Broadcast Pioneers: Board of Supes declares KALW Day
KALW celebrates 70 years of local broadcasting this week. Thursday is KALW Day – and not just because we say so. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has officially declared it!
In September of 1941, KALW went on the air, making it the oldest FM radio station west of the Mississippi. And the station has been pushing the boundaries ever since our first broadcast in 1976 after our transmitter was moved to Twin Peaks.
And that’s not all we pioneered.
We were one of the first stations to train women in broadcasting, during World War II, in addition to being the first Bay Area station to air national shows from NPR.
Nancy Chichrich who lives in the Berkeley Hills says she likes “the whole thing” when it comes to KALW.
“I don’t have to change what used to be called, the dial. I can just leave it on.”
Chichrich says she loves knowing what’s going on. “That’s how I get news.”
Decade after decade, KALW has brought original, local programming that features your voices, your opinions, and your community.
Mary Ellen Boyling concurs with the station’s informative and educational value. She consistently listens to 32 programs a week.
“I like to come away knowing more than I did when I tuned in,” says Boyling.
It’s these types of people who make the station sound the way it does. Because KALW is public – brought to you, by you.
Dorothy Walrath is a lifetime Bay Area resident. She listens to KALW in the morning and particularly likes Joe Burke.
“I like the Almanac he does. That’s what got to me the first time I heard it. Sometimes he’d say when the tide was up. So I’d look up in the sunset and drive down to see the tide coming.”
Other times it’s raw vocal talent that gets the listener’s appreciation including Jouida Gail.
“One time I was sort of dial hopping and I got this incredible voice.” It turned out to be Le Show with Harry Shearer. “The fact that he can do the things with his voice is just unimaginable.”
We’re celebrating the reasons we all love KALW.
Let us know your reason for tuning in on our Facebook page. And don’t forget to join us for a special ceremony Thursday morning at the site of KALW’S first station, the CCSF Mission Campus on Valencia Street.
Find details and RSVP here– we’d love to see you there!