Friday, June 15, 2018

Radnich Wife to Raddy: Lose Some LBS Or Else; KRON Surge Taken Into Context; SF Market Lowest in Viewership; Griego at 'PIX: No Sparks Fly; New Ladies' Men 855 Battery Competition; My Cheryl Hurd NBC Bay Area Appreciation Because I'm a Feminist; Bastida Pay Cut Probable; Dennis Richmond Wasn't KTVU's Best; Vern Glenn Hot Take; Too Much O'Donnell; ABC NY Execs Still Trying to Woo KGO's Dan Ashley; Friday 'Basta Extravaganza

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Gary Radnich
WHEN YOUR WIFE Insists you get off your ass and shed some lbs, it's not that big a deal unless you're Gary Radnich and that's maybe why he's taken to the exercise bike before she tells him to hit the road, Jack!

*By the way, who the hell wears sunglasses indoors anymore? Wait a minute.

*OK, OK, yes I know about KRON's sudden surge in numbers but before there's a party let's cease in the outdoor patio ads and 86 the plastic surgeons pimping on Union St. on its airwaves and then maybe I'll reevaluate my opinion about KRON.


*Michelle Griego: No spark. No action. No bright lights. Dullsville. She'd be great over at KQED hosting a pledge break.

*Competition at KPIX for unofficial ladies man, now entering the building, Dennis O' Donnell, he better watch out because hell, cameras are everywhere! Trouble Den? Ask your buddy, Joe Vasquez.

*The other night at Original Joe's in North Beach, a rather loud man on TV News who should know better had one of his sloppy seconds giggling like a college prom girl --she had to be reminded he had to get back to work for the 11 and no, they were NOT talking about the gnocchi and Caesar salad, trust me.

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Michelle Griego
*I'VE DECIDED a wholesale lifestyle change is in order; why, you ask?

Because some of the few people I believe in have turned out to be total posers and jerks; not that I'm a boy scout but I never pretended to be otherwise; I am who I am and that will never cease unless I hit the lottery and marry Cheryl Hurd and we jet off to The Hague, The Netherlands and eat some salmon and drink like sailors.

*My obsession with Countess Hurd dates back several years ago when we met and she graced her presence on the Bay Area news scene with a winning smile, terrific personality, and obvious attraction to me, then an unknown celebrity blogger and former assistant to my good friend, Gabrielle Union.

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Cheryl Hurd
Hurd was always intrigued about me especially the night I met her at the Van Ness Holiday Inn bar and told her, point black, "baby, I'm going to make you a STAR!" At which she told me, wait, I have to use the ladies room so it ended up there was a "meetin' in the ladies room."

*Bastida might have to take a pay cut if he wants to stay on the desk. A "paycut"!? How dare they! Yeah, ask Ken Wayne, Mark Ibanez about such atrocities.

*So Alex Savidge gets a "promotion" to anchor two of the least-watched shows on KTVU which should tell you something about 2's direction.

*Gregg Kelley has a new idea to boost morale at Fox2 in Oakland: he's agreed to stay an extra hour each day and split at 3: 30. Yavoy!

*Yeah, I know about all the Dennis Richmond stories but the biggest one that never got any traction was Dennis's offer to stay on past his retirement for a few years only KTVU wasn't interested and basically told him to take a hike which never got out but I was on it.

Image result for leslie griffith ktvu*BY THE WAY, The Very Best and Most Talented anchor, ever, at KTVU was also its most troubled: Leslie Griffith. She was smart and very good on the air but she had "Play Misty for Me" -like tendencies that made people very nervous.

Ask Mark Ibanez.

*The feminist that I am I take offense to the notion that I only write about Bay Area women anchors in a sexual motif --that is simply wrong and misunderstood because in fact, it is I that has championed women's rights and have been on the forefront for people like, say, Darya Folsom, of KRON have the right to make great journalism like this.

*Vern Glenn, I didn't know there was this big vitriol against the PIX second sports anchor; I'm a huge Vern guy but I do agree with some of Glenn's most fiercest critics that his Radnich mannerisms are unbecoming and don't play well on the air. The constant copy-shuffling; the voice inflections; the VO on the highlights that reek of Gary; it's one thing to emulate the RAD, it's quite another to just imitate him. That should be a no-no on Vern's chalkboard. Vern has a nice personality of HIS OWN and should emulate that. He's quite a good writer and generally anchors a decent sportscast. But his Gary habits are indeed annoying and it is there that I agree with the critics.

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Vern Glenn

Keep in mind too that Dennis O'Donnell, who worked at KRON for years when Radnich and Glenn were there, has a huge influence on the Vern. But Vern is secure enough now to tell DOD that it's time "I make my own style" you, Dennis, keep to having beers at the Old Ship and quit telling me what to do.

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Dan Ashley
*ABC NEWS NY Execs; high-level guys who wear the expensive suits and eat lunch regularly at "21" continue to weigh prying KGO (and ABC-owned and operated KGO) lead anchor, Dan Ashley, away from the Bay Area and straight into Manhattan--in spite of Ashley's repeated missives that he doesn't want to leave KGO and is quite comfortable at KGO. Then again, Ashley, according to Circle7 sources, tell me his contract (still a few years to go) has yet to get ironed out and extension negotiations haven't even been discussed. My best bet is KGO doesn't want to lose another prominent anchor and something like this on its hand again.



*Rock on.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Decision Time Looming on KPIX Veteran Anchor Ken Bastida

Image result for Ken Bastida KPIX5 HAVE YOU NOTICED KPIX ANCHOR, KEN BASTIDA, Out In the Field More lately? That's either a good sign or maybe an indication that Bastida's reign as a PIX anchor might be nearing an end?

Bastida was on the streets of Downtown Oakland (with Vern Glenn) covering the Warriors victory parade; he seemed very comfortable and at ease describing the festivities and having a fun back and forth with Dennis O' Donnell and Christian Ayers.

It seemed Bastida was in his element especially as he snagged an impromptu interview with gubernatorial candidate, Gavin Newsom, riding solo on a float waving to the crowd. Bastida was in hog-heaven after the exclu, eyes wide and bright. It's amazing what a sunny day and fun can mean leaving the teleprompter. Maybe? Maybe not.

Bastida is nearing a contract extension at KPIX but at what price and will CBS brass necessarily grant him one? Bastida has firm Bay Area/SF roots. He began his primary career at KFRC Radio and moved to TV soon after for nearly three decades. He was once a local news institution and the face for the old "Channel 5" but in recent years, his star power has waned and the little magic he held has virtually evaporated --fueling rumors that Bastida might retire or that CBS would retire him.

Bastida is making in the mid $500K range; not the BIG money that used to be the norm for top-tier anchors but decent enough today in the Bay Area. The question is, given PIX's descent in the ratings will the big suits give him that kind of money again? Highly questionable.

We'll be following as always.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

'New' KGO? Don't Hold Your Breath; Yee, KSFO Morning Show Producer Call Out; Memo to Brian Sussman; Why Was Ronn Owens at Cumulus Meeting? Beats Me

Image result for Should I spill my guts? WEDNESDAY BLUNT

YES OF COURSE, KGO will never ever be the old KGO no matter how much re-tooling and facelift it gets from Doug Harvill. Its best legacy was its past which would be OK but the new owners killed it when it still had a pulse and was relevant  and respected. Now it's become a certified joke with goofy topics and disjointed hosts talking about everything other people are not talking about. If Harvill were smart he would hire some fresh voices to begin with and work from there. This is not a one-day reset; it requires a fundamental change in format and philosophy and that takes about a year at best. Good luck.

Image result for The Old KGO Radio*In the small, quaint, KSFO/Cumulus family, she was once very much respected and admired for her work ethic and production skills; now she's a control freak with ego-itus run amok.

Sherri Yee, the longtime producer for the "KSFO Morning Show, has become a hard-headed, ultra-right-wing diva who answers to no one and is now the queen of mean. Countess Mean, the queen of Morning Arrogance behind the scenes.

A local broadcast source says of Yee:

 "She went from amiable, pleasant and competent to passive aggressive backstabbing and self-centered --she is not well-liked or regarded highly anymore by anyone."

* On Tuesday Mary Berner, Cumulus CEO, was addressing all the Cumulus employees in the Levi Auditorium --including Ronn Owens. I don't know what to make of that yet but when I do, I will tell you.

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Brian Sussman
*Brian Sussman: you should know by now that the show has become a farce. I say that because I speak the truth and if that means losing a friendship, so be it. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. You had a one-time ratings spike but it's short-term. The show sounds like shit and has lost all the little respect it once had despite such hate-mongering and ultra, right-wing missives --now it's become a boring zoo show with sophomoric sound effects and moron mutiny. It caters to the lowest common denominator --a Lodi bingo club would be embarrassed. Brian, an honest opinion hurts but would hurt more if I didn't say it.

*Yeah, I know about the latest "progressive talk" station in town and I don't bother with it because there is no LOCAL host and all its talent are all, retread, out-of-towners. There's really no there, there.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

415 Media Exclu: Cumulus CEO Berner in SF Today; 'KGO isn't Working'; Changes Coming (Again)

At its Market Cluster building on Battery this (Tuesday) morning, Cumulus chief, Mary Berner held a major meeting for all its SF employees --it wasn't that significant because nobody was shown the door nor were their any major announcements...except one.

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Mary Berner 
According to my cloud source inside the Levi auditorium, Berner said, "It is obvious that KGO isn't working." Those weren't the exact quotes but you get the gist.

We've heard this line before but it's real: Changes (again) are coming to KGO (and other Cumulus stations in the Bay Area but I'll deal with KGO for now)

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Doug Harvill
One reason why Berner hired Doug Harvill as the latest market manager is that Harvill ran KCBS and knows the Bay Area and has an idea to make it right. One only hopes he will DUMP the ludicrous current lifestyle format and get back to heavy-duty news talk and real information and opinion.

It sure beats tofu recipes.

Talk more on Wednesday as to what I believe Harvill has to do and do so soon.

A Few MVP Performances from Bay TV News from Parade Scene; Hurd from NBC Bay Area Shines With Steve Kerr Exclu

Image result for warriors parade 2018 MVP performances by Bay Area TV -- and NOT-So MVP...Live from the Warriors' Parade …

*Cheryl Hurd nabbing Steve Kerr for a one-on-one; NBC Bay Area with a stellar performance and great ad-libbing from Raj Mathai and Jessica Aguirre...

*Proving that he can carry a good show no matter the chaos and circumstances, KGO's Larry Beil who was armed with a lot of confetti one-liners and did a splendid job

*Ditto KPIX duo Ken Bastida and Vern Glenn for their tenacity --particularly Bastida who snagged Gavin Newsom and Warriors owner, Joe Lacob; good interviews and well done bravado because in a crazy environment it's pretty good when you can snag a decent interviewee for interviewer ...KTVU is Oakland-based but curiously  decided to keep its anchor team of Mark Ibanez and Sal Castaneda in studio as opposed to setting up shot on the scene: bizarre and curious...

Early Warriors' Parade Coverage Observations; Screaming and Yelling in The Town; Wacky KTVU

Related image WELL, WHY NOT HAVE A PARADE? AGAIN...OK, so perched near a Lake Merritt abode on the other side of the commotion with TV availability...

*Of course there's a lot of yelling and screaming --which is further enhanced when bottles of liquid that is probably not water and the sight of several cameras and reporters trying their damnest to report with Chamber of Commerce weather (damn it's hot out here)

A Few Observations Thus Far:

*KGO TV (ABC7) early award for most comprehensive coverage of Warriors' victory parade through Downtown Oakland with mostly pointed and civil on-scene reports; Lyanne Melendez gets extra points.

*KTVU: lots of screaming and wacked-out correspondents; goofy Mark Ibanez and Sal Castaneda acting doofus inside studio as if they were describing a political summit. Weird? Yep/

See ya later...

Monday, June 11, 2018

Moribund Mornings at KPIX and KGO-TV; Shake-Ups Looming in Fall

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KPIX is suffering in the AM
At KPIX there's an almost we-give-up resignation over the morning doldrums that is the least-watched AM show in the Bay Area TV News group.

Kenny Choi has been a disaster since Day One; his migration from Hawaii to the Bay Area is a ratings disaster and Choi hasn't registered here with his innocuous personality and dull presentation. It's gone from bad to worse and he sure isn't helped by power diva, Michelle Griego, who also doesn't excite the senses and has no it factor.

KPIX isn't helped too by CBS' Morning Show perennial third-place status (although much improved) and it shows.

PIX is looking to blow up the current show probably at the beginning of fall and look for major changes although I don't think there's anything radical they could do other than pray.

*At KGO-TV, what a complete Titanic. It's bad enough when the entire staff has to endure a day's worth of Reggie Aqui and Natasha Zouves' shenanigans but the whole show is lacking in any depth or direction. Its news is soft-pedaled on purpose because even management knows what a weak staff it has on the desk.

New GM, Tom Cibrowski, is set to make his first significant move, I'm told: he could tweak personnel and implement a more newsy angle and quicken stories up but he's hampered by Aqui's incompetence and Zouves' lack of experience. They aren't Bay Area people either and they have ZERO viewer identity. When your best news is that you're a little ahead of KPIX (and getting murdered by KRON and KTVU) that's hardly a cause for celebration.

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KGO-TV's carnage in the morning
Look for some major changes in the fall.