Bob Arthur, the quieter co-host of KABC-AM’s “The Ken and Bob Company,” one of the most popular radio programs in Los Angeles, announced today that he will leave the station next month to help set up a controversial group of care homes for Alzheimer’s disease patients in Long Beach.
Arthur, who will broadcast his last show with Ken Minyard on Sept. 14, will be replaced by another local radio veteran, Roger Barkley. Barkley co-hosted the popular “Lohman and Barkley” show on KFI-AM (640) for 25 years, then served as morning host for KJOI-FM until last year. He filled in for Arthur twice this year when Arthur was ill.
“The Ken and Barkley Company” will premiere on Oct. 1.
The departure of Arthur, 69, will break up his longtime partnership with Minyard, the other co-host on the news/entertainment program. The duo have been together on KABC (790) for 17 years and have been among the top three in the morning ratings since the “Ken and Bob Company” premiered in 1980.
Arthur told listeners of his decision during this morning’s program. Barkley also appeared on the show.
Arthur said he had a “financial and moral” interest in setting up the care homes, which he said are being opposed by several residents and city officials who fear the homes will lower property values. The seven single-family facilities are being coordinated under the auspices of Rose Chateau Inc., in which Arthur has a part interest.
“This is obviously a long and agonizing decision because I’ve got a good career going,” Arthur said in an interview. “But I can’t use the airwaves of KABC to fight this battle because it would be a conflict of interest.” He said the project would require his “complete attention.”
Minyard, 51, said he regretted Arthur’s decision, but understood it. “When you’ve been together for so long, it’s never nice when something like this ends,” Minyard said. “But I understand it. Bob has a real commitment to this, and this is something he feels he has to do.”
KABC President and General Manager George Green said: “Bob is an integral part of this radio station. By the same token, when you have a guy with the name and reputation of Roger Barkley, someone who is a household name, you’re thankful to get a guy of that caliber.”