Monday, June 18, 2012

Barbieri sues KNBR, Cumulus

Ralph Barbieri filed suit today against KNBR and its owner, Cumulus Media, claiming he was wrongfully fired as a sports talk host because of his age (he's 66) and because he suffers from Parkinson's disease and Type 2 diabetes. The suit seeks $10 million in damages, the Chronicle reports. Angela Alioto, one of his attorneys, said he was told by management that he was fired because he came to work late and wasn't properly preparing for his show. He joined KNBR in 1984 and co-hosted the afternoon drive show since 1996.

Oakland Tribune returns to downtown

The Oakland Tribune has moved back to downtown Oakland, where the action is, as publisher Mac Tully puts it. In 2007, the 138-year-old newspaper left the iconic Tribune Tower for an office building near I-880, across from the Coliseum. "It was a good location, but we weren't near the action," Tribune Publisher Mac Tully said. So now the Tribune has moved into a former Wachovia Bank branch at 1970 Broadway, across from Sears, in the city’s Uptown district. At the new location, the Tribune will have a media lab where residents can take classes and meet with reporters. The media lab concept is a companywide initiative at MediaNews Group.

KGO-AM/KSFO moves in with KNBR, KFOG, etc.

The new KGO-AM newsroom at 55 Hawthorne St.
KGO 810 and sister station KSFO 560 have completed their move from the ABC Broadcast Center at 900 Front St. to Cumulus Media’s studios at 55 Hawthorne St. in the South of Market area.

There’s been the occasional glitch, such as on Sunday when a new phone system prevented KGO host Christine Craft from letting her callers talk to her guest, suspended sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.

But the most awkward moments might be taking place at the watercooler or in the hallway, says media blogger Rich Lieberman. That’s because KGO’s staff is unionized while the other broadcasters at 55 Hawthorne who work at KNBR, KFOG, etc., are non-union.

Lieberman also says that Cumulus wants to buy out KGO talker Ron Owens’ contract by August or September, before it expires in January. (Photo from KGO-AM website.)

Rita Williams to retire next February

The same month that longtime KTVU reporter Lloyd LaCuesta retired, another Channel 2 veteran, Rita Williams, announced she plans to retire in February 2013. Upon her retirement, she will have put in 35 years at KTVU, about the number of years LaCuesta has. Williams goes back so far that she is credited with opening Channel 2’s San Francisco news bureau. Here’s a link to Williams’ announcement.

New dean at UC-Berkeley J-school

UC-Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism has named Ed Wasserman as its new dean. He has been the Knight professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.

Tom Goldstein, who has served as interim dean of the J-school since Neil Henry resigned last August, will remain in that position until Jan. 1 when Wasserman takes over.

Wasserman was one of four finalists for the position. says the others were Ron Elving, NPR’s senior Washington editor; writer Ted Conover; and Jim Schachter, associate managing editor at The New York Times.