June 15, 2006

Radio Dots & Dashes (June 15 Edition)

In this week's edition of SF Weekly, you'll find a piece headlined "Beheadings and Dead Microphones: KNBR's new owners try to adjust to big-market radio" that includes the following fragment:

Cumulus Media

"...(T)he company's cuts to business staff, though perhaps a strategy that previously worked in smaller markets, has left some of its big-city stations scrambling, including KNBR...

"Several sources familiar with the station's inner workings describe a 'Whoops!' scenario that parallels what has played out in other markets: Cumulus officials, belatedly realizing they may have been too quick to lay people off, have consulted fired employees to discuss how to stabilize the office. As one source says of Cumulus, 'They've been given a Maserati and they don't know how to drive a stick.'"

Johnny Holliday (KYA, 1966)Father's Day = Holliday: Former 1260/KYA Baron of the Bay (and every teen queen's dream) Johnny Holliday was honored by the Washington, D.C., Father's Day Council as one of the Capitol District's Fathers of the Year.

Johnny (shown in a 1966 photo from KYA, right), a Tiburon resident during his tenure here, has been a fixture in D.C. for four decades as the voice of Maryland Terrapins basketball and football, ABC Radio Network sports, and as the co-host of Catholic Radio Weekly. He received the honor along with the Washington Post's Ben Bradlee and David Vise, MSNBC host Chris Matthews, and George Washington University's Skip Williams...

Liza BatallonesCareer Change: Liza Batallones (photo, right), who went from San Francisco State to reporting traffic on the radio with Shadow Broadcast Services (she was heard on several stations, including KCBS, K101 and KPIX-FM), is profiled this week in a Philippine News feature. Liza left her most recent traffic gig at KPIX-TV (Channel 5) to join Alain Pinel Realty in San Mateo as a Realtor...

June 02, 2006

Radio Dots & Dashes (June 2 Edition)

John ShraderThe latest departure from Sports Leader KNBR/680? According to Kevin Lynch in this morning's Chronicle, it's the stalwart John Shrader, who had been doing news updates, the occasional hosting stint, pre- and post-game shows and sideline reports during his fifteen years at the station. "We had a difference of opinion on my value to the company," Shrader told the Chron.

KNBR became the property of Cumulus Media last month.

Shrader (photo, right), who had been a weekend sports anchor on KNTV/Channel 11 and later became sports director at KICU/Channel 36 back in the 1980s, had also been the broadcast voice of the MLS San Jose Earthquakes from 1996 until the team's departure for Houston this year. He is currently working as a journalism instructor at San Jose City College.

He told Contra Costa Times sportswriter Jonathan Okanes, "Things have changed since the company was sold, that's for sure. I was there for fifteen years and it was a great fifteen years. It was time for a change. I know it will be good for me. Whether it's good for them is their business."

Okanes quoted KNBR program director Lee Hammer as saying he "was a little surprised (Shrader) resigned"...

(CORRECTION: In the original version of this post, based on information borrowed from the rarely-if-ever-wrong Wikipedia — please stop laughing — I noted that John Shrader was the play-by-play voice of the San Jose Sabercats. Mr. Shrader, who should know, has politely pointed out to me that this was an error, although he was the voice of San Jose State University football for nearly a decade, a fact which was omitted from the article.)

Joe Salvatore and Jay Arnold forward news that Steven B. Williams, 59, a veteran of both K-101 and KRQR (The Rocker) here and a well-known voiceover star, was found dead in the water off Santa Catalina Island, reportedly having been shot in the chest. His death is being investigated as a homicide, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that rumors regarding Williams' murder had circulated around Hawaii for several weeks since the body — thought to be Williams — was found on May 18. His identity was confirmed by dental records on Wednesday.

Williams had been a fixture in Hawaii radio during the 1970s, before moving on to his greatest success in Denver. He joined KRQR in 1987, and worked at KIOI beginning in 1993.

In Steven B.'s bio on 440:Satisfaction, he mentioned that he had been working at V. Sattui Winery in the Napa Valley in 2001. He left the company after two years to care for his sick father, who had subsequently died, according to newspaper reports.

"I am now living and working in what can only be described as a dead ringer for the Bordeaux region of France where I continue to provide voice imaging to my radio and TV clients. If my newspapers have started piling up call 911; it just may mean that I've died and gone to Heaven," Williams wrote, referring to his work at V. Sattui in his 440:Satisfaction listing.

"He was a great guy; I mean, who can dislike Steven B.?" V. Sattui owner Darryl Sattui told the Associated Press on Thursday. "It's strange because I was actually going to call him today to try to get him to move back up and work for me again"...

With the end of May on Wednesday, Howard Clark — a veteran of more than fifty years in radio — retired from the business. Howard had been a popular Boss Jock at 610/KFRC back in the late 1960s, and most recently had been operations manager at Access.1's cluster of stations in Shreveport, La. He had begun his radio career at a station in Springhill, La., back in July 1954, and went on to success at Top 40 powerhouses WTIX/New Orleans and WWDJ/New York as well as KFRC. "Not bad for an old Louisiana dirt farmer," he told Radio & Records.

· This article was updated 6/3/2006. Photo courtesy of JohnShraderMedia.com