KGO Radio, formerly “Newstalk 810,” will now tout itself as “KGO-810 - the Bay Area news and information station,” reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
That is because the radio station is ending its long-time talk dominated programming in lieu of a more news-heavy programming. Starting on Monday, the San Francisco-based organization will switch to all news from 2 p.m. to midnight.
It will let go of long-time and popular hosts Gene Burns, Gil Gross, Ray Taliaferro and John Rothmann, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Our talk format has been wonderful over the years for KGO, but the audience really hasn't stayed with us. The audience isn't there,” said Paul Hosley, KGO’s news and program director, according to KGO TV.
Hosley is right in that KGO Radio’s unique talk-focused programming has declined in ratings in recent years. In 2010, it lost its 30-year reign as the top-rated radio station in the Bay area.
A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle article reported that KGO Radio’s strength is in the 60-plus audience. The prized audience from the perspective of advertisers, however, is the 25 to 54 group.
The same article said back then, KGO Radio was rated only 18th among listeners of this age, citing an unnamed radio executive.
Still, the listeners that stayed with KGO Radio are fiercely loyal and disappointed at the change. While KGO’s future as a news-heavy radio station is uncertain, its standing with its news talk fans may have taken a hit.
“I am boycotting the station due to recent format changes and the loss of valued voices of reason,” wrote one commenter on KGO Radio’s Facebook page.
“Sorry KGO, not listening. Spending my time contacting your advertisers instead....” wrote another.
One former KGO Radio listener even set up a Facebook page titled “Former listeners of KGO Radio Newstalk 810.”