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  • For the FM radio station in Los Angeles, California, see KCBS-FM
KCBS
City of license San Francisco, California
Broadcast San Francisco & Bay Area
Branding All News 106.9 & AM740 KCBS
Slogan "What's Happening and Why?"
Frequency 740 kHz
106.9 MHz (also on HD Radio)
First air date 1921 (experimental under various calls from 1909–1921)
Format All-News
Audience share 3.8, #5 (Sp'08 R&R)
Power 50,000 watts
Class B
Facility ID 9637
Callsign meaning K Columbia Broadcasting System
Sister stations(s) KFRC, KFRC-FM, KITS, KLLC, KMVQ
also part of CBS Corp. cluster: KPIX-TV & KBCW
Affiliations CBS Radio, CBS News
Owner CBS Radio
Sister Stations KFRC, KFRC-FM, KITS, KLLC, KMVQ
also part of CBS Corp. cluster: KPIX-TV & KBCW
Webcast Listen Live to All-News 740 KCBS
Website KCBS' Website

KCBS (740 AM, "All News 740 AM & 106.9 FM KCBS") is an all-news radio station in San Francisco, California, that is a key West Coast flagship radio station of the CBS Radio Network & Westwood One. It's transmitter is located in Novato, California.

KCBS' full programming schedule is simulcast on co-owned KFRC 106.9 FM

HistoryEdit

KCBS has it's roots in the experiments of San Jose engineer Charles Herrold as far back as 1909, making the broadcaster a leading contender for the title of oldest station in the United States & possibly the world. Herrold used a variety of different radio call signs in the early days, including FN, SJN, 6XF & 6XE. In the very beginning, he just used a simple greeting like "San Jose calling". That greeting & the initial FN sign (which was an inverted abbreviation of "National Fone") reflected the fact that Herrold had been partially working on the idea of a radiotelephone.

On December 9 1921, Herrold received a commercial license under the callsign KQW. It was the 21st licensed radio station in the United States & the 11th in California. However, the "arc-phone" Herrold had been using for over a decade had to be scrapped. It would only work @ wavelengths above 600 meters & all radio stations were restricted to 360 meters (roughly the equivalent of 833 kHz). He quickly created a replacement, using a tube-like transmitter drawing power from San Jose's streetcar lines. However, he never recovered financially from the loss of his arcphone & was forced to put the station on the market in 1925. After initially giving an option to a civic foundation, he sold it to the First Baptist Church of San Jose. Herrold stayed on as a technician for the station he'd created for a few years, but died in obscurity in 1947.

There is @ least 1 authentic broadcast recording chronicling this early history. On November 10 1945, KQW presented a special program called "The Story of KQW", commemorating Herrold's early broadcasts. It includes a brief recorded statement by Herrold, just before his 70th birthday. During the introduction to the program, a KQW announcer explains that the program was produced to mark the 25th anniversary of the broadcasting industry as well as the 36th anniversary of KQW. The announcer then goes on to say that KQW was the first radio station in the world to operate on a regular schedule. The major events in Herrold's work are then dramatized.

In 1926, station manager James Hart bought KQW's license & facilities, buying the station itself in 1930. Until 1942, it operated as a service of the Pacific Agricultural Foundation to farmers in the Central Valley. A series of power boosts brought the station to 5,000 watts by 1935. It was the San Jose affiliate of the Don Lee Broadcasting System from 1937-1941, during the time that it was owned by Julius Brunton & Sons, co-located with KJBS @ 1470 Pine Street in San Francisco.

However in 1942, CBS offered to move it's San Francisco affiliation to KQW after KSFO turned down CBS' offer to buy the station. KQW jumped @ this offer, having been without a source of network programming for over a year. CBS moved it's affiliation to KQW later that year, with an option to buy the station outright. KJBS Broadcasters then sold the station & KQW moved to a lavish CBS-owned studio @ the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. For all intents & purposes, it became a San Francisco station, though it continued to be licensed in San Jose. An announcer remained @ the transmitter to identify the station as "KQW, San Jose" every hour.

At the end of World War II, KQW found itself in a battle with KSFO for it's longtime home on 740 kHz, the last Bay Area frequency that was authorized to operate @ 50,000 watts. When CBS affiliated with KSFO in 1937, it cut a deal with KQW to swap frequencies with KSFO, which would then boost it's power to 50,000 watts. The change was waiting FCC approval when World War II broke out. By 1945 however, KQW had become San Francisco's CBS affiliate & CBS was obviously not about to give up the advantage of having the last 50,000-watt frequency in the Bay Area. While the FCC granted the frequency to KSFO, it's owners, Associated Broadcasters, later decided to concentrate on plans for it's new TV station, KPIX-TV. Eventually, Associated Broadcasters traded 740 back to CBS in return for KPIX getting the CBS TV affiliation for the Bay Area.

CBS exercised it's option to buy KQW in 1949, changing the calls to KCBS. (The KCBS callsign predates the use on the CBS owned TV station (then KNXT) in Los Angeles by over 30 years & KCBS-FM there as well.) It also officially changed the city of license to San Francisco after 7 years. In 1951, KCBS signed on with 50,000 watts for the first time from an elaborate multi-tower facility in Novato originally intended for KSFO. However, the station is a class B station, not a Class A (clear-channel).

In 1968, KCBS became 1 of the first all-news stations in the country. However, it already had a long history in news dating to World War II, when it was the center of CBS' news-gathering efforts in the Pacific Theater. KCBS is currently the eighth oldest fully licensed radio station in the United States, the third oldest in California (behind KWG in Stockton & sister station KNX in Los Angeles) & the oldest in the Bay Area.

Westinghouse Electric Corporation (which purchased KPIX-TV from Associated Broadcasters in 1954) bought CBS in 1995, bringing the Bay Area's oldest radio station & it's oldest TV station under common ownership. In May 2006, KCBS & KPIX-TV moved their San Jose news bureau to the Fairmont Tower @ 50 W. San Fernando St., the address of Charles Herrold's original broadcasts. Although CBS management was not aware of the history of the San Fernando St. address when the move was planned, they quickly recognized & embraced it's significance when informed, giving long-overdue credit @ the bureau's opening celebration to one of the inventors of broadcasting.

Today Edit

KCBS is noted for broadcasts every weekday morning with hall of famer, former Oakland Raiders coach & sportscaster John Madden. The morning hosts & Madden talk about upcoming football games, life on the road in his traveling bus & various anecdotes in Madden's & the hosts' lives. Sometimes former KCBS morning host & imaging voice Al Hart joins these conversations. The station also hosts special segments each weekday with CBS News technology analyst Larry Magid & longtime food & wine editor Narsai David.

Similar to it's sister stations such as WBBM & WCBS, KCBS does traffic & weather on the :08s, sports updates @ :15 & :45 past the hour & business news @ :25 & :55 past the hour. KCBS Cover Story airs weekly as an extended look @ a major issue in the news, while In Depth is a weekly long-form interview program. In addition, KCBS simulcasts 60 Minutes & Face The Nation, which is also standard practice @ the other CBS-owned all-news radio stations.

KCBS' signal can be heard clearly as far north as Sacramento & Hopland & as far south as San Luis Obispo on most days. Under the right conditions, it's daytime signal reaches as far north as Redding & as far south as Santa Maria. At night, with it's 50,000 watts of power, the signal can be heard throughout California including Los Angeles & San Diego & it covers several western states such as Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho & Utah. On rare occasions, it's signals traveled across the Pacific ocean to be received by DXing the station in Hawaii, Alaska & northwest Mexico.

In mid-March 2005, KCBS, along with almost all the other all-news stations owned by Infinity Broadcasting (which renamed itself CBS Radio that fall), began streaming it's audio (reversing a long-standing Infinity Radio policy of not doing so) via it's website (WCBS began it's streaming audio the previous December). Local commercials which are heard on the radio signal are pre-empted on the Internet stream for a small selection of sponsored ads & more often for public service announcements, station promos & repeats of pre-recorded CBS Radio Network feature segments already on the broadcast schedule (including Lloyd DeVries' stamp collecting segment, Dr. Emily Senay's "Healthwatch" & Neil Chayet's "Looking @ the Law"); before the fall of 2008, outside sponsors purchased considerably more spots on the Internet stream.

In 2007, the station began identifying itself on-air as "KCBS & KCBS-HD", a reference to the stations' broadcasting in hybrid digital.

On October 27 2008, KCBS began simulcasting it's complete program schedule (including commercials) on co-owned KFRC-FM & digital KFRC-HD-1 @ 106.9 in San Francisco. Previously, that FM station had programmed a classic hits format (which remains both on digital KFRC-HD-2 & KFRC.com). The station's microphone flag now carries the 740 frequency on 2 faces of the cube & 106.9 on the other 2 faces.

Anchors team Edit

Time News Traffic Weather Sports
AM Drive Matt Bigler

Stan Bunger

Susan Leigh Taylor

Kim Wonderley Roberta Gonzales Steve Bitker
Mid-Day Rebecca Corral Mitch Thompson Roberta Gonzales
PM Drive Jeff Bell

Patti Reising

Sheryl Raines

External linksEdit

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