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April 05, 2016

Comments

Bruce Dickinson

Joe, Bruce Dickinson feels your pain. Let me give you the low-down from the industry, being on that side for over four decades. Rock n' Roll is dead. Not in the sense that people don't listen to it, it's just that there is no money in it particularly for new Rock n'Roll bands. The iPod revolutionized the way we listen to music, with entire albums decomposed into individual songs. Couple that with technology that can store the songs anytime you want them, and the concept of listening to an entire album begins to fall apart (or listening to the radio for that matter). So producers, knowing that the individual song is what sells, try to push artists to produce catchy, pop-y songs that young people listen to and that will sell in global volume. Apple has cut into the margins of record companies by making each song effectively cheaper and consumers don't have to buy a whole album to enjoy tunes.

The recorded music industry has responded by merging into giant conglomerates, including owning "independent" labels. This way they can rake the cash cow of the old catalogues and re-invest it into the single, overproduced, hits, "top 40" as it were. Artists in many cases today, can get paid just pennies on each song they sell. Thus, the only way for rock bands to make money is to tour (or cut a sweet deal with Apple upfront in the case of U2 who also does a big tour), and usually it's just the few big, popular bands that are able to rake in the dough. Have you seen what concert ticket prices are these days? (also controlled by two concert promotion companies, primarily). A rock album is really just a 'preview' of the tour, where the real money is made now. For artists that are selling below gold status, it's basically impossible to make money.

This is the sad state of affairs that is currently rock n'roll, and radio stations, as antiquated middlemen are just another version of Pandora, but with less ways to obviously tailor your choices and given how many people listen to their own downloaded music, ad dollars no longer command a premium on this medium

This is why Bruce Dickinson saw the writing on the wall and moved to the Bay Area from LA to invest and advise in new music/media initiatives. I may be seven decades old, but it's from experience and relentless success that enable savvy noggins to spot trends!

fred

The term that has been around for many decades is Boringlame.

Joe

When I worked for GTE Sprint on the Bayfront in 1983-5, it was Sprint headquarters and known around the country as Boringame. And it had more music venues back then! :-)

dewey cheatam

Hey, what is happening at KGO? Dave Price also wrote about that too.
Used to be some good talk show hosts but they got rid of them last week and kept boring old Ronn Owens.

Susie Lahey

I have to say I was a bit taken aback by the KFOG demise - as a registered FogHead when I heard the ads on the radio 'the evolution is coming on 420' I have to admit - I thought it was an ad for a Pot Expo or festival.....

So sad to see the station go - I knew it would never be the same when Dave Morey left but I still loved the 10at10, acoustic sunrise and most importantly the DJ's -

Heather

Dear KFOG,
I've been a listener since I was a student at Stanford in the mid-90s. Even then when I was in my twenties, one of the things I appreciated most about your station was that it was "Radio for Grown-Ups". KFOG was about the music. The morning show and other shows weren't filled with inane chatter about celebrities or stupid practical joke calls or sordid details about DJs personal dating lives, etc. I also appreciate KFOG's local focus on San Francisco and the Bay Area.


As I've grown up even more since, I have appreciated that I can have KFOG playing while my children are around so they hear current music without also hearing rude, immature, R-rated, or even cruel "humor" from DJs who are more found of their own voices than music. I even listened to KFOG online when I lived out of the country for six months.

PLEASE! I hope that KFOG remains true to itself. I've just heard about the continuing changes to your morning line-up and other juggling of DJs, etc. I am very worried that KFOG will become like all the other "lowest common denominator" radio stations around. PLEASE, will KFOG remain an intelligent, high-quality, music-first radio station?


PLEASE! Keep KFOG a radio station that intelligent, music-loving people can listen to.

Many of my friends and I are very worried about "The evolution". Will it be a de-volution instead?


I want to stay a Fog-head.
Thank you,
Heather

=mike

"When you...(or we start to look like everywhere else)...you lose your soul. The end of the good times is soon followed by BORING. Let's not be BORINGAME!"

TOO LATE !!!

Anne

Let's all hope that KCSM manages to stay alive. Local rock is dead, but local jazz lives on at 91.1.

Joe

I have had a few longer trips around the Bay Area recently so I have been trying to listen to the new KFOG. Frankly, it's crap. More of the same that is available on a half dozen other no-name stations in the local market. So sad.

Joe

Last one out, turn off the lights:

Rosalie Howarth, last of the longtime KFOG DJs, abruptly announced Sunday, May 20, during her popular show “Acoustic Sunrise,” that she was leaving the station after 34 years.

Howarth, the senior announcer at the San Francisco station and only holdover from any number of staff purges, has finally been purged herself.

Her two-year contract expired on Monday, May 21, and when she drove in from her Walnut Creek home Friday to start work on her Sunday show, she was told that her contract would not be renewed and she could take the weekend off while syndicated programming took her 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday slot. Howarth would be “ghosted,” as is often the case in radio.

But her program director, Mat Bates, stood up to management and Howarth was granted a farewell show.

At its peak, around 2007, KFOG rated seventh out of up to 40 stations, both AM and FM, a 2.7 share, according to Nielsen. But then Morey, who commanded the morning drive, suddenly quit in 2008 to move to the Michigan wilderness, and the long slow slide began.

By 2016, KFOG’s listenership had declined dramatically, which brought about the “March Massacre,” when four of the station’s six full-time voices were laid off at once, along with part-timer Howarth. The format was shifted toward a younger demographic, and New York morning man Matt Pinfield was brought in under a promotional blitz.

During the course of Howarth’s final show, some 1,000 listeners sent their condolences by email or Facebook postings. Her old pal Morey said it best, writing from his new home in Palm Springs, where he runs a pirate radio station.

“Last one out,” it read, in typical terse Morey fashion. “Did you turn off the lights?”

Howarth left open the possibility that the lights could come back on someday, somewhere. Her archive of 6,000 acoustic recordings, many of them rare live benefit versions, went out the door with her.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/music/article/Rosalie-Howarth-last-of-the-longtime-KFOG-DJs-12932920.php

Christopher Cooke

Acoustic Sunrise was a great way to start Sunday morning. I will miss that show

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