Longtime Bay Area alt-rock radio station KITS 105.3 has been rebranded to the “adult hits” format DAVE FM by Audacy, which operates the station.
The station, for many years called “Live 105” before Entercom Radio merged with CBS Radio in 2017, has been in steady decline in recent years, losing many listeners along the way.
“DAVE FM is an opportunity for us to provide our audience a station that encompasses a wide array of music genres, full of recognizable hits across multiple decades,” spokeswoman Stacey Kauffman said in a news release. “We trust this station will be able to offer listener favorites each and every day, no matter their taste.”
But for many who grew up on Live 105, the move marks the death of alternative rock and pop radio in the Bay Area. Over its first hour on air, Dave FM played songs by Hall & Oates, Kiss, Guns N’ Roses, the Killers, Devo and Oakland’s Pointer Sisters.
DAVE FM is positioned as “totally random radio,” but with a focus on hits from the ’80s through today. The station had been broadcasting alternative music for about 35 years; in 1986 it had flipped from a Top-40 format. In April 2020, the station’s owners laid off popular music director and DJ Aaron Axelsen as part of massive cost-cutting moves.
Earlier this year Axelsen partnered with FLOOD to launch FLOOD FM, a digital radio station that has rebuilt his vision for for the old Live 105, but on a global scale.
DAVE FM has also been playing songs by Billy Idol, MC Hammer, R.E.M. and Duran Duran.
Thank you, Bay Area.
1986 – 2021 pic.twitter.com/TWX41kriXa
— Dallas Osborn (@DallasSF) October 15, 2021