The Newstalk KGO legacy station is now just half of what it used to be. News, no talk. Kinda.
For those of you who grew up in the San Francisco Bay area listening to Dunbar & Wygant, Ronn Owens, Rosie and Ed, Morgan and Beck, and the rest of the gang - the last few days have been shocking. Beyond words for many of us who worked for a damn fine station that won every award available many times over.
Now the aptly named Dickey Bros from Atlanta, Georgia think they can take their Stanford MBA's and do something which most say is impossible...make more money from a declining industry by firing their way to prosperity.
Maybe Lew and John Dickey are right.
Today, we hear that Wall Street likes the numbers and their stock is now at $3.00 a share. I also read that the Dickey's filed papers with the SEC increasding THEIR financial compensation and improving their severance package. God forbid they should be left with two weeks of Cobra insurance and two weeks severance if they belly flop in this venture.
Folks, these are public airwaves that the Dickey's are ruining. The Dickey's are worth several fortunes. So how did these multi-millionaire's handle the dismissal of KGO long-time staffers? According to media columnist Jerry Del Colliano, a Cumulus hatchet man named Bill Bungeroth (who laid off my husband) brought together the air talent and announced the station was going another direction. And then walked out. Meanwhile, Del Colliano reports that there was an apparent sucide by a Cumulus employee who was fired shortly before her death last week.
KGO is a mishmash of nothingness. KGO is neither fish nor fowl ...neither news nor talk. It is a hybrid. Of NOTHINGNESS.
I'm not saying that Cumulus Broadcasting doesn't have the right to do what they did. It's called Capitalism, and I'm a big proponent.
But we have a right to protest the loss of some excellent programming by hitting back at those who hit us.
Rich Lieberman, a Bay Area Media critic, writes more about that here.
Look, I am not ignoring the obvious. KGO is a left-leaning radio station. I am a committed conservative. But when selfish interests dominate and destroy the livelihoods of hundreds and hundreds of talented individuals - speak out. If it can happen to them, it WILL happen to us. Is KSFO, KGO's sister station and conservative talker up next? Who knows?
Radio is part of the daily fabric of our lives, from health and fitness (represented by the hugely talented Joanie Greggains) to news and talk (like Gil Gross, Len Tillem and the others) and it just feels unfair. I haven't even started on the loss of the behind-the-scenes producers and administrative people who helped make a great station greater.
It seems to me that there is a perfect opportunity for someone with some bucks to come into the San Francisco radio market and put together a radio station that could kick ass ...liberal AND conservative...if done properly.
I think I know just the right folks for the job.