News station KFWB AM (980) is changing formats again.
The CBS Corp.-owned station will flip from an all news format to a news talk one on Sept. 8. The station is also bringing in Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a well-known radio personality who focuses on family and relationship issues, to spearhead its switch.
KFWB and its sister station, CBS-owned KNX AM (1070), both used to focus on general interest news. In February CBS executives announced KFWB's coverage would emphasize the entertainment industry. But the station hasn't seen a corresponding surge in ratings; in June KFWB had a 1.3 percent listener share, relatively flat from previous months. It was tied for 27th in the L.A. market.
CBS executives are hoping that the latest change to KFWB will give the station a jolt in the rankings. Ed Krampf, CBS Radio senior vice president and market manager for Los Angeles, told the Business Journal he expected Schlessinger, whose show is currently carried by KFI AM (640), would double the station's ratings during her 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. daily slot.
"Dr. Laura is the highest-rated host for the female demographic in her day part for the talk format," Krampf said.
Krampf said that KFWB would continue to give news updates twice an hour and continue to include coverage of Hollywood.
"We'll have a top of the hour and bottom of the hour news cast 24 hours a day, so that leaves plenty of time to cover relevant local topics," he said. "And we think the business of Hollywood is very much a local topic."
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