Friday, March 16, 2018

A Tribute To Mom


Last week, late Thursday, my sister informed me my aunt Claire had died. She'd been battling dementia and had a myriad of health issues for years. Of course I was still saddened and in shock.

The very next day, late Friday night, my mom, also tragically passed away. Only hours after my aunt (my mom's sister) had died.

I was crushed. How cruel. I sobbed and buried my head into my pillow and cried and cried and cried. I'm sobbing.

We buried my aunt Claire on Sunday and are planning a memorial for my mom sometime in the next few weeks.

I am still in shock. During the past few years mom has battled and survived some serious health issues but she was a fighter and would no doubt persevere. She cheated death and this episode would be no different--I had no doubt she'd survive.

I came back home to help her and take care of her and felt she was bulletproof --and why not? She was always there for me; comforted me when I was down; defended me when I needed help no matter what the circumstances. She was my rock and best friend.

Mom raised me; my father was pretty much never around so it was mom and my brother (who passed too young in 2000) and my two sisters and brother-in-law. Small family.

I write with a heavy heart and am still profoundly sad over this tragedy in my life; it's so cruel but it's inevitable and mom would have told me to get on with my own life and move forward. Even though I feel empty and broken.

This column is the beginning of that endeavor.

I want to again, THANK YOU ALL who have sent kind words; supportive and otherwise. Your words have made this a lot more bearable but I am still shaking and asking "why now?" It's so darn painful and depressing. I will try to carry on. But it is a difficult time.

415 Media will resume Monday with Bay Area TV/Radio news and commentary, God willing.

In the meantime, mom, Mrs. Anne Landau, I love you and miss you. RIP.

And you too, my aunt Claire Lerch.

Rich Lieberman

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Circle7's ND, Trixie; It's All About Power

Image result for bossy woman
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE POWER; She relishes it; craves it; demands it; people skills? Screw that! It's all a part of her repertoire. She'd rather be feared more than respected. She rules by intimidation and enjoys the underlings who are scared to death of her.

How does she get away with it? Because the market group has no balls. They will let her go as far as they can even to the point where lawyers are in the mix. And lawyers haven't deterred her anyway.

Trixie will continue to run things her way and if you don't like it, well, go outside, take you fat ass on the nearest Uber and have a pleasant day.

95.7 FM 'The Game' Limp Biscuit Morning Drive

Image result for 95. 7 FM The GameIt was the BIGGEST sports story of the week.

FM sports talkers from Philly to Phoenix burning up over Aldon Smith. On the lam. On the loose-- cops in hot pursuit. A NFL All-Pro  fugitive! So what was the home of the Raiders,  95.7  'The Game' talking about between 6/7AM, the highest audience of the day?

Some bullshit promo for the Final Four. So what's the deal? 

It could very well be morning train wreck. Mornings are the lynch pin to any radio success. Mornings are keeping 95.7 in the ratings cellar.

First, it was Townsend and the other guy . Listenable.

Then Chad, Joe, and Low. Horrible.

Now its Joe, Low, and Dibbs. Less horrible. Joe's gotta go. 

Lorezno Neal is exactly what you want from a number 2. guy--thoughtful, funny, his stories from Lemore are hilarious. Ok so he's no scholar, no anchor, who cares? Dibbs is a decent #3.

Joe Fortunbaugh, while knowledgeable, doesn't connect. Talks at you not TO you. Radnich or Tony Bruno, or Damon Bruce have the chops to pull it off. 

They also need a new morning EP. 

Shows typically open with coming up at 6:45 its Carmen Policy. Then 8:15 Bob Melvin then at 9:00 its....Joe Jock. Who gives a shit? The typical commuter listens for less than 15-minutes per show. 
95.7 time to open up the wallet to get a pro. 

I won't be holding my breath.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Breaking: 415 Media Exclu: Near Mutiny at KGO-TV; ND Watkowski-Silva Making Life Hell at 900 Front; Secret Staff Meeting(s) Indicate Crisis at 'Circle7'

Image result for tracey watkowski silva THERE'S DREAD AT 900 FRONT

A GROUP of Rank and File staffers; from high-level to mid-level newsroom personnel; have quietly met behind the scenes (off station premises) to discuss an ongoing feud with KGO-TV's mercurial News Director, Tracey Watkowski-Silva and her mucho-strained relationship with them.

Not all of them but most of them. You don't schedule off-premises meetings for gatherings like this one (and others to follow)

A senior KGO staffer told me:

"We've reached a crisis point. She (Watkowski) is manipulating the newsroom to make it a 'are you with me or against me' attitude; that's no way to run a news operation. It's unprofessional at best and harmful at worst!"

Did I say "harmful?" One part-time producer had to leave early last week for anxiety disorder that he says, is linked to the atmosphere inside the KGO newsroom. The person asked for anonymity out of fear for reprisal.

Watkowski has her defenders but they are far fewer than her detractors.

She's been able to escape the wrath from ABC -Disney higher-ups but how long is that good especially when two bigwigs from NY recently met here to focus on a number of issues, including the still-vacant GM gig. I can't imagine now that Trixie will get the job but I'm not shocked anymore.

The source:

"The woman is an evil bitch. She's into high-level power trips but this shit is out of the ordinary. She's making it damn near impossible to work here."

And it's not, say the critics, your normal "I'm the boss, do as I say stuff" There's specifics that include questionable rules of authority and managing. Quite staggering, in fact.

*We're on this story day and night

Related image*415 MEDIA EXCLUSIVE

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

What The Anchors Of Today Lack That Was Quite Apparent Years Past: Bay Area TV News Star Power

Image result for dave mcelhatton kpixONE OF THE THINGS I MISS ABOUT THIS MARKET is the lack of Star Power.

Dave McElhatton and Van Amburg come to immediate mind. Pete Wilson and Evan White, Bob Jimenez and Dennis Richmond.

You may not have necessarily loved their style or approach but you nonetheless watched them

Image result for dave mcelhatton kpixI wasn't a huge Wendy Tokuda fan but at least she had an aura about her; ditto Terrilyn Joe, who could cause quite a storm but was fairly good and confident on the air.

*Evan White was like a mini-Walter Cronkite. A Bay Area old, KRON/KGO steady presence on the air who brought civility to the desk with his calm demeanor and reticent style. It was both effective and necessary when too many others would shout.

Image result for Evan White KRONWhite didn't need to raise his voice because he was already in charge. No story could shake him; I'm not saying he didn't inject emotion every now and then; I am saying he approached the story with a consistent calm and ease which made him very popular with viewers. We could use an Evan White on Bay Area TV News; the only one that comes close is Dan Ashley, another anchor comfortable and calm bereft of loud antics and an easy to watch.

Image result for Evan White KRON*Bob Jimenez was as gifted an anchor as I ever watched here in the Bay Area. I knew he was network quality.  A cool, sincere, reader and could ask intelligent questions in a split screen. Moreover and quite delicately, Jimenez also had a wicked sense of humor. It wasn't overt; you had to really watch him to discover it but when it eacked out, it could be quite interesting and watchable.

SO HERE, I may shock you:

I liked Sylvia Chase at KRON. Too bad it never worked for her in this market but I liked her work and she was definitely a star. For some reason viewers never warmed to her but I think that's more a Bay Area thing than Chase in particular.

She was never able to generate any chemistry nor gusto but I liked her elegant look and simple style of reading the news. I was definitely in the minority. Maybe it's a matter of taste.

Image result for Sylvia Chase KRON

Monday, March 5, 2018

Disney TV Execs Quick In an Out; Still No Word on KGO GM Position; Massive Layoffs at KNBR and 'The Game'; KRON Gets Worse; Huzzah For Dennis Fanucchi; Dion Lim Still Tring But...Monday Open

Image result for San Francisco office building TWO KEY EXECS from the Disney TV Group division met over the weekend at The W Hotel to discuss the ongoing situation of their SF O and O, KGO-TV and its still vacant GM position.

They left early Monday for NY and presumably a final decision will be made by the end of the week.

We've heard that before.

*We keep hearing about "massive" layoffs about to take place at both Bay Area Sports Radio stations:  Entercom's 95.7 FM 'The Game' and Cumulus' KNBR. My question: whom do you cut? On the KNBR side, there's 4 (four) to chose from; I wouldn't se shocked if someone out of the blue --BIG name and all were to get his comeuppance --at 'The Game', the guy in the afternoon might be a little anxious.

*Every time I think KRON can't get any worse they get worse. KRON has ceased to be taken seriously as a legitimate news operation. They are so bad now; the product on their air so bereft of just basic operational and functional skills; lame, innocuous newscasts would be tolerable but now the entire station looks and sounds like plain crappola. Who's in charge? Never mind.

*YES, I've been away dealing with way too many issues to comprehend and I'm not going to bore you with the details but it's a Catch 22 supreme. If I were to describe what's happening then you'd pelt me for asking for sympathy (which I don't want) then again, If I were to remain mum then I'll be accused of slacking. (Not) It's just a little tough now I'll save you the details. But the sun is shining today.

*I have to give a plug to local legend,  Dennis Fanucchi for his fanaticism and will to move on and on and on no matter what age, the present-day Jack LaLanne.

*I don't know if you're aware but we used to be the 4th biggest TV Market now we're below Houston and name the other one...anyway we're about 6th of 7th  8th now.

*OK, I'm in the minority: I thought Dion Lim has mightily improved at KGO-TV but her critics continue to bitch and moan. Look, she's doing the best she can which is better then those who are abject phonies. At least Dion is trying.

*Give a listen to KCBS: if you can't tell after ten minutes about the radical change before your very ears then you're not an old school KCBS listener. The brand is being destroyed. What a shame, amid silly questions and cackling that would have been shocking not so long ago.

*George Rask delivering traffic reports: sounds like some UC professor giving a monologue about the history of cryonics --hey George, move it up a notch and try to sound like you're alive.

*The epitome of asininity: Steve Aveson.