Radio Waves: February 19, 2021

Leo Terrell gets big role at Fox

Civil rights attorney and longtime KABC (790 AM) contributor and host Leo Terrell has been named to a new role on Fox News Media, available on various cable television channels as well as SiriusXM satellite subscription radio.

Terrell will act as an analyst and commentator across the various Fox channels and platforms including the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network. He will also continue his appearances on KABC radio — often heard on the John Phillips Show noon to 3 p.m. — and his program “Leo Terrell, America’s Fair Minded Civil Rights Attorney” heard on the Cumulus/KABC podcast network, available at

Side note: Phillips’ show is required listening in my house due to his 1 p.m. Doctor Hour. But I digress…

Terrell has been a practicing attorney since 1990, and has held leadership roles at such organizations as the Black-Korean Alliance, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and California’s Statewide Commission Against Hate Crimes. 

For many years on various radio and television programs, Terrell was the liberal commentator often taking the opposing side to conservative Larry Elder. Something happened over the past few years, and in the most recent Presidential campaign, Terrell shifted positions and supported the reelection of President Trump. Calling himself Leo 2.0, it raised more than a few eyebrows. I asked Terrell if that made a difference in how his friends and associates saw him, and how he responds to the various critiques of Trump.

“I have definitely lost a few friends because of the change in my support of President Donald Trump,” he told me. “For the most part it’s been people who seem to have lost my phone number. A few friends on the golf course will say a word or two or just ignore me. My feeling is, if it’s that easy to lose a friend then they weren’t really a friend.

“I respond to the nonsense about President Trump being an alleged “racist” or “homophobe” by asking them to find the exact quote. The media seems to love taking parts of President Trump’s statements and making it fit their narrative. The truth is far far different. Prior to Covid-19, President Trump brought us the greatest economy in our history. This benefited minority communities more than any legislation from past Presidents. People may not like President Trump’s tweets – or his personality – but his policies did make America great again.”

Does he see problems with perceived or real censorship with news or social media? How should someone respond if they feel their views are being held back? “This is very simple – you must tell the truth and call the opposition out on their lies and talking points,” he said. “You can never argue with the truth. Ask the media what exactly they are afraid of. Put the pressure back on them to tell the truth and not just sell the narrative they’re being paid to sell.”

Any thoughts as he moves forward? “My experience since the Democratic party left me, and I joined sides with President Trump, has been wonderful. I have been embraced by a wide range of people from all over the country and all different backgrounds. People say I smile and laugh more on TV and it’s true. I definitely feel lighter since I stopped drinking the democratic koolaide. I am proud to be a Trump Republican.”


“I enjoyed your article on many of the wonderful voices that I grew up with on the radio.  However, there was one missing that all my high school friends and I listened to at night until the early morning while we played cards and drank beer.  It was in the early 70’s and we used to be in love with “The Burner” Mary Turner on KMET.  She played great music and all the long version of songs.  Can you please tell me what became of her?” — Larry Hatfield

What a great question! 

Turner was among radio’s first female DJs when she arrived at KMET in 1972. She stayed with the station for a full decade, then reappeared on KLSX (now KAMP, 97.1 FM) in 1993. Explains Don Barrett, of LARadio.Com:

“The Burner, Mary Turner, arrived at KMET in June of 1972 and left on the eve of her 10th year with the ‘Mighty Met.’ Mary reflected on her early radio days: ‘It was an exciting time back then, because you didn’t operate under any rules. You could play anything you wanted, say anything you wanted and who cared? FM at that time was a joke, especially to Top 40 people. We were the hippies, and they were the stars.’

“On being a successful female: ‘I think being a woman helped more than anything else. The time was right for it, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time.’”

Turner married Westwood One founder and chairman Norm Pattiz in the early 1980s. Mary Turner Pattiz is currently the chairwoman of the Betty Ford Center at Eisenhower Hospital in Rancho Mirage.