Legendary Bay Area radio station KGO 810 goes off the air ahead of format change – NBC Bay Area

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It was a jaw-dropping moment for Bay Area radio listeners Thursday morning as legendary talk radio station KGO 810 AM abruptly fell silent after 80 years.

“Nobody expected it and it happened literally at the last minute,” said former KGO host Mark Thompson.

Thompson was a KGO radio host until Thursday morning.

“We were maybe eight minutes into the show and heard there was an exciting new format coming. I was just the guy who ended up having to be the last voice there and it was sad to be honest. It was difficult,” he said.

The station‘s website and Twitter feed released a brief statement saying, “Today we say goodbye to the legendary KGO,” thanking listeners and the people who worked there to produce award-winning programming. Then, promising “a new era” from Monday.

“None of us expected it. Maybe we should have. I mean, these are tough times in the TV and radio industry, but especially radio,” Thompson said.

Thompson said it was shocking and sudden. He added that he will miss it, but tries to keep a positive attitude.

“It’s tough. I loved KGO. I love the Bay Area. I love interacting in the Bay Area, with so many Bay Area issues, with so many Bay Area journalists. of the Bay, all the things that make the Bay Area special,” he said.

Nolan Higdon, a communications and history professor at Cal State East Bay, said the industry has changed over time and KGO may be the latest victim of change.

“I don’t think it’s surprising that we’re seeing such significant shifts in programming to try to capture one demographic or another,” he said.

The station has not announced what the new format will be. But there are published reports that the changes will be a sports and sports betting discussion format.

Beginning Thursday night, the station airs bits of gambling-themed songs, including “Money” by Pink Floyd and “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers.

At one point, a promo called it “Biggest Bet in Bay Area History”.

As for Thompson, he said his focus will now be on his podcast as he finds out what’s next. He also wanted to thank the public one last time.

“It was a legendary radio station. It was an honor and a pleasure to be a part of it,” he said.


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