Family Radio Takes Over
April 29, 2005
The Big 610, KFRC in San Francisco, was one of the legendary Top 40 stations from the 1960s through the 1980s, with the beloved Dr. Don Rose helping the station remain strong even as FM radio became dominant.
At midnight on April 29, 2005, Viacom transferred ownership of 610 AM to Harold Camping’s Oakland-based Family Stations; in a few months, as part of the same deal, Viacom will take possession of San Francisco’s 106.9 FM signal (currently KEAR), which they recently acquired from Family Radio. Until then 610 remains KFRC, and 106.9 remains KEAR.
The recording presented here begins at exactly 11:45 p.m. on Thursday night, April 28, with the last 15 minutes of the “old” Big 610, followed immediately by the first half-hour under new ownership. As the last quarter-hour of Oldies on KFRC begins and the Brotherhood of Man’s “United We Stand” fades out, Christopher Lance – a/k/a “Requestopher” – offers a light moment, foreshadowing the impending change with his comment: “That’s right, it’s a ‘family’ thing … you know what I’m talking about.”
At 11:59 p.m. (about 14 minutes into the recording), the Beau Brummels’ “Laugh Laugh” is cut off by the crew at the KFRC transmitter in Berkeley, who offer a brief homage to Dr. Don Rose (who had died on March 30, just weeks before this broadcast) and then it’s officially The Big 610, Family Radio, with Craig Hulsebos hosting the inaugural program.
(Coincidentally, the death of Dr. Don Rose four weeks before KFRC’s sale parallels the passing of Don Sherwood in November 1983; the station he was most associated with, KSFO, changed hands a month later. Both, arguably, were the best-loved personalities at their respective stations.)
On October 17, 2005, the KFRC call letters were removed from 610, and the station officially became KEAR.
The Big 610 Becomes Family Radio