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Ken Chiampou Bids Farewell to KFI

“I’ve been very lucky to have this career and make this much money.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Ken Chiampou
(Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

KFI-AM 640 afternoon host Ken Chiampou called it career last week after working alongside co-host John Kobylt since 1988 at various stations.

In his final John and Ken show, several celebrities, co-workers, and former California political figures wished Chiampou well, before the longtime host said his goodbyes to longtime listeners.

“I’ve been asked over the years two completely divergent points of view. There’s people who say, ‘Oh, you just sit on the air and talk to another guy for three hours? Well, it’s got to be easy. I’d like to do that.’ And then there’s the extreme other side. ‘How do you do that? How do you come up with stuff to say? How do you know what to do? Oh, I’d be so scared.’ The truth is, it’s somewhere in between,” Chiampou said in his final segment.

“But I always knew I had to do it with somebody else. So I ran into you and it worked from day one. I appreciate that. And I’ve been very lucky to have this career and make this much money,” the longtime host joked.

Chiampou noted he’s hosted the program from home for the past three years, which was a welcomed change from the long commute he handled for 16 years before the pandemic forced him to lead the show from home.

“We accomplished a lot. I don’t think there’s another team in talk radio that was on as long as we’ve been on,” Kobylt said. “That had an audience as large as we’ve had over 30 years now and made as much money for their companies as we have. And if there’s a record book for that, we’re in it and I want to thank you, you’ve been the perfect radio partner.”

Kobylt extended an invitation for Ken Chiampou to join the program whenever he’d like, which the longtime host appreciated before saying “I tend to not look back, but you never know”.

They worked at 103.7 WMGM in Atlantic City for a while before launching New Jersey 101.5 in Trenton in 1990. In 1992, the duo joined KFI as afternoon hosts. The pair briefly joined 790 KABC in 1999 before returning to KFI for the duration of their run together.

John Kobylt will continue to host the 1-4 PM timeslot at the Los Angeles station. He will host The John Kobylt Show by himself as a lead-in to Tim Conway Jr.

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News Radio

Former WAMU Reporters Take to Social Media After Layoffs Hit

Many of those affected by the layoffs took to social media to share they were included in the cuts, while others shared their displeasure with leadership and station management over the move.

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WAMU made a round of layoffs Friday morning that eliminated the positions of 15 employees on staff at the Washington D.C. NPR affiliate.

The outlet claimed it was ending its local news digital outlet — DCist — in an effort to refocus its strategy on audio offerings. When users attempt to go to the DCist website, a message appears reading “Thank you for visiting and supporting DCist. Since 2018, it has been a part of WAMU 88.5, the Washington region’s public media and NPR member station. As of February 23, the site will no longer publish new content. Please visit WAMU.org for local news and programming. You will be automatically redirected to WAMU.org in 15 seconds.”

Many of those affected by the layoffs took to social media to share they were included in the cuts, while others shared their displeasure with leadership and station management over the move.

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Nick Kayal: Widespread Phone Outages Shows Need for AM Radio

“It’s something that we need to continue to highlight and re-emphasize not just for this audience, but I think it’s also important to reach people beyond the little box that we live in, in talk radio.”

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(Photo: Nick Kayal)

Millions of AT&T and Verizon customers were left without use of their mobile devices due to widespread outages Thursday morning. 1210 WPHT morning host Nick Kayal believes it highlights the need for AM Radio.

While discussing the outages on Kayal & Company Friday morning, Nick Kayal argued that both the lack of cell phone coverage and the convergence of members from both sides of the political aisle coming to AM Radio’s defense shows the need for the medium to continue.

“Yes, we look at it selfishly. First and foremost, I think from a career standpoint, because of free speech and stations like Talk Radio 1210, that might never be on FM. Yes, you can get us on the Audacy app. Yes, you could watch us on YouTube. But we might always just be on AM, specifically, when we talk about am and FM.

“Now imagine it’s 2042. You’re driving a Tesla. And we have one of these communication failures where the grid goes down, so to speak, and you can’t use your phone. And you also compounded the issue with not having an AM radio. We speculated earlier this morning, if in fact this was a hack job. And you know, China does something like this or Russia…Now imagine throwing into the equation not having AM radio from a safety standpoint, you’d want to tune into 1210 in the in the event of a disaster or an emergency, or our sister station, KYW 1060.”

Kayal continued by noting that the message needs to continue to be shared not simply with those inside the industry, but to the general public.

“I really think, as we continue to pay attention to this story, it’s something that we need to continue to highlight and re-emphasize not just for this audience, but I think it’s also important to reach people beyond the little box that we live in, in talk radio,” he concluded.

Nick Kayal also gave kudos to The Atlantic, which had shared a story with the headline “Your Phone Has Nothing on AM Radio,” noting that it’s no longer just right-wing publications sounding the alarm on the issue at hand.

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WAMU Institutes Round of Layoffs, 15 Employees Let Go

WAMU plans to launch a local program with hopes of adding an additional app for the station. It also plans to expand its political coverage to include Maryland and Virginia, in addition to Washington D.C.

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WAMU, the NPR affiliate in Washington D.C., has instituted a round of layoffs that will see the jobs of 15 employees cut, with a shifting focus to audio upcoming.

The outlet is ending its DCist local news site amid the focus change, with the company saying the move allows it to prioritize its audio offerings.

“We’re making the choice to invest in what we’re better at than anyone else in this town, and that’s audio,” General Manager Erika Pulley-Hayes told Axios.

The report from Axios also claims WAMU plans to launch a local program with hopes of adding an additional app for the station. It also plans to expand its political coverage to include Maryland and Virginia, in addition to Washington D.C.

According to the latest Nielsen ratings, WAMU is the highest-rated station in the Washington D.C. market, finishing atop the rankings with a 12.7 share in the January ratings period in persons 6+.

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