Michael Krasny, longtime Bay Area radio host, announces retirement

Radio broadcaster Michael Krasny, 2016. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal) 

Michael Krasny, a longtime Bay Area radio broadcaster and Marin County resident, has announced his retirement from KQED’s “Forum,” the daily call-in program he has hosted for nearly three decades.

Krasny’s last day on the air is scheduled for Feb. 15, exactly 28 years from the day he joined KQED.

“I want to thank all of the listeners, guests and exceptional colleagues I’ve had the great fortune to encounter over the years as host of Forum,” Krasny, 76, said in an announcement on Monday. “I’ve been unusually fortunate to sustain such a long career serving the Bay Area in a role that allows me to participate in such rich and thoughtful conversations about the topics of our times.”

Krasny, who has lived in Marin since 1970, began his radio career in downtown San Rafael at the rock station KTIM, which was owned by the Independent Journal. He hosted a program he called “Beyond the Hot Tub,” interviewing local celebrities and rock stars such as Jerry Garcia and Grace Slick. The show’s name was a nod to Marin’s reputation in the ’70s as a place of hedonism, hot tubs and peacock feathers.

A literary critic and literature professor, Krasny said he dreamed of being a novelist, but felt at the time that he “wasn’t good enough.” So he turned to radio.

In 1983, Krasny landed a job at ABC, where he worked in both radio and television. He joined KQED in 1993 as the host of “Forum.” The two-hour morning radio program covers news, politics, health, public affairs, technology, art and culture.

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“What makes Michael extraordinary is the range of interviews that he’s done and been able to do well,” said Scott Shafer, KQED’S politics editor. “It’s just a huge spectrum of guests, from science to arts, politics, you name it.”

Michael Krasny, the host of “Forum,” a news and public affairs program, interviews Callum Roberts, right, in the KQED studio in San Francisco on Oct. 18, 2007. (IJ photo/Jeff Vendsel) 

The program ranks consistently at the top of the Bay Area’s drive-time radio ratings and is one of the top-ranked regional programs in all of public media.

According to KQED, “Forum” draws an average weekly audience of 246,000 radio listeners and another 70,000 who listen online or download the podcast.

Over his broadcasting career, Krasny has interviewed some of the most prominent newsmakers and political and cultural figures of the past half century, including Maya Angelou, President Jimmy Carter, Cesar Chavez, Francis Ford Coppola, John McCain, Toni Morrison, President Barack Obama, Rosa Parks, Nancy Pelosi, Sean Penn, Salman Rushdie, Carl Sagan and Bernie Sanders.

Marin author Isabel Allende has called him “the best interviewer I have ever encountered.”

“He really has a way of putting you at ease when you’re on the air with him,” said KQED reporter and editor Dan Brekke, who is a regular guest on the show.

Brekke said that while going on the air with Krasny can feel “like talking to a friend,” the “Forum” host also takes a more serious …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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