Bobby Ocean & John Sebastian, “Position 93” KHJ Los Angeles | April 14, 1978
It’s simple, we want to be YOUR radio station – KHJ
…Which they WERE, for a very long time. One has to wonder what line of thinking lead to the days of “Position 93”. Top 40? Yes. Exciting? Not really, if you’re judging the station by this aircheck.
The music, especially during Bobby Ocean’s show, is mostly slow, Adult Contemporary fare – although that format name didn’t actually exist in 1978. Osh is… well, himself. Perfect timing, that voice smooth as glass, but something seems missing. Perhaps the indicator of how dreadfully boring KHJ was under this ‘new format’ is just about 3 minutes in, just a singular, “KHJ” is spoken. Nothing else, no song intro. Nothing.
No jingles, either.
What were they thinkng?
So much has been written all over the web and this site about the possible reasons why KHJ removed the personality approach and went to less talk, more music. And still, we have few concrete answers. Its easy to look back and come up with reasons in our own mind, but then, we’re reminded that the programmers at RKO General didn’t have the benefit of over thirty years of history to look back and make an informed decision. In 1978, there was stiff competition from no less than three other AM stations, notably the one station with the most momentum at the time, 1020 KTNQ. Ten-Q had The Real Don Steele, Machine Gun Kelly and others, an exciting, rapid format and plenty of personality. KMPC had the older audience. KFI was Top 40 and just sitting there, waiting to pounce. What would you do, if you programmed KHJ at this point in time?
Of course, all of us would love to be armchair program directors, but history is just that. What already took place. KHJ doesn’t sound BAD. It just sounds like mom and dad’s station here. And this aircheck is merely a record of what happened, which would lead to other things happening. It is one piece of an enormous radio puzzle and like all investigators, we historians like to poke around the ruins of the great audio legends, which like the pyramids, stand as monuments to a time when the pulse of the entire radio industry was taken by observing the formatic gyrations of these once great institutions.
Given the state of radio, in the grand scheme of modern entertainment, the answers we seek may end up buried with the components of the transmitters of these giants. KHJ WAS the pulse of radio. And we present two more jocks from this great RF modulator for your enjoyment.