KMOD 1360 KCs  History
(L)  KMOD studios on Orangeburg Ave. in Modesto circa 1950's.  (R) Original 1 KW GE Transmitter.

Photos courtesy of Bob Pinheiro
Original KMOD control board in 1950's.






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KMOD, Modesto, California, came  on the air March 20th, 1950 on 1360 kilocycles AM with a power of 1,000 watts with studios located on Adams Ave off Old Oakdale road in east Modesto.  The license was issued by the FCC to Radio Modesto,  a corporation owned  by Richard J. Giddings, W.W. Giddings Jr., John E. Griffin and John H. Suacut who was also the station's general manager.  Robert Harrell was KMOD's Chief Engineer coming to Modesto  from the Chicago area.   Gene D'Accardo the news editor came from KTRB in Modesto for 5 years prior.
  
Later, for a brief period of time,  their studios were located in the Hotel Covell in downtown Modesto.  Later they moved to a new building built on east Orangeburg Avenue just east of Oakdale Rd where their 3 towers were located.  At the time the Orangeburg location was five miles outside of the city of  Modesto in the midst of peach orchard and pasture land.

It had up-to-date Ampex reel-to-reel tape machines and a combination of RCA and General Electric equipment ranging from microphones to the audio board. There was also a large room used to hold several transcription libraries and thousands of LP and 45 rpm records and, later, a workshop was added where the news teletype machines were put.




Sources include:

Modesto Tribune Newspaper March 17, 1950
Bob Pinheirio
Bob Santos
John Chappell
Derek Waring
Modesto Chamber of Commerce Progress and Business Review Jan-Feb. 1952




The station  called itself "Variety Radio" which it certainly was broadcasting from 5 a.m. to a little after midnight daily numerous programs ranging from Portuguese, Italian and Spanish language programs in the early morning to live country and western music. It carried most of the ABC Radio Network's offerings including "The Breakfast Club" to "The Lone Ranger." Paul Harvey and Martin Agronsky were heard with their unique brand of news reporting.

Local shows were primarily popular recorded music shows, local newscasts and special programs from time to time. One of the most popular evening shows was syndicated "Lucky Lager Dance Time," a show done locally by local announcers, but following a scripted format and music list so that a listener traveling north or south in California would hear the exact same show even though it was not a network program.

Local personalities heard on the station included Gene D'Accardo, who was the news director, chief announcer and part time programmer. He had been associated with the large independent radio station KTRB for years before KMOD went on the air. Mickey Hart, also known on-air as Jim Brooks, was primarily known as the host of "Teen Turntable Time" although he did numerous other shows. Gene Williams, an expert with regard to popular music and the recording industry, was a popular disk jockey.

KMOD was sold in 1957 and the call letters were changed to KFIV, which represented music, news, weather, time and temperature. It was a strict Top-40 station, but broadened out it's play list and eventually was a popular rock and roll station. In 1980, the format was changed to Adult Contemporary. It was later sold again and became KZUN, "Modesto's Country Cousin" station featuring popular country and western music in 1984. KZUN  was unsuccessful against established country stations KTRB and KMIX AM and FM.

In September of 1985 KZUN changed its call letters back to KFIV and its format back to Adult Contemporary but this time they utilized the Satellite Music Network's Starstation AC. In 1987, KFIV dropped Adult Contemporary and went to CHR which they simulcast of their FM sister station, KFIV-102.3.

Early in 1989, KFIV changed its call letters to KASH and its format to Business News And Talk. On October 15, 1989 to News/Talk. From AM KMOD, to KFIV, to KZUN, back to KFIV, then to KASH and again back to KFIV and again affiliated with ABC's Radio Network and others.

KFIV acquired an FM station sometime in the mid 80's when they acquired KITA -FM 102.3 MHz. KITA-FM  signed on the air on July 4, 1977 with all Spanish programming.  KITA operated from a mobile office type studio set up next to the KFIV studios on Orangeburg Ave.  The original owners were a local Spanish couple and a major investor in the station at the time was Robert Fenton owner of KFIV. 

Mr. Fenton eventually gained control of the station when financial problems beset the original owners.  Fenton changed the call letters to KFIV-FM and did away with the Spanish programming and went to a rock format.  Today the AM station is known still known as KFIV (all talk) and KFIV FM is known as Sunny 102 FM KJSN. Both stations are owned by the Clear Channel Company with studios at Oakdale Rd. and Lancey Drive in Modesto.

(Courtesy of Bill Slayter, Bob Pinheiro and Wikipedia)


KMOD, Modesto, California
(Courtesy of  Wikipedia)


The original radio station KMOD, Modesto, California, went on the air in 1950 at 1360 kilocycles AM as an affiliate of the American Broadcasting Company Radio Network at 1,000 watts. Although for a brief period of time it had studios in the Hotel Covell in downtown Modesto, the main studios and transmitter site were on east Orangeburg Avenue five miles outside of Modesto in the midst of walnut and fruit orchards and pasture land on which was erected three towers for the directional signal. The station was housed in a cinder block building and had a General Manager's office, his secretary's office which was also the repository of all papers, including original commercials, a general office room with a half-dozen desks used by air salesmen and other staff.

There was one main studio, an announcer's booth which was also an auxiliary control room, and the control room used by the combination men, i.e., the announcer-engineers, from where most program originated. It had up-to-date Ampex reel-to-reel tape machines and a combination of RCA and General Electric equipment ranging from microphones to the audio board. There was also a large room used to hold several transcription libraries and thousands of LP and 45 rpm records and, later, a workshop was added where the news teletype machines were put.

The station was owned by Radio Modesto, Inc., owned by John H. Schacht, a businessman, Judd Stutevant, a local farmer and others. The station called itself "Variety Radio" which it certainly was broadcasting from 5 a.m. to a little after midnight daily numerous programs ranging from Portuguese, Italian and Spanish language programs in the early morning to live country and western music. It carried most of the ABC Radio Network's offerings including "The Breakfast Club" to "The Lone Ranger." Paul Harvey and Martin Agronsky were heard with their unique brand of news reporting. Local shows were primarily popular recorded music shows, local newscasts and special programs from time to time. One of the most popular evening shows was syndicated "Lucky Lager Dance Time," a show done locally by local announcers, but following a scripted format and music list so that a listener traveling north or south in California would hear exactly the same show even though it was not a networked program.

Local personalities heard on the station included Gene D'Accardo, who was the news director, chief announcer and part time programmer. He had been associated with the large independent radio station KTRB for years before KMOD went on the air. Mickey Hart, also known on-air as Jim Brroks, was primarily known as the host of "Teen Turn-table Time" although he did numerous other shows. Gene Williams, an expert with regard to popular music and the recording industry, was a popular disk jockey. The names of other personalities has faded from memory.

KMOD was sold in 1957 and the call letters were changed to KFIV, which represented music, news, weather, time and temperature. It was a strict Top-40 station, but broadened out it's play list and eventually was a popular rock and roll station. In 1980, the format was changed to Adult Contemporary. It was later sold again and became KZUN, "Modesto's Country Cousin" station featuring popular country and western music in 1984. In September 1985 KZUN changed its call letters back to KFIV and its format back to Adult Contemporary but this time they utilized the Satellite Music Network's Starstation AC.

In 1987, KFIV dropped Adult Contemporary to CHR simulcast of its FM sister station, KFIV-102.3. Early in 1989, KFIV changed its call letters to KASH and its format to Business News And Talk. On October 15, 1989 to News/Talk. From AM KMOD, to KFIV, to KZUN, back to KFIV, then to KASH and again back to KFIV and again affiliated with ABC's Radio Network and others The KMOD call sign has been re-assigned to an FM station in Tulsa, OK. 






1950's shot of studios on Orangeburg Ave.