Posts Tagged ‘Cumulus Media’

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

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:



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:

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.


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:

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:

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:

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.


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

“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.


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


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…


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:



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.


Also, last week Stan explained his obsession with Radnich:


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


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

NARA 1122914

On Friday morning I read that Len Tillem was a guest on that other radio station.  He was sitting in with that ‘no one tells me what to do’ guy, you know, what’s his name.

You can read various posts about it here on the Facebook page of FormerKGOListeners:

Remember to ‘like’ their page!


It’s being speculated that Len would like to move his show over there again.

Not saying it’s true, that speculative information was reported by that ‘can’t get his facts straight’ media blogger guy who’s trying to profit off the backs of radio professionals who actually have talent and intelligence.  To be fair, he did say that the ‘no one tells me what to do’ guy is the one who wants Len’s show back on the station that shall not be named.

So, let me say this – never, I mean not even for one second, will I turn my radio frequency to that other station as long as it’s owned by Cumulus Media.  Not even for you, Len.  In fact, if Len moves over there again, that’s it for me.  No more Len podcasts or radio show.  Why should I care about supporting his show if he doesn’t care about how Cumulus Media has destroyed local radio in this market?  This issue is larger than the number of clients Len could get from going back there.  It will destroy his integrity and weaken his fan base.  Sorry, Len.  If that untrustworthy report from that blowhard media blogger guy has any legs then I’ll have to use mine to walk away.

When are we going to wake up and stand on principle?  It’s not always convenient, but small sacrifices now will benefit everyone for the long-term.  Shareholders will have to learn how to share.  Remember that societal concept?  Doing something for the greater good?

And let me make this clear about Clear Channel, they are the first cousin to the Dick-eys in this broadcasting mess.  They dismissed Len, but they did give Gene Burns and Gil Gross a radio home.  They should evict Gil’s wife, and I’m not the only one who thinks this.

Also, they should give back to the Bay Area a voice in local radio.  That’s right, those pesky, unpredictable ‘ callers’.  We don’t care what Gil’s wife thinks, it’s not like we can even listen to what she says.  Her voice is irritating, when it’s not squeaking it’s obvious she’s trying to speak in slow and measured tones, and that’s even worse!  It’s painful to listen to.  It’s not like she adds to the conversation, either.  Every so often she does have a good point, but mostly she’s shrieking out of fake horror over some dumb criminal story (hate those) or she’s interrupting a guest to ask something that disrupts the flow of the discussion.  Why, Gil, why??

There are plenty of female broadcasters in the Bay Area and many with a professional radio voice and interview skills.  Come on, Gil, team up with a professional female broadcaster if you’re trying to prove you support all views.  Please, don’t push your wife in front of a microphone.  She’s not suited for it.  I always breathe a sigh of relief when she’s not on the show on Friday.  And I did breathe a sigh of relief yesterday.  How nice it is to listen to a Friday show without her.

Okay, now that I’m rolling, let’s get to Frosty.  I’m listening to his show.  I admit, I don’t hear everything because it’s been very busy at work, but from what I’ve heard, let me say this: his show has morphed into an earlier version of Gil’s show.  He tried to include callers during his first week, now he mostly mimics the same ol’ format that Gil Gross is using.

I say mostly, because there are moments of Frosty’s show that have that unwashed feel.  You know what I mean, he talks about things that do not need an expert on the phone to tell us what to think.  Frosty goes off on rants or he tells long, rambling stories, many times about things that have happened to him personally, and it’s a bit unexpected and little bit fun.

It’s not like a Gil story.  Gil usually prefaces his stories with how cozy he is with some popular figure or celebrity, like, ‘when I worked with Dan Rather and I did this to him’.  ha ha.  Isn’t that funny, folks?  And, yes, you did hear me correctly.  I know Dan Rather personally, and Dan will never forget me because I did this with him or to him.

That’s not Frosty.  I laugh when I write this.  When Frosty talks about things in his life, we hear about his folds and flaps in his body and how he needs underwear that doesn’t chafe.  Yep.  Comfortable underwear: No chafing, no bunching up, and no stink.  No kidding!  I love it.  It’s unexpected and unfiltered.  Not many hosts would share their underwear on air.

Want to hear it?  It starts around 10:00 on the podcast.

Frosty – 6/18/13, Hour 2

He also talked about his roll through the hood and one frightening experience.  It’s at the beginning of the following podcast.

Frosty – 6/19/13, Hour 1

I should mention, there are moments when Frosty’s stories make me cringe and I rethink promoting his show, but some of these Frosty stories are nice breaks in the talking-points type of show both he and Gil put on the air.  Many times Frosty will do his show and then Gil, an hour or two later, will talk about the same news story and bring on another expert to talk about the same things Frosty’s guest expert talked about earlier.  I’ll never have to listen to another podcast again because I always hear the same story repeated an hour later anyway.  Same story, different host.

I think if these media outlets want to increase their podcast playbacks, they should coordinate their hosts to vary their content so each podcast will bring a unique listening experience.  But, that’s just me.  A lowly radio listener.

Photo by Jens Japel

In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have started a blog.  I have a busy job and not a lot of time to put the effort into a seemingly simple one post per week type of blog.  But, I was so darn angry at Cumulus Media and I’d awakened to the mess of our public airwaves.  I had to express it somehow.

Today, I’m still darn angry at Cumulus Media and how they threw their trash into our backyard.  If you want to read more about Cumulus Media history, there’s an extensive article here: that lists all of their radio stations (stations you should now boycott).

**Note: See the end of this post for discussions of Cumulus Media on the News/Talk section of

Also, I’ve never been fully committed to the radio station that offered jobs to some of the former KGO hosts; the daily content wasn’t appealing to those of us who were used to leaving our radio dials in one spot all day long.  The morning screamers had me holding my hands over my ears and turning it off, then came Rush and the big rush for the door for me.  I had to wait for Len at 3:00pm before I could turn on the radio.  Until then, I streamed online BBC Radio 2, listened to KQED, sometimes Radiolab, and many times (but not now) I’d listen again to Len’s and Gil’s podcasts from the day before.

So, now Len has been kicked to the curb again from the station we thought would save us from our radio nightmare.  huh.  Guess my instincts were right.  That station operates in a similar way to the hated Cumulus Media.  Something we always knew but didn’t want to admit.

Sure, I still listen to Gil on that station.  He is professional and endearing.  Well, that is when he doesn’t drag his wife on the show and that is my first break with Gil.  Why does he continue to push Rhoda on the listeners?  We really don’t want to listen to it.  She doesn’t add anything to the show except the cringe factor and the high-pitched voice unsuited for the airwaves.  Added to that, I can’t understand why a Talk station is committed to keeping out callers.  You know, the talk portion they are touting.

I wonder if it’s a budget thing.  I know Gil can handle callers, but maybe there’s no budget for proper screeners.  Is that what it is?  I’ve been reading that the company is not in the best financial condition so it’s the only reasonable explanation I can come up with. What do you think?

Sorry, I’m not adding a link for Gil any longer since that station got rid of Len.  Not Gil’s fault, I know, but I don’t want to advertise a company that has similar business practices to those losers at Cumulus Media and are acting like a bunch of Dick-eys.

This leads to my thoughts about that media blogger who has tried to profit off the backs of these media professionals.  I no longer add that link since it’s not worth the time even if you have time to waste.  I see reposts of it on the Facebook page of .  FormerKGOListeners do a good job keeping up with what’s going on in our media wasteland.  Sometimes it includes that blogger guy.

I used to read that media blogger guy’s posts just for the comments, but it turned into one big advertising message for that weird Santa Cruz station.  uh, no thanks.  Plus, that blogger guy has made up so many stories from so-called ‘reliable sources’ that there comes a time to reflect on the saying: Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice… (yeah, you know the one).  We have lives to live, who wants to waste time on that nonsense?  Also, so many supporting comments over there on that blog are obviously fake to fluff up the numbers.  It doesn’t pass the smell test.  I hold my nose when I see that stuff now.


We might have a chance to see some of our former hosts together again.  For one night in Berkeley, on Thursday, June 27th, 11:30am – 3:00pm at Spenger’s Seafood Grotto.  Not much yet except the date and time.  There is no mention of potential guests.  That would be good to know.

Here’s the link:


By the way, if you don’t know, Len is back, baby!  He’s now taking about four or five calls per day.  All new stuff.  Follow him on Spreaker.  Bump up his numbers (currently at 6,408 followers) and take a minute to leave him a message.

Here’s the link to his podcasts on Spreaker:

Following are links to his show for the past week:


I hope you haven’t forgotten about Ed Baxter.

Here’s a link to his Making Sense podcasts (I wish they were dated, I don’t know if he updates them weekly or daily):


John Rothmann continues to share his insights with Gil every so often on the radio.  If you want more, here’s a link to John Rothmann’s web posts:

Here’s his most recent post:


Yes, and Bernie Ward continues to write for his Lion of the Left Speaks blog.

Bernie’s May days blog posts:

Thursday, May 2, 2013 – No Free Lunch (about online privacy and the Right To Know Act)

Monday, May 6, 2013 – Suicide is Painless… (about the rate of suicide in America)

Monday, May 13, 2013 – I’m a H-1 Believer… (about big tech labor)

Monday, May 13, 2013 – Killing the Golden Goose… (about energy exports)

I found this old news item about Bernie Ward’s former house when it went back to the bank:


Think I’m done?  Oh no, I’m going to link away….

Last week, Gil Gross said on his show that he doesn’t believe in ghosts or psychics.  He mentioned Sylvia Browne specifically and how she told the mother of Amanda Berry, on The Montel Williams show, that her daughter was dead.

Here’s the link:

Gil really slammed Sylvia Browne, calling her a fraud that preys on people’s hopes.  I used to like watching her on The Montel Williams show.  Didn’t see it much, only on my days off from work every so often.  But I did see the show when Sylvia Browne predicted a disaster somewhere in India and said to tell anyone who planned on going there that they would die.  That’s what she said.  Don’t go there, you will die.

Here’s an excerpt talking about that show from

“In October 2004 on the Montel Williams Show, Sylvia advised viewers to avoid travel to India due to safety concerns. On December 26th Sylvia’s prediction was validated when a tsunami devastated India. Sylvia further warns that travel to the region will not be safe for another 6 months due to health issues (water purity, disease) created in the aftermath of the tsunami.”

Here’s information about the tsunami that hit on December 26, 2004:

I don’t think that’s just a lucky (or unlucky) guess on her part.  She was adamant.  But, I don’t think it’s possible to for someone to ‘psych’ on command, in a quick answer to a question.  I don’t think the type of energy is there for it.  But, I wonder if some of the big stuff can be felt before it happens, like an intuition.  We have all experienced that.  We just don’t go on tv to talk about it.

So, I also got to thinking about how Gil doesn’t believe in ghosts.

I was going to write my thoughts on it.  I was searching around on the internet and I found this interesting site:

There are some really interesting ghost stories about good ol’ SF.  This one in particular is so trippy:

Here’s an excerpt (if you dare):

“Once again, I saw the man standing at the shoreline. I said, ”the fisherman! ” and at that moment, the man’s legs stretched to at least 40 feet long, as he took 3 giant steps toward us!”

If you listen to Gil’s show, you know that he is on vacation for a few days.  Frosty is sitting for him and I see that he is up for discussion at  .

Want to join in? Here’s the San Francisco section:

And, here’s the Frosty thread:


**Some recent discussions about Cumulus Media at in their News/Talk section:

Here’s the general News/Talk section link:

Following are direct links to the threads about Cumulus Media.

Titled – A Great Article Re: Cumulus and Rush

Titled – What is Cumulus Doing?



Finally, Simon Mayo had another entertaining confession on his BBC Radio 2 show.  It has to do with fishing and missing teeth.  You can listen to it online for the next 30 days, or download it and listen to it forever.

It’s included in the podcast titled:

Friday, May 17, 2013 – Let’s Sick Together and other tales…

It’s the fourth confession on the podcast (and the third one about the resting man is great, too).  Here’s a link to Confessions Page on the BBC website:

By the way, BBC Radio 2 is making news with its surging listening audience:

“Radio 2 has seen its figures grow by almost 5% compared with those this time last year, when 14.56 million were listening in. And it has piled on 260,000 listeners in the past quarter.”

“Meanwhile, the whole station achieved its highest listener levels ever as it is now reaching 15.27 million listeners every week, a massive 4.9% increase year on year. Share was also up for the station as it rises to 17.7% from 16.8% in the same quarter last year.”


Photo by Yumi Kimura CCA-SA 2.0

What the h- is going on out there?

When the unbelievable happens, where do we go?  For information, for updates, for insight.

I used to go to KGO.  Not anymore.  Trashed by greed and on-air content only a bottom-feeder shareholder could appreciate – not to listen to, of course, but appreciate.  You know what I mean.

Not even 910AM, or whatever they are calling themselves now, can be considered a go-to source for answers.  The morning and early afternoon shows on 910 are filled with screaming fools and syndication.  Gil Gross is the only reason to listen to that station now and then only starting at 3:00pm.  I stay away on Fridays, though.  That voice of Rhoda ruins Gil’s show for me.  Can’t spend any length of time listening to it.

Gil Gross is a good broadcaster.  He has faults but there is no denying he is a dedicated, professional host.  On the day of the Boston Marathon when the terrible news broke late morning, Pacific Time, I had nowhere to go to listen to what the h- was going on.  I found a Boston outlet, online, the CBS local affiliate, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and listened to that station most of the day.  When I wanted to see video, I watched WBZ television streamed online.  I made sure it wasn’t a Cumulus station.  Not giving them one second of a blip on any of their ratings tracking systems.

Here’s a link to online WBZ NewsRadio 1030 – Boston (using

There is a strong feeling of community on this station and it’s heard in the calls.  Something we used to, but no longer, have here.  I really wish Gil would take calls!  Listen to this station and recall how good it can be.

At 3:00pm on Wednesday, the day of the marathon, I turned on Gil’s show but there were so many commercials played and Gil didn’t even stay on the story.  Unbelievable.  I had to turn back to non-stop coverage of the Boston Marathan at WBZ and that’s where I stayed all day and far into the evening.

There was so much misinformation being reported out there as well.  It’s summed up neatly in this blog post:

On late Thursday, early Friday, when the MIT police officer was found dead and there was a report of a car hijacking, I watched everything unfold on WBZ TV leading to the firefight that broke out in Watertown,  WBZ aired non-stop online coverage.  They did report some misinformation, but corrected it the moment more information came in.  They cited their sources and included a listener-beware statement that in a fluid on-going, breaking story there was sure to be updated, corrected information from the proper authorities.  And, that’s exactly what happened.  The naked guy turned out to be just that, a naked guy and nothing more.  I’m sure we’ll hear all about his story once this all calms down.

It was hours before the local television stations here in the Bay Area broke into programming for Special Reports, and even then they repeated the same things I’d been hearing about and watching for hours out of Boston.  I turned my television to the ABC network so I can hear reports from George Stephanopoulos.

Next week I think I’m going to listen to  Boston’s WBZ NewsRadio 1030 talk station instead of Gil’s program.  I want to hear what the callers have to say about all of this.  They were the ones affected by it and they should have a voice in all of this.  I’m listening to it right now and I love to hear the calls and all of the opinions.  I miss that.

Even members of agree that WBZ had some great coverage.

Here’s Page 5 of the discussion in the Boston section under the topic ‘Patriot’s Day Explosion’:

Plus, another topic on ‘Why Local Radio is Important’:

I want to note that Thursday morning I listened to Gil’s Wednesday podcast.  He did a great job reporting on the Boston Marathon tragedy and he was especially astute in cautioning about what information would turn out to be true.  He was correct in almost every point he made, all of it corrected by reporters early this morning.  Good job, Gil.  Now if only you would take callers and stay on breaking news instead of stopping for ten minutes at a time to break the flow with inane commercials.  Yes, they need those commercials.  But they also need listeners.  Without us, those advertisers would go elsewhere with their ad dollars.

One last thing, I happened to see video online where Amy Poehler gives advice to a young girl that Poehler framed against the happenings of the day.  Watch it.  It’s very touching.

That’s how I got through these past few days.  How about you?

What did you do?

Yes, folks.  It is true.  Len Tillem, the loyah, no longer has a show on the AM radio dial.

If you want to hear what he says about it, listen to his podcast dated 3/29/13 (explicit language) where Len discusses it with Jon Favreau:

Len Tillem Show 3/29/13

In it, Len talks about how he first started his 20+ year career in radio.  Did you know Len was a theater major in college?  Somehow, that does not surprise me.  He even admits he does radio better than sex, but he’s not naked on the podcast.  He’s not going to take his top off like Julie Andrews did in a movie.  He also addresses his recent firing from AM radio.

If you want to comment, you can sign up for access to the Spreaker site and you don’t even need to be a member of Facebook.  It’s easy.  Create a Name, provide your email address and create a Password.  That’s it.  You’re on.  Just type Len Tillem in the search bar and you can follow Len’s show there.

Plus, Len is promoting his podcast on iTunes.  The more you rate his podcasts, the more recognition his show will get.

And, of course, you can follow Len on Facebook and comment there.  Go to formerkgolisteners Facebook page and there you can find the link to Len’s Facebook page as well as information about all of the former KGO favorites.  Remember to ‘like’ their page.  They do a good job keeping up with all of this changing information.


The good news is Len says he will create a podcast for Monday.  Be there!  Support him.

Have a question for the Lawyer? Give Len a call! (866) 536-1000 (or, 1-866-LEN-1000)


Here’s what others are saying about it on  Join in the discussion about the recent change on KKSF.

Another thread of interest, The death of KGO one year later:


There is an old discussion in there as well, under the Len Tillem topic from December 2011 and it  includes an old response by the loyah himself when he was let go from KGO:


rimemberOffline OfflinePosts: 1
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 11:48:26 AM »

I am not gone.
I’m going to begin pod casting soon.
I was shocked by the KGO decision to fire almost all of its talk show hosts.  My program was the highest rated show on all of KGO.  It also had the best demographics advertisers are looking for. What were they thinking?I love doing radio.  Doing the show is usually the highlight of my day.  I am going to begin pod casting my show this week or next.  I am just working out the technical details.People all over the country will be able to call in with their legal problems and stories and I will deal with them from 12:00 to 1:00 every weekday.In the beginning, as listeners learn to find me on the web, we’ll screen calls all day long and make appointments to call back my radio show clients between noon and 1:00.  This way, the show will have the live radio feel without commercials (think commercial free radio) and FCC restrictions on my flowery language.Let me know what you think!
Len Tillem

Back in December, these were some of the comments:

“As for podcasting, I dunno, I’d be more inclined to put effort into approaching other stations.  You’ve got the books, you’ve got the demos.  Surely there is a fit somewhere.  Podcasting works really well for episodic programming such as “This American Life” and “Radiolab”, but I’m not so sure it’s workable for a daily show.”

“Len, are you kidding me?  I listen to you on podcast all of the time!”

These comments are relevant now.  It’s time, Len.  Time to control your own output.


I’ve been thinking about a site like  There needs to be a place where listeners all over the U.S. can convene and figure out how to take back the quality of discussion we’ve taken for granted all of these years.  Do we want to sit back and let Cumulus and, now, Clear Channel dictate whatever information they want us to hear?  Do you want these mega-corporations to pocket bonuses and millions in pay on the backs of the everyday citizen?  Have we become so complacent to let that happen again and again?  Can’t we do something about it?

This is what I found in a recent Google search:

Monday, March 25, 2013 Cox Radio is starting to operate from the Cumulus and Clear Channel playbooks. top execs take bonuses even in bad times – like now – and simultaneously with massive layoffs that they impose on key staffers.

It was a subscription article, but it says it all right there.


In that same Google search, I found another subscription site that lays it all out there.  The focus is music, but talks about all of the big players.  I don’t subscribe, but it seems this guy has a media blog with real content.  He’s not ogling local weather personalities and sizing up anchors based on sex-appeal.  This guy builds his content in a professional format.  Even if I subscribed to it, I wouldn’t be able to share since it’s his property and he requires a subscription fee to access it.  He does have some good opening teasers, though, like this one:

This is his Home Page:


Speaking of media bloggers, I was correct in waiting to find out if Ed Baxter and John Rothmann were released from that AM station as well.  Ed Baxter will continue to post his ‘Making Sense’ podcasts at his own site:

John Rothmann will continue to fill in for Gil Gross, when needed, on that AM station.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this in later weeks.  Now, I’m exhausted thinking about it.

Our listening habits have to change.  In the office, many no longer listen to the radio.  They all have their players and listen to them.  They listen to NPR and music and podcasts.

We need an app to bring all of these independent podcasts together to create a real show.  We wouldn’t have the local news or weather or traffic though.  And we wouldn’t have the shared audience experience of listening to live radio.  I wish there was a way to bring this all together.  Companies like hated Cumulus Media, and now we are seeing the effect of Clear Channel as well, bring only profit margins and shareholders and unlistenable commercials to take it all apart.  It’s coming apart at the seams and we need to come together as hundreds and thousands of listeners with purchasing power and shareholder influence and do what’s right.

What’s happening now is all wrong.



Note: I just read this interesting blog post about earning a living.  What do you think?

Bernie Ward has a lot to say, lately:

Sunday, March 17, 2013 – Let Those Who Have Eyes (about Senator Portman and same sex marriage)

Sunday,  March 17, 2013 – The Road to Argentina… (about Pope Francis)

Friday, March 22, 2013 – Those Who Forget History… (an Iraq rehash)

Friday, March 22, 2013 – New and Improved? (about the Republican Party)


And now, in full Monty Python mode, something completely different… another view about the pope:

(Warning, four letter words ahead and adult content)



Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s continue on as before.

Lately, I’ve been dissatisfied with KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM.  First, Len Tillem has so many ‘Best Of’ shows.  I’ve been disappointed too many times waiting until 3:00pm just to listen and then he’s a no-show.  Sometimes, when he is there ‘live’ he’ll bring in his money-maker buddy Pat Vitucci and I’m disappointed because I want to hear the stories, oh, the stories!

And, speaking of the stories, what is up with Gil Gross?  I love Gil and listen to him everyday, but it’s getting to be a lesson in what it’s like to have Attention Deficit Disorder, never staying on one topic long enough to gather thoughts about it.  Gil introduces a topic, talks at length about it, brings on a guest on the subject, and then Gil uses up the guest’s time by talking about his own stories that he recalls from his past.  The guest will give some courtesy laughs at Gil’s little witticisms, but then is whisked off the phone because it’s time for news and weather.

Added to this annoyance is a Friday with Rhoda.  She squeaks and squeals and talks in slow, enunciated sentences, as if just learning to speak, and when Gil is not going on with another story about him then we have to listen to Rhoda saying things like, “You’d better watch it, buddy,” and “Hey!”  She’s always yelling “Hey!” in a faux-angry voice that is a bit too high to stomach so late in the afternoon.

And, I’m saying this as a fan of Gil.  This last Friday was almost unbearable.  I want this to work for everyone.  For Gil, for the loyal listeners, for Sebastian Kunz and Lloyd Lindsay Young.  It’s as if they are not taking this seriously any longer.  If they don’t care, why should we?  Please, KKSF – Newstalk 910-AM, step it up a level.  Allow Gil to do what he does best, host a topic and discuss it for an hour with callers, guests, and keep the conversation focused.

Also, it’s not helping that Gil’s show gets cut short for some sports stuff.  I don’t even bother listening to the podcasts any longer since there is no Hour 3.  Sometimes there’s not even an Hour 2.

Are they going to just sit back and let Cumulus Media win?

I never attended any of the former KGO-AM 810 All-Star Events.

I love that the 2005 All-Star Debate was captured and added to YouTube by rhxso.  The audio-only three-part clip includes Gene Burns, Ray Taliaferro, Bill Wattenburg, (Pete Wilson is mentioned but doesn’t show up), Ed Baxter, Bernie Ward, and even Karel (I don’t know what the heck he was doing with the All Stars – AND, he’s even complaining about being broke back in 2005!).

KGO AM 810 – 2005 All-Star Debate Part 1

KGO AM 810 – 2005 All-Star Debate Part 2

KGO AM 810 – 2005 All-Star Debate Part 3

It’s so interesting that their talk about Walmart could be said about the state of radio today, that people should care the way they (Walmart) treat their employees and the way they do it.  Gene was credited with doing a study about it and he determined that people do save a lot of money by going to Walmart but the wages are depressed, and that people will have to decide if the need to save money personally is as important as making sure people get paid a just wage.

hmmm… does Cumulus come to mind?


Old Ray Taliaferro Clips on YouTube

Ray Taliaferro Kicks Rush Limbaugh’s Butt Part 1

Ray Taliaferro Kicks Rush Limbaugh’s Butt Part 2

Ray Taliaferro Kicks Rush Limbaugh’s Butt Part 3

Ray Reacts to Another George Bush Call


More Bernie Ward:

This is an interesting blog post about Bernie Ward:


And, more posts are up on Bernie’s blog, The Lion of the Left Speaks:

Sunday, February 10, 2013 – Should You Be Worried? (various issues addressed)

Monday, February 11, 2013 – A Rooting Interest (Bernie’s take on two T.V. shows)

Monday, February 11, 2013 – The Keys to the Kingdom (Thoughts about Pope Benedict XVI resigning)

Saturday, February 16, 2013 – Drone On (Police Policies and Drones)

Sunday, February 24, 2013 – An I.D. for All Seasons (Discussion on National I.D. Cards)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013- Crime and Punishment (the prison industry)

As I’ve said several times here, I listen to BBC Radio 2 in the mornings now instead of KGO after Cumulus destroyed that former talk-radio station.  I hear BBC’s live broadcast of their afternoon and drive-time shows, the Brits are ending their day as I begin mine.

Steve Wright in the Afternoon is the first show I hear when I get into the office.  He has a good mix of old and new music with some celebrity interviews thrown in as well.  Following Steve’s show is BBC host Simon Mayo.  I’ve posted some of his confession segments on this blog.  The episode podcasts of these shows are only online for one week so listen as soon as you can.  The confession segments are available on podcasts for download.  Once downloaded, you can listen to it anytime since you are not limited to a one-week restriction.

On Tuesday, February 5, 2013, Mayo’s guest cancelled.  Instead of finding a replacement he decided to play album picks that exceed the usual time limits for prime-time radio play.  Keeping to the BBC theme this month (Golden Age of the Album), he played three long tracks: ‘Comfortably Numb’ by Pink Floyd, ‘Scenes from an Italian Restaurant’ by Billy Joel and ‘The Last Resort’ by the Eagles.   It was a remarkable, nostalgic shared-moment for the listeners.  As of today, it’s only available for listening another four days and there’s no download on these episodes – so listen now before it’s gone!

Simon Mayo Drivetime Episode, Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The longplay songs begin at 1:05:55 on the episode.

I just noticed that they do provide a text format of the daily confessions.  I’ll have to see if my favorite confession, Float On, has a transcript.

As I just mentioned, BBC Radio 2 this month is celebrating ‘The Golden Age of the Album’.  There is a list of the 100 Most Played Albums on their website and you can vote on your favorite album – through Friday, February 22, 2013.

Here’s the link if you want to vote:

BBC Radio 2, BBC Four, and 6 Music have all contributed to this theme:

Here’s a list of programs available highlighting the longplay album:

More media about it:

Home Page: When Albums Ruled the World – BBC Four:

TV Blog – When Albums Ruled the World: The LP’s Golden Age

By the way, Simon Mayo aired a confession on Thursday that included a bathtub and Neil Diamond underwear.  um, what?  You have to listen to it.  Here’s this week’s compilation of confessions:

It’s titled ‘Blinded By The Lights and other tales’ Friday, February 8, 2013

and includes:

“This week’s concise collection includes a sink satire, a petrol prank, a blind befuddlement and a terrible tub trauma. But will you forgive?”

It’s available to listen to online for 30 days, or you can download it and have it forever.

It’s great fun.  Why listen to radio that sucks on Cumulus-owned KGO?  Enjoy your listening time at BBC while waiting for the afternoon Len Tillem and Gil Gross shows on KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM.

Here are the links to Len Tillem podcasts and Gil Gross podcasts (they include Lloyd Lindsey Young and Sebastian Kunz).  You can listen live or listen later to all of the archived podcasts.


By the way, if you voted for an album, let us know which one made your top pick!

Gil Gross, talk-show host on radio station KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM, interviewed comedian Paul Mercurio on his January 9th show, for a short segment on Hour 3.  I could have listened to Gil’s guest for an hour or more.  I also could have purchased tickets to Mercurio’s show at the Punchline on Saturday and I would have if I didn’t already have tickets to the musical  Anything Goes.  Sorry, Paul.  You were a great guest on Gil’s show.

Paul Mercurio talked about his relatives and his aging mother.  It was both interesting and hysterical. If you missed it, listen to the podcast (the Mercurio interview begins around 15:50 on the podcast):

I’ve been listening to Gil nearly everyday since he took over for Pete Wilson on that other station this is now a wreck drifting in the sea of radio.  I followed him to KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM so I’ve heard all of his stories more than once.  Some I’ve heard five or more times.  Yes, they were interesting the first time, but after the fifth time they’ve lost their lustre.  So, it’s refreshing to hear good stories from other sources.  Mercurio would be an endless source.  Loved him.  Gil, please get him on the air again!

I haven’t been following anything about Cumulus for some time now.  Maybe they’ve sunk so low they are no longer relevant (fingers crossed!).

I don’t read that media blogger much any more.  What a disappointment that guy has been.  Throws out all of these breaking news/gossip stories that don’t happen and then fills the blog with promo pieces about his radio show that no one listens to.  Anyone who has heard him on the radio knows not to waste time on it.  It’s getting to the point where looking at his blog, even once a week, is a waste of time as well.  It was fun while it lasted…

Of course, I should mention, that the only people who bother to look at my blog are finding it by Google searching for Bernie Ward and Ray Taliaferro.

I don’t know what’s going on with Ray but Bernie has two new posts up on his blog, The Lion of the Left Speaks:

Sunday, December 16, 2012 – ‘Why’ (about the Connecticut shooting and gun violence)

Saturday, January 12, 2013 – ‘The Way of the Dodo’ (about football and brain trauma)

I haven’t had much time to listen to more Radiolab podcasts, but when I do I’ll share the ones I find interesting.

I think I’ll add my boycott Cumulus Media tag onto these posts from now on as well.  Never hurts to get the word out!  Cumulus sucks!  Don’t listen to any of their stations!

Oh, and don’t forget to visit the Facebook page of FormerKGOListeners and ‘like’ their page!  Here’s the link:

As always, Len Tillem is on KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM at 3:00pm every week day and Gil Gross follows him at 4:00pm.

These are links to podcasts of their shows:

Len Tillem the loyah!

Gil Gross:

And, with them, you get Lloyd Lindsay Young and Sebastian Kunz.  If you can’t get KKSF on the radio dial after dark, then you can stream the shows live on iHeart.  Just Google KKSF Newstalk 910-AM to find it, or simply follow the links I’ve left above and there is an option to listen live online.

I haven’t had time lately to post anything new, but I’ve seen some of the news about ratings and debt and layoffs in the broadcast industry.  It’s a bleak outlook for the coming year.

I’d planned to write an upbeat article about the decline of Cumulus Media, how it’s not meeting earning projections and how ratings for their top ten stations are stagnating below expectations.  Yeah, like we didn’t see that coming.  I even laughed when I read that the Dick-eys at Cumulus continue to blame Rush Limbaugh for their financial woes.  Just the other day, I nearly had to smother a loud whoopie! when I saw Moody’s Investor’s Services had downgraded Cumulus to negative.  What a wonderful Christmas present.

Cumulus has been doing their December thing, laying people off.  I’ve read about many markets going through what we had to endure a year ago at the old KGO.  I want to connect with these groups of people and maybe we can come up with a plan to make sure Cumulus Media cannot make it in any market.  There is power in numbers.  I was ready to write an impassioned piece about how we need to unite and figure out how to fight this.  Tag every social media comment or post with a message about what Cumulus is doing to the radio industry.  Let people know we need to do something, now.

Then, I saw it.  The news reports about what Clear Channel has been doing.  All year long, they’ve been laying people off in small numbers.  Trying to stay under the radar of bad news.  Here’s one blog that mentions it:

And, here’s an October NYTimes article about it:

I’ve seen the news about Clear Channel’s losses and how it will impact their budget decisions in all markets.  Just today, it was reported Clear Channel laid off more staff.

Here’s one report:

Now I’m wondering,  should we be panicking?

I did panic today when I turned on KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM to listen to Len Tillem’s show.  The caller had a problem with a restaurant owner who might have had someone slash the caller’s car tires.  It was the same call I’d heard yesterday, same guy, same problem.  I thought, wait a minute, why am I hearing this again?

It didn’t help that it’s early December and around this time last year many of us listened to old shows of our favorite KGO hosts without knowing why.  So, you can’t blame me for panicking.  Finally, in the midst of my Google search for Clear Channel layoff information, Len mentioned that he’d talked to the caller yesterday.  Whew!  Hey Len, my man, don’t frighten me like that!

I had visions of having to rely on that media blogger for news of our favorite hosts.  That blogger guy has been a disappointment.  I’ve shared some of the reasons why in other articles.  He’s started his own show somewhere.  I don’t think it’s going well.  In the past when I tried to listen to him on-air, he was amateurish at best.  Then, this week, all in one day, dozens of glowing reviews showed up on his blog.  All in a similar voice.  hmmmm…  doesn’t pass the smell test.

So, please, Len and Gil and John, stay on the air and we will all have to find a way to keep you there.  Don’t send us back to blogger land and those inane posts about who do you think is the hottest weather girl.

That same guy wrote a tattler-like piece about Dana King.  An over-the-top pronouncement about King’s career.  Who knows if there is any truth in it?  That guy has claimed many things before that have never happened.  He’s not reliable.

Then we have someone like Gil Gross on KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM interviewing Dana King today on his show and it was a class act all of the way.  Gil showed interest, compassion, and respect for someone going through a big change in her life.  Gil really cared about what was happening in her life and she talked about what it was like saying goodbye to a place where she’d spent the last 25 or so years.

I will post the link when it’s up.  It was in Gil’s first hour today.  (and I’ll clean up this post, I put this together in a bit of a rush tonight)

It’s great to have Gil on-air locally, someone who can have a real conversation with a local celebrity, Dana King.  We don’t get a syndicated, canned broadcast interview of some hyped-up star of-the-day.

Should we be panicking that at this time next year that will be exactly what will be waiting for us next Christmas at Clear Channel?

Not if we think about what we can do about it now.  Save local radio.