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KNBR’s Ralph Barbieri reveals a secret: Parkinson’s disease

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Longtime KNBR sports talker Ralph Barbieri talks to the Chronicle’s Scott Ostler about being imagediagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2005 and what life has been like keeping it secret to almost everyone except his “The Razor and Mr. T” radio partner Tom Tolbert (for the uninitiated, that’s Barbieri on the left). As to why he’s revealing it now, here’s the nut from Ostler:

"My contract is expiring soon," Barbieri said, "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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