Monday, June 22, 2015

KNBR Talker Tom Tolbert Is Irate Over Station Promo That Insults His Athletic Prowess; Confronts PD/Opps Mgr Lee Hammer and Sales Dept; 415 Media Exclusive

  KNBR/TOLBERT PROMO FROM HELL!





Tom Tolbert
KNBR land has been universally swell and positive; the Warriors just won the NBA Championship and KNBR has been raking in millions and has another World Champion to add to its partnership--until now.


415 Media has been privy to a recent STATION PROMO: Apparently the great sales people at KNBR sold a new segment called {"Tolbert's Takes" } to a local Honda dealership which began sometime during the Warriors playoff run.  It was an easy sell because many advertisers wanted to take advantage of Tolbert's high profile and great relationship with the Warriors, which is understandable. After all, Tolbert is close to Head Coach Steve Kerr, his college buddy mate at Arizona.


What transpired next is the start of the problem. Station PD and Opps MGR, Lee Hammer and the sales people signed off on promo copy that read "...lets hear it from the guy who never got off the bench...Tom Tolbert!" (or something to that affect). A station source heard it once and was quite surprised.  It has since been changed, but of course KNBR has no accessible archive.


THE FIRESTORM BEGINS...Tolbert was completely insulted by the promo and immediately called Hammer to inquire as to what was going on.  Hammer, at first, completely denied knowing how something like this could happen, even though he personally signed off on it.  Rumor is he attempted to blame a part-time production staffer and not himself, or the sales people responsible for insulting the station's biggest name.  Imagine the head of the station blaming a low level employee for something he was responsible for?  If it weren't so serious and potentially devastating --involving the top station's TOP personality, it would be laughable. Only no one's laughing.



Rather than press the matter further, according to a 415 Media source, Tolbert decided to "let it go...because he just wants to come in and do radio.  But he was very upset."

Tolbert is very loyal and a good company man; it is rather surprising that something so juvenile, so arcane; something so important and potentially troublesome could be allowed to occur --yet occur it did, but moreover...
Sources tell me THIS is not the first time Tolbert has been insulted by Cumulus as the company told him last year he wouldn't be getting a raise, even though the station continues to be the only money maker for the entire SF cluster.  He was told "holding the line is this year's raise."    

Will heads roll? Will these clearly doofus sales people be fired?  Will Hammer, who is generally believed to be, at the very least, a competent if not occasionally clumsy, boss and manager, continue to remain untouched by such things?

I guess we'll have some idea of the answer if Cumulus starts running a 35th minute of commercial spots an hour asking the audience if they want a "great career in sales!" 

Better spot to run "Want to manage a station that practically runs itself?"

Lee Hammer
*Rich Lieberman 415 Media Exclusive

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36 comments:

  1. Tolbert won't rock the boat when it comes to his employment, and both Tolbert & Hammer know it. For as Rosie O'Donnell once said, "Is the steak ready? Goddam, I'm hungry!!"

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  2. hahahaha. standard lee hammer stupidity. too bad for tom this is public because he would not have wanted that but yeah lee hammer is an idiot for letting this happen. sales people always disconnected from everything and everyone knows tom had a really nice nba career.

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  3. Waaaaah, rich people problems.

    Kudos to Tom for taking the high road but boo@not appreciating a little self-deprecating humor especially when he has built his career on it.

    Rich, calling for sales people to lose their jobs over a little humor directed at Mr Humor himself seems a little over the top.

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    1. everyone knows Tom always takes the high road and that's why he becomes an easy target right? shouldn't be insulting your talent. not sure a lot of stations are doing that these days. lee hammer trying to blame someone else for something he did wrong? that sounds par for the course. that's the bigger issue here. if tom really said something to hammer and he tried to blame someone else rather than take responsibility? tells you something about people.

      i will say i thought knbr (especially tom) did a fantastic job through the playoffs. and i also thought it was SUPER LAME that knbr was re-airing Game 6 yesterday morning. hate to tell you but no one cares about re-listening to these games on the radio. shows you how cheap the station is that they would rather replay some game than pay an up and comer to learn the craft.

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  4. Wow, talk about lame and stupid at the same time. Outside of the Giants, Tolbert is the best thing that station has going for them. Way to go!

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  5. The bigger question is when the Warriors broadcasting rights are up. I figure more than a few radio stations wouldn't have a problem blowing out a lot of their programming to become the Warriors station, on the same level that KNBR is the Giants station.

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    1. You aware of another station that will do sports programming around the games that also has a good signal?

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    2. You don't need that to be the case. KCBS could run games on 740 and leave news on FM if it so wanted.

      News radio isn't long term viable IMO.especially with traffic becoming non factor.

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  6. This hasn't exactly been a big secret .... One morning recently the "bench" promo played, and an irritated Tolbert took Murph and Mac to task about it over the air. M&M threw a nameless engineer (I think) under the bus. I listened again two days later and the promo had been changed. I can see how Tolbert would be irritated about it, and it was discussed for a few minutes, but it didn't seem like that big a deal then, and even less of one now.

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  7. Are you sure KNBR management is questioning his intellectual prowess?
    Because if that is the case KNBR's management just won the argument.

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  8. It's standard jock nonsense. The sales guys are jock idiots and Lee Hammer is an idiot. I don't know the guy but every time he is mentioned on the air, or whenever he talks, I feel like he's the butt of jokes or a fool.

    This wouldn't happen to a major market host in another city but KNBR is run like it's a station out of Fresno. They're just lucky to have the teams.

    I think Tom is the best of an extremely weak lineup and he probably didn't make any noise because his alternative is going to The Game. Not exactly exciting.

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    1. Hammer's a schmuck. I remember him at SJSU. Total ass kissing douche. He needs to go.

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    2. I've always found him deceitful and disconnected. Whatever helps himself. But I guess that's how you become the boss.

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    3. Isn't Hammer the guy who was the sound engineer on Dave Flemming's call of Barry Bonds' 715th home run--the shot NOT heard around the world?

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    4. Baldy has to go. deceitful and disconnected = douche bag. He looks like he's 65... Corporate schill.

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  9. I have a feeling the term "irate" is an exaggeration. I can imagine Tolbert being a little irritated, but he doesn't seem to have the personality where he would be irate.

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  10. Hey let's not forget that Lee Hammer is also now the PD of KGO!

    Company Man!

    Was Tom against the Union like Lee? Or were they on the same team then?

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  11. They changed the ad to say- And THAT was 1,000x higher level then what Radnich reached.
    All of them having modest humble personality's just laughed.

    For what he's paid...get a sense of humor. He wasn't HOF..

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    Replies
    1. Shut up already, idiot.

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    2. I'm glad someone else has noticed how annoying "Stan TheObserver" has become. Why does Stan think that his incessant comments are of interest to anyone other than himself and why does Rich keep posting them?

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  12. Sounds like the Bob Agnew, Tony Salvatore, Isabelle Lemon, Tony Rhein and Larry Krueger gizmo revisited...

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  13. Tolbert seems a decent enough guy......Hammer and his Posse seem kind of creepy in this one.
    Lee Hammer doesn't appear to be the sharpest tool in the shed.

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  14. KNBR amateurish ,I can't listen to Tom with Ray anymore

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  15. Tolbert is entertaining, but as dumb as the day is long in June. I feel for Ratto.

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    1. Ratto is the least entertaining sports radio personality possibly in the Bay Area. His writing is good but it does not translate. That show is a train wreck. Don't expect it to be fixed. The rumor is Lee Hammer just wants every day to be tomorrow until he retires. No changes ever. He's lucky the teams are winning or else he would be out on his ass.

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  16. Everyone likes Tom. Few like Lee. Not surprisingly Lee sides with whatever foolish idea sales people present to him because I'm sure all he hears from corporate is budget. That's cumulus. And that's Lee Hammer. You survive by kissing corporate ass and not being creative.

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  17. I remember when you posted media salaries a little earlier in the year. I couldn't believe Brian Murphy made as much as Tolbert. Tolbert is so much better. I figured it's probably based on ratings. I don't understand why you'd want to insult your main drive time host, especially when the statement is false because Tolbert did have a decent NBA career. I don't know about anybody else, but I'd be a little angry too if my professional career was demeaned that way. As for Hammer, Murph and Mac - as any good boss knows, you own up to what goes on on your watch - and not blame underlings. You're in charge and that's part of the reason you get paid the big bucks to take the heat when it's justified or not.

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    1. Agreed on all counts, unbelievable that Murphy makes as much as Tolbert. Now, Murph himself is not terrible (it's his cohost that really is a bit rough), but he's not in Tolbert's league as a host. Good points about the fact that Tolbert wasn't a bad NBA player either. HoF, no, of course not. Competent? At least!

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  18. I gave up listening to KNBR a few years back as they play way too many commercials.

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  19. Tom doesn't understand the pecking order. KNBR needs to cut his salary and the commercials in half.

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    1. You don't understand some things as well.

      The commercial load on KNBR is paying for the 5 station cluster. KGO and KSFO are doing nothing.

      You think Cumulus is going to stop selling ads, regardless of where they're being sold? Stop it.

      Cumulus would fire anyone if they don't think it matches up with their inane beliefs be it Lee Hammer, Tom Tolbert, Ronn Owens or any other name you can think of. And if you want to cut salary from someone who doesn't sell or get ratings then Ronn Owens is the first guy to go.

      Sports radio is the only thing keeping the AM band relevant.

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    2. Wrong.

      I understand everything you are saying, but their mismanagement is not our problem.

      Like I said: Cut the commercials in half.

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    3. Clearly you're wrong.

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  20. Jesus, ALL of Bay Area radio is like Ajo, AZ or something. Is terrestrial radio this bad everywhere?

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  21. I think your readers have hit the nail on the head when it comes to Lee "it's not my fault!" Hammer. He did Fu$#ed up Dave Flemming's home run call of Barry Bonds 715 record breaking shot back in 2006, not long after he took over as PD. Then the first thing he did after mistakenly cutting Fleming's mike and panicking because he couldn't seem to find the right button to push to bring it back on, was to call Tony Salvadore and make a lame excuse that it wasn't his fault.

    The story goes that he told Tony that some freak thing happened and Fleming's mike just died. Right! In the middle of one of the most important moments of the season? And it never happened before?

    It's stunning that Hammer has the job he does. He was hired to run 'The Ticket' (KNBTR 1050) back in 1997 when they first carried the Raiders and had such brilliant programs as the 'RON AND DON SHOW.' Remember that one.

    But in fairness to Hammer, he has very little power at KNBR. He's just a stooge who does what he's told by the Dick-Head brothers back in Atlanta. They have proceeded to ruin KGO, KFOG and KSFO in fairly short order. The only reason they haven't destroyed KNBR yet is that the Giants, 49ers and Warriors have all been successful in recent years and are bringing in lots of revenue, especially the Giants.

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