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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