KROY Spends Six Years at the Top: 1968-1974
by Alex Cosper
Take a virtual tour of Sacramento at SacTV.com
see also American Radio History
see also KZAP, KROY, KSFM, KWOD, KRXQ, KNDE, K108, index
Under the reign of GM Dwight Case, KROY had an incredible run at the top in which Case remained the mainstay, hiring the top decision-makers. William E. Bauer, who did on-air news for the station for two years, became Operations Manager but then the station's consultants were blown out shortly afterward and the station drifted toward limbo.
Then Johnny Hyde soon arrived as Program Director with a plan. In 1968 KROY began to use the identity "music power" in their slogans. That year KROY was the number one rated radio station in Sacramento for the 12+ audience. KROY remained on top for six straight years. In 2012 I did a video interview series with Johnny about his radio called "KROY Story" for my site SacTV.com.
The Drake-Chenault consulting firm influenced several stations around the country in the RKO chain. KROY was not an RKO station, nor was it consulted by Drake-Chenault, yet it was emulating the very structured high-rotation high-energy presentation that characterized the successful consultancy. The jock was very tight and fast-paced with an upbeat personality. Basically it trimmed the playlists and the chatter, resulting in an accelerated feeling of hearing the most exciting hits most of the time, based on research. The upbeat sound was candy-coated further with sweet jingles, wild slogans and bigger than life contests.
In 1969 Lincoln Dellar sold KROY to partners Ralph Guild and George Fritzinger under the name Atlantic States Industries. They owned other stations such as KFAC Los Angeles and some stations in Ohio. KROY's station manager throughout their heyday was Dwight Case, the future RKO President who in 1994 would purchase the 1240 AM dial position.
The Program Directors at KROY who pulled off the incredible accomplishment of a six year run at the top were Johnny Hyde (1967-1970), Bob Sherwood (1970-1971) and finally Chuck Roy (1971-1973). After Hal Murray ("The Big Stallion") succeeded Roy, the station continued to have success but wound up in a tighter battle with KNDE as both top 40 outlets began to lose ground to the emerging FM dial. In its heyday as a number one station, KROY had big name jocks like Johnny Hyde, Bob Sherwood, Wonder Rabbit (Martin Ashley), Terry Nelson, T. Michael Jordan, Gene Lane, Dave Williams, Dr. Tom Becker, Donovan Blue, Bob Castle (The Blue Whiz) and others.
Other stations playing contemporary hits in the market in the seventies were KPOP and KJAY. KCRA (1320 AM) and KGMS were considered "middle of the road" stations, playing more adult-oriented hits. Two Bay Area top 40 stations whose signals clearly reached Sacramento were KFRC (610 AM) and KYA (1260 AM).
KROY's Early Years
Musical chairs between KROY and KXOA
KROY Spends 6 Years at the Top
Analysis: Inside the KROY Machine
70s mark the end of the AM top 40 giants
Tony Cox tells how FM took over
Whatever happened to KANDIE and KROY?
KROY veterans advance nationally
The return of KROY
Late 80s: KROY Shifts, FM 102 Drifts
The Eagle takes off
"KROY Story" Video Interview Series with Johnny Hyde