Wednesday, May 25, 2011

KGO's Ed Baxter retires, Jon Bristow promoted

 Baxter       Bristow         Schaub
Longtime KGO morning anchor Ed Baxter is retiring after 35 years at the station, and Jon Bristow has been named as his replacement. Bristow will team up with current co-anchor Jennifer Jones Lee for the weekday 5-9 shift.

Baxter has spent the last 11 years as co-anchor of the morning news. "The schedule of early morning hours has taken a toll and I'm looking forward to sleeping in," Baxter said in a statement from the station.

"We're looking forward to the fresh new sound of the KGO Morning News with Jon and Jennifer," said General Manager Deidra Lieberman said in the same statement. "Jon is known and loved by the KGO audience, and I know he'll be an outstanding fit." Bristow has been with the station as a reporter/anchor for more than 20 years.

In a related note, former KPIX reporter Jeffrey Schaub has joined KGO-AM. His title is reporter/anchor. He was a 19-year veteran of KPIX.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just arrived back in the Bay Area from traveling to this shocking news.

Best wishes to Ed in his retirement.

Sincerely hope this wasn't a contact renewal/salary thing. I doubt it was, but it sure seemed like the great Rosie Allen took early retirement during this (long) current salary cutting era that's seen too many changes at KGO. And now Ed annouces what seems to be early retirement.

Jim and Ted- who helped create and define KGO's decades long golden age- both seemed to stay in their positions as long as possible, with Jim staying on a special correspondent for several years after he left the Morning News. Those days are apparently over, gone for good -or otherwise (sigh).

I used to love KGO's news programs. Now I only like them. After Ed leaves, take that "like" down a big notch.

Props to Ed for successfully transitioning to the Morning News filling- in his own way- the huge shoes left vacant by Jim Dunbar. Props also to Jennifer Jones-Lee and Ed (and Mickey and Jack) for developing a good fit for her in the morning drive slot.

But it pretty much stops there, unfortunately. Greg Jarrett's being let go and Rosie's early retirement has left the afternoon news in the hands of 2 people who are fine reporters but only mediocre anchors: Chris Bretcher and Brett Burkhart. KGO's major market sound is lost when that team comes on.

You can have one strong anchor and one weaker one, but not 2 average-or -less anchors. Everytime I've heard Jon Bristow fill in as an anchor, I'd think "Get him on the afternoon news, fulltime!"- ideally replacing Brett-an award winning reporter, but always, sadly, an awkward anchor.

Now Jon will be replacing the irreplaceable Ed Baxter on the morning news, KGO's best possible move given Ed's sudden leaving, I guess.

Ideally: Ed stays another 5 years, Rosie never left and is paired with Jon Bristow in the afternoon.

And Mickey never left.

Michael Luckoff (sp) tossing in the towel at KGO radio was a sure sign that things were not going to get any better personnel/anchor/budget wise ..for this once super-dominant station.

Cut your talent budget -and other budgets- and expect listeners to keep tuning in? Bad math..

Good Luck Ed, thanks for the many years of great radio! Truly, sadly for listeners: end of an era.

bret said...

It all is the result of one bad word... Citadel

Anonymous said...

Best of luck Ed! Have fun in Hawaii. You deserve it!

Anonymous said...

Baxter was a pompous blowhard. They've got a chance to climb back to No. 1 with him out of the way. They probably need to an FM, too, like KCBS did.

Anonymous said...

this happened suddenly with no customary send off .. anybody know if this was a planned retirement or a sudden firing?

Anonymous said...

Finally!!! Now I will start listening to KGO in the morning again. Ed Baxter stumbled over words, gave the wrong time consistently, and interjected too much personal opinion. Thought he was supposed to be a reporter, not a opinionated whiner. John Bristow is a professional; it will be a pleasure to listen to him.

Anonymous said...

Baxter was known by most within the staff to be a pompous narccissitic idiot who would mistreat his grandmother if it suited the plan. He always wanted to be a Dunbar but never held the talent nor the discipline to develop true radio character that could define a program - except for his temper tantrums. We are not said to hear this news. Now, just waiting for Ronn Owens to recognize his health problems have taken their toll and he would do us all a favor to allow again - real talent to step in.

Anonymous said...

Woah, "Anonymous on June 3rd" said it all ;-). "Special" Ed was an over-rated lightweight in a real newsperson's job. Glad to see him go and give the low-key but quick witted Jon a shot. KGO really has changed in the last 5 years, and unfortunately, not for the best in my opinion. I guess when bigger and bigger corporations buy up stations and try sueezing more profit out, the "product" suffers. The sad and untimely passing of Pete Wilson was really tough. Gil is a great new addition, though lately he's been pulling the phychologist's couch out a tad too often.

I think Ronn is still the best at what he does, given the competition.

Anonymous said...

Count me among those saying "Good Riddance" to Ed Baxter. Besides injecting his heavily left wing bias into the news and politics, Baxter was so annoying always, always talking over the network newsman or woman at the top of each hour. I finally had to switch to KCBS to stop hearing Baxter's hateful comments about Bush, Palin or anyone Republican or Evangelical. Glad Baxter is gone. Not a minute too soon.

Anonymous said...

He is greatly missed!

Anonymous said...

Ed Baxter was an idiot. Poor Jennifer Jones was always
having to jump in and bail him out. I doubt he
just retired. Why didn't the station announce it
at some point so he could say good-bye
after 35 years? There's definitely more to
this story. Regardless, thank God he's gone.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad he's gone. Bristow is better and has a great sense of humor. Baxter was pleasant enough, but he bent over backwards not to offend the public, which makes for a very lightweight broadcast. Ed, have a nice retirement.

Barry said...

Ed Baxter is a Living legend in the Bay Area. There is only one good thing to come out of this: Ed is a fine table tennis player, but for years his game has been hindered by his early morning hours. Now, he will be able to stay late and play. KGO's and the Bay Area's loss is the Concord Table Tennis Club's gain.

Anonymous said...

Ed may have been a simpleton but none compare to Bill Press who, if this station hires him even for one substitution I will never listen to henceforth, is a self righteous know it all.

Ed tried to do a good job. Not everyone in this media can be on 100%.

David Kaye said...

Now that the dust has settled I finally find the KGO Morning News very listenable. Jon Bristow adds a superb interviewing ability and a good humor that Ed Baxter didn't have. I now listen to KGO's morning news as much as I do KQED's, and that's saying something.