Tuesday, June 28, 2016

415 Media Exclu: Alan Wang Settles with KGO-TV Over 'Liked Tweet' Firing

Alan Wang has reached a settlement with KGO-TV...415 Media has learned exclusively, through a source close to Wang's legal team, which includes Angela Alioto.

Terms of the settlement are not known ...Wang was unceremoniously booted by KGO last March over "liking a tweet" KGO deemed insubordinate.

I would bet Wang is smiling right now, just a hunch, call me crazy.

New AM Talk Radio Station for SF: Former 860 AM KTRB Debuts July 4th 'AM 860 The Answer'; Salem Broadcasting

 SALEM BROADCASTING takes over San Francisco --former KTRB becomes " AM 860 The Answer"...beginning Monday July 4...

Seems all out-of-town, syndicated talk format--NO locals for now but that may change.


KCBS Needs a Deep Cleaning; Old 24-7 All News Is Stale; Bunger and Leigh Taylor Boring; PM Drivers Too; Michael Finney Talks To You and that's Good; Roberta Gonzales Gets 'Worser'; New Obnoxious Worst Radio Ad; Plus 415 Media Nuggets

Stan Bunger and Susan Leigh Taylor/KCBS  Morning Anchors
 As a stalwart radio presence here in the Bay Area, KCBS is about as consistent as they come; a 24/7 all-news conduit that relies heavily on traffic and weather; breaking news stories; a round-the-clock AM CBS station that has been around seemingly forever.

That said, KCBS is noticeably   slipping and badly so. There are cracks in the wall despite steady ratings.

Especially in the morning. Whew! What the hell has happened here?

Longtime anchors Stan Bunger and Susan Leigh Taylor seem to be in a comfort zone that has them resting on their laurels. The result is that the Morning News Drive Time during the week sounds frankly boring and stagnated. Seems to have flatlined at the worst possible time. Part of this has to do Bunger's complete control-freak play and his awful morning duets with suddenly insufferable weather woman, Roberta Gonzales. At 7: 20 AM, it's become the 740 AM freak show with Roberta's golly-gee act and Stan's aiding and abetting. It sounds terrible and that's the problem.

Leigh Taylor is another major irritant. Her whiny, holier-than-thou missives have become tiresome; her frequent "as I was driving in from Pacifica there was sprinkles on my window' are tedious and trying --if it's once and awhile fine but Taylor says it like she's getting paid each time. If I were her, I'd can it; listeners know a fraud when they hear one.

Moreover, Taylor's interviewing style is irksome at best; do we have to hear her repeatedly open the bottom of the hour interview with, "Good Morning, such and such...thanks for joining us"... and then an awkward pause. It sounds awful. And apparently no one has told Taylor about it. Except me, now.

Another major irritant involves KCBS' incessant story replay; apologists say this rampant repeat of stories is just "part of the business and required. People are tuning in and out and getting out of their car." Really? That can't defend the literally dozens of times a listener hears the SAME story ...again, and again...and again...and again. It's lazy, it's pathetic and ridiculous. And it doesn't have to happen. Grow up, KCBS.

In the afternoon, I've never liked Jeff Bell, who seems to talk down to people day after day. What's with that? Is Bell better than the rest of us? It sounds like he thinks so. Co-anchor Patti Reising doesn't help matters either with her on-air persona and frequent lecturing. Maybe she thinks she's at the opera.

For a station that's as big and worthy as KCBS, you would think they could possess more detailed reporters but surprisingly they are low on the totem pole here. Doug Sovern is a qualified political reporter; Jeffrey Schaub is just above-average; Dave Padilla is a disaster though; a radio Hindenburg. (Rise and Shine?) Really Dave? Come on.

KCBS needs a deep cleansing --it still does what it does best: a place to go on breaking news stories and a cavalcade of sports and weather at 15 after and "on the 8's". But it all sounds stale like leftover Chinese food from a week. It can be tolerated to a bit but you still have to nuke it in the microwave.

And the recent practice of hiring KGO Radio retreads doesn't help matters; Dear Jack Swanson: you're an industry giant. Is it really necessary to fetch old sandwiches from the KGO refrigerator? There has to be better options out there on the open market.


*More Michael Finney: the KGO-TV veteran Consumer Reporter TALKS TO YOU. He doesn't insult you with stupid and gimmicky double talk. It's REFRESHING and AUTHENTIC to the viewer. Yes, some people find that pleasing to the eye and ear.

*I didn't know Mike Sugerman was Jesus Christ around here. Mike's a decent reporter --wish him well in NY and congrats on his new Grandpa status but he's average at best; The "About-The-Bay" reports became tedious and predictable. I'm supposed to be a believer? No. And please spare me with the "he's a genius" comments. Mike is good. Not great. There's a big difference. He's no Bob Melrose. But he's better than Don Ford and Da Lin.

*Yeah, hard fact: CBS doesn't like to pay its talent big money when they near 60. Remember Walter Cronkite?

*Those KNBR producers, call-screeners, and on-air guys who pleaded on YouTube about getting a livable wage? Well, turns out their pleas were about as genuine as ordering fish at House of Prime Rib. When push came to shove they acted like complete cowards --their cry for help was IGNORED by management and their influential on-air stiffs didn't do a thing. Not that they could but the fact remains: people on KNBR like Radnich and Krueger; "Murph and Mac"; Tom Tolbert are ANTI-UNION. They only care about themselves and to hell with the staff who get paid roughly 12 bucks and hour. Radnich is particularly putrid: he frequently orders one of the young bucks to fetch orange sodas from the vending machine and move his car. What an ass!

*Ron Cervi, KCBS Traffic: I'll listen to his report.

*More Roberta Gonzales: she thinks everyone wants to hear every personal story no matter what; Roberta, it's getting worser by the day! Please, put a pipe on it.

*E-mail: "Rich, did we really have to know about your personal life?" No, but it beats scribbling that KGO Radio is shits --and people really do want to read it. Maybe that's scary but at least it's honest.

*By the way, I like writing about life issues and things that affect us all. You might be in denial if you don't gather the fact that there's a lot of people out there who are depressed. Look up "clinical depression" and read about it. Welcome to the real world.

*I thought "Kars-4-Kids" was the worst radio spot but that asshole guy with the "SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY, Granger Granger Granger" is the clubhouse leader.

*Further angst probably affecting the KCBS workers: the likely sale, next year, of CBS Radio, which will pretty much break apart the family.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Sugerman Retirement was Hastened by Money; CBS Doesn't Like Paying Top Dollar To Reporters in Twilight of Career; Monday Open

 CBS-SF TV and Radio reporter, Mike Sugerman told his fans that he was retiring from the company after 37 years and headed to NY.

"I'm going away," Sugerman said on Facebook.

I didn't buy it. Sugerman's reason, that is.

Still don't.

The fact of the matter was that Sugerman's move was hastened by CBS, like a lot of media companies, doesn't like paying top dollar to those people in the twilight of their career. It's unfortunate, sometimes, but it's true.

Any doubt? Ask these people.

I knew that but in Sugerman's case, I was tipped off by a source, who told me it was "100 percent' certain" that the CBS honchoes were not about to offer a new contract to the veteran SF reporter. And even if they did, it would contain a significant financial cutback.

So, yes, while Sugerman publically is "retiring" he's really reacting to CBS' missive.

CORRECTION: In that same piece on Friday, I speculated that Sugerman didn't inform his wife, KCBS anchor, Janice Wright, about his decision --I was wrong. In fact, Wright is headed back east with Sugerman.

But that doesn't change the dynamics. The Sugerman move was accelerated by money and time. Those are the issues I laid out Friday.  Might be tough for Mike's amen corner and the trades, but it's the truth.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

'Jesus, Send It To The SF Chronicle!"

Even back in 1976 they were making fun of the SF Chronicle.


Dinner with a Good Friend and some Insecurities Too; Sunday Short Story

  SYDNIE was late at the bar Saturday night; we were going to have dinner and some drinks --a brief respite from the real world which pretty much sucks right now.

We met --get this--on-line, Craigslist; (OMG!) she responded to an ad I wrote. Lucky for me she seemed quite reasonable and genuine --even though she works in advertising.

When we first met about a month ago, I told her I was suspicious. "Why are you suspicious? "she asked. "Well, for one, you're hanging out with me." She laughed but I was serious. "What's the big deal? ," she repeatedly inquired. No time for games.

I was up front. I'm in a stage of my life --personally and professionally--that I couldn't imagine be possible. Here I was, in clinical depression, drinking, commiserating, feeling quite a bit down and out in fact, why the hell would anyone want to hang out with me, it was all encompassing.

She was in a funk herself; a really rotten divorce, single mother from Maine, chock full of quite a bit of tragedy and mayhem --what a perfect combo. But unlike me, she wore it well. She seemed quite capable of compartmentalizing all her issues while I just toiled away. She's quite a decent friend --and that's just it, we're friends. She really doesn't date now and I'm sort of her wing mate--her term. And I'm fine with that because I have about 7 million things going on in my life right now, so friendship is good. In fact, friendship is quite convenient and safe.

I told what I do. She laughed. Again, keep in mind she's from Maine; her mother is from Boston --she works in advertising and she's sipping drinks with me; added bonus: she insisted on buying so I'm rolling with it.

Sydnie is cool, real authentic and non-pretentious. I still don't trust her, my own insecurity --not that I haven't given up looking for a woman who would have a serious relationship with me, just that I'm having difficulty in this chapter of my life finding someone I can trust. Sydnie, and I told her this, can "have" any man she pleases but she's taken (she says) by my insecurity. Huh? "It's an 'East-Coast thing,'" she tells me. I kind of get it now but I'm having reservations --I understand women have a far more 'bigger picture' thing that most men can't grasp --like me, for instance, but she swears. OK, but me?

We haven't been intimate and it's not a prerequisite in case you're wondering. She's going through a lot now, one being a single mother and dealing with a real nasty divorce. Maybe she needs someone like me in her life so I'm beginning to take it all in. Plus, I also think the idea of her not having to worry about me and my personal libations is pleasing--to both of us.

Why do I bring all this up? What in the hell does my personal life have to do with writing about media? I bring it up because some of you, I've developed quite a bond; you've come into my life --some of you, former enemies, foes, friends and non-friends alike, and have helped me overcome--both directly and indirectly, the serious and not-so-serious issues that currently make just waking up and getting out of bed a real good day.

I thank you for that because every day is a new day and a challenge. Again, thank you, and thank you, Sydnie, for being a good friend.

Have a nice day and take care.

Saturday, June 25, 2016