Thursday, October 30, 2008
KGO (Yawn) Announces Solar Powered Transmitter
photo courtesy www.bayarearadio.org)
San Francisco Number One rated talk station KGO-AM (810) had a big announcement today that left me less than thrilled.
They hyped it in ads, saying that it would come at 10:30 on 10/30...and the radio boards were abuzz with speculation.
Over at ba.broadcast, "experts" claimed that they were announcing who would be the new 10 p.m. host, the slot that has been fought over for the better part of a year, since embarrassingly vacated by Bernie Ward.
One claimed that Karel has bought a house in the Bay Area, so it would be him (a call to Karel proved that one false).
Another claimed that Alex Bennett, who was celebrated along with Mickey Luckoff by the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame, would get the show. (ha. no way).
Still another claimed that his sources knew that KGO would open an FM signal.
(All these so-called experts "swearing" they knew the truth, tells you why reporting on the Internet can be so...shall we say...dubious?..and why traditional methods of fact-checking, sourcing and not reporting something until it is confirmed still are needed in our instant gratification culture.)
The speculation was a lot more interesting than the result.
At 10:30 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a guest on the Ronn Owens show, tripped the switch that opened up the connection to a solar-powered unit, partly sending electricity to a transmitter. Great. Whatever. Good for them. It meant a whole lot more to the station than to the listeners.
Bravo. Anything solar is ok by me, but why waste self-congratulating airtime on it.
If I were them, I'd be a lot more worried about KCBS's announcement that it has put news on FM. What does that mean? That the news station may finally bump KGO off the top ratings slot, by combining ratings from the FM and AM. It will cut into the bottom line, which is the bottom line for the folks at Citadel, and the ad rates it can charge.
A little quote from Jack Swanson, KGO program director, today. He is going over the new People Meter figures, which can not only tell him who gets the highest ratings, but what listeners tune into when they push the button away from KGO.
"It's like we now have the Hubble telescope focusing on planets, instead of a telescope under cloud cover. We can see so much more."