The operations manager of KWNK (AM 670), a 1,000-watt talk-radio station based in Canoga Park, is angry with KFI (AM 670) for stealing away Rush Limbaugh, one of his most popular talk show hosts.
"KFI basically stole him out from under us," said KWNK Operations Manager K.M. Richards. "Sometimes we feel like David . . . part of our programming has been taken from us and given to the 50,000-watt giant."
Limbaugh, a nationally syndicated and controversial arch-conservative, was featured live Friday on KFI and will continue to be heard broadcasting live from WABC in New York starting Monday at 9 a.m.
Limbaugh, whose show is syndicated in 110 stations throughout the country, will replace morning talk show host Geoff Edwards. Edwards resigned last week after objecting to another talk show host's plan to destroy Cat Stevens' records as a protest against Stevens' endorsement of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's death threat against author Salman Rushdie.
Limbaugh previously had been heard from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KWNK, a station with a signal reaching from Newport Beach to Oxnard, Richards said
"The instant we got him on the air we started getting mail about him," Richards said, adding that it was "mostly positive."
Richards said that the EFM Media network, which represents Limbaugh, struck a deal with KFI without warning. He said he learned of Limbaugh changing stations late Thursday when an official announcement was made.
Ed McLaughlin, president of EFM, which produces and distributes network talk radio shows, said that it was always his goal to sign Limbaugh on with a powerful station in Los Angeles.
"We wanted to be on a major Los Angeles radio station," McLaughlin said. "I explained to KWNK when they approached us that it would be very possible . . . that I would have a major station in the market which would require my canceling them as an affiliate."