Contrary to what many think there is no wake taking place at KNBR, suddenly bereft of its only 1050 AM content provider, Damon Bruce--you know, he of the one who thinks he's the second coming of Pete Franklin, circa 2014.
Bruce has landed the prime-time drive home at FM sports vagabond 95.7 FM The Game and good for him.
He works hard. He provides a necessary alternative to the primitive and highly provincial Knibber whose sole existence is based on the Giants standings and 49ers supremacy, and now, the Warriors uprising too.
But make no mistake--Damon Bruce was more suitor material from Entercom, (which owns 95.7) and its SF outpost. The Game. This has been an under performer from day one and even with arrangements with the A's and the Raiders, The Game's ratings are still abysmal and in the tank. They lack a strong personality unless you count Greg Papa and John Lund and they performed miserable in the important morning drive with "The Rise Guys" who may feel a little limp right now since they were shown the door only to be replaced by Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend. I'm not a huge fan of the latter but their show is markedly better than the morning dreck boys on KNBR. Anything short of cryonics would be an improvement over the smug and smarmy Brian Murphy and his partner with the fake New Jersey accent and a voice that is flatter than Ellen DeGeneres bust.
Bruce is essentially a "nothing-to-lose" move by 95.7. His hiring is not sudden nirvana. Sure, he'll be making a lot more money, has a chance to shine in a more lucrative time slot and a fresh start and new beginning in a new crib down the street from the building of KNBR where he was never really appreciated to begin with ---for good reason.
His most indelible mark--the famously infamous rant on women in sports was his most signature moment. He didn't get along with anybody and had constant beefs with producers, interns, salespeople and yes, some guy named Gary Radnich. Their brief virtuoso lasted about two weeks and coincidentally landed DB in KNBR's little sister of the poor, 1050 AM, or the Death Valley of the dial position. That worked fine for Lee Hammer and company and even for Bruce himself--his little playpen and no threat to Radnich, no threat to the station itself which could hold onto a rising air presence and not mess with the nice furniture in the living room.
See, KNBR is fine so as long as the Giants, 49ers and Warriors, to a lesser degree, are fine themselves and all three are prime tenants of the meat dept. They help supplant KNBR, (and Cumulus, by extension) and move the cash around the sales dept. where Tolbert and Ratto, Radnich and Krueger, and the Morning Show midgets can perform without messing with the cabinet that holds the keys to the kingdom.
Think of it this way: If The Game had 50K watts, prime AM dial position with a great listening signal and KNBR was stuck in the FM desert, the dynamics would change and it would be Knibber trying to snatch, say a Tom Tolbert. That wouldn't necessarily make for better ratings but it couldn't hurt. It's the proverbial if you throw enough shit against the wall some of it might stick. Not to impugn Bruce, but that's the central line of fire in The Game's limited strategy--they are stuck. They have the A's and the Raiders. The A's are exciting and possess a loyal fan base but not enough to sustain an entire time block around daytime programming. (Is it any wonder that Eastbay critics of The Game complain they talk too much SF sports teams?)
So be happy for Mr. Bruce and allow this essentially one-day shelf-life of a story take shape. It's not earth-shattering and it isn't the type of move that trends on Twitter; not that that matters but the bottom line is its more a proactive move by The Game rather than an omission by the big boys at 55 Hawthorne. Noon-3 on 1050 is not their breadwinner. Never has been. More like the last aisle at Toys R Us.
Moreover after a day or so in the newness of 3-7 on FM, Bruce will have to grapple with the likes of Tom Tolbert and Ray Ratto, not extraordinarily special especially with the abundance of commercial spots and countless "updates". No easy competition for DB but anything competitive against the 680 machine is OK with me.
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