May 12, 1999
If you blinked, you missed it — About a dozen billboards appeared around town with the words “Sell Your Baby” and nothing else. Due to complaints, within a day or two, the ads were taken down. Phoenix based Outdoor Systems, Inc. acknowledged the ads were for 101.5 FM, KGB … though what the ultimate payoff was going to be, we’ll never know. KGB’s Promotions Director Jay Isbell, denies knowledge of the billboard and General Manager Mike Glickenhaus ain’t talkin’. But this is the same company (Jacor) that recently got their butts paddled by the public for the Rock 105.3 (KIOZ) billboard with the picture of a guy with his head up his. Public outcry led to the addition of a “Censored” sticker over the offending orifice. Outdoor System’s explanation of the latest aborted campaign is “We reserve the right to approve and review all ad copy, and this is not in good taste,” according to quotes in the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Outdoor Systems reviews the ads before they go up, but these mistakenly slipped through.” Apparently, being in Phoenix, Outdoor Systems doesn’t listen to KGB. I believe they do play “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.”
Radio que? — Gates Radio and its Tijuana partner (every U.S. broadcaster working out of Mexico’s gotta have one) have swapped formats on two of their five stations. XHTY “La Invasora” is now at 99.7 FM and XHARM “Radio Amor” is now at 94.5. Of the two, 99.7 is the killer signal … 60,000 watts, covering all of San Diego County except the deserts east of the Cuyamaca Mountains. The group also operates XHFG 107.3, XEMO “La Poderosa” at 860 AM and XERCN “La Caliente” at 1470 AM.
Touching listeners — KPBS FM (89.5) reporter Carrie Kahn did a feature story carried by NPR on the death of three undocumented Mexican immigrants who died during a recent cold snap in the hills of San Diego County. Resulting donations from all over this country to Mexico’s Bancomer will help the families of the three, each of whom have to pay $3,000 plus mortuary costs to have the bodies of their loved ones shipped back across the border. If their loved ones were the kind who needed to sneak across the border, that’s probably at least a year’s wages.
They don’t build ‘em like they used to — Recent photos in the San Diego Union-Tribune show demolition of parts of the old El Cortez Center downtown as part of a restoration effort. The part being demolished on Ash Street used to house KYXY (96.5 FM) and KITT. KYXY moved to its current location in Kearny Mesa about 20 years ago and has consistently programmed AC music since the 60’s. KITT’s history is a little more varied. In ’77, they were broadcasting as a Class A … 3,000 watts at sea level. KITT was still in mono and at half power when they were sold for $100,000 and went dark for 6 months, reemerging as all-disco K-105. That lasted through the fad, when the station, now a more competitive Class B, was again sold to the owners of former market powerhouse KCBQ (AM 1170). Needing an FM to stay competitive, the Q folks created Eagle 105. The oddly formatted Adult Rock station never really gained a following. After a few years it became a nod to the KCBQ AM of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s as KCBQ FM, San Diego’s second Oldies outlet … relying on the KCBQ heritage and a lot of the old KCBQ crew like Rich Brother Robbin and Shotgun Tom Kelley. Around ’92 it was sold to Par Broadcasting, owners of Q-106 and KOGO, drifted through a couple of forgettable formats, finally settling on Sets 105. By now, part of the Jacor megalopoly in San Diego, they saw fit to send the less successful format to their Oceanside property in exchange for that station’s Hard Rock format on the Oceanside signal which was unlistenable south of Mission Valley … thus creating Rock 105.3, KIOZ. I still have rate cards from KYXY and KITT’s El Cortez days. Sixty seconds on KYXY was $4. Poor little KITT was literally asking a dollar a holler.
The circle of (radio) life — Stacy Taylor failed to make to the switch to KOGO (AM 600) along with fellow local talker Roger Hedgecock and disappeared from San Diego talk radio when KSDO AM 1130 switched to its business format in February. Stacy began his career in America’s Finest City in ’86 on KSDO, moved to KFMB (AM 760) in ’90 and went back to KSDO last year after Midwest Television (KFMB) declined to renew his contract. The 25 year radio veteran said Jacor went the opposite direction after giving him the impression they were going to create an even more localized talk format on KSDO. Yeah, Stacy … there’s a lot of that going around. That leaves Roger as the only local non-sports daytime call-in show in town. (One of these columns, I gotta tell you my Roger Hedgecock story.) Taylor has since done a few fill-ins at KABC, Los Angeles and is putting out feelers for a new full time gig … possibly in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, Ken Copper and Cynthia Heath, who have been missing from mornings at Oldies outlet K-Best 95 (94.9) about as long as Stacy has been off middays at KSDO, are back playing even older music on Adult Standards KPOP (AM 1360). They’re filling in for Ernie Meyers who took listeners on a trip to the Kentucky Derby and a Mississippi River Boat cruise. Ernie is best known to his generation as the morning man during the 60’s and 70’s on KOGO. Anybody remember him hosting “Dialing for Dollars” across the hall on KOGO TV-10?