Rich Lieberman does not play well with others. If you’ve read his blog, 415 Media, you get the impression Lieberman hates everybody in tv news and news-talk radio. There must be the rare newsy that gains the respect of Rich Lieberman, I’m sure. There has to be at least one. Most of the San Francisco area talking heads get a dressing down each day, and the more familiar I become with the talent in that region, I think Lieberman may be dead-on with his critiques.
Concerning Ryan Yamamoto, formerly with KOMO 4 news, now the main anchor at KPIX 5/SF: There is a rumor that Yamamoto will be demoted. Apparently, the powers that be at KPIX, have seen the light, according to Lieberman. Ryan Yamamoto is not a strong presence as a news anchor. He might do well with short feature stories, like covering the opening of a skateboard park. Then again, his energy level may not be up to it.
I agree with Lieberman on his assessment of Anne Makovec, another from KPIX, who we now see as the anchor of KSTW’s Seattle Now News. Makovec is a stiff.
I want to say that is where our similarities end. Because Rich Lieberman is just a guy who hates everybody in San Francisco radio and tv. I try to stay current with his blog, but sometimes I have to turn away, because his assessments become angry and the toxicity of his posts starts bringing gloom to the room. Our readers know that, as George W. Bush said, “I’m a loving guy” and the harshness of Lieberman’s posts is sometimes overwhelming.
Rich Lieberman lets it all hang out. He has attracted a huge following. You either love him or hate him.
There are legions of females in the SF Media who despise him, and have tried to cancel, dox, and de-monetize him. —
Twenty-nine female journalists from around the San Francisco Bay Area have united against a local blogger who has made comments about many of them in his posts they describe as disturbing and sexist, commenting on the “boob power” of one anchor in one story and headlining another “Boner of the Day.”
Describing himself as a feminist, Lieberman said he treats women with respect, decency and admiration and said some of his best friends are women.
These femi-n–is, uh, ladies, were somewhat successful, causing the loss of at least one advertiser. This comes with the territory. Some may think he is mysoginistic, vile, hateful. Rich Lieberman gives his honest take on the state of radio-tv media in the San Francisco area, pulling no punches, often getting personal, getting down into the mud. The more insiders willing to spill the tea with him the better. There seem to be quite a few that will rat out a co-anchor or someone in management.
Those lines are just within one of Rich Lieberman’s recent blog posts. Day in and day out, non-stop, station personnel are exposed in the caustic manner that his readers expect from him. Many disagree in comments on the pages of 415Media. There is a give and take of opinion, but 99.99% of the time, everybody sucks according to Rich Lieberman. And he stands by his opinion. He happily lays out the case as to why they suck so bad.
Rich Lieberman’s scorched-earth style is opinionated, unforgiving and relentless. 415Media is like passing a car wreck on the freeway. You don’t want to see the carnage, but just can’t turn away.
But it’s 2022. Times have changed. Hell, even Darya Folsom, has (sometimes) read the room.
I’ll regret the last sentence –you get my drift. I’m sure I’ll have ample opportunities to rip KRON.
*I remember Darya from Phoenix tv news. If she could have worn a cheerleader outfit to get more attention, she would have. A bit of an airhead, as I recall.
At QZVX.COM, we hear rumblings, unhappiness in the newsroom, lousy pay, idiot news director, brown-nosing co-worker. It’s the same in all markets. Rich Lieberman prefers to tear open the curtain, revealing more than you might expect to learn about the Bay area personalities behind the microphones, and their bosses. Check it out at 415Media. It gets ugly, wear your mask and stand back six feet.
20 thoughts on “The Grinch Behind 415 Media”
Not the place to go if you want to know… what’s right/if there’s anything that’s good …about Bay Area media.
The people he ridicules have long since learned to disregard anything Lieberman says.
His blog is for fans/non-fans of Bay Area TV (mostly) and radio (sparingly). Not for the folks who work within it.
I’m sure it’s difficult for the media members to read —criticism is always a hard pill to swallow. Lieberman, however harsh, seems to hit the nail on the head every time. He also seems to scoop everyone else in the business.
Maybe so, but everyone in every newsroom in the Market reads him. Trust me.
The problem with him runs way deeper. I’ll explain:
Cutting to the chase, he is a jealous and bitter man. He laments the fact that he was never successful as a media personality in the Bay Area. Sure, he dabbled in radio, appeared in a commercial, was a panelist on local TV round tables (no pun intended) and was given a platform on the, then SF Chronicle affiliated, SF Gate as one of their “City Brights,” a local blogging section. A position he was fired from because of the misuse of a 49ers media credential. A lot of the players in SF media then turned their backs on him.
Shortly thereafter, he got bitter and began to take aim at the local media via his blog. But that was disingenuous because in the meantime, he was sending emails to local media personalities and producers begging to be a part of their shows and/or letting him on-air. When that didn’t work, the toxicity really started. He would, unethically, write emails to local media personalities offering up a quid pro quo, vis a vie favorable coverage in his blog in exchange for airtime (I have seen/read these emails. They’re bad). On more than one occasion when he didn’t get what he wanted, he went scorched earth in his blog against an on-air talent and the show this person was on. Not a good look.
Rich Lieberman is a disgrace. He is a bitter, name-calling, misogynist who deserves all the backlash and professional downfalls that have come his way. I haven’t even gotten into the way he tries to throw his weight around at local eating/drinking establishments. Restaurant managers and bartenders hate him. Where he drinks locally, I think it’s because he’s cheap and loud. On multiple occasions he will post false blind items about alleged affairs or trysts between people in the same newsroom, but it’s all lies. One time he made a reference alluding to a “romantic scandal and how it happened at a local restaurant. So I asked the bartender (friend of mine) who was, or would have been working the day and time Rich wrote about it and it never happened. They were incredibly upset that he used their establishment and vowed to not serve him if he ever came in.
I don’t read him as much now, because he is just so damn negative. You can tell he’s a sad man in his posts. It feels dirty watching someone’s mental health decline right before your eyes. Furthermore, and this is his right, he deletes any critical comment about him or his content, in the comment section. Glass houses, I guess. Plus, his comment section reads like the scribbling of patients at a metal hospital. Racist, bigoted, ultra right wing whack jobs who are screaming into the void. These people make the YouTube and Yahoo! comment sections sound sane. Almost.
In closing, while people in newsrooms read him, his words carry a lot less weight than they did when he first started. I actually liked his City Brights blogs. But now, if you’re a masochist, go ahead and click on415 Media. But when you read his words, take them with a pound of salt.
I would give money for a time machine and go back to 1990 and tell everyone to jump off a cliff before they get to 9-11 much less today’s freakshow.
You are wrong about Rich Lieberman. The fact is, that almost all of the time, he is RIGHT in his stories, especially those about what is happening behind the scenes in local media. And while he does not seem to be politically correct, who cares? I thought that was outlawed anyway during the previous administration. Anyway, while some of the local female anchors/reporters did sign a letter asking him to be taken down, every one of them all had axes to grind because of comments he made about them. The fact is, that the comments he makes are pretty much right on. He knows about the behind the scenes things at KTVU, KPIX, KGO, KNTV, KRON, etc, and when he writes about it, sometimes people don’t like what he says, or think “no way”, but in the end, whether its a few days later, etc, it comes out that once again, Rich was right and knew what he was writing about. Nobody else does what he does, in reporting news/etc behind the scenes in local media. He is a treasure that should be embraced and yes, he should be THANKED for what he does.
You haven’t even scratched the surface on Lieberman. I too used to believe the “he calls it like he sees it” no BS straight shooter persona he likes to play up. But I’ve since learned there’s a lot more to the story. The crap that’s gone on behind the scenes between Lieberman (and his manic depressive bi-polar personality) and the talent he writes about could keep Page Six busy for weeks. It’s not just that he criticizes but plays favorites and you can be on his good side but if you ever do anything he takes personal offense to, whether valid or not, you are now permanently on his s__t list. He’ll kiss your ass right up until you spurn him and then he turns and woe be you. The list of anchors/reporters who have experienced this behavior first hand is long. I once warned a talent coming to the Bay Area to steer clear of the guy. They didn’t and they paid the price for interacting with him. I now make it a policy to warn everyone I can. Nobody deserves such treatment.
He’s made some massive mistakes on his site he still has not owned up to. And if anyone tries to point it out to him in the comments he s__t-cans the comment. That’s his prerogative of course to keep the most validly critical comments off his site lest the less attuned readers he has catch on to just how much BS he gets away with.
He has this game he plays where every few months such and such a talent is being courted by a network. Nobody ever jumps to the network and he never follows up. It’s happened so many times that if those people had actually left for networks, Bay Area TV News would be decimated by the departures. There’s a variation of this where such and such a talent who is obviously too old for consideration (or has some other automatically disqualifying characteristic) is somehow being offered big bucks to go to New York or L.A. Of course those moves never pan out either. Now whenever I see one of these stories show up on his blog, I immediately assume it’s him making up another one to fill space.
I’m in two minds about the campaign to go after his advertisers that the female talent launched. I don’t like boycotts. They just rub me wrong. On the other hand, yes, he’s absolutely misogynistic. If any national writer wrote nationally what he’s written the way he’s done it, they wouldn’t have a job. Or advertisers. Full stop. Yet because he’s local he flies under the radar just enough to skate by. That doesn’t seem right to me. Plus, I kind of view this as retaliation for all the bile he’s thrown at them. You fight from the gutter long enough, eventually someone’s going to jump down and join you to take you on. Paybacks are a bitch.
He obviously has sources. Nobody should question that point. And apparently many of his sources are accurate. At the same time he regurgitates/recycles a lot of his stuff. There’s only so many different ways to say such and such news director has lost the newsroom before eagle eyed readers start catching on that he’s got nothing new to add. But if he doesn’t do it, it’s not like he has a steady stream of stuff in the pipeline ready to go. So we get a lot of regurgitated filler in-between the “breaking news”.
I still read him because he does break news on occasion. But you have to have a very good filter on to separate all the BS from the actual news. A lot of his readers don’t and take everything he says at face value when a lot of it is anything but.
I live in the Bay Area and I too read him (and occasionally write a comment). Rich does break the occasional scoop, and I enjoy reading many of my fellow commenters to his blog. But as “Long Time Reader” points out, he is very thin-skinned about hearing criticism, often “disappearing” comments that call him out for factual inaccuracies, misunderstandings of how things work (i.e., ratings), or his utter lack of spelling/typing/proofreading/editing abilities. However, he doesn’t hesitate to let through comments that are thinly-veiled racism, misogynistic or childishly scatological. I’ve authored comments to his blog to correct inaccurate “facts”, but those comments magically disappear way too often to be coincidence. Especially when so many others make the same claim. He has had a few advertisers in the past, but *nobody* is advertising there anymore. Think that’s coincidence? He demands the right to keep insulting anyone he feels like attacking, politicians, media people and garden-variety readers alike, but then in the next breath begs for donations. Conflict of interest? I’ve wondered how many of the people he’s been critical of have refused to donate to him, or had previously contributed but decided to stop, and whether there’s any correlation there?
Just like ftvlive, Rich has the talent agents as his main sources. Dare to mention that and he will kill the comments. The Bi-polar thing is pretty odd because one minute he is missing his mother (again!) or he is running his strange “Black Anchor” fantasy. Don’t fall for his “special access” subscription offer. He really has awful bookeeping of his paid members. He is a C+ ebegger…but he does get a few scoops now and then…when he’s not pretending to be a long gone newspaper gossip hack.
Lieberman’s entertaining, but much of what he writes is clearly made-up, especially the nonstop catfights between female anchors and the imminent departures of local reporters heading to New York, Los Angeles or Washington, D.C. (They never go anywhere.) Many of the anonymous comments on Lieberman’s blog saying how great he is seem suspiciously as if they were written by Lieberman himself. And comments that are critical of Lieberman rarely get published.
Where do I begin. He’s the biggest joke in the “blogosphere.” He’s always predicting things—ten a day—and when you say enough and are vague enough eventually a few do happen. That’s how Nostradamus’ “predictions” work. Every newsroom goes through upheavals periodically and people leave per the normal course of affairs, but ten times a week he says “A top anchor was seen having lunch with suits from New York” or whatever. Eventually someone leaves and he says “You read it here first! I called it six months ago!” Yeah, well, that’s like saying “Someday it’s going to rain.” And then it rains. Big deal. He did score big with the Frank Somerville DUI story and the local papers did try to take away some of his glory by not crediting him. I did feel for him for that but that’s a rare scoop for someone who’s too fast to hit the “publish” button before he’s paid any attention to all the squiggly red lines under many words in his posts. I seriously think he skipped grade school or something because he can’t spell words any ten-year-old should be comfortable with. As for his claim that TV is a visual medium to cover up his sexism, I’ll point out that he’s talked about female anchor and reporter boobs but never male bellies or gray hair. He never praises anybody except slightly once in a while, and pines for the days of Evan White and Van Amburg, but I’ll bet if there was blogging back then he would have dissed them as well, and longed for…what, Edward R. Murrow and Herb Morrison.
Lieberman is an embittered joke—unmarried, unsuccessful (he could not get hired as a fill-in writer at one of the stations he deplores) and dependent on scrapings from his 415 Media “business” and probably welfare or social security. But he writes fantasy pieces where he’s in a swanky bar and some hot woman is hitting on him. I was about to say what a joke, but it’s not. It’s sad, really.
“…and pines for the days of Evan White and Van Amburg, but I’ll bet if there was blogging back then he would have dissed them as well, and longed for…what, Edward R. Murrow and Herb Morrison.”
LOL! Herb Morrison. Clever line. Thanks for that one.
I revised it to add “Ida Tarbell and Silence Dogood,” as well as add several other points, but for some reason the software published the original. Ah, technology!
Initial comments are held for moderation and the second copy went to Spam folder. Adding your revised comments to compare and contrast.
Where do I begin? He’s the saddest joke in the “blogosphere.” He’s always predicting things—ten posts a day—and when you say enough and are vague enough eventually a few do happen. That’s how Nostradamus works. Every newsroom goes through upheavals periodically and people leave per the normal course of affairs, but ten times a week he says, “A top anchor was seen having lunch with the suits from New York” or whatever. Eventually someone leaves and he says, “You read it here first! I called it six months ago!” Yeah, well, that’s like saying someday it’s going to rain. And then it rains. Wow. He also likes to stir up the pot over the slightest things. There is no *major embarrassment* at KTVU for not hiring Kyla Grogan. It does them no credit, but this sort of oversight happens all the time in the business everywhere. I doubt anyone at the station cares today that she landed at KRON. And to top it off, when she was at KTVU he didn’t advocate for her. He wrote openly about how he didn’t like her and didn’t think she was anything special, yet as soon as they didn’t hire her f/t he acts as though it’s the biggest tragedy since NBC nixed Conan O’Brien.
He *did* score big with the Frank Somerville DUI story and the local papers took away some of his glory by not crediting him. I did feel for him for that, but that’s the rare scoop for someone who’s too fast to hit the “publish” button before he’s paid any attention to all the squiggly red lines under the words in his posts. I seriously think he skipped grade school because he can’t spell words any ten-year-old should be comfortable with, and he mixed metaphors and twists meaning to the point that he sometimes ends up writing the opposite of what he means. Just trying to decipher the “grammar” in some of his posts make me sympathetic for the plight of Jean-François Champollion.
As for his claim to cover up his sexism that TV is a visual medium, I’ll point out that he’s talked about female anchor and reporter boobs, clothing and hair but never male bellies or hair. He never praises anybody except ever so slightly once in a while, and pines for the days of Evan White and Van Amburg, but I’ll bet if there was blogging back then he would have dissed them as well, and longed for…what, Edward R. Murrow and Herb Morrison? Ida Tarbell and Silence Dogood?
Lieberman is sad and embittered—unmarried, unsuccessful (he could not get hired as a fill-in writer at one of the stations he deplores) and dependent on scrapings from his 415 Media “business” and some form of public assistance. But he writes fantasy pieces where he’s in a swanky bar quaffing an expensive drink while some hot woman is hitting on him. I was about to say what a joke, but it’s not a joke. It’s sad, really. He sometimes talks about his trips to a therapist. That man or woman must be rich.
Wiki References, for the rest of us:
Ida Minerva Tarbell was an American writer, investigative journalist, biographer and lecturer. She was one of the leading muckrakers of the Progressive Era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and pioneered investigative journalism.
Mrs. Silence Dogood was the pen name used by Benjamin Franklin to get his work published in the New-England Courant, a newspaper founded and published by his brother James Franklin. This was after Benjamin Franklin was denied several times when he tried to publish letters under his own name in the Courant.
To be fair to Rich, FTVLive has turned the Nostradamus BS into an art form in ways Lieberman never has. Scott will say something is going to happen and maybe a year later it actually happens and then he takes credit for being “right”. News flash: Things don’t take a year to happen in the TV News business. If an anchor is on the outs, they get jettisoned. If some executive is on the ropes, they get taken out. TV Newsrooms, particularly at the national level, can’t afford to wait a year to pull the trigger if the trigger needs to be pulled. So whenever Scott takes credit for something he prognosticated a year earlier, my eyes roll back so hard they do a 360.
But back to Lieberman…
I can’t believe anyone subscribes to his blog. He does not churn out real news frequently enough to justify a subscription. Most of the time it’s him just recycling his talking points (Ryan Yamamoto sucks, Amber Eikel is in trouble, etc) A couple of years ago it was Trixie Watkowski that constantly got the Lieberman treatment but I guess he got bored or something because he’s stopped talking about her. He’s really rode roughshod over Sarah Donchey which I just do not understand at all because I’ve seen her in action and she is fully capable and doesn’t give off a whiff of L.A. TV the way others in the Bay Area do (Audrey Asistio for example). And he’s been hyper critical of Heather Holmes too, especially her wardrobe which, honestly, in a world of Darya Folsoms, Amanda Starrantinos, and Audrey Asistios, is actually kind of tame by comparison.
While some of the comments on his blog are undoubtedly Rich himself, I’d say most aren’t. But boy can some of them be mean bastards. Some of them rake long time anchor Jessica Aguirre over the coals for supposedly having facelift/Botox treatments when it’s patently obvious to anyone who has watched her since she came to the Bay Area in the 90s that she’s had nothing of the kind.
The site isn’t a very nice place to visit, in all honesty…
Rich comes dangerously close to getting himself sued sometimes. But I guess what protects him is he has no money! His is a gossip site with a little information and NO understanding of how a newsroom works or how news is gathered. His writing seems to be more of a vendetta against people who have either fired him in the past or wouldn’t hire him now. Yes, the contemporary news scene is a mess. He never points out the obvious, though: the internet has taken advertising dollars from the once-mighty broadcasting networks. They will never dominate again because people are throwing their advertising dollars away on click-farm sites, so the commercials on TV news are for ambulance chasing lawyers and that store in the south bay that sells cut-rate diamonds that are probably cubic zirconia.
So how can they maintain the level they had 20 years ago? Answer: they can’t. But even if they could, come someone as illiterate and ill-tempered as Rich get a job in that world? Hardly. This is why I don’t get why he’s bothered so much. Bay Area TV has finally sunk to his level. Okay, that’s cruel. Bay Area TV still gets (most of) its facts right and spells (most of) its full screens and supers correctly. That puts it above Lieberman, who typically has at least one error per sentence in every post and whose idea of “reportage” is to say “Bay Area news is getting worse and worse” over and over again. You don’t say?
If would be interesting if he could use his blog to educate people on the seismic shift that’s happened in TV news and advertising in the past decade, similar to what Bob Hoffman does in his excellent, award-winning blog. This degridation of news has happened because of people like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, not because of Aaron Pero and Amber Eikel, though I’m no fan of the latter two. Maybe if he explained that his blog would serve a purpose greater than venting and personal vendettas. Maybe.
Bob Hoffman’s newsletter, writing, etc.
I work for KGO radio and I can tell you that everyone knows who Rich’s source is in the building, because that person mentions his blog every other day. That source only feeds Rich information in the hopes that he will write flattering pieces. When that person is not in the loop, nothing leaks.
Other staffers don’t talk to Rich because his stories are either completely fabricated or centered around that one person who used to “donate” money to him. Surprise plot twist, Rich ended up turning on that person and now constantly rails on him.
Rich has acknowledged that he doesn’t have access to the paid ratings data, but then he uses public 6+ Nielsen numbers (which would include weekend infomercials), and pretends like it gives him insight into how the weekday shows are doing. He says that certain successful shows don’t have good ratings, because most people can’t fact check it.
He won’t post any comments that contain corrections, because he wants to paint a narrative that puts hosts in a bad light. One of those hosts signed the sexism letter, one stopped giving him money, and a third doesn’t do the traditional newstalk he likes. Ironically, that last host has the highest ratings.
So yeah, some of his stories at other stations are true, but he uses that as cover for the yellow “journalism” that is peppered throughout the blog.