Thursday, January 24, 2013

Do we need all the Traffic Reports?; Lee Rodgers, Joe Tuman, and John Shrader on KSCO/KOMY Today

So you're headed off to work in your car and turn on the radio--most of you still listen to terrestrial; others have become satellite addicts and a good portion have both.

There is a constant on local terrestrial radio: traffic reports. Much to much in my opinion, and apparently I'm in the minority because I still get feedback from a lot of you that you depend on multiple traffic reports--some of you are commuters, I get it. But at what point does the traffic reports become redundant? Particularly on holidays or the weekend when there's significantly less traffic unless there's an accident on, say, the Bay Bridge for example. Obviously, yes, traffic reports are vital.

And traffic here, like elsewhere, is big business. Both KCBS and some time ago, KGO only had traffic planes up at certain times of the day. KCBS does during morning and afternoon drive, and part of the midday. Both stations report traffic 24/7...KCBS has an airplane--KGO cut back and doesn't have a chopper anymore, (KCBS, 6 times per hour...every hour, every day, and all hours except talk show hours on KGO.)

How much do you value traffic reports? And do you agree, like me, that when there's so-called, "Friday-lights", (traffic parlance for little or no traffic), that stations don't necessarily have to stick to such rigid, repetitive, frankly innane content, in my opinion.

*Today's guests on KSCO/KOMY Radio Show, (following Rush Limbaugh)

12 PM-12: 40 PM PT: Lee Rodgers
1-1: 30: Joe Tuman
2-3 PM on KOMY: John Shrader

*To listen live and call in, just click on the website streaming audio site. If you can't listen, a podcast is available on demand the next day.

*Follow me on Twitter


  1. I wish there would be just an all traffic station, and have news updates every 10 minutes.

    1. !!! There was a 24-hour traffic station in LA a few years ago...don't know if it's still on the air.

  2. Yes, but even worse than traffic every 10 minutes is weather every 10 minutes. Unless there is some kind of major storm occurring, the weather does not change much during any given period.

  3. Completely agree on traffic reports but I think news directors have become addicted to them. It makes for an easy programming cycle to have something standard to do "every ten minutes."
    A couple things that would make the reports more useful for me, in the event anyone who produces them is reading:
    1-Give me alternate routes if there are any. Stan Burford used to do that.
    2-Give me some idea how much time an incident is going to add to my trip. I'm pretty sure the computerized system that consolidates and spits out traffic information can do it.
    3-For those of us who don't travel the whole Bay Area regularly please include highway numbers AND names when reporting.
    4-Include "standard" or chronic problem areas (spots where there's always traffic) in reports when there's not much going on.
    5-Take a look at a map before just reporting an incident that pops up on the CHP dispatch website. I've heard more than a few reports of single car accidents out in rural parts of Sonoma County where there's a good chance it can be cleaned up and out of the way before more than three or four other cars would pass by.

  4. Some Raddy posts for today: He asked Ted Robinson to call in. Ted did,then found that Raddy mocked his calling of a play over and over...while letting Robinson sit there on call waiting. Ted hung up,left apparently angry. Radnich then really gave it to Ted playing the playcall as a "tribute"..while laughing at it. What a pal Radnich is.
    2: Radnich on comparing San Francisco to Los Angeles " Larry,you have to admit the weather is better down there" He was serious. Like he was telling the world he knows something they don't. Idiot. Hey Raddy..Hawaii I hear can be warm too!
    And then he attacked Damon Bruce,saying he felt sorry for anybody who travels to the Super Bowl,and has D.Bruce as a roommate. Kreuger..agreed. So,I guess D.Bruce knows he has no friends on that show. And that was Raddy's way of starting his show..attack somebody he has a grudge with. WHAT A PAL!

    1. Why listen, then?

      What is more sad: Radnich or the guy who tunes in to Radnich looking to find something to complain about?

      Life's to short, bro! Listen to what you like and not what you hate. Unless to like to hate.

    2. Hey Stan, This post is about traffic reports. Your obsession with Radnich is alarming. For someone who dislikes him, you sure do listen a lot. Then you clutter this and other blogs with too many comments. Suggestion - start your own blog. Then you can "post" all your tiny thoughts. This is a comments section. You did not offer "Raddy posts".

    3. Yeah, what was that about?

    4. Stan is the nut who hates Radnich so much he listens to his every word on radio, watches him on television and even watches him on television doing his radio show.

      He is a sick, obsessed, individual who infects a couple of different blogs. His observations about Radnich are crazy. Stan is just like Rupert Pupkin, the delusional fan in King of Comedy.

    5. 346,and their kind are the pathetic people who read what write,ALL of it, then ignore the message. Whats sick is,while I do my best to improve the bay area's slanted sports culture..its the KNBR interns,and right wing wacko's who post the same over and they are paid by Lee Hammer. Just like that.

      If you read my then remember how many times I said..I don't make up what the king of KNBR said. And 100% of the time,,,the nutwings ignore THAT. No comments from them on Radnich telling Kareem to stop talking about his cancer,keep it to himself. Your idol.
      One last..People like my KNBR posts. KNBR really hates them..And so ...

    6. Also I do watch Raddy. And his hate for blogs and all things about them has gone up I noticed. He blamed the Notre Dame fiasco on bloggers!..with real hate too. So,no surprise to me Stan,that the Cumulus crowd has turned up the hate posts. And I in return, will not back down at all.
      A promise.

    7. "So,no surprise to me Stan,that the Cumulus crowd has turned up the hate posts. And I in return, will not back down at all."

      HUH? Are you Stan or are you talking to Stan? If you have so much to say, why don't you start your own blog instead of stuffing anonymous, off-topic, comments throughout other people's blogs. This article is about traffic reporting!

      And if you're serious about starting your own blog, how about learning to write coherent English.

    8. 1106, Idiot..only you don't understand what I Stan says? Again,this is the KNBR intern-management moron crowd that idolizes the man who goes on morning sports radio and says "I'm high on Vicodin as I drove to the studio". What a great message for kids. Gary is such a good man.
      Once he got serious on air. He said "Ok,maybe I am a jerk". No Gary,there is no maybe. Add phony too.

    9. I have come to the conclusion that Stan is delusional. Sorry. I can't even feel bad for him. His whole act is pathetic.

    10. 1213..Whats delusional- and classic- is your near violent reaction to my criticism of Radnich. You,AGAIN..don't deny Radnich said those things. Its like,it doesn't matter what he just attack me for repeating it!
      People aren't dumb..they see you KNBR writers always avoid denial of Radnich's attacks on people. And his "wisdom" is the classic wealthy white guys view of the world. Or semi wealthy. If he was rich..he wouldn't be working.
      Bring it on. It doubles my posts at least...

    11. We get it Stan, you don't like Gary Radnich.
      Your crazy claims; right wing wackos paid by Lee Hammer to criticize you, the Cumulus crowd has turned up the hate posts (of you?), Radnich telling Kareem to stop talking about his cancer (what the hell are you even talking about), are no longer amusing and starting to sound seriously deranged.

    12. @12:48, the Radnich hating guy, sounds crazy. Self-righteous delusions about himself and his own importance along with nutty fantasies about Radnich.

    13. I get your method. Everybody with half a brain can see. And ,I will point out- I quoted Radnich..I always have. The cancer,the scare the old piano teacher,the Jerry West should stop complaining about his chronic depression.
      When I call him out..I quote what he said. "I'm high on Vicodan" as the Show started. And he drove like that. SO,when are you going to consider Radnich the nut?. Radnich you might notice...doesn't deny what I write about him. He just sounds so much like the KNBR interns who clogged up this blog and others.
      107 Radnich said "Kareem should talk about this cancer" ..last year. Go write Raddy an email. He will ignore you because its true.
      If I'm wrong prove it..nobody does. Not even Radnich who compared himself to Rush Limbaugh once again today.
      You people should be glad I'm here to expose 50,000 watts of bigotry and ignorance.
      Or is Krueger and Tolberts past more lies,crazy talk?...uhuh.

    14. No,you don't get it. Far from it.

      And Lee Hammer,Cumulus would NEVER condone interns or management making disparaging remarks to the Rich Lieberman blog. Its Rich's fantasy. And Steve Berman's paranoia. Yeah that's what it is. KNBR hosts would not stand for that in their name.

    15. I quote Radnich...And what Radnich said is so insulting to common sense, people write in saying I imagine quotes?-wow.
      No..he said those things.

    16. " Radnich you might notice...doesn't deny what I write about him."

      How would Radnich know what you say about him? How would he even know you exist? How could a public figures possibly be aware of every crazy thing any crack pot says about him or her?

    17. 500..You should never have dropped out of school. Radnich has said often "I read those blogs". He has said Rich's in particular.
      If Rich thought I was posting fantasy quotes...they would never make it to the net. Oh,Raddy said those things as sure as I Stan,caught KNBR 1050/ESPN using a Jeremy Lin slur ( I was FIRST and posted it on BASG blog) to Justine Waldman's hilarious "Sen. Meyer sent photos of his package" quote.
      I don't make up Raddy quotes. At all.
      You want to make big money as a local celeb? Don't lie to people or put down the good people is my advice. Justine's blooper was just too funny.

    18. No,wait it was Sen. Weiner. Even more hilarious.

    19. Radnich is the most mean spirited host in bay area history. His act is to spin everything and both ways. He says he isn't a robot...but nobody has been a bigger puppet at KNBR then Gary Radich..NOBODY. Al Madrigal had him pegged to a T. You wont see Al again as a guest. Radnich anti Asian "humor" is legendary. Radnich rips everybody and over and over..but giggles. So,in his world,he's not guilty. Nope,no guilt trip ever hit that guy.
      And finally, if Pam Moore wants to be known as the stooge who smiles at Radnichs Obama insults..what does it say about that air head? She wont say a word to defend the first African American president.
      I listen to all the local media. Write about them..but KNBR wants to fight? Bring it on.

    20. "If Rich thought I was posting fantasy quotes...they would never make it to the net."

      Rich, do you stand behind the accuracy of all claims made within comments on your blog? You stand behind Stan's quotes?

    21. Pam Moore,btw,has upped the laughter at Radnich's stale jokes. She was laughing at something that even made Radnich give her the "I haven't even got to the punchline " look.
      She reads this blog. And I bet its the first time in her professional life she read the truth about her.
      Republican, or airhead,or both..she's a high paid stooge.

  5. Agree there is too much traffic reporting on all stations now. Gil Gross often has to cut off a good guest to get to "traffic". Much of the time there are no real traffic problems to report, just the usual slowdown spots. For those of us not on the road all day, the reports are irrelevant.

    Also, there are way too many freeways in the area to cover all the trouble spots in the few seconds they have. No matter how bad traffic might be, they still stick to their time formula and only report on 3 or 4 traffic incidents, then switch to weather, giving the same forecast they just gave a few minutes before. The weather doesn't change much in 10 minutes, or 30, or 60 for that matter.

  6. Weekdays: having plenty of traffic reports is a good thing. From 5 a.m. through 8 p.m. Every 20 minutes after that is plenty.
    Weekends: Hard call here, but since there are so many people living here now and 101 can be crowded on a Sunday mid-morning, probably every 20 minutes.

    The population has exploded here and it's only going to get worse. We're a car-heavy society so the drivers must be catered accordingly.

    A few other things...11:29 a.m.'s comments just point out how irreleveant Rat-snitch is. He should just hang it up. He rarely goes to local sporting events. He just dials it in every day. I can't believe those who say, "Well Gary said today..." and treat his words like they've been etched on a stone tablet. Don't you morons get enough white noise from sitting in your cubes at work? Or get plenty of nonsense from your co-workers? Go get books on CD. It's better than listening to that babbling brook. In fact, hearing a babbling brook is better than listening to Rat-snitch.

    Finally...did you see Benny Fong's "Radio Waves" the other day? Talk about mailing it in. Write something with substance as opposed to your own ego-driven self-promotion.

  7. As someone who commutes 20+ miles each workday on increasingly busy highways and other roads, and someone who regularly visits an ailing parent even farther away, I totally appreciate regular traffic reports, more than almost anything else on radio; and I definitely want it on mutiple stations. Not every roadway is covered on each report, not every station covers the same roads (KLIV, for example, is South Bay-centric); and, even on days when some roads may be "Friday light," or during overnights, there can still be accidents and/or roadwork, etc.

    I swear, sometimes I'll check traffic online before shutting down my computer at work, walk to my car, check radio reports, and bam! accidents have happened on my commute. I have some route options, and this can be incredibly useful and time-saving info.

    I would actually like *more* coverage, since there are parts of my commute that are only are mentioned when really, really bad things happen. Even though thousands of people may drive them each commute, there are areas that are way undercovered, because they get overshadowed by even busier roads.

  8. I think at some point traffic reports will be moot as more people drive cars with Internet capability/GPS and traffic reports will be "included" in your route information. We'll all have mini-"Wreck Ahead" alerts in our cars with alternate route info provided.

  9. Traffic reports are for the most part useless. Major delays are worth commenting on but don't waste time on the routine/day to day slow downs. I'd rather hear about who's getting off easy(good news for some lucky bastard before a commercial might make that time more valuable to an advertiser, which is what it's all hinged on).

    Wanna hear my theory on how to eliminate 50% of the routine traffic delays? Build the freeways flat and make the side roads go OVER the freeway, not the other way around. Any time the freeway is elevated to cross another road, the unknown of what's on the other side of the hump while going 65 (45 for Prius owners) makes one slow and use caution. 880 for example- humps and common delays at high street, davis, whipple. To add insult to injury, the 880 project doesn't include any elevation changes at the high street spot...not corrected or properly configured, just wider or stronger...status quo.

    Things would be different if I were in charge, better, but the libs would still be pissing and moaning.

  10. I think traffic is important. Especially M-F rush hours, during major events and when bridges are closed. What is annoying to me is the reporter always seems under the gun and talks so damn fast to fit in as much as they can. Why does it only have to be a 30 second report sometimes? If its a major accident and roads are closed, why do they act like we already know what is going on? We tune in at different times. Not everyone is already briefed on what happened. There's a little too much of that in my opinion (KCBS are you listening?)
    Also to the person who says they want to know what is going on at places like the bay bridge every report, what I've learned is if its not mentioned, it isn't bad.

  11. The worst traffic reports are on the Bone. Madden trying to bounce lame ass comments off a girl names Robin Sparkles (as in How I Met Your Mother character). It's as if he does no show prep and expects this poor traffic reporter with a stupid name to come to his rescue. Actually she's more interesting than he is. Why do jocks use their traffic reporters as crutches. So small market. Just play some AC/DC and shut the fuck up. And the name Robin Sparkles? Not cute or funny. LAME. Don't get me started on Madden when he tries to talk sports with the sports update guy. No wonder the Bone is in the toilet. Freakin' turd.

  12. Some traffic reports are useful, and people in their cars can certainly get valuable info during drive time hours when the commute traffic is at its peak. But because accidents can occur at any time and traffic can change quickly, many reports are outdated by the time they are delivered. Generally speaking, the folks who do the traffic reports keep up as well as they can with all of the things that are happening, but its so free-flowing and changes so quickly that some of the reports become useless. There have been many times I've been driving along when I run smack-dab into a major traffic problem that no one is talking about. And there have been other times when I'm approaching an area that is supposed to be full of traffic, and it's been cleared, but the traffic reports haven't given out an update on the situation.

  13. Nothing annoys me more than when the producers on KNBR start playing the traffic (or financial update) intros while the hosts are talking, like they are trying to play them off the stage during an Oscar telecast. I tune in to hear the hosts talk about sports, I don't need a @#$% traffic update at 2:15 in the afternoon. It's rude and obtrusive.

  14. Great question. My answer is no. My reason is this: most of the stations read traffic reports so fast that you are left wondering, "What in the heck did he or she just say?"

    As an example, my wife and I were traveling on a local highway and a KGO traffic report came on about the highway we were on. We heard it TWICE in the time before we hit the area where the problem was supposed to be, and neither my wife nor I could figure out what was said. Thus, it mattered little.

    KSFO's morning show is the by far the worst.

    Nothing against the young lady who does them, but it seems KSFO is often rushed with the reports. Thus, because the traffic reporter is quite skilled at rat-a-tat-tatting the reports at warp speed, it is almost gibberish. I guess it might just be a reflection of the morning show in general.

    Naw. The traffic reports are not that ridiculous or immature.

    On other occasions, I've been driving and hit a backup and NEVER hear it on the radio, whether it's KSFO, KCBS or KGO. Another thing, they often don't tell you an alternate route, which would be nice for those of us who are new arrivals.

  15. The traffic on the 6 Cumulus stations is being done by a bunch of amateurs, some of whom are even Bay Area transplants who literally have no idea where the places they are reporting are even are, much less how to say them properly, or be able to give viable alternate routes. You get things like, "the lower deck of the Golden Gate Bridge is moving well at this hour."

    With no airplanes or copters of their own, and no original reporting in the field of their own (except those sponsored cel-phone-equipped hapless drive-bys they call "super commuters"), they rely on a mish-mash of CHP website regurgitation, listener calls to the traffic "hotline," and repeating what is reported on other stations. When you add to that the fact that the traffic reports are (on Cumulus stations other than KGO) often tape delayed by as much as 10 minutes in order to allow one traffic reporter to serve more than one station, you get a rather diminished value to the traffic report that makes it to air. Ala Cumulus, the accuracy or usefulness of the report is less important than the fact that it "sounds like" a real radio station at work. That, and the sponsorship avail that is attached, of course. Seriously, if they thought they could fool the audience, they'd instruct the reporters to beat their chests in order to simulate a helicopter. That's what we're dealing with here.

  16. I recently started a long commute again. Back in the day, to quote a Sussman overly used quote, it was good to listen to KSFO on the way to work because they had Officer Vic (And Lee R) who was both professional and humorous doing the traffic. It made Sussman bearable. Now I get some Katie Green who is obnoxious and loud. And her traffic reports go something like this:

    "WELL EVERYTHING LOOKS GREAT OUT THERE ON THE ROADS!! There's a wreck on 101 northbound entering the city expect an hour delay and a small fender bender on 680 southbound at Mission backing up traffic over the Sunol grade. An a hot dog cart got totaled and there's buns all over the road, snort, snort, snort. It's whiskey Wednesday, give me a shot! (drink pouring sound effect) I'm feelin' good! Back in 10 minutes...

    Sussman, Morgan: Ha, Ha, Ha,...

    This routine will be repeated every 10 minutes.

    This new KSFO morning line up with their amateur radio hi-jinks, sound effects and pedestrian jokes lost me.