The California Historical Radio Society
The BARHOF Class of 2016
After 5,144 votes were cast and counted, the Bay Area Radio Hall Of Fame Class of 2016 was inducted on September 24, 2016, as part of the Broadcast Legends Fall Luncheon, held at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco.
Here are this year’s inductees:
- Program Host – Dianne Nicolini – Midday announcer on classical KDFC since 1997. She also worked there briefly in 1995, and her other credits include KKHI for ten years beginning in 1983.
- Program Host – Hoyt Smith – Morning announcer on KDFC since 1999. Bay Area listeners also know him from his work on K101, KNBR, KYUU, KLOK, and smooth jazz KKSF. One jock, many formats.
- News – Wes “Scoop” Nisker – Scoop is fondly remembered for his innovative audio collages and news commentaries on KSAN in the late ’60s into the ’70s, and then, in the ’80s and ’90s on KFOG.
- Sports – Kevin “The Rat” Radich of KCBS. He began by winning a contest on KFOG to be a sportscaster, moved on to KNBR and KGO, and is currently afternoon sports anchor on KCBS.
- Executive – Dave McKinsey – The late Mr. McKinsey worked for KABL for 30 years, rising from copywriter to program director, and came up with the idea for the cable car bell ringing contest, which rings on.
- Engineers – Robert Hammett and Edward Edison – Consulting engineers in the nationally known and award-winning firm they founded in 1955, Hammett & Edison.
- Specialty – Narsai David – Narsai is the long-time food and wine editor on KCBS, and also appeared on TV and contributed food and wine columns to local newspapers.
- Pioneer – Wilda Wilson Church – Ms. Church provided radio drama programming to KRE in its earliest days in the early 1920s, and went on to produce shows for KGO and NBC’s Pacific Coast network.
- Pioneer – Dean Maddox was a popular personality and sportscaster in the 1930’s, into the ’40s, on many programs and stations, including KYA in 1933, then KFRC and KGO, where he broadcast Sundays from the Cliff House.
- Pioneer – Hilly Rose – A pioneering talk show host in the 1960s on KCBS, where he began as a news reporter, and on KNEW and KGO before going nationwide, doing fill-in work for Larry King, Art Bell and others.
The Boss of the Bay
KYA 1260 AM
Selected As Legendary Station
Even though KYA has been gone from the Bay Area’s airwaves since 1983, it can rightfully claim its heritage as the Bay Area’s longest-running Top 40 station, having begun its 25-year tenure in 1958. (By contrast, KYA’s chief competitor, the original Big 610, KFRC, lasted twenty years, from 1966 through 1986.)
Despite the high hopes of its owners when it went on the air ninety years ago – the station made its debut on Saturday, December 18, 1926 – KYA endured many difficulties early in its life, owing mostly to the economic conditions of the Depression era. KYA was rescued in 1934 by none other than newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who aligned the station with his San Francisco Examiner.
A popular local favorite through the 1930s and 1940s, KYA entered its own “golden age” in May 1958 when it adopted a Top 40 music format, which skyrocketed the station’s popularity as the self-proclaimed “Boss of the Bay.”
Over the next quarter-century, KYA listeners were treated to a parade of hall of fame-caliber disc jockeys, including Tom Donahue (inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2006), Emperor Gene Nelson (BARHOF ’06), Russ “The Moose” Syracuse (BARHOF ’08), Norman Davis (BARHOF ’14), Mike Cleary (BARHOF ’07) and Tom Saunders (BARHOF ’10), as well as Les Crane, Chris Edwards, Johnny Holliday, Tom Campbell, Peter Tripp and “Boss Radio” innovator Bill Drake.
KYA can also claim another significant link to pop culture history: fifty years ago, in August 1966, the station promoted and hosted the last live concert performance by The Beatles, at wind-swept Candlestick Park.
Although the original KYA faded from the Bay Area’s airwaves at the end of 1983, the station continues to hold a place of affection for those who grew up listening to the legendary “Boss of the Bay.”
The CD and digital download project called “KSAN’s Live Jive” containing historic music rarities from KSAN’s extensive live music broadcast archives is now a benefit for the California Historical Radio Society and its Bay Area Radio Hall Of Fame. The Co-Executive producers of “KSAN’s Live Jive” are Kenny Wardell and Jim Draper. ORDER A COPY HERE.
Bay Area Radio
Hall of Fame
Ken Ackerman (2006)*
Phil Lerza (2009)*
* — Deceased
Bay Area Radio
Hall of Fame
Legendary Station Award
Legendary Station status is conferred by the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame to a station that has created a lasting legacy and contributed significantly to the history of broadcasting in our region.
San Jose-San Francisco
KGO Newstalk 810 AM
“The Big 610” KFRC
KPO/KNBC/KNBR 680 AM
“The World’s Greatest Radio Station” KSFO 560 AM
“The Jive 95” KSAN 94.9 FM
KPEN 101.3 FM
Atherton / San Francisco
“Boss of the Bay” KYA 1260 AM
KLIV 1590 AM