KJLH’s Pivotal Role During the LA Riots Garnered the Community Station a well deserved Peabody Award but would corporate urban radio be able to handle and cover and event of this magnitude today? I’m sure we all know the answer.
I had just been in LA for two years when the “Not Guilty” verdicts of the four white policeman who used excessive force during the videotaped arrest of Rodney King were read. I was working at Urban Network which was in Burbank California miles away from Crenshaw and Florence and Normandie where the rioting began. I remember we were glued to the TV at Urban Network watching the developing coverage of the riots. It was endless, when I got in my car to go home I tuned into the various radio stations KKBT, KFWB, KACE, KFI and then kjlh. At the time, I was working for KKBT when it was THE station to work at in LA. KKBT was in the process of embracing the LA Gangsta rap culture and the station wanted to appeal to a multi cultural audience with that genre of music so KKBT was not in a position to cover the riots. None of the stations in LA did as good of a job covering the riots as kjlh. The community station came through with flying colors to give non stop coverage and a much more in depth account from all sides of the riots. Here’s more coverage of the Riots from J.J. Johnson and Isidra Peson Lynn. kevRoss