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KGO changes formats: Long-running AM news talk radio station promises new programming Monday

An archival photo of KGO 810 Newstalk radio personality Ronn Owens on October 24, 2005 in San Francisco, Calif. | Liz Hafalia/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Anyone who tuned into KGO 810—the Bay Area’s long-running, Cumulus Media-owned AM talk radio station—after 10 a.m. Thursday morning was met with a medley of pop music and a string of cryptic interstitial announcements.

“Start spreading the news,” a woman’s voice proclaimed in one announcement, which gave way to a snippet of “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers. “Our new handle is coming Monday!”

“It’s the biggest gamble in Bay Area radio history!”, a resonant male voice declared, before a clip “Money” by Pink Floyd played.

Just what that gamble is remains unclear, but it seems the KGO that locals have long known is now a thing of the past.

“Today we say goodbye to the legendary KGO,” a message posted on the radio station’s Twitter and homepage read. “Over the last 80 years, KGO has been here for Bay area listeners covering and discussing all the news that has impacted our world and local communities. We thank you for your loyalty and for trusting KGO to be your source for information. We also want to sincerely thank all the talented men and women that worked so hard over the years to produce award-winning programming on KGO. On Monday, 810am begins a new era. We hope you will tune in.”

KGO has historically broadcast news and talk radio programming and has been on the air in the Bay Area for 80 years.

A story published by the industry periodical Radio + Television Business Report speculated that the medley of pop songs—including “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley and “Ride Wit Me” by Nelly—is a sign that the station will begin focusing on sports and maybe even further specialized in sports betting. All of the songs played referenced money and gambling.