|City||San Jose, California|
|Broadcast area||Santa Clara Valley|
|Branding||Country Gold 1590 KLIV|
|Slogan||"San Jose's Country Gold"|
|First air date||December 1946(as KSJO)|
|Former callsigns||KSJO (1946–1960)|
San Jose State Spartans|
Santa Clara Broncos
KLIV (1590 AM, "Country Gold") is a radio station broadcasting a classic country format. Licensed to San Jose, California. KLIV began broadcasting in 1946 as KSJO before becoming KLIV in 1967. Currently owned by Empire Broadcasting, it is one of the last independently owned stations in the Bay Area, alongside sister station KRTY.
The station had a top-40 format in the 1960s and changed to big band in 1981. From 1991 to 2016, KLIV had a news format. KLIV has been the flagship station for San Jose State University sports since 1991 and has carried Santa Clara University men's basketball games since 2012. KLIV was the flagship station for the San Jose Clash (later Earthquakes) from 1996 to 2016.
Early history (1946–1991)
KLIV signed on in December 1946 as a 1,000-watt daytime-only station named KSJO that shared facilities at Story Road and Lucretia Avenue in central San Jose, where the station remains to this day, with an FM station of the same name. KSJO AM began nighttime broadcast at 500 watts in 1947.
On June 1, 1960, the original owners of KSJO sold the station to Cal-Radio Inc., which renamed the station KLIV and boosted its signal to 5,000 watts in 1961. KLIV became the San Jose area's top 40 radio station in 1963. Among its memorable personalities was Mikel Hunter Herrington (known as Captain Mikey). Other personalities of the era were John McLeod, Dave Sholin, Bob Ray, Larry Mitchell, Jack Hayes, Tom Barry, Ross MacGowan, Ralph Koal, Scott St. James, Ray Morgan, Jim Sims, Squeeky Martin, and Mac McGregor.
KLIV changed hands on July 1, 1967, when it was acquired by former Rochester, New York radio executives Robert S. Kieve and James Trayhern and a group of Rochester investors, who had incorporated as Empire Broadcasting, for around $974,000.
In the 1970s, KLIV's primary genre shifted with emerging musical trends. The decade began with KLIV emphasizing hard rock before returning to a general top 40 format by 1972. KLIV music director Ralph Koal announced that KLIV would take on a format he called "Top 40 with a disco emphasis" in early 1979. This move made KLIV the first San Jose station to accommodate more disco. As disco became less popular later in the year, KLIV changed to an album-oriented rock format dubbed "Rock 16" from October 25, 1979 until May 7, 1981.
KLIV converted to an all-news format in April 1991, simulcasting CNN Headline News and the 5 p.m. newscast from San Jose television station KNTV, in addition to local news and traffic reports each hour. By 1995, KLIV began simulcasting the 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. KNTV newscasts as well. In contrast to San Francisco's KCBS, traffic reports on KLIV focused on the South Bay.
With its format change in 1991, KLIV also added local sports to its lineup, specifically San Jose State University football and men's basketball. In 1996, KLIV began broadcasting games of the San Jose Clash (now Earthquakes) of the newly formed Major League Soccer. KLIV also broadcast select San Jose Lasers basketball games.
However, KLIV struggled in the ratings. In the fall 1997 ratings period, KLIV was the lowest-rated English-language station in San Jose, overshadowed by KGO and KSFO, competing San Francisco-based stations that carried talk shows in addition to news coverage. Kieve acknowledged in 2016 that as KLIV never made a profit as a news station and was subsidized by co-owned FM country station KRTY.
By the late 1990s, as the Telecommunications Act of 1996 paved the way for the increased consolidation of radio station ownership, KLIV and the Empire Broadcasting family of stations were among the final locally owned stations in the Bay Area.
As CNN Headline News shifted its evening programming away from general news reporting to personality-driven talk shows, KLIV introduced its own local lineup of evening programming in February 2007, including a monthly call-in show with the mayor of San Jose, a talk show hosted by the CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group called The CEO Show, and speeches from the San Jose Rotary Club and the Commonwealth Club of California. Beginning on April 2, 2007, KLIV reduced the CNN Headline News simulcast to evenings and weekends. Between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m., KLIV began hours with news briefs from CNN Radio featured more locally produced news and content each hour. KLIV also began carrying syndicated programs on the weekends, including Into Tomorrow, The Clark Howard Show, Popular Science Radio, and The Ray Lucia Show.
In a tribute to its top-40 format from the 1960s, KLIV launched an Overnight Oldies program in February 2015 playing hits from the 1950s through 1970s, beginning at midnight until 5 a.m. on weekday mornings, and 6 a.m. weekends.
Classic country (2016–present)
On April 11, 2016, Kieve announced that the station would abandon its all-news format and switch to a classic country format, dubbed "Country Gold". In an on-air commentary discussing the change, Kieve blamed declining advertising revenue (primarily due an older-skewing listener base) and the increasing costs of running a news station. He bought out most of his news staff. The switch to the classic country format happened at 10 p.m. on June 10, 2016. KLIV continued to carry South Bay traffic reports after the format change, as well as South Bay Weather reports. 
In March 2017, KLIV lost the rights to San Jose Earthquakes games to KTCT, a Cumulus Media-owned station in San Francisco. The Bay Area Radio Museum honored KLIV with its Legendary Station Award in the same month.
Since June 10, 2016, KLIV has played a classic country format playing country music primarily from 1988 until 2002. Initially, KLIV simulcast the morning show of sister FM station KRTY, which plays newer country music, before launching its own morning show in May 2017. As of 2017, KLIV continues to broadcast Commonwealth Club of California talks on Thursday evenings.
As the flagship station of the San Jose State Spartans radio network, KLIV originates broadcasts of San Jose State football and men's basketball games. During football season, KLIV broadcasts a weekly talk show with the San Jose State football head coach. KLIV also is the primary radio station for Santa Clara Broncos men's basketball games, having carried 26 of 33 games in the 2016–17 season.
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- KLIV (June 9, 2016). "Friday is KLIV's last day as a news station..." Facebook. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
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- "Radio Schedule". Commonwealth Club of California. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
- "Football opens Mountain West action at New Mexico". San Jose State Athletics. September 26, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
- "Men's hoops goes for three straight Tuesday night versus Aztecs". San Jose State Athletics. February 6, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
- "2016 Ron Caragher Radio Show Schedule". San Jose State Athletics. Retrieved June 4, 2017.