I thought it smelled funny. Or to be more precise, I thought it sounded funny: My morning radio station, KFOG went into a roll call of its playlist, A through Z this past week. I didn't think much about it at first. This kind of "clever" promotion has occurred before. The most certain thing about it was that you could count on wading through certain phrases or words: "Ain't" and "Love" for example. But last Monday morning, I noticed something else. There was only one voice chatting up the experience between songs. The guy who had so recently been relegated to news and traffic was now suddenly center stage, without a mention of the rest of the morning crew. No Webster. No Irish Greg. Just Greg Gory counting us through the alphabet.
Initially, I was ready to imagine a day where Webster was off for the day. Perhaps he had a touch of laryngitis, or maybe he was off on a family retreat somewhere in Michigan, or wherever it was that he originated as an on-air personality. :Yet there was no mention of it.
Admittedly, I did not listen to the entire show. I was riding my bike for a section of it, and then when it was time to go out and take my turn on playground duty, I turned it off. There could have been some explanation. On the second day, as we navigated through the letter "B," I waited for some discussion of where the rest of the gang was. there was no announcement. I turned to the station's web site and looked at the tab marked "Airstaff." Irish Greg and Webster had been disappeared. Of course, there was no Greg Gory either, but this only heightened the intrigue. A quick search of the bay area radio forums and blogs revealed the truth: The Morning Show, as I had come to know it, was no more.
I'm not going to opine at great length about the relationship I had to these voices to which I had only recently been introduced. Webster had a tough road replacing the legendary Dave Morey, and Irish Greg just seemed to be chiming in from the background to make the place sound more crowded and convivial. And I've already lamented the departure of Peter Finch, the news guy. As Robert Frost wrote, "Nothing gold can stay." Not that the KFOG morning show was gold, but sometimes it was shiny and pleasing to the ear. It was comfortable in its normalcy. Maybe a gold sweatshirt would be a more apt metaphor.
Regardless, that crew is gone. The old gang has been thrown under the proverbial bus while behind the screen, the great and terrible Oz continues his machinations. There have been sideways announcements of the new show appearing after Memorial Day, once we have heard "Zoot Suit Riot." More rock, less talk? Okay. Oldies? If we must. Prank phone calls? No thank you. I'll listen to the alphabet as the tension continues to mount.