KGO Radio switches to all news 2p-12m, Gil Gross, Gene Burns, others gone, details from Rich Lieberman 415 Media
- 12/3/11, "KGO Radio plans immediate shift to news-oriented format," Oakland Tribune, Angela Hill
The San Francisco-based station at 810-AM, owned by Cumulus Media and long known for its popular hosts and call-in talk shows discussing issues of the day, will make the switch to an all-news format from 2 p.m. to midnight starting Monday. Several of its most recognizable voices, such as Gene Burns, Gil Gross, Ray Taliaferro and John Rothmann will be let go, sources confirmed. Shows hosted by Bill Wattenburg and Joanie Greggains may also be canceled....
A short explanation was posted on KGO's website Friday morning, before the note disappeared later in the day: "After careful consideration we've determined our audience is looking for more news, which is why we are increasing our news presence throughout the day," the post read.
Calls made to KGO executives and the Cumulus offices in San Francisco on Friday were not returned....
The Ronn Owens program, which airs from 9 a.m. to noon, "will continue to be the place where the Bay Area goes to talk about current events and breaking news," according to the KGO website, and talk shows will still be aired on the weekends on KGO and its sister station, KSFO. Host Brian Copeland will keep his weekend show.
Traditional radio broadcasting has been in flux the past few years partly because of the increased popularity of Internet and satellite radio stations, industry experts say. KGO, one of the few remaining news/talk stations in the country that generated most of its programming locally, had maintained its status as the Bay Area's No. 1 radio station for nearly three decades, according to Arbitron, a consumer research company that rates radio stations. But KGO's ratings have dropped significantly in the past few years, often beaten out by all-news KCBS 740-AM, and its FM simulcast at 106.9.
KGO radio operated as the West Coast flagship station for ABC until it was purchased by Citadel Broadcasting in 2007. In 2009, longtime weatherman Leo Ciolino and veteran reporters Greg Jarrett and Greg Edmunds were let go. Then Cumulus took over this year. Cumulus bills itself as the nation's "second-largest operator of radio stations." In the Bay Area market, it also operates KFOG-FM, KNBR-AM and KSAN-FM.
Radio-Info.com, an online community discussing radio issues, was buzzing about the changes Friday."...
One rumored piece of good news reported by Rich Lieberman 415, KGO radio will no longer air ABC Radio Network hourly news broadcasts:
- "Other tidbits: No longer will the ABC Net provide national news updates, I've been told by a KGO staffer. Instead, announcers will begin tonsiling right at the top of the hour. Again, this is a total budgetary move intended to save money. Surprise."
Rich also confirms other names leaving, item at end of Rich's post containing an email from Jim Eason:
"*Among the other casualties, confirmed:
- LLoyd Lindsay-Young
- Bill Wattenburg
- Nicole Gregg, (producer)
- Steve Clark"
12/2/11, "KGO Radio: The day the 'IT' hit the fan; Bloodbath at 900 Front; The Inside story," Rich Lieberman 415 Media
(ABC Radio Network 5 minute hourly news needs to be cancelled in all markets in my opinion due to its longtime extreme bias. ed.)
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