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1260 KYA / San Francisco

Steve Jordan, Natural Neal & Michael O’Connor – 1260 KYA San Francisco | July 13, 1977

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If only the East Coast had a Top 40 station like this! Oh… well, besides WABC.
We here at Airchexx have put much focus on 610 KFRC as THE dominant station in San Francisco. But, the Bay area had stiff competition for much of the 1970s from crosstown KYA. In 1977, KYA did get close, but never beat KFRC. And it’s too bad, listening to this aircheck, KYA really COOKS!

Is it me, or did KYA have more hard rock on the air than KFRC? Methinks so. But KYA did NOT have Dr. Don Rose, KFRC’s ace in the hole. KYA did have a smokin’ set of Positron jingles (JAM), and plenty of forward momentum in the format presentation. In the end, however, were we to rate this aircheck, it would get a 5 out of 5 based upon personality, format execution, excitement and momentum. Does it beat KFRC in the same era based on our criteria? No, but I don’t think it necessarilly loses, either. The ultimate winners were San Francisco listeners, who were treated to some of the best Top 40 radio done anywhere in North America. And, we sure wish it was like this right now.


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8 Comments


  1. While KYA didn’t roll right over for KFRC, it hadn’t been a factor since ’74, three years before this aircheck. And the last time it gave KFRC any sort of serious challenge was 1970.

    Surprisingly, KYA beat KFRC off and on from KFRC’s launch in ’66 until 1969. And although KFRC won in 1969, KYA beat them in teens.

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  2. PS: KYA was actually doing poorly enough at the time of this aircheck that six months later, they did a major revamp. Didn’t help.

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    • Not really. King Broadcasting took over by November 1, 1977 and really screwed it into the ground.

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  3. I’m also not hearing any more hard rock here than KFRC was playing at the time. I am hearing older oldies. “Traces” by the Classics IV was long gone from 610 by this point.

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  4. Love this aircheck! KFRC was my all time favorite, but KYA came at 610 with everything in it’s arsenal and they did sound great. Yes, Dr. Don was KFRC’s big gun, but I always wondered if the playing field might have been more level had KYA’s signal been on par with KFRC’s? We’ll never know, but this aircheck is proof that 610 had competition, good competition at that with some great jocks in it’s own right.

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  5. I got to work at KYA but only after the owners of this station (Avco) sold to King Broadcasting. Trust me after Avco left the station really took a dive with the “light rock” format and nothing like the Drake top 40 format

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  6. It was so great to hear Don Imus doing Billy Sol Hargis at around 9:50 mark in the aircheck. Was it a syndicated feature back in 1977-why was it on KYA?

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    • I interned there in 1977 and I don’t recall hearing any Don Imus features at all.

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