KDFC Classical California Logo (2024)

Classical KDFC Named BARHOF Legendary Station For 2024

The Bay Area Radio Museum and Hall of Fame is proud to announce that Classical KDFC has been named its Legendary Station for 2024.

Having celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2023, KDFC remains the popular voice of Classical music in the Bay Area and Northern California.

In conjunction with the Broadcast Legends, we will celebrate KDFC’s Legendary Station award with a special luncheon on Thursday, June 6, 2024, at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco.

Make your reservation for the Classical KDFC Legendary Station Celebration!

KDFC went on the air on September 1, 1948, as one of the first FM stations in the Bay Area. More than 75 years later, it has retained its original format longer than any station in the Bay Area under one set of call letters.

KDFC San Francisco Classical Logo (Circa 2020)

It has served the community with Classical music for decades and has continued to do so long after the last competing Classical station left the market 25 years ago.

KDFC’s signal was broadcast out of its transmitter building on Mount Beacon above Sausalito on 102.1 FM from the outset until the station changed frequencies as a non-profit station in 2011. Now part of a network of ten affiliated signals up and down the coast known as “Classical California,” KDFC’s 90.3 FM signal continues to be broadcast from this same site.

In 1997, KDFC ownership changed hands, and as the only Classical station in the Bay Area it set out with a new purpose: to bring Classical music to the masses. In 1999 and again in 2000, KDFC tied as the number one music station atop the Arbitron ratings in the San Francisco market.

KDFC Classical 102.1 Logo (Circa 1990s)
Classical KDFC’s logo, circa 1990s

KDFC can boast the inclusion of many BARHOF inductees on its staff over the years:

  • Current president and former morning show host and PD: Bill Lueth.
  • Former market manager for Bonneville: Chuck Tweedle.
  • Announcers: Dianne Nicolini, Hoyt Smith, John Evans, Dusti Rhodes.
  • Marketing Director: Jude Heller.
  • Engineers: Shingo Kamada, Erich Steinberg.
KDFC’s Hoyt Smith (left) and Dianne Nicolini (center) celebrate their 2016 induction into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame with Bill Lueth, who was inducted into BARHOF in 2021.

The station has won three NAB Marconi Awards for Best Classical Station, and was nominated in the overall category of Large Market Station of the Year. It also won the NAB Crystal Award for Community Service.

Mayor London Breed declared September 1, 2023, to be KDFC Day in San Francisco in honor of the 75th anniversary of KDFC’s first broadcast.

KDFC became a non-profit radio station in 2011 and remains a top ten radio station in the market (#6 in the most recent Holiday book). It is supported by over 25,000 members from Ukiah to Monterey.

KDFC has been the broadcast home of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and countless other performing arts groups in the community for decades. It is a key hub for the arts ecosystem of the Bay Area. The station’s studios are now located in the Bowes Performing Arts Building in the heart of the San Francisco Opera, Symphony and Ballet arts community near City Hall.

BARHOF Radio Bridge Icon

The Bay Area Radio Museum & Hall of Fame (BARHOF) is a project of the California Historical Radio Society (CHRS). Each year, BARHOF bestows Legendary Station status upon a local radio station in recognition of its significant role in broadcasting in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Legendary Station is usually celebrated with a special event each June which is held in conjunction with Broadcast Legends.

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Jonathan Winchell
Jonathan Winchell
5 February 2024 9:00 AM

Great news.

Jonathan Dunn
Jonathan Dunn
5 February 2024 9:41 AM

I grew up with Bruce Beebe, his family owned KDFC, I believe. Nice guy, fast runner in the 440.

Jonathan Dunn
Jonathan Dunn
Reply to  BARHOF
5 February 2024 4:25 PM

Thank you for correcting me.

Robin "Bobbie West" Solís
Robin "Bobbie West" Solís
5 February 2024 11:58 AM

Congrats to KDFC for its consistency and longevity. Not my style but have known a couple friends that were talent.

28 March 2024 12:55 PM

[…] KDFC has been named the 2024 Legendary Station by the Bay Area Radio Museum & Hall of […]

Lauren Prichard
Lauren Prichard
18 May 2024 1:12 PM

My name is Lauren Davis. My father Edward Davis started KDFC. I have his original requests for the frequency and Western Union telegrams from the FCC allowing him to start broadcasting. I can also help with some corrections and additional information about the founding of KDFC and KIBE. Please give me a call. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Bill Lueth
Bill Lueth
Reply to  Lauren Prichard
20 May 2024 10:25 AM

Hi Lauren. Bill Lueth from KDFC here. It’s great to hear from you.
you can reach me at blueth@kdfc.com, and we can set up a call. I very much look forward to it.

Jacques Verdier
Jacques Verdier
Reply to  Lauren Prichard
28 May 2024 10:17 AM

Hi All,

A couple of trivia items.

Still have a speaker box for the background music system used by KDFC. (For subscription background music the main channel ads were muted during the fifties and an SCA system was used during the sixties.)

One of the last stations to go stereo in the Bay Area was KDFC. (Last station was KEAR). Hours of mono voice tracks, including music, were still played long I left for another station.

The KIBE transmitter building was used as target practice. Spent shells found inside the building. Transmitter was still running.

The call sign KDFC was K for west coast, D for Ed David, F for Florence(sp) (first chief engineer) and C for Crocker (the East Coast Crocker).

Lauren Davis correct me if I’m wrong here.

Jacques Verdier