Sacramento 80s Radio Montage
SacTV.com "Video of the Day" review by
Alex Cosper on April 7, 2012
Chris Collins, Kil R Bee and I got together on March 31, 2012
to talk about Sacramento radio in the 1980s. We covered several topics from programming strategies to jock performance to stirring
up controversy. This montage delivers an historic overview of not just Sacramento radio in the 1980s, but what what also going
on across the nation as dance stations like FM 102 began attracting more listeners than the traditional pop sounding stations
like KWOD or KROY. Identities of all three stations shifted in the late 80s. In 1989 KWOD's slogan was "no rap crap" as it leaned
toward pop songs, yet within a year KWOD, like KROY, began to play lots of rap. But neither KWOD nor KROY could beat FM 102 by
mirroring them so both stations changed formats. KROY became classic rocker 96.9 The Eagle and KWOD started playing modern rock
in 1991, which you can read all about in The Rise of Alternative Radio.
Three top 40 stations in a market the size of Sacramento was rare at that time, as two stations playing the latest hottest
hits were the norm per major market. Sacramento became one of the top 30 radio markets in the nation back in the early 1990s.
The market ranked #31 in 1989 and was #30 by the Spring of 1990. It has continued to climb as high as #26. There was a sense
in the 80s that the entire scene was growing as far as radio, music and entertainment. Then in 1996, as the montage highlights,
new laws allowed big biz to take over the radio industry as most of Sacramento's stations quickly got snatched up by three
big companies. The result was higher advertising rates reaching lower market shares. Now what would it take to revive the
spirit of regional businesses? One suggestion is freeform radio or something like it online that opens the doors to new
creative ways to do things. Read more about Chris Collins
here. Read more about Sacramento
Radio History at Playlist Research.
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