The agreement between Cumulus and CBS Sports Radio set the wheels in motion for a variety of changes for both local sports talk stations. KNBR dropped ESPN Radio, and 95.7 FM “The Game” swooped in and forged a partnership with “The Worldwide Leader.” Brandon Tierney, who for a time brashly spoke of ending KNBR’s reign as the top (only) sports talk station in the market, can now be heard in the mornings on KTCT (KNBR 1050) or on Saturday mornings on KNBR 680.
I caught a few minutes of Tierney’s solo show a couple Saturdays ago, and Tierney complimented KNBR as one of the CBS Sports Radio affiliates that has been a powerhouse for decades. The way Tierney promoted KNBR was hilarious, considering how he had badmouthed them for months. But that’s the way it is in this odd, incestuous business. Even when you actively try to burn bridges, you might end up on the station some call “the flamethrower” (for its 50,000-watt signal) weeks later.
Or even 17 years later. Scott Ferrall, he of the voice not possessed by normal human beings, is back on KNBR via CBS Sports Radio (7-11 pm on 1050), which would’ve been unthinkable back when Bob Agnew was program director back in 1996.
Among other things, Ferrall called Agnew a “glass-eyed lizard” and said, “I will dedicate my life to ruining that little wuss.”
He may try, but he won’t be able to use KNBR’s air to do it. After hearing reports of the tirade, Agnew pulled the plug on Ferrall’s show immediately.
“That was kind of like the final straw,” says Agnew. “It was the ravings of a guy who is, unfortunately, a one-trick pony.”
Thus ends one of the oddest runs in Bay Area broadcasting, although it is just another stop on the dial for the well-traveled Ferrall. Actually, this marks a minor milestone for the raspy-voiced radio ranter. His usual tenure at a station is no more than six months.
Ferrall was hired by Agnew in September 1994 and immediately attracted attention — if not sponsors. His opening monologue was a rambling, sometimes hilarious, often libelous rundown of the day in sports. From there it was on to the phones where he accepted orders from callers to “pour me a beer.”
I still remember staying up late and watching the simulcast of his KNBR show on SportsChannel. Being a kid living behind the redwood curtain in Eureka, anything sports media-related that didn’t come from The Times-Standard was something worth consuming, and Ferrall was a fascinating (albeit completely whacked out) character. Here’s a clip from his old show — as you can see in the beginning, Ferrall is a proud Indiana alum like Damon Bruce:
A little different than watching Gary Radnich and Larry Krueger on Comcast SportsNet California, eh?
Ferrall actually broke his streak of keeping jobs for only six months after signing on with Howard Stern’s Sirius station back in 2006. Ferrall stayed with Howard 101 until announcing he’d be moving to CBS Sports Radio on Oct. 1, 2012, and according to Wikipedia (which, as everyone knows, is never wrong) left on good terms.
How long will Ferrall stay with CBS Sports Radio, and by extension Cumulus? Only time will tell, but a certain “glass-eyed lizard” has to be shocked at how things turned out — Agnew was fired in 2005 after the infamous Krueger incident, and Ferrall can again be heard on Agnew’s old station late into the night … just like in the mid-’90s.