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Radio Digest San Diego archives

Radio Digest San Diego column 6/10/99

June 10, 1999



Home is where you hang your@ – I’m a firm believer that the Internet is already the most important form of communication for the first part of the 21st century.  It’s given me a journalistic outlet I never would have had and probably never would have sought in traditional media.  As we create an on-line division for my wife’s Hallmark store, we’re seeing unlimited potential … much like the explorers of 19th century North America and the entrepreneurs of the 20th.

As it pertains to radio, the Internet is an equally wild and wooley frontier.   Those who choose to embrace it will find new avenues for success and wisely meet new forms of internet-only radio head on.  In a San Diego Union-Tribune interview, KFMB AM&FM General Manger Tracy Johnson said Internet audio streaming “is a technology we need to embrace.  We either join it and take advantage of it, or we  will become victim to it much the way broadcast TV was the victim to cable TV 20 years ago.”   Happily, it seems that most San Diego broadcasters are on the bandwidth bandwagon.  Twenty-two currently offer live streaming of their audio and several more have plans to do so this summer. 

Clear Channel San Diego webmaster Russ Gilbert oversees the greatest number of these including the San Diego radio website most completely integrated with its over-the-air counterpart … KSDO.com.  As reported in this column two months ago, the launching of that site and matching on-air identity gave both radio and computer listeners 24-hour capability to instantly communicate with the station’s on-air business talk hosts via telephone or cyberspace.  Gilbert says that same technology is now being used for cutting edge rocker XETRA-FM at 91X.com.

Most stations however prefer to use their website simply as a connection point for live streaming and a promotional bulletin board.  Rick Roome, operations manager for the Astor group of stations in Carlsbad (KFSD 92.1, KCEO 1000, and KSPA 1450) says the live streaming, which will begin soon on his three stations, offers a worldwide audience to even the most underpowered station.  It’s also a major boon locally … the only listeners that count with Arbitron … enabling low powered and AM stations to reach inside office buildings. 

With that in mind, here are the stations currently offering Internet audio streaming through a variety of audio players, though most use RealAudio G2.:


Califormula Radio Group


            XHTZ FM 90.3- http://www.z90.com

            XHKY FM 99.3 – http://www.x99.com   

            XLTN FM 104.5 – http://www.radiolatina.com

            Internet only – http://www.xlnc1.com  An FM on-air license is being sought in Mexico.



Chancellor Media


            KYXY FM 96.5 – http://www.kyxy.com

            KPLN FM 103.7 – http://www.planetfm.com



Clear Channel Communications (formerly Jacor)


            XHRM FM 92.5 – http://www.magic92five.com   (Magic 92.5 is owned and operated by Binational Broadcasting Company and LMA’d to Clear Channel.  All the Mexican stations listed under Clear Channel are LMA’s.)

            XETRA FM 91.1 – http://www.91x.com

            KHTS FM 93.3 – http://www.channel933.com

            KMSX FM 95.7 – http://www.mix957.com

            KGB FM 101.5 – http://www.101kgb.com

            KIOZ FM 105.3 – http://www.rock1053.com       

            KOGO AM 600 – http://www.logoradio.com

            XETRA AM 690 – http://www.xtrasports690.com 

            KSDO AM 113 – http://www.ksdo.com

            Coming soon:  KJQY FM 94.1 and KPOP AM 1360



HBC (formerly Heftel)


            Coming soon:  KLQV FM 102.9 and KLNV FM 106.5



Jefferson Pilot


            KBZT FM 94.9 – http://www.kbest95.com

            KSON FM 97.3 – http://www.kson.com

            KIFM FM 98.1 – http://www.kifm.com






Midwest Television


            KFMB FM 100.7 – http://www.histar.com  Star 100.7 also programs an internet only music service called “Ultimate 80’s” at this website.  Additional services are planned.

            KFMB AM 760 – http://www.760kfmb.com



Salem Communications


            KPRZ AM 1210 – http://www.kprz.com



San Diego City College            

            KSDS FM 88.3 – http://www.jazz88.org



San Diego State University


            KPBS FM 89.5 – http://www.kpbs.org



There’s no place like home-dot-com – A 30 year San Diego radio veteran now does his daily one hour show from the den of his home … not uncommon for some of the biggest names in the business.  Talk about telecommuting!  Gabriel Wisdom fires up his Switch 52 box, listens in his headphones to his producer at his sydicator’s studios in Colorado Springs, adds his commentary  which is mixed with phone callers and production elements back at the control room and the result is then sent  via satellite to stations all over the country including KCBQ AM 1170 weekdays from 3 to 4.  It is officially known as the Business News Network’s “Financial Hour with Gabriel Wisdom”, and it was recently named one of the 100 most important talk shows in America by Talkers Magazine.  A professional investment advisor for 15 years, Wisdom is currently managing director of American Money Management. 


And how are things on the Isle of Capri? –  That’s what Neil Ross e-mails was the original identifier for KPRI FM in the 50’s and early 60’s … “the wonderful isle of Capri.”  San Diego … and most markets … had a glut of “Beautiful Music” stations on FM at that time … lots of strings, instrumental standards and Montovani type stuff.  According to Neil, “Somewhere in the mid-60’s the all night jock on KPRI started playing album rock music, then the 6 to midnight guy started doing it too.  Little by little the freaks sort of took control of the station and San Diego’s first ‘underground’ FM  was born..”  Gabriel Wisdom was one of those freaks beginning in 1968.


Oh wow man, that stuff really does affect your memory. –   Richard Martin e-mails that he used to handle the advertising for a large San Diego motorcycle dealership in the 60’s and early 70’s.  Most of the time they bought was on the Top 40 stations, KCBQ 1170 and KGB 1360.  They did try a small buy on KPRI.  Says Martin, “They were so busy being laid back, they forgot to bill us.”


The Mighty 690 and beyond –   Richard also remembers XEAK and Ernie Meyers “who along with Noel Confer entertained this young San Diego lad” with one of the pioneering rock and roll formats beginning in 1957.  Noel himself e-mails to correct a comment I made about 690 being in Rosarito Beach.  It is now, but in the 50’s and 60’s “it was on Camino de Tecate, about five miles from Caliente racetrack..  The very talented Ernie Meyers did mornings for only one very short stint.  He was the 690 star of mid-mornings.  (I) was the first morning man and was still doing 6 to 10 am when (Gordon) McClendon bought in.  The first Mighty 690 crew was Noel Confer, Frank Thompson, Art Way, Bob Donnely,  Bud Handy, Stan Evans and Glen Boyd.  Ernie Meyers, Ralph Menard and Jim Ruddle came aboard at various times later.”  Noel and XEAK lasted about four years.  He then went to KDEO (now KMJC 910 AM) first as News Director, then as PD/DJ.  Just before the Beatles came to America, the McKinnon family bought KSON AM 1270 and KSEA FM 97.3.  The AM “tried every format imaginable until, as a last resort, they went Country and Western (both kind of music, according to the bar maid at Bob’s Country Bunker in the Blues Brothers movie).  The original approach was very ‘hillbilly.’  Then Chuck Owen came aboard and put in a ‘modern country’ format.  Chuck did mornings, the engineer, Jack “Boots” Rabell was midday and I did afternoon drive.”


“During those years, KSEA-FM was an automated elevator music throw-away.  Sherwood Gordon had just sold KSDO AM 1130 and was left with classical music KSDO FM (102.9).  At the instigation of his manager, Jim Price, he decided to try C/W and it became Country KOZN. (ed. – although I could swear “Country KOZN” was 103.7.)  I was PD.  We had an antiquated automation rig and my voice was the only one on the air for years. We beat KSON in our first book because they went to a ‘Boss Country’ format that I countered on KOZN with ‘Real Country’ heavy on the oldies.”  During this time, KSEA was San Diego’s first FM Top 40 station and included personalities Gene Knight and Gary Kelley.  Noel continues, “Hearing rumors that Gordon was about to sell KOZN, I joined Roy Stringlet and Art Way to take the recently renamed KSON FM back to country.  Another talented jock that we brought in was Nick Upton from Escondido.”  Nick still does middays at KSON FM 97.3.  So there’s the answer to our most recent trivia question:  KOZN, located in the Travelator Hotel complex on the same block of Ash Street as KPRI, KYXY, KITT, XETV Channel 6 and earlier, KCBQ, was San Diego’s first Country FM while the current country king, KSON FM(then-KSEA) was Top 40.  Noel Confer left San Diego in the mid-70’s to work at a friend’s country station “about a hundred miles from San Diego” for the next 20 years.  He retired to his home town of Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1996.

We do take requests/Preview of coming attractions – In response to Tom Daly, who e-mailed from Escondido, I promise to tell you my Roger Hedgecock story in the very next RadioDigest.com San Diego column.



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