The station had devastating losses in talent as the year began that could not be replaced when rival KCBQ hired nearly all the KGB staff. Charlie Van Dyke took over as Program Director. By now, KGB was the only Drake station not winning its market.
All stations were required to maintain a Public File that contained the operation license, and legal claims, station violations, FCC visits, public complaint letters and so on. Buzz Bennett and Chuck Browning were coming over from rival KCBQ to view the station Public File at the front desk to review while PD Van Dyke could only watch and go nuts.
The KGB transmitter lines were cut on the first night of the ratings sweep to the gain of KCBQ.
Here were the replacements.
Big John Carter (6-9AM) arrived in February from KYNO Fresno to replace Harry Scarborough who went to KCBQ. He left in October to return to Fresno at KFIG. He also was on staff at KCBQ in 1972. He now runs Jayman Productions in Fresno.
- Shotgun Tom Kelley (9-Midnight) arrived in February from KAFY in Bakersfield to replace Peter Huntington May who went to KCBQ. His tenure at KGB was his big break into the business. This would not be the only tour with KGB or KCBQ for Shotgun. He also had a highly popular tenure with B-100 FM in the late 1970s. A remarkable story behind Shotgun was that he grew up in San Diego and had a paper route in the area of the old KCBQ Santee studios. During or after his route, he would visit with KCBQ jocks Jack Vincent, Shadoe Jackson, and Don Howard and learn about radio. A local boy had done good. He still does on oldies KRTH radio in Los Angeles. He remains a radio legend in San Diego.
- Johnny Mitchell (Paul Stelljes) (3-6 PM) arrived in March from KYNO Fresno where he had been PD and did the afternoon drive shift under the name of Harry Miller. Buzz Bennett had contacted him to come to KCBQ. But being loyal to the Drake organization, he offered them first shot and they placed him in the afternoon drive at KGB. “Johnny Mitchell” grew out of convenience when a spare jingle became available from Johnny Mann that was suppose to be for Sebastian Stone. But Stone left the air when he became PD at KFRC. After Charlie Van Dyke had been fired in November 1971. Bobby Ocean became Program Director. Johnny served as Interim Program Director while Bobby Ocean did a little jail time after failing to show up for National Guard duty. He served as Music Director when Ron Jacobs arrived, but hated the working conditions and found his way to KFRC with better management and equipment. He now uses the air name of Paul Christy in Houston where he is currently on KHMX. He remains a close friend of Bobby Ocean to this day.
- Mark Richards (Mark Spears) (Noon-3PM) arrived in April from Texas for a brief stay. He was hired by Charlie Van Dyke, but was such a bad broadcaster Charlie had to fire him while he was on his honeymoon under orders from Drake. He was later on air as Hal Martin and eventually ended up as a PD at KFRC. This was Gene West’s shift.
KGB Radio: June 1, 1971-March 1972
The Drake radio network began experimenting with the format and decided to drop all references to “Boss”, the name they had branded their format since the beginning.
The weekly survey became an un-numbered KGB 30 to promote the station identity.
Music selection and format remained the same.
The station conducted aggressive contests that involved giving away a house, a boat, cars, and cash.
Staff changes occurred regularly.
- Don Dale left in June and Jesse Bullett moved to the graveyard shift.
- Charlie Van Dyke (Chuck Steinle) (Noon-3PM) originally studied to become a jesuit priest until he had the opportunity to fill in one day as a DJ at KLIF in Dallas, Texas. He came to KGB from from KFRC San Francisco in July to become Program Director and do the afternoon shift, (perhaps knowing it was a caretaker role). He held this shift until
- Gene West returned in August. Charlie then took the 6-9 AM shift in October when Big John Carter left. As ratings sagged Charlie was fired and Bobby Ocean took over as PD and filled his shift. He went to 93 KHJ in 1972, was one of only seven to have worked for the three big Boss Radio Stations, and the only one to be PD of all three.
- Chuck Browning (9-Midnight) arrived in July following a stint as the morning man at KCBQ when Shotgun Tom Kelley went to KCBQ, (a trade of sorts). He stayed only a brief time before being fired when he gave away a cart machine on air after it failed to operate properly after repeated attempts. He was one of only seven who worked at the three big Boss Radio stations. Jesse Bullett took the shift in October. Chuck died in March 3, 1988.
- K.O. Bayley (9-Noon) arrived in July to replace Christopher Cane who went to KCBQ. K.O. had been with KCBQ in 1970 before the Great Purge. This was his second tour with KGB. He was on staff in 1966-67 under the name of Bob Elliott. As a former professional boxer, his favorite past time was going bowling, getting drunk, then taking on Marines that looked at him funny.
- Gene West (Noon-3PM) returned in August to his old shift.
Bobby Ocean (6-9AM) returned in October after quitting the business (but finding that digging ditches did not pay the bills). He followed Charlie Van Dyke as Program Director, 'programming' the station from a telephone booth in the Fort Ord stockade between cleaning barracks, moving lockers, painting, etc. He was attending National Guard meetings with hair just long enough to 'touch the collar' contary to military rules. The Captain fumed, 'We'll just send you to Viet Nam, boy!' to which Osh replied 'You'd have me killed because of my hair?' 'That's right, son' h replied, which only set Osh's Cause in marble. His interests were more aligned with I Ching, (the Chinese Book of Changes i.e. fortune telling). He would soon be collaborating with new Program Director Ron Jacobs on a new format.
The top 40 era of KGB was about to end as a “progressive” rock era was about to begin, but not before more staff changes occurred.
The final line up was as follows:
- 6-9AM Bobby Ocean remained until leaving to KFRC in September.
- 9-Noon Paul Stelljes (Johnny Mitchell) ‘escaped’ (as he put it) to KFRC in June.
- Noon-3 Gene West
- 3-6 PM K.O. Bayley
- 6-9 PM Shotgun Tom Kelley (returned for a year before going back to KCBQ)
- 9-12 PM Jesse Bullett . By 1975 he was station program director. In 1976, we moved to KDEO and continues to consult for various radio stations.
- 12-6 AM Tony Mann
- Weekends Ray Cooper
Recycled Rock: April 1972-1975
Ron Jacobs was hired as program director in March 1972 to move the station from dead last in the market to a ratings winner. He surveyed the marketplace and brought in staff offering a fresh outlook on broadcasting to provide creativity and innovation to the entire station product. Jacobs was credited as the program genius at KHJ during the Boss Radio years and actually made the Drake format work.
Beginning on April 12, the station changed its focus from air personalities to productions. New emphasis was placed on rock histories, documentaries, quasi documentaries, and promotions. They were characterized as part put-on, part put-down, and hopefully compelling. KGB AM and FM began simulcasting in late 1972.
The station went to an album format, conceived by DJ Bill Hergonson (Cap n Billy), and began producing record albums featuring local talent under the Homegrown series beginning in 1973. Proceeds from the album sales went to the United Way. Jacobs remained as Program Director until 1975 and was followed by Rick Leibert.
Leibert won the PD of the Year Award in his first year that included a charity ball at San Diego Stadium that attracted more than 51,000 fans. Leibert conceived of the KGB Skyshows at San Diego stadium that continue through 2002.
Leibert started his own marketing company in the late 1970s. The station made a brief return to the Top 40 format in 1975.
These formats did not bring the ratings enjoyed during the Boss Radio days.
13K Era: 1979-1981
Brown Broadcasting returned the station to the traditional popular music format as 13K under Program Director John Lander in 1979. No identification was made to KGB.
The station reintroduced the weekly survey as the 13K Connection of singles and albums using the same tri-fold design as the old Boss 30.b 6 The cover featured a recording artist
instead of a DJ, and contained the lyrics of a current hit. Surveys often had a DJ photo.
The station returned to being a ratings leader with a MOR format as rival KCBQ began experimenting with a Country and Western format.
The emergence of the Mighty 690 XTRA (formerly XEAK) with a CHR format led to the permanent departure of KGB from the TOP 40 format in 1982.
The air staff included:
- John Lander (5:30-9:00 AM) Lander in the Morning show.
- Chris Cane (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM) The same Christopher Cane that was on the KGB staff from 1969 to 1971, then at KCBQ from 1971 through 1973.
- Dean Goss arrived from KODJ (now Arrow 93).
- Jeff Prescott
- Gary Knight (5:30-9:00 AM)
- Chris Cane (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
- Gary Cocker (5:00-9:00 PM) arrived from KTNQ in Los Angeles where he worked with KCBQ alumni Lee ‘Baby’ Simms and Dave Conley.
- Dean Goss
- Jeff Prescott
- Dean Goss and Jeff Prescott (5:30-9:00 AM) Dean went on to host or co-host television game shows before returning to radio. He now does the morning drive at KFRC in San Francisco. email@example.com
- Chris Cane (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
- Gary Cocker (1:00-5:00 PM) moved to the FM side of KCBQ under Bob McKay as that station went to a country format. He remained there until 1984 when he went to KFMB to stay another six years.
- Rick Gillett (5:00-9:00 PM)
- Gary Knight (9:00 PM-1:00 AM)
- Barry Ryan (1:00-5:30 AM)
- Tommy Lee (Weekends)
- Casey Kasem (8:00-Noon Sundays) American Top 40 syndicated national broadcast
All news during the early 1980s
1360 kilocycles on the dial will no longer produce a Top 40 sound. Instead, nostalgic sounds of the big band area, popular, and jazz music will be heard along with DJs who were on the scene during the Boss Radio era. Most notably among these is Happy Hare (Harry Martin) who was a titan of the airwaves of KCBQ in the 1950s, 60s, an early 70s.