SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIF. — For a generation of progressive and alternative music lovers, the call letters KFOG hold a special place in their heart. Since September 16, 1982, this San Francisco-based FM has offered the Bay Area various incarnations of rock and roll programming — all tailor-made for the region.
Now, the station, presently Alternative, is preparing to bid the world a fond farewell. Cumulus Media has confirmed that KFOG’s final day on the air is set for Thursday, Sept. 5.
In a midday announcement, Cumulus/San Francisco VP/Market Manager Doug Harvill confirmed that KFOG-FM 104.5, a Class B facility on Mount Sutro with a booster in Pleasanton, Calif., will begin simulcasting Sports Talker KNBR-AM 680 on a full-time basis, starting Friday, Sept. 6.
With the launch of KNBR-FM, “sports fans will have another place to tune into KNBR’s high-profile personalities and in-depth coverage of the Bay Area’s favorite teams,” the company said. “The expansion of KNBR will offer listeners a stronger signal and provide a broader broadcast range for the station’s leading sports programming.”
Harvill expressed excitement in bringing KNBR to an FM signal, following the lead of Entercom’s all-News KCBS, which added the former KEAR-FM 106.9 as a simulcast partner on October 27, 2008, to great success.
KNBR is the radio home of the San Francisco Giants baseball club and the San Francisco 49ers football team. Acknowledging the end of KFOG, Harvill said, “It’s never easy to say goodbye to a station, and we want to thank the staff, listeners, and advertisers who together made KFOG the legendary and beloved station that so many of us in San Francisco had the opportunity to enjoy.”
One market observer tells RBR+TVBR it is a savvy move for Cumulus that also saves money, as KNBR could easily be pitched to clients in tandem with Classic Rocker KSAN-FM 107.7 “The Bone.” Further, KSAN could build on a heritage KFOG had largely disposed of in its most recent years.
With the KYSR-FM/Los Angeles-based Woody Show in mornings via syndication, KFOG is today a mainstream Alternative and Mike “No Name” Nelson in afternoons; the male host first gained fame on KLLC-FM “[email protected]” and was dismissed from that station in July 2008. Jacent Jackson will be the station’s final PD/MD.
Jackson joined KFOG in June 2018, and moved it closer to the station he had previously programmed — Entercom’s KITS-FM, now branded as “ALT 105.3.”
It was a programming shift that was fully seen in March 2016 but began in fall 2011 under then-Cumulus/San Francisco Director of FM Programming Dennis Constantine, today based Arizona’s Verde Valley and programming KVNA-FM.
Constantine succeeded Dave Benson, who piloted KFOG through a memorable phase as a forward-thinking Adult Alternative station, using the branding “World Class Rock.” Dave Morey helmed the morning show and was the host for the popular “[email protected]” feature; he stepped down in December 2008 and relocated to the Midwest.
It was in this era that KFOG’s Bay Area popularity was tied to not only its 104.5 MHz signal, but a Class A FM at 97.7 MHz that covered Silicon Valley and San Jose.
This was KFFG, purchased by former KFOG owner Susquehanna Radio in August 1995. A simulcast of KFOG was put in place to help KFOG reach the Tech world with a better FM signal, replacing KHQT-FM “Hot 97.7.”
Cumulus picked up KFOG and KFFG in 2006, following the sale of all Susquehanna stations to the company.
KFFG was spun by Cumulus in February 2019, along with such storied stations as WPLJ/New York and WRQX/Washington, to Educational Media Foundation. Today it is Christian Pop KJLV, a KLOVE member station.
Now, with 97.7 silenced, Fogheads will have one final time to mourn a station set to see its last goodbye.