Friday, July 29, 2016

The 'Detached' Ronn Owens

 TAKE A LOOK at that picture on the left; it's Ronn Owens promo from 1994 --the old KGO, which is now reduced to a mostly empty chamber in the Cumulus SF Building on Broadway and Battery.

There's a class society at KGO/2016 these days...those who talk to Ronn (virtually nobody) and those who don't (virtually everybody, except a few managers)

Owens comes in to do his show and then he leaves --fast and furious.

"Doesn't say a word anymore. He's not surly or angry, just seems sort of overwhelmed," says a veteran staffer.

Owens has, in recent days, tried to reach out and make amends to certain adversaries...like today (Friday) he did a phone interview with Chip Franklin (which bordered on awfulness) who spent a week at the DNC in Philly. It was 10 minutes of radio mush but the larger point was the fact that Owens and Franklin were even talking.

Owens and Franklin had become a KGO fire and ice duo and at one point both avoided each other like the plague. The heart of the feud had to do mostly with Owen's irritation having to wait for Franklin to do his in-studio tease; not that long ago, Owens told Franklin to shove it and there was no tease nor did the two talk. Management got involved and worked out an appeasement and now both appear to be more chummy, at least on the air.

As his show continues to disappear off the radio beaten path, Owens has become a lot more reclusive and not involved with KGO's public PR appearance shows. He was supposed to emcee a community show in Marin last month but told the hightops that he wasn't available.

"He's a lot more detached, " says another station Insider. "He acts and sounds as if this might be his last 'rodeo."

Owens is signed through the end of 2016.

39 comments:

  1. former fan - a long time agoJuly 29, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    There isn't anything enjoyable about this blog any more, nothing but Rich Lieberman's toxic hate.

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    1. ...but you're still here!

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    2. Lieberman is the only site I know of that deals with Bay Area media so I check in now and then. I dislike his negativity, too, but still, I check in. If there were a pleasanter place to visit online with local media information, I would. Probably the case for "former fan", but just guessing.

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    3. It sounds like an addiction. As they say in AA, "keep coming back".

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    4. Rich is lucky and unlucky at the same time. Lucky to be the only one doing this because no one really cares as much to focus on it. Unlucky that the industry he's most focused on is already dead and therefore he's kind of stuck doing this. Needs to find a way to change it up!

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    5. 1:39...the phrase is "more pleasant"..."Pleasanter" doesn't exist as a word...

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  2. A sad read. I wish nothing but the best for Ronn.

    I used to listen daily as did my brother and grandfather. Ronn was very gracious to me the one time I reached out to him.

    I hope he gets the recognition he deserves on the way out.

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    Replies
    1. Ronn is a good man. Praise Ronn.

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  3. Rev Danny "Sparkles" HainesJuly 29, 2016 at 11:54 AM

    It sounds like the end is near.

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    Replies
    1. He REALLY looks like a sellout in that picture.

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  4. Ronn Owens ought to do a live remote from the Flint Center in Cupertino. We understand he has fond memories of that place.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, where they did the All-star show March of 2003, before our disastrous invasion of Iraq and Ronn was insipid as he compared a parent needing to go and check out a child's bedroom to the U.S. needing to check up on that mischievous ol' Saddam. It was great to hear Ray and Bernie eviscerate the hawks.

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  5. Prediction : once Ron goes, then KGO will go to foreign language format.

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    Replies
    1. Better yet, Ronn Owens will learn Spanish and do his own talk show, called Este es el Vato!

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  6. I liked Ron. I used to visit him while working downstairs at abc7 in the 80's and 90's. We had an unusual connection. We both liked a little remembered but wonderfully dark mystery film, "The Long Goodbye" with Elliot Gould playing Phillip Marlowe.

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  7. Sounds like a Hall of Famer to me!

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  8. Whats even more deplorable is how "detached" Ronnn sounds on air. With every sentence he speaks it sounds like a nap is in order. He should stock up on B-12 shots.....its going to be great!!

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  9. I don't listen to KGO and haven't since the 70's. Recently, I happened to turn on KGO and heard Ronn Owens' voice. Frankly, he sounded raspy and weak. I wondered if he were ill.

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    Replies
    1. When tune into Ronn Owens nowadays,
      I hear Rod McKuen.

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  10. I didn't realize how hot he was. He should have done television too.

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  11. I don't wish Ronn anything bad. His history alone is worth something but he IS Mr Softy and is really a leftist . Should have gotten out of KGO with the fire sale... Savage has far outdone Ron with two Nn's , a talented man and friend to Lorenzo like Savage and seemingly every other talk show host

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  12. During his enthusiasm over the invasion of Iraq he made the idiotic statement that nobody wants war. I called up and pointed out that a lot of people certainly do want war and make a hell of a lot of money out of it. He called me something unpleasant and hung up on me. That was the end of my association with his show.

    By the way "The Long Good-bye" is universally condemned as the absolute worst film version of a Raymond Chandler book.

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  13. You obviously don't listen to Ronn much, he is far from a leftist on many issues, mostly foreign and financial affairs, on social issues, yes but that does not make him a leftist, it makes him a mixture of right, left and the middle, unlike Savage who is always so far right he is over the cliff.

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  14. This drives me crazy about Rich's blog, which I generally like and read almost everyday (I check it every day, but not interested in any of the sport figure and about the same for TV) whenever he writes about Ronn and I post a reply that mentions Ronn has Parkinson, he rarely post my comments. Sometime if I rewrite it and tone down my defense of Ronn it gets posted, I'm curious to see if this will get posted.

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  15. He tried TV.
    Fell on his face.

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  16. Folks...
    Please try not to be to judgemental. Much of this personality change is very common among Parkinson's patients. I saw my father loose most of his personality and become withdrawn after years of medication.
    I believe that his show is what keeps him going and he is fighting a battle that most people could not understand.

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  17. Get ready folks, the next...next generation at 810 will ve singing "viva futbol " instead of "kars for kids".

    "Its gonna be great" !!

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    Replies
    1. Or we will get reruns of Siempre en Domingo.

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  18. Still a fan of Ronn Owens although don't like that he is voting for a 3rd party candidate. I don't blame him for being distant, if that is the case. Many of the people who he worked with are gone and the current management had every intention of shoving him off to a right wing station where no one would welcome him. His fans forced the issue so now he is back for a measly two hours knowing that it's just a matter of time before he is dumped again or the station goes Spanish. Chip can be irritating, but I don't know the situation between he and Ronn. I just know that I don't like KGO anymore, but still tune into Ronn, sometimes Copie, and Michael Finney. For the most part, The New Generation stinks.

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  19. Ronn lost me in 2003 when his chickenhawk ass was ALL IN on invading Iraq. It wasn't his kids that were at risk after all. Good lord, I'm a defense contractor, I knew this was a misadventure and marched against the invasion. Not Ronn...no problem sacrificing American kids for Israel. I'd like him to explain the USS Liberty though.

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  20. Lowenstein used to be relevant. No more. Too bad. Soon, KGO will become a Latino station. That's the fastest growing segment of America and that's where the bucks are going to be. Arriba!

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    Replies
    1. I'm convinced that Latino stations may soon dominate "the sanctuary city".

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  21. One day Ronn says to me without prompt, "How's dealing with Michael?" He was referring to Savage. I told him things were not going well, as we basically fought every day.

    Ronn desperately wanted to say something about Savage, so I let him.

    In a moment of pretending to sympathize with me he said, "In all of my years in this business, I have never met a more terrible person than Michael Savage. He's as dishonest as they come."

    Mike isn't exactly a class act, and I often thought of punching him in the face. But I can state unequivocally, Ronn has nothing on Savage. At least with Michael, in a general sense, I knew where I stood. With Ronn it's the other way - he would say one thing to your face and something else to others. He's a complete snake in the grass. Backstabbing me (and others) to management, to other employees, you name it, he would do it.

    Even at the end of his career he was still working to protect himself, while simultaneously preventing others from getting ahead. And even now he had to get his lawyers to keep him on the air when his ratings don't even break a 1.0. He doesn't care about listeners, audience, the station, the company - he only cares about himself.

    Sure, Michael Savage, as far as I'm concerned, isn't exactly honest, but he's Abe Fucking Lincoln next to Owens.

    That's Ronn Blowens. And that's why I gave him that name.

    At least Savage cares about the dog.

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  22. Ronn Owens still cannot accept the fact that a conservative talk show host blew right past him in the ratings.
    Ronn still thinks it is 1995 and he is king of talk radio.
    Time marched on and Ronn did not.

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    1. He's one of the luckiest men on the earth. Average talent which is why he never went national. Played his cards right that's for sure. He should just be happy he made it this far. Never thought he was all that itneresting especially compared to Bernie, Gene, Ray and so many others.

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    2. He had far more than average talent, but he wasn't a right winger and those are the radio hosts that go national. There is not much interest for moderate talk radio hosts. Still he was a great fit for the SF Bay area and beyond and my day to day life is better for it. He kept me company in the morning for years. Not happy that he is not on at 9 a.m., but actually don't mind A&G for the most part.

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    3. Ronn is a dog lover too, believe he and his wife has 3 rescue dogs, one is a blind senior dog. You cannot like him, and like Savage, but to be fair both apparently like and care about dogs and animals.

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  23. You need to know when to fold them and Ronn hasn't learned that in his 70+ years. It's over for him, but he can't see it. He would be better to go out with some fans than at the bottom the way it is going. He is becoming a bigger loser every day that he is on the air. It's over Ronn.

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  24. You do have a point, I don't think he is getting worse every day, since his procedure last summer (or fall) he has been pretty steady, not as good as he use to be. Given his health and age it is probably time for him to retire, however I have no confidence that management at KGO will replace him with someone better, judging from their track record, most likely someone worse. So what is the point of wishing Ronn gone??

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