Jon McGann is the former Program Director of KBFX/Anchorage and KEGX/Tri-Cities, WA.
In the mid 80’s I got my first Programming job at KFMX in Lubbock Texas of all places! The station had been on since the early ’80’s and had some great personalities pass through the station. Dale Dudley and Loris Lane, (both legendary figures now at KLBJ in Austin), to name a few. Anyway, when I became Program Director, my first PD gig, we were the typical black T-shirt wearing M18-34 station that played heavy currents, everything from Dead or Alive, Cinderella to Sting and Kingdom Come. My G.M., (Scott Parsons, thanks Scott!), was also a first time G.M.
Our revenue was not what it should have been, and as the only Rock station in the market (remember those days?), we both felt there should be more revenue and ratings. What I remember is that our owner knew Jay Hoker, and that Jay had had success in both Kansas City and Cincinnati with Classic Rock. Jay was nice enough to come down and speak with us about the format and then he recommended getting in touch with Jacobs Media. Our owner, (too cheap to hire a consultant full time), organized a trip for Dave Lange (working for you guys at the time) to come to Lubbock. I remember taking a crash course into Classic Rock with Dave both at the station and at local restaurants for a few days. I become completely and totally sold on the promise of focused Classic Rock based radio station. It was my music and now someone was telling me why playing it was beneficial!
Well… Our owner did not end up hiring Jacobs Media, again too cheap, but I then had several meetings with Doug Gondek, at KCFX at the time, (he probably doesn’t even remember) about clocks and I immediately (with Scott’s approval) implemented a Classic Rock based station with only 1 or 2 currents an hour maximum, (Remember we were the only rock station!), and our numbers went to the highest levels ever! I eventually left to Program in Salt Lake City but Scott has remained very successful with that station to this day and now there are several Rock products in the little town of LubbRock, Texas!…
I remember speaking with two reps from PolyGram and Arista at an artist showcase in Dallas in the late 80’s. They were concerned about how all the AOR’s in Texas were starting to become Classic-based stations and they were having a tough time getting their new product on the air (how could someone not play Enuff Znuff but play Zeppelin?), and they asked me when this phase would pass. I told them when the ratings and revenue stopped. Well, here it is 20 years later and neither ratings nor revenue has stopped coming in!
Good Job Guys!