Progressive Talk Radio KTLK Drops “Mr. K”

HT to LA Observed:

Marc Germain, popular Los Angeles radio talk show host at KFI and KABC, is the latest victim in a round of Clear Channel radio layoffs as his afternoon drive slot at Progressive Talker KTLK will be replaced by syndicated programming later this month. “We thank Marc Germain for his efforts in 2007 and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors,” said John Quinlan, station manager at KTLK.”I have been in the Los Angeles radio business for over a decade and a half, and have loved every minute of it,” emailed Mr. K. “It is a fast-paced business, and is getting faster every day as outside corporate owners are looking for instant results. It takes time to reposition a station properly and to build a show in a new time slot. I wasn’t at KTLK for even a full year when the station decided to go in a different direction.”

Marc continued: “While I can’t say I’m pleased with their decision to take a new direction after such a short time, it is their station and they have the right to run it the way they wish. While I am disappointed that I wasn’t able to stay there long enough to accomplish my goals, I am glad that I left on good terms with the people at KTLK. I wish them well with their future plans.”

  42 comments for “Progressive Talk Radio KTLK Drops “Mr. K”

  1. January 2, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Okay, I’m bummed, I listened to Marc pretty often, more so than Randy Rhodes. It’s so important to keep local shows, it couldn’t have been that bad? I mean, really? He should have been given more time.

    I’m actually sad about this.

  2. Paul Lucas
    January 3, 2008 at 12:19 am

    I liked Mr K. he wasnt a far left crazy guy. he was pretty much in the middle and sometimes the right of what I prefer and sometimes to the left of what I prefer.
    if Im not mistaken I believe he came from AM 640 the right wing station didnt he? Anyway, his show was pretty much free form and would usually be good but sometimes I had to turn the dial. But I think that is a good thing. Mr K wasnt afraid to say what he felt and meant. Soemtimes I would agree and sometimes I wouldnt. But I was usually entertained. I am sad to see him go.

  3. Bill
    January 3, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I am glad that he and his cute little sidekick Lisa are gone. They were not right wing schmucks like those clowns on KFI, but they did not belong on a station claiming to be politically progressive either. They were part of an obvious strategy early last year to attract a more “main stream” listening audience – read affluent suburbanites who don’t like Bush but are afraid of anyone to the left of Bill or Hillary Clinton and did not want to hear too much about militant labor unions, the plight of the poor, or people who didn’t grow up in suburbia.
    Their shows were sometimes downright reactionary in tone, although Lisa seemed to be somewhat to the left of her boss. Sometimes their chatter veered entirely off the topic of politics and became about as interesting as over the backyard fence conversations between burghers in Orange County.
    Mr. K will quickly find a job at some station more suited to his style, and I think that “Producer Lisa” already works at Clear Channel.

  4. January 3, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Mr. K was backing Edwards, he’s not very right-wing at all in my mind. He just had some differing opinions, I thought it was actually nice to have him on the air. Sorry.

  5. Tom
    January 3, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Are you kidding? Mr. K. a foster child again? Not even a year at the new station. Someone at KTLK doesn’t know programming. Ed Schultz should be on from 3-6. Mr. K was a better fit for the evening, but I’m sure he didn’t want to work late at night. He had the #1 rated show at KABC from 10-1 AM. He would have been a better fit for the late night show. Combs is not that great for radio.
    LA radio at night has gone to hell in a handbasket.
    I hope Marc finds something soon and can build on his listenership.
    If he was leaning toward Edwards as President and that is the reason for his leaving, then Tom Hartmann isn’t far behind.
    I think he wasn’t allowed to be himself as much as he should have been or was allowed. I don’t think a two person show was his thing, although Lisa was not a bad fit.
    Good luck Marc, wherever you go. I’ll be listening.

    Call me,
    Voice

  6. Pancho
    January 8, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Mr K rode the third rails other talk show hosts avoid in order to preserve their career. So now we have a bunch of syncicated, wishy-washy androids yammering away at ears disconnected from brains. The Bush-Nazi plan for pacification of the reich’s last obsticle to world domination is well underway.

  7. sHARYN
    January 11, 2008 at 8:50 am

    I am so glad he’s gone. It was like listening to my not so interesting neighbors going on and on without being very well versed on the salient facts.

    I agree with the commenter that Ed Schultz would be the perfect choice for the 3-7pm slot. I really miss him at lunchtime slot. He’s independent and strong (and actually educated on the serious issues).

    I’m enjoying Johhny Wendell in the meantime.

  8. STEVE
    January 12, 2008 at 1:30 am

    Mark Germain was the best thing that ever happened to KTLK, and the only reason I ever listened to 1150 on my dial. His show was unique and he is one of the most intelligent radio personalities to come along in years. I KNOW Mark will find a home on another station and the sooner the better. One of the most entertaining persons ever on the air. P.S. I am NOT his agent.

  9. Russ
    January 13, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Boo to KTLK (or more Clear Channel I guess! They had a great talk show host who was local but also very good on national and international issues. He is a liberal but also an independent thinker god bless him. We need more people who don’t walk lock step on the issues regardless of what “side” they’re on. I’ll miss him but will certainly find him when he winds up. One thing though – I am glad “”producer Lisa” is gone. She must’ve been part of some executive’s scheme to get higher ratings. She seems like a nice peson but not very well informed or very logical – ironically kind of the opposite of Mr. K, but since she was on the same side all the big issues you did not even get interesting debate between them. A strange pairing indeed.

  10. Eva
    January 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I hate to listen to the radio between 3 and 7 on KTLK now that Mark and Lisa are gone. My one complaint against them was adding more publicity to the Edwards controversy reported in the Enquirer. If they had read the article they would have seen that it actually had nothing to do with Edwards, but rather a close friend. I’d love to hear Ed Schultz in this time slot. Half the time or more, in the time slot he’s in he is preempted by sports events.

  11. Jose
    January 14, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    I’m glad these two clowns are off the air. They weren’t true progressives, they clearly didn’t belong. Mr. K’s bashing of immigrants sounded like Rush Limbaugh, and he also dedicated entire shows to bashing vegetarians for no apparent reason. I am happy to hear he was an Edwards supporter though. KTLK should get Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow live, and the rest of the time should be filled in by Mario Solis who is the best local host IMO.

  12. Lillian Laskin
    January 14, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    I thought Marc Germain to be very intelligent and tolerant, but not substantive enough. I found Lisa a bit too folksy. I would love to see Ed Schultz in the time slot between 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.; he is somewhere between someone like Randi Rhodes and Sam Sedar so far as intensity of style and out-spokeness goes. If you want someone for the drive home time period, Ed would be excellent. By the way, I am now enjoying Tom Oliphant and Morgan Fairchild who have excellent guests and discussion on substantive issues.

  13. tommy
    January 15, 2008 at 12:47 am

    Omigod, the smug, self-rightious Germain and the “fingernails across the blackboard” voice of Lisa are gone? for real? Thank you!!!!!
    Half the time they didn’t have the facts or names of a story they were discussing correct and would open their show after the Randi Rhodes Show where Randi just spent two fricken hours laying out the facts of the major political story of the day and Mark and Lisa sounded like they just got out of bed!!
    I’ll spend the rest of my life wondering if Lisa’s husband ever put a pistol in his mouth while listening to her whine one last time!!!
    “Mr K” as in ” I Know everything” just a little….is the “know-it-all” condescending, insufferable bore that everyone has in their life somewhere.
    Give me the “thought-provoking’ intelligent JOHNNY WENDELL any day, anytime, any station. He is so irreverently masterful on the air!! I always feel less dumb with his brain and voice.

  14. Shane
    January 15, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Working third shift I used to love Mark’s (KABC) fast pace no nonsense show. I must admit, he just wasn’t a afternoon drive kind of guy and his “side-kick” should have been named “speed bump” as she seemed to drag a conversation to a slow crawl. His topics were fluff and shallow and a much of the content I’d hear were topics you’d never hear Mr. KABC bring up.

    Mr K was politically left of center, but his afternoon drive show was not the Mr K show I had grown to appreciate and maybe that was why it had a troubling time. But then again KTLK likes to throw talent under the bus, just look at Mike Malloy and Harrison.

    Johnny Wendell is more likely their type of DJ. I think of him as the “fast food” progressive/liberal. Topic, what do you think, caller makes statement, click, next call. Very format friendly….

  15. Karen
    January 15, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I actually liked Marc but Lisa annoyed. While I know many want another syndicated show, I think that would be a mistake. One of the Radio KKK’s (KFI) draw is that Bill Handel and John and Ken, both local hosts, are in the drive slots. I think having a local show in afternoon drive is still their best bet but I do think they need to replace Thom Hartman with Ed Schultz. I like Thom but he is just a little to soft for that time slot.

    As for now, I had to turn OFF KTLK because Morgan Fairchild’s voice GRATES! Bring back Johnny Wendell until you hire or purchase someone!

  16. knixphan
    January 15, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    I’m one of those who found them rather mainstreamy, and I agree with Bill – It reeked of an obvious attempt to get some of that lowbrow appeal, on a station that normally attracts thinkers who dial back and forth from NPR.

    Ed or Rachel is super in that time slot…

  17. mk
    January 15, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    agree one hundred percent with tommy. i felt that mr k was either deliberately contrarian or is a quasi-republican. either way, good riddance. so whether this is an evil ploy by corporate clear channel or not, i am all for getting that ill-informed jackass off the air. his views on immigrants, the homeless, the environment and civil rights were right out of the Rovian playbook. so was the dismissive attitude when people called in with differing viewpoints. condescending much? i WILL miss “mr non sequitur .”

    dear ktlk decision-makers: i miss having randi rhodes as i drive home at night, ed shultz would be great. and i love thom hartman too! the guest hosts have been great also, maybe you could rotate them out and see how that goes.

  18. ABC
    January 15, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Can’t wait til Mr K gets picked back up by a station that I can stomach. He is fair minded and respectful and the extremes like Hannity and Air America can’t respect or stomach his moderation and ability to attract both parties. He is for everyone. I would love to live in a world of Mr Ks.
    So how about it KFI- give me a late Christmas present and get Mr K for the 7PM slot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. jhooper
    January 15, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Mr. K – while often entertaining and usually fair-minded – had no business on a progressive talk show. KTLK and other progressive talk radio stations are tarnishing the name and principled concerns of progressives everywhere. We are not going to convince anyone of the merit of our world view with the likes of Randy Rhodes, Mario Solis, and Johnny Wendell screeching on the radio as our representatives. Since Clear Channel is the owner this is not surprising, but progressive radio should be more like NPR and less like Bill O’Reilly. Otherwise it’s the same carnival atmosphere from a different side. Give me Tom Hartmann and Ed Schultz and some more serious-minded hosts.

  20. Danny Mogg
    January 15, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I did not care for Mark and Lisa. I think KTLK should give someone like MIke Malloy or Sam Cedar (sp?) a shot. Our friends on the right are not going to allow any airtime to a pundit that does not bash the dems. These people dominate the airways in terms of airtime. For guys like Hannity and Limbaugh, this is a war of attrition. Therefore, as we get closer to electing a dem in the white house, we need to re-enforce the message that our candidates are more in-line with the views of the American people. Are you listening Mark Green?

  21. knixphan
    January 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    agree with jhooper – more KCRW, less FOX.

    Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz are the standard-bearers. RAchel M and Stephanie M bring up the rear. Try to get people who run with that crowd.

  22. Dan Chmielewski
    January 16, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Did anyone read John Zieglar’s screed on http://www.therealkfi.com? Any comment from John and Ken?

    I like Morgan Fairchild on the air. I would like to see Ed Schultz on live in this market.

  23. E. Fette
    January 16, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    I was pleasantly surprised to hear Morgan Fairchild yesterday and today on the former “Mr. K” timeslot. I never really cared for Marc’s show. I found his response to many callers very condescening and insulting. I sometimes got the feeling that he was bored with his show. Some of the topics were so off the wall that I started listening to NPR again on my way home. I hope Ms. Fairchild will want to continue with KTLK and KTLK would want to keep her on. If she is going to be a guest host for this week only then I hope that KTLK will put Rachel Maddow on live at 3 because I listen to her show via my computer. If I miss her show then I have to wait until 10 p.m. and sometimes that’s too late for me.

  24. me
    January 16, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    You can also listen to Rachel Maddow at 9pm online at

    http://www.green960.com/main.html

  25. Dave
    January 17, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Thank god Mr. K is gone. I had written donmartin@clearchannel.com a few times to complain about him and the mindless drivel he considered to be his “show.” I was told that he simply got the ratings and that was that. After Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes setting the table each day, the main course (4 hours!) of Mr. K was vastly disappointing. KTLK exists only because it fills a void for people who are informed enough to be aghast at what has been happening to our constitution and country under Dickhead Cheney. Anyone who feels that Randi Rhodes is too strident or Thom Hartmann is uninteresting should simply tune into any one of dozens of other sources. Air America was created for the rest of us. To cite a bumper sticker: IF YOU’RE NOT OUTRAGED, YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION. This station should programming hosts who are paying attention and trying to the best of their blessed hearts to tell the people. Mr. K dismissed and disrespected callers who asked real questions and routinely displayed the thinnest of knowledge about the critical issues. He was proud of his fluff show. I despised it and felt cheated. It made my drive home so much longer when he was on.

  26. Kurt
    January 17, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Whoo-hoo! Just found out about it myself this week. Mr. K. and Lisa were awful. Instead of discussing progressive issues they’d devote hours to restaging Larry Craig’s restroom bust to prove his innocence and bitch about Obama smoking. And yes, Mr. K is a condescending, know-it-all libertarian in (ill-fitting) progressive’s clothing.

  27. Chris B
    January 17, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    I thought is was strange (but enjoyable) to hear Morgan and Tom earlier this week. I loved hearing Johnny Wendel filling in for Marc & Lisa, but thought it was just for the holiday break and was not really looking forward to their return.

    I am glad I am not alone in not liking their program for my drive home. I really did not care for the “Ask Mr.K”. He was short with people he disagreed with or didn’t really understand, yet would let some callers go on and on making no point or sense. He was condesending to the degree that I thought he was more conservative than progressive. He may have been for Edwards, but seemed to lean more toward Ron Paul.

    I would really love to have Ed Schultz from 3-7(I miss him when sports bump his show at 7) or Johnny or Rachel.

  28. Jan
    January 19, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Ditto Ed Schultz for the afternoon drive slot!

  29. Sandy Rourke
    January 21, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Thank the Powers That Be that Mr. K and really dumb & annoying sidekick Lisa are gone! I listen to KTLK in order to hear progressive voices, not mindless dribble. By the way, how did he ever become to be considered as a progressive? I felt trapped by the fact that I didn’t want to listen to KTLK while he was on the air BUT, the other alternatives were the two HATEFUL IDIOTS John & Ken and Larry “RIGHT WING” Elder. Needless to say, the dial got switched to FM for the afternoon drive home.

  30. Prantha Trivedi
    January 22, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Thank goodness he’s gone! I adore Rachel Maddow. She is brilliant. Mr. K was BORING.

  31. Tom
    January 22, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Mr. K was okay, but Lisa was annoying. It seemed as though she purposely took the most ridiculous viewpoint…I’m glad they are gone!!

  32. Chips
    January 24, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Maybe it was because I could hardly bear listening to “Mr. K” and “Producer Lisa” and would switch to another station whenever I heard them struggling to say something significant about the issue of the day, but I never heard them say a single progressive thing in the several times I gave them a try. It was like listening to Rick Dees try to say something progressive. They tried, but they were incapable. It was as if they were being paid to be “progressive” but didn’t understand the definition of the word. Nothing interested them but gossip. Their response to Jerry Falwell’s death? Call Larry Flynt, of course. If they were still on the air, we’d be subjected to the repetition of every meaningless detail of Heath Ledger’s death over and over again. How would that be progressive? I was always pleasantly surprised to hear Johnny Wendel substituting for them, and recently heard Rachel Maddow in that spot. Hallelujah! For me, any intelligent and/or entertaining talk about the issues of the day is always welcome. I’m glad KTLK is looking for new voices to fill the spot. I’m not sure I could listen to Morgan Fairchild on a regular basis, but the other substitutes I’ve heard have been great.

  33. John
    January 25, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Marc Germain presented balanced opinion, neither too far left and certainly not too far right. He was articulate and well informed on the issues and was not afraid to give his opinion along with the facts. I didn’t always agree with him but his was an interesting show during drive time. I have enjoyed Rachel Maddow when she speaks to the important political issues of the day. I don’t tune into KTLK to listen to questions or comments from listeners about their medical issues, however, and feel that is a waste of Dr. Maddow’s intelligence. Johnny Wendell could be on Fox News or any other station interested in junior high discussions. Find someone, anyone, of the same caliber as Dr. Maddow, Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz or Thom Hartmann and provide your listeners with stability and information from which we can learn.

  34. January 25, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Johnny Wendell drives me crazy, his hyperbole is so maddening and a few times I found myself trying to call in so I could just yell at him. He left things out, he lied by omission to make is point and it was very troublesome.

    I’m enjoying Rachel Maddow immensely and I have to admit, Frangela are so annoying it’s entertaining as well. What has happened to me.

    I can’t listen to Randi Rhodes anymore though, she keeps trashing John Edwards, such as calling him the white guy and it just doesn’t help at all.

    Hartmann is amazing and yes he does favor Edwards but he does not at the expense of the other candidates and I usually learn something listening to Thom.

  35. susan
    January 31, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Sorry Marc is gone…Always glad to hear Johnny! Thom, Randi, Rachel, Ed always have my attention as do Johnny & Mario on weekends as well as Joe and Bre.

    As for Frangela – loud, obnoxious! Have to change stations…..
    Get them out of here……They give me a freeking headache!!

  36. knixphan
    January 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    I prefer Johnny W to Frangela, But Rachel to all of the above… Maybe Johnny can have Randi’s midday spot.

  37. February 4, 2008 at 8:53 am

    `Keep your ears open at 6 p.m. on KTLK.

  38. Joan E. Nelson`
    February 13, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    THANK YOU FOR MIKE MALLOY, OUR GREATEST HOPE FOR OUR COUNTRY’S AND THE WORLD’S FUTURE. He soothes my soul, and I hope Obama gets in, and I hope impeachment of Bush and Cheney takes place, so the world can respect us again.

  39. Joan E. Nelson`
    February 13, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Please keep Mike Malloy on KTLK am in Los Angeles. He’s the best of all.

  40. realtime
    February 14, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Los Angeles has another progressive station KPFK. In order of preference I like Rachel Maddow, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, and Mike Malloy. I like Rachel Maddow because she may be the smartest one that I have heard on KTLK. I like Thom Hartmann because he will discuss politics with right wingers and it gives me talking points. I like Randi Rhodes because she is able to point out contradictions in Bush’s political statements and policies. Mike Malloy was one of the first I heard speak out strongly against Bush’s policies.

    I switch back and forth. There is some great historical progressive audio on KPFK.

  41. AL IAMOND
    February 27, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I HAD LEFT A LONG COMMENT; HOWEVER, YOUR ANTI-SPAM WORD CONTAINED THE CHARACTER g OR 9. I MISTOOK THAT “g” AS A “NINE”.
    I DO NOT FEEL LIKE TYPING THIS COMMENT OVER AGAIN.
    YOU WATED ABOUT 15 MINUTES OF TYPEING AND EDITING TIME. THANK YOU FOR NOTHING!
    YOU SHOULD HAVE, AT LEAST HELD THE COMMENT AND NOT ERASED IT!
    THAT IS TOTALLY SCREWED!!!!! YOU WASTED MY TIME!

  42. AL IAMOND
    February 27, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    FOLLOW UP: I WAS TOO ANGRY TO SPELL “WASTED” AND TYPING” CORRECTLY, FORGIVE ME!!

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