take your answer off the air...

  • HorsesAss.Org: the straight poop on WA politics & the press
    progressive brilliance from the guy who pointed out Tim Eyman's nascent horse's-assedness
  • Talker's Magazine
    The quirky talk radio trade mag. Check the Talk Radio Research Project- it's not very scientific, but places on the top 15 talkers list (scroll down to Talk Radio Audiences By Size)) are as hotly contested as Emmys (and mean just about as much).
  • The Advocate
    No, not THAT Advocate... it's the Northwest Progressive Institute's Official Blog.
  • Media Matters
    Documentation of right-wing media in video, audio and text.
  • Orcinus
    home of David Neiwert, freelance investigative journalist and author who writes extensively about far-right hate groups
  • Hominid Views
    "People, politics, science, and whatnot" Darryl is a statistician who fights imperialism with empiricism, gives good links and wry commentary.
  • Jesus' General
    An 11 on the Manly Scale of Absolute Gender, a 12 on the Heavenly Scale of the 10 Commandments and a 6 on the earthly scale of the Immaculately Groomed.
  • Howie in Seattle
    Howie Martin is the Abe Linkin' of progressive Seattle.
  • Streaming Radio Guide
    Hellishly long (5795!) list of radio streaming, steaming on the Internets.
  • The Naked Loon
    News satire -- The Onion in the Seattle petunia patch.
  • Irrational Public Radio
    "informs, challenges, soothes and/or berates, and does so with a pleasing vocal cadence and unmatched enunciation. When you listen to IPR, integrity washes over you like lava, with the pleasing familiarity of a medium-roast coffee and a sensible muffin."
  • The Maddow Blog
    Here's the hyper-interactive La Raych of MSNBC. daily show-vids, freakishly geeky research, and classy graphics.
  • Northwest Broadcasters
    The AM, FM, TV and digital broadcasters of Northwest Washington, USA and Southwest British Columbia, Canada. From Kelso, WA to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, BC - call letters, formats, slogans, networks, technical data, and transmitter maps. Plus "recent" news.
  • News Corpse
    The Internet's chronicle of media decay.
  • The Moderate Voice
    The voice of reason in the age of Obama, and the politics of the far-middle.
  • News Hounds
    Dogged dogging of Fox News by a team who seems to watch every minute of the cable channel so you don't have to.
  • HistoryLink
    Fun to read and free encyclopedia of Washington State history. Founded by the late Walt Crowley, it's an indispensable tool and entertainment source for history wonks and surfers alike.

right-wing blogs we like

  • The Reagan Wing
    Hearin lies the real heart of Washington State Republicans. Doug Parris runs this red-meat social conservative group site which bars no holds when it comes to saying who they are and who they're not; what they believe and what they don't; who their friends are and where the rest of the Republicans can go. Well-written, and flaming.
  • Orbusmax
    inexhaustible Drudgery of NW conservative news
  • The Radio Equalizer
    prolific former Seattle KVI, KIRO talk host speaks authoritatively about radio.
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« 2010 'heavy hundred' ain't so heavy | Main | See you on the radio! ~ the commentators »

March 02, 2010



It's simply not possible that they could be #1 in the most literate city in America.

I think Seattle area listeners would reward an intelligent local host with good ratings. I think the real reason R&D or Frank Shiers never really get off the ground in this market is because, ultimately, they just aren't all that bright. They know how to talk into a microphone and work the pregant pauses and the hyperbole, but the things they actually say leave listeners feeling empty and 18% dumber.

I've wondered why better talent hadn't presented itself by now, and I'm left to conclude that the radio industry has weakened to the point where anyone worth listening to is making better money in some other profession.

Luke Burbank seemed like the best bet, and his affiliation with Dave Ross suggests that someone agrees with me, but he's just not willing to hear criticism. I hate to say it but Tommy008 is right about him. Since he has switched to a podcast show it has become looser and less professional with each passing month. Now it's little more than him and his girlfriend chatting for an hour every day around noonish. There's absolutely no structure, no guarantee of quality, no guarantees of any sort. I know people like Burbank. They're very talented but they're off in their own little world. They're not team players.

Tacoma Radio Listener

Well, are you sure that is a pic of Don? Looks like the pro wrestler that went by the name "Sandman" on ECW. Looks like he's holding his trademark weapon too.

I do find myself listening more to John Carlson on KVI now vs R&D.

After looking at the latest PPM numbers, I would say the KIRO flip has not been good....how long before they flip back and fire Brock and Salk? and KC isn't really doing that good either imho.

woody held

As crazy as it seems, I don't doubt that Ron & Don are number one in ratings. That's because, by the same token, I doubt the portrayal of Seattle as some hyper-educated, super-literate, intellectual bastion.

The Seattle Times home page lists the top 10 viewed, commented, & emailed stories. Invariably at least 3-5 of the top ten are from the sports section. Seattle is far from an intellectual bastion. Sorry.


There was a time in broadcasting in which you would never think of claiming you or your show was rated at a certain level when in reality it wasn't. However, in the age we live in today, you can say anything--even when it's not true or can't be proved---and if you say it enough times, you'll start to believe it and so will others. Are R&D the highest rated/#1 talk show in Seattle? I'm sure they are....in some very obscure demo range. So they can say that all day.

I admit I listened to them yesterday in the first hour and Don was constantly beating this "#1/Adam Klein" issue to a dead pulp--as though it matter to anyone outside the studio and then Ron keels cover, and from there with Don flying solo, the show just went right into the crapper. Don was literally just flaying about with nothing of substance to talk about or stand on. In light of what happened to Ron (real or imaginary), I would have called in Shiers if he was available or put on a 'best-of' tape because the wheels just flew off---which gives you an idea of what little substance the show has.

But back to the #1 claim. With today's rating system and the total lack of responsibility, it's like defining what "is" is.


Well it ain't when you're here.

Looking at the top stories is a useless metric. You'd be better off looking at the most viewed type of story, but then again we have no assurance that Seattle Times readers are representative of Seattlites in general.

Dan D.

My wife and I are very glad that John Carlson is back. some one to fall back on after the first round of NPR news.


Carlson is using the Tea party to generate some controversy. Its old aready. Back to sports, How bout them M's

Paul Johnson

Well it sure IS NOT AM1090 #1 or 2 or 3 or anywhere now is it Joanie types! You fools still don't get it! Very few people are socialists in this country. Even here in Seattle. I doubt their claim however. Think Monson brings in more but midday has fewer listeners than "drive time". That is logical libs.

Paul Johnson

Oh, and nice photo of Don. I don't like the egotist, But i must say HOOD is an even bigger one. Besides, what part of his criticism of Adam Klein don't you agree with. You never get to substance on this worthless page. You hide the filth in Olympia and you should choke on it yourself in the middle of the night. Your time is about to expire. RIH

woody held

Andrew, the metric that you criticize does pretty much what you say you want. The Times lists the 10 most viewed stories. Invariably the single biggest category of most viewed stories are sports stories--M's, Huskies, Seahawks, etc. I can't prove that Times readers are representative, but since the Times is now the only local paper, it stands to reason that their audience is pretty representative.

Besides, how do we explain Ron & Don's longevity in the Seattle market (almost 4 years now)?


Maybe they simply work for all the vinyl windows and gutter blockers they can eat... :-)

PJ - What did our fine host ever do to you that pisses you off so much? It's HIS blog and he is kind enough to allow others to post. If he were to shut it down where would you post next?


woody held, you're just not getting it.

It's likely that sports stories are highest ranked because they have wide spread appeal and they are singular events. Intellectually provocative stories come in many different shapes and sizes and have a different appeal to different kinds of people. You have to look at it as a whole, and now in terms of specific stories.

If you go the http://seattletimes.nwsource.com you'll see that sports are not the top story, nor the second, nor the third, and it's only on rare occasion that sports are the headlining story. That pretty much shoots your theory in the foot.

Gregory McKie

Ron and Don are Buffoons.

I am a long time KIRO listener of over 19 years. Early in 2006 I was 1 of 25 in four focus groups. I was the only one to stand up for Ron and Don. Everyone in my group hated them. Today they are nothing but buffoons. The show lacks any semblance of substance.

I have posted my thoughts about them on their blog only to be deleted every time. The two of them could be replaced by one person with talent for ½ the pay and still get twice the show.

The show is a waste of wattage.

woody held

As further evidence of anti-intellectualism in Seattle, there's also the tendency of Seattlites to quickly devolve into angry invective and insult ("you're just not getting it").

It is so typical of Seattlites to go this route, and I believe may well correlate with the success of R&D.


I don't know that I would call that" angry invective", but at least we agree that you were wrong.

Dave Ross is very, very boring...

i think the pic is of UFC fighter Keith Jardine without his mouthpiece........i enjoyed hearing Don go off on pompous ass Adam Klein...... Klein did interrupt Don.... even though Ron had asked him whether hed like to have the Lieutenant's cell number,and Klein felt he was responding to the query.. Ron was still talking and it was rude to just butt in like that...

Obama is a black man

The show is a clear illustration of the 'dumbing down of America'. In the early days I actually thought the 'simpleton-approach' was a schtick. Now I honestly believe these guys are the equivalent of picking up a couple of guys sitting at your local sports bar.

They are also ambulance chasers and Jerry Lewis wannabes with all their telethon crap. They need another tear jerk story or I'd have to believe they're soon out of here.

Dave Ross is very, very boring...

Ron lost me when he admitted to running home like a little girl when his date's bully ex-boyfriend punched her out at a bar when he was 21 or so.... Don should just do the show by himself....Ron 's been sick for 2 days and i don't miss anything he says.....Don can actually be funny....

Mike Barer

Ron and Don remind me a great deal of Ryan and Ryan whom I used to work with at KYYX. I think there ratings are good because they cannot really be pigeonholed. They are not particularly Cons. or Lib they are not sports talk. They just talk about what most people talk about with their friends. That is what puts people at ease.


Bottom line is this: As long as advertisers are willing to sponser the show in a way that makes KIRO cold hard cash, Ron & Don have a show.


No the bottom line is that they claim to be #1 but by all accounts are not. That's false representation, cynical and dishonest.


The R&D train wreck resembles local TV news in one respect: you consistently feel you're better informed and more intelligent than the talent.

Just as I think it would be excruciating to make dinner conversation with Joyce Taylor, I think it would be physically painful to try to connect with R&D. They get on the wrong side of issues they know nothing about; they take half-baked positions and shout down smarter, calmer opponents; they're crass, buffoonish and obvious. They're the radio equivalent of half-bright, ball-chasing-crazy Irish setters, and R&D is one of the few radio shows I turn off owing to low-IQ pandering.

What I can't tell is whether this is really them or if it's a cynical act. They did a brief Morning Zoo-type stint on FM (the Buzz?) a few years ago and they were salacious, crude and really unpleasant; when they moved to KIRO they took on these big, dumb, but PG-rated Berenstain Bears personas. So I think and hope they're a lot smarter off mike, and just tailor a pitch to whatever station + demo they're working for. That doesn't make up for the fact that the R&D show is virtually unlistenable, and is a tragic, dumb-and-dumber flagship for a formerly great, now tattered and dented radio station like KIRO.

Dave (not dave ross)

andrew remember kiro had dave ross in the ron and don slot at one time and it didnt work either.
Like him or not ross is no radio slouch, however being constantly interrupted in that drive time slot by news, commericals, traffic, weather, and god knows what leaves less than 19 minutes per hour for an actual 'show'. and those are 19 minutes chopped and diced so that even ross couldnt get anything coherent across before the next break. I dont know what else will work other than quick bits or mindless entertainment topics. Perhaps some of you are correct in saying one host, like some of the vaction fill ins for that slot could present a more even and informative show. I think ron and don are better than most people give them credit for, and have done alot of good for causes in the pacific northwest.

Dave (not dave ross)

in addition for my money the mens room on KISW, has more chemistry, natural talent, honesty, non pc seattle fakeness, and humor than anything in that time slot. mr hood can denegrate them with the fart and toilet comment, god knows they are flatulent, but also very talented and genuinely funny and real.


IF Ron and Don have 250,000 listeners, and that's a huge IF, the key to remember with radio ratings is that's the number for a WEEK of radio listening. Not the number of people who tune in every day. At any given moment, based on their claim, that means they'd have 50,000 people listening to their show. One other thing I've learned about radio ratings over the years, that does not mean 50,000 people listen to the entire 3 or 4 hour show, can't remember what they're doing now. That means 50K people listen at some point during their show for 5 minutes or more. A far leap from their grandious claim, but they're assuming most people will never check up on them. Glad you did Blathering one. Keep on 'em.

Dori is the world's "tiniest" man(hehe if you know what i mean)

Adam Klein is a full of himself jackass who wouldn't even get Don's name right (he kept calling him Dave). Come on. Don is the only guy in town who can properly tell off a creep like Klein. MONSON CAN TRY , BUT HE CAN'T QUITE BRING IT OFF...


Good job by Don in exposed Adam Kline as a cockroach. There are many other cockroaches in public office in this state and larger scale cockroaches in Washington DC. Kudos for shining a light on this cockroach named Kline.

woody held

The past week has been somewhat anomalous, but check out today's top 10 read stories at the Times:

Most read
1.Senate proposal: Add income tax on wealthy to cut sales tax for everyone
2.Missing skier, snowboarder turn up at ranger station
Seahawks wide receiver Nate 3.Burleson signs with Detroit
4.Restricted free agent Brandon Marshall will visit Seahawks
5.Pair's hike: 26 miles, all night, wrong way
6.Canadian paper money to go plastic in late 2011
7.Huskies stuff Oregon, 86-72, in their final meeting at Mac Court
8.Idol Confessions | 'American Idol' mercifully says goodbye to a few more hopefuls
9.Pistons' Stuckey collapses on bench, in stable condition | NBA
10.Kirkland securities broker, target of probe, tries to sell jewelry "

1-politics, 2,5,10 local news, 6 misc. foreign news. The rest all sports and fluff. Hence it really would not surprise if there are a ton of Seattlites who really do listen to R&D.

Add in in the childishness element (as so conveniently shown by Andrew), and clearly there is a sizable niche for a R&D in Seattle.

George Carlin said it well: "I prefer to see things the way they are, not the way people wish they were."

Pompom Girl

I am in the 60+ female category, on the plus side of the bell curve, with a serious job that I love, but often it is tense and wears me down during the course of the day. On the way home, I ALWAYS turn on Ron and Don, and it's like having a couple of friends in the car who chat with me and keep me chuckling. By the time they're doing their Top 5 at 5, I don't WANT to listen to pompous NPR commentators or anyone else disecting the news. I'm ready for a light touch on the events of the day, and Ron and Don provide it. Apparently there are others in Seattle like me. The day I get in the car and find that KIRO has replaced them with something more cerebral, I will commit hari kari by impaling myself on my steering wheel. John Curley? Oh, please! Luke Burbank? Is any human on earth more full of himself? How could anything have every been less structured or less interesting than TBTL??? (Occasionally my evening drive is late, so yes, I heard that train wreck more than once.) Lay off D&R. Leave well enough alone.

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    pacific nw talk stations

    • KIRO 710ESPN Seattle 710 KHz
      Games and sports-blabber
    • KIROFM 97.3
      Multi-format: news and nearly all local talk. This is where classic KIRO AM news talk radio went... hopefully, not to die. The home of Dave Ross & Luke Burbank, Dori Monson, Ron & Don, Frank Shiers, Bill Radke, Linda Thomas, Tony Miner and George Noory.
    • KUOW FM 94.9
      Seattle's foremost public radio news and talk.
    • KVI am 570 KHz
      Visit the burnt-out husk of one of the seminal right-wing talkers in all the land. Here's where once trilled the reactionary tones of Rush Limbaugh, John Carlson, Kirby Wilbur, Mike Siegel, Peter Weissbach, Floyd Brown, Dinky Donkey, and Bryan Suits. Now it's Top 40 hits from the '60's & '70's aimed at that diminishing crowd who still remembers them and can still hear.
    • KTTH am 770 KHz
      Right wing home of local, and a whole bunch of syndicated righties such as Glennn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Lars Larsony, and for an hour a day: live & local David Boze.
    • KPTK am 1090 KHz
      Syndicated liberal talk. Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes, Norman Goldman fill in the large hole to the left on Northwest radio dial.
    • KLFE AM 1590 kHz
      Syndicated right-wing 2nd stringers like Mark Levin, Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dennis Miller and Hugh Hewitt inhabit this timid-voiced neighbor honker for your radio enjoyment (unless you're behind something large like Costco).
    • KOMOAM
      News, traffic, Ken Schram and John Carlson.
    • Washington State Radio Stations
      Comprehensive list of every danged AM & FM station on the dial.
    • KKOL am 1300 KHz
      Once a rabid right-wing talker, except for Lou Dobbs, it's all business....