Gail Eichenthal Leaves KNX, As Station Under New Management Gets Softer
But now we hear that Gail Eichenthal in leaving the station in protest against the overall drift away from hard news. The L.A. Times quotes Eichenthal as saying, "My discomfort grew over time...It's a difference of philosophy."
Actually, KNX's move away from time devoted to hard news was well underway under the old regime, apparently as a way of reducing labor costs. The station was broadcasting a large number of sports events nobody much cared about, and it had comedy hours, drama hours, anything to get away from what its overall purpose was: to keep Los Angeles up to date with the news, hour after hour. The best course would have been hard news 24-7, but management didn't realize that.
Neither the old managers nor the new seem to realize that the reason one turns to an all-news station is to get the news. The all-news station in San Francisco does realize that and they are doing a far better job.
Now, under the new KNX management, directed by David G. Hall, we have computer news hours, business news hours, "perspective" quotations, anything to wean the station away from straight news.
It's a mistake. I suppose Gail Eichenthal will find a hard-news station and go back to doing what she likes. But Los Angeles listeners will be the losers.
It's not that new management, either at KNX or the L.A. Times, wants to do the wrong thing. They just wander into trouble, too quick to make changes, and abandoning the substance that has made them popular in the past. It's really too bad.