KGO Radio in Extreme CYA mode...
*The Cumulus Market Manager who told a prominent advertising client rep that "we fucked up and are going back to talk" was not aware the rep had a prior business relationship with 415 Media and this blogger.
That same market manager got an internal reprimand from Cumulus' management in Atlanta for talking with me even though his response to my questions regarding a format change back to a talk hybrid was "no comment." The manger, Steve Sklenar, did not, and has not denied my initial story of KGO's plan to go back to a combination news and talk template based on an Atlanta station's current mix of local and national talk shows.
*415 Media was never "duped" nor "set up"--if so, then the subsequent story would be a heck of a lot better than Cumulus and KGO admitting it made a mistake. When you have lost as many listeners and advertisers as KGO/Cumulus has, to a point where you literally cannot give away free commercials to entice ad buyers to buy time on a station, then that situation speaks for itself.
*It has come to my attention that a late-night talk host spent a half hour on this subject early Saturday morning, and although did not mention my name nor 415 Media, made disparaging comments questioning the validity of my reporting and also, again, without mentioning my name nor this blog, uttered ad-homonym attacks against the "blogger."
It should be noted that this individual has been removed and re-assigned from two separate talk shows on KGO and a national show on KSFO. He has also been a recipient of criticism on his show from this blogger so the individual's selective indignation on this blogger and 415 Media should be taken with a grain of salt. Clearly, he has an axe to grind. There's a reason why the host has been relegated to the late-night/early-morning radio Siberia in which he broadcasts from and was born with no testicles. He will not be mentioned here nor in any comments as a public service.
*Back to the main event...415 Media stands by the story and believes a couple of scenarios may be in the making...To wit:
*Three separate individual sources with direct knowledge of the conversation between Sklenar and the prominent ad rep, (whose company continues to advertise on both KGO and KSFO), confirmed the account of what was said.
The conversation was not the only impetus behind my reporting but contributed to its conclusion and belief from here that KGO is planning a subtle re-branding away from its current platform to a hybrid of news and talk with a heavy emphasis on "live and local." Another publication agrees and is a widely respected trade in the broadcasting business.
*A local observer told me Cumulus may have been annoyed at 415 Media for exposing the coming changes and is now simply in "extreme CYA-mode"--after all, to clear things up and provide satisfactory answers to broadcast reporters who have called and inquired about my report, (so-called, legitimate news-gathering operations), Cumulus has not put out a press release denying the report nor calling any aspect of it, false.
*In fact, Cumulus refuses to even offer its own San Francisco/KGO staffers a memo on the report's veracity, or lack thereof. Confusion, bewilderment and internal strife over the report, (especially from the news department), could be alleviated with a simple memo. Even at that, there are some who believe Cumulus doesn't want to do that because by doing so, it would be an acknowledgment of my report and add credence to its original conclusion. Furthermore, management doesn't want to upset existing personnel in the news division. Such caring team players.
*I don't think Cumulus is that dumb --stupid?, maybe to try to intentionally dupe me. FYI, I've heard a lot more theories and been exposed to possible dupes --all the way from country music formats, all-sports conduits, (essentially a KNBR3), all-syndicated news, talk, you-name-it, I've heard it.
A personal note: Frankly, some of you think I have a personal stake in all this. I do not. If KGO were to go oldies, fine. Maybe a radio medical station 24/7? Beautiful. The old KGO will never be back and from here, that was the final straw. The current format is an unmitigated disaster with revolving chiefs, a weekend circus with rent-a-host uncertainty, incompetent management with an Opps Mgr with one foot out the door. No wonder he wants to get the hell away. Matter of fact, nearly everyone in the building has flooded other outlets with resumes. One specific talk-show host has told me "I HATE MY JOB!" in regular texts and e-mails. That person is not alone. Even the Entertainer with the carnival act from 7-10 is nervous. Maybe he should take another trip to Ireland and Bakersfield. I can't wait to see him at the "All-Star" debate--that should be a blast. Can't wait.
*The 9-Noon weekday host is getting clobbered in the ratings, ironically, by the other guy with the fake name, opposite him, on KSFO. Deidra Lieberman, the ex-GM, quit in disgust. Lot's of smoke, folks.
We have much more to say but will follow up when the time comes and there's more to report.
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