Live 105 Rebrands as ‘Alt 105’ - January 2, 2018 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Live 105 Rebrands as ‘Alt 105’

Andres Herrera/Flickr

Low ratings have led to a holiday housecleaning at local radio station KITS 105.3, known as “Live 105” since 1986. The station is now called “Alt 105” and plays basically the exact same musical format, but has dismissed a few of its best known DJs. Fans are not pleased.

The old Live 105 alternative rock format remains intact, a steady diet of Cake, Weezer, Green Day, Imagine Dragons, and other commercially popular mainstream alt-rock. The branding change was announced at 6 p.m. on the Friday before Christmas weekend, which is when companies announce things that they hope no one notices. The Twitter account now known as Alt1053Radio has been posting reminders since then, like the one seen above.

The change is all part of some corporate streamlining strategy, since Live 105 owner CBS Radio merged with broadcasting conglomerate Entercom in November 2017. Entercom is basically slapping the name “Alt” all of their similarly programmed stations, with the same naming convention being used at their stations in New York, Atlanta, and Dallas.

But a few Live 105 DJs have been given pink slips, notably Kevin Klein and Ally Johnson of the morning show Kevin Klein Live. Fans have started a Change.org petition to have the duo reinstated.

“The news that the show has been canceled for seemingly no good reason (if something brings in listeners, why would you cancel it?) is devastating to the cult following the show has created in the Bay Area. People have been following the story of the show’s participants (Kevin, Ally, Useless Weirdo, Dead Eyes, Twinkie, and others such as Secondhand Cindy and Girly Willie) for years and have invested emotion and time into the show,” the petition reads. “The cancellation of the show will no doubt create a huge boycott of the station as Kevin Klein Live was the highlight of all of the station’s programs.”

The station apparently hopes to continue putting on large music festivals like BFD and Not So Silent Night. “New name. Same big shows. BFD 2018 😏” the station wrote in a Dec. 25 Facebook post.

Live 105’s ratings had dropped to 22nd in the San Francisco market, according to the November Nielsen Audio ratings. Shockingly, the San Francisco market’s most listened-to station is KQED.