We hear these stories a lot, almost on a daily basis and have become sort of static to them, almost like, "hey, OK, we live in the Bay Area, bring it on." Until it's really bad and catastrophic --or just very strong and crummy making life miserable for many of us but we all pretty much survive after a few days. (Remember we couldn't use the Bay Bridge for over a month back in 89 but we got through it)
Which made me think of our media links because what do most of us do after a quake? We turn on the radio (assuming there's power and a battery radio if not) and we used to turn on the old KGO Radio to hear callers provide descriptions of what they felt. Sometimes, it bordered on repetitive because how many times can Margie from Fremont say, "It was like a 'jolt'" or Steve in Millbrae opine "it was more of a rolling sensation and it lasted a long time." Sure, corny and all but it was community radio at its best, a local listening post where people felt comforted in a moment of crisis.
Of course that was something truly unique that the KGO slayers never acknowledged when they killed the old KGO and slaughtered one of its best attributes, a tiny nugget of civility to Bay Area listeners who depended on this --sure, there's KCBS, and thank god, a dependable 24/7 outlet that has staffed reporters and editors on call no matter what time and day.
A question. What would happen if some major quake hit the Bay Area on a weekend? It doesn't have to be a quake, necessarily, what if some major terrorist attack or mass shooting occurred? KGO has literally NO news people in the building on the weekend. They run canned, syndicated programming and only until later in the day do they have bodies in the studio and those are a few talk hosts and producers. So what happens if some major story breaks on a Saturday morning or in the middle of the night? (Like the Napa quake in 2014 and of course when it broke, KGO was useless running a taped, syndicated financial show--how embarrassing) Thank goodness for KCBS otherwise the Bay Area would have been devoid of radio accounts)
*I constantly get e-mail from some people chastising me for ripping KRON. "Rich, they (on-air people) just work there and are only doing their job under the best of circumstances." Get a lot of that. The truth is it's the people who have some major influence there that could do a lot to help those that don't have much juice. Instead they just blindly come in, do their gig and then leave. Yes, it's tough at KRON now (especially given the TV Spectrum situation) but believe me, there's a lot of people who had some authority who have MIAed en masse.
Owen Spann was like listening to the human NY Times on radio. Spann was entertaining, civil, almost ombudsman-like in his style and demeanor. He took each interview and subject matter seriously and conducted almost classroom-like civics course. It was special. Spann was the most solid and dignified host KGO ever employed.
*The Old Ronn Owens on the old KGO was one of my favorites. Ronn did the BEST interview and was an astute and entertaining listen, absolute appointment radio and must-listen. He would never back down to some slack politician and was very adept with questions and comments. He was a master (and sometimes still today) at pulling off some of the greatest lines on radio. Referring to Jimmy Carter aide, the late Hamilton Jordan (whose last name was pronounced "Jur-dan") Ronn said, "Hamilton Jur-dan is a jork!" Applause.
Ronn invented great theme shows like "Status, Class, and Tacky"; invented a vintage "Rock Trivia" hour that made various Bay Area characters like "Mill Valley Don" and "One-hit Tony" stars.
Quick Sunday hits:
*More obnoxious ads on radio with "1-800-Junk" and their ludicrous song solo at the end; can we eradicate this junk off the air?
*I'm watching the debate Monday night with big new Bay Area TV STAR, Joel Murray! Whoa!
*Because Pia Zadora was busy.
*Follow me on Twitter
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