Fans of KPIG-AM 1510 Piedmont — which simulcasts the rock/folk/blues music station KPIG-FM 107.5 Watsonville — were surprised this morning to hear Chinese programming.

No, it wasn’t a KPIG prank. Mapleton Communications of Los Angeles, which owns radio stations in nine markets, decided to drop the KPIG format and replace it with a brokered Chinese format.

This year, Mapleton had increased KPIG-AM’s power, allowing it to reach San Mateo County as well as San Francisco and Marin counties.

Here’s a link to the announcement KPIG-FM posted to its San Francisco listners. In it, Market Manager Ed Monroe said he is trying to find an FM frequency in the Bay Area for KPIG.

David Jackson, executive director of the Bay Area Radio Museum, commented:

    Some will say that this is just another sign that AM is dead, and that music on the AM dial simply doesn’t work. I disagree. 
    The KPIG format has a limited audience, and is among the niche-iest of niche formats. Music would work on the AM dial — if a station owner would commit to it, do it right and try to promote it to a broader audience. (Yes, I am talking about Oldies and Adult Standards, as a matter of fact.) 
    It doesn’t require a huge budget to do it right. It just requires passion, and a commitment to do it well. The folks at KPIG had the passion and the commitment; they just didn’t offer something a lot of people wanted to hear.
KPIG-AM is licensed to Piedmont but transmits from five towers atop a warehouse in Oakland. 
Bay Area Media News


  1. It's a total bummer that KPIG is gone (hopefully not forever) from the bay area airwaves. It was one of the only, perhaps the only, commercial station that had any soul, any passion, any appeal. I hope to God the owners can find an
    FM frequency so the station can be revived. KPIG was an oasis in the wasteland. BRING IT BACK!

  2. I was returning from a trip to the Sierras and pushed my 1510 AM button and shortly heard the announcement about the conclusion of the KPIG broadcast on that location. I was truly saddened to hear this as I have enjoyed this format particularly because it so reminds me of a station in Humboldt County that is similar. I do hope that they are able to find an FM frequency to resume broadcast in the bay area.

  3. Sad to see KPIG go. When is the switch happening? I was still listening to them Saturday on 1510 AM. They kept playing an announcement that they were losing the frequency, but they hadn't switched over yet to Chinese programming.

  4. KPIG has also been cutting staff. Layoffs last month. They make about as much as Starbucks workers, $10 an hour. Less human contact, more reason to listen to my iPod.

  5. I used to listen to KPIG online until they started charging a subscription. I realize royalties are expensive, but isn't advertising supposed to pay for that? As for 1510, it's signal didn't go very far, especially at night. In Marin County, you can barely pick them up.

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