Monday, September 26, 2016

Savage: 'I've Been Sabotaged'; Cumulus Pulls SF-Based Talker Off WABC in NY

Image result for Michael Savage Michael Savage was halfway into his Monday Syndicated Show (heard in the Bay Area on KSFO) when his staff informed him Savage was taken off the air in NY on WABC.

Savage was furious --on the air no less. Savage speculated it may have been "an inside job."

He opened the program talking about tonight's (Monday) first presidential debate --with a theme: "The fix is in."

He later insinuated that fix may have been Hillary Clinton operatives pressuring Cumulus to mute Savage's NY station.

Oh, Savage supports Donald Trump.

Either way, Savage wasn't happy about the NY radio blackout and said there'd be repercussions.

"I've been sabotaged--what happened with me today on the air are by forces bigger than you and me, " said Savage.

The Bay Area TV News Anchors That Could Or (Could Not) Moderate Tonight's Clinton-Trump Presidential Debate; 415 Media Monday Opener

Image result for presidential debate hillary vs trump TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT. The Main Event we've all been waiting for --most of us at least. An estimated 100 million people around the country and globe will watch at least parts of the first Presidential Debate --Trump versus Clinton, with NBC anchor, Lester Holt moderating. That might be the bigger story, perhaps.

Holt's task seems unfair and borders on him be criticized no matter what. We'll have to wait and see.

But it reminds me of a question: What Bay Area anchor could moderate this debate? Who has the gumption to ask the tough questions and be versatile enough, (or not) to pull off a herculean task to say the least?

Not many, if at all--let's go down the line. First, the contenders. Later, the pretenders. (Mixed sample)

Image result for Dan Ashley KGO-TV*Dan Ashley : KGO (ABC7) would have the chops to moderate. Ashley has tremendous knowledge of politics and both foreign and domestic affairs. He's also a cool customer and fair. If confronted with an edgy moment, I'm sure he'd be able to neutralize the situation and proceed.

Image result for raj mathai nbc*Raj Mathai: KNTV (NBC Bay Area) This might surprise you because the youthful Southbay native seems to some extent unworthy to moderate a debate but Mathai has a wealth of political acumen and a strong demeanor. That would certainly be a plus given the tension-rising environment that exists between these two candidates.

Image result for Frank Somerville KTVU*Frank Somerville: KTVU (Fox2) Although I've been critical with Frank's overly-righteous takes on Facebook, I also acknowledge he's an intelligent, well-informed and professional anchor that would be able to execute this endeavor. Somerville asks, for the most part, good questions and is no pushover when it comes to follow-ups. I'd expect him to be fair too which as previously noted, is the toughest part of this gig, just ask Lester Holt.

Image result for allen martin kpix*Allen Martin: KPIX (KPIX5) Look, I've never doubted Martin's news depth and acumen. It's his demeanor and presence that I have issues with, that said, Martin would be great as a moderator in this situation. You read right: great. Why? Because Martin doesn't take a lot of crap. He's supposedly tough as nails which I believe even though he comes off sometimes as holier than thou. If Martin were to take the mask off and present himself more candidly he'd be even better as an anchor. But there's no denying he could officiate tonight's Trump/Clinton showdown.

Image result for carolyn tyler kgo*Carolyn Tyler: KGO (ABC7) I've always admired and respected this underrated newswoman on the weekend with over thirty years of experience and a vast knowledge of both the local and national political scene. Tyler isn't the most glamorous anchor but she has no fear either and she knows her business. And she's one tenacious interviewer too. Which is semi-foreign in this market. Tyler would be spectacular for this position.

The Pretenders.

Image result for pam moore kron*Pam Moore: KRON: Friendly, professional, hard-working, fairly decent anchor. But debate moderator? Nope. That's not to denigrate Moore who is fairly adept and politically knowledgeable it's just not that easy a job to carry this particular gig off.

*A Final Note:

This is a tough assessment but I do believe accurate. Of course it's all subjective; I'm sure you can add some people to the list and subtract too.

You'll notice that I chose only one woman to the Contender list and that's not a knock on women, just a frank evaluation of who I think could execute the role
and those that could not and it just so happens there's only one woman (in my opinion, duh.) who is able to do so.

You may feel otherwise. Of course you do.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

What Would KGO Radio Do If There Was a Major Earthquake on The Weekend? Three of My Favorite Old KGO Hosts: Owen Spann, Jim Eason, and Ronn Owens; I'm Watching The Debate with Joel Murray; Quick Sunday 415 Media Hits

Image result for earthquake san francisco 1989 Woke up (that's a good start) Sunday Morning and heard a KCBS report that it's a darn-near certainty the Bay Area will experience a devastating earthquake, maybe not as destructive as the 1906 'quake but more than likely stronger than Loma Prieta in 1989.

We hear these stories a lot, almost on a daily basis and have become sort of static to them, almost like, "hey, OK, we live in the Bay Area, bring it on." Until it's really bad and catastrophic --or just very strong and crummy making life miserable for many of us but we all pretty much survive after a few days. (Remember we couldn't use the Bay Bridge for over a month back in 89 but we got through it)

Which made me think of our media links because what do most of us do after a quake? We turn on the radio (assuming there's power and a battery radio if not) and we used to turn on the old KGO Radio to hear callers provide descriptions of what they felt. Sometimes, it bordered on repetitive because how many times can Margie from Fremont say, "It was like a 'jolt'" or Steve in Millbrae opine "it was more of a rolling sensation and it lasted a long time." Sure, corny and all but it was community radio at its best, a local listening post where people felt comforted in a moment of crisis.

Of course that was something truly unique that the KGO slayers never acknowledged when they killed the old KGO and slaughtered one of its best attributes, a tiny nugget of civility to Bay Area listeners who depended on this --sure, there's KCBS, and thank god, a dependable 24/7 outlet that has staffed reporters and editors on call no matter what time and day.

A question. What would happen if some major quake hit the Bay Area on a weekend? It doesn't have to be a quake, necessarily, what if some major terrorist attack or mass shooting occurred? KGO has literally NO news people in the building on the weekend. They run canned, syndicated programming and only until later in the day do they have bodies in the studio and those are a few talk hosts and producers. So what happens if some major story breaks on a Saturday morning or in the middle of the night? (Like the Napa quake in 2014 and of course when it broke, KGO was useless running a taped, syndicated financial show--how embarrassing) Thank goodness for KCBS otherwise the Bay Area would have been devoid of radio accounts)

*I constantly get e-mail from some people chastising me for ripping KRON. "Rich, they (on-air people) just work there and are only doing their job under the best of circumstances." Get a lot of that. The truth is it's the people who have some major influence there that could do a lot to help those that don't have much juice. Instead they just blindly come in, do their gig and then leave. Yes, it's tough at KRON now (especially given the TV Spectrum situation) but believe me, there's a lot of people who had some authority who have MIAed en masse.

Image result for Owen Spann KGO
Jim Eason
*Three of my favorite old KGO hosts: the classy and elegant Owen Spann who worked the morning 9-Noon slot in the 70's and mid 80's; politics/pop culture icon, Ronn Owens, and good, old Jim Eason, master of 1-4 PM (whose politics I could not stand but still listened because I loved Eason's southern twang and interesting take on the day's events.) Eason was also a master interviewer and his guests were truly some of the best. Eason was especially best during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 --ripping and shredding Jimmy Carter and lampooning the Ayatollah Khomeini. It wasn't always educational but it was certainly entertaining. Eason also had a way with callers and his interaction was priceless. I also loved Eason's theme song: Dave Brubeck's masterful "Take Five." (Written by Brubeck's sax player, Paul Desmond)

Owen Spann was like listening to the human NY Times on radio. Spann was entertaining, civil, almost ombudsman-like in his style and demeanor. He took each interview and subject matter seriously and conducted almost classroom-like civics course. It was special. Spann was the most solid and dignified host KGO ever employed.

*The Old Ronn Owens on the old KGO was one of my favorites. Ronn did the BEST interview and was an astute and entertaining listen, absolute appointment radio and must-listen. He would never back down to some slack politician and was very adept with questions and comments. He was a master (and sometimes still today) at pulling off some of the greatest lines on radio. Referring to Jimmy Carter aide, the late Hamilton Jordan (whose last name was pronounced "Jur-dan") Ronn said, "Hamilton Jur-dan is a jork!" Applause.

Ronn invented great theme shows like "Status, Class, and Tacky"; invented a vintage "Rock Trivia" hour that made various Bay Area characters like "Mill Valley Don" and "One-hit Tony" stars.

Image result for Owen Spann KGO
Ronn Owens
One day soon I will write extensively about the Ronn Owens I knew and admired.

Quick Sunday hits:

*More obnoxious ads on radio with "1-800-Junk" and their ludicrous song solo at the end; can we eradicate this junk off the air?

*I'm watching the debate Monday night with big new Bay Area TV STAR, Joel Murray! Whoa!

*Because Pia Zadora was busy.

*Follow me on Twitter

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Jon Bristow Settles In at KCBS Weekend Anchor While Dave Padilla Does More Reporting; Rothmann Gets More Time on KGO Radio; Will Co-Host Post-Presidential Debate; Work Election Night Coverage; Appreciating Pat Thurston; Sizzling Good Alexis Smith on ABC7 Morning Traffic; Saturday In the Park 415 Media

Image result for saturday in san francisco It's become apparent now that KCBS has tossed the weekend morning news slot to ex-KGO tonsil, Jon Bristow. Subsequently, Dave Padilla, (Mr. Rise and Shine) has been deported back to reporting and only occasionally anchors.

I've never really warmed to Padilla's happy streak and style. He's a veteran and apparently has some following but not my cup of tea.

Bristow, with his baritone voice (pipes) sometimes sounds more like an FM DJ but overall is head over heels better than Padilla and has a firm grasp of the English language. It also helps that his ex-boss at KGO, Jack Swanson, now runs KCBS and has brought over a number of KGO reporters to 855 Battery.

Image result for john rothmann kgo radio
John Rothmann
*I've been saying for some time now that KGO Radio should bring aboard political guru, John Rothmann, as the election gets closer and closer. Looks like they have.

Image result for pat thurston
Pat Thurston/KGO Radio photo
Rothmann, who's been filling in a lot lately and has appeared on the station on a regular rotation, will be analyzing (with Pat Thurston) the Presidential Debate Monday Night and will also be assisting Election Night coverage. He'll also be doing his normal fill-in shows. That's a smart move, KGO, glad you're finally on the Rothmann bandwagon. 

*It took me awhile to really appreciate Pat Thurston (who's been instrumental in getting Rothmann on the KGO air) but now I look forward to and enjoy her weekend work (and when she fills in during the week).

Thurston is known for doing a lot of prep when she's going on the air and it's evident. Her guest list is impressive; her topics are newsworthy and relevant and most importantly, she's spot on in coverage during Breaking News events. This was most telling during the Orlando Nightclub massacre when Thurston and news guy, Bret Burkhart anchored live for hours and broke into KGO's insufferable, regularly-scheduled, taped financial shows.

It was vintage KGO, a throwback to a time when KGO was the go-to radio location when breaking news involving natural disasters, terrorist attacks, mass shootings and the like occurred.

Image result for alexis smith kgo-tv
Alexis Smith
*I haven't had a chance to recommend watching KGO'TV's newest traffic reporter, Alexis Smith, who, THIS JUST IN, is really good. Smith has a very smooth, concise and precise delivery and delivers several jugs full of energy. It's a pleasure to both watch and listen to her reports in the morning.

*The HOT weekend has begun. Enjoy and be safe, be cool too, have some cold, lovely adult beverages -and keep it here at 415 Media.

*Follow me on Twitter

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Friday, September 23, 2016

The Friday 415 Media Nuggets

Image result for ktvu weather anchors A massive heat wave hits the Bay Area this weekend and the weather people are all having orgasms --they live for this! Roberta is positively GIDDY Friday morning on KCBS (nothing more news savvy than to inform us of the weather for tonight at the Coliseum--"bring a coat though and 'Go A's!'" Ouy Vey, Gag me)

Meanwhile, the "Weather AUTHORITY!" folks at KTVU are going gonzo! Bill Martin over/under on "off-shore breeze" is at 5 right now. I've got the over.

Image result for Colin Kaepernick Time*Colin Kaepernick is on the cover of Time Magazine. OK, my question: how many of you still read magazines?

*Kaepernick's missive has elevated the subject matter on sports talk-radio right? No, just further exposed the idiocy of those working in the toy dept. trying to converse about something way above their pay grade.

That's why they don't talk much about OTA's on NPR.

Image result for armstrong and getty show*In order to be funny you have to have the audience buy in, number one. Second, to actually be funny you yourself have to be funny! It's really kind of obvious. I now give you Exhibit A, Armstrong and Getty Radio Show, or as I would say, the Velveeta Cheese of Branson, Missouri currently pooping up Bay Area AM radio and beyond.

I've tried all-get-go to listen to these Sacramento-based hacks and I still cannot fathom their brand of humor, it sounds straight out of some Wonder Bread fondue with an extra scoop of mayonnaise --how did these guys con their way onto terrestrial radio? Wait a minute, perfect spot for the gruesome twosome.

*Sacramento, Velveeta Cheese, Wonder Bread, Mayonnaise, Branson, and Armstrong and Getty, it has a certain symmetry.

Image result for Darya Folsom*It used to be Darya Folsom is so bad she's good, now it's really Darya is so bad, she's bad. And the crumbs are falling off the doughnuts so there's really nothing there now.

*Speaking of KRON, a whole bunch of guys in dark suits marched into the building the other day to take inventory.

They were not there talking about chili recipes and a certain guy's Bentley.

Image result for Brittney Shipp*Brittany Shipp Update: Any day now Ell-Lay is calling. I knew that was coming any day because Shipp can really do her gig without certain distractions and won't take any shit from the Tenderloin guy.

*The short guy boss in the KRON newsroom is shouting again which is precisely why there's such a thing as short-guy syndrome.

Maybe he's a little nervous now.

*Just what the hell is "Weather Authority"--are we talking like the Weather Fuhrer? I give up.

*I'm not a betting man but if I could I would bet the house that the Foxies over there at KTVU are exploring ways, really now, to figure out a way to eject Tom Vacar.

They can't.

Image result for tom vacar channel 2Remember, as I've said, Vacar still wants the gig and more ominously for KTVU, he's a loyah. *I remember the good old days when talk-radio callers were actually intelligent and asked reasonable questions and engaged with the host.

Now the host uses callers (those that actually still take calls) as tools and belittles them; shames them really. And then laughs about it.

Which is one of the reasons why John Rothmann is so damn good. Listen to the dialogue on radio when Rothmann interacts with callers. The host dictates the type of call they get; if a moron is hosting then morons call. If there's, god forbid, intelligent conversation and respect for one another and not morning zoo-like histrionics, there's hope then.

*God, I thought I really had a bad life until I watched CNN the other day. Poppy Harlow. Really? Where did they find this nitwit? Oh wait, never mind.

*Speaking of Morning Zoo, we bring you the KSFO Morning Show which used to posses reasonable entertainment even if the politics were not your flavor, now it's just morphed into fart sounds and cow moos. Just wonderful guys, all we need is a few circus rings.

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Image result for Friday*Follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

'60 Minutes' Wants a Few With 49ers' Caep; Roberta Gonzales Should Talk Like an Adult; KGO's Chip Franklin: Cardboard-Voice Radio; Raj and Jessica El Fuedo at NBC Bay Area; Duane Kuiper Still Sounds Pissed Off; Roqui Theus Now Merely Half-Dreadful at KPIX; Thursday 415 Media Deli

Image result for tadich grill san francisco *A CBS spy in NY tells me the "60 Minutes" people have made contact with Colin Kaepernick's people for a little chat with the Kap about a few things, something you won't see in the Chronicle.

*Wayne Freedman, the star reporter over at KGO-TV used to be quite the ally of combative and non-people-friendly, News Director, Tracey Watkowski-Silva. No more. Even her most staunchest friends now can't stand her and those that do are only doing so to protect their interests. What a great morale booster at 900 Front.

*Speaking of KGO, that new set had all the buzz of a frozen waffle at IHop. I mean, it looks just fine and all, but for $4 million bucks I was hoping to see the Starship Enterprise.

*Circle7 Set Good Gossip: from someone in the building the KGO management told the weather women to "bring your best high-heels to the set." Seems the new camera/HD settings at 7 are designed to televise the women "from head to toe." Good time to be a podiatrist near Front Street.

Image result for Dan Ashley Ama Daetz KGO
Ama Daetz and Dan Ashley
*That all said, KGO's newscasts are easily the best in the Bay Area with steady and consistent, if not overly-spectacular content but who said anyone was perfect. I like Ama Daetz and Dan Ashley; Larry Beil can be a bit stuff and thinks he's God, (with Authority!) but delivers solidly on a nightly basis. Sandhya Patel rocks my world (looks like she's not going to CNNI) and classy, Carolyn Tyler adds a bit of splendor on the weekend.

Image result for Roberta Gonzales
Roberta Gonzales
*See, Roberta, I think I nailed the problem: it's how you talk to people --we're not all 7th-graders at a PTA night. Please, Roby, talk to us as if we're adults. Quit the Miss Nancy crap and all is forgiven.

*Roqui Theus Update: better, now just merely half-dreadful.

*Chip Franklin: cardboard voice on the radio with intermittent silly topics ranging from "what's your favorite way to cook tofu?" to "Are you happy with your sex life?"

This all in one day while Charlotte, NC was about to burn.

Chip should stick to selling pillows and toe-fungus foam because his slop-show on KGO Radio is about as compelling as a public restroom on Turk and Eddy.

*KGO Radio: Home of the Byron Allen Show.

*Ronnnnnnnn: sad, really.

*Wonder what Duane Kuiper would sound like after a trip to Damascus.

*The KNBR "Sports Update": In reality, just another 2-minute commercial with accompanying sponsor --updates are real news and not rehashed scores from 24 hours earlier. KNBR and Cumulus has contempt for their listeners, with the commercial ambush on a daily basis. Greed, mediocrity, and audio blight, what a bargain.

*Radnich, Kuiper and Krukow: Republicans and Anti-Union. Fact.

Image result for roqui theus kpix
Roqui Theus
Image result for Jessica Aguirre Raj Mathai NBC
Raj Mathai and Jessica Aguirre

*Cracks in the San Jose NBC Shield: Raj Mathai and Jessica Aguirre are having a small little kerfuffle--it's not that big a deal; something about money, maybe.

*Good point from a 415 Media reader: Kuiper, Kruk too, will never say anything even remotely anti-Giants because that would piss off Emperor Larry Baer who rules the day.

Baer is the biggest phony in the world, a guy who likes to appear as if he's Mr. Fuzzy but in reality is about as fun as three colonoscopies in a month.

*Kuiper, by the way, still sounded bitter on the Knibber air Thursday Morning, maybe he was sick of listening to the 40,000 commercials while waiting on hold, DUDE!

*Fire and Ice: Vida Blue and Mike Krukow.

*Here's the deal about Ronnnnnn: The Cumulus guys would dearly love for him to retire gracefully Dec. 31 (After the election) but Ronn doesn't know what to do with his life and wants to get out of the house.

Should be an interesting 90 days around Broadway and Battery.

Image result for Ronn Owens
Ronnnnnnnnn Owens

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Something To Chew On; KNBR: All Giants All The Time; The Chronicle Ignores Central Subway Questions; SF Media Lavishes Praise on Rose Pak; Forgets Political Payoffs; Audrey Cooper EIC Asleep at the Wheel Because She's a Real Journalist; With Impending KRON Doom Radnich Has to Do Commercials; 'Gotta Feed The Family'

Image result for san francisco streets at night KNBR all but forgot about the 49ers this week --with the exception of the post mortem Monday, it's been all SF Giants. ALL. The 49ers, KNBR's second fiddle to the 'Gints, have all but disappeared this week from the KNBR domain with the exception of some obscure player's shows (xxxxx)

Just wait until baseball season is over and The Bleeder has no pro basketball team to chat about --OMG, they'll actually have to be creative!

*Charlie Rose was interviewing Bono on his PBS interview show --I watched it at midnight and that's the only thing I watch on KQED. What else is worth watching? Now send 99 dollars and get a 12-pack CD of the London Symphony.

*Yes, the vast Larry Baer media politburo has many tentacles stretching from KNBR to Comcast Sports Net Bay Area to NBC with City Hall tossed in as an appetizer. I'm still waiting for the Chronicle and its illustrious new Editor-In-Chief  to write about Baer's adventures that have nothing to do with sports and are quite spicy but she's got a Giants cap on all the time so that ain't never gonna happen. Wonder what Herb Caen would think. Paging Matier and Ross.

*Audrey Cooper: A legend in her own mind.

*The Chronicle's idea of hard-hitting journalism involves Michael Bauer breaking down the salad lettuce at Jardinaire.

Image result for Alicia Reid KRON
Alicia Reed
*Alicia Reed: KRON reporter. Another hidden gem that I'd like to see more of. It beats having to look at JR Stone.

*Another hard-hitting Big Mac subject matter that the Chronicle ignores is the mass political corruption involving construction of the Central Subway. Again, paging Matier and Ross. For starters, guys, make a call to Diane Feinstein's hubby, Dick Blum. That's just for starters. And then call Willie Brown, your esteemed columnist. Oh, I forgot....

Image result for Willie Brown SF
Willie Brown
*I have a question. Suppose, just for argument sake, that Willie Brown is involved in some scandal or ethics probe? (He isn't) What's the Chronicle going to do? Ah, what the hell, Hearst doesn't care.

*While the mainstream SF Media (Chronicle, TV stations) went complete ga-ga and lavished praise on Rose Pak (the Chinatown political consultant who died Sunday) for her prestige and prominence in the city-- gone was any mention of Pak's numerous political payoffs, corruption and questionable influence over some of the town's biggest pols, past and present, like, say, yes, Willie Brown.

Image result for audrey cooper chronicle
Audrey Cooper/EIC of the SF Chronicle
Of course, Audrey Cooper, EIC, Nowhere to be found. I think she's too busy checking Hunter Pence's batting average, because, you know, unlike us bloggers, Audrey is a real journalist.

*That Radnich guy has been doing, for the first time ever, real-estate commercials because he's about to lose his "Buster Brown" gig.

Image result for Gary Radnich
Gary Radnich is doing radio commercials on KNBR
KRON casualties countdown has officially commenced.