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For the former KSAN see KYLD or KSOL
City of license San Mateo, California
Broadcast area San Francisco Bay Area
Branding 107.7 The Bone
Frequency 107.7 MHz
First air date 1966 on 94.9 FM
Format Mainstream Rock
ERP 8,900 watts
HAAT 354 meters
Class B
Facility ID 14484
Callsign meaning SAN Francisco
Owner Cumulus Media
(Susquehanna Radio Corp.)
Sister stations KFOG/KFFG, KNBR
Webcast Listen Live

KSAN (107.7 FM, "107.7 The Bone") is a commercial radio station licensed to San Mateo, California, with transmitter located on San Bruno Mountain, broadcasting to the San Francisco Bay Area. KSAN airs a mainstream rock music format.

It can be heard across much of Northern California and sometimes KSAN on the FM dial can be received as far north as Chico and Ukiah, as far east as Auburn and Merced, and as far south as Salinas and San Luis Obispo.


History of the KSAN callsign

KSAN has appeared on four unrelated radio stations and one related UHF TV station (Channel 32) since its first use in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late-1950s. This entry is about the FM station known to "Baby Boomers" in Northern California during the 1960s.

The KSAN callsign was first used on FM at 94.9 on May 21, 1968, after the former classical music station KSFR was purchased by Metromedia in October 1966. The FCC had given a construction permit on September 20, 1957, for KSFR to H. Alan Levitt, who owned a San Francisco record shop. Levitt had previously worked as an engineering assistant and announcer at KLX (910 AM) in Oakland. KSFR was assigned 94.9. Levitt had tried unsuccessfully to get 96.5, but the FCC gave that frequency to the San Francisco Chronicle station KRON-FM, which returned to the air as a non-commercial classical music station in 1957 after being off the air for three years. (KRON-FM had originally broadcast on 96.5 from July 1947 to December 31, 1954.)

Known as "The Concert Music Station," KSFR began broadcasting on March 11, 1958. Its first studios were at 217 Kearny Street in San Francisco. The original transmitter on San Bruno Mountain had an effective radiated power of 9,400 watts. Levitt was general manager and a chief announcer, known primarily for hosting "The Wolfgang" (a program devoted to early classical music) and for producing his own distinctive commercials. One of the early staff announcers was Bill Agee, who later became a featured announcer of another San Francisco classical music station, KKHI, and was the host of the live Friday night San Francisco Symphony Orchestra broadcasts.

In late 1958, KSFR moved to 10 Claude Lane, a later home of KFRC. In September 1961, KSFR's power was increased to 35,000 watts. On June 1, 1962, KSFR began broadcasting in multiplex stereo; however, Levitt was criticized by media critic Bob Foster in The San Mateo Times for rushing into stereo without conducting field tests because there were some serious technical problems with the signal. These were soon resolved and KSFR became the first San Francisco station to broadcast classical music full-time in stereo.

KSFR moved to 211 Sutter Street in 1965. Then, Levitt sold the station to Metromedia the following year. Under the original agreement, Levitt was to stay on as general manager for five years and the classical music format would be maintained. Metromedia continued the classical music format for a couple of years, even producing a special series of programs honoring conductor Arturo Toscanini during the centennial of his birth in 1967. However, Metromedia suddenly replaced Levitt as general manger in October 1967. Then, in the spring of 1968, they began changing to a rock format. On May 21, 1968, they changed the call letters of KSFR San Francisco to KSAN. (Today there is a National Public Radio station in Santa Fe, New Mexico using the KSFR call letters.)[1]

On March 18, 1968, KMPX program director Tom Donahue turned in his resignation after a series of conflicts with station management. This led directly to a strike by the loyal Donahue-led KMPX staff. They began picketing outside the station's offices, and were soon supported in their efforts by popular bands such as the Grateful Dead and Blue Cheer, as well as the station's devoted listeners. The staff at sister station KPPC-FM in Pasadena walked out the next day.

Crosby refused to cave in to his striking staff, and brought in his own replacements, who were forced to cross angry picket lines, to continue the progressive rock format at both stations. Several popular rock bands — including The Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead — insisted that the station not play their music, in a show of support to the picketers. The eight week strike ended on May 13, with no resolution between the former staffers and Crosby. Instead, Metromedia decided to switch the format of KSAN from classical music to freeform rock, and hired Donahue and most of the displaced KMPX staffers, who started at the station on May 21. Metromedia also hired the former KPPC staffers to work at KMET in Los Angeles. Donahue eventually became general manager of KSAN, while also consulting sister station KMET.[2]

On December 7, 1969, KSAN broadcast a show discussing what had just happened the night before at the free Rolling Stones performance at Altamont Raceway. Hosted by Stefan Ponek, the four-hour show fielded calls from a range of people who attended the event and a few who helped organize it, including Rolling Stones personnel and members of the Hells Angels. This broadcast is extensively documented in the 2000 Criterion DVD release of Gimme Shelter, the result of a restoration effort that included the filmmakers.

KSAN became a groundbreaking and legendary rock station, influencing other stations across the country. In the early seventies, the station rose to number one in the 18-34 demographic, while developed a devoted cult following that lasted for many years.[3] During its heyday, KSAN had maintained a strong counterculture reputation. News reports often contained political commentary, with stories about the Vietnam War, the Nixon Administration and drugs.[4] When the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst, they used KSAN to communicate their message and demands, via cassette tapes.[5] The station enlisted the assistance of the FBI during this ordeal, as they became an unwilling go-between in the Hearst kidnapping.

On April 28, 1975, Donahue died from a heart attack, and the station started to decline in popularity. By 1978, the station adopted a tighter presentation, with a playlist replacing the longtime freeform ethic. They also added more new wave and punk music, such as the Sex Pistols, The Clash and Blondie.

A sampling of Tom Donahue on KSAN during the late 1960s can be heard on "The Golden Age Of Underground Radio" compilation.

KSAN's famed rock format ended on November 15, 1980, when the station switched to a country music format.[6] Under the country format, KSAN thrived as a ratings leader thanks to Program Director Bob Hamilton, Music Director Richard Ryan and air personalities such as Welch and Woody in the Morning, Teri King, Tim Anthony and Rick Neal.

Just before midnight on July 2, 1997, air personality Rick Neal played "The Dance" by Garth Brooks as the last song of the country format on KSAN 94.9. At one minute past midnight, the KSAN call sign swapped frequencies with KYLD, then on 107.7. As a result, station management decided to drop the fading country music format for classic rock to go with their new frequency.

On September 15, 2000, the station's moniker became "The Bone," playing classic rock with a harder edge. To initiate this change, the station played AC/DC "A to Z," all 154 songs by the band in alphabetical order.

The radio station was the inspiration of the number one single We Built This City by Starship, released in 1985.

Currently as mainstream rock station

Since the demise of rival station KSJO in 2004, the station has adopted a mainstream rock format. Bands in their playlist range from classic rock such as The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, and Led Zeppelin, southern rock such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Eagles, alternative rock, punk rock, or grunge like Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and Green Day, and hard rock and heavy metal music such as Metallica, Black Sabbath, and AC/DC. Morning personalities Lamont & Tonelli are on the air weekdays from 5-10 AM, with highlights of the week replayed Saturdays 6-10 AM. In addition, on weekdays, the station provides traffic reports for the San Francisco Bay Area every 15 minutes from 7AM to 10AM and from 3PM to 7PM. The 5:00 PM hour is dedicated to a set of live songs from a particular artist. KSAN also plays a select Led Zeppelin song at the top of the 7:00 PM hour on the weekdays. The on-air talent at The Bone has traditionally consisted of male hosts (Steven Seaweed, (Bay Area Metal Legend Billy Steel) [1], Tim Jeffreys, Joe Rock), with the notable exceptions of Nikki Black and Laura Heywood.

In the evenings, KSAN airs special programming whose musical content may be different from regularly played musical content.

  • Sundays, 9:00 PM-midnight: "KSAN Underground Radio": Music and commentary regarding KSAN's older format from its origins in the 1950s.
  • late Sundays/early Mondays, midnight-1:00 AM: "Local Licks": Obscure or new rock bands from the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Fridays, 10:00 PM–1:00 AM: "Metal Zone" (the time slot for this program has shifted an hour as of March 23, 2007) [2]: A block of songs from heavy metal bands rarely played during daytime hours, such as modern acts like Mastodon, Slipknot, Shadows Fall, and Lamb of God, as well as more popular bands featured in their regular playlist such as Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Megadeth.
  • Saturdays, 11:00 PM-midnight: "Concert Vault": Live recordings of a rock band.


Throughout the NFL season, the station broadcasts San Francisco 49ers games. In April 2007, the station broadcast two away games Golden State Warriors basketball team - April 6 at the Memphis Grizzlies and the next being April 13 at the Sacramento Kings. [3] Normally, Warriors games are broadcast on the San Francisco sports station KNBR; the April 6 game was probably to air on KSAN due to KNBR and its sister station KTCT wanting to air the "Razor and Mr. T" talk show without ending early for the game's 5:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time) start time. The reasons for KSAN to air the April 13 game are unknown at the moment.


External links


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