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Courtesy of BigAppleAirchecks. Nearly perfect audio quality on this one.

On this aircheck, you’ll hear Gerry Peterson, then Mason Dixon on a very music-intensive KCBQ. Now, KCBQ and KGB had always been the Top 40 leaders in this city, but obviously, KCBQ was feeling some heat from FM. We get to hear TWO jingles in this 12 minute scope (down from the original one hour unscoped tape), and while they sound good, it’s nowhere near as exciting to hear a rarely-used jingle out of a stop set as opposed to in-format. The one big plus here is that you will hear a TRUE variety (not diversity) of music. KCBQ really does play ALL THE HITS, and thus does earn it’s right to compete with the new FM competitors… but I sure woulda liked to hear these two jocks put a bit more personality in. There are three segues on this scope where the jock only says ‘KCBQ’, leaving me (and probably most of the listeners back then) saying, “that’s it?”

This aircheck is good, but it could have been better. It sounds like KCBQ was in transition from the screamer days to something a bit more subdued. Those in the know about KCBQ during this time are encouraged to comment (below).

By Steve West

Steve West is a 41 year veteran of broadcasting. His air work as a Jock and News Anchor includes six radio markets and over two-dozen radio stations. Steve is the founder of and - All the BIG Hits!

9 thoughts on “Gerry Peterson & Mason Dixon, 1170 KCBQ San Diego | September 24, 1977”
  1. It is a bit “calmer”, but still very good. That’s Gerry “Peterson” Cagle. PD of KCBQ at the time and future PD of KFRC.

    1. Wow! That’s Gerry Cagle? I should have guessed the voice. Yes, he was a genius at KFRC, and beyond… Creator of MTV. Now I see what he was trying to do here.

    1. Well, darn it… that’s why you guys are here – to fix things when I mix them up. Of course I knew it was Garland. A digit-cranial inversion, that’s all it was… lol.

  2. KGB hadn’t been Top 40 since 1972. KCBQ was more than “feeling heat from FM”. B-100 (KFMB-FM) debuted in March of 1975, tied KCBQ by the fall ’75 ARB and blew past them from the next book on, going on to steal Shotgun Tom Kelly from Q in the fall of ’76.

    Gerry Peterson (Cagle) had programmed WRKO and KHJ…KCBQ hiring him was a case of bringing in a “big gun”. Didn’t make much difference, though. After he left, Joel Denver (now head of AllAccess) was PD and the Q transitioned into AC.

    Yes, Cagle was a genius at KFRC. No, he didn’t create MTV. That was Bob Pittman. The first program director of MTV was Cagle’s predecessor at KFRC, Les Garland.

  3. Went to high school with that rascal.. (Gerry).. Always been a great DJ. Worked with him at WFUN in 1969 as a “newsman”. As I recall he got called on the carpet for playing Joe Cocker. 🙂 I’m glad he’s done so well. He’s a great guy.

  4. Probably nobody coming over here any more, but just in case, the contest that KCBQ is teasing was “10,000 Winners in 28 Days”, one of the last audacious sweeps month gimmicks that the Q trotted out before finally surrendering to B-100 and abadoning the teen market altogether.

  5. KCBQ was not only feeling the heat, but they were caught completely off guard by how badly they did get beat by B-100fm in that Fall book.
    With respect to the just saying the call letters, although KCBQ had jingles, B-100 did not, as a result they were trying to copy what B-100 was doing without seeming too obvious. B-100 was already skewing a little older demographic during this time and made ”history in Southern California”, as the bottom of the hour predicted.

  6. KCBQ also lost the Spring 1977 battle to another station that hasn’t been mentioned. It was Magic 91 (KMJC-AM) led by Kevin Matheney. Air talent included Steve Goddard in the morning, Pat Garrett (under another name) in middays and Kevin Matheney in PM drive. Allen Beebe did nights. KCBQ was blindsided when the book came out which showed Magic 91 with a 6.4 and KCBQ at a 5.6 (down from a 10 share!). I know this because I was there.

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