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Ralph Barbieri still laughing despite being dumped by KNBR

Ralph Barbieri

Ralph Barbieri

Bay Area sportscaster Ralph Barbieri appeared on KGMZ on Monday. The 66 year old radio legend is suing Cumulus radio after being dumped by Cumulus owned KNBR 680, where Barbieri worked for 28 years.

“The litmus test of when something’s gone awry is when somebody treats you totally differently than they ever did before. And it was on May 19th that I talked to them [KNBR] and told them that I had Diabetes 2 and it was on August 2nd that I told them that I had Parkinson’s,” Barbieri began, then suddenly explained to his hosts that he had a Parkinson’s joke.

“I digress here a little bit,” Barbieri laughed.

“We’ve got time,” one of his interviewers explained.

“Ok. A doctor tells his patient ‘you have Parkinson’s disease.’ And the patient says, ‘Does he want it back’?”

Awkward gigging ensued. “Ya gotta think about it,” Barbieri declared.

All syntax humor aside, allegedly telling your boss you have two hugely life threatening diseases, then getting the heave ho shortly thereafter is no laughing matter. The case is being handled by San Francisco attorney Angela Alioto, who says the claimed reason for the dismissal is that Barbieri showed up late for work.

“The action . . . sends the message loud and clear that if you are 66 years old and have a disability, ‘we don’t want you anymore’,” Alioto’s statement declares. “The message we will send, right back to them, loud and clear, is that this type of despicable illegal behavior will not be tolerated in the City and County of San Francisco.”

KGMZ interview here.

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12 Responses to Ralph Barbieri still laughing despite being dumped by KNBR

  1. Howard McAlpine November 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm #


    the drive home is not the same. We miss your refreshing point of views and rambling with Tom. Eric is just another ESPN want-a-be with a droning voice. We need you on the game.

    • BT July 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

      Sorry to disappoint you, but I am so glad Ralph is off the air. He was my least favorite radio personality of all time. I was hoping for about 2 years that he would sign off the air for good. I do wish him good luck with his medical issues, however.

  2. Roxane November 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    You want to know a bit about Ralph ~

    How many folks get to listen to the kind of person who calls in, to his own station, on a Sunday afternoon, to talk to Shirley Maclaine. He eloquently expressed his appreciation for her opening up about many ideas and thoughts that were familiar to him also. Then go to work on Monday morning and put out the most intelligent sports talk I had ever listened too, fyi, I am 62, white, Santa Cruz living, women, retired professional? (for your demographics),,I also liked Pete Franklin, Gary i guess, Tom for sure, Eric i don’t think so,,Rod Brooks, yes etc. I had started listening to Ralph about six months or so earlier and after listening to that phone call, I became a very loyal listener 20 something years ago. Lastly, I was really enjoying the addition of Tom Tolbert in the last several years,,Great chemistry between those two.

    AND THEN YOU BLEW IT ~ you FIRED A BELOVED TALK HOST,,I and so many more folks I know are still missing “the Razor”, we’re rooting for you Ralph,,, and Ms Alioto, Go Get cumulus!



    • BT July 9, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      As an ex-Santa Cruzan, you and I cancel each other out. I could not take another hour of Ralph, so turned the station off when he was on air. Long time listener, except when Ralph was on.

  3. Scott Frisbie November 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    What was once appointment radio is gone thanks to Cumulus. Ralph Barbieri was the thinking man’s sportstalk host. A Bon Vivant and great interviewer who was frequently unafraid to ask the difficult questions.

    • Mark October 19, 2014 at 9:06 am #

      Please stop with the “Ralph was God” stuff. Did you ever listen to him? He was so insecure, he would pull out the most obscure words to insert into his show. One-time uses…You would sit there and say to yourself, “What is wrong with this guy?”…he would never use the obsure word again. But felt the need to use it once, to make people think he was smart. I am not the only one that has pointed this out. Also, his REGULAR commentary to black athletes when they came on the show, if they spoke without slang, without “street speak” was, “You are so articulate….well-spoken…” blah blah blah…but did he EVER say that to a white athlete who came on and didn’t talk like a gang-banger? “I think you are so well spoken and articulate”? NO. He sucked. A liberal racist. wow….hope the screen door hit him on the way out right in the back of the head.

  4. michael zizmor January 26, 2013 at 12:36 am #

    I liked ralph as a radio talk show host but NO radio talk show host compares to a real live pro basketball, football, baseball, or hockey game. I am addicted to the players and teams. Sports talk hosts like G. Radnich maybe give you one or two sound bites over 3 hours. When I was a kid and there was no sports talk I loved Lon Simmons and Bill King. I spent my time on baseball cards and reading sports mags. Didn’t need long winded and vacuous sports talk hosts. How many times can anyone obsess over the possible fate of the 49ers in the superbowl during a 2 week layoff?

  5. Matt May 7, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Ralph was a perfect fit for the SF market. He was pompous, smug and annoying. Since most SF sports fans share the same traits, and are not the most knowledgable fans, so the marriage worked well I guess. But now that Ralph is off the air, real sports fans can listen again.

    • BT July 9, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      I tend to concur. However, I don’t throw all the SF fans under the bus like you do. However, all of us can now listen again, peacefully.

    • Kurt Langdon July 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

      R u from LA?

  6. Gato Malo July 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    I believe that Ralph got to a point that he thought that could say anything he wanted about anyone he pleased. To me he was very opinionated would not give his subject a break. I liked him when he first started but it became a grind just listening to him at the end. The only reason I listened to the show was because of Tom Tolbert and sometimes I had to change the station. I don’t know how many times he relished in telling us how he called Barry Bonds a punk or how he made the Giant’s GM hang up on him it just got old.

  7. Ed October 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    Ralph, Hope you are doing well. I miss your soothing voice. Compared to Scott Ferall, it is soothing.

    Take care,

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