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City of license San Francisco, California
Broadcast area San Francisco Bay Area
Branding Star 101.3
Slogan My Music...
Frequency 101.3 (MHz) (also on HD Radio)
Format Hot AC
ERP 125,000 watts
HAAT 354 meters
Class B
Facility ID 34930
Callsign meaning KIOI (K101 moniker)
Owner Clear Channel Communications
Sister stations KISQ, KKGN, KKSF, KMEL, KNEW, KYLD
Webcast Listen Live

KIOI FM ("Star 101.3") is a radio station licensed to San Francisco, California. The Clear Channel Communications-owned station programs a Hot Adult Contemporary format.



Originally founded as KLX-FM by the Oakland Tribune newspaper, the station was sold in 1957 to radio engineers, James Gabbert, a Stanford University engineering major, fellow student Gary M. Gielow, and realtor John S. Wickett. The three then relaunched the station as KPEN on October 27, 1957. At the time, KPEN was a Peninsula station licensed to Atherton, California, broadcasting at a mere 1500 watts from a transmitter on Kings Mountain in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The station soon put an emphasis on high audio quality, in contrast to other FM stations that did not take advantage of FM broadcasting capabilities.

During the day, KPEN played pop music, switched to a lighter blend of background "dinner music" in the early evening, then classical music after 8 p.m. KPEN's high audio quality helped them to dominate other stations on the FM dial, particularly KSFR, which later became KSAN.

Two years after its successful debut, the transmitter was moved to San Bruno Mountain and power increased to 35,000 watts (it was grandfathered in at that power level by the FCC, which capped stations in that part of the country at 50,000 watts). Gabbert and Gielow hosted an evening program called "Excursions in Sound," which showcased high fidelity recordings and took advantage of the high quality broadcast signal. Then, on August 14, 1964, power was further increased to 125,000 watts, making it the most powerful signal west of the Mississippi River.

The station was also notable for being the first FM station west of the Mississippi in the nation to broadcast in multiplex stereo, officially beginning August 10, 1961, after a series of field tests. "Excursions in Sound" was renamed "Excursions in Stereo."[1] KPEN's technological achievements were recognized by the Electronic Industry Association, the FCC, and President John F. Kennedy.


On December 1, 1968, KPEN changed its call letters to KIOI ("K101"), dropped its block programming, and started adding more rock music to its MOR playlist, to compete with upstart freeform rock stations KMPX and KSAN. Gabbert aggressively began promoting the station via outdoor advertising, which was a first for the market. "K-101" is likely the first station in the country to develop what is now called the Adult Contemporary format.

During the 1970s, Gabbert developed another lasting technological achievement as K101 became the first station in the country to develop circular polarization, which was a key element to FM reception in automobiles, which previously was difficult.

In September 1980, Gabbert sold K-101 to Charter Communications for $12.5 million, then the highest price paid in history at that time for an FM station. He turned around and purchased KEMO-TV (Channel 20) in San Francisco, changing the call letters to KTZO ("TV 20"). Gabbert later returned to local radio when he purchased KHIT-FM, KOFY (1050 AM) and KDIA (1310 AM).

Star 101.3

K101 continued as a highly rated adult contemporary station as it updated its programming to suit the times. In 2000, the station rebranded itself as "Star 101.3", and briefly drifted toward a 80s music approach.

The station currently features long-running local morning host Don Bleu and co-host April Sommers (replacing Uzette Salazar) on traffic and news. Bleu is a Minnesota native formerly of KYUU in San Francisco and KDWB in Minneapolis. Popular show segments during Bleu's morning show include The Daily Dish (entertainment gossip), Bleuper calls (prank calls to unsuspecting listeners), and the Bleu Room, an in-studio lounge session that recently featured acts including Dido, Natasha Bedingfield, Matchbox Twenty and others performing acoustic versions of their hits.

Since June 30, 2008, afternoon drive currently belongs to the nationally syndicated On-Air with Ryan Seacrest program and features Dina Lawrence on traffic. Also in the line-up is the Hot Adult Contemporary version of American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest, which airs on Sunday mornings.

In addition to the on-air team the station's Music Director is evening personality, and New Zealand native, DJ Andrew Jeffries, Alicia Kimbrell, Promotions Director and Michael Medrano, Assistant Promotions Director manage the "Star Street Team" who promote the station through attendance at various events, live broadcasts and promotional opportunities in the Bay Area. KIOI runs a fleet of promotional vehicles including the Ford Windstar and Chevrolet Tahoe.

KIOI has also adopted a Hot Adult Contemporary format. Due to the additions of Ryan Seacrest's programs, its ratings have increased in 2009. It currently has a rating of 3.2 in the latest Radio & Records release.

Star 101.3 HD

On January 19, 2006, Star 101.3 entered the HD Radio world with an HD-2 channel. The channel was originally an All '80s music format, reflecting back to the days when the station used to air '80s hits upon rebranding itself as Star. The music featured the best songs from the '80s from acts like The Police, Prince, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Cindy Lauper, and more. In 2007, Star 101.3's HD-2 channel was reformatted to "Pride Radio," music for the LGBT audience.


  1. ^ KPEN 101.3 FM - Atherton/San Francisco

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