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Ex-congressman replaces Limbaugh on KSFO


The big switch in Bay Area talk radio went off this morning with a few hitches. First, KSFO announced that, beginning today, it was replacing Rush Limbaugh with a former Republican Arizona congressman, J.D. Hayworth. Hayworth was a talk show host at KFYI in Phoenix up until two years ago when he quit to run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against John McCain.


Hayworth repeatedly told listeners during his 9-noon time slot that he was “live and local” though it wasn’t clear if he was doing his show from here or Arizona. (Update at 2:35 p.m.: SFGate’s Debra Saunders says Hayworth will do his shows from SF this week.) And there was a gaffe 30 minutes into the show when listeners heard two minutes of dead air.

Among other changes at KSFO, morningman Brian Sussman’s sidekick, Tom Benner (known on the air as OV or “Officer Vic”) is gone. Media blogger Rich Lieberman says Benner was fired on Friday, presumably as part of cost cutting by station owner Cumulus Media.

However, Melanie Morgan is back on the KSFO morning show after that station dumped her in 2008 in an earlier round of cost cutting.


Limbaugh started this morning at Clear Channel’s 910 a.m., which is changing its calls from KNEW to KKSF and branding itself “News Talk 910.” A month ago, KGO abandoned it’s longtime moniker “News Talk” when it fired most of its talk hosts and switched to all-news from noon to midnight.

Later today, two recently fired KGO staffers were to start their shows on News Talk 910 — attorney Len Tillem from 3 to 4, and Gene Burns from 4 to 7.

However, Lieberman reports that Burns suffered a mild stroke experienced a medical problem and will replaced this week with other former KGO personalities:

Meanwhile, Ben Fong-Torres, who covers radio for the Chronicle, described the meeting on Dec. 1 when KGO management fired its hosts.

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