Sacramento Radio History
KWOD 2000s

by Alex Cosper

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see also American Radio History

see also KZAP, KROY, KSFM, KWOD, KRXQ, KNDE, K108, index

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The ownership battle for KWOD

Feburary 1996 marked the signing of the Telecom Act, which would inevitably raise the property value of radio stations. Also that month Royce International Broadcasting President Ed Stolz signed a letter of intent to sell KWOD for $25 million to Entercom. A few years later Stolz backed out of the deal and filed a countersuit against the buyer, claiming racketeering. The case dragged on until 2003 when the court dropped the racketeering case and forced Royce to hand the station over to Entercom. PD Ron Bunce, MD/night jock Violet, morning man Boomer and midday man Capone were all let go in March 2005 as the station began calling itself KWOD Version 2.0 and shifted from a guitar-driven Alternative station to a guitar-driven Triple A station.

The result was a continued downtrend toward the bottom of the market. KWOD then returned to a more current-based alternative format in early 2005, but continued to suffer low ratings, perhaps due to inconsistency and the overall ongoing national downtrend of the alternative format. By this point many of the leading alternative stations of the 1990s had dissolved into other formats. Even KWOD disappeared from the dial in May 2009 when Entercom decided to kill the station, as it never enjoyed the high ratings KWOD had as an independent station the previous decade. The irony of an independent station outperforming a corporate station remains an amazing story in Sacramento radio history. Entercom flipped the station to "The Buzz" with an all 1990s hit music format that mixed alternative hits with hip hop and pop hits. The initial response was even lower ratings. On March 3, 2010 Entercom brought back a lot of KWOD music when they dropped Smooth Jazz KSSJ and launched adult alternative station Radio 94.7.

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