Monday, February 28, 2011

My Show on KGO Radio Will End March 20.

A couple of years ago, Karel (pictured right,) a popular talk show host on KGO-AM (ABC-San Francisco) said something ill-advised inadvertently on the air. Management replaced him with me.

My program is very different from Karel's entertainment-centric show. Mine consists of career tips, three-minute career makeovers on callers, an exploration of work-related policy issues, and a Last Lecture to end each show.

Alas, today I got a call from Jack Swanson, KGO's director of programming, who said that Karel has served his penance and so will be returning to his spot. My last show will be March 20.

While I'm sad, my feelings are moderated by the fact that I did give it my best shot and that KGO gave me more than two years to make myself indispensable. I have no ill feelings toward KGO. It's a quality organization. A special thanks to my producer J Westerling and engineer Anthony Young.

I'm grateful that I continue to host another radio show--on KALW-FM (NPR-San Francisco), Sundays 11 am to noon, archived for a week on the NPR site and permanently on my website. The show is similar to the KGO show except that there are no commercials and I interview some pretty smart people. I've done hundreds of half-hour and full-hour interviews with the likes of Craig Venter, Alan Dershowitz, Jack Welch, Deborah Tannen, Richard Dawkins, F. Lee Bailey, Noam Chomsky, Bjorn Lomborg, Robert Reich, Cokie Roberts, and a week ago, Richard Florida, HERE's a link to more info on both the KGO and KALW shows and to the archive.

After hearing the news that I was being replaced on KGO, I've tried to model what I coach my clients to do: aim for something even better. So today, I emailed an invitation to the people in the world I'd most want to interview on my KALW show: Steven Pinker, Richard Posner, Jeffrey Sachs, Freeman Dyson, Daniel Dennett, and Bill Gates.

Update: I've now received five yeses and no nos: Posner will appear Mar 27, Dyson on May 15, and Pinker, Sachs, and Dennett in the fall, dates to be determined. That's a great balm.

I'm grateful for all I have had and continue to have. I hope to be able to continue to serve you through my NPR show, this blog, my tweets, and my career coaching for a long time to come.


Justin Wehr said...

Very sorry to hear that Marty. You deserve better.

I have looked before but could not find archives of your KGO shows. If they're available, can you point me to them please?

Marty Nemko said...

KGO only archives the most recent show for a week. Here's the link to my most recent show. My show is on from 7 pm to 10 pm.

Anonymous said...

KGO is nuts. I live in Georgia and listen to your show every Sunday, and if I'm unable to listen to it live, I make sure to catch it in the archives during the week. You do a great service to your callers and audience--in fact, I have to say that I envy you. You excel at helping people who truly want it, and you tackle the difficult task of articulating unconventional wisdom with the facts to back it up. I don't always agree with you, but even when I'm in disagreement I feel that I'm learning something new.At least your fans will be able to listen to your KALW program on Sundays. I always look forward to that program, especially when your wife hosts with you. Thanks for all that you do, and know that the KGO audience is losing a talented host.

Marty Nemko said...

Thank you, Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I'll miss your show, Marty.

Have you given any thought to doing podcasts on your site, or doing Internet radio or XM?

Marty Nemko said...

Thanks, Anonymous. I still have a show on KALW-FM (NPR-San Francisco), the pod cast of which is archived for a week on the NPR site and permanently on my site The show is similar but also contains probing interviews of interesting folks--last week it was Stuart Diamond, who teaches the famed negotiation course at Penn's Wharton School of Business. The week before, Richard Florida (Rise of the Creative Class) and I kicked around our top ways to improve the world.

Justin Wehr said...

Anonymous makes a good point. I don't know if you feel unfairly constrained on KALW or KGO in the topics you can cover or the amount of time you can devote to the topics, but if you do, I hope you'll consider broadcasting over the Internet.

Also, any chance we can get the KGO shows archived on I'd be happy to help if I can in some way.

Anonymous said...

O tempora o mores!

Marty Nemko said...

Thanks, Justin. I will consider podcasting but I fear that the work to prepare will be too great relative to the number of listeners.

KGO prohibits me from archiving the show permanently. It archives its shows only for a week, on its site: (Roll over the "listen" tab on the home page.

Serge said...

While I understand that commercials pay for programming, I just can't stand them, especially more annoying of them that repeat over and over... I'd rather pay or pledge for programming I like.

For that reason I listen exclusively to NPR, and catch the few TV shows I like on Netflix, commercial free.

I don’t think your persona fits well into commercial radio environment, where mindless entertainment is often paramount. Rather, you can now focus more of your energy into public radio, which values substance over fluff much higher.

Heather Gardner said...

You have been quality radio for KGO, especially in this economic time. You give great advice! I'm sad to hear that you are leaving.... I find Karel just plain annoying so no more Sunday nights with KGO. We'll have to switch to NPR now ;-)
Thanks for the good tims and great advice!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Heather! One of the reasons I never listened to KGO on Sunday night was that awful, annoying, and offensive previous host. Too bad I didn't find you sooner. I, too, will be switching back to NPR on Sunday nights.

I did send a comment to KGO, for what it's worth.

wrallen99 said...

I enjoyed your time on KGO and that's how I discovered you, in addition to your newspaper columns. I don't live in the Bay Area anymore, but still follow you. You provide a valuable service that's applicable anywhere.

Anonymous said...


KGO is losing a diamond among talk show hosts. I loved listening on Sun. eves and always looked forward to it. The depth and breadth of the career knowledge you displayed was awe-inspiring. How disappointing!

(The graciousness of your announcement of this travesty qualifies you for sainthood.)

Michael R. Edelstein

Rosemary said...


I'm disappointed to hear your show is cancelled. It was beneficial and inspirational in so many ways, as is your website and your tweets.

What a great example you are, that instead of being resentful of KGO, you've already directed your efforts to getting great speakers for your NPR show.

I've been reading and loving your website for the last two months, as I tackle finding a new job after a grueling two years on a difficult job, culminating in a layoff. You are very insightful, informative, helpful, and much more. Thank you for your website, knowledge, and help!

While I look for my next job as a project manager for software projects, I'm enjoying helping people by volunteering a few hours a week at our library. We opened a "Job Lab" where people can use a laptop and printer for their search, and get help from us on their resume, how to use the technology in their search, etc. I've been helping people use the computer, teaching people how to use LinkedIn and the free research databases libraries offer, and more. Some day I'd like to get a job doing this type of work. I tell lots of people about your website, I really think it is top notch.

Thank you

Castro Valley

Miriam said...

I can't believe they are firing you for that spewing mindless imbecile Karel. I can't take him for more than a minute at the most. You and I often disagree, but you work really hard at what you do, prepare carefully even after years and years, and always sincerely want to contribute. To replace you with that mindless idiot - oh well, guess they don't want us to be educated or make informed decisions regarding our lives. What a loss.

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance KGO would reconsider or host the show at a different time?

It's ironic for me because I was an occassional Karel listener and that's the only reason I discovered Marty Nemko. Since then I've never missed Marty's show on KGO or KAWL. (If I couldn't listen live I'd always listened to the archived shows.)

Anyway, I'm very sorry to hear this news.


Marty Nemko said...

Thanks for your kind words, Dave. If you'd like to make your opinion known, you can do so at

Anonymous said...

Bellow is what I sent to Listner Services and to Jack Swanson and Deidra Lieberman. Hope it helps.


At a time when tens of millions of people are unemployed, under-employed or worry about losing their jobs wouldn’t it be appropriate to reconsider your decision to cancel Marty Nemko’s show? The stark reality is that unemployment will most likely remain stubbornly high for years and another sharp economic down turn making the job market even worse is a distinct possibility. We are living in the worst economic times since the Great Depression.

In this environment Marty’s insight and advice are needed more than ever. No other radio station of KGO’s stature provides its listeners with this type of valuable information which can literally make the difference between being employed or unemployed. And Marty’s insight and advice are applicable outside the world of work. For instance, his advice concerning procrastination and dealing with difficult people has been very beneficial to me in numerous non-career related situations.

If it is not possible to keep the show in its current time slot could it be moved to a different one? I have listened to KGO for decades, and I can tell you this long time listener will be deeply disappointed if you
go through with your decision to cancel the show. Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Anonymous said...

I'm very disappointed. Karell isn't bad but I never made an effort or a point to listen to him. Unless I'm going to be out on Sunday evening I PLAN to listen to your show even though I am employed and satisfied in my job.

Is there anything we can do to change KGO's mind? I PROPOSE A PETITION TO KEEP MARTY ON KGO!!

Nutrition 101 said...

Just heard tonight that your Sunday night show on KGO will be replaced by Karel. I certainly hope they call you back to an alternate time slot. I find your ability to direct people toward optimal careers nothing short of amazing. Even though I'm one of the fortunate individuals who has not looked for a job in years, I often tuned in to listen to your interactions with career seekers. Glad to hear you'll have another way to reach listeners.
Kathryn Pinna

Marty Nemko said...

Hi Nutrition 101,

Thanks for the kind words. If you'd like to give your opinion to KGO management, here's the link:

Anonymous said...

I listened to every show you did, live on Sunday night, commercials and all. I will not listen to Karel. Ever. Too many great podcasts available now to waste time on Karel. Once you emailed me some good free advice so I thank you for that and for the interesting shows. Bye.

Betsy said...

i am appalled . . . actually i am grieved . . . i think . . . more than appalled . . . the thought of the return of Karel is appalling, but the loss of Marty Nemko--that is a loss (first Dean Edell . . . now Marty Nemko - i am not sure what KGO is trying to accomplish . . . but it can't be good!) - b

Marty Nemko said...

Thank your for your supportive comment. Someone just emailed to say that KGO is considering whether to use me in some other slot.

Anonymous said...

Dear Marty,
I'm very sorry to see you go. Your show was both entertaining and informative. You provided a needed service to all. I will listen to NPR now to hear you. Karel was a pretty over the top which gets tiring. Good Luck to you, Marty.

Ann K said...

Marty, I recently started hosting a show on an Internet Marketing network (feel free to remove the link) at TalkMarketingNow )

Within the last few weeks, I've had occasion to mention and recommend your show on KGO -- only to now find out that it's been cancelled.

I was tied up the last 2 weeks so hadn't heard your show and about the cancellation until now.

I used to have my radio tuned to KGO nearly 24 hours a day. Now it's less and less, sad to say.
While Brent Walters has been granted a reprieve and has even had his 1 hour expanded back to 3, I just don't listen to KGO that often any more.

BTW - if you'd be willing to be my guest on my show -- I would be MORE than thrilled. We have a tiny, tiny audience, especially compared to something like KGO -- but you might like to come and check it out -- especially since the show before mine has two high-powered copywriters (starting this week, in fact.)

THANKS again so much for such great encouragement.
As Joanie Mitchell sang "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" -- Well, I'm not sure that's entirely true -- I've always been thankful for your warmth, encouragement and innovative ideas.

Judy Kettenhofen

bld449425 said...

Marty, it is very sad that you are leaving. This will be a big loss for your listeners and a big loss for KGO. What are they thinking? In these times of unemployment and people having to change careers and retired people returning to work, your expertise has really help many of us. I have nothing against Karel, but we need someone on the radio who can give us hope and advice so we can find employment or even start our own businesses. I hope another station hires you. I am very concerned that KGO does not seem to be concerned with the unemployment problem. Thank you for all that you do for your listeners and the community.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Marty, like television we 'over 50 types' are ignored. Nothing personal of course, it's 'just business' Karel draws a younger audience and that my friend sells more commercials which are the lifeblood of radio and TV.

If I were you I'd take a look at what Leo Laporte is up to. His video podcasts cover a multitude of topics besides just tech and he's in the process of building a new studio in Petaluma. Re-invent yourself and step into the digital world.

Bruce Tambling said...

I'm a full time professor at a Calf Community College. Marty Nemko's show on KGO offers huge support to our students entering the workforce. This is the one show I go out of my way to listen to on KGO and recommend it to many of my colleagues, family members and friends. I have even considered making it REQUIRED listening for our students. With today's economy and high unemployment, Marty Nemko's show is more important than ever! We urge KGO management to please consider finding another time slot for the Marty Nemko show to continue!

Marty Nemko said...

Thanks for the kind words, Judy. Candidly, I am overwhelmed with interview requests and so only can say yes to audiences bigger than "tiny, tiny."

Marty Nemko said...

Thank you for your kind comments. If you'd like to give KGO's management your opinion, here's the link:

Anonymous said...

Marty, will miss your show, especially the last hour.

Can't believe KGO is bringing Karel back and losing a quality host like you. Where is their integrity?

May said...

You have a great show and I think KGO is making a mistake taking you off. Why can't Karel just be on on Sunday only or just shift your show to another day. Isn't there a slot open Saturday 1-4.

Thanks for letting all your listeners know why you are no longer going to be on KGO. I received an email from KGO as a subscriber to their newsletter and it was advising me Karel was coming back and posted his new time slot which I noticed overlapped with yours. There was no explanation of what was going to happen to your show and thought it was in bad taste to not mention KGO's decision to replace your show.

Ann K said...

Hey Marty,
Glad to know that your "dance card" is full -- and fully understand that you can't be on my show.

You might, however, want to drop in sometime and listen to some of the shows.
The quality varies -- but there are many very bright and talented marketers who do host shows. For instance, Dave Iago was a full time mechanical engineer about 6 mos ago and now is full time self-employed; Caleb Spilchen is a 16 year old Canadian who pulls in 5 figures a month and has his own corporation.

The copywriters before my show are among the hottest Internet copywriters out there.

Live JoyFully!

Judy Kettenhofen

Suzanne said...

Which genius at KGO came up with this idea?? 2 bad decisions at once! I am stunned that you have axed a show (Marty Nemko)that was meaningful and provided a real service for your listeners. But I am stupefied that you would replace his show with Karel, who is at best annoying and obnoxious. You've just lost one more listener Sunday nights.

Marty Nemko said...

Suzanne, this blog is not read by KGO management. It's my personal blog. If you care to render your opinion to management, see an above comment for the appropriate link.

bld449425 said...


Please send a copy of your post to KGO. Your comment was great. We need to let KGO know how we feel about this decision. I have already sent them my comment. Send comment to:

Let's show support for Marty.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marty, I'm both surprised and saddened to hear your show is ending. I've heard your show regularly and enjoyed it. Even got my wife to listen. She recently aced her interview and started working.

Finding a job for someone or helping someone to find a job is a fantastic thing to do. You do it well. Good Luck.

In this labor market, KGO couldn't pull off or support a 3-hour career advice show. Predictably irrational.

Anonymous said...


I also sent my opinion to KGO management.

Thanks for posting the easy-to-use link.

Below is a copy of what I sent to KGO Listener Services, the Operations Manager, and the General Manager.

"I am Deeply disappointed that the best show on the air will no longer be on KGO.

** Please keep Marty Nemko on.++ We need him! Especially now with all of the unemployment. Please inform your listeners on how you justify the decision to let Marty go. :-(


Rich Williams, Realtor said...


Thank you for all of your GREAT advice! I spoke to you on a couple occasions and you made a difference. Will be tuning in to the NPR show.


Eric Harding said...

Hi Marty

I loved your show, it was entertaining and useful. I have been unemployed for almost 2 years and your show gave me the hope I needed to keep going and try something new.

I think KGO has lost it way, I'm sure Karel has a loyal audience who enjoy his antics, and I use to listen to his show, but I can't listen to it now after listening you and the saturday host.

Good luck you and I will catch you on NPR now


Marty Nemko said...

Thank you for the kind words, Eric. I hope that my blog and website may be helpful. I also host a program (more intellectual but still offering considerable career advice) on KALW, 91.7 FM in San Francisco, Sundays 11 am to noon and then archived on my site.