July 19, 2004

Jackson back on the air, with KNX

Michael Jackson returns to radio this week as part of a ramped-up effort at KNX/1070 AM to turn it into a broader-based news and information station.

"I am re-inventing myself," said Jackson, a 31-year veteran of KABC/790 AM who carved a niche for himself as an interviewer who chose his subjects because, in his words, "they must have something to say and a st roy to tell."

Jackson has had his critics - some said he was over the hill, and some painted him as a liberal taker in a sea of conservative radio. but Jackson may have the last laugh. You wait long enough, opportunity knocks.

In this case, it was David G. Hall, the management guru who took KFI to the top of the ratings and is now overseeing a KNX focused on more talk and long-form programming.

"We began talk several months ago when he introduced me when I was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of fame in Chicago," Jackson said in an interview. "I'm excited about working there."

Jackson's segments will run five to six minutes, in morning and afternoon drive. His first subject will be Disney's Michael Eisner, which may air Thursday or Friday.

Other confirmed guests include Bill Moyers, Nancy Reagan, Ellen DeGeneres, Gore Vidal, columnists Molly Ivins and Jack Germond and John Dean of Watergate fame.

"We will be talking about what has been missing from talk radio - the other side. It's just a matter of being fair," he said.