Saturday, July 26, 2008

More from Dave Montgomery

Dick Downes was brought in after Wayne Moss and Sonny Martin’s departures. Dick only lasted from ’76 to ’77. He was not effective as a PD, and had abrasive ego that matched Tandy’s abrasive ego. He was eventually fired and C David Hamilton was brought in from Rockford to be the PD/MD. C David was likable and put a new staff together, and the station sounded good but was still losing listeners to FM. In sales, combo buys for KAAY and KLPQ were good business, but still neither station was main line enough to counterbalance the growing strength of KKYK, KLAZ and KSSN. You know how this eventually worked out.

Gary Fries came in as GM after Jim Tandy “left”. Gary was from a similar market size as LR, but he had something that Tandy did not – he was likable and immediately formed a “team” of key staff members and pulled things together. Gary stayed as long as he could but his star was rising, and he eventually left for KJJJ Phoenix, and he took several key KAAY/KLPQ staff with him, from admin, air, and news. That’s about when I left for Illinois. “Everybody” was leaving. Gary Fries eventually became a senior executive at RAB Radio Advertising Bureau.

C David Hamilton became the GM, . He had been a PD for a while, but had no substantial experience as a GM. It was a bad match that in the end was his undoing. I don’t think he ever completely connected with the market.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The three other radio stations that were mentioned, only one is still on the air today. That station is KSSN. Speaking of which, KSSN is celebrating their 30th year this year. Bob Robbins has been there since day one. He went there after leaving KAAY.
KKYK is now the local RTN TV channel in Little Rock.
The former radio station is now KABZ, 1037 THE BUZZ, A sports-talk station. This station is currently located in the Cottondale building.
KLAZ is currently on the air in Hot Springs at 105.9, playing the current hits.
Currently on 98.5 is KURB B98.5, playing music from the 80's to today. It is one of the sister stations to KAAY.
Then and now these stations are rated in the top five in the arbitron ratings.