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KDFC Hosts Keyed for Hall of Fame

August 3, 2016

The 2016 Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame winners include two classical music jocks: Dianne Nicolini and Hoyt Smith. Both from KDFC. 

The two, who were named on July 23, are thought to be the first host honorees from the same station inducted in the same year. Also, they’re the first honorees that play only classical music. “While there are some members of the hall who dabbled in classical music at some point in their careers,” noted Bill Lueth, president of KDFC Radio, “ours are the first classical ‘stars’ in the hall of fame.”

In March we reported on the nomination. Thirty-three names — of both living and dead — were submitted for the category of “Program host.” Votes were submitted both by the public and by the Broadcast Legends Group, which has 220 members. Nominees were allowed to campaign for themselves.

Nicolini has been the midday announcer on KDFC since 1997; Hoyt Smith, the morning announcer since 1999.

“We’re a great team,” Nicolini told us, and added, “I see so many names in the hall that I used to listen to growing up in Oakland. It’s just such a thrill and of course it’s great to have the classical music format put in the spotlight.”

Induction will be held on September 23, at the Broadcast Legends Fall luncheon. Other winners include: for News. Wes “Scoop” Nisker who worked at KSAN in the late 1960s into the ‘70s, and then, in the ‘80s and ‘90s, at KFOG. For Sports, Kevin “The Rat” Radich, the sports anchor at KCBS. Before, that he was at KNBR and KGO.

KDFC, known in radioland as an ‘at-work station’ attracts approximately 400,000 listeners a week, which includes a streaming audience of 35,000. During a peak hour, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., listeners total about 20,000.

KDFC tends to hold audiences longer in the evening compared to other stations and is in the top four classical music broadcasters nationally. The top classical station in the country is KDFC’s sister station, KUSC in Los Angeles, followed by stations in New York and Washington D.C. KDFC, for the last five years a public station owned by the University of Southern California, has close to 25,000 members.

Mark MacNamara, a writer and journalist based in Asheville, North Carolina, has written for such publications as NautilusSalonThe Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Vanity Fair. From time to time, his pieces in San Francisco Classical Voice also appear in  Noteworthy examples include a piece about Philip Glass’s dream to build a cultural center on the Pacific Coast; a profile of sound composer Pamela Z and an essay on the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. MacNamara recently won several awards in the 2018 Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards presented by the San Francisco Press Club.  His website is