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Bereft KGO talk radio fans gear up for second demo

It is once more into the breach for Former Listeners of KGO, still furious over the Cumulus owned AM station dumping a slew of popular talk show hosts on December 1. The group has announced its second demonstration in front of the station’s studios: 900 Front Street in San Francisco.

KGO protest; San Francisco; 12/15/2011

The first was held two weeks ago (we were there; photo on right). Now the protesters say they will hold a candlelight vigil on Friday, December 30, at 5 pm, and collect food donations for the Bayview-Hunter’s Point YMCA Food Pantry. “The food donations are being made in honor of Ray Taliaferro, legendary bay area broadcaster who was fired on December 1 along with other well known radio personalities at KGO,” the Facebook press release says. “Mr. Taliaferro was born and raised in the Hunter’s Point neighborhood and had worked at KGO radio for decades.”

According to a Former Listener member, Taliaferro will be there himself. He was on KSCO  AM in Santa Cruz earlier this month, and in high dudgeon. The show started with KSCO’s Kay Zwerling offering some praise for Donald Trump’s ideas, especially his opposition to the Obama administration’s health care reforms.

Taliaferro was asked to respond.

“I think anyone who pays attention to Donald Trump is ridiculous, stupid, unknowing, absolutely ridiculous,” he began. “What the hell has Donald Trump done for poor people? What has he done to try to make sure to help the people that I grew up with, I grew up poor in Hunter’s Point?”

“Why on earth are people so stupid in the United States of America that they’ve got to come with a commentary like that?” Taliaferro demanded. The exchange got quite heated. Perhaps Taliaferro will have more to say about these larger issues at the Friday demonstration.

Radio Survivor readers are reporting that various dismissed KGO folk have found jobs elsewhere. One comment says that Len Tillem and Gene Burns have landed new DJ work at Clear Channel’s KKSF (910 AM), beginning January 3rd. Len’s show will run from 3-4 PM. Gene Burns show will follow from 4-7 PM. We contacted Clear Channel to confirm this, but have received no reply.

Noah Shanock from Stitcher Radio also posted an invitation:

We at Stitcher Radio were saddened to hear of KGO’s recent decision to remove their talk programming content. KGO’s change in formatting is lamentable, both for our community and for the outlook of terrestrial talk radio. We believe that some of the most interesting and engaging content on the radio are talk shows, and are fully committed to providing the best platform for talk shows to reach and engage their listeners online. We’d love to have these great talk shows on Stitcher and have reached out to each of the hosts who were laid off – offering up our San Francisco recording studio for free, no strings attached – where they can record live Internet radio streams and podcasts.

The commentary notes that Stitcher provided air time to the morning show duo Fernando and Greg “back in 2009 under similar circumstances.” Their program on Energy 92.7 FM in San Francisco was cancelled following the station’s sale.

And KSCO has been trying to recruit former KGO staff, among them Dr. Bill Wattenburg, who hosted KSCO’s Good Morning Monterey Bay AM Drive for a week this month.

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16 Responses to Bereft KGO talk radio fans gear up for second demo

  1. mary frost December 29, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    Thanks for the article! I too am still mad about how Cumulus treated ‘my’ talkshow hosts. I cannot make it to SF tomorrow so I will be standing in Santa Rosa’s Courthouse Square with my sign of support from 2-4! I hope I do not have to stand alone! I want more media diversity not less!

  2. Helen Healey January 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Dr. Bill was right when he said that KGO committed suicide…or words to that effect. KGO was my special place to hear intelligent radio talk. It started long ago when Michael Krasny left and Bernie Ward took over his time spot. And then there were many others, whose opinions I valued and overall KGO drew intelligent folks into its midst. Of late, Pat Thurston was the star and how I miss her on weekends.

    Can we do a remake of the old KGO, a treasure standing by itself in the midst of dumbing-down right wing talk? No, of course not, it’s the money, stupid!

    If there is any chance of bringing the old KGO back, I will be forever grateful.

    Thank you

    Helen V. Healey

  3. claude hughes January 3, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    The multinational corporations coudn’t care less; they have 7 billion potential customers. For them we don’t count!

  4. Mavis Brown January 4, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    Before the December 1 firing of KGO talk show hosts, it was one of the best radio shows in the nation. I will not listen to it now and am saddened by how they treated the hosts and their loyal listening audience with no warning.

    I think KGO has committed suicide. Many of my friends do not listen to the new format either.

  5. Dieter January 5, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    I for one, will not be listening to KGO anymore. If I do listen, it will be to tell others which products to boycott.

  6. Jack January 6, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    I disagree with ray most of the time,but I enjoy his comments and tenure

    you have made a big mistaker by doing away with that format,

    also enjoy Dr. Bill !!!!!!!!!!!!!! KGO YOU ARE REALLY STUPID ….

    you have lost a very large audiance

  7. Althea Waites-Hayes January 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    What a shame that KGO has fired its core team of talk show hosts! I have spent many nights just staying up to listen to Ray Taliaferro’s commentaries,and am deeply saddened to know that he will not have this forum on the air. I hope that he can find another niche on a progressive website.

    The American media is dominated by right wing zealots and propaganda with listeners like myself being left with very few choices. You can go from left to right on the radio dial,and find nothing that expresses a more progressive point of view,and it clearly demonstrates the power of corporations to control what we hear and watch.

  8. Racquel Simper January 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    John and I listened to KGO from BC Canada.

    We both miss the diversity and familiar sounds of Gene Burns and John Rothman ,Ray Tailiaffaro and DR Bill Watenburg.we may not always have agreed with what they said but at least they had a healthy discourse.

    As for Cumulas and their Corporate raiders Romneys waiting to Fire you.Just Kidding!The demise of your Radio station nation wide is just the continuation of a broken capitalist model.Americans wake up!

    You no longer have freedom or Capitalism but instead its evil cousin Corptocracy. When you eventually have only 2 competing corporations who own everything you will resemble the former Soviet Union.Real capitalism requires diversity in the media, in the newspapers on the TV on the Net.It requires a system that maintains diversity at all costs.You have 535 members of Congress and the senate who pass laws for the Corporations that screw you all,Just Wake up!And bring back the KGO we all loved.

  9. Gerri Rene January 18, 2012 at 5:19 am #

    What a time to lose KGO, with an election coming, and the world, apparently, going to hell in a handbasket. It feels like a death in the family. I am in mourning for Pat Thurston, Ray Taliaferro, John Rothman, and all their callers who have enriched my life over the years. Life will not be the same without them! Is there a 12-Step program for this addiction?

  10. Robert Price January 19, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    Tomorrow annd tomorrow and tomorrow………………..A tale told by an idiot fulll of sound and fury signifying nothing. Out out damn Cumulas!!!

  11. Alan Payne January 22, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    How can you blame the radio station, with hosts like Ray Taliaferro constantly attacking the right. If you don’t agree with his ideas he would be little you, of cut you off. There is no room in talk radio for people as nasty as he is. Now let’s see them get a job, after his continually slamming business for making a profit. There is no profit in his type of hate and discontent.

  12. Leonard H. Dickey January 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    I’m still reeling from the wholesale campus purge of my alma mater KGO!

    The long hours of assembly-line tedium in my early years in manufacturing were made endurable by the informative and entertaining parade of hosts. For 50 years we’ve listened for countless hours, , day &night

  13. Carolyn March 8, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    I’ll miss Dr. Bill, however they should have dumped Ray years ago!

  14. Clarence Dimwittee March 15, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    Ray Taliferro has repeatedly stated that he wants to go to hell because there will be belly dancers there, or some such inane rationalle as that. Don’t worry, Ray, you will get your wish. However, don’t look forward to any pleasure down there. It will never be.

  15. Nick June 25, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    I listened to KGO regularly for around 30 years, and Bill Wattenburg was great on Sunday nights. I usually stayed up and listened to Taliaferro’s rants also, even though I disagree with most of his politics. It was always a great station, until now. Now it is bland, boring and weak. Bring Bill and Ray back!

  16. NANCY GIBSON July 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm #


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