No, it wasn't a KPIG prank. Mapleton Communications of Los Angeles, which owns radio stations in nine markets, decided to drop the KPIG format and replace it with a brokered Chinese format.
This year, Mapleton had increased KPIG-AM's power, allowing it to reach San Mateo County as well as San Francisco and Marin counties.
Here's a link to the announcement KPIG-FM posted to its San Francisco listners. In it, Market Manager Ed Monroe said he is trying to find an FM frequency in the Bay Area for KPIG.
David Jackson, executive director of the Bay Area Radio Museum, commented:
- Some will say that this is just another sign that AM is dead, and that music on the AM dial simply doesn't work. I disagree.
- The KPIG format has a limited audience, and is among the niche-iest of niche formats. Music would work on the AM dial -- if a station owner would commit to it, do it right and try to promote it to a broader audience. (Yes, I am talking about Oldies and Adult Standards, as a matter of fact.)
- It doesn't require a huge budget to do it right. It just requires passion, and a commitment to do it well. The folks at KPIG had the passion and the commitment; they just didn't offer something a lot of people wanted to hear.
KPIG-AM is licensed to Piedmont but transmits from five towers atop a warehouse in Oakland.