San Francisco Has New 50 kW 'Blowtorch' With Familiar Call Letters

KTRB(AM) is doing final testing on its new transmitter site in Alameda County, Calif.
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KTRB(AM) is doing final testing on its new transmitter site in Alameda County, Calif.

The station, a 50 kW outlet on 860 kHz, actually dates to the 1930s; the Pappas family purchased it from the Bates estate in 1973. It had been licensed to Modesto in the San Joaquin Valley until recently, when the owners won approval to move it to the Bay Area. They say it has been "engineered to cover a huge geographic area. San Francisco is the fourth-ranked radio market in the United States and the number-one AM radio market in the nation."

Studios are at 1700 Montgomery St. in San Francisco, "overlooking The Embarcadero." The station hasn't announced its eventual format; but for the next month it will air continuous music of "The San Francisco Sound" from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

John Burger is chief engineer; the station VP/GM is Jim P. Pappas. He said KTRB was the station that inspired the Pappas brothers to become broadcasters.

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