Monday, November 11, 2019

KGO-TV's Mr. Obnoxious: Larry Beil: The Ego Has Landed; Cheryl Jennings Needs To Lighten Up; Cool Don Sanchez; Cheryl Hurd of NBC Bay Area: Fantastic Look and Tremendous TV Journalist: 'Heeeeey!'

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Larry Beil 


*Larry Beil seems to think he's a god. My ABC7 contact, (KGO) tells me the obnoxious Beil is on one of those patented putz affronts; the Circle7 schmuck has told his amen corner to "stay way from me when I'm working!" --can you imagine that? Beil is also fond of telling total strangers that he was a big guy at ESPN once! Yeah, that lovely outpost in gorgeous Bristol, Connect. where the birds fly and many men have sideburns and coffee is the beverage of choice. Pass the Miller Lite too. I'm beginning to think Beil thinks his crap doesn't stink either. Do you detest bullies? I do too.

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Don Sanchez
*Then there's the opposite of egomaniac Beil: the still-enduring ABC7/KGO-retired, Don Sanchez; I saw Mr. Sanchez recently and still looks great and has the most gracious personality in town. I told Don he's the "Dick Clark of the Bay Area"--the region's oldest personality --Sanchez is enjoying his retired life in Marin and yes, the "Ladies Man" still makes appearances at the Top of the Mark. Ba Da Bing!

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Cheryl Jennings
*I was always a Cheryl Jennings fan (she's left the ABC building on 900 Front) until I got a piece of her fake persona; she's Miss Mary Ann on screen; Nurse Ratched off the air. People tell me Jennings has become "sort of a bitch" because, I guess, she feels entitled. Yo, Cheryl, it's not always about you. Having once dated Dianne Sawyer, I know the pitfalls of celebrity. You are NO Sawyer. Not even close. Lighten up and have a double martini on me at Tadich.

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The beautiful and talented Cheryl Hurd of NBC Bay Area: "heeeeey!"
*I CONTINUE to marvel at the work of NBC Bay Area's distinguished, Cheryl Hurd. Hurd is becoming so versatile, CNN has begun to use her reports on both their domestic and international platforms. She is fundamentally gifted and astounding awesome in her General Assignment reporting around the Bay Area. The former PIX veteran has a legion of fans in the region and makes for appointment watching. Hurd can handle the live shot too and with utter ease.  I'm never surprised when I hear the networks have made multiple offers to get her to NY but she loves the Bay Area. We're damn fortunate to watch her great journalism technique on a nightly basis: to Cheryl? "Heeeeeeeey!"

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Circle 7 Opens --Sunday Night 415 Media Video Finale

Some vintage KGO-TV openings; Circle7 galore for you aficionados.

#415 Media Sunday Video

'News Scene'; KGO's Distinct 70's Newscast Still Resonates Today

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Peter Giddings (top left) and Jerry Jensen (above right) Van Amburg bottom right and John Reilly

THE 70's WERE MY NIRVANA. And growing up in the Bay Area, I was struck --and still am--by its unique media perspective. The local TV news scene was highlighted by Channel 7's vintage newscasts. They were always entertaining, the news presentation, that is. One of a kind, personality galore, a strong identity. The birth of Happy Talk. Appointment TV. Local news and information with a dramatic flair.

I miss those days. Seems we have no personality today. Benign anchors for the most part. Uninspiring, unappealing. Bland tapestries rule the local airwaves. It beckons memories and periods past.

I've marveled at the late Van Amburg who had a definitive style; nobody here comes close. Jerry Jensen was a one-of-a-kind second banana to Amburg's reign. His signature rap-up, human interest story was always cheery and corn, but corny in a good way. A 70's blueprint for the late Pete Wilson's "circular file" but it couldn't match Jensen's cheeky 70's regalia.

Peter Giddings absurd weather presentation was perfect for the times. Weather maps. Analog. Black magic markers and pointers. Pete's "letter from home" and the "little people's fishing program"--Giddings would take under-privileged kids out on the bay to fish. It was sort of poignant and interesting too. Another favorite of mine: the sight of Pete skiing down a Tahoe mountain during the Friday ski reports. Giddings had a lot of power and stature in those days: he was the highest-paid weather anchor in the Bay Area (roughly $300K yearly) and was known to have a huge ego. Big deal, don't some of us all?

Then there was John O'Reilly, sports guy. Unique, funny. Sort of complicated too. But a perfect different personality to Amburg and Jensen's shtick. The "Core Four"? The "Fab Four?" I had a fondness to their local originality and Happy Talk Essence. They made watching the news, SF Style, memorable and clearly, a sight to be seen.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

KCBS Audio Hell Saturday Morning; Lots and Lots of Dead Air and Glitches; Schaub Strikes Out; Mistakes Heard; Who's in Charge? Saturday 'Oh Shit!'

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Oh Shit!

IT WAS Belly -Laugh Central on KCBS this Saturday morning (today) from 6-7 AM and one that will no doubt make News Director, Jennifer Seelig, steaming!, come Monday morning, I'm sure.

Electronic missteps galore on all-news 740 AM with an assist from ill-prepared, fill-in and substitute anchor,  Jeffrey Schaub, who failed miserably to handle mucho audio hell and embarrassing stretches of DEAD air and mistaken off-mike incidents including an un-intentioned CBS audio feed that made KCBS's air.

It could have been the most embarrassing hour in KCBS history.

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Jeffrey Schaub
The mayhem began in earnest little after 6 when there was complete dead air for a good twenty seconds; OK, no big deal, things happen, but that was the start of audio hell. A sports report from Bruce MacGowan was interrupted by a commercial which muted out MacGowan's report. It was sort of bizarre, but funny. Turns out, we (audience) were just getting started. After the sports report, more dead air. Only five seconds, OK...then Schaub went to an on-air interview with a guy talking about the economy; during the interview, the guest said improved China-US trade talks was one of many reasons why US economy was still thriving; ten seconds later, Schaub, who appeared to be out of sync, asked the guy, inexplicably, "Do you think China trade talks has helped?" --guest sounds perplexed but answers...we now move to 6: 30 for the soon-aired update from CBS News, only listeners heard a "all stations, there's a 30 secs-after report coming." OUCH! --at this point, Schaub is fuming, I would guess because he can't handle it and could be heard shuffling papers in background. More dead air, this time, at least ten seconds and the electronic hell is getting worse...close to end of hour, there's more, this time, even more traffic sounder rings out at 6: 58, there's no Schaub on-air to introduce traffic anchor, Peter Schofield, it's a good five seconds of MIA Schaub tossing to Pete, who did the traffic report amidst the obvious chaos...

Had to be one of the most historic hours in KCBS audio history, for all the wrong reasons. I wish KCBS were to archive all its hours because this one was memorable --an all-time belly-laugh for the ages and one, I'm sure, will be the talk of the newsroom at 740 AM (and 106.9 FM) and Entercom (which owns KCBS)

All I can say is, someone royally screwed up--maybe a rookie engineer or maybe Schaub himself not being able to handle the gaffes (even if it wasn't his fault) Schaub is someone who doesn't like to hear so I can only imagine what was going on in his head. He was solo and you could tell he was flustered because it all sounded uber-awkward ...but obscenely funny.

 Probably not for KCBS.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Pam Moore at KRON; Julie Haener at KTVU; Career at Crossroads

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Pam Moore 


I guess Pam Moore and Julie Haener are at a sort of crossroads in their career. One seems to be content (Moore); the other (Haener) may be looking for a new home...eventually, sooner rather then later.

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Julie Haener (right) with co-anchor Frank Somerville
Moore is a KRON (old and new) veteran; I thought (as did many) she would want out and move to another station as KRON became the independent albatross it is (even as it develops into a more prominent roll in Bay Area TV News) but looking at the situation now, Moore seems content to ride out her lengthy Bay Area stint staying put. She's apparently quite comfortable with a secure foothold at KRON because she gets, I'm told, a hands-off environment in what is still a chaotic situation at the low-budget outlet filled with numerous negatives and pathetic, (at times) news brand that fights for legitimacy. KRON cannot suddenly become a network-worthy affiliate because its corporate owner is a joke. It has a few quality reporters and anchors (Moore specifically) but it'll always have that TV version of K-TEL look and vibe. Moore knows that but she also likes her prominence and don't fuck with-me persona. They don't. They can't. Everyone is comfortable, including Moore.

*Then there's Haener at KTVU. She can still read the teleprompter. She still has a loyal legion of fans and she's been at Channel 2 since the glory days when Dennis Richmond was her co-compatriot. She works well with Frank Somerville and 10'o Clock News is still a powerhouse locally even with declining viewership but KTVU's newscast at both 10 and 11 rule the night, (11 not so royally as 10 PM but that's a progress in works) Haener has her critics; she apparently isn't the smartest bulb on the planet and she has a Princess Ice off the set) but in delivery and numbers its all code one. BUT, here's an issue down the road, one that I'm sure Haener knows and now, SO DO YOU: FOX is intent on trimming big salaries in its local news division and KTVU is on its hit list. Somerville has two yeays left on his $600K-plus salary but he's either gonna take a massive pay cut or be gone in a couple, (he'll be 61 then); Bill Martin's contract is up; he's not as massively compensated about $200K a year) as Somerville but he's probably gonna be sliced; Mark Ibanez makes $325K a year --his contract is up in '21--I'm almost certain Ibanez will calls it quits then. He's not going to get that coin --Haener is still young enough to move elsewhere, but is any other station willing to pay up? Time will tell.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Gruesome Twosome: Mark Thompson's Ego Act on KGO with Aid from Ronnnnnnnnn Owens; Morning Rant

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Mark Thompson is now certifiably unbearable on KGO Radio; unlistenable too which only makes matters worse, an acute egomaniac who loves to hear the sound of his voice rumbling and mumbling about nothing most of the time and when he does say something useful, which is rare, he's still a bore.

Thompson has repeatedly failed. But even worse, carries a HUGE chip on his shoulder and is utter arrogant too to boot. I say, Mark, why are you arrogant? You have no right to be arrogant. Your show is a total failure. You don't talk to the people, you SHOUT to the people. I have no idea how you got the gig. You ask your fellow EGOMANIAC, Ronn Owens, "what am I doing wrong?" See Mark, if you have to ask Mr. Lowenstein, you have a problem. Ronn's ship set sail long ago which is why we have a "Ronn Owens Report", which pays for free cruises and hotel rooms. There's no there, there, sorta like your show.

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Mark Thompson 
As I mentioned, Mark, you don't speak to the listeners, the few you have, you sound like you're emceeing a game show. It doesn't sound sincere. It sounds phony and detached. It may work in LA bit it doesn't have any mojo here. It's like you're trying to be some bigshot and there's no one in the audience and you have to give away tickets to some last ass circus show. Wait a minute...

And then it's worse. When the few times you make it up to the Bay Area and actually do the show live in SF and not some remote studio in the San Fernando Valley, I hear you're a complete asshole. Wait, I also heard and know that Ronn famously did his best "Blon Blowens" act to advocate your hiring. In that respect, maybe Lowenstein will take you to get a free manicure.

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Ronnnnnnnn Owens 
Mark, I know assholes real well. You used to be a tolerable lad who made funny jokes doing the weather on KRON. You transgressed into a solid egomaniac and A-grade asshole. Maybe it's the Ronnnnnn effect. Some people with knowledge of the situation will love this because I will have done the dirty work and call you out, complete with your association with Lowenstein Ronn and his equal asshole/egomaniac display. Others without knowledge will probably be angry but so what, the truth needs to be outed.

I really wanted to like your show. We need good radio in the morning when drinking shitty 7-11 coffee but truly, Mark, your show really sucks. You need to adapt; to tweak it real soon. And quit hanging with Owens who was last relevant when Bill Clinton was president.

Moreover, quit your shtick on radio. Be human. Be REAL. This isn't LA Nickelodeon. Your personality has begun to resemble Wink Martindale on steroids. It's not becoming and it sounds like shit. TALK to people Mar, or is just no one calls or there's just not enough subjects on the Drudge Report to rip off and steal. I see.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

KGO Radio Barren on Election Night Due to Cal Basketball (Yawn); Circle7 Adds New Southbay Reporter; Thurston Scores with Watergate Prosecutor; Late Wednesday News Stop

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 KGO RADIO last night--the evening of Election Day around the nation; traditionally off-year elections are not newsworthy. Even locally, SF Mayor, London Breed, was easily re-elected and there was no surprise there.

Nationally it was another story as a historically safe red state, Kentucky, voted in (probably) a Democratic candidate and Virginia's political body went all Democrat; given the facts at hand, a negative night and possible precursor for Pres. Donald Trump's political undoing. A BIG night.

And KGO was broadcasting --get this--a pre-season Cal basketball game--I think maybe 15 people were listening but I may be too high. Of course I'm joking but it sounded ridiculous --I'm quite sure John Rothmann, (KGO's political guru) was chomping at the bit and probably disgusted, but in this case, KGO had no choice.

KGO is contractually committed to broadcast Cal football and basketball. It just so happened it was an election night and basketball season begun --which more than likely ticked off a ton of listeners. Oh well.

*KGO-TV is adding a new broadcast reporter to its Southbay coverage; Julian Glover starts next week and rumor has it, a longtime Circle7 reporter is set to be gone by the end of the week.

*Pat Thurston had a terrific guest on her Wednesday show; a Watergate prosecutor, Nick Ackerman, stole the show, I'm sure, KGO will have the interview up later today, it's worth a listen.