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September 17, 2021
640 AM Los Angeles KFI John Rook Dave Sebastian Eric Chase Charlie Fox Lohman & Barclay Dave Diamond Jackson Armstrong M G Kelly Gary Owens Big Ron O'Brien

64 KFI, Eric Chase with Johnny Nash, who formerly didn’t see Diddly…

Eric Chase is another one of those California legends who was heard on so many of the big stations up and down the coast. Perhaps spoken a bit less about than, say, M.G. Kelly, or Robert W. Morgan. But he’s definitely cut from the same cloth.

KFI in 1978 sounds like KHJ’s little brother. Similar formats, but I’d say KFI’s was just a tad more subdued. That would completely change within a couple of years, as into the 1980s, KFI would be the last AM Top 40 standing… and it would have to become louder and more exciting to compete with FM. But that was still a few years off when this was recorded.

Listen for Marv Howard, KFI News, and Bruce Wayne, KFI Traffic.

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5 thoughts on “Eric Chase, 64 KFI Los Angeles | April 13, 1978

  1. KFI’s PD was John Rook, who succeeded brilliantly with big, polished Top 40 at WLS and WCFL before heading west. As for needing to become louder and more exciting to compete with FM…no. FM wasn’t winning on excitement, it was winning on fidelity, fewer interruptions and less talk.

    1. And, as predicted, the authority on California radio history arrives to set the record straight. Honestly, I didn’t realize that KMET had such a large effect in 1977/78. Why didn’t the AM programmers try to counter program the AORs by doing what they did best, personality radio?

  2. KLOS and KMET combined had been beating KHJ since 1975. By 1978, KMET alone had almost double KHJ’s numbers. That erosion happened during a time when KHJ arguably was doing its best work in terms of personality radio—Charlie Van Dyke, Mark Elliott, Bobby Ocean, Machine Gun Kelly. The simple fact is that in the mid to late 70s, older teens and young adults embraced FM, less talk, fewer commercials and albums.

    John Sebastian at KHJ tried to stem the flow to FM by being like FM. John Rook at KFI chose to gradually morph an AC station into a Top 40 and hold on to the adults who were less likely to defect to KMET while he attracted whatever teens and young adults he could get. Arguably, it worked. And KFI, with Lohman and Barkley, Eric Chase, Big Ron O’Brien and Jackson Armstrong, was definitely not hiding its personalities.

    1. Calradiopd – ” The simple fact is that in the mid to late 70s, older teens and young adults embraced FM, less talk, fewer commercials and albums.” I’m not arguing against that at all. FM certainly had the momentum during that time period. What I was not aware of was KHJ being in trouble in 1975. ’78-’79, definitely.

      Interesting to note, in 1984, I was in “A” School in San Diego. Every weekend I’d grab a bus and ride to Santa Monica with a Sony Walkman on so I could hear “The Mighty Met”. I was a huge Rock fan, the big AORs were all I listened to that year, so yes, I was a KMET and KLOS fan. KGB-FM fan, too. By ’84, the AMs were dead in the water but I still listened when I got to my Aunt’s house. Tuned around everywhere. AM and FM. My question to you is, while I could look it up, I’d rather your take on it, what did those two FMs sound like in 1975? Hard Rock AOR stations, or what? What was it that was beating KHJ?

  3. KLOS was pretty much Top 40 AOR. By that I mean they played the most popular songs from the most popular albums. They actually beat KHJ from 7 to midnight as early as 1972. KMET was looser and more eclectic, almost free-form.

    KLOS was the bigger of the two until 1978, when KMET became more focused and harder-edged. KMET was dominant from then until about 1982, when KLOS caught back up. It was a horse race until ’86, when KMET lost steam.

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