Hedgecock out at KOGO, in at KFMB, replacing Roberts?

Thor's Assistant Rostra Administrator (Thor's Assistant) 30 Comments


This from Jimmy Valentine, radio host Roger Hedgecock’s former producer, with permission to post in full on Rostra…

(rumor has it)

It appears that Roger Hedgecock’s run at KOGO is over. Info we get is that Hedgecock’s ad endorsement clients have been notified that he will depart KOGO in January (unless taken off the air sooner?) and re-surface at KFMB. Word further that Rick Roberts will be gone at KFMB opening the 3p-6p slot for Hedgecock.

Hedgecock has been a fixture at KOGO (formerly KSDO) since 1985 when he was forced to resign as Mayor of San Diego. Radio legend Jim Price ran KSDO at the time and wisely decided that Hedgecock needed a job, that public interest in Hedgecock and his scandal at city hall was a commodity and hired Hedgecock to do a radio talk show. It was a very creative decision by Jim Price, one that gave Hedgecock a new lease on life both professionally and financially. He has done well.

As memories dim Hedgecock is viewed less as a defrocked former Mayor and more as a stalwart conservative talk show host who at times has had great influence on the radio industry and his audience.

Details of Hedgecock’s departure from KOGO are still sketchy. He has always been a difficult and demanding employee and has scuffled with management since the departure of Jim Price many years ago. His salvation has been his generally good audience ratings and his ability to lure advertisers who buy radio time and pay him for his product endorsements.

Complicating a clear picture of events is Hedgecock’s nationally syndicated radio show which he launched in January 2009 under the banner of the Radio America Network. My understanding of that deal is that he left the payroll at KOGO and was compensated by Radio America (to the tune of about $300-Thousand a year). KOGO provided radio studios for his national broadcast and cleared his national show to air in the San Diego market. While Hedgecock was required to focus on national topics by his syndicator KOGO continued to sell spots with Roger’s endorsement for air in the San Diego market. Hedgecock thus supplemented his wage with lucrative endorsement fees paid by local advertisers. The radio station benefited as well.

What prompted a departure from KOGO? Not sure, but details will surely surface shortly. If KOGO was not on the hook for Hedgecock’s wage and he is paid by Radio America then there would seem to be no financial incentive for KOGO to boot Hedgecock?

Ratings however do matter and it may well be that ratings for his national show in the San Diego market were not good given that his topics and opinions almost exclusively mirror those of Rush Limbaugh and Shaun Hannity (and others) who air before 3pm. By the time a listener gets to Hedgecock at 3p most of the news cycle conservative topics have been hashed and re-hashed. Add to that the fact that Hedgecock’s basic appeal in this market has been his focus and impact on local issues. Over the years (I was his producer for 15 years) we defended the Boy Scouts of America at Balboa Park, fought successfully to keep The Cross on Mt. Soledad, supported charter school education, led the fight to defend traditional marriage in California, labored to secure our local border with Mexico and support our Border Patrol, spearheaded the ouster of former Governor Gray Davis and more.

Hedgecock’s rejection of localism likely diminished his attractiveness to San Diego listeners.

A plausible scenario for the station switch….his national show is in trouble? His syndication has been third tier at best. I often joke that he is carried in places like Lonesome Nut, Oklahoma and Parched Butt, Arkansas but the truth is his show failed to crack top markets and he remains little quoted or noted by national media. He is not Glenn Beck or Mark Levin and shows no signs of carving a unique place on the national stage. If his syndicated show is in trouble then it makes great sense for Hedgecock to seek to return to the local airwaves with an exclusively local show.

I speculate but it’s fun….if Hedgecock were to approach KOGO (read Clear Channel) about the prospects of a local show and CC paying him and his staff once more, the response likely to be lukewarm, tepid or downright chilly. Clear Channel is in process of throwing out employees by the score all across the nation. KOGO has been downsized to the point that local newscasts are being anchored out of KFI in Los Angeles and the news department is reliant on listeners rather than professional reporters for coverage of news. ( see SDG&E blackout ) Add to that Hedgecock’s temperament as a permanently disgruntled employee and you have nearly legal grounds for divorce.

As for KFMB? Rick Roberts has been in the bulls eye there for a while now. Word I get is that he was not happy with his forced move from AM drive to the 3pm slot. ( He was replaced by Mike Slater ) His longtime producer was ousted and there is speculation his own wage was reduced? For a while he took to doing his radio show out of his home in Oklahoma. Still he remains a strong lure for personal advertising endorsements. I don’t know what Rick Roberts audience ratings look like today but according to Wikipedia his numbers for 2009 were very good (they quote an LA Times article). But all has not been well between KFMB and Rick Roberts for some time.

KFMB has long been an “out card,” for Hedgecock. We used KFMB several years ago to upscale a new contract with KOGO. During negotiations we met with KFMB and worked out a deal to do a radio show and also appear on their sister TV station. We then used that potential deal to seal a deal with KOGO. A similar scenario possible today? Given Clear Channel’s current challenges KOGO may not have been able to meet a better deal.  Or perhaps had no such interest?

So what next? KOGO puts Jon & Ken into the 3pm slot? This duo already deals with state and regional topics and could easily modify format to include items of interest to San Diego. This plan would also fit the Clear Channel model of clustering programming. Just a guess.

Hate to end by saying “only time will tell,” but that would be the case. We’ll learn more in the days to come….(keep an eye on sdradio.net…if anyone can ferret this out it will be Chris Carmichael) ….but it is significant in the history of local broadcasting that the Hedgecock era at KOGO is over, if rumor is correct.

Were I to make a wish it would be that Hedgecock returns to his local roots with KFMB. On balance he has been a force for good in the local community and long provided a place for the community to gather daily and often to organize and act in the manner of responsible citizens with common interests. Given the near total destruction of local radio programming across America….Having Hedgecock back local would be refreshing…but given my luck…his syndicated show will continue and so will  his parroting of top tier talkers. Say it ain’t so.



Comments 30

  1. So what next? KOGO puts Jon & Ken into the 3pm slot? This duo already deals with state and regional topics and could easily modify format to include items of interest to San Diego.

    J&K already do a fair amount about San Diego, so it would be even easier than you suggest.

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  3. I’ve been a Rick Roberts fan for many years and would hate to see him go. I do not agree with everything he says but I have to admit he’s a great communicator. Used to listen to him religiously during the 2004 elections and beyond. He also did an outstanding job fighting child molestors. That’s what I loved about Rick.

    Looks like Rick is gone from KFMB. Does this mean that maybe (just maybe) KOGO will hire Roberts?

    We shall see.

  4. Rick rubs the corrupted…..Rick defends innocent children….Rick promotes real help for our service patriots…..

    There gotta be a platform in San Diego for Rick Roberts!

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    Diane Bell refers to it in the UT…

    “After several years at KOGO AM 600, Roger Hedgecock will be moving his nationally syndicated talk show to Radio 760 KFMB AM in January. He’ll also do local commentary and election coverage and appear live on KFMB’s new cable TV network scheduled to debut in April, says Jen Jacobs, his show spokeswoman. She said he signed a five-year contract and confirmed that the show will remain in the 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. time slot now occupied by KFMB’s Rick Roberts, long rumored to have differences with management…”

  6. How about this, move Roger to 6-9 and put Mark Levin on from 3-6, so that his show is live rather than simulcast.

    The only way to listen to Levin live now is to go to AM 790 KABC and the reception is really bad down here in San Diego.

    Or put Roger on during Sean Hannity’s slot, and simulcast Hannity from 6-9. Putting Levin on at 6pm is a real waste of talent.

  7. I don’t mean “simulcast”…meant to say “pre-recorded” whew! In other words, (if not obvious) play Hannity from a recorded version vice live.

  8. I want Rick back on in the morning. Get rid of Slater. He slurs his words and talks way to fast. Put Savage on LIVE from 3-6. Hedgcock can have 9-12 or take Beck’s slot since Beck spends have of his show giggling.

  9. Whoh!
    Let’s hold off on the beat down of Mike Slater!
    He’s passionate, articulate, and a patriot! He does his homework and is not only entertaining, but also knowledgable.

    Rick Roberts is a treasure not to be lost!! I’ve listened to him since he arived. He is terrific! I say ditto & add many more causes he has supported beyond the list from Robert Bosich, above.

    Roger Hedgecock is also wonderful source of information and back stories. His research and delivery of information is terrific.

    San Diegans must continue to have access to the best! We have a lot of work to do to help “right the ship” in this country and need all the help and information we can get. Listening to these wonderful men is like having a private tutor. The latest news with the background needed to research and prove the facts.

    There must be room for the best and the brightest. Keep San Diego up-to-date and in-the-know.

  10. I extricated myself from the mindless blahblahblah of talk radio awhile ago. Occasionally, I channel surf momentarily to see if anything has changed. To me, San Diego radio is an overall abyss filled with talentless hacks.The revelation that the droning boob has been replaced by the snake (look at his other affiliations, after mayoral ousting) only means that it’s the same song with a different singer. KOGO still has the overly-caffeinated early morning hack and Polyanna in the afternoon. I wonder when/if SD will ever get any real talent on radio. Not that FM is any better – those shows are laughable as well. What’s left? Music or NPR. Okay, music.

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    Maybe Jesse could have just said he doesn’t like talk radio, thus saving us from his mindless blahblahblah.

  12. Rick in the morning, Hannity, Roger in the afternoon…I’ll never have to change stations!!!!

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  14. Roberts, Rogers, Howdy Doody- it’s all the same: silly minded conservative blowholes spewing frightwing rhetoric and rehashing the same GOP garbage that Hannity and Limbaugh state in the morning. Roberts was full of crap mostly but he said the kinds of things that pleased the neoCON crowd. But it is clearly evident that even conservative “scripted” broadcasts and anti-Obama pablum gets old for the unenlightened….

  15. Rick Roberts, I have enjoyed your show for years. I was flustered when you changed to afternoons but adjusted.

    I don’t want to listen to Hedgecock, he is too much in love with himself and promotes himself too much,

    Rick called it like it is. His list of child molesters was greatly appreciated by the people in San Diego County. Reports of what is happening across the border were right on. His great love for the Wounded Warriors was unsurpassed. Give them hell Rick.

    We need him somewhere in San Diego. Get him on some channel. There are many who would like to hear his honest, frank, and great dialogue about what is right and what is wrong. An honest broadcaster. I appreciated his truthfulness. I want him back.

  16. Liberals control most universities, Hollywood, network
    TV, news magazines, wire services, regional news-
    papers, popular culture and the White House.

    Yet they deeply RESENT the handful of places where
    conservatives and libertarians have the upper hand,
    in this case on Talk Radio.

    The belittling comments above from dobler and
    jesse reveal (in all their anonymous glory) the
    enduringly INTOLERANT mindset of the American
    Left .

    It has been that way now for decades, and is not
    likely to change… even though the Left’s smugness
    and pomposity help the Right win lots of elections.

  17. Lets go to Rick, Rick in Oklahoma, good morning Rick, whats on your mind Rick? This man was so annoying! I have counted times where he repeated the callers name up to 14 times in one call!

    He never could get out of San Diego. At least as far as his audience was concerned. But he himself did get out. He had been broadcasting from his ranch in Oklahoma for quite some time and pretending to be here in San Diego.

    I’ll never forget his brilliant plan to free up traffic here in San Diego. “Stop all truck traffic during rush hour”. Aparently this genius does not realize, that without raw materials coming in and finished product shipping out, there would be no city!
    Good riddance

  18. I used to listen to Roger Hedgecock a couple years ago until I found the Rick Robert’s show. I would listen to him religiously while commuting home. Now I’m dusting off my CD’s .

    Miss you Rick!

  19. Rick Roberts was too repetitious (see Rod’s comment above), gave out the phone number countless times, took way too many LONG commercial interruptions, sounded like he was sleep deprived, and would play a sound bite over and over until you wanted to jump off a bridge.

    I think he did a lot of good for the troops and I applaud him for that. But as a radio host he just became unlistenable.

  20. I never thought Rick would b gone but when he went to 1500 hrs I started thinking something might b up. I had no Idea he had gone to OK. I thought he was in Alpine. I will miss him but I do like Roger. Kinda strange there was no good bys or nothing, unless I missed em I don’t think I did though I was listening the week before Xmas. I guess things do change

  21. ALL of these clowns are shills perpetuating the false controlled left/right paradigm. Right wing hosts are all paid republican boot lickers. Infowars.com has the truth about this false “democracy”

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  23. I used to like Rick when he actually had a show worth listening to. Then I remember back when Hilary & Obama were neck & neck in the 2008 primaries – Rick did and entire morning on the “black National Anthem” making fun of someone who sang it using Ebonics. I’m a white guy from Nashville & I was offended by his childish programming that morning and actually called into to talk to CJ his producer (I had met them both on many occasions). I asked her why Rick Roberts was trying to do his show Howard Stern style with offensive jokes and childish staff chiming in – she said “Wow – you compared us to Howard Stern who is a multi-million dollar show – thanks!”. I told her it was NOT a compliment and I lost a lot of respect for his show that day.

    Rick was a copy cat host anyway. When Tony Snow was alive and hosting his show, whenever he had a good caller he would end the call by saying “don’t be a stranger” – which right after Tony died, that became a tag line fore many many many of Ricks calls. I forget the line he stole from Lars Larson, but I remember hearing Rick use one of Lars’ lines and again thought he was struggling to matter.

    It also used to piss me off when he would occasionally sub in for Michael Savage and give shameless plugs for his little local morning show every 4 minutes and then go on the next day and talk about how much of a crazy lunatic Savage was. Then Roberts began copying Savages tyrannical rages and yell at callers with copycat lines like “get off my show” (classic Savage) and you could totally tell it was completely faked rage for “show” value (his voice always got higher and Whiney when he was faking it).

    Putting Roberts in the afternoon & bumping Savage was KFMB’s biggest mistake. Roberts didint do ANY of the necessary background work to compete with fresh information in the afternoon slot – talk about regergatated & recycled Rush & Beck – you could always count on Rick for the replay of those 2 shows. Rick is a wannabe – or actually WAS a wannabe – not he’s a has been.

    Even his “Rick Roberts Warrior Foundation” was a crap load of him seeking publicity. While the real people behind the Warrior Foundation were doing AMAZInG work well before Rick Almighty wanted to attach his name to it – he was only interested in just that – attaching his name but not attaching the real commitment to do ANY of the real work. He offered up some free airtime to Sandy over at the Warrior Foundation as a platform stunt to connect to the Patriotic Military town in which was just a temporary guest. I met him behind the scenes at many events and he was just interested in strutting around in his open collar white shirt and blue jacket like he was some kind of real celebrity versus the very humble and genuine Hannity & Beck when they came to town and truly were grateful that people wanted to meet them.

    Sorry Rick – you couldn’t hang with the Big Dogs on the afternoon drive because you really weren’t genuine and it came through whether you realized it or not. I truly loved listening to the man you were pretending to be until I saw you and CJ for what you really were – and then you just made me nauseous. As much as I appreciate the effects you had in giving a stage for the Warrior Foundation – you did nothing to actually Affect their cause and they will move forward just fine without you.

  24. I think actually we are all just getting sick and tired of the right-wing tirades, which, by the way, seem to have NO EFFECT on the political
    election results. Democrats in this last California election won EVERY office in the state. Republicans could not win an election for dogcatcher in this state. So apparently all the ranting and raving by Roger Hedgecrook and Rick Roberts and the others had no effect whatsoever.
    Good that they are all gone. Let’s just have some nice music instead.

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