I rarely listen to commercial radio, spending the majority of my time devoted to college and community radio stations. So, I was caught completely unaware when I read yesterday that San Francisco was losing its gay-friendly dance music station Energy 92.7. I didn’t even know that it existed.
The 5-year-old station, KNGY, “often touted itself as the last independently owned radio station in San Francisco,” according to an article in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle. The station played a dance music format and as of last Thursday night, they switched to mainstream top 40.
A television news segment on KTVU last night featured interviews with station DJs and fans. One listener recounted their feelings upon losing the station, saying, “It’s like a friend of mine died.”
I was amazed to see a report about radio on TV and was even more surprised to hear such strong feelings about a radio station. It’s a reminder that radio still does mean a lot to people, especially when a station has such a strong connection to a local community.
As the comments on the Chronicle article attest to, many people are upset about the station’s change in format and many seem particularly upset by the loss of their favorite morning show. One commenter wrote:
“A big disappointment for sure. Looks like I won’t be listening to the radio at all anymore, unless they resurrect Energy in some other fashion.
That station certainly had something for everyone interested in dance music, as well as a great morning show. It may have been gay-oriented in many ways but I think it was much more than that and I think it’s a loss not just to the LGBT community but to the whole city.”
As Examiner blogger Eric Ross explains, the gay-themed morning show on Energy 92.7 was unique for commercial radio:
“Fernando & Greg first aired on Energy 92.7 back in 2005 and was the first commercially broadcast gay morning radio show in the United States. The station went off the air on September 11th, much to the shock of everyone in the Bay Area. The gay friendly radio station was an icon for the LGBT community, and many people woke up to Fernando and Greg in the morning. Fernando and Greg even made it to Out magazine’s list of the top 100 most influential people in gay culture.”
One can track the morning show hosts quest for a new gig on their Facebook page and there is also a group devoted to saving the station (unlikely, since it’s already been sold off and has rebranded itself as 92.7 REV The Revolution).
It’s impressive to me that the Save Energy 92.7 group on Facebook has more than 6,000 members as of today. Who knows, perhaps they’ll work together to come up with some innovative ways to bring elements of the station back to the airwaves or to the Internet.
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