In the News archive

The Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame is admitting a constellation of stars for 2017, according to writer Ben Fong-Torres. Among the many notables: Dan Sorkin, Peter Cleaveland, Michael Krasny and Doug Sovern.

Holy Toledo! The late Bay Area sports broadcaster Bill King is in the baseball Hall of Fame!

In the San Francisco Chronicle newsroom, he’s “Dr. Dave.” Among journalists across the country, he’s the dean of American science writers. Dave Perlman, who began his Chronicle career 77 years ago, is calling it quits — sort of. He gets to keep his desk, his computer, and the unceasing admiration of his colleagues. Listen to Perlman’s conversation with NPR’s Steve Inskeep.

The San Francisco Bay View Newspaper announces that Troy Williams is the publication’s new editor. Williams served time at San Quentin Prison, where he says he co-founded the “first satellite chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists inside a prison in the United States.” For more details on his life and his ambitions for the Bay View, click here.

Bob Bragman, a producer at, takes a walk down memory lane as he prepares to retire. His mini-history of the Chronicle building at 901 Mission St. is accompanied by 90 photographs reflecting the building’s glorious past.

A U.S. District Court judge in San Francisco has blocked enforcement of a state law banning the entertainment site IMDB from publishing the ages of actors’ ages without consent. Intended to deter age discrimination in Hollywood, the law would provide little relief and almost certainly violated the First Amendment, the judge said.

Mark Shaw, a lawyer and journalist from Burlingame, is the author of a new book, “The Reporter Who Knew Too Much,” which asserts that famed reporter Dorothy Kilgallen was murdered during her investigation of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Read his plea to reopen the cold case.

The Radio Television Digital News Foundation is offering scholarships and fellowships to current college students and to journalists with less than a decade of experience in broadcast and digital fields. See the announcement for details. The deadline is this May 31.

The journalism and photography departments at City College of San Francisco present “STREET LIFE: SF by Day, SF by Night,” a photo exhibit depicting “the story, breaking news, general news and everyday life of San Francisco people.” An opening reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 24 will include food and refreshments. The exhibit continues through April 14 in Bungalow 615 below George M. Rush Stadium. For details, call 415-239-3446.

Mark the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by watching this KPIX-TV excerpt from a sermon 50 years ago in San Francisco. King rallied his followers to take action in support of racial equality, declaring that “prayer alone will not solve the problem of racial injustice.”

Award-winning veteran television reporter and anchor Wendy Tokuda has retired after decades at stations in Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco. She also produced the program “Students Rising Above,” the namesake of a nonprofit that raises money to help at-risk teens go to college.

There is labor strife at KNBR-AM, where unionized employees are seeking wage increases from owner Cumulus Media. The company reportedly has countered with little more than San Francisco’s $13 minimum wage. Top-name on-air talent would not be subject to the minimum, the San Francisco Chronicle said.

After 37 years in Bay Area media, Mike Sugerman is leaving for New York, along with his wife, Janice Wright, a KCBS-AM anchor. In a farewell video, Sugerman says they are headed east to be close to their family and the newest addition, a grandchild. Along with his work on KCBS and KPIX-TV, Sugerman once read the news for famed DJ Dr. Don Rose at KFRC-AM.

“Acoustic Sunrise,” one of the programs purged from radio station KFOG-FM by corporate owner Cumulus Media, was quickly revived, San Francisco Chronicle writer Sam Whiting reported. Host Rosalie Howarth described the show as a Sunday morning “oasis of serenity.”

Broadcast Legends is presenting “KYA Day” June 23 in honor of the legendary Top 40 AM radio station. The group promises to “celebrate 90 years of KYA history with a gala reunion luncheon featuring KYA stars of the past, a multimedia retrospective and plenty of fun and surprises.” Details, a brief history of the station, and a link for reservations are here.

Veteran journalist Dawn Garcia has been named the next director of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships Program at Stanford. She replaces James Bettinger, who retires Aug. 31 after 27 years with the program, which emphasizes journalism innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.

Popular Bay Area radio host Ronn Owens, reported to be reassigned to KSFO 560 AM as part of Cumulus Radio’s restructurings and layoffs at KGO 810 AM and KFOG 104.5 FM, was restored to KGO before the move ever took place. Cumulus said it was a response to “listener outcry.”

KGO 810 AM and KFOG 104.5 FM, both owned by Cumulus Radio, have been hit with significant layoffs, strategies that VP Justin Wittmayer said were part of programming strategies that would “help us better meet the needs and demands of our listeners, advertisers and community.” Details are here, here and here.

KNTV in San Jose has bolstered its reporting staff with three additions, including veteran crime and investigative reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken, formerly with the San Francisco Chronicle. Most recently at the paper he covered the San Bruno gas line explosion and costly problems with the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

The website for the San Francisco Bay Guardian has been revived as a site for political endorsements, opinion pieces and “Best of the Bay” listings. The Guardian also is digitizing it’s archives. The weekly Guardian and its website were shuttered in 2014 by its owners, the San Francisco Media Co. Former staffers regained control of the name a year later.

Peter Hartlaub, the San Francisco Chronicle’s pop culture critic, waxes nostalgic about TV shows set in San Francisco. See what made the grade in Hartlaub’s imaginary “San Francisco TV Show Hall of Fame.”

Mark Twain’s 18 months as a daily newspaper scribe in San Francisco was a misery for him and a failure for his boss at the Morning Call, writes Gary Kamiya in the San Francisco Chronicle. (Behind paywall: requires Chronicle subscription)

High school and college journalism students aiming for a career in the business are encouraged to enter the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club’s scholarship competition. The deadline is Oct. 23.

Veteran San Francisco Chronicle political writer Carla Marinucci has taken a position at Politico, where she’ll be covering the California scene.

There are household names like John Madden, pioneering newscasters like Gil Haar, and behind-the-scenes staffers like music librarian Elma Greer. Radio Waves writer Ben Fong-Torres previews these and other 2015 inductees into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame.

Henry K. Lee, the prolific police reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and one of the few reporters ever to inspire a song, has packed his police scanner and is going to KTVU, Channel 2.

The president of the San Francisco Art Institute has been selected as the San Francisco Chronicle’s art critic. Charles Desmarais begins the job Nov. 1, replacing Kenneth Baker, who retired this year.

Robert Salladay, editorial director for the Center for Investigative Reporting, has been selected to develop the news organization’s documentary film unit.

Stanley Roberts, reporter for KRON-TV’s “People Behaving Badly” show was home recovering from what the station said was “a series of small strokes.” KRON said he was on “the fast lane to recovery.” Read more about Roberts in this SF Weekly profile.

Two former KGO-TV producers have documented the life of Korla Pandit, the exotic TV personality who effected the appearance of an Indian swami but was actually an African American from Missouri. The documentary, “Korla,” will premiere on Aug. 20 at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.

Fifty years after the first issue of the Berkeley Barb hit the streets, staff members gathered again to reconnect, tell stories, and recall the political, social and economic changes that followed the paper’s 15-year run.

As financial pressures grow, newspapers hunt for new ways to generate revenue, preferably without sacrificing the journalism. But the line between the news and business side sometimes gets thin. According to San Francisco Magazine, the line at SF Weekly disappeared. Now, says Columbia Journalism Review, it’s back.

Don Bleu of radio station KOSF as well as KGO’s Jeannie Lynch and Jennifer Hodges are out. Hal Ramey of KCBS-Radio is out, too, replaced by Kevin Radich, who previously was let go by KGO. And longtime San Francisco reporter Barbara Taylor has retired from KCBS, not long after the station said it was closing the City Hall bureau and switching her to general assignment. All this and more from Ben Fong-Torres “Radio Waves” column in the San Francisco Chronicle.

KGO-Radio talk show host Ronn Owens will undergo surgery intended to relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, which was diagnosed 13 years ago.

The San Francisco Examiner celebrates its 150th anniversary with an updated logo and an updated website that includes a slideshow of 50 front pages from the past. A feature story recounts the paper’s history from its founding as the “The Daily Examiner.”

In a series of staff stories, San Francisco State University’s journalism program has honored alums, recognized the work of a retired professor and taken note of an enrollment increase.

He’s responsible for the sound of the San Francisco Giants radio broadcasts, but you won’t hear his voice. Engineer and producer Lee Jones keeps the game on the air, writes radio columnist Ben Fong-Torres. Also mentioned in the column: a memorial for Gary Owens, the famed “Laugh In” announcer who worked early in his career at Oakland’s KEWB radio, and a farewell to Stuart Hyde, founder of the radio-TV-film department at San Francisco State University.

Larry Kramer, for five years executive editor of the San Francisco Examiner, has stepped down as publisher of USA TODAY and will join the board of directors of parent publishing company Gannett. The shift comes as Gannett prepares to spin off its publishing arm from its digital and broadcast operations.

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club has selected students from nine Bay Area high schools for outstanding newspaper and yearbook awards. The winners were selected from 375 entries.

Kristen Go, a deputy managing editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, has been promoted to managing editor, digital operations. She will be responsible for fostering improvements in the paper’s online efforts.

KGO-810, once king of the local AM airwaves, is returning to talk radio after abandoning the genre for an all-news format. Also in radio writer Ben Fong-Torres’ column in the San Francisco Chronicle: Lee “Baby” Simms, a dj with KFOG, KYA and KISQ, among others, is dead at 70; Keith Lockhart, classical music host with KKHI-AM, died at 87; and Rod McKuen, the Oakland native, poet, songwriter and, as a teenager, dj at KROW, died at 81.

His dad was Don Sherwood, the self-described “World’s Greatest Disc Jockey” on KSFO, the self-described “World’s Greatest Radio Station.” Today Greg Sherwood hosts KQED-FM and TV pledge drives. He talks about his father in this Q&A& with the Chronicle’s Sam Whiting.

The San Francisco Chronicle marked its 150th anniversary on Jan. 16. In his Sunday column, Carl Nolte, one of the paper’s veteran writers, a recalled the flavor of the place when he first stepped into the newsroom in 1961.

Audrey Cooper, previously the paper’s managing editor, is named editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Chronicle. Cooper formerly was metro editor of the Stockton Record and also had worked at the Tri-Valley Herald of Pleasanton and the Associated Press.

The late Ray Dolby, the legendary sound engineer whose Dolby Laboratories is a Media Museum consortium partner, has been recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Acclaimed journalist and author Betty Medsger paid a visit to San Francisco State University, where she was the first female faculty member, a department chair and founder of the Center for the Integration and Improvement of Journalism. Her book, “The Burglary,” has won plaudits for recounting details of FBI activities during the J. Edgar Hoover era.

The San Francisco Chronicle has abandoned its decision to charge online readers for much of its local content. The “pay wall” came down after a four-month experiment.

Wes “Scoop” Nisker is a onetime mainstay of Bay Area FM radio who coined the phrase, “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.” In this New York Times essay, he writes about how he has navigated his way through life.

Hearst Corp. names new publisher and president at San Francisco Chronicle.

Steve Rossi, a Knight-Ridder and MediaNews Group executive, becomes publisher of the Bay Area News Group, replacing Mac Tully, who takes the president’s slot at The Denver Post.