Los Angeles Radio History: 1970s
by Alex Cosper

Introduction 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

see also American Radio History

When 93 KHJ had its final number one ratings book in 1976 the jock line-up included Charlie Van Dyke, Mark Elliott, Bobby Ocean, M.G. Kelly, Dave Sebastian Williams, Beau Weaver and John Leader (

KHJ had a sister station, KHJ-FM (101.1), which had been on the air since August 1941. It was the first FM station in Los Angeles. Throughout much of the AM's heyday, the FM was a simulcast of the AM. Then in 1973 the FM started doing its own programming as an oldies station (K-Earth), in which the call letters changed to KRTH.

Radio changed dramatically in the seventies. Many listeners were moving to FM, checking out progressive rock stations like KLOS (95.5) and KMET (94.7). KLOS, which was KABC until 1970, began experimenting with underground rock in 1969. KMET, owned by Metromedia, signed on in 1968 as "The Mighty Met" under the programming of Tom Donahue, who had moved his staff in April 1968 from KPPC (106.7), which had actually been the first freeform station in the market. KPPC had been the original home of Dr. Demento, who moved to KMET in 1970. KPPC remained underground until 1971, then eventually evolved into KROQ-FM.

In 1976 talk station KABC was the number one station in Los Angeles. A few years later KFMB (B100) became the first FM in the country to hit number one (12+) in its market.

Since the eighties, KIIS has been a market leader in delivering the hits. A lot of the success was anchored by morning host Rick Dees, who had previously scored a national number one hit called "Disco Duck" in 1976. For awhile his co-host was Raechel Donahue, who had been married to freeform guru Tom Donahue and had done shows on the air at KMET.

Introduction 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

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