FBLA EXCLUSIVE: How John and Ken Got The Big Dog Story


Muck-raking is alive and well, and living on the radio. The credit for Mayor Villaraigosa’s veto of the $2.7 million award to punk’d firefighter Tennie “Big Dog” Pierce should be given solely to KFI AM radio hosts John and Ken. The LA Times story about the veto mentions a local radio show but declines to actually give the name.

After reporter Sandy Banks’ first story appeared, a unidentified listener emailed photos of fire-fighter hi-jinks to Kobylt and Chiampou. They posted the shots on their website, got a couple zillion hits and created an authentic “community journalism” experience. The City Council and City Attny. Rock Delgadillo still can’t decide if the photos were evidence or not. (Earlier in the news cycle, the LA Times had the photos sent to a tv show–boy, are they confused.)

FBLA spoke with Kobylt this morning.

“After the photos went up, this thing exploded!” he said. “People know if they send us stuff, we’ll use it or at least give it a look. No one has faith that anyone at the LA Times will respond or act on what they send–same with local tv.”

After the pictures went up and the calls started pouring in, somehow City Hall started to pay attention. “Most City Council members have someone on staff who pays attention to talk radio, and this story was too big for them to ignore.” said Kobtylt.

Kobtylt admits to a tabloid mentality, saying “When we get a story, I think “how would this look as a New York Post cover story”–that’s my criteria. Los Angeles needs a tabloid.”

Ratings show an audience of over a million listeners a day, which must be a sore subject around the LA Times’ newsroom.