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KFRC (AM): Wikis


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City of license San Francisco, California
Broadcast area San Francisco, California
Branding 1550 KFRC
Slogan "True Oldies"
Frequency 1550 kHz
First air date 1947
Format Oldies
ERP 10,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 25458
Former callsigns KYCY (1997-2009)
KPIX (1994-1997)
KKHI (1963-1994)
KQBY (1960-1963)
KOBY (1956-1960)
KEAR (1952-1956)
KSMO (1947-1952)
Owner CBS Radio
Sister stations KCBS, KFRC, KITS, KLLC, KMVQ
also part of CBS Corp. cluster: KPIX-TV and KBCW-TV
Webcast Click Here

KFRC (1550 AM) is a radio station in San Francisco, owned by CBS Radio. KFRC features an oldies music format, featuring the syndicated True Oldies Channel feed.





The 1550AM frequency has been home to many call signs and formats since it signed on in 1947. The original format was classical music as KSMO (later KEAR).


When the station was sold in 1956, following a brief period of being off the air, it flipped to Top 40 as KOBY. The station quickly went to the top of the local ratings. They also simulcast with their new FM station at 95.7. Soon, other stations in the Bay Area switched to Top 40, and with much deeper financial resources, and the owners of KOBY decided to sell. In order to inflate station revenues, they began programming heavy amounts of commercials. This move backfired, and potential buyers were scared away from the rapidly failing stations.

In 1960, KOBY and KOBY-FM switched to beautiful music under a new owner, with new call letters KQBY. Ratings were still poor, and the owner ran out of money. The stations went dark once again until a new buyer was found.


The new owner adopted a middle of the road (MOR) format for the two stations, with the call letters KKHI, as well as personality-oriented disc jockeys. The next year, KKHI-FM, due to new FCC regulations concerning FM simulcasting, switched to an automated beautiful music format. Soon after, the owner ran out of money, and with a severe cutback of station staffers (including the expensive disc jockeys, flipped to classical music once again. Eventually, they simulcast once again with their FM signal. The classical format was somewhat successful, but the owner could not dig himself out of his massive debts and sold the stations in 1965. The new owners, Buckley Broadcasting were satisfied with the revenue generated by KKHI, so the format was kept. Buckley continued to own the station and program classical music until 1994.


Group W, the owners of KPIX(TV), purchased the two stations in 1994 and switched to all-news with the KPIX call letters. The stations did not do well in the ratings due to heavy competition with the long-established KCBS and KGO. However, KPIX was notable for its continuous coverage of the O.J. Simpson murder case. When the trial ended, KPIX resumed its all-news format, with ratings still falling.

CBS and Westinghouse merged operations in 1997, and to comply with FCC ownership regulations, KPIX-FM was sold to Bonneville. KPIX-AM dropped the news programming and began simulcasting new sister station KYCY and its then-country music format.


The two stations simulcast for several years, until the AM station switched to a talk format, consisting of syndicated shows such as Opie and Anthony. The talk format performed poorly, and rarely appeared in the Arbitron ratings books. In May 2005, KYCY adopted its current format.

On May 17, 2007, CBS Broadcasting shut down 106.9 FreeFM (KIFR) and transferred it back to an "oldies" format with call sign KFRC-FM. They also announced the move of their current format to 1550AM San Francisco. One month later, three of KIFR's former programs debuted on KYCY[1], with the all-podcast format moving to Internet-only.

KYCY logo

Launched on May 16, 2005, KYOURadio was the first radio station to have output that is 100% based on podcasts, or user-generated content. Announcing the change of format, CBS Radio chief executive Joel Hollander described the new format as something of an experiment. The first program was from podcast veteran Dave Winer.

All content was submitted by listeners, and in the two weeks before launch, the station attracted over 400 submissions, and a month after launch it was broadcasting around 1,200 podcasts a week. All material was screened to ensure it conformed with US federal guidelines on decency. The station manager, Stephen Page, claimed that after six months he had over 2,000 people offering to create content for the station. These contributors were unpaid.

Around 20% of the content was speech-based, with the rest based on music.

From 2006 to 2008, KYCY was the flagship station of the Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball team; in 2008, it shared that distinction with KFRC-FM.


It was announced on December 22, 2008 that starting on New Year's Day 2009, this station would be switching formats again, this time to an Oldies format courtesy of Scott Shannon's "The True Oldies Channel" (programmed by ABC Radio). Also, a callsign change was filed to adopt the KFRC call letters, which resided previously on the AM band at AM 610 (now KEAR).[2]

At the same time, the station lost A's broadcast rights to KTRB, a station that was imported from the San Joaquin Valley just two years earlier.

KFRC now runs the American Top 40: The '70s with Casey Kasem on Sundays at 8am - 11am Pacific Time.


  1. ^ "Wake-up shake-ups". San Francisco Chronicle. 2008-01-27. "Adam Carolla, anointed by CBS Radio to be Howard Stern's replacement in major markets after Stern's move to Sirius satellite, is no longer heard in the Bay Area. He'd been on KIFR (Free FM at 106.9) until CBS ditched the rowdy-talk format last June for lack of ratings, replacing it with the return of KFRC. Because Carolla's contract called for him to have an affiliate in San Francisco, CBS moved him - and other talk shows - to KYCY (1550 AM). That is, until Dec. 31, when the deal expired. Carolla carries on in Los Angeles and a couple of other markets (CBS also dropped Free FM in New York and Philadelphia), but not here. "We just can't afford him," said Stephen Page, program director at KYCY. And, he added, it'll be the same story with Opie and Anthony when their contract runs out at the end of March."  
  2. ^ CBS Radio/San Francisco Brings KFRC Back, In Oldies Form - Radio Ink (released December 24, 2008)

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