The Ballad of Lohman and Barkley grew by another stanza Wednesday, when Roger Barkley announced he would begin a drive-time solo show today on the beautiful music station KJOI-FM (98.7).
The tale began on May 8, when Barkley, citing "burnout" and vague dissatisfaction with his 25-year collaboration with Al Lohman, abruptly tendered his resignation to KFI (640), where the comedic duo had been doing the morning drive-time show since 1968.
Now the sundered twosome are getting their solo acts together and taking them on the road.
Speaking with The Times just before a Wednesday morning press conference, Barkley, 49, confirmed he would be doing a 5:30-10 a.m. show for KJOI-FM and also would be "trying my hand at a little consulting, advising--in short, whatever nebulous things one does for a broadcasting company when you feel you have something to contribute."
Barkley said he reached the agreement earlier this week with Legacy Broadcasting, which bought KJOI for $44 million last October. He did not comment on the new contract's length, but KJOI general manager Bob Griffith said Barkley's signing was "a multiyear contract for what is one of the highest dollar amounts in radio today."
Griffith wouldn't get specific about the contract's worth, but he was obviously pleased to get Barkley on his station.
"Any time you have the chance to get somebody with the talent and the experience of a Roger Barkley, you grab him; you'd be out of your mind not to. His show (which will air Mondays through Saturdays) will stick to our musical format, but it'll evolve into the kind of show Roger wants. It's his baby."
Barkley, a fan of KJOI's "beautiful-music" format, had hesitant hopes for his new job. "In a way I hope the show lasts, because that'll mean people are listening," Barkley said. "On the other hand, it'll be those hours again--the death-dealing ones in the early morning. Going solo will be a fun new bag--I already feel better about things."
Meanwhile, Lohman--who as of Monday was unaware of his ex-partner's press conference--has been reading film scripts, looking into radio jobs and generally taking it easy. Lohman was unavailable for comment on Barkley's new employment Wednesday because he was in Hollywood reading scripts.
Steve La Beau, KFI program director, said he was continuing to helm the station's morning drive-time show in lieu of Lohman and Barkley. "The show and the station are going along fine," he said. "And I'm glad for Roger. I think the story's had a happy ending for him."