Friday, December 19, 2014


The recent headlines about urban terror caused me to think about the murder of KOA, Denver, talk show host Alan Berg in 1984. This was an act of domestic terrorism before that term came into common use.

I wonder if station security has improved since then.  Larry Mantle at KPCC in Pasadena says it has:

I don't know what's happening at other talk stations, but KPCC's level of security seems good to me.   When I started in radio there wasn't any security.  Anyone could have walked right in while we were live on the air. 

Over the years, our security improved, but it took a real jump when we moved into our new building three years ago.  Employees are required to wear photo ID badges and doors are well-secured.

I also think talk radio has changed.  Hosts like Alan Berg and Joe Pyne seem harder to find these days.  You don't hear a lot of berating of listeners and name-calling like you did in the past.  That's probably lowered the risk of listeners acting against hosts.

Agreed.  But, be careful out there.

This is also a radio story. Berg was on a 50,000 flamethrower and his assassins -- The Order -- were on a cruddy daytime AM station near Loveland, just north of Denver. Hear it all in the clip:

Audio courtesy of KUNC, Greeley, CBS 60 Minutes & Ken's Private Collection

1 comment:

  1. "Hosts like Alan Berg and Joe Pyne seem harder to find..." Really? Besides the Limbaughs, Becks and Savages on syndicated programs, most major markets today have local hosts spouting all kinds of incendiary things. Of course, their styles are different from Berg's and Pyne's but they're still of a similar ilk. The main difference, I suppose, is that today's radio pundits have significant audiences that take them seriously That is where they're safe, because unlike the neo-Nazis who assassinated Berg, the folks being attacked consider their attackers clowns.