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S.F. Bay Area Edition

This report was updated January 18, 1998.
Edited by David Ferrell Jackson.
Contributing Editor: George Beiler.

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KGO FIRST AGAIN; NEWCOMERS MOVE UP -- It may not be news any more, but news/talk KGO (810 AM) topped the Bay Area's radio ratings chart for all listeners age 12 and over, according to numbers released January 12 by Arbitron for the Fall 1997 ratings period.

Although eroded slightly from its Summer 1997 placement (down to 6.6 from 6.8), KGO held tight to the #1 spot, followed by all-news KCBS (740 AM), which jumped from fourth place and a 4.0 rating in Summer to second place and a 4.8 book.

Significant gains were shown by two "new kids," urban adult Kiss 98.1 FM (KISQ), which bounded into the tenth slot with a gain from 1.8 to 3.0, and Top 40 Z95.7 (KZQZ-FM) which moved to the fifteenth spot with a jump from 1.9 to 2.7. Showing erosion was talk KSFO (560 AM), with a drop from 3.2 to 2.6 and sixteenth place overall.

The Fall 1997 top spots went to:

Station Fall '97 Summer '97
1. KGO (810 AM) 6.6 6.8
2. KCBS (740 AM) 4.8 4.0
3. KYLD (94.9 FM) 4.2 4.3
4. KNBR (680 AM) 4.1 4.5
5. KOIT (96.5 FM, 1260 AM) 3.9 3.8
6. KMEL (106.1 FM) 3.4 3.7
7. (tie) KKSF (103.7 FM) 3.3 3.3
7. (tie) KFRC (99.7 FM, 610 AM) 3.3 3.5
9. KABL (960 AM) 3.2 3.0
10. KISQ (98.1 FM) 3.0 1.8
11. (tie) KBLX (102.9 FM) 2.9 2.7
11. (tie) KFOG/KFFG(104.5/97.7 FM) 2.9 2.9
11. (tie) KIOI (101.3 FM) 2.9 3.3
14. KDFC (102.1 FM) 2.8 2.7
15. KZQZ (95.7 FM) 2.7 1.9

SIGNING OFF: GLENHALL TAYLOR, 94, a pioneer Bay Area broadcaster whose career in radio dated back to the early 1920's, died December 28 of pneumonia at Kauai, Hawaii.

Mr. Taylor made his radio debut on May 11, 1922, on the old "Rockridge Station," KZY, in the Oakland hills, as the pianist in a musical trio. In his autobiography, "Before Television" (1979, A.S. Barnes), Mr. Taylor noted, "To us, as a first experience for our trio, the program seemed remarkable. However, from the listener's standpoint, the important feature of the program was prominent educator David Starr Jordan, Stanford University's first President Emeritus. His radio-debut address drew favorable comment from the press; our inspired performance drew no comment whatsoever."

But from that unheralded beginning, Mr. Taylor went on to become one of the first program directors at San Francisco's KTAB (predecessor of today's KSFO) in the late 'Twenties, then moved on to manage stations KTM and — after a return engagement at KTAB — KHJ in Los Angeles. He had also worked at KFRC, KPO (now KNBR) and KGO in the Bay Area during those early days.

Mr. Taylor later wrote and produced hundreds of radio programs, including series starring George Burns and Gracie Allen, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, Jimmy Durante, Dorothy Lamour, Dinah Shore and Phil Baker, as well as "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," "Blondie," and the anthology series "Silver Theater." During the early days of television, Mr. Taylor moved to that medium as both a writer and producer, and later scripted episodes of "Death Valley Days," hosted by Ronald Reagan.


KKSJ GOES ZETA -- San Jose's KKSJ (1370 AM), resuscitated in the past few years from the carcass of old KEEN, has switched to the Spanish-language "La Z" format, beginning January 5. The live, nationally-syndicated format, noted for its sexual themes and often raunchy nature, was created by Amador Bustos and John Bustos, Peninsula-raised brothers who are building an extensive following for their Z-Spanish stations across the United States.

KKSJ is owned by Douglas Broadcasting (which also owns KBPA, Palo Alto), but is being programmed by the Bustos brothers as part of a local marketing agreement. The brothers also own KZSJ, licensed to San Martin and serving the Southbay, which will switch to a format geared toward a "more mature" audience. (1/11/98)


BLEU, GOSS TO L.A.? -- With the retirement of Los Angeles radio legend Robert W. Morgan, the scramble to fill his morning slot at oldies leader KRTH is on, with a pair of prominent Bay Area voices being touted for the position.

While insiders in Southern California are saying that longtime L.A. personality Charlie Van Dyke (also ex-KFRC) is the front-runner for the job, K-101's Don Bleu and KFRC's Dean Goss are also being mentioned as top candidates for the KRTH morning spot.

Bleu, who had been morning man at L.A.'s fabled KHJ in the late 'Seventies (as "The True Don Bleu"), may be interested in the job for other reasons: rumor has it that network television gigs are in the offing for him, particularly as a game-show host. Goss, currently partnered with Erin Garrett at KFRC, is a former KRTH vocalist.

Morgan, forced into retirement by lung cancer, will be feted January 9 at the Museum of Broadcasting in Beverly Hills. It is expected that his successor — who reportedly has already signed a contract with KRTH and takes over on January 12 — will be announced at the event. (1/3/98)


KNBR GIVES BRICK A TICKET -- Shuffling the inventory to make room for expanded ESPN Radio programming, Sports Leader KNBR (680 AM) has moved syndicated night talker J.T. The Brick to sports sister The Ticket 1050 (KTCT). The Brickhouse program, out of Las Vegas via the Sports Fan Radio Network, takes the 10 p.m.-3 a.m. slot on The Ticket, following "On The Bench" with Scott Ferrall.

KNBR will fill its late night vacancies from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. with "ESPN GameNight," hosted by Chuck Wilson and Tony Bruno, and "ESPN Sports Center For Radio." Both shows will be replayed and updated overnight. (1/3/98)


FROG IN YOUR THROAT? -- Bob Gowa, program director at country Froggy 92.9 (KFGY) in Santa Rosa, notes that he's seeking air talent to fill part-time slots at the station, with the possibility of moving into fulltime work in the future. Tapes and resume to 1410 Neotomas Avenue, Suite 200, Santa Rosa 95405. No phone calls, please. (1/3/98)


SOUTHBAY SWITCH GOES SMOOTHLY -- The Great Southbay Frequency Swap, originally planned for the middle part of 1997, took place on January 5 at 3 p.m. The swap moved KBRG ("Radio Romantica"), KBAY and KUFX ("K-FOX") to new dial positions, with new owners taking over the latter two stations as well.

Here's how the switch worked:

Frequency Before 1/5/98 After 1/5/98
94.5 FM KUFX (Classic Rock) KBAY (Soft AC)
100.3 FM KBAY (Soft AC) KBRG (Spanish)
104.9 FM KBRG (Spanish) KUFX (Classic Rock)

Following the switch, KBAY will begin transmitting its signal on 94.5 FM from Coyote Peak, but will switch to Mount Loma Prieta in mid-January, according to industry reports. KUFX, meanwhile, may push its "K-FOX" identity to the background following a court challenge by KFOG (104.5 FM) citing similarities in the two stations names. KFOG has claimed that confusion would arise among listeners finding both "K-Fox" and "K-Fog" within four megahertz' proximity on the dial. With its move to the 104.9 spot, KUFX looks to attract a larger audience outside the Southbay, utilizing its transmitter in the Fremont hills to better reach San Francisco, the Peninsula and the Eastbay.

The frequency switch was postponed following the planned sales of the three stations earlier in 1997. Effective January 5, KUFX and KBAY will come under the control of American Radio Systems (ARS), which will shortly be merged into the CBS radio family. The sale of KEZR (Mix 106.5 FM) to ARS is also expected to gain FCC approval in the next few weeks.

One rumored result of the CBS/ARS merger will be the spin-off of alt rocker KOME (98.5 FM), perhaps to Jacor/Citicasters, which has already taken KSJO (92.3 FM) off of ARS' hands. The sale of KOME would mean that CBS would pull its syndicated Howard Stern program off of that Southbay station and transplant him to another of the company's properties, presumably Live 105 (KITS 105.3 FM) or a re-formatted KYCY (93.3 FM). (Updated 1/3/98 from 12/6/97 and 12/20/97)


KXBT = KDIA? -- Hoping to pick up where its former format rival left off, Vallejo's classic soul KXBT (1640 AM) will take on the heritage KDIA call letters abandoned by Disney/ABC in the next few weeks, according to station management.

According to a report in the Contra Costa Times, Disney will replace the KDIA calls on 1310 AM with KMKY ("K-Mickey").

In a complex agreement with ABC/Disney which may be in place by the end of January, KXBT will assume the KDIA identity, and will also open an office in Oakland to establish a presence in the community. "They (KDIA) established a great relationship with the area," KXBT head Andy Santamaria told Radio Digest Online. "We can't simply let that pass on without trying to keep it intact."

"We (KXBT) are left as the only AM station playing classic R&B," Santamaria said, "and we'll be stepping to the plate in a bigger way."

In addition to opening a facility in Oakland, the station is also expected to hire several members of the former KDIA's office and sales staff, although no members of the station's air staff are currently under consideration for jobs at KXBT. The station will continue to transmit its stereo signal on 1640 AM from Vallejo, with coverage for most of the Eastbay and Northbay region. (12/20/97)


KKHI POWERING UP -- One of the last daytime-only stations in the Bay Area, San Rafael's classical KKHI (1510 AM) will be boosting its signal from a puny 1,000 watts to 8,000 watts of AM stereo from a new transmitter site in Emeryville. The station will reportedly continue to duplicate sister KKHI-FM (100.7)'s programming after the increase, which is expected to go into effect in mid-February. (Updated 1/18/98 from 12/6/97)


SHARKMOUTH REACHES MILESTONE -- Dan Rusanowsky, the only play-by-play voice on radio for the San Jose Sharks since their inception, broadcast his 500th consecutive regular-season game for the club on Friday, January 2. Rising to the occasion in Rusanowsky's honor, Los Tiburones toppled the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, in the Motor City. (1/3/98)


DOUGLAS DEALS BAY PAIR -- Douglas Broadcasting of Palo Alto has announced that it will sell two of its four local properties, KEST (1450 AM, San Francisco) and KSJX (1500 AM, San Jose), for an undisclosed price to Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, Inc., owned by Arthur Liu and Yvonne Liu. Also included in the deal are Douglas stations KOBO, Marysville/Yuba City; KYPA and KWPA, Los Angeles; WNJR and WZRC, New York; and KXPA, Seattle.

No format changes are expected under KEST and KSJX's new owners, according to sources at the stations.

Douglas currently also owns local stations KBPA (1220 AM, Palo Alto), which broadcasts its parent company's "Personal Achievement Radio" format, and KKSJ (1370 AM, San Jose), which is being programmed by Z-Spanish Radio as part of a local marketing agreement. (12/20/97)


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