|City||San Francisco, California|
|Broadcast area||San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, California|
|Branding||860 AM The Answer|
|First air date||June 18, 1933 in Modesto, California
February 1, 2007 in San Francisco, California
|Power||50,000 watts days
5,000 watts nights
|Callsign meaning||founding owners
T. R. McTammany and
Truth Radio for the Bay (previous format)
|Affiliations||Salem Radio Network|
|Sister stations||KFAX, KDOW|
KTRB (860 kHz) is a commercial AM radio station in San Francisco, California. The station has a talk radio format airing programming from the Salem Radio Network, using the slogan "860 AM The Answer." KTRB is owned Susan L. Uecker under a receivership from Comerica Bank.
KTRB features natonally syndicated programming, including Salem hosts Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Larry Elder and Steve Deace. Salem Media Group, which also owns 1220 KDOW and 1100 KFAX in the Bay Area, is operating KTRB under an "LMA" or local marketing agreement. Salem uses "The Answer" as a brand for most of its talk stations. San Francisco has three other talk radio stations, 560 KSFO and 810 KGO, owned by Cumulus Media; and 910 KKSF, owned by iHeartMedia.
KTRB signed on the air on June 18, 1933, licensed to Modesto, California. Its owner, Pappas Telecasting, obtained permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move the station to the larger, more lucrative San Francisco media market. To replace the loss of the station in Modesto, Pappas Telecasting established KMPH at 840 AM in Modesto. In order to serve the Bay Area with a usable signal, but protect other stations on the frequency, a new transmitter site was constructed in Sunol, California which pointed its signal west over the Bay Area. This site is situated directly south of Livermore. During transmission testing in the Bay Area, KTRB began airing a classic rock music format on February 1, 2007.
As a hot talk station
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that KTRB would debut a hot talk format on March 15, 2007, featuring syndicated personalities Mancow Muller and John London, who once aired on San Francisco stations, as well as other syndicated hosts such as Glenn Beck. A similar article appeared a few days later in the San Jose Mercury News. On January 25, 2010, the station announced that conservative talker Michael Savage would take over the afternoon slot, four months after being let go by KNEW (910 AM). That April, a replay of Savage's show also began airing in morning drive, owing to his live show being frequently preempted due to live coverage of Athletics games.
As a sports talk station
In the fall of 2008, KTRB switched to a sports radio format. It became the radio home of Stanford University football and men's basketball. It also became the Bay Area radio home of the Oakland Athletics baseball team.
Receivership by Comerica Bank
KMPH was shut down on August 31, 2010 due to lack of revenue. (It has since returned to the air under new owners.) KTRB, on September 10, 2010, was taken over by Comerica Bank through the receivership of Susan L. Uecker. The station dismissed its entire staff except for the chief engineer and ceased to carry Michael Savage, but continued its sports format using syndicated shows. Athletics baseball broadcasts, including pregame and postgame shows, were taken over by the team itself. After the Athletics' attempt to purchase the station collapsed, the broadcasts were moved to KBWF 95.7 FM, (now KGMZ) for the 2011 season with the Bay Bridge Series exhibition games airing on KFRC (1550 AM, now KZDG).
With the station in receivership, and with no capital available to repair the failed former directional day/night transmitter site, a new non-directional day site became the only operational site. Comerica Bank petitioned several times for FCC permission to operate the station non-directionally during all hours, with 50,000 watts days, and with 12,500 watts nights, subject to objections from co-channel stations. Under the terms of the special temporary authority or "STA", KTRB is required to reduce night power further, in order to mitigate interference.
The combined directional day/night site was never particularly effective either day or night, and it is believed that the station is seeking a replacement site, one which has utility power. There are few stations in the San Francisco area whose existing towers have the requisite geometry for operation on 860 kHz, but the 1050 kHz site, which is not too far from the existing 1100 kHz full-time/860 kHz daytime site, may be one of these.
Switch to ESPN Deportes
On Friday, June 24, 2011, Deportes Media began operating KTRB under a local marketing agreement or "LMA." The station's format changed to Spanish-language sports using the ESPN Deportes Radio Network.
Switch to Salem Radio Network
On the Fourth of July weekend, 2016, the station switched to a conservative talk radio format airing nationally syndicated programs from the Salem Radio Network. The station began operations under the Salem Media Group using an LMA (Local Marketing Agreement).
-  The Story of Bill Bates and KTRB. modestoradiomuseum.org
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1977 pg. C-23
- Fong-Torres, Ben (2007-02-25). "Radio waves". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Kava, Brad (2007-02-27). "Radio report". San Jose Mercury News.
- "Stanford Press Release"
- Steward, Carl (September 11, 2010). "Oakland A's update: Radio flagship station in turmoil but vows to stay on the air". The Oakland Tribune. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
- Siglich, Joe (March 31, 2011). "A's reach agreement to broadcast games on FM station". Oakland Tribune. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- FCC History Cards for KTRB
- Query the FCC's AM station database for KTRB
- Radio-Locator Information on KTRB
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for KTRB