Savage is difficult to work for and with; a local PD who orchestrated Savage's brief tenure at ex-talkie, KTRB, was on the verge of quitting because of the host's petulant, crazed, and frequent e-mails.
The two made up and things went smooth, (temporarily), but that type of pronounced angst and severe irritance is a common element when Savage is in the equation.
Here in the Bay Area, where Savage does his show from several secret remote locations, (he'll continue that operation when his new Cumulus show begins next week), he's the frequent target of derision and envy, particularly from talk-radio hosts and broadcast execs.
Among the most noted:
*Ronn Owens: KGO's 9-nooner who has never liked Savage. Part of that is money. Envy too. It was at KGO where Savage began his radio career, (in 1994); little did anyone know at the time that some weekend "schmuck", (as Owens once referred to Savage), would become the second most-listened-to radio talk host in the country and make close to $10 million a year. Owens liked to verbally strut that his million-dollar-plus salary made him the highest-paid media figure in the Bay Area. Wrong, Savage holds that distinction.
*Brian Sussman: Sussman, part of the KSFO morning show, is a celebrated Savage basher. Part of that is due to the fact that it was at KSFO, (where Savage worked, after his KGO stint), Savage's national career kicked off. Sussman wasn't at the station when Savage worked there, but he knew several people, broadcast execs and air-talent, that had frequent flare-ups with Savage. (How utterly infuriating it must be for Sussman to realize that Savage's show will air on KSFO. Ouch.)
Savage has never been a fan of the local SF minions--from the broadcast biz to the political arena, he has openly chastised the city, many times referring to it as "San Fran-sicko." A distinction that has made him aloof in the social scene but admired and beloved by a large portion of SF's small conservative club.
Savage doesn't care. And although his notorious reputation as being difficult to work with has increased, so have his listeners. The new deal with Cumulus brings a ton of ironies in addition to more radio and digital platforms. For better or worse, Savage's show will no doubt be a solid affirmation to his work. Love him, hate him, despise him, as many in and out of the business do, this huge new juggernaut just got a whole lot bigger.
You can take that to the bank.
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