Posts Tagged ‘Mickey Luckoff’

This may be a bit wonky for most, but I found this interesting Broadcast Law blog maintained by David Oxenford.  In it, he addresses legal issues in broadcast.  I’ve been searching for material that will help explain how we got into this current broadcast mess as well as any insight on how to fight back against Cumulus Media, the mega-corporation that has been destroying local broadcast environments.

I’m not suggesting that Oxenford’s blog speaks to these issues, but it provides well-written, informative legal aspects of broadcast law.  Some if it might be interesting to those who want to know what to do about a company such as Cumulus and the Dick-eys who run it.

Here’s a link to the blog:

This is David Oxenford’s bio:


And, here’s a sampling of some of the content found there:


This is a link to all of the topics covered under the keywords AM Radio:


This is one of those articles:

I found this interesting tidbit in the article:

“One proposal for AM improvement was not discussed – a proposal to use TV channels 5 and 6 as a way to re-invent the AM band – moving all AM stations to what is in essence the FM band (as TV channels 5 and 6 are adjacent to the FM band), allow them to operate digitally, and avoid the many interference issues inherent in the current AM band. This proposal has already been advanced by the FCC, comments have been received, and they could be acted on tomorrow (see our previous articles on the subject here and here). This proposal is complicated by the FCC’s incentive auction proposal and the concern that these channels might be needed for TV stations reallocated out of the UHF band. So it appears that this proposal is, at least for the time being, on hold.”


Another article:

“Since the KAB Convention, I’ve noted that many stations and their representatives have been receiving emails from an engineer in California identifying himself as a “frequency coordinator.” These letters identify perceived issues with auxiliary stations at many stations around the country. Take these letters seriously. They are from a group of private-industry engineers who have come together to work on broadcast auxiliary and other engineering issues.”


Here’s some important information:

“At its simplest, the license renewal application allows the FCC and the public to review the station’s conduct in the previous license term and to assess the licensee’s continuing qualifications to remain an FCC licensee. The crux of the license renewal inquiry is whether the station has complied with the Commission’s laws and served the public interest during the previous license term. Accordingly, the renewal process invites the public, competitors, public interest groups, and the government to sift through all aspects of the station’s operations during the past eight years. Based on the Form 303-S and related documents filed by the licensee, as well as any comments, petitions, or objections raised by interested parties, the FCC will then decide whether or not an extension of the license is warranted. Broadcasters need to review all aspects of their operations and prepare for the license renewal process in advance, approaching it with the seriousness it demands.”

I found the link to it in this article:


This deals with TV:

Where Do You Go To Get Access to the Online File?

“Station access is available at The public gains access to the various station files by going here:


And, finally, another one that emphasizes the importance of free, local radio access to the general public:

“Being on the ground at the NJ shore for a few days, without electricity other than what was provided by a small gas-powered generator, demonstrated to me the power and importance of portable media – including radio. Throughout my weekend at the shore, we could get news and entertainment from a battery-powered radio and the radio in our car. Together with tidbits of news from Facebook posts, a local list-serve and the few other sites that we could get on our mobile phones (for as long as the phones stayed charged) in an area where the mobile networks were often slow due to the high demand for wireless service as the storm had ruined many landline connections  – these were our links to the outside world. Radio kept going, providing updates of all that was going on in the area. One local radio station was particularly noteworthy, as it was operating even though it did not have operating phones or email access. Yet it continued to broadcast, conveying information as to how people could help each other. That information was collected from people posting on the station’s Twitter feed. The station truly showed how convergence of electronic and broadcast media can really work well together.”


Imagine having to go through a local disaster and having only syndicated shows of Rush and Geraldo and Huckabee on our radio airwaves.  A chilling thought, indeed.

This is a possibility in a Cumulus world.  Turn off their world.  Do NOT listen to Cumulus Media radio stations.  Do NOT give them a future.  Think about the future of your community and how you can fight back by NOT listening to them.


To end on a lighter note, did anyone hear the story on Gil Gross’ show about the woman who was turned away at the polls because she was wearing an MIT t-shirt?  Love it.  Gil has the best stories and he’s not on a crappy Cumulus station.  Listen to KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM from 3:oopm for the Len Tillem show and from 4:00-7:00pm for Gil Gross.  Do something good for the community and listen to our local talent.

Here’s the link:

Len Tillem – the loyah’s show:

The Gil Gross Show:

And, don’t forget about John Rothmann’s highlights in ‘Around the Political World’:

Photo by Infrogmation CCA-2.5

I received a comment on my blog post, ‘Loud Lindsay Young Never Gets Old’.  I don’t know what to think of it yet, I debated about approving it.  I even sent a copy to the email address of Gil Gross at KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM, but it was returned undelivered.  Rejected by their station servers.  Probably because the way I copied it, it appeared as if I’d pasted an image in the body of the email instead of plain text.  Oh well, universe, I tried…

I’m not a big poetry fan.  I read all of the time.  I even attempt to write.  But the lure of poetry has never attracted me.  The sight of stanzas makes me roll my eyes and I can’t click away from it fast enough.  So, imagine my lukewarm reception at the sight of a long, stanza poem sitting in my new comment section waiting for approval.  I was sure it was some new kind of spam.  I was ready to delete it for eternity when the word KGO caught my attention.  What?  Someone was sending a poem about KGO?  I glanced through it, hoping it was some spam or scam so I could delete it.  But, I couldn’t stop reading it.  There is a raw intensity to it.  And the poet knows about KGO and Len and Gene.  He writes of them.  And, the protest against KGO.  I decided it should be shared.

I’m unfamiliar with the author.  It’s written by Majid Naficy.  I’ve also noticed someone by the name of Azad Naficy posted a comment on the Facebook page of FormerKGOListeners recently of what could be the full text of this poem, but I can’t read more than a few words of the comment and I can’t see the Facebook page of that person named Azad so I don’t know what anyone has said of the poem.  But I do know that I think others will enjoy reading it. I’ll write my thoughts about it later when I have more time.  What are your thoughts?

Here’s the poem:

A Fight for KGO

by Majid Naficy

You deserters of San Francisco Bay Area,
San Jose and Oakland!
you less than Adam and Eve!
You big mouths, little chimps!
How come you let go of KGO without a fight?
How come you did not fight for your dignity
And let a bunch of crooks and con artists
Wipe out your huge radio community
In the name of the invisible God of market
At the merger of two media companies?
How come you let go of that elegant soul
With a big body: Gene Burns
Who has the free spirit of a Libertarian
With the benevolence of a New Deal Democrat?
He can fight against mean-spirited profiteers
With reason and passion,
A good piece of salmon
And a glass of chardonnay.
How come you let go of that funny lawyer
With his R-less New York accent?
He can entertain and educate his listeners
With the colorful stories of his callers
And show how to compromise or fight
In the labyrinths of courts and law firms.
How come you let go of Len Tillem:
That icon of Northern California?

It takes you a Southern Californian
To show you how to fight,
It takes you a Persian,
An Iranian-American
To tell you how to stand.
Because I come from a line of fighters.
My first wife Ezzat Tabaian
Was executed in Evin Prison
On January 7, 1982
Because she stood for her dignity
And said NO to mullahs.
I come from a line of survivors
My brother Sa’id
Disappeared on the streets of Tehran
But his hope for freedom remained strong.
My ancestor was Nafis, son of Evaz
Who served Ulugh Beg, the grandson of Tamerlane
As a physician in Samarkand.
He taught The Book of Healing
Written by the Persian philosopher Avicenna
When the ancestor of greedy Cumulus
cleaned his dirty ass
With the palm of his right hand!
Yes, You have to fight, men, women!
And do not let go of your talk radio
Just because big money talks
And follows the law of market:
Supply and demand.
No! Money is not speech
And corporations are not people.
That radio community was more tangible
Than a gold mine turned into a ghost town
In the nineteenth century, California.
KGO was born in 1924
And became a voice of democracy in our state
And one of the best talk radios across the country.
It could create meaningful conversations
With interviews and listeners’ participation
Without the demagoguery and bigotry of Rush Limbaugh.

I know it for a fact, first hand.
It was the symbol of independence for my American girlfriend
When she divorced her husband
Who did not let her listen to KGO
More than twenty years ago.
She craved for an intimate companion
Who could carry a conversation
Intelligently and passionately
And she found it in KGO.
Even after we became intimate
She still called me Gene or Len.
While my girlfriend was driving between home and work
She would listen to KGO in the car,
And while cooking, dining, washing, gardening
Going to the bathroom or taking a shower
And making love at home
She would constantly listen to KGO
On her three separate sets of radio
Working simultaneously in her kitchen, garden and bedroom
Even when she was not home.
Sometimes she would dial KGO’s number
and open her heart on the air
To tens of thousands of other listeners.
Sometimes she would go to KGO public gatherings
To meet Gene and Len in person
And participate in a public conversation.
Yes! I saw her beautiful trembling shoulders
When she called me one night couple of months ago.
she sobbed hysterically on the telephone
And told me that her KGO was gone
And its new owner, Cumulus Media
Had laid off Gene, Len and others
And changed the format of the radio
From a news/talk station into all news
Because the rating had been low
And the profit meager.
Yes! I saw her beautiful wet eyes
When she was sobbing into the phone
Telling that there was no one to stand forKGO
And she had lost her radio community,
Which was more important to her than her neighborhood.

One evening, my girlfriend and I
Went to a small vigil in front of KGO building
And held candles and listened to a speaker
Who asked us some simple questions:
“Will you occupy KGO’s building?
Will you take part in a rally?
Will you write an article?
Will you talk on the air?”
You losers of San Francisco Bay Area,
San Jose and Oakland!
You lost your democracy to Cumulus
Which is an inheritor of a Californian crook
With the emblem of a rattlesnake
Who said: “I am not a crook”.
You lost your goodwill to Cumulus
Which is a follower of a Californian con artist
With the emblem of a poison oak
Who began a war against the poor
By calling them “welfare queens”.
No one stood up to him
Who gave welfare to big corporations
But denied it to the mentally-ill.
I bore witness to it
When in May 1984
I moved to Venice Beach
And saw thousands of people homeless.
In the day that Cumulus took over KGO
Did you sleep overnight without a pill
And in the morning switch from KGO
To KSFO without an afterthought?
Shame on you!
You have no life instinct left in you.
You are totally useless.
Too much TV for you.
Too much booze for you.
Too much pot for you.
They have drained out the passion
That you need for a fight.
Yes! I am from the city of Isfahan
We don’t fight by fists
We fight by words
and why not?
When a Polo shirt is $ 89
And a pair of Levis jeans $ 100
And an Adidas snicker $ 79
And a cotton hat 30 bucks
Why should I get into altercation
And ruin my costly shirt or hat?
No! We fight with words.
This is my art from the city of Isfahan.
I will fight you word by word.
You go on the other side of the bay
I stay on this side.
Let us curse each other
At the top of our voices
Until the mermaids of San Francisco Bay
Hear and judge between us.
I am a man from the city of Isfahan
I know how to put words in a poem
Even if they are bitter as curses.
No matter what the editors of Poetry magazine say
Or the ideologues of the Cato Institute think.
I will transfer my anger into poetry.
Get up! Howl!
Let us fight for KGO!

February 23, 2012 San Mateo

Len Tillem made an interesting comment to Gil Gross as Len passed off the end of his hour to Gil before the 4:00pm news and the start of the Gil Gross show.  I’ve tried to find the comment on podcast but it’s not there.  The podcasts do not include that back and forth between Len and Gil as they trade off air-time.  I think the conversation occurred on Thursday, July 26th.

So, I’ll have to write what happened according to my memory.  It was a quick comment.  Len was saying hello to Gil Gross and then blurted out, “You know, when Ronn Owens’ contract ends, he can come over here and do the 12-3 spot.  It’ll be great.  Ronn and me and you.  Just like old times.”  Again, that is not exactly what he said but it’s a close approximation.

I was stunned.  I think Gil was a bit taken aback as well, because he didn’t say anything in response.  Then, after some silence, Len said something like, “Maybe I shouldn’t be speculating about things like that on the air.  This should be a private conversation.”  Gil gave a nervous laugh, and then went on to talk about other things.

It made me think.  Would I listen to Ronn Owens if he moved to KKSF-Newtalk 910-AM?  I’m unsure.  I don’t even know who has the 12Noon to 3:00pm slot on KKSF-Newstalk 910-AM now.  I don’t listen to that station at all before 3:00pm.  The promo spots I’d heard of the morning show that airs there, Armstrong and Getty, were a big turn-off and, then, when I’d heard how disrespectful that duo had been to the former KGO hosts who’d filled in for them during a vacation week or two, that was it for me.  I wasn’t going to waste my time listening to Armstrong or Getty pop their prepubescent pimples on the air.  No thank you.  I’ve noticed that the promo spots for Armstrong and Getty have been toned down lately, but I know what they really sound like.  Not wasting time on that.

That leaves Limbaugh in there somewhere.  I know his show airs on KKSF, but I’m not sure when.  That’s why I avoid that station in the morning and then wait until 3:00pm to turn on Len.  I listen to the archived online podcasts of Len and then Gil until the three o’clock hour.  Sometimes I listen to Dr. Bill Wattenburg on KSCO from Monday-Wednesday at 12Noon-2:00pm, but that schedule has been inconsistent.  For the past month Dr. Bill hasn’t shown up on Mondays and in the past two weeks hasn’t aired even on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  I don’t know what’s going on over at that Santa Cruz station.  I noticed that they’ve removed Dr. Bill Wattenburg Presents from their station’s web banner.  I’m not too worried.  It’s one thing to listen to Dr. Bill at night when you are half-asleep and hearing bits of pieces of his broadcast.  It’s an altogether different show in the daytime when you’re awake.  You actually hear what he has to say and most of it is repetitive.  Bubble butts, eco-freaks, read his website about that lawsuit, he narrated the save the dolphins documentary, Farr Out, Sierra Club and NOAA frauds, etc.  It’s slightly less irritating than the KSCO commentaries by the 90-year-old station owner.  Overall, KSCO is a strange station and not one to take seriously.  There are always annoying glitches in their phone system and they have some really funky ads, bordering on porn.  It’s embarrassing to be a listener at times.

With that said, would I listen to Ronn Owens if he moves to KKSF-Newtalk 910-AM?  Not at first.  Would I listen eventually?  I guess it depends on how Owens explains the messy way he handled the KGO fisaco.  We’ll see…

What about you?  Would you listen to Ronn if he moves to KKSF?

John Rothmann, KKSF Newtalk 910-AM’s political anaylst, along with news anchor Sebastian Kunz, covered the June 5th election results in three hours of special programming.  It is now available on podcast (under John Rothmann highlights):

June 5th Election Results Hour 1

June 5th Election Results Hour 2

June 5th Election Results Hour 3

I missed the live broadcast, it wasn’t in my usual radio listening time slot.  I read many good reports about that coverage the following day and was disappointed I couldn’t find it listed under KKSF Newstalk 910-AM’s podcasts.  Well, in another instance of Newstalk 910’s management seeming to actually care about what their new former-KGO listeners want, the election night coverage is now available via podcast.

It has taken me a few months to warm up to Sebastian Kunz.  At first, when the former KGO hosts bantered with him on-air, Kunz didn’t sound fully prepared to banter back.  He gave halting responses and nervous laughs.  But, once Gil Gross took on the job, it was clear Kunz was going to get bantered ‘cuz if there’s one thing Gil Gross loves, it’s a good banter.

Kunz does not disappoint.  He gives good banter.

And, his enthusiasm for his job is infectious.  At the end of the three-hour election results coverage, Kunz sounded sorry it had to end.  Said he was still good to go for another seven hours.

Oh, and Rothmann wasn’t too shabby either.

Well worth a podcast.  I just might listen to it again next week.

One former host I haven’t talked about for awhile is Dr. Bill Wattenburg.  I listen to his show on KSCO every Monday-Wednesday.  I think he fits in well in the Santa Cruz area.  Same old Dr. Bill, fighting the bad guys and calling out the eco-freaks.  Two things I don’t like about his new station, 1) that 90-year-old mother who owns the station and her insipid comments mid-way through Wattenburg’s show.  It’s torture enough to have to hear them once – I usually use that time as a bathroom break – but that darn station plays the same comments throughout the entire week.  She makes Karel sound like a genius.

And, 2) that station has been playing the most porn-borderline sexual ad I’ve ever heard on a radio station that broadcasts over the public airwaves.  Are they that hard-up (yes, that was intended) for advertising?  Where are those same outraged little ol’ ladies calling up to complain, as they did when Ray Taliaferro called the 90-year-old station owner an idiot or something.  That ad is truly disgusting.

There is another oldie on KKSF Newstalk 910-AM who has that other station’s owner beat by ten years.  Have you heard him call in?  His name is Wickes.  Every time he calls he says his age, as if even he can’t believe it.  I first paid attention to him as caller during Gil Gross’ show.  Wickes called in and was live on the air with Gil, but Wickes kept asking for someone else.  I don’t recall the name, something like Tom.  Gil sounded annoyed and sent him over to be put on hold again until he figured out what he wanted.  Later in the hour, when Gil took his call again, Wickes told Gil he was 100-years-old and Gil apologized, sounding horrified that he’d brushed him off and made fun of this poor guy.  That’s what I like about Gil.  He cares about people more than himself.  It comes through in his shows.

I now hear Wickes calling in to Gil every week and even to Rothmann (when he’s on).  It makes me smile, and the hosts give him plenty of air time to discuss whatever he wants to discuss.

I doubt that the Cumulus station would give him the same consideration.  It’s a heartless wasteland over there to the left of the dial.

Speaking of wasteland, I’ve seen reports about Ronn Owens’ show over there and how it’s a shell of what it used to be.  415 Media has reported that Ronn will be out by August in a potential contract buy-out by the Dick-ey brothers.  It’s also suggested that Owens is looking for a new job and will not retire.  I, for one, will never listen to Ronn Owens again.  I hope he does end up in LA so I don’t have to hear him.

One more thing before I go, every month or so I go back to the main page of the Facebook page of FormerKGOListeners to see if I can read anything and just this week I happened to see half a link to something posted by Lisa Golanty (the same one who battled with KSCO about their Rush Limbaugh programming a few months back).  I looked up the bradblog to see what she could have been talking about and found this:

Note: This article is sometimes slow-loading.  If so, go directly to ( and read the article ‘Did Our Public Airwaves ‘Win’ it for Walker?’.

Okay, I think that’s enough to keep you busy over the weekend.

I had to take a minute out of this holiday weekend to post the link to Gene Burns’ Blog now up on KKSF Newstalk 910-AM website.  I know there are many Gene Burns fans out there who would love to know how he’s doing and what he’s thinking.  Although he is not yet well enough to be on the air, he is still able to communicate with his former listeners in blog form.

We might not agree with the big business mindset of radio stations owned by conglomerates such as Clear Channel and Cumulus Media, but the management at Clear Channel’s KKSF Newstalk 910-AM has shown us that iHeart Radio really does have a heart when it comes to our beloved former KGO hosts.  Sure, they hope to profit from it, by increasing their listenership and ad revenue, but at least their actions show that they might actually care about their listeners and community.

Can’t say that about the Dick-eys of Cumulus Media.

Support your local KKSF Newstalk 910-AM.  Read Gene’s blog and try to listen daily to the programs you like and catch up on missed broadcasts through the archived podcasts.

And, need I say it again, do NOT listen to one second of KGO or any of the other radio station Cumulus Media has destroyed in this market.  NOT ONE SECOND.  Don’t give them a quarter-hour possible rating to show up in any PPM data.  Tell others about how Cumulus Media has come in and destroyed local radio in this market and many other markets.  Tell others how the Dick-eys come into town and fire 30-year on-air talent just to save a buck to put into their own pockets and then serve up syndicated scraps for communities to feed on.  It’s not right!  Give their shareholders a message to refuse to give these Dick-eys one more dime of corporate pay-offs.  Get out now, shareholders!  This is one failing company.

Yeah, that darn Rush Limbaugh and his big, flapping mouth is the reason Cumulus Media lost millions in recent quarters.

As reported by Politico:

Notice the last paragraph in this report, to quell this mess Limbaugh is going to promote some smarmy campaign of ‘Rush’s Babes’.  uh, good luck on that one, Rushie boy.  That will really show them wimmin’ in the world that you are not sexist.

Here’s a MarketWatch press release detailing the First Quarter results of Cumulus Media with this special little blurb by Dick-ey:

“The first quarter of 2012 was marked by significant progress in our integration of Citadel as we build Cumulus into a robust platform company that strategically monetizes content, distribution and technology. Complementing this progress was the continued deleveraging of our balance sheet, as well as strategic portfolio management that will enable us tremendous financial flexibility going forward.”

Here’s the full report:

And another one, the Wall Street Cheat Sheet:

I love the final assessment:

Looking Forward: Over the past sixty days, the outlook for the company’s performance next quarter has become increasingly unfavorable. The average estimate for the second quarter is 8 cents per share, a drop from 13 cents. The average estimate for the fiscal year is now 26 cents per share, down from 44 cents sixty days ago.”

This looks like fun reading from, especially the attached forums:

Cumulus Media is the worst form of corporate blight on our media landscape.  They come into a market and destroy all local radio, to the detriment of a community, so they can profit off of a cheapened product with an anticipated revenue-producing bottom line that only lines the greedy executives’ pockets, leaving communities and local jobs with local talent in the financial gutter.  Shame on you, Cumulus Media!  BOYCOTT Cumulus Media, write to their advertisers and protest.  Let their shareholders know not to approve any pay raises or bonuses to these bottom-feeders.  Do NOT listen, not ONE minute, to any of their stations.

Do you approve their business practices dealing with KGO, KFOG, and KNBR, some of our local stations?  If you google Cumulus Media, you will see we are not the only market destroyed by these money-mongers.  We have to build up our power as a community against this type of corporate bully.

I think Rush and Cumulus belong together.  Let them go down together.  Let them blame something else for their bad decisions.  Let’s watch them sink into the muck.

Let’s rise up as a community.

For all of you Bernie Ward fans, there are three new posts this weekend at his blog, The Lion of the Left Speaks.

This post discusses the Legal System and the Death Penalty:

Bernie’s thoughts about the Gay Marriage issue:

This one addresses the Volker Rule and J.P. Morgan: