Friday, June 20, 2014

Pig Vomit: The Real Honest-to-God Inside Story; No Wonder KGO/KSFO Worker Bees Anxious; Friday PM Noter

OK, gather round.  All you professionals at KGO and KSFO. Interns, gather up! News writers. Suck ups,  producers (including Brian), executive producers (Hi, Renee Bakos) and you board ops including Susan Whynot and others.

You phone-it-in auditioners like Weintraub, Bartholomew and yes, even Chef Ryan Scott. Most of all-- dysfunctional, malcontents misfits,  like the "entertainer" Karel - get your red carpet cape out and paint a big red target on the back when you wear it to your next job in Tulare, Redding or Bakersfield.  You are about to be more done than a July 4th steak.

Kevin Metheny is coming back to town.  The new sheriff of the dysfunctional family known as Cumulus Media is awaiting his replacement at Detroit's sixth-ranked 50,000 watt Class A cumulus blowtorch, 760 WJR.  The soon-to-be former home of the legend known as "Pig Vomit."

You remember him from Howard Stern's book and classic cult favorite flick, "Private Parts."  Yep, the same "Pig Vomit" that killed off 66 'W EEEEENNNNN BEE CEE" back in the day.  Then, there were clusters like KFRC ("Magic 61") and former Top 40 AMer, the FM side of KFRC which was sold to CBS.  KFRC-AM to the depths of Family Radio, complete with a call letter change.

Clusters like those in Cleveland that included once proud stations like WGAR-FM, WTAM (news / talk), the legendary and heritage rocker, WMMS-FM and others.  The group GM said then at that time "working with Kevin Metheny was like working with a daily root canal."  Honest.  Ouch.

After a myriad of stations that makes Metheny's resume about 8 pages long that includes VH-1, MTV and other stints from Jacksonville to Minneapolis, Seattle and beyond the cosmos, lightning struck in many other places.  Places that once served their communities with decent radio - quickly destroyed by the infamous Pig Vomit who arrived anyplace after 1980 with a copy of Stern's DVD "Private Parts" in hand.

From the debacle in Philly known as WZZD 99 ("The Wizzard") that Metheny derived after he took apart the legend known as "WIBG", Kevin Metheny.

Lightning later struck, and as recently as four years ago in 2010, when Metheny was finally and thankfully fired from Chicago's WGN 720 blowtorch, the home of the lowly Chicago Cubs (which leaves WGN after this season after a 80 year run.)

As noted newspaper scribe and media  blogger Roger Fedor was quoted: "The worst program director in the history of Chicago radio, Kevin Metheny, has been quarantined and fired from WGN. Finally."

Picture this scenario.  Two hands full of Chicago radio greats, were ruthlessly, cruelly and unmercifully fired by Metheny, including morning man Steve Cochran who was told on air, by Metheny, "You know, Steve, I like you.  I just don't like your show."  Cochran was fired and replaced by KGO 26-year-vet   Greg Jarrett who languished under Metheny's rule for two years in a dysfunctional, fish-out-of-water way before he, too, was gone, now, to Chicago.  Word is that Jarrett would like to come back to the Bay Area.  KGO-- KSFO?  Not sure, but a whole lot of bridge repair would need to be done between Metheny and Jarrett for sure.

Metheny has mixed it up with his then boss, Randy Michaels, who saw lightning in a bottle, an explosive shard of a a glass bottle, by putting Metheny in charge of WGN.  Michaels was axed by Tribune Media and by the following Tuesday, Metheny was out with him.

415 Media Flashback:  The heritage continues.  There is a most famous memo to staff at WGN and, no doubt, Metheny's current home (Thanks to Cumulus "VP of News / Talk Programming ("Spoken Word formatting" as it's termed by Cumulus Media brother honcho, John Dickey,) Randall Bloomquist, himself a lightweight in the Atlanta captain's chair.

That memo will, not doubt, be sent to each air talent and remaining news person (if there are any left after this,) that says, and I quote: "Build audience ... or you're out."
No foolin'.  "Build audience, or you're out." 

Never one to play the role of "scapegoat" eloquently, the debacle ahead will be the fault of KGO / KSFO non-syndicated employees. 

Metheny is a big fan of syndication.  There isn't enough flying around right now, however, to satisfy him.  He won't have Limbaugh or Levin, here, like in Detroit, where he only had three "live and local" talents. He will have Bachelor and "Red Eye Radio", still, here, like he has in Detroit.

A simulcast possibility? Maybe.  Metheny is not so hot running two radio stations at once.  Maybe a "tandem pair" would be good for him to get his head around.

WJR is 6th in a 30 station market.  Another news station, CBS' WWJ beats WJR, which has a current PPM overall "beauty contest" ranking of a 5.2 rating, in the market of 2.8 million.  Here, he has a 6 million plus population to deal with and a 2.1 share and flat lining.  It's not working here and with two-thirds a more robust population it likely won't be exploding in success very soon. 

Don't forget, there's a returned market manager in Gary Pizzati, too.  This should be a battle of titans...

There is so much here, one could write a book.  A large, scare-filled book into the abyss.


  1. Sounds like the Corps that own these radio stations are Ecologists because they seem to recycle the same trash year in-year out.
    Good to see good guys like Jack Swanson out living life large!

  2. This move is trending towards what we have been hearing in the hallways. KSFO is for sale and Cumulus wants to get rid of it and put their properties on KGO's 50k watt blowtorch. It won't become a total conservative station, as they want to appease everyone. But local news (or Imus) in the morning, followed by Ronn, a combination of savage or whoever else they are high on, possibly a local one, and red eye at night makes perfect sense. Expect more paid shows on weekends but they might keep a couple of $200 a shift local shills.this is Pig Vomits MO and that's probably why he's been brought in. Not the worst way to handle it, but not the right way. It's the Cumulus way!

    1. Make no mistake, San Francisco is changing. QUICKLY, as about as fast as the retired Baby Boomer change-the-world types can pass the torch to the hipster techie crowd. KGO gone conservative? Holy shit on a shingle!

      And guess what else? This might work. The old KGO is gone but if the new lineup as discussed here results in increased ratings and KSFO is sold off, they'll call it a success. You just watch.

  3. What's with the pic of this guy hugging a de-clowned faced clown? Freaky! On the upside, maybe Paul Giamatti will portray Metheny (again) in a future Death of KGO docudrama for VH-1?

  4. If he's as bad as I've read, wouldn't it stand to reason that he might KEEP Karel?

    (Karel makes me think of the KGO purge as similar to what happened in the final episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show .. everyone was fired except Ted Baxter.)

  5. Paul Giamatti was classic as this guy in the Stern movie. He actually seems like a reasonable fellow who unfortunately has to deal daily with the requisite large egos of people like Stern. Metheny seems lucky to have been made like rubber because he keeps bouncing back! Who knows? Perhaps he'll be the one to turn KGO around. Stranger things have happened in this world Richie!

  6. I forgot to ask, what about Brinker on the weekends?

  7. I can't stand Greg Jarrett. Greg has this uncanny way of inserting himself into every news story. Talk about a blow-hard.

  8. It's resume polishing time.

  9. Calling Randall Bloomquist a "lightweight" is accurate, not to mention charitable Just ask the folks in Atlanta, Charlotte and Richmond who still haven't recovered from his total incompetence. Of all the idiotic decisions recently made by Cumulus, hiring Randall Bloomquist is by far the worst.