Post by Thad Floryan
This reminds me of when I recorded the last 48 hours of KFAT (that
was in Gilroy) on my old reel-reel tape drive at the slowest speed
(IIRC 15/16 IPS (that's 0.9375 inches per second)). I played it
once to verify it was recorded and left the tape in played condition
to prevent print-through. For those who don't know, KFAT broadcast,
uh, unusual songs such as "MOOSE TURD PIE", "DROPKICK ME JESUS THROUGH
THE GOALPOSTS OF HEAVEN", and more! :-)
Funny story about KFAT. Jeremy Lansman and partners bought Gilroy station
KPER at 94.3 in the mid-70s. The way the FM table of allocations went, the
cities got the Class B/C channels (up to 50kw or 100kw, depending on region)
and the small communities (Livermore, Alameda, Walnut Creek, Gilroy, etc)
got the Class A stations (up to 3kw). The way the table of allocations
went, the channels were organized as B/C, B/C, A, B/C, B/C, A, etc.
KPER went on the air in 1969 I believe. It was a Class A station on 94.3.
The owner couldn't make any money on it. Jeremy bought it and got to
thinking. He wanted to expand the station and flip it and didn't want any
"listener groups" to kill the orderly transfer of the station, as a
"listener group" tried to do a couple years earlier when Pat Henry sold KJAZ
to Ron Cowan and tried to block the sale, even though Cowan promised that he
was buying it FOR the jazz.
But in the meanwhile it would take awhile to petition the FCC to have KPER
re-allocated from a 3kw Class A station on 94.3 to a Class B station on 94.5
where he could run up to 50kw and cover SAN JOSE.
What throwaway format to choose? Well, how about country. Nobody likes
country music (by then KEEN and KSAY had been failing with their Western
music formats), so why not call it KFAT and make it into a country station?
Sure, why not. There wouldn't be any listeners. Then when the FCC approves
the channel change and sells to a new owner there wouldn't be any concern
about flipping it to whatever format the new owner wanted.
Except that KFAT became successful! Highbrow, moneyed people in Silicon
Valley loved KFAT. They were billing some bizarre amount of money from
Mercedes dealerships and whatnot. I think Jeremy once said that KFAT was
billing $60,000 a month just on Mercedes ads alone.
So, that's the story of KFAT, the station that shouldn't have been.
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