We’re guessing on the date of this aircheck as sometime in October, 1989, based upon the news item that Jim Bakker was sentenced to prison the day before this was recorded. (Can’t find the exact sentencing date but the trial lasted six weeks and began in August of 1989, so this is just a guess).
This opens up at 6:51 AM in “Crazy” Craig O’Neil’s morning show. This is the old “FM 104” KKYK with a contemporary format, and plenty of good morning show elements, including Comedy, News & Sports. This is not over the top as is the norm with so many hit music stations today.
Strangely enough, there is very little in the way of historical information on the old KKYK. We do know that the station changed call letters to KSYG on 9/6/96, then to KABZ on 9/29/00. Taking a guess here, KABZ was likely “The Buzz” Modern AC format, since your webmaster was one of the original Buzz jocks at Memphis’ version of the format, at 94.1 WMBZ which launched in January of 2001.
Today, 103.7 still holds the KABZ call letters, but runs a Sports/Talk format.
*Aircheck courtesy of Contributor Robyn Watts
**Source #SM-11 tape courtesy of California Aircheck
9 thoughts on “Craig O’Neil, 103.7 KKYK Little Rock | October, 1989”
The date of Jim Bakker’s sentencing was October 24, 1989, according to this article:
KKYK went from rock to talk, changing calls to KSYG and later KABZ – but it was always a talk/sports talk station from 96 onward.
KKYK was a good radio station. Lets bring back good clean radio stations that are locally owned. Anyone out the remember Brother Hal on AM Radio? That was a great show!!!!!!!! Id love to hear more local shows on the radio.
Historical info on the old FM-104 (103.7) KKYK. Started as KARK-FM with KARK- AM (now KARN) and KARK-TV in the 60’s. The radio stations sold to the GM, Ted Snider who formed Snider Corp. in 1972. KKYK was a TM automated CHR until 1977 when it went to a live contemp format. Until 1981 it struggled to survive as the #3 CHR against legendary KAAY-AM and KLAZ. It found its legs in 81 when they hired Craig O’Neill as morning man with side kick Eric Brown. With Ron White from Grand Rapids as PD the station took off and had a great run as the top CHR in the 80’s. An amazing line up of talent left their mark there in the 80’s: Doctor Brock, Haynes Johns, sports legend Jim Elder, Jeff Hoyt, Brent Walker, Domino, Gene Moran (DC of Heather & DC), Dennis Harrington, Mark McCain, Kevin Miller,Jimmy Edwards (Hollywood Harrison), Kandy Klutch, After Ron White’s tenure, PD’s Greg Rolling and Brian Bridgman stepped in.
KKYK sold to Shepard Communicatoons in 1988 and again to current owner Signal Media in 1992. Craig O’Neill is now the lead anchor at Gannett’s KTHV the Litte Rock CBS TV station. Snider Corp. retained it’s other properties and finally sold to Citadel in the late 90’s.
I see I’m a little late to the party, but a little more info on KKYK for you. KKYK had an up and down battle against KZOU Zoo 98 in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Zoo 98 was usually the winner, but KKYK getting a book or two toward the end of the 80’s wasn’t rare. Zoo 98 surprised the market in the summer of ’91 when it flipped to Hot AC as KURB “B-98.5,” which it still is today.
KKYK had the CHR market to itself but had trouble gaining traction as the format was struggling in the early 90’s. Plus, it lost Craig O’Neill to B-98.5. KKYK made several attempts to reboot itself. At first, it reimaged as “K-Kick 104” while keeping the CHR format. After that failed, it went to a rock 40 format as “Kick 103.7.” In the summer of ’93, it went full-blown rock as “K-Rock” but failed to get much visibility against heritage KMJX “Magic 105” in a crowded rock field that also included sister station KKPT 94.1 and KLPQ 102.5/KOUN 102.1 “Q-102.” It took on the format and calls of sister KSYG 1010 after Westinghouse bought the AM to take it dark because it believed it was causing nighttime interference to WINS in New York.
I was hired by Ron White in the Spring of ’87. Dave Ferraro, WAPE, and I were hired at the same time as KKYK was fighting back against Ugly Jerry and Zoo 98. Craig was the morning guy, Mark McCain did mid days, Dave aka Hollywood Harrison, did afternoons, Kevin Miller did nights, and I did overnights. Jimmy and Eddie Munster did weekends. Dave left after a couple of months and Jimmy later was called Hollywood Harrison as a tribute to Dave. Dave went on to develop Powergold before he passed away. It was a great crew! I still miss those folks!
What was the music show that KKYK used to broadcast on TV from the water park?
Jeff, that’s when I came in as well. I was Scott Walker back then, I had not heard that Dave had passed away. Stations I worked at after leaving KKYK never quite measured up. I tell people about driving that damn jam box around Little Rock and being COMPLETELY unqualified to do so.
Now this guy is the evening news anchor for THV 11