In the 70s and 80s, KCBS was more "all news" than KNX. For example, KCBS never ran the CBS Mystery Theater - it was aired in the Bay Area on KSFO. There were other half-hour feature shows on KNX in the 70s, IIRC, though the only one I can remember is Mike Roy.
I don't know what demographics KNX and KFWB were going for, but I do recall that KFWB was the no-nonsense all news station, while KNX in those days had feature shows, and was kind of gimmicky with jingles, and slogans ("Morning, noon, and night, get it first, get it right...stay in tune with the 70s on KNX NewsRadio 1070..."). I recall that the anchors would ID it as "KNX ten-seven-OH news radi-OH. As a young adult listener in those days, I found KNX kind of silly and annoying, and preferred KFWB.
Initially, the only formatics KFWB ever used was that teletype sound effect, which as I understand it - involved putting a microphone in the closet that held the teletype machine.
As a writer in the "L.A. Weekly" put it, KFWB was the Joe Friday "Just the facts Ma'am" news station.
For a lot of breaking news stories and general local news I always thought it was better than KNX. Over at 1070 they had the many network obligations that prevented it from it being "all news."
For awhile there was a joke going around that KNX was "all news some of the time!"
KFWB really shined during some of L.A.'s major events, like earthquakes and the 1992 L.A. riots. In many such events 980 would be wall-to-wall with no commercials for hours while KNX often broke away for network programming and regular commercials.
In fact in the aftermath of the 1987 Whittier Earthquake all morning, if you recall the earth shook at 7:42 a.m., KFWB was wall-to-wall until the afternoon while KNX carried on with normal programming, which including a cooking show.