Posts Tagged ‘Gil Gross’

I was not surprised to hear that Talk 910 has disappeared into the ether.  I hadn’t been listening to it for at least a year, now.  It seems to have gone out with a whimper.  There is no uproar over the program change.  I heard about it recently and it seems it’s been a week or more since the change.

I searched around for any information about the change:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/NewsTalk-910-AM-sf-espn-deportes-8409787.php

http://www.radiolineup.com/stations/KKSF-AM

http://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/155853/kksf-talk-910-san-francisco-drops-talk-flips-to-es

http://www.yelp.com/biz/910am-san-francisco

http://www.talkers.com/tag/kksf/

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?695883-iHeart-pulls-the-plug-at-910-now-ESPN-Deprtes

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/ba.broadcast/UvLnp447O_s

 

This is a bit off-topic, but as I searched for information about the Talk 910 change, I found an interesting thread that is very dishy about that media blogger guy:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/ba.broadcast/I9oQ9rHGYuk

 

That’s about all I could find about the recent program change at Talk 910.  I’m sure Gil Gross will land on his feet.  Same with LLoyd Lindsay Young (if he doesn’t decide to retire) and the news staff.  Gil was good at one time.  I’m sure he could be good again.  The wife thing was a failed venture.  She might be good at crossword puzzles, but a talk show host she is not.

The not taking calls thing was idiocy on a station called Talk 910.

No Talk, no listeners, no ratings. Not a surprise.

 

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Ronald Reagan as radio announcer. Courtesy of Ronald Reagan Library.

On Super Bowl weekend, I turned on old television programming.  One of the retro channels airs Johnny Carson shows.  I thought that would be a nice break … until Johnny announced his guest was a former football player.  My eyes rolled and I walked out of the room.  When I returned, I grabbed the remote to change the channel.  Johnny was talking to the football guy.  This guy was not a prepped-for-tv kind of guy.  The moment he spoke I knew he was a true character and I put down the remote.  I  enjoyed that segment so much I had to look up the guy on Wiki and even went to YouTube to watch the Carson clip again.

Here’s the link if you’d prefer to watch it on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HDRLnoAY9E

Then I watched some of his Letterman appearances.

The YouTube link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXC5gAAMuxg

The YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMNvBtQw3os

I haven’t had time to write any posts lately but I probably wouldn’t have had much to say.  I’ve abandoned talk radio in the Bay Area except for KQED radio.  I’ve been forced to tune-in to syndicated conservative talk.  Fortunately, with the upcoming election, it’s been interesting to hear the other side.

It’s not what I’d prefer, but it’s what’s left out there in radio-land.  For years, I’ve listened to radio talk during the day.  I have it on in the background while I work.  I used to try to listen to Gil on occasion, but that wife thing is excruciating and even though I would never listen to his Friday show, he continued to bring her up on his show and I had to keep turning off the radio.  When he brings her up, my stomach brings up a little something of its own.   I’m telling you, that voice of hers is made of nightmares.  I cringe now just writing about it.  And Gil’s show is barely hanging on, his talking and sighing and telling the same stories time after time to guests, wasting their time and ours with little talks about himself.  I gave up on Gil long ago.

So, I’ve moved on from the horrible programming on no-Talk 910 and the only alternative is conservative talk.  Not everyone is willing to spend time on conservative talk.  I know people don’t want to even read about it.  It can be enraging.  I swear now more than I ever have, usually during the hour I listen to Rush.  The more this guy spouts off about the problems of others, the less he can identify the same in himself.  It’s very sad.  He talks baby-talk all of the time and every day he plays clips of himself from previous shows.  Or, clips of people mentioning his name.  He nearly pees in his Depends he’s so pleased with himself.

If you listen to him enough, you will recognize the caller ‘plants’ on the show.  It’s so obvious.  One time he was trying to push a book of his and, what a coincidence, the first caller was a young girl who talked about how much she and her friends loved reading it.  It’s all a big orchestrated script to make him feel better about himself.  All first calls support the point he’s trying to make.  The callers stick to the talking points they were paid to make.

I used to be confused listening to his show, some of it didn’t make sense.  He denigrates woman, calling them info-babes and femi-nazis (a term he proudly points out that he created) and then has women callers who claim to be fans of his show and have listened for years.  It just doesn’t make sense.  Now that I’m aware talk shows such as his (according to some sources I’ve posted previously, but other sources claim the Limbaugh show denies it) pay actors to call in and pretend to be a listener, it is very clear to me the show is more like an infomercial than a talk show.

Unfortunately, it’s only one of few options left on the radio.

In the mornings, I still listen to Mark Simone.  I love his show, but even he can be irritating with all of the Hillary bashing and Trump love.  But, he takes calls every hour and it’s such fun to hear.  I love those callers and they love Mark Simone.  He’s a real man about town in the classic sense and that’s what draws people to his show.  Simone would love that clip of Art Donovan on Carson.  He probably already has it posted, but I didn’t see it when I took a quick glance at his show page.

His Show Page:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/

Podcasts:

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-show-marksimone/

At least Simone has consistent callers.  One callers always tells joke, lame jokes (think of Gil Gross’ attempts at humor), and another guy starts out the call in a calm voice and, Simone calls it every time, the call escalates into a screaming rant about something or other.  Simone lowers the call volume and talks over the call with his own commentary.  Always entertaining.

After Simone’s show I listen to an hour of Rush (I often do errands or step away to do things during that hour) but I hear enough and it’s not pretty.  That guy is losing his grip.

Then it’s on to KQED, but there is no caller interaction.  The shows are content rich but not always engaging to the listener.  It’s low-key and, as the Donald would say, low energy.  If there was another radio option I’d probably try it.

Next is Sean Hannity.  I can tolerate him.  He offers the same talking points that are sent out to all conservative hosts and Hannity dutifully parrots the same thing Rush says in the hours before. But, Sean has some interesting segments on his show.  Many interviews include two people of opposing sides discussing an issue.  Hannity is there but does not insert himself into the conversation (maybe Gil Gross should take notes) and I’ve heard many differing views that I usually don’t hear on any other show.  Hannity is now doing the same with callers.  He finds two callers who disagree and puts them both on the air at the same time to have a conversation about it.  Really interesting.

Speaking of interesting, recently Sean talked about the state of radio and how it’s changed (listen to this (2/4/16,Hour 1) audio starting at 8:00 and it continues with some other things through 16:45):

 

Nobody’s going to do that if you have a conscience and a soul.

 

(Are you still taking notes, Gil?)

Here’s the link if you want to go to the site: http://download.premiereinteractive.com/seanhannity/2016/02/Sean%20Hannity%20-%20Feb%2004%202016%20-%20Hour%201.mp3

And, here’s the show recap page: http://www.hannity.com/articles/shows-472046/radio-show-recap-feb-4-14347284/

I used to listen to Hannity on WOR710-AM, the New York station Mark Simone is on, but there is a sports show following Hannity and I had to find something else.  I tried several states searching for talk programs and found one in Minneapolis.  I can listen to Hannity there and then the program that follows is quickly becoming my favorite show.  Another conservative show, but this is a guy who loves talk radio and he’s been a talk host for years.  There is a passion in him that’s rare to hear in radio now.

I think that’s why Gil’s show is so boring now.  He is there to pay his mortgage and that’s it.  I also get the impression that he feels he’s not being paid top dollar so he won’t perform at his best or even try to do his best.  What he puts out is just enough to get by.  It explains why he would subject his listeners to his wife.  He just doesn’t care.  A normal person cannot listen to that side show.  How can he be passionate about his own show when he is playing the victim and taking it out on the listeners?

It’s his reputation to lose and he lost it.

That’s not the type of show Joe Pags puts on.  This guy wants to interact with listeners and does it with callers and on Facebook and email  He responds to Facebook posts himself, against the advice of his staff.  It’s him on the page and not some intern.  I like that, even though I am not a fan of Facebook or even a member.  I like that he recognizes the audience is an important part of his show and he’s not above getting into it with any one of them.  He calls people out during the show, “Hey, dude, you’ve emailed me sixteen times in the past thirty minutes with fifteen-hundred word essays.  Man, I’m doing a show.  Just stop it.  Do you think I have time to read all of that?  I don’t.  Stop it.  Say what you gotta say in a reasonable, concise format and then I’ll read it.”

Joe Pags used to be a journalist so he loves to debate people about facts.  He allows callers to talk and then asks them questions about what they just said.  If the caller cannot support their own argument, Pags Rickroll’s them off the air.

http://www.eonline.com/news/737509/happy-50th-birthday-to-rick-astley-celebrate-with-some-of-the-best-ever-rickrolls

Pags also plays some kick-a** songs.

Here’s his iHeart page:

Joe Pags Shows:

http://www.iheart.com/show/The-Joe-Pags-Show/

Talkers wrote an article about him recently:

http://www.talkers.com/2016/02/02/spagtacular-success-didnt-occur-overnight/

The article is a bit overdone and hard to read, but if you glance through it you will get the basics of his history.

Joe Pags comes closer than anyone on the radio that I’m aware of to return to the conversation, something Bruce K. discusses in this well-written comment on one of my previous posts:

Comment by Bruce K.:

… Talk radio was never perfect, but there were hosts who would have long discussions with people that did bring out good points, but more importantly they modeled HOW to have a conversation.

The only think I see over and over on the big sites is left-right argument, and I mean use the term argument loosely … it is mostly insults and repeated slogans, and it is biased to the extreme right wing. This is the heart of what I thought our country was about, and it has stopped beating, that is for damn sure.

To think I was happy with the 10 or 20 minutes per hour of radio air that contained a good discussion on an important topic, and now it is completely gone. NPR is great, but there is nothing live. I occasionally catch a live conversation on Pacifica, but it always seems to be something that repulses me to Left wing thought, which I don’t like.

I think of Liberalism as something more than hating science with a passion I thought was reserved for extreme right wing Christians, but the “Progressives” of Pacifica compete very well in illogic. Topics about criminals, prisoners, unending hatred of Israel and by extension the US government, anti-vaccine conversations. I’ve talked a few people who have become right-wing nuts based on the crazy things they heard in places like Pacifica Radio and were so repulsed they ran the other way.

This is a level of censorship, brainwashing and top down corporate control I would never have dreamed of in my life, and here it is, and seemingly getting worse every year.

I think people get so disconnected and fly to the extremes because they never hear an example of a reasonable civil discussion of conversation.

I have to think this is in direct reaction to trends of independent thinking brought about by the Fairness Doctrine, and the demise of Network News in favor of for profit news centers.

I watched the movie “Best Of Enemies” about the debates between Bill Buckley and Gore Vidal in the 70’s, and they happened to mention the most trusted institution in American society at that time was the Network News. What have we lost? Did no one notice? Is that how we lost it all?

There truly is more commenting on the old talk radio than there is talk in the new so-called talk radio. Is it possible to fix this? What is the thinking really by the people who make this policy, and when these decisions are privatized and hidden, does that count as anti-democratic ( small d )?

 

There is really nothing for me to add to that.  Read it, then read it again, and let it sink in.

 

Yikes!  I started this post almost a month ago and wasn’t able to get back to it.  At the time, I was curious about the financial outlook of Cumulus Media.  I was shocked and, admittedly, pleased to see the jaw-dropping close of cmls at $1.18.   Then, after a few weeks, I checked it again to see it drop further to $0.96.  I checked the Facebook page of No More KGO and they were on top of the big drop, linking numerous articles about it.

Visit their page and be sure to ‘like’ it:

https://www.facebook.com/NoMoreKGO/

At the time, I found this little news blurb about the current situation at the house of the drooping Dick-eys:

(note, the investorplace page has a pop-up ad on it that is annoying)

http://investorplace.com/2015/08/4-media-stocks-to-sell-now-cmls-wwe-disca-2/

Cumulus Media Inc. Class A earns an F (“strong sell”) this week, moving down from last week’s grade of D (“sell”). Cumulus Media is a radio broadcasting corporation that owns and operates FM and AM radio station clusters that serve mid-sized markets in the United States.

It is no surprise the Dick-eys were graded F on their radio report card.  Any radio listener to any of their failed radio stations across the country could have predicted this outcome, the Bay Area listeners could have told you that way back in December 2011.

The Dick-eys, as expected, are acting in their own self-interest and abandoning their top positions to take a lesser role within the company, probably to deflect any blame and lawsuits to other executives.  In their rush for the door, the Dick-eys grabbed millions on the way out.

wow.

What’s so disgusting about it, and why, in the past, I’ve questioned how former listeners can still listen to the Dick-ey stations after seeing how they fired top talent, dropped employees pay to minimum (yes, all of you so-called former listeners, this more than likely included your kids, your spouses, your relatives, and your friends) and then the Dick-ey brothers reached into every worker’s back pocket for that extra pay the staff should have been getting and paid themselves millions in bonuses every year.

So, if and when the station is closed or sold, your loved ones will continue to struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table, and the Dick-eys will walk away millionaires.  No one benefits but the Dick-eys.  There is no extra income spent in the community because no one can afford it.  The station loads commercials into the mix like logs into a blast furnace and makes the station content unlistenable, but it brings in enough money to line the Dick-eys pockets with more bonuses every year.  And, what about the shareholders?  Can’t they see how the Dick-eys have come in and destroyed radio communities?  I’d tell the shareholders to sue, but they enabled this disaster so why should they be rewarded for bad judgement?

Many of us really are former listeners for a reason and the principle behind it.

I’m not saying the other media conglomerates out there are much better, only that they’ve handled their business with seemingly less brutal tactics than the soulless Dick-eys.

The others, especially in the Bay Area, have also made questionable business and content decisions.   Yes, I’m talking about noTalk 910-AM.  I don’t fault them for all of the missteps.  Who would have thought Gil Gross could be such a disappointment?   You know I have to mention the Friday wife with Gil!  Can any program be designed to irritate people more than this?  It should be banned as a torture device.  Stay away from Friday to keep your sanity intact.

But I do fault noTalk for the disastrous afternoon programming that has driven many listeners away, you know the program, the two selfie sticks talking nonsense and making jokes that make even Gil’s humor sound less awkward, trying-too-hard.  ugh!

I don’t know if that annoying lady yelling commercial is still on the air because that’s when I stopped listening to noTalk.  That, and the selfie-stick programming, drove me to conservative talk.  I don’t enjoy hearing all of the conservative political talking points, day after day, the same talking points on every program using the exact same words.  It is tiresome, but at least there are callers and interviews that bring in both sides of the argument (probably fixed to make the liberal side look foolish, but, hey, there is a discussion and disagreement).  When that gets to be too much, then I always fall back on BBC.  I can expect to find some interesting programming, music or documentary or podcast that adds something to the experience of online listening.

 

One recent podcast on BBC Radio2 I’d recommend others to listen to before it expires in 20-something days: John Lennon’s Last Day.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06f5508

 

Steve Wright in the Afternoon is another BBC Radio2 show that is easy to listen to with a mix of music old and new and celebrity interviews.  He has an interview with Robert De Niro who responds to his interview questions.  If you’ve ever watched De Niro mumble through Late Night shows then you know that’s quite rare to get impromptu, coherent answers out of him.

Here’s a link to Steve’s page on BBC Radio2:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wr4r

 

Don’t forget about Simon Mayo Drivetime and his Confessions podcasts:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p2dfq

 

Of course, I’ve mentioned it many times, the one program I try not to miss during the week day is New York station WOR’s Mark Simone show.  I love that guy.  I don’t agree with many of his opinions but that’s not the draw of the show.  He really is Mr. Personality who has fun with the callers and his guests.  Yes, he takes calls every day and he makes it entertaining.  There is even a New York lawyer guest on his show periodically who is like Len Tillem’s lost twin with his loud talk and level of crudeness that flirts with offensive.

On a recent Simone show, the lawyer, Lionel, spoke about a subject that we in the Bay Area deal with everyday, the homeless and transient issue.  You have to hear this:

Mark Simone show – guest Lionel, on from 20:40 to about 31:15 on the podcast:

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-show-marksimone/mark-simone-show-90315-hour-1-26325790/

I have experienced this same zombieland in the Bay Area.  Too many times I’ve walked past men who whip it out and pee on public buildings or in trash cans, or who crouch on the sidewalks with full exposure of their backsides on display.  I’ve stood on a corner waiting for a bus and some crazy exiting from a bus across the street runs over to chase me.  Or, a crazy who stood near me and told me, in a threatening way, to stop looking at him (I wasn’t).  Another guy and his buddy pass by sometimes and they are like the walking dead who stumble around and one speaks in a cracked, groggy, scary-deep voice that only a horror movie director would love.   Once, a disheveled guy walked close behind me and said he could attack me in a minute and no one would get there in time to stop him.  That was on a busy street with plenty of people around.  Creepy instances like that.  I’ve had to sidestep many young men who scream nonsense and throw things around in a rage.  And, who has not seen the disgusting patches of feces hanging off the sides of buildings everywhere?

Emptying the day rooms, indeed.

Lionel nails it.  Listen to him on that podcast.

WOR-710AM has been growing in the ratings.  They are now the #1 New York talk station.  It’s not a big number, but they are experiencing growth in this supposedly dying medium.  They are keeping the ‘talk’ in talk.  They don’t have hours upon hours of one person talking and talking and talking to be followed by another person or two, untalented amateurs, talking and talking and talking to themselves.  That is boring, lazy programming.  No station grows by offering stagnant content.  No listener stays around to hear it.

And no real former listener returned to support the Dick-eys 50,000 watt station in the Bay Area and now the Dick-eys are out of the top spots.  Finally.

There was one interesting comment I’d never read before about that blogger guy on the Facebook page of No More KGO.  Don’t know if it’s true.  It was posted by some guy who usually defends the Dick-eys and their decisions, so keep that in mind.  It sure explains a lot if it is true.

 

Anyone out there into programming and code and game design?  Even an amateur can get into this and have some fun with it.

Unity 5 (a game engine) has partnered with Visual Studio 2015 (Microsoft’s integrated development environment) and offers an import package of Visual Studio 2015 tools to be used for Unity scripting.  It includes IntelliSense for C# and, I think, Javascript but I haven’t tried that yet.  I prefer coding on Visual Studio so I love this.

A beginner can download both Unity game engine and Visual Studio Community for free with unlimited use.  It’s a great way to learn how to code and it’s fun to learn how to create a game.  Both sites offer plenty of help getting started.  Unity has extensive training video and manuals available on their site:

http://unity3d.com/

Poke around the Learn tab and you will see what I mean.  There are many tutorials on YouTube as well.

 

Visual Studio 2015 offers a free version and there are many YouTube videos on how to get started coding basic C#.  Also, they have online support on their Microsoft Developer Network that includes all levels of learning to work with Visual Studio 2015.

Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN):

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd831853.aspx

Visual Studio:

https://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/download-visual-studio-vs

Download the Community version for free.

If you try out Unity 3D, then you have to start with the terrain and adding trees.  It is so amazing.  The best thing to do is find a good YouTube tutorial on Unity 5 (game engine) and working with terrain.  The creation is easy and the results are unbelievable.  There are many free assets offered in Unity’s Asset Store and they include a free Standard Assets package to get you started.

Look at the trees in that package.  Wait until you see them in the Unity Game Player in 3D.  Incredible.  Unity assets include creations from Speed Tree, a 3D animation toolkit.  There are some free and pay-a-fee versions in the Unity Asset Store.

If you’re curious about the 3D modeling of trees, this 2012 video explains how it works:

Speed Tree is not free.  There is, at this time, at $19 charge that is good for one month.  All assets created can be used and stored after your paid subscription ends.

You do not have to build your own trees on Unity 3D, they have fully created trees ready for use to populate your landscape.  Try it and you’ll see.

 

So, there’s plenty to do, lots to see, and podcasts to hear.  Get to it!

I’ll get back on the blogging track next month when it won’t be as busy at work now that the holidays are around the corner!

Enjoy the week and see you next time.

I spoke too soon.

I was encouraged when Spencer Hughes welcomed callers and told heartfelt stories about generations of listeners connecting to talk radio.  Spencer said most of the passion listeners have for talk radio comes from hearing diverse opinions of listeners who call into the show, and that one host talking for hours, with one viewpoint, makes for boring radio.

Talk got to Spencer.  I now hear that he’s happy to just talk and talk and talk without calls, unless a caller is brilliant.  Yep.  You have to be brilliant, now, to get on his show.  So, what do we get?  Another person who talks and talks and talks.  Just like the rest of the line-up on noTalk910.  It’s not the best line-up either.  Let’s see, what do we have during the day?  Two guys who have nothing to say stumble through a show from 1:00pm-3:00pm.  Two big selfie sticks blabbering away.

Then, of course, there’s Gil, who allows only Politico correspondents on his show or a call or two from his dreaded wife with the shrieking voice.  For some unknown reason, he thinks it’s a good idea to bring her on the air with him every Friday.  Again, who tunes into that disaster of a show on a Friday?  People tell me she’s still there, with her oh yeahs and screeching in a dog whistle trying to get a point across, and many don’t bother listening to it again.  I haven’t listened to that Friday show for a long time now.  BBC Radio 2 is just fine at that time.

I admit, I stopped listening to that station when I had to keep turning off that yelling lady commercial that aired every ten minutes.  That was it for me.

I was going to go into Spencer’s original point about how calls from listeners are what makes talk radio work.  I was going to defend the listener call-in and ask why would talk radio eliminate the one factor that works?  I thought I’d look up what others say about talk radio without real talk.  That’s when I was reminded it’s probably not real talk we think we hear anyway.

Fake calls have been a staple of radio for some time now, according to these articles I found online.

There’s even a service that provides radio stations paid actors who will pose as callers, as noted in this article:

http://gawker.com/5778740/talk-radio-is-fake-now

 

Do you enjoy those crazy morning zoo shows?

They should have their own radio show awards for phone actors:

http://gawker.com/5779701/your-favorite-wacky-morning-radio-show-is-a-festival-of-lies

 

This guy thinks talk radio is the same as pro-wrestling:

http://www.adweek.com/news/press/michael-smerconish-says-talk-radio-pro-wrestling-fake-149136

 

Do you ever read sfgate for the comments?  I found an interesting column about online publications and the lessons that can be learned from talk radio:

http://www.poynter.org/news/mediawire/241945/how-talk-radio-listens-to-its-audience-provides-lessons-for-online-publishers/

 

This is an extensive article that discusses CTR (Conservative Talk Radio) and women callers:

http://ejas.revues.org/10513

 

Hate CTR?  This article is for you:

http://www.republicanradio.org/

 

Finally, this is an article about two real callers who taunted a radio station for years, then revealed themselves:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/cuba-boys-radio-callers-who-taunted-wbai-come-forward/?_r=0

 

I understand why hosts prefer email or tweets, it’s easy to sort through written correspondence and there is more control over the content of the message.  It’s also easy to create fake messages.  So, who knows what’s real any more?

 

I’m still listening to New York station WOR710-AM and, although it’s conservative, there’s one host who makes listening to radio entertaining again.  I’ve mentioned him many times now.  It’s the Mark Simone show.  What I enjoy about his show, when he’s not bashing liberals, is his on-air ease.  His opinions can raise an eyebrow, but he has a huge personality and loves to have fun with people.  His conservative slant is tempered by the news guy, who disagrees with many of the things Simone says.  Callers are welcome on his show.  I have to say, they sound like real callers, not the fake ones.  They sound timid or tongue-tied or just want to voice an opinion.  It’s a nice mix of calls and Simone interacts in a friendly, humorous way.  I’ve mentioned before how he sometimes pretends he can’t hear callers, or tells them to get to the point before his listeners go to sleep.  Always with a laugh.  He never sounds annoyed at having to take calls.  He sounds thrilled when the phone lines light up.  His show has the right mix of calls and guests.  He knows many of the celebrity guests who have interesting conversations with him and then, at the end, sell whatever they have to sell.  It’s unobtrusive.  His show page is full of video clips described by Simone in such a way you want to watch them.  That’s talent.

Then there’s Rush.  ugh.  For a few months I had been listening to an hour of him on WOR while waiting for Spencer’s show to air on noTalk910.  I don’t understand his supposed popularity.  Limbaugh coughs up phlegm and wheezes and scrapes his hands together and taps his pen on his desk or slaps his hands as he talks about how everyone is talking about him.  He even plays clips of himself!  He refers to women as info babes and then tells his audience to just sit back and let him think for them.  huh? The article I listed above about CTR and women includes excerpts about Rush’s show:

 

CTR is indeed a male-dominated field characterized by a tradition of macho chauvinism. When Limbaugh “reinvented” talk radio in late 1988, it was obvious that women were going to be systematic targets of his misogynistic, scathing remarks. As early as his pre-syndication days in Sacramento, he coined the portmanteau word “feminazi” to refer to women adhering to the core values of Second Wave Feminism.

Consistent with this view, The Thirty-Five Undeniable Truths of Life which he enumerated on the air in February 1994 include pronouncements such as “Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”

 

In the same way, Limbaugh does not refrain from flattering the caller when it serves his purpose, as was the case when Tiffany begged to disagree:

Tiffany: Just because I don’t agree with you on a couple things, my God.

Limbaugh: No, Tiffany, no, you misunderstand, Tiffany –

Tiffany: – partisan politics is that we get labeled for no reason –

Limbaugh: Tiff – Tiffa – Tiffany. Take a breath. Don’t torture me here.

Tiffany: I’m trying not to, you’re so great. (laughter)

Limbaugh: Tiffany, you know, I – I love you. You have to understand this, I love you and I want you to be right. I don’t want you to sound like a kook. I don’t want you to sound like a typical Democrat kook that is coming to define the Democrat mainstream.

Instead of debating the callers’ arguments by explaining his own, Limbaugh chooses to be overly condescending (“I love you and I want you to be right”) and tries to persuade her to change her opinion for her own good (“I don’t want you to sound like a kook”). In other words, he is shifting the discussion away from the rational and the argumentative to the personal and the emotional. Such a rhetorical strategy betrays the host’s representation of women as individuals that can be mollified by a few deceptively flattering words and that are devoid of debating skills.

 

In the short time I’ve been sampling Rush’s show (thanks to noTalk910 and their poor programming choices) I’ve heard Rush refer to feminazis and info babes on his show, and I’ve always been surprised and puzzled when women call his show to praise him.  It didn’t make sense until now, when I’m reminded calls are most likely phone actors.  Limbaugh denies it, but just because he says it doesn’t mean it’s true.  Think about it.

Another thing I’ve noticed is Limbaugh will talk about something early in the day, and Hannity brings up the exact same talking points later on his show.  Even Mark Simone has the same script.  It’s like they’ve all had coffee together and designed a daily plan against liberals that they repeat and repeat and repeat until the listeners know what they’re supposed to think.  That’s explained in the two gawker articles posted above as well, how it’s all scripted beforehand by a service and distributed to conservative hosts.  Yep.  Even Limbaugh, who claims to think for everyone, is probably letting some service think for him, reading words someone else wrote.

So, I give up on my expectations that talk radio will thrive in this new media environment.  Fake callers, fired locals, yelling commercials, amateur hosts, one person’s viewpoint for hours at a time, and a host’s wife with a horrible voice who is allowed air time all make cringe-worthy, yawn-inducing radio.

What keeps me tuning in every day to New York’s 710 WOR to hear the Mark Simone show?  It’s the callers, and their interaction with a host who obviously enjoys hearing what they have to say. Don’t take my word for it.  Listen to it and make up your own mind.

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-marksimone/

 

And, here are a few clips from his show page:

In this one Ralph Kramden dances Gangnam style:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/the-greatest-dance-video-ever-ralph-13799341/

Is that an iPad in the 1968 film ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’?

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/a-scene-in-the-1968-film-13796437/

13 days of Jimmy Nicol:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/at-the-height-of-beatlemania-ringo-13795551/

Amazing card trick.  I can’t figure it out:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/an-amazing-card-trick-this-video-12836716/

Rodney Dangerfield on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/tbt-rodney-dangerfield-and-some-of-13774355/

 

Don’t let anyone silence your voice.  Have a blog or website or radio show that allows you to say what you think?  Let people know and let these noTalk stations know we’re not buying what they’re selling.

What do you think about the trend on talk radio to drop the caller format?  It’s all about PPM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_People_Meter) and how radio measures performance/audience levels in relation to the cost a station or media group can charge advertisers.  It’s an ongoing discussion about radio’s future.

Add to the discussion topic ‘Statistics of online radio listeningon this Google Groups thread under ba.broadcast:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/ba.broadcast/dCvatUL4Bus

(Note: this will take you to the topic discussion thread and NOT the main page of ba.broadcast where a sad person posts dozens of unreadable content at a time)

In a small way, PPM measurement reminds me of the standardized tests in school and how the goal is no longer enriching the mind but finding ways to beat the numbers to bring in more money to benefit the administrators or executives.

The end user is no longer in the equation.  It no longer matters what it takes to get the money.  The short-term gain benefits few and the multitude of students or listeners are left wanting.

I’d mentioned Spencer Hughes in my last post.  He’s been a fill-in host for a few days each week in the 10:00am-1:00pm open time slot on Talk 910 (recently vacated by Ed Baxter), and he endorses a caller-rich program.  Spencer has been opening the phone lines and taking calls on any topic.  It’s been interesting to hear.

When David Weintraub filled in two days this week, it showcased the drabness of a program with the host talking for hours except for the phone guest interviews added to the mix.  I turned it off and listened to other options online.  Both Hughes and Weintraub are better options than that sophomoric show following the open slot.  And, thank gawd! they don’t have Gil’s wife pretending to be a viable co-host with her bland observations in agonizingly slow speech until she forgets to control herself and turns on the screeching voicebox.  Why, oh why, is she still on the air?  I stopped listening to Gil’s Friday shows long ago.  Even now it’s painful to remember.

Lately, I only listen to Talk 910 when Spencer Hughes is on and taking calls, although, it’s getting to be a bit much about the online streaming app he keeps promoting.  Weintraub was promoting it as well.  It’s fine to promote oneself and try to reach a larger audience but it’s getting to be ten minutes of it every hour on the hour.  With that said, I enjoy listening to Spencer’s show.  I don’t think he’s on top of his talk show game yet, but at least he ‘gets it’ and is striving to deliver the type of talk show listeners want to hear.  Does it keep PPM busy collecting ratings?  I don’t know.

The discussion on the ba.broadcast link I’ve provided (above) goes into the latest trend of not taking calls, such as:

 I consider a program a “talk program” when it is spoken word and not news or art.  It does NOT have to have callers.  If that was a requirement then Gil Gross wouldn’t qualify as having a talk program since he never takes callers.

But Clear Channel (sorry, “iHeart”) is a big company, and if they wanted Gil to take
calls, I’m sure he would.

… that stroke of genius had to come down from manglement, one of a long string of bad decisions that have sunk any possibility that Talk 910 could get traction.

I’d rather listen to informed journalists and subject-matter experts than to random callers.

I don’t care for those one-person-pontificating-for-three-hours shows, but I guess they’re talk shows because one person is yammering.

Some hosts wonder why people don’t call but it’s not fun to sit on hold for 40 minutes and they take your call 1/2 minute before the break.

But the same old callers time and again get really boring UNLESS the host uses them for schtick as Alan Colmes does on his nightly show.

 

Follow the link and add your thoughts to the discussion.

I included the Alan Colmes comment because the radio show I listen to in the mornings (Pacific time), on WOR710-AM NY, talk host Mark Simone will play with callers and have fun with them.  Yesterday, Simone somehow connected two live callers so all three were on-air and he couldn’t fix it.  So, he told caller Ken, “Hey, Ken. that caller Lou phoned in because he couldn’t stand what you were saying and wants to meet you behind the Starbucks on 43rd after the show and beat the crap out of you”.  Then, after back and forth bantering, Simone tells Lou, “By the way, Ken told us he hates the stupid topics you bring up.”

It was more entertaining than dumb stories about dumb something-or-other.  Simone is a smooth talker and seems to enjoy caller interaction.  He handles it well.  The only thing not good is that he bashes all things liberal.  It’s always good to hear what the other side is trying to sell but I think if Hillary sneezes, they’ll concoct a tissue scandal with her at the center.  It’s getting to be a bit much.

Here’s the link to WOR 710-AM, an iHeart station:

http://www.wor710.com/main.html

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-marksimone/

This week Mark Simone made a comment they all were let go from another station and many of them ended up on iHeart’s WOR710-AM.  I’m going to see if I can find out anything about that story and how the listeners handled it.

Also, Simone posts video on his homepage and this week there is a video of Letterman and Carson in a legal battle:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/david-letterman-and-johnny-carson-once-13556038/

Don Rickles tells a few funny stories about Frank Sinatra:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/tbt-don-rickles-tells-denzel-washington-12750390/

Comedians talk comedy:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/seinfeld-chris-rock-louis-ck-and-13548564/

Seinfeld cast talk about the show:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/the-cast-of-seinfeld-years-later-13556341/

 

Plus, don’t forget about Ed Baxter’s website, The Talk Pod:

http://thetalkpod.com/

How can you not love Lloyd Lindsay Young?

http://thetalkpod.com/lloyd-lindsay-young-legends-weather-prognosticators/

And, of course, visit the Facebook page of No More KGO:

https://www.facebook.com/NoMoreKGO

 

Well, once again, I didn’t think I had anything to say today and here I am talking about not talking…

That’s it.  I’ll not talk now.

Enjoy the weekend!

By for the aflcio2008 (OH: USW Phone Bank in Mansfield) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

This week Ed Baxter announced he is the chosen one.  He got the spot.

Well, he didn’t use those exact words when he informed listeners of Talk910-AM that he has accepted the host position for the 10:00am-1:00pm time slot on the station.  I was happy to hear it.

After the departure of former host, Frosty Stilwell, we listeners endured weeks of rotating hosts, never knowing what to expect when we turned the radio on.  Sometimes we were pleasantly surprised with the professionalism of John Rothmann, other times we had to turn the radio off ten minutes into a show.  Where does Talk910 find some of those fill-in hosts?

It was as if they were letting Gil Gross pick ’em, because you know what a great show he has on Fridays with his wife.  In Gil’s world, if you can work on a crossword puzzle, then the next logical step is to add a microphone and put you on the air.  No one will notice the screeching sound when you speak.  Go ahead, interrupt guests with inane questions and shriek at the top of your lungs every time you disagree with something.  Yeah.  Fun times.  Completely unprofessional, but that doesn’t matter.  If you can come up with the right words on a puzzle, then you are ready for radio.

The only thing worse than hearing Gil’s wife on the radio is hearing the show that comes on before Gil’s show.  Those two guys have to be the worst thing on radio, ever.  And, remember, I’m including Gil’s wife in that assessment.  She has to be the second worse thing ever on the air.  But, you already knew that.  Hearing her once is enough.  It takes nearly a month to get the ringing out of your ears.

This is so unfair to listeners.  It’s as if Talk910 is trying to fail.

This is how bad it is, for the first time, ever, I’ve been streaming WOR710 in New York and listening to Hannity every afternoon at 1:00pm instead of those two guys on Talk910.  Thanks a lot, 910.  At least Hannity takes calls.  That is what talk radio is supposed to be about.  Discussion.  Talk.  Not to yourself.  To people.  Feedback from listeners.

I still listen to Radiolab and ThisAmericanLife, as well.  Sometimes Ted Talks.  But the Hannity show takes calls.  That’s what I want to hear.

For awhile, I thought Talk910 was seriously considering Spencer Hughes as a host.  He takes calls.  I’d never heard him before. I’ve heard OF him.  Not good things, but I don’t let other opinions dictate my judgment.  I want to hear it myself and form my own opinion.

Now I know what people are talking about.  At first, I didn’t mind him.  He talks and talks and talks, starting out saying one thing and then seems to disappear into his own head as he goes off into two or three more topics while still finishing thoughts about the first thing.  It’s strange, all he needs is a big Monty Python hand pushing on his head and a voice announcing “now for something completely different”.  I would not be able to listen to that every day.  There is no focus to his show.

Ed Baxter has focus.  He forms thoughts and can express them in a professional style and he has the intelligence to interact with any guest.  It’s not an effort to listen to his voice, he has a natural, pleasant tone.  He likes to take calls.  On the air, many times, he has said he doesn’t want to be the only one talking.  He wants to hear what callers have to say.  He has always given out the phone number so listeners can call in…

Except for this week.  I noticed there were no callers this week and there was no number given for callers.  Is this going to end up as another show of someone reciting news items from sfgate and bringing in ‘experts’ to talk about them?  Ed’s already doing the Gil thing, bringing in his producer to talk about things.  Come on, Ed, you know that gets boring fast.  Where are the callers?  Some of the most interesting shows on the radio happen with callers.

You know this, Ed.  Get it done!  Give out that number.  Take those calls.

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:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Ed-Baxter-KGO-Morning-News-co-anchor-retires-2370473.php

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?605281-Ed-Baxter-Retires-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:

http://www.talk910.com/onair/ed-baxter-48465

http://www.edbaxtermedia.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Talk-Pod/1470507139850662

http://thetalkpod.com/

As of this posting, the podcast trending on thetalkpod.com:

http://thetalkpod.com/john-rothmann-california-one/

Most Popular:

http://thetalkpod.com/john-rothmann-ronn-owens-profile-courage/

Plus, the contributors mix it up with each other:

http://thetalkpod.com/barbara-simpson-vs-john-rothmann-immigration-wow/

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:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jack-coleman/2014/04/26/randi-rhodes-quitting-radio-slams-ex-colleagues-maddow-franken-way-out

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:

https://www.facebook.com/NoMoreKGO

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:

https://www.facebook.com/froststilwell

By Michael Schwern [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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