KGO Wins Legendary Station Award!
The Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame, in conjunction with the California Historical Radio Society and Broadcast Legends, is proud to announce that San Francisco's KGO Newstalk 810 is the recipient of this year's Legendary Station Award.
In making the announcement, Bay Area Radio Museum executive director David Ferrell Jackson noted KGO's continuing history of excellence in programming, and its commitment to community service in the Bay Area and Northern California.
"Many stations have nice runs of five, ten or even twenty years," Jackson said. "KGO can look back on a legacy of more than 85 years of greatness, not only as a local legend, but as an icon in American broadcasting."
KGO began its life on the air on January 7, 1924, as the General Electric's West Coast flagship station, broadcasting from the GE plant on East 14th Street in Oakland. It became the key station on the Pacific Coast for the NBC Blue Network in the 1930s, a position it continued when, sixty-five years ago this past June, the Blue Network became the American Broadcasting Company.
Forty-five years ago, KGO took a primary role in the introduction and development of the News/Talk format, of which it has been the industry standard - if not the gold standard - and the prototype for so many imitators across the land.
By a conservative count, KGO has more inductees currently in the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame than any other station, with more than twenty.
Among those previously inducted are Ronn Owens ('07), Jim Dunbar ('06), Ted Wygant ('09), Ed Baxter ('09), Jim Eason ('07), Owen Spann ('06) and Michael Luckoff ('08). Mr. Luckoff has been at the helm of KGO since 1975, and has been primarily responsible for guiding the station through its modern era and its greatest success.
Other notable names that have graced KGO's airwaves over the years include Jack Webb, Mort Sahl, Coyle & Sharpe and Les Crane.
Early in his career, before attaining stardom as Joe Friday on "Dragnet," Webb hosted an eponymous variety show on KGO, as well as a groundbreaking weekly news documentary, "One In Seven." Sahl, the acerbic stand-up comedian, was KGO's overnight announcer in the mid 1950s, while (Jim) Coyle & (Mal) Sharpe's nutty "Man On The Street" interviews have attained status as comedy classics. Les Crane (born Leslie Stein), who hosted his late-night KGO program from the hungry i nightclub, went on to host a variety show on ABC-TV, won a Grammy for "Desiderata," and helped launch the landmark "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" software program.
Two other notable members of BARHOF also got their starts at KGO before going on to even greater fame in broadcasting - Don Sherwood and Jim Lange.
KGO Newstalk 810, its people and its rich legacy, were celebrated during the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame's Class of 2010 induction ceremony, which was held on Saturday, September 25, 2010, at the Doubletree Inn on the Berkeley Marina.