Breaking: Chris Reed ends his KOGO run tonight — Roger Hedgecock too?

Barry Jantz Barry Jantz 26 Comments


Readers may want to listen to KOGO-AM 600 today at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. for some announcements.

Tonight’s 6-8 p.m. Top Story on KOGO will be the final broadcast for Chris Reed.

I couldn’t reach him for comment, although I’m pretty sure Reed wouldn’t be inclined to say anything. I also have a message in to KOGO management for a direct confirmation. In the meantime, I’ve verified the news through credible sources.

The news comes following a report this week that Roger Hedgecock is also departing KOGO after about 25 years, as well as a Clear Channel job posting seeking a new KOGO talk show host.

Given Reed’s conservative-libertarian flair, some in San Diego will no doubt try to incorrectly paint the departure — and that of Hedgecock — in a political light. Insiders say, however, the changes are part of management’s move towards lighter news-talk in an attempt to improve ratings amidst the station’s aging demographics.

Some sources say that today will be Hedgecock’s last broadcast at KOGO as well. Since his show is nationally syndicated, but broadcast from KOGO, that may mean a change of studios for him on Monday. His former producer, Jimmy Valentine, says Roger is going to KFMB-AM 760.

Ironically for Reed, he recently won third place in San Diego Press Club honors for best interview/talk show, behind two specialty shows also on KOGO. This was the best showing of any daily local hard news show.

The reality of volatile radio markets aside, the end of Reed’s show leaves a big hole for the politically inclined during the weekday evening drive-time.

Best wishes to Chris.


Comments 26

  1. BARRY: Good work. Shame. Chris is a solid journalist who actually does homework and knows what he is talking about. I could actually listen to him and learn. He did tend to rant a tad too much to the right but he was also able to find middle ground in most debates. And during the SDG&E blackout, Albert grabbed the Mic and made a fool of himself when Chris should have been in the saddle and would have demanded good reporting rather than school closing announcements. I fear we’ll have to reinvent local radio. Thanks again for the work, jimmyv

  2. Chris Reed does a fine show. KOGO deserves credit for giving him a prominent spot the past few years.

    Thor’s Assistant: Would Chris Reed be a MAJOR addition to SD Rostra’s blog pen?

  3. Chris Reed will be sorely missed on the airwaves. He kept critical issues including pension reform and misbehavior in the state legislature top of mind with voters. To her credit LaDona Harvey addresses many of the same issues and I hope she will continue. Meanwhile, I suspect the job opening posted online by Clear Channel is to replace Reed, not Roger Hedgecock. I’m sticking with fellow former Hedgecock producer Jimmy V on his prediction of a John and Ken simulcast from KFI Los Angeles. KOGO becomes KFI South.

    I think Jimmy and I make up one of the smallest clubs on the planet. We were the only two producers Roger ever had on his locally originated show. Hell of a ride, huh JV!

  4. KOGO has been teasing a major announcement at 7 am on Monday, during the Chip Franklin show. Nothing mentioned during the LaDona show today. Could that mean no announcements on the air this evening/tonight? It would be sad if Chris couldn’t do a sign off.

    Jim: Now, there’s a thought. Reed will continue with the UT, Barry says, so that may present a difficulty for him.

  5. This IS sad news. I hope he lands at another local station because I’ve come to depend on his factual reporting. His clear and concise delivery is unmatched. Sharp guy who is well informed and provides a great service to this community.

  6. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to Chris and the guests he brings on. Even though I have lived in OC for 13 years now, I still listen to KOGO frequently on my way home from the office. I listen to John and Ken as well but definitely prefer the more journalistic approach Chris takes in his interviews and commentary. Southern California is losing a great radio host.

  7. Chris is the only talk show host that regularly talks about local education issues. Parents need him to convey to the rest of the city the problems we face with a school board run by the union and extreme left progressives.

    In less than two years, there will be no money to even open the doors. Over 100% of the budget will go to compensation. Chris is one of the few that gets it.

    I hope I can follow him to another station.

  8. Rc’d from Cliff Albert at 5:19 pm…

    Contact: Cliff Albert
    Program Director KOGO Radio
    Clear Channel Radio San Diego


    San Diego, CA – November 4, 2011 For the first time in 85 years on the air, San Diego’s AM600 KOGO is making a historic change in operations by becoming San Diego’s first News-Talk station to simulcast on FM radio at 95.7 FM, bringing more reach and value to the San Diego community. The simulcast begins Monday, November 7, 2011 at 7:00 a.m. PST. KOGO’s new name and slogan is “FM News and Talk 95.7 and AM 600 KOGO. We are San Diego”.

    “AM 600 KOGO has an incredibly strong brand in San Diego with its award winning News and Talk format. The simulcast of KOGO on 95.7 FM allows us to provide complete expanded signal coverage of KOGO’s market leading news and talk programming to better serve our local community as well as our advertisers,” said Debbie Wagner, Clear Channel San Diego President / Market Manager.

    “KOGO reaches nearly 300,000 listeners in an average week, yet many members of the San Diego community have not visited the AM band. In the interest of best serving our community, the benefit of simulcasting on a 50,000 watt FM signal is pronounced,” said Clear Channel San Diego Operations Manager / Director of Programming Jimmy Steele.

    Since its launch in 1994 with the News/Talk format, KOGO has become the “go to” source for news and information. Whether on-air or online at, KOGO is the radio station San Diegans rely on when disaster strikes…from wildfires and earthquakes to the most recent blackout where 900,000+ listeners tuned in for non-stop information. “We’re grateful for the support of our many loyal KOGO-AM listeners through the years and we’re excited that we now can serve even more people in the county,” said KOGO Program Director, Cliff Albert.

    With San Diego’s #1 choice for news and talk expanding to FM, KOGO is also expanding its local talk programming and providing listeners with even more choices. The new local programming lineup at “FM News and Talk, FM 95.7 and AM 600 KOGO,” includes San Diego’s most popular talk personalities, including Chip Franklin, Ladona Harvey and George Chamberlin, all of whom reflect the San Diego lifestyle, along with the most pronounced national hosts, including Rush Limbaugh.

    Joining the KOGO weekday lineup are Bryan Suits, a true veteran of talk radio, having served in the military in Operation Desert Storm, Desert Shield and the War in Iraq; and Bob “Sully” Sullivan, a San Diego native and former local FM radio personality and creator/co-host of the nationally-syndicated “Big Biz Show”.

    In addition to KOGO, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment in San Diego, offers it’s San Diego listeners five other stations, Star 94.1, XTRA Sports 1360 AM, Rock 105.3, 101.5 KGB, Channel 933 and the Total Traffic Network.

    # # #

  9. I am really disappointed to see Chris Reed go. I didn’t always agree with him, but his show was always interesting and thought provoking.

  10. Just a correction regarding Falkenthal’s comment about being one of the only two producers of the Roger Hedgecock show and its starting date of 1985.
    The show began on January 20,1986, and I was the first Executive Producer. I came to KSDO with Roger from City Hall where I was his Press Secretary, and Jim Price hired both of us. I worked with Roger to develop the format and booked our first guests on Dr. King’s birthday. It was a fascinating and challenging experience…but then everything was where Roger was involved. I also produced his two television shows on Channel 10 which ended abruptly when they tried to exert content control. Something that was totally unacceptable for Roger.
    Sorry to alter your perception of exclusivity, Gayle, but your little club just grew by a third.

  11. When one door closes others open, Each new door is an adventure and an opportunity for Growth. Pruning makes the Vine more productive.

    The best is yet to come.

    Always seek the light!

    George Van Valkenburg

  12. Chris,
    Thanks for injecting civility and intelligence into a format where the ratings seem to go to sophomoric blowhards who think it’s clever to give out the cell phone numbers of people they disagree with and tell their less-than-lowest-common-denominator listeners to harass them. Good work.

  13. If we’re fortunate John & Ken will replace Chris.

    J&K also have focused attention where it’s needed on dysfunctional government policies, and they do more accurate reporting than most of the so-called “journalists” we hear from.

  14. Mel, pardon me, you are correct. I do now recall you worked for eight or ten weeks with Roger. When he was hired I was the managing editor of the newsroom and part of that management team that oversaw the programming of the station, along with Jack Merker, then program director. Merker is the one widely credited for devising the format of the show as one of the all time great radio men. I still have the paperwork with his directives for the show stored somewhere in my archives. He is sorely missed.

    Let the record correctly reflect that I should have referred to Jimmy and myself as the only two permanent/long-term (i.e., not temporary) producers.

    Let the record also reflect the first show was not on Martin Luther King’s actual birthday, but on January 20, 1986. It may have been the legal holiday. It’s a particular pet peeve of mine when holidays get moved around to suit three day weekends.

  15. Gayle:

    Bette Davis was probably surprised to hear folks
    quoting her famous line, “Fasten Your Seatbelts, It’s
    going to Be a Bumpy Night!” many years after her
    role in the classic All About Eve.

    It was her most famous role, and Hedgecock radio
    producer is yours. I hope you are happy that people
    still remember the STELLAR job you did at it.

    Despite the pressure involved, you were unfailingly
    cheerful in the conversartions we had in those years.

  16. Not saying it was your career Peak… that is still to come !

    BUT your “most famous” role to date? Yes.

  17. Sorry to see Chris go. He was a worthy successor to Roger with his intelligent coverage and analysis of state and local issues. Best wishes to him. So far not impressed with the new line-up following Roger.

    Hi Gayle. Hope all is well.
    BTW, cool photo. I think I know where that is. 😉

    Joe P.
    Poway, CA.

  18. I hope Chris finds his feet somewhere else on the radio. His show was really informative about San Diego and California politics. You just don’t get that kind of localized information anywhere, especially on the radio.

    -1 for KOGO for dropping Chris Reed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.