(photo: Don's on the left)
Our friends say there’s long been corporate pressure to reinstall an afternoon news show on KIRO, but the Seattle office is reticent BECAUSE RON & DON GET THE BEST RATINGS ON THE STATION (emphasis ours).
Bonneville's thinking hard before dumping the dopes.
Ron Upshaw and Don O'Neill (m-f, 3-7p) were transient FM losers who stumbled back to town after fleeing New Orleans in the Katrina aftermath. In a year or so of filling-in in the chaos that was the end times of the Entercom’s regime at KIRO, they waggled their way into afternoon drive. The rest, except for many embarrassing moments and a parade of producers, is history... and, unfortunately, the present.
Now they’re the hottest show on the station.
Ron & Don's ascension mirrors KIRO's descension. They still sound like morning zoo animals in a time slot on the station which once rivaled All Things Considered in the ratings.
And they did it with celebrity name-dropping; deep analysis of reality teevee events; sports trivialities; sexual intenuendos; beer google tropes; trumped-up, on-air disagreements with each other, and pretending to be more ignorant than they actually are.
They don’t sound like KIRO… or maybe it's KIRO doesn’t sound like KIRO.
What’s for the future? If not news, what? A fill-in/try-out Friday by ex-morning jocks Marty Reamer and Jodi Brothers, set adrift last year from The Mountain, affronted staffers and had them all, “Who are these guys? " they mumbled, "They suck.” (R & D may be idiots but they're the idiots we know).
A KIRO-ite wrote us recently to say they heard Don bragging that he's been "doing radio so long he doesn't even have to think about it anymore." No shit.
Make of that what you will, but much as we dislike Dori, we for one are "troubled" and "disappointed" that not even the Mighty Mite can coax more signals into those little meters than these two.
That said (and that's said, that that's said) KIRO's got big challenges. And although we love to trash the status quo, we haven't the foggiest notion which way they should go.