The latest incarnation of a Joe McDonnell and Doug Krikorian sports talk show is set to launch April 9 from a Long Beach sports bar and via an Internet web link, but those who’ve come to know the pair from their years of banter on local L.A. radio should expect to simply pick up the conversation where it last left off.
“I think sports-talk in L.A. is at an all-time low and we have a chance to revolutionize sports talk on the Internet, and I can see us doing this for quite a long time,” said McDonnell. “I’m really pumped up about this.”
This 3-to-5 p.m. show from Legends will be accessible through the restaurant’s website (www.legendssportsbar.com). The start date coincides with the IRL’s Long Beach Grand Prix annual visit.
This legendary pair had its “McDonnell-Douglas Show” platform off and on for 14 years, from 1991 to 2005.
It started with the L.A.’s first all-sports station, the old KMPC-AM (710), as the midday team. It moved over to KMAX-FM, relaunched as a Sunday night show on KABC-AM (790) and segued into five years at KSPN-AM, the current ESPN affiliate.
McDonnell last did an L.A.-based sports-talk show on KLAC-AM (570) from 2005-08.
“I really think this is the future (of sports talk) and it can be huge,” said McDonnell. “There’s no buzz about sports talk in this town anymore. No one has done anything to put the heat on sports talk.”
McDonnell, who lately has been writing for FoxSportsWest.com while doing weekend sports anchoring at KNX-AM (1070), was approached by Legends sports bar owner John Morris about reviving the show when the two attended Krikorian’s retirement party two months ago.
Krikorian, 68, left the Long Beach Press Telegram last October. He had been there since 1989, after the closure of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, where he had been the previous 22-plus years.
“It’ll be a lot of fun, no pressure,” said Krikorian, who lives in the nearby Naples area of Long Beach. “It’ll be just like we were before.”
McDonnell, 55, said he and Krikorian have talked over the years about “having one more chance” to do their show again, and “I’ve been stunned by the response we’ve got so far from social media. A lot of listeners really have missed us.
“I know I didn’t realize how much I missed something until it’s taken away, and that’s how I’ve felt the last couple of years. Maybe I was kind of burned out on the show a little, but really, this is what I do. It’s what I love. For a long time, I didn’t want to admit that to myself.
“The two of us have a lot of knowledge and history in this town, but there are no two people who keep in the forefront of sports here and are a contemporary. Doug maybe known as a journalist and columnist, but he did 15 years on radio and he understands how it works. He’s been very relaxed and has enjoyed himself during the recent run-throughs for the show.”
McDonnell said the show will be ad-supported, have a call-in element and be purely live, without a delay. The language can go in whatever direction they want to take it, but cursing won’t come as a gratuitous part of the show.
“We’re cognizant of who’s listening and we aren’t going to say things just to offend anyone,” he said. “People trust us to know we won’t do anything harmful. But if it falls into the regular conversation, language won’t be a barrier. We have a certain amount of freedom because of who we are.
“We’re just Joe and Doug, and that’s who we’ve always been. There’s never been any kind of pretentiousness. I think people became attached to us over the years because they could relate to us if we were having a bad day. We let everyone into our lives.”