Ken Ackerman (radio announcer)

Ken Ackerman (1922 – May 28, 2017) was an American radio announcer, disc jockey, and news anchor.


Ackerman, who grew up in Rio Linda, California, began announcing as a student at Grant Union High School. After a brief stint at KFBK in Sacramento, he joined KCBS (then KQW), San Francisco, in 1942.[1] One of his trademark introductions was for live bands playing on Friday and Saturday Nights from the Palace Hotel, where the KCBS studios were located until 1971: "... live and direct for your listening pleasure from the Rose Room at San Francisco’s famous Palace Hotel."[2]

In 1958, Ackerman replaced Dave McElhatton (who had moved to a morning show) as the host of "Music 'til Dawn", a show sponsored by American Airlines[2] that aired from 11:30 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. and which featured easy-listening and light classics. Ackerman hosted the show until it was canceled by CBS in 1970.[1]

When KCBS went from an easy-listening to news format in 1968, Ackerman made the transition to news anchor after his show was canceled. He retired in 1982 and continued in a part-time role until the station released him in 1995.[1]

Other accomplishments and honorsEdit

Alfred Hitchcock, who had a home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and who admitted that he often listened to Ackerman's show late at night, cast Ackerman as the radio announcer in The Birds.[3]

Ackerman was one of the founders of the Broadcast Legends social group in 1992.[3]

He was inducted into the first class of the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2006.[1]

Ackerman donated many of the tapes of his broadcasts to various organizations. Most of these can be found in the Stanford University Library,[2] and many can be heard online at the California Historical Radio Society and the Bay Area Radio Museum websites.[3]


Ackerman died at his home on May 28, 2017 of natural causes. He is survived by two daughters, Barbara Karp and Marie Ackerman.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ken Ackerman". SFGate. 28 May 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Broadcast Legends". Broadcast Legends. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Ken Ackerman, quintessential Bay Area radio announcer, dies". OIA News. 29 May 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.