Monday, May 19, 2014

Attention, KGO Radio Staffers: The Staff Meeting I'm Giving You All That Cumulus Should Have

 OK, KGO staffers...I'm afraid even when there's fragile "good news" and we really mean fragile here, they, Cumulus still find a way to screw it up.

Or, at the very least, DO NOT know how to conduct, handle, coordinate simple business, employee relations, therefore I'll have my own staff meeting with you.

You haven't any idea of what's going on inside and God forbid they can't have a simple meeting to say, like, "look, we like you, are aware of the stories out there, and when we're able to give you the 'specifics, we shall do so." Something easy like that which would quell the current situation of extreme what the hell is going on?

The story is leaking out, (thanks for the attribution, Radio Ink)--the specifics are yet to be laid out and there's a thousand rumors and stories making the rounds on just who, what, and how the new/old/new format will be run. I'm no different than the rest of you all --I do know that indeed a new re-branding is in effect. They've even changed the promos: No more, "KGO, your 'Bay Area 'news station"---now, if you give a listen they changed that to, "KGO, your Bay Area News AND Information station". Clever. (A variation of what they used in the past).

So, staff, take a breather. Relax and eat a tuna sandwich--chill.

I just did what they should have done a few hours ago but clearly, they weren't prepared for this getting out so soon. And damn any memos or meetings.


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  1. KGO, you need an FM signal. Do you remember when MR. MICKEY announced, "Really big news, Monday at 9!" and everyone thought, "ooooh, they're going simulcast on FM!' And the news was that a tower was going solar? Good luck, may be too late, save for the die-hards on this site creating the talk line up.

  2. The 3-tower array by the bridge is solar, has been for three years. As for an FM, you're right. Will it be? Can it be? Look through "the fog" to see some suspicious possibilites. (Hint, Hint.) Calling Mel Baker, Mel Baker in 3 ... 2....1.

  3. If I were King...

    Some say we have lost our edge.
    Some say that we are out of date and unable to tap a younger demographic.
    Some say that companies don’t want to advertise with us anymore.
    Some say that our content is repetitive and stale.
    Some say that we have destroyed a legacy call KGO.

    I’m here gathered with all of you today to inform you that all is not lost.
    A strategic well detailed plan has been structured and now is the time to implement it.

    As with any well oiled machine, operating capital is the key. So for now, on our sales department will be known as the Wolfs of Front Street. Aggressive high pressure sales that will make a Yelp rep blush will be rewarded with higher commissions, bonuses, perks and prizes.

    Content. Very important here folks. We need to be on the cutting edge. Hip, cool, fashionable but also informative, compelling, controversial, attentive to needs and wants and most of all entertaining.

    News is made not found. No such things as a slow news day. There are 7 billion people on this planet, make something happen. Don’t waste time on Aunt Mildred’s dog being stuck in a drain pipe. The public demands more. They want something that is spectacular, sensational!!!

    Weather reporters, I want to hear the barometer readings along with the temps. Traffic, I want to hear the times its takes to get from point A to point B and where the cheapest gas prices are at for the day.

    Talk show hosts, as I mentioned earlier , compelling, provocative, informative, humorous, entertaining, be creditable, make it sound like you know what you’re talking about. Go out on a limb, take a chance, have some fun, don’t get stuck repeating yourselves or the same topic.

    Everybody, tap all social media sites. We want our presence know at every event happening in the Bay Area. When people want to know what’s popping they will come to us first. And please, just don’t focus on bake sales. Think cutting edge. Happening, current, trendy, uptown, downtown, everywhere. Think Fun!!!

    We will also be looking into acquiring or developing our own cutting edge social site revolving around podcast, videos, messaging and the sorts. More information about that at a later date.

    We will become the fountain of youth for the older. We will bring wisdom to the younger. We will be dynamic and ever changing, adapting to and with our environment continuously. Forward into the night we shall march seeking the new day sun!!!

    Okay, that’s it for now. Departments heads, meeting today at 1 pm. Everybody else… Get back to work.

  4. Thank you for stopping by, Mr. Dickey! Good luck with that pesky stocholder;s meeting coming up in a few days. Comedy gold!

  5. Mmmm...tuna sandwich. On focaccia? Sounds heavenly.

  6. Top 10 ideas for rescuing KGO.

    1. Add an FM simulcast. It doesn’t matter how strong KGO’s 50,000-watt signal is, people under 40 don’t know AM exists. Buying an FM station is a $60 million investment. It would make more sense to replace for Cumulus to replace KFOG (and South Bay sister station KFFG) with KGO. The KFOG brand is dying. It’s ratings have been in a nosedive and will never return to its former glory. And in the most recent ratings, it’s cume was 2.2, right next to KGO’s 2.0. When KCBS added an FM simulcast in 2009, it passed KGO in the ratings.

    2. Better talent. Quit talking about John Rothmann, Brian Copeland or Bernie Ward. Rehiring Bernie would be a PR disaster. Len Tillem is still popular and got good numbers when he was on at midday at KGO. Give him another try on weekdays. Audition people like Renel Brooks-Moon and consider bringing back Rosie Allen to do a talk show. Dr. Bill Wattenberg, presiding late night on weekends, had a following, and sponsors.

    3. Talk about local news. KGO used to be the place where you would go when something big happened. You’d want to hear what other people were saying about it. Have hosts bring reporters into the studio to discuss their stories in-depth and interact with callers.

    4. Dump Karel. Having him on the schedule, as the station’s token gay, is an insult to the gay community. Gay ad buyers must wince when they hear him. Doesn’t present a good image.

    5. If Cumulus manages to sell KSFO, the suits in Atlanta will want to move Savage, Levin, Bachelor and the Red Eye guys to KGO. That would derail any attempt to rescue KGO and prevent the station from gaining a mainstream audience.

    6. Get hosts to do a better job with “live read” spots. Encourage spontaneity, humor and veering from the script. I worked at a station where they required the talent to have regular lunch meetings with clients so the hosts would learn more about the business and have more material to ad lib.

    7. Strongly discourage clients from reading their own spots. Sure, it’s an ego-boost for the client, but the results are dismal. There’s a guy selling windows and doors who sounds like a Nazi storm trooper. I’d never set foot in his store. I knew one sales manager who told clients that insisted in appearing in spots to sign a waiver warning them that they wouldn’t get good results from their commercials. It wasn’t so much of a legal document, but a way of driving home the point that clients aren’t good announcers.

    8. At this point, my guess is that the ad agencies aren’t buying much time given KGO’s numbers. The sales force needs to go after local businesses, where the decision-makers are probably listeners. If you can’t get A- and B-level advertisers right now, your rates are probably low enough that you can create good ad programs for the Cs and Ds. KRON and KPIX did this during the 2009 downturn with good results. When the ratings improve, the agencies will be back.

    9. Get a local overnight host. This daypart is overlooked, but people who listen overnight will leave their radio tuned to the same station during the day. It’s call continuity. Of course you need somebody people will enjoy listening to, not somebody like Ray Taliaferro who repeated the same political rants night after night with little new to say.

    10. Social media doesn’t add anything to the bottom line. It’s nice to have a Facebook page or Twitter account if it brings listeners to the station. Corporate managers push social media because they don’t want to be left behind by competitors, but they don’t understand how it works and can’t monetize it. Talk radio is the original social media. Focus on that.

    1. One of the best posts I have read on this or any blog, 2:56! Disagree with only a couple of things. Radio ratings, including the PPM, are different betwen "rating" and cume. Actually, ad buyer buy cumes and cume SHARE (a percentage of the specific demo and target dayart/hours.) You are close, however. Unfortunately that 2.0 ratings means absolutely nothing to buyers in the 6+ demo. The rankings don't matter. They are worthless. Also, to a lesser degree, as opposed to paper diaries and "listener recall" as previous estimates were, TSL (Time Spent Listening) and AQH (Average Quarter Hour) shares don't mean as much as Cume and Cume Share percentage in PPM.

      I agree that, like KABC, in which you are correct, KGO can not survive with "too much" syndication. Right now, Cumulus is desperate to prop up Savage before he loses his luster. Batchelor could be the John Rothman of KGO, in that there is no cost for him and Red Eye tries very hard to play both ends against the middle with Gary and Eric. All night is not measured, so, it won't matter and the recycle factor leading into the morning news comes from the after 7 pm to 11 hours, not much more.

      Other than that you nailed it on the head. Great job!.

  7. if you want to know what the "new kgo" is gonna sound like check out the "new kabc"

    a mix of boring conservative with boring happy talk and weekends packed with infomercials

    nothing really to see here....cumulus hasnt "gotten it": and they wont till they go belly up

    1. You may be right, Geoff. Bryan Suits won't work here. The weekends, unfortunately, can become more and more "brokered" shows from Purity Products to real estate hours (including Gil Gross' nationally syndicated weekend show.)

      One this is obvious. There there is Larry Elder, Bryan Suits, Kudrow and a few others, there are more shows, shortened to an hour and no longer than two hours. That, as we've discussed here, would be a mega change, but effective. The get 'em on and off in 7 minutes for topics and issues disrupts the flow a lot on KGO today. However, any change to "new" -- especially on AM -- will have to be attention grabbing variety, thus, shorter, more impactful shifts. That will be a lot different here, but possibly productive.

      The key, however, is what will sell on AM? Certainly not young audiences. That's why an FM simulcast is urgent KFOG would be the target for KGO-FM. They could add KFGG, or, it could remain the K-FOG of the South Bay / San Jose.