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Jackson Armstrong, 610 KFRC San Francisco | August, 1983

Courtesy of longtime Contributor Joe Tymecki.

Posted elsewhere as part of a long KFRC composite, here’s the late Jack Armstrong with all the energy a jock could muster back at at time in KFRC’s history when they were on top of their game as the Bay Area’s leading CHR station. It was said that FM radio still hadn’t penetrated the San Francisco market even in the early 80s because of the topographical features of mountains surrounded by water and the city’s high rise buildings, which created for horrible multipath conditions in many parts of San Francisco. But that was 1983, and FM receiver manufacturers hadn’t quite figured out how to null out reflected signals and all that. So, KFRC remained with it’s Top 40 format, had added AM Stereo (for those who were lucky enough to have one of those receivers), and had a mere 5kw signal that covered an area usually covered by a 50kw blowtorch because of both it’s low dial position and the unusually good AM propagation characteristics of a transmitter surrounded by water.

Now add in some of the best personalities available in radio at the time and you have the AMAZIN’ AM that was 610 KFRC! This station cooks, in every respect. It SOUNDS like an FM CHR in another market! Everything about KFRC in 1983 made the station sound larger than life. A part of San Francisco’s daily life. And perhaps that’s what was lost three years later when the station finally gave up, despite still having clear signal advantages over any FM competitor.

Add this to your favorites, as Jackson Armstrong airchecks are in great demand. This one’s a gem, with plenty of one liners and Armstrong wit to go…

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  1. Might be the last aircheck of Jackson at KFRC. He returned to L.A in late ’83 at KKHR. He was only in the evening shift at KFRC briefly, replacing Bill Lee. Bobby Ocean, who had been doing weekends and fill-ins, replaced Jackson…but that was a quick one, too.

    And by March of ’84, KFRC itself changed drastically as RKO fired PD Gerry Cagle and replaced him with Mike Phillips, who went to thoroughly-researched very safe hits, losing the urban flavor you hear here.


  2. KFRC, a 50KW blowtorch? Always knew KFRC at 610AM as a 5KW station.


  3. “50 KW blowtorch …” Probably one of the most overused cliches in radio.

    Tied with (name) exits from (station). Never fired or resigned … always exits.


    • I guess I can’t argue with ya about the 50 KW Blowtorch statement., Now, WLW could have used the term ‘blowtorch’ during thier superpower days at 500 kw and it would have really fit, but that’s a different story.

      Cliche’s are always a part of broadcast vernacular. Right down to the liner cards. I had several PDs over the years who cajoled us to ‘be original’. Of course, one can only re-word things so much before the meaning of a particular thing gets lost on the audience (although, many people say that listeners are a whole lot smarter than programmers give them credit for. Dan Ingram and his double-entendres being a good example – the audience followed him along just nicely).


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