KZAP Returns to Sacramento Airwaves
June 14, 2015 by Alex Cosper
Sacramento's legendary rock station KZAP will relaunch on-air and online on July 4, as reported on
its new website K-ZAP.org. The station will be programmed by
Dennis Newhall, who worked at KZAP on-air and was Music Director in the early 70s before he moved
on San Jose radio and came back to Sacramento to program KSFM (Earth Radio) then
KROY-FM later in the decade.
Dennis also established the Sacramento Rock and Radio Museum in 2000.
Although the format will be a wide
mix of classic and current rock, the station will not be exactly the same as its original 1968-1992
life. It will be run as a non-profit organization at 93.3 FM (instead of 98.5) with the call letters
KZHP, but on-air it will be called K-ZAP. The new station will run very little commercial breaks and
will instead by funded by underwriters and fundraisers.
Some similarities with the past will be that the staton will maintain it orange and yellow
"Cheshire Cat" logo used back in the 70s and 80s. It was originally designed by Roger Shepherd then
developed further by Bill Styler. The entire air staff set to kick off the new
incarnation will come from the orignal KZAP family of jocks. Here are the personalities listed
on the website leading up to the launch:
Bob "Godfather" Galli
The jocks will curate their shows from their own shows. Dennis is very conscious of how "freeform radio"
should be controlled by jocks, as he explained in this interview we did back in 2000. He talks about how
he got into radio, which was originally through Sac State station KERS. That's where he developed his
radio presentation. He goes on to describe how KZAP evolved in its early days. Jocks were allowed to
play what they wanted from a library of 10,000 albums, plus they were allowed to bring music from home.
When KZAP originally launched in November 1968 at 98.5 FM the airstaff included General Manager Ed Fitzgerald,
Music Director Jeff Hughson, health enthusiast Cary "Captain Carrot" Nosler, Fred Gaines and J.B. Winans.
Here's an interview I did with Cary Nosler in May 2015 at the Sacramento Music Festival.
KZAP has actually made some comebacks in the past on UC Davis station KDVS, as covered by SacTV.
Jocks who returned to the KZAP reunion broadcast included Charlie Weiss, Jeff Hughson and Edd Fong on November 8, 2012.
We did some SacTV interviews and I even wrote a song about the experience called "Freeform Radio Survives." In our
interviews we discussed the freeform nature of the station. For a comprehensive look at KZAP history from
1968 through 1992 read my report full of interviews called The Legend of KZAP.