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City of license San Francisco, California
Broadcast area San Francisco Bay Area
Branding All News KCBS
Frequency 106.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date December 10, 1959
Format KFRC: All news
KFRC-HD2: Classic Hits
ERP 80,000 watts
HAAT 305 meters
Class B
Facility ID 20897
Callsign meaning KFRC, AM station SanFRanCisco
Former callsigns KIFR-FM (2005-2007)
KEAR (1978-2005)
KMPX (1962-1978)
KHIP (1960-1962)
KPUP (1959-1960)
Owner CBS Radio
Sister stations KCBS, KFRC, KITS, KLLC, KMVQ
also part of CBS Corp. cluster: KPIX-TV and KBCW-TV
Webcast KFRC Webstream
[ KFRC-HD2 Webstream
Website (KFRC-HD2)

KFRC-FM (106.9 FM) is a commercial radio station in San Francisco, California, serving the San Francisco Bay Area. It simulcasts sister station KCBS, which carries an all-news format. The Classic Hits format, which KFRC-FM previously carried, is broadcast on KFRC-FM HD2 and streamed at



On December 10, 1959, the station, owned by San Francisco businessman Franklin Mieuli, signed on at 106.9 MHz with the KPUP call letters.

Early-mid 1960s

In July 1960, the call letters were changed to KHIP and the station aired jazz music programming.

Mieuli sold KHIP on July 1, 1962 to Leon Crosby, who had previously owned KHYD in Hayward. Under Crosby's ownership, the station began operating in multiplex stereo and the call letters were changed to KMPX (for "MultiPleX") the following month. Soon after, Crosby gained authorization by the FCC to increase the station's power from the original 37,000 watts to 80,000 watts.

By mid-1964, KMPX was airing a middle of the road music format. As the money-strapped station struggled, the schedule became dominated by various brokered foreign language programs by 1966.

KMPX: The birth of freeform rock radio

Though KMPX's daytime schedule was heavy with ethnic programming, the midnight-6 AM slot was open. On February 12, 1967, on-air personality Larry Miller was given the shift, where he played his preferred folk rock music programming.[1] The popularity of what Larry Miller was doing caught on very rapidly and soon the daytime foreign language programming gave way to more rock music programming, due to the efforts of newly-hired Tom Donahue. The rock music format expanded to full-time on August 6, 1967, as the last of the foreign-language program contracts expired.

The presentation of music on the station stood in stark contrast to most other stations of the day. Instead of a hit music-dominated playlist, KMPX played more album cuts, local, emerging and cutting-edge artists, and a wide mix of genres such as rock, blues, jazz and folk music. Some of the music played in the Spring of 1967 included Jefferson Airplane's album Surrealistic Pillow, the first Grateful Dead album, Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced and The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which KMPX played uninterrupted in its entirety.

In November 1967, Donahue was hired to bring the progressive rock to KMPX's sister station in Southern California, KPPC-FM. Unfortunately the difficulties of managing two stations and friction between Donahue and Crosby led to Donahue's resignation, followed by a strike by the loyal Donahue-led KMPX staff on March 18, 1968. Crosby hired replacements, negotiations broke down, and the former KMPX and KPPC staffers were eventually hired by Metromedia at their stations KSAN in San Francisco and KMET in Los Angeles, both adopting the freeform progressive album-oriented rock format pioneered at KMPX and KPPC.

In 1969, both stations were sold by the Crosby-Pacific Broadcasting Company to National Science Network, Inc., who reduced KMPX's power to 40,000 watts and moved their studios twice over the next few years. They continued with the freeform format, though they tweaked it over the next several years. Crosby eventually purchased a local television station, KEMO, channel 20.

In March 1972, KMPX dropped rock and switched to a big band/nostalgia format. They increased power back to 80,000 watts in 1975.

Three-way station swap

When the owner of National Science Network died, his estate explored various opportunities to sell the station, including one offer from film director Francis Ford Coppola for $870,000, which was not consummated.

The company finally found a buyer in 1978, when Family Radio, owner of KEAR, struck a deal to purchase the station for $1 million. In accordance with FCC ownership guidelines at the time, Family Radio sold their station at 97.3 MHz to CBS Inc. for $2 million, and CBS in turn sold their lower-powered station at 98.9 MHz to a small local company, Golden Gate Radio, for $850,000. Golden Gate Radio decided to adopt the KMPX call letters and format for 98.9 MHz, at least temporarily. The three-way switch occurred on September 13, 1978. And 106.9 MHz became the new location of KEAR's religious format.

KEAR (1959-2005)

From February 4, 1959 to October 17, 2005, the station served as Family Radio's flagship Christian radio station. KEAR's programming was also syndicated to the company's other radio outlets across the country.

CBS entered the picture once again in April 2005, when parent company Viacom struck a deal to trade their strong-signalled AM facility, KFRC (610 AM) for the 106.9 MHz facility. Until CBS was able to install their own programming on 106.9 FM, KEAR simulcast their programming on both frequencies. The Oakland Athletics baseball team had a contract with KFRC to carry its games. Therefore, Family Radio carried the games on 610 AM until the end of the team's 2005 season. After the baseball broadcasts concluded on October 17, 2005, 610 AM dropped the KFRC call sign and became KEAR, while 106.9 FM became KIFR, with a new format to follow.

Free FM

Logo for 106.9 Free FM

On October 25, 2005, the Free FM talk radio format was launched, as the station began carrying the Tom Leykis and John and Jeff shows. In addition, KIFR added locally-based talk shows from The Dog House, John London, Darien O'Toole, Turi Ryder, Johnny Wendell and Scott and Casey.

When CBS' post-Howard Stern morning show strategy began in January 2006, KIFR picked up the new morning show from Adam Carolla.

Weekday evenings, then middays were hosted by Chris Daniel and Brad Giese, who came together on air as the topical call-in show The Gray Area. Documentary filmmaker and San Francisco socialite Emily Morse hosted Sex With Emily, a show that started as a podcast, late Saturday nights.[2]

On The Couch with Drew and Marcus was a weekend show on Free FM, it was a college show at San Francisco State and became a weekend staple for Free FM. All the shows can be found online at

On August 1, 2006, Opie and Anthony started airing on the station on a tape delay basis from 10 AM-1 PM

KIFR and the Free FM format included a strong online emphasis via the 106.9 Free FM website [3]. Podcasting, online streaming, and interactive features provides a bridge between the traditional talk radio format and the "on-demand" features of developing new media.

On October 30, 2006, CBS Radio and the Oakland Athletics agreed to a three year contract to broadcast Oakland Athletics baseball games, 162 regular season games and 15 spring training games, and all playoff games. The contract lasts through 2009 and notes 106.9 as the "official radio home of the Oakland A's." [4]

Revival of KFRC & Movin 99.7 gets new call sign

On Thursday, May 17, 2007, CBS Radio moved the call letters KFRC from 99.7 FM to 106.9 FM, and changed 106.9 FM's format to classic hits. This was the format that KFRC 99.7 FM had until 2006. Local management announced that some of the Free FM shows and hosts, such as Carolla, Leykis, and Opie and Anthony, would move to KYCY 1550 AM. 99.7 FM got the new call letters KMVQ.

Simulcast of KCBS

On October 27, 2008, CBS Radio replaced KFRC's Classic Hits format with a simulcast of its all news AM station, KCBS.[5] KFRC continues to broadcast classic hits on KFRC-FM HD2 and on

KFRC Returns Again

On January 1, 2009, KFRC returned again, this time playing true oldies, on 1550 AM.


External links

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