Eric Byrnes Tom Tolbert KNBR

KNBR schedule changes coming in January?

With CBS Sports Radio debuting their new lineup at the beginning of January, it’s not out of the question that Cumulus (a partner of CBS Sports Radio) could shake things up a little at both KNBR stations. The ratings at “The Sports Leader” have been fantastic for months, but Cumulus could look at the Arbitron numbers (both the public ones and the demographics-based figures we aren’t privy to) and point to another World Series championship for the San Francisco Giants as the primary reason for the station’s success.

In terms of scheduling, things have been a little unsettled over at “The Sports Leader” in recent weeks. Tom Tolbert is still without a permanent co-host, although we’ve heard more from Ray Ratto in that spot lately. Eric Byrnes has been replaced on Sportsphone 680 by Ray Woodson, a move that came with almost no fanfare.  It seems almost like KNBR is in a holding pattern, content to try things out while their FM competition makes bold announcements and lineup changes.

Cumulus didn’t form an alliance with CBS Sports Radio so they can profit less — they’re almost certainly going to ditch the ESPN and Fox Sports content and go 100% CBS. That means no more Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd, Nick and Artie, or J.T. The Brick.

Let’s all have a moment of silence to observe the losses of those scintillating shows.

OK, that was more than long enough. Now look at the CBS Sports Radio lineup:

  • 3:00-6:00AM: Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson
  • 6:00AM-9:00AM: John Feinstein
  • 9:00AM-Noon: Jim Rome
  • Noon-3:00PM: Doug Gottlieb
  • 7:00PM-11:00PM: Scott Ferrall
  • 11:00PM-3:00AM: Damon Amendolara

There are a couple likely options for KNBR, if we assume two things. First, that Murph and Mac and Mr. T are locked into their current spots (that seems to be a safe assumption, based on the popularity of both shows). Second, that there is no way Damon Bruce will ever host Sportsphone 680 again as long as the San Francisco Giants have a say.

Option No. 1: Move the entire CBS Sports Radio lineup to KNBR 1050 except Gottlieb. That means 1050’s schedule would be:

  • 3:00-6:00AM: Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson
  • 6:00AM-9:00AM: John Feinstein
  • 9:00AM-Noon: Jim Rome
  • Noon-3:00PM: Damon Bruce
  • 3:00PM-7:00PM: Tom Tolbert (plus new full-time co-host?)
  • 7:00PM-11:00PM: Scott Ferrall
  • 11:00PM-3:00AM: Damon Amendolara

This would leave KNBR 680’s lineup as is. Also, how funny is it that Ferrall will probably be heard on the air here again? I’m sure at least a few of you remember when his show (complete with constant sound-drops of beer pouring) was simulcast on local cable TV.

Option No. 2: Air every CBS Radio show on 1050, including Gottlieb’s show in the spot currently held by Bruce. This would allow Cumulus to make some drastic moves on 680, such as:

  • Cumulus could let Gary Radnich go, then slide Bruce into the 9-to-noon slot and move Larry Krueger to his old spot: Sportsphone 680.
  • Replace Bob Fitzgerald and Rod Brooks with Damon Bruce.
  • Drop Bruce entirely, a move which would upset several BASG commenters.

Options Nos. 3, 4, 5, etc.: Any and all changes the BASG commenters come up with. I’m sure there will be many.

With KNBR 680 performing so well in the ratings, No. 1 is the likeliest option, as it would provide the most stability. Then again, as we saw when Ralph Barbieri got fired, when it comes to potential money-saving moves, stability isn’t always the top priority for Lew Dickey and Co.

(I’ll let you guess what the top priority is.)

Published by

Bay Area Sports Guy

BASG (Steve Berman) and his wife started Bay Area Sports Guy in 2008, and now it's the No. 1 independent website covering Bay Area sports. You can follow him @BASportsGuy and on Facebook.

92 comments
Alice
Alice

I have been a KNBR listener for years.  I only want to say that Rod Brooks drives me nuts!  Ray Ratto, too cynical, and Gary is getting a bit tiring,  Kate and Larry together works well.and Paulie Mac's songs are atrocious!

Ed Sawyer
Ed Sawyer

Damon Bruce's rant this past Saturday vs a caller was disturbing. Categorizing people who listen to "conservative" talk radio as out of touch, etc. shows just how uneducated Damon really is on certain subjects. I suggest he do a little more of his own homework before making a fool out of himself, again. Fortunately, I was able to switch over to ESPN. :)

Kelly Hawley
Kelly Hawley

Damon Bruce is the only reason I would listen to this station, he is deep and cares about the truth and other more important issues as well as the entertainment of sports. I will be telling all my friends about this guy I heard on the radio that had what it takes to speak up about the important things in life as well as the entertaining things such as sports.

Southbay
Southbay

Larry by himself would be good. NO co hosts would be good for all sports talk shows. Too often they get off on some tangent especailly the Ralph and Tom shows that nobody cares about except themselves.and actually make the hosts work. Bob minus Brooks and Tom solo would be more listenable than in the current format. Cumuelus if your reading this think of $$$ you would be saving with this one.might even get better rating too.

Southbay
Southbay

Kate S to me brings nothing to show except we know you went to CAL.3 people radio brings nothing to the show with her trying to get her 2 cents in interuppting either Gary or Larry with some worthless comment or agreeing with one of them. KNBR does get their $$ out of her since she does work a 6 hour on air day.

DC
DC

Can Fitz & Brooks, then replace Gary Radnich with Kate Scott. A Kate & Larry show would be awesome. I say make Ray Ratto the permanent co-host of Tom Tolbert. I'm okay with Ray Woodson in his spot. Murph & Mac are still the best.

Stan
Stan

KNBR never came clean on Byrnes have they? Its still hush-hush. And I'm liking the Fitz-Kreuger clashes. Radnich is doing everything he can to change the subject since its not about him. And that 9-12 show? Its like an orgasm of phoney for Radnich. From the title,to making Scott and Kreuger smile whether they like it or not NONSTOP..weird, man.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

I agree with you southbay. I wouldn't bring in new people though, since KNBR pretty much has a set lineup, but I would make some changes, even though KNBR should clean house as you alluted to, and get rid of the hosts who aren't really needed, which we can all agree is Paulie Mac, Gary, and Fitz. I would pick Option #2 because as BASG mentioned, Cumulus could make drastic changes to KNBR 680. I would still keep the Murph and Mac show since it's a popular show, and they are probably the perfect guys to have on that time of morning. Even though I agree that Paulie Mac should go, he has good chemistry with Brian Murphy, and it probably wouldn't be the same without Paulie doing his songs. Both of them in a weird way, make that show work in the morning. It's not the same without one or the other when one of them is on vacation or is out one day. The only change I would make to the morning show is, I would start them at 6 AM though. I'm sure they wouldn't mind that. LOL. They would get an extra hr. of sleep. Also, as I mentioned before, who's normally tuning in at 5 AM to the Murph and Mac show? Most people are probably normally still asleep or just getting up at that time of morning anyway. From 9-Noon and from Noon-3 is where it would get interesting, and either of the first two options that BASG mentioned for Option #2, would be fine. It would be great to have Krueger back on Sportsphone, but I wouldn't mind if he is on solo from 9 to Noon. Plus, I'm not sure if he wants to host Sportsphone anymore, since it seems like he does stuff with his kids and of course he has his 49ers and Stanford duties as well. I know he would do a great job on Sportsphone if he ever has a chance to go back to Sportsphone. Krueger can host Gary's show on his own, and even though Gary has been on KNBR for 20 years, and still has a large following, he might need to go. Like how Cumulus/KNBR moved on from Ralph, they might need to do the same with Gary. I agree with everyone else's complaints about Gary's schtick, and he's just not as good anymore, even though yes, he can still give a good interview and Gary can still be kind of entertaining and funny at times. It's time for him to go though. I'm sorry. Gary is still kind of good on KRON, even though I think Pam Moore and the other anchors on KRON, look like they get annoyed by him too at times. The segment with his wife is a good segment though. That's kind of a good husband-wife moment right there. I would replace Fitz and Brooks with Damon. We can all agree on that. I would keep Damon's show the same as it is on 1050. I wouldn't make him change it if he ever moves back to 680. He shouldn't have to change his show to appease the higher ups in the Giants, Warriors, and 49ers front offices, who kind of control KNBR. As Damon says, he's not the house organ. I would move Rod to co-host with Tom. Yeah, that would be a bold move, but I think Rod could do a good show with Tom. As far as Fitz goes, he's unpopular and there is no point to keep having him on the air if he's not really that well liked. He does great on Warriors telecasts as I mentioned earlier, but he's not as good on his radio show anymore. Fitz is very intelligent, but his defending the Warriors every move especially the bad ones and him acting like a know it all as others have mentioned, can turn off listeners.... For Sportsphone, I would keep it the same for right now, and finally officially announce Ray Woodson as the new Sportsphone host. I don't see why they haven't done that by now, even though I guess it's already kind of assumed that he is the new Sportsphone host since he pretty much hosts Sportsphone exclusively now. Getting rid of both Gary and Fitz could be very bold moves possibly resulting in some PR backlash like it was when Ralph got let go, but those moves have to be made if you really think about it. Plus, they both seem like they are well off. Do they both really need their radio shows? Gary drives a Bentley as we are reminded about almost every show it seems like, and Gary still has his gig on KRON, and I'm sure he makes a nice salary with them. Doesn't Gary make as much as Ralph did when Ralph was at KNBR?... Fitz has all his Warriors duties and he calls some NFL games on Westwood One I think. I mean, yeah, I'm sure they both wouldn't want to be let go by KNBR, but they both might need to go. If the CBS radio shows are strictly on 1050, that would be good for 1050 since it's just a filler station anyway, with the exception of Damon's show and Tom's show. I would still keep 1050 as a station where Warriors games are moved to, only if it conflicts with a Giants game on 680. But yes, this would be my new everyday lineup for 680, if they make changes come January: 6AM-9AM: Murph and Mac 9AM-Noon: Larry Krueger Noon-3 PM: Damon Bruce 3PM-7PM: Tom and Rod 7PM-10PM or after a Giants or Warriors game: Sportsphone with Ray Woodson Even though it would be weird not hearing Gary and Fitz on KNBR, and these aren't real sweeping changes, this wouldn't be a bad weekday lineup for KNBR in all seriousness. I guess we'll see what happens, even though I agree with formerKNBRemployee that probably nothing much will happen.

Slam
Slam

Hey what about Patrick Conner "PCon" ? is he a crude Archie Bunker drunken SEC lovin' skirt chaser, or does he have the chops to move up the Sports Talk food chain ? I like when he's paired with Marty Lurie, and when he's yuckin' it up with the morning show, he's damn funny.

SickofFitz
SickofFitz

I've been saying this forever, and so have many others. KNBR will instantly become better by: - Getting rid of Mac and his daily GD references. - Getting rid of Radnich. - Getting rid of Fitz and Brooks. - Putting D Bruce on 680 from 12-3. Krueger is good, everyone else is OK.

The Sports Leader
The Sports Leader

I'll second a previous poster's idea and suggest the KNBR give Kate Scott her own show. From 12:00-3:00 would be just about right. An intelligent women discussing sports on KNBR. A concept worth exploring.

Slam
Slam

Brian Murphy - almost too nice " golly gee wiz I love buster posey " but that's who he is so I give him credit for not doing the contrived yelling and pounding on the table just for fake drama. He's genuine and he's good for morning drive. Paulie Mac - people think his songs are childish and yeah we know Paulie, you like Bruce Springstein. I love his songs and his passion for rock music. Gary Radnich - listeners are getting sick of him but he's really good IMHO. He's subtle so lots of people miss what he's saying. Wise, funny, sharp ... and yes a little insecure, a little redundant sometimes ... but he's still the King. Larry Kruegar - fake anger. fake passion. pounding on the table " ( so and so ) SUCKS !". Not my cup of tea. But he's a good foil for Gary talking about Shecky Green in 1974. Bob Fitz - HORRIBLE ARROGANT CONDESCENDING SMARTER THAT YOU. Go away, Bob. Rod Brooks - too willing to play 2nd fiddle, laugh at a dumb joke like Ed McMahon. But when you get him talking about LSU football of the Houston Rockets, he gets a little pissed-off, a little opinionated; THAT'S what he should be doing. Ralph B - I miss Ralph. I hope he's in good health. Tolbert - He's money. Perfect. Gambling. Beer. Sports. Chicks. More Gambling. Ray Ratto - He tries to hard to sell his " I'm an impartial sports writer and I don't give a shit about the Giants. We get it Ray, you arrogant ass. Byrnes - He's immature, but I like him because he's genuine. The Drive - Oh just go away. Not ready for prime time. 2nd fiddle. Irrelevant. Stan - Everyone, including me, is stealing from Stan. It all originates from Stan. He's running the show. Stan the Man.

lime
lime

Andrew Bogut had microfracture surgery and the Warriors never came out with that fact...he may be out for a LONG time! Now the two sides seem to be at odds.. Can't wait to hear how Fitz spins this one on his show....

Eric
Eric

I'm pretty sure Gary's rating have gone way up again since Larry came on board, so any change would be a money thing. That list of CBS programming is terrible! Rome gets tired, but he's good, but then Gottlieb the update guy? 3 hours of John Feinstein!? Better Ray Woodson, cause at least you can snooze with local sports. Farrell!? They have to be kidding.I could see 1050 being Damon, Rome, and all CBS programming...saves $, and fills the schedule.

SouthBay
SouthBay

Option 1 sounds great you should be PD! An alternative to the stale hosts of KNBR and thank goodness NO JT and Nick and Arnie how NA got a show and remain on the air is a mystery. Even Dan Patrick show was better than this garbage of talk. Wonder what airs latenight on KNBR since they air espn and 1050 airs fox.on the nights they dont re air warrors giants games could never figure that one out guees ad $$ or such as who wants to hear a taped baskeball game etc. Kreuger would be a better choice for late night woodson puts me to sleep along with with dry sense of humour not sports talk material.

3rdNking
3rdNking

Giants shoukd be grateful for DBruce. He led the championship revolution Thanks damon

Ruthless Sports Guy
Ruthless Sports Guy

Whenever one of Stan's posts gets a lot of action and it says "Hot debate. What do you think?" I picture it in Stan's voice (whatever that may sound like)

The Sports Leader
The Sports Leader

I wasn't aware that Ray Woodson was given the Sportsphone slot permanently. Great news. For once I will be able to understand the host when he speaks. My only gripe with Woodson is his penchant for things Dodgers. We will forgive him for mentioning the pitching tandem of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale on occasion.

LebronApologist
LebronApologist

I cant wait to listen to Scott Ferrall followed up by The Fabulous Sports Babe.

Ken
Ken

Someone told me that one of the more important things in life is for people to be able to be themselves, to embrace their roles and calling in life to maximize their potential. So here is how I see and evaluate each of these KNBR and KGMZ pawns, and how they should be placed: Rod Brooks- a god-awful radio show host although I really think he is an underrated and under-appreciated sideline reporter for the 49ers broadcast. His assertive reporting style really fits well with the immediacy required for scooping up injury updates and sideline players' dynamics. Hope one day he gets scooped up by major networks to be a sideline reporter full-time, and save us from radio hell. Kate Scott- the Cal gal has a great voice/intelligence for broadcasting and is a great visual with confident body language. Therefore a complete waste of talent slotted as a traffic/updates anchor at KNBR. I can totally see Kate doing an Outside the Line report. Hope she can catch a break. Damon Bruce- this guy is really, at heart, a buddy-buddy to almost every guy he interviews or talks to on the air. So I do appreciate Damon for years trying to introduce his listeners to relative (or previously) unknowns such as Mike MacIntyre. But Damon often really lacks sports knowledge and deep ideas for entertaining discussion. He has many loyal listeners so I guess he should keep his slot; but I see him at his best doing his company man thing as a 49ers or Giants post-game host, chatting with fans and other writers (even though he pretends he is not one and is fiercely independent). Gary Radnich- retirement. Tom Tolbert- not sure why he hasn't gone national yet (except for the always intelligently written CBS sports minute). Maybe the east coast sports fan and media won't embrace his more easy-going style, but if paired up with another host like Ralph the pair can be golden nationally. Bucher - really appreciated him as an NBA reporter. But the guy totally lacks sparks on the radio. Ray Woodson - why is this guy even in sports radio? And is he still doing Sports Phone 680? Yes you can tell this guy prepares his show and does read up on stuff, but Ray, know yourself and go work for MSNBC for god's sake. Rick Tittle/Drew Hoffar...etc. - these are solid bench guys who have been grinding for years, and I think they are really solid pros who have been doing good jobs doing fill-ins and overnight gigs. Lee Hammer - forced into retirement or fired due to losing age discrimination claim.

DB3
DB3

Any word on what the status of D Bruce's contract is? Could he be looking to get into a nationally syndicated deal?

formerKNBRemployee
formerKNBRemployee

No way they shake up the 680 lineup... shows power and stability. Your first option- the CBS sport radio dominated 1050 + Damon Bruce is almost surely what will happen. No way they ditch Damon- if anything he goes national... and there is no way Damon goes to 95.7- he knows where the bread is buttered in the Bay Area...

NoGood
NoGood

Brooks is ok. Fitz needs to go.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

I would probably pick Option #2 as well, but I wouldn't be surprised if KNBR/Cumulus picks Option #1. A lot of KNBR hosts have a huge following, and it would probably be a huge uproar if there is no more Murph and Mac show, no more Gary and Larry show, no more Fitz and Brooks Show (even though I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't mind this. LOL), no more Mr. T, and probably no more Sportsphone. When KNBR airs the new CBS sports radio shows, yeah, they probably would air it on 1050 instead of 680, wth Damon's and probably Tom's show being the only KNBR shows on 1050's air. It would be kind of funny if Tierney is back on Bay Area airwaves if this is the case. I kind of wonder what he's going to say about the Bay Area when he's starts on that CBS sports radio show. I hope he doesn't trash the Bay Area, and say how it's not like NYC, and that he had to root for the Giants and the A's, when he's a Yankees fan.

Eric
Eric

If anyone is getting promoted its Damon Bruce, and Gary or Fitz better be worried. Cumulus cares about two things: money, and impact. Bruce is cheaper, and has a big following, with National attention. Ready to go right noooooooow. KNBR is killing the Game in the ratings, and where as they do need a co-host for Tolbert, that CBS lineup sucks ass, and it would not last in SF.

TommyJ
TommyJ

I want an option that has no dual Mr T show on both channels. It was alright with Ralph, but I would prefer 3 sportstalk options at all times. Only people on the Sports Leader for me they have to keep are Tolbert, Bruce, Lurie, Krueger and Murphy (alone) and Woodson (updates/fill-in) everyone else is not that vital to run a decent sportstalk operation.

RJ
RJ

If they were to can Fitz & Brooks and move Damon to 680, that means Damon & Gary will be colliding the final 10 minutes of Gary's show leading into Damon's. Oh boy. For the sake of entertainment & fallout BASG posts on it, I'm all for Option 2.

SFGWill
SFGWill

Get rid of Fitz and Brooks and replace them with Damon Bruce!! Fitz and Brooks are atrocious. Also, put Krueger back on sportsphone 680 and have ray woodson co host the Radnich show.

SpartanSportsGuy
SpartanSportsGuy

Damon doesn't talk about IU even a tenth of the amount of time that Fitz spends on Notre Dame, and that's just the tip of the iceberg if you want to get into complaints about the noon-3 show on 680. Maybe Rod would be an alright choice for Sportsphone, he's better off by himself.

Rich
Rich

I've been glad to hear less Byrnes on KNBR.

J-RIDAH
J-RIDAH

Oh please have them get rid of Damon Bruce all together. He is the worst. Its like listening to nails down a chalkboard. His incessant whiny tone and like any of us give a rats freakin patute about IU sports. Damon please do us all a favor and go get a gig in Indiana and then you can talk about IU sports where people care. Please!You would also be working in a market size more in line with your talent level. Just keeping it real!

Stan
Stan

Damon Bruce on KNBR is the bastard son. Who here didn't know going to 1050 was a demotion?..its even bizarre that they keep him there on their dime. Bruce is the Count of Mountefusco in his solitary cell. Fitz, is just loved by corporate types..Lacob keeps him because Bob is the company spy,yes man, and hit man all rolled into one. Bob might even be the guy who gives the walking papers to fired employee's. No guilt with Bob. Jeez,I almost feel guilty telling the truth.. I would advise highly paid KNBR hosts not to take a vacation. When Cumulus see's no difference in ratings.. its Pip Pip hooray!

Ruthless Sports Guy
Ruthless Sports Guy

I'm sure this post isn't gonna get any action at all. S-Can Fitz and Brooks. It's not even that Bruce is all that much better, but that show is AWFUL

Stan
Stan

Do those hosts read blogs? I posted that Radnich being goofy on camera wasn't hard work for him..today he said Paula Abdul was "goofy". You know where that thought came from. I posted about Cohn,Harbaugh,and Krueger and who wont play the game...Krueger today "Harbaugh wont play the game of the media". You tell me if they read and remember.