The news came out today that KNBR let Ralph Barbieri go. I had heard for a while that management had cooled on him but I never investigated deeply.

I feel bad for Ralph. We are friendly and when I used to go on KNBR, we had fun together and he has a distinct personality and a forceful point of view. I wish him well. But here’s what I want to know from you. What do you think about KNBR letting him go? Please tell me.

Be Sociable, Share!



  1. Capts

    Thank goodness. The guy would show up to his gig late. Tom would go on for twenty minutes before Ralph would show up. Extremely unprofessional. He was also very open about cheer leading for the Giants/49ers/Sharks, while slamming or ignoring anything in the East Bay. His time was way past.

    April 11th, 2012 7:37 pm

  2. dave birch

    Cumulus is doing to KNBR what it did to KGO…cost cutting corporate moves like the vultures that they are…

    April 11th, 2012 7:58 pm

  3. DT

    While I am sorry about his illness, it was definitely time. Actually, well past it. I was never a big fan, but these last few months have been painful to listen to.

    April 11th, 2012 7:59 pm

  4. Clint

    I read up a bit on the contract issues going into this year? Ralph was making somewhere between 350 & 400k annually which is just too much. There was some talk of a payout but I presume the two sides couldn’t agree on a suitable amount. Couple that with his health realities it seems a fairly transparent business decision. Considering how low Ralph had been around there is probably more to it.

    As for my feelings on the matter I’m quite saddened. I enjoyed Ralph and even his idiosyncrasies. I’ve been listening to KNBR for a little ng time and Ralphs voice actually gave me a strange sense of comfort. I’ve read many posts from folks who couldn’t stand his voice. I sort of grew up with it so I will miss it, but like the crazy uncle. I’ve called in to the show a few times and Ralph was always cordial and heard me out. I loved the chemistry with Tom Tolbert and heard the beginning of Toms broadcast today. He was very emotional and I know it was tough for him. I listened specifically to the beginning of the show since I hadn’t heard the news yet but got a tip yesterday on it. I was shocked and unbelieving and then Tom broke the news. I will miss him and wish him well.

    April 11th, 2012 8:03 pm

  5. SFGWill

    Feel like a part of my childhood has been taken from me. Grew up listening to “the Razor” and it’s a joke that KNBR would let go of Ralph who’s ratings weren’t anywhere close to bad as Fitz and brooks. The ONLY Reason why anyone listens to KNBR is because of the Giants or else KNBR would be irrelevent. KNBR continues to drop the ball and are quickly becoming unlistenable thanks to lee hammers horrible management. Hope Ralph lands on his feet.

    April 11th, 2012 8:05 pm

  6. Neal

    Ralph was once very good, he was once on top of his game, he asked the guests the tough questions. Always enjoyed Ralph interviewing Brian Sabian, thought it was a low blow how he treated Rick Barry, felt sorry for Rick. Next to Tolbert he sounded like a intern, his sports knowledge no different then the people calling in.The obnoxious Aminci’s Pizza commercials always turned the dial when he would do that commercial, he just got to chummy with the guests and does not follow sports anymore.

    According to ratings Tolbert ratings would rise when Ralph was gone and when they were together they went down the tubes as well. Time for a change, maybe the next change will be Radnich, brown noser to corp and same old rountine from a bitter white guy, who is another guy who does not follow sports.

    April 11th, 2012 8:05 pm

  7. Erich

    Abouy time. I used to enjoy him but he has just gotten to be a bad interviewer : he never lets anyone talk . Drive me crazy.
    I love Tom and he will be great solo or with anyone. Thanks for te memories Ralph but its time to retire

    April 11th, 2012 8:16 pm

  8. Lee Hummer

    Regardless of how people feel about whether or not it was time for Ralph, you must consider the WAY in which Cummulus decided to acknowledge his service and loyalty, by simply announcing it without any sort of tribute or dignity.

    If showing up late was unprofessional, then today’s way in which they announced it, its ten times more bush league than anything else.

    I WAS a big KNBR listener who now will no longer support this type of culture where talent, loyalty, and tenure are not considered at all. There are many other classy ways to have a dignified exit for Ralph. I am partial to Ralph as a USF Don who appreciated his vocabulary and the way he interacted with Tom and Steve Young in his weekly show.

    Shame on you KNBR. You lost a faithful listener today.

    April 11th, 2012 8:17 pm

  9. Dave

    Just wish that they had let him say goodbye and leave with more dignity. I’ve listened to him since 84 and will miss him. I used to think he used too many $5 words and over the years he grew on me and he also changed. I thought he was a great interviewer. After all this time, this is the way it ends? KNBR should have tried harder to end it more amicably.

    April 11th, 2012 8:25 pm

  10. Bryon

    I thought it was sad the way Ralph was suddenly let go. I guess that is how business is done in radio though. I enjoyed how passionate he was about his teams (mainly the sharks and giants). I didn’t like how he would dominate interviews with extra long questions that almost provided the answer for the subject. I appreciate all the groundwork he did to keep the giants from going to Tampa st Pete in the early 90s and will forever be great full. I wish Ralph the best with his situation, I hope Damon Bruce is toms new partner

    April 11th, 2012 8:30 pm

  11. Rap49er

    Although I hate for anyone to lose their livelihood, I am thrilled to hear Ralph is gone. I thought he was pompous, would often turn sports talk into his personal issues, and would incessantly talk when an interesting guest couldn’t get a word in edgewise. He liked to play himself off as eloquent and with a comprehensive vocabulary, when in reality, he used a few big words often and often incorrectly. He will not be missed by me one bit. And I am so happy that I will never, ever have to hear his “Don Nelson, Hawaii story” one more sickening time.

    April 11th, 2012 8:30 pm

  12. BG

    End of an era, but long overdue. I’m a long time, regular listener of KNBR and Ralph was unbearable to witness over the last year. I don’t know why anyone would agree to be a guest on the show lately. He would interrupt and talk over people constantly. Tom Tolbert is a great asset to KNBR and I’m looking forward to listening to him solo.

    April 11th, 2012 8:32 pm

  13. Larry Krueger

    Ralph was impossible to listen to with that horrible voice…and was just a bitter old man. Period. Wont be missed at all.

    April 11th, 2012 8:33 pm

  14. Richard

    I think it’s cost cutting, after all they’re carrying Gary Radnich who costs a lot. I also think that Ralph was beginning to become – demographically speaking – less desirable. Again, only Radnich is the exception.

    Low end guys like Eric Byrnes (in the less listened-to 7-10 slot) appeal to guys who like the “dude” talk.

    I hope they pair Tommy with Larry Kreuger, and not Byrnes.

    April 11th, 2012 8:38 pm

  15. Spacecase

    Always had mixed feelings about Ralph.
    Whatever the reasons for his leaving, it was a terrible move by Cumulus to deny him respect in his departure.

    Love him or hate him, he helped build KNBR into a nationally known sports radio powerhouse.
    Ralph deserved better.
    Remember when KNBR had Rush Limbaugh on after Frank Dill & Mike Cleary in the mornings?

    April 11th, 2012 8:38 pm

  16. jess

    Ralph has Parkinsons and they had a contract coming up. They didn’t want to pay a man with deteriorating health. He gave decades but just like the sports he covered it is a business.

    April 11th, 2012 8:43 pm

  17. QTLAW88

    Really sad to hear. I’ve listened to Ralph since 1984 and wow 28 years later. His voice was a bit comforting and I agree he could be a bit pompous. Just sad because I never want to hear that a good person is let go. I wish him the best. Tolbert is an amazing find. I wish Mr. Barbieri the best.

    April 11th, 2012 8:43 pm

  18. B-Rad

    I’m glad that he heard Clint out, because he constantly interrupted
    everyone else. His incessant giggling rendered him unlistenable
    to me despite his very relevant questions during interviews.
    Don’t know anything about his health problems, but wish him
    the best as he proceeds on his future peregrinations, as he
    would say.

    April 11th, 2012 8:46 pm

  19. Pete

    Rap49er and Dave said it all, his constant interruptions while interviewing some great guests was truly sickening, he even had the ass to interrupt Bill Walsh, Randy Cross, Brian Sabean and so on just so he could throw his own selfish 2 cents in. He would ask a guest a question and before his guest could answer he (ralph) would start to answer it. Too many big words used that didn’t fit his level of intellect. He was there 12 years too long IMO.

    April 11th, 2012 8:49 pm

  20. Ken

    I too feel the rather cold and taciturn approach to Barbieri’s dismissal was inappropriate given his tenure.

    Twenty-eight years of service, and then dropped so unceremoniously. All the attention to promoting him and Tom and then this departure?

    While Ralph could be a bulldog at times, he had the ability to ask the hard questions in the face of strong personalities. One has to admire his tenacity. I doubt Brian Sabean, or Rick Barry, sends him a condolence card.

    KNBR executives merely show what many always knew, the type of mentality of ‘what have you done for me lately’. Sports is a diversion, life is reality.

    Good luck to him and his family. Prosper.

    April 11th, 2012 8:49 pm

  21. Pete

    With the “Game 95.7 doing well, Cumulus had to do something and Ralph was getting very hard to listen to talking too much about non sports BS like “survivor” and other dull reality shows. Maybe he can go home and hug his cat “sunshine”

    April 11th, 2012 8:54 pm

  22. Ralph Bedwell

    Ralph Barbieri had a great run and I’m sad for him. I hope that he has invested wisely and is set for a comfortable retirement. I will definitely miss him. Sounds odd to say of someone you have never met or even talked to you, but he has long felt like a friend.

    In the sports talk world, Ralph and Tom were mature personalities. Compare the level and content of their on-air conversations with that of the abominable Fitz and Brooks (well, Fitz, at least, who seems to be a middle-aged frat boy who has not progressed from his days hosting keggers on frat row at Notre Dame). Ralph was controversial and at times annoying to some, but I think he helped raise the level of Tom’s game and the chemistry between them was what made the show.

    April 11th, 2012 9:01 pm

  23. drywit

    If you want a corporate sounding broadcaster then Ralph had to go. The self aggrandizing Radnich will be next. Meantime the dumbing down of KNBR continues with Byrnes who, unlike Ralph, played the game. Permission to tune elsewhere….

    April 11th, 2012 9:05 pm

  24. Dr. Feelgood

    Every now and again KNBR emails out a Listener Survey. Responding on the last two occasions, my advice was to remove Ralph. My reasoning was due to the way that he would drive me nuts. Ralph was never afraid to ask the tough questions, and that will really be missed, but he developed the horrible habit of not letting his guest finish their answers. As he aged he became very controlling, condescending and petty. For my taste, Tolbert conducted the more informative interviews. Ralph became combative and strove to drive home only his point of view. I would bristle at his blabber and self-aggrandizement. Also, his voice was letting him down.
    However, I’ll fondly remember him in his prime and give him his due as a local legend who contributed greatly to the local sports conversation, and he really had an empire built in the 3-7 slot. Sadly, he could have walked away on his own and gone out on top, but no matter how it now gets sugar-coated, he leaves as a beaten champ.

    April 11th, 2012 9:11 pm

  25. Anne Johnson

    Appreciated Tom’s warm and heartfelt goodbye tribute to Ralph. My 29 year old son grew up listening to Ralph, then later to the duo. We had occasion to meet Ralph at a KNBR Giant’s fan fest. Even though I found him to be arrogant at times, I was surprised at the genuine interest he showed in my then 9 year old son. Made this mom a fan! Even had to smile when I heard his raspy voice. Best wishes to you and enjoy your son!

    April 11th, 2012 9:32 pm

  26. RC

    I liked Ralph, grew up listening to him. Sad to see him go, I hope he was able to say his piece, and he should be treated with respect, he earned it.

    I think Knbr is starting to feel the heat from the ompeting FM station!

    April 11th, 2012 9:42 pm

  27. Brian

    The show will not be the same nor will my drive home. A cold corporate way to end things. Whats new.

    April 11th, 2012 9:47 pm

  28. TrojanHoss

    Ralph was annoying, but Ralph was a unique character and those are always missed. I moved out of the area for a few years and when I returned I was surprised how glad I was to hear Ralph’s voice. An aside: in the ’80′s I picked up an out-of-town friend at the airport, and “Sportsphone 68″ was on with Ralph. My friend heard him and said, “He sounds like a Muppet.” I always thought that was better than “The Razor.”

    April 11th, 2012 10:13 pm

  29. Loneraider78


    Reggie McKenzie said, and I quote:

    “I will never even consider trading future picks, especially high ones”

    Oh, Ralph was let go?

    Go Sharks.

    April 11th, 2012 10:38 pm

  30. Mark M

    I’ve been listening to Ralph for over 25 years. He and Tom have been my favorite for a long long time and Ralph is the finest overall radio personality I’ve heard at KNBR for as long as I’ve been listening. I loved his incisive mind and uncompromising opinions about sports. He is an iconic character for me in the world of sports.

    With that said, he clearly lost steam over the past year or so. He seemed sick and occasionally disinterested. You can’t be a radio personality without passion and he appeared to have lost what he once had. As much as I hate to say it, this doesn’t surprise me that much and KNBR cannot be blamed for doing this.

    I’ll miss Ralph Barbieri greatly.

    April 11th, 2012 10:49 pm

  31. Dennis G

    Sorry to see Ralph gone, but corporations jettison hard-working , loyal employees all the time in the name of the bottom line. Ralph deserved better. Cumulus and all such business entities deserve contempt.

    April 11th, 2012 10:57 pm

  32. C$

    It’s another great decision by Lee Hammer like when he decided to pair Gary Radich with Damon Bruce. Nice decision Lee! You’re an idiot and stay off the radio because your voice makes you sound like a tool.

    April 11th, 2012 11:45 pm

  33. Johnc

    It just won’t be the same without Ralph. His sudden firing was a shock. He posted a statement on the Internet which revealed that his firing process took seven minutes from the time he walked into work to being escorted out of the building. Ouch!!
    I will miss Ralph. I did not always agree with him ,but so what! He was unique and entertaining ……. part of my radio world for 28 years.
    I gained a newfold respect for him recently when I Learned that he has Parkinson’s disease, which requires him to take forty plus pills a day to keep it under control.
    I wish him the best now with the time he can spend with his son.

    April 12th, 2012 12:06 am

  34. Lee Hammer

    Hi guys, this is Lee Hammer speaking, and I just want to clarify about the way I fire Ralph Barbieri in such a a barbaric and heartless way. To be honest, the way I fire Ralph is pretty much the same way that I have run KNBR for years–sloppy and without much thoughts and care. I figure SF Giants broadcast would carry KNBR’s rating anyway, so there is really no need to treat a loyal employee with any respect even though he has worked on my station for close to 30 years. I mean, all these Bay Area suckers for the SF Giants will tune in to hear the Giants anyway regardless of how bad all my shows (aka Lee Hammer’s shows) are. I just hope that my boss, Cumulus, will treat me slightly better when they realize how incompetent and what a joke I am.

    April 12th, 2012 1:21 am

  35. russell

    As a manager of people in my chosen profession, I will hold out comment regarding the “sudden” firing, or the way Ralph was supposedly treated with regards to the firing. We really don’t know how much rope he had, if he was warned, etc. That said, I feel pretty much exactly (how’s that one Lowell?) how Dr. Feelgood put it in his last paragraph.

    April 12th, 2012 1:46 am

  36. Rob

    This is a surprise. A sad one too. I enjoyed him and Tom together. They had such funny, easy rapport. I’ll miss him.

    April 12th, 2012 5:38 am

  37. helga fels

    I’m glad he’s gone. He was rude not only to guests, but also continually cut short Tom’s sentences. I went to Amici’s in San Rafael and it was just a pizza parlor with ok pizza, not the comfortable restaurant he promoted.
    Just too rude — insufferable

    April 12th, 2012 6:32 am

  38. scary2larry2

    Cohn, I will miss Ralph. Do remember all the free Alex spots he used to do. But it did feel like he losing a step. But he was good at what he done….

    Enjoy life Ralph, you deserve it.

    God Bless

    April 12th, 2012 6:37 am

  39. elated

    it is about time. Ralph we are glad to see you go.
    I will not miss Ralph one bit. He was a pompous, unknowledgable, homer who did not deserve the gig he had.
    Also, I feel if knbr does not make more changes soon
    They will be surpassed by 95.7 unbiased programming.

    April 12th, 2012 6:37 am

  40. Nationsofwar

    Good riddance, and no one would allow a terminated employee to get anywhere near a microphone… Duh!

    April 12th, 2012 7:19 am

  41. Dave Hansen

    I look on Ralph as I did with Howard Cosell. You hated him but listened anyway.
    I don’t agree with those who say he was a great interviewer as he always talked over his quests or asked lengthy questions.
    Also, he was so left winged politically that it offended many conservative listeners.

    April 12th, 2012 8:02 am

  42. Stan

    Well,if you want to know the truth about large corps..read my post on BASG blog of my musings on how Ralph was treated by Cumulus..and then compare to what I just read minutes ago in the morning paper of Ralph describing his being bum rushed out of KNBR. It was like I was there. I had it down to a “t”..like Ralph was a criminal.

    NOW…why? I also think that Ralph-who took a pay cut they say of about 100 grand year,300to about 200…was thinking if they are going to do that.”.I will take my time about showing up”.” If they pay me less”..and thats when KNBR and Cumulus already angry he played the illness card decided to fire him.

    April 12th, 2012 8:12 am

  43. Dee

    Good riddance!!!
    I’ve tuned him out for years. A’s & Rauder fans were given short thrift, even in the years when the East Bay teams were way more compelling.
    Never struck me as the kind if guy a sports fan would want to sit down at a bar, have a couple of beets & talk sports with.
    So happy to see him go

    April 12th, 2012 8:53 am

  44. Bernie Leda

    KNBR should have given Ralph a two minute goodbye on the air. Things change quickly in business and for any of us to think our jobs are secure is a big mistake. The days of working 30 years at a place and retiring with a watch are over, everything has an end and in today’s world you never know if you will be next so keep updating your resume. I liked Ralph and will miss his show

    April 12th, 2012 9:03 am

  45. rockfish

    I think it was time. As everyone has stated above – he was dominating the interviews to the point that the guest could not even answer the question. Many, many times he would talk over Tom, a guest or a caller. It became very hard to listen to.

    Yes, the dismissal was cold. But the reality is that it way works it almost every workplace: you’re told, you go to your office & pack your stuff, then you’re escorted out the building. Not unusual at all.

    Think of it this way. You’re known for your lengthy diatribes on the air — should the management fire you and then let you go on the air? My guess the outcome would be a big mess over the radio. They had to do it this way.

    April 12th, 2012 9:20 am

  46. Dr. Feelgood

    Sounded like a Muppet! I had forgotten, but when my wife heard him (she is not inclined toward sports talk) she said “is that porky pig?”, and damn, I could hear that too.

    April 12th, 2012 9:20 am

  47. Tiburon Dave

    Disgracefully done by ham handed corporate assassins.

    Ralph had lost a step but when your prize plough house can’t pull his share anymore…you give him some extra oats and put him out in your greenest pasture.

    These guys smiled…gave him two behind the ear…and calmly reloaded…

    April 12th, 2012 9:34 am

  48. Fanny Pack

    WOW – He was obviously a polarizing figure, but he and Tom were a perfect mix. Both get way too “out there” on their own. I guess ratings were down, but after years of dominating p.m. drive I’m shocked that they made this decision before the end of his contract. … There must be more to the story. Tolbert’s great, but he’ll need a counter balance. Not sure who can fit the bill.

    April 12th, 2012 9:42 am

  49. Frank in Minnesota

    When i lived in the Bay Area i used to listen to knbr a lot…i enjoyed listening to Ralph since the late 80′s until a couple of years ago when i moved out here. Honestly, i enjoyed his show and guests(and your visits with him, some were real memorable…remember Baltimore Dave?)…May I ask what went on over there? Hope it’s all right to ask….

    April 12th, 2012 10:17 am

  50. UNC89


    I think, like you, Ralph is a unique voice who will really be missed. I am a big fan and whether you are or not, the way they handled dismissing him was totally heartless. It was also completely dismissive of the listeners since after 28 years on the airwaves, I think we the listeners deserved to hear a Ralph send off. They could have prerecorded it in case they were worried about him doing something crazy live. I will be checking out the competition a lot more now…

    April 12th, 2012 10:33 am

  51. Dave T

    It was time. I am not the listener to KNBR that I once was, but even two years ago he was over the top. Frankly I am not sure how the guests on the show put up with his antics. Sabean put up with way too much in my opinion at times and I am sure that he dreaded coming on the show more often than not. At times Ralph had good points, but his lack of allowing his guests to explain themselves or answer the question got very very old and tiring.

    Having said that, if it should be health related I wish him well as a person. He was a long time employee and had his moments. I am sure that KNBR and Cumulus are “at will” employment and they felt it was time for change. Best to all parties involved.

    April 12th, 2012 10:36 am

  52. randy j.s.

    Ralph became a parody of his former self,like Chris Berman is at ESPN. Time to move on Ralph,you will still have your golden ticket to Giants games,but it became like listening to a beloved uncle @ christmas dinner. Redundant.2 things can be equally true,glad you’re gone, I
    will miss you.

    April 12th, 2012 10:38 am

  53. Bill Hogan

    Won’t be missed-his act was tiresome years ago

    April 12th, 2012 10:45 am

  54. CohnZohn

    Frank, go on SF Gate. They have the best story on Ralph’s departure.

    April 12th, 2012 10:48 am

  55. Danno49

    Love him or hate him, ‘The Razor’ is a staple of Bay Area sports broadcasting and has been for some time. He will definitely be missed. He’s one smart cat and will land on his feet, no doubt. I wish him the best of luck in his fight against Parkinson’s.

    April 12th, 2012 10:55 am

  56. gary

    While I hope he is doing well health wise and financially, I also hope I never have to listen to him again. He interupted guests more than anyone else I am aware off.
    His sports knowledge was very limited,and he often derided sports/athletes, he knew very little about.
    And then there is his voice…….
    and those friggin pizza commercials…..

    As long as Ray Ratto is not the replacement, Tommy will almost certainly be better off with a new partner.

    April 12th, 2012 10:58 am

  57. Bruce Campbell

    I think it was handled poorly. That said, the past few years Tom Tolbert has surpassed Ralph in charm and enjoyment. Ralph consistently interrupted on-air callers whenever he preferred to hear his own voice. I won’t fault Ralph for the timbre of his voice – that’s not an affectation.

    I have respect for Ralph’s ability to do a hard hitting interview, but there were times – Tim Lincecom’s stuggles in August 2010 come to mind – where Ralph would badger Giants’ management for an “answer” when there just wasn’t one to be offered.

    I’ll miss him a little bit…

    April 12th, 2012 11:00 am

  58. Vijay

    While sorry to see that he has a serious illness, i think it’s about time Ralph was gone. Besides being an obvious SF Niners homer, he has a distinct hate for the Raiders. It’s ok to hate the Raiders or Al Davis provided he had his facts right but many a time, he used to BS about the facts and use that to fuel his hatred. The next step is for this station to shut down. Thankfully we in Bay Area have a nicer station in 95.7FM who cover all sports, bring in more interesting guests and also are fairly objective.

    April 12th, 2012 11:04 am

  59. Darren

    FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!! Wow, just a slap shot that hit the back of the head, never saw that coming. I will miss Ralph, I loved you on Sportsphone. I would never listen when he was solo, when you moved to days, I thought he was much richer, more dynamic and enjoyable when he was with Tom, or other quests. He did speak over guests, but that was Ralph, I enjoyed how he stuck to his views, even when it got old. Pit-bull is a perfect description. I will never forget how he would push (I always felt for Brain Sabean) Sabean had to put up with Ralphs rants on the Giants never getting a big bat like Vladimir Guerrero or hanging onto a bad closer Armando Benitez. Ralph I wish you health and happiness. You worked hard, relax and enjoy life, time to be a listener and enjoy family. As Bob Dylan said, The Times They Are a-Changin – I am still recovering from Frank Dill & Mike Cleary departure in 1997. I hope Tom get a partner as dedicated to the listeners as you were….do you concur???

    April 12th, 2012 11:42 am

  60. PC

    I found Barbieri to be grating, impolite, obnoxious, and annoying. His loudly trumpeted opinions on everything were tedious and self-serving. He was a homer and would go on at length about his “athlete of the week” (Sean Estes comes to mine) until you wished he would just shut up and marry the guy. I especially hated his quiet but vicious attacks on people of faith. All in all the only good thing about RB is that he is gone…

    April 12th, 2012 12:08 pm

  61. Mel

    Its about time, his condescending arrogant attitude caused me to turn the channel almost daily. I listen to sports talk radio to learn insight into our local sports teams, that’s why Tom is so good. Ralph’s constant interrupting of Tom and all the guests was maddening. You throw in the once or twice a week political views he just had to sneak into the conversation and it was all I could take. I can now listen from 3 to 7 again

    April 12th, 2012 12:09 pm

  62. JC

    I never like hearing about someone losing their job.

    In Ralph’s earlier years I enjoyed listen to him, but as time went on I couldn’t stand to listen to him. He’s constant interruption of guests, not letting them answer the questions asked. I know I turned off the show many times when he would talk over his guests and not let them finish their thought. I don’t care who the guest was Ralph would talk over them. I would think his guests hated being interviewed by him.

    April 12th, 2012 12:48 pm

  63. Mandu

    Everyone who had a problem with him hyping the Giants and Niners over the East Bay teams remember KNBR is the broadcasting home for them. I don’t know if I’ll miss his voice yet. Time will tell. As long as Tolbert stays they’ll be all right.

    April 12th, 2012 12:50 pm

  64. Alex McMurray

    I agree with SFGWill. KNBR is /was good because they broadcast Giants games and because of Ralph and Tom. By unceremoniously dumping Ralph in less than 10 minutes after a generation of service, they have LOST this listener for good. And they’ve lost a Giants fan, for that matter. What a joke, KNBR. Shame on you. How pathetic.

    April 12th, 2012 12:51 pm

  65. Charles

    My disgust for Lee Hammer continues to grow. The arrogance and general lack of respect KNBR has for its callers, listeners and now its employees has been clear to me for years. I look forward to the day Lee Hammer is asked to leave. I’d like to see the Giants take their business elsewhere. It’s still nice to hear what Tom has to say. Good luck to Dan Dibbly and his crew!! And finally Good Luck to you Ralph…Thanks for all the great years!!!

    April 12th, 2012 1:03 pm

  66. CK

    If Damon Bruce replaces Ralph I am jumping to the FM dial for my sports updates. Cannot stand that tool! Miss the Razor already…

    April 12th, 2012 1:03 pm

  67. Guest

    I guess it was not an amicable parting, so it could not have happened…but I wish the could have been announced earlier so that he could have a final show proper for him and his fans. It probably is a minority opinion, but I would like to hear Tom paired with Ray Ratto, who could be the curmudgeon counterpart (and who, contrary to this persona, seems to have a healthy sense of humor about himself and is never actually rude or mean). A minute of Ratto daily at 10:15 (and repeated at 2:15) is not nearly enough.

    April 12th, 2012 1:17 pm

  68. question

    1. I understand Radio stations firing old guys. It needs to
    be done more often.

    2. The problem arises is when they replace the person with a
    no talent–Hack?

    3. This seems to be the latest trend. I don’t get it. Maybe,
    the guys in charge are a bit to old to understand true

    4. Maybe the Internet generation is void of originality?
    I do know we were all used to Ralph. It’s human nature
    to miss him. Kinda like Dr. Watenburg?

    5. My final thought is fire anyone over 55, but look for
    real Talent–it’s got to be out there.

    April 12th, 2012 2:30 pm

  69. Mark from Pleasanton

    A big disappointment for me. I started listenig to Ralph literally the day he and Tolbert pair-up. I had just moved here, and happened to tuned in.

    Ralph – I hope you are reading this. You will be missed.

    I’ve been laid off twice before, and each time the company let me say goodbye to my co-workers and spend the rest of the day there. They were humans. You deserved better.

    But nothing good comes from bitterness. So peace, my brother.

    BTW: I still think Tom Brady is overrated. Just wish I could call up again!

    April 12th, 2012 2:56 pm

  70. Bill

    Ralph did not know much about sports. He would read some article on the web and spout off occasionally but what he was interested in was the social significance of sports. Will Kobe be be booed in Colorado. He was totally absorbed with the OJ trial and that had little to do with sports.

    Angels fly because they take themselves lightly. Try that advice Ralph.

    April 12th, 2012 3:34 pm

  71. wango fango

    that’s the way the corporate media ax slices…..like at the sausage factory—-but in your back.

    April 12th, 2012 5:19 pm

  72. chris

    it was definitley time for Ralph to go, but the way it was done is just absurd. Same thing happen at KGO to a handful of employees who had been on the air for years with a loyal following. Radio is in big trouble if this is the way its going. I knew sometihng wasnt right with Ralph to last few years. his enrgy level had just dropped from the loud and abrasive “Razor” to someone who sounded like he was half asleep most of the time. I literley almost fell asleep driving one time listening to Ralph recentley. After learning abiut his illness it explained clearly what was up with him.

    Some of my favorite Raqplh moments was his interview with Rick Barry who was whining about the Warriors not giving him an interview to coach the team. Rick blamed the media as bing part of the conspiracy and that set Raplh off to give it to a jock that I think Ralph wished he was. also the interview with Nebraska head football coach Tom Osborne regarding his handling of the violent Lawrence Philips…….Osborne was casual about Philips abusing woman and Ralph called him out and trashed the guy on the 50,000 watt sports leader…….long live the Razor!!!

    April 12th, 2012 7:18 pm

  73. Tony

    I love Ralph and I wish him well.

    April 12th, 2012 7:47 pm

  74. Doug D

    I had never been the biggest fan of Ralph, as I am a big Raider fan. I really didnt like him at all. But, over the years, he kind of grew on me, kind of like a family member who first drives you nuts at annual parties, then you find yourself looking forward to seeing him. He was consistent and had great genuine chemistry with Tom Tolbert. I commute over 100 miles a day and listen to a lot of radio, he always made interviews interesting and helped me pass the time, even if I disagreed with him.

    Low class move by KNBR, if his version is correct, which I dont doubt. Already tough to be an oakland sports fan and only have KNBR, slanted to SF to say it politely, to listen to, now one more reason to get some books on tape. Good Luck Ralph, you deserved better!

    April 12th, 2012 8:05 pm

  75. Hobo G

    You know, it’s a stretch but Ralph and Tom were a team much like Howard Cosell and Dandy Don. That is, if the show was only one or the other, it would be too bitter or too sweet for one’s taste. But when you mix the two of them together, you get sweet and sour, yin and yan, point, counter-point; although the latter years of Mr. T. and the Razor was more sweet than sour. But the genuine friendship of the two of them was comforting unlike the tense, ill-fated partnership of Rick Barry and Rod Brooks. It would be a mistake if they pick someone either too subservient or too cantankerous to team with Tom. There’s always two sides to each story but right now I do feel bad for Ralph because I believe he is a good guy, razor mouth notwithstanding.

    April 12th, 2012 10:43 pm

  76. dominmatrix

    Ralph was polarizing, but at least he had a position on things, whether you agreed with him or not. He didn’t deserve to go out like this. I am much more concerned about his Parkinsons. Its nasty. He is a single dad with a fairly young son. Just rough all the way around.

    BTW, KNBR died when they canned Bob Agnew, Bob was terrific.

    April 12th, 2012 11:50 pm

  77. Yuba City Mike

    For me, I associated Ralph with KNBR as much as the Giants, or 49ers.
    Although we may never know the reason(s) behind his dissmissal, I find it hard to believe it was because of any statement of position he took.
    His “get to the bottom line” style is unique and I hope we have not heard the last of his signature voiuce on Northern California airwaves.

    April 13th, 2012 9:02 am

  78. thebear

    Italians are a loyal and family oriented people. The cutthroats remainng at KNBR after this episode deserve each other.

    April 13th, 2012 1:36 pm

  79. Richard Zollinger

    I wish Ralph no ill will, but really glad to see him gone!! Words like petty, whiney, ill-informed, and pretentious come to mind. I actively avoided listening to the show when he was on air. I just hope the legal beagles have their ducks in a row because Ralph will likely be looking for a way to get revenge at KNBR’s expense.

    April 13th, 2012 2:33 pm

  80. Silver'n'Smac

    Look.. . . .. .it’s pretty simple:

    Barbieri ripped the Raiders, and particularly the late Al Davis, way too many times in the past few years. In the process, he and the rest of this stale station alienated every die-hard Raider fan.

    His never-ending, personal attacks on the Raiders’ owner never ceased. He showed no capacity to actually talk about the Raider football team.

    Raider fans almost completely stopped calling into KNBR in the past 5 years.


    Because the brain-dead hosts, and in particular – Barbieri – couldn’t provide any actual football intellect. Their extent of Raider talk consisted of making jokes about Al Davis or verbally assaulting the man.

    What Barbieri never seemed to realize is that despite some of Davis’ stubborn and sometimes ruthless football decisions, he had 10 times the heart Ralph had.

    Al Davis performed more acts of generosity in his lifetime than Ralkph Barbieri’s angels, Steve Young & Brent Jones, can even dream of doing.

    Al Davis paid for the late great Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas’ funeral. Let that sink in for a minute. . . . . .the hated rival Chiefs. Their own owner didn’t even do that. Al Davis stepped in and paid for the funeral of a player not even on his own team.

    I could go on and on with more and more examples of Davis’ acts of kindness.

    But all Ralph Barbieri could ever talk about is how Davis would throw down a towel for someone to shine his shoes. I absolutely could not stand listening to the man anymore.

    I respected his passion and rare willingness to ask the tough questions.

    But as a Raider fan, and someone who wants to hear some objective talk about my team, Barbieri’s behavior over the years became unbearable.

    For this reason alone, I stopped listening to KNBR a long time ago. The minute 95.7 the game came on the airwaves, I switched over. At least there’s some objective talk and equal dialogue about both football teams.

    And every Raider fan I know has made the switch as well.

    This has to have had an effect on KNBR’s ratings.

    Maybe their dumb management finally realized some of the reasons behind their demise.

    Next move: Get rid of that arrogant punk Fitzgerald. . . . . He thinks he’s so intelligent, but, I could quiz him on some Raider facts and/or players, and he wouldn’t last 5 minutes. .Brooks is cocky too. . . . . . .Radnich is full of himself.

    The only ones on that entire station worth a damn, and with any sense of humility, is Tolbert & Murph & Mac. I like all three of those guys. You can just tell they are nice people and don’t act like what they say is gospel.

    With all that being said. . . .Cumulus is classless for the way they went about firing Barbieri – he deserved better than that.

    This station will be off the airwaves in a couple of years max.

    April 13th, 2012 8:25 pm

  81. Judy Dias

    This caused me to write the only email I’ve ever done to a radio station. The way this was done was bush league, and seemingly unwarranted. No class whatsoever, after 27 years or so of loyalty. Ralph has soul and character, and what’s mostly left on that station has neither, just inane chatter, poor journalism, and endless obsession about the same things in order to fill air time.

    I think it may partially be an age demographic thing, as it seems from comments I’ve read that some of the younger listeners didn’t care for his style. Even if one thought he had the worse style in the world, he shouldn’t have been treated that way. He should have been given an opportunity to say a carefully monitored good bye.

    The corporate soullessness in this is depressing, and I hope they continue to lose ratings!

    April 13th, 2012 9:20 pm

  82. Brian C

    Larry Kruegar comments were shallow, I can’t believe that was really him.
    Did Ralph throw you under the bus when you got canned for the “brain dead Carribean’s swinging at slop nightly” comment? While it was certainly true the way KNBR knuckled under the pressure of F Alou was weak.

    KNRB handled this in the most chickensh%# way possible. Cowards.

    Yes annoying and irritating (harsh on Sabes, wow), but Tommy actually turned Ralph around and he’s going to be missed. Surprised about the bitter comments on this blog.

    Would you rather have more weak ass guys like the backstabbing Bob Fitzgerald (Greg Papa) or Jim Kozimor’s on the air?

    You should be grateful we got 28 years of interesting sports talk.

    Brian Carolan

    April 14th, 2012 10:50 am

  83. Erik

    In Sacramento, we have enough “guy” sports talk to go around. I enjoyed the relaxed chemistry between the two of them. I enjoyed the digressions. I can only listen to so much speculation on Alex Smith’s status or Buster Posey’s ankle. I can only take so much feigned outrage. Ralph had his foibles, but that made him human. In the 28 years of listening to him, I came to accept the good with the bad like I would with anyone I chose to spend time with. KNBR and Lee Hammer took a big hit in my esteem. I may listen at 3 p.m., but I won’t make it a habit. There are plenty of similar choices at that time slot. Ralph was a one and only worth making the effort to tune in.

    April 14th, 2012 2:58 pm

  84. Rob

    The only reason I’ll listen to KNBR now is because they have Giants game coverage.
    I can’t stand the morning guys..Bob Fitzgerald just flat sucks and Tommy seems naked and uncomfortable without Ralph at least for now.
    Gary and Ralph were the “anchors” of that station and now it’s just a shell.
    It seems logical that Gary’s next on the chopping block unfortunately. The moves they have been making sure seem like the station is doing what it can to stay afloat although I don’t know how that’s possible being the flagship station for every sports team in the Bay Area.
    Anyway, with Ralph’s inappropriate dismissal, I’ve just lost any shred of respect I had for their product. I’m done.
    I’ve got twitter for my updates and MLB.com if I want to listen to games away from the car.

    April 15th, 2012 6:31 am

  85. Dana

    Sure, it’s always “sad” when change comes but really people, IT WAS TIME. Ralph was almost unbearable to listen to…embarasing for him, really. I was never a big fan, but I respected his knowledge and position. But in the last year, it had gotten to the point where I’d turn the dial when he started to talk. Ralph: They did you a favor. MOVE ON.

    April 15th, 2012 9:40 pm

  86. Ken

    Namaste Ralph-o I am personally glad Ralph is gone, he made no effort to treat callers or colleagues with the same dignity and respect that he expected of us, he talked over people, he was arrogant, rude and self important. Hopefully his real life persona someday will grow into the brown rice, Birkenstock wearing, peace, love, and veggie eating view he has of himself. Namaste Ralph-o !

    April 16th, 2012 3:51 pm

  87. Matt

    I am agreement with most comments here, that it was time for Ralph and his narcissism to move on. Way too much focus on himself and “I said that years ago” and “I predicted that” from a guy who never laced them up. Isn’t it broadcasting 101 that you don’t constantly interrupt and talk over your guests? I would cringe with many of his interviews… It’s nice that he asked the hard hitting questions, but there was a level of disrespect there that many prominent athletes and others didn’t deserve.

    That said, I hope he is health is ok and he is able to enjoy time with his son.

    April 17th, 2012 10:55 am

  88. Jim from Napa

    When Ralph came out with his health problem all of us who owned a business said he has 6 months. we were right.

    Cumulus runs their stations like an office business. they want cheap, young labor. It’s comical.

    Kgo was #1 for 26 years and now they are 3rd. Cumulus will ruin knbr as well.

    April 24th, 2012 12:04 am

  89. Grumpy Fan

    I will miss Ralph. Mr. T is great with or without him, but I wish Ralph the best.
    Now replace or at the very least put on notice the other arrogant (and specifically on air host Rod Brooks who also seems to be uneducated, bad grammar, low brow, thug-like rapper wannabe) talk show hosts.
    Their as bad as DMV Counter personnel! They act as though they forgot on what side of the counter they’re on.
    I listen to less and less of KNBR these days, limited to when the Giants’ are playing or to Mr. T.
    I am checking out the FM station and Satellite Radio now. They’re not always local, but they don’t drive me loco either!

    May 4th, 2012 3:59 pm

  90. White Lotus

    I’m shocked, not only that Razor got dismissed, but the way it happened. Even if he deserved it, or whether it was a business decision, you don’t fire a guy with decades of work under his belt and a well known local celeb like that. He definitely deserved better.

    Unless Cumulous is just hemorrhaging money, there’s no reason why they couldn’t just wait until Nov and then not renew his contract. That way at least Ralph could have a chance to say his goodbyes to the faithful listeners. This is just horrible.

    What could Ralph have possibly done or said that could get him fired? He’s been doing the exact same thing since the 80′s, you’re not getting anything today that you haven’t already heard.

    May 11th, 2012 8:29 pm

Submit Your Comments


Required, will not be published