SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga? Tuning-in to KGO radio was a jarring experience for longtime listeners on Friday. Instead of hearing the San Francisco Bay Area’s beloved talk radio hosts, Lady Gaga’s pop song played and a pre-recorded voiceover announced, “Something big is coming to San Francisco radio on Monday!”

“They call this ‘blowing up a radio station,'” explained Brad Kava, a journalism professor at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County. “It’s supposed to alienate loyal listeners from the signal. The way they get rid of a radio station, they will play an obnoxious endless looped message to annoy all the regular listeners. It’s hideous,” Kava said.

KGO 810 listeners around the Bay found out on Thursday that their local a.m. news talk radio station had suddenly vanished.

Its 80-year legacy ended without much of an explanation for why it ceased to broadcast. A brief message posted on the station’s website thanked listeners and “all the talented men and women that worked so hard over the years to produce award-winning programming.”

The message ends with, “On Monday, 810am begins a new era. We hope you will tune in.”

Based on the station’s current format, playing songs with lyrics about gambling and money, Kava suspects the station plans to morph into a sports gambling radio program.

“Sports gambling … is that what the Bay Area really needs? It’s so degrading to go from serious, intelligent news talk, to sports gambling,” Kava said.

Kava, who worked as a daily newspaper reporter for decades in San Jose, said KGO was a gem of local journalism. It provided listeners with a live, organic place to hear what others around the Bay thought. Show hosts were admired for their skills in encouraging open discussions and constructive conversations between ideologically diverse listeners.

“You can get world news anywhere, but you sure can’t get local community news like that anywhere else. It was a real intimate medium that carried the voices of your neighbors,” Kava said.

Morning Show Host Nikki Medoro wrote on Facebook Thursday, “When I was a college student at San Jose State University, I always said my dream was having my own show on KGO Radio. And it happened. For the last several years, I fulfilled my dream of talking with people in the Bay Area, the hometown that I love.”

Fans of KGO hosts Pat Thurston and John Rothmann appreciated their educational approach for exploring a wide-range of issues in the news. Ronn Owens was known for covering political topics with finesse and fairness for both sides. And Mark Thompson’s sense of humor shined through his delivery. “Every time he said a big word, they had bells go off and they joked about using intelligent language on the radio,” Kava said.

More than 1,000 listeners took to KGO’s Facebook page to express feelings of shock, anger, and sadness.

Listener Wendy King wrote, “For many, KGO was family. I’ve been listening since I was a kid (my mom had it on in the kitchen Saturday mornings). KGO was once the King of all Bay Area stations. So sad it ended this way.”

Listener Laurie Boggs wrote, “I am in shock! This is a HUGE loss! And I believe time will tell that it is also a monumental mistake.”

Like many of the station’s loyal listeners, Kava said he has no idea what to listen to now. “This may be the end of free radio. But there is hope. Maybe another station will pick up those hosts,” he said.

Host Mark Thompson wrote on Twitter that there may be something in the works through a podcast format. Thompson wrote, “We’ll try to put something together in the podcast universe … or live broadcast options may be there too. It’s a bit of a scramble. Sadly, KGO810 as we know it is gone, and not coming back.”