Ackerman’s radio career began in Sacramento, where he “got the radio bug” while attending Grant Union High School. In 1942, he landed a job at KQW. At the time, the station was still licensed to San Jose, requiring some programming to originate there. Ackerman spent time in the San Jose studios as well as KQW’s San Francisco studios.
He told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Carl Nolte in 2009 that he remembers doing live broadcasts of big bands — Muggsy Spanier at the Bush Garden, a jazz band at the Mocambo, Del Courtney, Desi Arnaz, Ray Noble or Bob Crosby and his Bobcats, “live and direct for your listening pleasure from the Rose Room at San Francisco’s famous Palace Hotel.” Some of those live broadcasts would be distributed nationwide.
How do things stand now? What’s been the effect of consolidation on news people and jocks and the listeners? And what might we see in the future? More news or less? Fewer owners? What about sports coverage? What about the business side? Where will the money be coming from, and who will do the selling?
We have a great panel lined up, which is scheduled to include Stan Bunger (Morning Anchor, KCBS); Stan Burford (Traffic Man, KGO); John Catchings (KFRC); Gil Haar (KYUU, KFRC); Jack Swanson (KGO, KCBS); and Peter Cleaveland (KGO), who will also act as the moderator.
This panel of folks has got years and years in the Bay Area radio. They have seen it all and helped to create much of it.
Join us and add your memories to the discussion on Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco. Social time begins at 11:30 AM, followed by lunch at noon, and our program at about 1 PM.
As it has each year since its inception, the Broadcast Legends will host the 2016 edition of the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame luncheon, which will be held at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco on Saturday, September 24, beginning at 11:30 AM.
This year’s class of inductees include Dianne Nicolini and Hoyt Smith, both currently of Classical KDFC, in the Program Host category; Wes “Scoop” Nisker (News); Kevin “The Rat” Radich (Sports); Narsai David (Specialty); Dave McKinsey (Executive); Robert Hammett and Edward Edison (Engineers); Hilly Rose (Living Legend); and Wilda Wilson Church and Dean Maddox (Pioneers).
We awake today to the sad news that Al Hart has passed away at the age of 88. A longtime member of the Broadcast Legends, Al came to the Bay Area about 55 years ago from KEEL in Shreveport, La., to work at KABL (960 AM) before moving to KNBR (680 AM).
But it was at KCBS Radio a few years later that he hit his stride, becoming perhaps the most iconic voice on this iconic station’s staff. Al arrived at KCBS in 1966, and was part of the team that transformed the station in 1968 to the all-news format that continues to thrive there to this day.
Before moving to his role as morning co-anchor on KCBS, Al had been working afternoon drive on the station. Following his retirement, he continued to be a welcome voice on KCBS, appearing with current morning co-anchor Stan Bunger on the weekly Wednesday chats with John Madden — always bringing along a batch of his signature snickerdoodle cookies, as well as the latest ruminations from Charlie The Checker.
Al Hart was a charter inductee into the Bay Area Radio Museum & Hall of Fame in 2006, and was an up-and-coming Mercury Records recording artist in the early 1960s. One of numerous Minnesota transplants to find fame and fortune in Bay Area radio — Jim Lange, Don Bleu and Bobby Dale included — Al was a proud University of Minnesota Golden Gopher.
Al will be missed, fondly, by everyone who had the opportunity to work alongside him, or spend a few minutes hearing his warm voice on the radio. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Pat, and to all of Al’s friends, family and colleagues.
The Broadcast Legends bestowed its annual Legend of the Year award for 2015 — the Myrna — to board member (and head of the Legends’ A/V Club) Bob Brown.
The announcement was made at the holiday celebration on December 18 at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco. Bob was photographed at the event flanked by Legends Father Miles Riley (at left) and Noah Griffin (at right).