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.