For 17 years, Ken Minyard and Bob Arthur awakened Angelenos and topped radio ratings by reassuring their listeners EGBOK — “everything’s gonna be OK.”
The pair started their run on KABC-AM (790) in 1973, with the more talkative Minyard commenting on news events or quirky happenings, while Arthur, the more authoritative newsman, provided wry one-liners and snappy observations. That chemistry kept their program, “The Ken and Bob Company,” at No. 1 in the ratings for most of their tenure, and the pair never dropped out of the Top 3 among morning radio shows.
The duo rarely worked from a script, and instead riffed on the day’s headlines. In explaining what made “Ken and Bob” work, Minyard said people appreciated their combination of professionalism and optimism. Arthur explained their popularity and longevity another way: “I've heard it said that it was like eavesdropping on a poker game where the stakes weren't very high.”
The duo also were known for their stunts, such as broadcasting from a Mammoth Mountain blizzard, or live from the Rose Parade atop a two-story float in 1988 via cellphone, when the devices were still a novelty.
And in the mid-1980s, Mideast hostages David P. Jacobsen and Thomas W. Murry said they used EGBOK as a rallying cry to boost their spirits during captivity.
Arthur retired in 1990, to devote more time to a project setting up care homes for Alzheimer's patients in Long Beach. Minyard then teamed with Roger Barkley, who had been a cohost of the similar “Lohman and Barkley” show on KFI-AM (640) for 25 years until he quit in an acrimonious breakup in 1986.
But in 1991, as “Ken and Barkley Company” thrived, Arthur wrote The Times a stinging letter claiming that he had not retired at all but had been fired because of his age. The radio station and Minyard denied his statement.
Arthur died March 25, 1997, at his home in Albuquerque.
Minyard worked with Barkley for almost six years, until KABC replaced the latter with Peter Tilden for two years, before canceling their show in 1998. Minyard moved to KRLA-AM (1110), where he hosted an afternoon program with his son Rick for 18 months, then in November 2001 returned to the morning gig at KABC, where he was paired with Dan Avey. Minyard retired in 2005, after 35 years on the air.