|Stan Bunger and Susan Leigh Taylor/KCBS Morning Anchors|
That said, KCBS is noticeably slipping and badly so. There are cracks in the wall despite steady ratings.
Especially in the morning. Whew! What the hell has happened here?
Longtime anchors Stan Bunger and Susan Leigh Taylor seem to be in a comfort zone that has them resting on their laurels. The result is that the Morning News Drive Time during the week sounds frankly boring and stagnated. Seems to have flatlined at the worst possible time. Part of this has to do Bunger's complete control-freak play and his awful morning duets with suddenly insufferable weather woman, Roberta Gonzales. At 7: 20 AM, it's become the 740 AM freak show with Roberta's golly-gee act and Stan's aiding and abetting. It sounds terrible and that's the problem.
Leigh Taylor is another major irritant. Her whiny, holier-than-thou missives have become tiresome; her frequent "as I was driving in from Pacifica there was sprinkles on my window' are tedious and trying --if it's once and awhile fine but Taylor says it like she's getting paid each time. If I were her, I'd can it; listeners know a fraud when they hear one.
Moreover, Taylor's interviewing style is irksome at best; do we have to hear her repeatedly open the bottom of the hour interview with, "Good Morning, such and such...thanks for joining us"... and then an awkward pause. It sounds awful. And apparently no one has told Taylor about it. Except me, now.
Another major irritant involves KCBS' incessant story replay; apologists say this rampant repeat of stories is just "part of the business and required. People are tuning in and out and getting out of their car." Really? That can't defend the literally dozens of times a listener hears the SAME story ...again, and again...and again...and again. It's lazy, it's pathetic and ridiculous. And it doesn't have to happen. Grow up, KCBS.
In the afternoon, I've never liked Jeff Bell, who seems to talk down to people day after day. What's with that? Is Bell better than the rest of us? It sounds like he thinks so. Co-anchor Patti Reising doesn't help matters either with her on-air persona and frequent lecturing. Maybe she thinks she's at the opera.
For a station that's as big and worthy as KCBS, you would think they could possess more detailed reporters but surprisingly they are low on the totem pole here. Doug Sovern is a qualified political reporter; Jeffrey Schaub is just above-average; Dave Padilla is a disaster though; a radio Hindenburg. (Rise and Shine?) Really Dave? Come on.
KCBS needs a deep cleansing --it still does what it does best: a place to go on breaking news stories and a cavalcade of sports and weather at 15 after and "on the 8's". But it all sounds stale like leftover Chinese food from a week. It can be tolerated to a bit but you still have to nuke it in the microwave.
And the recent practice of hiring KGO Radio retreads doesn't help matters; Dear Jack Swanson: you're an industry giant. Is it really necessary to fetch old sandwiches from the KGO refrigerator? There has to be better options out there on the open market.
*More Michael Finney: the KGO-TV veteran Consumer Reporter TALKS TO YOU. He doesn't insult you with stupid and gimmicky double talk. It's REFRESHING and AUTHENTIC to the viewer. Yes, some people find that pleasing to the eye and ear.
*I didn't know Mike Sugerman was Jesus Christ around here. Mike's a decent reporter --wish him well in NY and congrats on his new Grandpa status but he's average at best; The "About-The-Bay" reports became tedious and predictable. I'm supposed to be a believer? No. And please spare me with the "he's a genius" comments. Mike is good. Not great. There's a big difference. He's no Bob Melrose. But he's better than Don Ford and Da Lin.
*Yeah, hard fact: CBS doesn't like to pay its talent big money when they near 60. Remember Walter Cronkite?
*Those KNBR producers, call-screeners, and on-air guys who pleaded on YouTube about getting a livable wage? Well, turns out their pleas were about as genuine as ordering fish at House of Prime Rib. When push came to shove they acted like complete cowards --their cry for help was IGNORED by management and their influential on-air stiffs didn't do a thing. Not that they could but the fact remains: people on KNBR like Radnich and Krueger; "Murph and Mac"; Tom Tolbert are ANTI-UNION. They only care about themselves and to hell with the staff who get paid roughly 12 bucks and hour. Radnich is particularly putrid: he frequently orders one of the young bucks to fetch orange sodas from the vending machine and move his car. What an ass!
*Ron Cervi, KCBS Traffic: I'll listen to his report.
*More Roberta Gonzales: she thinks everyone wants to hear every personal story no matter what; Roberta, it's getting worser by the day! Please, put a pipe on it.
*E-mail: "Rich, did we really have to know about your personal life?" No, but it beats scribbling that KGO Radio is shits --and people really do want to read it. Maybe that's scary but at least it's honest.
*By the way, I like writing about life issues and things that affect us all. You might be in denial if you don't gather the fact that there's a lot of people out there who are depressed. Look up "clinical depression" and read about it. Welcome to the real world.
*I thought "Kars-4-Kids" was the worst radio spot but that asshole guy with the "SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY, Granger Granger Granger" is the clubhouse leader.
*Further angst probably affecting the KCBS workers: the likely sale, next year, of CBS Radio, which will pretty much break apart the family.
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