Clear Channel Station Offers 'The Last DJ' Jim Ladd Three Hours for Farewell Show
This Saturday, the pioneer of freeform commercial radio will be heard once more, with time donated by Los Angeles talk station KFI-AM.
Last week’s news that legendary Los Angeles radio personality Jim Ladd would no longer be heard on classic rock station KLOS, his home of 14 years, seemed an ominous confirmation of Tom Petty’s 2002 radio protest song “The Last DJ,” which was in fact inspired by the longtime jock.
The reason for Ladd’s surprise exit: parent company Cumulus was downsizing and the pioneer of freeform commercial radio would not have the chance to air a farewell show. But now comes word that Ladd has been offered a three-hour slot this Saturday on KFI-AM, L.A.’s top-rated talk station, so that he can say a proper goodbye.
KFI program director Robin Bertolucci told industry tipsheet RAMP (Radio and Music Pros), "We here at KFI heard that the legendary Jim Ladd never got to do a farewell show before unceremoniously exiting KLOS -- that's just not right, so we wanted to give Jim the opportunity to do that final show here at KFI. Jim will be on KFI-AM 640 'More Stimulating Talk Radio' this coming Saturday, Nov. 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. to share stories, talk to his audience and relive some of the great moments in music… It'll be a special thing, and we are glad to do it."
Listenership will not be limited to the L.A. area, either. Fans from all over the world will be able to hear Ladd live at www.kfiam640.com. In a curious twist of fate, Clear Channel Communications, which owns KFI, was the corporation that famously banned Petty’s “The Last DJ” from its 850 stations soon after its release for being “anti-radio.”
At a benefit concert for public radio station KCSN this past Saturday (Oct. 29), Petty dedicated his band's hit "I Won't Back Down" to Ladd, telling the Cal State Northridge crowd, "Jim Ladd was fired for having an imagination."