KNBR

KNBR fires Ralph Barbieri

Ralph Barbieri, who has worked as a sports talk show host for KNBR 680 since 1984, is no longer with the station. I heard rumors of his departure yesterday but nothing concrete, and now SFGate is reporting it as fact.

Longtime KNBR personality Ralph Barbieri has been let go by the station.

Station general manager Lee Hammer would only say Barbieri “is no longer with the station. It was a management decision.”

Hammer said Barbieri’s on-air partner, Tom Tolbert, would host their show, “The Razor and Mr. T,” by himself later Wednesday.

The host known as “The Razor” made news in October when Barbieri told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Scott Ostler that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, a secret he had kept since 2005. The timing was interesting, as stated in Ostler’s article:

After all that, why address it now?

“My contract is expiring soon,” Barbieri said, “and if I am to continue at KNBR, I’d like to start with all our cards on the table, face-up. I’ve gotten to know Lew Dickey (CEO of Cumulus Media, parent company of KNBR) a little bit, and my gut feeling was that he could deal with my situation at an honorable level, so I gave him a call and told him everything.

Barbieri’s contract was renewed, terms undisclosed. He was absent on Monday and Tuesday, and repeatedly came in late for the show over the past few weeks. Whether that had anything to do with this bombshell of a “management decision” is unclear.

Now the question is what changes will be made on “The Razor and Mr. T Show,” which has anchored the drivetime spot for KNBR for over 15 years. We know there will be a name change, but will Tolbert get a co-host? On Tuesday, Tolbert hosted the first hour or so with Ted Robinson, then left midway through the show with Robinson taking over the rest of the way. However KNBR responds to the loss of Barbieri, one thing is certain: the station will never be the same.

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100 Comments on "KNBR fires Ralph Barbieri"

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PAJIM
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PAJIM

Maybe on the way over to 957 The Game. I’m sure they’d take him in a heartbeat.

Bob
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Bob

Haha, yeah right. 95.7 actually hires legitimate sports talk hosts who dive into the sports at hand. They don’t want guys who are incapable of talking about any team outside the Sharks and who take 10 minutes to ask a question.

TommyJ
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TommyJ

Anything to get rid of either Lund or Tierney.

benny
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benny
god if knbr can fire barbierri after 28 years then 95.7 has got to do something about tierney. how did that moron get a job at a bay area radio station? i switched to 95.7 after years of having no choice but to listen to horrible shows on knbr, and i can honestly say that 9 out of 10 of their on-air personnel are better than anyone at knbr. the one exception is brandon tierney. the guy is a total ass. the razor & mr. t was the only show i still listened to on knbr, only because tierney is… Read more »
angela alioto
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 15TH, 2012 Contact: Angela Alioto, Joe Alioto Veronese, Steven L. Robinson Attorneys for Plaintiff Phone: (415) 568-1533, (415) 434-8700 Email: angelaav@aol.com Ralph Barbieri, Local Legend, Respected San Francisco Sportscaster, Proud Single Father And Member Of The Bay Area Radio Hall Of Fame, Was Illegally Terminated By Cumulus Inc. Of Atlanta Georgia, Susquehanna Radio Corp, And By Radio Station KNBR. SAN FRANCISCO, CA– For 28 tumultuous years, native San Franciscan, Ralph Barbieri, lent his passionate opinions and his unique edgy voice to the radio airways on KNBR 680. In doing so he achieved phenomenal success and near… Read more »
lime
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lime

Let Fitz co-host the show with Tolbert!!!

T.J. the Sports Geek
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Member

This station is getting worse and worse by the day and continuing to making bad business and programming decisions. Being here in Sacramento, there aren’t many options to listen to for sports talk. KHTK 1140 The Fan isn’t very good, I don’t get 95.7 up here, and 1320 ESPN is lame,too. KNBR was it and now it sucks,too.

Stan
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Stan

Yeah,I figure his being very late..was like thumbing his nose at the conservatives Dickey bros and Cumulus.

Even Radnich has to eat shit there now to keep his job. You think shutting his yap every nine minutes is his style?..

And Pam is right..I’m sure he’s already been contacted..

FL
Guest
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FL

Intriguing. KNBR has made some odd moves in the last year or so. I’m looking forward to reading more about the Barbieri firing, and why it happened now.

Long time listener
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Long time listener

I am devastated by the news and think this is a monumental mistake by KNBR. Ralph is an institution and the Bay Area’s version of Tony kornheiser. While he and Tom do not focus on Sports entirely, they have a great show.

Here’s hoping that Ralph lands on his feet and does so soon.

Shame on KNBR.

RUSTY
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RUSTY

just because ralph has been doing his show forever does not mean he is good at it. he has been terrible for years, you are just comfortable with the same old #@*&%#

greebs
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Member

Next on the list (hopefully): RADNICH. Replace those two with guys (or girls) who actually like sports and care about their listeners, and we’re onto something…

Paperback Writer
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Paperback Writer

Don’t listen!

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III
Wow, I’m shocked by this. I might have to tune in to the Razor and Mr. T show or I guess just the Mr. T show for right now, to see if Tolbert mentions this, or tries to explain this. As much as we talked about KNBR letting Ralph go in the past, I really didn’t think it was going to happen anytime soon. Hopefully Ralph’s ailment didn’t have anything to do with the decision. It will be interesting to see who they replace Ralph with on the Razor and Mr. T show, even though Tolbert could do the good… Read more »
WannaBeGM
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WannaBeGM

If KNBR really knew what it was doing they’de git rid of that fool Paul McCaffery in the morning. How that guy ever got a gig on a sports talk show is beyond me. He must have something on Hammer.

Paperback Writer
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Paperback Writer

Mac is great!

Gooselosgatos
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Gooselosgatos

Yes,
Mac rocks.

Not every sportstalk host has to be cut from the same cloth.

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III

Paulie Mac’s songs can be kind of funny every once in a while. LOL.

TSL
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TSL

Any adult male who calls himself “Pauli Mac” has no credibility unless you are in the teenage years.

Fred
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Fred

The Panda disagrees with you!

G Money
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G Money

So no more loooong Amici’s commercials?

Jon
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Jon

Adios Ralph. Don’t let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out.

Hopefully they can get some talent in there that has opinions backed up by actual data and no more shooting from the hip. That would be called ‘producing’. Clearly a word not in Ralph’s dictionary.

babo
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babo

Fuck you a-hole. Ralph was a great personality and was fun to listen to. Your probably glad he has an uncurable disease too. Go to Hell!!!

Jon
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Jon

No need to get emotional.

Ralph, IMO, was not a quality radio personality – in fact I found him lazy (stating something and having no facts to support).

The Bay Area suffers from a shortage of solid radio personalities and I think the firing of Ralph opens up some opportunity to get someone in here who really produces.

All the other personal stuff with Ralph is unrelated and not of my concern. I wish him well on a personal front, but professionally I found him supremely insufficient.

TheMoose
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TheMoose

I have been wanting Barbieri gone for years. Perhaps now we can get Damon Bruce on the afternoon/evening drive slot. That would be awesome. He is clearly the most talented host that they have.

Next up on the firing line? Murph and Mac…but one can only hope.

Paperback Writer
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Paperback Writer

Love Murph and Mac!

Gooselosgatos
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Gooselosgatos

Moose,
You say DBruce is talented….

If by talented you mean; phoney, uses anger to get ‘dumb angry guys looking for an outlet to listen’ will take any side of a topic to get ratings and has almost no journalistic credibility….

Well then yes Moose, by that definition DBruce is extremely talented.

Reeks
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Reeks

Wow. Shocking is the only thing that comes to mind. If there was ever a guy, whether you aggreed with him or not, that was the trademark of KNBR it was Ralph “The Razor”.
Huge mistake by KNBR, huge! Especially with 957 The Game in town the last thing KNBR should’ve done was to ax the most high profile guy that is part of the highest rated radio show in the market. Really confusing. KNBR owes it to their listeners to explain this move.

Alex Fuentes
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Alex Fuentes

Seems ill timed, this show was a gold mine for the station. Tolbert needs someone who is enough of an intellect to compliment his laid back style. Bryan Murphy is the only guy who could really handle the role. He does wonders considering his side kick.

Batty
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Batty

Get rid of Gary too. I want sports, not opinion and gossip. Liked Ralph’s passion though.

Paperback Writer
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Paperback Writer

Please don’t listen to Gary if you don’t like him – many of us think he is GREAT!

The Game
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The Game

Wow, all 10 of you think he’s great. Hope Radnich gets the axe next.

Paperback Writer
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Paperback Writer

Hi dibber.

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III

Is that really Dibley?…. If it is, what’s up with all the KNBR hate man?

TSL
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TSL

Paperback writer let me guess your age?
15 years old maybe?

Aaron
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Member

Wow I can’t believe knbr fired Ralph! The Razor and Mr. T was the only show on knbr that was good. Thank you Ralph for all the great entertainment from 3 to 7 over the years. I’ll miss hearing your terrible radio voice on my commute home everyday!

KNBR listner for 20 years
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KNBR listner for 20 years

Good for KNBR!
Ralph was the worst sports broadcaster on the radio. I mean it, I am not just saying it. Over the last few years, I’ve listened to about 20 different ones and he was the worst, no competition.
I had to stop listening to KNBR in the afternoons because of him.
I hope they replace him with someone descent, so I can listen to sports again.

Ralph's Future Unemployment Check
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Ralph's Future Unemployment Check

I guess I should change my moniker to Fitz’s Future Unemployment Check?

One down, many to go.

Ralph's Manifesto
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Ralph's Manifesto

Don’t worry about Ralph. If the EEO complaint gets denied, MSNBC’ll take him in. And if they’re not hiring, maybe Hugo Chavez’ll let him organize the May Day parade in Caracas.

Good job, KNBR. Addition by subtraction.

Longshot
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Longshot

Never tuned in to listen to him, and he wasn’t much of an interviewer, either. I won’t miss his endless prattling in lieu of questions or ignorance of basic sports stuff or pretentious self-praise. Why “The Razor” had such a great rep I could never figure out. Give me Tolbert and Ratto any day.

Steve
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Steve

That sucks. Gary is by far the worst host on knbr and when is off the time slot improves a bunch.

Gooselosgatos
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Gooselosgatos

Actually Ralph was one of the best interviewers I’ve ever heard on sportstalk radio irrespective if you liked his style.

How many guys would go head to head with the biggest names in sports and ask tough penetrating questions in a day when most sports personalities are afraid to piss of some dopey, entitled athlete who thinks he’s God’s gift to the world because he plays with a ball for a living.

Jon
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Jon

Ralph was awful. The reason he liked going up against ‘big names’ is because they never got a word in. His questions were 5 min long and usually could be answered with a YES or NO.

Thats bad interviewing.

Gooselosgatos
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Gooselosgatos

So who else would have had the cojones to ask the questions Ralph does ?

John Merrik
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John Merrik

couldn’t agree more Jon

Paperback Writer
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Paperback Writer

Don’t listen! If he sucks – why do you listen?!?!?

Paperback Writer
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Paperback Writer

If he sucks – why do you listen?!?!?

swimfaye
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swimfaye

Ten bucks …he goes to CSNBayarea.com to interview Andrew Baggerly on his thoughts on how the Giants are doing because the interns got tired of interviewing Baggs during Spring Training…seriously ten bucks Barbieri is at CSN by Monday.
Any takers…

devnull
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devnull

I’ll try to refrain from kicking a guy (too much) when he’s down, but I will say this: it was probably past time for a change. Sometimes an act/routine/whatever simply gets old after a while, and Ralph had been doing this thing for a *very* long while.

Good luck to you Ralph — hope things work out for you in life. But I won’t be sorry to see something new at KNBR.

(Assuming the Cumulous suits don’t bollocks it up.)

Gusserdudette
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Gusserdudette
I sure would like know the age group of the of persons who have said they are glad Mr. Barbieri is gone. I, also, would like to know how many have been in No. California for longer than 5 years. Interesting to let Mr. Barbieri to go after spring training is over and we are a couple of days into the S.F. Giant season. What does he know that his fans should know? After all KNBR management hasn’t figured it out…REAL fans hang in there by a show of numbers through thick or thin & not by being so fickle–It’s… Read more »
Bruinjon
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Bruinjon
You are hopelessly lost on modern business…. Who cares about loyalty? My loyalty is to my family and close friends, not some old hack drunk liberal who treats everyone like they are beneath him. Please also stop with your provincial NorCal attitude also. I’ve lived here 12 years, and I will always love LA more then here, I just happen to like the weather better. You are not special here, there is no big secret, no special trait you need to have to live here. It’s land, occupied by people, all just trying to live and make a living. You… Read more »
devnull
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devnull

Talking over and interrupting the guests, similar behavior to the co-hosts, and 5-minute rambling monologues with a question mark at the end, have nothing to do with N.California or longevity — it’s just bad radio.

lumpy
Guest
Member

Sorry to see the institution gone. Who is going to take Brian Sabean to task over asinine deals like Zito? His act had grown old though. Incessant pandering to Amicis and the Sharks began to show who was buttering his bread. He was a ‘johnnie come lately’ to hockey and really only there to hang with Brent Jones and the other celeb owners.

Best of luck with your challenges Ralph! Thanks for filling more than a few of my afternoons!

larry
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larry

Didnt care for him much but worked well with .tom i can see him going to csnbayarea. Hopefully to replace ratto

Rich
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Rich

Rough stuff.

I love how Tom Tolbert spoke positively about his experiences with Ralph though it was tough for him to do live on the air.

I’ve love for them to be together again in the same timeslot on another station. There are so many times in the commute home when those two guys saved my ass by making me laugh when it was insane on the roads.

God Bless Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert.

T J NorthBay
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T J NorthBay

Ralphs gone. Damm now I have to go find my Thesaurus………….

Kevin
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Kevin

Not a big fan of Ralph on his own, but will miss him paired with Tom…a great combination of two completely different personalities. Have been listening for just about the entire 15-yr run.

Robert
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Robert

It was unnerving or, in a better sense, “rude” interrupting others. Like he wasn’t listening while they were talking.

I wonder why his obvious political bent had a place in a sport’s program.

Dax
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Dax

Ralph’s voice and interviewing skills were probably the worst I’ve ever heard on radio. Every interview I’ve heard him do, he would interrupt the guest and just talk right over them. Hopefully they keep Tolbert in that timeslot by himself because he’s very entertaining.

SportsFan
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SportsFan

It’s long over due. Ralph has been a useless Giants pole puffer for years. He has no knowledge of any other sport other than his lame GO SHARKS. Good Riddance. The show is always much better when Tom is by himself.

joe
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joe

it was hilarious to hear ralph act like he knew anything about basketball. what a joke. thats how stupid he thought the audience was.

John Merrik
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John Merrik

he didn’t know anything about Hockey either although he tried to act like he did

Cal
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Cal
I think any man or woman who has been successful at any job for 28 years should be treated better, not only by management in their manner of this dismissal, but the very people who are coming on here to comment. The show was great, and the 2 guys (Ralph and Tom) who host the show deserve praise for keeping all of us entertained over the years. My question to the naysayers is, if you don’t lime the show, why not turn the station? KNBR, over the years has made some changes I’m not happy with, and I stead of… Read more »
Dax
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Dax

I only listen to the show when they talk about the NBA or when I’m in the car driving. And I listened because of Tolbert, not Ralph. If you liked Ralph talking over guests and interrupting them then you liked it. Just not for me.

Cal
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Cal

(Like the show) (instead of crying)

Jd
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Jd

I grew up with knbr and Ralph. I’m not happy. He and Tolbert had a good show. Ralph did not bow to anyone. I will miss the sayings… Two things can be equally true, angels fly.

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

Let’s be real. Ralph was living on borrowed time. Everyone knew he was on the ropes and why listeners were frustrated with his style. He was chronically incapable of showing up on time for a 300k a year job.

Sorry, unless you work in a unionized position that type of performance gets you fired no regardless of tenure.

Bruinjon
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Bruinjon

How do you know his salary? I agree with your comments though.

Slam
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Slam

I heard the last contract he and Tom both signed for $400k a yr … but I dont know if that’s true.

Also, about 10 yrs ago it was in the Chronicle that ( when he was solo ) he was making $800k, and someone asked him on the air if that was true, and he didnt deny it

Slam
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Slam

I love all the feedback here; pro-Ralph and anti-Ralph. We all get to have an opinion.

Tom’s opening comments were fantastic

If I’m Lee Hammer, and my boss holds a gun to my head and makes me slash salary, I go :

Morning show : Brian Murphy

9-Noon : Larry Krueger

12-3 : Damon Bruce

3-7 : Mr T

Night : Eric Byrnes
6th man off the bench : FP, Ted Robinson, Rod Brooks

Dan
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Dan

Krueger over Radnich, to me, is kind of like saying you’d get rid of Sandoval and let Theriot carry the offense. I’m sure Larry is a nice guy, but I can take about an hour of hm before I have to turn it off. He’s just another typical loudmouth know-it-all….which yes, I understand those types are popular around here seeing DB get so much praise…..but I’m not a fan.

joe
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joe

krueger’s the best. shows up on weekends after already working M-F and without complaint unlike D-bag dbruce (waaah, i have to “work” on saturday and by “work” i mean i have to go to the SF Giants game) and krueger shows up on day after thanksgiving when all the other knbr hosts take the day off. the dude just does the job.

Fred
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Fred
Many co’s give 1 month severance for each year of employment, I wonder if Ralph got marched out the back door with a good package? I think Ralph was good, lots of likes and dislikes, on the internet, post his firing = controversy is good for the ratings. And for “the game” lovers; I’ve tuned in several times to listen to their drivel of who’s the ugliest athlete in the NBA, MLB, NFL, etc, etc. and other similar sports brain thrust topics … Really, that’s what you want to listen to? Bottom line, Ralph should have been let go in… Read more »
BDR
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BDR

I’ve listened to KNBR for 30 years. Ralph lasted so long because of good ratings people
come on. Obviously over the 28 years he did his job. He will frustrate you at times but more people loved him than hated him. What have any of you people done for 28 years consistently. Show some freekin RESPECT.

Slam
Guest
Member
Slam
People are on here saying they haven’t listened to Ralph in years, then describe in brilliant detail every little thing he does that they don’t like … That speaks to how good he was at entertaining his audience … he was the guy you love to hate. He would go out of his way to denegrate the Raiders and Al Davis, which pissed me off, but I kept listening because he spoke his mind, unlike Bob Fitzgerald who does his phony 3 hr Warriors infomercial every flippin’ day. Ralph wore his heart on his sleeve, said things that sometimes pissed… Read more »
joe
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Member
joe

actually ralph finally drove people away or else they wouldn’t have fired him. i wont listen to him or dribley or mac n cheese or d bruce, matter of fact krueger is the only one worth listening to on there plus ray woodson and lurie are decent. kate scott can hit the road as well, way too much attitude for someone short on talent.

calipers
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calipers

Ray Woodson needs more airtime! But dude, I’ve got to disagree with you on Kate Scott. She’s great.

calipers
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calipers
The Razor and Mr T was the best show on KNBR. I don’t know why Ralph was let go, maybe it became necessary. He definitely got to the point where he did what he wanted and he has never been the type of guy to take crap from anyone. Who knows… but one thing is for sure, the station is worse off without him. His banter with Tolbert was the only thing on KNBR that could get me to smile. There are too many bitter, shouting men on the radio, taking sports WAAAAY too seriously. Ralph was cranky and had… Read more »
Stabler's Beard
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Member
Stabler's Beard
I didn’t hate the guy, but I got to the point of not being able to listen anymore about two years ago. His love affair with the sound of his own voice drove me away. The ridiculous way he would flaunt his supposed vocabulary was only annoying, not impressive. I absolutely won’t miss his interviews with himself. Any personality he interviewed was usually unable to squeeze in an answer to a question. Ralph would invariably ask the question with way too many words, then proceed to use more words to try to answer it himself. I honestly have no idea… Read more »
Stabler's Beard
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Member
Stabler's Beard

Now if they’ll get rid of those “Murph and Mac” clowns in the morning, I might be able to find KNBR on my radio again….

Bruinjon
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Bruinjon

No kidding, those two douches are the softest, ass kissing homers I’ve ever heard.

joe
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joe

those two clowns are even worse than ralph. i can’t wait for them to the axe next. as radnich calls them “mac + cheese”, lol.

Super Dave
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Super Dave

Amen Brother

mlm
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Member
mlm
Ralph is an idiot who should have been fired long time ago. His schtick about his vocabulary was weak and silly and in all reality he often used words he rarely knew the meaning of because he used them out of context. HIs incessant chatter about the Sharks was pathetic. Someone above said it best,he only shilled for them so he could hang with Brent Jones. He acted like he knew all the Bay Area sports figures and I am sure most of them could have cared less about him. His incessant suckign up to people like Brent Jones and… Read more »
joe
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joe

right on!

Hackman
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Hackman

I don’t wish Ralph anything bad in life, but his departure has been long overdue. He has been a pompous as*, rude, and overly opinionated on the air. I would try to listen to the show, but always ended up changing the channel because of him. Tolbert will have a better show without him, and now maybe I won’t have to channel change.

Bruinjon
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Member
Bruinjon
Can’t say that I liked Ralph much at all. I found him arrogant, condescending and verbose, and not nearly as smart as he told everyone he was. I also thought he was too judgmental, and a hypocrit. He should have been fired with cause after his fourth DUI. I don’t see him going to The Game, it would be a terrible fit. The Game is for younger, more hip, worldly listeners. However, that said, it was embarrassing to hear how he was treated by mgmt when he was let go. Assuming he did nothing illegal I am angry that he… Read more »
joe
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Member
joe

ralph made plenty o money off the mgmnt himself so i dont care if they just rolled his fat ass out the door.

late
Guest
Member
late

A few days ago Ralph didn’t show up, and they put in this Stooge who just talked about
Sports. You can’t just recite stats. and
yack about the Giants.

You need to show up for a gig–especially
these days.

Bruinjon
Guest
Member
Bruinjon

I heard he pissed off Krukow, and Krukow threatened to quit if Ralph wasn’t fired. If that is true it’s just another example of liberal homers who scream about free speech, then want everyone to agree with them, or else!

Slam
Guest
Member
Slam

Krukow threatened to quit a job that pays him a million dollars a year because Ralph pissed him off ?

Boy, talk about internet hogwash.

joe
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Member
joe

radnich has been taking shots at krukow for years.

joe
Guest
Member
joe

ralph was a d-bag. good riddance you turd!

Dave
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Dave
Any regular listener to that show knows two things: 1) Ralph is at least 5 minutes late, 3 times a week. Ok, whatever but much worse 2) HE is TOTALLY checked out. Listen to the shows. He is like my wife, as in “really, the 49ers are talking to peyton manning?” – he is that completely unprepared on a daily basis and has been so for at least 3 years. The fact is, he felt entitled due to his tenure, and has been doint a flat out terrible job for YEARS. He has been terrible. I wish him the best… Read more »
Jim B
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Jim B

Ralph had the most ridiculous saying at the end of his show regarding angels taking themselves lightly – got to be one of the most stupid sayings heard repeatedly on radio

john g
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john g

Too bad to lose the best interviewer and most articulate of the bunch.Now we are left with Mr T and Fitz and of course the burnsie types all the same bland and colorless.Ralph like all media stars could be full of himself but he knew his bay area sports and was easy to listen to.He didnt kiss end,shirk from a confrontation or make excuses for the teams.KNBR just fell a full notch in my opinion .Now the whole lineup reeks of the morning team that are just plain iritating.

Charlie
Guest
Member
Charlie
I stopped listening to most of the KNBR shows about 3 years ago and tune into ESPN radio now instead for Sports Talk. Here is why, show-by-show… Murph has the knowledge of a 12-year-old. He learned everything he knows from the Cartoon Network and YouTube. Worst of all, he talks about his kids Little League all the time –That’s an immediate channel-changer. Radnich is a hateful gossip monger who cares nothing about anything outside the Bay Area. He is tiresome, plain and simple, and has not been able to finish a complete sentence in 10 years. Gary just makes my… Read more »
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