Friday, November 28, 2014
Lowell Cohn throws a hardball at Jed York. Whether you agree or disagree is besides the point. It's the content, stupid.
I watched the 49ers game last night after the meal and couldn't believe my eyes. Were these really the 49ers; granted, they were playing the World Champions, but the Seahawks made the 49ers look silly.
And then after the game, Jed and his tweet.
I heard a lot and sensed there might be a hardy reaction from the local press. Nothing was quite as extraordinary was Cohn's scathing review of owner York. That's what I like about Lowell, always willing and able to swing for the fences. Lowell is spectacular here, just my opinion.
Black Friday presents an annual birthday present to lazy newsrooms across the country to deliver us artificial content, such sheep we've become.
It's a stale, largely irrelevant event; manufactured news really. There was a time that the day-after Thanksgiving shopping day was reported on by the masses and it was legitimate news--a show of force by consumers looking to get great deals and the retailers pulling out all the stops and deal to entice shoppers. Great. Good visuals. The start of the holiday season. Live shots galore at the local Macys and eager beaver people grabbing the hundred dollar 62-inch flat screen. Convenient for the assignment editor and reporter too looking for glue after the all-night turkey feast.
No, Black Friday is a certified joke. It's a caricature of itself. It also is, once again, a made-up buffoonery that is an artificial element of the American economy. Even so, our fake media brethren are all too giddy to take part and be there at the shopping center to join in the November circus.
This is what you're going to get Black Friday. The predictable MOS live shot in Walnut Creek at the suburban white shopping mall. It beats the insanity at the less-desirable Walmart because young-white cheesy teeth are better demos for the sales dept. You get standard faire questions: "How much did you spend?" --"How does it feel to be out here?" Blah, blah, blah. You can pretty much keep every MOS on file and use it every year. It NEVER changes. It is reliably stale.
Black Friday has become enough of a phenomena that if news operations failed to cover it, then it would be met with universal scorn like, How Dare You! I'd love to see that. Would it kill a TV station to merely offer a two-minute quick report? Hardly. It would be refreshing and bold. It would require that the TV station then have to report real, actual news. Black Friday isn't anything newsy anymore just a hodgepodge of less-than-appealing modern Americana at its worst. That's not unpatriotic that's just the facts.
Today your all-encompassing TV/Radio media will be on holiday itself putting forth sloppy seconds. They don't have the creative force nor girth to provide anything unique or different--in a way they've become like the crazed morons who spend the night freezing in sleeping bags outside to buy 4-buck smart phone. Dummies. There is no there there. But why be so obvious? Because they don't have a plan.
They could comb the AP wire and look for some real stuff. But they're lazy. They could send a reporter to the mayor's office and ask about that $5000 junket to Hawaii back in October, and you know what? That would be some really good TV! Who the hell needs to see another MOS outside some antique store in Emeryville when they could see some politician getting squeezed! But that would require thought and creativity --basic tenets of good TV reporting just closed for business on stale Black Friday.
I don't bemoan the holiday spirit. I'm not some retail scrooge and I understand the excitement of post-Thanksgiving shopping. It's a rush; an adrenaline missile from the last stuffing of pumpkin pie last night, but in its most purest form it is not a TV event, a social-cause celeb as it has been portrayed on the TV news cycle. It should be covered, indeed, but not as the news force it has artificially become courtesy of national news and local affiliates.
People, you deserve better. You're being force-fed a football-field size of visual minutiae--are you that gullible? Maybe all of this you like and expect. Maybe you're just cynical like those news mangers who just dish it out and are incapable of serving up anything fresh. Pass the stuffing, it's stale Black Friday.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
I've always loved Thanksgiving mostly because it's a celebration of family and spirit, no matter how small or large, rejoicing over a feast and together, all at once.
So, first, I hope your day and evening is filled with joy and happiness, eat well and be safe.
All of you.
**There was quite a reaction from Wednesday's posting. A lot of you loved it, hated it, were in shock and awe. The term, anger, resentment, hatred spewed forward, which is good because that was the intention. Sort of.
See, I believe in expressing myself and I try to make it real and genuine. It's not warm and fuzzy, of course it isn't. It represents my feelings and because I stand behind it, there's nothing vague or insincere about it. Those of you that come here regularly seem to like it and even those that don't have a habit of checking it out.
I'm a complicated person. No shit, Sherlock! Yeah, I know. I would not make a good diplomat or employee of a company like Cumulus because I couldn't take all the abuse and marginalization. God bless those of you that can deal with the climate today because I'm sick of it, I'm sick of all the amateurs and posers and fakes that embody the climate today. They are smug and arrogant; they live in a tunnel syndrome and go about their business masking their true identity. It's not becoming in any environment, any era, and most vivid in today's pathetic world.
I get asked a lot about media people. Is there anyone you admire? Admire no, respect, yes. Enjoy to be around and have a conversation, absolutely, I'm a people person. I have a tendency to be noticed, I don't know why, maybe it's because I'm sort of an east coast guy in that sense.
Admire? Never. Maybe a Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein. Maybe Ted Koppel. Philip Roth. Cronkite. I semi-admired Tim Russert but that's about the extent of my media admiration society. I appreciate the work of writers and reporters but I don't place them in any category of regale--I'll tell you who I admire.
I admire doctors that risk their lives and go to places like Africa to help sick people. I think that's both admirable and brave. I admire nurses who do all the dirty work and help care for patients. I remember my mom being in the hospital when she fell and broke all her ribs and the nurses at the hospital who took care of her and were there all the time through her recovery. I admire that.
I admire teachers, especially public school teachers some of whom work very hard and long hours in the not-so-pleasant neighborhoods to teach kids. Teachers, like nurses, should be paid more money but that's just my opinion. They work their asses off. That's admirable.
I know this is risky considering all the hell which is Ferguson, but I admire cops. Most cops are good cops. They go to work each day risking their lives to save ours. That's admirable. It's a shame they have some bad apples in their business but that's pretty much the case in every profession.
I admire people who have to work today. There was a time that, unless you were a cop, a nurse, a pilot, etc. that Thanksgiving meant being home, experiencing family and friends, watching the football games, and sitting down to the turkey dinner. Nowadays that's a myth to some people who now have to work. Most of the stores are open today and there's people who are working and that sucks, in my opinion. Don't tell me it's good for the economy, bullshit. It's disgusting, it's vile, I find it unpatriotic and I for one, will not shop. It's Thanksgiving for God's sake. Like you can't wait a day, and don't get me started on Black Friday.
Yesterday was a reminder that there are those who believe they have an aura about themselves. They give off false bravado. They tend to think their you-know-what doesn't stink. They may think they can fool some people but fortunately all too often they're exposed and become transparent. They do a lot of faking it. I know. When I worked in radio I had a tendency to show off and be something that I wasn't. It was not particularly endearing and I had to work hard to shake it because I became a real pain in the ass. Some of you will say that I'm still a royal pain in the ass today and I will agree with you but I'm working on it, I still struggle but I'm trying hard. Therapy is a wonderful endeavor.
I want to thank all the people, even the naysayers who recently made contributions to this site and my pocket to keep this place open. While long-term it didn't meet anything even remotely possible to keep this awake, it was nevertheless kind of all of you, (and even those of you who didn't contribute--some who would but simply couldn't because of their situation), who helped and reached out. If KQED can put on six or seven daily pledge breaks I can certainly request subscriptions for those of you who want to come here to be caught up on media news and be entertained.
If you're going to razz or belittle me for the audacity of asking for contributions you're picking the wrong person. This isn't Masterpiece Theater or the Wall Street Journal; never intended it to be. I try to liven it up every now and then and keep it, again, entertaining. There's not a lot of feel-good here but 99% of you don't come here for that, it's the same reason why good news isn't a big draw. People stop at the curb to look at the dead body. They don't care about the daffodils and orchids, they're looking for rotten tomatoes and pimples, you all know that so think of me operating under that premise.
Real quickly...this site will never go behind a pay wall. It's always been and will continue to be free because as you all know charging people for content on the internet is akin to performing kamikaze acts.
Sometime soon, however, for those of you that want to help out and become paid subscribers, for about $15 a year, I will be introducing "415 Media Extra" which will entitle you to all of this plus an exclusive extra in your e-mail box chock full of exclusives and guest opinions and commentaries from some of the sagest people in this market. Yes, 15 bucks a year. Or roughly two visits to Tommy's Joynt which by the way will be the site for the 415 Media Holiday Party next month, (details soon). Those of you that care to make a contribution today, fantastic...those of you that don't? Clemenza will debone you and make you watch Ellen reruns.
Have a great Thanksgiving. And thanks to all of you for sending me letters of encouragement and support. It's people like you that make me try to keep this thing going in spite of all the roadblocks. (Violin plays).
*Rich Lieberman and 415 Media are not responsible for comments made by others on this website.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
2014 Thanksgiving Bay Area Media Turkey Awards --ready to commence the holiday spirit you've come here to appreciate.
*Ronn Owens: the gift that always keeps on giving. Mr. Softie, how's that great new format you predicted three years ago been? Maybe your gadgets need to be re-stocked.
*Jon Bristow and Jennifer Jones-Lee: Mr. Pipes and Ms. Giggler "It's Friiiiday!" The gruesome twosome. About as wholesome and sincere as a Lodi Walmart.
*Chef Ryan Scott: If you were more phony, giddy, impish and foolish-sounding, I'd put you on the weekend schedule at KGO. Wait a minute...
*Gary Radnich: One of the most pompous, hideous, predictable, moronic, out-of-touch moron in Bay Area media. Take your used Bentley and shove it up where the sun don't shine. I've been wise to you for years while your sheep stay quiet. I'm not afraid of calling you out. By the way, Liebengood was right.
*Larry Krueger: Larry, I like you personally and know you're just trying to earn a living and have to work with the non-sports potato head, but when you're trying on the air to be someone other than you, it sounds contrived and forced. Be yourself, Larry. You're better than that. Bet on it. (He will).
*Kate Scott: I'll give you this, you pulled a good story over Lee Hammer --congratulations, you make Amy G look like Christianne Amanpour. And I don't give a shit about your wife, really. In seven years you'll be schlepping oranges at the Daly City Flea Market.
*Brian Sussman: What the hell happened to you? It's not your politics. We get that. It's the show, Brian. It sounds worse than shit on toast. And the corny sound gimmicks, the fake fart noises, the bizarre rock music under your fake stupid takes? The dumb train sounders every two minutes? And you really think the traffic chick has young demos listening? Do this: keep repeating Drudge Report items that make up 99% of your show and consider that impending pay cut coming as a signal.
*David Feldman: Man, talk about the banal. If it's true we can thank Jim Harbaugh for you coming here, try to be relevant Feldy. Give us an oatmeal recipe or something. Otherwise, you'll be shining Olivere's shoes for life. Wait a minute...
*Henry Wofford: Henry, the insufferable giggle, the fake staccato laugh and voice--it would make one cringe if you were the late-night host on CSPAN3; quit the bullshit, Henry, take some advice too --you have no aura, you're on fucking Comcast. And quit the bullshit silent approach--I called you because I think you can be someone in life but you're going to have to change your MO. It sucks now.
*The KNBR Morning Show: Dude, Brian, Dude, Powlie, dude, you guys are completely worthless; you've always been worthless. You guys are like a rotting fish that keeps floating up on the seashore and won't go away. Cockroaches don't go away either. They end up at UCLA and write fake books about fake people and fake people can't even stand 'em. Murph, remember that night at Crogans when you were incredulous that I hated your show? I still hate your show. Go take your fake New Jersey friend and the chain-smoking, southern redneck Irishman to an English Beat concert and disappear. You'd do us all a favor.
*Jason Barrett: Hey, genius, have you changed your morning show yet? It's about time. I have an idea: Do one of those contests; get some asshole from Brentwood and put him on the air, that way you save money and get a 1 rating out of sheer luck. Thank God you have Damon. And another thing, you hired Troy Clardy? LMFAO! And now you fired him. Damn, what cohesion. Again, you MUST have pictures of animals and Entercom suits.
*John Lund: Hope you're renting. And is it true the only reason you made it on YSTL was because Papa made some calls? Uh, I should have known. Keep up the classy jokes too. You're a regular Jon Stewart.
*Joe Fonzi: Fonz, the last time you were something Jimmy Carter was president and Radnich was married to a white woman.
*Aaron Pero: Just shut up and quit screaming. Pick on someone your own size. Wait a minute...
*Doug Harville: Doug, I thought you were sincere. We don't always have to agree, just don't fly away because I thought your company screwed Dean Danos and that Bunger is a phony. It's nothing personal.
*Veronica De La Cruz: Dear, I'm sorry about your personal shit. I'm sensitive to all of that because I've been there/done that. But if you're going to reach out to me on arrival and confide then don't start running away into the forest because Rosenheim pulled you aside. It's not good business. It leads to eventually anchoring a shitty late-night newscast that has less shelf life than a Utah bordello. GAME ON!
*Rich Walcoff: 30+ years on radio and you need an extra 50 bucks to do some forcacta 'man cave report on KSFO? Rich, you're bigger than that. I know you have college tuition to pay for but really? I'll sell my Sweetjack coupons and give you the fifty bucks, stop Richie, stop!
*Jan Wahl: Shit, you're so bad you deserve to go back to KGO and this time you don't even have to hoover the PD 165,000 times. One hat.
*Tom Vacar: where's my cigar? Better yet, the next time you do Ronnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn's KGO show, tell Ronnnnnnnnnnn that the North Beach Restaurant lunch with Gene Burns was legit. I was there and heard everything.
*Dennis O'Donnell: Google Alexander O' Neil's song from 1987. You fit the title.
*Ann Killion: Ann, you're a conniving, insincere, phony, would-be-career-killing, sanctimonious twit; I'm wise to your ass, lady, you don't fool me. Nor the other people in this town. Now go tweet that.
*Wayne Freedman: Wayne, chill. Really. You have 17,400 Emmys and plenty of job stability. Quit kissing so much management ass. Get out there. Go to the wharf and have some crab. Get a scotch and relax, you're safe, Wayne. Don't be such a lecturing prick otherwise you'll end up being like David Louie doing a live shot from Redwood City.
*Heather Holmes: You still have the snot tape? Keep it.
Rich Lieberman and 415 Media are not responsible for comments made by others on this website.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Behind the scenes at KPIX: Layoffs coming.
*CBS Corporate in NY talking about across-the-board layoffs at 855 Battery, including middle and lower-level staff.
*Reporters, a few anchors and producers on the list.
*Karnow , the first of many.
*Cutbacks in management--two senior EP's and a manager.
*"Night Beat" in trouble; could lose at least three key staffers and is designated for a complete overhaul.