Thursday, May 31, 2012

Radio Coup d'état in SF Courtesy Cumulus; And a New Purge Coming; Will SF Pols make Waves?

A radio Coup d'état. Outrage, angst, anger and frustration by loyal consumers who have seen their favorite radio stations hijacked by a corporate mob out of Atlanta. And they're not done yet. More moves...many of them, shocking, are due soon.

There might be hope. A few industry people in the city have told me that some "notable" SF pols, perhaps some supervisors at City Hall have begun to take a look at what's transpired. Nobody right now is willing to go on the record but they're aware of the current situation. It's about time.

Not that some silly resolution "condemning" the total takeover of some of the biggest radio outlets in town will scare the Atlanta radio mobsters, but it couldn't hurt. And when politicians, even a few frivolous ones, begin to start sniping, suits tend to get a little nervous. Good.

Clearly, they've overstepped their bounds. This used to be prime picking for the FCC, but the feds have become almost as complicit  as the bad guys. The public used to own the airwaves, but that all changed, thanks to the Telecommunications act of 1996. Therein lies the problem, only there's a reason why it's damn near impossible for big retail chains to open stores in SF--much like the process of building a new arena on the waterfront. Even that great ballpark was a miracle and it took years of hard work and endless meetings. The point is this city tends to make big business work for its prizes. Cumulus is no different, only its heinous activity and blood game has overstepped its bounds.

This city is proud of its broadcast heritage. At least I hope so. The bulldozers have gobbled up over 500 radio stations, which is their right. But this is a big market. And there's some pissed-off people who are griping and leading advertiser-boycott pages on Facebook. The company shills and tools will no doubt put out a positive spin. "Business as usual." Probably right. But there's a new sheriff in town.

We can only hope.

Stay tuned.

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  1. What happened to the KFOG Facebook page w/ all the scathing comments? I went there yesterday and it appears all the content has been purged! Is that even legal?


  3. Why you still writing about this? Talk about beating a dead horse.

    1. looky here, another cumulus flunky!

    2. This is NOT a dead horse. Two media giants, thanks to lax legislation, now run 90% of radio. What if McDonald's owned 50% of the restaurants? Pink slime would be on every menu. Well, we have pink slime on every channel now.

      By the way, we own the airwaves....these vultures need to be reminded of that.

    3. In order to drive you nuts is why he is stilling writing about this! As he and a lot of other's should be doing too. The cities of the bay area should invite these Dickey's heads to get the hell out of town after canceling their business liscenses for all of their stations. And send the code enforcement officers to all of their office's and transmitter sites and cite them for every little violation they find. The city should get Barbara Boxer and Senator Feinstein to threaten to write a bill to break up these radio monster's. Now we've got Bloomberg on KGO on the overnights 10 PM till 5 AM. KGO what a waste. Time to bring back Ray Ray Ray!

  4. LOL 9:21 is it legal...that was a rhetorical question right? That is almost as dumb as this post. As 10:10 said beating a dead horse over and over. So much innuendo in your post. That is what is known as filler to keep people looking and the page hit count high....nice.

  5. god forbid there is change...a company able to change its employees? god forbid!

    1. You don't get it... It's not about change. It's not about producing a better or different product. It's about taking advantage of an unfortunate change in Federal law to deprive the public of quality broadcasting and choice, and make a ton of money doing it in the process. The most cynical of business models.

  6. Talk about throwing shit against the wall and seeing what sticks!
    This approaching garbage status lol

    Between your best guesses and reaction(ary) pieces to 415 media "news" that are often broken by other outlets, this blog is failing to live up to its objective.

    Despite that, I find myself clicking on it daily because it is the one site I can visit to confirm news broken by other outlets (ex: confirming SF Chron's report on Barbieri).

    Anyways, I wish you'd up your game. You and this site have a lot more to offer than retrospective on the good old days (total snozzer's). Why don't you begin to incorporate the goings on as it relates to local media, local media "personalities" and their interactions on social media?

    I just don't think I can handle another hit job on the KNBR 680 hacks OR another retrospective on how great radio and tv in the bay area was in the 60's/70's/and 80's.

    We know everyone to a man at KNBR blows. From the morning losers to the unlistenable Brook and Fritzgerald to Tom Tolbert. We get it. And we get that you don't like Cumulus. And we get that your hayday was 20+ years ago. Please make this site relevant. Then maybe your donation request will be responded to.

    1. Fair and BalancedMay 31, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      Thank you Daniel Brown for stating clearly what others like myself are also feeling.

      This blog is like the movie Ground Hog Day. The old days were great, Cumulus is the devil, everything anyone still on the air says or doesn't say is despicable. Enough already.

    2. At least us old folks could easily avoid subject-verb disagreements, unlike you social-media types, Daniel. You need to up your game, you snot-nosed snifflin' fool. Rich's blog is what it is.

      At least us old geezers (I guess 52 is old), know how to spell heyday.

      Lastly, the fact that you click on it daily, Daniel, means the blog is doing just what it is designed to do.

      Go back to SFgate, you little troll! Be gone, you withering mosquito!

    3. Anonymous at 2:57,

      When all you've got is name-calling, spelling corrections, and pointing out grammar mistakes, you've really got nothing.

      I agree with Daniel Brown, who BTW manages to provide his name.

    4. Here's more brilliant programming from Cumulus:

      When RedEye was moved from KGO to KSFO, it was replaced with Bloomberg Radio, complete with New York City traffic, weather, andlocal spots.

      Live but definitely not local!

    5. Oh, Henry, take a hike. I don't use my name because I'm a public person, ok? Ever heard of Google, caveman?

  7. What is the story here, exactly? Perhaps, maybe, someday some of the ridiculous Board of Supervisors will pass a non-binding resolution condemning a company for firing Ralph Barbieri and Gil Gross? So what?

    1. Does anyone really think Cumulus gives a rip what some local pols think of their business practices? They've done nothing illegal and, frankly, nothing even unethical (ungentlemanly maybe, but not nefarious).

      Regardless of what we think of their bone-headedness, Cumulus will continue to operate their gigantic turd of a company according to their flawed business model. Market forces are the only hope that the mighty ship called Cumulus will sink.

      Keep up the discussion about Cumulus and their stumblings, boycott their advertisers, refuse to listen to their refuse, inspect their public files on a regular basis (you never know, and that's an infraction the FCC takes seriously). But that's about all anyone can do...

    2. Since when did firing Ralph Barbieri become a bad thing?

      I was hoping for it before and applauding it afterwards. The pathetic part is that Rich criticized Barbieri beforehand too. Only afterwards, when Rich noticed it supported his crusade against Cumulus, he became Ralph's heroic defender.

  8. I agree with Daniel, but I would say it a little less harshly. If we can focus more on the present and how we can SOLVE this Cumulus problem, I would enjoy the blog much more. I think we want to here how we can take down corporate radio, what Cumulus thinks of us, and more about what's going on inside a radio station. I feel like the whole movement to speak against corporate radio is fading fast. I feel like people are too complacent? When was the last KGO rally? Months ago. We need to have a consistent, systematic protest if we ever wish to change anything. Complacency is the worst thing for us--and it's what Cumulus is banking on.

    Civil Rights, American Revolution, etc. would not have happened if we did not have systematic prospect (and even a little in your face).

    1. want to "here"? perhaps you should start your own blog.

  9. I need a binding resolution against that KNBR Morning Show. Good lord.

    1. Please, lets hope your wish comes true!

    2. Here! Here! Murph and Mac are unlistenable. Pathetic.

  10. Count me in, 12:39. We need another occupy KGO rally!

    1. Yes, that was so productive. LOL

    2. Really? Occupy? Come on now. Are you the last one on this planet who believes that word has any redeeming value? A RALLY would be a good idea. But don't call it "occupy" unless you want to be looked upon as a joke

  11. Oh, that is exactly what we need to solve all this...get the SF politicians involved. They have fixed The City sooooo well.

  12. The Emperor Has No Clothes!

  13. Rich,
    How about a post that lays out the best post-KGO alternatives. I miss listening to local talk radio and really have no idea where to turn.

    Here's my radio listening routine:
    Morning Drive:
    KNBR 680 - Absolutely not :-|
    KNBR 1050 - Colin Cowherd - Ugh...I listen :-/
    KSFO 560 - Sus is ok, Melanie Morgan is a disaster :-/

    Late morning:
    KNBR 680 - Absolutely Not :-(
    KNBR 1050 Jim Rome - Always :)
    KSFO 560 - Huckabee - eh...
    KNEW 910 - Rush - Hell to the No :-|

    KNBR 680 - Hell to the No :-| ... I will never listen to these guys under any circumstances.
    KNBR 1050 - Damon Bruce - :) Absolutely one of the top two or three local talents IMO
    KNEW 910 Len Tillem - Oh yeah - all day. Love this guy
    KNEW 910 Gil Gross - Refreshing to have intelligent discussion of curent events back on the airwaves. More of this please

    KNBR 680/1050 - I couldn't be happier that Barbieri is gone. Tolbert is ok but I'm not happy with how KNBR (exception Damon) shills to the listeners and lies to the fans. It bothers me. So...

    95.7 the Game - I dislike Eric Davis. The other guy is not bad. The problem? The signal for this station BLOWS. The reception is horrible. Fix this please!

    I'd like to know what local programming that could be heard throughout the northbay most resembles gil gross/gene burns/old KGO?

    1. Up here in Santa Rosa and my radio listening mirrors yours about 90% except I'm finding myself listening to the 95.5 all comedy station often to fill in my radio preference gaps.

  14. I am very grateful that I got to work in radio here in the bay area during what some posters are calling: 'the good old days.'
    Yes, they were certainly the 'good old days,' when announcers were professionals and actually knew how to use their voices and speak the language properly. They were also creative, and didn't sound as if they were trying to appeal to a 16-18 year old mentality.

    The crap that I hear sometimes on today's radio sometimes makes me shake my head in dismay. How did so many dysfunctional nit-wits get jobs in broadcasting? (that's a rhetorical question!)

    As long as the Communications Act of 1996 stands, rogue companies such as Cumulus and Clear Channel will continue to pillage, burn and dumb-down radio. And it won't change anytime soon. It's the result of greedy, short sided thinking by those who now control the radio industry, and it's sad to watch them torch down a once respectable industry with no regard for the American public or their supposed obligations to serve the local community.

    For those of us who proudly worked for years in the radio industry, it's especially painful to watch, as it's akin to witnessing some pyro-maniac burning down a beautiful house that you helped to build.

    I hope with all of my heart that some how and some way, these
    corporate cretins will one day be held accountable and have to
    pay for their folly. But unfortunately, that's probably a pipe dream, given the current state of the world.

    1. Interestingly, Clear Channel hired some of the ex-KGO people.

    2. "and didn't sound as if they were trying to appeal to a 16-18 year old mentality"
      The 16-18 year old mentality?
      That could only be the horrid broadcast duo of murph and mac.

  15. Remember Bill Wattenburg's "Up and down the west coast, from Hawaii to...."?

    Who cares about Super Pac's? They've pretty well silenced "liberal" or "progressive" talk radio at the same time bombarding us with the right winger big money boys. Limbaugh, Sullivan, Hanity and a bunch of silly softball radio. 50,000 watt KGO might as well be 500 watts.

  16. Just stumbled upon this blog while looking for information about a KGO advertiser, System Pavers. This is what I just emailed to them:

    Dear System Pavers,

    I have been looking around for a company to redo a driveway for a rental property in Berkeley when I came across your website. I seem to remember your company name from the radio, so i googled "system pavers radio" and learned that you advertise on KGO and other Cumulus owned stations. For this reason alone, I have decided to go with a different company to do the work.

    I am sure you are a fine company and do good work, but I find it difficult to support a company that supports through its ad dollars a company that is eliminating local radio and replacing it with homogenized and lifeless programming.


    (my name)


  17. I was thinking the other day that with KFOG's dumbing down I should preset my radio buttons so I don't waste time channel surfing. So I thought I'd go to KBLX..oh wait they changed format. OK over to KKSF..oh wait they changed format too. Twice in fact. OK maybe the Bone..oh wait Cumulus is about to destroy them too. Guess it's time to listen to CD's only or get satellite radio.

    So KFOG is deleting negative comments on their FB page, why does that surprise anyone?

  18. I believe I have found the legal means to put Talk Radio on trial at the FCC -- and perhaps eventually at the Supreme Court. The Wisconsin recall of Governor Scott Walker presented a golden opportunity. See full details at and read background at

    What we are doing will only impact the 60 days prior to elections, but that's a good start anyway! Sign our petition to support us!

    1. Oh yeah, this will go right to the U.S. Supreme Court!
      Maybe you should get Rich to write and Amicus brief too!

  19. Radnich was talking about J-Z or the like...and Kate read an email that said "Nobody cares"..and Radnich leaned forward,not smiling and asked her to "Name three Cubs". And then,she did. He was so angry,you could see him steaming...Kruger then read something and Radnich still angry, just said "Now a commercial"..deadpan.
    I would say Kate is going to get a talking to by she did not make Gary happy.

    1. Scott,
      I realize that a big part of your hatred for Gary is you're too stupid to realize he's joking.

      You're an idiot. You WATCH his show religiously to find things to complain about.

    2. Fatnich,Fatnich,Fatnich!...tomorrow..more..

    3. hey 4:46 Fatnich genius,

      In those good old days, people like you used to right dirty words on bathroom stalls. Now we've got the internet! LOL

    4. What would you expect from Gary Radnich, he was upstaged by Damon Bruce and now Kate Scott.
      We applaud Kate Scott for not falling for that numbskull question of "name fill in the blank player"
      The way we see it, Kate Scott has guts.

    5. industry observerJune 2, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      The lunatic fringe at this website can bitch about Radnich till the cows come home.

      At the end of the day the simple fact remains that Radnich is KNBR's biggest name. He's a big talent at KRON too. He's been very successful for a long time and there's nothing to suggest that's about to change.

  20. Who Cares! Gary is an entertainer, not a sports broadcaster. His days, like those of any who are making six figures in the industry
    are probably numbered Cumulus and the whatever company or bank that now owns KRON will undoubtedly send him to the unemployment line within the next few years.

    Gary's had a great run and should not complain. I know he's got a family to support, but hopefully he invested well and can ask his wife to scale back her spending.

    The shots I see people taking at him remind me of fans who sour on a onetime star player who no longer the big impact guy he once was, and is making too much money. Fans love to boo him these guys unmercifully, and Gary is getting a lot of 'boos' in this blog, perhaps somewhat deservedly. I guess that's the price of fame.

    1. Wrong. He was trying to show her up,embarrass her-even Krueger knew that. And when she called his "bluff"..he didn't take it well.

    2. Your a bigger idiot to read these posts...and they UPSET YOU!?!..You nimrod. Uncle Gary doesn't give a damn about you.

    3. I also wonder about that guy Stan (or Scott) who detests Radnich and listens to every word.

      Normal people avoid things they dislike.

    4. Good point by a 4:23. Kate Scott called Radnich's bluff. And Gary sat in stun silience.
      Gary the tables have been turned. You do not control that radio station anymore.
      Tony Salvatore is not there to support your rear-end.

  21. so, going from "big bad corporate" owned radio stations to "government" run/regulated stations will be better. There is no difference except there is greater freedom of speech with corp. But, maybe SF radio heads want to hear about The Big O 24/7? Might work. If Cumulus is doing this bad of a job in SF and, like me, don't listen to KNBR anymore, yes because of how Ralph was treated when he was let go(I'm 50/50 on Ralph, love to hate him, etc..) then revenues will go down and because they are giving crappy service to the listeners, advertisers will not pay because they are not getting their money's worth. Go to the Public radio, listen and donate, I do.


    1. Peace, my butt, you corporate troll from KSFO. Who said ANYTHING about government control? Rich, you a communist? What he is saying is that gov't controlled the market so there were MORE radio stations, not fewer, there were MORE owners, not fewer, there were MORE people employed, not fewer, there were MORE formats, not less. Perhaps we can't go back because technology has changed, but who said anything about government controlling it completely? The regulation would allow more choices, not fewer. Only a dumbass KSFOite would think that way. I sign this as a conservative who spent a quarter-century in the journalism, so go ahead with your barbs of "you aren't a conservative," etc. The conservatives of today's ilk of all ages are lock-step thinkers. Look what that has got us in history. And, no, I ain't voting for President Obama. I won't be voting.

  22. I do think one thing that would help get the message out and have some impact is to contact every single advertiser that advertises on KGO (or other select radio stations!) and inform them that we are not going to be buying their products becuase they advertise on a station owned by a corporation that has:

    a) demolished the good positive relationship between the listeners and the station

    b) does not serve the people in broadcast region

    c) Has demonstrated lack of concern for the listeners, the people employed by the radio station, their health, their happiness, and all things conducive to a positive living experience.


    If many many people do this and if we can be very visible about this then it will have an impact. So, if everybody who reads this can the time to write ten email, leave 10 emails, make ten telephone calls to those advertisers who are advertising on KGO (and other stations) then it will make a difference. Provide alternatives to where they can advertise also to give them some alternative options.

    Consider this seriously.

    thank you.


    1. Wake up and smell the coffee!

      You think a couple of misfits from this website are capable of doing anything other than complaining about just how terrible Gary Radnich is?

    2. False. Throw in murph and mac.
      By the way, the Coffee this morning was rich and flavorfull.

  23. Fair and Balanced got us the Iraq War.

    Fair and Balanced got the United Kingdom its News Internationalgate, as bad as what Nixon did, except in the private sphere.

    If you don't like Rich's blog, Fair and Balanced Ronn Owens, then take a hike. You have limited time for reading. Why come here?

    You come here because you like reading it. You may read it with your nose pinched because some of it may stink like Daniel's comments (some like Daniel's comments, and that's fine, but I don't have to).

    Otherwise, why are you taking the time:

    1) to read
    2) to comment
    3) to come back and see what was said?
    4) to continue reading it?

    If it's that bad, and you keep coming back, one of my best friends is a very good psychiatrist. He specializes in assisting people detach from their bad habits. If you think this is a bad thing, and you are coming here regularly, you have a bad habit. In AA, that's defined as an ism. Perhaps you need a 12-step program.

    Or I can send you my friend's phone number to his practice. He takes all insurances.


  24. Since I work retail and my hours are always changing, I'm able to listen to almost all time slots over a time span a week. Here is what I listen to mostly (might tune in to other hosts for 10-30 minutes, but not on a regular basis).
    I'm female and not into sports so don't even know about those stations. History, politics and current events is where my interest lies. Mornings Armstrong and Getty 910,
    9 to noon Ronn Owens or Dave Ramsey 960 am, noon to 3 p.m.
    Randy Rhoades 960 or Tom Sullivan 910 (yes, he is very conservative, but he is polite, he listens to caller who disagree with him, and he seems to be fair) 3 to 4 p.m. Len Tillim 910 or Norman Goldman (or Coleman) 960, 4 to 7 p.m. Gill Gross of course on 910, then Alan Colmes although I get tired of his callers, 10 p.m. to 1 p.m very weak, usually Thom Hartman, I like him, he has a lot of good information, but tends to be a little boring. If I have insomnia or wake up early Bill Press on 960 3 to 6 a.m. Week-ends mostly KGO, a little KSFO. I'm hoping with time 910 will improve their week-end programming, there is plenty of slots where they could schedule John Rothman, who I miss every day. I like to listen to hosts I disagree with, but can't stand the Sean Hannity's, Rush etc. Sussman, they are too predictible, Brian Sussman is still on the birther issue, please how pathetic.

  25. Rich & his daily rant. Please get back to what you do best Rich...reporting on the media. That's what most of us are here for. Your rants are tiresome.