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.