Michael Krasny Signs Off

For the last 30 years, Bay Area residents have received in-depth coverage of local and national news from KQED’s Forum, the long running radio call-in show helmed by broadcaster, author and academic Michael Krasny since 1993.

As the host of the radio program, Krasny has become an indelible part of the Bay Area. Yet, Krasny recently announced that he will be stepping away from the microphone and concluding his regular hosting duties on February 15, 2021.

“Michael is a Bay Area jewel,” says Holly Kernan, KQED’s Chief Content Officer, in a statement. “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.”

A longtime resident of Marin County, Krasny began his broadcasting career in the late 1970s as host of “Beyond the Hot Tub,” a weekly program on the small Marin rock station KTIM FM.

By the mid-1980s, Krasny was working in both radio (KGO AM) and on local television. He joined KQED in 1993 as host of Forum, where he explored issues related to local and national news, politics, culture, health, public affairs, art and more.

Over the course of Krasny’s tenure, Forum developed a loyal audience whose engagement with Krasny made the show one of the Bay Area’s top drive-time radio programs. Forum is also one of the top-ranked regional programs in all of public media, reaching an average of 246,000 radio listeners each week and engaging another 70,000 online listeners.

Over his broadcasting career, Krasny has interviewed prominent figures such as Maya Angelou, President Jimmy Carter, Cesar Chavez, Francis Ford Coppola, Jerry Garcia, Toni Morrison, President Barack Obama, Rosa Parks, Gene Wilder and many more. For his work, he has received several broadcasting, writing and scholarly awards, including the recent Silver SPUR Lifetime Achievement Award, the most prominent award for lifetime civic achievement in San Francisco.

In addition to his broadcasting career, Krasny has worked as Professor of English at San Francisco State University and taught at prestigious institutions like Stanford University. He has also authored several books, including Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It All Means.

“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 says in a statement. “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.”

Now 76 years old, Krasny plans to spend his retirement with family, including his first grandchild, and he will also focus on writing and other opportunities.

KQED will conduct a thorough national search for his replacement. In the meantime, Mina Kim will continue to host the 10am hour of Forum, which focuses on statewide issues.

KQED.org/Forum

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Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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