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City of license San Francisco, California
Broadcast area San Francisco Bay Area/Oakland/San Jose
Branding Live 105; formerly Hot Hits KITS and The One and Only LIVE 105
Slogan The Bay Area's LIVE 105
Frequency 105.3 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1983 as CHR/Pop, becomes a modern rock station in 1986
Format Modern rock
ERP 15,000 watts
HAAT 366 meters
Class B
Facility ID 18510
Callsign meaning Hot HITS (when they were CHR)
Former callsigns KBRG (1960s-1983)
Owner CBS Radio
Sister stations KCBS, KFRC, KFRC-FM, KLLC, KMVQ
also part of CBS Corp. cluster: KPIX-TV and KBCW-TV
Webcast Listen Live

KITS ("Live 105") is a San Francisco, California, USA-based radio station broadcasting at 105.3 MHz. The station is owned by CBS Radio and programs a modern rock format. The station also broadcasts on HD channel L2, locally on Comcast cable channel 986, and is streaming online. In 2010, LIVE 105 launched a new website using Wordpress. Current information regarding the station's on-air lineup, podcasting, and streaming can be found on the website at




Hot Hits

The station's original call letters were KBRG. The KITS call letters arrived in February 1983 when the station adopted radio consultant Mike Joseph's Hot Hits Top-40 music format. Seven air personalities were recruited during a nationwide search from stations such as XETRA Tijuana, Mexico, Q104 Kansas City, 92x Columbus, Ohio, and WCAU-FM Philadelphia. The transplanted jocks underwent a "broadcasting bootcamp" for two weeks prior to launching the new Hot Hits format. Radio personality Doug Ritter (Doug Ritterling) was the first Disc Jockey on the air (at 9am on February 27, 1984), transitioning KBRG-FM from its Spanish format to Hot Hits.

The station was referred to as "Hot Hits KITS" and followed the formula of a very short playlist with heavy repetition and fast-talking air personalities. The original DJ lineup on 105 KITS consisted of program director Jeff Hunter 6-9am, followed by Doug Ritter 9am-12pm, Gary Robbins 12-3pm, Todd Parker 3-7pm, Richard Sands 7-midnight, and Rick Neal (George Fryer) midnight-6am, Mark Van Gelder was 105 KITS first Production Director, Annette Parks (daughter of pioneer broadcaster and Miss America Pageant Host Bert Parks) was the station's news director, and Michele Meisner (formerly of San Francisco's Fantasy Studios) was music director.

A modest ratings success, KITS fought off competition from the legendary AM CHR station, KFRC (which changed format to live game shows in 1984), KMEL-FM, which had switched from album-oriented rock to CHR in 1984. 105 KITS was, for a while, the darling of the Jet Set; daily visits were common from movie celebrities such as Bette Midler, Tom Cruise, Pat Morita, George Takei, Anthony Perkins and others.[citation needed] The celebs didn't usually make it on the air, but they toured the studios in San Francisco's Merchandise Mart just to see what the industry buzz was all about.

Modern Rock


The band Icicle Works visits with DJ Steve Masters in the Live 105 radio studio in San Francisco, California - 1987

Modern rock station KQAK "The Quake" changed formats in 1985, and fans of the station were eager for another station to pick up the format. During this time, on-air personality Steve Masters began experimenting with modern rock on his evening show and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive.[citation needed]

Over time, KITS dropped the "Hot Hits" approach and remained a mainstream CHR station, but began a gradual musical shift, incorporating modern rock songs into their Top 40 playlist. By October 1986, KITS had completely dropped the pop artists from the playlist and became a pure modern rock station. The station's new moniker became "Live 105" under program director Richard Sands and music director Steve Masters.

The music ranged from mainstream alternative rock, imports, dance music, and even classic songs from pioneering artists such as Lou Reed, David Bowie and T-Rex. Live 105 became a major influence on the format, and sole source of radio exposure for such artists in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Live 105/KITS DJ Steve Masters with Neil Finn of Crowded House, at the station's offices, in April 1987.

The airstaff lineup remained relatively stable from 1986 through 1997, and included Masters, Big Rick Stuart, Mark Hamilton, Roland West, and Alex Bennett & Lori Thompson in the morning. Bennett was let go from the station briefly in 1989 and replaced by Perry Stone, as Live 105 attempted a 'more music' approach in the morning. This proved to be a failure, and Bennett, who briefly went to WIOD in Miami, Florida, was brought back.

Hamilton left in 1994 to accept the program director job at KNRK in Portland, Oregon, and Steve Masters departed soon after to take a Promotion job at MCA's new alternative label, WAY COOL. Roland West then moved from night to middays and took over the music director position, eventually becoming the Assistant Program director. Aaron Axelsen, then assistant music director, become the music director and host of specialty programs "Sound Check" and "Subsonic." The station also ran Hibernia Beach LIVE, a gay-themed radio call-in show, from 1989 to 1999.

The modern rock format changed nationwide by the 1990s, moving away from the dance-heavy European sound to a harder direction with artists like Nirvana and Soundgarden, and Live 105 began incorporating it into their sound. After numerous years of success, ratings for Live 105 began to dip during the late '90s, as Infinity Broadcasting's KOME in San Jose switched to a harder modern rock sound. KOME had great success in the ratings and managed to even beat Live 105 with the Howard Stern morning show and its guitar-driven music format, as opposed to the more British, euro-based music Live 105 had carved a niche with.


On March 11, 1997, owner Entercom sold the station to Infinity Broadcasting (later CBS Radio). After the sale to Infinity, on June 1, 1998, the big shakeup occurred. Stern's morning show, KOME's management and programming staff, and a few on-air personalities were brought up from San Jose to take over Live 105. KOME was eventually sold to Jacor, which moved KUFX to the 98.5 frequency and the KOME call letters were "parked" on an AM station in Fort Worth, Texas. Program director Richard Sands, assistant program director/midday host Roland West, and the relatively new morning team of Johnny Steele & Lori Thompson were all dismissed. KOME's program director, Jay Taylor, assumed programming duties at the new Live 105, and Ally Storm and No-Name moved into middays and nights, respectively. Big Rick Stuart continued in afternoons until being let go in 2000, severing the last remaining thread to the original incarnation of Live 105, though Steve Masters returned briefly to host a midday specialty show.

By the end of 2001, Live 105 had drastically lost listeners due to the generally unpopular music assortment that was being played, which included heavier amounts of hip hop and heavy metal. Toward the middle of 2002, the station hired Sean Demery as Program Director in hopes of bringing back listeners and refocused on core alternative rock artists, more popular hits, and established artists such as Social Distortion, The Pixies, and Pearl Jam. They have since begun to play more popular/indie artists than the artists which appealed to the previous "core alternative rock" audience.


Howard Stern ended his syndicated morning show in December 2005, and departed for Sirius Satellite Radio. In response, CBS Radio flipped the majority of its Alternative-formatted radio stations to an all-talk format known as Free FM. Live 105 was allowed to keep its music format, and thus decided to go in a music-oriented direction for its subsequent morning show, The Woody Show (originally The Morning Music Co-op, then The Woody, Tony and Ravey Show), hosted by Jeff "Woody" Fife, Tony Mott, and Renee Ravey, with producer Greg Gory and contributor/videographer Jason "White Menace" McMurray. Woody, Tony, and Ravey previously worked afternoons on Chicago alternative rock station WKQX. The show made its debut on January 3, 2006.[1] A successful run ensued, as the show retained many of the original listeners from Howard Stern. In November 2006, the station hired a new Program Director, Dave Numme.[2]

Originally thought to be an April Fool's joke, The Woody Show was taken off the air on April 1, 2009 and subsequently confirmed several members of the program team were fired by CBS Radio management with no explanation provided. On April 20, 2009, it was announced that No Name, the former radio morning show host on Alice 97.3, would host the Live 105 morning show, now known as The No Name Show, with Greg Gory and Katie. Greg Gory was fired from Live 105 as of July 16, 2009.


Live 105 hosts two major concerts every year. BFD, (Big Fucking Day) usually takes place at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California in June. This festival-style concert runs all day with up and coming bands performing on the festival stage during the day, and the more established bands on the main stage at night. The first BFD concert took place in June 1994 with artists such as Beck, Green Day, and The Pretenders. It has since hosted bands which went on to platinum-album status such as System of a Down, AFI, HIM, The White Stripes, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, 311, Third Eye Blind, the Foo Fighters, Panic at the Disco, The Offspring, Stone Temple Pilots and the Beastie Boys as well as older bands such as Duran Duran, Social Distortion and The Cure.

The other major concert is Not So Silent Night, which rolls around in early December at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in downtown San Francisco, which has featured such bands as Linkin Park, Muse, Blink-182, Franz Ferdinand, The White Stripes, The Killers, Silversun Pickups, System of a Down, Modest Mouse, Green Day, Paramore, Angels & Airwaves, Spoon, Jimmy Eat World, and Death Cab for Cutie.

In 2009, LIVE 105 added a third annual concert - Subsonic Halloween Spookfest. This concert debuted on October 30, 2009 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. The Halloween-themed concert featured three stages of entertainment. The lineup included The Faint, Basement Jaxx, Crystal Method, DJ Steve Aoki, Crystal Castles, and many other electronica and rock artists that are regularly featured on the station's Saturday night show, Subsonic. Subsonic Halloween Spookfest also featured live "zombie" wrestling with The No Name Show and professional wrestlers.


In 2007, the station was nominated for the top 25 markets Alternative station of the year award by Radio & Records magazine. Other nominees included WBCN in Boston, KROQ-FM in Los Angeles, KTBZ-FM in Houston, KNDD in Seattle, and WWDC in Washington, DC. [3]

Various members of the LIVE 105 programming and airstaff have also received individual awards for contributions to the station. Music director and DJ Aaron Axelsen received the "Best Terrestrial Radio DJ in San Francisco" award from the weekly publication SF Guardian in 2009.


  1. ^ Fong-Torres, Ben (2006-01-01). "Radio Waves". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  2. ^ Fong-Torres, Ben (2006-11-19). "Radio Waves". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  3. ^ "2007 Industry Achievement Awards". Radio and Records. September 28, 2008. 

The station was voted Billboard's Rock Station of the Year in 1987.

External links


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