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KFI Newsman Talks About Looming Health Insurance Nightmare

Filling in this week for Aron Bender, KFI AM 640′s Rob Archer (pictured) did a solid job last night with the news breaks and nightly 9-9:30 p.m. “News Bender” segment on The Tim Conway Jr. Show. As per usual, Conway Jr. kibbitzed with his partner in news crime all the way through the segment, leading at one point to a  startling revelation.

Although Archer explained that he had comprehensive health care coverage at his previous employer, he said he is now dealing with a very concerning residual problem. A lot of the procedures and tests he had done at that time (like a gall bladder operation) are now coming back to him in urgent letter form as having been “out of network.”

And are you ready for this number? Archer told Conway Jr. the expenses in dispute could eventually fall in the pre-Obama care neighborhood of $250,000.

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Former LA Times Reporter Apologizes for His Role in Gary Webb Tragedy

No one knows the story of late San Jose Mercury News journalist Gary Webb (pictured) better than OC Weekly managing editor Nick Schou. So it’s always interesting when Schou chimes in about the matter, especially  just ahead of the production of a Hollywood movie inspired by Schou’s 2006 Webb biography Kill the Messenger.

Schou takes issue with a May 22 Los Angeles magazine article written by Jesse Katz. In that piece, Katz, a former LA Times reporter, in Schou’s opinion feebly apologizes for being one of Webb’s many media detractors. From Schou’s piece in – unusually – LA Weekly:

Katz buries and downplays his role in the debacle. Katz says he was just one of many reporters who ganged up on Webb. He apologizes only for bloating [Rick] Ross’ importance in his first Times piece on the dealer.

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Tess Vigeland Fills In for A Martinez

Having manned the post-game phones on ESPN 710 AM all miserable Lakers season long, no one deserves a vacation more than A Martinez. He’s off today through the 20th of May and filling in for him at the KPCC Take Two end is Tess Vigeland (pictured).

There aren’t too many people who jump back and forth between LA’s two FM public radio stations, but the talented Vigeland is one of them. She was just on KCRW Tuesday hosting To The Point and has also stepped in recently a few times on the Santa Monica NPR station’s Which Way LA. Her last prior fill-in stint on Take Two was a few months ago.

“It’s probably fairly rare,” she tells FishbowlLA this morning via email of the KPCC-KCRW skein. “I’m grateful to both stations for lending me the microphone!”

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Exiting Marketplace Morning Report Host Thanks His LA Producer

At the end of today’s Marketplace Morning Report, host Jeremy Hobson expressed confidence in his successor David Brancaccio ahead of his immediate transition from New York to Boston to anchor the expanded NPR program Here and Now. The eight-minute American Public Radio show he is leaving behind has an audience of six million listeners.

Given Hobson’s six years of service, one can forgive him for running through a list of thank you’s worthy of an Oscar winner. Topping the list this morning were his two “incredibly talented producers” Justin Ho (pictured) and Sean Bowditch.

Ho works out of APM’s downtown LA offices, while Bowditch is based in NYC. Together with digital producer Katie Long, they will now help Brancaccio and co. put a bow on the day’s most pertinent business news.

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NPR Profiles San Diego Coffee House Magazine Publisher

Asked this morning on NPR’s Morning Edition how coffee houses have changed since 1992, John A. Rippo – publisher of monthly magazine and daily website The ESPRESSOpointed an incriminating stir stick at Patch editors, screenwriters, pit-stopping business people and the rest:

“Coffee houses for hundreds of years were where people went to meet their friends and converse face to face,” Rippo says. “You walk into coffee houses now and they’re silent, and people are hunched over a laptop or a cellphone and they don’t talk. It looks like an office without cubicles.”

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Downsized at KCRW, Harry Shearer Talks About It with KPCC

It’s always dangerous when the person at the other end of a business decision is also a sharp-witted comedian. To wit, here’s how recently downsized KCRW Le Show host Harry Shearer began his phone interview with KPCC’s Mike Roe:

“I got a message that the [KCRW] general manager wanted to discuss a ‘proposal’ with me, that was her word. I understand broadcast speak to know that that wasn’t, ‘Will you marry me?’”

The KPCC “Without a Net” pop culture blog conversation with Shearer runs a bountiful 30 minutes, so there’s lots of info here not just about getting Le Heave Ho but also topics The Simpsons voiceover maestro has covered on the program like Hurricane Katrina and the foreclosure crisis. One of the KCRW vet’s main beefs appears to be – a la Johnny Carson and Joan Rivers – the fact that he was not given more advance courtesy notice about the KCRW weekend programming move. It was simply, “effective immediately.”

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KNX 1070 Newsradio Celebrates 45 Years

The headline does not quite do justice to the incredible span of 24/seven breaking news covered by the CBS Radio station. However, paragraphs two and three of the station’s website dispatch certainly do:

A stunned nation was still in shock following the assassination of Martin Luther King when just 11 days later on April 15, 1968, CBS-owned KNX-AM significantly increased the time it devoted to news coverage, essentially launching an all-news format that continues today.

Less than two months after the King shooting in Memphis, KNX would be covering another national tragedy — this one with indelible ties to Los Angeles — when Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was killed at the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard.

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Steve Mason Reveals HBO Star’s ‘Pocket Personality’

Today at lunchtime, a memorable pair of anecdotes were shared on 710 ESPN Radio by John Ireland and Steve Mason, chatting on the crossover with Mychal Thompson and Mark Willard.

First, Ireland recalled how he and Mason once owned a horse that started out well but then became a loss leader. They wanted to call the horse Pocket Personality, but the name was taken and they settled instead for Phone Abroad.

Mason meanwhile explained that when he worked on The Late, Late Radio Show with Tom Snyder and Steve Mason, he once asked an absolute knockout of a female guest why she was dating a certain celeb. She admitted it was because he had “pocket personality,” e.g. his wallet was the overriding attraction. Mason promised to share the details on Twitter, only, and did.

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Irish Journalist Sings the Praises of KCRW

In a column that will have the eyes of KCRW general manager Jennifer Ferro and everyone else at the Santa Monica public radio station smiling, Irish Times music critic Jim Carroll explains how he became completely enthralled by the FM beacon during a recent visit. So much so that at one point, he was compelled to almost pay KCRW the ultimate commute-compliment:

There was one particular half-hour which included music from Action Bronson, Papa, Hanni El Khatib, Cayucas, Fritz & The Tantrums, Prince, AlunaGeorge, Laura Mvula and Major Lazer. I didn’t want to get out of the car as I was so curious about what the DJ would play next.

Carroll goes on to reference a recent Wall Street Journal article by Steve Oney titled “The Improbable Rise of NPR Music.” He agrees wholeheartedly with a quote in the piece from “First Listen” shepherd Amy Schriefer, who says the goal across the network is to DJ-duplicate that old record-store feeling of a recommendation by a store employee or fellow browser.

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Kevin Pollak Recalls Trying to Teach Gabriel Byrne How to Imitate Carson

The oddest and funniest echo of this week’s gargantuan news trail about the future of The Tonight Show belongs to Kevin Pollak.

During the actor’s appearance on KCRW’s weekly program The Treatment, host Elvis Mitchell noted that Pollak’s new book How I Slept My Way to the Middle does not include the business of how just about everyone on the set of The Usual Suspects got into imitating Carson. Here’s Pollak, from the March 20 radio conversation:

“When you say everyone was doing Johnny Carson, I want to give credit to Kevin Spacey. Kevin and I both do a really good Johnny Carson. Everyone else was just being kind of silly, except for Gabriel Byrne, who was fascinated…”

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