'm going to miss that one dude who was on The Zone, and that other chick whose name I can't recall. Stephanie Miller survived, though. I waxed loquaciously with the Stephmeister on the phone the other day, and I now consider us very close friends. Bill Miller's daughter is now waxing jocular on KABC from 7 p.m. to 9 p. m. If she gets her way though, she'll be taking food out of little Elder mouths, and her show will start at 6 p.m. That KABC 7 to 9 slot is a tough one. Can Stephanie Miller ever be as frolicsome and vivacious as Geoff Witcher? We'll just have to wait and see. (Miller's show will be syndicated by a major syndicator. I'm not allowed at press time to name that major syndicator, but let me give you a hint: Their initials are ABC.)
Deep Throat Speaks: I met Alexander Haig in a parking garage in Manhattan Beach, and he told me that "Handel On The Law"- Bill Handel's Saturday offering on KFI - may soon be nationally syndicated by Premiere! I don't know why. All he does on that show is say, "Yup. I'd call a lawyer if I were you." I always sit there thinking to myself, "That's what they thought they were doing!"
Where did that station come from? KOGO/San Diego booms into my car in L.A. like a local station. It's at AM 600 on the dial, and it's not a bad station. They've got a politician named Roger Hedgecock on from noon to 4 p.m. He used to be mayor of San Diego. Therefore, his show is definitely not to be taken seriously. However, from 4 p.m to 8 p.m., they've got major market talk radio happening. Jacor broadcasting broke out the checkbook and brought a big talent from Dallas. I think Mr. Rick Roberts - and his producer Candace Wheeler - stole Larry King's daily planner! Roberts has got marquee guests almost daily. It's called "The Court of Public Opinion." Check it out! It has the prestigious "Looney Seal of Approval" that John and Ken dream about being awarded some day. Roberts took KRLD/Dallas from worst to first when he was there!
Class of 1997: Look up class in the dictionary, and you'll see Doug McIntyre's picture. (Holy cliché! All of a sudden, this has become a Larry King column!) McIntyre - the former head writer for "Married with Children"- is a real class act. He gives conservative radio a kinder, gentler sound, without being boring.
LOONEY BITS: My compadre, Mr. KABC, who was born without the sports gene, is thrilled that the Dodgers are gone. Now his minions and I can tune in each night without saying, "Damn, it's that fossil, Vin Scully."... Phil Hendrie is now fooling fans and fools at 7 p.m. on KFI, which will be a much better time slot for him. He can piggyback those John and Ken numbers. Did I mention John and Ken in this column? ... If you see Larry Elder in Vegas, it will definitely be at the race card table. The other day he had his mother on the show. He should have her on more often. It tenderizes his chip ... O.K., I'll call him by his name. He deserves it. He works hard: Tim Conway, Jr. ... I'm going to miss Susan Estrich on KABC. Her voice always reminded me of Froggy on "The Little Rascals"... You think maybe Rush Limbaugh will let Kato fill in when he goes on vacation next time? ....Babba booey, Babba booey.