Archive for April, 2012

Why not take some time to relax and listen to some recent podcasts of your favorite former KGO hosts and, for those who dare, read the recent posts from felonious Bernie Ward.

A few weeks ago, both John Rothmann and Gil Gross presented shows on the Titanic.

Gil Gross starts it out on Thursday, April 12, 2012, in his first hour filling in for Gene Burns.  In the middle of the hour, Gil discusses the events of the Titanic tragedy with author Tim Malting, who wrote a book on the subject, ‘A Very Deceiving Night’, and he discusses his theories on why the Titanic continues to interest people, 100 years later, and why it’s possible the captain and crew of the Titanic failed to see that fatal iceberg.

You can hear this in the April 12, 2012 podcast, under Gene Burns programs, Hour 1 and the Titanic dialogue begins at 15:31 into the podcast.  Be sure to listen to the end of podcast and, after a small bit about North Korea, hear Gil’s story dispelling the myth of a Marconi radio operator’s claim, David Sarnoff, to that historical Titanic moment.

Here’s the link:

John Rothmann’s show, Monday, April 16, 2012, Hour 1 opens with a short audio clip of an eyewitness’ account of surviving the Titanic.

I’ve also been listening to Bill Wattenburg on that strange Santa Cruz station, KSCO-AM, for only the hours Wattenburg’s show airs from 12Noon-2:00pm, Monday through Wednesday.  He had to deal with several prank callers, one who, I think, is the same weirdo who called Ronn Owens’ show a few times, according to what I was able to read on the Facebook page of FormerKGOListeners.  I really don’t read that site any longer since Facebook changed their user interface and I can’t see half of the discussions without an account.  So, I don’t even bother any longer.  Anyway, some guy called Wattenburg’s show awhile back and started out with some strange questions.  Once Bill started questioning the authenticity of the call, the idiot shouted the word penis repeatedly, until some inattentive board op finally cut the call.  Shortly afterwards, maybe a day or two later, another creep called and made some strange, sexual references on air.

But Bill handled it well – when his show started on Monday, the following week, Bill reminded his callers that people are under the illusion they are anonymous, but they forget that in this tech age calls can be tracked directly to their number and, especially in cases of abuse of the public airwaves, even the FCC can get involved.  So he gently suggested that those callers should carry around a toothbrush and fresh change of underwear because where they are going they just might need them.

Haven’t heard any prank calls after that.

Not the case with our favorite loy’ah, Len Tillem.  He’s had a few prank callers on, but he laughs it off and goes on with the show.  I wish I would have written down the date of the first prank on Len.  I went through his podcasts from April 16 back to March 15th and can’t find the audio on this call so maybe they didn’t include it on the podcast because it’s an obvious fake call.  It was pretty funny though, because Len was so excited about the call until he realized it was all made up.  Some guy called to say he was picked up for jaywalking and that he was in the jail at the moment and they were going to strip search him so he called Len to find out if they could do that do him.  Anyone hear this call?  It was pretty funny.

The other call that I’m not sure if it was a prank was called in to Len on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.  The caller identified himself as Dave from Newark and he was calling over an supposed incident that happened to him at Burger King while he was in costume.  Anyone else hear this one?  Do you think it’s a prank?

Here’s the podcast for it.  The call begins around 25:12 into the program.

That call is a real bacon shaker!  Let me know what you think.

Len Tillem has a new number for his show.  It’s 866-LEN-1000, or 866-536-1000.  Call him and tell him your stories when you need a loy’ah!

Finally, Bernie Ward has some new posts on his blog.  I haven’t read them yet but here are the links:

Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2012 – talks about deregulation:

And, this one also posted on April 26th about government taxes and budgets:

Well, that should be enough reading and listening for you this weekend to keep you out of trouble!

And, remember, do NOT give Cumulus Media ANY hits on any of their radio stations.  We should research who their shareholders are and campaign for them NOT to approve any executive pay raises.  They have a real Dick running the show.  Maybe he was the one yelling out his name to Wattenburg that day.  ha ha…

Photo by Rich Tea

Yesterday, April 24, 2012, on KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM, John Rothmann (as the guest-host, or all-star fill-in, for Gene Burns’ program) dedicated his third hour (6-7:00pm) to the history of Batman!

Rothmann talks to Bruce Scivally, who wrote the book ‘Billion Dollar Batman’, and it’s an hour of interesting Batman facts and even a quick trip down to the Batcave.

It’s a delightful hour of fun.





Here’s a link to the Podcast:

Or, you can go to

(Under Podcasts, select Gene Burns, then find the programs dated 4/24/12 and the Batman show is Hour 3)

It reminds me of the time Gil Gross interviewed a guy who wrote a book about the history of how comics almost destroyed America, or something like that.  It was a few years ago, and I even bought the book for someone, but I can’t recall the name of it to look it up on Google.  That was an interesting show as well.  I miss the days when Gil Gross would bring in book authors and spend an hour talking about the books and taking calls.  I bought many books back then – books I would have never known about if it weren’t for Gil and his interviews.

I’m enjoying John Rothmann’s shows on KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM.  I listen to him on the days he guest hosts and I always go back to the podcasts the next day and listen again.  When he was on that old station, you know the one, the one without any listeners nowadays, I never had a chance to listen to him.  He was on later in the evening at a time I didn’t listen to radio.  KGO’s loss is our gain.

I do hope to hear Gene Burns on the radio soon; he’s another one I wish I would have listened to ‘back in the day’.  Gene has some first-rate fill-ins hosts that sustain the level of quality that’s to be expected with a Gene Burns program banner.

And, when Gene returns, how can KKSF not find another spot for John Rothmann?  Even if he’s on during a time I don’t listen to radio, I will always listen to the podcasts the following day.  I’m sure I’m not the only one and with Arbitron using their new PPM method of tracking listenership, podcasts do factor into the equation.

Who needs that other crappy station?  I haven’t listened to it for even one second since that day in December.  Don’t plan to listen to it ever again.

Say it ain’t so!

Does everyone with that name have to live up to it?

What the heck am I talking about?  I haven’t read many articles about Dick Clark since his death earlier this week, but I imagine there are many people reminiscing about the role he played in their youth and fond stories about all of the good he has done for the music industry.  That’s why the one article I did read about him surprised me.

It’s written by Roger Fallihee and posted at Open Salon, a site for bloggers.

Fallihee even leaves his own comment about it after posting:

“I think that Clark’s cable tv business model was to build up the cash flow, stiff the vendors, take the company into bankruptcy, and eventually (in this case) sell it to Time Warner. Time Warner bought the assets but not the liabilities. I was out of business before all of that happened but I heard from another friend who got stiffed that he ended up getting about 5-10 cents on the dollar.”

Not only is it an unusual take on America’s former oldest teenager, but the history of what Dick did and how it affected Roger Fallihee’s life has the faint odor of Cumulus Media on it and the way they do business today.

Sound a bit familiar? I don’t know about stiffing the vendors, but they, Cumulus, think they can throw away the long careers of local hosts and support staff so the Dicks in Atlanta can turn a larger profit.  That money will be used to buy more broadcast outlets and pay for syndicated hosts.  Don’t forget all the money they’ll pocket as bonuses for running local business and personalities into the ground.  It’s been rumored that all Cumulus wants to do, anyway, is file bankruptcy to get out of their contractual obligations and start fresh with their equity holdings intact.  Just in time to rake in the big payload of the upcoming presidential election.  But, I wonder about that theory about making money off the election.  Berkeley Guy shared his report of KGO numbers down by 52%  based on Arbitron monthlys PPM 6+ M-SU 6am-12M from October 2011 through February 2012.

That has to cut into the amount they can charge for advertising, but even advertising rates are no longer based on an individual station.  Cumulus can now offer a national advertising network buy based on their 200+ stations in over 25 markets.  They don’t care about a single local station, with little thought about how it’s untimely demise can affect a local community.  All they want is the profit.

Maybe we need to get Cumulus shareholders on board to reject any million dollar compensation pay-offs to executive management.  Rethink this ‘make money at all costs’ corporate philosophy and think about doing some good in communities again and helping those in need.

Also, I saw that the numbers came out for March and KGO-AM, although still low, increased slightly to 2.9 (their same rating percentage as in January 2012).  I guess we need another reminder: Do NOT listen to that station people!  Do not give them any quarter-hour statistics, overall cume or clicks.  Who knows where those PPMs are nowadays.  Don’t give Cumulus any hits, online or otherwise, that can factor into a rise in their numbers.

By the way, KKSF-Newstalk AM AQH went up in March to 1.3 – so at least our former KGO hosts are moving their numbers in the right direction.  It shows a steady rise since January.

Here are the numbers, courtesy of

Here is an Arbitron guide to using those numbers:

Here’s another source for the same thing:

Also, did you notice on the ratings recap page the note about Arbitron’s new reporting method?  Here it is again, just in case you missed it: Beginning March 2012, Arbitron only releases ratings for subscribing stations.  It has to be a hard market for media buyers these days, how to figure out all of these incomplete markets and costs associated with them.

I’ve been busy lately and haven’t had a chance to post much but I’ve noted a few things that I have yet to write up.  It will have to wait until later when I have more time.

Here’s some teasers:

The Titanic coverage on Gill Gross and John Rothmann’s fill-in shows.

Gil Gross’ stories about Dick Clark.

Len Tillem’s new number and two callers that may have been phoney-baloney.

Hopefully. I’ll get to these before the new month starts.  So much to do, so little time…

Bill Moyers wants the public to take action against broadcasters who use the airwaves to profit off of political campaign money with little or no respect to the public interest (Moyers states up to 3 billion will be spent in this election cycle).

What raised Moyers’ eyebrows this time was an overall rejection by broadcasters of a recent FCC proposal that stations post online the sources of political ads – the names of organizations paying for them.  In addition,  a bill was recently passed in the House that Moyers claims could further cripple the FCC’s power to fight on behalf of the public,  The FCC Process Reform Act.

In a call-to-action to the public,  Moyers encourages ‘crowd-sourcing’ as a way to combat the power of broadcasters, and, “…to collect the data democracy needs to work”.

Here’s Bill Moyers’ video essay:

Here’s an article about the FCC Process Reform Act:

Bill Moyers’ article about how to help:

Here’s an excerpt:

“Hey, you can help: Go to your local station, ask for the data and start posting it yourself. And all you professors of journalism — how about enlisting your students to be their own FOIA sleuths? The nonprofit newsroom ProPublica is encouraging students to go to their local stations, xerox the documents and post them online. (These are the documents that tell us who’s buying ads — the very data that the stations have claimed are too difficult and costly to post online.) And give your students classroom credit for putting your mentoring to work.

Want to learn more? Read “If TV Stations Won’t Post Their Data Online, We Will” on the ProPublica website.

Keep fighting, people. It’s the only way.”

And this is an interesting transcript of a 2003 interview Moyers had on his NOW program with FCC commissioner Michael Copps about media company control:

And, here’s his blog on Huffington Post about campaign ad transparency:

I can only repeat Moyers’ words: Keep fighting, people.  It’s the only way.