Interview with Chris Collins #1: From Earth Radio to FM 102
SacTV.com "Video of the Day" review by
Alex Cosper on March 31, 2012
Chris Collins was a top morning personality in Sacramento in the 1980s and early 1990s at FM 102.
He represents a stretch of Sacramento radio history that ranges from the early days of FM 102 to
the peak of its popularity a decade later. In this video interview we did on March 31, 2012, Collins
explains KSFM's transition from Earth Radio to FM 102. He grew up being a fan of freeform radio
in the Bay Area when Tom Donahue was at KMPX and KSAN. That knowledge helped shape his ideas
about radio programming and doing a theater of the mind morning show.
Rick Gillette was the Program Director who guided FM 102 to becoming Sacramento's top hit music station of the 80s.
Collins was Gillette's Music Director and together they understood the path to victory. Collins says
he recommended Gillette for the job after the previous PD had been fired. Michael Jackson's album Thriller
is one of the turning points in the 80s that revolutionized top 40 radio. He compares it to how The Beatles
album Sgt. Pepper marked the start of album rock. This video is the first of a series of interviews
about Sacramento radio history in the 80s and 90s. Read more about Sacramento radio history
One of the big mysteries that many people may have about Sacramento radio in the 1980s was why it was
so radically different than the previous decade. While it's been true that the radio industry has changed
every decade due to new technology, another big difference had to do with radio programming. Prior to
1975 many jocks picked their own musical selections from a box of color-coded cards. Consultants began
to get more involved in the selection, especially by the end of the seventies. Rick Gillette and Chris Collins dealt with
consultants as programmers, but were able to weave their own ideas into the programming.
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