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Joy Arrives In San Francisco
KKHI Dumps Classical Music

By David Ferrell Jackson

Classical music on KKHI is dead. Again.

The San Rafael-based Classical combo (100.7, 1510) tried to make a go of it as the successor to the original KKHI (95.7, 1550), but pulled the plug yesterday (Dec. 3).

In its place, the stations will air a middle-of-the-road format and adopt KJQI as its new call letters.

On its first day with its new format, the soon-to-be KJQI began referring to itself as “K-Joy” and “The Joy of San Francisco” while airing songs like the Italian version of “Volare” and the Carpenters’ “Rainy Days and Mondays.”

This incarnation of KKHI attempted to pick up where the original stations left off when the latter pair were sold to Group W a few years back, becoming “FM Talk” KPIX AM and FM. After years of format-flipping, the Marin County tandem hoped to draw former fans of the heritage Classical outlet, and worked diligently to improve its signal strength in the Bay region.

Earlier this year, the station bolstered its scrawny signal on 1510 AM with a power increase and a move to a rooftop transmitter site across the Bay in Emeryville. However, many market insiders question whether the new signal is strong enough to cover much of the Bay Area.

“I’ve picked up their signal as far south as San Jose, but, even with their recent improvements, the FM signal is weak in San Francisco — even in neighborhoods like Fisherman’s Wharf that face Marin County,” said George Beiler, who performs market checks for RadioDigest.com.  “The signal across the bay in the Oakland Coliseum area is also poor.”

Updated December 4, 1998


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