Posts Tagged ‘Gene Burns’

Image by Eric Dufresne from Trois-Rivières, Canada CCA-2.0

“Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results”.  Many attribute this quote to Albert Einstein (although there is no originating source to access).  I’m no Einstein, but Arbitron’s PPM-based radio is a little bit of insanity.

I’ve discussed over and over again how unsatisfying Gil Gross’ radio program has been lately and how I’ve been trying to understand why.  It’s a shell of the programming we’d become accustomed to on KGO before the Cumulus Dick-eys gutted that talk station and threw the scraps to the listeners while they dined on the fleshy remains.

It’s not only talk radio that has been affected by this crazy style of programming.  Many music stations are chasing the PPM dream as well and music listeners notice the decline.  They, too, try to understand what is happening.  No matter how many listeners express outrage, radio programming continues the slide downward.  The following blog post written by Adam Hogue attempts to explain why radio content is no longer listenable and his idea on how to fix it:

He recognizes that PPM doesn’t benefit radio listeners, and he’s calling out the current state of radio.  In his analysis, he includes radio shows he finds satisfying with in-depth content.   One is Radiolab, a well-produced show that I’ve linked to in previous posts.  There are some great Radiolab episodes on podcast.  During times I can’t listen to Gil’s show any longer, and it’s getting to be more than just on Fridays, I seek out Radiolab episodes that bring back a sense of sanity in radio programming.


Here’s a link to Radiolab‘s Episode Archive page:

The nice thing about the Radiolab archives is the next episode will play automatically.  I like that.  I don’t have to continue to bring up the program, find the next podcast, and hit play.  I can let it run in the background.


Adam Hogue also linked another program I’ve never listened to before.

I’m listening now to Episode 109, titled ‘Notes on Camp’, under the recently aired section.  It’s stories about summer camp and captures that culture of outdoor camaraderie seated around a crackling camp fire.

This definitely is an option to replace Gil’s show.

It’s not optimal, though,  because it’s a one-time per week broadcast, like RadiolabThis American Life episodes are only available for one week after broadcast, unless it’s downloaded to your computer.

Here’s their podcast page:

“Most weeks This American Life is the most popular podcast in the country, with more than a 800,000 people downloading each episode. When you subscribe to the free weekly podcast, episodes automatically download to your computer. Episodes are available for exactly one week, beginning the Monday after broadcast. Podcast content is the same as the radio broadcast, except on occasion when we include extra material on the podcast that had to be cut for time”


(This page includes all of the links to subscribe for free, or download or where to find them on iTunes and Amazon.)


The ‘Notes on Camp’ Episode explores the group experience.  In some ways, the old KGO talk-radio format was the Bay Area’s camp fire, where we all sat around as a group and listened to stories.  We listened to Gene Burns’ eloquence, and to Pete Wilson’s pirate talk, and Bernie Ward’s ego inflating rants before flattening to the ground with his felony conviction.

We listened in awe around that KGO camp fire, we laughed and we cried as a group and the non-KGO people didn’t understand what it meant to each and every one of us.

We are missing our local camp ground.

We have to search for John Rothmann, we wait for Len Tillem to post new podcasts, and we catch Ed Baxter sometimes filling in for Gil Gross.

There will always be a place for Gil’s show, when news is breaking or when a political issue needs to be analyzed, but it’s no longer a turn-it-on and leave-it-there type of show.  There’s no group sharing, listening to what one another has to say.

Unfortunately, Frosty is following that same path.  I enjoy listening to Frosty’s show, he has a different spoken style than Gil and I haven’t heard the same story from him ten or more times.  But the PPM way of ‘chasing ratings’ is what will ultimately chase me away to seek alternatives.

Summer camp is over.

Will the last person out please douse the embers of the once mighty flame.


Here at the end I’ll leave you with this new post by the anti-pope about death and ants:

Photo by David Shankbone CCA-SA 3.0





When Bernie Ward gets out of the big house, and begins podcasting or broadcasting somewhere, this blogger guy should be his first guest or first caller.  I read this blogger every so often and it’s always a fun ride.  Sure, its bumpy at times, but that’s half the fun.

Here’s what Bernie’s been thinking lately:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 – Slippery When Wet… (about privacy and the Patriot Act)

Saturday, June 15, 2013 – Hero or Villain? (yep, you guessed it, it’s about Edward Snowden)

Thursday, June 20, 2013 –  Baaaa Humbug! (about national security policy)

Don’t forget about Len Tillem on Spreaker:

Ed Baxter filled in for Frosty on Thursday, July 4th.  I haven’t listened to these yet, but I’m hoping he allowed callers on his show:

Hour 1:

Hour 2:

Hour 3:

Don’t forget to visit Ed Baxter’s ‘Making Sense’ podcasts page posted on his edbaxtermedia website:

And, John Rothmann filled in for Gil Gross on Thursday, July 4th.  Again, it would be so nice to hear callers!  I’ll listen to these later today hopeful to hear some:

Thursday, July 4, 2013 Hour 1:

Hour 2:

Hour 3:

Hour 4: (Special Program Note – he begins the hour with Gene Burns’ reading of the Declaration of Independence)

Be sure to visit John Rothmann’s ‘Around the Political World with John Rothmann’ website as well:

Now that you have some reading and listening material, enjoy the long weekend!

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.

I just heard it now on the news and I’m so very sad to hear it.

I don’t have any information at this time, but I’ll post some links so people can get more information.

I always direct people to the Facebook page at FormerKGOListeners.  There are many comments being posted, so go over there and share your thoughts and memories of Gene Burns.  Please ‘like’ their Facebook page.  They have been very informative, supportive, and have kept up with all of the latest news of the former KGO hosts.  Sadly, we’ll never hear Gene’s voice again except in saved audio, youtube clips, and archived podcasts.,0,5936305.story

There’s a discussion about Gene at

I never knew Gene once tried to run for President.  This site has noted that fact:

He even ventured into the chocolate business at one time, offering Gene Burns chocolates, according to this article about him:

Here’s his Wikipedia page:

John Rothmann has now added to his website some thoughts about Gene’s passing:

Bernie Ward has posted something about Gene (Tuesday, May 28, 2013):

Also, Gil Gross talked about Gene during his entire program on KKSF (Tuesday, May 28, 2013).  I’ll post the link here for the podcast.  It’s worth listening to again and again.

Also, I think he’s discussing it live now since he’s filling in for Gil Gross today (Monday, May 27, 2013, 3:00-7:00pm).  I’ll have to listen to the podcast tomorrow.  I’ll post a link to it once it’s added online.

Gil Gross Show – 5/28/13 HOUR 1 (tribute to Gene Burns)

5/28/13 HOUR 2 (tribute to Gene Burns):

5/28/13 HOUR 3 (tribute to Gene Burns):

5/28/13 HOUR 4 (tribute to Gene Burns):

I found some old clips of Gene Burns on YouTube:

Orlando TV profiled Gene in the ’80s:



Here’s the link to YouTube (posted by daveedwards1051):


Tim McFarland posted a Father’s Day 2011 broadcast of Gene Burns on KGO Radio:


Here’s the YouTube link:


A fan of Gene’s created a video tribute to him:



Here’s the YouTube link (posted by I am Patricia):


Gene Burns on The Nature and Role of Government (posted by LibertarianismDotOrg):



Here’s the YouTube link:


Gene Burns Keynote Speaker (this is only Part 1):



Here’s the YouTube link (this is only Part 1) (posted by NapaFarmBureau):


Here’s the link if you want to listen live to KKSF – just click the button at the top of the page ‘Listen to Talk 910 Now’:

We will need some time to take this in.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Gene’s loved ones.  We will honor him in our hearts and thoughts.  He will be missed.

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)

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.

It’s been some time since I’ve updated links, so here we go…

Latest entries on Bernie Ward’s blog, The Lion of the Left Speaks:

August 29, 2012, Never Bet Against the House (about the Lance Armstrong cheating scandal)


August 31, 2012, Yes, We Are (asking Better off today?  A list of election issues)


September 27, 2012, Three In One (about failed Republican policies)


September 15, 2012, Romney the Pharisee (yep, that’s what it’s about)


September 15, 2012, It’s the Arithmetic, Stupid (about Romney and Ryan)


September 15, 2012, Red Lines in Sunset (about Netanyahu)


Now, on to the Gene Burns’ Blog at KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM website:

August 1, 2012, The Fifteen Percent (about the undecided in the upcoming election)


August 16, 2012, Guns and Guilt (about gun access)


September 5, 2012, I Am The Undecided (about party choice in the upcoming election)


Also, you can find podcasts of Len Tillem and Gil Gross at the KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM website.  Here’s a link to the site:

Gil Gross Podcasts:


Len Tillem Podcasts (tell fifteen people!  Len the loyah is back!)


Continue to support our favorite former KGO hosts.

And if you like to read Bernie, even when he’s writing from a jail cell, then follow the links to his blog.

I should mention one more thing before I go.  That strange media blog guy has really toned down his rhetoric since his claim of being threatened with legal action.  Now he’s back to rating weather ‘babes’ and announcing staff changes on the local television stations.  Again, read his blog for the comments (the ones unrelated to women and the weather).

Oh, and they’ve discussed their dissatisfaction with Rhoda sitting in with Gil every Friday.  I hate to say it, but I have to agree.  Her shrill voice, screeching and screaming over Gil and his guests, isn’t endearing her to Gil’s listeners.

What do you think?
Okay, that’s it for me for now!