Thursday, January 20, 2005

Gail Eichenthal Leaves KNX, As Station Under New Management Gets Softer

KNX scrapped some of its new soft news shows during the big storm, doing a good job of keeping up with road closures and other weather news. They called in extra reporters and were quick to adjust to the emergency.

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.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, babe, a little softer on the KNX Drama Hour. I used to listen to that when I was a kid. It was great. I remember well being tucked in my bed when that creepy, creeky door opening sound would come on.

1/20/2005 4:25 PM  
Blogger Dennis Mosher said...

It seems like KNX is trying to invent a new radio format, and failing badly. They seem to be trying to inject "personality" into reading the news -- a radio version of local TV "happy talk" news.

Problem is, LA radio is overloaded with personality, be it funny, abrasive, controversial -- and it's all more entertaining than the KNX news readers with their lame asides, puns and attempts at poignancy.

It's painful to listen to someone who isn't funny trying to be funny.

Bring back hard news.

(And bring back the "Drama Hour", I was hooked on that for years.)

-- Dennis

1/20/2005 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVED DRAMA HOUR!!
Can we get organized to request its coming back??
It was sooo refreshing and innocent. I loved hearing things like
the year is 1992 and the first man has landed on Mars..

2/10/2005 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss the hard news on KNX and its sister station KFWB, and can't blame Gail Eichenthal for leaving. Not that Eichenthal didn't have her own share of puff pieces and banalty, but at least she spoke grammatical English, unlike the current crop of KNX anchors who either have a speech impediment or are trying to out-hick George W. Bush in dropping the final "g" in works like "going."

2/12/2005 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even with the changes... KNX is still far and above any other choice for Newsradio in LA. Gail's a pro and will be missed. But now I hear here on XM Classics channell 110 on my XM Radio so I'm happy! You sound great Gail!

4/16/2005 12:08 AM  
Anonymous Yuri Rasovsky said...

Eichenthal is the best! KNX doesn't realize what it just lost.

9/26/2005 10:34 AM  
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11/11/2010 12:18 AM  
Anonymous Craig Chernos said...

Well, here it is 2012, and Gail Eichenthal's return to KUSC-FM is now seven years in the past.

And thank goodness, too. Since 2005, Ms Eichenthal has helped make KUSC one of the finest (if not the finest) classical music stations around. Her intelligence, knowledge of the medium, and no-nonsense work ethic have been hugely appreciated by this particular listener.

Thanks, Gail. So glad to have you back, and hope you'll be around for a very long time.

3/30/2012 12:16 PM  

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