Monday, August 15, 2022

The Pathetic Bay Area Media Has Reached New Low; KTVU, KPIX, KCBS Lead the Pack; Circle7 Too


I GUESS MISERY has company--Julie Haener called in sick---again!--on Sunday night. This isn't anything to do with August vacation (I'n told by KTVU moles) and now Andre Senior has been out an extended time--almost three weeks MIA from the morning news--does anyone at KTVU give a crap anymore? Apparently not.

Who's minding the store? Never mind.

"We're hopeless," a KTVU senior staffer told me and never mind August doldrums, the entire pathetic mess has been a constant at The Firm's Bay Area outpost for weeks and months now.

Amber Eikel, the embattled ND whose own staff has ZERO confidence in, is on notice from the corporate bigwigs that if things don't improve, she might as well go apartment hunting in El Paso.


The awful "Lt" Jessica Burch was, again, positioned to the news anchor desk because PIX couldn't find a capable body to fill in at the morning dreck patrol. I don't know what's WORSE, Burch's anchoring or PIX's news presentation at 7AM where the only people watching are the ghosts of Wendy Tokuda.

*KCBS, the whack-a-mole anchor radio outfit with NO ONE in control. No one. No one cares. NO leadership. NO direction. No planning for the future. Nothing. It's apparent this once-great radio news station has all the serenity of a Foster City Chevron station!


Oh, but wait, you asked me, "is there more, Rich?"

*At KGO, Circle7 on-air anchors were (off-screen) singing silently to themselves, disco songs while the rudderless morning morons read the news. Is this Building a Better Bay Area, I ask? What a pathetic, HORRIFIC, un-professional band of misfits who have denigrated and INFECTED the seats that once housed the likes of Van Amburg, Jan Carson, Don Sanchez and Pete Gidding's second wife!

DISGUST, DISMAY, it's more than that, a Bay Area media assessment that gets worse and worser by the day. And yes, again!, A TOTAL ABOMINATION!

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Sunday Extra: The Story Why Elaine Corral Suddenly Quit Her KTVU Anchor Gig; And How It Involved Kevin O'Brien; Dennis Richmond Warts and All

A STORY that has intrigued many Bay Area TV News industry peeps and others for years: why did KTVU news anchor, Elaine Corral shock her professional and personal friends alike when she suddenly resigned from her gig on the air?

Here's the story:

Corral went into GM, Kevin O'Brien's office one day and complained about Dennis Richmond. It was heated. Corral was ticked (not about any sexual harrassment) just how tough it was to work with Richmond's notorious attitude issues.

So Corral issued her complaints to O'Brien one day who blurted out, (in so many words): "well, you can just quit, Elaine." --and to which Corral responded, "Well, maybe I just will."

Corral quit that night.

*Richmond is battling a myriad of health issues now after almost fifteen years from his retirement from KTVU.

He left KTVU with a legacy as one of its greatest anchors and certainly one of the Bay Area's most notable, respected news journalists in the biz, but along the way, Richmond had several issues. Some that weren't his finest.

He could be moody, aloof and quite difficult to work with and for. It wasn't all warm and fuzzy.

Several KTVU staffers have told me over the years, Richmond's workplace vibe was toxic. One in particular said, "Dennis was not entirely pleasant and he could be downright, cruel."

A prominent Bay Area radio host (not KGO) told me about meeting Richmond for the first time at a social function. "I introduced myself and he looked over my shoulder the entire time--I said, 'god, what a jerk.'"

Richmond was generally nice and pleasant and a cordial man--but mainly to those he knew. Everyone else? Maybe not so much.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Saturday Media Deli; Thanks to Cumulus, KGO Radio Gets Embarrassed (Again) By 49ers/KNBR Programming Conflict with Giants; KTVU Kevin O'Brien -Leslie Griffith Factoid; KCBS (Repeat) Story (Repeat) and Repeat


FAULT Cumulus and their crappola programming busines model for an embarrassing day at albatross KGO Radio Friday.

When news of the top-secret documents from the FBI raid on Trump's Mar-a-lago home was revealed, it could have been a banner day for the news-talk outlet--even on a Friday, a chance to dominate the terrain and talk what headlined the news and could be a red-meat topic staple.


Instead, KGO was --(insert laugh track)--was broadcasting a 49ers pre-game show--sports-talk at 2PM for a practice game that wouldn't even begin until 5: 30 no less!

As a reader said here, it wasn't KGO's fault. Cumulus has a contract that when there's a SF Giants conflict (as there was Friday evening on KNBR) the game (49ers) will be covered on KGO. The only exception is if an earthquake occurs or if there's some breaking news/local emergency to cover, KGO can butt in but the Trump/DOJ/Mar-a-Lago news didn't qualify.

The result --KGO was blind-sided and made to look foolish. No fault of its own but embarrassment across the board. And a few talk-show hosts in particular --one, named Rothmann (John) probably screaming in his house for hours.

*Some "retirement": quietly, Mark Ibanez was working behind the scenes to get a gig at KPIX in the immediate weeks after KTVU and Fox told him to hang it up.

*He respected her, did Kevin O'Brien of falllen news anchor, Leslie Griffith, but she still HATED HIS GUTS. Griffith wasn't alone there --virtually all female KTVU staffers couldn't stand KOB and there were several reasons, use your imagination.

*O'Brien was KTVU GM--a powerful cog in the news dominance at Jack London Square but it was more legendary ND, the late, great Fred Zehnder, that made KTVU's news dominance--O'Brien was smart enough to stay away from news and concentrate on programming.

*Let's send Megan Goldsby to Levi's stadium for some 49ers fluff and let's play her report --REPEAT and REPEAT--her report, TEN TIMES! In a period less than a couple of hours, did KCBS Friday and into Saturday. It didn't stop there; KCBS ran a story about SF's native flower --another TEN TIMES!--don't tell me about TSL and the reality of pleasing people who only listen a fraction of the time. This is/was a JOKE!

Friday, August 12, 2022

The Inept KCBS Continues --Dog Days and Crisis Befall Alleged "All-News" Audacy Outlet --Again and Again and Again ...Update: Entercom/Audacy CEO, David Field in Town

NOT THIS SHIT AGAIN... But yeah, here we are AGAIN and again and again--does it never end at KCBS?

Apparently not.

It's the DOG DAYS of August for everyone but at KCBS it's even more a presence.

All hell broke loose last night (Thursday) another on-air gruesome act that had the entire traffic/weather sounders disappear --altogether from 6 until 9 o'clock and at times, the entire CBS News radio jingles gone! It continued on into the night and to make matters worse, it coincided with the WORST anchor in the world, Alisa Clancy taking over.

Talk about CRISIS!

But at KCBS these days, extreme glitches happen so often now it's become part of the daily program and NO ONE is ACCOUNTABLE. Including the news boss who seems more interested in her Macys shoe account than making sure the radio station is running on a full tank of gas.

It's a damn MESS and it's not getting any better anytime soon.

*THIS WILL make things interesting: Entercom/Audacy CEO David Field, is in town and presumably heard--or will eventually hear the latest crap that hit Thursday night.

Mark Ibanez and Julie Haener: Puppy Love

MARK IBANEZ isn't that stupid and Julie Haener, while busy and dealing with her own drama, wouldn't be so amateur either.

Ibanez didn't have an affair with Haener --oh, the two were/are very close and he (Mark) trusts her and she trusts him. They developed a core friendship while working at KTVU --close confidants and both somewhat tied to the hip.

But sleeping together? Probably not.

It was Ibanez himself that wanted Julie to do his farewell interview. He opened up and they both said compelling things to one another.

Ibanez' final year at KTVU --a contract year-- was tough and mighty emotional for Mark-- who was fighting for one last extension and Haener, who the Channel 2 bosses gave extra-special treatment, lobbied hard to The Firm to extend Mark. It didn't happen but Haener was there to help out Markie Mark--and he was and is when Julie was fighting her own demons.

Mark made a point of joining Julie for intimate coffees at a nearby Jack London Square deli --they always sat in the back and she wore sun glasses. It wasn't love as much as it was two people helping each other out.

At least in theory. But afterwards? Mere puppy love.

Love means never having to say you're sorry. The two took that to heart.

Haener was the last to leave Ibanez's blowout dinner and powwow last month in Danville and the two had an emotional encounter in a private room. They shared stories and talked about the good times at KTVU when it seemed the core4 (Dennis Richmond, Ibanez, Bill Martin and Haener) would all be together eternally--any thoughts of separation was never ever even considered. It was out of the question to even ponder the notion that they'd all meet fate.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Thursday PM Headlines; Haener Calls in Sick at KTVU; Staff Feels Bewildered; "We're Jinxed"; Frank Somerville Bizarro Instagram Postings; Says Nothing about Leslie Griffith Death; Heather Holmes Ready To Pounce Just In Case; Griffith Didn't Give a Crap about Kissing Ass, Just Did Her Gig

WHETHER COINCIDENTAL OR NOT, a majority of the staff at KTVU --especially those behind the scene--found it ODD and CURIOUS, Julie Haener, called in sick today --(1: 55 AM Friday) (she now decided to show up) --Haener's been having a tough time at the office lately.

The sad news regarding fallen colleague, Leslie Griffith, was not the reason Haener gave the boss she was OUT. Whatever the case, her status and overall demeanor at KTVU has taken a huge hit. And even more worrisome, both for Haener and management at The Firm: an inherent creepiness has set in the newsroom at Jack London Square's Fox2 outpost.

"We all feel sort of jinxed here," a spy told me and the situation remains just as complex, confused and bizarre as ever.

*SPEAKING of BIZARRE: the chaotic life of ex-anchor, Frank Somerville, whose Instagram postings have taken on (again) a more disturbing development.

Somerville has a relatively innocuous posting about his daughter's upcoming college plans but detours off the grid with goofy sweet nothings (since deleted).

Curiously, for a man who likes to make a whole lot of personal observations, Somerville has said nothing about Griffith's passing.

*PREDICTION: Heather Holmes has been positioning herself as the would-be co-anchor at 10 PM for over a decade now; with Haener's ongoing personal/professional crisis, Holmes is ready and eager to take over --at any moment she could be Haener's replacement.

That's not necessarily great news for the Foxies because Holmes herself has issues--not as pithy as Haener's but issues nonetheless. Which might explain why she's been passed over multiple times for the 10PM gig.

*Mark Ibanez has also NOT said a word about Griffith's death and although I'm not surprised, I'm also bewildered by the lack of professional courtesy by the KTVU sports anchor who's retirement was accelerated by The Firm.

One day the whole sordid mess (Griffith-Ibanez), will be pubbed for you all to reflect and make your own observations.

*Griffith knew she was not especially liked at KTVU but she also knew she possessed massive respect. She didn't care about kissing ass and making friends to curry favor with the boss like almost everyone else. She was, to borrow a phrase, a tough broad who didn't take any shit and garnered newsroom admiration for her take-no-prisoners approach.

To anyone.

Sure, she was scary and eccentric and embraced a sort of fear and loathing--"she was our 'Jessica Savitch, "said a veteran KTVU staffer.

Leslie Griffith: Great News Person and Anchor. One of Bay Area's and KTVU's Best. But a Dark Side Too. Reflections

WAS SHE SOLID? Yes and then some. She had a tough, gritty style and she took that edgy part of her personality to the news desk. It was that sinister, dark side that made her presence both compelling and somewhat disturbing at the same time.

Leslie Griffith died Wednesday--much too young at the age of 66. No official cause of death has been announced but KTVU --where she spent over two decades on the anchor desk and reporting in the field, said it was due to an acute form of Lyme disease.

Griffith, yes, was controversial and had considerable dark elements to her personality. At KTVU and away from the station.

There was no doubt she was a talented news anchor and she carried that element into the field as a reporter and later in life, when she left the business to concentrate on teaching and commenting on TV News journalism.

At KTVU, she was held in high esteem and received much admiration and respect.

But, as I WROTE last year, there were complications.

Griffith, as a KTVU Insider who worked with her and knew her well, told me, "as great as she was (and she was), her professional career might have been overshadowed by her own transgressions."

I don't want to concentrate on that part now. It's not the time and Griffith has just passed away but at the same time, ignoring it wouldn't be right either. There's a time and a place.

She was one of the most notable anchors the Bay Area ever had and certainly a gold medalist at KTVU when its news dept. was the envy of the news world and industry recognition was always on the radar.

Leslie Griffith was a key part of that KTVU admiration society.

She will be sorely missed.