When the new KCEY AM / KMIX FM studios at Geer Rd. and Santa Fe just SE of Hughson were completed in 1978 an open house was held with listeners invited. Below is a copy of a handout given to each visitor with information on the the new facility and broadcasting operations. (Courtesy of Richard Sweetland, Chief Engineer from 1978 -1980 ) Richard now lives in the Northern Virginia - Washington D.C. a
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When the new KCEY AM / KMIX FM studios at Geer Rd. and Santa Fe just SE of Hughson were completed in 1978 an open house was held with listeners invited. Below is a copy of a handout given to each visitor with information on the the new facility and broadcasting operations. (Courtesy of Richard Sweetland, Chief Engineer from 1978 -1980 ) Richard now lives in the Northern Virginia - Washington D.C. area.)
On behalf of the staff and management of KCEY & K-MIX, we wish to welcome you to our beautiful new facility. We're glad you could be here to share our open house with us. We feel our new studios and offices are among the finest in the broadcasting industry.
KCEY A.M. (1390) broadcasts 24 hours daily with 5,000 watts of power day and night. Our signal covers from Madera to almost Lodi, north and south...and from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west side and the Livermore Valley, east and west. KCEY programs a modern country format and employs eight disc jockeys. The KCEY transmitter site is located in Montpelier, approximately 12 miles south-east of Modesto. Our signal is sent from the KCEY studios to our transmitting facility by means of micro-wave. Over two million people reside within the KCEY coverage area.
KCEY is very community oriented, with many live remote broadcasts, as well as interesting and rewarding on-air promotions. Just recently the KCEY jocks gave away five quarter-ounce ingots of gold during the "KCEY Gold Rush". Once a y
ear KCEY presents the "Wheel of Fortune" and gives away thousands of dollars worth of prizes. At Thanksgiving we give away turkeys. Plus, we air promotions at Christmas, Easter and other times throughout the year. Thousands of listeners have signed up and become members of the "KCEY COUNTRY CLUB" enabling then to win prizes and share in the many activities provided by KCEY
K-MIX 98-FM STEREO (98.5 MHz) is also on the air 24 hours a day, serving the Modesto, Turlock and Merced areas. K-MIX is a fully automated station, featuring the best advanced programming techniques in the industry. K-MIX is consulted by Dick Wagner and Concept Productions. The station offers an adult contemporary format with a blend of the current hits of the day and the top hits of the past decade, Five disc jockeys record their programs for each day of the week, giving the station a live sound. K-MIX features special programs periodically. A 24 hour Rock Special was presented over Memorial Day weekend. By popular demand, it will be repeated Labor Day weekend. And in the near future, K-MIX will air a 15-hour special on the lives and music of the Beatles.
KCEY and K-MIX have two full-time people in the news department. We subscribe to Associated Press wire service, but the majority of our news is gathered locally. K-MIX News is presented hourly at :07 minutes past the hour, featuring primarily news of our area. KCEY airs local news at 7, 8 and 9 A.M. and 12:15 p.m. Local news headlines are aired hourly at :55 on KCEY, followed by an extensive weather forecast. KCEY is affiliated with the A.B.C. Radio Network with news every hour at :50 from the American Entertainment Network (one of four A.B.C. Radio Networks). KCEY presents Paul Harvey at 6:55 a.m,. 12 Noon and 6:15 p.m. Paul Harvey's "The Rest Of The Story" is aired at 6 p.m. In the near future KCEY and K-MIX plan to expand our news service by adding the Wall Street Journal wire service, enabling us to have up-to-the-minute economic news and features. And it won't be long until you see a KCEY/K-MIX mobile news car on the streets covering on the spot news events.
The KCEY Sports Scoreboard, heard hourly at :20 past the hour, keeps the sports fans up to date. KCEY carries Turlock High School Football in season. This coming season we will expand our coverage of prep football by doing live reports from other key area games during the Turlock Bulldog's broadcasts.
John H. ”Milt” Hall, President and General Manager of KCEY/K-MIX, attended the University of Denver and the University of Colorado. His wife, Kay, is secretary-treasurer of the corporation. During World War II, Mr. Hall was studio-field engineer with the National Broadcasting Company and was classified "essential” to the war effort for the duration. The Hall's entered private ownership after the war, putting on the air KSBW Radio in Salinas, California. Later, Mr. Hall became Executive Vice President and a major stockholder in radio stations KWBB and KQTY in Wichita, Kansas. After operating his own communications consulting firm in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Hall's purchased KCEY and moved to Turlock in 1975. They have brought KCEY forward to it's prominent position which it now holds in the Central California area. K-MIX F.M., KCEY's sister station, was made possible through considerable engineering work to establish with the Federal Communications Commission the fact that the 98.5 MHz frequency could be implemented in this area without jeopardizing other nearby stations. And so on March 5, 1978, John H. Hall put K-MIX officially on the air, giving Turlock it's second commercial radio station some 28 years after KCEY (known in 1949 as KTUR) went on the air.
Lee Nye, Operations Director of KCEY/K-MIX, was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He attended Chapman College in Orange, California, where he later taught Radio Broadcasting. Lee has been in radio for nine years having worked in the Palm Springs area, as well as Bowling Green, Ohio and most recently Cleveland, Ohio. Lee joined KCEY in September of 1977 as operations director, he oversees the programming of KCEY and the operation of K-MIX.
Gary Lee Shriver, program director of K-MIX, began his broadcasting career in 1971 at a radio station in Tracy. Later, that sane year, he moved to KSTN in Stockton where he worked as a disc jockey and gained some engineering experience. In February of 1975 Gary joined KCEY as program director and afternoon disc jockey. He also acted as Chief Engineer until the time came to move into our new facility, Gary also serves as our production director and is responsible for many of the produced commercials you hear on KCEY and K-MIX.
Bob Neutzling Sales Manager of KCEY/K-MIX, studied radio at San Diego City College. He worked part time at a number of F.M. radio stations in the San Diego area in the mid 60's. In 1968 he moved to Merced where he served as program director and morning jock for KYOS. In 1970 he relocated to KFIV in Modesto where he worked as production director and morning jock, and later program director. 1972 found Bob at WTXL in Springfield, Massachusetts as a morning drive jock and production man. He joined KCEY in October of 1973 as program director and disc jockey. One year later he went into advertising sales part-time, eventually full-time. In November, 1977 he was promoted to sales manager of KCEY and K-MIX. Seven full-time sales people are employed by the two stations. Bob also serves as sports director and will begin his fifth year of football play by play this fall.
Richard Sweetland, Technical Director of KCEY/K-MIX, attended the State University of New York, Union College, University of Louisville, the U.S. Army Defense School, Capitol Radio Engineering Institute and DeVry Institute of Technology. He holds three degrees including a Bachelor Of Science degree in Electrical Technology. He has worked in an engineering capacity for a number of radio stations since 1966. Rich joined KCEY early this year, advising on the equipment installation. Rich is totally responsible for all the equipment of KCEY and K-MIX. He is a Certified Electronic Technician and holds and F.C.C. First Class Radio Telephone License.
KCEY (THEN KNOWN AS KTUR) began broadcasting in 1949, and during our first 29 years we remained in the same building. But in 1977, when we were about to receive an FM construction permit, It became obvious that the old building had finally outgrown its usefulness. Rather than try to adapt the old building to accommodate both the AM and FM operations, it was decided that the best plan would be to construct a completely new building.
It was also decided that we would "do it right the first time" and use all new equipment in the new studios, rather than try to cut costs and put together a piecemeal operation with some old equipment and some new equipment. This approach had the added benefit of allowing us to maintain the old studios at full operating capacity while building the new studios, rather than try to move the equipment while We were still using it. This greatly reduced the technical problems in our transition period.
Local news has always been extremely important to KCEY. So, when we designed the new facilities, all the studios were clustered around the news studio. This allowed us to position the windows in the studios in such a way that it is possible for a person in anyone of the studios to look in to any other studio. This eye-to-eye contact is very important when you are switching between one studio and another. The windows also allow visitors to see into the heart of the station without going on a formal tour.
All studios (with the exception of the news studio) use the same control console, the Harris Stereo Executive, and were made as much alike as possible. This was done for three fundamental reasons. First, it is easier for a DJ or engineer to learn how to use just one new board rather than several new boards. Second, the engineering department needs only one set of spare parts for all the consoles, and it is possible to switch parts from one console to another as an aid in troubleshooting. Third, because all the studios are essentially the same, and because we have a very sophisticated system of patch panels, it is possible to use anyone of the four studios for AM control, FM control, or production. It is also possible to feed any two studios into a third studio.
K-MIX 98-FM Stereo is an automated station with a fast-moving contemporary format. Therefore, we needed an automation system with a large memory capacity, sophisticated programming capabilities, and a good maintenance record, that would not be too complex to teach the average DJ how to use. The only system that met all of these requirements at the time was the Harris System 90.
The assignment of offices is extremely important to the overall efficiency of the building. The engineer's office and shop are. close to the transmitter room, the automation room, and the control studios, so that in case of trouble the engineer will not have to waste valuable time running all over the building to get to the trouble or to get parts and test equipment. The program director must work closely with the sales manager; therefore, their offices are relatively close together. The sales manager and salesmen must often review the production of commercials, so their offices are close to the production studios. The general manager spends most of this time working with the sales manager and the bookkeeping department, so his office is close to theirs. It also is away from the studios so he can have a quiet place to work.
The sales and bookkeeping offices are purposely kept separate from the rest of the building to give the salespeople a quiet place to work away from the rest of the station. It also helps reduce the traffic and noise in the halls. The conference room can also be used as an air studio for group discussions or an informal sales office.
In spite of all our efforts in designing our new studios, any project of this magnitude is bound to have a few mistakes. Originally, we put the AP News teletype machine in the news studio so that it would be close to the news person, giving him easy access to it. In spite of the "soundproof" enclosure that we built around it, the machine was still unacceptably noisy. Therefore, we had to move it to the transmitter room. This not only eliminated the noise, but also gave the news people more room and a neater working area.
When we first started to plan for K-MIX we decided to use the AM DJs as operators for the automatic system. We reasoned that since it would take only a few minutes each hour, they could easily handle both jobs. Unfortunately, because of our complex format we had numerous minor problems that would upset our programming. Often the first indication the DJ had that something was wrong was when a listener would call in and complain. This problem was solved by building an alarm system to warn the DJ of any problem with the automation system. The system is designed so that the DJ must go into the automation room to turn off the alarm in the studio, because we were afraid that if the DJ could turn off the alarm from the studio, he might forget the problem in the automation room.
The new facilities have had a remarkable impact on our ability to meet our programming objective. AM is a 24 hour-a-day 5000-watt station that programs a modern country format. The FM side is fully automated and programs an adult contemporary format 24 hours a day. The five K-MIX disc jockeys record their programs for each day of the week, thus providing a live sound for the station.
Both stations place a heavy emphasis on news and sports. Though we use the AP wire and ABC Radio Network news every half hour , the majority of our news is gathered locally by our two-person news staff. Plans for extending our news operation include the addition of the Wall Street Journal wire service for economic news and a KCEY K-MIX mobile news car for covering on-the-spot news events.
(Courtesy of BME Magazine December 1978 and Bob Neutzling)
(Photos courtesy of Richard Sweetland former Chief Engineer now living in Northern Virginia - Washington D.C. area)
KCEY- KMIX: First New Building in 29 Years, worth waiting for
BEST STATION AWARD CONTEST AM/FM RADIO ENTRY 2
Submitted by Richard Sweetland, Technical Director,
KCEY/K-MIX, Modesto, California
Phyliss Okeneske News Director and Dave Kranz Asst. New Director.
Chief Engineer Richard Sweetland at the keyboard and changing tapes on the Harris System 90 automation system in 1978.
Michael J. Stewart the afternoon drive DJ.
KCEY AM 1390 kHz and KMIX- FM 98.3 FM studios and tower at the corner of Geer Rd and Santa Fee Ave. just SE of Hughson, CA. now and then.
About the author: Richard Sweetland was the chief engineer of KCEY -AM and KMIX -FM in Turlock, CA from 1978-1980. Today he is a realtor with Fairfax Realty. He lives in Annadale, VA . Website www.woodburnvillage.net