Sunday, January 26, 2014

Karel Takes Bets on Terrorist Attack at Sochi Olympics on KGO Radio Show

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 Taking bets on a possible terrorist attack? Questionable taste but that's just me. Several of you think thought Mr. Karel may have gone overboard on this one Saturday night on his KGO show.


  1. If he's 'being summoned' to see his boss this Fri., then they're probably going to let him go & Karel thinks he has nothing to lose. Good Riddance, Karel.

  2. He's a fool and small minded. He's only interesting, (as are a lot of media folks), in getting lots of attention. It's kind of like that little annoying kid we all remember 'back in the day' when we were going to school, who used to shoot his or her arm up with the answer to any question a teacher had. "Look at me! Look at me!" Obviously, Karel didn't have much attention focused on him growing up, so he's trying to make up for lost time. The fact that KGO puts this cretin and others like him Tim Montemanure...(who is now thankfully outta here), and 'the NY Witch' Maureen Langden, shows you how desperate some radio stations are to try and pump up their ratings. I can listen to Karel for about 30 seconds, and then I start getting a headache from his annoying diatribes and whining.

  3. If this is true, Karel should be done. Disgusting to even encourage something like this. Perhaps we should take bets on how he'll be skewered out of KGone. Eye for an eye.

  4. Stations don't tell people they're firing they have a meeting in a week. Doesn't work that way. Sorry. He is awful though. As for the desperate for ratings comment, that doesn't make sense either. You don't hire crap talent if you're trying to get numbers.

  5. Hey Rich, I have listened to Karel in a very long time -- he's a show-boatin' misanthrope -- but do you know what his ratings are? I can't imagine him staying on the air unless he has great ratings. How do you look up ratings by day and hour?


    1. Yeah, the moron known as Karel somewhat sheepishly talked about a meeting "at the tower" that he was summoned to at the end of the coming week. Funny that Pat Thurston brought it up, Saturday, at the close of her show. "Were you summoned, too?" "Oh, yes, I was." came the reply.

      Companies who are hurting, as Cumulus / KGO are, often put decisions off to the end of the week.

      Karel's ratings are bad. With a pitiful 1.2, his PPM numbers, no matter the demographic, aren't overshadowing the prime numbers. Karel would then not be banished to the lowest dayparts for ratings in any market.

      He'd be doing Ronn's shift or 10-1 Saturday, a higher rated daypart. Karel isn't well liked, respected or admired inside the tower.

      His press is non-existant in San Francisco and his "I'm over 50 going on 17" isn't playing. He's not radio's Justin Bieber.

      The station needs a format change. Putting young talent with attitude on an AM blowtorch isn't working. Cumulus just bought expensive FM properties in Chicago which it must leverage.

      More administrative "threats" from Atlanta? Probably. .

      Changes comng? I'd bet on it before terrorist plots at the Olympics. Karel plays the act of "instigator". More out of fear of losing a gig? Maybe. He doesn't resonate with the audience that KGO or sponsors are dependent. In changing to the "Karelcast", it's an indication of failure again than "reinvention".

      There looms, soon, major change at KGO. It will start with the dire problems on weekdays.

      Karel acts like there is nothing to worry about, yet, he worries a lot and it shows. The show is stale, non-compelling and he's really "pressing" more than anything. Something is on the horizon.

      This isn't some congratulatory party. Or Mike Amatori's birthday bash. It may be termination warning before the boom is lowered. A contract renewal is in the balance.

      When KGO can't pull a 2 share in a beauty-contest "Holiday Book" is still very telling. The devil's in the details. Going back a year or more, the story isn't shaping up to be a fairy tale at KGO Radio..

      The Neilsen ratings (which replaced Arbitron) is unavailable in breakdown form except to subscribing stations, advertising agencies and large corporate interests who pay heavily for that information.

      Even talent doesn't know, nor do other staffers, usually, outside of an overview. Talent agents may get a glimpse of them, but there are very heavy fines, sanctions and actions against those who share information in any way, shape or form. Only the insiders really know what's up. The rest is pure speculation. The rankings and 6+ demographic numbers mean absolutely nothing. They are not used by sales, by ad agencies or businesses. Only the demo breakouts in particular gender mixes by specific hours and dayparts are used during the week or in lesser form on weekends.

      Been studying ratings books for years and know the technology and methodology well.

      As the late great Sam Cooke said, "A Change Is Gonna Come" and it will be sooner than later, and probably not in the order many would like to see. Give it time, measured in weeks, not months.

      Could Cumulus sell KSFO and, for all intents and purposes, KGO as well? Yes. Possibly moving a newer, hipper, Karel-less talk format to an FM property, as it should have done before? Yes.

      The burden of an under-performing 50,000 flamethrower is great. KNBR has life, still, as the sports voice with association. KGO does not. Cumulus' FM properties need major help and, hence, why AM is standing on its last tower leg in the Bay Area.

      To prove his worth and credibility, I do hope Rich works this story to it's conclusion, starting this week.

    2. "The end of the week" (Friday) is also the last day of the month.

  6. There's no story.

    Cumulus hired a new head of talk. That person, I'm told, is meeting with all the hosts. Maybe this person will impart some wisdom from up high, but it doesn't seem like anything more than that.

    None of this takes away from how awful Karel is.

  7. Randall Bloomquiest of Atlanta (running his own consultancy) was named in November 2013 to the post of "National News / Talk Program Director" by Cumulus One who "revitalizes" waning talk stations and brings new "insights" to talent is at the helm of Cumulus weakest news / talk station and it's most "troubled" cluster..

    Bloomquist has experience at WGST Atlanta (leaving in 2009), and programming stints at WMAL Washngton (now owned by Cumulus), WBT Charlotte, NC and WRVA & WRNL Richmond. He also was DC Bureau Chief for the now extinct "Radio & Records."

    Bloomquist has a reputation for "developing talk radio personalities."

    His Facebook page has a spray painted word across the page that says, "Boring".

    Hopefully, in the two months plus of his corporate stripes by Cumulus, he's heard enough of Karel and the looseness of what KGO is to this market. Good luck.

    Karel is a not-to-be-developed non-asset.

    Important or significant -- it is surprising it's taken this long for the newly appointed corporate news/talk PD to pay a visit to have a meeting with the hosts. He'd have been better off saving Karel the trip from Long Beach and terminating his happy ass by phone.

    There's more to this meet-and-greet than kissing the new corporate PD's ring..

  8. A great new program for KGO would be 'Rothmann & Sons'. John has said one, or both Sons are very interested in politics, a Father/Son team could be quite interesting. Rothmann has such a wealth of knowledge and great old political stories...he's really a San Francisco treasure! KGO is missing a golden opportunity by not using him...and we're missing a political treasure.
    If KGO went to only night-time Talk...they'd see their ratings go way up.

    Is there any way to know KGO's week-end Talk Ratings vs. Week-Day Ratings?

    1. In sure he'll be perpetually available.

    2. The idea of returning some talk to nights is interesting. As I understand the people meter ratings, the "drop in listening" nature of the all news daytime programming SHOULD be working. But evenings/overnights probably hold listeners longer...I know I would listen to a full hour of talk in the evenings. What if the All News format went noon to 10pm, M-F, then another three hour block of talk 10p to 1a? Keep the Bloomberg content in the wee hours, then start all over again at 5a with the morning news and Ronn???

    3. At night, KGO's tremendous North/South bandwidth can be heard clear as a bell...from San Diego to Canada.

      Does KGO mgt. ever read here?
      If so...
      Put Pat Thurston on week-nights and your ratings will sky-rocket!

    4. Yes, there is a way to know KGO's talk ratings vs. weekday ratings -- but you, Rich, me, anybody outside the castle walls will never know. Cumulus won't share because there are monetary fines and broken contract litigation for sharing such information.

      KGO cannot and will not bring John Rothman back. He has legacy in the market and at KGO and he costs lots of $$$ which he does not need. KGO wouldn't consider such a move, especially at night, when the listener levels drop huge after 7 pm Same with all night - providing a union-mandated engineer, a producer/screener and a host all cost money and Cumulus is in no position to proivde this when ad levels are so low evenings, nights and overnight.

      They should dump Bloomsburg. It's stupid to hear "New York time which is three hours ahead of Bay Area time in the middle of the night. The programming means nothing and is a fill only.

      As for talk at night, a great idea, but, again, talk costs money and doing three hours in early evening then going back to news would be cost prohibitive. They'd be better off carrying syndicated talk at night but there is none in the Cumulus arsenal worthy of putting on the air - even if it could be automated without board ops.

      Will be interesting to see how this meeting with Randy Bloomquist pans out with all hosts late this week. Heard that even Maureen Langon is flying in from New York to attend the festivities as Bloomquist is charged with "talent development" and some "revitalization" of the news format -- if it, or the talent behind it, stays. I don't think it's all about a "greet and meet" as reported. Maor change needs to be made to stop the hermoraging.

      A pretty expensive "party" for a "meeting of the minds" between new corporate news/talk program director and talk hosts on KGO and KSFO.

  9. The KGO bloodbath has always reminded me of the final episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." All of the quality veterans were fired, while Ted Baxter (Karel) got to keep his job.

  10. The story of Karel is sad...

    I was a dedicated listener back in the KFI days - Karel and Andrew's show was good, interesting and fun! I always thought the problem is that Karel just wasn't any good alone - not funny at all, and the "over the top" act is very very old.

    It seems as if he was never able to recover from personal issues. Not to make light of things, but we all loose family members - sometimes under terrible circumstances as well however not many of us continue to talk about it 10 years later. He has let his personal life leak out too much into his professional life. I really do not want to hear about his lack of money, his mortgage issues, his dogs illnesses and his struggles with morbid obesity.

    All those issues aside, the fact remains that he is just not interesting, talented nor funny... He's loud, bombastic, and abrasive instead (and not in an entertaining way). I say these things not to be mead, but its tragic. Its a tale of how not to let your life fall apart when personal tragedy strikes. You must move on, and maybe realize that its time to choose another path - professionally and personally.