video title: Sacramento Radio History Montage #3
video link:
video source: SacTVnews
uploaded on YouTube March 22, 2012

more info: Playlist
duration 8:17 minutes

Sacramento Radio History Montage #4 "Video of the Day" review by Alex Cosper on March 22, 2012

This video montage focuses on how the FCC and Arbitron ratings infleunced the sound of radio programming. After an FCC ruling in 1965 that AM/FM combos had to divide their programming and not completely simulcast AM programming on FM, diverse new formats emerged, leading to KZAP in 1968 and Earth Radio in 1974. AM Radio remained dominant until the late 70s when FM became the new pipeline for music fans. KROY AM had been the number one station in town through 1974 under the ownership of Dwight Case and the programming of Johnny Hyde, Bob Sherwood and Chuck Roy.

By the mid-seventies KZAP owner New Day Broadcasting, headed by Ed Beimfohr, shifted the freeform station to a more structured format based on album and song categories. Program Director Robert Williams was interested in achieving good ratings without sacrificing the artistic sound of the station. He even visited Arbitron to get a glimpse of listener diaries, which began to affect how radio was programmed and marketed. By the end of the decade ratings and advertising instead of art, defined the fate of most radio stations.

Dennis Newhall discusses how his programming at Earth Radio, a more rock-based focus than ecelectic KZAP, successfully made Earth Radio the rock leader in town until upper management decided to flip Earth Radio to disco music in 1979. The new incarnation was FM 102, which became the top rated music station in Sacramento throughout the 1980s. Newhall moved over to KROY FM, which moved from pop to rock, but by 1984 upper management decided to go for a more adult audience as KSAC, which only lasted a few years. The station returned to the KROY call letters in the late 80s, but was mostly overshadowed by FM 102. KROY eventually became 96.9 The Eagle. Read more about Sacramento's interesting radio history at The Legend of KZAP and Playlist Research.

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