Dean Clough

December 1, 2023

Portico Darwin: Goodbye, Murph & Mac


<1 Minute Read

Happy Friday.  This one is a bit strange - yes, even for me.  It's about a radio show, and it also won't mean much to many, especially those reading this outside of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Because there was a major shake-up at the SF radio stalwart KNBR late Wednesday, and I am bummed.  KNBR is the flagship station for both 49ers football and Giants baseball and a big sports station here.

I find the station's firing of Paul McCaffrey especially troubling.  He was cohost of KNBR's morning show, with Brian Murphy, for 18 years.  No matter:  he was still fired right before the holidays.  And since he was one among the many fired, it's pretty clear it wasn't something McCaffrey did or didn't do.  What a business.

But why am I writing about this? 

For one, it is yet another notch on the bedpost for the Internet.  Terrestrial radio is quickly joining newspapers, magazines, cable TV, and other remnants of the analog age on society's trash heap.  The reality is that few things today other than live sports attract enough attention for an advertising-driven business to thrive.  I guess it's been obvious for years, but radio is dying a slow death.

But it also hits me a bit personally.

During my Casa Integration days, I'd often hit the road for job sites early - like 6 AM and even earlier.  Murph & Mac were companions during those drives, and I am not embarrassed to admit it.  I drove all over the Bay Area from 2002 - 2017, and they were often in my ears. 

On their show, they struck an excellent balance between sports, pop culture, and life, which helps to explain their longevity.  There was also zero of the moronic "morning zoo" bullshit that is somehow popular with certain audiences.  To this listener, they authentically captured the zeitgeist here.

That's all gone now, to be replaced by something to be announced.  I doubt it will be an improvement.

So to Paul McCaffrey, who will never read this:  Thank you for entertaining me and a lot of others on many a morning.  You will be missed.

Have a great weekend.  10 Seconds of Seriousness:  I know I will.


First Paul McCaffrey is fired, and then this.  Günther Strobel is likely in mourning, as one of his favorite musicians is no longer with us.  Indeed, this performer is of such stature that this brief obit appeared in the digital version of The Economist (!).

Thank you for reading this newsletter.  


Paul McCaffrey is a giant Deadhead (and he probably liked The Pogues, too).  In his honor, here is a show considered among their best, on 4/26/1972, from Frankfurt, Germany's Jahrhundert Halle. 

For the record, this is the complete concert (it's Volume 9 from the ginormous Europe '72 deluxe release), not the truncated version originally released on CD shortly after Jerry Garcia's death.

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