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Ingels loses another round in talk-radio case

Times Staff Writer

Comedian Marty Ingels has suffered another legal setback in his age-discrimination dispute with syndicated radio talk-show host Tom Leykis.

The California Supreme Court, without comment, declined last week to hear Ingels’ appeal of two lower-court rulings that went against the comedian.

The lower courts had held that Leykis and Westwood One Broadcasting Services did not discriminate against Ingels when the comedian phoned Leykis’ talk show in June 2003 posing as a 60-year-old man named “Paul Russo” and was told the program didn’t want seniors calling in. Ingels is actually 65.

According to transcripts of the call, Leykis told “Russo” that his age did not fit with the show’s efforts to attract younger, single listeners. “You’re way too old, pops,” Leykis said on the air. “Call a big-band station. Call somebody else, please. Don’t call here. It’s called targeted demographics.”

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Ingels, who costarred in the 1962 ABC sitcom “I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster” and is married to actress Shirley Jones, filed suit against Leykis and Westwood One in 2003, charging age discrimination.

Both the trial judge who heard the case and the state Court of Appeals ruled against Ingels, affirming defense arguments that the radio show has a 1st Amendment right to control the content of its program.

Robert Klein, Ingels’ attorney, said he was “a little disappointed


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