20 Aug 2014
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UPDATED: Barbieri Statement Confirms Firing, Describes Dismissal as Less Than Amicable

The popular Bay Area radio sports talk show host announced he has Parkinson's disease last year. Circumstances of his leaving the station are unclear.

UPDATED: Barbieri Statement Confirms Firing, Describes Dismissal as Less Than Amicable

UPDATED: Barbieri released a statement to several local media outlets confirming that he was fired by KNBR and describing the circumstances as less than amicable.

Excerpts below are from the San Francisco Chronicle's website, where his statement can be read in full.

"... I came to work (Tuesday) morning, totally unaware that anything of this nature was afoot, especially since my contract didn't end until Nov. 1.

As soon as I walked in, I was told that the General Manager wanted to see me. I went into his office. He and the program director were there. I was told that I was being terminated and that today, April 10, would be my last day at KNBR.

...The whole process took about 7 minutes. Twenty-eight years and change at KNBR they had neatly wrapped up for me in 7 minutes. Let's see: Four years for every minute. You got to admit that's pretty darn time efficient - not to mention incredibly classy. Oh, and when I got to my car and tried to access my voicemail, which contained about 20 messages, I found that the station had cut off access to my voicemail. I'll have more to say later."

...

A popular Bay Area radio sports talk show host's days at KNBR are over, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The circumstances of Ralph Barbieri leaving the station are unclear, however the Chronicle headline ("Ralph Barbieri let go by KNBR") suggests he was fired.

Station general manager Lee Hammer told the Chronicle that Barbieri “is no longer with the station. It was a management decision.”

Barbieri has been at KNBR since 1984 and a fixture at the station for decades, co-hosting “The Razor and Mr. T,” with former Golden State Warriors forward Tom Tolbert since 1996.

Hammer told the Chronicle that Tolbert would host the program alone on Wednesday.

Barbieri's apparent dismissal follows his announcement last year he has Parkinson's disease.

The 66-year-old Barbieri's announcement came amid contract negotiations with the station, the Chronicle reported.

“My contract is expiring soon,” Barbieri said at the time, “and if I am to continue at KNBR, I’d like to start with all our cards on the table, face-up. I’ve gotten to know Lew Dickey (CEO of Cumulus Media, parent company of KNBR) a little bit, and my gut feeling was that he could deal with my situation at an honorable level, so I gave him a call and told him everything.

“He let me know that KNBR wants me back. He didn’t say on what terms, but the fact that he didn’t view the Parkinson’s as a red flag, that was a huge relief to me.”

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