Meet the Media

Meet Jon Bristow, news reporter for KGO radio

Tell us about your dream assignment.jb-sf-2

I’d say being chosen to go along on the final space shuttle flight. I’m fascinated by space, and it would be so amazing to look down at that big blue marble from way up there.

Describe the wackiest story you’ve written.

I was sent out to interview porn actress Mary Carey, who had thrown her hat into the ring during the gubernatorial recall election here in California a few years back. The subject of “fake or real” came up, and she told me that I’d just have to find out for myself. She insisted that I feel her up, right there at her appearance, with other people looking on! What a dilemma! (She was fully clothed, by the way.) I let our audience know during my live report that the answer was…”real.”

What is your PR pet peeve?

Sometimes I feel as though I’ve created a monster after saying “yes” to a story that was pitched to me. Some PR people assume that once they’ve scored with you that you’ll be willing to say yes to all of their pitches.

Top trend in the industry you’re currently covering or are interested in.

I used to love listening to radio stations from all around the globe on my shortwave radio (which I still have). But I’m quite intrigued by the fact that we can do it so easily now over the internet…and basically in the palm of your hand via a smartphone, for example. The only drawback is this presents a bigger challenge for radio stations–mine, for example–as they’re not just competing against other local stations for listeners…they’re competing literally against the world!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m one of the few actual Bay Area natives–born in Oakland. I’ve been pretty fortunate to be able to spend my entire career (so far!) in the Bay Area. I’ve been at KGO Radio for a couple of decades now–a rarity for the radio business, but KGO is a pretty unique place.

Away from work, I enjoy shooting hoops and pool, playing tennis, attending sporting events, music shows, comedy clubs (I love to laugh, and am known as a punster of the first order), and movies, computers…oh, and occasionally putting my musical talents to use by singing karaoke. I think if I had it to do over again, I would be a singer.

But, back to work for a second…I figured I had made the right career choice after one day trying several times to get the attention of an employee at a Radio Shack store, whose back was turned to me. I was about to give up when the worker finally turned around, saw me, and said, “Oh, I’m sorry…I thought you were the radio!”

“KGO has launched, in beta, a new platform that allows listeners, and staff, to easily submit videos and photos. Anyone who has a phone with a camera can become a digital reporter. Please visit newshound.kgoradio.com today and sign up for an account. Then send your newsworthy Bay Area photos or videos to [email protected] or upload them on the website.”

Be sure to check back next time for the inside scoop on food and wine journalist Deborah Grossman.

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2 Comments

  1. david Reply

    Jon – thanks for contributing. I’m jealous – flying on the space shuttle. That’s always been a dream of mine. Keep up the good work at KGO! Cheers, David

  2. Donna Reply

    Jon, you’re a star! I knew you’d find a way to work karaoke into your post. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the Mary Carey story. Priceless!