But a maddening policy by KGO/Cumulus still exists and nowhere is it more idiotic and insulting than Rothmann's show.
KGO, I've said in the past, thinks its listeners, at least the majority, have a short attention span. They regard the Bay Area, wrongly I believe, is just like Tampa and Sacramento, just to name a few locations ...KGO suits believe in the "TSL" mantra --that's "time spent listening" --where people, say the hacks, spend roughly fifteen minutes listening to their radio and then switching or tuning out. It's not just KGO that uses this stupid system to be fair, but it's more pronounced at KGO and it's completely frustrating.
Let me explain.
I believe the host and his/her style dictates both the program and program style --and the callers too. Rothmann gets a lot of callers, (and they're great callers by the way, for the most part) usually callers are talk-show killers but if you listen to Rothmann, his calls are mostly educated people; dare I say smart people who don't sound moronic and speak like they just left a Fresno strip mall. Rothmann is one of the few radio talk hosts who can make caller engagement with host a most enjoying element of the show. The TSL model doesn't fit that type of formula and it often screws up the cohesion-- the momentum of the subject matter. We got that again Friday night as Rothmann was engaged in a spirited discussion of the Russian/Trump connection --(the lines were all lit up and the calls were extraordinarily crisp and cogent) Everything was going great until Rothmann had to halt the discussion and announce that the next hour --hour!--would be a segment on movies and some movie guy. Essentially what was riveting radio and real-deal news-talk en-fuego was hijacked by a rally-killing, innocuously dumbing-down movie guy. How insulting and infuriating.
Not that talking about movies is a bad idea but the whole element of news talk and its function was ruined. And the callers pay the price and suffer. Furthermore, on a day (Friday) when there was so much actual news (again, the Florida tragedy for one) why not talk about our nation's situation with terror and how pathetic it is that an apparent lunatic; a man that we know now (and apparently, so did the FBI in Alaska) had mental issues and "heard voices"; that a guy like this could buy guns! That's a whole lot of radio talk-show red meat and yet the KGO audience was reduced to listening about inane movie chit-chat.
It wasn't Rothmann's fault, he was going by the KGO playbook but it sounded dreadful. There's ample time to loosen things up and "go light", particularly on a Friday night, I get it and think it's fairly reasonable but not when there's so many things to talk about that are far more serious and engaging --and besides, for the most part, that's what the listeners (and callers too) want and expect!
In its heyday, KGO was second to none when it came to issues of the day and the radio station earned its legacy mark, its brand, (I hate that term but it applies here) by performing the actual news and talk functions. And guess what? The ratings were off the chart. Yeah, I know TSL and AQH are in play now and the ratings system has changed but not to the degree that KGO suits have applied. People still are drawn by content and if content is good then people will listen, will watch. That never changes.
I would love a world now not dominated by stupid "trends" or smart-phone futility. We're not all robots and simpletons --that's why people still buy an HBO and Netflix to watch, religiously, a show like "House of Cards" or "Ray Donovan", to name a few. Radio is no different just a different outlet.
If KGO suits were to concentrate on creating and nurturing quality talent and programming and investing in informative, entertaining and provocative radio then they'd be more competitive in the ratings game.
Of course, yes, I know I'm dreaming now but I know I'm right.
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