I don't think this has been discussed yet, but several months ago, back in April, Ralph Barbieri was fired from KNBR after 27 years with the station.
He's suing KNBR and Cumulus Media, saying they fired him because of his age and disabilities. (Parkinson's disease and diabetes).
Here's a podcast of him going on 95.7 The Game, in June, and talking about it:
Ralph says he had been making $380K, but when his contract was up last November, they offered $250K, and he could work on a day-to-day basis.
He was not happy with that kind of a paycut, and felt something was wrong.
Later negotiations brought it up to $290K.
They said in November that if you show up on time and meet other conditions, we'll give you $300K, and throw out other restrictions. He got the raise in February 2012. They fired him in April.
I listened to the whole thing.
It was hard to follow Barbieri at times. He took a while to get to the Glengarry Glen Ross clip. I didn't know where he was going with it.
I didn't understand the Kim Basinger bit.
He might not have explicitly thanked the audience, which would have been a classy thing to do. But he referred to his audience when he spoke of his reputation for asking tough questions, and how his audience liked that about him.
I enjoyed hearing the story of how he called Bonds a jerk, then was the first to interview him.
I never noticed him being late, but that's because "late" was defined as later than 2:30, according to what management wanted. And as was mentioned, the spontaneity is what made his and Tolbert's show, and they were rated well so it must have been working.
I don't care if he bashed on Lew Dickey and Bill Bungeroth. He doesn't have to be sympathetic, he's just trying to tell his side of the story. He said he didn't like how he was talked to at meetings after Bungeroth took over. He said Bungeroth didn't show him respect. Hence, I could see why Barbieri said what he said about them now.
There were some awkward moments too, as you mentioned how Barbieri said he never heard of The Game's mocking promos. He didn't react to the chip soundbite as the guys on The Drive thought he would have.
He also said that Hammer never expressed concern for Barbieri for being sick.
I didn't understand the Bill Walton story either.
I thought it was interesting to hear how his love for Amici's, and those promos, started.
Overall, I thought it was in interesting interview. Barbieri got to tell his side of the situation that lead to his firing, and he got to explain what the environment was like with management during the last few months. He told an interesting story of when Bonds first arrived, and he told the Amici's story. I didn't understand some of his other ramblings, or why he was transitioning the story the way he did.
The money didn't bother me, nor did his not being gracious toward his audience. I just wanted to know what happened before he was fired, and what his side was.
I do think that management could have fired him not for being sick, but simply because they wanted a change. Barbieri and Tolbert's show might have been doing well, but perhaps they were thinking about the future and wanted to transition into finding their next longterm hosts.
I'd be curious to know how Tolbert's show specifically did before when he was with Barbieri, and afterward. I can see that KNBR as a whole has done well.