Bay Area Media and the Machine

Spark one, pour out a little liquor—whatever, but let’s take a moment and honor the media institutions and personalities that have served Bay Area residents for generations. Radio dial favorites KGO (810 AM) and KFOG (104.5 FM) both washed out some iconic on-air personalities last week in cuts that were timed to a fiscal quarter’s end but spun as some sort of reinvention. KGO let go of somewhere in the range of 20-30 editorial staffers, while KFOG dropped four of its six full-time DJs, including beloved hosts Annalisa (“[email protected]”) and Rosalie (Acoustic Sunrise” and “Acoustic Sunset” on Sundays). Liberal yardbarker Ronn Owens nearly got the boot from KGO to sister station KSFO, but listener outcry convinced Cumulus to reverse course and keep the human in his natural setting. One former employee described KGO’s layoffs as “a bloodbath” to the San Jose Mercury News, which underwent its own rebranding Tuesday, editing out “San Jose” from its masthead to become more regionally inclusive. Meanwhile, papers like the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times and others were consolidated into the long rumored East Bay Times. A wake was held for departing staffers Monday night but it’s not known how many were forced out. Cuts are better than outright extinction, such as the October 2014 folding of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, but the loss of institutional knowledge and character is upsetting for colleagues, readers and listeners alike. KGO has been running a grating collection of sound bites declaring a “new generation,” while KFOG has terrifyingly described its shift from real people to a machine as an “evolution.” As one loyal reader pointed out to Fly, the station serenaded Friday’s 5 o’clock listeners not with the traditional Toyes classic “Smoke Two Joints,” but instead marked the end of an era with silence.

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The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

8 Comments

  1. You’ll lose your Food Stamps & will have to file an Income Tax Return for the first time ! Thankfully, due to your mental health issues you’re legally unable to acquire any more ammunition & San Jose as a result is a much safer place for us all !!!

  2. Keep working Frank, they need to raise my Social Security next.
    Redistribution of the wealth Frank. Keep smoking we need the tax money!

  3. My dad listened to KFOG in his time, then they changed and I’ve listened for years. Guess I’m nearly dead, too, now.

    • Funny you should mention that as my father also listened to KFOG as I did. At the time it was easy listening elevator music. Something to calm you down as bumper’d your way home on I580. K101 Dr. Donald D. Rhoads kept me cheary in the morning. I worked 50-70 hour weeks for $4.37 an hour. Thank God thats over!

  4. KFOG Annalisa and Rosalie will be sorely missed. KFOG used to be a nice alternative to babble of ZOO radio fake Dj’s and yelling and screaming nonsense. KFOG always took pride in promoting local artists. I’ll miss [email protected] Greed wins again!

    • > Greed wins again!

      Lazlo:

      This is America. You are free to buy your own radio station and run it any way you want (or at li least within the bounds of the same regulations that constrain KFOG.)

      Make as much profit or as little profit as you like.

      You can make KFOG into the Mother Teresa of radio stations.

    • Radio is free Lazlo, but did you ever buy anything from the greedy sponsor? That’s why it’s free!