Former KGO, KSFO host Lee Rodgers dies

Rodgers 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

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The early days of KSFO 560

Before it was “Hot Talk” with Brian Sussman and Melanie Morgan, and before Don Sherwood was cracking people up in the 1960s, here’s what the staff of KSFO 560 looked like. This 1942 photo is from the current edition of Radio World and radio researcher John Schneider. In 1942, radio was king (no TV yet) and KSFO was a big player even though it had lost its CBS affiliation a year earlier to San Jose’s KQW, which would later become

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Ex-congressman replaces Limbaugh on KSFO

Hayworth The big switch in Bay Area talk radio went off this morning with a few hitches. First, KSFO announced that, beginning today, it was replacing Rush Limbaugh with a former Republican Arizona congressman, J.D. Hayworth. Hayworth was a talk show host at KFYI in Phoenix up until two years ago when he quit to run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against John McCain. Benner Hayworth repeatedly told listeners during his 9-noon time slot that he was “live and local”

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Swanson out at KGO-KSFO as Cumulus takes over

Swanson Jack Swanson, longtime executive at KGO-AM and KSFO, is leaving the stations which recently changed hands from Citadel to Cumulus. He said in an email to his staff that he and wife Melanie Morgan will be “going to a very small island very far away to recharge, and think and reinvent.” He emphasized that he is not retiring. “This has been a tremendous run,” Swanson said in the email.  “Cumulus is inheriting the greatest staff in the radio industry. To

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KGO-AM news director to program KSFO

KGO-AM 810 News Director Ken Berry is taking over the role of program director at KSFO “Hot Talk” 560, the station that airs Brian Sussman and Rush Limbaugh. Former KGO-AM news director Paul Hosley, who left in 2009 to start his own social media company, will return to KGO as news and social media director. The changes are effective Dec. 29. Jack Swanson remains as operations manager and program director for KGO.

Luckoff resigns, citing disagreements with Citadel

Luckoff with his Radio Hall of Fame award. Longtime KGO-AM and KSFO president and gm Mickey Luckoff abruptly resigned today, citing disagreements with the stations’ owner, Citadel Communications. “The day you’re not able to stand behind or believe in the decisions you are being asked to make is the day you must be true to yourself and to those you care about,” he said in a letter to staff that was obtained by the SF Business Journal. “Thus I am

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Rodgers fired moments after show ended

Lee Rodgers has written a letter to listeners to clear the air about his sudden departure from KSFO 560 on Thursday: “It was forced upon me with no notice,” he says. While KSFO & KGO were and are profitable, Citadel Broadcasting, the parent company that owns ABC Radio is in bankruptcy. The top management of Citadel, led by a CEO named Farid Suleiman — widely regarded as the most incompetent executive in broadcasting — decided that I was making too

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KSFO’s Lee Rodgers retires

Lee Rodgers signed off KSFO 560 for the last time today, turning his morning show over to Brian Sussman, the former TV weather man turned conservative talk show host. Rodgers had been transitioning to retirement for a couple of years by first moving to Arizona and broadcasting from his home, and then reducing his schedule to four days a week. Sussman, who has been working the 6-8 p.m. shift, had substituted for Rodgers. Sussman becomes permanent host of the morning

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Melanie Morgan back at KSFO from 3-6 a.m.

Melanie Morgan, who was dropped by KSFO-AM 560 last year as the co-host of its morning show in a cost cutting move, will be returning in the early morning hours, she says on her blog. She’s doing a new show from Washington, D.C., that will be syndicated nationally starting Monday. On the East Coast it airs from 6 to 9 a.m. Morgan says in her blog that it will be carried live by KSFO in San Francisco. That would mean

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