95.7 FM The Game

Huge shakeup at 95.7 The Game – Damon Bruce in, Rise Guys out

Damon Bruce Giants paradeI was on my way to a Spring Training game in Goodyear, when I realized I forgot my money and ID. Then I checked my phone on the way back home and got an email I didn’t believe at first. However, it comes from Tony Cafarelli, a promotions director at Entercom, so it looks legit.

Also, KNBR’s website shows the noon-to-three slot on KTCT as “TBD.” And like that … he’s gone.

San Francisco, CA — 95.7 The GAME (KGMZ-FM), The Bay Area’s New Sound for Sports, today announced a series of moves to its weekday lineup. Starting on Monday, March 31, KNBR veteran Damon Bruce will anchor The GAME’s afternoon drive from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Afternoon anchors Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend will shift to mornings as part of this move.

“This is a great day for 95.7 The GAME and Bay Area sports fans. For years, Damon Bruce has been one of the strongest, most opinionated and passionate personalities in Bay Area sports. He understands what it takes to compete and win in this market,” said Steve DiNardo, Entercom San Francisco’s Vice-President and Market Manager. “Just as exciting is moving Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend to morning drive. In just 14 months, they have developed strong chemistry and a loyal following. We feel like we have the perfect team in the perfect time slot to grow The GAME.”

Damon Bruce is a San Francisco radio veteran. A staple with KNBR between 1998 and 2000, Bruce returned to KNBR in 2005 as a host of “The Damon Bruce Show” on KNBR 1050. He first gained national exposure hosting Sports Overnight America before leaving to become a SportsCenter anchor on ESPN Radio. Bruce has also filled in on the Jim Rome show and has hosted SportsCenter for ESPN International. He later was a fill-in host on Fox Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio, as well as the CBS Sports Network, before rejoining KNBR. Additionally Damon has hosted Pre and Post-Game shows for the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers.”

“I’m truly excited to join 95.7 The GAME and Entercom Communications. The Bay Area has a one-of-a-kind sports scene, one of the hottest and most exciting in the country today. Bay Area fans are some of the most passionate fans in the country, and I can’t wait to start and kick off a new drive-time experience for Bay Area sports fans,” said Bruce.

Bucher, a 20-year Bay Area native, joined 95.7 The GAME for afternoons in 2012, having previously served as a Bay Area-based NBA reporter for ESPN’s SportsCenter and NBA studio shows, as well as a senior writer covering professional basketball for ESPN The Magazine. In addition to his hosting duties, Bucher is currently the Golden State Warriors Sideline Reporter and NBA Insider for Comcast SportsNet, and also writes for the NBA beat on Bleacher Report. Townsend, a 14-year Bay Area native, previously hosted The Pulse and The Chris Townsend Show, as well as the pre-game Dugout Show & post-game A’ Talk shows on 95.7 The GAME.

“I’m excited about the chance to give the day’s first take on sports, as well as expand on the lighter side of our current show. I like the idea of helping our listeners get their day off on the right foot — not only with sports knowledge to exchange with friends and workers but a laugh or two as well,” said Bucher.

95.7 The GAME is the largest radio market FM Sports Station in California and the flagship radio station for the Oakland Athletics and Oakland Raiders. Effective March 31, 95.7 The GAME’s new lineup will be:

  • 6:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Bucher and Towny with Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend

  • 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Haberman & Middlekauff

  • 12:00-3:00 p.m. The Wheelhouse with John Lund & Greg Papa

  • 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. The Damon Bruce Show

Damon Bruce takes the spot formerly held by Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend, which means he’s going from KNBR’s “B” station (1050) to a drive-time spot at the station he used to mock incessantly. That’s quite a step up for Bruce, who just four months ago became a nationally known figure for all the wrong reasons with his infamous “sports has lost its way because women are giving directions” rant.

“Bucher and Towny” replaces “The Rise Guys,” the morning show that featured Whitey Gleason, Mark Kreidler and Dan Dibley.

Bruce fills the most important slot in talk radio, a spot which for KGMZ has equated to a game of musical chairs since Jason Barrett took over as Program Director. Brandon Tierney and Eric Davis used to host from 3-to-7, then Davis left and was replaced by Bucher. Then Townsend replaced Tierney after the New York native bounced to CBS Sports Radio.

One thing to note — Barrett’s name was not mentioned in the email from Carafelli. I haven’t heard whether he’s still employed by Entercom, but that may be something to monitor.

144 Comments
138 comments
MarcusHardin
MarcusHardin

95.7 has been a HUGE let down after all the hype!

the rise guys..WASTE OF TIME! ..glad they are GONE! let them go back to KNBR

next up..“Bucher and Towny" neither one is enjoyable to listen to..

and john lund ONLy brings papa down he's got to go as well!!

heres an idea...lets bring in folks that talk sports!

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

I still can't believe how popular the Rise Guys were. Surfseeker7 had an interesting question. If their ratings were bad, why are people so upset that the Rise Guys were let go? There's outrage on Facebook, as I mentioned earlier. So many people on the 95.7 Facebook page have said how they're not listening to 95.7 anymore and essentially boycotting 95.7 because of this, and I think they're trying to start a petition to bring back the Rise Guys. In every post that's on the 95.7 Facebook page, the Rise Guys are mentioned. This probably might go down as the most controversial decision by that station so far. Even on here I think a couple of people have said how they're not going to listen to 95.7 anymore because of this.

I guess for me it was different because I wasn't into their show. Yeah, they were entertaining, but they were too much like Murph and Mac for me.

It really will be interesting to see how much letting the Rise Guys go will effect 95.7 going forward and if Jason Barrett will feel pressured to bring them back, especially if the Rise Guys are still jobless by then.

I wouldn't be surprised if Jason Barrett goes with this lineup for a while, and maybe come football season, if their ratings are lower because of the departure of the Rise Guys, he brings back the Rise Guys and reshuffles the weekday lineup again, or some parts of the weekday lineup.

But yes, I'm still shocked. I wonder if some people are joking/trolling, but people really are legitimately pissed that the Rise Guys were let go. It's vitriol.

AyindeMitchell
AyindeMitchell

So after a week of the new guys, I can safely say that I miss The Rise Guys. I had a friend from Los Angeles call me and ask what happened. I told him that someone made a bad decision. He said it was all he listened to in the morning. 95.7 had the entire state paying attention and went and derailed a fabulous train. I listen from 10-3pm now.

traveler2014
traveler2014

I agree with Surfseeker7. I would go a step further and say it was actually *the* smartest, freshest sports-talk show that I've heard. They were lots of fun to listen to, outstanding interviewers, and informative. It's obvious that 95.7 didn't know what they had in them. Bad decision. 

Buech
Buech

@traveler2014 Completely agree.  Was best sports show ever.  I think ratings - are based on more than the team.  The rest of the marketing team should have been doing their job.

Surfseeker7
Surfseeker7

If The Rise Guys had such poor ratings, why are so many people upset? They were one of the smartest, freshest shows I've heard on radio in a long time.

Sounds like they got shafted by the same types that cancelled Howard Stern so many years ago.

stew
stew

Damon Bruce just a guy who talks controversy and innuendo while emitting such a smug know it all attitude.... well, he doesn't but yes he will have a following with all the shock radio types out there. Good thing, he's becoming less and less prominent as he goes down the airwave ladder...one day poof and he gone?

Buech
Buech

This is such an awful move. The rise guys were great. These guys don't know baseball. Ahgg.. Switching to something else. I will really miss the rise guys.

someythemoney
someythemoney

KNBR is old and tired, all they want to talk about is Giants. More Football please! Love the Game 95.7!

Tom J
Tom J

@Otis Byrd III - he must have recreated those sound bites in 95.7 studios. No way would KNBR allow that and those commercials would stop running once they heard them. Damon has exhibited some bad judgement , but I don't think he would get his brand new employer in legal trouble by running KNBR tape. Interesting that so far he's kept his Killers show intro (in background of promo) and used a Godzilla sounder (Godzilla on his t-shirt). Promo didn't sound bad- will listen in rotation with Tolbert/ Ratto , Grant Napier (Sac station comes up clear in No Bay) and music.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

@Tom J Yeah, that's true too. I was thinking that yeah, he probably did those promos at the 95.7 studios recently.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Interesting promo that 95.7 has for Damon's show. I wonder how they got the soundbites. Did Damon give them the soundbites or did they have to ask KNBR for those soundbites? I remember when Damon said some of those comments. haha

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Another question that I just thought about is, will they keep the David Lee interview on Thursdays for the drive time timeslot when Damon moves there? They've been interviewing David Lee in this time slot even back to when Tierney and Davis were in this timeslot, so I wonder if they will continue it with Damon Bruce.

Part of me feels they will since it's been their staple interview on Thursdays during NBA season pretty much since they started. At the same time, it wouldn't surprise me if they move the David Lee interview to the mornings since Bucher and Townsend have chemistry interviewing him, and Bucher is probably tight with David Lee.

Whether Damon gets to interview David Lee or not, it really is going to be interesting to see how Damon formats his show in his new timeslot. I agree with the sentiment that hopefully he can keep the Tuesday Trifecta. I hope he keeps his show similar to the way it was on KNBR 1050. It worked on KNBR 1050, and I'm sure it would work on 95.7. If 95.7 was smart, they would let him do his show his way. I really hope Damon doesn't become like the rest of the 95.7 weekday hosts. That's not him.

Jerryv1236
Jerryv1236

What happened to "old and busted" how do you replace the Rise Guys with someone from the other station. They were the best show on your station, in my opinion.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Oh yeah, by the way, since Damon's show being pre-empted during baseball season got mentioned on here earlier, it got me to thinking, does anyone think he will pitch a fit regarding that at some point this year? This was apparently one of the reasons why he originally left KNBR 680 for KNBR 1050. When he was on Sportsphone, he didn't like his show being pre-empted by the Warriors Weekly Roundtable show, as well as the 49ers weekly show during football season. This was back when both teams were bad back in 2009, 2010, so he had more of a reason to be pissed back then.

It will be interesting to see how he reacts to being on for an hour or two or on days where he's not on at all, when the A's play an early start East Coast or Midwest road game, or are playing a day game at the Coliseum. Now that it was mentioned and you really think about it, he will be on for 3 hours for most of baseball season. The only time he's going to have 4 hour shows is when the A's are off, and later on in the year after baseball season.

Maybe with what 95.7 is going to be paying him, he might keep quiet about it at first I would think.

The other Otis
The other Otis

With Bruce and Townsend, 95.7 can boast being the "Crotch Humor Leader".  Catchy, don't you think?

Mark
Mark

95.7 app = delete. 95.7 button on radio = reprogram. A's games = get scores from web. Bye bye 95.7. What could have been great is now a joke.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

On a side note, it's kind of too bad Damon won't have one more final show on KNBR 1050. Yes, it would be awkward for him to have one more show there after the move to 95.7, but it would've been good for him to use that platform to explain the move and maybe his KNBR memories, even his relationship or lack thereof, with Gary and get more into that and questions that people have regarding that, since he probably won't be able to talk about that on 95.7, at least not that much.

He probably might do this his first show on 95.7, but I think he really could've closed things at KNBR and explain why he's leaving KNBR and answered some of the questions that we have including if his CBS Sports Radio gig is done, with one more show on KNBR 1050.

Yes, a lot of us plan on following him to 95.7, but I still think he should've had one more show on KNBR 1050.

Slam
Slam

@Otis Byrd III They didn't give Ralph a chance to say goodbye, no way they give a crap about Damon. Big Corporations are afraid of wrongful termination lawsuits. Give him his cardboard box, call security, deactivate his cell phone, and make him do the perp walk.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

@Slam That's true too. I still feel that's bad though, even though you have a point about big corporations not wanting wrongful termination lawsuits.

I think Damon would've played ball though and not bash everyone on his way out. Plus, didn't he quit KNBR 1050, or was it that his contract wasn't renewed?

It's too bad and kind of weird that his last show on KNBR pretty much was this past Monday.

AJ_Strong
AJ_Strong

This is a move for ratings. Generally, the Rise Guys were the worst rated show on the Game. Firing them also frees up the cash to pay Damon. The drive time slot is where the biggest money is so they are putting in the guy they believe give them the best chance against the monster than is Tolbert and Ratto. 


Since Bruce has slammed 95.7 several times. this move does beg several questions...


1) Will Bruce start slamming KNBR? Aside from Radnich, Bruce seems to be pretty friendly with most of the KNBR staff.


2) Will Bruce allow contest winners like Zak or Guru on his show, even to do updates, after making so much fun of Lucky Break


3) Will Bruce alter his show? As a regular listener, Bruce delivers a lot of radio. I enjoy the opening comments and nooner that wraps yesterday's sports and lets me know what he's covering that show. He also regularly talked SJSU during football season. He also has his Tuesday Trifecta and Friday's 2TheTweets. Will any of that change? Will Barrett leave Bruce alone or force Bruce to add a bunch of stupid bits and be very 49er/Giants heavy? I can't imagine Damon would have agreed to this move if he had to do any of Barrett's retarded bits.


Either way, this should be interesting to see unfold. I also wonder if this is a last chance type of a move. As in, they get the rest of the year to make it to at least top 20 overall or Entercom changes 95.7 to syndication or a completely different format. I can't wait to see the ratings in a couple months.

T
T

@AJ_Strong you will not get any "accurrate ratings" until after baseball season....his show is going to be cut off at around 6pm

paperback writer
paperback writer

Damon Bruce listeners, HELP ME with this theory I have;

This has been lon in coming and explains lots of things, particularly:

1. To cover his flirting/negotiations with the Game he amped up his criticism, most notable having: "Houston Oilers Friday" to ward off any suspicion he would actually work there.

2. He has a vacation in Las Vegas,

3. He has the anti-woman rant

4. P-Con Paul Mac commenting on players trying to get out of ontract, slip and say "Even guys in our business and in our building do that....."

5. dBruce is many things, but dumb is NOT one of them, rant seemed intentional to get tossed out of contract.

6.Bruce goes to Las Vegas very recently

7. Bruce, more recently hired by the Game.

Get my drift?  Anybody agree?  Add something?

(Sounds conspiratorial, but much of business is conducted that way. Besides Area 55 is out that way.  LOL)

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

@paperback writer Hmmm, you do have a point and there could be something to that, especially when he went on his 2 Vegas trips. You kind of have to wonder if he was interviewing with 95.7 during that time.

I agree that Damon is not dumb. The guy is very smart, especially with how he plans things.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

@408to253  That would be funny if Damon breaks that out as a joke, but I doubt he will do that.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

As far as Damon goes, does anyone else agree with me that his days on KNBR were probably numbered anyway? I mean, yes, he had a good thing on KNBR 1050, but it seemed like things changed after his comments about women in sports. He was kind of more tame, even though he eventually brought "The Nooner" back. He had no notoriety on KNBR 680. Gary would take jabs every once in a while, but other than that, nothing. I think a couple of weeks ago Ryan Covay (the producer for Sportsphone and other shows on KNBR) mentioned Damon during Sportsphone, and Ray Woodson kind of just went past it.

It just felt like he was going to be gone from KNBR pretty soon. I thought for sure maybe he would get a fill-time gig on CBS Sports Radio. Never would've expected him to go to 95.7 with the way he bashed them in the past, but I guess as a media person, you have to be open to all opportunities, even if it's with a rival station/company.

coredump
coredump

DBruce's chances at anything national probably dried up after the rant hubbub, at least for a while.

You can just imagine some CBS/ESPN suit saying "geez, if we hired this guy we'd have to listen to that tool Olbermann drag us through the mud ... who needs the hassle."

Carl
Carl

Horrible move. Rise Guys were great - as they were in Sacramento. DB is absolutely un-listenable. Does his best to sound 'cool' while he's anything but. One idea I saw was get the Rise Guys to replace the awful Mac & Murf in the morning at KNBR. That would be great. Especially if they dropped Dibbs and got the Phantom to join in.

Forty Niner Fred
Forty Niner Fred

@Carl I agree , where is the Phantom? He did a great job in Sacramento.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Wow, I'm shocked at how pissed a lot people have been that The Rise Guys are gone. On 95.7's Facebook, people really were mad and some even outraged by it.

Knowing this, I probably would've just kept The Rise Guys, let go of Haberman and Middlekoff, and then moved the rest of the shows back a spot. Change the 10-Noon show and put it from 9-Noon and have Papa and Lund in that spot. I wonder if Gary would still be friends with Greg Papa if that would've happened, since he always says he's friends with Greg. 

I then would've put Bucher and Townsend in the Noon-3 spot, and of course Damon from 3-7.

dubs49ersgiants
dubs49ersgiants

@Otis Byrd III They should have not canned OC and Steinmetz until yesterday's announcement of DB.  That way it would have been an easier transition to get rid of OC and Steinmetz instead of Haberman/Middlekoff since they just started the 10-noon gig.  Now the game feels obligated to keep Haberman/Middlekoff since they just started the 10-noon slot which I think why they had to can the Rise Guys.  Ideally the lineup for the Game should have been this:

5am-9am - Rise Guys

9am-noon- either Wheelhouse or Bucher/Towny

noon-3pm - either Wheelhouse or Bucher/Towny

3pm-7pm - DB

7pm or A's postgame - Haberman

This would have directly compete with KNBR and probably have been their strongest lineup since the Game started. Unfortunately they are stuck with Haberman/Middlekoff and probably will can them around this time next year unless the duo does something drastic in their format to get more ppl to listen

SFF49JYP4L
SFF49JYP4L

@Otis Byrd III  I have a working theory and Rich Lieberman (who's mostly full of shit) alluded to this, and since he actually sees the ratings he has a microscopic amount of credibility there.


Notice a large portion of the outcry (35-50%) is coming from females. This may come as a shock to some (given they just hired Mr. Sandbox), but 95.7 doesn't give a shit about the female demographic. I'd be willing to bet that their numbers in the 25-54 M/F category were actually pretty decent. But, 25-54 M is clearly the hill JB is ready to die on. 


It apparently never occurred to them that there were tweaks they could have made to the existing show that could have helped. Here's one, fucking traffic. It may not occur to their management, but most guys my age (I'm pushing 30) have jobs, commutes and whatnot. I actually like the traffic, cause, you know, I listened to them on my commute to work a lot. They could also have canned some of the lame bits like the text tussle, word of the day (they did, but only after a lonnnnnng time) and pretty much anything to do with Dan Dibley. Also, could have told Dan to STFU more often instead of opening his trap constantly with his unfunny interjections.


So how many hosts has this guy gone through and he still can't succeed? Reminds me of all the excuses I heard for Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary as they burned through loss after loss. They just didn't have enough talent! Then Harbaugh comes in and wins with the same cast Singletary had.



Slam
Slam

@Pulgas de Brent Burns @Otis Byrd III I spent an hour on an airplane with a big Clear Channel radio executive in charge of sports programming. He said "Sports radio is a crummy product ... only lonely fantasy football nerd listen, which gives you a really small numbers of possible advertisers. Women DO NOT listen to sports radio, so you can't waste your time trying to gain that segment of the audience".


So what I take away from that is, KNBR has the Giants, which young women really like, they sign Kate Scott to gain more women. 95.7 has Papa and now Dibley, who OPENLY bash women.


So you're right, 95.7 does not give a crap about women, and they're going all-in on caveman radio.

pillager
pillager

Hopefully, we can get a host that doesn't seem to have a personal bias against Mark Jackson.  The man has done great things with a perennial woeful team and the majority of this season he has gotten ripped.  There needs to be a push to extend his contract and to make him feel appreciated.  Btw, that Dibbley impersonation grew very-very stale.

daveundconnie
daveundconnie

One of my favorite segments was when the Rise guys had David Justice on every week on talking about baseball and the A's last summer.  


I was really hoping to have another summer of that.


Man, what a disappointment.

John Dtown
John Dtown

This is a horrible move!  They should have put Lund and GP in the morning as they have a great show compared to Bucher and Towney.  Bucher sounds like a man that has gone to multiple couples therapy sessions and has learned proper but completely boring methods of communication that are not entertaining whatsoever.  What possibly could Bucher and Towney bring to the table that will entertain my morning commute.  YUCK!!!!!!


This is possibly the beginning of the end for 95.7 the game!  See Ya!

SFF49JYP4L
SFF49JYP4L

@John Dtown  You think Papa's hungover ass could get up at 4am? Also, no way Papa would do that because of all his CSN responsibilities. Surprised Bucher okayed this.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

@Pulgas de Brent Burns I am too actually. Him and Townsend said it was for family reasons which is understandable, but this is a weird move for Bucher. I don't think Bucher's stint doing the morning show will last very long, just because he's out late the night before for Warrior games. It will be different once baseball becomes the main focus during the summer, but this is still a weird move for Bucher.

What is Bucher going to do when the Warriors are playing a home playoff game that ends at around 10 PM, then have to turn back around and be on the air on 95.7 at 6 AM the next day? I wouldn't be surprised if 95.7 does another lineup change where Bucher and Townsend will be on later, or Bucher leaves 95.7 altogether and either takes a bigger role on Comcast or goes back to doing sidelines for NBA games on national TV.

SFF49JYP4L
SFF49JYP4L

Does family reasons mean laying on the altar and getting sacrificed to the ratings gods so JB has someone to blame next time he fails?

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

@Pulgas de Brent Burns I know, for real, right?.... We'll see how Townsend and Bucher in the mornings goes. It's going to be weird listening to them that time of day.

Couchable
Couchable

Pucker and Clowney are terrible. Going to listen to music in the morning now. Sad day for me.

John Sports
John Sports

Habberman/Middlekoff  are almost impossible to listen to. Lund is a Sophomoric idiot. Bucher puts you to sleep, yet they are still on air and the Rise Guys are gone? Makes no sense, piking up Bruce is a good thing for the Station, but their realignment really sucks. 

daveundconnie
daveundconnie

I really liked the Rise Guys - I hope they stay together.  I'll switch to whatever station they are on if I have a chance to hear them on my commute.


I guess I'm done with 97.5.............

T
T

@daveundconnie would love to see them move to the vacant 7pm to 10pm time slot.   someone still needs to fill that.

Forty Niner Fred
Forty Niner Fred

@daveundconnie  Rise Guys are going to 1320 ESPN, here in Sacramento, great to have them back!!! Gleason deserves to be on TV, and Mark can do the writing, and Phantom can make cameo's on Sports Talk...with Gleason.

Trackbacks

  1. […] sports talk. He had a significant role in the Rise Guys morning show, among other duties. Then the Rise Guys was canceled in March of 2014 when they hired Damon Bruce, and Dibley was out of the sports talk business for a bit (other than some appearances on […]

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