KIOI Radio: 1968-2000
The K-101 Era
San Francisco, California
KPEN, under the ownership of James Gabbert, changed its call letters to KIOI (“K-101”) in December 1968 to reflect its position at 101.3 MHz on the FM dial; Mr. Gabbert, along with Gary Gielow and John Wickett, had founded the station in 1957.
K-101 moved to new studios and offices at 700 Montgomery Street in San Francisco early in 1973, in a pre-1906 earthquake building once occupied by the old Columbia Savings Bank. (The building later housed the law offices of Mayor Joe Alioto and his daughter, Angela Alioto.)
Gabbert’s company, Pacific FM, sold KIOI to San Francisco Broadcasters in October 1980 for $12-million, the record price for an FM station at that time. In August 1983, KIOI was sold again — this time for $12.4-million — to Bay Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Price Communications.
On October 1, 1987, KIOI was sold for $120-million, along with three other stations in the Price Communications stable, to Fairmont Communications. Fairmont filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy early in 1993, and K-101 became the property of Evergreen Media in a $45-million deal in April 1994. (Evergreen also owned KMEL in San Francisco at that time.)
KIOI moved out of the fabled 700 Montgomery Street facility in 1996, relocating to the fourth floor of 240 Townsend Street in the city’s South of Market district.
In November 2000, the station’s legendary K-101 imaging was dropped, with the station rebranded as “Star 101.3 FM.”
KIOI (“K-101”) 101.3 FM
KIQI, formerly KSAY, begins simulcasting with co-owned KIOI and testing the AM side’s new stereo transmitter.
The SNACK Benefit Concert on K-101 (March 23, 1975):
IN STEREO! The closing segment of the concert, benefiting SNACK (“Students Need Athletics, Culture and Kicks”), featuring Bob Dylan, Neil Young and members of The Band. Broadcast live on KIOI and KIQI (1010 AM) from foggy, chilly Kezar Stadium and hosted by James Gabbert, with an assist from Stefan Ponek, Claude Hall from Billboard magazine and Joel Selvin of the San Francisco Chronicle. Courtesy of Richard Links.
It’s 1963 on the final broadcast by Gary Taylor from the K-101 Time Machine, recorded for posterity in the Ultimate Radio Bootleg LP series (Volume VI). Note the use of a classic Drake/Johnny Mann “San Francisco Weather” jingle, lifted from KFRC, about four minutes into the recording.
IN STEREO! Chris Edwards, formerly of 1260/KYA, hosts the K-101 Sunday Night Solid Gold Time Machine, assisted by Bouncin’ Bev (“The Wild Wahini”) and playing plenty of instant requests. Listen for several mentions of K-101’s morning man, Don Gerrard; a reference to the station’s then-owner during a top-of-hour ID (“A service of Price Communications”); and big bunches of kitbashed Chris Edwards jingles from KYA … with the “KYA” call letters creatively excised. Chris later worked on air at KSFO/KYA-FM (photo here) and segued into a successful career as a sales executive with Clear Channel and CBS Radio in San Francisco.
IN STEREO! Bobbie rings in 1988 with K-101’s very first broadcast of the new year.
The first simulcast of K-101 programming on co-owned KNEW, following an Oakland A’s baseball broadcast on the AM side.
A simulcast of K-101 programming on co-owned KNEW.
— Exhibit includes text and audio. — Audio presentation only.
— Fair-to-poor audio quality. — Edited (scoped) aircheck.
MDA — Courtesy of Michael D’Augelli.
MS — Courtesy of Mike Schweizer.
RL — Courtesy of Richard Links.
RS — Courtesy of Robin Solis.