Monday, January 28, 2019

San Jose Radio: KLIV 1590 AM Signs-Off....for Now

Classic Country KLIV 1590 AM in San Jose was set to sign off for good Sunday night after 73 years.

Back in the 1970s, it was a Top 40s station. Then, disco became its focus. Rock and big band music followed. In 1991, it switched to an all-news format centered on the South Bay. But then ratings started to nosedive, and they switched to classic country format in 2016.

KLIV was the San Jose area's top 40 radio station in the '60s. Among its memorable personalities was Mikel Hunter Herrington (known as Captain Mikey). 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.

KLIV personality Brian Lord discovered the single "Psychotic Reaction" by local psychedelic rock band the Count Five, a song that later made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

KLIV changed hands on July 1, 1967, when it was acquired by former Rochester, New York radio executives Robert S. Kieve and James Trayhern and a group of Rochester investors, who had incorporated as Empire Broadcasting, for around $974,000.

Over the past two years, the station continued to lose money. Hot financial water has led the station to its farewell broadcast last night.

The sign-off follows the sale of the station's studio and transmitter site on Story Road in San Jose's Little Saigon neighborhood, as well as additional financial losses and low ratings with the "Country Gold" classic country format. KLIV owner Bob Kieve indicated his intention of donating the license to the city of San Jose, with the intent of using the station to broadcast city council meetings, committee meetings, and other civic events.

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