Newsie adds Dr. Laura to new daytime sked

After more than 40 years in the all-news game, CBS-owned KFWB-AM is talking up an impending format change.

The radio station will shift to a news and talk format on Sept. 8 when it adds conservative yakkers Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Laura Ingraham and Michael Smerconish to its daytime sked.

KFWB is nabbing Schlessinger’s nationally syndicated show from rival L.A. outlet KFI-AM. Ed Krampf, Los Angeles senior veep and market manager for CBS Radio, said the opportunity to snag “Dr. Laura” spurred the station to overhaul its entire daytime lineup.

KFWB has long trailed rival KNX-AM in the local all-news ratings race. CBS Radio, which also owns KNX, has lately been tinkering with KFWB’s editorial spin — most recently trying to ramp up its coverage of showbiz and the local arts and culture scene.

Krampf said the new-model KFWB would seek to “continue to provide our listeners with thorough reporting on local news, including entertainment industry updates, while at the same time offering programming that features an array of opinions and advice on a number of topical issues.”

As of Sept. 8, KFWB will air news from 6-9 a.m., followed by three hours each of “The Laura Ingraham Show” and “Dr. Laura” until 3 p.m. Local news will return from 3-6 p.m., followed by Smerconish, a conservative commentator out of Philadelphia who made waves last year by endorsing Barack Obama. His show was picked up for national syndication by CBS Radio earlier this year.

Ingraham’s show has been airing in L.A. on the lower-profile talk station KGIL-AM.

KFWB has been an all-news outlet since March 1968, when it shifted from a top 40 format (the station once branded itself “KFWBeatles”). The station was founded in the mid-1920s by Warner Bros. mogul Sam Warner. CBS has owned KFWB since the Eye merged with Westinghouse Electric Corp. in 1995.

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