Radio Wars

95.7 FM “The Game” gives Brandon Tierney’s spot to Chris Townsend

Well, that was quick. I figured 95.7 FM “The Game” would spend the next month auditioning hosts to take over the drivetime spot recently vacated by Brandon Tierney, but today’s 4 pm announcement was actually about a permanent lineup change.

From 95.7’s release:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – 95.7 The GAME (KGMZ-FM), The Bay Area’s New Sound for Sports, today announced new hosts for afternoon drive.   Longtime Bay Area natives Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) and Chris Townsend (@TownsendRadio), will be heard weekday afternoons 3:00-7:00 pm, effective December 3, 2012.

“Ric & Chris are two of the best sports personalities on the radio and with their deep local roots covering Bay Area teams, I have no doubt that sports fans will be thoroughly entertained every weekday afternoon,” said Jason Barrett, Program Director of 95.7 The GAME.

“It will be a great honor to share the mic and talk sports with Ric Bucher every afternoon.  We’ll be taking to the biggest & best guests and engaging with the best sports fans in the country,” said Townsend.  “Since Day 1, I’ve believed in this station, because day in and day out, 95.7 The Game delivers the best sports lineup from top to bottom.”

The release also listed the schedule, which leaves “The Rise Guys” (Mark Kreidler, Whitey Gleason and Dan Dibley) and “The Wheelhouse” (Greg Papa and John Lund) unchanged. However, the release listed Matt Steinmetz as a solo act on “The Pulse.” Perhaps there will be a rotating group of co-hosts who works with Steinmetz, like Roxy Bernstein and Brodie Brazil.

Based on the comments on this site, Jason Barrett’s decision to move Townsend to sports talk radio’s version of primetime should be a popular one. Whether it will chip away at Tom Tobert’s considerable ratings advantage, or spur KNBR to pair him with a permanent partner, remains to be heard. Speaking of Barrett, he had this to say a few minutes after the announcement was made:

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46 comments
Saint
Saint

The majority of you are slppin' on here. Tierney and Urban were legit! However, I'm not going to say I'm upset with their replacements. I love the station. I've been wondering why no one had successfully put together an A's flagship station. It's was perplexing...sort of like how business after business failed at the current location of Rookies Bar and Grill in San Jose. That's a prime location with a lot to offer and it just failed miserably until this place took over. Anyways, good stuff, fellas. Rise Guys are cool...I like how Crydler is the kicking mule...jus playin' Cryds...but you guys all have fun. Towny disagreed with me once, and I was right, but I still think he's the best..and you even though John Lund lacks soul and is a little bland...you can pair up Papa with anyone and it'll be a successful show. PEACE! I'M OUTTA HERE! San Jose "Saint"

TommyJ
TommyJ

I liked Townsend on John London's non-sports show before what they have now.

The Sports Leader
The Sports Leader

For those of you who don't remember Chris Townsend and Larry Krueger had a Saturday program on KNBR in the late 90s. It was very good. It would be treat to see those two teamed up again. "The Outsiders" if memory serves me correctly.

Stan
Stan

Papa and Townsend would have been a KNBR killer. And neither has love for the rival. P&T 3-6 or 2-5 would have won. Only Papa's other job would interfere. Still, a Stan and a Huey P.Newton jr show would blow the worlds mind!

mightymike33tm3
mightymike33tm3

Uncle Towny is the man! Talk about rich Bay Area roots. Towny and Buc are a good combination and very entertaining. I'll switch over to Tom during commercials but I can't get enough UT!!!

Jbird
Jbird

So happy to see Tierney gone. hated his act. Once ED left, it was painful to listen to. Only more annoying personality on B.A. sports talk is Radnich. No contest there.

Howie
Howie

So many knbr interns and fanboys here getting paid by the thumbs up, me thinks.

TommyJ
TommyJ

Steve Czaben (the pre-Rise Guys national show on 95.7) read CBS' sportsradio's lineup this morning. After Tiki and Jacobsen, he mentioned Tierney and said something to the effect of "jobber, ham-and-egger"; had little opinion of him.

TommyJ
TommyJ

Because of the time of year, KNBR probably not compelled to do anything. They have the holidays followed by 1-4 weeks of 49er coverage in January, then spring training close by. The guess here is they won't make anything permanent besides Tolbert from 3-7, see how the ratings fare between now and lets say March and if The Drive makes any inroads they'll react then.

SouthBay
SouthBay

so that means townsend works a 3-7pm shift on 95.7 and then a 10pm-3am shift on Sportsbyline show a workaholic! although sportsblyline show is awful.

The Sports Leader
The Sports Leader

Now that is a decision I can live with. Townsend is one of the few, along with Greg Papa, hosts I enjoy listening to on The Game. Ric Bucher is a good fit as Townsend's co-host. There are those who become annoyed with Chris Townsend's style but as least he studies other sports and can speak intelligently about them.

Tru
Tru

Good move. I'd put Rick Tittle in the Pulse to take Townie's place.

Sunset Boy
Sunset Boy

I like this move, as BASG predictably predicted. Townsend and Bucher will be a strong pairing. Credibility, creativity, and depth. I would have thought, however, that 95.7 would have attacked KNBR's weaknesses (12-3, anyone?) rather than their strengths (3-7 Tolbert). It would have made more sense. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to what this duo has to offer. My prediction: KNBR announces Ratto as a permanent fixture with Tolbert. You heard it hear, first. LOL.

paperback writer
paperback writer

Sounds like the game is giving up, shuffling the chairs on the Titanic, Chris is good, not sold on Rick and the drive-time intangibles - humor, personality, pro jock experience and unique opinions/angles are just not there. They nust be hurting financially, staying within their budget with existing contracts - even with the CBS cash buyout of NYC Tierney.

650Athletics
650Athletics

I wished they didnt let go of Urban. Yhey couldve had a good show with Steinmetz and Urban similar to the weekend riff on the csn website.

Blaster
Blaster

Christmas just came early for me. Townsend is the best in the bay, IMO, and Bucher has serious chops. No more Tierney & no more Urbs?! I couldn't be happier.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Good move by 95.7 to put Townsend in the drive time slot! Townsend has good chemistry with Bucher, and whenever they were paired together, the show was informative and entertaining. Townsend probably should've been in the drive time slot all along. But yes, good move by 95.7!

Tony
Tony

As long as KNBR has the Giants, 49ers and Warriors, 95.7 will remain the number 2 sports talk station in this market. All of the talk shows on both stations are just background noise.

AJ
AJ

I don't know if they will be able to significant damage to Tolbert's stranglehold of the ratings, but at least now, they should be competitive. It should be fun to see how the ratings happen over the next couple of months. It will also be interesting to see what happens with The Pulse and Stienmetz which is quite an ironic name considering Stienmetz sounds as if he doesn't have a pulse most days. And will Barrett finally lock down the 7pm-whenever slot.

Jeff
Jeff

Will KNBR follow suit and can Radnich?

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

It would be cool if Townsend and Krueger paired up to do a show. I think Krueger mentioned that Townsend is his friend, so they would get along. It's kind of too bad in a sense that Townsend is at 95.7. If he was still at KNBR, him being paired up with Krueger either for Sportsphone or in Gary's timeslot, would be a pretty good pairing and a decent show overall I think. Even though Townsend is an A's guy, he could probably make it work on KNBR, if he ever went back to KNBR. He can talk objectively about the Giants, even though his heart is with the A's.

Slam
Slam

I agree 100%, a show with Stan would definitely blow

Stan
Stan

Mao's great grandson as the third voice. I hear he loves basketball.

Fitz's Future Unemployment Check
Fitz's Future Unemployment Check

you mean the game's interns? Seems like anything negative about them is getting hammered with the thumbs down while anything positive about them has a lot of thumbs up. Barrett's pulling out the guerrilla tactics

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Townsend also works at Sportsbyline? I didn't know that.... When does he sleep, if he's working there at those hrs.?

Slam
Slam

Here's my imitation of Ray Ratto on twitter: "No, I don't agree that Bogut will be great, and No, nobody cares if you live or die, and No, nobody follows you on Twitter, and Yes, feel free to jump off a bridge" So if you like being insulted, Ray Ratto is the perfect guy. When he's on with Tolbert, I change the channel

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

No offense to Ratto, but I really hope he's not Tom's new co-host. Yes, he actually is better on radio and can actually be funny and informative at times, but as others have said on here, he's just too negative. It's like, who pissed in his cheerios?!? LOL. Yes, sports talk radio thrives on negativity, but he even takes negatives out of positive stories or good things that are happening with the Bay Area sports teams. Ratto is pretty much negative 24/7. Sometimes you have to wonder if he likes his life. For real though. As far as Byrnes goes, eh. He's better as a fill-in host, and they should just have him on during baseball season or for Giants-related programming on KNBR in a fill-in/part-time role or something. Maybe he can co-host with Marty Lurie on some weekends during baseball season, or he could co-host with Ray Woodson on those Giants hot stove league shows in the offseason. Baseball is obviously Byrnes' strong suit, and he just isn't as strong talking other sports. If he's there as a fill-in host during baseball season, or co-hosts some of the Giants offseason shows, that would be ok I guess. I'm not really sure who should be Tom's new co-host. As someone mentioned here (I'm sorry but I forgot who it was), they think Damon will eventually be Tom's new co-host. Yes, it would make sense since Damon is on 1050 and it would be great to have him back on 680. If Damon was to be Tom's new co-host, they could be a good pairing and they could probably do a good show together, but I think Tom would be a little bit too laid back for Damon though. Damon is more intense and his show is more about sports, while Tom ventures off topic sometimes and I agree with the poster who said that Tom can get disinterested/bored sometimes, so I'm not sure if Tom could keep up with the flow and pace of Damon's show. Damon and Tom are opposites like Gary and Damon are, but I think Damon and Tom would get along, since Tom seems like he would be an easy guy to work with, and as others have said, Tom doesn't really have a format to his show. The only thing is, would Damon still be able to have his main segments (Tuesday Trifecta, the segment with his mother, and the nooner) if he was paired up with Tom though? I'm sure Tom wouldn't mind but, I can't picture Tom participating in those segments. LOL. Also, if Damon was to be Tom's new co-host, would that affect Damon chances/opportunities to fill-in for Jim Rome? I remember when Damon co-hosted with Gary last year, he didn't fill-in for Jim Rome that one month. Now that I think about it, I kind of wonder why that's one of the reasons why Damon has stayed on 1050 and not really made a stink about it. He gets to fill-in for Jim Rome every once in a while. Would 680 have a problem with Damon doing filling in for Jim Rome, if he ever goes back to 680? Like others, I think Damon is better solo, but it will be interesting to see if KNBR responds to Townsend moving to the drive time slot, if they do at all.

Eric
Eric

This is so comical, that the Game even is thinking its competing with KNBR 680/1050. Looking at it objectively, Damon and Tolbert both have big ratings, and are getting national attention (ie. ratings, hosting Rome, etc), while the Game is promoting B side players, former KNBR castoffs, and whatever they can find to fill slots. This is fact, not opinion. Plus, the talent they DO have is leaving. i like Chris Townsend, but you are talking A ball talent going up against the Big Leagues. Not gonna happen. 2 years (less now) and the game is history.

Paperback Writer
Paperback Writer

Wow, game staff working overtime to slam this truth. LOL Also, game may have someone tentatively hired for drive time, but due to contracts or Holiday time or time for ANOTHER EAST COAST transplant to move, figured they'd skip the charade of another "tryout" and simply slip Chris into Lunds soon to be vacated spot when the newbie arrives. No facts here, but plausible theory.

T
T

not true. ratings-wise. KNBR1050 is second in the ratings with 95.7 being a distant third.

t
t

I doubt KNBR is worried about this lineup change. Tolbert still has a massive following and will likely stay ahead in the ratings.

Stan
Stan

Your mindless Slam ,so your immune.

Tru
Tru

Maybe people are just sick of KNBR's tired act and are hoping the Game sticks around. I know I am.

Jeff S
Jeff S

Chris was doing Sportsbyline last night as I tuned in. It is basically him just back and forth with his producer. Not super professional but I guess it is on some stations across the nation.

650Athletics
650Athletics

plus i think rick does sports byline at that time

Sunset Boy
Sunset Boy

That's a pretty good Ratto impersonation. The whole negative/curmudgeon thing is an act, you have to realize that. Every market needs a guy like that, it makes things more interesting. I want to hear someone who doesn't tout the status quo. It's more interesting. What I like about Ratto, also, is that he usually backs it up with sound logic. And Ray's curmudgeonism/insults aren't as condescending as someone like Fitz, for example. Ray doesn't talk down to the callers, he may disagree with them, but the "jump off a bridge and die" comments are all said with a wink. Whereas Fitz really tries to demean his callers, in a way that sounds like he believes it. Narcissim, egotism, whatever you want to call it. Ratto, on the other hand, is basically being sarcastic. Yes, its much worse in print. On the radio, I think it works. Sarcasm needs to be heard, not read.

Eric
Eric

KNBR should not waste a single second 'responding' to Chris Townsend being promoted. Ridiculous.

B.A. Rich
B.A. Rich

What makes you think Bruce has good ratings? Because he said he does? Individual show ratings aren't available to the public. If his ratings were that good, he wouldn't be on 1050.

Stan
Stan

...You're anal too..

Slam
Slam

It's "you're", as in "you are:, Hemmingway

Jeff S
Jeff S

Haha yes Rick Tittle does do Sportsbyline in the morning but it is on the internet only correct? No terrestrial radio stations. I think he would have no problem dumping his morning show to be on a real station.

Slam
Slam

The only time I ever heard Fitz back down is when a caller said " Hey Bob, when push comes to shove, you're here to promote the Warriors, which is why you can't be objective. So stop trying to pretend otherwise ". He was pretty quiet after that But I do think he and Jim Barnett are solid on Warriors play by play