Ben Hoberman, Who Built KABC Radio Into a Talk-Show Format Powerhouse in the 1960s and 1970s — With Hosts Such as Michael Jackson, Joe Pyne, Bob Grant, Elmer Dills, Toni Grant, Ken Minyard, Bob Arthur and Ray Briem — Dies at Age 91

May 7, 2014  •  Post A Comment

"Ben Hoberman, 91, a key figure in the rise of talk radio and former president of ABC Radio, died Saturday in Los Angeles," reports Variety.

The story continues: "Ben Hoberman became general manager of KABC Radio in Los Angeles in May 1960, and within months he began to build a stable of popular talk-show hosts. … Ratings for the local affiliate increased by 12% within the first six months as Hoberman experimented with the new format. KABC was certainly one of the first stations to program talk radio and may well have been the first; today hundreds of radio stations throughout the world offer talk radio shows."

Some of the many hosts who worked at KABC in the 19 years Hoberman was there include Michael Jackson (no relation to the late singer), Joe Pyne, Bob Grant, Elmer Dills, Toni Grant (no relation to Bob), Ken Minyard, Bob Arthur and Ray Briem.

After Hoberman left KABC he "was appointed president of ABC Radio and relocated to New York City. When he left in 1986, ABC had 14 radio stations — the maximum then permitted; and six radio networks with 2,000 affiliates, among other properties," Variety says.

The story adds, "Hoberman was the father of entertainment lawyer Thomas Hoberman and movie producer David Hoberman." He also is the father of a daughter, Joanie, the story says.


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