Thursday, January 31, 2013

Breaking: Former KGO/KSFO Talker Lee Rodgers is Dead












OMG. This is tough.

RIP, Lee Rodgers is dead.

I don't know all the details. I just know he has passed.

UPDATE: 9: 21 PM: Lee underwent a 13 hour operation for a heart by-pass, and his wife said he just couldn't pull through.

I'm at a total loss for words. He was just on my radio show last week.

I'm devastated.

When I know more, I will get back to you. In the meantime, I offer all my condolences to the Rodgers family and wife.

Developing...

UPDATE: Lee's former co-host, Melanie Morgan, from KSFO has this post.

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52 comments:

  1. I am in shock! I heard him on your show, he sounded great. Although I never agreed with him I respected him quiet a lot. Unbelievable!

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  2. thanks you Rich for having him on your program! who would know that it might be the last time we would hear from one of our favorite legendary broadcasters. i am very thankful for having heard his voice again before his leaving the planet. i hope there is a Field of Dreams for broadcasters and that Lee has the prime time slot...

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    1. Christine, good luck on your landing in that "Field of Dream" for broadcasters. Maybe you could sue your way in.

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    2. Well I'm pretty blase about a "field of dream", but a nice uncrowded point break like 1960's Rincon would be pretty inspiring, 4-6',glassy and mechanical, the innermost limits of pure fun.

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  3. RIP Lee, I remember our late night chats in the KGO newsroom when you came in early to prep long and hard for your morning show. I remember you telling me that a certain station would never hire me permanently because I was the tv anchor who had dared to drag another broadcasting company into federal court. You also told me that you would die before I ever got such a job. I appreciated your cranky wit and humor.I still do, especially today. Hope you departed without pain or angst.

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    1. This isn't about you Christine.

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    2. can't teach an old dog new tricks.

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    3. It's about a man who was very conservative, who off the air could have wonderful conversations with people who did not agree with his politics. I don't know if you remember the Lee/Bernie fight broadcasts, but they were wonderful and riveting radio. Those of us who knew them both and who listened to those shows were glued to the radio. Can you think of something as good as that? currently? on the radio?

      I know Bernie will be sad to hear about this. I'll pass his thoughts on to you.

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    4. Ah, Christine is such a self-important wind bag. She can't help herself. Everything is about her.

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    5. Is this the female Chris Matthews Christine? I think I heard her once on a weekend night and that was enough for me.

      RIP dear Lee, they broke the mold when they made you. I still grieve about your departure from KSFO a few years ago, and what happened to that station since is pitiful, no class whatsoever.

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  4. This is sad news.
    I can still hear his voice as I type this message.
    His sign-off was "and now if you'll excuse me".
    Please correct if wrong.

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  5. RIP Lee...you were already missed

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  6. I heard this and feel awful. I knew Lee when he was at WIND in the 60's. I was 12 years old, and a radio geek, visiting him. A kind man.

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  7. RIP, Lee. Wasn't a big fan of his, like most right-wing hate radio, but he added color to the bay area air-waves for years.

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  8. Along with Jim Eason and Gene Burns, Lee Rodgers represented the 'best of the best' in talk radio. I remember the great monday night debates between Lee and Bernie Ward, this was great radio. Such a great loss for in the talk radio world, RIP

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  9. A master broadcaster, perfect voice and diction of course, but he also had heart, humor, and that rare element known as talent. I recall that on KSFO Lee used to love to play Gene Mc Daniels classic "Hundred Pounds of Clay" as a break, and bridge between segments in the 6am hour. RIP my man.

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  10. Peace be with you Lee, & Godspeed.

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  11. How sad. Pete Wilson and now Lee Rodgers go under the knife for surgery and neither makes it. A very sad day. Rich, did you know Rodgers was having a bypass? I don't recall him mentioning it while on your show, although it was likely scheduled already way ahead of time.

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    1. Well Pete Wilson was significantly younger than Lee,but both died while under anaesthesia. I'd rather go that way than be aware of the death pangs, wouldn't you? I hope neither one of them suffered any cogizance of what was happening to them.
      Lee Rodgers should also be saluted posthumously for surviving all those years in such a competitive environment with a significant medical disability.

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    2. Christine, wouldn't you want your dogs and guns by your side?

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    3. Well Lee has finally gone on the ultimate "fact finding mission" as he used to say. Rest in peace, my friend!

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    4. No, if you love your dogs, you would want them to pre-decease you after living long healthy, full lives,preferably at the hands of a skilled housecalls veterinarian.Our shelters are full of animals who live longer than their owners and end up facing misery.
      My dad's last words to me on his deathbed were,"Take care of the kitties". He was 92 and lived with me for the last fourteen years of his life here at the compound.
      I would rather he had died without so much struggle.So I ask again, wouldn't you prefer dying under anaesthesia? no long lingering illness?
      Nobody gets out of here alive.

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    5. What was Lee's "significant medical disability" that Christine is talking about?

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    6. He was in a saw mill accident when he was a kid & it took his leg above the knee.

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  12. Loved him. Loved The Friday Night Fights with Bernie on KGO. I miss him so much. My favorite conservative (The ONLY one).

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  13. I adored Lee Rodgers, taped his show every evening (and then mornings) and listened religiously. Preferred when he was solo than when he paired up with Melanie. I probably still have a few tapes lying around with his shows... they'll be worth saving. I was so glad to hear his voice again on Rich's program.

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    1. Yes my family too preferred Lee without Melanie, but we enjoyed his teaming with Officer Vic immensely. They were flawlessly tuned to each other. We kept hoping that Lee would return to an SF Bay area station and now those hopes are dashed. Heartfelt condolences to his family.

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  14. I go back to the days of Lee Rogers" chicken commercial laughter meltdown". You had to of been listening to his show to know what this is about. Probably happened in the late eighties.

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  15. RIP Lee. Thanks everyone for reminding me of the Lee and Bernie debates - it was riveting radio.

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  16. Wow. All I can say is I am terribly saddened by Lee's passing.
    I have great esteem for Lee Rodgers, Pete Wilson and Gene Burns. They were all thought provoking to the degree that I learned about my own personal politics just by my reactions to their well reasoned and beautifully articulated view points. I was often infuriated or inspired by them - depending on my agreement with them. In either case I was entertained, educated and engaged by them.
    Isn't that what good radio used to be about?

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    1. I think Gene Burns is still alive is he not? I hope so,

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    2. Easy! Don't speak of Mr. Burns in the past tense. He is still with us thank God!

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  17. I have many memories of Lee on KGO. On one of the great Monday night debates with Bernie, I remember someone calling and and insulting and trashing Bernie to high hell. At this point Lee stepped in and actually defended Bernie seemingly his arch rival that showed great class and integrity. It is something that I'll never forget and left Lee's integrity forever beyond reproach.

    Lee was unique because he didn't follow line like Hannety and that other conservative wind bag, Lee would bash republicans if they needed a good bashing right along with democrats. Hard to find that sort of courage in today's crop of talk show hosts. You and your radio spirit will be sorely missed! RIP

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  18. RIP Lee - you were the best, a remarkable man and life.

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  19. 13 hours? Nobody can can take that. Somebody make a mistake. Bill King,Pete Wilson...some bad advice.

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  20. This is sad news, indeed. Lee and I worked together at KGO for many years ... and, while we were 180 degrees out-of-phase on the political dial, I found his points about "my people," to be either very amusing, or thought provoking.

    I never knew a harder worker. He put in a full 8 hour day -- just PREPARING for his show -- and followed that with an unfailingly entertaining program.

    My condolences, and best thoughts, are with his delightful wife Susie ("his 'bimbo,'" as she would call herself when she phoned the station, and the person answering the phone would ask who was calling).

    I'm so very sorry that he won't be able to enjoy the Super Bowl. As I recall, he was a Dolphins fan. But, he loved football, regardless of the competitors. He once said that he would watch a barnyard full of chickens play football, if that was the only game available for viewing.

    R.I.P., dear friend. I join the ranks of the many who are thankful for the memories.



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  21. And for all of you Raddy lovers who defend the bloated one about everything.How come hes so in love with himself that he can't even find time to talk about this today on his show.
    Yeah, but he talks about his Bentley and how much gas he has to put in the tank and he even pumps his own.

    What a twofaced phoney.

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    1. What does this have to do with Lee Rogers?

      The Radnich-hating nonsense is absurd. Enough already...

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    2. Its some guy trying to make me look like a horrible person,pretending to be me. A sick KNBR lover using what I call Nixonian dirty tricks..They do it on other blogs too, like cowards. Imagine using a man's death to get back at me? Despicable.
      Stan.

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  22. Uncle Lee kicks ASS! Bon Voyage my friend.

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  23. I remember Bernie Ward and Lee on Channel 2 and on radio. I attended a live debate at the fairmont Hotel in San Jose CA. Lee was for drug legalization and Bernie against it. Lee was screened by an advertiser that did the health screenings years ago and they found some issues. Remember those screenings and the screening company would advertise on radio?

    I always like Dr McDougall who would go on the Jim Eason Show and talk low fat diets. I knew a few people that went that route instead of the drugs and surgery with some success.

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  24. I was amazed how Lee eventually trashed George W Bush and eventually his listeners agreed with him! Initially they were mad at him. The listeners soon saw it the way Lee did!

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  25. I remember Lee back in the day on KGO. I think he used to occasionally say "welcome to the last outpost of sanity," which I ripped off from him.

    He seemed to move far more to the right when he was on KSFO, or do I just have a bad memory?

    Either way, sorry Melanie Morgan and Brian Sussman, all of the "libs" are not "dancing on his grave" (yes they actually said that this morning). I am sorry to hear of his passing. I enjoyed him on KGO.

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    1. Sucksman and Melanie's show on Friday was so awkwardly bad. One minute they would eulogize Lee and the next they would don the 49ers pompoms and cheer for a super bowl win. At one point Bernie Ward's name came up and Sucksman said: he is in jail where he belongs! Both hosts started cackling incessantly and I remembered Rich's last interview when Lee was asked about Ward. He responded with such class, something those two morning clowns completely lack.

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  26. Yes, we were listening at the same time (this was the 8:00 hour). It was so awful. They both said that Lee hated Bernie and Bernie was in jail where he belongs (GLEEFUL LAUGHTER!!!!!). It was an odd "eulogy" to celebrate someone else's downfall. (I'm not a Bernie Ward fan either.)

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  27. Lee Rogers was the only conservative debater that could hold his
    own up against Bernie Ward. Plus he wouldn't resort to personal insults, just laying out his opinions and facts.

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  28. Lee had brains and class. Missed him when he "disappeared" from
    KSFO, but was glad to find his great little blog. Now it's just a
    memorial to him. Grateful to have enjoyed his views all these years.
    May Susan and Calvin be comforted by God's presence and each other.

    Thank you Rich Lieberman for making this commentary place available AND FOR HAVING HIM ON YOUR RADIO RECENTLY ! That was a real treat!!

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  29. There has never been anyone worse on Bay Area airwaves than Brian Sussman.

    RIP Lee

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  30. Lee has been my friend for the last 10 years. Lee quickly became far more than that to me. Lee and Sue are more like family to me, even more than many of my own blood relatives. One of my best memories was when we were on a cruise for the fans. Lee invited me to be part of the KSFO crew, and I sat at the KSFO table with Lee and for the first time I met Sue Rodgers. That was in 2002.

    The description said there would be a special guest speaker from KSFO. I just assumed Lee was that main speaker. Except he went on stage first and warmed up the crowd, then began to introduce the special guest speaker. It was me. He called me up to the stage. I had already made my way to the food buffet and most were at the stage. So I walked up to the stage and with microphone in hand Lee and I put on a little bit of fun. I don't have a clue what I said. I just remember the crowd loved it. However Lee and I both froze up as we could not remember the name of my website. It did pop into our heads at the same moment a few minutes later, and we both said www.ussgoblin.com So we finished up by thanking the fans for coming out, and turned them loose on the buffet line. So Lee and I went off to fill our plates, and ourselves. As we ate a slow steady line of fans came by to say hello. Then Lee told me the fun stuff is now, he said lets go work the room. He laughed and we at first went down the middle greeting the fans, then he said with a laugh lets split up and then circle back to the table.

    I got "mobbed" since most of the fans had met him before, not me, I was a new face, and since this was before I started appearing at the mall for KSFO I must have shaken a thousand hands, and glad my glasses had that auto dark feature cause everyone with a camera wanted a picture with me.

    That was over 10 years ago. It was an honor to have Lee as my friend, and mentor. If it wasn't for my hearing continuously fading away from the chemotherapy I probably would have pursued a full time radio career. Off the air, Lee was a person that was a great honor to have him call me his friend and he shall be my friend forever. I do not know where we go, as we leave this world, I do know what makes us human lives on. I also know that whatever goodness one needs to advance upwards Lee had plenty to spare. It was a blessing to be stricken with Neuroblastoma stage IV. Without it, I would have walked down another path and would have never had the reward of sharing the path of life with Lee for half of my life. Earth became a poorer place to be without Lee. "Take care of your bad self, and soar high where Eagles fear to fly."

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  31. What happened? Did he choke on all that hate and invective?

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  32. Who knew he had a heart? Dirtbag.

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