KABC Radio Parts Ways With Long-Time Host Larry Elder

Larry Elder Press Photo - P 2014

Larry Elder Press Photo - P 2014

The popular Libertarian occupied the 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. time slot, which will now be filled by guest hosts

KABC, one of the largest AM radio stations in Los Angeles, has parted ways with Larry Elder, one of the channel's most popular talk-show hosts.

The station, owned by Cumulus Media, declined to comment on Elder's departure, though insiders said advertising sales executives were blindsided by the decision and voiced their displeasure to a defensive Drew Hayes, KABC's operations director.

Elder, a sometimes controversial, always passionate and eloquent Libertarian, had been with KABC for about 20 years, though separated into multiple stints.

Over the years, Elder has interviewed numerous celebrities, including Charlton Heston and many other actors and entertainment industry workers, many who have complained of a liberal bias in film and television.

He is also known for an incredibly hostile interview of MSNBC's Chris Matthews that went viral after some of Elder's fans posted it on the Internet.

"I'm sorry for cutting you off the way you cut your guests off," Elder tells Matthews at one point during that 2011 interview. "What is this, a game?" Matthews says. "This is why this country is being torn apart, with this kind of hatred."

Beginning today, Elder said he will broadcast his show over the Internet at ElderStatement.com during his former KABC time slot, from 3-6 p.m. 

In an internal memo, Hayes said that Elder's slot would be filled by guest hosts, at least in December.

"At the beginning of this year, 790 KABC Radio made changes to our lineup and packaging that have proven to be positive and fruitful," Hayes said in his memo. "We are now preparing to make further improvements and adding new shows for 2015. As part of this transition, Larry Elder's contract is not being picked up for the coming year, effective today."

Elder would not give a reason for leaving KABC, choosing instead to praise his on-air colleagues.

"I've had a good, long 20-year run — no hard feelings. I wish Leon Kaplan, Doug McIntyre, Brian Suits, Jillian and John, Mark Levin and Peter Tilden well — good people," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

In June, Elder was awarded a radio star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, though he has also hosted two television shows: Moral Court and The Larry Elder Show.

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com