Rich Buhler, Christian talk radio pioneer was 65

rich-buhler.jpgRich Buhler, a former newshand at KFWB, moved into the Christian broadcasting side of radio in 1980. He did his final "Talk From the Heart" show on KBRT/740 AM in Costa Mesa last Sept. 16 due to advancing cancer of the pancreas. He died Monday in an Orange County hospital. From Gary Lycan's radio column in the Orange County Register:

Buhler was profiled by Los Angeles radio historian Don Barrett for his book, "Los Angeles Radio People."

"Rich got started on the air at the age of 17 for a local FM station and after graduating from college was 'salivating' with the opportunity to get into news. He was part of the embryonic days of all-news at KFWB and later originated the design of a system in which stories were written in triplicate to streamline the rewriting process."

Barrett said Buhler told him, "I had a powerful spiritual renewal in the mid-1970s that changed my direction to a career in ministry."

Buhler became an ordained minister and, according to Barrett, "In 1980 he was asked to help put together a competitive news department for Christian formatted KBRT." Later, according to Barrett, "Rich proposed a commercially aggressive, drive-time talk show and brought 'Talk From the Heart' on the air. It is credited with having introduced a new era in Christian Talk radio."

More by Kevin Roderick:
'In on merit' at USC
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Recent Radio stories on LA Observed:
Joe Frank, somewhere out there
KPCC names Megan Garvey as managing editor
Dark Matter: The radio art of Joe Frank
Warren Olney leaving KCRW's radio lineup
5 things: Double politics, fake quake news, bike lane rage
KPCC ends 'Off-Ramp' and gives host John Rabe new role
What would Ray Bradbury say?
LA Times editor gets all serious: 'How could truth become so devalued?'