Ted Robinson filled in for Gary Radnich on KNBR a few weeks ago, and seemed both amazed and annoyed at the marathon Tony Bruno segment that stretched past 30 minutes every morning without a commercial interruption.
“There isn’t anyplace else in the country where this is allowed,” said Robinson (and I’m paraphrasing, as I obviously wasn’t recording KNBR). “To have a full half hour uninterrupted, it just doesn’t exist. It’s amazing.”
Robinson obviously struggled to fill time with Bruno over the few days he was filling in for Radnich even cutting the segment short one time. Radnich has never had that problem, as he pushed the segment’s time boundaries even when KNBR allowed him to riff with Tony from 10:02 until 10:32. Nearly every day producer Mike Holer has had to play the two radio performers off with his extensive collection of recorded drops, a practice which has become a bit itself.
I don’t know if anyone noticed Robinson’s stamina problems on Comcast California, but last Wednesday Radnich ended the segment with Bruno abruptly, letting him know they’d be shutting down the segment at 10:20 from now on because commercials were getting squeezed.
It was an inevitable occurrence, as money always wins out in the end. It’s tough these days for a commercial station to refrain from playing commercials during one of their broadcast day’s most popular segments. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the station wanted to keep Bruno on for a half hour but with a commercial break halfway through, but Radnich would surely turn that idea down since it would kill the segment’s momentum.
Can two radio hosts explore topics ranging from Bay Area sports to For The Love of Ray J in 10 minutes instead of 20? Probably. Still, it’s disappointing that the show’s high point has been cut by a third. Even if you don’t appreciate Radnich’s apathetic takes on the area’s terrible teams and front offices, his superstar worship or complete inability to say anything negative about Al Davis, the Bruno segment has something for everyone and it was kind of nice to think it was relatively untouched by the business side of things (CUMULUS, THE POWER OF RADIO!!!).
At least Robinson will be happy next time he fills in from 9 am till noon, as he’ll only have to speak extemporaneously for 20 minutes with a guy he has no chemistry with. Add that to his new Niners gig, and it’s been a pretty great year for the man who loves the Mets and “Rafa” Nadal.