Bob Fitzgerald

Ralph Barbieri fired: what a post-Razor world could mean

Ralph Barbieri's name and picture are already removed from KNBR's website

Now that it’s official that Ralph Barbieri was let go by KNBR, let’s take a look at what this huge change will mean to the local radio stations. The Razor’s termination will surely have a ripple effect throughout the market. It’s already had an effect on Tom Tolbert, who was very emotional at the start of today’s show.

1. Why was Barbieri let go now? 

Without a way to contact him directly, we’re left to speculate. Barbieri’s attendance record has always been spotty, with plenty of tardies marking his tenure. Recently, I can remember several times where Barbieri showed up anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes past the show’s 3 pm start time.

Also, Barbieri’s aggressive negotiating ploy (telling everyone he has Parkinson’s shortly before his contract expired) couldn’t have made the suits at Cumulus very happy. They were in a position where letting Barbieri walk would make them look cold-hearted, and possibly even open themselves up to a potential discrimination lawsuit. After renewing Barbieri’s deal shortly after the Parkinson’s story came out, Cumulus was probably documenting every single time Barbieri showed up late, called in sick, spent over 2 minutes asking a single question, etc. Plus, Barbieri was making a ton of money. There’s always that.

2. Will Tom Tolbert go solo from 3-to-7?

It would seem doubtful, as the station has gone away from solo acts on the radio except late in the evening (Sportsphone 680) and on their sister station (Damon Bruce, who they tried to pair with Gary Radnich). Based on how KNBR usually does things when there’s instability in their lineup, they’ll probably set up a rotating group of co-hosts to work with Tolbert, like Ted Robinson, Ray Ratto and Kevin Lynch.

Another option is to move Bruce back to 680 and pair him up with Tolbert, who’d surely handle the situation much more gracefully than Radnich did back in August.

3. Where does Barbieri go from here?

The early guess by many is he’ll be a prime candidate to move over to 95.7 “The Game.” Signing Barbieri would be a huge coup for the upstart sports talk station, since even though many people disliked Barbieri either for his voice, politics or long-winded interviewing style, Barbieri’s a fiery guy. Just hearing what he had to say about KNBR on the competing station would be must-listen radio.

A few things stand in the way of Barbieri heading to the FM side of the dial. First, Barbieri’s used to a pretty high salary, somewhere in the six-figure range. There’s no way Entercom would pay Barbieri what he’s used to making. Second, would the station touting themselves as the youthful alternative to the stodgy AM station hire a 66-year-old who was KNBR’s preeminent host? Third, which time slot would Barbieri get, and who would be his co-host? The Game’s lineup seems pretty well set — it’s pretty hard to imagine a scenario where they move Brandon Tierney to another slot and put Barbieri with Eric Davis, and it’s impossible to imagine Tierney and Barbieri working together.

4. Will KNBR experience any backlash?

After 25+ years working for the station, it seems pretty harsh to kick Barbieri to the curb and call it a “management decision.” Forget the Parkinson’s issue for a second — Barbieri was the station’s first sports talk host (correction: he was one of the first, but he was preceded by Dave Newhouse). He and Tolbert had the best ratings of any KNBR program besides Giants games. While fans have a love-hate relationship with him, others who’ve worked with him, such as Dan Dibley and Bruce (who ended his show talking about Barbieri and said, “There was substance to Ralph Barbieri … I deeply respect Ralph and I feel for him terribly.”), have voiced their surprise and dismay.

Remember, KNBR’s parent company (Cumulus) is already hated by many after they gutted KGO at the end of 2011. If they don’t get out in front of this issue, Barbieri’s going to let everyone know how poorly he was treated in the end. As much as everyone likes to complain about radio hosts, Barbieri is now a sympathetic figure to many, and his absence won’t be forgotten.

5. Who’s next on the chopping block?

Radnich is off on his normal spring break vacation, and is scheduled to return on Friday. Bob Fitzgerald and Rod Brooks aren’t exactly the most popular hosts in the world; Fitz in particular has several detractors. After cutting ties with their longest-tenured and most famous host, is anyone else in danger of losing his job? I haven’t heard anything, but anyone making big money has to be a little nervous today.

6. What about Amici’s?

It sounds like a joke, but there isn’t a host-sponsor relationship in the region that compares with Barbieri’s marriage with the East Coast pizza outfit. His name’s on the box, and his passionate, rambling spots for Amici’s are what a lot of people brought up on Twitter in the minutes after the news broke. Will Amici’s turn to another host to talk up their pizzas, pastas and salads? Or will they help grease the runway (yes, pun intended) for Barbieri to get another job elsewhere?

In all seriousness, this is a weird day for Bay Area sports and local media. We’ll keep tabs on this story and where Barbieri ends up. I doubt we’ve heard the last from The Razor.

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126 Comments on "Ralph Barbieri fired: what a post-Razor world could mean"

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The Hangman
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The Hangman
I wonder if it has anything to do with his recent admission to being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It seems a bit harsh, but he hasn’t seemed like the same Razor in a long time. He doesnt speak nearly as much and doesn’t seem as focused on “sports-related” topics as he once did. More and more it seemed as though interviews were conducted by Tom or by whomever the guest host was that day. Perhaps it was a request to go out this way rather than have people speculate about his health. Anyway, it feels weird knowing that voice you’ve… Read more »
Gooselosgatos
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Gooselosgatos
The reason I started listening to talk radio in the first place was Ralph in a day and age when most sports media personalities put ‘on an act’ or try asking to bring up a topic designed to get ratings through anger (limbaugh, ESPN, Skip Bayless). Ralph never resorted to that. Love him or hate him, Ralph was who he was, he never tried to please or use anger to boost his career. Ralph talked from the heart. To me and as a hard core sports fan Ralph’s approach was soooooo much more stimulating and interesting than some douche who… Read more »
ChrisF
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ChrisF

Barbieri was NOT the 1st sports talk show host. Dave Newhouse was the Sports Talk 68 host first (when it was still KNBR 68, not 680)

dave h
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dave h

HALLELUJAH! Barbieri was THE WORST, ARROGANT, KNOW-NOTHING JERK on radio….he has been forcing me to change the station every afternoon for YEARS, despite how good Tolbert has been….the very sound of his voice came to disgust me….

THIS IS A HAPPY DAY….What on earth took Hammer so long???

Ralph will not be missed by anyone with the merest shred of intelligence….

BYE RALPH, you twit….

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

Fitz is much worse, and I am not a Ralph fan at all.

James Wallace
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James Wallace

I could not have said it Better Myself. What a Tired, Sad Act he was.
He should have been Fired years ago. Hummmm Babbby !

Gooselosgatos
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Gooselosgatos

I think Tom is fantastic but part of what makes him sooo likable is he is paired next to the polarizing, sometimes prickly and more controversial Ralph.

james
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james

how long have you worked for cumulus

DougF
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DougF

I moved to the Bay Area 6 years ago. When I first heard Ralph Barbieri, I didn’t like his voice, but gradually I realized that he was one of the most thoughtful sports talk hosts I had ever heard, and I started listening regularly. Tolbert is also an informative, thoughtful guy, but Barbieri was the one whose opinion interested me the most. If he manages to move to another station, I will listen in. I will be interested to learn why he was let go and how it reflects on the station management.

DM
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DM

I really like the idea of pairing Damon and Tom, I think they’d do great together. But I already see them as the two best solo acts on KNBR anyway, neither needs a co-host to make good radio.

Jim
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Jim

Ralph lived in Marin so excuse him for fighting the traffic. As far as absences go, it’s been more lately, but I’m sure he has the sick days to use and go watch his kid play little league.

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

tough shit

I commute 1.5 hours each way five days a week and always show up on time. Everyone deals with it, it’s a sorry excuse.

shlep
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shlep

you’re a sorry excuse

Stan
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Stan

I bet-they even asked him to turn in his keys,and escorted him to his car..the standard boot that big business loves to do. Makes them feel like they were in the right.
Ugh,I can just hear the groveling and brown nosing Radnich is going to do NOW to “Lee and Bill”,and “Mr.Dickey”.

Stan
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Member
Stan

Boy,did I get that right..today Radnich almost in tears said how much he loved his bosses and how well KRON and KNBR have treated him..then named Bill and Lee.

Like I saw the future.

Kathy Montgomery
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Kathy Montgomery

Neutral on this……for some reason I will miss the raspy
Voice. Have heard bits and pieces of razor
And mr. T for so long it has been synonymous
With me always being tuned into the giants
And 49ers. My best to Ralph and his family; and knbr
Has always been and will continue to be part of my
Daily routines.

VOR
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VOR

BASG- Announcing Parkinson’s a negotiating ploy? Is that fact or pure negative-blogger speculation?

Jim G.
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Jim G.

never like to see someone lose their job and I’ve listened to him since 1987, if he would have just quit interrupting his guests I would have liked him better.
He and Radnich have got an awful habit of doing that continually.

Gary'snext
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Gary'snext

Amen, but Gary is worse.

who is starting a pool?
I’d say Gary is the FAV, but Fitz and Brooks are on the horizon at least, lots of action.

Paperback Writer
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Paperback Writer
Gary such signed a big contract, pick on somebody else. LOTS of anger on these blogs, sports radio fans get a life – change the channel, put music on, learn sports another way- do you all really need to be spoon-fed? Only have been listening to KNBR for 5 years, never heard Ralph with his “fastball”. I heard enough to know how he garnered his reputation, but mostly via past highlight flashback from years gone by. Hope all turns out well for him. I think BASG has it right – it will be Bruce and Tolbert PM drive time is… Read more »
Ted
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Ted

I am not a big fan of the lineup on 95.7 but 680 has nothing left for me but the Giants. Gary has gotten really bad over the last year, Fitz is an arrogant blowhard who is a shill for the Warriors and never admits when he is wrong and that lame I am white and you are black schtick he and Brooks play to death is not edgy it is lame and insulting, Tom may do OK on his own but he and Ralph were good together and Eric Byrnes is simply unbearable.

John Sports
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Member

Very well said PW, reading some of these makes you think that certain people need to get a life.
I really enjoyed dave h whining about having to change the station everyday…HUH!!!why have it on? If you find it that bad.

FL
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FL

I wasn’t a fan of Ralph’s but I have to admit it will be weird not to hear his voice on KNBR anymore, he was there for so long.

John Sports
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Member

Love him or hate him he will be missed. The Days of having someone like him on the Radio for so long will never be repeated in this or any other Market.
Good Luck Ralph you will be missed.

Ralph's Missing Conscience
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Ralph's Missing Conscience
Using a claim of illness as leverage to save your job or change the terms of your employment contract is about the most cynical, karmically-dangerous maneuver I can think of. I give KNBR management full credit for moving forward with the termination in spite of RB’s attempted manipulations. I think it took great courage, specifically in light of the inevitable litigation to follow. Ralph is too abrasive and didn’t bother to learn his job. Opinions are nice if you have knowledge to back them up. Ralph never did and for that reason alone had to go. If I had a… Read more »
Dan
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Dan

Didn’t bother to learn his job? Hilarious comment coming from an internet message board. Where do they get you people?

Sports Expert
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Sports Expert

Dan, have you ever listened to Ralph? He was annoying in the late 1980s and he has gotten more annoying as time went on. He said so many stupid things I wondered if he knew anything about sports at all. Most hosts spent a lot of time preparing for the show. The last few years there was no evidence the Razor was preparing.

Woody
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Woody

First of all Ralf got on my nerves a lot. With his home team bias, constant iteruptions, his norcal elist stance,etc… BUT I ENJOYED THE DUDE!!!!!

TommyJ
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TommyJ

You mean two things can be equally true?

unitard
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unitard

would love to see you compile a top 10 ralph moments

TooFunny
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TooFunny
To quote Ralph’s oft-used and great line, “Two things can be equally true.” He could have prrecipitated his own demise and Cumulus can be cruel and heartless. Although I too winced at the interruptions and talk-overs during his interviews, Ralph above all others could always be counted on to ask the toughest questions and I believe he displayed real integrity and an authenticity that most all hosts do not or can not reveal to the audience. And none do a better job giving credit to their Broadcast team which he had done forever to my recollection. In an ode to… Read more »
Ralph's Thesaurus
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Ralph's Thesaurus
Ralph? Integrity? I’ve got one name for you: Don Nelson. Ralph sucked on those who sucked on him. He had ZERO objectivity when it came to the Warriors under Nelson, b/c Nelson schmoozed him, and Ralphie ate it up. Want another name? How ’bout Adonal Foyle? Ralph liked his politics and his BS, so he could do no wrong, nevermind that he was one of the most overpaid/underperforming players in Warrior franchise history. Literally, a guy that made Joe Barry Carrol look like Kareem. Ralph asked the hard question when he didn’t like the interviewee’s politics or felt he/she had… Read more »
Gooselosgatos
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Gooselosgatos

In a weird way your Nelson analogy proves exactly why Ralph did have integrity. Ralph rarely kissed any bodies ass. He openly admitted he was biased towards Nelson because he liked the guy so much. What you heard from Ralph was who he was. He wasn’t contrived, manipulative or phoney.

Ralph's Pending ADA Lawsuit
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Ralph's Pending ADA Lawsuit

I can walk up to someone, shoot them in the face and admit every last detail to the cops when they come to take me away. It doesn’t make me any less of a murderer.

The fact that Ralph recognizes his this particular fault, admits to it and does nothing to correct him not only makes him an ass, it makes him an unrepentant ass.

Slam
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Slam

I’m not a hater, BUT Ralph’s “friendship” with Nellie and Adonyl Foyle was 100% inappropriate and killed his objectivity. That’s a FACT

Dan
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Dan

Sounds like a Damon Bruce fan. Lets hear it for shallow nonsense, Ralph’s individuality has no place in modern media.

JohnnyO
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JohnnyO
Ralph was an insufferable hypocrite, and with his access to sports while being paid to analyze them, he shouldn’t have been such an ignorant boor. A phony Buddhist to boot, but a sign off and the end of each show that was laughable given his on air persona. Tolbert is excellent. The two idiots in the morning are unlistenable,it pains me to even think about their incessant babbling. What took this station so long to realize he needed to go? And Amici’s pizza is horrible too. Only a paid stooge like Ralph could vouch for that overpriced, bland, lousy crust… Read more »
TSL
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TSL

Ralph is the worst phony there is.
Let’s see. First he praises Amicis and receives a nice little salary then with the same breath he tells us why he hates corporate America.

slack'em jack'em
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slack'em jack'em
Dear Ralph: On a personal level I am sorry to hear the news of your termination. However, pls spend some time reviewing your work…especially your interviewing skills. When you have a guest, the listening public does not want to hear you talk more than your guest. We would like concise questions and then have the guest answer them before you do. If the guest is saying something interesting, pls do not interrupt them. However good luck going forward….I always did appreciate your honesty and willingness to tackle the tough subjects. Dear Lee Hammer: I think you have recently made some… Read more »
Jon
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Jon

AMEN…especially paragraph one. Ralph was easily the WORSE interviewer EVER

John Welch
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John Welch

Ralph knew sports thats for sure. His style used to grate on my nerves but he was intelligent, articulate, and prepared a good percentage of his 28 years on Radio….Listening to Tolbert today you can see he had a very profound effect on Tom….Toms explanation of Ralphs departure was a sincere heart felt loss of someone he admired….

I think Ralph will be fine and life is ALWAYS about new chapters….

devnull
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devnull

Tolbert and Ted Robinson could work well — I enjoy Ted when he fills-in, and he’s enough of the “analyst” type that he’d be a nice mix with Tom’s “ex-Jock color commentator” role.

Ratto full-time would get old. He’s a better writer than commentator / talking head anyway.

Leave DBruce where he is, doing what he does — it’s what he’s best at, and probably what he wants too (short of a move to 680 w/a solo show).

J. Edward
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J. Edward

Not sad at all he’s gone. Guy was an insufferable egotistical blowhard only interested in the sound of his own voice. I lost track of the number of times I had to turn the radio off because Ralph insisted on talking right over top of his guest or his callers.

Tom T is great, hopefully he stays on the air.

Rick
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Rick
Ralph Barbieri was the one host who would tell like it is. Ask Brian Sabean if Ralph is soft or a pussycat. He asked the tough questions and could get real nasty when he wanted to. Just ask Rick Barry about Ralph’s dogmatic ways. I remember Ralph making a name for himself during the 1987 playoff series with the Cardinals. He was the most passionate radio man I ever heard. The man lasted 28 years on the radio in the same market, and the Bay Area is a tough crowd to please. Give the man his due. KNBR showed no… Read more »
stretch
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stretch

Ralph lost my respect when he said he didn’t devulge his Parkinsons earlier because he “…was embarassed & ashamed he had the disease”. Wonder how people with Parkinsons felt about that comment?

Of course when it became usefull in contract negotiations, that atitude changed to cry me a river.

Beyond his incessant interrupting, he relied more & more on Tom to fill in the many blanks in his stories. “What was his name Tom”…a common Ralph refrain.

Joe H.
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Joe H.

Ralph is a pompous, uninformed ass. When Bonds
was with the Pirates, Ralph ripped him for not running out a flyball. When the Giants signed him a short time later, he kissed Bonds” butt. Ralph is a first class PHONY. Also, the USF bashing was ridiculous. If Ralph is as smart as they say, you would think he would give the Jesuits a little credit for his education instead of ripping his alma mater.

TSL
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TSL

Good comment Joe. Ralph was and is the biggest hypocrite for bad mouthing Barry Bonds when with the Pirates and then being lovable Ralph when Bonds joined the Giants.
Ralph you are easliy the biggest phony on the face of this earth.
How is that gig coming along in Europe.
We are still waiting.

thomas
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Member

ralph was rude. ralph was aq liberal. i was very happy to hear of the news. his health is another issue. i hope he lives to be 100. but he was the worst radio guy ever….he could not hold the jock of a east coast radio guy…..no way…he would have been canned years ago…bay area…..be happy….

dee
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dee

How about letting Marty go? Doesn’t seem to let anyone talk who even slightly disagrees with him. He even hung up on a disabled caller a few weekends ago because he wasn’t talking fast enough. Would love to listen to hours of post-game chat on the weekends but just can’t listen to Marty for more than 10 minutes…

Joel
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Member

Ralph is the ultimate hypocrite. His tag line is “Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.”, but he takes himself and his opinions very seriously. Anyone who has a different opinion than he does just gets shouted down and he delights in the misfortune of others. He claims to be a Zen Buddhist, but I don’t think he has a clue what Zen really is.

einstein
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einstein

why would anybody assume Ralph was referring to himself with his tag line?

Wolfman
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Wolfman

Ralph clearly has a command of sports knowledge. That said, I cannot stand his interview style. I used to yell at the radio and finally just quit listening. Sorry to say this.
That said, this was badly handled. He did not deserve this.
I sincerely wish Ralph well.

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III
I also wish Ralph well. This was a terrible way that Cumulus/KNBR let him go. As far as what happens to KNBR, as a station, who knows. All of the questions that BASG asked, were intriguing. What happens to some of the other hosts such as, Damon, Krueger, Tom Tolbert, Gary, Fitz and Brooks, and even Byrnes, because of this decision? As far as pairing up Damon with Tom Tolbert, that could be a good pairing, but I agree that Damon is better by himself. He does his show his own way, and I don’t know if Tom would catch… Read more »
einstein
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einstein

Ralph certainly has his irritating side, but he leaves behind a huge, impossible vacancy to fill. Aside from Tom T., who is the greatest, KNBR has turned into a parade of ass clowns. I hope you choke on this one Cumulus!

T
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T
I do applaud this article. This questions are on point and do need to be answered soon….although I could care less about Amicis. I do believe that KNBR has a plan. KNBR would not fire Ralph unless they had a plan on what to do afterwards. I’m not a Ralph fan. But I respect his years of experience in radio and his sports knowledge. I also respected the fact that he was the only guy at KNBR who talked Sharks. Tom T is great but cannot work solo. He needs to have a partner. I doubt Damon Bruce will get… Read more »
Bluehouse
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Bluehouse

Best of luck, Ralph. You will be missed.

John Sports
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Member

I really enjoy all the posts, even the ones who call Ralph out for his misgivings…talking over guests…whiny voice…very opinionated, but that’s what made Ralph, Ralph. He moved the needle without having to be gimmicky, like taking one side of a subject just to piss people of. He was an original who spoke from the Heart whether you liked it or not.

Gooselosgatos
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Member
Gooselosgatos

Excellent points JS. Listening to people talk about radio personalities makes me realize that ( myself included) are always looking for ‘radio personality perfection.’

In my estimation, Ralph’s so called ‘liabilities’ were actually what made him who he was as you astutely pointed out and are in fact what made him such and enduring and powerful figure in the local sports landscape.

John Sports
Guest
Member

Thanks Goose,
Corporate Radio will never let anyone like him in the Door again, They would prefer Hosts like D-Bruce someone who likes to rile people up by taking the other side.
They can control these type’s way easier than unscripted Hosts who go out and have a real opinion.

Sports Expert
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Sports Expert
Yes!!! We actually loved Ralph’s idiosyncrasies! When he’s spend 3 minutes babbling before he’s finally ask a guest a question, it was good because we learned from his vast sports knowledge! When he acted holier-than-thou in pointing the finger and characterizing others as racists, we celebrated his discernment! When he would make a statement that demonstrated he’d done little or no prep for the show, we were inspired! When he would fly his Liberal PC flag proudly and inject the politics into sports we admired it! When he would show up late for the show while Tom would have towork… Read more »
3rdKing
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3rdKing

if they get rid of Gary they might as well fold up shop…

radman
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radman

Ralf will be missed. Some days you might want to yell at your radio and tell him to shut-up, but he was a good host and asked the hard questions. Gary is a tired act that needs to go.

trackback
Member

[…] his condition. But why he was let go, all of a sudden, remains something of a mystery, although one local sports blogger thinks it was because Barbieri chronic tardiness and absences finally got to management. His […]

Dan
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Dan

Isn’t it great to read the parade of comments saying “God I hate this guy I hate his show” then describe his faults or recent stumbles in great detail? Never miss a show, and never miss a chance to complain about the show.

Something about talk radio, there is just so much hate directed toward the format and hosts, most of all by people who can’t seem to turn it off.

John Sports
Guest
Member

Your Dead on Dan…to put out there how much you hate the show and then explain the show to a tee…seems lame, if you hated the show that much why keep turning it on?

Backdrop
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Backdrop

If you wanted Tom, you had to suffer Ralph. Or you could let the NPR drones lull you into a coma on your way home.

The Game was never an option for me, Dibs. No one should be that desperate.

MoragaJohn
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MoragaJohn

Maybe, if you think about it, people still listen because they only have a single other option during that time slot… since both 1050 and 680 aired Razor & MrT from 3:00 TO 7:00. I’m sorry to admit, despite Ralph’s numerous shortcomings, I was forced to listen because, generally speaking, it is the better of the two choices I have, IMHO.

Sports Expert
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Sports Expert

Are you joking? The Razor was the reason I turned off the radio, or switched to another station, so many times on the way home from work.
This topic is all about listener opinions. And when you don’t agree, you label them as “hate”.
Idiot…

Slam
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Slam

When Ralph says ” My options are considerable ” I interpret that to mean ” I could sue Cumulous for a boatload of money “, not ” I’ll get a lot of radio job offers ”

But maybe I’m wrong

Nebbon
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Member
Nebbon

KNBR should simulcast The Dan Patrick show in the morning, Murph & Mac in the morning is rough listening. I think they’re good guys – they’re good at hosting Giants fanfest stuff like that…

I liked Ralph probably because of the nestalgia of his voice and his contrast to Tom, but overall the program is going to be great with just Tom. No need to pair him with anyone on a permanent basis.

The best to Ralph and his family…

Gambler
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Member
Gambler

More and more over the last year, during my solo drive home from work, I would find myself saying out loud in the car, “Ralph, shut the f*k up”, and then switch stations. I just got fed up with him interrupting his guests. I suspect that Cumulus simply didn’t want me and others doing that.

Gambler
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Gambler

And one more thing… Am I the only one getting really tired of the Kruk & Kuip taking over the morning show? 15 minutes of the same droning on voices, same questions, same answers, every single day, even when baseball season is over? Come on guys, that used to be the best morning show on radio. 2 minutes twice a week would be about right.

James Hudak
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James Hudak
All of this sympathy for poor little Ralph The Razor makes me sick to my stomach. I grew up knowing this douche bag as he was a friend of my father’s and it always baffled me that such a self-centered low-life could succeed in spite of the multiple hit-and-run DUI’s and rampant drug use. Those of us who stood by him through those years were rewarded by being cut out of his life the very moment he got the big job at KNBR. The Barbieri story taught me one thing: There is no justice in this world. This is a… Read more »
Jay
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Jay
I am 59 years old and represent a demographic I sincerely hope KNBR does not abandon altogether. There should be a place for intelligent and thoughtful sports talk. I fear the continued “dumbing down” in this medium, where simple sound bite journalism, overwrought and overproduced segments, and outright poor taste are offered as sports entertainment. A strong vote here for the Ted Robinsons and Andrew Baggerlys of the industry, even if only on a rotating basis. I may not have always agreed with Ralph but he was thought provoking more often than not. If this becomes another 1050, I’m plugging… Read more »
einstein
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einstein

I’m sorry, but KNBR (or more likely cumulus) has completely abandoned intelligent, thoughtful sports talk. This was just the last straw.

John Sports
Guest
Member

Jay,

I haven’t heard about the Giants being responsible, could you elaborate?

Jay
Guest
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Jay

Someone speculated it might have been a part of the Giants new contract with KNBR. Another posted Krukow made a “him or me” demand to the Giants. Both seem improbable. Ralph did nothing if not generate interest in the Giants, and Krukow doesn’t seem to be the prima donna type.

TSL
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TSL

Jay I agree with you but if the numbskulls on the morning program KNBR will never serve meaningfull and quality sports talk.
Just thinking about those two kids in the morning makes me shudder.

Bill S.
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Bill S.

Before Dave Newhoouse there was Ken Dito and before Ken Dito there was Scotty Sterling and before Scotty Sterling there was Richard Sherr…………do your homework! Damn, that just happened.

TSL
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TSL

Thanks for the information Bill S.
But who was Richard Sherr?

Larry
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Larry
I have listened to Ralph since he had his own show early in the afternoon called Sports Page 68. He did an interview with Jonny Miller that was one of the best Interviews I ever heard. But he was starting to get long in the tooth. Two things bugged me about him. He talks over anyone talking with even a flinch… very rude. And the other thing was just because he lost his cat of 20+ years he became incredibly lonely…..so he purposely goes out and creates a Motherless child…What?…just so he could have a friend? Despicable I say. He… Read more »
Gooselosgatos
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Gooselosgatos

The fact that Ralph talked about his personal life and showed his so-called flaws was why he was a genius.

Nobody in the business with the exception of Howard Stern does that.

Most are contrived, calculated, cool, witty, etc.

Ralph was a incredibly unique and honest figure in the sports media landscape and there will likely never be another like him.

The guys they hire today are either guys who are different off air than off or are the perfectionist Ryan Seacrest type who are afraid to make a mistake.

Lincoln
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Lincoln

When Coach Hue Jackson was told of Ralph’s firing, the former Raiders head coach simply grinned silently.

kent mitchell
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kent mitchell
I just happened to turn in Wed afternoon, on my drive home after camping in Pismo, only to hear Tom’s heartfelt tribute to Ralph. I was shocked, having listened to Ralph for 20 years or so, to hear he’d been fired. I agree with a couple others who said listeners deserve more – either an explanation or letting Ralph say goodbye properly. Yes, he had his faults, no doubt. He would interrupt way too much. If he got his dander up, he would get rude and hang up on people. I shared his politics, but at times I did think… Read more »
Professor Pat
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Professor Pat

My feelings exactly…even though his was a flawed and sometimes obnoxious personality, it was Ralph’s “humanity” and fearlessness that endeared him to his audience for almost 3 decades. He grew on you in spite of himself.

Silver'n'Smac
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Silver'n'Smac
Look.. . . .. .it’s pretty simple: Barbieri ripped the Raiders, and particularly the late Al Davis, way too many times in the past few years. In the process, he and the rest of this stale station alienated every die-hard Raider fan. His never-ending, personal attacks on the Raiders’ owner never ceased. He showed no capacity to actually talk about the Raider football team. Raider fans almost completely stopped calling into KNBR in the past 5 years. Why? Because the brain-dead hosts, and in particular – Barbieri – couldn’t provide any actual football intellect. Their extent of Raider talk consisted… Read more »
TSL
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TSL

Mr BASG I hate to correct you but Ralph Barbieri was not the first sports talk show host at KNBR nor was Dave Newhouse. The origins of Sportsphone 68 date back to the early seventies when Scotty Sterling hosted a two hour program called “Ask The Raiders”. He was followed by Hank Greenwald then Ken Ditto. By the way, Sterling’s show was sponsored by Doggie Diner to feed your triva habit.

Sports Expert
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Sports Expert

But didn’t Ralph and Gary Radnich practically invented sports talk radio? To read some of the comments form the Razor and Radnich fans, you’d probably think so.

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