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Richard and Joe welcomed Ken Kramer, creator, producer, and host of the television series “ABOUT SAN DIEGO” seen on KPBS. The long-running show has explored the unique places and people of San Diego. It would be hard to find a San Diegan that has not heard or viewed one of his informative stories leaving one with a sense of awe and wonder.
Ken went about discovering his interesting stories using a combination of natural curiosity, suggestions from others and help from local libraries. He engaged people with his storytelling, describing a place without revealing what or where it was until the end. Kramer estimates he’s done more than 500 of the segments in his career, and that 95 percent of them ended the same way, crafting each piece so it would conclude with his signature tagline, “ABOUT SAN DIEGO.”
Ken was born in Pasadena and studied at Pasadena City College. He later transferred to San Diego State University graduating with a degree in in Radio and Television. At SDSU he began working as a student assistant at the campus radio station KEBS (which later became KPBS). He worked as an announcer and transitioned into the job of director of news and information programming in 1971.
In 1972, inspired by the “Ralph Story’s show, he made his first half-hour radio show, “ABOUT SAN DIEGO.” Six years later, in 1979 he hosted an produced the first TV airing of “ABOUT SAN DIEGO” for KPBS. “ABOUT SAN DIEGO” was broadcast as a morning and afternoon radio segment on KSDO (KOGO) radio 7 days a week from 1984 to 1996 reaching 200,000 listeners a week. In 1995 he began producing segments on NBC 7 San Diego which became a half-hour prime-time program from 2006 until 2009. In 2010 he rejoined KPBS until his retirement in 2015. You find many of his old episodes posted here.
“Ken Kramer’s ABOUT SAN DIEGO” has been honored with numerous Emmy and Golden Mike Awards, as well as recognition from teachers groups, Save Our Heritage Org, City Of San Diego, San Diego Historical Society, Society of Professional Journalists, San Diego Press Club, Radio Festival of New York, and The Voice of America. In proclaiming “Ken Kramer Day” in 2008, The County Board of Supervisors described the show as “greatly enriching our community’s character, giving every citizen a chance to take renewed pride in our heritage” and “…more valuable to San Diego History than any two or three of our local museums combined.”
Ken Kramer is a fourth-generation native Californian who grew up in Pasadena and graduated from San Diego State University in 1974.