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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,
See Sacramento Radio History Video Interviews at SacTV.com
The Morning Zoo with Chris Collins and Mike Reynolds
FM 102's Morning Zoo with Chris Collins and Mike Reynolds was a top morning show in the 80s and early 90s. Since leaving the station in 1991, every now and then Chris Collins considers morning show opportunities. He worked for three years
in Seattle at KISS 106.1. In the 2000s his former intern, now radio group manager Mark McGee approached Chris and Mike about bringing the Zoo to Chico. Collins says
"Their research-trained group PD then bragged to us how the show would possibly head to 3 or 4 other Mapleton stations and in a hurry. So......Mike and I and the entire original Zoo,
minus two, put together 30 of the funniest shows ever. We received incredible response from inside and outside the Chico market as we then were 'assured' that Spokane and Monterey would be adding this show we spent three days a week producing, recording and
delivering. Two days after making this commitment they then tell us 'we need to move you to our legendary classic rock, KFM, but the genius VP of Programming, trained in research,
says NO' ... The shows sit, funnier than you could ever imagine, waiting for the right person to say
enough of this current garbage of uselessness. If they never materialize then so be it."
From Boomer & The Boys to Rise Guys
On of the most controversial radio personalities in Sacramento history was
Kevin "Boom Boom" Anderson who appeared on the dial several times in different
incarnations, usually with amazing high ratings. Read all about The Boomer and his
Masters & Johnson and the aftermath
Throughout the eighties, KWOD had countered the Morning Zoo with a more tame but witty show called The Masters and Johnson Morning Radio Clinic. Hosted by Doug Masters and Marty Johnson, who was a man of several characters,
the show started out in 1984 as a satire on the famous sex researchers but gradually became a regular bells and whistles
morning show full of fast-moving skits and multiple character voices. After Marty left the show in 1988, Doug moved to middays and then disappeared from the schedule. It marked the beginning of KWOD's five year crisis to find a consistent morning show. Sterling and Steele was the immediate quasi-band-aid, but the team bolted for San Jose radio within a year.
Sterling was none other than Charlie Simons, who had done nights at KPOP in its "rock of the eighties" phase. Steele was Jeff Hunter, who worked at KXOA-AM in the early eighties and then did afternoons at KWOD in the mid-eighties as Terry Steele.
He had also programmed hit station KITS in San Francisco before it became alternative station Live 105. The least successful
post-Masters & Johnson team was "The Renegades" in late 1989, but new Operations Manager Gerry Cagle put an end quickly to the unfocused, irreverant and out of control novice show. Another brief morning host was Pat Still, who had been successful in mornings at KZAP and as PD. He then went on to have a long-running successful morning show at KNCI.
Robbins & Cowan
One of the longest running morning shows in Sacramento has been Paul Robbins and Phil Cowan (aka Paul & Phil) on Y92. They began
as Robbins, Kinney and Cowan at KPOP in 1984. The three-man team had at least made names for themselves while working at KPOP despite the station's consistent
down numbers. But in August 1985 Paul Robbins, Paul Kinney and Phil Cowan announced they were leaving town to do Detroit
radio. Unfortunately for them the gig didn't last long. In 1987 the team returned as the duo of Robbins & Cowan, this time landing mornings at KAER (which became KGBY or "Y92" in the early nineties). They celebrated their ten year anniversary on the air a decade later. Although they became well-known in town, they also have on their record the Wilton North Report on Fox, which in 1988 set a television record for getting axed the quickest, after just a month. In 2003 they started
doing the 10a-12noon talk slot on sister station KSTE in addition to their Y92 morning show. Beginning in January 2006 Phil began doing the KSTE show solo and announced that he would be leaving the Paul & Phil Show on Y92 on June 15, 2006 after nearly two decades.
Shawn & Jeff jump from KWOD to the Zone
Shawn Cash teamed up with Jeff Jensen in 1993 at KWOD to do mornings for the station the rest of the decade. They were never very controversial, just talkative about mainstream pop culture and personal stories. On April 9, 1994 they introduced INXS at Arco Arena in front of over 10,000 modern rock fans and were well received. In early 1995 the team was able to score two slots as extras on the television series Star Trek: Voyager. On Jan. 2, 2001 they moved on to do mornings at 100.5 The Zone. On April 26 that year they were featured as the top story of the Sacramento Bee Scene section. In that article
Jensen said, "We don't have a lot to say to the 12-year-old skateboard rats that listen to KWOD" as the team shifted to
targeting the Zone's more adult female audience. The team was let go in 2005 as the Zone was unable to generate high ratings in the market.
The long-running story of Joey Mitchell
Joey Mitchell has made an impact on Sacramento radio in every decade since the seventies. He started as the morning man at KRAK AM in 1975 and held the position until the early nineties. During that time he became a leading figure in Sacramento's country music scene. In the nineties he moved to mornings at KRAK FM. He also did mornings at KHYL then KRAK FM again then KRAK AM (Gold Country 1470) in the late nineties. In 2003 he did mornings at KCCL. In 2004 Mitchell jumped on a new station just outside of the Sacramento listening area. During the week he was on from 3-6pm on KCEE 103.3 in Grass Valley, a new talk station that signed on in May 2004 with a wide-open format. Joey then briefly moved to mornings with Mark Standriff on religious station 105.5 The Fish until October 2005. He then moved on to mornings at 92.1 KCCL (K-Hits). His website is www.JoeyMitchell.com, in which he offers a book he helped write called "How To Break Into Broadcasting."
© Alex Cosper. All Rights Reserved.