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KABC-AM Is Dropping ‘The Stephanie Miller Show’

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Stephanie Miller--the comic radio host whose sketches and running commentary on “The Stephanie Miller Show” offered a liberal take on politics and topical issues--is leaving KABC-AM (790).

The show, whose local run was quietly canceled Thursday, will air its final installment on KABC tonight at 7, although it will continue in national syndication by ABC Radio Today. The program had spent 2 1/2 years in KABC’s 7-9 p.m. slot. Executives at ABC Radio Today did not return calls by press time.

KABC program director Drew Hayes would only talk about Miller’s replacement, Marc Germain, more commonly known to listeners as “Mr. KABC,” whose show currently is in the 9-10 p.m. slot.

“He has been our super-sub, filling in wherever needed,” said Hayes. “Mr. KABC” is the No. 1 talk show in the market among 25- to 54-year-olds in his weeknight slot, with a 3% share. Overall KABC had a 1.5% audience share among 25- to 54-year-olds, whom advertisers target, from Monday to Sunday, 6 a.m. to midnight.

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However Miller, who in February began hosting the afternoon game show “I’ve Got a Secret” on the new Oxygen cable channel, said the differences were over “creative” issues rather than anything else.

“Compared to the rest of KABC, my numbers have been pretty good. There have been massive creative differences and I haven’t been allowed to do the kind of radio I’m known for doing,” said Miller. “I was creative, and they weren’t.”

In the most recent Arbitron ratings survey, which tracked performance from September through December, Miller pulled a 2.1% share, up 40% from the summer ratings period, but down 32% from 3.1% from the previous year. In that slot, she was surpassed by Phil Hendrie on KFI-AM (640), as well as KLSX-FM (97.1) which drew 2.2% with Tom Leykis during the first hour, and Tim Conway Jr. and Doug Steckler in the second.

A fast-talking host, Germain’s distinction is fielding listener calls without a screener. Prior to coming to KABC in January 1997, he had been “Mr. KFI” on rival talk outlet KFI from June 1995-October 1996.

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