Wednesday, December 21, 2011

KGO 810 Bizarro; Patel's On-air Weather malfunction; Mattress Man gets gooey on Facebook; Tillem/Burns rock ClearChannel; Wednesday notes

Sandhya Patel, one of the new cannibalized talents, (borrowed from KGO-TV), weather guessers, was heard on KGO Radio Tuesday night doing a taped forecast that was unintentionally one of the most funniest moments in local radio history.

Soon after night news anchor sub, John Kessler, tossed it over to her, Patel's report began with "Take...3, 2, 1..."(OMG) That's a standard countdown in the radio biz that the listener isn't supposed to hear. But indeed, it was heard. (Maybe that's one of the reasons Cumulus is advertising for a "KGO news producer" on Craigslist--they need a few).

Kessler handled it with his usual aplomb: "Sandhya's report and '1' has been brought to you by..."

  • This on-air gaffe is not the only guffaw at 900 Front. There's frequent dead air between reports. There's many awkward tosses from anchor to anchor--particularly after 7PM with badly misplaced Peter Finch. And much of the content is largely re-used patter from the morning and afternoon news.
Sounds like a train wreck. Sounds like some schmuck said, "we're gonna do a lot of news and let's do it" and threw some -hit against the wall and hoped some of it would stick. It makes for embarrassing radio. It sounds awful, not that I expected it would soon become 1010 WINS or KNX, or yeah, KCBS.

Look, it's perfectly OK to systematically destroy a big-market radio station and have a mattress man direct your mid-morning talk-show, but it would be wise to have a few producers and engineers on board, otherwise, you sound like crap, you got that, "810?"

*Speaking of the mattress man, his latest "response" on Facebook to my barrage of criticism was downright laughable and disingenuous, at best. And ever so transparent too. I'm purposefully not linking it, (you can find it on FB) because the mattress guy made a point of leveling his barbs without mentioning the source of his irritance, (clue: moi).

He thinks that by writing such thoughtful prose he's going to placate his numerous pissed-off fans, whatever there's left of them. Wrong. He only made things worse. Furthermore, his condescending "letter" smacked of the usual mass-ego driven mutt he's become. No class, plain and simple. His credibility is shot.

*Len Tillem and Gene Burns on ClearChannel should spark the local airwaves. I'd have liked to see the "Loyah" get another hour, but I expect he'll eventually get it when his show starts to mesh, which I fully expect it to do. 

Burns is more of a gamble from 4-7. While I like his professional tone and civility, not to mention his use of the English language, I don't know if he can compete in such a competitive time slot in Afternoon drive. We'll see.

*Where's John Rothmann? Stay tuned.

*I heard Chronicle metro writer, Chuck Nevius' new report on the 810 "news" Tuesday. It was plain horrific and god-awful. Nevius' forte is as a writer. He's NOT a radio guy. His voice was tantamount to listening to wallpaper. He tried in vain to be funny. He was not. The subject matter was the lights going out at Candlestick at the 49ers game Monday Night. It would have been merely bad if the segment ran a couple minutes. Nevius' piece droned on well past four minutes. If this is supposed to draw listeners, then some moron needs to get his head examined. Call emergency. Alert trauma.

*How much you wanna bet that mattress man drops "Up to Thirty?" And no, it was not a coincidence that the "R and B" joke hour was canned last Friday. (They were worried? Uh, just a little).

*Bad Times for the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat which is currently being sold to one of those mysterious companies that has a lot of employees on edge. The PD had NY Times cachet and a bevy of good writers, including sports writer/blogger, Lowell Cohn. Now, its merely potentially lost in the shuffle.

*Those of you that have found this spot on the Internet via the KGO mess, welcome aboard. We're the only site that brings you daily, (except Tuesday), 24/7 news biz coverage in the SF Bay Area. And in spite of our trolls and assorted critics, we get it right, and first, most of the time. While other sites talk about Hooter's closing in the city and the latest Bay Bridge makeover, (yawn), we give you red-meat SF Bay Area media news and muse. Chew on that, SF Weekly.

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  1. Thanks for the "latest news" Rich, the only place we can get it for sure.

    I too am concerned about Gene's drive time slot, may not be his best chance? But, I will certainly be listening.

    Ronns continued lack of respect to the listeners has gotten disgusting, hes weak, self centered, and has NO CHARECTER!

    What is your take on KAREL's show with Gene, Ray, and John? KAREL was KAREL, all about him, and very irritating as usual. The poor guy is a trainwrek going upin smoke! But it was nice to hear from the voices that are true and professional.

    Also, Im sure this blog is quite time consuming, we appreciate what you do.. Have you thought about setting up a "donation" button? Not a lot of us have extra cash, but we may be able to send a few bucks? We are getting a lot from you for free. With the cumulius typs out there we need to support independent honest voices!

    Maybe a credit card link, or a link to pay pal? Just a thought.

  2. I happened to try to listen to Gene, John and Ray on the Karel Show. It was a disaster. Who was suppose to be interviewed, Karel or the terminated talk show hosts? The problem with Karel, such a nitwit, he could only talk about himself and left very little time for the three guys. I felt embarrassed for Gene, John and Ray. Karel only likes to hear himself talk.

  3. I also tuned into the Karel thing to hear those guys, and could only stick it out for a minute or so. Unlistenable!

  4. Could not stomach that Karel show long. And the sight of him rocking from side to side didn't help--does the guy realize he's on CAMERA now?

  5. LOL your the best Rich, you rock!!

  6. Rich, can you paraphrase some of what Ronn Owens said on Facebook? I'm so out of it, I don't even have friend's with Facebook accounts, so can't access it even indirectly.


  7. Karel has an interesting podcasts in which he discusses radio with ex KGO hosts Gene Burns, John Rothman, & Ray Taliaferro. (12/19/2011)

  8. Kim Foster from 12 to 2 is probably the best at the new format...but she's still not great. (Did she just interview a soon to retire community college gardener who hasn't taken a sick day in 30 years? And did she ask him if he eats a lot of fruits and vegetables? I'm afraid she did.)

  9. I am waiting for the mattress guy to tell us what it is that you have said that is inaccurate or untrue.

  10. I've had the pleasure of hearing Gene in Boston (WRKO), New York (WOR), Philadelphia (WCAU), WCBM (Baltimore), WKIS, Orlando (on two tours Operations Director once,)WEEI and WMEX, Boston as well and at KGO, even when he was doing news in Scranton, PA at WSBA. As an aside -- Gene also owned a candy company "Burns Chocolates" in Florida (I think in Winter Haven.)

    Gene's done a lot of dayparts. He started in another daypart before nights at KGO, I believe, for two hours a day before being promoted. I want to say it was afternoons.

    Gene can do PM Drive and do it well. We're just very comfortable with him in the old daypart for now. Give him a chance. I think he'll be fine at 910. - JB

  11. I was thinking about "up to 30". I don't think Ronnn has the balls to do it.

  12. I think Gene will do great wherever he lands. Go Gene, GO!

    I also listened to Karel's show. He is mentally unstable. Everyone is sick of hearing how broke he is, when HE got fired, how behind he is on his house payments and the fact he has to smoke pot each night to sleep.

    Those hosts were there to talk given little time. The commercial breaks were wayyy too long and he talked about himself so much the poor guys barely got a word in edgewise. At one point Ray got a bit more aggressive to tell his story. He is obviously still reeling from the horrible way they were fired. I miss my Ray Time when I have trouble sleeping.

    Thanks for all you are doing. I miss the old KGO so much. I'm having trouble getting 910 on my radio so guess I need a new one. Hopefully it will pick up better.

  13. i really don't blame Ronn for staying put. i don't think he owes anyone any explanations for the KGO situation. he is an employee, not management. i don't know the details of his contract. if he owes any indemnity to Cumulus if he walks. even if no indemnity is involved, i still don't see why Ronn should walk as he owes his job and success not to his departed colleagues but to the success he built for himself thru' the years. i doubt majority of the listeners would quit a job to support their fellow colleagues or injustice in the workplace. personally i no longer listen to KGO since the firing partly to show my support but also i found much better radio on internet. i suggest CBC, BBC, RTHK, WABC just to quote a few..... so many choices, so little time.

    as to KSCO, i am extremely disappointed at them. all they have so far is a lot of thunder but not even a droplet of rain. after all the talks, they have Dr. Bill as a guest host, not sure it is long term. while at the same time, AM910 expeditiously signed up Len and Gene for prime time on a full time basis. i begin to wonder if KSCO was just doing free publicity to capture KGO audience. i like their marketing strategy but KSCO's programming quality needs significant improvement. at present, KSCO comes across as community radio.

  14. Karel could be out of a job quite soon.
    # Cardinal Rule of contracting: Never ever bite the hand that feeds you.
    # Cardinal Rule of news reception: Never get too connected w/ news readers. They are just news readers.

    Overall, KGO news format sucks. I am listening to KCBS more while listening to KNEW.


  16. I don't like Kim Foster. Her voice annoys me.

  17. Glad to hear John Kessler is getting some work. What happened to his gig at KNTV 11? I heard there was some flack about his "early" employment announcement at the station last year. Was that a deal killer?

  18. Community college students in a Radio Production 1A class do a better job than the amateurs at KGO radio. Thanks Cumulus for bringing radio to a new low.

  19. Critics are like eunichs in a whorehouse. They know how it's done, they've seen it done, they just can't do it themselves.

  20. Sandya had a on-air malfunction? I wish she had a wardrobe malfunction.

  21. Here's hoping @8:29. You nailed it correctly.
    Good post!

  22. @8:25 -- you are spot on.

    KSCO is a station on auto-pilot with no direction. It truly is a "Mom & Son" radio station with the Zwerlings. Mom has the bucks, MZ runs it and what he wants -- hence why he is on the air sounding like an inexperienced boob.

    The station dates back to the '50s and hasn't evolved. The KGO debacle was dropped in their lap and while Wattenburg was looking for a syndication deal (which he got for an hour a week at Talk Radio Network,) he got to vent for a week or so on KSCO. Then came Ray T to tell mama to "Get out of the studio!" - priceless Ray. Then Gabbert on last Saturday to say "Karel is stupid ... but entertaining."

    Yes, it was a ploy to grab more of what miniscule audience the station now has and as the KGO flack dies down ... so does the audience to move on.

    The station is poorly operated by a moron and his mamma. He stopped thinking in 1970 and anyone who brokers time for pay, runs Limbaugh as "an anchor tenant," has his mom at 90 doing right wing commentaries at 11 a.m. and then the worst of progressive radio you've ever heard know what KSCO truly is. Very few commercials, because they can afford a Mike Malloy, Thom Hartman or Stephanie Miller, let alone Randi Rhodes and others.

    This is what we call "a trainwreck." 10,000 watts day - 500 watts night. Covers a good deal of real estate ... but so few listen.

    And yet, from what I've ascertained -- the Zwerling's are asking $5-million for their little goldmine.

    Good luck on that jewel.

    Horrible. JB

  23. dyanne...I don't like your annoys me.too contrived ..too strained..too stupid merry christmas

  24. Get well very quickly Gene Burns. Need your wit, your strong voice and your intellect once again. I'm waiting to hear you at the 910 am slot from 4-7pm. And let the Caucas states begin.
    Best wishes Gene.