Lesourd reacts to Jackson backlash

In the wake of talkshow host Michael Jackson’s ouster last week from his longtime weekday morning post at KABC, the station’s prexy and G.M., Maureen Lesourd, reportedly was thrown off-guard Wednesday and Thursday by the vocal and intense reaction from KABC listeners.

Lesourd was apparently surprised that people would be so upset at the removal of the local icon, who had been in the same time period for more than 30 years, so she had program director Dave Cooke whip off a memo to the staffs of both KABC and sister station KTZN (“The Zone”).

The memo ordered the stations’ hosts not to make any on-air comments about the Jackson situation, and said that if a caller brings it up, they should “simply react by saying you know nothing more than what you’ve read.”

Meanwhile, the fact that Lesourd was trumpeting Jackson’s replacement, Ronn Owens of San Francisco’s KGO, for his ability to beat conservative Rush Limbaugh in the Bay Area, was drawing some snickers inside the station.

Quipped one: “Mike Tyson could beat Rush Limbaugh in San Francisco.”

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