A "remarkable run"--that's what a SF-area radio consultant told me about the stewardship of KCBS News Director, Ed Cavagnaro, who will be retiring in April.
Cavagnaro has been at KCBS since 1977--as ND, 26 years, which is remarkable given the state of radio today.
Under Cavagnaro, KCBS has been the undisputed 24/7 all-news radio outlet with a brand that other stations would kill for.
The most remarkable aspect of Cavagnaro's run is the stability of staff at the CBS radio station. Nobody leaves KCBS and if they do, it's because of retirement usually. You hardly hear of KCBS personnel moving in and out because it simply doesn't happen. Look at the extraordinary list of people who have worked at the station: Stan Bunger, Steve Bitker, Barbara Taylor, Doug Sovern, Bob Butler, Kim Wonderly, Susan Leigh Taylor--almost all of these remarkable reporters and anchors have been at the station for multiple decades, quite a list. And all under Cavagnaro's reign which best explains why KCBS has risen to the top of the SF Bay Area radio rankings which is a testament to their brand here.
Cavagnaro and his boss, VP, Doug Harvill, have largely let KCBS be KCBS--in other words, if it ain't broke don't fix it--and the end result is a very successful news operation that continues to be at the top of the Bay Area broadcast domain.
KCBS' success is largely due to the fact that it's consistent. It's not very splashy or excited and that's its main successful entity--you know when a major news event happens, you turn to 740 AM. I wish KCBS didn't repeat so much its news stories and I've complained about it but in a PPM world in which radio is a player today, I understand the business model. It's a small price to pay to enjoy the consistency that KCBS brings to the table.
The future of KCBS, minus Cavagnaro, seems to be destined for a smooth transition which is good news for a Bay Area audience that is lucky to have at its disposal a quality staff still churning out great content.
We wish Ed Cavagnaro all the best in the next phase of his personal life every 15 and 45 years.
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