|City||San Francisco, California|
|Broadcast area||San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose|
|Frequency||104.5 MHz (also on HD Radio)|
|Translator(s)||104.5 KFOG-3-FM (Pleasanton)|
|Repeater(s)||97.7 KFFG (San Jose)|
|First air date||February 4, 1960 (as KBAY-FM)|
|HAAT||459 meters (1506 ft)|
|Callsign meaning||The FOG of San Francisco|
|Former callsigns||KBAY-FM (1960-1964)|
|Owner||Cumulus Media Inc. |
(Radio License Holding SRC LLC)
|Sister stations||KGO, KNBR, KSAN, KSFO, KTCT|
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KFOG (104.5 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station in San Francisco, California. KFOG is owned by Cumulus Media and airs an Alternative Rock radio format. Cumulus operates a full-time simulcast station for KFOG in San Jose, serving the South Bay, KFFG on 97.7 FM MHz.
KFOG's studios and offices are on Battery Street in San Francisco. The transmitter is located at Mount Sutro, off La Avanzada Street. In addition, KFOG is heard on a 185 watt booster station in Pleasanton, California, KFOG-3-FM, also broadcasting at 104.5.
The station signed on the air on February 4, 1960 as KBAY-FM. It was owned by Kaiser Broadcasting, a company started by local industrialist Henry J. Kaiser. It aired a "good music" format, mostly instrumental easy listening with some middle of the road songs and soft pop vocals.
In 1964, the call sign switched to KFOG and the station aired a beautiful music format, again largely instrumental music, cover versions of popular songs with some Broadcway and Hollywood show tunes. Within a few years, KFOG got competition from other beautiful music stations, 960 and 98.1 KABL-AM-FM (now KNEW and KISQ) and from 96.5 KOIT, as well as San Jose-based 100.3 KBAY (now KBRG). For the next two decades, beautiful music was popular in the Bay Area. But by the early 1980s, the format was showing signs of aging. KFOG was acquired by General Electric in 1974.
Switch to Timeless Rock
On September 16, 1982, KFOG dropped the easy listening format for a blend of album-oriented rock (AOR) and classic rock, which the station called "Timeless Rock." The first song on the new format was "Rock This Town" by The Stray Cats. The station featured a wide range of music, from the psychedelic sounds of the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane to newer artists such as Prince, the Eurythmics, and the Thompson Twins.
KFOG avoided commercial-sounding bands such as Loverboy and REO Speedwagon, which were widely played on more mass-appeal AOR stations at the time. KFOG was inspired by San Francisco's freeform rock radio heritage, dating back to 94.9 KSAN, a pioneering progressive rock station (now KYLD).
When KFOG went on the air, the Bay Area already had numerous competing rock stations. 106.1 KMEL was the established, tightly-formatted AOR station that had been playing rock music since 1977. 97.3 KRQR was the hard rock station and 98.9 KQAK was a new station with a friendly, loosely programmed, personality-driven alternative rock/new wave format. There were two other rock stations in the South Bay - 92.3 KSJO and 98.5 KOME. One other San Francisco rock station, KSFX, switched to talk radio in May of that year. Of the six Bay Area rock stations that were on the air in late 1982, KFOG is the only one that remains in the rock format today.
AAA and Alternative Rock
On March 31, 2016, KFOG took all of its DJs off the air and began promoting an "evolution" to take place on April 20. On that day, at 6 a.m., KFOG relaunched its AAA format under the new slogan "Music Matters," and shifted its playlist to focus on songs from the 1990s to the present day. The first song under the "Music Matters" branding was "Times Like These" by Foo Fighters.
Former New York City rock DJ Bryan Schock was hired as Operations Manager/Program Director for KFOG and classic rock sister station 107.7 KSAN. Most of the KFOG airstaff, including morning host Renee Richardson, midday host Annalisa, afternoon host Bill Webster, night host Dred Scott, and weekend host Rosalie Howarth, were let go from the station. By 2018, the station had gradually transitioned to a younger alternative rock format.
Past KFOG Programming and Promotions
KFOG developed a reputation for being devoted to the listeners, who were called "Fogheads." The weekday morning show often featured prize giveaways (usually concert tickets), and guests candidly fielded questions from callers and e-mails. The station gave registered Fogheads first crack at tickets to private concerts and exclusive events.
KFOG's specialty programming included "10 @ 10," ten popular songs from one year, interspersed with old newscasts, commercials and film clips. It began at 10 a.m. and was also rebroadcast at 10 p.m. On Saturday morning at 6 a.m., the week's five shows were rebroadcast, back-to-back. Each weekday, a random year was selected, followed by “ten great songs from one great year” in addition to classic commercials, news broadcasts and clips from popular TV programs. Listeners would call in with their favorite songs, with the winner being named “Best Of Set” (B.O.S.). In later years, the “Best Of Set” votes would also be tabulated from the KFOG Facebook fan site. The show was hosted by Dave Morey, with Don Pardo serving as announcer beginning in September 1982. Don Pardo would “spin the big wheel” which would land on the year of the day. In addition to the regular programs, there were occasional special shows, such as “Ten Turkeys” on Thanksgiving, “Hits From Hell” on any Friday the Thirteenth. During Morey's tenure, he was fond of occasional all-Beatles playlists.
Dave Morey retired from KFOG on Friday, December 19, 2008, to his vacation home on Lake Huron. Following his retirement, on-air personality Annalisa took over the program until 2012 when she moved to KFOX radio and Renee Richardson took over 10@10. Annalisa returned to KFOG in 2014 and also returned to hosting 10@10. Its last broadcast was March 30, 2016.
A nightly "Psychedelic Psupper" showcased music from the psychedelic era and the "Sunday Night Idiot Show" featured an eclectic collection of oldies hosted by M. Dung (a pseudonym used by disc jockey Michael Slavko).
The station held a popular outdoor concert, KFOG KaBoom, at San Francisco's Piers 30 and 32 each May. This is followed by a nighttime fireworks show synchronized to a soundtrack. The extravagant fireworks display draws over 350,000 people. The lineup for the 2009 edition included Los Lonely Boys, Susan Tedeschi, and Chuck Prophet. In 2010 KaBoom was moved to the parking lot outside of Candlestick Park due to erosion of the support pylons at Piers 30/32. The 2010 KaBoom featured headliner Melissa Ethridge with opening acts The John Butler Trio and Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. It was the last KaBoom concert.
Many of the concerts KFOG sponsored were recorded for KFOG's "Live from the Archives," a massive library of live performances curated for a once a year for a limited-edition CD called KFOG Live From the Archives. No more than 35,000 copies of each volume were pressed, with all of the proceeds donated to Bay Area food banks. Volume 16 was released in November 2009.
KFOG had a tradition of playing various songs at the same time each week. On Friday afternoons at 5 p.m., the station always broadcast the song "Smoke Two Joints," playing a version by either The Toyes or Sublime. Thursdays were dubbed “New Releases Thursday” with KFOG playing music from new bands, often including indie rock groups. Sunday mornings and evenings featured “Acoustic Sunrise” 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and "Acoustic Sunset” from 7 p.m. To 9 p.m., hosted by longtime DJ Rosalie Howarth with a mellower slant to the playlist.
In 2002, KFOG was the first in the nation to put its music on iTunes and on HD Radio. KFOG also began streaming its programming live over the Internet worldwide. There was a foghorn sound effect heard from time to time to reinforce the call letters KFOG.
Notable Personalities and Shows
- KFOG KaBoom
- Rosalie Howarth on Sunday mornings.
- The Putumayo World Music Hour was syndicated across the United States.
- Weekends include The House of Blues Hour, the KFOG Sideshow and Live From The Archives-The Show.
- 10 @ 10, broadcast at 10 a.m. and repeated at 10 p.m. weekdays, with a 7 a.m. Saturday morning marathon replaying all five shows from that week. The general theme was "ten great songs from one great year" but the show also occasionally features other special themes. The show has been hosted by Dave Morey, Renee Richardson and Annalisa.
- On May 29, 2012, KFOG debuted a new morning show called "KFOG In The Morning with Greg, Tony, and Melanie," featuring Tony Longo, Greg Gory and Melanie Walker. After their short lived stint, and a series of changes that followed, KFOG in the Morning with Renee, No Name & Irish Greg emerged for a two-year run. They were replaced by Matt Pinfield.
Until mid 2015, KFOG broadcast two feeds in HD Radio, the first was a simulcast of the analog feed and the second would rebroadcast "All-10@10-All-The-Time."
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1961-62 page B-24
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1975 page C-24
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1991 page B-45
- Venta, Lance (March 21, 2016). "Bryan Schock To Program KFOG/KSAN; Evolution Coming To KFOG 4/20". Radio Insight.
- Whiting, Sam (April 4, 2016). "KFOG axes DJs; station's future up in the air". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Venta, Lance (April 20, 2016). "KFOG Completes Relaunch". Radio Insight.
- "10@10". KFOG. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- Wardell, Kenny (July 10, 2017). "DJ 'M. Dung' Passes A-WAY". BAM.
- Fong-Torres, Ben (July 23, 2017). "KFOG's 'Idiot Show' and morning DJ dies". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Fox, Andrea (November 19, 2015). "Live From The Archives Weekend". KFOG.
- "KFOG San Francisco". KFOG. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- "The Blues Mobile". Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KFOG
- Radio-Locator information on KFOG
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KFOG
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KFFG
- Radio-Locator information on KFFG
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KFFG