Sunday, February 26, 2017

D Day at KNBR; Kolsky and Hughes Get Heave-Ho at KNBR; Wittmayer/Cumulus Cut Cut; Inside Story from 415 Media

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Matt Kolsky speaking at Sag-Aftra rally last year

ALTHOUGH he made it clear he didn't think his pro-union speech at a Sag-Aftra -KNBR rally last year, was keynote in his firing, it certainly didn't help matters. In addition, Matt Kolsky's  colleague, Joe Hughes, also involved in a pro-union video was also fired by KNBR late Friday.

Ryan Covay, an evening talk host and producer at KNBR with less tenure and vocal union talk, was not terminated.

Coincidence? Perhaps, you be the judge.

Friday was a telling day at KNBR. Cumulus' cash cow sports station --one of the few successful stations it runs in SF, was its usual self, only management was about to slash and dash two daytime hosts and put an end altogether to sports updates, which were nothing more than more commercials.

The first host to get the heave-ho was Joe Hughes which caught many staffers off guard, including Gary Radnich and Larry Krueger; Hughes was their own update guy and took part in their morning show. Beyond that, Hughes's dad was friends with station Opps Mgr, Lee Hammer and his job seemed safe. Only, Hammer wasn't directly involved with Hughes's ouster. Cumulus' SF VP and Market manager, Justin Wittmayer, 86ed both Hughes and Kolsky.

Related imageThe firings weren't that shocking and their unlucky recipients didn't involve anybody even remotely "special" at KNBR but they did surprise staff inside the building and almost immediately, rumors hit that more layoffs perhaps involving even "star" personnel were on the horizon.

KNBR is still rocking and rolling for the most part in its key demographic constituency: adult males between 18 and 49 who love sports, beer, and boobs. In addition, its own cash cow, the SF Giants baseball games were just around the corner and that's where KNBR makes the bulk of its money.

Yet, the dual canning exposed the non-harmonious atmosphere inside the studios where the hungry, ambitious "little people"; those producers, occasional hosts and go-to guys who do all the heavy lifting and coordinate a lot of the station's weaponry; a station that took in over $20 million in revenue the past few years, weren't immune from being axed by the notorious cloud company from Atlanta.

Welcome to the real world.

It's not a pretty picture at the Cloud Company SF Cluster.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

KNBR Fires Union Organizer/Anchor Kolsky; Also Eliminates Sports Updates; UPDATE: Joe Hughes Also 86ed

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Matt Kolsky

 KNBR is doing away with its idiotic and insipid "sports updates" --in doing so, they also let go with midday anchor/updater Matt Kolsky. It might be noted that Kolsky was the lead initiator of a union movement at KNBR that has apparently reached a stalemate. (Some cockeyed "agreement" was supposedly ironed out last October)-- Nobody is budging --but Cumulus management has the edge--don't they always?

The firing of Kolsky --again, he was an outspoken union advocate, leaves the door wide open for possible charges of Cumulus retaliation against a union organizer although Kolsky was staying away from that subject on his Facebook page.

We might be looking at something more sinister in a later date.

The canning of the updates is no sad development as all they were, in essence, was KNBR selling another commercial (disguised as an update)--they do that very well but even the advertisers were hip and understood that "updates" of sports scores and news that happened 24 hours earlier were a crock.

It's not known if all updates throughout the day will be shelved but I'm betting they're a goner. And good riddance too.

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"Broadway" Joe Hughes
UPDATE 12: 22 PM PT: Also let go was morning tonsil, Joe Hughes. Looks like the scissors are in action.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Could You Imagine a Sports-Less Bay Area TV News Station? Thursday Tease

Image result for anti sports  Could you fathom a Bay Area TV News station that doesn't have a sports report? Of course you can because it's nothing so shocking anymore; in fact many stations are axing sports segments only to broadcast a sports report if there were something big, like a Super Bowl win or World Series victory --you get the gist.

Sports reports have become wasted time in these parts and around the country --there's simply too many alternatives and outlets. You can thank ESPN and others for that.

Mr. Radnich has said for years that local sports news often need spicing up (one thing I do agree with him on) and that's for stations that continue to offer sports during the various newscasts at night.

Remember the time when KTVU cut its sports news for a mere one minute not so long ago? That might be a highlight soon. KTVU is now owned by Fox so their emphasis on sports will remain the same being that they have NFL rights, including the 49ers NFL placement.

Other stations? Think again.

We'll get into this in more detail at a later time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sal Castaneda Might Be in Position to Cash In at KTVU

Image result for sal castaneda wedding   SAL CASTANEDA is too modest (quietly) a man to acknowledge he's the MOST POPULAR personality at KTVU (Fox2) but we might soon find out if management agrees ...The well-liked Channel 2 Morning Traffic anchor and co-host of "The Nine" has a contract coming up and is well-positioned to become the HIGHEST PAID talent at KTVU.

Castaneda has been at KTVU in various positions for almost two decades. He grew from doing local radio traffic hits, landed the 2 gig and became instantly ingrained into KTVU's repertoire with an insatiably likeable personality among viewers and management alike. His give and take persona and simple-man disposition is a rarity in the business, so much so that Castaneda can handle traffic, reporting on the street and anchoring news as easily as a reporting a fender bender on 880 during a rainy day.

His always-smiling demeanor and upbeat 'tude resonates with viewers too, especially women. I've never heard anything negative about Sal nor has anyone said a bad word about the Bay Area native. That's a rarity in today's cutthroat TV News biz.

Castaneda makes roughly $400,000 (with ratings incentives) --I would expect he get a decent raise and sign long term at KTVU, a move which makes sense and keep Sal at Jack London Square for years to come: try 3 years (with a 4th KTVU/Fox option) at roughly $500,000. That's a lot of money in today's biz but Castaneda has earned it; furthermore, FOX has its local, homegrown talent in check. Makes too much sense.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bristow KCBS Stature Has Some Rank and File Peeved


KCBS appears some of the veteran staffers at the station are peeved at his growing stature.

Image result for jon bristow kcbsMore to the point, it appears two things are certain:

1. Jealousy exists at the all-news 740 AM and 106.9 FM outlet exists.

2. In bringing back a solid anchor, station bigwig and former KGO chief, Jack Swanson (where Bristow spent over two decades) appears to have his first challenge at hand: how to keep the natives happy and not show favoritism.

Only Swanson has and who could blame him.

We'll monitor the situation.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Let's Have a Quick 415 Media Talk on this Presidents Day

Image result for A few things off my chest   Jon Bristow, late of KGO, has been subbing and anchoring pretty much every time slot on KCBS. Early morning, mid-morning, late night, weekends, weekdays, I'm beginning to think it should be KCBristowS.

Bristow seems to be on the verge of being a fulltime staffer. Duh!

*The pratfalls of AM Radio: This Monday Morning on KCBS during the Phil Matier spot at 7: 50 --just as Matier was making a salient point about the feds withholding govt. money from high speed rail, anchor Susan Leigh Taylor warned Matier, "we only have 30 seconds left" --why, to get to another useless traffic report? (There was really no traffic, little accidents on this holiday, even Kim Wonderly said so countless times) --just one time I'd love to kick the format so someone like Matier can finish his report and embellish. It's healthy for the listeners too. Interesting radio, what a concept.

*Presidential historian and astute political analyst, John Rothmann, will guest on Ronn Owens KGO show today from 10-11 AM --it's "Presidents Day", what a coincidence.

*Underrated weather guy: KGO-TV's Drew Tuma. Smooth delivery, compact and straight to the forecast which is the way it should be --not too much to ask for. And better yet, Tuma gets it right most of the time.

*The Ken Wayne beard experiment is just a winter deal. Expect the beard to gone any day now. Wayne is KTVU's ace in the place.

*If I ever hear radio/TV media tonsils say "we really need the rain" if there's two weeks of sunshine I will throw a stone at my 7 dollar flip phone. (I really have an IPhone 6 but who's asking)

*"Drought" about as useful a word now as "millennial." Both are irrelevant.

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