Sacramento Radio History Montage #5
SacTV.com "Video of the Day" review by
Alex Cosper on March 23, 2012
This video montage highlights how radio presentation has changed over the decades. At one time
during the sixties and seventies, radio content was shaped more by the jocks themselves than behind the
scenes marketing people. KZAP's first Music Director Jeff Hughson explains the early days of KZAP when
jocks were allowed to play whatever they wanted, including long classical pieces mixed with rock. Tom Buck, whose voice
was heard on KGMS and other local stations, talks about how he had worked at KXOA FM, which called itself
"Earth Rock Radio" prior to KSFM using the "Earth Radio"moniker starting in 1974. Don Wright had programmed
KXOA FM and brought the concept to Steve Rosetta's station KSFM. To avoid trademark issues, he left out the
word "rock." Meanwhile, in 1974 KXOA FM began branding itself as "K108," calling its format "mellow rock."
Dennis Newhall, who worked on air at KZAP then programmed Earth Radio, talks about how both stations
based segues on music flow, as opposed to specific rules shaped by market research.
Eventually, many radio stations all over America were programmed by national consultants, who used market research
to determine playlists, with less attention paid to music flow. In many ways this remains a primary defining
difference between independently-owned stations prior to the 1980s and corporate stations of the post-1970s era.
KROY morning man Tony Cox adds that radio had more of a purpose and community connection in its heyday.
Read more about Sacramento's interesting radio history at Playlist Research.
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