Have KFI's John and Ken lost their KTLA jobs?
KFI-AM (640)'s controversial drive-time hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou returned to the airwaves Monday after their seven-day suspension for inflammatory remarks about deceased singer Whitney Houston. But the episode may have cost them their nightly gig at KTLA-TV Channel 5.
The team was missing Wednesday from its usual nightly simulcast spot during KTLA's 6 p.m. newscast, and sources say they have been absent from the newscast all week.
Executives for KTLA, which, like the Los Angeles Times, is owned by Tribune, declined comment.
KFI, the top-rated talk radio station in the Los Angeles-Orange County market, suspended the controversial team Feb. 16 for remarks Kobylt made about Houston, who had died a few days earlier, including referring to her as a "crack ho." KFI Program Director Robin Bertolucci said the remarks "just violated our standards" in a statement issued when the duo was suspended.
Kobylt later admitted that the pair had made a mistake, and apologized to listeners and Houston's family.
Angered by the comments, a coalition of black leaders on Monday went to KFI on Monday to ask executives to hire more minorities for positions on-air and in the newsroom. Having more diversity would help decrease negative feelings toward people of color at the station, they said.
Coalition members said the executives planned to respond Thursday with a plan to increase diversity.
— Greg Braxton
Photo: John Kobylt, left, and Ken Chiampou at their Burbank KFI-AM studio. Credit: Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press