Saturday, June 02, 2007

"This is Tom Donahue, general manager of station KSAN in San Francisco. If the disc jockey you're listening to at this moment has not played a rock n roll record in the past ten minutes, please send me his name and he will be fired."

Tom's "Fire the DJ" Legal ID

One of the dramatic differences in great radio stations is their attitude. There is a measure of delight and surprise in listening to a station that does not take itself too seriously. Great stations have a perpetual sense of good humor about themselves. The Tom Donahue Fire the DJ legal ID is a perfect practical example of this refreshing, playful and creative spirit at work. Another example, the famous sign-off of KSAN gnus guy Scoop Nisker..."If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own."


This is not a life saving hospital, we're not looking for a cure for cancer, it's only a radio station. It's show business. On with the show.

It was Tom Donahue who wrote the seminal FM rock radio manifesto, the 1967 Rolling Stone piece "AM Radio Is Dead and Its Rotting Corpse Is Stinking Up the Airwaves." He wrote "The disc jockeys have become robots...performing their inanities at the direction of programmers who have succeeded in totally squeezing the human element out of their sound...They have succeeded in making everyone on the station staff sound the same - asinine. This is the much coveted 'station sound.'"

Back to our rock radio inquiry - more on KSFX thanks to Ron Fell. Tom Yee a former KSFX staffer shared this info with Rosie Lee Allen...

The KSFX PDs while Tom was there. John Catchings, Sean Conrad, Gloria Johnson and Jim Smith. The GMs during Tom's run were George Yahres, Don Platt and Ron Denman. Also, there was another GM between 1976 and 1983 but no one is able to remember his name.

Bonus: 1977 Pacific Bell Yellow Pages, San Francisco Radio Stations


Dan Kelley said...

A great post Dave. Attitude indeed separates winners from losers. I've heard many perfectly executed radio stations with no personality; and I'm not talking about the air talent.

Lee Arnold said...

David, THANK YOU!!!