Former KSFO-AM morning host Lee Rodgers died Thursday during heart bypass surgery, according to his wife Susan and his longtime co-host, Melanie Morgan.
Rodgers began his broadcasting career at WIND in Chicago in 1963 as a disc jockey and sportscaster, followed by stints at stations in St. Louis and Miami. He was the evening host on KGO 810 for 10 years. He went north to KIRO in Seattle for a year and then returned to San Francisco in 1996 to take over the morning show on KGO’s conservative sister station KSFO. In 2010, he was forced out of his job.
“After 25 years with ABC in San Francisco (KGO & KSFO) I was pushed into retirement by Farid Suleman of Citadel last year,” he wrote in 2011. “He thought I was making too much money (upper six figures) and there was unhappiness that I took a harsh line against Muslim terrorism. Since trade gossip has it that Cumulus, the new owners of ABC Radio, will make Farid look like Mother Teresa, I’m glad to be out of the industry and living happily in Arizona.”
“Lee Rodgers was a real radio guy,” said Jack Swanson, Rodgers former boss at KSFO and KGO. “He worked very hard, didn’t always play well with other children, but always made our industry proud.”