Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Game romances the Razor; More Desperation than Innovation; Saturday Post

When it debuted in April of last year, 95. 7 FM --The Game, promised unique content and innovative programming; a sturdy mix of entertaining and provocative shows, with its main affiliate, the Oakland A's, as a template for its shows.

So far, in spite of splashy promos, much-pubbed talent pick-ups and an assortment of audio gizmos, the numbers don't add up. In fact, there are little numbers. The station that promised the Bay Area a genuine alternative to the vagabond AM black hole, KNBR, instead has been nothing short of immense failure.

Part of that is the A's limbo, on and off the field, and questionable air-talent hirings from PD, Jason Barrett and station head, VP, Dwight Walker, who had a tenure at Knibber, pre-Cumulus days. It's difficult to build a brand on an FM station that has a weak signal with the second baseball team in the area. In other words, not the SF Giants.

Now comes word of an impending romance with Ralph Barbieri, late of Knibber and recently shown the door last April. Barbieri will "tell his side of the story" this Monday at 5 PM and presumably, say that Cumulus is bad, (we know that), and that Entercom, (which owns 95.7), is just the greatest thing since sliced bread. And perhaps, that he's on board to wax poetically, sports, for the new FM savior.

Don't know the specifics. Barbieri would be interesting, albeit a clear sign of desperation on the part of Barrett and Walker. And that's even assuming The Razor is willing to work the mike for considerably less money that he was making at Knibber, (because Entercom doesn't pay well--it's an industry fact), but less money is better than no money, (minus a modest severance.)

No doubt a Barbieri hire would be a short term plus, underline --short-term, than the wretched offerings of Brandon Tierney, a guy who just got off the subway but forgot to get a transfer for the Muni. He's lost. And how does a station that made promos deriding the admittedly shitty Knibber now look with a potential hire of that shitty station's most prominent pony? Better yet, what does that say to the guys on the Game? You really haven't moved the needle and we need a lift, badly. And what, does The Razor begin coddling the Raiders and spiel forth the notion that the A's are looking better of late. Sure, that'll sell well.

This is romancing the stone, circa 2012, although The Razor ain't Kathleen Turner. More like a courtship of Michael Douglas, Inspector Steve from the Streets of San Francisco.

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  1. Nothing against Ralph. He's a nice guy. BUT. He's boring. Dead air. Dear air. Pauses. No energy.

    Short-term needle gain. Long-term death. I won't be listening, so could one listener lost, although I only like Eric Davis and he hardly gets to talk.

    Haven't listened in a while cause of that. If Ralph gets on, I'm staying on Sirius NFL for ALL my listening, except Len Tillem.

    That said, Ralph is better than the "how much is that guy earning?" Gary The Creep Show Radnich. Hey, Gary, time to stop trying to keep up with the Jonses. There is always someone making more and always someone making less.

    Kind of like your basketball days. There were always many more better and many more worse than you.

    However, when it comes to your presence on TV and radio, there are very few WORSE than you, Gary Radnich. You are horrific. I realize you appeal to the 13-year-old age group, and the 20 and 30 somethings who have the maturity of a 13-year-old.

    I listen to KNBR on Sirius' broadcasts. Never do I listen on the radio or online. Advertisers take note.

    If you go by ratings, fine, but as a radio and newspaper person, ratings are a smokescreen, established to give legitimacy to ad rates. They really don't exist in an empirical sense. Ask any non-paid-for-by-the-radio-industry stats person, and they will tell you.

    I think ratings should be like this:

    KGO: sucks
    KNBR: sucks. Listeners who want to pay can listen to game broadcasts somewhere else.
    KCBS: almost sucks (reptitive, boring)
    KKSF: Len Tillem is the star. Everything else sucks.
    The Game: sucks, except for Eric Davis.

    My ratings methodology?

    Doesn't suck
    Almost sucks

    Put that into your cum.

    1. I listened to that station for a few minutes yesterday morning at 10:45 to hear an interview with a BBC golf journalist.

      One of the pair must have thought he was the second coming of Jim Rome. I hated the first coming, so you can bet, short of Gitmo level torture, I'm not intentionally going to listen to a single second of you, Bud.

    2. Seriously, 11:07 a.m., you listened to Sirius NFL, and they interviewed a British golf journalist?

      You smokin' too much dope, dude?

      They NEVER do golf on Sirius NFL Radio. Sirius has a golf channel for that, you moron.

      What a laugh, Bud.

      Now, if you were referring to one of the crappy stations on terrestrial radio, fine, and my apologies, but don't be a dipshit. Be clear.

      I'll have to call the former football players who host most of Sirius NFL shows, including a former Oakland Raider quarterback and tell them to stop interviewing golf punks on Sirius NFL.

      They'll tell me go go **** myself. Oh, and Bud, I don't expect you to listen to me. I'm no longer on the air, so bite me, you moron.

  2. @8:59 -- Oh, your ratings system is so easy: even a 13-year-old truant can get their heads around it! We can call it the Beavis and Butthead ratings system. huh huh, huh-huh. yeah. huh-huh. yeah. this sucks. heh-heh. yeah.

  3. THEGAMES biggest problem is the A's. The worst PR team in baseball. They all but tell fans to stay home on warm sunny days vs the Yankees..we like our tarps better. That's it...the A's are killing THEGAME.
    Does anybody for a minute think Fitz and Brooks are powerhouse?..or just paid on air time for the Warriors? Name any other air time..and its Giant paid hosts some way, somehow.
    If THEGAME gets a team that wants to win-Warriors or Raiders..then they can hire anybody and see better ratings.
    I mean,they already have 3 ex KNBR people now..Townsend,Urban, and Dibly.
    Anyways, the A's elephant is the elephant in the room..they are like plague to everybody who deals with them,even friends like THEGAME.

  4. I have said before here that Ralph could make me crazy but I have to say he was the first person I turned to when something controversial in sports would happen. Coaches being fired, big trades, off field controversies; who was more entertianing then Ralph when he was wound up!

    I guess "two things can be equally true." He could be like a bad accident but you just can't help but slow down to look.

    I can't get The Game most times, but it would be a hoot to see how KNBR reacts to the move.

    Rich, it would be great for your blog, the first day on the air might set a record for numbers of people weighing in here.

    Let's have at it!

  5. I am so sick with the Ralph thing, the ego manaic, who think he builted the Giants Park, hey Ralph if your so great, why don't the Giants hire you?
    He should of been fired a long time ago with his mountain of DUI's, his work ethic was horrific with his vacation's and being tardy. He didnot follow sports for a very long time, and had nothing to offer the listeners. Amechi Pizza sucks along with his past infomercials. I always turned the dial when they went on. He should pay his past employer who put up with him and stealng a paycheck. He is irrevelant like a phone booth. The only thing I liked was his interviews with Sabean because the only sport he followed is the Giants. Say your peace Ralph I won't be listenning you old 8 track.

    1. ...and how many days of school did you miss, sir? "Builted"?!?! "Should OF" ?!?! "Vacation's"?!?! We would go on with your sentence structure and atrocious punctutation but it's all very tedious for you I'm sure.

    2. Thanks 7:32 for the summation as I could not get past whatever the hell Builted is to read anymore of the comment. Guess I didn’t miss much.

  6. Even if Ralph would bump the numbers.....
    And they outweigh the number of vocal fans who don't want him....
    And he'd take the pay cut.....

    Can Ralph muster up the energy for a slot at The Game??
    The last few years, it seems like he's been sleepwalking and running on auto pilot at KNBR. Whether that was from his medical condition or just too comfortable in his bubble at KNBR, he'd have to bring his A-Game to the new station. Otherwise, he's just a tired old dead weight. Can he change his attitude or want to at his age?

    Meanwhile, back on KNBR, are they looking for another person to work with Tolbert? Did the numbers drop or is Tolbert not happy with doing the heavy work and wants more flexibility for breezing in and out? Or is this part of a transition with Tom eventually moving on??

  7. Sports Talk radio seems destined for death in general.

  8. Like the guy who divorces his wives..and seems to others to always find the same type woman over and over...Teirney is another Tolbert look a like. The Tierney, Davis, and Razor show?

  9. Yes, despiration on both parts. Ralph hoping to become somewhat relevant again and him spinning KNBR as the bad guy. Ralph and Alioto probably rehearsing right this minute, how to make him appear the loyal employee who passes up other opportunities to stay in the city he loves and how much he appreciates the 'overwhelming' support--how he didn't know how much he was loved until this happened.
    And for the FM station, anything to get under the skin of KNBR has got to be a good thing, no? Though at this point this isn't a sports story anymore.
    It will all be about appearing a sympathetic figure.
    I won't be listening but look forward to the discussion.

  10. How come KGO, KNBR, KSFO and other aren't in HD, but little old KNEW 960 is? The Game sounds great in FM, and KNBR sounds like shit in old school non-HD AM.

    1. Oh, so, you're the one who bought an HD Radio in the area! They others turned off the "hash maker" over a year ago because of the noise it generates, especially at night.

      Oh, in case you missed the memo -- the FCC ordered all AM's to turn off the HD grunge machine at night because of interference.

      It interferes with other broadcasters and that's why 960 sounds like crap. The Game sounds good because it's FM.

  11. i listened to the Game a fair amount through a football season, but somewhere lost interest (baseball?)...but I don't scroll the FM dial much because I get my music elsewhere.

    Sports wise my reflex is to go AM but if Ralph is going to FM I would absolutely change my habits.

  12. Tolbert is dying a slow death. This guy's voice is good for little more than cooling soup. Awful on so many levels....

  13. Tierney is pretty bad, if he put his big ego away and just ask questions to his guests, he can be decent and has shown it, but his personality is pretty annoying, Davis reminds me of Phil Simms, he just talks down to you and Ralph has been irrevelant for 7 or 8 yrs.

  14. No matter what people think about the Ralph he moves the needle one way or the other. I do find it very small of GARY not even caring about the Ralph for it was Barb that gave him platfom in the very early 90's and more or less got the Rad the job at kibber. Rad cares for one person only and that is Rad(just ask Damon)I believe the Game would benefit with The Barb..It also would get under the very thin skin of the kibber..and that would be good 4 all. Let us not 4 get the Barb brings the pizzia contract with him 2. That would be very good 4 the Game:)

  15. I think a motivated Ralph, with the full support of a station could be very interesting radio. I always thought Ralph's strength was as a probing, persistent interviewer. What he did in interviews with Zito and Sabean on the air was about as good as Sports Talk Radio gets. I thing over the years with the increasing tepidness of Sports Talk, and the fact that KNBR was a Giants station Ralph grew bored with the gig. Than there was working with a 47ish perpetual teenager in Tom Tolbert (the act grows thin after a while, so does the voice). I say to the Game: Hire Ralph, and turn him loose. The damage he could do to KNBR sure would be great Sports Talk Radio - at least in the short term.

  16. I guess what surprises me is that there are countless former jocks in the area, from the Raiders, 49ers, Warriors, A's, Giants, Cal and Stanford and probably a few former sports scribes with local name recognition that could help - that people know. Pairing a local ex-jock with a host seems to work elsewhere.

  17. They kept claiming KNBR is 'old and busted'. Doesn't that mean RALPH

  18. It was 18 years ago today that Al Cowlings was driving around in his Bronco and so 18 years since Ralph had any real entertainment value.

  19. I wonder if Ralph is going to be on time for his new gig?

  20. If I could get the station's signal clearly here in Menlo Park I'd listen...

  21. How did the media cover the Rodney King death??????

    Pool camera.


  22. They specifically took shots at Ralph's age with a lot of their early promos. It would be very hypocritical to hire him, but I'd rather hear him with E.D. than Brandon Tierney.

  23. Believe me...Radnich will not be working at KNBR by 2014. He might last through part of that year, but Cumulus will then throw him out the door to save money.

    Gary should be trying to put as much away as possible as he's got three kids to put through college.

    He'll eventually learn the harsh realities, as many people do when they can't support their families anymore after being send to the unemployment line.

    I don't feel sorry for Gary, because he's had a great run, a fun job, and made lots of money along the way. In the meantime, I hope he keeps stealing as much as he can from those contemptible Cumulus skinflints.