Monday, December 11, 2017

At KGO-TV, 'Just What The Hell is the Big Blue Box?' A Little Hint For Now

Related image   IT'S NOT SOME JOKE. Far from it. It's BIGGER than you think and holds all the cards, this "Big Blue Box."

Think of it not so literally but more figuratively, that's when you'll get the gist that they aren't screwing around and they mean business.

A cynic in the 900 Front KGO newsroom asked me, "Hey, Rich, 'so what the hell is this 'Big Blue Box' thing?" "Are you playing with us?"

Are you kidding? You think I'm going to come clean right away when the goddamn NY suits don't even know what the hell it is? And give away my cards? Heck no. For now I'll just tell you guys that once you get the drift you'll thank me faster than a Mario Batali flirt.

I will say this: This is serious business; as I've told numerous Circle7 suits and skirts stay the hell away from the Big Blue Box and if you see it (well, again, this is more figurative than literal) run like hell to the urinal and thank me later with a tuna melt from Grumpy's. Until now, go back to work. By all means, do your job. Don't be alarmed and just stay FOCUSED. And AGAIN, stay away from the Big Blue Box and one day soon, presto, it'll all make sense. Trust me.

Dammit, just trust me.

KGO-TV Code 'The Blue Box'

Image result for Blue Box

KGO-TV staffers:


If you see it, just be professional. Don't waver. Don't look suspicious. Let it just move forward and carried innocuously by some intern or manager. It's fairly coded and intricate so much so that I can't explain all the particulars now just suffice to say, be wary of "THE BLUE BOX"--it is not something you want to mess with; believe me. One day soon if I have to, I will explain. Unless you already know and if you do, then you're better than me and that's saying a lot.

Now get back to work and be wary of "The Blue Box."

A Few November Sweeps Notes

Image result for Local tv news sweeps 2017 November Sweeps are in and the big winner? 

 In key demographics its KTVU (Fox 2). Why? Indirectly, its linked to the "cult" following of Sal Castaneda and Steve Paulson. To KTVU's credit, these two morning yentas have been left alone to slow cook a "loyal" following from Walnut Creek to Willets for more than a decade. The "experts" will tell you the  AM channel on the remote is typically  the PM channel. 

But KTVU newsroom storm clouds are brewing. Sal the Diva with a control freak GM. Stay tuned.

The big loser? Hands down its KNTV (NBC Bay Area).  Flashy promos, roulette anchor changes, and a bloated We Investigate cast and crew that's generated bumpkis. KNTV spends more than a gazillion bucks on this endeavor yet hovers in the basement. Introducing a new AM anchor in November? Sophomoric management. 

Even deep pockets Comcast will eventually dump We Investigate gotcha journalism. Yes, it worked for Mike Wallace and Geraldo when I was spinning disco records on K-101.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ray Woodson Leaves 'The Game' --95.7 FM Sports Talker Departs 'This Time Its My Decision'; 415 Media Exclusive

Image result for Ray Woodson The Game  Ray Woodson, the sports-talk radio veteran who spent the bulk of his Bay Area career at KNBR and most recently, 95. 7 FM "The Game" decided to bail out, suddenly and swiftly --with little notice.

"This time its my decision."

Just like that

Those of you that have lived a little know that radio has changed and that what little creative energy is left is expensive ...and many broadcast companies are either unable, or more likely, unwilling to pay the freight.

Therefore, you then have stagnant radio and talent-impaired talent.

I asked Woodson directly why he decided to leave the radio biz and his response was both expansive and telling:

Via text:

"It was a combination of factors, Rich. Family and professional. As you know the business has changed quite a bit. To me sports talk radio is an art, not a science but that’s not how this business is “trending.” Also, after what happened this year, I decided I want to be my own boss from now on. I figured after 40 years in broadcasting I’ve earned that. I will do podcasts, for one thing. Pretty soon I’ll write a book—maybe it won’t be of interest to the general public, but for my kids and grand kids. Everyone at The Game was great, by the way. This was just a personal and family decision about how I need to focus my energy at this point in my life, plus I am going to need recovery time from an upcoming surgery. Just as a postscript — I got REALLY tired of commuting into SF. One year, when I was working in Monterey and SF, I put 55K
miles on my truck. Between driving and BART, and the overcrowded conditions — as Sinatra once said —  “that’s enough.”

Which is a crying shame. Woodson was one of the few original sports-talk radio hosts who could spin a good tale or two and he was both informative, funny, and easy to listen to.

He didn't have to resort to cheap and disingenuous sound drops and bits that is a common nuisance in today's mostly banal, innocuous, talk-show code where there exists a whole lot of noise and very little substance not to mention extremely boring sports radio that neither enlightens nor entertains.

Woodson was one of the few KNBR hosts that I looked forward to listening to and was bummed when Cumulus gave him the boot. Why?

Because he was deemed too expensive by today's radio morsels and excavated out to pasture. He soon landed at "The Game" but was mostly doing fill-in. It's a shame someone of Woodson's talent won't be a part of the Bay Area radio landscape, but as he quoted Sinatra, "that's enough."

On his terms, that's good enough for Ray Woodson, which is good enough for me.
Image result for Decline of sports-talk radio


A Holiday Messsage To The Readers

Image result for holiday donations
Dear Boys & Girls,

Holiday Greetings!

For more than 15-years its been my pleasure to bring you one of the most unique products in Bay Area Broadcast News. A locally produced outlet for station news and opinions. It is quite honestly, a modern day water cooler, is 415 Media. There's nothing else quite like it on the West Coast. Thousands of you read and comment every month.  We offer this service, FREE OF CHARGE

Some of you have graciously donated. Many times over and have subscribed--I THANK YOU for your support as always.

Make no mistake. The Fox's, Comcast's, Cumulus' and Disney's of this world want me out. They want YOU, the employees kept in the dark. Put on blinders. March to the Corporate drum beat of 54-camera buildings. 

Please, please do not let this happen.

I need you to make your Holiday Donation to 415 Media TODAY.  Any and all donations will be thankfully accepted. Will I be here in 2018? I don't know its up to YOU. 

If we survive, thank you. If we don't, its been an honor to highlight one of the country's most talented media markets.

To Donate, simply click on the Pay Pal Icon on the right side of the blog and follow the instructions. It's real easy; any amount helps. Your contribution is 100% confidential and you don't have to have a Pay Pal account to donate. I will PERSONALLY call you/e-mail you thanking you for your support and donation.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

KTVU's Rob Roth Excellent Piece on Ghost Ship Victim is Poignant and Powerful (Video)

 Image result for rob roth ktvu  So how's a nice Jewish boy with New York roots surviving in the Gregg Kelley 54 camera world of KTVU? Very well thank you.

Senior Reporter, Rob Roth's remarkable package on the Ghost Ship fire victim, Michela Gregory, last week was so "on message" it was a re-run again the next morning in its entirety.

It conjured up the good ole days when the "10 o'clock News" was the preeminent site for the 2:00 to 2:35 non live package.

Roth took the time and effort to cut a stand-up bridge instead of sending a photographer to spray the area. You have to wonder how Roth has survived when most seasoned reporters in the Bay Area are walking bully-eyes for the HR department to save on payroll.

Now we know why. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

This, That, and the Other

Related image YEAH, some kind of "promotion"; Billy Burton was making over $300K as GM at KGO; he's headed to an unknown ABC exec gig and for his labors, will be paid slightly less than that plus he's leaving the Bay Area. His wife is such a big shot I guess she had to land him a gig away from her (reasonable) but less pay? Some promotion.

*A KGO hack who frequently sends anonymous insults (brave of him) lauded Circle7 for its great Sweeps results; in fact, it was KTVU that killed and won big time in virtually all news time slots and digital platforms (except the early evening) Not that's great news except for the staff at KTVU who should be putting on a happy face but are morose and timid over the awful working conditions run by an egotistical GM asshole who loves people to quiver and a HR Boss who has all the warmth of a pre 2017 female intern for Harvey Weinstein.

*Billy Burton did NOT want to leave KGO but was forced to (albeit, yes, wifey took care of him) but before leaving for that promotion, his real estate agent was having lunch with him at Original Joe's the week before; why? Because Burton was looking at a condo in the Marina --yeah, he's just ecstatic to be leaving 900 Front. Apparently, some longtime KGOers fell for the spin. Not me.

*Hey, imagine this: Everyone in the world, every profession has adults that cheat on their spouse; it's a fact of life. Maybe it's bad but it's happened and will continue to happen. Every profession. Even top notch anchors locally too are not immune and that doesn't make them bad people. Just keeping up with the joneses.

*KTVU: run a few more promos, haven't see one for at least 5 minutes.

*KPIX would rather really butcher its reputation and not admit a huge mistake because they insist on trying at any and all cost to legitimize the joke known as Melissa Caen. The so-called political reporter with embarrassing blunders and no on-screen presence looks great on TV; too bad she doesn't know what the hell she's talking about. That Sunday morning show with her and Willie Brown looked like a Saturday Night Live sketch.

*Kenny Choi: all the charisma of week-old kale at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market.

*Tracey Watkowski: not a gamer babe but knows how to play the game. I guess.

*Chris Nohr: No Facebook picture; no LinkedIn picture; no Twitter or Instagram picture: yep, just the kind of HR boss that Fox loves.

*Larry Beil: if he and Brian Hackney get together it would be so stiff they have to call in the fire department and perform a Heimlich maneuver.

*Remember KGO-TV people: 2 words: "Blue Box."

*Kelley was a wrestler in college: figures.

*Two of the most powerful people at ABC7: Dan Ashley and Michael Finney. Trust me.

*Dec. 1, 2011: the first and deadliest KGO Radio purge, courtesy Cumulus, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy ; at the time, KGO Radio was down but still billing roughly $30 Million a year. Now, they barely break even and the Cloud Company was just de-listed off the Nasdaq -- Remember, this is the outfit that Ronnnnnnnnnnn Owens said "I'm excited; this is going to be a great radio company and it's going to be awesome for KGO!" Ronn's been smoking a lot of kale lately.

*New Year's Eve item: Brian Copeland and Chip Franlkin sharing the stage for a NYE gig in that showbiz mecca, San Leandro! Yeah, I guess El Cerrito was booked.

*Joke making the rounds: KNBR after 7 PM: Radio Romper Room. Only Romper Room had better actors.

*Bob Fitzgerald: pretty damn decent on TV; pretty damn AWFUL on radio.

*Kevin Frandsen: slightly more entertaining than the country version of 800-Kars-for-Kids 

*Mike Anthony: working on Ethan Bearman's "15 ways to spice up Tofu" as the World comes to an end.