Talk 910, has been auditioning various hosts to fill its 10 AM-1 PM slot. A decision is expected sometime in the next few weeks but I've got the final three favorites, according to a local broadcast source familiar with the probable pecking order.
The "live and local" mantra is a key to the eventual winner; it's highly unlikely that Clear Channel would make an out-of-market hire but nothing surprises me anymore.
The 3 finalists, according to my source--
1. John Rothmann: the former KGO Radio talk host and frequent fill-in at Talk 910 is the odds-on favorite. Rothmann has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the Middle East, politics, Presidential Elections and current events. He's also a terrific interviewer and would make for an outstanding three hours of informative and entertaining radio.
2. Ed Baxter: Baxter spent over three decades as an anchor at KGO and did some sporadic fill-in both at KGO and 910 AM as a talk host. He also recently launched a website with content from Bay Area TV and Radio talent. I loved Baxter as a news anchor; I'm not so sure if I could listen to him as a talk host three hours a day--not a knock on Ed, just my own opinion.
3. Spencer Hughes: The weakest link, and the least-likely choice. Hughes has been all over the talk map bouncing from station to station. His most recent foray was at KSFO where he chose to resign rather than being fired. I'm not a fan of this guy; his annoying style, the faux outrage, the constant mumbling has never quite caught on with me yet Hughes keeps getting jobs. And keeps getting fired too. Go figure.
Glance at the Talk Shows which have dragged lately.
Meet The Press hasn't been the same since Tim Russert's death. Not a big Chuck Todd fan. Too Beltway for my taste and looks more like a Midwest dentist.
This Week is an acquired taste; am I the only person who actually likes George Stephanopoulos? Sure, he can appear to be occasionally pompous--it's human nature, I've been known to be pompous too.
I've tried to watch Fox News Sunday but I can't stand Chris Wallace. His dad was better.
I've saved the best for last: CBS' iconic Face The Nation is the best Sunday talking-head program. Bob Schieffer is superb--seems to be getting better with age. Great interviewer. Common sense guy with a knack for asking the right question and tough as nails to boot. No surprise that FTN is the most popular show on Sunday.
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If there were any doubt as to who's the single-most powerful figure in the Bay Area sports circle, it's all gone now.
Larry Baer, the Giants President and CEO, has quietly built up a superstar network of local business, political and social leaders with the focus being centered on the franchise's financial heath and overall well being.
It's impressive to say the least and with the Giants headed to their third World Series in five years that vast cachet of clout that Baer has established within his own inner circle only gets more pronounced.
Speaking of such, how's this for starters: Baer stands to receive a whopping $10M "service" bonus from the Giant's partners if the team wins another title and they're the odds-on favorite against the Kansas City Royals.
That's a 10 MILLION! bonus. That doesn't take into account Baer's multi-million dollar salary but the Giants are making mountains of money, more money than you can imagine with a waiting list of corporate sponsors, a sold-out season ticket base, and a nearly paid-for waterfront ballpark palace that is the envy of all Major League Baseball partners.
Baer's influence extends from the Giant's TV partnership; its cable affiliate, (and limited owner, Comcast), all the way to KNBR, with an extraordinary say on virtually all commercial broadcasts and beyond. Baer oversees all of that and then some and before anything gets hitched, Baer must see it and OK it. You'd be surprised to know just how much cachet and clout Baer carries, it's gargantuan and it's only going to get bigger and bigger.
Have you seen those frequent crowd shots of Baer schmoozing with some celebrities from the music, entertainment or political world? Baer works the room very well; the Giants are flush with cash and sitting on millions in profits and Baer is the captain of the ship. The next time you plunk down a hundred bucks for a few polish dogs and panda hats, a beer or two, Larry Baer says thank you.
I find this both amusing and sad. I know Major League Baseball isn't the sports nirvana it once was and that both basketball, pro football and college football especially kicks baseball's butt this time of the year but we're talking about the pennant -wait, The PENNANT!
You're going to hear a lot today about the '89 Earthquake--25 years ago today at 5: 04 PM--I don't know how much more you need to relive the obvious: It was long, it scared the shit out of pretty much everyone who felt it and it postponed the World Series and shut down the Bay Bridge for over a month.
I found this clip of Ted Koppel and Al Michaels having an extraordinarily calm conversation --much needed and valued in a sea of otherwise verbal mayhem from some other media types at the time. This is why Michaels is so good--able to go from mundane sports anchor to newsman on the spot from the scene of the crime. Kopel is Kopel.
I'm sure some of you have some interesting stories of that hot and sunny October day--earthquake weather.