Where Are They Now?
LARadio.com
Los Angeles Radio People, I
Compiled by Don Barrett

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I

Ibarra, Roberto: KLYY/KSYY/KVYY, 1999-2000. Roberto left his programming duties at "Viva 107.1" at the Big City trimulcast in the summer of 2000.
Ickes, Larry: KXEZ/KJOI, 1989-96. Last heard, Larry was working at KKSF-San Francisco.
Illes, Bob: KUSC, 1968-72. A Los Angeles native, Bob worked at KUSC while a student. He hosted NewsThing, and the Saturday night DimeBag Show. With Jim Stein, Bob co-hosted the Stein & Illes Show heard Saturday nights from 1969 to 1972. Bob and Jim went on to a network TV writing/producing partnership for 25 years, winning 2 Emmys (Carol Burnett, Lily Tomlin). They revived their radio show at KIEV/870 in 1992. Bob hosted a new show “Funny is Money” on Shokus Internet Radio in the late 2000s.

IMPEMBA, Mario: KMPC/KRLA/KLAC, 1995-2001. Mario was the color commentator for the Anaheim Angels. He went on to a successful run with the Detroit Tigers.

He got his radio start at the campus station at Michigan State. “I was more interested in writing, but I didn’t react well to deadlines. At Michigan State I saw a flyer advertising opportunities to work for the campus radio network, so I jumped at the chance to get some experience.”

Born in Detroit, Mario graduated from a suburban high school in 1981. He graduated from Michigan State in the fall of 1985 with a B.A. degree in telecommunications. During college he was a sports reporter and did play-by-play of MSU men’s basketball, baseball and hockey. For the next 10 years he broadcast sports in the minor leagues.

IMUS, Don: KGBS, 1972; KLAC, 1996-98; KRLA, 1998-2000; KPLS, 2001-03; KCAA, 2003-15; KABC, 2007-11. Don's syndicated show was heard live from New York on KABC until late 2011. Cumulus picked up the show until WABC-New York dropped the I-Man at the end of March 2018 and he retired to his ranch in Texas. He died December 27, 2019, at the age of 79.

“Imus is everyone’s bitch.” Howard Stern used to rag on Don Imus a lot during their decades together on New York radio, and in the world of syndication. Imus will not be the last man standing.

No one knows for sure who made the decision, but the fact is his plane landed at the end of March 2018. Imus’ contract was slated to end in December, but the syndicator of his show, Cumulus Media, filed for bankruptcy and the company decided to move on from Imus sooner rather than pay him millions of dollars to finish out the year, the I-Man explained. "They have a responsibility, as far as the bankruptcy, to try to cut costs, to save money and figure out a way to make the thing work," Imus told listeners Monday.
I liked Don Imus as a radio performer. If you didn’t, that’s okay. I liked him because he was a great story teller. After all, isn’t that what wonderful radio is all about? But he never was successful in LA. There were a number of syndication deals (KLAC, KGIL to name a couple), but he never gained any local traction. In 1972, he sat in for Hudson & Landry at KGBS during their vacation.

As he marks the remaining days, critics and feature writers will opine about his legacy. Perhaps it will start with his racist and sexist remarks. You can hear it here. He later called his comments “reprehensible.”

Or maybe he will be remembered for the Imus Ranch for kids with cancer, located about 50 miles southwest of Santa Fe. For a decade, he broadcast from the ranch every summer. Imus frequently had some of the dying kids appear on his show, talking about the incredible experience of living and feeling like a “cowboy.”

Back in 2000, Don suffered a serious fall from a horse at his ranch. Broken bones and punctured lungs took a toll on his breathing. The altitude eventually played havoc with Imus’ respiratory system, so he put the ranch up for sale. The family now lives in Brenham, Texas, halfway between Houston and Austin.

Or maybe Imus will be best remembered for establishing a pioneering sports talk format. Jeff Smulyan (former owner of KPWR) attempted to put sports on 24 / 7 on WFAN-New York back in the 80s. It was a bust until Imus joined the station, about a year into the new format. Smulyan successfully sold WFAN a few years later for $75 million. Imus wasn’t sold that putting his WNBC show on WFAN would work. At the end of his first shift, he said, “It’s 10. This ends the entertainment part of today’s programming. For the next 20 hours, you will hear mindless drivel by idiots talking about sports.” Time has not been kind to Don. His years of cocaine abuse has taken a toll. He always looked his age. Ten years ago, Imus was diagnosed with Stage II prostate cancer, which he opted to treat with eating a heavy intake of Habanero peppers.

Don Imus was his own man. Perhaps Howard Stern did Imus a favor over the years by constantly berating him, which may have caused listeners to tune in to hear what all the fuss was about.

From shock jock (he was on air while Stern was still in school), Imus made the transition from music jock to controversial talk show host. If an author wanted to sell his / her book, an appearance on the Imus show helped immensely. And he had a who’s who guest list who appeared on his radio show that for many years simulcast on cable tv including MSNBC and the FOX Business Channel.

Thanks for the ride, Don.
INGELS, Marty: KIEV, 1997-99. Marty was raised in Queens, New York and went on to a career of comedy and acting. He died October 21, 2015, at the age of 79, from a heart attack.

He was married to Shirley Jones, the Oscar winning actress. The two met at a party at actor Michael Landon's home, ater which Ingels pursued her tenaciously. After Marty and his wife went through a painful, yearlong separation, they arranged to meet for a reconciliation session at their therapist’s office. Marty, a compulsive comic who had a brief tv and film career but never entirely left the stage, entered wearing a big hat and playing a trombone. “Well, looks like you haven’t changed a bit, Marty,” the therapist said. The couple got back together, and remained happily married. He was her biggest fan. "He often drove me crazy, but there's not a day I won't miss him and love him to my core," the actress said when she announced Ingels' death.

He was a raspy-voiced, bug-eyed comic actor who co-starred with John Astin in the early-1960s sitcom I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster. Marty guested on Murder She Wrote, the new Burkes Law, Young & The Restless, Baywatch and the Cosby Show.

His radio show on KIEV (870AM) ran on weekends.

 

INGLE, Laura: KFI, 2002-05. Laura is a reporter for Fox News. She is a star. This young newslady from Sacramento has embedded herself into major news stories. At KFI covered such high profile trials as David Westerfield, Scott Peterson and  she moved to Santa Maria to file reports for KFI and the FOX News Channel from the Michael Jackson molestation trial. She seemed to be everywhere – filing reports, appearing on the Bill Handel Show, and updating trial activities later in the day with John & Ken and into the evening with John Ziegler.

She always wanted eventually to get into tv. When David G. Hall left Clear Channel’s to head up Infinity’s two all-News outlets, KNX and KFWB, Laura’s contract specifically stipulated that she couldn’t do radio news for another station in L.A. But she held firm that if a tv assignment came along, she wanted it.

“Laura is a great reporter and really knows how to bulldog a story. Our loss is a gain for FOX," said KFI news director, Chris Little. Her tenacious approach to her job at KFI caught the attention of FOX. “I was covering the Westerfield trial in San Diego, broadcasting from the back of a VW bug, outside the courthouse. We pulled phone lines out of the street and threw them into the backseat of a car. The reports were done with the air conditioner on with power being run from a generator. FOX heard me driving back and forth to San Diego for the trial.” 

FOX asked Laura to file a report on the Shephard Smith show. She didn’t tell them she had never appeared on tv before. “FOX put me in a chair, put something in my ear called an IFB and I looked down the barrel of the camera. We kind of hit it off and we progressed.” She was a natural.  During the Peterson trial, Greta Van Susteren “scooped” her up.
 

INGLIS, Sheri: KRTH, 1987-89; KFWB, 1990-98. Sheri lives in South Africa. She and her husband operate a safari business near Kruger National Park.Surfin’ Safari. She worked at all-News KFWB for much of the 1990s.

In the early aughts, she and her husband moved to South Africa. A relative was trying to track Sheri down, which led to an opportunity for us to re-connect. I asked Sheri what was new.  “My husband, Brendon, and I have a private safari business called Wilderness Encounters,” emailed Sheri. “We've been hosting small groups of families or friends on exclusive photo safaris in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, part of the greater Kruger National Park. Brendon, of course, does all the guiding, and I do all the cooking – a hobby-turned-serious after years of ‘radio food’ i.e. brown bagging it! I miss the fun of radio, but love what I'm doing and appreciate the fact that, for a change, dead air is a good thing!  Fondest greetings to all my old friends, and drop me a line if you get a chance!”

 

INGRAHAM, Laura: KPLS, 2002-03; KRLA, 2003-08; KGIL, 2008-09; KFWB, 2009-12. Laura's syndicated show was part of the NewsTalk format at KFWB until early 2012. In late October 2017, she started her own show on Fox News, the Ingraham Angle. She also does a daily radio show, distributed via Norm Pattiz’ Courtside Entertainment Group.

In person, she looks like a coed late for her classes at San Diego State instead of one of those bright young ladies dotting the talk show wars. She graduated from Dartmouth College, where, in the mid-1980s, Laura was editor of The Dartmouth Review. She worked as a speechwriter in the final two years of the Reagan administration and then graduated from law school at the University of Virginia. She successfully took her bar examination in San Diego. Laura was a clerk in the Supreme Court of the United States for Justice Clarence Thomas. For three years, she was a white-collar criminal defense litigator for a Washington DC law firm.

When she moved into the media world, she worked at MSNBC and CBS, where she contributed on-air commentaries for the weekend evening news.  Her father was a career worker at Pratt & Whitney, a company that manufactures engines for commercial, military and general aviation aircraft, space propulsion and power systems. Laura’s mother was a waitress. The youngest of four children, she has three older brothers. “When I was born, my parents were so happy they had a little girl. But I was a tomboy. I loved to play basketball, baseball and other sports,” she enthused during a break in her program while being interviewed on KPLS.

 

INSALACO, Jason: KFI, 1993-95; KLSX, 1996-2005; KFI, 2009-12. Jason owns and operates The Kelton Agency, a full-service residential and commercial real estate brokerage. Jason is a licensed broker and attorney.  

He spent almost 20 years at KFI and KLSX, mostly behind the scenes. He’s now a lawyer and real estate agent. He sold a Magnolia Park Burbank home for KFI's Tim Conway, Jr. Jason also represented Tim on the purchase of his new home. The home sale was featured in the LA Times last week. He listed his Burbank home for $839,000 and in less than a week had multiple offers.

 

INSKEEP, Steve: KPCC, 2004-20. Steve is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First. Known for interviews with presidents and Congressional leaders, Inskeep has a passion for stories of the less famous: Pennsylvania truck drivers, Kentucky coal miners, U.S.-Mexico border detainees, Yemeni refugees, California firefighters, American soldiers.

Since joining Morning Edition in 2004, Inskeep has hosted the program from New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco, Cairo, and Beijing; investigated Iraqi police in Baghdad; and received a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for "The Price of African Oil," on conflict in Nigeria. He has taken listeners on a 2,428-mile journey along the U.S.-Mexico border, and 2,700 miles across North Africa. He is a repeat visitor to Iran and has covered wars in Syria and Yemen.

Inskeep says Morning Edition works to "slow down the news," making sense of fast-moving events. A prime example came during the 2008 Presidential campaign, when Inskeep and NPR's Michele Norris conducted "The York Project," groundbreaking conversations about race, which received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for excellence. Inskeep was hired by NPR in 1996.


Ireland, John: XTRA, 1994-99; KSPN, 2005-07 and 2008-20. John partnered with Steve Mason on KSPN until November 2007. He rejoined Mason at KSPN in June 2008. In the summer of 2011, John was named one of the Lakers announcers.
Irey, Thomas: KLFM, 1963-65; KJLH, 1965. Thomas worked at "All Rock, Little Talk" KLFM in the early days of Southern California fm radio. He was the first sports play-by-play broadcaster at KJLH. Tom Irey, KLFM personality from the early days of fm radio in Southern California, once had the opportunity to meet Dan Quayle and turned it down. “I had a cousin's wife who ran against him for congress in Indiana,” remembered Tom. “I was in Huntington, Indiana on a vacation trip when he was picked by Bush 41 to be his Vice President, and my Jr. High history class, in Lake Forest, was asked to greet him at the El Toro Marine Corps Airport when he flew out from DC to meet the troops of Desert Storm at Camp Pendleton and speak at the Crystal Cathedral. Seems I was telling jokes about him and one of my students wrote his office! I don't think he ever figured out my last name or he would have tied the other relative with me or I might still be investigated by the IRS! So, I can't say I had any expectations about DQ. Of course, in Huntington you can still order a ‘DQ’ special. But the high school kids at the Dairy Queen doesn't put 2 & 2 together.” 

     

 (John Ireland and Lew Irwin)

IRVINE, Bob: KNX, 1967-68. Bob was the first news director at NewsRadio KNX.

When George Nicholaw was awarded the LARadio Lifetime Achievement Award, some thought that Irvine might appear and pay his respects but Bob did not. He'd been out of the radio limelight in Carmel since 1984. He found his calling as a writer. In a quarter of a century he has written 21 books, nine of which were in the famous Moroni Traveler mystery series.

“In 1965 I was working at KTLA/Channel 5 in the news department and Bob Arthur had been the anchor for a while. The anchors were Arthur, Joseph Benti, Tom Snyder and Bill Stout and nobody watched," remembered Irvine. "The station hired George Putnam and that was kind of the end of it for me. There was no news and I just didn’t want to deal with it.” 

Bob got a job producing a program called Newsday at KNX. It was a news block with Bob Arthur from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Fred Anderson did Kaleidoscope. “It was really my first introduction to radio and I quite enjoyed it. CBS had ten minutes of news and they had all these great 5-minute programs. It was really a good news block. After a year I got named assistant news director under Barney Miller.”  Barney retired and Irvine didn’t get named news director. “Nicholaw hired some guy to be program director and news director, which sort of frosted us all. Turned out this guy was never in his office, he was in the Brown Derby. George said he made a mistake. This is one of the things I really admired about George. He didn’t hesitate and let him go after just a month and a half.”  Shortly after Irvine was appointed news director, in late 1967 Nicholaw told Irvine that there was a chance the station could go all-News and asked him to prepare a detailed budget on needs for people, equipment, and changes to the newsroom. “We went to New York. There were five news directors and five general managers from the CBS O&Os. We went into this fancy conference room at ‘Black Rock’ [CBS headquarters in Manhattan]. Clark George was president of CBS Radio. Bill Paley was referred to as ‘The Chairman.’ Clark tells us that ‘The Chairman’ feels that the O&Os should go to all-News. It was just marvelous. It changed everything in my life and I got to set up the format and hire all these guys. It was really impressive.”  “FM was a throwaway in those days,” said Irvine. “We were practicing the format on fm [93.1] because no one was listening to fm. George and I would drive around the city and listen. It was during one of these drives that we determined something had to change with the teletype sound.”  One of the distinguishing features of the sound of KNX during the all-News decades was the teletype pounding away. The sound did not come easily. “We put three teletype machines – AP, UPI, and City News – right in the middle of the studio. But it didn’t sound like a wire service so we eventually went to a continuous loop cartridge with the teletype sound we thought was best. The real thing didn’t sound right. It sounded like static.” 

Irvine hired some classic newsmen in those embryonic days like Harry Birrell. He inherited some great guys like Russ Powell and Bob Arthur.  After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, Irvine spent two years (1959-62) as a Counterintelligence Agent in the U. S. Army. “When I got out I wanted to be a writer. Ernest Hemingway started out as a newspaper reporter so I got a job as a reporter for the Huntington Park Daily Signal, and later at the Hollywood Citizen-News. I worked up really fast.” 

 After launching the all-News operation at KNX, Irvine returned to tv as news director at KABC/Channel 7. “Baxter Ward was just leaving. I brought in Bill Bonds from the ABC O&O in Detroit to replace Baxter. Bill was a real character. We went from schlock news to a pretty good news operation. And then I had to fire Bonds and that was pretty much the end of my news career because it pissed off a lot of people. But it had to happen. Bonds went on the air and passed out. I was young. I just fired him on the spot and then told the general manager. We brought in Joseph Benti. He and his wife were living in Norway and we convinced him to come back. He did and then I had to get out. My blood pressure had gone sky high working in the news department.” Bob went home and wrote a book, Jump Cut. While waiting for his book to be published, Irvine was asked to produce Ralph Story’s AM Los Angeles and he was the first writer for Two on the Town with Connie Chung and Steve Edwards at KNXT/Channel 2. “Steve was the best I ever worked with. Most people after they see what you write would change it and make it worse. Not Steve. Every time he made a suggestion he made it better. He was good to work with. Melody Rogers followed Connie after she left for New York and Melody was a sweetheart.”

“As I look back, KNX was the best fun. George Nicholaw was the best. He never got wrinkles in his clothes and I was always looking rumpled. George looked perfect. At KNX there was never a consideration on doing it on the cheap. We really had to expand and remodel the newsroom. Everything was done with class.”

Irvine, Jeff: KWIZ, 1988. Jeff is working in South Carolina.
Irwin, Lew: KPOL, 1955-62; KRLA, 1964-69; KLAC/KMET, 1969; KDAY, 1970-72; KNX/fm, 1987 and 1989-90. Since 1992, Lew has published Studio Briefing, a daily digest of entertainment industry news. He enjoyed much success with his 2013 book, Deadly Times. 

ISLER, Mark: KABC, 2004-08; KRLA, 2011-15. Mark worked weekends at all-Talk KABC and fill-in at AM 870/KRLA since 2008. He's a graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a Masters in education. Mark spent two years as a speech writer for LA County Supervisor Michal Antonovich.

In 2006, Mark shared a moving holiday story. "I did an interview with former KABC talk show host Roger Barkley. It was supposed to be a one half hour interview but when it was over I asked Roger if he would stay for the next show on Restaurants. Roger of course was involved with the business and owned a restaurant of the same name. He had a previously scheduled appointment but he called up to delay or cancel the appointment so he could accommodate my request. I had never met Roger before the show yet he was more than gracious both on and off the air.  That was probably the last television show Roger ever did and my guess is he was already suffering from the disease that would eventually take his life during the Christmas season.  Roger died on December 21st, not too many weeks after he did my show. I went to Roger's memorial service and I was deeply moved by the outpouring of people who came to show their respect. The one small thing I could do for a man who had given so much was to give his wife a tape of the show we did. Roger Barkley truly epitomized the Christmas spirit."

Ismael, Rob: KFI, 1996-97; KABC, 1997-2001; KRLA, 2001-05. Rob is staff coordinator for KRLA and provides imaging for KRLA and KTIE.
Ivenk, Mike: SEE Mike Fright

IVERS, Irv: KHJ, 1969-72; KIQQ, 1972-73. Born in Montreal, Irv started his radio career in Quebec and Bermuda. He came to the U.S. to work in sales at KFRC-San Francisco and KHJ where he was appointed station manager in 1971.

In 1974, following the successful launch of "K-100," Irv joined Columbia Pictures as head of advertising. He spent the next 20 years in senior executive marketing jobs at MGM/UA, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. In the early 1990s Irv decided to return to his native Canada and moved to Toronto to head up Astral Communications.

 He died in November 1996 at the age of 57. His death was due to complications following surgery to remove his spleen 10 days prior. The publisher of LARadio.com hired Irv to run KIQQ and when Irv joined the motion picture business, he offered a unique opportunity to follow him. There wasn’t a sweeter, more decent human being than Irv. God bless him!

IVEY, John: KIIS/KYSR, 2001-04; KIIS, 2004-21. John joined KIIS as pd on July 9, 2001 from "KISS 108"-Boston.

 In the first currency Portable People Ratings (September ’08 6+ Mon-Sun 6A-Mid) KIIS/fm was #1. Not just #1, but on top by a country mile. John was the man responsible for the huge numbers and was rewarded with a multi-year contract. What were his feelings after getting here from seven years at KISS 108 in Boston? “Disbelief. And in some ways still is. I still can’t believe I’m driving in here every day.” 

When John arrived the station was being programmed by a young man who was beset by personal problems, who has since passed away. “The station definitely was not on top of its game,” said John. “The format wasn’t at its peak and the station probably wasn’t at its peak. There was a mature staff that was in kind of a funky cycle. It was right at the tail end of the Britney-In Sync era and other formats were just beginning to rear their heads so I got here just in time for Power 106 to kick my ass,” John laughed.

A few months after John started at KIIS, he was given the additional duties of programming STAR 98.7.  At that time, Ryan Seacrest was doing afternoon drive. “I’m very proud of Ryan and everything that he’s accomplished. He was my little afternoon guy at STAR when I started. Right from the beginning in our first meeting he told me his goal was to be a morning man in L.A. He wasn’t doing American Idol at that point.” 

John holds a full staff meeting of the entire programming department quarterly. In 2008, he said: “I always like to point out that we are all in the same position. I’m from Kentucky. Julie [Pilat, music director] is from Seattle. Ryan’s from Atlanta. Ellen K’s from Indiana and we’ve worked all of our lives to get here – bit, scratched, clawed – and we understand the gravity of the radio station. We love it and can’t believe we’re here and we’re not going down on our watch. That’s the kind of team we’ve got here. We understand that.” 

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