SF Chronicle Profile Reveals KNBR Host Ralph Barbieri's Battle With Parkinson's Disease
October 6, 2011 at 3:55 AM (PT)
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE sports columnist SCOTT OSTLER profiled CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A/SAN FRANCISCO afternoon co-host RALPH BARBIERI in WEDNESDAY's editions, revealing BARBIERI's previously-secret battle with Parkinson's disease.
BARBIERI, the "RAZOR" half of "THE RAZOR AND MR. T," was diagnosed with the disorder in 2005 and told only his on-air partner TOM TOLBERT, heeding the advice of "business people and pragmatists" who told him that revealing his illness "it would be professional suicide." He came forth now, he told OSTLER, because, "My contract is expiring soon, 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 (CUMULUS CEO) LEW DICKEY 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."
BARBIERI's doctor told OSTLER that the host's symptoms have been "very gradual" and "remarkably stable over the years," indicating that he will "remain independent and active for the foreseeable future."
Read the column by clicking here.