Thursday, December 10, 2015

KCBS About To Ditch Its Overnight 'Live and Local' Coverage; Swanson Battles Ire of Rank and File; Thursday Midday Pulse

 THEY'RE Sweating profusely over at 855 Battery where KCBS battles two heavy-duty items on the agenda--one VERY BIG and one, not so big but enough to warrant concern.

FIRST: CBS Radio, much to the chagrin of the union, has essentially written a missive to its SF Radio O and O--wipe out the overnight and begin syndicated news offerings out of NY.

There's a very real possibility that "all-news" will disappear at night, from around 12-5 AM. The news anchors you're used to listening and appreciating would be replaced with CBS Radio content from NY.

So far, the unions are not saying anything but it's all troubling nonetheless ...

JACK NO news of this hits Battery, new ND chief, Jack Swanson is getting shit from the rank and file who are extremely pissed off that the new model of the station--essentially more chit-chat between anchors and splashier stories will ruin the station.

Swanson seems to have taken a silent approach to this venom directed at his-he simply won't talk to the restless natives. Some of the stiffs think this is even worse. We'll continue to observe and dig.


  1. Jack is trash. He's always been trash. He has his minions and his faves like he always has. He was one of those lucky PDs who thinks his stuff don't stink because radio was only game in town. Just like all the other genius PDs out there, none of them figured out what to do with radio while someone else was holding the hot potato. Anyone can do his job.

  2. His frozen TV dinners aren't very good either.

    1. I'm waiting for the Dr Bill Hungry Man Special to come back in stock...a heaping serving of Dog Crap covered in Hollandaise Sauce. Delicious!!

  3. Jack Swanson is a brilliant program director.
    When I worked with Jack at KGO, for over 10 years, he was always there for on air talent. He's open, honest and doesn't BS anyone.
    The guy knows radio better than ND or PD I ever worked with.
    He is also a mensch.
    Yes sometimes he had to make tough calls but it was always to improve the station and the ratings. That's what you want from the job.
    Also he had to deal with the suits and protect the talent.
    He did that very well.
    Len Tillem

    1. Len, my neighbor in San Jose does auto repair in his garage evenings and on the weekends. We live in a neighborhood of single family homes. I believe he is a mechanic at a local dealership. There are people dropping off cars usually in the evenings and on weekends. What is the law, what are my options, what do you recommend?

      I'm askin' a loooooyah. Thanks Len.

  4. I know that losing the KCBS overnights would be a terrible loss for me. Taking them away is beyond me - tell me how it would make the station "better?" Can anybody do that? I would really, really like to know.

  5. How will it make it better? When disaster strikes in the middle of the night, the news from NY will make disaster not seem as bad as it really is. If there's no one there to report it, the earthquake or fire didn't really happen.

  6. I'm 41. Since I was a kid with a radio under my pillow till today. WHENEVER something happened overnight, KCBS an whomever was working overnight, allowed for a community or people to call in and comfort one another. Anytime there was an earthquake, bad storm or whatever, it was always good to have a real time, calm, live voice moderating the reports from all over the bay and to hear others in the community were OK always lulled me back to a comforting sleep. Yeah there's Twitter and FB that do the same, but it's better to hear the voices over the air. Don't get rid of the over night.

  7. More important: KCBS isn't just live and local, it's live and regional, blasting at night down the coast into SoCal like a local, and even into Arizona. When something happens, it's one of the few places left on the dial anymore to go to get reliable information. They may not make much revenue from that service, but make no mistake, it is a public service.

    If you don't believe me, think back to the Napa quake last year, when it was 3am on a Sunday morning, the station was in a canned Week In Review program from the network, and it took valuable time to get someone (Dean Danos) back on the air. Now think about a Hayward Quake, or an impending tsunami, or an emergency at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant some night at 3am while KCBS runs a net feed.

    By contrast, KQED-FM eliminated the pre-canned overnights and hired people to work the 11pm-5am shift live, because they realized that news doesn't wait for business hours.

  8. I'm sure there's no reason for round-the-clock coverage. There are probably only two people listening to it at those hours, and they're just waiting for their ISP to get their wifi back up.

  9. For all the people who say Jack is a genius what has he actually figured out in the last 10 years? What has he done at KCBS except try and make the news "conversational' and lay people off?

    After all he's a genius.