Wednesday, October 9, 2013

KSCO, 'Lieberman Live'--The Latest; Hemming and Hawing, (Again) at KGO Radio Over Cumulus Cost-Cutting; Jennifer Jones-Lee Status

 Wednesday Wire...

I'm delighted a number of you are wondering what the hell has happened --the truth is nothing has happened. Wait, some things have transpired.

Change is a big deal. Especially when it involves a radical change that involves me and a different brand of radio talk at a station that has its own identity albeit one whose owner seeks a different path.

After much talk with the owner, MZ, ( Michael Zwerling), he wanted me to do a Monday-Friday show from 2-4 PM. It would be radically different from the current KSCO formula which looks, according to Zwerling, to want to broaden its base, maybe shake it up a bit.

Enter me.

Before I posted the switch from KOMY to KSCO, I was given the OK from the operator. We had decided that the week of Oct. 7 was a perfect launch date but we didn't anticipate the technical issues, (i.e, --setting up the electronic infrastructure; making sure the signal and sound would be A-OK; oh, and we had some last-minute creative issues to go over).

Here's the skinny: I'm leveling with you. We want to get this right. I apologize in letting the cat out of the hat early but as I said, we didn't anticipate the high-speed wiring issues. I could go down to Santa Cruz and do the show in the studio but that's too much a personal load, (for now). And yes, some of the mangers down at the station have expressed reservations about my content. Fine. They've been there awhile and have a right to voice their concerns. Perfectly understandable.

Me? I'm ready to do the show. MZ knows that and so do the other players. We want to get this right and we need to resolve the outstanding issues which are the reason the show has not surfaced, yet.


And no, nobody has told me what I can and cannot say. And no, I haven't been held back because I talked about a few taboo subjects. Like I said, we're in a holding pattern. Some of it is my fault but there exists a lot of blame on the other side too, but we continue to talk. And we will hopefully come to a satisfying conclusion. I'm just as frustrated as you are. But I'm confident things will eventually be worked out.

That's the story, for now. Should you have any questions or comments, you can e-mail MZ himself at: mz@ksco.com

*KGO Hemming and Hawing--

This is a steady amount of anxiety over at KGO. Seems Cumulus is doing a steady amount of cost-cutting with its radio stations --this has probably accelerated the move. What's the move? The company has been instituting a 50% pay cut with some of its more high-paid talent. Included in the maneuver is significant cuts at news divisions too, including the local cluster.

A source told me the thinking was this: "We're doing it in other markets--why not do it in SF."

*Last I checked, through a source, morning anchor, Jennifer Jones-Lee had a medical issue. She has been out a number of weeks and was due back on Monday. On Wednesday, co-anchor Jon Bristow simply said Jones-Lee "is away."

If Jones-Lee status is medical related, I will defer. It's a personal affair and I respect that...if, as some have whispered it may be related to the Cumulus financial matter, I'll report that back to you.

*Follow me on Twitter

30 comments:

  1. All due respect Rich but this looks like amateur hour on your part. All these BOMBASTIC post about game changing events and blah blah blah, and now this. You keep shooting yourself in the foot buddy. You gain an inch of credibility then lose a foot with stuff like this. And of course, we're assuming that you're being honest in referencing these technical glitches. I remember in the early 2000's when getting high speed internet to remote locations WAS a valid issue. I thought we'd resolved that in the past decade plus.

    I think you'd get a little more respect and belief from me if this actually was due to a contract negotiation. That I'd totally understand. You gotta make sure the money is right. But all these bombastic proclamations and yet "high speed internet" is what has made you look this foolish? Get it together buddy. That's pretty weak stuff.

    I don't think Howard Stern, Jim Rome, Damon Bruce would drop these bombastic proclamations only to be taken down by "high speed internet" issues lol. Oy vey...

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  2. Dan: Being you're a regular here, I will defer and just say you disappoint me.

    The issues outlined are the truth. There is some other minutiae but frankly, I don't want to bore the audience and some of it is personal and minor too.

    So, if that's not good enough for you, (and God knows you have a right to know all my personal negotiations), then I'm sorry. I've given you the gist of the issue, maybe too much.

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    1. Uncle Fred in HaywardOctober 9, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      I'm disappointed that Dan Brown, a regular follower of this blog, would have the audacity to compare you and your radio talk show to"amateur hour." You don't need to earn his "respect." We're on YOUR side, Rich. Mr. Brown, with all due respect, you owe Rich an apology. Man up!

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    2. Ditto Rich's comment about Dan. Dan would show himself to be a real class act with an apology. We all make mistakes. I hope Dan will be humble and contrite and step up to the place. And let's not rub it in his face if he does, but give him the credit that is due him. Shame on him, however, if he doesn't.

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  3. If indeed most of the delay is technical (remote broadcast) why not some short term sacrifice on your part to launch this "unique, riveting, going where no one has gone" show four days a week?

    Leave home Tues 11am, do two shows, return Wed evening.
    Leave home Thur 11am, do two shows, return Fri evening.

    Four shows, two round trip commutes. Surely MZ could spring for a room two nights a week. Too simple?

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  4. I tend to agree with Dan Brown on all the pointshe made. The biggest question Rich has yet to answer is: Assuming everything he is telling us about logistics and technical issues etc. is true; then why is his KOMY show completely cancelled? Why not continue doing that show while all the technical stuff is worked out? Answer the KOMY question please Rich. Stop censoring!

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    1. Because I made a decision, (as did MZ), that I had "graduated" from KOMY and was ready to move on to a bigger, more widely-heard, (terrestrial) station --from 1K to 10K-watt ...that's why.

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    2. I'm sorry Rich it just doesn't add up. In your mind you thought you were too big to be on 1k watts and instead are now heard nowhere? Did you give MZ an ultimatum? Are you really saying that you'd rather be heard nowhere rather than on a 1k watt station? Makes no sense baby!

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    3. Oh, you graduated from 1K to 0K. Doesn't really make any sense.

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    4. I'm No Syncophant!October 9, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      Rich doesn't always make sense, and I sometimes disagree with his assumptions and the conclusions he draws from them. But Dan Brown's reasoning that Rich and Zwerling have reached an impasse in contract negotiations is seriously flawed. That's pretty far-fetched actually. Zwerling most likely isn't paying Rich union scale, let alone one penny. So, you see, I'm buying Rich's explanation about having "graduated" from 1-K watt KOMY to 10-K watt KSCO. It's legit. He's paid his debt and the right of passage. There's no going back. Rich--your word is the last word and that's enough for me--even if we don't always see eye-to-eye.

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  5. Hang in there, kid. It'll be OK. :)

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    1. Conscientious ObjectorOctober 9, 2013 at 11:47 PM

      Amen! Rich will be back ... and he'll be better than ever.

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  6. I doubt very much, as some have speculated, that a contract dispute with MZ has delayed or cancelled show, which was slated to be moved to KSCO from KOMY. My suspicion is that you have not been and are not being compensated for your services aside perhaps from commissions resulting from the sale of the health and wellness products pitched by MZ. This could change if KSCO moves from its place at the bottom of the ratings heap in the Santa Cruz-Monterey-Salinas market, especially as a direct result of your impact on the station's audience, and KSCO begins to see a steady and increasing stream of advertising revenue. That would be a game-changer.

    I doubt very much too that you and MZ have had a parting of the ways. Some have speculated that at the last minute MZ decided to pull the plug on your show, fearing that you had gone too far in offending the faithful core of the small KSCO/KOMY listening audiences, especially the few regular callers.

    I listened carefully to the "Saturday Special" hosted by MZ where he and his respected programming consultant Glenn were saying that KSCO needs to undergo a complete revamp in order to move from the bottom (where it now is) to being among the most-listened to stations in the local market. Much was made of the point that KSCO's programming appeals mainly to a dwindling audience of aging, conservative white males; that in that are the seeds of its demise. Glenn insisted that KSCO needed to move beyond narrow right-wing politics to broaden its base and increase its audience size.

    The key to making the sweeping changes needed at KSCO, said Glenn, with MZ concurring, is to bring the Rich Lieberman Show to the station and give it a prominent time slot. They expressed complete confidence that Lieberman's on-air presence on 10,000-watt KSCO would greatly enhance the station's image or brand, and that other programming changes were needed as well.

    Glenn did say that Lieberman's show, when it migrates to KSCO, needs to undergo some changes, including far less talk about politics--all of which Rich in his blog stands in agreement, if I'm reading things correctly. Rich is ready, willing and able to take his show, already a huge success on 1,000 watt KOMY, to a new level on the 10,000 KSCO flagship station. Rich has delivered on past promises. His program is already riveting, thought-provoking, stimulating, and an example of the best that talk radio has to offer today. He's much too modest to make such a claim, but he deserves more recognition than he's been getting.

    One last note. Yes, it's true, that MZ has received many email messages and phone calls from regular long-time listeners who bash Rich and his professionalism and edgy style. The hostility was plainly evident on that recent "Saturday Special" as one caller after another called to say they couldn't stand Lieberman and would tune off KSCO whenever his program his aired.

    You know what the reaction of MZ and his consultant was? Shock? Fear? Creeping doubt? None of the above. KSCO may lose a few of its listeners but it's audience is already at rock bottom. Nobody likes change. The few regular callers who call KSCO/KOMY to talk on the air think of themselves as demi-gods. Guess what? They may turn off the radio for a while, but they will be back. Even with the loss of some who either don't like Rich or can't stomach change, these losses will be more than offset by new listeners. MZ is no fool. He's betting on Rich neither blindly nor in desperation, but for sound business reasons. MZ has been in the radio business for over 30 years and is one of the few remaining (and successful) independent radio station owners who refuses to be bought out by the dominant mega corporations. He knows Rich can deliver.

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    1. Piedmont, with all due respect, less is always more. Please do yourself a favor and whittle your posts down. Especially on a comments forum where we don't have the advantage of bolding our fonts or anything else that will liven up the tiresome prose.

      Love to you, and I mean that!

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  7. Is it a technical issue or a contractual issue? They are two different things. Make up your mind.

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  8. The best laid plans sometimes go astray. I am sure all will be worked out and before long we will be enjoying the new programming. There are far worser things on my mind than this..how about the gridlock in government? URGGGGH!

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  9. Has anyone given any thought to the idea that if Congress continues on its current course of action that it will do what no enemy has ever accoplished? The destruction of the United States without ever firing a shot!

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  10. Rich,

    I'm never able to listen to your show due to where I am in the Bay Area and due to the times you are on the air. Will the new show have "podcasts" or a website where say it's 10pm and I'm at home surfing the net I can click to listen to that day's show?

    Thanks,
    Lieberman Fan

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    1. For being a fan you sure are clueless...you sound like all the Gil Gross fans who don't even know he's on air on 910am. Oy vey!

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    2. Lieberman Fan, I'm able to listen to the podcasts on the KSCO/KOMY site. Just click where it instructs you. Sometimes the site is down, or some issue happens with browsers, but usually it's no problem hearing Rich or other programming.

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    3. KSCO, AM 1080, has a strong signal that covers much of the Bay Area in addition to Santa Cruz, Monterey and Salinas--the local market that it primarily serves. It's not just the powerful 10,000 watt transmitter that pushes the signal far and wide, but the fact that its located right on the beach and benefits from the propagation of radio waves by saltwater, which is the best conductor. I have no trouble picking up the station clearly in Piedmont and on the coast as far north as Mendocino and Hearst Castle to the south. KSCO's signal is strong in the South Bay, especially San Jose, and just about anywhere on or close to the bay or coast itself, like San Francisco, benefiting from the highly conducive transmission of its signal over water from the beach at Santa Cruz.

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    4. Then you must have some type of strong antenna because I've lost the station going through Gilroy.

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    5. I can't get it in Berkeley, which is pretty near the bay and coast.

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    6. I can sometimes pick KSCO up in Sacramento! hello Lagoon and amplified waves!

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    7. I was intrigued by the app idea...I think we should all sit tight and see what transpires!

      Although, honestly, Rich, if someone offered me a job in SANTA CRUZ, I'd pack my bags and move!

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  11. How could Rich be foolish enough to start publicizing his fabulous new program if their was no firm agreement?

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  12. Now that Jenifer Lee Jones hasn't been working she must wake up giddy everyday because for her everyday: IT'S FRIDAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!

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    1. I really like Jennifer Lee Jones and her upbeat style. It seems in the past decade or so, people have become curmudgeons. The world seems to be filled with miserable bastards, some of which post here. I wish her well and welcome her back.

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  13. More importantly, how do you know KGO is cutting salaries by as much as 50%? What's going on here Mr. Rich? Whether or not your show survives, thrives, or fails is somewhat of a minor issue relative to Cumulus cutting that much pay? Are they kidding? This is the most expensive place to live in America, maybe the world!

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  14. One must take it easy after gastric sleeve surgery for about a month-5 weeks.

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