Handel Takes Aim At Dr. Laura's Departure Comments
August 13, 2009 at 4:44 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KFI-A/LOS ANGELES morning man BILL HANDEL took a few minutes this week to take exception to the way Dr. LAURA SCHLESSINGER characterized her move to crosstown CBS RADIO News KFWB-A as the latter flips to Talk.
LARADIO.COM quotes HANDEL, whose new PREMIERE RADIO NETWORKS syndicated show will fill two of Dr. LAURA's three midday hours, said that, contrary to her assertion that she was moving of her own accord, KFI had decided to drop her show to make way for HANDEL's and an additional hour of afternooners JOHN AND KEN several months ago.
"Because of KFI’s tremendous respect for Dr. LAURA, which is legitimate, she has been a huge player on KFI and done an enormous amount to help KFI, the station elected with Dr. LAURA's cooperation not to go public with that until later on this week when a statement would be released by both Dr. LAURA's folks and our radio station," HANDEL said. "We were going to do it simultaneously. Of course, the news broke beforehand and the quote came out that she is voluntarily leaving and her contract was up.... It’s not true that she elected to leave the station voluntarily. She was told a couple of months ago they they’re not going allow her to stay on effective SEPTEMBER 8th. And why is that? Hey, there’s no magic to any of this folks, there really isn’t. Let me explain how radio works. I’ve said this time and time again. If your numbers are good, you stay on the air. If your numbers are not good, you’re off the air. That’s radio. That’s it. There’s nothing else to be said. You don’t stay on the air because of political ideology. You don’t stay on the air because someone loves you or management loves you, especially not a decently run radio station, you stay on the air because you deliver listeners. When you don’t deliver listeners, you go off the air. That’s it. And that literally is the only reason that Dr. LAURA was let go. There’s nothing else. They love her. They think she’s great. She’s a tremendous talent. She’s a tremendous host and everybody thinks so but the numbers simply were not there. And that’s it.
“I will tell you that we’re a little disappointed in the quote that came out in the L.A. TIMES from Dr. Laura where she said she elected to leave the station and her contract is up. Simply untrue. I wish Dr. Laura was here so I could look at her and simply say, 'Dr. LAURA, do the right thing.'"
Dr. LAURA's response to LARADIO.COM was to e-mail, "I stand by my statements to the press. I am perplexed as to why BILL HANDEL is so upset. I thank KFI for 20 wonderful years and wish them all the best." ALL ACCESS has learned that a joint press release was prepared by KFI and Dr. LAURA but the KFWB press release was issued first, prompting a change in plans.