Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Len Tillem, The 'Loyah', Is Ready And Willing To Get Back On The Radio But KGO Needs To Make The Phone Call

 KGO Radio, in its new talk reincarnation --and who knows what the particulars are at this point, it's months away--could start off with a great acquisition, a proven hitter, an across-the-board winner who is a proven commodity with all demos---the Loyah himself, Len Tillem.



First things first though; I called Tillem and asked about his future plans and it's real simple at this point. He refuses to even think about anything until the big suits at 55 Hawthorne contact him.

"There's no point in my speculating what I'd do about being back on KGO at this point. All I've heard is rumors so far."


Let's be blunt here. KGO, if it's serious about its new re-branding back to a talk/news-talk/personality-driven hybrid should go all out and get Tillem back on the airwaves--but at this point, KGO needs Tillem more than Tillem needs KGO. Tillem is perfectly happy at his law offices up in Sonoma devoid of the broadcast biz. Then again, and this is just a hunch from me, he's itching to be back on Bay Area airwaves.


Jack Swanson, the former KGO Opps Mgr and now an industry consultant once said about Tillem:


"Sure someone can send me one good tape or audition--what I need is someone who can be fresh, alive and most importantly, larger than life 1 to 3 hours a day every weekday, week after week, for years...now THAT's hard." 

No question Tillem would make for an immediate buzz hire for Cumulus not to mention his presence would produce instant traction and notice. Tillem had the highest ratings on KGO when he was doing his wildly popular talk show. Moreover when he appeared as a guest on other host's programs, their ratings went through the roof. No surprise.

As I said, Tillem is the rare bird who transcends all demos and figures. He's popular across all fronts; young and old, Black, White, Yellow and Brown, Tillem's loyah show is a potpourri of advertising nirvana, a virtual can't miss with a zest for the funny and legal stories bonanza.


I've often told Tillem that his legal show --in a tight, two-hour format would be even more popular on the syndicated level--a legal version of Dr. Dean's show only more comedic and unpredictable given Tillem's "why you callin' a loyah?" routine.

But let's stick to the present. Tillem awaits the call from the KGO management team. They are aware, at least most of them, of the Sonoma legal ace. They can begin a successful transformation of their reimaging by calling Lenny.

I think they know the number.



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34 comments:

  1. If Cumulus brought back the Loyah I'd put 810 b ack on a push button on my car and home radios.
    But when have they ever done anything smart?

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  2. I like Tillem and would like to see him return to KGO. However, it would be quite disappointing if he went back to his bad habit of doing "best of" once a week. Contrary to what he thought, there were some of us who were able to listen each day and recognized the "best of" from the prior weeks. It just happened too frequently for my taste.

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    1. Excellent point. That pur laziness from management. If Len would have worked 7 days a week, they'd have let him, especially if one or two a week were "Best Ofs." I have to totally agree with you.

      It also should be noted that Tillem is not an all-things-to-all-things lawyer. He does not do criminal law. So, his branching out on air to ore than probate, wills, trusts and the like was made him "interesting" to listen too. His sense of humor is outstanding and could handle most any case before him on air. He's broadminded and that's what I like about him.

      My only complaint against Len is his too many chit chats with Pat Vetucci who, himself, is questionable. Sometimes, I think Len's association goes too far and is distracting. Other than that, go Len and, yes, they may need you more than you need them, but that's not how it works.

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  3. He's a shuck and jive artist. Entertaining to a point but really not good on brass tacks when dealing with legal problems unless it's in his area of expertise. (his "staff" gathers info for him more often than not while the person is on hold) He's crude, sometimes funny and treats others like crap. Not a fan. Weekends are more than enough.

    But the funny part is...he HASN'T BEEN CONTACTED because this change IS NOT HAPPENING. Rich starts the rumor, a dumb media paper (Radio Ink) picks it up, and now everyone figures it's a fait accompli. Back in the real world, nothing has happened. Now Rich is saying the change is "months away" as he begins back-tracking and hedging his bets. Lame.

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    1. The stories phoned in by callers asking for advice are entertaining. Tillem's legal advice, commonly after insinuating the person was an idiot, not so good.

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    2. @ 9:37: A little bitter and uninformed too. The change is coming, I work at KGO--not sure it's going to do any good, but Lieberman's story is accurate.

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    3. I work at KGO too and no, there is no indication that we are going back to more weekday talk anytime soon. The Radio Ink piece was spinning off of Rich's rumor. So let's see if any of Rich's loyal readers will ever call him on the carpet when he gets things wrong or jumps the gun with gossip and rumor.

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    4. OK, so which is it? Who's lying here? One say the facts presented are "accurate" and the other says "there is no indication." Are you both unknowing interns making no money are are you just lying? How stupid, one on top of the other. Who's zooming who?

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    5. "Jumps the gun?" What gun would that be? There would be no gun to jump if this, in fact, wasn't true. What J school did you attend?

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  4. Lieberman, your statement that KGO needs Tillem more than he needs KGO is one of the smartest things you've ever written.
    Think of the positive publicity such a move would generate for the most disliked company (Cumulus) in the Bay Area.

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    1. Good point, 9:43. Makes a lot of sense. It must be, however, a mutual meeting of minds. Either that, or Len still is a Sonoma "law-yah" without a voice on radio -- and he wants that very much. It works both ways.

      If he touched base (as I know he has withing the last year) and they blew him off, that would be even WORSE for Cumulus and the resurrection of KGO. From a publicity view, I'd rather hear, "Look, I tried. I played nice, and they said "Len, go eff yourself."

      If at least the left the door cracked open and said, "Len, we appreciate your interest and we're well aware of you at KGO. Let us think about it and our people will call your people," would be a perfect out.

      He's only an email away or a very short phone call to Ron Escarsega do make it happen. Cumulus doesn't want speculation all over the place by a popular host. Someone has to have the balls to reach out and touch.

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  5. The Masked PosterMay 20, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    And, speaking of Dr.Dean, how about bringing HIM back?

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    1. No, please. Dr. Dean is part of the reason of KGO's demise. Too old, too ineffective. Too "AM". Even affiliates didn't want the show because you could hear the radios turning off. There are better available.

      Edell (finally) quit. No loyalty lost there. Quitting is not like getting fired and coming back. That bridge with Edell has burned. Most of his audience is now to fragile.

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    2. Dr. Dean Edell was a nationally syndicated radio program not a local program on KGO. The show wasn't even broadcast from KGO studios. He retired on top Dr. Edell was offered a boatload of money to stay.

      Delete
  6. Eh,pushing this guy for a station you already said wants right wing talk? And he's a retread?
    It almost doesn't matter. If its going conservative they are going for the minority in the bay area.
    BUT,Considering the bay area is half Latino and a quarter Asian, how about this?: One of them to host a talk show in the bay area. Revolutionary!. Or do sports talk?! wow- can the bay area handle that? And liberal of course..finding a person of color to agree down the line with Republicans isn't making any progress. We got enough hypocrite Clarence Thomas types to overcome.

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    1. I respectfully disagree with your theories, 10:32. Yes, the Bay Area is liberal. No lock on that "surprise." The problem is that the left wingers who only want to talk politics and conspiracy theory, with their own brand (as does the GOP) of "hate speech" is NOT attracting listeners. The numbers not only prove that, but they have been decline at KGO for YEARS -- long before the blood-letting of two and a half years ago. Periiod.

      If the majority is here, which is no doubt, why are they NOT listening as a majority? Why are older 60+ audiences making up the bulk of KGO's dwindling audience? Why have they lost money to the point where their rates mean nothing because advertisers aren't buying it?

      Easy. KGO doesn't work for younger audiences.. It isn't working for polarized older audiences because not enough of the lefties listens. The station needs a mix.

      It wasn't said that the station is going "all right." It needs a mixture. You can't exclude the right or the left. There must be a balance.

      Len Tillem would be, without the infomercials who did him in at KKSF, be a perfect "have" for KGO. Rich is right. Credibility, humor, he transcends all demographic, all genders, all political persuasions.

      The station will not be programmed for "you". If you want "individuality" - pay $14 a month and listen to Sirius Left via satellite. I also mean that the right isn't doing so hot on KGO either. Yeah, we know the mantra. The thing is, there is enough talent in this market that can -- AM or not -- bring relevance back to KGO by talking with the audience they know -- not talkng "at them" from crap talkers from New York (Langan), Bartholamew (New Jersey), Karel (Long Beach), John & Jeff (LA), Ray (Chico), Bloomsberg (New York) and the beat goes on.

      Tillem would be an excellent choice. Len has an ego, yes, and "they have to call me" is bullshit. You want the job, you go for it, because the line is long behind you. Saying to the suits privately that you'e interested and willing is not wrong.

      Cumulus, with no major market experience in ownership, will need to be led down the primrose path too. They know they screwed up, but to see a willngness to put all behind us on both sides wouldn't be a bad idea.

      Some give and take on both sides is best. Plus, remember, there is no confirmation of anything, just vaporware at this point.

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    2. Stan, if anyone is a "retread" it's you. Don't you have a blog to take of or is the lonliness of no one responding getting to you and causing you to be lonely. Your take on radio has long sucked and you know not what you are trying to stir up. Stan, Art Bell is long gone. Why not find some other outlet. You make so little sense here and your opinion(s) are, I'm sorry, a jumbled mishmass of dehydrated shit.

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    3. Uh, Stan, there are already stations dedicated entirely to Asians and Latinos. And surprisingly, they have talk shows for them!!! SHOCKING. Seeing as tho you're a minority yourself I figured you would know this already. Or is Rod Brooks your main man?

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    4. Stan, you're statistics are entirely wrong about the ethnicity of the bay area. The bay area IS NOT "half Latino and a quarter Asian."

      Please cite the source for your statistical information, voices in your head do not qualify as a legitimate source.

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    5. Stan makes this crap up, his statistics are ridiculous. San Francisco and Alameda county are greater than 50% Caucasian.

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    6. Ah,shut the hell up. The point is they are vastly underrepresented. VASTLY.
      I wonder what people would say in New York, if nobody hosting a sports show there was Jewish--EVER?..or in Florida if a Cuban was NEVER hired? or Mississippi couldn't find a black man to talk sports?
      And that's what Latins have seen here.
      And once again..for the thousandth time..I don't care for separate but equal. Geddit?..no,you don't. But those who do,I thank you.

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    7. Stan gets caught making up his own statistics so then he USES UPPERCASE to present another garbled version of his same tired argument.

      And Stan, no one remembers or cares what you think about "separate but equal."

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    8. Hey Stan, you need a little help with statistics, grammar, and learning how to use pronouns.

      Delete
  7. I can easily do without anymore air time from Tillem. As other's have said, he can be entertaining, but most times is annoying, rude and crude. I don't see why people with real problems would call him and be made fun of. Just not my cup of tea. I would like to hear some on air psychologist. I miss Dr. Laura, one of the first thrown into the ever consuming Volcano of the Politically Correct. For physicians, Dr. Dean Edele was very good, in spite of his speech impediment, but as time went on, Dean became stridently preachy and hard core Liberal.

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    1. 10:48am--Definitely Agree with You about Dr. Dean Edell-KGO
      Please Do NOT Bring Back Dr." Foreskin" Dean Edell!

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    2. Dr. Dean Edell is retired, he is on Ronn's show once in awhile as a guest, he sounds very happy to be retired. I like him and some of his common sense approach, I never listened to him, I'm really not interested in hearing all about other peoples ailments. When he talked diet and nutrition I would listen that is about it. He things taking vitamins is a waste of money, but I still take quite a few. One of my best friend has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, ran one of the laboratories at Mass General Hospital, and was for years and associate professor at Harvard, he has spend his life studying a healthy diet, nutrition and vitamins and supplements, so although I respect Dr. Edell, I don't take everything he says (says) is gospel.

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    3. Is Dr. Dean retired?

      Doesn't he still do a daily 5 minute Medical News segment or something similar?

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  8. If, and that's a big IF, they were to bring him back I would listen to KGO once again for at least the time he's on. I don't do KGO unless I need a traffic report. I only need those about once every month and a half that I come into SF. And even at that, the jarring mispronunciations send me over to KCBS. Are you listening, KGO? If you catch me for some of the time, that's better than never. Plus I might keep you tuned in and discover another program to listen to. As it is, I have no idea what's on your station and find no reason to care.

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  9. Come on, come on, COME ON!!!!!!

    Is talent acquisition that hard to achieve? Hell no!!!
    There are tons of proven money making business models out there to copy. America’s Got Talent, American Idol, The Apprentice, the fucking Gong Show.

    This is how you do it.

    Dedicate a 3 to 4 hour time slot to the show. Have a panel of judges. Owens can be the Chuck Barris (Gong Show) of the panel. Have the cantankerous Savage on the other end of the panel. And in the middle have local guests such as comedians, politicians, actors, whoever, to divide the two so they don’t kill each other.

    Contestants will have fifteen minutes to do their spot which at anytime they can get yanked by the majority of judges who will be asking them question on certain topics. Also, you will have the radio audience texting in their votes simultaneously. Callers will also be able to call in if the contestant wishes to have that as one of their options.

    Contestants will work their way through the show and ultimately through a 26 week series. The best will become a permanent host.

    Geez whiz, come on.

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  10. I wouldn't wait by the phone if I were him.

    Lucky to get a weekend gig. After all, he did enjoy slamming kgo when he was on kksf for 15 minutes.

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  11. Do you really think you can put the genie back in the bottle? KGO was fading before the Dickeys. But they were too arrogant to accept reality and act before it was too late. The station has sounded old fashioned for a long time. I'm not sure retreads from the past will change anything. I don't see the current management even capable of imaging much less creating compelling talk for today. No matter how many old talk hosts you add, station is still circling the drain.

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    1. Perhaps KGO was fading, and I understand in general ratings for most talk show hosts are down, yes things are changing, and they cannot bring the past back. The fact is that KGO was still an excellent radio station with varying programs, a mix of news, talk, and some special interest shows, such as Joanie Greggins health talk, Gene's dining around. Even if they don't get back to ratings they had, they can still provide good, interesting, intelligent programs, I assume if they have decided to go back to talk it is because whenever the have talk instead of news the ratings go up. The have some new younger hosts, like Matt Ray and others who shows promise, even though they are a far cry from Gene Burns.

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    2. The ratings descent began long before Cumulus arrived. It began when Bernie left, unceremoniously..
      I appreciate all the market realities, internet replacement of real radio,lack of affinity for AM among younger audiences, etc. but the above is also true.

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  12. Rich, your loyalty to your friends is admirable however KGO is probably thinking about the future instead of being mired in the past. I used to listen to Tillem and it took me a few minutes to remember the guy. His listener base has moved on and isn't coming back. Even if they did it would not be enough to give KGO the numbers it needs to compete in this market. Also Tillem would stand out like a sore thumb in their effort to bring in a demo that SPENDS MONEY which equals advertisers. It will be interesting to see if they can pull off the ultimate coup and create a station that actually has the nerve to go against City Hall and the entrenched SF liberal establishment. Can they get selfish techies to believe that they have an enemy? More importantly can they get techies to listen to the radio and actually care about anything other than themselves for five minutes?

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