Media in the San Francisco Bay Area

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Sutro Tower, the landmark TV and radio antenna tower in San Francisco where some of the major Bay Area stations transmit from

The media in the San Francisco Bay Area has historically focused on San Francisco but also includes two other major media centers, Oakland and San Jose. The Federal Communications Commission, Nielsen Media Research, and other similar media organizations treat the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Bay Area as one entire media market. The region hosts to one of the oldest radio stations in the United States still in existence, KCBS (AM) (740 kHz), founded by engineer Charles Herrold in 1909. As the home of Silicon Valley, the Bay Area is also a technologically advanced and innovative region, with many companies involved with Internet media or influential websites.


Newspaper vending machines in downtown San Jose
Newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, who took over the now-San Francisco Examiner in 1887 and later made it the flagship of his national chain

The first newspaper published by Americans in California was The Californian, printed in Monterey in 1846 announcing the Mexican–American War, written half in English and half Spanish. The press was moved to San Francisco and printing started up again on May 22, 1847 in competition with the weekly California Star, beginning that January. The first newspaper published solely in English in San Francisco was The Star published by Mormon pioneer Sam Brannan before San Francisco was renamed from Yerba Buena in 1847. Both efforts suspended publication in the face of the California Gold Rush. By August, The Californian had resumed publication, but by November 1848, both papers were bought and merged, then renamed the Alta California.

The press that once printed The Californian was moved to the Sacramento area to be used on the Placer Times. The press was again moved and began publishing the Motherlode's first paper, the Sonora Herald, then taken to Columbia to print the Columbia Star. Within a few years of the discovery of gold, mother lode towns all had multiple competing journals. Before 1860, California had 57 newspapers and periodicals serving an average readership of 290,000.

James King of William began publishing the Daily Evening Bulletin in San Francisco in October, 1855 and built it into the highest circulation paper in the city. He criticized a city supervisor named James P. Casey, who, on the afternoon of the story about him, ran in the paper, shot and mortally wounded King. Casey was lynched by the early vigilante committee. The Morning Call was established and began publishing in December 1856, and later merged with the Bulletin to become the long-running Call-Bulletin. The San Francisco Chronicle debuted in June, 1865 as the Dramatic Chronicle, founded by Charles and M.H. de Young aged 19 and 17.

In 1887, young William Randolph Hearst took over his father's Daily Examiner, which became the flagship of his national chain.

Fremont Older became editor of the San Francisco Bulletin in 1895 and took up the struggle against the powerful Southern Pacific Railroad and along with fellow Californian Lincoln Steffens, became a well-known muckraker and the first objective observer to accuse District Attorney Charles Fickert of the framing of labor radical Thomas Mooney.

The oldest African-American newspaper, still active in the 1930s, was the California Eagle. It appeared first in Los Angeles in 1879. The first French journals, the Californien and the Gazette Republicane both began in 1850, and were followed by the Courrier du Pacifique in 1852. Both the first German and first Italian papers, the California Demokrat (1852) and the Voce del Popolo (1859) were founded in San Francisco and had long runs. Chinese in California have published many newspapers, the first being the Gold Hills News in 1854.

Noted journalists, writers, cartoonists and publishers have passed through San Francisco's media world, including:

By the early decades of the 20th century, San Francisco supported four major dailies and numerous influential weeklies. The dailies were the San Francisco Call (later Call-Bulletin), the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Scripps-Howard-owned Daily News. The weeklies included the Wasp, the Argonaut, the Labor Clarion, the Coast Seamen's Journal, Emanu-el, Liberator and the News Letter.

Today, several newspapers, covering community, regional, national, and international news, and community-specific papers, catering to niche markets and individual neighborhoods, are in circulation in the San Francisco Bay Area. The major English-language newspapers include the daily East Bay Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, and San Jose Mercury News. The weekly alternative papers are the Metro Silicon Valley, East Bay Express, and SF Weekly. The Epoch Times, Singtao Daily, World Journal, and Kangzhongguo are among the Asian newspapers that serve the Bay Area.


The Tribune Tower in Oakland, the headquarters of the Oakland Tribune from 1924 to 2007
Former newspapers
Ethnic newspapers

Aside from the major English broadsheets, the Bay Area also publishes newspapers catering to the large ethnic communities in the region, including:

Former ethnic newspapers

Several college newspapers also exist as well in the Bay Area, including:




The KTVU (Fox channel 2) studios (left) overlooking the Oakland Estuary in Oakland's Jack London Square
The KPIX (CBS channel 5) studios in San Francisco
The KNTV (NBC channel 11)/KSTS (Telemundo channel 48) studios in San Jose
Antennas outside the KGO (ABC channel 7) studios in San Francisco

The San Francisco Bay Area is currently the sixth-largest television market in the United States, with all of the major U.S. television networks having affiliates serving the region, and it is host to various local, national and international programming. With a large, diverse population spread throughout the region, the Bay Area provides channels specific to their needs, including Asian and Hispanic television stations, as well as foreign programming on digital subchannels.

When television stations identify themselves, they usually identify the station in this order (it is often altered depending on the station's city of license, but always includes San Francisco in the list): (channel/station ID), San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose. This also happens when radio stations (listed below) identify themselves on the top of each hour. Prior to the 1990s, these stations would almost exclusively identify based on the exact city of license, with a notable exception being major independent (now Fox O&O) KTVU, which would identify using KTVU, Oakland, San Francisco as San Francisco has traditionally been the better-known and more "important" city in the region.

Currently, television stations that primarily serve the San Francisco Bay Area include: [13]

Station Channel Network Affiliation City of License Owner Subchannels
KAXT* 1 Decades Santa Clara Weigel Broadcasting
KTVU†* 2 Fox Oakland Fox Television Stations 2.2 (currently blank)
2.3 Movies!
2.4 Buzzr
KRON 4 MyNetworkTV San Francisco Nexstar Media Group 4.2* Antenna TV
4.3 SportsGrid
4.4 Quest
4.5 Shop LC
KPIX†* 5 CBS ViacomCBS 5.2 Start TV
5.3 Dabl
5.4 Fave TV
KGO* 7 ABC ABC Owned Television Stations 7.2 Localish
7.3 This TV
7.4 HSN
KQED 9 PBS Northern California Public Broadcasting 9.2 KQEH
9.3 World
9.4 PBS Kids
KNTV†* 11 NBC San Jose NBCUniversal 11.2 Cozi TV
11.5 Lx
KDTV†* 14 Univision San Francisco Univision Communications 14.2 KFSF-DT
14.3 getTV
14.4 Court TV Mystery
KSCZ 16 Independent San Jose Venture Technologies Group 16.1-16.8, 16.16 Vietnamese programming
16.9 Taiwanese programming
KOFY 20 Independent San Francisco CNZ Communications, LLC 20.2 Charge!
20.3 Positiv
20.4 Local Now
20.5 Fun Roads
KRCB 22 PBS Cotati Rural California Broadcasting Corporation 22.2 Create
22.3 NHK World
KTSF 26 Independent San Francisco Lincoln Broadcasting
KCNZ-CD 28 HSN LocusPoint Networks 28.10 Retro Television Network
28.15 TCN
KMTP 32 DW, Classic Arts Minority Television Project
KICU 36 Independent San Jose Fox Television Stations 36.2 KBS World
36.3 CGTN
36.4 Decades
36.5 TheGrio TV
KCNS 38 ShopHQ San Francisco WRNN-TV Associates 38.2 Sky Link TV
38.3 Sonlife
38.5 NTDTV
KMMC 40 3ABN Latino San Francisco Caballero Television 40.4 Rev'n
KTNC* 42 TCT Concord Tri-State Christian Television 42.2 Canal de la Fe
KBCW†* 44 The CW San Francisco ViacomCBS 44.2 Comet
44.3 MeTV
44.4 TBD
44.5 Circle
KSTS†* 48 Telemundo San Jose NBCUniversal 48.2 TeleXitos
48.5 Lx
KEMO 50 Estrella TV Santa Rosa HC2 Holdings 50.2* Azteca América
50.3 QVC
KQEH 54 PBS San Jose Northern California Public Broadcasting 54.2 KQED
54.3 PBS World
54.4 PBS Kids
54.5 PBS World
KPJK 60 Independent San Mateo Rural California Broadcasting Corporation 60.2 France 24
60.3 KCSM
KKPX* 65 ION San Jose Ion Media Networks
(a subsidiary of the E. W. Scripps Company)
65.2 Bounce TV
65.3 Court TV
65.4 Defy TV
65.5 Laff
65.6 True Real
KFSF†* 66 UniMás Vallejo Univision Communications 66.2 Univision (via KDTV)
66.3 Bounce TV
66.4 Grit
66.5 True Crime Network
66.6 Twist
KTLN* 68 Heroes & Icons San Rafael Weigel Broadcasting 68.2-68.3 MeTV

Notes: † – channel involved in a duopoly with another channel, owned by the same company or network. * – channel is a network owned-and-operated station.

The "Channel" column refers to its former analog and current virtual channel number, as well as the PSIP main subchannel (such as 2.1).

In addition to local television channels, several television networks have regional news bureaus in the San Francisco Bay Area, including BBC, CNN, ESPN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera America, Russia Today, CCTV America, and PBS.

Regional sports networks NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California air San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, San Jose Sharks and San Jose Earthquakes games.


Charles Herrold, founder of KCBS-AM

The San Francisco Bay Area is currently the fourth-largest radio market in the United States, with all of the major U.S. radio networks having affiliates serving the region. While most radio stations targeting the Bay Area originate in San Francisco, it also includes stations broadcasting from San Jose, mostly to South Bay listeners and other parts of the Bay Area depending on reception. (The San Jose radio market ranks as the 37th largest, but is considered an embedded market within the Bay Area.)

When radio frequencies broadcast their identities, they would usually identify their frequency in this order (it can be altered depending on the network's city of license, but always include San Francisco in the list): (channel/station ID), San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose.

Currently, radio stations that primarily serve the San Francisco Bay Area include:


Station Frequency Format City of License Owner
KSFO 560 Talk San Francisco Cumulus Media
KEAR 610 Christian Radio Family Radio
KNBR 680 Sports Cumulus Media
KCBS 740 News Audacy
KGO 810 Talk Cumulus Media
KTRB 860 News/Talk Salem Communications
KKSF 910 Progressive talk Oakland iHeartMedia
KNEW 960 Business News/Talk
KIQI 1010 Spanish San Francisco Multicultural Broadcasting
KTCT 1050 Sports San Mateo Cumulus Media
KFAX 1100 Religious Talk San Francisco Salem Communications
KLOK 1170 Indian San Jose Principle Broadcasting
KDYA 1190 Urban gospel Vallejo Baybridge Communications
KDOW 1220 Business News/Talk Palo Alto Salem Communications
KSFB 1260 Catholic Radio San Francisco Immaculate Heart Radio
KMKY 1310 South Asian Oakland Charanjit Batth
KZSF 1370 Spanish San Jose Carlos Duarate
KVTO 1400 Chinese Berkeley Phuong Pham
KVVN 1430 Vietnamese Santa Clara
KEST 1450 Chinese San Francisco Multicultural Broadcasting
KSJX 1500 Vietnamese San Jose
KSFN 1510 Chinese Piedmont Mapleton Communications
KGMZ 1550 LGBTQ Talk/Dance San Francisco Audacy
KLIV 1590 Silent San Jose Empire Broadcasting
KDIA 1640 Religious Talk Vallejo Baybridge Communications
KBCP 1650 Various (School) San Jose Bellarmine College Preparatory


Station Frequency Format City of License Owner
KSFH 87.9 Rock Mountain View St. Francis High School of Mountain View
KECG 88.1 School El Cerrito El Cerrito High School
KSRH 88.1 San Rafael San Rafael High School
KQED 88.5 Public Radio San Francisco Northern California Public Broadcasting
KCEA 89.1 School Atherton Atherton High School
KMVS 89.3 Contemporary Christian Moss Beach Educational Media Foundation
KPFB 89.3 Public Radio Berkeley Pacifica Radio
KOHL 89.3 Top 40/CHR Fremont Ohlone College
KMTG 89.3 School San Jose San Jose Unified School District
KPOO 89.5 Variety San Francisco Poor's People Radio
KFJC 89.7 College Los Altos Foothill College
KCRH 89.9 Hayward Chabot College
KZSU 90.1 Stanford Stanford University
KDFC 90.3 Classical San Francisco University of Southern California
KSJS 90.5 College San Jose San Jose State University
KALX 90.7 Berkeley University of California Berkeley
KCSM 91.1 Jazz San Mateo College of San Mateo
KKUP 91.5 Variety Cupertino Assurance Science Foundation
KALW 91.7 Public Radio San Francisco San Francisco Unified School District
KKDV 92.1 Adult contemporary Walnut Creek Alpha Media
KSJO 92.3 Bollywood music San Jose Universal Media Access
KREV 92.7 Top 40/CHR San Francisco Royce International
KRZZ 93.3 Regional Mexican Spanish Broadcasting System
KXZM 93.7 Felton, California Radio Lazer
KPFA 94.1 Public Radio Berkeley Pacifica Radio
KBAY 94.5 Classic hits San Jose Alpha Media
KYLD 94.9 Top 40/CHR San Francisco iHeartMedia
KRTY 95.3 Country Los Gatos Empire Broadcasting
KGMZ 95.7 Sports San Francisco Audacy, Inc.
KSQQ 96.1 Chinese/Vietnamese/Portuguese Morgan Hill Coyote Communications
KOIT 96.5 Adult contemporary San Francisco Bonneville International
KLLC 97.3 Hot AC Audacy, Inc.
KJLV 97.7 Contemporary Christian Los Altos Educational Media Foundation
KISQ 98.1 Adult contemporary San Francisco iHeartMedia
KUFX 98.5 Classic rock San Jose Bonneville International
KSOL 98.9 Regional Mexican San Francisco Univision Radio
KSQL 99.1 Santa Cruz
KMVQ 99.7 Top 40/CHR San Francisco Bonneville International
KBRG 100.3 Spanish Adult hits San Jose Univision Radio
KVVZ 100.7 Spanish Rhythmic San Rafael
KIOI 101.3 Hot AC San Francisco iHeartMedia
KKIQ 101.7 Adult contemporary Livermore, California Alpha Media
KRBQ 102.1 Rhythmic oldies San Francisco Audacy, Inc.
KBLX 102.9 Urban AC Berkeley Bonneville International
KSCU 103.3 College Santa Clara Santa Clara University
KOSF 103.7 '80's hits San Francisco iHeartMedia
KNBR-FM (simulcast of KNBR) 104.5 Sports Cumulus Media
KXSC (simulcast of KDFC) 104.9 Classical Sunnyvale University of Southern California
KITS 105.3 Alternative rock San Francisco Audacy, Inc.
KVVF 105.7 Spanish Rhythmic Santa Clara Univision Radio
KMEL 106.1 Urban contemporary San Francisco iHeartMedia
KEZR 106.5 Hot AC San Jose Alpha Media
KFRC (simulcast of KCBS) 106.9 News San Francisco Audacy, Inc.
KLVS 107.3 Contemporary Christian Livermore Educational Media Foundation
KSAN 107.7 Classic rock San Mateo Cumulus Media


Online publications[edit]

Besides websites that exist in addition to print publications, many publications that only exist online have come into existence in recent years. The most notable include:

Internet and social media[edit]

As the home of Silicon Valley, several high technology companies involved with Internet media or social media are either headquartered or have a significant presence in the Bay Area. These include the following:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "San Francisco Progress shuts down 'temporarily'". United Press International. December 16, 1988. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Bùi Văn Phú (November 7, 2005). "Khai sinh và khai tử của một tờ báo Việt chủ Mỹ" [The birth and death of an American-owned Vietnamese newspaper]. Talawas (in Vietnamese). Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Bùi Văn Phú (November 6, 2015). "'Khủng bố ở Little Saigon' tiết lộ gì?" [Does 'Terror in Little Saigon' reveal anything?]. BBC Vietnamese (in Vietnamese). BBC. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  4. ^ P. Thy (October 5, 2014). "Nhật báo Thời Báo San Jose đình bản vĩnh viễn" [Daily newspaper Thời Báo of San Jose permanently ceases publication]. Saigon Broadcasting Television Network (in Vietnamese). Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  5. ^ Ngọc Lãng (October 7, 2014). "San Jose: Nhật Báo Thời Báo Đóng Cửa Sau 30 Năm 1984-2014" [San Jose: Daily Newspaper Thời Báo Closes Its Doors After 30 Years 1984-2014]. Việt Báo Daily News (in Vietnamese). Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  6. ^ The Campanil
  7. ^ Golden Gate XPress
  8. ^ Pioneer
  9. ^ San Francisco Foghorn
  10. ^ Spartan Daily Archived 2015-01-03 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ San Francisco newspapers – newspaper guide
  12. ^ California newspapers – newspaper guide
  13. ^ "Station Index – San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose". Retrieved 18 March 2013.