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March 20, 2007
More changes at KFBK

Starting Monday, the noon news will be history at news-talk station KFBK (1530 AM), with the slot being filled by Tom Sullivan, whose three-hour talk show will start an hour earlier.

The station's afternoon news will expand an hour, airing from 3-7 p.m.

Meanwhile, on sister station KSTE (650 AM), Dr. Laura Schlessinger will move to daytime (noon-3 p.m.), while Michael Savage will be on from 3-6 p.m. and Sean Hannity from 6-9 p.m.

Clear Channel, the corporate owner of both stations, is selling the programming switch as "telescoping out both stations' big conservative shows so none of them overlap," says operations manager Alan Eisenson.

The demise of the noon news is not entirely unexpected. Its ratings have been poor, Eisenson concedes, since Paul Harvey's commentaries were dropped several years ago.

"And the untimely passing of (anchor) Rick Stewart didn't help, so it seemed like the right time to make a change," he says.

Still, Eisenson says that the cancellation of the noon news is not a retreat for the station.

"Our commitment to news is as strong as ever," Eisenson says. "We're just shifting that hour to the afternoon news."

In other KFBK news, afternoon host Jay Alan remains on the air even after it was announced he would be leaving the station to become communications director for the California Conservation Corps, a state agency. (See my posting below.)

"It's a contractual matter with Jay," says Eisenson, who declined to elaborate. "His government job won't start until he leaves the air. We've posted the job and started to search (for a replacement)."

It could be weeks before Alan leaves the air, which raises the question: What if he has to interview a government official?

"We hadn't thought about that (ethical dilemma)," Eisenson says. "But we will make sure that won't happen."

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