Friday, November 13, 2020

I've learn a lot from Michael Krasney's discussion forums for many years from KGO to KQED

One of my favorite talk show hosts plans his retirement in February 2021. Michael Krasney, host of Forum at KQED Radio in San Francisco. He's had quite a career and contributed a lot to deeper thought. I think KQED Forum will continue. There are several people who host it at various times.

I first remember hearing Krasney when he was a talk show host on KGO Radio, in San Francisco, during the 1980's. I could pick up the signal only at night here in Washington State. Only on certain nights due to conditions for ionospheric skip. Those were the days when 50,000 watt AM radio was a big deal.

I once wrote him, at KGO, and he wrote back. He said that someone reported picking up KGO from Norway. Signal went over the north pole. Normal for shortwave radio, but AM "broadcast band" usually didn't bounce farther than maybe 2,000 miles. I may have missplaced that origenal letter, but kept a followup exchange where I was discussing thoughts about clear channel AM stations.

When Krasney left KGO, I wasn't able to listen. He was on KQED; an FM station. The FM band doesn't go that far past line of sight. I live way too far from the San Francisco Bay Area for that.

When the Internet got going, big time, I was able to reconnect with Krasney's show. Podcasts of KQED Forum at my convenience. The archive at my fingertips. What a world we live in now.

On KQED, an NPR Station, Krasney's style has thrived. A better place than the more commercial KGO. His kind and thoughtful analysis comes through.

Meanwhile, KGO Radio has gone through some turmoil. It's 50,000 watt signal is less of an advantage in internet times. That station has changed owners a few times and gone down in the ratings. It's been firing many hosts and tweaking the format. KGO is no longer the undisputed top of the ratings in that market.

There was even an "Occupy KGO protest" that I saw on YouTube around 2011 after a bunch of firings over there.

On commercial radio, too many of the hosts are sensational and do a lot of yelling. Commercials pay the bills, but they also crowd out much of the time for deeper thinking. I find commercials to be repetitive. The same messages over and over again.

Krasney is a nice guy. There is the old phrase, "the nice guy finishes last." There's also the phrase, "he who has the last laugh wins." I'm glad to see that KQED has been at top, or near top, in the ratings during recent years.

Krasney joins some great company, in my mind, such as Diane Rehm, who had a show for many years on NPR and has retired. She still does a podcast in retirement.