KNBR-FM (104.5 FM) – branded KNBR 104.5 – is a commercial sports radio station licensed to San Francisco, California, serving the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Owned by Cumulus Media, KNBR is a full-time FM simulcast of sister station KNBR (680 AM). Both stations are the San Francisco affiliate for CBS Sports Radio; the flagship station for the San Francisco Giants Radio Network and a co-flagship station for the San Francisco 49ers Radio Network (along with sister stations KSAN and KGO); and the radio home of Greg Papa and Tom Tolbert. The KNBR studios are located on Battery Street in San Francisco, while the station transmitter resides on Mount Sutro, off La Avanzada Street. In addition to a standard analog transmission, KNBR simulcasts over low-power analog Pleasanton translator KNBR-FM3 (104.5 FM), broadcasts over a single HD Radio channel, and is available online.
|City||San Francisco, California|
|Broadcast area||San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, California|
|Frequency||104.5 MHz (HD Radio)|
|Branding||KNBR 104.5 and 680|
|Slogan||The Sports Leader|
|Affiliations||CBS Sports Radio|
San Francisco Giants Radio Network
San Francisco 49ers Radio Network
|Owner||Cumulus Media Inc. |
(Radio License Holding SRC LLC)
|KNBR, KGO, KSAN, KSFO, KTCT|
First air date
|February 4, 1960|
Former call signs
Call sign meaning
|carried over from KNBR (680 AM), once owned by the National BRoadcasting Company|
|Repeater(s)||See § Booster|
KNBR Webstream (iHeart)
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 1963, the call sign switched to KFOG in honor of the city's fog layer, and the station aired a beautiful music format, again largely instrumental music, cover versions of popular songs with some Broadway and Hollywood show tunes. Within a few years, KFOG got competition from other beautiful music stations: KABL-AM-FM (now KNEW and KISQ) and from KOIT, as well as San Jose-based KBAY (now KBRG). For the next two decades, beautiful music was popular in the Bay Area. By the early 1980s, the format was showing signs of aging. KFOG was acquired by General Electric in 1974.
Switch to Timeless RockEdit
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 KSAN, a pioneering progressive rock station (now KYLD).
When KFOG changed to rock in the early 1980s, the Bay Area already had numerous competing rock stations; KMEL was the established, tightly-formatted AOR station that had been playing rock music since 1977. KRQR was the hard rock station and 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 - KSJO and 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 had been the last of the heritage rock stations.
AAA and alternative rockEdit
The station evolved over the years, but KFOG aired an eclectic rock format for more than a quarter century. In the 1990s, it adjusted its playlist to an adult album alternative (AAA) direction. In August 1995, it became "KFOG 97.7 and 104.5," when Susquehanna acquired San Jose station KHQT (97.7 FM) and turned it into KFFG, simulcasting KFOG on a full-time basis.
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.
As part of the change, former New York City rock DJ Bryan Schock was hired as Operations Manager/Program Director for KFOG and classic rock sister station 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 gradually transitioned to a more mainstream alternative format. It then directly competed with KITS.
At 9:00 p.m. on May 31, 2019, KFOG slightly re-branded as "KFOG 104.5," as KFFG was sold off to EMF and became K-Love affiliate KJLV; the station adopted a new logo to reflect the sale of the repeater. The last song before the simulcast broke was "High Hopes" by Panic! At The Disco.
Switch to KNBR-FMEdit
On its final day as a music station, starting at 6 a.m., KFOG aired a tribute to its long run as a rock station with a day-long marathon of old "10@10" broadcasts and recordings taken from the station's "Live From the Archives" CD series. The exception was the 8 a.m. hour, a repeat of Dave Morey's final morning show before his retirement in 2008, and the 5 p.m. hour, in which KFOG paid tribute to longtime DJ Mike 'M Dung' Slavko's Sunday night freeform radio program "The Idiot Show". In addition, the station identifications for that day were taken from the pre-1982 beautiful music format.
During the final hour, KFOG rebroadcast its 1982 flip to AAA, followed by a "10@10" broadcast of "666 - Day of Doom Devil Music" which originally aired June 6, 2006, then a short set of songs which culminated with "Brokedown Palace" by the Grateful Dead. After a final sign-off consisting of eight minutes of waves, seagulls, and foghorns that were the station's longtime trademark, and a minute of silence, KFOG officially flipped to the simulcast. On the same day, the call sign KNBR-FM was adopted; the KFOG call letters have since been warehoused on an AM station in Little Rock, Arkansas, the former KPZK.
The station is rebroadcast on the following FM booster:
|City of license||Facility
|KNBR-FM3||104.5||Pleasanton, California||54773||185 (Horiz.)||926 m (3,038 ft)||D||FCC|
As KFOG, it broadcast two feeds in HD Radio, the first was a simulcast of the analog feed and the second carried "All-10@10-All-The-Time." The HD2 feed was taken off air in 2015. The HD1 feed returned when the station became KNBR-FM.
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1961-62 page B-24
- FCC History Cards for KNBR-FM
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1975 page C-24
- Broadcasting Yearbook 1991 page B-45
- "Vox Jox". Billboard. 107 (30): 114. July 29, 1995.
- 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.
- "Bay Area radio station KFOG pronounced dead". The Mercury News. 2019-08-26. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
- Venta, Lance (5 September 2019). "KFOG Celebrates Final Day With Trip To Archives". Radio Insight. Retrieved 5 September 2019.