Posts Tagged ‘Sebastian Kunz’

Frosty, you sir, are no Gil Gross.

Image by Petritap CC-SA-3.0

And, for that, I thank you.

ha ha.  See what I did there?

I did it again on Friday.  It was so busy at work that I forgot to turn off Talk910 before the shrieking and screeching began.  Please, please,  please get Gil’s wife off the air.  I’m thinking of sending Clear Channel an extended tape of what we listeners are subjected to on the air but I don’t want to listen to it one second longer than I have to so I can’t create a ‘worst of’ Gil’s Friday shows.  There are so many to choose from.  If the suits had to listen to a compilation of high-pitched squeals and inane chatter then maybe they’d take some action that Gil won’t.

But, that’s not what I came here to discuss.  As you know, I listen to Frosty’s shows now.  I’m done with wasting time on Gil.  He repeats the same news items that Frosty does on his show anyway, with the exception of Gil inserting a Politico correspondent phone-in every few minutes.

I see many search terms on this blog looking for Frosty but seldom see anything on Gil unless it’s a negative search, such as, why is Gil Gross’ radio show so bad?  I can’t guess why Gil has given up on hosting a quality show, but it was in decline long before Sebastian Kunz left.  I miss Sebastian’s nice voice and his pleasing, calm presence on air but I do enjoy Michael the news guy on Frosty’s show.  And, of course, I always appreciate the warmth and passion of Lloyd Lindsay Young.  Love ‘ya, Lloyd.

One thing Frosty does that Gil would never do is read email from listeners (yes, I know Gil reads snippets off Facebook, but they are hand-selected, self-serving snippets).

I guess if no one calls, then email is the next best thing.  I enjoy Frosty’s email segments because he loves to read email from listeners who bash his show or berate his intelligence and physical appearance by calling him names like ‘fat clown’ or ‘moron’.  Then Frosty explains why he said what he did on an earlier show or segment, but not before he has a good laugh at some of the more vitriolic tirades.  Sometimes Frosty even agrees with the email and admits he should have worded something differently or researched something more thoroughly.

There are times Frosty flubs what we wants to say.  After he realizes it, he corrects himself but he still gets angry, vicious email about the unintended comment and he reads all of the email from the people who will ‘never listen to his show again’, that is,  until they send another email a week later.

For me, the most entertaining Frosty shows are when he shares things that have happened to him.  The One-Eyed Guy and the near miss of a speeding car and ice cream, always, ice cream.  I’ve included links to some of these stories in earlier blog posts.

Unlike Gil.

When Gil starts a story I now groan and roll my eyes because I know the story, could repeat it word for word, lame jokes and all, and for the fifteenth time he has to tell it again.  It’s excruciatingly long and drawn out, not to mention it’s usually to name drop or, in an indirect way, portray how wonderful he thinks he is.  Those nauseating attempts at humor get old fast.

Can you tell I’ve listened too long to Gil?  His show does not hold up to a long-term listener.  It’s unfortunate, because I really enjoyed him on that other station.  But, my dissatisfaction grew with the Friday shows and his amateur wife with her scorched vocal cords and I knew my time was wasted trying to listen.  I can’t listen to him on any day now without feeling irritation.  I usually turn to other options.

So I’m left with Frosty.  That’s it.

I was a bit disappointed with Frosty this week, though, because he’d been saying he watches all of the Olympic coverage he can and I was anticipating his shows this week to hear what he thought about the Sochi Games.  Well, what he said is he keeps falling asleep during the Olympics and misses prime-time events.

Darn!

He should look online at  http://www.nbcolympics.com/ .  Has he seen Johnny Weir lately?  What is up with that?  And, what does he think of Bode Miller?  Can Frosty appreciate the skill of Russian figure skater Yulia Lipnitskaya (also known as Julia)?  Probably not, because he did make a comment that figure skating is just someone skating around and flapping his or her arms at the same time.

Oh, and Frosty has commented on the ongoing saga of CostasCodeRed.

But, that’s it on Frosty’s Olympics coverage.  Unless I’ve missed it, I don’t think Frosty has even talked about Shaun White.

There was a wonderful article written about Shaun White recently on how he changed a columnist’s opinion.  You can read it here:

  http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/shaun-white-olympic-moments-and-mettle-without-a-color/2014/02/11/94fa0968-9354-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html

I don’t like Matt Lauer as CodeRed’s stand-in.  He’s about exciting as a mattress-man radio ad.  Meredith is fine, though, and she appears more engaged in the events than Matt.  But those segments with Mary Carillo just aren’t the same without Costas.

But Frosty wouldn’t know about that.  He’s snoring away in his new easy chair…

Want to catch Frosty between snores?  Here’s a link to his archived podcasts:

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/

Image by amalon619 CCA-SA 3.0

It was so busy at work this week, I didn’t really listen to Frosty or Gil’s shows.  They were on in the background, but I have no idea if Frosty had callers or if Gil cut off Valerie in mid-sentence to talk about himself.  Of course, I did remember to turn off Gil’s Friday show.  Once you hear his wife’s voice, you don’t forget to do things like that for your sanity.  Is she still screeching and shrieking her way though the show, cutting off guests to ask in her oh-so-slow, trying-to sound-professional, prattling voice?  ugh!  Please, Gil, have Valerie sit in for your Friday shows.  You’ll get some listeners back!

Why would they get rid of Sebastian Kunz and keep Gil’s amateur wife on the air?

Doesn’t this make anyone else angry?  If it wasn’t for Frosty taking calls and seeming to care about his show, and for  the few times Gil really does show up for his show mentally, I would opt out of listening to radio.

So, why did I bring this up again?  Because on Friday, during Gil’s show time, I was listening to This American Life and heard a great online segment.

They have something on their website now that I’ve been hoping for, a 24-hour live-stream of their show segments.  You can listen to continuous shows now for 24 hours if you want.  Just click once and let it run.  Love it.  It’s almost like turning on the radio without the commercials.  No more having to stop what you’re doing to find the next hour-long podcast and click on Start.  This American Life now has the option to click once and you’re good to go.

Here’s the website:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/

Try the 24-Hour Live Stream.  It’s directly under ‘This Week’ podcast information on the front page, click it and enjoy the program variety.

Here’s the show I heard.  It stays with you.  For once I’m glad Gil’s show is so bad on Fridays or I would have missed it:

Within the podcast ‘The Cruelty of Children’, there is a 17-minute story titled The Man in the Well.  Find it under the third segment down the page, as Act Two.  Click the Play arrow next to the story summary to listen to this story only:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/27/the-cruelty-of-children

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I took another ride on Muni this weekend and confirmed the website listed on those SF Sewer Department ads.  Listed under such ad slogans as ‘We deal with the crap so you don’t have to’, and ‘Your #2 is our #1’ is the website sfwater.org/sewer.  Unbelievable.  Why are we wasting (get it?) funds on this questionable ad crap?

http://www.sfwater.org/index.aspx?page=165

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My Muni ride this weekend took me to community day at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House.  It was Community Open House, the tickets were free, and children of all ages were welcome.

Opera costumes were on display, from The Merry Widow and other productions.  Tables were set up so children could create their own props, such as flowers made from crepe paper and pointy paper hats decorated in glitter and ribbons.  There were long lines of people who were able to try on some costumes and get their pictures taken wearing them.

There was a question and answer session with General Director, David Gockley.  There were live orchestra performances and sing-alongs.  Even a scavenger hunt.  There were soloist and duet performances from The Barber of Seville, currently playing at the opera house.  A Costume Demonstration presented by Assistant Costume Director, Christopher Verdosci, who shared some opera performance secrets, presented a highly-entertaining program and talk.  My favorite event, though, was the back-stage tour.  Really makes you want to slap on the face paint and give it a go.  ha ha.

This was the second season of an open house by San Francisco Opera House to celebrate National Opera Week.  It was possible through funding by Chevron, OPERA America’s Building Opera Audiences Grant Program, and Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

Here’s the website:

http://sfopera.com/Home.aspx

If you get a chance, attend the open house next year.  It’s fun for the entire family.

I’ve loved some performances there.  One memorable one was Hansel and Gretel.  The Gingerbread Witch was played by a man in a dress and apron and it was so campy.  He jumped on top of a massive table and waved a big wooden spoon over his head as he sang.  Loved it.  One of the Faust performances I attended had an incredible set, with men dressed in black slinking down the sides of high, white walls.  I was mesmerized once by a production of Wagner’s Parsifal.

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So, now we go from high art to pop culture.  I’ve never understood the popularity of Tom Cruise.  Happy to say I’ve never spent any money supporting his films.  So, it was surprising that I really enjoyed this blog post about him:

http://open.salon.com/blog/tinkerertink69/2013/11/08/tom_cruise_i_will_always_love_you

It’s too bad that with so much imagination Tinkertink uses it on someone like Tom Cruise but I’m glad he did.  This is the most entertaining story I’ve seen on Cruise to date.

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Since I didn’t hear most of the talk on Frosty’s show this week, I’ll comment on something he brought up a month or so ago.  My Muni ride made me think of it.

I was sitting on Muni, minding my own business just looking out of the window, and a guy got on on the bus, walked past me and said b*tch.  I couldn’t believe it.  I wasn’t doing or saying anything.  Just sitting on the bus and this guy chooses to call me that.

Not to mention that he sat in the back, and I could hear him proceed to sell drugs to some guys back there.  I didn’t turn to look, but I heard him.  And, of course, the guys were interested in buying what he had to sell.

It reminds of a segment on one of Frosty’s shows, one in which he asked why are women complaining about being noticed by men when women dress specifically so men will notice them?  A woman caller told him that she is harassed daily by strange men who accost her on the street and want to talk to her or ask for her number.  She said it’s scary, especially when these guys follow her.

Frosty could not understand why women would be offended by that when what they want IS for men to notice them.

He doesn’t get it.  Most women do not want strange men to notice and interact with them.  Who knows why that guy on the bus decided I was the b*tch out of everyone there?  I wasn’t dressed for attention.  I was dressed for comfort.  But, whatever I was wearing was enough for some guy to assume it was okay to call me whatever he wanted.  I was not there to be noticed, I was there to get to my destination.  Is that too much to ask?

Riding Muni is the perfect endorsement on why NOT to ride Muni.  No amount of PR can change that.

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Even the anti-pope wrote about women and men this week:

http://open.salon.com/blog/james_emm/2013/11/09/what_women_want_in_menand_vice_versa

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sigh….

Maybe I’ll call Frosty this week and ask ‘What are you wearing?’  See how he likes it.

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

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

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

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

Is Frosty bringing back talk?  I hope so.

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

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/frosty-103013-hr1-redskins-santa-rosa-23908876/

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

http://www.talk910.com/pages/frosty.html?article=11792140

ouch!

Now, isn’t this next thing just craptastic?

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

Your #2 is our #1

and

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

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

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Disturbing items I found this week:

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

See the September 10th post.

https://twitter.com/sebastiankunz

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

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

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Now, more things truly disturbing. 

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

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/2013/10/radnich-and-heenan-petting-pals.html

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/2013/10/radnich-kathy-stays-with-my-mom.html

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/2013/10/raddy-tonight-cathy-is-my-friend.html

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/2013/10/raddy-if-i-leave-my-wife-can-i-stay.html

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

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/2013/10/stan-and-fate-of-universeyour-soul.html

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

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Here’s the link to it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F815coz2A3s

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

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Kw52mG1EzU

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

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoD1zJKHCR4

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

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

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

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

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

Anyone else get the same vibe?

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

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDYVa_wqYVc

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

Gosh darn!  I really liked Sebastian and he made Gil’s show bearable at times.  I knew Sebastian had been on vacation and he was expected back this week Tuesday.  I wondered why he wasn’t there and now Gil has made the announcement that cBas is gone.  He’s not sick, he’s not laid off, it’s for personal reasons that he left and it’s his decision to reveal why.

I wish you the best, Sebastian!  I will miss hearing you on the air.

You can listen to Gil’s announcement on his program today, Wednesday, September 11th, Hour 2, and it starts at around 21:20 on the podcast.

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-91113-hr2-23700192/

If you missed it, Ed Baxter filled in for Gil’s Friday show.

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr1-w-ed-23627479/

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr2-w-ed-23627789/

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr3-w-ed-23627884/

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr-4-w-23627947/

Don’t miss Hour Four, where Sebastian Kunz presents his full production of Nerd News!

Plus, Ed has a new book out, Waiting at Red Lights:

http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Red-Lights-Edward-Baxter/dp/0985736763

http://edbaxtermedia.com/waiting-at-red-lights/

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This past week, on the Facebook page of formerkgolisteners, they linked a post by that media blogger guy who wrote an unflattering piece about Gil.  Here’s the Facebook page if you want to read it, the post is dated August 19th:

https://www.facebook.com/FormerKGOListeners

It’s nice to see from the comments that Gil has many fans and I wasn’t surprised that many on Facebook did not appreciate the blogger guy using prominent names such as Gil as a tactic to try to pull in readers and, now, listeners, to his substandard radio show.  Back in December 2011, I had hopes the blogger guy was better than what he’s turned out to be.  For awhile, even, I used to link his posts but no longer want to lead readers there except for the comments on his blog, or, I should say, the comments he allows.  That guy censors criticism and I’ve had suspicions that he pads his own blog with favorable comments about how great he is, written by him, and how he has the best show on the radio.  Yeah, right.  Maybe he could partner with Yelp.

I’ve thought about going back and deleting all links to his blog, but I’ll leave those old posts that document the journey transitioning from hope to disgust in real-time postings.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to moderate comments.  I used to think I’d never censor comments, but I’m forced to put up a wall between spam and bots that would overwhelm any blog space.  I understand the need to moderate, it’s saved me considerable time.  Without it, I’d have to manually delete thousands of spam and fraud items.  I welcome readers who want to comment and actually join a conversation, but I’ve also had to reject a few trollish comments with choice words about my mental ability after posts about Armstrong & Getty.  Those comments added nothing except vitriol.

I don’t care to listen to screamers in the morning.  Some do.  I don’t.

Anyway…

I am thankful we have Gil here in the Bay Area, but his show in the past year has been less satisfying than in former years and on Fridays it is downright irritating.  I realize some of my dissatisfaction comes from listening to him every day except for Friday (unless his wife stays home or someone guest hosts).  We all know and recognize Gil’s talent as a broadcaster.  The frustration is in the change of his show’s format to chase PPM (Portable People Meter).

These are thoughts about PPM attributed to Gil that I found online in a September 2008 article written by Brad Kava:

http://www.examiner.com/article/lipstick-on-a-horse-s-ass-the-american-media-never-looked-worse

Maybe KGO-AM’s afternoon host Gil Gross said it best. With the new People Meter, which measures exactly what people are listening to, radio managers can tell that a conversation about the economy gets far fewer listeners than one about an out of context, inflammatory hit piece, like the pig comment.

Sadly, if he’s right, we’ve become a country of horses asses…and no lipstick is going to fix that.

I found another quote by an out-of-state GM who is not a fan of PPM:

http://www.pugetsoundradio.com/cgi-bin/forum/Blah.pl?m-1298563415/

Here’s one quote from a GM “I could go on for days about how radio is getting screwed by Arbitron’s PPM. We’ve become a reach  medium who programs to the meter measurement and not to listeners or to help clients with marketing issues. The most repulsive aspect  is the mediocrity it has caused, meaning all formats sound the same. Very sad. I loved this industry but now we are more of a commodity  than a good, tight place that listeners want to go to – to feel good and for our clients to reach those targets”. Another told us “PPM says  you are a ‘listener’ if you are exposed to the radio in a cab while on your cell phone for 5 minutes in a week  even if you didn’t hear the  station and you don’t even like it”

Here’s another discussion about PPM:

http://jacobsmedia.typepad.com/jacobs/ppm/

Jeff Vidler picked up on the theme by focusing on what he calls the “PPM engagement gap.”

Jeff points out that with the advent of PPM, it is no longer necessary for the audience to be engaged with a station as long as they are exposed to it.

The reality of this thinking is that while basic PPM tactics (less talk, more segues, staccato imaging, fewer charity events) can facilitate exposure, something is being lost in the fan engagement process.

Yet, in the digital and social worlds, it is all about making connections with audiences and communities.  And as Jeff notes, advertisers are thinking more and more about investing in marketing that engages and makes the best use of digital’s ability to connect people with brands.

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When searching the internet for information it’s difficult to take bias out of it.  I’ve located articles that support my opinion by bringing up search terms such as:

how PPM hurts radio

complaints about PPM

I realize that it’s easy to find articles I agree with when I’m not even looking for the opposing argument.  i’m going to continue to read about PPM to try and understand how it helps or hurts radio, and search for opposing opinions from mine.

I do base my negative comments about PPM on what I can hear.  Going back to discuss Gil’s show, I was an instant fan when he first joined KGO after Pete Wilson’s untimely death.  I heard Gil’s in-depth conversations, he sounded as if he enjoyed interacting with the audience, he interviewed politicians, book authors, comedians, musicians, people in the news, etc.

He had shows where he talked about his father and encouraged people to call in and talk about theirs.  He discussed beliefs and spiritualism and even Bernie Ward when no one else would touch that subject in 2008.  People called in crying, in disbelief, and Gil related how he’d noticed a change in Bernie and wondered what was going on.  He guided listeners through a difficult, sad time, both in Pete Wilson’s death and Bernie’s conviction.

Now, what we get from Gil are snippets of Politico interviews and him talking on-air to his producer and board operator and, ugh, his wife.  We get Gil standing in line at a supermarket to buy apples.  We get Gil doing mindless fluff like dumb criminals and teachers and whatever brainless story that is easily found on a Google search.

And, it seems we have no one to guide us.

Gil defends his show on the PPM numbers.  If you follow the link on the Facebook page of formerkgolisteners and read that blogger guy’s post about Gil, or, I should say, read the comments, someone said they emailed Gil to ask why he continues with the new format when so many do not like it and Gil responded.  Gil claimed the format change has increased ratings from 0.3 to 2.0.  Said he is doing what the station wants and it’s a business in the end and advertisers have no interest in a call-in talk format.  Said it’s probably not what the person wanted to hear, but it’s the truth.

Another commenter claims Gil doesn’t care.  The suits don’t care so why should he?

I hope that’s not true.

Gil should care, for the sake of talk radio in this market and for his friends on the show with him: Sebastian and Lloyd Lindsay Young and that producer and board operator he always drags on the air for their opinions instead of callers.

If this continues, we might have another news item like we had in December 2011, or even this one from back in 2000:

November 7, 2000

http://articles.philly.com/2000-11-07/news/25612553_1_sid-mark-beasley-broadcast-group-dave-donahue

“I found out a minute and a half before I thought I was going on the air,” said Gross yesterday. “That was fun.”

If you tuned in to WWDB before 5 p.m. yesterday, what you heard was an electronic voice counting backward from 6,000.

“That’s an old radio stunt,” said Gross. “The aim is to get people wondering ‘What’s going on there?’ to create interest in what’s coming next. And apparently word got around. A Lower Merion policeman told me someone called to report ‘a crazed woman was holding the station hostage while she counted.’ That was the first laugh I had all day.”

The countdown voice reached 3-2-1 at 5 p.m. at which point another voice announced: “Look out Philadelphia, here we come.” The station promised to bring listeners “the best of the ’80s.”

According to Paul Heine of the radio newsletter Friday Morning Quarterback, there has been a rash of stations switching to this ’80s format in recent months, presumably to attract 20- and 30-somethings nostalgic for the music of their high school years.

That’s a much younger audience than WWDB has been attracting.

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I truly hope not.  But if Gil won’t guide us through this, who will?

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I have a few more interesting articles on PPM, but no time to discuss them now.  Posts about phantom cumes and stories of PPM wearers.  Sounds like fun, huh?

Maybe in the next week or two since we have a long holiday weekend approaching…

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By the way, this past week on BBC Radio2 I heard about a new group who has an album coming out in September.  They have the potential to be the next big thing.

I think it was Simon Mayo, on BBC Radio2, who was interviewing a different popular group and a member of that group could not stop talking about a new group they’d heard in the studio where they’d been recording the previous afternoon.  He was talking about the new group, London Grammar.

BBC Radio2 decided to find out about this new group and they agreed London Grammar needed to get some airplay and that’s how it’s all started to happen for them.  You can listen to them here or follow the link to YouTube:

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6drfp_3823I

Hannah Reid, the lead singer, has a strong, clear voice, similar to Florence and the Machine, except Hannah doesn’t go off in those screaming, vocal-stretching episodes that, for me, degrades the listening experience. London Grammar has the ability to express emotion in a lead voice that does not have to shout and strain to showcase it.

https://www.facebook.com/londongrammar

http://www.londongrammar.com/ustour/

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Also, last week Stan explained his obsession with Radnich:

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-stan-and-raddy-storymost-of-it.html

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Don’t forget to check Frosty’s page and podcasts:

http://www.talk910.com/pages/frosty.html

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/

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And, still no sign of Len Tillem.  Is he giving up as well?

Now that I can no longer listen to Gil’s show on Fridays, and I made the mistake of leaving the radio on after Frosty’s show today (Friday) until the screeching and squawking sound of Gil’s wife’s voice, that irritating, unprofessional voice, had me scrambling to turn that radio off faster than Ron Owens can say mattress, so I used my listening hours instead to explore the Radio Archive section of the website This American Life.

Oh, my gawd, I laughed, I cried, I held my hand to my heart.  This American Life episodes sneak up on you and sock you in the gut.  I had a true listening experience today.

This American Life’s style is similar to Radiolab, but it’s less scientific, focusing more on the emotional human condition than the significance of a story examined by logic and reasoning and theory.  This American Life is like cooking at home, with friends in the kitchen, while Radiolab is like being in America’s Test Kitchen, that public television show that dissects the molecules and chemistry of the food to find the optimal cooking method.

I’ll add links to some of the episodes I’ve heard on http://www.thisamericanlife.org/.  But, first, I have to mention Frosty.

I’ve read online that some people have listened to Frosty’s show for an hour and had to turn it off, couldn’t listen to it and will never listen again.  I feel the same about Gil’s Friday shows but I’m gone in one minute.  One hour of it would have me poking pins in my eardrums.

Frosty is like a bumbling, affable neighbor who comes over with a beer in his hand and sits on your creaky, wooden back porch steps and talks.  He has opinions, he sometimes says cringe-worthy things, but his show is beginning to hit a stride.  Even better that Lloyd Lindsay Young is there as well as Sebastian Kunz.  If I navigate away from Gil’s show altogether I would miss Young and Kunz.  heh, that sounds like something that needs a 900 number.

Lately, Frosty has been playing audio clips of interviews or events in the news.  He ends his show with one of those clips.  Many times it’s something heart-warming that makes me smile or say ‘ahhhh’.  I like that.  I notice.

Today, he had two interesting audio clips.  The first one was a phone call Monica Lewinsky made to Bill Clinton.  It’s fascinating.  Here’s the link to Frosty’s show today, Hour 2.  The Monica Lewinsky story starts around 6:35 on the podcast.

http://www.talk910.com/player/?station=KKSF-AM&program_name=podcast&program_id=frosty.xml&mid=23537256

Later, Frosty played a clip of Richard Nixon, who sounds drunk.  It’s on after the Monica story in Hour 2.  Frosty ended his show today, Hour 3, playing Nixon’s audio clip again.

Here’s the page to all of Frosty’s archived podcasts:

http://www.talk910.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?podcast=frosty

I think he even took a call today, but I could have misinterpreted a guest as a caller.  It was busy at work today and I missed sections of the show.  I heard only the end of the conversation.

I’m really warming to Frosty.

There are other listening options, though, for those who won’t listen to someone who calls himself Frosty.  Or, to Gil who, sadly, is not what he used to be.  He’s PPMing.

I found out This American Life has an archived section.  At first, I thought episodes were only available for one week unless they were downloaded.  But there is a Radio Archive section and it has years of audio listed.  As promised, here are links to some of the episodes I’ve heard:

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359: ‘Life After Death’ – Jul 18, 2008

‘Guilty As Not Charged’, Act One, still haunts me, and I listened to it last week:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/359/life-after-death

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489: ‘No Coincidence, No Story!’ – Mar 1, 2013

I loved the ‘Poopatrooper’ story in the Prologue and ‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’ in Act Three, will have you scratching your head.  You can listen to each section of Episode 489, or the entire hour (this applies to any episode).  But, the hand to the heart story is in Act Two, ‘In God We Trust’ and, trust me, the dollar works in mysterious ways:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/489/no-coincidence-no-story

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486: ‘Valentine’s Day 2013′ – Feb 8, 2013

’21 Chump Street’, Act Two, about the school kid is disturbing.  ‘My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend’, Act Four is hilarious.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/486/valentines-day-2013

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There are more, but the ones I’ve listed are worth the listening time.

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And, here’s a link to all of This American Life‘s Radio Archive listings:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives#2013

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So, listen to Frosty, and if Gil finally gets to you, try the above episodes instead.  It’s better than listening to Gil and Politico correspondents discuss sexual misconduct in government today.

And, if you are wondering what the heck Stan has to say today, and you don’t mind colorful language, (I’m not talking pink hearts and yellow moons), then here he is in all of his glory:

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/

By Mgmoscatello (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Keeps him away from his radio show.

I’ve endured some bad radio before, heck, I’ve even listened to Gil’s wife, Rhoda, for a few months until I couldn’t stand it any longer.  Why is Gil doing this to us?  He has an opportunity to be great in this market, being one of the true professionals left on the air in this area, but what he’s been presenting in this major market is puzzling and frustrating.

He tells the same stories many times.  I can forgive him that, not everyone is listening every day to his entire show.  But I’ve heard these stories over and over again, all about him, and it’s eye-rolling radio.  How he broke into a radio station to start the show, how a critic once thought his name was fake, how he… Gil, Gil, Gil, Gil.  In a recent conversation with someone, he even said ‘before I was famous’.  what?  Then, he took it back, saying in his self-deprecating way that is really saying how wonderful he is, that he’s not famous but only someone with a radio show.

Did I mention he forces us to listen to the sound of his wife’s voice that, at times, can make the ears bleed?

I continue to listen, except on Fridays.  Yes, lately I’ve been turning the volume of the show down so it’s just background noise.  If there’s a big news story, I might turn it up to a hearing level.  Gil is still a trained broadcaster and he can bring it when big news breaks.

It’s all of that air time between breaking news that degrades the show to a level that now borders on honking clown noses.  Think Armstrong and Getty.

I wouldn’t be complaining about this if one or two silly stories was an anomaly.  Can’t be serious all of the time.  But, lately, Gil seems to be phoning it in.  I guess someone has to phone it in, since he doesn’t bother taking calls from the listeners.  Just this week I heard him say “I want to hear from you” meaning his listeners, and then he gave out his Facebook account, Twitter information, and email address.  Yep.  That’s how our local talk show host on our Bay Area talk station wants to communicate – in every way except for, you know, talk.

By the way, when John Rothmann filled in for Gil over the July 4th holiday, there were plenty of calls.  hmmmm…

I guess there’s no time for listener calls on a show that has someone from Politico on the line all of the time.    Plus, after Politico, Gil has to get in those ridiculous dumb criminal stories.  Now add to that dumb teachers.  Brain fluff.  Then it’s back to read a news story, have someone from Politico tell us what we should think about it, and then Gil, with his guest still on the line, goes into great detail telling another story of his life in radio.  Then the guest laughs, many times just being polite.  Oh, isn’t Gil funny and relevant in this medium?

So it goes.  But, this Thursday was the low in the life of Gil Gross on the radio.  It was a low for Bay Area radio.  I think this is the beginning of the end.

This is how it started.  The show started with its usual Politico segment.  Afterwards, Gil wanted to call Sebastian Kunz to the microphone to talk to him about something.

I don’t mind.  I enjoy Sebastian Kunz.  I really missed his voice and on-air personality when he was on vacation last week.   Anyway, Sebastian was actually working, doing traffic in addition to news, and didn’t have time to sit in with Gil.

So, Gil humphs and tells the story how earlier in the day Sebastian was histrionic over some missing apples.

It was an odd thing for him to tell on the air.  Like a little home spat that made him chuckle.  Not the kind of thing listeners in the Bay Area need to know about or even care.

But Gil didn’t let it go.  He soon brought Sebastian on-air to tell the story how he, Sebastian, saw apples in the station lunch area and why he didn’t eat one at the time and that when he came back all of the apples were gone.

Okay.

So now all of San Francisco has the news about the missing apples.  Now, can we get on with a show?

No.

This is the part that annoys me.

When Gil is supposed to be doing his show, he thinks it’s cute to run to Safeway and call in to the show, yes, the same show he doesn’t let any listeners call in to, and he has Sebastian take his call on-air.  What is Gil doing during his own program?  He’s at the local Safeway buying apples for Sebastian.  And, he thinks it’s so darn cute that he’s doing it during a segment he’s supposed to be in-studio.  Gil asks Sebastian what kind of apples he wants and names different varieties until Sebastian chooses one or two.  Then, we listeners, get to stand in line with Gil as he waits to pay for the apples.

And, that, my friends, is the state of radio in this major market.  Standing in line waiting to checkout.

I just might get in line and checkout of Gil’s show.