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Longtime KQED Forum Host Michael Krasny Announces His Retirement

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Michael Krasny (Kevin Berne)

The Award-Winning Bay Area Radio Host, Author and Academic Will Make His Final Forum Broadcast on February 12, 2021

Michael Krasny, the legendary Bay Area radio broadcaster, author and academic, who has enjoyed a nearly three-decades-long tenure as host of KQED’s Forum, is set to conclude his regular hosting duties on February 12, 2021.

“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,” says Krasny. “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 plans to enjoy his retirement with family, including his first grandchild, to focus on writing and to explore other opportunities.

Krasny’s storied broadcasting career began auspiciously in the late 1970s as host of a weekly program on KTIM FM, a small Marin County rock station. He later moved to ABC in 1983, where he worked in both radio (KGO AM) and on local television. He joined KQED in 1993 as host of Forum, the award-winning daily call-in radio program that addresses local and national news, politics, culture, health, public affairs, art and culture and technology. Over the course of his tenure, Forum has developed a loyal and deeply engaged audience. Today, Forum ranks consistently at the top of the Bay Area’s drive-time radio rankings and is one of the top-ranked regional programs in all of public media with a weekly average 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. They include Maya Angelou; William F. Buckley; President Jimmy Carter; Cesar Chavez; Noam Chomsky; Francis Ford Coppola; Jerry Garcia; Allen Ginsberg; Werner Herzog; John McCain; Toni Morrison; President Barack Obama; Camille Paglia; Rosa Parks; Nancy Pelosi; Sean Penn; Salman Rushdie; Carl Sagan; Bernie Sanders; Patti Smith; Charlize Theron; Wayne Thiebaud; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; David Foster Wallace; Gene Wilder; George Will; and many more.


“Michael is a Bay Area jewel,” says Holly Kernan, KQED’s Chief Content Officer. “His is a model public service career and he has brought depth, compassion and the expertise of a literature professor to the airwaves on a daily basis. Forum shows how a regional public affairs program can serve listeners with reasoned and thoughtful dialogue that cuts across so many disciplines and important issues.”

In addition to his broadcasting career, Krasny has forged long and successful academic and literary careers. He is Professor of English at San Francisco State University; and has also taught at Stanford University; the University of San Francisco; and the University of California, San Francisco; as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. He is the author of a number of books, including Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life; Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic’s Quest; Sound Ideas; and Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It All Means.

He is the recipient of several awards for his broadcasting, writing and scholarship, including,  most recently, a Silver SPUR Lifetime Achievement Award, the most prominent award for lifetime civic achievement in San Francisco, and a 2020 Simpsonista Prize for enabling writers and writing and readers and reading across generations. He has also been awarded the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association.

KQED will conduct a thorough national search for his replacement. Mina Kim will continue to host the 10am hour of Forum, which focuses on statewide issues and is distributed to stations across California.

About KQED
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas. kqed.org

December 22: The original press release release indicated that Michael Krasny's final date hosting Forum would be February 15, 2021.  That date has since been moved up to February 12. This release has been updated to reflect the new date.

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