- For the former occupant of the 102.1 FM frequency in San Francisco, see KDFC-FM.
KRBQ (102.1 FM) is a radio station in San Francisco, California. It is owned by Entercom Communications and currently airs a Classic hip hop format. The 102.1 frequency transmits its signal from Mount Beacon atop the Marin Headlands above Sausalito, California, while studios are located in the SoMa district of San Francisco.
Classical KDFC (1946-2011)
The station was founded in 1946 by station owner Ed Davis and programmed a Classical music format as KDFC. It remained a Classical station for most of its history, though at one point during the 1950s, it featured a beautiful music format. The station also simulcasted on KIBE, a daytime-only 5 kW AM station in Palo Alto, California that began broadcasting in 1949 from a transmitter near the western approach to the Dumbarton Bridge. It is now a news-talk station. It also had a booster station in Concord, which fills in coverage gaps caused by topography issues.
In 1993, Ed Davis' company Sundial Broadcasting sold the AM and FM to Brown Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for $15.5 Million. In 1996 BBC sold the FM station and AM simulcast sister station AM 1220 to Evergreen Media, who in turn sold the FM to Bonneville Broadcasting and the AM to Douglas Broadcasting.
In 1997, new station management transitioned KDFC's programming to a more mass-appeal approach, which boosted ratings significantly, though was occasionally criticised for their new "top 40 of classical music" approach.
Bill Leuth, who had done mornings on rival classical station KKHI, moved to mornings at KDFC in 1997, and also contributed to the station's rise and shift from automation to live hosts.
In 2003, KDFC became the first station in the Bay Area to broadcast using HD Radio.
On January 18, 2007, Bonneville signed an agreement with Entercom Communications Corporation to trade three San Francisco stations — KOIT, KMAX, and KDFC — for three Entercom stations in Seattle, Washington and four in Cincinnati, Ohio. Entercom officially took ownership of KDFC on February 26, 2007.
Classic Rock K-Fox (2011-2014)
The University of Southern California announced on January 18, 2011, the purchase of 90.3 KUSF from the University of San Francisco. That same day, a deal, in the works for months prior, was announced to acquire the intellectual property and call letters of KDFC from Entercom, thus making KDFC a listener-supported non-commercial outlet, operated by a San Francisco-based non-profit organization, and also simulcasting on newly acquired 89.9 KNDL (89.9 MHz) in Santa Rosa.
Then, on January 24, 2011 at Noon, after playing "Fanfare for the Common Man" by Aaron Copland as performed by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, KDFC flipped to Classic Rock as "Classic Rock K-Fox" with the new call letters KUZX. The station was a simulcast of San Jose station KUFX, which Entercom acquired earlier in the month. The first song on "K-Fox" was "Roll Over Beethoven" by Electric Light Orchestra.
The station launched with a full airstaff including Greg Kihn in mornings, Radio vets Tim Jeffries and "Big Rick" Stuart in middays and afternoons respectively, and Laura Steele hosting nights.
KUZX never seemed to gain traction with the simulcast, and throughout its tenure, the station saw many on-air changes, including the additions of KFOG vets Annalisa Parisale for mornings and Bill Webster for nights from 2012-2013. After Annalisa was let go, the station brought back former K-Fox host Chris Jackson to host mornings.
As KRBQ "Q102" (2014-Present)
On August 1, 2014, at 2 PM, after playing "One Thing Leads to Another" by The Fixx, KUZX abruptly broke away from the simulcast and flipped to a Rhythmic Hot AC format as Q102, The Beat Of The Bay, with the first song being This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan. The format was similar to sister station KHTP in Seattle, which has seen success since launching in August 2013. On August 8, 2014, KUZX changed its call letters to KRBQ to match the new branding. On September 2, after promoting a "Commercial Free August", the station began adding personalities, including Freska Griarte in middays, Mia Amore in afternoons, and Hoodrat Miguel hosting nights. On September 15, KRBQ added Bay Area radio vet Joey "Joey V." Vlasny and Alexx Dupri to host morning drive. KRBQ also bought back a mix show that was once a staple at KNGY, Clubber's Commute, airing Saturday nights.
At the time, KRBQ faced competition from Rhythmic Top 40s KYLD (which has since shifted to mainstream top 40) and KVVF, Rhythmic Oldies KISQ (which has since flipped to Soft AC), Adult Top 40s KLLC and KIOI, Top 40/CHRs KMVQ and KREV and R&B/Hip-Hop KMEL, as it shared the same music as the other outlets. As of February 2015, KRBQ dropped current tracks (as well as pop and dance titles), and refocused its direction to the growing Classic hip hop format, with occasional 1990's R&B titles. It now positions itself as "The Throwback Station."