Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Skeptical of TV Stations That Have New Bay Bridge Affiliations Is Me; Futher Explanation; The Audience That The Old KGO Lost; Trying Hard To Listen To 95.7 'The Game'; Wednesday Buttons


**I'm not a fan of TV stations that hype the opening of bridge shows on the night of the Super Bowl; that do multiple "specials" with smidgens of Caltrans input; that try to mask their official or unofficial affiliation with the people, the pols, the guys in suits, who were hellbent on a Labor Day opening in spite of a lot of engineers who have no axe to grind saying that the new bridge is unsafe.

Furthermore when it's revealed there's a $20 million bonus to the main contractor if the bridge opens on time, I'm skeptical. I'm skeptical when there's a lot of money involved here, billions literally. And when the pols are involved and do a lot of shouting, I get more anxious and especially those TV and radio station that seem to be in bed with them, call me crazy. I'd like more exploration and investigation. I'd like the unsexy stuff like detailed interviews with the people in the know who claim opening this bridge is tantamount to urban terror. To the folks who are OK with all this and cry out, repeatedly, "well it's safer than the old one,", (as if that's a rational explanation), I come back and remember someone saying that's like buying a new house where the foundation is safe but the roof is leaking.

PS: You're goddamn right there's a conflict of Interest! Hello!

**The old KGO Radio lost an audience that does this: they buy lots and lots of cars; they buy refrigerators; they buy homes; they buy groceries and go out to dinner and buy lots of cheesecake and expensive coffee and beverages; they go to the movies and concerts; they fly on airplanes; they buy mattresses and furniture too; they even have a Facebook page; they go to work and after office hours, some go to saunas and spend the night in hotels. You know, something tells me there's a market for a new radio talk station for people like that, don't you kind of think?, I do.

**TV anchors/reporters in the SF market here are decent people. Most of them. They do not object to the occasional barbs here thrown their way. They get it that in a media blog that tries to be opinionated and offers candid reviews--good and bad, that the primary objective is to drive traction. They understand, too, that inevitably, criticism will come their way but that they will not take it personally. Only in this case, in a business which is certifiably personal, not rattling the cage is a difficult task. Almost humanly impossible.

**Speaking of KGO Radio, another rumor has been floating that Cumulus might change the format to country. Not likely. More likely is they either flip one of their FM outlets, (107.7 The Bone), to either country music or KFOG to news, (think KGO-FM) to compliment KGO-AM, a la KCBS' 106.9 FM outlet. Only KCBS is still kicking KGO's ass and in spite of almost comical and incompetent management, KFOG's call letters and its format is too branded for even Cumulus to fuck it up.

**The problem with "The Game", (95.7 FM), among other things, is that when a majority of your air crew has very little respect with the PD, then it's difficult to listen and take seriously. I tried to listen to the afternoon show recently but found the gimmick bits, (that's what they are--bits), simply not funny and uninteresting. Forced, contrived, and dumb-down sports chatter with the pedantic "takes" from some 20-something female sexy voice does not move the sports radio needle. Try to be genuine. Have a decent, coherent conversation for a change. You might be surprised with the results.

**Behind the scenes but infinitely the 800-pound gorilla in the mix: KRON's non-toxic asset--its building at 1001 Van Ness in the heart of the city where the real estate is gold and the price for land and location is sky-rocketing. Depending on who you ask, KRON either is holding on to its prized asset or asking a hellacious amount of money for the place.

**Program Note: Jim Eason, the wildly popular ex-KGO Radio/KSFO talk host who didn't mind telling it like it is, will be my guest on my KSCO radio show a week from today, (2-3 PM). Eason is retired and living a good life. This will be his first official interview.

He asked me that those listeners that loved him, despised him; whatever, may email him to ask their own questions--here it is: .

*Follow me on Twitter


  1. The Game has been doing forced bits for over 2 years now. Until that idiot PD, Jason Barrett, who has no clue about this market, either pulls his head out of his ass or gets canned, the Game will be doomed and stuck at a 1 share. It's as if Barrett watched ESPN "Around the Horn" and thought that would be good radio.

  2. After what happened to Lee Rodgers after appearing on your show I'd respectfully decline the invitation if I were Jim.

    1. What a stupid comment, I guess it is 9:37's idea of a joke. Except I don't think it is funny. Lee Rogers was scheduled for a very risky surgery, to take care of a health problem. I don't know Jim Eason's age or health status, but I just don't get the above comment.

  3. I agree. There are some talented people on 'The Game,' but having a station doing sports that is on an FM frequency and is difficult to pick up in many parts of the bay area is NOT a formula for success. Plus they're going up against a station that has a huge signal and has been doing sports for almost 25 years.

    While they seem to have more serious and interesting discussion about sports, having NBA specialists such as Matt Steinmetz and Rick Bucher talk about the NFL and baseball is not a good idea.

    And who's idea was it to bring in smarmy Comcast hosts such as Scott Reiss, Henry Woffard and Brodie Brazil? Just because they're on TV doesn't mean these guys are going to make good talk show hosts....(guess what..they're not!) And why these guys feel the need to do radio talk shows anyway is a mystery. I guess they're not getting paid enough by Comcast.

    KNBR is certainly no better though, with it's west bay only sports talk. Do the A's or Raiders even exist in their minds? And outside of Tom Tolbert, who is worth listening to on that station?


    2. This has got to be the worst thing in Bay Area media.
      Yahoo Sports Live's, Jim Kozimor slurping through every show. Glad handing everybody. It's sickening. I have to windex my TV screen after you get done smooching every guest, FFS. Comcast, give the hosting job to Brodie Brazil before my TV short circuits.

  4. Question is any station, with long running shows and hosts doomed to fail at some point? As in the Bone with it's morning show or even Rooooon "Obama Owens. Should a Station hire new talent every 10 years?

  5. The bay bridge scenario is just like many other government programs. Obamacare comes to mind, rammed down our throats (as Gavin Newsome would say "whether you like it or not"). Nobody will ask the hard questions. RIP the American Press..and us (US) too.

  6. Leave it to Rich Lieberman to imply there is something improper for a commercial television station to follow and report about the progress of a major local construction project. What in the world is wrong with celebrating the opening of a long awaited bridge? Nothing!

    Nor is there anything wrong with incentive bonuses in contracts. It's a routine practice.

    Where there's no story, Lieberman resorts to vague innuendo to create one.

    1. I think the problem is that with KPIX it is being the "official" news station of the Bay Bridge opening. That kind of sponsorship seems not to bother hardly anyone but is wrong. Now of course everyone else is trying to get their reporting in but KPIX has that official designation, but sometimes it seems like they are trying to hard.

      You are right about the incentives but in this case, since so many tax dollars got spent to correct errors the contractor ought to have caught, they ought to forfeit any bonus. Or deduct the costs spent to fix what they got wrong from any bonus and make them repay the difference that taxpayers had to pay for.

    2. Your comment brings up an interesting concern in an around about way.

      I recall the bridge party was going to generate invoices totaling 5 million all said and done. How in today's blog does that skirt Rich's (or any media folks') disapproval?

      The elite ruling class seemingly escape all criticism while they pat each others backs for railroading us into the boondoggle while the contractor's earned performance incentive is questioned and they get a cold "thanks for nothing, now beat it".

      Society, especially California, places too little value on doing or earning these days..."just let the immigrants and middle class do the heavy lifting".

      ** Re: The problem with The Game...
      The immediate problem is that they advertise that they're broadcasting the Raider games. They sure weren't during the Cowboy game a week ago! Even the display at the coliseum advertised it DURING THE GAME.

  7. 1) The Game sounds better today than it did in the beginning. I think that's by accident, but it just so happens to be the case. The Brandon Tierney thing was just terrible, but with these guys it's a little more listenable. Still think it's waaay too much 'bro-talk', as my son likes to say. And he should be who you want to listen! I could nit-pick the station to it's core but what's the point? As long as this PD everyone speaks nastily about is still there, I guess it will remain average. Even with a bad signal, doesn't mean it shouldn't be good programming.

    2) I am so over the Bay Bridge coverage. I was over it before it started. Reporting on closures is one thing, but reported about it as an event is pointless. I think I heard both Ronn Owens and Pat Thurston (who was subbing for Ronn) do an entire half hour about it at some point. Speaking of which...

    3) Ronn Owens. I'm over his show completely. I don't know what it is that changed about him over the last year, or two, but something did. He thinks he's better than he is. Maybe it's that he used to work better surrounded by other types of hosts, but by himself, it's just not that entertaining. I hate it when he does 'young' topics. It seems forced to me. You're not young! Maybe he does them to feel young? I don't know. Just not the same.

    4) I don't mind the news and talk format. I think it's a good mix. I wish they actually went further with it by adding a talk show in the evening. There comes a point in the evening wherein I don't need an entire news cycle, and would rather hear some talk ABOUT the news. Maybe Ronn would seem better if that were the mix? I don't know. I feel his day is over, and there has to be new people.

    5) The KGO weekend hosts have never struck me as overly interesting. No one stands out in that lineup, except Karrel, who is obviously just different. That doesn't mean I think he's good. In fact, I think he's the most unlistenable. I find myself listening for 5 minutes, and then turning it off. The others I can tolerate, but no one ever moves me to call, or care.

    6) Sorry to say, Rich, I've only heard your show twice, and it was in the very beginning. No opinion here.

    1. Point 4 is an excellent one! Another 3 hour block of newstalk starting at 7pm would be great. Wrap up the news of the day, do some commentary...I'd even be OK with some fun/entertainment type topics and guests in the last hour and maybe on Fridays.

  8. My question is where will KPIX be, if the Bridge turns to dog shit at some point?

    1. KPIX will be where it's always been.

      This is a non-existent story. Lieberman is implying that KPIX is disseminating false claims about the safety of the new Bay Bridge because they are profiting from its opening.


      Why aren't those stations that aren't (as Lieberman would have you believe) in cahoots with CalTrans reporting dire warnings about the dangers of using the new span?

    2. You sound like a PIX stooge, really you do, but I will respond:

      I NEVER said PIX Is "implying", "disseminating" false claims about the safety of the new bridge...

      I AM saying and have SAID that they have run quasi infomercials and "specials", in addition to their heavily promoted Super Bowl night special that look like, to me, Caltrans video press releases.

      It's that type of programming that sets them up for ridicule like mine and I'm not the only one who feels this way.

  9. I fear that a news talk radio station for those old KGO listeners might never take on any station other than on KGO.

  10. Looks like some bad news could be on the way for the folks who work at ABC 7.

  11. I just realized that there are, thank God, no more Sweet Jack commercials. Anyone know why? But who cares? They're gone!!!

    1. Not so fast! I'm pretty sure I heard that 'dog' barking on 910am this morning during Armstrng & Gtty. No wait! that was somebody talking about Bark-O-Bama. Never Mind.

  12. Typically, Rich is really good about not infusing politics into his blog posts. Sad that some commenter's still feel the need to insert right wing wacko egg stinking political torpedoes on any topic he posts.

    Rich could say, "Sky was blue today."

    Commenter's say, "That Hussein Obama guy, blah, blah blah blah."

    Rich could say, "News rooms do this or that too much."

    Commenter's say, "Obama's fault!"

    Rich could say, "Oakland needs a new stadium."

    Commenters say, "Obama's fault!"

    When does it get old man, when does it get old.

  13. >Speaking of KGO Radio, another rumor has been floating that Cumulus might change the format to country. Not likely. More likely is they either flip one of their FM outlets, (107.7 The Bone), to either country music or KFOG to news

    Gosh Rich just a few weeks ago you said that KFOG would become country and now it's the Bone that's going to switch to country? Maybe the Game will switch back to country again and be called "The Dog" this time. :p