Greg Kihn Off Local Radio After 16 Years: He Was 'Numb' When Given the News

The KFOX morning man is one of the longest running DJs at one station in the Bay Area. He got laid off this week, while he's on top of the charts.

Greg Kihn, the number one morning DJ in music radio, got laid off Wednesday, after 16 years on the air with KFOX in San Jose and San Francisco.

He was given notice immediately after his show in San Francisco Wednesday morning. Kihn was due to negotiate a new contract, but owner Entercom Communications declined.

"It's horrible, you know, but it's the way radio is," said Kihn Friday. "This is the state of radio. This is life in the big leagues. It's a bummer, but I'm going to carry on."

Fans noticed Kihn and partner Chris Jackson were off the air Thursday and Friday, but no one knew why until Kihn sent out a press release Friday. The show was heard on KUFX-FM (98.5).

"I was down in the dumps for one day," said Kihn. "I was numb. It's like ending a marriage after 16 years. I was married to the station. I won't have the alarm set for 4 o'clock any more, but I'll still wake up at 4 o'clock wondering what to do."

He says he will finish a novel called Rubber Soul, about the Beatles and has screenplays being looked at, including one about the Mafia and the New York music business in the 1960s.

Kihn, 63,  played a reunion show with his original band in Santa Cruz in May and plans to do more live music shows now. Kihn has been a successful musician, writer and disk jockey since moving to California from Baltimore in the 1970s.

His show was originally based in San Jose but recently was shifted to a studio in San Francisco  that covered both cities San Jose.

Kihn is another in a series of shakeups in the local industry. Earlier this year longstanding news talk station KGO let go most of its staff after some 35 years as the No.1 station in radio.

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Poot September 16, 2012 at 02:50 PM
In the case of the people from KGO, they took over KKSF at 910 and took a major part of their audience with them. Maybe Kihn will turn up there doing a talk show...
Tim Lundell September 16, 2012 at 04:06 PM
What a huge loss for probably the most loyal audience of listeners for Bay Area radio...and what a huge mistake for Entercom Communications, whose "business" plan apparently assumes that the audience will hang around for whatever new format and "personalities" they come up with. Not this guy!
Jeanne Rajabzadeh September 16, 2012 at 04:33 PM
This is wrong! Same thing done at KGO and it is not worth listening anymore. What was their reasoning? Will they just go the way of Clear Channel? Play the same 10 songs for all channels across the US?
Jim Van Camp September 16, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Onward and upward Mr. Kihn. You're at the top of your game and a valuable asset. I'm sure there's another door opening when one closes. I know it's hard to change, I personally don't like change, but we all go through it.
Michelle Fitzsimmons September 16, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Kihn has always made my morning commute actuallu bearable for many years, putting a smile on my face and making me laugh out loud as I trek to work. He's such a great personality and clearly loved what he did. There's going go be a big whole in my radio now...I totally agree jeanne that KGO has lost something without its talk show hosts. I like hearing news but at 10pm, I want to hear some gene burns.
Mckenna Smith September 16, 2012 at 06:04 PM
KFOX's loss.
KMD September 16, 2012 at 07:36 PM
I stopped listening to KGO after the New Year, moved to 910 to listen to Armstrong and Getty for some good laughs to get my day started. When I was working I listened to Greg and Chris on my drives in. They were really funny and lighthearted. They made commuting pleasant and were better than any road rage preventative medication out there! I'm sure Greg will pop up somewhere else. KFOX loss, some other stations gain! Greg let us know where you go next!
Dan Orloff September 16, 2012 at 09:29 PM
What an egregious move on Entercom Communications' part. What the f are they thinking! I hope listeners and advertisers vote with their ears and checkbooks. It's bad enough that the recording industry has done about all it can to kill rock 'n'roll. Now it's radio's turn. Screw the fans, right!
Chris Marchese September 17, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Stopped listening to KGO after the change...Now, I will stop listening to KFOX.....radio is becoming mundane and not very relevant......
Mojey September 17, 2012 at 03:47 PM
wow....going to really miss Greg. So, I'm left with KFOX who?
Colleen Campbell September 17, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I didn't always agree with Greg, but he made my morning commute bearable and I loved listening to the interviews with musicians, his ridiculous banter, and the music. This will likely be the end of KFOX for me. Dumb move Entercom.
Cameron Smith September 17, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I hope this doesn't drive the Bay Area towards The Bone's morning show. Lamont and Tenelli have nothing relevant to say, their show is all about sensationalism and bad jokes, and their banter is juvenile. And why exactly can't we get a real rock station in the area? The valley and SoCal seem to realize there's more to rock than classics.
Isis Moonheart September 17, 2012 at 11:58 PM
I agree KOME was great Greg Kihn was to full of himself for me but played great music on the air and stage.
Mike Whalen September 19, 2012 at 11:04 PM
A truly sad day for music & musicians. My son was inspired by our daily listening to GK on the way to school and now his every waking moment is dedicated to listening, writing, practicing and performing the way Greg and his guests did. How to fill that void with someone who's walked the walk and has now been silenced?
Lance Rasmussen September 21, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I have been a Greg Kihn fan since seeing him play live shows here in the 80s. I go to the Kihncerts at Shoreline each year. I sure hope Greg can figure out how to get sponsors and keep doing them. I was so sad when I heard "The New sound of KFOX".
BernieA. September 22, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Just deleted KFOX off of all my radio presets....
annieg September 24, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Greg's a right wing, blow hard. Very glad to be rid of him. Thank you, KFOX!
Larry September 29, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Wow I can't believe I listened to GK for 16 years. Seems like just yesterday he started up and brought the radio waves to life! Thank you sir for making the morning ride listening and entertaining.
Larry September 29, 2012 at 01:20 AM
OH! and the Kihn-certs will be sadly misssed.
David marquez October 17, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Spent most of my early mornings commuting from Hollister to Anywhere in the Bay Area for Work. Greg was in the passenger seat at all times. Kept me smilin, and awake. Seems to me, that that station no longer wanted to pay him his wages, and looked for a cheaper fill, so THEY can line their own pockets. Bad move. Greg will never go away. Good luck Greg. Don't know where you'll be , but be safe.
Craig Joyce January 20, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Blame the owners and general managers; apparently they think they know more about what you want than what you actually want. Use decca records as an example. When the beattles went there... Now the beattles albums are selling like hotcakes and decca Isn't getting a dime and the beattles are just as popular today as they were back then.
Destiny M. March 04, 2013 at 12:00 PM
KFOX used to be my favorite station, in fact my kids grew up on it. I can't stand there new formatting and don't even listen to it anymore. KFOX (the former used to be a great classic rock station). They have taken it and made it into a mediocre station. Though no station could actually replace KFOX for me I was able to find one that came closer to the old KFOX style. Greg Kihn was a great DJ, what a slap in his face they gave him. But it wasn't just Greg Kihn it is everything they did to the station. KFOX listeners were loyal listeners but when the station is not loyal back the listeners leave. And so KFOX will go down and it will serve the owners and general managers right. Hopefully they will all soon be looking for other jobs too, just like Greg


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