Bay Area radio legend retiring after 51 years

September 27, 2012 8:11:54 PM PDT
One of the Bay Area's legendary broadcasters will turn on his microphone for the last time Friday morning. KGO Radio's traffic guru Stan Burford is retiring after a 51 year career.

For 51 years, he's been one of the most familiar voices on Bay Area radio. His traffic broadcasting career was launched on the iconic Don Sherwood show on KSFO, reporting from a passenger helicopter.

Early on Burford n knew he had to be a broadcaster.

"To find an industry that allows you to have a good time and pay the rent, not a bad combination," he said.

It has taken him so many places. For two years he ran a TV operation in American Samoa. Eventually Burford wound up at KGO in 1976.

He became the executive producer and the winner of Emmys, but there was that draw to get back in front of the mic.

He was flying October 17, 1989 when a producer yelled "earthquake." That began four days of flying 15 hours a day.

He also had time to write a bestselling book.

Now Burford's life is changing. On Monday morning the alarm won't ring at 3 a.m., but he'll be facing a new reality -- traffic from the other side.

"All the time I've been reporting traffic for the last 32 years for KGO I was never in the commute crowd," he said.

And he'll be looking forward to whatever comes next.

"I'm not going to go run out and sit under a tree and take a nap; I've not a lot of energy left to do a lot of things," he said.


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