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Greg Mitchell, KNDE 1470 Sacramento | 1977

KNDE is at the end of its reign as a top 40 station, the calls soon to be reverted back to KXOA featuring an AOR format on AM. Here’s Greg Mitchell who certainly has the voice, but the sameness used in every break gets old after a while. By all accounts, however, this station is a good representation of the state of AM top 40 just before FM made its impact known. KNDE had a 5kw directional signal (which only covered about 2/3rds of the city) as opposed to KROY’s tiny 1,000 watts by day, and a mere 250 watts that was barely heard at night.

KNDE is very TIGHT here. A format that reeks of RKO flavor (it was not owned by the tire & rubber co.) only without the jingles. West coast radio had its unique sound, distinctly different from what was heard in, say, New York or Philly and this is definitely it.

While KNDE had its day in the sun, its Sacramento’s other top 40, KROY, that is best remembered.

1470 KNDE Sacramento

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10 Comments


  1. This is the only Sacramento entry I know. I can’t get quicktime to play it. Anybody got any 1240 KROY stuff? Thanks for the awesome site.

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  2. Sounds just a little too slow

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  3. I’m guessing that this is after Marc Driscoll left for New York. That would make Steve Moore the PD and they did incorporate a bit of RKO style into the format. But by then it was too little, too late. KROY was the dominant Top 40 and would remain that way until 1979 when KSFM dropped it’s AOR format for a very disco heavy Top 40 sound under Jerry Clifton. After KNDE was sold to Brown Broadcasting it reverted back to it’s old call letters KXOA. I worked at both 1240-KROY and 1470-KXOA and remember those days fondly. I think Greg sounds pretty good here. As for the signal, yes, KROY was a teapot at night, but since it was omnidirectional and compressed all to heck it still got out pretty good and was relatively loud. KXOA’s power was fine, but the directional pattern didn’t help it much. KROY’s signal wasn’t a blowtorch, but it still owned the town.

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  4. Listening to this aircheck again I am now convinced that this was the period before Marc Driscoll’s arrival. Don Sinclair in morning drive is a dead giveaway. If it was post Driscoll Jeff Hunter would’ve been doing mornings. This had to be early 1977…

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  5. Yeah, this was before Driscoll, when we still had ratings. I was the PD. Hey, Greg did 2-6am…sounds pretty darn good to me!! As for an RKO influence, not really…it was really your standard Top-40 vibe of the day. Signal? The engineers were messing with our pattern for a year around this time, making our night signal super weak. Thanks for posting this aircheck!!

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    • Hey Steve thanks for checkin’ in! I sure would like to know more about this station. I enjoyed this aircheck and it’s the only one we have here.

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      • Steve,
        I’m not much of an historian, but here’s a quick wrap-up, and addition to Brian Simmons’s posts.
        Rick Carroll had left the PD position to program KKDJ (and later KROQ) in L.A. I was hired away from KROY in ’73 to do afternoons on KNDE by Douglas Droese, who was also programming sister station KSJO at the time.
        (I would later spend 19 years at KSJO).
        KNDE was still rock, but started leaning toward a Top-40 sound. Jack Hayes from KNBR was brought in, but he had a more MOR slant. Eventually Dave Williams was tapped to program 1470 KNDE.
        Other ex-KROY jocks would follow…Dudley & Kevin Manna, and much later Chuck Hale, Donovan Blue, Gene Lane, Chris Lance and others. Dave’s vision of KNDE would beat KROY in the ratings and the battle began.
        When Dave left, I can’t remember if it was his 1st or 2nd stint at RKO, a number of PD’s floundered at KNDE until Steve Rivers came in (not the same one that just passed away). Steve did very well in the ratings & was soon hired away to program KROY. I was going to go with Steve to do afternoons at KROY, when KNDE offered me the PD position. I had 3 books, over a year and a half, and we were very competitive with KROY. It was a fun battle, but KROY had more money, Steve was a genius, & for the most part was more successful than KNDE.
        Marc Driscoll was brought in and his vision basically killed the station. My last ARB rating, 12 plus, was something like a 3.2…Marc would soon have a .4…before that happened, I had left to go to KYA-FM (Y-93) in S.F.
        There’s a lot more in-between all of this, but that’s it in a nutshell.
        Cheers,
        Steve
        P.S. I’ll see if I can dig up some airchecks, but it may take me awhile.

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  6. I listened to KNDE and would give anything to hear an air check from the all new KNDE in the late 70s. I remember Chuck Hale “Chucker” and Steve Moore and Jeff Hunter. There were others too of course but these guys gave the station a major market sound.

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  7. Yup…before Driscoll. I arrived just after Driscoll…as the station was just switched to KXOA AM something…under Art Stranger…oh…Schroeder, sorry. I was still at WAXC/Rochester, and was still yet to go to Magic/92 in Rochester…after Magic…drove across this Wonderful America, and finally landed on Manzanita Blvd. Sacramento, where I would live…and commuted a few miles to the station every morning at 6. Station was right alongside the 10 Freeway, I believe. Anyway…I started there in Sept. ’78. Hope this helps ! Found some Driscoll Jock Memos in the old desk drawers…leftover from an evidently hasty KNDE Move-out !

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  8. By the way…Small World…Jeff Hunter was one of our Board Ops …and got his start in radio in Rochester w/ us at WAXC…so, imagine my surprise when I saw Jeff in Downtown Old Sac. in The Brown Broadcasting FM Bldg. during a big meeting, shortly after my arrival there in Sacto. !!

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