Unimpressed by KFWB in Hollywood

Variety columnist Brian Lowry isn't too smitten with the AM news station's refocus summed up in the ad slogan "Hollywood listens to KFWB."

Honestly, I've tried, but I keep asking myself -- other than wanting to know whether traffic is moving on the 101 freeway between Barham and Western -- why on earth "Hollywood," which presumably knows something about its own machinations, would listen to something as ill-informed as KFWB?

If CBS Radio (which operates both news outlets) is genuinely committed to carving out an entertainment presence on the Los Angeles station, the company needs to hire a few people that have some feel for the field, which actually does require a modicum of specialized expertise. By contrast, having your newswriters and anchors simply read truncated versions of stories out of Variety and the Los Angeles Times' Calendar section -- instead of reading stories out of the Times' front section, as they used to -- won't cut it. Listeners are too sophisticated for that -- even those that aren't directly part of "Hollywood."

This opinion is informed in part by the fact that I've done two recent interviews with the station (980 on the dial) about articles published in Variety, and each time, the anchors seemed to have only the slightest clue as to what we were talking about. Listening to the station strictly as a consumer/commuter, I find that to be true on a regular basis.

Here's Lowry's column.

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