Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ask Rich Lieberman

 Bay Area TV/Radio News, Notes and gossip.


I'll be answering your questions for a few hours.


Fire away.
















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94 comments:

  1. Since you post the monthly Radio Online ratings, is it possible to go back to check the numbers for the six months prior to the KGO massacre to determine if they were indeed losing market share as management claimed?

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    1. They were. It's no secret.

      But they were still near the very top in the ratings; they were still billing $25-$35M in ads and they were still dominant in many demos.
      With a little tweaking and altering, they could have remained a relevant station and preserve their legacy status.

      Instead they were led into the abyss they currently are in and why they have chosen, soon, to go back to some news and talk hybrid--something they should have done back in 2011.

      Delete
    2. Yes, they were. Not only that, but new ratings technology came on board which being electronic (PPM) showed some real fallacies to how they survived so strongly previously. The laziness of management and the older the demographics that were overwhelmingly 55+ with a lost over 8 years of the 25-54 year old demographic killed the golden goose.

      The result: The loss from fist, to fourth, to 12th, 14th and now 21st. Some shows down to 24th and below 30th place. KSFO is now only one rating point behind KGO in the "beauty contest" rankings, but with nothing, you can't create giant ratings.

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    3. The problems with KGO are far from unique. The Cumulus way has decimated legendary stations including WABC (lowest ratings in history,), WLS, (lowest ratings in history,) KABC, (lowest ratings in history), WBAP (very low ratings comparitively speaking,) WJR (from 6th to 10th in the latest rating book) and in market after market. No merely drops, but historical drops in ratings and revenue losses.

      Delete
    4. It was $40,000,000. in 2010.
      Owen and Tillem got KGO $450. a minute to do a live read.
      Ad up all those minutes, 20 ad minutes in an hour, and how many hours a day times seven times 30, this is the monthly gross, and is a license to print money.
      Cumulus is a bunch of dumb asses.

      Delete
  2. How much does a Frosty or Gross make?

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    1. Not as much as you think, the days of high-paid radio broadcasters, (except Rush, Hannity, Beck, Levin/Savage) are long gone.

      I'd guess Gross is about $175K and Frosty $125K.

      Delete
  3. Why is it that many reporters and anchors feel it necessary to fake an accent when reading Latin names, and ONLY Latin names? Is it simple pandering? Why not fake Russian when discussing Putin, or British when speaking of The Queen or a Prince?

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    1. I agree.

      It's so disingenuous and phony --I wish they'd stop. It insults our intelligence too as if they're authenticating the story using the fake accent. Like we don't know.

      Delete
    2. I noticed for a brief while Cristina Rendon of KTVU was signing off saying her name with a Spanish (or Latino, there's a slight difference) accent. Then suddenly she stopped. And when I worked at KRON I saw some early tapes of Ysabel Duron and her delivery could be mistaken for Teresa Estacio--at least Estacio, though I loathe her, isn't ashamed to come on like she was born and bred here. Duron is.

      I agree, disingenuous and phony.

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    3. Excellent point, 9:21!!!

      Delete
    4. johnny bom bonneyJuly 12, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      Gee, got some problems with Latinos? Show some cojones! First off, there will always be altered pronunciations that won't please everyone but need to be done (e.g., no one will ever drive from Sahn Rrrrrra fye ell to Bye-ehjj ho) Rich, instead of disingenuous how about its just the way somepeople talk?

      And 10:40: who the hell are you to know about Ysabel Duron's 'shame level'? Only a punk would be pissed off by an accent

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    5. No problem with Latinos. Problem is with people apparently pandering to them. If a newsreader can easily pronounce Costantino Silvestri or Hamish McDuffie without feeling the need to fake an accent, why can't they do the same with Manuel Hernandez? It's that simple.

      I actually find authentic accents quite interesting. It's the fake ones that cause me to wince.

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    6. "to them" shut up you racist white boy

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    7. You don't see anyone pronouncing Dublin with an Irish accent, Campbell with a Scottish accent, Antioch with a Greek accent or either Atherton or Livermore with a British accent. It's pandering to the hispanic community, nothing more.

      Delete
    8. 9:21pm is another bitter liberal who is short with dissenting view points.
      When in doubt call your opponent a racist.
      Easy to do. No thought involved.

      Delete
    9. 9:21, you sound like one of the racists in the racist organization La Raza…

      Oh, and by the way, I'm "brown", my mom immigrated here legally from South America. To Hell with you and your brown klan.

      Delete
    10. Love it when those RRRRRs suddenly start rolling off reporters tongues! Explains who they REALLY are!! La RRRRRRRRRRaza shall overcome!!

      Delete
  4. What happened to MZ's plan to buy/lease/get a frequency in the Bay Area?

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    Replies
    1. You might want to ask him: MZ@ksco.com

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    2. Especially when they don't do it for Asian - Chinese or Indian, names.

      Delete
  5. Why doesn't Gil Gross take any callers? I don't care who the host is, if they don't take callers it makes the show boring. The beauty of the old KGO was the give and take of opinions and facts, not a one sided monologue.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Gil follows the Limbaugh rule: "I'm the reason people listen, not to hear 8 minutes of a stumbling old fart who bloviates." This way, Gil gets to do the bloviating because he loves his voice.

      Delete
  6. Frosty doesn't make that much. No way.

    Who stays and who goes at kgo?

    Do any ksfo shows end up on kgo?

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    Replies
    1. Well if you know that "Frosty doesn't make that much", (and believe me, I can't stand him too), maybe you should answer your last two q's, you seem to know more than I do.

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    2. Possibly if KGO is willing to take a pass on Bloomsberg Radio all night. Could simulcast "Red Eye Radio" which is getting respect nationally. Saves the cost of engineering and a producer locally. Plus, Cumulus owns the property from Dallas and needs more big clearances. Better than what is on now.

      Word is that Ronn is getting pressured to leave. News block could stay in AM drive on KGO, maybe shorter. Same with afternoon news, though that is still iffy to do in the turmoil going on. People want talk, not news, in the market. It already has news with KCBS which is doing well. It's a crap shoot. Look for Metheny to follow a Cumulus line.

      One of his "innovations" is shows that start on the half-hour, instead of on the hour. Ronn could start at 8:30. Same with changes in afternoon. Maybe a half hour noon news, then, the cycle starts again. KGO has lost its news audience. Hopefully, they shorten the morning block and cut the afternoon block, too..

      Delete
    3. Gross gets $100,000 a year and a producer.
      That's it.
      I know.
      I wonder how much he'll get next year.
      RL

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    4. Gil also makes better than "chump change" doing a weekly Realtors show every weekend coast-to-coast -- owned by the Realtors. Been doing it for years.

      Keep in mind that the new 'weekend news' contract with Clear Channel IF it affects KGO / KSFO would be nothing new to Kevin Metheny. He worked for Clear Channel / Cleveland for 13 years while single handedly destroying that famous cluster of news, talk and music stations. A former upper level consultant in the market said famously, "Working with Kevin Metheny in Cleveland was like having a daily root canal." You stay classy, Cumulus Media.

      Delete
  7. How much is Ray Ratto making from KNBR

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    1. Ray is a fill-in at KNBR--he makes his real dough at Comcast. I don't know what Cumulus pays high-up fill-in but my guess would be $250 a show or a little more.

      Delete
  8. What's the latest on Ralph B. Have you talked with him lately. In general...how is he doing ??

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    Replies
    1. I haven't spoken to Ralph for a few months. He's raising his son and trying to get out more.
      I'll give him a call and see if he's willing to tell me anything different or noteworthy.

      Delete
  9. Rich Lieberman posted July 11, 2014 at 8:07 AM
    > Its [KSFO] morning show is in a free fall . . .

    With even further deterioration this week, termination must be imminent. What is time frame for cancellation and prospective replacement(s) to materialize?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The next 90 days, (or sooner), should be interesting.

      Delete
    2. Do not be surprised to see changes made before 90 days. Most needs to be in place by Labor Day. Fall ratings begin early October.

      Sussman / Green could well be replaced by Imus in the Morning. Cheaper for Cumulus which owns the show and still needs clearances. It will not be pretty between Sussman and Metheny.

      Delete
    3. "Morning Show" @ 8:26 a.m.: Brian Sussman identified caller Ethan Bearman as "no doubt my future replacement." He clumsily covered, "... when I am old and ... when my ass is too old."

      Ever ego-centered Brian added, "Just want everyone to know that I discovered you. I discovered my own replacement." Ethan agreed.

      KSFOmen?

      Delete
  10. A week ago you wrote that problems between Radnich and Kate Scott had reached "a breaking point."

    They are still together and nothing has broken. How can you explain that?

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    Replies
    1. They both need to cash a check and they have. It's called "WORKING."

      Delete
  11. Any new news on the Tracey Watkowski/Stephanie Adrooney front? Anything new with Heather Ishimaru?

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    1. The ND and assistant ND are both trudging forward at KGO-TV, for now and probably safe, for now, and into the future.

      No news on Heather--hope she's doing better and wish her the best.

      Delete
    2. Not so fast my friend. Disney dishes out revenge when the dish is cold. Tracey and her she dog have managed to piss off the wrong people in a very short period of time. The drama isn't over until Tracey dumps Spencer and Cheryl, then they'll dump her.

      Delete
  12. Remember this one Rich: "Live from Candlestick, Rich Lieberman, K101 SSSPORTSSS!" Hard to believe that was back in 1982. Where had the time gone my friend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, tell me about it. I never thought time would move so fast back then and today even more.

      Delete
  13. Rich, where is Stephen Lightfoot these days? I never hear him on the air anymore. He is such a part of the Bay Area radio fabric, I'd hate to learn that he's disappeared into the wind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No idea but I'm sure someone knows.

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    2. Oh, he's still out there.

      You might remember is writings about "KGO Is Evil."

      http://www.lennonmurdertruth.com/footnotes.asp?id=176

      Delete
  14. How much does a Kate Scott or Pcon make?

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    Replies
    1. Scott has added some extra, (TV/cable), gigs but the pay is not as lucrative as it once was--I would guess a high 5-figure when u add extra duties...P-Con? I have no clue--I'd guess $4G a month. If he's lucky--Cumulus doesn't pay.

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    2. Why would you think that is a matter of public record? Do you think that's what media people do is announce their salaries to the world? How much do YOU make, 12:17? Just because there are are managers and agents doesn't mean you have a right to know what they make. Nor does the blogger.

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    3. Nobody is saying we have a RIGHT to know. Some of us are just curious.

      Delete
  15. What really happened to Drew Remenda? Was this about money or did he say the wrong thing to the wrong person? I hope the Sharks come to regret this ... And please don't put Jamie Baker in there !!!

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    1. Drew Remenda was fired by the owner who wants a new direction, or as my source has told me "they, (Sharks), want, in essence, a 2-hour, thirty-minute commercial."

      I think the Sharks will regret their decision.

      Delete
  16. Does Dan Dilbey have any job prospects at all? And if not can somebody tell him, maybe hes just not that good at his job and should find a new profession. I'm sure there are people that like him, but it would seem according to the present situation, not nearly enough..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dibley is looking around--so far, no offers.
      His former boys, "The Rise Guys" are headed back to their original gig at Sacramento radio in a few weeks, minus DD.

      Delete
  17. How is George Watson doing those days?

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    Replies
    1. I hope clean and sober.
      Maybe George and/or a friend will chime in--they read this blog.

      Delete
  18. Shooty Babitt has been working some of the A's games, as a color commentator. Have there been any indications that he will eventually replace Ray Fosse?

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    Replies
    1. I hope not.
      I watched Shooty work with G Kuiper and there was no chemistry. You could tell Kuiper didn't wasn't pleased either. No knock on Shooty --I like Ray Fosse better.

      As far as replacing Foss, I doubt it would be SB if anyone at all.

      Delete
  19. Shooty is ok on the pre game show but he is a bit much for a whole game.

    Do you remember how bad Hatteberg was?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's why they went to Shooty who is worse than Hatteberg.

      Delete
    2. If you want to hear bad announcing and a bunch of stupid gimics like.

      Grab some Pine meat, and people wearing the away teams cap being scratched out watch the 2 bozo's on the Giant's games.

      Now that is horrible.

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    3. I'm a Giants' fan and I couldn't agree more, 6:56 AM. Kruk is all schtick and no substance. They could record all of his schtick into a sound board like Jim Cramer has on "Mad Money" and he wouldn't even have phone it in, anymore. Lineups being read? Get the "in the squaaaaaaaaaaaaaat, giving out the signs" clip ready. Strikeout? Queue up "Grab some pine, meat!" (or you could grab the original clip from "Bull Durham", since he stole it from there, anyway)

      Delete
  20. If you had your shot, Elaine Corral or Maggi Scura (Lepore)?

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    1. "My shot?"

      What is this, Penthouse Forum?

      Pick a different room.

      Delete
    2. Maggi... I pumped her gas once, lol - actually I was working at a Shell gas station in Cupertino in the early 80s and she came in to full serv (yes, we had that back then) in her 280zx.

      Nice car, custom pin striping that went from headlight to the back tailgate as it did back then - except on her drivers door the striping swerved to spell out "maggi". I kind of recognized her and asked if she worked at channel (don't remember) and got it wrong. She got irritated and left. Oh, well the days of Papa Burgundy...

      Delete
  21. Well, I'm one of the old farts. I'm 54. I've spent $55,000 on my business in the past two years. All cash. No credit. ALL OF IT WITH LOCAL Bay Area companies. I used to listen to KGO. Now, I listen to Batchelor, Savage (when he's not Obama-crazed and immigrant nutty) and Hedgecock. Occasionally, I listen to the charlatan Glenn Beck for laughter. Why do I need comedy, when there is Glenn Beck? Hell, there is always, Karel. He's just as funny.

    Rich nailed the KGO thing from the start. He batted .980.

    So, tell me, I'm not a valuable demographic? I'm an oldster?

    How many 30-year-olds and 40-year-olds have spent $55,000 on their business.

    Oh, and we bought a Prius. Locally.

    Not to mention all kinds of other useful stuff like two smart phones, a hotspot, two computers, two iPads, an Xbox.

    Yeah, I'm just an old stuffed shirt who doesn't spend money. Hell, I've got one f-ing foot in the grave. No reason for advertisers to be interested in me. Nothing to be gained here. Move on to the 30 year olds who cannot afford a house (unless they are very fortunate) and who don't have as much disposable income because they are raising a family or are paying out their rear in rent or mortgages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not about you. It's about how much YOUR business spends on KGO. How much do you spend to advertise your product line on KGO? I bet - nothing. To expensive, maybe. You see, radio doesn't care about listeners, especially brand loyal, "I already bought that stuff through the years" type listeners. It's the "up and comers" age wise who aren't locked into brand loyalty. They are cheaper to get and keep. Plus, the trick is to get the affluent young crowd, who will, hopefully be a part of their favorite station(s) for years, who matter most. As advertisers get them to break away from their "toys" -- guess what? Advertisers have noticed that to get "that crowd" -- they now spend more money on INTERNET advertising because young(er) people don't listen to radio as much - especially AM radio. It's dead. So, knowing you won't buy a new mattress today, radio doesn't want or need you. They need to stem the INTERNET tide of where the action is. The ship of radio has sailed.

      Remember when "rock and roll" came about? KFRC, KYA and others were no longer interested in your parents. They were interested in the KIDS and it holds true todoay. You are not, nor am I, part of that "generation" and unlike before, that generation of younger people does not need, nor has use for radio as we know it, especially not AM radio. When was the last time you heard music on an AM station? It's dead.

      Delete
    2. You missed the point there. He is an "Ear" with disposable income. Tell me what radio station doesn't want that person as a listener. As for those overpriced mattresses - he may have just bought one. How do you know he didn't?

      Delete
  22. I agree with 9:21. As a professional journalist who has anchored small-town newscasts, I pronounced the ignorant American name and Americanized their friggin' names. Now, if I were in their country, i would probably try to pronounce like the native language. I just it when people call Del Norte County DEL NORTEEEE'. Nope, guys and gals. It is anglicized. No "e" in Del Nort County. Yeah, i know what I'm talking about. It's hilarious. It's like Dallas wanna-bees calling Marin County MAA-rin as in, "Hey, Ma, I'm home." Can we go to MA rin tonight, Ma?"

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  23. Hey, 5:10, you must work in the media because you have such a thin skin. ANYTHING you report on others for, you should expect to have reported on you. Like when my ownership got into a huge conflict with a politician. Call it an alleged shoving match. We reported on it. Above the fold. For months. Bold, black type. 60 and 72 point when it was a small-town soap opera. I didn't get fired and I'm the one who did the reporting rather than my staff, just in case there were reprisals. If someone wanted to know my salary, I would have told them. If they wanted to know if I had been divorced, I would have told them. If they wanted to know if I had ever gotten a DUI (no, I haven't), I would have told them. Grow a pair. Yours truly, a longtime professional journalist who doesn't ask others questions that he himself would not answer.

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  24. By the way, media guys and gals, I'm one of you. I'm just in a different segment of the media after The Second Great Depression, and I laugh at your anonymous complants about Rich.

    It has been really interesting to move to the Bay Area to see the only one with the gonads to take on established media and media figures is a blogger who doesn't give an F about you all.

    Oh, you say, he's been inaccurate at times. He's made mistakes. Bad boy, Rich. If I ever meet him, I'll make sure he gets his lashings.

    That just makes me lose my lunch in laughter. Dinner too.

    Do you know how many friggin' mistakes The Chron or The Merc make? Really? Oh, and they correct them, you say? NOT NOT NOT! Which, if we're going by the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics. I don't know what your ethical codes are, you whiners, but to me, I added to SPJ's Code. I think it is unethical not to correct the mistake on the SAME PAGE (Web or print) or at the same time (broadcast) as the mistake was made. And I have broadcast and print history. I can prove it.

    And there are obvious attempts to deceive the public in some stories. Case-in-point (the laest): not mentioning the Google executive's name in The Chron until all other Bay Area media did? You know, the unfortunate Google exec who suffered a heroin overdose. I'm only using his case as an example and not to embarrass the family. I lost my older brother to drugs, so please don't mistake my intent. That's because leaving his name out was an outrageous case of favortism when his name had already been plastered all over the Web before The Chron ran its story. Has The Chron heard of Google, or is it still using Yahoo (which probably had it, too).

    However, The Chron's original story didn't have his name. Of course, that was changed without notice (as required by the standard code of ethics that journalists should go by).

    And for you princes and princesses of the Bay Area media, you are mostly pathetic, as Rich has said, I think, anyway, at times.

    As a longtime journalist who worked small towns where my headlines meant my kids could be harassed at school or my Mom and Dad would run into someone at the hardware store to hear the tales of how they didn't expect little Johnny (me) write the truth about their f-upped company for whatever scams they were pulling, or I would have rocks thrown at my street-facing office window, or a gun pointed at me, or getting shot at, you guys are so gutless ~ for the most part. There are exceptions.

    Lastly, if Rich allows this rant, may I just add that Rich is not a journalist. He is a commentator. The kind I used to say, as an editor, "Hey, Rich, could you write a column and not get me sued but create some good, engaging copy to keep people reading?"

    You laugh. I would allow a Rich to write. Hell, ya. You know how many people in media read this blog? Whiners.

    No, you say? You think everyone likes your boring front-page or feature stories? You could delayed lede? In broadcast, you think you are hot stuff reading the same crime news every darn night even though crime is less than it has been for years? It's called lazy journalism. I come here to read about all that and more because, really, when considered as a whole, the Bay Area media are PATHETIC.

    And I didn't even get to typos, AP Style errors, mispronunciations, etc. Maybe next time Grandma lets me out of the bedroom and forgets my meds.

    ReplyDelete
  25. CSN has been showing a couple of new commercials featuring their "Insiders." They're meant to be humorous in nature and have the writers in shrunken size like action figures. The ones with Andrew Baggarly are really cheesy. I've seen two. The first one takes place at a barbeque and has Baggarly giving pointers to the party host on what to say to his guests on Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner. The host seems to be a caricature of a Giants bandwagon fan; he knows the name of an important player but not much else.

    The second commercial takes place in an apartment. It's during the day -- working hours -- and shows two lazy young males sprawled out on a couch watching TV. They want to turn the station to the Giants game but are too lazy to reach the remote, so Baggarly doesn't it for them.

    How does this type of advertising not alienate loyal, respectable fans of the team? Do the viewers even care? I assume these are the demographics CSN is trying to attract. That just seems sad and embarrassing.

    On a side note, the commercial with A's Insider Joe Stiglich was much better. It featured Ray Ratto and Henry Wofford. It didn't have any depiction of A's fans. I find A's commercials to be much better in general.

    Though I have to say, after listening to Stiglich on CSN a few times recently, he's clearly a shameless homer. I don't even think he realizes it. He talks like a fan of the team. At least Baggarly tries to maintain an appearance of objectivity.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous@7:04 PM,

    It's obvious why you are no longer a working journalist, you are incapable of communicating clearly. You might want to reread the following two sections for example:

    And for you princes and princesses of the Bay Area media, you are mostly pathetic, as Rich has said, I think, anyway, at times.

    You laugh. I would allow a Rich to write. Hell, ya. You know how many people in media read this blog? Whiners.

    Apparently you are angry and bitter about something but it's not entirely clear what that might be. You seem to be having a conversation with yourself, answering your own sarcastic questions in ways that only you understand.

    Sorry you are so unhappy. You've definitely come to the right place.

    ReplyDelete
  27. How is pronouncing a Spanish word properly faking an accent? I have relatives who pronounce "tortilla" as "tortillio" and won't be corrected. Why are Americans, who can barely speak English, so put off by properly spoken Spanish. Xenophobic much? It's not faking an accent, or pandering to anyone, it's called not sounding like an illiterate dumbass. How many languages do any of you speak? Judging by the grammar used in these comments, you speak none fluently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why then, if we have to pronounce such words "properly" do we accept it when hispanicos mispronounce our own given names? Reeeech, instead of Rich. Or when they flat out call me Riccardo, not Richard. If I'm in their country, OK. If I'm here, say my name like I/we say it here. Or piss off.

      Delete
    2. Maybe because we live in a state where ~75% of the population voted to make English the official language and English is a language comprised of Anglicized words from other cultures? Maybe because these same people who feel the need to pronounce names of a Hispanic origin in a non-Anglicized way don't feel the need to do it for non-Hispanic names? That's pandering. You can bury your head in the sand and call out anyone who disagrees with you as xenophoic. It's an easy card to play. In reality, it is pandering if it is not consistent across the board.

      Delete
    3. Despite the obvious troll at 9:39, thought I'd mention a couple of things that point out how ridiculous the "argument" is, and how little thought went into the post.

      "I have relatives who pronounce "tortilla" as "tortillio" and won't be corrected."
      Nobody is bothered by proper pronunciation. If a newsreader says "tor-tee-ya", he's pronouncing a word correctly. If he rolls the "r" and extends the "lla", he's faking an accent. Big difference.

      "It's not faking an accent, or pandering to anyone, it's called not sounding like an illiterate dumbass."
      But it's OK to sound like an illiterate dumbass when reading Swedish or Indian names? Yeah, it's faking an accent, and it's pandering.

      Delete
  28. So when is Family Radio finally going to throw in the towel and restore 610AM as a commercial station like it was when KFRC was there? That organization's creditability and bank account went south after Mr. Camping's Doomsday prophecies laid an egg. If ever there was a shoot yourself in the foot moment it was when CBS sold the station to Family Radio. No doubt, someone at CBS who was in on the deal is swearing that it was a good idea. Even though it turned out to be a horrible idea. Bring back KFRC!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CBS had to sell KFRC in order to acquire KOVR 13 in Sacramento

      Delete
    2. If CBS had to sell off stations to buy KOVR 13, then why not sell off some Sacramento FM's instead of a Bay Area institution like KFRC?

      Delete
    3. Because the FMs didn't throw a city-grade signal into Sacramento.

      Delete
    4. Not going to happen. "Bring back KFRC" to what? First, CBS owns the call letters. Secondly, they are getting mileage out of the FM simulcast and use of the KFRC call letters. Third, no one in their right mind would buy 610 at any expense to make it a commercial enterprise ... not when AM radio is deader-than-dead. What would you did with it? Religion? Sure. Ethnic? Sure Multi-cultural? Sure. Brokered and infomercial? Sure. That's it. CBS has no time nor interest in that. Neither does anyone else. Plus, the frequency is still limited as a Class B and limited to 5,000 watts. If Family Radio can get a few million out of it, especially to a religious broadcaster wanting a big city facility, they'll get it. If not, it can afford to wait and do nothing with it because it is too irrelevant to do anything with, but not so irrelevant to just give it away for free ... yet. Though, don't count th at out. Many a tax write off has been done for such a thing before. However, with a stand-alone AM in a large market that is nothing, no one wants to take the station back if the payments or lease terms should stop. Whether anyone wants to spend cash to buy it is quite iffy, with AM heading south quite quickly.

      Don't be surprised to see KGO do the same thing to add an FM to it for survival. Buying another AM is not in the cards now or ever. There are multi-cultural outfits who could, but it's a bottom-line issue.

      Delete
    5. Read the reply for July 14th at 4:43PM

      Delete
  29. Because "Bay Area institution" doesn't mean squat when it comes to the bottom line. What would CBS have done with KFRC had they kept it?

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    Replies
    1. What would CBS have done with KFRC? Why not keep it the way it was in 2005? KFRC had the ratings, the programming, signal strength, audio quality, and a lot of loyal listeners. Besides that, KFRC as a classic hits station is online and on HD Radio as we speak. And yes, people do listen to it. As we all know, Bay Area terrain has always been hostile to FM broadcasting. So there is another reason to keep KFRC. If it weren't for concerns raised by the FCC, do you think that CBS would have sold 610AM to a self-proclaimed prophet who openly committed blasphemy? Especially when there were other options available such as selling off 1 or 2 Sacramento FM's that didn't perform as well? Does every radio station have to have a talk show format in order to get ratings? I think not.

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    2. Fine. But not true. KFRC-AM was floating between a 0.7 and a 1.0 from from 1993 (when they dumped Magic 61 for oldies) on to 2005. That's 12 years of very low ratings, where KFRC-FM was carrying the load. So there wasn't much money to be made from the 610 as it was. The Sacramento FMs performed significantly better, both in terms of ratings and revenue. Keeping them, adding KOVR-TV and sacrificing 610 made sense. As did selling it to a broadcaster CBS knew would never pose a serious threat.

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  30. I would argue with the other Anonymous who posted at 12:18 only to this extent:

    610's signal (with decent engineering) is probably the fourth-best AM in the Bay Area (behind KGO, KNBR and KCBS). It's more than adequate (especially with good processing) to throw a strong, noiseless signal over the entire metro and a bit beyond. If....big IF....someone wanted to put a well-programmed news, news/talk or sports format on 610, the signal would not be a negative factor. But I don't know anyone who's itching to take on KCBS or KNBR.

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    1. You never know. There is possibly someone outside of normal Bay Area brodacsting channels who would love to have 610AM if the right deal can be reached. And who says that you have to take on KNBR, KCBS or KGO? Look what happened to KTRB. They tried to take on KNBR and the others, and it's a miracle they are still on the air. Of course bad engineering and unstable finances had something to do with that.95.7FM still hasn't made a dent into KNBR's audience even with the A's having an excellent shot at the American League pennant. And last time I heard, KGO is going back to a talk format. So why not have a classic hits format on 610AM like it was with KFRC? 103.7FM is NOT a logical sucessor to KFRC, not with their automated dreck. The closest station to KFRC currently on the air is KCCL in Sacramento. Why not pattern a station after them? I'm sure that Joey Mitchell, Susan Wright, and Big Jim Hall can offer some advice. And how about that tribute website for KYA run by Gary Mora? He could offer something as well.The audience is out there, you just have to reach them. And no they are not poisonous to your business.

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    2. First, because it's hard to tell online, I'm discussing, not arguing. I'd really love to hear how this could work, but here's what I see:

      "Someone outside of normal Bay Area broadcasting channels" and willing to take a chance on music on AM is a recipe for unstable finances. The best shot doing something like that on 610 would have would be to be part of a cluster that was willing to carry years of losses and let the other stations generate the cash. I don't know clusters like that anymore.

      Engineering: Phil Lerza and Bob Kanner are dead. I don't know who and how much money it would take to make 610's audio chain sparkle again after what I imagine is 9 years of neglect under Family Radio. I know this: They used to come in like a local in Sacramento. They're barely audible there now.

      Speaking of Sacramento, KCCL is a no-show in the ratings. And they're on FM.

      As for a return to the glory days of KFRC, the last time music on 610 got more than a 1.0 share was 22 years ago, when it was Magic 61.

      The last time rock music on 610 got more than a 1.0 share was 1985. That's 29 years ago. And they were way down from their best year, 1978...36 years ago. FM had been eating away at their listener base from that year on.

      Now, assume that we're trying to re-create the glory days of KFRC...the Michael Spears/Les Garland (1973-79) era. We're talking about people in their 50s and older.

      Subtract the chunk of the numbers in that era that came from Dr. Don Rose's morning show. He's been dead for 9 years.

      From what's left:

      Subtract those who've moved away from the Bay Area.

      Subtract those who never much cared for KFRC (even with a 40 share in teens, that means 60 percent of those teens were listening to something else...not any one thing, but a bunch of different stations all together).

      Subtract those who abandoned music on AM for FM 30 or more years ago and never looked back.

      Subtract those who've moved on and aren't looking for nostalgia.

      Subtract those who've died.

      You're left with a pretty finite group of people, most of whom are outside the demographic ad agencies want. That means you're in the local direct business...selling spots to local companies. Which is harder and less lucrative than you can imagine.

      It's why Magic 61 flipped to oldies with a 4.2, only 8/10ths of a point off its peak...still far and away the number one music station on AM in 1992. It just couldn't convert those numbers into dollars. And the people we'd be talking about now are the age those listeners were then.

      And the boomers didn't embrace the return of KFRC as an oldies station on AM then. The FM simulcast got numbers in the mid 3s. 610 got to a 1.0 in one year out of 12. Most of the time it was 0.8s, 0.7s or worse.

      Radio is expensive. Even if you could get 610 from Family Radio for not much money, good engineering costs money. Good talent costs money. Promotion costs money. I don't even want to see the utility bill for the transmitter. How you gonna make that money back?

      That's why I asked what CBS would have done with 610 if they'd kept it. Even without the sale to Family Radio, they'd have had to confront that relatively soon after.

      KFRC-FM flipped to KMVQ (good move...it's now the number one music station in the market...the true successor to KFRC) and that would have been an even more pointless AM simulcast.

      I'm betting there would have been a series of failed formats (maybe C-Net Radio would have been on 610 instead of 1550) and today, it would be CBS Sports Radio.

      Again, I'd love to hear back.

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    3. I had a chance to read your reply. I must say that you made some good points. 1. I do agree that AM radio is no longer suitable for Top 40, at least in it's current state. Classic Hits still has a chance on AM because of the people who grew up with that music. I can never picture Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber on the AM dial.
      2. I do agree that Family Radio has neglected it's physical plant including it's audio chain. Their audio is the worst that I have ever heard for a major market station. No doubt their engineering budget is next to non existent when you consider how much they squandered on Harold Camping's Doomsday Prophecy that never happened.
      3. If ratings are any indication, then maybe KMVQ is the logical successor to KFRC, from it's Top 40 heyday. But not as a classic hits station. 103.7FM doesn't come close.
      4. I also agree that radio costs, especially in a major market are astronomical. But with any business, there are risks involved, especially when you want to do the job right or not at all.

      I have some points that I would like to make

      1. Bay Area terrain is not well suited for FM broadcasting. You can live in San Jose and a San Francisco FM will come in loud and clear. But you can also be about 20 miles from say, Mt. Sutro, and you FM reception is spotty at best. Sacramento terrain is much better suited for FM.
      2, Why do advertisers make every effort to avoid people outside the 18-35 demographic? People over 35 have buying power that is every bit as important. Who came up with this ridiculous idea anyway?
      3. I don't listen to Talk Radio and I don't feel that every station on the dial needs to switch to a Talk format. I am quite comfortable thinking for myself and I never felt that I am any less enlightened because of this. I really don't want a $3million a year radio host doing my thinking for me.
      4. As far as the podcasting fiasco on 1550AM goes. I tried listening to that once, and I thought it was the most offensive stuff that could possibly go on the airwaves without the FCC getting involved. The one item that comes to mind was an essay on how to send marijuana through the US Postal Service. I thought that was illegal. Talk about abusing your First Amendment rights.
      5. Last but not least, I still feel that KFRC as a classic hits station could have been a success, and still can be. The audience is out there. CBS really didn;t do much to promote the station which was shameful at best. Their programming is currently online and on HD radio. Someone has to be listening to it. So why not break the Talk Radio monotony and put something different on the air? The right combination of people, promotion, engineering can and will make a good radio station regardless of the format. Need any more proof? Modesto has a station on the air on 840AM broadcasting a classic hits format. And Sacramento still has KCCL on the air. So why not make a go of it in San Francisco and on AM?

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    4. Some counterpoints:

      103.7 has about the same share of audience KFRC AM & FM had as a Classic Hits station. Given the growth of the Bay Area in the intervening years, 103.7 actually has more listeners than KFRC did (same share of a larger pie).

      Risk is not a yes/no proposition. There's a wide spectrum of risk, from very low (breathing) to very high (giving car keys and whiskey to teenage boys). Spending money on a radio station that targets an audience ad agencies aren't interested in is on the high end of that scale when dealing with making a profit rather than losing money.

      If Bay Area terrain isn't suited to FM broadcasting, then why are 8 of the top 10 (and 17 of the top 20) stations in the latest Nielsen Audio numbers FM stations?

      The answer: While no single Bay Area FM covers all areas cleanly, the average adult (25-54) listener has between 6 and 9 favorite stations he or she listens to. Reception, along with commercials and songs he or she doesn't like, becomes one of the reasons for pushing the button and switching to a station that comes in well in that particular part of the Bay Area.

      While 18-34 is a desirable demo, the broad adult demographic that's most desirable is 25-54. And it's not a ridiculous idea. Studies have shown that 55+ listeners require more exposures to an ad for it to have an impact....three to ten times more than for younger adult listeners. Meaning it takes three to ten times the expense in ad buys to make the sale to a 55+ listener. That's just not an attractive proposition.

      Just because someone listened to music on AM a long time ago doesn't mean they will now. People who are in their 60s and 70s are the very people who abandoned AM for FM and sent stations like KFRC plunging in the ratings in the late 70s and early-mid 80s. Going older doesn't necessarily increase tolerance for AM. The last generation that doesn't seem to have a bias against music on AM is now 80 and older.

      Programming existing is not the same as programming with a salable audience. Online streams and HD-2 and HD-3 channels are throwaways at this point...there's very little audience and no advertiser demand. KMPH in Modesto and KCCL in Sacramento don't show up in the ratings in their own cities. They're proof of nothing.

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  31. Dumbest thing I ever read. Spanish speakers who speak proper Spanish speak with a fake Spanish accent. And are pandering to somebody. That is just straight up dumbass. Tell Sergio Quintana he is supposed to say his name: Sirgeeo Quintana (like banana). Murrica.

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  32. And I'm guessing other Anonymous is no longer looking at this thread, but KMPH just sold out to Immaculate Heart Radio. $50,000. No, that comma's in the right place.

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