Steam Powered Radio

A Collection of Non-Memorable Radio Memorabilia

Dave Wigfield

I was the Technical Supervisor for KCBS-AM 740, KFRC-FM 106.9 and KLLC-FM 97.3 in San Francisco. I retired at the end of June, 2019 after 45 years as a broadcast engineer. Thirty and a half of those had been spent with KCBS-AM and KLLC-FM, 29 years and 13 days with CBS Radio and a year and 7-1/2 months with Entercom. Besides my studio duties, I also took care of the KCBS, KFRC, KLLC and KRBQ (Q102) transmitter sites.


I got my start in radio way back in high school around 1970. Our school, Pinole Valley High, had a boot-leg AM radio station, KPVH on 850kHz. I was pretty interested computers at the time but my electronics teacher, Wayne Perry, asked me if I would be interested in checking out the radio station. I went there, hung out for a while, spun a few records and was hooked. The start of 45 years in radio. My first real radio job was with KDFC-FM and KIBE-am in San Francisco. My job consisted of sitting on top of Mt. Beacon in Sausalito and playing classical music off of 6 Revox A-77 tape machines. Basically we board ops were the brains of a human automation system. After sign-off I would hang out with the chief engineer, the same person who started our high school station, and work on the studios and transmitters. My first real job as chief engineer was at KMPX-FM, 106.9, in San Francisco. This was during its Big Band music stage. I then became chief engineer of KTIM AM-FM in San Rafael, a little hippie dippie underground rock and roll station. It was there I met my future ex-wife. A friend of mine who was working in Los Angeles at the time, helped me get a job at KFAC AM-FM in L.A. in 1978. KFAC was a classical station on 92.3mHz and 1330kHz. I stayed there for three years but really wanted to get back to the San Francisco area. In 1981, I signed on with Buckley Broadcasting as the chief at KKHI AM & FM (Now Entercom stations KGMZ AM&FM) . KKHI was a classical station on 95.7mHz and 1550kHz, I sense a theme with classical music, with studios on the 14th floor of the St. Francis Hotel. It was a pretty good place to work but the budget for engineering was skimpy at best. After eight years with KKHI, I was able to get a job with KCBS in 1988. Started out as a maintenance tech, then Assistant Supervisor and became the Technical Supervisor in 2013.


I am the father of one daughter, Kelli, who is a Registered Veterinary Technician at a local vet hospital. On June 7th, 2017 I became a grandfather for the first time when my daughter gave birth to Aubrey Ocon, weighing in at 7 pounds. What a cutie! My hobbies include Railfanning, travelling and trying to restore some old broadcast equipment. Railfanning, for those who don't know the term, is chasing trains and photographing them. A lot more fun than it sounds. I live in Pinole, California and share my house with two dogs and five cats. Yes, that puts me into the crazy cat person area but when you have a daughter that works for a vet you sort of collect the little four legged hairballs. There is also one fish named Eric who, does indeed, have a proper fish license.