Posts Tagged ‘Ray Taliaferro’

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

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


Souce: Posted by Toshio Ando CC-By SA 3.0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what we are left with.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s the Wikipedia link to her show:

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

If you turn off Gil’s dreadful show every Friday, as I do, then here’s another online program to consider in its place.


Many of you are familiar with TED (, owned by the non-profit Sapling Foundation.  Here’s the Wikipedia page:

I’ve never had extra time to really explore TED’s website, but now with Friday afternoons free, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover so many alternatives that entertain and educate at the same time.  I’d thought TED was a bunch of pompous and mind-numbing ‘facts’ speeches and it’s not that at all.  Yes, there are speakers but they deal with subjects that used to be discussed on a good talk show.  There are no callers, but we sure don’t get any callers on talk shows now.  On TED you can find many viewpoints and opinions discussed in-depth by someone in that field.  There are speeches with heart, others with heartbreak, some with historical relevance – on any subject you select.  Not in the mood to listen to the next sex-capade of another politician?  Look up talks about how love works:

Talk by Helen Fisher – The Brain In Love

Talk by Helen Fisher – Why We Love, Why We Cheat:

What?  You don’t really want to waste time on love?  Okay.  They’ve got sex there, too:

Playlist with 8 Talks – Sex: Can We Talk?

Check out TED’s Playlist: Collections for Curious Minds:

Want more insight into events happening in the news?

Seek out Playlists like this one:

Egypt in Crisis – As the violence continues in Egypt, 7 talks from freedom fighters from around the globe:

Or, seek out creative inspiration in this Talk by Kirby Ferguson:

Steal Like An Artist – The surprising sources of inspiration for creatives from Steve Jobs to Bob Dylan.

Or, learn How to Tell a Story – a Playlist with Six Talks

There are some incredible talks on this Playlist.

TED’s website offers hours, even days, of listening and reading.



I listen to BBC Radio 2 every morning, usually until 11:00am.  I used to switch over to Spreaker for Len Tillem but he’s still not posting and hasn’t offered any reason why.  I’ll just have to do another hour of BBC before Frosty’s show on Talk910-AM.  I’ve tried to listen to TED in that hour before Frosty, but I forget to turn on his show at 12:00Noon because I’m in the middle of a great talk on TED.  So, I’ll leave TED for Fridays when Gil’s wife shows up and ruins Gil’s show.

I’m enjoying Frosty more and more.  On Thursday, he talked about his streak of bad luck (starts around 9:08 on podcast).

It’s funny, because I’ve experienced the same thing.  Everything seems to go wrong.  For me, it usually lasts about three days.  When I expect it, I’m able to laugh about it.  The computer goes down, the smoke detector’s batteries need replacing, something you need can’t be found, and other small irritants.  Nothing major or catastrophic.  Just things that happen in a short time span that together can be thought of as ‘bad luck’.

I like that about Frosty.  He talks about things other than politics all day.  He talks about things we all can relate to and laugh at ourselves.  If you listen to that clip of Frosty’s show you can even hear it happen on air.  I love that.

There is another audio clip of Frosty’s I want to share as well.  Earlier this month, I posted a link to Frosty’s show where he played audio of a phone call Monica Lewinsky made to Bill Clinton.  Well, the entire call was recently released and Frosty played the entire clip (it starts at 4:23 on the podcast):

Another thing Frosty does is he posts interesting video clips on his Talk910-AM page.  I haven’t looked on his page yet, but he’s tempted me many times.  I think I will go and peek at his video clip of the snake he talked about this week.  That one sounds too creepy to be believable.

Aargh!  I just went to Frosty’s show page to see the snake, and YouTube has removed the content for violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.  Oh well..  It’s not Frosty’s violation, it’s whoever posted the original video.  In a way, I’m glad I didn’t get to see it.

Here’s Frosty’s show page where he posts all his videos:

Frosty also gives out the show’s phone number.  Yes.  He not only gives out his Facebook contact, but he also gives out the phone number for his show.  I think I’ve even heard a call or two.  It took a few weeks, but I’m really enjoying his show.

Here’s Frosty’s archived podcasts:

I just had one more thought about Frosty’s show.  This week he was talking about prescription drug commercials and how the drug companies have to list so many frightening side-effects at the end.  Frosty read off a few and contemplated if it’s worth taking the chance.

Later that evening, at home, I had the television on in the background as I was doing things around the house.  This is what I heard on the end of a commercial: “If you gave your young boy (*drug name*) and he developed breasts in his adolescence…”

what the – ?


Stan and other sites

I wish I could say the same for Gil as I do about Frosty, but Gil’s show has been a big disappointment.  Friday, of course, I can’t even listen to it.  The other days of the week I do, but it’s the same thing day after day after day.  Politico on the line, talk about politics, talk about dumb teachers or criminals.  Don’t talk to callers but chat on-air to your producers and board operator, who don’t offer much to the conversation.

We don’t have much left, do we?  Ray’s not around, supposedly writing a book.  We lost Gene Burns.  John Rothmann is on radio a few times but not enough to schedule time around a show he hosts.  Len is missing in action.  Ed Baxter posts on his website and fills in a few times for Gil.  Ronn Owens is not even an option after December 2011.  People who still listen to that radio station he’s on have allowed those Atlanta Dick-eys to continue to destroy our local radio landscape.

We thought Santa Cruz might be an option.  What a joke that turned out to be.  And it’s disgusting how that no-talent blogger guy, who ranks media women by their ‘hotness’, is trying to shove his way in the door.

But we did get a bit of entertainment off that mess.  Good ol’ Stan started a blog.  He seems to have even cleaned up his language a bit (I said a bit…) although he, too, thinks it’s okay to rank ‘hotness’ (and no, he doesn’t include Radnich in his rankness):


Remember to visit these sites as well:



This American Life:


John Rothmann:


Ed Baxter Media:


Here’s an interesting story I read on OpenSalon this week.  It’s a true story written by Old New Lefty.


COZI TV, Musée Mécanique, Camera Obscura

Anyone see COZI TV today?  Before the America’s Cup race there was an old movie. ‘Man’s Favorite Sport?’, about a journalist who claims to be a fishing expert.

There’s a scene in the movie where they end up in Musée Mécanique and Rock Hudson runs around feeding coins into the player pianos and musical games so they all play at once.  I used to do that.  Bring in a roll of quarters and plug all of the machines.  It was great.  Musée Mécanique is at the Wharf now.  I haven’t been to it since it moved away from Ocean Beach.

I also used to love to visit the Camera Obscura.  I thought it had been moved to the Wharf as well, but from what I see online it’s still near the Cliff House at Ocean Beach.  Years ago, I’d go there and watch the sunset from the inside of the Camera Obscura.  Back then, it was also a bit creepy inside with those holograms on the wall and that music playing.,_California%29

Someone even wrote a fiction novel about Camera Obscura.  I read it years ago, it’s a good read:


America’s Cup had some excitement today.  Not one, but two racing boats falling apart during the race.  Two men overboard.  Italy’s racing speed was at 6-10 knots at some points.  It was crazy.  Too bad the America’s Cup has not turned out to be what promoters claimed it would be.  New Zealand racing alone.  So many racing teams not participating.  Tragic accident.  Now, Oracle accused of cheating and no one seems to be doing anything about it.  Allowing them to remain in the race as the defending champions even after the cheating has been proven.

It’s too bad, because there was so much potential to holding the race in San Franciso.  I enjoy watching it, but I’m not going to support a cheating team.  Go, New Zealand!  They deserve it and I hope they win it.

Well, I keep thinking I have nothing to write anymore, given the state of radio and our former hosts.  Somehow, I manage to type a few words every time.  Not that it’s worth reading, but I’m amazed I keep finding something to say.

So, that’s it until next week!  Hopefully, I’ll find something more to talk about by then.

Photo by Ryan Franklin CCA-2.0

His book, that is.  I’ve searched online for any signs of it.  Has anyone heard anything more?

I did find some interesting Ray backstory, though.  Things we can look forward to in his upcoming book.  There is a book, right?  Whaddya say, Ray?

Here’s some of what I found:

Basic background information

Did you know Ray once co-hosted with Regis Philbin?  Plenty of interesting background here.

In this 2011 article, Ray tells us what rides would be found in amusement park ‘Rayland’.

Plus, Ray narrated a DVD about Sutro Baths – Sutro’s: The Palace at Lands End (2011)

Here, you can hear Ray’s voice at the beginning of Sutro’s DVD trailer:

More info about the DVD:

So, that’s all the Ray we’re left with for now – until the book comes out.  I hope it comes out in audio.  That’s the Ray we know – the familiar voice we can listen to once more.


Bernie has another blog post:

Thursday, April 18, 2013 – Defiant, Resourceful…Sheep! (about recent events in Boston and use of street cameras)


On the subject of Boston, I did go back to WBZ NewsRadio to listen to talk radio and it was all news.  Of course, it was mostly about what happened in Watertown.  I was disappointed, I’d hoped to hear some talk.  I wasn’t disappointed having to go back to Gil’s show.  He’s great, but no callers whatsoever.  And, once again, there’s the Friday show…I need to find an afternoon replacement for that.


On a lighter note, there were two funny stories on BBC Radio 2 Simon Mayo’s Confessions in the past two weeks.  These are available online for 30 days after the first broadcast date.  They can be downloaded as well if you want to keep them on your computer with no expiration date.

Listen to this one on Simon Mayo’s Confessions page –Stuck On You and other tales 26 Apr 13 – It’s the 2nd story – Pins in my Pants!

The last story is funny as well, Stuck on You.

Then, listen to this one on the Confessions page – A troublesome toilet tale and other tales 19 Apr 13  (yep, it’s the toilet tale, the 3rd story.  I didn’t realize what had happened until the end, will you figure it out?)

Find them here:

BBC Radio 2 – Simon Mayo’s Confessions


Finally, I heard this on Jo Whiley’s BBC Radio 2 show last week.  Thought it was great, about looking back on youth.

Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen


Here’s the link to the YouTube page:


Every one, at any age, should listen to this at least once.

And, don’t forget about the sunscreen…

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These are links to podcasts of their shows:

Len Tillem the loyah!

Gil Gross:

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

Every day I see searches for Bernie Ward and Ray Taliaferro.  I wish I had news to post about Ray but I don’t see anything new about him.  So, for those who search for Bernie these are his latest blog posts:

September 20, 2012 – 1% vs 47% (Bernie comments on Romney’s remark)


September 21, 2012 – Cliff Notes (Bernie yells  ‘jump’)


September 28, 2012 – Whatever You Do For The Least (Bernie blames himself for the loss of the Fresh Start charity)


October 5, 2012 – There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (Bernie talks about Churches and Politics)


October 15, 2012 (2 Posts) – Miss Congeniality (Bernie’s thoughts on the VP debate) and None of the Above (Bernie discusses young people and religious affiliations)


October 17, 2012 – A Pig In A Poke (Bernie blasts Paul Ryan)


October 21, 2012 – May Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her (Bernie mourns a soothing voice in the Texas wilderness)


October 26, 2012 (2 Posts) – A Gift From God (Bernie shares his thoughts on that infamous rape comment) and The Government Giveth, and the Government Taketh Away (Bernie reminds us how the states have spent our money)


November 4, 2012 – Lay of the Land (Bernie predicts an Obama victory)


That’s it for Bernie.


Another interesting program that aired this week was the rebroadcast of Moyers & Company first show from January 2012.  It’s about inequality and sets the tone of Moyers’ ongoing fight to right the wrongs of riches.


I wish I had something to post about Ray.  Here’s an old clip from YouTube when Ray falls in love with Bob:

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.