Saturday, February 21

L.A. Radio: Sterilized For Your Protection

Can we get someone in charge who can reverse THIS trend? Mel Karmazin spent too much time getting hammered by congress the other day and it's affected the thinking of his radio stations here in Los Angeles. Of course, this could be a move to take heat off their other properties like Howard Stern and their edgier stations, but laying down this sort of edict on the two most harmless stations in the civilized world seems a little extreme.

Corporate radio: Homogenized has now been fortified with neutering.

KNX, KFWB ban live news
Answering parent Viacom's edict, L.A.'s newsradio leaders will record interviews, won't air calls until delay equipment is installed.

Live news is now a dead issue on L.A.'s two most prominent news radio stations.

In the latest ripple from the continuing crackdown on profanity and sexuality in broadcasts, CBS/Infinity stations KNX-AM (1070) and KFWB-AM (980) have instituted a delay on live newscasts, and banished live interviews and phone calls. The delay is reportedly seven seconds, although station management would not confirm the exact length.

The unprecedented policy shift for straight news programs was made Thursday in response to an edict from Viacom President Mel Karmazin. Viacom owns Infinity and CBS Radio.

"Nothing is live anymore, effective immediately," said Pat Duffy, vice president and marketing manager of Los Angeles News Stations, which operates KNX and KFWB.

The action marks the first time the two stations have instituted measures to ensure that offending words are not aired. The decision comes a few days after Karmazin held a conference call with all of the general managers in Infinity's radio division, during which he said that obscenity on the airwaves would not be tolerated and indicated that violators would be fired.

An internal memo bulletin issued Thursday by David G. Hall, vice president of AM programming for the two Los Angeles stations, said, "There are to be NO LIVE INTERVIEWS on KNX and KFWB that do not involve our own anchors, reporters, traffic and weather services and networks.... ALL interviews are to be pre-recorded, and we will not be able to take live telephone calls on the air. We expect to have to do this until next week, when we can have digital delay equipment installed at both radio stations."

The delay will also affect KNX's weekend shows "Food News With Melinda Lee" and "Jeff Levy on Computers," as well as KFWB's broadcast of Dodger games and the "Dodgertalk" news shows.
"Hey, Melinda. Your recipe for peach cobbler? F#@%IN' "A"!"