It should be an interesting first hour, tomorrow after 9:00am, on KGO Radio.  I assume it will continue to be Ronn’s slot.  I haven’t listened since he left on vacation so who knows what schedule changes have occurred since then.  I won’t be listening to him upon his return.  I’ve already changed the dial on my radio and it’s no longer on an AM station.   I had to fight the little knob to push it up into the FM slot.  Just as I was about to go look for a screwdriver to force it into place, it popped up there and I located KQED’s frequency.

I did think of Ronn as I listened to this other station, listened to unfamiliar voices talk with guests, much like the ones Ronn would have talked with on his show, and I heard people call in with questions and opinions.  It was all very civilized and low-key.  I guess that’s how it is on NPR.  I even heard that darn mattress commercial, but barely recognized it until I heard the brand.  The ad, read ‘live’ on air, was informational and straight-forward.  I learned things about that company and its products I’d never heard in the years I listened to Ronn.  Not condemning Ronn here.  It’s just that I was surprised.  I thought, wow, I never knew that.  I learned more in five minutes than I had in five years – the types of things that would tempt me to look at their mattresses.

Photo by Jeffrey M. Vinocur

I’ve always thought that whole ‘name a mattress’ on Ronn’s show is cringe-worthy.  I feel sorry for the poor guests who get stuck playing along.  One person I’ve admired for not ‘going there’ with him is Phil Bronstein, who refuses to participate in it no matter how hard Ronn tries to pull him in.  I didn’t realize how stale that daily ‘live’ ad sounded on Ronn’s program until I heard a more professional version of it.

On the day I listened to KQED Radio their guest was comedian, Louis C.K.   I’d never heard of him before, but they played at least four or more long clips of his act, as well as his show on FX, and talked to him about each clip in length to explain what was behind the writing.  It was interesting enough to make me want to seek out the guy and see more of him.  I’m not sure if KQED Radio has podcasts of the show, but I would recommend it as good listening.  It had heart and humor and intellectual conversation.  What really clinched the deal with me, is that Louis C.K. said his latest show can be downloaded for only $5.00 and anyone who downloads it can use it as they wish.  Copy it, give it to friends, share it online.  Why?  Because Louis said his fans have supported him for years, that it’s with their money he was able to produce the show, so he wants to give something back to the fans.  He figured he’d lose money, but, to date, he’s breaking even on the downloads.  Said he might even make a little money out of it.  But it wasn’t about the money.  It was about giving back to the people who gave so much to him, how it allowed him to pursue a career he loves, and, that, he said, he doesn’t take for granted.

(Here’s a link his Wikipedia page, and I’ll add the link if I find the $5.00 download: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_C.K.)

He’s probably not a good fit for the new KGO.

Now, back to Ronn.  I wish him well.  I wonder how he’ll handle the situation he’s in.  But it doesn’t matter any more.  I’ll read about it tomorrow, after the fact.  I’ll have some opinions on it.  But I won’t be tuning in.  I learned something when I listened to KQED that day.  I’m probably not a good fit for the new KGO either.

There is nothing Ronn can say to change that.

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