Archive for June, 2012

I can’t believe it.  As Gil Gross was talking, a disturbance can be heard in the background.  Listening to it now with my headphones, I can hear a guy laugh.  Gil, the true professional that he is, says quickly, “We’re gonna have to go back and pick up one line there.”  As Gil continues his commentary without missing a beat, there really is a toilet flush in the background!  Unbelievable.  I would have been on the floor at that point.  How he could continue on without even a pause is a testament to his years in the business.

In yesterday’s post, I mistakenly thought it had been Hour 2, but it happened in Hour 3.  I’ll go back to my old post and correct it as well as add the link to the podcast.

Here’s the link to my post yesterday:

In case you’d rather not lift a finger and go backwards in time, here’s the link to the flushing podcast:

It all happens in the first two minutes of the Hour 3 show.  You can hear the guy laugh at around 1:30 and the actual toilet flush around 1:51.  It’s hysterical.

I suspect I was correct in my speculation.  That laugh sure sounds like Sebastian.  Was he in the little boys room with a live mic?  Who knows.  What do you think?

Gil Gross 06-20-12 Hour 3

And, in keeping with the toilet theme, today, during the Gil Gross show, Sebastian Kunz had a news story about exploding toilets.  What a week it’s been in radio!  Al Bundy would be proud.

PHoto by infrogmation

I’m not sure, but on Hour 3 of the Gil Gross show today (6/20/12), one or two minutes in, I thought I heard Al Bundy in the background.  Using the Ferguson that Sir Thomas Crapper built.

Did anyone else hear that?  The distinct sound of a toilet flushing as Gil was going into the introduction of his next guest?  Did Sebastian Kunz take a bathroom break and forget to turn off the live mic?  Was Gil’s waiting guest heeding the call of nature?  Was there static interference on my radio and it sounded like a big ol’ flush?

I will have to listen to the podcast tomorrow to solve the mystery of the flushing toilet…

Update: MYSTERY SOLVED (I think).  That really was a flush!  Listen for yourself – Here’s the link:

It all happens in the first two minutes of the Hour 3 show.  You can hear a guy laugh at around 1:30 and the actual toilet flush around 1:51.  It’s hysterical.

I suspect I was correct in my speculation.  That laugh sure sounds like Sebastian.  Was he in the little boys room with a live mic?  Who knows.  What do you think?

Gil Gross 06-20-12 Hour 3


Until then, here’s some toilet fun facts:

When was the first toilet shown on television?

This answer was found on funtrivia:

“It was Leave It To Beaver, the episode called ‘Captain Jack’ where Wally and Beaver get a baby alligator and keep it in the toilet tank.”

And, this answer was found on wikianswers:

“In 1957 a Leave it to Beaver episode “Capitan Jack” showed the toilet tank, but not the seat (censors would not allow the whole toilet to be shown). There is no ‘notes’ (at least that I can find) of when the ‘whole’ toilet was ever shown. The movie “Psycho” (1960) was the first to show a complete toilet.”
If you want something to read while on the toilet, has the whole story:
What was the first movie to show a toilet being flushed?

Found this on The Toilet Museum website:

“The word on the seat is that the toilet’s big-screen debut was in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho in 1960. The toilet had one line: “flusssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh…..” Janet Leigh’s character, Marion Crane, can be seen flushing the toilet shortly before getting stabbed to death by “mother.” Unfortunately for the toilet, it was greatly upstaged by the shower.”
What was the first toilet flush heard on television?
Found this answer on
“January 12, 1971 in History
“All in the Family” premieres on CBS featuring 1st toilet flush on TV”
Poor Al Bundy, he doesn’t even get a mention, not even a footnote flush.

I’m sure I’m the only one who thinks this is funny, but I’ve been chuckling about it since I read it.

I’m one of those ‘gurlz’ who doesn’t sit around watching or listening to many sports broadcasts.  Well, maybe figure skating and gymnastics once in awhile, especially during an Olympic year.  So, the recent firing of Ralph Barbieri by Cumulus-owned station KNBR interests me only by fueling my complete hatred for that bottom-feeder corporation, Cumulus Media, that has destroyed local radio here and has done it with cruelty and brutality, showing little regard for many radio professionals, public figures as well as behind-the-scene technicians.

I know, I know, I’ve said it before, many times.  But I’ll say it again and again until we can run Cumulus out of town and out of the broadcast business.  They seem to be mucking it up on their own, but let’s try to push it along faster – their total and utter failure.

Anyway, back to Ralph and a reminder of something else I’ve said before: Read the 415 Media blog not for the articles but for the comments.  It’s always sprinkled with some erudite commentary, and, for lighter moments, the usual fare of some name-calling, arguing and debating.  They are always bashing Ben Fong-Torres over there as well, the Chronicle/ sfgate journalist who writes a local media column, Radio Waves.  Here’s a link:

Lately, as you can imagine, the 415 Media blog has been Barbieri-bloated, headlines screaming about Ralph’s abrupt dismissal and, now that the lawsuit has been filed, the article headings have reached a level of hysteria.  It’s an odd thing to watch from the sidelines.

Today, as I glanced through the comments of the latest post, I couldn’t help but laugh.  Even now, I’m having a few more giggles just reading it again.


It starts out with a comment someone made about how many times Ralph had been late to work.

This comment followed in reply:

“Kenn Fong June 19, 2012 10:44 AM

The most rank newbie knows you should be in the building at least half an hour before you go on the air. It’s a matter of respect to your colleagues. Unless you’re Don Sherwood and Ralph’s no Don Sherwood.

I feel badly for him that it ended this way, but if it’s true that Ralph was stupid enough to be late 100 times when they watching him, it’s almost as if he wanted to be fired.”


And, this followed:


“Anonymous June 19, 2012 11:35 AM

Mr. Fong, why would you comment on gossip? Perhaps Mr. Bowman is correct; perhaps he is not. That’s what courts are for. To comment as you have here ~ without irrefutable proof ~ is irresponsible for someone who is a columnist and supposedly guided by a journalistic code of ethics.

Would you like us to post gossip about you Mr. Fong, so that someone may comment: “… but if that’s true, that Mr. Fong was stupid enough to be late 100 times when they {sic} were watching him, it’s almost as if he wanted to be fired.”

Oh, so now, not only are you a gossip-monger, Mr. Fong, but you are a mind-reader? Hey, can you tell me how the stock market is gonna do next week so I can move my investments?

Give me a break. No wonder The Chronicle is tanking.

Secondly, anyone with an ounce of supervisorial experience, HR experience, legal experience, etc., knows YOU NEVER write an email that says, “I am very concerned about your health and on-the-air energy,” as Mr. Hammer did.

That fact that Mr. Hammer did not respond to Mr. Barbieri’s email back is an indication that perhaps Mr. Hammer realized his error, or HR did and hammered Mr. Hammer for a very stupid, and junior-level mistake.

The fact that Barbeieri’s show was first, second, first, second or vice versa (I can’t recall) in the months surrounding this Hammer note is an indication that Mr. Barbieri’s health had no effect on the ratings, whether or not he was No. 1 or No. 2.

As for Mr. Fong’s false assertion about a half-hour early, in my years in radio, that NEVER happened on a regular basis. NEVER.

Now, I worked at mid-market stations managing news, but I observed people. Perhaps in Mr. Fong’s experience, it is true. Perhaps at KNBR, it is true, but to make a blanket statement for ALL radio stations in the world, nada.

Now I know why I never read Mr. Fong’s column.

Disclaimer: I have no association, past or present, with Mr. Fong. I never heard him on air. I don’t read him because he’s clueless and even more boring than Mr. Barbieri.”


um, I can just imagine the look on Kenn Fong’s face when he reads this.  Yes, that Kenn Fong, some innocent web designer out of Alameda who likes to lick one-cent stamps.

Gawd, I’m still laughing….

Here’s a link to the 415 Media article with the comments:


Today, on Gil Gross’ show on KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM, he interviewed local attorney, Angela Alioto, who is representing Ralph Barbieri.  I’ll post that link tomorrow when they add the podcast to the website.

Here’s a link to that podcast (the interview with Alioto starts around 16:00):

Also, Gil mentioned that Gene Burns has added another post to his blog.  Here’s the link to that:

Is The American Dream A Myth?


Bernie Ward has posted something new to his blog as well:

Posted Sunday, June 17, 2012 – Why Don’t We Care More?

Sometimes a news event is too disheartening to follow.  Personally, I have no desire to read up on details coming out of the ongoing trial of accused child molester, former Penn State coach, Jerry Sandusky.  I’ve seen headlines and quotes about it, the evidence seems to be against him, but it’s a trial and the prosecutor’s questioning and witness testimonies have to be fully presented before a verdict is reached.

Let me say this, although I know in my head how justice prevails in our society, it’s hard to listen to some of the facts of this case and not form an emotional opinion.  Lock this guy up, now.

That’s my opinion after hearing Gil Gross interview his guest, Diane Dimond, a journalist covering the trial for The Daily Beast.  She has been writing a series of columns about the Sandusky trial.


Links to Diane Dimond’s columns on The Daily Beast:

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

Honestly, I haven’t read the columns.  I’ve heard enough of what she had to say about it on the Gil Gross program.  She describes the anguish of the victims’ testimony as well as her own revulsion over the described actions of Sandusky.  I think it was in the second day of testimony, Diane Dimond described one particular boy and his graphic testimony, and how Sandusky, his elbow on table and head propped up on his hand, stared at the boy with an “oddly, beautific-looking, plastered-on smile on his face” when listening to it.


*cold shiver*


These are the podcasts of the Gil Gross program with Diane Dimond as his call-in guest:

Gil Gross 06-11-12 Hour 2 (interview with Diane Dimond is at the beginning of the podcast, the first day of the Sandusky trial):

Diane Dimond speculates that the defense might go for an insanity defense, using personality disorder as a reason.  Gil provides some information about the disorder the defense might discuss: Histrionic Personality Disorder.

According to information found on the website, this disorder is a “group of conditions called dramatic personality disorders. People with these disorders have intense, unstable emotions and distorted self-images.”

A symptom of this disorder is to: “Dress provocatively and/or exhibit inappropriately seductive or flirtatious behavior.”

Here’s a link:

Gil Gross 06-12-12 Hour 2 (the interview with Diane Dimond begins at 17:00)

Gil Gross 06-14-12 Hour 2 (the interview with Diane Dimond is at the beginning of the podcast)


One more interesting note, and something I hadn’t heard before, Gil and Diane discussed a mystery that could tie-in to the Sandusky trial. It involves the 2005 disappearance of a Centre County, FL district attorney, Ray Gricar, who handled the 1998 accusation of an 11-year old boy against Jerry Sandusky.

Here’s an article about it found in The New York Times:

And, here’s a forum at Free Republic where members discuss it:

It starts out with this:

“One of the questions surrounding the sex-abuse case against Jerry Sandusky is why a former district attorney chose not to prosecute the then-Penn State assistant coach in 1998 after reports surfaced that he had inappropriate interactions with a boy.

The answer is unknowable because of an unsolved mystery: What happened to Ray Gricar, the Centre County, Pa., district attorney?

Gricar went missing in April 2005. The murky circumstances surrounding his disappearance — an abandoned car, a laptop recovered months later in a river without a hard drive, his body was never found — have spawned Web sites, television programs and conspiracy theories. More than six years later, the police still receive tips and reports of sightings.”

This story and trial keeps getting ‘curiouser and curiouser’…


And, speaking of curious, remember that guy at 415 Media who speculated in a recent blog post that Ronn Owens’ contract will be bought out by Cumulus Media in August, and that Brian Copeland will be the new morning host on that awful radio station?  Well, this sure seemed to rankle both Owens and Copeland enough to respond to it.

Brian Copeland wrote a scathing comment about it on his Facebook page.  Of course, I’m not a Facebook fan or member, so I had to grab a copy of the comment from the 415 Media blog.

This is Copeland’s statement on his Facebook page, apparently Rich’s blog pissef him off. Great work Rich!!!:
“A number of you have sent me congratulatory emails today based on an erroneous report by a local blogger that I will be taking over “The Ronn Owens Program” on KGO Radio in the fall. While I usually do not respond to or read the crap that this lowlife puts out, the attention that this item has garnered has made it necessary for me to issue a statement. For the record, not a word of the blog concerning me or Ronn is true. I have had no conversations with management at KGO or anyplace else about Ronn leaving the station or about me changing my current time slot. What was written today is not only untrue, it’s a bald faced lie. For some reason, this individual has a vendetta against Ronn and has apparently been slamming him for months. I know that Ronn doesn’t read this garbage, but I DO know that a number of his friends have put together a list of all of the falsehoods that this individual has posted should Ronn decide to sue for libel and a deliberate attempt to try and undermine his ability to earn a living in this market. Ronn Owens has been one of my best friends for twenty years and I respect the way he has tried to take the high road with all this. I don’t know why. This blogger is simply evil.””

This is the blog post where you can find the comment:

Also, another commenter, either on the 415 Media blog or somewhere else, I can’t find it now, said that Ronn Owens addressed this topic for a minute on his show the day after the blog post, telling his listeners, the few that still listen to him, that the rumor about his job and someone else taking over is not true.

NOTE: I found the comment about Ronn that I was referring to and since it’s a bit different from what I’d posted directly above, I’ll copy it here.  I found it on the main page of FormerKGOListeners Facebook page.  (I can still read the posts and comments there as long as the owner or admin over there posts it.  I check that page every so often to see if I there’s anything new.  The person who owns this Facebook page doesn’t add much to it so I’m usually out of the conversation loop.)

The person who commented is Liz Pacini and her comment is attached to the post titled, ‘Why the rush to switch hosts?’

And, this is what she wrote:

“This is not true. Direct quote from Ronn today: “I’m
under contract through the end of the year and have no plans to retire, even then. “”

It’s an interesting statement by Ronn.  He leaves a lot of wiggle room in there.  He may have no plans to retire soon, but it’s not really in his control, is it?

On the other hand, this 415 Media blogger has sensationalized things in the past that never came to fruition.  So, as I cautioned in my last post about this topic, we can only wait and see what happens…


Will this all end in more histrionics and disorder in a courtroom?

I’d posted something back on April 18th about two calls aired on Len Tillem’s show.  I knew one was a prank when it happened, because the guy who’d called couldn’t help but start laughing toward the end of it.  He claimed he’d been picked up for jay-walking and at the local jail, before being booked, he was going to have to undergo a mandatory strip-search.  That guy had Len going for a minute, but as the call progressed so did Len’s skepticism.

The other call was about a new bacon milkshake at Burger King.  At the time, I wasn’t sure if the call had been a prank or not.  This is what I wrote about it at the time:

“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.”

So, today on Gil Gross’ show (either at the end of Hour 2 or the beginning of Hour 3) when Sebastian Kunz rattled off his news report, one of the items was about Burger King’s newest product introduction: a Bacon Milkshake.  huh.  Maybe that wasn’t a prank call, after all…

One more note, the 415 Media guy claims Ronn Owens will be out by September.  He speculates, according to several of his sources, that Cumulus Media will buy-out Owens’ contract.  I should mention, this 415 guy has made claims before that never materialized, so I’m just putting it out there as something to watch to see how it all unfolds.

John Rothmann, KKSF Newtalk 910-AM’s political anaylst, along with news anchor Sebastian Kunz, covered the June 5th election results in three hours of special programming.  It is now available on podcast (under John Rothmann highlights):

June 5th Election Results Hour 1

June 5th Election Results Hour 2

June 5th Election Results Hour 3

I missed the live broadcast, it wasn’t in my usual radio listening time slot.  I read many good reports about that coverage the following day and was disappointed I couldn’t find it listed under KKSF Newstalk 910-AM’s podcasts.  Well, in another instance of Newstalk 910’s management seeming to actually care about what their new former-KGO listeners want, the election night coverage is now available via podcast.

It has taken me a few months to warm up to Sebastian Kunz.  At first, when the former KGO hosts bantered with him on-air, Kunz didn’t sound fully prepared to banter back.  He gave halting responses and nervous laughs.  But, once Gil Gross took on the job, it was clear Kunz was going to get bantered ‘cuz if there’s one thing Gil Gross loves, it’s a good banter.

Kunz does not disappoint.  He gives good banter.

And, his enthusiasm for his job is infectious.  At the end of the three-hour election results coverage, Kunz sounded sorry it had to end.  Said he was still good to go for another seven hours.

Oh, and Rothmann wasn’t too shabby either.

Well worth a podcast.  I just might listen to it again next week.

One former host I haven’t talked about for awhile is Dr. Bill Wattenburg.  I listen to his show on KSCO every Monday-Wednesday.  I think he fits in well in the Santa Cruz area.  Same old Dr. Bill, fighting the bad guys and calling out the eco-freaks.  Two things I don’t like about his new station, 1) that 90-year-old mother who owns the station and her insipid comments mid-way through Wattenburg’s show.  It’s torture enough to have to hear them once – I usually use that time as a bathroom break – but that darn station plays the same comments throughout the entire week.  She makes Karel sound like a genius.

And, 2) that station has been playing the most porn-borderline sexual ad I’ve ever heard on a radio station that broadcasts over the public airwaves.  Are they that hard-up (yes, that was intended) for advertising?  Where are those same outraged little ol’ ladies calling up to complain, as they did when Ray Taliaferro called the 90-year-old station owner an idiot or something.  That ad is truly disgusting.

There is another oldie on KKSF Newstalk 910-AM who has that other station’s owner beat by ten years.  Have you heard him call in?  His name is Wickes.  Every time he calls he says his age, as if even he can’t believe it.  I first paid attention to him as caller during Gil Gross’ show.  Wickes called in and was live on the air with Gil, but Wickes kept asking for someone else.  I don’t recall the name, something like Tom.  Gil sounded annoyed and sent him over to be put on hold again until he figured out what he wanted.  Later in the hour, when Gil took his call again, Wickes told Gil he was 100-years-old and Gil apologized, sounding horrified that he’d brushed him off and made fun of this poor guy.  That’s what I like about Gil.  He cares about people more than himself.  It comes through in his shows.

I now hear Wickes calling in to Gil every week and even to Rothmann (when he’s on).  It makes me smile, and the hosts give him plenty of air time to discuss whatever he wants to discuss.

I doubt that the Cumulus station would give him the same consideration.  It’s a heartless wasteland over there to the left of the dial.

Speaking of wasteland, I’ve seen reports about Ronn Owens’ show over there and how it’s a shell of what it used to be.  415 Media has reported that Ronn will be out by August in a potential contract buy-out by the Dick-ey brothers.  It’s also suggested that Owens is looking for a new job and will not retire.  I, for one, will never listen to Ronn Owens again.  I hope he does end up in LA so I don’t have to hear him.

One more thing before I go, every month or so I go back to the main page of the Facebook page of FormerKGOListeners to see if I can read anything and just this week I happened to see half a link to something posted by Lisa Golanty (the same one who battled with KSCO about their Rush Limbaugh programming a few months back).  I looked up the bradblog to see what she could have been talking about and found this:

Note: This article is sometimes slow-loading.  If so, go directly to ( and read the article ‘Did Our Public Airwaves ‘Win’ it for Walker?’.

Okay, I think that’s enough to keep you busy over the weekend.

Yee Haw!  Clear Channel goes country in a royalties deal with Big Machine Label Group – a Nashville, TN country music label group with a client list that includes Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift.  Announced on June 5, 2012,  beginning immediately, Clear Channel will pay royalties to performing artists from play on both their traditional stations as well as royalties they will continue to pay for digital.

“For years, record companies and media companies have looked for a new way to do business together that would bring our interests into line,” BMLG President and CEO Scott Borchetta said in a press release. “In Clear Channel, I found partners who shared my big-picture view of how we could structure an agreement to benefit all involved.”


The artists agreed to a cap on their royalties earnings from play on Clear Channel’s websites and simulcasts on iHeart Radio based on a fixed percentage of ad revenue.  This deal allows Clear Channel to grow its digital product with a sustainable business model that reins in the costs associated with digital.

“”Someone has to go first, someone has to take a risk,” said Clear Channel CEO Robert Pittman. “If digital grows a lot, this will be a good deal. It’s a gamble. But you win nothing if you don’t take a chance.”

Now, 98% of Clear Channel users listen on terrestrial radio, and the balance listen digitally.”


“The sound recording performance royalty — which is also known as the artist performance royalty and is not to be confused with the songwriter performance royalty — is something that record labels and artists have been fighting to obtain from U.S. radio for decades. Currently, in the U.S., they have only been successful in winning such a royalty in the digital radio space…..

…..The reason why only one participating label has been announced thus far apparently is related to the fact that it was Big Machine Label Group president and CEO Borchetta who brainstormed the business model and brought it to Clear Channel, which wants to start small with the process and see how it goes.”


I like the structure of this deal.  If I understand it correctly, the cap is based on a portion of revenue generated, so the more revenue that is generated for Clear Channel then the bigger the royalties payment to the artists.  Please correct me if I’m wrong.  I’ll be reading up on this to see how it progresses.  Could this be the impetus to expand digital radio into profitable numbers and a sustainable business model?

I’m not a big country music fan so I’m unfamiliar with any country stations in the Bay Area.  I thought I’d read, recently, that the one country station this area had was reformatted.  I wonder what impact this deal will have on Bay Area radio.

Although Clear Channel is still one of the media giants that has taken over our local radio landscape, their management seems to be forward-thinking in both their long-term vision and, at least, locally, their humane treatment of our former KGO hosts after the Dick-ey brothers of Cumulus Media came to town and ruined local radio.

Again, as a reminder, do NOT listen to any Cumulus radio station .  Do NOT give them any data on the PPM to show up as ratings or shares or cume.  Do NOT listen to KGO, or KFOG, or KNBR.  Don’t give those Dick-eys on more dime or one more second of your time.  Let their shareholders know they are in a sinking ship.

Finally, I found this article that explains music royalties.  Not sure when it was written, but it has some good information on how the royalties system works in the music industry.