San Fran. Radio Waves w/Ben Fong Torres
KGO and KSFO, which, in their respective primes, created some great radio, will be well represented when the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame inducts its class of 2018 this fall.
Both stations, now owned by Cumulus Media, are doing only so-so these days, but the induction ceremonies will recognize several of their most prominent personalities, from then to now. They include the late Scott Beach, a weekend staple on KSFO, which called itself the World’s Greatest Radio Station, from the early ’60s into the ’70s. He also worked at classical KKHI and KCBS. He died in 1996 at age 65.
Beach will be inducted in the Program Host category, along with the late Michael Slavko, much better known as M. Dung, a star in the 1980s on KFOG, now a sister station to KGO and KSFO.
KGO dominated the ratings from the late ’70s to 2010, and it’ll be represented by two inductees: the late talk show host Gene Burns and newscaster Jon Bristow. Burns was on KGO from 1995 until 2011, hosting various shows, including “Dining Around With Gene Burns.” He died in 2013. Bristow was a reporter and anchor at KGO from 1989 until 2016. He now is on KCBS.
The late Chris Edwards is the winner of one of two Don Sherwood Awards, voted by the public. Edwards was nominated in the Legends category. Best known for his energetic work on KYA, the one and only Edwards became a sales rep and continued to DJ oldies shows. He died in January 2014.
And the winner of the Sherwood Awards poll for the most popular active broadcaster — which does not include induction — is KSFO morning personality Brian Sussman, who’s been on the station since 2000 and on the morning shift since 2010.
In the Sportscaster slot, the Hall will enshrine the versatile Greg Papa, talk show host on KGMZ (“The Game”) who has done play-by-play for many teams, including the Raiders (who announced last month that he is being replaced by Brent Musberger).
Jude Heller, highly respected promotions director at numerous stations, including KFOG and KSAN (“The Bone”), enters the Hall of Fame in the Specialty slot.
Fred Krock will be enshrined for his work as a broadcast engineer dating to the ’50s. He also was a superb announcer and is a knowledgeable radio historian. The late B. Floyd Farr, who worked at KNBR predecessor KPO in the ’30s and co-founded San Jose country station KEEN in 1947, will be inducted in the Pioneer slot. And in the Management category, Gordon Zlotgets the call for some 50 years at the helm of Redwood Empire Stereocasters in Sonoma County.
These inductees, along with the R&B giant KDIA, named the Legendary Station of the Year, will be honored at a luncheon Oct. 13 in South San Francisco.
R.I.P.: Sorry to hear about the death in July of Ed Schultz, the syndicated progressive talk show host. He was 64. Back in 2005, when he did his program out of Fargo, N.D., he visited San Francisco to do his show from the studios of KQKE (“The Quake” at 960) for a few days. He thoroughly enjoyed being back in the Bay Area. (In his youth, he was a free-agent QB with the Raiders but lost out to one Ken Stabler.) As he marveled on the air: “This is way beyond Fargo.”
Technically speaking: Talking with Chronicle reporter Sam Whiting for his obituary of the DJ John Mack Flanagan, I recounted my last moment with him, at a Broadcast Legends luncheon, when I asked him to do a station ID for my show on Moonalice Radio. I told Sam, “I held out my phone,” and Flanagan did the shout-out, in one perfect take.
But wait: “Held out my phone”? Yep. Recently, watching group interviews on TV — one of a baseball player in a locker room; another of government official in D.C., I noticed how professional microphones have given way to smartphones. And for good reason. Recording apps have proved themselves to be broadcast quality. Many of them allow instant editing of the recordings, which can then be sent to stations, or be aired instantly.
And the apps are free. For my Samsung phone, I use Smart Recorder. It’s excellent, and it’s just one of many options.
This is bad news for the makers and sellers of portable recorders. They are superior in audio quality and features, but for most people doing interviews or voice tracks outside a studio, the app is plenty.
Fan mail: A reader in Fresno writes — actually, he scrawls, with a Sharpie, in large, loud, demanding lettering, atop a recent Radio Waves column — “? Where is DAVE SHOLIN” (I think he lost track of his question mark.) And, above that, “ED HIDER — KYA?”
No thank you; no signature. Obviously, Mick LaSalle doesn’t get all the most urbane correspondence. Regardless, here’s my answer to Fresno’s Mr. Warmth:
? Ever heard of GOOGLE
Ben Fong-Torres is a Bay Area freelance writer.
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