June 23, 2005

Joe Starkey Leaving KGO Radio

The local sports pages are abuzz this morning — Joe Starkey is leaving KGO/810 as sports director in July after 18 years with the station.

Joe StarkeyJoe had his choice of either doing two minutes of scores every half-hour on weekday afternoons at KGO, or moving with the San Francisco 49ers over to KNBR/680 and remaining one of only 32 guys in the world to have a job as the voice of an NFL team on radio.

KNBR will assume the role of flagship station for the 49ers beginning later this summer with Starkey at the mike and Gary Plummer continuing as analyst.

Because he is employed by the university, he'll keep his other football play-by-play job with Cal, which will still be heard on KGO this fall. Starkey has been the voice of Cal Bears football since 1975 and has been with the 49ers since 1989.

Starkey has been sports director at KGO since 1979, but began his career in broadcasting after earning his Master's degree in industrial relations from Loyola University in Chicago and working in banking, where he rose to corporate vice president in charge of Union Bank's Northern California region by the time he was 28 years old.

Self-trained — he would take a tape recorder to games to practice doing play-by-play — Starkey landed his first job as a sportscaster when Charles O. Finley hired him to announce Seals hockey on the radio in 1972. (Finley was also responsible for giving Giants voice Jon Miller his first big-league job, with the Oakland A's in 1974.)

In addition to the 49ers, Cal and the Seals, Starkey has also handled play-by-play for the NFL Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos, NHL Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks, USFL Oakland Invaders and the WLAF Sacramento Surge. He is an eight-time recipient of the Associated Press Award for Best California Play by Play Broadcaster.


Blogger Monkeesfan said...

Man, Joe Starkey has been around the block. It's impossible to see NFL Film footage of the Montana-Young years without hearing Starkey's calls. Truly one of the best ever in sports radio play-by-play.

September 23, 2006 9:34 PM  

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