B-100 San Diego, History

John Fox, 2015-03-27 B-100 Reunion-3-Lone of the B-100 dj’s, describes B100 as

creative people, some who went on to be major market program directors and general managers. At least three moved to long-term drive time shows in Los Angeles. One got out of radio to become head of surgery at a major Los Angeles hospital. Another has been an Emmy winning writer, director and creator of network television sitcoms.”

Until March 1975 KFMB-fm featured Easy Listening music –literally background, dentist office instrumental stuff.  Amazingly, there were two other “beautiful music” stations in town at that time which brought the station General Manager, Paul Palmer, to seek a format change.

Palmer developed a plan with KFMB AM program director Bobby Rich to take the station Top 40.  The original intention was direct competition to market kingpin KCBQ and compliment the 35 plus demos reached by sister  KFMB AM.

<BR note:  When Paul asked me what I thought we should do with it I said “Rock that turkey and go for the KCBQ audience.” He admitted that was what he had been thinking and asked me how i would go about it. My original proposal included to get away from the KFMB image by changing call letters to something that included the letter “Q” so we could be “The FM Q” and call the station “Q-101”.  When I was told the company would NOT change call letters I decided to call it “B-101”.  Then I realized the competing album rock station KGB was calling itself “The 101”.  That’s how I came to the decision name it “B-100”>

The original staff: Rob Landree, Dave Conley, Rocketman (Scott Wright), Willie B Goode, Jimi Fox, Gary Kelley, Kevin Anderson, Phil Flowers and Billy Martin. Terri Lynn was the news person. PD Bobby Rich continued his programming duties and evening show (including the infamous Turkey Hour) on KFMB AM while making occasional appearances on B-100 as “Dr. Boogie”. Today the VOICES on B100.FM include.

The station came on screaming.  “B-100 Boogies On” was the slogan.  Music and promotions were targeted at capturing teens.  The first window sticker was called the “B-100 Boogie Ball”.  Billboards showed a giant Boogie Ball with the words: “Get It On/Win Cash”.  B-100 always gave away “B-100 dollar bills” for cash contests.

When Jimi Fox left for Los Angeles a year later, he took several B-100 staffers along.  It was then the station decided to go for the 18-34 crowd and became a mature version of Top 40.

A huge turning point was the hiring of 2 former KCBQ personalities: Shotgun Tom Kelley for mornings and Gene Knight for evenings (and music director).  Other jocks of the era that gave B-100 its’ ratings success were Gary Kelley, Danny Wilde, Christopher Lance, Cherie, Jimmy Rogers, Glen McCartney and Uncle Fred Stemen.  Making occasional appearances as “Beaver Cleaver” was Ken Levine, an Emmy winning writer/director for tv shows like Cheers, MASH, Wings, Almost Perfect and others.

In the Fall 1977 Arbitron (ratings company), B-100 became the first contemporary FM station in the United States to capture number one 12+ ratings.

When Bobby Rich and KFMB Programming Assistant Rob Sisco left for WXLO/99X New York, new their replacements changed the station to an older appeal approach. “You’ve Grown Up, We’ve Grown Up” was the new slogan… later it became “Light Rock, Less Talk” lead by dj promoted to program director, Glen McCartney (Martin).  The station maintained strong ratings success, usually ranking in the top 5 25-54.

Paul Palmer brought Bobby back in 1984.  Rich converted the station to the become the nation’s first “Hot AC” when he collated the Top 40 and Adult Contemporary charts of the past decade from trade publications (including Radio&Records, The Gavin Report and Billboard) to build a music library and current playlist of songs that found success on both formats.

The new line-up became: The Rich Brothers (see below) followed by Gene Knight, Gary Kelley, Danny Romero (now tv weatherman in LA), Ellen Thomas (now “Ellen K” at KIIS/KOST Los Angeles) and John Fox.  The new slogan was “Music, Money and Fun” and the station grabbed the ratings and revenues for demos from 25 to 54, usually scoring first or second place in all dayparts.

<The Rich Brothers were: Bobby Rich, Scott Kenyon, Frank Anthony and Pat Gaffey.  The show was known as the “B Morning Zoo”.  Other than the 4 guys and various characters (Dwayne and Bucky, played by Dan Cooke now TV anchor in Honolulu), Rad-Out and Chico performed by listeners), the only regular was Steve Springer with traffic reports.>

When Rich left again in 1989 to become VP/GM at KMGI/KIXI Seattle, Mike Novak assumed the program director role, later replaced by Gene Knight.  The station maintained the Hot AC format and replaced the Rich Brothers with Jeff and Jer.

Later the name “B-100” was dropped to become “STAR 100.7” and then “JACK FM.” In an ironic salute to the roots of 100.7, the station is now known as “KFM-BFM.”

By David Rodney

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