It all started with an anonymous source. And despite what certain dirt-dishers will tell you, my report last week that Gary Radnich and Damon Bruce would soon be joining forces on KNBR 680 from 9-to-noon was not “just gossip.” I got back to the Bay late last night, woke up this morning and turned on the radio, and there was Bruce, mentioning how happy he was to leave 1050 followed by Radnich saying how Bruce is, “The most talented guy in the building.”
So now that this rumor has become reality, what else does it mean? First, no more Tony Bruno or Patrick “P-Con” Connor during the timeslot Radnich held on his own for so long. Why? A couple reasons:
1. The Bruno segment died a slow death, starting when it was moved from 10 am to 11 am.
Maybe the energy was slipping away anyway, but when KNBR pushed the segment to an hour later, something was just off. Before, the first hour of Radnich’s show (when he was on top of his game) was faster, hectic even, as if Radnich was trying to get everything off his chest in the first 60 minutes before the show hit its regular Bruno-related crescendo. The show’s ratings probably waned quite a bit in that last hour, however, which is probably why KNBR made the switch in the first place. But with Bruno at 11 am, Radnich had a hard time getting started — kind of like Barry Zito in the first inning.
2. Not enough microphones.
With Bruce around, fitting in Kate Scott’s quips will be hard enough, let alone trying to shoehorn P-Con’s running commentary centered around Winstons, Jameson and Christina Loren. And in Bruno’s case, with Bruce around a half-hour segment would become a wall of noise that most listeners would have a hard time tolerating.
3. Bruno and Radnich was a Tony Salvatore kind of thing.
And Cumulus, in case you haven’t noticed, isn’t exactly worried about what turned Salvatore on back in the early-2000s.
Which leads to the question of the day…
How much time does Radnich have left at KNBR? Hard to say. The guy’s been around too long to dismiss his chances of reviving his career at The Sports Leader, but it’s up to him how much he wants to make it work with Bruce. Here’s one thing for sure: Radnich sure sounded solemn announcing the loss of the Bruno segment this morning (and judging by the response I’m getting on Twitter so far, quite a few people are bummed about the loss of the Bruno segment, too). These developments are a huge change from the days where Radnich fielded calls every morning pleading for he and Bruno to join up for their own 3-hour show.
As for The Gary Radnich and Damon Bruce Show (Or is it The Damon Bruce and Gary Radnich Show?) itself, it seems fairly uneven. Neither guy wants to give up the mic, and Radnich is already balking at some of Bruce’s signature sound drops (like the Ed Lover dance song). However, Radnich’s show was a complete snoozer over the past year or three, and today’s show was decidedly livelier and heavier on sports content. It’s a decent start, and if the competition is the John Lund show (which can be picked up by about 5% of the audience that KNBR reaches), Radnich and Bruce should probably get a decent chance to prove they can work together. Then again, as Bruce uttered his signature show-closing line, “Sports don’t build character, they revealed it,” Radnich revealed something himself with an audible groan.