Gene Nelson, who came to KYA by way of WKBW in Buffalo, New York, was elected to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2006 as part of the first class to be inducted.
Brought in to replace Bill Drake as KYA's morning man so that Drake could concentrate on programming, Nelson soon gave his station a nice surprise — he beat KSFO strongman Don Sherwood in the ratings. KSFO took notice and, when Nelson's contract at KYA came up for renewal, the Emperor headed up the dial to join The World's Greatest Radio Station's mighty air force.
Strangely enough, through the sale of KSFO by Golden West Broadcasting to Seattle's King Broadcasting in 1983 — a deal in which King also sold 1260/KYA to Bonneville International but retained ownership of 93.3 KYA-FM — Nelson found himself working at both stations at the same time.
He retired to Hawaii in 1994.