KPIG calls it quits
Saturday was a sad day for radio lovers on the Island and around the Bay Area: Indie music fave KPIG offered its final broadcasts here in the Bay Area.
Listeners who tuned in to KPIG’s former home at 1510 AM Sunday heard new programming aimed at San Francisco’s Chinese population.
“We’ve met a lot of great friends along this path but regrettably this path is coming to an end,” the station’s San Francisco marketing manager, Ed Monroe, wrote in a message to fans last week. “Pigs, please understand that business decisions like these are never easy, and while we knew we would face challenges along the way, we approached them with optimism, yet the business of radio is expensive and at the end of the day we came up short on 1510AM in SF, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.”
Monroe thanked the station’s fans, staff and Mapleton for their efforts and support – and said he’d try to find a way to put KPIG on the FM dial here. And local listeners can still hear the station, which was reportedly the first in the nation to stream its content online, either online or through Dial Global Digital’s HD radio network (for a fee).
The pioneering station, which got its start in the 1988 in Freedom (near Santa Cruz) and is also broadcasting in San Luis Obispo, made its way into the Bay Area in 2005, when it planted a repeater up in the Piedmont hills. It offered an eclectic selection of “Americana” – folk, country, bluegrass, blues and more – served up by an equally eclectic collection of personalities, many of whom worked for KFAT, the station’s short-lived predecessor.
The station won a host of local best-of awards and national recognition for a homegrown approach that’s increasingly rare in this era of corporate-owned radio. But Mapleton Communications, which bought KPIG in 2001, opted to lease out the eight-watt station (2.4 watts at night) to another outfit because the station was not turning a profit, its managers told listeners last week.
The station’s fans have been expressing their disappointment over the change, though some were optimistic the station could some day continue on.
“Wow. Devastating news. A sad day for music lovers in this country,” one fan wrote on the station’s Facebook page. “Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of KPIG radio though. I can just feel it !!! Carry on all you Oinkers !!!”