Infobox Radio Station
name = KSFO
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Bay Area
branding = Newstalk 560 KSFO-AM
slogan = The News and Views You Won't Hear Anywhere Else
airdate = 1925
frequency = 560 kHz HD Radio
format = News/Talk
power = 5,000
class = B
facility_id = 34472
licensee = Radio License Holding VIII, LLC
webcast = [http://www.ksfo560.com/article.asp?id=53139 Listen Live]
website = [http://www.ksfo560.com/ www.ksfo560.com]
callsign_meaning = SFO is taken from the airport code for
San Francisco International Airport
sister_stations = KGO
ABC News Oakland Raiders(NFL)
KSFO is a conservative talk
radiostation 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 very liberal San Francisco area, with show hosts such as
Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The station also airs " Coast to Coast AM". KSFO is the flagship station for Oakland Raidersfootball games throughout the season.
KSFO went on the air in 1925. In its heyday, starting in 1955, it played 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." The station's news department earned national and international journalism awards for coverage of the Peoples Templemassacre in Jonestown, Guyana [Tony Russomanno, quoted in The Poynter Institute, [http://www.poynter.org/article_feedback/article_feedback_list.asp?user=&id=54353 "Thursday Edition: Clearing Kool-Aid's Name"] . Retrieved January 14, 2007.] and the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Mosconeand Supervisor Harvey Milkby former Supervisor Dan White.Fact|date=February 2007 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.
Memorable broadcasters of KSFO's history include
Lon Simmons, Don Sherwood, Jeff Skov, Aaron Edwards, Jim Lange, John Gilliland, Gene Nelson, Dan Sorkinand Jim Eason. The station's history included stints as the flagship station for both San Francisco Giantsand Oakland Athleticsbaseball (at different times) and San Francisco 49ers, University of California [http://www.sfradiomuseum.com/schneider/ksfo [.shtml] and Stanford Universityfootball. 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."
KSFO's early morning schedule since 1997 has included a trio of 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 trafficand weather, and often contributes political satire. Melanie Morgan was terminated in February 2008 due to budget constraints; the show continues with Lee Rodgers and Officer Vic, with frequent assistance from other KSFO staffers. It 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.
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 Disneyaffiliates.)
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.'"Brad Cox, Virtual School, [http://www.virtualschool.edu/mon/SocialConstruction/Sedition.html "A Message from the National Chairman of the Democratic National Committee"] , April 28, 1995. Retrieved January 11, 2007.] 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."
June 29, 2006, Melanie Morgan responded to the San Francisco Chronicle regarding her "Hang 'em" comment:
[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. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/06/29/MNGICJM9B21.DTL NEWS ANALYSIS / New chapter in battle of words over tracking terrorist financing / House plans debate to praise program, snipe at exposers ] ]
Blogger takes on KSFO
Beginning in 2005, a liberal
bloggercalling himself [http://www.spockosbrain.com "Spocko"] began recording KSFO talk showsand posting excerpts of these shows on his blog as examples of what he viewed as hate speech; he began a letter-writing campaign [MediaChannel, [http://www.mediachannel.org/wordpress/2007/01/05/abc-sues-critical-blog-out-of-existence/ "ABC Sues Critical Blog Out of Existence"] . Retrieved Jan. 11, 2007.] 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: Media Matters for America, [http://mediamatters.org/items/200701090004 "ABC shut down blogger who criticized violent rhetoric on one of its radio stations"] , Jan. 9, 2007. Retrieved Jan. 14, 2007.]
* 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 Timeseditors: "Hang 'em." ( June 27, 2006)
Some advertisers, including
Netflix, MasterCard, Bank of America, and Visa, withdrew their support from KSFO. [Studio Briefing, [http://www.movieweb.com/tv/news/01/16801.php "SAN FRANCISCO ISP SHUTS DOWN WEBSITE AFTER DISNEY COMPLAINT"] , January 5, 2007. Retrieved Jan. 11, 2007.]
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 copyrightlaw. On January 2, 2007his Internet service provider, [http://www.1and1.com 1&1 Internet] , complied with the cease-and-desist letter and took down his website. [cite news | url=http://cbs13.com/business/local_story_010104803.html | title=Blog Prompts Advertisers To Drop Radio Station|publisher= CBS13| date=January 10, 2007 | first= | last= | accessdate = 2006-01-13]
Electronic Frontier Foundationhas agreed to defend Spocko against threats of a DMCA SLAPPsuit. The Electronic Frontier Foundationhas a successful history in defending against legal assaults on fair use and the first amendment, as exemplified by the [http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/barney/ Barney] case.
News of this spread through blogs including
Daily Kos[ [http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/1/3/202110/2838/ Daily Kos: Spocko Rocks ABC! Micky Mouse blinks! Updated: Spocko jumps in ] ] and The Spotlight Project, eventually reaching large audiences at social news sites like Slashdot, Digg, and Daily Kos, [http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/1/6/13107/86052 "OH, IT’S ON!! BLOGSWARM NOW! SPOCKO’S ABOUT TO HIT BIG!"] , Jan. 06, 2007. Retrieved Jan. 13, 2007.]
Spocko's statement on the controversy: [The Supreme Irony of Life... (blog), [http://supremeirony.blogspot.com/2007/01/abcdisney-endorses-hate-speech-violence.html "ABC/Disney Endorses Hate Speech, Violence, and Secrecy"] , Jan. 04, 2007. Retrieved Jan. 14, 2007.] :"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
anonymouslyand claiming many of his quotes were taken wildly out of context, and that they had previously apologized for several of the cited instances.
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. [ABC/KSFO, [http://www.ksfo560.com/Article.asp?id=333256&spid= "Streaming Audio, January 12, 2007"] . Retrieved January 13, 2007.] Media Matters for America, [http://mediamatters.org/items/200701130004?offset=20&show=1#comments "Dave, baby, stick it!" — Morgan & Co. accuse Media Matters of "extortion"] (partial transcript), January 12, 2007. Retrieved January 13, 2007.]
* [http://www.ksfo560.com/ KSFO 560 AM Official Website]
* [http://www.bayarearadio.org/history/timeline_ksfo.shtml Bay Area Radio Museum history of KSFO]
* [http://www.radiofreejack.com/Radio%20Archives/ksfo.htm Tribute page to KSFO with audio] from
* [http://www.blogintegrity.net/2007/04/ksfos_eliminati.html/ Audio clips of controversial KSFO broadcasts]
* [http://www.callingallwingnuts.com/index.php?s=ksfo Mike Stark's blog includes information regarding the controversies at KSFO]
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