Thursday, June 13, 2013

Siege Mentality, (Again), at KGO Radio; KTVU Not Trusting Itself; State of Bay Area TV News; Coffee Media Thursday


Despite the house cheerleader who shills for the cloud people in Atlanta, things are not too cheery at KGO Radio's offices and abode at the 55 Hawthorne cluster. Nobody has a clue what direction el (Sklenar,)  the new guy, is about to configure. Not a clue even.

A news staffer, (who asked that their name not be used because they need the money), says it's more dire straits than ever.

"We come in, (if we have to), and then we get the hell out of here asap.--There's absolutely no direction and nobody minding the store. Just simply awful." Gees, how stunningly wonderful. Yet again, dare I say that I'm not surprised. Same old story. And I've heard worse really. Lately, there's talk of a radical makeover, whatever that is.

Fact is, KGO has become so off the radar, so out of touch, so out of market. Is there a there there? Hell no. And the fact that the new guy is supposed to come in off his white horse and construct major change is not credible especially when it's been pointed out that he's never run a news/sports or talk station. That's always a great idea: make a "firm" hire and dole out the hard chores with a guy who has no meat experience in a market he knows NOTHING about but his Starbucks cards have been amped up. Maybe he should have an extra meeting. Meetings, once again, I'm told he's good at. Hey everyone, we're gonna kick KCBS' ass! Right, time to have my Sweetjack coffee.

**At KTVU, the mood is not that much better mainly because the story counts get higher and higher because the consultants insist so. There's a sense of artificiality there too. Notice all the new reporters you've never heard of? And here's a beauty: After reporters do their requisite live shot, orders have been barked aloud once again: NO PAUSE!--get your voice back to studio in nano-second otherwise you'll be hoisted over to the Emeryville Dennys.

**OK, I'll say it: The Bay Area local TV news scene is bland, bland, bland. Outside of a few fresh faces and anchors/reporters that are better than average, the bunch of 'yous look tired, blasé, and, frankly, out of touch, out of this league. And another thing? Get your location right! Pronounce the damn street right! It's not DOYLE AVENUE!--it's DOYLE DRIVE!, moron. Go to a dive and have a beer and talk to some of the locals. Talk is good. Think of it as an education. You're damn lucky to have escaped market#62 and land in #6--have a little appreciation here before someone from upstairs tells you to hit the road for your next stop in Toledo doing the nooner. Jesus Christ!

**Traffic, spots, traffic, minute news, traffic, spots, more spots, sports, traffic, 10 minutes of spots, nameless traffic uttered by some shadow traffic, blah, blah, blah....otherwise known as Bay Area radio in the morning.

**Pandora move: it's about time.

**The morning yutz at Knibbber took the day off so his betting fool and the yenta could talk to each other: immediately switch to mattress man, "live from the Conklin Brothers studio.", OMG, gag me and hit me.

**Follow me on Twitter


44 comments:

  1. When I lived in Canada there was an AM station that I really enjoyed. They also billed themselves as News Talk but they had a laid back feel to it. It was a station you could listen all day long without getting bored. Especially in the morning if the big story was sports related the sport anchor would hang with the host a bit and they would discuss the story and maybe take a couple calls. If it was news related the news person would do the same. They would even throw a song in here and there and probably more often on slow day.

    In the PM and night it was more talk with more calls. The station had a real relaxed laid back feel that appealed to me. I often wonder why that format wouldn't work here?

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    1. It likely would, but the consultants all push MORE MORE MORE TALK TALK TALK, short SEGMENTS, lots of BUMPERS, WHIPCRACK sound effects, FAST-PACED, more ADS, QUICKER stories--HUSTLE HUSTLE HUSTLE for that dollar---Wait, where'd everyone go?

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    2. Are you referring to CKNW News-Talk 980 in Vancouver? Bill Good, who hosts their weekday morning talk show, has a large following on the Lower Mainland rather like Ronn Owens here on KGO.

      I'm not sure what you mean "by laid-back feel," as that's vague and open to interpretation, but as for the 24/7 news-talk format, this was the staple of one prominent San Francisco radio for several decades until the plug was pulled in early December 2011. That station's programming used to feature talk shows 24/7 hosted by local personalities as well as 3 or 4 hour long news blocks during the morning and evening commute times.

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    3. No it was CFRB in Toronto. 12:25 above is correct. All stations are Breaking! News! NOW!! and screaming how fast and thorough they are. MORE News, More Traffic, More Weather, More Often, MORE! MORE! MORE! All stations are screaming the same thing. None of that speaks to me. Seems to me a station could slow it down a little and still be informative. Entertain me while you are informing and throw a song in once in a while and let me forget the world is ending soon.

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    4. In-Depth Radio

      Newstalk 1010

      CFRB | Toronto, Ontario

      The call letters from 1927 stand for Canada's First Radio Batteryless

      http://www.newstalk1010.com/

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    5. Yeah that is the one! Their format would eat the AM stations here for breakfast! Not sure why it has to be so complicated?

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  2. Again, satellite radio. Who needs the local boob tube offerings or the static from AM radio? Really?

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  3. No wonder Karel said he's been living in fear of the "Fear Monster" lately. Personally, I hope Karel gets suspended/fired over the Holocaust jokes he made in the first hour of last Sat's show.

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    1. You're spot on. The offensive prick. Heard he was auditioning for something at NBC this past Tuesday. I hope it went well. Real well. The sooner he's off KGO, the better.

      Incidentally, the two stiffs coming to town starting Monday are a Market Manager and a national sales manager. The "turnaround" of KGO with these guys may have nothing to do with programming whatsoever. It may be to bolster sales which, obviously, need help. Market Managers and Sales types don't dictate programming changes, usually.

      Cumulus already shuffled a guy from KABC (Ron something) to KGO to do that (not to much avail except chaning the ABC Radio Network back to on the hour as opposed to "local news first.")

      It's between he and Jared to fix up programming. The new dudes are to crack the whip in sales. Good luck!

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    2. Fear monster? He should be more worried about the Boogie Man who may just snuff his career hopes soon.

      Karel the "red carpet entertainer poser" doing Holocaust jokes. Clever. Just freaking clever. Get a grip you pig.

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  4. I don't know how KTVU's story count can get any higher. Each reader is just about two sentences now and there's no content in them.

    Just the other week I had a PG&E inspector over for a routine check on something and we got talking about the news. Without prompting from me he said he never watches TV news anymore because "there's no information. They never give details."

    A week later a contractor was over to do the work that the PG&E inspection had uncovered and the guy, again without prompting, said he'd stopped watching local news because they don't give you any information and the reporters and anchors don't know anything. These two were just blue-collar joes talking, the types the consultants want to reach. If the news is beneath them now then I'm not sure who they're aiming for.

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    1. Its as fast as seeing Heather Holmes on the weekends saying "IN NEWS OF THE WORLD". And she is never seen again...until the next news cast (poor girl) at 4am (maybe).

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  5. The strange thing is Cumulus hired a sports radio guy, Bill Pugh, to program KFOG.

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  6. I'm actually listening to Pandora now as I read you. Funny.

    Going to a local dive to talk to locals is a very underrated idea.

    Feldman, Fareed, and Kozimor... just blow the thing up already! The sportscasters here actually make me watch Espn for highlights.

    Just plain awful!!

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  7. Here's your chance to practice your drooling, Rich. Look, she's wearing _leather_ too!

    http://omg.yahoo.com/news/soledad-obrien-joins-hbos-real-sports-151500555-us-weekly.html

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    1. Oh, dear -- does it look like the unhip Soledad O'Brien just flew out of an audition for "Cat Woman" in an off-Broadway casting call for "Batman" -- or is it just me?

      Either that, or she's in a motorcycle outfit borrowed from Karel. One or the other. Yuck. Drool on Rich!

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  8. .50 to the next reporter from SF who does not confuse the streets with the avenues when reporting from Oakland...

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  9. Urgent Breaking News! SARAH PALIN BACK ON FOX as a contributor starting June 17th. FYI, there is SERIOUS Jubilation throughout Tea-Land. Histrionics and free rhetoric aside, I had been thinking this would happen, what with all the White House Scandals just A-Happening all over the cotton pickin place. I'm sure Sarah would have and will have much to talk about worth hearing, whether you agree with her or not.

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  10. Angry, neurotic Jew.

    Rich Lieberman's self-description.

    At least he's honest.

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    1. Indeed. Did anyone catch the call from Billy Sunshine today on the Dickster's show? Billy could hardly get a sentence out of constructive criticism for good ol' Dick before the filibustering began. Rich, you thin skinned prick.

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    2. Thanks for the plug--keep listening. Sincerely, the Prick.

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    3. You betcha, sincerely, Yentyl.

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  11. AM 840 MODESTO
    1192 Norwegian Avenue
    Modesto, California 95350
    209-527-8400

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  12. Sarah Palin will make a fine contributor to FOX.
    Liberals hate her because she is attractive and articulate.
    The envy from the left wing nuts is amazing.

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    1. Oh contraire...lefties love Sarah! She is font of ignorance that makes us look brilliant by comparison.

      Go Sarah!!

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    2. I'm surprised the liberals don't love her. Two out of wedlock grandbabies. One shotgun wedding followed by divorce. One without any kind of wedding.

      Fondly,

      A Liberal

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    3. lol, Sarah Palin articulate? Her voice and enunciation are downright irritating, and her vocabulary could fit on an index card. I suppose she's somewhat MILFy, but I'd have to stick a sock in her yap.

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    4. ARTICULATE??? Even her followers wouldn't accuse her of that, I don't think. But in the interest of truthiness, I think we should brand a new word for her way of speaking: Articulateyness. Sort of a mavericky moniker.

      And attractive? Not into bony middle-aged chicks in chunky glasses and midwest "mom" hair. I love it when she puts on leather and tries to look hip. It's like seeing the Rolling Stones tarting it up at 70. Ludicrous.

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    5. The Conservative movement has Sarah Palin (attractive and at ease with herself)
      Liberals have Debbie Wasserman Schultz (strident and hostile) Yikes!

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    6. Palin is also strident and hostile, and hardly at ease when a situation calls for her to go "off script" (she does have that in common with the target of much of her criticism). Wasserman Schultz gives conservatives plenty of useful sound bites with her lying and double-talk, and she too appears ill-at-ease when challenged.

      Palin seems to do fine when she is home in Alaska. She does well hunting moose, fishing, camping, staying warm in the freezing wet weather, and socializing with the locals. And those are all good skills. When she puts on her "Sarah Barracuda" hat, she transforms into a phony, frequently flustered, narcissistic mess. She is a big, high-profile part of the problem that Republicans are having, and they are better off when she is out stalking Bullwinkle in the Great White North.

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  13. With all due respect to Bill Pugh, he has NOTHING to do with the programming of KFOG. It's all done out of Atlanta. May be the reason why the station has been in the shithouse since firing Dave Benson in 2009...yeah think??? Jan Jefferies (a top 40 guy) and now Mike McVay are the real shot callers. Good job guy.

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  14. The only Cumulus property still viable since take over is KNBR. The reason...they've left it as is, (minus Ralph) since the departure of Tony Salvadore in 2009. It's the only station the havn't fucked up.

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  15. Palin's presence is a boon for liberals. She is one of the LEAST articulate high-profile conservatives, and it doesn't take much to rattle her. There are plenty of influential people on the right who consider her a liability.

    When she is at home in Alaska, away from politics, Palin seems to have some admirable qualities. In the political arena, she turns into a bumbling, petty, spiteful, divisive diva. She is too caught up in the sophomoric "Sarah Barracuda" persona, instead of transitioning into a notable who manifests some semblance of statesmanship.

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  16. I am happy you brought that up. A quickie story on the 10 O'Clock News (on Bob Wilkins favorite channel, KTVU) about a mortuary in the Mission District, San Francisco, that has been closed down for about a decade, possibly to be made into a mini golf course (slash) restaruant. Mentions its Van Ness Street (didnt know they changed the name of that street from South Van Ness Avenue).
    Making the ol Mortuary into mini golf....spooky!!

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  17. "LEAST articulate high-profile conservatives"...isn't that redundant?:)

    Kidding...too easy.

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  18. I'm making observations about several things. Sarah Palin, articulate what a joke. I'll give credit where credit is due, there are several articulate conservative women who also are attractive and intelligent such as: Laura Ingram, Melanie Morgan and Ann Coulter, don't care for any of them, especially Ann Coulter, (too much of a bomb thrower, never forgot or forgiven her comments about the 9/11 widows). I don't agree with any of them, but do believe they can run circles around Sarah Palin, in the brain and vocabulary department.

    Listened to Frosty at some length today, he is, and most likely never will be, a Gene Burns or John Rothman, but he might have some potential, I already like him better than Monte, although that is not saying a whole lot. I don't understand 910 format these days. He seem to be copying Gil's format, don't know if it is his idea, or the stations, but he talk to experts, change subjects a lot, fortunately he does not do dumb criminals or Gil's latest in story telling, school stories. Perhaps he is not getting calls because he is new, Tom Sullivan took calls, so does Alan Colmes. Frosty told one story that definitely lend itself to getting callers, it was the story about the 11 year old boy in Texas with a Hispanic name, who sang the national anthem at some event. Frosty said he was getting facebook posts and twitters, how some thought he was illegal (he is not, he is born in the US) and how he should not be allowed to sing the national anthem. I would have loved to hear callers on the subject,instead Frosty moved on to something else. Very disappointing. P.S. The boys rendition of the national anthem was stunning.

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  19. First off I am a Republican. I can say Mrs Palin Has done nothing to Advance My Party And will DO nothing for it down the Road. I for one knew when Nero McCane picked her we were doomed. As for KGO The Q paid for it at some point it will have to pay or be sold. As the Q is a Right leaning company. For KGO to go back to Left to center talk would compete with KSFO. If KSFO is sold You could see KGO going back to Talk Right wing Talk. The big Mystery to me is why the Q kept the Jewish Piggy bank salesman around. By the way I am Jewish enough to use that line.

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    1. I doubt you are either Republican or Jewish.

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    2. How did you Arrive at that Opinion?

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  20. Consultants are not worth the money that newbies and non-media idiot bosses pay for them.

    Owners and managers in charge waste cargo shiploads of money that would have been given to rank-and-file in bonuses where it would do much more good.

    What is especially galling is that sometimes, these management failures are given nice incentives to "move on their way" while the rank-and-file an incentive or two that have already been taken away.

    When one consultant doesn't work, it's often time for another consultant or the common refrain, "we're switching back to local control," where the demise of the enterprise is hereby given to the no-nothings who have ruined KGO and have turned Hall-of-Famer Ronn Owens' show into newbie-stupid Jared-central Jared age demo show.

    How many times has Ronn mentioned his producer's ridiculous and strange statements that are often out of touch with the demo that he is supposedly a part of? (I have four children, two of whom have spouses, in this demo.)

    How much more out of touch can Ronn get? I don't know, so let's do what Ronn, a Hall of Famer, does: we'll ask Jared Hart, a no-nothing newbie there at the right time for a job he is not, in my personal opinion (thereby it's not libel, Jared and Ronn) qualified to have.

    Not even a backwater station.

    But here he is, giving the King of Bay Area Talk Radio advice and guidance.

    Ronn, do you do this to cultivate a younger demo? It ain't working. I've listened to you since I was in that younger demo, but my four children could give a rat's behind about you or KGO and they are in that demo.

    In other words, Ronn: BARF.

    You sold your soul, Ronn, to the extent that there will always be an asterisk by your name. It will say "sell-out," but it will not reveal the true extent of your utter humiliation, esp. in the eyes of those of us who have many years' experience in media, Ronn, and those of us who have listened since you started at KGO. A long time, and long enough to know you've sold out.

    So, Rich, along the lines of the tenor of your column this morning: consultants and newbies can kiss my behind.

    If you want consultants, go to the local hangouts, local groups and organizations and associations and ask people, who actually view your news, what they think. I mean, go to representative groupings, devise your own questionnaire, etc. Even though it will not pass the test of true empirical data, you will get real results.

    Or, bypass that, and read this column and what a lot of viewers tell you.

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  21. Isn't it time to stop devoting so much space to KGO? It's down to what in the ratings? 19th or 20th? What's the point anymore?

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  22. Why don't they change the call from KGO to KYNG (for young!) or something. At least kill off the old KGO stigma. It conjures up vacuum tubes and 44BX mikes.

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  23. Karel is the most repulsive person I have ever heard on radio. His years long serandade to his gay dead boyfriend is a laughfest but never over. What other radio station would put up with him? And suddenly he is advertising his "rock star life." Oh really? I thought he was so broke he cannot even pay his mortgage. No one shows up at his "comedy shows" where he dresses like an older woman and has no material. KGO, seriously? This is what they have in the Bay Area?

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  24. Ronn Owens is going to play out the string until his contract runs out and you can't blame him. Some of the people who have been brought in by KGO don't seem to have any idea what's going on in the bay area.

    Bill Bungeroth tried to make things happen and things only got worse so he earned a quick exit from the suits back in Atlanta. Cumulus doesn't have a clue how to make a KGO work, but that's no surprise. They seemingly have no clue as to how to make ANY radio station work.

    And if you look around the KGO offices, most of what you'll see are a bunch of 20 to early 30 something clueless nit-wits who are being paid peanuts by a company that would rather pinch pennies than try to put on a good product for the listeners.

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