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Sacramento Radio History
100.5 The Zone
by Alex Cosper
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see also KZAP,
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In September 1995 The Point (KQPT 100.5) began shifting its focus from
adult alternative "bands you've never heard of" to a format closer to
KWOD's popular alternative rock format. About a year later the Point began
calling itself The Zone and tightened its playlist further to mirror the
sound of KWOD.
By 1997 the stations had moved in separate directions as 93 Rock returned to its heavier rock roots, KWOD played the top hits on the alternative charts and the Zone went after females.
The Zone skyrocketed to number two in the market behind KFBK in 1997 under PD Carmy Ferreri, who had programming experience in Sacramento in the eighties and Los Angeles in the
nineties. Around 1998 KWOD began aiming at a younger 12-24 male audience as it started taking on a punchier and crunchier alternative rap/rock sound similar to 93 Rock,
who dominated the competition.
The Zone only stayed near the top of the ratings for a few years and began its descent back toward the bottom after the departure of Ferreri in April 1999. Part of the decline may
have been that the station started expanding its musical selection criteria to be less-defined and more leaning toward whatever the mainstream adult contemporary hits were -
something already being overdone in the market. During its run the Zone was the top rated "modern AC" station in the country, but by the early 2000's the format suffered across the
country as many modern AC stations went pure adult contemporary, like the Zone.
Another possibility to the Zone ratings decline, was the lack of consistency with frequent line-up changes. One short stint was Rick Chase in afternoons in 2000. Chase had been a popular San Francisco radio personality for years (afternoons at KMEL 1986-1999). He tried to stir up controversy as a conservative shock jock (which seems like an oxymoron, but became an actual trend thanks to Morton Downey Jr. then Rush Limbaugh), but he inevitably was forced out by complaints, particularly from the gay community. In 2002 Chase went to do mornings for KWIN in Stockton, CA but died unexpectedly at the age of 45 that December.
Names like Monica Lowe, Marshall Phillips, Carlos Campos and Jay Walker shuffled around the clock in the late nineties
and early 2000s at the Zone. Marshall Phillips began doing news for the Zone in 1995. He had worked at legendary stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco over the years.
In the seventies he did an all night talk show and afternoons at KLOS. He also worked at KMET, KWEST and KLSX. He was part of the final crew that worked at KSAN in San Francisco
before it flipped from rock to country in the early eighties. Other Bay Area stations where Marshall did news included KOME, KFOG and KNBR.
Jim Matthews stayed at the 100.5 frequency for over a decade in middays, which is the typical shift that an Assistant Program Director takes in order to deal with
the industry and carry out station responsibilities during normal business hours. Matthews finally left the station in 2003 and moved into radio sales. Kim Kaplan was a great sounding female jock who ended up starting her own production company Kim Kaplan Productions.
Despite several programming shifts throughout the decade, the Zone's ratings
consistently stayed near the bottom of viable FMs in the market.
In January 2011 the Zone changed its identity to Now 100.5 FM, playing "today's best hits without the rap."
© Alex Cosper. All Rights Reserved.