Sacramento Radio in the 1980s - Interview with Dave Skyler
SacTV.com "Video of the Day" review by
Alex Cosper on April 18, 2012
The 1980s marked changing times in radio. It was the first decade in which most top music stations in
any given market were on FM instead of AM. Skyler, also known as "Sky Walker," currently works on air at Los Angeles station
"K-Earth." In 1985 Dave and I met at KWOD. He had already worked at several stations in L.A., which was
where almost all Sacramento radio talent wanted to end up since it's the top radio market on the West Coast.
Meanwhile, I had only been on the air for about a year doing weekend overnights. Then in the summer of 1985
the overnight shift at KWOD opened up when Melanie Evans took Dave Skyler's job at KSFM. Program Director
Tom Chase let me do the show for a week and I was thinking it was the break I was waiting for.
Skyler ended up getting what I thought was my gig, but it only lasted a short time. Soon he transferred
to the KPOP morning show and I was able to move up into the overnight slat, which marked the beginning
of my career as a full-time radio personality. Skyler recalls how he was hired by owner Ed Stolz and
not the program director. After Skyler left KPOP he worked at various Sacramento area radio stations
before returning to Los Angeles and ending up on KIIS, the top hit station.
Overnight shifts used to be the launching grounds for new radio talent to develop, even though most stations
couldn't justify the expense of being on the air when listenership and advertising sharply dropped off.
Yet many stations at that time thought having live overnight jocks was still important for the sake of
continuity and talent development. Dave and I were among the youngest jocks at KWOD at the time, both
in our early twenties. When this interview was done in 2000, corporations were in the midst of taking
over the radio industry through a period known as "merger mania." Since then corporations have downsized
the radio industry and have widely abandoned the notion of live overnight talent.
Read more about Sacramento media history here.
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