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KSFO
KsfoLogo.jpg
City of license San Francisco, CA
Broadcast area San Francisco Bay Area
Branding Newstalk 560 KSFO-AM
Slogan The News and Views You Won't Hear Anywhere Else
Frequency 560 kHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1925
Format News/Talk
Power 5,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 34472
Transmitter coordinates 37°44′44.00″N 122°22′40.00″W / 37.74556°N 122.37778°W / 37.74556; -122.37778
Callsign meaning KSFO is taken from the airport code for San Francisco International Airport and KSFO for San Francisco.
Affiliations ABC News
Oakland Raiders (NFL)
Owner Citadel Broadcasting
(Radio License Holding VIII, LLC)
Sister stations KGO
Webcast Listen Live
Website www.ksfo560.com

KSFO is a conservative talk radio station in San Francisco, California, USA, broadcasting on 560 kHz AM. It is owned by Citadel Broadcasting.

The content of the KSFO's talk programming is solidly conservative, which is in stark contrast to the rather liberal San Francisco area, with show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Laura Schlessinger. The station also airs Coast to Coast AM and The Mutual Fund Show with Adam Bold. KSFO is the flagship station for Oakland Raiders football games throughout the season.

Contents

History

KSFO went on the air in 1925. In its heyday, starting in 1955, it played MOR and jazz music, sports, and, particularly memorably, rebroadcast antique radio shows at particular times of the year. At the time, the station was owned by Gene Autry's Golden West Broadcasters and called itself "the world's greatest radio station." KSFO's signature jingle, "The Sound of the City" (sung by an a cappella men's chorus), became legendary in San Francisco — reportedly requested by listeners as much as any popular song on the station's playlist — and was subsequently adopted by other like-formatted stations around the country. Memorable broadcasters of KSFO's history include Russ Hodges, Lon Simmons, Don Sherwood, Jeff Skov, Aaron Edwards, Jim Lange, John Gilliland, Gene Nelson, Dan Sorkin and Jim Eason. The station's history included stints as the flagship station for both San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics baseball (at different times) and San Francisco 49ers, University of California [1] and Stanford University football. A history of KSFO in the heyday of Don Sherwood (1950s and 1960s) can be found in Laurie Harper's biography, "Don Sherwood — The World's Greatest Disk Jockey."

The station's news department earned national and international journalism awards for coverage of the Peoples Temple massacre in Jonestown, Guyana[2] and the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk by former Supervisor Dan White.[citation needed] Newscasters, sportscasters, and DJs from KSFO played an annual softball game to benefit the Police Athletic League; the No-Stars' arch-rivals were Reno Barsocchini's VIPs.

KSFO today

The station eventually switched to a format consisting almost entirely of conservative opinion talk shows, some of which are local while others are nationally syndicated.

Beginning in 1997, KSFO's early morning schedule included a trio of hosts described by their fans as "humorous, hardline, uncompromising conservatives", Lee Rodgers, Melanie Morgan, and Tom Benner, known on the air as "Officer Vic". The former two were originally the major contributors to the show; the latter covers traffic and weather, and often contributes political satire. Melanie Morgan was terminated in February 2008 due to budget constraints; the show continued until February 18, 2010 with Lee Rodgers and Officer Vic, with frequent assistance from other KSFO staffers. Upon Lee Rodgers' retirement, Brian Sussman left his weekday evening slot and took over The Morning Show, effective February 19, 2010. In June 2009, KSFO picked up Morgan's new syndicated program, America's Morning News, when it went to air. It airs in the very early morning slot, immediately before The Morning Show.[3] While on the air, in 2009, Lee Rodgers referred to Officer Vic as "Mr. Mann" and "Bob", leading some listeners to think that he is Mr. Robert Mann of Walnut Creek, and not Crescent City.

KSFO was the former flagship station for Michael Savage. Some of the conservative hosts at sister station KGO, such as David Gold and Savage, who were not well-received by that audience have subsequently hosted shows on KSFO. Savage and Gold no longer host shows at KSFO, although Gold frequently fills in when other hosts are absent.

In 2007, the station was purchased by Citadel Broadcasting, along with the rest of The Walt Disney Company/ABC Radio's radio stations, excluding Radio Disney affiliates.

In late 2008, KSFO made a major scheduling change, by moving The Sean Hannity Show to the early afternoon slot (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.), so that it could be broadcast live. The Dr. Laura Show, which had been broadcast live in that slot a long time, was truncated and moved to the evening 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. slot. Hannity's show is followed by the nationally-syndicated live Mark Levin Show.

After Lee Rodgers, was let go in February 2010,[4][5][6] and replaced by the Brian Sussman Show (6 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT) was replaced by the nationally-syndicated John Batchelor Show, also live, immediately following Mark Levin.

Weekend hosts for KSFO include conservative commentators such as Barbara Simpson and Rabbi Daniel Lapin, as well as some non-political content, such as shows on home renovation, gardening and real estate.

Controversy and criticism

KSFO, in its current talk format incarnation, has drawn much controversy. The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most liberal metropolitan areas in the United States and most of the controversy has been due to on-air comments from their hosts.

In 1995, Dan Fowler, then Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, sent a letter to constituents condemning KSFO's so-called "hate speech":

"In San Francisco, radio listeners on KSFO recently heard talk show hosts speak of 'lynching a few liberals' and encouraging listeners to 'shoot illegal immigrants who come across the border.'"[7]

In this letter Fowler urged citizens to:

  • "send letters to your local newspapers calling for an end to these efforts to incite violence;
  • "call your local radio stations and tell them that you want the purveyors of hate to be held accountable for their remarks;
  • "call or write to your elected officials and tell them you want them to work toward ending these efforts to destroy our communities; and,
  • "organize local efforts in your communities to protest against the irresponsible media outlets that put this garbage on the air."[7]

On June 29, 2006, Melanie Morgan responded to the San Francisco Chronicle regarding her "Hang 'em" comment:

If he [New York Times editor Bill Keller] were to be tried and convicted of treason, yes, I would have no problem with him being sent to the gas chamber ... It is about revealing classified secrets in the time of war. And the media has got to take responsibility for revealing classified information that is putting American lives at risk.[8]

Blogger takes on KSFO

Beginning in 2005, a liberal blogger calling himself "Spocko" began recording KSFO talk shows and posting excerpts of these shows on his blog as examples of what he viewed as hate speech; he began a letter-writing campaign[9] to advertisers on KSFO, alerting them to these examples and urging them to withdraw their support of the station. Some of Spocko's examples include:[10]

  • Host Melanie Morgan, "We've got a bull's-eye painted on [House presumptive Speaker Nancy Pelosi's] big, wide laughing eyes." (November 14, 2006)
  • Lee Rodgers on Indonesia, "Indonesia is really just another enemy Muslim nation … You keep screwing around with stuff like this, we're going to kill a bunch of you. Millions of you." (October 25, 2006)
  • Morgan, on New York Times editors: "Hang 'em." (June 27, 2006)

Some advertisers, including Netflix, MasterCard, Bank of America, and Visa, withdrew their support from KSFO.[11]

On December 22, 2006, Spocko received a "cease-and-desist" letter from ABC lawyers, insisting that he remove audio clips of KSFO radio hosts claiming that he had violated copyright law. On January 2, 2007 his Internet service provider, 1&1 Internet, complied with the cease-and-desist letter and took down his website.[12]

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has agreed to defend Spocko against threats of a DMCA SLAPP suit. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a successful history in defending against legal assaults on fair use and the first amendment, as exemplified by the Barney case.

News of this spread through blogs including Daily Kos[13] and The Spotlight Project, eventually reaching large audiences at social news sites like Slashdot, Digg, and Reddit.[14]

Spocko's statement on the controversy:[15] "Advertisers should be able to decide if they want to keep supporting this show based on complete information. We already know that management at ABC and Disney support these hosts, which means that the ABC/Disney Radio brand now apparently includes support for violent hate speech toward Muslims, democrats and liberals."

KSFO primarily defended itself by criticizing Spocko for acting anonymously and claiming many of his quotes were taken wildly out of context, and that they had previously apologized for several of the cited instances.

On January 12, 2007, KSFO responded to the criticism by dedicating three hours to airing its side of the controversy, and posted the audio on its website.[16][17]

References

  1. ^ "The History Of 560/KSFO, San Francisco". Sfradiomuseum.com. http://www.sfradiomuseum.com/schneider/ksfo. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  2. ^ Tony Russomanno, quoted in The Poynter Institute, Thursday Edition: Clearing Kool-Aid's Name. Retrieved January 14, 2007.
  3. ^ Melanie Morgan left America's Morning News in mid-January 2010 due to health issues.
  4. ^ "Radio-Info.com". Radio-Info.com. http://www.radio-info.com/sections/2-breaking-news/news_items/8538-lee-rodgers-ex-ksfo-san-francisco-morning-host-says-he-was-fired. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  5. ^ "And Now, A Word From Mr. Rodgers". Melaniemorgan.com. 2010-02-20. http://www.melaniemorgan.com/latest/1757-a-word-from-mr-rodgers.html#disqus_thread. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  6. ^ Garofoli, Joe. "Politics Blog : KSFO's Lee Rodgers: Leaving the station was "forced upon me, with no notice"". SFGate. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?blogid=14&entry_id=57679. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  7. ^ a b Brad Cox, Virtual School, A Message from the National Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, April 28, 1995. Retrieved January 11, 2007.
  8. ^ "NEWS ANALYSIS / New chapter in battle of words over tracking terrorist financing / House plans debate to praise program, snipe at exposers". Sfgate.com. 2006-06-29. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/06/29/MNGICJM9B21.DTL. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  9. ^ MediaChannel, ABC Sues Critical Blog Out of Existence. Retrieved Jan. 11, 2007.
  10. ^ Media Matters for America, ABC shut down blogger who criticized violent rhetoric on one of its radio stations, Jan. 9, 2007. Retrieved Jan. 14, 2007.
  11. ^ Studio Briefing, SAN FRANCISCO ISP SHUTS DOWN WEBSITE AFTER DISNEY COMPLAINT, January 5, 2007. Retrieved Jan. 11, 2007.
  12. ^ "Blog Prompts Advertisers To Drop Radio Station". CBS13. January 10, 2007. http://cbs13.com/business/local_story_010104803.html. Retrieved 2006-01-13. 
  13. ^ Stark, Mike (2007-01-03). "Spocko Rocks ABC! Micky Mouse blinks! Updated: Spocko jumps in". Daily Kos. http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/1/3/202110/2838/. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  14. ^ Mike Stark, Daily Kos, OH, IT’S ON!! BLOGSWARM NOW! SPOCKO’S ABOUT TO HIT BIG!, Jan. 06, 2007. Retrieved January 13, 2007.
  15. ^ The Supreme Irony of Life... (blog), ABC/Disney Endorses Hate Speech, Violence, and Secrecy, Jan. 04, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2007.
  16. ^ ABC/KSFO, Streaming Audio, January 12, 2007. Retrieved January 13, 2007.
  17. ^ Media Matters for America, "Dave, baby, stick it!" — Morgan & Co. accuse Media Matters of "extortion" (partial transcript), January 12, 2007. Retrieved January 13, 2007.

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