KLIV is an AM radio station in the San Francisco Bay Area based in San Jose, California. The station operates at 1590 kHz on the AM band. It is owned by Empire Broadcasting - one of the last independently owned stations in the Bay Area [2] - alongside radio sister station KRTY. The studios and broadcast towers located at 750 Story Road in San Jose, California.


KLIV has been on the air since September 1946. It was originally KSJO, a 1,000-watt daytime-only station. KLIV changed hands on July 1, 1967. It was acquired by two former Rochester, N.Y., radio executives, Robert S. Kieve and James M. Trayhern, Jr., who had incorporated as Empire Broadcasting. Four decades later, Bob Kieve has remained as the owner of KLIV, one of the few independent radio station owners left in the region.[4]

In June 1960, KLIV became the San Jose area's top 40 radio station.[5] Among its memorable personalities was Mikel Hunter Herrington (known as Captain Mikey) who also produced what became hit records for San Francisco Bay Area groups, People! and Syndicate of Sound. Other personalities of the era were John McLeod, Dave Sholin, Bob Ray, Larry Mitchell, Jack Hayes, Tom Barry, Ross MacGowan, Ralph Koal, Scott St. James, Ray Morgan, Jim Sims, Squeeky Martin, and Mac McGregor . Hayes & Mitchell produced rock concerts at SJ Civic, SJ County Fairgrounds & Santa Cruz Beach & Boardwalk. Beach Boys, WHO, Cream, James Brown, Paul Revere & the Raiders and many others.

In May 1981, KLIV became a big band station.[6] KLIV maintained that format until April 1991, when the station converted to an all-news format. The same year, KLIV picked up broadcast rights to San Jose State University football and men's basketball games.

On April 11, 2016, Kieve announced that the station would abandon its all-news format and switch to a classic country format. In an on-air commentary discussing the change, Kieve blamed declining advertising revenue (primarily due an older-skewing listener base) and the increasing costs of running a news station as justification, and further noting that in its 30-year history, KLIV's news format never made a profit. Kieve argued that it was "easier to put on some music, automate it, and save all kinds of money on salaries" rather than continue to run the news format. The new format, which will primarily focus on country music from the 1980s and 1990s, will complement sister station KRTY, which runs a hot country format. The majority of the station's news staff will be laid off, although their salaries will be paid for a year. The station will retain some of its specialty programming, including Carl Guardino's program and sports coverage.[7][8]

KLIV switched formats from an all-news station to a classic country format permanently on June 10, 2016, at 10:00pm.


The station identified itself on the air as "1590 KLIV", with Westwood One Radio News every half-hour. The station is well known for its local news, focusing on the events of San Jose and Silicon Valley. It broadcast South Bay-centric traffic reports eight times an hour, or roughly every six to seven minutes. Traffic reports are generally followed by weather reports courtesy of The Weather Channel. Stock market was updated four times an hour during trading hours. Along with frequent traffic reports the station provided locally anchored, live news, as well as segments on local history and special, in-depth reports.

KLIV currently plays a classic country format with a simulcast of sister-station KRTY during morning hours. In addition to music, KLIV runs specialty programming throughout the day and a few locally-produced brokered programs on weekends. KLIV is currently the radio home of San Jose State University football and basketball, and San Jose Earthquakes soccer. In February 2015, the station returned to its rock roots by playing oldies overnight as part of "Classic KLIV." Part of the programming includes original recordings and air-checks from the 1950s through the 1970s. However, this was abandoned when the country music format was implemented in May, 2016.

(KLIV's logo under previous all-news format)