Here’s What The KGO Boss Told The Staff


About the wholesale changes and firings at KGO in San Francisco, Vice President/Market Manager Justin Wittmayer told his staff the company has set in motion new programming strategies for both KGO and KFOG. He says it will better meet the needs and demands of listeners, advertisers and the community. “Our goal is to reposition these two stations for future growth and strength through new and enhanced programming, and new additions to the KGO and KFOG teams, including programming veteran Bryan Schock, whom we announced this morning as the new OM/PD of KFOG and KSAN. We believe the new programming direction will put KGO and KFOG on the best paths to growth and success.”

“Unfortunately,” Wittmayer says, “to achieve that goal, we had the difficult but necessary task today of restructuring our KGO and KFOG station staffs to allow us to meet the new needs of these two stations as we invest in new programming that is redefined, refocused and of the highest quality. Today, we informed the affected employees about these changes, which included the elimination of a number of full-time and part-time positions across these two stations, primarily in the news department at KGO and in key dayparts at KFOG. I want to thank those professionals who are leaving us for their contributions and service to KGO and KFOG, and wish them only the best as they continue on in their careers.”

“I want to thank the remainder of our team for working with us through this transition and in the coming weeks and months, as the new KGO and KFOG take shape. Together, we will build these newly imagined stations into strong and vibrant brands that our listeners and advertisers will love. I will be sharing with you more specific details on these programming shifts and additions in the next few days and weeks. In the meantime, please reach out to me directly with any questions.”


  1. Not enjoying the new line up and reprogramming some of your host never stop talking. I almost feel it is a place for them to talk about their points of view and not hear from their listeners.

  2. What a shame, the only talent you had on your station was Brian Copeland. I cannot listen to Chip Franklin, he is so annoying…
    Am really missing Brians comedy corner, your station management doesn’t seem to know how to manage.
    Ronn Owens!!!Come on get your head out of the sand.

  3. Has anyone been listening to SK Morton’s Lousy San Francisco Podcast? He says he’s going to end it the end of this year. You guys should look into getting him on the air. He’d probably come cheap and is way more entertaining than any of the other shows you have on here right now. He talks about San Francisco’s past, present and future and does it with a cool combination of wit and silliness. Seriously. If you guys could get a few up-and-comers like that on the air you might be able to turn things around.

  4. Just wondering what needs they were referring. I happened to like the previous programming structure. However, it was annoying when the star of each program read commercials blurring the line between commercial and actual news. One were not sure if what was said was paid for or an actual opinion.

    And then there are now those attacks of listeners who may support one or the other political candidate which may not be the current favorite of the presenter. As if the presenter knows best what is good for the country. But we don’t need another HillBilly in the whitehouse

  5. WTF! How can you possibly be in charge?
    Very disturbing that someone as unaware
    as you is deciding the programming future
    of KGO. Ronn Owens, what were you thinking?
    Cumulus is basically brain dead and we are
    all just pulling the plug.

    You also got rid of the best KGO’s news talent.
    Most of us were hoping Ronn Owens would
    just blow you off, grab his very successful
    news resources and sign up at 910. But no.

    I’m not really pleased with his reaction to this
    episode either. Reminds me of the KGO massacre
    that I think that Cumulus initiated a few years ago.
    You lost some great talent. Obviously, you’re not
    into learning from past mistakes.

    Too bad.

    Shawn McMillan
    McMillan Design Group

  6. Well-heeled, well-paid, corporate sheep can’t make useful decisions.
    See: “Too Deep For Sheep” at the bottom of the home page.

  7. Pathetic…and pointless…canned programs interrupted with stupid ads for buying gold and idiotic financial scams commercials…

  8. While the (below) observations are astute and well-considered, there is about them a traditional and, therefore, limiting aspect.
    These are the same considerations that other broadcasters elsewhere are probably entertaining right now.
    However, tweaking that, niggling with this, changing or replacing something else or a program of wholesale slaughter are the same strategies that have been implemented for decades – with unsatisfactory returns.
    This all happens, of course, in a toxic environment where fortunes are lost and careers ruined – for no particularly good reason.
    Certainly, “change” is needed. But these ain’t them.

  9. It is long recognized the KGO itself was on a feeding tube in ratings, results and revenue. Change needed to happen. Hard choices needed to be made to survive and turn things around for not only for KGO but KSFO, KFOG and The Bone. KNBR/KCTC needs help too. So I understand the wholesale moves they made.

    If I recall, KSFO has been a slight upswing for some time (though it is flat now) in SF and San Jose books. Moving Ron Owens to KSFO does not makes sense on the surface from his political view point given the stations other fare including Sussman, Limbaugh and Savage.

    But it actually does make sense in a way for the listener since this is about entertainment.

    Controversy, a long time missing element might be the goal and spark needed to reignite KSFO as a listeners destination leading to ratings and hopefully revenue. I’m not a listener of such fare but given the success of Trump antics and media attention this is a contrarian counter programming copycat move in the reverse, that might drive KSFO ratings forward. Ron might be a pinata for a while until he retires, but people like discussion, particularly if they disagree. It’s like having the visiting uncle spouting his contrary views at the dinner table and the vigorous argument that ensues. People and therefore listeners would love that.

    Now to the changes at KFOG and The Bone. That is the sad reality and reflective of this business but in the end, it is a business. While I would expect KFOG’s brand to survive in some rock format way that will return it, to a wider audience, it might be different, so I’m willing to give it a chance. The Bone’s days might be numbered and may become a companion FM for either KSFO or KGO or even KNBR. KFOG could too but that rock brand is awfully hard to ignore so I don’t expect it.

    Now KNBR, while carrying the station cluster might be out of steam. Ratings and revenue are still good. The whole cluster, with the exception of KGO and KSFO, still reflects the tried and true original Susquehanna efforts and demographic revenue domination, though shrunk now in ratings and revenue success for various reasons and circumstances.

    What might be interesting and daring is if KNBR and KCTC along with the other Cumulus cluster stations were to cut back on commercial load. A “less is more” as a position statement in the advertising and listener community. Sports listeners (along with other stations) have endured far to many and often repeated commercials. It is is not effective for an advertiser or for the listener. Recent articles on this very site reflect that.

    And I suspect, the ad community would embrace that with great enthusiasm and their wallets.

  10. Are there presumptions in the biz that after the “deck chair frenzy”, significant improvements are being made?

    • Significant improvements. no. Placeholders or bookmarks. yes. And the smart money and operators are waiting in the wings. Investments in smaller and medium radio companies are being made now for long term opportunities. It will get better for everyone and the industry. It’s coming and a return to the past normalcy of balance of balance of programming and business.

  11. SF Cumulus Stations are ranked below good standards and a change was necessary. Dump the O/H not producing results and get SF Cumulus going in the correction direction. The folks at SF Cumulus have not upped their rankings for many months and now they have to pay the price. Welcome to the real world.

  12. I wonder, Ken, if anyone has produced a brochure containing a list of all the weasel-words and phrases that moronic management foists on unwitting and defenseless staffs.
    That way, all they would have to do is point to the pamphlet and say, “Number 4.”
    Besides, it is well understood that format changes are the equivalent of waving a white flag.
    (That would be #17.)
    “It’s business!”…? Number 2.

  13. The kicker is how Justin Wittmayer, vice president and market manager, along with corporate staff, appear to believe everyone has “stupid” stamped on their forehead:

    “…we have set in motion new programming strategies for both KGO and KFOG that will help us better meet the needs and demands of our listeners, advertisers and community…”

    Really? – “better meet the needs and demands…”

    Radio is doing fine?


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