If you missed it, Ed Baxter filled in for Gil’s Friday show.

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr1-w-ed-23627479/

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr2-w-ed-23627789/

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr3-w-ed-23627884/

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr-4-w-23627947/

Don’t miss Hour Four, where Sebastian Kunz presents his full production of Nerd News!

Plus, Ed has a new book out, Waiting at Red Lights:

http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Red-Lights-Edward-Baxter/dp/0985736763

http://edbaxtermedia.com/waiting-at-red-lights/

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This past week, on the Facebook page of formerkgolisteners, they linked a post by that media blogger guy who wrote an unflattering piece about Gil.  Here’s the Facebook page if you want to read it, the post is dated August 19th:

https://www.facebook.com/FormerKGOListeners

It’s nice to see from the comments that Gil has many fans and I wasn’t surprised that many on Facebook did not appreciate the blogger guy using prominent names such as Gil as a tactic to try to pull in readers and, now, listeners, to his substandard radio show.  Back in December 2011, I had hopes the blogger guy was better than what he’s turned out to be.  For awhile, even, I used to link his posts but no longer want to lead readers there except for the comments on his blog, or, I should say, the comments he allows.  That guy censors criticism and I’ve had suspicions that he pads his own blog with favorable comments about how great he is, written by him, and how he has the best show on the radio.  Yeah, right.  Maybe he could partner with Yelp.

I’ve thought about going back and deleting all links to his blog, but I’ll leave those old posts that document the journey transitioning from hope to disgust in real-time postings.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to moderate comments.  I used to think I’d never censor comments, but I’m forced to put up a wall between spam and bots that would overwhelm any blog space.  I understand the need to moderate, it’s saved me considerable time.  Without it, I’d have to manually delete thousands of spam and fraud items.  I welcome readers who want to comment and actually join a conversation, but I’ve also had to reject a few trollish comments with choice words about my mental ability after posts about Armstrong & Getty.  Those comments added nothing except vitriol.

I don’t care to listen to screamers in the morning.  Some do.  I don’t.

Anyway…

I am thankful we have Gil here in the Bay Area, but his show in the past year has been less satisfying than in former years and on Fridays it is downright irritating.  I realize some of my dissatisfaction comes from listening to him every day except for Friday (unless his wife stays home or someone guest hosts).  We all know and recognize Gil’s talent as a broadcaster.  The frustration is in the change of his show’s format to chase PPM (Portable People Meter).

These are thoughts about PPM attributed to Gil that I found online in a September 2008 article written by Brad Kava:

http://www.examiner.com/article/lipstick-on-a-horse-s-ass-the-american-media-never-looked-worse

Maybe KGO-AM’s afternoon host Gil Gross said it best. With the new People Meter, which measures exactly what people are listening to, radio managers can tell that a conversation about the economy gets far fewer listeners than one about an out of context, inflammatory hit piece, like the pig comment.

Sadly, if he’s right, we’ve become a country of horses asses…and no lipstick is going to fix that.

I found another quote by an out-of-state GM who is not a fan of PPM:

http://www.pugetsoundradio.com/cgi-bin/forum/Blah.pl?m-1298563415/

Here’s one quote from a GM “I could go on for days about how radio is getting screwed by Arbitron’s PPM. We’ve become a reach  medium who programs to the meter measurement and not to listeners or to help clients with marketing issues. The most repulsive aspect  is the mediocrity it has caused, meaning all formats sound the same. Very sad. I loved this industry but now we are more of a commodity  than a good, tight place that listeners want to go to – to feel good and for our clients to reach those targets”. Another told us “PPM says  you are a ‘listener’ if you are exposed to the radio in a cab while on your cell phone for 5 minutes in a week  even if you didn’t hear the  station and you don’t even like it”

Here’s another discussion about PPM:

http://jacobsmedia.typepad.com/jacobs/ppm/

Jeff Vidler picked up on the theme by focusing on what he calls the “PPM engagement gap.”

Jeff points out that with the advent of PPM, it is no longer necessary for the audience to be engaged with a station as long as they are exposed to it.

The reality of this thinking is that while basic PPM tactics (less talk, more segues, staccato imaging, fewer charity events) can facilitate exposure, something is being lost in the fan engagement process.

Yet, in the digital and social worlds, it is all about making connections with audiences and communities.  And as Jeff notes, advertisers are thinking more and more about investing in marketing that engages and makes the best use of digital’s ability to connect people with brands.

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When searching the internet for information it’s difficult to take bias out of it.  I’ve located articles that support my opinion by bringing up search terms such as:

how PPM hurts radio

complaints about PPM

I realize that it’s easy to find articles I agree with when I’m not even looking for the opposing argument.  i’m going to continue to read about PPM to try and understand how it helps or hurts radio, and search for opposing opinions from mine.

I do base my negative comments about PPM on what I can hear.  Going back to discuss Gil’s show, I was an instant fan when he first joined KGO after Pete Wilson’s untimely death.  I heard Gil’s in-depth conversations, he sounded as if he enjoyed interacting with the audience, he interviewed politicians, book authors, comedians, musicians, people in the news, etc.

He had shows where he talked about his father and encouraged people to call in and talk about theirs.  He discussed beliefs and spiritualism and even Bernie Ward when no one else would touch that subject in 2008.  People called in crying, in disbelief, and Gil related how he’d noticed a change in Bernie and wondered what was going on.  He guided listeners through a difficult, sad time, both in Pete Wilson’s death and Bernie’s conviction.

Now, what we get from Gil are snippets of Politico interviews and him talking on-air to his producer and board operator and, ugh, his wife.  We get Gil standing in line at a supermarket to buy apples.  We get Gil doing mindless fluff like dumb criminals and teachers and whatever brainless story that is easily found on a Google search.

And, it seems we have no one to guide us.

Gil defends his show on the PPM numbers.  If you follow the link on the Facebook page of formerkgolisteners and read that blogger guy’s post about Gil, or, I should say, read the comments, someone said they emailed Gil to ask why he continues with the new format when so many do not like it and Gil responded.  Gil claimed the format change has increased ratings from 0.3 to 2.0.  Said he is doing what the station wants and it’s a business in the end and advertisers have no interest in a call-in talk format.  Said it’s probably not what the person wanted to hear, but it’s the truth.

Another commenter claims Gil doesn’t care.  The suits don’t care so why should he?

I hope that’s not true.

Gil should care, for the sake of talk radio in this market and for his friends on the show with him: Sebastian and Lloyd Lindsay Young and that producer and board operator he always drags on the air for their opinions instead of callers.

If this continues, we might have another news item like we had in December 2011, or even this one from back in 2000:

November 7, 2000

http://articles.philly.com/2000-11-07/news/25612553_1_sid-mark-beasley-broadcast-group-dave-donahue

“I found out a minute and a half before I thought I was going on the air,” said Gross yesterday. “That was fun.”

If you tuned in to WWDB before 5 p.m. yesterday, what you heard was an electronic voice counting backward from 6,000.

“That’s an old radio stunt,” said Gross. “The aim is to get people wondering ‘What’s going on there?’ to create interest in what’s coming next. And apparently word got around. A Lower Merion policeman told me someone called to report ‘a crazed woman was holding the station hostage while she counted.’ That was the first laugh I had all day.”

The countdown voice reached 3-2-1 at 5 p.m. at which point another voice announced: “Look out Philadelphia, here we come.” The station promised to bring listeners “the best of the ’80s.”

According to Paul Heine of the radio newsletter Friday Morning Quarterback, there has been a rash of stations switching to this ’80s format in recent months, presumably to attract 20- and 30-somethings nostalgic for the music of their high school years.

That’s a much younger audience than WWDB has been attracting.

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I truly hope not.  But if Gil won’t guide us through this, who will?

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I have a few more interesting articles on PPM, but no time to discuss them now.  Posts about phantom cumes and stories of PPM wearers.  Sounds like fun, huh?

Maybe in the next week or two since we have a long holiday weekend approaching…

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By the way, this past week on BBC Radio2 I heard about a new group who has an album coming out in September.  They have the potential to be the next big thing.

I think it was Simon Mayo, on BBC Radio2, who was interviewing a different popular group and a member of that group could not stop talking about a new group they’d heard in the studio where they’d been recording the previous afternoon.  He was talking about the new group, London Grammar.

BBC Radio2 decided to find out about this new group and they agreed London Grammar needed to get some airplay and that’s how it’s all started to happen for them.  You can listen to them here or follow the link to YouTube:

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6drfp_3823I

Hannah Reid, the lead singer, has a strong, clear voice, similar to Florence and the Machine, except Hannah doesn’t go off in those screaming, vocal-stretching episodes that, for me, degrades the listening experience. London Grammar has the ability to express emotion in a lead voice that does not have to shout and strain to showcase it.

https://www.facebook.com/londongrammar

http://www.londongrammar.com/ustour/

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Also, last week Stan explained his obsession with Radnich:

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-stan-and-raddy-storymost-of-it.html

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Don’t forget to check Frosty’s page and podcasts:

http://www.talk910.com/pages/frosty.html

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/

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And, still no sign of Len Tillem.  Is he giving up as well?

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