San Francisco’s 102.5 FM Is Back on the Air

Carolyn Keddy, KXSF-LP, 415-648-SFCR (7327), [email protected]
Mel Baker, Program Director, KSFP-LP, 415-745-5752, [email protected]


Friday, July 15, 2022 — (San Francisco, CA) – Nonprofit community radio stations KXSF-LP and KSFP-LP are broadcasting again on 102.5 FM from the second level of Sutro Tower in San Francisco. San Francisco Community Radio and the San Francisco Public Press each broadcast 12 hours a day on their shared frequency, which can be heard throughout the city. 

The 102.5 FM transmitter antenna is located on the second level of Sutro Tower.

Fuad Tokad

The 102.5 FM transmitter antenna is located on the second level of Sutro Tower.

The sister low-power FM stations were temporarily off the air after their transmitter failed on June 5. Broadcasts were restored on July 14 at 10:37 a.m. after extensive repairs. 

“The transmitter is in an outdoor enclosure,” said engineer Bill Ruck, who oversees the transmitter and related equipment on Sutro Tower on behalf of both stations. “When it failed, we recognized that there was corrosion on the power amplifier that was beyond our ability to repair, so we sent the transmitter back to the manufacturer, Nautel. They reported damage to two circuit boards that required complete replacement.” 

KSFP Program Director Mel Baker said he was pleased the stations could relaunch their broadcasts.

“Our two stations provide a service to the community not offered by the large public media outlets that focus on the entire region,” he said. “We give air-time to programs made for and by San Franciscans.” 

Carolyn Keddy, who is a KXSF DJ and chairperson of the San Francisco Community Radio Board of Directors, agreed. 

The 102.5 FM transmitter is housed in an outdoor enclosure on the second level of San Francisco's Sutro Tower.

Bill Ruck

The 102.5 FM transmitter is housed in an outdoor enclosure on the second level of San Francisco’s Sutro Tower.

“San Francisco has so many voices needing to be heard that are excluded from the homogenized commercial radio stations,” she said. “KXSF and KSFP give space to local people who have something to say and something to share.”

Baker said that the stations’ complementary programming serves the community well.

“Our two stations provide a good mix, with KSFP focusing on news and information programs during the morning and evening, while our partners at KXSF offer a wide and varied mix of music, community affairs and entertainment programs by local creators throughout the day and nighttime hours,” he said. 

KXSF and KSFP both stream their own programming around the clock, but share the 102.5 FM signal, handing it off every six hours. KXSF broadcasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., and KSFP airs from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

KSFP: A Project of the San Francisco Public Press

KSFP launched in August 2019. It offers a mix of local news, public affairs and storytelling programs, including the flagship weekly news and public affairs show “Civic.” 

KSFP is the home station for “Out in the Bay,” which serves the LGBTQ community; “News in Context,” which examines media bias; and “Voices of the Community,” which explores how Bay Area nonprofits fulfill their charitable missions. KSFP’s “Open Studio” airs locally produced podcasts, such as “Radio Teco” from El Tecolote newspaper. The station also served as the launchpad for two radio play series created by theater companies Word for Word and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, which produced audio versions of their shows during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

San Francisco Community Radio’s KXSF

KXSF launched online in January 2011 and began broadcasting on 102.5 FM in September 2018. KXSF consists of a 100% local volunteer production staff offering a wide variety of programming including shows in multiple languages, LGBTQ+ focused and community affairs programs, and shows featuring an eclectic mix of musical styles. 

KXSF’s mission is to amplify the diverse voices of our world by providing musically creative and socially aware San Francisco style radio.

Some of KXSF’s eclectic programming includes “The Turkish Cultural Programming,” Saturdays at 2 p.m.; “Friday Morning Frequencies,” Fridays at 10 a.m.; “Ad Lib,” Thursdays at 2 p.m.; “Queerly Drinking,” Wednesdays at 2 p.m.; “Barn Dance,” Wednesdays at 10 p.m.; “The Pastor Tom Show,” Saturdays at 1:30 p.m.; “Francofun,” Saturdays at 1 p.m.; plus many more.

Low-Power FM 

The Federal Communications Commission designated low-power radio stations as a distinct category in 2000. Low Power FM stations are authorized to broadcast over limited areas underserved by public or commercial stations. The FCC grants licenses to nonprofit organizations that agree to use the signal for the public good and to abide by federal regulations.  

The 102.5 FM signal can be heard in most of San Francisco, except where obstructed by geography. KXSF and KSFP also operate online audio streams 24 hours a day. 

Low Power FM stations have opened the airwaves to smaller organizations that would otherwise be locked out of the public and commercial airwaves, where even small stations can cost millions of dollars. IHeart Media, Cumulus, Audacy and several other giant consolidators own all but a small fraction of commercial radio stations in the U.S. Deregulation has allowed these stations to eliminate their local studios, meaning that in many cases none of their programming is produced in the communities they are licensed to serve. 

KXSF and KSFP are committed to serving San Francisco with locally relevant programming created by people from the local community.


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