I’m just wondering. In your opinion, who is the best sports talk radio voice/opinion giver, etc. in San Francisco? I guess that means, 680, 1050 and 95.7. Please give a reason. I will stay out of this discussion, but I am eager to read what you write.

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  1. Chris

    I have long been a fan of Bay Area sports talk. I used to find Rick Barry entertaining if not arrogant. Pete Franklin, hysterical thought he was going to have a heart attack any minute. But currently, I find myself tuning into Damon Bruce. I don’t always agree with his opinion. I certainly think at times he is still stuck in the cornfields of Indiana or wants to be. But his opinions are usually measured and reasonable, and well informed. I like Larry Kruger at KNBR but really find Fitz/Brooks to be the worst 2-3 hours of sports talk anywhere. Like Mac/Murph. Think Eric Byrnes is atrocious with a capital A; too loud too immature. As for 95.7, not enough time in the market and their personality is still forming.

    August 13th, 2012 9:52 pm

  2. Dr. Feelgood

    Mama said, “If you have nothing good to say, don’t say it”, so rather than harping on the subject…
    BTW- Funny how it works. I was a steady listener to Ralph and Tom, and like many, found Ralph tiresome and more appreciated Tom’s interviewing skill. Now, without Ralph, Tom seems adrift. I like Tom, but I think he’s carrying a very heavy load.

    August 13th, 2012 9:53 pm

  3. chris

    As far as the daily talk shows go, I’d say Radnich is still #1. Even though his style can be bizarre at times the way he interupts people and doesn’t take many calls from listeners, which should be required when you’re doing sportstalk,
    he’s energentic and clear with his opinions. But overall I like Marty Lurie the best. He’s relaxed which makes him easy to listen to, and I like history of sports and he has alot of that as part of his shows.

    KNBR noon-3 guys are the worst, Tolbert doesn’t cut it without Ralph, Damon Bruce and Murph and Mac are average at best. 95.7 is terrible except for Greg Papa’s occasional input. But even when he’s on there, he’s told to laugh and giggle with the other guys so he’s not at his best.

    August 13th, 2012 11:02 pm

  4. RC

    95.7 going away.

    August 13th, 2012 11:13 pm

  5. Robert

    Damon Bruce is good. He should be on 680 instead of 1050. Tom Tolbert would be my second choice although I would prefer he stop the “what’s shakin” jive greeting. I agree that Eric Byrnes is awful. Gary Radnich regularly interrupts callers and does not listen. Plus he tries to make jokes all the time which can be annoying.

    August 13th, 2012 11:33 pm

  6. uncle joe mccarthy

    its all great…compared to los angeles…where you either get syndicated pablum or lakers talk

    August 14th, 2012 12:52 am

  7. Vijay

    95.7FM is easily the best. Fairly objective, covers all Bay Area sports and aren’t a SF Niners or Giants homer. They get better guests overall and have fewer ads. More importantly they are in the modern age of communication with Texting and Social Media. KNBR is total BS and I hated that station.

    August 14th, 2012 8:47 am

  8. Frisky Ribness

    Damon Bruce … landslide

    smart / funny / ballsy

    talks about local businesses (neighbor dave’s and Ike’s), has great regular callers, good segments, 3@3, nooner

    doesn’t mince words, calls Singletary stupid, understands what it means to be a man… AND a bay area sports fan

    has a spine without the spite … maybe a lesson to be learned around the some media outlets (hint hint)

    August 14th, 2012 8:59 am

  9. Joej

    Eric Davis was favorite with Brandon Tierney…as an A’s, raider, warrior fan, 95.7 seems to b way better than giant biased knbr, although I do miss me some Damon Bruce, knbr lost me as soon as the Game came out..PS Gary is a joke…

    August 14th, 2012 9:05 am

  10. Matt

    Damon Bruce is the best at this point. Tolbert knows his stuff.

    Gary Radnich is a joke. My 10 year old knows more about the bay area sports scene. He doesn’t care enough about sports to even try anymore.

    He began mailing it in yeeaaaaaaaaaars ago. And he talks about Zito stealing money?

    Simply a disgrace.

    August 14th, 2012 9:06 am

  11. Randy

    Damon Bruce — young, energetic, well prepared, and has a national voice. Has sat in for Jim Rome and now going syndicated. Only sports talk show host to focus on Penn State scandal with any depth and even hosted non-sports on KGO on weekends. Only star in KNBR’s stable in a medium that is struggling. Radnich wouldn’t accept being paired with him because he looks tired in comparison. Bruce is keyed into the social media which makes him timely, relevant and building a brand for the younger demographic.

    August 14th, 2012 9:08 am

  12. Steve

    I purchased the ESPN Radio app so I can listen to Colin Cowherd’s entire show. I like Ben Maller on weekend overnights as well. Both are nationally syndicated. Which is saying that I think local sports talk is pathetic. Marty Lurie and Chris Townsend are about the only ones worth listening to. I used to listen a lot, now it’s limited only to the national guys and the two locals I mentioned. It’s amazing how great our broadcasters are (and always have been) compared to the awfulness of most of the talk show hosts.

    August 14th, 2012 9:14 am

  13. Mark M

    It’s taken a big hit with the Razor’s exit. But I still love Tolbert. He’s just one of the guys, someone I could see watching the game with. Total fun and love of sport. He’s the most natural on air personality and doesn’t mind being “inappropriate” when honesty is called for.

    I should add Greg Papa here. He’s the quintessential Bay Area sports personality. He has great history and knowledge of the area and I just like his style.

    Fitzgerald does a good job covering basketball games for the Warriors, and Olympics. But his show with Brooks is an abomination. Just listen.

    I don’t mind Damon Bruce at times as he can be fun. But his absurd social commentary blows me away when I wonder why a sports guy would think I want to hear about his stance on gay marriage and other items. Plus, his rants against Sabean are stupid. He made so many mistakes with his Giants stance over the years…..dump Sabean, sign Manny Ramirez, etc…. that I find it hard to believe how sports personalities can get away with never holding themselves accountable for their incorrect positions when history proves them wrong repeatedly. He is proof there is no accountability in sports talk. He’s just a blowhard.

    August 14th, 2012 9:15 am

  14. magic mike

    I prefer Fitz, he has the most knowledge, don’t mind his ego or telling callers when they are wrong. Hate clowns like Damon Bruce

    August 14th, 2012 9:17 am

  15. Dennis

    I likeTolbert. He keeps it lite. He is entertaining and respectful and doesn’t act like what he knows is all that important.

    August 14th, 2012 9:21 am

  16. soccerjim

    Pete Franklin.

    I did not like Mr Franklin when I first heard him. He started at KNBR around the time Radnich started. He was obnoxious, rude, and he did not like the “LA Raiders” , and a long list of other rude behaviors. After a while I realized the knowledge was unmatched. His history with other areas was excellent. He never talked about a sport he did not know about. When he came back to KNBR for the short stint, I made sure I listned to him every time he was on. I consider him the Michael Jordon of sports talk. If you got to listen to him, you were lucky.

    Mike and Don were not sports caster per say, but there week long show leading up to the Crosby Clam bake was Excellent, with all the great interviews. I miss that.

    August 14th, 2012 9:24 am

  17. Joej

    Can’t forget bout uncle towny!!! And I miss rick tittle

    August 14th, 2012 9:52 am

  18. Stan

    I hate to be a follower..but of all,Damon Bruce can go the longest without making me wince. Greg Papa- just a waste that he never had a sports show all these years. As he proved on Comcast,that Raider apologist who would yell at KNBR hosts when he was interviewed…wasn’t that cranky guy at all it turned out. Too bad he just does part time..but he’s already second best.
    Radnich? can fill the time..but you learned nothing His biggest flaw is fake sincerity. To say he loves somebody,that he endorses somebody as a great person,is just too phony. I’m sure Radnich has said many times he loves Lowell..on and on..and I wonder-how many times has he called Lowell and invited him for dinner?..or Dibly,or Krueger,or..well you get the picture.
    I don’t think daily praising of people is a good thing. It almost like mocking real friendship. And it cheapens something that should be important.
    But,he thinks its clever.
    I dont have much more of a list..they blur into sounding alike..Kreidler on 95.7 seems to have a brain. Tierney seems to be doing his homework on the Bay Area. Give him that..and trying to be original. They should all be that.

    August 14th, 2012 10:06 am

  19. Stan

    You can take Radnich out of Vegas,but you cant the Vegas out of Radnich..he’s like both Sammy AND Sinatra with the “I love ya baby and Your a credit to your race”..drippy sincerity..

    August 14th, 2012 10:12 am

  20. mark decker

    I actually found I was a much happier person when I stopped listening to local sports talk radio….Radnich is just a self obsessed ass that just incites negative energy…fitz is just everything that is wrong with the media when paid by a pro team….tolbert nice guy but do I really want to hear his insights? bruce and kruger sound smart but their insights if track em really aint that great….I tune in now to either music of the herd on espn radio……occassionaly rome for his guests and takes….

    August 14th, 2012 10:44 am

  21. CJ

    I would much rather listen to 95.7 than Homer central (KNBR). I actually used to like the Giants, but have been so disgusted with homer central that I would rather not listen to Baseball. In fact when Michael Urban was on KNBR I thought he was the absolute worst host ever, turns out that was because of the presumed edict by KNBR to never have an unkind word for the products. Since Urban has moved over to 95.7 he has really opened up and is very knowledgeable.

    August 14th, 2012 10:45 am

  22. Steve

    Sorry, I didn’t give reasons as requested. Marty Lurie respects the callers and keeps on point, Chris Townsend adds a lot of insight and isn’t afraid to criticize local teams when it is merited. KNBR hosts tend to shy away from criticizing everything local, unless the team or individual is playing so poorly that they would come off as complete idiots if they didn’t point out the negatives. Colin Cowherd is always thought-provoking in ways beyond sports – I learn something new every time I listen to him. Ben Maller is just plain funny.

    August 14th, 2012 10:47 am

  23. Peter

    Ted Robinson. I realize he is a guest host. Ted is refined, speaks clearly and with clarity. Often tough to fill time in radio, Ted has plenty to say without redundancies or circle talk or non-word fillers. He’s been around, knows many topics well.

    August 14th, 2012 11:16 am

  24. Ray P.

    I just know that Rod Brooks and I are twins that were separated at birth somehow (ignoring the fact that I am 59 and Jewish). He and I agree on everything and I find myself saying “That’s exactly what I said” many times during his show.

    August 14th, 2012 11:47 am

  25. hurricane225

    Like; Damon Bruce and Marty Lurie
    OK with Radnich
    Tolbert much better with Ralph
    don’t care: Murph and Mac and other guy with fitz
    don’t like: byrnes
    hate: Fitz

    August 14th, 2012 11:50 am

  26. Oldies - 103.7 listener

    These stations target the 13 – 39 demographic, don’t they? I guess that’s why
    I’m much less enthusiastic than years ago when I fell into that range.

    Love Ted Robinson and Kevin Lynch when they sub.

    Thought Bob Fitzgerald did a great job at the Olympics, but on his show
    he has the irritable quality of starting to giggle EVERY time that he thinks
    he is saying something funny. Even on the rare occasion when it is,
    it doesn’t work.

    August 14th, 2012 11:53 am

  27. Capts

    95.7 has issues, but at least it isn’t a non stop Giants commercial. Claiming to be the “Sports Leader” and ignoring the majority of the teams in the Bay Area is just sad.

    August 14th, 2012 12:06 pm

  28. Stan

    I ain’t saying he’s the greatest thing since sliced cheese..Damon has said things I sure didn’t agree with,but he and Greg Papa might be the only two sports hosts who could have fit in with KNBR in the 70′s prime with Frank Dill and Carter B. Davis.. Thinking men’s sports talk,. And they have voices for radio.

    August 14th, 2012 1:03 pm

  29. lameduck

    I prefer Marty. He gives the image of being a hard worker. It’s a job to him, but it comes across as a job he enjoys. I saw him on Sunday doing his pre game and he appeared thoughtful. Would you believe that he didn’t recognize me?
    He is the only host I’ve ever called – because I respect his opinion. When I called it was like I was talking to someone I knew. The conversation was natural and enjoyable.

    I wish he did football as well because I’m curious about what the pundits think about TO and Edwards in Seattle and how it relates to being ex 9ers along with the Carroll Harbaugh issues.

    August 14th, 2012 1:07 pm

  30. jdb

    Papa, Robinson, and Lurie consistently present reasoned, intelligent and informed commentary. No one else in the market is close.

    August 14th, 2012 1:26 pm

  31. Stan

    I know what Mark and Oldies 103 are saying.. It also seems to me Lowell,that the local stations pander more to IQ then age..some are going for those who can be sold magic beans. And those who will chase shiny things..
    I say,PBS and KQED radio could have a great sports segment with Lowell. And he could do it with none of that Bob Costus self importance. Costus I notice, is of the Michael Caine actor’s theory of conveying great,deep,ideas…you say them with no smile and NEVER blink. That fits Costus style to a T. No wonder Cosell dismissed Bob as the guy “Who waxes poetically at the infield fly rule”..!..good old Howard..

    August 14th, 2012 3:01 pm

  32. Jack Hammer

    For me it is Radnich going away…second would be Murph and Mack. Once 12 hits I am changing from KNBR. The rest are blah, blah, blah.

    August 14th, 2012 3:46 pm

  33. loneraider78

    I work nights. JT the Brick.

    Damon Bruce all day. Only one around here that’s not stuck on the teat of everything SF.

    August 14th, 2012 4:14 pm

  34. Curt

    Sports talk is supposed to be a fun and light diversion from the real world, so people who take sports in general or themselves too seriously are really a turn-off (e.g. Rick Barry, Ralph Barbierri). I really enjoy Tom Tolbert because he really does know his stuff, and not just basketball, and his is funny and fun to listen to. Larry Kruger is a little more serious of a fan, but I do like his knowledge and perspective. I used to enjoy Gary R. a long time ago – but it almost feels like he doesn’t want to have to do his show anymore, kinda sad.

    August 14th, 2012 4:16 pm

  35. Neal

    Fitz,Brook,Murp,Mac,B yrnes,Tolbert,Radnich,are hideous,Krueger knows sports but he dislikes Lowell so he sucks.Tierney hard to listen to, Bruce is the best.

    August 14th, 2012 6:57 pm

  36. Ed

    Damon Bruce, prepared, knowledgeable and willing to address touchy issues head on, i.e. Penn State, 49ers under Singletary and Giants to name a few. Too bad he is being wasted on that test pattern called 1050, should be on 680. Agree with some posters, Byrnes is very difficult to listen to. Byrnes is an amateur, Bruce is a professional broadcaster. Tolbert is excellent also, a guy who worked hard to excel at his craft, not some x-athlete who felt he was entitled.

    August 14th, 2012 9:14 pm

  37. russell

    I think Ralph pre-Tom was the ultimate. He took no guff from anybody, asked the toughest questions every single time, and did not care if anybody loved or hated him (at least not outwardly, he probably did care…). Perfect for my tastes. I used to think he was the best interviewer around, still don’t know if anybody tops him at his best. He was re-energized for a bit with Tom, and I have always liked Tom, but for my money the original Ralph is the standard of bay area radio and why 680 became “the sports leader”.

    August 14th, 2012 9:46 pm

  38. russell

    Now that I got that Ralph rant off my chest, I must say that today they all stink. My old loyalties have me listening to Murph/Mac on the way to work, and the station is my main preset, but I don’t think any of them are worth my time at all. I have become a political radio over sports radio guy, with AM radio still my love….

    August 14th, 2012 9:48 pm

  39. Johan K.

    Curtis Cowherd is the most interesting, lucid sports talk show host–only problem is that football/ basketball make up 90% of his show and East Coast baseball fills the slight remnant remaining. Locally any time Ted Robinson or Greg Papa are on anything its good radio. Ditto Marty Lurie. The rest of local sports radio is pretty weak-Chris Mr A’s Townsend used to bug me–but he’s a little more even handed these days and probably the most interesting of any of the local regulars. I have a 3+ hour commute daily and now listen mostly to music on the MP3–I’ll catch Kruk and Kuip in the morning and ocassionally will flip betwene the commercial leader (KNBR) and 95.7—95.7 has a MUCH better chance for getting me to listen for a segment.

    August 14th, 2012 10:22 pm

  40. Steve Depetris

    95.7, by far and away, is the best sports and entertainment station in this market. KNBR used to be somewhat entertaining but has gone steadily downhill in the past several years. Murph is fine, but I want to reach right thru my radio and punch Mac in the face everytime he interrupt Murph during a story. Mac – just please go away. Gary and Larry are fine, though Gary does seem to be phoning it in now. Fitz is good – I wish that Brooks would stop being a yes-man. Tom is fine though he is lazy.

    95.7 is very entertaining in the morning with the Rise Guys (funny and good sports opinion). The 10-2 block with John Lund, Urban and Papa has good opinion and one of the funniest bits I have ever heard on radio (Truth Machine).

    August 14th, 2012 10:28 pm

  41. Johnc

    I can’t pick a favorite. All of them have something to contribute. Mary Lurie is educational because he knows a lot and he has guests that are experts in various aspects of baseball.
    I like the way Tom Tolbert and Eric Byrnes interact because they both played professionally and they get focused on sports and statistics..a lot more information comes through than the days of Ralph.
    I enjoy the broadcasters of the Giant games especially John Miller and Kiper.

    August 15th, 2012 3:02 am

  42. Public animal

    95.7 is much better than KNBR – it’s fun to listen to and the personalities are more entertaining.
    The morning show that has Dan Dibley in the mix ( formerly of the am station) has a lot of really good energy and sports talk information.
    Chris Townsend may be the best the Game has to offer but Tierney is good ( too bad they lost Eric Davis).
    Thankfully Ralph was retired along with his irritating gravel voice
    And Radnich is way past his prime.
    My station is firmly set to 95.7.
    The Giants announcers are fabulous on KNBR but surprisingly the A’s are interesting as well.
    Choice is good.

    August 15th, 2012 5:35 am

  43. Frank in Minnesota

    I read the comments and for the most part I feel that most of you have been a little spoiled…if one was to go out and listen to what is out here (there), you would realize how lucky you are that you have interesting radio even if it isn’t of the quality that many of would like. Out here in the midwest has made me miss some of the sports talk i once heard in the Bay Area just a few years ago…and yes, i had my complaints about some of the same names brought up in the comments….but at least you have interesting radio!

    August 15th, 2012 6:46 am

  44. Hamp

    Wish Matt Maiocco and Mindi Bach had a radio program.

    August 15th, 2012 9:37 am

  45. Bob In Portland

    It used to bother me how Barbieri would go ballistic over OJ Simpson, lose control, go frothing at the mouth.

    I like Damon Bruce, but I’m not so down on the two guys opposite him. Have problems with Byrne. 95.7 had a weak signal when I was in the Bay Area but I occasionally go there on internet radio. Moving out of the area is readjusting my listening habits, but I have to say that generally the Bay Area is better than the local Portland shows. The Blazers and the Timbers just don’t do it for me, and I’ve got a grudge against that Duck mascot.

    August 15th, 2012 10:09 am

  46. Kommon Senze

    I’ll be honest. I have never been a fan of the style of any of the local talk show hosts. I can listen to them in short spurts, and find when there is real topical issues to listen to, that the shows are easier to listen to. I’m typically working when Damon Bruce is on, so I don’t get to listen to him often, but I did like listening to him when he was on KNBR in the evening time slot. Occasionally over schticky, but he delved into many topics.

    The guy who I always enjoy listening to is actually Bob Valvano, who does weekend evenings on ESPN (the ‘Bobby V’ show). Again, I don’t get to listen to him that often, but if I’m driving home from a dinner or a night out, I’ll tune in. He has a way of making the topics he chooses to discuss interesting without resorting to hackneyed sport euphemisms or being obnoxious.

    I should also mention, Lowell, that I do occasionally enjoy the TV show you participate in once in awhile – Chronicle Live. Sometimes it can get a little redundant when the news is sparse, but I like the forum of several sport writers, figures, etc. discussing topical issues. If there was a way to get something more like that on the radio and have more caller participation, it would be great (i.e., something like KQED’s Forum, with Michael Kraszny, but about sports).

    August 15th, 2012 10:16 am

  47. CohnZohn

    Thanks Kommon Senze, For a long time I would be a guest on KNBR, often with Ralph and Tom. But to compete with 95.7, KNBR started paying certain “experts” but did not pay columnists like me, Kawakami, Poole. So we don’t go on anymore. I’d feel like a dork working for free when my peers get paid. I may still be a dork anyway.

    August 15th, 2012 10:52 am

  48. Stan

    omg,Now no Melky man? I’m telling you it WAS THE STEROIDS IN COWS MILK. Add it up…

    August 15th, 2012 12:20 pm

  49. Kommon Senze

    Yeah, I’m aware of the ‘politics’ that began after 95.7 the Game came into the picture. Rich Lieberman, although sometimes overly pointed and inflammatory in his criticisms of Bay Area media personalities, has done a great job of providing updates on what’s been going on. It’s a shame that competition has actually made the programming worse rather than better. It’s the lack of quality discussion that has led me away from listening to any of the stations. Ralph and Tom’s show was the long-time standard bearer, imo, but Ralph’s premature departure has certainly hurt it. I forgot to mention it, because it’s not a show that’s on air anymore..

    ..still, if there were ever an opportunity to bring many of the sport personalities together on a ‘Forum’ like show with caller participation, I think it would be great. I like hearing the differing perspectives. It’s actually why, now, I prefer reading blogs and comments, because some of the best sports discussion happens amongst the fans who take the time to share their opinions in these types of forums.

    August 15th, 2012 12:34 pm

  50. Stan

    When a guy lifts his average up 100 points and develops huge arms and chest on what was an average sized man?..no surprise.
    But,if the NFL did what Baseball is doing..there would be no players to have a season. Yep,there is a very good reason for training camp loss of tempers. That many guys on roid rage competing for the big paycheck? Or why big heavy players can run like sprinters?..sure,like a Toyota on nitro.
    It really is too bad that some drugs that allow humans to reach their limits…cant be regulated instead of demonized. Even I wonder if a 600 foot HR can be done…would be great to see.

    August 15th, 2012 12:39 pm

  51. Jonathan

    I was a big fan of KNBR back in the days, but they weren’t living up to your name of bay area sports talk radio.. All they talked about was about the Giants, and 49ers, and barley ever talked about the Oakland Athletics, or Raiders.. I’m a huge A’s fan and well a 49ers fan. When 95.7 started, yeah they were little shaky, and still trying to find their footing, but know what they talk about everything.. A’s to Giants to Niners to Raiders.. They are the Flagship station for the A’s but still talk about the Giants.. Not on KNBR.. Its Giants all the time.. Never ever talk about the A’s. They are such homers to their teams its not even funny. Murph and Mac are the worst morning team ever.. THE Game ask some serious questions when KNBR without Ralph will throw softball questions. Ask Murph cuz he does it all the time. Thats why I switched over to 95.7 The Game.. Plus lot less commercials..

    August 15th, 2012 1:12 pm

  52. SteveD

    Adding to my previous comments, 95.7 has many more interviews (which I assume they are paying for – a troubling trend) and honest coverage of all of the Bay Area teams; although I like Murph quite a bit on KNBR, he should be ashamed of himself – he used to be a good reporter and he has become a shill for whatever KNBR is pushing, usually the Giants. But, I like the fact that each show, in addition to criticism and interviews, entertains, both with spirited interaction between hosts and between hosts and guests. The Rise Guys are especially good doing this.

    The comments I see that praise 95.7 for less commercials make a good point. I have a simple system – I will turn on KNBR during the day and if I get a commercial, I quickly tune 95.7. I believe that I am averaging 8/10 times hitting a commercial on KNBR when I do this. However, remember 95.7 needs commercials to stay in business.

    August 15th, 2012 5:40 pm

  53. Newark

    Marty Lurie is the best. Ted Robinson and Greg Papa are professionals. Eric Byrnes and Chris Townsend are hard to listen to. Damon Bruce is pretty good.

    August 17th, 2012 10:59 am

  54. The Oldman

    I enjoy Radnich but he is getting predictable.Kruger is good but better suited for late night hardcore enthusiasts.When Brooks starts lecturing and stuttering it drives me nuts.Fitz laughs at whatever he is talking about.Tolbert was better with Ralph but he asks 5 minute questions like Ralph did. I turn the radio off when he gets on those rants about the stupidest things.He will also say the same thing up to 3 times to make his point. I like Byrnes as long as he is with Tolbert, they bounce off each other well and Tolbert seems to stay on track much better with him.

    95.7 is out of my area although I enjoy Papa whenever I do hear him.

    August 21st, 2012 9:11 pm

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