CAN IT GET ANY WORSE AT KGO RADIO?
Yes, check the latest radio ratings.
Mind you, nobody should be surprised. Then again, if I hear correctly and I've heard a lot lately, the mood around the studios has never been more down and out.
A staffer who has worked at the beleaguered 810 AM outpost tells me that morale is at its lowest --"even the most optimistic person is in the dumps."
There's been talk that KGO management is quietly and incrementally planning on changes but most people in and around the biz say other than a complete overhaul (and even that can't help) there's no way KGO can be headed in the right path. Said a veteran broadcast observer: "There's no there
On the rumor mill:
*The mish-mash catastrophe at night from 7-10 PM the "Drex Show" is about to be completely reworked and reinvented --maybe rebranded with KGO class yenta, Maureen Langan who's been filling in a lot lately for the talent-impaired yutz who currently occupies the microphone.
*Both the AM and PM news blocks saw significant drop in listeners, particularly in the morning. Maybe we can all come to the consensus that people are tired of the gigglers.
*Ronn Owens status: we'll talk about this at a future time but the mystery surrounding Owens finale is starting to make the rounds. Owens still makes money for the company but his numbers have deteriorated to the point where he's getting killed at 9-Noon. Both KNBR (sports) and even Rush Limbaugh beat Ronn now.
This much is clear. Owens will celebrate his 40th anniversary in November. There's already talk that Cumulus will roll out an honor for him and he'll say goodbye. This guy is waiting in the wings.
*The newsroom is a state of complete confusion and most of the staff is fed up with the boss, the clueless one, Deb Munroe. To put it bluntly, Munroe has lost the newsroom. Her loyalists even admit that Munroe continues to befuddle staff with incoherent management, questionable judgment and a favoritism that borders on the ridiculous.
Says a newsroom vet: "She has all the right intentions but she just can't lead, she can't. And when she tries one of her 'experiments, the whole menu gets worse. You can't fix something that was already broken."
Make no mistake, there are quality people--reporters, anchors, at KGO. The problems--and there are plenty--is that so many of the problems can't be quickly remedied and therefore, the frustration factor has settled in. "Are we a talk station or a news station?", asks a longtime employee. And therein lies part of KGO's problem--after experiment and throwing fecal matter up against the wall, no one knows the direction of the station.
Furthermore, mild tinkering with staff hasn't worked. KGO has been trying desperately to infuse younger, more "creative" air talent into the schedule, like, for instance, Jason Middleton, the tech and business reporter. Middleton can be interesting every now and then with his intriguing takes on the market and business, but at times, his delivery sounds forced and contrived. Plus, listener cohesion with new air talent takes time to percolate. Probably not enough time, unfortunately, for KGO management.
Larger issues confront the 810 AM juggernaut --like, what's going on at weekends? The current commitment to five hours of morning news both Saturday and Sunday is admirable but the increased amount of infomercials and taped, out-of-market, fake talk shows is beginning to take its toll.
KGO long ago lost its soul. Now, officially, looks as if the handwriting is on the wall.
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