Handel Loses His Handle
What is about talk radio hosts, that they are always getting in trouble? Is that they are pampered by radio station management, sucked up to by adoring fans, or just plan bullies that have exchanged the playground for the airwaves. It is such an interesting topic that I have created a blog profiling the many incidents of talk radio hosts behaving badly Although I try not to cross post too much, I decided to share this one with my readers here at Talking Radio. It involves the number one local talk host in the country. His name is Bill Handel and he is the morning host on KFI-AM in Los Angeles.
Over a million listeners tune into Bill Handel's morning show each week. That's a big audience and has no doubt contributed to Bill's inflated ego and hair trigger temper. So it is not surprising that Bill lost it when he had a confrontation with Jamie White, a dj on KYSR, 98.7, another Clear Channel station that shares the cramped studios at the station groups LA headquarters in Burbank. The following story by appeared in Radio and Records on line news feed last Friday morning.
Handel vs. White/The CC-LA Throwdown
KFI/Los Angeles personality Bill Handel got a little hot under the collar with Jamie White, morning hostess at Clear Channel clusterpal KYSR (Star 98.7), on the air this morning. Handel, who occasionally brings his kids to work, went into Star's studio and began yelling at White live, allegedly because she threw his kids out of her studio.According to a clip that aired on KTLA-TV this morning, White opened the exchange by telling Handel, "I just pointed at your kids with my orange flute and told them don't come back." Handel angrily responded, "If you ever talk to my kids that way again, Jamie, I am going to kick your ass. You are not allowed to talk to them! Are you telling me they can't be on the fifth floor?"White shot back, "I'm telling them they can't be right there," to which Handel yelled, "You have such goddamn losing numbers on this loser show. Shut up! You don't talk to my kids that way." Handel also shouted, "Don't you touch me!" which suggests that someone was trying to force him out of the studio -- right before he dropped a couple of f-bombs on his way out.
When I read this story, I first thought that Jamie was a guy. Why would Handel threaten to kick a girl's ass. So I naturally had to check out the You Tube clip which contains a photo and all the juicy details of the early morning confrontation. By Monday, a somewhat chastened Handel apologized for his outburst and has been suspended for a week by KFI. The details of his apology and suspension were spelled out in an article in Allaccess.com yesterday.
Handel Gets Week's Suspension For On-Air Tirade
The great CLEAR CHANNEL/LOS ANGELES battle of titans has resulted in a one week suspension for Talk KFI-A morning star BILL HANDEL, to be served upon his return from his previously-scheduled two week vacation. HANDEL, in an incident that landed on local CW affiliate KTLA (TV)'s morning news show and, subsequently, on YOUTUBE, burst into Modern AC KYSR (STAR 98.7)'s studios and yelled at STAR morning host JAMIE WHITE for throwing his twin daughters out of her studio and threatening "if you ever talk to my kids like that again, JAMIE, I'm going to kick your ass." HANDEL also dropped a pair of "f-bombs," but STAR says that they were caught by the delay system and did not air (the KTLA tape appears to have come from a pre-delay skimmer tape). In a statement, HANDEL apologized for his outburst, saying "I want to apologize to JAMIE and her team for my behavior and how I handled the unfortunate incident this morning. It was simply a reaction of a dad who was protecting his children. I lost my temper, I lost my cool."
This isn't the first time that Handel's outrageuos behavior has got him in trouble with KFI management. A few weeks ago, when he joked about a stampede that killed scores of Arabs in Saudi Arabia, he was forced to make an apology when the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) complained.