by Alex Cosper
see also American Radio History
STATION HISTORY: KABC KBBQ KBIG KBLA KDAY KEZY KFAC KFOX KFWB KGBS KGFJ KGIL KHJ KIEV KIIS KIQQ KKBT KKDJ KLAC KLOS KLSX KMET KMPC KNAC KNX KOST KPOL KPPC KPWR KQLZ KRLA KROQ KRTH KSRF KTNQ KTWV KUTE KWST KZLA XPRS
KTNQ at 1020 AM has a legendary history as "TenQ" in the late seventies. It became a legendary top 40 station because of the top talent that worked there in the era when music fans began migrating to FM for better sound quality. The station even made movie history when it was featured in the Ron Howard film Grand Theft Auto in 1977.
The 1020 AM dial position began as KFVD in 1925 then became KPOP in 1955. In 1960 the call letters changed to KGBS, which continued until September 27, 1976 when the call letters became KTNQ. On Christmas at 5:45 pm the station began billing itself as "The New TenQ," as the format flipped from country to top 40. At the same time it shifted from a daytime only to 24/7 station. KGBS was retained at the sister 97.1 FM frequency as an automated country station.
TenQ played current hits mixed with up-and-coming artists. The musical variety that included punk rock and radio talent under program director Jimi Fox made it a memorable station. Competitor KHJ, on the other hand, ignored emerging punk records. TenQ further stood out with its duck mascot, handled by Dave Hume. The morning show and afternoon shows both featured news breaks from Boyd R. Britton from 1976 to 1979. John Driscoll hosted mornings for awhile then Jack Armstrong took over until shifting to afternoons after Charlie Tuna arrived.
KTNQ was purchased by Julio, Elias and Liberman in 1979 and the format switched to Spanish in 1980. TenQ changed to dial position 97.1 FM with the new call letters KHTZ. The format stayed the same until Greater Media came in and cleaned house except for Charlie Tuna, Jim Conlee and Dave Skyler and rebranded the station as "K-Hits 97." In 1984 H&G Broadcasting (later known as Heftel) bought the station. In 2002 ownership changed hands to Univision after it bought out Hispanic Broadcasting.
One of the most successful jocks to emerge from TenQ was weekender Ken Levine, who went by "Beaver Cleaver." He used that name in other places as well, such as KKDJ and K-100 in Los Angeles, KYA/San Francisco and B-100/San Diego. As a kid he used the name at Van Nuys station KVFM, which later moved to San Fernando as KGIL FM.
Levine went on to become a play-by-play radio & TV sportscaster for the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. He also ventured into television production as early as 1976 when he was the head writer for CBS TV series M*A*S*H and worked with partner David Isaacs. Levine later wrote the screenplay for the 1985 film Volunteers and was a producer for the TV shows Almost Perfect (CBS) and Cheers (NBC), as well as a writer for various other shows.
1976-1977 Real Don Steele
1976-1977 Chuck Browning
1976-1977 Dave Conley
1976-1978 John Driscoll
1976-1977 Jimi Fox
1976-1977 Rich "Brother" Robbin
1976-1977 Tony Evans
1976-1977 Phil Flowers
1977-1977 Andy Barber
1976-1978 Dave Hume
1976-1978 Joe Nasty
1976-1978 Willie B
1976-1978 Dave Trout (Freddie Snakeskin)
1976-1979 Boyd R. Britton
1977-1979 Charlie Tuna
1977-1980 Beaver Cleaver (Ken Levine)
1978-1979 Mike Carson (Dave Skyler)
1978-1979 Jack Armstrong
1978-1978 "Machine Gun" Kelly
1978-1978 Lou Richards
1978-1978 Gary Cocker
1978-1978 Mike McVay
1978-1979 Dave Sebastian
1978-1979 Jim Conlee
1978-1979 Phil Conrad
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