Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Ask Rich Lieberman

Image result for Cute college girl asking questions to teacher ANSWERING YOUR TV/RADIO QUESTIONS; Please, name/city or town

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Chronicle's Fagan Writes Compelling Jonestown/Moscone-Milk Murders 40th Anniversary Stories; Ten Dark Days in SF History; A Personal Journey; My 'Un-Thanksgiving'; Is Novermber The 'Cruelest Month?'; KGO Radio Audio Comfort Food When Bay Area Needed It; Feinstein and Ronn Help Emotions Courtesy of Journey and 'Lights'; Sunday 415 Media

Image result for Jonestown Milk Moscone murders San Francisco
SF Chronicle photo
TODAY represents one of the darkest days in Bay Area history; I'll never forget Nov. 18th, 1978 ...the horror and anguish of the Jonestown  tragedy and its effect on the people of the Bay Area.

We thought Jonestown was chilling and cruel but before we were able to get through that dark period, just a week and a half later; the day after Thanksgiving weekend to be exact; Monday, Nov.27th, at City Hall, another horrible event: the George Moscone and Harvey Milk murders by disgraced supervisor, Dan White.

In Sunday's Chronicle, they bring back those two weeks of misery with a great story and reflection by senior reporter, Kevin Fagan. It's worth reading --excellent work by Fagan and staff at the Chron.

*Between the 40th anniversary of Jonestown and the Moscone Milk murders, combined with the ongoing calamity up north in Butte County, everything seems to pale in comparison. I don't care that they postponed the Big Game between Cal and Stanford. To me it was a no-brainer and the right decision.

Image result for San Francisco in November*As a kid growing up in the 70's, I used to love Thanksgiving week and the holiday; food, family; even my eternal-arguing Jewish family was comforting and sanguine. Mom made the turkey and entire meal; my brother and I played flag football outside in the backyard. All of this was precipitated by the ladies (my mom and sisters) watching the Macys Parade in NY. It was a grand scheme and noshing on the chips and dips before the main event dinner was supremo --this year, after mom's passing last March, no Thanksgiving (I just can't stomach it, no pun intended) just a whole lot of depressing thoughts alone which is only appropriate and fitting.

*April used to be the cruelest month but lately, November is right up there.

*When Dianne Feinstein made that historic, eerie announcement shortly after the Moscone-Milk murders, longtime Bay Area reporter/PR guy for the Giants, my friend, Duffy Jennings was in the room covering the story for the Chronicle. Jennings used to be married to Cheryl Jennings of KGO-TV fame.

Jennings told me firsthand the mood inside City Hall that day was bone-chilling. Even well-grounded veteran reporters were shocked and had to hold their emotions in check. Watch the Feinstein announcement (in the above video) and notice the cranky, verbal chaos ensue in the midst of her fateful words. It was quite a moment and I'm still numb a generation and a half later.

*Personal note: I was a junior at Skyline High in Oakland in '78; on the Monday after Thanksgiving word spread in the early afternoon of what had taken place in San Francisco. Word of mouth of course because there were no cell phones just analogue news delivery.

Image result for Duffy Jennings Chronicle
Duffy Jennings
I ran to the nearest pay phone and called my mom who went to have her hair done and got a call later from my sister who told her the news. We were all freaked out. And hoping 1978 would end sooner rather then later.

*I'll never forget turning on the radio the next day; KGO's Ronn Owens was a mess and literally cried on the air. It was the right tone and no one faulted Owens' legitimate anguish; he was real good friends with Moscone and had him on the air frequently.

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Ronn Owens in 1978
Owens told his listeners to call and share stories; it was this dimension of KGO that made profound tragedies bearable because, as Owens noted, "we need to grieve as a community." I'm paraphrasing but it was something to the effect of a collective outpouring of the torment and anguish that gripped the city and Bay Area. You could feel it and see it in people's eyes. It was like a cruel joke: First Jonestown and now THIS? Thank God there was a KGO back then.

*I HABITUALLY pick on and rip TV and Radio reporters; I'll call it honest and harsh criticism but for a week, I applaud the fifth estate here (for the most part) for its vaunted coverage of the firestorm in Paradise. It's a tough story to report both literally and figuratively and most of the coverage has been professional and humane which is not always the case here or elsewhere.

*The despair and depression of the city in those dark days in the fall of '78 made for a welcome respite come January 1979. A sense of relief and back to normal permeated the entire area, well, gradually.

Image result for Journey Lights songJourney's "Lights" was a popular song and most comforting and joyous in a town --the hometown of Journey no less, made it even more cool and especially needed. Out of all the anguish and hell we all had experienced the mood slowly but surely got better and better.

Thank Goodness.

*Mayor Feinstein did a great job of galvanizing the community --there was little rancor if any because the city: Democrats, Republicans, he/she/it, the whole shebang needed someone for a calming presence. Feinstein set the proper tone; I know I'm going to get inundated with political blather from detractors of DiFi but at the time when we all needed cleansing and leadership, she was terrific.

I wasn't living in the city back then but you could feel the hurt and pain all the way from Oakland to San Jose. It was some kind of a couple weeks. If Feinstein were a Republican, I'd have given her credit too.


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Saturday, November 17, 2018

In Midst of Warriors' Durant-Green Dust-Up, NBC Sports Bay Area's Bob Fitzgerald and Jim Barnett Said Nada; Papa and St. Jean Too; 'Irresponsible' Says Chronicle's Jenkins; I Agree and More

Image result for Bob Fitzgerald Warriors NBC Sports Bay Area
Jim Barnett (l) and Bob Fitzgerald
IN Today's SF Chronicle, Sporting Green columnist Bruce Jenkins, noted it was "irresponsible" that NBC Sports Bay Area's Warriors' broadcasters Bob Fitzgerald and Jim Barnett made no mention of the team's Kevin Durant and Draymond Green dust up.

I would go even farther: I'd call it unprofessional and an insult to the Bay Area fans of the Warriors who don't expect such blatant cover up and masking of facts.

This is not Kansas; this is the Bay Area and the fandom here is quite intelligent and knows when they're being fed BS and blather --in this case they were provided NEITHER, nothing, not one mention. And that's a travesty. A complete farce.

Worse, during the Thursday night pregame show on NBCSBA, neither studio host, Greg Papa, nor Garry St. Jean made any mention of the Durant-Green imbroglio --fortunately, as Jenkins wrote, many people don't watch the show because they don't have time. They're not missing anything.

I HEARD through the grapevine that Papa was blistered by unforgiving e-mails and phone calls after Thursday's broadcast.

Frankly, it is inconceivable that Papa and crew didn't even acknowledge what the whole sporting world, not just the NBA arena, was going back and forth with which pretty much tells you all you need to know about boorish Papa's kid-glove treatment of the team he covers.

Image result for Greg Papa Garry St. Jean NBC Sports Warriors
Greg Papa (l), Garry St. Jean and Kelenna Azubuike
Fitzgerald is another story. He's a smarmy, overbearing, ass-kisser and he is not taken seriously around these parts; in fact, Fitzgerald is paid by the Warriors it should be pointed out but even at that, something about the on-court incident needed to be said. It was not.

That's just downright insane and an insult to the intelligence of Bay Area sports fans but am I surprised anymore? Sadly, no.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The Smoke Gets In Our Eyes

Image result for SF Bay Area in smoke Camp Fire THIS IS DRIVING ME CRAZY

*I haven't experienced anything like this before; you haven't either --I maybe moments after the '89 Loma Prietta quake that the Bay Area skies were this bad but there wasn't the acrid smoke and nausea that has plagued us for the better part of the week.

*This is serious stuff. I haven't seen any of the reporters up near the firestorm or in Chico wearing masks; did they run out of them?

*Big Game now postponed until December 1; my question: will the smoke be gone by then? Don't assume anything (excuse me, I just let out a mega-cough).

*The other day when I reported that some TV station asked women of child-bearing age to refrain from going to Paradise to cover the fire. Now some of you know what I was referring to. Many of you jumped the gun and thought it was some feminist rights issue but you were wrong.

*Holly Quan is non-stop 24/7 KCBS in Chico. Where's Jeffrey Schaub? Is he taking a sabbatical --OK, that makes sense.

*KCBS stopped running the Paradise (again, what sad irony) fire promos which is good because they haven't even had one funeral yet. I'm a proponent of common sense --I guess KCBS marketing didn't get the memo.

*This is how bad the smoke is--a KGO cameraman who normally smokes 3 packs a day of cigarettes is down to a single pack, that's not a joke.

*You know it's bad when people in China are watching us and the face masks although I hear this is a day at the beach compared to Shanghai --wow, I could only imagine.

*This terrible fire in Paradise? Puts things like fake, expensive, crappy pillows and 800JUNK ads in perspective.

I'm tired, coughed out, hungry and cash-limited, time to retreat./

Talk later.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

415 Media Thursday; KCBS Runs Promos on Paradise Fire Barely Week Before It Began; Warriors' Durant/Green Brouhaha Stirs Up Local/National Sports-Talk Radio; KPIX Dimwits Who Ran Stupid and Insensitive Paradise Fire Tweet Still Egg on Their Faces

Image result for 415 media logo*KCBS, which has done an extraordinary job on the whole covering the Paradise/Camp fire calamity, has sullied its coverage BIG TIME ...how so? A week after the fire first stared, days barely, KCBS began running promos of its work. Actualities of reporter/anchor, Holly Quan, on the scene were heard; Quan describing a "scene that resembles 'Armageddon'" along with the VO "KCBS covers 'Breaking News' the best." It certainly does, but this is not the disaster to begin highlighting your "team coverage."

There are still remains in the area in and around Paradise. Only a few have been IDed. There's over 135 (as of this time) people missing and at least 48 56 63 dead.. Bodies are trapped; they haven't even had a funeral yet and so, what the hell is KCBS doing, running promos from a grief-stricken area where even seasoned firefighters are in shock and have said this is "the worst I've ever seen", including Governor Brown and fed officials.

To be fair, this is not the fault of KCBS reporters; this is a marketing decision by Entercom-owned KCBS but it is a major embarrassment and sullies the work of KCBS and its anchors and reporters; someone needs to be called out and punished; and most certainly KCBS needs to STOP running these promos immediately.

Image result for Warriors Draymond Green Kevin Durant spat
Kevin Durant (l) and Draymond Green
*Nothing like a Warriors' in-house brouhaha that has stirred up sports-talk radio --for KNBR it couldn't have come at a better time with NO Warriors broadcasts, NO 49ers, No Giants, and when this happens show hosts have to talk and generally speaking, KNBR has mostly no-talent hosts.

And to the PR woman at KPIX (CBSSF) who's often ridiculed me for my "iinsensitivity" I ask her how she defends this rubbish? Common sense is out the door at 855 Battery.
*WOULD SOMEONE, PLEASE, tell the KTVU main news anchor and sports anchor to stop having quiet, private encounters lunchtime off the studios? Sloppy seconds make for a really bad situation when the wifies find out and one definitely knows what's going on.

*YES, I do write, quite a bit about a certain cloud company that pretty much KILLED one of the greatest radio stations ever; I have a passionate feeling for old, great, legacy stations that were BIGGER then just a mere radio station.


So those of you that contact me via email or comments feel free to ridicule me and lampoon my "idiocy" and want to keep droning on and on and on...tell you what? Like they say, "change the station?" You guys? Change the Internet address and if I truly bother you, then don't come here, I didn't force you. Go. Away. 


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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

During KGO Radio Tense Situation, Lee Hammer Takes Off to Hawaii Junket; Senior Staff Simmers; Rebuke of Berner Directive; Harvill MIA; Cumulus Indifference of KGO

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Lee Hammer

EARLY MONDAY, Lee Hammer had a decision to make: stave off going to Hawaii on a KNBR listener contest or remain home and work on KGO-related issues during an important period; a time to begin working earnestly on a radio station that Cumulus' own CEO, Mary Berner, deemed important enough as to forcefully call a SF meeting and demand immediate action.

Hammer chose to go to Hawaii.

Image result for mary berner cumulus Rich Lieberman meeting
Mary Berner
How damaging was this decision? I've learned through a station source that a Cumulus higher-up here was furious and considered confronting Hammer and leveling an official complaint to market manager, Doug Harvill. No official action took place partly because Hammer has over thirty years tenure at the company and the higher-up didn't want to enflame what was already a tense situation.

Tense enough that the KGO matter was causing "extreme" chaos in the studios and back offices. The few KGO staffers were caught off-guard and thought to be wondering how such an important matter like the station's literal functioning was put on hold while its new PD was on the beach in Hawaii.

To be fair, the Hawaiit trip was already planned and Hammer didn't want the KGO job. He took it because it beats working and gladly accepts more money before retirement from Cumulus. But it underscored and reinforced the notion that KGO is considered the ugly stepsister in the Bay Area radio Cumulus hierarchy; while Berner insisted that it was time to make it happen at the 50,000 watt news and talk signal, she was helpless to prevent the current situation. Which is incredible indifference among station management. Way to boost morale.

Image result for mary berner cumulus Rich Lieberman meeting
Doug Harvill
Hammer has one foot out the door; he's did his time and he's only on the job to take whatever is left for him on the table including Hawaii trips, expensive lunches in the city with sponsors, and whatever else is left. His mindset is not on KGO other then when he checks his savings account to make sure the funds have been inserted.

What a very sad situation.

In a normal company where this environment existed the logical action would be for the person in charge to do his/her job and remedy the situation; take charge; implement immediate action as to what is going on and what is being done to help the cause.

At Cumulus, this is foreign territory.

#415 Media Exclusive

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Present KGO Radio: House of AM 810 Ill Repute; 'Nobody Knows What's Going On' (Again) Does Anyone Care?

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THIS IS HOW BAD IT IS AT KGO RADIO: the albatross 810 AM station saddled with more dysfunction then a New Orleans FEMA office is running old promos of Ronn Owens in the middle of the night. No, not the "Ronn Owens Report"--the "Ronn Owens Show from 10-Noon" --only problem is Ronn isn't on anymore from 10 -Noon. Yet KGO continues to run these promos --albeit in the middle of the night when only five people are listening, including a local media blogger. It's good entertainment for a few moments then you realize how pathetic that can be. KGO doesn't care anymore and why should they? Because KGO has turned into the House of Radio Ill Repute. The Temple of Dysfunctionality. The place that Jack Swanson barely lasted a month to fix up the old joint only to quit suddenly when it became apparent Cumulus had little money for the one-heralded news-talk station.

This is quite telling. Maybe an omen. Even the most hardened KGO people still working at the place have NO IDEA what is going on. None.

"I haven't heard a thing," says someone who should know, a seasoned worker who has been there long enough to at least gauge the crickets but even this person doesn't have a clue.

"They (mgt.) don't tell us anything", said the person who didn't want me to name them out of fear of reprisal only since no one knows who's actually running the radio station that might be for naught.

KGO is in free fall, (again) with no apparent leader; no director; no PD in reality but yes, on paper, Lee Hammer, who seems to have taken the position with about as much enthusiasm as eating a peanut-butter sandwich with nonfat milk. Hammer used to care about such things involving the Cloud Company only that probably existed for its sports station here (KNBR).

KGO now is a sea of the unknown. Its ratings actually picked up a bit last month but that was only the so-called beauty contest numbers and not what advertisers look at to buy time. Maybe they too have been caught up in the latest Theatre of the Absurd at K-GO, who the heck knows anymore.

When Swanson took the job there was some hope and anticipation albeit with a grain of salt because, you know, Cumulus is weathered on failure and a tenacity at screwing things up even when there's nothing to screw up anymore; in the case of KGO, with Swanson on board some hoped he could revitalize the shop and with some cash, make it (KGO) at least half-listenable and rescued from the abyss. Fat chance. Swanson lasted a month and decided to quit and opt for Stinson Beach.

Right now, no one knows what's the end game. A new year is six weeks away when earlier this month word was that a new, Jan. '19 rollout was being drawn up by Swanson --that seems to be in the toilet now and mysteries abound. Just what is the plan, boys and girls? I'd love to tell you all but like I said, nobody knows. More precisely, nobody seems to care.

Haven't we been here before?

Never mind.