Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Bill Wattenburg’

I read a generic headline about a journalist missing, but what a shock to see the person missing is Ray.

I recently found out about the death of Dr. Bill Wattenburg in August of this year and now there’s some disturbing news about Ray.


By Georg Feitscher CC-BY-SA-3.0

Ed Baxter was out this week and is expected to return on Monday.  John Rothmann filled in for Ed.

I like that John Rothmann takes calls.

It’s why I now listen to WOR710-AM in New York.  All of the radio talk show hosts take calls.

WOR710 is not for everyone.  It’s a conservative format, but we listened to many conservative voices on the old KGO and it didn’t taint our souls.  It simply expanded some issues and talking points that remained unexplored in a liberal atmosphere.  I admit, some of the stuff I hear on WOR is shocking but most of us know how to research facts versus fantasy.

Sean Hannity aired a fascinating expanded segment recently with two guests discussing opposing views on the interpretation of the Koran (Qur’an).  I think it aired on Thursday for a short segment, and then an expanded version on Friday.

My favorite New York host, Mark Simone, was out sick all this week as well, and the host who filled in for him took calls throughout the entire show.  There is nothing as entertaining or enlightening as a live call with interaction between host and caller, each responding or debating in real time.  What pales in comparison to a live call is what we hear now on Bay Area radio, a host reading email or Facebook posts and then responding.  yawn, yawn, yawn.  Not to mention how we now hear someone’s wife screech and shriek in the background such scintillating conversation such as, oh yeah!  really?  ok buster, or over-talking guests.  Amateur hour in its lowest form.

Ed is the only host in the Bay Area I listen to now on a regular basis.  Sometimes I tune in to Gil, but his wife has lowered him to laughable, and after a few of Gil’s constant: ‘I’m not making this up’, or ‘…and all of that’, or those inane dumb criminals or teachers stories, I have to tune out.  Especially when he mentions his wife is listening and texting him all day.  ugh!  This destroys his product more than his bad jokes and inserting his life into every story as if it’s important to us.

Gil’s wife’s constant surveillance gives me the same creepy feeling of Dr. Phil’s wife sitting in his audience every day with her clingy, moon eyes focused on her man.

The one good thing we have now is something I’ve mentioned before, Ed Baxter’s website,  It includes audio snippets by media people, such as Barbara Simpson, Rosie Allen, John Rothmann, Lloyd Lindsay Young, Bill Wattenburg, Joe Starkey, etc.  You can hear them all at The Talk Pod.

The reason I mention it again, there is something new on the site – an upcoming format change. Now, you, can become a contributor to the site.  As stated on the Home Page of The Talk Pod:

In addition to commentary, The Talk Pod will soon include the very best in advice, information and instruction, all provided to help improve the quality of your life.

And if you have something to share or teach others, we’d love to hear your idea; you may even be invited to be a contributor! So, Tell The Talk Pod who you are, what you have to offer others, and how you can help The Talk Pod grow and continue to spread “Seeds for Your Brain.”

You can join these media greats:

Want to talk about the PUC?  Here’s what John Rothmann has to say about it on

Love the sound of Lloyd Lindsay Young’s voice?  You can hear him anytime here:

Prefer entertainment?  Then, Flick Nation delivers the goods:

What about Wattenburg?  He’s here, too:

I’d love to hear what the intelligent, creative Bay Area radio audience has to say.  Do you have an idea, advice or information you want to share?  Here’s your chance.

Hey, Ed, have your producer, Tim, add something.  I’d love to hear what he has to say!  He’s a keeper.

I’d love to hear Frosty talk about the drama in his life.  He’s a great storyteller.  Or, wouldn’t it be great to hear Ray again?  What about Sebastian Kunz creating something to hear?  I wonder if there is a way to link or group individual audio into one collective audio segment that lasts an hour or two.  Something that auto advances to the next segment.  So much potential to thetalkpod, especially if they find a way to get listener feedback or live calls.

Also, don’t forget about visiting the Facebook page of NoMoreKGO:

Spread those brain seeds!

Ed Baxter is back as a fill-in host on Talk-910am.  He’s been hosting one or two days per week in Frosty’s former time slot (10:00am-1:00pm).  I don’t know much about Ed.  His name is familiar from the old KGO days but, back then, I didn’t listen to the station during his air time.  I’ve heard him partner with Rosie Allen a few times on Talk-910 but that’s the extent of it.  I recall him as a news guy and not a talk host.  When I searched online I found information about him.

He’s an award-winning news co-anchor and he retired after 35 years on the air at KGO.  I see online there is both good and bad feedback on him.  That’s to be expected, everyone has an opinion about a guy who has been in the public eye for 35 years.  As for me, I like him as a talk show host.  He has a comfortable style, not too aggressive, but does not back down when challenged.  He encourages callers.  He has strong opinions and I don’t always agree with him.

Here are a few articles from when he retired from KGO:

I don’t hear any arrogance from Ed on his Talk 910 show so I don’t know what some listeners were hearing when they wrote negative comments back in 2011.  Today, he sounds comfortable with who he is and where he is in his career.  He can speak on many subjects with authority.  I like that his show transitions with ease from hard news to training puppies, AND without a wordy, complicated transition set-up for a corny joke.  That’s Gross!

Hey, Ed, Frosty has a new puppy.  You should get him on your show to talk about it.  ha ha.  I like Ed and I liked Frosty.

Ed Baxter offers podcasts on The Talk Pod and on the Talk 910 website.  Check out some of these links:

As of this posting, the podcast trending on

Most Popular:

Plus, the contributors mix it up with each other:

Now all they need are callers on The Talk Pod.  Maybe they can set up to take calls on subjects and record the interaction then post it.  It’s a start.  Of course, it wouldn’t be live talk but at least we’d get varied discussion on topics.  Sometimes the callers bring a deeper understanding to a topic, either from personal experience or in-depth knowledge.

On Talk 910, in addition to Ed, there is a woman from LA who sometimes hosts Frosty’s old time slot.  I don’t recall her name.  She’s not as forceful as Randi Rhodes (remember her?)  Here’s an interesting article about Randi:

The new LA woman puts on a good show for Talk 910, although I prefer listening to Ed, and, of course, John Rothmann.

Now, if only Talk 910am would get rid of the dreck show that follows Frosty’s old time slot.  That time slot would get more listeners if they played the emergency broadcast alert signal for two hours.  I don’t have to listen to the show to know it’s awful.  Hearing the promo highlights is excruciating enough.  Two guys who know nothing, talk about nothing.  What the heck were they thinking allowing that thing on the air?

There is one good thing to report about Talk 910.  That YELLING woman is GONE!  We’ve suffered through that nauseating car commercial for months now, but I think she’s out driving other listeners (out there, somewhere) crazy.  Haven’t had to turn off the radio at all this week.  I think she’s gone!  woo hoo!  If I would have waited a week or two, I wouldn’t have had to spend time writing a complaining post about her.  It’s like we can breathe again.  Fresh radio air, no pollutants.  Smog safe.

To celebrate, I even gave Gil’s show a chance again.

As I’ve said before, I used to be a fan of Gil Gross’ show but he’s dumbed-it-down beyond recognition.  This week I wandered back for a segment or two.  Unbelievably, hand to my heart, I heard Gil say that his wife’s voice has been used for classical music stations, that she’s a broadcaster.  ha ha ha ha ha!!!  Are you kidding me?  Gil, you do realize that we can hear her voice?  Sure, she might be a good fill-in on old scratchy recordings of Chinese opera, but come on, man.  You’re trying to push her off as a broadcaster?  ha ha ha ha.  That was the best laugh I’ve had from my years of listening to Gil.  God love him, though, he has to listen to it daily.  At least we have an OFF button.

Speaking of off, I still don’t know what happened to the Facebook page of FormerKGOListeners, but the Facebook page of NoMoreKGO has replaced it.  They keep the page updated with fresh content.  Be sure to visit and ‘like’ their page.

Here’s the link:

sheesh!  I always sit here with nothing to say and somehow end up typing more than I thought I would.  Not that I’ve said anything in the end, but I sure do spend time typing.

I know, I know.  I complain about the same things every post.  I learned it from Bill Wattenburg, who mentions the same things over and over again.  I used to roll my eyes every time he said, um, what was it?  I can’t remember!  wow.

That’s how long it’s been since I’ve heard him.  It think it was eco-nuts but I can’t be sure.

That reminds me, on Talk 910 I heard a caller talking to the fill-in host from LA.  The caller was obsessed with chem trails.  I had to smile.  We’ve all heard that guy before.  The only thing missing was Wattenburg’s slam of the phone the moment we hear the word chem- click, SLAM!  That caller is a ‘same thing’ kind of guy, saying the same things over and over again.  He has the need to spread his version of reality based on what he sees and does not understand.

I spread my version of what I hear and do not understand – such as, why is Gil’s wife still on the air?  I’m not the only one asking that question and I’ll continue to ask it over and over again because it’s one of the mysteries of the radio universe.

Finally, we get to the important news!  Frosty broke his toe getting out of his pool.  And, he got his first traffic ticket in many years.  Read all about it:

By Michael Schwern [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Frosty, why don’t you get on thetalkpod and talk it all out!  We’d love to hear the stories.

Souce: Posted by Toshio Ando CC-By SA 3.0

He sings: “I used to care but things have changed.”

When I was young, I listened to music on the radio.  I used to turn it down low and fall asleep with it playing.

As I aged, I listened to talk radio whenever I visited my grandmother.  It was always on in her house.  She played it loud and loved the crazy callers.  We’d drink coffee at her small wooden kitchen table and listen to her small black radio, its  antenna pulled all of the way up and tilted to the left, next to the toaster on the counter.   She’d laugh whenever a call escalated to name-calling and then flick ashes from her cigarette into a big glass ashtray.

I don’t recall when I began listening to talk radio.  Probably on a sleepless night I searched the radio dial for something to distract me.  Maybe it was Ray or Bill or Bernie that hooked me, or maybe it was the fond memories of my grandmother’s kitchen, but talk radio became my listening habit and my radio dial was always tuned to KGO.

That is, until December 2011, when Cumulus Media came to town and destroyed radio in this market and many others.  I would not listen to KGO now.  Not even if Len goes back or they somehow manage to convince Rothmann to host a show.  As long as Cumulus owns that station, I will not listen.  I will tell others not to listen.  Why would talk radio listeners support a company that doesn’t care about listeners, only money in their executive pockets with no benefit to the local community?

So, I was forced to find another outlet for my radio time and thought Talk910-AM was going to step up their programming and build a talk station worth its listeners’ time.  I listened to them everyday from 12:00Noon to the end of my work day.  They hired Len and Gil to host shows.  Then they dropped Len, who knows what happened there, and there was something very wrong with Gil’s show.  It was him talking and talking and talking, the same tired format day in and day out, no callers, and he even brought his wife on the show every Friday.  yikes.  Fridays were the worst.  His wife does not belong on any radio, not even Nighttime Theater of Horrors.  Her voice is ear-splitting irritating and her laugh is downright goosebump scary.  I’m sure it hits the dog whistle range.  ugh!  I shiver in agony just thinking about it.

I listen to Frosty.  I like his show.  He doesn’t take callers, so it’s not optimal, but it’s the only thing out there now.  I don’t listen again to his podcasts.  I don’t have to.  Gil discusses the exact same news items in his show a few hours later.

This is what we are left with.

I seldom listen to Gil’s show now.  I usually turn to ( or ( instead.

I did hear Gil recently when he had a guest on to discuss Pete Seeger’s death and it confirmed what I don’t like about Gil.  He had a guest on who knew Pete Seeger and Gil took up half of the interview telling the guest about the time he, Gil, saw a Pete Seeger show.  It was unbelievable.  Here, he had a guy on the line who knew Seeger personally, and could provide more insight into who Seeger was, and Gil interrupts to inject himself into the conversation about how he once went to a Seeger concert.  By the time Gil was finished with his long, drawn-out story, it was time for news.

I thought his wife was a horrible addition, and now I’m at the point where I can’t stand Gil’s name-dropping stories that he thinks are interesting.  It’s pathetic.

For weeks now, they’ve been playing a clip of Gil and his wife on a promo spot.  Are you kidding me?  It’s like they want to drive away any listeners they have left.  When I hear it, I turn off the radio and go back to BBC.

So, now I’m down to listening to Frosty’s show.  That’s it.  Three hours in a day.

I tried the Randi Rhodes program, but it’s an angry show with sound effects that seem to come from a machine shop.  You know the sound of welding?  It’s like that.  Along with clips of Limbaugh.  She has some good discussion points, but it’s all that other stuff in between that’s annoying.  I tried, but I can’t listen to it.

Here’s the Wikipedia link to her show:

Thankfully, BBC Radio2 has decent programming.  I guess I’ll have to go back to listening to a music format again.  I started out with ‘things have changed’ but I probably should have said ‘the more things change, the more they remain the same’.

I thought I heard callers on talk radio this week.  Yes.  Those people who call a show and  express their own thoughts about a situation or news item.  People who bring the most unexpected things to a conversation.

On Wednesday, early in the first hour of Frosty’s show, he took multiple calls.  It reminded me of the old KGO days when police officers called in regularly to share their thoughts and expertise on developing events.  Wednesday’s discussion was about the recent shooting death of the 13-year-old boy in Santa Rosa.  The police-officer callers said some surprising things, about policy changes in weapons training and what really happens when someone is shot.

The officers shared with Frosty aspects of their experience a talk-show host wouldn’t know to even bring up in a long monologue on the subject.  Gil and Frosty lack the real-life knowledge and can only express their opinions.  The officers tell what they know from first-hand street experience.  That’s what we’re missing in talk radio today.  Shared and varied ideas, opinions and information.   Not some Politico correspondent telling us what to think and then a talk show host telling us again what the Politico correspondent just said.  We want real discussion, with disagreements and unexpected information from assorted people who have the potential to change the thought-process.

So what if the Lennon guy sneaks in periodically?  That’s part of the fun.

Is Frosty bringing back talk?  I hope so.

His Wednesday show is a start, the callers start 11:00 minutes into the podcast and the calls continue after a short segment about a celebrity chef in the news:


And, now for something completely different, don’t miss this hysterically-funny short blog post from Frosty:


Now, isn’t this next thing just craptastic?

Here’s something Frosty can talk about on Monday.  Is this our city dollars at work or is this a joke?  I couldn’t believe this when I saw it.  I had to ride Muni this weekend and above the seats, on the overhead advertising placards , I saw these advertisements:

Your #2 is our #1


We deal with the crap so you don’t have to.

These were on color-printed placards so someone had to allocate budget to be spent for these things.  Are you kidding me?  Who was it advertising?  SF Sewage and Water Department.  Yep.  That’s your city dollars at use, unless it’s someone’s idea of a joke.  There is a website listed on the ads, something like – that’s not it because I can’t find it online.  The next time I ride Muni I’ll look for the correct website so I can find out if this is a joke or not.


Disturbing items I found this week:

Someone sent me a comment made about Sebastian Kunz and what he posted on his Twitter account.  I looked it up:

See the September 10th post.

This disturbs me.  Was Gil flat-out lying to us?  I’ve never questioned Gil’s integrity.  I’ve questioned his bad judgement bringing his unlistenable wife on his show, but I’ve always relied on him telling us the truth.  This makes me question his honesty.  What has happened to Gil?  He used to be so good.

I miss the presence of Sebastian on the show.  He added a nice touch.  But, I also enjoy the new guy – is he named Michael? – who carries on some interesting conversations with Frosty.


Now, more things truly disturbing. 

Stan, the guy who started his own blog, has some strange comments about Radnich and Heenan.  Don’t read it if you’re eating.  I don’t watch Radnich so I don’t know if what Stan is seeing is built up in his mind or not.

It’s okay if you have to leave now to take a shower.  When you come back, here’s an actual interesting post of Stan’s.  Bad grammar and spelling and all, I’m actually impressed with this one:



Since I mentioned the Lennon guy earlier, it reminded of something I found on YouTube when poking around last week:


Here’s the link to it:


Just now, searching for that Lennon/Yoko Ono video, I found this one with John talking about his media campaign on peace.  He tells people similar things Bill Wattenburg talks about: putting up posters in windows and using the power of people to change things by using advertising type of campaigns to get the word out:



At the very beginning of this next video John Lennon reads a letter that someone sent him warning that the spirit of Brian Epstein came though in a Ouija Board reading telling about an attempt that would be made on Lennon’s life in March 1970.


I don’t know about the authenticity of it, but that woman interviewer sure is annoying if you watch the rest of the video.


Earlier I listed links to Stan’s creepy observations of Radnich and Heenan.  I have one, hopefully dissimilar, of Gil and Valerie.

I’m saying this without malicious intent.  In an innocent, grade-school way and not to be confused with the real love and respect Gil has for his wife.  He’s solid.  But, does he have a little bit of a school boy crush on Valerie?

Gil does get a bit giddy with Valerie, who reads the news on his show, and he seems to boast more when she’s around.  Telling more stories about his life and pulling her in to every conversation.  He even interrupts her in mid-sentence as she’s delivering a news report so he can tell her another lame story of what once happened to him.  I really think he’s developing a bit of a crush.  Nothing serious, nothing wrong with it.  It’s kind of cute.  This week he even invited her over to the house sometime.  With the wife there, of course.  Don’t get the wrong idea.

I wish he’d have Valerie on his Friday shows as co-host instead of the wife.  I’d go back to listening on Fridays.  They do make a good duo on the radio.

Anyone else get the same vibe?


In my last post I included some YouTube videos of performances by Leo Sayer.  I found one of Sayer that includes many snippets of some great songs.  It’s fun to hear:


Okay.  That’s it!  There is no more that I can say. woah, woah, woah, yay-hay…

Image by Ted Garvin CCA-SA 2.5

Forget about PPM, today we are going to review something I heard at the end of Frosty’s Tuesday show.  He played audio clips of a phenomenon that seemingly came out of the sky.  Strange sounds crying out from above.  People are skeptical about its authenticity, some believe it’s an end-of-time sign, and others are copy-cats creating fake YouTube videos by inserting movie sounds into video.

I’d never heard of strange sounds from the skies.  I’ve heard of humming sounds in small towns, I’ve watched reports about strange lights in the sky, but this is the first I’ve heard eerie sounds that seem to come out of the sky.  There is a lot of information about it online so I’ll post a few links and you can decide for yourself if it’s fake or figure out a possible explanation.

I’ll start with Frosty’s show.  Listen to the last ten minutes of his show on Tuesday, September 3rd.


What the- ???


My thought is the sounds are too mechanical or industrial sounding to be some heaven-sent warning to humanity.  These are man-made sounds, similar to highway noise, screeching metal, slow-moving train cars, birds, voices, horns and television white noise.

So, what could it be?

I read a few articles on the subject:


After reading about it, I still couldn’t form a logical explanation about why it was happening.  So, I went on a YouTube search to hear more of the sounds.

I listened to some videos that the posters admitted were fakes.  Their point was to prove how easy it was to duplicate the phenomenon and fool people. I even listened to a few videos that are over-the-top conspiracy theories or religious themed.  They are all getting in on the action.

First, I dismissed the end-of-world nonsense and searched for videos that seemed plausible.  The fact is, there are too many reports from people in varied parts of the world to reject it as a total hoax.  There has to be some reasonable explanation.

The other baffling thing is that there isn’t one consistent sound.  Some people hear trumpet sounds (and immediately think the heaven train is pulling into the station), others hear voices imbedded in noise, and there are many sounds with a mechanical, grinding quality.


Want to hear some of it?  These videos include a collection of the sounds from around the world:

At a baseball game

A worldwide collection of sounds:

Here’s one of the fake videos, she admitted to playing the sound on her laptop out of camera range:


Every so often, the HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) is mentioned as a possible cause.  I’ve heard of it before but never paid attention.  At first I thought it was the atom-collider project.  Remember that?


Nope.  It’s not that.


Then, I found an interesting series of videos recorded from The History Channel about HAARP that people have posted online.

The History Channel – HAARP Part 1:

HAARP Part 2 – (Russian Woodpecker and ELF waves):

HAARP Part 3 – (is there an earthquake connection? plus, talk about chemtrails):

HAARP – Part 4 (more about chemtrails and flooding):

HAARP – Part 5 – (This video discusses conspiracy theories about Hurricane Katrina, speculating China and Russia atmosphere attacks created the mega-storm and HAARP was developed to defend against future manipulation):


huh.  This is news to me.  So, I looked up more information on HAARP:


And, I looked for more video:

This guy is tracking all plausible reported incidents on Google Maps:

A news report about it:


Of course, for entertainment purposes, I’ve included a freak show video that’s noted as a documentary.  It’s interspersed with conspiracy theories about freemasons, the Bush family,  Japan’s seismic activity and the world’s financial markets.  One guy even offers up some supposed proof.  What he doesn’t explain, after claiming his life is in danger if he reveals any information, is why he would post a YouTube video about it.  The background music alone discredits this video.

One more thing, when I listened to it I kept wondering why these illuminaties (alluded to in the video) would go after Japan.  Of course, how could I not guess it has to do with Iran.  *slaps head*  I’ll go find my aluminum hat now…

Never even heard of the Illuminati Card Game.

Here’s the freak show video (if you can sit through an hour of this):

And, here’s a link about the card game:


All illuminaties aside, it seems the strange sounds from the sky could be coming from HAARP.  I’m not talking about theories over what HAARP represents in a military capacity, but there is no question they are experimenting in emitting low-frequency ELF waves into the ionosphere ( ) and this is the possible cause of the strange sounds people are hearing.

It would also explain the strange vibrations some people feel when they hear the sound.  And, remember those weird lights in the sky over the same places that are now experiencing the sounds?  It probably even explains the hundreds of birds falling out of the sky, or fish washed up on shore in different regions, and the improbable cloud formations.  It even makes sense now why that crackpot guy kept calling Dr. Bill Wattenburg to talk about the chemtrails.

Here’s a story about snoring in the sky:

Here’s a video of a strange ring of clouds:

More clouds and sounds:

Dead dolphins:


How could I leave out a Coast-to-Coast contribution?

Coast to Coast report (I’ve never listened to this radio show but I do know many are skeptical about its content overall):

In the Coast-to-Coast report they speculate the government is working with mind-control and putting thoughts into heads.  If that was true, then why can others hear the sounds from the sky?  It makes no sense.  Another theory is government entities are trying to develop a weapon that will make people think sounds coming out of the sky are from God.  The government can then manipulate the masses.

oh, gawd….



Well, I bet you wish I’d stuck with PPM, don’t you?  I blame Frosty.  Thanks a lot, Stilwell, for making me watch this stuff on my day off.  I guess I did learn things I’d never heard before, and some of it has helped me realize how nutty it really is out there.

Maybe that’s why talk-radio stations no longer take calls.

Maybe we won’t need radio any longer.  All we have to do is open our windows and listen to the sky.

By GeeAlice (self-made from Image:Cat silhouette.svg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As you know, I’ve become a bit unnerved by the current state of talk radio in the Bay Area.  I’ve been doing the same thing I used to accuse Bill Wattenburg of doing – saying the same thing over and over again.  Just replace ‘eco-freaks’ and ‘bubble-butt politicians’ with ‘no callers’ and ‘Gil Gross’.  Add to that Gil’s disastrous Friday shows.

I can’t guess why Bill Wattenburg does it, but I do know why I do it – out of pure frustration.  I also know I’m not the only one who is thinking the same things I’ve been posting in a public blog that few see.  Search terms for this blog ask the same things I’ve been asking:

What is wrong with Gil Gross

Why isn’t Gil Gross taking any callers

Why does Gil Gross have his wife on his radio show on fridays talk 910

Why doesn’t kksf have any callers

Why does Gil Gross suck

What happened to Len Tillem podcast – (I’ll get to that in a minute)

And, my personal favorite:

Len Tillem naked

Sorry about that last visual…

I’ve read comments on other sites that attribute this new programming style of changing topics continuously, throughout half-hour segments, to Arbitron’s new ratings measuring tool: the Portable People Meter (PPM).

PPM has devolved radio into cat-chasing-tail programming.  Around and around, keep it going, turn it around, trying to catch listeners who tune in for less than five minutes.

Finally, I found a comment by David Kaye in that explains it as told to him by Gil Gross.  It’s in a thread from October 2012 titled ‘Jerry Doyle Takes over Savage old TRN spot’ and this is the comment and the link to the discussion:;topic=220596.0

“Or it could be that he has changed the formatics of his show to work better with PPM.  The 15 minute block is now THE way to do talkshows.  I was talking with Gil Gross about this a few weeks ago.  If you notice, he changes topics every 15 minutes and seldom takes calls.  He told me that he does this specifically because of the PPM periods — gotta keep the topics fresh every 15 minutes or it’s too easy to lose listeners.  PPM relies on 15-minute blocks of time and transponders reflecting actual listening.  The old days of filling out diaries and *saying* that you listened to X station are gone.  A station has to keep goosing up those quarter-hour ratings.”


It also explains why Frosty is following Gil’s program format, but it doesn’t explain why Gil’s wife is still on his Friday shows, unless it adds to the PPM when people click off the station when they hear her and return when she stops talking.

Gil is adapting to new technology.  The degradation of his show is directly associated with chasing those five minute listeners to attract advertising revenue through higher ratings published from PPM results.  Who cares about loyalty?  Listeners who tune in for hours detract from the ratings meter.

It explains the direction of the new KGO under Cumulus management, the Dick-eys, chasing those PPM hits by running all news all day, thinking they’ll get hits every few minutes from people who change stations constantly.  (It doesn’t explain Cumulus’ callous treatment of the former KGO hosts and the Dick-eys obvious disdain for the Bay Area listening audience).  They want hits from anyone wandering by their frequency and who happens to hear a minute or two of content before leaving again.

Is Arbitron the real culprit here?  Have they set-up a flawed tracking tool and radio now has to chase a lowered standard of broadcasting to compete?  Maybe Arbitron should be dropped as a revenue tool, or broadcasters should question why they chase what Arbitron dictates.  It’s evident in this market that Arbitron has miscalculated the loyalty of the old KGO listeners.  More than a year later, people are still searching for the content of the old KGO.  They’re still looking for their beloved broadcasters.  The listeners are left wanting.  Why can’t Arbitron measure that?

Add to the equation advertisers who buy air time.  They are losing as well.  Who will be there to hear about a product when stations garner and value two minute listeners?  Does this make any sense?  Why aren’t the advertisers speaking out?  It’s a long chain and someone up or down the chain has to speak out to change it.  The ironic thing about this is the advertisers benefit the least from this new structure.  Yes, the ones who supply money to the stations don’t get anything out of it.  It’s no mystery why advertisers are abandoning radio.  Advertisers understand brand loyalty – something that is not even considered in the PPM environment.

Radio broadcasters and advertisers should get together and find a better system.  Why should they accept a ratings system that pushes them all down the road to failure?  Is no one listening?   Where is the voice of the local advertisers in all of this?  No one is listening to the stations, but is anyone listening to what hordes of frustrated radio listeners are saying?

I don’t think anyone really believes this is working.


I looked up articles about PPM to find out more about it and I found some articles of interest.

This article written by Bob Lefsetz examines the culture of radio, and I’ve included some excerpts:

“Luddites in radio still believe the Internet didn’t happen, that we’re all prisoners of the dial, where there are few stations and little innovation.”

“Most people under age 20 have never experienced good radio. So when baby boomers and Gen X’ers start waxing rhapsodically about their old-time favorites, wanting them to come back, it’s the equivalent of wishing that musicvideos would come back to MTV.”

“Insiders believe that there’s no revolution in terrestrial radio because the owners know it’s headed into the dumper. They’re just milking it for all they can before it falls off a cliff. So if you’re waiting for format innovation and fewer commercials … you’ll be waiting forever.”

“To grow mass, you’ve got to make us feel included. In other words, it’s all about culture. Talk radio has culture. As does public radio. After that, it’s a vast wasteland of sold-out stations with the same fl aw of network TV. … Trying for broad-based appeal, they appeal to no one, and cede their market to excellence. HBO and the cable outlets killed networks with quality. … If you don’t think new services will kill terrestrial radio, you must like inane commercials, you must like me-too music, you must think airplay on one of these outlets will sell millions of albums, but that almost never happens anymore.”


This article explains PPM and it includes an image of the meter equipment:


This Mark Ramsey Media article addresses PPM and talk radio:

“In any given quarter-hour under diary methodology, you used to have to listen at least five continuous minutes for that listening to “count” you as a listener and to “count” your listening as an “occasion.””

“Under PPM however, I’m told that those five minutes no longer need to be continuous.  That is, if I flip back to the station several times in a quarter-hour I count as a listener and my listening counts as one occasion as long as all those minutes and seconds add up to at least five minutes.

“This hurts the performance of News/Talk.”

“In other words, because of the nature of spoken word content you will need a much longer trial period to determine whether you will keep listening or not. This means you’re far less likely to flip back and forth to a News/Talk station during a quarter-hour, thus your chances of aggregating a qualifying amount of listening in that quarter hour are slimmer.

“Due to the lower churn you’re less likely to “count” as a listener to News/Talk.”


This article by Michael Harrison talks about the audience factor and the purgatory of PPM:

“The internet is a miraculous medium but terrestrial radio stations must use it more wisely and not be in such a rush to sacrifice the uniqueness and indispensability they need to earn in each local marketplace – where the loyalty and revenue lies – for the fool’s gold of being just another of a thousand mediocre versions of its equally mediocre self co-existing on a single national dial in everyone’s dashboard.  Yikes!”

“PPM notwithstanding, there is no “meter” to measure actual usage the way electricity, water and telephone consumption is tallied.   No tickets are sold. No circulations are audited. There are no “click-thrus.”  As advertisers expect increasingly precise metrics, radio lags behind.”

“Again, Arbitron does a good job within the limits of reason and reality – but the PPM is not good at measuring the audience loyalty and quality-appreciation factors better served by the admittedly imperfect diary that also apply to getting positive results for advertisers.  Simply put, if radio allows itself to be judged in the advertising marketplace solely on numbers, it’ll soon be lights out for most of the stations currently on the air.”

“Those 30 and 60 second “spots” pile up into PPM pits of purgatory. Something must be done soon about the elephant in the room.  Commercial spots are ratings killers.  It is the cruelest of ironies that the very commercial itself can prove to be the downfall of commercial radio.”

“The terrestrial radio industry, armed only with draconian budget cuts, increased centralization of management and programming, and letting it all hang out online, can only hope to survive as long as the FM/AM car radio remains dominant in America’s dashboards.  After that has changed, all bets are off.”


This 2010 article by Doug McLeod believes there is a need for speed:

“While Top 40 programmers have preached short-and-snappy for decades, PPM makes talent who get even a little too chatty pay a stiff price: less cume. And make no mistake, it’s a cume world now. No more diary-based recall methodology. The PPM simply sits there and logs what’s being listened to. As a radio station manager that means your stations – the only brands you have to sell – had better not be wasting listeners’ time.”

“This is especially true for talk radio, both issues-oriented and sports. Many a talk show host has grown up professionally listening to the kings of talk radio but that isn’t always good. The long-winded hour opens (or teases or churns) practiced by some of the most famous yakkers in radio became Old School the day the first PPMs powered up. Now, it’s not only antiquated to cruise through a ten- to twenty-minute show or hour open, it’s deadly”.

“But one of PPM’s crucial lessons is that programmers’ long-time habits of loading up the first quarter-hour are wrong: listeners stay aboard fairly evenly – and desert just as evenly – throughout the hour. Thus the need to get into compelling subject matter fast and keep it moving.”


This article by discusses the declining numbers of morning drive and questions the accuracy of PPM:

“Questions remain regarding the accuracy of PPM. Some critics believe participant panels are too small. They note that AQH and share are calculated based on a very small proportion of active panelists who actually carry their meter. Unfortunately, most personalities won’t get very far with their general manager rationalizing low numbers with methodological explanations.”

“The goal of a morning show has to be to produce ratings regardless of measurement issues or problems. PPM may be flawed and unfairly punish personality radio, but personalities have to understand that the game has changed. The personalities that survive will be the people who adapt.”


This article written by Gary Lycan is also about PPM’s effect on morning DJs and it includes excerpts from Jeff McKay’s RadioInfo article.  I’ll add links to  McKay’s feature article as well, its focus is on music but his five-part series touches on all aspects of radio play.

First, the ocregister article titled  ‘DJs in the ’60s would never survive today’s ratings’:


Now, RadioInfo’s Jeff McKay’s Five-Part series on ‘The State of the Disc Jockey’:


Part One: Personality Radio is “Dying” – But Still Gets Solid Ratings


Part Two: The PPM – a DJ’s Downfall


Part Three: Radio Killed the Radio Star


Part Four: The “Evolving” DJ – Adapting to Radio’s Changing Times


Part Five: The Future of the Radio DJ


Finally, This article is about digital dashboards:


And, before I wrap this all up in a big, bright bow, I’ve noticed that Len Tillem has not posted any podcasts since June 10th.  Is he on vacation?  Why aren’t there any ‘best of’ shows?  The beauty of podcasting online is the ability to inform in real time.  I hope all is well with our loyah, well enough to update his listeners about his formerly daily podcasts.  We wonder and worry.  We need our loyah fix.

Here’s the link to his Spreaker page.  Follow him, so he can break the 6,700 followers mark this week.


So, to wrap it up, now that we know why Gil Gross and his fellow broadcasters are churning their shows, the question to ask now is how…

How do we change it?