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Sacramento Radio History
by Alex Cosper
Take a virtual tour of Sacramento at SacTV.com
see also American Radio History
see also KZAP,
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KWOD plays the hits in the eighties
KWOD made its debut as a jazz station in 1977, but within a few years was playing the latest hits. KWOD was one of the last independently-owned
stations in town under the Ed Stolz company Royce International Broadcasting. Several of the jocks had spent time on the air at KROY including Tom Chase,
Mr. Ed, Dave Diamond, Dean Stevens and Russ "Mooseman" Martin. Sports reporter Ken Gimblin had also done KROY sports in the seventies before starting his own
service for several media outlets including KWOD. In 1983 KSFM's morning show was Billy Manders up against KWOD's Doug Masters. Within a year both stations
would create new morning shows, with FM 102 launching the Morning Zoo while Doug Masters teamed up with Marty Johnson as the "Masters & Johnson
Morning Radio Clinic" on KWOD. They stayed together as a team from 1984 through 1988. Station Promotion Director Bob Ryder became Station Manager by the end of the decade as
Gerry Cagle replaced Jeff Hunter at programming in 1989. Throughout most of the 80s Tom Chase was the PD before moving
on to KROY in 1987 then eventually Las Vegas radio. Mr Ed was MD from 1983 to 1988 before moving to KROY then a series of other programming
jobs around the country.
In the late 80s KWOD moved toward a younger demographic, playing more of the popular dance hits with jocks like Jammin' John Edwards,
Panama Jack and the Pat Garrett, the Nighthawk. KWOD struggled to compete in the ratings with FM 102, which dominated the race through
most of the decade, although KWOD did end up on top in 1987. KWOD's best ratings ever were from the summer 1985 Arbitron in which
the station jumped from 5.9 to 8.9, landing at #2 in the market behind FM 102. But the surge was short-lived as KWOD fell
back to 5.9 in the next book, which was closer to the station's average over the mid to late 80s.
© Alex Cosper. All Rights Reserved.