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Talk radio lovers Facebook and Tweet pain over KGO host bloodbath

Turn off KGO RadioI was expecting a Facebook page to pop up following the dismissal of a small battalion of popular hosts over at San Francisco’s KGO Newstalk 810. But two Facebook pages? Now that’s impressive. The first (or at least the first to come to our attention) is Former Listeners of KGO Radio Newstalk 810. Its info page explains the group’s mission:

On December 1, 2011, KGO’s parent company, Cumulus Media, fired most of its on air-talent and other valuable staff without warning. This sends a message that large corporations do not care about progressive and free media in the Bay Area. Let’s band together to send a message to Cumulus and other media monopolies that this is not OK with us.

Former Listeners has a Twitter page, too: Ex KGO Listeners. The second Facebook group has come up with an equally to-the-point title: Occupy KGO. Here’s its statement of purpose:

“Occupy” KGO’s social media, phone lines and mail expressing outrage and disappointment in KGO management’s decision to change the station’s formatting to all-news, most of the time! No tents required. We enjoyed current on-air personalities, but those left are victims of this change as we the listeners walk away. Our primary objective is to drive listenership down significantly and encourage major sponsors to pull-out of KGO. Our ultimate goal is to devastate Cumulus Media, Inc. using these techniques to the point the company needs to re-invent themselves yet again. By doing this, we will have proved that Cumulus’ original business decision of re-formatting to all news, most of the time was, in fact, NOT what the majority of listeners wanted.

Occupy KGO also has a Tweet account: @OccupyKGOAM810 and a live chat room (which seems to work best in Google Chrome).

Ex KGO Listeners is focusing on a market walkout; Occupy KGO, on the other hand, is taking the hands-on approach. Here’s how its “phase 1” event, held on Monday, played out:

Let KGO and its parent company Cumulus Media, Inc. know that you will not tolerate its blindsided changes, taking away the Bay Area’s open news talk forum and replacing it with over-saturated, regurgitated news.

We invite you to express your frustration in a respectful way and encourage you to stand firm with committing to tuning out of the news during times talent took the stage.

During this two-day phase, please chose one number to call each day. Both numbers are listed below. After your call, please post on our page who you talked to, how it went and the response you got.

**As a result of good discussion in the page forum, it should be noted that you should express your disappointment in a firm, but respectful manner! We’re not here to hurt others, just express ourselves.

**

Cumulus Media, Inc: 404-949-0700

KGO Listener Line: 415-216-1050

If you experience any trouble with these numbers, please post any corrections you encounter.

Good luck occupiers!

While you are wondering what “phase 2” will look like, Twitter users are creating a variety of accounts as shout-outs to their lost talk radio heroes. Among the most creative, the Where Did Ray Taliaferro Go page. Last tweet: “We lost Ray Taliaferro, John Rothman, KGO as well. Those SOBs never cease being EVIL. http://t.co/FlhNVsSB.”

Second to last: “The only thing left at the KGO online profile for Ray Taliaferro is a Porsche ad.”

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle has a insightful op-ed piece about the format change, written by long time talk radio host and author Peter Laufer.

“The surprise silencing of KGO’s talk shows may make budget sense for the radio station’s absentee owners, but pulling the plug is bad news for civic discourse,” Laufer writes.

The demise of most KGO talk shows is not the end of the world as we know it. But it is another incremental step in our alienation from one another, and an important one. Don’t believe the argument that the Internet allows for so much interaction that radio is inconsequential. We choose about what and with whom we interact online; online we exist in special-interest neighborhoods. Nothing wrong with that.

But local talk radio – especially when we’re faced with long commutes alone – helps create and define us. Ratings spike when there is a crisis. We want to be in touch with each other, guided by a familiar – if flawed – “host” such as the local celebrities fired last week as if they were of no special value to the community KGO is licensed to serve.

“A viable community needs a common curriculum of knowledge, otherwise we cannot share the joys and concerns of our neighbors,” Laufer’s commentary concludes. “If we’re isolated from one another, we’re much less likely to care about each other and to work together for common goals.”

Clearly that “viable community” is so important to KGO listeners that they’ve turned to Facebook—and each other—in a bid to bring it back. Good luck to them.


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46 Responses to Talk radio lovers Facebook and Tweet pain over KGO host bloodbath

  1. ngreco December 7, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    As a 30+ year listener of KGO I cannot believe that a “media” network who should have the welfare of its listeners as a serious goal, could remove one of the area’s opportunities for communication, reflective conversation and just plain education. Obviously, these mindless executives mirror the reasons why so many of americans are disgusted with large corporations. THe betterment of the democracy falls victim to the almighty dollar. I, for one, will no longer listen to this station and will cease supporting any of its advertisers

  2. N December 7, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Thank god Ronn Owens is still there until his contract expires .

    Also , Brian c. Now I’m forced to find other talk shows.

    Sonoma county shows do not compare though.

    Btw. Peter finch. Omg. His voice is horrible. Gene you are so missed. It’s horrible firing you when you just got better in health and working and they fire you. Btw changing to all news won’t work. It will back fire!!!!!

  3. Brian December 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    As a 50 year listener to KGO I to want to express my outrage at the changes made and in the manner that they were made.

    Most important of all, we should all write and express our displeasure to the FCC. KGO broadcasts over our airwaves and must demonstrate that they are providing a public service. What service are they now providing that isn’t being done elsewhere over the local airwaves? NONE! Please write, if enough people do this it could have a positive impact. For now I’ve dropped KGO from my list of stations and WILL NOT patronize their advertisers.

  4. Michael R McGuire December 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Losing KGO as it exists is much like losing a good friend, and having it replaced by redundant style of news that already exists at KCBS and a far, far right radio host at 12 midnight (Red Hot Radio) is a shot in the heart. There are few radio stations in the US with moderate/moderately liberal radio hosts, and it appears corporations want to get rid of them all, replacing them by red wing hosts.

    I listened to the new radio host at midnight and someone called in about environmentalists and poluters. The host said they were exactly alike, they both held their positions because they each made a lot of money–Take Al Gore, he made a lot of money. The listener said there is no comparison between the two; there a lots of corporations who make money from poluting and there are only a few environmentalists that make any money. The host responded by saying, “Are you contradicting me? Who let you call in?

    KGO, I am sure, was making a lot of money with its current format. KGO’s new redundant format will, I predict, lose money. Corporations DO NOT CARE ABOUT PEOPLE, and Cumulus will learn that they will not make money by their change of format. But I do not think Cumulus changed format to make money–They did it to stifle OTHER points of view than theirs.

  5. Fred Rakevich December 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    I have listened to KGO for several decades and was shocked at the garbage I heard when I tuned in last night to the station I grew up with. I am totally disgusted over what they have done to the best program on radio.

    I WILL NEVER DIAL 810 again unless I find that the owners have come to their senses and returned to my favorite people- Gene, Pat Thurston , Ray, and all the others that I feel as part of my extended family.

  6. Bill Allen December 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    I’m saddened and outraged that Cumulus has terminated these radio talk show hosts–and with no prior notification to these people! The best way to make a statement is to simply not listen to KGO during the time slots of those that have been fired. This is precisely what I will be doing–and encouraging friends and acquaintances to do the same!

  7. Julie Louis December 7, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    I am very sad and disappointed about this change, I have listened to KGO for many years, I loved listening to different views and people calling in. I like Ronn but I loved the other hosts over the years, It was like an old friend I could count on for interesting and educational topics, Too much over processed news is borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring! Please bring it back! Where and what can I do to help!

  8. Linda Zimmerman December 7, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    I have listened to KGO since 1995 and have relied on the hosts for entertainment, knowledge and support. I am single and have appreciated the “company” of the divergent personalities. I do not respect the decision makers at cumulus and have chosen to stop listening to KGO. I have already called the station (last Sat.) to comment on their despicable treatment of the fired persons and at

    Christmas no less!!

  9. Grace Galligher December 7, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    Going to http://www.radio-info.com/news/new-salaries-and-bonuses-at-cumulus I found the following article:

    From today’s TRI Newsletter: Friday’s SEC filing by Cumulus lists the “compensatory arrangements of certain officers.” CEO Lew Dickey’s base salary becomes $1,450,000. His target bonus is 100% of that, and the maximum is 150%, therefore his total take could vary from $2.9 million up to $3,625,000. Senior VP/Treasurer/CFO J.P. Hannan’s base is now $550,000, with a target bonus of 50% more and a maximum of 75% more (so a potential total of $962,500). Cumulus is managed by two EVP/COOs, and of that pair, John Dickey earns the higher base salary. He will start with $875,000. Jon Pinch’s base is $775,000. They each have a target bonus of another 75% and a maximum of 100%, potentially doubling their salary. Finally, Senior VP/General Counsel Richard Denning’s base salary is $500,000, with a target of 40% more and a maximum of 60% more. The new deal also spells out what happens should there a termination “for cause” or “without cause” – adding on a so-called “severance multiplier.”

    They are not being hurt bu all of this.

  10. Bruce December 7, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    I lost some good friends with the changes at KGO. I learned a lot listening to Len Tillem, Bob Brinker, John Rothman and Dr. Bill. I will no longer listen to KGO with out them.

    It would be helpful if someone would post a current advertisers on KGO each week so that we know which goods or services not to purchase.

  11. Jackie Ambrose December 8, 2011 at 2:16 am #

    Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 of the Radio. This is the result of the metamorphosis of an amazingly informative KGO talk radio series of programs. How can I contact the former hosts? Where can I find Rothman, Brinker, Burns and company. I’ve been listening more to 540, but it’s not the same. The evolution continues as we listen to generic talk that is disconnected from our local communities. It clearly serves a purpose, and it will be curious to see how this continues. It’s a sad day indeed for us.

  12. rixx December 8, 2011 at 6:49 am #

    Boycott all KGO advertisers!

    Mattress Discounters!

    Goldstein Lawfirm

    et al

  13. John December 8, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Looking for a radio station? Try 960 AM. Thom Hartmann from 9 to 12 is very good. Liberal politics, intelligent. I stopped listening to Ronn Owens years ago.

  14. Matt Kratoville December 8, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    All news!!! All the time!!! Hey Bevis, this sucks!!!

  15. Sprague December 8, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    John – 960 AM will be gone in January – replace by right wing talk shows – Here is an article. http://www.truth-out.org/clear-channel-replace-green960-san-franciscos-only-am-progressive-talk-station-glenn-beck-other-rwer

  16. Ol'Sparky December 8, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    As you may know, this is not about profit. Cumulus bought the L.A. ABC affiliate too, and proceeded to put on all the usual plarf. KGO has been a target of the R/W radio cabal for years, and they finally got to nail the door shut. They will lose money all day every day if it means controlling the message. KABC in L.A. has the lowest ratings in the area, and they don’t even care. The only way to combat them is to buy the Cumulus stock, and sell at a loss, driving their price into to the toilet.

  17. mary frost December 8, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    ‘Isolated’ is Exactly how I feel after the firings on Dec 1. How disrepectful of Cumulus to not give the hosts or the listeners any time to say thank you and goodbye. My brain feels stagnent now because i’m not hearing debates and interviews on KGO. I have stopped listening and will not spend money with advertisers that stay with KGO. I am very afraid of what big corporations are turning this country into. I want a radio station that offers me a range of moderate and a little left and right talk! I do not want to listen to harsh commentators on the right. People who ‘did’ not listen to KGO do not understand how derailing this is to sooo many of our minds, hearts and routines!! I am still hoping some mainstream writer will write a piece that actually tells our story. I feel so sorry for those who are left working for the big C at KGO.

    mary frost

    santa rosa ca

  18. S. Coen December 8, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    I too am very dissapointed in the format change. Is there any way that a newspaper would pick this up for a good article about the importance a radio show like this? or how about an interview with the CEO of Cumulus? Maybe this would help if we could gather the help of our local media to support. If this can happen at one station then whose to say it will not happen at another bay area station, radio or tv. Maybe as residents of the bay area and outside we could apply some pressure. We all understand that we have one 24 hour all news station KCBS so having another is redundant. I for one listen to KCBS for all news.

  19. Faith Olea December 8, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    I feel that Ronn, Brian, Christine, and Karel are sell outs and I won’t support their programs anymore.

    Sure, we “get” that “hosts” can be fired at any time and can “disappear” from a program, but we don’t have to like it or support it, as Ronn, Brian, Christine and Karel have encouraged us to “give the new format a try.”

    First of all, we, the listeners and the consumers of products that we purchase from the advertisers, don’t want an “all news” format. We want to hear and participate in intelligent discussions!!!

    Secondly, Gil, Gene, etc, should have been given the opportunity to say “good bye” to us via the air waves and we should have been given the opportunity to thank them.

    Does “management” REALLY think that gentlemen of the Gene and Gil’s caliber would have sabotaged KGO if given an opportunity to say good bye and “sign off?” Give me a break!

    Jim Gabbert, please develop a new station with a talk show format! The KGO faithful listeners will support it.

    I will boycott all current KGO advertisers, including State Farm with its annoying ads, Sleep Train, etc.

    If Cumulus considers the firing of our talk show hosts and changing to an all news format to be purely a “business decision” then we consumers and former listeners can also adopt this “business decision” example by boycotting KGO advertisers.

    F. Olea

    Monterey CA

  20. barbara o'donnell December 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    I’ve written a letter to KGO telling them how horrendous their decision was. I’m sure they don’t care. But what can we do besides boycotting the advertisers? and how can we get in touch with those people fired to tell them how much we enjoyed them over the years and find out what their plans might be? I especially am saddened over loosing John Rothman’s intelligent voice.

  21. RadioSalesInsider December 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    I’m GLAD of the “CHANGE”. Its a long time comin. The fact – Radio is a free medium supported by – Ad dollars. Ad dollars for radio are scarce these days. Fact–KGO cannot support the #1 slogan based on Arbitron’s new PPM rating system. So, drastic measures call for drastic changes. Period. The “guys” on KGO that were let go know that their jobs are always on the line and based on….ratings. ratings get ad dollars. the never ending cycle. And yes…if you have read this far and by the title…I sold radio advertising. Over the past 7 years…things have changed. ant not for the better. Radio is all about ad revenue. Don’t like it??? There’s always Pandora or XM/Sirrius radio with plenty of options for you. It’s the sign of the times my friends. Or…you could always raise enough revenue, buy a radio station and run it yourself and see how far you get. Again…its all about ad revenue. And yes you can boycott advertisers, but heres a hint…they advertise on other stations too….so it wont hurt them at all. So I say Good BYE to the old and bring in the new! or….News!!

  22. Jacquie December 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    This Kgo change is another nail in the coffin of free thinking people.

    I did listen to 5 minutes of that new idiot at 12:00 AM and if I weren’t in bed, would have run screaming out of the house. Airwave contamination.

    There is an AM station out of Utah, KSL 1160, that has Jim Bohanon on at 10:00 PM. He refers to himself as a militant moderate. He is and has very interesting guests. Give him a try. I absolutely will not tune into KGO radio again.

  23. Michael the Boomer December 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    It is great to read all these impassioned responses to the maneuvers of Cumulus radio. The only problem is they, just as the banks and other financial institutions will just wait for the uproar to die down and continue going about their business as usual. As some have said, there is no room for a moderate left/right talk show in the corporate world. The air waves are being dominated by the “right” corporations and that’s the way they like it. The more they can spout their side without equality from they other side they like it. Over on 960 AM is about the only left station left in the area. I sometimes thing Randy goes a little overboard but she does give a alternate view – the main trouble is that it isn’t local.

    To paraphrase Radiosalesinsider or Michael Douglas in Wall Street – Greed is Good. Money talks. Not only in the media but in our Congress.

    It will never be a level playing field for the 99%ers.

  24. Brad Allen December 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    Well, I guess I have to echo the sentiments so far (even the ad salesman’s). Working in the service industry has given me the opportunity to hear the full spectrum of KGO’s former glory. From Jim Eason and Paul Harvey back in the day, to Pat Thurston and Karel these days. Though I will especially miss Gene Burns, a genuine wordsmith with the language.

    I do not see how the new format will generate more ad revenue though.

    I realize that ad revenue must be generated to keep a free media outlet in business, but this “new” rehash of a format will ONLY serve to decrease their ratings. Don’t know what it is, but there is definitely another angle to this story. Keep workin’ everybody to flush it out!

    In the meantime, I have deleted KGO from my radio dial. I might tune back from time to time to see if they have come to their senses, but suspect that I will permanently drift away as the weeks and months pass.

    Goodbye KGO 🙁

  25. Michael the Boomer December 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    From a post from Bernie Ward’s Blog

    The Thursday night massacre, which occurred at KGO, was not about ratings or people meters or a company bleeding money. What happened at KGO is the logical conclusion to a process started in 1996 when Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996. De-regulating radio opened the door to companies like Clear Channel and Cumulus to own hundreds of radio stations and to dominate local markets. The Bay Area survived as long as it did because of the strength of KGO and the commitment of General Manger Mickey Luckoff to strong local programming (and because Mickey bought KSFO to give regressive talk a place to go). Over 50,000 jobs have been lost in this industry, not because local radio wasn’t profitable, but being able to control hundreds of stations and put syndicated product on enabled these corporations to sell the overall listening tonnage which was even more profitable. As he did with NAFTA and GATT, Clinton gave no consideration to the local community…no consideration to the public good…no consideration to diversity of opinion and no consideration to the public airwaves and the obligation of radio stations to give back to the community.

    This move by Cumulus was not about ratings. I heard Karel, and have been told Ronn Owens said the same thing, saying this is about declining ratings and a company bleeding money. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Karel pointed out the key demographic which stations are interested in is people between the ages of 25-54. He says he is getting good ratings in this demographic and has a lot of female listeners, which is also desirable to station management. If Cumulus’ move was due to ratings, why not move Karel into an everyday slot? The precedent for such a move is well established at KGO. For KGO, weekends and late nights were places to grow new talent. It was intended to produce a bench to draw from in the future. Ronn Owens was on 10p-1a for years and then moved to days when Owen Spann left. Michael Krasny was replaced by me. (who started doing Godtalk on the weekends) I was replaced at 7p-10p by Gene Burns, who came to KGO to substitute for Ronn when he was out on strike. Ronn’s contract dispute also led to the development of Dwayne Garrett who eventually moved to the 7p-10p slot replacing Lee Rodgers. Jim Eason was replaced by Gene Burns; and when that didn’t work out, they brought in Pete Wilson. Shawn Nix was the first full time woman on KGO from 10p-1a and she came from weekends as well. If Cumulus wanted to boost ratings, they could have moved Karel and Pat Thurston and Christine Craft into weekday slots. Why didn’t they do this? It’s because this was never about ratings.

    A company like Cumulus, which owns KNBR, KSFO, KGO and a number of FM stations in the Bay Area, doesn’t sell ad time based on individual program or station ratings. They sell tonnage. They tell a local business if you advertise with them, your message will be heard across the entire swath of their stations and reach a huge audience. They will sell the raw numbers not ratings. This is the model which has been adopted ever since Clinton sold out local communities across the country. Since Hanbaugh et. al. came on the scene, they never had better ratings than any show on KGO. Local programming trumped syndicated every time. We were #1 for 29 years, the last 15 facing syndication constantly. The irony here is Hanbaugh, Beck, the Winer and others succeeded not because they got better ratings and beat the competition, but rather it was because their competition was eliminated in every market in the nation. If regressive radio had to compete against local talent in every market, it would lose 9 times out of ten.

    This move by Cumulus isn’t about a company or station bleeding money. Cumulus was able to buy KGO because Citadel Communications went bankrupt. They went bankrupt because they took on too much debt as the depression hit and ad revenues, and station values, plummeted (the whole ABC/Citadel sale was a tax scam to begin with). Citadel didn’t want to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in capital gains taxes for the appreciated value of ABC’s holdings and ABC had to come up with a way to mitigate that or there wouldn’t be a sale. ABC sold 49% of the radio network to Citadel so it could take over but avoid the taxes. You have to love corporate America’s patriotism) KGO was still making money, but Cumulus had a problem. It could make more money by getting out of local talk, but face a firestorm of criticism. They decided on a two-step process to achieve their goals. First, fire all the full-time hosts (they would have fired Owens too except for the fact he was smart enough to have a contract which didn’t allow it…I bow to his negotiating skills) and pretend to change to an all-news format. Keep some talk on the weekends where niche shows do well. In about a year or less, they will contend they are still losing money and cancel the all-news format and move to syndicated programming. By this time, the passionate listeners who could cause them licensing problems will have moved on. They will abandon any pretense about the local community and bring in shows with no local concerns whatsoever. Cumulus’ Thursday night massacre was a bloodletting disguised by a format change in order to get where they really want to go.

    If you want proof of my theory, watch and listen. News will be constant from 9am-midnight. Up until now, the news blocks were 5a-9a and 4p-7p. With an increase in news coverage one would suspect KGO would hire a number of new reporters and anchors. They will re-open a bureau at San Francisco City Hall and the Hall of Justice (this was my beat for many years). They will have a Sacramento bureau staffed full-time (this was done by Pat Davis for years) They will have and East Bay bureau (formerly staffed by Greg Edmonds) and an expanded South Bay bureau. (once dominated by Gene Rusco) If they are serious about going all-news, they will spend money, sending reporters to breaking news stories all over the world and nation. (Greg Jarett went to Iraq. I went to Kosovo and Macedonia. We won national awards for our coverage of the L.A. riots and the East Bay Hills fire) The test of the sincerity of the new owner’s intentions will become obvious as they spend money on investigative journalism. (Susan Kennedy won a Peabody for her series on Muni and she and I won the Scripps Howard national investigative journalism award for our series on the Catholic Church in the Bay Area.) The reality is almost none of this will be done. They might hire a new anchor, but more reporters, new bureaus, investigative stories and national coverage will never happen. Instead the news product will lighter and fluffier and will involve ripping and reading more than anything else. (This is no knock on the KGO news. It is still a great department with wonderful people who are very talented. However, they will get no help expanding the product and will be hamstrung by lack of resources) This wasn’t about ratings or people meters or loss of money. This is about a corporate model which takes advantage of the public airwaves (owned by you) to make a huge profit while ignoring any commitment to the local community. (It’s no accident the new owners dropped the Leukemia Cureathon and tried to get their hands on the money from the Thanksgiving Charity Drive)

    The Bay Area is the 4th largest media market in the nation. It will soon be without any place to talk about the issues of the day. (to quote Gene Burns) This was the last market to have local programming. You can’t go to New York, Chicago, L.A. or most large cities and find local Monday through Friday local talk, and if you can it is regressive only. This is not an accident. Hanbaugh et. al. aren’t great at what they do. They have no competition. Progressive thought has no access. Imagine if, instead of a Fairness Doctrine, every radio license demanded a percentage of programming be locally originated. Hundreds of talk shows would pop up across the nation. They would span the entire political spectrum. Where the hosts were good, they would always beat syndicated product. A diversity of ideas and viewpoints would proliferate. Women and minorities would increase their presence. It would be a tonic for a nation bogged down by a media which starts every debate somewhere near the middle and then regresses.

    What happened at KGO is exactly what the Occupy Wall Street movement was trying to highlight. What happened at KGO was designed to benefit the 1% at the expense of the 99%. You watch. There will be syndicated programming overnight. (Red Eye Radio…really? Have you listened to it? It is regressive pabulum at its worst) Oh, you will hear some say the new all-news format will still take calls when there is an earthquake etc, but you and I know the truth. They will take calls on soft, inane topics. (How ’bout them Kardashians?) They will have phone opinion polls on whether Christmas decorations go up too soon? They will conduct interviews and in the end, the Bay Area will be ill served.

    There are those who say what happened to KGO was inevitable. It wasn’t. They will say it was the natural course of events. It isn’t. What they won’t say, at least no one who still has a job, is this is corporate greed crushing the needs of the local community. (Oh and KCBS must be laughing and breaking out the champagne)

    So what do you do? Seek out local content. Peter B. Collins has daily podcasts and you can listen. Much of this is going to have to done on the Internet and other devices. That is the wave of the future and you can create a local marketplace for content if you are willing to subscribe. I know for me, it will be possibly the only avenue available and I intend to pursue it vigorously even as I fantasize about pulling funding together for another station, staff it with great local talk and kick ass.

    What happened at KGO was corporate rape disguised as a change in format, and it was done to maximize corporate revenues for companies who already don’t pay their fair share of revenue to support the inner workings of this nation. I have told you deregulation is always designed to hurt the consumer and fill corporate coffers. What happened at KGO is just further proof of the accuracy of this observation.

    P.S. Please pass this on to any KGO listeners you know so they too can understand what has really happened.

    Posted by Lion of the Left

  26. Martha December 8, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    A DVD you might want to watch free here-Orwell Rolls in His Gravea documentary film made in 2003 by Robert Kane Pappas. http://freedocumentaries.org/film.php?id=87

    “Could a media system, controlled by a few global corporations with the ability to overwhelm all competing voices, be able to turn lies into truth?”

    In the film Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders, an Independent, wonders why his constituents never ask him why they must work longer hours for less pay than they did 25 years ago or why factories are moving to Third World countries. Instead, a worker might accost him angrily about his vote against the repeal of the estate tax (redubbed “death tax” to better demonize it), which affects only the top two percent of the population.

    a review- http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117922351/

  27. GJ Romano December 8, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Live in Oregon, have listened to KGO for years.. Now! I will not.. KGO gets removed from my wifi radio. If anyone knows of a progressive station in the bay area that I can get on wifi… I would appreciate hearing.

    What a dissapointment… Corporate Pimps doing their thing… Support the 99% or live as economic slaves…

  28. catfish December 8, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    as the great van morrison sings,” listen to the lion”, god bless you, lion of the left

  29. catfish December 8, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    960am & 94.1fm kpfa

  30. williacm December 8, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    For over 7 decades I have listened to KGO. It has now been removed from all my presets. Who in their right mind wants to listen to news regurgitated hour after hour? Thanks to the Lion of the Left for stating the facts. My good wishes go out to Gene, Ray, Gill, and the others. You will be missed. While I did not always agree with all the opinions, the discussions provided opportunities for me to hone my own arguments and look at another point of view. This is now another, “I remember when …”

  31. Linda Ward December 9, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    KGO the less you listen, the more you know. Just check out YELP to find out wny KGO has gone from beloved to the most hated radio station in the Bay Area. Yes, it is now hated.

  32. Ol' Sparky December 9, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    You have been enlightened by The Lion Of The Left, and if you put the voice behind the words, there can be no doubt that it is indeed Bernie Ward, the best thing to ever happen to radio. If only there could be a venue for the voices who used to fill the air. He’s right about the de-regulation of the industry, a conservative’s dream, an American nightmare. Like most things, if it’s good for conservatives, It’s bad for America.

    The only way we can ever affect change on these monstrosities is to stop listening altogether, as he’s right about the buying of regions by large corporations. No more do you hear an ad for the local hardware store, or the bodyshop. The only thing Cumulus and Clear Channel will understand is when their stock goes past zero. Westwood One has survived a bankruptcy, as did Citadel, and Cumulus will be next, if not Salem. But these corporations are willing to lose money as long as they can control the message.

    I urge you to listen to Alan Colmes to hear what a true liberal sounds like. Republicans hate facts.

    The more they own, the less we listen.

    Thanks Bernie, for all the sleepless nights.

  33. truthsayer 1 December 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    I work from home and have a lot to do, but since KGO fired the hosts I find myself on these message boards, making connections and grieving the losses not only to our local scene, but to the voices that helped us make sense of what is happening now to America and the world. These intelligent voices have been erased, as have our own, and I am trying to hold on to them. I am having a hard time working or doing anything because I miss them so. I called Cumulous yesterday and left a message on their machine telling them what I think of this destructive act. I was polite and at the end broke into tears, which was unexpected, but is how I feel.

  34. walt kovacs December 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    we must work to overturn the 96 telecommunications act that made this all possible

    we were lied to

    the act was supposed to provide more choice….it has provided less and has made the fcc a toothless entity that cares more about the eff word and a boob then it does for whether local stations are actually serving the local community

    WE OWN THE AIRWAVES….TIME TO TAKE THEM BACK

  35. Ken Workman December 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    As I’ve posted elsewhere, Cumulus really doesn’t give a damn how you feel. Loose sponsors? That might get their attention. What will really get their attention is a large volume of complaints to the FCC The KGO license comes up for renewal on 12/01/2013. I don’t know if complaints this early would accomplish anything, but complaints closer to the renewal date may. Just remember that cursing, threatening or saying “it ain’t fair” carries NO weight. Expressing your thoughts politely that KGO no longer serves the public interest since there are already several all-news stations in the Bay Area might be one approach. KEEP UP THE PRESSURE!

  36. Peter C December 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    I was wondering what was going on when I turned on KGO in my car and Gene Burns wasn’t on. Came home to google what happened and now I know. Garbage. That’s why I never listened to KCBS all news format. I enjoyed the conversations and the great personalities like Gene Burns, Gil Gross, John Rothman, et al. As much as I like listening to Ronn Owens, I am not tuning in to KGO anymore. I’ve been listening to KGO for over 25 years and they have lost me as a listener. Anybody knows where Gene, Gil, John are heading? I’ll tune in to the stations where they work next. I like Dr. Bill too. Not a big fan of Brian Copeland. Horrible radio voice. Waht about Len Tillem? This is a travesty what KGO is doing. Good bye, KGO. I hope you go out of business because of this.

  37. David Peden December 14, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    For GJ Romano, you might check out 620 KPOJ out of Portland. No, most of the programming isn’t local, but at least it’s not knuckledragging radio. They have a good online stream. No way is the programming as good as KGO’s used to be, but I enjoy listening when I have the chance.

  38. KF December 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    Well, they may believe that they have lost some market share due to internet streaming, but that is how I listened to KGO. Well not anymore! What a bad decision, their audience isn’t interested in strictly news programming – that can be had anyplace up and down the dial or on the internet. If I’ve just got to have specific news a.s.a.p. then I have alerts texted to me from some of the news associations, I don’t keep my radio or live streaming on for urgent news that may or may not happen. It was KGO’s radio talk show personalities that made KGO. I’m going elsewhere now.

  39. Owen Hill January 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Well… I, for one, like KGO better this way. I’m sorry that the employees apparently didn’t see it coming… and that’s always rough. I’m glad they kept Ronn Owens. I like Ronn’s politics for the most part. I couldn’t be happier not to hear Ray Taliaferro’s voice during the late-night hours, though. Thank you, KGO. KGO’s hayday, in my opinion, was back in the Pete Wilson days. Loved his non-radical, open-minded, well-stated points of view. I miss him to this day. I’ll miss Len Tillem and Gene Burnes. Len was entertaining and witty… Gene was interesting. Overall, I’m glad for most of the changes and feel they’d do well to pare down even more… stand-in Pat Thurston and Brian Copeland, for instance. I mean… what difference does it make if all these hard-nosed EX-KGO listeners aren’t listening anymore anyway? Yeah, right.

  40. John Dingler January 18, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    John Dingler, artist from Riverside, CA.

    Ray Talliafero first informed us that PNAC was a close-knit network of neo-conservatives who conspired to propagandize Americans about the need to invade Iraq. These NeoCons infiltrated the office of president Bush and convinced him and criminal Cheney to do the invasion because it did not have any WMDs; They were all destroyed in approx. 1993.

    Yes, it was Ray T. who served the community well. He actually served as a teacher. Big Corpo Rightwingers such as Lew Dickey of Cumulus hate teachers because they, you know, teach us relevant facts.

  41. Michel January 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    I guess I’m late to this

    I have not listened to Kgo for almost two months

    now. why has this happend I mean I hear the money

    and rating side of it but are there other motives

    at work here. the station is now one sided

    let’s face it Ron Owens is a conservative

    and now we can’t listen to opposing views

    I am so sad over this it’s a sad day in radio

    there must be something we can do just because were just listeners

    we have no say well without listeners who pays the bills. Think about it!!!!

  42. Pat McHenry February 4, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    A listener for many years to KGO talk Radio, I too am saddened by the changes, for the hosts of the shows were exemplars, in many instances, of the Art of communication and dialogue, not excluding humor and reason, as well. I will miss Dr. Bill’s enlightening discourses (his brillant mind would often open up with humorous jokes and witty retorts) on technical matters. KGO had a connection with the Bay Area, like a trusted friend, with whom a Bay Area resident could feel the emotions of the hosts and callers as important events took place, alive with living ,local color. KGO Radio had the carisma and it’s own kind of perfection,maybe defining blemishes, that made it unique, like the Beatles,as a group working together.

  43. barbara February 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    i have been listening to KGO since IRA BLUE. the news can be listened

    to on cbs. we need our favorite talk show hosts back, or tell us where

    the are…boring, boring boring news all day. i listened to KGO 24/7. l

    miss them all.

  44. Rick Roy March 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Yes even Canadians listened to KGO in the early evenings and into the wee hours of the night. Being a former programmer and producer for a large corporation in a very very small market I understand the value of “community programming”. What is happening around the western world are a couple of things 1) The corporation is replacing independent and objective voices with corporate foot soldiers. 2) From my own personal experience I can say there’s a consorted effort to shut down the “community voice” I’m not going to get into the details or why. But if your reading this and found this blog then your already starting to fill in the pieces.. Lou Dobbs has warned us for years, until his inevitable and abrupt end at cnn. Lou kept saying “Something big is coming down the pipe and our grandchildren are going to pay the price” Fact of the matter is, most are paying the price for it today it’s called ” Globalization ” which I interpret as the eradication of individuality and “free thought” Today it might seem as freedom, but tomorrow when you really open your eyes, you may see something different. Rick Roy wlctv.ca program coordinator

  45. Steve April 4, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    I won’t miss the bigotry of Ray Taliafero. As long as one’s politics and skin color are just right, any demeaning and ignorant statement is overlooked and ignored…which is the only reason he lasted as long as he did. Bernie Ward’s delusional rant about ratings not being behind the firings shows he should ask the prison doctor for a stronger dose.

  46. LYLE August 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Red Ray is gone. hip,hip, hooray!

    The news made my day.

    Now I can listen to kgo without cursing.

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